Monday, February 28, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve was a little different for us this year. We went to Christmas Eve service, as usual, to worship with our church family. Brian led worship and did an amazing job. Such a great service. We took some family pics there. I already posted these pictures on Christmas, but I love them so much, I can't help but post them again!

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And a new one of Grandma & the kids
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And I have to show off McKenna's dress once more. When I found out I was having a girl, I instantly had visions of all the Christmas and Easter dresses I would get to buy! I don't know why those are so important to me. Maybe because growing up a bit of a tomboy, those were the main times I remember dressing up and not hating it!

For the first in my life we missed Christmas Eve with my mom's family. It was so weird to miss! But it was out in Corona and by the time we got out of church and out there, it would have been almost over and waaay past our kids' bedtimes. So we had to make the hard decision to make a cut this year. That left us trying to figure out what our new Christmas Eve might look like! We opted for homemade lasagna, thanks to Grandma, and sandwiches & dip from Giuliano's for our fancy dinner! We watched Veggie Tales' story about Saint Nick, let the kids open one gift each, finished setting up the plethora of presents for the morning and then hit the hay early. It was a really low-key evening but was nice! Different, but nice!

All set up! We, along with Grandma, may have gone overboard, just a bit!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

11 Months

I can't believe in a mere 28 days I'll have a 1 year old! If you love me at all, you'll pray those 28 days go slowly! Not only am I not ready for my baby to grow up, I have a ton to do for a birthday party, so I'll need every moment!

You'll notice this month's Winnie the Pooh pic looks a little different - ie Dad's arms in the pic! She has developed a very serious Giant Winnie the Pooh phobia since last month! She started shaking and freaking out as soon as we got him out. Of course, being the sensitive momma that I am, I still took her pic. But I only took one, so this is all you get! It wasn't going to get any better than this anyway!

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This was her reaction when we tried to get another picture
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New this month...

Not too much has changed in her mobility - still cruising around and doing some practice walking with her pushcar. But she has definitely gotten faster and more stable. I doubt she'll be walking by her birthday, but we'll see. She can stand solo for a few seconds but it's not a very steady stand. Maybe more of a controlled slow sit down.

My children discovered they can play when they are supposed to be sleeping. While unfortunate for their sleep habits, it is hilarious to watch/listen to on the monitor! Austin stands on the edge of his bed and McKenna gets as far up on her bumper as she can and peeks over the side of the crib. Then Austin pushes her in the face until she falls down laughing hysterically. Even after bonking into the slats of the crib, she still bounces right back up, begging for more. Austin will lay down and she'll egg him back on by laughing at him. Gotta love sleep deprived craziness! The funniest side effect from mall of this fun...she literally laughs so hard it makes her poop her pants! Without fail, I've had to change a dirty diaper to get the fun to stop! Can't tell you how fun it is to see your children enjoying each other!

Now that she can pull up on anything, McKenna is getting a little clingy. I guess she figured that if she pulls up on me I have to pick her up! It really is hard to say no to that sweet little face, but it's also really hard to do dishes one handed! I don't get nearly as much done during the day, but it is worth picking her up every time! She gives great hugs when I do!

She started giving kisses on request. About 1/2 the time she gives a cute, little pucker and the other 1/2 you get a bit of a slobbery mess.

She also gives what I like to call "head kisses" for a lack of a better name. While holding her, if you lean your head in towards hers, she will gently lean her head towards yours and rest it on your forehead. I know, a little hard to describe. I'll have to get it on video. Just imagine a very sweet and gentle head bonk. I'm not sure when she picked it up. I think she's been doing it for several months, but I forget to put it on here. It is one of my most favorite things though! I love it!

Wow, am I a bad judge of my children's teething process! I could have sworn they were almost through at the last update! Her top right finally popped through a few days ago and her top left is still looming. I don't think her next bottom ones are anywhere close, but what do I know?

She learned a new sound. Pppphhhh! Kinda like what an elephant makes mixed with spitting at you. She thinks it's hilarious!

For that matter, she is becoming more and more like her brother and her dad. Everything is funny! I'm surrounded by a bunch of goofballs! Unfortunately, just like her brother, she also thinks being told no is funny, so she laughs at me and goes right back to whatever she was doing! I'm going to have to work on my stern voice more, I guess.

Following that theme - she learned a new word "No-No". I think. It's not horribly clear, but I'm fairly sure she is saying it. She at least makes the "N" sound a bunch after being told no for something. With my sweet non-verbal kiddos, I'll take any word I can get, though! So in total, she has Momma, Dada, Bye-Bye, No-No, and she might have added "Choo-Choo" while at Disneyland today, but we'll have to see how that pans out.

She's also started doing this funny "Ho-Ho" type breathing thing when she's excited or being silly. It almost sounds like she's doing lamaze breathing techniques!

She suddenly loves books! I wasn't really reading to her much because she wasn't very interested in sitting and listening, only in grabbing and chewing! Just in the last week or so she suddenly wants to look at the pictures and turn the pages. She has her favorites and will pull out all the books from the box until she finds just the right one. She really likes to look at books with Austin, but he is not as willing to share!

We're making progress on food, now that she can feed herself somewhat. She really likes cheese, deli turkey, berries & ritz crackers. Her face LIGHTS UP at the sight of a ritz cracker! A girl after my own heart, right there!

McKenna has really discovered buttons this month. On the computer (thank you, genius, who made them bright red!), the answering machine (not sure how she understands "press delete again to delete all messages", but she gladly follows the instructions!), and all the good ones on their toys (that mommy tries valiantly to encourage over the previous selections).

A new favorite game is Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy Woah! She loves to bounce & dance on the bed and that has turned into throwing herself backwards at the end of it. Only on the bed of course! Austin likes to help by pushing her over on the "Woah" which she loves as long as he doesn't do it too hard.

My favorite part of the month has been her reaction to my singing! Austin would just laugh and laugh at this age, when I'd sing to him, which made me feel oh-so-good about my singing skills. But McKenna seems to love to hear me sing! She smiles big and wide anytime I start and will cooperate with just about any task as long as I'm singing. It keeps her on the changing table, will get a few bites of food in her mouth and lets me wash her face & hands after eating. I think her favorite song is "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". I'm not sure if that's cuz I sing it so well, or because I dance around like a silly person while singing it. Either way, I aim to please and I'll do just about anything that gets me that smile!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christmas Snack Crafts

I love that Austin is now of the age that he can do crafts! He loves playing "Dough" with all his cookie cutters, so I thought he'd like to help me make some Christmas treats to give to people. I made sugar cookies last year, so I decided to mix it up and make rice krispie treats this year. Unfortunatley I underestimated how difficult it would be to push a cookie cutter through an inch of rice krispies! Austin had fun for all of a minute, which is about how long it took for my hands to hurt too! I persevered and cut out a couple dozen christmas trees and let Austin help me decorate them. He likes sprinkles! A little too much! He helped me sprinkle a few and then when my attention was elsewhere he started sneaking sprinkles back off and into his mouth! In order to spare the rest of the treats, I set him up with his very own plate of sprinkles and he was a happy helper! And I got the rest of the trees done.

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I was pretty happy with how they turned out too!
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I had a ton of krispie treat left over from in between my cuts, so I thought I'd make rice krispie balls, dip them in chocolate and sprinkles and add them to the presents. It didn't occur to me how dense they were as I was rolling them together. So while they came out beautifully, about 1/2 of them were too hard to actually eat! And you couldn't tell until you bit into them and almost broke a tooth! Woops!

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Austin and I also made a Ginger Bread Train. It did not come out exactly as intended. I bought one of those kits from Bed Bath & Beyond for about $10. I guess you get what you pay for. The pieces did not break apart "EZ" as the box indicated, the frosting never got soft and pliable as it was supposed to nor was it sticking! The decorations were fairly tasty, so of course we snacked on those more than using them as actual decorations. So we ended up with a cracked, partial, wobbly, pitifully adorned, sad excuse for a train! But we had fun making it, so I guess that's what counts!

Austin wasn't horribly sure about the green frosting all over his hands

Pillaging the decor

Our beautiful masterpiece
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Merry Christmas #1

I have lots of Christmas posts coming, cuz it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't have at least 5 celebrations! I love that my immediate family tends celebrate fairly early in the month. We do that to make everyone's schedules just a little easier in the days around Christmas. And really we don't care when we celebrate, as long as we get to spend some time together. And getting together early has the added benefit of making Christmas last longer!

We had a wonderful morning. Normally we do an afternoon/evening get together but my niece had a ballet rehearsal. So breakfast it was! I heart breakfast foods! And my kids got home for naps, which is always good!!

Papa & his little Ladybug!
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Me & my little man!
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Uncle Ryan & McKenna - how cute is her dress & the bow in her hair?! This was the first time she really had enough hair to handle a bow! And the dress was a present from Grandma Judy - she did good!
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All the cousins, including cousin Boomer!
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Auntie Robin beneath the expanse of stockings - I think my parents are going to run out of mantel space fairly soon!
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McKenna opening her present from Auntie Suz, Uncle Ryan & Cousin Boomer - Keys!
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Austin loved his new tractor!
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We bought Wiggles Fairy dolls. I think she liked it!
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McKenna got a ball popper thingy which Austin loved! He had so much fun letting it blow in his face & getting bonked!
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As usual, the kids loved Papa's train
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Wiggles showing off her ballet costume - She had rehearsal for The Nutcracker that afternoon.
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McKenna & Papa tried to see who could pass out first from Pppphhhhhhhhh-ing!

The most entertaining part of the day came after all the presents had been opened. My mom has a big box that Austin loves to play in. He covers up inside and then burst up and yells "Surprise!", except it comes out "A Prize!" He'd been playing in it for a few weeks before this, but my nephew got to play too this time. Not sure if Austin had more fun being the 'prize or covering/uncovering Monkey!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Happiest Rainiest Place on Earth

A few weeks before Christmas made plans to take the kids to Disneyland. McKenna was old enough to get to enjoy a little bit of it compared to when we took Austin in August, or at least she wouldn't be confined to the stroller or carrier the whole time, so we decided she should come along. Brian took a Friday off work and we made plans to go.

And then the weather changed. It went from the beautiful, sunny, warm winter we were having to Storm Watch 2010. So naturally...we went anyway! We didn't want to waste Brian's day off and we figured "how bad could it be?" Besides, there would be no lines! Rather than spend an arm and a leg for a few hours, we made the plunge and got annual passes. We'd been hemming and hawing since we went in August and realized we would go enough to make it worth it, so we spent the price of an arm, leg and our first born and got the passes.

We ended up only staying for a few hours, cuz DANG! it was wet! But I think the last time I had so much fun was the last time Brian and I went in the rain. There is just something energizing about playing in the rain. As long as it is just for a little bit! We got the kids all bundled up in rain covers and they were set. Austin had to be bribed with a 'pop to put his on and then he was a happy camper. McKenna, as usual, was just happy to be wherever we were! And when we let Austin out of the stroller, he joyfully found every puddle he could jump in. At that point, we were already soaked, so we let him! And who am I kidding? I joined him in several!

It was raining too hard to take my camera out of the backpack much, so I just got a few pics from the day.

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How cute is he?!

Austin went on a carousel for the first time and loved it!
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(Christmas) Tree (Lights)!

I love how many different traditions we have at Christmas! One of my favorites is Mexican food & Christmas lights with Brian's mom. For those of my readers that aren't from the South Bay, there's an area of town referred to as Sleepy Hollow that goes above and beyond when it comes to Christmas decorations. Partly we go because it's pretty and partly we go to see how they've managed to go bigger than the year before! Plus it's just fun to walk around with other people celebrating the joy of Christmas! We try to squeeze in a trip at least once during December.

We went last year but Austin didn't quite understand what was going on, so this year I tried to get him excited about Christmas Tree lights ahead of time. I would point them out as we'd drive through town and he quickly caught on that they were something neat to see. However, he insisted on calling them "tree!" rather than "lights!" even when there was no tree. I figured that was close enough and let him enjoy the "trees!".

He particularly liked the Choo-Choo, of course!
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And he was very very excited about "Tootles!"
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It was so cold! We had those kiddos bundled up cozy cozy!
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My sweet McKenna full of joy, as usual! Seriously, seeing her all snuggled and smiling behind that binky made me all warm and cozy myself. Love that girl!
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Two of my favorite displays
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Monday, February 21, 2011

This Time Daddy Was There

I really really felt bad that I caused Brian to miss seeing the kids sitting on Santa's lap when he came down our street. Thankfully Santa was making an appearance on my parents' street the next week, so we invited ourselves over joined them for dinner and tried for round 2 with Santa.

Austin was very excited about the "Wee-ooo wee-ooos" coming down the street!
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And he did good with Santa, as long as Brian didn't put him down. He had a bit of death grip on daddy.
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McKenna was optimistic about her second Santa visit...

until I foolishly put her on his lap! I thought since she did so good last time, she'd be fine. I was wrong!

She had the most pitiful face afterward! "Why would you do that to me?!"
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