Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Day

I figured we'd get to an early start on Christmas morning, but the girls were so wiped out from the day before. Abigail woke up at 6:40 and we woke up Sarah shortly after. The girls were excited to see their goodies.

Jonathan gave me an awesome stand mixer. It's one of those things I've always wanted but didn't need. Now that I have one I'll use it every chance I get.

We got to church a bit late and then headed to Nonna and Papa's for more Christmas festivities. Our girls got plenty of new toys to play with. Abigail was especially excited about her roller skates.

The girls also got cute animals from Auntie Laura and Uncle Nick. They each came with books that gave responses when you read certain phrases.

Oh, and remember the cross-stitch pattern I gave my Mom two years ago? I finally finished it.

Here's Grandpa holding a content Lily:

Auntie Cathy got the girls matching jammies. We made several attempts at getting a decent picture of the girls wearing them.

We had a great weekend celebrating Christmas with our little family and our extended family. It's been fun seeing Abigail understand a bit more about why we celebrate Christmas when we lit our advent candles. Sarah doesn't quite get it, but she does know about baby Jesus. I'm looking forward to celebrating again next year when all three girls are older

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve

We had a pretty busy Christmas Eve. I had Jonathan go do some last minute shopping while I took the girls to my Grandparents' where many family members were gathering for a pre-Christmas visit. There were tons of people and tons of food. And, as with every family gathering, there was lots of laughter and talking. After Jonathan finished shopping he met up with us and visited for a bit.

After visiting we quickly went home for dinner, got the girls dressed up, and then headed to church for our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Abigail was excited because (1) it was a candlelight service and (2) she got to wear her Christmas dress.

The girls were hard to occupy during the service. They were very focused, however, when it came to lighting our candle. Normally our Pastor would light his candle up front and then the flame would be "passed around" until everyone's candle was lit. This year though, each family was invited to come up and light their candles.

Funny story...

We decided to go up with all three girls and two candles. I explained to Abigail as we walked up that I would light our candle. Jonathan had Sarah and Lily and a candle he would light. Abigail gave me no problems, but as soon as Sarah saw the second candle lit she yelled "my candle, my candle!" So Jonathan did what any parent would do, he handed her the candle! I couldn't believe it! So I'm freaking out as we walk back to our seats. I managed to keep the girls still as they each held a candle, making sure to keep the flame far away from their hair or the seats in front of us. Then Sarah thought it would be fun to blow her candle out. Then she proceeded to light it back up using Abigail's flame. After this both girls would giggle and Sarah would blow the candle out and do it all over again. All this happened as the congregation sang SILENT night (and at this point it was voices only, no instruments). At this point I decided the best thing to do was blow Abigail's candle out so the disruption would stop.

We got the girls settled in bed and then got ready for Christmas morning. I was always excited anticipating Christmas morning as a little girl, but I was even more excited as a Mom looking forward to the girls experiencing Christmas morning.

Our big "Santa" gift was an easel from IKEA. It is huge and only cost us $15. The girls have already made a number of works of art, so I think it was a good purchase.

Oh, and this isn't from Christmas Eve, but it is our family photo we used for Christmas cards this year. The girls were really good about waiting for the timer to go off before snapping our picture:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keeping Me Sane

If I had to name one household appliance that I could not live without, it would probably be my vacuum cleaner (coffee maker would come in close second). With the exception of our bathroom and kitchen, our apartment has wall-to-wall carpeting. Oh, and did I mention that we have a dining room? That has carpet too. We eat in the dining room. So, I pretty much don't need to explain why I could not live without my vacuum cleaner.

We use our vacuum probably every other day. Though, after Lily arrived it has been harder to vacuum as often as we would like.
The carpet looked pretty desperate last Monday, so I went right to it. The only problem was that it wasn't sucking up anything. I kept going over the mess, but specks were just being tossed around. I looked underneath the machine and saw no obvious signs of blockage. I decided to give up and call it a day.

On Tuesday the carpet was only getting worse, so I decided to get to the bottom of our problem. This time I took the vacuum apart. I quickly discovered what the problem was.

Who knows how long most of that junk was stuck in there! I was so excited by my discovery and quickly put the vacuum back together to get going on our messy carpet. I turned the cleaner on and, to my dismay, the green light indicating that the machine was working properly was not on. It turns out you have to put the vacuum cleaner together "just so" for it to work (I remember my mom and I having this problem before). I tried and tried again. Then I gave up and called it a day.

Yikes, three days have passed. I must vacuum this carpet! Vacuuming has turned out to be quite therapeutic for me. I love getting a fresh start during the week with a newly vacuumed carpet. I decided to search the internet for clues. I found instructions on replacing the vacuums belt. That, paired with using my brain, led to an actual successful result. I was elated!

I started with the girls' room. This vacuum cleaner was like new again! I was going to town. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed a bouncing spool of thread. The vacuum managed to grab at the loose end of the thread and was unwinding the spool (and simultaneously winding the thread around the brush of the vacuum). By the time I shut the machine off the thread was gone. Thankfully I was able to resolve this problem pretty easily. Phew!

Another great thing about our vacuum is that, while it gets the older girls wired up (they run around and give their girly-est screams), it instantly calms a fussy Lily. I'm glad I have it back in working order.

Taming Insanity

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Month

Lily hit the one month mark last week. Today was her one month check up. I ended up taking all three girls to her appointment and it went surprisingly well! No one ran off and no one acted up.

Lily is a whopping 10 pounds, 6 ounces, so I'd say she's doing just fine considering her "vomiting" issues. Because she isn't fussy and because it generally doesn't happen more than once a day (and because of her weight gain) the Doctor and I agreed to wait a bit before calling it reflux.

Lily has had a good stretch of sleep (four hours) pretty much only once since we took her home from the hospital. At night she'll sleep 2, 2.5, or maybe 3 hour stretches. This wouldn't be a big deal except for the times when she doesn't go back to sleep right away. Oh well, some day she'll give us a little more sleep. I'm hoping that sometime soon we can start developing a schedule.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Want a Little Cookie with Your Sugar?

I made four dozen sugar cookies last week. Half we brought to our homeschool co-op for decorating and the other half I took to Nonna and Papa's so the girls could decorate them with their cousin Bridget.

Abigail started off nice and neat icing cookies at Nonna's house. We didn't use piping bags, so instead used our fingers. Towards the end though, Abigail became her own assembly line, dipping her fingers in blue icing, then the green, then the pink, before applying it to her cookie. Then she insisted on using every color sprinkle we had to make her cookies "colorful". She ended up putting a significant amount of each color on each cookie.

Sarah decorated maybe three cookies total. Then she ate each of them. Oh, and she made a mess. But she had fun!

Bridget was given a cookie, which she ate. Then she managed to reach all of the sprinkles Abigail finished using because Abigail always put them in Bridget's reach. Then Bridget "decorated" the table with the sprinkles if we weren't able to intercept the sprinkle containers in time. She made a mess too, but I think she also had fun. It was cute to hear her repeat Nonna, especially when Nonna would hand Abigail sprinkles and say "Here you go". Bridget would immediately repeat Nonna with her own "Here you go".

Check out Bridget reaching:

Maybe we should go ahead and make this another Christmas tradition.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who Do You Think She Looks Like?

We've got this question a lot-whether it be about Lily or the older girls. There are times when I see each of us in her. What do you think?

Lily at one month:

Abigail at one month:
Sarah at one month:

When Abigail answers the question, she hits the nail on the head, "She looks like Lily!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sugar, Sugar, and More Sugar

After church yesterday we headed over to Nonna's to build and decorate a nut-free gingerbread house. Pre-baked gingerbread house kits are basically a no-no because they are manufactured in places that process the dreaded tree nut. So, thank you to Nonna for baking our own house and for buying Abigail-friendly candy!

The girls had fun using their fingers to apply super-sweet icing to the gingerbread house. It wasn't long before Sarah skipped applying the icing to the house and instead put it straight into her mouth.

The girls seem
ed pretty wired not long after the house was complete. We headed back to GENESIS (our church) for their annual Christmas party. All of the refreshments (with the exception of a few bowls of pretzels) were sweets. Thankfully our sugar-loaded girls went to bed pretty easily once we got home.
I wonder how long our gingerbread house will last before the girls start to dismantle it. So far, so good.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Life with Lily

Lily will be four weeks old on Sunday. Life has been interesting having three girls under 3 1/2, but it has been doable.

I've managed to go out a few times with all three girls while Jonathan is at work. We went to Abigail's homeschool co-op last Friday and then visited with Nonna afterward. I'm pretty sure I'll be taking the girls to Nonna's just about every day she has off (I could use all the adult interaction I can get-plus she likes to hold Lily :-) Getting the girls in the van for an outing is pretty easy, getting the girls back in the apartment is another story. Yesterday afternoon all three girls fell asleep on the way home from Nonna's. I grabbed the older girls one-by-one and set them on the bottom step of our stairwell, then I grabbed Lily. After that I had to take each of them one-by-one up the stairs into our apartment (they were all a bit grumpy and not willing to climb the stairs themselves). Normally I'm all for the girls napping in the car, but not if they are unwilling to help me out when it comes to getting in the apartment!

Lily likes to sleep a lot. Let me be more specific - Lily likes to sleep a lot during the day. The past three nights we've had a good 1 hour to 2 hours of wide-awake time for one reason or another. I'm not sure if she's confusing day and night still, or if she's sleeping too much during the day. But I've also heard the phrase "sleep begets sleep" so I am not really willing to force her to be awake during the day.

Lily's other hobby seems to be spewing her meals all over me. And, can you believe it, she manages to soak me and nearby furniture/carpeting and get barely a drop on her. I'm not ready to call it reflux yet, though it does tend to happen at least once a day. Sarah had the same problem, but took meds for reflux. Regardless, it is very discouraging and very frustrating to have a dozy little lady nice and full and ready for sleep when all of a sudden she'll burb and barf all at once. Please pray for us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trimming the Tree

After our Thanksgiving guests left we decided to put up our Christmas tree. The girls were very excited to put ornaments up. They pretty much put all of the ornaments on the tree, but I later re-arranged them a bit because pretty much all of the ornaments ended up around the middle part of the tree.

Our tree-topper didn't quite fit the 4-foot tree we're borrowing from Nonna and Papa (plus, the lights weren't working). So, we ended up getting a smaller, simpler star. Abigail fell in love with this sparkly pink star because (as she'll tell you multiple times a day) pink is her favorite color. We also added candy canes (we'll see how long those last).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Life of the Party

I love each of my daughters equally. I just thought I'd share a bit about Sarah. Sarah is the life of our little party. At the dinner table she is often the source of entertainment. She seems to like to get a laugh out of the whole family-especially Mommy and Abigail.

Sarah's been "dressing" herself lately. Sometimes she'll try on Build a Bear shoes (which are a tad on the small side). Other times she'll put on a hat. A few days ago she decided to be a super-hero. I have a few nursing covers which Abigail (and later Sarah) started using as capes. Here is Sarah in her get-up. She'll go around the room saying "Super Ada!" (which is Super Abigail in Sarah's language). I try to get her to say "Super Sarah!" but she insists on saying what Abigail says when she runs around with the cape.

Another day this week she was all dressed and ready for the day, but then decided to accessorize with another shirt. She came to us and did a nice pose to show off her completed outfit.

I love Sarah's facial expressions. I also love how she's randomly sings songs. Another cute thing she's been doing is changing her baby doll's diapers. She has mastered her technique and even will grab both her doll's legs with one hand like we do with Lily (ok, you have to see her do this to appreciate its cuteness). She's just an all-around cutie!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo Fridays 12.02.11

Here's a Christmas portrait sneak peek. The girls and I took a few practice shots using the camera timer before Jonathan and Lily joined in.