Ella Does a Show

“Just picture the audience in their underpants,” I said to Ella as we drove to the ice arena after she confided in me that she was nervous because there would be a lot of people she didn’t know watching her skate.  Hysterical laughter erupted from the backseat.

By the time we made our way downstairs to check her in, she was ready. She seemed so grown up all of the sudden. She confidently gave me a hug goodbye and walked back with one of the volunteers to the locker room where the kids in her group would spend most of Saturday. Hair curled, flower clipped in, one frilly costume and a pair of white ice skates – she was ready for the big show.

As I walked away, I felt nervous for her. Would she feel scared being in a room with a bunch of strangers all day, would she freeze when she got onto the ice, would she forget the routine and get upset? A half hour later, we took our seats in the front row where she’d be able to see us. She had a whole section cheering for her as she took the ice.

She is second from the right, next to the little boy. She was cautious, which she said she was going to be since she didn’t get to wear her helmet and didn’t want to fall, but she worked her way through the routine.

She had done it. I was proud of her for being brave enough to participate in the show. When we picked her up after the first show, she was beaming with pride and loved getting flowers.

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She could not wait to do the second show later that evening. It was her best performance of the day. I wish I would have been able to get video of it rather than just catching it from the far end with the other volunteers. When I told her that she’d be able to watch it on TV later this week, she was super excited.

After a very long day, I took her our for frozen yogurt, just the two of us. She just could not stop smiling and saying how much she loved being in the ice show. It looks like we found an activity that may stick, at least for now.

This morning she passed her current level and is going to be starting in the lessons for older kids. She’s so happy and I’m happy for her.

Three Things Thursday {Little Bit of Life}

I don’t know about you, but this time change has caused nothing but problems this week. Grumpy, emotional kids and a husband working late every day, has made for an exceptionally trying week. It hasn’t been all bad though. Here are three things that have made my week.

  1. Ella has been in ice skating lessons since the fall. She has loved it and is super excited to participate in the annual ice skating show next month. Monday we had the pre-show pictures. I still cannot get over this adorable kid.3395_10102678455635423_8306562227290657710_n
  2. Anderson has blossomed into a kid, basically overnight. I swear the minute he turned 2.5 years old, he decided he was ready to really talk. He is now talking and singing up a storm. In music class and in our early childhood class, he is answering questions and singing along loudly. When I laughed the other day and said, who are you? He just looked at me and said, “I’m AJ mommy.” Yes, yes you are.12694889_10102620219116873_3252754204973665080_o
  3. Ella is really into St. Patrick’s Day. I think it’s just because she loves holidays. I put her in charge of helping me decide on things she wants to do to celebrate. First she wanted to make leprechauns which was easy enough. Then she found rainbow cookies on Pinterest. 11313056_10102682218888833_2943611067533248874_oTwo hours later, here we are. I’m never making them again, but both kids were so excited and appreciative. It was worth it.

It’s really the little things that brighten my day and week. Training has also been awesome, so that update to come!

All About Ella – Three Years

Ella turned three back on the 3rd.

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How it is possible that she is three already is a mystery. I just brought her home from the hospital yesterday right? This girl.

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She is a whopping 26 lbs and about 35 inches tall. She has a head full of untamed curls and finally all the teeth she should by now. Those two year molars were almost three year molars.

Over the past year Ella has turned into such a kid. She’s not a toddler, she is full on preschooler now, going on 16. Fiercely independent, the most common phrase at our house is “I’ll do it all by myself.” This includes everything from picking out her clothes and getting dressed to getting her own cereal and milk and putting herself to bed at nap time. The only time she wants help is when she gets frustrated (i.e. throws a tantrum) and finally asks for help once she calms down.

She offers to help all the time. She often helps me make meals in any way she can. She sets the table for dinner and is in charge of feeding Lucky (her request). I think it’s great that she is starting to want to take on chores and is enjoying them. I didn’t expect that for several more years.

Tantrums have hit and they’ve hit hard. 95% of them are due to frustration. We’ve been working hard on using words to express emotion rather than tantrums. When she’s overtired, there is no help for any of us. We have to just let her calm down on her own. These are my least favorite part of this age.

Outside of the tantrums, she is very sweet. She’s quick to say I love you, give hugs and asks for cuddles. When I recently fell and skinned my elbow on a run (side note, I’m sure I looked like a total idiot) she gave it a kiss and immediately went to the bathroom for a band-aid, which she applied and asked if I needed ice. She then gave it another kiss and said “I’m so sorry you fell down and got hurt mommy. It will feel better soon because you have a band-aid and kisses.”

She is all about being a mommy right now. She carries her doll everywhere. She tells me often that when she’s a big kid (i.e. adult) that she is going to get married (sometimes it’s to daddy and sometimes Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid), and have two babies. When she goes to work she will pump so that she can leave mommy milk for her babies while they’re at school.

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Yep, she even nurses her baby. Mimicking behavior and language is going strong, which means we have to really make sure we’re not doing/saying anything we don’t want her to do.

She has developed strong emotional relationships with people other than us and isn’t shy about showing preferences. She is really loving Peter and Rachel who we see every weekend now that we live here. She adores her cousins and actually get excited to see family members. She loves making friends, but like me, feels shy initially and tends to quietly standby and watch kids play if she’s feeling excluded. It’s interesting seeing traits we’ve passed on in her.

Her communication skills are off the charts. I tried to get her on video telling you about herself but all I got was this:

We have clear, lengthy conversations with her – often that she’s started. People who aren’t around her often laugh at what comes out of her mouth. We were out and had to wait in line for a bathroom a few months ago, she calmly said “Mommy, the bathroom is occupied so we have to wait in line.” The woman in front of me turned around and said she’d never heard a toddler speak like that. She absorbs words and phrases like a sponge. It’s pretty amazing.

We’re now singing as well, especially songs from Frozen.

Of course she tells us that we are not allowed to sing the songs unless we’re wearing a skirt or dress. She likes to listen to the same songs over and over to learn the words. When we’re in the car she will tell us to turn up songs she likes (Katy Perry, Paramore, and Iggy Azalea are favorites at the moment) and off songs she doesn’t. Oh Ella.

We’ve been completely potty trained for about seven/eight months. After months with no accidents, we did see a spike when we moved. I think it was just a slight regression due to all the change. Outside of development some of her favorite things include: pink – still loving pink (so she’s really excited about her new room at our house), babies and princesses, skirts, dresses, tiaras – all princess, all the time.

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She also loves swimming, running, parks, playing with friends and her cousins, Anderson, and coloring. She will color for hours. She’s gotten pretty good and even stays in the lines for the most part. She is a character.

She’s grown and learned so much in the past six months since her last update I feel like I could write a book. I just cannot believe she is three years old!

Making of Memories

There is something about the smell of popcorn, cotton candy and handheld light up toys that brings memories from my childhood flooding back. On Saturday afternoon, Ella and I sat in our seats at a local events center, ready to be wowed by the 100 Years of Disney ice skating show. I scanned the audience, seeing random lights all around, kid scarfing down on popcorn and other treats, and instantly felt like a kid again. It brought back memories of attending the circus, begging to get one of those cheap toys and get all of the clowns’ autographs (obviously this was before Stephen King ruined clowns for me).

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As I stared off into the crowd, I started to wonder when she’ll start to form long term memories. What sounds, smells and sights will ignite fond childhood memories? Will she remember Disney on Ice, trips we take, special events or just random days that were special in their own way?

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I watched Ella’s eyes wide with wonder as she watched her favorite princesses and characters take the ice. She sat there mouth agape in amazement. It brought a huge smile to my face and I realized that whether or not she remembered that day fondly, it was totally worth the cost of admission, a coloring book and a souvenir cup of lemonade.

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