Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Happenings

The weather has been crazy this year, no?  I am now going to expect an epic storm for each season.  Since I knew it was going to rain most of the time we were up in Northern VA, I decided to get a trip to the zoo on Saturday.  It was the perfect weather and there were few crowds.  We really had a great time and I'm glad that my mom was able to join us.  We have also been able to go to a trunk or treat at my parent's ward and saw my sister run her first marathon.  It has been busy and fun.  Maybe a quiet rainy day was needed.  Too bad it is going to be about three or four of them in a row!  At least I am getting some work done on Christmas presents.  So the pictures below are from the last few days.  I hope you enjoy!

 The National Zoo has finally finished the American Trail.  It was awesome and the kids loved it.  We had up close views of the beavers and sea lions.  I can't wait to go back again soon!

 I think Ella is feeling the call of the wild!



 This was our mode of transportation at the zoo.  Jack loves sitting on the top of the strollers.
 I have a couple costumes lined up for this Halloween.  I really love making costumes.  It just feels more creative and fun.  However, we did get this great pajama outfit from his nanny so it was perfect to use outside!  I made Ella a marathon runner, which would have been really awesome if she was walking, but I think we were about a month early.  She didn't want to be held in the pictures below..so that's why she looks so funny.  I kinda like that face though!


 The night before we left, we decided to carve pumpkins!  Jack had a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Last Few Weeks

I thought it might be nice to have a blog post with a few pictures of our recent outings as a family.  We may not be traveling far away, but we sure are enjoying the place we live.  So I thought I would include a few images from our adventures that are close to home!
 
The first set of pictures are from Bridge Day this past Saturday.  We decided to hike to the bottom of the gorge, instead of walking on the bridge.  This was by far my favorite way to see the event. You get an up close few of the base jumpers and the crowd is much, much smaller.  Plus you get a nice workout on the way back up!  My sister was visiting, so she was also in these pictures as well.




We took a family afternoon hike out of Cunard.  We parked at the boater's pullout next to the river and hiked along the dirt road that follows the river.  It was super scenic and beautiful.  We found one place to walk down to the river and it was so quiet and peaceful.  Jack loved throwing the rocks into the water, Ella splashed, and we enjoyed being outside.



We took one Saturday afternoon to venture down to Charleston, the state capitol.  They have a really great, hands on science museum.  Jack was still a little too small to fully appreciate it, but it was nice to explore.  Sadly it was super cold outside, so we decided not to extend the trip with any more exploring for the day.


Last week we decided to have a small family outing.  We walked half of the mill creek trail (it is a there and back trail).  However, I knew that Jack would not want to ride his bike another two miles, especially since it is uphill.  So I stayed with the kids by the river and watched two trains go by and closely observed three ducks as they were eating dinner.  Once Joe arrived after hiking back and driving the car to the other end we eat a picnic dinner.  It was a happy family night and I think we were all happy that evening!
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ella is 9 Months Old

This fall is going way too fast.  Sometimes I am so excited for things to happen that I can't wait for time to pass and I like that we are so busy.  Then other times, when I am being reflective, I realize how quickly my little ones are growing up.  We had to make an unexpected visit to the doctor this week for Ella and I found out that she only weighs about three pounds less that her brother.  She is such a big girl.  Where did my baby go?  So quick and they are all grown up!

Nicknames:  Miss E, Turtle, and Ella Bella

Foods:  We have transitioned from just eating baby food to also trying out finger foods.  She is almost completely not interested in the baby food anymore, because she wants to try and pick up foods instead or try whatever it is that we are eating.  She has tried pasta, peas, rice puffs, cheerios, kixs, yogurt drops, squash, and bread.  Now I have to start thinking about what I can give her from our dinner.  In just a few short months she will be eating the same meals as us!  She still gets four bottles with formula.

Weight: 20.6 pounds.

Temperament:  Ella continues to be a happy baby.  She officially stopped nursing this month.  It was time.  She only nursed for naps, bedtime, and through the night if she woke up.  It was becoming difficult to get her to unlatch and go to sleep in bed.  Plus, I was the only one putting her to sleep.  It just needed to change.  I was sad to lose this little snuggle time, but since then she has gotten into the habit of resting her head on my shoulder for a few minutes before I lay her in the crib.  But she transitioned beautifully.  It only took about one day and she was going to sleep on her own. My mom and Joe have both been able to put her down for naps and bedtime now.  And when she wakes up, she will happily play in the crib until you get her.  Then in is nothing but smiles.  I love it. 

She is definitely curious at this age.  Ella wants to do everything.  I have to baby gate the stairs because she wants so badly to climb up and down.  She likes to play in the toilet bowl so we also have to keep that blocked from her.  I'm almost at the point that I need to baby gate the laundry room, since she has also discovered that there is water in the dog dish as well.  I'm also very lucky that she hasn't had a major separation anxiety yet.  If she is tired and I am right there then she will cry for me to hold her, but fortunately she has been willing to go to anyone and play anywhere.  I'm lucky to have had two children like that.












Items/Toys We Love The Most:I can't think of anything that really sticks out as her favorite right now.  She really likes to climb the stairs.  I think I love the baby food packets, since they make feedings so much easier when we are on the go.  She uses anything and everything as a walker.  I still think that it will take her a while to walk, because of her foot, so using a walker is her best resource to get around.  She will us a person's legs, chairs, toys, the dog, well, anything that will scoot around for her!

First Experiences:  Ella has two teeth now.  The second one came in pretty quickly.  Her smile is great with the addition of two little teeth.  She also had her first night with mommy and daddy away.  My parents came down to watch the kids, while Joe and I went on a climbing trip.  It was only one night, but I heard that she had a great time.  As time passes she is giggling more and more.  Just yesterday I was doing something that she found funny.  Again and again I would do it and she laughed.  That made me happy to see her interaction.  Jack is also able to get a few giggles from her and I love when they are playing together. 




 



















We had our first minor accident this month. We have a floor heater in our house and we have been worried about her trying to crawl on it and getting burned. Even with trying to watch her and teach her that it is hot, we had an accident and she burned the palm of her hand this past Monday. There was a lot of crying and a quick trip to her doctor. I found out it wasn't too bad, but they gave us a little burn cream and wrapped it up. This helped tremendously. She was able to feel the soothing abilities of the cream and relaxed enough to take her morning nap. That afternoon I took the bandage off (she really didn't need it anyways) and she was just fine playing without it. Let's hope it heals well.


I'm looking forward to the next few months as we get to experience a bunch of firsts with her.  Many holidays, vacations, another visit to a doctor for a second opinion on her foot, and hopefully she will walking!








Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Vision of the Hayride

Remember when I wrote about Jack not liking the hayride?  Well, this picture shows it perfectly, thanks to my sister-in-law who got this on her phone. I think it was right when the man started the tractor.  We did have fun and he did calm down in mommy's arms!

Ella is 8 Months Old

This is two weeks late, but we have been busy with family visiting and Jack's birthday.  It allowed me to be take a few extra pictures, so I guess that makes it all worth it.  Our little turtle is full of energy.  She is a very squirmy child and doesn't want to sit still.  It is a rare moment when she nestles into my neck and snuggles with me.  It happened tonight as I was putting her to bed.  We are weaning from the breast (which I only use to put her to sleep) and after crying for ten minutes in her crib, I got the snuggle.  I probably should have put her down a minute earlier, but I just wanted to cherish that feeling of having a little baby in my arms.  I am going to miss that. 
 
 There was a pregnant lady at church this Sunday and I was thinking that I miss being pregnant.  I certainly don't miss all the sleepless nights and if I take the time to really think about pregnancy I can remember all the discomforts, but I am totally one of those women who can be pregnant.  I really loved it and will forever miss those little baby kicks.  So as I think about that, I must say I love my little Ella so very much and already ache in my heart knowing that she will grow up and not be a baby forever.
 
(Ella has the cutest pout ever! I hope she always does this when she cries...it is so exaggerated.)
 
Nicknames:  Ella Bella, Turtle, Hazel Nut
 
Foods: She has figured out how to pick up foods with her fingers.  So I have been giving her rice puffs and dried yogurt. I am looking forward to the day when she can also eat some of our food, but I think she needs a few more teeth.  So I don't think she has really tried any new fruits or veggies, just the finger foods.
 
Temperament:  She continues to be a happy baby.  I love that she wakes up in a good mood after naps and in the morning.  I often hear her playing in the crib and when I walk into the room she is full of smiles.  It is a happy change, since her brother always wakes up grumpy.  However, she is also exhorting her interest in toys.  If someone takes a toy away from her then she will scream and get upset.  It must be her way of showing displeasure at such a young age.  I think it is probably common to see that in second children.  Other than the occasional boo boo, she is happy and content to explore her surroundings.  This ability to move and pull up on furniture has given her so much happiness.  I really do believe kids are happier when they have some mobility and she is no exception.  Although, this does make it hard to get her into the car seat at times...I guess we can't have both, right?
 
Items/Toys We Love The Most:  Ella has also been the type of kid that is happy with anything.  She would be content with a cardboard box or even a magazine that she could rip into tiny pieces.  In fact she has never had much interest in the electronic toys.  I'm glad for that since it means less batteries to replace.  Let's see, she seems to love mommy a lot right now.  Welcome to the clingy phase.  I don't think Jack ever did this, but Ella will cry whenever I walk away from her and if someone is holding her they need to distract her because she will cry for me.  Following Jack around is also a favorite for her.  He doesn't love it, but he is sharing, because I force him to.  The baby walker is getting some use since she is learning to move a little more standing up. 
First Experiences:  I was so excited because Ella finally got her first tooth. Well, it was bittersweet.  I love a gummy grin, but it was just so cute to see her smile with one tooth.  I finally got a few pictures for you to see.  However, it didn't take much time for the second tooth to arrive and now there are two!  She has handled it well.  There is very little crying and complaining, but she does wake up once a night for a few days while it is breaking through.  Ella has also mastered the stairs.  She has attempted for two months now, but we definitely have to keep the baby gate up since she will automatically go for the stairs if we don't gate it.  She can make it all the way to the top too.  So every day I let her practice and I stand behind her.  Jack will race her and make it to the top so fast that she is screaming at him as she works her way up.  He will laugh at her from the top. It really is cute!


Joe and I are planning a weekend away this next month.  It will be her first time away from me for more than 24 hours.  I trust my parents to take good care of them, but I worry about her putting up a fight.  Fortunately my mom is amazing with children and knows just what to do. I will probably just have to remind myself of that.  She is getting so big and I love having a little girl...how could I have ever wanted two boys?  She is the perfect addition to our family.