Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ella at 2 years old

Ella turned 2 years old this past weekend.  We have yet to really celebrate it with her. My parents were planning to come down the weekend after so I had hoped to do a dinner and cake with them.  However, it has been snowing a lot and we decided it was best they stay home and we are going to try again next weekend.  So if all goes well with the weather then, she will get a kitty cat cake and have a few presents from us and my parents.  Some gifts have been coming in for the past week though, so she has really enjoyed that!  And since the kids are napping, I thought I might try and do a quick update about what she is like at this moment.  Here are some things I want to remember about Ella as a 2 year old:

  • Ella likes to twirl her hair when she falls asleep or when she is getting her diaper changed.  She really knows how to rat up the right side of her head and unfortunately the hair is not very long on that side.  I am hoping that she will out grow this habit, especially because she is starting to let me put her hair up more often too.
  • She has a very large vocabulary of words.  I'm sure that is because she is a second child and a girl, but I'm always impressed with how well she communicates.  She even knows a lot of words to songs.  Although she cannot sing the whole song, she will sing along with the end of most of the lines, since that is what she remembers.
  • As much as she loves her brother, she also really loves to bug him.  Ella loves to grab things out of his hands, get in his face when he is eating at the kitchen island, or push him away from me.  She is very aware with how to push his buttons and mine too.  We have been putting her in time out a lot more lately.  
  • I think she is going to be a runner when she grows up. She has a boundless amount of energy and would be running laps around the house first thing in the morning if we let her. I honestly believe and hope that she has her daddy's athletic ability.  
  • Ella will eat almost anything.  When we sit down for dinner it is constantly a fight to get Jack to eat something, but Ella will happily sit and eat most of her dinner.  Then when Jack walks away from the table she will sneak to his spot and eat off his plate too!
  • Ella is a very curious little girl and I have to always keep an eye on her.  She is much more interested in the items that are behind cabinets or closed doors.  She loves to get into my jewelry box.  Seriously though, she still puts lots of things in her mouth and I have to keep my eye on that girl!
  • She LOVES baby dolls.  That seems to be the best present a person can give her.  She really loves her babies and we are slowly accumulating a large number of dolls in our house.  She likes to put them to sleep and feed them her food.  Sometimes on a good day she will let Jack play with a baby too.  Most nights she will fall asleep with a baby next to her. And if she doesn't want one then I will stick a doll next to her before I go to bed, because I noticed she is less likely to fall off her toddler bed when she has one there.
  • Even though she is pretty mean to our cat, she has an affinity for cats.  I think it would be a dream for her to have a friendly cat around.  When we visit my parents she is always chasing the cats and gets so excited when Benny will sit next to her.
  • Some of her favorite songs right now are Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Jumpin' Josie, Our Night Night Song, and The Wheels on the Bus.
  • Although she has never been much of a snuggler, she is giving more and more hugs and asking to sit with me.
  • Ella also really loves to read books.  Each night she asks me to read her a book or two, or seven!  Right now she really likes, Goodnight Moon, ABC books, Where the Wild Things Are, Kisses for Daddy, and Goodnight Fish.
  • She loves to take baths and showers.  She is a natural in the water, although I am still trying to teach her not to eat the bubbles!  It makes for cute pictures though when the bubbles are all over her face!
  • Ella is desperate to be potty trained.  She isn't quite ready, but she is showing so many signs.  We made a potty chart this week and tried going with pants/diapers/underwear for an evening.  She was able to make it to the potty one time and she put a sticker on her chart. So far we have three stickers on the chart and have had a few accidents.  I really need a few days of being home with her and letting her run naked.  I think she is ready though.  She tells us right after she poops or pees, she wants to sit on the potty, she can strip down in seconds!  It think she might be fully potty trained before her brother...there is a light at the end of the diaper tunnel!
  • Ella isn't that interested in tv or movies just yet, but sometimes she will ask to watch the Wiggles.  She likes watching them sing and and will often dance with them.
  • Oh, however, she has learned how to use the ipad and recently hacked into Netflix and started watching Barney.  I didn't even know that she knew who Barney was...maybe she leanred about him in school?  It is pretty scary how quickly our kids are learning to use the ipad!
  • Ella is my constant companion.  She wants to be with me all the time.  If I get the chance to sleep in and Joe is watching the kids downstairs I will often hear her say, "Where is mommy?" and if Joe has not put the baby gate up then she will come looking for me in bed.
  • She has been sleeping in her toddler bed since Thanksgiving week and transitioned pretty smoothly.  It took about two weeks and then she was back to sleep through the night. Every once and a while she gets up and comes into our room, but both Jack and Ella are doing better.
  • I sing to Ella and rub her back to put her to sleep for her naps (because that is what they do at her daycare).
  • I think she enjoys playing at daycare but would happily stay at home with me if she could.  Her favorite friend at daycare is probably Megan.  
  • Ella has the cutest button nose.  I think it might be my favorite feature and I often look at it and wonder who gave her such a cute little nose!  
  • More and more people are telling me that she looks like me.  I love that because I think she is a girl full of personality.  I wonder if she gets some of that from me too!
  • I think this about both of my kids, but it is worth mentioning that she is truly a happy child.  I love to hear her giggle and see her smile.  There is definitely something wonderful about a child that does not have anything to worry about.  A child that has good parents and who is cared for and loved.  She is just so happy and I hope she always stays that way.  I am going to do my best to help her know that she is a wonderful daughter of God.  A beautiful and important young women and she is worth so much.  I hope I can raise her to learn to push herself to her fullest potential.  I really hope for her to be better and happier than me.  Isn't that what all moms want for their daughters.  I am so glad to have a little girl in my life.  Ella Bear, you really are the most wonderful caboose to our family!

Summer 2014

I have definitely put blogging on the back burner recently. It just became much harder to do once I started working full time. I thought I would write up a few funny stories about Jack and Ella, so that I don't forget them. I am also including some of my favorites from this summer. We have been playing a lot, and it has been much easier to get out and do things with them at this age.

Jack - Almost 4 Years Old
He is so excited to go to preschool this upcoming year. Technically he doesn't qualify for preschool because his birthday is after the September 1st cut-off date, but we are enrolling him in the Catholic School's program, since they allow three year old children. Most of his friends at the daycare will be moving on and really in so many ways he seems ready for more of a learning environment. I am happy though, that he will get two years of preschool and be a "older" student when he actually begins kindergarten. Hopefully that means he will be more mature. The only challenge with Jack right now is potty training. He is pretty much trained during the day. Occasionally there are accidents, but he stays dry. However, we have not been able to kick the pull-ups at night. We have tried several times to go with underwear at night, but he always has an accident. Hopefully we can kick that bad habit soon.
Jack loves to ride his bike. He started riding a pedal bike back in April and has quickly progressed every time that he gets out on his bike. At first he didn't like riding his new bike, but now he is excited about it wants to go far with his daddy. He even asked to pick out stickers to decorate his bike.
Jack loves all things ninja right now and will sit down with us to watch American Ninja Warrior each week. He pretends to make his own obstacle courses at the playground or in our house.
He really enjoys going to his new primary class at church. Each week he shows me what he has made and asks me for help with any assignments that he might have to complete. He has even invited our neighbor (Marcella) to go to church with us. A few weeks ago we had the missionaries over for dinner and he loved spending some time with them.
Jack learned how to swim the doggie paddle this summer as well. He has to have his life jacket on, but he was so excited when he finally figured out how to do it that he was telling everyone about it for days.
As he continues to grow I really see a very sweet little boy. He is sensitive to others and their feelings. He wants to please his parents and still loves to snuggle his mom and dad. 

Ella - 2 1/2 years old
Ella is truly our feisty child. I think her nickname should be firecracker. She is always so full of energy and seems so tough. Usually she likes to wrestle with her brother and her curiosity keeps her interested in pretty much everything. Just in the last two months, we have had to take her to the emergency room three times! Once for swallowing my mothers melatonin, once when I picked her up and separated a young bone in her wrist, and once for having low oxygen. That trip required an ambulance from the doctor's office to the ER and has costs us a lot of money! Fortunately she has been just fine after each visit.
As tough as Ella is, she also is very motherly. She likes to play with her baby dolls. She will spend a long time trying to feed them, put them to sleep, and change their diapers. Plus, she loves animals and will try to pet or pick up dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, frogs, bugs, really any animal.
Ella is learning to ride a bike too. After Jack got a pedal bike, she started riding the strider bike. It didn't take very long before she was trying to go down steep hills. Actually, she still tries to do that but her technical skills are not there yet. Last week she actually ran into a fence while riding around the playground. It gave her a bloody nose. There was a bit of crying, but eventually she got back on her bike.
She tells us that her favorite colors are pink and purple.
Ella gives the best hugs in the world. Each night when I put the kids to bed, she will give me a kiss and a hug. I hope that continues for a long time.
One of my favorite days this summer was on 7/11. It was cow appreciation day at chick-fila so I decided to take advantage of some free meals. I packed the kids up and we went berry picking at a local farm then we drove over to Chick-fila for lunch. In order to get a free meal, a person needed to dress up. So we all wore black and then I taped on white spots. The kids were so excited to see the person dressed up like a cow. And the love playing at the playground too. On the drive home Jack said, "that was really fun." Honestly, I love when I know that we did something that made my kids happy.

Two nigths ago Joe and I put the kids to bed. We were hoping for a little time to relax because we are working this week for a summer training. Well, I went downstairs and next thing I know, I started to hear noises in their room. I climbed back up the stairs and approached their bedroom door. The lights were on (they moved one of their chairs over there to turn the lights on) and both of them had changed their clothes and put on their kitchen aprons! They turned around a looked at me, with the biggest smiles and said, "we are having a party." I couldn't help but laugh and then I reminded them it was bed time and they would need to go back to bed. Two more times back into the room and I had to lock the door, hoping that was scare them. It didn't, because they just turned the light back on and continued to have a party. At 10pm I realized that could go on this way for hours (in my head I was thinking, why don't they play this nicely all the time?). So I went back in and had to spank them before putting them back to bed. I really wish I would have taken a picture, because they literally pulled everything out of their play kitchen and put it on the small table in their room. It was cute. And annoying.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jack at 3 years old

All these snow days has really allowed me to get some time doing the things I love.  So I have been able to update the blog, work on a gift for a friend, and play with my children.  It really has been nice.  I have wanted to write a little something about Jack since he has turned three, but I never seem to find the right time.  Today while I was driving in the car I started thinking, in less than 17 years, Jack will be off to college or probably out of the house.  That really doesn't seem like that long.  There are many days I cannot even believe that I am in my mid thirties already, so really if my life has gone this fast, then it won't be long before my kids have grown.  I don't want to forget all the cute and quirky things my children do.  So if I cannot remember to keep a journal, then the least I can do is update my blog!

Things that I hope to always remember about Jack at this age:

  • fire trucks
  • super heroes (especially Spider man, Iron Man, and Power Rangers)
  • Watching movies.  He could spend all day in front of the tv, which is pretty scary.  Cars, Polar Express, and Planes are his favorite movies at the time.  I took him to see Walking with Dinosaurs over Christmas break and he loved that too.
  • Jack still loves to be pushed in a swing and asks to go really high
  • His vocabulary has improved, especially his pronunciation.  However there are a few words we are working on right now.  Truck sounds a lot like a bad word that starts with an F and he likes to say hamburger like this, hamelburger.
  • Jack is a super picky eater.  One day he will try something and the next day he won't touch anything we want to give him.  Or he will ask for plain pancakes, then ask for jelly to be put on them, and then right after you put jelly on them he will throw a fit because he wanted a plain pancake (this happened this very morning!).
  • He sleeps with a monkey and a tiger.
  • He just started primary in church and was very excited to tell me all about it when we left church.
  • Jack has already learned to terrorize the cat.  He chases her under the bed and hisses back at her.  Lately he has asked if we can get another dog and a new cat, "because ours is not nice."
  • He really likes to sing.  Some of his favorites are: Jumpin' Josie, The Peanut Song, Jingle Bells, The ABCs, and Happy Birthday.
  • We have just started playing imagination games, we pretend there is a shark and we all have to jump onto Mommy and Daddies bed (the boat).  He loves getting under the covers for protection.
  • He still doesn't like getting his toe nails or hair cut.
  • He is sleeping through the night from about 8pm to 5:30am (we get up early over here, but this is a major improvement for us).
  • He often tells me that he loves me or that I am his best friend.
  • Liam is his favorite friend to play with at day care.
  • He loves going to day care and has really enjoyed being around other kids.  Sometimes when we are at home he will raise his hand to ask for more food at dinner.
  • He knows to say please and thank you and is usually pretty good at doing it.
  • He was super excited for Halloween and Christmas this year.  I think we might find it just as fun to celebrate every other holiday from now on. 
  • Jack and Ella fight like crazy, but they are great cohorts.  They love playing together just about as much as they fight. Oh, and Jack likes to give Ella instructions, "Ella go pull the cats tail."
  • If you ask Jack to smile for the camera then he will open his mouth up really big.  I guess he thinks that is a smile, but if I ask him to say cheese he will do it correctly!
  • Jack has gone rock climbing a few times and gets scared with the height, but he is so proud of himself whenever he tries.
  • He is still a snuggle bug.  In fact, sometimes he asks to be the baby and I will hold him like a baby. Then he makes me laugh, because he asks for mommy milk!
  • I am always surprised by his memory.  He remembers things that he did over a year ago.
  • We are still working on the potty training.  He definitely knows the difference between a pull up and underwear and usually pees in the potty, but pretty much refuses to poop in the potty.
  • He knows his full name and sounds so cute when he says it.
  • His favorite colors are red and yellow.
  • Jack loves to talk with his grandparents and gets very excited to see or visit with them.
  • He likes to play games on the i pad.  We have found that to be a very helpful device while on a road trip!
I'm sure I will have some more to add to this list, but it will have to do for now.  We love our little guy. I am constantly proud of him and love seeing his kindness towards others. I hope that continues throughout his life.  He really is a special little guy and I am blessed to be his mother!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cute Pictures of Jack and Ella

 Did I ever post any of these pictures?  Maybe I forgot...maybe they are being repeated, but seriously I can't help it, because they are just my two favorite kiddos ever!

Jack's First Prayer

Tonight while I was cleaning up around upstairs, Jack decided that he was going to "put daddy to bed."  The bedtime routine in our house is to brush our teeth, get into bed, say prayers, and I sing a song.  So Jack said a prayer all by himself!  This is what he said:
"Dear God,
Thanks for letting us go to Jeremy and Connor's house.
Thanks for our guns. (the toy guns he was playing with today)
Thanks for the robots. (also what he played with today)
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Maybe it isn't much, but seriously, I am so proud of him for doing that all by himself!  I love that little man!

Jack's Fire Truck Party

Okay, so his birthday was in September.  I know I'm super behind at all this...but really so are most bloggers! I'm still documenting my life though...so here are some pictures from the day of the party. I know that I have more pictures on my husband's phone...but I will probably never get to those and that is why it was taking me forever to post.  It was a great turnout and Jack still remembers his firetruck birthday cake and tells me that he wants the same thing for his next birthday too.
 We spent about three weekends working on the cardboard firetruck.  After renovating the kitchen I knew we would have some cardboard lying around, so we decided to use it.  It took lots of spray paint and only lasted long enough for the party, but it was a huge hit with the kids! We were going to have a firetruck relay race in the yard, but it rained so that part got shut down.  However, it made the chili all that more tasty, because it was fitting for the weather.  I also cut up apples, red/yellow/orange peppers, strawberries, and watermelon.  It was actually pretty low key.
 Probably my favorite part was the gift bags.  We were able to get some items from the local fire department (crayons, coloring books, a fire safety book, and key chains in a cloth bag.  I also purchased a few plastic fire hats to share as well.  As you can see from Jack's smiles, it was all a real big hit.  Oh, and I think he loved that he had presents.  I meant to tell people they didn't need to bring anything, but forgot and he got a few gifts.  Of course, he was basically in love with them all!

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...