Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shhhh! It's a secret

"My Uncle Jonathan sent me this very special Fed Ex package because I'm so good at keeping secrets. I'm in charge of keeping the sparkly ring inside the box a secret from his girlfriend, Katherine. That's why he sent it to my house instead of his own. I'm going to give it to him to give to her this weekend. I'm so happy she's going to be my aunt!"

p.s. Katherine said yes! I'm so glad I could help out Uncle Jonathan with his big surprise:)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hello, World

Dear World,

Usually, I let my mom write these posts. She does a very, very good job, so I've let it go this long. Things, however, have changed. Let me be specific:

1) I have now spoken three words (more or less); I say "hi" when greeting people, I know that dogs say "woof," and I know that things I like are "yum." I also taunt Phillip and Danielle (which is what I call them in my head) by occasionally, tantalizingly saying "Mama" and "Dada" while looking at them. Their reactions are priceless.

2) I am mobile, and I can pull myself up to a standing position. I have also climbed stairs (under adult supervision). Realistically, the sky is now the limit. I have heard on good authority that world domination is one step past crawling.

2a) I am also international. Yes, I have a passport, so I can go anywhere I want (like Prague). I think the picture could be a little more flattering, but it will do. So, be prepared to see me jet-setting in Cannes, Dubai, and Monaco soon.

3) I love to read. Rather, I turn the pages of my books at my own pace, or I stop and deconstruct images as I please. I have also learned to express my pleasure (or lack thereof) at what I am reading. Clapping especially seems to excite Phillip and Danielle, so I use it as a means of ensuring that they continue to feed me avocado, chicken, and fresh fruit.

Based on my research into this matter, I believe that literacy, mobility, and eloquence are the essential characteristics of adulthood. So, I am very happy to finally introduce myself to you all, and I hope you continue to stay abreast of my comings and goings.

With love,

Ellie Maria

Princeton Reunions

Over Memorial Day weekend, Princeton hosted its annual Reunions weekend. Campus has been getting ready for this and graduation for weeks, and we have been told that this spectacle is not to be missed. On Saturday morning, we took Ellie out for a stroll around campus.

Princeton was swarming with an estimated 20,000 people all decked out in orange. Bright orange. Being former Charlottesville dwellers, we understand the love of orange. So for Ellie to unite her love of her birthplace and her current town, she proudly wore her Virginia shirt all day (thanks, Thad!) Of course, we had to get a few pictures of Ellie on one of the Princeton tigers:

Ellie particularly liked the Princeton band, a uniquely quirky subset of the Princeton undergrad population. Marching bands are big fun when you are 11 months old...

"We're number one! We're number one!" (a new chant Phil is teaching Ellie;)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Four Generations - Something to Clap About

I've said before how lucky Ellie is to have great-grandmothers on both sides of Phil's family. (The longevity on the Haberkern and Whiting sides of the family is truly astounding.) We never pass up an opportunity to have visitors, so Grandma Connie and Great-Grandma Dot came to see us at the beginning of their trip to North Carolina. The weather wasn't very cooperative for Great-Grandma Dot's first trip to Princeton, so we ended up visiting the Princeton Art Museum instead of the previously scheduled outdoor activities. Ellie seemed to enjoy the museum, or at least being carried around for an hour.

Recently, Ellie learned that she could clap (loud noise using just your two hands...whoa! Please refer to the video below for her first claps caught on video) After a few photos of Ellie and the four generations, she decided she'd had enough with the pictures - more clapping!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

Melissa and Julie, my college roommates from UNC, are dear friends of mine. These women have been with me through all of the ups and downs. Four babies later, we are all mothers and decided to celebrate Mother's day weekend together in Princeton. Six adults, one three year old, and three babies under the age of 1 under one roof for four days = big fun!

The little ones;)
The little ones + big brother
Growling atop the Princeton Tiger

Enjoying the sunshine
Learning to share toys
A little time outside with the babies
Still laughing after all these years!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Ellie has always loved bath time, so I was really hoping that she would continue to love the water and enjoy the pool. Every Thursday morning, we go to swim class at the Y. She LOVES it. The teacher is wonderful and is very purposeful in using the time to teach swim skills while making everything a game. Ellie is the only girl amidst 7 other little guys which seems to be par for the course these days (many of her friends are boys). It is a very sweet time for Ellie and me to have together every week. I think I like it almost as much as she does!

Learning to blow bubbles - Ellie usually tries to lap at the water and drink it instead, but one of these days she'll get the hang of it.

Learning to "reach and pull" with her arms

Mama and Ellie
After swim class is over, it's time to play at home!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Babies, Toddlers, and Godparents Rule

This weekend we went to DC to co-host a baby shower for our friends Mike and Rebecca at the Scotts. While we anxiously await the arrival of baby boy "Acorn" Schaefer, we celebrated with friends, BBQ, and lots of presents. Both Ellie and Ema (the coolest two year old that Ellie knows) can't wait to have another little one around. Acorn won't even know what to do with himself with two girls trying to show him ropes of being a baby and then a toddler;) And of course, her favorite padrino was there for the weekend, too. Both Ema and Ellie love their padrino and hang on every word he says:

Playing in the sandbox is so much fun for Ellie these days. All the playgrounds we go to in Princeton have one, but Ema's was way cooler!

Ema also read to Ellie, pointing out the words in Spanish and English. Thank goodness someone is going to teach Ellie Spanish!
With the azaleas in full bloom, padrino posed with his goddaughters. Happy times!

And a visit to DC wouldn't be complete without seeing Ellie's godmother, Julie. She loves Aunt Julie and Uncle Eric, and particularly loved reading with her. Ellie chose the challenging book "10 minutes til bedtime," which has no words. Aunt Julie is such a good storyteller!