Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fun with the fam

All the sis-in-laws: Emily, Melanie, and me
Showing off our growing bellies -- I'm about to pop and Emily is due in April :)
My sweet hubby would like to think his belly is as big as mine :)

Family tradition: Rook tournament every single night we are together :)
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Thanks Aunt Mel and Uncle Rich!

Aunt Mel and Uncle Rich gave Karis such a cute outfit for Christmas that she had to prance around in it even with the tags still on :)

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New Years Eve Fun!

I was cleaning out junk in the bedroom on New Years Eve and Karis found her sunglasses from last summer. She is really getting into dress-up play, so of course she had to prance around with them for a while :)

We met two of my favorite friends from college for dinner on New Years Eve! It was so much fun to catch up on everything that has gone on in the last couple of years!
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Quick update...

Sorry, no pics this time. We took our router to with us for the holidays and it hasn't worked since we got home. We are still trying to figure it out. But hopefully soon... I still have more Christmas pics to share!

I had an OB apt on Monday (I go every week now; that's a little too crazy for Karis and I but I guess we'll manage :) Karlie and I are both doing great; the doc couldn't believe how far down she was already. I'm hoping that doesn't mean anything because I have soooo much I want to get done before she arrives! I'm definitely feeling the urge to organize everything in sight and cook lots of food, but Karis doesn't leave as much time for that:) She likes to spread everything that I am organiuzing around the house :) I have been having some minor contractions every day, mainly at night when I finally settle down and rest for a little, but nothing real that hurts; I can just feel my tummy getting reallly tight.

I found a doula that came highly recommended from my friend Hollie and she was willing to work with me on the price! I feel so much better now about a natural birth. We just have to pray that none of the other two ladies she is working with this month go into labor the same time as me!

Ok, I guess thats all for now since I can't upload pics. Have a great New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Christmas pics :)

Presents were made for standing on :)

Too much fun!
She thought it was so fun to swing with Nina!
Karis was totally fascinated with her cousin Jack, in fact, she would say his name over and over (which made Nina quite jealous, because she has yet to say Nina :)
And she thought Lily's gifts were so much fun!
Our attempt at a family you can see, Karis was too fascinated with the tree to even look at the camera. Several attempts and no luck :)
A special ornament Jack made just for Karis hanging on Nina's tree :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another handmade dress from Great-Grandma Connie!

This is another dress that Great-Grandma Connie made for me to wear! I just love seeing Karis wearing clothes that are so special and that I've seen myself wearing in pics. Thanks again, Mom, for saving them for us!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gingerbread house fun!

We did our 2nd annual gingerbread house decorating at Grandma and Papa Jones' house on Christmas Eve. (To see our first house and then Karis destroying it, click HERE and HERE :) This year was so much fun because Karis was actually able to help decorate, not just destroy! It was Daddy's job to help show her how to do it and my job to take the pics. It was hilarious, because Daddy was pretty focused on decorating, but Karis just wanted to play with the candy :) She never even tried to eat it! We finally gave up on decorating and just gave her bowls to play with her candy:

After chasing the candy all over the table and floor, Grandma got the bright idea of putting it on a cookie sheet, which was tons of fun and a lot less trouble :)

After a nap, we tried decorating again (with just the icing in view :) and Karis was pretty excited about it:

Then we showed her how to put the candy on the icing :
Here is the final product: Can you guess which side Daddy decorated and which side Karis decorated?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lovin her new shoes :)

Karis loves shoes! Especially her Walmart crocs. So Grandma and Grandpa thought she needed some furry winter ones! I cannot describe to you how excited Karis was when she saw them. She wanted to put them on right away, but her footy pajamas wouldn't stuff in them safely. So that's why she is unzipped all prancing around. You can tell by these pics how excited she was about her new shoes :)

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Karis' new baby doll

Karis got a new baby doll for Christmas to get her ready for her new sister. Her favorite thing to do is take the baby's hat on and off and try to put it n her own head :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas fun :)

We've had such a fun week visiting family! Karis has been non-stop, running around the house, squealing and laughing all day long.
Even Pup-Pup let us put a festive bow in her hair :)
Of course, nothing is as fun as riding around on Daddy's back :)
Karis fell in love with Grandma's gingerbread lady! She carried her all over the house and gave her hugs all week long :)
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Karis' new wagon

Grandma and Papa gave Karis and Karlie an awesome wagon for Christmas. Karis walked in their living room and was so excited to see it full of presents :) We have spent all day pulling her around in her new wagon :)

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Monday, December 22, 2008

19 Months!

I had a hard time getting her monthly pic this time because she was just not in the mood to sit still (as you can tell by the fact that she is sliding off the chair as I took the pics :) But I didn't want to miss the chance to tell you what she has been up to this month:

Karis truly became Mama's helper this month. She's been trying to help me do everything since she could crawl, but she is so capable now that I really can benefit from her assistance in so many ways. I never bend down to put clothes in the dryer anymore -- I just hand them to Karis and she puts them in! And if you've ever been pregnant in your last trimester, you know what a blessing it is each time you are saved from having to bend over :) She loves this task and if I don't invite her to do it, she will run over and beg to help :)

She also knows where most laundry goes after I have folded it and loves to put away the dishcloths or clothes in her room. It saves me steps because she really can carry a lot!

Cleaning up spills is another favorite -- she will run and get a dishtowel and start wiping the floor. Now, I usually do have to go back over it with a wet cloth to make sure the floor isn't sticky, but she helps by getting up the inital mess :)

She gets all the plastice cups out of the dishwasher for me and stacks them up. And stacks them up. (Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose -- she stacks them together over and over again in different combinations til I say its time to actually put them away :)

This month I finally broke down and pulled up a chair for Karis to help me cook and do dishes. It always scared me because it definitely is dangerous with our super-hard tile floor, but she wants to help so badly and I really want her to learn how to do these things. And although she doesn't really help that much, it sure is a lot more fun doing it with her and seeing her wonder and excitement as I let her stir the bowl, pour in ingredients, and lick the beaters :) And it definitely helps my time in the long run, because I used to have to do most of my cooking during her nap time or while she was eating lunch or snacks. So now those times are freed up for me! And cooking with Mama is undoubtedly her favorite past-time now. Nothing gets her more excited than when I start pulling that chair over to the counter!!

We have also really worked hard on discipline and first-time obedience this month, because last month she really started showing a lot of defiance. It really only took one day of spanking at every sign of defiance and she has listened so much better ever since! This has helped in so many areas! Since bending down is so hard for me with my huge belly, it is so nice to be able to say, "Karis, please pick that up for Mama." I also started making her sit still to put her bows in and other little things (which I totally should have done long ago!!! It only took about 2 or 3 swats and she sits as still as a princess. I think I just felt bad for spanking her for something as silly as putting a bow in, but it is definitely an issue of obedience :) And she thinks throwing things away in the trashcan is the most fun ever, because the trash can was off limits for the 1st part of her life :) Now I just have to make sure that she doesn't throw away anything that isn't trash :)

This month also brought tons of new words, too many to write out! It has been ever so much fun hearing her try to copy what we are saying and then randomly say it in appropriate times later on :) We are constantly asking each other, "Did she just say that?" And her versions are so cute!

Karis is still a picky eater, but she drinks tons of rich, farm-fresh milk all day long and loves her eggs and codliver oil every morning, so I can't complain. And her new favorite food is a Clementine orange. We eat one every morning and she will run to the fridge and grab it for me to peel for her. I haven't taken her to the doctor in forever so I don't know how much she weighs, but she has definitely grown taller! Most of her new fall clothes are too short and she can reach all the doorknobs now.

This is a very important month for Karis because her new sister will probably come before she turns 20 months. Please pray that she will adjust well and be really excited about the new baby. I think she will be a great big sister and wonderful helper!
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blanket Time Update!

Like I wrote in THIS post, I am training Karis to play by herself on a blanket to practice obedience and to help me have time with Karlie once she arrives. Sorry; I can never get her to smile for the camera during blanket time -- she is just too focused! Honestly, she really enjoys it. Especially this day, when I let her have all of her little bows and clips to play with. She thought it was so much fun! Here's how it has been going:

Day 1: I pretty much had to spank her every couple of minutes to teach her not to get off the blanket. We only did it 10 minutes.
Day 2: Only a verbal reminder was needed to keep her on the blanket! She played for 13 minutes without fussing about it at all! I implemented the timer to help her to know when she was allowed to get off the blanket
Day 3: As soon as I put the blanket down, she sat on it without me even telling her to and then she waited patiently for me to pick out what she was going to do. Even though I had only planned on doing 10 minutes that week, I went ahead and bumped it up to 15 since she did that so easily the day before.
Day 4: As soon as I said "It's blanket time!" she ran and started pulling on the blanket! See, she really does enjoy it! She knows it is when I give her the toys she loves the most :)

Currently: We are up to 20 minutes now! The only setback was one day when our schedule was rearranged and we had to do blanket time right before lunch and naptime -- not good planning on Mama's part! She was really fussy and wanted me after only 8 minutes. But every other blanket time, she has really enjoyed it and listened well to me! I wish I would have implemented this into our daily schedule as soon as she started walking....Its amazing what I can get done while she is quietly palying for 20 minutes!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another look at Karlie Sue!

Yes, we changed the spelling of her name. Mark wanted it Karlee at first, but when I was writing our yearly update letter this week, he decided he didn't like it anymore! So we changed it to Karlie, which was the way I spelled it at first :)

I had another ultrasound today and it was so fun to see her! The pics weren't that great, though, because evidently Karlie already likes to tease her Mama and hide her face. Last time, she stuck her big foot in front of it; this time, she was face down so all we could see was a great shot of the back of her head! But the exciting news was that we could see little spikey hair, so I'm gong to be having fun with bows very soon! YAY! They think she weighs about 5 pounds, 6 ounces right now, which is perfect for my due date. I'm hoping she's on time so she won't be as big as Karis! I've decided that I want to have a natural birth this time, but I'm pretty sure I need a doula to help with the pain management. If you know of a good one in the area that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, please let me know. I've really struggled to find one we can afford. And its getting close to time to meet Karlie Sue! Only a little over 5 weeks left!
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A good use for orange peels (and a cute Christmas baby :)

If you are like me, you are devouring oranges like crazy this time of year! So I was excited to find this super easy recipe for home-made citrus all-purpose cleaner. I haven't actually used it yet, because I'm still saving my orange peels, but I figured if I waited til it was ready, you might miss out and miss the wonderful season of oranges :) So here it is:

Homemade Citrus Household Cleaner

  • Fill a large, wide mouth jar with citrus peels (such as lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits). Cover the peels with white household vinegar. Let brew for four weeks, shaking the jar occasionally (just to mix it up a bit). Strain (I did this twice).
  • Use as a laundry booster (I just tossed it in with the whites), window cleaner, floor cleaner, counter tops, appliances (Dilute in water–1/2 cup per gallon of water works well). For a stovetop grease buster I just sprayed it on undiluted. Test surfaces first before using.
  • To collect the peels, throughout the week store all the citrus peels in a baggy or airtight container and refrigerate. If your household doesn’t go through a lot of citrus fruit in a week, just chop up what peels you have and fill a small glass jar (or even spray bottle) with peels and cover with vinegar. To make a big jar like above, you need a lot of peels. You could try freezing the peels and then thawing the bunch when you have enough, I haven’t tested that though.

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