Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So much to thankful for...

... that I can feel the baby moving all the time! It just makes me feel better being able to tell that the baby is alive and kicking :)

... after several months of traveling every couple of weeks, I am grateful that we are staying home for a while! I have thoroughly enjoyed our wonderful vacations, but I am weary of traveling and excited to get my girls back to their normal routines :)

...that I feel like cooking again! After shunning my kitchen for so long, I've really been excited about trying out some new recipes and stocking my freezer once again :)

... for Karis' love and excitement for the baby. She talks about the baby all the time and is constantly asking to give the baby a hug (she'll put her hands around my baby bump and gently squeeze :) or kiss the baby. It has been so much fun this time around to have someone else as excited as I am :) Other folks might get tired of talking about the baby, but Karis wants to hear everyday about what the baby will be like. Last time, she was so little that she didn't have a clue I even had a baby in my belly. So this has just been so much fun!

... that I found a couple of summer maternity shirts 80% off at Kohl's! I have a lot more winter maternity stuff than summer, but my belly poked out a lot earlier this time around :) Maternity clothes are ridiculously expensive so I was pretty excited to find some good deals!

What are you grateful for today? Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


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Some good obedience goals to consider

Sometimes I wonder if my expectations for my children are too great or not enough. All children are different, of course, and no list will apply to all. But sometimes I second-guess myself when I see younger children with better self-control than my own girls' or kids allowed to get away with more. I read this article today and thought she listed some very good goals, especially for obedience, for different stages. Not that she is the final authority, ha,ha, but it was helpful to me to read them and evaluate them.

Some thoughts I had:
*I would say these are definitely goals for the end of that year. For instance, Karis could care less about colors and would get mad if I tried to "fix her fingers" when coloring when she first turned 2, but by the end of her second year, she was obsessed with pink and knew how to handle that marker so she could scribble to her heart's content :)

*Gender makes a huge difference. My Karis can happily sit still over an hour if you are reading to her, but most boys her age will not. I don't really think it is a matter of discipline, but just gender differences.

*I personally think any preschool "work" for kids 3-5 should be FUN! I'm a teacher by nature and have a blast planning out educational activities for Karis and I to do. But if she's not interested, I ditch it and try again in a couple of months. There is no reason for a child to get burnt out on school work before school even begins! (Sorry; as a former preschool teacher who saw kids being forced to sit and do worksheets too early, it is kinda a pet peeve :) No kid has to know how to read and write before even going to kindergarten. And honestly, most boys really should wait til the age of six before going to kindergarten. They simply have too much energy and not enough fine motor skills to sit still and work so much. But that is just my opinion :)

Monday, August 23, 2010


I love this picture because they kind of have the same expression :)
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Copy Cats :)

After Mark got back, we went to visit with his folks and his brother's family for a few days. So much fun and I have tons of pics. I thought these of Karlie and Caroline (16 months) were so cute because they were always copying each other :)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glad to have Daddy back!

Just wanted to let you know that Daddy finally made it back safe and sound! Boy did we miss him!!! But now we are all smiles again :)

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Monday, August 16, 2010

From Karlie...

Hi Daddy! Since I've been asking about you non-stop, Mama let me write the post tonight. We had a pretty fun day, although it would have been better if you had been here with us. We started out our morning taking Pup-pup on a walk. Karis had to put My Baby in her basket in the bottom of the stroller so she could ride with us. Mama couldn't get a picture of Karis because she was dancing around and squealing the whole time, but I gave a nice smile when Mama said "Smile for Daddy!"

When we got back, Karis and I serenaded everyone on the electric piano. Mama said you were probably glad to miss that one :)

Then it was pool time again! We had to put every single float in the pool before we could get in. Karis was a crazy girl, with no fear anymore. She was jumping off the steps at Papa, even when he didn't know it, laughing hysterically. Mama had to keep telling her to tell Papa and wait til he was looking before she jumped. She sais she wished you were here to keep her in line :)

Karis also got very independent in the pool and could swim all over in her float without any help.

I enjoyed splashing and kicking in the pool for a while, but then I decided to work on my tan. Because unlike my jealous Mama, I can get brown like an Indian.

After naps, we went to visit Grandma at her work and tried to wreck her nice little room she had just set up. Speech teachers have the best toys!!! We charmed all the teachers we met and there was even an old Beagle dog that let us pet him! I wanted to take all the books out of the library and refused to leave until Mama asked if I was hungry and wanted to get something to eat. Then I ran out the door in a hurry!!!

Then we went out to eat. Karis and I behaved very well (although you know I refuse to let anyone help me with my drink and have to get drenched :) and ate every bit of our ice cream. Mama said that we are both definitely Daddy's girls because we each tried our green beans and promptly spit them out because we did not like the texture! Then Papa let us climb on the cars in the mall and it was a lot of fun. I was determined to be in every car that Karis climbed in, even if it was a one-seater and there wasn't any room for me. Mama tried to run in the fabric store, but we were on a sugar rush from all the ice cream and started running laps. So we just decided to go home :)

I went straight to bed, but Karis stayed up to tell you about her day:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Daddy...

(Daddy is out of town on a business trip for a couple of days, so Karis wanted to tell him all about her day...)

We missed you a lot today, Daddy. Mama had quite a time getting us in the car ready to go to Grandma and Papa's house.... she couldn't find the top to the cooler, the dog disappeared for the morning, and Karlie fell down the front steps and scraped her cheek while Mama tried to pack the car. But Mama just gave us a chocolate chip and buckled us in while she finished packing and the dog finally came home at the last moment and we were off!

I was very proud of Mama, because she didn't make any wrong turns! Pup-pup entertained us, jumping around in the car trying to catch a fly. And Mama's new CD was great; I listened to it in rapt attention for almost an hour. Unfortunately, Karlie still asked for a book every two minutes, but we somehow finally made it to VA!

After I took a fabulous nap and Karlie screamed through her nap (I think she was missing you!), we got to go swimming! Karlie and I were so excited that we immediately ran to the steps and got in. Mama didn't get many pictures because she had to be in the water with us the whole time. But we had a blast throwing every single float in the pool and then trying them all out.

After the pool, we had fun destroying Grandma and Papa's living room and playing with all their toys. Papa found Mama's old doll baby bed and I am soooo excited about it!!!!! Karlie keeps driving me crazy and knocking the canopy off, but Mama says I have to share.

We missed you a lot during singing time tonight, so Mama hid the camera beside her and tried to take videos so you wouldn't miss it completely. She said she wishes her singing wasn't so loud, but at least you get to see our cute motions :)

After Karlie went to bed, I talked Papa into doing the really hard kitty puzzle with me. I entertained him by chatting up a storm while he figured it out.

Mama let me have a long ride on her old wooden horse before putting me to bed. I sure miss you and talked all day long about you meeting us at Nina and Papa's house on Tuesday and that you are bringing me something special from New York. I love you! Good night, Daddy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cute conversation...

Daddy: Karis, I'm really going to miss you while I'm gone on my trip. Maybe I'll find something special to bring back for you while I'm in New York.
Karis: Maybe you can bring something back for Karlie, too. Because she'll take mine!
Daddy: And maybe you can find something special for Daddy on your trip... and get two, because Mommy likes to take my stuff, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Karlie Sue at 18 months

I can't believe my baby is a year and a half! So glad I have another baby coming, or I just might get emotional about this. But Karlie is such a fun 18 month old that I really don't stop to think about how she used to be so little :)

Karlie knows she is a big girl and really and truly believes that she can do everything that Karis can do. And most of the time, she succeeds :)
Karlie loves to dress up with Karis every day. She particularly loves Karis' shoes, and wears about 6 different pairs of them a day. It doesn't matter that they are 5 sizes too big for her -- she is determined to wear them anyways! She also tries to wear Karis' normal clothes every day. She will grab a shirt from the bin and come to me, begging me to put it on her. I can only imagine what they will be like as teenagers, trading clothes back and forth :)

Karlie says lots of words now (I've lost count :) and can mimic pretty much anything you say. She also understands pretty much everything you tell her, but whether she chooses to obey or not is a different story :) For the most part, however, she still wants to please and is pretty cooperative. She does love to tease Karis, though, and is always trying to snatch whatever toy Karis is playing with with a mischievous grin on her face :) Then she will take off running, wanting Karis to chase her.

Karlie is very obsessed with puzzles right now. She liked them before, but puzzling finally"clicked" for her and and she can do any of them now. She prefers to do the same one over and over and over at least 36 times. Seriously. But it is great because it allows me to read with Karis. Karlie will usually sit and read with us for the first 15 minutes, and then she hops down and grabs a puzzle to do on my lap while I read to Karis for another 20 minutes or so.
It is copycat city at our house right now. Any sounds, motion, or action overheard by Karlie will indeed be mimicked. For example, when Karis was dancing around too fast and bumped into a table, falling on her back, screaming, and grabbing her head, Karlie gently laid herself on her back, screamed, and held her head :) And when the dog groaned in her sleep, Karlie somehow managed to make the same sound. And when we went to a petting zoo, I seriously thought there was a goat outside the pen right behind me until I turned and saw Karlie conversing with the goat with the identical "Maaaa!" It is pretty funny, except when she copies Karis doing something she ought not do :)

Karlie is fiercely independent right now. She wants to do everything on her own, and even fights letting me carry her or holding my hand when we cross the street. (Obviously, we make her, but it is a battle every time.) Sometimes it is nice that she is independent, like when she figures out how to put her fake crocs on all by herself or when I am too tired to carry her. But other times we have to remind her that she is still a toddler and needs Mama's help :)

Thanks to Karis' example, Karlie is very into baby dolls right now, dressing them, wearing them in a sling, and pushing them around in the stroller. She gets very excited when she sees a baby in public, shouting "Baby! Baby!" and usually running up to the stroller and peering in before I can grab her. So I'm hopeful that she will be excited about our new addition in February and not get too jealous :)

Karlie tells me when she needs to poop and then again after she does. You would think that means that she is ready for potty training, but don't get your hopes up. She has never managed to sit still on the potty for more than 15 seconds, so I haven't really felt like trying to make it happen :)

We started doing our nightly singing time before Karlie goes to bed so that she can take part in it and she has really had a blast. She does all the motions to the songs and matches high and low pitches without actually saying most of the words. It is really cute and we get quite a kick out of her every night :)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

And there's more...

Ever since my last post, I've been remembering so many things that I don't want to forget about Karis' third year. So please indulge me with one more post of random Karisisms :)
Dress-up is an all-day event at our house. Karis is usually decked out in each of the following at the same time: one of her many hats, sunglasses, backbacks or pocketbooks, baby slings, fancy skirts or tutus, jackets, and pairs of church shoes while pushing a baby stroller or grocery cart. The pushing is usually interrupted multiple times by wild dancing and singing, often resulting in one of Karlie's many near-death experiences as she tries to copy her big sister and either gets too close to the flailing arms and legs or falls down because of the multiple layers of clothes/shoes that are too big.
Karis usually has to be reminded over and over again at meal times to stop talking and focus on eating. If I forget to remind her, we will all be done and she will have a full plate because she chatted the entire dinner :)

Although she talks my ear off all day long, when introduced to new people, she plays the shy card and generally refuses to tell her name or age. We are working on this :) However, even though she won't often answer questions directed at her, she will usually jump in on the conversion, asking the person to repeat something that was said ("What you said to Mama?") She doesn't miss a thing that was said and will interrogate me on the conversation both immediately and later on.
Some favorite words and phrases:
"Actually......" (even when the statement has no need of an "actually" :)
"This is the deal..." or "The deal is..."
"Karlie, this is for Karis. This is not for Karlie!" (Usually when I've told her it is a special book or puzzle or treat to have when Karlie is in bed :)

I've been told that Karis mimics me perfectly when she talks (such as hand motions, eye rolling, etc :)

Karis has a special little pink Bible (a grown-up new testament with tiny words) that our dear friend Laurel gave to her. She carries it around the house all day long, "reading" it "singing" songs from it. During Bible Study every Wednesday night, she "follows along" and pretends to read the passage with us.

If she sees someone pointing a camera at her, Karis either makes the most horrible frown she can muster, or frowns and runs away screaming, "No pictures!" Every good picture I post of Karis is totally candid, usually because she is totally engrossed in doing something fun and has no idea I am taking her picture.

Every night after we put Karlie to bed, Karis and her daddy do something fun together, usually a big puzzle that is just a little too hard for her to complete on her own. They are currently working on a USA puzzle every night and he quizzes her about where all her favorite people live or are traveling to. She also has an "I spy" puzzle that she absolutely adores and she can find every object in a matter of seconds.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Karis Lynn at 3 years!

Oh, how I love my 3-year old!

(Sidenote: Every time I write an update about my girls, I feel like it is my favorite stage. There are no such things as the “Terrible Two’s” or “Tormented Threes.” Each year has it’s ups and downs, but each one is such a blessing and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it!)

Karis is such a bubbly and happy little grown up girl! I can’t even begin to describe to you how much fun we have together. In no particular order, here are some favorites and characteristics of my sweet 3-year old:

OBESSION WITH PINK! Poor Karlie doesn’t even have a chance at liking pink. Karis wants the pink spoon, the pink shirt, the pink book, etc. I’m not sure how this obsession came about because I personally like purple just as much as pink, but my 3 year old is very opinionated about her favorite colors :) Thankfully, Karlie doesn’t care at all and when she sees something pink, she actually runs and gives it to Karis because obviously, it must be hers :)

Karis picks out her clothes every morning. She usually chooses some form of a pink sundress and pink shorts (for modesty :) but you never quite know exactly what she will come out with. So far, I’ve never been appalled at her selection, although I occaisionally try to talk her out of her favorite hot pink headband when it clashes with the rest of her outfit :) She will often want to wear a church dress (“my fancy dress!”) all day long, during the week which I allow as long as we aren’t eating spaghetti or painting :)

Karis went through a short time when she forgot about her baby dolls, but once I got pregnant, she pulled them out and now plays with them all day long. I was surprised when she immediately starting nursing her baby and asking me to swaddle it and fix a sling for her because it had been so long since I had done that with Karlie. Now she has Karlie doing the same things, even though Karlie has never seen it at all ). Karis is EXTREMELY excited about the baby in my belly and talks about it all the time. She is pretty convinced that it is a boy baby “because Jack (her cousin) is having a boy baby!”

Karis has a definite opinion about what she wants to eat. If we don’t have leftovers that I am planning to use up at lunch, I will often ask her what she would like to have and I am always amused at what she comes up with. Would anyone else care for a cream cheese, sunflower butter, and apple butter sandwich? Her favorite breakfast is undoubtedly a cinnamon-apple-cream cheese omelet, although “baby” blueberry pancakes are a very close second.

I love hearing Karis talk! She can converse as well as an adult, as long as she remembers to stop and listen :) She is still in the “ask you to tell it fifty million times stage” and will pester you with the same question over and over if you allow it. She is working very hard on “using her words” with Karlie instead of screaming and fighting her when Karlie tries to take something from her. Karis still loves to sing, and makes up songs all day long. It makes me laugh to hear her in the bathroom, singing at the top of her lungs.

Karis loves her friends and is happiest when we are out visiting! Every day she asks me who is coming over and if we can go see our church friends. There is a young teenage girl in our church who has really blessed me by coming over and playing with the girls. Karis absolutely adores her and talks about her all week long :)

Thankfully, Karis is still taking at least a 2-hour nap every day. She still goes to bed around 7 most nights, but is quite capable of staying up late if we have company :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Whew! Life has been so busy lately and I just can't seem to keep up on the blog. I really have about 10 different posts I should have done so that I don't forget about all the fun we've had this summer. But sleep is just a necessity for me these days... I still absolutely HAVE to nap when my girls do so that I can make it the rest of the day... and their naptime is my main computer time :)

But the good news is: I've reached the second trimester!!! YAY!! YIPPEEEE!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! Seriously, it is the most wonderful thing in the world. I've gone from being utterly miserable and forcing myself to eat for the baby's sake and just "surviving" to actually enjoying my day and relishing food again and being productive! It is absolutely amazing to me the difference a couple of weeks have made. I'm still waiting for that burst of energy I usually get in the 2nd trimester, but I am ever so grateful to be feeling better!
My girls are just so much fun right now and I want to share all they've been doing! But I think I'll give them each a post of their own over the next few days since it has been so long since I've written an update (I mean, Karis turned 3 back in May and I never wrote her 3-year post -- aack!)
Our awesome friend Jason randomly took some unbelievable pictures of my girls that I am so excited about and can't wait to share with you! Until then, enjoy these family shots. But please laugh with me at the non-smiling faces of the girls in the picture below. It was past their bedtime, Karis kept running from the camera screaming, "no!" and Karlie didn't want to be held. Every time I see this photo, it just makes me smile. And knowing all that, you will appreciate the pictures I share later even more. How he managed to catch any smile on my camera-hating Karis is utterly beyond me :)
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