Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1 Year Old Today!

I can't believe it.  It actually happened.  My sweet, baby girl turned one year old today.  Wah!  Overall it's been a good year.  The first few months dragged by (as they always do for me) and then time just started flying by.  Ella is such a bundle of energy AND fun.  She brings such joy and happiness into our home every single day.  I just can't imagine my life without her.  Thank you, Ella, for joining our family a year ago today.  You came flying into this world so fast that I barely had time to get in a delivery room and into a gown!  I should have known what a nonstop ball of energy you were going to be based on your entrance into this world.
And just for the record, Ella really has started to grow up this past month as she has started to show signs of leaving the baby world behind and become a toddler.  Her increase in the amount of walking is the number one change.  She takes five to ten steps all the time now before sitting back down on the floor and crawling.  She does this all day long now.  It won't be much longer before she leaves the crawling completely behind.  Ella has also started to do cute little things like clap when other people are clapping and try to brush her own hair whenever I hand her a brush or comb.  Both of these things she thought of on her own.  Another exciting milestone was saying her first word this past month.  Incredible, I know!  She said, "Uh oh," for the first time on March 23rd after dropping something.  At first, it didn't quite register with me.  But after she said it a couple of other times that same day after dropping various items or toys, I realized what she was saying.  She now says it several times a day.  This is so funny to me because Ella chose to say the same first word as BOTH her sister and her brother.  What are the chances of that?!  It's also amazing to me because she said her first word three months earlier than both Lia and Logan.  Once again, this girl is just trying to keep up with her older siblings.  Also, Ella is almost entirely eating table foods at this point.  This past month, I finally made a point of feeding her most of the foods we ate for dinner and she did a great job eating almost everything.  So, we are almost done with baby food which is fabulous considering how much the stuff costs!  Ella has also discovered how to climb up onto the coffee table and kitchen table and still wriggles out of her high chair seat every day.  She is SO busy, but I love her to death!  Happy Birthday, baby girl!

After snapping her one year picture today, Ella quickly crawled off of the blanket and headed over to her new favorite spot under one of the tables in the living room.  I find her hanging out under this table on a regular basis.  I call it her "office."  

After spending some time chilling in her office, Ella stood up...

Stepped over the table leg...

and started walking over to me.  Such a cutie pie!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Last night, we gathered around the kitchen table to dye some Easter eggs for our FHE activity.  It's always fun to see the children enjoying these little, holiday traditions--especially Logan who is now old enough to want to participate.  Here are a few pics of our Easter fun.

While I was still cleaning up dishes after dinner and setting up the Easter egg dye colors, Lia and Logan ran outside to play in the backyard with the neighbor girls.  Little Miss Ella who thinks she is old enough to be a part of everything these days, crawled over to the window, pulled herself up, and just stared out at the backyard fun with longing eyes.  I just thought it was the cutest thing.  Notice Ella pointing at them with her cute, little finger in the picture above.

Ella eventually noticed me snapping pictures of her and turned around...

and started walking towards me.  This girl is developing some mad, walking skills lately!

She then got distracted by the screen door and changed directions.

After staring out the the door, she turned around, flashed me a smile, and went back down to the floor for some turbo crawling! 

After the kids were called inside, we started coloring on our eggs and dyeing them.  Here is Logie hard at work.

Lia stirring her egg in the yellow dye.

And Ron tolerating the camera and me.

Ella had to be "caged" in her saucer to prevent her from climbing up one of our chairs and onto the table.  Needless to say, she was only happy in here for a few minutes.

Here we are with our eggs almost finished!

Logan kept on putting up the egg dipper to his eye and pretending that it was a monocle.  Silly boy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet

Lia and I first discovered Fancy Nancy in the fall of 2011 when Lia was 3 1/2 years old and she received her first Fancy Nancy book as a gift.  Needless to say, it was love at first read for BOTH of us!  We quickly fell in love with the clever and funny stories, the big words, the beautiful illustrations, and the overall girliness found on every page.  We started building her collection almost immediately and have enjoyed countless hours of sharing these books over the past few years.  As a result, when I took Lia to see the Nutcracker Ballet this past December and learned that the same ballet studio would be putting on a ballet based on Lia's favorite Fancy Nancy book, Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, there was no question of whether or not we would be going!  I bought the tickets back in January and we have waited all these months to see this favorite book come to life on stage.  When we walked into the lobby of the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue yesterday, we were both shocked to find Robbin Preiss Glasser, the illustrator of Fancy Nancy, signing books right there in the lobby.  We couldn't believe our eyes!  But this fun surprise was immediately followed by my frustration in not bringing Lia's copy of the book because I didn't know about the signing in advance.  And although several Fancy Nancy books were for sale in the lobby, I refused to pay $20 to buy another copy of a book we already owned.  So, I tried to brush aside my disappointment and enjoy the show with Lia.

We quickly took a picture of the mermaid posing with little girls in the lobby...

and then headed inside the theater to enjoy the show.  Lia and I had such a fun time watching this book come to life.  The Evergreen City Ballet really did such a great job!  It made me want to put my toe shoes on and flit around again.

Like with the Nutcracker Ballet, Lia was able to pose with many of the dancers in the lobby after the show was over.  Here she is with three of the mermaids who were just fabulous.

Lia posing with one of the fish dancers and the fourth mermaid (who happens to go to church with my parents).

We waited in line for quite some time so that Lia could take a picture with the dancer who played Fancy Nancy.  

We stopped two of the darling crabs for a quick picture.  These girls were so cute on stage!

At this point, the lobby had almost emptied and the long line to meet Robin Preiss Glasser had dwindled down to only a few people.  Since I still couldn't shake off my disappointment in not having Lia meet the illustrator and get a book signed, I decided to give in and buy one at the last minute.  However, I was still annoyed at buying a book  that we already had at home.  But then Lia came up with the perfect and obvious solution--buy a copy of a different Fancy Nancy book that we didn't own.  I just hadn't thought of this because I was so convinced that Lia needed to have her copy of Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet signed by the illustrator since this was the ballet we had just seen.  Regardless, I immediately agreed with Lia, bought the book, and we ran over to get in line.  And I'm so glad that we waited until the end to do this!  Since there was barely anyone in line, Robin Glasser was no longer quickly signing books in order to get to the next girl in line.  Instead, she was taking her time and doing the cutest things.  When Lia got up to her, she immediately asked Lia if she wanted a butterfly drawn on her hand.  Of course, Lia said 'yes.'  I mean, who doesn't want a picture drawn by a famous artist on their hand??    

Robin then started teasing Lia and laughing with her and brushing pink sparkles all over her hand, neck, and arm with a make-up brush.  It really was the cutest thing.  I can see now why this woman is so good at drawing darling pictures for little girls because she can still think and act like one.

Robin brushing more sparkles on Lia.

Robin and Lia laughing together.  Just priceless.

I had told Lia while we were waiting in line to make sure and spell her name for the illustrator so that she wouldn't write 'Leah' in her book.  So, when it was time for Robin to sign the book, Lia remembered to spell out her name.  Robin suddenly stopped and just looked at her in complete surprise and said, "Oh, that's beautiful!"  I was able to snap a picture at this exact moment!  I told Lia that she needs to always remember that the illustrator of her favorite books thinks that the spelling of her name is beautiful.  So neat.

Here is Robin signing Lia's book.

And closing it up afterwards.

Robin and Lia posing for a picture together.  So much fun!

A very giddy Lia and I almost skipped off to the elevator to head back to the car.  I'm so glad that we waited until the end to buy the book so that Lia could spend such quality time with Robin Preiss Glasser.  It truly was an experience we will never forget!  Thank you, Fancy Nancy, for making a Saturday afternoon such a memorable one!

And just for the record, I learned that the reason why Evergreen City Ballet was able to have such a V.I.P. guest signing books at their performance is due to the fact that the ballet company's director danced with Robin Preiss Glasser over 30 years ago at the Pennsylvania Ballet.  They have kept in touch all these years.  So, this talented lady went from being a professional ballerina to a professional artist.  Who knew?!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Miss Busy Body

I tell ya...this little Ella is something.  She is SO much more physically active than my other two children ever were at this age.  She is such a wiggle worm in our arms.  She wriggles out of her high chair and onto the tray whenever she runs out of food.  And she climbs onto everything!  I have to keep my eyes on her constantly!   This past week it got even worse when she learned how to crawl up onto the coffee table in the family room AND then figured out how to climb up onto our kitchen chairs and onto the table.  Ahhhhh!  She is fascinated with the latter of these two discoveries and now can be found on the kitchen table all the time if any of us leaves a chair pulled out from the table (which happens all of the time).  She's just crazy!  This has to be the result of being a third child and just wanting to keep up with the older siblings.  At this rate, I just hope this baby makes it to her first birthday (and many more after that). :-)

A very proud Ella standing on top of one of our kitchen chairs.

And then climbing right up onto the table.

I also found her today standing in her crib after her morning nap with her pants on the floor...

and one of her arms pulled out of a sleeve in her onesie.  

WHERE did this crazy, little girl come from?!  It's gotta be Ron's genetics. :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lia's Spring Concert

Tonight we headed down to Lia's school to attend her 1st Grade Spring Concert titled "New Beginnings."  As expected, it was so cute!  We enjoyed listening to Lia and her classmates sing various songs about Spring time and animals.  She enjoys performing so much and always takes this kind of thing very seriously.  I just love how much my little girl loves life!  Here are a few pictures I snapped of the evening's festivities.

Lia sitting with her classmates waiting for their turn.

Lia was lucky enough to be assigned a "part" in one of the musical numbers.  She got to be the moon for the retelling of the children's story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Here she is standing on the portable stage with the other students who participated in this number.  

Lia flashing me a smile while holding her moon.

Lia singing her little heart out with the other students in her class.

And another group shot.  Aren't 1st graders the cutest thing?!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

This is How I Found My Two Munchkins Today

Ella on top of the dishwasher door with a baby fork sticking out of her mouth

and Logan laying on one of the built-in shelves at the end of our kitchen island.

Oh these two.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Letting it Go at the Talent Show

When Lia first came home from school one day in January telling me that a talent show had been announced at her school and that she wanted to sing "Let it Go" with some of her friends, I just brushed it off as one of her ideas that would blow over in a day or two.  But after several days of her coming home and talking about this talent show, I decided that it was time to take her seriously.  Since the try-outs were at the end of February, I realized that we would need to have a few rehearsals in the month of February which was to be my busy, crazy month.  Although I wasn't thrilled about the timing of it all, I decided to be the mom to take charge so that I could at least control when the practices were scheduled.  So, I printed off the words and got Ron to burn CD's of the song without the lyrics and distributed them to all of the moms so that the girls could begin practicing singing the song without the help of Elsa.  We then scheduled three practices in February--two before our trip and one after our trip.  We held the rehearsals at our house and, with the help of the other moms, tried to get these six and seven year old girls as ready as possible for their big debut.  Surprisingly enough, these girls really worked hard and learned the words and the little choreography we taught them and they did a great job at their try-out, two dress rehearsals, and the real thing last night!  My mom came down from Issy and joined Ron and me and the kids for a fun filled and entertaining evening.  Lia looked so adorable all dolled up in her Elsa costume (complete with the wig and all) and sang her little heart out in front of a gymnasium filled with a couple hundred people.  She had a great experience and is already talking about what she wants to do next year!  Good job, my little Elsa!

Sienna, Lia, Mollie, Addy, and Eva ready to go in their Elsa gowns before the show.

The girls "letting it go!"

A solo shot of my Elsa casting a frozen spell.

The girls singing away into one of the two microphones placed in front of them.

Mollie and Lia belting out the song!

Another shot of the group singing away.  (Please notice Eva in the middle who definitely provided the comic relief throughout this singing number.  Most of the time she was looking other places besides out at the audience, or playing with her dress, or not singing at all.  Oh dear.)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Logan's 3-Year Photos

Since February nearly put me in a body bag, I decided to wait until March to get into the photo studio to have Logan's 3-year pictures taken.  It took some serious bribing to pull this temperamental toddler away from the television and into his scratchy, church clothes and into the car for his morning appointment today. But, luckily a promised bag of M&M's did the job and off we went!  Logan actually produced a few decent pictures for the photographer before he got over the entire thing and completely shut down.  I'm just grateful that I got one good picture to enlarge and frame and that no tantrums were thrown until later that day!