Friday, December 29, 2006

9 Months Old

These photos are a few weeks old. I took them just before the power outage and then I guess I forgot. Month 9 has finally brought teeth! Two little ones on the bottom that I have yet to capture in a photo, but they are there. I'm going to miss her toothless grin!
Playing with our toes, sucking on them actually, is a fun past time when she can pull her socks off.
She is also mastering the wave, which she is demonstrating in this photo. I think she is starting to thin out since she has become so active with her crawling. She has begun to walk behind her push toy and pulls herself up at the couch or on your leg and then let's go and claps and stands on her own for a few seconds.
Clapping her hands is also a favorite...turn on some music and she begins to clap and bounce up and down. Other accomplishments include self feeding, learning to use a sippy cup, climbing up the stairs (5 so far...then I caught her) and climbing over our dog (he is large and a big hurdle).
Overall...Brooke keeps us all smiling and has all of her family wrapped around her finger!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Are you sure I can't cry over this?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The evolution of a snowman

We had our second "big" snow of the year. Brad played hooky for a few hours from work so he could build a snowman with the girls. Despite the fact that it started raining on them...they pressed on with their masterpiece.
Within minutes they were in the final stages of apparel fitting.
Ta-da...the finished product. Complete with a "hula-hoop necklace" per Mckenna's suggestion.

9 Years Ago

As if Christmas weren't busy enough...9 years ago we threw in a wedding!
Walking down the isle after saying "I do"... our first few seconds as Lt. James Bradley and Mrs. Hall.Happy Anniversary Honey!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Morning

I took yesterday off from blogging, since it was a holiday. The girls made our Christmas morning extremely entertaining. They were so excited and just ran around the house passing out presents. I wish I had a tape recorder so I could remember all the funny comments they Mckenna told Uncle Chris on the phone that she got a "Tinkerbell outfit from the guest bedroom!" Earlier that week she disobeyed orders to stay out of the guestbedroom (our gift wrapping room) and discovered the outfit...thus the comment! Baileigh got a watch and made the comment "Oh, cool, a princess's great even though I can't tell time yet!
Brooke enjoyed playing with the bows and eating gift wrap whenever no one was paying attention!

The girls stretched their imagination by using Brooke's new Weeble-Wabble house as a bedroom for their Kelly dolls...Baileigh said they were having a slumber party. I asked her what exactly that meant. Her response was "they all slumber there." So I said, "what does 'slumber' mean?" Baileigh said, "it means you wear pajama's, watch movies, and hit each other with pillows." True.

Christmas presents usually become a lot less exciting for adults...but Brad got a paper shredder. It doesn't get more exciting then that! And I am getting a bike! Saying that makes me sound like a 6 year old. But I'm getting a Dolce Specialized Road bike that I am not worthy of. In an earlier post I mentioned that my goal is to complete a triathlon this summer, two as a matter of fact! So this bike is a little motivation for that goal, as well as accountability to future triathlons which is my new goal every summer. We're going to get fitted for it in a few weeks. I don't know if I find this exciting or scary. This may mean I'll have to go back to a spin class.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's Christmas Eve

So Brooke, it's the night before you're first Christmas. You've just had your bath and you're all ready for bed in your Santa pj's.
Any thoughts? Aren't you excited? It's Christmas Eve. That means tomorrow is Christmas!
That's the excitement I was looking for!

Why We Love Ranger

Oh the hours of dress up that you have been subjected to my dear friend, Ranger. Despite your hyperness and annoying growling, you are the sweetest dog and wonderful with the girls. Thanks for being a good sport!You look good in lavender...and pearls.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heading Home

***If you're just tuning in...scroll down to the blog entry titled "Disney Recap" and then read up to the last will all make a lot more sense.

So that is more then you probably wanted to know about our vacation. The week flew by. We had a few small bumps in the road (I miss you zebra blankie) but overall, two thumbs up.

I need a vacation now!

R.I.P Zebra Blankie

A tragedy occurred on Tuesday. Brooke's beloved zebra blankie slipped out of her stroller and into the deep blue yonder of the crowded Disneyland resort. We (okay, I) searched and retraced our steps. Brooke has been a thumb sucker since she was born and she took to this little silky blankie and would instintly calm down and start sucking her thumb the minute you threw it on her head.

Loosing it made me feel like I lost a little of her babyhood. I reported it to the Disney lost and found and filled out the appropriate paper work. Every time the doorbell rings I'm hoping it is a Christmas miracle and zebra blankie is waiting for us on the doorstep. So far no miraclous...but I believe!

The plane ride home without zebra blankie was a little rough as were the next few nights and nap times. I tried to replace him with another small blankie, but somethings are just irreplacable.

I'm not feeling a great level of compassion or sympathy from Brad over this loss. It must be a mommy thing to mourne a loss like this. Can anyone relate? I can hear the wheels turning in Brad's head (slowly) as he thinks, "that is what you get for bringing it to Disneyland with us!" Or maybe, secretly, that is what I'm thinking.

This photo was taken the day that zebra ran away. I'll cherish it forever. I have many fond memories and photos of zebra blankie...I guess those will have to do for now until the doorbell rings.


We went back to Disneyland for our last day. Baileigh wanted at least one more ride on Space Mountain and Mckenna wanted to go on the elephant ride (Dumbo) and "the roller coaster for 3 year olds!

We decided to stay for one more parade on our last night since the girl's enjoyed it so much our first night. This time we camped out for a curb side seat. During the parade a float vehicle temporarly broke down in the area where we were sitting. The funniest thing was that the parade members behind the vehicle had no idea why the parade wasn't moving. The music continued and all the parade participants did their act over, and over, and over. These poor snowmen were in front of us when it happened and they had to dance their routine for about 10 minutes non-stop instead of the normal 2 minutes followed by walking and waving. Brad and I were laughing so hard imagining the poor people dripping with sweat inside those costumes trying to see out the little peep wholes for eyes wondering why they aren't going anywhere.
It was a long day of a lot of fun. We have a tired but happy little girl!


Today we headed to Disney California Adventure Park. The girls had fun at a Disney TV stage show. Brooke clapped through the entire thing and bounced up and down. We were disappointed that the largest roller coaster in the park was closed for maintenance. Big bummer. We spent the day exploring and ended the evening by attending another parade...this one with more of the Pixar characters from movies like Toy Story, Monsters Inc. etc.
Mickey celebrating Christmas with California style!
I don't think I'm ready for drivers ed.
Waiting for the parade. The girls were pulled into the parade and got to dance with Bo-Peep from the Toy Story. They thought that was pretty cool. It wasn't until the entire evening was over that I noticed Baileigh was wearing her sunglasses in the dark. She said it helped with all the bright Christmas lights.

Monday, December 18, 2006


We drove down to San Diego to enjoy our complimentary day at Seaworld...just join the military and you can enter any Anheuser Bush amusement park free in 2006! Truthfully though, we were surprised and touched by not only their appreciation of the military with their "Saluting Our Heros" campaign throughout the park...but also the short tribute video shown before the Shamu show and the trainers acknowledgement of the military families and the round of applause as they had all military members and their families stand! We were appreciative.

The day was really spent watching the different shows which the girls enjoyed. It was a little cooler that day since we were on the coast and I think we all started to get a little chilly by the time the sun was setting.
I know you're impressed with the timing of my photography...admit it!
Mckenna wanted to take a Starfish home.

A humerous highlight of the day was as we approached a Flamingo exhibit. For whatever reason, Baileigh was excited to see Flamingos. I don't have anything against the awkward looking bird, but I could go either way. She ran towards the pond filled with over 100 pink birds. "Daddy, can I feed the Flamingos?" Brad noticed the feed machines where you put a quarter in, turn the handle and out comes a hanful of food. Brad said, "Sure Baileigh, just let me find a quarter." Baileigh's surprised response was, "Flamingo's eat quarters?" That comment had the strangers around us laughing out loud, too.
We grabbed some dinner at CPK (CA Pizza of our favorites!) and headed back to our home sweet 252!


Brad's goal was to avoid the park on the weekend. Not a bad plan. We rented a car and drove to San Pedro to meet our friends the Wilkersons. Brandon played football with Brad at the Academy and stood up for us in our wedding. We enjoyed a day at the beach in Hermosa. It was a nice change of pace.

Grabbing a bite of pizza before we head to the beach. It's so nice to be able to eat outside!Attempting a family photo for the Christmas card.The girls were excited to build a castle...Cinderella's of course and enjoyed chasing the waves with Daddy.

Brooke spent some time on the beach hanging out with her new friend, Anne.
The surf was pretty impressive and the girls loved to run from the waves as they crashed on the beach.
We drove home via a stop in Hollywood for some site seeing. We drove by the Kodak theater and stopped to look at the walk of stars. No celebrity sightings. No major disappointment there but it was fun to see some of the places I've only seen on TV.
Nothing special about this star...not that we don't like Ron fact as a boy I think that Brad resembled him during his Opie years...hope that doesn't say anything about the future of his hair! We just happened to stop for our photo at his star and thus the picture.


We headed for the park early for our reservation for breakfast with Minnie and Friends. I highly recommend splurging for at least one of the overpriced character meals...spending the money saved us a ton of time since all the characters come to your table to meet and greet. The girls filled their autograph books and they were thrilled to see everyone...especially Cinderella's fairy godmother and Minnie Mouse. Tigger played peek-a-boo with Brooke to try to win her affection.

Brooke with Cinderella's Fairy Godmother...this is one of the people she warmed up to right away. Probably because Fairy Godmother was a little less intimidating then Tigger!The park was busier this day as it was heading into the weekend and we discovered the beauty of the Fast Pass...essentially the HOV lane for roller coasters. We learned that Baileigh is a roller coaster junkie. She went on space mountain 4 times! Mckenna never turned down a ride either and was disappointed she wasn't taller so she could ride space mountain, too.

That evening we went to Ariel's Grotto for a character dinner. You pay too much for average food but during the meal all the princesses make the rounds and visit you at your table and sign your autograph book. I think this was the highlight of the trip for the girls. They got to meet Ariel, Cinderella, Bell, Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty), and Snow White. Baileigh noticed and commented several times that Jasmin wasn't there. Does anything get past her?
I will hear about this moment frequently in the months to come!
We spent a full day at the park and stumbled back to our hotel room exhausted. Vacation? Not sure about that, but we're having fun!