Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in Review:

I thought I'd do a quick year in review of our favorite monthly pictures. It is so fun to see how the girls have changed over the past year!

January at Karlie's 2nd birthday party:

February when Abbi was born:

March cuteness:

April on Easter Sunday:
May at the NC zoo for Karis' 4th birthday:

June fun with Daddy:
July fun at Nina's house:
(I had to include another July pic because this is my absolute favorite of the 2 big sisters together :)
August on the 1st day of school:

And I had to include another August pic because I just love this one so much:
September at Great-Grandma Connie's house
October at my parents' house:
November after church Thanksgiving weekend:
December at the Aquarium in Gatlinburg:

I am so very thankful for all the fun memories we shared last year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas pics

I think this post is the last of my "catch-up" posts :) We had a fabulous Christmas with lots of family time and special memories! Here are the ones we caught on camera:

Karis was excited about her new pajamas:
I think Abbi loved the inflatable globe more than anyone :)
Grandma has about 25 or more stuffed Christmas toys and the girls are utterly obsessed with them. The minute we walked in the door they ran around the house gathering them up and they continued doing it all weekend. We had only been there five minutes and I heard Karis pointing to a huge stuffed gingerbread family saying, "this is Mary and this is Joseph and this is baby Jesus!" A gingerbread baby Jesus seemed almost sacrilegious to me, but they were so excited about it that it was just incredibly sweet and hilarious. I wish I had taken a picture at that moment, but we hadn't found the camera yet. Here they are snuggled with a few of them:
Abbi had so much fun with all of the toys because she could finally pull up and grab whatever she wanted:
Still enjoying that backwards paci :)
Christmas Eve -- waiting to open few presents (we like to spread it out :) and Abbi was tickling Karis:
I wish her eyes had been open so you could see how incredibly excited she was a bout her new doll!

I think she looks a little too grown-up in this picture:
Grandma and her big girls:
We have a tradition of putting fruit in the bottom of the stocking. Abbi was too little for one, but she kept stealing it from Karis and was utterly obsessed with it! She chewed a big chunk out of it and was simply enraged when I took it from her!
Sweet baby girl on Christmas day:
Daddy stealing a kiss
Hugs for Great-grandma Connie
So sweet!

Karlie loved her new dolphin stuffed animal:
Papa managed to get Abbi to sit still for just a second:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dear Jon,

We are excited for your new adventure, but we are sure going to miss you!

Beach trips and other outings will not be the same without your fun help...
My babies will not be carried around by fierce giants...
and who will make serious (silly) faces with Karis?

and give my girls piggy back rides and spin them around every week?
Thank you for being willing to share your life with my family and for joining us most weeks for dinner and fellowship. You have become part of our family and my girls think the world of you. We will be praying for you and hope you enjoy your adventure! Know that you will be missed!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Abbi Grace at 10 months

Oh, this sweet baby has had quite the month! She is obsessed with her Mama and managed to sleep with Mama for probably half the month due to sickness and teething and traveling! Mama is glad to be back in her own bed, but Abbi is still waking up trying to talk Mama into sleeping with her again. Mama is looking forward to getting back on a normal schedule in January and teaching her to sleep through the night again!

Abbi is cruising all over the place and actually letting go and standing on her own two feet for a second or two! (Can she really be big enough to do that? I want her to walk, but my heart is just not ready to let her be a toddler already...) She loves music and it is so absolutely adorable to watch her dance if she hears the slightest beat.

Abbi has gone back and forth with nursing. She always wants to nurse when she wakes up at night (of course :), but during the day it is hit or miss. If she doesn't want to nurse, I just pump and she is good about taking a sippy. It actually made it easier on our 7-hour car ride to Gatlinburg because I could pump in the car and hand her the bottle without having to stop and get out and feed her.

Abbi loves to eat! Her current favorites are sweet potato fries and peas, but she will eat most anything I put on her plate (unless she gets in a playful mood and wants to throw things :) I give her everything we eat unless it contains grain, sugar, or processed foods.

Abbi loves to talk and usually just chatters all day long. She finally started saying "Mama" to go with "Da-da" and "bye-bye." She also tries to copy a lot of sounds that we make, especially when we are reading to her. The one she copies most frequently is "baa" for sheep. I have started doing a few signs with her and she just grins when I do them. I think the other girls started signing back around a year so we will see if she does as well.

Abbi understands so much and loves making up games. Her favorite (of course) is throwing things: Her paci, softy, toys, food, etc. If you fall prey to her charms and actually pick it up for her, she will grin really big and then immediately throw it again as hard as she can! Karis taught her how to play fetch and it is really funny to watch how much fun they have together. Karis will toss her softy or stuffed animal and Abbi will excitedly get it and hand it to Karis to toss again. There is much laughing and squealing involved :)

Abi loves to play with Daddy and gets severely insulted if he does not pick her up the minute he walks in the door. She loves it when he carries her around the house as he plays hide and seek with the big girls and squeals with excitement when the girls find them :) She loves to read books and gets excited when I head toward the bookshelf.
Following in her sisters' footsteps, Abbi is obsessed with the cat. If she hears him talking, she comes crawling as fast as her little hands and knees can go, making the same purring sound that Karlie used to make. She gets really excited if she even hears me say the word "kitty." She has already gotten her first cat scratch, as she doesn't know when he is too playful to chase. For the most part, though, kitty has been very nice to Abbi and rubs up against her and lets her pat (beat) him on the back.

Abbi is equally obsessed with outside and the bathroom and gets very upset when the big girls are in either place without her. She wants to be in the bath tub at all times and if I need to clean the bathroom, I just put her in the tub (without water) with a few toys and she is quite happy.

Abbi is a really good car rider and I am so thankful for it! On the trip to Gatlinburg, se would sleep for two hours and then play about 45 minute before fussing. We always stop at Cracker Barrel on long trips to give the girls a good break and let them run around the rocking chairs and play with the toys. After our break, she always fell fast asleep for another two hours. The trip was MUCH easier than I expected!

Abbi love, loves, loves her paci and especially likes it upside-down! More often than not she turns it over as soon as we give it to her. I usually only let her have her paci for naps and right before if she is getting tired/ fussy but it is not quite time to lie down yet.

We just love this little girl so much!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another rambling update...

Whew! I feel like this Christmas season is passing by all too quickly! I haven't even had time to blog about all the wonderful fun holiday things we have been doing. I'm going to try to play catch-up this week, but until then:

-- The natural remedies that I wrote about worked perfectly for Abbi. We started them Monday around 3pm and her fever was gone by that evening. I decided to take her to our pediatrician on Wednesday to be certain all was well because we were going to the mountains for several days and I just wanted to be sure. The pediatrician (not our fav), said that she wasn't into natural stuff and doesn't know much about it, but to keep doing whatever I was doing because her ear was only slightly red, not even bulging anymore! Yay! And Abbi is perfectly fine now, other than that 5th tooth that she is cutting :)

--- the Calcium Citrate seems to be working for Karlie!

--- We spent a wonderful long weekend with Mark's family at Gatlinburg! I took tons of pictures and I have no idea when I will have the time to go through them, but I will share when I can. But we had a blast and I am once again thankful for the fabulous family that I married into.

--- I pretty much did every single bit of my Christmas shopping online and most of it on Cyber Monday. I seriously cannot think of a single present I bought in a store.

--- We also need to redo our budget since we kind of ignored it the last few months. I think I'm going to have to stop reading my deal blogs because they make me want to buy things that they girls would love but we don't "need" just because of the awesome deal. I'm pretty sure I've saved a ton of money but then spent it right away when the next deal came along and I'm not sure that I'm coming out on the side of actually saving money :)

If you want to see what Christmas traditions we started this year, click HERE to see my POH post on the topic.

--- Abbi has been 10 months for 12 days now and I have yet to take her monthly picture or write a post. I hope I get it done before she is 11 months!

--- We haven't done any school since Thanksgiving and I am really trying to get organized for starting again in January.

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Gatlinburg pics

We had so much fun at Gatlinburg!

Most of the cousins squished on a couch :)

Karis was super excited about her new camera!

Bedtime hugs:

They all thought it was hilarious that I received the hat and fishing knife in our gift exchange :) Thankfully Papa traded me for some sweet Monogrammed coasters.
Sleepy girl

I love this guy!

"On your mark, get set, and go!"
Sam doesn't really care to race, but nothing can keep Abbi away from those stairs!
The Daddies and their babies:
Can you tell that my sis-in-law and I hit up the outlet mall together? :)
Sweet tired baby :)
Trying to get a picture of 7 cousins looking at the camera is not easy!