Saturday, January 30, 2010

Let It Snow!

Getting bundled up to sled for the very first time!

Looking like a ridiculously cute, red puff of warmth.
Getting pulled on the way to the hill.
If you can't go to the park - which is the best place in the whole entire world - you can turn the road into a giant slide!

Don't forget to check out our Snow Blob!

*Thanks go to Mia for the photos!*

Friday, January 29, 2010

Appealing to a Toddler

It's not trickery. It's not even bribery. It's tone. Whether we're trying to change Halle's diaper or trying to get her to bed at a decent hour, we've learned that tone and creativity are key. One night this week, Brad was asking Halle his usual questions:

1. Are you tired? Are you feeling sleepy?
2. Do you want to go brush your teeth?

On a normal night, Halle's typical response is a grin and a "yeah?", followed by resting her little head on Daddy's shoulder. She's becoming more and more resistant to parting with playtime lately, saying, "no" whenever he asks his questions. Describing her cozy crib, a warm and special place where her beloved bakah (blanket), paci, and small menagerie of stuffed animals can be found, has been effective so far...

Hey, if I'm not writing poems or short stories, I can at least make Halle's bedtime as poetic as possible, right? Two birds with one stone! Yeah!

Here's one such instance that demonstrates just how much sway that the right tone can have:

Monday, January 25, 2010

When Life Gives Her a Lemon

... she eats it, gladly! Peel and all. In fact, she didn't eat much else at our favorite Mexican restaurant last Saturday night.

That's not her "sour-face", by the way, just her posing for the camera.

Also she ate gobs of spicy salsa off of her chip, like a spoon. The salsa at El Carreton is just a bit too spicy for me to eat but this little munchkin? Not a problem.

"Bring it on," she says to the universe. Hand me your lemons and pack your heat.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Halle's First Story

as told to Mommy.

Once upon a time there was a Papa, a Nana and a baby.
The baby was a girl named Ffff-ffff.
She could say, "goo goo ga ga."
She likes to eat toast and get haircuts.
Her favorite song goes a little something like this:

Ba ba con yah song!
Ba ba con yah song!
Ba ba con yah song!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Longest Sentence Yet!

Just a quick note today to tell you all that Halle has said her longest sentence yet. Actually, two sentences in a row! With a total of SIX words, she said:

"Whoa, cool! I see big car!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Warm January Weekend

Ahem. Halle and I would like to sing a couple of songs for you. So why don't you sit back and relax as Halle and I croon two timeless classics for your enjoyment. It's sure not to disappoint! ;)

*CHECK OUT that CURL in the back of her hair! It's been coming in straight for a while but lately her ends have been developing the slightest most delicate waves. Just like an older lady at the grocery store said to Brad, she looks more and more like a little "clone". Not that I'm complaining! Just look at this handsome devil!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! To celebrate, here are a couple of my favorite quotes from an American hero who knew the true identity of freedom.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

I am proud that Greensboro, the city in which four brave men once had the gall to sit at a lunch counter, is hosting the soon-to-be-opened International Civil Rights Museum. I'm very much looking forward to its grand opening - this is part of the "promised land" that Dr. King mentioned in his classic speech, "I Have a Dream". The grand opening is scheduled for February 1, 2010, the fiftieth anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Week in the Life

Want to get the royal tour of Halle's tent? She got it from Santa and seriously wants me to let her take a nap in there. I considered it for one split second before I realized what a terrible idea it was! She would either talk herself to sleep - very light abbreviated sleep - or I would open the door to a floor carpeted with books, diapers, clothing, and items that take a small miracle for her little arms to reach.

Eventually, sure, take a nap in your tent. It looks so cozy I'd take a nap in it myself.

The second half is of Halle playing with Daddy. Aren't they cute together?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yes Ma'am!

Halle's speaking skills are getting better and better every single day. Yes, even when she's giving me some attitude I can't help but feel a little bit proud that she's putting words into almost complete sentences.

Just tonight I was sitting on the couch, feeling a bit worn out when Halle goes to the baby gate and points. "Deese?" ("This?") I sigh and wonder if she just wants her Bakah (blankie) or if she wants to trek back to the tent in her bedroom. I ask, "Yes, but what do you want to get back there?"

She gets more terse and says with feeling, "Deese. Deese!" pointing vigilantly past the baby gate.

"But you've got so many toys in here to play with, Hal," I whine. See? I can do it too. :)

She's looking hard into my eyes as if she's confused as to why I don't understand her, as if she doesn't know how to make it more clear to me, as if I should get my butt off the couch and get a move on.

She beckons me to come along with her hands and exclaimed, "Mommy, come ON!"

I laughed so hard I thought the neighbors might call an ambulance. For the rest of the night, Halle said it over and over and over and over... this is how monsters are created. Even the cute ones.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Abbey's Ninth Birthday Party

My little cousin Abbey just turned nine! Time flies! I wish I had gotten more of the Birthday Girl herself on camera. Halle had a big time watching my cousins (which would be her... first cousins once removed or second cousins?) run around like miniature wrestlers on speed. Heh heh, oooohhhh the JOY of having a girl!

Back to Abbey's party, though. There may be an excess of two minutes or more in which Halle is watching Jacob, Max and Luke basically try to kill each other. It may bore you, sorry, it's just that the editor has a bit of a bias. Little Sarah gives the cutest play-by-play observations, pointing to Halle and saying "Owlie!". Sarah's a little champ! She can run right in and squeal and play with the rest of 'em. Emma got in some quality bonding time with Halle and seriously does not want us to forget for one second that she is AVAILABLE to babysit.

Brad was tired but couldn't help pulling out his bag of tricks and silly faces and sound effects for Jacob, who asked him over and over, "whats yew name again? Bwad?" and for Abbey, who isn't "too old" to laugh with the boys and still has that cute, uninhibited high-pitched cackle made of 100% silliness.

At one point, Max tells Halle a joke - it's a pretty good joke for a kid! I didn't know what was going to come out of his mouth when he said "Has she heard that joke that's like, what's that in your pocket?" The punchline was, "Hmm, must be your waist!" :)

Could you tell how much Halle wanted to jump right in and play? Any time now she'll be trying to kill them, too.

Just a Little Stolen Moment

After a long day of playing hard, getting a second wind, going totally crazy with the rest of her energy and finally letting that sleepy warmth take over, Halle cuddles up and looks at Daddy with complete & utter adoration. She'll have enough for a ponytail anyday now, eh? Haha, yeah, so I think that hair clip is hanging on for dear life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rachel, You Are No Longer Raising a Pacifist

Richie, I hope you weren't planning to run for public office ;)

I can't decide which part is my favorite... hearing the irresistably contagious laughter of my siblings, watching my brother Richie villain-it-up, or seeing Halle laugh so hard she looks like she might implode.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Greensboro Childrens Museum

Halle & Nayeli had a ball last Saturday, playing and running around at the childrens museum. Watching them may have been even more fun, though. They are now both on their feet, they're both energetic, and we let them loose! Kind of. There's so much fun to be had if you're under yea height - it makes a girl want to be a kid again. Sigh.

Using my shiny, spanking-new, handy-dandy camcorder (1950's elevator muzak here) I caught some of the highlights, precious expressions and priceless bonding moments, on film. Enjoy!

Pirates No More!

This afternoon we got a wireless connection at our house at long last! It's so great to not have to rely on someone else's nearby wifi signal - it's been fun, unsecured "Apple Network", whoever you are. Many thanks to Karl for sending Brad a wireless router for his birthday. Maybe now Brad will write a guest post or two - no more excuses, right? Hehe. We're ordering a Roku player which connects directly to our wireless connection and streams the television shows and movies on our Netflix queue. I didn't end up getting one for him for his birthday because well, I plan on using the heck out of it too. This is why I still haven't bought him Super Mario World for his old school Nintendo. Yet.

I'll be able to upload about 3 more videos tonight. And it won't take an hour! 'Cause we're no longer wifi pirates! Yay!

On Saturday, Halle joined her cousin Nayeli at the Greensboro Childrens Museum and they had a BLAST. Tonight we'll be going to my mother's (Gabby) house for dinner to see Nayeli, Uncle Richie, and Aunt Boo one more time before they head back to Boston. It's been SO good to see them and I'm thankful for all the time they were able to spend in town. Gosh, it sure would be nice if they lived here! :)