Thursday, January 14, 2010

FYI - The pictures in this post don't necessarily go with the text. I just like them. :)

I have to skip the trip from Phoenix for one post, because I can't resist bragging on Allison. She had her 18 month check-up last week. Her percentages remained steady: Weight 23.4lbs (29%), Height 32.5in (81%). When the doctor asked if she was able to say 6-8 words, I was proud to tell her that Allison had collected around 60 words! She told me that she expects most kids to start putting words together into phrases by the age of two, but that she felt like Allison would do that well in advance. Cool, I thought - but I didn't expect that to be THIS week!

The first time she did that was on Monday while I was making her scrambled eggs for breakfast (which I've learned she will eat if they are topped with a little cheese and ketchup!). She was hanging on my leg, and I asked her what she needed. She looked up at me and said "Mama, eat, please!". Wow! She had never even put two words together, so I was shocked! Since then she's been collecting more words, and starting to make more phrases. I absolutely love communicating with her because I can finally find out what's going on in her head. I've been writing down her new words to keep track of what she knows, but this will probably be the last list I give here because she is learning so much every day that it's impossible to keep up. But just for grins, here are the words she has learned in the last couple of weeks: water, bubbles, strawberry, banana, cookie, hot dog, cow, please, milk, cup, apple, hat, mittens, pretty, more, Drew, off, push, pull, bear, bow, legos, belly button, chair, eat, cold, book - and the one that will eventually cause me a lot of embarrassment in public - poo poo. :) That one came in handy when her Aunt Jen was watching her in Phoenix, though. Jen reports that Allison was sitting in her lap and looked up at her, pointed to her pants and said "poo-poo!". Well, at least that's helpful!

After Christmas we set ourselves to the task of cleaning out our spare room (or if I'm honest, our junk room) because we needed space to put Allison's new big toys like her kitchen. That room also has her "big girl bed" already in it so she can get used to seeing it and crawling on it before we move her permanently around her second birthday. She loves having a room to herself, and she'll spend over half an hour in there at a time playing alone and pretending to cook. The rest of the day she is pushing around either her shopping cart or her stroller. She likes to run into us or Maggie at full speed and yell 'boom'! Since Frank and I are usually on a couch or chair to keep us out of the way, Maggie gets most of the abuse. The poor dog spends a good portion of her day trying to avoid impact.

Here's Allison the first day I showed her the toddler bed. It was love at first sight!

Here she is looking darn cute in her slippers!

Another big moment for Allison was her first haircut. She was looking a little shaggy, and needed a slight clean up around the edges. We took her to a local kid salon, where she sat in a race car chair watching Finding Nemo while they wet her hair down and then cut it. Allison was so well behaved, that even I was surprised. There was no squirming or crying. She just sat there smiling and saying saying 'cheese!' when a camera was pointed at her. I was shocked at how simple the hair cut was! The lady literally combed it down in the front and made 3 snips to even out her bangs, and then combed down the hair at her neck and made 3-4 more snips to even out the back. Guess how much that cost? You're not going to believe they charged us $19 plus tip for that!! The whole experience was ruined for me at the register because I felt cheated for being charged a ridiculous flat rate when they spent less than 5 minutes with us from wet down to blow dry. Oh well, lesson learned. I'm buying my own scissors and cutting it myself from now on.

I'm ashamed that I didn't actually get a good 'after' shot. But honestly, it doesn't look that different.

I mentioned reading 'Parenting by the Book' a few blogs ago, and that comes to mind again as I'm now starting to need to practice some of the discipline that it teaches. The book refers to all toddlers as 'little criminals', which I actually think is pretty fitting. My little criminal has started making herself known around our house recently. It's hard to watch my sweet innocent little girl find her mean and defiant side. Since she still can't express herself with words as well as I'm sure she'd like to, she has decided to start yelling something that sounds like 'MMMEEEEE-OOOOOOOOWWW!' when she's mad. Apparently she's a very angry cat. :) Anyway, since you aren't here to hear it, I'll translate. It means (and I quote) 'No I will not do what you are asking me to do, and I'm furious that you think you could impose that on me, so now I'll stand here and stare you down to let you know I mean business! So back off Mom!'. Brevity is one of her strengths. Of course if Allison knew how competitive I am, she'd know that I'd never lose a fight with my toddler, and I certainly won't be disrespected by one. So each time she yelled at me she got popped on the back of the legs, and I made her look into my eyes as I told her 'No' as powerfully as I could without yelling. She'd immediately break down into tears, and I'd leave her to work it out. When she was done, then we could hug and cuddle again. This went on for a little over a week, but each time she said it she got more quiet and unsure of herself. At the end she would put her head down and look at me out of the corner of her eye and say it almost in a whisper, which is still not ok and gets the same response from me. I'm super proud to report that it's now been days since I've heard the dreaded 'word', and she actually seems happier. It's true that kids love discipline and boundaries.

Now for just some really cute and unrelated pictures of Allison!

These last few remind me of a post from Emily not long ago about Luke wanting a ton of Christmas bows in his hair. Allison found her bag of bows and started bringing them to me one by one and leaning her head down saying 'bow!' so I would put it on. We ran out of space quickly, and this was the result.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Corner

With less than two weeks since my last post, you won't believe how much I have to share! Between Christmas, a trip to Phoenix, first haircuts, pregnancy news, and Allison having a bunch a cute moments, this blog could be quite long. I don't think I'm up to it, so I''ll have to split it out into a few posts. Patience, patience...

I guess I'll just go in order and start with Christmas. Frank and I were both very excited about it this year because we were anticipating a lot of excitement from Allison. We didn't get her much because we never want Christmas to be just about gifts at our house. We obviously want to emphasize Jesus, but also family traditions, and giving to others. So this year we bought Allison a kitchen at a consignment sale, and some pots and pans to go with it. We also got her a few books and some jewelery to play dress up with. She loved the kitchen, and we loved watching her play with it and seeing her mind alive with imagination. It was also fascinating to realize how much she watches me in the kitchen.

First thing Christmas morning.

Opening her stocking filled with some fun jewelery.

She wasn't quite as excited about that as I had expected, but she's a big fan now.

After her nap we had plans to go to my parents house to open gifts and have dinner with my family. We decided to dress Allison up in her Christmas dress and surprise everyone since since she hadn't had a chance to wear it. You can tell she felt very pretty posing in front of the tree. We took a bunch of photos, and I really can't pick. Doesn't she look like a little girl now??

The rest of these are a few pictures from my parents house. We had a great time there, and the grandkids were definitely spoiled! Allison got several new outfits, some fake food to go with her kitchen, and a grocery cart! Our house is filling up quickly! Help!

Opening a present from Uncle Eric and Aunt Amy.

It's a doll! She loves to push this doll in her new shopping cart. :)

Of course, it never takes Allison long to scout out Eric.

A new Elmo toy!

I think Amy had to pin her down for this picture. There was just too much going on!

Baby Drew was also distracted by all that was going on.

Allison opening her shopping cart.

As if all that wasn't enough fun, we had also had a visit from Frank's mom (Allison's Mimi) on Christmas Eve. She also came bearing (too many!) gifts for Allison. She got a pink portable DVD player, several DVDs to play on it, and a baby/stroller combo! I told you Allison was spoiled! She hasn't stopped running over me and Maggie with that stroller since she got it. Apparently it's really funny to hit someone at fun speed and watch them jump!

Allison had just gotten up from a nap when Mimi arrived, and for some reason decided to stay in a pretty grouchy mood the rest of the night - despite all the fun toys! That should clarify her lack of spunk in some of these photos.

That's all for now, but as I mentioned I'm very behind on posts so come back soon for more of our adventures from the last couple of weeks! On a quick side note regarding the pregnancy - I start my second trimester tomorrow and at the moment I'm not feeling too much better for it. The nausea had slowed up for a little while, but it's back now in full force. I'm not sure what changed but this is definitely going the wrong direction!! All that to say that if the next few posts come slower than you'd like, that's probably why.