Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleeping beauties

I love playing with my Disney Princess figurines. Sometimes we sing Barney songs, or do the alphabet, or I tell them stories. But lots of times, I put them to sleep. Take a look:

Speaking of sleep, that's something that Mom and Dad having been getting much of since Henry came home. As promised, next week I'll be back with lots of new pictures and videos from our first week with Henry. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Goofy encounter

I got some great gifts for my birthday. In fact, I got so many gifts at my birthday party that Mom and Dad have put several of them away and will be doling them out over the next several weeks. But there were a few presents they wanted me to have right away, like the stuffed Daisy Duck and Goofy dolls that Abby and Sophia got me. Mom and Dad decided to pull the old trick where they put them out downstairs in the morning and then get a video of my first reaction as I come down an see the new gift. Well this time, I didn't have quite the response they were expecting!

Now, of course, I love both Goofy and Daisy, but I sure pulled a good trick on Mom and Dad by making them think I wasn't interested!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy birthday to me, and welcome home Henry!

I'm not at all exaggerating when I say that yesterday, May 25, was one of the biggest days of my life. First off, I turned 2, so happy birthday to me! And then, Henry came home from the hospital. Welcome home, baby brother!

While Dad went to the hospital in the morning to get Mom and Henry, I went with Bobbi and Dido to a Memorial Day parade.

There were fire trucks and police cars and ambulances — basically, all my favorite things! I had a great time, and then we went to the park where I had tons of fun as Bobbi pushed me on the swings. Then we went back home, just in time for Henry's big homecoming!

I rushed right up to him and gave him a kiss.

After my nap, I learned that Henry had a big surprise in store for me: he got me my very own play kitchen for my birthday!

I love it so much! Now I can cook myself while Bobbi and Mom are in the kitchen. If he keeps doing nice things like that, he can stay here as long as he wants!

Alec and Isabella were supposed to come over for my birthday, but they were sick. I still had a blast though, because Dad brought out the Slide Bouncer, and I devised a new way to use it...

(By the way, Grandma: Dad wanted me to say that he had nothing to do with my discovery of how to slide head first! I came up with it all by myself!)

I could tell that Mom and Henry were both very happy to be home.

I will say this about Henry: all he seems to do is cry, sleep and eat. Doesn't he get bored with just doing those three things? Mom and Dad say I used to act the same way, but I think they're making that up.

Still, right now he's endlessly fascinating to me. (We'll see how long that lasts!) And no recap would be complete without some videos. First up is how I celebrated my big 2nd birthday:

And here's a look at Henry's homecoming:

Yesterday was a crazy day, and this week looks to be more of the same as we adjust to the family's new addition. So far, so good: Mom and Dad got through the first night without too much trouble (though Dad did accidentally step in a dirty diaper and tracked Henry's poo around the carpet before he realized what happened). In fact, Dad said the only thing he was worried about was that Henry's cries would wake me up. Don't worry, Dad, I'm sure that will happen before too long!

So aside from two posts that I had already banked from before Henry's arrival, I'm going to take the rest of the week off. And next week, I'll finally be able to let you all know what's going to happen to my blog now that Henry is here too. I think there will be other big news as well, because Mom and Dad keep talking about how I'm going to sleep in my Big Girl Bed tomorrow night....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Let's visit Henry again!

This was Mom and Henry's third day in the hospital, and I already had a routine down as I visited them, which included a run under the "umbrella," a quick trip to the gift shop, and a look at the Anne Geddes portraits near the nursery. And of course, lots of time bonding with Henry and Mom (and Mom's makeup). Take a look at all the highlights visit in today's Henry video:

And don't worry, I have new photos too!

So tomorrow is a HUGE day. Not only is it my second birthday, but Mom and Henry are coming home! I can't imagine it will be anything but good times all around and no tears from anyone, right? Whatever happens, the fun starts tomorrow!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Henry's second day

So this was my second day with a baby brother, and I was very anxious to see him (and Mom) again. In the afternoon, we went back to the hospital with Grandma and Grandpa. Unlike yesterday, I warmed up to Henry immediately, waving hello and giving him a kiss. In fact, I gave him lots of kisses! But my favorite thing today was imitate the way Henry yawns. I did it during the whole visit and then all night after I got home! Here's a video of what Henry's second day was like (and look for my Henry impression too!).

I know that everyone is anxious for more photos of the baby, and Dad promises that he's putting together a photo slideshow just like he did for my first week. But for now, here are a few other cute photos of Henry and family:

I hear that if all goes well, Henry and Mom will be coming home on Monday. What a great birthday present that would be!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oh, brother!

Mom and Dad have been telling me for awhile now that I was going to be having a baby brother "soon," but I didn't realize they meant this soon! This morning at 8:25 a.m., my baby brother Henry Joseph was born, two weeks before his due date. He weighed 8 lbs. (less than me) and measured 20 1/4 inches (more than me). And just like me, he arrived on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. How weird is that?

I got to meet my baby brother, though Dad says I cried more during my hospital visit than Henry did. He's awfully adorable, and I liked waving to him and watching him (and I think he liked watching me too!). I was a little disturbed when I first walked into the room and saw Mom on a hospital bed, with nurses I didn't know and a baby I didn't know, but Dad walked me around the maternity wing and helped me relax (the cute Anne Geddes baby pictures on the walls did the trick too).

There will be lots of photos in the days and weeks to come, but for now, take a look at this video of some of the highlights from Henry's first day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy birthday party to me!

Okay, I'm done teasing you with little morsels about my big 2nd birthday party last weekend. It's time for all the pictures and videos! First off, the party had a Mexican theme, or more accurately, it had a Tinga theme, since it was catered by my favorite restaurant. Bring on the chips, guacamole, rice and beans!

Mmmmmmm! By the end of the party, I think I turned everyone into a Tinga fan. They all raved about how good the food was. I told you so!

But the Mexican theme didn't stop there. There were also maracas for all the kids to color. I had fun coloring two or three (or ten) of them.

One recurring theme of the day for me was seeing how many of my friends I could get to push me on my little play swing. I got Audrey...

..and Isabella...

...and a couple more as well (you'll have to check out the video to see who else). Thanks guys!

In addition to the delicious food from Tinga, I also had not one but two yummy birthday cakes:

A big thank you to the cake provider, Alec and Isabella's mom Vera, who owns a pair of Häagen-Dazs ice cream shops in the city (so if you're ever on 114th and Broadway, or 64th and 1st, be sure to give her some business!).

And before the party ended, Mom and Dad brought out a Sesame Street pinata so everyone could try and get the treats out of it.

I got a little weepy when I saw all the candy spill out, because I thought something had gone wrong, but I liked playing with some of the prizes once I got my hands on them!

So that was my party. If you liked the pictures, you'll really enjoy the video:

Wasn't that fun! Thanks to everyone who came and made the party so terrific, and I can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A little Bounce in my step

Mom and Dad got me the best birthday gift: a Jump 'n Slide Bouncer (technically, a Jump 'n Double Slide Bouncer)! They brought it out for my birthday party, and I (along with everyone else) had a blast on it. I tested it out in the morning before everyone else got there. My cousins Abby and Sophia came in early from Connecticut and the three of us had a great time on it together. (Dad put down some tarps because we have to take our shoes off to go on it, but the grass was still wet from the rainy weather the day before. So this way our socks didn't get wet as we ran back and forth on it.)

It took me a few times before I got the hang of it, but after that I couldn't get enough!

Here's a look at my inaugural voyage on it (again, before the party started):

Most of the other kids loved it too, but that footage is for tomorrow's big birthday party video!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birthday balloons!

I know you guys are getting anxious for photos and videos from my birthday party, and while Dad is still busy combing through the video footage, I wanted to give you a little morsel for now. I got a kick out of all the balloons at my party this year (like the ones I'm holding here from Aunt Jess's boyfriend Pete), so here's a look at what happened when I got back from the Little Gym on Saturday morning and saw all the balloons that Mom and Dad got for my party.

And by the way, as you see in the above photo, unlike last year's birthday party, I actually posed for a photo with Mom and Dad this time!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Paying my respects

I had a terrific birthday party Saturday, and I'll tell you all about it later in the week, but first I want to talk about my trip to Ohio for Uncle John's funeral.

I got to see Aunt Paula, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Jess, Uncle Ryan and lots of other people. Everyone seemed downcast, so I did my best to put a smile on their faces by being my usual adorable self. During the viewing, I kept running to all the flowers, smelling them and counting the bows. At one point I pointed out to Dad that I saw a "man sleeping," but otherwise I entertained myself, sometimes by just running in a circle and singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."

Aunt Paula was very sad but she was thrilled to see me, so I'm happy that I helped cheer her up a bit. I also met my Uncle Dan, who is married to frequent Ask Julia contributor Aunt Rebecca, along with their daughter Diana. Plus I got to spend time with Aunt Paula's dog Gracie. Aunt Paula gave me some of bread to feed her, and I'm still talking about how much fun that was! And I also finally got to meet my Great-Grandma, which was a nice treat. Grandpa took some pictures of the two of us, which I'll post next week after we get a copy of them.

Getting there and back was quite a feat, involving planes, trains and automobiles traveling through four states (from NJ to an airport in NY to an airport in PA to our final destination in OH). I loved watching the planes take off from the gate, and when I got on the plane I told Dad it looked a little like the inside of a choo-choo. Aunt Jess flew with us, so she helped take care of me too.

I was on my best behavior the whole time (I did get a little cranky during the two-hour flight delay on our way home, but you would too!), and everyone talked about how sweet and well-behaved I was. You're welcome, Dad!

Friday, May 15, 2009

California girl

Last week Bobbi and Dido drove me up to Connecticut for the day, so I could spend some time with my cousin Ava, who lives in California now but came back East for a visit. My cousin Sophia was there too, so it was nice to catch up with everyone.

We've all gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw Ava, which was last summer at Sesame Place. It was an eventful visit to say the least - a few tears were shed by more than one of us - but Sophia set a good example and always made sure to smile!

That's Ava's mom Arita with us. It was nice to see her too.

I'm traveling again right now, for a much sadder reason. Dad and I flew out to Ohio for something called a funeral for Uncle John, my Aunt Paula's husband, who passed away suddenly earlier this week. Everyone is very sad so I hope that my being there will help cheer my Aunt Paula up at least a little bit, because you can't keep yourself from smiling when I'm around!

We're getting back tonight, just in time for another huge event: my second birthday party! I'll tell you all about it next week.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Hot Dog" special

I mentioned recently that I've been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a lot. My favorite thing on it, besides Clarabelle Cow that is, is watching everyone do the "Hot Dog" dance at the end of every episode. I enjoy it so much that Dad found me the music for "Hot Dog" (by a group called They Might Be Giants), so now I can listen to "Hot Dog" whenever I want.

And when I hear it, I always want to dance along, and get my Mickey Mouse Clubhouse pals to join in the fun. Take a look:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More from Mother's Day

I mentioned yesterday that I spent much of Mother's Day afternoon outside. After so much rainy weather, it was so nice to be able to run around in the backyard. I went on the slide, chatted with my imaginary friend Norman and used my sidewalk chalk. Then, I liked the necklace I got Bobbi for Mother's Day so much that I decided to wear it myself!

And of course there's video too. Take a look:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Momma mia!

Happy (belated) Mother's Day everyone!

Our Mother's Day started out on a not-so-great note. We showed up at the hospital for my sibling tour, so I could get the lay of the land before my baby brother comes. Well, it ended up being only a waiting room tour because the instructor never showed up! I didn't notice, because I was running around the waiting room (and I got to see one or two babies as they were wheeled from one wing to another), but Mom and Dad were a little annoyed. But they said it was the most accurate hospital tour I could have gotten because that place is a bit incompetent about certain things (two years ago, a few of their prenatal classes were also cancelled without warning).

But things picked up later in the day, when we took advantage of the great weather and had a barbeque outside with Bobbi and Dido. I also gave Mom a Mother's Day gift of a couple cookbooks, although I had already moved on to bigger and better things by the time she opened them.

At the end of the video you see me wearing a pageboy cap and saying "Hat! Just like Norman!" Norman is a character in Fireman Sam, a British kids show I like to watch about a fireman in a local town. Norman is the kid who always gets into trouble, but he's also my new imaginary friend and tells me to do things (nothing far!).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Two pipas are better than one

So I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news that is that I no longer need a "pipa" (Ukrainian for pacifier) anymore. The bad news?

I need two of them! At least from time to time. Take a look my new trick (and a glimpse at how I "read" my books).

Did you notice how hyper I was at the beginning? This is what I'm like sometimes after a nap — just raring to go and running around my crib. And aren't you impressed by my counting prowess?

I'll be back next week with posts about my new bedroom furniture and my weekend trip to the place where my baby brother will be born. Very intriguing! See you next week!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Cow comes home!

So I've been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a lot recently — a new version that debuted last year on the Disney Channel with computer-animated versions of Mickey and his fans. I love Mickey, Minnie, Daisy Duck, Goofy and the rest, but the character I've really fallen for is Clarabelle Cow. Who is she, you ask? She's a minor Disney character who has popped up very sporadically through the years, and is now being paired with Goofy as his sort-of girlfriend. But I somehow managed to fixate on literally the only character that Disney hasn't exploited yet, so when I was running around the Disney Store two weeks ago screaming Clarabelle's name, Mom and Dad couldn't find a single piece of merchandise with her on it.

But I persisted, and began announcing that "Grandma find Julia Clarabelle Cow." Grandma didn't come through, but Dad did! Thanks to eBay, he found a commemorative stuffed Clarabelle that came out way back in 2000. He and Mom gave it to me last weekend, and at first I didn't know who she was because the doll is in black and white (to commemorate the black and white cartoons she first appeared in). But then it all clicked, and I was the most excited I've been in weeks!

I took her all around the house, giving her a tour of all my favorite things. Dad picked up the video camera as I headed down to my playroom with her:

That Julia table/puzzle I was putting together in the video was a gift from Alec and Isabella for my first birthday, almost a whole year ago. I've really enjoyed looking at it and trying to put the pieces together over the last year, but it wasn't until two weeks ago that I was finally able to put the whole thing together all by myself, without any help from Dad.

I love Clarabelle Cow, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the Disney Store comes to their senses and starts pumping out lots of Clarabelle merchandise!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Armed response

It was a very soggy weekend, but before the rain started Mom and Dad took me to a festival at the art museum in town where I sampled funnel cake for the first time (so good!) and had my first experience with face painting. Well, technically it was arm painting, as Mom encouraged me to get a ladybug painted on my arm.

I loved the ladybug so much — and kept staring at my arm all day — but our relationship was short-lived. She was already coming off by day's end, so when Mom and Dad gave me a bath we washed her off completely. But at least we have some photos and this video!

I'm already talking about what I might get the next time I have my arm (or face!) painted. Mom and I agreed that "maybe" I'd get a butterfly next time around.

You probably noticed a cameo in that video by one Clarabelle Cow. That was my other big news from the weekend, but you'll have to wait until the next post to hear more about her.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wild, wild West Hartford

I wrapped up my great vacation week with a trip to Connecticut to visit Aunt Jess. Her apartment is fun to run around in because she has all these cool magnets on her fridge (Dad says they are from promotional stuff he got at work over the years), like a Reese Witherspoon figure that you can "dress" in a bunch of different outfits. We also made a return trip to the West Hartford Children's Museum nearby. I didn't have quite as much fun there as I did the first time around (probably because Aunt Jess was at class and couldn't come with us) but it was still nice to go back.

One thing we didn't film was my reaction to the clowns that were performing in the museum's backyard. I was interested and made Mom and Dad take me out there, but 30 seconds later I wanted to go back inside. So I haven't decided yet whether I'm one of those kids who is afraid of clowns or not.

Have a great weekend everyone!