Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm officially a Mom

It's official...after 17 months of having Ella in our lives I have truely reached motherhood. Do you know how I know? Because today I went to lunch with a friend who has a daughter just a few months younger than Ella. While our lunch conversation revolved around several different subjects, at one point we actually talked about Ginny's puke and Ella's poop. Nice, huh. The worst part about it was that neither of us seemed to mind and we continued with our lunch as though nothing was strange. I guess the sign of officially being a mom is that bodily function conversation at lunch is perfectly acceptable.

On a less gross note, we leave tomorrow for my cousin's house in Durham, NC for Thanksgiving. It will be great to see that part of my family. I just hope that we leave early enough to miss most of the traffic. That could make for a very long and terrible drive. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Weekend!

I have finally added the pictures from our trip to the Baltimore Aquarium. They are in the October 2008 folder, since we took the trip in October. You can’t really see it in the pictures, but Ella had her hair in pigtails and it looked VERY cute!

We are trucking along in the Murray house with not too much to report. I've been completely swamped at work and I am very much looking forward to the weekend (and next week since I took it off for vacation). Everyone is trying to get ready for next Congress. Ella is becoming the expert walker and getting more and more adventurous every day. She is also getting much more verbal. Last night she even talked to GiGi on the phone, although when she was ready to go back to playing she said “Bye Bye” and looked at me. Joe finishes up his internship next week, and all of his classes are coming to an end. I always love December when I can have Joe back to myself again. Of course its short lived, but it sure is nice while it lasts.

I'm having a lot of trouble holding back on the Christmas decorating! I am a firm believer that Christmas decorations can't go up until AFTER Thanksgiving, and usually I'm really good about sticking to this rule. After all, I have plenty of fall and Thanksgiving decorations around the house. This year, however, with a nice new house to decorate, I just can't wait to pull out the Christmas decorations and shower the house in green and red! It's going to look beautiful!

Unfortunately we are in the midst of a rough patch with Ella and her skin. Actually, let me clarify. Her legs, arms and torso look great! Since she's not crawling as much her knees have really cleared up and the rest of her body actually looks really good. It's just her poor face (which of course is the only part everyone sees). I don’t know if it’s the weather, or if we’re keeping our house too warm, or what the problem could be. All I know is that Ella can’t seem to sleep more than 2 hours at a time and every morning when she wakes up she has a new boo boo on her face. The poor girl looks like she’s been through a battle zone. I won’t go into details, but know that we’ve tried every suggestion made and have done all that we know to do (Joe even slept on an air mattress with her the other night to try and prevent her from scratching throughout the night). We are really hoping that this will pass soon or that we will find the “magic bullet” that will help, but until then we ask you to pray for her little face and that the boo boos she has will heal quickly and that she won’t get any new ones. It really started getting worse when she hurt her finger, so I can’t help but wonder if the wrapping on her finger is doing a lot of the damage. Unfortunately we can’t leave it unwrapped just yet.

The best news right now is that we got our fireplace fixed, which means we can have a fire this weekend! I am very excited for that. It is the true sign that winter is here!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Looks Like We Made It

Well, after 4 days and 3 nights without the dad of the house, Ella and I are very excited to have him back. It’s amazing how quickly I got pushed aside once Joe returned.

I had a great weekend with my girl. Friday night was cold and rainy, so we just stayed inside and watched a movie. Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to go to Target. I have learned that if you wait until the afternoon to go then you hit all the crowds, but if you can make it in the morning then you’re usually pretty good. So we made it before noon. However, I got so wrapped up in my shopping that my poor sweet baby actually fell asleep in the shopping cart! A woman walked by and said “Oh, she’s so tired.” When I turned to look, Ella’s head was bobbing off to the side. Soon she was asleep. I didn’t even have one of those nice padded fabric things that makes the cart softer (we have one but I always forget it), so she was just leaning against the metal sides. I felt guilty, so I tried to pick her up and carry her, but as soon as I did she woke up and was ready to look at everything. Of course as soon as we got in the car she fell asleep again.

Now with all my new Christmas decorations I am so excited to decorate the house. Joe has promised me that we can get a tree the first weekend in December. Every year I want a real tree, but every year Joe has finals the first 2 weeks of December, so by the time he’s done with finals and we actually make it out to the tree store, all the good ones are taken. One year we went and there were about 3 dead trees left and that was it. So we’ve had to use a fake one. This year he only has one final so he promised me that we’d go out early enough to actually get a nice tree. We even donated the fake one to the Salvation Army, so we don’t have a back-up plan.

Saturday night I actually changed Ella’s bandages all by myself! This was a major accomplishment for me! I have done them one other time without any help, but Saturday I gave her a bath and everything, which I have never done without Joe or Metti, then I changed her bandages completely on my own. I was so nervous and prayed all day about it. Originally I wasn’t going to give her a bath, but the poor girl has been so itchy with the weather change, and all day Saturday she would scratch and start crying because it itched so much, and she has only slept in 2-3 hour increments all week. So I thought a warm oatmeal bath would do her some good and hopefully ease her itchy skin. Like I said, I prayed about it all day and while I was setting everything up for the bandage change, I just felt like a bath was the right thing to do. Then I started praying that she would stay calm and that I would have the wisdom to handle anything that came my way. Needless to say, Ella did great in the bathtub and played with her toys while I washed her hair and cleaned her up. After the bath the bandage change was good and an hour and 15 minutes later she was all clean. She actually slept for 6 hours straight, which is more than she’s done in a week, so the bath definitely helped. The funny thing is that I did the entire bandage change in my swimsuit just in case I had to jump in the bathtub with her. Luckily that didn’t happen.

Joe came home this afternoon and boy are we glad to have him back. It was fun for Ella and me to have mommy / daughter bonding, but I told him he’s not allowed to go out of town for that long anymore! Now I think it’s my turn for a girls weekend getaway and Joe can stay home with Ella.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Girls Weekend

This morning at 6 am Joe headed to Las Vegas to spend the weekend with his brother celebrating his 40th birthday. So Dancerella and I get to spend the weekend hanging out and doing girl things. We are definitely going to Target (the best store on the planet) and I would like to make it to walk around Old Town if it isn’t too cold. I also have some home projects that I want to finish this weekend, and I’d love to clean the bathrooms. I have high aspirations, but we’ll see how much actually gets done. If the weather stays rainy, we will probably spend the weekend inside watching Elmo.

Grammy Janet came to visit on Tuesday night and left on Thursday. We always love having her visit. She brought Ella a turkey placemat and when she showed it to her, Ella proudly proclaimed “turtey.” I didn’t even know that she knew what a turkey was. Ella also learned how to say “Grammy” and even kept calling for her when she went to the bathroom.

We did have a minor catastrophe this week. Ella is getting very confident in her walking, but the other night she was walking into the bathroom and there is a little step up. When she went to take the step up she grabbed onto Joe’s finger for support, but she still tripped over the little step and fell. Unfortunately in the midst of the fall, she degloved her finger. “Degloving” is what happens when the entire outer layer of skin comes off in one piece, like taking off a glove. It was terrible! We immediately gave her Tylenol for the pain, then wrapped the finger. Needless to say this was traumatic for Joe and me. Whenever Ella gets a boo boo, even a big one like this, as her parents we immediately go into fix-it mode. There isn’t time to get upset about it and ponder over the woulda shoulda coulda’s. You have to address the situation, then after it’s taken care of you can have your melt-down. Once Ella’s finger was wrapped she was totally fine and went about playing. She is such a strong little girl! I talked to another EB mom and her son had done the same thing when he was Ella’s age. She promised me that this experience was much more difficult for us than it was for Ella, and she assured me that Ella’s finger will heal and she’ll be fine and probably not even remember that it happened at all. Ella is doing great in spite of her finger, we just ask for your prayers that it does heal well and doesn’t cause her anymore problems.

That’s about it on this end. The plan for tonight is to go to Target and see what kind of Christmas decorations they have. At my office they have a program where we get a pedometer when we first start working here. If you take a certain number of steps every day you get points, and once you reach a certain number of points you get Cold Hard Cash!!! Actually, you get a gift certificate, but it’s just as good. So I have earned $150 so far and have cashed in $100 of it to spend at Target. I am very excited!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Facts about Ella

1) Ella hates bananas and anything with banana in it. In fact, if we give her something with banana in it she sticks her finger in her mouth and tries to get it out. When she was a baby she would cry every time we gave her something with bananas. At first I thought maybe they hurt her throat, but I talked to a couple of other EB moms and one who even has EB and they said that it doesn’t hurt, so apparently Ella just doesn’t like bananas.

2) Ella loves music. Whenever she sees our MP3 or her CD player she says “mui” and sits in front of the player listening to the music. She learned very early on how to turn on her CD player, and when the music is playing she will sit in front of the player for the entire duration of the CD. She just sits there and stares at the player…and if it’s a song she really likes she’ll dance. At the end of every song she claps and says “yay.” And if there is a pause that’s too long between songs she says “more.”

3) Ella’s favorite color is blue…much to my sorrow (I make her wear so much pink!). If she has several toys that are all different colors she will go for the blue every time. She has this bucket of shapes (green triangles, red squares and blue circles) and she completely leaves out the triangles and squares. She will open it up, take out the blue circles, put the lid back on and put the circles through their designated hole, then open it up again and get the blue circles….wash, rinse and repeat.

In other Murray news, we had our new furniture delivered on Saturday and it is beautiful brown leather for our main floor living room. The old red couch is staying in the basement family room, where it can continue to get trashed by the sweetest 1 year old I know. Sunday afternoon we went and bought a rug and hopefully this week we’ll have the coffee table delivered. We had Metti come in Sat morning so Joe and I could concentrate on getting things ready for the furniture. This meant that I was actually able to hang up pictures, mop the floor and clean up the main level. Joe was able to put together a shed in the backyard, which of course had a book of directions that made no sense whatsoever. Slowly but surely our house is coming together. Whenever we move I always think, “We’re going to have to do this again in a couple of years.” But, not this time! Now that we’re HOMEOWNERS we’ll get to stick around for a while.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I need to confess…I’ve been really stressed lately. Not about anything work related, but about Ella. What exactly? I have been totally stressed out about the fact that at 16 months and 2 weeks she isn’t yet walking! I have talked to countless parents about it and they all say the same thing “It’s totally normal for a kid not to walk until 18 months.” That's easy to say when your kid walked by 10 months, but if your kid was 16 months and 2 weeks and not walking, I guarantee you’d be stressed too! The doctor said it was perfectly normal and that she wasn’t worried at all. I talked to parents in my EB group and most of their kids didn’t walk until later, so they said not to worry. I even took it upon myself to call early intervention services (Ella has never needed therapy of any kind but I was convinced that she needed it now). They told me that they typically don’t offer services until a kid is over 18 months old and not walking. I even had people tell me that I only “thought” I wanted Ella to walk, but once she started I’d wish she was crawling again. No…I really do want her to walk. Forget the fact that Ella’s vocabulary consists of over 60 words and the average for kids her age is less than 20 (according to Baby Center it’s around 10). Forget the fact that she has been saying 2 word sentences for months. Forget the fact that she knows all of her animals and the sounds that they make, and that she is a musical genius and sings along with me. Forget the fact that she’s the cutest 16 month and 2 week old EVER!!! Forget all of that…I want her to walk!

Last Friday I convinced Early Intervention services that because of her physical situation they really needed to see her before 18 months, so they agreed and we have an appointment on Friday. I was telling a couple of friends about it at church on Sunday and they both agreed that she’d start walking this week just to prove me wrong…and she did. Monday morning she woke up around 6 am (thank you Daylight Savings) so my wonderful husband let me sleep while he took Ella downstairs to play. When I woke up he told me that she had taken her first steps. Since then she has been taking more and more steps every day. She’s still a big chicken when it comes to venturing too far outside of her comfort zone, but at least she’s taking steps. I guess that means I need to call Early Intervention and cancel our appointment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Go Vote!!!

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, all I ask is that you get out there and exercise your right as an American. Tomorrow go cast your vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday was a lot of fun for our little Pink Doggie. Yes, you all voted and doggie won by a landslide! We got her a pink poodle outfit because it was the best of both worlds...a doggie for Ella and pink for me! At first she wasn't sure what to think, but when she realized that it was a lot of fun going to friends houses she decided she liked this thing called Halloween. We didn't get candy while we were out because Ella doesn't need it and neither do we.

The evening started with a trip to mommy's office to show off. Of course Ella was a complete hit! I am the only one on my floor with a baby. There are a few people with kids, but the kid closest in age to Ella is 18, so they love the fact that I have a baby. She came in her doggie outfit and we showed her off around the building. It's impossible to not instantly fall in love with a cute pink doggie.

After work we headed to baby Lilly's house as our first stop (since it was right down the road). This was Ella's first official trick-or-treat visit. After that we headed home for some dinner before the night fully began. Aunt Beck's house was next on the schedule. Ella walked up to the door and everything. Ella always enjoys seeing Aunt Beck. Then we came back home to stop by our neighbors homes to say Happy Halloween. Our final stop was at our neightbor's Brantley and Madison. They have a daughter, Savannah, who just just a few weeks younger than Ella. The girls had a great time playing, and even after they both fell asleep the adults had a good time talking. All in all it was a great Halloween.

I have of course added some pictures and videos of Ella in her costume. Beware...she's VERY cute!