Holy cow, could I get any more behind?! Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of things on my plate, but I really don't. I just like to spend my free time with Mike and Ella and doing fun, memorable things. What suffers? The blog. Woops!
Ella's 15th month was a busy one. Mike's Grandma Dee came from Florida to visit for almost a week. We had loads of fun hanging out. She brought books and toys that made noise, and they quickly earned favorite status. Ella loved having Great Grandma Dee here, and they were both worn out by the end of the week. We were sad to see her go!
The following week, we left for the Midwest. We were able to spend nearly two weeks visiting family and friends. First we spent a couple days in Omaha with some of our dear friends. We got to meet a new baby, and we barely missed the birth of another. It was so fun visiting friends - we always pick up right where we left off.
Next we headed to Iowa, where we spent nearly a week with my family. Santa even found us there on Christmas morning!
Next we went to Kansas City, where we spent several days with Mike's family. The Chiefs were in town, and we were able to go to the game. Ella and Grandma Marie had an in-the-car tailgate of fruit and drinks, while the rest of us were outside having brats and a different kind of drinks. They were definitely the warmest of us all!
On our way home from the Midwest, we made a two-day stop in Pittsburgh. Penn State was in a hockey tournament again this year, so we stayed in town for those games. Unfortunately they didn't do so well, but we had a great time anyway.
New Year's Eve was pretty low-key. We got back from Pittsburgh on the 31st, so we spent most of the day relaxing and catching up on life. That afternoon, our friends Chris & Carrie came over for dinner and some sports-watching. We wore sweats instead of the typical NYE glam, and they still like us. It's true friendship. Ella went to bed early, but the rest of us [barely] made it to midnight. Win! [side note: The NYE countdown shows aren't nearly as good as I remember them being. The hosts were less than impressive, and they were all over the place. Was NYE just that much better as a kid??]
Ella's latest big news is that she started daycare! Her first day was actually on the 5th, so it was a full 15 months before she went to any kind of daycare. After that many weeks and months together, it was time for both of us to branch out a little. I needed to get back to nursing [a little, anyway], and Ella needed to play with some other kids in other environments. Mike and I were pretty nervous about sending our baby girl to daycare, but it has been just perfect. The first day, as Mike was dropping her off, Ella ran to play with the little boy, Cooper, and didn't even want to give Mike a goodbye hug. It was great that first day, and has gotten even better since then. Ella naps well, eats well, and she loves playing there. She gets a good report card every day, and she has even brought home art on two occasions!
We also had one huge accomplishment this month. We're bottle-free!! At Ella's 12-month check-up, the pediatrician told us that we should aim to be done with bottles at 15 months. She's been taking fewer bottles since she starting eating real foods and drinking milk out of a sippy cup, but she was still taking one bottle in the early morning, and one at bedtime. Ella really liked both of those bottles, so we were pretty certain that we wouldn't be completely done with them by 15 months, but we still knew that was our goal. During our trip to the Midwest, we were able to stop the early morning bottle. It was a huge pain to warm a 5am bottle in someone else's home [no bottle warmer, and i can't navigate another kitchen in the dark], so we would get up early with her and forego that bottle. In just a couple days' time, she didn't even seem to miss it. And a couple days after we returned home, Ella had eaten a late evening snack. When it came to bedtime, she didn't want to drink her bottle. It was the first time that had happened, but she slept all night anyway! So we decided it was time. The following days, we gave her a bedtime snack and no bottle. She was confused the first few days, but within a week it was our new routine. Three days before the 15-month mark, we were done with bottles!
I think that pretty much sums up Ella's latest month! It's been a busy one, but definitely fun for us all.