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.