Monday, March 26, 2007

Wonderful Warm Weather

Ice Cream Goatee
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
I always knew little boys wanted to be like their dads, but who knew little girls did too. Since Ella can't and hopefully never will be able to grow facial hair, she figured the next best thing was an ice cream goatee. This special treat capped off the very beautiful weekend that was largely spent outside. It actually felt like a bona-fide weekend. (I posted quite a few pictures of our weekend adventures to our flickr account.)

Ella loves to play outside. Her favorite activity is riding around in her new buggy or playing in the park. We're fortunate that the closest park is right behind our neighbor's house, and Ella is keenly aware of its location. We were standing in our neighbor's driveway tonight when she grabbed my hand, pulled my forward and pointed to the park. Unfortunately, it was right as the rain started to drop. We distracted her by bring Aaron and Carter over to the house, while Jen and Mike showed their old house to whom is likely to become our new neighbors.

Cuteness Alert: I am constantly reminded how aware Ella is of her environment and how much she is soaking in and mimicking our behavior. Mike and I were cleaning up from dinner when we stopped for a hug and a kiss. Ella promptly walked over and wrapped an arm around each of our legs. Her way of saying, "don't leave me out."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ella Interactive

Rock Star
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
What joy this girl brings to Mike's and my world. She is a riot and such a pleasure. She continually surprises us and amazes us. Today, while I was cooking dinner, we were singing "Old McDonald" and when it got to the "E-I-E-I-O" part, Ella attempted to join in. While it wasn't completely clear, you definitely could tell what she was singing. She also loves to "roll the dough" during "Pat-A-Cake." With her Leap Frog magnets on the fridge, she has always enjoyed starting the banjo music, but now she'll stand here and stomp her feet to the music. She always has a huge smile on her face.

She has been talking up a storm lately and every day I realize more and more how much she truly understands us. Her favorite word right now is "bye bye." She loves saying it at any opportunity. She also knows when we tell her it's time to go "bye bye" that she darts straight for the coat closet, reaches for the door knob, and once the door is open, she points straight to her jacket. At bed time, if Mike or I say "Ella it's time for night night," she practically zooms straight up the stairs and into her bedroom. I think that has more to do with getting her pacifier than with going to bed.

Back to the coat, I worry it's becoming her security blanket. I have no qualms against Ella having a security blanket, but I'm not sure how I'll explain my child carrying around a winter coat during the steamy July weather. It's odd though, she hates taking her coat off and loves putting it on. If you try to take it off her, she grips her fingers around the cuff until there's no blood left in her hand. If you are able to pry the fingers free, it's major meltdown city. This girl gives you serious attitude. It's the oddest thing, this fascination with the coat. We also have learned that you don't open the coat closet door unless you absolutely have to or at least make sure Ella's not in the room.

Lastly, and the best thing, is Ella knows how to give kisses! It's the sweetest thing. You ask for a kiss and Ella instantly pushes her bottom lip out and hums. It's so adorable. I've tried to capture a picture of her kissing face, but I haven't had much luck yet. We did take a ton of photos this weekend just playing outside. I've posted a few.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Eating Out, No More

Mike and I came to quick realization Saturday night. We can no longer eat out at a sit-down restaurant. It's tough convincing Ms. "I need to explore my world" that it's fun to sit at the table waiting for the food to arrive, much less wanting to actually eat the food when it comes. I now understand why the dining options for families with young children center around fast food and play lands.

After a long day -- for Mike, it was helping to move the Comers and for me, it was a work retreat that started Friday, I announced to Mike I didn't want to cook and we were going out to eat. We ventured to Red Robin to use a Christmas gift certificate. Silly us, we thought the noise, atmosphere and balloons would be enough to entertain Ella so Mike and I could relax and enjoy our dinner. Man, were we ever wrong!! Ella refused to be contained, refused to sit still and even refused to sit on our laps. Instead of the laid back evening Mike and I intended to have, we spent the night as the sidekick to the social butterfly as every table was either a long lost friend or a new friend waiting to be made. So while one of us slammed down a burger, the other walked around the restaurant with the little one. It so wasn't any fun, and not quite the meal we wanted, but I did enjoy watching her bring smiles and laughter to the restaurant.

In other news, Ella is no longer a Lamb but a Koala. She made the move last Monday. It was a tough week for mommy and her. Each day did get a bit easier on her, not yet on me. The director and the teacher said she probably would have two tough weeks. In the new classroom, Ella is sleeping on a cot, has a structured nap time and no longer has access to a pacifier. I know this kid is adaptable, but dang she's been through a lot of change lately. We hope Faith will join Ella shortly to help ease the transition and get her back with her good friend.