Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Old friend all the stories to tell, old friend could you bid me farewell*

This image warms my heart. It isn't my best work by a long shot. But the image includes Kelly and Ella. My two best gals, enveloped in each other. Content.

Kelly journeyed from the Carolina's back to her old stomping grounds to meet Ella for the first time. We played and shopped and celebrated. And then she left - gone too soon.

Thirty years of friendship and still going strong. I hope Ella finds her Kelly.

I will leave you with some pictures of the gathering we had in her honor.

* Lyle Lovett, Old Friend

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thursdays With Ella

Thursdays are our free day. And we have big fun together. Here's a few of our lengthy lunchtime this past Thursday. We read books and the newspaper while we eat. We chat about what is going in the world.

This, a very common position for her at the table.

The words continue to spill out of her. Ella's Uncle Rob won the race this past week, as his is the first name she has said with any degree of clarity. "Ra-Ra" is what she calls him. Boy, is he proud. None of us can hold a candle to the love she has for Piggy and Panda, however.

Enjoy your weekend. Stay cool! H, L & E

Monday, July 12, 2010

Larry says it's Daddy Mojo. It might be. Look at the two of them in these pictures! They are quite the pair. Tomorrow we'll find out if there's any truth to his theory when Ella is home with just me while I work. Including tonight, she's had six consecutive nights of going to bed like an angel. Her naps have been great, too. Fingers crossed.

We started off another great weekend by having a sleepover with our little peeps Gabe and Lana. This wasn't just any sleepover but the first we've hosted since Ella's arrival. The pressure was on to produce. I think we pulled it off. We all stopped by a neighborhood party, then to our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant. After Ella was asleep, we played games by the light of tiki torches in the backyard with tunes playing around us. It was just like 'old times' which was a pretty big deal for our friend Lana, in particular.

Saturday was a gathering to celebrate my nephew Christian's graduation from high school. Honestly, I'm trying to figure out where the last 18 years went. He is a foot taller than me now but the sweet guy still lets me call him Baby Christian.

It was a thousand times wonderful that Ella was there for this milestone! When we were waiting, the milestones always grabbed at my heart so. Here she is making her way around the party with family and good friends...

Ella and her Uncle JB

Ella with our friend Steve. See that sparkle in her eye? I looked up at him exactly the same way as a little girl. (Yes, that long ago)

Ella hangin' with Cyndy. Pretty ladies.

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Our sweet little girl is somethin' else! Her singing and talking have increased tenfold. Although not crawling, she's scooting quickly and pulling herself up on furniture. She's not standing all the way but boy, she has made some strides.

She is willing to try just about anything you put on her highchair tray, and excitedly uses the sign language motion for 'more' with a grin. And music...does she like her music, especially during meals. Right now, we're playing a lot of Beatles but she surprised us both tonight with her affection for an old Blue Eyes live vinyl on the '68 Magnavox. When the audience clapped at the end of a song, so did Ella.

Right now, Ella has eight teeth, or apple bitters, as we like to call them. But there are at least three more on a race to poke through next. Just ask her and she'll show you. Flashing her pearly whites is one of her favorite faces these days.

But our girl is having issues with falling asleep. For the last four days now, she does "NOT go gentle into that good night". We're working through it, although exhausting and unnerving for the new parents. Even though we've been home for four months now (that anniversary was July 4!), and it seems like she's been with us for four years, we still have a great deal of unpacking to do. And I don't mean luggage. She's got layers of stuff: attachment, bonding, abandonment fears, just to name a few. We hope her set back is temporary. We hope that we've got the tools to steer her back in the right direction.

I will leave you with some recent photos taken with my new toy. We finally splurged on the camera I've been eyeing for months. I'm blown away at the bells and whistles. I've mastered a dozen of the 450 buttons and adjustments. I feel pretty accomplished!

Simba, Ella's furry friend. They are quite sweet with one another.

Ella with Ike, looking rather bossy.

Isabella fussing over Ella.

Taking a break from the sun and pool at her very first July 4 soiree.

Our Firecracker in Red, White and Blue!

quote from Dylan Thomas poem