Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ella-isms (Vol. 7)

Time for an update on all the wild and crazy things that Ella is doing and saying these days:

These days, Ella is totally into kissing the baby in my tummy.  It's very very sweet; but I do have to sometimes kindly reminder her that the Target parking lot is not the best place to be lifting my shirt up.  She also wants to kiss and be kissed everywhere--but we both end up laughing hysterically when she asks to be kissed on her "goat" (she somehow blended "goatee" with "throat") and then wiggles away from the tickles.  I kiss her every time I put her in her carseat, but the other day when I asked if I could give her a kiss, she put her finger to her chin and said, "Let me think about it"--and then proceeded to direct me to kiss her on the cheek.

First Friend Fight
Ella has a little friend named Madelyn, who I have probably mentioned before.  They are three days apart, and started at the same daycare the same day.  Madelyn's family actually just moved over to our side of town, and the two are pretty much best friends.  But a couple of days ago, apparently Madelyn told Ella that she didn't like her, and it broke Ella's little heart.  She brought it up on the way home, and then over dinner to my husband, and again that night when we were getting ready for bed.  My sweet little girl is barely two and already had her first fight with a friend!  It broke my heart to see Ella so sad, but it was a great opportunity to talk to both girls about feelings and the impact of our words.  Madelyn's mom and I have become good friends, so I gave her a heads-up so that we could talk to both girls.  The next day, Ella marched right up to Madelyn and told her directly, "You made me sad", and the girls have been happy with each other ever since.

E is for Ella!
Ella has been singing her ABC song for a couple of months now, but it seems like she is starting to recognize that each letter is unique.  She can recognize her name when it's written on her art projects from school--though it could be that she just assumes that the writing must be her name.  But she surprised my husband and me the other day when she pointed out a restaurant sign while stopped at a red light and proclaimed "E is for Ella"!  Wouldn't you know--we were right in front of an Eegee's (a local restaurant chain). 

11, 14, 16!
Along with her letters, Ella has also been getting better with her numbers.  She has been counting to 10 for months--though I think it was out of memorization rather than true counting.  Lately, she has been getting much better at truly counting out objects; and she's also trying to count higher.  But so far, she seems to jump from 11 to 14 to 16 and end there.

Lord's Prayer
Every night, we practice the Lord's Prayer.  We started by saying most of it and leaving the last word of each line for her to say.  As time has gone on, she's picked up more of it on her own--or at least she has her own variation.  I'll share what I say in italics, and what she says in bold:
Our Father!
Who art in heaven!
Hallowed by Thy name!
Thy kingdom power! (try as we might, we can't get her to say "come" here)
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this daily bread (she typically skips "day our" before "daily bread")
And forgive us our debtors/debts as we forgive our debts/debtors (she often flip-flops the two)
And lead us not into temptation! (with emphasis)
But deliver us from evil! (with extra emphasis!)
For thine is the kingdom-power-glory-forever-AMEN! (typically quickly slurred together, with a valiant "Amen!" finish)
 Full-Circle Fashion
You may remember that I posted about two years ago that my aunt sent me back the dresses that my grandma had made for me, that my mom had then passed on to my niece. Well, Ella is big enough to wear them now!  In fact, I hadn't realized just how small one of the dresses was, so it hung in her closet and never got worn (I guess it's a good thing we're having another girl!).  But we can get a couple more months of wear out of the other dresses, including this one she wore to church today:

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to celebrate my 34th birthday with reorganizing our house to make room for the new baby, followed by a glorious five-mile run, and then capped off with the most delicious dinner at Smashburger.  At various times throughout the day, Ella sweetly reminded me that it was my birthday, and sang "Happy Birthday" to me a couple times.  Nothing fancy, but it really was a very blessed birthday. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Sister for Ella

Growing up with two brothers, I always wanted a sister.  Don't get me wrong--I love my brothers, but it always seemed like there was such a unique bond between sisters that I may have missed out on.  It looks like Ella will get to have the sister that I always wanted. 

I admit that a part of me was hoping for a boy--I know that my husband hopes for a son at some point to carry on the family name (as old and traditional as that sounds), and I wanted to mix things up a bit (please don't judge me for my honesty--I feel bad enough that I was hoping one way or the other in the first place).  But I'm thrilled that--first and foremost--this baby girl is healthy, and that I saved most of Ella's old clothes, and that Ella will have the chance to have the sister-relationship that I always wanted. 

Now that we know that we're having another girl, we can start planning and decorating Ella's new room.  The plan is to keep her nursery as it is for the new baby girl, and move her next door over to the guest room where we have a full-sized bed.  She was so excited to learn yesterday that she will get a new big bed that she insisted on sleeping in it last night--and did just great!  Talk about an easy transition!  I'm afraid that the hard part is going to be asking her to return to her little toddler-bed for a couple of nights so that we can paint the room and spruce up some of the furniture before we fully move her into her new room. 

So, it looks like the only thing we'll actually "need" for this new baby girl is a new double-jogging stroller.  I lent my sister-in-law some clothes earlier on when my niece was born, so I'll have to try to get those back too.  And perhaps I should invest in some good laundry detergent to get some of those lingering stains out of Ella's old clothes.  Other than that, I guess we're pretty much ready to welcome Baby Girl #2 in early August!

Today's blessing was watching Ella's excitement over Valentine's Day.  Yes, I admit that she's mostly excited about eating chocolate; but when we talked about how it's a special day to tell our friends how much we love and appreciate them, she declared that she loves her friend Madelyn the most--and then marched into school to tell her so.  It's such a blessing to see her "get it" these days as she learns and applies new things. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Closet Cleanout (or Maternity Makeover)

Before I even knew that I was pregnant, my amazing colleague who I really enjoy and appreciate returned from her own maternity leave and returned to me all of the maternity clothes that I had offered to let her borrow.  Little did I know, at the time, that I would be needing them so quickly!

Over Winter Break, I ironed every piece of clothing in my closet so that I would have plenty to choose from at the start of a busy semester.  But I wasn't counting on my belly growing so big so quickly!  I ended up wearing some ill-fitting un-buttoned clothes this week (with a belly band, of course) so that I could justify wearing those nicely pressed items one last time before I officially start reaching for the maternity clothes again.  Luckily, I tend to buy some longer, more "flowing" items even when I'm not pregnant, so many of my shirts should still fit me for months to come.  And because I have such a long torso (I swear, my body is truly designed for carrying a baby), I even wore a couple pairs of my non-maternity low-cut pants fully buckled under my belly all the way through my pregnancy with Ella.  But most of my dress trousers aren't going to make it much longer.

So this weekend, while Ella played independently in the other room (I love this stage!!), I went through my first major "closet cleanout" or "maternity makeover"--boxing up the items that won't fit during the rest of this pregnancy and the early weeks with the new baby, and replacing them with my three-years-out-of-season-but-good-enough maternity clothes from last time around. 

I'm going to need to do a little more shopping.  If anything, you may remember that I got a promotion when I returned from maternity leave (making it much easier to return!), so I feel that I need to do a better job of "dressing the part" this time around (not to mention, I seem to have stuck with the blue/purple theme last time, so maybe I should try to add a little extra color this time around).  When I mention that I'm due in early August, everyone shows concern that I'm going to have to struggle through the hot Arizona summers in my third trimester.  But for me, I figure that I'd much rather be wearing the cute spring and summer maternity clothes than be all bundled up with layers in the winter!  But I guess that we take what we can get.  My husband's promotion will be the first week in March, so I'm excited to go up and shop in the "real" city.  Until then, I'll finish out the rest of my ironed they-fit-now-but-not-much-longer outfits. 

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to play with Ella in the snow.  That's right--you read it correctly--we had snow in Arizona!  We only got an inch or snow, and it was all gone by lunch, but it sure was fun while it lasted!  I hope these sort of days turn into memories for her--I know they will for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good Odds

I go the call from the geneticist yesterday afternoon about the results from our First Trimester Screening.  I knew, from the ultrasound, that everything "looked" good.  And I knew, from bloodwork years ago, that both my husband's and my genes were "normal".  So I assumed and trusted that would indeed be good and normal, and selfishly just used the screening as another opportunity to confirm that our baby is indeed growing.

And sure enough, she confirmed that all of the tests came back in the normal range.  I think that I surprised her a bit when I asked for more details, but she was happy to give me the numbers when I shared our history and my desire to educate myself as much as I could.

 Our next appointment is next Wednesday--I'll be fifteen weeks at the time.  I pray and trust that things are fine inside my growing belly, but I'll be honest--little inklings of fear trickle in from time to time.  It's still too early to feel true movement, but I sometimes experience what I call "sensations of growth".  They aren't strong enough to be kicks...but I like to imagine that they are perhaps stretches.  And even if these sensations aren't truly caused by the baby (because let's face it--he or she is about the size of a lemon and weighs just barely over an ounce), then hopefully it's at least my uterus growing.  And maybe it is just my imagination, but I'm choosing to live with wonder rather than worry. 

Our blessing this week was learning that my husband was promoted to Major!  I am very proud of him, and looking forward to participating in his actual promotion ceremony to recognize him for the hard work that he does for the Army and for us.