Friday, October 31, 2014

Seven Months Old Today

This adorable, little lady bug turns seven months old today on Halloween!  It's hard to believe that she has been outside of my body almost as long as she was inside it.  Ella is just the cutest, busiest baby I have ever seen.  She is nonstop crawling and nonstop standing all day long!  No joke.  She now is happy for long stretches of time just cruising around whatever room we are in playing with toys and getting into everything.  I know I have said it before, but I will say it again...I have never had such a mobile baby.  And just in the past few days, when we put her down on her feet, she will balance in the standing position for a few seconds before falling down onto her bottom.  My oh my.  Besides the physical activity, Ella is just a happy baby.  She absolutely loves attention and will give us endless smiles and giggles whenever we want them.  However, she has started to recognize the difference between family members and strangers recently as we get the smiles and the strangers just get quizzical looks.  She sleeps about 12 hours every night with a few pacifier runs to get her back to sleep.  She is still taking a morning and afternoon nap and an occasional evening nap if we are driving in the car.  Ella has entered the world of baby food whole heartedly this past month and will now eat a fruit baby food mixed with rice cereal every day for breakfast, a vegetable one for lunch, and another vegetable and meat baby food for dinner.  She hasn't refused a single food that has been presented her way and the line-up includes:  apples, blueberries, bananas, pears, carrots, green beans, pees, sweet potatoes, squash, turkey, chicken, and beef.  We are still working on drinking water out of sippy cup.  Ella favors playing and wrestling with the cup more than drinking it, but she'll get it eventually!  She gets to be a both a lady bug and an owl for Halloween this year thanks to a clearance rack find last winter and a hand-me-down from one of Ron's co-workers.  She is just the cutest thing all dressed up in her costumes and ready to go this week!  We sure love our baby girl!

A few more pictures of this adorable bug.  Here Ella is showing off her pretty, little wings.

Ella and a pumpkin.

And she's off!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gymnastics Halloween Carnival

Tonight we dashed down to Lia's gym where she takes gymnastics classes for their annual Halloween carnival.  Although we missed the costume contest and most of the games, Logan was a nonstop blur of energy running around the gym bouncing from one bounce house to the next breaking out in a sweat and splitting his costume right down the middle.  Needless to say, he had a good time.  Lia eventually removed most of her Elsa get-up so that she could get down and dirty and have a good time.  And Ella just looked as cute as can be in her lady bug costume and clung to daddy's arms.  It was another fun evening with the kiddos during this festive week!

This picture is a prime example of how Logan didn't stop moving the entire time we were in the gymnasium.  I couldn't get him to sit still for even one second to take a picture.  I blame this on the fact that every week he is required to watch Lia and many other children run around the gymnasium while he is forced to sit on the other side and watch from the bleachers.  He was finally let loose tonight and allowed to run wild.

Elsa, Ron, and baby lady bug watching Logan go crazy in one of the bounce houses.

Logan preparing to make one of his many wild jumps down this blow-up slide.  He was clearing the entire slide by the end of the evening.

Sweet, little Ella.

Wild Logan in a pit of foam blocks.

Lia swinging away after removing her Elsa wig and all of her accessories.

Lia spinning away on the prize wheel.

Lia posing with yet another queen we found on the premises.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trunk or Treat!

We kicked off three nights of Halloween festivities tonight with our annual trunk-or-treat in the church parking lot with the three wards that meet in our building.  The Hartland fam had good time cruising around the parking lot getting candy and gabbing with church members.  Lia was the prettiest Elsa of the 15 or so we saw (no one else was sporting an awesome, lifelike wig that arrived from China just days ago), Logan rocked his skeleton costume, and Ella was the cutest, little owl Puyallup has ever seen.  She did such a good job sitting happily in her stroller for an entire hour watching the world go by in every costume imaginable.  We came home with loads of candy and had to explain to Logan more than once that he couldn't just eat his entire bag full for dinner.  Oh dear.  It's going to be a long. few days!

Starting the loop in the parking lot with my skeleton, owl, and Elsa at my side.

Such a cutie!

Lia and Logan getting some candy from the bishop and his wife.

The impressive Elsa pumpkin we stumbled across in one of the cars.

Lia posing with one of the many Elsas we saw tonight--her friend Suzette from her primary class!  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Carving Pumpkins

We gathered around the table tonight after dinner to carve our pumpkins for FHE.  Logan was so excited to do this all day long...he kept on talking about how we were going to eat the pumpkins.  No matter how many times I explained to him that we were going to carve the pumpkins, he disagreed with me!  Well, regardless of what our strong headed two-year old thought, we didn't do any actual eating.  Just some good ol' carving.  I assisted Lia and Ron assisted Logan.  Both of them did a decent job of scooping out the seeds and guts.  It was quite cute to see how interested and involved they were in the process.  And all the time, Ella crawled around and under the table.  Such a good, third baby.  And since the kids and I finished carving before Ron did, we dragged our pumpkins into the bathroom, lit the candles, turned off the light, and laid on the floor to just soak in the Halloween spirit.  Then Lia decided that we should pretend we are camping and before I knew it, we were playing an impromptu game on the bathroom floor in the dark.  Oh, these kids.  What will they think of next?

Mama carving away with the kiddos at my side.

Logan's showing off his new "smile."  Oh dear.

My grown-up girl showing off her freshly carved out lid.

Lia and Logan watching papa work his magic.

Baby Ella crawling around on her floor.  Such a cute baby.

All of our pumpkins lit up and ready to go.  Please notice Ron's subtle shout out to the Seahawks. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Annual Trip to Spooners

We headed out yesterday afternoon for our annual trip to Spooners.  After it poured earlier in the day, the rain stopped and the sun came out...and that was just the beginning of this perfect family outing.  To my surprise, Logan didn't throw a single tantrum or cry once the entire 1.5 hours we were there and Ella sat happily in backpack the whole time and barely made a peep!  The entire experience was so pleasant and stress free which is a rare occasion these days whenever we leave the house.  I couldn't get over how relaxed I was when it was time to go home.  But I digress.  So, needless to say, we had a wonderful time wandering around this local farm picking out our pumpkins, eating caramel popcorn, racing the ducks, and taking a gander at the animals.  It was a fun way to kick off the holiday season!

Logan and Lia posing with one of the giant spiders amidst the rows of pumpkins.

Ron was a good sport and wheeled Logan (and sometimes Lia) around the farm until our wheelbarrow was full of pumpkins.

A close-up of my cuties.

The Hartland ladies and the pumpkins.  Ella is actually smiling for this picture!  So funny.

Logan and some of our pumpkins.

Lia picking out some of our miniature pumpkins under the white tent.

Our annual family photo in the "pumpkin house."  This is our fifth year taking this photo.  Crazy how time flies.

Ron and the kids checking out the baby pigs in the barn.

Lia and Logan trying out the fake, milking cow.

Logan having a try.

And Lia having a second one.

Papa helping Logan race the ducks.  Please notice the little, white pumpkin that Logan picked out.  He has really not put it down since.  He even slept with it last night.  Oh that boy.

Logan racing the ducks.

Siblings racing away.

Lia pumping two at a time.

And some more racing!  Needless to say, these kids couldn't get enough.

This picture needs no explanation.  Go Hawks!

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Kid

Oh my Logan Cruz.  What am I supposed to do with you?  You are the cutest, little boy around, but at the same time, you can throw tantrums like no body's business.  Half the time I don't know if I want to kick you or kiss you!  ;-)  Here are some pictures I took this week while you were in the midst of throwing a tantrum/running away from me.  When I finally caught up to you in the big pile of couch cushions on the family room floor, these are the photos that I managed to snap.  Your big brown eyes, adorable smile, and thick, brown hair just warm my heart.  Why are you so dang cute and such a stinker at the same time??

Thursday, October 16, 2014


One of my greatest joys these days is watching Lia interact with Ella.  From the day we brought Ella home from the hospital, Lia has been the sweetest, kindest, and most devoted bigger sister around.  She is so responsible and caring with Ella and Lia just makes her smile, squeal, and giggle all the time.  Ella jumps in my arms whenever Lia enters the room and she happily crawls towards her whenever Lia comes home from school or anywhere else.  I think it's safe to say that Lia is Ella's most favorite person on the planet.  Yep.  Even more so than me.  I just hope this sisterly love will continue for years to come.  Here are some pics of my two girls these past few days.

Lia offered to feed Ella the other night while I was making dinner.  She did such a good job.

Here is Lia feeding Ella water from her sippy cup.

One of the girls' favorite games to play involves Lia laying on the floor and letting Ella crawl up onto her.  It's so funny as Ella always does this whenever Lia is on the ground.  

Ella reaching the top of Mt. Lia for a big, sisterly hug!  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Standing Everywhere!

On Sunday, September 28th, Lia yelled to me that Ella was standing next to the couch in the family room.  I came running in to look and was totally shocked to discover that Lia was telling the truth!  I mean, since when do our babies start standing before their six month birthday?!  Never.  Anyways, it  didn't happen again until almost two weeks later when Ella started standing everywhere this past weekend.  She first started with the couch and then has moved to every piece of furniture in sight.  It is hilarious.  I tried to get pictures of a few of the places where she is standing up, but I just can't keep up with her.  When, oh when, will this little girl of ours start walking?  I've said it before and I will say it again...heaven help us AND our Christmas tree!  ;-)

Ella pulling herself up on the couch,

and on the stairs,

and in her crib,

and on the couch cushions (that Logan pulls off the couches every day),

and on the high chair,

and on a kitchen chair!

What are we to do with this very mobile and adorable, blue-eyed girl?!?