Rachael enjoyed this year's birthday
party a little more than last year--she actually stayed awake through the
whole thing this year. Her "Nemo" cake was a big hit, and she
ran around yelling, "Eat Nemo! Eat Nemo!"
Dad has been sharing his interest in
coins with Rachael. He will hand her a few coins when he gets home from
work, and Rachael will run and get her bank for her "monies".
She can consistently recognize a quarter and a penny, but we're still
working on the nickels and dimes.
Rachael still chats up a storm,
especially with all her "friends" (her stuffed animals). She
often tells us that one of her stuffed animals is crying and then proceeds
to console her friend, saying "oh, it's ok". She loves to sing,
and we will often catch her in the car repeating phrases from songs on the
radio. She often can be found softly talking or singing to herself or to
Grandma and Grandpa Weiss came for a
visit in March, and Rachael had a ball entertaining them. We all went to
the zoo-Rachael wasn't quite as brave with the giraffes this time, but
she did have fun kissing the penguins. The first night Grandma and
Grandpa were here, Mom was tucking Rachael into bed and Rachael said,
"gonna be sad!" Mom asked why, and Rachael said, "Grandpa
going home!" Rachael does adore the grandparents.
Her vocabulary continues to grow and
she is able to carry on real conversations - well, almost. She is
becoming her own person and has one heck of a stubborn streak. She never
misses an opportunity to speak her mind and make her opinion known. And
you do not want to be around her if she has not gotten a chance to play
went to her first "friend's birthday party" in April. She was
the youngest there by two years, but enjoyed playing on the swingset in
the back yard. The theme of the party was "princess", and
Rachael still enjoys wearing the princess party hat. The prizes for one of
the party games were little princess dolls or rubber frogs--all the little
girls chose the dolls except Rachael--she loves that rubber frog. She
wasn't too interested in the birthday cake, but she had a lot of fun with
a castle play house in the living room. She looks just like a little lady
putting on the lip balm from the princess ring she was given.
Easter bunny was quite generous to Rachael this year. She enjoyed her
first chocolate Easter bunny, and of course was taught to eat the ears
first. She enjoys playing with some of her plastic Easter eggs in the
cute Rachael story--she and Mom were headed to church one Sunday morning,
listening to the radio in the car. The DJ made some comment about the
controversial rap star Eminem, and from the back seat Mom hears
"M&Ms! M&Ms!". Rachael has taken quite a fancy to
and Dad have realized that potty training is on the near horizon. Every
night after being put to bed Rachael will take her diaper off at least
once. And she even did it a few times at church one Sunday.
spent her first real night away from Rachael, going to Ferrum College, in
the western part of the state, to lead a pastors' workshop on Christian
education. But Rachael and Dad got to spend a Daddy/Daughter weekend
together. They ran through fields, splashed in puddles, and rested on the
ground watching airplanes go by. Before heading home, Daddy and Rachael
went to Blockbuster. Once inside, Rachael loudly greeted the first
youngster she saw with a gleeful, " Hi! We're renting movies!"
and Rachael got a special treat in May. Miss Kay (Rachael's Monday/Tuesday
child care) gave Rachael a belated birthday present, tickets to see Sesame
Street Live at the Carpenter Center in Richmond. So, on the last Friday in
May, Mom, Rachael, and Kay headed to "Steffy Street" (as Rachael
would say). Rachael had a lot of fun before the show started running up
and down the steps in the theater and climbing on the many old sofas and
chairs in the lobby. After taking our seats, we discovered that Rachael is
not heavy enough to hold down the theater seat, so Mom and Kay had to hold
it down for her. After the first musical number, Rachael climbed into
Mom's lap and barely moved for the whole show. We weren't sure if it was
out of fear or awe. Rachael even did well during the 15-minute
intermission; luckily Mom had brought "donut crackers" (bagel
chips) to snack on. It was an exciting morning filled with lots of music,
noisy kids, and Elmo, Big Bird, Zoe, and everyone else from Sesame Street.
was a wet month. Mom, Dad and Rachael spent a lot of time in the yard
planting and arranging the gardens. Rachael suffered from an ear
infection, a cold and allergies throughout the month. She is getting her
"two year" molars. So she really did not sleep very well.
Mom, Dad and Rachael took a quick trip
to Tennessee early in June for an anniversary party for Dad's great-aunt
and uncle. Rachael was a real trooper the whole time, was very excited
about going to a party (even though she only spent about 10 minutes
there), and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Pop-Pop, Mel and Uncle Jay at the
hotel. She still asks to go "see Pop-Pop and Mel at the hotel."
Rachael had a good time at Vacation
Bible School this year. She learned songs, made lots of crafts, and made
some new friends. Mom was the craft coordinator for the week, and quickly
learned that she couldn't be the one to help Rachael with her crafts when
she came in-Rachael didn't want to leave. Rachael loves to sing and will
often be found singing to her friends or just to herself.
Summer has us all hopping. When we all
get a few moments together, we try to make the most of it.
The three of us went to the Virginia
Aviation Museum one Saturday morning. Rachael loved running around
looking at the airplanes, but insisted that she needed to ride in them.
Luckily the museum had a little toy airplane that she could ride in.
More than once, she made it over the railing and was heading for the
door of an airplane.
Mom and Rachael went to the Eastern
Shore one day to visit the church youth who were on a week-long mission
trip. We met up with the group at lunch and spent a couple hours with
them at the beach, Rachael's first experience with ocean waves. She
started out running away from the waves as they came up the beach, but
by the time we left she was running toward them. What she enjoyed most
was having the youth dig a hole in the sand and putting water in it to
make a puddle.
Rachael loves stickers these days,
putting them on everything, including furniture, Mom, Dad, and herself.
Mom and Rachael took some time off in
August and went to see Grandma and Grandpa Weiss in Pennsylvania. We
quickly discovered how much Rachael has grown--she could no longer
comfortably sleep in her portable crib. We had a good time,
though--finding lots of books and stuffed animals at yard sales. Rachael
was also very excited about the fact that she got to ride the bus.
Grandma's car broke down at the mall, so while she waited at the dealer
for it to be fixed, Grandpa, Mom, and Rachael rode the bus back to
Manheim. For the whole ride Rachael excitedly announced to the other
riders, "We're ridin' the bus!!"
The real excitement of the month
happened shortly before bedtime on a Friday night when Rachael slipped off
the side of the step from the kitchen into the den and broke her foot. Of
course, Mom and Dad thought she was ok and didn't take her to the doctor
until the next morning. When she hopped off the bed and angled right into
the wall, we knew there was a problem. She wore a splint and bandage for
her play-date with Kate that Saturday. She then had a neon pink cast put
on her foot on Monday afternoon. The prognosis is three weeks, and that
cast has not slowed her down one bit.
Rachael starts nursery school next
month, and we are sure it will really make us realize how much she has
The two highlights of September--Rachael
started Nursery School and got her cast taken off of her foot.
Rachael started her school career on
Tuesday, September 14 with her first day at Nursery School, with
absolutely no separation anxiety at all. In fact, she never even looked
back. She goes to school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and tends to be
wired on Tuesday afternoon and exhausted on Thursday afternoon. She is
really enjoying herself, though, literally running into the classroom each
morning. Mom leads Bible Story Time with the whole school on Tuesdays, and
was a little nervous the first time Rachael was in the audience. But both
Rachael and Mom did quite well. Rachael actually sat still and paid
attention. School is full of excitement for Rachael--she even got to dress
up like a cowgirl and have her picture taken on a real pony.
Mom took Rachael back to the orthopedist
on a Monday morning, hoping and praying that Rachael's cast would come off
for good. Three weeks of sponge-bathing a toddler was three weeks too
many. Rachael did not like the saw that was used to remove her cast; she
sat on Mom's lap with her hands over her ears, saying, "all done! all
done!" She did well through the x-rays after that, and Mom was
jubilant when the doctor came in and said that the foot was completely
healed. Although, Rachael still wasn't sure, not wanting to try walking at
all. However, by the time Mom picked her up at Kay's that afternoon, she
had both shoes on and was running down the street. Rachael's heel is still
a little tender, so she insists on wearing socks.
Happy Hallowe'en! Rachael had a
really good time at the church Halloween party. Her favorite games were
hopscotch and the bean bag toss. But she really loves being among the
senior high youth and cutting up. Her favorite candy seemed to be
chocolate footballs. Mom and Dad weren't too sure if Rachael and the
party were going to be a good combination, though. Rachael had
trick-or-treat day at nursery school, and she refused to wear the poodle
skirt Mom made for her. However, when she woke up from her nap on the
day of the church party, she was in a (increasingly rare) good mood and
ready to don her costume.
Rachael continues to LOVE nursery
school. In fact, it's hard to hold her back when she and Mom get to
church at 8:30 - school doesn't start until 9:15, so Rachael must wait
patiently in Mom's office. Rachael is constantly asking if it is
time to go to school and happily talks about her day during the evening.
Rachael's enjoyed telling anyone who
would listen that "daddy is at Germany." She understood that
Germany was across the ocean, but never quite understood whether daddy
swam there or flew. Rachael got some German-language books and a new
friend ("Germany bear"). She was happy when dad returned and
asked mom to take everyone to Legend to welcome daddy home.
The next two months should be very
exciting, with Aunt Robinne and Uncle Ian coming to visit from Minnesota
and Pops and MawMaw (the Knights) coming from Connecticut for
Thanksgiving. Then Grandma and Grandpa Weiss will come for Christmas.
was the month for family in the Potter household--and it all happened
within a week! A week before Thanksgiving Aunt Robinne, Uncle Ian and
cousins Lochlan and Liadan came from Minnesota for a few days' visit.
Rachael and Lochlan took to each other right away, jumping in piles of
leaves outside, jumping on the air mattress inside, and sharing Rachael's
play-doh. By the end of the weekend, the two of them were just like an old
married couple - Lochlan lecturing Rachael about talking with her mouth
full, and Rachael simply closing her eyes and sighing. It was wonderful
watching the two of them play together.
all took a trip to the Children's Museum of Richmond one afternoon.
Rachael's favorite seemed to be the boats in the water. Her least favorite
was definitely the walk-through digestive system. She still talks about
how she did not like it. And we don't blame her, it smelled awful.
also took the three cousins to have pictures taken together. They were all
naturals, and we got some great photos.
day after the Weiss/Dickie family left, the Knights came from Connecticut.
We enjoyed lots of good food, football, and shopping. And, of course,
having Maw-Maw and Pots spoil Rachael.
schedule by the end of November is completely out of synch and her mood
swings are on a hair trigger. Rachael started experiencing "Time
Out" as a result of her new temper-tantrums. We tried simply putting
her in her room or sending her to bed early, but found that she would just
slap mom in the face whenever she was ready for bed. We figure she found
that preferable to admitting she was ready to call it a day. We are afraid
that Rachael may be using the quiet-time to plot her next mis-adventure.
are looking forward to the Christmas season this year, with Rachael being
at a good age, and knowing that Grandma and Grandpa Weiss will be coming
was a fun month at the Potter household. From the first of December,
Rachael was very excited that it was "almost Christmas" and that
Santa was coming. She was a HUGE fan of Christmas lights. One of our
neighbors had lights all over his house and yard and had four air-blown
Christmas figures in his front yard. Rachael's favorite was the figure of
Homer Simpson dressed as Santa. Every evening, we had to "go see
Homer", every morning Rachael reminded us that Homer was
"sleeping", and she excitedly announced that he was awake each
evening. Driving around in the evening was very exciting for Rachael and
she really enjoyed pointing out all the lights to us.
the Christmas luncheon held by the nursery school, Rachael stood right up
there on stage with the rest of her class and sang Jingle Bells and Happy
Birthday to Jesus. Throughout the season, Rachael must have sung
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" about a million times. She even
sang it to each of the animals at the Richmond Zoo.
put in an appearance at the luncheon and Rachael walked right up to him,
hopped up on his lap, and told him that she wanted a white mama bear for
Christmas - without a bow. Of course, a week later she changed her mind
and said she wanted a brown horn instead. Well, Santa brought her a horn
(but it wasn't brown), and a stuffed bear (but it was pink, not white),
but she was still very happy.
was such a lucky little girl. Apparently Santa's naughty-or-nice list has
a wide latitude for discretion. It took Rachael all day to open everything
- she was very distracted by each new gift she opened. Her favorite gifts
were a Fisher Price doll house with lots of furniture to arrange and
rearrange, and a plush cat carrier with five stuffed kittens. We had to
read every book she was given before moving on to the next item. It was a
really wonderful experience for the whole family.
and Grandpa Weiss came from Pennsylvania on Christmas Day and brought more
presents for Rachael. We got to spend a day in Williamsburg during their
first real snowfall of the season. Rachael built snowmen on a bench and
ran across the snow-covered fields. She marveled at all of the wreaths and
was wowed by the really big Christmas tree. She got to eat a great, big
hamburger and chips at a tavern. We even spent an evening walking around
the James Center looking at the lighted displays and model trains -
Rachael liked the animated penguin best.
month's end, we are all exhausted and Rachael seemed to mourn the loss of
lights and decorations around the neighborhood.
Rachael has started wearing "Big
Girl" pants. We are so happy to be through with diapers. Hopefully,
the "accidents" phase won't last too long.
Rachael has made a lot of progress with
the potty. Daytime is pretty much accident free--we're still working on
nights. We've had a few dry nights, but it's not a habit yet.
January was a snowy, icy month here in
Virginia, so Rachael had many opportunities to "make footprints"
in the snow. But she still asks if the Homer Christmas decoration is still
out, and she still looks for the Christmas lights. It's going to be a
looong year before they come out again.
Rachael is now looking forward to her
third birthday, although she seems to think she will be three months old
instead of three years old. She also knows that Valentine's Day will
happen before her birthday. Where does she come up with this stuff?!
THREE?! It's so hard to believe our
Baby Rachael is three years old already. She has become such a little
person--with a big personality.
Rachael had her birthday party the
Saturday before her birthday. We celebrated with a princess theme. Her
cake was in the shape of a castle, complete with towers, a courtyard and
star sprinkles (a specific request from the birthday girl). Rachael and
her friend, Kate, spent time in her play-castle and wore lots of play
jewelry. Many of Rachael's closest friends came over to enjoy shrimp and
birthday cake. Rachael did a great job blowing out her candles, and even
blew them out three times just so we could get a good picture of it.
Rachael has taken to "working" on the
computer. Dad created a spreadsheet with letters, numbers, shapes,
different objects and a variety of colors. We can tell Rachael to click
on a certain item. She will find the item, move the cursor, and click on
it. We cannot figure out where she learned how to use that mouse, but
she is a real pro!
Grandma Mel came all the way from
Baton Rouge to visit Rachael over the Mardi Gras weekend. Grandma Mel
brought King Cake and crawfish etoufee for all of us to enjoy. Rachael
showed her how to throw rocks in the neighborhood pond and how to blow
bubbles on the deck. They got to read lots of books together (Grandma
Mel was a real sport), and Rachael got to share two of her favorite
places with Grandma Mel--the zoo (especially the penguins and
giraffe-ses) and "Legend Beer" - Rachael's favorite watering hole.
The 3rd Birthday Cake