Friday, June 25, 2010

Father's Day

Sunday was Father's Day, and on the way home from Charleston we went to Pinehurst to visit Dad and Donna. My stepbrother Tate and his wife Julie, and their 2 little girls were visiting for the weekend, and Erin and Josh came too, so it was great to see everyone.

Ada is 5 and as I expected, Ella gravitated toward her. Ella always wants to play with bigger girls and this was no exception. Her and Ada were gone for a little while but we heard lots of giggling and yelling and when Donna went to check on them, they were in bed hiding under pillows and blankets, with lots of excited laughing and carrying on!



Every time we go to Dad and Donna's, Ella always manages to find this antique baby carriage and push it all around




We tried to get a good picture of the 3 girls - not easy with a 1 year old, 2 year old and 5 year old!






p.s. Very soon we will know for sure if Erin and Josh will be adding a boy to this little batch of girls :)

When we got home Ella gave Steve her Father's Day gift for him. Notice she does the both the giving and opening??





Steve is such a great dad to Ella, and I love seeing the relationship that they have and how crazy they are about each other. He is traveling a lot now for work and last night Ella said "I really miss Daddy." And I said "I know, me too." And then she said "I love my daddy so much!" So sweet.

It was a really nice end to the weekend and a perfect time to think about how fortunate I am to have such great fathers, which I appreciate so much more now that I am a parent. I am really grateful for Ella that she has such wonderful grandfathers that love her so much and love spending time with her.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

South Carolina Aquarium



We went to the SC Aquarium Saturday morning for our last trip into Charleston!

Checking out the shark tank - there was a scuba diver in there cleaning the rocks and he came up to the window and waved at Ella and tried to get her to wave back or do a high five through the glass. She would have none of it and tried to hide on me instead!



Penguin diving


Building her own "penguin's nest"


Lots of fish!



A bald eagle


This is an albino alligator. He just hung there, with almost all of his weight balanced on his tail, for several minutes, even when they simulated a thunderstorm in his tank. He looks greenish in this picture but was really a completely pale cream color. It was neat learning about him, basically they are extremely rare because the albinism typically causes them to be eaten really early on in their lives, or get such bad sun damage that they die. This guy beat the odds though and here he is!



I thought this was pretty neat - this is a freight ship that came all the way from China, we saw it arriving at the port. It held so many containers and then there are these giant cranes several stories high that unload the containers.



Making a wish and throwing pennies in the fountain


We saw so many neat animals - sea otters, frogs, snakes, all kinds of fish, penguins, alligators (even a baby alligator!), sting rays, crabs, on and on...Later when we asked Ella what her favorite animal was, she said - "the fishies" - ha, fair enough, right?

Carriage Ride

We took a carriage ride through downtown Charleston to see a bunch of the city and learn a little bit about the history.

By the carriage


Ella enjoyed getting to pet one of the horses. Just last night she told me, "I pet a horse!" in a very proud way!



The buildings are gorgeous, it's like you're stepping back in time.











Ella did so good on the ride. I was a little nervous that halfway through she'd decide she was done and we'd be stuck, but she did great - she took everything in and really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My 30th Birthday - Isle of Palms

My 30th birthday was this past Thursday, on June 17. To celebrate, we took a trip to Isle of Palms which is the beach right outside of Charleston, SC. Steve and I have had 2 different trips planned to Charleston before (complete with hotel reservations) - one for Valentines Day in 2003 and another for our 5th wedding anniversary in 2007. We had to cancel both of those trips because of last-minute changed circumstances, and so Charleston has always been on my list of places I really want to go to. So we finally did it! It was such a great trip and wonderful time for the three of us. Not to mention that a 4-day weekend is always a treat!

We stayed in a condo that was just across the parking lot from the beach, and had the pool in between. The view from the deck



Ella explaining to me that it was time to go "swim in my pool"



We managed to hold her off about 10 minutes to somewhat unpack and get settled, then down to the pool we went!





We had a really fun dinner out, here's a pic of Ella in her chair - she's such a big girl now, no more high chairs in restaurants and we're lucky if we can contain her in a booster seat!



We stopped for ice cream for dessert on the walk home - Ella really enjoyed hers but then she dropped a bunch of her ice cream on the ground. She was such a good sport - she said "I dropped my ice cream and Mommy cleaned it up. All gone."



After we put Ella down for the night, Steve and I watched a movie. It was a really great day, the perfect way to turn 30.

We stayed for the weekend and spent lots of time on the beach. It was the most comfortable Ella has been on the beach or in the water. She loved it and we spent hours at a time on the beach. The water was perfect - it was very warm and the waves were so calm.

Many beach pics -























More to come from the rest of the trip!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

She's Gotta Go

Ella loves imitating me, and one of the funny things she does is she will pick up something like my purse or keys and act like she's getting ready to leave the house.

Yesterday we were upstairs in the playroom playing Potato Heads and there is a little red purse that belongs to the lady potato, and as soon as she picked it up she started saying "I gotta go, I gotta go!" and bustling all around. She loaded up her stroller and told me she's "gotta go!"

A video of her on her mission...

video

Today she put her hat and sunglasses on, got my keys and headed to her car. See in the video how she even tries to start to car using my keys. Oh and she says she needs her wallet! Just like me except I don't think I've ever sat on a baby while I drive :).

video

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Ella really loves singing lately and she makes up little songs all the time, most of them have words like "these are Mommy's shoes, these are Mommy's shoes, these are Mommy's shoes", and then she laughs hysterically like she just can't believe she came up with such a funny song. In general, you know it's an Ella song if it consists of a single line that she sings over and over.

Her favorite actual songs are ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, If You're Happy and You Know it, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I was excited to be able to catch her singing her version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star this afternoon :)

video

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Discovery Place

Last weekend me, Mom and Ella went to Charlotte to visit Erin and Josh for the weekend. On Saturday we went to a kids museum, Discovery Place, which was the perfect place for Ella.

Ella loves Aunt Erin - she is always all over her and can't get enough of her




Playing with blocks




Water Table






This tower was several feet high and obviously some industrious kids had spent a long time building it. Ella charged over to it, hands outstretched...



And before we could stop her, she grabbed a block out of it. Somehow she managed to take a piece that kept the tower standing!




Drumroll please...



Video clip of Ella's drum solo

video


Playing with lights



Check out the floating ball (and Erin's adorable belly!!)




With Grammy



Holding 3-D Glasses



We went into a 3-D movie that was about turtles, I thought Ella would love it. Boy was I wrong. A friendly turtle appeared on the screen, and gently floating toward us - Ella started screaming "I scary, I scary, go home"...needless to say, we left within about 5 seconds. Then she kept saying "fishies scary" (because there were also some fish in that movie). It was the first thing that we've had to leave because she was scared. I guess the 3-D aspect was just too much. Plus she's never seen a movie in a theater, maybe it was overwhelming. Either way, I know we won't be attempting another 3-D movie anytime soon!

The girls



Ella and Uncle Josh