Monday, July 30, 2012

Beach Day!

Last Sunday, Jose, Ella, and I headed to our favorite spot in Carlsbad for a fun family beach day. It was a bit overcast (which was perfect for Ella), but we didn't let that stop us from having a fun filled day.

Ella loves the sand, and when I say LOVE, I mean she cannot get enough of it. I bought her a few new sand toys, but all she wanted to do was play with her bucket, water, sand, and rocks. It was so cute. We are still at the stage where she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. Does this ever end? She wanted to eat everything, including sand, seaweed, rocks, you name it. I can't wait for the "phase" to be over! Jose is awesome, and always keeps a very close eye on her. It takes both pairs for us to prevent anything from being swallowed. (One call to poison control is enough for the month.) Even though she eats everything in sight, I love that she loves the sand and dives right in. She never makes a fuss and always has the best time. Can't you tell?

Ella had a field day with my chair. Anytime I wasn't in it, which was NEVER, she was! This is Ella climbing up onto the chair, turning around, and facing forward. Such the little climber and so fast. 

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how much Ella loves the water. Well, the ocean is no exception. This girl would run right in if Mom or Dad was willing to go in with her. It wasn't freezing, but it was pretty cold. Too cold for a baby for sure. I was the photog, so here are a few pics of Ella with her Dada. She sure does love her da!

We are SO extremely lucky to live in a beautiful city, with tons of amazing beaches. We're even luckier because it only takes about 15 minutes to get there. It was the perfect day with my two loves. I see many more trips in the coming weeks before our summer comes to an end.

Until next time. . . . .

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Trip to Safari Park

Last week my Sis called and said she was headed to Safari Park with the boys and wanted to see if Ella and I would like to join them. Of course I jumped at the chance, and I'm SO glad I did. I was a little concerned because I'm such a stickler when it comes to Ella's napping schedule. But....I decided to let it go and we headed to the park as soon as it opened at 9:00. My Sis had some passes, so we all just walked right in. It was perfect! We had a wonderful day walking the park and visiting all of the animals. Ella loved observing all of the animals, especially the giraffes, lions, and gorillas. I think it was because she could really see them. We also ventured on the 25 minute tram ride and were able to see some animals up close. She was a bit restless, was vocalizing her loud screaming sounds (the lady in front of us was not pleased), and threw her Nuk overboard. It was a long 25 minutes, but we all really enjoyed it! Come 11:30, Ella was exhausted, so the boys visited some animals while Ella took a much needed snooze. She was such a trooper and had such an amazing time with her cousins. It was a great day. 

Here are a few pics from our exciting day. The love these two boys have for Ella is overwhelming. I love watching their strong bond develop. It really warms my heart. 
Here were some of Ella's favorite animals. We're just missing the elephants!

I'm so fornuate to have the summers off so I can have these memorable days with my family. It was a super fun day, and I can't wait to visit the park again! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A VERY Pink Polka Dot Day

When it came time to begin thinking about Ella's first birthday party, I had all kinds of ideas in my mind, although I knew I needed(and wanted) to keep things in perspective and not go overboard. I began collecting things for her party several months in advance. I knew I wanted to have a pink polka dot theme, so all I needed to do was gather things up! Etsy became my best friend in the process, and I found many things and ideas there to incorporate into her party. We had a wonderful day, celebrating the life of a beautiful, sweet, happy little girl.
Here are a few shots from our day!

This is the entry when you walk in to my Mom's house. I decided long ago that each year at her party, I would have the guests sign a book with a message or wish for Ella. My plan is to find books with Ella's name in the title, and I'm so lucky because there are tons! I know this will be a special momentum for her when she is older. I absolutely love this story, and we call our girl Ella Bella too! Although I believe this is Bella(name) and we say Bella(in spanish meaning beautiful!) It was a perfect match.

My friend Megs gave me these adorable letters to redecorate for Ella's theme. They are from Paper Source and I LOVE them.Thanks for the idea Megs!

I also placed some different flavored pink lollipops for the kids/guests to take home, as well as envelopes for guests to address for their Thank You cards. 

 We decided to serve Mexican food for lunch and we had way too much food. We had shredded beef and chicken, all the fixings you could imagine, 4 different types of salsas, rolled tacos, nachos, beans, and rice! It was Mexican fiesta overload, but I think everyone enjoyed it!

For dessert I found this really neat Bake Pop pan, so my Mom and I tried it out. They're like cake pops, but without the icing inside. They were really good, put very labor intensive to make. Especially when it came time to ice them. We also made cupcakes, and a cute little smash cake for Ella. (You can see both in the background I hope!) We are definitely not experts when it comes to baking, but I think they all turned out really nice. Jose's sister Lourdes also brought some Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes, so we had plenty of desserts too! As you can see, we like to eat!

 I made Ella a birthday banner of all her monthly photos! Everyone really enjoyed seeing how much she had changed month to month. I'm so glad I did this. I placed her year old pics on a table next to this with some balloons(not pictured!) You can see those pics in the below post! We also had

some pink birthday poms

and a fun pink polka dot birthday banner! 

 I wanted her chair to be special for the day, but as soon as I placed her in it, all she wanted to do was get out! She stayed in for about 5 seconds, and when it came time to sing happy birthday and do her smash cake, she about lost it. We tried to do presents too, and she wasn't having that either. I was super disappointed, but quickly got over it, and she enjoyed the rest of her day playing with her littles and swimming with Dada!

I tried to capture every detail of her party, but failed miserably! I even had my step brother Brandon take some photos for backup, and we still managed to miss things. I tried to have every possible thing pink. We had pink tubs for the drinks, I found some yummy pink adult cocktails, we had pink strawberry lemonade with pink polka dot straws, and I even placed pink polka dot guest napkins in the bathrooms for drying hands! How did I miss all that! Oh... I almost forgot. I even had pink polka dot pinwheels all over the backyard. Geesh, I really did screw up didn't I?

I think all that really matters is Ella had a wonderful party, celebrating with everyone she loves. So many family and friends came over to celebrate our special little girl. We are so lucky to have the support and love we have from our family and friends. It was the perfect day.

Happy Birthday to the cutest one year old I know! Mama and Da love you SO much.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ella is ONE!

 Happy First Birthday Ella Catherine!

It's so hard for Jose and I to believe that our sweet, little girl is ONE! This has been a year of so many new adventures for our family, and I have loved every minute watching our baby girl grow in to the "big" girl she is now. 

I was so lucky to have had my dearest friend Megs take a few photos of Ella for her birthday. As most of you know, this is pretty impossible with a one year old. Overall she did great, and Megs was able to get several cute pics. It did help having reinforcements to help. Thanks Jose, Dust, and Dono for keeping the smiles coming! Here's a few of my favorites. 

We spent her birthday, which was July 5th, spending time celebrating as a family. Jose took the day off work ( so sweet) and we spent the morning enjoying a birthday breakfast, some play time with new toys, and a nice morning nap. Ella's grandparents were very eager to see their girl, so we headed over to my Mom's for a quick visit before heading over to Jose's parents for a birthday celebration!

My Mom normally spends the summer at their home in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, but she won't be leaving until after Ella's birthday on the 7th, so she loves any chance she gets with her "little angel". Ella enjoyed opening a few presents from Grandma,  had a yummy cookie, and spent a little play time with Grams in the backyard. 

Then it was time to visit Abuelo y Abuela Garcia. Ella is their first grandchild and boy do they love and spoil her. I had no idea what we were walking in to when we arrived! Jose's parents had everything. Presents, balloons, and cake. The perfect birthday treat. 

Jose's Mom has been eagerly waiting for the right time to give Ella her first necklace and bracelet. Well, today was the day! It was so special, and they both fit her personality beautifully. I was surprised that once both pieces were on, she hardly noticed them at all.  They are just too cute!

After presents, it was cake time. I was a little sad because I wasn't anticipating this and I wanted her smash cake to be the very first cake she saw and ate. But, I went with the flow and I'm so glad I did. She LOVED it! It was so cute to see her reaction and how she slowly picked a few pieces, then picked the entire cake up with her hands and went to town. Unfortunately, we were too busy watching her, that we didn't really get any good pics. I did get a pic of the cake beforehand, and a adorable pic of Ella when I took the cake away! Isn't she the sweetest when things don't go her way?

After a fun filled afternoon, we headed home for her afternoon nap and an evening at home just the three of us.

 It was a wonderful day, celebrating the sweetest gift in the world.  We are so blessed to have you in our life. We love you more than you know. Happy Birthday Bella. 

(I'll post about her party and 12 month update tomorrow. Someone just woke up from a nap.)