Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I know that Christmas is more fun and special when you have kids, but I think I only really just got a taste of what that means. We just finished five days of celebrating with our families, and I can't imagine how Katy could have enjoyed it one bit more. Of course, she had no idea what was coming and didn't completely understand the concept of the presents, but she enjoyed having so much family around, and she absolutely loved every single present she received. Here are the highlights, in photo:
Katy liked to pass out the presents, and then help the person "uh-pin" it.
This group of my mom's family has gotten together on Christmas Eve since I was born. We've added some spouses and some babies, and the location has changed, but it still has the same feel. Christmas wouldn't be complete without it.
Katy got a lot of new books for Christmas, and she had a lot of people available to read to her. As a matter of fact, she had a lot of people to entertain her in general, which is a nice break for me. Of course, she still checks in with a whiny, "Mommy, up!" quite frequently, but I don't mind that. :)
Christmas PJ's and a new rocking chair from Oma. There's no better way to enjoy your "nilk."
We've been seeing alot of this face lately, and I'm not sure what to think of it.
Back at home for Christmas morning, these stocking stuffers, which cost all of 75 cents, were among Katy's favorite gifts.
Another big hit from Grammy and Papa John. She's already leaving tracks on the floor from the kitchen to the living room.
This was the big finale of Christmas morning (even though we got this for free - shhhhh). She was soooooo excited to see this, moving dishes and pots and food from sink to shelf to microwave, etc.
Here's the crew who joined us for Christmas at our home. They were all brave enough to have Christmas dinner here, and we managed to fit around our table and everything. It was really such a nice day.
Finally, we went to see Katy's cousins for the day today (and of course, our brother and sister-in law, too.) More excitement, more playing, more food, more good conversation.
One more family photo. Strange to think that next year these photos will include another little guy. What will he do with all these girls?
I hope your Christmas was also enjoyable. Brian and I are collapsed on the couch, thankful for a few days to recover and come out from under the cookies and open boxes. We're feeling pretty thankful in general, because I think Christmas will only get better as the kids (weird to say that) get older.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
And today she's 19 months on the 19th. Does that count as a golden birthday?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I suppose for future reference I could do some creative cropping...
So the past few days have been somewhat stressful and dramatic. My sister Melanie is on break from school, but decided to stay in town for a while to work. She lives fairly close by in a house with 5 other girls. All these girls were leaving to go home, so Mel came to crash at our house rather than stay over there by herself. And good thing she did... within 48 hours of them leaving for break, someone broke into their house and completely ransacked the place. I've never heard of such a break in. They clearly knew the girls were gone for break, because they must've been there for hours. They were very selective in what they took. Only the best printers, the highest quality brand computer, clothes from the taller girls, etc. They searched every drawer to find the valuables. The only thing they weren't selective about was underwear - every pair of that was gone. Mel lost not only her computer, but something much scarier - her lock box that included her SSN card, birth certificate, and passport. Umm...hello? Can you imagine the headache that is associated with replacing these items - without the others? Not only that, but I had no idea all the security freezes and fraud alerts that needed to be put into place when you lose items like these today. Not exactly what you want to be dealing with the week before Christmas.
But what I don't understand the most is...who?...I mean...WHO does this kind of thing? I just cannot imagine the circumstances of life that lead a person to do this to another human being. Complete disregard for another person for my own gain. I just. don't. get it. I feel really sad about the whole thing. I feel that it's a reflection of how broken the world is, how messed up we are. And it makes me angry that we have to be scared of this kind of thing. A family should be able to feel safe. It just isn't fair. Of course, this could lead to a huge philosophical debate about our rights as humans, etc., but really I'm just blowing off steam.
So Melanie's ok. She's safe, not hurt, and doing everything she can to put the pieces back together. But it's upsetting. It'll take a while to move past this one.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I get especially excited when there is a picture or a letter. It's like an annual blog entry on paper (imagine that). My refrigerator is filled with pictures of family and friends, most of them are ones that I receive in Christmas cards. So the other day, I swept that white surface clean in order to have a fresh canvas for all the updated pictures that are gradually arriving. So there is a spot on my refrigerator for you and your family...bring on the Christmas cards!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Today we've had our first snowfall of the year. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I heard the reports last night, "2-4 inches tonight and another 1-3 tomorrow." I agree with Kelsey, the weather people here have a tendency to way overestimate snowfall, especially for the first one of the season - it must have something to do with ratings. And after going to college in upstate NY, I'm amazed at how people get all freaky about a couple of inches. But I'm impressed - we actually have maybe 4-6 inches on the ground, and it's kinda pretty. I'm of the "I can't stay in this house all day" mindset, so Katy and I still ventured out to playgroup and to run a couple errands. I'll post pictures if I get her out to play in it...
But for now, a video: I've been trying to capture on film some record of Katy's extensive vocabulary, along with some of her hilarious mispronunciations. But it's really hard to get this, because as soon as she sees the camera the only thing she says is "CHEEEEEESE!!" So I had Brian record her and I looking at a picture book. It's still not exactly what I was hoping for, but maybe in a few years I'll enjoy looking back on this...
Friday, November 30, 2007
But I probably shouldn't spend this much time on the computer, though I enjoy it. So I'm sure the daily blogging won't continue in December, but maybe a little more often than my average "every 3.3 days"... I hope everyone else will continue to post often!
In the true holiday spirit, we went out as a family to participate in a festive winter activity: Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo. Picture this: sometime between Christmas and New Years you go to the zoo, at night, in order to see thousands and thousands of strands of lights. So of course, it's cold. You can still enjoy the inside exhibits, and they have lots of holiday festivities. It was really fun, and we went with Pam, Craig, & Jack. I was amazed at how well Katy did (ha! no pun intended), because she was up waaaay past her bedtime. But they had a blast, and now I'm even more in the Christmas spirit. Now if I could turn that mood into the motivation to get some shopping done, we'd be making progress...
It's hard to move in all this gear...
Apparently these "Bubble Boy" contraptions are all the rage in England. :)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm not one to decorate for each season (though I wish I was, I always think it's so pretty, I just haven't ever done it), so maybe that's why I love decorating for Christmas. It's the one time of the year that there's a little variety in the house, and it brings warm homey feelings. Here's a look at some of the new additions to our Christmas cheer...
A fourth stocking for baby brother...(he doesn't need a full size one, obviously)
My growing Willow Tree Nativity scene
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
So I won't share the family picture we selected for the card, because that would be anticlimactic for those of you who get a card, don't you think? But here are a couple that we also thought were good (these are pre-crop, so the prints look a little better than this):
Monday, November 26, 2007
So I was happier overall with my experience at Portrait Innovations, but I did spend more money, maybe about 30-40% more than I would've at JCP. But here were the highlights:
*I think it's impossible to go to any portrait studio this time of year and it not be busy. But even though it was busy, I didn't feel stressed. There was plenty of room, entertaining toys for Katy, and you got to SIT in front of a large monitor to review your pictures.
*They were really good at getting Katy to smile. I was nervous because of her recent anxiety, I thought she'd be so scared she wouldn't cooperate, but she did great. They were really good with kids.
*They encourage you to bring an outfit change and take lots of poses, so you are sure to come up with something that you like. (I actually brought a 2nd non-Christmas outfit for Katy, intending to get some generic 18-month shots, but I didn't like any of them, so I ended up with all Christmas poses, but that's fine)
*You get your photos in 20 minutes, rather than 3 weeks later at JCP. Plus, this place is much closer to my house than JCP, so when Katy was tired and hungry and I decided not to wait, I was able to run over there the next morning and pick them up - convenient!
*There were lots of props and different backgrounds, so you could come regularly and not get bored.
*They do have a $9.95 deal similar to JCP if you only get one pose. But if you go up from there, it's more expensive, like I said. I really like how JCP has the mix and match sheets for $3.99 each. That's just a darn good deal - you can walk outta there with a large stack of pictures for $30.
So many of you will see the results of this session in at least one form in a Christmas card soon enough. I'm not sure the next time around what I will decide - was it worth the extra money?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
1) Rearrange the master bedroom to accomodate everything that is currently in Brian's office.
2) Move everything from Brian's office into the master bedroom.
3) Move the current guest room furniture into the former office.
4) Set up a "big girl room" in the old guest room.
So I'm spending a lot of time on craigslist these days, looking for some of the items that we need to make all of this possible. And it occured to me that if I'm going to give someone money for their used belongings, I'd love to give it to someone I know. So does anyone have or know of anyone who'd like to sell any of the following items?
*Dresser for Katy's new room, preferrably white or off-white
*Crib - we have an extra mattress, so all I need is a frame that meets current safety standards
*Double stroller (front to back, that you can put a Graco infant car seat into) (ok, so this isn't for the Great Room Exchange, but I'm also looking for one of these on craigslist)
*A rolltop desk, not too large, because we don't have a huge space
I know many of you who read this blog are setting up for your own growing families, so it's a long shot that anyone will have anything, but I thought it was worth asking...
Saturday, November 24, 2007
*Katy slept very well, including naps, at both my Dad's and my grandma's. She's a much better traveler than this time last year. And I only packed 2 small bags for her.
*Katy is obsessed with animals, and absolutely loved my Dad's dog Scout. Just look at that smile.
*We got lots of hang-out time with family, including 7 grandparents. We are so very fortunate to have all this family.
*I got to stop by and see my friend Cindy and her family. I love seeing them, and it brings back a lot of good memories from growing up. Plus it was fun to see how Katy interacted in her home. She gave kisses all around as we left.
*My grandpa dug out this swing that he built when my mom was little. Katy's time at my grandparents' was a series of swinging, eating, and chasing the cat...
*So Katy loved Rosie the cat. She chased it just like she chased the dog, but the cat was less than thrilled. At one point she followed Rosie into the other room, and I went behind her, because I was nervous that she was annoying the cat a little too much. And good thing I did: as Rosie ran under a coat rack and Katy reached under to pet her, the cat started to hiss. I reached over and scooped her up, but not quite quickly enough. The cat went nuts, scratching, hissing, and snapping at her. She managed to scrape her paw across Katy's temple before I grabbed her, and it scared both of us into tears. But I am really thankful for this. First of all, I'm thankful that I was right there to grab her, that the cat missed her eye, and that I got a really good warning about how I need to teach Katy to be careful around animals. I don't have any pets, so I don't think I'm as careful as I should be about them. This little incident really freaked me out. Unfortunately, it had no effect on Katy. She continued to try to chase the poor animal and chant "kee kat, kee kat, kee kat." So I have some work to do...
*Brian got to watch alot of sports. This is really relaxing for him so I'm glad that he had a good time. He and my grandpa had quite the set-up, so they were sure not to miss a beat...