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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

23 Fabulous things ...

Better late than never right? Here are 23 fabulous things Catherine Ellis is up to .... I think with 24 months I'll have to find another creative way to talk about what she's up too - these lists are getting harder to make!
March 21, 2011
Here we go baby girl:

  • you talk in complete sentences

  • there is nothing you won't say - you can repeat ANYTHING

  • you are super independent ... you want to put your jacket on, buckle your car seat, brush your hair, put on your shoes, walk down steps alone, etc.

  • everything is 'mines' - everything ...

  • you sing ALL the time - sometimes we know what you're singing, others we don't

  • you are a dancing queen, anytime a beat comes on, you're on it!

  • you LOVE music. I know I've said this for months, but you truly have your Daddy's love of music. What I'm trying to do is to teach you to love Madonna and Indigo Girls .... Daddy tries to teach you that my music is yucky, so far you agree with your Daddy.

  • you are still excited to see us even if it's only been an hour

  • your bed is all the way down on the final level .... so far no more jumping incidents

  • you love your baby dolls ... they all have names: baby sister, bone (?), sallie and baby william

  • you're delighted with the time change - outside is still a favorite

  • you don't really care for your milk in the mornings any more ... you're too busy 'playing mama'

  • the past month you've become even more attached to Mama .... it's so fascinating to watch you understand without really understanding what is about to happen

  • you finally recognize that Mommy has a baby in her belly ... however, we're positive you have NO clue what this really means:)

  • you are a born leader - this is a really nice way of saying you are super bossy - your poor Daddy .....

  • your facial expressions are hysterical ... you are your Mama made over in that department

  • the meltdowns have increased ... terrible twos we guess? You will have a meltdown over the tiniest thing ....

  • Mexican or aka 'eat chips mama' is your favorite thing to do

  • your newest song is "you are my sunshine" - compliments of your weekend with Meme

  • you can count to 10 easily

  • you can sing your ABC's well enough for us to know that's what you're singing

  • potty training is still going well -we're not pushing you into it. But you certainly know the difference between using the potty and wearing a diaper

  • you wear a 6 in shoes, 24 months/2T in clothes and have long little legs .... you can reach the bottom elevator buttons now....this thrills you beyond belief

  • still not much hair and it's blond and shows some sign of curl from time to time

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him -

Psalm 127:3

Monday, March 28, 2011

Preparing for Baby Sister!

We spent much of this past weekend celebrating and preparing for baby sister! We've made a lot of progress of Catherine Ellis's big girl room. David and I love antiques and CE's new room is full of them! We found a dresser we love from the 1920's on our way back from Gulf Shores a couple of weekends ago, a night stand at the antique store in our neighborhood and a beautiful bed from a board member that I work with. It all fits pretty nicely and we are pleased. The bedding has been the hardest to choose -we want it to be cute and girly, but not too little girl and not too big girl. We finally found something Sunday and hope that she will love it as much as we do. We've left her room a bright blue and the bedding is lots of different colors that tie in nicely. David's Dad commented on how blue the room was and I assured him that I could 'pink it up' in no time:)

Our plan is to move her next weekend - her 2 year old birthday weekend. We're going to make a really big deal out of her being a big girl (sigh) and hope for the best. We've spent weeks talking about her bed girl bed and she is already very comfortable in referring to every thing in the room as 'mines'. I just don't think my nerves can take moving her until after our biggest event of the year next week!

Here are some shots of the room as it's beginning to take shape:

Dresser and mirror - we love the claw feet and the original glass handles

Nightstand - it's a Victorian style and is painted pale green; matches the bedding

The bed and the bedding ... paisley print .. and the picture doesn't do the bed justice, the foot board is just as gorgeous as the head board ....

We've had quite the helper .... here she is carrying her lamp out of PB Kids

Here is the half of the room that's ready ...

Hopefully after this weekend we can show you the rest of the room ... it's coming together nicely!

I also got to celebrate baby sister's upcoming arrival with a group of my fabulous friends! We had a yummy dinner at 26 and baby sister got lots of sweet outfits and things we certainly needed. Thank you to all the lovely ladies that joined me Saturday night. It's so wonderful to have such a rockin' group of women to share this journey with! I'm so blessed to have such caring friends!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just the three of us ...

We had the opportunity last week to have a special date with Catherine Ellis - all three of us! David had been out of town for work for a few days and came home a little early one afternoon so we took advantage of some special time with our girl and headed to McWane Center to meet The Backyardigins! Catherine Ellis loves the Backyardigins - LOVES them. They sing, dance and have great imaginations - what more could an almost 2 year old ask for, right?

And she loves McWane Center - one of her favorite places to frequent in Birmingham. The Backyardigins were in town at McWane for Spring Break so he headed out to meet them. When we got there Catherine Ellis was SO excited - we had to wait in line and she waved, blew kisses and at times became very impatient because she was ready to see the Backs ...

We only had to wait about 30 minutes - not bad at all - here we are waiting:

Waving to the Backyardigins

Waiting patiently with lots of other little people

And what do you know? As soon as it was finally our turn to meet the Backs .... um hum, you guessed it ....

She looks at her Daddy and says "I don't like them" ....

Project Backyardigins = Fail. Haha - she is still not a fan of people/things she doesn't know ... poor Santa Claus and poor Backyardigins - maybe next year!

But, have no fear - Catherine Ellis LOVES the Science Center and quickly recovered - we went 90 to nothing for about 2 hours until Mommy and Daddy ran out of energy. Here are a few of our favorite things from our recent trip - our most favorite was that Daddy got to go with us!

Trying to catch a digital butterfly ...

Super excited about petting string ray and baby hammerheads

Checking out all the different species of fish

Putting Daddy to work ...

Helping Daddy ...

Align LeftWorking with air and velocity ...

Fun with water - one of our favorites!

Daddy's face in the fun wall ...

Pushing Daddy's face back in ....

Catherine Ellis's face ... so much fun!

When it was time to go Catherine Ellis was not ready of course - but we'll be back again soon. We wanted to cap a great afternoon off with one of our favorites - that's right .... 'eat chips Mama' AKA Mexican! So we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant and ended the day with lots of yummy cheese, chips and quality family time. As we continue to prepare for sweet baby girl #2 to join us we hope we have a few more of these sweet days with just CE .... not that we aren't excited about the arrival of baby sister .... but just embracing a joyful, wonderful and precious 2 years with our first born!

Feeding Daddy some chips


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Transition ...

As you can imagine, we're transitioning and preparing for Baby Cain #2! Catherine Ellis is doing her fair share of transitioning and we are preparing in the coming weeks to move her to her big girl room. This is a move that is bittersweet for Mommy and Daddy - we can't imagine that she is big enough to sleep in a bed, not a crib, a bed - really?? But, in true fashion - she's shown us twice now that she is ready to make the move ....

Hard to tell in the pic, but a rather large goose-bump on the left-hand side of her head

That's right - we have a jumper folks! Catherine Ellis has decided in the past week that she likes to jump out of her crib. Some of this is our fault - her crib has been on the second level since she was old enough to pull up - 7-8 months or so - and she's never ever acted like or tried to jump ship .... until this week. So, needless to say - the first thing Daddy did when he got home last Sunday was lower the crib to the lowest setting.

Low rider crib .... doesn't look that far down from the picture - but it is!

This is a transition and challenge for us all - especially me. I could barely put her in the crib on level two - at this level its next to impossible. So, the coming weeks until Catherine Ellis's big girl room is ready will be interesting since I typically put her down. Baby Sister is growing like a weed - 7 1/2 months/30 weeks this week and makes it pretty difficult for me to bend over the railing and lower Catherine Ellis into the crib ....

Mama and Baby Cain 2 at 30 weeks!

Stay tuned as we continue to prepare for sweet baby girl 2's arrival!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

23 Months & Cain Cain

Yesterday Catherine Ellis celebrated 23 months! What?? Can you all believe she's going to be 2 years old in a month?? We can't! But, if you saw her she's such a big girl these days, which makes it easier to believe. The Cains have had a whirlwind of a week - more on that later - so I don't have 23 things she's up to in this post, but will after the weekend. Stay tuned! Happy 23 months sweet girl - we're so blessed that God chose us to be your parents - thank you for the endless joy you bring us every day!

Speaking of endless joy ... Cain has had a rough week which has made an already crazy season for us (event season, graduate school, pregnancy and a toddler!) crazier this week. To make a long story short, Cain appeared to develop an impacted anal gland earlier this week - something that is common in dogs and boxers - so we whisked him off to the vet thinking we'd get it drained and some antibiotics. That was not the case. When I took him in they thought it was much worse - feeling a tumor in his anal glands - boxers are notorious for tumors - and that the outlook was bleak with it being in an area that is critical to life and functioning normally. This was a SHOCK to me and of course being 7 1/2 months pregnant did not help - I proceeded to blubber all over the place and cry my eyes out. With the combination of the area, size of the tumor/infection and his age - they wanted to sedate him quickly and do some biopsies, sending this immediately to pathology. So, they kept him all day and we got to pick him up that night. We've been on pins and needles since ... and the vet just called this morning - it's been a LONG 2 days - and it's not cancer!!!! YAY!!!! For those of you that know us well, this would have been a strong blow to our family .... not to mention our almost 2 year old who ADORES Cain. ADORES.HIM.

All that to say - for those that have known, thank you for the prayers. For those that didn't - we didn't broadcast this to the world because we just couldn't bear to talk/think about it and tried hard to not think about it in hopes that the best case would work out. So, thank goodness! Emma and Cain have each had tough seasons with tumors this year and scared their parents and biggest fans to death - we're hopeful this is the last we hear of tumors!
Just to give you a glimpse of the size of the love Catherine Ellis has for her buddy Cain - see the pictures from yesterday - this is what she does with him every morning - her daily routine. She greets him, tells him she loves him and says "Gimme a huugggg Cain Cain". Precious. As always, thanks for sharing in our joy.

Hey Cain Cain!

Gimme a huuggg!

Happy Happy 23 Months Catherine Ellis!

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! - 2 Corinthians 9:15

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Catherine Ellis and I had a girls weekend - an impromptu one, but a great one! David has gone to New Orleans for Mardi Gras the past couple of years and he went again this year. My mom was going to join us to help out (it's been a rough week for the Cains, CE has been sick again, out of school, I've had events, etc.) and bless her heart - she got sick Friday afternoon just as she was leaving school with the stomach virus (the same thing we had earlier this week!). So needless to say, Meme did not join us - the Cains would be just fine if the stomach virus never visited us again. This is the third round this fall/winter.

So, we switched gears and had a good ole' girls weekend! First on the agenda was "chips mama" - Catherine Ellis loves cheese dip and chips at Mexican restaurants and we typically go on Thursday nights a couple of times a month. Well we missed this past Thursday because I worked late and she was just having a fit (literally) to 'eat chips Mama'. So off we went to El Caz - a great Mexican joint behind our neighborhood. She was elated and it hit the spot:

Eating chips mama

Gotta wash the cheese off - bath time is still a favorite!

Out like a light!

Next we hung out and just did normal daily kinds of things - this is what we're up to most weekend mornings in our house:

Feeding the baby - she's going to be a great big sis!

Cooking for the baby ....

A little potty time while reading Elmo ...

Dance Party ... the Cains love some dance party

Driving the buggy and helping Mama shop at Publix

Then Aunt CoCo came to visit - Catherine Ellis was OVERJOYED to see her - it's been a while! So we ventured out in the pouring rain to lunch at one of our favorite local places and did a bit of window shopping ... thank you for coming to visit Aunt CoCo - I sure do love you!

Posing (saying CHEESE) with CoCo

Such a big girl ... I can hardly believe this is our tiny infant born almost 2 years ago!

Little bit of window shopping ...

Saturday night we went to play with the love of Catherine Ellis's life - Baby Illiam (William)! We had such a good time. It was good to get out again since we'd been housebound with the weather for most of the day. They play so well together and she is getting great practice at being a big sister. She adores him and loves bossing him around - he's a great sport! Thank you Baby Illiam for a fun play date!

Showing Baby William how to play ... please notice she's sitting in the infant bumbo ...

Entertaining the crowd ...

Having a blast with all William's baby toys ...

My sweet, precious baby girl! Mama sure has treasured her time with you this weekend! Here's to many, many more girls weekends with the joy of my life!