Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Help Me Win a Free Couch?

Friends, I have a request.

I would love to replace this ugly, uncomfortable couch with a new one. A local furniture store wants to give someone a brand new couch for free.  It's simple: the picture with the most "likes" wins.  Just  log into your facebook, then follow THIS LINK and click "like." No signing up for anything, or giving your personal information to anyone. The voting ends tomorrow (the 28th).  There are only 33 couches in the running, and right now the winning couch only has 127 "likes."  

The fabric is really pretty fantastically awful.
But the worst part is the torture one must subject themselves to while sitting on it.
It looks like it should be one of those perfectly comfortable couches.  But ooooh no.  Half of the springs are broken, and one fears that they might actually fall into the crack between the seat cushions and the back cushions.

So yes, here is a shameless request asking for a little help in winning a free couch.  Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dancing in the Living Room

Last week, Chloë found the leotard I got for her at a garage sale last summer.  It's still a little too big, but she insisted on wearing it.  So we put together the most ballerina-esque outfit I could come up with.

She has a very cheesy camera grin.  Here are her best ballet moves.

She's getting so big.

I loved her little bun, with her little pink bobby pins holding all of her fine wispy hairs in place.

Her hair is just so wispy and fine that cute little up-dos don't stay in place for long.

It seems like she always does something strange with her mouth if she feels awkward or shy; putting her fingers in her mouth, or sticking her tongue into her cheek.

I don't think dance moves get any more awkward than this.

Then she just started grooving to the imaginary music.

Here are a few of her moves.

Maybe someday we'll put her in some sort of dance lessons.  Or tap dance.  Or gymnastics.   In the meantime, the living room is a pretty good place for dancing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quotes and Faces

Chloë says so many odd and hilarious and sweet things.  I have been attempting to write a few of them down.

Using a very whiny voice, "My face is too dusty.  It's not very good to smell."

Carrying around her stick horse: "She's lovely... and kind.  And the biggest I've ever seen!"

Randomly during dinner, "When I was born, I was waking up."

Snuggling with Chloë one night before bed, I was explaining how blessed she was to have a warm house and a mama and daddy that love her.  "Some little girls don't have a mama or daddy, or a warm house," I explained.  "Well," she said, after thinking for a second, "we could babysit to them."

The other day, I had the camera out and took lots of pictures of my pretty girl.

I sure do love this amazing kid.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Year Old

She's one.  My baby.  My little girl.  That was really fast.

She's mastering the art of communication.  Mimi and Papa came to town on her birthday, and when Mimi walked in the door, Elaina pounded her chest with her open palm, pointed to Mimi, and reached towards her.  Meaning, "will Mimi please hold me?" 

Her vocabulary is taking off.  The words I'm aware of are: Daddy, Mama, Uh-oh, Amen: "aaaa-meh!" tickle: "gee-gow," thank you: "gay-goo," balloon: "bwoo," happy: "ap-ee."  She also says "ta-da!" in a really cute little high-pitched voice. When she says "hi," she waves, but when she says hello ("oh?"), so presses the palm of her hand against her ear like she's answering a telephone.  When she cries, she wails a quite discernable "ow-ieeee" which is really quite pathetic.  When she's hungry or wants food, she's started saying "ah-me," and usually points to the cupboards of fridge.  I can't figure out if she's trying to say yummy or hungry, but either way, she gets her point across pretty well. 

She's been asking about her daddy frequently.  It's really adorable.

As cute as her talking is, I think she communicates her displeasure or disaproval more than anything.  Meaning, she fusses a lot.  Usually it's because I can't hold her every second of every day.  I'm pretty good at doing some things with her on my hip, but it's tricky to say, cut up raw chicken while holding a baby.  The poor little thing must think her world is ending when I have to put her down.  She makes quite the heart-breaking sobs, and recently started using her chubby little hand to cover her mouth while she cries.  It is so dramatic!  And slightly adorable.  Although really just mostly heart-breaking. 

We've been using "shhh," while putting our finger to our lips.  Last week during church, Elaina seemed to think it was a fun game.  We would stick the tip of her index finger into her nose, purse her lips, and inhale as loudly as possible through her nose.  I had a difficult time not laughing out loud in the middle of the sermon.

Speaking of laughing, she has a great fake laugh.  If everyone starts laughing at something, she doesn't want to be left out, so she'll pipe up with her hilarious little fake laugh.

She likes doing anything that she sees us doing.  Reading books (and making sure they aren't upside down), singing and dancing, and playing with her new hinged puzzle from Grams.

Riding the rocking moose (with or without accompaniment) is a favorite activity.

More than anything in the world, I think, she loves stairs.  This was her third of fourth scaling in as many minutes, so some of the excitement had worn off.  If it's been a few hours, and I ask if she wants to go downstairs, she speed crawls for the basement door as fast as her chubby arms and legs will take her, half shrieking, half laughing, practically hysterical with excitement.

She's surprisingly good at going up or down the stairs.  Of course we still leave all the doors to our staircases closed, lest she spend all day long climbing stairs.

Apparently she's noticed when people take little sips of a drink, and then let out a sigh of "aaaah."  Because she started doing it.  She's kind of a picky eater, but I guess that isn't totally unexpected.  She loves good bread, and she's been eating souvlaki meat every day this week.  Now if we could just get her to eat more vegetables.  She likes to gnaw on veggies, but she doesn't really want to eat them.  In fact, at her birthday party last week, she preferred to chew on a stick of celery rather than eat the pink cake that was in front of her.  Strange little kid.

Unimpressed with the man-shaped pancakes I made the morning of her birthday.  You win some, you lose some, I guess.

She likes putting things on her head.  As in, just taking any random thing, and setting on top of her head.  Toys, socks, food, you name it.  The toys and socks aren't that bad, but the food can get messy.  So we're trying to discourage the food, but everything else is fair game.  Want to put sister's napkin on your head?  Go for it.  I should have grabbed my camera last week, because she spent most of dinner with a corn chip sitting neatly on her head.  What a funny little kid.

When the day is done, she's still my cute little cuddly baby.  Especially if she has a corner of material to rub.  Like the corner of a blanket or pillowcase.  She'll just grab it and stroke the tip of the corner with her little index finger.  Sometimes, she prefers to snuggle with her daddy, because he wears shirts with collars... which have corners for her to rub!  I've heard of other children having a corner-rubbing fetish, but it really is pretty funny.  If we're snuggling somewhere, she'll likely squirm around until she finds a corner of a pillowcase or something to rub.  It's strange.  But it reminds me a little bit of her older sister's thumb-rubbing tendencies.

And so, we have dubbed her "little girl," and no longer "baby."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Elaina's Birthday Party

We had a very pink first birthday party for Elaina on Saturday evening.  Almost everyone wore something pink, and of course there were pink balloons and pink presents and pink cake.

I made a huge pot of souvlaki, and dozens of pitas, and then my whole family (except Samuel) and Bryan's whole family came to eat dinner and celebrate!

Giving kisses to the birthday girl.

Singing Happy Birthday!
The white cake I made, but I used food coloring to make it a pink ombre.  I made a cream cheese butter cream frosting that turned out pretty well, too.
Elaina just sort of picked at it.  She didn't devour it with delight the same way her big sister did on her first birthday.
Bryan thought to grab my iPhone and get a video.

Everyone in pink!  Or at least, various shades of red.

Opening some presents.

Her first baby doll from her mama and daddy.

Digging into the gift bags.

Curious about her distorted reflection on the birthday card.

The children looking at and playing with all of the new things.

Holding two of my favorite two babies.  They're a lot bigger than they were six months ago
It was a fun time.  We are quickly outgrowing our living room.  Maybe we'll have to move into a bigger place at some point.

The next day, Elaina was giving her new baby doll some snuggles. 

I asked my sister to take pictures, so thanks for being my personal photographer, Katie! 
Most photographs taken by Katherine Botkin.