Dec 25, 2010


A Christmas Miracle DID occur (okay maybe the antibiotics started kicking the strep's butt)...either way, I got my voice back! Sure it's deep and raspy...but I'll take it over literally only being able to whisper and not being able to swallow!

I hope Your Christmas has been wonderful. Despite being sick, mine's been great and will continue for one more day tomorrow with my side of the fam! I'll be nestling in to sleep here shortly but here's the happenings thus far.

For the first time since the first year we were married, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our own home! Now that Ella is old enough to understand, we decided to being creating our own family traditions.

Christmas Eve we spent a lazy day at home. Ella helped me bake cupcakes for Jesus' Birthday (New family tradition #2). It was so sweet to hear her as she lay in bed for her nap. Here's how it went:
"Happy Birfday to Jeee-sus. Happy Birfday to Jeee-sus. Jesus have cupcake? K. Ella have cupcake too. K? K." OH. MY. GOSH. Too cute for words.
Jason and Ella went to a friends for dinner while I kept my germs away and rested.
We had our last day of advent (advent being new family tradition #1) singing, opening the calendars, lighting the last white candle and celebrating Jesus' Birthday.
See the cupcakes in the shape of a "J"?
She really liked the cupcakes!
Then Ella opened one present...that being new Christmas P.J.'s (New family tradition #3) and put them on to snuggle and read Christmas stories before bed.
Christmas Morning we turned on the lights, hit the Christmas music and spent time taking turns opening stockings and then presents. Not wanting it to be about tons of STUFF, it doesn't take us long. Jason and I each get one for each other and Ella had three. Of course Hunter is never left out! He loves his flying squirrel.
Then we brewed the coffee, Daddy cooked up a nice hot breakfast and we spent time savoring and playing with Ella's new toys. Now I can't be quite certain but I THINK Ella may have enjoyed her big present...a playhut structure with multiple "houses" and tunnels. You judge for yourself by the picture!
Oh, how we loved our own little family Christmas.
And oh, how we also love going to be with family too. So we did just that. We hit the road to Jason's side of the family where we took this lovely little picture. There's never a shortage of toys, food and fun. Ella has such a blast and often talks about "Nanny & Gammpy, Auntie Ewin, and Unca Adam"
And tomorrow it's off to celebrate with my side of the family. She'll no doubt be singing "To Gamma's house we go" in the car and she's already talked about "Auntie Den, Danie (Jen's horse), and Unca Geg". Looks like we may get snowed in by this incoming blizzard for longer than we had originally planned. Oh well. We'll see how it goes. Good thing we brought the snow gear and sled!

Hope you all are having a happy, healthy, merry Christmas!

Dec 21, 2010

The Christmas Card that Keeps On Giving!

Welp, you may think this a little lame, but in order to stay within a tight budget and give more to the needy...we've opted out of mailing Christmas cards this year. I'm sure we'll resume in the future when we have a little more to go around to all things. But this year our hearts have been pierced deeper than ever before by the plight of the needy and we simply put priority on that. We would like to share some fab pictures of our little munchkin that I took and some family pictures taken by the fabulous Barbara Tobey (you can also find her here) that would have totally made it on the card!The money we saved in different ways went to to help dig a well to provide clean water to children as well as help provide assistance to needy families in our community...see, and by you being okay with not getting a card this helped make that happen!!!

Here's an idea how an amount that seems so small to us can be so BIG in the lives of others...
Between the photo cards, envelopes and stamps (a mere $25-$35),

that's enough money to provide:

  • more than $200 dollars worth of food to starving children in other countries

  • two months worth of safe shelter, food, counseling, and healthcare for an abused or exploited child

  • a month'ss worth of safe haven, food, healthcare, and education to an AIDS orphan

  • seeds, tools, hoes, watering cans and training on how to produce food for families facing famine or crop failure

  • a month of healthcare, food, trauma care and vocational training for rescued child soldiers

Think about it. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and help someone less fortunate do the same!

Dec 13, 2010

Reading to Monkey

Today after we read books in our pre-nap routine, Ella took the book and said, "Ella sit in own rockin' chair. I read to monkey."

She then proceeded to read MANY books to Mr. Monkey AND let me take pictures! It was priceless and thus nap was pushed back a few. "Pola Beah, Pola Beah,Wha you heah?"
The way she says it is Adorable. Priceless. Beyond words.
Oh what's that? You can't see the pictures? Here. Let me give you a close up.
I went for a while without many Ella posts at all and now I think I'm making up for it. She's just so cute! She's growing so fast and doing so many things that I cannot begin to tell of them all. But she is being a little more compliant with picture taking these days so I've managed to snap a few!

Dec 10, 2010

She's a Sharp One!

Last night I was finishing wrapping Christmas Presents and Ella was curious. When I showed her the three that are for her she was quite excited. The following conversations ensued.
ELLA: Ella present! My open it!
ME: No sweetie, you can't open them yet. They are Christmas presents. We have to wait until Christmas.
(Pause, Ella looking confused and me pondering how to explain that to her a little more.)
ME: You know the calendar that we open one door each day?
ELLA: Yeah.
ME: Once we open all the doors, then it will be Christmas and we can open the presents.
ELLA: (Pausing while the wheels in her head were obviously turning.) I GO OPEN DOORS ON CALENDAR!!! (she exclaims as she turns on heel and runs for the calendar)

I'm tellin' ya...this one, she's a sharp one! Oh we got the biggest kick out of that!

Also of note. When I told her it was her daddy's birthday she busted out into quite the round of "Happy Birthday to Daddy!" all on her own. She even sang it to him again when I called him on the phone. You could tell he was touched. He said he'd like to have it on video. I've yet to accomplish that task as she is only interested in seeing herself on the camera these days....not on being on the other side of it!

She also counted to ten today. I know it's just recitation, but I think it's pretty great!

Dec 8, 2010


Although her Birthday was celebrated TWICE two weeks ago
and as far as she's concerned it's come and gone,
I cannot help but take pause today because today
my little Ella is officially
Where DOES the time go?
How is my tiny infant now
speaking to me in full sentences?
Singing songs?
Potty Training?
Giving up Pacifiers?
How can it be that my wee one is now the toddler peering down at other babies with delight?
I want to capture each moment, savor each one and never wish a second away...even the tough seconds :)

Happy Birthday my Sweet!
May you always ride happily off into the sunset!

Dec 2, 2010

Cold Turkey

It was all fun and games...until reality set in.

You see, since the age of one, Ella was only allowed her paci's in the crib or car. A few months ago we eliminated the car clause with not so much as a whimper. And we're finally going all in...or all out I guess, and eliminating the paci's all together. We decided to do this because she's been biting them and I'm so afraid that she'll bite a hunk off and it will choke her in her sleep. Also, even though we've always used the orthodontic ones, I just don't want anything potentially messing up her teeth. They've not yet, so better to stop while we're ahead.

You see we've been talking about this for a month now. That when she has her "Happy Birthday To You" party, she'll be 2...a big girl! She won't need paci's anymore. We'll give them to baby Addi, because only babies need pacis.

I didn't know how much she's understand. But she'd periodically bring it up and shove her pacifiers in my face saying, "I give to baby Addi!". So she's had her birthday bashes. We waited until the day after I watch another little girl and now it's go time. We made a big deal, colored a package, wrapped it up, put bows on it and shipped it off to her dear friend Baby Addi (who incidentally does not even use paci's.) She had a blast and was so excited to give them away to her!

But I knew it wasn't going to be that easy. It was about the time that I said we were getting ready for her nap that she realized her beloved paci's were long gone and that meant she wouldn't have them for nap! She shot me a glance that can only be described by the caption, "OH CRAP. They're really gone!" Then began the incessant asking, "I go get paci's!" "I need my paci!" "I go Addi's house get paci's!"

Distraction was key.
  • We made a big deal about her getting to wear her NEW pink monkey pajamas. That bought me about 10 minutes.
  • And thank goodness one of her favorite books (Papa's song) had her smiling and giggling and making all the sound effects. And all on her own she pointed to Baby Bears mouth at the end and said in a suprised tone, "Baby Bear no have paci!" So we made a huge deal about Baby bear being a big boy, and not needing a paci and still being sound asleep. That bought me another 15 min.
  • Then began the tucking in. Her pillow placed just so. She telling me where to put each specific blanket..."Dis one on piwow. Dis one nuggle (next to her to snuggle). Dis one covew up (cover he up)." This went on for quite some time with at least 8 blankets. 4 of which she specified which order they were to be laid over her! She then asked to have each stuffed animal removed from the crip, "Take dat out, take dat one out, take that one out.....". I was headed for the door with them all when she specified that she wanted them in the closet..."Put dem in dere (pointing to closet door)". That bought me another 5...maybe 10 minutes.
Thus far we're 10 minutes in. She cried for her paci for about five. Oh rip my heart out! Then she cried for her doll, which I brought her. And now she's quiet. And I'm crossing my fingers!

I know I'm coddling her, but this is s tough transition...probably just as tough on me as it is on her. Be strong! I keep telling myself. Be strong! Wish us well!