Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ella Catherine at 2.5 Years Old

How is it possible that we have a two and a half year old? I feel like I just gave birth to this sweet little bundle, and now I have a full blown little girl in front of me. Every day I am blown away by this peanut. She continues to learn and grow each day, and I am amazed at how quickly time is passing by. Here's what Ella is up to as of late!

Ella is a talking machine! She can now repeat anything we say(YIKES), and is speaking in complete thoughts and sentences. It has been so neat to watch. Jose is still trying his best to speak Spanish whenever he can, but I find myself  having to remind him often. It's hard for him to switch his brain into Spanish mode. She's so funny and will either say new words in Spanish or English. She understand all Spanish conversation and commands, but has elected to speak in English most of the time. Hopefully with time she'll get more and more comfortable speaking Spanish! I've noticed she definitely still speaks more at home, but is slowly becoming more oral when we are out and about. I can't get enough of her sweet little voice, and I am enjoying every chance I get to have conversations with Ell. It's so fun!

Ella wears size 2T shirts, dresses, and jammies, but 3T for pants. She is long, and needs the extra length. She's still in a size 7 shoe. It's funny, she had such big feet little, and now they haven't grown in months. She weights exactly 30 pounds, and her height is 37.5". She will sport a bow or hat any day of the week, but still refuses to wear a headband. This makes Mama very sad. Especially because I have SO many cute ones! Hopefully one day she'll change her mind!

Ella is an amazing sleeper and still takes one great nap a day, and sleeps through the night, every night. She is up now around 6/6:30, goes down for a nap around 12/12:30 and will nap for 2 hours. She will then go down for bed between 7 and 7:30. We are very, very lucky in the sleep department!

Eating is about the same. She's not a big eater, and still loves fruit(especially oranges and berries) and meat. She's not big on cheese, unless it's in a quesadilla! She'll eat veggies, and will try anything, but she just doesn't eat too much. It worried me at first, but now I know she'll eat when she needs to and if she's hungry. She drinks about 18 ounces of milk a day, and loves her juice, especially apple and cranberry. We always buy the Motts 40% less sugar juice and I mix it with water. It's perfect and she doesn't even know!

Yikes, where do I begin. The past few months have been so fun. Ell knows her ABC's and loves any app on her iPad that is associated with them. She would listen to the letter songs on repeat all day if she could, and sings right along. She can count to 13, but often skips 3 and 4. It's so funny. Her vocabulary is incredible, and her memory too. She can recount events like it's nobody business, which is so fun to listen to. She knows her colors and shapes too. As a teacher, watching her development has been fascinating. I cannot believe how much she learns each day. It's pretty remarkable. I can only imagine what it will be like when she goes to school. I can't wait!  

Favorite Toys and Activities( I'm going to list these!)

  • She still loves the park and any outdoor activity. We are always out and about and she loves being active. We love it too.
  • Ell loves to swim and we recently signed up for some swim lessons to get ready for summer. I want her safe and without her Puddle Jumper by July! We'll see how it goes. 
  • She's really into imaginative play. Being a doctor, going to the supermarket, and playing in her kitchen are a few of her favs.
  • She also loves to organize things(I wonder where she gets that!) She's always finding containers and placing certain objects inside. It's really cute. 
  • She loves her Dada's tools. As soon as he gets home she asks for them. He loves it, and they have a blast "fixing" things around the house. 
  • Ell loves trains and cars still. I love that she isn't too obsessed with girlie toys and will play with others too. Cori's son Mason has tons of Army toys, and she will sit there for hours playing with him. We now have a very strong looking Army man, helicopters, and a tank at home. I love it!!
  • She loves her scooter, and is really into skateboards too. This past week when I picked her up from Titi's, she had on the boys gloves, helmet, and was carrying their skateboard. She just watches the boys in awe when they skate. Cori and I love it, and any time she's ready to try, I'm all for it. 

Favorite Shows and Movies( I'm going to list these too!)

  • On Disney Junior her favorite is Mickey Mouse still, but she also loves Henry Hugglemonster and the new show Sheriff Callie's Wild West. There's a character Ella, and she loves hearing her name. SO cute! She also loves Special Agent Oso, and Little Einsteins. 
  • She still loves Tink and Toy Story, but recently became addicted to The Fox and the Hound. It was on about a month ago, and she requests in daily. It's so fun to watch with her, and see her excitement. She talks through the whole movie, and is so involved in the story. It's so amazing to see. I especially love the cuddle time before bed!

Ella is such a happy, sweet girl. She really is SO easy. She laughs constantly, and always has a smile on her sweet little face. The only time she gets upset is when she REALLY wants something she can't have, or when she wants to do something she isn't allowed to. Most of the time when we tell her no, she obeys and understands why, but there are those times when she doesn't want to take no for an answer. The only time she goes in timeout, which is about twice a week, is for throwing things in the house. We're pretty lucky!

Challenges: ( I'll list these too!)
  • In October, Ella began getting several bladder infections back to back. She was in pain with both, which was super sad for Jose and I. This concerned the doctor, so they decided to order an ultrasound to check her kidneys and bladder. I guess it's pretty standard if you have two or more back to back infections, but I was still a nervous wreck. She did beautifully, and I was so proud how she just laid there and followed directions from the tech. It took about 45 minutes to complete, and she was such a trooper throughout. Ell's pediatrician called the next day, and said that her kidneys looked great, but they found debris in her bladder and referred us to a urologist. What does debris in the bladder mean? Well, it means that she isn't completely emptying her bladder when urinating, which when continuously done, leaves debris, thus leading to infection. So, as you can imagine, this brought on some major issues with her going to the bathroom in the potty. She began going in her undies and was now assosiating going potty on the toilet with pain.  So, after three solid months of NO diapers, we had to put them back on. We were so bummed, and still are. She's had two more infections since, and I'm so worried about her complete fear of the potty now. When she does go on the potty, she says, "Mama I'm scared. Hold you." Which makes me so sad. We're going to try again during Spring Break, and if that doesn't go well, we'll try as soon as I get off of work for the summer. She'll be going to preschool next school year, and they require all students to me potty trained. We're hoping all goes well when we try again. Please pray that it does!
  • We are also having some major issues with Ell running into the street! Yes, you heard that right! It completely freaks me out! She's ran into the street twice, and if cars were to be coming either time she would've been hit! I completely freaked both times, and ran into the middle of the road as if my life depended on it. The problem is, we live in a townhouse, where when we get out of the car, she can easily go into the street. Jose and Ell constantly play outside our front door, and they run around our parking area all the time! We believe she is just getting confused with her direction, and looses track of where the street is. So, we've stopped playing out front, and hold her hand whenever we walk to the car. We've also taught her to freeze, and she doing a really good job. It also probably helped that I was crying hysterically both times, and completely scared her the second time. She just runs so fast I wasn't able to catch her. Obviously the second time she went straight into time out, and had a severe talking to. She wasn't happy, but we think it helped. Hoping it stops for good very soon.

I'm sure I've missed something, but that's it for now!

Our Dearest Ella Catherine,

     You continue to amaze your Dada and I each passing day. Your laughter and smile brighten each day, and we are in awe of how much joy and light you bring to our lives. We are so proud of you, and your continuous love for life and learning new things brings us so much happiness. We would be lost without Be. We love you!

                                                                     Te amo Be Be,
                                                                              Mama and Dada

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Magical Christmas

I don't even know where to begin. If I had to sum up our Christmas this year in one word, it would be MAGICAL. Ella loved EVERY SINGLE THING about Christmas this year. I can't believe what a difference a year makes. Jose and I loved watching every precious moment through her eyes, and I often times found myself just sitting back and soaking it all in. 

Here are some of my favorite moments.

Finding Our Perfect Christmas Tree

Ella was not in the best mood on this particular day, but once we picked out our tree and got it up inside, she was in love! She was such a good girl and helped decorate it with both lights and ornaments. She did struggle a bit with NOT touching the ornaments once they were up, but overall she did amazingly. Since I was little we have always gotten a Douglas Fur, but this year we decided on a Nobel Fur, and I was so happy with our choice. It was so fragrant and pretty. And it lived for almost the entire month!  

Gingerbread Houses with Titi

Ell became slightly obsessed with her little house, and insisted on carrying it everywhere. It finally expired a few days later. It's funny, she wouldn't even eat it. I would ask her for a piece, and she would say, No Mama. Can't eat. It was so cute!

Decorating Ell's Room

I always love to put up a few things in her room to make it festive. She loves it too. This year I found some really cute ornaments at Pottery Barn Kids. They fit perfectly on her hutch. I added a few other things too, but not all are pictured. She had a few reindeer on her dresser, and a very cute sign on her shelf, I just had a really hard time photographing it.

Christmas Art

I always love to do a few projects with Ell. These four were our favs!

Christmas Lights

Every morning I took Ell to Cori's(Titi), she would point out all the decorations and lights. She just loved it! So, one night we decided to cruise our surrounding neighborhoods and see some lights. This particular house has put on an incredible display for over 20 years. It's pretty neat! She was in heaven, and so were we!!

Christmas Eve Eve Eve

My Dad and Deb came in to town this year, so we decided to celebrate Christmas a few days early with my Mom and Cortie. We had a lovely day, and it felt just like Christmas. I've realized that it doesn't really matter what day you celebrate it on, as long as you are enjoying it with family.  That's all that really matters. Ell loves her cousins deeply, and had the best time running around with them all day. It was so sweet.

                                  Jose and I                                        Ella making snow(grass)angels
                             The cookie monster                          Jose celebrating a Chargers WIN!

  Me and my girl!

Ella LOVED the nativity this year. I was so thrilled. She would carry baby jesus around and give him kisses all day. My set at home is extremely fragile, and was the nativity I had when I was growing up, so…... she had to be very gentle. Well, let's just say one lamb had surgery, and a wise man nearly lost a body part. So, my Mom found the cutest set on Amazon for her to play with. I loved teaching her the true meaning of Christmas through books and the nativity this year, and I'm sure each year will get better! SO glad Gray joined in on the fun.

Present Time!

Best present ever from Gigi and Cortie. A car!

Ella and her cousin Everett. They were so cute together.

Christmas Eve

We spend Christmas Eve each year with Jose's family. We always look forward to it, especially because Irene makes the yummiest tamales ever!! Jose took Ella up early so I could do some last minute shopping, and she had a great time helping her Tia make cookies. Once I got there, it was dinner and present time! We had a lovely evening, and Ella is beyond spoiled by her Abuela, Abuelo, and Tia!

A girl can never have too many shoes!

That night, Jose and I got to work setting up the rest of Ella gifts, and I had some last minute wrapping to do. We were busy little elves! Here is a peak into our living room as I was walking up the stairs around midnight. I was so excited for Ella to see it all the next morning I could hardly sleep!

Christmas Morning

This video is the cutest to Jose and I. Her little head coming down the stairs just warms my heart. Love this sweet girl so much. Sorry for my annoying voice, I was excited!!

Christmas Morn from Holly Garcia on Vimeo.

This cracks me up because as soon as she opens it and sees Toy Story, she says, TOY STORY, TOY STORY!" In her sweetest, quietest voice she finally says tatoe head. Again, my voice!

Toy Story from Holly Garcia on Vimeo.

Christmas Afternoon

My Dad and Deb came over around 11:00, and it was so nice to have some time to catch up and visit. Later in the afternoon, we headed to the park for a few hours with B and the boys, and had a beautiful family dinner once we returned. The kids were all dying to open their presents, and Ella got her favorite Toy Story characters from her Papa Doug and Deb. She was in heaven(and still is!) The perfect gift for our girl.

My Dad and Deb stayed until the 27th, so we were able to spend some time together the next day. My Dad and I headed to our favorite lake in the morning, and Ella had a great time with her Papa Doug playing and feeding the ducks. It was a beautiful day! 

Being off these past few weeks from work have been amazing, and truly eye opening. I have realized that time is going by so quickly, and I want to be present in all moments with my girl. As we begin a new year, that is my goal and promise to both Jose and Ell. To be present. I am looking forward to our new year ahead, and cannot wait to see what lies ahead. 

Happy New Year my sweet friends and family! 2014 is going to be an amazing year! 

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Card Fun

When it came time to start thinking about taking a cute pic of Ella for our Christmas card, I immediately began to panic! We all know our track record when it comes to Ella and pictures. Well, let's just say things turned out exactly how I imagined. It was awful!! Here's a peak into our delightful photo session. I mean you just have to laugh, don't you?! 

This is reality my friends. The day in the life of a 2.5 year old. 

This was the first pic I snapped! You can tell already things are off to a GREAT start!

Very red eyes from crying. Cori and I decided to try and bribe her with a sucker. Well…. just one wasn't cutting it, and she wanted the whole bag. As you can imagine, she threw a complete fit when we tried to take it away. 

"I just want to play football with Mason Mom!"

"What do you mean you want the suckers back? No way Mom!"

Let's just say it went down hill from there. This one is my favorite! 

 Or maybe this one?

 Ok, getting a little better!


 Time to pout!

Oh wait, there's a smile. 

 Too blurry!

 Well, let's try some chocolate now. But wait! Now her mouth is full.

  Tried a new location, but it was back to hysterics!

So sad(but kinda funny too!)

Let's take a break!

And we have ourselves a keeper. It's the best I could do folks! Yes I know her jacket is a bit blurry, and her hair bow is totally awkward, but I knew it wasn't getting any better than this! 
It actually turned out super cute on our card. Good job be. We did it!

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