Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year for three other families.  It will be a toddler-fest as four one year-olds run around the house nibbling on turkey while the parents attempt to finish a glass of wine and a rational thought.  I can't wait!

We are thankful for these new friends to spend the holiday with and for our family who is celebrating elsewhere.  We are so grateful for our sweet daughter who lights up our lives every day.

We are also really grateful for the world's best dog too.  We are so blessed!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

After Halloween, you run the risk of having your toddler demand some costumed play time if you happen to leave any costumes within view.  "Eh eh eh," she says as she shoves the lion costume your direction.

She's worn this lion costume a few times recently (accompanied by some "roars"), though I only managed to get photos right before bath time one night during cranky time.

Thanks to Uncle Bobby for this adorable costume - I promise she liked it more than these pictures imply.  I certainly loved seeing my little lion cub all dressed up before bed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Experiencing Fall

This is the first year since moving to California that I've truly felt like we got to experience fall.

Back in Mountain View we had a palm tree outside our town home, and it didn't exactly lose its fronds every November.  We have a yard now, and that yard is full of trees and consequently full of leaves.

Actually, to be honest, the yard is completely leaf-free at the moment since our gardeners just came...but it was a beautiful blanket of leaves all week.

Orelia and I managed to do a couple of photo shoots in the front yard bookending the first few rain days we have had all season.

As much as I'm enjoying the beautiful fall scenery, I'm not thrilled to find myself with a toddler during the rainy part of the year.  How exactly does one survive the day without a play ground visit to burn off steam?

The upside of having a few rainy days this week was that on Friday when the sun was out and it was frankly too warm for the cardigan I was wearing, Orelia and I basked in the sun and appreciated it for the first time in awhile.

Well, maybe she didn't exactly "bask in the sun" so much as  allow me to smear sunscreen on her face while she played in the sand.

We are grateful for our yard this year and for any opportunity for a photo shoot before a trip to the park.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby in a Bakset Redux

See, the thing is, when you have a baby and there is an empty basket around, you can't help but put the baby in there.  Unlike puppies who hate this type of thing, babies often find it amusing.  I'm not saying they don't try to propel themselves out of the basket before you can snap a photo, but it is worth it.

These kids grow up way too fast and I'm trying to savor every last moment of her being silly and tolerant.

Hopefully by the time she has outgrown basket-sitting, she will have outgrown bubble eating too.  If she's going to grow up, I might as well get some benefit from it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Orelia at 15 Months

Orelia is 15 months old now and suddenly seems like a big kid.

 I'm not sure if it's the walking or the look in her eyes, but she's not a baby anymore.

She weighs 22 pounds 12 ounces and is 30.25 inches tall (both about 50th percentile).  Her head is 47 cm around, which explains why the 44 cm hat I bought in Japan doesn't fit.  Even though I'm happy to see her growing, it's getting harder and harder to lug around a kid who is over twenty pounds.

She adds more words to her vocabulary all the time, but "dog" is still her all-time favorite.  She's now dabbling with "shoe," "bubble," "apple," "home," "bear," and "bow."

We are in the midst of transitioning to one nap, which means she's getting about an hour less sleep each day.  It's nice not having to be home for two naps a day, but it is a bit harder to get dinner on the table.

Now that she's walking, playgrounds are a lot more fun.  She loves to climb and explore, and of course the swings and slides are big hits.

She's becoming closer and closer with her toddler friends as well as her mommy friends.  She really lights up to see them and they play together (instead of side by side) more and more.

Preschool has been going really well.  It helps that she has one of her best friends there, but she is also connecting more and more with the other kids.

Last week she enjoyed school so much I literally had to pry her away when it was time to go.  She loves to play with all the toys we don't have at home and always spends a fair amount of time outside on the tricycles and play sets.

She still enjoys reading books, but lately she prefers to "read" her own while we read a different book to her.  Her favorite task is flipping to any page with a dog and proclaiming "dog!"  She also likes to point out airplanes and apples.  It cracks me up how much she enjoys showing us what she knows.

15 months is a really fun age where it seems like every day she picks up on something new.  She's balancing between worlds of wanting independence and wanting support and we are trying our best to let her explore while also maintaining limits.  She is loving life and we love being with her.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our Little Pumpkin

 I know Halloween has come and gone, but we were across the Pacific and I'm a little behind on posts.

I figured no one would mind an extra photo or two of kids dressed up in costumes.

I specifically asked my dad to take pictures of Orelia in her pumpkin costume, since I never got to see her dressed up this year.

Orelia's two best friends came to visit her when we were in Japan to give her a chance to have a play date and so the girls could show each other their costumes.

Ariel and a very wise owl perked Orelia up during her crankiest time of day.  She is always thrilled to see her friends and their mommies, so I was so grateful they could come over to play while we were away.  Our little pumpkin had a wonderful Halloween with her Noni and Grandpa.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Being Back

It turns out being back from vacation isn't half bad after all.  Orelia donned her new Japan clothes and we played in our backyard as a family today.  It was awesome.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Orelia's Vacation

 Orelia had her own vacation with Noni and Grandpa while we were in Japan.

 Lots of people wanted to know how Orelia did when we were away for ten days, and I was personally pretty nervous about leaving her.

I'm happy to report that she did great, or maybe more accurately that my parents did a great job with her!

Orelia and Harper comforted each other without their parents around.  Or maybe they just talked about how nice it was to have a break from overbearing Mom and Dad.  

 According to my parents, Orelia just lived her life like a one-year old does.  At this age, as long as they are comfortable with who is taking care of them, they don't seem to pine for what is missing (Mom and Dad).

It obviously didn't hurt that my parents doted on her every waking moment.

I'm proud of my girl for behaving so well for her grandparents, and I'm so incredibly thankful to my parents for being willing to come out and watch her.  (And an added bonus was that my photographer dad was there to commemorate each day.)