Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Three Christmases

Our first Christmas was near Leavenworth at a cabin with Nana, Grandpapa, and Auntie Alli. We played games, worked on a puzzle, had great food and drinks, and opened presents sporadically and spontaneously, which was a refreshing way of doing gifts.

Our second Christmas took place on the actual day. The four of us celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with services at our church. Then we filled up our introvert tanks with a quiet day at home sleeping, reading, and crafting. We're waiting to exchange gifts until Ephipany, but did enjoy stockings brought by St. Nicholas.

Our third Christmas was spent in Canada visiting Brian's sister and her family and staying with Brian's parents. The gift giving was frenzied the first night -- Magnolia definitely understands what a 'peh-peh' is now -- and the hockey was as plentiful as the treats! Brian and I also
got to go on a date (we saw Avatar) courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa's babysitting services! It all added up to a full and memorable holiday! We are now recuperating, getting acquainted with/finding homes for all the gifts that were showered upon us by our generous families, and preparing for Mama to be gone during the day again.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From The Rushes
Brian, Shannon, Magnolia, Kaleia
*Photo taken by Blake Kent. We highly recommend him if you are looking for a photographer!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy 5 Month Birthiversary!

Kaleia Shalom is 5 months old!
This month flew by. We're all pretty tired and ready for Christmas break.

With all the Christmas preparations and wrapping up school, it has taken me a bit longer to write this post. I never made it to the Mother-Baby center to do her height and weight check, so I'll have to update that later. In the meantime, here are some subtle developments that occurred during the hubbub:
  • Kaleia's tongue was chased back into her mouth by her feet. She is happiest with minimal clothing to impede her flexiblity for toe chewing.

  • Her two front teeth have continued to play peek-a-boo. Cue music: "All (Mama) wants for Christmas is her two front teeth"

  • She continues to increase her "vocabulary," mostly making loud noises. (Magnolia does a great impression.) Her strange gruntings combined with her almost daily wearing of a bear suit earned her the nickname of "gremmi-bear" by her Papa. Other nicknames: Kaleia-Leia, Leia, Goofer, Gremmi.

  • Kaleia is less active than her sister was at this age. While she enjoys her jumper, she really only gets going when someone is watching her. She can roll both directions -- tummy to back and back to tummy-- but is usually content to just reach for tangling objects or manipulate a toy with her hands.

  • She definitely is reaching more for things that she wants. Often this is your face, which she wants to eat.

  • Splashing in the bath is lots of fun.

  • Kaleia is super easy to put to bed, but still wakes up during the night (still has her gas problem, but spit up is decreasing, maybe).

  • Unlike her sister, Kaleia is not afraid of the Christmas tree. Next Christmas might be more challenging.

Next Month? Sitting up on her own? Eating solid foods? Sleeping through the night???

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reindeer Poll

These birthiversary cupcakes became a bigger deal than I first imagined. We have a hard time just doing plain ones now. To the point that sometimes the blog gets delayed due to perfecting our masterpieces. Brian gave me the book Hello, Cupcake! for my birthday which has some great designs, but has also taught me some tricks for my own.

Sometimes the delay comes from artistic disagreement over as was the case with this month's reindeer. So we want to hear from you: Which reindeer do you like best?

#1: Small cupcake, big antlers, peanut butter cup snout

#2: Big cupcake, Little Antlers and Hostess Ding-Dong Snout

#3: Big Cupcake, Big Antlers, and Hostess Ding-Dong Snout

Vote in the poll to the right and leave comments!
If you are viewing this through reader or Facebook, click through to give us your opinion.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maggie Sings *Her* Alphabet

Can you guess her favorite letter?

P.S. For those viewing on facebook you may need to click through to our blog to actually see the video.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Magnolia at 1.75 years!

Otis and Maggie are Buddies

Looking in the mirror, holding Magnolia, I marvel, "We have a huge kid." (Aren't 2T clothes supposed to fit at least until their 2nd birthday?) She's no longer a baby. She's a big girl who goes poop on the potty (she has very few poopy diapers these days, but has also started using potty as a nap stall tactic) and loves to be a helper. She squeals and quivers with excitement when laundry is brought up to be folded. Anytime the dishwasher opens she runs in to unload it. I modified the swiffer to her height so she can sweep to her heart's content. She loves to bring burp rags and soothers for her baby sister and lets us know when baby is "tying." Her favorite daily activity is helping Mama cook.

Cooking Monster Cookies

After mastering her colors (Grandpapa was impressed that she knows what grey is) we moved on to counting, making her yellow jammies with numbers a must-wear. If I ask her if she wants one or two "tails" in her hair she adds "three, four, five!" Now we've moved on and its all about the ABCs. She is noticing letters everywhere. While driving by McDonalds recently, she shouted "Yeh-yo M, you!" ("you" because M's are her letter). Singing the ABCs--or the AIJs--has become part of the bedtime routine.
Our first experience with a Sharpie Marker.

Mr. Potato-head inspired Pumpkin/Squash "carving"

Teeth brushing is a regular feature too. She now has a full set, so no more teething--next stop losing teeth, but hopefully that will wait awhile. As with many activities, she insists on brushing herself, but luckily "Mama's turn first, then Maggie's turn" is still working. On her turn she copies my naming of each part "Front, Top,..."

Enjoying the Family Interactive Gallery at the Whatcom Museum

Magnolia has also become very focused in her play, often sitting sorting and resorting shapes, calling them by name and shape (Do all toddlers know what a pentagon is?). She now "reads" her much requested books on her own. Shyness or at least needing a little time to warm up has set in. But so has performing once she's warm -- jumping, twirling, and singing. One of her recent songs was "Haha you seenen. Mama, Papa you seenen." (Translation: Hockey you singing. Mama Papa you singing. Further translation: There is hockey on the radio but I'm singing. Mama and Papa are in the car and I'm singing) She also is aware of getting her picture taken. Much to Papa's chagrin, who prefers candid images over canned images, sometimes she'll crawl up on the couch and say "mile" (smile) indicating that she would like to have her picture taken.

I wish I could videotape every moment of this stage. There are so many little things I know I'll forget that warm my heart, like her little voice wishing Kaleia a "good morning." This stage is going to be gone before I know it. So for now, I will enjoy that Mama's kisses still have the power to cure "pain."