Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Chef and her sidekick

It hasn't been terribly exciting around here. We have been testing out a few new cook books I got for Christmas though. Lily loves to play "mixing". Give her a couple bowls, spoons, and something to stir and she is happy. Almost as happy as she is when washing dishes. Can you see a pattern in our "play" around here. Sounds a little like chores doesn't it? Next we are going to "play" fold the laundry, and scoop the dog poop. I guess those are still a while away.
It is not all business around here though. Often when we play cooking it means a few spare chocolate chips (chip chips) or mini marshmallows (mush-ooms). I sure hope this influences her career choices and she becomes a chef. I could use some gourmet meals made for me for the rest of my life.
You see, a good chef always tastes her creation before serving her guests. Don't worry if you are a guest at our house. I do not really allow her to taste the cooking or get her germy fingers in everything. She has her own set of bowls, spoons, and ingredients.
I think this particular recipe was a great success!
We also like to do bath time as a family. It is not really helpful at all to have Lily assist but if it involves water, whatsoever, she will not be left out. We already upgraded Gemma out of the infant sling portion of her tub. She sits in it like a big girl. We are excited for the day she can bath with her big sister in the big tub.
I think this little side kick enjoys water just as much as Lily does. We have a couple of water babies on our hands. Lily is going to start swim lessons this week so we will have some fun photos of that soon. We figured since she has almost no fear or water it was safer to get her learning to swim as soon as possible.
I think the girls are coming to the mutual agreement they are pretty fond of each other. Gemma was in awe of her big sisty from the begining. Lily took a little longer to really enjoy Gemma and want her around. Now she is always concerned about where Gemma is. That doesn't mean she will come tell me if Gemma is crying though, or even try to help her get the pacifier in her mouth. Those are mommy jobs I guess.
Gemma loves to watch Lily play and Lily is happy to have a captive audience, as long as that audience does not try to "share" her toys. Lily has become fond of being "nakey girl" so we sometimes indulge her and she spends the afternoon in her diaper. Whatever. Let's not make this a habit in your teen years though.

We had a wonderful visit from Kristen this past weekend. She is going to have baby #2 in March so we enjoyed some girl time and pampering at the spa. It was so fun to have her here and great to have a second set of hands. It will be a great time when both our families get to be together again. Kids sure make it a different sort of visit but tons of laughs!

Currently we are nursing a sick Lily (AGAIN!) She has had one huge long cold since starting preschool in September. Her cough is miserable but we are hoping this is building her immune system for the future. Maybe she will be one of the healthiest ones in Kindergarten?

We went to have photos of the girls taken yesterday since we missed the two month photos of Gemma, we wanted to make sure we got four month ones. Stay tuned for some cute Davis girls!

We are also going to the mountains next weekend for a retreat to the snow! Alex is going to ski and we are going to play and sled! We can't wait. Our friends Mark and Jessie and their pooch Scamp (and Winsty of course) are coming too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time flies

I feel like we could blink and it was the day we took Gemma home from the hospital. Maybe it is because we have only had about ten hours of sleep since then. I kid, we have had enough sleep, just enough and not one bit more. She is a wonderful sleeper, she just likes to wake often in the night and say hello, have a nibble, and go right back to sleep. Could be a lot worse you know.
Who wouldn't want to say hello to this little face in the night?
Gemma has been on medicine for reflux since she was about 6 weeks old. I had the genius idea that perhaps she did not need it anymore and therefore we should try to wean it off and see how she does. Four days into the wean she had a miserable night and ended up getting right back on her dose of medicine and spent the night sleeping in the bouncy chair. The next night she was better but has been vomiting in her sleep. Guess it is safe to say she really needs her medicine then.
We also tried to remove all dairy from her diet (by me removing it from mine) to see if that would help her tummy troubles. Over two weeks of no dairy and we didn't notice much change so I guess it is not a dairy issue. I am relieved to be back on milk...and chocolate!
We head to the pediatrician next week for a check up so we will see how much she has grown and if they have any pearls of wisdom to help her tummy and help her sleep longer stretches.
If you can't tell she is a truly happy and pretty mellow baby. We are very lucky and Lily is really getting to be protective of her little sister. Most of the time that is.

We decided that she would probably get a kick out of the jumperoo now so today I dragged it out of the closet and put it together. I think it is safe to say she is a fan.

Lily was very interested as well. As far as she was concerned this was a new fantastic toy and she wanted to try it out.
Yes, I think DELICIOUS just about sums it up!
Here is a one minute video of Gemma's new hobby. Singing. She thinks she has a fabulous voice and today on her play mat she was going to town. It was hard to catch as every time the camera appears she clams up. Hope this is not too long, boring, or painful. I figure the grandparents at least will like it.


I always new Lily had good fashion sense. It is really her love for Thomas the Tank Engine that has sparked her most recent look.
She got new Thomas boots when shopping for school shoes with Grandma England. Somehow it was not surprising she could not leave the store without these Thomas wellies as well. She even slept with them the first few nights. Now that they are broken in and muddy they live by the back door. I think the make a nice accessory to her Thomas blanket.
She was not too fond of sharing however.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gemma's baptism

One of the main reasons we all went down to LA after Christmas was to show off our Gemma to all our LA family and friends and have Gemma baptized. We held her baptism at the same church Ascension Lutheran in Thousand Oaks where Lily was baptized. Joel and Tonya are her god parents. She was such a good girl and was so wide eyed and interested in it all. The pastor was quite smitten with her and even remarked how lovely she was during the baptism.

Lily was a little unsure what was going on, but getting to sit with her cousins during church was a treat in itself. She even went with Aunt Tonya up to the childrens message which she wouldn't do for me on Christmas eve.

We are so lucky to have all our family there and be so supportive. It is really wonderful to have Alex's parents come over so often from England and be part of the big Peterson family.
After the service we had about 30 people over to the house for lunch. It was so nice to catch up and have them all meet Gemma for the first time.

It was especially wonderful for Great Grandma Peterson to get to meet her newest baby. It wasn't her newest for long though, my cousin Jenny just had a baby girl January 4th so now Grandma has another little one to love. She is so wonderful, and loving, and proud. It is a highlight of our visits to get to see her when we go to LA.

The evening ended with a cousin tea party. Lily got a new tea set and book from Jeanine and the girls wasted no time breaking it in, even in her jammies.

It was a wonderful trip and we were truly exhausted when we arrived back home. Traveling with two little ones is a whole new experience. I can't say when we will do it again but it was fun!! Thanks everyone who came out to see us and those we missed, we are sorry we didn't get to see you all.

New Year in LA

The day after Christmas, after a brutal 4:30AM wake up to head to the airport, we stepped off the plane in sunny southern California. We had given strict instructions we were only coming if it was sunny. Thank goodness the weather cooperated.

 We had a wonderful greeting in Simi by Grandpa and Grandma Peterson, Eric, Rach, and Carol. Carol gives her little Gemma a sweet smooch! She loves her babies when they are small, sweet, and quiet. Lily is quickly approaching the "she sure is noisy" phase in Carol's book!

Grandpa can't help but take a bite out of this little one too! She sure is alert and smiley these days. Her laugh is contagious and comes very frequently too.
The next day we decided to play tourist and head to the LA farmers market and Grove. We were hoping to spot some stars but we only saw wanna-be's. It was beautifully decorated and a gorgeous day. Almost warm by our Seattle standards. We even ate outside in the sun at a cafe! Lovely!
They have a double decker trolley that you can ride free down the lane of shops. Lily thought it was a character from Thomas the train so she was thrilled to get to ride.

This is to prove I was actually on the vacation. I just usually end up taking all the photos. Gemma was sleeping in her stroller so Grandma watched her while we took a ride.
We also had a wonderful sunny warm day at Santa Monica with our great friends Robbin and Jenn and their families, but of course with the busyness of two little ones, the camera never made it out of the bag. You will just have to take my word for it that it was glorious and all the kids ran around barefoot at the beach playground.
After our few days in LA we headed up to Carpinteria to spend a couple days with Grandma and Grandpa England at the "combo". Again we had great weather and lots of fun at the beach. Our girls are definitely water babies!

Lily went to the beach every day while we were there and didn't mind it was a bit cold. Grampy didn't mind the cold either and decided to put his "feet" in the water. I think he forgot Lily's feet and body are a little smaller and closer to the ground than his.

This is what happens when Grampy is in charge.

It was a long, cold walk back to the condo. Lily cried each day when it was time to leave the beach. We had to start bringing sweets to bribe her to leave. Guess someone wants to go to Hawaii this summer huh?

New Years Eve we had a delicious meal out with the Davis'. Alex's Uncle and Aunt were also visiting from Toronto and got to spend time with the girls. I am so sad I don't have any pictures of us all together.

New Years Day we headed back to Simi to spend the day with our Peterson peeps. Joel and Tonya, Owen and Charlie were all down and we had the best day together. We had lunch at home and then while my little one's slept us ladies went to coffee bean and tea leaf for a drink and chat. So wonderful. Then when everyone was awake we went to Atomic bowling!!!

Owen had good form!

Charlie was really good too. I was shocked they were even able to lift the ball. Even Lily had it swinging around like a maniac.

Grandma Nini (Rach's mom Jeanine) helped Lily throw a couple balls. They had a metal ramp to help the little ones.

Mom and Pops had fun with all their kiddies. It is not often we are all together, such fun!

Uncle E had some Gemma loving. Lily was having a blast with her cousins. We call Owen the baby whisperer because if Gemma was fussy we could put her on his lap and he would give her a gentle wiggle and she would quiet right down and look up at him. Lily could follow Owen and Charlie around all day and copy their actions. We all went home after bowling for a big Italian meal and some good old charades. I have to say, charades with the family is funny enough to bring us all to tears.

Christmas Day

Santa came through for Lily this year, I guess she must have made the nice list after all. She asked Santa for a "walk a dog" and that is what she got. As you can see she was very pleased. I have to say, he has already traveled to LA by airplane and gets played with every day. Well done Santa!

Gemma was happy just to be snuggled and watch the rest of us. She and Lily had matching, same pajamas. I think shortly after this photo was taken Gemma decided to head back to bed for a snooze and missed most of the excitement.

Alex gets to open a present with his little "helper".

Winston was an old pro at sniffing out his stocking.

I guess he managed to scrape by and make the nice list too. Just barely if you asked me!

I think we made it through three gifts in two hours. She had to play with each gift thoroughly before moving on to the next. It took nearly all day to finish but sure was fun.

After brunch and a quick attempt at an unsucessful nap we dove back into opening. This one has been a big hit. If you are interested she is taking art work requests.

There is always room for more books in our house. Alex would disagree I think. Anything to do with owls becomes an instant favorite.

After all the hard work it was time to chill on her new cot with her "hoots" puzzle pieces. It was a whirlwind day which ended with steak dinner and a rushed job of packing for our trip to LA bright and early on the 26th.