There you have it

Back in this post I said I’d tell you the most depressing book I’ve ever read. I have to agree with Kirsta and Kari, Angela’s Ashes takes the cake. Probably because it’s true. There were parts where I would think, “How can people possibly live like that?” And then it would just get WORSE. If you don’t like depressing, don’t read it.

The book I didn’t find depressing (but my friend did) was The Lovely Bones. It’s definitely not a happy story, but lots of stories aren’t happy. Part of it may be that when books come out and get great reviews and all I hear is how amazing the book is, I have high expectations. Usually those expectations aren’t met. You’d think after being disappointed a couple times I’d learn my lesson and stop having such high expectations, but no.
Anyway, I made it through November again. I’m not sure I said much of anything, but then again I’m not sure I ever do.
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Back home

Well, here we are back in Grand Junction. The drive back was not much fun. Even though we left right before what should have been Kalena’s nap time, she only slept for about 20 minutes in the car. The pathetic part is that she just wants out of her car seat. After a few hours of driving she will start pointing at her seat belt and saying her word for buckle and signing “please” over and over. And then when you tell her that she can’t get out she cries. It’s sad. It also gets old very quickly.

We’ve decided that we’re just not doing any road trips for a long time after this baby comes.

Neigh neigh?

For many, many weeks, the only animal noise Kalena would make was a dog. She would say “woof woof” if she heard a dog bark or if you asked her what a dog says, although it took her quite awhile to associate the sight of a dog with the noise. (I blame our non-barking greyhounds for that. Although, never hearing our dogs bark didn’t deter Patrick from pointing at them and saying “woof woof” Every. Single. Time. he saw them when they were visiting Texas.) It took quite awhile to convince her that not ALL animals bark. We did finally get the point across though, and now she’ll do noises for a dog, a cat, a horse, a tiger (quietest roar ever), a sheep, a chicken, and a lizard (that one isn’t so much a noise, she sticks her tongue in and out.)
Brian and I were both interested to see what she’d do when she saw some of these animals in person, so that was yet another reason to look forward to Thanksgiving. We’re here in Alamosa with Brian’s parents who have 2 dogs, a cat, chickens, horses, and a mule. She enjoys following the dogs and the cat around. One of the dogs is Onyx (she came here when we moved) and Onyx still runs away every time Kalena comes in the room. Buddy, the golden retriever, is much more tolerant and even the cat will sit still for the baby for a minute or two. She enjoys going out to feed the chickens, but the horses are DEFINITELY the favorite.
Brian’s mom has been taking her out to feed the horses (they have 11 plus the mule) and she LOVES it. She rides around in the wheelbarrow with the hay and “helps” feed them. (Mostly she throws hay out the side.) As today went on, it became more and more obvious how much she likes the horses. She would go to the back door repeatedly and point out to the yard and ask, “neigh neigh?” and put up her hands in “I don’t know” gesture as if to say, “when are we going out to see the horses again?” And when she’s out feeding them she’ll sign “more” when they run out of hay because she wants to give them more.

Brian’s mom has been hoping (pretty much since she found out I was pregnant with Kalena) for a grandchild that loves horses. Looks like she got her wish.
P.S. She is currently pointing at these pictures and saying neigh.

Did you?

Black Friday. I did not shop today. It was an easy choice though. In Alamosa there’s a Wal-Mart and… ummm… a Penny’s? So I really didn’t think that was worth going out for. Had we been in Grand Junction I would have gone. $1.49 a yard flannels at one of the craft stores were calling my name. (I asked my mom to pick some up for me.)

I actually enjoy shopping during the busy holiday season, people watching and seeing all the holiday decorations. Plus I do almost all my Christmas shopping online which means no pressure when I’m shopping in stores. I imagine I won’t do too much in-store shopping this year since Kalena will only tolerate the stroller for so long; but I’m still planning to enjoy it. What about you? Do you like holiday shopping? Did you brave the black Friday crowds? And most importantly, did you get any really great deals? 🙂

18 month pictures

When Kalena was first born I already knew when I wanted to go get pictures done for her. Not just snapshots, but take her somewhere and have pictures taken. I wanted to do the same times my mom did for each of us: at months 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 then at 2 years and yearly after that.
I’ve stayed on top of it so far, and that meant taking her to get pictures done this month after she turned 18 months. So my mom and I took her down to Sears and dressed her up and discovered something about taking pictures of Kalena. You either get serious Kalena or happy Kalena. Serious Kalena will leave her barrettes alone and pose wherever you put her, but no matter what you do to try to entertain her, her “good” smiles look something like this:

With happy Kalena you get hair in the face and running around all over the place, but the smiles look more like this:

I like having the Sears pictures, serious as they are, but I’m glad I can also have the snapshots so her personality can shine through.

I guess some things never change

This picture was taken last November. Kalena and Brian were just zoned out watching some football.

This one was taken a few weeks ago. Kalena’s hair is longer and Brian’s is shorter, but there they are, hanging out, watching football.

I guess football is the exception to Kalena’s only wanting to watch singing on TV.

Date night bullet points

When Brian texted me this afternoon asking if I wanted to do dinner and a movie tonight my first thought was, “um, YES PLEASE.” And since living with my parents = readily available babysitting, I just okayed it with my mom and we were all set. I’m about ready to fall asleep, so here are some quick thoughts on the evening.

  • There was a point when I never would have said something like this but: sushi dinner. YUMMY. Also, yes, I ate sushi while pregnant. Sue me.
  • New Moon = better than Twilight. Still not as good as the book, but hey, what movie is?
  • To the person texting during the movie: yes, I can see you. Even 8 rows back. P.S. Did you seriously pay $8 so you could have a conversation with someone who isn’t even there? If you’re going to talk during the movie, at least talk to your friends who also paid $8 to be there.
  • Restaurant and movie were both Brian’s choice. Because he’s the best. Either that or he’s buttering me up to ask for something big for Christmas…
And now, goodnight. I would like to stay up later but my alarm clock is a baby monitor and as many times as I’ve looked there’s no snooze button. Big flaw in the design if you ask me.

The manners are hard to resist

One of the gifts I got at my baby shower for Kalena was a pair of baby sign language books. I knew a little about the theory behind teaching babies to sign, but I didn’t feel strongly about doing it or not. When Kalena started trying to stand up out of her high chair when she was done eating though, I knew we had to do something. So we taught her to sign “all done.” Everyone was considerably happier once she could tell us she was done and then wait while we got her out instead of trying to dive out of the high chair on to the floor. For a long time that was the only sign she did. We worked on the sign for “more,” but she didn’t use it much.

As she started learning words I figured signing would be pointless, but something changed my mind. What made me change my mind you ask? The WHINING. Oh my goodness, I just couldn’t take any more whining. When she didn’t how to ask for something she would just point and whine and whine and whine. First we went back to the sign for “more.” And she quickly realized that pointing at something and asking for “more” (even if she hadn’t had any) will usually get her what she wants. And then (because I want to raise polite children and also because I find it adorable) we taught her to sign “please.” It did not take her long to pick up on the idea that asking for “more please” is even MORE likely to get her what she wants. Of course, then I had to teach her “thank you” to complete the whole thing. So now she will (often unprompted) ask for “more please” and then thank you for it. It is SO CUTE. In fact, the asking “more please” is so cute that I really feel bad when a) I have to tell her no, or b) I don’t know what she’s asking for.
Anyway, I won’t lie. I’m WAY more likely to give her something when she puts on her big smile and signs “more please” than if she points at it and whines. Am I ever going to be immune to the cuteness?

I guess she likes the hair in her face

Kalena has PLENTY of hair to do cute stuff with. Unfortunately, she’s not such a fan of having anything done. Anytime I put a barrette in it she’ll pull it out and then hand it to me and say, “uh oh.” As if she didn’t just do that herself. Half the time she wants me to put it back in (so she can take it out again OF COURSE), the rest of the time she’s just done with it.
For awhile rubber bands were better, but then she figured out how to get those out too. Now pretty much the only way I can even get them in her hair is if I do it while she’s in the car seat. Sometimes I can get her to leave her hair done if she’s distracted immediately afterward, but even then it’s only a matter of time before she realizes she doesn’t have hair hanging in her eyes and then it’s all over.
Can you see her thinking, “Hey! Don’t put that in there!”

“Now, which one should I take out first?”

So if you see Kalena running around with her hair all a mess, please don’t judge me. I promise I tried.