Sunday, June 15, 2008

Racking up the miles

Over the past twelve days, Ella has traveled to Boston, MA, Hartford, CT (by car), and Lantana, FL (by plane).

We attended Ben's graduation from Harvard (weather was cold and rainy) and Dartmouth (weather over 100 degrees F and sunny). One of the pictures above shows us immediately after the Dartmouth graduation (from left to right: Melissa, Ella, Sonja, Natalie, Ben, Bridget, Dad). We didn't pack clothes that were warm enough for Boston or dressy enough for Dartmouth (dress code suggested dresses for women, and neither my mom nor I brought dresses or skirts on the trip).

My cousins John, Paul, Anna and their kids joined us for the Dartmouth graduation and dinner afterward (picture).

Ben doesn't do anything halfway. Both graduations were impressive, and he now has three masters degrees... With his experience, education and brains, he's well-armed to ascend the ranks of management quickly at Google when he starts later this summer.

Ella was a good soldier on all legs of the trips. We were dreading the 5+ hour car trip from CT back to NY (she has proven she can scream for up to 50 minutes in her car seat before crashing into sleep), but she didn't scream once.

My parents, Ella and I spent 3 days in Lake Worth, FL, visiting my mom's Aunt Elvy & Uncle Norm in the Finnish-American Rest Home and enjoying daily trips to the beach. Ella loved the beach. When we'd get near the surf, she'd squirm to be put down, and once on her feet, would head straight for the water (and walk right into the waves). She was fearless.

The warm Atlantic ocean in Florida makes it easy to want to swim.

Ella has 6 teeth now: the front four teeth on the top, and two front teeth on the bottom, with more coming this week. She's been walking for about six weeks, and improving her stability every week. The week of Ben's graduations, her confidence improved a lot with all the extra family members around. She started doing u-turns and bending down to pick up objects and stand up again without holding on to anything for support.

Yesterday, while lying in bed wishing we could sleep longer (Ella has been waking up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. ), we realized we now hear the pitter patter of bare feet on the wood floors...a milestone that crept up on us and caused Michael & my father to hurry to the store to buy a second safety gate for bottom of the staircase. (We have one installed at the top already.) Ella loves to climb the stairs with or without help, but has

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