Sunday, June 30, 2013

Loving Our SoCal Summer

Since I've been off of work for the summer, we have been keeping super busy. Here's what we've been up to! Many of these pics are from Instagram(@hollievon), but I added in a few others too.

Jose had a birthday June 13th, and Ella loved celebrating her Dada. They are just so sweet together. 

 Here's Ella helping her Da open his presents. He's wearing one of his new shirts and she was so excited about his new soap. Of course she had to cheers with Da. It was a great day celebrating a very special man.

We spend many days at the pool, and Ella is becoming fearless. I am so proud of her in the pool. I can only imagine how great she'll be by the end.

Here she is with one of her besties Brielle. I think she overwhelms her most of the time. Any chance she gets she'll go in for a hug. I just love her sweet heart.

I've mentioned it before, but Ella loves the iPad. A little too much I think. 

 I just love this sweet face!

We have also spent some of our days at Safari Park. Ella loves it there, and is getting so much better at recognizing the animals. It's so cute and sweet. And of course she finds the water wherever we go. This child loves to splash around any chance she gets!

My Mom and the boys came with us one day. Ella loved having her Gigi and cousins with her.

I try and sneak a pic with my girl whenever I can. 

Most mornings you will find us at the park! Ell absolutely loves the park, any park, and could spend hours there. It's even better when one of her buddies can join her.

And of course, what's a SoCal summer without the beach. We love the beach and she really loves the sand. Thankfully this year it's not going directly into her mouth.  I would go every day if I could.

Well, there you have it. I think we'll be spending most of our days just like this. I don't think it can get any better. Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Confessions and Needed Advice

So, I have a few confessions to make and was also hoping for some much needed advice. So here you have it!


Ella still drinks her milk from a bottle. You heard it right, from a bottle. I have tried to give her milk in her sippy cup so many times, but she will NOT have anything to do with it. I am really struggling with this because I know she should not still have a bottle for milk, but she will guzzle three, 9 ounce bottles a day in her bottle. In her cup, ZERO! I feel like I am depriving her of her milk and it makes me feel sad that she won't get it.

When I was at But Buy Baby today, I purchased Ella 6 more chupes. Why? I don't know. Just incase we happen to lose the 25+ chupes we have at home. What is my problem? Again, I am struggling with this because I know she feels so secure when she has one. I hate to take that away from her. She only gets it in the car and for sleep, so at least we are on the right track. I just don't feel ready to give it up yet! I need help.

Ella has become a super difficult eater as of late. I am doing what I said I would NEVER do, which is feed Ella pieces of food around the house, as well as let her graze on food throughout the day around the house. I hate that I do this. Not only does she make a mess and there are crumbs everywhere, but I am teaching her a super bad habit. She will eat it if I feed it to her, but sitting at the table lately has become a nightmare. Most nights for dinner, within seconds of me placing her plate down, she gives her all done sign and says, "all done, out"! But she WILL sit on Jose's lap and finish her plate. Why do we allow this?! Worst parents ever!

In an effort to help me feed her everything she needs, and to also give her more variety, I purchased this plate thinking it might help.

Just to get an idea of what I feed her for dinner, it is always what we are eating as well as added items. Last night I made a potato, broccoli, and chicken dish. She hardly touched her food and the only thing that was eaten was her fruit. I swear she would eat only fruit if she could. I'm struggling with what I should feed her, and if I should be worrying so much that she isn't eating tons. HELP ME!


Jose and I have been talking a lot about when we should begin to potty train Ella. She is showing a few major signs she's ready.

She is staying dry for long periods of time and during naps and nighttime sleep.

She tells me when she's gone poo poo or if she has a very wet diaper she says poo poo. She still doesn't say pee pee though!

She asks to go on the potty, but will just sit there and laugh. It's bad. During her bath she will ask to go poo poo and point to the potty like 5 times. I think she's just messing with us, and guess what? We fall for it every time!

So, with all of that being said, I feel like she is ready, but it's a little(lot) scary to think about starting. A few of my friends who have been through it had the most success when they followed a consistant model and stuck with it for several days. I feel like it you "kinda" potty train, it takes much longer for them to learn how to use the potty EVERY time. Did we already do this by letting her go on the potty some of the time? Is she confused?

I also feel like it's a perfect time to try because I am off for the summer and am home every day. My next break won't be until November for Thanksgiving, and that's only a week. What should we do? When did you start potty training?

I'd love any thoughts, ideas, suggestions! Thanks for listening. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Meet My Trendy Tot: Ella Catherine

I thought I would join in on the fun and link up to Trendy Tot Tuesday for the first time. I'm not to sure if my little Miss is "trendy", but I do think she's pretty darn cute. 

I'm a teacher, so Ella goes to childcare three days a week, and the other two days she is with her Grandparents. I usually don't send her with her nicer clothes because she is super active and she plays hard ALL day! I like her to be comfortable and have the ability to move around freely. Since I'm now off for the summer, it allows me to dress her up a bit more and she can finally wear some of her summer outfits. Here are a few of my favorite outfits from the last two weeks.

If you are visiting for the first time, you'll notice Ella never looks at the camera! This is a battle I NEVER win! I'm not one to give up, so every once in a while she'll look my way.

Ella and I found a great new spot called Java Mama (thanks Ash) where they have a coffee bar and play area for kids. It is amazing! We'll definitely be going back for more.

Bow: Polkadot Posies
Dress: Old Navy
Leggings: Carter's
Moccasins: Gracious May

Don't you worry, this isn't normal park attire. Megs and I were trying to get some cute Father's Day pics, so she was a bit dressed up. I just rolled with it and let her stay in her dress. She didn't mind one bit and it saved me having to wrestle her down for an outfit change! 

Bow: Polkadot Posies
Dress: Giggle Moon
Leggings: Ruffle Butts
Shoes(not pictured, but they are below): Saltwater Sandals(white)

Watering at Gigi's! Notice her little pose with her watering can. I'm in trouble!

Bow: Polkadot Posies
Tank: H&M
Shorts: Target
Shoes: Saltwater Sandals

Last Sunday, Ella went to her first Padre/Dodger game. My Mom and Cortie have season tickets with amazing seats, so we thought we'd give it a go. Let's just say it was an adventure. We won't be going back until little Miss can sit still for longer than 2 minutes!

Flower: (Can you guess?) Polkadot Posies
Shirt/Shorts: Crazy 8
Shoes: Saltwater Sandals

There you have it. I hate to admit this, but I love dressing her up more than I do myself. Girls are just too much fun!

Thanks for stopping by to see my sweet Ella Catherine.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Girl

Last week, Jose and I started talking about all the new and cute things Ella has been doing lately. I don't know if it's because I've been home, but she has all of a sudden started talking and saying SO many new words. It's pretty amazing how quickly it happened. So as you know, with talking, comes the cuteness. Here are a few things I NEVER want to forget. Thanks Be(Jose) for helping me add to the list!

She is OBSESSED with Minnie and Mickey. Whenever MMPH comes on, she introduces all the animals in the introduction and gets so excited to do the dance at the end. She pulls both Jose and I up so we can all dance. We love it!

She just recently started saying "READY, SET, GO", anytime she is running, sliding, swinging, etc. You can't really make out the READY, but she says SET..... GO...... so clearly. It's super cute!

Her Tia Lulu taught her to say cheers when she drinks, so now she wants to cheers with you for food or even when we're playing with toys. We can't get enough of this one!

I've mentioned before that my Mom takes Ella to Safari Park every Tuesday when she watches her. Well, because of this, she has become addicted to animals. She has many stuffed jirafas, and my Mom buys her new little animals each time they go. Every time she sees a large animal, she mays Moo Moo! Well, a few weeks ago, we noticed that instead of calling my Mom Gigi, she started calling her Moo Moo. It's so funny and cute. We FaceTimed with my Mom last week, and as soon as she saw her she said Moo Moo and ran to get her animals! My Mom probably doesn't think it is very funny, but it is so cute. She loves this time with her Gigi. 

When we ask her, "How old are you?" She says, "Two". This I LOVE!!

She is always saying Thank You or Gracias when we give her something. I love that she is learning her manners. Mom and Dad are very happy!

She loves telling Jose and I what is ours. She will point to our shoes, clothes, vehicles, etc. and tell us who it belongs to. She also always says, 'Mama, Dada, I(Ella)". I  LOVE that she calls herself I! She has said Ella many times, but she mostly says I. We think it's adorable.

When she's cold, she totally exaggerates and makes her entire body shake. I have to get it on video. It's so funny. We all crack up(I think that's why she does it!)

She is obsessed with the iDad(iPad!) For one she calls it the iDad, which is so hysterical. Secondly, she absolutely loves to play all her Spanish and English learning games, and she especially loves the Disneyland App. It's her go to, and she stays on it forever. I try to limit her time of course, but she does learn so much,and I find it so fascinating to watch her navigate through everything. She certainly knows her way around. Kinda scary, but also so amazing!

The thing we love the most about our girl is how incredibly happy she is all the time. Of course she has her moments, don't get me wrong, but she has such a big personality and is always laughing. I mean ALWAYS. I laugh a lot, so does Jose, so that may be where she gets it. It just brings so much joy in to our home. She truly is our whole world and we love her more than we could ever imagine. This picture says it all! Happy, happy girl.

I know there are about a million other things we love and I could go on forever. But I won't. We love you Ella Catherine and we love your BIG personality. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Dad

Father's Day is so special to me. Not only because I get to celebrate Jose, and the amazing Dad he is to Ella, but also my Dad, the greatest man I know.

All my life, my Dad has been there for me. Through EVERYTHING! When I've needed him, he's been there. And boy have there been times when I needed my Dad. 

My Dad has always been my constant supporter, encourager, rock, and strength. He is the man I can always lean on when I need someone. We have always been close, and I can truly say that he has molded me into the woman I am, and helped me know what kind of man I wanted to marry and have as a Father to my own children.

When I look at this picture, all the feelings I was felt come right back to me. It was such a special moment between my Dad and I. A moment I will cherish forever!

Thank you Dad, for all that you have given of yourself to be the most amazing father I could ever dream of. I miss you each day, feel blessed to call you my Dad, and I think of you all the time. You are my true hero, and I love you!

From Daddy's Little Princess

Once upon a time, a special, magic dream came true ~

And, Daddy, that's the day when you got me ~
and I got YOU!

Happy Father's Day
With Love!

Ella Be

And just for comparison, here is Be last year. What a difference a year makes!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Talented Beyond Words!

So, we have a super talented student teacher at our school who is also a fabulous artist! Tyler is amazing, and has an fabulous business called Shoe~Tattoo. 

Recently Ella has become obsessed with "innie", so I thought she would LOVE a pair of Minnie shoes. Now, I'm not a huge fan of Ella wearing characters( I probably need to get over that), but when Tyler asked me what Ella would like on her shoes, the first thing that popped into my mind was Minnie! After all, it's not about what I want on her shoes, but what she likes! I was blown away when Tyler brought them in for me, and Ella almost died when she saw them. She had the biggest smile on her face and she keeps saying, "Mama, shoes innie!" 

I haven't let her wear them yet(I don't want them to get ruined), but she'll be sporting them soon.

Thank you Tyler for these amazing shoes, and for making our sweet girl so happy! She is so lucky to have these custom shoes, just for her.

 Please check out all of his amazing work on Instagram. 

You can also contact him via email @

Talk about the perfect gift! I cannot wait to see what he does next.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Goodbye May... Hello Summer!

It is finally June and I could not be happier. I have one more week of work(school) and then it's just me and my sweet Be for 2 1/2 months! This coming week is going to be super busy, so I just know it's going to fly by.

May was such a busy month for us, so I thought I'd do a quick recap through pictures. Where should I begin? Here are some of our highlights(and one HORRIBLE lowlight!)

Ella helping Tia Lulu wash her coche.

Playing with her favorite buddy Dono!

Being appreciated all week during Teacher Appreciation! It was amazing.

Watching Ella's love for books grow stronger and stronger. I'm just waiting for her to let me read to her again. She only wants to read on her own!

Ella has been helping me a lot in the kitchen lately. I LOVE this time with her.

A night out with two of my favs! We had such a wonderful time chatting, laughing, and eating(way too much yummy Mexican food). Love you girls.

Our Saturday Morning routine. Ella's favorite place to be!

Memorial Day at my Mom and Cortie's house. 

We spent the day lounging by the pool. It was heaven, and Ella had a blast swimming ALL day. Can I just add how absolutely precious this pic is. She LOVES these two so much. My Sis set up the boys on the ground and Ella wanted to be right in the mix. So cute!

Then, this happened! A car stalled out in front of me( in 45 mph traffic), I stopped just it time, but poor guy behind me wasn't so lucky. Needless to say, it's been a complete headache and it could not have happened at a worse time. Good news is, Ella was not in the car with me( I was headed to get her), and I only muscle soreness in my neck, arm, and chest. I had a chest X-ray and EKG and everything looked just fine. Nothing my pain meds can't relieve. Thank GOD no one was hurt! 

Thank you Mom for taking me to the doctor. Even at my age, I still need my Mama!

The next day, my principal and I took our top 10 grade level readers to tour the USD campus(in a limo) and have lunch. It is one of my favorite things to do each year. The kids have so much fun, and it is so neat to see the hope in their eyes as they look around a college campus. It was a great day!

Ella's year with Titi and Brielle is coming to a close. These two LOVE each other so much. Ella says "Brielle" and "Titi" about a million times a day. Thursday is going to be a sad, sad, day!

Megs finally had Emmerson this week, so you can imagine how excited I was to get over and hold her! She is just perfect. So beautiful and so tiny. Megs is my absolute hero and I am so proud of her. I can't wait to spend many summer days with this little Miss, Megs, Dono, and Ella!

And Today, Ella had her first haircut! She did such an amazing job. The salon had little race cars for chairs, and a train that circled around the ceiling. She loved it!  

I have never cut her hair before, so you can imagine how badly it needed to be cut. She had about 1/2 inch taken off around her head and boy did it make a difference. So much better. 

As I look at these pics, I come to the sad realization that my sweet little girl is getting SO big. She is going to be TWO in july. How did this happen?!

Can't wait for this week to be over and for my summer to begin.