Friday, November 30, 2012

Bitter Beer Face

I caught Elaina making her bitter beer face a couple of days ago.  She's done it occasionally over the last couple of months, but I managed to snap a few shots this time.

Elaina, almost 10 months old.

Now for comparison, here is Chloë when she was 10 1/2 months old.

I'm not exactly sure why my babies do this, but I think it has something to do with teething.Whatever the case, I think it's hilarious.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Singing and Dancing

It's no secret that Chloë likes music.  She is constantly singing songs she knows, or making up her own little melodies.  A couple of weeks ago Bryan took me to see the local production of the musical Annie, and so naturally I found myself singing this song around the house.  Chloë picked up on it right away, and now it is one of her favorites.

There is a lot of dancing in our house.  I've only barely introduced her to a couple of ballet moves, but usually she just likes to groove to a rhythm.  

I found some tap shoes at GoodWill last month, and showed her a clip of Shirley Temple tap dancing.  I think she just might be on to something here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First Snow

We had our first real snow last week.  So I got the girls all bundled up and we went outside to play in it.

Elaina wasn't very sure about it at first.
But then she got used to the stuff.

Chloë was most interested in eating the snow.  "Good vintage," as her daddy taught her last winter.
So much snow to eat!  I tried to get Chloë to make some snow angels with me, but she was mostly just interested in eating the snow.

I even put a little snow on Elaina's snow suit to see what she thought.  She munched away at the cold stuff very seriously.

I took Elaina back inside and let Chloë stay outside for a little while (in our fully fenced and gated back yard).  I noticed she had wandered closer to house, and was enjoying the view while she snacked on snow.

She eventually came inside, and got all dried and cleaned up, and then she had some hot cocoa.

I'm sure we will be doing this a lot in the next 6 months.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Tortoise and the Hare

A couple of months ago, my dad asked if I had any epic plans for costumes for the girls.  I admitted than I did not.  He suggested that Elaina would make a good little turtle, since she was almost crawling at that point.  I loved the idea, and decided that Chloë and her high energy levels would make a perfect hare.  And so the idea of Tortoise and Hare was born.  My mom found a stuffed rabbit at Goodwill, so I washed it, cut it into pieces and made Chloë's costume.  My dad worked some magic by shaping a tortoise shell out of good ol' paper-mache, we sewed on one of my old belts, and my mom and I went to work painting it.

A few days before halloween, our church had their big annual Fall Carnival, so we dressed the girls in their costumes, and I got out the face paint.

At the Fall Carnival with my very own tortoise and hare.  (Thanks Bryan, for taking all the pictures!)
On her mark...

The Vegetable Toss game.  Chloë did pretty well from about a foot away. 

We stood in line a long time for the archery game.  I tried to help Chloë do it, but she'd never used a bow and arrow before, and wasn't quite sure how to make it all work.  At least she got some candy in the end.

I got up on the stage with both the girls for the first category of the costume contest.  They both fell into the newborn to 2-year-old category.  The infant viking on the right took 1st place, I believe.

The 15-and-up costume category.

We had to get back up on stage for the Group Costume category.

There were some pretty creative group costumes!

We got lots of candy, and had as much fun.  Chloë especially loved it all, and keeps asking for me to do her face paint.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

9 Months Old

This beautiful girl is always doing things with her tongue.  Sticking it out, curling it around, or flipping it over (upside down) like her Aunt Katie can do.  Sometimes I think she looks kinda goofy with her tongue hanging out of her mouth all the time, but I know that means she's happy.

Elaina's most recent accomplishment is cutting her two bottom teeth. And let me tell you, those are some well-earned little baby teeth. There was much, well, gnashing of teeth. Crying and whining and whimpering and fussing and chewing and gnawing and biting and moaning. One of her favorite things to chew on is an apple from the tree in our backyard. There has been some ear pulling (but no ear infections. Babies sometimes tug at their ears when there is pain in their mouth), and some low-grade temps. Lots of teething tablets and a few doses of ibuprofen and tylenol. And since we were desperate, we figured we'd see if she responded well to an amber teething necklace.The first night she wore it, we all slept better than we had in weeks.  So she's been wearing it around the clock, and seems to be doing much better.

Elaina's personality becomes more apparent every day.  She is determined, stubborn, tough, and affectionate. With all of her mobility comes lots of topples and tumbles, and sometimes she is a tripping hazard for her big sister.  She flails and flaps her arms when she gets excited, and likes to babble and make noise when she's happy. She has a sort of squawk-chrip-call that she does when she wants to beckon me.

And she really just likes to babble and chatter.

She is certainly learning how to communicate.  We aren't quite ready to claim that she's said her first word, but she will definitely mimic destinct sounds.

We've been trying to take advantage of this nice Fall weather we've been having, and spend as much time outside as possible.  Elaina loves all of the beautiful colors and crisp air, and gets very excited when we go to the park that is just up the street.  She loves the baby swing, and gasps when the cool breeze hits her face.

She loves to observe the world around her.

The first fire we've had since she was a newborn.  She seemed to like it.

Elaina also loves playing peek-a-boo games, being tickled, rubbing foreheads together, and being with her sister.  Naptime works best if the girls sleep at the same time, because if they don't, they just miss each other. They play together so well, and really entertain and occupy each other for a good portion of the morning.  Elaina also loves it when her daddy gets home from work, and bounces up and down with a silly grin on her face, and sometimes claps her hands.  She claps for all sorts of things; particularly if she hears me say "good job."

Elaina has mastered the art of crawling. We have recently reevaluated the location of everything within a couple feet of the floor, and have to be quick to get something off the floor if we don't want her to snatch it.

Sometimes she plays so hard she just passes out right where she is.  Even if she happens to be in the Johnny Jump Up.

And then sometimes she just needs a good nap with Daddy.

Last week, Elaina measured in at 28 inches (67th percentile) and weighed in right at 18 pounds (36th percentile).  So there must be some really chubby babies out there, if Elaina's chubbiness is out-chubbed by two-thirds of her peers.  She still nurses throughout the day (and night), and eats a decent amount of solid food as well.  She likes to munch on solid food, especially with the rest of us at dinner time.  She eats a lot of mashed rice and veggies, Cheerios and Rice Chex, and I found these wonderful "potato straws" (puffed, and no weird ingredients that I can't pronounce!) that she thinks are delightful. She is obviously healthy and strong, and for that we give thanks.

She had her first "real" bath last week.  Chloë needed a bath, so we decided to throw Elaina into the big bathtub.

She went absolutely nuts, flailing her arms with wild joy, scooting backwards with the movement like a little crawdad.  We had to put a towel in the tub to give her buns some friction. This was after she had calmed down quite a bit.

I love being her mama.