Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1st Summer Reading Club

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to go to the library, especially in the summer during the reading clubs. I loved coming back each week to get a prize and put my name up on the wall when I'd read the required number of books (I guess I've always been a nerd!). I was excited to start this summer tradition with Anna.

She did the reading club at the cutest library in Dallas called Launa's Little Library. Mrs. K started the library in the top floor of her house with her daughter's collection of books. She volunteers her time to run the library three days a week. She recently even automated her system and lets the children scan the books in and out. Another reason I love this library is the wall of board books. I started taking Anna when she was about nine months and she would crawl over to the wall and take books down to look at them. This library is a true gem in the community.

Mrs. K gives each child their own special bag with their library card attached to it.

The wall of board books is in the background.

Playing with puzzles.

She loved getting to scan the books and would get upset when there weren't anymore to scan.

Mrs. K always lets the children pick a sticker before they leave.

Since she "read" 20 books, her house got to go on the wall.

Baby Emma

My newest neice, little Emma Jane is on her way, so my sister-in-law and I hosted a baby shower for the mommy to be. It was so much fun to plan and put together since we are all excited for Billy and Courtney.

Me, the mom to be, and my other awesome sister-in-law, Sandy

A proud Grandy (after raising 3 boys, this will be her 4th granddaughter born within the last 3 years!) and her sister, Mary.

Sandy is becoming a fondant expert, so we now expect awesome cakes from her at occasions like this!

She also made these adorable cookies!

Instead of playing games, I stole a baby shower idea from my creative friend Magen and we decorated onesies. I think everyone had a good time making them.

By the end of it, Courtney was surrounded by gifts! You see, Courtney is a very giving person (with both her time and gifts) and many of us have been blessed by her generosity. We are all happy to have the opportunity to give back to her.

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for ice cream! Before we moved (more on that to come), we had an end of summer ice cream party with our neighbors who have little ones. I usually don't initiate things like this, but I'm glad I did because it was so much fun. I have found that neighbors usually want to go to gatherings like this, it just takes someone to organize them. We will miss these neighbors and hope our new ones are just as great!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

15 Months!

I was so good about doing a monthly blog post for each month of Anna's first year. Now that she is one, I decided to do one every three months instead. Here I am on the last day of her 15th month, squeezing in a post...and she is not even a second child!

I brought back the picture in the chair with the monkey pic. This was the first picture I took. Every other time I prop her up, reposition her, do crazy things to make her laugh and take at least 20 pictures to get a decent picture.

A lot of people say they like the 12 - 18 month phase because little ones are becoming more interactive and playful but are not yet very obstinate and opinionated. I totally agree...that describes Anna right now.

She will take my hand and lead me somewhere to play or get something for her.

She used to suck her thumb and rub her ear at the same time. She still sucks her thumb, but now rubs her belly button instead of her ear. Not sure how this developed but it is pretty cute. She sometimes even gets annoyed if she has a onesie on and can't get to her belly button. Like her pediatrician said, "she is just doing it for comfort and that is a lot better than head-banging like I see other children do!".

She is sweet and affectionate and will give us hugs and kisses when we ask her. She will also give her cousins and friends hugs and kisses. I have noticed that for some reason, when Anna and her friends give each other hugs, thet don't really use their arms and just kind of lean in to each other. One of my friends called it a penguin hug...pretty cute.

She definitely has more of an opinion these days and started saying N-O to a few things. I'm sure it will get old, but the way she says it is so cute. She scrunches up her face, puts her lips out and goes nooooooo. She will say no everytime I ask her if she is ready for a nap or night-night, but then goes down immediately when I put her in her crib. She has also started to become picky about books and will swat them out of my hand until I pick up one she likes. Then of course, we have to read that book several times.

Anna Comforting her Baby from kelli bruce on Vimeo.

(notice how she gets annoyed with me towards the end)

The little nurturing mommy in her is starting to come out. She loves to feed other kids her age and is constantly trying to make Sam drink from his sippy cup. The sweet little guy is so patient with her. Her baby doll is definitely a favorite toy and the one she is most protective over (i.e. will not share and screams if another child tries to take it from her).

She is really starting to communicate with us which makes life easier. We may be the only ones who can understand her but these are some of the things she is saying:
hep me for help me
up peas for up please,
mik for milk
wawa or watwat for water
marrrr for more
hicheu for highchair
ro-ro for rosie (her lovie)
dow for down
ah ga for all done/gone
nak for snack
giii for again (when she wants to watch, read, or something again)

She also got her first ear infection this month. I took her in for her 15 month check up and as the pediatrician was checking her ears, she noticed an infection in both ears. I felt horrible because I had no idea. Anna was eating and sleeping normally and not whining any more than usual. She did have a low grade fever and was slightly irritable but I attributed that to the tooth that broke through. Sweet girl.

Her 15 Month stats:
Weight: 22 lbs ~40%
Height: 30.4 in ~45%
Head: 46 cm ~50%

Thursday, September 2, 2010

60 Years Young and Retired!!!

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what the sunflowers do. - Helen Keller

My mom (who now prefers to go by Gigi) qualified for her teacher's retirement this year and turned 60, so we wanted to do something special to celebrate. We decided to have a party while we were at the lake and invite her friends to come join us. Anyone who knows my mom even a little bit, knows that she loves sunflowers. I thought that would be the perfect theme for the party and found some cute decoration ideas online.

The party was everything I hoped it would be for my mom! The best part of the evening was when we all went around and shared a memory about her. It was great because her brother, sister and college roommate were there, as well as several teacher friends. We got to hear stories from all phases of her life and I even learned some new things I had never heard! Mom Gigi is not one to shy away from attention, so she was loving every second of it and added some stories of her own.

She is a woman who has touched the lives of her family, children, grandchildren, friends as well as countless students, so it was a great opportunity to honor and celebrate her!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lake LBJ 2010

For the third year in a row, my family met up at Lake LBJ for a little summer vacation. This year was so much better than last year since we had sunshine the entire time. The cousins who were just babies last summer were toddling around and keeping up with Lucas. This year was also special because we had a 60th birthday/retirement party for my mom (that will be a separate post). Her sister and brother and his family came down all the way from Colorado for the occasion.

We rented a pontoon boat and had a blast!

Anna with my Aunt Monica and cousin Shea.

Lucas driving the boat with Uncle Brad.

For old times sake, my sister and I rode the inner tube together. I can remember hanging on for dear life as a kid while my dad tried to throw us off. Fortunately for us since we are old now, the pontoon boat couldn't go very fast and we stayed on the whole time!

At exactly 15 months old, Anna took her first ride on the inner tube (remember I said the boat couldn't go very fast). She did great and was even waving at people!

At almost 60 years old, Gigi got on the tube and held on the whole time eventhough her little brother tried his hardest to throw her off.

Lake hair.

Anna ate her first popsicle and loved it.

Gigi having a picnic with her favorite grandchild (totally kidding mom and Karri!).

The house we stayed at was awesome and had everything you could think of, including a paddle boat.

There were also ducks that swam up every morning to get breakfast from the little ones.

Anna was torn between feeding the bread to the ducks and eating it herself.

My sister and I with our babies toddlers who are only one month apart.

In the end, it was time to clean up...

and give hugs goodbye.

Until next year!