We had a pretty normal month until Thanksgiving when our family came for a visit. Carla's parents came in the week before Thanksgiving and her brother (Jeffrey), sister-in-law (Kit), nephew (Hunter) and Great Grandfather (Bud) came in the day before. Kai and Sierra loved the extra attention (and new toys they brought).
It was a beautiful first Thanksgiving for Kai and Sierra (the weather was gorgeous outside). They enjoyed their first Thanksgiving meal but didn't eat too much since they tanked up on appetizers beforehand. However, they seemed to find room for dessert and really liked the pie and homemade whipped cream that Pawpaw kept packing in them.
The day after Thanksgiving we went to Green Meadows Petting Farm. The kids were able to hold/pet the animals, milk a cow, take a pony ride, go on a hay ride etc. We weren't sure how they would react but they loved it. Sierra is truly an animal lover. She wanted to lie on every animal we came across. She "gave love" to the pig, multiple goats and sheep, a bison, a duck, a chicken, a horse, a calf, etc. Thank goodness there were antibacterial stations everywhere. We needed to lather her down before the hands went in her mouth. She had no fear of any of them. Kai by nature is a little more cautious. He liked all the animals and would pet them but didn't tackle them the way his sister did.
After everyone left to go home, we all got sick. Jim and Carla ended up with a minor case of the flu (luckily staggered so not sick at the same time) and the kids both had bad colds. We both got a taste of having to take care of our little people when we didn't feel like getting out of bed ourselves. It's an incentive to take vitamins and try to stay healthy!
We decorated for Christmas this weekend and the kids love it. We have traditional Kazakh stockings for them and the Grandfather Frost and Snowgirl dolls we brought home from Kazakhstan (Kai and Sierra are too young to appreciate them but it feels good to have a little bit of their culture as part of our celebration). Christmas should be fun this year. It will be the one-year anniversary of our first meeting, and Kai and Sierra seem to love all the decorations (and presents - Kai thought he could open one today). We've been taking trips around the neighborhood at night to look at all the lights. Kai squeals every time he sees a blow up figure (Sierra applauds). It's turned into our nightly ritual.
Physical Activity : Kai and Sierra are both VERY active. They run, climb, and dance all over the place. The other day Carla was looking for Sierra (in the baby proof areas where they can roam freely) and didn't see her after making a pass through of the rooms. After circling back to the kitchen, there was Sierra sitting proudly at the kitchen table (she'd been watching Carla circle the room looking for her). Kai can get up to the table as well (though a little less graceful). Today for the first time they also climbed up the big spiral slide at the park and came down all by themselves (Kai uses his shoes as brakes to pace himself - Sierra came down fast on her belly).
Language Activity: Both Kai and Sierra are talking now in addition to the sign language (we're still reinforcing both). They now will sign and speak the word at the same time. Sierra tries to repeat about everything we say. Some words are very clear and others are just the first few syllables. She also tells everyone "Hi" and "Bye" (it sounds so sweet - the older ladies at the grocery store eat her up). Kai is not saying as many words but he tries and is very inquisitive. He likes to point at several consecutive items and say "Dat" (he's saying "What's that?")
Potty Training : We've started introducing the little potty before and after bath. No success so far, but on several occasions Kai has held his nose (for Poowee) and not long after, he has a dirty diaper. Now we at least know he's aware he has to go. Sierra has also used the sign language for "potty" and wants to go "sit" for a little while and brushes her teeth (so far she hasn't had to go, but it's a start).
Below are some pics from the month: