Monday, November 30, 2009

Ella's 6 month photoshoot

Friends, you will be seeing one of these pictures on your holiday card for sure! We love the sampling of Ella's pictures on the photographer's site; more to come! We loved working with Laura and highly recommend her! Go to to see more of Ella...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

California, First Crawl (yay!) and swine flu, oh my!

The Francis family is SO ready for Christmas!

Give me the camera!

Ella was slightly scared of the 19 lb turkey. 3.5 lbs bigger than our little peanut!

We were all sicky but dinner was finally served!

Look at that face. Swine flu, 5 hour flight and smiles. Love her.

Well, hmmm...I have no words for this past week. No. Words. Which, if you know me, and I am assuming you do if you know about this blog, you know that its pretty atypical of me to not have words to describe something. This past week taught me a lot about best laid plans, parenting and possesing an inner calm when everything is going to poopy in a hand basket..and fast. Because, well, it did! If nothing else, the week reiterated the things that are important and for what we should be grateful and thankful for (and, really, isn't that the point of Thanksgiving, anyway?). The things that I am most grateful for (in no way order of importance:

1. Emergency Health Services- ER, pediatricians who don't take out of state patients but have mercy on our souls, and medicine.

Well, on the flight to San Fran, I felt....just...awful. I couldn't put my finger on it but I do you say....BAD. We landed. worse. We drove to Danville. Death. I bought meds, laid down to sleep while everyone took care of my precious baby. Eyes poked out with hot, sharp and blunt object. Then, at about 3 am, I woke up in a sweat and panic I have never experienced. My fever was 104.1. I knew it was bad. After a frantic call to my momma back east, we decided I should wake up my sleeping husband and head to the ER. I didn't start feeling better until Tuesday. At that point, Ella starting getting sick.....nothing is worse in life than a sick baby. Especially your sweet and happy 6 month old. I wanted to die. I had a mini freak out at the prospect of our baby having the dreaded swine flu. After we got her into the dr., she called to confirm the swab test. I couldn't believe it. We all were on tamiflu and the next couple of days were rough, including Thanksgiving. Needless to say, we were holed up in Danville for one full week. We had such great plans! Sight seeing, seeing friends (we are so sorry we couldn't see you guys!) and most of all, hanging out with all of Ella's family. Her aunt and cousin didn't get to meet Ella. So sad. Hopefully we will be back sometime soon.

2. Family- honestly, I knew that I had the best mother in law in the world, but really, this woman is a saint. Even after she herself got the piggy flu, she chalked it up to "life" and kept saying how glad she had the time to spend with all of us, even if we were all holed up in the house. We pulled together and got better and also managed to get Thankgiving dinner on the table, despite all of the sickies.

I also am constantly in awe of my sweet husband; he is so calm, so reassuring and caring. Even though he had a mini freak out as well upon hearing that Ella had the flu, he didn't show it and reassured me through my sobs. It was until last night that he confided in me about how scared he was. You would have never known it! He is as steady as they come....

3. Southwest- really is, without a doubt, one of the best airlines ever. The whole travel experience went so smoothly. It really helped that we have the sweetest, most easy going baby ever! She was a dream to/from California.
4. Being present- Scott, Peggy and I were all there for Ella's first crawl! How cool that grandma got to be there for her first really huge milestone. Well, they are all huge but girlfriend is getting mobile!

We are all back and in one piece and are so thankful to be home and decorating for Christmas. This is, by far, the best time of the year. I couldn't believe it last year that I would have a 6 month old by this time this year. We cannot believe it! Ella will be 6 months old tomorrow! We really cannot believe it. There will be a special Ella 1/2 1st birthday posting tomorrow for sure...
We hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! We truly are thankful for so many things. Please don't take your health and family for granted! We are so very grateful for both...

Love y'all..

Nicole, Scott and E

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Vegas Pictures

More pictures from Vegas!

The past couple of weeks have been crazy, per usual. Ella is 5.5 months old! She had her first photo shoot complete with outfit changes and all. She was such a trooper! She has the best demeanor and even the photographer (someone I'd highly recommend, Laura Couture-, said that she was such a good baby. She almost acted as though she was posing for the camera. Yes, I know, she wasn't...but..was she? I don't know! We will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Ella is eating like a champ. We are up to 2 solids a day and she LOVES sweet potatoes and sweet peas. I am off to a great neighborhood market this afternoon to get some organic veggies to make for Ella. I am actually quite excited about the possbility of making food for my little munchkin. I will try some of the more "advanced" recipes that I have gotten from Anna Karmel's books re: baby cooking. Ella is a bit young for the fun mixes Anna creates.
Ella is also doing such a good job at sitting up! She has been working on it for the past 3 weeks but can sit upsupported for a few minutes now! She is also trying her hardest to figure out crawling; she kicks and gets her legs way underneath of her body, "scooches" and then falls to the side. Just another month, I think, and our little love bug will be crawling all over the place. I guess we will need to get cracking on baby proofing when we return from California for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, can you believe it, is already here. We can't in the Francis household. This year has flown by. Our lives are speeding by and we love every minute. It's funny, a lot of people have real ideas about how many children you should have and how close together said children "should" be. Let me be clear- NOT. FOR. A. WHILE. I cannot tell you how many people have inquired- even our dry cleaning lady! We want to enjoy our little Ella for a while and need the market to turn so that we can unload our condo. We are so ready for more space but we won't be selling anytime soon. The market stinks.
We leave for Thanksgiving this Saturday and will be in the bay area for an entire week! We (I) am so excited to get back! It has been over a year for me. One of my favorite things about northern California and more specifically, Danville/Walnut Creek, are the beautiful hills and mountains! I would love to fit in a hike on Mount Diablo. We shall see if we have time....wish us mucho luck on the 4.5 flight. Sorry in advance, fellow Southwester's, if Ella makes a peep. She is in a grunting/yelling stage (no, really!) evoked by a certain toy, Ear-E-Bird. He is the cutest teething stuffed toy and Ella grunts and yells and bats him all over the place. It might get hairy for Earl on the plane. Watch out!

Happy Early Thanksgiving! We love you guys...

Nicole, Scott and Ella

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vegas, baby...

Sara and Nic in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Sweet baby girl- sitting up!!!!!!

Well, we came and saw and, wow....that's all I can really say about sin city. It lived up to its name but not due to any craziness created by the Francis family or the Johnsons! We loved seeing Curt and Sara so much! I feel like I didn't get to spend real quality time with Sara b/c we were always on the go! Next time, we will have to choose a beach location with the babies....

It was so hard to leave my Ella but it was necessary to be able to know that we can and survive and, we did! Ella loved being with her grandma Peg and Bob! She was in good hands, for sure....

I have more pictures but here are some for now....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October has come and gone...seriously?!

Rotten Pumpkin....

Mommy and tired Ella after our excursions.

Sweet baby....

Smirking pumpkin...

I am a fan of cereal!

Suprised Pumpkin?

Over it...

I love this picture of Dadddy (as Scooby Doo or Super Dawg, right Holly?!) and Olivia.

Kayla, Marko, SD and Olivia.

Hi. Are we done yet?

Not quite sure about all of this...


Thumb sucking is what Ella does best.

All 3 girls together!

You really aren't doing it right. Give me the spoon.


First ride in the BOB without the car seat. Great success!

Ready for a stroll outside.

and she wants more? Really?

The belly dancer asked for it....Really? Nick Calabrese?! You asked him to dance and he delivered. This is the man who broke danced at our wedding. Please notice the shock/horror on her face. She then comes back for seconds? Glutton.

The group at dinner!

Our little strawberry.....

Bath time is good time.
We cannot believe that October is gone! What a month. We had so many fun things going on lately! We also have a big November; more on that later...
Where do we start? Ella is up to all sorts of things lately. She is on the move. She is rolling all over the place. If she had her druthers, she would roll continuously. It is so funny to watch. She is getting in the position to crawl. You can see her little brain trying to go but her lower body needs to coordinate with her upper body and brain! She does a half "scooch"/roll and slowly creeps along...hopefully, she will get crawling pretty soon! She is also sitting up pretty nicely partially supported. We are working on it every night! She is doing a pretty good job! She would much rather lay on her belly and look at the dogs, however....
Ella got a taste of real food and loves it! We have tried squash and green beans and squash is clearly the winner. Check out E trying out the green beans. How offended is she?! I love it. Girl after my own heart; I am a huge squash fan. Must be my southern upbringing. Something tells me collards aren't going to go over as well! We don't think her stomach can keep up with her eyes, unfortunately. Her tummy was giving her some trouble after eating real food 2 nights in a row. We are going on a food sabatical for brief respite to see if this changes her tummy. If it does get better with no "real" food, we might have to make another visit with the Ped. GI dr. This all makes sense to us because our little angel suffered from colic for 13 long weeks and magically got better when we switched her to hypoallergenic formula. I held onto breastfeeding for as long as possible. I just didn't want to admit that my milk was causing her to be ill. What a terrible feeling a new mom....Thank god for Alimentum. It saved all of us! We think that her tummy is truly sensitive and needs a little time for the real stuff. Until then, rice cereal and formula.....yummmmo.
One of Scott's closest friends and wife were in town visiting family (brother Nathan and girlfriend who live here) and we got to meet up!! So good to see Nick and Yenny. It has been 2 1/2 years since we last saw them!!! It is bittersweet to see good friends from "home" for the both of us. It reminds us of our friends that we are so close with but don't get to see due to distance and etc. We will see west coast friends soon enough for Thanksgiving and we couldn't be happier! Night out in San Fran will be so fun. Ella has given us her blessing for a night out on the town.
Ella's first Halloween was a ton of fun! She hung out with her buddies, Olivia and Kayla all day. We walked around Lakeview and trick or treated- Ella was a party pooper and slept the entire time! Soliciting is hard work =) Tiffany hosted dinner at their place last night and we had a blast. We went to bed late but it was worth it to celebrate Halloween with good friends.....
Ella is feeling a little poopy today and running a little fever so we are keeping a close eye on her. We hope she is feeling better tomorrow!

Gramma Peg and Grandpa Bob are coming into town on Thursday because mommy and daddy are headed to...VEGAS on Friday! So excited to see Curt and Sara! We will have a blast but honestly, I am dreading leaving Ella! She is my heart and soul. I will miss her immensely but I know that she will be in good hands. I just hate being away from my snuggle bunny. She is the sweetest baby in the world and loves her mommy and daddy.....we are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents to come watch her! Ella, no doubt, will be a little more rotten when we come back on Sunday.

That's it for now, muffins.
Nicole, Ella and Scott