Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Ella...I mean Irene

So we've survived the hurricane much to everyone's amazement at the grocery store/home improvement store/warehouse store who was acting like we were preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Our house was pretty lucky to sustain minimal damage, save for some tree branches and a big old messy yard which we cleaned up yesterday (see Beezer helping us below). We didn't even lose power! So, yeah, I know there are a lot of people who are pretty annoyed with us right now. I have to say that I do have a sick fascination with all natural disasters and I do get a little excited when words like "hurricane" roll around, but now that I have a house and a baby, it does make me a little more nervous.

The whole thing got me thinking about the last hurricane we experienced, Hurricane Bob, back in 1991. We were stuck in a cottage on Cape Cod and my poor father (Mr. Safety) had to worry about his family and the three friends my sister and I had brought with us. I remember sitting in the middle of the living room (we weren't allowed to sit near the windows) and watching my sister's friend Tracy folding a TV guide into the shape of a Christmas tree. We spent a week with no electricity, no water, and no way to get out of our road or to the beach. Needless to say, it was a memorable trip for all the wrong reasons.

Thinking back on that trip now, as a parent, I can just imagine how nervous my parents must have been. Things are a lot less exciting when your babies (or someone else's) are involved. Thankfully, we all made it out just fine.

Since we are the only ones with electricity this time around, we've had a lot of visitors. Ella has been very spoiled by her Nene over the past couple of days and even Christina and baby Loreli came over to shower and eat a hot meal. Well, Loreli brought her own food, but the bath was provided. So, at least we've had some company.

Hope everyone else is fine, too.

Baby Loreli having a bath and loving it
Helping Dad clean up the yard after the hurricane

Not really helping, but looking super cute

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back to School!

"Back to school. Back to school, to prove that I am not a fool. I've got my lunch packed up, my shoes tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight. Oooooh, back to school." -Billy Madison

Well, it's that time of year again. Back to school for Ella B and her mommy. The little devil has grown out of the butterfly room and into the Bumblebee room. Here she is on her first morning as a Bumblebee. She loves her new classroom and her new friends, but still has a really hard time each morning when we drop her off. Thursday was especially difficult because somebody bit her on the arm! I figure it was bound to happen some time and I'm kind of glad that she wasn't the first one to do the biting. Her teachers applied some ice and some love, so I think she will be okay.

All ready for her first day as a bumblebee! (This is a pre-bite photo)

She's got her lunch bag, too

Ella B also spent one of my first days at work with me. Here she is at freshman orientation day wearing her Link Crew t-shirt with her mommy. She loved meeting all the kids and running around the gym, and I loved showing off my little nugget.

It's hard to believe that it is time to begin the school year again. I keep thinking about what a little baby she was last year and how I spent my first day back at work pumping and crying on the way to school. Oh what a difference a year makes. Now it is all smiles and no big deal for these two ladies. We love our time together, but we're okay apart, too and that's what growing up is all about, I guess.

Good luck to everybody heading back to school and watch out for Irene!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Egg shells, flour, and joy

Today Ella B and I spent some time cooking pancakes together, or I cooked and she swirled egg shells and flour in a bowl with a whisk. Either way, it got me excited for our culinary future. Most of you know that cooking is just about my favorite thing in the whole world and that the only reason I don't leave it all behind and go to culinary school is that I actually have no desire to work in a restaurant. Ideally, I would author glossy, brightly-colored cookbooks and host my own Food Network show where Jamie Oliver and Chuck Hughes stopped by to marvel at my blue cheese souffle and rosemary lamb chops....but I digress.

So, you might imagine that I've been envisioning cooking a meal with my child since before I even had a bun in the oven. As a child, I use to sit on the counter and watch my mother bake cookies. I would describe the piles of flour as snow-caped mountains and the eggs as falling sunsets. I loved watching the process of cooking as much as I loved the final outcome. It was like an art project you could eat which, obviously, is the best kind of art project ever. It also filled the house with these beautiful, comforting smells, and everyone's bellies with a little touch of heaven.

Right now, Ella B doesn't really know what cooking is, but she loves the smell of cinnamon and vanilla and she loves the texture of flour against her fingertips. She knows that some things are hot and that things in a bowl need to be stirred. She doesn't have all the techniques or the terminology down, but she has the curiosity, and that's the most important part, I think.

The ritual of cooking is a joyful experience for me and I can't wait to share that joy with Ella B one day, but for now, I'll settle for a bowl of egg shells and a happy baby.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

16 Months

Okay, so I'm a little late on this one since she is actually almost 17 month, but these darn kids grow up so fast it is hard to keep track sometimes. Anyway, here are her 16 month stats:

Weight: 23 lbs. at her last doctor's appointment (she got on the scale all by herself!)
Height: Can't remember, but I know she is finally in the 50th percentile range
New words: Lulu (her best doggie friend), quack quack (duck), gool (school), odare (over there), neigh (horse), dow (door), hot (with hands on chest), wazat (what's that)
New feats: going down big girl slides, running, hand stands, doing well with spoons and forks, hand stands, spinning (and then falling down)
Firsts: horsey ride, plane ride, sleeping at someone else's house, the zoo, swimming in the pond, touching a worm, seeing her shadow

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

At the lake with Auntie Caca

A few weeks ago, Ella B and I were lucky enough to spend the day with my best friend in the whole wide world, Jessica, who left the hustle and bustle of the city to spend a relaxing day in the country with two of her favorite girls. Eventually, Ella began affectionately referring to her as "Caca" which seemed to be just about the best idea ever, as far as I was concerned. We brought Auntie Caca to the lake and the playground and had a totally awesome day playing in the water and sliding down the big swirly slide. Here are some highlights:

The ladies in their bikinis (sidenote: Jessica's bathing suit had little skulls dangling from the strings and Ella kept calling them "babies"- kinda creepy)

Enjoying the cool water with a noodle nearby

Doing a little digging

Not a care in the world, especially since her bathing suit comes with a modesty skirt to hide those problem areas.

And one last kiss before I go...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sweet Home from Alabama

We have officially survived our first family vacation and it turned out to be pretty great. All the things I was really worried about ended up working out thanks to a little planning and some surprise good behavior from Miss Ella B. Here are some final pics from our trip.

Ella B, our niece Madelyn, and Ella's favorite thing about Alabama, Lulu

Enjoying a little Wubbzy time on the plane

Ella B at the playground on the coolest swing ever!

The lovely Madelyn, the best babysitter ever

The friend Ella B made on the trip home. The flight attendants just loved that we let them hang out in the aisles.


Thanks to Tony, Lisa, Madelyn, and Karen for a great trip. A special thanks to Lulu, Bessie, and Marlow for being so patient and sweet with the sixteen month old trying to touch their noses and tails. Hope to see you guys in the CT next summer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Horsey rides, the zoo, and the YMCA

Our days in Alabama have been filled with adventure. Well, usually about as much adventure as we can stand before noon when the heat becomes unbearable. Lucky for us, Ella B has been getting up at 4:30 (yeah, the whole time difference thing, that sucks), so we have been able to get out of the house as early as we want. On Tuesday, Ella B had her first ride on a horse! Here she is with our niece Madelyn, an avid horseback rider, and by herself on a pony.

On Wednesday, we took a lovely trip to the Montgomery Zoo where Ella B saw all her favorites: monkeys, elephants, lions, tigers, bears (oh my!) and many different kinds of birdies. She especially liked a giant toad in the reptile house and the water misters that she and Madelyn could run through. She fell asleep in the stroller and Maddie and I got to feed giraffes out of our hands.

Here she is looking a particularly friendly monkey.

And me feeding a giraffe!

Yesterday we took our adventure to the YMCA, something I thought only existed in the 70's, but is apparently live and well in the South. They have an awesome kid pool that gradually descends, so Ella could walk right in. She was obsessed with the slide and begged Michael to take her on it, much to my dismay. The fearless wonder that is my baby daughter thought it was great and would have spent the entire day sliding down that tube if we'd let her.

So, we're having a pretty good time so far. It's too bad I'm a pretty terrible live action photographer, but you get the idea.

First family vacation

Hey blogosphere! Long-time no see. Sorry if you've been loyally checking in and not finding any new posts, but between my wireless internet cutting out, misplacing my camera cord, and focusing on our first family adventure, I haven't had much opportunity to update ya'll. Why the ya'll, you ask? Well, we are currenty wrapping up Ella B's first trip to Alabama, home of darn good barbecue and ridiculously hot weather. We came down to visit Michael's brother, sister-in-law, niece, and mother who all met the Beeze for the very first time.

Now, you might imagine that I was a little nervous about taking her so far from home and, I was especially worried about the plane ride considering she generally travels about as well as a pair of linen pants. But, much to my surprise, she did quite well for a sixteen-month-old. We were able to time the plane rides just right so that she slept on the longer flight and hung out for the shorter one. The only thing she didn't like was when I had to hold her in my lap during take off and landing. Otherwise, she thought that looking out the window and at the people sitting behind us was pretty cool.

There are a few tings that made the travel much easier for us that I would recommend to any parents of toddlerish people.

1. Buy your baby her own seat: I know that this sounds like a frivolous expense, but for us it was the right decision. Ella loved having her own seat in between mommy and daddy and it gave all of us more room since she doesn't actually take up an entire seat. It also eliminated the possibilty of having to sit next to a stranger who Ella B would have been poking at for two hours ("Yes, that is his nose, please stop touching him now").

2. Get a portable DVD player and her favorite show or movie: This thing has been a lifesaver. We didn't show it to her until we got on the plane, so it was a huge novelty. As you can see from the picture, she was mesmorized. Thank God for Wubbzy is all I have to say. It was also great once we go down here because she could watch Wubbzy whenever she needed to without punishing everyone else in the house.

3. Benadryl. That's all I will say about that.

So, overall the trip down was pretty smooth. I've got lots of pictures and stories of our adventures to come, so stay tuned!