July 4th, 2014

Moving into Summer!!  From May to June, Ella grew leaps and bounds!  Now 18 pounds, 2 ounces, she is in the 25th percentile (but 75th percentile in head size, oh my!).  She stands 2 feet, 5 inches, and welcomed summer in by taking her first steps!  The big events of this month were: the end of the school year and transition to summer (mommy shouts “hooray!”), a trip to France and celebrating her birthday in France!

Walking with daddy!

Walking with daddy!

New foods: ice cream (glace in France for her birthday, she LOVED it, also highly appropriate was the fact that it was over 90 degrees that day!), onions, cherries, apricots (first bite in a French market, she loved them), blueberries, cantaloupe, eggplant, garlic, beef, salmon, codfish (she loved it!), macaron, babybel cheese.  She also discovered dirt…

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favorite part- she goes for a second helping!

favorite part- she goes for a second helping!

Ella speaks in full sentences, though we don’t understand much of it.  She says “baba” for balloon, “dada” for dad (and Nola dog, and “that”), “mama” for mom, “ma” for more.  Her new favorite word: “Uh-oh” for any accidents or dropped items.  She giggles after she says it nearly every time!  (we could have sworn she said “regarde” in France while pointing to objects, haha!)  She also signs “more”, “please” and “all done.”  We continue to model “thank you.”

She loves to play tricks on us- offering us food and then putting it in her mouth with a twinkle in her eye!  She is quite the imp, and we love her for it!

Now for France:

Right after an 8 hour flight, followed by a 2 hour flight, then a 3 hour drive: we made it!  Now to sit in the pool at Le Mazet!

Right after an 8 hour flight, followed by a 2 hour flight, then a 3 hour drive: we made it! Now to sit in the pool at Le Mazet!

Morning time with grandpa Don

Morning time with Grandpa Don

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Grandpa Don walked her to sleep- a great way to nap!

Grandpa Don walked her to sleep- a great way to nap!

Typical meals in France.  SO hot while we were there (and NO mosquitoes!)

Typical meals in France. So hot while we were there (and NO mosquitoes!)

Walking Ales (local city) on Grandpa Don's shoulders

Walking Ales (local city) on Grandpa Don’s shoulders

In Nimes with GrandMartha- she's showing her how to garden

In Nimes with GrandMartha- she’s showing her how to garden

Ella loved the roosters at Helen and Claudes- cookoricoo!

Ella loved the roosters at Helen and Claudes- cookou-ri-coo!

Sleeping in a basket at Helen and Claudes- tuckered out!

Sleeping in a basket at Helen and Claudes- tuckered out!

Our family with Helen, such a wonderful friend!

Our family with Helen, such a wonderful friend!

And back to the pool- the only way to cool off!

And back to the pool- the only way to cool off!

Visiting with a dear family friend and their child!  Ella's french boyfriend? Youric :)

Visiting with a dear family friend and their child! Ella’s french boyfriend? Youric :)

 

Time in the gite with GrandMartha- teaching her how to print??

Time in the gite with GrandMartha- teaching her how to print??

There was a swing at Le Mazet- Ella loved it!

There was a swing at Le Mazet- Ella loved it!

..and so did GrandMartha!

..and so did GrandMartha!

a moment to enjoy family

a moment to enjoy family

..and then I made them pose awkwardly...

..and then I made them pose awkwardly…

Giggles with grandpa Don

Giggles with Grandpa Don

flowers with GrandMartha

flowers with GrandMartha

Upstairs to visit Dorothee and Remi

Upstairs to visit Dorothee and Remi

Walking with the grandparents!

Walking with the grandparents!

In one town we visited, there was a washing pool with clear spring water- the water came from a toad's mouth!  Ella loved it!

In one town we visited, there was a washing basin (size of a pool) with clear spring water- the water came from a toad’s mouth! Ella loved it!

The day before we left, we celebrated her birthday with a macaron- Ella wasn't too sure

The day before we left, we celebrated her birthday with a macaron- Ella wasn’t too sure

With grandpa Don

With Grandpa Don

With Alyssa, a loved friend in France!

With Alyssa, Ella’s favorite French friend!

The Bonnal family threw a large fete for Ella and Remi- so wonderful!

The Bonnal family threw a large fete for Ella and Remi’s birthdays- so wonderful!

With Remi and Dorothe

With Remi and Dorothe

And of COURSE grandpa Don gave her a sip of good French cafe- see her signing for more?

And of COURSE grandpa Don gave her a sip of good French cafe- see her signing for more?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 4th, 2014

Ella Mae’s 10th month seemed to FLY by!  From April to May, Ella celebrated her first Easter, went to mom’s choir concert, a wedding shower and many walks around the Mississippi river (watching things thaw and plants beginning to sprout!)  She met and LOVED her friend Joanna (who flew in to dance at midwest lindyfest), and she chose her lovey- a very soft white bear that now MUST be in the crib for sleep to happen.  She continued to play (little imp!) and discover (like putting objects in other objects).  She brings us such joy!

Playing with Joanna and a balloon (which she calls "baBA!"

Playing with Joanna and a balloon (which she calls “baBA!”

Ella loves to play!

Ella loves to play!

Neighbor Amy showing her the tulips

Neighbor Amy showing her the tulips

Ella likes grass!

Ella likes grass!

Dandelions

Dandelions

Ella ate new food: quinoa, pasta, bread, avocado, cauliflower, green beans, and asparagus this month!

Ella ate new food: quinoa, pasta, bread, avocado, cauliflower, green beans, and asparagus this month!

Cuddles with mom

Cuddles with mom

Playing with dad in the front yard!

Playing with dad in the front yard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 26th, 2014

Ella Mae is 9 months old!

She’s a mover!  Ella Mae continues to grow and giggle throughout her 9th month.  She’s pulling to stand and lowering herself (most days), learning to fall (Ouch!) and wants to eat anything in sight.  Still no teeth, but her little gums are quite strong!

Up north with daddy

Up north with the dads

Up north with the dads

Photo-bomb!

Photo-bomb!

Standing...

Standing…

lowering...

lowering…

...and taking a break!

…and taking a break!

 

Ella Mae’s 9th month was full of mommy’s concerts, going up north to a cabin, and spring break with grandmartha!  We saw more snow than we’d want to as it approaches spring, but she stays in good spirits.  (or we do!)  Day trips to the library, local cafes and errands with her nanny keep Ella on her toes.  Oh and we can’t forget playdates with the neighborhood babies!

Time with grandmartha!

Time with grandmartha!

Grandmartha loves to play

Grandmartha loves to play

Walks at the mall

Walks at the mall

Walks at the mall

Walks at the mall

 

Playing at the Swedish American Institute

Playing at the Swedish American Institute

Ella Mae and daddy at music class!

Ella Mae and daddy at music class!

And of course grandmartha needs to bring her to an art museum!  Ella points out the details with her foot.

And of course grandmartha needs to bring her to an art museum! Ella points out the details with her foot.

Sweet times with grandmartha

Sweet times with grandmartha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 29th, 2014

During her 8th month, Ella’s fiery spirit continued to shine.  She even took a trip to her first dance event, Heartland Swing Festival in Des Moines, Iowa!  She had her first stomach flu, which was quite scary, but all recovered well.

She continues to feed herself, loves pinching vegetables and fruit between her fingers, and shoves anything in front of her in her mouth (including her hands).  She makes us giggle daily, and she takes us on many “walks” throughout the house!

Wearing a heartland swing shirt with her uncle Michael!

Wearing a heartland swing shirt with her uncle Michael!

Ella's first swing dance dress (the headband was flung like a frisbee a few minutes into the dance).

Ella’s first swing dance dress (the headband was flung like a frisbee a few minutes into the dance).

cutie pie!

cutie pie!

Ella swam while in the hotel for the dance event in Des Moines- happy baby!

Ella swam while in the hotel for the dance event in Des Moines- happy baby!

ready to throw down on the dance floor in Iowa!

ready to throw down on the dance floor in Iowa!

Ella pinches EVERYTHING!  even prunes!  (though this was the night that she came down with the stomach flu.  Hasn't liked prunes since...)

Ella pinches EVERYTHING! even prunes! (though this was the night that she came down with the stomach flu. Hasn’t liked prunes since…)

Sleepy baby getting better from the stomach flu

Sleepy baby getting better from the stomach flu

What a beautiful little babe

What a beautiful little babe

We continue our walks

We continue our walks

..and play peekaboo!

..and play peekaboo!

..and as we wait for teeth to come in, we gnaw on everything!

..and as we wait for teeth to come in, we gnaw on everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: 8 Months
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February 23rd, 2014

The challenge of two working parents and a growing little beauty!  It is hard to find the time to keep up, so I will attempt to keep a monthly tab on our sweet girl!  In her 7th month, Ella grew a little bit, said a few new words (and blew many raspberries!), and ate more food!  Nola dog is not too sure about her mobility, which resulted in Ella’s first big boo-boo (a scratch to the forehead).  She also got her passport, ready for some international travel this summer!  She continues to smile, chat away, crawl and walk us around by both hands.

Ella is standing on her own with wobbles for a few seconds at a time, and feeds herself quite messily.  She can pull to stand, which also meant a lower crib.  She wasn’t too sure about that, but got used to it.  She also began to ride in the grocery cart seats, which was thrilling and a bit scary.  Ella’s normal reaction to new things is fear, but then she warms quickly.

so playful in her exersaucer!

so playful in her exersaucer!

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Ella riding in the seat at the grocery store, what an adventure!

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We think she liked the seat at the store. Such independence!

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These eyes spell trouble!

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Ella so wants to stand on her own!

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During one of the weeks when daddy was out of town, we had many cuddles

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goodness, the faces she makes!

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We finally took a walk when the temperature rose to 30 degrees. Blissful!

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Ella loves helping mommy cook- she’s a loud sous-chef banging her pots and lids!

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Ella and her godfather Michael

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high five!

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face grab

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Ella loves pulling at faces

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Michael loves Ella

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OUCH!

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Yet another snow day- after a blizzard tore into town,this is the face that greeted me the next morning. A fun mommy-daughter day ensued!

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Ella Mae can sit up on her own!

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Our neighborhood after another blizzard- Ella has had quite a first winter!

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We took a walk after the blizzard- Ella was not so sure about the white white snow and the cold cold wind

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After the blizzard, we had to change plans to go up north to a cabin with friends. Instead, we went to each others’ homes and played! Ella with Micah

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Micah, a month older than Ella, is not sure how to play with our little girl

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love these looks!

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Right before this, Micah crawled over Ella to get to a toy- she was unfazed.

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January 26th, 2014

 

I am 7 months old!

I am 7 months old!

January is wrapping up, and so is our little 7-month old.  Over the past two weeks, Ella Mae has begun to crawl…or army crawl (marine-crawl, in favor of her daddy?)  Her vocabulary has grown to include “baba” and “mama,” and though I’d love to say that she’s referring to her mother, she’s referring to anything in front of her.  She continues to eat solids, especially loving carrots, apples, pears and chicken!  We have been letting her grab the food, which turns into messy but fun meals.  Our favorite new part of eating is that she now can eat dinner with us, grabbing at her food and snacking at will as we are able to sit down and eat together (“hallelujah” chorus in the background).

I can sit up strongly now.

I can sit up strongly now.

And after school I play with mama!

And after school I play with mama!

We have fabulous conversations...

We have fabulous conversations…

Sometimes she tells me the most surprising things!

Sometimes she tells me the most surprising things!

I also love to stick my tongue out

I also love to stick my tongue out

...and be adorable.

…and be adorable.

Ella Mae LOVES bath time.  She gathers all of the toys possible in her little arms and talks to them.  She also has discovered the joy of splashing and is confused why she gets so wet after.  It’s hard to take her OUT of the tub, but at least she’s clean!

Love me my baths!

Love me my baths!

Don't really love the drying off part...

Don’t really love the drying off part…

Check out Ella Mae’s first crawl!IMG_2623 and IMG_2607 (one of them…).  Should it surprise us that she was going after an iPhone?  Further attempts include getting Nola dog, the vent, and anything within reach.  Everything has been chewed on at this point.  We should own stock in clorox wipes…

The vent!  She plays it like an instrument, snuggles next to it when it's blowing heat, and talks to it.

The vent! She plays it like an instrument, snuggles next to it when it’s blowing heat, and talks to it.

I'm sure she's found lint...

I’m sure she’s found lint…

..and the chimney sweep.... (now removed)

..and the chimney sweep…. (now removed)

...and Nola dog!

…and Nola dog!

Another snow-day this week.  We spent many hours cuddling and snuggling.  Ella Mae has experienced a great first winter!

Snowy home!

Snowy home!

Snow-day snuggles!

Snow-day snuggles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: Weeks 30 and 31
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January 12th, 2014

 

I am 29 weeks old!

I am 29 weeks old!

Ella Mae has experienced her first -60 degree (with windchill, of course) day!  This past week, the governor shut down schools and advised no one to venture outdoors for two days.  Snow day with mom and dad!  She spent her time on tummy time, reading books, sitting up, and trying out all sorts of new foods!

The windows in our home, -40 degrees during the day with the sun

The windows in our home, -40 degrees during the day with the sun

Snow day!  Time in pi's reading books and sipping tea

Snow day! Time in pj’s reading books and sipping tea

Ella Mae reads her board book with mommy

Ella Mae reads her board book with mommy

More books!

More books!

 

..and loves to look at her own face!

She loves to look at her face!

Another fun snow-day idea: play with daddy's computer!

Another fun snow-day idea: play with daddy’s computer!

so fun!

so fun!

Ella met Dee!

Ella met Dee!

Ella now weighs just under 15 pounds and is quite healthy and happy.  She also went to the library with her nanny, helped with laundry, and had many cuddles.  Because of the cold, she got a little runny nose, but recovered quickly (and passed it on to mom and dad!)  This week, she tried peas, pears and chicken.  She also discovered the fun of sticking out her tongue!

Ella Mae can now reach for food and (sort of) stick it in her mouth

Ella Mae can now reach for food and (sort of) stick it in her mouth

Messy!

Messy!

...but oh so good!  Ella Mae likes sweet potatoes and apples.

…but oh so good! Ella Mae likes sweet potatoes and apples.

sweet naps

sweet naps

Ella Mae can hold her own bottle of milk.

Ella Mae can hold her own bottle of milk.

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Playing with peas (not eating them)

Playing with peas (not eating them)

(what a cute smirk!)

(what a cute smirk!)

...and offering them to us!

She’d rather offer the peas to us!

We think she'd rather have what he's having.

We think she’d rather have what he’s having. 

Oh that tongue- we see it often

Oh that tongue- we see it often

Ella Mae is also standing up against other objects.  We have to keep a close eye on her, due to those wobbly legs.

Ella learning to stand

Ella learning to stand

This week, she enters turns 7 months!  Wow!

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: Week 29
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January 1st, 2014

The week of New Years!  Happy 2014!

We still had the week together, as school’s winter break was until January 2nd, 2014.  Ella Mae spent many hours cuddling and playing with her parents this week.  We had a little jet-lag issues with sleeping schedules, but she recovered quite nicely.

This week, Ella Mae went bowling with our friends Maddy and Maia.  She was excited to talk to the nearby bowlers!

Ella Mae and Maddy at the bowling lanes

Ella Mae and Maddy at the bowling lanes

Ella Mae also had play time with Kalen Lavelle.  It is so exciting to see friends’ children growing alongside Ella.  Sweet times.

Ella Mae and Kalen

Ella Mae and Kalen

Though she got many gifts for Christmas, Ella was more excited to play with pots, pans, and the occasional hanger.  Silly girl!

The most exciting toy ever!

The most exciting toy ever!

Continuing to work on her muscles, our little girl sat up often during the week.  We leave pillows behind her, but she rarely nose-dives into them.  She enjoys talking to her toys from her perch, as well as grabbing anything nearby.  She’ll also squeal loudly to the rest of us no matter where we are, expecting us to squeal back equally as loud.  We’ve become a noisy home.

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Ella sitting and playing

Ella sitting and playing

Jeff discovered that she is a great mimic this week.  Watch the clip of him waving his arms, and Ella copying! IMG_2349

Ella continues to chew on anything in site.  Whether it’s bath toys or her new sippy cup full of water, this chewing should usher in those new teeth any day now!

She loves bath time now that she can chew on all of the toys!

She loves bath time now that she can chew on all of the toys!

Ella loves her sippy cup!  We're not sure if she drinks the water or just lets it pool in her mouth, but it's cute!

Ella loves her sippy cup! We’re not sure if she drinks the water or just lets it pool in her mouth, but it’s cute!

The last exciting moment of the week: she’s pulling to stand!  We’re not sure where she’s at with crawling, but Ella began to grab hold of our shirts and pull herself to a standing position.  Once up, she proudly squeals and wobbles.  As an experiment, I set her arms on the edge of the excersaucer.  Check out the video!IMG_2383

Ella learning to stand

Ella learning to stand

Until next week, we’ll keep snapping pictures and loving up our growing girl!

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: Week 28
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December 28th, 2013
6-month Ella Mae!

6-month Ella Mae!

What a great two weeks!  Ella Mae enjoyed her first Christmas, her second plane ride, and first time in Northern California!  Other firsts: experiencing a pool, riding in a shopping cart and sitting in a highchair at a restaurant (chicken legs was still too tiny and slid out!)

Ella is now into what WE eat, which is making for interesting meal times!

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She is also sitting up like a pro- reaching for and playing with toys during her playtime.

6 month Ella

So nearly crawling!

So nearly crawling!

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Right before flying out to Northern California to see family, Ella Mae opened her first presents at home.  As we were warned, we found that Ella was much more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents themselves.  Though she did love her new baby doll and talked to it for a long while in squeals.

First Christmas!

First Christmas!

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yum yum

yum yum

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Nola was also interested in her new toys

baby doll!

baby doll!

Ella Mae took her second plane trip right before Christmas to see her grandma Jan, cousin Justin, great-grandmother Nanny and great aunt Sandy.  She was quite a good flier, and received many compliments!  On the way home, she proudly stood on mommy’s lap and delivered a joyful speech to the plane…the other travelers weren’t so sure about that one…

Before taking off, grabbing one quick cuddle

Before taking off, grabbing one quick cuddle

On the plane- already asleep!

On the plane- already asleep!

We arrived to Sacramento and rented a car- before driving another hour or so, daddy and Ella had play time

We arrived to Sacramento and rented a car- before driving another hour or so, daddy and Ella had play time

Kisses!

Kisses!

..and her recent favorite- nose grabs! (ouch!)

..and her recent favorite- nose grabs! (ouch!)

At the hotel, Ella spent lots of time playing with cousin Justin and bouncing in the Johnny Jump-up that grandma gave to her.

Ella Mae and Justin

Ella Mae and Justin

Rolling in bed

Rolling in bed

Johnny Jump Up!

Johnny Jump Up!

Grandma Jan opening her grandmother's brag book

Grandma Jan opening her grandmother’s brag book

All-around cuteness!

All-around cuteness!

Ella also experienced a swimming pool for her first time.  She wasn’t so sure, and clung to us tightly with big eyes.  In her fear, she grew so quiet and attentive, no screams or tears.  We swam every day and by the end she was able to splash and squeal. I think we’re ready for those swim lessons!

Pool time with daddy and grandma

Pool time with daddy and grandma

A scene of the family

The Camozzi family at the pool

Ella conked out halfway through a swim, so grandma Jan held her tight and sang to her

Ella conked out halfway through a swim, so grandma Jan held her tight and sang to her

Ella also experienced sitting in a shopping cart for the first time.  Verdict: not so sure…

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We went to a Christmas Eve service and opened gifts in the hotel, followed by more swimming!

Christmas baby!

Christmas baby!

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After Christmas, we headed to Roseville, CA to see great-grandma Nanny and great-aunt Sandy.  Ella “Elephant” was charming to Nanny and they had many cute moments.  Sandy stopped by and they also played and cuddled.  We ended the night having dinner with Sandy and playing together a little more.  It was great to have family time, and it completely exhausted little bits.

Great-grandmother Nanny, Ella Mae and Jeff

Great-grandmother Nanny, Ella Mae and Jeff

So sweet

So sweet

Cuddles with great-aunt Sandy

Cuddles with great-aunt Sandy

Ella Mae playing with great-grandmother Nanny's walker

Ella Mae playing with great-grandmother Nanny’s walker

Playing with great-aunt Sandy

Playing with great-aunt Sandy

Before we knew it, it was time to fly home.  It was sad to leave the warm California sun, but we had more presents to open when we returned home!  We have many thank-you’s to send to family and friends who made Ella Mae’s first Christmas so special!  Merry Christmas all, and happy new year!

Playing before flying home

Playing before flying home

Opening Papa Mike and Grandma Diana's gifts when we got home

Opening Papa Mike and Grandma Diana’s gifts when we got home

Ella Mae opening a gift...

Ella Mae opening a gift…

...or chewing it...

…or chewing it…

...or climbing on it...

…or climbing on it…

A good first Christmas, I'd say!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: Weeks 26 and 27 (finishing December!)
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December 15th, 2013

She’s 6 months!

Our little smiler has transitioned beautifully to a nanny during the day as both parents are full-time workers again. Mom is tired but quite happy back in her classroom, and the family cuddles each evening and every weekend together.  Time is precious.

Right after Thanksgiving with Papa Mike, grandma Diana, grandmartha and grandpa Johnson, Ella Mae was baptized!  Her loving Godparents Michael and Eve Brafford were there to celebrate with us at Bethlehem Covenant.  What a sweet day!

Ella Mae is giggling voraciously, babbling nonstop and trying to eat anything in sight.  Her latest foods are rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, cooked apples and avocados.  Each time we introduce a new food, she is unsure, but within a day quickly loves it.

Enough talking, as promised- here are the pictures from the past few weeks of our little babe.

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Coffee with Grandpa Johnson

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Good food with grandpa

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no, grandpa…

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I’ll take over!

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Grandmartha gets a turn with the bottle

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and all is well!

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The morning of Ella Mae’s baptism

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Kisses before she heads into service

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The whole family at Ella Mae’s baptism with Pastor Ryan at Bethlehem Covenant

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Grandpa Don was able to baptize Ella Mae alongside Pastor Ryan

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One last play before Grandpa Johnson and Grandmartha fly away

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Grandmartha painted her wardrobe- so beautiful!

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Cuddles and coffee

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a few more giggles!

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A new game Ella Mae plays- trying to find herself in the mirror

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The budding relationship between Ella Mae and Nola dog…

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Oh, daddy!

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working on those walking legs

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..and wanting to run away!

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Cute time between daddy and Ella Mae

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Ella Mae’s new excited face- scrunching and closing her eyes while squealing. So funny!

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“See! Isn’t that funny??”

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Ella Mae loves holding the spoon

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not so sure about avocado…

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REALLY not so sure about avocado…

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deciding what to do about this new green taste…

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Instead of eating it, we’ll PLAY with it!

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yes, that’s much better

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Ella Mae loves glasses of water- under supervision, of course!

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She loves feeling the glass with her tongue

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cutie!

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A selfie after a full day of work and time with the nanny. Tired girls just need more cuddles.

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Kisses from daddy after a full day of work!

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SQUEAL!!!!

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Ella Mae can now push up, roll over, rotate on her tummy, reach for things AND sit up!

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goofy grin!

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all ready for the holiday parties!

 

Comments Off on Ella Mae: weeks 23, 24 and 25
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