Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December Pictures

Here is a link to a bunch of pictures from December.

Settle In!

There is so much to update our loyal readers. So settle in for a long winter's read!

We had a wonderful Christmas. Naney, Susan & Ryan were all here to help us celebrate. Church on Christmas Eve, followed by dinner with our friends Stephen, Lindsay & Sydney. We opened our traditional Christmas Eve gift - pajamas for everyone. This year Lily, Imogene and Mommy all received matching pj's. Lily loved this! Poor thing though - she had known for several days that she got to open that one present on the 24th. One day she actually said, "Mom, I'm opening this now. I know I can't, but I'm going to." Her head was about to explode with excitement by the time she finally opened it.

Both girls actually slept past 7 on Christmas morning. Lily came right into our room and said "Merry Christmas!" Keeping yet another tradition, everyone has to be awake and ready before anyone can go see what Santa brought. So, Lily had to wait for all of us to be up and ready to go! When she did start down the stairs, I said "Lily, Santa came." She stopped dead in her tracks, with this look on her face of fear. I think she thought he was still in the living room! She walked right up to her new doll, Emily, and gave her a hug and then said "Why did Santa give this to me?" At one point during the morning she took Emily into the playroom to meet her other dolls. She actually had Emily shake hands with one of them! She was really sweet all day - kept talking about what a wonderful, amazing Christmas it was. She thanked everyone and made the day so magical. Right up until Imogene opened her new baby doll and Lily took it right away. The pictures from the day are much more fun than my ramblings, so I'll get some posted soon.

Imogene had lots of fun too - except for about 15-20 minutes during present-opening where she just bawled. She was either miserable from the FIVE new teeth that are coming in, or just overwhelmed by all of it. Her daddy, who she loves the most, got her to calm down, and the rest of her day was great. She especially loved getting to eat her breakfast and her lunch in the living room. What's not to love about being entertained while you partake in your favorite pastime - eating!?! Imogene received several of her favorite toys that she plays with in therapy.

Lily was just fun on Christmas. During dinner she said "Wow this a great Christmas dinner, wow, isn't this great Mom?" She would only eat crescent rolls and brown rice by the way! She even handled the end of the presents pretty well, but definitely wanted to open as many gifts as possible.

Aunt Susan and Mommy took Lily to see "The Princess and the Frog" Saturday afternoon. Lily sat so cute in her own seat, feet touching the edge of the chair with popcorn in between her legs and for the first 1/2 of the movie just watched and ate her weight in popcorn. Then she moved and sat in my lap and drank a juice box. With just a little bit left in the movie, and probably not coincidentally when it got a little scary, Lily started sobbing. When I asked her why she was crying, she wimpered all pathetically, "I am crying because my juice box is empty." We had to try very hard not to laugh. I really think she was just overwhelmed by all of it - the big theater, the loud-nature of the movie, and the fact that it was a just a tiny bit 'dark' - lots of voo doo and scary shadows. So we might not be ready for Disney just yet, and may stick to the classics, like "White Christmas." I mean really, what almost 4 year-old doesn't chose Bing Crosby over Snow White?

Sunday was our day to stay in the 3 year old church-school room. Naney and Aunt Susan stayed home with Imogene. Lily of course had to take Emily the doll with her (and then did not touch her the entire time). She was a riot with the other kids. One interchange between Lily and a boy named Colin, upon seeing a picture of the Princess from the movie.
Colin: "I saw that movie with my mom and my sister."
Lily: "I went to that movie at the movies with my mom and Aunt Susan yesterday. Did you see Calista (another girl at church) there? She saw it too. I'm three and a half. How old are you? Okay, let's go play with those blocks now, Colin."
At which point Colin follows.

I don't get what it is that makes Lily the little bossy-pants. I'm sure she gets it from her mother a little bit, but she used to be so afraid of other kids. At one point over the holidays, when we had neighbors over, Lily and her two friends Owen & Will come up from the basement and Lily is leading them around the house while they hold onto a jump rope. When asked what they are doing, they reply, "Following Lily." Boys, come on! Stand up to the bossy-pants!

Imogene has had some rough nights of sleep lately. We took her to see the pediatrician yesterday. Since she's had a runny nose for almost 2 months, and a cough off and on during that time, they decided to put her on antibiotics. Last night she had one of her best nights of sleep of her entire 11 months of life! Not sure if it was the antibiotics, or the tiny bit of benadryl the doctor also recommended! A huge milestone for Imogene is that she can sit herself up from laying down! What a big, big deal this is for all of us. As she gets more comfortable with this, we're hoping it will help her be less frustrated. She really wants to get up and get around more than she can. She loves to take your phone and hold it up to her ear. How quickly these babies pick up on what's going on around them! At her OT appointment today, Amy (her OT) wrapped her left arm in an ace bandage and "constrained" her so that she had to use the right. Bill reports that she handled it pretty well the first two times, but the third time she had enough! It is really hard to believe that she is going to be one year old in just two weeks!

Lily is very into having babies in her belly. She will show you her baby doll, and say, "would you like to meet my born-baby? You are supposed to say 'gratulashun' to me Mommy." At one point she told me that there was no daddy for the baby (I think this was because Bill was not here.) and I told her how that sounded tough to be by herself with a 'born' baby, and she replied "Yes, I'm trying hard to keep it up." So funny with she comes up with.

Bill took the girls out for a little bit while Naney and Mommy took the Christmas tree down. Jokingly on the way out the door Bill said "maybe they'll even have the lights off when we get back." Lily opens the door upon returning and her most disappointed/critical voice says "Oh Dad, the lights are still on the tree."

Bill and I were talking last night about how unbelievably sweet it is when Imogene reaches out/jumps out of your arms to hug Lily and love on her. She makes this cute little 'oh' sound and is just so happy to be with her favorite person. It really makes every trying or difficult moment as a parent worth it ten-fold. What lucky parents we are to welcome in 2010 with our girls!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread Tradition

For the second year we decorated a gingerbread house with Uncle Ryan. Lily decorates a little and then eats a lot of icing and candy. She is a big fan of gumdrops.

She actually said "Mom no pictures until it's done."

Visting the Big Guy in the Red Suit

We all went to see Santa today. Lily was a little anxious, but when it was over was so excited that she'd made it through. She kept saying "I did it! I saw Santa!"
Imogene felt the same way about this Santa as she did the Santa on the train.

So not happy.

They are both thinking, "what's the deal with the baby?"
Guess where Mommy is standing!

She was happy before it!

Admiring her new toy from Santa.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Catching Up on Pictures

Imogene's 11th Month Photo Shoot
She's really into feeding herself :)

Visting the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House. Lily loved the trains that ride around it. She could not stop talking about how big the tree was, and how much bigger it was than our tree at home.
Cute cute lion - she got her face painted at a birthday party!

Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow!

(this is on Saturday afternoon, when we still had so much snow left to fall!)

Here are pictures of the snow we had. Lily has really enjoyed it right up until that moment when she realizes she's freezing! She went sledding for the first time and loved it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We are in fact getting walloped by this snowstorm. It's changed some plans we had today, but it really is beautiful, and based on the weather forecast, should still be on the ground on Christmas! A White Christmas!
So far Lily hasn't even asked to go outside. She isn't a huge fan of being freezing and several times today she has said "boy, it's freezing today." She put a sweatshirt on over the summer pajamas she chose to sleep in and then said "Good thing I'm wearing a sweatshirt. It's good to wear a sweatshirt on a cold, wintery day." We have at least 8 or so inches, maybe 10? right now, and apparently the "heavy snow" is still to come.
Imogene had one of her worst nights in a while last night. Her second incisor is taking a lot longer to come in. Poor thing, it's all puffy and red where the toothbud is. Wonder if it's a coincidence that this slow-to break-through tooth is on her right side. She is doing a lot of cute baby stuff these days. She likes to put things on her head (like my glasses) to play peek-a-boo. Imogene also loves unpacking things like boxes of toys and the books on the bookshelf. It's really fun to watch her explore where she can. Sometimes I feel sad for her because I know she wants to just go go go, and she's sort of confined to the area she can worm to, and then when she gets there she can't get herself to a sitting up position to play with the toy she worked so hard to get! But she's so determined, and PT Susan says that works in her favor - feisty, determined kids do well! Susan also mentioned the other day that Imogene has good awareness of her right side. She said many hemiparetic kids have very little recognition that their affected arm will do anything, and Imogene knows her right arm is there, it just takes her a while to remember, and it doesn't have the strength or muscle tone to do what she wants it to do.
You have never seen a more tenacious, frenetic eater. This baby loves to sit and eat. You cannot put the finger food on the table fast enough for her. She will literally bang on her tray until you put food on it, and if she gets down to one or two pieces on the tray she gets very worked up. She likes to know where the next bite is coming from!
Hopefully we'll have some snow pictures to post this week, and more from last week since I should have plenty of time to download pictures this weekend while we're snowbound!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A quick update

So for all 5 of our loyal readers - a quick update. We're up to our eyeballs in Christmas baking and cooking here and the nights have been late ones, but wanted to report that Imogene has TWO new teeth. She was playing in my lap on Tuesday morning and I looked down and there is one incisor on the top sticking out, and the other one just about ready. That brings her total to 10. Yes, at 11 months (TODAY!) she has 10 teeth. I think Lily was over 1 1/2 before she had that many teeth. Oh that Imogene, never one to let things go normally.
We had a great time with Naney and then Grunny & Charlie here this weekend. I'll post pictures soon of that and of Imogene's 11 month photo-shoot. I can hardly even type about how crazy it is to me that time has flown by so quickly-only one more photo shoot, and that's for her birthday. Where has the time gone with this little baby?
Also, if you'd like to sing along with Lily to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," you should know that it's "you'll go down in sistery." NOT history, as she has told me 100 times. Also, she has volunteered to be baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant at church when she's five (you have to be in kindergarten to participate). She said she'd be happy to wear the costume. Never mind that baby Jesus is a doll. But don't call her Lily, just call her Jesus. And if they don't need a Jesus, she'll be "present-girl."
If only I walked around with a tape recorder all day, the book I could write.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Give Me My Toy!

Imogene attempting to retrieve a toy from her faster friend. Of course later when I gave it to her, she wanted nothing to do with it.

Examines the other toys available. Decides that she definitely wants the rattle back.
Maybe if I just reach really hard she'll just give it back?

Don't make me come over there.

Gingerbread Fun

With Maggie in tow, we went to decorate gingerbread houses with two other families that we've become close with through church. Five kids and two gingerbread houses and a million little candies and a ton of messy, yummy icing - it was a blast and the kids all had such a good time. And what's a gingerbread party without a little dance party to none other than Taylor Swift?(God Bless Maggie. And I'm not just saying that because she is a loyal blog-reader. We are all so thankful for her in our lives. Lily is just in love with their entire family! Who can blame her?)The moms that we were with today are such good women, and such great moms. It is always nice to spend time with them, and reminds me yet again, how lucky I feel to be a part of the Westminster Presbyterian family.

Funny Lily story. We read a wonderful book called Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown (you may know her as the author of Good Night Moon). It's such a dear story with beautiful illustrations-we highly recommend it. The words include "what child is this who is born here?" Lily screams every time we read it, "It's BABY JESUS!" Nothing gets by her.

Making a big mess and loving it.
Dance party time!
Maggie and Lily love dancing whenever they are together!

Therapy Thursday

Today was not our best therapy day. Imogene was so cranky and uncooperative. Who does she think she is? A baby? Really Imogene. We did learn what the call from Susan was about last week. They want us to start occupational therapy with Imogene. I was pretty much expecting this. Fortunately our insurance covers this, but unfortunately they do not cover both PT and OT on the same day. So we'll have to find a different day and time to go out there for OT. I know this has to be done, but boy, twice a week sounds daunting!
. Lily has a dance recital on Saturday. The dance recital is for a local assisted living facility - so we just drop her off, which is kind of disappointing. Wouldn't we love to see what Lily thinks of that!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Train 2009

We had a great time on the Walkersville, Md Santa Train on Saturday. We drove up to Frederick and visited with Bill's grandmother, and then met our friends for the fun. The best part, it was snowing the entire time. Lily was so excited about Santa when he was on the train and asked 100 times when he was coming. Then it came time for her to sit and talk to him and she would not look at him and only gave him a high-five. The best part was that Santa kept telling Lily that "mommy always visited me and sat with me each year." That's actually not true, Santa. Mommy was terrified of Santa Claus (and the Easter Bunny) and NEVER went to see him at the mall, until she was 12. That year sweet five-year-old Ryan begged her to go with him, and she did. So Mommy can't really blame Lily for her reaction. And just see for yourself what Imogene thought of the big guy. But both girls loved the train ride and Imogene was so tickled by the snow falling down and kept trying to catch it with her hand - even her right hand!
Our house is decorated for Christmas- the boxes are put away. Yeah! Lily was a big help in her own way. She adopted several ornaments and has picked out her favorite that she would like to keep once Christmas is over. Everything was "so beautiful" and her "most favorite ornament ever." She really was so cute about the whole thing. It really makes you realize how special it is to be surrounded by children this time of year. And yes, baby Jesus is still a girl. Even if he is swaddled in blue. Still a girl.

Happy Girls on the train.
Not so happy about this guy.
Her only contact with him.
But see how happy she was that he was on the train? She was just beside herself!
This guy she never liked, but he really wanted the kids to take pictures with him (Santa-envy I guess?) She really wanted him to just take her ticket and be on his way. Had to include the picture because you can just tell she's not liking this guy at all!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's beginning to look ...

like a giant mess! We have boxes everywhere in our house right now. Decorating for Christmas used to last over the course of one or two days - plus the time to do the tree. With two children in your house, it takes a week-plus! It doesn't help that every time I take something out of a box Lily takes something else out and hijacks it for her collection of things she's taking care of in the playroom. Each morning she gets an ornament in the Advent calendar. They go on her little table-top tree in the playroom, where they last about 5 minutes. Instantly they turn into a daddy or a mommy or an animal that needs her. Currently all the ornaments are taking a nap on my nice needlepoint Christmas pillow. She has asked me approximately 10 times today when Santa is coming. We are hoping to get our tree this afternoon, and I can't imagine how many times I'll have to ask Lily to put the ornaments back where she found them. I just know she'll have a special family in the playroom for them!
She loves her new stocking (she and Imogene got 'kid' stockings with their names on them) and is very curious about why Bill and I have stockings too. She does not think Santa will bring us toys since we aren't kids, but accepts that we might get things in our stocking.
Lily " Where does Santa get the toys?"
Me "He makes them with his elves in the workshop at the North Pole." (and then I waited for what followed...)
Lily "But does he know how to make the dolly I want?" (Ha! I knew that was coming.)
Me "Sometimes he shops from magazines or catalogues if he has to."
Lily "Oh that's good."

I asked her to focus on something today. She is so easily distracted and so good at procrastinating. She said "I am focusing!" To which I asked her if she knows what it means to focus. She said, "Umm no Mom I don't."

Imogene had a decent therapy session yesterday. She's really close to being able to go from laying down on her tummy/side and get herself back to sitting up. Of course we couldn't get her to show this to Susan at PT. During PT, Lily was playing rough on an exercise ball and fell over and scraped her arm, while I was trying to focus on Imogene. I only saw it because I could see her in the big mirror on the wall in the therapy room. It was a little bit of a mess of a session on that end. Lily just does not handle all that attention focused somewhere other than on her, especially when she knows I need her to play on her own - without getting hurt! So yesterday afternoon I got two calls from Susan - home and cell phone - with a message she wants to talk to me about something. She has not called back. Why do I feel like I've been called into the principal's office??????