Archive | January, 2017

Annabelle Lyn: 20-22 Months

26 Jan

This little girl is growing up so fast, I can’t keep up on the updates! Annabelle was 20 months on November 27, 21 months on December 27, and 22 months tomorrow, on January 27.img_1725img_1813Size

Annabelle is still wearing 2T clothes, size 5 shoes, and size 4 diapers.img_1787img_1736Eating

Annabelle is still a picky eater, and still lactose intolerant. Over the holidays, she apparently ate too many Hershey’s kisses because her diarrhea returned for a bit. Her favorite foods lately have been yogurt (non-dairy), applesauce, mandarin oranges, peaches, toast, and bacon. She eats like a bird—she won’t eat many foods, and the ones she will eat, she doesn’t eat much of. But she doesn’t have any problem eating her weight in candy, suckers, or gum (not that we let her…).img_2494img_2233Sleeping

Annabelle is still waking up 1-3 times at night. The past month or so, she will often not even let us put her down in her crib at night. Those nights, the only way she will settle down and go to sleep is if we lay down on the floor with her—on the mattress that has been on the floor in her room since last summer. I read in my last update on Annabelle that I thought she was getting her 2-year molars, but she still hasn’t! Uffda, teething seems to take forever. Once she does get her 2-year molars, though, we’ll get serious about getting Annabelle to sleep all night in her crib.

Annabelle takes one nap a day for about two hours, from about 1:30 to 3:30.img_2267img_1816Development

Annabelle is an active, daring, little monkey! She loves to climb, dive, slide, jump, run, and spin.

She has also started talking a bunch, and can say about 15 words, including Dada, Mama, Emma, Abell (Annabelle), cracker, bubble, purple, yellow, honey, ball, doggy, all done, oh no, and dough know (I don’t know). So cute!img_2235img_2070img_2523Annabelle LOVES her big sister Emma and they play together most of the time—though sometimes the age difference makes getting along a little difficult.img_2280img_1757img_1785I started working two days a week at the beginning of January, and Annabelle started going to daycare at the same center Emma has been going to. She has handled the transition well, and the workers say that she only cries for a few minutes a couple times a day, and the rest of the time she is pretty happy. A couple times during the day, Emma and Annabelle get to play together in the gym, and the workers say that they play together the whole time. One day when I came to pick them up, they were both riding a trike—Emma was sitting in front, pedaling, and Annabelle was riding on the back.

Annabelle’s favorite things lately have been:

  • Blocks—she loves building towers
  • Books—she will sit for 4-5 books, and often grabs a book, finds me or Travis, and motions that she wants to sit on our lap and have us read a book to her
  • Rough-housing—she still loves to be “thrown” onto the bed, held upside down, spun in circles, etc.
  • Mommy’s phone or iPad—she loves playing games and watching short YouTube videos… I just have to be careful to keep her from calling anyone (which she has done more than a handful of times!)
  • Painting—Annabelle really enjoys painting with either finger paints or with brushes on an easel… we just don’t do it often because it’s an ordeal 😉
  • Cuddling–Annabelle is a cuddle bug, which I love–unless she’s sleeping, then she wants to be left alone.

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And that’s Annabelle at 22 months!

Christmas & New Year’s 2016

13 Jan

I better get posting about Christmas before it’s February, huh?

We celebrated Christmas first just the four of us on the Thursday before Christmas. I made chicken cordon bleu (from the deli), green beans, red potatoes, and rolls, and we drank “bubbly” (which Emma loved). Then the girls opened their presents from us, and their present from Papa Dave since it was a big box that we didn’t have room to transport from Rochester. We got them some art supplies, a few books, a bouncy buddy, and a Little People nativity set. Papa Dave bought them this treehouse with the camping buddies from The Land of Nod. Within 15 seconds of opening it, both girls were drawing on it with crayon. (Seriously…) Luckily, I was able to scrub most of it off. Their favorite present by far, though, was the box that the treehouse came in. Of course.15741131_1332807960082856_4438754616654293238_n15781037_1332807950082857_3583310463122747060_n15727286_1332807923416193_7831163184979449209_nThe next day, we headed up to Travis’ parents’ house in Nevis, arriving in time for dinner. Travis’ sister and nephew, and brother and sister-in-law were also there almost the whole time we were, so we were able to spend some nice time together. Emma and Annabelle were in heaven. They love their Nana and Papa, and Aunties and Uncle, and have a lot of fun with them. Their cousin Drew isn’t so much of a kid person at age 16. 😉

Christmas Eve (Saturday), we headed into Park Rapids to have breakfast with some friends. That night, we dressed up all fancy and attended the Christmas Eve service at Travis’ parents’ Catholic church, Our Lady of the Pines. The girls actually did fairly well, all things considering! And they were adorable in their Christmas dresses.15726473_1332807670082885_2760584912961896007_n15672976_1332807490082903_846264537335391369_n15726223_1332807436749575_6890398017756359744_n15697791_1332807883416197_1671014031762530795_n15780738_1332807703416215_2116758220268045907_n

Cousins

Christmas morning, we ate the traditional breakfast of egg bake and monkey bread, and then it was time to open presents—the time that Emma had been asking about for the entire month of December. It started off well. Emma helped divvy up the presents, and was even tasked with the job of deciding who should open a present. But eventually that petered out, and both girls ended up throwing a tantrum in the middle of opening presents. Emma wanted to do something besides open presents, and Annabelle was apparently ready for an early nap, because I ended up putting her down around 11. By the time I got back downstairs, Emma was entertained with some of her new art supplies, and the adults were able to continue our gift opening in peace. Kids!

15726344_1332807373416248_4862802626677382042_n15726258_1332807200082932_8528536388724082939_nNote that Emma is wearing a tank top and shorts, despite the several weather-appropriate, cute Christmas outfits I had for her.15697526_1332807043416281_5419901375432218552_nSo tired15672964_1332807230082929_3678291493226962891_nMmmm… chocolate15697834_1332806786749640_3627580145260719665_nEmma went “Christmas shopping” at daycare this year for Nana Beth and Papa Al, and she chose a measuring cup for Nana and a fishing sinker for Papa without our help!15672680_1332806713416314_6249755915390785047_nTravis’ gift from his sister… perfect for him15780887_1332806673416318_9097940835346127866_nMy gift from Travis’ sister… love it15747611_1332807103416275_4427022023995455069_nEmma loves all thing art

The rest of our time up in Nevis was pretty lowkey. We ate a lot of yummy food and Christmas cookies, played outside sledding and snowmobiling, the guys cut down a tree and burned some brush, the adults played some games (including Speak Out, where you put that big plastic mouthpiece in—that’s quite the game!). There was only one political (civilized) discussion that we non-debaters had to break up, for fear that the discussion would last the whole night.

We stayed up in Nevis until Tuesday morning. The plan had been to head back home Monday night but the ice storm on Christmas Day made the roads pretty nasty, so we decided to at least drive home in the daylight.

We spent the rest of Tuesday and all day Wednesday at home. Travis had work off, but wanted to work on some projects (including cutting down a tree in our front yard, which almost ended up falling on our cars, due to a little miscommunication and lack of thought on my part…whoops—but all was well in the end, praise God). The girls and I went to 321 Bounce with our neighbor friends.

Thursday morning, we packed up and hit the road down to Rochester. Since we weren’t trying to get there by any certain time, we decided we could stop every hour on the 3.5-hour drive. Well, Travis wasn’t completely a fan of our many stops, but it was nice to take our time. We stopped for gas right by our house (#1), for lunch in St. Cloud (#2), at Cabela’s in Rogers (#3), and at a gas station just south of the Cities for a potty break (#4).

We arrived in Rochester just in time for dinner. My oldest brother Jeremy and sister-in-law Jen, and their two sons had arrived the day before, and my other brothers would arrive later, so it was just us, them, and my dad that night.

The four kids—Emma and Annabelle, and Jensen and Jackson—had a blast playing together. One of the cutest sights was seeing the four of them run around in circles together. Another favorite activity of theirs was jumping on the couch and building forts out of couch cushions (much to Papa’s dismay). They were also pretty wild and crazy with one of those Fisher Price ride-on toys and a little dog that you pull along behind you. Four kids is a little crazy at times!15781534_1338920992804886_5472908077247000943_n15823490_1338920989471553_969281655933574630_n15823680_1338921229471529_3041714289093367911_nOn Friday, Brian and Jill arrived around lunchtime. Chris and Meg arrived Saturday. We spent our time drinking lots of coffee, eating delicious food (frequently topped by grated Asiago), and watching animated movies that we turned on for the kids but that they didn’t end up watching. 😉 We also played outside in the ice-encrusted snow, which was great for sledding but not much else. I pulled Emma and Jensen on a sled all the way around the house, and it was a workout!15732661_10103166680174752_2259524021720836268_o15800359_10103166677405302_1021290843782300839_o15800498_10103166678178752_6830543933580665853_o15844768_10103166677744622_7747851522964179194_o15825795_1338921386138180_1443544932537754384_nThanks to my sister-in-law Jen for these great photos!

On New Year’s Eve, we opened presents in our now-traditional way (we draw names, and then try to go around and try to guess who had us), and then ate our special Christmas dinner. Everyone pitched in with various sides and dishes, and it was great! Though the orange sherbet jello salad that I attempted to make was an epic fail. Jello: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

We apparently had a little bit of trouble getting the girls down on time that night, because I was downstairs getting Emma to sleep until 11:55… though I might’ve fallen asleep, it’s really hard to say at that hour of the day. I actually made it back upstairs for the ball drop, though, and stayed up until 2 am watching bad New Year’s entertainment on TV and chatting with those who were still up. It was the first time I’ve stayed up for New Year’s since having kids I think, and it was nice! Thankfully the girls slept in the next day, and we were still able to make it to church at 10:30.

There was another snowstorm predicted to hit Rochester and the Brainerd area on Monday, so we ended up leaving Sunday night instead of the next morning. We got home around 11, got the girls to bed, and hit the hay ourselves.

Though I always love spending time with family, it was a hard holiday season without my mom (and the first). We miss her dearly, and talk about her often. My dad, as usual, bears the brunt of her absence, and through a series of miscommunications, ended up spending Christmas Day alone, which I feel badly about. A loss like this continues to reveal situations and circumstances that have been forever altered, and the best way forward is not always readily apparent.