Friday, December 21, 2007

Stephanie's Graduation Weekend

Raina received an easel for painting and coloring and other artsy-type activities. She loves it, and would paint everyday if we let her. When she averages five paintings per session, we quickly run out of "drying" space!
But it didn't take the parents long to realize combining recent Raina passions would be a good thing. We take her paintings, cut them into stars and diamonds and other shapes she recognizes, add copious amounts of glitter, and then make new ornaments for the tree. She's really enjoyed all of the art projects as of late. We haven't enjoyed the continuous mess -- you can never really remove glitter from your life once it has emerged -- but the end products are masteful. Yay for Raina art!
Raina came home from daycare with a "COOL" sticker on her forehead. We liked the branding.
I just liked this shot. I believe Eric is trying to stall and distract Raina before we loaded up for Nashville.
Here is a companion photograph from last xmas, at a hotel in Owensboro, I believe.
Finally, we were off. (It took the Whomptons FOREVER to get out of the house for this trip!) Raina was very enthusiastic about the journey and kept repeating all the Compton names. It didn't take long for the novelty to wane; maybe 2 hours into the journey she was ready to go home. The remainder of our trip was not as pleasant as this photo suggests :)
Raina donned festive attire for Stephanie's graduation. She also acquired her very first purse, which came with a "change purse" (really that Walgreens container), sunglasses, numerous credit cards, and a day planner. She eagerly stuffed everything she could into her new purse.
Stephanie treated a large group of family and friends to a tasty brunch before commencement. Unfortunately for Raina, a big group of adults means lots of talking and not much of interest. She quickly made her own entertainment, transforming herself into Raina Dog, and crawling, barking, and fetching with glee. She got all the adults involved in a throwing/catching game (adults toss a star to land perfectly into Raina's outstretched hands) and in stuffing the star down her shirt and laughing hysterically as she tried to get it out. In retrospect, this brunch and graduation could have been a huge disaster for Raina -- her patience could have worn thin very quickly -- but she shone like the wonderful kid she is.
This picture is too cute for words.
At the graduation ceremony, Raina had a blast climbing up and down the stairs, clapping at opportune occasions, playing with her chair, and drawing pictures. Then she got bored. Mom, Dad, and Emily walked with Raina for quite a while around the stadium, trying to wear her out so she could go to sleep. She finally succumbed about 10 minutes before Stephanie walked the stage. The ample Compton shouting for Angie, Stephanie, and Barry did not wake her. Nor did the airhorns or the entire stadium celebrating at the end. That kid was tired!
A new variation on Hop, Stop. Raina played Hop, Pop for a very long time.
Yay, the ride home! All Whomptons were happy to be headed home, although none were happy about being stuck in the car again. Interstate driving is boring. But we eventually got to parts of the highway with bridges and overpasses. The whole car did an exciting countdown to the bridge and then would scream as we went under it. The last 30 minutes of the trip were by far the best!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Winter Season and Other Stories

Raina received a stacking ring tower for xmas last year, and she still enjoys playing with it. Of course, now it's in non-traditional ways.

Raina is always very proud of herself when she creates something new, and she wants to show off her successes. This may be the sixth or seventh iteration of Mr. Potato Head that day. She's just so pleased with herself!
Raina eats either K (special K) or cereal (Shredded Oat Squares) for breakfast. This time, she brought a book to breakfast and read it to herself as she ate. She told the story, turned the pages, and everything. It was eerie to see such an adult action from the little miss.
We had a transparent piggy bank (from ages and ages ago) that stored all of our coins. Raina enjoyed playing with it, carrying it around, turning the bottom, remarking on its weight, and making it oink. Unfortunately, she dropped it one day and it split right in two. She was sad to see it go, but was VERY enthusiastic about moving all the coins into her fishy bank, courtesy of Jessie and Francis. I think it took her a good 20 minutes to move everything over. She had a really good time.
Raina joyous after her weekly bath :)
It's bitterly cold outside and we layer Raina up appropriately if she's playing. Here she's wearing a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater, a jacket with hoodie, long-johns, sweat pants, scarf/belt, sock hat, and mittens to come.
The big kids playground -- her favorite place.
Raina walks around the house and assigns possession to the most mundane, random items. Daddy's shoes, Mommy's computer, Sammy's dog, Raina's toy. She even can specify between Mommy and Sammy's library books. So when she claimed this Douglas Adams book as her own, we did not fight her. For about a week she wanted it read to her, and she happily listened to the story. She even memorized a part: "Click, hum. Click, click, hum. Click, click, click, click, click, click, hum. Hmmm." She laughs hysterically each time she gets to hmmmm.
Oh, the whistle. She overwhelmingly enjoys the pained and tormented looks of her parents each time she pulls it out.
Raina made an ornament at daycare and hung it on the tree on Friday. That action, coupled with viewing all sorts of external xmas lights and decorations, prompted us to put up our own tree. Raina's first xmas had a fully decked tree; last year, we had no lights and only ornaments above her reach. This year, Raina put all the ornaments up herself, so they are concentrated at the lower branches. In fact, the obsessive organizer in Raina kept putting all similar looking ornaments on the same branch. It took a lot of convincing to move snow-people onto multiple branches.
Raina has learned that she can move her stepstool all over the house. She frequently grabs it when we're cooking so she can see all the action. It didn't take her long to realize that the stepstool would be of great assistance for tree decorating. Her favorite part, though, was when an adult picked her up so she could reach the very top.
Raina's finished product.
And for the final piece. Krystal's mom gave us a nativity scene from Alaska, which is mostly mocking of the Inuit people. But the polar bear, wolf, and caribou additions are pretty cute. Raina was entranced.