Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ella goes to see Santa...

Well, after three failed attempts, we finally made it to see Santa Claus. Each time before, the line was 3-4 hours long...needless to say, we couldn't wait that long with our crawling baby girl.
So, as our last feeble attempt, we went this morning on Christmas Eve. To our surprise, there was no line! ...AND our picture was free. Since that went so well, we then attempted an Italian lunch. Ella did great sitting in her high chair...although she was "over it" by the end of the lunch.
It's hard to believe tomorrow we will wake up and celebrate our first Christmas with our own child opening presents! It will definitely be the most memorable yet!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...

Well, Ella, you got your Christmas wish! On December 13th, you awoke with two bottom teeth!

These would have made great Christmas cards, but we already made them!
Such a happy baby!

And so cute playing under Aunt Paula's tree!

That face just screams trouble-maker!!

What else will Santa bring Ella?...stay tuned!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sittin pretty...

Look at this little grown up girl sitting up all by herself!!! Now if only we could grow some hair...?

Friday, November 28, 2008


What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I'll give you one guess...And what do I want for Christmas? Nothing...for I have EVERYTHING I have ever dreamed of. I only wish to spend the day in our jammies with those in the picture below...for there is no better present than seeing their smiling faces every day of my life. It is Christmas every day in my house...they are my presents.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who prayed for this beautiful gift that God has given me this Thanksgiving...for this beautiful girl who I got to watch enjoy her first Thanksgiving feast.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mommy's Little Pumpkin...

Picking Oranges...

On our 12 hour adventure back from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, we stopped over night at Ella's Great Grandaddy's house. He has a fairly large orange grove; although the oranges really are not ready to be picked for another month, we couldn't help but pick and fill two bags full that were pretty ripe. Ella was facinated with her new find...ok, techinically, she's more facinated with putting her feet in her mouth...but she did keep reaching out to pull on all the oranges as we took a walk.
Did I mention she did really great on this long car ride? Granted, I had to sit in the back seat the entire time...and pull out every trick I knew to keep her occupied...but, I have a feeling you do that with older kids too. All things considered, we could not have asked for a better trip! How blessed we feel that Ella was able to meet all her great grandparents that are still alive!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ella enjoying an afternoon at the beach...

Feeling the sand on her little feet for the first time...
Swinging in a real outdoor swing for the first time...Seeing her first lighthouse...
And feeling the waves of the ocean run under her legs for the first time...
It was a very special afternoon of "firsts" for Ella at Pompano Beach. There is nothing sweeter than seeing a father show his daughter all these new things. I'm not sure I deserve such goodness, but I continue to be thankful for our healthy little girl!

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8th remembered...

Andrew and I were reminiscing the other day about a day in our lives that we never wanted to end. We've loved our trips to Italy, France, and even our little weekend trips to the mountains. But, the day in my life that I never wanted to end was September 8th, 2007. It was the day I found out I was pregnant with Ella. We drove an hour to the fertility clinic that early Saturday morning and later waited by the phone in anticipation of that mornings blood test results. Before we heard our results, I felt a sense of peace on our drive home. I remember the overwhelming feeling of God's presence. That morning, I prayed a different prayer. I didn't pray for a positive result...I had already prayed that prayer so many times. That particular morning, I just prayed for God's love to surround us no matter what the outcome. I prayed for His will...and prayed that He would hold me close if the outcome was another "no." I prayed He would help me turn to Him and give me hope if I was to be disappointed yet again. I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed.
As we drove home, I heard Jeremy Camp's song "I still Believe"...about how "in brokenness I can see that this was God's Will for me. I still believe in your faithfulness...and even when I can't see, I still believe." I wondered how I would handle another disappointement. I prayed God would just take away my desire to be a mother if that wasn't His will...and I prayed some more. I knew God heard our prayers. I felt Him hold me in the car. At that moment, I knew I was going to be ok, no matter what. I knew I would understand one day.
...and when the phone rang at 10:28am, my heart started racing, and I prayed one last time. I held Andrew's hand and I waited for what seemed like for forever for the doctor to just spill the news. And when she said "I have some good news..." I cried...and I prayed...but this time, it was a prayer out of thankfulness.
I don't remember what else she said. I don't think I even heard anything else after that. But I will never forget that moment. I wanted that feeling and moment to last for forever. It truly was the best day of my life. When we finally stopped crying, we prayed together...and then I went and took a home pregnancy test because I still couldn't believe it...and because I had always wanted to see two lines!!
Exactly one year later, I am holding my little angel. She smiles at me and I wonder if she will ever know the joy she has given me. I wonder what kind of woman she will become...what her likes and dislikes will be...and then I feel scared because I know I am responsible for raising her into a Godly woman. And I get on my knees and pray for her. I pray that God is forming the perfect man for her to marry one day. And I know God hears my prayers...because He answered them on September 8th, 2007.

Today, God, I thank you for our angel. Even in the midst of her endless screaming, I thank you...because there are woman out there who would love to hear those cries. Today, God, I pray for those woman who have endured infertility. I pray that you send them an angel like you did us. I pray you give them peace as they patiently wait. I pray, that even when they feel like they just can't pray anymore, that will pray again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Laughter is the best medicine..."

So, there are little moments that I have as a mommy that make me think I must be doing something right. Those first few weeks of Ella's life, my self esteem was encouraged simply by her gaining weight. Those days where all she did was sleep, eat, and cry, I felt proud when I took Ella in for her weight checks and she finally started gaining weight. Those first few weeks were very stressful because the pediatrician made me feel so paranoid that she wasn't gaining weight. They labeled her a "slow gainer". And although I knew in my heart that breastfeeding was the best thing for her, I started to question myself. Thank goodness I had friends and a sister who kept encouraging me and saying "so long as she's pooping, peeing, and not losing weight...she's fine." After one month, I was so happy when she was back to her birth weight and rapidly gaining...I realized I must be doing something right and learned my first lesson in listening to my heart as a new mommy.

Then came that first know, the one where you go "is that just gas?" But, as I continued to sing to her, she just kept smiling. Again, despite the colic and screaming, I realized I must be doing something right. She still smiles when I sing to her...I'm sort of surprised my voice doesn't scare her, but she must like my off-pitch songs. Of course, compared to her daddy's singing, I sound like an angel!!

So, the last few days, Ella has started laughing. Not just a little "hehe", but that full belly laugh. Hearing her laugh is the best medicine for my soul! I completely understand now why parents say "As long as my child is happy, that makes me happy." This makes me look forward to the day when I can sit and watch her play outside...or chase after her as she runs around and enjoys herself. Anyway, she doesn't look like she's having any weight gain problems now...checkout those cheeks (and ignore the goofy bow...I was trying to do something different)!!

Ella, love, your laughter is contagious. I pray, that no matter what life throws at you, you always remember to laugh. I love you a thousand times!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"You're way too young to date..."

I know she's only 3months old...but, I already dread the day Ella asks me if she can go on a date. In fact, it makes me feel like I should start praying for her future husband...that he will be a great man, just like her daddy.

So, here are some pictures of Ella on her first date with Mr. Miles...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Mommies don't get sick days..."

It was a rough night a few nights ago. Ella had decided she missed waking up at night, so she's reverted to waking me up several times this particular night. So, at 2 am when I woke up for now the third time, I thought the dizziness was because I was "just tired". But at 5 am (I've now woken up with Ella about 7 times), I realize I'm not just tired...I'm sick...I'm not even sure I can sit up my head hurts so bad and I'm sweating really bad. As I start to panic, I wake up my loving hubby. It dawns on me that I might actually have to ask for help. It's been 3 1/2 months and I've never asked anyone for help...after all, I'm super-mom (sarcasm)!! As Andrew gets the Tylenol and water, I start to think..."what does a mom do when she's sick?" I mean, I can't call-in sick like I would do for work. I can't tell Ella, "you know, mommy just can't help you today."

Luckily, this panic moment only lasted a moment as I remembered that I had several vaccines during my annual physical the day before. I wasn't really sick...I was just feeling that semi-flu like feeling you get after having vaccines. After two tylenol, two advil, and a bunch of water I was better within an hour. But all this got me wondering...what do mommies do when they get sick? I know the obvious answer, but once again realize that this really is the hardest job in the world. Makes me dread flu season for a whole new reason...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Look at me, Mommy...part 2"

So, I had to post a couple pictures of Ella's other new trick. She's not a fan of "tummy time", so I'm trying some new techniques to help her hold her head up. Here is her majesty on her royal throne.
"Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm ready for this mommy. Hurry up and take your picture!"
"Um, hello mum! I'm falling over!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Look what I can do, Mommy!"

So, I thought it was an accident at first. But, it's official. Ella has a new trick. She can roll from her back to her stomach. The only problem is that she can't roll back and becomes quite irrate if left on her tummy for more than a minute. Here's the wild one doing her stunt! Almost There!...

Keep going!...

You made it!!!!

And then, again this, we go again!

And, so it little girl is no longer a newborn anymore, but a 3 month old baby! She's already on her way to becoming an independent woman! Some people define a good day by how much money they made...but, a good day for me is watching my little girl grow!

Monday, August 4, 2008

"Summertime and the livin is easy..."

I love that song. was composed by George Gershwin for the opera, Porgy and Bess. Ella Fitgerald sang it later on, whose version I prefer most. I love some old jazz! I was thinking of this song today because we are officially in my least favorite time of year. I hate August. It's ridiculously hot...even the swimming pools are hot! It's also when school starts back, which means traffic for my hubby is bad again. I can't wait for late October...that crisp air in the mornings. I love putting my blue jeans and turtleneck sweaters and boots on again. Oh, and I love, love, love all the pumpkin and spicey scents in the stores. I can't wait to burn my pumpkin candles again. I wish it was fall year around!
However, this little cutie looks adorable in her little sun brimmed hat! It makes me look forward to dressing her in cute winter hats! This time next year, we'll be hanging out at the pool...and wearing number 70 spf!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"I wish I was a Little Pea..."

When my brother was little he wrote a funny poem that he entitled "I wish I was a little pea". It went something like this:
"I wish I was a little pea. Oh, happy I would be. Heaven's where I want to be."
Ok, this may not be that funny if you don't know Ernie. He's a very tall, big, and shaved head guy who is naturally very funny. We constantly kid him about this poem to this day.
Anyway, here's a recent photo of our little ham! Check out that fabulous toothless grin. doesn't get much sweeter than this...until she learns to say I love you mommy!
Ella, dear, your smile is what makes me look forward to getting up every morning. Before you came along, I'm not sure what motivated me to get up every day. My new favorite time of day is at 7 am when I go to your crib and you flash me that beautiful smile!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

"God doesn't make fireworks..."

So, I can't possibly talk about mommyhood without bringing up my two nieces now and then. I am very lucky to have an older sister with two little girls. I've learned a lot from watching the two of them about being a mom. They are at an age where almost everything that comes out of their mouth is so funny; Abigail is 8 and Emma is 4.
Emma is definitely the motherly one of the two. She absolutely adores "baby Ella"-that's what she calls her. She would hold her all day if I let her. I think they will be good friends one day. Anyway, when I was pregnant, she asked me if I would make Ella's middle name "phant". When I asked her why, she said "Because then her name would be elephant-get it? hahaha." This was the same day she asked me how the baby was going to get out of my tummy. I, of course, said she should ask her mom that one.
Last week, Emma sat with me while I was feeding Ella. (Yes, I know it's confusing-Ella is a close name to Emma.) She looked at me with her big blue eyes and said..

"Aunt Sawah...did you know God made her?"
"Yes, Emma. I know. Why do you think He put her in my tummy?", I asked.
"Because He knew you'd be a good mommy for Ella.", Emma said.

sniffle, sniffle, sniffle (I was so touched!)

"And, Aunt Sawah, God made the trees, and puppies, and everything." Emma exclaimed.
"Yep, you're right!" I said.
"But there is one thing He didn't make...He didn't make fireworks. People made those."

Well, I wasn't going to argue with that. My daughter may forever be called "Ella-phant" by my nieces, but at least she has some smart girls to look up to!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Baby Whisperer

There is nothing better than watching your little baby's eyes roll back in her head at the end of the day and falling in to a deep least until 2:30am! I have been desperately trying to teach Ella how to fall asleep on her own. This past week, I decided to be really consistent with her. And I am happy to say, she seems to be finally getting it. There have been a lot of tears this week, but seeing the outcome makes those few awful days seem worth it. We have not yet perfected it, but she's starting to fall into a pretty good routine. We eat, then play, and when she starts yawning, it's time to go in the crib. We are using the "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" approach, which works better for us than "Baby Wise"...similar idea, but gentler approach. If you are a mom to a baby or soon-to-be mom, I'd recommend reading both...but, personally, I feel like the "Baby Whisperer" is much better and feels more natural.

It's amazing how much more rested I feel now that Ella only wakes me up once a night: To bed at 8:30, wake at 2:30, then morning time starts at 7:15 almost on the dot...with a big poopy diaper. Although I've never been a big morning person, I feel so motivated to get up because I wake up to this little person with a big, toothless smile looking up from her crib at me. Sometimes I think she's saying "Aren't you proud of me mommy? I only woke you up once!" Yes, Ella, I am VERY proud of you!

At the end of the day, every mommy has to do what works for her and for her baby. Every baby has different needs, but it feels so great when you finally feel like you have found a mothering style that works for you. It is so hard not to compare Ella to other babies, but I am learning that all mommies struggle with this. I'm sure when Ella becomes a toddler and we are faced with disciplining her, we will again have to find something that feels right to us. I pray a lot that God gives us discernment on how to raise our own unique child.

Here is my favorite quote from the "Baby Whisperer", which can be found in the first chapter of the book. It's actually the quote that made me want to keep reading it.

"Parenting should not be judged by how you feed or diaper your child or how you put your baby to sleep. Besides, we don't become good parents in the first weeks of a baby's life. Good parenting develops over years, as our children grow and you get to know them as individuals..."

I am so lucky to know many wonderful, Godly mommies! All of them have their own parenting style. I enjoy picking their brains about parenthood. From them and all the books I've read, I feel like I am able to find my own style. I'm also learning that you have to make some mistakes along the way...but, all bad habits can be broken...and Ella will never remember me putting her in her crib screaming for 20 minutes because I just needed a break...but, I digress...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"In My Daughter's Eyes..."

I use to love country music when I was in high school. For some reason, I stopped listening to it, but I have revisited some old c.d.'s lately as I am sick of listening to the same songs over and over again on my Ipod(...was that a run on sentence?). Speaking of Ipod's, it is my guilty pleasure; I don't know how I survived before it was invented. I love music!...and I love that I can put all my favorite tunes on one little piece of equipment and take it with me anywhere...OK, I'm digressing.
So, there is a song by Martina McBride that I listened to over and over again while I was pregnant...and cried everytime I listened to it! I've heard this song a million times before, but it seems so special now that I have a daughter. The lyrics perfectly describe how a mother feels about her child. One of my favorite lines is when she sings
"...but the truth is plain to see,
she was sent to rescue me,
I see who I want to be,
In my Daughter's Eyes."

What is it about having a child that makes you instantly see all your own flaws? Who would have thought that a two month old little girl, who cannot speak words, could teach me so much about the person I want to be. I think children make you want to be better because you know that they will imitate your behavior. Although we all have some genetic predispositions that influence our personality, I really believe that most of this is learned. It scares me to death to know that I am ultimately responsible for how my child acts and behaves...and that she depends on me to teach her how to be...and that most of this teaching will come from her imitating my behavior.

I pray several times a day for Ella. I pray that she grows into a kind and gentle woman...that she's always able to find the good in people. I pray that she embraces others differences and never makes fun of others because they look or act different. I pray that she has enough confidence to go after her dreams...but enough humility that she does not think too highly of herself. More than anything, I pray that she always has faith like a that God will always be with her. I pray that she seeks God's will for her life and not mine and Andrew's desires for her.

Oh, I have so much to learn! She makes me so happy.

~Sweet Ella, you will never know the positive impact you have had on my life. But as I look at you sleeping in your crib, I can't help but cry (again). I hope you know that I am not perfect, but I will do my very best to teach you about love, patience, kindness, and about the Lord. Knowing how much I love you gives me a little insight as to how much God must love us. One day, when you have your own child, you will understand my love for you. Love, Mommy~

"...In My Daughter's Eyes, I can see the future...a reflection of who I am and what will be. And though she'll grow and someday leave... maybe raise a family...when I'm gone I hope she sees how happy she's made..for I'll be my Daughter's Eyes."-Martina McBride

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..."

So, I'll try and not start a political debate and keep this light and fluffy. ..

Today is the Fourth of July (Independence Day); it is the day that we commemorated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776, declaring independence from Great Britian. Ok, so you'd think most everyone knows this...but you'd be surprised. For some people, it's time for cookouts and fireworks. For others, it's just a day they get off from work.

We all have our different views of what's going on in our country these days and with the war. Don't get me wrong, I hate that we are at war. Nobody likes this. I want these brave men and women home soon just like you. But, I also know, if they weren't doing what they are doing, our freedom that we celebrate today would be at risk. They are protecting the future of our world for my daughter and your children. Because of them, my daughter will continue to live in a country where she can vote, proclaim Christianity, and run for President if she so chooses. For this, I can never say thank you enough on behalf of my child! My grandfather fought in WWII...and who can imagine what this world would be like if Hitler had not been defeated.

Like I said, I'm not going to get into a political debate. I just want to say thank you to any one whose brother, sister, wife, husband, mother, or father is protecting us! Because of you, the little girl in the picture above gets to celebrate her first Fourth of July. God Bless America and our troops!-Sarah

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. "
(yes, I had to look this up because I couldn't remember all the words-I'm not that smart, ok? )

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life as a New Mommy...

So, I've officially survived 8 weeks as a new mommy! People always say that becoming a parent changes your life. However, they don't tell you that it actually forms you into a better person. She is constantly teaching me how to be unselfish and patient.

Ella Grace is an answer to many fervent prayers. I say this over and over again, but she truly is our miracle child. Andrew and I are very open about our struggle with infertility. We are open about it because it helps to know someone who has gone through this...and we hope that God can use us to comfort others going through the same thing in the future. I know many people who question In-Vitro from a morality point of view. However, it was something we prayed night and day about for a long time. However, I'll talk more about all this in future blogs.

It's amazing the strength God gives mothers to take care of a newborn. Some nights when I finally shut my eyes, I wonder how I can possibly survive another night of little sleep...but, somehow I do! In the beginning, I thought surely I was going to die from sleep deprivation; but, you really do get use to it. I don't take naps during the day...I've tried, but those who know me know I'm a terrible sleeper. I look forward to Ella dropping one of these night feedings soon. She is on the small side (20th percentile for her weight), so it's going to take longer to get her sleeping longer!

Anyway, I will end this with repeating a very popular saying..."Being a mother is the hardest job you'll never get paid for." But I must say, it is the best job I've ever had!