Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ella's 1st Easter

Butterflies and bumblebees, 
Daffodils and budding trees. . . .
God is making all things new. . . .
We're so happy
He made you!


This is how God showed His love to us: He sent His only son into the world to give us life through Him.
1 John 4:9


Easter has always been a very special day for our family, and this year was even more meaningful having our sweet Ella Catherine join in the celebration! When Ella came into our lives, I felt as if God had given me the greatest gift of all. He has continued to bless our little family as we embark on our journey as a new family of three. It was a wonderful day, full of new beginnings and a celebration of life!



Ella's Easter started a few days early when Grandma Cathy came over with her first Easter basket. I knew she would love the eggs, and boy was I right. She dove right in and couldn't stop playing with all of her goodies. As you can imagine, we had eggs EVERYWHERE!



Easter morning, Ella woke up to her Easter basket from Jose and I. I just placed some eggs and a new cuddly giraffe inside. She has SO MANY toys, clothes, etc. so I wanted to  keep it super simple.


 I purchased her basket from Pottery Barn Kids, and I have a plan for the basket liner as the years progress. Each year, I'm going to have my Mom sew something related to Easter on the sides. There is plenty of room around her basket, so it looks like I'll be able to get at least 10 years out of this adorable basket. I think she's going to love it as she gets older. It's pretty darn adorable if you ask me!


After we spent some time together in the morning, we headed over to Jose's parents house for brunch.This basket was from Jose's family. She loves her new bunnies, and her Tia filled her basket with many adorable eggs for her to enjoy. As you can see, this little girl is loved by so many people. It's pretty amazing to see. 




Then, we headed over to my sister's house for a late lunch. My Mom was there, and we were able to enjoy some time outside in the beautiful sunshine. We also had an egg hunt with the boys. 


 Here she is with her Grandma Cathy.


She desperately wanted to join the boys for the egg hunt, but they were just too fast. It's going to be so fun next year when Ella is walking. I can't wait. Isn't the back of this dress precious?


Well, that's our Easter in a nutshell.I hope you all enjoyed your Easter as much as we did. It was a beautiful day. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

9 Months


Ella Catherine you are 9 Months Old!
(Well, she was on April 5th. I'm SUPER behind!)



This month has proved to be as exciting as ever. Our sweet girl is growing like a weed and has turned into little miss mobile. Ella had her 9 month check up on April 9th. Boy was I shocked when I heard her stats!
Here she is before we went inside. Poor thing had no idea what lied ahead.


Ella weighed in at 19 pounds and 8 ounces. This placed Ella in the 61% for weight.


Her head circumference was 44cm. This placed Ella in the 49%. Ready for the shocker? She was 30 inches long, placing her in the 91% for height! I swear she grew several inches in the last few weeks. 


After all of her measurements, our little be couldn't decide whether she was happy, sad, or mad. Check out her frowning face. I tend to make this exact face when I frown. It's pretty funny to see. 


 Happy?


 Shall I laugh or cry?


Thanks for my Nuk Mom. Know I'm a happy girl. Bring it on Doc!



Ella still LOVES her bath. Jose and Ella have the greatest time together each night. She is getting very adventurous with the water and is all over the place in the tub. Standing has been her favorite position lately. It freaks Mama out, out she has really good balance and blops herself right back down. 


 She loves splashing and even knows what it means. Jose says splash Ella and she immediately does it. It's so cute to see. 


She loves her ducky and gives her kisses all the time. She finally discovered that if she stands up using ducky, she can reach the faucet. This little girl is SO curious and loves exploring new things.


Ella has continued to be a wonderful eater. She loves to eat, and I have found that she is getting tired of baby food. I try to get a fruit and veggie pouch down for breakfast and lunch before she has her finger foods. She loves cheese, especially when I make her a grilled cheese or quesadilla. I haven't found a food she doesn't like. We feel so fortunate to have a good eater. I know how hard it can be when they're picky!!


Ella is very well behaved at restaurants, and loves to look around as she enjoys her lunch. On this particular day, we went to lunch with Grandma Cathy (she's in the background!) We love when we get a chance to have lunch together. I see many lunch dates in the coming months when school is out. I can't wait!


 Ella is a sippy cup pro. She loves straws and has no trouble slurping away. She still drinks 4/5 bottles a day, but she enjoys her water/juice in her cups. I purchased two different sizes and she is great with both. 


I mentioned above that she has turned into little miss mobile. What I should have said was little miss climber. Ella will rise to standing position on any surface she can, and has recently discovered climbing up onto things.  she raises her little legs and tries to push herself up. Luckily, everything in the house is child proofed so it prevents her from getting in to too much trouble. Jose had to place the second gate on the stairs downstairs. She has completely mastered climbing up the stairs and will go to them any chance she gets. We thought we better get it up before something horrible happened. It's so much better because now I'm not worried as she explores around downstairs. I know it's only a matter of time before she walks. Look out.


Ella has continued to learn many new things this month. We are so lucky to have my Mom come to the house on Wednesdays to watch Ella. Well, every Wednesday I come home, my Mom has taught Ella a new skill. It's pretty remarkable. She loves Patty Cake (Tortillitas para mama) and can't stop clapping her hands. My Mom also taught her peekaboo with her favorite blankey. She thinks it's the funniest thing. Thanks Mom! Ella loves spending time with her Grandma Catherine. 


I was a little concerned earlier in the month because Ella hadn't yet said any words. Well, a switch went off and she is chatting away. She says Papa, Dada, and Baba. I swear she says backpack too. It sounds just like it. When Dora's on I sing backpack, backpack, and she repeats me. Anytime I say it, she repeats it. If it isn't backpack, it sounds just like it! I'm still waiting for Mama, especially since she says Papa and Dada already. As you can imagine, Jose is one happy Papa/Dada. She really does love her Dada. 

I can also tell she recognizes TONS of words. Especially NO! She gets this little smile on her face when I say it. She actually listens pretty well and will stop what she is doing (for a few seconds anyway!) She also gets very vocal when she doesn't get her way. We'll have to see how this develops!

She has continued to sleep extremely well. She takes a morning and afternoon nap, both usually 1.5 - 2.0 hours and sleeps from about 7:30 p.m. until 5:45 a.m. I'd really love to get her to sleep in longer, but she is an earlier riser. I think this is how it is going to be for Ella. It least she wakes up happy and is ready to start her day.

Well, I think that's it. Sorry for the long post and overload of pics.  If you're still reading, here are some pics from our photo session. It was impossible to get a good shot. I finally gave up. She is ALL OVER THE PLACE. So, next month I think I may have to move her to the floor. Her rocking chair is getting way to dangerous. It's really hard to get mad and this sweet little face.








Mama and Dada love you so much Ella Catherine. Thank you for being the light of our lives. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm loving

SO many things right now. I thought maybe you'd like to see some of them!



Ella is in love with her new cups. My friend Kirsten recommended these for Ella and I'm so glad she did. Ella loves the straw and just slurps away. They are also completly spill proof. Gotta love that!



These Tommee Tippee bibs are fabulous. Ella makes such a mess while eating! Before these bibs I was cleaning the kitchen tile after every feeding. I usually place a cloth bib first(so it's soft on Ella's skin) then the bib. All the food she drops slides nicely into the food catcher. It's great. They even roll up nicely for on the go meals. I love this bib and recommend you run out and get one immediately.



These pierogies are delish! My mom use to make them all the time when I was younger, and I totally forgot about them until recently. I usually sprinkle a small amount of cheese and a dallop of sour cream on top before serving. It's a quick and easy meal and they are so yummy! Thay are definetly worth a try.



The new Pepsi NEXT is so good. It's only 60 calories and tastes just like the real thing. We now have Next and Max side by side in the fridge. When I crave a soda, this will be my new pick!



My sister Brooke has been using Clean and Clear for years, and I finally decided to try it! Brooklyn has a book where it tells you the BEST products to buy that work the same as professional types. Well, this stuff is amazing. I love it and and my skin does too. The yummy scent is an added bonus. Looks like I found a new favorite. Goodbye Neutrogena!



And lastly, Jose and I are addicted to Jeopardy. I even set the DVR for it each night. By the time Ella is down and I get dinner on the table(7:45), we can watch while eating, commercial free, and still finish up by 8:00. I love all the trivia, and also watching all of the contestants. Jose and I are our own little peanut gallery!

Well, that's about it. I know my list is a bit random. Needless to say, our lives have changed a bit since our little be (that's Ella's nickname) entered our family. . . .  and  I wouldn't chance a thing!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doheny

Every year around Easter time, my family (Thomsen side) gets together for a huge camping trip to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. My dad camped here as a young boy, My Mom and Dad brought Brooklyn and I here as babies, and my hope is to continue this wonderful family tradition with Ella for years to come.





This is me and my Gramps! Don't laugh at the RAD hair!

This year had a very different tone from years past. On Saturday, March 24th, my beautiful cousin Maria passed away. It was completly unexpected, and our entire family is mourning the loss of our beautiful Maria. Her presence was deeply missed, and I continue to pray for her husband Brian and my entire family as they deal with the loss and sorrow of losing Maria so unexpectedly.



Brian, Maria, Grams, and Gramps 2010


Chris, Frankie, Grams, Uncle Frank, Aunt Sue (Dad's Sis), Teresa, Ang, Maria, Gramps, and Renee 2010

I love and miss you so much cousin. God has gained a beautiful angel.


Jose, Ella, and I decided not to camp this year and to go down to the beach on Saturday and Sunday for the entire day. We were able to spend some time with my dad on Saturday before he headed up to San Luis to visit his sister. I always love seeing my dad, and I know Ella does too! We had a wonderful day catching up and enjoying my Dad's company. Our visits are NEVER long enough!



A morning stroll around the campsite.


Dad, Ella, and Jose


Gray, Ella, and Grandpa enjoying the waves!

Ella was such a good girl the entire weekend, although I think all the people trying to give her love and attention was a bit overwhelming. Not to mention she has started to have a little separation anxiety, and didn't really want to be separated from Mama or Dada. 

She loved the sand, and after putting an entire handful in her mouth, learned her lesson and didn't really attempt that again (although I tried to keep a Nuk in her mouth if we were IN or NEAR the sand!)






Jose, Ella, and I took a beautiful walk to the Dana Point Marina on Sunday and had some yummy fish and chips and shrimp tacos at the Marina. Ella was such a trooper the entire way and even enjoyed a few yummy french fries during lunch. (Don't worry, she had pears, apples, cheese, and some crackers too!)




After our walk, Ella had a chance to play with her cousins. They sure do love their cousin Ella!







Sunday is always the annual Thomsen Family Horseshoe Tournment and this year my cousins added a 5k run/walk for everone to participate in dedicated to Maria and her husband Brian. The kids even had a fun run! I know Maria would've loved to see this! Jose, Ella, and I couldn't get down as early as it started, but it sounded like a blast. I hope it continues to be part of our yearly tradition. It  now holds a very special meaning for our entire family.


The classy tournment trophy!


Gray and Garin after their run. Too cute! I love these two so much.

Well, I think that about sums up our weekend! I loved seeing all of my family, and spending some much needed time with my Dad, Sis, J, and the boys.

Until next year . . . . . . . . . . . .