Sunday, December 29, 2013

Los Gatos Sugar Rush

It's not like she had never had sugar before, but yikes, it has never affected her like that.

We went to Los Gatos and had to go to our favorite bakery, Icing on the Cake, to pick up some goodies.  She had the bottom of a cupcake and a few bites of cookies and zooooooooom she was off.

She wouldn't sit still for a photo and absolutely refused to be carried around the cute downtown.

 She literally just wanted to run around the joint and pop into every store full of breakable items.  Los Gatos is full of those kind of stores, naturally.

Next time we will save the cookies and cake until after we expect her to behave.

Luckily we could all have a good laugh about it.

Orelia sure had plenty of laughs that afternoon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Everything is cheery here as we get closer and closer to Christmas.  Orelia and I hosted a holiday party/play date for all our toddler friends recently and had a blast.

The party included secret Santa gifts as well as a cookie exchange.  Everyone was supposed to leave with a tin full of cookies, but somehow we ended up with roughly 200 cookies left on our counter.  Yum and whoa.

My parents were here for two weeks and just left to fly back East.  We were able to celebrate both my dad's birthday (with chocolate cake) and Christmas (with prime rib) a little early.

Part of my parents' visit was spent moving them into their new condo, which is walking distance from our house.

Orelia has gotten so close with her Grandpa ("bap-pa") and Noni ("nana"), and we are so blessed they were able to get a place out here to spend extra time.

The stockings are hung by the coat closet with care and our Christmas pjs are folded and waiting to be worn.  John's mom and brother are here and we can't wait to celebrate!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The End of Her First Semester

We are on winter break from preschool for a couple weeks, which means Orelia has finished her first semester of school ever.  She'll be college-bound any day now.

 Friday mornings are our favorite mornings of the week.

 She is getting to know the kids and parents in her class (as am I), so it makes the class even more fun since everyone is familiar.

 No matter how cold it is, Orelia always wants to spend at least half the class outside.

 There's more climbing and peek-a-boo and slides and just more excitement out there, I guess.

We are so lucky that some of our best friends are in the class; Orelia and her pal love to chase each other and ride the slides side-by-side.  It's such a joy to see them light up around each other.

Orelia loves playing with all kinds of toys we don't own at home.

 Recently she's become obsessed with the markers station.  I have no pictures of said obsession, since I'm always on high alert when she's clutching a couple markers, lest she decide to run around the class with them (as she is prone to do).  She usually comes home with a few markers stains on her school clothes, but obviously they only stock washable markers at a preschool.

I think the school is a good fit for both of us.  She and I enjoy our time there, and I am learning a lot about child development in the bi-monthly night classes.

Our teacher always has good insights and advice, and the fellow parents either have words of wisdom or are able to understand what we are going through.

We can't wait for next semester to start!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Orelia at 16 Months

Things are busy, busy, busy in our house these days with a sixteen-month old.

She has started literally running all over the place, though usually not in a lion costume.  Running and running and then "ooh shiny object!"

It's nice that she's stable when she walks now and she can get where she wants to go.  Not that we always want her to go to those places, but that's what baby gates are for.

Her language has really started to come together and we are loving hearing her voice.  I'm not sure why she decided to try to say some words and not others.  Why does she say "lella" (umbrella), something she has only seen pictures of, but she doesn't say "leaf," something we talk about every day.  She has as many as thirty words now and knows the noises a half dozen animals make.  I can't seem to teach her anything about cats, but that's a dog girl for ya.

We certainly can't fully communicate with her about all her wants and needs, but it's helpful that things are getting better and she is happier when she can express herself.  Anyone that knows my daughter can believe that "up" is her new favorite word.

We are really happy with the one nap situation since it leaves us more time to play with friends and run errands.  We still host play group at our house once a week (indoors, lately) for about ten kids, and Orelia and I both agree it's one of our favorite afternoons of the week.

She loves to be tickled and we certainly don't deny her that pleasure.  Hearing your child laugh really is one of the greatest experiences.

She remains our funny and very sweet little girl.  We love her new "trick" of giving kisses and hugs.  The kisses are a little sloppy and the hugs are a little rough (just ask her friends), but we wouldn't have it any other way.

She's always learning and doing and experiencing, and we are right there by her side to share in the fun.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Noni is Here

Noni is here and all of our laundry is done (out of the dryer!  folded!) and all of our dishes are clean.

A certain little girl is also quite pleased to have someone to blow bubbles for her, snuggle with her, teach her new words ("cereal"), and in the end just be around to love her.  Grandparent love is the best.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree

Give a toddler a string of lights and they will be beyond themselves with joy.  Rarely do you allow them to play with wires or lights or frankly anything fun that they want to enjoy.

She loves to play "Christmas tree."

Toddlers sure are fun around the holidays!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Tradition

 We happily continued our family tradition of driving to Half Moon Bay to chop down our Christmas tree this year.  John and I love the quaintness of it, and it's something we both look forward to.

Finally, FINALLY, we have a kid old enough to at least somewhat appreciate the fun.  

 Mostly she enjoyed the hide and seek part with Daddy behind the trees.

 She loves being outside, so a family adventure to a Christmas tree farm was sure to be a hit.

We picked a nice 6 foot tree and John dutifully chopped it down while I distracted Orelia (what could be more exciting than a saw?).

 We can't wait for Orelia to help us choose a tree for many years to come.  If I know my daughter, she will have plenty of strong opinions on the matter (sounds just like Mama).

Our fresh and beautiful tree is now decorated and surrounded by a black metal baby gate.  It's not the most picturesque situation, but we've gotten used to this type of thing around here.  Without the gate I can almost guarantee Orelia would be attempting to scale the tree any day now to pluck off the Harper ornament.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


 This year, for the first time, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our friends instead of with our family.  We hosted at our place and had three families over who each have toddlers with whom Orelia is buddies.

I cooked the turkey and broke out the China, silver, and crystal; our friends basically brought everything else, including the flowers.

 Okay, well I also bought some crackers which were essentially the only part of Thanksgiving dinner (appetizers) Orelia would eat.

Harper happily ate a wedge of cheese while everyone was outside taking photos, but that's another story.

 It was a beautiful and warm day to celebrate what we are thankful for.  This year we were especially thankful for all the new friends we have in our lives to spend holidays with when our families can't be here.  Orelia and I are so lucky to spend our days with such wonderful moms and toddlers.

Despite the kids' refusal to eat any of our Thanksgiving feast, and sit in their high chairs longer than two minutes, we had a great Thanksgiving.  The kids ran around like maniacs, but they were in it together and we, as parents, were all in it together too.