Friday, October 20, 2006

Baby No More

Hard to believe that over a year has passed since we last posted here. Obviously, our little girl has changed nearly as much as our lives have. Little Ella left Ohio still an infant, just learning how to eat baby food and mashed bananas. Eleven months later, she returned to Ohio a full-blown toddler.

As you can see at right, she is now simply a little girl. Ella loves to color with her crayons and Color Wonder markers, to play kitchen and pretend to cook. She's fairly adept at feeding herself with a fork, and can work a spoon surprisingly well (provided whatever she's eating is thick, like yogurt!). With both Mom and Dad back to work at the same time for the first time in her life, Ella began going to her babysitter in August. Thankfully, she transitioned to this new experience extremely well.

Recently, Ella got to go with Mommy and Daddy to a local pumpkin farm to get some pumpkins. She had a blast! There were animals to see and lots of pumpkins to try to pick up. Of course, Ella struggled to handle pumpkins larger than her. Eventually, she found a pumpkin just her size.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

2nd Term for Dad Administration

Boy, it's been awhile since we've updated this space. Sorry to those friends and family who have been fruitlessly visiting these last two months. Obviously, a lot's happened. Who knew that when the Dad Administration left office back in early June, a second term was right around the corner?? As it stands right now, I've spent more time at home this year than working for a living. Amazing to think about.

Anyway, there's lots to update ya'll regarding our sweet Ella. She was a real trooper during our drive from Ohio to our new home. Amazingly flexible, Ella found herself eating baby food in all sorts of new and strange places -- a curb in a McDonalds' parking lot, off the back of my vehicle in a dying mall parking lot, outside a Cracker Barrell, and at a desolate gas station just 20 yards from a massive corn field.

Apart from just geography, a lot has changed about Ella as well. If you'll examine the above photo closely, you may just be able to see the two tiny teeth that have revealed themselves in the last month. Ella has progressed to stage 2 foods, and as of this past week, has started eating mashed bananas.

After looking like she'd never quite get crawling and might just skip to walking, Ella got it figured out. Just two days ago, she finally figured out that if she moved her feet and legs less and her hands and arms more, she'd actually get somewhere. Sure enough, this moment of locomotion evolution occured when neither Mom nor Dad was watching. Imagine the surprise when we turned our attention to Ella and saw her six feet away from where she had just been. After two days of practice, she's still not fluid yet, but she's definitely over the hump.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Video Archives Shut Down

At first I thought the only problem storing Ella's videos was the amount of storage space needed to house them, which is why I took to deleting older ones from the server. While the storage issue can be managed by continually deleting the oldest videos when new ones are uploaded, the same can't be said for the bandwidth issues. My hosting service that I pay for allows for 2 GB of traffic in a month. I just received an email saying that I had already passed the 3 GB mark on traffic with still 11 days in my billing cycle. Increasing my bandwidth allocation is cost-prohibitive at this time, given our current situation. So, sadly, "Ella: The Video Collection" will be temporarily shut down until further notice.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Thank God for Ella

With all that has been going on in the last few days, Ella has been an amazing source of constant joy. She has been even more happy and bubbly than usual (hard to believe). It's as if her spirit senses what her Daddy and Mommy are dealing with and she's doing her part to bring some relief.

Last night Ella was getting her diaper changed after something that was nothing short than breathtaking had taken place in it. Let's just say: solid foods have made diaper changing a whole new ballgame. Anyway, after cleaning her up, Mommy was playing with Ella when Ella let out the most unbelievable sound: a giggle. It completely caught Mommy off guard, making her gasp, call out my name, and then laugh uncontrollably. I got into the room and Ella did it again . . . and again . . . and again. That sound emanating from my precious daughter was, hands down, the most beautiful and rapturing sound my ears have ever heard. Of course, when I got the camera to record this melodious sound, Ella stopped. Here's the video of what that looked like.

Here also are two more videos:

As with the other videos, these files are large, so downloading will take awhile. They will be added to Ella's video library.

Monday, June 20, 2005

New videos uploaded!

Ella's video library has been updated once more with 8 new videos to watch and enjoy. These include two videos of Ella eating rice cereal (she absolutely loves the stuff!), on the verge of sitting up on her own, and playing in her exer-saucer. My favorite, though, is watching her feet: Ella has this wonderfully cute subconsious habit of twirling her feet at the ankles. Wherever she is, whatever she's doing, more often than not, Ella twirls her feet like other little girls play with their hair. Now you can experience it for yourself. Enjoy!

[NOTE: due to the enormous size of these video files + limited server space on which to host them, I've had to delete the older videos. They will still be listed, but not available for download. If you'd like to view one of these deleted videos, email me and let me know.]

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sitting pretty!

Open Wide!


Ella enjoyed her first solid meal this week when she got her first taste of rice cereal. I had heard from many other moms that their babies didn't care for cereal. So I expected the typical "what is this stuff?" look on her face. I expected more of her cereal to be on her bib than in her belly. How wrong I was! She loved it! After just a few bites, she started opening her mouth wide and grunting in anticipation of the next. She tried to grab the spoon herself a few times. She ate about 1 tbs. of cereal her first day. The second day, she devoured the first helping and ate a second helping! The third day she ate about 3 tbs. of cereal! She has a hardy appetite and is enjoying this new food! More pictures of this event are on Ofoto. We'll post the video soon!

Ella's New Tricks

Here's an update of all the new things that 5 month old Ella is doing.

1. She rolls all over the floor, bed, etc.
2. She can sit up with just a little support from the Boppy pillow or a lap.
3. Grab her feet and pull them to her mouth.
4. Grab anything she wants. All objects go to the mouth for a taste first.
5. Hold a cup and chomp on the spout. She's not drinking from a cup yet, she's just exploring it.
6. Giggle and laugh at Mommy and Daddy.
7. Shout or grunt when I want something.
8. Throw all the toys off of my tray and stare at them or watch Mommy pick them up.
9. Hit and pound things like buttons on toys, the phone, the remote, and Mommy.

Ella is growing so strong each day. She is very close to sitting all by herself! She's very strong and, of course, very smart! She so much fun to play with and interact with. She responds to us when we smile or talk to her. We've taken some new videos of Ella recently. So check them out!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Our First Swim

I took Ella out for her first swim. Yesterday, I bought a decent sized blow-up kiddie pool and some special swim diapers (according to the commercials, they're a must have). So we got all dressed and ready to go and after a few pictures, Ella promptly puked all over herself! I took some favorite waterproof toys and a wash rag (her favorite bathtime toy) and we set out. She seemed enamored with her floating toys and loved sucking on her wash rag for about 10 minutes. Then the crankyness set in. Next time Mom needs to schedule swimming better. It turns out after all the preparation, Baby Ella was tired. Ever try to get a wet swimming suit off of a tired baby? Not fun! Next time we hope to stay out a little longer so Mommy can get a little sun!