Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Splash Splash

Not too long ago, Karsten started getting a bath in the big tub.  We still use a bath ring ( we have this one), because she doesn't sit well enough on her own, and definitely isn't very steady in our slippery bath tub.

Regardless, this little girl loves bath time. She smiles, and squeals, and most of all, she SPLASHES.

Somehow, I think that I end up just as wet as she is after her baths. 

Kevin likes to say that she splashes with intensity, and loves it.  That is so very true!

 Just look at that face.  The concentration!

Honestly, she splashes so hard, she'll get water all up her nose and scare herself.  It is pretty amusing to watch!  Kate starts swim lessons next week. Guess maybe I should have signed both girls up!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

For the first Memorial Day in SEVEN years, Kevin and I did not spend it at the lake.  We've been on the go the past few weekends, and have plans coming up in the next few weeks also, so we really just wanted to have some down time at home to get a few projects done around the house, and just be pretty low-key. 

It. was. awesome.

Now, from the pictures below, I know it doesn't look so low-key.  But it was. 

On Saturday, we blew up this thing and put it in our back yard. Kate was in heaven.

This was my brother and sister-in-law's.  They are a military family and will be moving to Alaska soon, so they have been trying to figure out what was going to make the move with them, and what wasn't.  This thing didn't make the cut. Lucky for us, right?

 I'm pretty sure you can guess what Kate did ALL DAY Saturday.  She actually woke up Saturday morning at 7:30am, and the very first thing she said was "Can we blow up my bounce house now?"

This is her "mom-stop-taking-pictures-so-I-can-play" face. 

Meanwhile, Karsten and I hung out in the shade while Kevin was busy doing yard work.  I think I got the good end of that deal.

We went to church Sunday morning, went out to eat for lunch with friends, and then came home for naps for the girls.  When they woke up, Kate and I pulled her easel out into the yard and I let her paint. 

It felt so nice to be outside, and I also didn't have to worry about paint falling on my floor.  Stephen Covey would call that a win-win scenario. 

Kate spent the night with her Nana and Papa on Sunday night, so Kevin and I sort of had a night out.  We went out to dinner.  Nothing major, but still fun.

I picked Kate up around 9ish Monday morning and we had another great low key day at home.  We took Kate with us to do a little shopping, and she got some new running shoes.  She fell asleep in the car, and when I carried her inside to her bed, she did NOT want to take them off.  This girl and her shoes. She makes me laugh!

After she woke up from her nap, she begged us again to pull out the bounce house. So we did. And then she refused to get in it. She told Kevin that "Girls don't like to play in the hot sun."  Oh my. She can be ultra-girly at times, and tough as nails other times. You just never know what you're gonna get with her! Three year old drama at its finest.

But she sure does make me smile.

And before I know it, Karsten will be 2 steps behind Kate with everything she does.

And that was our weekend.  Sometimes the lazy days at home are just the best.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Last Day of Preschool

Tuesday was Kate's last day of preschool.  And just like that, another school year has come and gone.


The past 2 years Kate went to a Mother's Day Out program at a local church a few days a week.  This year, she was enrolled at a different church's preschool program. This was her first year of real preschool (ie - structured learning) and she did so well! I am honestly shocked at just how much her teachers covered in a single year.  And I might also add, that she was only there on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30-11:30, so it's not like they had that much time, but boy did she learn!

Throughout the year, she learned shapes, colors, learned to identify and write numbers, basic addition and subtraction, holidays, nature, health, safety, etc.  And most importantly, each day she was taught about Jesus.  She had a great teacher, and overall, had another great school year!

Here she is acting silly while Mommy tried to get a picture before her last day.

And a few more, since I just can't resist.


And while we're at it, let's look back at a few pictures from Kate's FIRST day of school- all the way back in August 2014.

If you'd asked me before I looked at these pictures, I really didn't think that Kate had changed all that much since the beginning of the school year.  Boy was I wrong.  She is such a big girl now!

Friday, May 8, 2015

When Mother's Day is Hard...

To the childless on Mother’s day –

I get it. I do. Mother’s day isn’t easy when you don’t have a child to hold, or hug, or talk to, when more than anything, you want that. When you wish your night-time routine took two hours and involved bathing a little one, rubbing down tiny arms with lavender scented baby lotion, zipping up sweet PJ's and singing a lullaby, instead of a quick 10 minutes of washing your face, brushing your teeth and jumping under the covers. It's so hard to have that yearning, but not have something that so many other moms are experiencing - a child. And not having a child on Mother's day makes the second Sunday in May so much more difficult.

I don’t know your reason for not having a child with you on this day…

Maybe you have struggled with infertility and have yet to experience motherhood.

Maybe you have had a child who has passed away and won’t have a little (or big) one to hold onto. 

Maybe you don’t have a good relationship with your child, or maybe you have no relationship at all.

Maybe aren't holding that sweet baby because you selflessly chose adoption for your child, and made another mom’s dreams come true.

Whatever the reason, Mother’s day won’t be easy for you because it brings up pain, or longing, that is within you.

And I get it. I really do.

Because I was there once, too.

There was a time when I was SO ready to be a mom, but God said, “Not yet. Wait.” I had no idea what was in store, but He did! And can I just say, “Wow.”

His plan was better, greater, larger, and so much more desirable than anything I could have come up with on my own. But I’m no future teller. I sure didn’t know what was coming up for our family while I was waiting. All I knew was that I was still waiting to be a mom, and it stunk. I mean let’s be honest, who really enjoys waiting?

And let’s be a little more honest, when you’re waiting, do you really find comfort in the words “worth the wait”? Because I sure didn’t. I mean I knew it was true, but there’s no real comfort in that. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re still waiting. Yes, you completely understand that your child will be SO worth the wait, but just hearing those words doesn’t make waiting any easier. So for the waiting mom, I offer no words of comfort, since my words are probably meaningless to you. Instead, I offer my prayers for you- for you to have hope, for you to have peace, and for you to find joy in the everyday life while you wait. My words won’t comfort you, but His words will never disappoint.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

To the mom who’s child has passed away, I am broken for you. I hurt for you. I can’t imagine your pain, and I hope I never have to experience it myself. My words won’t heal your broken heart, but hopefully His words and His promises can bring you comfort.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:2

To the mom who has a strained relationship with your child, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you don’t have the relationship you’d dreamed of. I don’t know what your circumstances are, but all you can control is your own words and actions and trust that you have done your part. God has promised that this life is not an easy one, and some have heavier burdens to bear than others. Find your strength in Him and Him alone.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:16

To the mom who made an adoption plan for your child, you are my hero. Because of two very special birth moms like you, I personally get to celebrate this day as a mom. I know today is difficult for you, maybe more than you think you can bear, but be encouraged knowing that your child is so very loved! Because of your selfless and sacrificial decision, your child is loved by so many more people than most children will ever get to claim. Adoption is a gift. It's a gift that may simultaneously bring you joy and sorrow. My prayer for you is peace- peace that is found only in Him.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!"
John 16:33

So to all of those who are struggling on this Mother’s day, take comfort in knowing that only He can heal your brokenness. And He will! Maybe not in the way that you hope or plan for, but quite possibly in an even better way! Maybe He makes you a Mommy when that is your dream. Maybe He gives you strength when you couldn't do it on your own. Maybe he gives you the ability to minister to others in a way you never would have been able to, because of the unique experiences that you have been through. So take heart!

And though it may not be easy for you, make every effort to be happy and joyful for all those Moms out there who are celebrating Mother’s day without pain in their hearts. Remember that they might have been right where you are not all that long ago…

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Karsten: Seven Months

Here we are again.  Karsten is now seven months old.  Seven months, y'all.

That's the amount of time that we waited for a baby after our homestudy was finalized and we were "officially" a waiting family.  Though I do have to point out that it took us a good 8 months to even get to the waiting stage.  

And once we go there, we waited seven months.  Those seven months of waiting passed by SO slowly.

But these past seven months have not passed slowly AT ALL.  We've had this sweet girl in our arms for seven whole months, and it doesn't even seem like it's possible that it has been that long.  But it has.

Her smile makes us smile.  Her laugh makes us laugh.  Her joy is contagious. She is ours and she is perfect.

Here is what this girl is up to at seven months old...

She is wearing size 3 diapers. Size 2 still fits but we went with the next size up so it will last all night long.

Karsten is rolling over both ways...

And sitting up all by herself!

She will give you "two hands" if you ask her to.

She will give her mama kisses when I ask for them- but only Mama!

She loves, loves, loves her big sister Kate!

Karsten is obsessed with our dogs and tries to grab them when we are outside.

She is pushing up, but not yet attempting to crawl. I think she's not too far off though.

She is still drooling all over the place and chewing on her hands, but no teeth!

We've started solids and she has tried so many foods - apples, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, green peas, bananas, peaches, and probably some more that I'm forgetting.  She's not a fan of the green stuff right now, but loves anything yellow or orange, and loves oatmeal.

And drumroll please, she is actually starting to sleep at night! Woohoo!!  She goes to bed around 8 and will sleep til 6ish.  We can usually give her a paci and she will last until 630 or sometimes even 7 before eating. Y'all. We feel like new people. I would still not call us well-rested, but Kevin and I are no longer a hazard to society.

Karsten is definitely my hip baby.  Kate was so independent and even at just a few months old, she wanted to do things herself.  Karsten is the opposite.  She is a mamas girl and wants to be held all the time, so she is most often on my hip.  In the evenings, Kevin, Kate and I will eat dinner at the table and we'll put Karsten in her exercauser right beside us.  She is NOT happy until I pick her up and put her in my lap.  This girl doesn't want to miss out on anything.

We have a pretty good routine going. For my own reference, here's what her 7 month routine is like:

7:00           Bottle and back to bed
9:30ish      Wakes for the day
10:00         Bottle and then solids
11:30ish    Nap
1:00           Bottle (we're about to add solids here too)
3:30ish      Nap
4:30ish      Wake from nap
5:30           Bottle and then solids
7:00           Bath
8:00           Bottle and bed

It is so crazy to think that seven months have gone by, but somehow they have. And this little girl has gone from a tiny infant, to a bubbling happy baby with tons of personality.  Our whole family is so in love with this sweet girl.  Just look at how she's changed...




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