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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gollum or Hobbit?

We have had quite a bit of grossness this week. Rhianwen has learned that boogers can be picked. She also has discovered that it is great fun to throw her toys into the closet where the cat has her litter box. Another fun thing is to play in the toilet. I KNOW that when things are dreadfully wonderfully silent that little oo is getting into trouble. But sometimes I just decide it is worth it to figure out what is going on later. One such silence proved to be an expedition to the toilet. Enters Rhianwen into the kitchen with dripping hair and wet sleeves tracking toilet water throughout the house. "Do I want to know what you were doing?" I ask, and then say, "Can you show mommy what you were doing?" She so innocently obliges by leading me back down the hall into our bathroom to point to the nice puddle and bowl of irresistible toilet water. How can I do anything but say softly, "Rhianwen, that is a no no" and clean it up quietly. So, those were some of the Gollum moments.

Hobbit moments have happened as well. All morning long, Rhianwen pesters me to eat. "East" she says, and leans on the pantry doors begging me to open them for some good treat. This happens every 5 minutes or so until one day I get really tired of it and sit her down for second breakfast. No matter that only 2 h ago she ate a huge bowl of crockpot oatmeal (cooked in whole milk with apples), some eggs, and cranberry bread. She gobbles down a small bowl of shredded wheat soaked in milk and a whole banana. I guess like Aragorn, I just didn't know about second breakfast! I ask her if she has hair on her toes and if she has a pipe. She gives me a quizzical look.

Rhianwen has been climbing on everything. I was out of the room for a few minutes, and I heard her "playing" the piano. She does this a lot, so it wasn't a huge surprise. BUT the big surprise came when I walked into the room and saw that somehow she had managed to climb on top of the piano and was walking on the keys. Heart attack inside, calm fast walk to remove baby outside!

This week was full of fun Christmas activities. We watched a little bit of A Muppet Christmas Carol with Rhianwen each night. She seemed to really enjoy it. I missed the last night with creepy Ghost of Christmas to Come, and Wally said she was mesmerized until he exited at which point she got fidgety again. Strange! (The muppet version is not as scary...fyi.) We never watch tv with Rhi but decided Christmas was a good reason to break with tradition.


Watching A Muppet Christmas Carol.


My favorite time of night: when Rhianwen is turned loose after bath to find mommy and goes running down the hall draped in nothing but a towel. This is a serious look, but most nights she is smiling and excited to try to find me.

Wally made an A- in his first graduate class, and to celebrate we took Friday off and drove over to Old Salem, NC, and did some Christmas shopping and wandering. Old Salem was settled by the Moravians (known for their Moravian stars), and it was beautiful to see at Christmas time. Our last stop was to the bakery where they bake everything in a brick oven. They were making Sugar Cake, and we got some hot out of the oven.


Eating yummy sweet cake outside of the bakery.

Rhianwen had a blast playing with the pebbles and climbing every staircase we would let her climb.

Pebble play.

We finally bought some hair-bows for Rhianwen (we could always use more, so don't worry those of you who may have bought or made some for her! ;) At first I thought they were way too big, but they are SO cute on her. (sorry about the red eye). She loves wearing them, but often can't resist the urge to pull it out to take a look.


All ready for "chuch".

We've been holding out on baking any Christmas cookies until I could get some time and energy to sew a cute Christmas apron for Rhi. I had found the material when I was looking for some other stuff for a different project, and just could not resist buying it. It's amazing how terrible you can be at sewing, but how things can still turn out pretty cute!


Making ginger bread cookies.


Taking a break to read Proverbs?


Rolling it out (for some reason this was slightly disturbing to Rhianwen).


Sampling the results. What a cute little hobbit.

Yes, she does have yet another cold. Sigh! Sorry about the boogers. We've managed to keep her fingers out of her nose so they are there until we wipe with a Kleenex.

What an enjoyable week it has been. We're looking forward to our time at the D fam's for Christmas. We'll probably have an inordinate amount of pics to post afterwards! So watch out!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

If you didn't already have a clue...

Rhianwen has a big announcement! Some of you got the hint from the last post (see the book on the coffee table); some of you looked right over it. But watch the movie below and see some of her cute pics to get it now!


"This takes some serious high order mathematics."


"Well, this is an easier concept to me! Of course I'm the big kid around here!"

The above 2 pics were what we used to tell the grandparents and siblings.


We don't think Rhianwen really understands, but she sure loooooves to say "babies"! She said it so much during Thanksgiving that her Great Aunt Gina asked if we weren't telling something. "Um, weeeelll. She just loves saying babies!" as I turn red and look away.

Our first doctor appointment was this past Tuesday, and we confirmed that I'm about 8.5 weeks and due on July 12 or so. So, it could be a baby born on our anniversary (July 14)! We got to see an ultrasound and to see the heart beating away already.



The white blob to the left is the baby's head (positioned sideways with the x on the top of it). Oh, I know you can tell if you just squint...ha! Baby Tinsley is only 1/2 inch (1.6 cm) in length but already has a fully functioning heart. Life is just SO amazing!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's Christmas Time in NC

This weekend, we went on a quest to find a Christmas tree. Since this is our first Christmas in NC, it was quite a quest. We are used to HUGE trees and a large selection, not to mention the ambiance of snowy fields, a tractor ride to get to the trees, and hot chocolate provided complements of the Christmas tree farm. It's times like this that I miss good ole PA. Perhaps we will find that farm down here one day, but probably no snow! The first farm we found had all SHORT trees. Rhianwen like them, but we knew with almost 30 years of ornaments from both sides of the fam, there was no way we could have something under 6 feet.

"This one is too small!"

So we continued our search for that big tree. We were tempted out to a farm that claimed to have Colorado Blue Spruce (the tree we have chosen the past couple of years in PA). They did have a few, but none to tempt us. However, we found a gorgeous homey Carolina Saffire instead.

"Hm, this one is just right! But what is that black thing for?"

It was so fat, that no one could fit the tree through the plastic funnel to get the net around it. So first we had to tie it up with webbing then stick it through. It was quite a process! We also were gifted with a cute tree calendar and some mulling spices, and in the end it was quite an enjoyable process.

Nope, it ain't goin'.

Rhianwen was very worried about all the cutting, pulling, and tugging throughout this process, but once the tree was in place, she seemed thrilled. (Yes, I too feel her empathy for the poor tree. It takes YEARS to grow these to be so large, but since they are grown for one and only one purpose, I console myself by this fact knowing the tree has finally found its life's fulfillment in its own death...um, yeah, I do know it sounds morbidly funny).

"Wow! This is interesting!"

Rhianwen was a little confused about the whole decorating thing, but she went to work at it like a pro, and we managed to get her to understand that once she hung them, they needed to stay on the tree and not be yanked back off. A hard concept for an almost 14 month old!


Hanging her first ornament.

We took a break to eat a chocolate covered oreo and drink some cocoa. Rhianwen didn't seem to mind a bit.

"How delectable!"

Also during the break, Rhianwen managed to escape back to her room for a time of private reading and contemplation.

"So what if Horton Hears a Who is upside down? I can still enjoy it!"

While mommy finished decorating the tree with glass balls, Daddy and Rhianwen mixed up a simple meal of pancakes for dinner. Yes, this was Rhianwen's first foray at mixing real ingredients. What a big helper she is!


"I take my work seriously."


A bit dark, but I had to post me and my cutie.

We ended the night with the advent calendar. We did 2, one for last night and which was about Christ being the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Tonight was about Christ as the Word who was in the beginning and was God.


The advent calendar.

And the finished effect.



What a joy to have a growing loving family this Christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thankful for Second Chances

Thinking back to last Thanksgiving, Rhianwen was still itty bitty, and we were still having insurmountable breastfeeding problems. Although Thanksgiving last year was wonderful with my mom cooking the entire meal (not to mention the best turkey ever), we missed out on having a big family get together and missed out on enjoying a relaxing time. I'm so glad that Thanksgiving Holidays happen every year :) This year we spent the time at Wally's parent's house. And what a time for us all! Rhianwen fell head over heals in love with Grandmama and followed her all around the house saying, "Mama, Mama!" So sweet. It was nice to have a break from being the one who is followed too!


Playing in the leaves with Grandmama.

This year we again got to make "Mr Eggplant", the centerpiece for the Thanksgiving meal. Yes, this is yet another strange but enchanting tradition of the T side of the fam. You take an eggplant, and make a face out of a carrot, cranberries, raisins, and apple peal. You make arms and legs out of string beans, and USUALLY, you put him in his sleigh or chariot pulled by turkeys made out of pine cones and feathers. BUT this year, we broke from tradition and Mr. Eggplant was riding a fearsome beast aka goose gourd.


Mr. Eggplant looking spiffy in a lemon bow tie.


His fearsome stead.


The T's.


A whole basket of gourds to play with!

Rhianwen enjoyed shooting some basketball (ie being held up while dropping the ball through the hoop), long walks, swinging in the new red swing that Grandmama and Grandaddy bought for her, being read to by everyone, eating delicious food, seeing the chickens and dog, and of course watching Clemson beat USC! She even mimicked some of the Clemson v BC replays shown of Cullen Harper by falling to the ground and landing on her shoulder over and over again.


Taking a walk with her new winter hat and coat.


Getting a story and smile from Aunt Clara.


Helping Uncle Averett move his truck.


"Dr. Robeson, I presume."


Back at home resuming half-way moved in activities.

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