29 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had such a nice weekend! We went next door for brunch on Thanksgiving Day, and then Jake, Gabriel and I had a little turkey dinner at home. It was so nice and peaceful, and the weather was gorgeous. Yesterday we had a trip to the library, we went out to lunch, then we did a bit of shopping and then bought our Christmas tree at a farm nearby. The trees are lovely here, and Jake did a great job sawing it down. Gabriel had a great time despite the cold weather, although he was a bit more impressed with the cows mooing and the tractors driving by than with the tree-retrieving process. Every time the cows would moo, he'd yell a big "MOOOOO" right back at them! It was super-cute! Once we brought the tree home, it was very exciting. Gabriel wanted to help with every step, and he even started decorating early... by throwing all his toys in the tree! After we told him that throwing things at the tree is not allowed, he just let all his animals (mainly his talking chicken) nibble on the branches. He now has a little tree in his room with A&M lights on it, and he loves it. He had to give it hugs and kisses before he would go to bed!

Today we worked on Christmasing up our house. We hung lights and wreaths, decorated our tree, and played at the playground. It's been so cold that we haven't been to the playground in weeks. Gabriel loooooved getting to go swing and slide, and he especially loved that Daddy got to come with us. He is getting so good at "stop and go" on the way to the park, and he knows that we have to stop and look for cars before we can go across the street. And we don't dare vary from our normal route or he will have a fit! He definitely knows the way to the park.

Another funny note is that Gabriel loves counting in English and Spanish. He has his favorite numbers, though. If he's playing by himself, he'll say "2, 3, 9, 11, DIEZ!!!" or "uno, taco (for quatro), cinco, seis, siete, ocho, DIEZ!!!"

We also started watching a little bit of Sesame Street after naptime the last week and a half. We have our afternoon snack and drink and talk about what's on the t.v. He loooooves it, and he especially likes Elmo. He even makes an "Elmo face," where he opens his mouth in a big smile with his lips tucked in. It's hilarous! When Elmo comes on t.v., he desperately wants to give him a hug and kiss. It's the cutest. He also makes happy and sad faces, and he loves my old high school drama t-shirt with the sad/happy drama masks on it. His sad face is really just no smile and a tilted head, but it's funny anyway.

Today we were reading our fire-safety magazine and we were talking about "stop, drop, and roll." I asked him if he could do it, and he said yes. So, I said stop and he stopped with bent knees. I said drop, and he dropped to all fours. Then I said roll, and he rolled from his tummy to his back and put his hands on his forehead. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until I looked at the picture -- the boy in the picture is on his back with his arms over his head! I guess Gabriel really does pay attention when we read our stories!!!

We read a library book called Christmas in the Big Woods, and in the story Ma makes pancake men for all the kids. Gabriel is always impressed with this, so tonight I made him a pancake man and a pancake heart for dinner. He was sooooo excited, and Jake held him up so he could watch me make it. It's so much fun to learn with Gabriel, and then to make stories come to life for him. He learns so much every day! I almost feel like I can't keep up with all his new developments. I still can't believe that he's going potty like a big boy already (no, he's not potty trained, but he's getting there) and he loooooooves wearing pull-ups. He really wants to eat at the table or counter like Mama and Daddy, so we let him go high-chairless whenever we can. He does so well! And today he climbed the stairs by himself for the first time. He's been able to do it for a long time, but we never let him go solo until today. Yay, Gabriel!

It's late, so I won't add photos today. I will add them tomorrow, so check in again to see some nice Fall pictures!

17 November 2008

Remember, Remember, to Blog in November...

Once again I've let a month go by without a post. Ugh. What's gonna happen when I have two little munchkins to take care of?! And I have a ton of good pictures to show off! Of course, I have to start off with pictures of our little dragon-baby. He had a great Halloween! We had a day-before-Halloween-party with our Stroller Strides friends, and he loved his costume and playing with the other costumed kiddoes. We then had a spider cake at class on Friday morning, followed by a day out and about with our friends Becca & Jonny (from London, moving to Melbourne, Australia), and some fun trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. He did so great! We only went to a handful of houses, but by the end he knew the drill: ring doorbell, say trick-or-treat and Happy Halloween, get candy, say thank you! He did not want the night to end! And he loves his dragon costume. He would occasionally want to take off the dragon-face-hood to give it a hug and a kiss! And his roar-roar is the cutest ever!

We don't have a lot going on. We are house-hunting (although we have now decided to wait a bit longer), preparing for the new baby girl due in March, and enjoying the cool weather up here. The leaves changed colors beautifully up here, so we made sure to go hiking while Becca & Jonny were here. That is something that most of Texas really misses out on. Gabriel loved the leaves, and we even had a few leaf fights with all the kids at class! It was awesome! We are still searching for a church home, so we go somewhere different every week. Nothing has fit right (not even near), so we may start trying churches closer into the DC area. Other than that, we are just keeping our heads above water.

As for Gabriel news, he had a biggie today! Now that the weather is cold, we have Stroller Strides indoors at the mall. Santa arrived a couple weeks ago, so after each class we go look at the model trains and wave at Santa. At first, G wouldn't even wave. Then he'd give a little wave while clutching to Mama. Lately he's been giving humongous waves with a big, excited smile and blowing kisses. Today he wanted to go see him! He gave Santa a hi-five, took a little candy cane, and even talked to him! I asked G what he wanted Santa to bring him, and he said "trains." Okay, we had practiced that once or twice ;). Then Santa asked if he wanted just regular trains, or Thomas trains. Gabriel's eyes lit up, he looked at me, then he looked at Santa and said "Thomas trains, please!" I am so proud of him! Maybe in a week or two he'll even sit on his lap for a picture. We'll see...

What else? He loves to move the barstools away from the counter and push a dining room chair over so that he can stand on it and be with the grown-ups or reach for things we've hidden from him. We had a long visit with Jonny & Becca (almost 2 weeks), and now Gabriel has picked up a few things: he often says "cheerio" or "cheerios" when someone leaves, he says "tract-ah" instead of "tractor" about half the time, and he still thinks Jonny & Becca are somewhere upstairs. Actually, he knows they're in Australia now, but he believes that is somewhere upstairs. He is super excited about Christmas already, although I don't know that he knows what it is. He loves reindeer, Santa, snowmen, Christmas trees and lights, and all the music and decorations to go with it. He loves Nativity scenes and Baby Jesus, but his favorite parts are the animals and the angels. I have to sing Jingle Bells and Up on the Housetop every day, and we read "The Night Before Christmas" about twice a day! And if he's fussy, we just pop in some Christmas CD's and he will start dancing and trying to snap his fingers. He is definitely my son!

We don't have much new baby news, other than that she is a tough little girl. Gabriel moved constantly in the womb, but it was mostly gentle. This girl likes to kick and poke with all her might! It actually hurts quite often, and once she starts to push out a foot or an elbow, she just won't release. Ouch! But everything else is great. She's right on target for size, as am I. And despite my complaints, I love to feel her wiggle. I think it just makes her feel more real to us. Gabriel likes to put his little hands on my belly to feel her move, and he still loves to give her hugs and kisses. And no, we don't have a name yet, but we are desperately trying to figure it out. It's so hard! She'll be stuck with whatever name we choose forever, and we want to give her a name that is special, meaningful, and something she'll love. We'll let everyone know what we decide, and we promise not to make you wait so long this time around.

Well, tomorrow is a long day of house-hunting, and it's supposed to snow tonight, so I'd better sleep while G is sleeping.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to post again before Christmas comes and goes!!!

Here are a few random pictures in no particular order. I might come back and comment on them later, but it's late and I am sleeeeeepy!