Monday, December 29, 2008

Our travels

I am at work so I can't access my pics from Christmas right now but thought I would share some fun stuff about our car trips this weekend.

Ella was an absolute angel both on the way down and the way back. Not that she is usually horrible, but she does sometimes throw fits. Her favorite thing to do is whine using this awful noise she has discovered because she dropped something and we can't get it for her. There was only a few moments of this. And she doesn't always nap well which she did beautifully this time.

So we left for Cleveland on Christmas Eve after spending as much time as possible with Dave's family. We opened some presents at his mom's on Tuesday. She really got into it. On the way to Cleveland, she got bored with her toys and movies so knowing how much she loves to play with napkins and paper towels, I gave her a couple of napkins to play with. I thought for sure she would put them on her head and be silly, but instead she wrapped up her toys and handed them to me. I would say, "For me?" She would nod, and I would unwrap each slowly and then get very surprised and excited. This went on for almost 30 minutes. It was so cute and fun to see her look of delight and hear her giggle every single time like it was the first.

The other fun car activity happened very spontaneously. I got bored the last 1 hour of our trip and asked Ella if I could draw pictures for her on her travel Magna Doodle she got from Grandma. I tried asking her what she wanted me to draw with no luck. Finally I just started drawing and showing her pics. Then I started asking her what the pics were and she answered with either words or signs! Once I drew an elephant just to see what she would do and she would make a zerbert noise like an elephant. She even recognized my rendition of a banana! That one amazed me because I really thought recognition of such things depended on color. So fun. Ella was such a talker through the whole holiday. I heard a lot of "thats", "this", "theres" and "I wants". Some of which weren't always something we could give her but hearing her ask was music to our ears. With her cousin (4 yrs old), there were also a lot of "mines" and "mos". A lot of "Mo!" for Mama too. I hope to get some pics and maybe even a fun video up tonight! In the meantime, I should get back to work.

*Quick edit to add that Baby Luke is starting to dance in my belly. Lots of fancy footwork and he either really hates my family's song selections during jam sessions or really loves them!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

I hope everyone had a wonderful safe holiday. The weather I know in Michigan was awful but here in Ohio it was just wet. We had a great day. Ella really got the hang of gift opening and even helped others with theirs. She had a lot more since most of her presents were cheaper. She got from Santa a Thomas the Engine train that she loved. Grandma got her a My First Dollhouse that is just perfect for her age. And it's not too big!!! For the rest of our girls, it was all about Wii. Both my brother and sister's families got a Wii fit. Plus their were a few games. Right now I am blogging from the basement while watching my dad and niece play a game. We watched her hula hoop this morning. That was fun! I, myself, have not felt like playing much.

Other than that we have been chilling and eating. The two little girls are playing very nice. We are just debating when we are coming home since the weather is supposed to get nasty again. Poor Dave had to drive back today to work and in Detroit, it was all icy and slick. So we may be leaving tomorrow when it is just raining. I really don't want to though :(.

Here is the picture from Santa! This one turned out much cuter than the professional ones.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and baby update!

Holiday craziness. I won't lie. I love the insanity of this season but I think it is taking it's toll on me this year. In the past I have stayed up almost all night to finish handmade gifts and wrap. This year- I had to make myself give up a lot of ideas because I needed to watch out for baby. First baby update- IT"S A BOY!! His name will be Luke Ernest. Luke was just a name we have liked since we were pregnant before and Ernest was Dave's dad's name. I have also now grown huge. Baby belly suddenly popped and now there is no doubt. Both baby and I are healthy although I am a bit sore from the growth spurt.

Ella made it to see Santa finally on Sunday. It went great! She didn't sit on his lap or even smile but she didn't scream and cry. She sat on my lap as far away as she could get. We forgot our camera but hopefully my mom will share her pics. We had been building up for weeks and she had told us she wanted to see Santa so we knew we had a chance. She looked so pretty in her little dress that my mom and I put her in after stripping her by an emergency exit in the mall. It was so crowded and our place in line was being held- you do what you have to do :).

This holiday season is an especially crazy one for us because poor Dave did not get off of work like we hoped. He has to work today (Christmas Eve) and Friday late. So today we are headed to Cleveland. He will come back Friday morning to work and then hopefully come back to my sister's for the rest of the weekend that he does have off. Silly isn't it? He really wants to be with us though so I let him make the choice. If the weather is yucky though he will stay here and we will ride back with my mom. We spent as much time as we could with his family the last couple of days which didn't leave me much time for last minute plans. I had to let some things go like the baking. I could feel myself getting worn down. We are excited the weather is holding out right now and am just anxiously waiting for word on when Dave will be able to leave work!

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! I owe all my friends out there an apology because Christmas cards and pics also had to be dropped because of the craziness at work last week. We have been getting at least two cards a day and it is so wonderful to hear from everyone. It also a great reminder of what wonderful friends we have even though we may not see everyone is often. You are all always in our thoughts and we are so thankful to have such caring people in our lives!

*Edited to update that Dave got out of work early so I am now sitting here wondering if I am really going to get any work done or if I am just kidding myself!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where to start

I was so good for awhile there at blogging but then things just got a little crazy. Some expected, some not so much. The unexpected is all about work. I won't lie. i have no idea what the future holds, but I remember that so many people are in the same boat. I think the only additional stress for me is that I am pregnant and if I have to go job hunting- ugh how do you do that 5 or 6 months pregnant? We are just waiting. I also didn't expect the week from hell the week before Christmas and I am so far behind now in my holiday plans an so very tired. I think it is better now?

This one is all about Ella. First, Ella's speech progress. I have blogged so much about it that I feel bad that I haven't posted. She is talking more. Our classes are going great and she really has fun there. I think the hard part for us is that she is not at the same level as the other kids. Most of them are working on two word combos and Ella doesn't have enough single words yet. We have had a lot of progress getting responses from her and getting her to try a word. So we are setting goals every week on what words we want her to get. I started with "Hi". She has said it for a long time but never consistently and she dropped it for awhile. Now she says it consistently. She got it fast so we just went right to "Bye-bye". That went well too. The biggest problem is switching words. We focus on one so hard she immediately blurts it out when a word is expected of her. If we just give her a sec, she corrects herself. Also we have been doing a lot of reading and having her name stuff. I was surprised last night that she actually could say "green" and "blue". And I have to send a big thank you to Barb for the wonderful flash cards that she gave us because little did we know how much we would need them. She knows a few and seems to get a new one every week. It's a slow process but it's getting much better. She's a smart girl but just has trouble finding her words.

I am going to do a seperate post later about baby. We just got a ton of snow and right now Ella is sleeping after I wore her out outside. She loved it though! I think she is a little snow bunny. My mom taught me well too because that kid was only cold on her face when we came in. I bundled her up well but comfortably. here are some pics from our adventure. She also had her first cocoa when we came in!! Have to add too that she was so tired that after her cocoa and snack were over, she walked right into her room and put herself in bed. No fuss, no playing, right to sleep. Woohoo!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parade bust!

So the parade going didn't go over so well. It started out SO much fun and I was excited for Ella. We had her bundled up really good and she was excited and making friends. Then we got outside to line up. They kept us out there for a really really long time. It had to be at least an hour before we even got to the parade route. So by then, nap time had come and Ella did get very cold or at least her hands did. I think because she had to keep getting in and out of the wagon (because of the screaming for me to pick her up) she got too cold and wasn't under blanket anymore. We exited the parade right after we got to the route. I then had to pull the poor thing all the way to Dave's mom's office (in hindsight we should have gone back the way we came but I thought this was closer). By the time we got there she was even colder. She was fine but definitely in need of a nap. She passed out as soon as we got in the warmth. I felt like an awful mom but we had to try. I think if she hadn't gotten so tired, she would have had a blast. She did have fun before we got going and here is the one pic I got with my phone before she hit the wall:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why Moms could bring about world peace

So I am learning new skills and tactics for dealing with my suddenly head strong 2.5 year old. Moms have to possess an infinite amount of patience for any kid. When your toddler's understanding way surpasses what she can communicate back to you, I think you have to find extra stores somewhere. Ella has suddenly decided to get irrationally upset several times a day and finding out what causes it or what will fix it can be very difficult.

Tonight we had one situation that I handled with such ease that I impressed myself. Ella was really tired because it was after bedtime. We were getting dressed for bed in our room, and after we were done, she pointed to our bed which I knew meant she wanted to go to sleep in our bed. I don't let this happen all the time, but sometimes I let her go to sleep there and move her when I go to bed. I told her that was fine but she had to brush her teeth first. I could see her face crumple and I could tell that we were headed for a meltdown. Right away, in small words and a calm soothing voice, I explained that she was still going to get to go lay down in my bed, but first had to brush her teeth like we do every night. She looked at me for a second, nodded, and then took off for the bathroom making happy noises all the way. Thanks for letting me brag about my negotiation skills.

Dinner Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Dinner Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Such a beautiful dress! I think any little girl would look and feel pretty as a princess in this! Go enter!

It's not an alien!!

Well we found out this morning that our baby is healthy and very busy which I already knew from the small kicks I get several times a day. And we officially have some shopping to do because- WE ARE HAVING A BOY!!!

This is very big news in the Hurley/Sawin families because both sides have beautiful smart girls. This is going to be one spoiled little cousin. So on the Hurley side the score is 4 girls/ 1 boy and the Sawins side 3 girls/1 boy. It will be fun! And it will take some getting used to.

This is quick because right now Ella is supposed to be napping and I hear dishes clinking. Lately we are giving up the naps but for my own sanity I have to try today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quick update

So I meant to get the pics from Thanksgiving off my camera but then realized that I really didn't have any good ones anyway. I will try to look again tonight. We had a great Thanksgiving at Dave's mom's. Baby decided to stop making me ill and instead I am hungry ALL the time now. Ella spent the night over at his mom's house with her cousins on Thursday. We couldn't stay because Dave had to work at 6 am and we were dog sitting so I went home to let the dogs have some time to play. It was nice but we both missed Ella a lot. Friday was so laid back. Saturday we got to go to our friends', Jacob and Sarah, birthday party. Ella really had a great time there. She was a lot more friendly than she usually is with lots of coy smiles and no hesitation about exploring or jumping in to the playing. Our friends, Barb and Paul, are so nice, and they always make us feel comfortable although we don't see them nearly enough.

Overall it was a nice fun weekend especially for Ella. We needed that because this weekend is going to be crazy. Saturday we have swim lessons and have to get the house cleaned up so the Christmas tree can come out. I also have to do a secret shop sometime in the afternoon. Then Sunday we are going to be in the Rochester Christmas Parade!! If you are in the Detroit area, it is televised on Channel 7 from 2-4. I am hoping we make it on TV. Since it will be freezing cold, I am not sure how cute I can make Ella but I am going to try to make her unresistable. She's cute all bundled up too. We are going to be walking with Home Depot so look for orange aprons. I will try to take pics. Then Sunday night we have Dave's holiday party. Oh and the following weekend we leave Thursday night for Chicago for my company's party. I am taking lots of deep breaths. I am going to need some extra stores of energy.

Ella's classes for speech started this week. It is actually a parent/tot class. I liked the format although I am going to have a hard time with the pace. I just want to get going with whatever we can, but two year olds don't really work that way :). Ella was very reserved and didn't say anything really, but she did respond non verbally which is a start. She just needs to warm up. Then I think they are feeling her out as well to see what works best for her. We had circle time where we sing songs and play games together, then the kids go off and play while the parents get a small lesson. Then we all go play together, and last there is snack time where they try to get the kids to ask for their snacks and drinks. This is where I know Ella was holding back because she can say "more", and she was really grabby instead of asking. They did get her to finally nod to their questions,and I think I heard a small "more". I can see that the other kids respond really well, and I know Ella will get there too. It stinks though because there is a huge holiday break and then we may have to warm her up all over again. I am glad we got started now though.

Wow I have to do this more often so they aren't so long!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Test of my abilities

So due to my lack of time and sudden acquisition of Photoshop Elements, I decided to try my hand at digital scrapbooking. Here is my first attempt.

The paper I made doesn't really match the picture well considering she is wearing a winter hat, but I think it looks ok.

Monday, December 1, 2008

We are not sure what they did...

But they must be in serious trouble to all have a timeout.

It's amazing what toddlers are busy doing when you are otherwise occupied.

Working on a Thanksgiving post :). Not many great pics. I was lazy with the camera again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hormones or just not enough sleep?

I am having another mentally rough day. Yesterday was so full that I think I am recovering. I am just so cranky.

Yesterday Ella had her evaluation with the school district to see if she qualifies for speech therapy through them. After they left, I was filled with mixed emotions. I was so proud of how well Ella accomplished so many of the tasks they put in front of her. It is becoming very obvious to us and all that are around her enough that she is very bright. I have never really been sure what she knows and doesn't know since she doesn't say much. They do a lot at school and we do a lot at home so I am glad to know it was getting through :). She didn't say a peep the whole time the ladies were there. Based on what I could tell them and their observations, they said that she does qualify and they want to get her started with therapy right away- as soon as the week after Thanksgiving. I am amazed at how fast everything has moved.

I don't know how I managed to get everything done that I did yesterday. I have a polymer clay guild meeting tonight,and I really wanted to participate. Plus I am the treasurer and have been having some hard times trying to get my reports done. So I had to get that done right, and I did except for a few things I had forgotten to do since last month. We are having a gift swap and a potluck. I signed up for a main course. What was I thinking??? So after great debate, I decided on italian beef. I had no beef of course so once Dave was home I rushed out to buy the ingredients. We got Ella to bed.Then I had to make my gift which ended up going in the oven at 11:00 PM. Yeah really late for me. I fell asleep waiting for it. Thankfully it was ok. I woke up this morning and finished the gift and threw the italian beef in the crockpot. Plus I had to get myself ready, pack my lunch, dress Ella, and take her to Dave's mom's. On the way there, I hit a wall. I was tired and cranky. Ella dropped one of her toys and started fussing. I just couldn't get across to her that if Mama got her toy that we would crash into a telephone pole or tree. So now I am here at work and I just want to go home and sleep. *sigh* We are halfway through the day at least.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby update

First off - thanks to my friends for the wonderfully sweet comments. My family has also been so great during this process. Funny thing happened though. That night we took Ella grocery shopping and she was a little chatterbug. Not much we could decipher but she was so happy and cute that my blues just melted away which they often do when I get home. She was singing and laughing and being just generally silly. It turned out to be one of those perfect nights.

I had a OB appt today, and baby is doing great. It was a really easy appt with just listening to the heartbeat and answering some questions. Funny/gross thing happened before hand. It seemed like something out of a sitcom. I went to pee in a cup which you have to everytime. No big deal after so many times of doing it. When I peed in the cup, there wasn't much there and I know I really had to go so I couldn't figure out why. Oh well, no biggie. They had enough. Yeah no big until I went to move the cup and found there was a hole in the bottom!!! Ew ew ew. And then WTH??? So I managed to get the little bit left into a nice new cup with no mess on anything but myself and then washed my hands so I could have nice clean ones when I wrote my name on the cup with a sharpie. When I went to go put the marker down somehow the lid fell into my cup!! Ironic after being so careful to wash before touching the pen. I kept very composed through this whole comedy. I thought about mentioning it but I think it was too embarassing and we will wait to see if they find something weird like ink? I did clean off the cap with soap and water. Hopefully next time the peeing in a cup process will go smoother. Maybe I will double up just in case.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A series of ups and downs

We had a good weekend. It was pretty laid back for the most part. Ella started her second set of swimming lessons. They went as good as they could go with a bunch of toddlers. It was a lot louder in the pool this time around. A lot of screaming tantrums including some doozies from Ella. She was mad because she wanted to play with the kick boards and the dumb bells they had as tools. I have learned that Ella understands so much more than you would think considering she doesn't talk still. I resorted to threatening to leave every time she started to cry about not using them. I told her it was like listening to her teachers at daycare. Things went a lot smoother once she got the message. She didn't blow bubbles or scoop but there's hope. We know she can blow bubbles but she just started practicing in the tub about a week ago so its still new. Unfortunately we are going to miss at least 2 of the 7 weeks so I am hoping we can squeeze one more session in before our membership expires. They are so expensive though.

I am feeling a little down today. Ella was progressing so well for the last couple of months, but it has all come to a halt of a sudden. It seems to us that she will stop talking as much when she is trying to learn new skills and lately she has been doing some new things like trying to actually color one specific thing on a page. She gets very focused on an activity which is something Dave does too. Very serious. So we aren't getting a lot of words anymore where it seemed she was throwing them out like crazy before. Today a very nice lady from the school district called to set up Ella's evaluation for speech therapy through them, and she asked a ton of questions. Since this whole process has started I have been learning to pay very close attention to what Ella can do and how she goes about things. So now when they ask questions I have an idea of what they are looking for. We have two meetings now, but next Wednesday is the big day when they will evaluate Ella. One new thing I found out is that if Ella does qualify for the school's services then our time with our contact through Early On will end. Everything will be through the school, but we have only heard excellent things about Rochester Schools and even the lady from Early On says it will be best for her. There is a chance they will decide she isn't behind enough, but we really don't think that will happen. If it does, she will continue with Early On.

I am happy things are moving so quickly to help Ella. It just gets hard to go over all the questions again and again and be reminded that your child is so far behind. I have stopped blaming myself , but they are times I wonder if I am doing enough with her at home. I just want to hear what she actually sounds like. I focus on the fact that Ella is so loving and generous and in every other aspect very healthy. Tomorrow I will feel better I am sure. I have to. We have appts up the wazoo this week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can you really have a blog and not say anything?

Maybe it’s the hormones, but I keep getting teary eyed watching all the coverage of this historical election. Tuesday night, I couldn’t stand the suspense and went to bed at 9. I told Dave – “Wake me up if he wins, but if he loses I can wait to deal in the morning.” Thinking it was going to be close, I had already come to terms with the fact that no matter what, things had to change. Whoever we chose would hopefully make strong decisions that would help our country heal.

So Dave woke me up at 11 pm to tell me that our new President Elect was Barack Obama. I was so excited, and it showed I am sure on my sleep face. Actually what Dave probably saw was relief. I just believed Obama had more conviction and the strength to handle the tough times ahead. I like his views on where we need to go as a country and although I don’t believe anyone out there knows what the right answers are at this moment, I am sure he will do his best to make sure we find them and start healing.

I am like so many others so proud to be an American right now. We all as a nation need to work together now to find the answers and make sure no decisions are made hastily. As a semi new parent, I know my concerns like so many others revolve around the question : “What are we going to leave for our children?”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November - already?

Ugh I really meant to post about Halloween on Saturday but for some reason I was super motivated and cleaned the house. Seriously cleaned it and did a lot of laundry. Then today for some reason I am so tired (which I just typed as Ip gi yired). I am thinking baby is going through a growth spurt. Funny- it seems to be coinciding with Ella's. Girlie has been eating so good and her belly is sticking so far out.

Ella was a ladybug this year. She was super cute. We warmed her up all week with a few different little Halloween things. There was a thing at Borders and then at her daycare. Then we went to my office on Friday. So she was ready to roll on Friday. We went over to her friend, Rachel's house. We all had fun. I think the girls enjoyed having each other's company. Ella really gets trick or treating. She can't say it but a couple of times I heard her try. She also said "Hi" to some people instead. The proudest moment for me is when she signed thank you to at least 6 or 7 people. Yay! Something is finally getting through :). Actually she is signing a lot and saying more words too. I will post seperately on that. Tomorrow hopefully. Here are some pics from pumpkin carving and then our adorable ladybug. She always looks so serious when she is focused. Trust me, she was having fun. She also started stirring the pumpkin guts when daddy was finishing it up:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kalahari - for little and big kids

Some time during the summer my mom mentioned that we would all should get away one weekend before winter sets in. We were all game. So she booked us a suite here:

It was our family of three, my mom and dad, my brother's family of three, my sister's family of 4, and a friend of my niece's. I have to say that I think we were all a little hesitant to how it would go. We had two little ones who are always unpredictable and noone knew much about the place. It finally dawned on me last week that I wouldn't be able to do as much since I was expecting so I was a little worried I would be bored.

No reason at all to be concerned! We all had such a great time. This place was huge with so much to do. Ella never stopped smiling. She loves the water and became a pro on the water slides. They had the cutest little kid section, and her and I were able to do the Lazy River together. I felt bad though cuz she got nailed a couple of times by waterfalls. She did great though and most of them made her laugh. There were a couple of times I caught the "what are you doing to me, Mom?" after she got a face full of water. I pretty much was with Ella the whole time so Dad could go catch some grownup slides. The big "kids" all seemed to really enjoy those. They also had a pretty good arcade and a huge playspace for kids. It was a huge structure that you could climb around end with lots of obstacles and then in the middle they had a ball area where people could shoot balls at each other or just play. They had this chute type thing that would shoot a bunch of balls at one time in the air. Ella loved that! She kept piling them in there and then hitting the button. She'd laugh so hard everytime they went up and came down. Here is a picture of the ball area.

So because it was wet and crowded, we didn't get any pictures. I could have gone back to get the camera but we were all having so much fun and it was hard to track everyone down that I didn't bother. I did get one I will have to add later of Ella and her cheesy picture smile. She has started making this really strange face whenever a camera is pointed at her. It's hilarious. If you ever get a chance to check this place out, it is so much fun!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dirty Little Secrets

My dear friend, Barb, tagged me for a little game :). She said her sister found a book called Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile. This one is kind of hard for me because I really share too much about myself to friends and family so I am not sure anything is really secret, but I am going to try.

1) I am probably one of the laziest people you will ever meet. Seriously. The only thing that has ever kept me from being called this at work is my desire to stay out of trouble and an inherited work ethic. Sad, but true. Ask my husband how much I actually move. My poor mother thought I was seriously ill as a child because I would always say something hurt to get out of housework. I am trying really REALLY hard not to use my pregnancy as an excuse to lay around so much.

2) Probably directly related to the laziness- I am a HUGE slob. I really don't see when things are dirty. I would much rather play and create than clean the house. My poor husband was the exact opposite of me when we moved in together. Now he kinda of bends. He lets me do as I please until it starts affecting our daily routine. Like not having any clothes at all to wear to work. Then he does usually do a lot of it himself. To be fair- when I finally really see how bad it is, I obsessively clean. That happens more now with Ella.

3)I listen to the kids XM station after I have dropped Ella off at daycare. And I have been know to listen to her CDs too when she has not even been in the car. There is just something so sweet and innocent about children's music. And Raffi is catching.

4)My daughter eats PBJs for dinner a lot. I don't enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating what I cook but not actually making it. When I want to, I can do a decent job of it too. So sad.

5)I can't get rid of anything. Especially books. Not sure why. Even if I never plan on reading it again. I just can't let it go. I feel some sort of weird attachment to them.

Ok so that's the best I can do right now. :) That was kind of fun. It's good to be honest with yourself. I hope I can provide some hope to other lazy slobs out there that it really doesn't matter if you can't cook and clean. You can still find a great man.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our weekend

So I forgot to post about our weekend yesterday. I really just needed to catch up on the big things first :). I feel great today. Could be the extra half cup of coffee that I let myself have this morning.

This weekend was my niece's 4th birthday! She's such a big girl now. We went down for the party my brother and Jenny were having. It went really great! The kids all had fun especially the birthday girl. I wish I had pics but sadly I didn't remember. Seems to be a theme lately. This is the second weekend in a few months that Ella and I have headed down to just spend the weekend with them. We usually all gather at my sister's and it's fun but always crazy and we always leave feeling like it just wasn't enough time together. I need to do this kind of weekend with my sister's family too because it was so relaxing. And my brother is the sweetest guy. He is so great with kids and without his energy I think the party would have fizzled. Ella just adores him. She would actually walk up and tell him things randomly. Not always really clear but enough came through that you could get the gist. Part of me was so excited that she wanted to communicate and another part was jealous because it wasn't with me. But she's trying! And he made sure I ate well :). After the girls finally crashed, we played a game. Ever played Risk? We played the Godstorm version. It was fun but complicated and very long! We only made it through 4 rounds but I am happy to say that at the end of that round I was winning! Not a common thing for me. To be fair, my brother and Jenny were drinking wine and very tired.

Wow I am on a role this week with posts :). We'll see how it goes. One more note- poor Dave has a bum knee. It has been bothering him for a couple of weeks now. Last night he finally admitted he had to go to urgent care. I thought 1) we'd be out in an hour. 2) they'd give him some muscle relaxers and send him on his way because he just pulled a muscle. 2 hours with a very energetic 2 year old in a urgent care full of germs was just too much. We stayed in there for maybe 30 or 40 minutes and then headed to the car for some entertainment. Thank goodness for portable DVD players. When he came out, I was so tired. So so tired. And the smell of our leftovers from dinner was killing me. After getting settled back in the car, I looked at him very annoyed and said "Well what did they say?" Now looking back I guess that wasn't very sensitive of me. They think it is something with his ligaments or his cartilage, and they referred him to an orthopedic surgeon. Ugh. So we will see what happens. Wow I had a lot to say this morning. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

No more Starbucks for me

Two posts in one day! Someone mark this day in the calendar.

I am not drinking Starbucks anymore! I know I just announced that I am pregnant and have cut down on my caffeine intake, but that is not why. I still drink it as a treat once in awhile. I can't believe what I read and I will not be drinking Starbucks until they come up with a better solution.

Check this out

6 million gallons! WTF!!! I feel bad when I indulge in a long shower or forget to turn the water off when I am brushing. This is just ridiculous. I understand having to maintain cleanliness, but all restaurants have to battle the same problems and I don't hear of them wasting so much water. Seriously. Ugh.

Exciting news!

I am sure many of you can guess what's coming next! We are expecting! I am 11 weeks pregnant this week. Due date right now is around April 27. It was a HUGE shock to us! We weren't going to try until next year once we figured out what was going on job wise. We are very excited though. It has been a little stressful thinking about the future. My job here ends soon. There was a possibility of moving to Texas, but I found out last week that it isn't going to happen and honestly that relieved so much stress for me! With the iffy economy, finding a job may be tough. I have never had a problem before though, and this time we may try to get something part time with less hours. IF we can make the money work. Big IF for anyone. We are trying to prepare for it while my job still lasts though.

Physically, I have been feeling so yuck. Last week I finally started to get some of my energy back, and I haven't been as nauseous. For about 2 weeks though I felt so horrible and so tired. I feel like poor Ella is the one really suffering though. After work I would just lay on the couch. I would play and talk to her while resting though. I tried anyway. My girl is making some progress. She is saying about 5 more words clearly, and really trying to talk a lot more. Daycare even said she has started trying to communicate with them which makes me SO happy. We have our first actual session at the end of the month. We met to set goals. We set two major ones for her by age 3. The first is just to get her try start communicating her needs and wants with us. Second, to speak 150 words clearly. Hopefully she will have so many more but we want at least 150 articulate words. Right now we haven't started speech therapy, but I suspect it will happen. We agreed that we should give her a chance to get started on her own for a couple of months to see if it's mostly her personality holding her back. She is so bright though. She amazes us everyday of what she does comprehend. And her nonverbal communication is expanding too. She is picking up some signs. Also when you tell her "I love you", she blows you a kiss. She also blows a kiss to say thank you.

Such a long post- maybe if I did this more often it wouldn't be so long. Oh well, I will leave you with a couple of pics. Ella with her sporty braids and one of her playing in her play house before it got cold.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is on its way!

I love fall but I have to admit to being really annoyed this past week with the weather. We start out so chilly and then by the afternoon its 80! I have the dressing of Ella for the day down. Long cotton pants, tshirt and jacket. Poor Dave though. I went to pick her up last week from daycare and she was wearing a turtleneck and corduroys and when I got out of the car, the temp said 81!! She seemed ok and the bldg has AC. Still funny though.

So I haven't posted in awhile. There has been so much going on around here but I am not sure what to say about it. First off, there are hints my job may be wanting to send me to San Antonio. We are so torn about it. Right now I don't have to decide anything because really there hasn't been an offer but if there is one, I don't know what to say. I really love being so close to family. Noone is more than 5 hrs away. Plus our house- not sure what we would do with it. I just don't know.

We also had Ella's evaluation with Early On on 9/10. It went really well. We found out she is at least 11 months behind in communication and language. She falls in the 11-15 month range according to their evaluation. I knew she was delayed, but I was very shocked to find out how far behind she has fallen. I am really glad we called and had them come out. I haven't been concerned just by the fact that she doesn't speak, but more by her lack of trying to communicate with us at all. The lady who came out and I did discuss the possibility that it could all be due to Ella's very laid back personality. She has never been in a hurry to do anything and maybe we just need to find her motivation. We aren't concerned about hearing, but it would be nice to do a hearing test on her just to make sure. Unfortunately Ella was so terrified of the machine that Dave and I declined for right now.

Ever since we had Ella's evaluation, she has been surprising us with some things. This weekend, her cousin Saoirse was visiting, and Ella really tried to talk a lot. I caught her saying "apple" and later on when I asked what she wanted to drink milk or apple juice- she clearly said "apple juice". And lots of times I caught portions of sentences that made sense. So it's there. I am going to try to write things down as I hear her say them. One thing I have noticed is that Ella speaks very softly. I wonder if she has tried to speak more and maybe it went unnoticed. She would never say "hi" or "bye" to people before. She would wave but always after they couldn't see her. When she did start saying it, I noticed it was very quiet and often people figured she didn't say it because she doesn't say much. So now when I hear her say it, and the person she is speaking to does not hear her, I stop them and let them know she said "hi" or "bye" so that she begins to understand that people will respond to you and that communicating can be useful. She is SO shy, and anyone who knows Dave and I well knows that it's genetic. I can remember feeling ignored a lot as a little girl and I am sure it was because I was so quiet and so reluctant to share my thoughts. I don't want to push Ella too hard, but I don't want her to feel the same.

So we meet again this Wednesday to discuss our plan for Ella. I am excited that we may finally get to hear what Ella really sounds like :). If you have read this far, thanks :). I know it was a lot to take in.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My baby is growing up so fast!

So our Miss Ella has decided to start taking leaps and bounds in becoming a true toddler. She talks a lot more but unfortunately we are still not understanding her much but she is talking. We went ahead and scheduled an appointment with Early On thanks to our friend Barb's experiences and recommendation. Her evaluation is on Sept 10. I am sure they will just be telling us she is a late talker but if not at least we know we are getting her some help so she can communicate with us better.

Two down sides to this sudden growing up- her attitude and the end of the crib. First the attitude- oh my lord. She is so sassy and stubborn without saying a word! She has started defying me while looking me straight in the eye. Like when I say- "Ella please don't put your toy in the dog's water"- she will look right at me and do it anyway!!! So we are going to have to implement time outs. ugh. I have nothing against time outs. I am just lazy. So there is that hurdle.

The crib. We have never had any problems with Ella and her crib. She has never tried to climb out. Until today. I was just about ready to give up on nap and get her out to play for a few when we heard Ella start screaming and it sounded really close to the baby monitor. Dave went to get her and found her on the floor. So out came the toddler bed today. We were planning on doing it after the holiday weekend since we are travelling to Illinois, but it looks like Ella wants to start earlier. So as I type this, Ella is sound asleep. She didn't even try to get up and play. We will see what happens at 2 or 3 when she always wakes up for a few.

Wish us luck!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We're back!!!

After a very long drive, we have returned from Cape Cod. On the way back we stopped in Niagra Falls, and I have to say it was much more than I expected. So beautiful!! If you ever get a chance to go, I definitely recommend it. I wouldn't plan on more than a day to see everything though because besides the falls there isn't much else to do (unless you love casinos- that was a nice one too- don't worry Dave and I only blew 20 bucks each!)

Dave and I haven't been out to Cape Cod since before we were married. His aunt and uncle rent out a house there and we have a standing invite to come out after the season is over. This year they had a week that wasn't rented and we got to go out earlier. It was much warmer than we were used to and a bit more crowded. It lived up to its reputation as one of my favorite places to be.

When we got there, we took a quick walk to the beach and Ella got to see the ocean for the first time. Bad mom that I am I forgot to bring my camera anywhere so all pics were taken on my phone. Ella wasn't sure about walking in the sand the first day but by Friday she was walking right into the ocean with the sand washing out from under her feet. That's my girl!

I never got to blog about my horrible food poisoning a few weeks ago. It was the night before Dave's dad's memorial and I must have had some bad fish because I got violently ill and missed the memorial. I felt like a horrible wife and I really wanted to be there for closure as well. So this week in Cape Cod we let go balloons with messages on them for him. It was very sweet and beautiful. Ella cried when we let them go but then I whispered in her ear and pointed out how beautiful they were. She was ok then.

I know this is brief but I am at work and busy :). So here are some pics! Also I will get more as family emails them to me.

Ella at the hotel on the way to the Cape

first time in the sand

cousins in their tent

Sailor Ella- she loved Uncle Paul's boat!

Sunset on the water- another boat ride

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

She takes after mom

So Ella got a gift card for her bday- (Thanks Anthony family!!) I knew exactly what to get her. Ella loves Playdoh. I got her the stupid Fun factory but it is too hard for her to use and I hate cleaning it out. I saw this set at Target that was like Mr.Potato Head with Playdoh. I was still getting the pieces out of the box. I had experimented in making some playdoh feet. I turned away for a sec and here is what my daughter came up with:

I only made the feet and balled up some playdoh for her :). I am so proud.

So speaking of creativity, I have lots of new stuff at my etsy store. I am really happy with the direction of my creative flow lately. I stopped trying to imitate and am now just doing my thing. It's fun. Check it out by clicking the button on the right!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just another day

We had a great holiday! I hope everyone else had a fun one. We headed to Cleveland on Thursday night and hung out with my bro, Jason, and family. Many ppl know that my brother happened to marry my best friend, Jenny. Well, Jenny wanted us to hang out so for the first time in a really long time, we went out by ourselves. It was such a great evening. First we went to an outdoor mall where all the stores were closed because it was the Fourth of July. We still got to do some window browsing and hear some fun live music. More than anything we got to talk. We never get to do that without kids and the rest of the family around. Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory and had drinks and appetizers and dessert. God, did we do it good! It was a great time.

During our window browsing, Jenny had told me about this store I had to see. Check it out:

Just think for a mere $3.00 you can get Heather's Butt Rub too. I know I am a weirdo, but how fun is that? We also got Dave a shirt that says "I got the best butt rub at Heather's". First thing my ultra conservative husband says, "Wow, I can wear that everywhere." Inject sarcasm in that please.

We really just relaxed all weekend and got to spend some quality time with them. My niece is three and just so much fun. I think its hard on her though. She has very high expectations with Ella and my little girl just doesn't keep up yet. I think it would be better if she talked more. She is getting there though. We hear a lot more from Ella.

Speaking of...Ella had her two year a couple of weeks ago and I forgot to post.. She was right at the 50th percentile for all except her head which was 55th percentile. I was happy with that. He said that he wasn't super concerned yet with the talking. He said he wanted us to get intervention at 2.5 years. I was thinking about still going earlier but she is making progress right now. Everything was fine on the motor control front. He basically had her just walk to me which you think she would have done right away seeing how we put her on the other side of the room with the doctor, but she just stood there. Then he offered her a hand and she took it and walked with him. That was cool. It means she was comfortable with him. Basically our dr appts aren't too bad once we get past the nurse. Sometimes the eyes and ears are rough but she didn't fight nearly as hard as she did at 18 months. And she has smiles for him now. Really so far, two is so much fun. The tantrums can get old but she rarely has them. I know how lucky we are. Ella is happy 99.9% of the time. The other .1% usually comes around food. She is such a picky eater all of a sudden.

Here are some of Ella's two year pics to end on :)The last one isn't one we got but it was on the CD and I thought it was cute and kinda represented the age.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What a long month

Those pics make me want to be a kid again. While watching Ella play in the fountains, I felt like I wanted to jump in too. These are the pics I promised from the mall with the cool fountains. Ella has so much fun there.

The last two weeks have been so insane at work. I am behind now but at least feel a little less pressure. One of my coworkers got married and while she was gone I tried really hard to step up. I did a good job but the effort left me brain dead.

We have had a lot of things going on. Ella turned 2 on June 20. Yay Ella!! We had a great birthday party with lots of friends and family. I have zippo pics from the party right now except what my friend Barb was nice enough to send me. Thanks, Barb!!

I do have pics of the family party later that night to celebrate both my niece Sydney's 9th birthday and Ella's. Ella got the cutest doll from my mom and some yoga videos from my brother and fam. Sydney got a huge Star Wars lego set from us and my folks. And then she got the guitar from my brother and Jenny. Our Syd is such a character :). The last pic is the birthday hat Syd made for her

Ella and her cuz Saoirse

Ella and her cake

Sorry about all the funky spacing. Still can't figure out what I am doing wrong!

Monday, June 9, 2008

It finally happened

Ok I will later post pics of playing in the cool fountains at the mall. We went back yesterday with my parents and we had a great time! It was so very hot. We had a great day overall. I survived my first bachelorette party in a long time without too much of a hangover. We then went to hang out with my mom and dad after Dave mowed the lawn and Ella got her nap so everyone was happy. After the mall, as we headed home we saw the horrible black clouds that were sitting west of us and heading our way fast. I told Dave that we should get to my Mom's apt and wait it out. Very good decision! The wind was so strong and while we were on our way the sirens started going off. I was so scared! We made it safely and after it was all over, we decided to stay and play Wii Fit for a little while. It was so much fun and I have to brag that I kicked everyone's butt. So then we headed home.

We thought we were ok from the storm because we really didn't see much damage on our way home. Then we got about a block away and it was awful. Where before we saw twigs and small branches, now there were whole trees on the ground and the street lights were out. As we drove down the street, I had this sinking feeling. This is what we saw when we got home:

The last one is not our pool- we wish we had a pool. That was the neighbor's pool that OUR tree decided to take out. The fence isn't ours either. So we had no actual property damage. The front does not look that bad in that pic but it was pretty messy. The back was much worst. Amazingly enough, we just have a lot of clean up to do right now. We already got the front done. If you look at the top of the trees you can see the pretty sizable limbs stuck up there waiting to fall. We are nervous about those. The tree service guys were out tonight. They got started. Guess what? None of the tree removal is covered. It stinks! I am just glad everyone was ok especially our neighbors who were swimming moments before the storm hit.

So now, a lot of money later, we have words of wisdom for people with old big trees- trim them regularly. If the ppl who had the house before us had started, and we kept it up, we would be ok probably. I knew this would happen someday but the idea of getting up there was so daunting. We are hoping that they will grow back in and we can maintain them regularly. Right now we still have no power, and it is storming again. Dave is at the house :(. We miss him. We are chilling at my moms which makes for more driving but at least we are comfortable. Anyways thankfully we are all safe and so is our house!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Drama on the block

So last night I am trying to cram in all my Wed night shows that I DVR. There are quite a few and I never get them all in. So it is about 10:40 or so and all of sudden there was this huge bang! The only thing I could think of was that it sounded like a shotgun. My first thought- crap the neighbors are shooting each other. And I am alone with Ella. So I run and check that the doors are locked, then go sit on the couch and try to figure out what to do. My first instinct was to grab Ella and hide in our room and wait for sirens. Now that was an extreme reaction. I grabbed my phone and waited. Then I heard some pops that were definitely fireworks. Why the heck are there fireworks going off?


I know I am a moron. Maybe Dave and I need to stop watching the Sopranos every day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I've been tagged!

So my sweetest friend,Barb, tagged me to do something called a meme. I had seen a few on the random blogs I read thanks to Barb's links :).

Here is what she posted:

The Meme originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. It's a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words.
His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4 .Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I really tried to think of something very cool and original but the same words kept forming in my mind so here is mine:

In her smile, I find peace.

Things are weird right now. I don't know if anyone else feels the same or not, but I find myself tense a lot for no real reason. I think I am sensitive to other people's tension and stress and everywhere you go anymore, people are not happy. Except for my girl. She is just joy personified. I look at her, and everything is ok. It doesn't matter what is going on around us. I am happy with her. Still to this day, I can't wait to get home to be with her.

Ok I tag:
1. This Blog Sucks- Ok nevermind Christine got her :)
2. Franklin, Fronda, and Peanut
3. the Karras
4. Julie
5. Ok I have no more. I read a lot but I feel weird because I don't know them that well :)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Perfect day

I really thought today was going to be ordinary. I felt like we should do something special, but I wasn't sure what with Dave working and stuff needing to be done. Well I got a lot of laundry done and some stuff around the house cleaned up. Ella took her nap, and afterward, I planned on going with her to feed my mom's cat. There is a nice new outdoor mall by her apartment so I thought we would stop and walk a bit there.

Well things started out a little hairy. We forgot the stroller so Ella had to walk which only was an issue when we got in stores. Ella loves to touch EVERYTHING. Well we only stopped in three stores thankfully. We hit the playground for a few, and then we found the fountains. They have these cool fountains that are on timers. Ella had a blast! Of course this was not planned so she was drenched and I had no change of clothes and certainly no towel. :) So we went to Parisian where they just happened to have some cute patriotic shirts and shorts on sale for 50% off. I was going to get her an outfit for the fourth anyways. We then headed off to get dinner, but on the way we stopped to listen to the live music playing :). They were singing oldies songs and Ella loves music. We went to Taco Bell for a quick bite, grabbed a cookie, and went back to the music. Ella was a dancing fool. For an almost two year old, she has some moves. She really gets into the footwork especially.

It was just a great day. We are both tired but it was worth it. Here is some pics from this morning after I got her dressed in her really cute dress.

Ella gets this cheesy smile now everytime the camera points her way!

That's better!

Miss Hollywood

Mom, you're cramping my style!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Biting my nails...

So anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to polymer clay. I found this medium back when my sis was in college and broke it out again about 5 years ago and didn't stop claying until Ella was born. I took a break for a long while, but at our retreat in March I found that I had missed it so much! I am back to clay at least 3 nights a week. I am very happy with my recent works and have decided to try my hand at selling some of my stuff on Etsy. I can get lost in this site for hours. This is a very tough thing for me to do. I like my stuff, Dave likes my stuff, but who is to say anyone else will. I did give some jewelry as gifts this year and they were big hits. I used to mostly make vases and bigger pieces, but with limited time, I find pendants much quicker and more challenging so more fun.

Heathlove's Etsy

Here is my Etsy store if you would like to check it out. I have several more pieces that I want to get up there but haven't managed to get pics for them yet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How do you punish your monkey?

Monday disguised as Tuesday Part 2

So this morning was fun. Ella woke up last night around 4 and came to lay down with us. She started coughing and just couldn't stop for almost an hour. I eventually got up with her and sat on the couch so she was upright. It helped and we both passed out. When Dave woke me up at 5:30 to tell me to put her in her crib, I made the unwise decision to go back to bed. I didn't get up until 6:30- so much for showing off my new do. I did ok getting myself ready- showered, dressed, and made coffee before Ella got up. Once she was up it went ok too. Until we went to get shoes and jacket on. Ella's shoes tend to end up in different rooms now. I can only assume Ella is picking them up and carrying the around. So it took me 10 minutes to find her 2nd sneaker. Then I went to get my keys to leave- I bet you can see where this is going- and they were nowhere to be found. I knew exactly where they were and I freaked. They were in the diaper bag which I knew was in the car! So I mentally start going over the conversation I will have to have with my boss while I head out to the car to see if they are there. Miraculously the car was unlocked! Of course that was a very irresponsible, unsafe situation but somehow it happened at the right time. Of course now we are very late and I couldn't even get myself to enjoy Ella's cuteness. She was a very happy girl through it all. I was 10-15 minutes late but ok with just getting here safely. Now I just want to go home and it is only lunch time.

Happy Belated Memorial Day- Monday disguised as Tuesday Part 1

What a beautiful weekend! We really had a great one. Unfortunately we didn't see Dave much. He had Friday off but got called in around 4. Of course I was getting my first haircut in 6 months when he got the call. I got home and he was getting ready to leave. It sucked. Cool thing though- my hair looks great! I just hate that when they style it at the salon it looks so much better than I could ever do. I should have taken a picture. They used a flat iron on my hair (at my request) to see what would happen. I looked at least 5 years younger! Dave even said it was the best hairdo I had ever. So I was all excited and went out to purchase a flat iron. Apparentally that was a once in a lifetime do. I can keep practicing but since I don't have four arms and they are not 6 feet long, I don't think the magic will happen again.

So that was Friday- I don't really remember the rest of the night. I know Ella and I went somewhere, but it must not have been terribly exciting. Saturday morning- I had a plan. We headed off to the Farmer's Market to pick up some vegetable plants in case mine started from seeds don't pan out (so far so good though!). Then I wanted to rush back and pack a lunch to take to the zoo. The ideal outcome would be to arrive at the zoo no later than 11 so it wasn't as crowded. We arrived back from the market at 9:30. I rush in to make sandwiches....ummmm no bread. Guess we are eating there. So I grab some snacks and start packing Ella's bag. Can't find the sunscreen. Oh and there's stuff that HAS to go in the mail. So quick trip to Target and then the post office and then on to 75 to goto zoo. At the post office,it hits me- I don't have my house keys. Which ordinarily wouldn't worry me too much because I can just get Dave's and if they are lost, it will be a hassle but fixable. The problem this time was my mom's apt key was on there, and we are taking care of her cat. I really didn't want to kill Nell. She's a good kitty. My mind and heart start racing. Where did I throw them? Why didn't I put them back with my car keys? So I trace back and I remember locking the house, but I don't remember having them at Target. So best case scenario- they are at the house in the yard. Worst case- somewhere in Target, Target's parking lot, or in someone else's pocket. I try not to drive 80 back to our house or think of the huge crowd that will be at the zoo by the time we finally figure this out. So we get to the house and I don't even have to pull in before I see my keys shining brightly in the driveway. I take a deep breath and finally head off to the zoo. On the way, Ella falls asleep. I handled the bumps well I think. I went through the Burger King drive thru and got lunch for us. Took the long way to the zoo and when we got there, Ella was well rested and it was only 12:30. Of course, everyone and their brother arrived at the same time, but Ella ate her lunch while we waited in line. I found that just mommy and daughter at the zoo goes well. We manuever much faster than most. So we pretty much hit everythin

Sunday we went to a coworker's house for a BBQ. Ella wore herself out playing outside. No nap! We had a lot of fun. She looked so pretty in her little dress. We really had a nice relaxing day. Ella didn't want to leave, and with no nap, we had quite a meltdown. She passed out in the car and really never woke up even through getting her pjs on. Poor girl was exhausted.

Yesterday was beautiful. I thought it was going to rain so I had planned on getting the house spotless, but since it was so nice, we spent the afternoon outside. Ella got to hang out in her little pool. That was fun. She is such a laid back kid. She just sat and played with her tub toys like it was bath time. We had dinner out with Dave and that was it.

Oh quick update- Ella talked a lot this weekend! I am still concerned that she is mostly babbling but at least she is making sounds now. We have a dr appt tomorrow and I plan on talking about her hearing. Also my friend, Barb, pointed us in the direction of an early intervention service that we can check into.

Ok today is a two poster because I wanted to cover the weekend and today seperately.
Here are some pics from Sunday. The second is Ella and her pal, Rachel.