Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hello, Freedom!


We are on night 2 of Ella sleeping in her "big girl" bed. The day Sarah left, Mitch put on a bed rail and we were all set for Ella to make the switch. I don't want to force a newborn AND a bed switch on her this winter. The only one not ready for a switch was Ella. She flatly refused to have anything to do with the big bed (despite wanting to sleep in it every single night with Sarah). I chose not to push the issue...until last night....

I put my little nap skipper down around 7:30 in her baby bed. An hour and a half later -- Ella is still awake. I went in and scooped her up into the big girl bed and laid down with her for about 15 minutes. I sat on the edge for about 5 minutes... the floor for another 5... and BINGO! We have hopefully moved on.

Of course, the downfall is that about an hour and a half earlier than usual I heard "Mommy!" next to my bed this morning and there was Ella -- my bright beaming alarm clock!

We are now officially in the market for a good, sturdy set of used bunk beds!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Visit with Taylor

Our 14 year old niece, Taylor (daughter to Cliff and Lori), is currently on a "Teen Tour" of the Western U.S. We were thrilled that she was able to spend a few hours with us when her tour stopped in Vegas for a few days! Taylor is a charming young lady and we immensely enjoyed our time with her. She and Ella hit it off (of course) and Ella had a major meltdown when she had to say good-bye. We took Taylor to Sarah's favorite spot, the Bellagio, first. Then Ella and I were dropped off for bedtime while Taylor and Uncle Mitch headed back to check out the Venetian.


At the Bellagio Conservatory


Ella and Taylor in the Bellagio lobby


At the chocolate fountain.

Taylor is a very talented LEFTY softball pitcher heading in to her sophomore year of high school so I was surprised to find out she would not be playing softball this summer. When I asked her about it she gave me a very mature response -- she said she wasn't about to turn down her parents offer to tour the U.S. this summer because she didn't know if she'd ever have the opportunity to do it again. She has her sight set on a particular college and is working hard to get in. If softball fits in, fine, but if not, she's OK with that. Not many teenagers have their heads on that straight! Nice job, Cliff & Lori!







Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcome, Little Campbell!

One of my nearest, dearest, best friends in life is Stephanie. We met in college in 1995 and have so much in common that we have yet to find nothing to talk about. Today, Stephanie gave birth to her third baby -- I won't give away any details, but she had a healthy baby.

Just so we'd have even more fun things to tell our kids:

In July 2006, I gave birth to Ella. In December 2006, Stephanie birthed Benjamin. Yes, the wedding is already planned.

In July 2008, Stephanie had Baby Campbell. In December 2008, I will have Baby Gabel (well, hopefully we make it to December!).

(So as not to leave him out, Stephanie also has Noah, born in March 2005)

It has been very fun to be pregnant together twice (she also has very sick pregnancies). Someday we will wear purple hats, travel the world, and visit our grandchildren together.


Welcome, Little One! We can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How to Save $35 on a Cookie Cake


As I mentioned in the post on Ella's birthday, I decided to make Ella a cookie cake rather than a "regular" cake for her birthday (there is still a little bit left and whenever she has some, she makes us sing "Happy Birthday" to her). I am not one to buy a cake from a bakery -- I believe in making everything possible from scratch. Normally. When I'm not pregnant. In order to save myself time, energy, and using the oven in the summer in the desert, I planned to head to Mrs. Fields and get us a cookie cake. I went online and checked the price -- and about fell out of my chair when I saw a price tag of $35!!! When I can make one for about $3??

So that's what I did -- I braved the oven being on and made one. I used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag, spread the dough (all of it) onto a pizza pan, and baked it for about 20 minutes at the recommended temperature for the recipe. It turned out perfectly! My decorating job is not nearly as pretty as Mrs. Fields, but no one seemed to mind (hard to believe my first job ever was as a cake decorator, eh?).

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Early Birthday Gift

Because I will be busy with a newborn by early December at the latest, I am working on finishing up Christmas shopping right now. I sent out an email to my family letting them know there is only one thing I want for Christmas: a Flip Video camera. My parents pointed out that my birthday is between now and Christmas and today my very own Flip Video camera arrived in the mail from them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

I have had the Flip in my possession for about an hour and a half and I love it as much as I thought I would! It is small (slightly larger than my cell phone), has exactly 7 buttons, and the instruction manual is only about 4-6 pages long (mostly pictures). EASY, easy, easy! I have the 2GB camera which hold an hour of video. The best part -- they cost between $100-$150.

Thanks, Mom and Dad -- I love it already!

Just for a test run, Mitch took this video in a darkened room thus the lack of light and was talking very quietly.


video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Birthday Video

video

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Terrific TWO Year Old!


Ella turned the big 2 today! Last year I threw a huge rubber ducky party, but this year I decided to keep it low key. I'm glad I did -- it was such a nice day full of things Ella loves most.

I decorated our apartment and set up a birthday table for her last night.



When she woke up this morning, Ella ran straight to the balloons and yanked them off her chair. THEN she noticed the presents!

A swimsuit, Pooh bear, Pooh washcloth, and of course an Ella birthday CD from Aunt Karin and Uncle Matt.



A princess camera (and an outfit) from Aunt Mimi. Plus the coolest card EVER (it has a bunch of cats meowing "Happy Birthday").




Books on being a Big Sister from the Campbells.


A Veggie Tales quilt from Babcia and Dzia dzia.



We had breakfast at McDonalds (Ella loves to go play!)and spent the afternoon playing and watching "princess" (various Disney princess movies).



Ella is not a big cake eater, but she loves cookies so I made her a cookie cake. She LOVED it!




I usually love to throw parties, but today was perfect with just "us"!

Monkey Face

We took Ella to her first movie in the movie theater last week. The theater down the street has a Family Film Festival offering free movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. We took the girls to see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" (Veggie Tales) and Ella did pretty well. She made it through half the movie (and a half-hour before that) before the need to move got to her.

They gave out these monkey masks at the movie and Ella tried hers on the other night.



They Just Keeping Coming



This one has been showing up every afternoon for at least a month and stays the night on our porch. He's a real sweetie. I'm pretty sure that he'll be sleeping on my side of the bed by the time I get back in August....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bring On the Blue

We had our "medically necessary" ultrasound yesterday morning, which for us means we were able to find out if Baby 3 is a boy or girl. Right now we have 2 granddaughters on my side of the family and 5 granddaughters on my hubby's side of the family. Needless to say, everyone (or at least Daddy and the grandpas) was pulling for a boy. And much to my surprise and their delight, we are going to grant their wish. The next addition to our family is A BOY!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1st Pictures of Baby 3

The first one is my favorite.... Notice the little bitty print in the upper left corner (below my name and other info). The arrow points to the "evidence" of the statement. I love that the sonographer put the arrow and words on that one!! The last one is a 3D image. The scanned images aren't nearly as nice as our originals.





Friday, July 11, 2008

Flying with a Toddler

I was extremely worried about flying for 6 hours with a 2 year old trapped in a car seat. Ella is not one to just sit. She can't even sit through a 30 minute TV show. A few days before we left I headed to the dollar store and picked up a gazillion toys for her and Sarah. I spent a total of about $20 (there and back) and kept them both busy for a good 8 hours of total flying time. I also brought tons of snacks to keep their bellies full! It was seriously like Christmas on the plane -- I kept pulling out toys and their eyes would light up. Ella was most happy with a toy truck and Sarah loved these little pixie/fairy dolls. Throw in a couple of new Little Pet Shop pets and we had no problems.

We also brought along the iPod, mostly for Sarah. I downloaded some stories (off of Storynory) for her to listen to (she didn't) and also threw on a Veggies Tales CD on a whim. We only had ear buds, which didn't fit in Ella's ears, but she was happy listening to Bob holding the headphones up to her ears. Go figure.



Everything went so smoothly that I'm doing it again, this time just me and Ella, in August to visit the other set of grandparents (and maybe to get out of the heat for a while!).

The Layover

We had a 2.5 hour layover in Tampa on the way back from Florida. The best thing about the Southwest terminal is a totally awesome play area for the kids! We vegged out and they played for 2 hours. Ella was much too busy to bother with pictures, but Sarah kept posing for me!






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