Monday, December 11, 2006

Ella's 18 Month Update

Christmas is but two weeks away and yet it seems like I haven't had time to enjoy the season. We've been very busy these first 11 days of December. We just got back from a trip to NC where Stephen had an interview at UNC - Chapel Hill. Thankfully he loved it because that's where I really want to go. But, other than that, the trip was very stressful and exhausting. We left with our daughter on Thurs. and yet a few hours into the trip she was replaced by someone else's daughter. That's the only way I can explain what we put up with for 3 days. I have NEVER seen Ella be so high-maintenance and so demanding. She literally screamed for three days straight no matter what her mood and no matter what she needed or wanted. Somehow she forgot that she could talk and refused to used her words to tell us what was wrong. But, most of the time nothing was wrong, she just wanted to be difficult. I say this not to complain or to be mean to my child, but I seriously think she's already starting 'the terrible twos'! I remember reading something before Ella was born saying that this period could start as early as 18 months but didn't think about it because hey, she wasn't here yet and I was going to have the perfect kid, right?!?! I will say that she's been traveling so much lately and I know sitting in your carseat for 9 hours can't be fun even though we stopped and let her run around as much as we thought she needed to. And I will say that as soon as we got back home (early Sunday morning) she was back to her 'normal' self. But, the screaming has got to stop! I don't understand why she won't use her words since she knows how to communicate most things to us.

Anyway, now that we're back we are getting ready to go see Santa sometime this week. I've been trying very hard to get her to recognize Santa so she won't be afraid when I pass her off to him. She seems to know who he is and can say 'santa', but we'll see how it goes when she sees the 'real' thing. She'll also be getting her hair cut again. It's growing like weeds and it needs shaping really bad and then we'll go get her 18 month/Christmas pics taken Friday afternoon. So, y'all should be getting some updated pics real soon.

As far as new things she's doing...these updates are starting to get monotonous in the fact that now that she's getting older she doesn't have as many 'firsts' and is really just building upon things. I will say that she has an afinity for jumping. She loves to show us how high she can jump and she loves landing on her butt and saying 'uh-oh'! In fact, she says 'uh-oh' so much I never really know if something is really wrong! She's also playing with the dogs more and in a rougher way. Most of the time they just lay there and take it, but I truly think she thinks Gator is her oversized stuffed animal.

Another thing with Ella is that she's getting way more independent and wants to do everything herself which makes certain situations difficult because I don't necessarily WANT her to do it herself at that time. But, overall, she's feeding herself with utensils pretty well and helps me dress her. She also loves brushing her hair - if only I could get her to like brushing her teeth!!
Until next month, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we hope that we'll be seeing you soon, too!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ella's 17 Month Update

Another late update...sorry y'all. Things are getting more chaotic and I'm beginning to think this is how the rest of my life is going to be. We've all been through colds and this past weekend I was diagnosed with a kidney infection and also found out that I still have a kidney stone lingering in my left kidney. It's about 5mm and I'm not looking forward to passing it, so I'm going to get lithotripsy done and just get it taken care of before it starts moving even though it's been there since the last time I had a bout with kidney stones. So, the last few days I've been dealing with naseau, pain, know all the fun stuff that you can't really deal with when you have a toddler running around! Anyway, I'm feeling a little better today and I've actually been able to get some things done...this blog being one of them!

On to Ella...she has turned into an independent, stubborn wanna-be 15 year old. The girl knows what she wants and when she doesn't get it she has a full meltdown! Thankfully she gets over it pretty fast. When Ella IS getting her way or occupying herself with things she's allowed to play with she is a total delight and is amazing at figuring things out and making us laugh. She is still in love with the outdoors. She loves raisins. She loves Sesame Street and The Backyardigans. She loves her great-grandma. She loves her Nana and Papa. And she still loves her duckie!
Speaking of duckie...Halloween was a blast! Ella was a duck and she waddled around the neighborhood knocking on doors and saying 'thank you' after she got candy. About halfway through she got clingy and wanted me (and only me) to carry her. I couldn't take that for too long, so we were out for a little over an hour. But, Ella filled her candy bag and mom and dad and our neighbors enjoyed the candy for the next few days!

Besides Halloween, our past month has been uneventful since we've been dealing with illnesses and Stephen has been traveling a lot between here and Daytona visiting his mother and also traveling to interviews. So, Ella hasn't had a lot of adventures lately. But, we're all looking forward to the holidays and can't wait for the new memories that will be made. This time next month I'll have sent out our Christmas cards and decorated the house...hopefully you'll feel our Christmas cheer through my next blog.

Again, sorry for the unusual update, but things are unusual around here. Hope all is well with those of you who read these and I hope you are getting into the spirit of things, too!

Ella's 16 Month Update

Sorry this is a few days late. This week has gotten away from me and I'm finally getting able to sit down and blog about Ella. She is keeping us going and most of the time that's a good thing because it keeps us entertained with all her shenanigans and her story-telling. She still loves to dance to any music she hears. It doesn't matter if it's on the radio, if it's a commercial, or the stinkin' weather channel, if it's music, she'll stop what she's doing and dance!

Some fun things that Ella has done this past month...we took her to Chucky Cheese with her friend Chloe and she had a blast. Unfortunately this CC was a bit ghetto and a lot of stuff there wasn't working, but Ella and Chloe were too young to realize that and still had the time of their lives. Mommy also had fun as I played every game that worked and won tons of tickets to win Ella some nice bling and stickers and a Winnie the Pooh magnet! And of course, Ella's favorite part was the music and concert that CC and his friends put on (every 15 minutes)! She also had her first pizza and loved it!

Ella went swimming for the last time this year a couple weeks ago. The water has already cooled down a lot with the temperature change. We were all freezing, but Ella didn't care. She was still having a blast and jumping in, but once she started turning blue, we figured we should go home. Our pool is officially closing on the 15th for the winter and I hope that Ella doesn't forget her love of the water!

Ella also accompanied us to a med. school get-together at a doctor's farm in Cairo, GA. She got to see 8 horses and we even got a carriage ride, too. There were tons of chickens and three dogs, so Ella was very happy to see all the animals. There was also a big lake and I was just waiting for her to jump in, but we were able to keep her out of it thankfully.

The biggest change this past month has been the weather and we're all enjoying it. We're actually missing Boston a little bit...but then we snap back into reality. Ella loves being outside and gets hurt pretty much every thime we're are outside, but after she's recovered she wants right back out. She loves picking flowers and playing in mulch. By the end of our time outside she looks like a 'mulch monster' because it's stuck all over her! She could be a new character on Sesame Street! She also loves to run. Unfortunately, she hasn't really grasped how to stop when she wants so she's either running into one of us or randomly falling down to stop herself.
As any mother knows, this point in time kids are learning so much. More than we really know. And I couldn't even begin to tell you all the things that Ella understands. She obviously understands more than she can say which is normal, but it's just amazing to me all the things I can ask her to do and she does it or the things that we can talk about and she understands me. But, she is learning more words weekly and it's fun to add a new noun or verb to our conversations. Her favorite word right now is 'toe' and I think it's because she hurt her toe a few weeks ago and we had to go to the doctor to get it cleaned up. Hopefully she doesn't have to learn all her words due to traumas. :) Ella can also show you where all the parts of her body are and we're trying to get her to do it to the song 'Head, shoulders, knees, and toes". And we've finally gotten Ella to say 'down' when she wants to get down from her high chair or if she wants us to put her down from carrying her.

Her favorite food is still green beans and I've been making them fresh lately and she loves 'em! She also likes bananas...A LOT! She wasn't really into them when she was getting them out of a jar, but she loves them now. She actually went into the kitchen this morning (after she'd already eaten breakfast) and told me she wanted a banana.

We've been busy getting ready for Halloween and Ella is enjoying all the decorations. In the process of us putting up decorations outside we met some new neighbors who moved in a couple months ago and Ella made a new friend named Elizabeth. She's 2 and is riding a tricycle now and Ella just loves watching her do all the things a 'big girl' can do. They also love to chase each other and laugh at absolutely nothing! I think we're going trick-or-treating together, too!

Well, next month I'll put up Halloween pics and tell you about all the new things Ella has grasped this month. Hope all is well and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ella's Stats

Ella went to her doctor's appt. this morning where we waited for 40 minutes before we were seen...but anyway...

Ella passed with flying colors. She weighs 22 lbs. (40th percentile) and is 30 1/2" long (60th percentile). She also got three shots. Apparently she was supposed to get one of them during hr 12 month checkup, but for some reason she didn't (they say they were probably out of it at the time). So, it was the first time that I had to hold her down during her shots instead of just being the one to comfort her. It definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I still felt bad for her. Thankfully, she recovered quickly and went straight home and took a nap!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ella's 15 Month Update

Wow, this last month has flown by! I feel like I open every update with that, but time seriously seems to be flying by, I guess because once again we're in a chaotic time in our lives where there are tons of things going on and some major decisions being made that will affect our lives for years to come. Stephen is currently in the middle of his first away rotation at the University of Florida where he's working on a surgical oncology rotation. Shockingly, Stephen has come to find out that surgery is not for him. Not because he doesn't love being in the OR or that he wouldn't be a great surgeon, because that is far from the truth. But after the first week of working nonstop, getting only 3-4 hours of sleep a night and not seeing his wife or daughter (and he's not even a resident yet), he truly feels that life is too short and to be honest, his passion for the uninsured (especially children) and his MPH from Harvard just doesn't fit with the surgical lifestyle. He feels bad that he didn't realize this 6 months ago because he feels like it's so obvious now. I am obviously supportive of whatever he does and I'm just happy that he's happy now that he's going back to his first love in medicine - Pediatrics. Now, if you know Stephen, you'll know that he's not the one to 'just be a Pediatrician', so after his three year residency in Peds, he'll be doing some type of fellowship. Now, what exactly the fellowship will be, he doesn't know. It could be anything from Peds ER, to Critical Care, to Neonatology, etc. So, he will reapply to residencies as he has to cancel his previous application tha the sent in on the 1st. The number of schools that he applies to will decrease dramamtically. He applied to 39 school for surgery, but it'll be closer to 20, possibly less, for Peds. I will definitely keep you informed as he hears back for interviews.

Now, for my usual mothly udpate, Ella is....well, I don't know how to describe her anymore. She is the light of our lives and keeps us going even when we want to slow down, which is a good thing and a bad thing. She's talking more and more and even if she can't pronounce a word right you know she's trying to have a conversation with you and wants you to understand what she's saying. I don't even know if I can remember all the new words she says, but some that she says all the time are ball, balloon, blue...I guess she's working on her b's, now that's she's conquered her d's. Ella's 15 month checkup is Fri. and I don't remember how many shot she has to get this time, but it'll be the first time I'll take her to a checkup by myself, so I'll get to hold her down this time!

Ella is still eating great, too. There's not one thing that I put on her plate that she won't eat (I wish her father was that easy to please)! Her swimming improves every time we get in the water. She's jumping off the edge into our arms now, and she thinks she can swim all by herself and gets pissed when we don't let her! She also loves running. I think in my last update I said she had started to run, but she runs a marathon every day now it seems. She could run back in forth all day long if she wanted to. Her favorite cartoon is still The Backyardigans and she also likes Veggie Tales. Every time the theme songs come on to those shows she squeals with excitement and starts to dance. Ella also loves being outside. She loves the way the grass feels on her feet and she loves picking flowers for her mommy. She's already gotten her first scrapes on her knees and I'm already worrying about her having scars!

I will fill you in on her stats when we get back from the doctor's on Fri. and maybe I'll remember some more of the many different things she's doing and getting into these days!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Realities of first-year residents and being on-call

So, you may be wondering why I'm writing about this subject since Stephen is not a first year resident yet. Well, the past couple of weeks he's been on his Asvanced Family Medicine rotation which is the only residency program here in Tallahassee, so instead of him working directly under a seasoned physician, he's working under residents who in turn answer to an attending.
Anyway, two things have been brought to my attention in the past couple weeks. Being on-call sucks and there are first-year residents who don't know squat. Those two things are really scary to me. First, being on-call for Stephen has been very frustrating to me in the past couple weeks because even though it's only be twice a week, it was scheduled very close together the first week which ended up running into this week. Like last week he was on call Thurs. and Sat. Oh, and for those of you who don't know, his on-call hours are 8am-8am. And even though his rotation may start at 8am he'll obviously get there early in case he needs to rounds, etc. and even though his shift ends the next morning at 8am, that doesn't mean he'll leave right at 8am due to a number of reasons. So, as I was saying, he was on-call Thurs and Sat. last week and then on-call again this week on Monday and will be on-call again tomorrow. Thankfully his on-call day on Monday was nice becaues things were slow and the resident he was with sent him home around lunch and he didn't have to be back until 5pm so he could do rounds on patients and check-in with the new attending that was coming on duty. And then came home around 10:00pm, instead of staying overnight. This was vastly different from his first week when he was working with a resident who, um...I don't know how to say this lightly, but, pretty much needs to be back in medical school, or maybe just not be a doctor at all. He is very disorganized in the sense that he doesn't know how to manage his time to get things done in a certain amount of time. He's also very unsure of himself. If he would fake some confidence, I'm sure it would help him immensely! Anyway, I just felt really bad for Stephen last week because he wasn't learning anything and at times was teaching himself!! There were a lot of slow times which he did nothing and Ella and I would come visit him.

So, my point in blogging about this is to vent my frustation in the facts that I've mentioned above because it's really scary to think that all doctors aren't on the same level and it's also scary to think that Stephen is going into surgery which requires a lot more time on-call and away from home in general the Family Medicine. And after this year, being on-call will definitely not be like this year in the sense that Ella and I can go visit him OR that he'll be able to come home if it's slow. It's also going to be real hard for me to keep my mouth shut when I hear about interns who just shouldn't be doctors or are just incompetent in their areas. I'm assuming that since surgery is so competitive it'll be a lot different than Family Medicine in little ol' Tallahassee, FL. But, then, if stereo-types are right, you get to deal with arrogant pricks in surgery residencies.

Wow, this has turned into a lot of rambling. I'm sorry for that. Just needed to vent.

Ella's 14 Month Update!

This past month has been a complete blur! I'm sure there will be many things that I forget to put in this update and it may seem like I'm jumping from one thing to another, but I seriously am just amazed at how time is flying by. It seems like Ella's 1st birthday was ages ago and I'm getting sad that we'll be leaving our new house before I know it!

So, as for Ella, since she has learned to walk she is a completely different child. She is very independent and seems like she's jumped to her terrible-two's at times in the sense that she has her moments when she purposely pushes your buttons to see how much she can get away with and then she doesn't hesitate to throw a fit if she doesn't get her way! But, even though we've had to deal with those issues, her spunk and smarts and newfound abilities far outweigh those few moments. She gets more fun every day and I enjoy being a mom more and more. And I enjoy all the new things we can do together now that she can walk...ok, I guess there's not really a lot of NEW things we can do together, it's just more adventurous all the way around now that I can let her walk on her own and just follow her. She's starting to run, but that's when she starts falling more. But, I'm sure she'll have that down soon and then the dogs will really have something to worry about!

Ella is also very much into eating! Not that she eats all the time, but when she does, she'll eat anything! And she only want to what daddy and I are eating if we're all eating at the same time. But, I'm very proud of her that she's more like me in the sense that she'll try anything at least once and has a good pallet for food. She likes everything I put on her plate...or I should say on her highchair tray. I have not yet felt ready to give her food on a plate or in a bowl because she still likes to throw things on the floor. So, right now she gets her sippy cup with her meals and likes to chuck that onto the floor when she's done drinking from it. That in itself is annoying, so I'm not ready to clean up after her when it comes to food being everywhere. She already gets it on the walls around her highchair!

Ella has started to try and put our shoes on her feet. She loves trying to wear our shoes, but hasn't mastered walking in them yet. I think Stephen's shoes will be to hard for for a while, but she'll get up in my sandals and walk a few steps, but then trips over them. She also likes to wear hats! Especially daddy's Harvard baseball cap. I need to get a picture of it and post it, it's so cute!

Ella is also very much ready to have full conversations with people...or anything that will listen (she tries to have conversations with our dogs, but they usually leave her before she's done talking)! She has mastered her first sentence: "Where did (fill in the blank) go?" This all started when Stephen and I would ask her where the other one of us would go if we would leave to use the restroom or something. She quickly caught and started asking us first. Now, she asks where the dogs went or where her ducky went. Granted, every word isn't clear, but you know exactly what she's trying to say. She's still obsessed with the word "baby" and every time we say something that starts with the letter 'b', she says "baby". She has also learned to say 'thank you'. She won't say it automatically when she should, but when you tell her to say it, she says it perfectly. But, 'you're welcome' seems to confuse her at the moment.

Also, since my last update, Ella finished swimming lessons and got her first certificate! We hang that proudly on the refrigerator. Unfortunately, soon after she finished her swimming lessons we were out of town and then she got sick and had a bilateral ear infection! So, yesterday was the first day swimming since her cold and I was worried that she might have forgotten some things that she learned, but she didn't. She was still as confident as ever and walked around that pool like she owned it! She still likes going under water and she and daddy jumped in the pool together a couple times. It's so funny to see people watching us and thinking we're crazy, which with most little ones, it probably would be a little much. But, Ella LOVES the water and she doesn't mind it at all. And as most people know, I could care less what other people think, especially other mothers (but that's another blog)!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

4th year

It's been a couple months since Stephen started his 4thg year of medical school and I could've sworn that people (including Stephen) told me that this was the easiest most laidback year of medical school! Silly me...things that are supposed to be easy and laidback never are when it comes to Stephen. The story now is that the first 6 months are the worst for us because of the way Stephen scheduled his rotations. So, he's been through ER, OB/GYN, and is now on his Advanced Family Medicine rotation. Tonight he is on-call at the hospital which means for 24 hours he's in-house (at TMH) waiting for something to happen. Even though he's on his Family Medicine rotation, he's working with a resident who is on his OB/GYN stint of Family Practice, so they're hanging out in L&D waiting for someone to give birth. I've been home all day dealing with Ella as she gets over a cold and bilateral ear infections. I did not mind being at home all day by myself, but it gets me wondering how things will be when it's constantly like this. Stephen intern year of general surgery will be like this all the time, most likely 7 days a week. It's scary, but at least I know that he'll be just down the road. Unfortunately, after these 4 weeks in Family Medicine he'll be leaving us for 7 weeks to do away rotations at UF and UNC-Chapel Hill. Of course Gainesville isn't far away and I'll be able to be there as much as I want, but I can't really see myself staying at my G'ma's for 3 weeks straight! And I have no clue what I'll do when he's in NC for 4 weeks! I don't know if I'm more worried about me or Ella. She'll take it really hard, too. Right now, having three dogs is a bear because I can't just follow Stephen around because I can't take them everywhere and I can't afford to board them that long either! This is my life. I'm trying to remember that it will pay off....someday.

It's In The Way She Walks

(Sorry this took me so long to post over here. I didn't realize I hadn't copied it from my other blog!)

Go figure...the day after I blogged Ella's 13 month update she started walking. I know I said in the update that she would take a few steps and then fall down and go back to crawling...well, she's taking more than a couple steps now and is definitely on her way to the next level - running. It's so funny osee her walk because her upper half wants to go faster than her legs can take her...

Ella's favorite place to walk is in front of our house on the sidewalk. I think she knows that other people can see her from their porches and she loves to show-off! A couple nights ago she had 3 houses of people outside watching her. She's definitely a ham.

As it is for all toddlers, this is a new adventure for Ella AND Stephen and I. We are very excited about all the new things that Ella can experience and also nervous about all the new things Ella can get into!

The picture I posted is of Ella right after a walk around the living room and into the hallway. She wouldn't let me take a picture of her actually walking, so I'll work on that post some later.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ella's 13 Month Update

I'll start off by saying that Ella is not officially walking yet since I'm sure that's what most of you want to know. I'm shocked myself, but I'm sure this time next month (or earlier) I'll be saying that she is officially walking. Now, don't get me wrong, she will take a few steps without holding on to anything or anyone...she'll even be carrying something, but then she'll fall on her butt and start crawling. So, I know it's possible and I'll just let her go at her own pace.

Ella saw her first fireworks on the 4th of July and absolutely loved them! She sat in daddy's lap the whole time and was just in awe. She didn't take her eyes off them the whole time. She had a wonderful 4th of July weekend hanging out with her cousins and especially had a fun time with her 3 year old cousin Rebekah. They played together the whole time and it was scary to see how fast Ella picked up on things that Rebekah was doing. At time I thought Ella had skipped a couple birthdays in a few days! Rebekah was frustrated that Ella couldn't talk as well as she could, but didn't seem to let that get in the way of their fun.

On the 5th, Ella start swim lessons and she learned how to blow bubbles and float on her back on the first day. The second day she wasn't much into paying attention...she just wanted to play on the steps the whole time, but at least she's having fun! This past Friday she started kicking her legs, too! Her last swim lesson is on the 18th and I'll be interested to see just how much she's learned.

Ella has also learned some new words in the past few weeks to add to the few that it seems like she's been saying f-o-r-e-v-e-r! Everytime she sees pictures of herself on the wall she'll say 'baby' and of course when she sees a baby in public she'll say it, too. She also knows how to say 'Gator' which she now calls all three of our dogs instead of just the one whose name is actually 'Gator'. But, we're happy about this because she'll be even more ready for football season since she's been saying 'touchdown' and doing the signal for it for the past few months. She loves to pick up phones (any phone will do) and say 'dad'? And she finally said 'bye bye' the other day to the store manager at Publix. She's been waving hello and goodbye for a while, but would never say 'bye' until then. But, she hasn't said it since.

Ella is officially off formula which I am sooo thankful for. It didn't take long at all to wean her from the formula...I think about 4 days, which we did right after her 12 month check-up. And she's about weaned from her bottle...when she gets tired around nap time and bed time she wants her bottle, so we're weaning her from her nap bottle first. We'll see how fast that goes. Her new favorite food is mac and cheese (surprise, surprise). She still loves her veggies and that makes me very happy to know she's more like me in that area than her father. I really hope she won't be a picky eater when she gets older.

Well, for the rest of the month Ella and I plan on hanging out by the pool and working on our tans. We're looking more and more like FL girls every day! This weekend we're going to Sea World and we're soooo excited about that. I haven't been since I was really little and I know Ella will enjoy it, too. She loves looking at bright colors and animals of all kind! I'll try and blog about our weekend when we get back! Until then...

Friday, June 23, 2006


Wow...I don't know if I'm ready for summer. It it so freakin' hot outside...all the time. Even at night it's still hot. I don't know if I'm just having a hard time adjusting after being in Boston for 9 months or if we're really starting to feel the affects of global warming, but either way, it sucks! I'm not looking forward to our electricity bill because it seems like our AC is always running. I am very thankful that we have a pool to go to because it would be rough not having the possbility to be outside and yet stay cool at the same time because we do have some beautiful Florida days when there isn't a cloud in the sky. Yet, I am looking forward to rain as well.

For the few of you that I know who read my blogs, I hope your summer has gotten off to a great start. I know some of you are starting a new phase of your life and are in new places. I look forward to hearing about your new jobs and new adventures. And please know that you're always welcome at our house if you're in the area again and hopefully we'll be able to do some traveling and visit y'all.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ella's Stats

Ella's 12 month doctor's appointment was today and it went very well. She was playing with all the doctors and nurses while she was supposed to be getting weighed and measured. She enjoyed getting all the attention and has fun up auntil her one shot that she had to get. But, she recovered quickly...she only had to get her chicken pox vaccine, so it wasn't too traumatic for her.

As for her stats., Ella weighed 21.6 pounds which is about the 50th percentile and she is 29 1/2" long which is about the 60th percentile. So, she has definitely slowed down in the growth department in the past few months. But, I hear that's normal once they start getting around and being more active.

After getting a few things confirmed by the doctor, Ella will be weaned off formula this month, which I am very excited about! She's already been drinking whole milk, but it's nice to know that she can switch completely over and we're going to start giving her some juice, too! She's also pretty much weaned herself off of baby food, so I'll have to get more creative when I fix our dinners and make sure she'll be able to eat stuff that we eat as opposed to just giving her bread/crackers, tomatoes, cheese, etc.

Later in the afternoon we all went to the pool and had a blast. Ella is not afraid of anything when it comes to water. Our Community Center has three pools (two of them for kids) and we enjoyed all three. Ella was able to crawl around in the kiddie pools since they were only 6" deep at most points. She even went down couple slides with daddy. Needless to say, she came home very tired and went to bed soon after. And I'm very tired, too, so I'll type more later!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ella's 1 Year Update

This past week has been such a whirlwind I'm surprised this update is only a few days late! Last weekend we were in Jupiter, FL for my best friend's baby shower and Ella had a blast with her family! Then we drove to Port Orange Sunday evening to spend the next few days with Stephen's family who were going to fly out with us Wed to go to Boston for Stephen's graduation from Harvard. We were busy swimming, playing with dogs, shopping and celebrating Ella's birthday early with Stephen's family! I was very nervous about the flight to and from Boston because I had no idea how I was going to keep Ella still since we did not pay for her own seat. Thankfully the third seat next to us ws empty both ways so we were able to lay Ella down in between us to sleep. Granted, before she would sleep she was very antsy and loud!! But, overall it went a lot better than expected. We got back from Boston Fri around 5pm and immediately drove to Gainesville to pick up my G'ma so she would be here for Ella's party the next day. So, we didn't get back to Tallahassee until 11pm that evening.
Ella's party was in the afternoon that Sat. which was good because I had a lot of stuff to take care of before people started coming over! It was a small affair, but Ella still had a lot of fun and got a lot of cool toys that she really enjoys.

Yesterday we woke up to news about Tropical Storm Alberto. While in the process of taking my G'ma back to Gainesville, we had to decide whether we should turn around and just have her stay with us a couple more days since it was suppose to hit Cedar Key which is directly West of her, but she really wanted to get back and make sure she had her medication on hand just in case it turned out to be worse than expected. So, Ella and I didn't get back from Gainesville until 4:15pm yesterday and she and I both are ready to not travel anymore for a long while. She is so sick of her car seat and I'm sick of not being home and not getting the chance to finish unpacking, etc. So, we are here to stay for a while. I don't even want to think about going somewhere for a couple months.

Now, for Ella's official update...her 12 month doctor appt. isn't until this Thurs. so I will definitely blog again to give you those stats. But, as for her personality and social skills...she is blossoming every day and it's amazing what she's started doing just inthe past couple days! She is still not walking...I feel it could be any day now, but she is really not interested at this point. She is completely fine with crawling and cruising. She points at everything and says "that" and then we tell her what she's pointing at. She waves hello and goodbye to everyone! And just in the past couple days she has started this new belly dance. It's hard to explain, but it's pretty funny when you see it. She loves going up and down the stairs..we don't let her do it unless we're with her, but I'm thankful that she quickly learned how to go down the stairs backwards instead of head first! Ella has also learned the signal for touchdown and makes a noise everytime she does it and then starts clapping, so we're really excited for football season to come because she'll be ready!!! She's been eating weird lately. She stopped eating baby food completely...she just won't have anything to do with it. So, she'll eat crackers, tomatoes, bread, and cheese. She still only has 6 teeth...I think she's teething because the past couple days she's been a little difficult, but I can't tell where her teeth are coming in. So, we'll see if she gets some new ones here shortly.

Today, we went to the public library for story and singing time and she absolutely loved it! She enjoyed watching the other kids and we'll definitely be making this a weekly event. I just wish it was easier to get around Boston so we could've started this earlier. Better late than never I guess. So, Ella is sleeping right now and she should be out for another hour or so. You'll be hearing from me again on Thurs. and before I sign off I have to say Happy Birthday to Analise. It's a day late, but we were thinking about you yesterday!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We're Home!

Well, we're officially in Tallahassee again and we closed on our brand new house on the 19th. It is so nice to live in a place where no one has lived before. We're very busy unpacking and trying to get organized but it's hard with Ella. She's very busy and wants to be doing something at all times and with all this stuff lying around she wants to get into everything. So, of course we we say 'no' and pull her away from whatever it is that she's getting into, she has a tantrum. So, a lot of our unpacking is late at night when she's asleep.

As I said earlier, we closed on our place on the 19th and we were very glad to be in town for FSU's College of Medicine graduation on the 20th. It was bittersweet as this would've been Stephen's graduation has he not taken a year off to get an MPH. But, we were very excited for all of our dear friends who graduated and are now doctors. Hopefully I can get some pointers from the wives on how residency REALLY is before I embark on that adventure myself. It's also sad that they all moving away as we're coming back. So, hopefully we'll be able to visit them in Pensacola,FL and Laurel, MD. And they all know that they're more than welcome to visit us here and stay with us when they're back in Tallahassee.

Well, it's late and I'm ready to sleep...although I'm sure I'll do a little more organizing before I actually get in the bed. I'll keep you updated on how things are going and you can also look forward to Ella's 12 month update in a couple weeks!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ella's 11 Month Update

Today was a big day for Ella! She got her first haircut! We found a place called "Snip-It's" that only does kids hair and when we walked in it was like walking into a Dr. Seuss book. Everything was kid-oriented and every chair had a TV next to it playing cartoons. Since it was Ella's first hair cut they treated her extra special and took and before and after picture for us to take home. She even got a certificate signifying her first hair cut for showing courage and bravery. She got a cute purple bow in her hair and a balloon to take home! I was very impressed with this place, but unfortunately there's only one in FL and it's in Wellington which will be 6 hours south of us! So, I don't know what we'll do for the next hair cut. But, I was very proud of her. She didn't cry even though you could tell she was a little nervous.

As for other things, this past month has flown by and Ella has become more and more independent. She is standing by herself now and loves to look out our windows that are in our bedroom. Since the window pretty much go from the floor to the ceiling she can sit or stand in front of the window and talk to the people passing by. And she definitely lets you know when she sees a dog! She gets really excited and starts pointing and saying, "da!!". I would say that's her new big thing - pointing. She's still very inconsistent with waving, but she'll point to everyone and everything, especially if she's dropped something that she wants you to pick up for her....again and again and again!

Ella has also started completely feeding herself at mealtime. She has moved up to Gerber Graduates and loves eating the vegetables and ravioli. I'm trying to wean her completely from the bottle and I'm thinking about going and starting her on whole milk now instead of waiting for her 12 month checkup. I think it'll be pretty obvious if her stomach doesn't handle the whole milk and I seriously don't think she'll have a problem. So, when I do that, I will only give her milk from her sippy cup. Right now she's only getting water from her sippy cup.
As I said earlier, Ella is standing on her own now for short periods of time. I'm sure she'll be walking 'soon', but I couldn't venture to guess what 'soon' is. Ella and I have started a new pasttime by watching The Backyardigans together almost every afternoon depending on what's going on with our busy schedules. I think I even like it more than she does!

I'm looking forward to her next doctor visit to see how long she has gotten and how much she weighs. I try to do it myself on the scale, but it never comes out right. Unfortunately, she'll be getting shots this go 'round. But, we'll be going back to Dr. Hugger's office in FL!!

As for FL, we'll be leaving here on the 16th of May and closing on our house on the 19th. I am very excited to get Ella's BIGGER nursery all set up and to get her over to our pool. And I'll be looking into Mommy and Me swimming lessons ASAP. We hope now that we'll be in a bigger place and a little more settled that we'll have a lot of people come visit. We want Ella to be able to enjoy all of our family and friends sine we've been so isolated the past 9 months. And that includes all of you reading this. Hope to see you soon!

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's That Time Again!

Wow. I can't believe it's May already. It seems like just yesterday it was August and I was dreading the move up here to Boston and complaining about everything that was going wrong. Now we are just 11 days from heading back to FL and here I am again - w-a-y behind on packing and wondering why we came up here in the first place.

Yes, May 16th is the big day. Thankfully, my original plan of hiring mover (whish was snubbed for our move up here) was adopted and we're even going to have them pack the kitchen for us which will be a big help to me. I HATE packing the kitchen. So, the movers will come and pack the kitchen on the 15th (a Monday) and then they'll come back the next day and load the rest of the stuff. As soon as they're done we are outta here! I haven't been this excited since...I don't know when. I think I'm actually more excited about this then I was about the impending birth of my daughter.

Now, once we get to FL we'll still be busy for awhile. We first have to drive to Daytona to drop the dogs off at Stephen's parent's house because our fence won't be up yet. Then we'll drive to Tallahassee on the 18th so we can walk through the house before we close on the 19th at noon. At this point, we don't know when we'll have our furniture delivered. We have a window of anywhere between the 19th nad 26th. So, in the meantime (besides putting up a fenc), we'll be putting in light fixtures, fans, blinds, etc. That'll be fun. We like working on stuff like that. I'll be painting, too, which I'm not fond of because I feel like that's all I've been doing for the past 4 years, but it needs to be done for me to have the house the way I want it. We also have to buy a refrigerator (it doesn't come with the house) and furniture (couch/chairs and a dining set). The problem is: we can't really afford any of this, but we need where do you draw the line? That's kinda stressing me out and I usually don't stress out about money.

So, we'll have a couple weeks to get the house organized before Stephen starts his ER rotation on the 1st. Then we will be flying back to Boston on the 7th for Stephen's graduation on the 8th. On the 9th, Stephen will fly from Boston to Chicago for an AMA meeting that he will attend until the 14th. The baby and I will fly back to FL by ourselves (soooo not looking forward to that) and prepare for her birthday party which will be on the 17th (a week after her actual birthday). So, my life won't be settled for at least another month, but right now I'm just trying to look at it as what I have to go through to get back to FL and so far, it's worth it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ella's 10 Month Update

Another month has flown by! I can't believe we're going to be back in FL in 6 weeks. I am thrilled to get Ella down there for good so she can start wearing less clothes and we can start doing more things outside, like swimming! Ella is still infatuated with water, probably even more now than ever before. She loves taking baths and she loves crawling into the bathroom and pulling herself up on the tub to see if there's any water in it. We definitely have to be very careful with her! Thankfully we're going to have a brand new YMCA in our development in Tallahassee and I plan on getting her into swimming lessons ASAP.

As for other things, I'm sure she is officially over the 20 lb mark by now. She is eating well and enjoying trying new solids. I've been letting her try more and more kinds of foods since she has 5 teeth now, but some of her favorites are still the kinds of food that she doesn't need to chew on. As I was saying earlier, she is cruising around the place like she owns it and would love to just crawl around all day long if I let her. I will be very happy when we have a bigger area at our next house for her to be adventurous in, but I'm sure she'll be walking by then. She is getting so steady on her feet and loves to pull herself up on things and then let go to see how long she can stand up by herself. Thankfully she mastered the proper way to fall on her butt.
Her hair has gotten long and it looks like I can actually start doing things with it now, but every time I put a barrett in it falls out or she pulls it out and tries to eat it. So, nevermind. But, I'm thinking about getting her hair cut soon. It needs some shaping.

As for words, she's still saying 'mama' and 'dada', but she's started saying 'da' when she sees dogs. I purposely stopped saying our dogs names to her so she would learn that they're dogs first, so now she says 'da' whenever she sees any dog, so apparently it worked.
Ella is also enjoying meeting other kids. She's been like this for the longest time, but now that she has been around them more, she is just so tickled to be able to watch them or touch them, or 'talk' to them. She has a friend at the gym who she gets to play with in the nursery and it helps a lot because she doesn't realize I'm not there.

She is about to celebrate her first Easter and I'm looking forward to when she's old enough to dye eggs with me and have Easter egg hunts. But, for now, she has baby Easter gifts to enjoy that are overflowing in a cute Easter basket. Until next time, we hope all of you have a wonderful Easter, too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's Great To Be A Florida Gator!

WooHoo! UF kicked UCLA's butt last night! For those of you who may not have watched the game (sinners!), the Gators won their first National Championship in basketball last night. It was a great game (if you're a Gator fan) and was pretty much over by halftime. I would've loved to be able to be in Gainesville and watching it in the O'Connell Center with the rest of teh Gator Nation, but it was still a sweet moment watching it on my couch in front of the big screen. And hopefully this is just the beginning to our winning ways in all sports...can anyone say National Championship in Jan '07?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Update on Ella's 9 Month Update

We're in DC right now and I'm just getting time to sit down and give you all the stats from Ella's doctor's appt. from Tues. So, here they are...she weighed 19.9.5 lbs. and was 28 1/2" long. Both of those are in the 75th percentile. She's slowed down some in the growth dept. but for all we know she could be back in the 9th percentile on her next doctor's visit! We also were told that we could turn her car seat forward-facing because her legs are already getting bunched up from hitting the back of the put it forward-facing for our drive to DC Wed. night. I think it might have been a little much for her. She was a lot more fussy on this drive then she usually is....actually she usually either plays or falls asleep in her carseat, but she fussed and fussed and finally fell asleep and then would wake up intermittently (sp?) and scream and then go back to sleep. I don't know if the different direction she was going in and the fact that she could see more was too stimulating for her or if she was just overly tired from the days events of cleaning and packing that she didn't get a nap or what. But, I'll be curious to see how she does on our way back...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ella's 9 month Update

Ella has changed so much this past month...

The biggest thing to me is that Ella is always standing in her crib when I come in to get her in the morning or when she wakes up from a nap. This is also a problem when we put her down to sleep because she knows she can get back up, so she just stands up in the corner of her crib an cries for us. I would have to say that her ability to do this and the freedom that she gets from crawling around is really making her happy and and turning her into 'Curious Ella'. Her favorite things now is to be on the floor and crawl and pull herself up on things. And once she pulls up on the couch or the playpen, she likes to walk herself from end to end. She also likes crawilng after a toy and picking it up and throwing it a little farther out of her reach and going after it again and again. This new level of freedom that Ella has has also diminished my level of freedom. Besides the fact that I have to watch her at all times now, she has also developed separation anxiety and does not like me to leave her alone at all. She really doesn't ever want Stephen to hold her either. But, we don't always give her her way. We can pretty much tell the difference when she's really upset about it or if she's just trying to get attention. But, it is difficult to get anything done and it's hard to get to do little things like check my e-mail or go to the bathroom without her having to sit in her exersaucer or playpen and just cry for a couple minutes; although half the time she'll settle down quickly and just start playing by herself.

As for food, she loves to feed herself. Whenever we got out to eat, her favorite thing is the bread! She's also a huge fan of Cheerios, but what baby isn't?!?! I can definitely use Cheerios as a distraction tool if I want/need to get something done. The dogs also like it when I feed her Cheerios because she usually gives them some, too. As for her main meals, she has moved into the Level 3 area and is enjoying more varieties, buther favorite food is still sweet potatoes. She is not a fan of anything green (she must get that from her father!) and she won't eat meat by itself. She likes it better when it's mixed with something. Her three and a half teeth help her chew on everything, not just her food! She loves playing with and gnawing on drawstrings that are either on our waistbands or on our sweatshirts and she still has a fascination with keys; unfortunately not hers, but mine!

Ella's hair is getting very long and I'm excited about bein able to put barretts and bows in it, but what's weird is that even though it's gotten longer and it totally looks like I could do that, I really can't yet. But, I also need to go get some more hair accesories. She won't keep the headbands on and the clips I have now just don't stay in her hair. We got her 9 month pictures taken last night and I wish there was something that I could've put in her would've looked better I think.

As far as speaking, Ella hasn't learned any new words. She's still just saying "mama" and "dada", but at least I think she's knows what's she's saying now. Stephen was holding her the other night and she looked overat me and said "mama" and then reached for me. So, either that was a major coincidence or she's actually understanding who's who and what's she's saying. I'm definitely ready for her to start talking. I can't wait to have coversations with her!
Ella's favorite pasttime is still taking a bath! She loves the water and I can't wait to get back to FL and start her in swimming lessons! We have a lot of bath toys that she and I play with every other night and she's started crawling in the bath, I don't put as much water in it and I need to get little sticky things for the bottom of the tub...I suppose I should just not let her do that, but since I'm in there with her it doesn't seem like a big deal.

I'll be back later to post her stat's from the doctor's appt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Skiing sucks!

My husband did something really sweet this weekend. I'm always on him about not taking the bull by the horns and just planning something on his own. If we talk about doing something for the day or even somewhere to go on vacation he always ask millions of questions and ultimately wants me to plan the whole thing. So, finally, when he asked if I wanted to go skiing and whether or not I would be comfortable with Ella being watched at the daycare at the ski resort, I said, "Just plan it yourself!" So, he did.

We traveled to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire early yesterday morning. I was excited to go skiing for the first time and I wasn't too nervous about leaving Ella with total strangers since I knew that they had a policy that only 6 infants were booked for a day and once we dropped her off, the people were really nice and took a ton of information from us because they wanted to be sure that she was fed properly, changed when she should be, and napped the way she was used to napping. So, after we dropped her off we went to rent our ski equipment. We then went to the ski lift and that was the last fun I had for the day. As soon as I got off the ski lift I fell. Then I fell again. And again. And and so forth. Obviously I knew that I wasn't going to be great since this was my first time, but it got old real fast, especially when you have 4 and 5 year olds zooming past you like they came out the womb skiing!! Oh, and I was on the easiest slope there took me over and hour to get down the thing. By the time I was down the slope I was so sore and knew I had bruises all over my body. I alos twisted my knee really bad on my last fall which sucked because I was getting the hang of it right at the end. But, I was too worried that it would just take one more fall for me to really hurt my knee or to break something and I didn't want to chance it, let alone I was already exhausted and in pain.
So, yes, I stayed at Cafe' and read a book for the rest of the afternoon while Stephen skied by himself. I felt horrible because this was supposed to be a day for us to hang out without the baby which has yet to happen since she was born. But, if I had decided to ski more, it wouldn't have been any fun for him because I would've been stuck on the green slope all day going REALLY slow. At least he got to go on other slopes and get his money's worth.

So, I'll leave the skiing to the yankees and I'll stick with the warm water sports that I'm a 'pro' at.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blizzard '06, NetFlix, etc.

So, I'm stuck in the house today thanks to a 'blizzard' that we had yesterday. I don't really think that our area officially went through a blizzard which is considered a snow storm where the winds are at least 35 mph for at least three hours straight and visibility is 1/4" of a mile or less. Anyway, I think the officially tally for Boston was 17", although I think we may have a gotten a little more than that. Most schools are closed today, but of course Harvard isn't. So, while all the other kids are sledding with their families, Ella and I are stuck inside with three hyper dogs and nothing to do. We've played with all of Ella's toys and she's taken two naps so far, although they haven't been long enough (for her or myself). Stephen isn't going to be home until after 9pm (guess I'll be TiVo-ing 24) and I'm trying to plan out dinner for Valentine's Day evening. We decided to stay in since Ella is getting increasingly harder to deal with at restaurants. She's not bad, she's just curious about everything and it's really hard to enjoy dinner and each other's company when she wants to stick everything in her mouth, her attention span in close to nil, and service in Boston is not great anyway.

I also haven't gotten my UsToday yet which means I haven't done my daily crossword puzzle or Sudoku puzzle, so I feel a little dumb right now. I'm assuming that we are getting mail today...I guess it's just running late since we have mail carriers on foot. I am looking forward to Wed. and Thurs. when it's supposed to be in the low 50's again.

Oh! I have to talk about NetFlix. If there are people who are still using Blockbuster, you need to wake up and smell the cheaper rentals that are delivered to your front door! We love NetFlix and we're also loving watching seasons of television shows that we never got to watch such as Arrested Development. This is seriously one of the best comedies ever! Unfortunately, it's been cancelled from Fox after only three seasons. There are rumors going around that Showtime or some other cable network might pick it up, but if not, we'll have three glorious seasons to laugh at. I seriously recommend this show for anyone who loves to laugh at most anything.

OK, I'll get off my soap box and go tend to something....

Ella's 8 month update

Originally posted on February 10, 2006.

Wow, I'm actually going to get this update done on time! I guess I'll start out by saying that we took Ella to see "Curious George" for her 8 month brithday. And I'll just say that she's in an awkward stage to see a movie at the theater...the last movie we took her to was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She was very good during that movie and either sat and watched it or ate and slept. At this movie she watched it off and on and then would start play screaming, etc. which is cute, but of course we're always worried it might annoy someone else (even though there were only three other families there at the time). She also got tired near the middle of the movie and she would not settle down and fall asleep even if I took her in the back and walked/rocked her. So, it'll probably be a while before we take her to another movie.
As far as her milestones are going, she's still on track. Stephen says he thinks she's a little ahead, but he's biased. I mean she could be, but how do you really measure that? Anyway, she's still enjoying her solids. She's about ready to start on level 3 foods and is also enjoying feeding herself. Now, when I say this I don't mean with a spoon. But, she loves Zwieback (toast for babies) or any onther bread that tough enough for her to suck on and let it melt in her mouth (like French bread). She's almost got her pincer grasp down, too.
Ella is also VERY close to crawling. If she hadn't been so sick for a over a week, she would probably be crawling already. She loves being on the floor and she's been rocking on her hands and knees for a while now; she gets so frustrated because she can't get anywhere. She starts moving forward and falls on her stomach. She also loves to pull up on things. Thankfully she only does it on things that are very sturdy like our couch, ourselves, and in her playpen. I'm actually surprised she hasn't started pulling herself up in her crib, but I am glad about that because I hear that once they know how to do that they'll wake up in the middle of the night and do so and that's just not good for me! She hasn't seemed to pick up anything language-wise. She still says 'mama', 'dada', 'baba'...but again, I don't think they have any meaning to her, yet.
I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting. I'll blog again if I think of any, but I'm so tired right now. We're supposedly getting a blizzard late tomorrow evening through Sunday morning, so we were out all day today preparing for that. Ella went down 30 minutes ago and I'm not far off.

Ella's 7 month update

Originally posted on January 18, 2006.

Once again I'm late for my monthly Ella update, but my excuse this time is actually plausible...I'm still on vacation in FL. Anyway, Ella is a 5 year old in a 7 month old body. She has such personality and is letting it show more and more every day! It's amazing how much she's changed since we've been down here! She is now letting her wants be known like refusing to sit if she doesn't feel like it...she will make herself stiff and straight if she doesn't feel like sitting in the high chair or if she wants to lay on the floor instead. If you take something away from her she pitches a fit!! I wasn't prepared for that quite yet, but I guess that's a little of me that's coming out in her!
She also learned how to clap...not loud, but it's clapping. She also likes making noises with her mouth my humming and tapping her arm on her mouth at the same time. She still loves to scream for fun and blow raspberries...especially if you do it with her.
She's had a very exciting time in FL. Her first Christmas was very special and she got to see a lot of family and meet a lot of new friends. She also got to go to Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom last Fri. with her friend Analise. It was amazing to see two 7 month olds enjoy Disney like that. Ella had a blast and I'm looking forward to taking her again.
We leave for Boston the 24th and will be there until the end of May. So, hopefully the next couple months of blogs will be filled with a lot of nice memories from a place that we are very excited to get to leave for good shortly!

Ella's First Trip to the Hospital

Originally posted on January 31, 2006.

Saturday, January 28th, became a new, but miserable milestone in Ella's short life. The morning started out with Ella vomiting up her breakfast. We didn't think anything of it at first until it was followed with horrible diarrhea and then more vomiting, etc., etc. We finally felt as if she was getting better late afternoon and was planning on going out to eat when she woke up from her nap until she vomited again. We checked her temperature and it was 100.7 or something. We were also concerned because as we were cleaning her up she was falling asleep again and she'd pretty much been sleeping all day. So, our main concern was that she was getting dehydrated. (We had called the pediatrician earlier in the day and they said to watch her and give her a little bit of Pedialyte every 30 minutes. She was keeping the Pedialyte down, but she still wasn't wetting her diapers or forming tears.)

So, at 7:30pm we took her to Children's ER. Once we got through to the treatment area they pretty much wanted to watch her while we gave her fluids to see if she kept them down. They didn't feel like she was too dehydrated to give her an IV, which I was happy about, but yet they made us feel stupid for coming in. Around 10:45pm they said we could go home if we felt like she was OK and to watch her closely. Well, as we were leaving the lobby she vomited again and had another horrible episode of diarrhea that went EVERYWHERE! (I swear, diarrhea is 100 times worse than vomit!) So, we went back in and told the nurse what had happened and whether we should stay or continue on our way home and see how she does. They took her back again and decided to give her and IV. Well, I had to leave the room for this one and unfortunately, by the time I got back from my "bathroom break" they still hadn't put the IV in. So, I was outside of the room and able to hear her scream as they put the IV in her foot. I about lost it and the nurses outside the room were asking me if I was OK. I'm a wuss, I know.

Thankfully, Ella fell asleep shortly after and slept the whole time she was getting fluids. We finally left the ER around 2am and got home where she continued to sleep until 9am the next morning. Well, since then she hasn't vomited, but she's had diarrhea continuously. I can't even count the many outfits we've gone through every day. Her bottom is so sore and I can't stand to see her like this. She still sleeps a lot, but at least she's more alert and will play for short periods of time. We've gotten in touch with the pediatrican again and they said to switch her to a lactose-free formula for a week or so she she can build of certain enzymes that's she's losing and therefore can't break down lactose. So, we'll see if she gets better, but I could imagine having diarrhea for four days let alone a baby! I'm obviously glad it's not something worse, but this is worse enough for me...and Ella.

All Ella Wants for Christmas is Her Two Front Teeth

Originally posted on December 29, 2005.

Ella has reached a new milestone in her race for toddler-hood. She has three teeth that have popped out (two on the bottom and one on top). We're happy t see that they're finally coming in because it seems like she's been teething for months; granted the crankiness that comes with teething just started in the past week or so. Thank heavens for Baby Orajel! But, Ella did have a better Christmas than just getting her first few teeth and the pain associated with them.
Stephen and I decided to have our Christmas before we left for FL so we wouldn't have to drag more stuff than we needed to. So, we had our Christmas a week early so Ella could enjyo the things we got her before we elft town. So, we got her a dragon-thiny from Fischer Price that you can put balls in that come out of the dragons mouth, etc. It's really cute. We also got her a Leap Pad for Infants with a cuople cute bks that go a long with them. I'm sure we'll be getting some more when we get back...but it's like buying Nintendo games for it...they're $12 a piece. She also got a lot of bath toys because bath time is one of her favorite times and so we thouight that shoudl we love to have toys to play with, so she gt some cute frogs that can shoot water out of their mouths and some stacking cups from Pottery Barn Kids. She also got a big inflatable duck for her to sit in in the bathtub. That should be a lot less dangerous should she fall ver while sitting up...granted I will be there with her the whole time, but sometimes you just can't catch those little boogers fast enough!
Now, at Nana and Papa's she got a some really cute outfits from Gymboree and a collection of Veggie Tales DVD's. She's also got her own cell phone which she loves, and a bus that you can put blocks in or when she gets older, she can pull it around. She also got some books, which we are s excited about. We love getting new bokos to fill her library with.
She also got a$100 gift card from my former sister-in-law and got $75 from my grandfather's daugher-in-law. This kid definitely made out really well and we had a blast watching her have more with the boxes and the wrapping paper then anything else! This time next year she'll be 18 months old and should have even more fun. We can't wait!

Ella's 6 month update

Originally posted on December 13, 2005.

Well, yesterday was an eventful visit to the pediatrician. Ella was in good spirits and showing off in front of the nurse practitioner the whole time. Unfortunately, right when we were getting ready to lay her down on the table so the NP could actually examine her, she fell over and hit her head on the wall and the corner of one of the instrument holders. I still have no clue how that happened since all three of us were standing now less than 5 inches from her! Anyway, the pretty much ruined the rest of her visit because she was fussy, getting tired, and then the shots came!! So, she got her 6 mo. boosters as well as her flu shot. But, mommy and daddy got their flu shots, too! So, Ella got to watch us get our shots first, but that didn't seem to help her out any. (My arm still hurts this morning, by the way!)
Anyway, here are her stats! She weighs 17.7 lbs. and is 27" long. Her head circumference is 44cm. Apparently, her head and length are in the 90th percentile while her weight is in the 70th percentile, just like last time. But, the NP said she's still in good proportion. Ella is also ready to start three meals a day with her veggies and fruits and should only be getting 4 6-8 oz. she'll be eating about 7 times a day. And next month she'll be able to eat some protein which I'm not looking forward to. I can't even imagine how pureed meat will look like and smell. Ugh!!
Anyway, the NP was great. I obviously prefer to see a doctor, but you could tell that she'd been doing this a long time. But, she did get annoying at times and made me feel like a bad mother when she asked if I was following the directions EXACTLY when I made her formula (well, duh!!!) and then also warned us about our dogs saying that a child should never be alone with a dog(s) until their 6 years old! Well, sorry to say, but our little hole in the wall that we live in doesn't leave much room for anyone or anything to be out of my sight wherever I am in the house! Anyway, I know she's just doing her job and that there are a lot of parents out there who are probably retarded enough that she has to say those things, but still, it was annoying.
Well, we have a little over a week before we head to FL for a month! We're very excited and can't wait to see our family and friends! I'm also looking forward to the warmer weather! I'm hoping I'll be able to blog whie I'm away, but who knows how busy I'll be. But, Ella will at least have a 7 month update while we're away, I promise.

Ella's First Cold

Originally posted on December 7, 2005.

Well, I've become and irresponsible mother and let my daughter catch her first cold. Seriously though, I guess I can't be THAT hard on myself, but I feel horrible that Ella is so miserable right now. I'm sure she got sick from all the public transportation we've been using lately, especially since we aren't using our travel system at all anymore and she's a little freer to reach out and touch the poles that people put their hands all over! Anyway, she very congested nasally (is that a word?!?!) and it sucks because we can't give her any medication that will actually work! All we can do is using saline nasal drops and then suction her nose, but she hates it. She screams and writhes and turns beet red. I hate it when I have a cold and now I hate it even more when she has a cold! It's so hard for her to drink her bottle and she'll be asleep and then start coughing because she can't catch her breath and then she wakes up screaming! Thankfully, she usually goes back to sleep fairly quickly if that happens during the night. I really thought that with her being sick I would be up at all hours of the night with her, but she's really slept just as well as before. Anyway, I just had to type out my frustration at the fact that there's nothing we can use to treat her symptoms because saline nasal spray does not work!!!

Ella's 5 month update

Originally posted on November 15, 2005.

So, this is a few days late...again. I returned home from Florida to find that our phone line was completely down. We promptly called Verizon to let them know if the situation and unfortunately they said that they couldn't guarantee anyone to come repair the problem until Tues. So, the days rolled by without me having any connection to the outside world...finally Tues. got here and Verizon showed up around 9am. I won't go into the fact of how ridiculous it is that Verizon (in Boston anyway) thinks it's OK for a customer to go days without phone service. Forget the internet....I couldn't even dial 911 if I had to!!
So, my real reason for blogging - my beautiful daughter Ella Bella (yes that's her nickname). On Nov. 10th, she turned 5 months old. I know I say this every month, but time is really flying by and it's scarig the crap out of me. I'm getting really sentimental about Ella and her time as a baby. It's going by too fast. She is amazing me more and more every day. She started doing so many new things just while we were in FL and even now that we're back she's started saying "Ma Ma"!!! Can you believe it?!?! I'm not sure if she really knows what she's saying and what it means, but she is saying it and she really only says it when she's frustrated and she wants me to come get her, so maybe she does know what she's saying. You can tell that she wants to talk so bad. She loved watching us talk to her or talk to each other. She's so aware and curious of EVERYTHING. Her personality is great. She's very relaxed and easy-going. She still only cries when she's got a dirty diaper, hungry, or tired. And even the hungry cry we've kinda gotten rid of because we're on a pretty good eating schedule. She's doing a lot better with solids and we're ready to try another flavor of cereal. I'm going to try and find barley, but I hear it's hard to find.
As for physical things that she's doing...she's finally rolling over both ways. Even though she has been able to do it for a while, she hsan't really enjoyed doing it, but I think since she's stronger now and knows how to get to her toys, she actually has a purpose for doing it now. She has really started playing with her tongue a lot. I'm actually surprised it's taken this long, but she loves sticking it out at us or making funny faces. She is sitting up on her own now and we really need to get her high chair out. I know I've been saying this for a month now, but hopefully we'll get it down this weekend since we'll finally be here for the weekend and will be working on the house. Ella absolutely loves her exersaucers...yes, she has two of them. I had to get her one while we were in FL just so she'd have something to play in and it was so cool that we decided to take it back with us instead of leaving it there for when we go back for Christmas. She's also chewing up a storm and I'm just waiting for her first tooth to pop out any day! And just in case you're around her any time soon...if she gets your knuckle in her mouth, be prepared to scream in agony; she's got a really strong bite (even without teeth).
One unfortunate thing is that I thibk she has excema. No one in my family has it, but a lot of people in Stephen's family have it and it didn't even dawn on me that she may have it until Stephen's sister saw her arms and a place behind her ear which I had already explained away with some other possibilities. But, she said it looks the same way her kids excema showed up. But, it's not too bad and it doesn't seem to bother her, so I'm treating it with lotion and will wait for her 6 month check-up to talk to the doctor and see if that's what it really is. It really bummed me out when Angela said that that's probably what it is because I don't want Ella to have any annoying things she has to deal with like itching and rashes that don't look great, but if it is excema, her's really doesn't look bad at all. I've definitely seen worse. I'll keep you updated on what I find out.
Well, until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving! I may or may not blog before then, but either way, have a great holiday and break for work and/or school. We miss you all!

Weekend in Review

Originally posted on November 28, 2005.

I hope this finds that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a lot of delicious food. Stephen, Ella, and I stayed in Boston for Thanksgiving and I was planning on cooking my firts Thanksgiving feast all by myself, but one of Stephen's classmates and his wife invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner and we accepted, thinking that we would probably be a little bored with ourselves if we sat around the house all day. So, I made Angel Food Cake and brownies and we had a great time hanging out with friends.
Our football watching also started Thanksgiving Day. Although I didn't really care about the teams that were playing, it is a family tradition to watch football. We caught some of the LSU/Alambama game on Fri. (again, didn't care about those teams), and then the big game was Sat. at 3:30pm....FSU vs. UF. Now, I was giving the Crimi-noles the benefit of the doubt and really thought the game would be close, because both teams haven't been playing their best this season. I soon found out what I knew all along...the 'Noles suck!! We totally dominated that game and we should've shut them out, but unfortunately they scored a touchdown late in the game. That's the only thing that ruined the game. FINAL SCORE: 34-7. WooHoo! And finally, Da' Bears played the Bucs yesterday and thankfully we walked away with our 7th win in a row! We didn't play as well as we have been; thankfully, our defense carried us through.
Now for an Ella update, she is still growing like a weed. She's already in 6+ mo. clothes and she absolutely loves her new flavored cereal - oatmeal! I guess she just wasn't a fan of the rice cereal. So, tomorrow I'm going to start her on sweet potatoes. She also had a little nibble of mashed up banana at the Cheesecake Factory yesterday. I don't want her to have too many fruits so she won't be liking the yummy, sugary stuff before she's gotten used to the vegetables, but she actually didn't seem to enjoy it all that much. Maybe she'll be a health-nut and not like sugar! (Yeah, right!!)
So, we're officially decorated for Christmas. I'm very excited about this Christmas since Ella is around. Granted, I'm always excited about Christmas. I think I was Mrs. Claus in another lifetime...anyway, I'm already thinking of next Christmas when Ella will be more into it, but for now you can tell that she's enjoying all the lights on the Christmas tree and the new colorful things to look at. And I'm happy to say that I'm almost done with my shopping, too! I haven't started shopping for Ella yet, but we already know everything that we're going to get her. As for the family, all the neices and nephews are taken care of and the 'rents are almost done. I need to get one more thing for my G'ma and a couple more things for Stephen. And most of my shopping has been online, too. I have no wanted to brave the traffic on the streets or in the malls since being in a big city. It's crazy! And after seeing all those fights that happened on Black Friday, I have no interest in being part of one...especially since I would probably be the person to tackle someone who was cutting in line, etc.

The Plane is not cleared for landing.

Originally posted on October 15, 2005.

The second time trying to feed Ella her rice cereal was pretty unsuccesful. I can't tell if she is just frustrated by the whole thing because she's not exactly sure what's going on yet or if the stuff is just disgusting to her...she makes some pretty weird faces when she tastes it. Anyway, it's frustrating to in how messy the whole process is. We still don't have the high chair's hoping for tomorrow. Anyway, I heard from another mother that her son would have nothing to do with the rice cereal and that he just jumped to the fruits and veggies. So, I don't know what to do. I'll obviously try this a little longer. It's a little early to give up now, but if it ain't clicking after a couple weeks, then we may try something new. Any advice from the peanut gallery?

It's Great To Be A Florida Gator!

Originally posted on November 2, 2005.

I know this is coming a few days late, but I have to blog and say "congrats" to the UF Football team. I don't know why, but we always pull something out of our butts when it doesn't matter. I suppose technically our win does matter for more than the mere fact that we ended Georgia's undefeated streak. We are still in the running for the SEC Championship; we need Georgia to lose at least one more time. But, we are out of the running for the National Championship...again, thanks to our pathetic losses to Alabama and LSU (who had 5 turnovers in that game)! I still think Chris Leak is the most overrated quarterback in college football and he has been for the past couple years. I'm not saying he's horrible, but he's not consistent and of course you have people saying that he's just not used to Urban Meyer's offense...well, he apparently wasn't used to Zook's offense either. He's very inconsistent and if you're a great quarterback you are definitely two things: consistent and good in ANY type of offense.
Now that I have that off my chest, I'm very happy to say that I will be in FL tomorrow through the 8th (at least - I may stay a little longer...more about that later). It was a last minute trip that I planned since my husband is going to be out of town during the same time. He will be in Dallas, TX at an AMA conference. I decided not to go with him this time since he is going to be very busy and I've never been TX, so I wouldn't be comfortable getting around the town by myself. Usually the meetings are in Chicago and since I've been there a couple times already, it wouldn't matter if Stephen was busy because I know my way around pretty well. But, it was time for me to head to FL anyway. My G'ma hasn't seen the baby since we left and we're missing her, too. I'm not too keen on flying down there, but I'm trying not to worry about that part and keeping everything in God's hands and not trying to rely on myself. Anyway, I'll be getting into Orlando around 1:55pm and my sister-in-law is going to pick me up and meet my G'ma halfway on I-75. I'm looking forward to seeing her and of course being able to see my G'ma. I wish I had more time to see people, but time is going to fly by and Thurs. will be shot already. One way where I might get more time in FL is if Stephen decides to fly back on the 8th to FL instead of Boston and we can just spend a few extra days there since he doesn't have class next Fri. (Veterans Day). Then we'll just leave Fri. evening from Orlando together. So, if that ends up happening then I might be able to see some friends in Orlando. And if those of you in Orlando are reading this, I will call you and let you know what's going on if that's a possibility.
I know this was my first blog in a while and I'm sorry for that. Things have been really hectic and time is just flying by. Stephen's parents were up for a visit and while they were here dad's sister died, so they left a day early to get to SC. So, in the midst of all that Stephen was studying for finals for his classes that were ended after the first quarter and somehow I just felt really busy as well, although I'm not sure what I was busy with. Anyway, I'll try not to let so much time go by between blogs next time. So, I'll plan my next blog to be on the 9th, if I return from FL by then. Take care!

Ella update

Originally posted on October 12, 2005.

Here are the results from Ella's 4 month check-up: she weighs 14 lbs. 13 oz. and is 25 1/4" long. Apparently her weight is in the 75th percentile and her length is in the 90th percentile. She also got her 2nd round of vaccines and thankfully instead of getting 4 different ones, she only had to get three because one of them was a combo vaccine. While I left the room while Ella got her shots, I came back in as soon as they were through and even though she was crying, her daddy picked her up and she stopped immediately. She was a trooper and again, faired well afterwards. We stopped to get a bit to eat while we were in Cambridge and she slept the whole time we were at the restaurant. We got home and I have her some infants Tylenol just in case. But, she had no fever at that point and I'm sure she wouldn't have had one even if I didn't give her the Tylenol. Anyway, the doctor said that Ella looked great and that she was very alert and responsive for her age. Of course that made mommy and daddy feel good. Ella is also ready to start rice cereal, her first introduction to solid food. So, tomorrow we'll be going out to get some baby spoons and we'll start a few servings in the mornings to see how her tummy handles it and in the next month or so, we can start her on veggies! Yum, yum! It's kind of exciting to think that she'll be sitting with us at the dinner table soon and eating somewhat normal foods. I'm looking forward to the first rice cereal feeding, though. I'm sure I'll blag about it because it'll be an experience! 'Til then...

Here comes the plane!

Originally posted on October 14, 2005.

I woke up this morning very excited. I finally had gotten everything I needed to get Ella started in her next phase of life...eating solids. So, after searching Target for baby spoons that are rubberized on the ends, I actually found ones that turn white if the food is too hot. I thought that was pretty neat and took some annoying work out of my lazy hands. Anyway, we don't have the high chair put together yet and I didn't think that was too big a deal since Ella can't completely sit up on her own anyway. So, I held Ella in my lap with her bib on of course, and start feeding her little bites. Right away she grabbed for the spoon just to hold it which made it difficult to get it to her mouth. I have heard that if the baby does this to give them another spoon to hold on to while you're feeding them. So, I'll try that next time. Anyway, the first bite went down pretty easy. And she started opening her mouth up for it each time I put the spoon close to her mouth. But, she was over it pretty soon. I think she was getting frustrated with the whole process even though I thought she was doing really well. By the fourth or fifth time, she started pushing the food out of her mouth and I figured she was just ready for some formula. So, she promptly drank up 6 oz. of formula to fill her up!
So, tomorrow morning will be another adventure and hopefully we'll get the high chair put together tomorrow as well. I think it will be easier and it might even make Ella sit up on her own even quicker in that position. Overall, nothing too difficult about the first feeding of rice cereal, but it was a bit messier than formula!


Originally posted on October 6, 2005.

OK, this might be a weird blog, so just bare with me, especially you males who may be reading this. I had to write about this new product that I discovered. It's a new bra from the makers "spanx". You can find it at or at high end department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, etc. Anyway, this website sells a lot of undergarments to help make your clothes fit better by smoothing out your frame and getting rid of VPL or VBL (visible panty (or bra) lines). So, I just purchased the bra that they sell called "Brallelujah" and it's amazing. I know you probably are those girls who are obsessed with Victoria's Secret and only wear their bras, which I was before today. Yet, I paid at least $40 a bra (thanks to my boob size) and they still were never 100% comfortable even though they advertise that they're new IPEX bras make you feel like you don't ever want to take it off - NOT!
I definitely recommend this bra for gals that have C cups and above, but even if you're smaller, if you aren't comfortable in your bras, you should get one of these. They're $34 (cheaper than most VS bras) and have no under wire, yet it totally holds you in place where you want your boobs to be! The only draw back is that it has thick straps for more comfort, which is a good thing, too. But, if you wear tops that have skinny traps or even most tank tops, you won't be able to wear this bra with it. It comes in black and nude.
I know I sound like an info-mercial, but I seriously have never been satisified with a product as much as this, so I had to share it with ya'll. I can hardly tell I have it on and even when I do realize it, it feels more like a comfortable cami than a bra. And I seriously have no VBL and my boobs are in their proper place.
Now, for those of you men who may be reading this. If you want to lucky, buy this as a gift for your wife. I wouldn't even wait for her birthday or a specific holiday. Just buy it for her now.

10/10/05 - Ella is 4 months old today!

Originally posted on October 10, 2005.

My baby girl is 4 months old today and again, it's really scary how fast time is flying by. She's getting so big...or I guess I should say 'tall'. Her personality is definitely showing now and she loves talking to mommy and daddy. I wish all the pictures we took captured her personality better. She smiles and giggles a lot, but once we get the camera or video camera out she's so mesmerized that she stops everythings she's doing to stare at the camera. She's rolled over a couple times, but it's not that big a deal for her just yet. It's obvious that she could do it whenever she wanted, but she's usually just content rolling from side to side to look at herself in the mirror or grab one of her toys. She has this new thing where she screams when she's really happy, the only thing is that it comes out of nowhere! So, it could cause a heart attack or two if you're not prepared. I'm waiting for it to happen in church. One thing I'm really excited about is that she's almost sitting up on her own. I know it seems pretty early for that, but when she's sitting on our laps or if we have her propped up on the couch, she can balance herself so well and it seems every week she's balancing a little longer than the previous week. She's really into gnawing on our hands and fingers (besides her own!) and loves to pull her shirt, bib, or blanket up into her mouth as well. She has a favorite stuffed animal, too. He's a tan puppy named Calhoun and she's already got his fur matted from snuggling with him and sucking on him. Oh, another thing she loves to do is play with her feet. If she's on her back, she'll pull them up to her, or if she's sitting on my lap, she'll bend over for them. She's also starting to get into 'peek-a-boo', but only if she's really in the mood for it. Stephen had her going the other day and she was giggling like crazy, while I tried it earlier and she just looked at me like I was on crack.
Tomorrow is her 4 month check-up and unfortunately she has to get FOUR shots. I hope she does as well as last time and doesn't get a fever afterwards. We'll probably give her some infant tylenol about an hour beforehand. I know she'll freak out when she actually gets the shots, but she calms down pretty quickly. I'll update ya'll on her stats and how she fairs.

Our First Loss

Originally posted on October 2, 2005

I can't believe it. We lost! And we lost to Alabama who we hadn't played since 1999 and we loss to them twice that year! I don't understand how a team can play so different from the past four weeks. The Gators looked absolutely horrible. That could even be an understatement. Chris Leak (who I've never thought was that great) was horrible, our defense was horrible, our receivers were horrible and I'm sure some people will think that Urban didn't have a great game. But, I really liked most of the plays he called, especially the trick plays. The fake punt that we did and ended up getting a first down on 4th and 2 was awesome. And then we went for a touchdown on 4th and goal and I thought that was a great call. Granted, we didn't get the touchdown, but it was early in the game and we needed something to spark the team and Urban had said that "if we can't score on 4th and 1 or 4th and 2 then there's a bigger problem". So, I'm all for going for it. And when you look back at it, if we would've just kicked the field goal we would've lost 31-6 instead of 31-3, so who cares?!?!
Anyway, I'm sad. I'm upset. I would've be happier if #1 USC lost, which it totally looked like they would. Arizona St. was ahead most of the game, but they dropped the ball (literally) in the 4th quarter. So, I'm faced with te reality that FSU is still undefeated and it's totally by luck. They're schedule is such a joke and they really don't have a big game until they play us and that's the last game of the season! I really thought that we could go all the way this year even though people thought (and still may think) that Urban Meyer is overrated since he hasn't really coached a major team in a major division (like teh SEC). But, I believed and still do, but we just need some undefeated peeps to lose, too!

Holiday season is starting!

Originally posted on September 30, 2005.

Yeah! Tomorrow is October 1st and I can officially start decorating for Halloween. I refuse to bring out the decorations as early as stores do these days! It's ridiculous. But, now the holiday season is here. As you can tell I'm really giddy. I'm like a little kid when it comes to decorating and wanting to celebrate every holiday. This year is a little more special since Ella is here. We got a her a really cute Halloween outfit. I won't tell you what it is, but I'll definitely post pictures when we get them taken. But, I am a little disappointed this year only because we're in a new area and I don't know if there will be a lot of kids going tick-or-treating or in our neighborhood, so I'm not sure how much I should be prepared. But, I definitely want to get my pumpkins and carve them like I usually do. And we have one of those walk ways that you have to walk up steps to get to our door, so I can put them out on the steps leading up to our front door. We live on a main road too, so all the traffic can see them as they drive by and people walking by can enjoy them, too. (I know, I sounds like Martha Stewart!) Anyway, we also have two big windows in our master bedroom that are at the front of the house that face the main road. So, I have to think of a cool way to decorate the windows. Any ideas?
As for Thanksgiving, Stephen and I are staying up here in Boston by ourselves. It will be our first big holiday by ourselves, but we're really looking forward to it. I don't know if I'm going to try and make it a traditional Thanskgiving or what, but we'll see. I don't want to have these grand plans and then be disappointed if something doesn't work out. We really wanted to go down to NY and see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we figured Ella is probably a little too young for that and it would be a long time out in the cold for her. So, I guess we'll be watching it on TV and then watching football all day. Sounds nice to me!
For Christmas we are planning on driving down to FL. That will be an adventure in itself! ROAD TRIP!! I'm looking forward to it, but it'll be slow-going with the three dogs and Ella. But, we're thinking that Stephen is going to have about a month off for winter, so that will fun. We'll be in FL while Boston is going through the worst part of winter. So, we'll get our fill of snow before hand and then get a nice break.
Well, there are our plans for the next few months. Sorry for boring you, but I'm getting really excited!

Time is flying by!

Originally posted on September 14, 2005.

Sept. 14th, 2005. Sept. 14, 2005?!?! Wow, it just dawned on me today how much my life has changed in such a short period of time. It seems like just yesterday I was in Florida and in college. And then I was pregnant!! That was such a great moment when I found out I was pregnant. Stephen and I had been trying for 8 months and we were getting a little worried. Sadly enough, we were both secretly afraid it was one of our faults that we hadn't gotten pregnant yet. Needless to say, we were both relieved and VERY happy to find out we were going to be parents. Now, I feel like the pregnany flew by, yet I quickly remember how miserable I was throughout the pregnancy except for the 4th & 5th month. That was the only time I was comfortable. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is...all of a sudden I'm a mom, and then we move, and now we've already been here for a little over a month!

On Sept. 10 Ella hit her 3 month mark. I feel like she'll be driving before I know it! She has grown so fast and she's changed so much since we've gotten to Boston. I feel like her family in FL won't even know who she is when they see her next time. She gets more beautiful every day and it's amazing how she does something new almost every day, too. She's so curious about everything and everyone. She smiles and giggles all the time and she l-o-v-e-s sucking on her fist and/or fingers. She is definitely not a pacifier baby. She has no interest in those at all, which I guess it great! I obviously have those fears about whether or not she may be behind in certain things, etc., but at this point, I guess you can't really be behind. Babies don't really roll over until about 4 months on average, yet the fact that Ella does not like tummy-time, I'm afraid it may be a little long for her. Then I fear that she'll start crawling later, which means she'll walk later, which means she'll be potty trained later, etc., etc. And yes, I know this is all ridiculous. All babies progress differently and Ella is perfectly healthy and obviously smart, so I have nothing to worry about. I do wish we were still in FL so Ella could hang out with one of her friends that she hasn't even met yet! Our friends Bridget and Luis had a baby girl a couple days after Ella was born and they live in Orlando. I would love to see Ella and Analise together. I wonder what that would be like and if they would lay next to each other on the floor and at least notice each other. That would be really cool.

Anyway, it's times like these when I start feeling old even though I'm only 24. I can't imagine Ella not being a baby, but I know she'll be a teenager before I know it. What I really can't imagine is Stephen and I growing older. For some reason I think of us being 24 and 26 while we're teaching Ella how to drive. Now, that would be weird!

Oh, before I close, WARNING! Britney Spears has given birth to a baby boy. Run away, run away! You know that kid was saying, "Please! Please! Leave me in here for another 9 months!"

A Week in Review

Originally posted on September 22. 2005.

OK, I wrote this blog once and somehow it got lost. So, here it goes again...

...Wow, what a week we've had! I'm finally getting time to sit down and soak in everything that went on and actually get some rest. Here's a recap. Last Thurs. my best friend Aleta was to arrive at Logan International Airport at 11:30am from NC. Unfortunately, she missed her 9:30am flight due to traffic and had book another flight that would leave NC at 11:15am, but it wouldn't be direct. She would have to change planes at JFK in NY. She arrived in NY at 12:50pm and was to leave for Boston at 1:20pm, but her flight was delayed due to weather. Finally, after being on the tarmac for a 3 and 1/2 hours, they took the plane back to the terminal mainly because they needed to re-fuel. But, while they were there, they decided that they were not going to get the plane out that night, so they officially cancelled the flight. The airline charted a bus to take the passengers to Logan Airport. Aleta called and said they officially left JFK at 6:10pm and that the driver said it would be about 4.5 to 5 hours and that they would be stopping for a break, too. Our orginial plans were to go to the Red Sox/A's game that night at Fenway, so since Aleta wasn't going to be able to make it, we asked Dr. O'Bryan (who got into town Wed. afternoon) if he would like to come. So, we all headed to Fenway (with Ella, too!) and we decided that depending on when the game ended we would just take the T to the airport and pick Aleta up. We weren't expecting her any earlier than 11pm. Well, due to rain earlier in the day, the game was delayed 45 minutes and didn't start until 7:50pm. By the time the 8th inning came around, the Sox were losing 6-2 and we were getting bored (while Ella was getting tired). Our seats weren't very good either. It was really great to go to a REAL ballpark and watch baseball. It's a really old stadium, I believe it was built in 1912, so the ambience was great. But, I'm used to sitting behind home plate. We had seats in right field and it was really hard to tell what was going on in the infield. Anyway, we decided to leave and I just happened to check my cell phone to see what time it was. It was 10:38pm and I saw that I had voicemail. I figured it was Aleta checking in to tell us where she was. Well, her message said that it was 10:20pm and that she had just gotten to Logan! Holy Crap! I felt horrible. I did not want her to have to wait even more after what she'd been through that day. So, we left immediately and walked back to Dr. O'Bryan's hotel and took the T to the airport. We finally made it to the T station at the airport at 11:30pm. We didn't make it home until midnight and didn't get to bed until 1:30am. Sorry Aleta!

Fri. morning we met up with Dr. O'Bryan and his Seminole crew (they were up here for the FSU/BC game) at their hotel where they were eating breakfast. We were supposed to meet them at 10am to eat with them, but those freakin' morons who work on our house whenever they feel like it showed up at 9:15am as we were getting ready to leave! Anyway, after watching them eat, their group split up and Dr. O'Bryan and his wife, Ann, came with us to do some sight-seeing. We first went to a church in Back Bay that had been around since the late 1700's and had just finished a $50 million renovation. Unfortunately, the tour wasn't going on that day, but every Fri. at 12:15pm they have a organ concert (this church is known for it's organ and it's thousands of pipes). Apparently every Fri. different people from all over the world come to play this organ for 30 minutes. It ended up being a National Day of Prayer so we had a prayer for the victims of Hurricane Katrina before the concert began. While the concert was cool, I was ready to get out of there by the 3 song (there were 5 total). Afterwards, we walked to the Museum of Art and saw the Ansel Adams display. This guy is known for his black and white pictures. I'm not a big art person, but some of his photography was really neat. They looked like paintings with some of the effects that were in the pictures, but it was just different ways he took the pictures or different kind of film he used that made those effects. By the time we were finished with this part of the museum we were starving and Dr. O'Bryan and his wife were ready to head back to their hotel to rest before our big evening. So, they left and we headed to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch...YUM!! By, the time we got home we had 20 minutes to change and get ready to meet up with Dr. O'Bryan and his crew to go to The Blue Man Group show. And Aleta was gracious enough to babysit Ella for the night. Now, I had no idea what to expect, but I had heard that it was a great show with percussion and comedy. I won't give anything away, but if you happen to go (they're in Chicago, Boston, NY, Las Vegas, and Berlin) here's some advice: wear the ponchos that they provide for you! After the show, Dr. O'Bryan and his wife to us to a restaurant that they thought was Italian by it's name. It wasn't, but it was still delicious. It ended up being the most expensive dinner (per meal) we had ever had, but hey, we had a great time hanging out with them. But, by the time I was finished with my meal I was totally exhausted. I could've fallen asleep right there at the table. We got home at 11:30pm and learned that Ella had a rough night. She was overly tired from the past couple nights and was really fussy. And apparently that made Aleta think twice about having kids in the near future.
Saturday! Saturday! Saturday! ...we slept in. Today was the big football day and I was so excited for the UF/UT game that night. I woke up in time to watch College GameDay on ESPN and hear them pick UF over UT. WooHoo! By noon we left to go down to the Prudential Center to buy tickets for the Boston Duck Tour. We heard a lot of neat things about the tour and were very excited to go on it. Unfortunately, the tour was sold out until 5pm. The tour is approx. 80 minutes, so we figured that would give us enough time to make it to the store to get some dinner before the game and get back to fix it by 8pm. So, until 5pm, we ate at Chili's for lunch and shopped around Copley Place and the Prudential Center...well, I should say Aleta shopped. The Duck Tour finally came and unfortunately, I have to say it was overrated. Maybe it was because of our driver. He didn't seem interested on giving us the full history of things. He was more interested in being funny. So, we'll have to go on it again when we have more company visit. We were done with the tour at 6:10pm (a little early) and made it to Shaw's to pick up some steaks and potatoes. We got home around 7pm and were able to watch the end of the Miami game which had gone into OT. We were hoping they would lose, but they eeked out a W right at the last minute. Finally, the UF game started and I'm happy to say that we won and it was a strong outing, too! It was very nice to see us play well and to not have poor officiating lose the game for us like it did last year in TN. Well, we were all tired and went to bed shortly after the game was over. We had to wake up early the next morning to take Aleta to the airport.
VERY early Sun. morning we took Aleta to the airport for her 7am flight. I'm happy to say this flight was as smooth as it could be and she got home quickly. It sucked that her trip was so fast and we were so exhausted the whole time and the weather sucked so we weren't able to show her a lot of Boston. She'll just have to come back again! Well, we came back home and slept all day. We woke up briefly to check football scores and check on the race, but we mostly slept. Went to church at 7pm, wasn't much to write home about and came home and went to bed fairly late since we slept all day.
Since then, I can briefly say that I've been doing nothing. Just resting and chilling out at home. Oh wait, I almost forgot. We noticed Gator had a growth on his right, rear rump area and at first I thought it might be a histiocytoma which he had when he was younger and they're completely benign, but this seemed to be bothering him and the one he had previously did not bother him at all. So on Tues. we took him to the vet. and he didn't really think it was a histiocytoma although there was a slight chance it could be. He was concerned about the fact that it was bothering him as well and said that with him being 2 1/2 y.o. it's less likely to be a histiocytoma. So, yesterday I took him back and he had surgery to remove the mass and they sent it off to figure out what it is. So, we have to wait about 5 days to hear back from the vet. But, poor Gator. It was harder on him than I thought. He was pretty out of it for the rest of the day and he has a bald butt...he looks like one of those baboons with the bald butts. You could tell he didn't feel well. He looked so sad. He seems to be a little better this morning, but he's starting to lick at his sutures and I'm trying to make him stop because I don't want him to have to wear an e-collar!
Well, that's been my week...a whirlwind, I know. You'll be hearing from me this weekend. We'll be doing some more painting...or I should say, I'll be doing some more painting. And UF plays Kentucky this weekend. Another W for the Gators! I believe you'll be seeing us in the National Championship...I hope! It's Great to Be a Florida Gator!