Hi. My name is Gabriela Madeline Stark, but you can call me Ela. Welcome to my blog! I can’t speak English, Spanish, French or German yet, but my parents are going to write down some of the cool stuff I do, until I’m old enough to do it myself. I hope you enjoy reading about me. I’m completely oblivious.
Saturday morning was a lazy morning. In an attempt to sleep a little longer I brought Ela into bed with us and fed her there. I thought she might fall back asleep but she didn't. It ended up with Thom and me lying there half asleep and Ela sitting in between the two trying real hard to entertain herself. She discovered one of Thom's tattoos and tried to pick it off with her. That task lasted a while until she figured out it couldn't be done. Thom is sticking to the story that there are two races of humans: the tattoosians, who are born that way, and the non-tattoosians. He claims this is how he will teach our kids not to get tattoos. Good luck Thom.
Yesterday Ela went to the church nursery for the first time. I know, I know, it's about time. I was so nervous when I dropped her off I was literally shaking. I managed to sit through the whole sermon and I made myself stay through one song before I went to check on her. She was fine, playing on the floor with one of the teenagers that works there. She had a great time. I'm beginning to experience what my mom, to this day, still experiences when any one of us girls is staying with them but is out late at night. It's not pleasant.
Yesterday I also discovered she sprouted a new tooth and today, as I was trying to show the new tooth to Thom, he discovered that the one next to it is just about ready to push through which will give her a total of four teeth. Somehow having upper teeth makes her seem so much older than just bottom ones. She's also getting better at her walking with help from Mom or Dad's fingers. She used to call out to me when she wanted to be picked up. Now she calls out to me when she wants me to come over and lend a friendly finger or two. She grabs on to one finger, then the other and pulls herself up. Pretty soon we're across the room.
Finding things for her to eat has become a challenge. She doesn't want to be spoon fed the mushy stuff anymore. That stage came and went real quickly. So I've been forced to find soft foods that I can cut up small enough for her to gum and swallow. Some foods, like banana, are to slimy to pick up with two little pinchy fingers so I set out to find a solution. One thing I tried was coating the little banana pieces with crushed cheerios. She didn't like that so much but I'm keeping that idea storead away for future use. You never know. She did love the banana pancakes I made for her. I dipped banana slices in pancake batter (made with formula, not milk) and then cooked them on the skillet. Another thing that has worked is banana toast. I just make her a piece of toast, smear some mushed banana on there and fold the toast in half like a sandwich so she doesn't notice the slimy banana on there. I know, sounds kind of gross but she loves it. Today I tried the same thing with prunes and she like it too. I just squished the inside out of the prune skin and spread it on the toast. This is my attempt to get some fiber in her diet.
Lastly, here's a video of Thom playing with Ela. Well, it's more like a video of Thom being Ela.
Hello all. I don't have much time but I wanted to post some pictures and a quick update on what Ela is doing. She has started waving bye bye and drinking out of her sippy cup by herself (although sometimes I have to help tip it back far enough to get anything).
She is eating more and more foods, she won't allow me to spoon feed her anymore so I've gone to cutting everything up and letting her pick it up with her two little fingers. She's also eating larger quantities. This morning she ate almost a whole piece of toast and 1/4 banana for breakfast and for supper she ate almost a whole tortilla with beans and rice. That's a lot for a little tummy!
She loves to play all kinds of games. Her newest favorite game is one we invented tonight. It's called "Ela catch." The premise of the game is that we "toss" Ela back and forth between the two of us and she thinks she's actually being tossed and caught. We all laughed real hard.
She loves reading books, all the more when Daddy reads them with his funny voices. The ones with the lift flaps are the best. She has a couple of them memorized so she knows exactly where to lift from. She's always sure to put the flap back in place before moving on to the next page.
I know only a handful of people care about this but tomorrow his her 9 month checkup. At her last appointment on Nov 27th she weighted 14 lbs, 2 oz. and was 25 1/4 inches tall. Thom's guess for tomorrow: 16.5 lbs and 27 in. tall. My guess for tomorrow: 17 lbs 3 oz and 27.5 in. tall.
Our days have been busier. It's been hard to find time to post on blogs these days. Thom got a new job so now he's working two jobs. I've also been working more. This is good, since we need the money. But we're crunched for time-- time together and time to get miscellaneous things done.
Ela, as always, is wonderful. Today she waved bye bye to Thom for the first time. She's been saying Dada for a few weeks now. She likes to sing loudly and she now eats big person foods. Her newest food is little pieces of green beans. She loves them. She's been refusing to crawl for a long time. She finally looks like she's on the verge of that milestone, but not quite yet. I hope I can get some video of her when it happens. She likes to stand up and sit down, over and over. She also can now stand while holding on to a chair or the sofa and she can take little steps while holding on to mom or dad's fingers.
Next Thursday is her 9 month checkup at the Dr. I'm eager to find out her weight and height. I'll be sure to let you know how her growth is once I know. It's been three months since her last appointment and I'm proud to announce that for the first time we didn't have to go in to see the Dr. in between checkups for some nagging illness, which means a healthy baby.
Well, that's enough of that. Here are some recent pictures:
Zebra shirt from Aunt Amanda!
Practicing use of sippy cup.
Eating something (Cheerio, I think).
Eating tortilla-- yum!
Oh yes, Ela's new little friend, Ava Rose entered this world on Feb 12th around 5:40pm. Ela, Megan and I went to visit her and her mommy today. They're doing great and Ava is beautiful. I can't wait to spend some more time with her and I'll be sure to get some pictures up here of Ela interacting with Ava. She was definitely intrigued by the little crying baby and wanted to touch her so bad--which just serves to remind me all the more that Ela is no longer a little baby. It also gets me thinking "big sister", but I should probably put that thought away for now.
It's been a long time since I updated Ela's blog. Much has happened. Ela is now trying a new food every 4-6 days or so. So far she's had avocado, squash and her new one since yesterday is banana. She's not had quite as big of an appetite since fighting off this cold but hopefully she'll get back to normal soon. Ela's Christmas was simple, but she still got a few nice gifts. I made her a stuffed frog, her grandma got her a few fun toys and her great-grandma got her a jumperoo. Sounds fun, right? It is. She loves it.
Ela and I are getting ready to head out on a roadtrip with her aunt Megan soon. We leave Thursday and area headed to Decatur, IL where Ela's Aunt Amanda lives. Hopefully Ela will do great in the car as she has before and we'll have a great time. We also hope to meet up with a few different friends that live near or around that same area. I'll be posting pictures from that trip soon.
For now here's a video of Ela jumping gleefully away. I love the way her little feet look like she's tap dancing when she jumps. It's cute!
Great-granny giving Ela her rice cereal. They had a fun time.
Ela in the new hat I crocheted for her and her girlie jeans. They're both a bit big on her but I couldn't help myself.
Ready for an afternoon at the park with old friends.
Old friends, Luis & Katie Almonacid are visiting from Chile. Funny thing, Thom met Luis about six years ago when he spent a summer in Chile and I knew Katie from Dennis Hall at OCC. Katie moved to Chile, met Luis and now they're married. We each knew them independently before they even met so now we have a great time together. Alisa lives 8 blocks away but we see her about as often as we see Luis & Katie. Sad, isn't it? But we had a great time at the park and the weather was perfect.
Well...semi solid. Today, for the first time, Ela ate cereal. Really soupy rice cereal. I could tell you about it but I'll just show you. The order these appear in is chronological so it's best to watch them that way:
Her first solid feeding she started blowing bubbles in her cereal. At least she seemed to know exactly what to do with it and even noticed that Dad needed help getting it in her mouth. I can only imagine what fun lies ahead. I'm sure we'll be posting more interesting videos of Ela's table manners.