Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Julia Rose at 9 Months Old

Oh Rosie-pie, her adorableness knows no bounds these days.  She is just killing us with cuteness.  About a week after her 8-month birthday, Rose just started crawling one day and man alive has she taken off in the past month.  She is fast and brave and determined to follow her big sister or me around the house and has no fear of going up and down the one little step into our sunken living room or crawling from room to room if I call to her to follow me as I put away laundry.  She's my little shadow.  When she gets on the tile or wood floors, she just bear walks on her hands and feet rather than use her knees and Clara thinks that is just hilarious.  And she is pulling herself up to stand next to couches, chairs, the railing of her crib, beds, and basically any other object that is low enough for her to grab onto and hold her (considerable) weight.  And because she practices standing so much and is so strong and really improving her balance, I would not be at all surprised if Rose is walking before she turns 1. 
At her 9-month checkup Rose was pretty close to being off the charts.  She weighed in at 24 pounds 5 ounces (I was willing to lay bets that she was over 25 pounds, so I was close but it is a good thing I don't gamble), which puts her in the 99th percentile of 9-month olds for weight and at 2' 5 1/4" Rose is in the 95th percentile for height, so she is tall too.  She was an absolute champ getting her flu shot (which was kind of a bummer because there are no 9-month vaccinations so she would otherwise have gotten away scot free) and let out just one little wail but was easily consoled with a snuggle against my shoulder.  Her big sister's reaction to the flu shot was another matter entirely... (oy vey).

And speaking of snuggling, Rose LOVES cuddling close these days.  She is perfectly content to nestle right up against me after taking her bottle while I rock and sing to her.  And when we were in Yosemite this past week and I couldn't get her to go back to sleep at 5:45 in the morning in her pack-n-play she happily dozed off while laying in my arms on the bed (she wouldn't go down laying next to me - oh no, she had to be my 25 pound blanket) and refused to be moved on threat of reawakening.

Something has been up with Rose's sleep patterns because she has been skipping naps for a couple of weeks or taking short ones and waking up angry and refusing to go back down.  And she has been getting up at least once a night again, too.  That, along with chewing on small cylindrical shaped objects (like hangers and straws and my fingers) makes me think that maybe she is teething again, but that seems a little strange and I don't see any tooth buds popping up anywhere. 

Rose is really learning to enjoy books and her favorite one is called "Busy Bear Cubs" and I picked it up in Yosemite.  She also likes playing with toys and balls (particularly the tactile ones) and playing "I'm gonna getcha!" with us. 

Personality-wise, Rose is a sweetheart.  She is such a happy girl, full of smiles and happy chatter these days, unless she is getting tired (when she turns into a bit of a grump and I know it is time to get her fed and down for a nap).  She doesn't have a lot of stranger-anxiety, but every now and then it will kick in for her or she will act shy towards other people by tucking her head against me and then peeking out and grinning.  But almost always she is willing to be held by others if they want to hold her.

One of Rose's favorite parts of the day is when we go outside to play on the grass.  I used to bring a small quilt for us to sit on but Rose only wants to be where she can tear up the grass anyway so we don't bother with that anymore  She just crawls around grabbing fistfuls of grass or leaves that have fallen and then waving them in front of her.  Of course she tries to stick them in her mouth and has learned that it is fun to tease mom or dad by raising the grass to her mouth and grinning at us while we tell her "no, no Rose" and then she shakes her head at us. 

Some other skills that Rose has mastered include clapping her hands and the forefinger/thumb grip to feed herself bite-size foods (which has also meant she has started refusing to be spoon-fed sometimes because she just wants to feed herself).  She is also just figuring out how to wave, too, but doesn't always do it on command.  Rose loves playing with plastic spoons, lids, and bowls, so when I am cooking in the kitchen, she is often right there with me happily playing on the floor or going through one drawer that she can get open, which is fun because Clara was never really interested in that sort of thing.

Even though her hair is now definitely getting long enough for pigtails (and needing it too in the front to keep hair out of her eyes) Rose does NOT like having it done and squirms and squawks to get away from me.  So I have to be quick about it and even then her pigtails are usually pretty messy because I am doing them on a moving subject. 

We have a temple sealing date set for the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Oakland LDS temple and we are so looking forward to that experience with her.  We sure do love our little Rosie-girl.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nash Family Circus - Halloween 2014


This year's Halloween costumes were based on feedback from both Paul and Clara from last Halloween.  Last year Paul mentioned that his wool sailor uniform was awfully warm and he would like a Halloween costume where he could wear shorts and be a little bit cooler.  And Clara was clearly feeling a little envious of the other little girls wearing fancy dresses while she wore a denim jumpsuit (as the cutest Rosie the Riveter ever), so I knew that she had to have something that would make her feel fancy for this Halloween.  And the thought just popped in my head that a circus troupe would be the perfect family theme for us because Clara could be a trapeze artist (I originally was thinking about a fancy leotard-type costume but ended up just doing a dress because I knew she would love it more and use it for dress-up afterwards) and Paul would get a super comfortable, lightweight costume in the form of a striped singlet (with a padded muscle shirt just to take it over the top - not that he needed it).  And my costume (ringmaster/lion tamer) and Rose's costume (lion) were straightforward circus costumes to round out our group look.

I made all of our costumes again this year and boy, oh boy, it is a LOT harder getting four costumes put together with two kids!  I was super intimidated to make Rose's lion costume and it ended up being a little bit long on her, but her headpiece turned out better than I expected.  Paul said his costume is so comfortable that after Halloween is over he wants me to turn them into shorts for him to wear for lounging, lol.  And while Clara likes her dress, what she REALLY loves is her yellow pettiskirt that I made to go under the dress.  It was sort of an afterthought when I felt like her dress was missing something and I saw a similar dress online with a pettiskirt.  It took 90 yards (not a typo - it was really 90 yards) of chiffon and quite a bit of time with the ruffling foot on the sewing machine, but it has been totally worth it seeing her twirl and twirl and twirl in it and beg to wear it everyday, with every outfit.  Paul put together the barbell for his strongman costume using two rubber balls and pvc pipe with plumbers tape and black garbage bags. 

We took our photos in the hills just a few minutes behind our house and if the background was clear, you could actually see San Francisco behind us.  It was late in the day (almost 6 o'clock) and Rose was not exactly thrilled to be out taking photos when she knew it was time for her to be getting ready for bed.  But with the help of Grandpa and Grandma Nash, who were out visiting with us we were able to get these shots.  Oh, and our other props are from Ikea and we have had the circus tent for a couple of years.

And here are a few individual shots of each of us.  I forgot to make Paul put on the stick-on mustache that I had for him.  Oh well.  He seriously is the best husband ever to not only put up with my Halloween craziness and ridiculous costumes but to have fun with it and contribute with good ideas like the wrist cuffs and belt, which really finished the look off.

Clara is the cutest little "circus girl" ever.  I thought she would love the feather headpiece I found for her on Etsy, and she wears it when I ask her too but as soon as we were done with photos (or with trunk-or-treating tonight) she wants to take it off. 

And oh my goodness I cannot get enough of Rose's adorableness in her lion costume.  She is a really good sport about wearing it and doesn't act like it bothers her at all.  I just used 4 different colors of 1/4" ribbon to make the loops for the mane and felt for the ears.

I was the least satisfied with how my costume turned out because made some mistakes when I was measuring for the jacket (soooo hard to accurately measure yourself) but oh well. 

So that's it for our Halloween costumes for this year!  We have had so much fun putting them together and are ready to start brainstorming for 2015!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Patch FHE

For family night this past Monday we took the girls to a pumpkin patch near our home.  Originally I wanted to check out a farm/pumpkin patch called Joan's in Livermore but they close at 6:00 everyday and we started out too late for that.  But we ended up really loving Moore's, which is tucked away in the hills of what I think is Castro Valley.  Or super east Dublin.
Anyway, they have these great little wagons and the girls had a great time riding around in them.  Clara was a good big sister and held on to Rose the whole time.  She took it very seriously. 

Rose started sliding down a little and Clara thought it was a perfect position to kiss those chubby cheeks.  Rose didn't seem to mind a bit.

The pumpkins were all set up on hay bales on a hay strewn lot.  There were loads of cornhusks and old-fashioned carnival lighting and character cutouts around so it was a very charming atmosphere.  There were also a number of carnival rides, too, and we told Clara she could go on one. 

The girls were pretty content to just hang out in the wagon rather than walking around selecting pumpkins so Paul and I picked for them.  There were lots of massive pumpkins the size of Rose (which is saying something because she's pretty good-sized herself).

A little explanation behind Clara's face in the next picture:  She was not loving that Rose got the smaller, cuter of the small pumpkins.  She didn't throw a fit about it or anything (though she mentioned it) but she swapped them out and then declared the smaller one to be hers later on when I had lifted Rose from the wagon for a bit.  At least she has learned her lesson about not taking things from baby sister and waited for Rose to be "done" with it?

Rose seemed to think that uncooked pumpkin stems make good eatin'.

Clara thought it was pretty cool to be Mickey Mouse while Rose was Minnie Mouse.

Just a couple of family pumpkin patch shots to go with ones from past years in our Halloween scrapbook album.

See Clara's glee?  That's the smaller pumpkin she has now commandeered in this picture after the previous family photo op.

Paul's parents got to come with us because they are out here visiting before our annual Yosemite trip.  This is the third October in a row that they have been able to go to the pumpkin patch with us.

Clara had SUCH a fun time on the super slide and totally charmed the ride attendant so that she got to go again even though we didn't have any more tickets left.  I took her the second time and she giggled the entire way up the stairs.

And while Clara rode the slide, Rose decided to stand up in the wagon all by herself.  Such a big girl.

We kind of loved Moore's, especially since it was very different from the pumpkin patches we have gone to in the past, and we will probably go again next year for an FHE just because it had kind of that magical quality with the nighttime carnival lighting and the girls thought it was a special treat being outside late. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

September Little Things

I have a number of random photos collected over the past month (lots are instagram pics) so its time for a quick recap of the little things that have happened around here.  First up is a typical Sunday morning in our home getting ready for 9:00 a.m. church.  Because our building is shared by our family ward and the singles ward, we will always have church at 9:00 and won't switch times at the new year because the singles ward likes the afternoon slot apparently.  Paul's new calling is as 1st counselor in the Elders Quorum presidency, which means he often has Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening meetings and/or visits but it is awfully nice having him home to help me get the girls ready on Sunday mornings after his last calling where I had to do that job myself most of the time.  I was called to be the Gospel Doctrine teacher (again! yay!).

My parents were in San Francisco with their gardening group in early September.  Each fall the group travels to a different part of the U.S. to learn about gardening there (I know there is more to it but that's basically the gist of what happens I think) and tour local gardens.  Their schedule was pretty packed but we snuck in one quick dinner with them in the city.  First I took the girls to see Paul in his office though because they hadn't been there and Clara wanted to see the "tower" where daddy worked.  He has a pretty sweet view.

We ate at the Boudin Bread Factory Restaurant for the first time.  Usually we just eat at the sandwich/soup counter below but we wanted to have a quieter area to sit down with the girls and my parents had already eaten there for lunch earlier in the day.  It was such a fun dinner and the girls did great.  Clara loved the calamari and the hot crab, artichoke, and spinach dip.  And the fish and chips were possibly the best I've ever had (and I'm not even a big fish and chips fan).

We finally got a little bit of rain around here.  Barely much of anything, but after months and months with nothing at all and the terrible drought we have been going through, it certainly was welcome.  When we woke up to a light drizzle, I let Clara go outside in her nightgown with her umbrella to enjoy it.

I'm growing out my bangs.  They are in that stage where they are driving me bonkers.  Also, I'm sort of getting desperate for a haircut (it's been about 7 months I think).  But that means finding a new hairstylist, which I hate doing.

Speaking of hairstyles, I finally figured out these rope twists on Clara's hair and I adore them. 

After a hiatus on major house projects, we are slowly getting back in the groove of things.  Paul demolished the shower walls in the master bathroom so that we could have the plumbers come in and take the double sink plumbing down to one sink plumbing and move the shower head up (the ceiling was built down and we wanted to raise them and increase the height of the shower head for a more enjoyable shower experience).  He also installed a new light and fan/vent in there, as well as new can lights in the living room, which took most of last weekend.  Hopefully he will be able to get to the lights in the family room next.  I've been working with tile guys this week getting bids on doing the tile work in the bathroom (one of the things that we have decided to sub out) so maybe, hopefully, the master bathroom will be done before Thanksgiving.

Clara and I made another paper dress in her favorite color. 

I was off doing some stuff and Paul was home with the girls on a Saturday.  Apparently Clara had a little spill and got a tiny scrape so Paul bandaged her up and told her to make a sad face so he could take a picture to send to me.  He said that she was laughing and smiling and this was the best fake sad face they could get and really her owie was hardly anything at all.

We have been watching these Chariot Cougar II bike trailer/jogging stroller/double strollers on Craigslist after a friend showed us theirs.  With Yosemite coming up we knew we needed something so we could do bike rides with the girls and I have missed being able to bike places this summer.  They are crazy expensive to buy new from REI, who makes them, but we lucked out and scored one in amazing condition for about 1/3 of the price when I saw one posted on Craigslist as part of a garage sale.  I had to drive to Berkeley to get it but it was totally worth it and we have loved going out on family bike rides again.  One Monday evening we rode with the girls to Yogurtland for Family Home Evening and they loved it.  The only problem is that it doesn't attach to my bike so it has to go on Paul's bike which doesn't have any gears (mine at least has 3 which makes a huge difference).  So when there is much of an incline and both girls are in the trailer, whoever is pulling them gets a pretty intense workout. 

Clara had her first visit to the dentist.  Zero cavities and she did awesome letting the dental hygienist clean her teeth.  I know she looks like she is not having fun here, but she actually didn't have a problem at all and was focused on watching "Frozen" which was on a tv directly in front of her.  This is more her concerned movie watching face.

We finally checked out the local Saturday morning farmers market in Pleasanton.  It is a nice one that is open year round so we will probably hit this one up fairly often. 

Clara was obsessing over the puppies and kitties at the farmers market that were looking for homes through a pet adoption agency.  For now though, there is no way that we are getting a family pet.

And that is what has been going on around here.