Tuesday, June 30, 2009

8 Months Old Already?

Our sweet baby girl turns 8 months old TODAY! Although sometimes it feels like she's been with us forever, I can't believe Lydia has been a part of our lives for 8 whole months! I guess once babies pass the halfway mark, it just keeps going faster and faster as they approach the giant age of 1 :) I keep trying to remind myself how FAST these little ones grow, but I also can't help it that I'm looking forward to her first birthday already! I see the love my girls have for each other now, I just can't imagine the amount of joy we'll be experiencing when they can run around together and talk to each other (in a language we can understand)!!! Here's a little clip of them being sisters, "bouncing" on the bed together...Lydia's little laugh just cracks us up!

One of the things I love the most about having two girls is the fact that they are SO different! Although they are beginning to look more and more alike physically, I can't help but think about all of the things that are different about their personalities. Lydia is definitely more of a snuggler than Addie ever was as an infant. I knew this about her when she was still in the womb...isn't it funny how mother's can tell things about babies before they are even born!?! Pretty amazing. Another big difference is their sleep habits ;( Which I might add, Addie totally takes the cake in that department! I am starting to think that God made Addie to be able to sleep through a war because He knew who she'd be sharing a room with one day ;) I know I don't have it as bad as some, but that doesn't make pacing the floor in the middle of the night any easier on my eyelids!

Teething has been rather rough for this little girl...and we're only on tooth #2! She's definitely not one to keep quiet about getting a new tooth :) I don't remember Addie handling it this hard, but who knows...I may have chosen to forget.

Miss Lydia has just started to do the army crawl in the last week or so. She especially LOVES going after things she is NOT supposed to have...which I find funny. I love the curiosity of babies! My favorite pose of hers is this one:

Push-up position and spitting all at once :)

She LOVES books...and there's no shortage of those around here!

My favorite part of this little darling is her sensitivity...yes, her sensitivity. Addie has always been Miss Independent and does things pretty much on her own time (she is rather sensitive at times too). I have a feeling that Lydia is going to be the opposite, always needing that extra reassurance before entering a new phase of life. She is SO sweet and sensitive and I can just see that trait when I look into her eyes. I love you, my little Lydia Mae!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Fish Story

Thankfully, both of our girls enjoy being outdoors as much as Chris and I do. Last fall, before Lydia was born, Chris and Addie built a swing set in the back yard. It has gotten a LOT of use so far this spring by both girls. Lydia LOVES to swing and sometimes she gets upset with me when I take her out! Addie has learned to share the "baby" swing and she uses the big girl swing most of the time now. She's working very hard on pumping her legs forward and back so she can swing herself. As you can see from both girls, it is all about getting the tongue just right! :)

Addie also LOVES to play in the dirt and help out with the yard work in any way. She recently got her own pink shovel and she helped Chris plant his tomato plants. She definitely doesn't mind getting a little dirty ;)

Saving the best for last, here is the "Fish Story!" Addie has been asking for a princess fishing pole for several weeks now. I caved and bought her one at Wal-mart yesterday. She knows how much her daddy enjoys fishing and she has also learned a lot about fishing by watching episodes of Little Bear (whose father is a fisherman). So last night, despite the horrible heat and humidity, we ventured over to Papaw's lake so Addie could try her hand at fishing.

And of course, my camera lens was fogged up for the first catch (which happened right when they casted, practically). Lucky for me, the lens cleared up just in time to capture her with her 2nd fish. Yes, she actually reeled them both in, with the help of Daddy of course! She was SOOOO excited, to say the least...talking to the fish and everything. She really wanted to hold it, but we didn't think that would go over well for any of the parties involved ;)

Little Sister watching from the sidelines

Waiting for a bite

Touching the "little tiny baby fish"

So happy!

Saying bye to the fish in her sweetest voice :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

11 States in 11 Days!

That's right....Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin...all in 11 days! Our "Wedding Adventures and More" trip began last Friday at 2:45 a.m. when we jumped in the van and headed west. Our first destination was Altus, Oklahoma to attend my cousin Michal's wedding and visit with family. Some of you may remember reading this blog from last year's trip out to OK for Rebecca's wedding. This time, we decided to leave in the middle of the night with hopes that the girls would sleep a good while and we could get several hours in without stopping. Our plan worked and Chris and I enjoyed watching the sunrise (behind the clouds) and talking while Addie and Lydia remained in dreamland. I think we arrived in Altus around 5 p.m. and the trip was basically uneventful, which is always a good thing.

The wedding and reception on Saturday were beautiful and it was so nice to spend some true quality time with our Oklahoma family. The weather was HOT...around 95 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, but no humidity like we have here at home so that was nice. We stuck around for another night and hung out with the family again on Sunday all day. Addie enjoyed playing with Grace and Abraham (the younger of the 6 cousins). Thanks so much to the "Oklahomas" for welcoming us into your home and feeding us :) We had a GREAT time!!!

We got an early start on Monday morning, preparing for the 7 hour trip to Kansas City, Kansas. Our next destination was the Great Wolf Lodge, which is a resort-like hotel with a huge indoor waterpark. We had heard from friends that this was a great place so we wanted to see for ourselves. There are 12 locations around the US and you can learn more about the Great Wolf Lodge here. Addie wasn't sure about the waterpark at first, but she ended up going down both of the kiddie waterslides (only once each though) and even went on one of the BIG waterslides with Daddy (only once also). She loved the lazy river...which we enjoyed as a family, just floating along without any cares in the world! Lydia even fell asleep one time while we were on it :) We stayed two nights and spent half the day on Wednesday in the waterpark after checking out. This was such a fun "treat" for our family and I'm glad we were able to experience it!

We absolutely LOVED the drive through Kansas...you know most people think it's SO boring because there's just a whole lot of nothing, but this was by far our favorite part of the drive. It's true, it is a whole lot of nothingness, but it's GORGEOUS nothingness and here's why:

After lunch on Wednesday, we piled back into the van and headed north for the Omaha, Nebraska area. Our 3 hour, non-stop drive seemed SOOOOO quick compared to the previous drives. We actually stayed at a hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but it was minutes away from Omaha. Thursday morning, we went to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and it was FANTASTIC! We got in for a GREAT price because we're zoo members here in Evansville so it was practically the cheapest and best part of the trip (besides the priceless time spent with family of course!). We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather...it was mid-seventies and sunny and breezy.

I think Addie's favorite part of the whole zoo was being able to pet a goat in the petting zoo part. My absolute favorite part, hands down, was the butterfly exhibit! It was AMAZING to say the least. Addie and I went in by ourselves because we couldn't bring the stoller and Lydia needed a rest anyway. I WISH WISH WISH I would have taken my camera in with me, but I'm glad I was able to enjoy these magnificent creatures with Addie and I will always remember how cool it was. When we came out of the exhibit, they actually had a window where you could stand and watch butterflies actually hatching out of their cacoons! I got to do a little teaching too because there was a foreign man who just had no idea how all of this worked...so that kind of made my day to be able to explain one of God's miracles to him ;) We were all SO tired after our walk around the zoo, but it was so worth every ounce of energy. I would highly recommend this zoo!!!

Friday morning, we hit the road early to make our way to Grand Forks, North Dakota for my cousin Cole's wedding. This was another 7 hour drive, but probably ended up taking us about 9 hours. Let's just get something straight right now...South Dakota is full of even more nothingness than Kansas. And there aren't any places to stop! We managed to find lunch and luckily had enough gas to get us to our destination so that was a blessing. The temperature dropped almost 20 degrees as we headed north so I began worrying about my little ones who were in tank dresses (since it was warm when we left Iowa!). Lucky for us, our hotel was right across the street from Old Navy, Kohl's, and Super Target (which we visited all 3 immediately upon arrival to hunt for warm clothes!).

Cole's wedding and reception was also very nice, although much colder than the wedding we attended only a week prior ;) We all had a great time catching up with family and dancing at the reception. For those of you who don't know me well, I used to spend my summers in Minnesota with my mom's brother Jeff and his family so I got to be pretty close to his in-laws too. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with everyone. Sunday, we traveled south to Minnesota (doesn't that seem funny to say!?) to Jeff and Jennie's house, where we spent the next two nights before making the long trek home on Tuesday. We are so thankful to the "Minnesotas" for welcoming us into their home and bringing back some of the old memories and making new ones ;) Oh, I almost forgot to mention how COLD it was in Minnesota also. Addie had to borrow a sweatshirt from an in-law cousin (if that makes any sense) so be sure to notice her wonderful outfit in the pictures below!

We didn't get a really early start on Tuesday morning for our 12 hour drive home, but we were really in no hurry to end our vacation. It took us about 14 hours total including stops and both girls were angels. We both feel so blessed to have such good little travelers and making it through this trip with only minor meltdowns here and there just confirmed that we can take them anywhere! Thankfully, Lydia's first tooth is peeking through today (causing major grouchiness) so I'm sure glad that was saved until we got home ;) Now, here we are...trying to get back into routine in the warmth and rain. Until the next trip.....

...we'll be catching up on rest ;)