Christmas Portraits 2011

Our Christmas cards should have arrived in most people’s mailboxes by now, so I feel like I can post these pictures on the blog now. We did our family Christmas pictures in front of our tree, like we’ve done every year since Andrea’s first Christmas. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. We got a nice family picture, good portraits of Andrea, and some great pictures of Andrea with each of us individually. The first three are what we used in our Christmas cards, and the rest are some of my other favorites.

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We saw Santa!

Sunday night our church had a Children’s Christmas Party. Andrea was enjoying the crafts when she was surprised by Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving to the party! She was too scared to approach Santa last year, and anytime I’ve tried this year. But Mrs. Claus was a lot more approachable I guess, because Andrea was pretty brave. Santa and Mrs. Claus were up on the stage, so I walked Andrea up onto the stage and left her waiting in line and walked down in front so that I could take her picture with Santa. As soon as it was her turn, she walked right up to Mrs. Claus and climbed up in her lap! She was still a little too nervous to actually sit on Santa’s lap, but she had no problem sitting right next to him and telling Mrs. Claus that she wanted a “castle doll house” for Christmas. I heard her add, “I saw it in my girl magazine.” I’m sure Mrs. Claus may have been a bit confused by that, but that’s what she calls the Target holiday toy sale flyer we got in the mail. When it arrived, Andrea went through and circled about half the toys in it.

Here’s her picture this year with Santa & Mrs. Claus:
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Other than her “princess doll house”, the other things she’s talked about most are a Disney Princess scooter (that I told her will have to wait until she’s older) and “the girl with only one sleeve”, which turned out to be the 2011 Holiday Barbie. Notice the resemblance from Andrea’s picture on her Christmas list, and the picture from the Target sale paper. She even remembered which sleeve to draw!

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I usually do a lot of pictures in my posts, but I wanted to do something different and write down some of the funny things that Andrea says all the time, so here goes:

  • “Oh my goodness!”
    She says this about all kinds of things, from the shocking to the mundane. Today it was, “Oh my goodness! I’m so sweaty!”
  • “Apparently”
    Another commonly used (and misused) word. She says things like, “My dress is dirty, apparently.”
  • “I’m afraid (that)…”
    This one cracks me up because it sounds so grown up, like she’ll say in a disappointed voice, “I’m afraid I’ll need my coat today.”
  • “You know”
    Another hilarious one to hear from a 3 year old. She sounds like such a know-it-all when she says it. She’ll tell me thing like, “Some dinosaurs eat fish, you know.” She also says it when she’s sure I know something but I have no idea what she’s talking about, like, “My pink shirt with the butterfly. You know.” And if I dare say I don’t know what she’s referring to, she’ll say, “Yes, you do. You know, Mommy. The PINK shirt. With the butterfly. YOU KNOW.”
  • “WHAT?!?”
    This is another that completely cracks me up. She has this incredulous way of saying, “WHAT?!?” whenever something is unusual or surprising. Like we saw one of those inflatable Christmas decorations the other day, and it was a Santa in a helicopter. I pointed it out and then heard from the back seat, “WHAT?!? Santa in a helicopter?!?” followed by hysterical laughter.

Another funny thing she says is at bedtime. I usually read her a book, then lay down and cuddle with her in her bed for a few minutes to make sure she gets settled. But she’s very independent, so after a minute or two, she’ll say, “When I say 10, you can leave.” Then she’ll count on her fingers, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Okay! You can leave now!” And she really wants me to get up and leave the room right that instant, or she just keeps repeating it over and over. “You can leave. I said you can leave. You can leave now, Mommy.”

She also has a lisp like thing going on when she says words that start with “fl-” like flower, floor, flip-flops. They come out sounding like sthlower, sthloor, and sthlip-sthlops. I love how cute it is, but I hope she grows out of it in the next year, so that we can avoid speech therapy. I think lisps are still pretty normal at this age though, so for now, I just enjoy it.

And she makes up words like crazy. I just asked her to say something silly and she immediately replied, “Pomma domma,” whatever that means. And if you ask her the name of her stuffed animals, she makes up crazy names on the spot every time. She’s holding a penguin now and I asked her his name and she said, “Pinga.” If there’s more than one animal, she’ll usually come up with a lot of made-up rhyming names, like “Schlomo, Domo, and Lomo.”

Another random funny I wanted to write down before I forget… She is super observant about everything, so one day, we were both wearing short-sleeved shirts and she said that our shirts were the same. I replied, “Yes, they both have short sleeves.” But she said, “No, not just short sleeves. They’re both FLAT sleeves.” I was completely confused by this, so I asked what she meant, and she said, “Some shirts have scrunched up sleeves, but this shirt has flat sleeves, like you.” After a little more discussion about what scrunched up sleeves meant, I realized she was referring to shirred cap sleeves like a lot of her shirts have, where they are gathered a bit at the shoulder (like this), versus sleeves on like a regular T-shirt or polo shirt that aren’t gathered (aka “scrunched up”). She reminded me about last night, when she brought it up again, because we all had on short-sleeves, but her sleeves were “scrunched up” and ours weren’t.

Speaking of wearing short-sleeves yesterday, it was AMAZING weather. A record-breaking 70 degrees on December 14th! And it’s even warmer today. We went to the playground after I picked her up from preschool and had such fun. She’s even starting to do the monkey bars without help (she made it a few rungs before she got nervous and wanted me to grab her), and was really brave about climbing up in the tower thing that she’s always been afraid of before. Here’s a picture of her on the slide. This was before we changed into short-sleeves, in the creative outfit she put together for school, because she had been begging to wear the pink skirt for a while.

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Christmas Artwork!

How has it been a week since I last updated the blog??? Oops. We’ve obviously been busy. I still haven’t had a chance to finish going through all the pictures from our trip, so those updates will have to wait, but I did have some of Andrea’s artwork that I wanted to show off… At this point, she’s about as good at drawing as I’ve ever been. LOL!

We got out the tempera paint a couple of times last week, and both times she wanted to paint Rudolph. The first one was in rainbow colors (she loves coloring/painting things in rainbow colors), but the second time she did it in brown and red, just like Rudolph. I was so impressed! πŸ™‚

She’s also gotten really good at coloring/painting inside the lines, and has been doing that at every opportunity, so I offered to draw something for her to fill in with paint. She requested a Christmas tree (notice the rainbow colors she used):

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Summer in December?

Since we were out of town for Thanksgiving, we just pulled out our Christmas decorations this past weekend. Saturday morning we put up the tree, then Saturday afternoon, we played in the leaves. Sunday was busy with church stuff and some work we had to do inside, so today I wanted to get outside to hang Christmas lights. Andrea has been mesmerized by even the dinkiest light displays in other people’s yards, so I wanted to put a decent amount up in our own yard this year. Plus, we’re actually going to be home for Christmas to enjoy our lights and decorations for a while this year. (Not to mention the fact that I wanted to actually use some of the new LED lights I got on super-clearance when our local BJ’s Wholesale Club went out of business earlier this year!)

Anyway, I went out about 2:30 after picking Andrea up from school and running some errands. Andrea came outside to “help me” and play while I hung lights. We both lasted about 20 minutes before realizing the long-sleeved shirts we had on were way too warm. It was over 70 degrees outside! I changed into a T-shirt, and Andrea had been wearing a sleeveless dress over a long-sleeved shirt, so I took her shirt off and put the dress back on without it. MUCH better. Andrea has been begging to wear short-sleeves ever since I switched over her wardrobe for fall, so she was thrilled. I couldn’t believe it was warm enough to be hanging Christmas lights in short-sleeves!

A little while later, a neighbor girl saw us and came over to visit and play with Andrea. They played sidewalk chalk, bubbles, tried a couple of games of hopscotch and hide-and-seek (Andrea was outmatched by the 8-year-old neighbor girl), and threw the ball around for a bit. I was so impressed that Andrea was so good about staying in our yard – even when her friend darted across street or when one of her balls rolled into the road, Andrea ran to the edge of the driveway and then stopped in her tracks. She’s not great in parking lots still, but at least she knows not to run into our street! I must be doing something right. πŸ˜‰ At some point, the other girl heard the ice cream truck off in the distance and ran inside for some money. I didn’t really want to buy Andrea anything from the ice cream truck, but I knew she’d want something if her friend got something, so I grabbed my wallet and took her across the street to buy an ice cream sandwich (her favorite treat ever since her Granddad introduced them to her at the lake this summer). Andrea had never seen an ice cream truck before (other than on Dora), so she was pretty excited about the adventure, as well as the ice cream sandwich.

The girls sat down together on one of our front steps, and were so cute eating their frozen treats outside – in DECEMBER – that I ran inside to grab my camera of course. They hid and yelled “Boo!” when I came back outside (the neighbor girl’s idea I presume?), but they happily sat back down on the step to continue eating their ice cream while I snapped a few pictures. Andrea was in dreamland about playing out with an older girl and eating an ice cream sandwich, so she wouldn’t acknowledge my requests for her to look at the camera, but I liked this one of her making a coy little smile while taking a bite of her ice cream…

Eating a treat from the ice cream truck and playing outside with a friend, wearing a sleeveless dress. All while Mom hung Christmas lights - on Dec. 5th!

Oh, and I’ll post pictures of the lights later. I need to buy a couple more extension cords to get all the new light sets plugged in. πŸ™‚

Playing in the Leaves (We’re back!)

We’ve been on vacation for the past couple of weeks, so I haven’t been posting much. I haven’t finished going through all the pictures from our travels, but when I do, I’ll have some more posts about our trip. We had a lot of fun visiting family in both Washington and Utah. But today we had some fun back home in Atlanta. Yay!!! We needed to clear the yard of all the fall leaves, so my husband blew them into a big pile in the backyard and then I took Andrea out to play in the leaves. She loved playing in the leaves last year and asked all year long when we could go out and play in the leaves again, so she was ridiculously excited that it was finally time. Of course I brought my camera out and captured some of the fun. I had a REALLY hard time narrowing down my favorites, so there are a bunch of pictures in this post. She was just having such a great time, I kept snapping pictures and I got several winners. πŸ™‚

I swear this child thinks she’s a model. I didn’t pose her for this at all…
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