Monday, February 28, 2011

3-Year Photos...

Lia and I survived another photo shoot today. It's always a gamble as you never know what is going to happen. Except for the fact that Lia doesn't know how to produce a natural smile on demand, things went pretty well and we were able to get some half-decent photos...or at least enough to order a 4-picture collage. I have learned that low expectations are the absolute key to a successful toddler photo shoot. So, without further ado, here are the nine "blog worthy" pictures I was able to come up with (complete with the Sears logo and all)...

Lia and the big three.

Another shot of Lia and the big 3.

Hands attempting to be on the hips.

My absolute favorite one of the bunch.


Just the sweetest thing.

Lia and the daisies.

A reverent Lia.

A relaxing Lia.

And there you go...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I looked out the window

...and what did I see?
This cute, snowy scene.

Getting their attention.

Ron sending a snowball my way.

Lia and Ron dividing and conquering.

Atop the slide.

Down the slide.

Onto the ground and straight into a snow angel.

Now that's talent.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"I have three fingers now!"

"I have three fingers now!" Those were the words Lia proudly announced to us on her big day today. Although I can confidently say that she has seven more fingers, I thought it was a very poignant way of describing one's age. Too bad I won't have 35 actual fingers come this May.
But I digress.
So, as you can see, our little baby turned the big three today. I have no idea how it happened. Time has just flown by, but we have truly loved every minute of it. I can honestly say that Lia completely skipped over the entire "terrible twos" stage. She was the easiest two-year old a girl could ask for. She is an absolute joy from morning til night every day. Since Lia is the only child I've got, I'm sure grateful that she is so wonderful.
Alright, I'll quit bragging.
We celebrated Lia's birthday in three stages...not because I believe in over the top, multi-day celebrations, but because of the convenience of a Sunday gathering and because her father had Monday and Tuesday off from work. So, here is a quick blow-by-blow of the celebrations...

We started off on Sunday, February 20th, at my parents' home for the third annual Lia/twins joint birthday party. As always, Lia had a grand time racing around with her cousins. We had a delicious dinner, followed by presents in the living room, and then back to the dining room for cake and ice cream. Here is Lia examining her new Noah's Ark magnet gift with the help of the "giver," her Aunt Rebecca.

Lia flipping through the pages of a new book under Riley's careful supervision.

Lia showing off her prized possession of the evening: a baby Iggy to go along with her newly named "Mama Iggy," compliments of Grandma and Grandpa.

A few of you know that I am currently taking the basic Wilton cake decorating class at Michaels this month and am learning all sorts of skills to apply to future birthday cakes. I was able to try them out for the first official time on this Dora cake for Lia's big bash. I didn't think it turned out too bad, but Ron thought her skin looked more orange then brown and began singing, "Dora, Dora, Dora, the orange explorer!" Oh dear.

Lia attempting to blow out the last of her three candles on her cake with Vivi looking on!

A bunch of the gang gathering around the cake for round two of the candles and singing in order to honor the twins' tenth birthday!

Brynn huffing and puffing!

Lia enjoying her cake with Vivi and Callie at her side! It sure was good!

We decided to go on a family adventure to honor Lia's birthday and the fact that Ron had the day off, and so we set out on Monday, February 21st, to find a new beach on the Puget Sound. Being true Washingtonians, we bundled up and headed out in 42 degree weather and rain! However, the rain stopped for most of the hour we were at Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom. We hope to return again this summer when the weather really does have a sunnyside to it. Here are Ron and Lia filling up that trusty green bucket with sand.

Lia and her tongue on her last day ever of being two. Sniff.

Ron throwing rocks with Lia looking on!

On Tuesday, February 22nd, we celebrated Lia's actual birthday with a simple evening at home--complete with dinner in the dining room with the china and crystal, strawberry shortcake, and a little more gift opening. Here is our darling girl moments before blowing out her candles.

Lia opening her Tinkerbell tea set in her current favorite "gown ball" (although it's really a 50's poodle skirt of sorts...but who's noticing?).

Look at that happy birthday girl with all of her Tink loot!

We love you Lia Elizabeth!! Happy Birthday baby girl!

And no birthday post would be complete without my quarterly update on the comings and goings of Lia these past three months. So, here we go!
1. It's official and it's for real. Lia gave up her sucker at the beginning of January. Miracles do happen from time to time and the entire thing was made possible due to the presence of one small monkey named Iggy.
2. Lia has become obsessed with opening and closing doors. I am constantly opening doors whenever I have to enter a room upstairs.
3. One Sunday, Lia discovered her church voice. Although she has been singing for months and months in our house, she has never joined in with us at church until recently. It was really quite funny as one day she just started belting out nonsensical words with a very serious face in sacrament meeting. She now sings like this every Sunday. So funny!
4. She is just like her father and has now become anti-fetter. She is very aware of diapers and waste bands that are too tight, requiring immediate adjustments.
5. Her imagination has really taken off these past three months as she now will play with pretend people or animals or objects and will narrate about them as she goes. She also has become a bit better about independent play, but still LOVES to have someone to play with all the time. Oh, how this poor girl needs a sibling...I just don't know when it will ever happen.
6. Lia is still absolutely fascinated with playing with older girls. She much prefers them over girls her age.
7. Lia now loves to watch me cook and help me bake. The counter next to the stove top has become her new viewing platform in the kitchen where she can readily help me with the adding of ingredients and the mixing of them with a large spoon.
8. She really escaped the terrible twos without ever being remotely terrible. I am proud to say that this girl is now three years old and has never had a timeout in her life. Simply amazing.
9. It's all about princess mania over here. We are practically living in a fairytale on a daily basis. She loves their stories, songs, dresses, stickers, movies, etc. It really is quite adorable to observe. She has specifically become fascinated with dresses that go all the way to the floor and loves to wear them and watch the hemline touch the ground as she walks down the stairs.
10. Although her vocabulary and conversation skills are superb for a child her age, she still says a few words incorrectly....but I just love this! She still says "lellow" for yellow, "gown ball" for ball gown, "maked" for naked, "maggots" for magnets, and "secrets" for sequins. She also constantly asks Ron or me if we are happy and also always wants to know who gave her a specific item that she is playing with. So cute.
And there you go....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day in the Hartland

Well, we've just wrapped up V-day in the Hartland with a trip to Applebees for dinner and then back to the casa for cards and gifts. Lia thoroughly enjoyed the day...even though it started out at the dentist office for her first check-up ever. Luckily she passed with flying colors and received an Ariel toothbrush which proved to be just as exciting as any of the candies and other Valentine goodies she got today.

My own little valentine and me at Applebees.

Lia eying her spoils before being allowed to touch them. Please notice the Ariel toothbrush front and center on the table.

Lia trying out one of her v-day gifts: her first official pair of flip flops! She fell in love with this type of shoe last summer after wearing Callie's and Sarah Mae's flip flops for hours on end! (thank heavens for cousins who are willing to share and humor a two-year old). So with Hawaii on the horizon, I thought that this gift was more than appropriate! Needless to say, she was pleased as punch to put 'em on!

Flip flops or not, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our Geography Buff...

Ever since our trip to North Carolina this past Thanksgiving, Lia has associated Ron's family with this state. In fact, she sometimes calls Lola (which means grandma in Tagalog), "North Carolina Lola." Anyways, last night, Lia and Ron were sitting on the couch playing games on the computer together. Out of the blue, she mentions that Ron's brother, Robbie, is getting married which is a reoccurring topic these days due to the fact that she is very excited about being a flower girl in his wedding. Ron then began asking her who would be present at the wedding. Since Lia is a big fan of making verbal lists, she began reciting all of the people that she thinks will be there...
Uncle Robbie.
Uncle Derek.
Aunt Renee.
Grandma and Grandpa (who actually won't be there, but who wants to burst her bubble?).
And, then she saved the best one for last...
"North Carolina will be there."

Oh, really.
Wow, Robbie and Austin are going to need a reaaaaally big church to fit that special guest.
Can't wait to see North Carolina at their wedding next December!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Practicing Personification...

Part of Lia's current Cinderella fetish involves wearing one of her Cinderella hand-me-down "gown balls" all day long.
The dress of choice today was a particular one covered with little, blue sequins and oodles of tulle on the lower half.
As fun as it is to run around the house in said dress, nap time proves to be a bit complicated as it just plain gets in the way!
As Lia was attempting to find a somewhat comfortable position in her crib while wearing this over-stuffed, blue mass, I walked in to offer my assistance and was greeted by the funniest complaint:
"The sequins are stepping on me!!"
Darn sequins. I hate when they do that.

But, really, when all is said and done, isn't that the best way to describe scratchy sequins? I just love it. My daughter is already employing the use of personification in her daily conversation. It's just makes the former English teacher in me beam with pride.

Monday, February 7, 2011


From head to toe,
the title says it all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Going on Twenty...

Every once in a blue moon (emphasis on the blue moon part), I get a wild hair and try to be an over-achiever mother. Recently, I learned that our local public library holds a story time for toddlers each Friday morning and I decided to give it a try today. After explaining to Lia that we were going to the library to meet our friends Megan, Kaylee, and baby Emma to hear some stories, she got very upset with me and said, "But, HONEY, I don't want to go!" Honey?? Wherever did that come from? Apparently, Lia is two going on twenty. Heaven help us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Toddler's Reasurring Words...

Yesterday, Lia and I drove up to my parents' house to spend the day with them as we often do when Ron has evening supervision and doesn't get home til late at night. Lia and I returned home at 9 pm and I promptly put her to bed since it was past her bedtime. However, Lia was still awake when Ron rolled in about half an hour later. As he walked upstairs and into her room, he was immediately greeted by the cutest words out of her mouth.
She said, "It's okay, papa. I'm home now."
Ugh. She just kills me.
Is there a cuter toddler in the world?