Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Story

This weekend we went to Atlanta, GA to celebrate Joe’s cousins wedding. I’ll do a separate post with the details of our trip, but in the meantime I just wanted to share a quick story.

Our flight was Thursday night, so I left work early to give Ella a bath and get to the airport in time for our flight. We met Joe at the airport around 6:30. Since our flight was at 9 and we had some time to kill, we decided to grab a quick dinner at TGI Fridays. We were sitting at our table and had just placed our order, when a man in a military uniform came up to our table.

He said, “I travel all over the country and a lot of people buy my dinner because they see me in this uniform. So every so often I like to do the same for other people. As soon as I saw your beautiful daughter I knew that I wanted to buy you dinner.”

This man paid for our entire dinner! What a blessing! I almost started crying right there. I have never experienced anything quite like that. When I lived in Boston there were times when I was feeling especially nice and I would pay the toll for the car behind me, but that was 50 cents, not an entire meal for 3 people. And we have awesome friends and family who have bought us dinner on numerous occasions, but this was a complete stranger.

It was so touching and so very humbling! Here is a military man serving our country, yet he has the heart to buy dinner for a family that he’s never met. What a great testament to the kind of people we have in our armed services.

We, of course, thanked the man profusely and he kept saying that it was because of our beautiful daughter, he did it for her.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Murray Update

My creative juices aren’t flowing right now, so I can’t come up with a better title than that. Sorry, I’ll blame it on the rain. (Yes, I started singing as I typed that)

First, thanks for your prayers for the sleeping. I wish I could say that Ella was doing great and sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, that is not the case. She’s still waking up every 2 hours. I did go buy the No Cry Sleep Solution and while she’s not sleeping through the night, we have seen marked improvement from implementing just a few things from this book (I’m only half way through reading it). First, she’s going to bed MUCH earlier than she used to. Our theory before was that if she went to bed later then she’d sleep longer and we wouldn’t be woken up in the middle of the night. That is true, but now that Ella is going to bed earlier and getting more sleep (even though it’s broken), she’s a much happier kid. She doesn’t fight as much when Metti arrives in the morning, and she doesn’t fight as much with getting her clothes changed or her diaper changed. She has also started taking more consistent naps, which is great. They are at the same time every day (give or take 30 minutes), which means that she actually goes to bed at the same time every night (give or take 30 minutes). And the best part is that Joe and I actually get to hang out together at night! All of this is great news! The problem is that she’s still waking up throughout the night…like 4-5 times a night. Ugh. What we need to figure out is if she’s waking up because she’s itchy, or if she wakes up and doesn’t know what to do so she scratches (it can be a nervous habit for Ella). It’s a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” situation. All we know is that when we go in there she’s just scratching all over…legs, arms, back, sides, EVERYWHERE! I stay in her room and try to rub whatever part seems to be itching the most, but even then it takes at least an hour for her to get over the itchy bug enough to calm down and go back to sleep. We’ve been alternating 2 anti-itch medicines. One of them used to work great, but the older she gets it doesn’t work so well. The other works great for 2-3 nights, then doesn’t work at all, and in fact, seems to make matters worse. This is where, once again, Joe and I need prayer for wisdom.

Ok, enough of that. This weekend the weather here was absolutely beautiful! Saturday Ella and I went to visit Joe at work (yes, he worked all weekend) and we took his office cookies. Ella was very excited to see where daddy worked and to visit his colleagues. She even drew a very special picture while we were there.

On Sunday we took Ella to Sunday School at church for the first time! We are really working on active steps to get Ella into play groups and other activities with kids her age. She’s extremely shy, as anyone who has met her knows, so I can’t just throw her into preschool without at least some preparation for being around a lot of other kids. All in all she did really well. She was overwhelmed at first, but as soon as they started singing songs she warmed up. They had play time in the church’s soft play ideal for Ella! She didn’t really climb all over everything, but more enjoyed watching the other kids play. She did, however, love when the kids would jump in the ball pool and she’d go around and pick up all the balls that fell out and throw them back in (just like her Paw Paw). When we went back to the room they had snacks, and Ella actually sat by herself and ate the snacks with the other kids (this is a big step…usually she wants to sit on my lap). She also went to the puzzle table and did puzzles with some of the other girls. I only knew 1 other kid in the class, so I am not judging, but Ella was definitely the best at putting puzzles together. And I lined up the blocks and when she was counting them she was counting in Boppie’s language…GENIUS!!! Anyway, it was good for her and it was good for me to see some specific things we need to work on before she starts preschool.

Metti has been taking Ella to story time at the library for several weeks and she loves it. When I come home from work she tells me all about the story they read and the songs they sang, and shows me her picture. Metti did say that Ella is the only kid that actually sits and listens to the story and does what the leader asks. The rest of the kids are running around and not paying attention. Good job Ella! Metti and Ella are also going to try out some other toddler activities around Alexandria, so we’ll see how those go. I think it will be good for both Ella and Metti to get out of the house more and play with other kids, especially as the weather gets warmer.

Given the beautiful weather over the weekend, I washed all of Ella’s summer clothes. The problem…I have been buying all 3T and about half of them are too big. She’s in that terrible stage where 2T are too small (too short) and 3T are too big. Does this give me a good reason to go shopping? I will also add that if anyone has a daughter who has outgrown her 3T clothes I’d be happy to pay good money for them. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Masses Have Spoken

Glitter it is! I have placed the order and we should receive them soon. I’ll deal with the glitter all over the house…that’s why we have a maid right? The practical side of me did take over and I ordered a size bigger so that she could have them for awhile. Unfortunately this means that she may not be able to wear them right away. Oh well. You can’t win them all. Thank you all for your participation and comments. I don't think we've had that many comments on a post since Ella was a baby! That is very exciting for us (and when I say "us" I really mean "me" because honestly, Joe and Ella really don't have a lot to do with the blog).

Ok, so I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again…Ella is funny. The best part is that she doesn’t even know how funny she is because she’s just being herself…her cute, funny, 2 year old self. The other night Joe was putting her in her pajamas. Ella hates changing clothes. No, it’s not EB related…it’s 2 year old stubbornness related. She just doesn’t want to have to stop doing whatever she’s doing long enough to have her clothes changed. And she knows that if she has to take off her clothes and put on her pajamas then she’ll soon be headed for bed. So last night while Joe was putting her in her pajamas, Ella started crying that she had a boo boo. After a thorough look we didn’t see any sign of injury, so Joe proceeded. Suddenly the tears about her “boo boo” stopped and Ella said, “Can the Wonder Pets fix it?”

Saturday we spent the day at home. It was pouring rain outside and I had things at home that I needed to get accomplished. So we spent most of the day playing the basement…Ella’s toyland. At one point she started running around the couch as fast as her 2 year old legs would take her, and as she was running she was chanting, “Go Ella! Go Ella! Go Ella!” We both burst into laughter and Joe said, "Where did she learn that?" Since neither of us say it, there's only one place she could have learned it...Metti...or TV.

Ella is also learning how to make jokes. She’ll look at me and say, "Hi daddy" or, "Hi Boppie" (that’s what she calls Metti) and then start laughing because she knows it’s funny that she's calling me the wrong name. Or she’ll have a necklace and call it a bracelet, and start laughing because she’s so funny. I of course completely play it up and say things like, “Hold it! I’m not daddy…I’m your mommy!” and then I tickle her belly. Her laugh is the BEST!!!

And now, for my shameless plea…we need sleep prayers. For the past several weeks (months) Ella has been waking up at least 5 times a night, and at least once during the night she wakes up and stays awake for 2 hours while we take turns trying to get her back to sleep. Joe and I both work full-time, so this does not make a good combination. We are both at our wits end. We can count on one hand…ONE HAND, the number of times we’ve had a full nights sleep in the past 2 ½ years. When she just gets up once I can deal with it (I don’t like it, but I can deal with it), but this whole waking up multiple times thing and not going back to sleep is completely ridiculous. So ridiculous in fact, that today I’m going to buy a PARENTING BOOK (Gasp!). Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the parenting book kind. I have nothing against people who are, but Joe and I tend to parents with our gut…if it feels right, then it is. This is why 99.8% of the time I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes this works out…sometimes it doesn’t, and with Ella’s sleeping it has definitely NOT worked out. So I’m going to Barnes and Noble today to see what I can find. Since Ella’s older we can’t really do the whole “cry it out” method (we didn’t do it when she was a baby because we didn’t want her to tear her skin up while she was crying), and we’ve tried music and all she does is sing along, even if it’s instrumental (this girl definitely got her Paw Paw’s musical gene). We’ve also tried white noise and it doesn’t work either. She has a humidifier in her room and I use saline spray in her nose thinking that might help...nope. I feel like we’ve tried everything, which is why I’m going to my last resort. Maybe a book will give us some new ideas. Like I said, both Joe and I are at our wits end. We can’t keep functioning like this. I don’t get mad at God about Ella having EB (I don’t like it, but I’m not mad), but I DO get mad about her not sleeping through the night (should I admit that?). I feel like that is one area where He could hook us up, you know. Throw us a little bone and let Ella sleep through the night. Not one night, not two nights, but every night. Ok, now I’m just sounding bitter. Anyway, please pray that Ella starts sleeping through the night. Thanks!

Ok, that’s it on our end. Thanks again for all of your comments and votes on the shoes. I know Ella will love her glitter shoes, and I’ll just deal with the glitter being all over the house (although I did go to Target this weekend and rubbed their glitter shoes as hard as I could and not one speck of glitter came off on my hand…lets hope these shoes are the same way). I’ll be sure and post pictures when they arrive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

To Glitter or Not To Glitter…that is the question

So, I posed this question on facebook today, and I got such an overwhelming response, that I decided I needed to take it to the next level…blogland.

Here’s the back story…I found a website that offers girls shoes in wide (you’d be surprised at how hard they are to find…apparently little boys are the only ones with fat feet). I was so excited and bought Ella 2 pair of shoes, one casual and one dress up. The dress up pair is black patent leather with ribbons to tie them on. Here is a picture.

I love these shoes! Not only are they absolutely adorable, but they are easy on Ella’s feet. With the ribbons as ties I can put them on as tight or as loose as I need to, depending on the thickness of the bandages and the state of her feet at that time. The sad news is that after just a few months, one of the ribbons ripped completely off. Yeah, I was pretty hacked off about the whole thing. Luckily, I emailed the company and they have offered a replacement pair of shoes FOR FREE!!! I can get any style they offer. SOOO, I threw this situation out to Metti and told her that I was thinking about getting just another pair of black shoes, but in a bigger size so that she can wear them when she’s older. Metti then suggested that we get glitter shoes. I know little girls love glitter shoes, and I think Ella would love them too… BUT…I am less than excited about having glitter all over our house and all over my hands from putting the shoes on, and all over Ella’s clothes. I have also heard that the glitter comes off the toes of the shoes fairly quicky, which can make them look old way before their time.

So, for the next few days there will be a poll on the right side of the blog. The question is: Do I buy Ella the silver glitter shoes, even though I know that they will leave glitter all over our house and all over her clothes, and the glitter will slowly come off over time? OR, do I forget the glitter shoes and go with something more practical?

Here is a picture of the glitter shoes, just so you know exactly what you're voting on.

Thank you in advance for your participation. I desparately need help in making this decision.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Liar Liar

I remember when I was probably in Jr. High and I was out somewhere (probably at the mall…I don’t remember all the details). There were parents sitting at a table with their 2 or 3 year old daughter and the parents were eating chocolate chip cookies. The daughter asked for one and the parents said, “No, you don’t like these. They’re yucky.” WHAT? Since when have chocolate chip cookies ever been yucky? I understand that the parents didn’t want their kid to have a cookie, but I didn’t understand why they didn’t just say ‘no, these aren’t for you’ and leave it at that. How dare they LIE to their child?

Well, now I’m the parent. Joe and I really try not to lie to Ella, but sometimes…just sometimes, it’s necessary. The other day we were coming home from the park. Ella was exhausted and had eaten half of her snack, but just didn’t have the energy to finish it. I turned around and looked at her, and she said, “Mommy take my sack. Can I have a yummy bottle?” (yes, she still gets a bottle before bedtime…don’t judge). So I said exactly what I shouldn’t have said, but I said it… “Ok, mommy will fix it.” Then I looked at Joe in complete panic…I didn’t have a bottle and would definitely not be fixing it. I said it for one reason and one reason only…I didn’t want her to flip out. Once she thought that I was fixing a bottle, she was fine and within minutes she was fast asleep. If I had said, “No Ella, I don’t have a bottle,” then she would have screamed the entire way home.

Most of the time, when she asks a question and I know she won’t like the answer, I just ignore it. I don’t give her any response. That way I’m not lying to her, but I’m also not giving her an answer that will cause major Ella drama. For example, this morning Ella got out of bed and came in to see me. She immediately started asking to see daddy. I knew that if I told her Joe was at work, she’d burst into tears and the morning would be a disaster. So, I didn’t say anything. Soon she asked to go see if daddy was in the bathroom. I should have said something, but I didn’t. I let her walk all the way to the bathroom only to find it empty. She was searching high and low for daddy, so I suggested we call him on the phone. This made her happy, so we called Joe and they talked for a couple of minutes. After that she was completely fine. Did I lie…I guess that depends on who you ask. Dr. Phil would say I’m lying by omission. I just say I’m keeping the peace.

All of that said, I have not once, EVER, told Ella that chocolate chip cookies were yucky! Besides, if I did, she’d know I was lying…she’s already had chocolate chip cookies and she loves every bite!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fun Times at the Murray House

First and foremost, thank you all for your prayers for us. Ella’s pinky is looking much better…almost like a “normal” pinky. It’s almost completely healed, and as soon as it is we are going to address some other areas of her hands. I think I have a plan for how to wrap her fingers, but right now I’m just wondering if we keep them wrapped all the time, or just at night, or just 1-2 days a week. I just don’t know. Anyway, thank you so much for your prayers!

Last Thursday Metti had an all day meeting, so I stayed home with Ella. We went to story time at the library and she LOVED it! Unfortunately we arrived too late to join the story time, so Ella and I just walked around and looked at all the books, and played a Barney game on the computer. She had so much fun and talked about it all day. When Joe came home she told him all about reading the book about fishies and playing the Barney game on the “pecuter.” Since she had so much fun, I went and got a car seat for Metti’s car and today she and Ella are going to story time. It will be good for both of them to get out of the house.

Friday afternoon I (along with our good friend Becky) headed to Williamsburg for our church’s Women’s Retreat. This was the first year that I was able to attend, so I was pretty excited. I knew that I’d get the opportunity to meet some new people and get to know acquaintances better. Because I have such a wonderful husband, Joe told me that rather than share a room I could splurge and get a room to myself. So not only did I get to spend some quality time with other women from our church, but I also got a nice little rest too. I am so glad that I went and I had a great time with everyone.

Meanwhile, back at Chez Murray, Joe and Ella were having a grand time! Because Joe’s the dad and he wants nothing more than to make his daughter happy, he let her do almost anything she wanted to. It started on Friday night when Joe ordered pizza for dinner. Ella loves pizza! On Saturday morning Joe went to change Ella’s clothes and all she wanted to wear was pajamas. So, he went to the closet and got a clean pair of pajamas, and put them on Ella. Hey, at least they were clean. Then they headed to Old Town to ride the choo choos. You know that this is one of Ella’s favorite activities. After riding the choo choos around for awhile, they stopped at a restaurant to have lunch. Ella got spaghetti…another favorite. And, since she’s her daddy’s favorite girl, she also got a brownie with ice cream. They had a great morning together and Ella fell asleep on the way home from all the activities.

Of course whenever I called home they were doing things that I would NEVER allow had I been home...pajamas all day, playing with the giant bubbles in the house, etc. But I know that Ella had a ton of fun with her dad. In fact, after I got home on Sunday afternoon, Joe needed to run an errand. Ella cried for him the entire time he was gone. Yeah...she hasn't seen me in 2 days and has been with her dad non-stop for 2 days, yet she still cried for him. Oh well.

It was nice to have a little break, but I missed my family. Ella is so precious and I love coming home to that sweet face…and Joe’s cute too. :)