May Update: New England

Recently, Raymond had to travel to New England for business on behalf of the seminary.  It just so happens that this put us within a perfect geographical region to visit Dave and Emily Cook. We flew to Manchester, NH with Raymond and Emily only had to drive 2 hours to pick us up! We had such a wonderful week with our dear friends; this was the first time that we’ve been able to visit with them and it was good to see their life. Our week included a really exciting tour through the Cape Cod chip factory, a visit to the National Seashore, participating in the Herring Run (I’m using the word “participating” pretty loosely…we definitely did not eat any of the Herring like the Seagulls did), and lots of Bocce Ball! Raymond and I were able to go out one evening without kids and Emily and I were able to have an afternoon together without kids too! All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our reunion with old friends and it was really fun to put some more states on our “Been There” list and see a new area of the country!

So below you’ll find pictures from Massachusetts and from Louisville :)

Happy 2.5 years, Abigail!

On March 1, 2013 Abigail turned 2.5 years old! She had a well check with her pediatrician on Monday and she’s doing really well in all areas of development and even doing things that a 3 year old should be doing (according to the doctor).  This visit did not involve any shots and she actually won’t have to get anymore until she’s 4 (which I can’t imagine her actually turning 4, so I don’t think we’ll have to deal with those shots…)

Height – 34 in (15%)
Weight – 28lb 2oz (50%)
Head – 90%
Diaper – Totally done with these!
Clothing – All 2T but I expect she’ll be in 3T during the summer (at least in shirts and dresses)
Shoe – Size 6/7

Abigail’s day normally begins sometime between 7am and 8am (most of the time she wakes Charlotte up when she leaves the room but sometimes Charlotte keeps sleeping).  There was a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year when I thought that Abigail might be done with napping; there just was nothing I could do to get her to fall asleep in the afternoon. We found a little trick though that works maybe 50% of the time. I started laying down in her bed after putting Charlotte down for a nap and I make Abigail lay down with me for an hour.  Sometimes she falls asleep and sometimes she doesn’t, but its a nice little rest either way and it definitely works on those days when she really needs the nap.  Bedtime falls around 8pm now so that Charlotte has time to settle down before Abigail goes to bed. Abigail really enjoys being able to kiss Charlotte good night and then have some alone time with Daddy & Mommy.

I am amazed almost everyday by Abigail’s ability to communicate.  Abigail likes to tell stories about things that have happened to her or that she has seen happen.  I think one of my favorite things right now is when she asks Raymond how is day went at work or when she tries to console Charlotte after taking a toy away from her.  She LOVES to sing and has memorized quite a good number of songs (normal kids songs and hymns) that we sing around the house or that she hears in church.  Her favorite songs include Jesus Loves Me, Nothing but the Blood, In Christ Alone, He’s got the Whole World in His Hands, My God is so Big, and there are more but I can’t remember all of them right now. Abigail also loves to read and could easily sit for a couple of hours reading books with me.  She has memorized several books that we read regularly and I love listening to her “read” books to me :)  Abigail can also sing the ABC song and count to 10! Our plan is to start working on letter recognition next.

We’ve started allowing Abigail to watch a little bit of TV here and there.  We have The Little Einsteins, Anastasia, The Sound of Music, and Ella Enchanted that we rotate around.  She likes interacting with The Little Einsteins and singing along with The Sound of Music.  Sometimes when I ask her how old she is she likes to answer, “I am 16 going on 17.” :)

Potty training went really well!  She caught on super quick and is now completely out of diapers and into big girl panties.  In the middle of February we ran out of diapers for Abigail and I wasn’t able to get more before bedtime so we decided to see how the night would go without a diaper since she had been dry after waking up for quite a while.  The transition to panties at night went so easily!  The next morning she woke up and wasn’t able to make it to the potty fast enough, but after that she hasn’t had a single morning accident.

Finally, Abigail is still a really good eater.  She definitely has preferences and will accept fruit snacks/candy for all her meals if we let her, but she also eats pretty much everything we put in front of her.  We eat homemade pizza every Friday with broccoli and fruit and she normally devours the broccoli before eating anything else!

No More Diapers (mostly…) for Abigail!!!

Well, we made the big plunge into the world of potty training!

My original plan was to potty train at the beginning of the new year AFTER our trip home for Christmas. I really wasn’t interested in dealing with potty training issues while traveling and visiting family. I also really like being able to leave the house and not worry about how to fit a buggy into the Target bathroom so that Abigail can use the potty!…I know…silly, but a concern none-the-less.

Lately, though, Abigail has been SUPER enthusiastic about anything to do with a potty. I find her at least once a day in the bathroom with her diaper off and she always asks for a turn on the potty whenever she sees us going. So I started to become concerned that I would miss this great bought of enthusiasm if we waited until the beginning of the year. I decided to change my plan and attempt a somewhat more laid back version of potty training so that she wouldn’t become “addicted” to Kool-aid or juice. I really like that she only drinks water and I’m hoping that will help us to avoid cavities at a young age. I was also not very interested in using a small toddler potty…mostly because I think they’re gross but also because I would rather teach Abigail to use a regular potty so that she wouldn’t be afraid of it when we were out in public or at friends’ houses.

On Monday morning Abigail put some panties on and we began the process of learning how to use the potty! That first day was incredibly frustrating…Abigail was asking to go every minute or so but she never actually produced while on the potty. I think she may have been successful one time on Monday, right after her nap. However, by the end of the second day I could tell that she was making herself go when I put her on the potty! During this process, Abigail had one poopy accident, but ever since then she has asked to go potty whenever she needs to poop! After that second day we decided to start giving her treats every time she was successful so now she gets a sticker, an M&M, and a Skittle (we couldn’t decide what type of candy because I like M&Ms and Raymond likes Skittles…that’s right, we also get treats every time she’s successful!)

It is day 6 of potty training and Abigail is doing really awesome! She’s mostly accident free and while we’re still using a diaper during nap/night-time, she is usually dry when she wakes up :) She also really likes to go potty right before she goes to bed. The last 2 nights she has started screaming bloody-murder about 10 minutes after putting her to bed. I went in and both times I found her with her pajamas in the dirty clothes hamper and halfway through taking her diaper off…she just needed to use the bathroom :)

And now there’s pretty much nothing left to Abigail’s baby-ness… :( I’m grateful for clothes that fit better and for not having to change as many diapers, but it is really sad to see her growing up so quickly.

Thanksgiving Photo Shoot

Yesterday our local up-and-coming photo-guru, Caleb Drahosh, did a photo shoot with our family. As always, we are more than pleased with his work. Enjoy the photos

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures from recently.

My grandparents came to visit us several weeks ago and we also tried taking a few “Fall”-y shots at a park near our house that’s really beautiful this time of year.

An Update via Pictures

Sorry for the super long absence! I feel like we have been exceptionally busy lately and, at the same time, the days and weeks seem to go by without even saying hello or goodbye :)

So here’s a selection of pictures from our life as of late…Enjoy!

Abigail’s Birthday Party and a Visit From GiGi

Since Abigail’s birthday has fallen on Labor Day weekend these past 2 years, it has been super easy to put together a little cookout with friends/family! This year, we were able to have several friends over to our place and my mom (GiGi) even got to come up too!

Abigail has gotten so good about acclimating to new people pretty quickly, so getting used to GiGi was so easy! She loved reading books and looking at pictures with GiGi :)  And now when I show Abigail of picture of GiGi she can recognize her!

We had a really great weekend with my mom – she is always so generous and really great with the girls and it makes me sad that we live so far away from all of our family…

Here are some pictures from the weekend: