Tuesday, January 29, 2013

first haircut

About a month ago, Annabel had her first haircut. Because this is how she typically looked:

I expected a wave of tearful nostalgia when the day arrived, but I kept it together pretty well. Mostly I was feeling proud of how still she was being for the hairdresser and relieved that this wouldn't be a kicking and screaming-filled afternoon. The lady cut her hair within three minutes, and I think the end result made her look like she should be on a box of oatmeal from the 1930's. In a good way. 

And she still has those curls! For posterity's sake, here is a video of the first cut:

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Me (to Gabe): I've been thinking a lot about scuba diving today.
Annabel: Scooby-doo?!

Me (to Annabel, very first thing in the morning): Sit on the potty, and mommy will sit on her potty and we can play pat-a-cake.
Annabel: We're gonna have cake?!!

gymnastics, part II - gold medal

It was gold medal week at gymnastics, in which a bunch of toddlers had their name called, stood up on a mat got a weird necklace and then all the adults clapped. I'm sure it was all over their heads, but still it was super cute:

Monday, January 14, 2013


Annabel has been going to gymnastics on Saturday morning for about six months now. And she's petite, strong and fearless, so she's a natural gymnast. She loves going there. It's great to see how she's gotten into a routine and how well she does following the directions: 'all  my friends on the blue squishy mat', 'move like a cat!', 'put your hand on your head for a stamp'.

Here she is jumping on the trampoline:

And I love this video. Here she is falling off the parallel bars and undaunted keeps on trying ..

This past week she walked all the way across the balance beam by herself. So proud of our little girl! I'd like to have her try out ballet as well because I want pictures of her in a leotard and tutu it will help her develop coordination and focus, but I have a feeling she'll be taking gymnastics for a while.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

funny face

accidental comparison

I took this picture of Lila today during headband-wearing tummy time (on the right), and it reminded me of a picture I took of Annabel. I looked it up, and Annabel was about 2 weeks younger than Lila here:

two year olds are awesome

Annabel is just over two and to me seems like such.a.BIG.girl. Part of it is the comparison with a newborn, but she's had all sorts of changes lately:

Pronouns: One day Annabel woke up and had mastered pronouns. You'd think it's a little thing, but my once-baby now speaks to me like this all day: 'Where are we going?', 'I'll do it myself.', 'What are you doing, Mommy?'. She seems so grown up!  My favorite use of pronouns is when she wants to learn a certain word, so she'll walk backwards or make a noise and ask 'What am I doing?'.

Potty: I think Annabel has been ready to potty train for a while. We just needed to commit to it, but we were expecting the baby and didn't want to have a bunch of changes at the same time for her. But lately she is using the potty more (even outside of the house by request), and she always announces when something is happening in her diaper. Apparently she'd been asking to use the potty at daycare, too, so we think it's a good time to transition to big girl underwear. There are a bunch of kids at the daycare who are at the same stage, so (god bless them) the women who run it are going to have them go diaper-free altogether beginning next Monday. We're to bring five pair of extra pants!

Make believe: This is my favorite. Toddlers have such fluidity between what is real and what is not. Annabel has started pretending to pull things out of books and eat them. She will also offer the characters in books food or toys. We put some Vaseline (girl is obsessed with it) on her face before bedtime, and she wiped her face and then put it on the animals' faces in the book ('Do you want Baseleem, doggie? Ok, here you go.') She was watching Sesame Street one day and out of nowhere said, 'Do you need my hair clip, Elmo?' She got magnetic dress-up dolls for Christmas and will block out everything and talk to them for 15 minutes. She has named them Annabel and Ballerina (Annabel doesn't know the word 'princess', so anyone dressed like a princess is called ballerina). Her baby doll is named Baby Sister. (She actually bit said baby doll last night as a sneaky way to earn a band-aid!)

I caught this video yesterday as she was playing in the tent her Aunt Neicey gave her. We put her old bouncer in there, and she likes to read books in there to herself or have conversations with pretend people. Here she is saying 'No, ma'am' to someone. Note: she gets the 'no, ma'am' from daycare and we've started to adopt it at home. Annabel has taken to scolding our (male) dog by saying 'No, ma'am, Conan!'.

This is a random video of her eating the other night, where she broke the cheese stick into snakes:

My mom says I was a kid who sat in a corner reading books and greatly preferred truth and logic over make believe (booooo I say!). I didn't even play with dolls. But I grew up and (I think) cultivated a love of the arts and respect for play and imagination (sort of what I got my master's in), and I'm doing my best to foster this innate creativity of hers. It's so much fun to watch. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Lila

The little one is in her seventh week of life. She is still congested, most likely due to compounded viruses. But if it lingers, we may have to consider the possibility of reflux (she also spits up tons). Despite all this, she is a pretty happy baby. She eats, has an uncomfortable period of spitting up and pooping, and then I see lots of this before she naps:

Love that face!

Christmas 2012

Christmas this year I felt like a real adult. I've been waiting for this day for 35 years. This was the first year I didn't head off to my parents' houses for the holiday. On Christmas Eve, Gabe and I decorated the house and wrapped presents and talked about the traditions we want to establish. We told Annabel about Santa Claus, not as enthusiastically as we probably should have - the lie felt awkward on our tongues. 

As we wondered how Annabel would like opening presents, I realized it was totally up to us how our girls will remember their Christmases. Though we're always constructing their childhoods minute to minute, the weight of that responsibility really hit me then. 

I also realized that I've somehow convinced myself they will always be like this: a silly, sweet two year old and a bright-eyed newborn.

We created as magical a setting as possible Christmas morning, and as Annabel climbed down the stairs we asked her 'Do you think Santa came?!' "Are there presents?!'

Here's her reaction:

Later that day Mom and Dave came over and cooked a wonderful meal (thanks mom!) and we opened more presents. Annabel got an awesome wooden kitchen set that she loves:

Kim, Dean and Niko came over and here is an attempt at getting a picture of Grandmom and all her grandkids:

We posed Lila with her new kitty cat:

And Annabel got into some super fancy jammies:

Next year will be even more awesome, as I expect to have some energy and time to cook and bake. Annabel will also be big enough to understand a bit more what's going on and our little Lila will be walking around by then.

Merry Christmas!


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