Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happenings Around the Ellis Home-- Family Update

I was looking back through my pictures and realized that I've gotten really backed up with them.  I still haven't posted the final Disney World post.  I figured that I'd use the pictures that I've take over the last couple of months to do a general update about the kids

Emma January 2010

It has become so apparent to me that Emma is headed straight for the tween years.  She's only seven (not quite yet even)  but we've hit some sort of shift in age.  I find myself having a hard time figuring out what to buy for a birthday party that will still be fun but not too babyish.  She can no longer fit in the little girl shoes that we have bought her whole life.  Since we've moved to SC and made that wonderful transition to a King size bed, we have totally eased up on our "stay in your own bed" rules.  We've pretty much decided that as long as they start out in there own bed and give us some time together, alone, we really don't care if they get in the bed with us.  They've even become so skilled at it that they don't wake us up.  It occurred me the other day that we're probably limited on the time that Emma will want get in the bed with us like that.  For a few nights, she stayed in her own.  I surprised myself this morning when I was relieved to see her sleeping in between us. 

She's an amazing little girl.. Smart, beautiful, competitive, outgoing, strong willed but compassionate, a wonderful combination in my mind.  Every mother's dream for her little girl.  That scares me to death.  I can already see a subconcious need that other's have to pick her apart.  To point something out about her that isn't perfect.  She is the type of girl that I frequently saw deal with major self-esteem  issues during our time in youth ministry.  The ones that had eating disorders.  The ones that became cutters.  I hope that us being aware of the situation will help.  She has an adoring daddy.  I know that will help.   Still, people do not realize that, in their attempts to lift themselves or their child up, they tear these little girls to pieces.  As my friend Nellie said the other night, "I've seen way too much about teenagers".   (As a side note: these tactics WILL NOT make you friends with these little girl's mothers.  They WILL avoid you as much as possible).  I can already see this playing out in her feelings about herself.  She brought home her papers from school the other day and had a 97 and 99 in reading and math.  She cried because they weren't 100s.  I struggle with figuring out the balance between encouraging to do her best and pressuring her.  I struggle with trying to find a balance between teaching her self-esteem and teaching her humility.  I know, like most things, I'm overthinking..

On a lighter note, she's definitely a tad on the dramatic side.  The other day, she was being overly dramatic about something, I can't recall, this happens so often.  I looked at her and said, "my little drama queen".   She stood up, and put her hands on her hips and stomped her foot and said, "I AM NOT A DRAMA QUEEN IF YOU CALL ME THAT AGAIN, I THINK I'LL DIE".   I don't think it helped matters that I laughed uncontrollably for five minutes.

She makes my heart feel as if it could explode with love and fear and admiration.     

The Big Snow 

We got six inches of snow back in February. People tell us that that hadn't happened around here in 8 years. So, even though Adam and I got enough snow to last a lifetime during our three years in WV, we quickly geared up for a once in every 8 years occurance and made the most of the day. We had snowball fights, made snow cream, failed miserably at sledding and made a pretty spiffy snow woman.

We found out pretty quickly, that our girls were southern girls at heart as they stood inside the house crying and begging to get out of their snow clothes through the window as Adam and I finished off the "princess snow woman" that they thought was such a good plan when we started :). 

Science Day

These are pictures from science day at Emma's school.  All of the first grade classes rotated and went to different science stations.  They made paper, did woodcraft, painting and the top picture is a portable planetarium that they set up in the gym.  We are so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful school.  I am all too aware that many of our friends don't have an option of a good school in their public school system. 

A Soccer Player in the Making

Chloe has gotten where she won't take a nap on most days.  I used to think that when this happened when a kid was this young, it was because parents weren't being consistent and insisitng that they take a nap.  Chloe goes in her room for two hours and more often than not, does not go to sleep.  The other day, she even said, " I'm ready to take a nap".  And she went in her room and played for two hours.  This isn't much of a problem since she is a kid that really needs some alone time (much like her mother).  It only becomes a problem on nights when we need to do something because she rarely makes it much past 7 without a nap.  The particular day these pictures were made, I had attempted to run the energy out of her and then get her to take a nap.  We succeeded in running the energy out of me.  It surprises me at how agile she is at such a young age.  She was actually dribbling the ball across the yard, kicking it to the fence and then throwing her arms up and yelling, "I DID IT"! 

The nap thing also complicates potty training.  We have everything down but number two.  She waits until she is alone in her room at naptime to poop.  I have tried putting her in there at 11.  I've tried putting her in there at 2.  I've set a little potty in her room so she can have privacy.  I've sat and read books to her while she sits on the toilet before her nap.  So,  I switched to leaving her in underwear for her nap.  After cleaning poop out of the carpet two days in a row, I decided ugh uh.. So yesterday, I decided that since she wasn't sleeping anyway, I'd keep her up and watch her like a hawk and when I saw the signs, run, grab her and stick her on the toilet.  I watched her until she fell asleep.  Of course, isn't that how motherhood works?  And, she has yet to poop.  My guess is she's waiting for naptime today. :).

She has a huge vocabulary and never stops talking.  Her favorite movie at the moment is Annie.  The other night, she was running around singing, "Tomorrow, I'd love you to stay away".  LOL.

  She makes my heart melt. She puts a spring in my step, has gotten me below the weight I was when we got married, and she lights up my life in ways I never knew possible.  

Random Moments Imprinted 

left to right, top to bottom

1.  one of Chloe's favorite past times is "swimming in our giant bathtub".  I often blog sitting on the bathroom floor.  Probably not real safe to use a computer right beside a bathtub with a two year old in it. 

2.  Nerd training at the Ellis house.

3.  The reason I don't have a cooking blog.  I was trying to make a cookie cake.  Yes I did oil the pan.  I convinced the girls that it was a "cookie wreath".  It still tasted good :).

4.  At the neighborhood park with neighborhood friends.

5 & 6.  Playing  the pin the face on daddy game that Emma made for our birthday (Adam and I share the same birthday.  Adam years older).

6.  Wearing the "Cat and the Hat" hats we made to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. 

7.  Little miss hollywood

8.  Sock Monkey Music at the Y. 

The sun is shining and it's warm  outside.  I'm hopeful that spring is really here.  So off to enjoy the sunshine!




Papakeith said...

I like This Family alot!

Jay said...

YAY for a family update - love you guys!

Stephanie said...

I thought your cookie wreath was poop! LOL=)

Holly said...

Loved all the pics and hearing all about what you guys have been up to.

I didn't love hearing about sweet Emma and you all having to deal with folks who never graduated from the 8th grade though. It urks me so much when people act mean, all because of jealousy!! And while Emma does give other mothers quite a bit to be jealous of, the MOTHERS who should by now be GROWN UPS should know better than to tear that precious baby or you down for any reason at all. You keep your head held high and know that the rest of us love you and her very much and are so proud of the job you are doing, Dana!

Sara-Beth said...

Can I join your family?

What fun you have!

Don't stress about Emma, she is a strong and confident woman just like her mother. She will find her place and stand tall.

Lynn Ellis said...

I love you and am proud of you -every one of you! Thanks for the update. I live for this stuff.