June 30, 2010

Jeff Dunham Date

Saturday night Marcus and I enjoyed going downtown for dinner and a comedy show. It is such a blessing to have a grandparent in town that wants to spend time with Abby. We recognize what a blessing this is for Abby and for our marriage. We typically use her once a month, but have a busy summer with lots of Nana time coming up! Since we were going to be downtown, we used the excuse to eat dinner at my very favorite restaurant- Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill. I love it because it is good food that your Mama would make, but your Mama is a really good cook! We had homemade potato chips with sour cream dip, green chile macaroni and buffalo meat loaf, and shared a brownie with chocolate malt ice cream.
They serve their drinks in authentic Ball mason jars. I love it!
They also bring out seasoned popcorn to every table before your meal. Oh, and you get jalapeno cheese cornbread.

We timed it perfectly- and got to our seats about 10 minutes early. Jeff Dunham was hilarious! We've seen him on Comedy Central numerous times. He is a ventriloquist with a variety of "dolls". He does a great job of making them tell inappropriate jokes and then looking at them like they need to behave and then look back at him like, "have you forgotten you control me". It is funny!

Here is a link to lots of Jeff Dunham videos on You Tube.

June 29, 2010

Happy 18 Months Abby Lu

This is Abby just one year ago.... Wow! I love to look back and "see" her. I can absolutely look at this picture and see how she morphed into the 18th month old she is. I was certain she wouldn't get better, cuter or more fun. I was wrong!
Here are a few highlights of our 18 month old:

  • We love practicing animal sounds right now and have added "chomp chomp" for an alligator and "rawr" for a lion.
  • We are also learning some sounds and colors- we have a toy barn with the letters ABCD that fit in holes the shape of the letters and she knows which letter is which and will make the sound and pick up the correct letter. C was the hardest, but she has done it a couple of times now. We also work on colors (red, blue, pink and green) on her flowers above her changing table.
  • We walk and run everywhere! She seldom asks to be lifted up.
  • Abby loves playing hide and seek and will walk out of her room and hide just aorund the corner. When you walk around the corner, she just laughs and moves around to the next corner.
  • We love pointing out body parts- nose, ears, eyes and cheeks. We'll often hold our breath and puff our cheeks out. When she points to your cheek, you "pop" open your mouth. She has learned how to make that popping noise, too.
  • Kisses and love abound! Abby gives kisses, eskimo kisses, blows kisses, gives hugs and can also give love (head in your shoulder). During dinner, she'll pull my arm so that I lean into her and she'll then put her head on my arm. It is very sweet.
  • We love church now and even say "church". We are beginning to work on praying before meals and at bedtime and learning to say "amen".
  • We have our 18th month check up in a few weeks. No issues since tubes 2 weeks ago with our ears.
  • Abby is wearing some 12-18 month clothing, but mainly 18-24 month clothing, size 4 shoes, and a size 4 diaper. She is losing her baby belly and I think her round baby face is really transforming into a little girl's face. I expect our first real haircut in the next month.

We are madly in love and can't imagine a day when we didn't have her!

June 28, 2010

My Favorite Girls

I was happy to have my two favorite girls at our home over the past weekend. Abby has finally learned Kyleigh's name and it is somewhat recognizeable. We have so much fun when she visits- she is a constand playmate for Abby and a big helper for us. This weekend we get one of our favorite little boys to visit- Cohen is coming with my Mom for the 4th. I can't wait to see if a 5 year old is like adding a second child or a big helper. I'll let you know :) ha!

Table Time

When Abby started eating rice cereal and baby food, she sat here.Once she discovered how easy it was to get out of the Bumbo, she moved to here. I love the idea of this chair, but the layer between the cloth and the plastic became a mess.

Once I discovered how much food was trapped inside the Fisher Price highchair, she moved to this. I consider this to be the best highchair out there- it is under $20 and cleans up super easy. It is light weight and easy to take apart and transport.

and now, we are moving to this! Amazing! In just one year! No wonder she sleeps so much- she is growing and learning all day long. I can't imagine how exhausting it is to try and figure out your surrounding, language and take in what you see when everything is new.
We were having real troubles with Abby in restaurants and we are an eat out family, so I wanted some solutions. We decided to make some changes at home to imitate dining out. We moved our dinner up a little and pushed Abby's back so that we all ate together. We had previously fed her about 5:45 and we ate around 7 when she was in bed. We also removed the tray from her red highchair and fed her on a plate, on a placemat at the table with us. We also seat her while we are preparing her food to teach her patience while waiting on her food. It all seems to be working- we've had a couple of really pleasant experiences.

With all of these changes, it feels like the time to move her to this seat. It attaches firmly to our dining room chair and attachs her to it. It will also help us push her up closer to the table and can travel with us so we can enjoy picnic lunches or eat at family gatherings easier.

June 27, 2010

Waterpark Picnic

We had a picnic lunch in our swimsuits with our friend Madeline on Saturday morning. We ate grilled cheese, baked Cheetos (Madeline's first time!), carrots, grapes and sugar cookies at our picnic. Both girls did a good job eating their lunch in a strange environment.
The girls played in the pool and water table. Madeline is 5 weeks younger than Abby, so they are a good match playing together. Madelines even taught Abby some new animal sounds. She knows what a goat says..... bl-ee-ee-ee-tt.

I hope these sweet girls are friends for a long time. I'm certain Madeline will keep Abby in line :)

June 26, 2010

The Red Balloon

I picked Abby up from school on Thursday and her class was doing a little performance for the school's summer ice cream social. Abby's class was performing "If You're Happy and You Know It..." but the only thing that would make her happy was having a balloon. After I tied it to her shirt, she rejoined the performance. :)
And then she was back up again coming to say hi to me. :)

As you can imagine the red balloon came home with us. And, she really wanted the big basketball from the garage the other night and had to hold it also.
The car ride was pleasant with all her toys keeping her happy! Although, I was scared to death she would pop the balloon and I'd have a wreck. Nervous!

June 24, 2010

Turtle Graduate

Abby completed her swim classes (Turtles) tonight and we honestly are all happy about that. I think we would have loved them more if I was a SAHM and we could do them earlier or if Abby had a later bed time. It was a lot to fit in each night and Abby was showing signs of stress. She was getting clingy and crying when we left the house. I think she really enjoys playing and watching Yo Gabba Gabba at night with us. She just didn't want to go. It really had nothing to do with swimming and more to do with leaving. She is wearing her Ear Band-it that was recommended by the ENT surgeon. It velcros in the back and makes it harder for her to pull her plugs out. We've already bought 2 pair and currently own 2 left ear plugs :)
Some of the skills she did learn: Abby can sit on the edge of the pool and when you count to 3, she will sometimes lean into you to "jump" in the pool. It can also work when she is standing up.

She also had fun walking up Marcus' chest and then him launching her into the pool from there.

We practiced kicking and being in the swim position a lot. She would kick every now and then, but not on command. We could also put a toy just out of Abby's reach and she would lean her arm out for it to mimic the swimming motion of scooping the water down.

This picture is deceiving- she did much better each class with Ms. Cindy than she did with us. She loved the attention her teacher gave her.

We now have some great tools and exercises to try with Abby at the pool on the weekends.

New Fruits

My Dad and stepmom have a plum tree in their yard that can yield a ton of plums each season. Knowing that, I though I'd buy a plum for Abby to try out. No go Grandpa. She wasn't impressed at all. I think the sticky juicy part had more to do with it than flavor. She doesn't like her hands diried by her food- same reason I don't eat oranges and eat pizza with a fork! We do like apples! We had bought her slices at Sonic before and she likes to gum them. A slice of apple can take her ages to eat which is nice at restaurants while awaiting our food. We stocked up on apples for school.
We plan to try our fresh peaches soon- she likes canned!

June 23, 2010

New Pastor

We have attended Great Hills Baptist Church in north Austin for almost 7 years. We tried church earlier in our marriage, but it never stuck until GHBC. This Sunday was only the 2nd pastor we've heard lead GHBC and the 3rd in the history of our church. His first sermon was fabulous! There was an excitement to the congregation like we haven't seen in quite a while. It has been 13 months since our pastor left and Pastor Forshee was worth the wait!
He was so fired up and funny! Here are a couple of quotes I really liked:

Don't be a frozen chosen- Do something for the Lord.

It is better to be a wet sinner than a dry boat dweller- get out of your comfort zone and have courage rather than sit back and not step out for the Lord.

Don't be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good- focus on the Lord, but relate to people. Don't be so biblical that you are cold or unapproachable.

It is about the Master, not the pastor.

If he is those quoteable next Sunday, I may have to start a regular "Sunday" post :)

If you are in my area and interested in Great Hills, here is the website. I'd love to welcome you!

June 22, 2010

Date Night with Doughnuts

So, Marcus and I hired a sitter to see his cousin's band play at a new club Friday night. He ended up seeing his cousin for dinner ahead of the gig instead, so we had a date night! Since Marcus missed out on Gordough's last time I went, we started our date with doughnuts! This is heavenly hash- a doughnut topped with marshmallow cream, fudge (as in the real stuff that is normally sweet and rich enough on its own) and fudge sauce and chocolate chips. Way too rich for me! I had Granny's Pie with pecans, caramel, bananas and graham crackers. Also, way too rich. I swear next time I am just having the cinnamon sugar doughnuts.
We had planned to go to a cool little coffee shop afterward to read, but it was packed. So, we drove to a coffee shop we'd never been in and it was just weird. It had an Asian theme? I've not seen such a thing before... as in the decor, menu fonts, and music. So, we ended up at the Mexican food restaurant next door. It was late, so it was dead. We had a drink and read.... of course, I was reading via ibooks on the iPad.

Fun night!

Saturday after Abby went down, we rented a movie. I honestly haven't rented a movie with Marcus in years. Redbox is pretty cool. It cost us $1.08 for the movie and was easy to get and return. Nice! We watched The Hangover. It was much better than I thought it would be. Very funny!

June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

We had a wonderful Father's Day. It is so nice to be beyond infertility on days like today. Someone recently posted about praying for men struggling with infertility today and it just reminded me what a blessing Abby is to us both!
Abby slept in a little (6:45) this morning as an early gift to Marcus and I. We started the morning off with presents. Whether I am giving or receiving, presents are open long before 8 AM in my house! Along with Marcus' Yo Gabba Gabba t-shirt, Abby gave him a coffee mug that says, "Daddy's Cup of No No". Marcus has impressed upon her at Starbuck's each morning that his cup of coffee is a no no to touch. So, when she sees coffee, she points and says no no. So darn cute that girl! We also bought him a windchime for the backporch. After presents, we had a wonderful breakfast at Panera before church then enjoyed Catfish Parlor for lunch. Sweet corn fritters will be the death of me- so good! Abby offered up one more present- a 3 hour nap- that has never happened before.
After her long nap, we went to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and some play time. It is just too darn hot to be at a "real" playground. We also ran into Lowe's for a few plants and scored an awesome discountinued outdoor ceiling fan for just $15! It is small, but has a rotating head which will be wonderful on days like today.

We are getting better at learning how to eat ice cream!

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful day with Dad today.

Two Special Men

I have the pleasure of celebrating 2 special men in my life today- let's start with my fabulous husband and my baby daddy :)

If you've read one post on this blog, you know how much Abby loves her Daddy. It can be a little embarrassing at times- she prefers him to anyone and in most settings. Who can blame her?Her Daddy makes funny faces, speaks in crazy voices, holds the cat down for her, lets her spin in his office chair, keeps a full CD of Yo Gabba Gabba songs in his car for her, gets drenched in water table fun with a smile, reads countless books on the important role a father has in a girl's life, makes bath time crazy crayon time, shares breakfast with her every morning, races to get her from child care at church every Sunday, and loves her in a way only a father could love his daughter.

I am so very blessed to watch this relationship as it unfolds and know what a rare blessing I have in a husband and Abby has in a father. I praise God daily for the wonderful husband I have and for those without. I know how blessed I am. Happy Father's Day Marcus!
I know how important a Daddy can be, because I grew up with a wonderful one!
My Dad is retired and him and my step-mom live about an hour away from us. In the winter they are home or at a deer lease about 2 hours away where my Dad is the cook for private groups visiting the lease. They travel in the summers to work at national parks. He is spending this summer in Creede, Colorado. So, I won't see him this year.

My Dad and I spent a lot of time together when I was growing up- he was very involved in 4-H with me and we drove around the state together attending almost every sporting event my high school was participating in. I never played sports, but love watching them and we did it together. He would even embarrass me on occasion with his criticism of the officials!

My Dad is disciplined, has a green thumb, is generous, is a man of integrity, has become a fabulous cook, an avid golfer, a real handyman, and a wonderful father.

Happy Father's Day Marcus and Dad! You mean the world to me.

June 19, 2010


Can you see the bump and cut on the middle of Abby's forehead? This is her first major oowie and happened alone with her father. You can imagine that we just took 2 steps backward on his helicoptering ways!
It involved a fall to the floor from a big person chair that she no doubt wanted to sit in! After some tears (by both of them!) she is good as knew. Daddy on the other hand.... just kidding!

June 18, 2010

Chillin' at the Mall

There will come a day when Abby wants to just be dropped off at the mall and not see us until the parking lot hours later. I dread that day, so we cherish fun family time at the mall and love that they installed a new carousel! We bought 3 rides for $5 and I did the first time with her. It honestly went fast in my mind and I made Marcus do the next two. I was seriously dizzy! Then, we let Abby roam the fun playground. Going there about once a month we've really been able to see her progress at this playground. She has played with the baby toys, crawled, talked with a boy in his car, learned to slide on her own, walked and now this! She got into the rocket ship on her own!
Daddy normally hovers over her in settings like this.

Ta-Da! I did it!

Daddy was definetely not hovering this time :)

Way to go Abby!

June 17, 2010

Ms. Brandis

This is Abby and Ms. Brandis on her last day in the First Steps class. Today, she moves into the Get Set class of 18-24 month olds. They were planning to move Abby at the end of the month, but Brandis is on vacation for a week and a half and it seemed like a good time to make the move. You see, Abby has gotten mighty close to Ms. Brandis lately. It took a while to get her to move past Ms. Sandy! She wraps her arms around Ms. Brandis' leg and won't let go. She has to sit in her lap during story time. She holds her hand to go on the playground. The thought is that it will be easier for her to establish herself in her new class while Brandis is away and not next door.
I can't imagine being a teacher to 8 kids Abby's age. Brandis is so calm, cool, and collected. She can carry on a normal conversation during pick up while another kid is whaling for their parents. She handles Abby's drama so well. Luckily, Abby spends some time in her new class during the mornings, so her and Ms. Becky know each other already. And, the class is filled with her friends from the past year, including her boyfriend Evan. Oh brother!
We made Brandis a thank you gift and it turned out to be with her very favorite candy! I can't wait to see Abby this afternoon in the big classroom with all the new big kid toys! What a fun day she will have!

June 16, 2010

Early Father's Day Gift

Look what Abby got Daddy for Father's Day? Are you jealous- ha! You can get your own DJ Lance Rock t-shirt from etsy!

June 15, 2010

Swim Lessons 2010

Abby is taking swim lessons for the next 2 weeks for 30 minutes at a neighborhood pool. The options for a working Mom and swim lessons are pretty minimal, so we had to take the 6 PM slot which happens to fall right at dinner time!
I picked Abby up at 5 PM with her favorite foods hoping her love of them would outweigh her lack of hunger and the snacks would help us get past the swimming time. We had milk, cheese and animal crackers in the car going to swim lessons. She is going to be devastated in 2 weeks when this is over and I don't give her milk upon pick up! This class is for a parent and child. At their first class they practiced bouncing in the wat,er blowing bubbles and holding onto a parent while kicking. All good stuff!
She had moments of fun where she was paying attention and able to do what was being asked of her. She also had moments where her fit was distracting everyone. I think her ear plugs are a little too big- they seemed to be bugging her and we spent time putting them back in and digging them out of the pool. We'll be trying smaller plugs today and hope she tolerates them better.


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