Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On the ninth day of Christmas Travel we played snow. Stinky was all bundled up and not so sure about the clothes, but once we got outside she had a blast. She stood by herself for the first time and long enough for my husband to go to the car, get his camera, and take a picture. It may have been due to the boots and everything making her stiff, but we will take it. So Saturday December 27th Stinky stood for the first time. She really enjoyed sledding. We would put her on a round sled laying down, I would let go and my husband would pick her up at the bottom of the hill. She was all smiles and wanted to do it again. It was so exciting to watch her have fun in the snow. After so much excitement she slept really well that night which gave us some fun at the casinos. Maybe too much fun because we didn't go to bed till 3:00. Unfortunately no matter what time we go to bed Stinky still gets up at 7:00 so were a bit exhausted the next day. HeeHaw HeeHaw I won $50 on the penny machine!
On the eighth day of Christmas travel was another day of riding in the car and long travels. We started at 10:00 in the morning headed home to drop off and pick up more luggage, stopped at my husbands parents house for a quick bite to eat and then off to Reno where we arrived at 10:00 at night. It took us 2 hours to go only a few miles due to an over turned vehicle on the road. Stinky did awesome again. She was so tired from all the festivities that she slept the whole way. When we arrived, finally, at the hotel there was so much excitement from all of Stinky's cousins. Everybody opened gifts and the kids had a blast playing with all their new toys. Then off to bed for Stinky and off to the casino for a little QT time for my husband and I. We had a great time playing the HeeHaw penny machine. It was nice to spend sometime together alone, laughing and having fun. What a great way to start the last leg of our trip. HeeHaw HeeHaw Halopicken I won $32!
On the seventh day of Christmas travel, Christmas finally arrived. Boy there were a lot of presents and Stinky had so much fun. I am not sure what she enjoyed more playing with the new toys, playing with the wrapping paper, unwrapping the gifts or just climbing on top of the packages. She unwrapped so many gifts that she had to take a nap before coming back to unwrap more. Some of the fun gifts she got were Uggs from Grandpa, a crocheted Amigurumi and a velvet blanket both made by Mommy, a crocheted pink poncho that Momo made, fun musical instruments from Auntie BB, a sorting wood box from Daddy and most fun of all a bicylce. What a great day. Stinky got lots of tears from her Auntie BB, Grandpa, and Momo when they unwrapped the photo books she made (with help from Daddy and Mommy). The best part of Christmas though is the time spent opening up these gifts individually. It is so much fun to watch others open the gifts that you thoughtfully got for someone special. But let's not forget why we give gifts and the representation of it all. It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the gifts that were given to him by the shepards and the wiseman. I hope you all enjoyed Christmas as much as my family did making new memories to hold onto for a lifetime.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
On the sixth day of Christmas travel Christmas Eve arrived. With Christmas Eve so did old and new traditions. I started a new tradition with my daughter. She opened one gift and in this gift was new pajamas to wear that night. Each year she and her coming siblings will receive new pajamas to sleep in. Along with the new Stinky participated in some of the traditions I looked so forward to myself as a child. We had chili by candle light and then Grandpa read her Christmas stories out of the same Christmas books that he read to me. It was fun to see her enjoying some of the experiences I enjoyed and it brought back that comforting yet exciting feeling that I felt so many years. I couldn't wait till the next morning with hopes of more nostalgic feelings.
On the fifth day of Christmas travel Stinky enjoyed spending time with Momo and Grandpa. But I don't know who enjoyed it more Momo and Grandpa or Stinky. It is really fun to see her recognize other people other than Mommy and Daddy. Grandpa spent the whole time trying to get her to say Grandpa. He would say, "Stinky, can you say Grandpa." By the end of our trip Stinky was pointing at pictures of Grandpa and saying Gampa, Gampa.
On the third day of Christmas travel we traveled from LA to San Luis Obispo to my families house to celebrate Christmas. Stinky was happy to spend some time sleeping and catching some down time from her long weekend of many large groups of people that were super excited to see her. I spent the time wrapping presents and presents and presents. The tree was packed full of presents and everyone was excited with anticipation for Christmas.
On the second day of Christmas travel spent time with my dads family in LA. Stinky spent another day opening presents and getting lots of love from family. She does so well in large groups and she was all smiles. Totally played into everybody's comments on how cute she is. She ended the the day at TJI Friday's ahhhing the crowds with her dancing. Stinky loves to dance to her favorite song, "Happy Lemons for Happy Days." When people would laugh she would just dance dance and dance some more. What a ham!
On the first day of Christmas travel we started off to Papa Brubaker's house and then off to my Auntie Laurie's house. Stinky began a 10 day trip across the greater area of California. We started in San Jose and then headed down to LA. During this leg of the trip she did really well in the car. The next day we headed down toward San Diego to visit with my papa, Stinky's great papa. We were so excited to see all our family and Stinky had a great time playing. After her birthday, being that is was so close she was beginning to get the idea of presents and unwrapping them.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The greatest part of Christmas is not receiving gifts, and maybe not even giving the gifts, but more the experiences that come along with the season. I love to wrap gifts, make gifts, make cookies, decorate that Gingerbread house, look at lights and all the other great activities that families make time for during the season. The most important thing is remembering to enjoy them and planning enough in advance so that it doesn't become a stressful experience. My wonderful husband and I had fun last night decorating cookies, as messy as it was. So thankful to have a husband that will spend time doing such things. To get up in the morning and see all the cookies so beautiful in their abundance. Ready to be packaged up and given to those we care about, sure gets us in the Holiday spirit.
Stinky continues to show much interest in the dog bowls and today she found them to be especially interesting. So again I pulled down the bowls for her to play with. This time I put a few chop sticks and a crab cracker in them. She was moving the chopsticks from bowl to bowl and inspecting the silver gadget that looked so foreign to her. This activity is so helpful while cooking because she can be in the kitchen and occupied by an activity. She would use the crab gadget to make noise on the metal bowl and preformed experiments comparing the weight of the different objects. Until .... Simon our dog became interested in the chopsticks. Now the tables have turned and she did not like that very much. She can go in their bowls but in no way must they come near hers. As soon as she made it clear to him that he was not to interfere, she went back to her work of exploring the world.
We have had the Christmas tree up now for three weeks. Other than the occasional bell down (only like 2 times has she pulled it down) Stinky has not been interested much in the tree. I put up an ornament that she received at her last playdate. This ornament has a picture of Stinky in it. I put is down low enough so she could see it because I wanted to show her how she is apart of the tree. Immediately she crawled over to the tree as she saw me hang it up. She looked at it and it was a must have immediately. First she reached up a couple of times just to touch it, then she turned it and looked at the picture. She smiled and laughed a little. She continued to turn it and just by accident it fell off. This gave her great joy that she was able to pull it off. For the next few hours we played a game (a game only to her, to me maybe a little annoyance). She would pull it off, I would tell her it needs to stay on the tree, I would hang it up and soon after she would pull it off again. By lunch time the ornament with her pretty little face on it was moved toward the middle of the tree. Maybe hands on sometimes isn't a good idea. Now she can see it, but not reach it and believe me she tried.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We went to the park yesterday. As Stinky gets older and more mobile she is beginning to really enjoy exploring the outside. She is constantly intrigued by the way that things feel on her hands. At this park she felt the tan bark and the sand. She was very interested in how the sand stuck to her hands after she crawled through a small pile. She would look at her hand, crawl a few more feet, stop and look again. At one point she attempted to get the sand off her hands by picking it off. When picking the sand off didn't work she began brushing it off. She loves the swings. I am not sure if she loves the motion or the wind on her face more. She also had a great time climbing up the stairs on the play structure. At first she wasn't so sure about moving from platform to platform. Every time she went up one stair I moved up and with reassurance she continued to climb. Once she had completed the whole structure she was very proud of herself. Taking this opprotunity to build self-esteem, I acknowledged her hard work. She smiled and wanted to do it all over again. There is so much to discover when a child goes outside.
From a child's perspective I can see why many pictures of children sitting with Santa turn out with crying, screaming, or not so sure expressions. As soon as a child hits their first Christmas they are sat on this mans lap. A man with a long fury white beard, a bright red outfit (that really isn't far from the stereotyped pimp outfit), and a hat. This is a man that looks like no other man the child has seen before. For how ever many months and years your child has been alive you have sheltered them from strangers, told them not to talk to them, securely held your child tight in awkward situations, but now you push your child on some mans lap and say smile. A child sees this man everywhere, is he following me why is he in so many places that I am in. And he is everywhere for only a brief time, then this weird man disappears not to be seen again for about 300 days. Long enough for most young children to forget all about him, until it's Holiday season once again.
As a new mom I am experiencing my first Holiday season with a child. It seems that she has had more Christmas parties in one week then I had in all my years as an adult combined. Wow, cookies to make for this party, pie for that party, h'ordeavers for another party. I made it through my first week of parties and I think I am pretty much done. Stinky had lots of fun through it all. Every party was a new chance to experience a new house, more friends and fun food. Luckily she had lots of cute Holiday dresses to go with each party making it possible to put laundry day off one more week. She loved all the new snacks she tasted and with good naps we had many pleasurable experiences. Happy Holiday partying to all!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Stinky is very interested in these magnets. I pulled these out to see if she was ready for them and she has really enjoyed them. She is amazed at how they stick together with such force. She puts one in one hand and the other in the other hand and slowly moves them towards each other. They are strong and immediately pull together leaving her hand in between. It took her a little while to figure out how to get her hand out between the two, but she is exploring the strength that the magnets have. I have put out other metal objects to see if she will explore the magnetic force against other items, but she isn't ready for that yet. At this time she is exploring the magnets as individuals, the experience as they connect and then their properties as a whole unit. It is never too early to begin exploring the properties of science. I look forward to using these magnets in many different activities that will prompt her to ask questions about the way the world works and to test the answers or suggestions she is given.
Someone in my playgroup bought a very cute poncho, but when I saw it I realized I could probably make that. It took me 45 minutes and it turned out super cute. This will be nice and cozy for the Holidays. It is also very easy to put on and take off while on the go. How fun. I hope to make many more of these.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Everything turned out to be really cute. Like the party favor's I gave myself a $20 budget for decorations. I was able to buy a slab of grass and cut it down for $2. The cows sitting in the grass were downloaded free on Ben and Jerry's site. Just a little cutting and folding and they turned out really cute. I made cupcakes instead of a big cake. This saved money in buying forks and plates. I decorated (with help from mom and sister) the cupcakes with cow spots. This also gave me the opportunity to make Stinky her own cake. Overall the decorations turned out cute and I was very happy with the party. Minus the food the whole party cost us $45. We had her party at Roundtable because our house is too small for the 40 people that came to celebrate with us. The room that we reserved was free but we had to buy lunch for 40 people. It was great though because at the end of the party we didn't have to clean up the mess.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I am very excited about the party favors I made for Stinky's birthday. There will be 12 babies about 1 year old at her party on Saturday. Not wanting to spend a lot of money I gave myself a budget of $20 for all the favors. My husband brought home bags that his work gets products in and then just throws away. I printed off pictures of cows that go with her cow theme. (I love cows) Using my sticker machine I stuck them onto the bags. I took clothes pins I found at the Dollar store, 20 for a $1 and made musical bells. I liked the clothes pins because they are easy for small hands to hold. I used a 40% coupon to Micheals to buy the bells. We put the bells on eyehooks and screwed them in. I took scraps of material from old sewing projects and made bean bags. I found these flowers 12 for $1 at the Dollar store and printed off fun finger puppet songs I found on the Internet. I am excited about handing these out because they are useful items that the babies can enjoy, they were environmentally friendly as I recycled a lot of things, and developmentally appropriate. I hope they all enjoy them.
Stinky has been sick now for 2 weeks. She started out with a high fever and throwing up. She moved into slight congestion and coughing. It was minimal over the Thanksgiving weekend, but flared back up yesterday. Another fever, another sleepless night, a whole lot of cuddles and two worried parents. Today she woke up without the fever and she has been exploring again. Still not back to normal, but closer. We will see what tomorrow brings. Sick baby is no fun, for sick baby and for mommy and daddy.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I took stinky to get her picture taken with Santa today. Wasn't sure if we were going to like Santa or hate Santa. She clung to me pretty tightly for awhile. But I showed up early so she could look at Santa awhile before she had to sit on his lap. She wasn't so sure at first but then bells started ringing and the happy smiley faces on the other side of the camera made her smile, a very uncertain smile but a smile no less. It helped that we were at a small boutique where there were only a few people around. Love Tiny Tots if you are in the area. Great store and cloth diaper service. We got a CD almost immediately with the pictures on it and the best part is it was free. No long lines at an overwhelming mall to pay lots of money for a picture that might look scary. Thanks Santa!
Monday, December 1, 2008
This morning I put my daughter down for her usual morning nap and she cried (as she usually does). It was a little more than usual but not too much. After a few moments of screaming, I herd a tapping noise. I had the dryer on and thought that the dryer was making the noise. When the dryer stopped and the tapping continued (at this point the crying at stopped and there was just whining) I went to investigate. As I got closer I realized that the tapping was coming from my daughters room. I attempted to open the door, but I could not get it open. I peaked through the crack I was able to open and there my daughter was sitting in front of the door. How did she get from the crib to the door? I pushed open the door and picked her up. She was holding her blankie. Did she drop the blankie and go head first tumbling out of the cirb to get it? Did she decide it was time for the great escape and blankie goes with? The mystery remains. Thank goodness she is ok but a little scared for the next time she preforms her greatest escape. I consoled her and then put her back into her crib. She smiled and off she dosed to dream up more tricks to scare mommy.
We went to pick out our Christmas Tree. My husband and I picked two that we liked but couldn't decide which one to buy. We let stinky decide. She looked at both trees, touched both trees, laughed and then leaned in to one of them. That was the tree we took home. She watched with intrigue and hesitation as Daddy sawed off part of the bottom. The noise scared her a little. She was very interested in the branches and how they felt. When her daddy turned on the lights she paused and with an open mouthed gazed was in ahh. Once the ornaments were on the tree she was even more interested. It is amazing how strong a child can be, she ripped off that ornament in seconds. It took her a lot less time to rip off the ornament then it did for us to put it on. She loved the Christmas bells and enjoyed dancing to Christmas music while we put the ornaments on. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.
I know a little late, but we spent the Holiday's away from home and away from access to post. Stinky had a great Thanksgiving, crawling everywhere in Amah's big house (large open space she is not use to at home). She ate turkey and loved stuffing. Great fun and she looked cute too!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Tomorrow is my husbands 30th Birthday and this last weekend I threw him a surprise birthday party with all of his friends. My husband is an amazing man. Always thinking about how he can be a better father and a better husband. He constantly checks in with me to make sure that he is being all that he can be and to make sure that our marriage is full of life and love. He is selfless and humble. (Probably pretty embarrassed that I am writing such wonderful things right now) He comes from a background of hardship, coming to the US at 9 years old after living as a refugee and before that in a country devastated by one of the worst dictatorships in history. But today he is a successful engineer, owning a house in one of the most expensive places in the nation, and able to support his family so his wife has the opportunity to stay home with his children. What amazing accomplishments he has made in his first 30 years. I look forward to being apart of the next 30 years and watching what else he can achieve. How lucky I am to have a married such an amazing man. To him I say I love You more than you know and Happy Birthday!
Friday, November 14, 2008
This was sinky's first introduction to paint. I believe children are never to young to begin an artistic journey. I would have started earlier, but busyness and laziness sometimes set in. Right away she went for the paint. She grabbed it, squished it in her hands and looked at it. She then put her hands down on the paper and noticed how her hand stuck to the page for a few moments. She wasn't so sure about that so she went back to what she new. Exploration by mouth, of course I stopped her, but not without some swipes of beautiful red paint on the face. She spent some more time hitting the paper and watching the effect. Soon she realized that art can be made in more places then on paper and the sensory experience began. She rubbed it all over her legs. She was fascinated by how different her legs looked in red. After many moments of this she was ready to be done with art and into water we went for another experience.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We visited the new Academy of Sciences in San Fransisco where Stinky was fascinated by all she had to see. Here she is looking into the biggest coral reed tank in the nation. The look of learning is a fascinating thing to watch. To be in awh of the world around you. We as adults take for granted these moments. Moments that as children we once had but are now to busy to take time to experience. This picture reminds me to stop and experience.
I set out two bowls with large polished glass. Some were colored some were clear. Stinky was initially very interested in how the rocks felt, what they tasted like and their weight. After her initial exploration into the proprieties of the rocks she began throwing them behind her. What happens? She looks behind and notices the rocks and their positions. She continues to throw them each time looking behind her. One rock accidentally hits the side of the bowl and she is intrigued by the sound it makes. She repeats and tests out this new theory. If I throw it against the same place will it make the same noice? Yes it does. Now she in intrigued by this new idea. She begins picking up the rocks in the other bowl and throwing them into the first bowl. The rocks continue to make the sound. But what about the rocks that she threw behind her? She throws another rock behind her and it doesn't make a sound. She continues this exploration for a few moments and then poses another question. What makes these bowls make sound? She begins exploring the bowls. She lifts them up, dumps out the rocks and then bangs them together. She eventually decides she is done for now, but maybe she will come back to this another time. She has learned cause and effect, weight, proprieties of objects around her and most importantly she has spent a little time asking questions and testing her hypothesis.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Yesterday I was in a restaurant with my daughter and husband. I noticed something that I had never really noticed before. The people sitting behind me were communicating in fowl language. F this and F that with a few other choice words thrown in. I had never really noticed this before perhaps because I had never had a child with young ears sitting with me. One day these young early 20 somethings will be sitting here feeling the same way as I. Offended and upset that their child is having to listen to this. I never spoke in this manner with my friends but husband said in his early days he did. But he entered a clause "I always looked around to make sure their weren't children around." It is partly the responsible of these people to be considerate, but partly the responsible of their parents to teach them to be aware of those around them and what considerate means. I hesitate to turn around and ask them to pick some different words, perhaps they don't know how to talk in any other way. But really all those around them would enjoy their meal so much more without their language. What do you think should I politely ask them to stop or attempt to distract my child and try to enjoy my lunch?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
As a child you spend a lot of time waiting and anticipating your next holiday. As your parents build traditions you learn to expect them, with excitement each year. Then something happens, you grow up. Through your teen years and college years the excitement fades a little. Every holiday nostalgic feelings come back, but that pit in the depths of your stomach the night before Christmas just isn't there anymore. What happened, why after so many years of such feelings do they fade? Then something happens, you get married and have children of your own. The traditions that you bestow on your excited children bring back all those feelings you once had as a child. Suddenly you can't wait for the next holiday once again. This time it is different this time it is the look on your child's face as they experience what once was for you through their young eyes. It is an amazing thing to watch your child enjoy so much the very thing that you enjoyed in what seems to be centuries ago.