Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gifts from the Godparents

Lisa Diane and Joey returned this week from their time in Mexico at Troy and Christinne's wedding. And they brought gifts for the kids (thank you again). And wow, what gifts.

Here are a few pictures of the kids together:

Asher in his new "party" outfit including one with his puzzle piece on his head.

And some of Chiara totally hamming it up for the camera:

I swear she sees either the sling or the camera and starts to react right off like some testament to Pavlov.

Unbelievably, she is six months old as of this weekend. I feel like it's been a warp speed six months. She rolls over and over, knocks down blocks, holds stuff and passes it from one hand to the other, pushes up off her stomach, high-fives, sits up for minutes at a time, and says hi if you say hi. And of course she's being training on the alphabet, numbers, colors, the rainbow, geography, Backyardigans, and musical theater. Happy half-birthday!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

True Zen

It's possible that not everyone sees blocks and decides to balance them on her head, but I do. Rachel informs me that it's not a special skill but I beg to differ and I think the pictures back me up. We got eight stacked there but only got a picture of 4 and 5.

It got much more interesting though when Rachel moved Chiara closer so she could knock the blocks down.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First tooth

Man were we busy on Monday evening. We got home and Ash was feeling a little pregnant. Here's a picture of him. He gave birth to a bouncing baby globe ball. And then another. And another. I can't even say how many baby balls he birthed that evening. He did sleep very well at least...

It's hard to see but there are two genuine teeth right there.


Chiara also high fived yesterday but I couldn't get a picture of it. But here's one of her just looking cute.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Farm Trip Pictures

We got home yesterday afternoon from a trip to the farm. It was a really wonderful trip with great food, good company, and a brand new Wii and Wii Fit (not for us but we played with it). The drive up took a while due to many factors including Chiara not being settled in the car. On a non-unrelated note, Chiara has a new tooth. The matching one is working its way through but she was much more calm in the car coming home. We took probably 150 pictures and 8 videos but I've tried to get a reasonable smattering of pictures. I'll work on choosing and posting videos later this week.

I did not get a picture of Rachel actually playing Super Hula Hoop while nursing the baby (not in the sling) but here is one of the two of them playing tennis. It makes me remember the time she nursed Asher while we kayaked on Town Lake. I felt like it would qualify her for the mommy Olympics (a sport with events such as "find a potty quickly in a public place", "stand-up diaper change", "answering hard questions", and "nursing while doing extreme sports."). Asher loved playing both sports and Fit but it seemed like the balance board sometimes couldn't detect his movements. Oh, his Wii Fit age is 22 which makes me think that the algorithm is not designed with little kids in mind. Both of them are playing tennis in these pictures.

On Friday we went into Dallas to meet Ina for lunch. Chiara was very happy to be held and we got many pictures of Ina with the kids.

On the way home from Dallas, we saw a pretty strange sight:

Andrea and Asher did some working out on the Health Rider:

Chiara did some rolling across and back and across and back the blanket:

Also some professional level toy-chewing:

Asher and Grandma and Chiara playing with a puzzle:

Asher and Granddaddy watching Madagascar:

By the end of the weekend, Chiara had her first tooth and her first haircut:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Duck and Goose Challenge?

I will have plenty of pictures to post from our trip to the farm but since I can't download them until we get home, that will have to wait.

Lately we have been playing a lot of games with Asher. We're trying to steer him toward games that 1. require interaction and 2. don't require a prop. I think that our impetus was to limit the number of toys at the table but it's very fun. Current favorites include:
  • "On the way to the farm I saw" - Usually this one is only played while driving to the farm but it could be played anytime and any place. We take turns listing things we saw on the way to the farm (1 elephant, 2 unicycles, 3 Ferris wheels, etc.) and repeat them adding on to the list.
  • "Number stories" - We take turns telling a story about a number. The number is simply the main character in the story such as 129 decided to go shopping for sneakers and a ball point pen or something and it details his day. Frequently the number has a friend which is 2 less who goes with him/her. And it counts continuously from day to day.
  • 20 Questions - This one is very fun to play with Ash. He asks some very good questions like "is it visible?" and "do we see this regularly?" as well as some funny ones like "is it a chiropractor" (we have no idea).
  • "Duck challenge" - Ok, the name started because he has a game called "dot challenge" in a white-board book where each person takes turns drawing lines to try and form boxes (Asher tries to get the other players to win boxes). Duck challenge is like 20 questions except that you think of a country rather than a thing.
  • Goose challenge - Another 20 questions game but you think of a number.
We've been having fun with all of these. If you have any more suggestions of games to play with a 4 year old that don't involve props, let us know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bounce, bounce, bounce...

Chiara has a new bouncy-seat. Not the kind that you can set on the counter or floor and that she can now lean forward out of (no, we didn't learn that the hard way. We could just see it coming). This is one of those that hangs from the doorway. She thinks it is hysterically funny (kind of like how people laughing is so hysterically funny).

No, this toy is not on her head. It just looks like that because of how she's looking up at the camera and dropped it.

And the other day, the three of us were rowing across the living room...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Joey face to face

I mentioned when I posted the pics of Joey and Chiara that I thought I had a similar picture of Joey and Asher. The first picture of Joey and Asher is from July, 2004 (Asher was six months old). The second is Joey and Chiara in May, 2008 (Chiara is 5 months). I guess that means Joey was 26 and 30? 27 and 31? But look, the exact same smile on his face. And look at that (the comment): Joey is 29 in the picture with Ash and 32 in the picture with Chiara.

Dwayne, Michelle, Duncan, & Phoebe Visit

This weekend we had a visit from Dwayne (Rachel's brother), Michelle, Duncan, and Phoebe. They had planned a visit over Spring Break but all got the flu. So this weekend they stopped to visit on their way home from the Beach. Everyone had a fantastic time and we got some good pictures.

At first Chiara would only let Phoebe hold her, not Michelle or Dwayne:

Then she decided Dwayne could hold her:

Asher, Chiara, Phoebe, and I all played a quick game of Chutes and Ladders: quick because all three of us got to help the kitty and ladder from 28 to 84.

And finally a cute group photo:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boy bed

Well, you know there are certain things you need if you have kids. Clothes, food, towels, beds, you know? Things like that. I remember when we went shopping for a bed for Ash. It's a nice twin with double-stitched water-proof stitches or something like that. The salesman poured a cup of water on it and it just beaded off. Good thinking.

Of course, there's also this nice dog bed. Yep, about 2 nights a week we come in to find him happily and deeply asleep on Annie's bed. Hairy but happy.