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 anything...it 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 blame...er...credit!
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!