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.

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 ...