Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ella's 5th Birthday

Ella turned 5 on Saturday, January 5th. It was the first time she's had her birthday on a weekend so it was neat that we were able to have her party on the actual day of her birthday.

Here she is sleeping on her last night as a 4 year old

And on her birthday morning, all ready for her big day!

Mom and Glenn came in for the weekend and took Ella out in the morning for a birthday outing, and that way Steve and I were able to get everything ready at the house for her party. They went out to breakfast and then to Build-a-Bear to make a Hello Kitty stuffed animal for her birthday. 

At home with her Hello Kitty

Helping decorate

Grammy and Ella
Me and my sweet birthday girl

Ella really wanted to have a painting party so we did pottery painting, and had a great face painter who painted the kids' faces and gave them glitter tattoos. And of course she picked a Hello Kitty theme for her party and all of her birthday accessories :)
Getting her face painted


Glitter tattoos!

Painting her Hello Kitty treasure box

The kids painted treasure boxes, dinosaurs, and monkeys

And then after a while, the kids finished their pieces and went off to play, and it was the parents' turn to paint! 

Having fun with her friends

Pizza and a chat with Daddy

Time for cake

James with his pirate face painted

A video of Ella, Addison and Jake singing "party in the bathroom" -- a song they made up and sang over, and over, and over again...

The Burtons stayed late and Ella and Jake played the whole time...they are so funny together and just get sillier and sillier

With Grampy G

The whole day was great, there is nothing better than seeing Ella enjoy herself and have fun, it was a wonderful 5th birthday party for the little lady.

Here she is on Sunday morning, playing with her new Hello Kitty house from Aunt Teresa 

We hadn't seen Mom and Glenn on Christmas, and so we had a belated Christmas celebration on Sunday afternoon

And an early birthday present for Grammy
It was a really wonderful weekend, although it is hard to believe my baby is already 5 years old! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where's my goody bag?

I took Ella to her 5-year doctor's appointment this morning and she kept me entertained the entire time.  She views everything as an opportunity for fun and adventure, and this was no exception.

Some highlights:

- The doctor let her listen to own heart (which she LOVED) and then she let her wear the stethescope for the remainder of her appointment, and spent most of her time trying to listen to the doctor's heart
- She asked to keep the disposable piece that goes on the ear-light (yuck, but I figured at least it's her own ear germs on there...)
- She asked for some tongue depressors to take home
- She told the doctor that she wishes her playroom had more of the things in the doctor's room
-She was not impressed with the sticker selection and settled on some train stickers that were not her favorites

But my favorite moment came after the appointment; we were in the parking lot, and she had her hands full with stickers, tongue depressors, ear-light thing, and a few other treasures she had brought in to the appointment.

She says to me very enthusiastically "well, that was great - but I do wish they had given me a goody bag for all my new stuff!"

Always an adventure with this one :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy New Year

New Years Eve was another "first" for us this year because Ella stayed up until midnight for the first time! I had done my best to explain the concept of the new year and that it was going to be 2013 instead of 2012 at midnight, and had told her that if she wanted to, she could "stay up until 2013"...She has never stayed up that late before, but is such a night owl that I had a feeling she would make it. And she did :)
We were at our friends' house and out of 6 kids, 4 were asleep by 10pm but Ella and Lila excitedly hung in there until midnight.
With her celebratory sprite toast right before 12am
She loved how we all counted down, and all the hugs and kisses and "Happy New Year!" that happened at midnight...and then she was asleep by 12:10am :). Besides the fact that we had so much fun and it would've been a great night anyway, there was something really special about having Ella up with us at midnight, it was the perfect way to ring in 2013!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas Day

Ah, Christmas at last!

The big morning finally arrived, and Ella was up and ready to go! She came down very excited to see everything that Santa had brought her. Steve had misaligned the fireplace grate and she was fascinated by the evidence that Santa had come down the chimney ...

Santa had eaten all his treats and left only a few crumbs, and a note to Ella, along with the reindeer bell from Comet (a last minute Christmas-Eve request of Santa)

Between Ella's presents from Santa, Steve & I, Grandma and Grandad, and the rest of our family who had so thoughtfully sent gifts for the little lady, she had it made!

Spreading Christmas cheer!


Playing with Grandad on Christmas afternoon

We had appetizers in the afternoon and then a big dinner, and then watched Beauty & the Beast that night. Before bed, Ella told me that Christmas was her favorite day of the year :) 
After all of our pre-Christmas fun, it's always a little sad to see it come and go, but then we had Ella's birthday to look forward to!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Eve

By Christmas Eve I didn't think Ella could be any more excited, but she somehow managed it. We had some baking to do so that Santa would feel welcome when he arrived that night. As Ella said "we want the big guy to be happy!"

Steve had bought a roll of gingerbread dough for gingerbread men, and I mistakenly assumed that it was pre-cut into gingerbread men shapes and that all we'd have to do was bake them and then decorate the little guys.

Well, it turned out that all you needed to make gingerbread men was some gingerbread men cookie cutters, which unfortunately we did not have .... So, we improvised and made some stars (the one cookie cutter I do have) and a the rest were free-hand gingerbread designs like candy canes and snowflakes :)

Rolling out the dough

We also baked some chocolate chip cookies, since Santa had told Ella those were his favorites. Luckily we made those from scratch which Ella was happy about, and that worked to redeem my mommy-fail in not having the proper gingerbread men making supplies.  

Some early birthday gifts from Grandma and Grandad

We had beautiful weather so we headed up to the playground in the afternoon

Playing tag with Grandad

That night at church, Ella surprised me when she made the very grown-up decision that she'd have more fun in Children's Church vs. sitting with us. After church we went home for dinner and had Chinese food, which has become somewhat of a Christmas Eve tradition for us.

Looking adorable in front of the free

In her new Santa hat from Grandma and Grandad. We had been out to lunch a day or two prior, and the waitress was wearing this exact hat in silver. Ella told her how much she liked her hat, and asked where she got it from (Walgreens - one of Ella's favorites!). Donna and Dad were out a few days later and picked up the pink one for her :)

We always open one present on Christmas Eve and Ella picked a gift from Aunt Erin. 

 Decorating Santa's cookies - there was about a half-inch of icing on each one covered in many, many sprinkles and candy decorations. The more the merrier!


Writing her note to Santa

We had bought some chocolate milk powder at the grocery store as a treat for Ella and hadn't made it yet. In a very surprising selfless move, she wanted to make it for Santa to enjoy! So we made him a chocolate milk in a giant cup that she thought he'd like, and then gave him a special arrangement of holiday decor for his enjoyment. 

All ready for his arrival!

She was torn between being so excited she couldn't sleep, and wanting to get to bed so that Santa could come...she erred on the side of staying up late :). 

It was finally close to 11 pm when she was finally gave in and fell asleep - phew!