Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Favorite Ella

I have several favorite Ella’s. Each is my favorite depending on the day and time. There are also several Ella’s that will never be my favorite…whiny Ella fits into this category. Tantrum Ella will also never be my favorite. However, there are several Ella’s that take turns being my favorite.

The morning Ella is definitely one of my favorites. She’s quiet and snuggly, her hair is a complete disaster and her eyes are still droopy. Her skin is cool and soft from the night air, which makes it extra kissable. And because she’s still in her snuggly mood, she lets me kiss her as much as I want to. I love that morning Ella lets me hold her and rock, and we sit in the silence until hungry Ella comes out and declares, “Mommy, I’m hungry! I want toast.” Then morning Ella is gone and we begin the day.

Other times my favorite Ella is social Ella. The girl that randomly decides to smile at everyone and will respond to each person that talks to her. This Ella has been rare, but she’s starting to come out more.

Oddly enough, I love stubborn Ella. Yes, this Ella gives me the most problems, but it’s also the Ella that has helped her achieve so many milestones that many naysayers said she’d never do. It’s the Ella that never stops fighting, no matter how much pain or how difficult the task. It’s the Ella that said, “Yes, I can write my name at 2 ½ even though my fingers are webbed and contracted.” It's the Ella that looked at the therapist with complete annoyance when she asked her to trace a circle, then she proceeded to trace the circle perfectly leaving the therapist and her assistant in complete awe. It’s the Ella that constantly says, “I want to do it!” when even her own mother has her doubts.

Yesterday, my favorite Ella was singing Ella. We headed to Target and as we were walking through the store Ella sang the entire time…yes, the ENTIRE time. No, she wasn’t singing songs. She was singing her sentences and thoughts. Think Phantom of the Opera where there are only like 10 spoken words and the rest of the dialogue is set to music. Yes, that was singing Ella. Her tune of choice was “You are my Sunshine.” Imagine the following phrase sung to the tune of “You are my Sunshine”…Mommy, I want to go and get a snack. Can we please go and find a snack? I’m getting hungry, and I want to eat. Can we please go find a snack?” The best was when she started singing about what type of toilet paper I was buying. According to her song she really wanted me to get the kind with the puppy on it (Cottonelle) but I chose the generic Target brand with toilet paper flowers on the front. Riveting musical lyrics. Sometimes I would join in and she thought that was hysterical! We had some duets that were better than anything you’d hear on Broadway…trust me!

I love each and every Ella that enters my day. And I love that she keeps me guessing...it makes life interesting. I wonder which Ella will come out today.

Friday, May 27, 2011

We made it!

Last Thursday was Ella’s last day of preschool. Remember this post? Well, here we are 9 months later, and we have made it! I can’t believe we made it a whole year. She has grown up so much. Her thoughts and words are on a completely different level than they were at the beginning of the year. She has friends! She’s much more of a little girl, and not so much of a toddler. She’s really growing up.

I cried her first day of school and I’m shocked that I didn’t cry her last. I think it’s because we were so busy getting ready to head up to NJ that I didn’t have time to really focus on what was going on. We finished the day with a pizza party with her class. Ella (and all of the kids) were very excited about it! She kept mentioning it all day and apparently at school the kids talked about how they were going to get pizza. The pizza party was a lot of fun (muddy, but fun).

I’m excited to spend the summer with Ella! This will be our first real summer together. Last summer I spent a lot of time planning activities for Ella and Metti to do together, so it has been fun planning activities for Ella and ME. I’m excited to play games and go to movies. I’m excited to plan play dates. I’m excited to find fun activities for us to do during the day. I’m excited to take her to Joe’s office and maybe go out to lunch together. It’s going to be a fun time hanging out together and having “Mommy and Ella days.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Large Family

Luckily, the title of this post is in response to the number of people in our family, not the size of the individuals in our family.

We got back last night after spending a wonderful weekend with ALL of the Murray’s up in NJ. Joe’s youngest sister, Trish, tied the knot. If you have never been to a Murray wedding, you only need to know that they are legendary! If you attended our wedding, then you were able to experience just a small piece of how legendary these weddings are. The Murray’s know how to dance and they are not afraid to spend much of the reception on the dance floor showing everyone else how it’s done. I won’t mention which sister (but it’s the oldest of the Murray’s) who attended the wedding of a friend and a stranger pulled her aside and told her that she was the best dancer he had ever seen. Yeah, that’s how the Murray’s roll!

Trish’s wedding was beautiful! They got married in a pavilion on the beach, and the reception was just down the boardwalk. Trish looked AMAZING and Phil was very handsome! The biggest news of the ceremony…Joe gave the homily. Trish and Phil wanted a very personal wedding so they asked Joe to speak at their ceremony. Of course he’s not legally allowed to actually marry them, but he did share a few words and welcome them into married life. I was so proud of him and how well he did. The best part was at the end when he gave Trish a basketball signed by the entire Murray clan. Trish, being the awesome basketball player she is, took the ball and spun it on her finger.

Ella, along with all of her other cousins, was a flower girl (if I am counting right there were 8 flower girls and 4 ring bearers...the oldest niece was a jr. bridesmaid). Ella was a bit sad that the dress was an “up” dress (showed her legs) and not a “down” dress (goes all the way to her feet) like princesses wear, but as soon as she saw that she matched all of her cousins she was completely fine. She danced her little behind off during the entire reception. She couldn’t wiggle her bottom or stomp her feet fast enough. At one point Joe picked her up and she got mad and told him, “Put me down!” She wanted to dance on her own. Ella was right in the middle of all the dancing. She sure has learned a lot from Dancing with the Stars.

I can’t write this post without mentioning the cake…actually, cupcakes. All of the food was incredible, and I was more than happy to partake in the leftovers that made their way back to the house. But the cupcakes…oh, the cupcakes. I’m a cake girl, and most people know that strawberry is my absolute favorite cake. As a child my mom made me a “Strawberry Shortcake cake” for nearly every birthday (and no, it wasn’t strawberry shortcake…it was a strawberry cake but I called it strawberry shortcake cake because it reminded me of THE Strawberry Shortcake…as in the doll). In fact, our wedding cake was strawberry. So you can imagine my excitement when there were strawberry cupcakes. I ate two…don’t judge. I also brought 3 home…don’t judge.

By the time evening rolled around, we were completely and utterly exhausted. We went back to the house where a majority of the family was staying, and we sat around. This was our main time to catch up with everyone, so we wanted to socialize. Ella, who had just downed 3 pieces of pizza and 2 York peppermint patties, fell asleep in the middle of the living room floor.

The next morning we joined everyone again for breakfast, then headed home. The whole time we were there Ella kept talking about how much she loved her “large family” and how she wanted to go see them again. When we were away at the house where we were staying, Ella would ask when we were going to see her large family. And when we left she was very sad to say goodbye to her large family. We assured her we would see them all again as soon as we could.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ella-isms, Part three

Some of these are pretty old, but they are still oh so cute!

Ella was extremely excited about the Valentine exchange at school. On the way to school she said, “Mommy, I hope I get candy! If I do I will be SOOOO happy!” Then after getting home and looking at all her Valentines, she decided that she wanted to eat a piece of chocolate. She unwrapped it and said, “Mommy, it’s chocolate! Oh, it’s a heart…awww. A heart means loooove.”

“I’m going to visit Paw Paw and GiGi, and Paw Paw is going to make me pancakes!” She said this every day leading up to our trip to Shreveport, LA. What’s funny is that she won’t touch my pancakes. Apparently Paw Paw’s pancakes are special.

Ella has added a new word to her vocabulary…”Dude.” Yep, she’ll say, “Where are all my shows, dude?” or “What are you talking about, dude?” Just the other day I heard her say to Metti, “Don’t do it, dude!” followed by a very emphatic, “DUDE!!!” I love it! Now if I can just get her to start using the word “Rad” my job as a mother will be complete.

One afternoon I was sorting through some coupons and Ella looked at me with a very straight face and said, “Mommy, coupons are VERY important!” Oh child, you have no idea!

We went through a phase where every night we had a different Disney Princess join us for dinner. We would alternate between Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty (Aurora/Briar Rose), Belle, Tiana and Rosetta (one of Tinkerbell’s friends). The princesses are still alive and well, but they just don’t always join us for dinner.

Ella’s new phrases:

“Are you serious?”

“Watch me!”

“Oh Man!” said while she slaps her hand on her leg.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Katie’s Guilty Pleasures

I’ve come to realize that there are several people who read this blog whom I have never met. For that reason, I decided that a good way for you to get to know me better would be for me to post a few of my secrets….my guilty pleasures. My idea is that once I post a few of my guilty pleasures, I can get to know you better by you posting your guilty pleasures in the comments. So here they are, Katie’s top 3 guilty pleasures:

1) Salt and Vinegar potato chips – I love them! In fact, when I was working I would eat them almost every morning for breakfast. I would even buy 2 bags at a time. Now that I’m home with Ella I try to set a good example, so I have cereal for breakfast instead. My wonderful husband also loves Salt and Vinny’s, so if they are in the house he will easily polish off a bag. This means that since I am now home and no longer have a desk to keep my chips in, I have resorted to hiding the Salt and Vinny’s in various places in the kitchen. Don’t worry, I do share…sometimes.

2) Cheerios – I love Cheerios! They are my comfort food. If I’ve had a bad day…Cheerios. If I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking…Cheerios. If I’m hungry but nothing else in the pantry or refrigerator looks good…Cheerios. Mid-night snack…Cheerios. And I’m an adamant fan of the plain kind, I don’t care for the honey nut, frosted, fruit flavored, multi-grain, etc. I want the plain Cheerios and that’s it. I love Cheerios so much that most of the time I have a box next to the bed so I can eat a few handfuls before bed. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have admitted that. The good news is that Ella has inherited my love for Cheerios, and she, like her mother, only likes the plain ones.

3) Fancy sheets – I realize that this makes me sound like a snob. Just take my word for it…I’m not a snob, but I do like really nice sheets. I’m a firm believer that a sleep is one of the biggest factors that can determine your mood, and the kind of sheets and bedding you have can make or break your sleeping experience. So, as terrible as it sounds, I won’t buy sheets under 500 thread count (I think the ones we have now are 700). In saying that, I must confess that the sheets on our guest bed are only 300 thread count, so our company doesn’t get the same sleeping pleasure Joe and I get…then again, our guests are sleeping on a futon so the thread count in the sheets probably doesn’t really matter anyway. Ella’s sheets are Princess, which are probably 100 thread count, but when you’re 3 it’s much more important to have princess sheets than it is to have a high thread count.

And just for fun, here are a couple of pet peeves I have:

1) Improper use of they’re/their/there, your/you’re, then/than – I guess I can blame my mom for this one…or maybe I can THANK her because I know the difference.

2) A dirty microwave – I can’t handle a dirty microwave…it makes me nauseous. If you come into our house at any given time, even if the rest of the house is a complete disaster (including the kitchen) I guarantee the microwave will be spotless.

3) Dishwashing – I am really picky about the way my dishes are washed (I blame my dad for this). The dishwasher is specifically arranged so that no dishes bang together during the washing cycle, therefore no plates or bowls get chipped. And with items that are hand washed, I want them completely covered in suds before being rinsed off. If it’s not completely soaped up, it’s not really clean.

There you have it. I am confident you will have much more peace in your day simply by knowing this pointless information.