Thursday, December 29, 2011

The End of 2011 Approaches...

And I am still back in November. Let us play catch up in the form of pictures, shall we?

Leilani in her "Ball shirt." 

This fall, we spent some lovely afternoons outside in the dirt. Once the oppressive heat wore off, and the mosquitoes all finally died, we had more freedom to explore the great outdoors. She loves it out there. Any time we leave a door open to let out the smoke from Mama's cooking or Dada's fireplace lighting for the fresh air, we have to keep a close watch on her. She will sneakily slide outside and start running for freedom, up the stairs or towards the parking lot, if we don't catch her first.

 We discovered that she loves "MOTHSS!" or moss. She really enjoyed picking apart little pieces of fuzzy green stuff, and digging her fingers into the dirt.


What a golden fall it was. After so much rain, I was worried that we would not get any color this year, but it still arrived. Lots of yellows and browns this year. Lovely. 

Our little mossy hill, discovered beside our condo block. A tiny oasis of shimmery mica, soft moss and crinkly leaves. I wish we had wandered to this spot sooner!

Our lovely cousins loaned us their "backup Mac" during this season of computerlessness. It has a built in webcam! And at our first older sibling dinner party, this happened with Uncle Sam:

 And a few day later:

Lovely. I really must take more advantage of this. Continuing onward with catchup photos!

She eats dirt. With the help of Mama's nicest dishtowel.

 On a warm November day, we let her onto the porch to dig in the leftovers of my attempt at patio gardening this summer, that late fall looked like this:

We checked on her a few moments later and discovered this. Yes, that is a delicious combo of runny nose and mud. Yum. Like the great memory-saver, blogging Mama that I am, I snapped several photos before hauling her (poopy as well!) self off to get clean.

I think this is actually the last of the few photos I managed to take this fall/early winter. I will leave you to savor it in all its filthy toddler glory. There are a lot of other holiday related pictures/posts that I have yet to finish. I will complete them, and then sneakily date them as if I wrote them on time. Please come back to enjoy the medley of November and December. One day, Leilani will look back at these pictures and posts and think "Wow, I am so impressed that Mom posted pictures and wrote down all those stories so promptly after they happened! I will hide this post from her, so that she will never be disillusioned. Mwahaha.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Christmas Eve was a lovely day. We headed off to church bright and earlyish. 

Where she went to Sabbath school with her cousins and friends. Ryan's cousin Shirlyn is all the way on the left with her two littles (or three I should say, one is still a baby bump!) and next to them are two friends, and my cousins. It always sets me back a few, to introduce those little ladies as my cousins. They feel much more like nieces! It makes me smile to see Leilani getting to grow up with all of these sweeties.


After a lovely morning with our church family, we headed off to Ryan's parents house to spend the day with them and some friends. Leilani just adores her Thatha and Grandma. They spoil her to no end.

And in the evening, she got to open her first gifts of the year! The new pink penguin pajamas were an instant favorite.

She had to put them on right away.

When we got home late that evening and got her tucked into bed, Ryan and I got to work tidying up our little space for the next morning. I am so thankful for our cozy little house. I am thankful that the Lord has allowed us to be here this holiday season. He has been so faithful to provide during this crazy time, I am so in awe that He has not only provided for our needs, but He even gave us enough to give away! Under the tree was full of gifts to be given to each other and to family and friends.


The next morning was sunny and less chilly. We all got to sleep in a little, and when I got out of bed, Ryan had made corn bread! Leilani woke up to this adorable little rocking chair given to us by a friend, and to a new little stuffed puppy sitting on top with a bow. It was really sweet to be able to give her this surprise morning.

Dada and Leilani started a fire, which only lasted about as long as the presents did. One day we will figure that thing out... It sure did smell nice and crackle pleasantly while it lasted.

We gave Leilani her stuffed puppy and a new vintage baby doll (both for $3! LOVE those awesome thrift finds.) a new pair of pajamas and two new books: The Water Hole by Graeme Base (a counting book with wonderful illustrations) and How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? from her favorite "How Do Dinosaurs ...?" series. We had to read both right when she opened them.

Ryan also got her a big box of holiday shaped goldfish crackers. That was probably her favorite gift.

We managed not to take another picture the rest of the day! I gave Ryan a new Redskins sweatshirt (which was a hit) and a few other little things, and he surprised me completely with a beautiful new dress, and a box of tea, which had a new 31Bits necklace inside. I was a happy Mama. He is so good at thoughtful gifts. It was a simple Christmas at home this year that felt just right. It was so nice to be able to spend the morning at home together.

We stopped by my parents for an hour or two on the way to his aunt's house for the rest of the day. Both were lovely. His family always does Secret Santa, and this year we had a special twist. We each were assigned a family member, and we limited our gift budget to half the usual amount. With the other half, we picked a special ministry or cause to give to. Compassion, World Vision, ADRA, and Smile Train were some of the ministries we all gave to. It was really great to come together as a family to give gifts that truly made a difference. I look forward to doing it again! 

Twas our Christmas. Being able to spend it all with family felt so great this year. After the whirlwind of "what ifs" and change this fall, it was such a relief to be able to spend the holidays here. 

Thank you Lord, "my cup runneth over." I am so thankful for it all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello Fish

Well, I guess it is a good thing that we didn't go with the small tree on top of the piano. That space has found a new use this week. Ryan and I have wanted to get Leilani a little fishtank for a while. She loves the aquarium, and loves trips to the pet store where she visits all the fishies. While looking into the pros and cons, Ryan discovered "aquascaping." A small tank would no longer suffice, so the quest for the perfect tank, plants and complimentary fish of course, began. Ryan turned the big 3-0 on the 15th, and he was so excited with this newly discovered hobby, that The Tank became his gift to himself.  So funny. I love that guy.

After a lot of research, comparisons and looking around, he finally found the right combination of plants, gravel and fish. He even went outside to find two rocks from the woods to compliment his creation. So now it rests on top of the piano, pleasantly bubbling away. Happy Birthday, dear!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Scarfament Swap

So way back on November first, (yes I am THAT behind) Danielle over at Take Heart hosted a totally awesome Scarfament Swap. What is this you ask? Basically, lots of us scarf and ornament lovin ladies signed up, got paired with a new friend, and swapped a scarf and an ornament. We had a 20 dolla budget to either buy or make something swappable. I saw this, got all excited, and emailed Danielle right away... 8 days late. Yep. I was 8 days behind in my blog reading. (Why must I always be behind in something?) Danielle was sweet enough to partner up with me herself! I must say that I was quite excited. She is such a fun, happy person. I really enjoy following her online as she loves the Lord, and is mommy to two (soon to be three and then four!) little darlings.

Her favorite colors were mustard and grey. A few days later, I was out at H&M and found something that seemed like it was just the thing, and a few days after that, I finished making her ornament. They needed to arrive by December first, and in my little procrastinator's rush, I sent them off without taking a picture, so check those out here.

My package arrived first, and I was so excited with what I found inside.

I was so tickled with her choices. The little owls ornaments were just darling, and my new infinity scarf is so comfy! They both became instant Christmas favorites. Thank you Danielle for hosting this awesome giveaway, and for being my partner!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Leilani, at 21 months

photography by Rebekah Joy

Oh little Leilani girl. You are so wonderful. We would not be US without YOU. I can't believe that you are 21 months old already. Your little years are speeding by so fast. I don't want to forget all that you are at this time in your life.

You know so many words! While your sentences take a little bit of deciphering, you exclaim them with enthusiasm. Unless you are praying in front of a bunch of people. Then you whisper our whispered prompts from behind your folded hands with a big smile. You can count all the way to 10 (when you don't get stuck on 2) and know many of your ABCs.

You are learning how to climb on everything. You know how to get up, and usually remember how to get down, but if you are removed from your perch unwillingly, you are not a happy camper. Scary falls seem to teach nothing to your thrill seeking ways, no tabletop or counter is safe from you anymore.

You SLEEP beautifully now. I can not thank you enough for figuring out that nap times and night times, really are much more pleasant when you sleep straight through them. For the past many weeks, you have slept straight through, and gone down quite easily. I wish I knew what made this amazing concept click in your head, but alas. I do not know. Hurrah to you, my (at long last) little snoozer.

I love your little toothy smile. You have endured several molar teethings quite well for the most part. I know that some nights were hard, but keep the goal ahead of you. Soon, your little mouth will be full enough to take on the big chews. You sure are loving having something to brush with your toddler toothbrush! Scrub away.

We love your little funny ways. "Sneeeeky Mama! Sneeeeeky Dada!" you exclaim, at random moments throughout the day. You love to run about the house as naked as you can get, for as long as we let you. You like "playing baby" and being tickled, cuddled (sometimes) and chased by Dada. I (usually) love it when you climb into bed with me in the mornings. I love those snuggly, smoochy moments that you slobber-ly bestow.

Unfortunately, you do not like being clean. Diaper times are often your least favorite part of the day, and bathtime is no longer a fun evening adventure. A thrill seeker elsewhere, you hate having your hair washed. I am afraid that the need for clean hair and clean buns has ruined your appreciation of a warm, bubbly bath.

You love your granparents! You ask for Thatha, Grandma, Grammy, Bahpa, Granny and Papa regularly and you can't get enough of them. When Great Sabra came to visit, you took to her right away too! You know that the surest way to get sugar and be spoiled is by visiting your grandparents. Bowling with Granny, riding the carousel with Thatha, and sneaking sugar from a "disapproving" Grandma are some of your favorite things. I have loved watching you love them, and they sure do love you too.

You have become quite the extrovert. Staying up late, and visiting with your favorite people seems to charge you up. Quite the entertainer, you warm up to new faces in about 20 minutes, and soon show off your funniest tricks, favorite books and most charming grins. You love singing about all your favorite people, and can't get enough of them.

You love smoothies of all kinds, no matter what crazy combinations I whip up, you inhale them all. Waffles are a close second. You share your parent's love of Chipotle, and really enjoy a good bowl of their black beans and cilantro and lime brown rice. Yum!

Perhaps your very favorite things right now are Old MacDonald and as of this past week, the ABC song. By now, I hate both. But they are the only songs you will tolerate any time you are tired, and when you need comfort, MacDonald works then too.

I love you Leilani. You are such a pleasure. Thank you for loving me even when I get grouchy and impatient. You are such a special little person, I am so proud of you and I can't wait to watch you grow. The Lord has great plans for you little lady.