Friday, April 29, 2011

Park zoo

It was no Indianapolis Zoo, but this week Ellie and I got our first (of what I expect to be numerous throughout the summer) visit to the zoo at Columbian Park down the street from our house. I had so much fun seeing the difference between her approach to the zoo animals this year as compared to last summer. She's so much more interested in what they're doing and in interacting... as evidenced below by this shot of her trying to go under the rope into the wallaby exhibit!
Ellie was a huge fan of this tunnel through the river otter exhibit, even though we couldn't find the otter.
And getting to walk around with the goats and chickens was way fun. After I talked her into petting one of the goats she then insisted on patting each one.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This video is a little on the long side... but there's a funny ending.
Watch Ellie nail about 20 letters in the alphabet. But she make her feelings known about one letter.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest tricks

It's been awhile since I've updated all that Ellie can say and do. It's A LOT these days! I keep hoping to catch some of the cutest stuff on video, but for now this list will have to suffice:

  • Mama/mommy, dada/dady, paw-paw (for grandpa), g'ma (for grandma), Bebby (for her teacher Becky), Rarar (Radar), Mubby/muz (for Muzzy), please, NO!, yes, nice, mine, up, ball, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, dog, egg... others that escape me right now. Just seems like she's been talking up a storm!
  • Favorite animal sounds include: Bear-roar, dog-(panting noise)/bark-bark, cat-meow, snake-sssss, cow-moo, horse-neigh, elephant-(the noise elephant's make...)
  • She's also pretty good at repeating the alphabet back to me if I go slowly through A,B,C...
  • And she jumps in with "two" and "three" if we start counting... but she usually thinks 2 comes after any subsequent number we say.

  • She's a great scribbler these days with her crayons.
  • Loves to sort out her blocks into shapes.
  • Takes good care of her babies, putting them "nite-nite" and offering drinks from the bottle.
  • Constantly is taking things out or putting things into buckets, baskets, etc.
  • "Reads" to herself, babbling as she turns the pages of her books.
  • Playing Cinderella, or so it seems. She loves to grab a towel or rag and "scrub" the floor, wipe down the table and even tries to help me vacuum. Oh, and she digs out the mop at least once a day.
  • Sings and does the motions to favorite songs — which include Row, row your boat; Wheels on the Bus; and Twinkle, twinkle little star. My recent favorite is when she sings the last line "all through the town" for Wheels on the Bus... even though it sounds a bit like "Awl boo da down."
  • She's also a great audience, excitedly clapping and shouting "yay!" at the end of each song... even the silly ones I make up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter fever

Some in the family had Easter-fever, as evidenced by the haul of gifts and candy we brought back from our trip to St. Louis this past weekend. Thanks to the grandparents and great-grandparents for contributing to Ellie's summer wardrobe ... and my sweet tooth :)
However, Ellie ran an actual fever over most of the Easter weekend and generally did not feel well. Here she is running around the neighborhood during one of her healthier moments.
And she and I finally got to enjoy ice cream from the famous Bobby's.

But her fever just wouldn't quit. She took a nap on the couch with daddy on Saturday afternoon.

And by Sunday night we decided it was best to get her home to her own bed, so we left early. I was glad we did on Monday when Brian started coming down with something, too. Would have hated to be on the road when he was hit by chills and other yuckiness. Don't know what's plaguing our house currently, but I hope to avoid it. So far Ellie seems to be on the mend...

It was a disappointing weekend in some regards, but I think Ellie had some fun with everyone. And we really enjoyed getting the visit in. I completely failed on the photo front... not even snapping one shot of her in the Easter outfit (complete with cute new sandals from grandma!)... but maybe we'll do a reprise of the outfit soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Indy zoo

Ellie and chaperone Dad went to the Indianapolis Zoo on Wednesday with the class from daycare. It sounds like they all had a blast! One of the daycare workers told me today that Ellie and only a couple other kiddos really got into the zoo experience, getting excited when they saw different animals and generally running around. That's our girl!
Apparently her favorite part was the seal exhibit, where they could watch them swimming all around through windows in the walls and ceiling.

And then she was all tuckered out from the excitement. I'm so glad Brian and Ellie got to spend the day together on this fun trip! But now I want to go to the zoo sometime this summer :)

p.s.... I may have jumped at the chance for Brian or I chaperone when I first heard about the trip because I was nervous about sending Ellie an hour out of town and on the highway in a bus with ... well, not either of us! Does that make me crazy, crazy mom? Either way, I guess, it worked out. Since Brian was driving his own car he got to stop at Trader Joes on the way back from the zoo and get some of our favorites (i.e. lots of cheap wine)...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Duck, duck, goose!

Ellie and I loaded up some snacks in the wagon and set off to the park yesterday afternoon. I was able to distract her from the playground long enough to haul over to the pond to see the ducks and geese.
The Canadian geese generally make me nervous, but these birds were nothing but friendly once they saw that we came bearing gifts. Ellie happily gave away all of her Cheerios. And I captured video!
(By way of explaination for my commentary... Brian is more than a little freaked out by geese — and seagulls, for that matter. Any bird that travels in a flock and creeps in close to people fits the bill, I think. But Ellie was unphased by these geese.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pig tails...

Daddy gave Ellie pig tails in the back today, since her hair is getting so long... I forgot to ask at school when I picked her up how long they lasted this morning. She's such a stinker pulling those rubber bands out these days. But it was cute while it lasted!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Not only can you admire Ellie's new green crocs in this video, you can see the progress she's making in drinking (very small amounts) from a big-girl cup. However, she's also seen me fill the dog's water dish one-too-many times from my own water cup. Such a helpful girl.

Babysitter par-tay

Princess Ellie had quite a night Thursday. Brian and I went to a preview show of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Purdue, where we got to see our friend Abby play in the band, and we had babysitter Shanna come watch Ellie.
Shanna loves Ellie and doesn't like that our girl goes to bed so early. The few times we've had her babysit, Ellie is usually asleep by the time she comes over. But last night she was still awake, although it was getting close to bedtime. We left for the show at 7 and thought Shanna would get Ellie down for bed within an hour. We were shocked to find them still playing together when we got home shortly after 9:30! We were thrilled to get to see Ellie again and put her to bed ourselves, but I just can't believe she made it up that late. Sounds like they had a great time, though. (Shanna texted me this picture during the evening as they slowly made their way through every toy in the house...)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Visit to Rockford

Ellie and I went to Rockford this past weekend to visit my mom -- or g'ma, as Ellie says -- and help my good friend Sarah celebrate her 30th birthday. One of Ellie's favorite parts was the Crispix that she found over and over again in my mom's cabinet. She had a LOT of cereal while we were there. I love how she would sit Indian style in this old high-chair my mom pulled out. She donned her pink tutu for church on Sunday morning. This looks like she's gearing up for a twirl, but really Ellie was about to yank out her pony tail for the fourth time that morning.
I made one of my mom's choir friends take a picture of the three of us after mass since the last shot we have of the trio is from when Ellie was about six weeks old.
p.s. Brian wasn't uninvited on the trip, he just stayed in Lafayette to work on demolishing our downstairs bathroom. He did a good job. The room is destroyed. Now we just have to put it back together...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yard work

Brian put Ellie to work in our backyard yesterday afternoon.
As he pointed out, if only she would pick the dandelions by the roots.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Prayer update

I'm heartbroken to pass along news that our friends Scott and Liz had to say good-bye to their son Cole Alan on Saturday after he was baptized surrounded by family.
Here's a note they shared from their pastor:
After a long time of being held in his mom and dad's arms, embracing the wholehearted love and many kisses from everyone, and spending precious time alone with his parents, Cole went to his heavenly home to be in God's presence and to join his family member in heaven. The strength and power of love was real and the pain of loss was real. Elizabeth and Scott walked through it being truthful to themselves. I have never witnessed the kind of powerful presence of love that existed between them and among the family members anywhere else.

I hope everyone will continue to pray for Scott and Liz through this tough time. And I'm planning to donate blood as soon as possible in honor of Cole, since both he and Liz needed so much in the hospital. Blood supplies are low nationwide so please join me in giving this simple gift.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Laughter, with a few snorts

I'm feeling overwhelmed and humbled by all of the blessings in my life and family. Here's some much-needed levity on this Friday morning.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We just heard tonight that some dear friends out in Connecticut need prayers sent their way. Our former neighbors, Scott and Liz, unexpectedly welcomed their son Cole on Monday night. But he was born at 25 weeks, which means he has some health problems to fight his way through. Liz also had a very scary time with the delivery, but is recovering. Please pray for all three of them to have strength and courage through this difficult time. Thanks everyone!

Welcome weather!

Not sure the weather could have been any better yesterday. When I felt the temperatures rising in the afternoon I quickly abandoned our initial dinner plans and prepped a BBQ feast. We enjoyed steak with mushrooms and onions, sweet potato and grilled asparagus. It tasted like summer!
As Ellie and I set out for our afternoon outing I realized it's time for regular sunscreen applications, since I can barely drag her back in the house these days. I got plenty of SPF 50 on her already rosy cheeks — and then it smelled like summer! I'm sure I'll be complaining about the heat and humidity before too long, but right now I say bring it on. We need a nice thaw after the long winter.
Here's a shot of Ellie carrying a big stick (though not speaking softly). She found this tree limb in a yard and insisted on taking it along with us. I actually had to break part of it off to aid her efforts. Even then she kept tripping over it and finally settled for walking backwards and dragging it. But who can resist that cheesy grin?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Slip slidin'

On our trip to the park yesterday Ellie insisted on wearing my hat... which was slightly too big for her. I was happy, though, since it was super windy and chilly here. We started off with some stick-collecting in the yard . Finally made it to the swing set at the park (by which time she'd changed her mind and refused to wear the hat)...
And then rounded out the visit with some time on the slide. I've discovered I can get her to smile for the camera by saying "Don't smile...."
Enjoy Ellie's unique sliding technique :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Outdoor art

We enjoyed some beautiful weather this weekend, which gave dad and Ellie a chance to play with sidewalk chalk. Ellie is still more interested in pouring the chalk out and then putting it back in the container, as opposed to drawing anything on the sidewalk... but I guess the chalk lasts longer that way :)

p.s. I also finally found the camera... which was put away in the drawer. Brian thwarted me by trying to get us organized!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ooh, bup

I hesitated to blog about this thus far because I can picture Ellie being embarrassed about it in 15 years or so... but it's too funny not to share :) For a few weeks now, Ellie has been announcing when she has gas. Or when dad has gas, for that matter. (I'm a lady.) She's also been sharing the news when one of us coughs or sneezes. She says "bup" to share the news... or "ooh, bup" if it's particularly loud or exciting (?) Brian is thrilled by this development, and I can't say it doesn't crack me up, too. But I'm not encouraging the behavior like Brian is! He's very proud of her new talent. When I picked her up from daycare today, her teacher Becky excitedly told me that Ellie had farted during the morning and then proudly said "butt." Maybe that's what she's been saying all along when we've heard "bup"... hard to tell. But I hope you've enjoyed this potty-humor-themed posting. Sorry in advance, Ellie, since I'm guessing dad will pull a copy of this out just in time for your first date.