Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at Home

Since I am well past my "no travel" date per my OB, we spent Christmas at home for the first time since Josh and I have been married. It was actually really nice! Josh's dad and stepmom came to visit for a few days, then my parents came and spent Christmas with us. My brother lives in Austin and was able to join us, so it was nice to have family around. We had a wonderful time celebrating at home.

On a side note, this has been a really special Christmas season for us, not only because we are expecting our second child but also because Kate was old enough for us to share with her in a meaningful way the story of Christmas. We celebrated Advent with different crafts and activities all month long, continually focusing on the birth of Christ. Throughout this month I was reminded of just how much a blessing (and a responsibility) it is to be a parent and to get to share the one True Myth (as C.S. Lewis puts it) with a young soul.

Family portrait...all 4 of us! (I was 39 weeks last week. Now that Christmas is over, I feel more relaxed about our baby arriving. I just didn't want her to have a Christmas birthday. Now, come on baby sister! Anytime you're ready!)

Pawpaw, Nana (Josh's dad & stepmom) and Kate

Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Casey & us. We enjoyed a Christmas Eve dinner then attended our church's Christmas Eve service.

Christmas morning surprises...a baby doll care center. Kate loves playing mommy to her baby dolls.

We also got her a camera. It is the only toy she has actually ever requested. And she is pumped! She took 400+ pictures the first day and filled up the memory card. Here she is telling me to say "Cheese!" followed by, "Oh, good job!" She's an encouraging photographer.

The day after Christmas, we decided to take Kate on her first spelunking expedition to Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown. We all had a good time.
Here's Kate and Grandma mining for gold outside the cave.

In the cave. (Kate asked cautiously about there being bats, but the only ones we saw were tiny and hibernating.) She loved the adventure!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow 2009

We survived the Great Central Texas Blizzard of 2009 . . . and even caught some of the action on video. It only snowed for about 20 minutes (and none of it stuck), but we still had fun experiencing this rare treat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Babymoon to Hot Springs

After Thanksgiving, Josh and I left Kate with my parents and drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a babymoon. It was just a two-night getaway, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time.

This is the bed and breakfast where we stayed. It was built in 1905.

We toured a restored bath house, strolled along the local historic shopping district, and did some sightseeing.

It was a really nice drive up Hot Springs Mountain.

The view from the top:

At the base of the mountain, there are several public "jug" fountains to fill up your personal bottles with spring water, so I partook along with the locals.

The thermal springs are really amazing. Although most of them are capped now, there are still a few open and available to view. The water is 143 degrees coming out of the ground...note the steam.

On our last evening we went to a botanical garden that had holiday light decorations. 17 million lights filled this huge woodland was a nice, albeit chilly, stroll.

Thanks mom and dad for watching Kate and giving us this much enjoyed break before baby#2 arrives in a few weeks!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pics from Thanksgiving

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family in East Texas. Kate was able to play with her little cousins that she doesn't see very often and have some "country" experiences.

Here's Kate and cousins Addison and Ethan enjoying a "tractor" ride.

Kate was excited to get in the driver's seat.

My aunt planned a pumpkin-turkey craft for all the kids to do.

Posing with their pumpkin turkeys.

Here's my grandma, Kate's great-granny, with some of her great grand kids.

More fun with the cousins.

Feeding "Scout" a carrot.

The kids had LOTS of room to run.

Here's Kate having fun in the autumn leaves.

Grandma and Kate.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treating with Friends

We invited the families in our small group to come to our house for trick or treating on Halloween. These are some of Kate's closest friends, so she was super excited to have them all over. She kept asking me all day, "Are my friends here yet?"

Adelaide the Monkey and Cinderella Kate . . . so excited!!

We also had another princess, a cowboy, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a fairy, and a pirate in our group of trick or treaters.

Thank goodness it was daylight savings time on Saturday night, because it made for great timing to keep the kids up a little extra later than usual. After rounding up candy from the neighbors, we returned to our house to put all the kiddos down for bed. The parents spent the rest of the evening hanging out in our backyard roasting smores by a (borrowed) firepit, enjoying the cool weather and good conversation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Patch 2009

Our friend Sunee snapped this shot of Kate at a local pumpkin patch. I'm struck these days at how grown up our little girl is looking. So much has changed since we took her to her first pumpkin patch two years ago. At a baby shower I attended this weekend, someone mentioned that when raising your children, the days and nights can seem so long, but the years so very short. True indeed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Girly Girl

Despite a total lack of coaching or prompting in this area, Kate has become a lover of all things princessy, frilly, fluffy, and shiny. Is this a phase all girls go through? If it is, I sure don’t remember experiencing it. As far as I can recollect, I was a tom-boy through and through. My idea of playing dress up was to tie a cape around my neck and fly around the room as Batman. (I always made my cousin or my younger brother be Robin--somehow I think I realized that even Robin was too girly.)

I always hoped that my daughters, if I had any, wouldn’t be girly girls. But of course, God has a sense of humor so it really didn’t surprise me that much when we passed a Cinderella costume at HEB this week and Kate nearly exploded with excitement. Maybe future Halloweens will bring us astronauts, pirates, or Batman. At least for now, Kate is every inch a girly girl. And, I hate to admit, it is awfully fun to watch.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update on the Big Girl Room

Kate slept in her big girl bed for the very first time today, and it has been a great success!

For naptime, she was pretty excited and told me she didn't want to read a book or anything, she just wanted to go to bed. She kept saying, "Goodbye!" (trying to get me to leave). So, I tucked her in, and then went to my room to watch on the video monitor, not quite knowing what to expect. She quickly got out of bed and went to turn on her owl lamp that she adores. Then, she turned it off and ran back into bed, as if sensing I was on my way in. I did go in and gently reminded her that she needs to stay in bed. I left, and once again the scene repeated itself. I went back in, and this time I wised up and put on the bed safety railing. That seemed to do the trick. I think Kate felt a little more snug and secure, and after talking to herself for a few minutes she fell asleep and slept for an hour and 45 minutes. Yea!

So tonight, we put her to bed and watched her, and she did get out once to turn on her lamp, but all it took was one visit from me to tuck her back in, and she settled down, sang some songs, and is sleeping peacefully now. :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big Girl Room

Kate's been staying with my mom and dad this week, giving me a chance to get her new room organized and decorated. Our plan is to introduce the twin bed now, giving her several months (if needed) to cope before the baby comes and Kate is evicted from the crib for good. After much debate, I went with the "Love and Nature" themed decor from Target. It has trees, owls, birds, and other woodland creatures and has pinks and greens, which was what I was looking for. I love the quilt, and I also think the wall decals are really cute too...the picture doesn't do them justice. They look much less "stickery" in person. Anyway, I'm so thankful to have Kate well cared for while I got her room finished and accomplished a whole list of other odds and ends around the house.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Potty Humor

I've been telling some friends lately about Kate's recent obsession with potty humor, so I thought I'd record some of her moments here for posterity. It's so strange and funny that our sweet little toddler has developed the sense of humor of a 10 year old boy... enjoy.

  • Mom: "Kate, where's that quarter you had?" Kate: "Maybe it's in your booty."
  • Kate: "Let's sing the poop song!" Mom: "What's the poop song?" Kate: "Poopy poopy poopy poop, poop. Poopy poopy poop-poop-poop." (sung to the tune of 'Jesus Loves the Little Children')
  • Mom: "Kate, what do you want for dinner?" Kate: "Poop soup."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's a . . .

GIRL! Kate's going to have a little sister. We had the 20 week sonogram today, and everything looks great. We're so thankful that she's healthy and growing well. And, Josh is taking the news of being outnumbered 3 to 1 quite well. :)



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beach Trip

Some friends in our Bible study small group invited us, along with the other families in our group, to join them at a beach house in Port Aransas for a week. It was a very fun vacation, and we are so grateful to the McClartys for inviting us!

The house was situated just a short walk from the beach. Here's Kate walking over the boardwalk.

Checking out the ocean for the first time! (I asked her to pose like this, because my parents have a picture of me at a very similar age pointing at the waves in Galveston.)

Kate and Adelaide having a blast.

We spend most of our mornings and evenings at the beach. Here's my favorite picture of Josh and Kate--my surfer dude and dudette.

Lots of sand castle building.

One afternoon we took a picnic to the ferry/harbor area and watched the big ships go by.

We also made an excursion to the Texas State Aquarium. Kate really enjoyed the dolphin show. Here's a few pictures of their biggest indoor aquarium.

The kids did a great job entertaining each other. Here they are playing "Rockband."

A group pic of all the kids: Ella, Kate, Adelaide, Claire, and Caleb.

Thanks again to the McClartys, and also to the Conlys and Carters for making the time so enjoyable.