Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Twirling Beauty

Those of you who know me well, know that I am a chronic hair twirler. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have been doing it for years. It's a total relaxation and/or concentration thing for me. I twirl my hair when I am laying on the couch or in bed or while reading or studying. I never could explain why I did this until I saw my daughter do it for the first time when she was SEVEN MONTHS old. It was then that I realized that it must be genetic! Ever since that fateful day, Lia, too, has been a chronic hair twirler. She starts doing it the second the sucker is placed into her mouth. Sucker = hair twirling. It's almost like pushing a button when you give her the pacifier as it is so automatic. Lia will often do this after being placed in her crib to go to bed. So, pictured above, you will see what I found last night when I went in Lia's room to check on her. Apparently, she had be in the midst of a double-twirl when she totally fell asleep. As a result, I found two "hair horns" coming out of her head with her hands nearby. Move over sleeping beauty; here comes twirling beauty!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lia's finally earning her keep...

She's doing dishes three times a week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

23 Months Down, 1 More To Go!

Well, we're down to the final stretch before the dreaded birthday. Lia has one more month to go before turning two years old. I simply cannot believe it. In some ways it has gone by so fast, but at the same time, I can't even begin to imagine a little Lia that didn't walk and talk or even sit up by herself. I do hope that she continues to be one of the most pleasant little people I know. I'm a bit afraid of this terrible two stage that is looming. We are already getting little sneak peaks of it here and there. Oh dear. And, in addition, we have the weaning of the "sucker" to deal with in a few weeks. I can't tell who's more scared: Lia or me.
Anyways, in keeping up with tradition for the second to last time (yes, I am pulling the plug on this operation after she turns two!), here is a Lia's top ten list for her 23rd month!

1. I have become a juke box. I'm not even kidding you. After the Christmas season and being introduced to Mother Goose, Lia has fallen in love with certain songs and nursery rhymes. ALL day long, she can be found requesting one song or rhyme after another, even in the middle of the night. Her favorites include "Jingle Bells," "Rockabye Baby," "Baa Baa Black Sheep," "Peter Pumpkin Eater," "Hot Cross Buns," and "Mary Mary Quite Contrary." I seriously sing "Jingle Bells" over fifty times a day. I've gotten to the point where I will refuse to sing it on certain days because I am soooo tired of it!
2. Lia has started praying this past month. She has only done it a few times, but it is one of the cutest things that I have ever heard! She first did it with Ron and will clearly repeat the words one at a time through the short, little prayer. She even keeps her arms folded the entire time. Talk about melting the heart! When she is in the mood to say her own prayer, she will often times ask to say one while playing (not eating). So, don't be surprised or appalled to ever find us praying over a puzzle!
3. We have weaned Lia from the sippy cup. Hooray! Actually, I can't take credit for it as it was her idea. One day, she just requested to have the "lid off." And, so after taking a deep breath, I complied. She has surprisingly gotten quite good at it and faithfully announces "careful" after I place down any cup of milk, juice, or water on her high chair tray.
4. Her vocab development continues to be unstoppable. She talks any time and all the time. Three, four, five, and six words can escape her mouth in a row. Although I no longer am tracking her latest ones, I want to record my favorite from this past month. Due to some pronoun confusion, Lia now says, "Help you," when she wants help from you and, "Carry you," when she wants you to carry her. If she only realized what she was asking for! I, personally, would love to be carried upstairs whenever she offered.
5. A traumatic development for the month was the falling out of the crib for the first time. It actually happened at my parents' house over the Christmas break when Lia and I were spending the night there. Since my parents' crib mattress is not as low as ours, Lia managed to find her way up and over it and onto the floor. Luckily, I happened to be down stairs on the computer and was able to quickly hear her and come rushing to her aid. I think the tears were more from surprise than pain as she stopped crying relatively quickly after I picked her up. However, it sure was confusing for me when I first walked in the room and found her on the floor! It seriously took me a second or two to figure out what had happened.
6. Thanks to my mom, Lia has fallen in love with water play. She will attempt to drag the big, kitchen chair over to the sink while saying "play in water" over and over again whenever she wants to participate in this activity. I am not the biggest fan of this new past time as she makes a bit of a mess while standing on the chair and playing in the water with various spoons and measuring cups, but it can keep her happy for several minutes at a time which is no bad thing.
7. I'm either crazy or totally ambitious, but I started the potty training process about ten days ago. So far, the stats are as follows: 3 successful pees in the potty, two accidents on the floor, and one in the panties. We have used up a LOT of stickers and spent HOURS in the bathroom discussing panties, potties, stickers, and Elmo. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep up with this much longer as Lia seems to be enjoying it more for entertainment sake than education sake. Plus, I'm just getting burned out...
8. Lia has fallen in love with dancing and requests to do it several times a day in her bedroom, the family room, or now the garage (on Ron's new workout carpet). Our dance songs range from Mother Goose's, "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to ABBA's "Dancing Queen." These dance parties can go on for minutes at a time and I often times find myself feeling like I am back in college. Where is Amy when I need her?
9. For some reason, Lia is obsessed with repeating lists. After repeating every member of my family or all the sea animals on a page or items in the house we are driving away from, she will say "again." And, again we do it. I don't know why she is fascinated with these verbal inventories, but she is...maybe her mind likes the mental organizing which I understand since she is MY daugther.
10. This is a funny one. Lia has started to request to be held when we sing her lullabies at bedtime or in the middle of the night (after a pacifier run). While being held, she will tuck both of her hands/arms into the little cavity formed between my chest and hers. It's really the sweetest thing.

That's all folks! See you next month for one more round!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

She came, she saw, she conquered.

I am sure that I am being way overly optimistic, but I decided to try to start potty training Lia this past week. According to my mother, I was potty trained by the time I was 22 months old, so I always had high hopes that I would be able to accomplish the same potty miracle with my one daughter. So, I read up on some online tips, purchased some pull-ups and size 3 panties, armed my bathroom with stickers, and set out to accomplish the seemingly impossible with Lia. After FIVE days of what seemed like endless potty sessions where Lia and I sat on our respective toilets and colored, played with stickers (just check out the wall), looked at her "pretty panties," and discussed what actually belongs in the potty, Lia surprised us all tonight with a little puddle in her baby toilet. Much hooping and hollering and rewarding of Toy Story stickers ensued. It was quite an accomplishment for our little Potty Queen, but I'm sure that it was a total fluke as it'll probably be weeks, if not months, before this actually happens again!

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is what happens...

When you send your daughter out to the garage with her father so that you can do the dishes in peace!

Apparently I have a mini Jane Fonda on my hands. Who knew! I guess it's time to get physical--toddler style!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is this a sure sign?

Lia's schedule is all off due to participating in the cousin madness of the past few days. As a result, she is not falling asleep at her regular bedtime of 8 pm. Since sleep was no where on her mind tonight, she had plenty of time to come up with alternative activities in her crib. After playing around for 1.5 hours, she finally started requesting our attention over the monitor at 9:30 pm. I went upstairs expecting to find her sucker or "nunny" lying on the floor or something else as innocent. Oh, how wrong I was. Much to my surprise, I found my daughter standing NAKED in her crib, holding her pajamas in one hand and her diaper in the other, in a pool of urine!!!! After the initial shock, I just burst out laughing! It was quite honestly one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. How on earth did she figure this all out!? After being chastised by Ron for my continued laughter (which was apparently encouraging our daughter's radical behavior), we got both Lia and her bed cleaned up. The only problem is that "nunny" had to make an emergency trip to the washing machine for some desperately needed sterilizing. We'll see if our little stripper can fall asleep tonight without it.

This is my only question for this is a sure sign of things to come?
P.S. I have not included a picture for OBVIOUS reasons!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cousin Madness

Every year, my family normally heads up to my parents' cabin in No. Idaho for fun in the snow during the week after Christmas. However, since there was only a meager four inches on the ground and a 5-day forecast of NO snow, we decided to bag the entire thing and stay local (please understand that there is absolutely nothing else to do up there in the winter mall, no movie theatres, no museums, no real restaurants, 20 people under one roof for seven days in a row can be a bit deadly). As a result, the Montana extension of our family drove out to Washington to spend the week with the rest of us. Grandma's and Grandpa's house became home base for the week and we managed to keep things busy with several activities here, there, and everywhere. I think that I can confidently say that a good time was had by all and that my parents survived (although barely as my dad had two separate trips to the E.R. during the course of the week. I'm not sure which one it was harder mom or my dad).
Here's a quick run-down of the week's major activities...

On Wednesday, December 30th, most of the gang met up in Tacoma at the Washington State History Museum to attend a special model train exhibit they host every holiday season. Lia was in awe at all the numerous railroad displays we visited as she has recently fallen in love with the "Iron Horse" under the careful tutelage of her grandfather.

After the museum, we headed over to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma where the group split up: some to the zoo and some to the beach nearby. Lia and I accompanied the group to the zoo where we spent a few, fun filled hours running around en masse ogling at many of the animals. I think that Lia's favorite part was observing the large elephant poo. She is still talking about it days later and can be found looking for elephant poo in any animal book we have. Good grief.

On Thursday, New Year's Eve, 16 of the 20 of us headed up to Snoqualmie Pass for a day of skiing (or boarding in Ron's case). My mother agreed to watch the two youngest grandchildren (Lia being one of them) because she ROCKS, so Ron and I were able to hit the slopes together for the first time ever! We spent a few hours "skoarding" (Ron's term) and had a grand ol' time. You know how the saying goes...the couple that skoards together, stays together.

My darling 12-year old nephew, Bence (as Lia fondly calls him), spent the morning with Ron and I. He did a great job and kept up the entire time!

After lunch, I was able to escape with my brother, Brent, for some skiing in the late afternoon. One of my all-time favorite activities is water or snow skiing with my brothers and it has been a few years since I have done the latter with one of them. So, it was a rare treat for me to spend the afternoon following Brent through the trees. I say 'follow' because that is exactly what I always do in order to prevent the above situation from occurring to myself. Why get stuck in a snow drift if one's brother can discover it first and send you in another direction?!

After a long day of skiing, the heathen returned to home base for a fabulous New Year's Eve turkey dinner prepared by Rebecca and her assistants. We then tricked the children at 8:30 pm and "celebrated" New Year's Eve (a fabulous trick I learned from SIL's....let the kids think that they get to stay up til midnight and then they happily go off to bed), complete with the countdown and partaking of Mormon bubbly (a.k.a. Martinelli's sparking cider). Ron and I headed on home with a worn-out Lia at 9 pm while the other adults stayed up and played games til midnight (or went to the E.R. in the case of my parents).

Friday, January 1st, was a much needed mellow day with the troops. However, some of us mustered up the energy to head off to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to take a gander at their annual holiday "d'lights" display. Although it was raining in Issy, the weather was surprisingly better in Bellevue and we managed to find our way around the grounds without getting too drenched. And, since I spent MANY an hour there during my summers off from college weeding, pruning, raking, and mowing, it was a treat to just walk down memory lane all aglow.

Such a pretty sight at night, isn't it?