Tuesday, December 31, 2013

18 months old

So hard to believe she is a year and a half old.  I know this post is late, but I needed to get the Christmas posts up first.  We were traveling on her "18 month" birthday, and by the time we made it to Tucson, she was too cranky for a photo shoot.  So, here are her 18mo + 1 day birthday shots...

Struttin' her stuff on the way to the park
I didn't take many other pictures that aren't already posted this month, so pictures from this day will have to suffice.

The past few times to the playground she has been super cautious, which is not her normal behavior!
 A few cute shots of the sisters....

Such a big girl!
Her language has exploded this month.  She is now saying phrases, "What's this?" "Sit down" "Put on"

I've decided I'm going to be better about keeping track of all these things, because at the last pediatrician visit, he thought she was a bit behind.  I think he was full of it...if anything, it was just me forgetting all she knows.

So, for her 18 mo tally....
--She knows her head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, teeth, hands, tummy, toes, feet
--Animal sounds she knows: cat, dog, snake, cow, horse, sheep
--She probably has nearly 50 words--it seems each day she says something new.  A few days ago, she pointed at the drawer and said "fork."  Sure enough, I had forgotten to give her a fork for her dinner!
--Words: car, hat, boots, shoes, bath, elf, eat, ball, hello, bye-bye, eyes, nose, milk, water, cracker, up, down, no, sit, mommy, daddy, mad-lin, sissy, socks, poo-poo, bubble, stinky (all of those last three are interchangeable!), dog, fork, toes, binky, outside, chair, diaper, cry, hot, bug, baby, teeth, mouth, more, please, e-f-g (as she tries to sing the alphabet), twinkle, star, banana, airplane, elmo, book
Take that pediatrician!!

She really got into the Elf on a Shelf with Madeline.  Each morning she ran down and searched for the elf.  There were a few days she found it before Madeline.  There have been a few days after Christmas when she has come downstairs and said elf while pointing to some of his previous hiding spots.

When you ask her a question she now sometimes will nod yes, instead of always "No"

She's gotten very good at following multiple commands.

She loves to jump up on the outside tree planter wall and run around while laughing....she is not supposed to do this and she know it!

She navigates the stairs like a pro and is even walking up and down, as opposed to crawling them.

She entertains herself very well and can play at great lengths by herself or with Madeline.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


We've been looking at these cartons of ladybugs every time we go to Ace Hardware for nearly two  months now.  We went to Ace to pick up a few things on Christmas clearance and broke down and bought the ladybugs.  We've had problems with white flies destroying plants on our side yard, and supposedly ladybugs can assist with this problem.  We had fun releasing them a bit before dusk as the instructions suggested....

I know I'm partial, but she is so beautiful in this picture.  She looks like a model in a ladybug advertisement!  She has gotten so she loves to wear her hair down now, and it makes her look so grown up!!
"bug, bug!"
Quite a few perished at the hands of Olivia, but with over 1500 ladybugs, I think we did alright!
Madeline was a bit squeamish at first, but then let them climb all over her.
Looking for ladybugs in the strawberry plants.
Go forth and multiply, and eat lots of white flies, little lady bugs.
We'll see how successful they are at taking care of our white fly problem.  If not, at least it was a fun experiment!

Merry Christmas!!

Wow, what a whirlwind few days it has been!!  We had the whole James crew join us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The girls enjoyed being surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, Grandma and Grandpa and it all went by in a flash!

Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the Christmas Holidays!

We were excited to receive a beautiful centerpiece from Grandma and Grandpa Handl.  Madeline wanted to light it right away, but I managed to convince her to wait until Christmas dinner--with the promise that she could blow out the candles when it was time!
This little elf made Christmas prep quite festive.  She was super into Christmas carols this year, and if she didn't know the words, she just made them up!  She sung "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" as part of her preschool program, so this was among her favorites!

*****Christmas Eve*****

Christmas Eve day started with a James family photo shoot.  The girls had so much fun running around the park ahead of time.  I hope that some smiles were captured on film, as Olivia seemed to use hers all up before the actual photo shoot.
Siblings in the kitchen!  Brian cooked a HUGE piece of meat that turned out great.
Checking out all of the decorations with Grandpa
Enjoying Uncle Mike's chocolate Birthday cake.  Who likes chocolate?  This girl!
Getting ready to open one gift on Christmas Eve
This will probably be the last Christmas where Olivia finds the ribbons more exciting than the thought of opening the gift!
Yay!  Pink Christmas PJ's
This is the best shot I could get of the two of them on Christmas Eve!
With so much going on, it was difficult to convince Madeline to write a letter to Santa.  I finally convinced her, and Adama helped her write her letter to Santa.  The handwriting on the first two and fourth lines is Madeline's, along with the signature at the very bottom of the page. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~Christmas Day~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excited about her dollhouse
Checking out the new house!
Admiring her new puppy slippers.
Stocking time...

Opening her gift from Mommy and Daddy!

"A register!"
"Big Hugs!

Picnic time!
Playing with her new dollhouse
Trying out her new scuttlebug!
It was a gorgeous afternoon, so we held the cousin gift exchange outside.
Time for the 2013 James Family Secret Santa/Elfster gift exchange!
Daddy and Uncle Mike acting silly
The girls were incredibly spoiled by all of their family.  It was great being with our James family and we held our Handl family near in our hearts!  We hope everyone had a joyful Holiday!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Preparations

This past weekend was spent getting ready for the Holidays.  I can't believe how quickly they snuck up on us this year! 

On Friday evening, Brian's employerhad a nice happy hour where they invited families.  There were plenty of arts and crafts for the kids, pinatas and even a visit from good 'ole Santa.

Madeline was excited to see daddy's office and sit in his big chair!
Checking out daddy's lab.
Olivia's favorite event of the night was meeting frosty!
Madeline took some great swings at the pinata.  She got a HUGE bag full of candy - she has this pinata thing figured out!
Madeline was excited to see Santa.
But, Olivia, not so much!
On Sunday morning we got up and headed to the beach to take Christmas photos of the girls.  They had so much fun running around and we got lots of comments on how cute they were!  I have to agree, and we did get some super cute shots of them!

We capped off the weekend by getting our tree

Olivia thought it was really funny to hit the branches and make them wiggle
This one looks good!
Discovering all the fun ornaments.  We decided to refrain from putting many of them up this year as she has great interest in them all!
"Mom, take a picture of me playing this little guitar"
Madeline does the honor of putting on the finishing touch!
Cookies and cocoa in front of the decorated tree.  Madeline remembered this from last year and wanted to make sure we were going to do it again!
It is a pretty nice tree!