Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh XMAS Tree.... Oh XMAS Tree...

We finally sifted through this years mess in the garage and found our lovely XMAS tree. I know you're thinking, "Wasn't the last post about Hanukkah?" Well, Mark isn't Jewish, so we have the best of both worlds, and celebrate both holidays. Lucky us! Mark's parents, Art & Lynn, bought us this tree a few years ago and it seems every year we add at least one new ornament to our meager collection. You can't really tell from this picture, but it lights up and spins around. It's really a treat for me because, being one of the Jewish faith, never had a XMAS tree/lights/ or XMAS presents, before I met Mark. Yep, it's just like Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song....

When I was a little girl, even though we did not celebrate XMAS, my brothers and I always sat on Santa's lap and told him what we wanted - even though he never came to our house (see why below). Whatever, we didn't care because we had EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS OF PRESENTS! Here is a picture of my mom with Shayna. I just can't get that kid to smile!

I remember asking my parents how Santa knew not to stop at our Jewish house. My father told me it's because we don't have lights on our house and because we have a Mezuzah. If you don't know what a Mezuzah is, check out the picture to the left that I found on the internet. The mezuzah signifies the sanctity and blessing of the Jewish home. Actually, it is a portion of Holy Torah, inscribed in the same manner and script as a Torah. It is an "original" sanctified document in accord with laws and precepts that dare not be compromised. Ok, it's really small (well, our was) and it was placed near our front door. I figured Santa must have one of those Mezuzah-Radars.... Good enough answer for me!

finally got her to sit with Mr. Claus, by herself... without crying! Our XMAS/Hanukkah miracle....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hanukkah... Oh Hanukkah...

Come light the Menorah... Let's have a party ... well, you get the idea! We've been celebrating Hanukkah by lighting the candles and saying the blessings together every night (don't worry, the tree is far enough away from the flames). It just so happens that XM Radio has a Hanukkah channel (Channel 108). Shayna and I have been playing with our dreidels. She has memorized all of the letters on the dreidel! It's been a busy week, learning/practicing long division and memorizing all of the foreign capitols (thanks, Jenna, LOL)!

We bought Shayna a present for the first night of Hanukkah. It's a Thomas the Train set. She loves it! It's great because it keeps her occupied for some time!

It's fun celebrating with Shayna this year because she really seems interested. Check out how mesmorizing those candles are.... Instead of singing Hanukkah songs, Shayna sings, "Happy Birthday to You," then tries to blow out her candles. Too fun!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Big Girl!

Here's my big girl, with pigtails! Shayna went the whole day wearing her panties with NO accidents, again! She even made it through a 2-hour nap with a dry diaper! We are so proud of her! Tomorrow will be the big test, as Mark takes her to MyGym for some Thursday fun!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shayna's Gold Star Day

Today is the day...
Shayna wore panties ALL day without having an accident. My little girl is growing up so fast. With the exception of nap/night time, she is now out of diapers. I am so proud of her and she is so proud of herself. Just the other day at the supermarket, she told the checker, "Shayna made a poo poo in the toilet." Priceless!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tis the Season!

Last Wednesday night, we headed over to the Queen Mary in the Port of Long Beach. Our friend, Lisa, invited us to join her to view the annual tree lighting ceremony (which Shayna & I missed - later explained in this post). It was really inspirational.
This shot is Long Beach, from the deck of the Queen Mary.

Children from all over Long Beach sang holiday melodies while representing various nations throughout the world. They were very friendly, as we met & talked with Lichtenstein and Norway in the elevator. Shayna loved the music and who could blame her!

Also in attendance was none other than Santa Claus. We have been practicing with her all week to get ready and prepared to sit on his lap. She's even going to tell him that she wants a "horsie."
Santa got down from his velvety chair and sat on the floor with her, as he knew she had an aversion to him. It was really cute, until she decided that running away was a better choice! Please wish us luck with our upcoming photo shoot with Mr. Claus!

As it turns out, the potty training is coming along swimmingly...Shayna told me that she had to pee pee in the toilet just moments before the lighting of the tree... after searching throughout the entire Promenade Deck, we finally found the bathroom. The toilet seats were, for some reason, huge! Shayna practically fell in and the pee pee never happened - could you blame her? A special thank you goes out to the inventor of Pull-Ups!

Here is an unimpressive (dark) shot of the lighted Christmas Tree

Friday, December 08, 2006

Welcome, Grace Jenny Kohnen!

Welcome to the world, Grace Jenny Kohnen, born Wednesday morning, weighing 9 lbs 11 oz (!), 21-1/2". Mark's cousin's wife, Kristi, was in labor for only 2 hours! "Gracie" and family are all healthy! CONGRATS!

Here's Mark's mom, Lynn, with baby Gracie

And here's the happy family!
(l. to r.: Kaitlyn, Dan, Gracie, Cooper, and Kristi)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

While visiting one of my favorite blogs, Shalom From Jerusalem I came across this post with a list. I thought, it would be fun to fill it out, too. So here it is...adapted from Luz at Doves and Pomegranates via Shalom From Jerusalem.

Things I’ve done are highlighted:
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins - haven't swam with them, but fed them at Sea World!
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said “I love you’ and meant it! ---Every day
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Drunk champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Scored a winning goal-
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Visited all 5 continents
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked
45. Taken a road-trip- to many to count
46. Gone rock climbing
47. Midnight walk on the beach
48. Gone sky diving- what was I thinking????
49. Taken a train through Europe
50. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
51. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
52. Milked a cow
53. Alphabetized your CDs
54. Sung karaoke
55. Lounged around in bed all day
56. Gone scuba diving-I'm Certified!
57. Kissed in the rain
58. Gone to a drive-in theatre
59. Started a business
60. Taken a martial arts class
61. Been in a movie & on television- Check me out in a "Friends" episode- Season 10, Disc 4
62. Crashed a party
63. Gone a month without chocolate
64. Gotten a tattoo
65. Got/Gave flowers for no reason
66. Performed on stage-in Junior High School
67. Been to Las Vegas
68. Recorded music
69. Eaten shark
70. Buried one/both of your parents
71. Been on a cruise ship
72. Spoken more than one language fluently
73. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
74. Walked a famous bridge- Golden Gate
75. Had plastic surgery
76. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
77. Shook hands with someone famous
78. Wrote articles for a large publication- Does the Montclairian count (my high school newspaper)
79. Tried to lose weight seriously
80. Piloted an airplane
80. Pet a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions
87. Shaved your head
88. Eaten something awful because you didn't want to insult the chef
89. Pretended to be “sick” just to stay home from school?
90. Swam in the Pacific Ocean
91. Saved someone’s life
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth- That someone was me... oh yeah, and my mom...duh!
94. Hitchhiked
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming
97. Been to the Painted Desert
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Talk to God on a regular basis

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cute Pictures

When we were up at Mark's parents for the Thanksgiving holiday, Shayna experienced her first bubble bath. Tonight, Mark decided to jump on in the tub and make Santa beards! Too cute!!

And, here is Shayna... I know in 10 years, she's gonna kill me for posting this picture of her on the internet, but I'm so proud of her. Check out the nice technique of balancing her "Parenting" magazine! Today, she told me, while we were on our way to the dry cleaners that she had to go... they let us use their restroom - it was the first time that Shayna used a public bathroom. What a big girl...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Welcome to December

I just can't believe how fast time goes by... especially when you're having so much fun! It's already December. Unbelievable! I had almost forgoten about sending out holiday cards, until I rec'd a reminder from the Kodak EasyShare site. If I were to wake up tomorrow and someone told me that it was July, I'd believe them - oh yeah, then I would ask them why it's so freaking cold during the summertime...

We headed up north to Grandma and Grandpa Bartee's house for Thanksgiving. One problem... 2 days before we left, Shayna came over to me and said, "Mommy, Shayna poo-poo on the toilet." So, I obliged and we haven't looked back. She tells me every time she has to go pee-pee or poo-poo. It's great! Then I thought about it and it suddenly ocurred to me that it's not so great when we have a 6 hour road trip coming up in 2 days! Well, if you know me, then you should know that I spent the next night on the internet searching for the best "on-the-go" potty. I found one, but I decided to head on over to Babies R' Us instead. I picked one out, after calling Lisa (Camille & Mason's mom - because Camille is potty trained) and she told me which one to buy. Of course they did not have that brand, so I picked out the cheapest one. To make a long story even longer, the drive up to Sonora was great! Shayna told me when she had to we stopped every time... every 45-60 minutes. If she forgot to tell me, I'd remind her... then she would get obsessed with stopping! Oy-Vey!

Arrived safe and sound... The next day Shayna had fun picking tomatoes in the garden with Grammie! Here she is feasting on them - she loves tomatoes!

Here is Shayna and her Grammie making cookies! She loves those too!

Here is Shayna with her Papa stealing some turkey!

Thanksgiving begins the season for holiday season decorating... why is this Jewish girl stringing lights on the tree? I was thinking to myself, "there's gotta be a better way to do this!...and why are these lights tangled?? I need to invent something that will keep them from getting tangled..."

I'll get back to you on that one!

Also, just a quick note... Shayna is almost completely potty trained. The only exception is nap/sleep times. It's great! Have portable potty, will travel! Oh, one more thing... Congrats to my good friend, Jenna (my friend with triplets) - she's pregnant and is due July 4th! Oh yeah, good luck on the potty training, Jenna...OMG!
Check out this article about Jenna!
  • Jenna's Article