Vianne Rose: Twenty-One Months Old

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:39 PM

We were in Oregon for Vianne's twenty-one monthiversary (1/8/14), and it was raining, so I just took a few snapshots indoors while she was distracted with her milk (she even stopped to say "cheese" several times, which infinitely beat chasing her around the yard at home).

What I've heretofore reported on Vianne is escaping me, so forgive me for repeats.  Vianne is an adorable little helper these days.  She loves (read: insists on) carrying out the bag from the diaper genie when I empty it; loves helping to unload groceries from the car; loves to be in the midst of any outdoor activity like watering plants or raking leaves; and usually will respond to requests for help picking things up (even if they often get dumped right back out again...).  She also has developed a very sympathetic side and likes to ask, "What's wrong?" and if she senses someone is sad or frustrated or not feeling well, she likes to give their head a pat and say, "Oh, [insert name]!" and give out extra hugs and kisses. 

She is very attentive to vehicles and always points out fire trucks, buses, motorcycles ("Jon!"), airplanes, and helicopters in particular.  She rarely hears a noise without wanting to know, "What's that sound?"  Another favorite question is "Where('d) Daddy (or whoever's left the room) go?"  She also for quite some time has gotten a kick out of calling people "Silly [insert name].  She also does a lot of fake laughing, crying, sleeping, and coughing these days because she seems to enjoy the attention they attract.  The sleeping is adorable.  The crying, not so much.

She is starting to learn to count and recognize some alphabet letters.  She still loves to color, loves playing with all her fun new toys from Christmas, loves to "read" her books - more than let Mama read them to her.  She still loves "Bob and Yarry", and Peppa Pig and Mickey Mouse & friends (she looks up at the sky and says, "Oh, toodles!" often throughout the day).

Another pet phrase is "Dinner soon!"  I told her one evening we would have dinner soon, so now whenever she wants to eat, she says "Dinner soon!" even if it's 7:30 in the morning or around noon, and sometimes even if it's 10 minutes after she just ate.

In other speech cuteness, k's and hard c's are t's right now.  So milk = milt, our friend Cammie = Tammie, Christmas = Tristmas, Costco sounds a bit like Tattoo, okay = otay, school bus = stool bus :-).  She also calls Target "Targer", Margot "Marner", and Miriam "Mirmer", in her attempt at two-syllable pronunciations.  She's actively exploring possessives and plurals at the moment, with relative accuracy ("It's mine!" and "Cookie mans").

New Year's 2013 Trip to Oregon

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 2:57 PM

We left early on New Year's Eve morning...but not as early as planned...after settling in & reviewing the safety procedures...

 ...we found out that due to fog in San Jose (?!), we had to wait, and wait, and wait in Ontario to take off.  After an hour of sitting, we left about the time we should have been arriving, but still made it to PDX on time since we'd only shortened a two-hour layover. 

We spent New Year's Eve at Mom/Grandma Gustafson's with the Blairs and had way too much great food and tried our hardest to stay up 'til midnight after a long day!

 Enjoying some grapes...
Reading with Aunt Jenny
 Getting to know Cooper ("Topper")
 Mom & I attended the Blairs' church to see the girls as angels in their Christmas pageant

 When it's sunny & dry in January in Oregon, one must take advantage of it & take a walk into town.
 Can't pass up a puddle

 Tea party with Miriam
 Playing musical chairs with Aunt Jenny
 Playing with cousin David - they are so cute together!

 They love Grandma's wind-up toys!
 A post-nap snuggle with Aunt Vera
 A duet with cousin Grant

 Crowd of cousins

December 2013

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 1:45 PM

Thanksgiving was so late this year that Thanksgiving weekend took us into December.  We went up to Lake Arrowhead to enjoy a day away...

 Enjoying some early Christmas in the Village

 I thought she might need a hat & mittens for the winter (I was largely wrong due to this exceeding warm California winter).  Still cute.
 She came up with this move all on her own (?!)...
 ...and, unfortunately, this one, too.  Hat buddies!
 Watching the (little) rain (we had this winter).

 I fear we need to get out more...
 Ah, here we go.  A trip to the park on a lovely Sunday with Hawaiian food for lunch!

 After Christmas, a lot of time's been spent in her new playhouse.

Christmas 2013

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 1:32 PM

For the first time in our marriage, we got a real Christmas tree this year.  As an Oregonian accustomed to $10 trees on every corner, I have balked, scoffed, and turned my nose up at the $40+ trees available in California.  But something about California slowly breaking down my defenses or wanting Vianne to experience this joy of Christmastime, or whatever it may have been, we bought one this year.

And, what do you know, it hailed from Mulino, OR, one town over from my hometown.

Despite the nausea plaguing me this season, I made my traditional gingerbread, and some of Mom's Rocky Road...but that was it for "baking".
2013 Christmas Card Photo: The One That Turned Out (I didn't even have to photoshop in heads like last year...)

 On Christmas Eve, we went to the lovely service at our church, and Vianne wore her adorable dress from Rachelle & the boys.
The service is mostly music, to Vianne's delight.  When the first song was over, she said, "More songs!"  She did pretty well sitting through the service, only had to lap the halls a couple of times, but by the end, she was ready to dance.  She's a bit of a Pentecostal Nazarene.
 We had a fun Christmas morning!  Vianne enjoyed opening gifts (loves tearing paper) and was equally delighted with each one.

 Blurry but adorable :-)
For the afternoon, over the river & through the woods, to Vianne's grandparents house we went - up to Lake Arrowhead.  We had a delicious lunch at the Saddleback Inn.  I am still thinking about this Double Crusted Pork Chop with Red Wine & Pear Sauce - oh my gosh, SO GOOD.
 Patrick enjoying the Jenga Ribs (also amazing!)
 There was a little patch left at the house so Patrick introduced Vianne to snow!

 Family shot on the deck (gorgeous day!)

 Time for presents

 Vianne's first time eating one of my gingerbread men :-)
 She made sure everyone else was opening their gifts correctly...

It's true what they say: kids revive Christmas for the adults.  Vianne reveled in every aspect of the season and is still (in late January) asking where the Christmas tree is and wanting to watch "Bob and Yarry Tristmas" DVDs.  She brought so much joy to us all, in addition to the inherent, immense joy of celebrating Jesus' birth.  A little break from present-opening to sing & dance in praise...:-D