Sunday, October 30, 2011

What goes on in that pretty little head?

On Saturday morning, I packed up Ella in the car for a ride downtown to watch her daddy's band play at a cafe over breakfast. (She ate very little and danced a whole bunch.) When getting off the expressway exit, you can't help but lay eyes upon one of our most magnificent Catholic churches. You can't miss it.

"That's not my ah-men, mama. That's other people's ah-men". This isn't the first time she's said this from her perch in the back seat. I'm struck by the fact that she is sooo much my child in that she recognizes and appreciates architecture - especially in churches (oops, I mean ah-mens). More than that, I'm comforted that her 'ah-men' community has such a solid place in her day-to-day living. She knows where she belongs. We're doing what we said we would. We are planting the seeds. And so yes, I got a little choked up by this.

Not to be outdone by all this, she went on to tell me, "I go to the Mosque. That's an ah-men, too", at which time I nearly hit a curb. What our girl is referring to is the International Festival we attended two months ago at the Mosque in our community. "And I went in the bouncy house at the Mosque, mama". Ahh, yes. Part of the Festival included that, pony rides, a petting zoo and incredible food (which all three of us devoured).

It was a perfect opportunity to talk to her about all the different ah-mens around us. She lost interest in record time but dang, I have no problem telling you all I was proud. She seems slightly more in-tune with her spiritual surroundings than most her age. Perhaps we all knew this when she took to shouting out "Ah-men!" during worship at a very young age. Today, she does that AND claps and shouts "Yaaaayyyy!" at the end of a song if her daddy has provided a particularly good beat along the way.

Today we geared up for our Halloween neighborhood parade and party. We have a wonderful mom's group in our neighborhood, yours truly now the co-president for the next six months...because I've got so much free time. It was a sight and we got lots of pictures and video to come. Of course, tomorrow is our night to trick-or-treat. Weather reports are not that great. I have a feeling she's going to spend more time in our arms being frightened than going door-to-door. After carving pumpkins with her Aunt Kathy, Bobby and Jack last week, she crumbled into tears when we lit the pumpkins and turned out the lights. (Will re-think that move next year!)

Until my costume pics are ready to post, I'll leave you with a few pictures from Katie. Ella went home with KatieRoz after school on Friday. Very. Big. Deal. They spent nearly 11 consecutive hours with each other that day. We are delighted to report that the pushing/hitting/bossing did not get out of hand :)
We topped off the evening with bath-time and beauty shop, a concept new to Roz. Ella's long hair requires the hair-dryer - something Roz doesn't have to worry about just yet (although her hair IS catching up quickly!). So there I was with both of them nestled on my lap. Big fun!

Happy Halloween, Ella-Land! Be safe and check back soon for costume pics :)

H, L & EML

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apple of our eye.

Last week we enjoyed a beautiful fall morning at a local apple orchard with KatieRoz. The girls did an amazing job of getting into the apple-pickin' groove. There was a lot of eating a long the way.

I write this on Sunday night and am shaking my head how quickly our weekend flew by. We packed in some great stuff. We celebrated two years for our buddy Ike on Friday. On Saturday morning, we enjoyed our local university's homecoming parade (that winds through our neighborhood). Saturday night, Ella packed her bags for a slumber party with her Grandma and Papa while we got a jump start on repainting the kitchen and THEN even managed to muster up the energy to hit our friends' party. Tonight we'll fall into bed with a serious sense of accomplishment!

Perhaps you'll get some time this week to enjoy the last of October with someone who makes you smile.

Wish us luck on Halloween Costume 2011. We've got a lot of creating to do before October 31. And nope...we aren't giving away the surprise!

H, L & EML

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesdays with Papa

I've spent most of my lifetime convinced that no way, no how anyone could ever duplicate the special relationship I had with my grandparents. I stand corrected.

In fact, Ella may even be beating me out. When I see how my parents look at Ella, well ... I think you get it.

Ella's Papa picked her up this morning and off they went to "Papa's Work" to visit his customers.

I was able to work from home without much interruption. Everyone was smiling.

Of course, as soon as he pulled out the driveway after returning her home she turned into the devil-child. I blame him and all the folks who fell all over her today. Ahh, but what a wonderful problem to have.

Thank you Papa and Grandma for being the perfect grandparents to our little Ella. Donna Ruth and Carl would be so proud!!

H, L & EML

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet little dresses. Sweet little girls.

Sometimes you wonder why you keep all these boxes of stuff from your childhood. With each move, you really, really question it. But then there's that AH-HA moment. On Tuesday, it happened for me.

Here, Ella is wearing a dress my mother made for me over 40 years ago. For Pete's sake, she's wearing an antique! I wore it to my aunt's wedding.

And no wisecracks about my hairstyle, got it? But for the peach ribbon, this dress has stood the test of time. Funny how what goes around comes around. When you add in some of my heels, you've got quite the mod look...a look that would be getting the thumb's up in P*eople Mag.

Then I unearthed this dress too.

For those of you old enough, think the era of Holly Hobbie!

And did I mention hats? Because there were hats and I absolutely LOVE a good hat. Ella and Roz are all set for next year's Derby.

And the best of this was capturing our girls with their personalities shining through.

And a few of Ella's favorite sayings these days? "That is wonderful!" "That is cool, mom!" "Thank you very, very much." She's polite AND funny.

Have a good weekend. H, L & EML

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You've Been Away Too Long.

She's been on the move. A lot. And she's also been really ornery about shutterbug mama trying to snap photos - more than a lot. The combination of the two has made for radio silence from us.

We're getting our last solid dose of picture-perfect weather in Ella-land before the snow flies. (And according to an article in today's paper, predictions of top ten worst winters are coming at us. Just think of all the blogging time I'll have on my hands. Perfect.) We rallied our co-pilots, KatieRoz, and about eight other mamas and kids in the neighborhood and hit the nearby metro park. It was big fun, big sunshine and a big picnic.

A very big deal to be in my car, sans the constriction of a car seat Can you blame them? 
Steering wheels also a HUGE deal right now.

Ella decided to take the leap and sit in the big girl swing all on her own. To her, the rest of the park became meaningless. We were there nearly two and half hours and she spent most all of that riveted to this swing telling me her belly button tickled, grinning like the cat who swallowed the canary.

Roz joined in for a bit, with big smiles. But she's been rockin' a big girl swing for months now :)
Really. The grinning lasted forever. No kidding.

As if this wasn't big enough, last night Ella went to hear her daddy's band at a kid-friendly/pet-friendly bar. (Don't cringe.) We were home before 2am (more like 9:30pm), the noise level was perfect for her ears and she fit in perfectly. It makes me so happy to watch her enjoy music, especially live music, as much as she does.

Have a great weekend.

PS On the potty training front? Well, not so great. I'm not bribing her with candy but hand-drawn animal tatoos on her arms and hands when she does go. We like to encourage art around here. :)