Saturday, July 30, 2011

Karlie loves swim lessons!

We weren't planning on doing swim lessons with Karlie until next year because her age-group is normally in a parent-child class and we figured we could do that ourselves and wanted to save money. But she really wanted to go watch Karis and for the last five weeks, she has sat on the bench with her My-na baby, watching Karis learn how to swim. Every time we go to a pool or lake, she begs Daddy to do "swim lessons" with her and does them every bit as well as her sister. So we figured our little dare devil would be fine in the big girl class and talked with Coach Barbara and signed her up for the last session with Karis. She was ever so excited!!!
Her only sadness was that she would have to leave My-na baby on the bench with Daddy :)
But she quickly forgot about My-na baby and had a blast at swim class!
Karis was there to cheer her on (and try to get away with eating the water, little stinker!)
Here she is waiting for her turn to jump off the side to coach Barbara.

She did a great job int the big-girl class and was actually more eager to try new activities than her more hesitant big sister :) But both of them really love swim class and we are so proud of them both!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A way to get some free books (or whatever you are looking for!)

I've heard several people mention Listia, but haven't gotten a chance to check it out until today. And now I am hooked :) Basically, you get free points for signing up and can use them to bid on anything people are selling. If you sell things, you get even more free points to use to bid. It is like e-bay, only I don't have to spend money! I'm currently bidding on several books I want to have for my girls. I just thought I'd mention it because now I'm wishing I had tried Listia a long time ago! So check it out and see what you can get for free :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My little family

We always take family pics in the gazebo at my parents' church when we go with them :)
Sweet sisters!



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Abbi's 1st time in Papa's pool!

Our old air conditioner began to fail us once again in this oppressive heat, so we did the only thing that sounded like fun: Go to Grandma and Papa's house for the weekend! So instead of sweltering in the heat, we have been having a blast in Papa's pool. This was Abbi's first time getting in, and she seemed to really enjoy it.
Oh, how I love this sweet girl!

She was pretty amazed at first...

But quickly started having fun :)
Karlie was brave and went off the diving board for the first time!

(OK, maybe Daddy just dropped her into Papa's arms, but it was still impressive that she was willing to make the drop :)
And Karis made faces at the camera in between swimming and throwing all the floats in the pool
Abbi loved snuggling with Daddy
What a fun day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Us lately...

This will be a rambling post, I do believe...

After our exciting trip to VA, I've been working hard to get the girls back to a normal schedule. The older girls pretty much skipped naps completely while on vacation and Abbi just took one whenever she looked tired. So staying home for the most part the past two weeks has been so wonderful!

Getting Abbi to take regular naps at the same time each day has been really good for her (she actually started sleeping all through the night!) and will be crucial to our pre-school schedule when we start mid-August (Oh, I'm so excited! :). I also decided to take the plunge and take off her swaddle -- not a far step, however, since she had been kicking out of it regularly! She has done well and had a much easier transition than the other two did. I'm so thankful. I was not at all ready to let my little sweetie cry it out yet! (I know, I'm such a softy!) I still give her the paci when she knocks it out but I figure if I just wait a week or two, she'll be talented enough to put it back in herself. (With Karlie, I made her give it up early and always regretted it.) And Abbi only needs it to put herself to sleep; she always spits it out after a few minutes and sleeps without it.

We were blessed with a cool day or two before this ridiculous heat wave settled in and the girls had a lot of fun outside! I even moved Abbi's exersaucer outside so that she could get some vitamin D and enjoy the weather!
And we always have to have playtime with Daddy every evening! (Which he may or may not be awake for; it really doesn't matter :)
Since Abbi is suddenly so grown up and loves to grab her toys and play like a big girl, we finally got her toys out of the attic. (Definitely more than she needs!!!!)
As you can tell, the big girls were even more excited than Abbi! They've been chasing her around all week, surrounding her with toys every chance they get.
If they only knew that Abbi really enjoys their attention more than all the toys...
Don't tell the big girls (I'm hoping they won't notice), but as soon as they left the house today for swim lessons, I purged Abbi's toy bin. The toy smothering was hilarious, but getting a bit ridiculous. Abbi is perfectly content with only one toy at a time. So I left her about 6. Not counting the dangling ones on her play mat. Just to keep the big girls happy. You know I love to see them smile!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Allow me to introduce...

Alyssa:

(pronounced "uh-lee-suh")

Sorry; I can't show you a picture. That is because Alyssa is Karis' imaginary friend. We've been hearing about her for quite some time now, so I thought it only fair to introduce her to you. Alyssa lives under our kitchen table. Karis "met" her at a restaurant, although she cannot remember which one. Karis (and now Karlie :) are often riding their little pink car under the table to "go see Alyssa." Karlie likes to say, "I go see Alyssa now, Mama, o-tay?"

Alyssa lives with her Daddy and Mama, little sister, and baby brother. She has a kitten named "Polka dot," a Mama cat named "Dot," and a daddy cat named "DJ." Alyssa has 40 bags of treats for Polka Dot. She also has a doggy named Betsy.

Alyssa is lucky enough to eat only blueberry biscuits for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She has a dollhouse and lots of people to play with in her house, and she also has her very own kid attic where she keeps the rest of her toys. She can climb up in her attic and play with them when she wants to. Alyssa seems to always be going to a birthday party or a pool or beach.

It seems that everyday I learn something new about Alyssa, so I'm going to start trying to jot it down each time so you can get to know her better :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a funny conversation...

Mark relayed this conversation he had with Karis today... it is not verbatim, but the best he could remember :)

Mark was putting the girls in the carseat and they were complaining about the heat.
Mark (always looking for an excuse :) said, "maybe if y'all are good we can get some ice cream before coming home!"

Karis, thinking outloud, "why do you always give us sugar when we are good when it is not good for us? Mama doesn't want us to have too much sugar..."
(a minute later) "But you can still give us some ice cream!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Abbi Grace at 5 months

This smiley baby is getting so big! She wants to "stand" all the time and even tries to sit up on her own for a couple of seconds before doing a faceplate, laughing all the while. She is so chunky, though, that I think it will be some time before she can balance that weight to sit properly on her own :)

Abbi Grace is quite social and thoroughly enjoys it when people come over and talk to her. She gives huge grins to random strangers and is quite the ham. She seems to think the world is hilarious, especially her sisters. If they pay her the least bit of attention, she just giggles at them. She laughs hysterically if they dance in front of her or make silly noises (as if they needed any more reason to be silly! :)

Abbi loves to talk and squeal. She especially loves to talk when I give her the paci at naptime. I think it just makes her so happy. She will just chatter away for several minutes after I lay her down, all the while keeping her paci in her mouth. It is so cute :)
Abbi is still a pretty good traveler, but those hands that love to grab have made things a little more difficult in the car because she is always grabbing her paci out of her mouth as she tries to fall asleep.

I left Abbi for the first time ever with Nina last week when we went to the lake and just came back every 3 hours to feed her. It was hard on me, but Abbi did great for her Nina and was very happy! But for the next 2 days she was very clingy and didn't want me to leave the room. (Which is unusual for her; usually I can plop her down on a blanket beside her sisters and she is content to watch them.) So I could tell that she missed me. Thankfully, I have no more plans to leave her any time soon!

Abbi is still just nursing and eating a tiny bit of cod liver oil every day. After she is 6 months, I will start to let her have just a few foods, like home-made yogurt, chicken stock, and soft-boiled egg yolks, but I'm not in a hurry. She's plenty chunky without table food and I'm thankful for this easy stage where I don't have to do any prep-work for her meals :)

Abbi is at the awkward stage where she needs to cut down to just a morning and afternoon nap but just can't quite make it... I usually just put her down whenever she seems tired, but I've just started trying to get her used to a 2 hour 9:00 and 1:00 nap and a shorter 4:30 nap because she just can't make it to bedtime (6:30) without that extra little 4:30 nap thrown in yet.

On a normal night, Abbi only wakes up once to eat, which has been so nice! She usually gets up right around 8:00. Traveling kind of threw her and she was waking up more often, but she is back on track now (whew!)

Abbi's hair definitely has a slight red tint to it and I am curious to see whether it gets more red or more brown as it grows out.

We finally remembered to get the exersaucer down from the attic and Abbi just loves it!!! She excitedly squeals and bounces and chews and watches us make things in the kitchen. It has been a lifesaver because she was really just too big for the bouncy seat anymore!

I'm so thankful for this sweet baby and can't believe she is already 5 months old!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More fun lake pictures...

We had so much fun at the lake that I had to break it into 2 posts :)
Karis and Karlie excitedly watching their Daddy ski!
Doesn't the water look so cool in this picture?
Mark pretty much grew up on the lake.... his Dad inherited a lake lot so he pretty much spent every spare moment of his summers skiing and wake boarding with his friends and family. But then we moved away.... he's been looking forward to this lake day for quite a while!

Letting go of the rope after a long run
And I was pretty excited/ surprised to find that I could still get up on the skis since it had been about 5 years and 3 babies since I had tried :)
Such a thrill!
Karis sang a lot while on the boat :)
And Karlie snuggled a lot :)
And played with my sunglasses
And then fell asleep on Daddy on the last boat ride home :)
Karis, however, was still much too excited to fall asleep. She kept that sweet smile on her face until we put her to bed that night!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A day at the lake!!!

We spent a marvelous day at the lake with Mark's family on Tuesday! Perfect weather and my girls had a blast! I hope we can do it every year :)
Karis absolutely loved life on the boat!
And Mark had fun riding with Jack on the tube
Karis trying to tickle Daddy in the water

Karlie was absolutely fascinated with the sandwich cracker in her hand... She had never had one before and kept staring at it and playing with the cheese in the middle.... and she was exhausted so she would zone out just looking at it... It was hilarious to watch her!

And who said not to drink the lake water? Karlie sure didn't care :)

Karis was so happy to be able to swim around all by herself (with a little help from her life jacket, of course :)
The girls' first time on the tube!!!
Snuggling with my sweet niece who kept falling asleep on the boat :)
My serious Karlie who also kept falling asleep... a day at the lake sure wears you out!! More pics to come...