Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who does Abigail look like?

It is popular opinion around these parts that Abigail looks like my sister, Jenny. I found some similar pictures (amazingly so!) and will let you all decide. What do you think?

Jenny and Aunt Ronda at Jenny's 2nd birthday.


Aunt Ronda and Abigail, just after Abigail's 2nd birthday.


Jenny playing the piano.


Abigail playing the piano.


Jenny standing and looking happy (a little younger than Abigail - we think).




Abigail standing and not looking happy. 2 years old.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Double Spoiled

We had some ice and snow last night so church is cancelled this morning. It gets me out of singing, I guess! Here is what we are doing instead. . .


video

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kansas Cuties!

We are having a blast visiting my family! Here are a few highlights and new updates!

- We are enjoying getting to spend most mornings with my grandparents. After breakfast we load up in the van and go to their house (a mile away) and spend some time there). Abigail has had some major break-throughs. She is now petting the elk head and deer head that reside in my grandparents basement and she let my grandpa read her a book today.

Elsie is also enjoying time with her great grandparents. She always seems to be ready for a nap when we get there and I believe my grandma has rocked her to sleep 5 times now! She's getting so spoiled! :)

- Abigail's language has exploded. It definitely makes sense because she has four adults doting on her all day long. At home, it's just me and she definitely doesn't get as much attention. She's starting to talk in complete sentences and come up with some pretty funny things on her own. Here are a few examples.

  • Earlier this week my dad walked past her in the dining room and she said, "Papa, big tummy!" Hilarious!
  • Some of her sentences include, "Abi eat food too." and "Abi put the toys away."
  • She also LOVES my dad's cats and will call them by their "nicknames" including my dad's favorite cat, Puff Daddy, which he calls Puff Dads. It's pretty cute to hear Abigail say "Puff Dads".
  • She's constantly playing hide and seek. Not only does she want us to find her whole body when she hides but sometimes she'll hide her hands and say "hands go?"

- Elsie has really grown and changed a lot (it seems) in the past week as well. She has really struggled with sleep, though. Some nights I've been up 4 and 5 times feeding her. I have two suspicions as to why this may be happening.

1) She's falling asleep while nursing so I just think she's not getting a lot to eat.

and my other idea is that

3) my milk supply has dropped. I've been doing weight watchers for a month now. I read online yesterday that nursing mothers are supposed to really be careful with weight loss and not lose more than 1 lb a week. I guess it's bad that I've dropped 5 lbs since I got to Kansas (a week ago!). So yesterday and today I tried to eat a little more, but not so much that I'd gain it all back.

I'm still tracking everything but just trying to hit my points each day and not have 9+ left over, like I was doing. Poor Elsie! We'll get it figured out. She was only up twice last night so I felt remarkably well rested after being up 5x the night before! Yikes!

That's all for now. Andrew is coming out next Tuesday and then we'll head for home on Saturday (a week from tomorrow). We are certainly having a wonderful time here. I feel like if I had my husband and my bathtub, I could stay forever! :) It has certainly been nice to have a ratio of 4 adults to 2 kids, instead of the usual, which is just me with 2 kids! I've definitely been relaxing and able to do more fun things when others are around to entertain Abigail.

More another time. I have lots of pictures and videos that I'll try to put in a recap at some point.

Tomorrow is another big day. My Aunt Ronda, Uncle Dale, and Aunt Flo are coming to visit us! Yeah!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adventures in Traveling

I never meant to go so long without writing. I guess that I'm taking advantage of all the free-time I have. I have read a book, am taking in lots of Olympics and cooking shows (my favorite!) and enjoying lots of family time.

Anyway . . .

The trip out here was full of adventure.

You know the beginning. . .

Two hours after starting our journey, Abigail got carsick. I pulled off at a bad spot (residential) because she was screaming and my brother couldn't stand the smell. We had no place to clean her up. It was FREEZING outside so I hopped in the back of the van to try to clean her up as good as I could. My parents (driving their suburban) caught up with us and my mom hopped in the drivers seat to drive us to a gas station.

Well, let's just say that on the way there we had to jump a snow bank in order to get on the right road. It was an adventure!

We got Abigail cleaned up in a very dirty gas station bathroom (yuck) and cleaned up the car seat as much as possible and continued on the way, with my mom riding in our car with a bucket . . . just in case (for Abigail).

She didn't get sick again, thankfully, but both girls were crying and fussy by the time we reaching Effingham, IL. so we decided to stop for the night.

I had been dreading spending the night in a hotel with the girls for a while. We've had BAD experiences with Abigail in the past so I wasn't sure what to expect but it wasn't terrible.

I think I figured out that I got up with both girls 5x that night. Abigail started crying at 11:30 pm and wanted food (thank goodness I travel with some) and Elsie needed fed several times. They both woke up early (6:45 am) because of the time change.

We decided that the best coarse of action would be to move Abigail's carseat to my parents vehicle so that someone could sit beside each girl and help them if necessary. This worked pretty well . . . except that it meant my mom ended up having to entertain Abigail the whole second day! Whew!

We didn't get here until about 9:30 pm and then Abigail was wound up. She kept saying "kitty cat" and chasing my parents cats everywhere! Crazy! She still loves them.

Since that time, things have calmed down somewhat. Elsie is still sleeping terribly! I'm not sure if she's growing, spoiled, bothered by her stuffy nose, etc. One night I got up 5x and last night I got up 3x with her. I might try a different sleeping arrangement tonight and see if that helps. Abigail was exactly Elsie's age when she slept through the night for the first time, so I'm expecting to have a little better sleep by this point.

Well, Elsie's hungry. More later!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

V-Day

Happy Valentine's Day to my sweet husband! I miss you and love you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Women Drivers

I will post more about our actual driving experience but I wanted to write before I forget!

Not to brag but I have had so many people comment on my driving (in a good way) the past several months so I thought I'd write my own driving principles down.

I also must give credit where credit is due. I learned a lot of good driving techniques from my husband! :)

Anyway, here it goes.

Jaime's principles for driving in traffic.

1) Be calm.

2) Use your mirrors. Takes way less effort that looking behind you. I use my mirrors all the time - so I know when cars are coming up behind me - I don't just use them when I'm changing lanes or passing.

3) Don't follow too closely. If you stay back a reasonable distance, you won't need to slam on your breaks, you can pass more easily, and you won't cause traffic behind you to break unnecessarily.

I hope you've enjoyed my advice! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Well . . . we're here!

We made it to Kansas . . . . many hours later! :)

I will do a longer post when I'm not about to fall asleep at the computer. Our trip started off on a very interesting note. Not two hours into the trip, Abigail got car sick . . . all over her car seat and self. It was FREEZING outside so we had to get her cleaned up as best we could inside the car. Anyway, I need sleep so I'll write more later.

The important thing is that we made it.

We're looking forward to playing with kitties, spending time with family, and relaxing. We sure do miss Daddy, though (I miss my sweetie!). It about broke my heart when Abigail would say "go home". She was okay after we explained that we were going to Grandma RoRo's home.

Night all!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Snowy Saturday

It's a snowy Saturday in Ohio. I have no plans on going anywhere today and we're nice and cozy.

Thank goodness for electricity, plenty of yummy food, a wonderful family to play with, and plenty of movies for entertainment.

Actually, I won't be able to watch a movie for a while yet. I'm in the process of making Abigail's birthday cake (s) for her party on Sunday. The cake is made but I'm going to attempt to decorate it like Elmo. I'm also baking cupcakes with a slight variation of her cake recipe, which I thought I'd share.

I'm in no way a food blogger. Maybe someday but it seems like too much work.

Instead I'll just post the recipe on here and let you try it!

My sister-in-law found this originally so thanks to her. I've made it all year! We eat it for breakfasts, without the frosting, because it is pretty healthy!

Abigail's Applesauce Carrot Cake

2 cups grated carrots
2 cups filtered water
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups spelt flour or unbleached flour (I use whole wheat if I don't use spelt)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup nuts of your choice (I usually use pecans)

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease pan with spray oil.

In a large pan, bring water to a boil. Add carrots and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Pour entire contents of pan into mixing bowl. Add the oil, apple sauce, eggs, syrup, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and salt. Stir the mixture well.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and nuts. Stir this dry mixture into the wet mixture. Don't overmix.

Pour into your pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use a toothpick or wooden kabob stick to test cake.

Once cake is cool, turn onto a plate and frost.

I'm using a standard cream cheese frosting. We usually don't put frosting on it and eat these as muffins for breakfast.

Once you get the carrots grated and cooked, it's super easy.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dear 2-year-old Abigail

My darling daughter,


What an adventure our lives have become with you around. We love hearing you talk and discover new things. I always love hearing what you come up with next. Here are a few "new" things you are doing:


1) Counting! You've been saying your numbers for a while now but just recently you've started counting things and being right! I gave you a piece of bread yesterday, cut into two pieces, and you said "one", "two" - counting them perfectly.


2) Colors. You are slowly but surely getting your colors right. You now get purple every time and are really good at blue as well.


3) Caring for your sister! You are a champion at putting Elsie's paci back in. Each morning when I go into your room to get you out of bed, you say, "help Elsie". You know she's in the living room waiting to eat so we hurry out to help her. This morning you said, "Oh, hi Elsie. Hungry!" So sweet!


4) Helping Mama! You love to help me do housework. Most of the time you actually do help, but this morning I was cleaning toilets and didn't really want you to help. I explained this and you said, "Okay, Abi watch." (Yes, you call yourself Abi - crazy!).


You are our sweet little adventurous first-born. Each day is a growing experience for you and for us. We love you so much! There are times when you can be a challenge but (with the help of your daddy) I am looking at those times as great opportunities for us to teach you about becoming more Christ-like - which I hope and pray every day that you will one-day desire to do.
Your life verse is Romans 15:13 - "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Your dad and I want all those things for you. We want you to be filled with joy and peace. We want you to trust in our Lord, the maker of you and all wonderful creation. We want you to overflow with hope and be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Abigail with her new dress and her Bitty Baby's new dress.

Now let's go start our next adventure!

Love,

Your Mama

Don't Blink!

I finally figured out (or spent the time figuring out) how to change my blog. I knew it would be easy but I just never took the time to do it.

I love it!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Abigail!

I will try to write my sweet daughter a birthday letter but for now I just want to wish her a wonderful birthday!

She ushered in the day with a coughing fit,a forceful tantrum over what she would wear today(what is she . . . 12?!!!) and the desire to put her pee and poo in the potty! :) She hasn't actually done that yet but it was the first thing she talked about! :)

Two years ago, I was enduring a painful labor and having no clue how my life would change when that little bundle joined our family! What a wonder, joy, and adventure (and many other things) that little girl is!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Busy Week! Reflections!

I have lots of deep thoughts to write about but very little time to put them into words, sentences, and paragrahs that make much sense to anyone else.

I am very sentimental around this time - remembering what I was doing two years ago. This was the day before I became a mother for the first time and boy, I had no idea! No idea the joy, love, challenges, growth that would occur when Abigail joined our family!

We faced another challenge this weekend. Andrew caught a nasty stomach bug this weekend and was laid up for the good part of a day. He's out of bed this morning but is still at home - taking his first ever sick day (for himself anyway - he's stayed home with Abigail before). Thankfully the rest of us have been spared - at least so far. Abigail woke up coughing last night and my heart pounded for a while, thinking it was a puke cough instead of a cold cough but she's just still struggling to overcome her cold. Yeah!

My family is coming in on Friday to help us celebrate Abigail's birthday and then the girls and I will be caravaning back to Kansas for a 2 week stay, mainly so the girls can visit my grandparents. My house is in need of a good decluttering (it's fairly clean because I tried to sanitize EVERYTHING yesterday) and I need to get organized in order to pack for the long trip.

So, that brings me to my next point. If you've read this far, I'm impressed! Anyway, I need suggestions of things my toddler can do in the car. We don't have a TV and I'd probably nix that anyway, due to Abigail's tendency towards car sickness. I want to get her a lap board so she can color or read books. Any other ideas? I'm kind of desperate!

I'm nervous about traveling with her that far. Mainly because yesterday she whined and cried about being in the car for the five minutes it took us to get to Andrew's grandma's house. Yikes! Maybe I need to bring my ear buds. We'll probably have others riding with us and so they can help with the entertaining a bit.

Okay, I'd better get to work. I have tons of dishes and laundry to do and I must scour both bathrooms. I'm planning on Lysol, a mask, and rubber gloves! Ha!