Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day Inside

It was just too cold yesterday. So we stayed in and played...behind curtains...and with our kitchen...

We figured out that tiger likes to drink from the bottle...

And we giggled. Lots and lots of giggling...

We did brave the cold and go to church this morning. As the sun was peeking in Ella's car window on our drive, we said, "Good morning, Sunshine!" To which she followed up with nothing other than, "Ah-men!" Stay warm. Have a great week. ~H

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Color My World

The girl loves her some crayons and stickers!! Go grab a few and color a beach scene with ocean water and bright, warm sun. Based on the bitter weather forecast in Ella-land, we should all escape with a new box and color away...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Snapshot

(Ella and Roz, side by side on the church bench in our breakfast nook)

Every day brings about something new for Ella and for us. Here’s a snapshot of what has been happening in Ella-Land…

1. As of January 3, she is bottle-free. She didn’t come right out and tell us, “No bottle” but her actions told us she was ready to give it up at nap and bedtime. This transition has been helped by her complete obsession with brushing her teeth. We gradually introduced this as the last step in her bedtime process. During bedtime stories, she interjects “Teeth! Teeth!” every few minutes. It has caught on. Over the last week, it has morphed into a list of those who do brush teeth and those who do not. “Panda no brush teeth” “Kitty no brush teeth”… and so on. “KatieRoz brush teeth” MommyDaddy brush teeth” It is a non-stop dialogue, with head shaking and head nodding the whole time through.

And although I am relieved at how well the change went for her, a very big part of my heart broke at saying good-bye to those intimate bottle-feeding moments as she looked up at me with her huge eyes, playing with my face. I had to pack away just one little aspect of Ella being a baby.

2. I have been working through Ella’s closet and dresser, weeding out clothes that no longer fit her. (This isn’t the first time I’ve done this since her arrival. She’s been blessed with so many spiffy hand-me-downs and gifts.) But this time, this time has been a bit more melancholy. Who knew that sweet little socks would tug so hard at my heart strings?! There is this mountain of clothing stacked in her bookshelf. It stares at me. It needs to be passed on to the younger little girls in our lives in our ongoing pursuit to spread the love. But it is going to have to stare at me a while longer. Mama ain’t ready.

3. Reading daily to Ella is paying off. Her vocabulary has sky-rocketed in the last week. (This is not to say that the chatty-cathy proficiency from her mom hasn’t also contributed.) But just yesterday, she sat on the floor with a book and spent a great deal of time reading the story to her Panda. It was Ella’s language. I watched in amazement. She’d occasionally glance up and give me a bashful smile. The icing on the cake was how she ended reading each page before turning it, “Ah-men!”

4. Almost all indicators are pointing to Ella being a Lefty. She seems to be taking after her Mama in this regard. Most of her eating is done with her left hand and almost all of her drawing.


Working from home on Tuesdays is still going quite well. I wake up early and get a head start before Larry or Ella start to stir. The downside is that I’m usually a zombie by 8pm. Ella helps me out in the kitchen as I prepare our dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my day off. I love having her right in the zone, eye-level. It helps our ability to converse (we try to solve the world’s problems) and she can look out onto her world from the big kitchen windows.

Happy Thursday, everyone! ~H

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fondue anyone?

On New Year's Day, we spent a wonderful evening with Gabe, Lana and their parents. As if we needed something better than fondue? We had this sunset to start out 2011. It was spectacular. It filled us with this sweet sense of hope, really.

Lana (missing two significant teeth since last she appeared on the blog) and Ella (with two pig-tails sprouting from her head)were thick as thieves.

As I type this, EML is into the second hour of her afternoon nap. Our morning started with a PJ party with some neighborhood kids followed up with lunch back at our house with "KatieRoz". Morning. Noon. Night - you hear her chattering: KatieRoz, KatieRoz, KatieRoz...


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

A new year is here, do you have a few resolutions lined up? We hope to make more time to exercise, although chasing Ella certainly keeps us moving. In addition, I hope to find my groove a bit with photo management. Soooo many pictures of our girl and all of them in piles waiting for my attention. I guess what I'm saying is that 10 months into this parenthood gig, we're still having a hard time finding time.

2010 went out with a bang of visitors and new friends and parties. Larry's nephew, Trent, and his sweet girlfriend, Kim, were able to glide through Toledo for a short visit. Our time together is never long enough. They had their dogs with them and Ella was equal parts ecstatic and uncertain. The dogs felt the same way. Here's how Josie and Ella introduced themselves...

On Thursday, we invited some of Ella's friends (new and old) over to play and snack. The best part? The mama's came along! We hung out in our cozy breakfast nook while the kids played together oh-so-wonderfully. It was our own little United Nations with three adoptees from China (Ella, Roz and Ava); one from Guatemala (Jewel) and one from Russia (Josh). Josh was a super big hit and was quite sweet with the little ones.

Does someone look up to no good to you?

Ava and Ella, stompin' their feet and getting to know each other.

(Roz, EML, Josh, Ava and Jewel)

And not to be outdone by this whirlwind, we spent a delightful New Year's Eve, family style, at two parties in our neighborhood with new and old friends alike - friends who were over the moon to finally have Ella here to ring out the old and ring in the new!

I told you we might be busy in my last post, didn't I??

H, L & EML

Christmas Revisited

We waited an awfully long time to have Ella included in the annual group Christmas photo at my parents. I thought it deserved its own little post!