Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Current Project

This is what we've been working on this month (and when I say "we", I mostly mean "Daniel". He's felt really motivated to get our backyard done, now that all the big projects in the house are done):

Before this month, our backyard was pretty much completely dead. The tree was there and the few bushes in the opposite corner of the yard were already there. But there was no grass, no flowers, and there were a number of ugly and overgrown bushes.

So, Daniel heard of a guy who does landscaping for a living. We hired him to take out the ugly bushes, to put the grass in, and to make sure the sprinkler system was doing okay.

My personal favorite: a dwarf peach tree! It's coming to life! Maybe this summer we'll have fresh peaches!
Then, we went shopping. And bought a whole bunch of bushes, flowers and tree.

Oh, and some vegetable plants. A few weeks ago, Daniel made this box for our little vegetable garden. How exciting is that???

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Brooke Update -- 16 Months

Here is an update about Brooke as well as lots of pictures.  We sure love this little girl!  Sorry if there aren't many pictures of us; we don't seem to take any.

Brooke has been improving at her communication skills.  Her new cute thing is to nod her head to say yes, and she does it all day long.  When she's eating something she likes, she nods her head to show her approval.  When we ask her questions, she nods her head to say yes. It's amazing how often she does it when it's appropriate. Although I'm not sure how often she really is understanding us because the last couple days I've asked her some questions to test it out.  I asked her if she will wait until 21 to start dating and if she would like to go skydiving.  She nodded to both questions.

She has been learning lots of words.  Some of her words are apple, shoes, hungry, bath, ball, tree, seeds, socks, laundry, doggy, and banana.
I call her the hooligan baby.
 Brooke learned how to put olives on her fingers while in Utah.  Daddy hates them, but Brooke seems to love them.

Sometimes she's like this . . .

Brooke has been a bit more fussy lately.  She has been sick about 4 times since November; which has been the main culprit.  Ever since Brooke was born she has never liked to cuddle.  In the past year she has probably only fallen asleep once when I've been holding her.  Leslie and I are amazed when we see parents with babies that are asleep in their arms.  Even as a newborn she would arch her back if we held her with her face against us.  So it amazed us when she came down with her most recent sickness last Sunday, and suddenly wanted to cuddle all the time.  She must have been feeling very sick because she normally refuses to cuddle with us.  She is almost better from being sick so we're hoping the cuddling lasts.

. . .  and sometimes she's like this.
I'm really hoping she gets ugly as a teenager because she is way too good looking!

Brooke gets compliments on her eyes all the time.

 They say that children are either talkers or walkers, and Brooke is very much a talker and not a walker.  She will be 17 months old in a few days and this past week she started standing on her own for the first time. And yesterday she took a couple small baby steps for the first time!  She is a very cautious baby.  We never worry about her hurting herself, because she is way too careful. 

Pretty girl

"These boots are made for walkin'..."

Eating brownie batter

...with Mamma.


We had an enjoyable Christmas in Utah this year.  It was a bit stressful as I think most of my family would agree, but we had fun and it was nice to see everyone.  We miss spending time with the family.  We had a very packed house and almost everyone got sick.  It was inevitable; Brooke came with a runny nose, Summer was already sick, and Faith's two boys came from England with their own sickness.  It spread like wildfire.  The last couple days were rough because Brooke acquired the sickness that came from England and was very miserable.  Leslie and I got it soon after.  We thought that Brooke would have a rough time with so many people and lots of new faces, but instead she seemed to thrive in the chaos.  She particularly loved Grandpa Holbrook and would smile each time she saw him.

At the Burbank Nativity Festival

Loving the snow!

Fun with girls!
 After I got home I realized that Summer had left me some fun notes in my phone as well as hacked into my Facebook!

First time playing in the snow!!

Smart with the iPhone

In December I was looking at the photos on my iphone and found these.  Somebody figured out how to take a picture of herself.  What's amazing is that she got such good shots of herself and these are the only ones she took.

"Yes, I'm cool.  I can take pictures of myself while mom and dad aren't looking!"