Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back

A quick review of the resolutions Mommy and I made at the beginning of 2010 brings two truths to light:

1. I am stellar at making resultions and keeping them.
2. Mommy is not so stellar.

Mommy is okay with her less than stellar status, though.  Her take on resolutions is that they can be a vehicle to getting you a closer to where you want to be...even if you don't keep them 100% of the time.

Even though Mommy's resolution list is no where near complete, she'll continue the practice of creating new resolutions again this year.  And so will I.

Neither of us are quite ready to go public with our lists, though, so please enjoy this 2010 pictorial flashback in the meantime.




April (when my hair finally started to fill in)



July (with a little residual redness from my mosquite run-in)






Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hope For Hurting Hair

One of the items on Mommy's Christmas Break to-do list is "Find a hair care product that works for Bug's dry hair".

If you're wondering what she's talking about, take a look at this pic:

See that frizz in the back?  Yeah, that's what we're trying to control!

Back in October (when my hair was last cut) the hairstylist at Cool Cuts for Kids suggested that Mommy stop using baby shampoo on my hair.  She said those shampoos can have a slightly drying effect on toddler hair.

After posting a request for non-drying toddler shampoo recommendations on a popular discussion board for mommies,  Mommy and I headed out to Target to buy this guy:
After using this shampoo for a few days, Mommy noticed a slight improvement in the moisturizationess of my hair.  Unfortunately, as the days got shorter and the air got drier, that improvement pretty much disappeared.

So, Mommy quit shampooing my hair every day and started using Pantene conditioner along with the Suave Kids shampoo.  Once again, slight improvement...but no match for Mother Nature.

Mommy's next step in the fight against dry hair was to venture outside the cozy confines of that mommy discussion board she trusts so much.  Yup, she got brave enough to Google!  A search for "frizzy toddler hair" brought up several recommendations for

So we gave it a shot!  This stuff definitely provided a short-term balm to my hair woes, but once I took a nap, rode in my carseat, or sat in my highchair we were right back to square one.

Just when it looked like there was no hope left for my reddish mane, this guy entered the picture 
Mommy had been eyeing him in the corner of my bathtub for several weeks.  He actually belongs to Auntie, but he costs quite a bit more than Mommy was wanting to spend on a toddler hair care problem.  Auntie suggested that Mommy give him a try, though, and on Sunday morning Mommy finally took the plunge.  Take a look at the results:

Impressive, huh?!  And that's after several car rides and one long nap!

So, in summation, it would appear that the custom Katie-Bug-no-more-frizz equation is as follows

2 or 3 washes per week + Free & Gentle shampoo + Bed Head Self Absorbed conitioner = No More Frizz

Mommy is thankful that she can now cross one item off of her Christmas Break to-do list!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve

The festivities were kicked off with brunch at Mimi and Poppy's house where I tried out the sleigh,

 rocked baby Jesus,

read the Christmas story with Daddy (this is a pre-present-opening requirement in the Pierce household),

received training on the finer points of gift unwrapping (pull down the corner pieces first, slide hand under center seam second, pull hand up third),

and tried out the Dora costume wear that Mimi and Poppy gave me!

Every Christmas Eve night, both sides of my family get together to eat dinner and celebrate.  Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of our group shot you'll have to take my word for it when I tell you that it was a cutie!

Poor Gramma was battling a non-flu virus all week long...but she still managed to make her scrumptious cranberry pudding.  This is a tradition Mommy has looked forward to ever since she and Daddy started dating!

Christmas Day

I woke up a liiittle earlier than Mommy and Daddy would have my first present of the day was joining them in their bed until they were ready to get going! 

When they were finally ready to wake up, I found this amazing easel among my Christmas presents!

Then we headed over to Gramma and Grampa's house for Christmas breakfast, complete with Grampa's homemade donuts (another Moss Christmas tradition)...

and opened some more Christmas presents.  These leather gloves were actually given to Mommy, but I just can't pass up a good glove when I see one!

Once our presents had been opened and played with, Great Grandma and Grandpa Moss had been called on the phone, and my nap had been taken my family piled up in the car and headed north to Aunt Lisa and Uncle Kenny's home.

It didn't take me long to discover my cousin Julie's stash of dress up clothes there.  She was a really good sharer, too!

Merry postChristmas, from our family to yours!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sign Language as a Second Language

Emily Patterson is a communications coordinator for Primrose Schools.  She recently contacted Mommy about the possibility of contributing an article to my blog.  Mommy thought her article on teaching young children American Sign Language was something many of my mommy readers would enjoy:

Sign Language and Your Baby

The ability to communicate in a variety of ways to the widest possible audience and the skill of versatility are two things that are vital in a economic time like the one we are facing now. Along with the rising need for people with bilingual ability is the need for those with the ability to communicate non-verbally, with benefit of the disabled- primarily the deaf.

The growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

The best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language has proven to be the early ages of 2 to 5. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well. This can be taught at home or some child care programs incorporate it into their curriculum.

Many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes whom don't share their language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate. So it may not be as odd as you think.

Research shows that sign language is actually innate. An article from the Boulder Daily Camera presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:

" 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which proved that young children who are taught sign language at an early age develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start

Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Austin child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of child care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Best

Happy Sunday after Christmas!

Today was a super unique day for my family because Daddy took the day "off".  The pastors at our church each get to choose two Sundays a year that they would like to take as vacation days, and Daddy took today off since he was off this past Monday-Friday.  It was really nice for the three of us to be able to get ready, ride to church, check-in to the nursery area, check-out of the nursery area, and ride home together.

Somehow, though, we still managed to be just about the last people out of the sanctuary this morning!  I'm pretty sure that had something to do with the fact that these cuties were in the service today.

Little Miss Leila

Mr. Nolan Mote

Cutie Cousins, Madison and Karsyn Headley
(Madison's brother, Ethan, was at church, too...we just didn't manage to get a picture of him.)

We don't get to see these tots (or their parents) often, so everyone in my family was thrilled to get to see all of them in one place today.

Lei and I even gave each other a few sweet kisses...

...right before I had a classic toddler meltdown! 

This is what happens when a 22 month old is out of her regular routine for one week.
Mommy and I will be working hard to get me back in the groove this next week!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He Came!

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

How glad we are that He came!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Clothes

Last year, I had eleven or twelve cutie Christmas outfits.  That was just enough to keep me festively dressed each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas (with washes, of course).

This year, however, Mommy learned that the selection of Christmas attire in retailer's toddler sections is not nearly as abundant as the selection in the infant section.  That's okay, though, because I still managed to acquire a decent collection of Christmas clothes. 

Here's a rundown of what I've been sporting over the past few weeks:

This little red velvet dress is my official Christmas dress this year.  A family at Mommy's old school gave it to her when she was pregnant with me.  She remembers being so touched by their thoughtfulness (she never even taught either of their daugthers), but slightly bummed that I probably wouldn't be able to wear it because it would likely be way to small on me by Christmas 2010 (it's an 18 month outfit).  Little did Mommy know that it would fit this petite toddler perfectly!

The angle on this shot isn't the greatest, but this reindeer shirt is quite cute in person. 
(Yes, I am still sucking my thumb.  This issue may be the subject of a soon-coming blog post, so I'm going to leave it at that.)

Mimi found this gingerbread outfit on the Dillard's clearance rack last year after Christmas.  She did a pretty good job of predicting my clothing size, don't you think?

I think this present pillowcase dress is probably Mommy's favorite.  It was made by one of Mimi's fellow school nurses.  My friends, Jillian and Karsyn, have this same dress too...we just didn't manage to get our pictures taken in them together.  Maybe we can give the photo shoot a shot next year (when we're wearing them as shirts)!
Even though the quality of this iPhone pic is less than stellar, there's no denying that this is one adorable little gingerbread shirt.  Personally, I prefer to refer to it as my "gingerbread man girl" shirt.

Guess what I just realized? 
Almost all of the Christmas outfits above were given to me by Mimi!  That women has great toddler taste, I tell you.

But you know who else has great toddler taste?
Who else could pull together this festive ensemble on a moment's notice?

(In case you're wondering, that's a hand-me-down Walmart brand onesie, Kid-to-Kid purchased green and white polka dot BabyLegs, and Petsmart snowflake dog sweater.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movin' On Up... a big girl bed, that is!

Well, actually it's just a toddler bed.  But it's still an exciting change!

Mommy and Daddy didn't plan on making this change so soon.  In the last two weeks, though, I've tried to climb out of the crib a few times when I was playing in it.  And I've asked to sleep in a big girl bed a couple of times when nap time rolled around.

I think the book below is partially responsible for my sudden interest in big girl beds.  It's called My Goodnight Book and my Great-Aunt Pat sent it to me at Thanksgiving via Nana and Papa Guth.  (Mommy had this book when she was a little girl, too, so she was thrilled to add it to my nightly bedtime routine.)

The little girl in the book sleeps in a real big girl bed.  Mommy and I talk about her bed every time we read the the idea of a BGB has been working it's way into my head over the last few weeks.

Since Mommy and Daddy didn't know how easy this transition would be for me, they figured they better give it a try on a week that neither of them have to work. Heading off to the office is really no fun when you've been up all night with a little one, you know?

Thankfully, though, my first night in my new bed went great!  It was just like any other night...except for the fact that I was laying on the floor when Mommy came to get me in the morning.  She's not quite sure when that move occured, but she knows it was sometime between 4 am (when she knows I was still in the bed because she could hear the eyes on my Elmo doll bumping up against the bed slats) and 7:45 am (when heard my "Mama, Mama" whimper and came to get me up).

I really didn't mind the floor, though!  When Mommy opened my bedroom door, I was comfortably draped over my huge stuffed bear and one of my favorite blankets with a huge smile on my face.

Ah, freedom!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cute, Easy Christmas Crafts for Kiddos

If you're looking for a last minute Christmas craft idea to try out with your (school-age) kiddos, you might want to check out these two cuties Mommy received from students last week at school:

That candy cane Rudolph was made by wrapping brown yarn around two candy canes and adding googly eyes, a tiny red pompom, and a little ribbon-tied bell.  They were a huge hit with Mommy's first grade students!

The North Pole sign definitely looks more challenging (Mommy's not even going to try to dissect how that one was made), but is sure does look adorable on my little Christmas tree!

Sunday Best!

(Please pretend that it is still Sunday when you read this.)
Happy Christmas Sunday!

Every Sunday when Mommy and I* are getting ready for church we talk about why we go to church.  Since my very first Sunday at church (Easter 2009), mommy's mantra has been something along the lines of, "We go to church to worship with other Believers."  Her wording may change a bit from week to week, but the message is always the same.

As Mommy was getting me dressed this week, she told me that this Sunday was special because we were going to focus on the fact that God the Father sent his son, Jesus, into the world as a baby.  I listened intently, nodding my head in agreement with every few words.  Once my white leggings and black sparkly shoes were in place, Mommy put me down on the floor and asked, "Katelyn, who are we going to church to worship?"

My quick response was, "Jesus...and Ian."

Mommy seemed to think that was a bit humorous.  But don't worry...she did correct my theology.

*Daddy would love to be part of this weekly conversation, too, but he has to get to church super early to prepare for the worship service.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Feliz Navidad: iStuff Style

If you haven't already seen this electronic version of Feliz Navidad, performed by North Point Community Church's iBand, you've got to check it out here.

I love to break it down to this video.  You should give it a try, too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zoo Trip (where I saw pirates)

Yesterday Auntie and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo with Danielle, Brenda, "Baby" Dallas (Brenda's nephew).

Even though this picture says otherwise, Dallas (or Downtown Dallas, as I like to call him) and I really had a great time.

I helped Dallas walk around the zoo by holding his hand and guiding him...boys need a girl's direction, you know.

 Our favorite exhibit was the penguins.  We squealed with delight when we saw those waddly guys! 
I tried to coax them over to me with pleas of "Come here, penguins.  I don't bite."...but they just couldn't figure out how to get through that glass.

While we were checking out the penguins, Auntie captured this Olan Mills circa 1985 style photo of me.  Pretty sweet, huh?

I'm sure that by now you're probably wondering where the pirates come in.  Auntie is wondering the same thing, too.  While we were eating dinner last night, Auntie and I were telling Mommy and Daddy about all of the animals we saw at the zoo.  After listing "elephants", "gorillas", "penguins", and "kangaroos" I confidently added "pirates" to the list. 

The conversation went something like this:

Auntie: What else did we see, Katelyn?

Me: Pirates.

Mommy, Daddy, or Auntie: Pirates?  Oh, did you see parrots?

Me: No, Pirates.

Auntie: No, we didn't see pirates, KK.

Me: Yes, we did.

For some reason, that last line was met with laughter from all of the grownups in my house.