November 30, 2010

Ice Cream Treat

After Abby's nap this past weekend, we took her for ice cream. It seems to be on e of the foods she'll always eat and we thought it would feel good on her teeth. We normally do frozen yogurt, but wanted to spend a little time at Barnes and Noble, so we visited the nearby Marble Slab.
Abby had Banana ice cream and loved it. She used the little sample spoon and was such a big girl eating her ice cream just like us. We were the only people there and the man working the counter was restocking. Abby watched him closely and when he left the open area she'd say, "bye guy" and when he came back, "hello guy". It was making us all laugh.
Love that blond hair and blue eyes in the natural sunlight!

November 29, 2010

23 Months

In just one short month I will be the mother of a 2 year old. How did this happen? I am still 25 with a newborn in my mind? Amazing! (Which is strange because I was never 25 with a newborn.)

We took Abby's birthday party pictures on Sunday evening at Picture People in the mall. I love the clean white background they offer and the fact that you get your pictures immediately, but I hate how they always overbook or under staff the store and it stresses us out to occupy Abby for the waiting period. We always get good shots from them and this time was no different.

We are having a cookies and milk 2nd birthday party in January, so we took a "cookies" picture for our invites and party decor. I love this smile!
Highlights from our 23rd month.....

Abby seems to really understand us. We are beginning to reason with her. We can tell her to "wait and be patient" and she understands what she wants is coming. We can use next, again, and another with her and she gets it! The frustrations of communication are lessoning. She will ask for "another marshmallow" or "ride again". She does such a good job!

Abby isn't shy or afraid of people. I love that she brings joy to strangers in stores and restaurants. I feel like I am under a spotlight as a parent in public with people just watching me. Sometimes it is how I will control her "spunk", but often times it is just people smiling as she says hello, thank you, and bye bye to them. An older couple recently commented how smart she was as she entertained herself by sorting the pink, blue and yellow sweetener packets at a restaurant. She likes order :)

Speaking of thank you, Abby says "thank you Momma" unsolicited at least 90% of the time. She will often say it out of the blue. She is really getting better at saying "thank you Dadda" also. We are focusing on please and Ma'm and sir now. Her "yes Ma'm" sound like "yea Mon". Funny!

We are still on a mini food strike. I think it might have started when she was sick and now it is more about wanting to eat her favorites. During the food strike tortillas and marshmallows were never rejected. We are starting toddler boot camp today and Abby can eat the food set out before her or try again at the next meal. She can not live on her favorites alone!

Potty training is still moving right along. Abby is wearing a combination of pull ups and diapers and goes on the potty 2-4 times per day. Her diaper is often dry when she goes potty and she seems to be going on the potty much quicker- at first I think we had some success because she had sat on the potty for so long. She loves to have everyone in the house see her pee pee and then tell it bye bye when we flush it. She also gets 2 stickers or marshmallows. We need to just stay home one full weekend and put her in big girl "shorts" to make it happen. I think she is there and we aren't!

Sleep is still great. We are discussing buying her big girl bedding for her birthday but hate to alter her sleep pattern. She takes a 2 - 2.5 hour nap around 12:30 each day and will sleep from 7:30 - 7:30 at night. We have to wake her during the week for school. She sleeps with her toddler pillow, small blanket, Foofa and water. Our nighttime routine gets sweeter as she gets older as I know it can't last forever. I love the 15 minutes we spend together winding down at night. We count to 5, say our ABCs, and sing Jesus Loves Me together.

I am so grateful Jesus blessed us with Abby. Happy 23 months sweet girl.

November 27, 2010

Christmas Photo Preview

We had our Christmas photos taken the weekend before Halloween. I know, crazy! But, since I am making my own Christmas cards, I wanted to give myself lots of time!

I asked Sandi (high school friend and photographer) to take this picture for me. I don't know what I want to do with it, but it is so cute!
Side story.... I bought the peep toes in this picture from Nordstrom's more than 5 years ago and they STILL are not broken in. They STILL make my feet bleed. I put them on just for this picture and promptly removed them. It kills me that they won't fit because I obviously love them and they were not cheap. At least I have them for this picture!

I'll post the final product after they are mailed out!

November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

We had an easy low-key Thanksgiving. With just 3 adults and Abby (on a semi-food strike) eating, it was simple to prepare the meal. So, we got to spend more time doing crafts, watching football and playing!
We bought turkey from Rudy's and made the rest of our meal- dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cranberry salad, pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake. We had made the salad and desserts the day before. With the turkey already made, we just did dressing and mashed potatoes this morning. We ate at 12:30 and had the kitchen clean by 1:30. Easy!

Don't you just picture me getting this face in 13 years!
The food strike continued, after eating a big breakfast (almost 2 blueberry biscuits), Abby had white bread and applesauce for lunch. Frustrating! We are about to be done with our antibiotics and Abby will be learning that she will eat what is on her plate or wait until the next meal to eat.

After naptime, our friends Becky, Caroline and Madeline came to visit. They girls love to play together and they were the perfect friends to help us get through the in-all-day lull. After they warmed up, we loved watching them giggle, learn to share toys, and show us all of their tricks. I am still waiting for Madeline to count to 10 for me!
After playing for a few hours, it was time for Madeline to go home and Abby escorted her friend to the door. Shortly thereafter, we had a meltdown as Abby realized she wasn't going bye bye! ha!
We seldom shop Black Friday, so we'll be enjoying a low-key day tomorrow as well. We plan to decorate for Christmas, take a nap, and Marcus will be heading out tomorrow after the crowds die down to buy a new computer. Very exciting day for him!

Happy Thanksgiving! We recognize how very blessed we are and are abundantly grateful today and every day.

November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve Feast

We took the day off from work today to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister at my Dad and Jacque's house. It was a gorgeous day to be outside on their porch so Abby was in heaven.

Her pumpkin pie "thankful" top was her dress last year. I love those clothes that convert from dress to shirt during this age.
I was so excited that Abby showed no fear when we arrived and greeted Grandpa immediately. Although we hadn't seen them since September, we talk about them all the time and she high-fived upon entering the house.
Don't let her face fool you, this kid could swing all day long!
The most fun you can have at Granpa's house is on the golf cart. We rode down the driveway and street 20 times today. Abby loved to ride, Kyleigh loved to drive, and Cohen liked to race the cart.
A friend of the family patrolled the area and popped in to say hello. The kids had so much fun checking out his car! May we never see this kid in this seat again! When he pulled up, her turned on the lights and announced over the car speakers that the place was surrounded and there were reports of a stolen ham. Hilarious!
Abby didn't let Kyleigh out of her sight! I have a feeling she will look up to Kyleigh for many years. I hope Kyleigh is kind to her in the teenage years and will still give Abby a little attention. She will be broken hearted when Kyleigh doesn't play with her!
We had a lovely potluck lunch outside. I brought a Pumpkin Cheesecake and a butterfly took a liking to it. I fear he ate so much he will never fly again!
We were home by 5 and let Abby enjoy sidewalk chalk and an early bath! She ate a little better today in comparison to the past week, so I hope we are moving into the hungry stage of her sickness and she'll enjoy some turkey tomorrow!
Her jammies say, "Everyone is Thankful for me". We surely are!

On The Mend

Abby is either teething or has a cold, but it is enough to bother her that she stopped eating. She didn't eat much of anything from Friday to Monday, so we took her into the doctor. Luckily, no ear infection, just a runny nose, nasty cough, and clingy personality.
Teething has never been a big deal with her, but she is wanting teething rings at all times and constantly complaining about her "tee". I assume it is the start of those nasty 2 year molars.
We both worked from home parts of Monday and Tuesday to keep her rested. She loved watching Yo Gabba Gabba videos on the "puter".
I was desperate on Tuesday afternoon to get something in her system, so she had her first milkshake and loved it. We thought it would give her some calories and feel good on her teeth.
With 2 doses of her antibiotic in her system, we are seeing much improvement and her appetite seems to be coming back. Now if we can just undo all the special things we allowed while she was sick- too much TV, bad attitude, sweet foods!

November 23, 2010

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to my friend Heather (aka Mrs. Manning)!
I adore you and your family and am so glad we are friends. Have a wonderful day!


November 22, 2010

Vintage Red Photos

We met my friend Jenny of Photography by Jenny Rhea for photos on Saturday morning. We've already taken our Christmas photos, but she had access to this red truck and I just knew they'd look awesome in our home. I've seen the proofs and they really are awesome! I can't wait to order a big print for our entryway.
Along with the truck where we took many family photos, Jenny had an old rusty tricycle and Abby had so much fun riding it. I was excited to see what pictures Jenny got from the tricycle since she was practically laying on the ground snapping away!
How cute is this! She had no idea how to use the pedals, but with a little help from Daddy, she went "wee" up and down the field!

I'll be sure to share the photos we select after we order them.

November 21, 2010

Weeping Angel

My Mom stayed with us this weekend because Marcus and I had a funeral to attend on Saturday afternoon. We knew it would be one of the saddest funerals we've ever attended. Death is hard no matter the person, but the death of a child is the hardest for me to comprehend.

Our friends John and Delia (Marcus and John work together) lost their granddaughter, Lyla Grace, shortly after her birth. As Christians, we know where Lyla Grace is, but it doesn't make it easier to say goodbye. As a Mom, my heart just breaks for Lyla's Mom, Brandi. She is living my biggest fear and I know with the love and support of her parents, she'll make it. Heaven just seems so real when you imagine a child there.
Brandi recorded a reading of this poem for her daughter and it was played at the funeral. I think it is a beautiful illustration of Motherhood.

We are connected, my child and I,
by an invisible cord not seen by the eye.
It's not like the cord that connects us 'til birth
this cord can't been seen by any on earth.
This cord does it’s work right from the start.
It binds us together attached to my heart.
I know that it's there though no one can see
the invisible cord from my child to me.
The strength of this cord is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed it can't be denied.
It's stronger than any cord man could create
it withstands the test, can hold any weight.
And though you are gone, though you're not here with me,
the cord is still there but no one can see.
It pulls at my heart, I am bruised... I am sore,
but this cord is my lifeline as never before.
I am thankful that God connects us this way
a mother and child death can't take it away!

-Author Unknown

I know her family would appreciate all the prayers you can give- for physical healing, emotional strength, and peaceful understanding of life without their baby girl.

November 19, 2010

Wolverine and Beast

If you know Marcus, you know he is fond of comic books, cartoons, and X-Men. He shared a few of his X-Men with Abby recently. She calls them "mean men" and makes her meanest sounds when she sees them. I am certain eventually Marcus will teach her who are the nice guys, who are bad guys, and who fights with who. For now, they are all mean men and Marcus couldn't be happier.
I distinctly remember riding in our Ford Escape before Abby and Kyleigh having a bag full of X-Men to play with on our ride. She would ask Marcus about each person- are they a good guy or a bad guy? It is one of those moments that you share with another child and hope and pray that you'll share with your own. I am certain that was one of those moments for Marcus.
Look for more Wolverine and Beast play from Abby soon, if Marcus has anything to do with it.

November 18, 2010

Messy Bessy

This is the look I get everytime I ask Abby to say "Co Co" which is Cohen's nickname. She says it " Do Do" which always makes me laugh. So now, when I simply ask she will laugh first. I love the way that little brain works!
Yogurt and applesauce are dinner time treats in our house. They are a big mess and we save them for dinner when a bath immediately follows.
She is eating in these pictures with her right hand, but eats with her left half the time. I still have no idea what "handed" she will be- a little surprise God is holding onto.

November 17, 2010

Big Steps in Potty Training

Consider yourself warned....

Multiple times last week Abby had success on the potty at school. So, on Friday morning while at Target I went looking for her diaper replacement (I don't want to say the "p-word" and end up with weirdos Googling me) and found these. They make them in 2T for Foofa fans! So cute! We bought our first sets- Foofa and Hello Kitty.
My timing could not have been better since Abby kept her diaper dry all day at school on Friday (22.5 months old). She went on the potty 4 times. I am just amazed that she is learning all of this so early and so easily with little prompting from us.

We bought pull ups and are using them some during the day to help her learn the concept and will likely do a potty training boot camp and stay home without diapers one weekend soon. Diapers really are convenient so I move into this next phase with some selfish hesitation, but I am also so excited and proud of Abby's maturity.

November 16, 2010

Impromptu Photo Session

We were super early to church this morning and since we happened to match, we took some fun photos. I love the big open greenery and trees in front of our church.
It works out perfectly to snap early morning sunlight photos.
I wish she had been looking at the camera- this one would have been perfect!
She couldn't be contained, so we let her run around! Crazy girl!
And then, she got to experience the classic kid favorite being thrown in the air by Daddy.
Although I am certain we are in full toddler mode-refusing food, ignoring me, throwing and hitting, I'm loving the moments like this when we can capture some happiness, at least until the next fit..

November 14, 2010

Read's Baby Shower

My girlfriend Natalie and I hosted a baby shower for my cousin Kristi and her upcoming baby boy, Read. It was a simple and small brunch shower, which are my favorite kind. We had a green eggs and ham theme which was fun- I love the green and orange together. Natalie and I even dressed the part :)
Baby Read has a big family awaiting him- he will have 6 aunts and uncles, 4 first cousins all under the age of 5, and at least 2 great grandmothers! Many of the family were in attendance to celebrate him on Saturday.
I made a rookie mistake bringing my own toddler to a shower I was co-hosting. It is hard to be hospitable, serve food, decorate, keep track of gifts and watch your child. She was all over the place! Luckily, we had planned for Marcus to pick her up near the end of the shower so I was able to help clean without the distraction. Lesson learned :)
Congratulations Ben, Kristi, Landry and Bella. We can't wait to meet your baby brother!

November 12, 2010

New Floors

I post much of my home decor stuff at Your Little Birdie, but this is too big to not share here also! I will share all the flooring details and process there and just the giddy excitement here!
We hired Lowe's to install new laminate wood flooring in our living room and formal dining room this past week. It took them 2 full days to do it all.
It was a big mess watching it happen- with slab issues, carpeting tacking coming up, and dust everywhere, but the finished product is so worth it!
The new space almost echos- it feels so big and open.
Abby says the new floors are "neat". We just love them!

November 11, 2010

Pum-Pum and a Preview

If Abby could really talk, she would tell you that pumpkin bread is her very favorite dessert. She loves homemade pumpkin bread and the yummy slices sold at Starbucks. A hotel delivered 2 fresh loaves of pumpkin bread to my office this week and I knew exactly who would eat them!

Do you see the joy in that face?
And, do you see the sheer exhaustion caused by a day of learning, time change and a late dinner?
Dinner in our house has been a little off the past 2 nights because our living room looks like this!
Changing out floors while living in your house is a big mess! But, it will be a beautiful mess come tomorrow! I can't wait to share my "after" pictures with you!

November 10, 2010

The Life

Isn't this the life- being picked up from school with your favorite toy and drink ready to go? Then, wrapping up in your blanket with your favorite video for the ride home?
Lucky girl!

November 08, 2010

Weekend without Momma

I spent the weekend in Dallas for work and my Mom was busy, so Marcus was a hard working single parent for 4 days. He was smart and filled the days with playdates and activities to keep Abby busy and help her take long naps!

Friday night included dinner with Madeline at Chick-fil-a. Saturday morning, Marcus and Abby celebrated Bella's 4th birthday party. Landry, Bella's sister, is such a little Mom. She is so sweet with Abby Lu.
Speaking of sweets, Marcus used a cupcake to give Abby the sugar high needed to make it home for nap time. Genius!
Happy Birthday Bella! We love you!

After naptime on Saturday, Miss Addison came over to play outside with Abby. I hear Abby was fine sharing her chalk and her dinner, but not her swing! ha!

Luckily I was back home Sunday afternoon. Abby learned the word "neat" and "miss" while I was gone. If I tell her I missed her, she'll tell me "I miss Momma". So sweet.

I don't travel for work again until March. Praise the Lord!

November 07, 2010

Girls Night Out

This past week I got to see one of my favorite people- Mary! She left the comforts of America and her family to explore love, adventure and knowledge and lives in Switzerland. She has learned French and works for a major international corporation as their Online Communication Manager. Oh, and she isn't even 30 yet! We met her for dinner with our friends Judy and Andrea. We all worked together a few years ago.
L to R: Judy, Mary, Andrea and I

Mary wanted to see us, but also to eat Gourdough's. We have all eaten there a handful of times and posted about it on Facebook and she had to be a part of it. And, she did! They girls ordered the blue balls and this is how blue those bad boys were. I can only imagine what that is doing to their innerds. Yikes!
We had a super fun night of real conversation and I loved it. We are secretly planning a trip to see her next year. Oh how much I would love that!


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