Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Visit With Grandpa Doug

On Tuesday, my Dad came for a visit for a few days. I always love when my Dad comes home, especially since Ella was born. My Dad moved to beautiful Park City, Utah about 14 years ago. I hate that he is so far away, and hope that one day they (my Dad and my step mom Deb) decide to live in their Dana Point home a few months out of the year when they both retire! I would love to have them both closer and to be able to spend more time with them.

Growing up, my dad played such a huge role in my life. I could always count on him and he was always there for me when I needed him. My Dad is such a special part of my life and it's such a joy when he comes home. Here are a few pics of our time together.

I love you so much Dad and I can't wait until our next visit. I miss you every day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

We Believe!

Last Christmas when I was pregnant with Ella, I always thought about what an exciting time it would be when Ella was finally with us. I knew she'd be about 6 months old, and I imagined her sitting up tearing open her presents, playing contently with all of her toys, and joining us at the table for Christmas Dinner in her high chair. It's funny, during the chaos of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I remembered these thoughts and laughed to myself as I was looking at our sweet girl enjoying all of these things. I couldn't help but get teary eyed thinking about this beautiful gift Jose and I have been given.

Growing up, Christmas was such a special time for our family, and I want to keep these same traditions with Ella. My Mom and Dad always made it so special and we never forgot the true meaning of this special day.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with your family, loved ones, and friends. Jose, Ella, and I had a magical day. We feel like we got the greatest present of all when Ella Catherine joined our family. We couldn't ask for anything more.

Christmas Eve at Abuelo y Abuela's Casa!

(Please don't mind the heavy panting in the background. It's our Bulldog, Mischa!)

I know next year is going to be even better!

Friday, December 16, 2011

5 Months

Ella Catherine was 5 months old on December 5th! Yes, I know, I'm SUPER late getting her monthly pics posted. But they are so worth the wait, and I have so much to tell you all about her monthly progress.

For starters, Ella hit 2 milestones this month. She can now roll over (back to stomach) and sit up on her own. It's the cutest thing Jose and I have seen. She still needs some assistance on certain surfaces with the sitting up, but for the most part she does an awesome job. She ALWAYS wants to be in the sitting position!

She also LOVES playing in her jumper. She'll spend at least 45 minutes just jumping and playing with her toys. It really wears her out. We have an active girl on our hands. 

Ella has also started eating solids. It's so fun. We've tried rice cereal, apple sauce, peas, and prunes. I'm trying to introduce something every 3-5 days. I was a little late getting started because I wanted the go ahead from Ella's pediatrician. I feed her rice ceral every night with something mixed in. She loves he apple sauce and prunes, but hated the peas. Watch and see. (Don't mind my bitchy comment at the end to Jose! It must have been a long day. It's pretty comicial.)


Ella also celebrated Thanksgiving this month. Her first big holiday and it happens to be one of my favorite. Ella loved spending time with her family and was an angel all day. Next year she'll get to enjoy some of the yummy food and desserts. It will be so exciting.

Let's see what else. Oh, she is still our happy, silly girl in the morning. Ella wakes up so extremly happy and ready to start her day. I just love it. She giggles and smiles while I get ready for work. She's usually up by 5:45, so she's use to seeing me get ready each day. I  love spending this time with her before I head to work. She's been sleeping GREAT! Still one L O N G nap in the morning, and a few short naps in the afternoon. She is sleeping through the night, except for the rare occasions when she wakes up for her Nuk or for a feeding. I've been trying not to feed her during the night because I know she can make it through. We've come a long way since last month in the sleep department. Mama's so happy.

Ella had a Dr's appt. mid month and she weighed 15 pounds and was 25.5 inches long. She's growing up so fast. I never knew I could love someone so much. Being a Mom has changed me forever. It's the greatest feeling in the world.

And lastly, it's time for her "Can you tell the difference?" shots!! Taking Ella's picture was super challenging this month. Ella wanted to squirm all around her rocking chair, kept puttting her hands in her mouth, and was drooling like crazy. I have a feeling it's only going to get harder. See you next month!

Friday, November 25, 2011

So thankful for . . . . .


 Jose and I were blessed with the greatest gift of all when Ella Catherine came into our lives. I love her more than I ever thought I could love anyone. She is the light of my life and I know it's only going to get better.

THE GREATEST FAMILY AND FRIENDS who encourage, love, and support me everyday.

MY WONDERFULLY REWARDING JOB where I get to make a difference in so many children lives.


Brain cancer has nothing on my brother (in law) Justin. I am in awe of his strength, determination, and courage as he continues to fight this ugly disease. This is one battle he is definetly going to win! I love you so much and I am so inspired by you.


I'm not always the easiest person to live with, especially with the sleep deprivation of late, and Jose always stands by my side. I love him more and more. I am so grateful to have him in my life. 

 Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

4 Months

It's hard for Jose and I to believe that our sweet girl is already 4 months. She is growing up so fast and we fall more in love with her everyday.

Last month I mentioned that we really needed to work on sleep. Well, it has continued to be a struggle. Here's a break down.

Ella is an excellent napper in the morning and will go down for about 2 hours. The rest of the day is hit or miss. She'll go down for another nap in the afternoon and it only lasts 45 min. to an hour. She'll also take a nap around 5:00 because she is SO exhausted from the day. This nap only lasts for about 30 min. I'm hoping the morning and afternoon naps start to fall into place. Mom could really use a nap on Saturday afternoon too!

Ella is just like her Mom and loves routines! Jose and I have a nightly routine that we've stuck to since she was about 2 months. ( I blogged about it previously) She gets her bottle around 6:30, bath around 7:00, book around 7:15, and is ready for bed by 7:30. She goes down pretty easily in her crib and only wakes a few times for her Nuk. Here's where it gets tricky. Ella will usually wake up again anywhere between 12:30 and 2:00 for a 4 oz. feeding. Most nights she'll go right back down, but this month she's had a few nights where she can't settle down and cries for a few hours. She's also had SEVERAL nights where she is waking every 2 hours. The only thing that soothes her back to sleep is her Nuk. This means I'm up again to place it back in her mouth. Once down, Ella will sleep until about 4:00. This is where I need help. She will not go back down unless. . . . . . . you guessed it, she's in bed with us. And not just in bed, but so close to me that I cannot move or fall back asleep. So, needless to say, we are still working out Ella's sleeping habits and hoping that this coming month is better. Momma really needs a good nights rest!

So, other than our sleep issues, Ella is the happiest baby ever. She laughs and smiles all the time. She is also getting stronger every day. I'm anxiously waiting for her to roll over, but I think she has a ways to go. She still loves her tongue and will put anything in her mouth she can get a handle on. Ella loves to be sitting up and facing the action. Her Bumbo really comes in handy for that. I think she's really close to sitting up on her own. It's pretty amazing how strong she is. We have her 4 month check up and shots in a few weeks, so I'll keep you posted on her weight and height then.

Here are a few photos from our monthly session. Enjoy!

Looking forward to this month! I have a feeling it's going to be full of surprises!

Our Little Ladybug!

Well, I know I'm super late getting these pics posted, but it's been a crazy week! When it came time to think about Halloween costumes, my friend Kirtsten mentioned she purchased a really cute Carter's costume for her daughter Madeline at Costco. So, off to Costco I went. Unfortunately we had no luck. So, I called Kirsten and she purchased one for me. All the way in Montana! I had my mind set on the ladybug and boy did Ella look cute! She wasn't great when it came time for pictures, but we did manage to snap a few. Hope you enjoy them.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I love. . . . .

the weekends! 4:00 on Friday cannot come fast enough. Here are a few snap shots of Jose, Ella, and I. Jose and I are LOVING every single minute with our sweet girl. We are truly blessed.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Picking. . . . .

Today was the perfect day for a visit to the pumpkin patch. Jose, Ella, and I headed up to Ramona to meet my Mom and newphews Garin and Grayson. I'll let the pictures do the talking!!