Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gramma Mindy's Visit!

You thought that when I ended that last post with a little bit about our return home that I would just gloss over this next post, right? Well, I gotcha! Because when Mom and I returned home to Maryland after the holidays, we returned with one more passenger than we went up with...that's right! The title of the blog post gave it away...Gramma Mindy came to visit with us for New Year's!! Not only did Mom and Dad get to go out for New Year's Eve for the first time in several years, but we also got to have a lot of fun with Gramma Mindy!

I was very excited to have her come down and see us! (The excitement may have also been caused by the blue lollipop that got to have when we went out....note the blue lolli in my hand, and matching tongue...)
While she was here, we found time to check out the White House Christmas Tree...It is a smaller new tree that replaced the one that got blown down several months back during a particularly hairy storm. It' a bummer to have lost such a lovely tree....but this new one did an admirable job filling its shoes/lights.
In addition to the tree, there were numerous little trains set up that surrounded the display. I don't know what it is about trains and Christmas, but I like it!!
Here, once again, is our friend Thomas the Train Engine zipping around a tiny reproduction of a town...he sure is popular, that Thomas!
Gramma Mindy was cool enough to buy me my very own digital camera for Christmas (or was it my birthday...man, I get confused with that all the time! THANKS Mom and Dad! :-P  ) so I brought it with me to take some of my own pictures! Nothing beats SamHeight pictures of trains and Christmas trees! I liked that camera very much, and took several pictures to look at whenever I wanted to. It was very well built, and easy to use!
Though it was daytime, and we couldn't see the lights, we really enjoyed being able to take in the display without all the crazy crows that are usually around. We got to relax and enjoy ourselves.
We even got to have Gramma Mindy take a picture of me, Mom and Dad in front of the tree....this was the closest thing to a decent picture that I would allow them to take. What do you expect!? I'm THREE!
It was truly a sight to behold...so much to look at....so many little trains running around their tracks right outside in the grass. No one rushing you to get by and look at it themselves...it was very laid back...just how me, Gramma Mindy, Mom and Dad like it...

 Each state (and US territories) has a little tree that is part of the trail of trees that encircle the larger one...Each one is decorated differently depending on where it's from, and who does it (Usually the decorations are made by school kids) We saw the trees for Connecticut where a lot of our family lives, Washington, DC where we used to live, Maryland where we live now, and also this one...Maine.

This is in honor of the little cabin in the woods that our family has way up North. It was a lovely little tree...what a nice time we had with Gramma Mindy! It's always sad when she leaves...On Sunday we brought her down to the train station, and I said goodbye....but I think I get to see her again in a few weeks, which is nice! Hooray for her school vacations!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I turned 3!!!

In all the holiday hubbub...I never really did a proper posting about my birthday! I turned THREE! Can you believe it!?

The picture above was taken during the .024 seconds that I was standing still next to that 3 in the Sears Portrait Studio...

Since my birthday happens around Christmas, things were a little crazy with lots of celebrating! (And lots of cake!) so it's understandable that I haven't gotten to this posting yet....

Since my birthday got snowed out last year (CLICK HERE to reminisce) Gramma Mindy again hosted a party for me on the day after Christmas....It had a Toy Story (Primarily Buzz Lightyear) theme with plates, napkins, and decorations that featured my current favorite space ranger...

This year, the weather was much kinder to us and LOTS of people got to come to the party! Dad's family showed up (Minus my Auntie Steph and cousin Braelynn, because Braelynn was sick. :-(  ) and Mom's family came too!
One would think that it would be difficult to have a birthday that falls right after Christmas, but it's actually kind of nice...I like when things are all lit up and decorated during my birthday! It's really nice!

A cool thing about my birthday was that my Uncle Steve got to come! He has to work a lot, and so we thought he might miss it, but this time around, he managed to get some time off, and I got to see him. He looks pretty awesome in that birthday hat!

As is typical, I got to have a cake, and they added three Toy Story alien candles....everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me, and I got to blow out the candles (After making a wish, of course!) 

I got to tear into some delicious cake, and received a lot of really cool presents...as always, everyone was very generous, and I really enjoyed hanging out with them at my party!

When I arrived back home in Maryland, Mom and Dad had another birthday present waiting for me...it was pretty big, and I was very excited at the prospect of another surprise!

I unwrapped it with crazy anticipation, and at first I saw a box of diapers underneath the pretty wrapping paper...now don't get me wrong, I'm as appreciative as they come, and I can always use diapers (For a little while longer, anyway...) but I had kind of built up in my head the idea that it was going to be something different...

Sure enough I was right...Mom and Dad got me the penguin pillow pet that I had been eyeing for months...at the Baltimore Aquarium and at Sears, or anywhere else I saw pillow pets, I'd dig around until I found the penguin, and would cuddle with it, truly enjoying the experience...now, I had one of my very own...it was an awesome present...

It truly was a lovely birthday....and I still hadn't even had the party with my friends from daycare yet! That update...is coming soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Christmas 2011 Part 2!

I have kind of a unique situation in that I often have to celebrate holidays in several places, with several different batches of my family...while I sometimes find this difficult both in scheduling things, and in general when it comes to feeling a bit fragmented in regards to family events, everyone does a pretty good job of making it all feel equally festive and connected in its own way....I appreciate that!
Which leads us to the second part of our Christmas celebration at Gramma Mindy's!!

Once again, there were a lot of presents to be had! I had a lot of fun unwrapping yet another series of presents, and got a lot of fun stuff. Here I am opening a new book, and next to that is a coat hanger that I am very excited to hang up!

In addition to those, and many other fun things, I finally got myself a Thomas train engine set!! All the times I had played with the Thomas train engine set at Barnes and Noble or Sears, I was always excited about the prospect of getting my own Thomas train set....the tracks are made of solid wood, and the train cars are made of metal and plastic...it's very well put together! I got the tracks and water tower from Mom and Dad, and Gramma Mindy got me a lot of the cars...she got me Thomas himself, in addition to a bunch of other cars...

I had a lot of fun playing at Gramma Mindy's with all of my new stuff!
One of the things I got was a soccer goal and ball....since soccer and living rooms don't really go together, JustRichy and I took it outside to check it out!
We set up the goal in the corner of Gramma Mindy's deck (Check out that view!!) and Just Richy and I played a short game of soccer. I was the goalie, and did my best to stop the ball from getting in...however, it was a bit chilly out, and I think I ended up focusing on keeping warm moreso than blocking the goal...

Richy sunk a couple shots, and I realized that I'm gonna have to spend the warmer months of spring practicing for the next time he and I go head to head!
As always, I got myself some more Legos! I can never have enough of these things! They are just the right balance of allowing you to use your imagination to create things, while also containing elements like cars, people, and decorations that help augment your designs by making them into something more closely approximating the real-world equivalent. I like that I can make a race track that looks just like a race track, or one that belongs in outer space....it's my choice!! 
Richy and I had a great time keeping warm, and seeing just how far we could take the Legos...it was a blast!

Just when you think this blog can't get any more celebratory....next up is my birthday!!! That's right...even though I am sooooo far behind, I haven't forgotten!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas 2011 Part 1

As always, because of our crazy schedule, we had several distinct celebrations in regards to Christmas. The first leg was at Gramma Debbie and Grandpa's house....

Since my Aunt Amy and Uncle Steve are currently living with Gramma Debbie for the time being, my cousin Nicholas was kind enough to share his space with me... 

...and I was kind enough to plop his pacifier back in whenever it fell out...I thought it was a pretty decent arrangement...
Gramma and Grandpa has a nice tree set up, with some pretty ornaments, and best of all...PRESENTS underneath! (On the left is Aunt Amy and Uncle Steve's cat Caspurr....I got my eye on him...)

Dad's friend Mike stopped by, and he made the mistake of doing something fun that I liked...namely, he picked me up in the chair I was sitting in, and spun me around over his head...I then had him repeat this move no less than 19 times. It was a lot of fun!

Later on, when everyone else arrived, we did our annual FakeChristmas where Dad's family exchanges gifts with us, and vice versa....I got to open a lot of really fun stuff...

I fancy myself a present connoisseur, so I don't like to rush anything...I find a present that looks intriguing, I size it up, open it, and then take my time to enjoy the spoils that lie beneath the lovely wrapping paper...
I got a lot of really great stuff, and had a lot of fun hanging out with everyone...some highlights of the day were:

A big book from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse...it should keep me entertained for ages!

A new plate, cup, and bowl set featuring...THE TOY STORY CHARACTERS!!! I thought the combo of all three items was really great, and it should make lunchtime fun!
Continuing the Toy Story theme, I got myself some Buzz Lightyear pajamas! 
I was confused at first....the pajamas look like this from the front:

And so the first, logical, question I asked was: Where is Buzz's head? Where are his hands? Dad laughed and told me that MY head and hands would act as Buzz's head, effectively dressing me up as Buzz Lightyear! How COOL is that!? And they were also super cozy! To this day, I ask for these pajamas at bedtime as my first request for which ones I want to wear...I LOVE these things!

There were any more gifts, and after a protracted session, I opened them all...it was truly a great FakeChristmas. Dad even said that it felt more Christmassy than usual, and everyone does a great job of making it feel like Christmas, no matter what day it is....I always enjoy hanging out with everyone, and it's such a nice holiday....even though it happened a few days before December 25th. :-)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zoo Lights 2011!

I am home sick with an ear infection (with a side order of everyone's favorite...pink eye!) so I figured I would continue the momentum I had with the blog by taking you through the highlights of this year's Zoo Lights!

Just like last year, the event was free and held at The National Zoo. We met up with Mom (who was coming from work) and started our journey around the beautiful lights...

Before we started our walk, we stopped by the vistors center, where they had a HUGE train set built in the main auditorium...

There were lots of tiny figures dotting the landscape, and so much to look at....there was Elmo, and Cookie Monster, and Buzz Lightyear....so many fun things to see, and details that you might miss if you weren't looking closely.

I didn't want to miss anything, so I made sure to look closely....
There were several different trains running on the numerous tracks, and one of them was a Thomas train!

As you probably expected (if you know anything about Thomas) he was moving pretty fast, so it was hard to get a good picture of him, but this is the best Dad could do...Thomas' eyes even moved back and forth while he zipped around the track. It was really neat!

After our stop at the train, we ventured forth out into the Zoo...Mom and I walked ahead, flanked on either side by all of the gorgeous light displays. Sometimes you didn't even know where to look, since there was so much going  on!
It was inevitable that I would want to be picked up at some point, and Mom got the first shift. We walked past all of the trees that were lit up for the event, and while we were looking, Mom did a great job of keeping me warm!
I wanted to make sure Dad didn't feel left out, so I let him carry me around for awhile, and we took pictures in front of some trees that were done up for the event. As you can see, as evidenced by all the smiling (and I promise that Mom was smiling behind the camera) we were having a great time!
We came upon this elephant statue that was all lit up for the occasion...I became curious, of course, about this avant garde statue...where were his eyes? Where was his mouth? I saw the shape of an elephant, but did I truly see an elephant? I can't say, really....but regardless, it was a beautiful display....
Some of the houses for animals were open for us to visit, but unfortunately, a lot of the animals were asleep when we got their. We did our best to keep quiet and not disturb them, but we still walked around to check out the displays...
Every now and again, we'd find a really cool little creature to check out. Dad was nice enough to carry me around (Even though he and Mom had specifically said they wanted me to walk around...suckers) and though he would never admit it, he also may have engaged in some dancing around when it came time to see the dancing lights...
We went back outside after the brief trip into the small mammal house to check out some more lights, and we came upon some that looked animated, which was always a fun sight to see. The way the lights worked, it looked like the fish was actually jumping out of the water, and landing back in with a splash. It was really cool!
Several spots featured trees with "dancing lights" meaning they played music while the lights flashed on and off in sequence...it was fun to watch and listen to, and I even convinced my parents to dance around with me for a little while...whoo hoo!
As the night wore on, I started to get a little punchy, and ditched my hat...it also took no less than 200 attempts for Mom to get the picture of me below...