Monday, October 27, 2008

2 going on 13

Doesn't she look so old in her new outfit? I feel like Elle's been looking and acting so much older recently, but I'm sure it's just because now there's a little baby in the house. She's become really independent in a lot of ways, and she's a really good helper. Although she's still obsessed with her Minnie Mouse, so I know she's still my little girl!

Elle's had a pretty full week, and we went to a lot of fun events. Of course, one of her favorites was a kids' concert at Pottery Barn Kids. Though the music was a little slower than what she's used to, that didn't stop her from dancing the entire time, even though she was the only kid dancing for much of it. I can't until she's old enough to join a real dance class because she loves dancing so much! We went to story time on Saturday, as always, and Curious George was there. Elle's not very fond of meeting characters in real life (when Pooh came to story time, she crawled on top of me and held onto my neck as tightly as she could until she finally asked to leave!), so I was worried we would have to leave as soon as he showed up, especially since I was holding Lauren. But, Elle was actually excited and kept pointing and screaming "Mama, monkey! Monkey, Mama, monkey!" (We've never really read any Curious George books, so she had no idea who he was). However, when I asked her if she wanted to say hello to him, she quickly assured me it was time to go "bye, bye." Oh well, I guess we need a little more time before we try Disney again! We also went to a few Halloween events, but I forgot my camera both times, so I'll post pictures of her after Halloween on Friday. I'll leave with a few pictures of Elle being goofy, as always:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What we've been up to...

One of Elle's favorite activities, holding her baby sister, although she doesn't want to give her back when I ask her to and other times will just decide she's done and try to push the baby off of her:




Elle's other new favorite thing to do is helping me bake or cook. We made cookies and banana pudding this weekend, and she loved it! She was very serious about her stirring:



And an update on Lauren's activities:
Sleeping


Stretching


Oh and Elle has developed a deep fear of bugs, so we've been singing this song any time we see them (of course, my card was full and the video cut off, but it gives you an idea of her lovely singing voice, just disregard mine!):


video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sisters

I took these pictures of the girls the other day--Elle was being very sweet to her little sister, Lauren! Lest you think Elle is always this nice, I'll remind you that she is two and definitely has her moments. She's usually great during the day and loves to help with diaper changes, but since Kyle's been working a lot of nights, she's been more jealous in the evenings and keeps asking me to put the "baby down." Yesterday, we were walking around the block, and Elle was pushing her baby doll in her play stroller, while I had Lauren in the sling. All of a sudden, Elle pushed her stroller into the grass and said, "bye, bye baby, bye bye baby," and started to walk away. Every time I tried to get the baby doll and stroller, Elle started to have a major meltdown, so we continued walking toward the house, leaving the baby doll behind. I asked her if she wanted to go back and get the baby, and she quickly replied, "No, no, bye, bye baby." So, if that's not an indication of what she feels about the new baby in the family, I don't know what is! Let's just say she's still adjusting!

And, here's Elle being goofy, as always. Since the baby wears a hat, Elle has decided that she also needs to wear one, and she has also been stealing Lauren's pacifier quite often, although I could never get her to take one as a baby!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Pumpkin Picking

We went to a local farm yesterday to go pumpkin picking, and Elle had so much fun! Of course, our lovely fall day ended up being one of the hottest days on the season (I think the high was 85 degrees!), thus the lack of festive fall clothing, although I did manage to find an orange skirt for Elle to wear. Lauren spend the whole time in the sling sleeping, so she enjoyed it too; she just didn't make it into any pictures.

Elle's day in pictures:

Taking goofy farm pictures


Driving a tractor


Riding to the pumpkin patch with Daddy


Spending time with her friend, Coral


Trying to find just the right pumpkin


Practicing her model poses with the pumpkins


And Elle's actual favorite part of the day--not pumpkin picking! There was a band playing in the area where we ate lunch at the farm, and Elle loved it! Here she is showing off some of her best dance moves:

video

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh, the life of a newborn...




Well, she does eat and poop in between naps! And here's one of Elle holding baby Lauren. She's been such a good big sister so far, and runs to the baby whenever she cries, saying, "It's otay, baby, it's otay." Elle's one observation about this addition to our family so far..."Baby's SOO sleepy!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

To My First Baby on her 2nd Birthday

Sorry, I'm late in posting this--Elle turned 2 on September 29th!

Dear Elle,
I can't believe you're already two-years-old! We were looking through pictures of your first birthday the other day, and it's still amazing to me how quickly you've become a little independent person, rather than a baby, although you're still my baby in so many ways! These past two years have been an amazing journey--Elle, you made me a mother, and that changed my life in more ways than you'll ever know (well, until you become a mother yourself one day). Without you, I would not understand unconditional love so vividly; I would never know the depths of my patience or the reaches of my compassion. You've forced me to slow down, to appreciate not just every new day but every little part of God's creation. You have been my constant companion these past two years, thanks in part to your major separation anxiety issues and in part to your daddy's demanding work schedule, but I have loved every minute of it. Looking back, I am aware of how bittersweet watching you grow has been and will continue to be, and I can't wait to see where this next year will lead you.

Elle, since your birth, your daddy and I have talked about how each stage has been more fun than the one before, and I think I'll say again, that I think this stage is so much fun (okay, maybe not the major toddler meltdowns, but they are funny sometimes)! It's incredible to be able to communicate with you and to hear your ideas and opinions. You wake up talking, even while still in bed, and you often fall asleep talking to yourself at night. You have seemed intent on dropping your nap recently (mostly because you HATE to go to sleep and have to be going at all times), and if I leave you alone to have some quiet time, hoping you will sleep, you will talk and sing to yourself for an hour straight! I can't help but smile as I listen to you over the monitor. You have come up with some great phrases, your most recent one being, "Shake your body!" as you move your body back and forth (not sure where you got that one!), and love hearing some of the words you put together (daddy is always "my daddy").

When you're not talking, you are singing and dancing. You love any form of music, and I'm so impressed by your ability to pick up on the tunes of songs, even if you can't say all the words, and to remember the motions to every new song you hear. You are so dramatic in your performances (and in everything you do!) that people can't help but watch. I keep saying that I can't believe that you're my child because you have no inhibition, but I guess that's what childhood is all about. You make the goofiest faces and motions with your hands when you're engaged in a song, and I love hearing the words you come up with to the songs you hear (to you, Barney's song is, "I love me, you love me..." and you're right--we all love you!) and the songs you make up on your own (the other day, you sang to some hot air balloons in the sky for at least 5 minutes). One of your favorite weekly activities is going to storytime at the bookstore near our house every Saturday. The lady who leads the storytime can't say enough good things about you and can't believe all that you can do at your age, particularly during the singing portion at the beginning. She is constantly telling us you're going to be an entertainer, and we tend to agree. One of your other favorite things to do recently is go to the local ice cream shop, not for ice cream, but to dance in front of the juke box. You've even gotten other kids and an older gentleman to join in with you--see, you're an entertainer already! The other comment we always hear about you is that you're just "so happy." People always ask if you're "always like this," when they witness your energy and zeal for life. That's one of the things that makes being your mother so easy and so rewarding. You get excited about everything from seeing the moon in the night sky to singing one of your favorite songs in the car, and your excitement is contagious because your emotions are always obvious!

You are still so affectionate and I love your spontaneous hugs, even in the middle of playing, and our cuddle time whenever you first wake up. You always run to hug your friends when you see them and can always be found carrying around your baby or Minnie Mouse. You have a great sense of compassion and always ask if I'm okay every time I sneeze or cough. You love your friends, especially Sam and Coral, and you ask for them, often on a daily basis. Since you're the oldest among your friends, you have become somewhat bossy, but I know this will eventually make you a great leader. You've already shown us what a great big sister you are, showering Lauren with lots of hugs and kisses and showing her all your toys. And you've long been into being a "mommy" (you're always taking such good care of your baby dolls, diapering, feeding, and rocking them, pushing them in the stroller, and telling them, "it's otay," and you're always looking out for your friends, reminding them to "come here" and echoing everything the adults tell them). I know you will always look out for Lauren also, and you two will be the best of friends one day!

Elle, I hope you always know how much I love you and that I will always be there for you. Though you now have a sister and may have more siblings in the future, and though you are really no longer a baby, you will always be my FIRST baby! Here's to a fun year of being TWO!
Love,
Your mommy

Celebrating Elle

We had to postpone Elle's party, since her baby sister decided to arrive early, so we went to the park the other day and had some cupcakes in her honor!

Blowing out her candles



Elle's friend, Sam, joined us at the park



Mmmmm...



Elle's Mimi (Kyle's mom) was there too



Making a goofy face with her presents from Aunt Tarolyn