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Christmas is fast approaching, and Calvin has no clue. It will be interesting to see how he reacts on Christmas morning! We took him to breakfast at the Beachcomber last weekend and took some pictures around there. The pics of the International are especially for Grandpa Butch and Uncle Scott:

Calvin’s up to all sorts of monkey tricks these days. Lately he’s into stacking anything he can get his hands on, and gets pretty creative with his constructions:

Salt, pepper and jam (sorry for poor quality photo):

Cups and orange:

He’s also gotten into the Sit & Spin that Uncle Ivan and Aunt Treana gave him:

Trust Calvin to find a more dangerous way to use it. He also uses it as a stool (sitting on the steering wheel), and once I came into the room and caught him using it as a ladder to reach something on the kitchen table (standing on the steering wheel).

Bonus – cute pics of Calvin in his robe:

That’s it for now, but Christmas and birthday are coming up so we’ll have lots of pictures to post in the near future.

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The dude is almost 2 – I can’t believe it!

He’s added a lot of words to his vocabulary, although he still leaves the ends off of most of them so many sound very similar. It’s great to have him communicating more, though. He’s also starting to point out and say the letters that he recognizes on book covers and so on. His favorite is u, although he can’t really tell the difference between u and v, so he calls them both u.

We went up to Seattle to visit my sister and her family over Thanksgiving. Calvin was sick while we were there, so he wasn’t his usual energetic self and did NOT enjoy the snow:

We tried again later after we borrowed some better snow clothes, but didn’t have any luck. So we hunkered down in the house with the family and the cat and dogs:

Gizmo and Pluto, the French Bulldogs, were very good about snuggling up with us and keeping us warm. Gizmo is the one in the picture above.

Calvin is an especially big fan of cats. My sister’s cat is not an especially big fan of Calvin:

He’s feeling much better since we got home, and is back to his old hijinks.

It’s that time of year again. I’m feeling behind because we haven’t selected our holiday photo card yet. I like to send photo cards every year, because they’re my favorite cards to receive. I always save them and it’s fun to go back and look at the changes in our family and friends’ families from year to year. Plus, photo cards feel personal even without a hand-written note, which is great for me because if I had to write a note on every card they’d never get sent. Sad, but true.

It used to be hard to find photo cards in a style I liked. Now my problem is choosing one out of many gorgeous designs. This year I’m using Shutterfly and they have a ton of great options. You can go with a design printed on photo paper, like this one:

If you want to upgrade a bit, they also have some great designs printed on card stock. Since I’m going to have a hard time choosing from the many pictures we’ve taken of Calvin this year, I might go with a collage style that lets me use more photos:

I also like the cards that let you write a short letter to go with your photos. This is a nice option for someone like me – I know I’ll never get around to writing a full account of our year, but this way I can hit the highlights, at least:

Anyway, I’m still deciding, but it’s great to have so many options!

Full disclosure: I’m writing this post as part of a Shutterfly offer to bloggers for free holiday cards. I’ve never written a sponsored post before, and the reason I feel comfortable writing this one is that I’ve used Shutterfly in the past and been very happy with the quality of their products and the service I received.

Yes, we actually stood in line and paid money for this.

Longer post coming tonight, I promise!