Monday, December 26

a few christmas photos.



"Even you can't top that, Papa!"

Christmas joy.

The boxes and paper proved to be very interesting indeed.

She chose door number 5. 

Exploring her new kitchen for the first time.

"This is how you do it, right?"

mama and baby.

The squadron Christmas party was held a little over a week ago. Without my knowledge, a friend of ours captured these beautiful moments of me with Iris. Photos like these are a rarity, as I am usually the one taking pictures! Thank you dear friend; these photos mean a lot to me and I know they will to my husband, as well. 






Sunday, December 25

her favorite christmas present.

Iris received so many wonderful gifts for Christmas. Thank you to all of our family and friends who were so thoughtful and generous! She gave attention to each and every present. But her most favorite present of all...?

Not the interactive, wooden play kitchen and food from her Granny. 
Not the beautifully illustrated books or outfit from her Pepe and Susan.
Not the sweet little dress or book from her Aunties.
Not the adorable Jasmine doll from our family friends.
Not the latch board or her pull along snail... 

The Potty. 

All she would say was "pee pee!" and "pahhh pahh" - granted, I definitely encourage it under the pretense of making potty learning easier when that time comes around. I eventually had to put The Potty away because all this little girl wanted to do was stand in it, sit on it and carry it around with her. Nothing else existed once she pulled this magical device from its decorative bag. Hooray for The Potty - thank you Santa!

Saturday, December 24

play date babies.

Iris was determined to learn to climb up and down the stairs while standing! Jane said she was too slow.

Getting ready to go down the slide all by herself. 

"Oh, wait! I'm not sure about this!"

"Oh, I get it now - this is awesome!"

Claiming the slide in the name of Jane.

Climbing babies.

Going down the slide with Mama. 

Would you like these keys?

"Oh, she took them..."

Making fun of Ms. Lena.


Monday, December 19


I was tagged by Deanna, over at Delirious Rhapsody!
1. You must post these rules.
2. Each per­son must post 11 things about them­selves on their blog.
3. Answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post, and cre­ate 11 new questions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 11 peo­ple to tag and link them on the post.
5. Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.
6. No tag backs.
7. No stuff in the tag­ging sec­tion about ‘you are tagged if you are read­ing this.’ You legit­i­mately have to tag 11 people.

11 things about me:
1.  I try to write with my left hand about once a year, always expecting my handwriting to magically be legible. But it continues to look like a preschooler scribbled some abc's and I get disappointed each time.
2. I severely bit my nails (until they bled) for about 17 years. One day, I just decided to stop.
3. I did my Christmas shopping a month early this year, for the first time! I used to be a master of procrastination, so I'm pretty proud that everything is done!
4. One of my pet peeves is wet bathmats. Seriously, dry yourself off in the shower. The bath mat should be a place for my freshly clean feet to enjoy soft comfort. I don't enjoy awkwardly cold fabric puddles.
5. I try my best not to eat much processed food or sugars, but I still crave chocolate in the late evening. 
6. I have the worst memory of anyone I know. I've forgotten everything and anything you can imagine. I blame a 105.5 fever I had when I was 18 years old. The EMT's told me that if people had waited any longer to call 911, I could have died. I haven't been the same since, and it can be very embarrassing and frustrating.
7. I haven't watched any commercial television in about six months. I watch Netflix streaming movies and Youtube. I don't want Iris growing up with commercial television and it's also just extremely annoying!
8. I recently found out that I am pretty highly allergic to egg whites. I break out in hives when I eat them, which means I can no longer eat anything with eggs in it - including cake, batter fried foods and pancakes. Good for less sugar and fat in my diet, bad for the indulgent side of me. 
9. I'm the type of person who can watch a movie or listen to a song over and over and over again until any sane person would snap. For example, since starting to think about and write this post, I've listened to The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole about 15 times. 
10. This year, Marius and I have donated to multiple charities and have given goods to a food drive. I feel great knowing that we've made the effort to benefit others in our country and community. 
11. I think that for the most part, taking care of a baby is really easy. Though sometimes I need a break, for sure. I worked for a few years as a nursing assistant, taking care of dozens of (usually mentally ill) elderly patients at once. Caring for a baby is a walk in the park compared to that. 

Questions from Deanna:
1. What is the worst name that you know?

Alma. Just say it out loud.
2. Who do you think is the most over-rated musician or musical group?

Most of the pop and rap music I've ever heard? I'm not sure. I generally just stick to the music I know I love and ignore everything else. Maybe the Beatles. I like a lot of their songs... but there are plenty of other brilliantly creative and attractive artists out there. I just don't get the obsession.
3. What was your favorite book growing up?

I read a LOT as a child, so this is hard... but I think The Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my all time favorites, which I read over and over again. I loved the idea of living off the land and being self sufficient and creative through my own efforts.
4. Aside from lettuce, what are your two favorite salad ingredients? Favorite dressing?

Cucumbers and a touch of parmigiana cheese for an added layer of flavor. As for dressing, I love just a bit of high quality olive oil. It lets the true flavors of the vegetables shine and is healthy for you, unlike most other dressings which I think are mostly gross.
5. What is the saddest movie you have ever seen?

Grave of the Fireflies. I'm pretty sure I bought it, then watched it once and gave it away to a friend because I didn't think I could watch it again it was SO depressing. Also, Atonement. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it in years even though it's such a good movie - no surprise considering I'm a military wife.
6. If you were to give yourself a creative title for your personal business card, what would it say?

"I'm really good at wiping butts." ...well, I am. But honestly, I have no idea!
7. What is the most irritating sound in the world to you?

The sound of Iris whining. Maybe because she never did as an infant? I don't know but it really drives me insane.
8. When you look back on pictures of yourself, what age are you most embarrassed about?

Probably when I was in eighth grade or was a freshman in high school. I wore some very tom boy, goth ensembles that just didn't complement my body at all. I do love that I had the confidence in my self to wear what I liked, but I didn't know how to wear them properly. I remember as a freshman, a girl in my class spent an hour trying to convince me to let her put make up on me!
9. If you found a $50 bill on the street and had to spend it immediately, what would you buy?
I would probably go to Target and spend it on some wine, books for Iris and a Disney movie. 
10. What commercial product would you refuse to endorse? 
Cleaning products. My house has never been so clean and nice smelling since I started cleaning with natural, home-made products (it seriously works better too). All the chemicals in the commercial cleaning products really freak me out and I don't want my family around them. 
11. What is one thing that always makes you laugh hysterically?
This comic. So far, no one else seems to just "get it" the way I do!

My questions:
1. What is your favorite Christmas song and why?
2. Who do you know in person that you look up to the most?
3. If you have kids, did you plan for them? If you don't, do you want kids?
4. What is the weirdest dream you've ever had?
5. If a movie was written about your life, who would you want as the director?
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
7. What is your favorite store?
8. If you could tell your 16 year old self one thing, what would it be?
9. What are your long term goals - say, five years from now?
10. Is there any movie or song that makes you cry?
11. Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

I tag: Daine, Kelly, Meg, SusanMeg,  and anyone else reading this! I'd love to read your responses so let me know if you choose to join in!

Saturday, December 17

this morning...

photo (14)
An early Christmas present for a cute little girl who really needed a new hat!
Kitty ears hat hand knitted by BabaMoon.

Thursday, December 15

go baby, go!

It seems that right after I hit "publish" on a monthly update post, Iris starts doing all sorts of crazy new things. During lunch today, I decided to hand her the spoon I was feeding her with to see what she would do with it. And what do you know... she immediately scooped up some applesauce with the spoon and put it in her mouth! She ate the entire container all by herself, re-positioning the spoon in her hand as needed. She continued feeding herself chucks of avocado until she was "duh," or in other words, "all done!"  She didn't even make a mess, just gave herself an apple sauce beard. I was so surprised and impressed to watch her. Less than three months ago, she didn't even eat solid foods! I wish I had been able to capture it for Marius, but I didn't want to break her stride. Hopefully I can catch it tomorrow.

On top of the cutlery revelation, her word pronunciation has improved greatly in just the last day. She now says words like: boo, go, pee pee, ergo, and meow very clearly. I recently started playing the "stop and go game" with her, so she says "go!" about everything she's doing! She also knows that when we gets near the street outside, to beckon me to pick her up to cross. She has started grabbing my hand and leading me places, too! She knows that her ears are for listening (though she still puts the phone behind her head instead of against her ear, which is pretty cute) and her nose is for smelling. Two days ago, she learned how a zipper works and now zips and unzips my sweatshirt constantly. She also heard a crow outside recently and instantly replied to him, "caw caw!"

Tonight, she followed the kitty around the room saying, "meow meow meow!" She was watching part of Toy Story 3 as I made dinner and started copying the clapping, running and arm flailing of the characters! It really blows my mind how quickly she has starting picking up on things.

Reaching for her glowing gingerbread ornament that I got her at Kohl's last week. She carries it everywhere and has dubbed it "Moo!"

"Oh joy! I love you Moo!"

"I have kisses for you!"


Yesterday, Iris and I got together with a few friends for lunch at Mellow Mushroom. Afterwards, we headed to another friend's house to eat donuts, talk and watch the babies play. We all ended up at the park down the street for a good hour; it was a beautiful afternoon in the low 60s. 
Here are a few pictures of me and Iris, taken by Lena!

Eve (8) (1)
Sitting together on our friend's couch.

Eve (9)
Walking to the park.

Eve (5)
Riding a whale!

Eve and Ian (5)
Babies on the merry-go-round!
(Don't worry... there were adults there I just cropped us out of the picture!)

Eve (3)

Eve (7)
Pausing for a cuddle.

Eve (4)
About to fly Iris off the ledge to run in the grass.

Sunday, December 11

peep show.

One of our family's favorite Christmas movies is Elf. Confession: Iris and I have have already watched it three times in the last two weeks. In the part where Santa is describing New York City to Buddy the elf, he says:
"Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy. Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."
Well, here's the North Pole version of a peep show!
This is what Iris is getting for Christmas this year from Mama and Papa (and Santa)!

Crayola Twistable (nonbreakable?) Crayons.
Toddler sized duffel bag, handmade by Mirit.
A slinky!
Kitty ears hat, hand knitted by BabaMoon.

A Becopotty for practicing.

CAT, an interactive board book.
Plan Toys Pull-Along Snail.
Kitty sweater Iris points out every time we're in Target.
Melissa and Doug latch board.
The Lion King DVD

She is going to be beside herself this Christmas, and I can't even imagine what else she's getting from other family members! She definitely "gets" opening presents, so this year will be fun and Marius will be joining us on webcam! Now, I am off to watch Elf again play outside with Iris and make pumpkin bread!
I hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend!