Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year we spent 4 nights with the Wyatt's and celebrated a great Christmas! Christmas Eve (brunch) was spent at my sister's house so we could exchange gifts with the Wheeler/Helsel side. We also went to 4pm Mass at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin together. Back at the Wyatt's for a to-die-for Pork Green Chilli meal. Andy was home too! So nice to have everyone together! Liberty absolutely ADORES her Uncle Andy, Grandma Jo and Grandpa Ted - and their black lab Murphy. Christmas day Liberty was up at 7am and Santa came through with an adorable baby doll (and a million other thoughtful gifts). We also looked forward to a visit with the Kris and Michael and Mary and Gus who we only seem to get to catch up with in person over Christmas each year. By 2pm, while Liberty napped, Ted's amazing Turkey dinner was ready and this meal was so memorable & awesome. We played together as a family and never even left the house on Christmas day! Monday we met up with Kelly, Doug and Charlie for a sledding adventure. Liberty grinned ear to ear - she's our daredevil. I was so thankful to be surrounded by my entire family (except Patrick boohoo) even if just for a few moments since we are trying to get in a rotation groove for all the holidays since my parents don't call Flagstaff home anymore. Especially with the loss and sickness of other family members this season, it was quite a reminder to cherish these joyful times together. Such a fun time - I miss everyone in Flagstaff but will see you all in January when my new niece is born 1/12/12!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First Movie - HAPPY FEET 2

We took Liberty to her first movie today! Disclaimer - I'm the one that is into penguins and actually wanted to see this movie. Liberty doesn't sit through movies or even a TV show - which is fine by us (healthier even). Anyway, she was excited to see singing and dancing penguins. This musical movie has been out for weeks and we went to the 9:30am showing Sunday morning. We were the only family in the theater besides 1 other couple with a baby. THANK GOD because Liberty wanted to get up and dance and sit on the stairs - which she did a lot. The previews were terribly long and we just stayed for 1 hour of the movie. Don't recommend the movie either - HAPPY FEET aint so happy. It should be called UNHAPPY FEET. We still had fun. There were Chipmunk figures in the lobby and a huge poster of Beauty and the Beast that caught Liberty's eye.

Gingerbread House

My mom got us a Gingerbread house this year (I've never done one before) and Liberty had the best time crafting this together. Her excitement and anticipation is hard to capture on camera but it warms my heart daily. And she was concentrating so much! She is quite artsy. My apologies for so many pictures but I couldn't bring myself to delete much - even her "smile for the camera" pictures where she shuts her eyes tight are SO ADORABLE!

MOO-ey Christmas at Superstition Farms

So here are the other pictures from the rest of the Christmas-tastic fun to be had at the farm besides sitting on Santa's Lap! We did the Hayride, petting zoo and then made some smores by the fire. We were feeling so festive that we drove around and looked at Christmas lights after our 2 hours of fun at the farm! One of the houses had another Santa's lap waiting for Liberty but she sensed an impostor and wouldn't sit on his lap. WOW Christmas overload.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa's Lap 2011

It was the last day of MOO-ey Christmas at our nearby Superstition Farms, and we had nothing else to do so we decided - heck- let's go see if Liberty will cry or smile at Santa. Liberty has been a little chatterbox about sitting on Santa's lap. I asked her what toy she wanted Santa to bring her and she has responded with "baby" and "penguin". It may have something to do with those are often the toys she selects when I tell her to pick a toy to bring in the car - don't really know where she got those ideas. Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, we have a smile-er!

For a walk down memory lane and her experience sitting on Santa's Lap LAST YEAR - click HERE. SO BALD!

From 2011-12-17 - Santa's Lap

From 2011-12-17 - Santa's Lap

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pre-Christmas Visit from the Wyatt's

Grandma Jo and Grandpa Ted came to visit! We fed the ducks at Freestone park and rode all the rides including the train, carousel and jet skis! Later we went out to dinner and then to see the Christmas lights at the Mormon Tempe in Mesa. The next morning we relaxed and took a stroll to our neighborhood park. Liberty has started to say Grandpa (papa) - especially when she sees a muffin. Ted makes his special muffins for her and she has associated all muffins with him. Liberty loves to do hair/makeup/lotion with Grandma Jo and to wear matching boots. It was such a nice, quality visit of playtime. Can't wait to travel up to snowy Flagstaff for Christmas at the Wyatt's!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

20 months - 16 pictures of her doing the same thing

Liberty is 20 months old and is not only the most joyful baby on the planet, but she loves learning, music and art.

Some of her favorites at the moment:

Kindermusik - her music class is the highlight of her week. Every single day we play the CDs and she has such a memory for all the motions to the songs and all the fun stuff at music class (parachute, hulahoops, balls, sandblocks, bells, ribbons, instruments, leaves, hand puppets, and on and on and on)
Crafts with Mommy - in addition to coloring with crayons daily, she loves to do water color paints and markers. She's been doing some handprint and Christmas ornament crafts too. Oh and stickers. Haven't quite gotten into glitter, etc but very soon we will.
Chalk and Painting with Water Outside - When the weather is nice (and when it isn't) she asks to do chalk and loves to paint with water. She paints the driveway, the house, rocks, her chair...
Hunting for bugs - Everyday she wants to go on a walk to find Ants, worms, bees, geckos, spiders, rolly-pollies, etc. So far I have succeeded in putting the fear of God in her when it comes to TOUCHING bugs - so we do a lot of "looking with our eyes" and pointing.
ABCs and COLORS - Liberty loves to have you quiz her about her ABCs and colors more than anything. She can identify A,B,I,M,O,P,S - don't know why. She isn't as interested in counting - but if she has two of something in her hands she will yell "TWO!"

And now if you don't believe how much she loves Arts & Crafts - here are pictures from a simple marker project today...JOY I tell ya - JOY.


These past couple weeks Liberty has made huge strides in knowing her COLORS! She knows Blue, Pink, Purple, Orange, Yellow, Black and Brown - Red/Green are the most difficult for her. We've been doing a lot of art with paints/markers/crayons/chalk and I think this has helped with her colors.

From 2011_12_7 - Arts & Crafts Videos

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

We headed up to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix and played a lot in their "experience center" room. We did a small portion of the actual museum which was so neat - unlike any other museum I've ever been to. The 2 hours we spent here flew by and we had to leave because it closed at 5pm.

Tip: Bank of America customers get in free the first weekend of each month ($15pp savings).

Lots of very short videos in this slideshow...I had to capture all the MUSIC!
If you aren't in the mood for multiple 30 second videos may I suggest this collage...
From Collages

The Box

This box was in our house for a week because Liberty had made it a comfy seat (complete with a pillow).

From 2011-12-5 - Playing

From 2011-12-5 - Playing

"Are you going to be a good girl?" "YEA...Nooooo"

Liberty's favorite word is YEA (very agreeable) - but she is very skeptical of Santa since her bad run in with him at the park. She's undecided about this Santa character coming to visit...

From 2011-12-5 - Playing