November 2011

Monthly Archive

words

Posted by lynn on 07 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: nalani

doublecheese

It took 18 months, but I can now say Nalani is consistently communicating with words, including a few phrases and of course plenty of gestures. (Knocking on the front door while saying “GO!” when she’s ready to leave is my favorite. “Cheeeeese!” for both the camera and the food is a close second.) Melina is thrilled that Nalani now calls her something like a name. “Melina” comes out “Nana,” but with a little bit of a “y” sound so it’s really more like “Nya-nya”. It’s especially funny since some toddlers in Nalani’s class call HER Nana. Kai is simply “Ka.”

kids

Other favorite words include “shooooz!” (again, when she’s ready to head out the door), “gho” for ghost, “Doc Choc” for her stuffed dog, Dr. Chocolate, and of course “baaachie!” for her little blankies, which, thanks to Melina, we all now call “bachies.” Last week Teacher Jessie excitedly told me that Nalani asked for “More Cheerios” at snack time. The teachers gave her so much praise for the full phrase that she didn’t say another word until “bye bye” when I picked her up that afternoon.

monkeybars

On the printed word front, Nalani adores “Mr. Brown Can Moo” by Dr. Suess and asks for “Moo” just before bedtime each night. She also loves Maisy books, “Go, Dog, Go,” and all our pint-sized Suess board books. Melina’s first favorite book was “Hop on Pop.” I’m happy my girls like Suess! Much like her big sis, Nalani will spend up to 30 minutes pulling books off the family room shelf and then flipping through them, one at a time.

fashionistas

Posted by lynn on 06 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: melina, nalani

girlsb4school

fireside

A work friend of mine recently commented on the crazy kindergarten girl fashion she’s seen at her son’s school. This led to me detailing Melina’s past week of self-chosen outfits, and then starting to chronicle the really fun ones in pictures. Lots of layers (pants under skirts, long shirts under sundresses) with tangentially matched patterns (hearts with stars, stripes with polka dots) and textures (somewhere M acquired a faux-fur leopard skirt, for one) are all the rage with the “I now dress myself” set.

checkerdress_rainboots

pumpkinorange

For Melina, the late 2s and early 3s were all about pink. The late 3s were a hard time to get her dressed in anything not jammies. (My “day jammies” argument for leggings never worked.) At age 4 I am thrilled to report she indeed dresses herself every morning, and many mornings without a fuss. Having her pick outfits the night before helps. Reminding her that I also pick my outfits the night before (no lie) doubly helps. Following the fashion sense of her friends is definitely part of the equation. I don’t think I started on this until sometime in grade school.

purpleshoe

purpleshoe_smile

What’s more, Nalani has suddenly started showing preferences, and she’s barely 18 months. One recent morning she went through three outfit changes and they weren’t because she made a mess. She refused the dress I picked out (granted it was corduroy, perhaps not comfy enough?) and was fine with outfit #2… until she noticed one of the matching dresses she has with Melina. She brought it to Joey, who caved and changed her.

Nalani also picked out her second pair of shoes back in September. We had just had her feet measured when I turned to Joey to ask what style we might get. “Don’t ask me,” he said. “She’s already picked for herself.” And there she was, holding a pair of purple toddler sneakers, saying “dat.”

trick or treat!

Posted by lynn on 02 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai, melina, nalani

kids

nali slide

We had a jam-packed kickoff to the holidays last weekend, all leading up to trick-or-treat festivities on Monday night. The fun began with a pancake breakfast and haunted house at Melina’s preschool. It’s a huge annual event but somehow we’ve missed it every year since Kai was two. The kids all had a blast, and Nalani even got to see her daycare buddy (and Suli’s sister) Tejal. It was so out of context that both girls just stared at each other blankly.

family

wagons

Sunday we spent down in Livermore, for what looks to be turning into an annual pumpkin patching and wine tasting expedition with the Markel-Macks. This year Karen and Jennifer and families joined us. The weather was stunning, an absolute perfect high-70s with an ever-so-slight breeze. The kids had fun riding with pumpkins in wagons and running through a hay bale maze at G&M Farms. Then we all had fun picnicking (along with several bottles of wine) at Fenestra. To make it an even fuller day, we gave the Hindmarshes a call and stopped by their place for an impromptu visit. The kids played non-stop with Uncle Alan, who Melina says is “even sillier than Daddy or Miss Lisa.”

5 kiddos

pre_parade

Monday morning Nalani and I joined Melina on her preschool parade around the block, then caught a glimpse of a surprise pinata when we picked her up that afternoon. For the culminating event we headed to the Schultzes for a moms group potluck and trick-or-treating extravaganza. James had four (yes, four) types of home-brew on tap. All delicious, as was Tracee’s homemade pumpkin ice cream.

parade_rest

withJeanie

While we carried Nalani along for trick-or-treating last year, this was her first full experience of the big candy ask. She got a kick out of all the decorations, and even a silly haunted house set up by a bunch of teenagers. Her vocabulary started to include the word ghost (“gho”) a few weeks ago, and by Halloween night every decoration she saw was “GHO!” here and “GHO!” there, much like all holiday lights became “TREEEEEE!” for Melina when she was the same age.

keg

party

Nalani also caught on, more or less, to the trick-or-treating ritual. At one of the final houses she stopped at the top of the stairs to fetch a candy out of her pumpkin then tried to give it to the woman handing out candy at the door. For her part, the woman was pretty eager to get rid of the big stash of candy in her bowl, and eventually Nalani agreed simply to take rather than to share. It was very funny, and struck an odd light on how bizarre this tradition is and what it teaches our children at the core, even if we don’t intend to teach them anything but to simply have fun.

Halloween has also evolved. In a new twist for our generation of kids, the Great Pumpkin now makes a visit a few days after Halloween to trade the vast bulk of candy for a little gift. (The kids pick their favorite 15 or so pieces to save, and the rest go to Pumpkinland.) Melina had all sorts of questions about the Great Pumpkin: How big is he? How does he get into the house? He’s part of Santa’s team, right? And without a lot of larger cultural context was a little scared after putting the bag of candy out last night. But all was well when she awoke to a brand new purple unicorn waiting for her in the candy bag’s place.