Saturday, July 27, 2013

Third Annual Cow Appreciation Day

Cow Appreciation Day is quickly becoming an annual tradition in our family, and we love it! The best part of it is that we’ve added more family to the tradition each year! The first year we were married, it was just Ben and I that went. Last year, it was Ben, Ellie and I. This year, after a few years of convincing, we got my mom to go, and my sister which meant Ethan also came! Next year we’ll work some more on Dad and Nate, they were still refusing this year. We had a blast though. For those of you that don’t know, Cow Appreciation Day is this thing Chick-Fil-A does once a year where if you dress up like a cow, you get a free meal. For us, it’s basically a chance to build a fun family tradition. 

Why someone didn't tell me before the picture that my ears were hanging low...I have no idea!!

Ellie’s second annual Cow Appreciation Day.  There aren’t many things we can say are her second annual! In fact, aside from her birthday, this is really her only second annual event.

Happy First Birthday Bean!

So on the 4th of July, Ellie turned one. ONE!!!!!!! Already!! For months I’ve been thinking, “I can’t believe Ellie is almost one!” Now it’s come and gone, and she’s on her way to two. How does time pass so quickly? I swear it wasn’t very long ago that we held this tiny, beautiful little girl in our arms for the first time.

But alas, somehow, it has already been a year since then, and now she’s grown up to be the most wonderful, sweet, silly, loving, happy, smart, playful, beautiful one year old ever!

Let me tell you about this amazing one year old we have.
Weighing in at 16 pounds, 3 oz, and 29 inches tall, she’s finally on the charts at the doctors! She eats like a mad woman, but her busy-body nature (and her luck inheriting her grandpa Brady’s metabolism) keeps her on the tiny side.  We’ve finally run across something she doesn’t like, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s something her dad doesn’t like either. Berries. With the exception of strawberries (which she LOVES!) she won’t eat berries. Not blueberries or raspberries or blackberries. In fact,  just a few days before her birthday we were feeding them to her and were astonished to see that she’s already learned to fake like she’s eating and hide her food! Clever little squirt! We gave her some blueberries, and she wasn’t really eating them. I kind of broke some a little smaller, and tried putting it by her mouth and encouraging her to eat them. Didn’t work. So I just said “ Eat your blueberries Elles”, and she starts doing something like this: She’d put them to her mouth right by her lips, pretend like she was chewing for a few bites, then continue to pretend chewing as she slowly lowered the blueberry down and out of sight. Once we realized what she was doing we looked and found a stash of blueberries on her highchair by her leg! She had totally been trying to pretend like she was eating them to fake us out! Sneaky girl!  That seriously doesn’t even begin to cover how sneaky she is. All the time she’ll do little things to be sneaky. When she goes for something she can’t have, and we move her away, she’ll ignore it for a few minutes like she’s forgotten about it, but then she’ll move to play with something near it and suddenly lunge over for it. I’m sure she’s just thinking “haha, tricked you!” And all the time she’ll pretend like she wants to go to someone to give them a hug or something, which makes them so happy, until they realize she just wanted to beheld by the person closest to whatever object she is interested in snatching. Silly girl!
She’s also the sweetest little dear ever. She gives hugs and kisses at the sweetest times, she gives random, sweet snuggles, and she has a sweet and sharing little heart.  She has this little mini super soft blanket things she sleeps with that we call softie. One day, after we had been up all night, she chose to wake up at 5:30.  I was totally dead, so I just threw a pillow on the floor and laid down in her room, closed the door, and let her play around me.  After playing for a while, she suddenly stops and looked at me sacked out on the floor. She stops playing, crawls over to her crib and stands up by it, reaches in and pulls softie out, then puts softie right on my neck by my face and heads back to her playing. It was so cute. It was just like she was saying, “Mom, you look like you’re having a hard day. You need softie. Here it is.”
She’s also a very polite little thing. She says, “thank you” (which really sounds more like day-doo) whenever you give her something, and she’s very good at sharing. She’ll give you anything you ask for.

Apparently, she’s also a party animal. This last Saturday night, we were in Salt Lake for a family dinner. Every year my aunt has a family dinner to celebrate all the birthdays on that side of the family that are in July (mine, moms, and now Ellie’s ). Well, a few hours before we went to dinner, I got crazy sick with a nasty bug and couldn’t go. The story I heard when everyone else got back though made me wish I had been able to so bad! My aunt had a little miniature bounce house, and apparently, it turned my little girl into a wild child. She was just chasing after Ethan like mad and laughing like crazy, Ben said she’d randomly charge into the mesh siding, rub her face in it and just laugh, laugh, laugh and that she was climbing all over that thing like a mad woman.  My mom was also telling me about how she was crazy on the slide. Apparently, she went down normal once and kinda got stuck. After that, she discovered she didn’t get stuck if she went down on her back, so she just started launching herself head first on her back down the slide. They said she just had SOOOOOO much fun! Crazy little girl J

Some other adventures we’ve been dealing with. She’s a smarty pants. Like and I’m-in-trouble- because-she’s-already- smarter- than- me kind of smarty pants. Remember the diaper finger painting in her crib post? Well, the only solution we found was duct tape. Now she’s figured out how to take the duct tape off her diapers.  We’ve had all sorts of good ideas from other people about ways to keep the diapers on, but none worked except the duct tape. They don’t make pull ups small enough for her, we can’t put them on backwards because they don’t fit well enough and doing so causes catastrophic leaks, and it doesn’t matter what kind of clothes she has on over them because she just grabs at the diaper through her clothes and gets them off, so long PJ’s have done us no good.  The only thing we’ve been able to do is use MORE duct tape. LOTS of it, and we’ve continued to place it so the ends are in the back. It’s working so far, but she still plays with the long edges, and I swear one day soon, even our best duct taping efforts won’t be enough.
Also, she recently got out of her pack and play. We have no idea how, except that she has mad climbing skills. We were at my parent’s house and had put her down for the night when all of a sudden, we hear this weird sound, followed by a squeal. We went to check on her, and low and behold she was crawling around the floor, out of her pack and play. The weird sound had been the door stop, it’s a spring on the back of the door and she had flipped it.
The third adventure we’ve been experiencing lately is walking. Yep. She’s basically there. She can stand straight up in the middle of the floor without grabbing anything, and take several steps towards what she wants. She’s still a bit wobbly, so she hasn’t made it more than 6-8 steps, but that won’t last more than a few days I’m afraid. YIKES! We can already tell she’s going to be fast too….her little legs just MOVE! Time to strap on the running shoes!

As far as talking, she has maybe a dozen words that she says (maybe 8 of those she says pretty well, and then there’s a few others that don’t sound like themselves much, but she has words for), she’s getting good at half a dozen signs, and in general she’s just very good at communicating. I think teaching her just a few signs has helped her to realize that she can use her hands to communicate, and all the time she’ll make up her own signs for things but we can very often tell what she’s trying to tell us, or what she wants because of her made up little signs.
This is getting long, so I’ll move on, it’s just so fun to talk about all these little aspects that make Ellie Ellie and that make us so proud!!!! I love watching her grow and learn every single day. She is truly an amazing little spirit and we love her more than words can say.

Alright, to wrap up here’s a little snippet on Ellie’s first birthday. It’s kind of odd to have a birthday on a holiday, and we weren’t sure what to do. In the future, we’ll just let her decide what she wants to do to celebrate, but being one, she couldn’t really decide. We just ended up deciding to do her birthday party kind of fourth of July style, meaning lots of family lots of food. I had family in town from Washington (The Careys), and Nicole and Danny were down visiting from Idaho, so that was great timing!  We were planning to go to the Hot Air Balloon festival in the morning, but thanks to the weather, that got cancelled. We ended up sleeping in, and going to breakfast at Kneader’s, where Ellie got a free birthday cannoli.  Then we headed home to get the party food ready. We opted for a lunch party, because Bri, Nate and Ethan were going to the rodeo in the evening, and the Careys had to get back on the road to head home.  Everyone came over, Ellie opened her presents, and we had a delightful BBQ style lunch (minus the bbq, we did crock pot pulled pork sandwiches instead).  We also made cupcakes and were going to let Ellie go at them, but that didn’t work out. There’s another post coming on that soon.

Here are some pictures, and then I think that’s finally the end of the post! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Last Minute Catch Up

Alright, so this is basically my last chance to catch up on blogging before Ellie turns one, because the next few weeks are going to be BUSY and full of blog-worthy things. If I don't get these past ones done now, they'll never happen.

A quick review of some things that I've meant to blog about the past month or so but never have:

Ben and I went to the Brigham City Temple for his favorite mission companion's sealing.

For a date night, we attempted to make our first ever fondant cake. It didn't work that well, but it sure was fun trying!

I've been working on updating our living room so it actually has a color scheme, and the mantle has come the furthest so far. Still has quite a ways to go though, as does the rest of the room. I have to figure out something to replace the black vases with for sure, and it's just missing something still.
The clock I made with the help of my dad and his wood shop. I LOOOOVE it, and it was totally worth all the time and effort.
We had some BEAUTIFUL peonies growing in our yard, and they were HUGE! I took a picture of one next to Ellie's head for size comparison, and she tried to eat it!

We took a lovely scenic drive just a few minutes from our house

Okay, phew, got those few random older things out of the way. Maybe now I can get to current stuff! More swimming pictures, a picnic in the canyon with family, Ellie's birthday, and 1 year old pictures still to come!