Nov 30, 2010

15 Months: Let the Holiday-ing Commence

It's my favorite time of year. My fridge is packed with Thanksgiving leftovers. Far too many of my ambitious neighbors have already fully decked out their houses with Christmas cheer and boy do they know how to do Christmas cheer. I have already informed the Mr. that we can only hold out a week on the decorations or else risk neighborhood shame. Kate was greeted at daycare today with a fully decorated Christmas tree and "Have a holly jolly Christmas" filling the air. I have three weeks of work until my Christmas break and I am eagerly awaiting the extended time off.

It has been a busy month and a half since our last post. For my dad and Kate's birthday we got them coordinating outfits and planned a mini photo shoot on the beach. After the shoot was over, we attempted to do a quick change and take a Christmas card shot for my parents. Kate thought it would be much more fun to run down the beach in her diaper.

By the end of the day, we had explored the Birch Aquarium, had lunch at a great Italian restaurant in La Jolla, and had a camera full of pictures. Little Kate didn't even make it halfway to the car before she crashed on Grandpa's shoulder.
Soon after, we got to visit with our dear friend Charlie and his adorable son Nathan. Kate and Nathan were born a month apart, but Charlie and his wife Tina moved to Japan shortly after he was born, so we haven't gotten to spend much time with them. In a surprising turn of events, Kate was not on her best behavior during their visit. She usually really loves company but was hit by a little streak of jealousy. Whenever Nathan picked up any of her toys, she ran over to him, screamed, and ripped the toy out of his hands. She is usually such a good sharer which is why we were a bit flabbergasted by her actions.

Kate has a few budding interests lately. She has really taken to reading. She always enjoyed it, but has been asking to look at her books a lot more recently and even seems to like reading them by herself. It is really nice to see and we hope this is just the beginning of a lifelong love of books. Her favorites seem to be pictures books where she can point at all the pictures and identify the objects. She has a great memory and it usually only takes her a few reminders before she has the names down and can pick them out herself.

Another fascination with Kate lately is taking random objects and wearing them on her head. First, it was a ribbon from a Nordstrom box. Then it was a pair of underwear out of my laundry basket (don't worry, they were clean). She spent a good amount of time wearing them on her head, around her neck, and over her arm like a purse. It was quite amusing and provided for some great photos that I am sure will be brought out the first time a boy comes over to take her on her first date.

J and I got a little "us time" in mid-November when we went to visit my little bro who now lives in Chicago. I have been to Chicago twice now and think it is a really amazing city. The architecture is cool, the streets are clean, the food is amazing (especially the Giordano's pizza), and the view from my brother's apartment is beyond compare. We decided not to take Kate as we felt like we could use a baby-free vacation. Sleeping in and going out past 6:30pm was at the top of the list. We went on the architectural tour along the river and to the zoo at Lincoln Park. J loves photography (I am sure most people know this by now) but both outings gave him an opportunity to take some incredible pictures.
Our holiday celebrations have started out with a bang this year. This will be Kate's second holiday season, but it is already turning out to be so much more fun now that she is 1. Our first stop was Bates Nut Farm (aka Nate's Butt Farm). Kate seemed to have fun checking out the gigantic pumpkins and did a good job picking out one for us to bring home.

Next up was Kate's second Halloween. Last year she donned a ladybug costume. This year she rocked an Elephant suit. We didn't think she would leave the hat on, but she kept it on all night and was the cutest elephant in the herd.

We also took Kate for a little trick-or-treating. She clearly got the take-candy-out-of-the-bowl- and-put-it-in-my-bag concept and spent the rest of the night transferring candy from our bowl to our neighbors' bowl.

The most recent event was Kate's second Thanksgiving. Last year, she had a pretty big meltdown at a friend's house. We thought she would get a kick out of eating with the family, but she didn't seem interested in the meal or the company. We couldn't believe that our big eater wasn't interested in yummy Thanksgiving dinner, but she had a great time running around the table while we finished our delicious meal. We had a wonderful time catching up with the Nor Cal family and got to visit with my brother again who was home from Chicago.

We've started our Christmas shopping and we will be catching up with the neighbors soon in the decorating department. We are so excited to spend this Christmas with Kate. We already know she is going to love a bunch of her gifts. We tested them out at the store before we bought them and they are Kate approved.

If we don't get a chance to say so in person, we hope you all have a merry holiday season and a happy new year.

Kate's Photo Shoot

For Kate's first birthday we decided to get some "official" pictures taken. We met the photographer at a really cool park/historical site called Leo Carrillo Ranch. Initially, Kate wasn't really that excited to be there and wasn't really interested in playing it up for the camera. Nonetheless, we got some cute pictures. Here are the pictures we chose from the many she took that day.

After we spent some time with the professional, we walked around the ranch a little more and took some unofficial pictures. Kate seemed to be in a better mood now that she wasn't being asked to "perform."
Hope you enjoyed our little model in her first "professional" shoot. Let us know if you would like us to send you one of her official shots to print out for your very own. Who knows, they could be worth a lot of money some day!