Thursday, August 27, 2009

13 Months

Yesterday Ellena turned 13 months old. We had a snaffoo with the computer downstairs, so I am only now getting a chance to post a new pic from the upstairs computer. She is cruising along and has stood unassisted for about 10 seconds. Some new "feats of strength": She can swing on our swing set, unassisted. Good grip! And she loves to be pushed on ride-ons - she can hang on and enjoy the ride! It's nice when Evan will push her around the house - it is back-breaking work for an adult!

The latest news from our household: Evan is off of school this week, so we've been staying busy. Pops had LASIK today and is recovering quickly. We are trying out a new carpet cleaner - BabyGanics brand - cause I'm so freaked out by chemicals in carpet cleaners, so we've been going room to room and shampooing the carpets. And the above picture shows how Ellena gives kisses - open mouthed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Evan has had the Candyland game for a couple years now, but today was the first time we actually played a game where he really grasped the concept - where I wasn't moving the pieces for him and he could do it all by himself.

This is the Candyland progression:

The beginning: He would take his game piece and charge across the board, knocking all the other players off.

He would jump to the right color block, but where ever he wanted on the board. So not really following the path.

He would search for the special cards - Ice Cream Princess, Lollipop Girl, etc.

Just a few months ago: He would have a hard time knowing which way he was going. Hey, it's a pretty wonky path. Still liking those special cards. There are a few that have creases in them, so he knows to pick those first. Cheater!

Today: He knew which way he was going on the path and could move his piece to the right color. He still looked for the creased cards. Found Ice Cream Princess and jumped WAY ahead. Next time it backfired when he got Candy Cane (almost the beginning!) So I was in the lead by quite a bit. But then I got the Gingerbread Man and had to go back. Evan told me in the most comforting voice, "Don't worry. That's just part of the game. You'll just have to keep going. But I'm still going to win." Much later in the game, I was just about to win (I just needed to draw a color and I would be at Candyland - guaranteed winner, right?!) And wouldn't you know it, there was just one last card available to draw - it was the Lollipop Girl! So I had to move back and we had to shuffle the cards. Evan won, fare and square. Evan's first independent game of Candyland turned out to be the most exciting one ever! Ha!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Words

After saying her third word, "bone," Ellena has picked up some new ones very quickly. She now says, "Up" and "bye bye". I notice that when she is saying a word, she uses a soft, sweet voice. But when she is babbling, it sounds "rougher." Like she's pushing air through her lungs and grunting. And then when she is upset or just trying to get attention, she squeals REALLY loud.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to the Gym

So it's been over a year, but I finally made it back to the gym today. Yay for me!

Ellena seems to be outgrowing her morning nap. I was a little bummed cause that was my only 2 hours of peace and quiet during the day - she slept and Evan was at school. I could get stuff done around the house, sew, or just veg. But Monday we had a turning point and I said, NO MORE MORNING NAPS! Ellena had a short AM nap and then had a huge meltdown during her afternoon nap. It took a half hour to just calm her down. So once I accepted the fact that it would be better for everyone if she didn't have a morning nap, I started freaking out on what we would do to stay occupied.

And then... ding! Duh, take her to the gym! She can get "socialized" in the child care room and I can work out. I was bracing for the worse, since Evan had some crying fits there (separation anxiety to the max). I checked her in and jumped on the Precor, expecting maybe a 15 minute run before they paged me over the intercom. Surprise, surprise, 45 minutes go by and I'm pretty tired. Go back for El and she's just hanging with the other kids. Yay for Ellena!

So I'm hoping to get to the gym 2-3 times a week once Evan is back in school and work off the extra poundage I brought back from HI. 5 lbs in 13 days? Not good. :) But sooo worth it. Local food, how I miss you...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ellena Cheesy Smiles

Ellena was in quite a silly mood the other day so I'm glad I had the camera nearby.

She has changed in so many ways, this last week or so. She has become very independent and enjoys going outside and exploring on her own. Prior to our trip just 2 weeks ago, we could set her on a blanket outside and she would just sit in one spot and play with a toy. Now she crawls all over (through grass, rocks, dirt, plants, it doesn't matter to her) and checks everything out. This morning Evan was outside but I didn't let her go out cause it was really wet on the ground. Ellena watched Evan from the sliding door and would hold out her shoes to me to tell me that she wanted to go out.

She also LOVES brushing her teeth. I think she feels so empowered to be doing something on her own. To tell us she wants to brush, she points to the sink, signs "more" and then runs her finger in her mouth. Wow, doesn't get much clearer than that.

Oh yeah, and I've still got more pics from our HI trip to put up, but I wanted to get this up before I forget.


This past weekend, Pops went to a BBQ class that lasted all day Saturday. Needless to say, I was quite relieved when I heard the garage door open at 6 PM (he was gone for 11 hours) and I yelled a "Thank Gawd!"

So Pops is really into grillin' and is quite good at making all things barbeque. Evan's most favorite meal is "dirty ribs," ribs with a dry rub that Pops grills for a number of hours. Well, now that Ellena is in the table food mix, she is liking dirty ribs as well. Pops is freaking out about how many racks he's going to have to make to feed the family! :)

Here's Evan enjoying his dirty ribs. A few summers ago, we had the Mommy Group over and from that day, he forever called the blue tiger shirt he happened to be wearing, his "dirty ribs shirt." Sadly, he started to outgrow it, so it got pulled from the rotation. I'll keep it for the memories, tho.

Here's Ellena chomping on her own rib. Here's a 'too cute' story. She said her third word while eating her rib! Her first word was Momma, her second was Poppa. She doesn't say them very often, but she's used them occasionally. So as she's eating her rib, she says in the sweetest voice, "bone." She says it over and over cause we were cheering for her. How funny.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oahu Party

We celebrated Ellena's first birthday at the Willows Restaurant with our Oahu family and friends. This is where we had Evan's 1st birthday celebration, as well as where Poppa had HIS first birthday party.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Today is our 5 year anniversary. I guess the saying is true - time flies when you're having fun! Love you, Pops!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catching Up

Ok, we're back from our trip and have tons of pics, as you can imagine. I'll post a few at a time:

We flew into Oahu. Evan was so easy on the flight - he watched some shows and "did some work" in his coloring book. El - not a good traveler. She's at the age where she's too old to sleep through it all, and too young to entertain herself. She did not want to be in the seat and she had a hard time calming down. Oh well, it's just 5.5 hours of our life.

We went to Evan's favorite beach, Ali'i Beach up at North Shore.

Then we stopped in for the famous Matsumoto shave ice after. Yum yum!