Oh, How I Love To Walk!

Abigail is busy at work learning to walk more independently. She still loves to walk while holding onto people, but now she has also discovered the joy of pushing a chair around the house. She hasn't figured out how to change direction, so she just walks until she runs into something, then whines/cries for me to move the chair so she can walk some more!
Tonight, Aaron and I played "pass the baby" after dinner. We sat on the floor facing each other and Abigail practiced walking from one of us to the other. She took steps a bunch of times, and just stood, leaned, crawled, or plopped the rest of the time. It was lots of fun, and we could see that she was really enjoying it. She would get really excited and squeal when she was standing on her own. After taking steps to reach one of us she would grin from ear to ear, looking so excited and proud of herself. We are very proud of her, of course - and we told her that over and over as we played.

Non-picture News

Last night Abigail took 6 steps in a row!! We left her with babysitters (Joe & Jamie) so we could go out to dinner, and right before we left she took six steps toward Joe! She took one more step today, and has tried just standing in place a few more times. She is really getting close to walking as a mode of transportation.

Today we had Abigail's Doctor appointment for immunizations and a check-up. She weighs just under 20 pounds and is in the 65%ile for weight. She is 29 1/2 inches long and is in the 95%ile for length/height. They said that since she is getting to be so active, it's normal for her weight to taper off. We thought she weighed 19.5 lbs. at Christmas, so either we were wrong, or she's really been burning calories like crazy with all that walking.
The doctor also heard a slight heart murmur during the check-up. She said it's probably nothing to be concerned about, but is sending us in for an ultrasound just to check things out. Will let you know when we know anything else about that.

Enjoying The Sunshine

Wow, what a gorgeous day. Today's weather was amazing. Beautiful sunshine and clear skies. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the mid-seventies, and it might even reach 80 by Wednesday!! Abigail was thrilled to get to play outside a little bit. I had the front door open to let some fresh air in, and she loved standing in the doorway watching the cars drive by. Later we walked around the backyard, looked at the neighbor's dogs, and checked out our "patio". The big pile of bricks will hopefully be turned into a patio soon. (In the picture with the bricks it looks like she could be standing or walking, but she's really just sitting)

We're In The Big Time Now!

Abigail has started her career fulfilling corporate endorsement contracts. At this weekend's Home & Garden Show she wore a custom-made shirt advertising Aaron's landscaping company. It's hard to see in the picture: On the front it says "Go see my Daddy at...{company logo}"; on the back it has the logo again, pictures of some of their previous jobs, and their web address. A cute baby naturally attracts attention, so I figured we should take advantage of the opportunity! (And now maybe we can pay her for her hard work and call it a business expense!)

A Walk and A Step

It was another gorgeous day, so we walked to the park this afternoon. Here she is ready to go. Later, Abigail took another step! (Two Wednesday, one today, for a total of three solo steps.) It'll probably be a long time before we get photographic evidence, but we'll keep you updated on her walking progress.

Feb. 23 - Pandora's Box

Typically, the kitchen cupboards are off-limits for Abigail. I will remind her countless times that she is not allowed to open the cupboards or drawers. But yesterday as I was working to prepare dinner for a friend who just had a baby, there was nothing that would keep Abigail's attention long enough to allow me to cook - except the forbidden cabinet. Desperate for her to be occupied long enough for me to finish my task, I checked to be sure there was nothing dangerous inside, then let her go to town. At first she was just investigating the boxes near the door, but soon she had crawled completely inside the cabinet and emptied it of practically all of its contents.
Now whenever Abigail is in the kitchen, she heads for the cupboard door. She thinks that the corner cabinet is her personal playhouse. One day it's off-limits, the next it's playland. So much for consistency being the key to discipline.

Feb. 22 - Cool Shades

Abigail's First Steps!!

Tonight, right before going to bed, Abigail took her first two steps. At first, I set her down on the floor and let go of her hands. She looked down at her hands, then looked up looking slightly puzzled and a little proud of herself - almost as though she saw her hands and thought "Wow, I'm not holding onto anything." She stood there for a moment and looked like she was going to take a step toward me, but then plopped down on the ground. She was really tired and was not happy about being awake, so she was starting to cry when I picked her up. She had been so close to taking a step, I really wanted to see if she would do it. I set her down again and pried her hands free. When I let go of her hands, she stood there for a few seconds looking a little upset, but when I urged her to come to me, she took two wobbly steps before sitting down in frustration. Knowing she was really tired, I wasn't about to try again. So, I didn't get any pictures of the excitement. We'll see if we can get a repeat performance tomorrow.

Walk, Walk, Walk

Abigail LOVES to walk. She is getting more and more comfortable on her feet, and is constantly grabbing my hands and trying to get me to walk her around the house. Her newest development is that she likes to crouch down and pick things up while walking, then carry it in one hand for a little while. Here she is picking up a little block/book.

Want My Toast?

Today Abigail was trying to share her toast with everone while she ate dinner.

Sharing toast with me.

Sharing toast with cousin Anna. (we were looking at Anna's picture on the computer)

Sharing toast with Caleb.

Anyone else want toast?

Baby Dedication Day

Today we stood before our church and dedicated Abigail to the Lord. The service is an acknowledgement that Abigail is God's child who has been entrusted to us, and we are committed to raising her in a godly way. People prayed for Abigail and for us as a family. We thank God for giving us such an incredible gift in Abigail!
We didn't get any pictures during the service, but here she is looking cute (first day she's ever worn a bow in her hair!)

After the service we had some friends over for brunch. We ate yummy crepes, scones and other brunchy food. We were having so much fun I forgot to take pictures until after everyone left. I snapped one of Abigail grabbing for the leftover strawberries.

Me & My Towel

Brrrr.....It's Cold

Crazy, crazy weather. Tuesday was gorgeous and sunny, 65 degrees or warmer. Today, it's been frigid. Right now it's 7 degrees, feels like -10 with the windchill. Abigail and I had a lot of running around to do today, so she had to be in and out of the car a lot. I tried to keep her as warm as possible, so she was bundled up nice and tight. Here she is sitting in her new big-girl carseat. She got too big for the infant seat, so we've moved up to the convertible. Still needs to be rear-facing for about 3 more months, then she'll turn around and face forward like the rest of us.

After we got back from the View this morning, Abigail was sooooooo tired. I didn't even take her out of her "baby strait-jacket" before putting her down for a nap. She slept just fine all bundled up. She sure didn't like it when she woke up and could barely move, though!

Everybody's Valentine

When I was in elementary school, we used to put little bags or mailboxes on our desks on Valentines day. Then, during the day everyone would deliver valentines to their friends. At some point it became mandatory that if you brought valentines at all, you had to bring one for everyone in the class. Apparently some kids were getting more valentines than others, and kids who didn't get as many ended up feeling bad.
So, what's my point? If Abigail was in school, she would be the popular girl whose valentine bag was overflowing and making all the other kids jealous. She got another valentine package today - this one from Grandma Grace and Grandpa Peter. Another adorable outfit, and a book and fun toy.
Here she is modeling her new duds, and playing with her toy snail/shape sorter/drum.

Thanks Grandma Grace and Grandpa Peter!

Abby meets Gabby

Today Abigail and I visited Lisa, Noah, and Gabby. (Lisa and her husband Brett own the landscaping company that Aaron sub-contracts for.) Gabby is about 6 weeks older than Abigail. The girls showed a definite interest in each other, although their capacity for "playing together" mostly consisted of grabbing each others' toys, faces, and hands. They seemed to have fun together nonetheless.

Big brother Noah (almost 3 yrs. old) had a great time showing off his skills - running, jumping, hopping on one foot. He was very generous and got excited about giving Abigail toys to play with. Here he is showing the girls a football helmet.

Now That's What I Call A Steak!

Happy Valentine's Day!
This morning Mommy made fresh homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and for dinner tonight, Daddy cooked a big, juicy steak with wild mushroom sauce. This is one steak weighing in at 1.5 lbs.!!

Another meal, another messy baby in need of a bath. (No, Abigail didn't eat the steak!)

Look What's Growing in Our Backyard

There are some great perks to being in the landscaping business. Aaron is doing a job for some people that are upgrading their patio. They tore out their old patio, and guess where it is? Yup, in our backyard. More precisely, the brick pavers are in a huge pile in our backyard, but they will soon be put to use in a patio for us. Yay for free materials!
The same people also tore out about 20 boxwood plants. They are beautiful right now, but they were kind of beat up in the moving process. Today Aaron planted them in the backyard and we'll see if they will survive. Abigail went for a romp in the boxwood forest once they were planted.

Which is cuter?

Alrighty folks, I need your opinion. I am entering Abigail into a photo contest to get on the cover of a baby magazine. (I know, it's a long shot, but she is the cutest baby in the world, and if she wins we get lots of free stuff.) So, I have selected the photo below for her entry, but I can't decide if full color is better, or black & white with color accents. What do you think?

Another Valentine

Abigail has another valentine! This one is a talking bear from Great-Nana and Great-Grandpa Chuck. When you squeeze the foot of the bear, it says "Hug me, squeeze me, love me!" and the mechanical arms squeeze the heart that it's holding. As you can see, Abigail is thrilled!

Thanks Great-Nana and Great-Grandpa Chuck!

Home Show

The first Home Show of the year is this weekend. After the crew finished construction on the display, Abigail checked everything to be sure it was up to par. Here she is inspecting the water feature.

Happy Birthday Nana!

Abigail got ahold of the bag of cheerios, and I turned my back for a moment, not realizing the bag was open...

So, maybe she had a little help with the finished product, but I'm sure this is what she had in mind when she dumped them all on the floor!

Tired Baby

Remember a few days ago when I was saying how Abigail only naps for about half an hour at a time for me, but then that night she slept an hour and a half for Aaron? Well, I guess I can't complain anymore. Today Abigail fell asleep on our way home from the gym. I set her down in her room, still in her carseat. She woke up THREE HOURS LATER!! I was almost ready to wake her up on purpose because I was afraid she'd be up all night. It was the longest nap she's taken in ages.


Addie Kunkel is the daughter of a friend. She just had her first birthday on Jan. 20. She had a bone marrow transplant on the 30th in an attempt to heal a rare blood disorder that she has been battling for the last few months. She is currently having some very serious complications that are a potential threat to her life. The most problematic thing right now is VOD (liver toxicity), which is causing her liver to be severely enlarged. She is very sick. There is a risk that she could have multiple organ failure if her immune system does not begin to function soon to defeat the VOD. Please pray that her body would accept the donor bone marrow and begin to fight the sickness in her body. Or better yet, that the Lord would touch her with a miraculous, instantaneous healing. Also, please pray for her parents, as this is terrifying for them. They are leaning on the Lord, but it is so agonizing to watch their daughter suffer and not know what is going to happen.

Addie has a web page that is updated daily with her condition, and has background on her story, and a place for people to leave comments, prayers, etc. If you would like to visit her page, click on "Please Pray for Addie" above.

Out To Lunch, and Squash As A Hair Accessory

Today Abigail, Aaron, and I went out to lunch with two of my mom's cousins - Barb and Gerry. In the picture Barb is holding Abigail, next to her is her friend (oh, I can't remember her name...), and Gerry is on the right side of the picture.

Just the other day I was thinking that Abigail's hair might be getting long enough to try putting barrettes in it. Apparently Abigail also thinks her 'do needs a little pizzaz, because this morning she put chunks of squash in it to spice things up a little.

Gimme That!

Look Ma, No Hands!

Abigail is SOooooo close to walking. When she is holding onto my fingers with both hands, she can practically run. Holding on to just one hand she will take steps, but gets nervous. If she's just standing in one place, she is very steady on her feet as long as she has a hand on something. She doesn't even need to be using the hand for balance, she just is more comfortable standing if she's touching something.
Once she gets comfortable standing on her own, I think she'll be walking in a matter of days. Today she stood on her own a couple times for about 10 seconds, but she looked really unsure about the situation. I did manage to get one picture:

Sleeping Like A Baby

Abigail has been sleeping really well at night (typically 10-12 hours), but has not been napping much during the day. Usually about 1/2 hr. a couple times a day. Sometime she'll sleep for 45 minutes if I'm holding her the whole time, and maybe once a month she'll nap for an hour while I hold her. Today, Aaron stayed home for some Father-Daughter time while I got a baby-free break. I felt bad that I was gone for 3 hours...until I got home and he told me that she napped for an hour and a half!!!!

Abigail's First Valentine

Nana and Grandpa sent a box with gifts from their trip to Mexico, along with a Valentine for Abigail. Here she is wearing her adorable new dress and holding her Valentine Bearista Bear.

Thanks Nana and Grandpa!

Later, she christened her new outfit by smearing it with avocados and banana. The mess in the background is the aftermath of Abigail tearing apart the recycling pile.

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Just for fun, I thought I'd bring back some old pictures of Abigail. ("Old" being relative, since she's only been around to be photographed for a few months.)

Here's Abigail's first photo after coming home. She's only 2 days old here!

Abigail used to LOVE to stick out her tongue. She seemed to do it all the time.

Here is the "ooooo" face. We took countless photos trying to capture this expression. It was her favorite face for her first few weeks.

Abigail looked like a little burrito all bundled up when we put her in her crib for the first time. Now she fills up the crib pretty well. (From left to right: 4 days old; 2 months old; 8 months old.)

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