Monday, August 29, 2011

It is one BIG lake.

Traveling with a two-year old (vs. the one-year old we took to Washington Island, Wisconsin last year) offered up challenges. Her energy levels far surpassed those of her parents. She found at least a dozen more 'buttons' to push with me. Trust me - she pushed them hard and sometimes with a killer smirk.

But she got her footing. And the surrounding towns, walking, eating and daily trips to the beach came natural. You know, just about the time we were packing up the car to head home.

For those of you not lucky enough to live near the Great Lakes, it may be hard to imagine how vast, strong and overwhelming they can be. Especially to a two-year old, which is why she took to calling Lake Michigan the ocean.  On our last trip to the beach she was brave enough to throw the water shoes aside, dig her toes in the sand and even enjoy a few big waves from the safety of my arms.
We made sweet memories. During a rainy day, we got all artistic at a fabulous barn.

Our hotel room had a California King-sized bed. It was the best trampoline. Ever. On one day, we had ice cream twice.

We raced to the beach our last night and watched a perfect sunset.

We belted out "You Are My Sunshine" to that perfectly setting sun.

Ella has perfected her Gull squawking call. We are still finding sand in our shoes.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vacation Snapshot

Perfect caption for this photo: "The One Who Must Be Obeyed and The Man Who Kept His Cool"

The threesome made it home from our long weekend get-away to Lake Michigan. Our Teflon traveler was... well...a two-year old. And after about 24 hours of "bacation" mode she settled into her funny, independent little self. I really do promise details and some pretty wonderful photos after this weekend.

Right now, we are playing serious catch-up at our respective jobs and at home. AND, the gals are getting things situated for a Thelma & Louise roadtrip with KatieRoz.

Tune in later and enjoy this last weekend of August (weep).

H, L & EML

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Makes This Mama Smile.

Isn't this blissful? It was taken last month at the Art Walk downtown. Ella's daddy's band was playing on the sidewalk beside us. She was impossible to contain, so much dancing to do.

And this....

Roz had to change her outfit to match the one Ella was wearing. I can't say it enough - I'm eternally grateful for the friendship these two little ones have in one another. And that we have such a special relationship with Roz's parents is just icing on the cake.

Next week, Roz, Ella and the mamas will be packing up the car and heading on an over-night adventure together. Each will be out of their minds when they figure this out!

~H, L & EML

Friday, August 12, 2011

When you are two years old...

...it doesn't take much doing to squeal out "I had fun!"

It could be taking a dip in a swimming pool, or getting ice cream, or taking a ride on a brand new tricycle (thanks to best in the world grandparents). Sometimes it is cranking up the tunes, opening a brand new bag of foam stickers and making a disaster of the dining room table.

Ella Man Li spends most of her waking hours enjoying. She knows what she wants and I applaud her independence, attention to detail and determination in getting to where she wants to be. What touches me more is her budding loyalty to those she loves. Before she falls asleep, she spends an enormous amount of time chatting with Panda. If the girl is talkin' about you in the crib, you rank.

My second child, Roz, spent a morning with us this past week. The girls were out of their minds at this good fortune...over four straight hours of togetherness. I'm delighted to report that more than ever, they are interacting as siblings. Translation? They are both dishing it out in equal amounts!

Hoping your weekend is wonderful. ~ H, L & EML

Monday, August 8, 2011

Balance Restored!

Pete The Cat...the current favorite for both girls

After going to Ah-men (how Ella now refers to church) yesterday, we were surprised with a visit from the globe-trotting Roz. There were hugs, kisses, squealing, laughing, screaming and lots and lots of running.

Ella got so excited she lost her clothes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A little of this. A little of that.

If you have noticed fewer pictures of Ella and Roz together lately, it is because Roz went to Florida for almost two weeks with her Mama to visit her grandparents. As suspected, Ella was a bit lost. We had near daily phone conversations and the chatter about KatieRoz was endless. We are happy to report they are back safe and sound!

Ella and I spent some good times together and just this past Thursday went on our first outing to a local public swimming pool. A water-logged Ella reported having a lot of the fun in the pool. Later that evening we went to see Ella's Shu-Shu Jeffie perform at a local park. Our extended family had blankets all around us.

Ella got to bust out her rock n' roll gear. She (translation: we) have been dying for the perfect place to wear it.

All of Ella's little peeps a bit awestruck.

Ella and Auntie Sarah, her buddy.
I've lost count how many times she has used the big girl potty since my last update. She has rather effortlessly glided into this next phase of growth. And after two full months of going to 'school' on Fridays, drop off yesterday was without screaming and gnashing of teeth...for the first time!

I'll leave you with a video of story time with Simba. Our 15 year old feline is a high-maintenance old gal but she has the patience of a saint with Ella.

Monday, August 1, 2011


One Week Later.

"What happened? Where'd the tree go, Mama?"

Ella acting out: "I'm a tree"
The city made it our way late last week and cleaned up The Tree That Went Boom. Sadly, we came home to a rather naked front yard. The city tree that was to be tagged for 'eventual' removal bit the dust.

We spent most of our weekend at Ella's disposal, not to say that isn't much different from our day-to-day operations. (She's a pretty big deal in our world, yes.) This weekend? Well, the threesome needed it.

The easel got a good workout.

And what a girl can't do with one hot summer day, a bucket full of water, a few paintbrushes and some mismatched cups?!

Sidebar: As of this morning, FOURTEEN is a really big number in our house. Ella, on her own, without any coaxing has decided that perhaps diapers aren't the most comfortable devices. She balances herself perfectly on the big girl throne. She has performed this act 14 times in the last five days. No treats. No bribes. Folks - she makes me look like a genius.