Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring is in the air!

The birds are chirping, the trees want to bud (even if they haven't started yet), the sun is shining, and our Washington Nationals Season Tickets arrived yesterday. Ok, so we don't have a full 81 game package, but we do have the 20 game package, which includes seeing the Mets play twice. Several of our friends at church also have this package, so we are excited to hang out together at the games.

Joe loves baseball. I always joke that in the Murray family baseball is one step below religion. Just to give you an idea, below I have pasted a paper that Joe's sister, Jenny, wrote when she was in 6th grade.

"Future Baseball Superstar"

"My baby brother is two years old. His name is Joe. He can hit, pitch, and slide. His whole life is baseball. Sometimes in the morning he wakes up singing "Meet the Mets". Other times he gets up when we're watching TV and changes the channel saying "Baseball on" constantly until someone drags him away from the TV.

When I say he's a future baseball star I mean it. Joe's twelve inch Snoopy bat can really hit. Once he hit an eight foot drive. Pitching he doesn't specialize in, but he can pitch. Sliding is what I like to watch. Joe runs and then falls into sitting position. Baseball scouts in the future, beware! Here comes my baby brother! "

Jenny Murray
Joe's Snoopy baseball bat has been replaced with a Louisville Slugger with his name on it, he still gets excited for the first game of the season, he loves to talk about baseball drafts, and he is hopelessly devoted to our church softball league. Luckily, baseball is the one sport that I actually understand.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The night the lights went out in Alexandria

This weekend we went back to Charlottesville to visit the new cousins, Sam and Nate, as well as Gi Gi and Paw Paw who are in town for a visit. We arrived Saturday afternoon and left Sunday afternoon. It was a nice weekend visit. Ella didn't pay too much attention to her cousins, except when they cried. She would just stare at them as if to say, "What is your problem?"

It was so sweet to see Ella interact with her Gi Gi and Paw Paw. She hasn't seen them since December, so I was sure she wouldn't recognize them. She acted like she totally remembered who they were. She would sit on Paw Paw's lap and he would sing to her, which she loves. And when Gi Gi would get close to her face Ella would take both of her hands and put them on Gi Gi's cheeks and coo at her.

The only problem with going out of town is that it always seems to throw Ella's sleep schedule off. In the hotel she was up every couple of hours, and this pattern continued last night. We'll see if things are back to normal tonight.

In the pictures you will see that Ella had a special treat tonight. We gave her her first chocolate covered strawberry. She didn't really make it to the strawberry, but definitely loved the chocolate. I know, apparently you're not supposed to give babies chocolate, but she only had a little bit and its not like we give it to her every day. Usually, when we're having a dessert, we'll give her a little taste of the whipped cream or frosting. Tonight it happened to be chocolate. I'm sure she'll be fine.

On another note, around 3:00 today all of the power went out in my office building. I'm not sure what happened, but the result was that we all got to come home early. I like the coming home early, I don't like the fact that I was almost done with a memo when the power went out. Lets hope my document was 'auto-recovered.'

Thursday, February 21, 2008

8 months old

Ella Bella is 8 months old today! We can hardly believe how big she is getting and how much she is growing and learning every day. And to think that we thought this day wouldn't come. God is so good!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go

Ella and Joe came to visit me at work today. Before they came I warned several of my coworkers that Ella will probably be the cutest baby they had ever seen. Of course they were both a hit, but everyone especially loved Ella. They all kept commenting on her beautiful eyes. She got them from her Dad. It was fun having them come so I could show them off to everyone. My desk is covered in pictures (would you expect anything less) and I talk about them all the time, but its always nice to meet the family in person.

Sunday was Ella's first time in the nursery at church. For months we have been thinking and praying about how to handle Ella and church. We want to go, but we are scared to leave her in the nursery. We have been taking her to church and bible study with us, but she is too wiggly and vocal for us to do that anymore. So we decided that we were going to tag team. One of us would go to the nursery with her while the other went to the church service. Then we'd switch so the other could go to bible study. The next Sunday we'd switch places. It's only been one Sunday but it worked out well. Ella has never really been around other kids (other than one or two here and there), so it was funny to watch her react to all of the other babies. She mainly just sat there and stared at them. Every so often she would reach for a toy, but mostly it was just staring. I took the first shift, and when I went back to pick up her and Joe after bible study, Ella was sprawled out on Joe's lap sound asleep. She was completely worn out! She also got to show off her special Valentine dress that GiGi made. She got a lot of compliments on how cute she looked.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

We have a new picture and video folder. Check it out.

Can you see my eyes sparkle?

The picture to the right is one of my favorite! I took it with my cell phone when we were going to Target (my favorite store and I’m pretty sure it’s Ella’s favorite too). I think her eyes are just so beautiful and sparkling! This is the look she gives when she thinks you’re crazy, but doesn’t want to give a full smile. I have it on my cell phone and every time I look at the picture it makes my heart melt.

Since Ella is such a big girl now and can sit all on her own, our time going to restaurants has been revolutionized! We can take her to a restaurant and sit her in a high chair while we eat dinner. As long as she has a toy or cookie, it’s all good. We went out to eat last night and she did so good! Joe and I were able to eat a complete dinner out without one of us having to pick her up half way through.

I’ve decided that this is my favorite age so far. Ella has developed such a personality and I love watching her grow and learn new things. She grabs at everything and studies new things from every angle. She is such a joy to have around! I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, we are so blessed!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

She keeps growing and growing and growing...

Well, we got Ella weighed and measured, and her guess was off by a couple of pounds. She weighs 15 lbs 5 oz and is 26 inches long. They didn't measure her head, but I'm sure its normal. This all keeps her in the 25th percentile. She's small but mighty, and we are so thankful that she is growing.

We also got the green light for sippy cups. So, today we tried it out. It went over like a lead balloon. Ella has only had milk, never juice or water, so not only was it something new to drink out of, but it was also a new beverage. She was thrown off by the whole experience. I'm sure it will get better in the next few weeks.

The sleeping thing is going wonderful! We're getting a solid 7-8 hour stretch each night! We are so thankful! I don't think someone can truely appreciate a full nights sleep until they have been deprived of one for 7 1/2 months!

Ella is now laying in her bed, staring at the music playing turtle (that thing never gets old). She is even "singing" along to the music.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big Girl

There are a couple of new videos and pictures in the January folder (yes, I realize that it is February). She has recently learned to sit by herself and she is quite proud of herself. I think she really likes the new perspective it gives. Please forgive the horrible camera work. I try to get close to her so you can see her precious face, but sometimes it doesn't work out so well.

As far as the sleeping goes, she woke up once the night after my last post. We were happy with that. Then last night she slept all night again! Granted, she went to sleep around 11 and woke up at 6:30, and then went back to bed and woke up around 10, but I consider 11-6:30 a full nights sleep because the sun was up when she got up at 6:30.

Now I'm in a dillema because she went to sleep around 7:30, and now its 9:30 and she's still sleeping. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, except that we need to change her bandages and we hate having her wake up that way. I think it would be awful to wake up because people are messing with you. We usually try to wait until she wakes up on her own, which until a couple of days ago always happened. Now I don't know what to do.

I have to brag on my wonderful husband a little bit. He did incredible on his grades last semester. In one class he got the 4th highest grade in the class! The teacher was so impressed that she asked him to come in and talk with her about how he prepared for her class and the final. Then, she wrote up a sheet of study suggestions for her current class and referenced the techniques Joe used. I am so proud of him. He is doing a great job balancing family and school. I am so lucky!

Ella goes to the pediatrician tomorrow. We are excited to see how much she weighs. Joe asked her how much she weighed and he said "when I get to the right weight then make your noise" (the same noise in all the videos). She made it at 17lbs 4 oz. We'll see how close she is.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

All Night Long!!!

Yes, the title is as exciting as it sounds. Ella slept all night for the first time last night! Joe and I were ecstatic! When I woke up this morning I didn't remember Ella getting up, but sometimes I just sleep right through it, so I didn't get my hopes up. Then Joe informed me that she didn't get up at all! Of course tonight she'll probably be awake every hour, but at least we know that she can do it.

On another note, my adorable nephews entered the world on Sunday. Samuel Curby and Nathaniel Calvin. A weird side note, Curby and Gina weren't telling anyone what the baby's names were. Well, about 2 or 3 months ago I had a dream that one of them was named Nathan. Little did I know that Curby and Gina had already picked out the names and one of them was Nathaniel. I guess that makes me a prophet. You can see pictures of them here. I was a bit worried that Ella had gotten all the cute genes in the family, but it seems that there were plenty left over for the Alexander boys.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Love me Tender

Sometimes, Katie gets out of hand with filming Ella around the house. The video entitled "Ella and Elvis" is one example. Check it out on the right-hand side.