Friday, January 28, 2011

Growing Up

Leah is blossoming into a little girl more and more everyday. This photo was taken yesterday when she let me pull her hair into pigtails - and actually left them in most of the day! (The trick was letting her choose what color bands she wanted. ;) ) She looked so much older and truly like an almost-three year old.

Just an hour ago, when I was getting ready to put her down for a nap, she started singing that Wiggles song, "Rock-a-bye Your Bear". It's always been one of her favorites and she's known the hand motions for about a year. But this time, with absolutely zero prompting from me, she sang the entire thing! I was extremely impressed. For the past two days, she's also been singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (another favorite) and she's actually saying, or very much attempting to say, every true word in the song - not just adding babbles or skipping parts like she was doing just a month ago. It is so exciting to hear and observe.

Leah was a rock star at Storytime this past week as well. I've been letting her choose where she wants us to sit and for the past month or two, she always chooses front and center. In the past, she would choose the back corner, sit on my lap for much of Storytime, look through my purse for snacks, or gawk at other children. Every once in awhile, we'd get a week where Leah would really engage and try to do the nursery rhyme hand motions. But wow, a few months' time has REALLY made a difference. Perhaps a combination of her age and her familiarity with Storytime and our favorite librarian, Leah interacts and imitates nearly everything that the librarian does now. I am so thrilled watching her, seeing her grow into a confident little girl.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wacky Weather!

Earlier this week, we had our second winter storm of the season. And it's only January. The past two years, when it snowed, it occurred in February and March. Yikes! Where did we move to?!

Snow began falling Sunday night and continued into Monday morning. Our local airport recorded 8.8 inches of snow. I would've guessed that our yard received about 6", but we didn't measure. Leah had a blast playing outside! She tasted the snow, threw snowballs at Momma, and enjoyed flopping down in it. :)

As predicted, the snow changed over to sleet and freezing drizzle for most of Monday. Ugh. Usually when it does snow here, it doesn't last too long because the temperatures rise back into the 50s and everything melts relatively quickly. Not so this time. We're stuck with arctic air, barely getting to the freezing mark during the day, and lows in the teens. Combine that with few plows and zero salt trucks down here, and it makes for a big icy mess. Schools have been closed all week and Leah & I have been staying in, not even attempting to go anywhere. We've watched several movies, played lots of Playdoh, made a batch of Auntie Anne's soft pretzels, and colored many pictures.

Unfortunately, two visits planned for this week were cancelled due to the storm. Grammy was supposed to arrive on Monday and stay until Thursday, but her flight was cancelled on Sunday in anticipation of the storm. While we've certainly missed her, we're glad she didn't have to experience the hassle of being snowed/iced in at the airport! Also, Popel & Grandma were planning to drive down this weekend for our delayed Christmas, but that has been postponed as well. Our area won't even begin to warm above freezing until tomorrow, and who knows how much road conditions would improve. Safer for them to stay home as well, though they will be missed!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Recap (Finally!)

Our third Christmas with Leah was wonderful! Every year is the new best Christmas as she becomes more aware and increases her vocabulary and excitement.

Despite the discomfort from the urinary tract infection that she was diagnosed with three days before Christmas, Leah certainly enjoyed opening gifts, playing with new toys, and generally spending a relaxing day at home.

When I walked into her bedroom on Christmas morning, I told her, "Looks like Santa came last night; there are a lot of presents out there..." to which she replied, "Okay!" and immediately stood up in her crib. :)

After we walked into the living room and Leah surveyed the loot, the first gift she opened was the one from "Bolt". She noticed that her Bolt was sitting in the new tent and we told her that Bolt must've sent a present with Santa. She snuggled her new stuffed Mittens and Rhino. It was sweet!

Leah received a lot of fantastic new toys, some including favorite characters from "Toy Story" and "Cars". In the past week and a half since the holiday, she has really seemed to give all her new toys equal play time and enjoys everything. Dorothy and Wags from The Wiggles do seem to be favorites though, as they accompany her to nap and bedtime everyday. And, as Daddy pointed out, we now finally have more Wiggles DVDs than Barney ones! Woo hoo!

Some additional Christmas photos:

What made this Christmas even more magical was snowfall that began in the evening. Dan and I could hardly believe it! Having a white Christmas is a rarity even in Pennsylvania so neither of us ever thought we'd experience one here in the south. At about 8pm, when the snow had been coming down for about two hours and was sticking to everything, we bundled up and trekked outside to check it out. Our Christmas lights looked even more exciting with snow falling all around!

When we woke up the next day, it was snowing again and continued until just before noon. All in all, we received probably 3-4 inches, which was just enough to play in and marvel at for the holiday weekend. :)