Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brynn and Garrett's Big Day

Although my brother's twins, Brynn and Garrett, turned eight last month, they opted to be baptized yesterday so that my one out-of-state brother and his family could attend (during their spring break). So, the entire fam dam (on Lisa's side that is) gathered together yesterday in Port Orchard for Brynn and Garrett's big day. It was an honor to be a part of their special day. I am proud of them for taking this big step in their lives.

Here are the two angels (and they really are. You would be hard pressed to find a pair of eight-year olds as well behaved as these two) dressed in their whites before the program began.

The twins with their proud mother and little brother, Riley, who refused to let go of his mother or his blanket the entire day. Lucky Natalee. :-)

I found the "triplets" (what we fondly call all three of my brothers' girls who were all born within six months of each other) all sitting in the back of the room on stacked chairs pretending to read the baptism programs. It was very comical. They are quite a three-some when they get together.

Now, I want you to appreciate this picture. Anyone with a semi-large family with an army of children know what an ordeal it is to have a group picture taken. Ours is NO different. My mother insisted that this be part of our day yesterday. So, we all gathered in the church foyer to attempt the impossible after the baptism. While Rebecca, who doubles as my sis-in-law and professional photographer, was arranging the family, I asked Krista (Natalee's sister) to snap a picture or two with my camera. And, can you believe that every single person in this picture is actually looking somewhat normal, sorta looking at the camera, and maybe even smiling except for my beloved niece, Vivi, who just had to turn around and face the back right at that opportune moment?! Of course, we couldn't have a perfect picture, could we?! That just wouldn't be right. So, thank you, Vivi, for keeping it real!

Our Book Worm

I know that my mothering experiences have been limited thus far, but I have just never seen a one-year old that prefers books to toys like our little one. I can't say it enough. Lia LOVES to "read" (Ron and I are yet to figure out what exactly her mind is doing as she pours over the pages of her board books). She has a basket of books that is located in a two foot space between the wall of our family room and one of our couches. This provides the perfect little cubby for her to hide in as she disappears into bookland. She can stay content in this little place of hers for a good 15-20 minutes sometimes. It's just the cutest thing.

Here is our little book worm reading through a Baby Einstein book that she has chosen after going through a few others.

This is the look the book worm gives me when I interrupt her from her important literary endeavors.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

Apparently, Pat Benatar is on a comeback tour...looking better than ever. She kicked off her tour in the Hartland Bathtub Pavillion in Puyallup, Washington. Who knew this could be such a fabulous venue? Adorned with a plastic, purple octopus microphone, she received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. Tickets are hot, so get them while they last!

To avoid recent mishaps regarding pyrotechnics, she opted for a water show that is not to be missed!

Watch out "Cirque du Soleil!" Here comes your next star of "O."

She hasn't lost that coy innocence that drew us all in during the 80s!

13th Month Update...

Lia's babybook had a page devoted to her progress in every area I could think of for the first twelve months of her life....but nothing past that point. Yesterday, she turned 13 months old and I was kinda at a loss because I had mentally been tracking all of her little developments the past four weeks, but had nowhere to record them! Ahhhhh. So, as long as this is a habit, I thought that I would continue with it until I get burned out or it slowly fades from my memory. Plus, she started doing some really cute and funny things this past month that I didn't want to forget. So, here goes Lia's Top Ten for month #13 (in no particular order):
1. She walks on her knees all the time--especially when carrying a book (which she can't do while crawling).
2. She learned to wave "bye bye" and does it sometimes at the appropriate moment when a person is leaving OR just whenever she feels like giving her little hands an exercise.
3. She said her first word...."Uh oh" and says it all the time now.
4. She is a Dancing Queen. Abba would be so proud! She dances all the time when she hears music whether it is on TV or coming from one of her toys.
5. She has started to snuggle soft items like her teddy bear or the blankets in her crib. So cute!
6. She cut her fifth tooth on March19th without making a peep! Halellujah!
7. She has gotten really proficient at eating all table foods and only eats a fruit babyfood in her morning cereal now (this is just to help me get those five servings a day into her mouth).
8. She has started to take a few steps here and there...mainly with the help of her parents when they are facing each other on opposite couches in the family room.
9. She has fallen in love with her books and reads, reads, and reads on her own. It's the cutest thing. She actually prefers flipping through her board books more than playing with her toys. Her English teacher parents are quite proud.
10. She taught herself how to crawl down the stairs backwards. We had nothing to do with this one, I promise! Yes, I do believe that we are raising our own little prodigy. :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Own Little Cindy-Lou Who

I was sitting next to a friend at my book club meeting last month (yes, I actually joined one) when she commented on how I needed to start doing something with "all of that hair" on Lia's head. Since accessorizing and hair dressing has never been a forte of mine, this was something that I definately had to force myself to do. But, I am proud to say that in the last week or two I have purchased some little ruberbands and gathered all of the hair accessories (that my hair stylist mother-in-law has mailed over the past many months) and placed them in an easy-to-use spot in Lia's bathroom. So, on the days that I am not working, I am trying to get myself to incorporate the doing of Lia's hair into our morning routine. It's like pulling teeth....but to my surprise, it has actually happened a few times! So, today, we attempted the side pony tails. As you can see by the picture, they are definately NOT centered on my child's head...but they are there. In fact, I thought that they were so cute that I laughed out loud and snapped a quick pic to email Daddy at work. Lia just reminded me of little Cindy-Lou Who from the beginning of the Dr. Seuss story, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pretty in Pink

I know that everyone thinks that their child is the cutest in the world...but I think that the following pictures speak for themselves! :-) Here is Lia posing for her one-year pictures on March 7th in the adorable pink, poofy dress that her Grandma and Grandpa (well, really grandma) gave her for her first birthday. I thought that it would be the perfect dress to wear for her birthday pictures as she just reminds me of a delicious, pink, frosted cupcake when she wears it!

My favorite picture taken that day. Look at those four teeth! (I fondly refer to them as her "beaver teeth")

I just love this angle of her.

The birthday girl with the birthday cake.

Such a sweetie.

Here Lia is doing her "clap, clap, clap" (what we always say to her when she starts clapping) that she does all the time...especially when she gets excited.

I don't know what caused her to make this face, but I thought that it was so funny!

Friday, March 6, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

I quickly learned within a few weeks of diving into motherhood that Lia and I spend the majority of our time in two rooms in our home: the kitchen and the family room. As a result, this is where the toy basket was promptly placed when she became interested in toys a few months later. However, after she started to become mobile at around eight months, I soon learned that there were a few activities that Lia would rather spend her time doing instead of playing with her toys. So, I have dedicated this post to a few of her favorite things that she likes to busy her waking hours with in the family room, the kitchen, and the hallway leading to the upstairs. As cute as these activities are, there is one hitch for me.....many of them require endless hours of picking up and putting away what she has undone. So, you could say that my daughter and I are currently engaged in a sort of tug-a-war on a daily basis. What fun it is!
Activity #1: Assuming the role of the dish washer terror.
No matter how quietly I open the dishwasher door, or how slowly I pull out a rack, or how gently I place a piece of silverware of plateware in the washer, my daughter can hear me. It is amazing! Her micro-sensitive, superman ears perk up at the slightest dish loading noise I make from across the room. And you better believe that I only attempt to load the dishwasher when she is safely nestled behind the barrier of our couch and deep in play with toys and/or books. But, no matter how tricky I try to be, I can't be beat! Lia drops whatever activity she is doing and comes flying into the kitchen on all fours dead set on her mission. What is her mission you may ask? Why to unload the dishes for me...dirty or clean it mattereth not! This is my least favorite of her favorite things. I am not a fan of cutting knives and glass plates being thrown to the ground by my daring daugther. However, I don't think this is a battle I will win.

Activity #2: Unpacking the tupperware and saran wrap/plastic baggies/aluminum foil drawers.
I would have to say that Lia's #1 favorite is the tupperware drawer. It is found at the bottom of a set of four drawers and it gets unpacked at LEAST 2-3 times a day. The drawer above contains the bags, wrap, foil, etc. and doesn't get favored as much (much to my relief!). So, here is my faithful kitchen assistant working hard! I often times find random pieces of tupperware hidden in various hard-to-see places in my kitchen days later while I am doing something else.

Activity #3: Waiting for mom at the bottom of the stairs.
Lia is my loyal friend. Where I go, she too can be found. It is quite adorable and I have never felt so popular in my life. It really is the ultimate self-esteem booster. Since there is now a gate at the bottom of our stairs (due to me finding her alone at the TOP a few times--ahhhh!), she will now patiently follow me there whenever I run upstairs for a quick minute or two to get something or do something. I can always find her patiently waiting at the bottom, hands shaking the gate, greeting me with a smile. It truly warms the heart....:-)

Activity #4: Talking to her "new best friend."
After Lia started crawling a few months ago, she soon discovered that our coat closet has a mirror on the outside. With the discovery of the mirror came the discovery of her reflection and a perfect friendship was born. She can spend several minutes talking to Lia, Part II. Being an avid fan of Pixar's, Finding Nemo, I coudn't help but make the immediate connection to the goofy, blue fish in the dentist office fish tank, Auntie Deb. This fish enjoys talking to her sister Flo who is found staring back at her everytime she looks at the glass! I guess we can say that Lia has found her own inner Flo.

Activity #5: Playing "Marian...Madam Librarian" (if you haven't seen "Music Man," you will have no idea what I am talking about. Go rent the musical.)
Lia discovered early on that there are two bookshelves that are reachable to her little, busy fingers. As a result, she resumes the role of librarian on a daily basis to remove and scatter our books all over the floor! She can busy herself for many, many minutes while participating in this activity. Not only does she enjoy removing our books one at a time, but she finds great joy in looking through the books one page at at time while sitting in the "book nest" that she has just created on the floor. Being English teachers, Ron and I find this activity more than appropriate AND seeing that I dust my house on a bi-annual basis, she is a great help to me and my dusty shelves! Now, I only have to dust the top two shevles twice a year!

Down they come one at a time!

Madam Librarian so pleased with herself!

Activity #6: Attacking the placemat drawer!
Just recently, Lia stumbled across a new gem in the kitchen. The drawer that houses all of the placemat sets that I never use! I was just tickled pink that they have found a new purpose. One of our sets has an Asian theme (see the blue, silky ones) with matching chopsticks and holders. Lia was especially intrigued by this and she can be seen here trying to figure out how to work this apparatus. Apparently she didn't succeed as I had the good fortune of finding a set in our garbage can the next day (note: the garbage can is now permantly stationed in our dining room which is guarded by an infant gate. What a lovely addition to the dining room decor this has been.)

Activity #7: Playing in her "clubhouse."
Recently, Lia figured out that she could squeeze between the spaces of our kitchen chairs. In doing so, she found a whole new world underneath our kitchen table that she LOVES! I started calling this her clubhouse. She now cruises under there with a favorite toy or two in hand (or mouth) and spends several gleeful minutes squawking and talking, crawling back and forth, playing with our feet, and just sitting down to play with a toy. It is quite a cute sight. I have now managed to squeeze my less-than-baby-size-32-year-old body under there to play chase with her. Yes, I am sure you are trying to imagine how this works....I don't have much room to chase her, but we make it happen. She loves this game! So, in the future, if you can't find Lia, look in her clubhouse.