Friday, February 21, 2014

ellie's 11 month pictures

I know, I know...I'm behind in posting these.  We all know there's nothing new about that.  But this time makes me feel a little extra like a slacker, because...Ellie turns one next week.  Thursday, to be exact.  And here I am, just barely posting her 11 month pictures.

It's no secret that kids growing up brings a lot of mixed emotions for parents, and I'm no different.  There certainly is a part of me that wants to slow down time and savor every step, every smile, every slobbery kiss to the nose.  But there's another part of me that is just absolutely loving watching her achieve each and every milestone.  She just gets more and more fun every day.  Every age she reaches is my new favorite.

She stopped what she was doing and posed for this picture.  I swear she did.

This month brought a few hard days for Ellie.  It involved her first fever, and a few days of feeling absolutely miserable and barely eating any solid food.  Ellie is already petite enough, and I worry every day that she's not getting enough calories in her.  I think she lost some weight those days.  When took her to the doctor [as paranoid first-time parents are prone to do], she weighed 15lbs, 9oz, but she still had a few more days of sickness to go.  And then there was the 24 hour period she couldn't nurse because I had just gotten a HIDA scan.  Talk about drama!  Poor thing.  That day she spent most of her time swatting away any time we tried to feed her and arching her back when I would try to hold her.  Now, according to our bathroom scale, she is closer to 14lbs.  I hope it's wrong, I really do.  But regardless, these days I offer her food pretty much 24/7 in a very dedicated effort to make sure she's not, ever.  She doesn't get very enthusiastic about any of it, and sometimes I wonder if the girl is even my daughter!

And I don't know that turned into an entire paragraph, but there you go.

Within the past week or so, Ellie has become quite the little proficient walker.  She's been taking steps for over a month now, but just recently has it switched from takes-a-few-steps-and-falls to barely-falls-at-all.  She looks a little like Frankenstein, with arms outstretched to keep her balance.  [Or was Frankenstein the doctor?  I never know.]  With each step, her grin gets a little wider and her eyes gleam with excitement.  She also repeats monosyllables over and over with increased volume.

oh oh oh oh Oh Oh Oh Oh OH OH OH OH OH!

Excitement has never been more obvious.

She is still our little dancing diva, and she has an obvious love for all things music.  I hope that never changes!

HA!  This picture just cracks me up.

More and more often, I see understanding dawn in her eyes and I just know that she is picking up on so much more than she can express.  She has two little phrases she likes to repeat at the appropriate times: "Want mama!" and "Hi, dad!"  Her new favorite game is sitting in my lap while I show her my eyes, and then show her her eyes, and then go through every facial feature like that.

Hahaha!  The funny thing about this picture is that she wasn't even angry - just telling me something very seriously!

After months of a colicky baby, I am always pleasantly surprised - all day, every day - at how truly sweet my daughter is becoming.  One day, I was feeling particularly down and a few tears trickled down my cheeks.  She looked up at me, very concerned, gave me a hug and then a big, slobbery kiss!  It's hard to feel down after that, let me tell you.  And that's just one example.  She loves giving us unsolicited hugs and kisses and trying to share her food with us and smiling almost constantly.  My heart is a constant puddle.

Other than the two times I mentioned above when she wasn't feeling well, her sleeping has drastically improved!  The last few days, she has gone to sleep about 10pm, woken up around 7am to eat, and gone back to sleep until around 10am.  And she's even getting better at taking naps in her own crib!

Does it make me a bad mom that I let her carry around the Orajel tube for a few minutes?  I promise she couldn't get into it. :)

Ellie loves - and I mean loves - her stuffed animals this month!  I honestly think one teddy bear in particular is responsible, at least in part, for her better sleeping.  She cuddles with him almost all night long!  And she carries various stuffed animals with her most of the day.  And sometimes her socks.  She loves to carry her socks.

Oh, and just one more for good measure:

It gets cold on our walks, okay? :)

Ellie girl, I can't believe you turn one next week.  We are absolutely in love with the little girl you are becoming!  You truly make every day better.  Thank you for coming into our family.  We are forever grateful for you.  Love you, baby girl.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

valentine's day

Valentine's Day is great.  I know people get bent out of shape about the whole thing, but I think it's so fun to do something extra special now and then for the people you love.

I woke up to find hearts taped around our room and flowers on the kitchen counter.

Tim had even left a cute stuffed animal for Ellie - a monkey, because he always calls her that.

She loves it and carries it with her everywhere.

Tim and I must have been on the same wavelength, because it had been my plan to heart attack our room for him, too.  I wrote reasons I loved him on each one.  [Yes, we're that cheesy couple!]

[Don't judge the decor - I still have a long way to go!]

I found a groupon for a metallic "canvas" print of Ellie for his desk at work, and I borrowed someone else's idea for the bottled soda.

That night, we hung out with some of our cute nieces and nephews, and the next day for lunch, we went out to eat at one of our new favorite places: Tandoori Oven.  Indian food!  It's fabulous.  It's attached to the side of a gas station, but I truly feel that sometimes hole-in-the-wall places have the absolute best food.

[Tip: If you ever go, make sure to get the Chicken Tikka Masala.  AMAZING.]

This year was drastically different than last year, when I was nine months pregnant and eagerly awaiting Ellie's birth.  I'm so grateful that this year, I was able to celebrate with both of my sweethearts!

Monday, February 3, 2014

bowling and kitchen remodel

Let's play catch-up for a few minutes, shall we?

A couple of weekends ago, we met up with my BFF, Cait and her cute family.

First we went bowling.  Tim and I hadn't been for a couple of years (painfully obvious), but we loved it!

Love this girl. 

 Good thing you can't see our scores on those screens.  You would be embarrassed for us.

Favorite people on the planet. 

In our house, we call this the cheeser smile!

And then we all went to Cafe Zupas!  I'm usually not much into soup/salad/sandwich places but I could literally eat at Zupas every day and be totally happy.

 And our babies were pretty happy, too.

Look at their eyes.  Just look at them.

I wish this family lived closer, and I'm sad to report that they're going to be moving away soon for grad school!  Let's just all take a moment to pray that they don't end up moving out of the country.

We've spent the last week or so painting the top row of cabinets in our kitchen.  It's tedious work, but the results make it SO fun.  We decided that we're going to just do the bottom row of cabinets little by little so it doesn't completely incapacitate our kitchen.  Because that's exactly what it did this last time.  [Hello Dollar Menu, goodbye nutrition.]

Want a sneak peek?  Don't judge too harshly; we still have a long way to go!


Mid way through

And we put down some cute contact paper inside the cabinets:



We still need to paint the bottom row, put up a backsplash, and take out the light fixture.  And, well, get new appliances and countertops, but we need to save our moneys for that!  It'll be awhile.

And now my sweet baby is crying, but at least we're mostly caught up!

[Have any of you redone your kitchens?  I would love to see before and after pics!]