Wednesday, December 12, 2012

11 months

Our sweet girl is 11 months today! I cannot believe that in one month we will have a ONE YEAR OLD! That is still so hard to believe! 

This month Ella has developed SO much! I feel like her personality is coming out more and more everyday! She is definitely able to communicate (i.e. yell at us sometimes haha) about what she wants. She is doing great with her sign language and getting really good at telling us when she wants more food, or more of an activity and so on. I am loving being home to see all of this. She is also all over the place. She is not walking along yet, but will hold on to our pinkies and walk...she gets going really fast if she is headed towards a toy she wants or Jaxon. I still think we have some time before she walks unassisted though, which is fine by me! She can get to that when she is ready.

She has started making really silly faces this month and been playing lots of games. She will start the game peek a boo and get really excited when you join in and she loves to play phone. It is still so amazing to me how much a baby grows in a year and that just 11 months ago she slept and ate and that was about it :) Ella still loves bath time (since the day she was born). I am not sure what it is, but bath time always calms her down and she loves it so much. Now getting pj's on after bath time doesn't always go as smooth...haha.

She is a big eater and loves food. Right now she is loving blueberries, sweet potato pancakes, quinoa, bananas, turkey, (rice and beans when Nana takes her to dinner), and yogurt. We are still working on eating straight veggies, but she will eat spinach, broccoli  and peas mixed in her quinoa just fine, so we will take it!

I have been working on planning Ella's birthday party (which might be one of my favorite mom things to do.) I am just so excited to celebrate the blessing she has been in our lives and how much joy she brings us! 

Here are some pic of our big girl....I think we might have some red in that hair...

 Love that sweet face!
 This is the reality of an 11 month photo shoot...haha
 She is such a snuggle bug!
She LOVES books!

Here is to one more month of babyhood! I can't wait to see how she grows this month! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

10 1/2 months

Well this month we are a little late with our monthly update...but that's ok! I will blame it on trying to keep up with my busy girl. She is everywhere lately and I am loving this stage!

This month Ella really got fast with her crawling. It takes her no time at all to get to where she wants to go. She loves crawling into the bathroom when someone is in the shower or heading to the back door when James goes in the backyard. She is also cruising everywhere! She is walking along just about anything she can. I really love watching her grow through these stages and am so thankful to be here to see all this change!

Ella also got an ear infection this month. It is only our second one and was much harder than the first. She was waking up a few times a night and usually pretty fussy, but thankfully she is better now and back to a normal sleep schedule. 

She is also loving solid foods more and more everyday! This girl LOVES to eat her solids. Turkey, bananas, quinoa, food pouches, mangos, butternut squash, and mashed potatoes have been some of her favorites this month!

Here are some pictures of our growing girl...

 She loves playing in her room. 
 Cruising along...
 Silly girl
 This is what happens when you try to get a 10 month old to sit still
YAY we are done with pictures!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for our sweet girl!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

9 months

Ella turned 9 months on Friday and we had her check up that morning. She is a growing girl! So much has changed this month and life definitely looks different with a very mobile baby. Ella started army crawling around 7 1/2 months and I guess she got pretty good at that and wasn't so interested in crawling on her hands and knees, but that has changed very quickly this month! About a week ago she took off and is EVERYWHERE on those little hands and knees. She is getting very fast, too! Also, around 8 1/2 months she got very interested in wanting to stand on everything she could reach. Nap time definitely looks different since every now and then she will stand up and call mama or dada...good thing she is really cute. 

She has also grown a lot since her last check up. She weighs 17 lbs. 6 oz and is in the 50th percentile for weight! She is our petite little one, but we are so thankful that she is continuing to grow. She loves solid food SO much and eats just about anything. 

This month she has been saying a lot of mama, dada, and other babbling and lately she has started saying nana....which my mom loves! 

This month has been filled with a lot of milestones and learning how life looks different with a crawler. We are loving each stage and seeing her grow brings us so much joy! 

Here are some random pictures from the month and from her monthly pictures...

 Pulling up on everything!
 James was able to work his magic and get the camera and flashlight to work together so we could capture this little snuggle bug and how she likes to be close to her sheep and bunny at night. 
 Happy October!
 Such a goofball!
 Always loves that thumb!
 I think we might have more teeth coming in...
 Loves her bunny!
 Reading...lots and lots of reading around here
Loves her baby

Here's to hoping time will slow down just a little....

Monday, September 24, 2012

a big girl carseat

James installed Ella's new carseat this weekend and so far she likes it so much better than her infant seat. She has always disliked being put in her carseat, but lately was REALLY fighting it most of the time. We had a great coupon and some store credit that we needed to use before the beginning of October, so we bought her seat and thought we would go ahead and put it in and see if she liked it better.

So far it has been success! She seems to like sitting up straight more and it nice and soft, too! Picking a carseat was definitely something we researched A TON and talked with other moms we know to see what has worked well for them. We decided on the Britax Pavilion, which is the Boulevard with Click and Safe on the straps. We did not really think that you had to have the Click and Safe, but BuyBuy Baby only had solid black left in the Boulevard and I saw this cute fabric on the Pavilion and was sold! For about $16 more we didn't have to wait for them to order the Boulevard and it is the same carseat just with the click and safe which I don't mind.

I know there are a lot of people who also really love the Marathon and we were definitely between the two of those, but when we put Ella in them she seemed to do better and just fit better in the Pavilion. There were also some reviews that said the Boulevard/Pavilion made it difficult for their baby to see out the window because of the extra side protection foam. We have not had a problem with this at all. We are in a SUV and Ella seems to be able to see out the window just fine. Plus, we really like the extra protection that the side impact foam provides.

Just like any baby decision or purchase you definitely have to do what works best for your family. There are pros and cons to all baby items and you just have to find the one that matches the pros you love and the cons you can deal with.

Here is our sweet girl in her new carseat. She is also cutting her top 2 teeth. We can feel the left one already through her gums and the right one is pushing through....AH! BIG girl!!!

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

8 months

Our sweet Ella is changing so much every month! This month she has been a moving machine. She is army crawling and up on her hands and knees like crazy! She has also gone from laying down to sitting up on her own. This might be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. She is literally laying down and walks her arms back into the full splits to get to sitting up. Every time I take her to the nursery at Watermark or anytime anyone sees this they always call her the little gymnast. It is hilarious!

Also now that she can sit up from laying down, she likes to sit up in her crib, which is a whole new world. She even looks straight into the camera and says, "Mama." She also says baba, dada, and other babbling, but I will just enjoy believing she is calling me by name...haha! I really have loved her learning to say mama has been really sweet. She is a talking machine and loves to talk most when we are driving around.

She is still feeding 4 times a day and eating solids 3 times a day. We have started pulling her highchair up to the table without the tray so she can eat with us as a family. James can't get enough of this and thinks it the cutest thing ever. She loves just about anything we give her and is doing great with picking up all of her finger foods! She gets frustrated grabbing avocados and bananas but finds creative ways to get them!

We are so grateful for our sweet girl! She bring us so much joy! Here are some pictures from her 8 month photos....

Her monthly photo shoots definitely get harder every month...but definitely funnier! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our First Family Trip

A couple of weekends ago we took our first family trip to San Antonio to visit the Hyatt Wild Oaks Ranch. My sweet friend Leah and her family told us about this place and we had such a wonderful time. This was my birthday present from James and it could not have been more perfect!

We left early Saturday morning and Ella slept in the car. We had to stop several times to let her get out and move. Partially because she needed to and mostly because we felt guilty keeping her strapped in. She did SO great except on the way there and back she cried the ENTIRE way through Austin. The moment we left Austin she stopped crying and James thought that was the best thing ever....a future Aggie...maybe? 

When we got there we spent most of our time in the pool, lazy river, eating yummy mexican food, and relaxing. Ella thought all of the pool time was like the world's largest bath and couldn't get enough. They had a splash park at the resort and she loved that too! 

Also, on Sunday afternoon James sent me to the Hyatt Hill Country Spa as my present from Ella. It was heaven! Literally, I left my phone with James and relaxed there for almost 3 hours, got a pedicure, had tea and snacks and decided he can send me to the spa whenever he wants :)

Overall, it was a great getaway. We know traveling with a baby is different every time and every stage is different. We were so grateful Ella did great the whole weekend. We pushed nap times and bed times and definitely were on no schedule whatsoever and it was really nice! 

Also, I would recommend going after "summer" once school starts because we got an amazing deal, since it is a family resort and most kids were back to school. 

Oh, and next time we will try to take more pics with all 3 of us that include both of our faces haha!

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is looking forward to Fall as much as I am! 

Friday, August 31, 2012


Today I feel incredibly humbled to be home with Ella. Making the adjustment to being home has been natural and felt more right than anything I have ever done. Getting used to living on one income has been challenging, exciting, and stretched me in ways that have drawn me closer to the Lord, as well as, strengthened our marriage as we really evaluate where we spend our money. Days filled with play dates, lunch dates with nana, and snuggles have been beautiful. Days with passionate singing (screaming) from teething, wanting to be held all of the time, and being needed every second have been trying and honestly exposed how selfish I can be at times. 

With all of that said this has been such a joyful, refining, and sweet time with Ella. 

I am working on uploading pictures from our first family getaway to Wild Oaks Ranch Resort in San Antonio. I will hopefully post soon with some pictures from the trip!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

7 months

Our sweet girl turned 7 months on Sunday! She is so ready to be on the move, but is completely fine with speed rolling anywhere and everywhere! If I leave the room for a minute she is usually across the room trying to get something like a shoe or Jaxon's bone, so we have officially started picking up as if she is crawling. I am amazed at how fast this girl rolls. 

The other day she rolled onto the hardwoods and decided to start sucking the floor....I guess I will have to clean these floors even more than I thought! 

Ella has also moved to solids 3 times a day and is LOVING it! Her doctor recommended that we move this way since she was loving solids and in the 27th percentile at her 6 month appointment. Since she loves food so much, he said it would be great to go ahead with 3 times a day. James and I joke that Ella eats better than anyone in the house! She gets SO excited when we put her in her high chair and bring out her food. 

Lately, Ella is really loving playing games like peek-a-boo, especially, when we go around the corner and pop out. She just can't get enough. 

This month we are also headed to San Antonio for a family weekend! We are excited for a little getaway for a few days! 

Here are some pics of our growing girl!

So grateful to be here to see all of this growing! 
Hope everyone has a great Thursday! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Diaper Comparisons

Since Ella was born I have price compared diapers and found my favorites, as well as, the most affordable. I thought this post might help other moms who are looking to save money with all of the baby gear.

In the beginning, I used Pampers Swaddlers. They were soft and we loved the blue line wetness indicator. We had quite a few hand me down diapers from friends who had outgrown and boxes that were given as gifts. After this, we went back and forth as we compared different brands and prices.

We moved to Huggies when they put them on sale at Target with a $5 gift card when you buy two and we had a coupon for a few dollars off at the time. At that time, Huggies did NOT work for us. I don't know if the fit was not good for Ella or what, but let's just say we went through too many outfits with those (since then she has used a few Huggies from hand me downs and they have been fine...weird!).

Ultimately, we loved pampers, but did not love the price. So, we tried the Target brand diapers after several friends with babies swore they were great and saved money! Ella is still in Size 2 diapers, so you can buy a 96 count at Target and it breaks down to 17 cents per diaper. This is great compared to Pampers that usually comes in a pack of 184 for about 23 cents per diaper. I know that seems like pocket change, but when you are going through several diapers a day it really adds up....BUT here is the big thing that I have found....

Diapers go on sale at Babies R' Us ALL the TIME! Several times during the year you can get Huggies and Pampers on sale. The deal is usually if you buy two 184 count (or higher) boxes you get $25 off. This means that 2 boxes of diapers with the discount breaks down to 17 cents a diaper....which is exactly what you pay for a Target diaper. So, if you really prefer Pampers or Huggies just sign up for the updates at Babies R' Us and watch for the sales. When they go on sale...stock up!

*I know many people also use Amazon Subscribe and Save but you usually only save up to 20% meaning that on two 184 count boxes of Pampers or Huggies you would only save about $17 which is less than what you save going to the store. Although, if you like the ease of having them sent to your doorstep it might be worth it.

I hope this post helps some mommas when comparing prices for diapers. I know it is different for every mom and baby. Some brands work better than others and sometimes if you really like a brand it is worth the money for you. I have definitely not scoured every store in Dallas and every online site, but have looked around at many different places and this is what I have found.

For now, we get Ella diapers from Target and if we see Pampers go on sale we usually buy 2 boxes and go through those, then back to Target until another sale pops up. We have heard that after age 1 a lot of moms really like the Huggies we will see!

Also, this post is based on disposable diapers only. I know many moms save a TON of money using cloth diapers. I wish I could pull these off (especially because they are really cute), but I just don't think it is my calling in life.

Happy Monday and let me know if you have found any other helpful information on diapers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

shy girl

Ella has started this new thing where when you say hi to her and I am holding her she will lay her head down and look up at you with these sweet shy eyes. She will turn her head and then look back at you with the sweetest smile!

I just love watching her personality develop. So fun!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

6 1/2 months

Ella is 6 1/2 months old and I cannot believe we are closer to one year! AH! She is growing like crazy and it seems like her personality is developing more and more every day. She is a petite little one, but healthy and sweet as can be! Her eyes are still looking like they will be blue, so we will have to see if any changes come along.

She LOVES...I mean REALLY loves to snuggle. During my pregnancy I prayed and asked that the Lord for a baby that would love to be held and snuggled and am so grateful for this sweet gift from the Lord. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze time when I am rocking her. 

Ella started sitting up the day before her 6 month birthday. She had been trying for awhile, but it seemed like overnight she just decided to sit up. We still put pillows around her because every now and then she will decide to fly to the floor. She is full of smiles and talks SO much (I wonder where she gets that from!)

She is also eating solids twice a day. This girl loves her solids! She gets so excited when it is time to eat and it is quite the messy event! Some of her favorites are avocados, mango, watermelon, and sweet potatoes. She really loves almost anything though! Right now, I am making most of her food, but definitely use the pouches when we are on the go. I was able to make her organic homemade food for much less than what it would have cost to purchase pre-made. I also look at the dirty dozen list for help on what to buy organic and still be mindful about the cost. 

We also got her a little pool for the backyard and this girl loves to be in the water! Whether it is pool time or bath time she is loving the water! We usually have to hold on to her in the pool because she wants to eat the water and go flying into the pool!

We are so grateful for her development and the Lord continues to teach us to trust Him as we raise Ella and remember she is ultimately His. I am loving getting to see this sweet personality the Lord gave her develop. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend and maybe I will get back on track with 7 months :) !

Monday, June 25, 2012

5 1/2 months

So this month I somehow forgot her monthly post...oops! I am working on a baby book for her first year and each month we write her a letter and take pictures, then I save them, so at the end of the first year I can compile them into a book to give her. I love taking these pictures and can't wait to see the whole book come together!

Here are her 5 month pics (and a few extras that are super cute!)

 She is one happy girl!

 Oh how these pictures have changed! She was over it real fast and ready to roll around.

 This is from a couple days before she turned 5 months. She looks like such a big girl!!

 Sill girl always moving those arms and legs. 

Love her so much!

This month has been so fun! Ella is rolling all over the place and pushing up on her arms all the time. If you try to sit her up she leans all the way forward and then will push her arms straight for a few seconds. She is always smiling and giggling and such a content baby. We have started teething big time and there is drool EVERYWHERE! Ella also loves her solids! She has tried tons of different foods and so far has loved it all! She really likes avocados and her oatmeal with apples. 

I am loving being home to see all of these milestones and so grateful to be here to watch her grow! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day Cards

I am sure with pinterest and facebook everyone is getting their hands on some great (and free) Father's Day crafts and ideas. This year Ella and I are very excited to celebrate James' first Father's Day. I wanted to pass along this deal in case you have not seen it. If you order your card today from, it will be here by Saturday. Enter FREETREAT at checkout and it is completely FREE! Such a fun keepsake for Dad! 

Also, they have lots of cute ones to pick from!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ella's Baby Dedication

Last Sunday we had Ella's baby dedication and it was such a wonderful celebration of this sweet blessing God has given us. The focus of the dedication time was spent with family and our community group. Our hope for Ella is that one day she will come to know the Lord and until then we are blessed with the opportunity to teach her about Jesus and raise her in a way that constantly points to her Creator. We know that we will make good and bad choices as parents, which is why is was so wonderful to have family and our community group there to partner with us as we raise takes a village and we are grateful to have one! 

James led such a sweet dedication for Ella and had each person read a "gift" that they hope to pass along to Ella. Watermark provided us with an outline to lead the dedication and we tweaked a few things in terms of wording and the certain scripture that we chose. It was truly such a sweet time for our family. 

Here are some pics from the ceremony...
 James welcoming everyone 
 Family pic with our baby girl
 Beautiful cake with her initials on the center of the cross
Our sweet family and community group celebrating Ella's dedication

Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them, they will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!