Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Welcoming Winter

We can't believe it is already December.  November went by so fast for us and we had lots going on.  But now that we have finished all the fall festivities, we are ready to welcome in winter.
Here is what we did last month:

Charlize and I went for our last visit to the Playground of Dreams.  It was a little chilly but we needed to get one more last run in before it got too cold.

While we were there, Charlize discovered the fun of crunching leaves under her shoes:

She practiced jumping and crawling through tunnels:

And she enjoyed just being outside playing:

Now that the weather is getting cooler, we have moved the fun indoors.  Charlize has had fun discovering new things to play with inside.

One of her favorite things to do is learn new words and copy what mom and dad are doing.  She loves to  jibber-jabber, especially with a phone in her hand.  I didn't realize that I spent so much time on the phone while also multi-tasking until I saw Charlize copying me.  She loves to walk around with a phone squished between her shoulder and ear waving her hands around.

Charlize is still obsessed with the camera-- as soon as she sees me recording, she wants to see the screen so   here are two really quick clips of her answering the phone:

Besides learning new words and talking on the phone, Charlize LOVES to read books.  She enjoys when we read to her but she can also be found reading to herself.  I tried to sneak up on her and catch her in the act but she saw me, so here is another quick clip of her reading:

Charlize also loves babies.  She loves to wrap them up, pack them around and give them kisses.  We recently inherited a baby station from a friend that includes a crib.  She has had a hard time sharing the crib with her babies because she wants it for herself:

Besides her babies, Charlize has also fallen for her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal.  I wanted to familiarize Charlize with some of the Disney characters before we go on our Disney trip and I thought buying this would help out.  It really has--she packs her Minnie doll around all over the place and has learned to say "Minnie."  Last night I couldn't get her to put it down and she ended up falling asleep with it.  She is so cute and I'm glad she has learned to love Minnie.  I just hope a life-size one won't scare her too bad.

Charlize is such a busy girl and is always discovering new things to do on her own.
Here are a few of those things-
1. She enjoys helping me unload the dishwasher, pull clothes out of the dryer, and dust
2. She loves playing with stickers and scribbling in coloring books
3. If she is sitting on the bathroom counter while I get ready in the morning, she enjoys turning on and off the light--this makes it very interesting for me.
4. She still loves to give kisses, especially to her dolls and Minnie Mouse
5. She loves to cuddle in big piles of blankets and pillows.  She has learned the word "poe" for pillow but she uses that word for blankets and pillows and now I catch myself calling a blanket a pillow.
6.  She really does mimic the adults in her life--especially me (I guess it's a compliment).  The funniest one is her stretching poses.  I have been taking her to work-out class with me and she dances and stretches right along with us and throughout the day I catch her stretching or doing squats. So cute!

And of course, Charlize still loves to dance.  Here is one of our favorite videos-

When life isn't so busy, I try to come up with new exploration activities for her to do at home.  Last month I posted some of those activities.  Here are a few more we stumbled upon that has kept the cute little girl very busy.

Left-over craft supplies and marbles:

I dug through my craft drawers and found pipe-cleaners, popsicle sticks, pom-poms, clothes pins, and marbles, added a few bowls and it became a new favorite activity.
Charlize had lots of fun moving the items from one bowl to the next, stirring them, dumping them out and starting all over again.  This one kept her busy for long periods of time on more than one occasion.

Another fun activity was finger painting with yogurt.  I used yogurt (with a little bit of food coloring) because I wasn't sure if I wanted her to eat the finger paint but I wanted it to be safe just in case she tried to.  She kept bringing the paint brush close to her mouth and looking at me to see if it was okay, so I finally let her taste it.  After that we did more finger eating than finger painting but I know she had fun with this one.

 Trying to get the hang of the brush

 Deciding it is more fun to paint herself than the pan

 Just finishing her first taste of the "paint"

Forgetting about painting and focusing on eating

We came upon one of Charlize's favorite activities by accident.  After Charlize and I got done making cookies (she is very good at helping me mix stuff up), I needed to wash some of the dishes by hand.  Charlize insisted on helping me with this.  So, when all the dishes were done, I filled the sink up with clean water and dish soap and let her have at it.

When we aren't spending time at home, we are usually out with Charlize's grandparents.

One afternoon, we met my parents at Round Table Pizza for lunch and Charlize and Grandpa waited for their pizza in the arcade room.  It looks like they had lots of fun:

Taking turns driving-
I'm not sure who was the better driver!

Charlize showing Grandpa how to bust a move

On another evening, we met Nick's parents at the mall to do a little shopping.  Grandpa Wright thought Charlize might enjoy a little break:

Charlize had fun just sitting in all the toys but I couldn't resist dropping in a few quarters.  Grandpa thought she might be a little unsure when the car started moving . . . and I think he was right:

Even though Charlize had fun on the ride, I think she prefers the rides at Grandma Wright's house a little better.  She enjoys spending time on the rocking horse and the small rocking chair.

Charlize really does enjoy playing on furniture that is fit for little ones, so this makes me very excited about the Christmas present that her Dad and Grandpa Warren have just about finished making.

Here are some pictures of the boys cutting wood for the play kitchens Charlize and Jocelyn will be getting for Christmas:

I took several photos that night and after Nick and I got done looking at them, he said "It looks like I did more watching than helping that night."  Grandpa Warren did do a lot of work and we are very grateful for him but Nick has also done a lot of painting.  I think there is just one thing left to paint and put on and we will be all set for Christmas.

Thanks guys for putting in so much time and work to make this happen!

We had a couple of big events the week of Thanksgiving.

First, Charlize's Aunt Samantha flew in from Maryland for all the festivities.  Charlize hadn't seen Sam for awhile and usually doesn't warm up to people very quickly, but after just a few minutes of Sam playing with her, Charlize had found a new best friend.
Here are some pictures of Sam, Haley and Brenda visiting Charlize at our house:

Charlize had lots of fun pulling out all of her toys from the closet, reading books and especially tossing the ball around:

Our next big event was Thanksgiving brunch at Grandma Wright's followed by the Mathews Family Thanksgiving Dinner at the church.  It was an eventful day and Charlize had so much fun!

Hanging out at Grandma's house:

Sam quickly learned how much Charlize loves the camera--especially the one in the phone.  So, Sam and Charlize took lots of fun pictures that week.  Here are a few:

After eating at Grandma's we headed to the church for a second meal.  The food and company was great but I think Charlize enjoyed the activities at the kiddie table best:

Charlize's cousin, Rachel, was such a good helper all week.  She hung out with Charlize and played with her and helped me keep an eye on her.  I think both girls had so much fun.
Here they are coloring their Thanksgiving pictures.
Thanks Rachel!!

Charlize also had fun hanging out with the boys and playing with cars.

And then, finally, the day after Thanksgiving, the awaited day arrived--Quentin and Rebecca's wedding.

What a cute couple!  We are so happy for them.

Friday morning, we spent some time putting together the food for the luncheon.  Charlize made herself at home in grandma's pantry-

And spent some time hanging out with her cousin Jayden-

Grandma Wright did an amazing job setting up the luncheon.  The food was delicious, the decorations were beautiful and the little ones loved having their own table.  Charlize enjoyed eating lunch with the other little kids, in her own little chair, surrounded by PB+J, animal crackers, crayons and stickers.

After the luncheon, we had some down time so we hung out at the church, took some more pictures and waited for the happy couple.

Here is our cute little girl enjoying the temple grounds:

"I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday" . . .
I don't think she can wait any longer, she wants to go there today!

After the wedding, we had a nice reception at the church.  Charlize and I had to go home early so she could get to bed.  But, dad got to stay and revisit his dancing days-

Now I know where Charlize gets it from.

After all the festivities died down, we decided it was time to put up a Christmas tree and decorations.  Since we are in a small apartment, we couldn't put up our big tree so we downsized to a small, simple one, but Charlize still had fun helping us decorate.

Charlize got a Minnie Mouse ornament from Nick and I this year since we are going to Disneyland.  Now that she knows who Minnie is, she just loves to look at her ornament.

"Yep, I think it looks pretty good."

One last exciting bit of news:
This past week Charlize turned 18 months old and went to her first day of nursery.  I know I had a harder time with this milestone than she did.  I was very glad that she didn't cry when we left her but I wanted to know she was going to miss me a little bit.
Her nursery leaders said that she had so much fun and played well and only stopped a couple of times to call "mommy" and then go right back to playing.  When I went to pick her up at the end of church she seemed torn between running up to me and staying on the floor with the toys.
We are so proud of our little independent girl.

And now that Christmas is in the air we thought we would share a little Christmas treat with you.  Nick was asked to sing a few songs with some other men for a church activity.  Here is one of those songs.  Enjoy!

We are very excited about our trip to Disneyland for Christmas and we hope you'll check back with us to see how it went.  Until then, we hope you and your families are well and that you have a very merry Christmas!!