Friday, October 29, 2010

My Little Pink Turf Tikes

This fall soccer session was a little different and exciting! Karlie was finally old enough to go to her own parent-child class and Karis was old enough to advance to a class without parents. The initial breaking apart was a little difficult -- Karlie kept wanting to go be with Karis and Karis kept wanting Daddy to be her coach :) But we persevered through the first few classes and both girls ended up having a blast! Coach Alex was great with Karis and Karlie loved being able to do the parachute, cone towers, and other activities that the little ones get to do. She had been tagging along with Karis' older class for so long that she didn't know what she had been missing!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Oh, what a nice week this has been so far! I have been so happy to just stay at home with my girls and keep our normal routine. It is amazing how much more relaxed and happy we all are when we do that. The girls would LOVE to be out and about everyday, of course, but they do so much better when we stay home and have time to read our books and Bibles, play outside, be consistent with discipline, and get to naps on time! Other things I am thankful for:

The time and energy to organize! I think nesting has started to kick in. I am s.l.o.w.l.y reorganizing our house, room by room. And it is great. I have two rooms completed and I just feel so much less stressed when everything actually has a place and that place is easy for the girls to get to so they can do their share of cleaning up. It makes such a difference. Now to keep then so nicely organized... :)

For a new nephew! He was 4 weeks early, but perfectly healthy and we are so excited! We just wish he didn't live in KY because we want to go see him so badly!

For the two dollhouses and Little People in the bottom two pictures. They are the reasons that I have had time to organize and cook a bunch lately. My girls will play with them for HOURS! It is amazing! Both of them were bought second-hand for under $5 and they would have been worth so much more! I read on a speech blog that toy houses and people are one of the BEST ways to develop language and I totally agree. My girls will sit and chat with those people non-stop. It is great. but it is hard to get a picture because they won't even look up from their playing to look at me... they are much too focused :)

That my girls are sleeping GREAT in their new beds together at night! Naptime is still a struggle for Karlie... she still wants to chat and play for over an hour before falling asleep :) But we are making progress and I am just thankful that it hasn't affected their great 12-13 hour sleep time each night! And that we can go in and turn on their little fish light in the mornings and tell them to read and play quietly together while Mark and I get dressed and start breakfast. It makes the mornings run so much more smoothly and I love to hear them laughing and squealing and having fun together!

This post is a part of Gratituesday!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting over sickness naturally

I know I posted about this last year when Karlie had strep throat and I chose to not give her antibiotics, but I have found several more effective natural remedies since then and wanted to list them all in the same place. These natural solutions really work!!!! If you can only do the first one, you will still lessen the duration and intensity of your sickness. If you do multiple ones, your ailments simply don't have a chance!! There is really no reason to buy all those over the counter cold and flu medicines filled with chemicals!!

1. Oregano oil -- Personally, I think this is THE MOST EFFECTIVE natural remedy available! If you don't do anything else, please stock up on oregano oil. It is simple and effective. If I start taking it at first notice of a scratchy throat, I can pretty much avoid a bad cold because most symptoms are gone within 24 hours. If I don't start it right away, it might not go away as quickly, but it will still help a ton! I put a few drops in an empty pill capsule and take about 3 times a day. For children, just rub it on the bottom of their feet. Oregano oil is a hot herb and kills bacteria and viruses, very much like an antibiotic but without the dangerous chemicals. Make sure you read the label, though, and buy some that is not watered down with olive oil.

2. A tsp. of raw honey with 1/4 tsp. of good quality cinnamon. Both of these have great anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. If I'm feeling sick, I will mix up a bowl full of honey and cinnamon and take a spoonful about 3 times a day. It soothes a sore throat tremendously, helps fight your sickness, and tastes great, too! For even stronger honey for medicinal purposes, purchase raw Manuka Honey.

3. Gargle with hydrogen peroxide or put drops in your kids ear.

4. Garlic -- If you google garlic you will be amazed at how effective this anti-bacterial natural remedy is. You can simply cut it up into pill-sized bites, or (if you are like me and don't like swallowing those pointy edges :) chop up finely and put in an empty pill capsule. For my girls, I slice it and just rub it on their feet. Their feet are very porous and absorb it very well. I also try to make meals that contain large a mounts of garlic when we are sick. For instance, I will make a pot of our favorite cheesy potato cheddar chowder and add a whole bulb of chopped garlic to the recipe. Or you can generously spread Donielle's "Cold Kicking Garlic Herb Spread" on your favorite bread or crackers :)

5. Probiotics -- These are so important for replenishing your good bacteria! You want to take them on an empty stomach if at all possible.

6. Collodial Silver -- Another super effective way to fight bacteria and viruses. You have to make sure you have a good source, but it really works! I take a mouthful about 4 times a day when I am sick.

7. Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar -- If you can, taking a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with honey and plenty of cayenne pepper really works well. Take it 3-4 times a day. I can't do the pepper, but I just pour a little ACV in my water or tea and drink it throughout the day.

8. Steam Pot for chest/broncial/mucus issues. -- boil water on the stove in a glass pot – if you don't have a glass pot, boil the water in a tea pot and then pour into a glass bowl. When the water is boiling hard, remove from heat and add three shakes of Euchalyptus, lavendar, and pine oils into the hot water. The oil effectiveness lasts about 15-20 seconds so move quickly to get yourself over the steam. Breathe in through your nose, turn your head to the side and breathe out through your mouth. Continue this process until the scents aren't as strong. Be sure to close your eyes. With children, place a washcloth over their eyes as it can burn. You could also make a tent over the top with a towel for really young infants, but if they can get the concept of breathing through their nose, then it will get deeper into their lungs. You're doing it right if it just about takes your breath away or make you cough!

9. Grapefruit Seed Extract -- I add it to my smoothies, tea, or juice all year long just to boost our immune system. When I am sick, I take it in a capsule with my oregano oil.

10. Elderberries -- anti-viral, contains high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants, has cell-protecting components, soothes sore throats, and supports the immune system and respiratory system. I add some dried ones to my morning tea or make a simple elderberry syrup for the girls when they are sick. Lindsey gives a great little video of how to make your own on THIS post.

11. 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.

12. Mullein for chest/cold issues -- Take mullein capsules – The amount taken depends on the size of the capsule. The larger 0 sizes can be 1-2 capsules 3x per day. The small 000 capsules can be 3 capsules 3x per day. This is not a hard science, can take larger doses if the lung infection is bad or persistent. Mullein is a safe herb. You can also make a tea for kids who can not swallow pills. Or add a small amount to applesauce or yoghurt and have them take it that way. I add it to bone broth through out the winter.

13. Home-made Chicken Stock -- Your grandma was right to tell you to eat chicken soup when you are sick because it is chock full of immune-boosting nutrients! But don't buy the store-bought kind full of chemicals, bad salt, and MSG. It is so simple to make your own with nourishing sea salt and immune-building herbs. Everytime I cook a chicken, I make stock for soups. Any time a soup recipe calls for water, I use my stock instead and it adds tons of flavor and nutrients! And anytime we are sick, I reach for my chicken stock!

14. 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.

15. Cod liver oil -- Vitamin D is so important for your immune system and I prefer to take real food rather than just a vitamin D supplement that my body might have a hard time digesting and utilizing. I take it every day but take extra when I am fighting an illness. Don't be deterred by the gross-sounding name -- it comes in pill form so you don't have to taste it :)

16. Herbal Teas -- so healing! Click HERE for a list of which herbs help different ailments.

17. Stay away from sugar and white flour!!! This is so important, because they inhibit the natural workings of your immune system.

18. Let the fever run its course -- (That means NO Tylenol!) This is probably the hardest, yet most important thing for me to do when my girls are sick. 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, your fever will naturally break when it gets too high, then climbs back up and breaks again, etc, until it has killed the infection. So I just try to make my girls as comfortable as possible and if utterly miserable, I give 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...

19. 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 or buy when on sale at Amazon 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! And my girls love it! Smart Water/ Trinity Mineral Water is also a good option for dehydration because it has a lot of electrolytes, but my favorite is coconut water.

20. Lemons -- high in vitamin C, which is important when sick. Once again, I'd rather take real food than a processed pill, so I add a ridiculous amount of fresh lemons to my tea or water all day long when I am sick.

Chiropractor! The relief a chiropractor can bring during illness is simply amazing. I can see immediate relief in my girls' eyes once the chiro has finished. And the amount of drainage that immediately is released is even more proof :) A chiro is particularly useful if you think your child has an ear infection and can bring immediate relief to the pain. Our family chiro has a lot of medical training and gave me much encouragement and more advice on beating sickness 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! I take my girls to a chiropractor before I even think about taking them to a doctor.

22. Coconut oil -- Filled with anti-viral and anti-biotic properties -- I eat a few spoonfuls or spread it on toast or mix in my tea. But make sure you buy the raw, cold-pressed kind.

23. Smoothies with coconut milk, coconut oil, frozen fruit, raw honey, and grapefruit seed extract --The best tasting medicine ever! It is really the only thing I can get my girls to eat when they are absolutely 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!)

24. "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!

25. Homeopathic remedies -- I've recently started trying out Homeopathic options like teething tablets and allergy tablets. I've used the Hyland's and
Boiron brand and they both seem to work well. I plan to try out the cold remedy next time any of us get sick and I have the flu remedy in my medicine cabinet just in case! Homeopathy seems to be very safe and effective. It treats the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. The idea is that by giving a small dose of the very thing that could trigger the types of symptoms that a person is experiencing, you can actually bring about a natural healing response that will help to relieve those symptoms! Pretty neat!

And here are a few more that I recently learned from the WAPF:

1. Ear infections: greatly related to diet; cut out pasteurized milk which is the greatest culprit -- A warm wheat bag on the ear provides enormous pain relief. A warm wheat bag is made of fabric filled with plain unground wheat kernels—you can make your own if you want. You put it in the microwave with 1/2 cup of water for a minute or two so that it becomes just hot to the touch. These are really comforting for the child.

2. Headaches -- Again, related to diet --Headaches often occur when blood sugar is low, so three solid meals a day, with adequate animal protein and plenty of fat, form the basis of prevention. Avoid sugar and MSG—both will cause headaches. Headaches also occur when dehydrated—often after playing soccer. Coconut water, kombucha and other fermented drinks are the best way to rehydrate; they are much better than plain water. We use canned coconut water at sporting events. If none of these types of beverages is available, have your child drink plain water, but not more than two four-ounce drinks every 30 minutes; otherwise it will just go to the kidneys.

3. Fevers -- Don't use Tylenol or other drugs to bring it down! Why do our bodies produce fever? One reason is that fevers slow down pathogens. The germ, bacteria or virus causing the child’s distress wants to replicate every few minutes and the fever slows this process down. It slows down the spread and severity of the illness. So when you bring the fever down you are giving free license to the virus or bacteria to run amuck. And don’t panic if your child’s temperature gets to 102-103 degrees—this is the ideal range for a fever.

Food will naturally drop a fever within about 20 minutes and this drop will last for an hour or two. Just a few bites of scrambled egg or a few sips of broth can bring that fever down a bit. It will not make the fever go away but will manage it hopefully within the 102-103 degree range.

If over 103 degrees—then you need to take steps to bring it down. A cool water enema is one good way to do this. Just get a thick beach towel and put it in the tub. Lay your child on his side without taking clothes off. Slide their pajamas down a little. Place 1/2 to 1 quart warm filtered water in the bag and insert the enema nozzle. Your child will start to feel pressure and will want to go to the bathroom—the water usually doesn’t run out. Then gently put him on the toilet and let him go. This will usually bring the fever down by a degree or two.

High fevers—those that range between 104 and 105 degrees—are not dangerous in themselves, but they make the metabolism run very fast and increase the risk of dehydration. Blood sugar often drops, which can lead to convulsions. Your child can sip 50 percent diluted fresh fruit juice to keep tissues hydrated and blood sugar levels in the normal range. If your child will not take anything, you can administer about 4 ounces diluted fruit juice rectally using a bulb syringe. The body will absorb it rectally. It won’t run out. This may save your child a trip to the emergency room.

4. Tummy aches -- Use slippery elm tincture. Give a few drops in a little water and the tummy ache is gone in about 10 minutes. You can purchase a glycerin-based, non-alcohol tincture of slippery elm at the health food store. Follow the directions on the bottle for the dose. Also, a wheat bag on the stomach or a warm bath will do wonders for a tummy ache.

5. Vomiting -- once your child starts vomiting, don’t give him food, water or liquids for two hours. The stomach wants to rest and if you give food or liquids, it will prolong the vomiting.

6. Diarrhea - Nothing works better than broth for stopping diarrhea— a few tablespoons at a time and very frequently. Broth works because the gelatin in broth binds up the liquid in the colon. It gives bulk and helps to stop the loss of fluids. With really severe diarrhea, you can give an enema to counteract dehydration.

7. Pink Eye -- Place a drop or two of raw milk or colostrom in each eye—this works wonders. Frequent pink eye may be a sign of vitamin A deficiency, so pay attention to the daily dose of cod liver oil.

8. Chicken Pox -- Let the illness run its course; and let any fever do its work. The main thing is to relieve itching, which can be done with baking soda baths. Use a one-pound box per bath.

9. Sore Throat --The best remedy for sore throat is a fever; help her generate a fever by giving her a fever bath. Put her in the tub. Fill it with water as hot as she can stand. You can get it hotter for them if you put them in it while you are filling it. You want it pretty hot, but still comfortable. Leave her in the bath for 10-12 minutes, then get her out, dry her quickly and wrap her up tight. Put her into bed, well covered up.
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays!! so click HERE to see more real food recipes, natural remedies, and more!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NC state fair!

We decided that Karis was old enough to really enjoy all the animals at the fair, so yesterday we braved ominous weather and bad colds and enjoyed a morning at the fair!! Thankfully, the weather held until right when we got in the car to leave and then it started pouring! We were so glad we were not out in the downpour :)

Karis and Karlie both had a blast! Karlie was just excited about all the people and kept squealing, "people, people, people!!!" over and over again :) Karis was most excited about the awesome little miniature train village(the first pic) and kept wanting to go back and see it again. It really was truly fascinating and everytime we looked at it, we observed some little detail that we hadn't noticed before!

The other big hit of the day was the little baby chick exhibit. Karis had randomly said that morning that she wanted to hold a baby chick (I don't know how she got that idea in her head) and I didn't really think that would be a possibility. But sure enough, there were lots of chicks to hold!!!

Karlie absolutely loves Curious George and she was very excited that he had a banana in the picture :)

It was such a fun time and I know the girls will be talking about the experience for weeks to come!

Great books for Little Ones!

As I've mentioned before, I love reading the Passionate Homemaking Blog. I have gotten so many good ideas from Lindsay! Today she posted a fabulous list of her favorite literature recommendations that build Christian character. I got some really good ideas from her list! I just thought I would link to it in case it would be helpful to you.

(Random tip: I've made an Amazon wishlist for my girls to help me keep track of all the great books I'd like to eventually read to them. That way, whenever I actually have money in the budget to buy books, I don't forget which ones I've been wanting to get :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big girls sharing a room!

Mark and I both wondered if we were a little crazy, but we decided to go ahead and put the girls in the same room to make room for baby D3! We decided to go ahead and do it because Karlie is going through a really good listening stage right now and if she wakes up early from a nap, she will lay back down if I tell her to! Not sure how long that is going to last, so we thought we ought to take advantage of it! Karis has always been a fabulous sleeper and never even considered getting out of bed when she moved out of the crib. But Karlie has always been a bit more strong-willed and not as sound a sleeper, so we were really only concerned about her for this transition.

Our family graciously gave us some toddler beds that had been made for my cousins when they were little, so we squeezed them both into Karlie’s tiny room. It is really only an office-sized room, but we wanted to keep the guest bedroom available so the grandparents can come and help out when the baby arrives!

When we started talking to Karis about it earlier on in the week, she wasn’t very excited and said she wanted her big (full-sized) bed in her own room. But by the time Nina and Pap got here with the beds, she was super excited and could hardly contain herself. Karlie was every bit as delirious about it and they had to watch every minute of the set up!

We didn’t know what to expect the first night, but Mark only had to go in once to warn Karlie to be quiet and they were fast asleep!!! We were afraid that we would be waking up earlier every morning since they would wake each other up, but instead, they are mostly happy to talk and squeal and who-knows-what while we take our time getting out of bed! They are just having so much fun being in the same room! The first nap-time was a little crazy – they talked for over an hour and only slept for about 30 minutes before waking up to talk and squeal and laugh some more. And one time when I went in to tell them to be quiet, Karlie had climbed into bed with Karis!

But the second night they didn't make a single sound after lights out and slept all night! And the next day at naptime I told them they weren’t allowed to talk til after they had a good nap, and they went right to sleep – not a peep!!! I was utterly amazed! And they both slept for a good hour and a half... and then the giggles and squeals began :) I think we are going to love this arrangement!!

So all in all, I am really glad we went ahead and made the transition. Now we don’t have to put Karis in the pack-N-play in our room every time the grandparents visit and I just love hearing those two little girls giggle and make memories in their room together!

They had a blast "helping" to put the beds together!

It doesn't take long for such a tiny room to get messy :) But I'm just glad we were able to squeeze them both in!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our 6th anniversary!

We were so excited this year to be able to have a short get-a-way for our anniversary! We didn't have time to plan very well and we didn't want to go far since we only had one night away, so I asked for some suggestions from friends on facebook and we just got in the car and drove. My goal was to find food that we normally can't get in our area. (Yep, sounds like a pregnant woman, right? :) We had a general idea of where we were going, but didn't even have directions (we've lent our GPS to some friends traveling across country). Yeah, I know, pretty silly. It had been a crazy kind of week and we were just relieved to get in a quiet car and go somewhere, anywhere quiet, just the two of us! :)

So we went a little out of our way (but who cares, because it was a quiet car with no silly kid songs or screaming babies!! :) but eventually found our way to the American Tobacco District in Durham. We enjoyed walking around in such a neat place and then ate dinner at The Cuban Revolution. Awesome place! We just stared at the crazy menu in awe and finally got the sampler appetizer platter to start with because we had never eaten any of it before! Yum! We love sweet fried plantains! Our dinner platters were delish as well. Mark got the best skirt steak we have ever eaten!

Then we headed down to Streets of Southpoint Mall area and walked around. What a humongous mall and so many stores that I have never even heard of! We ended up at a beautiful Hilton Garden Hotel and Mark scored big by getting a free room upgrade (I think sometimes it pays to not plan ahead -- by 9:30 at night, they figure they aren't going to book all the rooms and don't mind an upgrade :)

The next morning we slept in til 9:00 (can't remember the last time I've done that!) and had fun looking at some more shops. We did a bunch of research on DSLR cameras because we are saving up to get one at the end of the year. Oh, I can't wait to get such a nice camera!

We finished off our wonderful get-away with lunch at PF Chang's. I originally didn't want to eat at any chain restaurants, but PF Changs is in a class of their own and I never get to eat there. We were amazed at how fresh the food tasted in comparison to the local less expensive Chinese restaurants! And now we have leftovers so I don't have to cook tomorrow night :)

And in case you were worried about our girls, they were deliriously happy with Nina and Papa and didn't even ask about us while we were away :)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From Karis:

"Mommy, probably I'm going to be married to you!" (a random announcement as she was happily playing with her dolls :)

"I'm not a princess -- I'm a teacher because I teach Karlie how to be a princess!"

"Hey! I read that when I was a kid!" (Upon finding a book that she used to read as a baby :)

"Well, I don't have a baby in my belly, so I like sugar!" (After hearing me say that we didn't need a piece of candy because it was pure sugar; she remembered that sugar made me sick to my stomach when I had morning sickness :)
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby bump and the glucose test alternative...

Several friends have requested proof that I actually have a baby bump, so here you go! I promise that I'm not trying to avoid belly pictures; I'm simply behind the camera most of the time and never think about taking a picture of my belly :)

This pregnancy is flying by! I can't believe that I'm already 23 1/2 weeks! My body seems to wear down a little more with each pregnancy but it is ok. I have a pretty constant horrible lower back pain that forces me to retreat to the couch whenever possible... but then I feel my sweet girl kicking all around and I get so excited and know all the pain is worth it! This baby is so active! I told Mark last night that I can't imagine how she could get more active but I know she is going to grow more and kick even harder before long. I honestly wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because I dream that she is jumping out of my belly because she is kicking so hard while I sleep! Pregnancy is truly the most amazing thing anyone could ever experience :)

I was initially bummed that I wasn't going to be able to afford a home birth, but I have been really pleased with my midwife practice. Last week the midwife told me that I would be doing the one- hour glucose test at my next apt. I explained to her that I do not normally eat sugar and that I was pretty sure I would have a major reaction to such a sugar binge, regardless of whether I had gestational diabetes. I'm pretty sure I would throw up everywhere. Anyways, I told her that another midwife practice I had researched offered a fingerstick instead. So she told me to find out exactly what they did and she would look into it. I e-mailed my doula (who is also a midwife :) and she gave me this info:
"the information can be found in anne frye's textbook: holistic midwifery volume 1..... Standard ob testing involves a glucose load of at least 50 g. Some women react badly to this especially if they do not normally eat a lot of sugar normally. It will be a type of shock reaction (starvation diabetes) and not true diabetes... The pancreas can not produce insulin quickly enough after a sugar load such as this and makes the mother feel sick. Then when the pancreas catches up to produce the insulin it can cause a sugar crash appearing to be hypoglycemia. What we do is counsel dietary intake and exercise for prevention of gd and preeclampsia. You can do a fingerstick about an hr after a good meal. If it indicates hyperglycemia then further testing is warranted. Another way to screen is a first morning stick after overnight fast and should be less than 120. But keep in mind the midwifery model of care differs from the medical model so the standard ob procedure has been the glucose drink "

I sent the info to my midwife practice and they said it made sense and it would be fine for me to do the fingerstick instead of the glucose sugar rush test! I was amazed. The big OB practice that I used with my previous two pregnancies would never have agreed to deviating from the norm. I am so thankful that I switched to a small midwife practice!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Karlie Sue at 20 months

What a fun month we've had! Karlie Sue decided this month that she was officially a big girl. She's been trying really hard for the past few months, but this month she was serious! She utterly refuses sippy cups and high chairs now. We made the mistake of letting her try without them one meal and there was no turning back! The sippy cup thing is somewhat of a problem, because she tries really hard, but often forgets her cup is there and knocks it over. So she gets only a sip in her cup at a time and we refill it every time she drinks :) And she can only drink at the table. It cracks me up that at 20 months she won't use a sippy because Karis was still using sippys when she turned 3 years old and I finally said no more! But I guess the little sister always grows up faster. Anyways, both girls have a special water bottles they use when we are out, but we are pretty much sippy free for another year til the baby starts! Now we are thinking about a big girl bed and potty training because she seems to want to be big so badly and we need to transition at some point before the baby comes. But only time will tell... :)

Karlie's language has exploded! She is always coming up with words that I didn't know she could say and it is still difficult/ frustrating sometimes to figure out what she is saying. She makes perfect sense to herself and thinks we should all know exactly what she is talking about! But it is so much fun to hear her talking! We are really working with the girls about asking for things nicely with a please and it is great to be able to hear her little half sentences as she tries so hard to communicate just like Karis. She will copy anything you say and is constantly surprising us!

Obedience seemed to really click for Karlie this month. We spent several days in a hotel room with all 4 of us and we had to spank her once to make her be quiet in her pack n play so we could all sleep. Ever since then, if she wakes up early from a nap, I can just tell her to go back to sleep and she will! It is amazing! No more short naps! Since she is listening so well I am really wondering if now would be a good time to transition the girls to sleeping together in the same room... but I also hate to mess up a good thing!

Karlie is utterly obsessed with "fish" (her cinnamon gummy cod-liver oil), apples, and dates. She seriously begs for them all about 20 times a day. She is also very determined to pick out her own clothes and pajamas. She absolutely loves to be tickled and kissed and her favorite thing to do anywhere is run with Karis. If it is a small space, they will just run in circles :) Karlie is such a happy, joyful little big girl and we love her to pieces!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 9, 2010

everyone wants to snuggle with Daddy...

...even Pup-pup! :) That silly dog even tries to sit on Mark's lap -- she thinks she is just one of the girls!

In this picture, they were all sitting outside watching a hot air ballon float by. We see them often on pretty days, and once it even landed right next door, almost in our backyard! Karlie had no clothes on because I was just getting her ready for pajamas when Mark hollered for them to come look :)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 8, 2010

Crazy girls

Whoever invented peek-a-boo was a genious and definitely had kids. Can someone tell me how long this revolutionary game remains hilarious to kids? Because my girls start enjoying it before they can even roll over and it is evidently still a blast at 3 1/2! Sure, it has evolved quite a bit from the first months -- instead of just laughing at me covering my face and surprising them, now they must run full force down the hallway and jumpout and yell "boo!" at me over and over and over. But oh, the joy it brings! Seriously, peek-a-boo is my hero because it is usually the only way I can get Karis to smile for a camera :)

Notice their beautiful outfits -- Karlie is enjoying a month-long obsession with her monkey pajamas and wants to wear them all day long every single day! And she has never given up her obsession with hats! Karis was super excited about fall clothes and found this red shirt witht kitties on it to wear but wouldn't give up the pink shorts to save her life, no matter how I tried to reason with her that red doesn't usually go with pink :) It has been quite an ordeal to get her to wear pants at all now that the weather is cooler because she was so used to shorts and said that all her pants "bothered" her :) In case you were wondering, on days that we stay at home, I generally let them wear whatever they want to all day long, but they know Mama has the final say when we go out in public. But even then I pick my battles: yes, she must wear pants if it is cold, but if she wants the pink headband with the red outfit, I let it slide :)

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An outdoor wedding!

I always thought an outdoor wedding would be beautiful, but I was too chicken to try it. My cousin was blessed to have the perfect weather for her outdoor wedding! It warmed up just enough so that the bridesmaids wouldn't get cold in their pretty dresses :) And I realized that an outdoor wedding is wonderful for another reason, too: kids! Karis was fascinated by the wedding and (other than occasionally asking questions a little too loudly about what was going on :) was very still and good mannered for the wedding. Karlie, however, did not want to sit still. That was ok, though, because Mark just took her off to the side and let her throw rocks in the creek and he could still see what was going on in the ceremony!

The only picture I could get of my two girls in their pretty matching dresses. (Karis, of course, did not want any pictures taken!)

But Karlie was willing to show off her cute chipmunk grin for us!

They let the kids decorate the car! Karis couldn't believe that she was actually allowed to write on the windows!

Karlie enjoyed this rocking chair while waiting on dinner at the reception

And the highlight of the night was dancing with Papa!!!