Thursday, April 30, 2015

13 Months Old Today!

This little sweat pea turned 13 months old today.  We just think that she is the cutest thing around!  Ella is fully walking and loving this new phase of life.  In fact, when she gets excited or tries to escape from one of us, she actually tries to run and usually ends up on the ground within a matter of a few steps, but it sure is fun to watch her try.  She is growing up so much.  This past month she has really gotten interested in her surroundings and points at everything.  We now talk about everything around the house--especially pictures of siblings.  She also loves to sit down and have books read to her.  She points to something on every page which is so cute.  Ella loves waving to everyone when it's time to say 'hi' or 'bye' and still claps a lot.  Her favorite game to play right now is to bring us toy after toy after toy (or book after book after book) when we sit down on the floor with her.  We also have noticed that Ella has a very generous side as she loves to share her food or pacifier with us.  For example, if I am bent over her high chair cutting up some food on her tray, she will pick up a little piece and try to put it in my mouth.  If I am holding Ella in her rocking chair in her room, she will often times take out her pacifier and try to put it in my mouth.  Such a funny girl!  She loves playing peak-a-boo, saying "Uh Oh," and cuddling her soft blankets in her crib.  When she is really sad about something, she will sit down on the ground with her head against the floor and just sob.  It really does break your heart!  Ella also has ventured out and played in the backyard several times and on a few different playgrounds, too.  It's going to be a busy summer for me.  Ella is eating table foods 100% at this point and is doing a great job drinking whole milk out of her sippy cup.  She still takes two naps faithfully every day and is doing a great job sleeping at night.  She is down to nursing only twice a day--one when she gets up in the morning and one when she goes to bed at night.  Ella is such a happy, giggly little girl.  We just love her to pieces!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Moving on Up!

For a good month or two, Ella has been interested in what is going on in the front of the car much more than the back of the car.  As a result, I constantly find her totally turned around with her neck craned looking forward.  It always catches me off guard and makes me laugh as neither Lia or Logan really did this before we moved them into their forward facing car seat.  As you can imagine, it was a welcome change for Ella yesterday when we finally moved her into the new car seat.  She was happy as can be to finally face the front of the car and to see everything that is going on in the world around her.  But being the crazy, wiggle worm that she is, Ella immediately figured out how to slip her arms out of the shoulder straps which is something Lia never did and something that took Logan months to figure out how to do.  Oh dear.  I have a feeling that this little girl is going to keep us on our toes for the next twenty years or so...

Ella's final ride facing the back of the car.  Here she is looking at me over her shoulder.

Giving me a grin and a giggle!

My grown-up girl facing forward--complete with the shoulder straps removed!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lia's Spring Gymnastics Meet

Last November, Lia participated in her first gymnastics meet.  She was really nervous during the entire day leading up to the meet and kept on worrying about how she would perform in all of her events.  Luckily, she did really well and it was very positive experience for her.  As a result, she was super excited to participate in her second meet last night.  She kept on wanting to practice her floor and beam routines around the house and I even caught her putting on her team leotard earlier in the day just for fun.  I was so relieved to see how differently she anticipated this gymnastics meet in comparison to the last one.  We packed up the family at 6 o'clock last night and headed out for the evening.  Lia did a great job and tried her hardest on all four events.  Logan found a corner to play in most of the night which made things much easier for Ron and me and little Ella hung in there like a champ even though we were at the gym well past her bedtime.  Overall, the evening was a success and I'm just so happy that Lia is enjoying a sport.

Here is Lia and one of her teammates, Morgan,getting their hair sprayed with glitter by Coach Cadence before the meet began.

Lia warming up with the rest of the girls.

Lia coming into the gym at the beginning of the meet.  

Lia's first event was beam.  Here she is waiting for her turn. 

Lia on the beam going down into the needle position.

Lia doing a passe on the beam.

And Lia jumping on the beam.

Lia's second event was the floor.  Here she is waiting for the music to start at the beginning of her routine.

Going up into a handstand. 

And finishing off a cartwheel. 

Lia walking into a chasse on her routine.  

The third event was the vault.  Here is Lia running down towards the springboard where her coach was waiting to help her.

Coach Cadence helping Lia into a handstand onto the mat.

Lia getting up off the mat.

Lia's preteam finished off the night with the bars.  Here is Lia at the beginning of her routine.

Doing a pullover with the help of Coach Cadence.

And finishing up with a straddle off the bars.

At the end of the meet, the girls were called up one at a time to get their medal and to pose on top of the blocks.  Here is my cute girl standing at the top.

Baby Ella did such a good job through the entire evening.  Here she is hanging out on some bars with papa.

A future gymnast in the making?

The entire group posing with their coaches at the end of the meet.

Lia waited in line after the meet was over for another chance to pose on the medal blocks.  I just love how this picture turned out with the balloons framing her in and the giant flag in the background.  Good job, Lia!  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ella's One-Year Photos

I first took Ella in on Friday, April 10th, for her one-year photos and, for the first time in my mothering career, we left empty handed.  Between my three children, I have been to our department store photo studios over twenty times and, although their photographers are not the finest, we have always been able to get at least one photo "worthy" of an 8 x 10 picture.  But, I guess that there is always time for a first.  Ella refused to produce anywhere close to a stellar picture from the mediocre photographer we had and by the time the manager got in there to help us, it was too late.  Ella had hit her wall and was done.  So, after trying for a few more minutes, I packed her up and left.  I then rescheduled a second shoot a week later with the manager who actually has taken some fabulous pictures of Logan and Lia in the past.  But no matter what this photographer tried, Ella refused to give us a brilliant, open-mouthed smile.  She just kept on smiling with her mouth closed over and over again.  We could even hear Ella giggling sometimes with her mouth closed!  Argh.  It wasn't until the very end that I started tickling Ella under her chin.  This finally made her smile with a big grin, but she kept on reaching up to grab her chin.  So, all of these pictures have lots of hands and arms in them.  Oh well.  My seven years of mothering has taught me not to expect perfection.  So, we called it a wrap and and walked away with some semi decent photos.  Hopefully, Ella will snap out of it by the time we go in for her 18 month pictures.  We shall see...