March 31, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

March 2008 was a really big month for us! On this day last year, I had my ICSI procedure done and learned that all of our hard work had led to six successful embryos! Now, one year later, I have one beautiful healthy baby girl.

Last week, while standing in Nordstrom's, I heard my phone ring. The caller ID showed our infertility doctor was calling and my heart stopped. Why would he be calling me now? And, if he had questions, how do I talk about sperm in the shoe department of Nordstroms?

They had called to discuss the embryo we have "on ice" and discuss our options and plans for the embryo. Marcus and I made the decision to donate it to research because there are some possible future complications with it. I had really thought about holding onto it and we had decided to pay the storage fee for one year until we felt convicted. Knowing there are possible problems felt like an answered prayer to push us in one direction. Thank you God for Baby Abby Lu and for giving us resolve to a pending issue.

March 29, 2009 Coupon

We started Abby Lu on Pampers Swaddlers based upon the recommendations of many of my friends who are Mommy's of little girls. They are soft and clothlike. We had tried some other diapers, but I seem to be able to smell what is inside them more than the Pampers. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all of the free diapers I have received, but if I am spending our money on them, I prefer Pampers.

I read on another blog about buying from and checked it out Friday night... aren't you jealous at how exciting my life is?!? So, I bought them and used a $10 off referral code I found. The big box of diapers was $40 which is a deal! We are moving into size 2 next and I discovered you start getting less diapers for the same price as you move up. also offers free shipping when you spend $49 and they arrive in 1-2 days.

My diapers are on their way and the confirmation email they sent me offered a referral code so that my friends can receive $10 off when they sign up on their site. So, if you need diapers, enter the code ANNA1256 to save! Plus, I get $5 when you place an order.

So, if my diapers cost $40 and I had to spend $49 for free shipping, how did I get to the magic number you ask? With these darling little Robeez. I can't wait to see Abby's little piggies inside the fushia patent!

Birthday Lunch

I have had a wonderful 33rd birthday today starting with early morning greetings from Abby Lu. Her and Marcus made me a sign while I slept in, just a little!

After church, we ventured out to lunch at Hula Hut. I have not eaten there in a year and wanted a tubular taco. We were lucky to beat the lunch crowd and eat with no wait! Score!

Marcus and Abby gave me a beautiful iron cross for my collection and a new stamp of Psalm 37:4 which is just perfect for a baby page. I also ordered my vintage photo ring with Abby's picture this week. It is my big birthday and Mother's Day present.

Thank you for making my day special!

March 28, 2009

Happy Three Months Pretty Princess

Three is our lucky number- Abby Lu is 3 months old today, I am 33, it is the 3rd month and we are finally a family of 3.
Click here to see Abby's 2 month picture. She is getting her own look.

Birthday Celebration at Dad's House

Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday and my sister's 29th birthday, so we celebrated with each other, my Dad, stepmom and her mother this afternoon. It was a great day for grilling burgers, watching basketball, and eating cake! A few weeks ago I received my birthday present from them- one week in a condo at the location of our choice. With a new baby girl in tow, we decided to go simple and booked a week in East Texas to shop Canton for Christmas. It'll be great fun! Tiffany and her family are looking at Branson or Orlanod!
We arrived to find that Kyleigh and Jacque had made us a welcome sign on the gate.
Jacque's Mom, Midge, joined us and was able to meet Miss Abby Lu.
Before we left, we captured our sweet girl on the green grass. Dad has the best looking lawn in all the land.

March 27, 2009

Such a Pretty Combination

It makes me laugh how confused everyone is on who Abby Lu takes after. We are told with great conviction that she looks just like me and then told by the next person she is a spitting image of her father. I think we can say she is a perfect combination based upon the pictures we had taken tonight.

Months ago when designing her nursery, we had the three frames hung with the middle empty just awaiting Abby's 3 month photos in my childhood dress. Tonight we filled the frame with Abby in such a sweet photo. Putting her between our baby photos show her traits so well. She has Marcus' mouth and chin and my eyes, ears, and nose.

She did really well tonight and so did we. It was hard to show restraint when they bring them out all printed and framed, but we got away with buying only 2 sheets, less than $50. We joined their club, so I am sure we will be back soon. I love the immediate gratification- we took photos, viewed them, edited them, and left the store with them in under one hour.

Praise Baby DVD

Last night we tried out the Praise Baby DVD that Andrea bought Abby before she was born. We had not tried it before because I thought Abby was too young. Then I read on a blog recently about a baby younger than Abby liking her Baby Einstein video. So, we unwrapped it and gave it a go.

Abby was captivated. She watched closely in her boppy and was happy all night. I loved the DVD because the music was songs we sing in church and not silly kid songs that you find yourself singing all day.

Thank you Andrea! I will have to buy Praises and Smiles and Born to Worship next. Perfect for giving me 30 minutes to get things done around the house.

March 26, 2009

Abby's First Day of School

Abby Lu started school today. We both went and set up her crib, cubby, and space in the kitchen. And then we cried.

I held her for a few minutes and then let her new teacher Miss Lauren hold her for a while before we left. She did just fine- was smiling, looking all around, and checking out her new best friends. The school even emailed me a first day pic this morning to show me how much fun she was having. This pic was taken before we left the house. She was sweet and cute all morning!

Today and tomorrow I work a few hours in the office so we can both get used to the new schedule and then I am full time on Monday. I am so grateful to have been given almost 15 weeks off of work. I know this is good for her and best for our family; however, I also know how much I want to love on her all day long. I am confident it will get easier and there will be a day when I look forward to dropping her off. It just isn't today.

Camp Jenk- Day Four

Yesterday we said goodbye to our special helper for the week Kyleigh. We had a lazy morning of cartoons and iPhone games and then met my Dad at Barton Creek mall for lunch. She is off to great adventures with him to finish off her Spring Break.

Abby Lu and I took the opportunity to walk the mall and look for deals. I bought 2 lamps for my guest bedroom at Pottery Barn Kids for $13 each! Score! And, we found a cute dress at Baby Gap for 75% off. A baby boy would have been much cheaper!

March 24, 2009

Camp Jenk- Day Three

Today was craft day and thank goodness I was prepared since it rained most of the day! My friend Johnna told me about steam-a-seam and we had fun using it.

It is an iron-on product that allows you to trace objects onto paper and then onto fabric and iron them onto shirts or onesies. Johnna even recommended the website to get shapes. We used that site and played with fonts in Word to come up with our designs. I also had some left over iron-ons that we used.

Check out these cute shirts for Kyleigh and Cohen. I love the tie for Cohen. Hopefully he likes it too!

Here is Abby sporting my favorite one that we made. I love the typewriter font of the A and the pink zebra. All of these are 3-6 months, so look for more fun projects in just 3 short months.

After all of our crafting fun, I was tired! Two kids this far apart is hard work. While K is very helpful she also has a smart active mind that needs to be entertained. I tried to avoid putting on cartoons, but today she watched about an hour of TV so that I could relax with just Abby. She was missing me and just wanted to be held this afternoon.

Tomorrow, Kyleigh and I will be scrapbooking our strawberry picking adventures and go to Half Price Books for her favorite series, Junie B. Jones books. Then, we are off to the mall for Camp Granpa and Jacque to begin. Whew!

Camp Jenk- Day Two

Today's big adventure for Kyleigh's Spring Break at Camp Jenk was strawberry pickin' in nearby Marble Falls. The girls got all dressed up in their best strawberry clothes- Abby in her onesie and Kyleigh in a strawberry bow. We were off to meet our cousins Kristi, Landry and Bella to start the fun.

In Marble Falls, we had lunch at Taco Casa and had a little outfit change. IT WAS COLD! I didn't know it was supposed to be so windy and overcast on Monday. Thank goodness Abby had pants to wear.

Sweet Berry Farms was neat! They had three fields of strawberries in season and we picked a basket full. Last night we made strawberry shortcake and those berries were yummy! Kyleigh picked some real winners!

In addition to strawberries, they had a small petting zoo with goats, horses and baby donkeys. It was all fun until a donkey bit Kyleigh on the leg! I know, hard not to laugh at that one. She is fine, it didn't break the skin.

This large ladybug was fun. Each of the spots could open up for more children to be in the picture. I am hiding behind the bug and Abby Lu is on the front loader.

March 22, 2009

Camp Jenk- Day One

Today was day one of Camp Jenk, Kyleigh's Spring Break fun at our house! We met my Mom to pick her up at Rudy's BBQ this morning before church.

Kyleigh was great at entertaining Abby Lu during breakfast. Abby just smiled at Kyleigh!

After church, we changed clothes and drove to Salt Lick to meet our cousins and have lunch. It was fun to see the four little girls together. It is still amazing to me that Kyleigh is the big girl!

After lunch, Marcus and Kyleigh went to Brushy Creek Park to canoe.

We were hoping Kyleigh would enjoy the water and doing something new and that her super girly ways wouldn't scare her from jumping in and trying it out.

She did it! And, she even jumped in the water (waist down) afterward to play. Super fun thing to do and relatively inexpensive.

Stay tuned- tomorrow is strawberry picking day at Camp Jenk!

March 21, 2009

She Makes Me Laugh!

I just love the faces she makes! They are fun to capture. I know they come from her Daddy. Marcus can make great faces.

One Year Ago Today...

... we were moving into our new house! Yea!
Since then we have not done any home improvement, but have plans! This is the wall with the cut out where the TV is located. Last night we bought the paint to spice it up. Depending upon how it looks, we might paint a few more accent areas.
Anyone want to guess what color it will be? If you know me, it should be pretty easy, hint hint! I'll show the after picture in a couple of weeks.

March 20, 2009

Big Steps

Abby Lu will start school next Thursday when I go back to work. Today, we packed up her big bag to take on the first day. We bought her some fun printed sheets for her personal crib and packed a lap quilt made by Nana. And, for fun, she has her own Texas Tech mobile. We'll make sure she learns Guns Up real soon.

I also took the time this afternoon to take the tags and hangers off of her 3-6 month clothes. While she is still wearing 0-3 months, I know 3-6 is coming soon and many of them may even fit her now. It was a chore! Baby clothes are on crazy hangers and have lots of things tagged together. Here is the pile of hanging clothes that need to be washed now!

In addition the those hanging clothes, I need to go through the 3-6 month drawer and start washing those. She might wear an outfit twice :)

Anyone wanna come over and do laundry?

In case anyone out there has a newborn or a friend having a baby, all Old Navy baby clothes (under 18 months) are $5. I got these two Spring church dresses for $5 each! I also bought her blue jeans and a dress for next Spring.

March 19, 2009

Napping in Her Swing

We finally have a naptime forming! At 11 weeks old, Abby Lu has begun taking a nap of longer than 20 minutes and it isn't in my arms! She sleeps in the swing sometime around 3:30. It is nice to have a few moments of freedom in the afternoon.

I'm happy she is sleeping more and am sure it will make her pediatrician happy too.

March 18, 2009

Lucky vs. Blessed

With yesterday being a celebration of St. Patricks Day I started thinking about being lucky. If you acknowledge luck or wish someone good luck are you putting fate in the hands of chance and therefore taking power away from God? Can you be lucky and still be blessed?
Marcus and I continually talk about how lucky we are with Abby Lu. She really is a happy easy baby. I hate to say we are lucky and therefore give credit to anything but God.

Abby is such an easy baby. I don't attribute this to anything we are or are not doing as I know good parents have difficult babies everyday. Let me brag on her and tell you just how terrific she is:
- Started sleeping through the night IN HER CRIB at 9 weeks old
- Can be put down at night awake and PUTS HERSELF TO SLEEP
- Has no problem switching between the bottle and nursing. No nipple confusion, no latching problems!
- Loves to have her diaper changed but could go for hours with it dirty.
- Loves bathtime. She just smiles and sits contently as we go through the process.
- Likes to take walks and be outdoors.
- Doesn't mind shopping (we went into 5 stores today!) provided she can see what is going on.
- Sleeps on car rides given about 5 minutes to wind down
- Smiles, laughs and coos at us
We are so so very lucky and blessed to have this wonderful baby girl in our family. Thank you God!

March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Journey with the Jenks!
I special ordered Abby Lu her "McCoy" onesie to honor her heritage. Abby's father's mother's mother's maiden name was McCoy. So, technically, Abby is the real McCoy!

March 15, 2009

Rookie Mistake

Saturday night Marcus and I ventured out for our first dinner party with Abby. We had dinner with our care group from church. Dinner was followed by Rock Star on the PS3/TV.

Abby Lu was wonderful and enjoyed time in the bouncer or slept most of the time. Our rookie mistake was staying out way past our bedtime and discovering that Abby Lu wakes up at 7:30 AM no matter what time you put her down. Luckily Mom was spending the night and took her so we could sleep a little longer. We did miss church however!

It truly is a miracle she slept through the entertainment of the evening. I captured a few pictures of the "band".

Our hostess, Johnna, was on lead vocals for a few songs.

We discovered Marcus is good on the virtual drums. He can play with his hands, tap his feet and even twirl the drumsticks like a pro.

If the singing and playing wasn't enough, look at all of the kids in the house last night! There were 8 kids under the age of about 7. They were running and playing and having a grand time. They even got in bed to watch a movie together.

Overall, we had a wonderful time with our friends and hope to watch Abby Lu grow up around these wonderful families.

March 13, 2009

day with Daddy....

So today Anna has her program.  I am taking off work so I can do the day with Abby.  

The day went fine enough..but a couple of points I have learned...

*When the diaper says "hold 10-12 pounds" they arent kidding.  Those things can't hold more than that.
*Do not eat Buffalo wings and then let the kid suck on your finger before you wash it.
*As a dad with a daughter, plan your potty stops.  Yours.  That means planning coffee consumption.
* When babies are hungry, they are hungry NOW.  Not when you get the chance.  Pulling over to the parking lot is a concerned option.
*People look at a man with a crying baby like they see a person with a bike with a flat tire: "That poor schmuck has no clue or ability to help himself does he?"
* To make Abby happy, all you have do is undress her...taking her pants off made her laugh.  We will be correcting this response in the next few years.
*If I can invent baby socks that can stay on, I will be a billionaire.
*Abby can occupy herself on her activity mat for me to get 7 bullets done on a blog.  Make that 8.

She is going to get fed up any seco....

March 12, 2009

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

I have my first event of 2009 tomorrow here in Austin. Marcus will be home with Abby Lu and I'll be at the hotel Friday and Saturday. Today, I had a meeting with each of the hotel's department heads to go over the event. Abby Lu joined us and had her own personalized tent card for the head of the table!

She is officially the youngest meeting planner!

Before our meeting, we had lunch with our friends Kathy and little Elizabeth. Elizabeth is so sweet and very interested in the baby. She cried when Abby was out of her sight. But, when within reach, she just didn't know what to do with Abby Lu.

BTW, today was the cold day in March I was asking for. Abby Lu wore her Ugg boots! Thank you Mother Nature!

March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Bill!

We hope your birthday is as wonderful as you are!

Marcus, Anna and Abby Lu

Abby Lu Meets Maya

Yesterday Abby Lu and I hung out with our friend Julie for a few hours. She is home on bedrest (grow Baby Ross grow!) and gets bored. So, Christi and I joined her for a few hours.
Their dog Maya was very intrigued by the baby. She was wonderful and smelled her and licked her legs. Abby Lu didn't seem to mind at all.

March 08, 2009

New Jogging Stroller

Marcus and I used a handy dandy Babies R Us coupon and bought ourselves a jogging stroller for more fun adventures with Abby Lu. She loves riding in her stroller and enjoys being outdoors, so we decided it was a wise investment that we would use. I plan to take it to Sweet Berry Farms when we pick strawberries with Kyleigh, Landry and Bella later this month and to Round Top when we go outdoor antique/junk shopping with Mom and Tiffany in April. Plus, we can use it for jogging the local parks.
We tried it out today at Brushy Creek Park near our house. We walked her on the gravel trail and it handled well. It has big tires and springs to keep her ride smooth.

We walked for about 30 minutes and the baby girl did not wake up at all. (Although it looks like she was in the sun, I promise we had the shade cover on and her legs covered with a light blanket!) This, along with many others, are on the list of places she has been and never even knew. She has slept through Target and Walgreens. Funny thing is, she will not sleep at home during the day, but she'll sleep in the car, in the shopping cart and in the stroller. I feel bad shopping with a sleeping baby, but it works!

She is a Beauty!

Jenny uploaded the professional pictures of Abby Lu on her site and they are beautiful! She really captured many of Abby's facial expressions.

To see the photos, go here and click on Order Online, Portraits and then Abby Lu Proofs. The soft photos of her in the vintage carriage are classic. I can't wait to see a big one of #61 on our walls and #55 on my vintage photo ring.

Grandparents and Aunt Tiffany- We will order a 5x7 for each of you! Let me know if you want more and we can set you up with Jenny.

Carseat 2.0

What? Something is changing? Huh? What are you talking about? I don't like change.

Check it out- based upon Abby Lu's size, we removed the extra newborn inserts from her carseat this morning before church. She is just getting too long for them and too wide in her shoulders. She was beginning to look uncomfortable. Now, she seems so little in the carseat.


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