Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The boo-boo didn't slow her down, though. She was thrilled to shake this park toy and then take off down the sidewalk on her own.
Wish us luck and safe travels tonight as we take Ellie on her first plane ride. We're going to Minneapolis for the weekend to celebrate Ben and Candice's wedding. It's going to be so much fun, but maybe not the actual flying part. Here's hoping Ellie sleeps instead of screaming and our neighbors on the plane don't hate us!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
They are super cute together and we're all excited to watch them grow up as friends.
*** Speaking of playing well with others... Brian and I have been in competitive-mode the past couple days. Our weight loss challenge is getting down to the wire, with only one of the seven months remaining. In advance of the weigh-in this morning, Brian spent some time Monday dehydrating and eating very little. I've been trying very hard all month, but when I realized I couldn't beat him this month... I decided to "play the game," too. I did the opposite of Brian and had a big glass of water before hitting the scale this morning. So when the dust settled, Brian was down 7.7 lbs this month and I was down 2.4 lbs.
I'm pretty psyched that we've each lost about 17 lbs over the past 6 months! Since we've each won 3 months in the challenge so far, the winner of Month 7 will take all. Should be an interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks...
Sunday, October 24, 2010
The six of us traveled two whole blocks away and hit a small pumpkin patch held in the parking lot of a nearby church.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
She made up for it later, though. I'm not sure if she felt bad because of her dinner antics, or because I had to give up a free ticket to see Snoop Dogg play in town tonight (!!)... but when I sang songs to her while getting her dressed for bed, she applauded after each one. (happy sigh) Sometimes when I start to feel so much like "a mom," I'm reminded of how great it is to be a mom :)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Life has been a little — or, a lot — frantic and stressful in recent weeks. I haven't been getting enough sleep, keeping up with chores around the house, eating as well as I should or treating people around me as nice as I should.
The eulogy at this past weekend's funeral celebrated a man who most will remember for his niceness, his loving and religious nature. It's hard to listen to praises like those, combine it with thoughts about the eventual end of life and not wonder what you're setting yourself up to be remembered for in life. Especially living in a place where I don't have a lot of close friends, I wonder what impression I leave on people. At work I am efficient with my time, almost to a fault... so I'm not likely to be walking around the room joking with co-workers at their desks. Does this make me seem unfriendly? And at home I worry that too much of the time I'm only giving half-attention to Ellie or Brian as I make mental lists of all the other things I need to get done for work and home. I definitely multitask too much... but it seems like the to-do list in my life is always getting longer, and not the other way around.
I'm not an outwardly religious person. I believe in God and heaven, attend church and pray for family and friends. But when I sit back and take stock of the way I'm living, it's easy to see that I need to put more of the concepts of my faith into practice. I need to try to quell more mean thoughts. I need to be less selfish with my time and resources. Above all, I need to have more faith and worry less. That's what it really comes down to if I want to be a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, etc.
I find myself often straddling two extreme outlooks on life. On one hand, I want to hold on to everything I love too tightly because I've never gotten over having my dad ripped out of my life. (Is it even possible?) On the other hand, knowing that life can be too short makes me want to live every moment to the fullest and throw caution to the wind.
I'm sure neither of those is the "right" way to live... but I have trouble finding middle ground. I guess the best I can do it start fresh each day with good intentions and try to stick with them. Hopefully that will mean less senseless bickering between me and Brian and more tender moments with everyone I love.
Monday, October 18, 2010
On a lighter note, I had to stop and give Ellie a break from the car ride in each direction. The random exit I took on the trip up ended up going into a mostly residential neighborhood... which meant no good places for Ellie and I to hang for a few minutes. But I did find a Dollar General store where we could walk the aisles for a while. Ellie found this package of tupperware (below) and proceeded to carry it around the store almost the whole time we were there. Too funny.
Meanwhile, on the home front... Brian was a tiling machine! He stayed behind on the Rockford trip to take advantage of the baby-less house and work hard on tiling our kitchen floor. It's a project we've really wanted to get done, but not something that's very feasible with Ellie under-foot. (It's especially hard because the kitchen is the only access between the front of the house and the upstairs... so we'd either end up trapped in the bedroom area or trapped in a section of the house with no bathroom... neither idea with a baby.) Anyhow, Brian worked so hard all weekend and got some major help from our friend, Abby. We are so grateful to have a huge chunk of the project done! We've got some grouting and lots of cleanup scheduled for every night this week... but YAY for the kitchen starting to come together. I'll post pictures soon!
Friday, October 15, 2010
We had a great time when we did finally arrive at the park about 20 minutes later. The one-block commute goes pretty slow when Ellie is setting the pace! But it was so exciting to watch her walk down the path, stop and pick up leaves and check out all the neighborhood scenery.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Ellie's room at daycare took a field trip to a pumpkin patch. I was super excited about their plan, until I found out that they were going to one in Crawfordsville! (which is about 30 minutes from here!) They had some special activities set up there for the kids, including hay rides and some other stuff, and there really aren't any big ones in Lafayette. So I understand why they went so far away, but it didn't stop me from worrying the whole morning until I was able to see for myself that she did fine on the drive and trip! She's never been driven anywhere by anyone other than family, and usually it's just me or Brian. I hear so many scary stories working at the newspaper that I drive myself nuts worrying about what could happen to Ellie and Brian! But it looks like the pumpkin patch trip was a total success.
On a more humorous note: My other "crazy" moment yesterday was when I decided to literally run down to Ellie's daycare center to pick her up in the early afternoon. The distance is only about 2 miles each way, so I knew the run would be OK. But I didn't immediately think about what I would look like pushing an empty jogging stroller all the way there! I really wanted to know what people were thinking as they drove by me... or maybe I didn't :) I also got a few funny looks from workers at her day care when I walked in all sweaty. Oh well, it was a beautiful day for a run! Ellie and I got to crunch through the leaves on the way home and then had lots of play time the rest of the afternoon.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Ellie loves to dance. This is a cute video and a specific "shout out" to Brian's mom, who fell in love with Ellie's jam when she came to visit recently. We're currently searching for the "Colors" song as a single so we can send it out as Christmas gifts :)
Friday, October 8, 2010
Here she is discovering the kittens.
And mom showed her how to pat them gentle...
And Ellie's look in this picture is priceless — some combination of "too cool-ness" and just having fun. She's able to climb on and off her princess cart by herself these days. Sometimes she gets tripped up, but usually does pretty good. She also loves packing toys into the storage space underneath the seat and carting it around the house. Have I mentioned enough about this being the best $5 garage sale find ever?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
We never know what position we're going to find her in when we check on her at night or during her naps. She was so tired during this marathon, three-hour nap that she didn't even flinch when the camera clicked.
The butt-in-the-air pose is definitely my favorite :)
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This was at the wedding we went to on Saturday. As you can see, we kept Ellie out past her bedtime.... but she did have some fun and was mostly good :)
In between the wedding and the reception, Ellie got to hang out with her friend Jacob (Kris and Melissa's 21-month-old). They played pretty well together. Jacob won Ellie over when he shared his snack.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Ellie is a huge fan of getting down and walking on her own, although she prefers the added stability of holding on to one of our fingers. She can really move if she's got both mom's and dad's fingers in her death grip!
In addition to walking, Ellie is surprising us every day with the things she says and does. I promise to get some video of more of these, but here are some of her recent advances:
- Blowing kisses. She randomly did this to a lady at church during the sign of the peace on Sunday. Too cute!
- Saying "thank you" to everything. It took us awhile to realize what this "da-du" sound meant... but we've pegged it now and realized Ellie has very good manners.
- Talking about the dogs at any opportunity. "Da! Da!" (pant, pant) is a constant refrain in our house.
- Asking for "more." It's the sign that Ellie knows best and she uses it all the time! It's literally one of the first things she says in the morning and it continues on throughout the day, even when she's not necessarily hungry or thirsty. (Sigh.) I'm hoping to teach her a few other signs soon so Ellie will at least switch it up now and then.