January 31, 2011

Eating "Out"

When we picked Abby up from school on Friday, we knew we had to go out to dinner so that we could eat out! Wasn't it just gorgeous? It felt like April in January!

We ate at our new favorite go-to-neighborhood spot Maggiore's. The inside is more of a family-friendly sports bar with TVs, pizza, video games, etc. The outside dining space was empty when we got there!
While waiting on our food, Marcus and Abby ran around the grass. Marcus was swinging her in the air and then she'd try and walk and fall. We all found it hilarious!

After we had eaten, another family came outside and brought their dogs. Abby was in heaven and they were kind enough to let her pet them. I don't know how long we will be able to hold off without getting a dog :)
What a great night and weekend to be outdoors! I love it!

By the way, Abby is making huge strides and ate really well at dinner! We always pack a veggie and sometimes a fruit cup and that helps to supplement the kids meal which isn't always the best. Abby had corn with her "peet-za" (cheese bread).

January 30, 2011

Jesus Loves Me

Abby sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children" on the way home from church today. I cried. I am in awe of how Jesus speaks to me as a Mother. I don't know if it comes from being a Mom or the path we took to get here, but I am here and I am grateful.
Thank you sweet girl for inspiring me to be a better daughter to Him each day. I promised to deliver when you were born and I stand in awe of how that happens in the little day-to-day activities of parenting.

January 28, 2011

Our New Favorite Toy

Have you seen the Aquadoodle? It is our favorite new toy!
I found it at Target in Cedar Park; although, online it states it is out of stock.
It is a large vinyl like mat that you can write on with a "pen" filled with water. The water on the special paper makes it turn from white to blue and then dries and disappears in under 5 minutes.
Since it is just water, there is really no mess. And, the mat can be laid on the floor or sat on the table and travels well. Notice, at almost 25 months, Abby still uses both her left and right hand for writing. God is still leaving that one as a surprise!
Here is our first Aqua-masterpiece!

January 27, 2011

Food and School Updates

This is Abby's plate after dinner the other night- this is a huge success! We fell into this bad habit of giving Abby only a few foods- foods we knew she liked and her options were slim. We stopped trying to introduce new foods because it had become such a fight at every meal. Abby was eating less and drinking milk to get her nutrients and to get full.
One of the biggest draws of the new school is that they provide her breakfast and lunch. We don't get to pick her favorites- she eats what they provide, what all the kids are eating, or she doesn't eat. The first week- she didn't eat. She cried and begged them for more milk to fill her belly. She ate like crazy as soon as we got home, she was starving.

We are more than 3 weeks in and things are getting so much better. She will try new foods. She eats more food at a sitting than we've ever seen. She doesn't finish her milk at most meals. It has been a tough transition and we are still in the middle of it, but I think the worst is behind us.

We are seeing her lose some of the milk belly and thin out a little. Nothing drastic and probably nothing anyone else would notice but us. I look forward to the day when she fully eats what we are eating- we are giving her what we eat for the most part now. Sometimes she eats it and sometimes we offer a marshmallow for eat bite of vegetables she swallows. At any rate, we are getting our nutrients in and that makes this Momma happy.

January 26, 2011

Abby's Ahlumile

This is Abby's Mile doll. She currently carries her everywhere- no strange looks in the stores yet :) She likes to lay her down and cover her in her lovie (pronounced wubie) and tell her night night. She sits across from Abby at her little blue IKEA table when we eat. She is well loved when she is dropped and hits her head. When we sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and substitute names for children, we always request that I sing about Mile.
Here is the crazy part- the other day at the refrigerator, Abby saw Ahlumile's picture on the door and pointed and without hesitation said, Mile. She knows- she has made the connection that her doll Mile is named after the little girl on the kitchen refrigerator door.

The next step is really to talk about Mile's life- her house, her family, her food, her schooling, etc. We sent her her first care package with hair bows and silly bands. I think her next package will include a wubie. :)

This is important. This feels good. This feels right. This matters.

If you missed the original post about Mile, click here.

January 25, 2011

Making Good on my Resolution

This my friends is genius! Do you like my before and after picture? Yep- all done with Picnik my new favorite site. They have lots of free stuff, but tonight I joined as a premium member (only $24.95 per year) and I played in the touch-up area. I now have on lipstick! ha!
Here is what I did to myself in the picture:
Red Eye
Cross Process
Teeth Whitening
Eye Brightening
Instant Thin

Give me more time and I'll be a supermodel!

January 24, 2011

Snip Snip- Abby Got a Haircut

We took Abby for her 2nd haircut this weekend. She was getting shaggy and since she likes to pull her bows out at school, we really need to have it trimmed up and her bangs shorter.
She did great during her cut- eating a Dum Dum and watching Yo Gabba Gabba videos on Marcus' phone.
Since she was being good, I asked the hairdresser to do something more time consuming that just a trim, I had her angle Abby's hair. So stinkin cute! It is the perfect little bob in the back and just a tad longer in the front. I love it! We did 2 inches in the back and about 1/2 inch in the front.
It is really getting darker, so I am thankful we didn't lose too much blond. I'm pretty certain her hair will be a light brown in the next few years. It will be just beautiful with her pretty blue eyes.

January 23, 2011

Little Stinker

I love the personality that really emerges at this age! Add to a little spunk breathing treatments full of steroids and you get one crazy Abby Lu! It is hard to control her when she is wired after the nebulizer treatments.
But it does make for some cute pictures full of spunk!
And, one cute little girl hiding from the camera.
Parenting this child is such a joy, even on days like this! ha!

January 22, 2011

Sick Day

Like most kids in our area this past week, Abby spent extra time at home after a visit to the doctor on Tuesday. She has been congested with a runny nose so we took her in and she has a respiratory infection and the start of an ear infection.
Since she wasn't running a fever or contagious, we spent the day at home just for extra precautions and to give her breathing treatment with a nebulizer every 4-6 hours. After her nap, Abby and I went to Chick-fil-a so that she could run around. We were the only people there and she had fun checking everything out!
Then, to make extra sure she felt better, Momma bought her a new pair of shoes. hehe! She is moving into a size 6 and I just could not resist.
All is better now!

January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Granpa

Happy Birthday Granpa!
We love you- have a wonderful day enjoying the senior discount all over town!

January 19, 2011

January 18, 2011

New Playdough

I asked my sister to buy Abby some playdough for her birthday. My friend Billye had recommended it for restaurants and Abby loves it. Tiffany went above and beyond and made her a whole playdough kit of goodies.
Since it was cold and rainy this weekend, we busted out the playdough. Here is a link for all kinds of simple homemade playdough- I'm not sure which one she made. Along with the playdough, Tiffany included cookie cutters. They are fun to help Abby learn shapes.
Thanks Tiff- it was a perfect rainy day activity.

January 16, 2011


This is Jose. He is a greeter at our church and him and Abby are tight. The whole way to church she says his name.... the whole way! Sometimes she runs right to him and sometimes she plays the shy uninterested teenage girl part. ha!

Today she was excited to see him. He is so kind- always leaning down to her level, giving her big hugs and telling her how pretty she is. He is a grandpa so he knows!
Two other funny things that happened this weekend I want to remember:

Abby started calling Marcus by his first name. It cracks me up! She yelled it across the house, "Come on Marcus, let's go Marcus". We both died laughing!

Abby calls Marcus' old childhood X-Men plastic figures "mean men". It was what I called them when she first played with them because I have no idea what half of their names really are. Yesterday afternoon, she picked one up, wrapped him in a blanket and sang, "Rock-a-Bye Mean Men". I wonder how many Wolverines get special night time treatment.

We are enjoying a pretty quiet weekend at home with time at the library, a baby shower, football and playing inside. Stay warm!

January 14, 2011

We're Having a Party

and you're all invited!
We had Abby's birthday party last Saturday afternoon and we invited (or so it felt like) every kid Abby knows. We had over 30 kids in the house and another 20 or so adults. It was wild, crazy and lots of fun! It was also exhausting. When everyone left, this is how my child ended up- lounging in her chair, eating cheese and crackers left from the party tray and watching TV. She was pooped.
Here is our happy family before the party started. Abby wasn't quite sure what was coming- the house was rearranged, her toys were in the living room, and we kept saying party with an excited expression.
Luckily, it was sunny out and we put chairs, balls, and fun outdoor toys outside for the kids to spill into the backyard. Our friend and babysitter Mary was at the party and she pushed Abby in the swing for ages! I didn't even see Abby for most of the party. Mary said 4 other kids came and went and Abby stayed in the swing.
Abby did come inside when she heard Uncle Shaun was here. She loves my sister's family and likes to roll call each of them. She missed Uncle Shaun last time.
We also had an indoor fun area where kids could make felt cookies. A few people made a bunch of the cookies and Tiffany took the rest home to her class of preschoolers.
Abby's boyfriend was at her party and we took the opportunity to get some pictures of the two. These crack me up and I hope we get to use them in the future- hilarious! She looks innocent in the upper left picture and guilty as sin in the bottom right after the kiss.
Here is a collection of some of the milk mustache pictures from our friends and family. We thought of this idea at the last minute and I'm so glad we did. Super fun!
We had a fun afternoon with our guests. Since we had so many cookies, we skipped the cake this year. We also asked our guests to bring gifts we could donate to a children's charity, so there was no real gift opening part of the party. Abby didn't know the difference! Thanks to everyone who donated, we have a trunk full of toys to donate.

The party details with lots of pictures are on the craft blog here.

January 12, 2011

Birthday Wishes

We hope you have a wonderful day! After spending just one evening with you, Abby is clearly smitten. When we do family roll call, she always includes you and Kaki! We can't wait to see you again soon. Eat lots of cake!

January 11, 2011

Baby Love, My Baby Love

Abby loves singing cards! She has received 2 from our friend Steve and played them until they died. They are perfect entertainment on the changing table!

Abby's Mimi sent her a singing birthday card- she loved it! We played Baby Love a good 10 times in a row once it was opened.
Thanks Mimi!

January 10, 2011

Oh Silly Girl

Here is a sneak peek (or a repeat if you are on Facebook with me) of Abby's party. We had about 50 people at her party, so I barely saw her! Luckily, our friend and babysitter Mary attended and she pushed Abby in the swing forever!

I passed her in the hall at one point and know she was in hog heaven because I asked her if she was having fun and she smiled and threw her hands in the air. She kinda gritted her teeth and made a face of pure joy and giddiness. It might have to do with many of her favorite people in her house or the fact that she had way too many sugar cookies!

Lots of picture to come, hopefully tonight!

January 07, 2011

2011 Travels

I am looking forward to 3 really cool trips this Spring. I travel so much for work (it seems although it really isn't much at all!) that I am excited to pack a suitcase without business clothes!

In February for Valentine's Day we are staying at the historic Adolphus Hotel. I won a free night almost a year ago and we are going to use it! I can't let something so beautiful and generous expire.
This is one of the hotel dining rooms- so pretty.
To complement the fragility of the hotel, we are seeing a Dallas Stars game. ha! I also won 4 tickets to a game, so we are meeting up with Marcus' cousin and his wife to see the game. I love sports, but know very little about hockey. They used to have season tickets, so they'll be teaching us. We are 4th row behind the "dug out" of hockey, what ever that is called!
In April, a few weeks after my birthday, we are going to Savannah, Georgia to celebrate. I have always wanted to visit Georgia and the Carolinas. I have to be in Charleston for a few days for work, so we are extending that trip to stay in Savannah. I look forward to eating at Paula Deen's restaurant, seeing historic homes, and sipping sweet tea on a front porch.
And, if it couldn't get any better, I am saving my money and going to Switzerland in late Spring with my girlfriend, Andrea, to visit our friend Mary. She lives in Lausanne in the French Alps.
We are going after the snow melts and hoping to fly in or out or France or Italy to see an extra site while we are there. We've talked about Paris and Milan. Switzerland looks just beautiful and how exciting to have a transplanted native to help us.
About 2 months ago, I opened a savings account that removes an extra $1 from my checking account each time I use my debit card and places it in my Swiss bank account (hehe). It is amazing how much money that generates that you don't necessarily feel. I'm excited to plan this trip and get away with a couple of great friends.

Don't worry about Marcus missing this one. He isn't interested in going to Europe, isn't willing to fly for long distances, and is planning his own guy trip for the Fall. We recognized we have only a few years to take our own vacations before Abby calls the travel shots. Disney is coming before we know it!

January 06, 2011

Daddies and Daughters

Bill and Mackenzie came over to play on Saturday afternoon. Marcus and Bill have been friends since 2nd grade and we don't see them often anymore, but had a fun few hours playing on the swings, with baby dolls and having a tea party with fake food, shopping and kitchen toys.
Believe me, I wanted a tea party picture!

Thanks for coming to play!

January 05, 2011

Meet Ahlumile

This is Ahlumile, or Mile (pronounced Millie) as we like to call her. She lives in an AIDS affected area of South Africa and she is two years old. She lives with her mother and sister in poverty. She has the most serious eyes and crazy hair. She likes to play with toys and helps out around the house by being good. I've never met her, but I care about her. I don't know her Mother, but I bet she cares about me and I know we have a few things in common.
Our family has joined the World Vision family and select Mile as our sponsored child. We have "adopted" her, so to speak. We have talked about this for over a year- reading about Compassion bloggers and hearing about World Vision at various Casting Crowns concert. When I was given a raise this past month, I knew we were prompted to share our financial blessings with another.

We selected Mile because she turned 2 on December 29th... the same day Abby turned 2. When we found out we were having a girl, the 2nd name we had selected was Millie. We also for a short time were pregnant with twins and likely would have named the second child, had she been a girl, Millie. The Lord is in the details!

We are hoping to build a relationship with her through letters and teaching Abby about sharing and caring for others. We bought Abby a small doll that looks similar and named her doll Mile and placed Ahlumile's picture on the refrigerator. We are hoping to make the connection with her slowly.

I pray her Mother knows that we love her daughter and want to help her with an education, fresh water, medical care and basic needs. All the things you know she wants to provide herself. It breaks my heart to think about Abby being sick or hungry and not being able to help her.

I'll keep you all posted on our sweet little Mile. If you want to know more about World Vision, click here. One of the things I love about the organization, we have Mile and Mile has us. Nobody else. It makes it so much more concrete. I am not sending money to a school or a village, but a person. She isn't relying on something abstract, but she is waiting on a letter or assistance from just us.

January 04, 2011

Hard Day

Abby started at a new school on Monday and she didn't have a very good first day. It was to be expected, but was still hard on all of us.

We switched schools because the new one provides her meals and that means no packing lunches, washing dishes, and buying groceries for us. For Abby, it means trying new foods and getting out of the packed lunch rut of corn dogs and chicken nuggets. Her new school also has more toys, bigger classrooms, and an indoor play area for fun on cold or wet days. We know it was a good decision and Abby will love it eventually. She even started yesterday with two friends from her old school- we had no idea they were joining us. A fun surprise for Abby!
Her day was long, structured, new and likely just a little overwhelming. Having been home for 2 weeks, she enjoyed all the things we enjoyed- sleeping in, watching TV, snacking, naps, shopping, etc. Not having her favorites for lunch was the beginning of the meltdown for her. When I picked her up, she was weepy, sensitive, and clinging to her blanket. Her new teachers have no idea how far from normal that is! To top it off, we've asked them to help us in limiting Abby's milk intake and she really wanted milk with her snack.

She was fine by the time Marcus left her this morning and when I checked on her a few minutes ago, she was clinging to her blanket, but not crying for us. Fingers crossed she at least maintains this outlook for the remainder of the day. Being a toddler (and parent!) is hard :)

January 03, 2011

Hi Ho Hi Ho...

... it is back to work we go!

Both Marcus and I have been off the past week and I was off most of the week before. Besides one overnight trip to San Antonio, we have been home for the past 2 weeks and let me say, I wouldn't make a very good SAHM. I love love love Abby, but I also am ready to leave the house, dress up, talk to adults, and quietly sit at my computer. I can't watch another episode of Gabba. I can't argue over changing diapers, taking a bath, or getting down from the bed again. I am also quite certain my really social child doesn't want to play "shopping" with me, draw on her little notepad, or swing on the one swing our backyard can offer. We are all just over family time!
I have a lot of respect for Moms that can stay home 5 days a week alone with their children. There are days when I absolutely hate going to work and leaving Abby at school, but God also gave me these two weeks to help me see how I am made and that my time away from Abby enhances my time with Abby. I am thankful for these past 2 weeks and that I have a wonderful job to go back to this morning.

January 02, 2011

2nd Christmas

We had Christmas with my sister, Dad and Jacque on the 28th in New Braunfels. It worked perfectly in our plans since we were in San Antonio that day. Can you tell Abby loves seeing her grandparents?
She received lots of wonderful presents. Tiffany teaches pre-K so she always picks out educational toys for Abby. And, Granpa and JaJa gave her fun toys and money for college.
Cohen was extra excited to have everyone over, open presents and eat brownies. We bought him a new Wii game, a storybook Bible, and pajamas. I always buy them pajamas for Christmas.
You think Kyleigh liked her new skirt? I bought it months ago and knew she had to have it! I bought her a pink t-shirt to wear with it. She'll likely pair it with black leggings and some crazy sparkly shoes! We also bought her a pencil set and pajamas with makeup on them. Fun to be a girl!
We had a wonderful crazy time with everyone!

January 01, 2011

My 2011 Resolutions

I am excited to tell you that my 2010 New Year's Resolution was kept! I wanted us to make praying before a meal a regular occurrence and it happened. Most often our prayer is led by a little blond with pigtails before we even sit down to eat! Amazing what a child can do! She folds her hands and says, "thank you Jesus for my food, Amen" every time we eat! She also will repeat, "for my food, Amen" when ever I say thank you Jesus even if we are not eating. I love her discipline.

I have set 2 goals for 2011- one requires discipline and one is purely vain.

I am joining Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memorization Team in 2011 with my friend Heidi. I even bought us these cute little spirals. Heidi is a pro and my accountability partner! We will memorize 24 verses by the end of the year and keep them all logged into our cute little index card spiral. I am honestly scared to death as I haven't had to memorize anything in a long time, but I know the Lord will be with me on this one!
If you want to join in, the "rules" are all right here. Let me know if you are playing along and we can all lift each other up.

Resolution #2- to wear more lipstick! Look at this picture, my lips are the color of my skin. Seriously, I don't wear it much because I kiss on Abby all day long, feel stupid reapplying in public and can't find just one color I love.
I reject so many candid shots of myself because of my stupid lips. I plan to fix that this year!

Good luck planning, making and keeping changes in the coming year!


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