Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Silliness at the Pugh's Today

This is what I caught James and Ella doing in the living room. I know I'm partial, but I think they're two of the cutest kids around. Leave a comment if you agree.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Again

The Pugh girls are indeed home again, but life has been nonstop since our arrival on Saturday night.  Sunday was filled with church activities, of course, and yesterday we held a small dinner party (very informal, of course, for you Harvey lovers).  Hillary has two weeks of vacation and is staying with us a few days this week.  It is fun having her here (as well as super-helpful), so I know I'm going to miss her a lot when she is gone next week.  

(taken by Jeffrey Kintner)

I am looking forward to a day at home, getting my house and myself back in order for the week ahead.  There is much to do here.  James is turning 1 on Friday so I have a small party to prepare for family and a cousin's wedding to attend on Saturday, not to mention church and Bible study on Thursday.  I am definitely needing this day at home to screw my head on straight and make plans and preparations.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Day At Lake Santa Fe

One Year Ago

One year ago today we received an early morning text message announcing the birth of our niece, Claire Elizabeth Kizziah.  I went to get a manicure and pedicure (compliments of my mother).  It was bliss to my poor, great-with-child body.  Then I went to visit my new niece at the hospital before my own doctor's appointment.  There I was told by my doctor that he would (and could) induce me the following Thursday, giving our family two babies in one week.  

Happy Birthday to Claire!
(You're almost there, James.  Your mommy was so glad to get the news that you were coming just one week after your cousin.)

Happy Birthday to my beautiful sis-in-law, Nicole, as well!
I love you!

Disney: Day 2

We have returned to Lake Santa Fe and Grammy and Daddy Jim’s home.  I’m very glad Hillary and I made the decision to spend the day here resting and recuperating after a busy two days at Disney World.  Yesterday we spent time at Epcot and Hollywood Studios (I still like to refer to it as MGM).  It was a long but fun day.  Our friend let us into Epcot at 9 a.m., but we decided to ride the boat over to MGM because everything in the World Showcase was still closed.  It was a very nostalgic walk and ride for me because we walked through the back entrance to Epcot just as KJ and I did on our honeymoon 6 years ago. 

The Beach and Yacht Club
(Our Honeymoon Hotel)

Boating to MGM

KJ suggested to me that Ella might enjoy the Muppet show in 3d, and he was right.  There were some difficult moments with Ella yesterday being “scared.”  She is very unsure and frightened of new situations some times.  She was fine until we walked into the theater to sit down, and she wanted to leave.  She very concernedly asked, “Do you think this will be scary?”  I told her no, I thought it would be funny.  Thankfully, she did enjoy it a lot. 

Miss Piggy's Fountain

 From there we planned to ride Toy Story Mania, but the ride was having technical difficulties.  It was still fun to hang out in Pixar Square.  Ella got to see some of her favorite characters from Playhouse Disney, and we watched a live show incorporating all her favorites:  Tigger and Pooh, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins.  Ella really loved the show, which had music and was set up just like the shows (which she has been watching online).  She danced and sang along with great gusto. 

I was a little disappointed to miss out on Star Wars and The Great Movie Ride, but once I accepted that I was the mother of a preschooler, I had fun watching Ella have fun.  There will come a day where I can do those things with her, and if she is too scared, with James. I look forward to that.  It will be fun to experience Disney World through the eyes of a little boy.  Enough princesses, I’m ready for pirates. 

After lunch, we caught the boat back to Epcot and enjoyed time in the World Showcase. 

Hillary only wishes she could take a picture this good.
She tried.


By late afternoon we were all weary of walking.  Ella was asking for something to cool her off.  I think she wanted me to buy her a fan, but then we found another solution to her problem.

By the end of 20 minutes she was completely soaked and completely happy.  Mom was completely exhausted.  Shortly after playing in the fountain we trudged back to the parking lot a tired and motley crew.  After showering and loading up the car, we said good-bye to cousins and Orlando and hit the highways and byways once more.  Ella very uncharacteristically announced, "I'm tired.  I need a pillow."  Upon receiving them she went to sleep pretty quickly.  Disney was very good to us, and we can't wait to go back, but it is good to be here with nothing to do but enjoy the view.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Day of Magic

Highlights from Our Day

This was Ella's first time to take a character picture and the only one she would take today.  She was so brave.  Burt told her to have a jolly day.

Riding the teacups was Ella's favorite part the Magic Kingdom last time, and she was so excited about riding them again.  It was fun to be the parent who got to spin her around.

I asked Ella where she learned to put her hands up in the air on fast rides.  
Her answer?  "On State Fair"

Ella had a slight meltdown after walking in the heat.  Lunch helped restore her spirits.

New flip-flops helped a little bit, too.  (Her feet were hot in tennis shoes.)

Favorite Ella Quote

Upon seeing the wicked stepmother and stepsisters walking by, 
"What are they doing here?"

Favorite Misunderstanding

"Do you want ice cream?"  "No."  "It's Mickey Mouse Ears."
"I want some ice cream."  "I'll buy 3 ice creams."
"I don't want ice cream."  (I give the extra ice cream away.)
"I want ears."  

I really wish I had the time and energy to write a better description of our day.  Tomorrow we have another long day...but just as magical.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Things We Did Today

It was a beautiful morning at Lake Santa Fe...

We did a little reading in the sunshine...

The water felt great...

The lake breezes were gently blowing...

It was a really good day...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Road Trip

Greetings from Highway 280!  I’m writing this from my laptop at mile 209 into our journey to guess where?  Florida!  And Disney World!  Surprise!  This trip has been in the back of my mind for the past month, but I have been hesitant to write about it because I wasn’t sure if it would really happen or not.  It sounded too good to be true, because it is just a girl’s trip.  Hillary, Ella and I headed out this morning, leaving James behind in KJ's care (with some help from Mama T).  I am baby-free for the first time in 11 ½ months.  I think the freedom is going to intoxicate me before the week is up. 

KJ urged me to go and have fun, a decision I would never have made on my own.  I am looking forward to having uninterrupted time with Ella, and of course, it is fun to be with Hillary.  We are headed to Lake Santa Fe for the night and to Orlando on Tuesday night.  We are blessed to have family to stay with and friends letting us in to Disney World as their guests.  The Lord has been so gracious to provide such a wonderful vacation.  I am very thankful.  

Favorite Flashback of the Day:  DC Talk’s In the Light

Favorite Find:  baby carrots and dip in a travel package at Target

Favorite Ella Quote:  "This is taking a really long time."  "I know, baby.  But we're gonna try to make it fun."  "I don't think you can make this fun."

Favorite Book (on cd) Quote:  "Hobbits give presents to other people on their own birthdays.  Not very expensive ones, as a rule, and not so lavishly as on this occasion; but it was not a bad system.  Actually in Hobbiton and Bywater every day in the year it was somebody's birthday, so that every hobbit in those parts had a fair chance of at least one present at least once a week."

Saying Good-Bye

Ice Cream on the Road

Definitely needed for long car rides

Not really while she was driving.  I promise.

We were able to capture the last remaining
vestiges of sunset.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

At Elrond's House

"His house was perfect, whether you liked food,
or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing,
or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture 
of them all."
- from The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien -

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Grown-Up Doctor Visit

Today I took Ella to the doctor for a check-up.  Because of James' upcoming birth last fall, I ended up cancelling the 3-year check-up a couple of times and finally gave up on it.  I wasn't too worried about missing it because our pediatrician told me that if everything was fine, they just needed to see them sometime between 3 and 4.  The only thing that made me nervous for Ella this time around was the fact that she hadn't been in 2 years so everything would be new.  And it's one thing to give a baby a shot (they don't know what's coming) but quite another to give a shot to a big girl.  Ella has always acted beyond her years at the doctor's office, though.  She had to go to the ENT several times (also 2 years ago) to have her ears cleaned out, and she sat so patiently through all of that.  

I tried to prepare her for everything as much as I could:  You'll have to go the bathroom in a little cup, they'll give you a shot, and it just hurts for a second; they'll look in your ears and in your mouth, etc.  She responded to my preparation very well, but with children you can never be sure what will happen.  Sweet Ella did not disappoint, though.  

The visit started the way I thought it would (urine in the cup), but I was surprised with all the other things we did.  It really was a "big-girl" trip to the doctor, and Ella handled it all so well.  The nurse conducted an eye exam with shapes.  Ella also had to put on a hospital gown and have her finger pricked.  She was such a champ.  She jumped up and down (on one foot and two), drew a circle and a cross, and got a vaccination in each arm.  She sat in my lap facing me while she got the shots and didn't make a peep.  The doctor and the nurses were super-impressed.  

When it was all over we went shopping at the mall.  Ella got a chocolate milkshake from Chick-Fil-A and we had a really great time.  After the mall we stopped by the library.  Ella truly has become a grown-up companion.  She was so sweet and so much fun.  I'm so proud of my girl.

Waiting for Shots

Ella picked this pose all by herself.
She asked me to take her picture at the fountain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just Another Update

Things have been very interesting around our house during the past week.  Thankfully, if James did indeed catch my stomach virus, it was a much lighter version because he exhibited no other symptoms after Sunday afternoon.  KJ stayed home to rest and recuperate Monday and Tuesday.  He returned to work today and is on the mend.  His shingles are still painful but look better, and the swelling in his face has gone down.  And it looks like Ella has escaped all sickness, for which I am very grateful.  

Despite all the sicknesses we have been very happy to be at home together the past couple of days.  My children continue to be the cutest ever.  They wear me out, but I love them anyway.  I started reading The Hobbit again.   Tolkien's writing is just so good.  Besides, how can you not respect someone who created hobbits?  

"...what is a hobbit?  ...they are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves.  Hobbits have no beards.  There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort...They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it). "