Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How many?

Karis is pretty excited about counting these days and if she is talking about something that she wants a lot of, she will count to 10 to prove it. For example, when she woke up from her nap today:

Me: Karis, would you like a pumpkin muffin for a snack?
Karis: Yes. I want 12345678910 muffins!

or when trying to convince me to stop folding clothes and read to her:

Karis: Read books on couch? 12345678910 books on couch?
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"No britches, just underwear!"

That is the phrase I hear all day long..... everytime she goes potty she tries to talk me out of putting her britches back on. I guess she got used to just wearing the undies while potty-training and now thinks it's perfectly fine to go around with nothing else on... it's ok for now when the weather is kinda warm, but soon she will be out of luck!!!

And then she found this old apron that was mine as a child and no matter how often I tell her that aprons go OVER your clothes, she just wants to wear it by itself!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bye-bye ducky!

Well, Karlie started jumping out of the ducky bathtub, so we set her free in the tub with Karis. They both thought it was the most exciting thing ever :)
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite books of the week!

It has been a while since we shared favorite books, so this time I'll do our top 5 of the past 2 weeks :) Please feel free to share yours as well! And yes, we LOVE Karma Wilson!

Mama Always Comes Home by Wilson -- such a sweet book and Karis loved it!

If You're Happy and You Know It by Ormerod -- a fabulous animal twist to the classic song!

Bear Feels Sick by Wilson -- We love all the Bear books, but Karis could really relate to this one since Karlie has been so sick!

That's Not My Puppy by Watt -- This was Karlie's favorite but Karis really enjoyed showing Karlie how to feel the fur on the dog on each page :)

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Boynton (thanks for the Boynton tip, Lauren :) -- Really silly book about a turkey that just can't get dressed correctly. After just a few times, I realized that Karis could read the whole book by herself and any book that a 2-year old can read is a WINNER!

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Berry head"

Karis: no shoes?
Me: That's fine; you can go bare-foot
Karis: Yay! Berry feet! Berry feet!
(And proceeded to talk about berry feet for the rest of the day and ask if all her favorite people had berry feet)

...a couple of hours later, I took my ponytail out while we were reading because I had a headache...
Karis: "Yay! Mama has berry head! Berry head!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beating Strep Throat and an Ear Infection without antibiotics or Tylenol

Today marks exactly a week since Karlie got sick and although we had several very miserable days, I am so happy to say that she is back to her normal, happy, playful, squealing, into everything self! For many reasons, we decided to let her fight strep-throat and an ear infection naturally, without any "medicine" at all. Instead of antibiotics and Tylenol, we used many different natural remedies that had been recommended to me by my fabulous Christian Holistic doctor and a good friend who had successfully fought strep with several of her boys. So I thought I'd share with you some of the things we did for her. Whether or not you choose to use antibiotics, these methods will still be helpful in fighting any illness. (Disclaimer: I know that strep can be dangerous, especially for babies, and I would not have attempted this without the following resources!)

1. Chiropractor! The relief a chiropractor can bring during illness is simply amazing. I could see immediate relief in Karlie' s eyes once the chiro had finished. I took her the first day she had a fever and again on the 4th day to make sure her ears were draining correctly. Our particular chiro has a lot of medical training and gave me much encouragement and more advice on beating it naturally. If you live in my area, I can recommend a fabulous Christian chiro who charges a reasonable rate and doesn't even deal with insurance. I just love her!

2. Collodial Silver -- extremely helpful to fight off any kind of sickness! We start taking it at the first sign of a sore throat or runny nose. When Karlie was at her worst, I gave it to her every hour. I'm still giving it to her about twice a day to make sure the illness is completely gone.

3. Kombucha -- it cleanses the body from toxins and aids in digestion and metabolism. Click HERE to see my review of it and some links explaining why I love this drink and how to make it yourself. My toddler and I drink this regularly (I'm still working on my husband :), and I was amazed that my baby would even take sips of it when she was sick! When I make it, I usually try to leave a small jar of it fermenting for several weeks so that it will be even more potent for killing off illness.

4. Home-made ear drops -- these are helpful even if the sickness is not an ear infection, because it helps to get garlic and GSE into the body which fight infection. Click HERE for 2 different home-made ear drops, one that you can use right away and one that you can make ahead of time and store.

5. Oregano Oil, Garlic, and Probiotics -- Oregano Oil and Garlic both kill bacteria. I rubbed some oil on one foot and cut up a clove of garlic and rubbed that on her other foot every couple of hours. (A baby/toddler's feet are very porous and will absorb well. Mark and I swallow them as a pill when we are sick.) Make sure you get oregano oil that does not contain any other ingredients (like olive oil) or it will not be potent enough. The probiotics are important because the oregano oil kills ALL bacteria, even the good kind. So I mixed probiotics in with her applesauce to try to boost her good bacteria.

6. Let the fever run its course -- (That means NO Tylenol!) This was probably the hardest, yet most important thing for me to do. God made our bodies to have a fever because the high temp. kills the virus or bacteria. Using Tylenol ruins this natural process and makes the body unable to fight the disease. It can also cause a fever convulsion by bringing the fever down too quickly. Without Tylenol, Karlie's fever naturally broke when it got too high for her, then would climb back up and break again, etc, until it had killed the infection. So I just tried to make Karlie as comfortable as possible and once when she was utterly miserable, I gave her THIS special bath for helping with the fever. The main thing you have to watch out for with a high fever is dehydration, but I will write about that soon...

7. Nursing as much as possible -- I was soooooo thankful that Karlie got this sickness while nursing, because breastmilk is truly the best medicine I could give her. Breast milk is tailor-made to fit the unique needs of your child each day. Did you know that when your baby nurses, the breast is stimulated by the bacteria introduced by your baby? This bacteria travels into the breast tissue, causing an immediate reaction with the formation of antibodies, which can then be found back in the mother’s milk within 8 hours!! So if your baby is fighting a cold or other illness, your body is creating antibodies specific for what your baby is combating that very day. Needless to say, I ditched the schedule and let Karlie nurse as often as she would. Nursing was also very comforting to Karlie and really seemed to calm her down when she would get really upset during her high fever. So she pretty much nursed all night long for about 3 nights! Exhausting, but I knew it was what she needed! I also tried to eat a lot of garlic, Kombucha, probiotics, take oregano oil, and eat smoothies with GSE so she would get those benefits from me as well.

8. Coconut water -- This is truly nature's Gatorade or Pedialyte without all the added flavorings and sugar! I get in the organic section at Kroger and always keep it on hand for any time we are sick. Coconut Water is rich in many vital minerals, vitamins, and proteins, not just the basic "electrolyte essentials" found in a lab-formulated drink. And believe it or not, the natural electrolyte & pH balance of coconut water even make it suitable for a rehydrating IV solution! Karlie is just starting to use a sippy, so she would only drink a little, but Karis will drink every drop that I give her and beg for more! Smart Water/ Trinity Mineral Water is also a good option for dehydrating because it has a lot of electrolytes, but my favorite is coconut water.

9. Smoothies with coconut milk, coconut oil, frozen fruit, raw honey, and grapefruit seed extract -- Ok, Karlie won't eat this, but I had to add it because its the best thing for when my husband or toddler is sick. It is really the only thing I can get them to eat when they are miserable. It is dairy-free so it won't add to drainage, has tons of vitamin C from the fruit, contains bacteria fighting GSE and coconut oil, all the nutrients of coconut milk, and the honey is soothing and has many other benefits. We actually eat these all the time to try to boost our immune system. My husband likes them so much that he was willing to give up his nightly ice cream treat for them (and if you know my husband, that is saying A LOT!)

10. "Remedies" from my Christian Holistic Doctor -- I know not everyone has this resource available but I wanted to include it because if you live in my area, I can refer you to the BEST natural doctor ever. She can pinpoint any illnesses/ allergies without invasive treatment and makes remedies based on your body's particular needs. She has such a heart for helping others and I just love her!

These are just several of the things that have really seemed to work for us as we try to fight off illnesses naturally. I hope they were helpful to you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Karlie Sue at 8 months

I'm pretty late on this post since she got sick right when she turned 8 months. She doesn't quite look 100% yet, but at least she has her pretty smile back!

Karlie has simply had a blast this month! She started crawling right before 7 months and this month she has perfected the lightening speed motion. She is into trouble in the blink of an eye, but will usually stop when I say "no." She loves climbing into EVERYTHING and finds the funniest places to get stuck. She is trying to pull up on everything, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of cruising yet (thankfully!)

Karlie pretty much wants anything that Karis has and thinks it is perfectly ok to crawl on top of Karis to get it. Don't worry, though, Karis has no trouble knocking her over in a second :) They are quite a pair and really do love to play together. If Karis wakes up first, she immediately begs to go wake up Karlie and I have to keep an eye on her or she run in Karlie's room screaming, "Yay! Karlie wake up!!!" When Karlie sees her sister, she gives the biggest smile ever! Its so much fun having them so close in age! They entertain each other well, although sharing is already an issue. Karis inevitably picks a toy and says, "Karlie no have this!" So that is something we are definitely working on.

I suddenly remembered that it is time to start teaching Karlie some signs, so we are working on that. Its a lot harder to do, though, because my attention is diverted to Karis so much. I pretty much just let Karlie feed herself. But I am trying to remember to show her "more," "milk," "all done," and "no" as much as possible.

Karlie had become quite a good sleeper, but this sickness ruined that and we are having to start over :) She was so miserable that she could not sleep except on me and now of course, she wants to sleep on me all the time :) But hopefully within the next week she will go back to sleeping well.

Only 2 teeth so far, which suits me fine, because she definitely knows how to bite when she is teething! Ouch! But nursing is going fine and I think it will probably last even longer than with Karis. Karlie still loves pretty much anything I put on her tray and I hope she will continue on that path as she gets older :) I'm still just mashing up whatever we eat for meals and she loves it! (Other than any grains -- I'm not giving her those til after 1 year.) I started letting her take sips out of a cup and trying to give her a sippy because Mark and I would really like a good date for our 5th wedding anniversary :) Karlie absolutely refuses a bottle (I tried once when I was sore from her biting me :) but is slowly getting the hang of the sippy. She prefers just sipping from a cup, but that can get pretty messy!

Karlie is still very stuck on Mama (as demonstrated by the unbelievable hysterics when she was sick that occurred if I put her down for a second) but never laughs as hard as when Daddy is making faces at her! She really likes nothing better than grabbing his face and hair and pulling hard and grinning :)

Karlie really is just the sweetest thing and we love her so very much!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

"Not Me" exhausted mama of a sick baby edition

What a week! It seems that when my precious baby gets incredibly sick, time stands still. Or maybe that's just because I haven't gotten anything done this week but take care of her... and I didn't get any sleep for 3 nights... anyways, here's a glimpse of what I certainly did not do this week when my baby was so sick...

...I did NOT think it would be a fabulous day to make my winter supply (about 5 gallons) of chili early in the morning before I found out my baby was sick. And after browning my meat and throwing in the beans and tomatoes, I did NOT completely forget about my chili when my baby woke up with a dreadful fever. My "chili" did NOT simmer on my stove until noon when I finally remembered to add the chili powder. And I surely did not forget about the onions until around 6:00 when my husband got home and asked why the onions were sitting on the counter. A sick baby could not have distracted me that much, right?

And if the chili ever made it to completion, I surely would NOT have forced my family to eat it for three days straight because I was too exhausted and distracted to fix anything else. And they were NOT ever so thankful that my friend Beth was kind enough to bring us some yummy dinner the next day so that they wouldn't have to eat it again!

And I certainly could NOT be sitting here writing this and thinking that I have absolutely no idea what we are going to eat for dinner tonight! Because I'm the meal-plan queen, right? And even if I thought that, I surely would get up off the couch and figure it out, right? I would NOT be so exhausted that the thought of leaving the couch for any reason during my small window of nap time makes me want to cry.

I definitely did NOT forget to take a shower 2 nights in a row because my baby screamed if I put her down for a second. And if I did, I would not have finally acquired my shower the third night by turning on the TV so my baby would zone out and not notice that I was gone. Because I absolutely hate for my kids to watch TV!

I could NOT have failed to brush my teeth on two different days during this trying time because brushing my teeth is one of my favorite things to do and it really, really, really bugs me when I don't. And if I did, I definitely did not think of it a bagillion times during the day but couldn't fulfill my tooth-brushing desire because I had FINALLY gotten my poor, miserable baby to rest on my chest or because she was screaming madly in pain and I would have been incredibly mean to leave her for any reason.

After 3 nights of no sleep, I definitely did NOT mistakenly doze off on the couch with my sick baby on my chest and my busy toddler left to get into trouble. And if I did, I certainly could NOT have woken up to the sound of my perfectly potty-trained toddler saying, "oh, no!" and tinkling on my living room floor. This accident did NOT happen to be completely my fault because it happened to be 4:00 pm and the last time I had asked her to go potty was when she woke up in the morning around 7am. She does NOT have amazing control and I did NOT completely ruin her accident free streak.

I do NOT have way too many other things that I ought to confess about this crazy week and I am NOT waaay toooooo tired to even think of them!

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Poor Karlie Sue

I haven't done much blogging this week because I've just been too tired to put a decent sentence together. The previous post I had scheduled ahead of time (sometimes I do that when I have a picture that I love and don't want to forget about :), which is why my baby looks so happy :) Poor Karlie Sue has strep throat and a bad ear infection and has been utterly miserable since Tuesday night. It is just so sad to see her in so much pain! She had a temperature up to 105 and for three nights wouldn't sleep anywhere but in my arms (if I were lucky enough to calm her down enough to sleep). I think the pressure of laying down hurt her ears too much. I am utterly exhausted but I think the worst is over. Last night, she had no fever and actually let me lay her in her crib! She still woke up crying almost every hour, but quickly nursed back to sleep and I was thankful to actually get to sleep in my own bed in between her wakings.

The first picture shows how she pretty much spent the first 3 days of her sickness. She was hysterical if I put her down for even a second, so she pretty much lived my my Egro carrier. I don't know what I would have done without it!

The second picture is what I found when finished taking a shower one night. Karlie has been a complete Mama's girl and really only wanted me when she was miserable. After 2 nights of not getting a shower (I know that is gross and TMI, but a Mama's got to help her miserable baby at all costs :), we fnally distracted her by letting her zone out in front of the TV so I could sneak away to get a shower. They were both laying on the couch asleep, but she heard me turn on the camera and looked up at the last minute :)

The last picture is from last night, when she finally started having short periods of playing and smiling. Her eyes are still red and puffy, but I have never been so grateful to see that smile!!

I want to send out a big thanks to my Messiah Baptist church family. By Friday, several nights of no sleep at all had really gotten to me and I was overwhelmed and in desperate need of sleep. Mark works on Saturdays, and the thought of trying to keep up with my busy toddler as well as keep my fussy baby happy was just too much for me me handle. I asked for help and almost everyone offered to take Karis for me! It was so encouraging and that little break was just what I needed to be able to make it through. Thank you, for being the body of Christ to me!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I love Thursday

1. My girls having fun together
2. My girls having fun together in cute matching outfits :) (Thanks, Nina!)
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Monday, September 14, 2009

The heart of a child...

We were incredibly blessed last week to get some AMAZING deals on some new (to us) toys for the girls at a a great consignment sale in town. The girls have had a blast playing with them and it has made for a very fun week! However, I was immediately reminded of the sinful nature of a child as my sweet two-year old decided that all these toys were her toys and not Karlie's. Karlie would try to pull up on the slide or lion chair and Karis would immediately push her down. This is really the first time that Karis has shown any meanness towards her sister and it saddened me. She usually finds great joy in chasing Karlie around the house and showering her with toys, trying her hardest to make Karlie laugh. But alas, my sweet girl is a sinner just like her Mama and we've had to teach her a lot about sharing this week.

Honesty has been an issue recently as well. Like any 2-year old, Karis hates to stop playing to use the potty. She never has accidents; she has the most amazing control and would rather just hold it for ten hours. But I just don't see how that is good for her so I ask her every couple of hours if she needs to go potty. The answer is always "no." And since the rule is that she stays in the bathroom until she goes, sometimes she will try to convince me that she has already gone so that she can get up quickly. So we 've had to talk about honesty a lot lately.

Needless to say, these issues have been on my heart lately and I've spent some time praying for God to prick her little consience. I can talk to her and discipline her as much as I want, but I know that if God doesn't do a work in her little heart, all my efforts will be in vain. And today, I was blessed to see a little answer to my prayers!

I had left the girls playing together in the living room for just a second to check on dinner in the oven. I heard Karlie start to wail and ran back to see what had happened:
Me: Karis, did you do something to make Karlie cry?
Karis: no
Me: Do you know why Karlie is crying?
Karis: no
(at this point I decided not to press the issue since I didn't know what had happened. I turned around to take Karlie in the kitchen with me and heard ever so softly and sadly, "I pushed her." I looked at Karis and asked her again to be certain, "Karlie is crying because you pushed her?" She somberly nodded and said, "I pushed her and she fell down." Then she kissed Karlie and said, "I'm sorry Karlie."

Thank you, Lord, for pricking her heart and making her want to tell the truth regardless of the consequences!

Friday, September 11, 2009

She's everywhere!

Karlie Sue is into absolutely everything this week! If it's a funky space, she tries to get into it, grinning and talking the entire time. She's so excited about her new skill! She loves anything that she can climb onto and I am paranoid that she is going to crack her poor little noggin on my super-duper hard tile kitchen floor. But so far, she has kept her balance well, despite the occasional pushes from the dog and her sissy :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not a wordless wednesday...

Just had to share that yesterday Karis had a difficult time sliding because our ridiculous dog kept trying to follow her up the slide. And when she finally realized that she couldn't get all the way to the top (after sliding back down several times :), Pup -pup just decided to sit at the bottom of the slide. For quite a while. And wouldn't get off. (She's pretty big. And she thinks she's a kid :) Finally, I had the bright idea to throw her ball and she finally relinquished her seat to go capture her ball. We have the silliest dog ever :)
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Favorite Books of the week Blog Share

The girls and I have really enjoyed our weekly trip to the library. I always request at least 5 books ahead of time that I know Karis will really enjoy. After picking up those, we spend 15-20 minutes browsing through the childrens' books and pick out about 15 more books that Karis finds interesting. Then we go home and pretty much read all afternoon :) By the end of the day I've figured out Karis' favorites. You know, the books that we have to read over and over and over and over... all week long! So I thought I would start sharing them in case you were looking for some good books to request at the library. I'll try to narrow it down to 3 favorites a week :) I'd also LOVE to know your child's current favorite books so that I will know a few more books to request every week. If you don't mind sharing, you can leave a link to your post in the comment section or just the names of the books you are enjoying :)

1. Mr. Cookie Baker by Wellington -- Since we cook together all the time, Karis was just so excited about this book! There are even some simple cookie recipes at the end of the book :)

2. Baby Cakes by Wilson -- Both my 2-year old and my 7-month old love this book! Karis and I sing it to Karlie and follow the instructions on each page and they both just think it is the most fun ever!

3. The I Love You Book by Todd Parr -- A very colorful, fun book that goes through many scenarios where Mommy and Daddy love their baby. It was probably Karis' favorite book of all this week.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

My girls this week

As you can see in the picture, Karlie is now trying to pull up and hold onto things. She falls down regularly but just does it again :) She has decided that the living room is way too small and so now we have to shut all the doors to the other rooms so that she doesn't get into trouble at the blink of an eye. She now understands the word "no" and will stop what she is doing and look at me when I say it. (7 months is sooo easy in the obedience arena compared to 2 years :) Karis is really excited about the fact that we have to tell Karlie "no" and I am trying to get her to understand that Mama and Daddy are the only ones who discipline Karlie:) She will randomly start shouting "no"at poor Karlie for no apparent reason!

Karis is still super excited about her new pottying ability and continues to run down the hall carrying her little potty bowl, sloshing the contents all over the carpet, screaming "Yay Karis" at the top of her lungs. I'm getting ready to permanently move the little potty to the car so that she has to use the immovable big potty and thus avoid all the sloshing :) Her new favorite thing to do is talk on the phone to Daddy or grandparents and will beg and plead for the phone if I answer it when she is around. But I kind of like this new obsession because if Daddy is late getting home from work and she is super cranky about it (for some reason my girls always fall apart right when I need to finish up dinner :), I can just let her talk to him all the way home while I finish getting dinner ready :)

We are having tons of fun pulling out fall clothes for the girls and I just have to say that Karis is even more excited about it than me! She could barely contain herself when I pulled out some adorable little shoes for Karlie and begged me to wake her up from her nap just to put them on her :) Mark has never truly appreciated the "Christmas-like" excitement of pulling out the fall clothes, so I'm grateful for my girly-girl that completely understands :)
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Friday, September 4, 2009

phone conversations

(Karis, after she steals the phone from Mama when Daddy calls on his way home from work -- talking at the top of her voice at the speed of lightening without pausing for a breath or to let Daddy get a word in edgewise:)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cloth Diapering update

If you've been following my blog since Karis was born, then you know that we use cloth diapers at home. I love using cloth diapers because it truly saves a lot of money and they are better for my babies' bums. However, I just wanted to let you know that I no longer recommend Bum Genius diapers because they just don't last. I've loved using them because they are so easy to use and wash, but I've simply had issues with them. We used them for about 9 months withKaris and I noticed the sides unraveling and they started to leak. I contacted Cotton Babies, the company I bought them from, and they were ever so nice and replaced them immediately. (I still highly recommend Cotton Babies for everything else they sell; they have awesome customer service!) So we used those for about another year and now the velcro is coming off. Let me tell you -- it's no fun to get a baby up from a nap and find her diaperless and a messy crib! I know I can sew the velcro back on and I probably will, but I just didn't want anyone to buy Bum Genius because I had once recommended them and then have problems. I really love the Bum Genius diaper but hate the fact that they seem to fall apart. So that's my update. I've heard good things about Happy Heiny cloth diapers so I think I might try those next. I'll let you know how they hold up :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Oh, this week I am so grateful because...

... God kept the girls and I safe from Mark's relentless, unending, debilitating flu bug. I seriously couldn't sleep one night as I lay there thinking, what in the world are we going to do if I get it,too? I can't ask anyone to come help because they would probably get it, too! Mark was left so weak that he couldn't even pick up the girls for many days. Even after a week, he still can hardly eat anything other than soup. I honestly have never seen him so miserable in our almost 5 years together. But God was gracious to us. I praise God for bringing us through it and for protecting the girls and I!

... Karis learned how to use the potty and hasn't looked back! No more diapers for Karis!!!

... it feels like fall today!!! We went outside to play and oh, it was just so nice! I LOVE FALL!!! I'm so excited about all the fallish things I want to do with the girls!

...I love my church family! I was thinking on Sunday how blessed we are to have such an understanding church family during this crazy season of 2 little ones. We set up a little blanket for Karlie at the back of church because ever since she learned to crawl, she just can't sit still! But does she stay on it? Of course not! So I'm chasing her all over the back of the room and going in and out of the bathroom with Karis and then taking Karlie off to the side to nurse. Karis tries to sit and color but can't help but talk about the color of the crayons or someone's pretty earrings and then Karlie tries to eat the crayons and Karis gets upset about it... etc.... :) We're definitely not the quietest family, but everyone understands and loves on us anyways. Sometimes I think a nursery would be nice, but I'm one of those super-overprotective Mamas that can actually enjoy church more with her girls beside her because I know that they are happy :) I have a really hard time letting my baby out of my sight and although Karis would have a blast in a nursey, I like being able to (try) to teach her to sit quietly during church so we can worship together as a family. So I really appreciate our church family!
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