Friday, May 31, 2013


We have a little airport near our house. A couple of weeks ago, said little airport had a fly-in. What's a fly-in, you ask? According to Mr. Frisby, it's sort of like an airshow, but not as awesome and on a much smaller scale. The fly-in was free and we figured Stella would enjoy it, so we decided to check it out.

If there's one thing you should know about Frisbys, it's that they love airplanes. If there was any doubt before the fly-in, there was none after. Stella is most definitely a Frisby.

She was enthralled with all the airplanes and helicopters. We actually had a great time. Not only did they have lots of cool planes to check out, they also had a bunch of old Mustangs and Woodys, as well as some old tractors and engines on display. They were giving free airplane rides to kids over 8 years old and the airport museum was even free for the day. I think we may have to make this an annual tradition.

Monday, May 27, 2013

20 Months

Whenever I do these Stella updates, I think about the last month and am always amazed at how much she has developed during that month. It's a little crazy how fast they actually learn things. Like, I would be a pretty amazing person if I was able to learn the amount she learns in a month for all of the months of my life. But, somewhere along the line, the learning slows down. For now, I'm enjoying watching Stella learn and pick up on things on a daily basis.

Let's review Stella's last month. She's figured out how to push a chair over to the counter to watch me whenever I'm doing something in the kitchen. In fact, whenever I start working on anything in there, Stella runs to get a chair yelling, "wash, wash, wash" (watch, watch, watch).

She's also figured out how to climb up onto the kitchen table. She likes to play with the fake lemons in our centerpiece. She also likes to grab the chandelier above the table and yell, "no, no, no" because that's what I always say to her when she does it.

In fact, she seems to find great satisfaction in doing something she shouldn't be doing while saying, "no, no, no" and looking directly at me to make sure I see what she's doing. She likes to tease.

Let's talk about our nursery nightmare (nursery is the class for children ages 18 months to 3 years old at church). As of last month, Stella was going to nursery. She hated it and she screamed when we dropped her off, but we would just drop her off and high-tail it out of there hoping that after several weeks, she would just figure out that nursery was fun and that we would be back for her at the end and she wouldn't scream anymore. After several weeks, she was still screaming, clinging to our clothes when it was time to drop her off, and hating being separated from us. In fact, it had escalated to the point of her being nervous on Sunday mornings while we got ready for church, not liking going to church, being wary of people that she is very familiar with and normally has no problems with, and even flipping out and throwing herself into my arms with hysterical screams at the mere mention of the word "nursery" (we no longer go to the "nursery" for flowers - we go to the flower store). Frankly, nursery had become a real problem that needed fixing. So, we came up with a solution. Stella still goes to nursery... and so do I! As long as I'm there, Stella loves it. So, I just go and sit off to the side in the nursery room and let Stella do her thing. She glances over occasionally to make sure I'm there, but other than that, she has a grand old time. Sometimes Mr. Frisby stays with her instead of me and she's fine with that, too. As long as one of us is there. And, she's slowly getting back to normal with this whole nursery thing. She no longer screams at the mention of the word, but she does still run to me and throws herself into my arms. She still screams when we first go into the nursery room, but I assure her that I'm staying and once she realizes I'm not going anywhere, she gets down and plays and participates. She doesn't seem nervous on Sunday mornings anymore and she's regaining her trust of other people. She still has a ways to go, but we're making progress. And, someday, just maybe, she'll go happily to nursery by herself. Baby steps.

Now for some things that Stella does that we like. When we put her to bed at night, we always say night-night when we lay her down. Instead of saying night-night back, she says "bye" and waves. It's super cute. She's actually become very social and says "hi" and "bye" to everyone. And she's got the cutest little wave. It's very hard to describe, but she just kind of waves her little fingers, but not all at the same time. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

She's also got the whole phone business down - complete with using headphones. She calls it "ohn". I don't think she understands just what the phone does, but she understands what she's supposed to do with it.

She's starting to play by herself more and for longer periods of time and I am THRILLED about this. She likes to do puzzles and she also likes to do her shape sorter. She's got the Tupperware kind with 10 different shapes and she can sit there with it and put them all in herself. I feel like this means she's really smart. Maybe it doesn't really mean anything, but I like to think she's really smart, so I just go with it.

She also seems to be pretty sensitive to sounds. She's learned to recognize airplanes and yells out "aim" (airplane) whenever she hears one. She also recognizes motorcycles both by sound and by sight and yells, "ycle" (motorcycle) whenever she sees or hears one. This is interesting to me because I don't ever recall pointing out motorcycles or airplanes to her before she seemed to recognize them on her own. I often find myself wondering where/how she learned something. And, sadly, I have a feeling I'll be wondering that throughout her life.

She's finally starting to recognize certain animals (before, everything was doggy) and can even do some animal sounds.

She's also doing well in her gym class. She only has a couple more weeks of it, but I signed her up again in the fall since she's been enjoying it so much. Her favorite thing to do there is swing on the bars. I get similar pictures of her every week.

She also likes Gilroy Gardens and we're excited for it to be open every day for summer. Last time we went, Mr. Frisby got to join the fun.

She thinks it's funny to crawl into Scout's kennel. Scout and I do not.

She's also becoming more insistent on feeding herself. It's messy and I hate it because my kitchen looks like this:

But, I'm learning to deal with the mess because mealtimes are so much more peaceful if I just put the food in front of her and let her go to town herself. Mealtimes continue to be the more frustrating times of the day for me. One day, Stella loves blueberries. The next day (after I have purchased a giant Costco tub of them) she won't touch them. She used to love bananas. Now she won't eat them. She likes cheese, but only certain kinds. She'll eat bread if I put each bite in her mouth, but she won't pick it up and eat it herself. Her eating preferences seem to change by the minute and I cannot, at any given time, predict whether or not she will eat something. It seems her only constants are milk, spaghetti, and canned peaches. She has never refused those. And, in spite of these frustrations, she seems to prefer healthier foods, so I try not to complain. I mean, it's really not so bad if your child refuses to eat the hot dog pieces, but downs half a pear. I just have a hard time with the unpredictability of it all. But, I'm learning to roll with the punches.

Stella has recently become aware that it is her hair that's often hanging if front of her eyes and obstructing her vision. She has developed the habit of frantically trying to brush it off to the side and it's really cute.

Her vocabulary continues to grow quickly. She tries to repeat everything we say and she usually does a pretty good job. She still doesn't really do two word phrases except for, "hi Daddy", but she's learning lots of new words and usually uses them appropriately. Except milk. She calls any beverage milk, so we're trying to teach her to call water by its appropriate name.

And that's this month's update. It was longer than I thought it would be. Of course, it takes time to document this girl's cuteness!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Garden

No, this post is not about Gilroy Gardens. Though we have continued to enjoy GG, this post is about an actual garden. Mr. Frisby and I, along with little Stella, have joined some friends from church in a "co-op garden".

A family we know from church has a large property and for several years they have planted a large garden on their property with several other people from church. This year, we feel very blessed to be able to join them. We all put money in to pay for water and then every Monday night, we all go to the garden and work for an hour. When it's time for harvesting, we'll divide up the fruits based on need. Bigger families will take more of the harvest and smaller families will take less. As I understand, once school is out for summer, we'll also be adding in a potluck dinner to the Monday night gardening fun. Since I've only done a very minimal amount of gardening, I'm excited at the opportunity to learn how to do it much better.

We've had four weeks of gardening so far and we've been having a great time. We've planted tons of stuff: onions, tomatoes, peppers, corn, potatoes, melons, carrots, lettuce, sunflowers, etc, etc. Here's Stella helping Mr. Frisby plant the potatoes.

Since he's from Idaho, he's the designated potato expert and probably our family's most valuable contribution to the gardening efforts.

At first most of the work was planting. Now, it's weeding. Lots of weeding. But, before long it will be harvesting. It's going to be exciting!

Stella seems to absolutely love the gardening time. She enjoys immensely the opportunity to run around outside for an hour. Plus, the neighbors have a barn with horses that's pretty close to the garden, so Stella can get glimpses of the horses when they stick their heads out the windows. She gets really dirty and she loves it.

Sometimes she's helpful (weeding)

and sometimes she's not (running away as fast as her little legs can go)

but she's always curious (checking out the tomato cages)

and makes garden night lots of fun.

I don't know how much she's actually learning about gardening at this point in her life, but I'm hoping we can continue this activity for years to come and I'm banking on it teaching her some valuable life lessons.

In the meantime, we're really enjoying our gardening time and we look forward to the fruits of our labors.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gilroy Gardens

As I mentioned in my last post, I took Stella to Gilroy Gardens for the first time last month. What is Gilroy Gardens, you ask? Pure genius! That's what it is. Gilroy Gardens is an amusement park for little kids. I would venture to say that it is a toddler's dream come true. I decided to get a season pass this year so Stella and I can go as often as we like. I was a little hesitant about getting it because I didn't know how well Stella would like going there. In the end, I decided to get one and it was a fantastic decision. The little tyke LOVES it. They've got lots of rides, only a few of which are "high thrill" rides that Stella is too small to go on. Most of the other rides we go on together and there are a few that she can even ride by herself.

The first time we went, we met up with our friends the Cutlers. It was a weekday morning and the park was not at all crowded. We went on lots of rides and - obviously - had a blast!

Stella was a little nervous on the carousel, but she got used to it and had a great time.

This little fishy ride was Stella's first ride all by herself. I was nervous. I thought she would freak out as soon as I walked away after strapping her in and try to climb out. Fortunately, while a little anxious as the ride got going, she loved it! After that ride, I knew she would be an amusement park pro and I'm super excited to take her to Disneyland.

With the success of her first little ride by herself, we moved on to the fire trucks where she got to ride with her buddy, Henry.

She then got to go on the race cars and had fun. I think the fishy ride was her favorite, though.

We went on this little boat ride and she liked it at first, but it was a little long and she got bored. By the end, she was trying to undo her seatbelt so she could climb out.

Day one was a success. Our close proximity to Gilroy Gardens may be one of my favorite things about moving to Morgan Hill. We're close enough that we can go right when it opens, spend a few hours there, then leave when Stella starts getting tired and get her home for a nap. It's awesome. We had such a great time on our first visit that we decided to go back a week later.

This riding rides is serious business.

Just kidding! Actually it's pretty funny because even though Stella is having a ball, she rarely smiles on the rides. I think she just concentrates a lot.

She again loved the carousel.

And we rode the ferris wheel which we did not get to on our first visit. Stella seemed to love it (even though she's not smiling - see above comment on her lack of smiling during rides)

Day two was another successful trip to Gilroy Gardens and we look forward to lots more visits this summer. Next time, we'll even get to go with daddy!