Sunday, November 14, 2010

Growing Up

Ella is 15 months old today. She said mommy this morning for the first time. She babbles mamama a lot, but today Brandon asked her where mommy was and she looked right at me, pointed and said "Mommy!" It was the best feeling, especially since she's been saying Daddy for months! Ella can now clearly say: Daddy, Mommy, Baby, Cat, Dog, Pig, Bug and I'm sure lots others we just haven't understood yet. She can sign "eat" and "more". She can growl like a tiger, say "who who" like and owl, and say "choo choo" like a train. She pretends to talk on the phone and can give high fives. I can't believe how much she is growing and understanding. I feel so blessed to spend every day with this little person so full of happiness and love.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's November...

...Time to give thanks!

No matter what trials I may have in my life, there is always so much I have to be thankful for.
Count your many blessings, see what God has done!

Monday, November 8, 2010


This Halloween weekend was so much fun. We started out going to Tanaka Farms in Irvine. We rode on a wagon pulled by a tractor over to the petting zoo. Ella isn't a fan of petting large farm animals yet. Maybe I'll give her another year to get comfortable with this tradition. We ate some homemade pumpkin bread and wandered in a little corn maze before finally finding the perfect pumpkin.
Ella liked the ones that were her size.

The group!
Aja, Laura, Ollie, Mom, Ashley, Riley, Eva, Natllely, Chelsea, Ella

Ella's sticker says "Farmer in Training". She was pretty pooped after her fun day.
But soon she was awake and ready to get into her costume! Ella was a sweet strawberry this year.

We went to our Ward party where Ella got to do some trick-or-treating. This is her second Halloween, but being only two months old last year, this is her first time really experiencing it.

She won best costume in the costume parade and had fun chasing the boys around the gym.

Brandon and I went as "a pair of blue jeans" (our name tags say Gene & Jean). Kind of a cop out costume, but it was all we could come up with last minute. I like costumes that don't require a lot of effort and/or many embarrassing elements :)
We took Ella to the Walnut ward party with the Stewarts, where the camera sat in Brandon's pocket all night, but we had a fun time seeing old friends.
We also went to my mom's house to carve pumpkins and have dinner.

We took the girls to a couple houses to trick-or-treat because we didn't think they had got enough candy already that weekend. And we just wanted more pictures of them in their costumes.Wonder Woman (Riley, age 3), Super Girl (Eva, age 2), & The Strawberry (Ella, age 1)

I am sad to pack her costume away, she was such a cute little strawberry. Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bridge to Nowhere

A few weeks ago Brandon and I dropped the munchkin at my mom's and went on a hike to the Bridge to Nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains. It was such a fun day. The weather was hot, but perfect for trudging through the cold streams (that you have to cross MANY times).

View from the bridge.
Bungee jumpers. You couldn't pay me to do this! I know they say it is perfectly safe, but, call me crazy, I just don't enjoy the "rush" of feeling like you might die.

The sky was blue and it felt so good to be out in nature. It was the perfect date. It was just the kind of escape we needed. We really need to do that more often. I can't wait to go back and do it again or find other places to go explore.


This post is in honor of my mom's sweet teacup chihuahua that passed away this week. She was such a sweet little dog and was a loving part of our family for many years.

Darla struggled with health issues and after a few days in the hospital and numerous lengthy seizures, the decision was made to let her have some peace. It will be sad to not have her snuggles and kisses. We will miss you Darla.

I want this

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

How cute would Brandon be cruising around with Ella in one of these??

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ella's First Birthday

Ella turned ONE this past Saturday!
We had a little party for her at Grams and Grandpa Stewart's house. It was so much fun. Ella had a blast. She was pretty worn out from all the playing and swimming.
Here's the birthday girl ready for some fun.
Let's go in the bounce house Grams!
Kid Paradise
Riley and Ezra going for a ride.
Watching the kids swim.
She got lots of new books to read.
Kissing her new baby doll from Grandma Jensen. She has recently discovered baby dolls and stuffed animals. She carries them around the house all the time now and hugs them and pats them. It's so cute.
Reading some of her new books with Grandma Jensen and Great Grandma Long. Ella would read books all day long if she could. She will constantly bring me book after book. I love it.
Grandma Jensen with all her silly grandkids together for the first time including new little Ollie. Ella thinks his nose looks pretty squishy.

Eva is a little chilly after her dip in the pool.
Matt and Alina take a snooze in the hammock.
Ready for her cake!!
She was a little timid at first...
Then she realized it was yummy and dug in!

Ella enjoying her cupcake.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ella is 9 months

Ella had her nine month check up yesterday. Here are her stats:

Weight: 19 lbs 6 oz (57th percentile)
Height: 28.7" (82nd percentile)
She's finally getting down to a normal weight percentile, but I will miss her rolls.

She loves cruising along the furniture and standing on her own. She'll probably be walking soon...yikes!

Here's Ella having a bath after we got home from the Dr.'s yesterday. She just started laying down and "swimming" in the tub. It's the cutest thing ever.

You can see her little band-aid from her flu shot. Luckily that was the only shot she needed and she didn't even flinch, let alone cry. I was glad she didn't even seem to notice it! Unfortunately, she also needed blood drawn for a routine check for lead poisoning and anemia. They took it from her finger, and she scrreeeeeamed the whole time :( I don't blame her. I HATE having blood drawn. But, she got over it real quick and was making crazy noises for all the pharmacists at the pharmacy and making them laugh just a half hour later.

Here is Ella and I having our daily paper fight with the ads that come in the mail. We love our happy girl.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Things have been really busy around here lately. I have one presentation down, one left to go at school and two finals next week. Then I just have one summer class and two in the fall and I. AM. DONE. Can't wait!!! I hope I can get all my cramming in by next week. We are going to Sacramento this weekend. Unfortunately it is for the funeral for sweet Grandpa Patton. Brandon and I are SO glad we got to go spend some time with them last month. It will be a sad way to spend my birthday, but a bittersweet reminder of how precious every year of life on this earth is. I think I will squeeze my loved ones a little tighter every day this year. It will be nice to see all the family though. I am glad Ella will get to see her cousins that live so far away. She loves to play with other kids and doesn't get to all that often. I am so grateful for family and can't wait until summer when everything will slow down a bit and we can just relax and have fun as a family. We went on a family walk on Monday night. I had to convince Brandon to take a leisurely walk with Ella and I instead of his usual intense run (he likes to feel accomplished!), but I was so glad we did. It was so nice to just stroll and talk. We don't spend nearly enough time just relaxing and talking anymore. If it's not too late to set a new years resolution, maybe mine will be to spend more quality time with the ones I love. Family is my greatest blessing and the happiest part of my life.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


...we have been enjoying some BEAUTIFUL spring weather...

..We got to go to the San Diego temple to see Jay and Rachel get married for time and all eternity...

...We have made a few trips to the happiest place on earth...

...And spent some time with cousins...
Three more weeks left in my spring semester! Then let the summer fun begin!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ella Dialogues: Finger Foods

Mom's trying to get me to eat food with my fingers. These are pretty hard to pick up...

Maybe if I use my foot...
Wait a minute, I'd better check the nutrition facts...
Oh great, I dropped it on my shirt...
Uhhh... what is this stuff?
hmm Maybe the container tastes better!