Monday, January 31, 2011

spidey toddler

Saturday morning our whole family attended a birthday bash for one of Chica's friends from our old church. We miss the Birthday Girl and her family so much. Her mama and I were in small group together for several years so we have some serious blackmail on each other. :) To me that's the sign of a legit small group- no one ever has to fear another member will squeal your business if everyone risks being honest. It takes guts to be vulnerable but doing so cultivates an incredible place for authentic growth. With that group of women the cost was as nothing compared to what I gained.

Meanwhile, back at the three-year-old's birthday party.

They hosted the party at an inflatables place. We've never been there so it was a new adventure for us. From her reaction, it might just be Chica's Mother Ship. She flew from one thing to the next. Not one slide, obstacle or bouncy area was overlooked. She did it all. Including an inflatable version of a rock wall.
She started out on the little version. It took some coaching from the sidelines but after a short time, she understood the concept and was able to scale the hill.

Then came The Mountain. At least that's what it looked like as my tiny two year old stood at its base. Either my baby didn't realize how formidable it seemed or she didn't care because the child didn't hesitate to start climbing. In the face of an obstacle five times her size she was fearless and determined.

Her mama could stand to learn something from her.
In the words of her Uncle Al, she's ready for American Gladiator. :)

P.S. - You might want to turn your volume down a little before you watch this video. It was pretty loud in the building and her crazy parents cheer her on in disbelief.

Monday, January 24, 2011

she has an app

Last week, Chica and I went to the hospital to visit a friend who had just given birth to her third baby girl. The tiny, brand new infant swaddled up in her bassinet was absolutely beautiful. I tried to get Chica to look at her, but she was having none of it.


Because the proud father of three introduced her to Cookie Doodle, a game on his phone that's a favorite of his older girls. Technology took over from there and she was sucked in for a solid half hour, loving every second of it. I couldn't believe how adept she was at working the touch screen. Her fingers flew across the surface of the phone like she's been playing for years.

And she's only two and a half.

Later that night I relayed our visit to the hospital with Dan. We downloaded Cookie Doodle to his iPod because I wanted him to witness Chica's mad skills and pure delight over the new found "cookie game."
It's a pretty cute premise. The goal is to make a cookie. You start out with a list of ingredients that you have to put into the mixing bowl.
Each ingredient is kind of interactive and requires a certain action to get it in the bowl. Here she is shaking the salt.
Sifting the flour.
Cutting the butter.
Then you mix all the ingredients together before rolling out the dough, selecting a cookie cutter and sticking it in the oven.
After it's finished baking you can decorate it however you want.
Then comes the best part. You gobble up your cookie creation.
And as your toddler approaches her 20 minute "cookie game" limit you pray this isn't a gateway app to other technological ventures resulting in a teenager locked in her room for hours refusing to come out until she's mastered level 26 of World of War Craft. :)
I must warn you though. If you give a girl a cookie app...
she's going to want a glass of milk to go with it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

and then there were 4 (hintons)

A few nights ago we shared some big news with Chica. It was only a matter of time before the whole world knew. :)She had three pressing questions about the changes in our family:
1. "Will I still be Reesie?"
2. "Will my hair look the same?"
3. "Can I have some milk now?"
Bloggers, meet our newest family member! He/She is about 5 cm long and will make his/her debut in the world late this summer.

(Baby Hinton had a serious case of the hiccups during this ultrasound. We could see the tiny belly jump up and down. By my third trimester with Chica, she had the hiccups every day.)
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Psalm 139:13-19 (New Living Translation)

With great thankfulness we look forward to the coming days and are trusting God with His wonderful purpose and specific plan for them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

through the lens of a toddler

Lately, Chica's developed an affinity for taking pictures. I can hardly get a shot of her before she starts asking to take one as well. I'm torn as a mother because while I don't want her to think of my camera as a toy, I know firsthand how much fun it is to use it. Still, it's my Baby (the one with a reputation of suddenly letting go whenever her arms get tired) holding my Other Baby (the one who most certainly will not survive a sudden crash to the floor.)

We usually end up compromising- I wrap the strap around her neck and she gets to hold the camera and push the button as long as Mommy has one hand on it at all times. This makes for an assortment of pictures featuring the ceiling fan, clutter on the floor and random areas of my face, all taken as far away as my arm will reach.

The other night, Dan was home to serve as backup so Chica could actually stand back and get an entire subject in the frame. Check out her work!

and Daddy.
Not bad for a two and a half year old, huh?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

snow day

What began as an exciting prediction a week ago and led the local news for five days straight has come to pass. We're snowed in! Everything shut down yesterday, including our church, which meant Danny was the Snow Party Planning Committee Chairman for the day. Chica was Co-chairwoman. I stood outside long enough to take pictures.

After playing in the yard, Mr. Chairman asked what I thought about going sledding. I bundled up for real and threw some plastic storage bin lids in the backseat of the car. Danny knew of a great hill in another neighborhood. By the time we made it to the hill, Chica was over being stuck in her car seat with all the layers of clothing and I was a tad cranky.

But Mr. Chairman knew his audience. The hill was worth the tedious car ride. A nice man had pity on our lid and let us use his sled. (If you click on any of these pictures, you should be able to see them bigger. Some of her expressions are priceless!)

It was one of the best times we've had in a while. And even though it probably won't snow again until next year, I'm putting in a request with the Snow Chairman that we forgo playing in the yard and sled all morning instead.
For the sake of reminiscing:
(You can click on each link to see our past snow days as a family of three.)
Snow Day 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

your third Christmas

Dear Reesie,
This year was your third Christmas. It was the best one yet. There are so many things I don't want to forget so I'm going to write them down here. Next year when you're poised to hear a story about your past self (your favorite kind of story) I'll know where to look for notes on all the details. (You love the details.)

This year was the first year you helped decorate the Christmas tree. You called every ornament a "bell" and you piled all of them on one spot of the tree, sometimes hanging multiple "bells" on a single branch. I didn't even think about fixing it after bedtime- your work was Chica Age 2 original. Every night, we counted down to plugging in the tree and we cheered and clapped when the lights came on. It never once got old.

You had a Christmas party at school and to your delight, Daddy and I both came. You decorated a sugar cookie and made an ornament with your Daddy over your shoulder and a smile a mile wide plastered on your face.

We celebrated Christmas at our house a week early before leaving town. I made tacos for our Christmas Eve dinner because I knew we'd be eating like kings at your grandparents' homes. Also, tacos made for a calm, peaceful Mommy who's actually pleasant company. Thankfully you and Daddy didn't mind.
After dinner, Daddy read the Christmas story to us. We picked out different toys to be the characters. You knew right away the part you wanted to play.

You loved it and insisted we do it all over again.

Christmas morning you found your big girl bed that Santa had left for you. You sat on it while you opened your presents. After each gift you cried, "Thank you! It's just what I always wanted!!!" We're not sure where you learned that, but it was amusing to hear.

You wanted your big girl bed in your room right away. Daddy had to take down your crib in order to get it out your door. I think he was a little shocked at how fast the time had gone since he had put it together. I wanted to cry, but your excitement overrode my feelings of sadness.
That afternoon we took a trip to the grocery store to get some food for a local homeless shelter. You were fascinated as we tried our best to explain what we were doing. You couldn't wait to take food to those who needed it. We unloaded the car at the shelter and you carried in a can of green beans and a loaf of bread with great satisfaction for one so small. May the assurance of your capacity to affect change never subside. The ladies there loved you. I hope it becomes a family tradition for us.

On Christmas Eve we went to a silent worship service at the church I attended when I was your age. I was a little nervous about it. The chapel was so full I sat in the row behind you and Daddy. You looked so grown up that night in your Christmas dress. You leaned over to whisper something in Daddy's ear and raised your unlit candle high over your head.

The rest of the weekend we spent with almost all of your grandparents. You opened more presents than should be legal for one child to receive. I took loads of pictures of you and your cousins. Each of you will look so different next year!

Merry Christmas Sweet Girl. Your Daddy and I are crazy about you. Thank you for the precious memories.