Sunday, March 4, 2012

18 Months Old!

My Ella Bella is now 18-months old and I have to admit, going over to the land of 2T makes me a bit nervous. 18 months, 24 months I can handle, but seeing "2T" on clothes hit me...she's a "T" now. Wild. I don't know what happens between 12- and 18-months but she's a completely different person. Running and talking...and talking, and more talking and more running...

She's up over 50+ words (it'll be 60+ tomorrow). She's coming up with stuff I haven't even taught her yet. She's yelling, "Kali!" all over the house trying to locate her favorite playmate. And, when she's not chasing after Kali, she's climbing on everything. The life of a toddler. 

I love the fact that her first long sentence was "Hi, I love you!" That little voice...nothing in the world beats that. 

Ella 1 week old
Ella 18-months old

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


17 months is awesome. Let the real talking begin (and get more and more awesome each day).

Here are some words Ella can say so far...I'm sure this list will grow as I remember them...

In no particular order:

Gmy is Grammy
Ta Da!
"M" is Elmo
"MmmmMmmm" is Mickey Mouse

Watching a child learn and develop blows my mind. So honored to be her mom.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

17 Months

A few of our family members and friends have recently added new additions to their families and it's bringing back some major memories. My niece, Parker, is just about 6-weeks old and starting to smile. I held her last weekend and she was as light as a feather. I remember those days...they feel like ages ago.

I don't remember if I've mentioned it here before but someone asked me what age was my favorite time with Ella. I'll always answer, "The age she's at now" because it's so true. She's growing, changing, each day there's something could "today" not be the best?

A short list of things she's done (recently) that amaze me:

-A somersault on her own (amazed and equally freaked me out)
-Skied (even if Dad was helping her)
-Said everything from Apple to Shark and "more, please."
-Started giving herself a bath (which I'm sure she would have done sooner had I started to do it sooner)
-Throw things with the speed of an MLB pitcher
-Never get sick of the Pixar classic "A Bug's Life" despite watching constantly and on a daily basis
-Handle getting a cold better than me
-Start holding her own with Kali
-Actually give kisses as opposed to hold her cheek out to receive kisses
-Realize she's going to Nana's house and point to her house when we pull up
-Vacuum better than I vacuum
-Pat my back when she hugs me
-Start to throw little tantrums that can (at this point) be easily stopped with a little diversion (Yes, I know this will end shortly, sadly).
-When I said, "don't be a bad girl" kinda jokingly after she threw her sippy on the floor. She then shook her finger at me and laughed hysterically...that was awesome. Defiance already. That didn't take very long.

17 months will soon be 17 years. I adore you, Ella :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Spell E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g

I used to wonder why parents spell absolutely everything that may interest their child. Sometimes people even did this in front of their dogs and I didn't think it was at all possible for them to understand something. How little did I know.

Here are just a few things that I often s-p-e-l-l around you know who:

nurse (well, we have since stopped, but this was a big one).
fish (goldfish...obsessed)
puffs (the cheddar cheese ones...another obsession)
walk (this one is for the dog, actually :)
bath (the mere mention of the word prompts signs of "bath" and an immediate run for the stairs).
paci or binky (we're winding down with these, but still...safer spelled out).

I always have a fear as the words get longer that Aaron or my mom will spell something really long and I'll sit there thinking..."what the heck did they just spell?" and it'll confuse me as much as Ella.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Look Back

Two years ago today we brought this little guy home during a blizzard all the way from Worcester, VT.
Kali, Dec. 2009
His given name was Boris but now we call him Kali, and sometimes Kali Ma if he's being bad. He choose us, or me I should say. Another pup came up to me to say "hi" and Kali pushed his bottom and drove him away. "Get away from my mom!" he was protective already. He then came over to me and gave me a kiss.  To this day, he's as loyal as day one. I never thought I'd love a pet as much as I love him...corny, I know, but all you pet moms out there know what I'm talking about.
Kali, Dec. 2011

This past year I've seen my little girl become a toddler, learn to talk, get into trouble -- "Ella, stop pulling Kali's tail" -- was said probably about once a day.and develop her own sweet personality.

I noticed that there are several different Ella's running around the house. Here are a few of the many.

Ella the Sweetheart 
She's a little doll. And, she looks like a little one in this dress, too. I know, really puffy but I had to. Soon she'll be picking out her own clothes and I won't get to stuff her into puffy adorable dresses. She really is such a sweet little girl. She'll flash you an adorable smile and you see her huge blue eyes and just fall in love with her all over again. I'm sure this will be her secret weapon when she gets older and she'll use it on more than just her parents. Note to Ella in the future...I'm onto you! :)

Ella the Silly
This girl cracks me up. She has such a sense of humor and will do everything from dancing as funny as her mom and go around talking to herself and babbling to Kali. She'll pick up a book, go to where Kali is laying down and read to him. Needless to say, he usually cooperates. She makes me laugh if I have a bad day, I just hold her and all the other nonsense melts away. She even gives my scrunchy nose smiles and laughs, it's so wonderful to see some of my expressions on her adorable face.

Ella the Wild
This girl gets her wild side from her daddy. Aaron has what I'd call an "adventurous" personality and my little monkey is showing signs of it already. Climbing, yes please. The sit and spin is a climb, and spin, and balance on a 6" round piece of plastic over 18" in the air. I swear if we had a balance beam in the house she'd already be doing back handsprings on it. If she turns out to be a gymnast or anything that requires a dare-devil personality, I will not be surprised one bit.

I can't wait to see her grow up even more in 2012. She'll be talking up a storm, running around the house, climbing (even more) and if her daddy has his way, skiing black diamonds. I can't wait :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Motherly Advice Part I

So, having been a mom for a year I feel like I can finally write down a list of things I learned from being a mom this past year. My friends who became pregnant after me ask their friends, including me, on advice of the best things to buy, what to purchase before you have the baby, what you can wait on, what things I never thought I would use that I now realize I couldn't have lived without, and so on. So, some motherly advice that if I could turn the clock back to August 2010, I would give myself.

In no particular order...

1) Buy bibs with snaps, not velcro
The velcro, unless you make sure (which is hard to do) that all of them are latched together before they go into your dryer or else they will stick to everything. And, eventually your child will learn that if she pulls hard enough, she can rib the bib from her neck. Snaps...not so much.

2) Buy bibs that are waterproof
Yes, children are drooly and messy. Unless you want to change your kids clothes 3-4x a day, use waterproof bibs.

3) is your savior
It's amazing. You will have the UPS man coming to your house several times a week. Get the pricechecker app for your phone and use it whenever you feel like buy something in the store...then realize you can get it cheaper on amazon (if you don't mind waiting 2 days for it).

4) Making baby food isn't as involved as you think
I know a lot of moms are busy and can't make their own baby food, no biggie, I'm not anti-jar food -- I could actually care less what other people feed their kids. But, if you have the time or can spend an evening or two a month making food, go for it. Buy a steamer or use the old fashioned steam basket and blend away, then freeze away. I had a great time doing it for Ella and they're not on pureed food for very long.

5) Don't register for a gazillion diapers in a gazillion sizes
I know a few girls who registered for diapers up to size 6. What??? First question, how do you even know the brand you registered for will be the best for your baby? I've heard some moms swear by Pampers (which we use) and some by Huggies and some by a CVS or Target brand. And, last time I checked diapers come in some huge packages...where are you going to store all of these until the kid is 2+ years old? I don't even know how old you are when you're in size 6 diapers. Ella is 1 and we're still in size 3.

6) Never shut your cellphone off
I don't care if I'm in a business meeting. if something is wrong with my daughter, I want to know. Tell whomever is watching your child that you'll be in a meeting but if something happens, you can be available.

7) Get a housecleaner
I hired my housecleaner when Ella was a few months old and it was the best decision ever. She comes every other week and she's a God send. Plus, she's an amazing woman and we love her so much so Ella has enjoyed seeing her and playing games with her as well.

8) Don't get a million stollers
We really didn't need our travel system stroller. In hindsight I would have just used my carseat with my snap and go, and then went straight into an umbrella stroller or used my jogger. The good thing about the travel system stroller is that it's better for indoors rather than the jogger, and you can store more things in there and it's more comfortable, but do we really need it? Not really.

9) Don't make a big deal out of things before they're a big deal
I brought Ella to the pool today and I was there by myself for the majority of the time. The night before we went I was wondering how I would get changed afterwards, and where I would put her, and if I should bring her float and if it would be crowded. I didn't spend a ton of time thinking this, but these questions certainly went through my head. In the end, it was a breeze and I worried for nothing.

10) Don't ever feel like you should turn off your mom-instincts...ever
There have been a few instances where I thought...should I really tell that person to wash their hands before they hold Ella? Or, should I really sit near Ella and help her play with the kids who are older because they're playing a bit rough and she's much smaller than them? Or, hey, that stranger is going in to kiss my daughter...maybe I should shove her away :) Regardless of it's little or big, you're the baby's mom and you and the dad make decisions, nobody else. Do whatever you want to do even if it goes against your family or friend's opinions.

I'm sure I'll have a gazillion more. Maybe this is why I'm going back to title it Motherly Advice Part I.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Ella!

Cake by Me
Photo by Stephanie O'Neill
My little girl is one year-old today. This has been the fastest year of my life.

She is so smart, gorgeous -- breathtakingly so -- loveable, and FUN. A joy, an absolute joy.

I wondered how I would meet this day...would I have tears in my eyes? Would I be just too stressed out about her party (which is also the same day as her birthday) to really savor the moment?

Birthday are huge in my house. I still love my birthday and I'm into my 30s and I will still love it 20 years from now. You better believe my daughter's birthday is going to be huge...not so much in the party sense, but the overall depth of the day.

This morning, I set my alarm for 1:19am, the moment she was born and read my pregnancy journal. In the hours following her birth I wrote down all the details I could remember. The names of her nurses, how many hours I was in labor for (15...I won't forget that number) and the joys as well as the complications that arose from it.

Ella was a NICU baby, and I guess I could say is a NICU baby because it's not something you grow out of. What I mean by that is it's not an experience that you grow out of. The parents of NICU babies can recall the smallest details of what it's like to be there for hours, days, weeks, etc. The sounds of the monitors on all of the babies, the tubes, the incubators and small cribs lined up one after another -- you just don't forget.

Ella was lucky enough to be there for just seven days and it was a long seven days. Luckily she doesn't have any existing health issues that have carried over from her first week of life. Each night when we say our little prayer for our family and friends we always say at the end "we wish everyone health and happiness." You quickly learn as a NICU mom, or just mom in general that all the other stuff doesn't matter at all.

Each year on her birthday we donate to the Brigham and Women. I don't think people think of donating to NICUs as much as they think of donating to other causes. Just a reminder, NICUs need support as well.

So, now that my daughter is one I'm taking these moments to relive the past year -- even the sleepless nights. And, I'm taking the time to take the ones who helped make her first year absolutely wonderful. Her grandparents, aunts and uncles, family and friends -- thank you for showering her with love and being part of her first year of life. Thank you to my mom who is with her practically every day and helps our life in so many ways. And, Aaron, the loving, caring, fun, and protective dad who provides so much for Ella and for us. And, Kali, the ever loyal, energetic, and playful pup who is unlike any playmate Ella will ever have.

Thank you, Ella, for so very much and for changing me and everyone around you in so many ways. I love you with all of my heart, soul and mind.