Thursday, December 31, 2009

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

I've decided to try to blog a little more frequently to ease the overwhelming task of once monthly. We'll see how it goes ;)

Sharing some photos of our truly joy-filled Christmas. We give all praise and glory to our newborn King, Jesus Christ.

Lydia sits on Santa's lap for the first time at preschool. I'm not sure she really "got it" but she liked him and loved the candycane filled with Sweettarts that he gave her. At one point during the month prior to Christmas Lydia came to us, visibly distressed, exclaiming, "Daddy, Santa didn't tell me what I want for Christmas! I don't know what I want!" ;) We then had the opportunity to reiterate the true meaning of Christmas, the greatest gift, Jesus, our Savior.

Christmas eve trip to "Tiny World", a little piece of Americana

A fire warming our lives as the love of the baby Jesus warms our hearts on Christmas morning


Daddy showing off his gifts.

The kids having a blast with Toby's new "choo choo" track set. Since then he's been really into "ramps" running cars and trains down them over and over and over again...

A Christmas morning family photo

Tobes decide to escape and then longed to return to his family...

...REALLY badly!

Lots of reading happening on Christmas day. Cherishing these moments...

Family photo after Christmas dinner.

Unfortunately the ice prevented Mark's parents & Aunt M from joining us (and prevented us from worshipping on Christmas Day). Two big disappointments. We are thankful, though, that everyone was safe and sound.

Mark modeling my cousin's Snuggie during our trip to Johnstown on the "Feast of Stephen"

Toby showing the fam how he does "TWO!"

Great Aunt Judy reading her gift to Toby

"Princess Lydia" showing off her new tutu that Aunt Laura made for her Christmas gift and her new jewelry from Aunt "M". A rockin' visit to Rockville for all. :)

Cousin group hug

And here's the missing cousin (she was eating dinner when this photo was taken). It was a year ago on Christmas eve that this darling girl received a heart transplant at Johns Hopkins. What an amazing testimony of the Lord's faithfulness and goodness her life is! We love you, sweet Ally!

More cousins!

Lydie and Tobes got their first "American Girl" dolls - the Bitty Baby twins!
Toby loves to point out the "eyes". He really loves dolls (in case I haven't mentioned that before.)

Thanks Great Aunt Vic and Great Uncle Eric!

Rachey got a Christmas dolly too!

What a cRaZy crew!

"I can love because God loves me
I can give because God gave
Jesus' love is why I'm smiling
Why I'm giving every day..." ~VeggieTales

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Talkin' up a storm"

Big event in the (or should I say "outside of") the Willson household is the SNOW!
Here are some shots of our first mini-snowfall: Toby wondering, "What is this stuff?" and Lydia chowing down. :)

Of course, last weekend we got "the big one", over a foot of snow. The kids were in awe watching from the inside. We couldn't resist taking them out in this gorgeous snowfall. Unfortunately, the amount of time it took to suit them up was the amount of time they stayed out (maybe 15 min.) before they were too cold and honestly quite miserable. Definitely not the "picture perfect" "fun time" we had imagined.

Yesterday afternoon with sunny skies and warmer temps, we tried again. And look how happy! :)

Now, on to my Toby-boy...

A recent big motor development for the Tobe-man is that he figured out how to go DOWN stairs. Although I still am wary about his solo navigation (he has fallen down the steps twice so far!), it’s nice that the kids can choose where they’d like to play more independently.

The huge development with Tobias this month is his vocabulary explosion. I’m including this adorable video and thought I’d try to catalog all of the words he says. Here goes… “Amen, Amy, Baby, Bubble, Ball, Book, Boot, Buddy (sometimes refers to “Bunny”), Bus, Bye-bye, Candy Cane (“Kahn – Can”), Cheese, Choo-choo, Cookie, Cow, Daddy, Doggie, Done, Down, Duck, Eye, Ear, Fish (shish), Go, Happy, Hat, Hi, Hot, In, Lydia, M&M, Mimi, Mommy, On, Papa, Pee, Poop, Potty, (what lovely “P” words), Please, Pretty, Pickle, Shoe, Snow, Sock, Stuck, Sun, Teeth, Tree, Truck, Two, Yucky

Basically he will try to repeat everything we say to him. If he can’t quite get the words, he’ll mimic the inflection in gibberish. What a character!

I’m not sure exactly how this developed – likely when we were working with numbers or counting with Lydia, but Toby holds up 2 fingers (thumb and pointer) and says, “TWO!”

Although we’ve noticed him saying, “I-unt-dat” (I want that) or “I-unt-dis” (I want this), we’ve finally have an official “first sentence”… Yesterday Toby woke up VERY early from his nap. After reading to him for about ½ hour I decided to cuddle with him in the glider before attempting to put him back in his crib. He obviously wanted to have NOTHING to do with snuggling. In fact, he pulled himself into sitting, gestured toward the bookshelf, and declared, “I want a book.” I couldn’t believe my ears but, due to my shock and lack of response, he repeated it!

This type of determination has also developed into temper tantrums when he doesn’t get “his way.” He’ll run with all of his might into something (his crib, a stack of toys), he’ll throw what he doesn’t want (a cup of milk), and then throw himself on the floor, face down crying and whining. Yes, definitely a “textbook” temper tantrum. I tend to ignore them, try to distract him, or remove him to a safe place alone. All of which eventually are effective in ceasing the tears. I find myself with the ability to “tune out” this behavior much more than the first time around (where I would get emotionally upset and try to “fix” the issue). I suppose I’ve built up some tolerance over the past 3 years. ;) Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one in the world with this issue, but then I receive my babycenter weekly email that confirmed that these outbursts are “normal” and I’m responding “appropriately”. Whew!

Mimi & G-pa took the kids to "Music Together" class again this fall. Lydia adores dancing and the other little girls there. Each girl took a turn "dressing up" for the class. This is Lydia's outfit.

Both kids had a blast, as you can see. Tobias truly has rhythm - he pats and taps amazingly accurately to the beat. He also LOVES to dance - he twirls, and shakes his hips and head. I wish I had a video of it!

Lydia continues to develop her "pretend" world. She enthusiastically cares for her baby dolls, recently acquired as an early Christmas present, this one is "Lily Michelle"

Lydie is becoming a better "helper" and following multi-step instructions with much more accuracy. She loves to "help" with meal preparation, particularly when it involves the outcome of cookies.

As Christmas approaches, she is gaining more of an idea of what it's all about. When we first brought out the Nativity, Lydia would rock baby Jesus to sleep while singing him a lullaby. Not sure He would actually sleep to this rendition ;).

From our family to yours, have a blessed Christmas filled with the true JOY, PEACE, and LOVE of our Savior, Jesus Christ.