Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Another Christmas season has come and gone and we're now getting back into the groove of a new year. The many weeks of preparing are behind us and now we're resuming our normal day-to-day routine. I wish the celebratory Christmas season would last for longer than one day. (sniff sniff) Oh well! Next November will be here before we know it and it will soon be time to begin the Christmas decorating, cookie baking, and gift shopping all over again. YAY!

Christmas 2010 was full of wonderment as we enjoyed seeing it through Alaina's eyes. She absolutely fell in love with the Christmas cartoons we enjoyed as children -- Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, The Grinch (or "The Pinch" as she called him), and Charlie Brown's Christmas. She learned a few of the words to "Jingle Bells" and would sing and dance to it whenever she heard the song.

We started a new Christmas tradition with Alaina this year: we were visited by the Elf on the Shelf whom she named "Ziggy." The story goes that each night the elf returns to the North Pole to report to Santa Claus on the behavior of the child/children in the house. Every morning the elf is in a new place in the house and it becomes a sort of a game. Every morning the first thing Alaina would do when coming downstairs was look for Ziggy. It was very cute!

Another new tradition we began this year was going to the tree farm to chop down our own tree. No more going to the lot and buying a pre-cut tree. No sir! We're going to do it the old-fashioned way and chop it down ourselves (well, at least Rob will chop it down). We had a great time picking out our tree and cutting it down. What a beautiful Douglas Fir it was too!

Christmas Eve was quiet as usual and we wouldn't have it any other way. We went to the 5:00 PM Family Service at church and then came home and had dinner together. After dinner we all hung out and watched some of Alaina's favorite Christmas cartoons. Alaina and I wrote a letter to Santa and then left cookies and milk out for him next to the tree. After Alaina went to bed, Santa Claus came to visit! He gave her a set of Singa-ma-Jigs, a shopping cart, doll house, art easel, and PLAY KITCHEN!

Christmas Day was absolutely wonderful! Christmas morning was so peaceful and the three of us enjoyed sitting around the tree opening our gifts as a family. Alaina really enjoyed opening her gifts this year and was more than willing to open Mommy & Daddy's presents too.

Alaina made out like a champ at Christmas; I'm so glad that she's not spoiled at all (sense my sarcasm here):

  • MeMe and BawBaw (my parents) gave her a set of Scooby Doo DVDs (or "DeeDo" as Alaina calls him), some books, a baby doll, a doll bed & high chair, some new clothes, and the Weeble treehouse
  • MeMaw & PePaw (Rob's parents) gave her a Leapster Tag Junior and accompanying books. It's fun to see her sitting on the couch with her reader as she "reads" the books to herself. They also gave her some washable fingerpaints and a Scooby Doo stuffed animal.
  • Pappy (Rob's dad) gave her one of the Llama Llama books
  • Aunt Cindy, Uncle Bill, Lauren & Andrew gave her some really neat gifts including a puppet, a baby doll, two Blue's Clues beany babies and a DVD, a book, a remote control puppy, and a color & shape sorter
  • Uncle Jeffrey & Aunt Michelle gave her a personalized bath towel and mit from Land's End, a set of magnets that spell out her name, and a set of Legos.
  • Uncle JB and his girlfriend got her some really neat Zhu Zhu Pet accessories to add to her ever-growing Zhu Zhu Pet town.
  • Lucy gave her an "Alive" white tiger cub

She absolutely adores her new toys and has had lots of fun playing with them this past week. However, Rob and I are wondering where we're going to put everything. I have a feeling that we'll be converting the basement into PlayLand sooner rather than later.

Here a few of my favorite pictures from Christmas 2010:






Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Alaina!

Alaina turned TWO on November 28th and we had a really fun "Blue's Clues" themed birthday party for her that afternoon. So many of Alaina's family came to Maryland to celebrate her big day: MeMaw and PePaw, MeMe and BawBaw, Uncle JB and Melissa, as well as Aunt Cindy and her cousins. It was a wonderful 2nd birthday and Alaina really liked having everyone here to celebrate with her. And what fantastic gifts she received! Everything from clothes to books, to stuffed animals and Baby Alive, to a kid-tough camera and a LeapFrog laptop, to some Zhu Zhu Pets. She isn't spoiled at all!

Alaina's babysitter baked her a beautiful Blue's Clues chocolate cake. Not only was it gorgeous but it tasted so good too!

Gobble Gobble!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We hosted Thanksgiving again this year and were very excited to have Rob's mother, stepfather, as well as my parents come to our house for dinner. Rob and his mother did a fantastic job with the turkey and everyone enjoyed spending the day together. Alaina just loved having her MeMe, BawBaw, PePaw, and MeMaw around her. Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving:





Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a BOY!

That's right, everyone! WE ARE HAVING A BABY BOY! How excited were we last Friday when we found out the good news?! Alaina is going to have a baby brother come March 2011 and we are so excited to be adding this new dynmaic to our family. We're looking forward to all things blue! :)

10 WEEKS:


12 WEEKS:

20 WEEKS:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Alaina was Blue from Blue's Clues for Halloween this year and had a wonderful time Trick-or-Treating.


Trip to the West Coast

My co-worker (Amanda) and I went to California this past week for the Internet Librarians Conference in Monterey. We took one day for sightseeing and had a wonderful time trapsing up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. We toured the Heart Castle in San Simeon and also 17-Mile Drive in Monterey. We also drove through Carmel but didn't spot Clint Eastwood.

We stayed at the Portoloa Hotel & Spa which was attached to the Convention Center. The Portola is located at Old Fisherman's Wharf so we got to see lots of sea lions, seals, and even one sea otter while we were there. They were very cute and the sea lions had an unmistakable "bark" that we could hear from the hotel. Here are some pictures from our trip:

At dinner our first night in Monterey

The front of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon


At the Neptune Pool at the Hearst Castle


On the beach at the Pacific Ocean

On the beach at the Pacific Ocean


The Lone Cypress at Pebble Beach



Friday, October 1, 2010

Lots of words

Alaina is now 22 months old and is talking up a storm! Here are some of the words she has learned to say:

• Hi
• Bye
• Laina (Alaina)
• Daddy / Dada
• Mommy / Mama
• BawBaw
• MeMe
• Me
• You
• Keisha (her babysitter)
• Latte (her babysitter’s dog)
• Tuckatoo (chocolate)
• Shoe
• Uh huh
• Yeesh (yes)
• No
• Cheese
• Peese (please)
• Ish ew (Bless You)
• Tees hew (Thank You)
• Nana (banana)
• Bucket
• Casey
• Kitty
• Puppy
• The End
• Ihmahn (Amen)
• One, Two, One, Two (she hasn’t learned to count to 3 yet)
• Juice
• PeePee
• PooPoo
• Potty
• Done Done
• Wawa (water)
• Got You (as in “Got You Mama” or “Got You Daddy”)
• Hee it come (“Here it comes” – as in the waves at the ocean)
• Boo (Blue – as in Blue’s Clues)
• Puhl (pool)

ANIMAL SOUNDS
• Moo (cow)
• Meow (cat)
• Woof (dog)
• Baaaa (lamb)
• Cheep Cheep (chick)

OTHER
• When we ask her to say “I love you” she gives kisses. She also makes the “mmmmmwah” kissing sound when we ask her to give you a kiss
• When she hugs you, she lays her head on your should and gently pats your back
• She LOVES to dance to “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy News!

I am very happy to announce that Baby #2 is due on March 24, 2011! Rob and I are so excited to welcome another child to our growing family. We have no idea what we're having yet but Rob is guessing a girl and I'm guessing a boy. Only time will tell! :) My 20 week sonogram is scheduled for November 5th so we'll find out then... well, not really. We're going to take a notecard and envelope along to the appointment and have the technician write down the sex of the baby and then seal it in the envelope. We then plan to open it on Christmas morning with Alaina so all three of us can find out at the same time. The hardest part will be waiting those additional 7 weeks for Christmas morning to arrive.

Here a few pictures of the baby taken on September 10th at my 12 week sonogram:




Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Potty Time!

BIG NEWS! Alaina went pee pee in the potty for the first time today! Oh happy day! We got her a pink princess potty months ago and she would walk up to it, point (sometimes she'd even sit down on it), and say "pee pee" or "poo poo" but she never utilized it until today. I'll spare you all the photo of the finished product, but believe me when I say it looks like we've entered the potty training days. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue's Clues

Alaina's new favorite thing these days is anything and everything "Blue's Clues." She is always coming up to Rob & me and asking for "Blue?" As soon as we turn Blue's Clues on, she starts dancing to the music and when the program is over, she covers her mouth with her hand and in the most pitiful voice says, "Ohhh Noooo!"

End of Summer

It's hard to believe that Labor Day is coming up later this week and the Summer of 2010 is coming to a sad end. It was a wonderfully busy summer filled with lots of traveling, swimming, trips to the park, and visits with family and friends. The summer always seems to end too quickly and now September will be here in less than 2 days. Here are some pictures from Summer 2010:







Myrtle Beach

We took a family vacation to Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago and everyone had a wonderful time. I could get used to the life where the hardest decision was, "Should we go to the pool first or head straight to the beach?" Tough life!

Rob, Alaina, and I spent August 14th at Kiawah and then left on August 15th for 6 days in Myrtle Beach with my parents. Alaina LOVED spending so much time with MeMe and BawBaw who just fawned over her and made her the center of attention. She was in Heaven.

We spent every morning and afternoon at the beach and then went out to dinner each evening. Alaina did quite well at the restaurants and we learned that crays are our best friend when going out to eat! We gave Alaina crayons and paper while we waited for our meals to arrive and she was a happy camper, which in turn, made for an enjoyable meal for the adults.

It's quite a different experience vacationing with a child. Gone are the wild and crazy nights of bar hopping and clubbing and here to stay are quiet nights in the hotel room. Rob and I hung out in the hotel with Alaina each evening, except for Thursday, when my parents babysat so that Rob and I could have a date. It was so NICE to head out on the town just the two of us. Ahhh the B.C. days! :)

We made such good memories on vacation this year and were sad to come home. We're looking forward to going back to the beach in two years. Summer 2012 can't come soon enough for me!