Thursday, January 31, 2008

She Hit 20

The snow and cold weather continue. We haven't gotten out much and I think Magnolia is going just as stir crazy as I am. I bought some fresh flowers for the first time in a long time and they have been so nice to have around. I need to remember to buy them more often. My car got stuck in the driveway yesterday. George was out of town so there wasn't really a way to shovel. Besides, it was negative digits so I certainly wasn't making much effort on doing it. I didn't realize how much snow there was at the bottom of the driveway until I hit it. And so that is where my car sat until George came home and sweetly reminded me that my car is rear wheel drive. Oh, so that's why when I put the car mats under the front tires, nothing happened, duh! Since we couldn't get to Magnolia's 15 month dr. appt. yesterday we were able to get in this morning and George was able to come too. Thankfully, because she pretty much screams the whole time so it was nice to have him there to hold her while I talked to the doctor. She is doing great and we are proud to announce that she is a whopping 20lbs & 30 inches! :) This is great news, we can finally flip her carseat!I'm definately dreaming of warmer days and having fun making sundresses for Magnolia. I love how this one turned out considering I didn't use a pattern. I made it out of 2 matching kitchen towels and lined it in white cotton. I'm trying to figure out how to make button holes on my machine so I can secure the straps.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chasing Away Mid Winter Blues

There isn't a whole lot going on around here and with all this snow and cold weather, cabin fever creeps up pretty fast. Saturday Magnolia's summer sandals arrived just as 3 MORE inches of snow fell. That certainly cheered me up. Then I decided to be done with all of the wool sewing and forced myself to actually follow a dress pattern. After one practice dress and a lot of lessons learned, I got it! I've had this Ralph Lauren sheet remnant for a while because I always thought it would make a cute sundress. I'm really happy how it turned out. Meanwhile, George was busy building his version of The Learning Tower, it turned out great and Magnolia LOVES it! The best part is that she needs to grow into all three of these things, her shoes, her dress, and her learning tower. We'll remember this snowy weekend sometime in the spring and we'll be glad we made these things. Oh, and the hat...because, like her shoes, she loves her hats!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

15 Months

Magnolia is 15 months old today. I cannot believe how much she is growing and changing. She is understanding so much and there is a really strong communication between us. She can pick up a new sign instantly and will remember it. She is talking so much more and loves to repeat words if you ask her to. She loves to sign and say "help" at the same time. She uses "help" so much that now we ask her to try first and then we'll help. :) She's up to around 15 words and over 20 signs (yes I'm keeping track!). She loves to look at pictures of herself and then point to her chest as if to say, "that's me!" She's repeating animal sounds and knows her body parts. She says "nose" and "eye." She LOVES shoes. She loves to wear them all of the time. She absolutely adores her books. She will sit forever leafing through them, pointing at the pictures and "reading." She stacks them, carries them around, and literally lies on top of them. I think if she could crawl inside one, she would. In her nursery we're up to about 30 books that she knows by heart, if I recite one sentence, she can go and find that book and bring it to me. She's correct 100% of the time. We have about 20 books that we read downstairs that she'll do the same with! She likes to play her piano with her feet, using the coffee table for support. She likes her shape sorters and really any containers that have lids she can take on and off. We do lite brite (highly supervised) and her little fingers can put those tiny pieces in the holes. She loves to wrestle and play chase and then collapse and say "night night!" She has started to love pretend play. We feed her baby and put her "night night." She likes to draw but mostly with a pencil because that's all I'll give her in the sewing room. I give her cheerios on a big tupperware which I think she thinks is her desk and she'll sit there forever drawing there and eating her cheerios. Occasionally she'll try to poke her pencil through the cheerios and if it doesn't break she'll put the cheerio in her mouth. I looked over one day and thought for a split second that she was eating with chopsticks! She's still eating like a champ but will occasionally turn her head and say "no." She wants to feed herself and is getting better at using a spoon and fork. She's experiencing separation anxiety and stranger anxiety. She'll cry and reach for me or hang on my legs in social situations. She's starting to want her daddy more than me and will look for him first thing in the morning and when she hears the door at night, she'll run for it. She really loves her daddy, they have a very nice nighttime routine together. Magnolia is such an unbelievable gift, I tell her all the time how very happy I am that we found each other. I love her like crazy cakes and everyday feels like such a blessing to be together.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Orphanage Connection

I belong to a Yahoo group for all the families that have adopted a child from the Jiang Cheng Orphanage. The director of the orphanage recently asked permission to join the group. This was a huge surprise to the group. Wow, half a world away and the director and nannies that once cared for our babies could stay connected! I'm so excited to get photos posted so the director and nannies can see how Magnolia has grown. I just can't get over how crazy this is and how absolutely wonderful the internet is! I can imagine how much all of the staff must miss these babies and I know they'll never forget them. I just love that they can now check in on them and watch them grow a half a world away.
The nannies giving Magnolia one last hug goodbye on our visit to the orphanage.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Growing & Staying Warm

Magnolia is growing, she just feels heavier. We go to her 15 month check-up next week and I'm really hoping she's at least 20lbs. so we can flip her car seat! She's going to love facing forward!
I have to say that these wool leggings I made have been great. I just put tights under them and they really keep her warm, perfect for running errands in this very cold weather.
I made these overalls a while ago and the top section is out of shrunken cashmere and I don't like it as much because it stretches so easily. I don't care for these but as I said, they are really warm and perfect for around the house. I'm posting this for my mom because she was helping me embellish these outfits and she wanted to see what I ended up putting on these....a cupcake for my cupcake. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cabin Fever

Wow, it was a cold one. I'm sure it's been this cold before and probably even colder but only when you have a little one does it really matter. We did venture out Sat. for a couple of hours but we were housebound all day today. George went to the Packer Game so it was just Mags and me on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I finally finished up all the "shrunken wool sweater" projects.
I thought I would be done with these for a while but as I scrounged through my basket of wool looking for something for another project, I discovered two sweater arms and thought they would make cute leggings for Magnolia. So, as usual, I got completely sidetracked and completely engrossed in making these leggings. Here's Magnolia wearing them. Magnolia stayed busy poking her pencil in the center of Cheerios. :)
Magnolia now goes and stands under her chair when she wants to eat and does the sign for "eat." She must have been so hungry because she loved her spaghetti and wanted to kiss me when she was eating it...she was so happy!
Today Magnolia said "baby" clear as a bell. She's also saying "hi" but they way she says it is so cute, like she's SO excited to see you. The other day we were playing in her room and, as usual, her books are all over the floor. I started to recite one of the stories and she turned and looked for the book I was reciting and brought it to me. I was so surprised that I did anther book and she brought me that book and this went for quite some time. I just couldn't believe it! She's learning so quickly. She's really amazing me every single day.
Hoping everyone stayed warm this weekend. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It snowed all day long. I have no idea how much we got. We've had snow on the ground since the beginning of December so it really doesn't even matter anymore. I have to say that I love the days we get fresh snow. I rush to the grocery the day before and then hunker down as if we're going to be snowed in for days. Magnolia and I had a very cozy day in the house. We hung out in the sewing room, George came home for lunch, I practiced with the new camera, and we went outside for a sled ride and to collect the mail. This weekend it's barely going to be above zero.
Magnolia now says "Daddeeee" instead of "Daaaa." She also says "hi" and the only time she puts two words together is when she sees her daddy..."hi daddeeeee." It's awfully cute.

She will spend 20 minutes doing this, fitting things together.
Next to reading books, it's her favorite thing to do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Camera

Our Christmas gift to each other this year was a new camera and it arrived last night. George gave me a crash course before he went to work and I'm pretty impressed what I shot just in auto mode.

Magnolia updates and more photos to come!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008


Nana, Papa, Aunt Mary, Uncle Tim, and Cousin Lilah came to visit. The Olsons were supposed to come but Lily was very sick, poor thing.
Why is George swinging Nana's straw bag?
Because Magnolia was napping in there!
It started out as a joke putting her in there but she loved it so much she would cry for more.

Papa & Magnolia reading.

Sophia has gotten so big! Cousins sharing breakfast.

We went to Wild Air on Sunday.
Magnolia slept the whole time but woke up the last minute so we quickly went down the slide together.

I wish I had gotten better pictures but sometimes it's too hard to find the camera in time for these wild and crazy little girls. Below Lilah playing the piano as Magnolia looks on.
Magnolia got her hair cut by Aunt Mary this weekend. It looks so cute, it's almost all one length now. I'll have to post more pictures soon!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Blogging, Wellies, & Up

I've changed the header of the blog. It seems more appropriate now that Magnolia is home with us and our lives really are all about Magnolia. :) I can't take credit for the title, it was my dad's witty suggestion. Thanks dad. ;)
I ran errands tonight and the above photos are what I found on the camera when I got home. Why not wear wellies right before bed, in sleeper and all? She does love her shoes! George is on a roll of putting Magnolia in her crib to fall asleep. This is huge for us. She used to cry and reach for us if we set her in there. The only way she would fall asleep was in our arms and then we would set her in the crib but she was no longer able to put herself to sleep. This was okay for us, we felt she did that long enough in the orphanage and we wanted her know that we were always there for her. We wanted her to know that if she would cry, we would respond to her. We wanted her to know what a mommy and daddy was. He still has to stay in the room until she falls asleep but the fact that we've gotten this far is a huge milestone, it's a real testament of her trust in us.Magnolia wants to get "up" on everything now. She says "up" which makes it pretty hard to resist. I was stripping all the beds to get ready for company this weekend and she wanted "up" so we spent quite a bit of time jumping on the beds which was great fun!

If you get a chance, check out my sister's blog. You'll see Magnolia's adorable cousins there!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Up North

We went up north this weekend to finish closing up the house for the season. Only 2 ferries are running a day now so we were up pretty early to catch the first one. Here's Magnolia waiting to go as we finished loading up the car. Note the huge container of water....we were going up with no running water!
Waiting in line for the ferry. Why am I in the back seat? Shouldn't she be in her car seat?
And is that my cell phone?!
Her first ride on the ferry not sleeping! She loved it.
While George started a fire, I pulled her in the sled. It was warm and the snow was melting fast! Napping with daddy.
I think she remembers the house, she ran around like crazy and had a blast.
I set her up on this chair so she could sit at the desk with daddy.
Mommy and Me Moccasins.
"More, More, More!"
Magnolia's first time going up to the loft.
Crazy we fixed it up over a year ago and there she was, loving it.
She will sit and look through books like this forever.
On our way home we stopped at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant for lunch. It's always a fun and cozy stop. In the summer goats graze on the grass roof. :)
I can't believe she willingly kissed him!
Ah, what a wonderful and relaxing weekend. No running water meant no cooking. Eating out was a real treat and we had fun chatting with the locals. It's actually our favorite time to be up there. If there's more snow we'll head back up for some sledding on the sand dunes and we are also hoping to put in new floors so we may be back up sooner than later...