Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy (early) New Year!

Things have been pretty much non-stop in our lives lately.  I spent the whole week before Christmas telling students that they were on probation, disqualified from the University, or revoked from our college.  What a way to get into the holiday spirit, huh?  We then flew out to Montana on the morning of Christmas Eve, and Ella was quite the trooper.  My husband told his family that she got "fussy" on the first flight--I'd argue that she was a typical 15-month old who was simply "fidgety".  We then had a three hour drive to his hometown, and went straight to the Christmas Eve service where Ella let everyone know just how "joyful" she was to be off the plane and out of a carseat. 

We had a very pleasant Christmas with my husband's family, and Ella was sufficiently spoiled.  We were even able to hold some of her gifts until the day after Christmas.  She has absolutely loved playing with her cousins here in town, and there are absolutely wonderful with her.  I have to admit that it's kind of nice to have someone else looking after her and keeping her occupied; though it has made it a challenge when it's time for her to go to bed but she'd rather stay up and play with them. 

The weather has been so much nicer than we were expecting (or that what we experienced two years ago).  We've been able to play outside quite a bit, and Ella has enjoyed petting the horses and skating on the river (or rather, sliding on the frozen river in borrowed snow boots while her cousins try out their new ice skates).

We're here for a few more days, including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, when we'll be able to visit with some of my husband's friends from town.  He's the extrovert in our relationship, so I know that he's looking forward to visiting with his friends.

I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

My blessing for the last couple of days has been my niece and nephew.  They really are some of the sweetest kids I know, and it's apparent that they love Ella, and she adores them.  I wish we lived closer to them so that Ella could get to know them better, but I hope that they have a special relationship for years to come.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

This Isn't Something I Should Be Sad About

For his birthday, I got my very-dear's son the baby sign language DVDs that Ella enjoys, so when she sent me a video message on my phone of him doing the sign for "baby", I thought nothing of it, and responded by text that "baby" was one of Ella's favorite signs as well.

She called back and told me the rest of the story:  she's pregnant again.

This isn't something I should be sad about, but I am.  I'm very happy for her, and I pray for her and this life that God is creating in her.  I recognize that every life is a miracle.  So why am I sad? 

I've been thinking and praying about it for the last couple of days, and I think it comes down to two things; both which feel really selfish.  First, she and I were pregnant together the first time, so in a weird sort of way, I wanted to be pregnant with her again.  Second, I still haven't started a cycle.  She's now gotten pregnant twice (she experienced an early loss over the summer), and I feel like I'm still waiting to get in the game. 

Experience has taught me that no matter how much I try to tell God to hurry up, He's got his own plan.  I'm trying to align my desires to follow His plan for my life.  I'm trying to live in the moment and not get ahead of myself.  I'm trying to be genuinely at peace.  But I'm not always the person I try to be.

When she told me, I was snacking on chocolate chips (not even chocolate chip cookies...just the chocolate chips).  I've let breastfeeding become my excuse for eating like crap, but if I want my hormones to get back in sync, something has got to change.  I'm firmly convinced that I was able to carry Ella to term because my hormones were acting the way I should...which was related to my insulin levels being normal...which was definitely helped by the Metformin, but I was also being really good about what I put in my body.  I've let go of that discipline, and sure--it was fun (and tasty!) but I think that something has to change if want to be healthy--and hopefully fertile--again.

I realize that I could stop breastfeeding at any time, and that would hopefully kickstart my cycle.  But I want to wait until after the holidays (and more importantly, the plane flights that mark the beginning and the end of the holidays).  If Ella gets fussy on a trips to and from Montana, I want to be able to whip out her one and only, tried and true "pacifier" (an no, I don't mean a "binky").

So here I am, heading into the holidays with a sweets-baking-mother-in-law and a resolution to cut out the sugar.  Great timing, huh?  But I've done it before, and I can do it again.  Like I said, one of Ella's favorite signs (and now spoken word as well) is "baby".  I'm willing to sacrifice the cookies, fudge, and candy canes if it means that we might be able to give her a baby brother or sister in the future.

She's worth it...

...wish me luck.

 Today's blessing is that my husband is coming home tonight from a class he's been taking out in LA.  I'm very excited to have him come home.  Then it's one more week of work, and then vacation with him and Ella and his family.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Conversations with Ella

Ella's spoken vocabulary is still holding strong with "Ella" and all her b-words (ball, baby, Boppy, etc.).  But with her signing, she and I were able to carry on quite the conversation yesterday during dinner.

Ella:  (signs "friend")

Me:  "You're right Ella, our friend Madelyn came over today."

Ella:  (points at the door)

Me:  "Yes, Madelyn had to go home."

Ella:  (signs for "car")

Me:  "That's right.  Her mom drove her home in her car."

Ella:  (signs for "music")

Me:  "I know.  We often listen to music in the car."

Ella:  (signs for "cookie")

Me:  "Okay, you can have a cookie when you finish your dinner."

We've been signing for months now, and I love that she can point things out to me.  But this really felt like an ongoing give-and-take kind of conversation.  It really makes me look forward to future conversations at the dinner table with her.

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to spend the day baking with my friend and her little girl, Madelyn, who is just three days older than Ella.  The girls go to the same daycare, and truly enjoy playing with each other.  It's great to see them entertaining themselves.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Am I raising a narcissistic child if Ella's first word was "Ella"?

I have to admit--it's pretty cute.  She'll see herself in the mirror and proclaim "Ella!".  We'll drive into town and she'll yell "Ella Ella Ella" from her (still rear-facing) carseat.  She apparently even has the kids at daycare repeating "Ella" after her.  And I thought that the "l" sounds were supposed to be hard (at least that's what my parents told me when I got mad at my brothers for calling me "war-ra").

Aside from her name, Ella also has a fondness for "b" words:  book, ball, baby, and Boppy (our nickname for grandpa).  Lately, she's also added some "p" sound:  "papa" for papaya, and "appa" for applesauce.  She also "moo'ed" for me this morning when I told her that's what the cow says (and lucky for her, we'll see lots of cows in Montana for Christmas).  It's amazing to see her vocabulary grow.  She's continuing to sign, but the vocal words are emerging slowly but surely.

Today's blessing was that we made it home safely from getting my car serviced with a nearly empty battery.  My husband wanted to save $50 by replacing the battery himself (I don't blame him), but it was so drained that nothing on the dashboard was working--not even the speedometer.  But we made it home safely, and he has since replaced the battery.