Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breaking out the moves

Ella always wants to help me with my coffee in the morning, and coffee is pretty high on her list of the things she wants to have when she 'turns into a big Mommy.' I open the the packet of splenda and let her put it in, let her help pour the creamer, and then she stirs, which is her favorite part. Earlier this week, she surprised me and stirred everything up, put the lid on the cup, and told me it was all ready. I took the cup, impressed she had put the lid on, and thought about how amazing she is.

We headed out the door a few minutes later and as I leaded over the passenger seat to put the cup in the cup holder, it came apart from the lid and I spilled the entire cup of coffee - all over the passenger seat, console, floor mat of the back seat...what a mess! I can't believe I didn't check to make sure that lid was on tight, lesson learned there.

Anyway, even after cleaning it as best as I could, the car still smelled like coffee every time I got in, and the floor mats and floor carpet had brown stains on them. So yesterday we took the car to get the interior cleaned and the rugs shampooed. It took over an hour, so we were in the waiting room for what seemed like forever.

We had my phone, which kept Ella occupied for about 10 minutes, and a snack, but no other toys because I had emptied everything out of the car (another lesson learned!). There were two couches, a water fountain, and some loud music blaring. I did my best to keep her amused - lots of 'where's Ella?', allowing her to crazily swing couch pillows around, tickling, me pretending to sleep and her pretending to snore and wake me up, etc, but we were definitely short on entertainment.

About 45 minutes in, Ella was 'washing' the tupperware container from her snack in the water fountain. The song "Satisfaction" came on and she broke out her moves - it was hysterical. I was laughing so hard and of course that egged her on, but I got out my phone to record the moment.

Notice the props, the lid and container that held peanut butter and crackers about 2 minutes earlier...

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And there's really no explaining this one, Steve said it's time to cut her off from all the Madonna videos

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Isn't it Incredible?

I am way, way behind in blogging and have tons of pictures to catch up on, but just had to write this quick story about tonight. I was clearing some things off the dining room table, and Ella was "doing dishes" at the kitchen sink. She loves washing dishes but really this just entails squirting water around, getting all the dishes wet and soapy, and just having a good time. Then, I follow up with washing the dishes!

Tonight I got a surprise. She said "Mommy, all done with the dishes, I did them all my myself" - I walked over and couldn't believe what I saw - an empty sink and dish rack full of dishes

I was really blown away, I couldn't believe it, and I know the amazement showed on my face. Ella had a giant grin on her face, was just so proud of herself and said to me "I know, isn't it incredible?"

Clean sink and dishes 'done' :)

(In case you are now scared to eat at our house for fear that you'll be eating off a plate washed by a 3 1/2 year old, I did put them all in the dish washer once she went to bed!!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

4th of July

The night before the 4th of July we went to a little fair and fireworks in the town next to ours. Here is my little Miss Yankee Doodle, who likes any chance to get dressed up - and Independence Day is the perfect opportunity!

There was lots to do with plenty of inflatables to climb up, jump on, and slide down.
So excited to start climbing!

Up she goes

Ella and Dominic at the bottom of a slide

Cute video of her coming down a slide then jumping and jumping

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Ella and Dominic happily eating the ice pops that Vinny got for them

Once it got dark it was time for the fireworks - they turned off all the lights in the fields first and Ella says her favorite part of the night was when they turned the lights off! The fireworks were really neat, and I was really impressed how well Ella did with them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blueberry Picking

Ella and I went blueberry picking with Christine and Dominic last weekend. The farm had both blackberries and blueberries to pick.

The blackberries were a little trickier because of the prickers, and a lot of them were still red instead of black, but I like blackberries more than blueberries so was determined we were going to get a decent haul of blackberries to take home with us.

The blueberries were very easy to pick, there were so many of them on each of the branches and you could easily pick a handful of them in just a few seconds. Ella and Dominic spent most of the time eating instead of putting them in the buckets. It was really hot out and we were there in the middle of the day, but the kids really did great and it was a really nice outing.

Ready to go!

Dominic showing off some berries


Hard at work

Cute little friends

Success, check out those good-looking berries!

Ella's Big Presentation

Mom came a few weekends ago and we had a great time with her. One afternoon she set Ella up on the patio with the hose, outside kids paints and brushes.

Ella was hysterical about it because she kept telling us she was working on "a big presentation." She was very serious, working very hard, back and forth from one side of the patio to another saying "I have to finish my project, this is a big presentation."

I've never heard her say "big presentation" before, and as a 3-year old I can't imagine she's required to do too many presentations at preschool, so all I can guess is that she's picked up on me talking to Steve about presentations for work and decided her work is equally as important (which of course it is ;)!

And some great pics I took at the pool -

Swimming with Grammy

Midair catch!

Swimming beauty

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Birthday and Father's Day

I turned 31 on Friday June 17, and Father's Day was Sunday June 19. Ella is REALLY into birthdays right now and was very excited for my "birthday party." I kept telling her I wasn't having a party, that people don't always have a birthday party on their birthday, but apparently she didn't believe me.

A few weeks earlier, we had gone to a birthday party for one of her friends and Ella didn't like the order of the cake vs. playing and told me that we should have had cake first. I told her that everybody gets to pick the order of the fun on their birthday and when it's her birthday, she can decide what order she'd like the party to go in. This must have stuck with her because she said to me "Mommy, you have to have a birthday party with playing and cake and pizza. And YOU get to decide which one you want first because it's YOUR birthday!"

On the morning of my birthday she was so excited but then very sad when she realized I was going to work and she was going to school. She said she wanted to stay home and have my birthday instead...sweet little girl. She was pretty adamant so we ended up having my "party" that night - balloons and cake and everything, Ella approved! Steve got me the new iPhone, it is incredible. I have been using the phone as my camera now, here is the first one I took -

Even though 31 is not an eventful birthday, it was still a really special day. I enjoyed hearing from from family and friends (including singing voice emails from both Mom and Dad!), along with some really great birthday gifts, an excellent day all around.

The next day we headed to South Carolina to drop Ella off at Dad and Donna's, so that Steve and I could have a date night. We had a great time, we ate dinner outside at a neat restaurant in Charlotte and went out downtown.

Ella really enjoyed her time with Grandma and Grandad. Donna sent me this picture of Ella the chef making brownies (from the looks of her face, she seemed to be mostly testing the batter!) -

Ella had a lot of fun and told me her favorite part of the trip was riding in the front of their golf cart to go eat dinner at Wendy's.

Fast asleep with all her books

We had planned to spend the day at Dad and Donna's for Father's Day, but unfortunately Dad ended up with a health emergency and needed to get to a doctor. Thankfully, everything turned out okay and he was feeling better in a few days.

So, although Father's Day did not go as we planned, Steve, Ella and I spent the day together and we celebrated once we got back home. I am very thankful for both Dad and Glenn, two great Dads, and for Steve who is a wonderful daddy to our little girl!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hula hoop

Ella loves playing with her hula hoop. She can't really keep it going but tries over and over and is just so cute about it! Some pics and video clips of the little hula hooper in action!

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And giving a lesson to Steve on how to do it - I love how she is so supportive in her instructions!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Dance class

Ella started dance class a few Saturdays ago. The class is half ballet and half tap, and she loves every minute of it. It is the cutest thing, I love to see her have such a good time learning new things.

Sweet ballerina

Pictures from the class - it's pretty hard to watch as clearly as I'd like, the window is pretty small and all the parents are kind of crammed in trying to see, but it is so cute to watch.

And some video clips I took through the windows...

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This one is my favorite. She is concentrating so hard on her jumps.

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Happy little dancer after class!