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.
A lot of new things have been happening at the Starks. Ela is teething again. Two new top teeth can be seen beginning to push their way through. She doesn't seem to be suffering too much although she's had an occasional moment or two of desperation. This morning, during breakfast, I was finally able to catch on video something that she's been doing for quite some time. If you blink at her she will make eyes back at you. Here, watch:
I think she looks so intense in this picture. Wonder who she gets it from?
Ela taking baby for a walk. She's walking all over the place now. Mostly she uses the furniture to help her get around but she'll also take up to six or seven steps all on her own before she plops down on the ground. It's exciting to watch her wobbly little steps.
In the following picture she is sharing some quiet time with new friends. I've been trying to teach her to be nice to the dolls instead of throwing them on the floor. She's learned to hug and kiss them and we're working on learning to feed them their bottle. Although notice she'd rather chew on it herself. I think the progression of events in the next three pictures is funny (I didn't stage this. It just kind of happened, not sure how):
They were getting along fine when suddenly they decided to gang up on her! She is clearly annoyed at them. Bad babies. Then again, maybe she shouldn't chew on their bottle.
This is the lovely jump suit from her Aunt Amanda. She always helps bring style into this tot's life.
And finally, the best video I've seen in a while. Ela had spaghetti for dinner tonight. This is just some of what happened:
Aunt Amanda visited this past weekend and Ela had tons of fun with her. Here they are playing peek-a-boo/tickle. Notice she sports the hot pink tutu even when it's too chili to wear just the tights.
Today Ela went for a walk with her abuelo. They picked a rosa (Spanish for rose, that's what my dad called it) for me. Ela at first didn't want to touch it but when she saw how much I liked it she decided she might just want to keep it for herself. We compromised and it's in a vase on the coffee table where we can both look at it.
And the video of her using her walker. I think she looks like a tiny old person. My mom babysat her this morning and she reports that Ela actually took a couple of steps alone by her own initiative. I was sad I missed it but I'm sure it will happen again soon.
And last but not least, the video I call peek a boo. I'll let you figure out why. She will do this over and over and she even likes to do it in the bathtub with her ducking down inside the tub while I'm outside of it. I'll try to get a video of it sometime.
It's been a while since I last posted about Ela and so I sincerely apologize to those who check back here for updates and pictures. I guess life has been busy, but we're still having a blast.
Let's see, what has Ela been up to? She just turned 10 months last Wednesday. Time has gone by so fast and I find myself fantasizing about her birthday party. I know she won't know or care but I will and I want to have the story to tell and pictures to show her when she's older.
She seems to have skipped right over the crawling stage and into the walking. The drive to get up and walk seems to be irresistible. There are times when she will simply insist that someone come help her walk around. This stage has been demanding on us parents since she requires our help all the time, although she's gaining more and more independence every day. She now holds on to furniture and tries to move from the coffee table to the couch and back (they're only about a foot apart). For a week or so she has stood on her own for intervals of about 10-60 second or longer. Today, for the first time, she stood and clapped her hands at the same time--this requires quite a bit of balance! She was giving herself a round of applause for having put her toy in the toy box.
We've been to the playground on the few days when the weather has been nice. She loves the swing. She hangs on tight and doesn't mind going high. We tried the slide but she doesn't get the fun in that yet so we pretty much head straight for the baby swings.
Ela walking the drive way with her abuelita.
I think this is the second or third time she stood solo.
Still loves bath time! She'll stand at the tub and dance around and try to climb in the tub while I'm preparing her water.
She had a blast pulling out all the books. I think she was also proud of herself.
Playing in Abuelita's back yard on a beautiful spring day.
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.
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.