Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow day!

Well, we ended up with plenty of snow to play in! Karlie was much more excited about it this time and wore me out because she wanted to walk everywhere. And Karis, of course, couldn't be happier :)

You can see our new (to us :) van in the background (2002 Toyota Sienna) -- definitely God's provision as we never thought we would be able to afford one right now! We have made a committment to not have any debts other than our mortgage and were trying to save for a van for the future, but our amazing God blessed us with an amazing deal we could afford now! And I can't thank Him enough! As someone who previously hated driving large vehicles, I am loving it! The fact that a button on my key opens the door just makes my day every time I do it!!!

The girls enjoyed riding on the snow in their wagon:)
And then we had to try swinging in the snow. Karis thought it was hilarious.
And Karlie enjoyed it also!

I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, but I was too busy chasing my crazy one-year old around. Just believe me that we had lots of fun :)
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Taking Turns...

My girls are not at the age where they particularly enjoy taking turns. But somehow they really get a kick out of pushing each other in the baby-doll stroller :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

It has begun!!!

Woohooo!! Wonder how much we will get? I don't care, as long as we get enough to keep Mark home from work tomorrow :) Karis is super excited and probably won't sleep a lick tonight :) Have you set your bowl out yet? Gonna have some snow ice cream tomorrow!!!

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Guess who thought kitty needed to be cozy? :)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Favorite books of the month

Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban – This book cracked us all up! The little mouse tries to show everyone that he is mad, but his friends show him that he is not really that mad after all.

Snowbaby Could Not Sleep by Kara La Reau – Karis just thought this was so cute! The snowbaby comes up with all kinds of excuses for not going to sleep until finally, his parents make him a snowpuppy to keep him company.

Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Wilson – Karis and I both loved this sweet Christmas story! A mouse took over a nativity scene, pushing the figurines out of his way, until he heard the true story of Christmas. He then feels badly and places Jesus back in his manger.

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Wilson – A hilarious book about a hippo that loves to dance and completely disrupts the jungle until she discovers water dancing.

Who Took The Cookies From The Cookie Jar? By Lass and Sturges – This book is a singing book all about cookies and animals, so it was a big hit with Karis!

Who knows who? By Lynn Offerman – This is an adorable book about a kitten that makes a mess. The best part about the book is a kitten puppet on the last page. Karlie will laugh and squeal and take the kitten in and out for a good 10 minutes after we finish reading it :)

God Made Me by Joanna Bicknell – We love several of her books, but this one is Karlie’s favorite. It has a lot of happy children’s faces, as well as different textures and flaps that she loves.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Cake face :)

For Karlie's birthday, I made my grandmother's amazing carrot cake (with just a few healthy changes). She wasn't sure what to do with it at first, but as you'll see, she quickly figured it out :)

"So can I eat the candle, Mama?"

"Wow; my fingers are yummy!"

Blowing bubbles with the icing :)

Time to get messy!

"Like my new hair-do?"
More silly faces because it was just that good!

"Look at the wonderful mess I made!!!"

"If I could just grab someone, they would be as messy as me!"

Daddy was the only one brave enough to get me out of my high chair :)

"I love birthday cake!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Still Singing Christmas Carols!

These videos crack me up! Every night before bed, Karis sings with us in her bed. We are trying to get her to sing something other than Christmas carols, but have not been very successful. When my folks came to visit (and bring all the Christmas presents we couldn't fit in the car; thus the messy floor :), we took these videos of her bedtime songs. For some reason, she gets really excited when the grandparents are here and cannot sit still to sing :) And hyper and out of breath, which is a funny combination for singing. The first video is a little bit long, but she goes a little crazy at the end so you might think it is worth it. But maybe I'm just a little biased :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Year Old!

My baby is a year old! I have many emotions as I write this post, but I will try to keep them to myself :) First of all, these pictures were taken a week before her 1st birthday. She had not been trying very hard to walk, but as Daddy stood her up in that first picture, she walked straight towards him! It was quite exciting and she has since gained more confidence. Tonight she walked half-way across the living room, squealing with delight the whole time! She still thinks that it is ever so much faster to crawl, but is daily going further at a time. So exciting!

Joyful! That word pretty much sums up this little girl. Everything makes her laugh, smile, and squeal! She has the funniest little personality and cracks me up all day long. Nothing gets her down for long. She doesn't care that Karis is twice her size -- if Karis has something that she wants, she will just climb on top of her and grab it! Being a Daddy's girl has progressed much further. She is utterly obsessed with Mark and jealous over him as well! If I try to give Daddy a hug while she is in his arms, she will push me away!!! She loves music, especially if the song has motions that Karis and I show her. Her favorite songs are "Jingle Bells" (as soon as she hears anyone sing it, she immediately starts waving her arms up and down :) and "Wheels on the Bus" (to which she will do all the motions:). She loves to read and makes me cry with laughter because she tries to copy all the sounds that I make. Her favorite book is "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?" and she is simply hilarious mimicking the silly sounds. Have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE this age? :)

Miss Karlie Sue woke up on her birthday and randomly decided that she was too big to nurse anymore. She simply will not sit still for it if she is the least bit awake! She is still nursing once and sometimes twice in the evenings, but that is all. I am praying she will continue that through the cold, yucky months to help fight off all the winter bugs floating around, but I'm not too optimistic. I was grateful that she waited til she was old enough for cow's milk, but it made me a little paranoid at first because she has never accepted a bottle and hasn't really shown a great interest in a sippy. However, the girl loves plain yogurt from a cup (the home-made kind isn't quite as thick as the store-bought kind :) and probably downs a good cupful of it every day. Crazy, huh? And she also quickly figured out that she would be hungry if she didn't use the sippy. So I think we are going to be ok. But she has also gotten to be a little more of a picky eater this week (I knew it was coming :) so I am having to work hard to make sure she fills her belly!

Thankfully, Karlie has turned into an even better sleeper than Karis! She usually goes down for the night at 6pm, waking up for one feeding around 10pm and then sleeping in until almost 8 am. Karis never slept past 7, so I am feeling a bit spoiled :) She still takes 2 naps, although I think sometimes she plays through her morning one because I often hear her in there randomly squealing. But I'm just thankful that she is happy to stay in there so Karis can have some Mama time all to herself :)

I could keep writing all night long about my little sweetie, but I promised not to get emotional about the fact that she is no longer a baby.... :) Oh, I love her!
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Computer problems :)

Sorry to not post for so long -- first our laptop died and then our desktop! So I haven't had any access to a computer in over a week! But we have several amazing friends who generously slave over our computers, so thankfully we didn't have to buy a new computer! So much has happened in the last week with my baby turning one and the purchase of a new van! I have tons of pictures and I promise to share them eventually. But first I must catch up on all my e-mails and to-do list, so this is all for now :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The second time around...

Since it is almost Karlie's first birthday, I thought I'd write a little about what worked for me (or didn't! :) with the second baby.

-- Swaddling is my best friend, as well as the paci. I still haven't figured out the best age to remove the swaddle, but I know that 6 months is undoubtedly NOT the best age to remove a paci. (I swear it took Karlie 2 months to get over her loss!) It is much easier to get rid of the paci at 15 months (it only took one nap) and letting the baby keep it that long will give Mama many more hours of much-needed sleep!

-- Two under two years is utterly exhausting for the first 8 months, but after that, it is much easier having a playmate so close in age! And, yes, I would be thrilled to do it again if the Lord ever blesses us in that way again.

Coconut oil is undoubtedly the best baby lotion and diaper cream ever! Completely natural with anti-bacterial properties, it totally cleared up any skin issues my baby ever had.

It is sooo much easier to skip the whole "babyfood-making" process and simply smash up veggies and meat from whatever I am fixing the rest of the family for dinner. With Karis, I stocked my freezer full of "babyfood ice cubes," but this time I just didn't have the time and I figured fresh food was better for her anyways.

It is much more messy but soooo much easier to just let a baby feed herself from the start. Who needs yucky cereal and purees anyways? The baby really doesn't need any food at 6 months other than Mama's milk. Karlie had so much fun experimenting with all the different flavors I gave her to taste! It didn't matter how much she actually got into her mouth. I really think that being allowed to feed herself from the start gave Karlie incredible hand-eye coordination. Plus, I actually got to eat dinner without stopping every 2 seconds to feed the baby. So much nicer! The only time I used a spoon with Karlie was for soft-boiled eggs yolks, cod liver oil, and home-made yogurt because of their great nutritional value.

Discipline is NOT any easier the second time around! I thought it would be, since I had already figured out our "methods" and been through it with Karis. But no, it's definitely harder. With a toddler running around, it is harder for me to take the time to let Karlie disobey and continue touching the forbidden object so that I can discipline her and teach her the word "no" when it only takes a second to remove her from temptation. But then she doesn't learn anything, does she? :) Also, the "baby of the family" mindset affects me somehow. It is harder for me to discipline Karlie. I can't explain it. But we are determined to teach her obedience, so I must! Pray for me:)

I wouldn't want to go a day without wearing my baby! My hotsling (a great deal I found on e-bay!) was my favorite carrier from birth to 6 months. From then on, Karlie loved being in the Ergo carrier. I can't recommend these enough! I also made myself a Moby-style wrap when Karlie was around 6 months and I think I would have used it a ton if I had it when she was first born. But once she could go in the Ergo, it is just so easy and comfy for me that I didn't use the Moby-style wrap as much.

Getting a baby to use the potty is much easier than starting at the age of 2 :) Karlie has been actually using the potty several times a day since she was 9 months old. She doesn't stay dry in between, but she definitely knows the purpose of a potty and uses it when I set her on it if she has the need. Potty training Karis wasn't that bad, but this is much easier!

Getting naps to coordinate was probably my biggest battle with 2 under 2. It made for a really long day if I didn't get a break for at least 20 minutes!

Blanket time saved the day for me more times than I can count! I'm getting ready to train Karlie to do it as well.

These nursing tops from Target
are absolutely my favorite things in the world. I would never humiliate myself by admitting that I probably wore one every single day the first 3 months of Karlie's life and probably at least 4 times a week forever after that. Or that I will continue to wear them as long as Karlie wants to nurse. They were fabulous to layer with because they kept those chilly fingers off my bare belly and kept my back covered when nursing in public. And in the summer, I would wear them by themselves around the house.

I need help sometimes -- With Karis, I did it all myself. I never asked for anyone to babysit, never admitted I needed help with anything. I'll admit; that was simply my wretched pride. I would have probably continued in such sin except for the fact that I truly could not do it all on my own this time. My dear Mom went home after the first week and my body rebelled when I tried to do it all myself. I was in serious pain and had to ask a friend to come help me take care of my precious girls so we could make it through the day. After that, I realized that people genuinely want to help and even enjoy doing it! So this year has been a lot nicer in that regard. When Karlie was sick and kept me up for 4 nights straight, I asked some dear friends at church to take Karis for a couple of hours so I could rest. When I needed a date with my hubby, I asked for a babysitter. And not only did Karis survive, but she had a blast and made new friends! It is a good thing to ask for help!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surrounded by babies...

Everyone seemed to think that Karis would like a new baby doll this year... and they were all right! She has had soooo much fun with her 5 new babies. And just so you can be impressed by her creative genius, I'm going to let you know their names: (from L to R) "Hairbaby" (because you can brush her hair and put in bows), "My Baby" because Karis finally recognized a pronoun other than "her" :), "Her Baby" (the only one pictured that she previously owned), "BabyDoll", "Purple Baby", and "Pink Baby." And her other babies that didn't make the photo-op? "DollBaby" and "Baby Doll" (and yes, I know that makes 2 "babydolls" :) But just so you know that she gets it honest, let me remind you that our pets are named "Pup-pup" and "Blackie Kitty." :)
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

More Christmas highlights!

Karis and Papa both excited about being outside in the snow...

Much to his chagrin, Daddy won a snuggie in the white elephant gift exchange. Even though he protested loudly, we made him take a picture of it :)

Karlie was super excited about her new ride!
All the Delong couples on the couch!! I love my in-laws!
Uncle Rich with 2 (out of 5) of Karis' new babies :)

Karlie and Caroline making funny faces together...
Karlie loved Aunt Mel's hugs...
Mark snuck in some Caroline kisses...
While Nina grabbed Karlie for a squeeze (Did I mention that my girls got a little spoiled from all the attention? :) It was pretty much one of the most fun Christmases ever!
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