Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our un-mailed Christmas Letter

Well, the stomach flu hit us hard a couple of weeks ago, so any chance for me getting out a Christmas letter or card or picture in a timely manner went down the toilet with a whole lot of throw up. So, on Christmas Eve's Eve (and now Christmas day) I am here writing a virtual Christmas letter to those who might have missed receiving a card from us.

Walter - 17 mo.

This year has been incredibly eventful for Walter! He learned how to crawl, walk, run, talk, and play on his own.  He is a talker, a babbler, a communicator, and knows what he wants! If he finds something he likes, he'll point at it, nod his head, and say yes or no if I guess correctly or incorrectly.  He'll babble about it and say its name as best as he can. He LOVES balloons (bloon, bloon, bloon!!!), balls, the park, candy, our neighbor's blow up Santa, taking our Christmas tree apart, stickers, and snowmen (he calls them moman) right now.  He has a pretty impressive vocabulary, though most words are only comprehensible to the woman who spends 12 waking hours listening to him babble (yes, that's me!).  He does have 10 or more words that I think anyone would be able to recognize. His most used words right now include: balloon, dada, mama, night night, dark, hello, ball, toolbox, all gone, soft, banana (he's even used it in a simple sentence when he said, "nanna all gone"!), oatmeal, book, shoe, sock, park, thank you, Santa, snowman etc.  He's a very good eater most of the time, and often tries to eat the remainder of Dean's food after meals.  He's quite good at entertaining himself with toys, boxes, or anything he can find in the cupboards. He loves snuggling and rubbing soft things on his face as well as coming up behind us and patting us on the back. He also loves his feet and back rubbed (definitely gets that from my side!). He loves me to sing (hallelujah! It has been hard having Dean hate having me sing to him!) to him and his current favorite song is "Wheels on the bus" with the wheels verse and the "shhhh" verse. He's funny, easy to please, and just seems to really enjoy life.

Dean - 3 years
Dean is an incredibly smart and verbal child! He can express himself and his feelings really well and says some of the funniest things! He love, love, loves the playing games on the computer (he's played pretty much everything on PBS, starfall, the Friend online, and we've gone through all the levels of World of Goo and are half way through the second time), Curious George, Clifford, Veggie Tales, Wii sports and Rockband. His favorite song is probably Robot Parade by They Might be Giants. In September he started going to a mom-run co-op preschool. He loves it and caught on very quickly that we were going through the alphabet in alphabetical order.  He is already sounding out words he sees in print, can count up to 30, and loves books. 

He is very particular about food. Nothing can touch, he needs different forks for "messy foods" and his other foods, and he doesn't like butter because it makes his food dirty. If he can eat it raw, he prefers it over cooked.

Though he started potty training at 18 mo. of his own choosing, once we got to underwear he basically refused to go on with the process and basically stopped trying at all. He had no problem going on the potty, but he really hated having occasional accidents in underwear and having to stop what he was doing to run to the bathroom, so we still have 2 kids in diapers. Matt recently asked why he didn't want to wear underwear or pull ups and he said, "cuz they're disgusting!"

Celia - 29
At the beginning of the year I bought a good double jogger and began jogging 4-6 miles most weekday mornings with my new friend Kirstin (who also was sporting a double stroller when we started).  I was supposed to start teaching piano again in January only to find that I had no students able to return. I took a semester off after having Walt with 12 people on my list to start in January, so it was a bit of a shock for me! The economy, kids moving, and a new teacher who went to their students' homes did me in. It was nice, though, to not have to worry about keeping 2 babies entertained while trying to teach.  Harder on our budget though.
I got to go to my first and second Broadway plays this year (Wicked and Phantom) and they were both amazingly fun. I will not wait another 29 years before I do it again!! It was then that I realized that my wardrobe was horrible. I couldn't find one non-kid-stained shirt or pants in my closet! So about mid year I traded piano lessons for fashion consulting and I went on a mini shopping spree to get some cute basics! I haven't taken to make-up much yet, but it has been nice having some cute clothes to wear.  The funny thing is, though, I ramped up my usage of Isagenix since then and am actually a size or two smaller than the clothes I bought! I've always loved their shakes, but I pretty much have a shake or an Isagenix bar every day now.  After doing their full nutritional cleanse right before Thanksgiving, I am currently the same weight I was in 7th grade and I am in a smaller pant size than I've ever worn in my entire life!

In September I headed up and organized a preschool for Dean.  It has been really challenging for me, but it's also good and fun.  The biggest non-teaching project I took on this year was to paint our living room. It took nearly a month of evenings for me to do 3 coats, but the difference is amazing.  Now I need to get on painting my bedroom, the kitchen, and our computer room!! Ack that's a lot of painting!

Matt - 29

Matt's had a very stressful and challenging year at work. He works on the software for the unmanned drone, the Predator.  He has had to travel a lot more this year to do flight testing in CA, and they've really ramped up the pressure on him at work.  At the end of the year he interviewed with another company and was offered a job, and while we both wanted our answer to be a yes, the answer we both got after praying was "not right now."  We've both felt strongly that we need to get our house cleaned up a bit and ready to go on the market sometime next year regardless of the whole job situation, so who knows what next year will bring?  During Matt's Christmas break he will be ripping out our disgusting vinyl and tiling our bathrooms and kitchen.  Hopefully soon after we finish that we'll rip up our horrible living room carpet and put in a wood floor. In his spare time in the evenings he enjoys online gaming with some good friends from high school.


The Drapers said...

Celia- I really enjoyed this! Looks like your little family is doing good. I miss you! I wish I could hang out with you maybe your weight loss success would rub off on me! Hope you have a great year!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Thanks Les. That makes me feel good. It's crazy to think we've never actually met each others' kids! Hope you had a great Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing up this post-some years are just impossible to get a letter out and that's okay! You're such a good mom and those boys are adorable-a collective pre-school-how cool!! And congrats on the fashion energy and running-you deserve every bit of attention! much love your way from NYC

Aunt Deborah said...

Hi, Silly girl. It's Aunt Deborah and your family is precious! We are in Salt Lake right now visiting the Kessels for Christmas. Our tradition is time with the family for a present. This year we are all going to see Blue Planet at Utah Symphony with a live original score. Uncle Jeff's family is going, too. Love you!