Wednesday, December 21, 2011

lily: 8.5 months

you are: giggly, long, chunking up, adorable, snuggly, determined, fascinated by your sister, curious, and in love with big people food.
you can: crawl, pull yourself up on furniture, clap, wave hello and goodbye, sign "more" and "all done", and give kisses.
you say: mama (when you are mad), dada (when you are happy), and ball.
you love: halle, halle, and more halle, chasing halle, mickey mouse, balls, chewing on spatulas and rubber spoons, eating whatever is on mom's plate, and the hanging mistletoe.
you hate: getting dressed, getting your face wiped, green vegetables and rice cereal with no fruit.
you have: two little teeth on the bottom, the most adorable ears, the sharpest scratchiest grip, and the best smile.
unique about you: you were congested for about two months which meant you didn't nurse very well and slept awful. we figured it was just a cold, but it wouldn't go away. the doctor discovered you had an infection in your nose that caused your nasal passages to swell. There was barely any air coming through your nose making it hard to eat and sleep. antibiotics cleared it all up and you sound much better. your spitting up and reflux has practically ceased, but you still need to be propped up and sleep with mom.

Friday, December 16, 2011

dancing in the kitchen

It was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. That time of day when we are all starting to go a little stir crazy, especially during the winter. My house was a wreck and there were gerber puffs all over my kitchen floor. I was still in my pajamas. Lily was still in her hand-me-down jammies with a hole in the foot and her big toe peeking out of it. Halle was still in her leotard and tights from ballet class that morning sitting in our big blue chair. We were listening to Christmas music (the she and him holiday station on pandora, my absolute favorite.) Lily was chewing on my hoodie string and smiling as I bounced and twirled her around the kitchen. If you were to look in through my kitchen window at that moment you probably would have seen a tired and grungy looking mom, a baby on the hip, dirty dishes, a messy floor, toys everywhere and you would also see just how incredibly happy I was dancing with my baby in the middle of it all. Always a lovely reminder to slow down and enjoy the beauty and happiness that is right in front of me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

life according to my iphone

Halle's Halloween Dance Class
Miss Lily Pie
Baby Toes
Toddlers and Tiaras
Halloween with Captain Hook
Rapunzel and two Harry Potters
Happy Halloween from the two sweetest princesses
Baby Shades
Glow in the Dark Mini Golf
Hiking the Red Hill
Temple Stairs
Baby in the Sunshine
Dad's Birthday
Blowing out Candles
Movie night with Jake
Ready for Winter

Thursday, December 8, 2011

bob books

I have always been amazed at Halle's ability to learn new things. From a very young age she was talking, knew her shapes, animal sounds, colors, etc. She hit a point when she was about two when her imagination exploded. She was acting out movies, playing dress up, making up stories, and was immersed in a whole world of princesses, spooky things, and books. Her wild imagination is one of my favorite things about her, it is also a challenge I have had to learn to work around. As her imagination took off, she wanted nothing to do with learning things the way I was teaching her.
Our practice sessions with scissors and glue would end with her getting up from the table, saying, "I can't learn" and walking away to go play. This made me laugh, but I realized this girl became easily frustrated when it came to learning new things. My attempts to teach her letters and numbers would also end in frustration. I thought pure exposure would continue to work like it had before. I eventually decided to break it down very simply for her. I would try something as simple as showing her an "A" and saying "Halle this is the letter A" and then immediately ask her "What letter is this?" She would automatically say "T" or make up a crazy word which sounded something like "gagageigi." Obviously the girl did not even care to listen to what I was saying long enough to even repeat it back. She was having way too much fun in her own little head. I knew I had to come at her with a different approach now that her mind craved the fun, exciting, and creative things.
She absolutely loves books, but alphabet books are so overwhelming because they put the whole alphabet in it and by the time you get to the end it was all just a jumble of letters and you don't remember anything. While we were in Costco I found a set of BOB books, the pre-reading set to be exact. These are tiny books that teach two letters at a time broken down nice and easy with cute little sentences using the letter sounds. Like I said, Halle has always love to read. Before Lily entered the world, she and I would sit on my bed and read book after book after book. I knew other sets of these books were an effective way to teach children to read, so I took a chance and bought the pre-reading set hoping it would help her learn to recognize those darn letters. These short little books have slowly, but surely helped her to start to recognize letters. Everything is broken down short and sweet with silly sentences, perfect for her little mind and her silly side. I'm a believer.
If there is one thing I have learned from all this about Halle it is that we may have to do things a little different when it comes to learning. I recently came across this quote on pinterest and thought it perfectly described what I have been thinking about: "a lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves." I need to let Halle be the way she is and accept the spirit and mind that came with her body. Her imagination is one of the most beautiful things about her and I would never want to diminish that or take it away from her just because that is not the way I think.
There may not always be a quick solution like there was with the letters, but at least I have learned to keep trying. I have so much to learn about my girls, but can't way to discover all the ways my children are different even if it means adjusting the way I think, the way I did things, or the way I want to do things. Sounds a little like making accommodations in the classroom for all learners just like they taught me in my elementary education program. Maybe I did learn something in college.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

halloween 2011

Halloween in December? Yes, that is just how far behind I am with my posting. The girls had a great Halloween. Halle loved everything leading up to it, all the costume parties, decorations, scary stories, and spooky movies. Halle really wanted to be Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but finding that costume for a toddler was next to impossible so I got her hyped up about being Rapunzel and Daddy being Flynn Rider and she forgot all about Sally.
The weather was perfect this year. Halle went trick or treating with Wes while Lily and I held down the fort.
Halle had a great time and the best part of course was digging into the candy afterwards.
This is a perfect snapshot to describe the rest of that night.
Lily even helped herself.
We watched Spooky Buddies per Halle's request and pretended we weren't home after that because we ran out of candy.
These girls are such a joy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

tis' the season

I love Christmas. Last night I put together a list of things we are hoping to do this month as we celebrate Christmas. I printed them out and put them inside the little doors of our advent calendar for Halle to open each day in the hopes that each day we could do something fun or something to bring us closer to the true meaning of Christmas. I think Halle will love it. Here is what we came up with:

Dec. 1: Live Nativity in Alpine to start the season off right

Dec. 2: Ward Christmas Party

Dec. 3: Decorate Christmas tree

Dec. 4: Make ornaments

Dec. 5: Christmas cards to loved ones far away

Dec. 6: Read the Polar Express

Dec. 7: Thanksgiving point reindeer and hot chocolate

Dec. 8: Indoor snowball fight

Dec. 9: Ginger bread houses

Dec. 10: Christmas movie night- Dad’s choice

Dec. 11: Family Christmas party

Dec. 12: Act out Nativity

Dec. 13: Watch Belle’s Enchanted Christmas and popcorn*

Dec. 14: Write letters to Santa*

Dec. 15: Drive to see Christmas lights*

Dec. 16: Serving others*

Dec. 17: See Rachel in the Nutcracker*

Dec. 18 : Birthday party for Jesus-to help Halle understand this holiday better*

Dec. 19: Christmas stories, carols, and treats*

Dec. 21: Visit Santa*

Dec. 22: Temple Square lights*

Dec. 23: Decorate Cookies*

Dec. 24: Gifts to the Savior*

*Read scripture that prophecies of Christ

Hoping we get to do all the things we have planned!