Friday, November 28, 2014

It's Christmastime!

Kate has been asking me over and over if it is Christmas yet, and I kept reminding her that THANKSGIVING came before Christmas.  This morning she woke up and again said "Is it Christmastime now??" and I could finally tell her YES!  Though of course, after that answer, she assumed Santa was coming tonight and was sorely disappointed to realize she had to wait a whole month (even though she has no idea what a month is - she just knew it meant he wasn't coming NOW).

I've been excited for Christmas, especially this year.  Kate had fun last year but I knew this year would/will be special.  I pulled out all of my decorations over the past week and put up everything before Thanksgiving except for our tree.  Typically, I'm a NO Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't help myself.  Today, Kate helped me put up our tree for the very first time.  She had a BLAST!  I have to say that our tree is a little ornament-heavy around the 2-3 foot range, but that's okay. Kate loved pulling each ornament out- especially the salt dough ornaments that she and I made together the last 2 years.  It was fun to put her hand up to the handprints and see just how much she has grown.  She said "I was LITTLE, Mama!"

After baths, I got a few quick pictures of both girls in front of the tree.  They both have wet hair and are all lotioned down. Probably not the best time for pajama pictures, but whatever! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014


Most of these have been posted on my Facebook feed already, since that's where I post stuff as it happens so I can go back and then copy/paste them onto here. :)  These are the most recent "Kateisms".  This girl makes us laugh every day!

At dinner tonight, Kevin and I started asking Kate how her day at school was.  She was telling us about what she did, and something she said made me ask her if she had been put in time out.  She said yes, and I asked her why she had to go to time out.  Her response?  
"I made bad choices, Mommy."

Kate got a new play nativity today. As she was playing with it, this was our conversation :
Me- Kate, who is the baby?
Kate- Jesus.
Me- What are his Mommy and Daddy's names?
Kate- Mary and Joseph
Me- And who are those other people?Kate- The shepherds and the wise men. Me- Good job! What do the shepherds take care of?Kate- Sheep!Me- Right! And do you remember what the wise men did?Kate- They brought gifts!Me- Yep! What did they bring?Kate- Ummm.... POPCORN! They brought popcorn.

I'm sure Jesus would have appreciated the popcorn.

I love that Kate calls sparkles "sprinkles". I just can't seem to make myself correct her, because everything is better with sprinkles, right? Especially when she wants me to paint her fingernails, and make sure to put sprinkles on top.

Despite what Kevin may think, Kate KNOWS she has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger. At small group tonight, Kate was begging one of the other adults for a doughnut. The adult told her to ask her mom. Kate started to walk toward me and then turned back around to the adult and said "How about my Daddy??"

Me- Kate, did you know God made you beautiful?
Kate- No I'm not! My hair's a mess!!

We have horses in a facility near our house and we pass by them just about any time we drive somewhere. Kate has been obsessed these horses for as long as we can remember.  She has always begged to ride them, and somehow got it in her head that when she is 4 years old, she'll be able to ride them.  I've just gone with it for now.  As we were driving past the horses the other day, we had the following conversation:
Kate- Can I ride the horses, Mama? 
Me- You know when you can ride them, right? 
Kate- Yep. When I'm like dirt. 
Me- Huh?
Kate- You know, Mom. Old like dirt. Then I can ride the horses. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bows & Smiles

My girls love bows. Let me take that back-  I love seeing my girls in bows. :)  There's nothing more southern than a little girl in a big bow.  Unless, of course, the little girl is also wearing something smocked or monogrammed along with her big bow.  Luckily Karsten has a good supply of some super cute headbands, most of which are from Sassy Sweet Pea Designs, to help her keep a bow on her head.  It might be a while before she has as much hair as Kate to be able to clip them in her hair, so I am loving the headband stage... and apparently so is Karsten.  We've gotten some cute baby smiles the last few days and it is so much fun!!  Enjoy the pictures of Karsten (and a few of Kate, who hasn't wanted to sit still recently) in all of their bows, and go check out Sassy Sweet Pea Designs on Etsy or on Facebook.  Their bows are so cute, and very reasonably priced! Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Little (Early) Winter Crafting

Kate has really gotten into the arts and crafts kind of stuff. I think it is from all of the painting, cutting, gluing, etc that she does at school.  SO, I decided to pull out the paints and let her do a fun wintery craft on Sunday afternoon while Karsten napped.  Of course, I saw something similar to this on Pinterest (where else?) and decided to give it a try.  Actually, it's really similar pretty much exactly the same as the Valentine's craft I did with her back when she was about 18 months old.

All it took was a small canvas, masking tape, washable paint and paintbrushes!  And of course, a table cloth and bib to protect my table and Kate's clothes!

Here are the snowflakes all taped up and ready to go!

"Let's do this, Mom!"

After a coat of blue paint, we let it dry for a few hours and then went back over it with a coat of silver glitter paint.  Once that coat was dry, we pulled off the tape and there were our snowflakes!  I traced around the outside with a black sharpie just to make them stand out a bit more.  As Kate watched me tracing she said "You're an incredible drawer, Mom!"  She has become quite generous with her compliments lately, but who am I to complain?  I guess it takes LOTS of skill to trace snowflakes- a skill which, according to Kate, I apparently am incredible at. 

And.... the finished product! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Enjoying the Moment

You know, not two minutes after we shared our news about Karsten, people were already asking us "are y'all done now?"  And honestly, that answer depends on if you ask me or if you ask Kevin!  I've always said I wanted 3 kids and Kevin has always said 2.  After only having two kids for about 5 weeks, I have to say that Kevin will probably win on that one.  However, in the world of kids (even when you adopt), I've learned to never say any decision is final. You end up changing your mind on SO many things when it comes to kids, it's not even funny.

"Our kids will NEVER watch TV"
.... and then 3 years later you can sing the theme song to every show on Disney Junior by heart.
(** In our defense, we never said Kate wouldn't watch TV, but we did say we want to limit her screen time- and we do to an extent, but she does love her Disney Jr.)

"We will NOT have a picky eater. Our kids will eat whatever we're eating and be happy about it."
... and then you find yourself fixing PB&J sandwiches while the rest of the family eats the grown up meal, because your child will not eat any kind of pasta and you don't want them waking up in the middle of the night hungry.

"My kid will only eat all-organic foods and I will make everything from scratch.  Forget red dye #40 - she will never have that."
... and the next thing you know, you're calling fruit roll-ups (red, of course) and nacho cheese Doritos a healthy lunch, because you figure it hits up 3 of the 5 major food groups - fruit (fruit roll-ups), dairy (cheese Doritos), and grain (those Doritos are doing double-duty). Throw in some V8 to cover the vegetables and you can pat yourself on the back.
(** Also note, we never claimed Kate would only eat organic food, though I did make most of her baby foods.)

Yeah.  You definitely change your mind on some things when it comes to kids.  So, no.  I'm not saying that we will NEVER have a third kid, but I am saying that most likely Karsten will be our last child. We have no firm plans to adopt again.  We're only 5 weeks into being a family of four, but it is a pretty good number for us.  And since Karsten may (or may not) be our last child, I find myself savoring some of these baby moments a little more.

I'm trying not to rush things.

With Kate, Kevin and I were both in such a hurry for her to reach each of her baby milestones.  When will she start teething? When will she stand?  Crawl?  Walk?  Talk?  Hurry up!!

With Karsten, I find myself wondering "Is this the last time she'll wake up forty times in a single night?"  "Is this the last time she'll only drink 2 oz of formula?"  "Is this the last time she can wear this outfit before I have to put it up?"

Don't get me wrong, I'm gonna be thrilled when she starts sleeping through the night, but each milestone that she reaches will be a FIRST for Karsten and a possible LAST for Kevin and me.  The last time we see our kid smile for the first time.  The last time we get to give our baby her first bath, and on and on it goes.  Karsten has already started rolling over and while it was exciting to watch, it was also a little sad. I found myself thinking "No. That's not supposed to happen yet!"  I'm sure I'll have those same mixed feelings at every milestone Karsten reaches.

I'm going to probably hold her a little bit longer than necessary, rock her a little more than she needs, and maybe even push her down a few times when she first starts to stand up. :) Just kidding. I don't want to hold her back in any way, and I'll be proud when she hits all of those "firsts", just like I was proud with Kate.  I'll be her biggest cheerleader and will give her lots of hugs and kisses and encouragement along the way.  I'll be thrilled each time she takes another step forward with independence and will be so excited when she experiences a new first.

But I may be just a little bit sad too.  Because while it's one of her firsts, it might just be one of my lasts.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Little Momma

Kate is such a little mommy. I've said all along, she thinks Karsten is HER baby. She is constantly wanting to help- even with changing diapers!  Though we can't just turn everything over to her, she's been a big helper with running to get wipes, pacis, diapers, etc and then "helping" us with Karsten.

I feel bad, because it seems like things have been so crazy, we haven't been able to let Kate "help" as much as we would like.  Usually Kate asks to help when she needs to get a bath, or she is about to leave for school, or (of course) when it is her bedtime. Tonight, she got to sit down and give Karsten a whole bottle and she LOVED it. Karsten didn't seem to mind either.

The sweetest two girls I know!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Karsten: One Month

Whoa! How did that happen? Karsten is one month old today.  Probably one of the very first things I bought for her was her monthly stickers! I knew I had to get that order in quickly because she would be one month before I knew it - and she is! The past month has flown by, and all of our days are running together. Here's a quick summary of the last month, for me to look back on in the years to come.

Karsten weighed 7 lbs 11 oz at birth, and 7lbs 11.5 oz when she was discharged from the hospital to us. A week later, she was still just 7 lbs 11 oz, so her doctor really wanted us to make sure she got full feedings when she ate. I mentioned that I thought she might be tongue tied, so her pediatrician took a look. Sure enough, she was! We scheduled an appointment with an ENT for the following day, and Karsten got her tongue clipped. It was quick and (mostly) painless we assume, since she cried for all of 5 seconds. After that, she seemed to be able to drink her bottles much easier and has started gaining weight.  We've moved out of the newborn diapers, and on into Size 1's!

We had another doctor trip this month when what I thought was some type of rash, or eczema, broke out across her forehead. Turns out it was cradle cap, which was on her forehead instead of in her hair.  We've been washing with Selsun Blue and it seems to be clearing up the problem.

We're working on our sleep schedule too.  Karsten is a little night owl! She comes to life around 7pm and then DOES NOT want to go to sleep. She will easily stay awake until 2am. Mama and Daddy are tired!  We used Babywise with Kate and are attempting it again.  Karsten has surprised us with a few 5 hour stretches, but they have been rare.  At this point, we're just praying for some 3 hour stretches in a row, so Kevin and I can trade off and get a little shut eye. We will get there!  In the meantime, this girl is well rested with all the sleep she gets during the daytime!

Kate is LOVING being a big sister. Of course she deals with some jealousy, since Karsten requires so much hands-on attention.  However, in Kate's eyes, this is HER baby.

"My baby needs a bottle."   "My baby needs a paci."   "My baby needs me to rock her."  "My baby..."

I hope Kate always loves her sister as much as she does right now!

The past month has been a blur, but we wouldn't have had it any other way. God sure knows what He is doing when he places people in your life, and Karsten is no exception.  She is the daughter He always had in mind for us.  We are so thankful to her birth mother for choosing us and trusting us to be her parents.  We are so in love!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What In Whiskers! (Halloween Overload)

Happy Halloween (a day late) from our TWO girls!

I am learning the difficulty of taking pictures of two kids at once.  This is no easy task.

We had a time with a Halloween costume this year! For Kate's birthday in August, she got a cowgirl outfit, complete with boots, hat, lasso and scarf.  Since she got so much cowgirl stuff, I planned on her being a cowgirl, and she was good with that... until Target put out all of their Halloween stuff.  Somehow she got it in her head she wanted to be a kitty cat.  So after Karsten was born, I took her to Target as a treat to pick out a kitty costume (planning on getting just the ears and a tail, and letting her wear all black).  As we start looking, she found a Jake and the Neverland Pirates costume and just HAD to have it. So I bought it.

We got home, and it was a 2T.  Kate wears a 5T so that was NOT going to work.  :)  We went to exchange it, and of course they didn't have any Jake costumes left except for 2T's.  Then Kate saw an Ariel costume and just HAD to be a mermaid (because with a 3 year old girl, there are only extreme emotions).  So we switched out Jake for Ariel.

Fast forward to the day before Halloween and what does Kate want to be... a cowgirl.  More specifically, she wants to be a Sheriff (like Sheriff Callie, who says "what in whiskers!', a phrase we hear a thousand times a day).  And just like that, we were back to where we started about 3.5 months ago.  Oh well. She makes a cute little cowgirl sheriff.

Cowgirl Kate!

But she made sure to let everyone know that she was the SHERIFF!

Kate had a blast trick-or-treating. We took her last year, but since she was just 2, she didn't really remember it. Trick-or-treating is just another example of how her personality is SO different from mine.  For example, I am an introvert. Always have been. As a kid, I loved trick-or-treating for the candy, but I wasn't a fan of knocking on the doors of strangers and having to talk to them. 

Kate, on the other hand, LOVED it.  As we would be walking up to each house, she would say "Can we go INSIDE this one? I wanna go inside and say hey."  Total extrovert.  She is definitely a people person. :) 

Ironically and unknowingly, the next house we knocked on was the parent's of a girl I grew up playing soccer with, and they immediately invited us in.  So Kate got her wish! 

Cowgirl Kate with her Pick!


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