Saturday, January 26, 2013

13 for 2013

Sorry for the short absence.  Between the holidays and starting back to work, life has been a bit nutty.  So much has changed since Ella's arrival and everything, from the smallest things (getting laundry done, going to the grocery store) to the biggest things (going out of town), requires a lot more planning.  Seth and I realized that there is a lot we want to do, both as a couple (read: without Ella) and as a family (with Ella), but in order to do anything of those things, we need to focus on planning (I sure do love a good plan).  So on New Years Day (and, yes, a New Years post is still fine since it is still January, right?), we sat down and outlined 13 fun things to do in 2013.  So without further ado, I give you...


1. Take Ella to the zoo

North Carolina has a pretty great zoo.  I loved going there as a child and I can't wait to introduce Ella to all the animals.  She is still on the young side for this one, so we'll be waiting until the Fall for this adventure.

2.  Go to the beach

Seth and I love the beach and NC has some pretty awesome beaches.  We are really looking forward to putting Ella in a silly little bathing suit and letting her explore the sand and sea.

3.  Go to Asheville without Ella

Asheville has a very special place in our hearts.  We have visited several times, including our mini moon following our wedding.  Since we didn't really get to celebrate our anniversary this year (Ella was born 3 days after our anniversary, interrupting plans we had for a fancy dinner), we are really hoping to get away for a night.

4.  Fancy Dinners: Valentine's Day, Anniversary, Seth's Birthday, Katie's Birthday

Greensboro has some pretty decent resturants and Seth and I always have a good time when we go out.  We love spending time as a family, but also want to make sure we set aside time for us.  Hence, we have already carved out 4 sure dates for dates.

5.  Family Picnic

I love picnics and I think it will be so much fun to spread out a blanket, watch Ella roll around, and eat some tasties in the sun.  This is one that we can do as soon as it gets warm out.

6.  Chapel Hill day trip

We think it will be a lot of fun to just get away for a day and luckily Chapel Hill is only a quick drive away.  We plan a tasty lunch, some times with friends, and a trip to the Trader Joes.

7.  Take Ella to the Children's Museum

Greensboro has a pretty awesome Children's museum from what we hear.  Apparently, they have a room for the little ones, so we'll be headed there once Ella is a bit more mobile.

8.  Red Oak Brewery Tour

This is another one for just Seth and I.  We have done a couple of winery visits and always had a blast, so it seems sensible to take a quick drive down the road to sample some really tasty beer.

9.  Katie and Seth run a 5K

In the past, Seth and I have run a 5K together on Thanksgiving.  Clearly, that didn't happen this year.  So, we'll be picking out another race and lacing up our shoes.  I am looking forward to a picture with Ella at the finish line.

10.  Visit Dad and Denise

My dad and his wife own a really awesome piece of land up in Virginia.  We had the pleasure of visiting them right before Christmas and are looking forward to heading back up once the weather warms up a bit.

11.  Visit Seth's Brother

Seth's brother and his family live outside of DC.  They have a daughter who is 11 months older than Ella.  We have a great time when we are with them and can't wait for Ella to be old enough to play with her cousin.

12.  Host a party

We have not done a great job of having people over to enjoy our house.  After Ella was born it was a lot of fun to have people drop by.  In the same vane, we are planning to host a party and we'll have plenty to celebrate.

13.  Go to a hockey game

Being from Nothern New York, Seth grew up playing hockey.  He loves the sport (and is pretty damn good at it).  Last year, we headed to a Hurricane's game and it was so much fun.  Now that the NHL strike is over we are looking forward to enjoying another game.

So those are our plans for 2013.  They are posted on our fridge, so we don't forget.  Having fun is a priority for us and I promise updates as we have these little adventures.

Anyone else planning anything fun for 2013?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ella and the Fur Babies

One of the questions I have gotten since Ella's arrival is "what do the dogs and cats think of Ella?"  That  is a great question.  Fortunately, the answer is everyone is getting along just fine.  But I was pretty worried that wouldn't be the case. 

What We Did to Prepare the Dogs
All the pets, but especially the dogs, were used to being the center of our world.  Early  in my pregnancy, like 8 weeks early, we started to retrain the dogs.  We set new rules- no dogs on the couch unless invited, sitting and waiting to eat, reduced number of toys (on the rare occasion Oliver and Matilda would fight, it would almost always be over a toy).  Slowly, the dogs got the hang of the new routine.  While I know it was hard for both Seth and I to enforce new rules, it would be so much sadder if we had to re-home any of our babies because we didn't properly prepare them.

After Ella was born, we sent a couple blankets with her scent on them with my mom (the dogs were staying with her), so that they could learn the new smell.  When we got home, Seth went in the house first and greeted the dogs.  Then he came out and got the baby and I went in and greeted the dogs.  We then set Ella, in her car seat, down between the two of us on  the couch.  Matilda was very interested in what was happening.  She jumped up on the couch (bad Tilly) and gave the baby a good once over.  Oliver was a bit more hesisitant.  He actually growled at the car seat (we weren't surprised- Oliver is a bit of a head case), so we let him out for an hour and tried again.  This time, we held the baby and hid the car seat.  He slowly approached the baby and gave her some good sniffs.

And that was that.  Ever since everyone has been fine.  The dogs are freakishly protective of the house.  We have to know when people are stopping by so we can make sure they are out (Matilda actually tried to nip a guy delivering flowers).  As much as everyone is fine with Ella, each pet has a different approach to her.

Matilda meeting Ella

Tilly is out oldest baby (6 1/2!) and is used to being Seth's little princess, but like I said, she showed great promise in the beginning.  But she hasn't exactly warmed to the baby.  She likes to sniff Ella, but if you try and put that baby down anywhere near her, she runs away.  When Ella cries, she always checks to make sure she is okay, but then retreats to another room.  I don't worry that Til would ever hurt Ella, she just isn't particularly interested.  We are 100% sure that will change as soon as Ella can drop food on the floor.

Oliver snuggled with Ella during nap time (excuse the unmade bed)

Ella is Oliver's baby.  This was very surprising.  He took a while to warm up to her, but as soon as he figured out he could give her kisses, he was sold.  Now whenever I put Ella down for a nap on our bed (she sleeps better that way), Oliver can be found snuggled right up to her.  We figure that he will want to sleep with her once she is in a big girl bed in a few years.  It makes my heart happy to know that Ella and Oliver will be best buddies for years to come.

Ava trying to get some attention too

Ava seems to be a bit jealous of the baby.  One day, I had Ella in the carrier and was working at the computer.  Ella climbed on my lap and proceeded to lie down on top of the baby.  I shewed her off and haven't had a repeat performance.  Since then, Ava has warmed a little to the baby.  She was hanging out on the back of the chair while I was burping Ella a few days ago and Ella got the biggest smile on her face and giggled at the cat.  I don't think Ava was amused, but she's coming around.  She also enjoys new places to sleep- mainly the changing pad and Ella's chair.

Henry says "What baby?  This chair is for me."

I'm not entirely sure Henry is even aware that someone else has joined our family.  He definitely likes to come visit when I am feeding Ella in the morning, but like I said, I don't think he realizes that I am up for any reason to do anything other than pet him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Time is Here...

I really love Christmas.  This holiday combines a lot of the things I enjoy- cooking, spending time with my family, driving Seth crazy, and decorating.  This weekend, we finally got around to that last one.  I try hard not to go over board and I think I usually do a pretty good job.
The Christmas tree is up (sorry for the kinda blurry picture).  The only presents we've gotten around to wrapping are the ones Seth picked out for Ella.  I am a little behind this year.

The baby artificial tree I got in college is up on the sideboard.  In a few years, I imagine Ella will have a blast with this one.
And the stockings are up.  Seth and I both have our stockings from when we were young and we ordered a similar knit stocking for Ella.  I like that the stockings don't match, it kinda shows how our family has been built over the years. 

We also have wreathes on both doors and lights up on the fence, but that is it.  The house feels Christmasie (Christmasy?) without feeling obnoxious.

I really am so excited for this Christmas!