Thursday, December 16, 2010

Put your hands together...

Leo has been so fun lately, and so full of new tricks, that I just had to post some video and photos of it all.
He stuns us with his cuteness everyday.
We *heart* Leo.

He loves climbing over the furniture, and climbing into his toy box.

Jack has taught him to 'high-5', which really makes him laugh.
And he's learned to clap, which makes us laugh!
Is he cute or what?

Christmas in Washington DC

Christmas here in the DC area has been so much fun! We have really tried to take advantage of everything there is to do here.

Today we went on a tour of the White House- which is incredibly beautiful on its own... but with all the Christmas decorations in place, it was magnificent. Ms. Obama's theme this for this year was "Simple Gifts" and everything was just lovely.
The two gold trees here (in the windows) are made from folded newspaper which has been painted and glittered. I read that they were patterned after some trees that were made in the 1940s, when they had very little resources (due to WWII) to decorate the White House. They were amazing. (I'm totally going to make one!) These potted trees were created with some birch branches, and were wrapped with crystal beaded garlands. The picture doesn't do them justice- they were really beautiful in person.
As you first enter the East Wing you see these large wreaths in the windows. They were made from small dried gourds, pomegranates, and artichokes.
This year's gingerbread house was not made of gingerbread... but white chocolate instead. Pretty impressive, eh?
Every room has a fireplace, and every mantel was covered in lovely garlands. This one, in the red room, was made of magnolia leaves and glittery red spheres. Again, the photos don't do it justice...There were many large garlands around mantels and doorways- and in each room they were made from different type of greenery. This room had a gold theme- the trees and garlands were stuffed with leaves and bulbs and ribbons in many shades of gold. It looked especially pretty against the gold features of the room- enormous chandeliers, large gilded mirrors, and golden wall sconces. Amazing. The East Room had a Peacock theme- and was done in deep shades of blue and purple and gold. It was so inspiring. It made me want to repaint my whole house in those lovely deep shades... Well, that was our tour. As we came out of the tour we headed to Starbucks for some hot chocolate... and it started snowing. (Our first snow!) There's nothing like snow to make things feel Christmasy.

If you're ever in Washington, I highly recommend going on the White House Tour. (Just email your Congressperson to request tickets, at least a few months in advance)
Last week we attended the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with a couple of friends. We bundled Leo up as much as we could, then took the metro into the city. There were thousands of people there, and they had two large video screens set up so you could actually see what was going on center stage. The Obamas were there of course, and the performers were Ingrid Michaelson, BB King, and Maroon 5. We wanted to stay for the whole thing, but ended up leaving early because poor Leo was so cold. We headed to a nearby restaurant where we could warm up and have some soup for dinner.
It was a fun night. Despite the freezing temperatures, it was fun to be out there, celebrating the Christmas season in our Nation's capital. We feel so fortunate to live here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

11 months old

Yep. He's 11 months old.

Leo is still practicing his walking skills, learning balance and how to get his legs to move how he wants them to. And instead of just babbling Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma, he now says "Mama" or "Dada" and actually means it! It melts our hearts.
Leo is still the happiest, smiliest baby we know, and is always curious about the people we meet and the places we go. He is a joy to all who know him. We love our sweet baby boy!

Santa Claus is coming to town

I took Leo to the mall today, and had his picture taken with Santa. All the other kids screamed when they got on Santa's lap, but Leo looked stoic. He just stared at me with those big Bambi eyes, occasionally looking at Santa with a curious stare. What a cutie!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shrug and a Haircut... two bits!

Leo's latest trick is shrugging his shoulders. Unfortunately, we haven't captured it on video yet, but is really is the cutest thing. Sometimes he does it when he is mad or frustrated, but sometimes he just gives you a funny look and shrugs. It's hilarious.

And last week, when we were in Carpinteria, we took Leo to get his first haircut.
We took him to the little barber shop in town that Marty owns. ("Marty the one-man-party")

Here is the "before" photo. Leo sat patiently in my lap while Marty cut his hair. What a trooper. And Marty was great. Leo posed with him for the "after" shot.

Doesn't Leo look handsome? So grown up! He doesn't look like a baby anymore...

Thanksgiving at the Beach

We flew to California to spend Thanksgiving week with my family at the Carpinteria State Beach Campground. All of my extended family was there, as well as Jack's parents, who drove down from Utah. We had a great time!

This was Leo's first beach experience. He loved playing in the sand, eating sand, and splashing in the water. We had so much fun playing together, digging sand castles and moats, and just watching Leo explore. What a cutie!

Leo also enjoyed getting to know his 2nd cousins, and their kids. We all just love Carpinteria! It's a great little beach town. We had campfires every night, went on long walks along the beach, explored the tide pools, watched the sun set, and rode bikes all over town. These have been some of my favorite things to do since I was a kid, so it was wonderful to share these experiences with Leo. I hope he grows to love that place as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a walker?

Jack and I were sitting in the living room tonight, talking and watching Leo play on the floor in the dining room. He was holding onto the legs of his high chair when all of a sudden he started walking forward! (Like an old man with his walker) Our chins hit the floor as we gawked at Leo's new-found ability. Luckily, we were able to quickly duplicate the feat, and capture it on video.

Wow. We've almost got a walker on our hands.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arlington National Cemetery

We went on a tour of Arlington National Cemetery last weekend. It's such a beautiful place. With it's serene hilltop location and stunning views of Washington DC on the other side of the Potomac, it was especially pretty with all the trees in their Fall colors.

We saw the graves of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the changing of the guard happens every hour. This tomb is guarded 24/7 by a soldier in full dress uniform. It was pretty moving to think about the thousands of men who have died in war, and whose remains were never indentified. We are so grateful for these brave men that gave their lives to defend our nation and protect the freedom of people around the world.

Leo's top 10

In honor of Leo's 10 months of life, I decided to make a list of his top 10:

1) Crawling on, over, or on top of Mom & Dad
2) Putting things in his mouth (toys, paper, socks, dirt, leaves, dead moths, etc.)
3) Crawling/Exploring/Getting into stuff
4) Sightseeing in DC/People watching
5) Watching other kids
6) Babbling/Talking/Singing
7) Swinging in his backyard swing
8) Going for walks in the stroller
9) Dancing with Mom in the kitchen
10) Gumming new foods (cucumber, apples, breadsticks, carrots, celery)

Leo makes us laugh every day. He is so active and curious about everything. We can see his mind working as he tries to figure out something new, or something he hasn't seen before. And when he finally 'gets' it, his face lights up and he smiles with that beautiful toothless grin! We adore him. We are so grateful for our sweet baby boy.

Here are a few of our favorite photos from the month.

Monday, November 1, 2010

1st Halloween

Leo made a very cute tiger cub for his first Halloween.
He looked especially cute crawling around...
(The heavy breathing in the video is actually me trying to contain my laughter.
He was so cute, I just couldn't keep from giggling.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kites on the Mall

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, and very windy... so we decided to fly our kites.

We couldn't think of any parks that had a large open space (with no trees) so we decided to head over to the National Mall. The field surrounding the Washington Monument turned out to be the perfect location for flying kites. It's a large grassy area, with Add Imageno trees, and it's on a small hill, so the wind was great. And you could't beat the views- the Washington Monument behind us, and the Capitol building in front of us. Incredible!

When we finished there, we walked over to the Old Post Office building, and went on a tour of the bell tower. The views of the city were great. (it was very windy up there!)
And the building itself was quite beautiful. It's hard to believe that they almost tore it down in the 1930's. Luckily, the goverment didn't have enough money to do so, so it sat vacant until the 1970's when some people fought to save it, then raised the money to renovate it. Thank goodness! I hate to see old beautiful buildings torn down.

Bath Time

Check out Leo's new 'do!
I mean, who doesn't love a mohawk on a baby?
Leo's hair is getting pretty long on the top.
We couldn't resist making over his hairstyle.
And who doesn't love a good baby bath photo?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Melissa's Visit

Leo's birthmom Melissa came out for a visit this weekend, and we had a great time touring the city. This was her first trip to DC, so it was fun to show her around.

We managed to see quite a lot in just a few days. We saw the Lincoln memorial, Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, Library of Congress, Museum of American History, Vietnam Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington Cemetary, and the National Archives, to see the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution. So many great things to see!

Of course, Leo was the main attraction, and I know that she really loved spending time with Leo and seeing how much he has grown. It was great having her here! We had so much fun together.

9 months and counting

Can you believe it? Leo is 9 months old, and we know that his 1st birthday will be here before we know it!

Leo did NOT want to sit still for this photo, and it took several photo shoots, on different days, to get a decent shot. He doesn't like to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. And he was determined to eat that sign. I know that these monthly photos are not going to get any easier.

Leo is into everything. Last week I found him in the bathroom. The toilet seat was splashed with water and his sleeves were soaking wet. But of course, he just looked up at me with those big Bambi eyes- so innocent looking! Needless to say, we now keep the bathroom doors tightly closed.

Leo's favorite new toy is a stand-up play table that Jack's coworker gave us. Leo just loves moving all the levers and gadgets to hear the music and see the lights. (Toys are much fancier now than when I was a kid!) He also loves standing up and feeling like a big, big boy.

We've also started feeding him some fruits and veggies. He loves bananas and avocados. And this week, while having a picnic, Jack let him gnaw on his apple. He loved it, of course.