Thursday, April 30, 2009

Look Ma, No Hands!

So...Ella has finally seemed to realize that there are ways to get around without needing her arms on the ground (with knees optional!) to hold her up. So, we went from hands and knees crawling to her recent spell of cave-woman walking, and now she has been walking a lot more often the past week. She took off in gymnastics on Saturday morning after a particularly intruiging batch of bubbles from Miss Shellie, and seemed to forget that she was actually walking, and more and more this week she just stands up and starts walking instead of crawling. She's still very cautious and prefers to be holding on to something, but there's been a huge increase in the amount of walking this week. It seems that as long as she's not really thinking about what she's doing, she's good to go.

Here's a video clip I caught tonight in the kitchen -

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So sweet!!

Yummm...

Here is Ella during an especially delicious spaghetti dinner last night...

Hmmm this is pretty good -
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Yummy!
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Reaching for me - YIKES!
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As I'm sure you can imagine, her immediate next stop was the bath tub.
MUCH BETTER!
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And thank goodness for the Sammy & Cory cleaning crew that is happy to clean up Ella's leftovers from the floor!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wow!

Although Ella does about 100 things every day that I find interesting, she really outdid herself tonight. We were playing with her toys and her eye caught a book (The Busy Spider) near the bottom of her basket of toys. She really wanted it though and worked hard, dug it out of the basket under a bunch of toys, and I thought 'oh how sweet, she wants me to read to her'.

So, I happily scooped up Ella and the book, put her in my lap, opened the book, and started to read. She had other plans though! She squirmed away from me and went right up to the couch, where Sammy was sleeping. She took the book - stood up leaning on the couch - opened the book, and started "reading" to Sammy! It was absolutely amazing. She held it open, narrated, and shared it with him for about a minute.

It was so cool because it shows that she actually understands what reading is, that she was imitating us reading to her, and perhaps cutest of all - was sharing a book with her buddy Sammy. What a sweet little babydoll!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feels like Summer!

We had a hot weekend - seems like it went from a cool spring right to summer. It was over 90 both days and we finally broke down and turned the air conditioning on late this afternoon. One great thing about hot weather is that it's a great opportunity to dress Ella in adorable summer clothes!

Here she is doing her 'special crawling' in the drive way before gym yesterday.
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Yesterday afternoon I took Ella to a wedding shower with me. Her favorite was the big friendly chocolate lab named Jada that my co-worker had, and Ella spent the majority of the time following and playing with Jada.

Check out these sweaty curls!
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One of the games we played was the one where they call off funny items and you're supposed to see if you have them in your purse - normally I do horrible at that kind of game because for me I carry a tiny purse or just a wallet, with hardly anything in it. WELL, yesterday was a whole different story because I had my little buddy (and all her accessories) with me. I had the DIAPER, the ACTION-HERO (Super Sleuth Pooh), HAND SANITIZER, CAMERA, even the LIBRARY CARD! I came in a very respectable 2nd place - I am definitely a MOM!!

Here's Ella playing with some ribbon during the present-opening...
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Last night I went out to dinner for a friend's birthday. Even though it was so hot during the day it was a gorgeous night and we sat outside and had a great dinner, good wine, and even better conversation, a really nice girls night.

This afternoon I took Ella to a park in town that I've not been to before and there is a big walking loop around a lake that is paved so was easy to push the stroller.

Hydrating - hey, getting pushed is hard work too :)
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Here's a pic of the lake, it was really pretty and is less than 5 minutes from home so we will definitely go back often!
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Waking Up

Ella usually wakes up at 7am and we go get her up around 7:15 - she's almost always up and playing happily in her crib when we go get her. On Friday morning I happened to catch her still asleep in her crib when I went in to wake her up and couldn't believe how precious she looked...of course I had to run and get 1) the camera and 2) Steve to observe. Just look at this little pumpkin!

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Starting to stir...
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Cracking her eyes open while she stretches...hello Mommy & Daddy
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Then, in half a second, she is up like a flash and ready to start her day!
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Such a sweet little babydoll, waking her up every day is so fun because she's so happy and excited for another day.

Ella and Jack

Steve has gone up to Virginia 2 times in the last 2 weeks to visit and spend time with his Aunt Margaret who has cancer and is very sick. The first time he went up the week after Easter, from a Tuesday to Friday afternoon. Mom had been here for Easter weekend and was here during the week and was a complete lifesaver because she kept Ella for me every day while I went to work. She even changed her plane ticket to go home Friday night instead of Friday morning so that Steve could stay one more night - which turned into a total debacle because her flight ended up being like 4+ hours late and she got home at 3am Saturday morning :(.

Last week Steve went back up but had to take Ella with him this time, and his sister Michelle who lives in SC came to our house first and they drove up together. So it was Steve, Ella and Michelle and her littlest boy Jack, who is 3 1/2. Steve said they had a really good time together and here are a few pictures of Ella and her 'big' cousin Jack.

Playing together
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Holding hands!
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They only ended up being gone for one night so it wasn't TOO much time without my little lady but I was dying to get her back in my arms. I'm glad that Steve has been able to spend the time with Margaret, his uncle Doug and cousin Rich, and his other aunt Thelma (who is visiting from El Paso), and I know he's been a very big help to them at the house, but of course I missed them a lot and was excited for them to get home.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Adventures

Here are some pics from our adventures this weekend - nothing too exciting but we had a beautiful weekend and lots to do.

Ready for gym on Saturday morning! Photobucket

You'll see that Ella is wearing shorts or a dress in every picture this weekend. That is because, in an effort to step up Ella's walking attempts, I decided as long as it's warm enough, she's going to wear nothing covering her knees, so that crawling won't be so enjoyable.

Well - she showed me! Here is her new way of crawling that she started this weekend -I do not see how that is more comfortable than walking, but as usual her problem solving abilities seem to be hard at work!
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We went to the playground on Saturday afternoon with a friend and her baby girl. It's funny because since Ella has been facing front in the car, I am always looking to see her while I'm driving and catch her making the most serious, pensive faces while I'm driving. Here is one I caught on the way to the park - Photobucket

Playing in the sandbox Photobucket (her favorite thing - she was NOT in a swings or slide mood that day)

Whew! Time for a water break Photobucket

Once we got home she kicked up her feet after snack time Photobucket

Later on we were on the deck and she went right for the music, and now knows which one is the power button Photobucket

Here's a video clip of her amazing button-pressing abilities!
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On Sunday after her nap we went to a little neighborhood party for gold-melting (where you sell old gold that you don't wear anymore) and here is Ella all dressed and ready to go -
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It must have been quite a good nap, judging by that crazy hairdo, so I decided to try my hand at a little Pebbles ponytail
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Unfortunately it ended up more sumo-wrestler than the adorable little pony I was going for, so I'll have to give it another try soon. I stuck with a bow instead!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend

We went to visit Erin and Josh's house for Easter weekend and had a great holiday weekend - Ella was so little last year that we didn't do much but this year I was so excited for it. Mom and Glenn were also there for the weekend and Dad came for Easter.

Here she is in the car ride on the way there on Friday afternoon - notice how she's facing front in the car seat
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On Saturday morning we dyed eggs
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3 happy egg dyers
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Hugs for Cali!
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We went to a little play center library called Imaginon and here are Glenn and Ella outside
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Checking out the vegetable garden
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Playing with blocks
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And she's off!
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We went to church on Saturday night and here is the little angel in her Easter dress
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When we go to church we usually put her in the nursery but we were at Erin's church and had her with us but she didn't last long...about 20 minutes in she started thrashing around and yelling and Steve ended up in a parents room with her for the rest of the service. On the way there she had an adorable bow in her hair, party shoes and beautiful dress - on the way to the parents room the bow was long gone, shoes were off, and dress a mess...ah well :).

I was so excited for her first easter egg hunt and on Saturday night stuffed a bunch of eggs with animal crackers. Here she is Easter morning playing with the leftover eggs that didn't get stuffed.

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Hmmm, who's in there?
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I better check this out!
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Where's Ella??
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Easter goodies!
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Cali checking out our dyed eggs
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Glenn got Ella a rabbit that sings "here comes Peter Cottontail" and here she is dancing and enjoying her new bunny

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Some Easter pics
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Since Ella had so much fun with the empty eggs that morning, we decided to stuff some more eggs for the hunt, thinking that she need MORE than the 15 we had already stuffed. So, we ended up with about 30 stuffed eggs. Dad got there, then Steve and Josh "hid" the eggs at a little field across the street (aka - eggs in plain sight), and we headed out to commence the hunt!!

On the way, with her new bunny bag for egg collecting
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Although she definitely enjoyed herself, she was not going crazy to collect the eggs, and probably only collected about 4 eggs or so (and we collected the rest!)

Here is a little clip of her hunting
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I found a blue one!
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Sharing an egg with Daddy
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Some help from Uncle Josh
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Taking a break to enjoy her spoils
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Then we went back in the house for some playtime, Ella was still very excited about her animal crackers, here she is with Grandad happily eating!
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Playing with her toys with Grandad
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Great shot of Nola
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Me and my little Easter bunny
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Ella took a nap while we ate a great Easter dinner and as usual, Erin & Josh were wonderful hosts. Mom and Erin cooked and made awesome cheesecake for dessert - so good!

The 3 of us
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When Ella woke up we gave her Easter basket and goodies - here is her new hat
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Although she got a bunch of stuffed animals and a new book, her favorite so far seemed to be the basket itself and the grass that was inside it!
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Getting sleepy after a big day...
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It was a really great day and so fun to have everyone together. Holidays have a whole new meaning now that Ella is here and are even more fun as she gets a little bit older and able to enjoy things even more! Not to mention how cool it was that we all got to see her walk on Sunday!