Michael and Ella

Michael, 2.5 yrs:
- still sleeps like this sometimes. I wonder how old he will be and still doing this? It reminds me he is still my baby.
- sang "I am a child of God" at church during testimony meeting today. Just went straight up to the microphone and belted it out for the whole congregation without an iota of reservation.
- learns songs in the blink of an eye. Knows more than I can count. He plays backseat DJ any time we are driving and is constantly asking "hey, mom, can you get ----- going?" or "can you crank it up?" or "I want the ----- song again!" or "this song is boring, let's find another one". I guess that actually makes me his DJ then, doesn't it? His current fixation is the Jay-Z version of "It's a Hard Knock Life" (radio edit, or course!) and we have listened to it about 500 times this week.
- is totally a daddy's boy. Goes out to the balcony everyday to wave bye to Rob as he rides away on his bike, and calls out emotion laden "bye, daddy, I love you!"'s for long, long after Rob is already out of sight. 
Colored vinegar fizzling in pan of baking soda. Fun tip from my sister.
- still loves letters and numbers and is surprisingly observant. Last week at breakfast he exclaimed "Hey! It says Ella on the milk!". And, sure enough, it was right there in the milk label, "Mellanmjölk".
- rode about 2 miles on his Strider bike yesterday, up and down some big hills on trails. Fast enough I often found myself jogging to keep up. It was like going on a mtn biking outing together. He is pure joy on the downhills, just lifting those feet up and speeding down. It's the best feeling to share a sport I love so much with him! Never thought this would happen already. I LOVE those balance bikes!

Ella, 9 mths:
- is finally, finally kinda sorta taking to solids. Yay! When she was 8 months old, she was still eating next to nothing (maybe a tablespoon a day), and I was starting to feel a little nervous about how it would go. She still doesn't chow down, and I laugh when I see the amounts of food suggested for babies her age, but at least it is something.
She likes guacamole. She even ate some, too.
- is still totally a mama's girl. I revel in it almost always, until I'm ready to do something else. 
- is still angelic 95% of the time.
- is in the crawling-all-over, putting-everything-in-her-mouth stage. The stairs are simply mind-blowing entertainment right now. I hate going outdoors during this period because all she wants to do is put grass and rocks and sand in her mouth and so I can't set her down for a single second unless my hands are on their marks to swipe away her fistful of goodies.

 I feel a little bad because when Michael was 9 months I think I wrote novels about all the intricacies of his development. But poor second-child Ella, I'm just like, yep, she's a baby.


London Town

I saw an episode of Modern Family a few weeks ago where they are going to Hawaii and the mom says "I'm a mother traveling with three kids - this is NOT a vacation, it's a business trip". Oh, I loved that quote. I usually relate all to well and so I set my sights pretty low for our vacation to London, but the stars aligned and we had a great time. Michael was over-the-moon excited. The first morning we woke up there, he ran into my room yelling-singing with his squeaky little voice "See-saw sacradown, which is the way to London town? One foot up and the other foot down, that is the way to London town!". And then he requested me to sing it about 100 times throughout the trip. So he called it London-town the whole time, which was too cute.
To sum it up:
- Michael was obsessed with the double decker buses.
- Rob was obsessed with going to soccer games.
- I was obsessed with the Science Museum. It is magnificent and I think that your inner nerd would have to be buried really, really deep to not find it interesting. Since my inner nerd romps around my outer surface, I find it enthralling. (I've been on two trips to London now, and I have gone to the Science Museum on 5 different days. Wow. It's amazing I have friends.)
- Ella was obsessed with crawling around on carpeted floor. Soft, velvety, luscious carpet!

Rob has a friend who lives in London that happened to be going on a trip at the same time we wanted to visit, so they graciously let us use their house for nearly a week. So, on top of getting to visit London, Michael had a house full of new toys to explore, Ella had her glorious carpet for crawling, and I discovered the type of sheets I need to buy us for our own bed. Oh, and I got to poke my nose through a bunch of new books. I read some random stat once about how over 50% of the population, when using the bathroom at someone else's home, will snoop in their medicine cabinet. That has never occurred to me. But, if left unattended at a house, guaranteed I will poke my nose through every book on the bookshelf, and it will be a highlight of my visit.

We also used the friend's nanny for an evening and went to see Wicked, went on the London Eye (the huge ferris wheel), roamed Hyde Park, and ate lots of good chocolate croissants and shawarma (love, love, love Lebanese food).


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