Monday, February 16, 2015

Ella Grace Is 5!!!!

 My baby girl is 5 years old! So crazy! What's even crazier is to think that 5 years ago Michael didn't have a job! Just goes to show you a lot can change in short amount of time! Having Michael home for the first year of this little girls life was the best! What little girl gets time with her Daddy like that!!!

This year has been a trying one for Ella and I. There was major head-butting going on with us. She was still dealing with figuring out how to control her emotions and so was I! Ella is an emotional mess sometimes. One little thing can send the whole day into a downward spiral. I think the biggest challenge for her was her speech and not being able to fully communicate or just not think she could fully communicate with us. Trust me this girl loves and needs to be heard and when he doesn't think she can get the words out or if she feels we aren't listening then there are big problems!! Speech therapy has helped a ton. She is speaking so much clearer now. There is still room to improve, but as of right now she is doing great for her age. We will be checking back in right before school starts to see if she needs a little refresher course. Michael and I have also tried very hard to not make her feel rushed when she needs to say something. We've been known to help her finish her sentence and even if we say the exact same thing she was going to say it really makes her mad that she didn't get to say. I feel bad that we've done that, but with 4 kiddos trying to get your attention sometimes you just want to hurry things along. Now I've been making sure I stop and make the other kids wait while I really listen to Ella tell me whatever it is she needs to. 

Another struggle for her this last year was definitely sharing me with Logan. This time last year was hard for us. She had had me without Logan for most of December so coming into the New Year for 2014 was difficult. Since she still was struggling with her speech she couldn't really explain what she was feeling, but I knew it must have something to do with Logan because she would be excellent on the weekends and first thing Monday morning when Logan would get to our house she would turn into a completely different child. I don't think it necessarily had to do with Logan...I believe it was more a mother/daughter thing and Logan was what sparked it. She was jealous of Logan and so she took it out on me! Fun right? I also worried about how she would be once Logan wasn't coming to our house anymore, but she has been fantastic. It's been so nice just getting to be a mommy to my kids. Another amazing side effect has been the relationship bond between Ella and Zeke. Ella and Logan would always run off and play together and then Zeke would just play by himself. He didn't seem to mind, but now Ella and Zeke are playing together all the time. It's so wonderful to see them bond! 

Ella does miss Logan very much and she asks when we are going to see her at least once a week. We have gotten together a couple times so they can play together and they just pick up right where they left off! She also loves her other friends....Kendra, Lilyann, Anna & Addison. They are her buddies and of course she wishes she could see them more often. She does get to hang out with other girls her age at MOPS and church so that helps. I'm excited to see the relationships she makes once school starts in September! 

Ella is definitely a girly girl, but can also be a rough and tough girl. She will run around on the mountain with the boys and play in the mud and sand. She loves her brother very much and she loves the neighbor boys too! She's always wanting to play with Donald and Dominic. She tells me sometimes that she talks to them and they don't answer her. They are 11 and 9 so I'm sure she's playing the part of my friends annoying little sister! They don't ignore her all the time as I do see them playing with her as well. 

Even though Ella and I had our struggles last year we also made some big leaps! Our relationship has definitely improved and I'm so happy about that! You hear sometimes that those mother/daughter relationships can be really bad and I don't want that. I want Ella to enjoy being with me and I want to have fun with her. Lately she has become my little shopping buddy. Before I would ask her if she wanted to go with me and she would say yes, but then this whole battle would ensue in regards to her shoes or her coat and sometimes I would just end up leaving her home because I would be so frustrated. We had a talk about how I really want to have fun with her, but I needed her to control her emotions. I've also stopped fighting with her about her coat and shoes as much. People probably think I'm the worst parent, but if she doesn't want I coat I very rarely make her wear one. If it's freezing out of course I do, but if it's just a little chilly and she doesn't want to I don't push. First of all it's not worth the stress for both of us. Second we aren't outside that much it's from the house to the van and from the van to the church and so on. Lastly...I believe in natural consequences...if she wants to find out how cold she's going to be then let her. Next time she just might decided to put that coat on after all. Since I haven't been stressing about that she's been so much better. I really enjoy taking her places with me. It's fun mother/daughter bonding time! 

This year Ella has really taken more of an interest in toys. She used to no play with any toys really. Now she loves her Barbie Mega Blok house and her normal size Barbies too. She will also play with Legos, Fur Real Doggie, My Little Ponies and Play Doh. She loves to play games and color. She's gotten really good at writing her name as well. 

Dress up is probably her favorite thing though. She is constantly putting on her Elsa dress or her ballet skirts or her leotard and running around in the house. I usually have to remind her that we are going out later that day so she'll have to change her clothes. So far her Elsa dress has held up pretty well. I've had to stitch a little where the cape was starting to come off due to someone stepping on her train. Also her crown and her shoes that Owen got her for Christmas have broken already! :(

Ella loves her brothers so much! She wants to be with them all the time and she misses them while they are at school. She is so excited to go to school with them. We'll see how she feels once she realizes she's not going to be in the same class with them. Most recently Ella and Jack have been inseparable! They are always off doing something together. I have a post coming up about our little beach trip on her birthday. They were so cute together collecting rocks, shells and sticks. My cute little hoarders! 

For the most part my Ella Grace is a happy girl. She finds joy in simple things like getting to take a shower or a bath, helping me in the kitchen with cooking or unloading the dishwasher. She still gets a bit grumpy when she has to do the recycle, but at least now it's not every single time. 

She is getting so big and growing so well! At her doctors appointment we found out that she is very proportionate....her height and weight are both in the 50%. She is also 42lbs already. Owen was only 30lbs at 5 years old. Just goes to show you that she is a good eater. I love that she enjoys food and is not afraid to try new foods. She is a lot like me when it comes to foods. She loves broccoli, carrots, peas and peppers....more vegetables than any other kids in the family eats! 

She does enjoy learning, but it does have to be on her terms. I need to be better about making it more fun for her and not so studious. I like to sit down and just learn from a book, but that's not Ella. I did recently sign her back up for and she does like that. Of course she'd much rather watch Sophia on Disney Jr so it's still a bit of a chore getting her to actually sit down and play. I think I need to make more of an effort to sit with her. She loves to hear praise! My main goal before Kindergarten is getting her to learn her letters. She says her ABC's, but she can only recognize...A, E, L and X. She also doesn't really know what the sounds for the letters are. Lots of things to learn! I do know that once she starts school she is going to be a little sponge so I'm trying not to stress about it. I do want her to go into school knowing as much as she can so she doesn't get behind. 

My sweet precious Ella girl 5 years has FLOWN by. Seriously I have no idea where it went! I'm so excited for you to start school, but I know I'm going to miss you so much! This time in your life where you are at home with mommy all the time is coming to end and that makes me sad. I know that there will be some tears shed when I take you to school for the first day. I know you will have fun and make friends, but I know that there will probably be some challenges for you. You are tough though and you will do great! 

You are an amazing little girl with a huge heart. You love passionately! You are not one to back down and you will stand up for yourself and what's right. You know that Jesus is in your heart and that God is everywhere. I pray that you always trust Him and listen to His calling on your life! He will never let you down Ella Grace! 

I love you so much Sweet P! You bring such joy to my heart! I want you to know that I'm so so so happy that God blessed me with you! To think that when I was pregnant I wanted just boys, but God knew I needed you! You are a BLESSING....not just to me, but to everyone you come in contact with! You are Daddy's Girl, Pa's Princess, Ga-Ga's Sugar Bear, Owen, Jack and Zeke's Sissy and like that song on the radio says....You are a child of the One True King!  

Happy birthday beautiful girl! Mommy loves you more than words could ever say!