Ella Rides

Ella Anne now rides on her own. She just started a few weeks ago. She’s more comfortable on a smaller bike which make the riding a little awkward for her long legs, but she’s working on her bigger bike as well. She’s not yet gung ho about riding, but now there’s a moment of consideration about which method of locomotion to use when we go to the park. I’m so pleased.

Ella likes to hike

Ella hiked up to Angel’s Rest in the Gorge all by herself, then all the way back down. When Michelle asked if she wanted to take a rest, Ella exclaimed “This feels great on my legs” as she rubbed her quads. A week later we took a hike in Forest Park, and while she enjoyed herself, she was disappointed that there was no grand view at the end of the trail. We’ll try to pick another hike with a vista next time.

Meet Millie


Millie is the newest member of our family. She was Michelle birthday gift to Ella, though she was also a gift for herself, and a gift from me to her. Complex, I know.

Millie is a tabby from the Oregon Humane Society that Ella picked out with our help. Millie is even the name that Ella picked, and we’re not actually sure where she got the name, but we all agreed that it is a good cat name. Ella wanted a pink cat, and since no such thing was available, we went with the most immediately affectionate kitten that was compatible with Barley, with the girls, and hopefully with the chickens. Well, we haven’t actually decided about the indoor/outdoor thing yet. Michelle and I agree that litter boxes are a nuisance, but worry about the likelihood of roadkill in this neighborhood.

So far Millie fits in well. It’s a little weird how similar she looks to the late Tigger Lee, but he was a handsome devil if nothing else. Let’s hope his voice was unique and not a characteristic of the breed.

Ella : all3

Ella in her birthday dress
Ella turned 3 on Friday, though she celebrated on Sunday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. She can now recognize letters from her name on signs, in books and more, but she confuses the difference between, say, the letter E in her name with the whole name. So as we drive around town or read a book, she points at signs and says “That’s my name up there!”

As she approached 3, she also learned what the number 3 looks like. The problem is that E and 3 are very similar, so she started seeing her name in numeric signs, or kept “seeing her age up there” when it was actually an E. Really though, who can blame her?

This past year has been a wonder for us. Ella fell in and out of some odd habits, grew like a weed, became quite fashionista, and the talker. And while she may have become talkative and even inquisitive, her own reasoning is still a little weak. Weak, yet delightful. She’s become a wonderful big sister, and is really taking to the task in stride. She’s become a good climber (genetics, I know) and can command the neighborhood from atop her tower fort. Most of all, she’s our darling daughter, and I’m thankful for every day I have with her. Yes, even tonight with the kicking and the back talk.

3 month update

Madeline is now past the 3 month mark, and with each day we discover some new facet of her that is different (or the same) as her big sister. One pleasant difference has been the 3 nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep. I know it’s fleeting, but we’ve certainly enjoyed it. Maybe it has to do with the warmer weather, which bodes well for all three of us sharing the room.

Madeline has started smiling, smirking, cooing, and shrieking in the last 2 weeks, and I’d forgotten how infectious those little things are. When she beams at you, you just forget everything. She’s also decided that she likes standing and sitting upright, so she’s less content in the swing. Not that I’m complaining, but it can make for a slight challenge when trying to shovel compost or make dinner.

Again, Ella has been fantastic with her little sister. Always understanding, or at least accommodating when Madeline needs to nurse or be comforted, even when she has to give up her spot. She’s a fine sibling, and we can’t wait for the two of them to play.

Ella Turns Two

Ella on the ZoolineToday Ella turned the big TWO. As is now tradition, Michelle and I took the day off and we took the girl to the Oregon Zoo, where we spent far longer than years past. I’m amazed at how much she’s grown, and how much she’s changed in a year. Just a year ago she was still clumsily walking for the first time. She walked for maybe a hundred yards or so last year, and she maybe didn’t walk for a hundred yards this year. In fact, she spent much of her time running or climbing.

I don’t know if I would have believed you if you would have told me that I’d love my daughter more this year, and maybe that’s the wrong way to say it, but my love has widened, and I’m just in awe of who she is and what she’s capable of. (Awe or fear) While she’s still signing a fair amount, Ella has now added a fairly decent collection of words to her spoken vocabulary and is connecting several words to communicate intention, desire, and, well, orders. She’s loving her tricycle and dolly, and we’re hoping that helps prepare her for what’s coming in February.

She’s waking up from her nap now, so I’d better run. Here are some pictures from our zoo trip. Thanks for letting me borrow the camera, dad.