Monday, March 31, 2008


Please watch Oprah today. She has a segment on EB and EB research.

Take me out to the ball game...

Saturday night we went to the Nationals exhibition game. This was open only to season ticket holders, so it was a small and devoted crowd. We dragged Ella along with us and she did great. It was pretty cold, though, so we only stayed until the 2nd inning, then headed home when I enjoyed some hot chocolate and longed for a fire place!

Sunday night was the Season opener…us with 40,000 of our closest friends! We arrived at 5 and of course grabbed some nachos (my favorite part about going to the games). At 7:30 Ella had a melt down, which resulted in Ella and me heading home. Unfortunately all this happened before the first pitch was even thrown! Joe stayed and watched the game. Mental note…don’t try to take Ella to 2 games in a row.

The Nationals new stadium is absolutely beautiful! They have awesome food including: Five Guys; Red, Hot and Blue; Hard Times CafĂ©; and Ben’s Chili Bowl. I think this park is going to give Camden Yards a run for their money! And I can’t forget to mention the 4,500 square foot high-definition scoreboard, or the entire section for kids (Play Station 2 video arcade, batting cages, Build-a-Bear workshop complete with Screech doll, and outdoor play ground).

Sunday night Joe broke down and bought a Nationals cap to wear at the games. Please note that Joe has always been and will always be a devoted Mets fan. The hat was bought to cheer on the local team and will only be worn at games where the Nats are not playing the Mets. If the Mets are in DC, Joe will be wearing the Mets hat (and shirt).

Friday night Joe’s friend, Alex, came down to visit. He made us (and Beck) a very special dinner of Garbage plates. Apparently this is something that goes back to their college days at the University of Rochester. There is a place called Nick Tahou and they are famous for garbage plates, which consist of half a plate of home fries, half a plate of macaroni salad, topped with 2 cheeseburger patties and bread. We then top it with mustard and/or ketchup. Mix it all up and enjoy. I know, this sounds really disgusting. But it is actually extremely good. In fact, this is the second time Alex has made us garbage plates, and I had the same problem this time that I had the first time. For several days after he leaves all I can think about is having another garbage plate! He even made one for Ella. She looked at it and even tried to grab it, but she can’t eat it yet. Maybe in a few months.

On a bad note, poor Ella has her first cold. She caught it from her mom, and boy do I feel bad about it! She has a horrible cough and runny nose and you can tell that she just doesn’t feel good. We gave her Tylenol last night, hoping that would make her feel better (no, it wasn’t the kind with cold medicine that has been recalled…it was just plain). I just hope the cold doesn’t linger for too long. Don’t worry, we kept her home from church yesterday so as not to spread the cold to other innocent children. I don’t want to be known as the mom that brings her sick kid to church.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Yes, the Easter Bunny came to our house, and No, he didn’t bring any candy (aka poor food choices). He brought Ella a very cute bunny basket filled with 2 new toys, new socks and 2 new bottles (Washington Nationals). Ella showed her enthusiasm the best way she knows how at 9 months, and tried to grab everything. Just about the time she would get her hands on one thing, she would see something else that she wanted to check out, so object 1 was dropped and object 2 would be picked up. The 4 balls that go with one of her toys really send her over the edge. She can’t decide which color she likes best.

To church Ella wore a beautiful blue and white dress and hat, hand-made with love by GiGi. You will find pictures in the March folder. When we got her dressed it was almost like she knew that she looked cute. She got a big smile on her face and just sat in the chair waiting to have her picture taken.

For lunch we went to the Chart House, right on the Potomac. Aunt Beck and her sister, Laura, and niece, Cayton, joined us. This was where Cayton taught us about healthy food choices and poor food choices. We asked her how she got so big and can she teach Ella how to grow big and strong too. Apparently the key is healthy food choices. While lunch was full of healthy food choices, after lunch we made a VERY poor food choice and had the chocolate lava cake.

Last week Ella got a very special invitation to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll. Joe and I figured this would be a great photo op, and knowing what we know about politics and the upcoming election, we figured we had better go now since we probably won’t have connections next year. Little did we know exactly how big of a deal this really is. When Joe went to pick up the tickets on Friday, there were hundreds of people waiting in line to get tickets. Some of them even had tents in preparation to sleep overnight. I’m glad Joe has friends in high places.

This morning we put Ella in her Easter dress, wrapped her in a blanket and headed to the White House. It was a great experience. Kids were running around everywhere and they had several characters meeting kids. There were a lot of activities including face painting, and they even had the Jonas Brothers. I have to admit, I have no clue who they are, but this band started singing and I heard a crowd of girls scream. Then these 2 girls pushed past us and yelled “Oh my gosh, it’s them.” Apparently they are a very popular group…and apparently I’m completely out of touch with pop culture.

We got a family photo with the 4 presidents from the Washington Nationals, and Screech, of course. When we went up to get our picture taken one of the guys said “We can’t get our picture with them, she has a Mets hat on.” I quickly pulled the Mets hat off of Ella and apologized. After the picture I said “Sorry, we’re a family with divided loyalty. If it makes things any better we do have season tickets.” Oh well, at least we have a picture with the Nats guys.

We only stayed for about 40 minutes. It was very cold and 9 month olds don’t really get into all the games and face painting. Ella did great! She loved looking at all the people and kids and she didn’t even cry with the people in costume. When we left it took about 2 minutes before she was sound asleep in her stroller. In the afternoon she took a 2 hour nap. It was a busy day for such a little girl. Heck, it was a busy day for her mom and dad!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

They grow up so fast!

When Ella was about a month old, Joe and I arrived at the hospital to visit her and walked into her room to see her nurse holding her with a look on her face that said “Your daughter…” I asked if everything was ok, to which she replied, “Ella is bored. You need to get her something to do.” The next morning we went to Target and bought the ever famous music playing turtle (still a favorite).

It never really crossed my mind that babies get bored. It’s easy to be critical when you walk into someone’s house and it is been taken over by toys and other kid gear. I always swore that our house wouldn’t have a ton of toys around, so we have kept Ella’s gear to a minimum and her toys are small and quiet and all kept in one basket in the living room. Well, the past few days I could not understand why Ella wouldn’t play with her toys. She’d look at them for a few seconds, then throw them down and look at me, as if to say “I’m SO over that.” I was reading an article earlier this week that said at 9 months you will notice that babies want more challenging toys. Apparently it’s no longer exciting to shake the same object back and forth just to hear the little colored beads move around. So yesterday after work a friend from church loaned us their exersaucer, and we took a family trip to Target to buy Ella some new toys (of course they are her Easter present). When we got home Joe looked at me and said “Now I understand why people with kids have so much stuff.”

I feel like, as her mother, I should have known that Ella was ready for more challenging things. I guess its just more proof that I am WAY under-qualified for this job. Either that, or proof that I’m too cheap to spend money on toys that she’s only going to play with for a few months. Kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and would ask for a new bike and my parents would say “But you already have a bike.” And I would respond with “But that’s a baby bike, I need a 10 speed” (I grew up in the 80’s so that was the cool bike to have). My parents bought me the 10 speed, I fell off of it the first time I rode it and put it back in the garage where it sat until the following summer. Nonetheless, Ella now has new toys from the Easter bunny and life is good.

P.S. I hear your cries! We will have new pictures posted soon.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Yesterday at church Ella wore her St. Patrick’s outfit. A beautiful green dress with shamrock’s all over it, and a cute white bow in her hair. Of course she looked adorable! The only problem we had was that Ella is growing up so fast and the dress that Gi Gi made just a month ago is now too small. We had to leave the top button of the dress undone in order for it to fit. This followed the packing up of all of her 6-9 month clothes, which of course meant that I HAD to go shopping…which then lead to frustration. We like for Ella to wear the footie jams (pajamas), and it seems that they stop making those after 9 months. I finally found some at Babies R Us, but they are light weight for summer, so we’ve been putting her in a turtle neck then in the jams so that she’s warm enough at night. We tried the two piece jams for toddlers, but they are too tight and hard to get on around her bandages. They lasted one night. Of course in the meantime I found several other outfits that she really NEEDED. I can’t help it that Ella is growing so much!

The reason she is growing so much is because Ella loves her food. She has learned the difference between the bottle and real food. Sometimes she will cry for food and when we give her the bottle she takes both of her little hands and pushes the bottle away, then opens and closes her mouth to show us that she wants real food. Now I am so excited because she is up to the 3rd stage of food, which includes spaghetti. Next to spinach, I think spaghetti is the greatest food on the planet! I could eat it every day and not get tired of it (which I almost did when I was pregnant). So when I found spaghetti baby food I couldn’t wait to get it. She hasn’t tried it yet, but I’m sure she will love it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Ella (and her mom and dad) got to check another state off their list this weekend. We all flew to Indianapolis, IN for Joe’s brother-in-laws surprise birthday party. Joe’s sister, Mo, threw her husband, Dan, a surprise “Almost 40” birthday party and most of the Murray crew flew in for the event. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the family.

Ella did great on the flight. She slept much of the way there and only got a little fussy during the decent. And she slept most of the flight back, including the landing. Man, babies have it so good. They don’t have to worry about the person in front of them reclining their seat and occupying an already crammed space. They don’t have to deal with the struggles of falling asleep in those uncomfortable seats. And they don’t have to worry about squeezing past the person next to you and walking down the aisle holding on for dear life just to go to the bathroom. They just sit in mom or dad’s lap and play. Then when they get tired they lay down in mom or dad’s arms and go to sleep. That is the life!

When we got back home on Sunday night we were up in Joe’s Man’s Room (yes, he has a Man’s Room) and I gave Ella a big kiss on the cheek. When I turned my head to talk to Joe, she leaned in and put her little lips on my cheek. Every time I would kiss her she would kiss me back. It was so precious! At least it was precious until she started licking my cheek, then it was gross.

Ella has also started propping herself up on her hands and knees. That girl is SO ready to crawl! She will prop herself up then move her mid-section up and down. Not back and forth, which is what is required for crawling, but up and down. At least she knows that it’s supposed to move. The big question we get at this point is, ‘How is that affecting her skin?’ Well, it definitely gives her boo boos on her knees. We try to use thicker padding to protect them a bit, which works somewhat. And we always make sure she has pants on, just for a little added protection. But the truth is…what can we do about it? She’s a baby, just like any other baby, and she wants to be on her tummy and play and crawl. We can do our best to keep her knees protected, and cross our fingers that once she learns to walk the boo boos will decrease. I guess all this means that its time for us to go out and buy a couple of gates.