December 2011

Monthly Archive

santa spirit

Posted by lynn on 30 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, nalani

nalani xmas dress

lynn xmas dress

We’re getting ready to ring in the new year with our second annual NYE PJ party (that’s right, pajamas!). It also seems a fitting end-cap to a fun-filled holiday season. I’ve especially appreciated the full week I took off to hang out with Joey and the girls, and I know the girls have enjoyed it, too, especially after all the Christmas excitement.

kids by tree

girls santa

Santa made several stops for our kiddos this year, and brought more than Melina had anticipated. “I only told him I wanted two things. He brought me a LOT!” Don’t you love it when life brings more than you expected? Besides the rain boots and fruit (yes, fruit) Mina had asked Santa for, he also left candy canes, glitter pens, and a Tinker Bell calendar in her stocking.

melina list

kai list

What’s more, he stopped in Berkeley to drop off a pink play kitchen next to our tree, even though we spent Christmas in Roseville. (This was on her list. She forgot. Nalani probably would have had it on her list if she’d known how to ask. And Kai still loves to cook, play and real.)

girls xmas eve

dessert

Melina’s awe of the Santa spirit continued: “And some of the things I wanted he didn’t bring but I got from other people.” That’s right! Jewelry box from Mama, Tinker Bell PJs from Daddy and the Hams, and loads of fun things that weren’t on her list at all. Turns out many of them had a Tinker Bell theme.

presents

breakfast

Nalani got a mini bee pillow pet to friend big Bug, and the big kids both got Lego sets to entertain them and their cousins Christmas morn. Joey and I got several gift cards we put to good use soon after we got back to Berkeley, when we made a day of BARTing into SF with the girls for some shopping and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory on Union Square.

pink legos

cousins

The highlight of the holiday for all of us was spending time with family. (And the traditional cooking, eating, and gabbing, of course.) On December 24, Kai was more excited about heading to Roseville than he was the big pile of presents we packed in the back of the van.

car nap

kitchen

Melina and Lucas spent loads of time coloring and exploring the back yard, Kai and Noah had sword fights and built towers, and Nalani and Ella chased each other around in a battle of toddler wills for the “favorite” play stroller. There were two, but the one the other has is always best, isn’t it?

2 little girls, bunches of big festivities

Posted by lynn on 11 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina, nalani

tree

jl_sjxmas

Some days I look at Melina and marvel at how big and – dare I say it – mature my first baby has become. She has her moments of melodrama, to be sure, but she also has an intuitive sense of how to help out with the realities of our daily routine while keeping things fun and flighty like only a four-year-old can. She loves to “read” Nalani’s favorite books to her, and teach her things like how to brush her teeth and pick out her own socks.

beanbags

storytime_with_james

She’s also showed incredible patience at teaching her sister how to share and take turns, and even initiates little incentives like “Nalani-pop (her spin on ‘Nali pop,’ to rhyme with lollipop) you can only have these raisins after you let mama put you in your chair.” To my amazement, it sometimes works! She loves playing with Kai when he’s here, but also seems to love spreading out and enjoying her own space (and more and more the “just girls” space with her growing sis) when he’s not.

trike

jump

After attending a crafty mama beading party last month (we made our own Fimo beads!) Melina has been really into anything crafty. She beads necklaces, draws pictures, creates collages, and cuts out any variety of things she has drawn: Christmas tree ornaments for Santa, little flowers, even a Halloween witch costume for her stuffed dog Baby Ein. We spend lots of time with play group friends, especially Lily (whose daddy also loves beer) and Emma (who swims with Mina), and also make sure to visit neighbor friends when we have free weekend time.

grandma_leaves

SJred

As for our littlest girl, we see it every day and her teachers confirm: Nalani is a clown. She loves to exaggerate facial expressions, give huge cheesy smiles, and joke around with peek-a-boo with both herself and the object of the moment. On the flip side, she continues to love books and will happily “read” on our big new floor pillow for up to 30 minutes on her own. She’s taken to standing and acting out books as they’re read to her, at home and also, according to her teachers, at daycare. A favorite for this is Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe. She also adores baby dolls and stuffed animals, especially dogs and bears. Taking after big sis, she likes her Hello Kitty socks above any others (even though we’re missing one of four) and gets absolutely giddy anytime she gets to wear the ghost shirt handed down from Lucas and Noah.

wagon

kirkslide

Nalani is also as mischievous yet careful as ever. She climbs most anything, her favorite being the coffee table that she tries to use as a seat – until we take her off. She wants desperately to sit at the big-people barstools, and tries to climb up screaming “UP!” every morning at breakfast time. The other week we forgot to close the baby gate to the stairs, and while I was washing dishes she decided to stop playing in the family room and carry a stack of books upstairs. She was so quick and quiet I didn’t know she was up there until I heard a “mama… mama… mama…” coming from the top landing. She wanted to come back down to get the rest of her books at the bottom, but seemed to know down isn’t something to be done alone – even though she’s perfectly capable of scooting the whole flight on her own.

grandma_stories

train

Nalani’s word and phrase repertoire continues to grow. Favorites include “read book” while pushing Go Dog or Mr. Brown Can Moo into our hands, “play” as she plays, “happy” as she smiles, and “gobble gobble” when she’s wearing her turkey shirt. “Noooooo” and “please” are two consistent additions. She repeats most of what we say, understands everything (she’s great at following directions, even to clean up and sometimes even to share), and seems to have a lot to say. I can’t wait until she’s able to put her thoughts to words. I think we’ll hear an earful.

turkey

turkeys

And…. we’ve been busy this holiday season. Thanksgiving fun included an overnight visit with Grandma and Grandpa in San Jose, a ride through the redwoods on the Tilden train, and for Melina and Kai and friend Emma, taking in The Muppet Movie at the theater by Melina’s school. It was Mina’s first theater movie, and she was speechless the entire show as well as the whole ride home. What’s more, she didn’t touch her popcorn. We topped off our long weekend by putting up our tree, purchased right down the street at OSH. Kai and Melina had the whole house decked within 30 minutes and Melina helped me put up ornaments over the next few days, just in time for Mama’s birthday celebration and the start of December party season.

Happy holidays, everyone!

nalani the little actress

Posted by lynn on 07 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: general

Nalani loves books. Her new thing is to act out the book as it’s read to her.