On Christmas Eve, we stuffed the stockings...not hung near the chimney since we don't have one...
(I have to show you a close-up of Aurora's stocking since I just finished sewing it earlier this week. My mom did the cross-stitch on the cuff and I quilted and sewed everything else. You should be able to click on the picture to see it bigger.)
We laid out the presents under our little tree.... and went to bed.
We woke up to snow gently falling (not that you can see it here).
Aurora, of course, received the majority of the presents, but she didn't understand enough to wake up early--she got up at her normal 8am. Mommy and Daddy definitely appreciated that!
Aurora was quite curious about all the presents. She kept pulling on ribbons and poking packages while we read a very short version of the Christmas story. :)
Finally, we let her tear into the presents! She got a lot of gifts including this gyroscopic, no-spill bowl from mommy...
an awesome, 10 foot long alphabet puzzle from Aunt Debbie, Uncle Matt, and cousins...
a personalized train whistle (just like her cousins received!)...
and many other goodies, like the 7-8 hot wheels cars in her stocking!
But the favorite gift of the day was definitely the Little People Noah's Ark. When mixed up with the wonderful Little People nativity set that Wil's parents got her, it gave her hours of entertainment. It was rather amusing to see random cheetahs and giraffes in the manger scene while Baby Jesus was in the ark with toucans. :)
We spent most of the day relaxing and playing quietly because Aurora had a fever. Thankfully she was still able to enjoy the day. :)
A couple nights ago, I finished sewing Aurora's stocking. As soon as I finished, Wil and I hung up all three of our stockings. The next morning Aurora noticed them and I explained to her that there was one for Daddy, one for Mommy, and one for Aurora. Then we started talking about the other Christmas decorations around the house.
I explained to her that the decorations are part of the way that we celebrate a very special event in history: when Jesus came as a baby to earth. She responded with something like "ejus!" and ran over to the shelf holding all her books. She pulled her baby Bible board book off the shelf, brought it to me, and opened it. So we read the little poem about how Jesus was born in Bethlehem and talked about how that was just the beginning of Jesus' story. I told her how he did wonderful things while He was on earth and He taught us how we should live, then He died to pay for our sins so that we don't have to. How much she understood I have no clue, I was shocked enough that she even remembered reading about Jesus in her little Bible storybook!
As Wil said last night, Aurora has a memory like an elephant's. She remembers far more than we give her credit for and likely understands far more than we realize. If only the child could speak something other than gibberish....
1. Aurora was supposed to be napping, instead I found her doing this:
We should just take her bed out of the room and give her a bunch of cardboard boxes...
2. Speaking of cardboard boxes, the day that the new beloved "Behbee" the penguin arrived, Aurora decided she wanted to mail herself back in the box. It did, after all, come from Momma. :)
3. One afternoon, Aurora's teeth were hurting her badly enough that she wanted to be carried all the time. So I pulled out one of my slings and put her in it. Once she finally got tired of being in it, she got out and brought me all of her favorite toys so that they could enjoy the experience. At one point, I had three baby dolls, one blanket animal, one stuffed bear, three hotwheels cars, and several mega blocks bricks in the sling. :)
Yesterday morning, I pulled up our blinds to find the world covered in snow. Since it was a "warm" 28 degrees, I decided that Aurora and I would be venturing outside. Aurora wasn't too sure about walking in the snow...
It didn't help that she had new boots and two layers of clothes underneath that fluffy snowsuit of hers...
She could barely even lean over to grab the snowball I threw to her. Poor kiddo.
"Smash!" goes the snowball!
She wasn't too thrilled about that. :)
But we had a good time, anyways. I was ready to go in before she was, but I made her come in because I have no idea how long a toddler could actually last outside in that weather.
~Regina (For those reading on facebook, please visit wilnregina.com to view the video.)
Aurora loves being read to; she's constantly asking for stories. When I read to her, I often follow along the words with my finger so that Aurora gets the idea that those funny black shapes actually mean something. When she was very small, around 13 or so months, she began running up to various signs with large letters and pointing at the individual letters while jabbering. She apparently really wants to learn how to use those funny black shapes. :)
Not too long ago, we began to point out specific letters and tell her what they were. We started with "A" for "apple" because apples are one of her favorite snacks. She didn't seem to really care, so I didn't worry about it. Fast-forward to a few days ago. I heard her running down the hallway saying "apple, apple." I assumed she wanted an apple and went to talk to her. I found her pointing at an "A" repeating "apple, apple" quite insistently. I was impressed and told her that letter was an "A" and "apple" starts with an "A." Then I started pointing out other letters that were related to things she loved (B for baby, C for car).
Just a day or two ago we were eating dinner and Aurora started saying "A" and "E." I looked over at her plate, a Veggie Tales plate with the words "God made you special and loves you very much" written around the edge, and watched as she pointed at the correct letter and said it. Of course, she only knew 2 letters, but she was pointing at both upper case and lower case letters and getting them right--I have never worked on lower case letters with her!
So we have begun to point out even more letters related to important things. So far, her alphabet goes like this: A for apple, B for baby, C for car, D for daddy, E for ear, M for mommy, S for socks. That seems like enough for now. But what am I going to do with this kid? She hardly talks and is already trying to learn her letters!!
Then, of course, there are days when every single letter is "uMmmmm" (M) or "ample" (A). :)
At least, we think it's potty training, but some days we aren't so sure...
A while back, I don't remember when, Aurora decided that she didn't like clothes, so she stopped wearing them whenever she could possibly get away with it. Not too long ago, she decided that she didn't like diapers, either, so she stopped wearing those as much as possible.
We tried many tactics to keep her in her diaper, but she managed to get out of all of them. She's unzipped zippers, unsnapped snaps, squeezed through neckholes, wiggled out of tights, and unbuttoned buttons. We gave up trying to keep her in her diaper and decided to try encouraging her to use her adorable little green potty.
I even made her 10 or 11 pairs of adorable fleece panties to encourage her to stay dry. And yes, it's 10 or 11 because I was sure I made 11 but can only find 10...so either one is missing or I never made it, but I can't remember.
Well, we aren't sure whether we are being successful with this whole potty training thing or not. Most days she'll make it in the potty once, have one accident and the rest of the time she'll just hold it until she has a diaper put on her (at naptime, when we go out and about, and bedtime).
The good news is that Aurora can stay dry for an entire morning--but we haven't figured out a way to convince her that going in the potty is OK. She is very distressed every time she wets, whether in the potty or in her panties. The only reason we can think of that might cause this distress is if she feels like it's part of herself that she's losing--kind of like how we would feel if we were bleeding.
So, here we are, kind-of, sort-of potty training. We've tried bribing her with little things, like reading a story to her on the potty or playing this particularly annoying video. She asks for the video every time she sits down on the potty. We have now informed her that she actually has to go on the potty before she gets to see the video.
Is this potty training or is this just an annoying no-clothes phase? Does she actually care about learning to use the potty and keeping her panties dry or is she just having fun? Will our diaper budget drastically decrease in the near future? Will she finally get it just in time for the craziness of holiday travel? Tune in next time to find out! Or probably just something else entirely different that has nothing to do with potty training....but it WILL be about Aurora! ;)
I love watching Aurora's play become more and more social. It's especially fun now that she's treating her baby dolls as though they were people (sometimes). :)
Two notes: 1. One of these days, Aurora's baby dolls are going to need to get real names. We currently have two who are call just plain "baby doll" and one that is called "alien doll." The other stuffed animals are identified by whatever animal they are. We're so creative with names, aren't we? 2. I love how in this video Aurora is wearing a night gown and underwear I made her and playing with a doll that I made her. Makes me feel so crafty and accomplished. :) ~Regina (For those reading on facebook, please visit wilnregina.com to view the video.)