It was time for the mullet to go

This girl no longer has a mullet.
It's a good thing.
I was so nervous to have her hair cut for the first time, I have no idea why!
I brought all sorts of snacks with me to keep her occupied and hopefully sit still.
The hairdresser was super quick and started cutting before I even noticed, trying to get it done before Ella knew what was happening.
But by the end, Ella decided that she was done with sitting still and I had her pinned on her stomach across my lap as the hairdresser leaned over and snipped the final hairs.
And here is the before and after:

My Mom Lets Me Drive the Car

Well guys, I have decided that I have officially graduated from a baby to a toddler.
This is evidenced by the fact that my mom dressed me in pants today instead of shorts and I can say the word "ball" and I carry a ball around with me at all times so that I can hold it up and say "ball" to every single person that walks by (although I threw it at a trash can when we were in the parking lot so now I don't have it anymore because my mom didn't want to get it).
AND as you may have noticed, I am driving a car.
With two steering wheels.

So this definitely means that I am grown up.
Usually I have to sit in the basket in the front of the grocery cart where my mom can hold down my legs so I won't wiggle out.
But this time I got to ride in the car.
But my mom says she won't let me do it again until I am older because I was a little bit crazy in the car.

I stood up backwards in the car.
And I took off my shoe and threw it out of the car for my mom to have to go searching for later.
And I kept turning around and yelling at my mom what she should buy, "I want the strawberry ice cream and the cake flavored pop tarts with the sprinkles that uncle Ethan let me taste."
She said "Um, no."
And I yelled at passers-by, "Hey! Stay in your own lane! Hurry it along, people! Don't you dare take that last box of oatmeal! It is MINE!"
And good thing this car has a bottom, otherwise I would have fallen through lots of times.
 And then when my mom got me out at the end she realized that the car had seat belts and she said that we are using them next time.

Love, Ella

Balls, Christmas time, checking the mail and a few first wobbly steps

We spent Thanksgiving with Adam's family and it was wonderful and delicious!
It included...
Checking the mail in style.

Traipsing Target (multiple times, as you may have noticed by the fact that this little girl is wearing two different outfits in these pictures which means we went there at least twice in one weekend but we kind of love Target) and lots of other stores and finding some perfect Christmas gifts for hard-to-shop-for people.
I love that feeling of finding a good gift for someone that you had no idea what to get for them, I love the anticipation of them opening it and seeing what their reaction is.
 And now with Ella, I am dying for Christmas day to see what she will think of her gifts, I am so tempted to pull them out early but I'm resisting as hard as I can!
But in the end it's the wrapping paper and boxes she's going to like the most anyway.
Saying "bah" (ball) repeatedly.
That is most definitely Ella's favorite word right now, she says "bah" when she sees anything that even slightly looks like a ball and she can be content for so long by just having a ball in her hand, although once she realizes that it can bounce it turns into a game where you are chasing balls down aisles and she is laughing.
And she barks like a dog whenever she sees anything that even slightly resembles a dog (like stuffed animals).

 Taking baths to scrub off grime that Ella collects everyday off the floor and throwing clothes out of baskets and drawers (which I actually totally encourage her to do because there are very few organizational activities that she will take the time to sit still and do and this is one that she will do, so I keep throwing all sorts of stuff into that bottom drawer for her to keep pulling out for as long as possible).
The weekend also involved putting up the Christmas tree (Ella was an excellent help, as I'm sure you can imagine).
 And I just think that car/truck/train sweater is so awesome!

And, of course, I managed to get zero pictures from Thanksgiving day with all it's endless dishes of yumminess, but I do have a picture of us eating out several days after Thanksgiving when we decided that we had had our fill of turkey.
And I don't have any pictures but Ella took her first couple of wobbly steps, thanks to the persuasion of her Grammy and Aunt Maddy-- it was so exciting!
But she kind of seems to hate walking, even though I'm pretty sure she'd be a walking champ if she wanted to be, because we kind of have to trick her into walking.
If she knows what we are up to she pulls up her knees and refuses to put her feet on the ground.
Oh well, she'll do it when she's ready.
And in the meantime she'll just have really cold legs since I keep putting her in shorts to avoid her rubbing holes in her pants (although it's really not very cold here yet so it's okay).

Yellow Fall Leaves and a Few Books

Our library sells their old books for 25 cents a piece so we always make sure to check the book sale each time we pass through the library to see if there are any good ones to buy.
This last time we found 7 books with beautiful illustrations for a total of $1.75.
I love building a library of beautiful children's books.
After the library we took a walk in the fall leaves and played in the grass.
Adam's family just got into town last night and we've started baking the pies for tomorrow.
This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, in a graham cracker crust.
And I'm going to experiment and try this lemon sour cream pie recipe, also in a graham cracker crust.
There will also be raspberry cream cheese pie and a dutch apple pie and blueberry pie with a brown sugar topping and several cream pies.
And I'm thinking of trying this recipe for the rolls from OurBestBites.
And in case you need a taste of Thanksgiving tonight, we had these pumpkin milkshakes last night and we died it was so good!
Happy wonderful Thanksgiving!

A Three Person Date

We went on a three person date on Saturday.
We pulled on our sweat pants, picked up some Coldstone ice cream (strawberry ice cream with berries and graham crackers for Adam and a pumpkin shake with graham crackers for me) and then went to McDonald's so that Ella could play in the playplace.
I haven't been excited to go to the McDonald's playplace since I was eight years old but we were so excited to take Ella, little kid places are fun again!
She loved the slide and kept climbing up and down it with a huge grin on her face.
It was a fun little date!

And on a final note, if you need a good treat, we made these Peanut Butter Cup S'mores bars on Sunday night and loved them!

A 12-Month-Old Life

I have a new favorite age.
I love having a 1-year-old so much!
I find myself thinking that we need to have more kids so that we can go through this 1-year-old phase again because I can't get enough of it!

We found a big Christmas present for this little girl.
A friend of ours has this bear and every time Ella sees it she goes insane with happiness, tackling it and burring her face in it's stomach while squealing and rolling all over it and laughing.
So, obviously, we had to get it for Christmas.
Plus, it was only $30 at Costco, which I decided is a steal.
I've noticed her increasingly having conversations with her stuffed lion and when I get her up from her naps I find her cuddled up with Gerard the Giraffe, sucking on his mane, so stuffed animals are a hit right now.

Oh my gosh, those eyes peeking out just under her hat!
I pulled her trike out the other day and as soon as she saw it she was all smiles and racing towards it as fast as her chubby knees would take her, ready to go on a walk.
Speaking of knees, check out those knee pads to protect her jeggings from being worn through.
They are cut up socks but sadly, they didn't work because they just rolled up below her knees.
Maybe I should try doubling up adult socks instead.

We have been grocery shopping with only one shoe on recently.

And been trying to wean off of bottles, but that girl pretty much hates her sippy cup and will only drink out of it when she's super thirsty.
Plus, she manages to somehow spill the contents of her sippy cup over everything (which is why she has soaked pink shorts three pictures down).

And I still find every excuse to make things for her.
I made her a bunch of bows to pin in her hair and a flower belt.

I love that places like toy stores and playgrounds that we used to never stop at before Ella was born have now become favorite places.
Adam and I love going up and down the aisles with her, pushing all the buttons on the toys that make noises and move and showing her what all the toys do and she thinks it is the greatest thing in the world!
She cried when we left the toy store the other day.

 And played legos for a long time.

Ella and I sometimes wander random stores just to have something to do, she likes people-watching.

Ella is so curious about the world.
She occupies herself for so long just re-exploring the house and her toys each day.
And I'm positive that she must have an imaginary world because she is ALWAYS talking to imaginary people and they obviously think she is hilarious because she is always laughing after everything she says.
And my favorite is when I put her down to sleep and I start singing You Are My Sunshine and she immediately looks me straight in the eye and just jabbers at me, as if she is telling me the most important thing in the world and she needs to tell me now before I put her to bed. 
She just keeps talking away as I lay her down and leave the room.
Remember how she sleeps in our closet?
We can hear her playing with all the hangers that are hanging within arms reach and it is not rare to find all of my skirts pulled off their hangers and in her bed with her (so then they smell like her poopy diapers-- awesome).
We can hear her talking and singing to herself instead of taking naps sometimes.
And she bounces her bum to music all the time and kicks those little feet to the beat.
She likes to do things she knows she's not supposed to, just to see how I will react and if I'll come chasing after her (she loves being chased).