Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a wonderful day enjoying time with family, friends and lots of good food. We had a nice day with some good friends here in New York and then we will head to Woburn for the weekend to continue celebrating (and eating with family). It's really the best of both worlds for the Tapp's.
Thanksgiving 2011
This year we have so much to be thankful for. We have a healthy, beautiful little girl. Jason is loving his new role as the assistant coach for the Union College Men's hockey team, and I am enjoying my morning routine at work that allows me to be there for all of Ella's activities. We are also excited for our future! We will welcome a new addition in early June. Ella will officially be a BIG sister and Jason and I will be parents to 2, ahhh! We couldn't be more excited and are so happy to be sharing our news with everyone.

This was just the start to what will surely be a wonderful holiday season. We are all full from a great turkey dinner tonight and grateful for all that we have. Thank you to the Dumais' for hosting us this year and thank you to our families and friends for the endless love and support. I can't speak for Jason and Ella, but I can say MY heart is filled with happiness. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Icing On the Cake

I have already mentioned how much Ella LOVES to clean, and it seems that is not the end of her domestic appreciation. She also seems to be a budding baker. This girl loves to be in the kitchen. It is certainly not something she gets from me. I have a hard time following a simple recipe and if I can manage to make something without burning it, I'm cheering!
Ella helping mix the cookies!
Since I have to work on Thanksgiving, we will not be having dinner with family. Instead, we have been invited to some friends house to celebrate. I offered to help out and have been tasked with desserts. This is a good thing, since I have a few (just a few!) recipes in my repertoire that I have made often and feel confident enough to serve to others. I decided to get a head start on things this weekend since our weeks are usually packed with one activity after another.

I pulled out the mixer and all the ingredients and my little helper was by my side and ready to go. It was so fun to have Ella standing next to me on her chair, checking out each ingredient as I dumped it into the bowl. She watched in awe as the mixer whirled around and she studied me scooping out each dollop of cookie batter onto the pan. This was all so new to her and seemingly so exciting. As we waited for each batch of cookies to bake, she would run to the kitchen when the timer went off. Of course, taste testing was the icing on the cake! (Sweet tooth courtesy of her dad)

Hopefully the rest of the Thanksgiving baking will go just as smoothly. At least we'll know the cookies were made with love :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spoiled With Visitors!

What a week we had! Ella was spoiled with visitors. Grandma (Jason's mom) came to stay with us for the week. It was great to see her and for Ella to show off her turf. The last time we saw Grandma was in Michigan in August. Ella was really just starting to walk then and she wasn't talking much at all. Wow, have things changed in a few short months. Ella was full of energy and kept Grandma on her toes all week.

On Wednesday, we were joined by more visitors. Auntie Sharon (Jason's aunt) and her grand daughter Ava drove down from Vermont to spend some time with all of us. Sharon met Ella when she was just a newborn and this was Ava's first introduction (although she's seen lots of pictures on facebook :-)) Ava, who is 10 years old, was great with Ella. She kept her laughing for almost the entire time they were here. By the time the visit was over, Ella was exhausted from trying to keep up with her new big friend. It was so nice to spend some time with everyone.

We are all pooped and taking the quiet weekend to recharge our batteries. Even Tucker has been napping lots! I think that's a sign of a good time had by all. We will need all the energy we can get too...Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Time to start cooking!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Cleaning Lady

Ella LOVES to clean...the kitchen, bathroom, sweeping, scrubbing, even laundry....if it's a household chore, Ella is by my side to help out. As soon as she sees me head to the washer and dryer she runs over to join me and she gets really excited when it's time to fold the clothes. Break out the dust pan and broom and this girl is in heaven!

I can't complain. I do like to keep things neat, so Ella's affection towards cleaning is far better than the alternative. We like to refer to her as "Tornado Tapp" when she is playing (she loves to empty out the toy bin), but she does help pick up her toys and really prefers things to be neat. She likes drawers and doors closed so much that she is generally trailing behind me in the kitchen to keep me in check.

 Since we are realizing Ella's growing independence and love for "work", Jason and I have started giving her chores. Ella is in charge of feeding Tucker his breakfast and dinner. She proudly scoops his food into his bowl every day. It's become quite the routine. Last week, in a rush to get dinner done and keep our evening on track, I accidentally fed the dog....only to hear Ella from the living room shout "I do it!" as clear as day. Jason and I were floored. Not only did she realize she was missing out on her favorite chore, she also spoke an entire sentence. Her speech is improving every day, but this was like she has been talking forever. More and more we are hearing clear words and even some phrases. It's reassuring and exciting. We still have a long way to go in the speech department, but her progress is steady and that's all we can ask for. She just started a third day at school which will hopefully help her continue to make big strides!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween! (A day later...)

Happy Halloween! What a fun weekend we had celebrating with family and friends. Ella dressed up as Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street this year...and I may be biased, but she was the cutest little Abby I have ever seen! My mom custom made her costume to be a nearly EXACT replica of the real thing. (I'm really hoping Ella gets her creative genes!) She was very excited to be all dressed up as her favorite character. She wore her Abby costume all day on Halloween!
Ella and The Nan at the parade!

Everyone all bundled up for the parade!
Halloween wouldn't be complete in my family without a trip to the annual Halloween parade in Woburn. We always went to the parade as kids, then we were in the parade during middle school and high school and now it's even more fun to take our kids back. This is the second year Ella has made the event. It was also the second year that we made it a family affair.

Lucy and I getting ready for her first parade.
She LOVED it!
There are lots of "little Lally's" in Woburn, so a big group of us decided to meet at my grandmothers to catch the parade together. We ended up having nine little ones running around. It was chaos...but in a good way of course! This year we had to bundle up too since it was FREEZING outside.

Our little Abby was not the happiest at the parade. The chilly weather and lack of nap made her less than impressed to be out and about at the parade. She rallied as long as she could and then sleep won out!

Sleepy Ella!