Monday, May 28, 2012


Ella has wanted nothing to do with me lately.  She only wants Daddy these days.  I'm not going to lie--I'm a little bit jealous.

It started a couple of nights ago when she wouldn't let me read her a book.  She only wanted Daddy.  That's sweet and all, but even after he read her one book, she wouldn't let me read another one. 

The last couple of mornings, she has woken up asking for Daddy instead of Mama.  That would be fine...if my husband were the type to get out of bed before me.  When she sees me walk in instead of him, she gets all mopey and insists on seeing him. 

I know that it's good that she's so in love with him, but it's going to make for a couple of long weeks when my husband heads to South Dakota for his Army Reserves annual training.  I worry that everything will be a chore without Daddy here.

Or perhaps she'll forget all about him and will go back to thinking that I'm the most important person in her little world.

As jealous as I may be, I'm so blessed that my husband enjoys playing with Ella; and her with him.  It's so endearing to watch a grown man lay on the floor and help her Little People wash their hands before they eat their meals.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ella-isms (Vol. 4)

I'm probably due for another round of Ella-isms to share all the silly things she is doing now:

Ella caught on pretty quickly to the concept of a telephone, but she seems to believe that they are called "hello-phones" (makes sense, right?).  There was a little phone that came with one of her toys, and she loves to play the "Hello? Goodbye!" game as we're driving. I sing "I Just Called To Say I Love You" whenever she "calls" me.

Mama's Little Helper
Ella loves least at this stage of her life.  Whenever she sees me start working on something in the kitchen, she comes running, yelling "Help!  Help!  Help!".  She climbs up on her little stool and tries to help with whatever it is that I'm doing.  And she's catching on beautifully to all the little tasks, like putting the discarded produce into the counter composter without any direction to do so.  Prepping meals takes a little bit longer with her "assistance", but it's much easier that having her run around under foot.

Miss Independent
My little baby who was once so dependent on me for absolutely everything is turning into her own little person who wants to do things all by herself.  Whether it's putting on her shoes, getting dressed, wiping after using the potty, or climbing into her chair, she wants to try to do it without any assistance, and yells "Ella do it!" or "Ella do that!" with each attempt.  She's not quite there on most tasks, so will allow us to pull her pants up in the back for her as she pulls up from the front, but we're getting there.  Part of me is sad that she doesn't need my help anymore, but mostly, I'm looking forward to the day when she can dress herself (and better yet, wipe her own bottom).

I think it was The Incredibles movie that had the little boy with the super powers to race everywhere, right?  (Shows you how many movies we watch around here...)  I made need to start calling Ella by the same name here soon because she is always running everywhere!  To help with dinner, to go to the bath, to brush her teeth, to pick out a book, to give Daddy hugs and kisses--wherever she goes, she is running!  And it's the sweetest little thing, with her arms up near her chest for balance.  She takes a tumble from time to time, but just jumps right back up and keeps running.  Her dad and I both hate running, so it will be interesting to see if she keeps it up.

Bed Head
Ella was nearly bald when she was born, and it's slowly, slowly, slowly been coming in.  Her hair is really fine and soft in the front, but turns into quite the little rat's nest in the back when she sleeps on it or when she rubs her head on her carseat.  I can usually tame it down easily enough, but it was extra wild yesterday morning: 

Hop Into Bed
I often sing a little "walking-hopping-running-stopping" song to get Ella moving.  Lately, she's really been trying to hop and jump, though she hasn't quite figured out the mechanics to actually get her body off the ground.  Two nights ago, as I was trying to put her to bed (a routine that she has been resisting lately), she started hopping.  So I picked her up under the armpits, helped her hop towards her crib, and then "hopped" her right into bed.  To my amazement, it worked like a charm!  I tried it again last night--and again, success!  Let's hope this hopping trick continues to work! 

Watermelon Queen
My undergrad had a silly "Watermelon Queen" tradition, and Ella is apparently training early for the title, because she could probably eat her weight in watermelon.  I can't stand the taste, but she gobbles it right up.  I have a feeling she'll ask for it to be part of every meal this entire summer.  

Today's blessing is the chance to celebrate my supervisor, who was honored with an award from our college for her outstanding work.  I really admire her, and am so blessed to have such a positive working relationship with her.  It makes leaving Ella during the day so much easier when I feel like I really am blessed to work with amazing colleagues, supervisors, and students. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mommy Day

My Mother's Day started at 12:00 am, on the dot, with Ella calling "Mama! Mama! Mama!".  I kid you not--it was exactly 12:00 am.  I think she had a nightmare or something, but it was a nice little reminder that she needs me just as much on Mother's Day as any other day of her life.  It took almost an hour to get her back to sleep, but she woke up bright-eyed as ever.  My husband taught her how to say "Happy Mommy Day" while I was in the shower.  I don't know if I've ever heard a sweeter greeting.

In church, our pastor shared in his opening prayer that Mother's Day is not always easy for everyone.  I appreciate that he had this sort of sensitivity.  Although I sat there with Ella wrapped in my arms, there have been Mother's Days that have left me feeling empty and alone.  I don't know which years were worse--those when I was struggling to conceive and didn't yet consider myself a "mother"; or those after my losses when the rest of the world didn't recognize me as one but I did.  Yesterday was happy for me, but I know that it wasn't for everyone, and my heart and prayers go out to those who wait to hear "Happy Mommy Day" from their little one.

My blessing this weekend was the chance to work with my husband to put the finishing touches on our backyard by planting some grasses and flowers and moving some big boulders into place (without getting bit by the rattlesnake that was less than a foot away from my gloved hand).  I'm so pleased with how it all turned out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Our backyard went from...


We are really enjoying our new backyard.  We've been immediately going outside as soon as we get home each evening after work, and Ella and I spent the morning play outside today.  I'm so glad that she now has a safe and fun place to play.

And just for fun, Ella and her Daddy...

Today's blessing is finally being home for a weekend!  I really enjoyed traveling the last three weekends, but it's so nice to be able to spend time at home with Ella.  My husband has Army Drill this weekend, but it's great to be able to spend some quality time with Ella at least.  I'm looking forward to next weekend when we can truly have some family time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Maybe May?

With the amount of traveling that I did during April (three different cities in three consecutive weekends), I wasn't too horribly surprised or disappointed to get my new cycle on Sunday (35 days--one day shorter than the last cycle).  (I should clarify--after going through bouts of amenorrhea prior to Ella, I'm never truly disappointed to get a new cycle, as I recognize that it's a necessity for healthy fertility).  But I'm also not too disappointed because I'm secretly hoping to conceive in May and have a February baby.

I know, I know, I know...I'm getting ahead of myself.  And if I've learned anything at all through this entire process, it's that God has 100% control and I have 0% say in the matter.  Sure, my husband and I will have to do certain things at key times, but the rest is up to God. 

Ella was born in September, just a week or so after my husband's birthday.  If we were to conceive in May, that baby would be due in February, a week or so before my birthday.  I know it's silly, but I would love to be able to share my birthday-month with a little one, the same way that my husband shares September with Ella.  Silly, I know, but a girl can hope, right?

I admit that I kept cheating on my healthy living plan, and found ways to justify doing so (it's easy to indulge when you're traveling to fun places like Chicago, New York, and Seattle).  So for the next couple of weeks, I'm committed.  I'm committed to eating healthy; I'm committed to working out; I'm committed to getting enough rest.  But mostly, I'm committed to trusting God and putting my hope in Him.

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to spend the evening with Ella and some of my amazing students at our annual awards banquet.  Ella was wonderfully behaved, albeit a bit clingy at first.  I really am blessed to be able to work with some amazing supervisors, peers, and students; and I'm very appreciative that they are welcoming to Ella when I tote her around with me.