Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ella's 2nd Birthday! (Better Late Than Never)

Ella's birthday was celebrated over the course of a few days this year. We started on her birthday, and then celebrated again when the Fergusons came into town for Thanksgiving.

Here is Ella with Aunt Sandra and the balloon she got Ella for her birthday.

Ah, the simple joys . . . to be completely happy with a balloon for your birthday!

Ella shared her night with Aunt Sandra whose birthday was in October. Mommy made a quadruple layer ice cream cake. It had two layers of lemon cake with a layer of Butter Pecan ice cream and a layer of Pralines and Cream ice cream AND a brownie bottom! Thanks to Sandra's local natural foods market, the cake, brownies, and icing were organic :)

Make a wish!

That night we went to the Aquarium because they had a member night. Ella got a happy birthday otter pin and had fun at her favorite exhibits. Here Aunt Sandra is making a rubbing of some dolphins in one of the children's areas. Ella just likes to play with the crayons :)

In that same area there are whale and dolphin fins and flippers to try on for size . . .

Daddy, Grandma, and Grace are watching Ella play in the Splash Zone. Grace is contemplating when it will be her turn.

Is Daddy just trying to help Ella see, or are we practicing for the circus?

Mommy gives Ella a kiss after putting her in her jammies before we all get in the van to go home . . . a key move when your toddler will inevitably fall asleep on the way home!

The night before Thanksgiving, we had another party for Ella and another cake so the Fergusons could celebrate with Ella. Mommy made an Elmo cake out of two cake rounds, two eggs for eyes, some tissue paper for the party hat, and one cutie for the nose :)

Make another wish!

Ella has gotten pretty darn good at unwrapping!

The big gift of the party . . . Uncle Greg's basketball hoop!

She was dunking in no time!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Garretts Visit, a Big Owie, a Trip to the Doctor, and Finally, Solid Food!

I am overwhelmed with the amount of pics I have to catch up on, so I decided I'm just going to get one post up a day until I'm caught up; otherwise, I would never even try. This post is an attempt at a "catch all" for a few events in the past month . . . lots going on with the Grahl girls :)

These are just some cute pics of Ella at the My Museum in Monterey. We just got a membership so we can use it as a rainy day or any day play place. As you can see, it's a lot of fun for kids!

Apparently, the bulb for the blood pressure gauge can also be inserted into the ear . . . who knew?

Here's our little star . . .

Grace is finally eating solids . . . it's not her; it's me . . . I'm too lazy to have to feed another kid with a spoon and bowl. Ella is technically feeding herself, but I still don't want to have to use all the paraphernalia for both of them. Oh well . . . Grace stares me down when I eat, so I figured it was time to give in.

The girls had their 6 month and 2 year well-baby appointments . . . here they are waiting for the doctor. I thought Ella was cold, so I gave her my vest.

The Garretts came to visit us! We met them at one of Kurt's games. In this picture, I think there must have been a bad call against the Otters :)

We also went to the Aquarium!

A few nights later, Ella was in the kitchen with us as we were making dinner. I think it was a case of "we were all watching Ella, so no one was watching Ella." She touched the open oven door, and burned the palm of her hand--not too bad, but it did blister a little. Luckily, Daddy knew just what to do to make Ella feel better . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween began on Saturday for us as I had to make treats for the cake walk at the Shoreline Church Halloween carnival. I decided to drop off the treats and stay for a while--or for as long as Ella wanted. I was unsure if she would wear her costume or even do more than cling to my leg; she has been going through a shy phase.

Here is Ella in the van on the way . . . for some reason she rode most of the way there with her bee candy bucket on her head!

This is after she won some cookies at the cake walk . . .

There was a play area with crafts and activities . . . this was a big magnetic wall where kids could rearrange metal objects.

Ella also went in the bounce house--she mainly just stood by the door, but she did bounce a little.

On Halloween we actually went to the aquarium and then to pizza to watch a little of the Giants game. Afterward, we came home, put on costumes for pictures, and passed out candy.
The only picture I got of her with the hood on . . . I had to bribe her with M&M's :)
Here she has a mouthful of M&M's--I know--I'm a bad mother!

Dividing the hoard . . . I let them play with the candy we were passing out.

It started out as a friendly sharing of candy . . .

But then Ella took Grace down when Grace tried to take Ella's M&M's!

"What did I do? I swear I didn't touch her, mom!"

So close and yet so far . . . Grace could only taste the wrapper . . .

The no-hood look . . .

There's our smiley baby!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Visit from Nonna

Last week Nonna came to visit for the week! She came on the train, and we picked her up in Salinas. We went to the aquarium right away, and we went to the beach three times.

Here is Nonna with Ella at Asilomar beach . . . Nonna gave Ella all kinds of slimy beach things to play with--Ella even licked some seaweed :(

We also went to the Natural History museum in Pacific Grove . . .

Here is a rare picture of me! I have about 46 pounds in my arms here. We're out in front of the museum by the whale statue.

At MOPS this week I made Ella a tutu!! It was so easy and fun; unfortunately, Ella is not as excited to wear it. I have to talk her into it, and then she will only wear it for a minute or two.

Here Ella is dancing to a Wiggles song in her new "dancing skirt" as I like to call it . . . she's more likely to wear it if it's for dancing.