Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ella At The Wheel: 2012.

Earlier this month, we packed up the car for a long road trip to Wisconsin. We made this trek two years ago. It is worth the look back at that 2010 road trip to see not only the changes in our girl, but the little friends she met back then. Wow!
Our arrival to Door County was timed perfectly to coincide with our talented friends The Birds of Chicago and JT and The Clouds' performance at Fish Stock. I don't know that I can fully explain how cool this place is. I believe we tried to convey this back in 2010, too. And even though our girl has a low tolerance for loud noises, her ability to soak up live music amazes us. Before it was over, we were in a sea of people on the dance floor - Ella on my hip bouncing up and down, eyes transfixed on the stage. She was in her own, happy little world. To heck with volume control!
Ella and our friends' kids had a blast exploring the grounds. Within moments of reuniting with this little guy, Ettan, I was a fool for him and he knew it. All three of us got pretty caught up in his sweet spirit. Funniest part was trying to convince Ella that Ettan was a boy. I mean, look at that pretty face! She caught on...eventually.
Eleanor marched to her own beat, often quietly, where Ella and Ettan couldn't stop talking to save their lives. But she is a doll and has grown from that barely-any-hair-infant we met two years ago.
Eleanor and Ettan's Mama, Ami.
The whole lot of us picked up stakes and hopped the ferry to Washington Island for the balance of our vacation.
The extended Lindsay family and friends stay here, there, everywhere on the Island. We all do our own thing, migrate to School House Beach, and eventually make our way to the Lindsay compound for evenings. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.


The Lindsay Porch. Ground Zero of lively discussions, music, laughter, reading.

Ella loved the porch, too. But there was a swing. Story over.

Much to our delight, the Island has a petting zoo. Every Island needs a peacock...

...and him, whatever him is. No fear, we pet neither of these and stuck to the goats and little pigs.

The trek back to Ella-land was a bit brutal. GPS tells you about a 10 hour drive and 14 hours later (with potty breaks, re-fueling the car and our bodies) you roll into your driveway tattered and torn. We are very happy we got to reconnect with this part of our world. It was a wonderful get-away for this little three-some.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Sneak Peek.

I am chipping away at vacation photos, slowly but surely.

Here's a little something. Happy Weekend, Ella-land!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pre-School Prep.

Back in business after vacation - sparkle shoes, peacock skirt and tricycle.

Ella went for her 3-year check up on Monday ( I know, slightly late!) and to get all of her medical forms in place for pre-school starting in September.

Our baby girl isn't much of a baby anymore at 39 1/4 inches tall and 32 pounds. She is in the 80th percentile for height and 50th percentile for weight. She is a tall, lean string bean! This is no surprise as she towers over her buddies. (Roz has realized this and can't quite figure out how she could be older than Ella and Ella could be taller. Roz usually tells us she is 'going to grow tall like a giraffe' to offset this reality.)

Pre-school will start the week of September 10. She will go two mornings a week at a church in our area. One of her neighborhood friends will be in her class. What is most comforting is that Ella's teacher will be a woman I've known for many years. The comfort that gives me, gives us, is infinite. Perhaps this will cut-down on the potential for me to be an emotional landslide on her first day!!

While we were still unpacking our suitcases, we welcomed a visit from my childhood friend, Sam, her husband and their sweet little guy, Drew, who flew in to see family. We reconnected a few years back thanks to a popular social network. We really connected during their adoption journey. We burned up the telephone lines for months! It was wonderful to be able to wrap my arms around the little guy I had only seen in photos.

Sam and I did not catch on that our fists were supposed to be in our mouths.

Next on the list? Blog post with vacation pics!!


Good stuff.

So, so much good stuff going on in August that I can barely wrap my arms around everything we've done. We are just back from vacationing in Wisconsin where we met up with friends and lots of wonderful kids. The laundry remains untouched (yikes) because our main goal has been establishing a much-needed routine again. I think we've achieved it - a huge accomplishment!

Before we left, I had the honor of showing some of my photographs downtown in conjunction with our Arts Commission Art Walk. I was humbled at how many friends came to celebrate. Larry and his band mates entertained us. The photographs were my favorites from our China travels. I'm amazed at how quickly I can be transported back to our time in China, our first days with Ella at the slightest glance at the images.

What was most touching was the support from our FCC families. Not only did our FCC Mamas come with kids in tow, but so did the Daddy-o's. The images on the walls may have been mine; for me the celebration was in honor of Ella, her homeland and her FCC friends as well.  

Roz, Madrin, Ella and Thomas watching from the loft!

Ava and Emmett prepared for the rain.

We ate. We danced. We drank. We laughed. And the band gave Ella a wonderful surprise by playing her all-time favorite song: You Are My Sunshine. She and her buddies crowded in front of the band bouncing and laughing. Honestly? I'd go through all the work and stress a dozen times just to have all these friends and family in the same room again.
Thank you to all for such a special evening, especially Larry who pushed me oh-so-gently to venture outside of my comfort zone.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hold on tight!

Ella trying out the 3D sidewalk chalk and 3D glasses.
Get ready for a whirlwind of photos and updates on the last two weeks.

Remember that sweet fishbowl with five plump gold fish? Well, that didn't last long. Thankfully, Ella took it in stride. We will pick out a few new 'pets' when the summer winds down and give it another try.

Ella and Roz finished up their summer dance class. Thing 1 and Thing 2 appeared to be ready to dance like fools that last day.

Waiting for....

...batons! Ella was beside herself with excitement that she was not only permitted but encouraged to wield around a pink metal bar. She wasn't half bad at twirling it either.

Roz was not as excited about this portion of dance class. And truth is, we spent four weeks trying to figure out what triggered each of our girls to break down into tears, refuse to participate and huddle into our laps.

But when circle time came? Roz was on fire - in the middle of the action. Ella on the other hand, never once participated in circle time but became quite adept in following along OUTSIDE the circle doing all the motions with enthusiasm. Our Ella, marching to her own beat for sure.

There was even after dinner dancing as seen here. Ella and her jumping, man is she good at it.

We had a little patio time at our favorite neighborhood restaurant in the past week, too. Ella and the ENTIRE staff are on a first-name basis. And when she eats well enough to earn her reward, they are more than willing to spoil her.

She's quite serious about her ice cream - complete with hot fudge war paint on her face.

One of Ella's fans from church surprised her with 3D sidewalk chalk, such a big hit with my two artists!

For the first time in Ella's life, she met my "Mama Katie" except her name is Doris and she lives too far away. My lifelong BFF Kelly and her parents live way south of us here in Ella-land. I don't get to see them enough. If I got to see them every week, it still wouldn't be enough. Doris and Bennie headed north for a visit last week and at long last, they met Ella in the flesh. It was too short but I'll take it.

Ella was the perfect little pip and pretty full of herself before the visit was over.

Roz returned from a long vacation last night. Balance will be restored tomorrow as the girls see each other for the first time in nearly two weeks. We are gearing up for a vacation ourselves - a rather lengthy road trip in the car. We made this trek two years ago with Ella before she found her legs so this year might prove to be a bit more challenging. Fingers are crossed the journey is fun for everyone. I'm just excited to squeeze a little bit more out of this summer as we find ourselves staring summer's end straight in the eyes. Boo.

Later this week we will be gathering downtown for the monthly Art Walk, only this time, it will be MY photographs hanging on the walls of a restaurant/gallery. Yes, because of a persistent husband and a few even more persuasive friends, I agreed to showcase some of my photos. The collection is one very near to my heart: photographs from Ella's homeland. Larry's band will be playing, family and friends and a whole bunch of kids will be there too. And although I'm not entirely comfortable with the stage, it has been an exhilirating challenge for me. Above all, it is an excuse to celebrate!

Enjoy your week, Ella-land.