Ella's cute little life lately (as recorded in a zillion and half pictures)

 Ella's favorite position in the grocery cart:
Where she usually ends up sitting by the end of the grocery trip:
Because she does things like tear apart lettuce leaves when she is in the main part of the cart:
Although, her absolute favorite thing to do at the grocery store is help me push the cart.
I put her down on the ground and she puts her little hand on the back of the cart and we very slowly make our way through the entire grocery store like that, occasionally she switches hands, but she never tires of pushing.
This has led me to discover one of the best ways to entertain that girl at the park is to place her and the stroller in the middle of a large grassy field and let her push it for as far as she can go.
This honestly keeps her happy for 20+ minutes, that is phenomenal to have her entertained by one activity for that long!

Also, I love her face.
She is such a happy girl!
She is always excited about something and on a constant adventure.
"Places to be, people to see" is this girl's motto, always on the move.
The one exception to that rule is when Dancing With The Stars is on, then Ella will sit down next to me on the couch and watch when the dances are on.
I think we need to get this girl enrolled in a dance class when she's a little older.
She likes to dance in her carseat to the music playing in the car, waving her arms in the air and bobbing her head.

 Bedtime routine goes like this:
Ella says "Nigh nigh"and waves her hand to let us know she is tired and then we change her diaper, put on PJs and she brushes her little teeth all by herself and then Dadda gets to brush them (while Momma sings and makes crazy noises in the background to keep her entertained and not throwing a fit) and then Ella gets to brush them again.
She loves brushing her teeth, she just sucks all the toothpaste off.
When we say "time to brush your teeth" she opens her mouth wide and says "Ahh."
Then we say, "Time for a prayer," and that little girl folds her arms while we pray and then sometimes when the prayer is over she keeps her arms folded and says her own version of a prayer.
And then we get "Baby" Gerard and say "nigh nigh" to everyone and blow kisses.
And then we sing You Are My Sunshine (her favorite is when both Momma and Dadda sing it together  and not just one person) and then we lay her in bed, she cuddles up in the very far corner of her bed, with Gerard held right in front of her mouth with one hand and the other hand's thumb stuck in her mouth and we close the door.
She likes to sleep the short way in her bed, all scrunched up.
Sometimes we hear her talk and giggle to Gerard for a little bit after we say goodnight but sometimes she just goes straight to sleep.
I love that sleep time is not a traumatizing time, it's calming and she eagerly tells us when she's ready for it.
Let's hope sleep-training goes just as smoothly with Baby Boy.
She still sleeps from 7pm-10am (and sometimes longer). 
This is a girl who needs her sleep.
Although we've recently cut down from two 2 hour naps a day to one 2 hour nap.

Little Girl does not like being fed the same foods over and over again so this has forced me to be creative.
Thank goodness for ideas on Pinterest.

Whenever Ella is getting upset at being in the store for too long, find a mirror and place her in front of it.
This will buy you at least 2 minutes of time to grab things you need on the aisles near the mirror.
Or go to the toy aisle to keep her happy.
I have a really hard time making decisions, but Ella won't let me stand still in an aisle long enough to make choices (things start flying out of the cart and she starts getting restless and upset) so I just grab all of the choices and head to the toy aisle and let her play while I try to decide if I should get the blue one or red one.

 She kind of is in love with draping things around her neck, like purse straps, balloon ribbons and swimsuit bottoms with belts.
She's a hoarder through and through.
And a bag-lady in the making.
She gathers as many things as possible in her arms and walks all over the house until she is forced to put something down.
When she sees Gerard or an infant or toddler she says in this sweet little high-pitched coo "Hi beebee (baby)!"
One thing I love is that she does things to imitate her Momma.
I go everywhere with a messenger diaper bag over my shoulder and so I was absolutely tickled when I first saw Ella imitating me doing the same thing.
She found this bag of mine that I had back in middle school, and this bag has been waiting it's whole existence for Ella to find it because it has never been so loved.
She pulls it over her shoulder and goes around with an adorable proud strut to her walk, quite obviously feeling very grown up to be doing what her Momma does.

Also, going on walks and watching barking dogs are still a favorite:

 She is a constant snacker.
Which is fine by me.
Now that we have been shopping for Baby Boy of Chunkiness we sometimes get things that are big enough to fit Ella, so she's been wearing Baby Brother's clothes.
Occasionally throughout the day Ella will say, "Dada" and point to the garage door, as if she wants him to walk in it.
It breaks my heart when she does this on a day when she won't see him because he's gone from morning until late at night at work and school.
Oh she loves him!
She understands SO MUCH!
I love that I can say, "K, let's go to the car" and she'll walk to the car by herself.
Or "let's go outside" and she walks to the front door.
And when I put a shirt on her I put one arm through a sleeve and say "switch hands" and she switches whatever toy she is holding to the other hand and then puts her now-empty hand through the other sleeve.
She used to get so upset when I would remove her toy from her hand to put it through the sleeve, but now she understands switching hands and we don't have to get upset anymore!
And I love the face she makes when I say, "where is your nose?"
And she points to her nose.

 We love snacking on Costco dried mangos, they are one of Ella's favorite snacks (although they are probably terrible for her teeth)

 Little Girl is an organizer.
She likes to sort things.
She has a "discard" pile on her highchair tray where all of the undesirable piece of food get placed.
And she likes to line things up and move items from one place to the next.
Here she is organizing golf balls:
 With the new apartment to equip and a baby on the way, Ella and I have been running around thrift stores and checking Craigslist like crazy.
Everyday Adam comes home to a wildly excited me, telling him about the beautiful cherry wood dresser I found for $40 at the thrift store, or the $50 espresso crib from craigslist, or the 80 bajillion adorable boys clothing items I found for 50 cents to $2 a piece.
I'm sure it also thrills him to hear about all the projects I have enlisted him in to refinish the furniture I just found for such a steal.
Anyway, sometimes we find additional things along the way that are super cute and a fabulous price, like a cute striped summer dress for $2 at a thrift store:
Oh, I just love good deals!
And I love that girl!


  1. I. Love. Ella. She is the cutest!!!

  2. she's just so cute. She can't help being so cute and happy when she has awesome parents!

  3. Annie, these pictures are killing me! I love this age! It is so stinkin cute! I wish so much that we lived closer so that Michelle could play with Ella!