15 Months - Merry Christmas!

December 31, 2010

Dear Teo,
We just celebrated your second Christmas.  This year feels more festive to me than any since I was a little kid myself.  You have been so excited about the tree, lights, presents and decorations. 

Your Papa found a pattern online for a Christmas stocking and I made them.  They turned out great!  I think we'll do some sort of craft project each year, and that way we'll end up with a lot of nice hand-made decorations.

On Christmas Eve, we put out cookies for Santa (Nutmeg Sugar Cookies with Eggnog Icing!).  You helped me bake them.  When you saw the empty plate in the morning, you made the sign for "all gone." 

On Christmas morning when you woke up, you jumped out of bed and pulled me up, half asleep, to turn on the Christmas tree lights.  You seemed to know, somehow, that it was a special day. 

You helped unwrap the gifts, and then enjoyed playing with your new toys.  Your big gift this year was a wooden parking garage with wooden trucks and heavy equipment, which I think you'll be fascinated by for years to come.  

I had two weeks off work this month, so we've had time for a lot of play dates with other kids.   One day, we met up with friends at Bounce, a gymnastics facility. 

 Another day, we made mozzarella cheese with two of my teacher/mommy friends (well, I made cheese, and you were my taste tester). 

One evening, we went to Oceana's school for a Harvest Party.  Oce was proud to show off her classroom.  The children helped prepare all of the food they served.  The teacher said that Oce did the most work fixing the food, and that she really loves to cook. We got her a cookbook for Christmas, and she was immediately engrossed (just like I am with a new cookbook!).

I think you will love cooking, too.  You have started helping me make our hot cereal in the morning.  You scoop the oats with a measuring cup and pour them in the pan.  And you have helped me make stew by putting the veggies in the pot.  You also use lots of sounds and gestures to remind me that the stove is hot. 
In the kitchen cupboard
Your other current interest is belly buttons.  When you meet someone new, you generally want to make sure they have a belly button before you're willing to get too friendly with them.  You lift your shirt to show yours and then point to the other person's belly and makes the sign for "where?"  

We've gotten different responses from this.  I'm noticing that a lot of people are not willing to flash their belly button, much to your disappointment.  I think it's kind of a cool greeting - a way of saying, "see - we're both human, we've both got this funny little thing in our middle, we're the same."  Maybe you'll start a new trend. 

With love to our greatest blessing,
Mama and Papa

14 Months

November 29, 2010

Hi Sweet Boy,

This month you've had lots of fun playing outside in the rain, splashing in puddles and finding worms.  The first time you found a worm, we moved it from the sidewalk to a patch of dirt in our yard.  Now, whenever you find one, you insist that it has to go in the same place . . . even if we find it blocks away from our house.  Once we put the worms in the dirt, you wave and tell them bye-bye. 

You also got to enjoy some snow one day last week.  You seemed puzzled and a little cautious at first, but soon you were helping Papa and Oce build a tiny snowman. 

Best buddies.  

 Bonding with Grammy.

 A feast of blueberries on Thanksgiving Day.

 Two little musicians.

Had to include this one . . .  :-(

My favorite story from this month . . .

You and I went Moon Hunting one night.  We found it, and then it disappeared again behind some clouds. You held up both hands to ask "Where did it go?" Then you waved and said, "bye-bye, bye-bye" over and over. We walked around the neighborhood keeping our eyes on the sky, and eventually we saw it again, which brought a huge smile to your face, just before you fell asleep in my arms. 

New skills -

You pulled out your little potty chair one morning and pointed to your pants, so I pulled them down, along with your diaper.  You sat down and peed in the potty.   Just like that.  It hasn't happened again since then, but I was pretty amazed. 

You've been really interested in matching.  You have a truck book, a truck puzzle and matchbox cars, and you like to find the ones that match (like the matchbox dump truck and the dump truck in the book).  

Also, you're really good at nodding yes and no in answer to questions.  When you nod yes, you make a kind of snorting "hmmmph" sound for emphasis.  For example, "Teo, do you want to go see Grammy?"  "Hmmmph!" (big nod).  Well, interestingly, this is exactly what Auntie Sarah's dog, Bella, does to say yes. . .  "Bella, do you want to go outside?"  "Hmmmph!" (big nod).  It's quite possible that Bella taught you to do this.  However you learned it, though, it certainly makes it easier to find out your opinion.

And you DO have an opinion about many things.  Songs, for instance.  Lately, when I start singing a song, you'll shake your head "no" and do the sign for "more" if it isn't the song you want to hear.  Today, while we were driving in the car, I could see you in the mirror shaking your head every time I started a song . . . "Row, row, row"  NO  "Twinkle, twink . . "  NO  "I'm a little teapot"  NO.  Holy cow, I know a lot of kids' songs, and it took me forever to stumble upon "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean."

Well, kiddo, that's it for now.   We love you!


13 Months - Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2010

Ahoy, Little Pirate!
You are doing so many new things these days, it's hard to keep track of them!  You are talking more and more.  Truck (guk) is still your favorite word, but now you also say more (mo), bug, broccoli (broc), ball, and book.

Speaking of books . . . you LOVE them.  Books and music are two of your favorite things.  You've developed a cute little dance, rocking side to side with your knees locked.  Papa and I have been taking you to Family Music Time at the library every weekend.  At first the big group made you nervous, but now you clap and dance to the music. 

We went on our first family camping trip this month at Beverly Beach.  We spent a couple of hours playing in the sand.  You were so interested in the sand, kelp, rocks, kids, dogs, etc, that I don't think you really noticed the ocean itself. 

You are still a great little helper.  You get out your broom at least once a day and you look for any little scrap of paper to put in the trash.  Today when we were done playing with your train set, you put the pieces back in the box - your idea.  Really, this is too easy! 

Papa surprised you with a little red wagon.  Perfect for long autumn walks.

 With Auntie Sarah and Oceana.  Oce is obviously your hero.  You adore her and copy her every move, which sometimes pleases her and sometimes exasperates her. 

The Pumpkin Patch at Lone Pine Farms.
The pumpkin surfer I carved to surprise your papa.

Happy Halloween!
We love you, buddy!

Your First Birthday Party

October 1, 2010

On the day you were born, 
the Earth turned, the Moon pulled,
the Sun flared, and, then, with a push,
you slipped out of the dark quiet
where suddenly you could hear . . . 
. . . a circle of people singing 
with voices familiar and clear
"We are so glad you've come!"

-Debra Frasier

Dear Teo, 

For your first birthday party, we rented the swimming pool and a room at Tamarack Wellness Center.  We met in the room for snacks and presents and then headed to the pool.  Lots of friends joined us to celebrate. Auntie Sarah and Oceana helped with the setup and clean up, and Kelli G took these photos of your special day:

 Birthday boy!

 Make a wish! 

Zucchini mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

 Oceana helped bake the cupcakes (and eat them!).

 With papa.

 Julian (in awe of something), and his mama, April

 Oliver says, "Yeah!  I like parties!"
 Friends in the pool.


 Karena with Elsa and Adam

 Blair and Naomi

 Oceana with her buddy, Julie

 Watsu with Auntie Sarah

Elsa and Abigail

 Colton and his sister, Mady

Oceana: Goddess of the Sea

Peaceful after an hour in the pool.

 Our family.
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