Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas A La Washington

The snow did eventually melt enough for us to get ourselves up to Washington, and we were very excited to get there. We spent some time at Aunt Lynn and Uncle Mark's, seeing them and Krissy, Brett, and Chloe who were up visiting from California. Chloe is getting so big and it was fun seeing Joshua and Chloe interacting a LOT more than last time they were together. It was a ton of fun. Here, Chloe is holding her Magic Tree, and Joshua is checking out Chloe's new books!
Chloe appreciated Joshua's thorough inspection of her Christmas books, but then was rather interested in having them back.
Too bad Joshy kept making funny faces in these pictures, but he did his main duty and hid my huge belly! I think Chloe looks absolutely adorable in this picture.
While we were there, Joshua needed to cover his splint with a plastic baggie while eating, and when he was through with it, Chloe wanted to give it a try! Kris said on her blog that she has continued to enjoy bag-wearing...what a trend-setter Joshua is. He prefers eating without the bag these days, though.
Joshua spent a lot more time with the dogs and cats this trip than he has in the past, which went just fine, but he bonded most of all with "Benjamin Kitty" (formerly Phantom, formerly Benjamin Bandit the Fierce, Bobcat, and most currently and commonly known as Benjamin Bad-Kitten). Ben was incredibly tolerant of Joshua...that cat seems to have learned a good deal of patience from dealing with his best friend, who happens to be a big clumsy sheep-dog! Joshua was good with him - for the most part not pulling his tail or fur or was fun to see them together.
The highlight of ever trip to Washington is Joshy getting to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, and I think they crammed in a LOT of fun memories. Grandma rocked Joshy to sleep at night and they made up all sorts of songs and rhymes that they'll get to share again next time we see them. In this picture, Joshy brought Grandma a "pea-ball" in a pan that he has been cooking with in his play kitchen. Mom & Dad got to keep the old kitchen set from the nursery at the church, and they got him all set up with some play food and pots and pans and he had a great time with it! Brought back a lot of happy memories for me, too!
Dorothy, Pat, Kya, and Alia (I can't remember how her name is spelled - Mom you can correct me and I'll edit it in the post) came to visit us and it was so fun seeing how much they've grown up! They are adorable and hilarious girls, and they were very kind to Joshua. He was really shy (as he often gets around beautiful girls), so he didn't show off a whole lot of his new language skills, but he had a lot of fun being with them. We took a series of pictures, and while Kya is absolutely a professional at posing for pictures, Alia made the photographer's job a bit challenging - I think I like this one the best!

Nathan is so wonderful about always taking all the pictures when we go on trips, and I often forget to include him in them! I tried to get a couple this time around...but I need to try harder. Joshua wasn't super interested in sitting still for this one. I love my boys.
You can see this little kitty in several of the other pictures, but Joshua "borrowed" him from his cousin Chloe while we were over there. They were so kind to let him come back with us temporarily. Joshy just loved this little kitty - the whole time he had a splint on, he usually wanted to be carrying around an animal with his broken arm...definitely a comfort thing. It was very sweet. Apparently, the kitty hadn't been well-fed, so Joshua took care of him. We didn't realize until right before we left (and it is just as well) that the kitty makes very loud meowing noises when you squeeze his tummy! So the white kitty stayed at Grandma's, to return to Chloe. Don't worry - Joshy hasn't mentioned anything about him, so it's all ok.
Posing in his Christmas outfit - what a stud, right?
Before we had dinner and opened Christmas presents, Grandpa got to open birthday presents! Joshua was VERY helpful, as he often is.
For those of you who read Tracy's blog, you may have read my mom's comment about Geoff's Thanksgiving meltdown regarding a subpar Stupid Jello Salad, so Mom outdid herself this time, and Geoff was chosen as the official unmolder. He left it in the hot water for quite some time, so it was a bit more ah...puddly than I remember it, but it still tasted delicious as always! Geoff had Joshy help so that he could share in the!
This year's four layer Stupid Jello Salad (this is the official submission picture, Tracy). It didn't have any snow like yours...well there was perhaps some melted snow pooled around it and in the middle...but we won't give Geoff TOO hard of a time! I'm not even sure if he reads this blog - maybe we SHOULD give him a hard time.
Me, Joshy, and the white kitty, getting started on Christmas presents!
Joshy got some adorable elephants, books, clothes, and a lot of wonderful toys - here he is reading, "But not the Hippopotamus."
He got a set of those bricks that take about a million years for parents to put together, but we had a lot of fun putting them together, and Joshua likes to knock down the walls we build (and he occasionally has been building as well!) with them. This was the only gift that I especially requested, and I was pretty excited about it.
Joshy showed off his singing talents once again, singing Happy Birthday to Grandpa. I was so glad that Dad had all day off on New Years, so he got to spend a lot of time with Joshy! We had birthday apple pie...yummmmm.
Joshy enjoyed seeing his Uncle Geoffy, and will be grateful once it's a little warmer out when we can set up the awesome outdoor playhouse that Uncle Geoffy got him. I LOVE that when Joshua says, "Uncle Geoffy," it sounds nearly identical to how he says "Uncle Diapey" (as in diapers...if you weren't catching on to what as funny).
We went to visit Joshy's Nonna (my grandma) right before we headed home, and though he was pretty sleepy, he had a very good time with his new blue piggy bank, bulldozer, and getting to show off for all the nice people she wanted to introduce him to. All that being cute exhausted the poor guy, but he did great, and I'm glad we got to see her!
When we got back to Oregon, we opened a mysterious gift from Nonna, which ended up being this great gigantic fold-out fort type thing that looks like a school bus or a fire truck, depending on how you fold the flaps. Joshua loved it - that is a happy face in the picture! It takes up our whole living room, so it'll be even more fun to play with when we have more space some day, but it was pretty cool!
We had such a wonderful time up at Grandma and Grandpa's, and Joshy loves looking at the pictures from our visit over and over - he often says, "see Ramma Rampat gain?" which means Grandma and Grandpa's (when he adds an s to words, it often sounds like a t lately). I'm not sure when we'll go up there again, but we are so grateful that we had such a wonderful visit! And I'm also grateful that I got all these photos posted!

200 days!

Holy cow - I just looked at the little "baby ticker" on the side there, and saw I've been pregnant with this little critter for 200 days! Doesn't that seem like a long time? Still got a ways to go, but I'm proud of me and this quickly growing bowling ball in my tummy that is my next baby boy.

Also, thank you Tracy and Krissy for your comments on the blog (Krissy's were on Facebook) - I feel motivated to post again the rest of the pictures that are waiting. I was feeling sad to have posted about a billion times and have no comments, so thank you!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A little bit between Christmases

Before we headed up to Washington, we stopped by to see Uncle Jeremy and his family - Joshy especially enjoyed going up and down the stairs at their house. We went out to lunch at Ruby Tuesday and had a good time. That's probably a pretty good picture to show off my big tummy, huh?
We celebrated Emily's birthday a little early and Joshy loved singing happy birthday!
When we got home, Joshua got to open up another Christmas present - a potty. He'd been wanting one since we watched "Elmo's Potty" on YouTube. Eric and Laurel got him a stuffed baby Cookie Monster for Christmas, so Joshy had some help trying out the potty. Joshua has yet to attempt it...we'll see when he gets interested again.
This was after church, in his little Christmas outfit...I just love this picture. Joshy so rarely falls asleep with us anymore, and I really think that when he is sleeping, he looks just like he did in those very early weeks (just a lot more hair now). Having a warm baby sleeping on you is a wonderful feeling, and it is rare with Joshy these days. I love this kid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas # 1: Oregon style

We weren't able to go up to Washington to visit my family at the time we planned, and we ended up making it to Lafayette to see Nathan's parents' a bit earlier than we'd expected. Eric, Laurel, Stevie, and Allie came up to visit again, as well as Tawnia, and Clarissa came home, so it was a VERY full house - lots of fun and noise and holiday excitement (and occasionally a bit of drama).

Joshy really does enjoy that piano - I wish we had one...someday! He can tell you what a lot of songs are now just by hearing the music, and he's quite good at singing Jingle Bells and Silent Night, as well as a bunch of non-Christmas songs. I have no doubt he'll continue to be very musical.
(Almost) everyone waiting to go out and get started on the stockings.
Joshy opening one of his stocking stuffers - number magnets to join his letter magnets on the fridge.
Joshy playing with his new blocks from Aunt Tawnia, under Allie's careful observation.

One of his newest skills - giving the "evil eye" - was perfected over Christmas dinner. Gotta love the reindeer bib.
Stevie loves Joshy, and Joshy loves Stevie, and Joshy loves that gigantic bunny from Aunt Kissa-Wa too. But he loves Stevie more.
Joshy and Allie playing with Allie's coolest Christmas present - her little doll that pees and poos in a toilet that flushes...seriously this is a hilarious toy. One night when Stevie was in the middle of getting dressed, he sat down totally naked on the little potty - that cracked me up. Joshua tried it too at some point, but he had his clothes on, and couldn't quite keep his balance. Allie's hairstyle was inspired by her little peeing and pooing doll as well. What a nice addition to their family. And Allie is wearing Joshua's shirt in this picture.
Pretty much every picture with these two in it is priceless, but I especially love this one. I hope they stay good friends as they grow up!
Sharing some goldfish.
We had a very nice Christmas - it was my very first Christmas (in 25 years!!!) not being with my family on Christmas day, so that was hard...especially not knowing quite when we'd be able to get our little car through the snow to get up to Washington, but we did have a very good time. Having all these little kids around makes Christmas special in a different way, ya know? Being the youngest generation in my extended family gave Christmases a different feeling for those several years before this next generation came along. I really love seeing Joshua enjoying the holidays.


Apparently there is a limit to the number of pictures you can put into one post...

Here is Joshua modeling the hat Nathan made me - I am pretty impressed with the snowflake pattern - this was his very first try!

Right when the crazy snow started, we were having new floors put in - our wimpy little car left us pretty stranded, so we were very grateful that we could go hang out with the Bays for much of the day while they were working on our apartment. Joshua had a blast playing in the big box full of packing peanuts with Rowan, though admittedly neither of them felt it was quite a two-person box.

I have to say that this is my all-time favorite picture of Rowan ever, and there are a lot of good ones out there! Now, I'm not quite sure if she really liked my Christmas cookies very much, but the homemade green frosting was a BIG hit.

It was so funny what a trek it was just to the next street up! What a crazy week it turned out to be...

We were putting our "office/dining room" back together, enjoying the new vinyl to replace the ratty old carpet. We really like it. More to sweep and mop, but also more to spill stuff on without worry, which REALLY outweighs the other.

Well, little did we know that the next day we'd be going to the doctor to find out that Joshua broke his little arm!!! He'd fallen off the little bench in our hallway on Monday, and it obviously hurt him a lot, so we'd called the doctor right away. They asked us a lot of questions and had us test his range of motion and grasping, etc., and they didn't think it was broken...but told us to watch and see if he was using it. Well on Tuesday it started to swell and bruise near his left wrist, so Wednesday our friend Allie was wonderful enough to take time off work and drive us all to the doctor in her 4 wheel drive vehicle. The doctor didn't think it was broken when he examined him in the office, but the x-ray proved everyone wrong. Our little guy managed to break his left radius. So they put him in a hard splint (like a partial cast wrapped with ace bandages) and sent us home. This sling was only worn for about 3 minutes's not very practical to expect a toddler to wear a sling, and it wasn't necessary either.

Since Joshua wasn't allowed to get his splint wet, and we didn't have any other coat for him, he got to go outside in one of his dada's coats - I think the pictures are pretty freaking adorable. He really enjoyed looking at the snow, though it'll be more fun next time it snows when he can actually be in it a bit more.
I was laying on the floor and Joshy brought me a bunch of pillows, which I appreciated, and then he came and laid down with me...I love my little guy.
Enjoying the snow some more...
The freezing rain did some beautiful things to the trees and bushes, though some of that beauty caused a lot of power outages - ours was off four times on one of the days, but we were fortunate - many people lost power for much longer.
Joshy really enjoyed the "icicles" on the bushes.
And all this before Christmas!

The beginning of December

The first two weeks of December were not extremely eventful, but Joshy did get to help celebrate Grandpa Palmer's birthday and go to a ward Christmas party.

Here is Joshua reading Reader's Digest with Grandpa.
And Joshua is ALWAYS eager for an opportunity to show off his skill at singing "Happy Birthday!"
He found a love of Legos, though we watch him carefully because he likes those little ones.
I like the perspective on this picture - kind of reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. The story that goes along with it cracks me up...whenever Joshua takes off one of the little hats that the Lego men are wearing, he always says, "Lego man naked!" Any bare skin means naked to Joshua, so when his tummy is showing, he says he is naked. He went crazy pointing at one of the tabloid magazines at the grocery store the other day which was showing different movie stars in bathing suits who had gained weight..."Lady naked lady naked!!!"
I had just been fluffing Joshua's hair out in the mirror to the point where he kind of looked like Wolverine from the X-Men, so I had to try to quickly smooth it out for dada's surprise tooth brushing photo shoot.
It is embarassing how long this kid went without having shoes other than his little camo crocs...those have been great, but they have holes in them, so walking in bark dust or dirt turns his socks brown. Anyway, he likes his new velcro shoes because he can still take them off by himself! In this picture, he is contemplating the price tag...
Opening the first Christmas gift of the season - from Aunt Lynn and Uncle Mark - all sorts of fun paper products - thank you so much - I don't know if I thanked you for that in person at Christmas time!!! We are using it all up and greatly appreciate it. Joshua loved taking it all out of the box and putting it back in, over and over. He was especially fascinated with the Kleenex that has lotion in it...
All ready to go to the ward Christmas party - good thing he got new shoes, of course!
At the Christmas party with dada.
Keeping Santa's chair warm for him...what a cutie.
I love this picture - but how could you not?
Though he doesn't look very excited about it in the picture, Joshua did enjoy his first time sitting with Santa. We had this picture as our desktop background for awhile and Joshy got very excited about seeing Santa there. And he only cried a little!