Monday, November 25, 2013

Ella {7 Weeks}

Once again, I'm a little late in getting this post out. Shocker.

We don't have a whole lot of news around here. Ella is still loving to play on her mat, look in her mirror, and kick her feet. Her smiles just melt us, and she's starting to do it more often. We love it!

This weekend we had a houseful of visitors. Some college friends and their other-halves were in town for the Penn State vs Nebraska football game. Because hotels here are $1800 on football weekends [and because we love our friends], everyone stayed at our house. Mind you, we live in a small two-bedroom house. Everyone was very accepting of our less-than-luxurious accommodations [aka air mattresses and couches] and Ella's middle-of-the-night hungry cries. That's why we love college friends. We had a fabulous weekend, and Ella survived her first tailgating experience. She was a champ!! [no, we aren't terrible parents. she was bundled up and in the warm car the whole time. don't judge.]

That's about it for this week. We hope you're staying warm, wherever you are!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ella {6 Weeks}

Since I was late in getting the 5 Weeks post out, I don't have a whole lot that's new [so i'll give you some extra pictures to make up for it]. Ella is still a night owl... in fact last night she wouldn't really fall asleep until almost 3am. She would fall asleep, but every time we put her down she would start crying. I'm afraid we might have a spoiled little girl on our hands. Hopefully that doesn't continue... Mike and I aren't so good at staying up til 3am these days.

Ella is getting pretty good at holding her head up; her neck is getting stronger!

We had a couple real smiles each of the last couple days - it's so fun!

She has enjoyed laying on her play mat a little more than she had been; she even found herself in the mirror and smiled today - something she hadn't done before!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ella {5 Weeks}

[she really doesn't like laying flat on her back. one day.]

I promise I'll [try to] get these posts done on time. I'm just oh-so-busy these days.  Actually, this little lady takes up a lot of time. She eats just about every two hours during the day, and that takes about 15 or 20 minutes each time. When she's awake but not eating, she wants to be entertained. Or carried around the house. We do a lot of dancing and pacing. This girl is not sedentary! When it's nap time, I try to get as many things done as possible. It's amazing how many chores around the house I can't do with a child in one arm. I definitely wouldn't make a good amputee.

So five weeks, huh? I don't want to jinx it, but it seems like we're getting into a little bit of a sleep routine. Ella is a night owl and likes to go to bed about midnight. We're gonna try to move that up to about 10, but she's not digging that right now. On a good night, she sleeps for about four hours, wakes up to eat and poop, then back to sleep for another 3-ish hours. We've had one night with a 5-hour sleep stretch, and last night we had a SIX-HOUR sleep stretch! I couldn't believe my eyes when I woke up! And because she is up until midnight, she likes to nap in the morning. Which means mama gets a cup of coffee and a few things accomplished. 

I really can't believe how big Ella is getting. I may have said this already, but she's wearing her 3-months clothes and they aren't any too big. She's almost too long for some of her 0-3 month clothes, and her feet are too big for most of the feet in her footie-outfits. It's a good thing they aren't too structured and they have a lot of give, but the girl's definitely got big feet! I'm looking forward to her two month appointment to find out officially how long she is and how much she weights. I have a feeling she's topping the charts!

The past weekend was when we were supposed to go to San Diego for the wedding of two college friends. The pediatrician vetoed the trip for Ella's sake, just like the Albuquerque wedding. Apparently if they're under two months [some doctors say three] and they have a fever for any reason, they have to be hospitalized to have a full sepsis workup including a spinal tap. Their bodies are so small and their systems aren't developed enough, that they can get sick extremely quickly and a fever that young is a medical emergency. Who knew? [probably any parent, huh?] Anyway, Mike went to San Diego because he was in the wedding, so we missed him all weekend.

Ella is still loving bath time, and her hair is still ridiculously fuzzy. It's so funny! She's almost done molting all of her skin [newborns slough all their skin], and her scalp is all that's left. I was trying to decide if she had cradle cap or not, but it really just looks like dry skin. I'm hoping resolves in the next week. 

We're starting the transition to get Ella into her own room. She's been sleeping in the bassinet of the Pack-n-Play in our room, just so that she's within arm's reach since she was waking up so frequently. And perhaps because I was that paranoid new mama who needed to make sure she was breathing every ten minutes :)  She is taking most naps in her crib, and she hasn't seemed to protest yet.

I think that's all the breaking news for this week. So until Saturday... Sending our love from PA

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chocolate Oreo Birthday Cake

You may or may not have realized that my childhood bestie Rachael was in town to visit us last week. Did I tell you that? [maybe once or twice...]

Our birthdays are only three days apart, so we've been celebrating together for years. Whenever we were in the same state, anyway. So this year we had a fun little celebration... we threw ourselves a birthday party! It didn't have many in attendance [really, it might have just been us] but we had a great time!

And the cake was exceptionally delicious. So I thought I might share! 

Chocolate Oreo Cake
1 box of chocolate cake
2 boxes of instant Oreo pudding mix
4 cups milk
1 container Cool Whip, thawed
1 row of Oreos [plus the rest of them for snacking]

Bake the chocolate cake according to package directions. [it would be easier as a 9x13, but i believe birthday cakes should be round layered cakes, so that's what we had.]
Before the cake cools completely, poke holes in the cake using a straw or similar utensil. Combine the pudding mix and the milk, and allow it to thicken just slightly. Pour this over the cake, helping it get into the holes you poked. Refrigerate several hours.
Once the pudding is completely set, 'frost' the cake with the thawed Cool Whip [i used the light kind, and it worked perfectly]. Refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle broken Oreos on top of the cake. Last step:  try not to eat the whole thing at once.

the finished product!

the other party attendees :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Pumpkin Patch 'Adventure'

We went to our local pumpkin patch which was just down the road from our house. After enjoying the glory that is Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Omaha for several years, no pumpkin patch will ever compare. But this got us what we needed [and then some]:  pumpkins, apples, and fresh apple cider!

So many pumpkins to choose from!

Ella's mode of transportation

She's so cozy in that thing!

Carving our pumpkins!

Rachael and Ella during pumpkin carving 

The finished product!
Mine, Ella's, Rachael's, and Mike's.
Mike enforced a rule that you could get a pumpkin only as big as you could carry. 
Ella's fit in her baby backpack :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ella {4 Weeks}

Can she really be four weeks old already?

Turns out, she is. We're still working on sleeping at night, but it's better than a couple weeks ago. This week Ella has found and taken more interest in two things:  her voice and her fingers. She coos [what does that mean anyway?] a lot more, and I swear she says "Hi" sometimes, maybe because we say that to her so frequently. Can she really be mimicking that sort of thing already? Maybe that's just a natural sound. She has begun to suck on her fingers more, too. It seems like she finds them on accident, but she seems to like it when she does. She hasn't ever been a fan of her pacifier, so maybe she will be a finger sucker? I kind of hope not... that seems like a hard habit to break.

We really enjoy watching Ella when she dreams, too. She makes such animated faces, and the giggles are our favorite. We think we've even seen a couple intentional smiles while awake! Maybe she's ready to start interacting more? Can't wait for more smiles and giggles!

We really enjoyed having Auntie Rachael visit last week. Ella really enjoyed the extra snuggles! We went to the pumpkin patch, the Amish market, and a hockey game; we handed out Halloween candy and celebrated our birthdays. What a fun week!

Ella and I went to the Mussleman's Family Tribute professional ice skating show at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena over the weekend as well. Mike worked at the arena during the show, so Ella and I went with a couple new friends. Ella slept the entire time, so it won't be her last trip to the ice arena! [oh, and be sure to catch the skating show on NBC on Nov. 24th!]

Oh, and one last thing. Ella's bellybutton officially has no scabs, so she has graduated to a real bath. She loves it! Her expression is hilarious when she first gets in the water, and until she gets chilly she just loves it. 

That's about all we're up to. Sending love from Ella!

as you can see, she likes to move those arms & legs!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ella {3 Weeks}

[posting this a little late...]

It has been another fun week watching Ella grow. The Grandmas have now both left, so it's been just Mike, Ella and I attempting to conquer life this week. We're trying to get some resemblance of a schedule going, but some days it seems like Ella has other plans. 

Of course sleep is still something we could use more of, but we're generally going in the right direction. Ella is eating like a champ, and I'm pretty sure she's going to be ten pounds before we know it! She has outgrown her Newborn size diapers, and she's getting dangerously close to being too big for her Newborn size clothes. I'm not coping with that very well... but I guess I better learn to deal.

Auntie Rachael [my bestie from childhood] comes to visit us this week, and we're very excited to see her. We don't have much planned, but we always find a way to entertain ourselves. I'm sure there will be lots of snuggles to be had [with Ella, of course]!

I just still can't believe how fast time is going!