The Past 12 Months with the Baby of Cuteness



That first picture starts with Ella at one week old and then after that there is one picture for every month.
I love how you can see her gradually becoming more interactive.
It starts off with her slowly becoming more aware of the world and her environment and then she's waving at the ceiling and soon smiling at the camera and then staring out the window and then trying to escape the chair.
This last big picture is her at 12 months.
She was kind of upset with me for making her sit still so there was no chance that she was going to smile.
It's funny because when I place her on that chair it's like she knows that she's supposed to stay there and even though she is fully capable of crawling off it she'll stay on the chair and just throw a fit to let me know that she's mad that I'm making her be still but she doesn't try to get off.
After about two minutes she'll finally realize that no one is actually physically holding her down and then she'll crawl away with a mischievous grin on her face.

This Tea Pot I secretly Wanted and Finally Got

I was hosting a tea party last week and I decided that that was the perfect excuse to get the tea pot I had always secretly wanted.
I searched all over town for the tea pot that I had in mind, but I couldn't find one I liked.
So I decided to paint my own.
 Adam watched Ella on his day off and I went to a pottery shop and was there from 10:30am-5:30pm painting a tea pot and I loved it!
It reminded me of going to art classes at BYU, I tied on my art apron, all covered in paint, and plugged my ipod in and started feeling through all the brushes to find the ones I liked best and I chose out all the colors I wanted, it was wonderful!
And I just painted away.
When I got home, Ella was nakey and had never been dressed for the day and I found pictures like this on Adam's phone that he had taken during the day, although he didn't show them to me, his brother, Ethan, who had been with them for the day showed them to me:

Nothing like having a day with your dad and uncle!

A Little Celebration for a Little Girl

Ella's birthday is today!
She is one sweet little year old.
Last night we had a small party with Adam's brothers and Adam's brother's wonderful girlfriend, Heidi.
Next year I think we'll have a full-on party because I think she'll love it.
But at this age I knew she wouldn't really care that much about a party so I decided to keep it small and just do things I knew she would enjoy.
I had been plotting in my imagination for a long time now how I wanted her birthday to go.
One thing I imagined was that her cake would look like this pin I found on Pinterest:
Beautiful, right?
I made some white cake from scratch and some raspberry frosting because that girl loves her raspberries.
Unfortunately, when you add lots of raspberry sauce to buttercream frosting it gets really heavy and sloppy and doesn't really frost a cake too well.
It looks something like this:

Yeah.
Fail.
Big time.
I mean, that thing looks like a pink hair ball explosion.
I don't even know.
I didn't even try to finish frosting the big cake because that frosting was out of control.
Luckily, it tasted better than it looked.
Ella liked it.

And then there were presents to be opened.

The one thing I knew she would like was a 3-in-1 trike, which her Grammy and Pa Jones got for her.
But after that, she really has very little interest in toys and I didn't want to spend money on something she would never play with.
So instead, for her birthday I got her a ton of wonderful children's books that I love.
As you may recall, she doesn't care for books very much right now, but I'm hoping that one day she will and when she does I want our home to be filled with books that have the most wonderful illustrations so that those beautiful pictures can be a part of her everyday life.
I had way too much fun selecting my favorite children's books.
And I can hardly wait for the day when I can read them to Ella!
So although she probably won't play with her birthday presents now, I hope she'll love them one day.


We also blew up some balloons and put them in a box and she loved playing with those because what kid doesn't like balloons?
None.

Then we took a walk with Ella's new trike and she was in heaven!
She loved that thing.
I can't wait for her to figure out that it's a tricycle that she can pedal.
 Here's her uncles Seth and Ethan on our little walk.


And now a video of the day:

It includes her digging her fingers in some cake and me opening her presents for her and all of us playing games at the end of the day while listening to Christmas music.

Today we are finishing off the celebration by going swimming at a place that we hear is really fun.
Happy October 29th!

Lulu


I saw this video about a little girl and her doll while I was pregnant with Ella and ever since then I have wanted to make a doll just like that for Ella.
I started making it when I was still pregnant, making my own pattern in imitation of that doll, but I got frustrated when I got some of the proportions wrong and then I had Ella and had no time to keep working on it, so I set it aside.
This week I was pulling out some fabric for another project and I came across the unfinished doll and decided that it was time to finish it.
I finished her up and made her a dress, out of an old skirt of mine, to match her red lipstick and now I can't stop looking at her, I'm so proud of how she turned out!
Adam and I call her Lulu Doll. 
I'm going to wrap her up and give her to Ella for Christmas.
I'm not sure if Ella is going to be a girl who likes dolls because right now she doesn't even have the patience to sit still for any of her toys, she just wants to be on the go.
But if she doesn't like Lulu maybe she'll have a sibling who will.

Adventures of a Little Wonky-Toothed Girl

Yesterday I turned around to find that Ella is smart enough to open a York peppermint patty wrapper and consume the entire contents inside the wrapper and then spit them all out on her shirt.
I guess she doesn't like peppermint patties after all.
I had put a bag of Halloween candy (that we had gotten for the trick-or-treaters but we've totally already eaten more than half the bag, which I secretly knew would happen and that is why I got a bag of candies I knew we would like) on the ground, thinking that Ella would like the sound of the wrappers or the candies inside their little boxes, not thinking that she would be capable of opening them.
Wrong.
After the peppermint patty, she found some rolos and had no problem biting through the wrapper to get to the chocolate inside and didn't seem to mind eating the candy and the wrapper all together.

Then we trashed the book shelves, threw all of Ella's shoes on the ground and sang some songs and attempted to read some books (but Ella still only likes one book in this entire world, Brown Bear Brown Bear and she refuses to listen to me read any others. 
Too bad I'm getting her a ton of books for her birthday, but I'll talk about that on another post).

Then I got a picture of her that totally reminded of me of when I was a baby so I had to post it for you.
If you couldn't tell, I'm the one on the left with the crazy random hand floating by my head (it was scanned in from a scrapbook, okay?) and I'm wearing the white dress that I put Ella in all the time.
Several people mentioned from my blast in the past post that I look like Ella, which I thought was so funny because I hadn't even posted any of the pictures that I thought had me looking most like her.
Ella and I seem to both be suffering from a problem with our bangs just not wanting to grow so the hair from the middle of our head comes forward to make it look like we have normal length bangs, but we really don't.

Then Ella astounded us all with her piano playing while dancing skills.
I love how she kicks her legs and bounces her bum to the music.



She then proceeded to climb the stairs for the 5 bajillionth time in her life and seemed to find it just as fun as the first time she climbed them.
She also found some hairs on the stairs to suck on.
Awesome.

Ella rarely finds much interest in her toys, her favorite thing to do with them is pull them out and throw them on the ground to hear the sorts of noises they make as they clatter to the ground.
Sometimes she does this shirtless.

The day was finished off by going to her dada's intramural championship soccer game, (which they won(!!!), so there's another intramural t-shirt to add to Adam's closet).
Ella crawled around in the grass until her fingers were too cold to even hold onto a cheerio and then we left, singing to the King's Singers, Les Mis and Louis Armstrong at the top of our lungs all the way home.

The End.

Myrtlewood

I just finished this illustration for Laura of Sew Chic Patterns.
I really liked the herringbone fabric she asked me to draw the dress in.
I am still just amazed that she designs these gorgeous dresses and can create a pattern, based on her design, to make the dress.
I love working for her and getting to illustrate her gorgeous designs.
This dress is called Myrtlewood and if you want to purchase the pattern to make this dress, you can find it here.

Black dress refashion


Alrighty, here's another closet refashion.
This is a dress I bought at Plato's Closet for $6 (I cannot even tell you how much I love Plato's Closet, I just think it is the greatest place ever). 
I don't really have a very good "before" picture to show you, the best I have is the one below that I took when I was pregnant with Ella, but you can't really see how baggy the dress was on me.
It fit me at the top, but then it went straight out from there and wasn't at all fitted in the waist or hips, which looked fine from the front, but from the sides it just looked like I was wearing a bag and ultimately just made me look bigger than I was.
It also was too short when I first bought it and Adam's wonderful Nana was so nice and helped me add fabric to the bottom when I first got it over a year ago.
But even though it was now the right length, I still didn't wear it very often because it didn't look very flattering on me.
So I turned the dress inside-out and put it on and marked with chalk how far I wanted it to come in on the sides and then sewed on those lines and now I have a fitted black dress.
I can wear it as it is (seen below on the far right) or sometimes I pull on a flowy black skirt (also from Plato's closet and so is the belt) that happens to be the exact same shade of black as the dress and that kind of switches up the bottom a bit and makes it have a slightly different look (seen below in the middle).


What Ella's knees look like at the end of church and some other scenes from the past few days

This is how Ella's legs look after church each week.
That is from her crawling all over the church building for three hours.
And then add some graham cracker crumbs to her chin and the picture is complete.

Sometimes I forget how funny Ella is until we are at church and I see her do her usual crazy antics 
(like spinning around in endless circles on the floor and shaking her bum and kicking her legs to the music and the way she bear-crawls when she has a dress on because she gets all tangled in her dress when she crawls normally, and her other noises and expressions and cheese grins) and I realize how much everyone around us is laughing.
Sometimes Ella crawls off and I can't see her but I can tell where she is in the aisle by watching the peoples backs and seeing who is laughing, if they're laughing then Ella is right in front of them doing something crazy.

 
When we go to the library, this little one likes to pull movies down and bang them against the metal shelves.

I came into the kitchen the other morning and found this scene:





And we carved pumpkins with some friends this weekend and caught this little clip, but of course, once you turn on the camera they don't laugh as hard as they did before you turned it on, but it still cracks me up.
And then it all comes to an abrupt end when Ella realizes that she has some keys in her hand.

We go on walks





Now that it's finally cooled down enough to not shrivel up and die every time you walk outside, Ella and I have been going on walks in the morning and we love it!
I grab a fruit smoothie and Ella grabs her bottle and we head out and Ella yells at the cars passing by and barks at the dumb dog across the street that is always yapping his head off and charms every single jogger that passes us with her smile.
Every once in a while, Ella glances back at me to make sure that she hasn't been kidnapped by someone who is not her momma and when she sees it's me she gives me the biggest cheeser grin and it melts my heart because it means she's happy that she's with me.
I love knowing that I have special place in her little world, that she needs me and feels safe when I am near by, it makes it all so worth it!
Sometimes Adam and I will hold her and have a family kiss, where we try to kiss her and each other all at the same time and Ella laughs so hard, she loves it, she loves that we both have our arms around her and each other and how we just grin at her like crazy and smother her in love and attention.
It's like she loves being part of our family and that makes me so happy because I love our family too! 

Pig-tails at last!

We are proud to announce that Ella can now do the pig-tail thing.
This is a wonderful and happy accomplishment.
None of the hair at the top or sides of her head can reach the pig-tails, but the cute mullet in the back is the perfect length to be pulled up into rubber bands.
 I just can't decide if I should trim the back of her hair so that the sides can grow out to the same length as the back so that she won't have a mullet, or if I should leave the mullet for purposes of pulling up into pig-tails.
I didn't used to have to wonder about things like that when she had hair like this:


Ella and I have ladies/kids play group each week and this week we had a picnic in the park.
Ella was more than twice the age of any other baby there and seeing all those cute babies makes me realize how much she's grown up.
All the other babies happily laid next to their moms on the blankets, just looking around with big curious eyes and Ella was off crawling all over the playground and finding opened mayo packets on the playground to suck on and already chewed-on apple slices to stick in her mouth.
I was talking to another lady and happened to glance down and find Ella with an entire half slice of pumpkin pie stuffed in her mouth that she had found on my plate and her other hand was reaching for my roll.
By the end of the picnic, Ella was covered in dirt and mayo and pie and all the other kids were covered in spit-up at the worst and I realized that we most definitely have entered the making-messes-like-crazy phase of life.
It should be fun!

From the weekend


We went to a trampoline arena over the weekend and it was the perfect match for Ella's endless energy.
She played with balls and climbed up the sides of the trampolines on the walls and bounced all over the place.
It's funny how much more attune you are to things that are covered in germs when you have a baby.
I couldn't scrub Ella down enough that night when we were bathing her, trying to get all the germs she may have picked up at the arena off.
She also danced with Uncle Seth and climbed rocks this weekend.

It's fun to see how smart her little brain is, like how before I put her to bed I say a prayer with her and at the end of the prayer she says "nigh nigh" because she knows that saying a prayer means it's time for bed.
And how when I pull a shirt over her head she immediately stops what she is doing to raise one arm and then the other so that I can put her arms through the sleeves.
And how when she hears a dog barking she barks back at it.
And how she tries so hard to repeat the words that I just said to her.
I can practically see the wheels turning in her head.

Also, I've been thinking about her nicknames and how I want to remember them so here's a few of the things we call her:

Wonky-tooth girl
Blue-eyed wonder
Little Wonder
Miss Elle (from her Grandpa Curtis)
Ella Bella
and the Spanish pronunciation of Ella (Ay-uh)