Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hot 'lanta and Rice Cereal

Hum, what do those two things have in common -- not much except that while I was in Atlanta for Caroline's wedding shower, David and Catherine Ellis had some quality Daddy daughter time with rice cereal included. We've been trying to start her on rice cereal....and believe me there has been a ton of research, question asking, etc. before we started the cereal. Her doctor said go for it, start getting her used to something besides liquid so she'll be ready to eat solids at 6 months, but there is that whole food allergy thing. However, after much reading and research, we've started the rice cereal and feel good about it. Just a few times a week we're 'feeding' it to her by spoon and then if she drinks a bottle we'll put a little in there. The first time was not so great, she cried and hated it, but we've done it two more times since then and its gone well. She's not 'eating' it but she's getting a feel for the taste and pushing it around in her mouth, so she's learning.

First time trying rice cereal...not so sure I like this Mom

Trying it again, much better this time

Saturday I headed to Atlanta for a wedding shower I helped host for sweet Caroline! Caroline and I have been great friends since our Camp McDowell summer staff days and I'm honored to be a part of her big day, October 31st in Charlotte. Since she's moved around much of her life, we thought Atlanta would be a good meeting place for those that love her. She had a great turn out and it was wonderful to see her....we can't wait for her and Matt to marry!


Caroline with her Chef Flory apron

Caroline & the hostesses

Love this girl!

We had a great church service this morning and got to catch up with a lot of folks since we've been out of town so much this summer. Catherine Ellis is starting to hold her bottle a little...

Trying to hold my bottle

Something else she is also learning to do is grab her feet -- she's learning new tricks everyday!

Holding my feet!

Another great weekend with great friends! We're excited about this next week because it's a short work week and we head to the beach for 5 days! Until our next update, have a great week....

Have a great week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome to the world.....

Dalton Ruth Bendinger, 5lb, 10oz, 19 inches
Daughter of Proud Parents Nancy and Doug Bendinger

Mom and baby are doing well! Catherine Ellis can't wait to meet Dalton!
Nancy and I are childhood friends who are about 4 months apart in age and now Catherine Ellis & Dalton will be 4 months apart -- how neat is that? She's precious.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh the things I can do.....

Cain and Catherine Ellis have a special connection -- not that Emma and Catherine Ellis don't, but Emma is more tolerant than interested. Cain on the other hand entertains the dickens out of Catherine Ellis! He gets the biggest kick out of her and she out of him. This is from a few weeks ago. Our good friend Katherine (who just moved) and her brother came over to love on us one more time and play with the doggies...that's when all the fun began (please excuse our commentary). See for yourself!

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Catherine Ellis is really learning fast about all the sounds she can make....she's got the laugh down pretty well and now we've moved on to razzing (the motor sound with your lips and tongue) and shrieking out loud! She's adorable to listen to, but hard to catch! She doesn't perform very well on demand. However, I was able to catch a little of it for you tonight -- it's pretty up close since she was in my lap -- but still so cute. She's started responding to me when I do it and makes the sound back, what a smart baby!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life in the Fast Lane

It's been almost two weeks since our last update, however, we have a great excuse and I'll more than make up for it. The past two weeks have been life in the fast lane. We've had something almost every night and the past two weekends were jam packed with fun activities and great friends. Catherine Ellis travels so well we decided we'd do a Lower Alabama (LA) tour.

The school weeks have been good, Catherine Ellis stays busy in school and seems to be enjoying it more, here are some pictures from the school week:

Trying out the Exersaucer for the first time, not so sure I like it

Trying to sit up like a big girl

Bumbo time

I made the front window .... it's been a loooonngg day
We traveled to Jasper to visit David's parents the weekend before last. Catherine Ellis spent quality time with her Gran and Pop, and even started learning how to cook....

Helping Gran make salad

We attended church Sunday. Catherine Ellis seems to really enjoy church -- she had her eye on Brother Dale the entire service!

Sunday best

This past weekend we headed to Auburn for Nancy Bendinger's baby shower for Dalton Ruth -- she's due in just a few weeks and we're so excited to meet her! I got to catch up with my dear college friends and share Catherine Ellis -- a wonderful day! Congrats Nance & Doug!

Nance, Doug, and Baby Dalton cutting cake

Catherine Ellis in her party outfit

Allison, Catherine Ellis, Me, and Summer

After the baby shower we headed to Selma, AL for Wingo and Brittney's wedding. David's friends are finally starting to get married and so far they've chosen fabulous women! It was a gorgeous wedding and tons of fun. The boys always seem to have a good time no matter what the occasion! Congrats Wingo and Brittney!

The Jtown Boys

David & Lauren breaking it down

Whew! Sorry for the long post, but that's been the last two weeks! This weekend we are headed to Atlanta to celebrate Caroline's upcoming marriage in October! It's party season and 2 more weeks until football....let the good times begin.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Friday!

Today is Miss Madeline's 2nd birthday -- Happy Birthday! She is my good friend's (Allison Solomon) little girl. We hope you have a great day!
We said good-bye to our dear friend and Catherine Ellis's namesake (she really lobbied for Catherine with a K, but did not win), Katherine Webb, on Wednesday. Katherine and I worked together at Girls Inc. and became great friends; she's now headed to UNC Wilmington to get her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing! YAY Katherine. Catherine Ellis, Cain and Emma LOVE Miss Katherine -- she is going to be greatly missed!

Katherine & Miss Emma at Ruffner Mountain


Katherine & Catherine Ellis (Katherine is working on her CE faces!)


Katherine & Cain playing (this is Cain's most favorite person in the world, besides Pop)


I'm glad I got to post some pictures of Cain & Emma, as most of you know they are our first children and I don't want them to get lost in the mix -- we still love them very much! We don't get to spend as much time loving on them as we'd like, but they are still very much a part of our lives.

And last, but certainly not least I'm going to post a picture of one of Catherine Ellis's favorite people at the YWCA, Miss Carolyn! Miss Carolyn also happens to be the COO and one of my bosses; she oversees the day care and we couldn't be happier about that. Miss Carolyn is a FABULOUS child development guru and I don't know what I'd do without her. She loves on Catherine Ellis during the day, is on our emergency contact list when I'm not in the building and Catherine Ellis needs something (like Tylenol on Wednesday when she was running a low-grade fever from her shots!), and she keeps me calm when I'm freaking out like a new Mommy! Thanks for all you do Carolyn!


Miss Carolyn & Catherine Ellis

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What a joy....

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

4 Month Check-up

We had a great check up at the doctor this afternoon. Catherine Ellis is right where she needs to be and Dr. Farr is very pleased with her progress. As always, we waited a while, but at least we have a gorgeous view of Birmingham while we wait.

Enjoying the view of downtown Birmingham

They weighed her first and she was so excited -- something about being on a changing table type of surface. The nurse asks us a series of questions like, does she roll over to one side, laugh, smile, kick, etc. Well Catherine Ellis did all of these on the scale and it tickled the nurse...she said what every parent longs to hear "Wow, she's doing a lot for a 4 month old!" Of course we know our child is advanced, but it's good to have it validated from someone outside of our family. haha!

Loving the scale!

Here are her stats:

Length - 24 inches
Weight -12.8 lbs
Head - 16 inches

She's currently in the 20th-50th%...Dr. Farr says she's looking great!
Waiting for my shots
Standing like a big girl

She was quite the trooper again and only cried about a minute or so during and after the shots!! Mom didn't cry this time either! So, all in all, a great doctor's visit. We head back again in October. She is sleeping peacefully as I'm typing this, so all seems to be well! Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

4 Month Check Up

Catherine Ellis's 4 month check up is today at 2:00 p.m. Please keep us in your prayers as we go for our second round of vaccinations. I'm a big ole' baby and cried the last time, I'll try not to this time, but when she looks at me with those great big, tear filled eyes and lets out that painful cry, I can't help it. Maybe this time will be a bit easier on Mom -- Catherine Ellis weathered last time like a champ! We'll post the doctor's report here later today!

Until then, here we were 2 months ago after the shots.....

No more shots for me please!

And the battle begins....

When I went to pick up Catherine Ellis today she looked like this......

Uh oh...Daddy is not going to like this!

And the battle begins....with only 26 days left until college football starts, we're gearing up! I told Catherine Ellis's teacher, Miss Dana, she had no idea the kind of war this was about to start! Hehe...all in good fun people! David nor I care one bit which team she roots on (let's be honest, I don't care, David does) -- as far as we're concerned she can be a Sewanee fan!

She had a really good day -- here are a few of her Monday afternoon activities:

Play time in my Bumbo at school

Afternoon buggy ride

Sunday, August 9, 2009

4 Months

I simply can not believe my sweet baby is 4 months old today -- where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday she was eating 16 times a day, sleeping most of the day, and keeping Mommy and Daddy up all hours of the night. I can remember holding her at only a few weeks old and thinking to myself "I will never forget how small she is!" Don't get me wrong, we are thrilled she is growing and healthy, but there are days I wish she was my little Butterball turkey that fit right in the middle of my chest.

What we wake up to every morning (well most mornings!)

She's no longer that small -- but she's still tiny and we are enjoying her so much. This is most of what she is doing at 4 months:

  • She's smiling a ton -- almost anything you say to her, she smiles back at you (it melts our hearts!)
  • She's laughing out loud -- it's a soft giggle, but so cute
  • She's learning to make noises with her mouth
  • She's very perceptive -- watching everything around her
  • She's a great sleeper at night (she averages 8-10 hours between feedings now) -- we're still working on day time napping
  • She loves to ride in the car
  • She loves the water -- pool, lake, ocean, bath tub
  • She's well socialized -- we have day care to thank for this -- tons of people hold her throughout the day and she has a very diverse class
  • She has just started grabbing and holding onto objects
  • She can stand on her feet with help
  • She loves her Bumbo seat -- it allows her to sit up
  • She can hold her neck up and tries really hard to sit up at all times
  • She's very active -- kicking her legs and moving her arms at all times
  • She's discovered her hands and is constantly holding her hands
  • She's teething -- started at 15 weeks -- she has 2 buds on her top and 2 buds on her bottom
  • She loves the changing table -- you could leave her there all day and she'd be content
  • She really watches Cain and Emma -- she laughs at Cain a lot -- he talks to her all the time and she finds him funny. We know they will be best buds in about another year or so.
  • She's LONG -- her legs hang off of me when I hold her and they are to the end of her car seat.
  • Rolling over to one side -- mostly her right side
  • Sucking on her fingers, hands, both hands, whatever will fit in her mouth
  • She's a great eater -- imagine that!
  • Still not much hair, but we're working on that
Here are some pics of the things she is doing at 4 months:

Holding onto Mr. Parrot on her play gym

Hanging out with Caleb (7 months)

Sitting in my Bumbo seat

Riding in the buggy with my friend, Josephine (7 months)

What a joy she is! I can't imagine our lives without her and we're so thankful each and every day that she is healthy! God has truly blessed us -- our cup runneth over.

First Wedding

Catherine Ellis attended her first wedding this weekend! A former student of mine, Jacoby Kindred, was married on Saturday afternoon and we took Catherine Ellis. She was wide eyed and bushy tailed up until we arrived and then she became sleepy.

We arrived to find that all children 6 and under must go to the nursery during the ceremony .... ... I'm going to let you guess what we did ...... if you know either of us, you know we weren't going to leave our pride and joy with people we didn't know .... so Daddy and daughter had some great bonding time in the church lobby while I attended the ceremony.

We then headed to the reception at the Winfrey, Catherine Ellis slept for a while but awakened to lots of music and fun. We had our first stranger come up and ask if she could hold the baby. We figured it would be okay and we want her to socialize, so socialize she did. This woman was so funny -- she just took her and walked her around the reception like she was her baby .... everyone was stopping her to see Catherine Ellis, not only because she was so cute, but because they all knew she was not her grandbaby -- this woman was black -- it was hysterical! The lady was really nice and it made her day to walk around with her, so we were good sports. Catherine Ellis never cried and loved every minute of it! She was worn out by the time we headed home ... she never ceases to amaze us at how easy going and good natured she is ... she's a delight!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Time Fun Part II

Does Mommy really have to go back to work? I'm stressed about it -- can't you tell?

I started back to work July 6th and it's been a whirlwind of a ride since then. David and I are becoming pros at the morning and night routines, but it's certainly been an adjustment. Catherine Ellis has adjusted well -- probably better than us -- and seems to enjoy watching the older kids in her class. We are blessed that she attends day care at the YWCA with me! I get to peek in on her during the day and feed her. I dreamt for years that my child would be able to attend this wonderful day care and it's truly a dream come true. Here is Catherine Ellis on her first day of school!


Another dear friend has been adjusting to life as well. David's best friend, Adam Johnston, has just returned from Vanuatu (an island off the coast of Australia) after serving 2 years in the Peace Corps. We are thrilled that he is back and boy does Catherine Ellis love her Uncle Adam!



Next Meme came to visit for the week and spend a few days at home with Catherine Ellis. This worked out perfectly since she began teething (at 15 weeks!!) just a few days before. Meme and Catherine Ellis had a great time together! This is her typical stance when her teethies are hurting her.


The next weekend we headed to the beach with Auntie B and Uncle C for Catherine Ellis's first beach trip. She seemed to love it -- even the sand. Of course in true baby fashion it wore her out and she was fast asleep before we could blink our eyes. She also donned her first pair of sunglasses -- these were not a hit!


The next weekend we attended our first birthday party -- a Princess Party. Sallie Byars, one of our best friends daughter, and David share the same birthday. Catherine Ellis and I had a blast. Of course I could not resist dressing her up as a little baby princess!


And last but not least, we celebrated David's big 26 on July 29th! We finally made it to J. Clyde -- a new bar in town that serves high gravity beers (gourmet) and had a blast. Catherine Ellis had her first babysitters, two girls on my staff and they all had a great time -- I think they held her the whole time, which she loved! Here is David with some of his work buddies and then a picture of me and sweet Carter!