Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nineteen days of Christmas

I'm in the middle of nineteen days off of work.  That's right, NINETEEN.  I got really lucky with how my days in the office fell with Z's holidays.  I only had to use 3 vacation/personal days to get all of that time off.  If that wasn't enough to put me in a good mood, having a cute little Ellie around to experience the season is more than enough. This morning, we were thrilled to find out that it snowed a few inches overnight. 

We went sledding around the neighborhood (not sure why this won't rotate, sorry!)

After warming up, we made some cookies.  Ellie started her batch with water, paper, and a bag of m&ms.
She decided this wasn't very fun so she helped momma make big girl cookies.

And helped frost them too.

She put her heart and soul into the two cookies and even frosted both sides.  One cookie for Ellie and one cookie for Daddy

Monday, December 6, 2010

What, no Halloween Post?

I had the best of intentions to do a Halloween post this year.  I actually thought I wrote one awhile ago, but I must have been dreaming. On occasion, I've been known to incorporate dreams into my reality.

We had a great fall and Halloween.  Fall in Michigan, before it gets way too cold, is one of my favorite times each year, even though it is typically short lived. It must be the vivid fall colors combined with fresh cider and pumpkin spice donuts.  Thankfully we've had gorgeous fall weather this year with plenty of sunshine and a few MONTHS of warmish weather.  I was determined this year to get out and enjoy it more, especially now that there is pressure to create all these family memories =)

Awhile back Scott had the day off so we went to Fredrick Meijer Gardens.  We had a great time looking at the Chihuly exhibit and Ellie enjoyed running around and splashing in the mud at children's area  After playing, we went to Robinettes (my favorite place for cider and donuts) for lunch and a donut.  One donut turned into a dozen and we were on our way home. 

On Halloween weekend, we went back to Robinettes for... guess what? Another donut.  This also turned into a dozen donuts before we even pretended to try to stick with just one each.  We also went on a horse drawn hayride through the orchard.  Ellie loved it at first, but then got bored about halfway through. Thankfully I had a heavy supply of crackers with me so I could keep her happily occupied with eating.  I'm sure that is another great habit I'm teaching her.  She thought the horses were big dogs and enthusiastically barked at them for awhile. When we got close up at the end of the trip, she no longer had the larger than life attitude and shyly smiled at them.

I was also determined to carve pumpkins this year.  We went out the evening before Halloween to Meijer to scrounge for pumpkins, but surprisingly they had a great supply (and cheap too).  So after Ellie went to bed, we downloaded some stencils and cranked up the spooky music on pandora.  We came out with these beauties!

The next day was Halloween. Ellie was an adorable lady bug, I was Odie, and Odie was a squirrel, his arch nemesis. I think it showed a lot of maturity on Odie's behalf.  We went trick or treating at Gramas house, Alison's house, and then a few neighbors.  She didn't really enjoy it but hopefully she'll think the cute pictures were worth it some day!

Happy fall!  Snow is on the way!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You brush mine I'll brush yours

At 17 months Ellie is all kinds of cuteness.  This is what she's been up to:

  • Putting her teddy bears and baby in the highchair, feeding them cheerios while saying "nom nom" and teaching them the sign for "more"
  • Hugging and twirling her baby in the middle of the room and then falling over because she is too dizzy
  • Bringing me her coat and shoes and saying "buy bye" - wants to get out of the house more!
  • Showing people where their nose, eyes, and ears are located.  She also knows head, mouth, tongue, chin, knees, and toes
  • Enthusiastically answering questions with head shakes and nods, though sometimes she doesn't pick the right one.  She absolutely knows the answer to "do you want to eat?"  Um -YES!!
  • Playing in the sandbox at daycare. She throws a fit when it is time to go inside.
  • Throwing fits in general. Mostly when I pick her up or when I don't pick her up.
  • Switching her toys to the Spanish settings. Screaming when we change them to English.
  • Playing hide and seek and peekaboo around the hallway corner and island. She loves to be chased.
  • Brushing her teeth and brushing ours.
  • Calling random numbers on the phone and screaming "HI!" and jabbering.
  • Singing La da da.

Some of her favorites words these days: Melmo (elmo), wow, hot, nose, ears, eyes, poop, baby, bye bye, hi, no-no, woof, moooooooooooom

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It takes a village to go on vacation

Scott and I returned from Couples Negril aka Paradise celebrating our 5 year anniversary and my 29.9 birthday, along with Christmas, Valentine's Day, Scott's Bday, etc for the next few years.  It was AMAZING. 

First, It was not easy to go on vacation.  I knew we would have a hard time leaving her, but we did not anticipate the other challenges.  We booked the hotel back in April and waited until a few months ago to book the flight when it looked like we had a babysitter for the whole time.  As the trip approached, the poo hit the fan.  Scott came down with SHINGLES two weeks before the trip and we weren't sure if he was going to feel better or if his seeping wounds would heel on time.  We were also worried Ellie might come down with chicken pox from exposure to him.  Then we each got the stomach flu. Then Ellie had a cold (like always) and we weren't sure if it was going to develop into something worse. Then with two days left until the trip, we were scrambling to find another back-up sitter for part of the time. I thought I was going to have a panic attack. It was also busy getting the house ready for our guests/sitters.  We weren't completely babyproofed yet, so we had to finish that along with fixing some other quirky things that we are used to with the house but didn't want other people to deal with (like locks not working properly unless you give it the secret handshake).  I also had to write the Ellie instruction manual with illustrations which took a considerable amount of time.  And then I made meals for Ellie and our house guests and froze them.  Then for some reason I made 10 lbs of homemade applesauce because that is what I do, I've stopped trying to figure me out.  I'm not complaining, I am SOOO thankful for all of our family and friends who helped us out (special shout out to Kristin, Chip, Ryan, Joy, and my parents) it is just wayyy harder to leave than it used to be. By far.

Just when we thought it was safe, we ALMOST missed our flight from GR to Atlanta.  They were paging us while were in security.  And then the security people stopped Scott for his cpap machine.  I cried.  But we made it. Glorious Couples!

When we booked our trip, we knew it had to be Couples Resorts. We went to one of their properties (Ocho Rios) for our honeymoon and no other trip has been close to meeting the high bar this wonderful company set. After much debate, we decided to try a different Couples location and hit up Negril known for its amazing beaches and sunsets.  We were not disappointed in the least.  I think Couples Tower Isle had slightly better food, but I still gained 8 lbs in 5 days, so it obviously was still delicious! It was incredibly relaxing.  We purposefully did not plan to do much but eat, drink, read, and relax in the sun.  We met all of our goals!  What really sets the resort apart is the amazing staff.  The service is unbeatable.  The weather was also gorgeous.  This was one area we really lucked out.  There was a tropical storm before we arrived, and then another one hit a few days after we left.  We had a little rain each day, and a little more rain on Sunday, but overall it was beautiful.  It was a little cloudy, so we didn't get to see too many sunsets but we didn't stress about it. We never have more than a few hours of downtown and even then I feel like I should be doing something, so it was such a gift to not have anything to do and to spend the quality time together. We also LOVED the hammocks. More on that later.  Here is a rundown:

Day 1 Friday: Arrival.  We relaxed.  Ate garlic lobster for dinner. Friday is lobster night!
Awesome Beach!!

Lounge chairs are plentiful
Our Room
Thank you for the mini bar - we love it!

Dinner with the hubster

Hammock! So relaxing!

Day 2: Saturday: Relaxed. Went snorkeling, relaxed, ate in the fine dining restaurant
We look good

Pool with an ocean view

So happy!

So relaxed!


Day 3: Sunday - Went snorkeling, relaxed, ate, drank, lots of rain from 1 pm - through the evening. No problem mon

A little rain. Irie.
Day 4:  Monday - Relaxed. Had repeaters dinner - so yummy! Lobster salad, shrimp cocktail, surf and turf dinner. Had great chats with other repeating guests - especially the Brits!

Day 5: Tuesday - Birthday! Had a massage in the morning, then went on a sunset catameran cruise in the evening. Had dinner at the Thai restaurant again.

Sunset Cruise

Thank you for the amazing birthday
Caves we swam at during the cruise


Day 6: Woke up really early to sit on the beach and burn the imagery into my memory. After sitting in the hut for an hour, we floated in the ocean for about an hour and then ate breakfast, walked around, and waited for the bus to take us home.
Me in the hut
View from the hut

So hard to say goodbye

Waiting for Bus

Our flight was delayed in atlanta and we didn't get home until 3 am.  So worth it!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I don't mean to brag

But we have the cutest little lady in the world.  Check these out:

Playing with leaves

Such a pretty coat!

and a pretty girl

Whoz #1??

Playing at FM Garden's Children's Park

Close up of pumkin

Ellie had her 15 month appointment yesterday.  The doctor said she is very smart! I type this as I pull an electric cord from the laptop out of her mouth. She is also on her way to top model. 31 3/4" and 25 lbs.  85% for height and 45% for weight.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Poor Dad and Ellie.. and Mom!

This is the kind of week that should end with a blendy drink or nice glass of wine. Or maybe both. On Monday, Scott was complaining of pain.  He had some weird marks on his stomach, so I urged him to go to the doctor. Thankfully he listened, because the doc said he has SHINGLES!  Thats right, my old man husband who is falling apart has shingles.  So grandpa is out of commission to help with Ellie.  Ellie was scheduled to get her chicken pox vaccine next week so I marveled at the crazy timing.  I called her pediatrician first thing in the morning and they let me take her in early to get the vaccine.  Hopefully it will keep her from getting it, but I'm still keeping her away from grandpa for awhile.  So I'm singlemommying it for awhile - no big deal except this morning my wake up call is Ellie and she and her crib are covered with puke.  The chunky kind too.  So off goes the bedding and clothes and mattress pad and blanket and stuffed bunny and in goes Ellie into the bathwater.  After everyone is cleaned up, I try to give Ellie some water and toast.  Out goes the barfy again. We change outfits a second time and I skip the bath - had to make sure it was all out for awhile.  I decided Scott had slept long enough and woke him up for moral support. About an hour later, it comes out the other end.  The diaper was not enough to contain everything, so hopefully outfit number 3 will last at least a few hours.  The end!

-At the time of this writing, outfit number 3 is still holding strong and Ellie is on her second nap of the day!

Breaking free

Up until last weekend, Scott and I have not had an overnight stay away from Ellie. Thanks to Grandma Mars, we were able to get away for the evening. I would be lying if I said I was 100% ready or excited to go. I was getting pretty anxious the entire week leading up to the departure, but once we dropped off, it was wonderful.

We had an uneventful drive through Detroit on the way to the Milner hotel. My typical paranoid personality researched bedbugs before we left and I was ready to inspect. I investigated and everything seemed clear. The hotel was actually nicer than I expected, but definately old. The two block walk from the stadium is totally worth it. After settling in, we had pizza with our friends Dan and Beth who were also at the game. Thanks for letting us crash your anniversary dinner!

The game was fun but cold. In the first inning the twins scored 5 runs, so I was bracing for a cold, long, boring game. The tigers came back to win, but it took 14 innings. 4.5 hours! I didn't really feel the time as it was so nice to be at a game again!

The game began with a few beers. Yum!

And ended with a few cocoas. Yum!

Fireworks after the game (still at the stadium)

I slept like a baby and didn't wake up until after 9:00. We grabbed some continental fare at the hotel and hit the road. We briefly stopped at 12 oaks mall on the way home but focused most of our time at the outlet mall near Howell. We went completely overboard buying clothes for Ellie and ran out of time to look for much for ourselves. She'll be amazingly dressed this season.

What a great time away. I think we need to do this more often, maybe some place more tropical next time? ;-)