Thursday, December 29, 2011

23 months

*We've taken potty training to the next level, and Ellie is doing great!! For the last 5 months we've given her "potty practice" and she was to the point of peeing in the potty every single time we put her on it. However, I hadn't had a chance to put her in undies to help her learn how to stay dry in between potty times. So, school ended Wed. and Thurs. we put her in the undies. Day 2 she was in about 8 different outfits, and then days 3-8 (today) she hasn't had any wet accidents at all! We're still putting her in diapers for nap and nighttime, and she doesn't like going #2 in the potty, but otherwise, she's doing great. We've even taken her out this week and she's gone on the big potties in a couple different stores! I'm still reminding her every 1-2 hrs (though she has told me a couple of times that she needs to go), but this is SO much better than changing diapers. :)

*Her vocabulary just blows me away. She is saying 5-word sentences and really communicating, even on the phone w/ grandparents.

*We've begun time-outs, about a minute and a half. It seems to help-- she got one for touching the tree/ornaments and then didn't touch it again.

*She calls us "Ellie's mommy" and "Ellie's daddy" often now, because she recognizes that other kids have a mommy and daddy too. I'll hear her call from the crib "Where did Ellie's mommy go?"

*Twinkle-twinkle is still a favorite song, especially before bed. When she sings along with us she knows many of the words. But, when she sings it on her own, to put her babies to bed, she sings "kinkle, kinkle, kinkle sar, how-I, how-I, how-I kinkle."

*We talk about the baby a lot now. She likes to put both hands on my bare belly and feel it, and will kiss it too. If we ask "Where's the baby?" she will either point to my stomach or her own. :)

*Her sleep schedule is still pretty much the same: 7 pm-7 am with a nap from 2-3:30 or 4 pm. She's still a great eater too and has gotten really good at feeding herself, even wiping up her chin/cheek with her spoon when she gets yogurt on it. I still call her my bottomless pit, and she weighs almost 30 lbs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Keeper - Potato & Pork Soup

1 diced onion
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
5 potatoes, peeled & diced
1 tsp. Better than Bouillon
1 lb. ground pork, browned
1/4 package frozen peas
1 c. heavy cream (maybe more... I just eyeballed all the ingredients until it looked good)
1/2 c. cheese
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley

Saute onion in butter, add enough water to cover the potatoes and boil until tender. Add rest of the ingredients and let simmer.

Verdict: Oh my yumminess! It's hard to go wrong with such rich ingredients, but this was amazing, and very filling.

Monday, December 12, 2011


My grandmother, Mary Hudson, passed away at 83 years old this past Friday morning. I will be missing her viewing this evening and her funeral tomorrow morning because I'm 36 weeks pregnant and unable to fly. While I'm sad for this loss in our family, I'm happy for her. She suffered from Alzheimer's and has not been the same woman that we knew and loved for several years now.

I'm not exactly sure how tall Grandma was because she was actually shrinking in the last few years, but at 5'2" I pretty much towered over her! She shopped in the kid's section for clothes and sometimes could wear my hand-me-downs or my sister's. She probably only weighed about 80 pounds because she walked EVERYWHERE. Even on the muggiest, hottest days, Grandma could be seen walking around Boca and occasionally friends of mine would mention that they'd picked her up and given her a ride to work, home, or church.

My Grandma was a feisty, spunky Italian woman. Anyone who knew her well, knew that she loved to argue. She HATED to have her picture taken and most of our family get-togethers involved at least one heated argument about why my Dad shouldn't be taking her picture. (He would still sneak in candid shots whenever given the chance, which we're all grateful for now.)

My grandmother loved her grandchildren well. She had a special relationship with my brother, Will, and I still remember her playing what she called "sock ball" with him when she came to babysit us. For years she worked at 7-11, and every Tuesday on the way home from school we would pop in and immediately head to the freezer section, looking through the sodas to see if we could find Grandma back there. She'd come out and hug us and give us free Slurpies.

My older brother, Dan, loved to play practical jokes on Grandma- which was easy to do since she was extremely gullible, and it was so funny to get a reaction from her. So, there was the hot sauce incidence when he pretended to be putting seasoning on her spaghetti (which backfired big-time for Dan since my parents made him eat it), the fake slamming of the fingers in the trunk; and the never-ending hide-n-seek game where she thought she'd lost him since he was in an alcove above the shower.

One of my favorite recent memories of Grandma is from Christmas just a few years ago. My husband and I had given her a huge box of Belgium chocolates (about as long as she was as tall). In the hour or so that it took us to open presents as a family, Grandma had polished off the entire box. Every time we looked over she was sneaking another bite. She's been known to do the same with the remnants of a pie from Denny's as well. Needless to say, it's obvious that I come by my sweet tooth quite honestly.

While these short stories don't do my grandmother's life justice, they help me in a small way to process my love for her, and help me remember the great love she had for her family.

Love you and miss you, Grandma.
(Thanksgiving 2010)