Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little Shoppers

I just got back from my second shopping trip in 2 days. My kids all got gift cards for Wal-Mart from their Noni and Papa for Christmas. I took Olivia shopping yesterday by herself and Kelsey today, so that we could have some one-on-one time and so Kelsey wouldn't be influenced by Olivia's purchases. I noticed just how different my 2 girls shop:

Olivia will come across the first thing she really likes and will decide that she wants to buy that thing, and nothing will deter her from it, no matter how many other things I show her or encourage her to look at before she makes up her mind. We were done at Wal-Mart in about 20 minutes, and at the shoe store she took 5.

Kelsey, on the other hand, wants to look at everything and changed her mind about 5 times. At first she wanted the same toy Olivia had, but she kept looking for something else, and kept looking. And finally about an hour into our visit she finds this digital art studio for the computer and everything else had to go back. I said yes and got out quick before she could change her mind again!

So what kind of shopper are you? An Olivia-shopper or a Kelsey-shopper? I hate to admit it, but I think I'm more like Kelsey...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Connor's First Word!

This has been an exciting week! Connor said his first word - Mama! And I just happened to be taping him at the time, so I have proof. What were the chances of that? So of course I had to post it here!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. That happened on Thursday - the night of Olivia's school program. Which, by the way was fabulous. They have a really good music teacher, and the 3rd graders did a bang-up job. We've ordered the DVD for the program, and will hopefully get it in January and can send it around to the family for viewing.

In other big news, this past Monday I was able to register Kelsey for Pre-kindergarten. I had signed her up in SC "just in case" I thought she was ready to go, but when we moved here, I knew she was. And it's become more apparent over the past month. She has been asking often to go to school, and she was able to get in to a small class at Olivia's school with only 10 kids. It's in the afternoons for about 2 1/2 hours, and she just loves it. She started Tuesday - the day of our first winter storm. The roads were badly iced, and then it snowed very lightly, so the snow only really stuck to the roads and not the grass. How many people have a picture like this for their first day of school?

Here's a couple other cute pictures I wanted to put in of the girls. Kelsey went to a birthday party last weekend and got this pink feather boa, or "snake" as she calls it. She came downstairs posing for me, and Olivia decided to get in on the action. They are definitely all girl! They must get it from their Noni...

Also, Olivia brought a Cherokee basket home from school this week that she had made. It's about 6 inches tall, and she did a fabulous job, don't you think?

Now we are on the countdown to Christmas. This is when it is harder than ever to be away from our families. Olivia told me today that she really misses being with our family in SC. My mother is coming out for a visit the day after Christmas, and we're looking forward to that, but she is just one of many that we miss. You know who you are, and if we haven't told you lately - we love you!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hair, Babies, Winter, and More!

Last Saturday I did the unthinkable. I have been trying to grow my hair out again lately. This is a cycle I seem to go through every couple of years. I think that surely my hair would be beautiful and glamorous if it was long, so I decide to grow it out. The "in-between" stage is especially delicate, and it is very, very easy to feel frumpy and plain. Fortunately, I found a really good hair stylist after I moved here that can do cute and trendy, even while I've been growing out my hair. I was scheduled to get a haircut last Saturday afternoon. I received a phone call from Amy (who does her scheduling) around 8:30 that morning to tell me that Brandi was sick and unable to cut hair that day. So I was going to schedule a time for Monday. Well, I started thinking it would be really nice to get a hair cut on Saturday and not have to worry about what to do with my kids on Monday, and I didn't really want to wait that long anyway... and I was driving down the road and saw a Procuts with a sign that said "Open-No Wait". I had a bout of momentary insanity. I walked in. Now, the first clue should have been the name: Procuts. The second clue should have been the fact that there was an entire salon on a Saturday afternoon with only 1 client in it. And it just got worse from there. I came home with a terrible haircut. I had wings on the side of my head, and a blunt cut in back short enough that she had shaved my neck.

So on Monday morning I called Amy and got my appointment with Brandi for her to fix it. Now my hair is shorter than it has been in a LONG time. But it's cute, and I have come to the conclusion (yet again!) that I am just a short-haired kind of gal. I decided to take a picture of myself to post here. I've taken about 30 pictures in the last 5 minutes, and this is the best one - it's crooked, but at least you can see the back and I'm pretty well centered and don't look stoned. Or at least, not THAT stoned.

Also, this past Tuesday we our first taste of winter weather. We had light sleet/snow all afternoon long, and I only got a couple of blurry pictures of to show for it. This one is my favorite. Olivia had run out in her slippers and without a coat. The girls were definitely excited.

And can you believe it? They didn't even cancel choir practice that night or delay school the next morning! We're definitely not in the south any more. In fact, I am sitting at my computer right now with a blanket around me because it's about 25 degrees outside with 30 mph winds. The wind chill is like 12 degrees or something absurd, and our windows don't seal well so we have a little draft. OK, a big draft. Our curtains flutter.

Then I had put Connor in his high chair one night with a biter biscuit. He doesn't actually have any teeth, so all he can really do is gum it to death. He made such a big mess, and by the time I got around to cleaning him off, it had dried and was crusty, so he got his first bath in the kitchen sink.

Also, this past Friday night about 9:00 the bishop called. Someone had just called to say they couldn't speak on Sunday (today), so he had the bright idea to ask me to speak. He asked me to introduce our family a little, as well as talk on John 14:27 and how the gospel can bring peace into our lives. The topic was actually a really good one for me, and I learned so much preparing my talk. I think that's why we are asked to speak in church rather than having the bishop do it all the time. It drives the doctrine much deeper into our hearts when we are the ones having to present it.

I decided to introduce our family by doing a comparison of me and Ben, and I think it was rather amusing. I thought I'd reproduce it a little here. Some of the comments were planned ahead, some were impromptu:

Ben - Born & raised in SC by parents who were born & raised in SC
Anita - Born in Bahrain (the Middle East), lived in Italy, Maryland, and upstate NY before finally landing in SC at age 10. Mom's a Yankee, dad's from SC.

Ben - Talented in visual art
Anita - Talented in music

Ben - 1 sister
Anita - 3 sisters & 2 brothers

Ben - Immediate family in SC
Anita - Immediate family scattered across 5 states

Ben - Introvert
Anita - Extrovert

Anita - Comes from a large family, so when they get together they get a little crazy
Ben - His family is just crazy

And now, for some things we have in common:

* Both are 2nd generation LDS (parents joined the church)
* Most of our best friends are from our families (parents and siblings)
* Both have fantastic in-laws
* Both served missions from 1997 to 1999 (Ben in Utah Provo from Jan 97 - Jan 99 & Anita in NJ Morristown from July 97 - Jan 99)
* Both think Ben has a fabulous wife

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Three Pictures and a Video

I realized it'd been a while since I did an update on the kids, so here's a few pics and stats:

Connor is now 5 1/2 months old. He had a check-up yesterday and he's almost 15 pounds! He's built a lot like Olivia was. For weight, he's in the 10th-25th percentile and his height is 50th percentile. However, his head is 90th percentile! That's funny because he doesn't LOOK like a pumpkin head. I started him on solids (rice cereal) a couple weeks ago, and he's doing pretty good. I can't wait till he's feeding himself, but at least he's getting the whole "close your mouth and swallow" thing down. Kind of.

There's a story behind this picture. As you will see in the next picture, Olivia got a new Christmas dress and wanted a good poser picture by the Christmas tree. Kelsey had to have one as well, and so she got in front of the tree before church yesterday. The funny part is that she started posing, and Olivia started giving her advice about how to stand. What you see above is the result of Olivia's instruction. It was so funny to watch! In other news, Kelsey is so anxious to go to school. We got a starter book from the library, and she's starting to recognize some of the words, like "see" and "am". She knows almost all of her letters - lower case and upper case - as well as most of her numbers. She's just so smart and ready to learn! I'm hoping a spot will open up in Pre-K over Christmas, but if it doesn't I've got a few other ideas to get her involved in some preschool. I think she's ready.

Olivia was dying for a good Christmas dress. We did a lot of looking online, and then found this dress at Ross' for $15. You can't really see from the picture, but the dress is covered in glitter, and she's wearing a necklace and earrings of mine with some "bling". She's so cute. She's growing up so fast, I hardly know what to do! One of the things she has to do for school is track her reading time at home, and she has to read at least 100 minutes ah home every week. We haven't tracked all of it, but Olivia counted up this morning how many minutes she's read since the start of the school year. It was something like 44 1/2 hours! She's definitely taking after her parents in that respect. She's also really into her soccer ball. She likes to think she's a tom-boy, but she still watches her Barbie movies, so she's quite the contradiction sometimes. Adorable, though!

This is a video of Connor's first swing at the park the other day. Just to make sure he didn't slide out I put in a blanket to keep him in place. He was a lot of fun to watch. Just ignore the crazy mama talking while she takes the video. It's so embarrassing to hear yourself in a video - the things we do for our kids!