Christmas '09

I'm having a hard time believing Christmas is over. It came and went so fast this year. I fully enjoyed everything about it this year: the anticipation, the present hunting, the baking, the festivities. Annie is at an age where she doesn't fully understand what's going on, but she loved all of the get-togethers and present exchanges. And of course the toys that hung around after everything was over.

Annie had a wonderful Christmas. We had Christmas with Paul's Mom and Harvey on the 23rd, Christmas Eve with my family at our house, and then Christmas Day at my Mom & Dad's. She loved every minute of it. She needed a little help learning how to open the presents, but caught on pretty quickly that toys came out of that wrapping paper.

More Presents? 12.25.09 from porkchop on Vimeo.

She got some wonderful gifts. Favorites include a tea set, a dollhouse, a cool Scanimation book, a Magnadoodle, and a set of bristle blocks (that she loves to pour over her head for some reason). Oh, and several new DVDs, which make Mommy & Daddy happy for something a bit different after watching the same things over and over!

Best of all, she got some great quality playtime in with her all of her grandparents, aunts, and uncles over the past week or so, which is pretty much her favorite thing right now. I love seeing her get so excited about family time. We're going to enjoy that as long as possible!
Right now we're nursing a post-Christmas cold (Annie & Paul) and enjoying my 2-week vacation to the fullest by holing up in our cozy living room during our coldest snowstorm of the year so far. We're reading lots of books, playing with our new toys, and watching our new movies. Paul's finishing up his last hour at work before coming home for the rest of the week. Yup, life's pretty great. It can stay this way a bit longer if it would like (well, except for the cold, of course!) :)


Taking the Christmas Pics

I gotta say, taking the Christmas card pictures is one of my favorite things to do all year. These guys are so much fun together, and I am really loving watching their relationship develop as she gets older. I love my babies so much!


Working with Mommy

Puzzles 12.12.09 from porkchop on Vimeo.

At the Kitchen Table

I got the booster seat out for the first time today, and Annie was in heaven. She loved sitting at the table with Mommy, doing our work together! She sat and colored, played puzzles, and read books for 2 hours. The perfect way to spend a morning.


18 Months

Annie is officially a year and a half and her personality is just spilling out of her now. She's happy, stubborn, curious, bossy, adventurous, and focused. Her latest obsessions (in no particular order): puppies ("poppies"), mini marshmallows, Elmo, books, shoes, and cleaning. She runs, jumps, climbs, and plays peek-a-boo. She loves pointing to eyes, noses, ears, arms, hands, legs, feet, cheeks, hair, and bellies, whether they are hers, yours, or her stuffed animals.

Lately her vocabulary has been picking up speed, and she's starting to string a few words together. Her babbling has changed from one or two "words" at a time to full-on babbled sentences. We have no idea what she's saying, but she's definitely saying something, and she's very emphatic about it. She runs in the room to tap on our legs and furrows her brow, points her finger to the other room, and launches into a full monologue about something of particular interest that we must attend to immediately. It's adorable.
We really tried to limit her TV time as much as possible up until now, but she is obsessed with Elmo lately and is constantly asking for it. She points to the box where we keep her dvds and makes the sign for "more," says more out loud ("moe"), says "Annie," and nods her head vigorously. It is really, really hard to say no. I'm currently employing several methods of distraction to keep it from becoming all TV, all the time. And yes, that includes mini marshmallows.
watching Elmo
My mom also tells me that the obsession at her house is with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She asks for that all the time and when it's on she is way too excited to sit down. She stands with her thumb in her mouth, completely engrossed. The other day they were giving Pluto a bath and Annie ran out to the kitchen yelling about the puppy getting a bath, trying to get Grandma to come with her to see the cute puppy get his bath. "Poppy, poppy, mommy, mommy, mom, mom!!" (She calls everyone Mom when she wants something.)

She is extremely particular about things too. You pick out a movie or book for her because it seems like she's randomly selecting things herself up until then, but oh no, that particular book or movie just will not do, it has to be "this" book or movie. And man, she will tell you in no uncertain terms that is the way it's going to be. Her babysitter reports this is how she is with the other kids at daycare too. I'm loving her independence though. She'll be able to take care of herself, that's for sure!
Yesterday I told her it was nap time and as I was putting her in her crib she looked at me and said, clear as day, "Mommy, no night-night." A sentence! I was amazed and so excited. But it was still nap time. Mommy's no push-over you know.

We are working on our manners, and she's doing pretty well with it. She'll say "please" and "thank you" ("peas" & "dink dee") when we ask her to, and she is now saying "peas, peas, peas" when she wants something. Every once in a while she'll say thank you when we haven't asked her too yet. The cutest example of this: yesterday at Target, the cashier put our bag in our cart for us, and Annie turned to her and said thank you. The cashier was highly impressed: "that's a big word for such a little baby!" She also says "hi" and "bye-bye" frequently too, and it never fails to charm people. :)
The cleaning thing is so funny. She's been doing that for months and months now, but lately she's really taking it seriously. She'll grab the dust cloth from the cupboard and will wipe down all of the floors, all of the tables and shelves she can reach, the TV. It's quite funny and also quite helpful! She will spend an hour just walking around wiping things down. She also loves to put the groceries away. To her this means taking them out of the bags one by one and lining them up in neat rows on the stairs. She takes this work very seriously. When she finishes, she sighs loudly and wipes her hands together. Hilarious.
I mentioned her obsession with puppies. She has several stuffed dogs and talks about them constantly. She grabs them and gives them kisses and hugs and then shoves them in your face so you can do the same. If a puppy comes on TV she screams and then laughs and laughs. We watched the dog show on Thanksgiving Day and she was in heaven. She was kissing the TV every time a new puppy came on (good thing she dusts it several times a day), and when it went to a commercial she would wail "POPPY, POPPY!!" Thank goodness there were several dog food and pet store commercials to tide her over until it came back on.

Today we had to run by the vet to pick up Gussy's prescription, and there was an adorable 7-week-old German Shepard puppy sitting on a woman's lap, all wrapped up in a blanket. Silly me thought it would be fun to walk over and show Annie the puppy, since she didn't notice him all wrapped up. Well, when she saw that puppy she started giggling hysterically, pointing and kicking to get down to see the puppy. The lady had to go in to see the vet though, so we left, and woo boy. There were tears. Tears and wailing for "poppy, poppyyyyy..." It was funny and sad at the same time!

Feeling the most puppy lately are Gus and George. With George, she alternates between love and annoyance. She loves to sit on him and also snuggle up to him when he's lying on the floor and she's feeling sleepy. But she also gets annoyed when he's in her way, or when he's trying to get some of her food. She'll stiff-arm him and calls him naughty ("nah-hee geor-hee"). But with Gus she has nothing but love and kisses. She'll be about 10 feet away from him and will bend down and penguin-walk her way over to him with her lips puckered up, ready to plant one on his muzzle. And of course Gus is the skittish, bratty one, so he really doesn't want any of it. To his credit though, he is much more tolerant of it than he was at first. She's charming herself right into his inner circle, I think.

So that's the news! Having a toddler is seriously so much fun.