Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A+/ F-

So, last week Ella B got her first A. Actually, it was an A+, but who's counting, right? When I got to daycare, Miss Marcia showed me Ella's daily info sheet and it had a little sticker on it. She said that Ella earned it by helping to clean up after lunch. So cute.

The funniest part was that when I handed the sheet to Ella (she loves to read her report each day- ya know, to keep track of her pooping schedule and what not), she sat down and looked at the sticker for a long time, very pleased with herself. After a few minutes, another little girl came over to check it out and pointed at the sticker. Well, Miss Ella B did not appreciate this and nearly decked poor little Kate. Okay, she pinched her, but it was an aggressive pinch. I told Ella that wasn't nice and she very reluctantly went over to Kate and patted her on the chest, a toddler version of an apology, I guess.

So, her report card for the day should read:

Cleaning up A+
Playing nice F-

The problem is that still averages out to a failing grade, unless of course I give her the gentleman's 50, and I also add in her daily cuteness grade of one million times infinity. Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Ava!

Today we headed out for Ava's 1st b-day party and had ourselves a ball. It was the first time Ella seemed like one of the kids at a party and not just one of the babies tagging along. She spent most of the afternoon swinging with her dad, sliding down the slide all by herself, and following around the older girls. They are only four, but with their super-cool outfits and complete command of the English language, they are like rock stars to her. As you can see below, she even got to hit an awesome owl pinata and eat a mini three musketeers bar. Score.
With her daddy
They had a giant tub of self-serve Italian ice in old-school paper cups. Ella saw mine and had to have her own. They also had a Philly cheese steak cart. How cool is that?

Here she is having a go at the pinata, with a little help from her mom, of course

All in all, I think it was a pretty good day. Looks like Ella B agrees.

PS- I totally forgot to say that Ella wore the same dress as the birthday girl. So, she was totally that girl at someone else's wedding wearing white. Who does she think she is?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My official statement as a working mom is that I cherish every moment I spend with Ella B when I get home from work.

The truth is, sometimes I feel like I already need a break after five minutes with her.

Yesterday I picked her up from daycare and it started right off the bat. Whining. For no apparent reason.

She didn't want to leave school and I had to practically karate chop her to get her into her car seat. She fussed and cried the whole way home talking about "Nene," "Pop pop," and "Dada" and wondering why any of them weren't coming to recue her from the evil that is the drive home from daycare. She also cried because she wanted to hold my keys while I was driving the car.

When we finally got home (it takes about ten minutes) several things caused her to burst into hysterics:

1. I put her down for three seconds
2. I took my shoes off
3. I refused to take my dress off in the driveway
4. I sat down
5. I went to the bathroom
6. I tried to clean the kitchen
7. I gave her water instead of juice
8. I breathed wrong (not really, but you get the idea)

I love Ella B dearly, but after a long day spent with teenagers, I don't have a lot of patience left for whiny attitudes. Finally, I laid down on the livingroom floor and just let her cry for a minute as she told me to get "upa" and tried to pull me to a standing position.

And then, just when I thought I might explode, something happened. I think babies must have some cuteness survivial technique to keep their mothers from eating them or sending them down the river with a note. As I laid there, Ni Hao Kai Lan came on and Ella turned to look. She watched as Kai Lan turned to the audience and placed her pointer finger against her mouth and whispered "shhh." Just then, Ella looked at me and placed her own pointer finger against her own mouth (and partly up her left nostril) and said "shhh" and I thought, "Damn, that's the cutest thing you've ever done."

And then there was peace.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First time away

So we finally did it after a year and a half. (Get your minds out of the gutters people). We went away together, without the little nugget. We have both been away from her seperately, but this was our "first time away" together.

Mike was in the wedding of his good friend, so we drove down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to enjoy the festivities. It was held in this beautiful, old barn/mansion that I have decided to start living in if they will let me. (spoiler alert: they won't).

The ceremony was supposed to be held on the lawn but due to the flooding it was held under this pavilion instead. I think it worked out perfectly.

Who is that handsome devil in the fancy suit? Oh wait, that's my husband. (the smirky one)

We ended up having a great time dancing the night away. Congratulations to Marty and Mary-Jo!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ella B couldn't have cared less that we were gone. We had to pull her kicking and screaming out of my father's arms, and she cried until their car pulled out of the driveway. So I guess if anything happens to us, she will be perfectly fine, so there's that.

Here's to having your kids not miss you! Hope you guys had a good weekend.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Friends: Violet and Arlo

Ella B has made some new friends and so have we! Last week I noticed a woman and two young kids playing in the yard next to ours and decided to walk over and say hello. We were instantly greeted by a blue-eyed darling of a boy who said, "This is my baby sister, Violet. I'm Arlo. I'm five years old." From that moment on, he pretty much didn't stop talking until we left, which was probably close to an hour later. I became fast friends with the mother, Andrea, whose daughter is only a month older than Ella.

We watched as the girls interacted- ignoring each other one minute, staring at each other the next. Violet would occasionally reach out her tiny little hand to touch Ella's hair or back and Ella would pull away or use the international "talk to the hand" motion. She kind of has a thing about personal space- like, if she could talk and she were a ghetto teen, she might say something like "you best be gettin' up out ma face, be-ach!" or something like that. Luckily, she currently only expresses that sentiment in body language.

Arlo spent the majority of our visit, and each subsequent visit thereafter, talking about numbers. Here are a few examples:

"Today at job lot two cash registers were open, number1 and number 5."
"I have to go to the dentist on September 15th."
"I'm going to keep spinning until I get to 169."

This went on for some time until Andrea whispered to him that he should ask me something about myself. Here is how that conversation went:

"Um Jeni, what's your favorite number?"
"Well, I don't really have one, but I like 27 since my birthday is on the 27th."
"Oh, 27. That's Harvey the train's number. Did you know that?"
"No, Arlo. I didn't."

We've hung out a few more times since then and got to make and throw water balloons with them (though Ella wouldn't throw hers and only held it like a baby). She also sat at a tiny picnic table with Violet and played Play-doh for the first time.

Here's to making new friends, especially ones who live close enough to throw a stick at (though I wouldn't recommend doing that).

Sorry there are no pics for this post, but I didn't think it was a good idea to ask my brand new friend if I could plaster pictures of her children on the internet. Take my word for it. They are super cute.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

17 Months

Dear Ella B,

Two days ago you turned 17 months old. That means that next month you will be a year and a half. To most people that doesn't seem like a long time, but for us it is hard to believe. Pretty soon you will be closer to two than one, and every day you seem to grow up faster and faster like a baby snowball rolling down a hill- big, bigger, biggest. It is so fun to see the little wheels in your head turning as you discover, explore, and make sense of this big bad world, and I'm so glad you've let me be a part of it.

You are quite a devil, but you are also the most awesome kid I know. For serious.

Here is what you've got goin' on at 17 months:

New words: "gide" (outside or inside), "dow" (door), "lo?" (hello? with phone pressed against ear), "nanight" (blanket), keys (but very guttural), "sssss" (please), and "tata" (thank you).

New feats: makes a really good kissing sound now (I know, this is very important)

Favorite things to do: put keys in key holes, sit in the driver's seat of the car and press buttons, play with any piece of technology you don't want her to play with, lay on the floor and have you put the blanket on her just right (over and over again), sit in a box in the living room and have daddy read her stories, do a downward dog

Bye from Ella B land!