Thursday, June 25, 2009

She's so BUSY!!!

Ella is a very busy girl...she is always on the go and has lots of things she needs to accomplish each day...here are a few recent pics to give you a glimpse into the life of an oh-so-busy toddler on the move!

Walking and checking her email at the same time
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Catching up on some reading in the car
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Sneaking (or so she thinks!) up the stairs on a top-secret mission
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Walking around with her (ahem, MY) purse - ready to go, mom?
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Playing a friendly game of catch with Cory (...poor Cory, if only she knew she was part of the game...)
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Reorganizing the kitchen cabinets
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Cleaning an end table at Grandma and Grandad's - that's right, we put her to work wherever we go
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Washing her hair, face and clothing....WITH TOMATO SAUCE
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Taking a break from her busy schedule to get a kiss from Mommy
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Phew, it's a tough job, but some body has to do it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

We had a really nice day for Father's Day on Sunday.

Here's Ella snuggling with Steve before church
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She was extra huggy and kissy with Steve on Father's Day. I swear this little angel has radar and knows when it's a special day.

Some pictures in the backyard
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Talking to Sammy (of course!)
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Having FUN
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Ella giving a Father's Day present to Steve
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Grill tools!!
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We went swimming later
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At the pool
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It was a very nice family day - we relaxed, spent time together, and enjoyed our 2nd Father's Day with Ella here...hard to believe Steve has now been a father for 2 Father's Days! He is a really great dad to Ella, so loving and sweet with her, and takes such great care of her.

I'm also so thankful for both of my great dads, my dad and Glenn. I've always felt so loved and I want the same for Ella, and I know she will with all of the great family around us!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trip to Pinehurst

We went to Pinehurst on Saturday to go to Dad and Donna's for Father's Day and my birthday. Erin came too and Dad and Donna cooked a great lunch. Some pics from the visit -

Having fun with Aunt Erin
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Dad opening his Father's Day present
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Ella, Grandma, Grandad and Aunt Erin
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Ella pretty much demanded Chico's leash, and here she is 'walking' him in the driveway
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We had gymnastics in the morning and then headed right down, so we thought Ella would sleep in the car but she stayed awake and played the whole time. So, by the time she took a nap it was on the car ride home, close to 4pm. She really did great the whole time though and was quite a little champ, and really had fun the whole time.

My Birthday

My birthday was this past Wednesday, on June 17. I turned 29, so it's my last birthdy as a twenty-something!

We went out to dinner to celebrate, and Ella must have gotten the memo that it was my birthday because she was an absolute angel at dinner - she was happy and content, smiling and laughing the whole time, she actually ATE what we ordered for her, there was no squirming, fussing, yelling, food throwing - just a happy and calm little girl - it was awesome!

Steve cut me some roses from our rosebush and made a delicious cookie cake :).
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Here's Ella helping me open my gift
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An iPhone - YESSS!!! And you can see Ella really likes it too :)
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And here she is coloring. She opens her notepad up herself and gets right to work!
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Me and my babydoll
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It was a really nice birthday and I got lots of calls and emails - it made me grateful for my wonderful family and friends and really appreciate a simple birthday with the 3 of us. And we got to celebrate again yesterday when we went to Dad and Donna's for my birthday and Father's Day (different post!).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Here are some cute pics of Ella and her buddy Elise playing this weekend. It's pretty neat because now they are much more aware of each other and really seemed to play together, instead of just close to each other.

Having a little chat
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A video of them playing together
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Ella's signature move, the head pat!
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We had a good dinner with Susan and Jimmy and the girls - here is Ella eating corn-on-the-cob (and yes, she actually ate a decent amount of corn right off the cob!)
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This is so fuzzy, I'm not really sure why the quality is so bad, but sooooo worth it - Ella and Elise trying to "high-five each other"!!
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I love watching Ella interact with other kids and it's so sweet to see her have fun and laugh with a 'friend' - just one of the many things that keeps getting better and better!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ella is 17 Months!

Ella turned 17 months on Friday, June 5. Her personality is just amazing and seems more grown up every day. I really don't even think of her as a baby anymore, she is so much more of a little girl than a baby. She's so sweet and loving, funny, and fun to be around.

Here are 17 notes about Ella this month -

1 - Ella is definitely a toddler now, in actions and attitude! She has wild emotion swings, from the happiest girl in the world, to the saddest...in a second she can get so upset with something, scream and yell, and then will feel better in just an instant. She can be a really WILD WOMAN and lets us know just how hard and difficult it is to be in her shoes!

2 - She now has 6 teeth - 4 on the top, and 2 on the bottom. The 4 up top all came in the last month, within a week of each other. it's funny because the 2 on the bottom also came in at the same time. She LOVES brushing them, independently of course!

3 - Her hair is really getting long, and so curly in the back. I try to keep a clip to keep it out of eyes, and sometimes a ponytail. It may be close to needing a haircut but I'm still undecided.

4 - Some new words this month are teeth, nomar (pronounced No-no), up, hot, hat, and cheese. She knows the signs for 'more', 'drink' and 'gentle' (which she hears about a hundred times a day, and often will respond by doing the sign!). She says Mommy all the time now, but like "Memmay" (and frequently it's said with great distress, because, like I said before, no one can imagine just how hard it is to be in her shoes)...I'll take it though!

5 - She is really interested in books now - she loves being read to, will flip the pages for us, and will sit on our laps for a whole story, or even several in a row. She picks the book that she wants to read out of her bookshelf and then snuggles to read it.

6 - She is pretty much obsessed with Sammy, Cory and Nomar, and can be doing anything at all, but when one of them appears on her radar, her priorities change and she must pay attention to them pronto!

7 - Her eating is still picky but I'm more relaxed about it now and she's doing pretty well, especially when I look at the big picture over a day or two, instead of each meal. Plus her milk drinking is a lot better than it used to be.

8 - She has become quite the climber! She can now get down off the couch, can just about get off our bed by herself, can walk over different elevations without tripping, and pretty much tries to swing her leg over the side of anything to figure out if she can make it out (including the bathtub).

9 - She is up to a size 4 in diapers, and is in mostly 12 month clothes still, but moving into 18 months and seems a lot taller all of a sudden. Her tummy is so perfectly round when she sticks it out and her chunky thighs are just the best.

10 - Some things she likes to try to do herself: Pull her shirt off over her head (once I get her arms out), line her shoes up on her feet, brush her hair, brush her teeth, wipe her face and hands with a wipe, use a paper towel on the floor to clean up, throw things in the trash can.

11 - Here are some words that although she can't say them, she knows what they mean and will get them if you ask: shoes, milk, brush, book.

12 - She can point to her nose, teeth, hair, cheeks, tummy and toes. And she LOVES pointing to my teeth!

13 - Her personality is just so awesome - she cracks herself up and will run around laughing hysterically, has tons of funny faces where she makes me laugh with just looking at her. She is SO BUSY all of the time. I don't think her mind takes even the slightest rest unless she is asleep. She is constantly on the go, always on a mission, and busy, busy, busy all day long.

14 - She has become so affectionate - she gives great big hugs where she throws her arms around our neck and holds on so tight, she'll sit on my lap and throw her arm around my shoulder, and is just generally so sweet and affectionate. She'll even come up behind us if we're sitting on the floor and wrap her hands around our shoulders, or play with my hair. When I ask for a kiss she leans her cheek in or brings her hand to her mouth to blow kisses.

15 - Her eyes are just so expressive and I can tell if she's happy, sad, sleepy, mischevious, or anything in between, just by looking at them.

16 - Ella is very fascinated by other children, especially ones that are the same age and size - she likes to reach out and touch them, sometimes gives hugs, and almost always pats them on the head. She waves to everyone, says "hi" or "hey" with a big smile. I am pretty convinced she thinks that my girlfriend's 7 month old is a little pet put on this earth exclusively for Ella's entertainment!

17 - I really do not think there's any better sound than Ella's sweet little voice - she always experiments with different tones and it's so sweet, very soft, especially when she's trying out new words. She can talk for minutes at a time, complete with hand gestures, expressions, looking right into our eyes, with so much meaning behind it. She gets very loud, animated and excited, complete with finger pointing and if only we knew what she was saying!!

Every day with Ella really feels like a gift, and I'm just so thankful to be so blessed with her. It's incredible to see her learning so much, realizing how and when things 'click' with her, and how she picks up on things. She can definitely be quite a handful, she gets really wild and will hit us (in the face!), kick crazily, and sometimes looks right at me while she's doing something she knows she shouldn't...she is absolutely in the toddler, testing phase and her personality is strong and willful and she keeps us on our toes, that's for sure. She just makes me so happy and what a wonderful 17 months it's been!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gymnastics "Show"

This past Saturday was Ella's end-of-season gymnastics "show"...since it's a toddler class, the show day wasn't too much different than a regular class but I brought the camera and took a bunch of pictures.

Here she is at the beginning of class, picking out her bell from the pile
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While everyone else was in a circle, she had some important business elsewhere and needed to do some climbing.
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Then Brady came on over to check out what Ella was up to
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Upside down!
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On the parachute...this is WHILE we were pulling it!
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In the middle of the parachute
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Here is a video clip of her on the beam with Miss Shellie
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On the air track, showing off her jumping moves! (and yes, all of that crazed laughter is hers!)
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Playing with balls
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This clip is really short, you can hear her talking to her little pal
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At the end of class, all the kids got medals
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I was so proud of her, her first medal! And she was pretty into it too!!
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I really can't beleive Ella has already finished a whole six months there...when we started at the beginning of the year she would stay very close to us in the circle and not venture too much on her own - now, she's all over the place, off and having fun independently, and just has such a great time there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Singing!

Last night in the bath Ella surprised me when I was singing to her because she looked right back at me and tried to sing too! It was amazing - she really concentrated, and it sounded like she sang the same 2 or 3 notes, over and over - she would sing a few notes, pause for a few seconds, then repeat.

Then after I put her to bed I heard on on the monitor and she was continuing to practice...I recorded it to make a little video clip. You have to turn up your speakers to hear it, but she definitely "sings" a few notes (she's singing "Doe a Deer" from the Sound of Music) takes a pause, then sings it again. Totally adorable!!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Swimming Lessons

Tonight was Ella's first swimming lesson! I signed her up for a Tuesday and Thursday evening class for the month of June, and we were very excited for her first class. It's a parent/tot class, and there were a bunch of us in there, at least 8 kids or so, plus parents.

It was of course pretty basic stuff, mostly getting comfortable in the water. They splashed and kicked and were supposed to blow bubbles (which Ella is not interested in and refused to close her mouth when she was in the water!), but she did get into the kicking and some splashing. We also worked on getting in and out of the pool, the idea being that they have some restraint in getting in (like sit nicely on the edge and slide in) and then pulling themselves out, which she is too little for but can do it with our help. Hands down, Ella's favorite part of the class was throwing a ball and I had to swim after and get it, or me throwing the ball and Steve had to swim after it.

Here's a little video of Steve and Ella in the water before the class started.

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It was a lot of fun and I'm already looking forward to Thursday's class!