December 31, 2010

San Antonio Zoo

Happy New Year's Eve and Happy Birthday to Jacque! I am still trying to catch up on the many things we had going on the past few weeks...

On Tuesday, we spent the day at the San Antonio Zoo. It was cold and rainy, but we just took that as a bonus that we would have the zoo to ourselves! It was pretty close to true! We saw a handful of other brave families and overall enjoyed the zoo.
We spent all the time we could inside the various exhibits starting with the reptile house. No fear of the giant snakes! She wanted to spend lots of time with them.
Kyleigh and I loved this lizard- he is lime green and aqua striped and was shedding. It was neat to see his old and new skin.
With our hoodies, we stayed warm but not dry. Ugh!
The girls also loved the bird house including this hummingbird egg inside an ostrich egg. I was ready to leave this exhibit- it stunk! Wet conditions and birds is not pretty.
We did like this mohawk bird. He was so close to us, not scared, and just cool looking.
Our very favorite was this little red lion-faced monkey. He would peek at my camera and then run off and come back to "flirt" with us. Monkeys always put on a good show.
This hippo swam right up to Kyleigh and Abby. Shortly before this, he/she went #2, flung it around with it's tail and then went into the water all dirty. I was disgusted. Nature is gross.
The crocodile was also friendly. Kyleigh was impressed with how clean his teeth were- ha!
After 4 wet hours at the zoo, we picked up our souvenirs and had lunch at a nice dry spot. Abby picked out a pink monkey and Kyleigh selected a zebra.
The zoo is such a learning experience. That night, Kyleigh was recounting all we had learned to my Dad and she really learned a lot! We'll likely be doing lots of zoo trips in the coming years. I think I prefer Waco's zoo to San Antonio, but have heard Fort Worth is the best!

December 30, 2010

Winter Wonderland

On Monday morning, we packed up the car for a quick overnight trip to Westin La Cantera in San Antonio. It is our very favorite hotel and they were doing a whole slew of winter-themed activities for the holidays. We asked our niece Kyleigh to join us and picked her up on the way down. The girls were excited to see each other. Abby kept saying with a excited expression, "Ky-tee"!
The lobby had a gigantic Christmas tree and at least 100 poinsettias on display.
Among the fun the hotel planned was ice skating! Kyleigh and Marcus picked up their skates and set out on the ice. It is a synthetic ice made from recycled plastics.
Although not cold, they were skating on the ice after a few practice runs and a spill.

We went to the nearby mall for a little shopping and dinner and returned to the hotel around 6:30. Abby had skipped her nap, so I put her down while Kyleigh and Marcus explored.
Look at the beautiful lights and the skating rink at night.

Marcus hung out in the room for a little while and Kyleigh and I went to the fire pit for smores. It has been a long time since I have eaten a smore and even longer since I had made them.
Poor Kyleigh had never made them and was a little panicked when she caught our marshmallows on fire. We convinced her the burnt ones are the best.
We had our smores and then traded places again for Marcus and Abby to goo to the kids' club (aka North Pole) and play video games. Abby slept soundly for 13 hours in the pack and play in the bathroom!

Tuesday, we made a cold and wet trip to the zoo, but had a great time! More pictures to come!

December 29, 2010

2nd Birthday Day of Fun!

One of the benefits of a holiday birthday is that we'll always get to spend the day with Abby. I'll never be traveling for work and she'll never be in school. As Abby would say, "I like that."

We woke her up at 6:45 this morning to start the celebration! She was a little concerned about the flash so early, but loved us singing to her. She told people all day, "it's Abby birthday". She was in a Junk Food brand shirt that said, "Little Miss Birthday" which peaked people's interest.
Her favorite food is doughnuts. So, we took her to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. She likes the same type I do, cinnamon sugar doughnuts. No icing, no filling, a little bit of sugary crunch. She had one of those, but the nice manager at KK gave her a special snowman doughnut with crazy icing. She had a few bites of it. They also gave her a birthday tiara. Something about this kid inspires people to give to her- I hope we can extend that for good.
After breakfast, we had her 2 year well check with no shots! Exciting. We love our pediatrician, she really sat down and talked with us. We discussed Abby's progress, our concerns about her eating habits, and her new school. Dr. Sperling even saw us signing in and came out to say hello to Abby and express her denial that Abby was already 2. We were one of her first patients when the practice opened.

Since this was a well check, we were given her 2 year stats (here are the 15 and 18 month stats). In the words of our esteemed pediatrician, Abby is a hoss!

Weight- 30 lbs. 10 ounces (90th percentile)

Height- 35.5 inches (90th percentile)

Head- 50.25 cm (off the charts!)
Her head is just 4.75 cm smaller than Marcus :)

She is healthy! It is so funny to me that she is so large. She is wearing 18-24 month clothing and the few 2T pants we own are too big and too long. Clothes are not a good indicator. Our only concern to discuss was Abby's lack of interest in most foods. She gave us some advice- toddler boot camp starts on January 3rd.

After her appointment, we ran into Target to pick up a few items and stopped in the optical shop since Marcus is entertaining the idea of new glasses. Look at these cute purple glasses Abby wanted to wear. She was just laughing with them on... until I tried to take her pic!
The day of fun continued to the mall where Abby rode the train for the first time...
.. and the carousel for the umpteenth time!
For lunch, we had her favorite grilled cheese. Fuddrucker's grilled cheese happens to also be one of my very favorite foods!
We came home and she took a nap. When she got up, we went to Starbuck's to visit a college friend of Marcus' and mine that was in town visiting his parents. John was student body president and I was his vice-president my last year of college. We haven't seen each other in more than 10 years. Fun to catch up! He is defending his dissertation and will be Dr. John Howe, soon.

On our way home, we grabbed dinner. After convincing Abby to eat 4 spoonfuls of peas for dinner, we busted out her little birthday cake. Since her birthday party is milk and cookies, it seemed silly to have a cake at her party. So, we had cake tonight with her.
She put her hand in it and started licking icing before she even blew out her little 2 candle. Remind me to keep her away from other people's cakes.
We cut her a piece and she ate all the icing, no cake.
A little hyped up on sugar! I love this expression- it really sums her up!
We always have so much fun being with you. You are spunky, friendly, funny and adorable. I love your new found vocabulary and dance moves. You are so smart and don't miss a thing. You love performing for us and your show never disappoints. I thank God each day for giving us a good one. I adore you!


Two Year Portraits

Today is Abby's 2nd birthday!

We had her 2nd birthday photos down just before Thanksgiving. How cute is this? Abby loved this vintage tricycle.
We had the photo printed on a piece of metal- its is 12x24 and hangs just off the wall. I love it!

Thank you Jenny for such a creative photo shoot!

December 28, 2010

Over the River and Through The Woods

to Nana's house we go!

My Mom and Dad are busy working, getting ready for Christmas and making my bigger girl room, so I got to go to Nana's house for a few days. I was so excited riding in her car. I didn't cry when I said goodbye to Momma and Daddy, but they sure made a big deal about it. Wusses. I was so excited for my big trip that I fell asleep as soon as we left.
My first stop was Do Do's (Cohen's) 6th birthday party at the bowling alley. I got to eat cupcakes and it wasn't even snack time! Uncle Shaun tried to give me juice, but I told him "no juice!". I only like milk, water and Momma's sweet tea.
Nana and Kyleigh helped me learn how to bowl. My first time I ran after the ball and fell, but then I learned it'll come back and had more fun rolling it. I also got to see my Aunt TT on my trip. I like her a lot, especially when my Mom isn't around.
After we left the party, Do Do got in the car with us and we went to Nana's house. The next day we went and met her friend Cindy at the quilt store where she likes to go. I loved this cool bear in a highchair. I was extra careful not to mess anything up and listen to Nana.
We also got to play on the playground by Nana's house. I loved running around, sliding, and trying the big girl swings for the first time. I held on tight and didn't go too high to be safe.
The next day I visited with some of Nana's family which are my family, too! I met my Aunt Loretta and had fun at my Aunt Vicki and Uncle Cecil's house. They gave me a puppy that I have named Kaki after their puppy which I really liked. I had fun seeing my cousin Keri, swinging outside, and listening to Uncle Cecil play the guitar. I keep talking about them and hope my Mom takes me to see them again soon. My Mom said she is really proud of me for being a good girl since it was way past my bed time!
I was so tired the next day that I took an early nap while watching Gabba in Nana's chair. When I woke up, she told me it was time to go back home and I loaded up all my stuff with Nana. I was having so much fun, but my Mom and Dad missed me and were ready to see me again.
When we got home my Mom was waiting for my outside and she looked pretty happy to see me. She kissed me a lot and gave me big hugs.
Thanks Nana for letting me come and play! Since I was such a good girl, I'm hoping you will let me come back again soon!


December 26, 2010

Our Christmas

We have had a wonderful couple of days home with our mothers, TJ and Carol. Both came into town to spend Christmas with Marcus, Abby and I. Together we all joked that Abby was the free entertainment- she was just so excited to have twice her normal audience!

We took her at 8 AM on Christmas Eve to have her picture taken with Santa. We had tried the day before but the wait was 2.5 hours! We had told her about taking her picture with Santa and asked her what she would say to him. We were told, "thank you", "Jesus loves me" and "Hallelujah". In reality, she wouldn't utter a word or even look at him. She was quietly terrified!
We did have no problem making and eating sugar cookies for Santa. She did a good job laying them on the cookie sheet and helping me with the sprinkles. Unfortunately, we forgot to put them out! Santa didn't notice!
Our family and Moms went to Christmas Eve service at church Friday night. We have a new pastor and this was his first holiday service. It was just wonderful. We loved the service, at least what we were able to focus on! It was Abby's first time in the big service and she was not easily contained!
After the service, we came home to soup in the crockpot and opened presents from each other in our pajamas. Abby loved delivering and helping to open gifts. It took her no time at all to learn how to open the boxes. No gift was safe! We gave her a new Cookie Monster, Yo Gabba Gabba DVD, Christmas book, Melissa & Doug cookie set, and some CDs of children's songs for the car.
We put Abby to bed and played games. I bought Marcus a table top shuffleboard game and we played it all together. Poor Marcus lost at his own Christmas present :)
After we went to bed, Santa and Santa Mimi delivered presents to Abby! Luckily, he had delivered her new toy chest early so it was all put together and ready to hold gifts. Santa brought Abby a shopping cart, new winter clothes, a tea set, Barbie doll, bumblebee backpack, and new sippy cups.
We had told Abby Santa was coming overnight and bringing her surprises so she was excited to come into the living room on Christmas morning. We were up by 7!
She was immediately drawn to her baby doll with stroller from Mimi and her shopping cart. She would push it around the house saying, "I'm going shopping". Hmm, has she heard that before?
Her baby doll was almost as big as her! She has had fun taking care of her. It is sweet to see her do some of the things we do with her with her baby doll.
On Saturday afternoon, we were going a little stir crazy and thought our Moms who live alone could use a little quiet time, so we drove about 30 minutes away to visit my Dad, step mom, and her Mom, Midge. We were delivering a gift to Midge and holiday cheer to all!
Abby helped Midge open her gift and made us all laugh in the process. She had a fresh audience and was "on". We are celebrating Christmas with the rest of my immediate family on Tuesday night with pizza! It worked perfectly into our holiday plans.
From our family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed the many gifts given to you by family, friends, and our Lord Jesus.

New Camera Shots

I am slowly but surely learning my new camera. I used a portion of my bonus this year to buy an SLR (Nikon D3100) and it is lovely, but complex! Tonight, I played around a little and was able to capture Abby in the bathtub, a room where the lighting has always produced bad pictures.
She is at the stage where she has learned how to play a joke and loves to make others laugh. Check out the water dripping from her chin- thank you Nikon.
I love this face- the smile has a hint of trouble behind it. Shortly after this was taken, she threw a wet ball at me. Nice!
In a few short days, this little girl will be two and I couldn't be happier.


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