Easter Weekend

The weather has been pretty cold and rainy in our area so our little family celebrated a quiet Easter weekend at home this year, filled with cooking, eating, playing, and naps–it was wonderful! Ellie got a visit from the Easter Bunny, who she is not very happy with, because he took all of her pacifiers in exchange for presents this year. We’ve been trying our hardest not to say his name or the “p” word, since it just brings up bad memories for her, LOL!

I even had my first experience making a holiday meal, and it turned out pretty great if I do say so. Bourbon-glazed ham, baked beans, mashed potatoes and deviled eggs were all on the menu with chocolate chip cookies for desert. Andrew and Ellie loved it and we still have leftovers two days later!

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Because the weather has been so gross, Ellie’s daycare had their annual Easter Egg Hunt inside this year. It was a bit cramped, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. Her class had crafts like making a bunny out of paper plates and construction paper, and decorating sugar cookies before hunting for eggs. Ellie couldn’t wait to see what was inside each egg she picked up, so she would open it immediately and eat whatever chocolate she found before moving onto the next. This girl loves chocolate!

Spring Break in the Florida Panhandle

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Andrew, Ellie and I spent the best week in Navarre Beach, Florida last week, and wow, I am wiped out now. I need some serious recovery time after this one. We had never been to Navarre Beach before, but were looking for a quiet, family-oriented spring break destination and Navarre was the PERFECT place. The weather was still a bit cool this early in the year, but we were able to play on the beach every day and found other fun activities to do in between.

We arrived into Pensacola (PNS) Saturday morning and had a few hours to kill before checking into our condo, so we ate an awesome lunch on the bay at Hemingway’s Island Grill and immediately set out for the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The seashore is a 10-mile stretch of protected beach with no condos, restaurants or retail stores. It is gorgeous, and Ellie loved seeing her first view of the ocean in a while.

By the time we checked into our condo a couple of miles down the beach, she was comatose…

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This pretty much sums up the next 7 days–we played hard during the day and slept like babies every night. Although it was cool, we were blessed with beautiful, sunny weather and clear ocean water most of the week. The kids woke up ready to walk out the door to the beach every morning.

When we weren’t on the beach we spent our time visiting the Pensacola Naval Air Museum…

…cooking meals using the freshest seafood we could find at Joe Patti’s Seafood Market…

…playing DINOSAUR themed mini-golf and arcade games…

…feeding the alligators at Fudpucker’s in Destin…

…eating WAY too many sno-balls. Ellie helped herself to Ethan’s cotton candy sno-ball, LOL…

…and spending so much good family time together. Navarre Beach was so beautiful and we had so much fun, I know this trip will stay with us for a long time. AND it may be our last trip as a family of three. Come on baby #2!

Chocolate Day

Valentine’s Day should really just be called Chocolate Day because we eat more of it that day than any other time of the year. Ellie is basically a chocolate monster. If it’s in her sight, it needs to be in her mouth, so I knew I wanted to use it as a prop for her Valentine’s Day picture. Our little love bug was a happy girl with a full box of them in her little hands.

These are pictures taken during the same time last year. I still can’t believe how much my little sweetheart has grown!

Goodbye, January!

January has to be the worst month of the year in my book. It has the unfortunate position within the year of following the holidays when things are slower and we usually have time off, then once we get back to our routines the month seems to drag on forever.

In the Midwest, January is more of a challenge because it’s usually one of the worst weather months. Cold temps and snowy streets have kept us indoors more often, so we’ve had to come up with interesting ways to keep ourselves entertained. For example…

We practiced riding our new tricycle.

Ellie got a new Minnie Mouse tricycle for Christmas that she sits on almost every evening when we get home, so we try to let her to practice in our entry way. She’s still getting the hang of it.

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We had ice cream in 12 degree weather.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream is famous in the Cleveland area for a reason. It is delicious any time of year. Ellie’s favorite flavor is Blue Cosmo. It tastes like cotton candy and has ribbons of marshmallow cream in it–yum!

We went to our first Disney on Ice.

I was lucky enough to snag tickets to my employer’s suite for Disney on Ice when it was in town. I wasn’t sure whether Ellie would be that into it because she’s so young, but I was wrong! She had the time of her life dancing her booty off, making new friends and eating as many cupcakes as she could fit in her little tummy. It was a great experience for all of us and we can’t wait to take her back next year.

We made hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Nothing is better than salted caramel hot chocolate on a freezing cold night.

We took Ellie to her first movie.

During the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, a big storm hit the area, keeping us inside for two whole days. By the third day, we were willing to do just about anything to get out of the house and decided to take Ellie to see Coco at the movie theater. The movie had been out for over a month so I didn’t think it would be that busy, but we ended up snagging the last seats available toward the front of the theater. It worked out in our favor because there was open space in front of our seats and a tall wall behind our seats, giving Ellie the ability to stand up and walk between Andrew and I without getting in the way of other people. Ellie enjoyed the experience and the movie was cute, but we’ll probably wait a little longer before we try it again, lol.

We practiced hand-eye coordination.

Ellie got a couple of bouncy balls for Christmas that she hasn’t let out of her sight, so we’ve been practicing throwing them to her and having her catch them. It’s basically her new favorite thing to do.

So, while we’ve managed to keep busy, I could not be happier that this month is over. We’re already daydreaming of warmer times and trying on new swimsuits in preparation for fun activities involving water and sunshine!

Christmas in Mississippi

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This is late, but you know the saying–better late than never! For the second time since Ellie’s birth, we made the trip to my hometown in Mississippi for the Christmas holiday. I love going there for Christmas especially because Ellie has several cousins close to her in age and it’s so fun to see them playing together, excited over the holiday, and of course, on their best behavior for Santa.

Ellie has only visited with her cousins two other times this year, and I’m always amazed by how easily they fall back into place with each other. This visit was no different. The kids chased each other around, played games, built gingerbread houses and danced their little booties off!

We celebrated the holiday with family early in the week, got to see the excitement in Ellie’s eyes as she discovered her gifts Christmas morning, and got to spend the rest of the week playing and visiting friends we haven’t seen in a while. It was so nice to have time to relax with no agenda! We went with my sister and her kids to see Christmas lights and basically ate our way across Mississippi and parts of Alabama. That was our only plan.

Ellie’s favorite part of the trip was making friends with Bobo the cat. We must have heard her say Bobo’s name a million times during the week. When she woke up, “where’s Bobo.” Before she went to sleep, “I want Bobo.” Every five minutes in between “Bobo.” We’re legit afraid to say this cat’s name right now.

We got back home in time to celebrate the New Year in style with sparkling pear juice at 9 pm because we were too tired to stay up until midnight. We traded in our champagne this year because we are expecting our second baby–another girl–at the end of June! We are over the moon and Ellie can’t wait to be a big sister. She says she wants the baby’s name to be Elsa because she’s really into Frozen right now. Not sure it will make the cut, but we won’t rule it out just yet!

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Trick-or-Treat!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, but now that we have Ellie to dress up in adorable costumes it has become a big event in the Davis household. This year was even more special because it was Ellie’s first trick-or-treat.

Trick-or-treating is big in our development. Our neighbors bring out their folding chairs and fire pits and stay out all evening handing out candy. Andrew and I have always done that too. Last year, we dressed Ellie up as a baby sunflower and put her in a flower pot on our front porch while we handed out candy.

This year, we knew we still wanted to hand out candy, but we also wanted to introduce Ellie to trick-or-treating, so I took her around to a few of our neighbor’s houses with her little Elsa and Anna bucket to let her try it out. She did great! I didn’t think she would be that into it, but she understood that if she held out her bucket, people would put candy in it. I guess that was easy enough for her because she ended up with quite the haul.

I even dressed up as a mom-appropriate Bo Peep to take my little lamb trick-or-treating, but that didn’t last long once I realized how cold it was outside–about 40 degrees!

Once the little lamb had filled up her bucket, she showed us her stash and Andrew promptly took advantage of the hustle that is trick-or-treating with an almost-two-year old. She’ll never know if he skims a couple pieces off the top, right?