Monday, January 28, 2013

18 Month Be Update

18 months! How did this happen? I cannot believe Ella is already a year and a half. It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming her into our family. She has changed so much since her first birthday and I cannot wait to share. Here's what our little be has been up to in the last 6 months.

Language: As of December 1st, Ella had only said about tens words. As you can imagine, this didn't settle very well with a paranoid, over thinker educator me. I thought she should for sure be saying more than that, right?! Well, come January, I swear she started saying a new word every day. This made Jose and I very happy. Not only because she was finally speaking more, but she is so darn cute saying them. As of today, Ella can say 25 words.

agua ~ water
ga ga ~ galleta in spanish means cookie/cracker
Gigi ~ Grandma
Titi ~ Ella's nanny Cori
tank oo ~ thank you
choo choo
pa pa
eese ~ please
ceese ~ cheese
poo poo

We are so proud of our little bilingual be. She can understand both English and Spanish commands and questions. This makes her Da extremely happy. Jose speaks Spanish most of the time, and I try to use all the Spanish I know. She also only hears Spanish when she is at her Abuelos house. I cannot wait to hear what word comes out of her mouth next!

On a side note. Ella has been struggling with several ear infections since late November. Four to be exact. We are headed to ENT, then Children's for her tube surgery. This makes me very sad and scared. Ella's pediatrician says she's at the perfect age and that she'll be in great hands. He is concerned she will have speech delays if we don't take care of it soon. Jose and I have also noticed when she has an infection, she is less vocal and speaks less. Please keep her in your prayers. We can't wait for this to be over!

Wearing: Ella wears 18 month shirts, skirts, and dresses, and 24 month jammies and pants. She wears a size 5/5.5 shoe and is quickly approaching a 6. We call her la patona(big feet) because they are so big! Overall, she is in the 55th percentile for both weight and height. She weights 23.5 pounds and is 33 inches tall. Ella was wearing a size 4 diaper until about 14 months, but began soaking through and they were leaving marks on her thighs which led me to believe they were too tight. So, we tried 5's and they fit perfectly! She has been wearing a size 5 diaper for several months now and I'm sure she'll remain in them until potty training begins this summer (if she's ready!).

Sleeping: Ella transitioned into one nap at about 15 months. She goes to sleep between 6:30 and 7:15, and will sleep until about 5:45(latest 6:15 if we're lucky!) She sleeps a consistent 11 hours each night. We've tried putting her down later, but she has always been early to bed and come 7:15, she is so ready. It also made no difference. She was still waking up early, so we just decided to keep things the same. It actually works out just fine, because 2 days a week we have to get her up by 5:45 so Jose can take her to his Mom and Dad's house on Monday and Gigi's on Tuesdays. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, she gets to watch Mama get ready for work and we are out of the house by 7:15. She goes down for her nap between 10:30 and 11:00. She sleeps anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours. Most days she takes a two hour nap. Ella has always been a wonderful sleeper since we transitioned her into her crib at about 5 months. We are so lucky. She has probably woken up only a handful on times in the middle of the night, and she goes right down for her nap. Does this mean our next one is going to be a nightmare? I sure hope not.

Eating: Ella is a wonderful eater. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, she eats anything I put on her plate. I try to have variety in her diet, but she likes what she likes and tends to favor certain foods. She LOVES cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, any type of fruit (especially berries), salad, beans, corn, pasta, hot dogs (nitrate free of course), avocado, crackers and.... oh who am I kidding? She eats anything and will try anything.

Favorite Toys and Activities: She loves her taxi coupe and trike. She would sit in them all day if she could. She loves to use her broom to help Mama clean. She feeds her babies and rocks them to sleep. She will sit and "play" her piano all the time. It's one of the cutest things I have ever seen. After she bangs plays, she looks at Jose and I with the biggest smile on her face. She also loves talking on her phones, reading books, and playing on the iPad. She loves putting on her shoes, my shoes, and Da da's shoes. One of Ella's absolute favorite things to do is swing in her swing outside. Jose pushes her for what seems like forever and she still wants more. Parks are her all time fav. She is definitely an outdoors girl. She loves to be on the go and try and do new things. She is very independent, but also loves playing with you. Jose is the greatest and they play hard together. I just love watching them together. Our playtime is a little different. I think we balance each other out. It's perfect!

Behavior: Well... we have definitely had some struggles the last several months. Ella has certainly begun to test us and throws huge fits if she does not get her way. Around 15 months, she started throwing full blown tantrums. Stomping feet and throwing herself to the ground kind of tantrums. It. was. hard. All of a sudden she stopped and the only thing I can attribute it too is her speaking more. She became less frustrated when she could tell or show us what she needed or wanted. Now, she rarely has a tantrum, but still definitely gets upset when things aren't going her way. We haven't started time outs just yet.

Jose and I had to come to an agreement about setting certain expectations that we would BOTH follow through on. We struggled in the beginning, but are getting much better. It's definitely a team effort. This has been our biggest challenge and we are learning as we go. Hopefully we're not causing too much damage!!

Things WE Cannot Get Enough Of:

There are so many things that Ella does that I just LOVE. It makes being a Mom the greatest gift in the world. Here are some of MY favorites.
  • She reaches for my hand when she needs me or wants to show me something. 
  • Putting her down for ni night is my favorite. We have our own special little routine that I just love. 
  • When she wakes up she yells Mama from her crib when she's ready to be picked up.
  • She also started saying Mama when she needs me or when she wants to tell or show me something. Before she would just say Mama for no reason. This is so much sweeter.
  • When she has a ouchy, she rubs it and shows me where to kiss it. 
  • When she hurts herself, she always wants Mama. I secretly love this!

I asked Jose for some of HIS favorites. Here are his exact words.
  • She sits on my lap as soon as she's done with her dinner. I get to share the rest of my dinner with her. I love that.
  • Ella takes me to special locations in the house for private time. (This is so sweet!)
  • Bath time.
  • rocking her like a baby when she drinks her jugo.
  • Playing on the playground, especially pushing her on the swing. 
  • Watching Cira(Barbie) together before bedtime. (I swear he said this! He even knows the lyrics to the songs and sings along.)

There are a million others, but I don't want to bore you.

So there you have it. The last 6 months! It's pretty amazing how quickly time is passing us by. pretty soon we'll have a 2 year old. Yikes!

To Our Sweet Ella Catherine, 

There are not enough words to tell you how much we love you. Our lives became complete when you came into our family. Thank you for teaching us so many invaluable lessons and for being the best little be we could ever ask for. 

Te amo mucho bella. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas(A little late!)

Christmas was so much fun this year! Ella really seemed to soak up every moment and loved all the trees, decorations, and especially the lights. I tried to illustrate our month as best as I could, but to be honest I spent a lot of time just enjoying the moments and soaking up all the sweetness our little be had to offer. Get ready for picture overload!

We purchased our tree the first week in December so we could enjoy it for the entire month. Ella loved helping her Da pick it out, and was very excited to help him get it ready to put inside the house. She loved helping us decorate it and absolutely loved when we turned on the lights each night. 

We also had the chance to make and decorate Christmas cookies with my mom, Ella's Gigi. She loved it! She helped with the mixing, cutting, and decorating, but I think her favorite part was eating them. Ella certainly loves her ga ga's (galleta is cookie in spanish). 

The Sunday before Christmas, Ella woke up with a horrible cold! She has had three ear infections this month(next one and she'll be getting tubes) and her poor little nose was running for two straight days. Please ignore the red face in the pics. Poor girl was miserable, although I think the presents were a great distraction. 

On Christmas Eve we had our traditional Christmas celebration at Jose's parent's house with his Mom, Dad, and sister Lourdes. We always have such a special time together eating tamales prepared by Jose's mom, frijoles, y arroz. After dinner, we opened way too many presents from Abuelita, Abuelo, y Tia. Ella is so spoiled and she loved every minute of it. 

Christmas morning we had a wonderful morning just the three of us opening presents, having breakfast, and enjoying our time together. SHE LOVED helping her Da put together her new bike, and we also had a chance to go on a nice walk before heading over to my Mom's. 

As you can imagine, Ella had even more presents to open, and couldn't wait to test them all out. My Mom made a beautiful Christmas dinner, and it was so nice to spend the evening with our family. 

This was such a special Christmas for so many reasons. I just love every aspect of Christmas, especially the meaning it holds. We are so blessed in so many ways, and felt so fortunate to spend this time with our loving families who support, love, and encourage us every day.

Love to you all, and I hope your holiday was as special as ours.