Sunday, September 30, 2007

Grumble Talk

Addie is teething and also has a little cold so she hasn't been sleeping very well and therefore hasn't been quite as happy as usual. Today she was acting tired so I went and put her in bed but she was grumble-talking for awhile. When I peeked in she was standing in her crib facing the door, hoping someone would come rescue her. It made me laugh so I ran to get the camera and as you can see from the picture it was mean trick - to show up like I was there to save her and then disappear again - she got mad :-)!
In other Addie news, she turned 8 months old yesterday. I cannot believe she is getting so big! During the last month she got her first teeth - the 2 bottom ones came in together. She is eating more "real" food which loves and is also excited that when we go out to eat now she gets to sit up at the table like everyone else!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What in the World?!

Apparently we have a monster living in our washing machine. The other day when I went to switch our clothes to the dryer, I pulled Addie's bib out of the washer looking like this. Now, granted the bibs have seen better days, they got a lot of use with Ella and I typically wash and dry them in the machines which probably isn't the best way to help them retain their strength, but still...what happened in there?! It looks like some animal shredded it with their sharp teeth and/or claws... not to mention that part of the bib is missing altogether! Everything else came out in one solid piece and I can't blame it on an old washing machine, when we moved into this house last year I picked out my dream machines. So, we say so long to these bibs and it's off to buy some new ones. What happened to this poor little guy, we'll never know.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Twins

When I was first pregnant with Addie and found out I was having another little girl, one of the things I was most excited about was being able to dress Ella and Addie in matching outfits. I even bought their matching Christmas dresses for this year, last year before Addie was born :-). Here are some recent pics I took of them in matching outfits...
The Halloween ones are a little deceiving - they make it look like we are having nice fall weather here in Houston and in actuality it still feels like summer (I took these in the morning before it got hot). The highs all this week have still been at least 90 degrees but at least the humidity has gone down a little. I took these pictures for my mom's website, Pineapple Hill, because she has started making her own flower headbands, as pictured. (For those of you interested that live around here you can call her and order them directly so you don't have to pay tax or shipping) She's working on adding more color combos, but they are so cute - I LOVE them!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Coldstone Field Trip

This afternoon Ella’s little Joy School group went on a field trip to Coldstone Creamery. In my opinion Coldstone has the most delicious ice cream on the face of the earth, so I was just about as excited as Ella was for the excursion!
The first unit the girls have been learning about at Abi’s is the Joy of the Body. Her older brother works there (what a dream job!) and her mom was able to set up the field trip for us. They have most recently been focused on the 5 senses and Jeanne, Abi’s mom, tied the trip in with that.
The teenage boys working there when we went in took us in back so the girls could see how they make the ice cream and let the girls feel how cold it was in the 2 huge freezers they store it all in.
And what good would a visit to an ice cream shop be if you didn’t get to taste some?! Not surprisingly, almost every girl wanted "pink" ice cream. Annie did pick chocolate and I wish Ella would have because I was sharing with her and strawberry isn’t my favorite flavor.
Also not surprising was that half of the girls chose sprinkles for their mix-in of choice. Ella almost went for the Reece’s PeanutButter cups – which would have made for an interesting combination with the strawberry ice cream. What was surprising was that Ella didn’t devour her whole cup – there was actually some left for me to eat at the end.
Addie was happy as always and munched on her little Gerber puffs while everyone ate their tasty treats. Luckily she doesn’t know what she was missing out on yet!
This Cold Stone is in the fairly new La Centera shopping center by us and there is a little water fountain/play place in the middle where we let the girls run around for a little while before heading home (burn up that sugar energy). I start teaching my unit, The Joy of the Earth, next week and I’ll let you know how it goes. Jeanne has done a really good job so I’ve got a lot to live up to!

Headband Obsession

About 2 weeks ago, or maybe it’s even been 3, Ella decided to wear at least one headband everyday. We had a couple of Hope’s hand-me-downs that were too big but she would wear them anyway and I eventually found a little multi-colored pack at Walmart that fit her better.
For awhile there she was wearing two each day. Unfortunately I didn’t catch a picture of that at the time ... now she only wears one. When I asked her why she wasn’t wearing 2 yesterday she told me it was because it makes her head hurt.
These pictures are from the past 3 days. She really does wear one everyday – as soon as I finish her hair (to her specifications of course) she runs into the bathroom, picks out a headband, and explains to me why the one she picked matches her outfit :-).

Friday, September 21, 2007

More of Addie Jumping

This is Addie jumping in her Jumperoo last weekend. She still loves it and even gets some air sometimes :-).

Highlights of the past 2 weeks

Life has been BUSY and I have fallen way behind in everything: blogging, taking pictures, emailing, laundry, cleaning, etc., etc. Despite the craziness it has been pretty typical day to day things keeping me running all over...

Ella is still loving school! She wishes that she could go everyday...and sometimes I wish she could too :-). Ella has been a very easy little girl every since she was born. She has always been a quiet observer that just likes to take it all in and she is for the most part sweet and obedient. I never experienced "the terrible twos" with her...until the last few months. The first time she threw a small tantrum in public it caught me completely off guard because I had never had to deal with one. Here is a recent example...
On Tuesday morning I was getting her ready for school and I didn't do her hair exactly how she wanted it (she tried to explain it to me before I started and I obviously didn't get the picture). We were running late so I told her it looked beautiful and just to wear it like that today and I would do it the other way next time. She started pulling at it over and over and when I (in a frustrated way) told her to stop she lost it and was crying and screaming. So I just took it all out, the elastic, the bow, and the headband (I'll post about her headband obsession tomorrow) , buckled her in the car and started driving to school. She screamed the entire way there (with poor Addie in the back seat with her) and I didn't know if I should even take her in this state. So I called my mom, who reminded me that she is only 3 and I need to be careful not to expect too much from her - which was just what I needed to hear. At the height of these trying experiences it is so hard to not get caught up in my frustration and then adding to that the fact that I had no learning curve in dealing with this behavior since Ella's just started suddenly. So, ready to turn the situation around, we parked outside Abi's house and Ella climbed up to sit with me in the front. We cuddled, talked a little, and both calmed down a bit. She went to school and was in a good mood when I came to pick her up. That's not to say that we have had no other incidents since or even that the rest of that particular day was completely peaceful but I think it has helped me to have a little more patience when the need arises.
I often wonder if it was having Addie that brought the change on or being around other kids more often and learning from their bad examples, but unless you only have one child who you home school and allow no social interaction with peers those influences are bound to happen at some point I suppose - and learning to cope with that and discern what is right/wrong and ok/unacceptable is just part of life.
Ella's cute moments still definitely out number the bad! Tonight when we were playing her Dora memory game I turned over this card and said, "A bird." Ella quickly corrected me, "It's a toucan." (His name on the show is Senor Toucan) When I went to pick her up at the gym's childcare yesterday she ran up and gave me a hug and handing me a folded up piece of paper said, "Here, it is a present. You can put it in your room." I opened it up and it was a little Elmo and Zoe picture she had colored (she tries to color in the lines now which is really cute!). I taped it to our bathroom mirror last night and this morning when she saw it she told me it looked beautiful.
So in conclusion :-), life with Ella has definitely become more interesting, but of course I still love her with all my heart!

On to Addie....She is getting so big!!!!
Addie is the happiest, most smiley baby I have ever seen. Honestly, she really never cries - she does a high-pitched squeal that sounds happy and also what I imagine pterodactyls probably sounded like when they were on earth (I call her a little pterodactyl when she does it).
She is crawling all over the place and getting into more and more mischief every day. She is also eating lots of real people food and she LOVES it! If I try to eat anything within her view now she looks at me like, "when is my bite coming?!"
Her most exciting new accomplishment is being able to pull up to a stand. I just took this picture really quickly tonight so I could have one for the blog but she pulls up on everything and is overjoyed with herself when she does it. She just looks around and smiles and you can tell she thinks she is pretty cool! Addie is also apparently a little over confident and already feels like she is big enough to stand without holding on to anything. Today I was in my kickboxing class a woman from the child care center came up to tell me that she had bumped her head and they just wanted me to know so I wouldn't be alarmed when I came down to get her. Apparently she pulled up and was just standing there for awhile and then decided to let go and tipped over. So we need to work on the getting down part :-).

Last weekend I got to relive my past a little...I went a played some volleyball Friday night with our church's co-ed adult team (I had to miss the game tonight because Mike wasn't here to watch the girls, but I'll go again next weekend). Then Saturday pretty much all day I was a ref for the teenage girls' one-day tournament. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I have reached a point now where it's not depressing to play. When I played the first time again in college since high school I was sad because I could still remember how good I used to be and the obvious decline in my level of play resulted in me feeling like I never wanting to play again! The span of 5 or 6 years has erased enough of my memory that I can just do it for fun - yay!

One last development in my life...I finally quit working at the resale shop I've been at for 2 years (something I really have wanted to do since the new owner took over in June) and got a little part time job at Gymboree. It may be a little dangerous for me to work there with 2 cute girls who need clothes that are equally as cute as they are :-), but it will be good practice in self control!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Visit From DORA!!!

Dora made a trip to our local Chick-fil-A on Tuesday night...So I took the girls over to check it out despite my better judgement. It was a mad house as expected but I think we still had fun...We got there right before 6pm (Dora was advertised to be there 6-8pm) and parked in Target's parking lot - the closest we could get. I got Ella a little ice cream cup and we found a corner to stand in while we waited. Time was ticking away and Dora still hadn't showed so the Chick-fil-A workers were trying to keep everyone happy by passing out hats and balloons.Addie was such a good sport! Around 6:10pm they announced that Dora was lost and would arrive in 20 minutes (one Dad yelled out, "Tell her to use her map!") so we just tried to stay out of the way in our little corner and waited. Finally Dora arrived and was making her way around, giving all the kids high-5's. Ella strained to see her and when she finally caught a glimpse was instantly seized by fear!When Dora made it over by us Ella hid her face and wanted nothing to do with her :-). I guess Dora was going to stay and sit and take pictures with everybody but we left after Dora walked by us. Strangely Ella wanted to stay longer despite being petrified. She now talks fondly of the memory so at least she thinks she had a good time :-)!

Friday, September 7, 2007

A new Favorite


I just finished putting Ella down for her nap and we read this book that we checked out at the library yesterday. I thought it was the cutest story and Ella really loved it too! She stayed interested the whole time - very concerned and curious about what would happen to the little doll next. I just ordered it online I loved it so much - we need to own it! I may never have time to read adult books to recommend but I will definitely keep the children's books coming :-) - we read plenty of those around here!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Missing her Boyfriends!

Today when I picked up Ella from school I asked her who was there. She told me "Emma and Annie and Lauren and Abi. We need some boys!" It gave me a good laugh. I don't know if she overheard someone else saying that or what (I know I haven't) but I think she's missing all her little friends who are boys. We haven't seen any of them yet this week. Johnny is coming to play tomorrow though so all will be well! Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come :-)! I'm already scared for Ella and Addie to be teenagers!

Fun Quizzes

I found these on Chrissy's blog and thought I'd check them out for myself...


What City Should You Live In?

You should live in Paris. The city of lights will appeal to your appreciation of beauty and romance. You are a lover and a poet by nature, and Paris' sensitive charms will be a perfect match for yours.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com



Which College Major Should You Be?

Your major should be Biology. You work hard, and you're gonna keep working hard for many years to come. That's why you keep your work organized and your health in good shape.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com



What Kind of Guy Will You Fall For?

You would fall for the sensitive guy. You'll find your future man wherever turtlenecks are sold. He will have depth, introspection, and a disturbing knowledge of musical theatre. And he may be a little weird. But hey, while your girlfriends cry over broken hearts, you'll be having Shakespeare read to you every night.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Picturing Mike in a turtleneck really makes me laugh :-). And although he is a little weird, so am I, so it works out perfectly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Off To School

Today was Ella’s first day of school and man was she excited! Although she was extremely disappointed that she did not get to ride on a school bus (and would probably be even more distraught had she really understood what I was telling her when I said she had to wait until kindergarten for that), in every other way it was a success. She keeps telling me, “I’m big! I go to school!”

Mike and I debated back and forth for awhile about what to do about Ella and preschool. I was very pro-preschool and Mike felt it wasn’t a necessity. His logic – “I didn’t go and I turned out fine” – was met by my – “Times have changed and you can’t just show up for kindergarten anymore…especially in Katy” (known for good schools, and after tutoring my brother through middle school I can verify that they are a little INSANE about academics here). We compromised that Ella wouldn’t go this year but would go the year before kindergarten, when she was 4. I bought some little “school” supplies and planned on holding our own little school a few times a week. This was in May and I got her all excited the first day, we did our activities and as I was cleaning up I said, “I had so much fun doing school with you Ella!” to which she looked at me puzzled and asked, “Where are all the kids?”

Well, awhile later when a lady in our ward at church (Ella’s friend Abi’s mom) mentioned she was thinking about doing Joy School with Abi I was ecstatic and told her to keep me posted because we were definitely interested. So, thanks to Jeanne for taking the lead on it all and we now have a group of 5 little girls ages 3-4 to do Joy School with. It is a neat program and should be a lot of fun. The curriculum includes 10 units, so we will each be in charge of 2 during the year and the rest of the time it works like a regular preschool where I can drop Ella off and pick her up after lunch – all for the price of 1 month tuition pretty much anywhere else (you pay for online access to the manuals and they send you CDs with all the songs).

I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with Addie without worrying about Ella getting jealous. I find myself making sure Ella gets her time in because she’s used to it and since Addie doesn’t know the difference she really misses out I think. She seems perfectly happy but I’m still glad I’ll have a chance to give her my full focus…although today she was exhausted and chose to sleep almost the whole time Ella was at school.

I tried to ask Ella about what they did at school and she said she played and painted and sang songs – that was as much as I could get from her. I know they did a little show and tell - Ella wanted to bring her Dora doll from her friend Johnny. I asked her what she said about her and she didn’t really answer, although she told me what the other girls brought (at least she’s paying attention). I can just imagine each of them standing up and holding their item and not really saying anything and Jeanne trying to prompt them along. Kids at this age are so funny, how they tend to not speak at all in certain situations, like nursery. I’ve never really stayed in nursery the whole time but I’ve heard that for the most part the kids are silent when it comes to adult interaction, etc. A few weeks ago after church Ella told me, “Mom, Abi doesn’t talk at church but she talks to me at her house.” Me, “Oh. Do you talk at church?” Ella, “No.”

I’m sure we’ll have many school stories to come – especially when it's at our house and I'm in charge :-)!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Poor Addie Girl

Poor Addie is getting over a little cold. I thought it was brought on by teething initially – it was just a running nose and slight fever but at some point between Friday and Saturday it turned into the real deal. Saturday she woke up with a raspy voice. She really likes listening to herself :-)! She sounds like a little baby robot. Although it is really cute, I’m hoping the other symptoms subside soon!

Making Friendship Work


Andrew was Ella's 1st real friend - pretty much since birth (and his mom Sheree my first real friend in Texas). He came over to play this week and it is hilarious to listen to them talk to each other. It is amazing they are big kids now, capable of communicating with one another. One of the conversations I overheard while they
were playing:
Ella: "What's your dad's name?"
Andrew: "What?"
Ella: "What's your dad's name?"
Andrew: "My dad is John."
Ella: "Oh."
Ella loves to play at Andrew's, especially because he has "boy" toys that we don't have lots of here - cars, trains, etc. I think kids like the change- mixing things up a little! We obviously have a lot of "girl" options at our house, but they have a blast together still. When they got dressed up Andrew told Ella repeatedly, "You look beautiful." It was really cute. Hopefully they'll get married someday :-)!