Friday, December 21, 2007

Rug Bug

I call Kirsten the Rug Bug now, because she loves to be down on the carpet, rolling around and exploring everything she can. I usually scatter toys around, and she'll find them and play with them. It makes her so happy to just play on the floor, even if there are no toys!

She also enjoys playing with her binky like it's a toy.

She tries to crawl, and pushes off walls and other things with her legs. But she can't do it yet. Tigger likes to watch her move around the floor, and she always gives him huge smiles.

I wonder when she'll actually start to crawl? She gets to a lot of places just by rolling!

In case I can't post again before Christmas, I hope everyone who reads this has a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!!!

Never A White Christmas

Now that it's midnight, I can officially say that today we're leaving to go to San Diego for Christmas! We're leaving the millions of natural Christmas trees scattered all over the Pacific Northwest to go where we'll see only one Christmas tree, and it's in my parents' living room. There are all kinds of other trees in southern California of course. But orange trees, oak trees, palm trees, and avocado trees don't strike anyone as very Christmasey. Still, I have never spent a single Christmas away from San Diego. It's hard to imagine a real white Christmas, since I've never had one before. I grew up being able to actually play with all my new outdoor toys on Christmas day, like riding my bike, jumping on the trampoline, and roller skating. Since it's usually 75 degrees or more and sunny on Christmas day, that's what Christmas day is to me! White Christmases aren't the only wonderful Christmases. But someday I do want to have a white Christmas, and I'm sure it will be beautiful.

Finally... here's a full shot of our Christmas tree. I hope the cats don't destroy it too much while we're gone.Kirsten's first Christmas ornament.
At least the cats can keep each other company until we come back! I always feel bad leaving them in an empty house for an entire week (9 days this time!), but I'm glad they have each other.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

7 Months Old!

Kirsten is 7 months old now!

Her favorite things this month:
I think it's a tie between being down on the floor trying to crawl and eating solid foods. She still can't crawl (so the Christmas tree is completely safe from her), but she constantly wants to be on the floor, rolling around, moving and squirming, and trying to get her legs up under her so she can crawl. She'll get across a room, but by rolling. She's definitely a roller! She also gets very excited in the high chair, because she knows she gets solid food. Other things she loves this month:
the kitties, anything that lights up, staring at strangers until they smile at her, Christmas songs, Sesame Street, being tickled, baths, kicking her legs, and being in her stroller at the mall.
Things she can't quite do yet:
Sit up completely on her own (for a minute or two she will, but we have to be real close to catch her because she falls over. I think she can do it, but doesn't like to.), crawl, stand up, pull herself up on things, fall asleep on her own in the crib.
Comments I hear all the time:
"She has such pretty blue eyes!"
"Look at all that hair!"
"She has more hair than I do!" (usually from balding men)
"She looks like a little doll."
The Santa dress was a little small for her, but I couldn't resist dressing her in it anyway. It was hard to get her to sit up for the pictures on her own, because she kept wanting to fall over to the side. She laughed when she fell over and her hat fell off, as you can see in the picture.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Ornament Traditions

Every year at Christmastime, my mom had a tradition of giving me and my brother a new ornament for the tree. Sometimes she made them and sometimes she bought them, and it was always so fun. I loved being able to put my own ornaments up on the tree, and I always looked forward to seeing them every year. Now that I have my own Christmas tree, it's wonderful to have tons of different ornaments that I've collected over the years. I also try to find Christmas ornaments when I travel, because I love how they bring back the memories from the places I've been. I have ornaments on our tree from France, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, England, Hawaii, St. Thomas, and several other places as well. I really want to continue the tradition for my kids, so I already bought Kirsten's ornament for this year. Kirsten likes looking at all the lights on the tree, and thankfully she's not trying to get into the tree yet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Adventures In Eating...

I know this could change at any time, but so far Kirsten is a great solid foods eater! This came as a surprise to me, since I've had so many feeding problems with her since she was born. I was afraid she'd refuse to eat solid foods. But she loves them! She gets really excited when we put her in the high chair, and there hasn't been a food yet that she's refused. She's had carrots, peas, squash, sweet potatoes, rice cereal, and tonight she tried green beans. She has really liked them all, and now she'll sometimes finish a whole little jar of baby food in one sitting. It's fun to try the new foods and see her like them!Feeding her is, of course, a huge mess. She always puts her hands in her mouth, gets the food on her hands, and then smears her hands around on everything else before I can wipe her hand off. For some reason, she's always cleaner when Stephen feeds her than when I feed her. I can't figure out why that is!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Let It Snow!

Last weekend, we got snow in Seattle and it was Gorgeous!!! Stephen thinks I'm crazy to love the snow, but since I grew up in southern California and never saw it I'm still fascinated by the snow. And no, I didn't get sick of it while I was in Utah. Although I don't like driving in it, I can't think of many things more beautiful than falling snow. And what amazes me is the complete silence of the snow. It's just so quiet! It started snowing on a Saturday, the same day we got our Christmas tree, and I was afraid it would rain and just be all gone the next day. But when I got up with Kirsten the next morning and opened the drapes, I was so happy to see the snow still falling in big flakes! So I sat by the sliding glass door with Kirsten and we just watched the snow fall for awhile. It put me in the perfect Christmasey mood to decorate the tree that night!

The flakes were pretty big!

Big blue eyes and such long hair

Herbie watched the snow with us too.

It did rain later that day so all the snow was gone by Monday, but it was so beautiful while it lasted!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Tree Climber

Last December, I got our cat Herbie from a lady who had rescued him and his siblings from a box in a mud puddle. He was such a cute kitten, a tiny little ball of fluff. He was sick at first, so we had to take him to the vet and give him medicine until he got better. Right from the start, he's been both the sweetest and the naughtiest kitty we've ever seen. Here are a couple of pictures of him climbing the Christmas tree last year, when he was a kitten.

Now that he's a grown-up cat, it was with much dismay that we discovered him climbing the tree as we were putting it up! He remembered it! Now that it's all decorated, I usually have to chase him out of the tree at least once a day, and I can't count the number of times I've had to pick up a bunch of ornaments off the floor and put them back on the tree. He just doesn't leave it alone! He's always over there, batting at all the ornaments, and he's even gotten a couple in his mouth and taken them upstairs. So we don't have to protect the tree from Kirsten, but from our naughty cat. Here he is, having the time of his life I'm sure.

Decking the Halls!!

Anyone who has known me for very long could tell you that I'm a Christmas nut. This time of year makes me SO happy and I love everything to do with the holiday season! We got a 7-foot Christmas tree (real of course, not fake!!) that I've decorated with tons of ornaments, and I've also strung pine garland, put up a whole bunch of Christmas decorations, and everything else I can think of to create a Christmasey atmosphere in our house. I also love Christmas music, and it's wonderful listening to it again. I hope everyone who reads this is enjoying the Christmas season as much as I am!

Kirsten's too young of course to understand Christmas, but she does make a cute little reindeer!

Our fireplace area, all decked out!

Another example of our Christmas decor. I'll have to post some of our Christmas tree later.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Random Thing I Love #2

Homemade Eggnog! I always make eggnog the night we decorate the Christmas tree, and then again at various times throughout December. Anyone who has ever tasted my Mom's eggnog recipe knows that it's nothing like the store-bought kind. I've never liked the store-bought kind at all, since I've been so spoiled by the good stuff. If you want to make the best eggnog in the world for your Christmas season, here's the recipe!

Traditional Eggnog:
2 eggs, well beaten
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 qt. whole milk (you can also use 2%)
1 c. heavy cream, whipped
Grated nutmeg
Combine eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Gradually beat in milk. Gently fold in whipped cream. Sprinkle nutmeg on top (fresh grated from whole nutmegs is much better than grated from the jar). Chill several hours.

I like to serve mine in fun Christmas mugs, and I always grate a little extra nutmeg over the top of each glass before I serve. Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Age of Technology

If we have Kirsten on our lap while we're on the computer, she likes to put her hands on the keyboard just like we do. It's pretty fascinating to her I guess! She typed her first Instant Message the other day, and it looked something like this:
, , , ,

She can mostly just press the spacebar, and doesn't hit anything else hard enough to make it show up on the screen. I sure never did that much when I was a baby though! The first time I ever remember using a computer was on those old Apple computers at the Elementary School library, when Oregon Trail was the newest, coolest game. I loved Oregon Trail! When I was older we had that game at home and I played it over and over. I even remember getting bored playing it the normal way, so to change it up I would name all the family members after kids at school I didn't like, and then see how fast I could finish them off. Pretty awful, huh?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

So much has changed!

It's so crazy to look at Kirsten's newborn pictures and think about how much has changed in six months. She really doesn't look like the same baby at all to me! I'm amazed at how much she has already learned. When she was born, all she knew how to do was cry, sleep, and erratically wave her arms and legs. She seemed so fragile, and I was always afraid I was going to accidentally hurt her. I somehow survived the first two months of her life without doing any permanent damage to her or myself, but it's a miracle!

This picture was taken just a few minutes after she was born.
At two and a half months old

And now, six months old! Kirsten has changed in pretty much every way from that first picture. Stephen and I have changed too, although the changes are much less dramatic. We've learned that our needs don't come first anymore, and how to care for a tiny human being more than we ever thought possible.
Some new skills I've learned over the last six months:
-How to change a diaper quickly and wrap up the used one so nothing gets out
-Giving a slippery baby a bath... much harder than you'd think!
-How to make my face and voice seem happy and enthusiastic, even if I'm dead tired and frustrated
-Re-learned the words to childhood songs I'd forgotten
-Breastfeeding... the hardest part!!!
-How to maneuver a stroller through a store without knocking stuff over
-Pumping... enough said
-The fine art of rocking a baby to sleep
-How to carry an infant seat, diaper bag, and several grocery bags up two flights of stairs in the rain while keeping the baby dry and warm
-And most recently... how to spoon feed a baby who gets most of the food on her face and clothes

I'm really excited for all the new changes that will come as Kirsten learns more and gains new skills!