Friday, December 23, 2011

These Feet Are Made For Walking...

Today Miss Lillybeth was standing alone....
She took one hesitant step forward...
Then another...
Then five or six stumbling steps...
RIGHT into the arms of Great Grandma Stokes!!!!

Guess what I call that......

While there were seven of us watching with bated breath, no one ran for their camera as we didn't want to spook her.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Happy birthday to my wonderful first born!

Four years ago to the day you made me a mommy. I loved when I finally got to hold you, but afterwards, I just really wanted a really, really long nap. Perhaps it was foreshadowing, as your energy in these past four years has earned you the nickname "The Blonde Tornado".

You are a joy to be around. Your enthusiasm and engagement with life was there from the beginning. You were howling before you were even fully out in this world. Then when you were still very little, when something would excite you, you would do this full body spasm wiggle-squeal that was amazing. Even now as a big girl, your enthusiasm for life is impossible to miss. You are enthusiastic about everything and everyone! You are most enthusiastic about your little sister and so far no amount of threats or bargains have kept you out of her face. Luckily she is a very tolerant little girl.

Now that you are a big girl, you are smack in the middle of fantasy land. We can't finish a meal (or really even an hour) without you saying, "can we pretend we're on a train....that I'm a baby....that we are in the mountains...etc." and I'll tell you a secret, it's easy to oblige you because within a few minutes of playing pretend you are so far into the fantasy that I can sneak off and you forget I exist.

Another big girl development is your chores. You are the queen of unloading the dishwasher. In fact our first casualty occurred just today in the form of two broken plates. You felt so bad but your wise daddy told you, "it would only be a tragedy if you didn't learn from it!" You are also required to put your dishes on the kitchen counter and pick up your toys when it is time. If you do this all week, you get EIGHT quarters!!!! (Quarters are so much more exciting to you than dollars ever could be!)

You aren't as much into dress up at the moment but will still do it given the chance. Your princesses are your favorite things followed closely by pretty much any toy you can play pretend with. You would still watch TV every second if we would let you. We won't. You have taken quite the shine to simply digging in the dirt in the backyard. You like your life somewhat predictable. Without being told a story at bedtime or "night-night" water by your bed I'm not sure you would ever be willing to go to sleep. Your dad and I try to make up good stories every night. Some nights they are lame. You tell us so. (using other words, of course)

Elizabeth is so lucky to have you for a big sister. Your total love for her is very obvious. You try to "help" her all the time although many times it is slightly less than helpful. But you keep at it. Your energy and zest provide her with lots of entertainment as when she is not playing she is watching you play. You are teaching her to throw herself into life full-tilt which is good since she is a little bit more cautious. Thanks for being a great big sister.

We love you and have loved watching you grow!

Enjoy the pics of our birthday girl:


(I KNOW we have birthday hat pictures somewhere for her second birthday. I will re-edit the post once I find them ;-)



Monday, November 21, 2011

And just for fun:

See the resemblance?

I call this one, "HELP! I've played too hard and I can't get up!"
Subtitled: Death by Princess/Stuffed Animal/Baby!

HAPPY 6th Monthday!

Concerning Elizabeth...

She's on the move (sort of):

And she LOVES her organic spaghettios as much as any self-respecting person should. They aren't her favorite food, that would be bananas, but they are pretty darn fun to eat!

(Why does it sound gross when adults eat but cute when little ones do?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anna is so humble

Today at lunch:

"God and I are BOTH the rulers of the universe. Because I'm brave ayaaaand convenient!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Super Swinging Girl

TODAY Anna learned to swing by herself (much to my relief and excitement)!

What a big girl!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In Charge of her World

Mrs. Lilybeth has taken charge of her world in the past 2 weeks. She crawls and pulls up everywhere. After standing, she can gently lower back to the ground (most of the time).
She has become a master at finger foods (provided they are small and dissolvable). I have always called her the "Fine Motor Skill Queen". Her pincher grasp rocks the world!

She loves small details and textures. She will crawl over to a wicker basket full of toys that would make most babies swoon. Then, she will find the TAG on the wicker basket and explore it for ages.

She is now beginning to try to get responses from us and it is so adorable. She will do "Soooooo Big" and this morning we would say "Dancing baby" and she'd bounce on her cute little knees.

She has been saying "Mama" for a while, mostly directed at me as well as "Ba" for any toy she wants.
But she will now occasionally say:
"Ma" = More
"Ni Ni" = NIght Night

She continues to be the easiest and most personal baby ever!

Enjoy this video of her after realizing she could crawl up the steps at Runge Nature Center.
She was thrilled to realize she could crawl up the steps and around the big room. Notice how she stops to explore the teeny tiny hole in the floor. She takes a spill at the end that is too cute.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Go To The Movies!!!

As we speak, Anna is at her FIRST EVER movie in a movie theater! She is seeing Lion King 3D with daddy. (What will the poor girl do when forced to see a regular movie?)

In a sweet Circle of Life type scenario, Curt first saw the movie in Kirksville, Missouri when he was at smart kids camp at age fourteen. Kirksville, as you know, is where he met his brilliant and beautiful wife 4 years later. Now Anna, who would not be here without that meeting, is nearly four and is watching it with him.

Isn't life grand?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Momma Maria's Tummy Hurts


I was having issues with youtube and a linked google account and my youtube account ("Why Maria, would that be THE ACCOUNT that held all of the videos attached to this blog?") was d.e.l.e.t.e.d.

So now ALL, each and every, every single video attached to this wonderful blog are now gone.

So..... I will begin working backwards to re-upload four years worth of videos from our computer. Thank you computer gods for honoring me with this character-building activity.
I love you.
So much.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Girlsplosion etc.

This is a follow up video of when the girls and I got back from Wisconsin and they saw their room for the first time.

Elizabeth had not yet been in her crib!

She was a fan!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I call it "GIRL-splosion"!

Here are pics of the girl's new room:

A big THANKS to Mimi for decorating it and to Daddy and Papa for shuffling it around!

The transition went beautifully! Miss Lilybeth decided to be accommodating (as always) and began waking up only once per night so my fears of trudging across the hall fast asleep all night were all for naught. I think the poor girl just needed more space. The co-sleeper was a little snug.


She's thinking, "I just KNOW I can get out of here, SOMEHOW!"

"Mom, SERIOUSLY, I can't even roll over in this thing!"

"Help mom, I'm stuck sideways!"

And yet at times.... the girl slept. And slept HARD:

I know you aren't EVER supposed to wake a sleeping baby but there is a big sister here in the mix!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey! Where have you BEEN for the past month???

This has been an AWESOME AUGUST filled with lots of traveling.
We began this month with Sides Family Vacation - a yearly event that is always much anticipated and appreciated.

This time, to the ROCKIES for some serious camping.

Of course, we stayed with the Balls in Boulder on the way for serious rest and snuggling:

Thanks Ken and Paula (who saved our life by loaning us a stander toy for Elizabeth for the campsite):

Did I mention rest?

Then on the way home, we breezed through Kansas City to celebrate the wedding of our awesome friends Cat and Sean:
(Thanks to cousin Dave for letting us bunk in his home and drool over his electric car and thanks to Granny and Grandpa who put off arriving home a day late to babysit during the wedding.)

Then while there we met the gang for breakfast before we all separated again with the promise of meeting for a picnic this fall:

Poor Miss Elizabeth had to do a lot of THIS this month because after a few days at home it was off to......

Madison Wisconsin to visit Sophie's "Auntie Billis" where we learning to climb trees...

(Aidan showing us the big boy way)

And how to drive cars:

And we also learned why a suburb of Madison was nationally ranked as the "Best Place to Live" two years in a row:
(Street corners, hotel rooms, etc. - recycling is a big DUH! here.)

At the grocery store:

Too many hours in the car = two out-of-it toddlers:

And finally our last trip was to the Ozarks to relax in a free condo with Maria's ER crew. We watched the final ER episode as a group after waiting all these years (we all thought it was a dud). But vowed to get together every year as it was just so much fun!

The girls and I mastered Ha Ha Tanka State Park and posed in front of the ruins of Ariel's Castle and explored Rapunzel's Tower next door.

As you can see, its been quite the month. I am very much looking forward to a routine and sanity. Therefore, against my nature I purchased THIS:
Certainly not to waste money or to send more money to China but because once Anna discovers this after returning from her first morning back at preschool, she will be busy for the. rest. of. the. day..............

And I can make THIS:

Go. Away.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guess who got a wittle toof?

Yep! Bottom front right side.
I just noticed today because other than being slightly drooly, this girl made absolutely NO FUSS about it.
Love this girl!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who's Grandpa is a geologist?

This morning on vacation:
Curt: "Ben, do you know what thunder is? It's God bowling!"
Ben: "No it's NOT! It's warm air and cold air smashing together!"

(On our way to Rocky Mountain National Park)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Recent Anna-isms

As anyone who knows this girl is aware, Anna has a full vocabulary. But there are still some sweet baby-ish words she uses that continue to hang on, such as:
naybe = maybe
pickstures = pictures
blinstures = blisters
busy = dizzy ("I'm getting sooooo busy!")
tellingscope = telescope (but really, how appropriate is tellingscope?)

When Anna stays really quiet in her room for a while, this is usually what she comes out looking like.

She went through a phase this spring where she wanted to make lists and notes. She'd say, "So. Let me write that down..." and proceed to scribble something on a sheet of paper. This is one of them. I had to jot it down word for word:
"Dear Sophie and Michelle. Do NOT take me outside when it is wet outside. Not ever, ever EVER take me outside when there is a storm in New York!"
(Explain THAT one, Doctor Phil)

While painting on 6/12/11, Anna gave me this lecture:
"Mom. I'm trying to paint like a "gwown up" and your "stracting" me. If you see a mean witch and she "stracts" me, whack her, ok?"
(Treasure, I will always whack your witches)

Pajama mud pies (complete with long sleeves, summer pajamas, and bug boots to complete the look!)

Chocolate cookie face (or pretty much Anna's face after any meal)

Fighting the Nap - FAIL

On the way to her 3 year doctor's appointment, I gave her a good news/bad news scenario about shots. For months after that, she would say, "Mommy. I have good news and bad news" and proceed to make up nonsense. For instance, "Mommy. I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I want cereal for breakfast. The bad news is, I want bagels for breakfast."

What a silly girl!