Monday, February 28, 2011


The obligatory family photo on the balcony of our Lebanon apartment. At least David looks nice!

Photo shoot of our new walker

Pink lil' bundle of joy!

Last night, the last day of February just around the corner, I was swarmed with memories of what was happening in our lives at this time last year. It is incredible how much can change in such a seemingly short amount of time!
  • Joshua had barely started walking... now he runs everywhere, including up and down hills and steps without hesitation.
  • Joshua had barely started talking! I remember the doctor's concern when she asked how many words he knew, and we kind of looked at each other, thinking... ummm... two?! Now our little chatterbox is trying to learn that he has to take breaks between sentences from time to time so Mommy and Daddy can have a conversation!
  • Ellie weighed less than 10 pounds. We are currently waiting for her to hit the 20-pound mark so we can use her new carseat!
  • Ellie hardly ever showed her eyes. She is still an AWESOME sleeper, but she is also quite the socialite. She loves to chatter as well, and she scoots around exploring every nook and cranny she can find.
  • I was two weeks out of surgery, 6 weeks out from having a baby, and we were two weeks away from making our big move back. We were living in an empty apartment. Phew!
  • David was preparing to put us all on a plane while he stayed behind to finish things in Lebanon. He still can't remember much about his last busy days there!
  • David was about to begin the job search
It has been quite a year for us. I am so thankful for all of the support we have had from friends and family. We certainly miss our friends and life in Lebanon, but God has truly blessed our transition back to Waco.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pushing Miss Ellie

Joshua loves pushing Ellie around in the car, and Ellie loves "driving," so it works out nicely. Ellie can drive herself backwards, and she also sits happily and tries to eat the horn from time to time. Yesterday, she got her shoulder stuck under the steering wheel somehow, and it made her very sad!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tummy trauma

Ellie has had an upset stomach for over two weeks now. It finally got to the point where we called the doctor. The nurse said we should continue with the BRAT diet as we have been, but she also said to hold off on the milk for 24-36 hours. Umm, excuse me, but as David told her, that is kind of what she drinks! That's it! Maybe it is something about us and the way we do things, but both of our kids of stuck with milk for a very long time. We started giving them each water early on so they could have it and get used to it, but I guess water isn't all that exciting! So it has been just over 24 hours of straight Pedialyte for Elle Belle, and I must say she is doing well. Well, I mean, her tummy doesn't seem any better, but she is coping with the lack of milk well. She asks for milk constantly; wouldn't you know that we have to do this milk "fast" about 3 days after she learned to ask for milk?! The good thing is that she doesn't seem to bothered by the fact that I keep telling her she can't have milk until tomorrow. Pray that she is better soon!

Super signs!

Baby sign language seems to be all the rage. We didn't think too much of it until I got tired of hearing Joshua whine for things in his high chair. I probably posted something about it. I then learned that proponents of baby sign language say to start way earlier than you think the baby can understand because they comprehend more than we realize. Apparently you might see your baby's first signs as early as 6 months of age! Well, we still aren't major signers in our household, but if you have read any of my posts about Ellie and her preferred decibel level, you might guess that we have started to working on signing again. And, while some say to start early, I will argue that it is much more fun to wait until you feel desperate and then be amazed at how quickly they learn! It has only taken one or two tries to teach Ellie her most important and valuable words: eat, milk, more, cracker. "All done" is important to those of us who clean up after her, but she prefers to toss the food to the side or smear it around on her tray. Hey, I guess her methods yield fast results!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


You might not realize it, but that is the name of a wonderful grocery store. :) (Translation: HEB!) I used to do anything I could to avoid taking the kids to the grocery store. Now I find that not only do they enjoy it, but it probably helps me spend less money because I don't want to stand around looking at new things. (Maybe some of you remember excited I used to get about the cereal aisle...) Some of you more experienced Moms can probably tell me when this season will end, but currently, Joshua gets excited about going to HEB. In fact, he likes to pretend to go there. He gets his sunglasses, his keys, and his milk. He gets in his car and heads to the store.

Ellie likes the store as well. I think "balloon" is her second word. Each child gets a balloon when we check out. Well, unless they are out of balloons. A couple of times that has happened, and a nice worker has handed Joshua some sort of HEB dollar that he can collect and try to get a toy or something like that. Whatever the deal, Joshua was not impressed. He listened politely and then handed the paper to me when the man was gone. Nice try, sir, but we all know everyone prefers the balloon!

A hard-working man

Well, the door seems to be working fine...

Oh, but the cars eyes are a little dry!

Joshua and Ellie got this car from Grandmom and G-pa at Christmas. G-pa likes cars a lot, and he has always checked mine for me to make sure things are as they should be as I come and go from Houston. Joshua noticed G-pa working on Mommy's car, so he decided to go out and work on his car, too!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Table Manners

If you are a first-time Mommy of a child around a year or younger, TAKE NOTE! Enjoy your meal times as they are right now, because it is not likely to remain this way! I mean, I can only speak for my children, and there are only two of them, but it seems like the shift happened right around the same time in both of their lives. Both Joshua and Ellie have loved to eat. Ellie took a little longer to figure it out, but she still consumed pretty much whatever we put on her tray or in her spoon. Joshua was the same way. I spent months with both kids being shocked at the amount they could fit in their little infant tummies.

And then the shift. It is like someone whispers in their ears, "Hey, you actually don't have to eat everything they put in your mouth!" Joshua was relatively forgiving; he just flat out refused things. It seems like texture was his biggest turn-off, so he detested vegetable pieces or things like mashed potatoes. It was frustrating because he wouldn't even try things for a long time, but it has had its perks I'll let you know my theory with Ellie next year; all I can say right now is that she might be a bit more difficult to handle in the highchair. She all of a sudden spits mouthfuls of food out or rakes up a tray full of pieces and casts them away to the floor. And it isn't easy to predict, either. Ellie will be pretty relaxed, eating a bite here and there, and then look out. Here come her hands, and they are wild and crazy! Still, at other times, like when peanut butter and jelly are involved, she is eating double-fisted and literally alternating hands as quickly as she can get them into her mouth! Sigh...


Snuggling with a safari hat. Hey, why not?

Ok, I apologize for posting twice in a row with no pictures! I know no one looks at this thing for the text!

Ellie is into her second year now. You might be saying, "Well, yes, that is what happens after the birthday party!" But it is worth noting because I forgot how fun this second year is... since it has been sooo long since I had a 1 year-old! :) I don't want to slight Ellie by failing to mention her milestones... and making note of some very significant differences between her and my first one year-old.

My girl might be fiercely independent. Quite often lately, she will scoot off to do her own thing no matter who is sitting with her. She puts her hands on her head and recognizes the word "head" as well as the song that goes with it. I think this was also one of Joshua's firsts. After Ellie got "head", we taught her tummy. She says "Hi!" into pretend phones or other random toys, but she just looks surprised if there is a real phone involved. Ellie loves to dance and play with balls. She puts socks on her feet. That sounds pretty advanced, but I mean she simply lays them on her feet because she realizes that is where they go. Again, that seems smart to me, but Ellie also lays hats and gloves on her feet, so I guess she isn't quite there yet!

It is fun to watch her blossom!

Valentine's Day at MDO

We went to "school" on Tuesday morning very eagerly. Joshua loves it these days, and they canceled it last week. I dropped him off with his teachers, and Ellie and I headed out. As we were walking out the door, I heard someone mention bringing things, and it hit me... this is Valentine's party week! I am a pretty diligent planner; I like to think ahead, and I even bought Valentine's cards a couple of weeks ago just to be ready. But we didn't get our usual reminder about this week since we didn't go last week. I felt kind of terrible, which is ironic. David and I had talked about how silly school Valentine cards are since you simply buy them and write names down 20 times. Still, when you are a kid, it is fun, and that is why it happens! And I knew that Joshua would have enjoyed writing on the little cards with a pen. It made me realize how diligent they often are at MDO to remind us about everything 10 times. I wrote out Joshua's cards, closed the little envelopes with stickers that didn't stick, and he got to put them in his friends' bags. At the Valentine's party, all of the little kids were talking about how they were having a birthday party, and they enjoyed the hearts. When Joshua went through his bag later, he was wondering where his monkey card was. I don't think he got the concept, but at least that means we were right in which cards we selected on his behalf. And I have to say, I was a little surprised at how much candy was in my 2 year-old's bag!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mommy and Daddy's bathroom

Our bedroom isn't really a bedroom; there is an outside door on one wall and the only entrance to Joshua's room on another wall. There are 5 doors on the walls of our "bedroom", and none of them are closets! There is a random little half bathroom that has become pretty useful for us. It is more the size of a tiny closet; two people can barely share the space. However, to Joshua, it is known as "Mommy and Daddy's bathroom". Ellie just discovered this bathroom pretty recently. She scoots her little self right on in there and just has the time of her life. She doesn't even care if there are any toys. She will pull at the threads on the rug at times, but her favorite thing is just to pat the walls because they are extremely textured. I have my sanitary issues with my daughter playing on the bathroom floor, but sometimes it is nice for her to be content... and it helps that she doesn't crawl, in this case, because her hands aren't on the floor!

Ice Days

David got Joshua up and told him about the snow, and Joshua wanted to share it with Curious George as well.

Cold weather = pjs all day

Loving the wagon!

Learning how to warm hands by the fire

What a week it has been! We spent last weekend in Houston celebrating Ellie with family and running the marathon. Marathon day was relatively warm, but most of the rest of the week in Waco was well below freezing!

Monday: It is a gorgeous "spring" day, but I can't muster the energy to take the kids out. I think they are happy for a lazy day at home as well. After all, Tuesdays are MDO, which means lots of activity for all 3 of us.

Tuesday: 6:30 a.m. MDO is closed, and I will kick myself for the first of many times that we did not go to the zoo on Monday! Tuesday ends, and it still seems silly to me that they closed.

Wednesday: We start to go to the museum, but I decide that it is too cold to even walk from the parking lot to the front door. (In my defense, it is kind of a long walk!)

So, we pretty much stayed home for 4 days... but we still got to use the wagon! I did not plan to ever use a wagon inside, but it bought me several hours of content playtime for Joshua and Ellie. They are so precious as they interact and enjoy each other more each day!

Friday: A real, live SNOW DAY! I really am not sure I have ever been in the right place at the right time for one of these. Sure, ice days here and there, but SNOW! So fun! And on a Friday, so it made a 3 day weekend for David. We have certainly enjoyed it! Both kids liked the snow pretty well, which surprised me. We rushed out with them before breakfast and oohed and aahed. Later, we went down the block on their first outdoor wagon ride in Waco. :)

Saturday: You know it has been a cold week when you think a low 0f 31 is warm and debate whether to double-layer the kids' pjs.