Saturday, July 27, 2013

Remants of our baby.

When we vacationed a few weeks ago, Ella slept in a big girl bed by herself, and loved it. She even needed steps to get up to it. We knew the toddler bed was on it's last days. We kept putting it off.

Today was gray, cool and somewhat rainy. It was a perfect day for Ella to shed the last of her baby-self.

Panda and Ella anxiously awaiting...

She was a big helper.

And she had to give it a good test run.

Bedtime rituals are big for Ella. Certain CD, always on repeat. Three blankets, always layered the same way, always with the 'tag at the bottom'. She will ask you at least once, "Is the music on repeat? Is the tag at the bottom?" before we leave her. With the door cracked. After I've made 'funny faces'. It must go in a particular order or the whole process of getting her to sleep falls apart.

So when we got her new bed all made up and she handed me her three special blankets and told me she didn't need them anymore, I buried my face in them and wept. Two of these three blankets were with us in China. They've wrapped her up for over three years. She knew I was sad and later she told me, "I'm pretty sad that little bed is gone."

She took an amazing afternoon nap today. Currently, she is snoring. She loves her new bed more than she misses her little bed. I know that is just the way it should be.

She looks like a little peanut in that bed with crisp, fresh, bright new bedding. Panda looks even smaller.

What a big day for Ella Man Li. What a big day for us!


Friday, July 26, 2013

A splashing good time with Nikko.

You know how when you say good-bye to friends at the end of the school year, and you say, "Oh we will get together soon. Don't worry! It will be great!" And then life happens.

We had the best of intentions to see more of Ella's pre-school buddies. (Summer isn't over yet, I know.) Nikko's mom and I were able to find a day that worked with both of our schedules. They invited us to swim at the outdoor YMCA where they are members on a glorious 75 degree-no-humidity-day. Upon seeing each other in the parking lot, the hugs were instantaneous.

It was a great day.

And our kittens went in for their two week check up.

Socially, they have moved mountains. I can bring them out of their crate and let them have the run of the first floor unsupervised. We often find them sleeping curled up in one of Ella's blankets on a chair or by the warmth of the fridge's motor. They are not putting on the weight like our previous litters yet. We had the humane society run tests just to be sure there was nothing serious at this point - and there isn't. Thomas and Mavis were just itty, bitty babies who are going to need at least two more week with us. I'll be honest that there's been adult discussions on whether Mavis or both will be finding their forever homes with us. Yes, us. Ella doesn't know this yet. There is something different about these two and their comfort level...it is as if they've taken over.

clean piggies after bath!!
Rare cooperation!!

I'm still trying to fit in photo editing any free moment I have. Between the Washington Island vacation and wedding plus the wedding from last week, I'm completely blown away. I did come across this one of little Ella dancing on the outside patio of the wedding reception on our vacation. Perpetual motion...

Happy Weekend! I'm looking forward to a little of nothing and a little napping after last weekend.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24. Wow.

I woke up this morning feeling that first ache in my heart that summer is more than half over. The air was crisp (awesome sleeping weather however!) and the back-to-school ads are flooding our morning newspaper. Then it dawned on me how long it has been since I've updated the blog.

Since returning from our Washington Island vacation, we've enjoyed the heck out of July.

  • picking up our newest litter of kittens from the Humane Society

Meet Mavis and Thomas - our smallest in numbers and age we've ever had!
Bath Time for Mavis.
Fuzzy Thomas after his bath.

Because there are just two in this litter, the spoiling has been through the roof.

  • downtown Art Walks
New t-shirt!!

Roz and Ella resting. Art Walks are hard work.

  • vacation bible school
  • a first stab at glass blowing (me, not Ella)
The FCC Mamas had a blast on this adventure.

Mama Katie's expression: priceless!
  • swimming. more swimming

  • a sleep over at Grandma and Papa's = a much-needed night out for us
Larry's band performing during a night full of music busting out of bars downtown.

  • photographing a good friend's wedding
It isn't often the camera gets turned on me during a wedding. Christy was stunning. It was 50 kinds of wonderful to watch the day unfold through my camera lens.

Look carefully and see Ella sandwiched in at the reception fun!
  • music in the park
Sunday evening was picture-perfect. A free concert in our Old West End.
Ella and her Daddy-O spent time being cute when they weren't tearing it up on the dance floor.

  • picking blueberries

  • ice cream!

In and around there, Ella had her 4 year check up. No real surprise here, but she measured 90th percentile in height and 75th percentile in weight. What blew me away is that she had not been to the doctor in 11 1/2 months. How many 3-4 year old kids can say that? Healthy girl!! And her hair has grown so long that it is now at her waistline. She needs an ever-so-slight haircut but I can't bring myself to do it. Yet.

What else has grown is her amazing sense of humor. She's always been fun, funny and quick-witted. The last week has been a real spike in funny girl. I marvel at her. And now that she begs to have the door cracked when she sleeps, it gives us more excuses to marvel at her. Nothing takes my breath away more than to see her deep in slumber always with Panda placed on her pillow next to her head.

Roz will be vacationing the next several weeks. We are happy for them and know they will have big fun. I suspect my girl is going to be feeling a little lost while they are gone, however. Those two are peas and carrots.

And just in case you didn't get enough of Thomas and Mavis??

Happy Wednesday, Ella-land! ~H

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things I know for certain.

Our life is full of blessings.

Ella is the Teflon Traveler.

She did this 45 minutes into our travels to Washington Island. When she wasn't sleeping, she was perfect.

Ella is ready for European travels.

We grew love and friendships during our travels.

We love ferry boat rides.

We continue to be mesmerized by School House Beach.

Rock painting can be therapeutic beyond comprehension.

Ella fell in love (again) with our friends Ettan, Loki, Ami and Luke. So did we.

Making funny faces never gets old.

Bearing witness to friends marrying in a small Island Lutheran church is beautiful...

...almost as beautiful as the joy on their faces.

Larry and I love hats, and after nearly 11 years of marriage - we still know how to flirt.

This porch. This porch is magical. Period.

What is more magical? Everyone gathered around in the porch making beautiful music together until the wee hours of the night, all while Ella sits gathered at the feet of the musicians.