Monday, December 20, 2010

Alexis is 16 Months!

The days seem to go faster and faster lately. I still can't believe how little I have done on Lexy's baby book and again am thankful I have things recorded here. When the New Year hits my plan is to plow through her first year and get it done!(Feel free to encourage that plan!)

This past month Alexis:

*Has become much more vocal. She tries to say much more and has said baby, cheese (when taking a picture!) mama for "more", and uh-oh. She has said other words when trying to copy something we said. The cutest thing is how she says "Hi!" all of the time now. She says it as soon as she sees someone and in the cutest little voice!

*Has really started imitating us. She will intently watch what we are doing and then proceed to try whatever it was herself. Opening a compact, typing on a keyboard, picking up toys, stirring something. It's really cute and something we notice is different then the boys. She is much more interested in detail and doing what we do.

*Has developed an "evil villain laugh". It's pretty funny! She will wait until one of her brothers leaves something they have been carrying around (this is usually Jacob) and she runs over, picks it up and then runs away with this deep, throaty laugh! She does the same laugh whenever she is up to no good.

*Has started clearing out every cabinet, basket and drawer she can find. It is making A LOT more work for mommy during the day. Within seconds flat she can empty entire drawers of clothes in the boys rooms. I have put together pj sets countless times now...hoping she grows out of this stage quickly!

*Still wears size 3 diapers. Is wearing 6-12 months jeans and most 6-12 month outfits. Gymboree 12-18 month tops are fitting. She's a site to see as she runs around, being so small. As most people say it, "She's a busy little thing!"

*Still not drinking milk. Trying to put a little in her water but she will only drink that with the tiniest amount of milk. I dropped her morning nursing time yesterday which has been hard. She was really out of sorts about it this morning. So now she nurses just once a day at night.

*She has really been enjoying the Christmas season! She loves when we dance around every day for our Advent Tree drawing! Something else super cute is how she dances everytime she hears my text notification. It's a cheery Christmas song with ringing bells and she grins and dances so sweet every time without fail!

*She's been making a funny face where she freezes her mouth into a little "O" (There's a picture below that kind of shows it!). She'll do it if she eats something funny or something happens she doesn't like.

I was telling Craig the other day that I found the perfect way to describe her being in our family. It's like having a sundae with 3 scoops of your favorite ice cream (the boys) complete with a big cherry on top! Alexis is definitely our sweet "cherry"!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Tree

It's that time of year when the bells ring and "Advent Tree! Advent Tree!" can be heard once a day in the Shoemaker home. It is one of our most beloved family traditions as we have been doing it for most of the boys life! What is Advent Tree? It is a tree that I made at a MOPS meeting one year. Someone came and spoke to tell us about their Advent Tree traditions and it was such an awesome idea I couldn't pass it up for our family. There are 25 pockets to put a slip of paper in that holds an event for each day until Christmas. It can be as big as a trip to Disneyland or as simple as reading Christmas stories together. But when we grab that tree off the wall, begin to shake it so the bells jiggle and yell out "Advent Tree!" over and over....priceless! The kids run from every corner of the house as fast as they can in anticipation of what that little piece of paper holds. Even Alexis is getting in on the action this year! She grins from ear to ear and tries to dance cute! So far this year or Advent Events have been:

December 1st - Started off with a Bang! Went to Disneyland and thoroughly enjoyed all of the beautiful decorations and "snow"!

December 2nd - Went to get frozen yogurt at Berry Sweet and bought our Christmas Tree! The boys go crazy for our trees...ahhh the wonderful scent of pine!

December 3rd - Went to spend time with our friends the Hoopers! Our kids have grown up together and playing with them is always high on their list of favorite things to do! And going to Mc Donalds for a treat certainly sweetens the deal!

December 4th - Going to Sea World and meeting Grandpa and Grandma there! Very exciting being able to enjoy more awesome decorations and 3 shows this year with a Christmas theme! Also watching the "Polar Express" 4D movie fun!!

December 5th - We decorated our Christmas tree! The boys love getting all of the ornaments out and remembering each special one. Speaking of traditions I have bought a Hallmark ornament (or two or three...) every year since we have been married. The buying of Hallmark ornaments actually goes back 3 generations. My Grandma Pape used to work at Hallmark before I was even born and when I was born, bought me an ornament every year for many years (which I still have). My mom continued this by buying them nearly every year while I was growing up and now I get to continue the tradition. So neat to be able to carry it on!

December 6th - Was "The First Gift of Christmas!" Around the time Advent Tree started I began this tradition. The boys get to open a gift during the first week of December. Sometimes they each get something small but lately it is usually just one gift for all of them and is Christmas themed. This year it was a Phineas and Ferb Christmas movie that they were able to watch that night.

December 7th - Chick- Fil-a Family Night and read Christmas Stories! Nearly every Tuesday we go to Chick-fil-a for Family Night. That night one of the girls that usually runs things played her guitar and sang Christmas songs with the kids. They were also able to color Christmas pictures. When we got home they each picked a Christmas Story and we read them together.

December 8th - We had Wednesday night Small Group and the kids Youth Night. Before going they got to watch "Charlie Brown's Christmas". Another "must-do" of the season!

December 9th - Last night we took our Family Christmas Pictures and got treats at See's Candy afterwards! Can't beat all of the free samples and the lady that helped us even gave us their suckers for free!!

December 10th - Today's much anticipated activity is making sugar cookies. Mom's going to have to find her second wind to get through that one! Make the dough and frosting from scratch and then let the kids cut out different Christmas shapes. We may be frosting some of them another day as it's a L-O-N-G process!!

I really have so much fun getting to share this special event with my kids. I hope they grow up with fond memories and pass the tradition onto their own families! As for the rest of the activities be continued!=0)