Thursday, December 31, 2009

Word for the Year - Steer

Some of you may recall that each year I pick a word that will be a guiding force for me for that year.

In 2008, it was create
In 2009, it was choose

For 2010, my word is steer.
Steer- verb: to guide or direct the course, to pursue a course of action.

I got the idea of the word for the year from Ali Edwards. You can read about her word for this year here. And you can find her list of words here.

If you decide to have a word for your year, please share it with us here.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!







Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Treasure Bag

Kylie has a bag of treasures. It's a little 4" x 5" soft, black, drawstring bag. Kylie likes picking out each day what she considers a treasure and putting it in her bag.
Today's treasures are:
  • a spinning top decorated with the stars from the Dora the Explorer show. This is from the goodie bag from her friend Amelia's birthday party.
  • baby doll and teddy bear from the dollhouse her Nana gave her.
  • a stone giraffe from her Grandpa.
  • a hard plastic red flower.
  • a purple ring
  • a cloth "love" disk from her Grandpa. This actually is a towel that will expand when it gets in water. My mom gave Kylie one a while back. Kylie freaked out when it expanded; she preferred the original shape. So when I told Kylie what this was like that towel, she quickly put it in her bag and told me to leave it alone.

    I love that she has these little touchstones that bring her joy.

    I finished my Shutterfly book of my two days in DC with my Dad. If you are interested, you can view it here.
    Washington DC Shutterfly Book
  • Monday, December 28, 2009

    Anyone else?

    Is anyone else tired from the past week's activities?

    What a unique Christmas we had! My dad stayed with us for a week. Karen stayed home with Kylie while Dad and I toured the National Gallery of Art and walked the Mall to see the Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial on Christmas Eve. And on the day after Christmas, he and I toured the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History. We packed in as many sites as we could and still he went home with so much left unseen. We happily used the Washington Metro and looked like complete tourists with my various maps and cameras. I took over 500 pictures. My mind swims in just thinking about picking a few to share with you on the blog. So instead, I'll just show you this one of Kylie.


    It was fantastic for Kylie and I to have my Dad for a whole week. And over our recent funeral and this trip, I feel so much closer to his partner Margarita. Dad and Margarita are the kind of low-maintenance guests anyone could wish for. But still, it took me the better part of two days to take down the Christmas tree/decorations and put the house back in order.

    There is so much I want to do: review and develop the recent photos, create some scrapbook pages on Christmas but there are some other tasks like menu planning and finance tracking that are pulling me away from the fun, creative stuff.

    And I really need to work on some arts & crafts and other projects for Kylie. Her winter classes don't start until January 11th and it's just too cold to spend much time outside, so we have LONG days to fill here at home.

    It's easy to get overwhelmed just thinking about it. So for now, I'll sign off and share some more "good-bye Christmas tree" photos of sweet Kylie.



    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Family at Christmas

    My Dad and his girlfriend, Margarita arrived on Monday after braving the snowy roads. On Monday night, we opened our presents for one another and on Tuesday Kylie opened a few presents from her Grandpa. I love early presents. It gives Kylie a chance to really appreciate a few at a time.

    She's really gotten the hand of ripping off the paper.

    We had some high jinks including Margarita putting a stocking on her head. Dad made the funniest face (embarrassment + trying not to laugh) which made this picture even funnier.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    What's a girl to do?

    There is really deep snow outside and three more days until Christmas.....what should a little girl do?

    Why, hug Santa and make goofy faces at the camera, of course!

    On Sunday, Karen and I spent over four hours digging out just one of our cars and half our driveway. We knew the snow was coming but did one of us stop and get a snow shovel, nooooo. So we were shoveling with a garden spade, a rake and a broom. And I was trying to kick the snow out the driveway. We made quite a sight! Finally, one of our neighbors took pity on us and offered us her snow shovel. Regardless, we were both completely sore the next day from all the shoveling and kicking. And on Monday, we got to shovel some more. And again today. Yeesh! At least our cars are finally out. And, like everyone else around here, we have a six foot snow bank on both sides of our drive.

    Kylie wants to go running around in the snow and gets frustrated when she takes a step in it and gets buried up to her waist. But she made do with staying on the shoveled path, learning to make snowballs and eating icicles.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    10 new things about Kylie


    1. Bears. Kylie is in love with the build-a-bears that Aunt Amy and Uncle Tony sent with Karen's mom. Kylie has a pink one named Amy bear and a blue one named Tony bear. We've been in a build-a-bear store a few times with Kylie with the intention of getting her a bear but Kylie has been too distracted and we've put it off. I'm delighted that she loves these made-for-her bears so much.


    2. Dollhouse. Karen's mom also brought a hand-me down dollhouse with furniture and people. Kylie plays with it throughout the day. Ah, the magic of new toys!

    3. Chapstick. Kylie has learned to open my nightstand, get out my chapstick, take the lid off and apply some to her lips. She rolls it down, puts the lid on and returns it when she's done. The whole thing amuses me which is why I took this picture of her doing it with my iPhone.

    4. Watercolor method. Kylie loves to watercolor and asks to do it every day. The curious thing is that she always paints the colors in the order of the paint bin. First the brown, the purple, the blue and so on. She never gets out of order. When she gets to the end, she starts over again. She's very intent on the way she wants to paint and doesn't like it when I make suggestions. If I happen to tell her it is pretty before she's finished, she sighs and says, "It's not done yet."

    5. Viewfinder. We bought Kylie a viewfinder a while ago and she's mostly used it as a pretend camera. She's just now really gotten the hang of it.

    6. Stickers and sticker books. Kylie has gotten to the stage where she adores stickers. Fortunately, she prefers reusable stickers. To make it less frustrating for her, I peel off the stickers and put them on a small square of wax paper. Then I tear the corresponding page from the book. When she's finished with them, I put the page and the square of stickers on wax paper into a sheet protector. The sheet protectors are in a three-ring binder. This took a bit of set-up to do but was completed during a few nights while Karen and I were watching tv. Karen laughed at the assembly line I had set up but it was so worth it. Now Kylie can complete the sticker page by herself and I can do useful things like cook dinner uninterrupted.

    If you have little ones, give this sticker book method a try! We have some sticker books as Christmas presents for her but so far my favorite one have been Elmo's World Super Sticker Book and the Sesame Street Super Sticker book.

    7. Freckles. Kylie has her first two freckles. The first one that appeared is on her left thigh. The second one is on her right arm.

    8. Shoes. She's finally learned to put her shoes on the hall table where they belong instead of flinging them near the door when she takes them off.

    9. Crying. After Kylie calms down from crying, she always says reflectively, "I cried a little bit" as if she's playing back the events in her mind.

    10. Snow. One more belly shot because it's stinkin' cute. And yes, we have TONS of snow. It was too deep for Kylie to really play in but she gave it her best effort.






    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    What Kylie is reading - weeks of Dec 7 & 14


    Sorry you haven't seen a blogpost from me in a while. My grandmother (my father's mother) passed away on Saturday, December 12th. I went to the funeral in TN while Karen's mom came to stay with Kylie here in VA. My other grandmother (my mother's mother) was in the hospital for a few days too and I was there so I could be with her. She came home on Tuesday and I drove home to VA last night.

    Kylie's Nana (Karen's mom) brought Kylie some wonderful toys. I'll share more about them later. I also have several post-it notes taped to my computer with some interesting things about Kylie that I want to share with you too. For now, I'm settling back to my daily routine with Kylie and trying to get back into the Christmas spirit.

    Here are some lovely books that Kylie has enjoyed the last 2 weeks.

    Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver
    This is a beautiful book. It is a joy to read to Kylie over and over. I can't imagine that you don't know the tune to the John Denver song. But if you don't, there is a cd enclosed with the book with his song. This book is now on Kylie's wish list.

    Captain's Purr by Madeleine Floyd
    We read this one a lot. It's a story about Captain the cat's day: eating, sleeping, roaming. And it has a bit of whimsy. Captain rows a boat to the house of his cat girlfriend each night. They sit in the boat together, under the stars and hold paws. The watercolor pictures are realistic and sweet. I highly recommend this one.

    The Cantaloupe Cat by Jan Yager
    Keeping with the cat theme, we enjoyed this lovely book that also depicts a cat's day. It has black-and-white drawings highlighted with orange.

    My Pony by Susan Jeffers
    From School Library Journal review: The pigtailed narrator of this enchanting story wants a pony of her own. Her parents tell her that a horse is too expensive and that they don't have enough room, so she draws pictures of a horse. Her art takes her to a magical world where she rides a beautiful, dappled silver horse through forests and clouds. When she returns from her journey, she is happy because her imaginary animal "waits just outside my window. Always." Get this one from your library. It's awesome.

    Can You Make a Piggy Giggle? by Linda Ashman
    A nice rhyming story about a boy and some farm animals who try to make a pig giggle. It always brought a smile to Kylie's face.

    1,2 I Love You by Alice Schertle
    From Booklist review: As the title implies, this picture book offers a counting rhyme with an affectionate tone. A mother elephant addresses her little one as they engage in a variety of child-centered activities, such as marching with trumpet and drum, playing hide-and-seek, and riding on a little train. The numbers climb from 1 to 10 in the first half of the book, then descend until the end, when the little elephant goes to bed and to sleep. The rhythmic, rhyming verses are mildly engaging. Executed in a looser and more informal style than in many of McCully's previous books, the colorful artwork features playful, large-scale paintings of the elephants and, on every spread, details of two little mice intent on their own activities.

    Duck Tents by Lynne Berry
    I liked this one more than Kylie. I thought the illustrations were adorable. It's a story about some ducks that go camping.

    Goldilocks and the Three Bears Retold by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock
    Kylie often asks me to tell (not read) her a story. She starts it off for me by saying, "Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away"...So I got this one to remember exactly how the Goldilocks story goes. I liked this version of the story.

    And now, here are some pictures of our lovely girl.



    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    Just a few photos

    I held her long stick and shook it (we were pretending she was the fisherman and I was the fish) and managed to shoot this picture too.

    Our backyard is a big ole mudpatch. But we still get out and play.

    Studying her reflection. This jacket keeps her very warm. But it's so scream-at-me bright in photos. It'll probably drive me crazy before Spring.

    Most of the time, if she watches tv, this is the position she gets in. She loves to rock herself on that footstool. And it's not that cold in our house. The kiddo just likes hats.

    It's not all fun and games.


    Thank heavens for the creative bliss of scrapbooking.

    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    Love those early presents

    We put up our Christmas tree on Saturday while a couple of inches of snow fell outside. Kylie said, "Thank you for putting together my tree. It's beautiful!"

    Saturday night our mail was delivered and we had a Christmas package from Kylie's Aunt Amy. She said she wanted Kylie to go ahead and open her presents so she could enjoy it all month long.

    I LOVE early presents and Amy picked some perfect ones. She gifted Kylie with her first Sock Monkey, an adorable stuffed white dog that fits into a red, dog-sized purse, and some awesome Sock Monkey dishes with tea pot.



    Kylie sat right down and had a tea party for her new friends. Thank you Aunt Amy!

    Amidst the decorating and snow and such, I was still able to create these two scrapbook pages. I hope you had as much fun as I did this weekend.