This morning Alli got herself up. She kept her panties dry all night. She dressed herself and put on a coordinating bracelet. She brushed her hair and put a little gel in it to keep it in place. All by herself. She asked for pancakes with berries for breakfast. My baby is growing up.
Alli loves to play pretend, and her new favorite game is being a Costco sample lady. She sets out little snacks on a plate and puts toothpicks in them. Then she offers them to whomever is around (usually me and the dolls). Then she says, "Isn't it DE-licious!? Try this one."
It takes three spoons to feed Ruby her baby food. One for Ruby to hold (she prefers to feed herself). One for Alli to hold (she loves to help feed Ruby). And one for me (to make sure some food gets in her mouth).
I almost got a haircut for my birthday. I was folding laundry and Allison was brushing and styling my hair. She ran off for a second, but came right back. I was still busy folding clothes. Suddenly something didn't seem right and I quickly turned around. Alli was standing behind me holding her little scissors open, ready to take a snip. Luckily I caught her before any true mischief was done.
Allison can write her name! She has been writing "Alli" for a few weeks now, but on Saturday she wanted to write her "whole" name. I talked her through it. She
made it through the first few letters on her own. Then she asked me how to make an S. I told her it looks curvy like a snake. She drew a long, curvy snake with a head for her S. I was very proud of her first effort. Allison has become quite the artist. I love her little drawings. This one is Alli and Ruby. She included nostrils on this one (I was particularly impressed with the details). She has a great imagination. I am very excited that she is so interested in art.
My mom sent a package to us with gifts for Alli, Andy and me... for our January birthdays. Alli opened her gift, and I set the one for Andy and me aside to open on our birthday. Fifteen minutes later I heard,
"Whoa! That's a big knife!"
I instantly turned to see Allison holding a large santoku knife! My heart stopped. I had a split second to consider all of the terrible possibilities of a three year old with a large, sharp object, but trust me, every awful scene went through my head. I calmly said, "Freeze."
I took the knife from Alli without a fight. She knows she can't play with knives. As I wondered how this happened, I noticed torn wrapping paper from the gift for Andy and me. She had quietly opened our present, unsheathed the knife, and carried it over to show me.
What can we learn from this? If you are giving a dangerous gift, maybe you should wrap it in scary paper, or put some kind of warning on it. And you can't leave an unopened present with a three year old no matter who it is for.
Despite the terrifying opening of the gift, the knife is fabulous! Thanks mom!
Alli is three years old now! We had a little party to celebrate her birthday. The party was snowman-themed. The kids played pin-the-face/stuff-on-the-snowman, then they played a beanbag game, then we decorated cupcakes and got all of the kids sugared up. All of the children really enjoyed decorating cupcakes. You can see in the pictures how serious they were about covering their cupcakes with candies and sprinkles. It was a fun little party. A special thanks goes to Elijah who wanted to clean our house instead of play games. He swept our entire floor! Maybe next year we will have a cleaning-themed party!
I have been laughing so hard about this one. Allison was playing pretend with toy animals. She had a mouse stuck in a pretend mouse trap, but she had confused the words mouse trap and mouse crap. So her play conversation included gems like these: "Stay away from the mouse crap, little mouse." "Oh no! The mouse can't get out of the mouse crap!" "I got to get the mouse out of the mouse crap!" "Mom, how do mouses get out of mouse craps?"
(Her play was more influenced by Cinderella than by any rodent experience we have had at our house. She was playing "friendly mouse.")
Allison was looking at a big, beautiful church near our home when we were out for a walk a few days ago. She liked the colorful windows and the sculptures. She looked way up at the steeples and asked, "Did Jesus die on that steeple?!" I looked up and noticed a cross at the top of the tall steeple. A long and deep conversation followed. We talked about Jesus's death, resurrection, Jerusalem, crosses, Heaven... whew! That's big stuff to explain.
I knew this would happen someday, but I didn't realize it would happen so soon. Allison cut her own hair. She went into my office by herself, climbed up onto my desk to get her little "safety" scissors. She quietly started to trim her hair. She doesn't like to have her hair styled, so it often hangs over her eyes. It was bothering her, so she decided to trim it a little. I noticed the profound silence and went to check on Allison. We were both equally shocked to see each other. Luckily she didn't do too much damage. Her haircut is a bit choppy, but not too bad.
Alli is not much of a napper anymore. She doesn't go to bed early either. She has unending energy all day long. I have stumbled upon a little trick to get her to nap. We have been going for walks, and Alli has decided that sometimes she is too big for the stroller, so she walks too. A few days ago we walked almost a mile to a grocery store. Alli walked all the way to the store. Alli rode in the stroller on our way home and she fell asleep almost as soon as I put her in it. The walk-and-nap afternoon plan has been working out pretty well for a few days, but yesterday my plan backfired and I was left with a super-tired, sassy, grumpy girl.
Ruby cut her first tooth on Christmas. She is working hard on cutting another one soon. She gnaws on her fingers, or anything else that ends up near her mouth.
It is amazing to see how quickly she is growing. She can roll over. She is sitting up now. When she is on her stomach, she can hold her body up (in the yoga "plank" position). She will be mobile in no time!
Ruby started solid foods. She loves her baby food. She lunges forward to reach the spoon. She gets exctied when I get her spoon and bib out.
Ruby babbles now. Her most common babble is "bla bla bla."
I thought it would be so much fun to take the girls downtown to see the Christmas decorations. We bundled up and took a bus to the top of Michigan Avenue. Luckily people still had the Christmas spirit and were very accommodating on the bus. I had Ruby in the baby carrier and Alli was in the stroller. We walked down Michigan Avenue. Alli liked watching the enormous crowds of post-holiday shoppers. We walked to State Street to see the fabulous store windows at Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's). By the time we got there, Alli was nearly asleep, Ruby was getting fussy and I was getting tired. The windows this year told the story of Mary Poppins. Alli liked that. We went inside to see the big tree up on the seventh floor in the Walnut Room. Very beautiful. Almost everyone in the restaurant there had holiday sweaters on. Hmm. The girls were quite done at that point. We met Andy at his office and took the bus home together. It was sort of fun, but I imagine it will be more fun when the girls are a little older.
My dad is an expert napper. He loves naps, and he can fall asleep in the middle of the floor with dozens of grandchildren running around (and some even crawling on him). Here Ruby enjoys being propped up on sleeping Grandpa Ohio. I think Grandpa is enjoying it too.
Alli and Ruby get a hug from their Great-Grandma Tompkins.
The tradition on Christmas Eve is a huge family gathering. Everyone brings a dish (or lots of dishes) to share. There is always plenty of delicious food, happy reunions, lots of children, a visit from Santa, and Grandma Tompkins' amazing cookies and caramel corn!
One of the highlights of our trip to Ohio was ice skating in downtown Akron. This was Alli's first time on the ice, and she was very excited. As we put her skates on her she asked, "Are ice skates magical?"
I took her out on the ice. Andy stayed rink-side to watch Ruby and take some pictures. We skated around the rink a few times, each time Alli's balance and stability improved. After the third lap, Alli was tired. Me too.
I enjoyed skating with her, and I thought of my Grandma Ellene George McKay who loved figure skating dearly. She taught her children and many of her grandchildren to skate as soon as they could walk. It is wonderful to pass down this tradition to my children.
Last Sunday Alli played a solo on the organ in Sacrament meeting. Before you think we have a child prodigy on our hands, let me finish the story. Andy was conducting sacrament meeting. I was sitting towards the front of the chapel with Alli and Ruby. Ruby was getting hungry and the meeting was nearly over. The last speaker was wrapping up his talk, so I took Ruby out and sent Allison up to the front to sit with Andy on the stand. As I walked out of the room with Ruby, I pointed Alli towards Andy, and said, "Go sit with Daddy." Andy saw what I was doing and was fine with it. The rest of my story is hearsay from those who saw what happened. I was blissfully oblivious in the nursing mother's room. Alli walked up to the stand, but she did not go sit with Andy. Instead, she continued on behind him to the choir section. He figured she was being quiet and the meeting was almost over, so he let her play. She quietly crossed the stand to the organ. She climbed up to the keyboard and pressed down on some keys. A "dramatic" peal came from the organ. The speaker paused. Alli knew she was in trouble. All eyes went to the organ where a little girl sat in a lovely "princess" dress. Her cheeks went red and she tried to get down, but she stepped on the lower pedals. Another moan came from the organ. Andy scooped her up and held her on his lap. She was pretty embarrassed. When I came out of the mother's room, I was met with, "You won't believe what Alli just did!" People are beginning to expect entertainment from us every Sunday. (On a related note, we no longer take Cheerios to scarment meeting).
Here is a picture of Alli when she was only 15 months old. She has enjoyed tickling the ivories of a keyboard for a long time now. She will be taking piano lessons someday.