Chronicling all the Happenings in our Little Corner of the World

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ella-girl is 9 months!

Ella celebrated her nine-month birthday on Thursday!  I think of this as a landmark of her first year; not only is she 3/4 the way to turning one, but she now has spent just about the same amount of time on the "outside" as she did in the womb...crazy to think!  And to make it even sweeter, she happened to be born on a Thursday, as well. :)  Here's what she's been up to lately.

At her nine-month check-up on Thursday, she weighed in at 15.1 lbs and is 26.5 inches long, which puts her in the 10th percentile for both height and weight.  Yes, she's small, but she always has been--that's just Ella!

She is definitely on the move!  It's amazing to watch her grow and explore.  She seems to learn something new almost daily.  She's been crawling and pulling up on things for over a month, and now she can take a few steps (while holding on to something, of course).  At the rate she's going, who knows...maybe she'll walk by Christmas.  Wouldn't that be fun! :)

About two weeks ago, we discovered a whole new world of wonderful textures and flavors.  That's right...TABLE FOOD!  Ella has always been a great eater; there are very few things that she flat-out does not like (example: raspberries and strawberries because they're tart.), so you can imagine my surprise and frustration when she suddenly wanted nothing to do with any of her baby food.  After ruling out several possible causes for her sudden food strike, it was determined that she simply became bored of baby food.  And boy, were we right!  The tiny girl can put away an entire banana in one sitting (bananas have always been a favorite), and she loves her some chicken and stars, and (get this), biscuits and gravy.  She is her father's child indeed. 

Speaking of food and chewing, etc., it is interesting to add that she STILL doesn't have a single tooth in her mouth!  LOL...oh well.

Ella wears a size 3 diaper (and will for a while, I'm sure), and wears about size 2 shoe.  She now has enough hair to wear a barrette or a small bow without a headband....YIPPEEEE!! 

Here are some of my favorite images from the past month:

Isn't she beautiful?!  I'm still in complete awe of her BLUE eyes!

She has her Daddy's toes!

Fun at CDO: she LOVES music class! :)

Halloween brunch with Momma and Daddy at Harvest Caffe

Her first costume:)  Here she is at Parkfest with PaPa.  To say he's crazy about her is a complete understatement!

Grand-Dee the Bumblebee and her little flower.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Elizabeth Kate: Eight Months Old

My friend, Paige, writes a new post on each of her daughter's monthly birthdays to document the little details of her life and development.  I thought this was a great idea, so with this post, I hope to start a new tradition on my blog! 

My sweet little girl--today, you turn eight months old!  I can't believe it.  This time last year, I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and we had just found out we were having a baby girl.  Time flies unbelievably fast.  This is a sonogram image of you one year ago (October 7, 2010).  As you can see, I was so excited to be having you! :)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; you are a very happy baby!  You charm everyone you meet with your sweet smile.  Your giggle is absolutely contagious.  You have some of the cutest expressions, too!  Such a drama queen already... :)

You are a great little eater!  In the last two months, you have sample and enjoyed a variety of yummy things.  You aren't a picky eater; we haven't found anything yet that you do not like.  (Makes Mommy happy!)  You do have a few favorites: so far, you love pears, bananas, carrots, peas, and green beans.   You've been eating "Stage 2" foods for a few weeks now.  We also recently introduced you to rice puffs...your first finger food!  You haven't mastered getting them in your mouth on your own, but you're great at eating them. (More like "gumming" them).  It's fun to watch you try new things.

Mommy is super excited that you finally have some hair!  You had a head-full when you were born, but most of it fell out when you were about two months old.  You now have enough hair to wake up with "bed head", so I have to comb it every morning.  I love it!  I can't wait until you have enough to wear clips and bows.  Someday soon, I think. :)

You LOVE taking baths!  I REALLY hope that you always will.  You don't mind having your hair washed and you giggle everytime I scrub your little feet (already ticklish like Daddy).  You like playing with your bath-toys, but your favorite thing to do is flail your arms and legs in the water and get Mommy soaking wet. (And the wall, and the floor....)  Mommy doesn't mind because you get such a kick out of it!  Enjoy it while you can, girl.  It won't be so cute when you're three, haha! :)

Each time I got a sonogram while I was pregnant with you, the technician remarked about how "active" you were.  That is so you!  You are one busy little girl!  You are always on the move, grabbing everything within reach, and, like most babies your age, sticking it in your mouth.  In fact, you cry almost everytime I change you diaper or change your clothes because you can't stand being still for more than two seconds.  You can be a handful and I constantly have to tell you, "No, no!", but truthfully, I love your curiosity.  It is one of my favorite things about you!  It just shows how alert and how bright you are! 

Your favorite toys include the Jumperoo, your little books (YAY!!), tennis balls (Daddy is SOO proud), and anything that lights up or makes sounds.  You also recently took a liking to "Baby Einstein" videos.  Your favorite so far is "Baby Mozart".  You stare at the screen with such wonder!  Don't misunderstand me; we do not watch TV all day.  But when we do, this is what we watch. 

You currently wear a size 3 diaper and size 2 shoes.  To my surprise, you still don't have any teeth yet, but that's okay!  Those pearly whites will show up soon enough. 

Here are a few more recent photos of you.

 Looking adorable for your first Texas-OU game.  Too bad the Horns didn't win..

  You had better things to do than let Daddy put on your jammies.  This is what happens when you decide to crawl away before he's done!

You and I went on a walk this morning.  You love being outside!

Here you are NOT taking a nap....

Sweet Girl :)

I love you, Honey Bun!  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you! 


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Motherhood: Trials and Triumphs

I am not Super-mom.  I'm not sure I will ever be.  I do try my hardest to be a good mom, but Super-mom....that's a title not meant for me.  I marvel at women who manage to keep a spotless house and cook gourmet meals every evening for their families, who sew and knit and do other artsy things, who exercise religiously and are disciplined in their eating habits, who keep up with the latest fashion trends and have closets full of fabulous clothes, who have time to volunteer for certain causes and chair committees and be little social butterflies....all while raising beautiful children with perfect manners and make straight A's (because Mom always helps with their homework, or better yet, HOMESCHOOLS them), who always eat their vegetables and go to bed at 8:00 sharp every night.  Seriously?!

Okay, I realize that no such woman actually exists, but some come pretty darn close.  Not me. Oh no.  It is very rare that every room in my house is clean at the same time, and, if I happen to have dinner ready when Stevo gets home from work, its usually Hamburger Helper or something of that nature that I threw together twenty minutes prior.  I don't even know how to sew a button back on a shirt.  I can't tell you when the last time I exercised was, and don't even get me started on my sweet tooth.  Fabulous clothes....HAHA!  My child is eight months old and I  still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, and they aren't even that fabulous.  No, I'm not perfect.  And you know what?  My child isn't perfect, either.  What kind of a mother says that about her own kid?  Well, an honest one...

Being Ella's Mommy is one of the greatest blessings of my life.  She might not be "perfect", but she really is wonderful.  Not to brag, but people are always complimenting us about how pleasant and happy she is.  People often ask if she's always "this easy".  The answer is yes, most of the time she really is.  (Okay, so I might be bragging a little:))  But that's not to say it's always been easy.  Motherhood is hard.  It's 100% on-the-job training.  Maybe your children did, but my child did not come with an instruction manual.  Anyhow, even the best guidebooks admit that each child is different and that the "rules" don't always apply to everyone.  I often feel like we just stumble along and figure things out as we go.  One of the greatest challenges so far was breastfeeding.  Like many new moms, I had every intention of nursing my baby until she was a year old.  I was so determined to make it work.  Yet, regardless of my good intentions and determination, we had issues from the start.  Long story short, I nursed for only five months.  Looking back, I am proud that we made it that long.  We worked really hard!  In the end, my milk production had decreased so much that I had to quit.  That decision was probably the hardest one I've had to make in regards to my baby.  I felt like such a failure!  However, I knew it better for both of us.  Ella needed her Mommy to be carefree and playful, not attached to a pump all the time.  Does that make me less of a mom?  Did I fall short?  Sometimes I still wonder.

Nothing is worse than having a sick baby.  Actually, there is something worse; being sick yourself and having a sick baby at the same time!  This happened about a month ago when we both had a bad cold.  She was miserable.  I was definitely miserable!  Let me be honest; there are moments when (dare I say it), I really don't feel like being a mom, and this was definitely one of those times!  What made it especially bad was that there was no one I could call.  Nobody could come to my rescue.  I had to suck it up and deal with it.  It sucked!  But did my attitude suck more?  Did Ella sense my frustration or lack of motivation?  If she did, does she resent me for it?

I hate it when she cries.  Does anyone else's kid cry for no reason, or is mine just a weirdo?  Sometimes she cries and I cannot figure out why.  That's when the second-guessing really starts....  What's wrong with me?  It's a baby, my baby no less, not rocket science.  So why do I feel like such an idiot?  I should be able to fix this.  She is counting on me to fix this!  What kind of a mother am I?!
 Then, right on cue, Daddy walks in and picks her up....and the crying stops!  UGH!  Really?  Happens all the time around here. 
  Does my child hate me?  Does she prefer him over me?  Why am I even worrying about this??  Am I really jealous of my husband, a.k.a., her father?!  Why am I so insecure? 

Motherhood is hard.  It is not always fun.  But it is always rewarding!  The Lord knows me; He knows there's only so much crap I can handle before I need some reassuring.  And He reassures me in so many wonderful ways.

I'll never forget how elated I was when she slept through the night for the first time.  We had diligently worked on this for several weeks, so I knew it wasn't by chance.  I feel like God rewarded our hard work by blessing us with the gift of a good sleep.  It was a small, but important victory. 

I love going to get her after she wakes up in the morning.  She sits and plays in her crib until I go in there.  Every single time she glances up and sees me, she grins from ear to ear.  It makes my heart melt.  She's happy to see me!  ME!  Her Mommy!!

One afternoon last week, I made a pallet on the floor for her to lay and watch "Baby Mozart" while I sat a few feet behind her.  She kept glancing back to see if I was still there.  About half-way through the program, she rolled over and crawled into my lap.  Then she fell asleep.  It was amazing.  She just wanted her Mommy. 

Last Thursday at CDO, Ella saw me through the window in her classroom.  I smiled at her and she smiled back.  Later her teacher told me that after I walked off, Ella started crawling toward the window, saying, "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!"  I have never felt more proud!  Some may think she's too young to actually be saying "Mama", but I disagree.  She's a very bright baby.  She knows what she's saying, and she's calling for her Mama!! :)

There are countless moments like these that God blesses with.  He knows I need encouraged from time to time.  Sometimes, I think He does just because He loves me.  Anyway, it makes it all worth it.  Every tear, every fit, every snotty nose, every poopy diaper blow-out; it's all worthwhile because my daughter loves me.  And I love her!  I'm no Super-mom, but I think I do a pretty good job...well, most of the time.  Maybe someday I'll learn how to balance cleaning and cooking and everything in between.  I might even find time to shed the baby weight! (That would be nice!)  In the meantime, I think it's best to take it one day at a time.  I'm still new at this.  What's important is the Ella is healthy, happy, and bright.  She's pleasant and everyone loves being around her.  I guess I must be doing something right. :)    

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Little Catching Up...

Our home computer was out of commission for far too long, so we finally caved in and bought a new one.  (A really nice one, too!)  Now I can happily resume my blogging. :)

It's been a while since my last post, so allow me to quickly update you on what's going on around here. 

Stevo took his state board exam last week.  By passing this test, he will be licensed to practice Audiology in the state of Texas.  And no, we do not know his test results yet...ugh!  As soon as we know something, we will certainly let you know. 

The fall semester is in full swing at First Baptist Children's Day Out (CDO).  Ella and I go twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from about 8:30-2:30.  Ella LOVES CDO! :)  Her "Turtles" class plays, naps, and has music and bible story time.  She even brings home little art projects--Momma's favorite!  I currently teach the "Flamingos", which consist of eight kids, ranging in age from about 14-18 months.  They definitely keep me busy, but it's lots of fun! 

 Guess who is now crawling AND pulling-up?  That's right, Miss Ella Belle! I can't baby-proof the house fast enough....she is one BUSY baby!  I don't dare leave anything out that I don't want her getting into because she is guaranteed to find it.  As crazy as it gets, I'm glad I have a very curious daughter.  She seems to be a fast learner, too!

We have enjoyed doing things with our Sunday School class in our spare.  We started attending this class in June and are so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group!  Despite the large size of the class, we felt welcome from the beginning and have had no problem getting to know other couples.  You'd be surprised how many others are relatively new to Midland just like us. 

That's what we've been up to in a nutshell. sure seems like there's more to it!  Oh well.

By the way, I redesigned the blog for fall.  Do you like it? :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ella's First "Half-Birthday"

"Time flies so fast after your children are born."

I heard this at least a hundred times while I was pregnant. And so far, it's proven to be true. Today, Ella turns six months old. Six months! I can hardly believe it.

One of my greatest struggles in life is living in the moment. While I think it's human nature to have goals and aspire for better, in the midst of my planning I often forget to sit back and admire what God has blessed me with IN THE PRESENT. When Ella was born I decided to make a conscious effort to be fully present in her life, for I knew she wouldn't stay little for long. I wanted to absorb each and every moment the best I could so not to miss or take anything for granted. That said, I certainly celebrate each milestone as they come, but there's something about six months that makes it extra special. Ella is officially in the last half of her first year. baby is growing up!

So in honor of this milestone, I've decided to reflect and celebrate all the wonderful moments the Lord has blessed us with over the last six months. I thank Him for the indescribably wonderful gift that is my daughter! I thank Him that she is healthy and happy. I thank Him for his unwavering faithfulness to my family. I thank Him for guiding me in this new and sometimes overwhelming role as a mother; for giving me wisdom when I'm clueless, perseverance when I'm exhausted, and patience when I'm at the end of my rope. Yes, THE LORD IS GOOD TO ME! :)

Being the proud Momma I am, I'd love to share some of my favorite images from my baby's first few months. Happy Half-Birthday Elizabeth Kate! Mommy loves you:)

August 10, 2011--Six months old:)

First kiss :)

Her nursery nurse gave her a big red bow after her bath. It was such a sweet surprise!

About a week alert!

Her first missions conference at FBC Borger. She even got a passport:)

This is her great-granddad (Stevo's granddad), "Pappy". He passed away the next day. We are so glad she got to meet him!

Mommy's Girl--5 weeks old

7 weeks old:)

April 10, 2011--2 months old! This was also the day she was dedicated at church. As you can see, the festivities wore her out!

Getting the hang of the Bumbo, about 9 weeks old. She's almost outgrown it now!

Dressing warm for Daddy's tennis tournament. So cute:)

My first Mothers Day

Her blood is burnt orange like Momma's!

Hanging out with the Huddlestons!--3.5 months old

Test driving the high chair--4.5 months old

Looking pretty for Daddy's Birthday, July 20, 2011--5 months old

Playing with her friends at Children's Day Out:)

Also from CDO. I just love this picture:)

Momma's Love:) :) :)