Alianna at 15 Months


On October 20th, Ali turned 15 months old…1 year and 3 months! It didn’t go unnoticed and I wanted to write a record of what she’s doing these days.

Ali-gator, you are now walking more than crawling, and even walking with your hands down! (No more Frankenstein.) You still trip a lot. I guess it takes a while to get a sense of where your feet are and what’s coming up. You’re really into climbing lately. You love to climb from your little rocking chair on to Grandma and Grandpa’s big recliner and then back down. I got you a toddler slide from craigslist to help satisfy your climbing desires but you haven’t figured out the ladder yet. You love the slide though!

You’ve started becoming a little more picky and opinionated in your eating lately. The result is just that you’ve been eating a little less because you don’t always care for what’s offered to you. I figure if you’re really hungry you’ll eat it anyway. We sometimes hand you a plastic toddler fork or spoon with food on it and you’re happy to eat whatever is on it. You haven’t yet tried to get the food on to the utensil yourself but that will come eventually.

We’re working hard on stay positive and redirecting you rather than saying “No” too much. You respond so much better to a gentle redirect than to an angry, “No! Ali! That’s Lucy’s food!” That only makes you want to do it more. I felt convicted recently that I was getting too harsh with you, after reading “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” So true that is with you. Thank you for being patient with me and giving me lots of chances to practice.

Just lately you’ve started putting 2 word phrases together. We were Skyping with Jason while he was out of town one day and right after I ended the call you said, “Bye Dada.” (You also gave him lots of kisses on the phone that day – so cute!) You also sometimes say, “Oh Yeah!” and it cracks me up. You’ve also said “more pwease” and “read it.” You babble all the time and I love getting little glimpses of what’s going through your head. I showed you some pictures I was working on of paint mock ups of the new house and you indulged me with, “Ooooh!” You never hide your excitement when you see something you love or think is pretty. You’re a jewelry fanatic so it’s no surprise that you’re saying “Jewry” even before you’re saying “Grandma” or “Grandpa.” You’ve been trying, though, and I can tell the subtle difference between “Dada” and “Dinda”… Dinda is your word for both Grandma and Grandpa at this point.

You’re growing slowly and steadily. We weighed and measured you at home the other day. You were 21.5 lbs and 29″ tall. (Sidenote: you’re exactly the same height and weight as your cousin Iris right now, who is 3 months younger than you.) You’re still wearing size 3 shoes though 2/3 of them are too small. Your size 4s, however, are mostly all too long. So we’re back to having just a few pairs of shoes that fit, but that’s fine. Your hair is getting longer and longer but still sitting up on top of your head. Is it going to start falling downward eventually? You have 8 teeth now and you are great about letting us brush them before bed every night. Daddy taught you to hold hands recently and you love to hold his hand while I push you in your stroller back and forth from Grandma and Grandpa’s house to our new house.

You’re great at making choices between two items and I love to give you that power. (More than 2 options is a little overwhelming.) Banana yogurt or peach yogurt? Do you want to wear this shirt or this shirt? Should Mommy buy these striped sheets or the gray sheets? Do you like this soap dispenser or this one? Obviously, I think you’re an excellent shopping buddy. I see many, many mother/daughter Friday night shopping excursions in our future. You are super fun to spend time with, excited about life, easy-going, loving and curious. Thanks for being my daughter.

All pictures in this post are from Ali’s buddy Jaron’s adoption day October 2, 2012; taken by Beth Rose Goin.

Martina’s Childhood Favorite Toys: Handmade Barbie Furniture


It would be hard for me to chose what my true favorite toy was but I certainly loved playing house. Thousands of hours were clocked playing with my Fisher Price Little People, you know the small, choking-hazard ones from the 80s? I had the tudor house, the SUV and camper, the hospital, the tractor, the school bus and of course lots of Little People. My mom still has these but she insists they stay at her house. She did, however, hand over the boxes labeled in colorful markers and glitter “Martina’s Stuff” containing all the handmade plastic canvas Barbie furniture gifted to me by my Granny.

I had forget just how many pieces there were in this set. Granny must have spent many hours making all of this for me. I feel very blessed that I had it. I didn’t get interested in Barbies until late elementary school days. My best friend Michele and I would set up huge Barbie cities in my basement and spent hours playing.

The two [barely] surviving Barbies have seen better days. Naked, chopped off hair, and both missing a hand due to a tragic dog attack. I think I’ll be on the lookout for some decent clothed Barbies at yard sales this summer.

Let’s go on a little tour of the Barbie house. Note, anywhere you see drawers or cabinet doors they’re functional! Here’s Barbie’s bedroom with a bed, rug, dresser with mirror, vanity chair and table, and a room divider screen:

The kitchen with area rug, china cabinet, corner hutch, stove and table with gingham tablecloth:

I love the blue vintage style stove with heart details:

The formal dining table with white lace tablecloth and 4 chairs:

The living room with area rug, fireplace, love seat with pillow, arm chair with matching footstool, coffee table, end table and floor lamp.

There is also an entertainment center for the TV, stereo and speakers:

I wonder if our kids will recognize this brown box with a picture on it as a TV:

Like Jason’s Definitely Dinosaurs, I’m really glad my mom saved this furniture for me, that it’s still in great shape, and that it’s pretty indestructible for our kids to play with. Too bad Granny hadn’t used her own house for inspiration and made this furniture mid-century!

Jason’s Childhood Favorite Toys: Definitely Dinosaurs


Little Jason was a dinosaur enthusiast. He and his little brother Dan had a collection of a particular kind of dinosaurs called Definitely Dinosaurs made by Playskool. Jason and his brothers also had every boy and unisex toy and game manufactered in the 1980s and early 90s. Nerf guns, sit-n-spin, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Ghostbusters gear, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Soakers…you name it, they had it. Anyway… most of that stuff is long gone but his mom saved the Definitely Dinosaurs for him. Since we’re going to have kiddos around the ranch soon she brought them over. I cleaned them up and took some photos before putting them away in toy storage.

The official Definitely Dinosaur crew:

With their 5 Caveman comrades:

And with a few inferior-quality friends. Every dino collection needs a T-Rex. And a … a … whatever that little guy on the left is:

I’m really glad Jason’s mom saved these. I’m also glad they’re still in great shape and they’re really durable toys so we don’t have to worry about sentimental childhood toys getting ruined by our kids.