Friday, April 30, 2010

Doctor Visit

In our family, a doctor visit for Ella isn't a quick check-up. For one thing, we're still going to Owatonna to visit the pediatrician. Pete developed a great relationship with "Dr Bob" while he was working there last year, and we've enjoyed seeing lots of other doctors and nurses during each trip down. That's the second thing. With trying to check in with so many friends, the check-up trips tend to last a good part of the day.

On this particular visit we had the opportunity to tour the brand new hospital and clinic. Gorgeous! I particularly enjoyed all of the beautiful artwork they've displayed. They also included tile work in many patient rooms. It's a pretty amazing place.

So, updates on Ella. This was her nine month check-up, but we didn't make it down until right after she turned ten months. Oh well. Our little peanut is a full 29 inches long and weighs 19 pounds 4 ounces. Silly me thought she was definitely over 20 pounds. Either way, she gives me a good arm workout numerous times a day. She still loves to eat and is venturing out into the world of "real" food a little more each week.

We're heading out for a couple days. Today we'll visit some of Pete's past professors at St Olaf on our way down to Owatonna. I'm running a half-marathon there tomorrow morning. I've got some spiffy new shoes and will load on the carbs at a spaghetti dinner tonight. The race will benefit two families in our old town. One includes a father battling a blood disease and the other will benefit a little guy in first grade who has leukemia. As I'm running on Saturday, please be praying for both of the families. I can't imagine fighting those kinds of battles. I'll be sure to post pics of the race next week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plumbing

When we were house shopping in Duluth recently, we stayed a couple nights at a hotel just outside of town. Ella developed an attachment to the sink. She loved the pipes! And she was just the right hight to be able to stand underneath it and not hit her head. No worries - we checked to make sure things were clean and that she couldn't wiggle anything out of place. The sink was right in the room, not enclosed in the bathroom, so she was able to play to her heart's content. And play she did.


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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brighton Beach

On a recent trip to Duluth, we spent part of an afternoon at Brighton Beach. It's one of our favorite places there, but seriously, we have a pretty long list of favorite places in Duluth. The day was gorgeous - blue water, blue sky, and a happy little girl. Ella thought that exploring the dashboard of the Jeep was great fun. In just a few weeks we'll be close enough to spend lots of afternoons at Brighton!




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ella's New Book

Last week Grandma & Grandpa Olsen visited us and brought Ella a special gift. It was an adorable Noah's Ark cloth book. I think that Grandpa Olsen even picked it out himself! Ella has enjoyed playing with it everyday since their visit. She especially likes the monkey that hangs on a string on one page and the elephant's trunk that sticks out on another page.

Ella really does have a fascination with books. As we read together, she touches all of the pictures, turns the pages, and laughs at brightly colored illustrations. Being a reading teacher and long-time theatre person, reading to Ella is one of my favorite things. It makes me very happy that she seems to love to read already!


a photo from Grandma & Grandpa Olsen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ella's Stroll

video

The quality of this video isn't great since it was taken on my phone, but I thought it was pretty cute. Ella's friend, Amelia, lent this to her for a little while. She loves it!


PS. I just added a FOLLOW function in the sidebar on the right. If you like staying up on the Little Olsen blog, simply click the button to follow us!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day 5k

Yesterday we made a trip to St Cloud for the Earth Day 5k. The decision to run the race all the way up in St Cloud was an easy one since today is Ella's Great-Grandpa's birthday (my grandpa). Going to St Cloud meant that we would get to see him right before his big day. Grandma & Grandpa Scott met us there and we all went out to dinner before the race.

It was a blast having everyone on the sidelines at the race, my first one of this season. The course was along the Mississippi River through the St Cloud State campus. It was nice, especially the narrower trail along the river for the last mile. The sun was shining, people were cheering, and the fam was in attendance. We had a great time!


Happy birthday, Great-Grandpa Scott!


waiting for the race to start
with my grandma after the race


photos from Grandpa Scott

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Leaf?

A few days ago, Ella and I met up with some of our friends for a walk to the park. Ella loves to be around other kids, so she was thrilled to sit in the grass - and the sand - with Bella and Liam. We had snacks and Ella munched on her puffs. Puffs are her current favorite. Each time I take them out of the cupboard she gets excited. We're working on teaching her to sign "please" before she gets them, but she hasn't really picked up the skill yet. At one point while we were enjoying our snacks, I looked over to see Ella with a leaf in her mouth. Apparently we'll also have to work on what snacks are and are not. Everything at the moment goes straight to the mouth. No worries, Ella! We'll figure it out!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All the Fun of a High Chair

Ella's high chair has a history. It came to us from her Great-Grandma & Grandpa Johnson (Ang's grandparents) and has been used for decades. In fact, it's more than 55 years old. It was originally purchased for my uncle Kurt, the first in my mom's family. I love that it's yellow and has a sturdy metal tray. Not quite like the ones at Target or Babies R Us today. Soon I'd like to make new straps for it and possibly sew a matching seat cover.

For now, our high chair is one of Ella's favorite places to eat, read, play, watch Mom & Dad in the kitchen, and to explore. Today was the first time she actually went under the high chair. She was pretty excited until she realized she had no idea how to get out. Mom to the rescue!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

End of the Roll

Another first today: Ella unrolled a roll of toilet paper. Yup, today with the first time. She was in the bathroom with me while I was doing some cleaning when the incident occurred. I turned my back and started to wash my hands when I heard a woosh. Before I could do anything, she hit the roll a few more times and we reached the core. Oh, Ella. Fortunately, my phone was in my pocket, so I snapped a few pictures of the event. I have a slight hunch, though, that this won't be the last time I re-roll the toilet paper.

immediately following the incident

a moment later

and, since we had it, we played

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Puffy Hat

There's no question in the Olsen house about which hat is Ella's favorite. There is something absolutely captivating about her little pink hat with the puffs. Actually, I'm pretty sure that those puffs are exactly what draw Ella to it. Numerous times, I've found her digging through her diaper bag to find it. Once she's got it, she chooses a puff and pops it in her mouth. Sadly for Ella, we no longer have any puffs on the hat. She pulled all three off! I'm okay with that. I had to keep a really close eye on her so she wouldn't swallow one. She still likes to wear it and this mama loves that it can be tied under her chin. That way there's no pulling it off in a chilly wind.

Ella sends a great big thank you to Len, Betsy, Anna, Abby and Luke all the way down in Bolivia who sent the hat to Ella for her first Christmas!






Friday, April 9, 2010

Baby Niklaas

When we were in Iowa two weekends ago, we were introduced to little baby Niklaas. Niklaas was seven weeks old during our visit. Ella thought he was great, although I do think she was hoping he would play a little more with her. Maybe next time, El.




We all went to a great little cafe for lunch one afternoon on our trip. It wasn't intentional that we matched, but it made a cute picture! We even have matching smiles. Oh, I'm crazy about our little girl. (Note the bunny on her shirt in honor of the upcoming Easter holiday.)



One of Ella's favorite games continues to be peek-a-boo. She'll play with just about anything. Here she was ducking behind the coffee table and popping up. She did this over and over. Pretty cute!



Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Eggs

What is blue and white and stains little lips? Ella's first Easter egg! Ok, I had no idea it would stain her lips when I let her play with it. Lesson learned.
Last weekend we took a road trip down to Iowa City to visit our good friends, Erik & Kristin. We were thrilled to meet their little Niklaas for the first time! While we were there we decided it would be an ideal time to dye eggs after the little ones went to bed. Beth, Brian, Erik, Kristin & I pulled out our creativity and went to work. An hour or two later, we had an entire plate covered with colorful creations. Stripes, polka dots, squiggles and squares. Kristin had one with an N for Niklaas, I made one with Ella's name in white crayon, and Beth had a special John Deere egg for Brian. You can see a few of them in the photo below.
The next morning at breakfast, I thought it would be fun to take a picture of Ella holding her little egg. That's how the blue lips happened. I had no idea it would come off the shell so easily. At least it matched her eyes!
Next year maybe we'll let Ella dye her own egg. That sounds like an adventure.

ella's very own easter egg
our artistic creation
if you let a little one hold their own egg...
they may end up with colorful lips!

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