Saturday, May 29, 2010

What I've learned this beach trip... :)

This has been a very unusual beach trip for us: a completely new place and without grandparents. So I thought I'd share a couple things that I've learned :)

Traveling in the evening does not ensure that my girls will sleep at all on the trip. Regardless of the fact that she is normally sound asleep by 6:15 every night, Karlie will probably not quiet down in the car until at least 10:00pm!

Stickers are my best friend. The only 30 min stretch of peace in our 6 hour trip was when I was feeding Karlie stickers to decorate our van with :)

A van is a wonderful and amazing thing. Never before have we been able to bring so much on a trip. The most important item that we can now bring is our wagon. I cannot begin to describe how useful it is on the beach!

A beach trip is a lot more relaxing when you bring grandparents along :) We have had a blast, but the only relaxing Mark and I get is when the girls take their super-long naps after coming back from playing all morning on the shore.

Food is the only way to keep the fussiness down when the girls are utterly exhausted and are too sandy for their nap yet. A special snack makes a huge difference!

There is no such thing as a perfect family beach picture with my family (Lauren, you are so incredibly blessed to have toddler who loves to pose; your beach pictures make me jealous :) There is simply no way to get both of my girls to even look at the camera at the same time, let alone be smiling at the camera simultaneously!

It doesn't matter how many cute outfits I pack: if they aren't pink sundresses, Karis will not wear them!

Little swimmy diapers are not leak free and my cloth diapers actually do a better job!

Cod liver oil and a healthy diet really does make a difference in not needing sunscreen! I have never used so little sunscreen in my life! I really should be a lobster right now, but I am not!

My girls are so incredibly different. Yes, I already knew this, but this trip has been a constant reminder. Karlie is a dare-devil who fears nothing. She saw the beach and ran into the water as fast as she could and would have kept going if I had let her. It took Karis about 4 days at Karlie's age to even let us put her feet in the water! And Karis was still initially hesitant this trip! Karlie will also try to walk right into the pool at any given moment. I never even had to worry with Karis because she wouldn't go near the water unless we talked her into it! They are just so different!

We really should invest in a GPS. We say this after every trip because we are notorious for taking a wrong turn. It would probably be a worthy investment for us.

The Singing Bible is fun the first time or two, but when your 3-year old is utterly obsessed with it and doesn't want to hear anything else, it is a BAD thing!

You can NEVER have too many beach towels!

I should never hold my squirmy Karlie and my camera at the same time! NEVER! Once again, I have dropped our camera and it is currently out of commission :(

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So honored...

I just wanted to let you know that I've been asked to be a regular author on the Prayer of Hannah blog. This is such an honor for me because I respect these ladies so much and have learned a great deal from them since the blog's inception. It is truly the most helpful blog for mothers that I have ever read. They tackle a wide variety of topics from cloth diapering, to books, to discipline, to communicating with husbands, etc., with the goal of helping other Mamas raise godly children. So if you haven't checked it out before, please join me there as we discuss a different topic each week!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Birthday girl!

Karis Lynn is 3 years old! And let me tell you, this girl could not possibly have celebrated any more :) Her Bible Study friends made her cakes to enjoy at our game night on Wednesday, she got to help me make her own brownie cake and decorate it all by herself, Nina picked up an awesome ice cream cake for her party, and on Sunday, she had a joint celebration after church with her little friend, Allie, with all our wonderful church family. It was quite an exciting week!
Karis is currently utterly obsessed with all things pink and polka-dotted. She requested my grain-free brownie cake with pink icing and lots of polka-dot sprinkles. She started out placing each sprinkle on a precise spot, but finished by completely dumping the sprinkles all over the cake.... so much fun!!

My sweet 3- year old!
... utterly amazed at the elephant-butterfly game from Nina and Papa :)
... trying to blow the whistle
Very excited about her pink and purple tricycle!
I was so proud of her because immediately, Karlie wanted to ride and she had fun pushing her sissy :)
And a pink scooter, too!
Admiring her big pink cake after church with a little help from her friend, Jon.
Daddy helped her blow out the candles

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Karlie Sue at 16 months!

At 16 months, Karlie Sue...

... is utterly fascinated with taking the tops on and off of everything! She will play with one marker for the longest time, but you have to watch because she loves to put it in her mouth in between taking it on and off. And she gets really mad if she gets the top turned around and it won't go on!

... finally calls her sister by something that actually sound like her name: "Da-ris" For the longest time, we thought she was calling Karis "Da-de" like baby. Sorry, sweetie, for giving your big sis such a hard name to say :)

... Now not only asks for her shoes all day long, but for a bow as well! (Not that she leaves it in her hair long :)

... Is still taking a pseudo-nap every morning, most often just reading books, talking, singing, and throwing stuffed animals out of her crib for about 45 min. But on days when we skip that "quiet
time," she is utterly exhausted and a mess so I know she is not ready to give it up which is fine by me!!!!

... loves to eat soup, yogurt, or anything with a bowl and a spoon! She does manage to get a lot into her mouth, but inevitably makes quite a mess as well. And she is definitely into dumping her bowl when she is full, and gets disciplined regularly for it!

... loves her sissy so much and gets really mad if she wakes up from an afternoon nap first and I won't let her go wake up Karis. If I turn my back for a second, she is in her sissy's room in a heartbeat!

... thinks she should be able to run around in a store like her big sister and gets mad when I don't let her! Karis was content to be in the Ergo or buggy until well after Karlie was born, probably 2 years old. But Karlie sees how much fun she is having "helping Mama" and wants to join her! Unfortnately, Karlie has not yet learned the"one-finger rule" and is a holy terror if she is let loose in a store!

... always wants to "help" Mama cook and do dishes like Karis -- if she sees me at the stove or sink she grabs a chair and starts yelling for me put her on it to help. It is quite fun, but the task overseeing two little ones on chairs makes it difficult to actually get anything accomplished :)

... does her signs regularly, although we are working on remembering to sign "please" before starting to holler! She always signs it so nicely and sweetly after giving a blood-curdling scream to get my attention :)

... slept very well in a tent with her sissy and parents right beside her... they seemed to enjoy it so much and it makes me think I might let them share a room sooner than I originally planned. It'd be great to make a playroom out of one of their rooms to get some of these toys out of my living room!

... has the biggest, brightest smile that makes me want to play peek-a-boo all day long!

... has the best tan of any of us and will probably be an Indian if we make it to the beach this year :)

... gives the best, tightest, most ferocious, bear hugs ever quite frequently and Mama just can't get enough of them!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our camping adventure!

Karlie with her buddy, Allie. The wagon was a huge hit at the campsite (both with Daddy, for carting all our junk around, and with the kids:)

(Warning: long post! I wanted to remember this trip:) We decided to give ourselves an adventure and go camping with our church family last weekend! Our church does a big camping trip every spring and fall. In the past, we have simply spent a day there with all our friends, but this time we decided to see how the girls would do sleeping in a tent!

First of all, I just have to say that they had the time of their lives! Karis just walked around smiling as big as she could, taking it all in. She loved following around the big kids and listening to their banter. I am so thankful for our wonderful church family because they just love our girls and are such a big help. I can't count the number of times I threw Karlie at someone and ran off to take Karis to the potty (It was a short hike to the bathrooms:)

(Side-note: Karis going potty had been one of my biggest concerns about the trip, because I was pretty sure she would just hold it for 24 hours :) Karis has never actually used a potty anywhere other than at a family member's house -- she refuses to go in public restrooms (not that I blame her :) and is quite capable of holding it for eternity. So I expected quite a battle in talking her into going potty. But surprise! She evidently really enjoyed the long walk to the potty and was fascinated by the facilities, so she asked to go about every hour. Which is amazing in itself, because at home, I am lucky if can I talk her into going about every 3 hours!)

But back to camping... My biggest concern was bedtime and all of us sleeping in the same tent. I initially made the mistake of putting Karlie down before it was completely dark, and you can imagine how well that went over :) She knew she was missing out on lots of fun! So I put her in the Ergo for a while til it was pitch black and she was so tired that she passed out after fussing for only about 5 minutes. Karis was super excited about sleeping right beside Karlie's pack N Play and was ever so good about being quiet when I put her to bed. I was just so proud of her! Those two munchkins slept ten times better in a tent than I ever will! I absolutely love the camping experience, other than going to bed, ha,ha. I just sit in bed and imagine bugs crawling all over me and I just can't sleep. I seriously have to pray myself to sleep when camping :) But it is worth it for the girls to have the experience and maybe not grow up to be such a priss like me :)

... So the girls were sleeping fabulously until the monsoon started :) Mark had to get up and put the rain flap on, which woke up Karlie. She kept saying, "Mama? Daddy? Mama? Mama?" I just kept telling her , "Mama is right here, go Night-night!" And I was so proud of her! No fussing at all! She sat up and watched the lightening show and ridiculously close thunder and never fussed a bit! She talked to me a bunch, but was completely happy. Karis, on the other hand, never even woke up! We couldn't believe it because the storm was crazy! The rain pooled up on the side of the tent, right where Karis was sleeping, and we had to move her. She didn't even know she was getting soaking wet! When we finally got her settled again, she went right back to sleep. My girls are awesome campers!!

One more thing I want to remember -- when Karis woke up the next morning, she rolled over with her eyes still closed and started fussing. But as soon as she opened her eyes and realized we were still camping, she smiled the biggest grin ever! She was so happy to be at the campsite with all her friends :)

Karis was just in utter bliss the whole time! (Ok, except for when she fell down, which was often, but for the most part she was just so excited!) I was super proud of her for how well she obeyed and was careful around the bonfire. She stayed right in her little chair for the most part and was content to watch the fire, eat marshmallows, listen to everyone chat, and sing songs.

I love those pigtails!!! I wish you could have seen how incredibly dirty my baby was by the end of the day. Absolutely filthy, but she just had so much fun playing with the dirt and rocks and puddles!

"I want you to spin me!"