Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trip to 'Ron and Josh's

SPECIAL NOTE: Erin, you do not want to miss the end of this one!!

A few weeks ago (yes, I have lots of catching up to do on here...) Mom was here and took Erin on her first overnight trip without me or Steve, and went to see Erin and Josh in Charlotte for the night.

Ella loves her Aunt Erin and Uncle Josh but was unable to say "Aunt Erin" even though she could very clearly say "Josh!" So, the day before they were going to leave, Mom and I were practicing it with her and she got to saying "Ron" or "Roni" but not Erin. Mom said that on the whole drive out Ella was talking about Josh and Mom started thinking that maybe she thought Erin's name was Josh. Erin had taken a half day from work to hang out with them and all afternoon still, Ella was saying 'Josh', so they thought even more maybe she wasn't sure who was who. But then the theory was disproved when Josh walked in the door and Ella yelled "JOSSSHH"... So, no "Aunt Erin" from Ella on that trip.

But Ella had a blast on her trip - Ella just adores the two of them, and they played for hours and hours. She was so involved in her playing that when I called to talk to her, Erin asked her if she wanted to talk to me and I heard her loudly say - "No Way!"...hmpf! She slept great in her pack and play and was just had an all-around really fun time with her Grammy and Aunt and Uncle. It was really nice to know she did so great on a little trip without any parents to chaperone :)

Here are some pictures from the night that Mom took

Erin, this video is just for you - Ella can't wait to see her AUNT ERIN this weekend!! (and we're still working on Grammy...)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ella the Outdoorswoman

I've written a lot about how Ella loves her daily walks with Cory in our neighborhood. This weekend I brought the camera along to take a few photos to show our little adventurer on our walks.

It's a decent length walk for her, about a quarter of a mile, which I think is pretty impressive for her little legs, but she does great. We make lots of stops along the way to check out all kinds of things and for lots of exploring.

Alright, let's go!

Pointing to the creek where she likes to throw rocks. We collect them up at the top of the trail and then on the way back we stop and throw them. She always says "throw rocks!"

Stopping for a little chat with Cory

Checking things out

Studying a leaf

She loves puddles, mud, the sky, birds, clouds, trees, pine cones, really anything she can point to ask questions about. She has a really funny explanation for where mud comes from and how it dries up when the sun comes out, always thinks it's so funny when there's a puddle there that was not the last time, or one that's dried up that was there before.

She'll spend hours in the backyard with Steve in the afternoons, walking around, checking things out, laughing at Cory, playing in her sandbox, and as she says "Daddy throw ball Ella" - she loves running after the ball. We try to get her to catch but don't have too much luck with that yet.

The other day she made me laugh when we got in the car after the playground, she said "ewwww, sand in shoe!" and dumped out two shoes full of sand into the backseat of the car.

We've had several weeks now of gorgeous weather and have been taking full advantage of it with our little outdoor explorer!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2 Year Photos

After having Ella's 18 month photos taken last summer was so tricky (remember I had to hide under a sheet?!), followed by the Christmas photo debacle in which we got only ONE good photo, I have been deciding what to do about Ella's 2 year photos. I know it's not her favorite activity, and I'm certainly not trying to torture her, but I really want to get pictures each year. So, I decided to try something new in the hopes of establishing a new pattern. I was all set to get them taken, but then she broke her leg, and I of course did not want her boot in the pictures, so I waited out the boot, and this weekend finally decided to go for it.

I told Ella that if she did a nice job for pictures then we'd go to the mall after and get a pretzel and ride the carousel. Oooh boy, did that motivation do the trick!!

I love how the pictures came out and Ella actually had fun and smiled throughout. The lady had this bubble machine and Ella tried to catch the bubbles and had a really good time. Here are my favorites -

I just love the pictures, and am so pleased that this was such a nice, pleasant experience compared to the last two. Ell was such a champ and I was so proud of her. As promised, I took her to the mall after and we enjoyed a soft pretzel and a ride on the carousel. When we were walking toward the end of the mall where the carousel is, as soon as she saw it she said "WOAH, RIDE!!!" and then she looked at me and said "Mommy, I ride!" She loved it and in a very independent move, tried to push my hand off her back while she was on the horse because as she said "I do". We sat on a bench to eat our pretzel she watched the carousel the whole time and would announce when it stopped ("ride done" and then when it turned back on "ride go"). My own little carousel attendant!

Monday, March 15, 2010

All About Ella

It's been a while since I've done a post just updating about Ella and what she's up to. What is most apparent to me right now is what a fun age she is at - I keep waiting for "terrible twos" to hit and while she is certainly strong willed and earns her share of time-outs, overall her personality is just amazing.

She is so much fun to be with, sweet and affectionate, and is a precious little companion. It's like she's at the perfect age. She can be really funny and will do silly things, she loves laughing, and loves making us laugh too. I love her laugh and her sense of humor is so silly. She gives lots of hugs and kisses and loves cuddling and snuggling (on her terms of course).

She is so very chatty, and talks all the time. I just LOVE her voice and just about every single thing she says. She is so funny, talks with so much inflection and seriousness, and many hand gestures. It's amazing how much of what she says actually makes sense and how we're able to understand about 95% of it. Very rarely there are a few words that she'll repeat over and over, so we know she sincerely means something but we just can't figure it out. Most of the time though she makes sense. She strings several words together, and here are some of my favorite things she's said lately: "Cory, I'm nice!" (when Cory was trying to get away from her), "ohhhh, nice baby", "I did it!" (she says this one all the time to announce her many achievements), "I want some water please" (this is her longest sentence so far I think), "yesss", and then when she doesn't want to do something but knows she has to, she says "o-taaay" in this little Eeore voice that is so funny. She also says "no way" a lot and had a little phase of saying "nope" every time instead of no. Oh and she'll throw in a "sheesh" if she's annoyed!

She is using the potty fairly often and does both #1 and #2 in the potty a few times a day. She tells us she wants to go but then once we get her settled on the potty, she wants her privacy, so we need to go in the hallway and wait until she calls us to come in and look at what she did and give her lots and lots of cheers and praise. She is always very proud of herself.

Ella LOVES taking Cory for walks, and at the beginning of each day, she wants to know exactly when the walk(s) will be taking place. This Saturday I told her we were going to go for a walk after her nap. So, we're driving home from some errands and I told her we were going to eat lunch, then nap time. Well she knew that "walk" was coming after nap time, so she wanted to get right to nap time. She said "no eat, nap" so that she could get the nap going. I took her up to change her diaper before nap and she said "nooooo, nap" ...she did not want even the slightest delay in getting to that walk. Of course I still changed her, but she was not pleased with that. She went right down, didn't even want to read before her nap. She took a good nap, over an hour and a half, and as soon as I went in to get her when she woke up, she said first thing with a giant smile on her face "Cory, walk?" So of course we went just like I told her, and she acted like she had won the lottery. She is so happy and enjoys everything, it's so neat. We have a greenway in our neighborhood and we always go in there because it's a paved trail and so nice to not need to worry about cars or the street. And Ella loves it because she can be a little adventurer and doesn't need to hold my hand while we're in there. (You'd think my hand was coated in battery acid sometimes the way she does not want to hold it!) Steve usually takes them for a long walk during the day and then we go once I get home from work. So, Cory has never been happier either!

She is still the Dog Whisperer and hasn't met a dog that she doesn't love. She'll say things like "oh, nice dog" and then many "hi puppy", "ohhhh, nice" while she sweetly pets them. She also equally loves cats and she refers to all cats as "meows".

She's now wearing 2T clothes, is just about a size 6 shoe and still in size 4 diapers.

I've written before about she nicely let me push her stroller when I walked with my and my friends for about 9 months and then all of sudden started rebelling on me so I couldn't even take her with me when we walked. Well, it finally hit me that this could be a semantics thing because I say to her "we're going to go for a walk" but then I put her in her stroller, so maybe she is thinking "that's not a walk!" So, a few weekends ago I tried again. I told Ella we were meeting Miss Christine and Dominic for a "ride" in her stroller at the lake. I had no clue if it would work or not but it actually did! She did such a good job. I told her that if she did a nice job in her stroller the whole time then at the end we'd put the stroller back in the trunk and take a walk. I was amazed, but it actually worked. And this weekend we were able to do it again. I'm really excited, especially because the weather has been beautiful the past few weeks and now with the time change we've got so much more daylight.

We're back to Little Gym and the playground, Ella is fully back to normal with her leg and I'm guessing she's all but forgotten that she ever hurt it. She'll frequently surprise me with her memory and the stuff she talks about, but she hasn't mentioned her leg in a while, which I think is a great sign.

Ella really knows several of her 'friends' now, and knows that she gets to play with Katie at Little Gym and Ryanne at church. We met up with Katie and her parents at the playground last weekend and Ella walked around looking for her saying "oh, Katie, oh Katie" was so cute. On Saturday mornings while we're getting ready she says excitedly "katie!". And as soon as we get to church nursery she says "Eyan?" (= Ryanne).

Ella loves singing. Her favorites right now are ABCs (and she says "more ABCs" over and over), If You're Happy and You Know It (= Happy), the Ella song ( = Ella), and Little Einsteins theme song (she'll just start singing out of nowhere RA RA RA and we're supposed to pick up with "ra ra rah, for rocket").

One of her favorite things to do is point to many things in a row and say "what's that?" - you give her an answer, and then you get another "what's that?"...then, repeat 10 or 20 times! It cracks her up though and it's like she tries to stump us because she'll come back to something that she already asked and then see if we'll give the same answer. She is also starting to say "why?" to ask about things. She's definitely very curious and seems to observe everything around her.

I could go on and on and on, but will wrap it up for now, and here are some other pictures from the last few weeks!

Hard at work sweeping

Big hugs for Cory

Playing in a laundry basket

Ella the Adventurer

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Close Ups

A few close-ups of my nuggs!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Snow and Cookies

Glenn came down for a quick trip last week and spent a bunch of time with Ella. We had our THIRD snow of the year, which is amazing, and even more so for March. (Even weirder, it's been in the mid-60s every day since Sunday!)

Ella in the snow

Then, they built Ella's first snowman!!

Notice how all the snow in the yard seems to have been used for the giant snowman...

Frosty is telling Ella a secret

Ready to make cookies!!


They had such a fun time together, and Ella even started calling Glenn "Gee" while he was here. She was very sad when he left and later said she was sad because "Gee bye-bye".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tutu Adorable

When Mom was here she bought this little tutu and we dressed Ella in it and took many photos - not so easy with such a moving target, but totally precious!

Tu tu cute :)

Grammy Camp

Steve had to go out of town for a few days last week, and so Mom came down to watch Ella while I went to work. Ella LOVES her Grammy and loves going to 'Grammy Camp' during the day! Here are some pics from their adventures

They baked muffins one day, here is Ella enjoying her hard work

Ella has always enjoyed hand washing and can't pass a bottle of hand sanitizer without having an overwhelming urge to wash her hands immediately - well now she has a new favorite hobby that Mom taught her - washing the dishes!

As you can imagine, Ella's definition of dish washing is not the same as yours or mine - basically, dish washing involves holding some dishes under the running water indefinitely, ideally for extended periods of time, giggling and laughing while she gets soaked...and then, when we make the mistake of trying to end the dish washing session, we are greeted with many shouts of "more wash, more wash!" -- my little housekeeper, she definitely does not get it from me!

Notice how wet her shirt is :)

Some hugs and kisses for Grammy

What an adorable little pair!