Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas program, 2012

Olivia and Leo's first Christmas program was super sweet. Nicholas and I got there at about 9:45, and while we waited for the program to begin, they showed pictures of the children rehearsing on the projectors. I teared up. It was so cute to see the kids doing things without us. Just adorable. Nicholas videoed the whole program and did a great job, but I cannot seem to get it uploaded. Our video camera is AWESOME (thank you, Bill and Tamara!), but I am too ignorant to work well with it. Soon! The videos are really, really cute! In the mean time, here are some pictures from the new camera!

The older kids came on stage first and did a couple of songs. Then Olivia's class came out. There were angels and animals in her class. Olivia's halo immediately came off her head, and she handed it to her teacher. Then she saw me and waved and smiled.

And sang the first song: Silent Night. About half way through, she couldn't see me, I think, and began to look for me...

And got a little upset.

Then Leo came in with the shepherds, as cute as can be. And Olivia started to cry, so I went and got her off stage. That was the end of the program anyway. I asked her why she was upset, and she said that I wasn't talking. I said that I was in the audience and the audience was supposed to stay quiet. She said she just wanted me to talk. Sweet girl!

I definitely think Leo was the cutest and snuggliest lamb!

And after the program each class, except Leo's, had a birthday party for Jesus. So, off came the costumes...

And here comes the fun! Olivia loved having Mommy and Daddy in the room with her. (Sorry, Nicholas took photos of me with the kids, but I forgot to return the favor, and he didn't ask! Whoops!)

I brought Leo from his room to the party!

And everyone had cake!

Leo liked being in the big kids' room.

But was glad to have Mommy, too.

Olivia enjoyed showing off her "baby brother, Leo."

And Leo enjoyed showing off his almost walking skills.

Leo wanted cake, too.

Olivia got a case of the sillies.

And we all had a good time. Both kids were excited to come home early, too!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Pennas came to town! Hooray!

Dear Diary,

It is happening! The Pennas came to town, and the kids played together enough so that we actually could have a little visit! It was awesome! They stopped by on their way to see their family for the holidays in Dallas. We had dinner together and the kids played while the adults got some visiting time! Olivia and Christopher are just six months apart, and Olivia was pretty ready to play with both boys, which I attest to this year at school. The boys were super well behaved for just having spent five and a half hours in a car. I see lots of visiting time in our future! We love the Pennas! Thanks for stopping, Juliet and Tony!

Dear Diary, 12/22/2012 -- It's been a while!

Dear Diary,

It's been a while, and I haven't keep to my goal of writing at least once a week. Don't worry, I have several entries to catch up on. Nicholas has been in the process of backing up my computer so that he can take it in to have the hard drive replaced. Apparently, Apple recalled them, so I haven't had easy access lately. And life has been happening. Here are some random pictures before I get to a more pointed entry.

A favorite outdoor game came inside with the cold and rainy weather. Daddy agreed to "drag" the kids around the house!

Leo often joins Olivia in her toddler bed for story time. Nicholas went to get the camera when they were both sitting together and listening to the story. This is what he came back to.

I'm starting to learn how to use the camera Nicholas bought me for Christmas. I am so excited to be able to get action shot, close shots, and just plain better pictures! There is SO much to learn. I have a book and a video to get through before I'll feel familiar with it, I think. Here are two I took this week just practicing:

Olivia's night stand is filled with books and colors!

Trying to get an action shot in low light is difficult! Here's my dancer!

One fine day this week while Nicholas was home, I put Leo in the backpack like I always used to do with Olivia, and he loved it! While Olivia napped, I got so much done outside! I trimmed most of the bushes in front and majorly hacked back our roses on the side of the house. Leo did great!

Nicholas has been doing some of the things on my "Honey, Please do..." list this week, too. One thing was to change the tubes on the bike tires so that Leo and I can go for a spin sometimes. Leo wanted to help! My boys are so cute!

And on Thursday morning, we hit the mall and visited Santa. This was Olivia and Leo's first time, and Leo was not having it! Olivia did great and even brought Santa a letter. This Santa was really friendly and in character. He told Olivia that he would read the letter to Mrs. Claus!

And while I took Leo to the car to nurse, Nicholas and Olivia went on a train ride. Olivia loved it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!

Dear Diary,

I am literally too tired to talk, but while I eat my bowl of cereal, I thought I would upload some pictures of the kids from yesterday--a cold morning at the playground and later that afternoon at the Christmas gathering that my mom friends had at the library.

I have got to get a better camera! Oh, wait, Nicholas bought me one for Christmas and it is AMAZING! It is guaranteed to be the best Christmas ever now...and I'll get it on film! I just have to learn to use it. In the mean time, you get the idea -- cute kids in warm clothes.

On the way there.

I swear Leo loves this baby swing, and giggles when I push him and make funny noises. But, alas, I have not captured his grin on camera yet. It will happen before the end of the winter, I am sure!

Olivia is getting so good on the swings! She used to be so afraid of going "high." Each day, she gets a little braver and has me push her a little higher, and each day, she learns to use her legs a little more. She is growing up! She likes for me to say that I am impressed with her. She will say, "Can you say, "Cinderella, I'm impressed you are swinging so high!"?"

At the Christmas gathering at the library, the kids had a good time playing. Sort of. Olivia got pushed by two other kids and their moms didn't say anything to them. Weird. There was a cookie exchange, though, and the cookies were fantastic. And a gift exchange. You can see Olivia with her Snow Fun activity book and Leo got a little "Tiny" doll.

After attempting some yoga, Olivia decided she wanted to do the activity book with Daddy. Leo spotted me and headed my way!

The gingerbread house we made Sunday evening (I think). Olivia loves eating the candy and decorating, and I love just buying the kit to make this instead of baking it myself! This one isn't half bad considering I was holding fussy Leo the whole time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Diary, 12/10/2012

Dear Diary,

Alabama has relented and decided she cannot pretend it is summer anymore--what with the Christmas decorations out and mocking her. So, she brought rain and gray days. No fear here in the Kraft household, though, because even though it gets dark at 4:30, infant and toddler energy abound. Olivia often does laps around the kitchen and great room on command when I see she can't contain herself, and spontaneously other times. Leo is so fast crawling it is scary. His favorite game right now is "Peek-a-boo" around the ottoman--me crawling where he can't see me and then him "finding" me. He continues to take a couple of steps here and there, but doesn't seem terribly interested in walking on his own. He loves to hold on to my fingers and walk, and often wriggles out of my arms when I am carrying him to do so. He cruises on all the furniture, pushes chairs around, and even walks with just the wall as support. Leo stands on his own very well. He will stand up holding a cup and drink, or with a toy and play with it for seconds at a time. He is an avid apple-juice drinker now since that pebble he swallowed STILL has not made its appearance. Perhaps I missed it.

Saturday we went to our friends' son's fourth birthday party at the gymnastics place that Olivia goes. It was a super hero party, so Olivia dressed as Wonder Woman, which was a costume that happened to be hanging in her closet as a hand-me-down from Abby. Olivia had a good time, but it was a little different since she didn't really know anyone and was at least a year younger than most of the other kids. Usually when we go to gymnastics, I stay right near her because it is just "toddler play time" and not a formal class. At the party, one instructor had all the kids doing activities: obstacle course, races, trampoline, etc. I stayed with her for the first few minutes, and then she cozied up to a female instructor and was okay with Leo and me going to the side and playing. I later went to put my sweatshirt in a cubby, and she freaked out and was done being away from me. By that time, though, it was nearly time for balloons--they had someone come make balloon animals--and snacks. Olivia ate a Jello snack for the first time by herself with a spoon! Impressive!

I didn't get any good pictures, so I posted four bad ones. Four bads make a good, right? Olivia is in the blue and red Wonder Woman costume. She loved her cape!

I've been meaning to write down some conversations that Olivia and I have had lately, too. Here's one where she is pretending to be Cinderella and I am the prince.

Olivia: Hello, Prince!
Me: Oh, Cinderella, let's dance!
Olivia: Do you like my dress, Prince?
Me: Of course!
Olivia: It's midnight, Prince. Bong, bong, bong, ....
Me: No, don't go!
Olivia: Don't worry. I'll see you when I marry you!

Olivia has a fantastic memory. She remembers things from when she was eighteen months old and before. It's astonishing, really. We have a book of 19 nursery rhymes that she has memorized. I thought that was that. Now she has decided to make up her own songs and rhymes by altering the words. Here is an example (like Jack Sprat) that she told us at dinner yesterday:

Irk Smirk could eat no fat
His wife could eat no ornaments
And so between the two of them
They licked the ornament platter clean

Of course, it is much cuter coming from her mouth. She has a great imagination, and could play with me in her room all morning pretending to have a party and then a sleepover, which is what we did Sunday morning. She even made Leo a bed. She said, "My Leo can sleep there," pointing to a blanket she had spread out on the ground with a pillow.

And I just found out tonight that Leo and Olivia will be in the Christmas program at their school on the 21st. Olivia is going to be an angel and will be singing "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night," which she already has memorized and can sing on her own. Leo will be a sheep in the field. Now, to find him a white outfit...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Diary, 12/2/2012-12/5/2012

Dear Diary,

The kids slept in until 7:06 this morning and it was glorious! We gave up on Leo's sleep right before Thanksgiving because we didn't want him screaming all night while the guests were in. Yes, ten days of Ferber and he still was waking and crying. So, he is back in our bed, but the stretch of sleep he has in his own crib seems to be getting a little longer. Nicholas brought him in to me around midnight last night. I had nursed him and put him to bed around 7:30 and then went to bed myself at 10:30.

But that extra sleep this morning was awesome, as is this beautiful day! It is 74 degrees, sunny, and beautiful here today. A day that I don't want to stay inside and clean, although that is what I should be doing while everyone is napping.

Three days have passed now, and the weather is gray. I did get some cleaning done Sunday. Today I've got more on my plate than I will be able to accomplish, so I'll just post pictures of the past few days including Olivia in her big girl bed, and note that she has done way better than I expected! We told her that the rule was when we put her to bed, she had to stay in until she woke and called for us to get her out. So far, it has worked!!

Olivia dancing in her "Briar Rose costume" from Abby. She loves it, and as you can see from the following pictures, she wears it a lot! (We have allowed some movies for the first time in the past few weeks. Olivia has now seen Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, although we fast forwarded through the scary parts--the evil stepmother being "not nice" and the witch turning into a dragon--at Olivia's request. Now Olivia likes to act out the movies. She wants us to sing "Once Upon a Dream", turn pumpkins into coaches, and run to her room and cry when we tell her she can't marry the boy from the woods or when her step sisters rip her dress. She can do that now that she can get in her toddler bed. Perfectly timed!)

Olivia playing with ornaments. A favorite past time of both kids!

"Reading" in her big girl bed to all her animal friends.

Hosting a party in her room. We do that a lot, too!

The promised picture of the tree, completely adorned!

Leo is standing on his own now, and has technically taken his first step, but he is not walking on his own. He likes to hold on to my hands and walk everywhere, which is probably why my back has been hurting! Here comes trouble!

Leo after a bath. Always happy after a bath!