The Weekend Begins

We have been spoiled by the amazing weather lately, so this weekend we are getting caught up on our share of rain. It rained a ton on Friday, and the forecast is for rain all weekend. When there was a break in the rain on Friday afternoon, we took advantage of the moment of clear skies and Abigail played whie Aaron mowed the lawn. (Notice him in the background on the big standing mower. There are advantages to being in the landscaping business!)



Abigail is getting very good at expressing herself. When she wants something, she is sure to let us know. Here she is trying to "talk" Caleb into giving her some of his breakfast.


Better Than A Playpen

Baby gates are wonderful things! I put the gate up across the hallway, so I can stick Abigail in there and she can play either in the hallway or her room, but nowhere else. It worked beautifully! Being able to walk into her room gives her enough to do to stay entertained, and being able to walk into the hallway allows her to see me (which keeps her from feeling like I'm punishing her by sequestering her away all by herself.) Yay! Now I can clean the floors without her trying to play in the piles while I attempt to sweep them into the dustpan.


She's holding her jacket in her hand because she was trying to put it on and take it off repeatedly. She kept having me help her get one arm in the sleeve, then she would try to put the rest on, then pull it off and start all over again.

Toothy Grin

Abigail officially has 5 teeth now. She is still having quite a bit of teething pain, but the teeth have broken through the gums for the most part.


Jeremiah & Veggie Head

Tonight we babysat Jeremiah for a little while. Abigail loved having someone to play with. She eagerly followed him all over the house.





Yesterday Abigail bonked her head on the corner of her dresser. It started to bruise right away, so I put a bag of frozen veggies on it. I thought Abigail would get upset from the cold, but she didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, she grabbed the bag from me when we were done and kept putting it on her head!

Learning New Things

Abigail just learned how to pick up items and put them into a bowl. She used to always like to dump things out of containers, but never put things in. Here she is practicing her with her vegetables. She also likes to try drinking out of cups, so she's combining both of these skills at once!




Free Is A Very Good Price

Three cheers for Freecycle! We got a free toddler slide for our backyard from some generous people through our local Freecycle group. Abigail has been enjoying it already. I'm glad that she now has something else to do outside besides eating dirt!



Speaking of dirt and free stuff - "we" are making some progress on our patio. (Dirt = what we moved a lot of today; Free stuff = the bricks we will use for the patio, and the labor that Matt contributed to the project this afternoon; "We" = Not me, since I haven't done any work on it whatsoever. The hard workers have been Aaron, Matt, Caleb, and a couple guys from Aaron's landscaping crew.) Hopefully the project will be completed soon. We are looking forward to having the patio done in time for Abigail's first birthday party in just over a month. Abigail was supervising and providing some inspiration today while the guys worked.


Naptime and First Visit to the Library

You'd think that sleeping like this would make her neck hurt - but she seems just fine when she wakes up.



I took Abigail to the library for the first time today. We checked out a bunch of books about baby animals and Bible stories.

Messy girl!

Here's Abigail getting messy eating a mango and then playing with dirt:




Here's a little video Abigail eating her mango, (with a little dancing in the middle). No sound on this one.


This video should have sound. Abigail is talking up a storm as Aaron chases her across the living room.

Frozen Banana To The Rescue

We are eagerly anticipating the imminent arrival of teeth #4 & #5. Abigail has been teething like mad lately, and today we are starting to see some tooth break through her gums. She was chewing on everything in sight, and seemed to be in a fair amout of pain. Infant Tylenol helped some, but the thing that worked the best was chewing on a frozen banana. She made a big mess, but it was worth it!


Hooray!

Hooray for bubbles! And Hooray for Grandma and Grandpa, who sent them along with some other fun stuff and treats in an Easter goodie package that arrived today. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa (aka Mom and Dad)! (Thanks for sending all the stuff that I left at your house when we visited, too. I was making a mental list of all the things I realized that I forgot, and I you got all of them and then some!)

The Chase Is On

This is the view I had of Abigail for most of the afternoon as I chased her around the mall. I was attempting to do a little bit of shopping, but was mostly just scurrying after her and grabbing merchandise out of her hands. Teaches me not to forget the stroller!


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Today we celebrate Jesus' resurrection, and look forward to His return in glory. He IS alive, and He is coming back to rule the earth. Do you know Him? Do you love Him? He loves you, and He gave His life to redeem you from your sins so that by grace, through faith, YOU can enter into the fullness of life in Christ, eternally. Do you know Him? Do you love Him?

It was a beautiful day, so we walked to church this morning.





Later we had a bunch of people over for dinner. Our friend Matt brought his new pet gecko. Abigail was interested in it for a few seconds, then went back to eating her fruit! (Notice the strawberry on her dress. When I was little, I would get a big strawberry stain on my dress every year on Easter. I guess Abigail is just trying to keep up the tradition.)

Saturday

We got an Easter package from Nana and Grandpa today. Here's Abigail "reading" her card. We'll post a picture of her wearing her cute new outfit soon.
Thanks Nana and Grandpa (aka Mom and Dad)!



Vroom, Vroom! Beep, Beep!




P.S. For those of you who were expecting a new video today...sorry, we'll have to try again tomorrow. (I got a new phone - for free - that takes video with sound.) Everything looks fine on our computer, but somewhere in the process of uploading it to dropshots.com the sound got lost. When we play it from the web, it is silent. We'll try again tomorrow and see if we can fix it.

Please Drop What You're Doing and Pray for Addie Now!



Our friend Addie is having some very serious complications after a recent surgery. She is on oxygen to assist with her breathing and is in really bad shape. (she is in the recovery process after having a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder. She is 15 months old.)
Please pray for her immediate healing and recovery, and for strength and comfort for her parents, Sara and Kris, and extended family.

Click here to visit her webpage:
http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/inputSiteName.do?method=search&siteName=adelinehopekunkel

Our Little Angel


Aaron and I are really working on figuring out how to get Abigail to obey us in regards to not touching certain things. Certain things are off-limits, but she really wants to explore them: the keyboard & mouse, wires under the computer, and cupboards and drawers without child latches on them. A few times today she crawed under the desk and tried to act all innocent. She looked up at me like she was hoping I'd walk away and just let her go to town playing with all the electronics. I didn't move her right away, to see what she would do. She sat there for a little bit until her curiosity got the best of her, then she started grabbing wires like they were some kind of lifeline. I snatched her up and told her "NO", only to have her repeat the whole process over again a few minutes later. She is definitely testing us, and she knows when she is doing something that's not allowed. When she gets caught in the act and I say her name, she gets a really guilty looking smile, then does a little dance! It's actually really cute, but I can't smile and let her think that disobedience is funny! It's a slow process, but she seems to be starting to understand that what we say, goes.

We tried lettuce at lunch today. Abigail was not impressed.

92!

And I was so happy to see that our heating bill went down last month...
I thought we'd have a few months where opening the doors and windows would be all we'd need to keep the house comfortable. If today's high of 92 degrees is any indication, we'll be cranking up the A/C pretty soon.
Abigail and I went outside a couple times to enjoy the sunshine, but I'm freaked out about her getting a sunburn, so we weren't out for long. I managed to get a gazillion pictures in the time we were out there, so here's a small selection:





Grocery Shopping

I like my bananas with a little green, but this is ridiculous!



Abigail has been really working hard at learning to communicate. She is trying to say more words, and has been really progressing with using her sign language. She used to only mimic me when I prompted her to do a sign, but this week she has been initiating the sign for "all done" when she wants to stop eating (when she does it, it basically looks like waving with both hands). Today she decided that we were "all done" shopping when I was about halfway through my list. She started signing "all done" over and over, and squealing to get out of the cart, with a look in her eyes like "C'mon, lady, I said I'm finished!" Here she is frantically waving her hands, saying "I'm done, I'm done, get me out of here!"

Peculiar Eating

Keep in mind that Abigail has only three teeth, and they're all on the bottom...

She did manage to bite some (very small) chunks out of this apple.

Although she's always shown some preferences, Abigail has always eaten pretty much whatever we put on her tray. But now that we've established somewhat of a mealtime routine, she is beginning to discover that she can assert some influence over what she eats. I have tried a few different tactics to get her to eat a well-balanced meal, but she usually ends up devouring much more fruit than anything else. If I serve her veggies or grains first, she will take a couple bites and then shove it off the tray onto the floor, giving me a look like "Where's the good stuff?". Today I tried giving her pieces of pear and bread at the same time to thwart her tactics. Alas, She's too sly to fall for that! She is mastering the art of picking through her food to eat only the tastiest morsels. She carefully devoured every pear she could find, while avoiding the bread completely. Picture 2 shows the bread has practically not moved from picture 1. The few pieces that did move were the ones that she picked up accidentally in her haste, then flung onto the floor so she could grab a pear. Good thing I have a tablecloth down there to make it easier to clean!

Tree Hugger?

Another beautiful day today, so we spent some time outside. Abigail enjoyed exploring new textures and smells (and tastes - she managed to get some mulch in her mouth. She sure is quick when she's doing something naughty!) Here she is investigating a tree.



While we were in Oregon, Abigail had some portraits taken for a photo contest. (We mostly did it to get some good pictures for a great price, but it's ok if she wins something, too!) If you'd like to see the four photos that were selected for judging, click here - last photo on the bottom; and here - first three photos.

Playing Outside

How many different ways can Abigail enunciate the syllables "da-da"? Somehow, I know that Abigail has a word for "doggie", but to me it sounds like just another slight variation of "da-da". (The vast majority of what she says right now sounds like da-da, or na-na). She really does seem to know what a dog is, and she is calling it by name. She says "doggie" (her own da-da verson of the word, anyway) when I hold up one of her doggie toys, or when we go outside to visit the neighbors' dogs. (Just for clarification - I mean toys shaped like dogs, not toys intended for canine use!) She also tries to mimic a barking noise. She kind of says "uh, uh" or "oh, oh". It's so cute it makes me want to get her a puppy. But then I think about trying to chase her and a puppy at the same time and I regain my sanity. For now the neighbor's dogs will have to suffice.



After visiting the doggies, we spent a little more time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Abigail "helped" Aaron water the plants.


Dancing Queen

Abigail has really started to enjoy music and dancing. Here she is getting her groove on. (The flashing lights in the bottom left corner of the shot are from a toy that plays music when a button is pressed - her own personal juke box of sorts)


Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Just testing (video)

Hallelujah! I think I have found my solution for posting video. Here's a test:


Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing


SWEEEEEET! It works! It still won't have sound, because our camera is lame-o. But, I can at least post video clips now. More to come soon, I promise.

Home Sweet Home

Abigail giggles as Daddy nibbles on her ear.



Abigail snuggling with Caleb right before bedtime.


We're Home!

Last few pictures from our big trip:

Here's Abigail enjoying her bubble bath.

Abigail and cousin Anna had lots of fun playing together for a few days. They also knocked each other down and stole toys and all that fun stuff. So far, I think they're on the road to friendship, despite the occasional roughness.

Grandpa is a master at packing luggage. This time he even managed to secure Abigail for the flight home in a suitcase! Just kidding! This suitcase did carry home a Kitchenaid stand mixer complete with bowl (thanks to Grandpa both for packing it, and for finding it at a thrift store for $30!!). The diapers provided ample padding. I wonder what the airport security folks thought when the inspected it - a big, heavy mixer, a wooden salad bowl, misc. books, and a bunch of diapers (not exactly your typical contents!) Abigail helped me unpack it all when we got home.


Fun with Grandpa (& Fuzzle)

Here's Grandpa with his special pet Fuzzle:




So much playing makes me tired...looks like Grandpa's tired too!

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