Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Phew.......WHAT? ITS NOT OVER?

Oh man, we still have one more holiday to get though. And then, only a month and a half until our little pumpkin turns ONE YEAR OLD. How in the wide world of sports did that happen? Seriously. We JUST brought her home from the hospital, like....yesterday.

But anyway back to last weekend. It was great. It really was. After Dad got home late(as usual) we had Ella open her gifts. She got some great toys that she's started to play with but all too soon it was bedtime. We got up early and headed northward for Grandma Pam's. Had lots of fun with family and friends all weekend. Lots of food and fun. We had a great time. Ella didn't quite know what to think of all the unwrapping--but she loved all the toys, clothes, cats, food, you name it. Christmas was nice and relaxing just hanging out with Ella's Grandparents and uncles and aunt. We got up early on Tuesday and made our way back home. Amanda had to be back to work at noon so we got back pretty early for her.

There's still more this week. We have the Bowling exchange coming up Thursday night and then a trip to Jeff City for my friend Bryce's wedding Saturday and then our annual New Year's Eve progressive dinner on Sunday night. Man, where does it stop?

Amanda and I love Christmas, we really do, but you know what we love even more? When its OVER. I swear, the last month was a blur. It seems like since about Thanksgiving, all 3 of us have just been so pooped we hit the wall at about 8:30 every night and we are just done. I don't know how in the world to make it clear to midnight on Sunday.

I hope everybody had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
I absolutely love this photo of Ella. It's just so incredible sweet, so full of amazement.

I'm too brain dead to say any more. I survived my training. I feel like I just finished my last final for the semester and I can't think anymore. I was at work from 7 am to 11:30 pm yesterday. I so wish it was Friday already.

A few gems from this training:
In client presentations, attorneys show up and throw up.
Attorneys are solutions running around looking for problems.
Don't be a hotel of lawyers be a law firm.

Wow, my sweetheart is 10 months old today.

Man, I'm just a bundle of random thoughts.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Meeting the Man in Red

We took Ella to NFM for their free photo. I must say not too bad. The girl had just woken up from a nap. She honestly had no idea what hit her. The dress is from Grandma Pam, she picked it up at a craft fair.

Ella gets another chance to visit with Santa this week as he's stopping by day care on Wednesday. I've also heard that he might have time to swing through the Davis' Christmas gathering in Fairfax on Saturday. I certainly hope he's a Northwest fan. Go BEARCATS!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Start of Hell Week

I have so many posts in my head, but never any time to get them out on the keyboard. If I had enough time I would start with getting to see Jolene -- how I miss her and love that we instantly pick back up regardless of how much time has past. I'd comment on Ella's love of sandwich bags and her first visit to see Santa. The girl never knew what hit her, maybe we cheated her or saved us from a meltdown. Who knows. What I really want to write about is meeting Christine McDonald and how amazed, touched and thankful I am that in less than 5 days my friends and family came through to help a very deserving person and her son. I have so many thoughts swirling in my head about that experience, perhaps I can pull them together at some point.

This is the start of my insane week at work, lots of long hours. I won't be seeing my husband or child much this week, so it will be quite tough on me. Maybe my loving husband can put together a post or two because I won't have the time.

Ella is so close to taking those first steps. Is it selfish of me that I hope it doesn't happen this week? I missed seeing her crawl. I really don't want to miss the steps.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

YOU Better Watch Out

YOU Better Watch Out
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella is telling it like it is. I love this photo of her. She enjoyed helping mom and dad decorate the house. She got into the spirit by donning her santa hat, even though it was near 70 degrees the day we decorated. My, how quickly things changed. Now side streets are snow and ice packed and it's chill to the bone cold. I guess it should help get me in the Christmas spirit.

Our Christmas tour starts tomorrow. We're off to Des Moines to see the Bowling side of the family, and an added bonus I get to see my good friend and college roommate for 3 years, Jolene and her family

We had to run a few errands tonight and then came home to pack, but I think we're ready to go. So, off to sleep for me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mmmm...Pumpkin Pie

Enjoying Pumpkin Pie
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella certainly got her taste buds from her dad. If I were eating pumpkin pie, I wouldn't be enjoying it as much as Ella.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good Luck to Uncle Matt

It's a big day for Ella's Uncle Matt as he is coaching his first varsity boys basketball game as head coach tonight. Go Kingsley-Pierson Panthers! We're so proud of him and will be cheering the team on tonight! We really wish we could be there, but we promise to get to a game in the very near future. I can't wait until I have vacation time again! Just over a month to go.

Ella is set for a fun day at day care. When I was washing her hands at drop off, she kept squirming in my arms, and she was pointing and babbling. I turned to see what caught her attention and noticed a large pumpkin sitting on top of the cubbies. Miss Jenny informed us that pumpkin guts was on the menu for today's sensory play time. How I hope they get good pictures of her. We didn't carve a pumpkin this year so this will be a real treat for Ella.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Whirlwind

What a whirlwind four days, but it’s so worth it. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In part because it celebrates the simplicity in life – giving thanks, family, tasty food and football. Thanksgiving also lacks the large production aspect of other holidays, which is why I enjoy it so. It hasn’t been commandeered by retailers. It’s about gathering with your nearest and dearest.

We kicked off Thanksgiving weekend with dinner with the Davis clan in Rock Port and then we drove up to Sioux City where we stayed until Saturday morning when we headed to Omaha for the annual McManigal Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house. (Of course, we spent 6 hours Friday morning shopping with the rest of the crazy people, but that’s another post.)

Ella is a social butterfly. I was worried how Ella would handle our grand tour and all the different faces. Overall, she was a champ and what a social, independent, on-the-go child we have. At the McManigal Thanksgiving, she was checking out everyone and in a house filled with 40 people (20 of which are kids of every age) Ella fit in quite well. She embraced the fact that everyone seemed new and just went with the flow. She didn’t mind who picked her up, although she was partial to my cousin Christy. She also refused to stop. The Energzier bunny could take a lesson from her. There were too many people to meet, too many areas to explore and countless laps to make through the house. I suspect the goal of the numerous laps was to find Gracie, her new favorite friend. Gracie, a 14-year-old Golden Retriever, let Ella nuzzle with her, pull her ears and even ended up in an Ella headlock. I believe that a puppy will be top of Ella’s Christmas list once she is old enough to speak. Her face literally lights up the instant she sees any animal, particularly dogs. It’s so precious and oh so sweet.

We left with one kid and came back with another. It’s amazing in four days how much older she seems. She definitely has become more vocal, and she also is communicating more by pointing to things. Her favorite noise lately is that of jingle bells. We hung a jingle bell wreath on the door of our coat closet. Before we placed in there, we let Ella shake it for a bit. Now, anytime you walk in the living room, she’s pointing up to the wreath indicating she wants to play with it.

I’ll try and get some new pictures posted from this weekend. We took plenty and with all the upcoming Christmas events, we will only be taking more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

9 months

Oh my Ella is now 9-months old. How did that happen? Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital? Weren't we just learning how to survive on just a few hours of sleep? We flipped through pictures tonight from Ella's early days and even from the days before Ella, and it made me nostalgic.

Our neighbors brought Luke over this past weekend to introduce him to my mom, and seeing him next to Ella made me realize how fast this time has gone and how much she's changed. We're bordering on toddlerhood and getting ready to leave infant land behind. We still have a few months. I'm hanging on to those. I know the time will go fast and just to enjoy it as I'll never get any time back and in just a few months I'll be fondly remembering this time.

Ella had her 9-month appointment today. Overall, she's great. She's 21 lbs. 1 oz and is a whopping 28 3/4 inches long. She has six teeth (three on top and three on bottom) and loves her table food. The doc said she's ahead developmentally as she's walking around furniture, pulling to a stand and standing unassisted. The doctor said to get ready for those first steps. The only shot at this appointment was the first portion of the flu shot -- she goes back in a month for the second dose. She did get a finger stick to test her iron. She's not anemic, but is battling a viral infection -- poor thing has a cough that won't go away.

The holidays are quickly approaching and I'm feeling more of the bah humbug spirit than the magic of Christmas. On the drive home Monday, I ran through the list of holiday to-dos and I only felt overwhelmed and stressed. My daily tasks center around getting through the day and doing just enough to survive the next day. I'm not sure when I'm going to squeeze in all the holiday responsibilities in my current schedule. Work is absolutely insane right now with no real light at the end of the tunnel, so tonight I'm blaming my bah humbug attitude on work.

I am excited to share the holidays with Ella and to create new traditions. And as a guilty pleasure, I'm looking forward to listening to Santa on Star 102 in the evenings. It's not Christmas to me unless I spend a few nights baking as I listen to kids calling in to talk to Santa. They may spout off that they want this toy or that toy, but almost each kid ends their talk with a sweet sentiment -- "like I'm thankful for my baby brother or don't forget mom and dad, they've been good too." It's quite heartwarming.

Monday, November 06, 2006 puffs puffs
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella loves to explore the pantry when mom is cooking and forgets to close the doors. Her bottles of puffs are down low, and Ella knows right where to find them. Fortunate for us, she hasn't yet figured out the lid.

Another beautiful weekend is in the books. Saturday we meet Luke -- he's so cute and so little. Later that night Mike and I enjoyed a much needed date. Payton spent Sunday with us. After running some errands, the girls went to the park and then came home to decorate the driveway.

A few stories with Ella and inanimate objects. Her new nickname is the ghost of Jacob Marley. She is passionate about this ring rattle and a string of links connected to it. It cannot be pried from her hands, and she drags it around, clingy and banging throughout the house. It's not so bad, it always gives us a good idea of exactly where she's at and how much trouble she's about to get in to.

Ella is starting to display a new emotion of fear. Recently, a two-foot long stuffed tiger was donated as the new mascot of the Tiger room at day care. Somehow, one of Ella's classmates dragged it into their room. Ella was sitting near the gate when it got dropped off. Miss Lorraine said Ella took one look at it, screamed in her own little way and crawled as fast and as far as she could to get away from it. She isn't afraid to chase an alive, ornery cat, but a stuffed tiger she wants nothing to do with it.

In the same vein, a few weeks ago I brought up from the basement a large bouncy blue ball we had purchased a few years back for Payton. Every kid has one of these balls -- they're the big balls for $2.50 that sit in a large bin at the edge of the toy department in every mass retailer. When Ella first saw it, she didn't know what to think of it. I sat it next to her and I, and she tried to crawl up me as fast as she could. It took some time, but eventually she warmed up to it enough to pat it with her hands before quickly crawling away and turning around equally as fast to see how the ball responded. It was so cute to watch her eye it and figure it out. I think she was intimidated because it was larger than any of her other balls and it moved faster.

She definitely keeps life interesting.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Boy Bundle of Joy

It's a boy -- man Ella is really outnumbered in our neighborhood! Luke Edward was born at 9:09 last night. It was a long day for Liz. She reported to hospital at 6:30 am. He was 20 inches long and 6 lbs 11 oz. Both mom and baby are doing well. We can't wait to meet him and welcome him to the neighborhood. Mike and I are just so excited and happy for Craig & Liz.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
The little ladybug says Happy Halloween to everyone. She has a busy day ahead of her -- trick-or-treating at the federal building, at the firm with mommy and then the tour of the neighborhood with her little mermaid friend, Miss Payton. That is if the weather cooperates. If not, she will help dad pass out treats to all the kids that stop by our house.

This is Mike's favorite holiday, so he is totally excited Me, I just want the candy banished from the house.

Also, happy birthday to Kim. It's a big one this year, so we hope she has a very happy birthday, even though she's not too excited about this birthday. Hopefully, we'll get to celebrate real soon. Also, Baby Wakeman should make his or her grand entrance on Halloween. We are so excited for our neighbors. They are going to be awesome parents, and it's another child to our growing cul-de-sac. Think pink. We need more females in the neighborhood.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Our Anniversary

Four years ago today. Mike and I were married in a beautiful ceremony. So many great memories from that day, but life since has been even sweeter.

Last week, I was talking with a friend, and she said to me after chatting with Mike that, "Mike is so nice and so kind. I hope you know how lucky you are." I told her that I did, but it is always good to be reminded of how good I have it. She then said "because not everyone gets so lucky." On this day and every day, I truly am so thankful for my wonderful, caring husband.

No big celebration tonight -- hard to do in the middle of the week with an 8 month old. We're trying to plan something for next weekend. We only need to figure out what to do.

I'm beat. I have been awake since 3:45 this morning, so I tapped and off to bed. My husband is so understanding (and tired himself) l that I know he won't mind me ending this day early.

Happy four years sweetheart. I love you. Thank you for being you. I believe there is no better match for me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Speed of Life

My first unofficial cinnabon
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Crazy busy is how the past few weeks have been. We've been keeping busy with watching Payton for three overnights (great insight into what it will be like to have two kids), Grandma & Grandpa visiting from Nebraska, my trip to Omaha, and a road trip to Maryville for Northwest's homecoming. I just so sad that my favorite month is coming to an end. Winter and the holidays are quickly approaching, and I'm so not ready for either. What is it, like 10 Saturdays until

Ella is doing great. Right now, she's sacked out on Mike's chest. She looks so peaceful and he's enjoying every breath. She has three new teeth. One top tooth has broken through and the other one is so close to making a appearance.

She also has learned a new skill or rather grandma and grandpa encouraged her to conquer the stairs. Mike and I left Ella in their loving care to run some errands, and when we got back, Ella was so proud to show off her new moves. So now Mike and I shadow her constantly as she travels up the stairs. At least, we're getting some exercise.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Away from my two favorite people

I'm in Omaha tonight for work, away from my two favorite people. I miss them like crazy, but I'm fortunate that it's only for one night. I also am heading back to Kansas City after a lunch meeting with a reporter. I hope to make it back to pick Ella up from day care. I can't wait to see that wonderful smile.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Applefest in Weston

I want that one
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
The family enjoyed a beautiful, sunny fall Saturday at Applefest in Weston. We ended the day with a visit to the Red Barn Farm for apples, pumpkins and cider.

This was our first year to attend the fall festival and we'll definitely go again. I had no clue how big the festival is and how many people attend. We sampled the tasty treats and the kids' activities, and strolled down main street. Overall, we just loved being outside on a beautiful day.

We took Payton with us and it was a day of many firsts for her. She rode in a school bus -- it was the transportation in to town. She also rode a pony for the first time.

Rene has tried repeatedly to get Payton to ride a horse. When we were walking down the hill to the kid's activities, we saw the ponies. I asked Payton if she wanted to ride them and she flatly refused. Instead, she wanted to swing, have her face painted and bead a necklace. As we were relaxing on the grass debating our next move, Payton announced that she wanted to ride the ponies. As we stood in line, I asked Payton if she wanted me to walk along side her and she reminded me more than once that she was a big girl and could do it herself.

The only damper on the day was Mike wasn't feeling too well. His stomach just wasn't right, but he was a trooper all day long. While Payton and I did our thing, Ella and Mike relaxed in the grass. Of course Miss Ella wanted to eat the grass. We enjoyed having Payton around especially Miss Ella. She's all smiles when Payton is playing with her and just loves to watch her every move.

Best quotes from the weekend, both attributed to Payton.

"Ella is my best friend."
--Payton told Rene as they were preparing for the day.

"Amanda, these turkeys can walk, but the turkeys at Thanksgiving -- they can't walk.'
--Payton telling me this as we toured the farm at the Red Barn.

The wisdom of a four year old.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Don't look away

No to mixed veggies
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
I turned away for two seconds to check on an Ebay auction and when I turned back to check on Ella, this is what I saw. How did she create that mess so fast. The bottom picture shows where all the food went. Her message to me: more table food less baby food.

I did win the auction by the way -- this adorable purple winter coat, hat and mittens for $10 (includes shipping). The money I saved should go to my hardwoods fund.

Reason #84 -- Why I want hardwoods

Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Oh, the mess Ella can make and all the more reasons I need hardwoods. I at least need to get a mat for under high chair. Ella gave me a good reminder why it would a wise thing to have.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quickie Thoughts

Amanda says that it has been a while since I have posted, and she's totally right! It was my idea to write this blog and she's been doing all the entries. And I have to say is I'm okay with that. She's obviously a MUCH better writer than I am. I have been reading a blog that enters stuff in a "quickie" style format--here's my takes:

1. Two Words: ELLA RIFIC Ella is doing great. We think we may have cut our first UPPER tooth. She's been very funky when it comes to teeth--two of her bottom teeth broke through and that's been the status quo for what seems like three months now. Who knows when the rest will follow. She woke up this morning at 4:15 or so and she was, how do you say it? WIDE AWAKE. and I'm not saying oh, she was awake and needed her pacifier. She was "lets get on the floor and play, laugh roll around, chase Yoshi until he hisses at me" awake. As cute as that grin and smile is, its like the anti-christ when you see it at 4:15 in the morning and you know that you have a lot more sleep behind you than you have ahead of you once you get her back down. So 30 minutes and 5 oz. of formula later, we finally fell back asleep and probably could have slept until 8 if Daddy wasn't a big meanie and woke me up!

2. My iBook is sick. I have to get it to the Apple Store STAT. But I can't get a stupid reservation at a time that woks for me! I think the motherboard might be fried, but thankfully it hung tight enough for me I could backup all of Ella's pictures off of it.

3. I hope the Chiefs aren't done but they don't look very good right now. The defense is already ranked 4th in the nation--that's one hell of a turnaround, but HELLO? What the hell happened to the offense? Get healthy Trent!

That's it for now! Me too tired to type any more!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quote of the Day

“…they put the kids on the floor and it was like watching infant demolition derby.”

The quote is attributed to an observer watching Lucas and Ella play together.

Ella's first chili experience

Enjoying some chili
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Oh, what fun Ella had and the mess she must have made. I'm thankful I didn't have to clean it up. Although, I am still trying to get the stains out of her shirt.

Ella had another first food experience last night: soft taco. Rene shared an extra one with Ella. She enjoyed it. I think she finds the texture and taste of food fascinating, but I also believe that she likes being included and eating at the same time as everyone else.

Monday, October 02, 2006

From Kittens to Lambs

Ella received her first diploma on Friday. It reads, "Kittens' Room Diploma presented to Ella Bowling for successfully completing all her developmental stages in order to graduate from our infant room." Bonnie, the daycare director and Miss Tanya, her lead teacher, signed the diploma. My sweetheart is no longer a kitten. She's now a lamb.

Today was our first day in the new classroom, and she had a great day. Faith moved up today as well, so at least she went with her buddy. Her new lead teacher is Miss Jenny and she's quite sweet and very energetic. We'll miss Miss Tanya, but we'll still see her at drop offs and pick ups.

We're also experimenting more with table food. She's had quite the sampling of food at daycare. Ella isn't a picky eater. She will eat almost anything that's put in front of her. She had waffles, pancakes, quesadillas, and even chili. Yes, chili. I still don't have the stains out of her clothes from that day. I think she really enjoyed it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fashion Show

So pretty
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
No slowing down in this household. After another busy weekend, which included the Shawnee BBQ, shopping, bachelorette party, couple's baby shower, laundry, a play date and a fashion show, it's somehow Monday again.

The weekend was jammed packed, but we had lots of fun. Things started to slow down Sunday evening, so I decided to do a little fashion show with Ella. Really, I just wanted to get her in some of the beautiful dresses she was given that she either never got the chance to wear or only wore a few times and snap a few pics. I had four dresses I wanted to start with, but we only got two in. The girl just refused to sit still, which I can't blame her. I too don't enjoy getting my picture taken. We'll try more later this week.

Ella had two big highlights for the weekend. She got to meet Lucas, son on Pat and Annie (Mike's college friends). Lucas is the cutest little boy with his big brown eyes and chubby cheeks. Ella and he played together fairly well, that was until she crawled over to him, stole his binky out of his mouth and quickly popped it in her mouth. She then looked over to me like "what ma?" We hope to get the kids together again soon. Granted it only took us 7 months to do this gathering.

Her other big highlight was getting to hang out with Rene and Payton. Rene took Ella for a few hours, so Mike and I could attend our neighbors couple show at Dave & Busters. Baby Wakeman is due in early November, but I suspect the little one will come sooner. I'm hoping for a girl as we already have 3 boys in our cul-de-sac, but we just want healthy.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is the game over yet?

Is the game over yet?
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella looks a little fed up with so much football. Scott snapped this while we were over to watch the Chiefs first game. (I stole this off their web site, but it was too cute not to post.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

She Said Yes

As I was walking out to the car after picking Ella up from day care, I was asking her random questions. How was her day? Why didn't she eat more bottles? Did she play with Faith? Did she miss me? I always give her time to respond, but she always is more interested in playing with her daily report sheet than talking to me. I did ask her one final question before I put her in her car seat. I asked if she was excited to go pick up dad. She instantly smiled and squealed. It was so sweet and of course made Mike's day. The girl is constantly cracking me up.

We seem to have our baby back after her illness. She started to seem more like herself Friday evening. With her feeling better, it meant we could keep our weekend plans that included a trip to Maryville and Fairfax. Mike and I attended his college friend's wedding while Ella hung out with the Fairfax crew. Tacy and Gena were more than happy to keep Ella entertained. Her favorite activity outside of pulling herself up on everything is to knock over stacking cup towers. You build her one and the instant she catches site of it, she zooms over to knock it down. She never got tired of the activity.

I do promise more pictures here soon. We've taken plenty, just need to get them posted.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Baby is Sick

My poor baby is sick. She's been running some pretty high temps up to 104. We picked her up yesterday from daycare and took her straight to the doctor. The doctor said she has a severe viral infection in her throat and to treat with Tylenol and lots of TLC.

Last night was pretty rough. After falling asleep at 7:30ish, she was up again at 11:45 and didn't fall back asleep until 3 am when we took her into our bed. She wanted to sleep, but would only do so if she was being held.

Grandma came over to take good care of Ella, so Mike and I could go to work. It was gut wrenching leaving her this morning. She cried for me and tried to reach out to me when I handed her off. She wanted her mommy and I wanted to hold her. I knew she was in good hands, but I wanted to be there for her.

She's doing better today, but still is battling a fever. She's staying with grandma again tomorrow and hopefully will be back in daycare tomorrow. I hope tonight she sleeps better and Mike and I do as well.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ella's Security Blanket

Our daughter has selected her security blanket of the moment. What a tough choice it had to have been. Lately, she's shown preferential treatment to the grey plush Elephant dubbed "Ellie", the sweet yellow giraffe named "Eugene 2" and "Taggy Bear" that came from the Iowa State Fair. (Yes, we have a sick addiction of naming most of Ella's stuffed animals.) Only one could become Ella's pride and joy and her personal favorite. Of all the soft cuddly toys in Ella's possession, our daughter picks her coarse, hard plastic hair brush as her main security blanket. I fear we have a beauty queen on our hands.

It started Saturday as Mike tried to put her down for a morning nap. Ella grabbed it off the table next to the glider. As she was drifting, Mike tried to gently pry it from her hands. She screamed, so Mike quickly slide it back, and Ella was promptly out. She napped with it again later that day. We have a picture, but it's out of focus since we decided against using the flash.

She displayed her affection for it again Sunday when Mike was rocking her to asleep. Ella wasn't giving in easily. He decided to just lay her down, so she could enjoy some quiet time in her crib. She again was grasping the brush. I came up to check on them, and I discovered Ella quietly sitting up in her crib, entertaining herself with her brush. She actually was brushing her own hair. I was cracking up because she definitely recognized that the object was used on her head, and she was so intent on her task at hand. Granted, she was using the wrong side of the brush. When she caught me watching her, she gave me that wide smile that seemed to say, "Ma, I'm getting bigger, older and smarter, and isn't this great." Yes, yes, it is.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Go Chiefs!

Go Chiefs!
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Thanks goodness football is back. Poor Ella doesn't know what she missed while she was in the womb. Her mother on the other hand, knows all about it.

But, it IS "Red Friday" today and Ella is in her cute Chiefs onsie today and so she is showing her Chiefs pride. I'm going to make sure she is a Chiefs fan through and through!

In other news--we are finally home for the weekend. The house is a mess, the yard is so long from all the rain and sun we have received lately and we just generally need to rest. The last few nights have been fun (we've been out and about) but we have been getting home, putting Ella to bed and going to bed ourselves and then heading out bright and early right after 7:00 headed back to work. Amanda and I need sleep!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Why I love my wife...

In honor of Amanda's birthday today, I have complied a list of why I love her so much. (in no particular order)

-She constantly writes on this blog about how special I am or how good of a husband or father I am, when its truly her who is the amazing one. She never ceases to amaze me with how much she loves Ella and me! She's really the one putting in the work and dealing with the late night fussies. She's doing the laundry, washing bottles, keeping our money straight, always looking out for me, which is a full time job.

-She's never afraid to get her hands dirty. She's grabbed plenty of poopy and urinated diapers and has been able to just suck and up and deal with it because she's knows she can always just wash her hands later.

-She loves the water. I don't know how many times we've discussed living either on or near the water. There's always something peaceful about it. And Amanda knows that the water is where it's at.

- She's just so darn peaceful when she sleeps. Whenever I see her sleeping, I can't help but want to either jump in bed with her or make her share the couch. But there is NOTHING more peaceful than seeing her sleeping together with Ella. They both are just in their own separate dream worlds, but part of me knows they are both dreaming of spending time with the other.

-She has this big freckle on her leg that I think is just awesome. I know its weird, but I just love it.

-She loves Mexican food. It's a rare occasion that we don't want Mexican food. Whether its El Toro's, Margarita's or Jose Pepper's, we can't turn it down. Throw in a pitcher of 'rita and we are really in trouble.

-She wants everything with her name on it to be exceptional. Now, granted she KNOWS not everything will be perfect, but she expects quite a bit of herself and her work and that keeps pushing her.

-She is a wonderful mother. Plain and simple. She knows when to give in and she knows when to be tough. Now, granted Ella's 6 months old. She doesn't need much tough love. She would gladly give everything she has just to spend all her time with Ella. Amanda is just so beautiful together with Ella. I'm smiling so big right now just thinking and typing about it!

Amanda, I love you so much, and I don't mind typing it here and having everyone read it. You are a such a wonderful woman, a beautiful wife and an incredible mom. Thanks for making my life whole. I really can't do it with out you. Thanks for keeping me honest.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


I am an over packer. I always have been and probably always be. Mike and I swear every trip back to Sioux City that we will take less the next time, but yet we never do. It's primarily my fault, but I always seem to have a reason. The reason this weekend is the wacky weather. It's suppose to be fairly cool and Ella doesn't have that many fall clothes yet, so I'm struggling with what to take. I also then wonder what if it unexpectedly warms up, then what will she wear. If it's cool in the house at night, she'll need different pjs than if it's warm. See my dilemma. Ugh. It's almost 10pm and there's still so much to pack.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Outside of just seeing my family, we're going to Art Splash, the best summer festival Sioux City has ever had. I also get my mom's burritos, so very yummy. These are so good, I even remember the first time we ever had them.

Ella has not found dreamland tonight. I fear it may be a very long night in the
Bowling household.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Every year it rains

No cars broke down. No one was stranded on the interstate. Yet, one thing we can't escape is the darn rain. I swear every time we get together for Rene's birthday it rains. It doesn't matter our plans, the rain always finds us and makes driving treacherous. Typically, the rain hits before the evening has even begun, but this year it waited until later in the evening. I foolishly mentioned at one a point in the evening, "at least it's not raining." I knew at that moment I had invited the rain to join the party.

As we opened the doors to depart Tom Fooleries, the steady stream of rain mocked us. We had to dash through it to get to the parking garage. TF was the last stop of the evening, so it didn't matter that we were drowned rats. Although, the drive home was quite an experience. In those times, I always wonder why I don't keep a pair of my glasses in my car. It certainly would have upped my confidence on the drive home.

Only 3 more work days until a 3-day weekend. Yahoo!! I can't wait. We are making the trip to Sioux City to see my family and to celebrate our family's birthday week. My brother Matt is the 6th, I'm the 7th, my dad was the 8th and the day my adopted brother Justin first came to live with us was the 9th. Quite the week for my family!

Friday, August 25, 2006

No Deja Vu please

This weekend is shaping up to be eerily like last year and I'm concerned. Last year, this was the weekend that Rene and I were stranded at 1:30 in the morning on I-70 just east of downtown near Manchester -- not a good place to be. This weekend, we are again planning to celebrate Rene's birthday Saturday night, but this isn't the only similarity to last year.

Last year, Mike and I kicked off the weekend with a Jack Johnson concert at Starlight (we had Mike's work tickets). Tonight, we had Mike's company tickets to a Ben Harper concert at Starlight. (We didn't end up going, rather we gave them back so another co-worker who is a slightly bigger fan that us could take his finance for her birthday.) Then Saturday morning, Mike was off to his fantasy football draft. Tomorrow morning at 10 am, Mike is off again to the same fantasy football draft and Saturday night is once again girls night.

While the overall structure of the weekend is quite similar, I'm confident that the events won't repeat as we've changed a few details. I certainly don't want to tempt fate. First, I'm not taking the car rather I'm taking the Vue. Mike's not driving to the draft -- he's catching ride. We skipped the concert. Ella and I are hopefully having a low key day at home. Please, please, let's hope that none of the cars break down. While it's a memory Rene and I will never forget and one we can now laugh about heartily, I'd prefer not to relive it for amusement.

As for Ella, she's just a joy, nothing makes a long work day improve instantly than her sweet smile and energetic welcome screams. One minor concern is her formula intake isn't where it should be. Last week, her acid reflux was the culprit. This week, it's got to be a tooth bothering her. Her new trick for the week is waving. She's a little stubborn with the amount of waves she dispenses. She first displayed it for me as she waved goodbye to one of her teachers this week. It's a little herky jerky but she gets that arm a moving.

Mike got the little one down rather easily and I hear the shaking of margarita's. So thankful it's Friday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hey Mom, don't forget have ANOTHER son who enjoys the Royals too, ya know.

I sure feel special.

Ella's favorite hobby

Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella could spend hours in the pool. We hit the pool again this past weekend with Payton in tow. Both girls had a fabulous time. Payton kept asking when Ella would wake up from her afternoon nap, so we could go to the pool. This is the same girl that wouldn't go near the water last summer, even if you bribed her with candy and a toy.

As for Ella, she has no fear of the water, which makes her dad very happy yet causes a sliver of worry in me. I think a little fear might not be such a bad thing. She doesn't even flinch if water slashes in her face. She would probably splash around all afternoon if we would let her. She even tried to crawl out of our grasp and never panicked if her face touched the water. Maybe, we'll be able to squeeze in another trip before the pool closes for the summer.

Another developmental milestone, the girl pulled herself up using the bottom stair. She definitely is a mover and a shaker. There's no taking your eye off her, who knows where she'll go.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ma Ma

We're continuing to ride this crazy development train. One day after showing off her mobility skills, she tackles language development by uttering "ma ma" and other two syllable sounds. I'm realistic enough to know that she wasn't saying it in reference to me, but the girl has discovered the finer art of babbling.

Another exciting highlight for today was our first Parent Teacher Conference. I chuckled when I was first asked to sign up for a conference time, but in reality it's a great idea. As most parents with kids in child care know, you don't linger at drop offs and pick up times. Inevitably, you are running late to work or you're just want to head home that all you do is grab your child and go home. Another reason is we only have 10 minutes for drop offs and pick ups because of the limited number of parking spots for the daycare parents. While I learn a lot about her day in a few short minutes, you don't have the time to talk long-term development and overall how your kid is doing at daycare.

So how is she doing? Absolutely wonderful. She's a social child who is meeting all of her development milestones. Her teacher Jarrett walked us through their development checklist. We also learned that since Ella is mobile, she'll probably start transitioning to the Lambs room in the very near future. I'm not ready for all this change. I know I have no choice, rather I should just embrace this. Faith from her room will probably move at the same time as her, giving her a familiar face in the room. As Mike and I were leaving, he commented about how happy he is with the center. I must agree.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Right out the gate

A big development in the Bowling household: We have a CRAWLER!! It's official -- not inching along, not scooting. She's on all fours moving each in sequence. I can't believe it.

The worst thing is I missed it. I ran to the dry cleaners. I seriously was gone for 10 minutes max. Mike sat Ella down to move the jumperoo closer to the kitchen, so he could finish cleaning up from dinner. Ella just decided it was time to crawl. Her motivation: YOSHI! She's so fascinated with him. Mike called me immediately on my cell phone. I was so excited, yet I started to cry. I missed witnessing a major development, all for a silly pair of pants.

She did show off her new skill to me once I was home. She's so methodical about every move, but she definitely gets it. I sat there and cried, amazed at her progress and hoping to freeze time, so I can enjoy her more.

My sweet, adorable 6-month-old baby is changing so much. At her appointment on Monday, she was 18 lbs 6 oz and 25 3/4 inches long. The doc again commented on what a happy, healthy baby we have and to just enjoy every precious moment. How, I'm trying.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Holding back and giving in

So, how in the world do you do it? How do you let your child lay there in their crib screaming for love and affection? Its the latest in the saga of Sleep vs. Ella Bowling.

Its the weirdest thing. A couple of weeks ago we were enjoying a good evening routine, we would give her the final bottle for the evening and down she went, and she would sleep until 5:30-6 or so. Then one night she slept good (outside of the occasional wake up and fall back asleep after Mom or Dad comes in and finds my pacifier for me.) She slept SO GOOD in fact, that she didn't wake up until 9:30 in the morning! (It was a Saturday). While Mom and Dad enjoy her sleeping so good, we had no idea that it would signal the end of her falling asleep easy. Since then, she's just been a bear to put down, and we have had to resort to the fun "let her cry it out" and visit her every 5 minutes or so routine. Lemme tell you, its FUN.

I'm very sure Amanda and I aren't the first and certainly won't be the last set of parents to have to go through this. I think the most entertaining part of the whole deal is that every time we go in there, poor Ella is in a different place in her crib! When that girl is unhappy, she is on the move big time.

Hopefully things will get better, and I know they will, it will just take time........hopefully.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Splish Splash

Splish Splash
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
As a couple, Mike and I aren't very decisive people. We're typically starving by time we figure out what to eat. If we decide to eat out, then it's another lengthy process filled with, "I don't know, what do you want."

So today, we knew we wanted to do a family activity, but it took us until 3:30 pm before we finally settled on taking Ella to the Shawnee pool. What a smart decision. We had the best time. With only being there a little longer than an hour, we got our money's worth. How could we not from the lazy river to the water slides and the kiddy pool? Time well spent and wonderful memories created.

Next year, we're so getting a pool pass.

Final note, my little one is only 5 months old for a few hour more hours. How can that be! She's growing up so fast.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Daycare's pool

Daycare's pool
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Another cute picture from daycare. I smile every time I look at it. I love and so appreciate that they take so many photos of the kids and share them with the parents. The pics also decorate the walls of their room.

Playing well with others

Playing well with others
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella probably didn't get a gold star this day. I don't know how happy Faith was to share this rubbermaid container with Ella.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chatter Bugs

Here's Ella hanging out with her friends, Surkari and Faith, at daycare. I can only imagine what they're babbling about. Mike joked that Ella's asking about who they plan to draft in the first round of their fantasy football league. Yeah, maybe if it was a group of boys. The photo just cracks me up, seeing her socializing with friends.

A few quick highlights, Ella is definitely moving forward. She is our own little inch worm. It's amazing how fast she's gone from pushing her butt in the air to resting on her hands and knees, to now slowing inching forward. I'm so not ready for baby proofing and baby gates.

She also demands to hold her own bottle at daycare. She still lets us feed her at home, but daycare says she drinks more and doesn't fuss as much if she can hold it herself. She definitely has an independent streak to her. I know where she gets that from.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Water Baby

Water Baby
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella had her first pool experience this weekend. Our neighbor Brooke and her son Tommy invited Payton. Ella and I over for a swim. Ella completely dug the water. Mike couldn't have been happier.

Ella loved to splash her hands up and down, and her legs hardly stopped kicking. She probably spent a good 1/2 hour in the pool in momma's arms just watching the bigger kids play. If our stomach's hadn't requested lunch, we probably would have stayed longer. Ella promptly crashed in an afternoon slumber and dreamt of her water experience for the next two hours. I imagine a portable pool is in our future. One small problem -- no level piece of lawn.

Have another bite Ella

Have another bite Ella
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Payton spent Sunday with us and as usually provided lots of laughs. She was always asking how she could help or what Ella needed, so she jumped right in at feeding time. She couldn't wait to serve up some peaches to Ella.

Payton and I also had a discussion about why Ella can't do certain things like talk or walk. We discussed how Payton could help teach Ella those things. She then proudly announced that she would also teach Ella about putting on her own clothes, make-up and purses. And yes, this girl is not quite 4. It was too cute.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy Girl

I am the mom to just the happiest little girl. She cracks me up. Her smile seriously knocks me over, it just lights up her whole face. She literally beams. I feel so blessed.

Monday (I know I'm slow, but it's been a busy week.) She stayed home with Mike as he recuperated from the long wedding weekend. When I walked in the door and caught her eye, she squealed with excitement that mom was home. Her legs were kicking, her arms swaying. I couldn't wait to scoop her into my arms. I've never seen have that kind of reaction. It was the best. I felt so special, especially since it was almost 7:30. I think she's entering a "I'm a momma's girl stage," and I must admit I like it.

Although, a co-worker of mine paid Mike the sweetest compliment. She said that she's so touched when she sees men with their kids and they seem like true naturals. I couldn't agree more. Mike is so great with Ella. He's always jumping right in and doing anything he can for her, and they do share a very special bond. I imagine it won't take long before I'm knocked off the pedestal. For now, I'm enjoying my position.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Party Girls

Party Girls
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
What a beautiful and fun wedding! Exhausted, but my little brother is married and we have a wonderful new member to our family. What great memories! Any night that ends with me smoking my brothers and my husband in go carts is a good night. Bonus points for me too, I was in my tea-length dress trying not to flash anyone and keeping my feet from slipping off the gas pedal.

Ella did great. She was a trooper getting passed back and forth, and was a constant charmer! Plus, she looked positively adorable.

More later, plus more photos.

Congrats to Justin and Brandi! Enjoy your honeymoon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So Tough

Man, my heart is breaking this morning. Today was a new first for Ella. She cried when I handed her off to Liz and as I turned to head out the door. Her face just screamed, "mom, don't go." She definitely recognized that she was staying and mom was leaving. I was devastated. My heart plummeted. Bonnie, the daycare director, could see in my face that I wanted to grab her, comfort her and run. She intervened by taking Ella from Liz, walking her deeper into the play area and quietly saying, "Amanda, you just have to go. She'll be fine."

It took all my strength not to cry as I walked out to the car (or as I write this.) My heart always broke a little at drop offs but today just stunk! It was a new emotion for me, and one I'll probably have the pleasure of experiencing multiple times over.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Getting my 8 glasses

That hit the spot
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Glasses fascinate Miss Ella. She loves to grasp them, pull them to her mouth and take a swig. She thinks she's so grown-up.

Not to worry there's nothing but water in the glass.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

C'mon Guys, I'm not happy

C'mon Guys, I'm not happy
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella isn't typically this unhappy, but I just love this photo of her.

Off to find Mike a new outfit for my brother's rehearsal dinner.

Took our first family photo this weekend for our church directory, and $57 later, we're not happy. I think I may need to cancel the order and try another time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My husband, what a good man

My husband is so good to me. I am fortunate enough that I can say this on almost any day, but Tuesday night he was a saint.

I woke up around 4 am Tuesday morning with my stomach sending me an eviction notice. Something I had eaten the night before was not welcomed any longer by my digestive system. So I spent the next hour commuting to my bed and the bathroom. I’ll spare the gory details, but I can appreciate how my daughter feels with stuff coming from every end. If I had any sick days to use, I most definitely would have spent the day in bed, but without any remaining for the rest of the year, I dragged myself to work. I also had a “must attend” off-site, brainstorming meeting with our firm’s communications company in the morning.

After making it through a very long day, Ella and I returned home to watch the minutes tick by until Mike got home. I optimistically hoped she would find enjoyment in us laying in bed playing games. After multiple tickle, talking and singing sessions, she made it clear it was time for a change in scenery. Mike came home to find us in the living room with her in the jumperoo and me curled in the fetal position in front of it. He then banished me to the couch and handled all our evening responsibilities. Unfortunately for him, it was not Ella’s best night. Our normally happy, giggling little girl was MIA. Her other bottom tooth appears to be pushing through and causing her great pain. Nothing pacified or calmed her for long. After 3 to 5 minutes, she’d start up again. Mike tried the exersaucer borrowed from our neighbors, frozen bagel, teething toys, a bottle, rocking, cereal, but she was just miserable.

I felt extremely guilty, but so relieved to just relax and veg. I laid there at watched tv, something I almost forgot existed! He ordered me to bed around 9:30. I attempted to help him clean up, but he heckled me and put me to bed. So thanks sweetheart for letting me rest, allowing me to shake that nasty bug. Fever disappeared by Wednesday.

As for the little one, she’s now 5 months old as of July 14. She's a riot and just a joy. It's so much fun watching her grow and develop. Tonight, she got a taste of sweet potatoes and just loved it. Takes after her uncle Scott, my brother.

I am still amazed at her existence. I wonder if I'll ever really process it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yum Yum

Yum Yum
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
So much big news around here, but work for both of us is insane.

Will post more later, but a few big highlights

*She has a tooth and another one is not far behind. These are here to stay.
*Mike and I spent the first night away from her. It was fun, but I'd rather have her with me.
*She loves to gum frozen bagels.
*She weighs close to 17 pounds.
*I lost the nail on my big toe nail. Man, does it hurt.
*Less than two weeks to my brother's wedding, another reason life has been so crazy.

Off to work.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

She knows what she likes

Evening Cruise
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
A new picture of the family, taking our poor daughter on another terrifying boat ride. This is from our evening cruise during the 4th of July weekend.

Ella is doing great, but we've had some feeding issues the past two days. She downright refuses to take a bottle at daycare, but does great at home. At daycare, she gets fussy, pushes the bottle away and just cries, but when given cereal, she gobbles it up. I think she only had 10 ounces of formula Monday and Tuesday during daycare. Yet, when we got home, she attacks the bottle. She drank 15 ounces of formula last night between 6 and 9:30. So, she's getting plenty of nutrition on a daily basis, but is cluster eating at home. I'm beginning to wonder if she associates cereal with daycare and bottles with home.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I pulled an Amanda

Background: As a child, I was very clumsy. I always seemed to be dropping things, tripping over my own feet, you get the picture. Well, when anyone would do a clumsy act, my family started calling that you pulled an "Amanda." (A great builder of self-confidence, I know.) A few of my more significant clumsy acts included flipped over an entire large pizza as I tried to tear away the pizza box, and spilling a full bottle of creme de mint on new carpet.

Well, this week I definitely pulled an Amanda. The pediatric office finally gave Ella a prescription of amoxicillin for her horrible cough. I was walking down the hallway to give her a dose on Thursday morning and went to shake the bottle. Well, I quickly learned that the lid wasn't on tight. So, her pink, bubble gum flavored medicine ended up being dumped all over the carpet in the hallway. What a fun mess it was to clean up. Of course, it didn't really clean up. Mike tried as best he could. I knew having a kid would leave a mark on our house. I figured it would be the kid not me leaving the mark.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What I did during my 4th of July weekend. . .

Party Pooper
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Four days away from work and four days to spend with my girl and my husband, oh what fun we had.

It was a relaxing weekend. We divided our time between being lazy at home and camping with the Bowling/Davis crew at Pomona. Okay, not so much camping, rather Ella's first RV experience. Ella did great. When the heat got to be a bit much for her, we'd escape to the cool comforts of the air conditioning now and then. She also endured a boat ride on ole yeller. It meant a lot to Mike to have Ella in that boat. Another sweet memory tied to the historic yellow boat. I doubt Larry expected when he purchased the boat many, many years ago that his first grandchild would enjoy that boat.

Ella also was entertained by her cousins Tacy and Gena. Both are very eager for Ella to grow up, so she can play with them. They are such sweet girls and provided endless enjoyment as well.

We only stayed one night, and Ella slept so well. Mike and I honestly expected a marathon evening, but she did great in an unfamiliar setting. We considered staying another night, but home is such a comfort zone that we headed back after dinner on Monday.

Ella continues to grow like a weed. I so enjoy watching her mind learn new things. Right now, she loves to roll from her back to her stomach. She practiced her skill quite a bit this weekend. She was rolling now and then before this weekend, but always got frustrated because she couldn't free her arm. She has that skill mastered. In part because she's practicing so much in her sleep. Now, she needs to learn to roll the other way, so mom and dad don't have to wake from their slumber to do it for her. Over the alternative to listening to her scream, I'll drag myself out of bed.

Speaking of bed, that's where I need to be.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The advertising industry is a changin

And you better be on top of it if you want to keep up. My little nugget for today. Probably more of mental note, but thanks for reading!

Monday, June 26, 2006

My first taste of cereal

Yum Yum
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
We rebelled and gave Ella cereal. The doc suggested waiting another two weeks. We, Ella included, were ready to give it a try. More ended up on her chin than in our belly, which is what we expected. Ella certainly understood that when the spoon came near her mouth to open wide. She just couldn't keep her tongue from pushing the food out, but she sure seemed to like the taste of it.

My mom got to witness her first bite and so lovingly photographed every yummy bite. Grandma also got some quality time with her granddaughter. Brian and she kicked Mike and I out for an evening, so they could spoil her. Mike and I dragged ourselves to the Legends out by the race track, to enjoy a good meal and much needed conversation. We ended the evening by meeting up with the Comers, who were out celebrating their 6th year anniversary (Congrats to them!) for a few drinks.

Sunday, Miss Payton came over and spent the night with us. It gave Mike and I a very small glimpse into what it might be like to attempt to get two kids ready in the morning. Everything went so smoothly and the kids slept well, so I know that will never happen again. We both were pulling out of the garage just slightly after 7 am. That rarely happens with just Ella. Miss P was a doll. She was so helpful, always asking me what Ella needed and how she could help. She picked out Ella's clothes for today, brushed her hair, threw away dirty diapers, and everything in between. She was such a big help!

It's hard to believe another weekend has come and gone.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Check me out!

Ella & the Bumbo Seat!
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
"What in the sam-scratch is Ella sitting on?" The answer: The bumbo seat, chair, floatation device, I don't know. All I know is it has the name Bumbo, and its just *the* hottest new fashion accessory. In fact, I just saw Paris Hilton sitting in one the other day.

But what it really is, is a very cool chair that "miss thang" can sit upright in and she can just look all around. Its good for her neck muscles and its made of a firm, but soft rubbery (flubber?) substance.

Again, "so what?"

Apparently there is 3 page waiting list for these freaking things down at Toys R Us.

Seriously. The black market for these things is incredible. We got ours though a source who only wanted to be known as "Fat Tony".

Okay, so I know this makes us goofy parents always wanting the latest and greatest thing for our daughter, but, she does seem to like it.

Even if our source had to knock off a couple of people to get it. It was so worth it to see the smile on her face.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

From Daddy's Little Girl

Daddy and me
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Happy first Father's Day, daddy.

Thanks for being such an amazing dad. For only being a parent for four months, I'd think you're doing a fabulous job, especially since I can be a bit difficult to figure out sometimes -- I hear I get that trait from my mom. You're definitely setting the standards high for any future boyfriends. Yes, I know I'm not allowed to have one until I'm at least 25.

In a short time, we're created so many wonderful memories. My favorites are the simple moments like being silly with you while we sit on the chaise. Who knew playing our games of touching noses and who has a longer tongue could be so much fun.

A few requests, promise me you'll never stop singing to me -- although you could add some new ones to your set list. I love falling asleep in your arms as you sing me to sleep. Mom was right, there's no better way to fall asleep than on your chest.

We'll work on your fashion sense. You do a good job getting me dressed in the morning, but it's a good thing mom picks out my clothes. Just remind her to also set out my socks as well.

You're made me many promises and pledges, and I won't hold you to every last one. Outside of loving me forever, all I ask is you keep my diaper dry, my belly full and mom sane -- the world seems to spin a little smoother when that happens.

Well dad, I'm dictating this to mom, but she's telling me it's bed time. I have so many wonderful things to say about you, but know above all that I love you so very much and I couldn't have asked for a better dad.

Your little girl

Friday, June 16, 2006

Father's Day

Father's Day
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Poor Mike is having a crappy day, so I had to share this with him a few days early. Daycare put this together, and I think it's just the sweetest thing. It was waiting for me when I went to visit her at lunch.

Mike loved it, and I hope for a moment forgot what a bad day it has been.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Originally uploaded by mbowling.
What a sweet daddy and daughter moment. I captured this over the weekend. Ella seems to prefer Mike to me at naptime and bedtime. He has a knack for getting her to fall asleep fairly quickly.

Although tonight, she's laying with me in the chair. She hasn't been in the best of moods tonight, which is understandable considering she got her 4-month shots today. The poor thing is just lethargic and wants to be held. I was more than happy to oblige her. She is running a low-grade fever as well. She was a champ at her appointment. She cried once she felt the first stick, but fell asleep once we were in the car.

Overall, the doctor says she's doing great and growing at good rate (her weight was 15 pounds 1 oz.) -- again we have a happy, healthy, adorable little girl. I feel so blessed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Couch Potatoes

Couch Potatoes
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
What a wonderful weekend! Outside of getting the Vue serviced, we had no plans this weekend, no schedule to keep, no places to be. Every weekend should be like this. Of course, our house is still messy, laundry isn't quite completed, and nothing was crossed off my to-do list, but we relaxed, we laughed, and we hung out. Outside of floating on a boat all day, it was pretty great weekend.

Holding My Own

Mike just called me downstairs. I went down to find Ms. Ella holding her own bottle. I let out a shot of awe, which caused her to pull the bottle out. She then turned to me and shot me a slightly annoyed look, like I was crazy for getting so excited over something so small and distracting her.

Lately, she's been putting her hands on the bottle, but this was the first time Mike pulled his hands away and the bottle stayed. She doesn't have actual control of the bottle, but it's a small step into her development. She also is babbling away these days. Her and I spent a good part of the day yesterday laying around and talking. She can hold her own in any conversation. I imagine she gets her gift for gab from me. The odd thing is we've noticed she talks more when she's laying down.

I am suppose to be looking for dinner recipes, so back to the reason why I'm on the computer.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Peeking Through

It's official, Ella has a tooth that's trying to push through. It's awfully early for this. Daycare and my mom had suspected that she was beginning to teethe. She has been gnawing on her hands frequently, beginning to drool more and taken a liking to the cold teething rings. Sunday night, Mike and I were finally able to get a good look in her mouth and saw a tiny white tip pushing through her top gum. Yes, her top. Most babies get their bottom ones first. Not Ella, she wants to be different.

I wasn't exactly sure if what we saw was a tooth. It's not like she lets us leisurely gawk at it, but daycare confirmed it yesterday. I'm not ready for this. I want to freeze time. I'm just in awe of how much she's changing every day. It hit home this morning when I saw Ella next to a 7-week old at her daycare. Anna started today and Ella towered over her. How can it be that this is Ella's 5th week at daycare and next week she's 4-months old?

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Year Ago

I'm a little solider
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
One year ago, Mike and I learned about Miss Ella’s existence. I took the pg test on a Sunday evening, even though Mike and I said we'd wait until the morning. I was impatient and had to know if my instinct was right. My, what a year!

Here’s another photo from this weekend. Ella was hanging out in the boppy pillow while we got prepared for our boating adventure. I changed the boppy cover to fit with the theme of the weekend. This photo cracks me up. What a doll.

Saving my life

Saving my life
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Too tired to write anything -- weekend was good. Ella liked the boat, but as any kid hated the lifejacket. Cried until the boat took off and then was content, that is until the boat stopped. The parents loved spending the weekend near and on the water. Ella was so excited to be there that she forgot how to sleep. More later.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


My favorite new song by the Dixie Chicks:

They didn't have you where I come from - Never knew the best was yet to come -- Life began when I saw your face -- And I hear you laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved -- Is forever enough, if forever enough -- How long do you want to be loved - Is forever enough, 'cause I'm never never givin' you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep -- to hold you close and feel your breath on me. Tomorrow there'll be so much to do -- so tonight I'll drift in a dream with you ....

As you wander through this troubled world -- in search of all things beautiful -- you can close your eyes when you're miles away -- an hear my voice like a serenade....

Blissful Sleep

Sweet Ella slept so wonderful last night. She went down at 9:45 after a shower, a little bit of a bottle and some cuddling time with dad. And get this, she slept until 5:10. A, WHO HOO!!!

Mind you, I still haven't learned my lesson. I didn't crawl into bed until nearly 11. I did wake up a few times concerned that she hadn't woke me up, but I resisted running to her room because I knew I would wake her. When I went to her at 5, she was at the end of the crib with her feet in the air, propped up against the side of the crib. How that was comfortable, I'll never know. Tonight, I'll be looking for the repeat button.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Drop Offs

I hate Monday drop-offs. Yes, I realize today is Tuesday, but for me, it felt like a Monday. I don't enjoy turning my daughter over on a normal day. It's especially hard after spending three relaxing days with her. She doesn't seem to mind, but I hate it. Today, I had to do it twice, since I left her blanket in the car. I love to torture myself.

The emptiness hits hard once I crawl back in the car and my eyes glimpse into the back seat and see an empty spot where my once babbling (okay sometimes screaming) daughter was just a few seconds ago. My heart just falls like a heavy brick. I quickly call Mike for reassurance. He reminds me that Ella is in good hands and it's good for me to go to work. I know he's right. By time I'm settled in front of my computer, I am focused on my work, which helps the day go faster. I never forget about her. Impossible to do as I am surrounded by pictures of her.

Friday will again be here before we know it. We're looking forward to this weekend as we're spending it with Mike & Jen at their lake house. I can't wait to see what Ella thinks of the boat and the water. I'm sure she'll hate the infant life vest. If anything, it will be interesting with two infants, a toddler and two dogs.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My friend the kangroo

My friend the kangroo
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
It's 9:45. Mike is at a Royal's game and my precious daughter is asleep in her crib. Why am I on the computer? I should be in bed, in the shower or at least painting my toes. But here I am, typing away on the computer. I'm pathetic. Where's my to-do list? Maybe that will remind or motivate me to get off this thing.

The little lady is doing great and is such a happy baby. Her wide toothless smiles melt my crazy work day away. I felt gipped and disappointed the first few weeks at daycare. When I picked her up, I got nothing -- no smile, no sparkle in the eye. I wanted some sort of acknowledgment that I was mom and I was special. Well, late last week, my wish was granted. As I walked in to the room, she focused on me and broke out into a wide beaming smile. At that moment, man, life was good. Today, I heard her fussing as I walked into the center and as I wound my way back to her room, I knew she wasn't having her best afternoon. I entered her room, called out to her, caught her eye and her cries stopped and again that beautiful smile. Hands down, the best moment of my day.

The picture is her latest source of endless enjoyment. Grandma spoiled her with a jumperoo and man is that kid happy. The instance you place her in it and she makes eye contact with the orange kangaroo, she is all smiles. It's positively adorable.

I have a shower calling out to me and nail polish that desperately needs to go on my toes. I am so excited about having a three-day weekend with my two favorite people. It can't get here fast enough.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Shower Fun

Shower Fun
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
No time to recap our past week right now. It was crazy busy with Mike’s birthday party and Ella’s baptism. Definitely, a memorable and meaningful weekend especially since so many family and friends were with us. Monday rolled around too quickly giving us no time to recover from the weekend. Work offers no reprieve as our firm's annual report is due to the printer in a week, and as the token writer/proofreader on staff, I'm swamped.

Until I can do a longer post, enjoy this photo of Ella and daddy in the shower. Showers are so much easier than baths, and Ella actually seems to prefer shower time.

I could spend all my time away from her staring at her pictures, but work gets in the way. I feel so blessed to be her mom and to have such a supportive husband.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

There She Blows

Poop flies. Quite far and quite fast. I didn't know this until last night. I got a quick lesson in the speed of poop when it's propelled by some mighty potent gas. Ella's gas acts a turbo booster. Now if we could only harness this as an alternative to rising fuel costs.

It started as a typical diaper change after a bowel moment. She was content, her diaper was messy and stinky. I had a clean diaper positioned underneath the dirty one, and I was trying to work quickly. My left hand held her legs in the air. The right cleaned her up. I paused for one quick second to brush hair out of my face. I'm right handed, so naturally I used that hand. When in that second, Ella finished cleaning out her intestines and she let one fly. Oh my, what a site! And what a mess! Her uncles would have been so proud.

I let out a blood curdling scream. I had never seen runny BMs fly in front of my face. Her poop easily traveled four feet before landing on the diaper stack and dripping down to the carpet. She also coated everything in between -- picture frames, wipe box, toys, changing table, changing pad. My loud and shocked reaction didn't startle Ella -- she was completely content. Mike raced up to the stairs to find me still holding her legs in the air while laughing so hard I couldn't make a noise. It didn't take him long to surmise the situation. He was a little bewildered, but sprung into action cleaning everything.

What a memorable evening. It's one I'll never forget, but one I hope to never repeat. I even have photos of the poop-stained carpet, so I can tease Ella about this incident for years to come. Maybe now is the time to consider a shorter hairdo.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sound the Alarm

Poor Ella, on her very first day at day care, they had a fire drill. Luckily, an alarm wasn't sounded, they just announce it over the speaker system in the day care. Can you imagine how quick a loud obnxious alarm would scare those kids?

Overall, Ella did great on her first day. I saw her at lunch and she was having fun. We get a report at the end of each day. It outlines when her diaper was checked, when and how much she ate, times when she napped, what skills she worked on and the other activities they did during the day. Outside of the fire drill, she went on a buggy ride, got an infant massage, did tummy time, played with bubbles and listened to kids' songs. She was wore out from her new daily routine that she was dead to the world around 10:30 last night.

I survived dropping her off. Mike went with me. I didn't break down, but my eyes welled with tears. We did the hand off relatively quickly for my sake and it seemed to work. My mom sent me flowers to brighten my day, which helped and was so thoughtful of her.

Today seems harder than yesterday. I was so focused on just getting through Monday, and once we did, I felt such relief. That was until the dread of dropping her off again hit. I realized we have to do this every day, and each day it will hurt. It will get easier or so they say. As Mike says, who exactly is "they?"

Friday, May 05, 2006

My First Day

I survived. Granted I only worked from 9 to 2:45, but I made it through and with no significant tears. I forgot what great people we have in our department. Not only did they greet me with kind words and warm smiles, and indulged me by listening to Ella stories, but they also had a bag of homemade cookies and an arrangement of flowers. How sweet of them.

Ella also had a good day. She was in good hands. Her thanks to Rene were three dirty diapers. Poor Rene! Payton also had a ball hanging out with Ella, and I heard was a big help. We'll find out Sunday as we're watching Payton for the first time sine Ella was born.

Monday will be harder, but its not today or tomorrow, so I can avoid thinking about it for now.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One Day Left

Look ma my tongue
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Tomorrow, or actually today, is my last day of maternity leave. I cannot believe it is coming to an end. It went too quickly. When she was born, May seemed an eternity away. Time is going by too quickly. What saddens me is I now only have weekends with my daughter and holidays until next year. That thought completely depresses me, yet makes me realize how precious that time is.

Our plan for today is to hang out at home and just enjoy each other. We've been busy running errands getting ready for next weekend when Mike turns 30 and Ella gets baptized. Today will be a much more relaxed day. We do plan to visit her day care again today. Yesterday's visit went fine. It was short. Her teachers both held her and interacted with her. Ella seemed comfortable in their care and I know she'll be well taken care of, but I doubt it will make next week any easier.

On to happier news, Ella did a partial roll yesterday. We were playing on the floor, and I stood up to grab a toy. She was squirming around and managed to get herself from her back to her stomach. She wasn't too happy once she got on her stomach because her arms were pinned underneath her. I was so amazed and proud of her.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sweet Laugh

Boy, did we get lucky. Sunday night after unpacking the car from our road trip to Sioux City, Mike and I were hanging out with Ella, making her laugh or maybe she was making us laugh. Anyway, she was cooing and smiling up a storm. Mike decided she was just being too darn cute, so he decided to preserve the moment with the video camera. We were just playing away while he was recording when all of a sudden we heard the sweetest laugh. Our heads swiveled around to look at each completely shocked that we heard our daughter's first laugh, much less got it recorded. It was such a light, airy silly laugh. I was so tickled by it. We haven't heard the laugh since then, but she's given us plenty of those wide, toothless smiles.

As for the road trip, Ella did great. She hardly fussed in the car, rather she slept for most of it. I was worried. I honestly thought we'd be stopping multiple times with her, but she really impressed me. It was a very enjoyable trip visiting with family and showing off our wonderfully sweet adorable little girl. Ella also had some of the best nights sleeping that she's ever had. We're talking 6 to 7 hour stretches. Of course, that didn't continue once we got home. Grandma teased that we'll have to bring her back if we want to get good sleep again.

The countdown has begun. I have go back to work in one week. I'm dreading it. It's not that I don't want to work. I just don't want to leave her. I just wish she could hang out with me in my office. We are spending a few hours together at daycare next Tuesday and Wednesday, so her and I can feel more comfortable with the environment and the staff, and they can get to know her. I'm hoping that will put some of my fears at ease. Until then, I'm just going to enjoy this last week and spend lots of time cuddling with her.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Our Easter Bunny

Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Ella sitting pretty in her pink Easter dress. She tolerated the hat long enough to get through church and a few photos.

Smile Pretty for Mommy

Originally uploaded by mbowling.
For most of last weekend, poor Ella had a camera in her face as momma tried to catch her sweet smile. After 30 some pictures, this is what we got. It just melts our hearts.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Dreaded First Shots

We survived the two month appointment and the first round of shots. She screamed and fussed as the nurse gave her the three pokes, but after a little tyenol, she slept the pain off with a three hour nap. Overall, she was great for the doctor, who said we have a very alert, healthy and adorable little girl.

We discussed her acid reflux, and the doctor upped her prescription from .5ml twice a day to 1 ml three times a day. She also suggested that we add a little rice cereal to thicken up her bottles. She believes this will help with the spit-up. I certainly hope so, as she soaks a bib at almost very feeding.

Ella now weighs 11 lbs and 5 oz and is 22 3/4 inches long. She's outgrown most of her 0-3 months clothing. I can't believe how big she is getting. Overall, I feel like we've turned a corner with her. She's sleeping for longer stretches, she's not having as many fussy periods and the duration of those times have decreased. In general, she seems to be a fairly happy baby, who has her moments like any of us do. We captured her smile this past weekend. Hopefully, I can get Mike to post the picture because it's so adorable of her. So look for that soon.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What a Wonderful Night

Can we have a repeat of this night every night? We only had to get up once with Ella. She went down at 10:45. Mike got up with her at 2:45 for her only overnight feeding. Granted, he was up for an hour. When we crawled into bed at 11, Mike said he'd take the first feeding because I had put her down and she hadn't taken a bottle of formula since 8 pm. If I had any idea she was only going to get up once, I would have handled it. I honestly thought she'd be back up around 5, but she slept until 6:15.

We needed this. We'll still have bad nights and stretches of them, but one great night goes along way to restoring normal brain function. To be fair, we've had three pretty good nights in a row, but last night was by far our best one. I wish I could say I slept a blissful 7 hours, since I didn't get up with her. Nope. I tossed and turned last night -- Ella didn't keep me up, rather my head wouldn't shut off. Regardless, I'm still celebrating what a great night we had with her. Let's hope she'll continue with such good sleeping patterns.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Coming Up for Air

Sorry for our lack of posting. Things have been a bit hectic and stressful in the Bowling household. Outside of the standard new parent stress factors, Mike's company moved office buildings last weekend, which has kept him away from home. He's been working very long hours, including all of last weekend. We desperately missed him, and I know he did us, so we're very glad he'll be around this weekend.

Ella is still precious as ever. She smiles more and more each day, but our nights are still long. I tell myself those sweet smiles are my reward for crying, sleepless nights. I also remind myself that these long, exhausting nights won't last forever. Mike and I tell Ella when she's having a crying fit and can't be consoled that we'll buy her whatever she wants if she'll just stop crying and go to sleep. Yes, we know we're pathetic -- resorting to bribery of an infant, but it's amazing the concessions you'll make when she's been screaming for three solid hours and all you want is peace.

I can't believe another week has passed. My maternity leave is going by too quickly. Each time I think about returning to work and leaving her for 8 solid hours, my tear ducts get a good workout. Instead, I just try to enjoy our moments and block out reality.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ella has a new playmate!

I'd like everybody to meet Carter David Comer:

He's the newest member of our neighbors Mike and Jenn's family. And also another set of little legs that will be running around the Brockway cul-de-sac for a while. He was born on Monday morning, was 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 18 1/2 inches long. Amanda and I made it over Monday night to see the little bugger (and his parents). He's very adorable, but then again, what baby isn't?

Unfortunately Ms. Ella won't be able to see him until Mike and Jenn make it home. The hospital has a policy that you can't bring a baby her age into the maternity ward. Mainly because they don't know if you are bringing in your own baby, or swiping somebody else's! So they plan to come on Thursday.

Jenny's pooped, but very happy. Amanda is very happy that Jenny will be home all day now so they, and the new babies can hang out together!

So congratulations to Jenny, Mike, big brother Aaron, and welcome Carter! (and I'll throw in Crusier, Callie and Marley just for grins)