Monday, January 24, 2011

According to Ella

Ella says funny things every day and really there are just too many to keep track of, but here are some good ones I've managed to write down lately -

She has started saying "Hey, what's the big idea here?" when she is trying to figure something out. I have no idea where she got this one but it is so funny.

My toenail polish was way past due on needing to be taken off. I took it off one afternoon during her nap and that night she noticed that I had no polish on my toes and said "Mommy, you took off your nail polish. Good job! I'm so proud of you!"

I was trying to explain to her about Erin and I being sisters, and she asked me "what about Uncle Josh?" and I said "Uncle Josh is Aunt Erin's husband, they are married. Just like Daddy is my husband, me and Daddy are married." Ella said "ohhh, like Cory is MY husband!"

We were driving home from somewhere and Ella said she had to go potty. I told her we were almost home and she said "No Mommy, we are NOT almost home yet." I said, "okay, tell me when you think we're almost home." A few turns later she said "ok Mommy, NOW we are almost home", ...and she was right.

We were at Dad and Donna's house, and Ella looked around said to them, "do you have a playroom?" And they said no, they don't have a playroom. Then she said "Do you have an upstairs?" They live in a ranch house so don't have an upstairs, so they said no. Then, she said, looking very confused at this, "you get dressed right here?"

I had several piles of folded laundry on the floor outside the laundry room that I was going to finish once Ella went to bed. After I got her out of the bath she said to me "after I put on jammies, I help you with the clothes. That's a lot of piles, you need me to help you!"

Usually she always wants a book or two in bed with her when she goes to bed. One night I asked her if she wanted her books and she said "No, I'm sleepy, I'll just go night-night."

I was reading Ella a book in bed and had to yawn, so I turned my head to the side. Ella said to me "Hey, be careful - you're yawning on my friends, alright? Them be sad!"

The other day she said to me "I'm really tired, I had a lot of work today."

Ella said to me and gave me a big hug - "Mommy you are super cool!" - oh boy I wish I had this one recorded for future!

I call her "little lady" and "little one", so she calls me "little mommy" and "little madam."

Ella ends up in our bed between 3am and 5am almost every single night. One night I asked her why she doesn't want to stay in her bed all night and she said "because there's no people in here!"

She calls herself a super helper and a super girl. She usually says things like "I being a really good listener and using my manners", but the other day I asked her to help me unload the dryer and she said "no, I don't want to be your helper, you need to do it yourself. Okay, Mommy?"

The things that she says are so funny, but even better are the way in which she says everything - the gestures, the hand motions, expressions, etc - it's all just priceless. She is so serious and dramatic about everything, it is just the cutest.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Gymnastics Class

We took a break from Little Gym during the fall and winter, but I thought she'd enjoy going back to gymnastics because she did ask about it a lot over the last few months and always had such a good time when we went. This time now that she is 3, it's no longer a Parent/Child class and it's just the kids on their own! We signed up with a friend so that Ella will have her buddy in class (and I'll have a buddy to chat with) and tonight was the first class.

Ella was super excited about it, but I was unsure how she'd do once she realized that I really wasn't going in with her. I told her a bunch of times that it's a big girl class where the mommies just watch, and Ella said she understood but then would say something completely opposite like would I help her on the rings, so I really didn't know if she got it or not.

Anyway, once we got there her and it was time for class to start, Ella and Kati held hands and walked in together. I was so proud of her. She did everything with the group and listened to everything the instructors wanted her to do. The class is 3 to 5 year olds so there are older girls in there too, and I think it was neat for her to see the older girls. Her and Kati stuck together most of the time and really had a great time.

She did forward rolls and the balance beam, bars, rings, jumping, balls, all that good stuff. Every so often she'd run by the window and give me a little wave, and I just loved seeing her have such a good time so independently. She came running out at the end and was so smiley and happy, I just felt so proud of her. After almost 2 years of classes together, it feels like such a milestone that now she's on her own in there. And even more amazing, that she did so great on her own and didn't need me being there at all!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

3-year Doctor's Appointment

I took Ella to her 3-year checkup on Monday morning. Since Ella turned 3, she now stood on the scale to get weighed and up against the measuring stick (I'm sure there is a real name for that) to get her height measured, and she even had her blood pressure checked (96/52) for the first time!

She weighs 28.5 lbs which is 20-25th percentile, and she is 36 1/2 inches tall, the 35th-40th percentile. They didn't measure her head this time, so I guess that stops at the 2 year appointment, although I'm sure it would be just as robust as always. She gained more than 3 pounds since her 2-year appointment and grew almost 4 inches, she's getting so big!

She refused to say a single word to the doctor except to tell him that she likes to eat chicken and macaroni and cheese. The appointment was quick and easy though and she needed just one vaccine. She cried but was quite pleased with the band-aid and lollipop that she got after.

I dropped her off at school after her appointment around 10 am, and then because we had snow coming, her school was closing at 3:30 for the day. I went and got her around 3, and she said her arm hurt when I was putting her in her carseat. I was thinking I must have twisted her as I got her in her seat, but then later that night she was complaining about it again. Then it occurred to me that it must have been soreness from the site of her vaccine. She is a real trooper though and in general does not complain about pain unless something is really painful, so we were surprised how badly her arm was hurting from just one shot.

After her bath it looked like she had several small bug bites on her skin that popped up out of her nowhere and she was acting kind of cranky, so we thought she was having a mild reaction to the vaccine. On Tuesday morning she woke up covered in hives. They were all over her body, her face, hands, feet, etc.

I was so scared she was having a severe allergic reaction and called the nurse line since the doctor's office was having a delayed opening because we had some ice overnight. The nurse said she doubted it was from the vaccine but probably from something else, although we hadn't given her anything new to eat or any other changes. Once the doctor's office opened we had several phone calls and the doctor thinks she must be allergic to something in the vaccine, and so we gave her Benadryl every 4 hours and just had to make sure she didn't have any serious signs like changes to her breathing, throat or mouth swelling, etc.

Fortunately nothing like that happened, and it was just the hives, which were really itchy to her, and on Wednesday she woke up with a swollen face and the hives over her eyes were worse so that she couldn't open her eyes all the way. She just looked terrible and we felt so sorry for her. By Wednesday night they were fading a lot and she was acting a lot more like herself, hyper and excited and happy. On Thursday she went back to school and still had the rash and was itchy, but over the weekend she got back to 100% again.

It makes me nervous to know that she has an allergy to something in the vaccine, and I hope it's an isolated case and that whatever the ingredient is, is something so unusual that she'll never come in contact with in normal life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3rd Birthday Party

We had Ella's birthday party last Saturday, January 8. Ella does soccer with Happy Feet at school every week and really enjoys it, so we decided to have her Happy Feet Coach come play with the kids for her party. We held it at the Cultural Center which is just a few minutes from our house. The decorations were a no-brainer because Ella was very clear that her party be all Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

In her birthday shirt before the party

Checking things out at the party room with Aunt Tesie

With Grandad

We had playdoh and many playdoh tools for the kids to play with, and we put together little foam sticker puppets. We ate pizza and the kids got in plenty of running-around time.

Having fun with her best buddies from school, Gillian and Tess

Ella and Elise

Dominic looking adorable as always

Sweet brothers

With Grammy

The Wards

Teresa and Carmen, who came all the way from MD for Ella's party

Little cutie Morgan ("Baby Morgan" as Ella calls her) - although she is almost 1 now, not a baby much longer!

So cute with Daddy

Big hug from Tess

The 3 of us

When it was time for Happy Feet, I had planned to watch and take pictures while all the kids played with Coach Sarah. However, Ella would have none of that, and as soon as she sat down against the wall, she starting yelling "Mommy, come here", patting the ground next to her, so I did Happy Feet too :). I wasn't really able to get any pictures, but did manage to get my camera out for a second to catch them getting ready to do the parachute!

After Happy Feet it was time for cake! When we were talking about her upcoming party, Ella went back and forth on whether she wanted a cake or cupcakes. She knew she wanted Mickey Mouse on top, but sometimes would say 'cake' and sometimes 'cupcake.' I decided to go with the best of both worlds and got a pull-apart cake that is all cupcakes but frosted like a cake. I was really happy with how it came out, and more importantly, Ella was very happy with it!

On Ella's birthday night, we had a cake with 3 candles that she blew out on the first try, with no trouble. It was a different story at her party. We sang Happy Birthday and after I put the cake in front of her she first looked at it like she had no idea what to do, and then gave a few half-hearted blows and I think got just one out. Luckily her Mommy is an expert candle-blower-outer and I took care of the others :)

Being silly with Grandma and Grandad

With Grammy and Grampy G

VERY sleepy at the end of her party!

It was a great party - A very big thank-you to our family and friends who came to celebrate with us, we were so happy to have you there for Ella's special day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ella's Birthday

Just like I did for Ella's 1st and 2nd birthdays, I took some pictures of her waking up on her birthday this year.

She knew it was her birthday and was really excited for the day. Uncle Craig, Aunt Jackie, Cayla, Cammi and Gavin had sent Ella an adorable birthday shirt and she was really excited to wear it on her birthday. Here she is before school -

We sent cupcakes to school and her class ate them after nap time. Ella said she really liked the cupcakes and we asked her if everyone sang Happy Birthday and she said "only Quinn sang" and I asked why no one else sang she said "they was just eating cupcakes" - ha! I do think she was kind of confused about the fact that it was her birthday but not her party, but she figured it out pretty quickly.

I left work early, and Steve had put together the playhouse that Mom and Glenn got for Ella - she was so excited to see it when we got home.

We went out dinner to Andy's which is a quick burger and fries restaurant that is so kid-friendly that it's perfect for Ella and always a fun time. Then we came home for cake and birthday gifts.

Steve putting many teeny tiny pieces together!

Playing with her new castle

School set from Aunt Erin & Uncle Josh - she couldn't wait to play it and I told her she had to wait until the next day, so she had me put it in her bedroom so she could look at it while she fell asleep!

It was a fun night and a great start to her birthday weekend!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My baby is 3 years old!!

I'm writing this an hour early but since Ella is asleep for the night, the next time I see her she will be 3! Plus, my only chance for reflection is when she is sleeping :).

Ella's birthday makes me very nostalgic. Tonight I'm thinking about the night before she was born, I stayed up late writing thank-you notes for my work shower and had many plans for all of the things we needed to get done that weekend (it was a Friday night) to get ready for her arrival. I had stayed a few hours late at work and transfered all my files off the server onto my laptop, in case I wanted to start working from home the following week. Little did we know she'd be here the next day!

January 5, 2008 changed our lives forever. Ella came into the world as a sweet adorable baby that relied on us for her every need, and being her mother the last 3 years has been the most incredible thing I've ever done. She is now an amazing little girl, and although she still relies on us to meet the majority of her needs, our job has become so different - in some ways it is much easier, but is much more challenging at the same time.

This birthday doesn't feel like a surprise to me in that I can absolutely believe that she is 3, she has changed so much since her 2nd birthday. We said goodbye to her binky, she has been potty trained for a few months, and sleeps in her big girl bed. She is a big helper around the house and helps with dishes, cooking, laundry, feeding our pets, and picking up her toys and clothes.

I love her personality - she is sweet, silly, and talks nonstop. She tells me stories, asks many many questions, and loves to pretend. She is shy when she is around new people and big crowds, and takes time to warm up to new situations. She has 2 best friends at school that she thinks about and talks about all the time, and misses them when she doesn't see them for a few days. She is loving and empathetic and very affectionate. She is also very feisty and strong-willed, and knows exactly how she wants things to be. She likes things to be orderly and neat and wants everything in its proper place.

Her memory is incredible - I can always count on her to remind me of anything I ask her to remind me of, and she'll talk about events and small occurrences that I didn't even realize would've made an impression on her. She is very observant and notices anything that doesn't seem to be the way it should.

Physically, I think she looks a lot older - her hair has grown so much, and it has kept its curl but is getting lighter. She is taller and thinner than she used to be. I think her face has lost all of it's baby-ness although she still has adorable chubby cheeks.

She has become more self-aware and will tell me to not laugh at her if I laugh at something she says. She is just so funny and cute that sometimes it is so hard to keep a straight face. There are times when she'll be telling me something and her speech, expressions and gestures are so priceless that I wish I could freeze that exact moment in time forever.

It has been quite the year, and I am very excited to celebrate Ella's birthday, especially now that she understands birthdays and is really looking forward to it!

To my sweet angel Isela Marie,
Thank you for a wonderful 3 years. Daddy and I love you more than words can say, and thank God every day for the blessing of you. You have turned us into a family and bring us more happiness than we thought possible. It is a privilege to be your Mommy. Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet girl!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Day

We had a very quiet New Years Eve. Steve and I stayed up and watched the ball drop and had some champagne at midnight, and watched a movie until almost 2am - unfortunately Ella didn't get the memo that we had stayed up late, and she still woke up bright and early on New Years Day :).

Happy New Year to Cory!

We had a really nice day, we went to Dad and Donna's for the day to celebrate Christmas and New Years.

Ella playing with some of her new Christmas gifts - she is absolutely in love with her new cupcake set!

With Grandma and Grandad

Christmas gift for Grandad (and, of course she donated her gift-unwrapping skills)

Watching videos of herself - one of her favorite things

We had a great visit - lots of catching up, tons of playing for Ella, and a great meal. Ella missed her nap so by the time we left she was exhausted. She wanted to keep her new backpack on her lap, and fell asleep after about 2 minutes in the car!

The next day she decorated her bedroom wall with her new butterfly stickers - here she is, very proud of her handiwork

Here's to a great 2011!!