Friday, August 31, 2012

Funny, loving, messy, helper

Dear Maya,

Some days lately you have such a fun and funny little personality it's easy to forget you're just a toddler!

*Certain objects have special meaning to you. You love these red shoes and wear them around the house even though they're 2 or 3 sizes too big for you. You have to hold a stuffed pig grandma made and mommy's old Cabbage Patch Doll while drinking milk and being rocked before you nap or go to bed at night.

*You love animals, even if the two cats who live in our house don't exactly love you back. Lately a friendly neighbor cat comes to visit us on a pretty regular basis, and the two of you get along splendidly. The other day when we played outside, he even seemed to worry whenever you tripped or ran too fast. So sweet!

*When we go to your great-grandparents' house, you keep everyone in stitches. Poppy loves to egg you on and get you running around and climbing up into the bay window. Meanwhile, Nanny gets more and more nervous. You think the whole thing is funny and keep hamming it up with a mischievous look on your face.

*You're such an avid eater that you make some spectacular messes. This afternoon mommy took you out on the deck, sat you on a blanket in your diaper, and let you go to town on a lunch of watermelon, celery with peanut butter, and a couple of shortbread cookies. The orange drippy paste that ensued was a sight to see.

*You love to help out lately. When we go grocery shopping you get upset if you can't help push the cart and you love to put groceries away. When we cook you're always on your stepstool at the counter. Today mommy decided to bake some cupcakes, and you sat on the counter and helped add the ingredients, use the hand mixer to mix them, and even put all the paper liners in the cupcake tins! Although mommy usually likes to bake from scratch, she was more than happy to use a mix thanks to this toddler-friendly recipe:
Take one box of any kind of cake mix (we used white)
Take one can of any kind of soda (we used orange vanilla seltzer)
Optional: add fruit (we used mandarin oranges)
Mix ingredients together and bake according to directions.
(Some people microwave for 8 minutes instead but we used the oven)
No oil, no water, no raw eggs means baby can lick the batter!

How easy is that? And the result? Yummy, light, fluffy cupcakes (though we may put a nice thick icing on them tomorrow...)

Well, mommy's going to sleep soon. Love you!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Indoor outdoor summer fun

Dear Maya,

It's been a full week of summer fun with you!

We started last Sunday night with a celebration of the one-year anniversary of moving to our house and living with Uncle Matt and Auntie Rhi. Daddy made sukiyaki with all the yummy ingredients we got at the Asian supermarket the day before. You tried to help in the kitchen as you've been doing a lot lately.

We spent a beautiful day at the park this week. For some reason you love to play with mulch from the playground and sand from the beach volleyball court. You wouldn't stop throwing sand in the air, so mommy gave up and took some fun pictures. It took a hosing down and a bath to get you clean once we got home.

We also had a little downtime midweek, and mommy worked on culling some of your summer clothes and organizing your warmer clothes. You participated in this clean-out by running around with a pair of too-big rain boots on over your pajamas and an eye mask around your neck. A typical morning at our house.

Then the highlight of our week--your first trip to the fair! First we went to livestock area and saw pigs, goats, birds, rabbits, horses and cows. You were too timid to touch any of them until we passed one last stall on our way to the next area. You and this little beauty locked eyes for a bit and you touched it on your own.

After that we had some ice cream, watched some dogs in a pool jumping competition, saw all kinds of historical and agricultural booths, and finally enjoyed what may have been mommy and daddy's favorite part of the day if not yours--the rides! We took you on a couple car rides and, of course, the merry-go-round!

Well, mommy's feeling a little under the weather so I'd better get some sleep. Love you!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Obon festival, family, friends

Dear Maya,

We've been lucky to see Grandma and Poppa Stan a lot this summer, but last weekend was the shortest visit yet. Aunt Bobbie had spent some time with them in North Carolina so they had to bring her back for college. They rested here and had a few meals with us, but were back on the road within 12 hours!

This week we celebrated the Japanese festival Obon, during which spirits of our ancestors are celebrated. You wore your new adorable two-piece Japanese outfit, but you were not one bit pleased with the sash so we went without it. You loved the Japanese food we had for dinner, though--rice balls, savory egg custard and miso zucchini. And the best part? Since it was a very hot and humid day, we all loved the shaved ice with green tea, sweet beans and condensed milk that daddy made. Yum!

Later in the week we went to have a play date with your friend Wyatt and his adorable little cousin Emma. You had such a fun time playing in the pool and sprinklers that you barely had any lunch. You made up for that with cookies afterwards when we went inside, though. Thanks for having us over, Charlotte!

This week your new skills won our hearts over even more. Whenever we're in a store, you want to help push the shopping cart instead of riding in it. And when we bring home groceries, you love to put them in the fridge (no matter how heavy or whether or not they go in there). When it's time for daddy to go to work in the morning, you very clearly enunciate "Bye" while waving to him, except the other day when you didn't want him to go so you pushed his legs and guided him to sit back down with you. You're such a sweetheart!

Well, mommy seems to have caught a cold so I'm going to go rest while you're napping. Love you!