Friday, November 28, 2008

What's in a Name?

So, the big question on everyone's mind (including mine) is "What are you going to name your baby?" I wish we knew. Our latest idea is to look for literary names - famous authors or characters. The funny thing is, quite a few of the names I like came up when I did a search. If anyone has a suggestion from this category, we'd love to hear it! I had a series of dreams the other night where I'd given birth to a very blonde baby boy, but couldn't seem to get my hands on him. Pregnancy dreams are the strangest. Less than 2 weeks left to my due date!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and family! Have a fabulous day eating all the delicious delights of the day. I can't wait to eat ambrosa salad and green beans! Thanksgiving leftovers are my favorite part of the holiday - yummy rolls with mayo, turkey, and salt. Plus, I'm so excited for pie! I got to pick the pies out this year, so we're having berry and chocolate mousse. Hooray! Tim and I weren't able to go home for Thanksgiving and it's too close to my due date to travel to Chicago to visit Mandy like we hoped, so we're going to enjoy the day at home. I'm excited to relax together and try my hand at roasting a turkey by myself. Plus, tomorrow we pull out the Christmas decorations and music! I'm also hoping to get a tree this weekend. The thought of the Christmas season coming makes me giddy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Those "Everyone's Looking at Me" Pictures

A couple of my friends threw me a baby shower on the 15th. They did an incredible job decorating and I was touched by the turnout. I asked a girl attending to take a couple of photos of me opening gifts. Ultimately, it seems like she took a couple hundred, most of them with me looking goofy as I made the "Oh, it's so cute" face and said "thank you!" I don't think I'm particularly photogenic to begin with, but boy do I look silly when I'm animated and on display! I truly appreciated the party, though, and it was so wonderful of people to give gifts, despite the fact that this is my second baby. So much of Ella's things are incredibly girly, so I am so grateful to have some bibs and clothes for a boy! One of the sweetest gifts I received were three pairs of knitted baby booties - they are so tiny and I can't wait for our little guy to wear them. I couldn't bear to put too many photos of my really ridiculous faces, but here's a few from the party.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now That the Elections are Over...

I miss them! I'm beginning to realize now how energized I felt during the elections. Politics always get a bad rap, but I think political discussions can truly provide some of the most stimulating conversation. I soaked up my newsweek every week, checked for news, and laughed my head off at John Stewart's take on the campaign. Plus, I was engaged - I wanted to be informed and I looked forward to voting. Now it feels like the vacation that's left after Christmas. I got to the huge gift I wanted, but now it's old news. And the fallout from Proposition 8 is beginning to feel like the painful return to school after lounging around and playing in the snow for 2 weeks! Clearly, I need to get engaged in something new that stimulates my passion and drive to make a difference.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cranky Mom

I am having a totally cranky mom morning. Lots of days, I can complain that Ella is the cranky, irritable one. But, today, it's me. Every little spill (and there's been lots today) seems enormous and I have so little patience for the repetive explanations toddlers require. A few moments ago, while feeling disgruntled over the many demands for food and candy, I realized most of it is just my state of mind this morning. So, I decided to focus on how well she's articulating her "requests" and how much more we're able to communicate clearly with each other - this is something to appreciate and maybe help me overcome my crankiness.

Ella loves to identify things by name and is trying out sentences so much more often. Last night, Tim was in the garage and she said "Daddy, garbage" (she thought he was taking out the garbage). Then she said, simply, "I like Daddy." When she hands you something, she'll often say, "Here you go, baby." She's obsessed with her Halloween pumpkin and will ask for it (now the candy is gone, though) and say, "I like Candy." She can count from 6 to 11 (that's where she likes to start) and identify so many letters. Ella even seems to understand her pronouns. I sing a silly little song to her, "Ella, Ella, I love you! Ella, Ella, yes I do!" I'll catch her singing it back and she'll say "yes you do!" at the end of the song. In fact, she knows so many lines to songs now, she'll request songs at bedtime and get extra time with mom and dad because we're so enchanted by how many songs she asks for.

So, that was a totally self-indulgent post. But articulating the many things I find delightful about my little girl always helps me put things into perspective.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Love my Little Girl

With our new baby reminding me constantly these days that he's on the way, I've been trying to really savor my days with Ella. I know that he will create a new dynamic in our family and probably turn her world upside down a bit. I haven't been feeling well, but try to still be as active of a mom as I can. We'll be thrilled to have this new guy join us, but these days of just Ella and mom have been some of the sweetest of my life as well. Some nights I write in my journal and just stop for a moment to consider how much I adore my little girl. She has so much of Tim's temperment and she is truly the best of companions. I love watching her learn, benefiting from her hugs, holding her hand to walk up the stairs, splashing with her in the bath, sitting on the cold ground to draw "happy suns" with sidewalk chalk, reading books together, dancing and singing songs, going for walks, praying together, and on and on and on. The opportunity to be Ella's mother is one of the greatest gifts of my life.

Ella has been more interested in her baby doll lately, which seems especially sweet right now. She woke up from her nap the other day and insisted on feeding the baby. Here are a few pictures of her caring for her dolly.

This entirely random, but I have this easy pot pie recipe I love to make. The other night, it turned out so pretty, so I took a picture.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ice Cream!

I wish I had video of this, but I think the photos capture the joy fairly well. Grandma Cathy sent those Jr Frosty Halloween coupons in a fun package to Ella. They are a genius gift - the perfect size treat for a little one, plus they involve a car ride, getting a treat, and eating ice cream! This is heaven for Ella and the perfect solution to a doldrum afternoon.

We went out for a Frosty this afternoon and I explained to Ella that the ice cream was from Grandma Cathy. I asked her if she could tell Grandma "thank you" next time we talked to her. She decided to express her thanks then. Here's her "thanks" to Grandma without the audio. So cute!

"Thank you,


for the cream!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Facebook Celebration

I know that not everyone who reads this blog was celebrating last night, but for those of us who were, what a celebration! I watched the news coverage online by myself, but I wasn't alone in my anticipation. It was such a pleasure to keep my facebook page open and see so many of my friends and a family members change their status. Many were dancing, jumping up and down, and longing to be at a party. The historical significance of the moment also touched so many and I loved sharing the thrill of it all virtually. To those of you who joined the facebook celebration, I say "thanks" for sharing such a memborable evening with me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted!

Today I voted for something and it felt wonderful. No matter what your political affiliation, I hope you will visit the polls with optimism. I have seen cynicism and frustration creep in amongst people I love in regards to the election. Voting is a privelege and an obligation. It is my belief that neither one of these candidates is our salvation or doom. I've been bombarded with messaging recently about what I should vote against, but today I focused on what I wanted to vote for and it was a very positive experience. My hope is that, no matter the outcome, we will all move forward with hope, we will continue to participate, and we will not let negativity overwhelm us. Happy Voting!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Night with the Karlinseys

As I've mentioned before, Ella simply adores the Karlinesey family. It's been fun to live near my cousin's family and spend time with them. They invited us over to share Halloween dinner and to go trick "r" treating. Brynne and Braden did such a good job helping Ella get ready to go outside. She was so excited to go trick "r" treating with them!

We thought Ella would just make it a short distance with the bigger kids, but she was pretty dedicated to gathering candy. When we'd fall behind, she'd occasionally let her Dad carry her a bit of the way or she'd pick up her pace and say, "Run! Run!" Generally, the bigger kids would make it to the door and she'd be heading up for her treat as they were headed back down the driveway. Tim is such an incredible Dad and Uncle. He readily agreed to go out with the kids and was so patient and sweet with Ella as they went from door to door. I traveled with them part of the way, then Tim was sweet enough to stay out with them a bit longer.

When Ella arrived home with her pumpkin, it was filled with candy. Tim said he didn't know how she managed to keep carrying it, but she had a death grip on the handle. She woke up Saturday morning asking for her "candy-o." I let her choose a piece of candy after breakfast and I had to convince her to let go of the pumpkin handle in order to get dressed.