Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Tis the season

I don't know about you, but I just love Christmas. Every year I am so excited to get out the decorations, put up the tree, listen to the Christmas music constantly on the radio, and I even love the hustle and bustle of shopping. Bill thinks it is crazy how energized and excited I get by shopping for presents. :) Wrapping them is just as fun. I love to think about each person and what wrapping paper "fits" them the very best. I think my favorite tradition is making and decorating all of the yummy Christmas cookies.
Anyway, here is a little tour of our decorations this year. A friend of mine is doing a Christmas decorations tour on her blog. Be sure to check it out. My decorations certainly aren't as grand as they have been in the past because of a certain very active toddler who loves to grab and throw!



We start with the tree of course. All silver and gold ornaments, except for two or three special keepsake ones.



This tree skirt is new this year. I love the combination of silk, velvet, and stylized reindeer. We won't put out the presents till Christmas eve.



Our stockings. My Mom makes everyone in the family one--including the dog. :)



Note how the TOP of the desk is decorated--way out of grabbing range.




I love snowmen.

decorating cookies

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The ten second rest


Aubrey and Charlotte played so hard that they had to lay down for a quick rest before resuming play.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanksgiving Photo Recap

I never take as many pictures as I want to. Usually the camera comes out as an afterthought at family gatherings. For example there are no actual pictures of Thanksgiving dinner! In a way I suppose that is a good thing because it means I am enjoying myself so much I don't have time to take pictures. Still, I need to get better with that!

Dressed up cutie for Thanksgiving.
Hiking down the driveway with Daddy. Time to burn off all that turkey!

Putting up Christmas lights on the outside trees with Gramma and Grampa.


"Helping" with more outdoor Christmas decorations.


Feeding the ducks in Essex, Connecticut. A good way to celebrate Aubrey's sixteen month birthday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Oh, the irony

video

Be sure to note what song is playing in the background.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are headed up to Connecticut really early tomorrow morning, hoping to beat the traffic. We will be spending the holiday with my parents and my brother and sister in law. I am so excited to see John and Alisa because they are expecting their first baby in June! Yay! It reminds me how two Thanksgivings ago we announced to my family that we were expecting Aubrey. :)

Tons of eating will occur over the weekend because not only will we be partaking in my Mom's excellent turkey dinner on Thursday, but we will be celebrating my Dad's birthday, which is on Saturday. Essential to my Dad's birthday celebration is a feast of homemade spaghetti and meatballs from his mom's recipe. My gramma had a lot of Italian blood in her veins and her spaghetti sauce is to die for. mmm. I am sure I will weigh ten pounds more upon returning home on Tuesday.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Through a friend of mine I just found a cool grocery list/menu organizer that I really want. The To Do list looks good too. Hint hint for Christmas. :) Anything that helps me plan 7 dinners a week and get all the ingredients in one grocery shopping trip is fantastic! I need to get a day planner for the year 2009 as well.

As long as we are on the subject of Christmas, in case anyone is wondering Aubrey is growing into size 2T on top and 18 months or 18-24 months on bottom and is in a 6 shoe. She wants to start being artistic so would like crayons, playdoh, and big pieces of paper to work her magic on. Also, she would love a baby doll or some kid's music to dance around to. Nothing for the tv yet please, we are not allowing cartoons, movies, etc. until age 3. I know, we are such mean parents. ;)

lip lesson

Last night I was feeling lazy. During my pre-bed face washing I realized I had moved my face wash and could either try to find it with a dripping wet face or just use Bill's. Of course I took the easy way and used my hubby's face wash. Now his stuff is usually a little harsher than I like to use on my skin, but whatever, one washing won't hurt. Or so I thought.

After finishing my bedtime preparations, I jumped into bed with my new library book and snuggled under my down comforter. I read a few sentences and noticed a sort of numb and tingly feeling in my upper lip. Weird I thought, and went back to reading. A few minutes later it was still there so I reluctantly left my warm nest in the bed and looked in the bathroom mirror. My lip was swollen to about twice its normal size! Just my upper lip. It looked like a really bad plastic surgery job--think Meg Ryan a few years ago. I stared at it for a few more minutes, and poked it, and it didn't seem to be getting any worse, so I jumped back into bed. I only entertained a few panicky thoughts about my whole face swelling up and not being able to breathe, or the swelling not going down and having to walk around looking like I had a botched lip plumping.

Bill came in after walking the dog and I asked, does my lip look swollen? Somehow I thought perhaps I was imagining it. Bill was quite amused by my new look and told me not to worry about it, it would be fine in the morning.

He's right, it is. Lesson learned, don't be lazy and use man cleanser on your face, unless you want to see what you would look like after a collagen lip plumping.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Getting Ready for Winter

Aubrey's new snowsuit came in the mail today. It is on the big side since it is 2T, but the 18 month one that we tried in the store was too small. We had a fun time running around and falling over in all the extra padding. I love the silly expression on her face in the second picture. Now when I put an item of clothing on her she declares herself, "Cuuuuuute!"

We went to visit Bill at his office today for lunch. Aubrey had fun running around and distracting all of Bill's coworkers. There is a maze of cubicles there so she was running up and down the aisles, stopping and waving and saying hi when she saw someone, then continued running after a 5 second pause.
I've also made an appointment for next weekend for the family to get pictures taken. We have never done it as a family professionally before, so I hope they turn out well. I am going to have fun picking out outfits for us--I don't want to do too matchy-matchy or holiday themed, but obviously want to coordinate. Maybe we'll do some test shots this weekend. :) The place lets you do outfit changes too, but that would involve more decisions and more patience from Aubrey so I might skip that part and just have them change the backdrop.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Banana

I had to document this one. Some of the things that Aubrey says are quiet clear, others not so much. Occasionally she comes up with very creative ways to say what she is hearing. She has been saying banana like this for about a month now. And yes, she is in a kind of crazy mood--look at the disaster of toys behind her! That happened in about thirty seconds flat. :)

video

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

15 Months Old Today


The face she makes when I say "smile." She also started clapping too for good measure.



With her best furry friend.



Wants to go climb stairs.

It is cold out today and very windy. Every time there is a big gust she looks at the trees and says "wooooowww!"


Can I bring this little pumpkin on our walk?

The pumpkin was too heavy so we took off without it--we don't hold still for long!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Warm and Cozy


Now that it is finally cooler out, Aubrey can enjoy her fabulous custom sweater by Gramma.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have kept pretty quiet about the Presidential election so far on my blog. All my readers are well informed people who most likely have their minds made up about who they are voting for, so I wasn't really going to delve into it. However, a friend shared an article with me today that both brought tears to my eyes and sickened me.

Our country is at such a crossroads. Economic policies: whether you believe in free markets or more regulation by the government. Health care: privatization or government regulation. Foreign policy: continue to pre-emptively protect our country from terrorists using the military or reduce nuclear proliferation and use diplomatic venues to prevent more violence. I could go on. These issues are all very important, but there is one more that I want to delve into in greater depth because I didn't understand how extreme Senator Obama's policies are when it comes to the area of human life.

Senator Obama places a great deal of importance and priority to his pro-abortion policies. He has promised that ''the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.'' This act would provide federally funded abortions for any point in the pregnancy for any undefined "health" reason. It would remove parental consent and notification laws and conscience exemptions that protect health workers from losing their jobs if they object to participating in abortions. In addition to that, he would remove funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide support for women who choose not to abort their babies.

It gets even worse. Not only does Senator Obama wish to remove the protection that President Bush has provided for frozen embryos that were created in the process of invitro fertilization, but he wants to lift bans on cloning embryos for research purposes. This will create and then kill these babies factory style in the name of science.

Lastly consider that there will likely be vacancies on the Supreme Court in the next term. If you have a pro-abortion president, pro-abortion majority in Congress, and a pro-abortion majority sitting on the Supreme Court, how many more innocent lives will be lost? Abortion is such a black mark in our nation's history and we should look back on it in shame as we do slavery.

Does the average pro-Obama voter understand how extreme his policies really are?

I encourage you to read this article in full.

Other sources:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27035396/
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/567646696.html
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/womenissues
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2064639/posts

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Busy day


eating lunch


antiques shopping



at the Richmond Children's museum


Aubrey didn't want to stop going back and forth across the bridge

Aubrey and I went down to Richmond to spend the day with Hayley and Charlotte yesterday. Yes, they are dressed alike, Aubrey and I found shirts that say best friends on them and had to have them. Isn't it cute? We had a lot of fun. First we went to the Republican headquarters to pick up some bumper stickers. Being in the midst of the phonebanking and campaigning buzz certainly brought back memories of two years ago! Then we headed to get lunch at a bagel shop and browsed in a few boutiques. Then we headed to the Richmond's children's museum and the kids had a blast! The whole place is amazing: there was a kid scale town with a grocers, dr. office, bank, etc., dinosaurs, a tree you "pick" apples from, and a whole section for under 3s. Aubrey was so wound up from it all she hardly slept on the drive home and then was running around like a crazy baby before bed.

Running around in PJs before bed



attacking mommy with a silly face

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fourteen Months

Drinking a Mango Pineapple Smoothie


We have been so busy lately that I had been meaning to do a 14 month post for quite a few days now and am just getting around to it. Our little Aubrey is growing in leaps and bounds. It didn't take long for her to transition from not walking without holding our hands to don't you dare hold my hand while I am walking. We go on walks every day, we are up to about 1/2 mile now before she gets tired. And by tired I mean she just turns off the sidewalk and plays with leaves or grass, she would never ask to be picked up! Anytime that I do pick her up or guide her away from something she wants to be doing she screams like I am torturing her in the worst way. Definitely humbling in public.

Just like her mommy, Aubrey is a talker. She has at last count over 40 words*, four two-word phrases, and four animal sounds. However, around people other than us Aubrey clams up and is very quiet. While at home she repeats just about everything that I say to the best of her ability, and that can come out really funny sometimes.

Aubrey loves to laugh. Whenever anyone who is around her laughs she will laugh too, even if she doesn't know what is funny. She is very ticklish and loves being startled as well. She is always very busy, never stopping moving. She walks while she drinks, eats, or picks up a toy. One exception is when she sits to read her books or even better, have them read to her. Her absolute favorite outing, other than walks, is to go to the library. She toddles up and down the rows of books saying, Book, Book, Book and pointing. Always generous, she pulls the books off the shelves and distributes them to any other kids who are in the area.

So, as you can see, Aubrey isn't a baby any more. Sometimes I miss those baby days, but then I remember the sleepless nights and the constant nursing, and am happy with having a toddler instead.



*Just so I can remember in the future, I am cataloguing them here.
Daddy, Mama, Hi, Bye-bye, That, Baby, Ball, Balloon, Hop (what a bunny does), Jump, Walk (as in put me down so I can walk), Doggy, Bunny, Horse, Hen, Duck, Birdie, Fish, Kitty, Nose, Mouth, Eye, Tummy, Trees, Bush (as in President), Yum, Yuck, Boo, Mess, Milk, Cheese, Spoon, Book, Shoes, Nice (for petting animals), Hug (when she gives one), Ut-Oh, Ow (as in I hurt myself), Brush, Poopies (yes, she tells me when she goes), Up please, All done, Thank you, Love you, Woof, Neigh, Quack, Baa

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Homeschooling starts early: Government 101

video

I had to teach her this one now because Bush is so much easier to say than McCain or Obama.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Camping

We took a little camping trip this past weekend. The Washington and Jefferson National Forest is only about an hour and a half away, and has quite a few nice campgrounds. The one we chose was the closest to us called Elizabeth Furnace, named for the pig iron furnace site that it is built on. For Bill's birthday we got a new tent which was really nice, big enough for us and then some. It has a curtain down the middle so we could put Aubrey's pack n play on one side and we slept on the other. Aubrey did great--this was her first camping trip! It was a little cold--only 47 at night, but I bundled her up so much she could hardly move which was funny but it worked, she slept very well. The rest of the time she relished walking around the campground, riding in the backpack, eating tons of food, and getting filthy dirty. We went on a couple short hikes, we didn't really want to try one of our usual 4-6 milers with a 25+ pound baby on Bill's back.


Oh no! A bear in our campground!


Breakfast with the bear.


The fire tower we hiked to and climbed. Dexter refused to go up it and the height made Bill very nervous. It was metal with holes in so you could see all the way to the ground. That didn't make it seem very stable.

There were great views from the top.


Aubrey in the backpack.



Hanging out in the camp site.

Enjoying the view of the water.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Charlotte's Birthday Bash

We attended Aubrey's friend Charlotte's birthday party yesterday. We had a lot of fun eating yummy food and to die for cake and watching the kids play. Charlotte was being so brave and walking a good 10 feet at a time and Aubrey was obsessed with playing with the balloons.


My two favorite people getting ready to party

Modeling new trouser jeans.

Gathering around C to watch her devour a cupcake.


Balloons!

Partiers

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Imitating Mommy putting on sunglasses

We've been pretty busy lately. Labor Day weekend came and went really quickly. Saturday was our last time at the pool for the season--Aubrey will be so sad not to go swimming a couple times a week now. She would get so excited when she saw the water and never wanted to get out! Monday we went to Richmond to visit our friends who recently moved down there at their new place. Their new neighborhood is very nice, lots of great shopping. We miss them already though. :(

Bill's birthday was on Tuesday. He had a stressful day at work, but then when he came home I greeted him with a yummy chocolate cake and the news that I had arranged for a babysitter and we were going out to dinner! We went to Ruth's Chris Steak House, they were having a two dine for a set price type deal. It still ended up being more than we ever spend on eating out, but we figured that Bill only has one 30th birthday and he did get some money for it from Gramma and his parents so we splurged. It was very good food and great service. You don't realize how bad the service is in lower price restaurants until you go to one where they obviously have had training. I also realized that this month Bill and I will have known each other for ten years! What? Are we really getting that old?

Our little baby is getting so big now, we really can't call her a baby anymore. It makes me wistful and kind of sad, but very proud at the same time. She is learning so much every day--yesterday she learned how to go all the way down the flights of stairs backwards and also back up while turning her push toy around so she doesn't get stuck in the corner anymore. She is very into imitation now, all my sounds and gestures get repeated. Yesterday evening before bed was the last time that I have nursed her--I think I am having a harder time weaning than she is at this point. She went to sleep for the night without being nursed for the first time in her life tonight and I am the one who is sad.


Charlotte and Aubrey playing in C's new house

A showing C what color she should paint the walls from a paint chip.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Aubrey and her farm animals

video

Featured here are the duck, sheep, and horse.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

It is too hot out to wear jeans

but I am doing it anyway. I just got a new pair on Saturday and they fit so well. All my pre-pregnancy jeans are way too big--all size 8s and 6s. Weirdly I am now a size 4 (or 28 at j.crew), at least on bottom. It is such a nice thing to have a pair of jeans that fit me with no saggy bottom or (as Hayley named it) crotch saggage. In the past few weeks, I bought two pairs of jeans from two different stores and tried on multiple pairs in other stores and in all of them I am a size four which is so strange to me since I have never worn that size. I think I was an eight when I was like 12 years old. So either I am shrinking or sizes are growing--or (most likely) both.

Anyway, I have to decide what to do with all my old clothes. I have so many suits from working, casual pants that are too big, etc. Probably what I should do is keep my favorites in the bigger sizes, just a few things, and then donate the rest. I realize there is a possibility that I will get bigger again now that I am weaning Aubrey and also with future pregnancies. There is also the sentimentality of many of these clothes--oh, this is the suit I was wearing when I interviewed for my job, this is the one I was wearing when I attended Reagan's funeral, this is what I was wearing when I found out I was pregnant, etc. Any thoughts? Like go for it Becky, get rid of everything that doesn't fit, you dont' need 5 saggy baggy suits. Or don't do it! You'll gain back all that weight eventually and do you want to buy all new clothes? Oh wait, that sounds like fun. ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

hugs and snuggles



recently Aubrey has become very lovey with her stuffed animals, picking them up and rocking them and hugging them. It is so cute. Maybe it is time to get her a doll. I haven't been trying to be a "progressive" mom and give her masculine toys to play with instead of gender stereotypical toys, but she does have a truck, a train, and a soccer ball. Yeah, I think it is time for a baby doll.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Big Girl (still)

Aubrey had her one year checkup today. She was cute walking around the waiting room holding my hand and handing books and toys to the other kids there. Thankfully it was full of well-visit children, so hopefully we didn't catch any germs. There were two other moms there with four kids each and one other with two. They looked tired. ;)

Anyway, here are the stats:

Weight: 24 lbs. 5 oz. 90%
Height: 31" 95%
Head: 46.5 cm 90%

Which means she is only two inches and 3 pounds away from wearing Crewcuts.

I expect her to slow down in growing a bit now since her version of eating is take a few bites and throw the rest off the high chair onto the floor. She just wants to be exploring all the time--can't keep her still! The doctor was surprised that she has about a dozen words now, he was asking if she said mama or dada yet. I said, yes, and doggy, birdy, ut-oh, thank you, fish, ball, bye-bye, hi, kitty, and up. :) One of my favorite things now is when she wakes up in the morning and I come in to get her out of her crib she will give me a huge smile and a big hi! Sometimes when she is falling asleep she will practice her words, I'll hear her going through her whole vocabulary a few times before drifting off.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary!


My brother John and Sister-in-law Alisa. I can't believe it has been three years already! Best wishes for a wonderful year together. Love you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008