January 30, 2012

Pfun with Pipe Cleaners

I saw this activity on Pinterest and last time we were at Hobby Lobby, Abby picked out her pipe cleaners. The other night after dinner Abby sat in Marcus' lap and started playing!
Here is Abby playing with her worms! This activity improves fine motor skills and helped Abby really focus on getting them all the way inside the holes! I am sure we will pull it out again soon!

January 28, 2012

Soccer Update- Week 3

We had a great Saturday! Abby's soccer game was at noon today, so we were able to have a normal morning. We had doughnuts, Marcus and Abby went to storytime at the library and then we had lunch with our friend Madeline, who also attended story time.

This week was our thrid week and soccer and our third game. So much improvement in her attention to the game! When she was in the game she was running with the kids! Major improvement. She even kicked the ball a few times! There are 2x as many kids as can play at once, so Marcus sat on the floor with her when she was out and they talked about the game. The biggest thing we are teaching her is NO HANDS! We also have noticed that she kicks more with her left foot, rarely her right. 

The little team and Coach Mark! We taught Abby that Coach Mark is a teacher just like Ms. Nicci (her MDO teacher) and that she needs to listen to him. This week she seemed to listen to him better! Hooray!

We are playing soccer through our local YMCA which I really love! It has been a good investment for our family. We signed up for our first Free Family Friday. They offer free childcare for members on Friday nights, but they sell out quickly. I booked our February spot this morning. Yea for date nights!

January 24, 2012

Picnic in the Park

On Friday, Abby and I enjoyed the warm weather at a picnic in the park with our cousins Read, Bella, and Landry. All morning Abby had been talking about having a picnic just like Minnie and Mickey do on an episode of her beloved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We packed lunch for her and after eating quickly and begging to go play, I let her loose on the playground. We went to the Williamson County regional park playscape. It was perfect- not crowded, small playscape, near the parking lot (good for lugging kids and lunch), and had covered picnic tables so that Kristi and I could visit.

Abby would play with the girls for a while and then come back and talk to Baby Read. The girls are older than Abby and a little braver :). At one point Abby came running to me and told me she had gone down the slide. I was so proud of her for going down the big slide (2 story) and asked her to do it again so that I could see her. Um, yea, she meant the baby slide. :)

She sure is cute when I can get her to smile!

Bella and Landry right before we left- Abby refused to smile with them. I love these girls and always learn so much from the way Kristi talks to them and treats them. I seriously don't think I have seen two siblings who love each other this much and behave so well with each other. That I am learning takes hard work, so good job Ben and Kristi!

I look forward to more sunny days and picnics in the park this Spring!

January 21, 2012

Abby's Three Year Portraits

Abby and I had her three year portraits done the first week of January. We used Sarah Phillips Photography for the first time and I loved her! She is the sister of a church friend of ours and ran a special on Facebook just before the holidays that her sister shared on her wall. I am always looking for an inexpensive photographer that will ultimately give you the CD of the images. I do too much digitally to only have a printed version.

I knew the location and look that I wanted and Sarah was eager to try something new. We took the photos just before sunset at Southwestern University in Georgetown. They have the biggest trees and best old buildings! I wanted a very vintage look to the photos.

Abby's dress inspired my look- it is very 50's. I am certain my grandmother must have worn one like it! I got it just before Thanksgiving in the holiday dresses at Buy Buy Baby. They were buy one get one free. So, I bought it and her Christmas dress that she wore to the Nutcracker. 

Her pink coat was a hand me down from church friends- it is beautiful and I'll be really sad when she outgrows it. The large silk flower I found on etsy to match the dress. It came from Germany!

This one below is currently my screen saver. I love these doors to the university's chapel!

The one is Marcus' favorite!

I love them all- in the end I got 2 CDs full of pictures from Sarah. Abby wasn't in the best mood and I am so glad she got a few treasures out of a grumpy girl!

January 20, 2012

Abby's Busy Schedule...

We have Abby involved in both dance and soccer this Winter/Spring and it is fun to see her make friends and develop skills in both areas. Skills meaning learning to listen, follow directions, work with others, etc. The skills are this point don't include kicking the ball or tumbling much :)

Tuesday after school we had to pick up a few things and Abby had her first icee. She looks so sad here, but she loved it. She loved having a blue tongue!

Wednesday after dance class, most all of us did lunch together at the Smokey Mo's in the parking lot. Michael Gumpl, Abby's little friend, was visiting and got to have lunch with the 6 girls! I love spending an hour a week with these Moms. We bounce ideas off each other, talk about elementary schools in the area, and support each other's kids as they accomplish new things. It is fun!

Thursday, Abby had her second soccer game. Like her new soccer bow? Once I knew her uniform color, I had to help her accessorize. It didn't stay in long enough to go in the game :) Next week!

 Have a great weekend everyone!

January 19, 2012

Weekly Randoms

We have had a busy and random week, so this post and recap will be random, too :)

Abby and I did some Valentine's shopping this week. We did it a little early so that we could send a package to our World Vision child, Ahlumile, in South Africa. Here is her goodies. I have a hard time shopping for her- what doesn't require knowledge of the English language (books, cards, etc.) or requires more than she has, seems extravagant, etc. I just struggle. Oh, and the items must all fit into a 6" x 9" envelope and weight less than 13 ounces. It costs about $10 for a 13 ounce package. More than that is more postage.

So, here is our little Valentine's package. The good news is that I bought everything in bulk, so I am about done with her school and dance goodies, too!

Abby has water painted a few times this week. Since I took a picture the first time, when she colors she now tells me to take her picture :)

Marcus and I have been trying to eat low fat, low sugar, low carb like we did last Spring. We did really well the first week and then this week haven't done as well. We are just too busy right now to put such crazy diet restrictions on our life. We did lose weight in the 2 weeks (5 pounds for Marcus and 7 for me). We made this yummy salad with grilled chicken, strawberries and a homemade strawberry vinaigrette. It was good!

We dropped it today when I had more dental work done. I have a crazy number of cavities to fill- the dentist told me sweet tea is the worst! It gives your teeth a little coating of sugar with every sip. For about 3 years, I drank at least a 32 ounce tea each day. Oops. I am paying for it now.

I had 4 cavities filled last week and went back in today for 6 more. I know- INSANE! Well, 2 of those from last week were bothering me. So, he planned to redo those 2 today and then 2 of the remaining 6. Numbed both my upper left side and lower right side. After he did the two right (well almost finished them), I had to remove the mouth guard and cough- I was choking. That got the cavitiy wet before it was supposed to, and he had to do it all over again. That meant we were out of time for the left side. So, I got it all numbed up for nothing. Needless to say, soft food was required and most soft foods are carbs. I quit the diet- I couldn't do a numb mouth and grilled chicken or steak.

We'll enjoy the next few days since Abby is staying with my Mom this weekend and part of next week and then go back to being better with our carbs. It is eye opening to know how many carbs are in some of my favorite foods.

Finally, it is a big birthday week in our family! Happy Birthday Mimi, Granpa and Uncle Shaun. We hope you all have great days celebrating! I think Granpa (my Dad) is celebrating it best- they are headed to Florida for a cruise to the Virgin Islands. Jealous!

January 14, 2012

First Soccer Game

We had our first soccer game this morning and as expected it was comical. 

Ten 3 year olds on the court makes for good entertainment. Some kids got the point, some wanted the ball no matter who had it, some forgot the point of making a goal in their net, and some could care less that a game was trying to occur. Abby fell into the last category.

If 3 year old soccer needed or required a goalie, she would have been ready! She loved standing in the net and even got her hair bow caught in there at one point.

At one point the "zebra" was talking to her about getting into the game. She just waved at him, smiled, and kept on playing solo. She did say she had fun and loves soccer which is good.

We don't keep score and everyone is a winner- which I appreciate at this age. I think our team scored more goals, but the majority of them were in the wrong net :)

Our next game is on Thursday. It can only get better!

January 11, 2012

Napping, Water colors, and a Birthday

Abby and I had a fun day of just us! Daddy had to work late, so we spent the whole day together. After dance class, we made a quick stop at the grocery store and then had lunch at Chick-fil-A. Their grilled chicken nuggets are wonderful! A really healthy and yummy new option! We even ran into two friends there and Abby got to play. Good to see you Heather and Brittany.

We got home about 12:30 and I started the dreaded rest time process. Abby hasn't napped in over 2 weeks and I am a little frazzled about it. I wouldn't care if she just had quiet time in her room except she doesn't stay quiet or in her room and she is a whiner from 3-8. I was going to force her sleep today if it took everything I had. It almost did. She finally went to sleep after 3 PM. I bribed her, spanked her, yelled at her, shut her door, took away her toys, you name it! I think she fell asleep from crying so long. We'll see how tomorrow goes. We must keep some sort of nap unless she can keep a good attitude without it ;)

Tonight after dinner while awaiting Daddy's arrival, we pulled out one of our birthday gifts at water colored! I had not done this with her yet, but she had at school because she knew just what it was and what to do! 

She had lots of fun coloring Dora and making brown paint! She also liked having blank sheets to draw on her own. She always draws me a number 11 and then proudly proclaims, "it's your favorite number!" So thoughtful.

I helped with Dora's skirt. She mostly used her right hand tonight? I wonder if that is what it will be. Notice how red her lips are- lucky girl!

Finally, a Happy Birthday to our Aunt Vicki! We love you and hope you have a wonderful day! Abby is coming to stay with Mom for a few days later this month and she has asked to see Aunt Vicki, Uncle Cecil and Kaki, the dog. She doesn't forget anyone!

January 09, 2012

Glow Sticks Party

I read on Twitter about a Mom who bought glow sticks from the dollar spot at Target and let her kids play with them in the bath. She talked about how much fun they had and it was the best $1 she ever spent!

I would totally agree! 15 sticks for $1 and lots of glow in the dark fun!

I let Abby play with them tonight and they put 2 other sets of 15 sticks in her treasure chest when she earns 10 stickers on her responsibility chart. She loves counting her stickers and I think having these in the chest will excite her!

January 08, 2012

Celebrating Number Three

We celebrated Abby Lu's 3rd birthday on Saturday morning. She had about 20 of her little friends over in the jammies for breakfast. One day I'll be able to get a good group shot of her and all her little friends, but as you can imagine, they were all over the place!

Abby has been so excited about her party and she was a good hostess welcoming her friends, sharing her toys, and saying goodbye to most everyone. I think she was a little overwhelmed because Marcus found her sitting in my office closet at one point during the party. Weird!

She loved everyone singing Happy Birthday to her and did a great job blowing out her candles! I love this picture of her in her fuzzy jammies with a sweet Fruit Loop necklace. She won't look this young forever.

This is one of the only cute pictures I got of Abby and her guests, cousins Bella and Landry. Such a sweet pictures of three little girls!

We had lots of people in the house- I have tried to shrink her parties each year and focus on her little friends more than everyone we know! I have no doubt that will get easier as she truly makes friends at church and school.

Luckily we had good weather, so many of the kids ended up playing outside with the swingset, golf clubs, soccer balls and frisbees. Thank goodness for good weather- it extends our living space for everyone! You never know with a January party! 

We did not open gifts at the party- I think Abby has a hard time with the attention and since she wasn't thrilled with presents at Christmas, I didn't want her to not show interest at the party and offend anyone. So, we discussed opening them on Saturday afternoon, but Abby wasn't interested. :) We convinced her to open gifts on Sunday morning before church. It took some work to convince her, but she loved all of her goodies! We are going to have fun pulling out new toys for her every couple of weeks. 

The house is back in order, the punch bowl is packed away again, and we are left with happy memories, lots of wonderful and thoughtful gifts, and two big polka dotted balloons!

As you can imagine, I have lots more photos of the party decor, food, crafts, and goodies to come next week. You can click here to see more details as they post.

Happy Birthday sweet Abby Lu!

January 06, 2012

Abby and Friends

Abby's social calendar was full last month ;)

On the Friday after Christmas, we had breakfast to celebrate Blythe's 6th birthday. I texted her Mom Natalie when I got Blythe's invitation and told her we were planning the same party... Blythe's party was Pajamas and Pancakes and Abby's is Dolls and Doughnuts. It was fun to see the girls in their jammies and eat yummy pancakes with our friends!

One Monday night, we had dinner with the families of two of Abby's church friends- Lauramae (pictured here) and Megan. Abby talks about both of these girls on Sunday, so it was nice to have dinner with them and their families. I look forward to the day when us adults can talk more and there isn't the stress of Abby not eating the lovely meal. We had amazing baked spaghetti with cream cheese inside, brown sugar green beans, and homemade rosemary bread. Oh, and I should not forget Peppermint Cheesecake. Seriously, Abby ate like 2 green beans. Stinker!

In mid-December, we had our Fantasy Football wrap party and Abby got to play with Ellie who just turned two. She is the sweetest little girl- I love seeing her run and play. I'll never forget the miracle that she is!

We also had dinner with our little friend Madeline last month. Marcus was working late, so Abby and I met Madeline and Caroline at Chick-fil-A. We have known Madeline since she was born and at dinner she spoke more without hesitation with me than I've ever heard. I was so proud to see she was comfortable with me and had something to say! Abby and Madeline loved running to the playground and then coming back and declaring it too loud. So, they read books to each other.

Abby watched a Yo Gabba Gabba episode called "Talent" and each character identifies their talent. Abby once asked me her talent and I had to really think about it. We decided her talent is making friends and work with her on how to be a good friend- give hugs, share our toys, greet each other. I love seeing her work on being a good friend with these special girls.


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