11 months

No worries. I'm not confused as to the age of my daughter. I'm just VERY behind on posting! So, I figured I should do her 11 month post before her 1st birthday...even if that IS only 5 days away! (all of this post has been written in the 11-month perspective)

We celebrated Ella's 11 month birthday in Ormond Beach, Florida. At first she wasn't too sure about the sand, but after a few minutes, she seemed to get used to it. Although, when the tide started coming in and water ran up on her, she was less than impressed! Such a sweet little bathing beauty!

Ella began showing off a new way of sleeping while on the trip. I have no clue how she does this or how in the world it's comfortable, but she is quite the limber little thing. Olympic gymnast, maybe?!

If you can't tell, she spreads her legs and lays her torso down in between. She doesn't fall asleep like this every time, but if I go in and find her like that, I always have to readjust her. It hurts me to see her sleeping like that! Obviously she finds it comfortable...somehow!

Ella is a big fan of water bottles. If ever we're somewhere and don't have a toy, just pull out the water bottle! Or even if we have a toy, and she sees a water bottle, she's going to reach for that bottle! Endless fun and entertainment...full or empty!

Speaking of water...Ella learned how to drink out of a sippy cup this month. I say "thank you" to big brother for that one! She watched him drink from his so much that it basically came naturally. In fact, she started taking his so often that I had to buy her a couple of her own (the one in the pic below is Riley's...). She's not as addicted to water as Riley, yet, but she seems to like it okay.

Two more teeth came in this month! That puts us at 4 (2 middle bottom and 2 middle top)!

Ella and I have always had a strong mother-daughter bond, but in the past few months she and her daddy have developed a very special relationship. She adores him, and I think he's pretty smitten with her, too. :)

Apparently, Ella has a similar love for pulling DVD's off the rack as her brother did around this age. Here's Riley at almost 11 months...
 And here's Ella a little before turning 11 months...

Ella experienced her first Halloween this year. However, when I tried to take cute brother/sister pictures, she refused to cooperate!
 And there were tears - lots of tears!

Little Miss certainly has a mind of her own! I mean, don't we all, but since Day 1 of her time on this earth, I've known she was going to be strong-willed. Her will is displayed mostly in times of eating. I was telling my mom the other day that Ella's eating habits (or lack of) has been my biggest stressor lately. Don't judge, but this girl is still taking 5 bottles at 11 months. That's right, 5! She has never liked baby cereal. She can pretty much take or leave baby food. Squash is definitely her favorite, but she's very picky about the rest. She's not a huge fan of fruit (what??) and there's only a couple of other veggies she'll eat. Even then, she only eats about 2 jars a day. Riley would eat 2 jars at one meal. This is such a learning curve for me. So, even though we didn't start Riley on table food until a year, I went ahead and began Ella early in hopes that we'd find some food she'd actually eat. It's a slow process, but there have been a few things she's taken a liking to. I'm praying there will be more in the next month or two! Here she is showing off her self-feeding abilities. :)

This girl loves music (really, I'm not sure how she could be part of our family and not!) and is still refusing to crawl the "typical" way. We've started calling her 'Scooter' because of how she moves from one place to another. This next video shows both the joy she finds in music and how she 'scoots.'

Ella Grace, you are an amazing blessing to our family! I thank God every day for choosing to place you in our home! You bring us all so much joy and laughter. I pray you will always be yourself and do things the way God created you to, and not how the world says you should (i.e. crawling). We love you SO much, munchkin! I can't believe this is my last 'month' birthday update for you! Here we come, big one-year-old!


Who doesn't like FREE?

I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of sending someone just a plain-jane greeting card. I love to send personalized cards, and in the past I've made those on Shutterfly. Just recently, though, Shutterfly created a new greeting card brand named Treat. If you haven't already looked at their website, www.treat.com, you should check it out! Treat cards are VERY easy to make, they cover every occasion imaginable (holidays, birthdays, thank yous, etc etc etc), and they're personalized by YOU! Also, one of my favorite features is that you can include a gift card inside your Treat card. They have partnered with www.tangocard.com, and when you send someone a gift card with their greeting card, they can either choose to shop at one of the many partnering stores, donate the money to a charity or redeem it for cash! How awesome is that??

And guess what else is awesome? Just for reading about Treat on my blog, you get a FREE greeting card! All you have to do is go to www.treat.com, create your card, and type in the code TREATBLOGR at checkout! It's as simple as that! But, be sure to act quickly! The code is only good today (11/19) and tomorrow (11/20). Happy card making!


No Monitor

I'm sitting on the couch right now, and instead of hearing two baby monitors in the background, I hear silence. It's so weird! Why don't I hear monitors? Because the kiddos who are usually on the other end of those monitors are not here tonight. Daniel and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a week-long mission trip to Peru, so Riley and Ella are spending the next week with Ya Ya (Daniel's mom) in Little Rock. I drove them up there this morning (which was a dream trip, by the way - both kids did SO well!), got them settled, took a shower (a whole other story for another time - our plumbing at the house has been less than desirable this week), and then headed back to Texas (post-obligatory Wal-mart trip).

We are now packed (mostly) and relaxing a bit before hitting the sack preparing for a long day of travel tomorrow. We'll drive to Houston in the morning (about a 4.5 hour trip), catch our flight to Lima at 3:30 and arrive in Peru at 11 pm. Then Saturday morning we'll get up and drive 6 hours to the mountain village where we'll spend the week. All prayers are appreciated!! We are so excited to see what the Lord will do over the next week! AND, Daniel and I are personally excited because this is our FIRST international mission trip TOGETHER! We've both been multiple places, but never as a married couple! This is literally a dream come true for me!

I know I'm way behind on posting (Ella turning 11 months, Family vacation to Florida, plumbing issues, etc.), but it will have to wait until after this next great adventure! Ciao until we return!