Monday, June 25, 2012

Ella at 15 Months

2 posts in one day! Crazy huh?

I am a week late on this post...

Sweet Ella, you have reached a huge milestone that I just have to blog about! You are finally WALKING! On Monday, June 11th you decided it was time.  Nobody helped you, you just got up and walked across the room.  Then you spent the day showing off your new trick by walking circles around the house.  You are becoming more independent each day (something Mommy doesn't like very much!). Mamaw is here for the summer to help us out until school starts back.

You have added some new words to your vocabulary...
-You made the switch from "Mama" to "Mommy" while on vacation a few weeks ago and for now, it is your favorite word.  You say it like you are wanting my attention.  "Mommy?!?"  Then I say, "What, baby?"...and then you say it again, "Mommy?!?".  This goes on for a while, then you say a long phrase in your own little language like you are really telling me something.  I have no idea what you are saying, but you are so stinkin' cute!!!
Other new words:
-"Me" - if I'm sharing some food with you, you say "me" after I take a, "Ok mom, now it's my turn!"  You can seriously put away some food, little girl!
-"Eat" - Probably your second favorite word.  You realize now that when you say this word, we feed you.  You don't overuse it just yet, but when you are hungry, you shout it! EAT!!!!!!!
-"Shoes" - sounds like "Juice"
-"Ewwww" - when you have a dirty diaper
- "Two" - This is apparently your favorite number.  I often pick you up by saying, "One.....Two....Thrrrreeeeeeeeee" and then swing you around.  Now as soon as I say, "One" you say "Two".
_"Yo ho!" - You like to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates with Ethan and as soon as they start singing "Yo ho!", you shout it right back at the tv.  
-"Cheeto" - this is your brother's nickname. You still call him "bubba", but you like to yell "Cheeto".
-"So Pretty" -When Mamaw gets you dressed, she stands you up on the changing table and says, "How pretty!" ...same thing she did when I was little. You always reply "So Pitty". 
- "I Love" - you said this in response to me yesterday! I said, "I love you" and you said, "I love"....getting closer :o)

You still say "no no no" and "stop it" if you hear anyone raise their voice or if we are wrestling with your big brother.  You are pretty strict with us!

Your Mamaw has taught you how to play tea party.  You are just adorable setting up your dolls and animals and picking up a little teacup and "sipping" your tea.

You still won't say "Mamaw".  When we try to get you to say it, you say very clearly, "Papaw".  Oh well...there's always next month!  

You have had 8 teeth for a while (4 on top, 4 on bottom), but your 4 canine teeth are popping through all at the same time.  You want to chew on everything!

I have to say that so far, this is my favorite age for you.  You are so cute, your personality just shines, and I just love you so very much.  I am so thankful for you, sweet baby girl!!!!!!!

Letting Go of Regret

Every year as we approach Noah's birthday, my mind is flooded with the memories of the day we found out he was gone and the day of his birth.  Every detail plays out in my head like I'm watching a movie...but of someone else's life.  It's not so tangible anymore.  It feels somewhat like a dream and only when I look at his pictures (which I haven't done in quite a while) or hold his tiny blue hat in my hand does the reality of it come back to me.  He was here. There is so much proof of it...

On July 7th, Noah would be turning 3 years old.  But as each year passes by, I feel like I get a step further away from him.  I know time is healing and it's a good thing for me to not be in that fog of grief I was in for so long, but I just wish he was here.  I think about Ethan at age 3 and all the things he was learning at that time.  I can't help but wonder what Noah would be doing now....and what he would be getting into with his big brother and little sister.  I just....miss him. And that void is very real to me.

David and I visited a church in Ocala, Florida on the way home from our vacation a few weeks ago.  The pastor spoke about past regrets and things that we have held on to that we just have to give over to the Lord.  After the service, I told David that the thing that nags at me all the time is knowing that Noah was alive on Saturday, July 4th and that I have no memory of him moving on Sunday, July 5th.  And it was the evening of Monday, July 6th before we ever went to the hospital and found out he was gone.  Why was I not more concerned? Why didn't I go to the hospital sooner? Why wasn't I counting his kicks on Sunday? WHY?!? I have held onto that for long enough.  I am reading Angie Smith's new book, "What Women Fear" along with a couple of friends of mine.  In the first chapter of the book she talks about a woman who lost a child and had these same regrets that I have.  Why didn't she follow her instincts that were telling her something wasn't right? I know that God has brought this subject up to me twice this month for good reason...He wants me to let it go.

There are some significant (positive) things going on with me and my husband over the next month and it will be a time to really focus on my relationship with the Lord.  I'm hoping to use this time to really let go of some things that have burdened me for too long.  Guilt is not from the Lord.  I've got to give it over to Him. It's time to let go of regret.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:12-14

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vacation - Orlando and Treasure Island

 We had a great vacation the week of Memorial Day.  David had a business trip in Orlando and we decided to tag along and make it into a family vacation. We spent Tuesday-Friday in Orlando and then went down to St. Pete / Treasure Island Friday-Sunday.  We didn't do all the Disney parks as this was kind of a last minute trip and Disney is EXPENSIVE! We did get to go to Epcot one evening though and that was a lot of fun.We also spent some time at Downtown Disney.

I know you will be shocked to hear this, but I rarely used my big camera on the trip. I just didn't feel like carrying it around, but I did have my phone with me and took most of the pics on our trip with that.  I have not uploaded the photos I took with my big camera, but below are the ones from my phone.  I will post the rest later (I did take the pics of Ethan with Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy on my big camera and ones of Ella with Minnie Mouse...I will post those in a separate post).

The first night we had dinner with David's co-workers.  

While David was at his work conference during the day, Ethan, Ella, and I went exploring.  We made a few trips to Downtown Disney which is free parking and free to get into.  We walked around the different shops and I let Ethan pick out what he wanted (which we would later go and actually purchase at Walmart for 1/3 of the price!)

Ella was in LOVE with this Minnie Mouse doll.  Thankfully no fits were thrown when I had to put it back on a shelf. We later got her the exact same one from Walmart.

Ethan was fascinated with all the giant lego structures

This kid LOVES legos!!!

The MUSE conference David attended was at Coronado Springs Resort.  It was such a nice place! We spent a lot of time at the pool.  Ethan had a blast at this big pool.  There was a huge waterslide that he probably rode 100 times while we were there! 

The bottom of the waterslide...

Ethan and his new pals...

Minnie Mouse!!!

 Ready for Epcot!

We all rode Spaceship Earth together and then David took Ethan to ride Soarin' 
while Ella and I walked around. 

We all enjoyed the big firework show at Epcot before we left.  Ella loved it! Ethan...not so much.  He's not a fan of loud noises.  

Friday, we checked out of the resort and headed to St. Pete.

 We got turned around at one point and ended up on this little one lane access rode over Tampa Bay.  It was so beautiful there.  I didn't catch a shot of it, but after a few minutes of driving along this road, we saw dolphins jumping out of the water and fish flopping around everywhere.  So amazing! 

Our first night we ate dinner at Joe's Crab Shack! Ethan got a balloon sword...

Ella (though eating cheerios in this pic) had her first taste of shrimp and loved it!


We made our way over to Clearwater and walked on the beach in the dark with our flashlights.  There were no crabs to be found, but we had fun anyway.

On Saturday we spent the day at the beach at Treasure Island.  It was probably the most fun we have had at the beach so far.  The kids had a great time and the water was really nice.  I am usually not a big fan of the water, but we didn't see swarms of jellyfish like we did in Panama City in the fall, so it was really nice to play in the waves with the kids.

I learned that Ella tans nicely.  She must not have her Mommy's skin! I coated us all in sunscreen but she still got a nice tan.

 And of course we had to stop at Beach Snoballs! Our friends, Jeremy and Trista own this great place.  September (Trista's sister) and Morgan run it and do a fabulous job! September was as sweet and patient as she could be while we made our choices! If you are ever in the St. Pete/Treasure Island area, you have GOT to stop by and try one of these!!!!!!

Ethan had cherry with gummy worms

 David had the Peaches n cream and LOVED it! And I enjoyed a strawberry/mango smoothie! YUM!

Ethan shared...

Trips like this never seem to last long enough.  I really love getting to spend time with my family! Can't wait for our next vacation (whenever that may be!)