Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Won!

I went on a retreat this weekend - it was a great experience for me. But that's not what I want to write about right now. On our way home, David told me a box of pots and pans had come for me while I was gone. Pots and pans? I did not order any, nor was I expecting them from someone else. Where could they have come from?

As soon as I got home I examined the contents of the big box and my suspicions were confirmed: I had won a sweepstakes I had entered online almost daily in December in January! The Fall Cooking Sweepstakes, which I had seen advertised on a page in a coupon circular in a Sunday newspaper, ran through 1/31/11 and was open to daily entries. I saved the url in my bookmarks and visited whenever I remembered to do so - I used the form auto-fill feature in my web browser so all it took was 20 seconds with a few clicks and keystrokes. I'm not big on gambling, but these were free chances at a decent prize!

What prize? Well, the full list of prizes is here, ranging from a "10 Piece Authentic Cookware Set, 5 Knorr® Sides™, plus a $350.00 American Express gift card" Grand Prize down to a "Sauté Pan Combo (8”/10”) plus 2 Knorr® Sides™" Fifth Prize. When I was entering the contest, I thought:

1) We don't eat Knorr Sides any more, due to their high content of "bad stuff" like MSG. But, if I win them, I can donate them to the food bank.

2) I don't like using nonstick pans any more, since the coating leeches chemicals into foods. We only have a few left, mostly because David still prefers them. But if I win them, I can donate them to the Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement Program. They set refugee families up in apartments and can use that kind of thing.

3) It sure would be nice to win a gift card!

Amazingly, I won the First Prize: WearEver Cookware Specialty Line – 10” Round Griddle, 11” Square Griddle, 12” Open Wok, 12” Covered Everyday Pan, 5 Knorr® Sides™, plus a $250.00 American Express gift card. Approximate Retail Value: $352.21.

I still plan on donating the food and cookware. But the $250 cash card is such a blessing! Deo gratias! David and I will discuss how best to use it.

I'm lobbying for a rain barrel for our garden. :D

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Teresa's Bible

I try to read the daily reflection in The Word Among Us (and the day's scripture passages, when I can) while I eat my breakfast. Teresa often wanted to leaf through the booklet and/or my bible. While I've certainly let her see the booklet when I'm not actively reading it (although it's not very interesting for her, since it has few pictures), I do not want her to tear the delicate pages of my bible (or get her messy breakfast fingers on them!).

So I told her "no, it's Mama's bible," a time or two. Then she started demanding "Teresa's bible!" We have a few versions of children's bibles (mostly collections of stories with illustrations), and I remembered a particularly large one that would probably stay open when laid on the table. So I got it for her and told her she could look through it when she was done eating.

Much to my delight, this has become a regular request. Teresa enjoys browsing through the illustrations and telling me about them...especially the "singing angels!" in the nativity story, the bride and groom at the wedding at Cana, and the "hurt" man (the one helped by the Good Samaritan) who needs "mecimin" (as she pronounces "medicine").

Teresa the candle snuffer

I got David a nice candle snuffer for Christmas since he is fond of lighting a taper candle for prayer and I am fearful of hot wax blown onto altar coverings. Teresa was very interested in learning how to use the snuffer and David graciously coached her until she can do it quite well herself. In this video it takes her a few tries to get the flame extinguished, but she usually gets it right away.

Did you catch what she says at the end, complete with sign language (the only sign we still do with her, who knows why?!): "All done praying!" This phrase is usually either cried (when she wants us to stop praying or doesn't want to participate) or said with jubilation (when we are actually done praying). Oh well!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More little boy clothes

Look what Grandma sent:

Yippee! Okay, so now I can clothe THREE baby boys until 6 months of age... I'm sure I'll do some weeding once we see what we actually use. It's such a blessing to receive so much generosity!

And, as David affirmed when he saw this on our bed, my grandma is one gifted (or should I say determined?) yard sale shopper. :)

Teresa's actual birthday

Because Teresa's birthday fell on a Monday and a workday for David this year, we celebrated it the day before. But her actual birthday (St. Valentine's Day!) was still fun. Our friends Lindsay and Adelaide visited in the morning, which is always a treat.

The girls preferred to use the play tent as a sleeping bag:

Lindsay made room for 3 in her lap for storytime: Teresa, Adelaide, and Adelaide's baby brother, due around the same time as Teresa's little brother!

I dressed Teresa in her "Valentine's outfit": a red shirt with a bow and red pants with little hearts all over them. Her red slippers matched, too! :)

Here she is trying on the crown that came in a Valentine's card from her Nana. I adjusted it to fit better after this picture.

And here she is being, as David put it when he saw the picture, "so Teresa":

Teresa's 2nd Birthday Recap

Finally uploaded and went through the pictures and videos from Teresa's birthday party:

I dressed Teresa in her first outfit sized 2T: a beautiful, soft, pink babydoll top with leggings. Here she is before Mass, lying on the floor with her alphabet chart. She used to request that we play "octopus" frequently, referring to one of the images; I would quiz her on the images until she knew them all. Now she can identify about half of the capital letters correctly as well.

David took Teresa on a bike ride to the local elementary school's playground after her nap.

We had David's local family and Teresa's godparents over in the evening for supper and a simple party. Here's a video of Teresa playing with her new "winter animal" hand puppets (she especially loves the owl and the penguin) before she gets her cake, her song, and her singed lip...just watch:

And now she tidily eats her cake...or, should I say, her frosting:

Admiring the huge princess bag her gift from Nana came in:

Practicing with her new toy from Nana: a dual racetrack, aka "spiral speedway":

"Helping" Mr. Justin and Mrs. Jen put together her new two-step stool (now she can reach the faucet for hand washing, yay!):

All in all, Teresa had a very nice birthday celebration. She got excited about everything (the visitors, the cake, the presents) but not overly so. Deo gratias!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wild hair

This is what Teresa's hair looks like after her bath and a quick towel dry:

Curls and body!

But the minute I come near it with a comb or brush it falls flat and fine and straight. Oh well. I'm not about to put gel in my almost-2-year-old's hair, as I do in mine.

Instead, I push it back with a comb or my fingers and try all sorts of clips and holders to keep it out of her eyes. Rarely do they stay in more than an hour or two, and not because she's pulling them out deliberately (anymore). They just slip right out of her superfine hair. I really have no idea what to do with it, it's so different from mine and my siblings' hair.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making pizza with Papa

Teresa loves to help in the kitchen, especially with Papa. He is not fearful of messes and gets her more involved than I do. Here they are making pizza together:

Thanks to Nana for Teresa's sweet little apron, which she requests whenever David and I put our aprons on.

Tiger slippers

David's dad found some huge tiger slippers at a yard sale a while back and sent them to us. I wouldn't have kept them, but Teresa showed some interest. So I put them somewhere to be washed, and finally got around to washing them recently. I let Teresa play with them for a couple of days before I put them in the giveaway box. (They're just too big to keep around for fun.)

No singing

I was determined to get a video of Teresa singing but she would have none of it. She can sing whole lines from several songs now, albeit at a much quicker pace than one usually sings them - think "ringarosy, pocketfuposy, ashes, awfawdown" blurted in two seconds. But, alas, not for the camera. The resulting videos are funny and charming, so I share them here for those of you who aren't terribly bored by such things. :)

Caught reading

Teresa was mysteriously quiet, so I tiptoed back to her room to find her sitting by her bookcase, flipping through a book. She never noticed me, so I went and got the camera and came back and took this:

Nothing very interesting, I know, but it's sweet how she can enjoy books on her own now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Miles for the camera

Here's a video from a week or two ago, when Teresa began to smile upon request. I had just taken a still picture of her, so she starts by demonstrating her scrunched-eyes smile and saying "miles" (still moving her "s"s to after the first syllable of words). Then she takes a big, drippy bite of cereal.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meeting cousin Aliyah

David's sister Jenny, her husband Theo, and their daughter Aliyah came to Charlotte this weekend to visit David and Jenny's dad in the nursing home. We were delighted to have them over last night for a casual evening. We got to meet Aliyah for the first time since she joined their family (our family!) in November. She is now 5 months old and OH SO CUTE!!!

David caught just a few pictures during the girls' play time - sorry there aren't any faces showing, but you can get an idea of the fun they had together. :)

The recycled plastic recycling truck was an awesome gift from Jenny and Theo. Teresa's showing Aliyah how to put the recyclables in the sides of the truck and dump them out the back. Aliyah thinks it's gnawly! ;)