Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clemson vs Boston College

A few weeks ago, we got to go to our first Clemson game in 2 years. We've been to at least one game nearly every year since Kevin and I got married, but last year we got an unexpected (and completely wonderful) surprise when Karsten joined our family. So no Clemson game last year!

Our plan was to take the entire family (including Karsten) to the Clemson/BC game, which was homecoming.  However, because of the season Clemson has been having so far, and the significance of the game, when the game time was announced, it turned out being a night game starting at 7pm.  That was a no-go with a 1 year old, but we knew Kate would be able to make it. 

So on Saturday, October 17th, the 3 of us headed to Clemson.  Karsten had fun at home with lots of one-on-one time with her Nana!

Kate was SUPER excited about getting a tiger paw on her face, and she ended up with not one, but TWO tiger paws. 

Because of all the rain the past few weeks, Bowman field was extremely muddy. Clemson tried to alleviate some of the problem by putting down hay but it honestly just smelled awful. So we didn't stay around the floats for too long. 

It's hard to believe that this is where I lived 8 years ago. It honestly doesn't feel like it has been THAT long. Some things (like Tillman Hall) never change. 

Kate was enthralled with the field, and Howards Rock.  She kept telling me "This is where the REAL tiger is going to run out, Mama."


This is my mom, with two of her brothers. I definitely come from a Clemson family. :)

This was the best we could do of the 3 of us. 

We brought a stroller for Kate because let's face it, Clemson is BIG and it is most definitely not flat.  We weren't sure how long she would be able to hang with the walking.  She found a better ride - my uncle Rick's shoulders.  Let me tell you, Kate is not a lightweight.  He carried her like this for a very long time.  I'm sure he was sore the next day! 

Kate watched very little of the actual game.  She did, however, LOVE the cheers.  She is still singing "C-L-E-M-S-OOOooooo-N!"

She also loved playing with my mom's visor, and wearing it on her head like so...

Because if you wear it like that, it's actually a princess crown.  Didn't you know that? :)

Maybe next year all FOUR of us will make it to a game. I'm at least doing my part to help my kids be little tiger fans!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

First Birthday Party

Last weekend we celebrated Karsten's first birthday with a party, of course! We kept it small, and had a "family only" party, which was perfect. There will be plenty of time later for bigger parties, so the low key party was great.  And fortunately, some of Karsten's birth family was able to come, which made it even more special.

The party theme was Cookies & Milk. Big thanks to my mom who made dozens of cookies for the party. :) We had chocolate chip (of course), snickerdoodles (my favorite) and chocolate oatmeal (my grandma's recipe).  I made Karsten's cake, and originally wasn't planning on making anything else cake-wise. However, Kate realized that the cake was only for Karsten, so I promised to make some cupcakes for the party too.

Our best attempt at a family photo before the party started. The struggle is real.

I was excited to see how Karsten reacted to the cake. You just never know how a baby will respond. Will they dig in? Will they even touch it? Will they smash their faces into it? Who knows!

But before we got to the cake itself, we sang "happy birthday" to her.  Honestly, I think this was her favorite part of the party. She loves music and she loves to hear her name (well, usually).

Then it was cake time!

And I should have known. Karsten is such a little lady. There was no digging into the cake for her.  No face smashing.  I had to actually feed it to her at first!

Then she figured it out and very carefully took a taste.

She definitely played with it more than she ate.

And then she flung the cake against the wall and that was the end of the cake experiment.

Opening gifts went pretty much the same way.  I mean she is one so she didn't really have any idea what was going on.  She wasn't really into opening gifts, and like the tissue paper that was thrown on the floor the best.

She LOVED this little bunny that a friend at church gave her.  She has been carrying it around our house for the past week.

And she loved this stuffed bear.  She is such a little momma. She loves baby dolls and stuffed animals so much. 

This one had fun but definitely struggled at a birthday party that was not HERS.  For 3 years, she was our only child. She was almost always the center of attention. This past year has been a huge adjustment for her, and while she's definitely still getting used to it, she has done so well. She loves her baby sister.  She just doesn't love sharing the attention so much. :)  

We definitely had fun celebrating our ONE year old. I still can't believe she's one. She has brought so much joy into our lives.  We love her so!  Happy first birthday, Karsten!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Karsten: 12 Months

Please excuse me. I've been hiding away the last month, trying not to think about the fact that my baby was about to turn ONE.  Just kidding.  But not really.

And today it happened. Karsten is now ONE.  One whole year.  Maybe I should just be like all those other moms that count their kids age in months for EVER.  So for example, if someone asked me how old Kate is, I'd say, "Oh, she's 50 months old."  I'm convinced moms do that because it's just so hard to talk YEARS.  But that's not me, so that won't happen.  Karsten's one.  I'll get over it.

So to make up for lost time, this post is gonna be a big lengthy.  Sorry not sorry.  Here is what the ONE year old has been up to...

We went to the pediatrician today, and she is 20 lbs 9.5 oz (64%) and 30 3/4 inches long (95%).  She wears Size 3 diapers (she's a Huggies girl) and size 9 month clothes. Honestly, 12 month clothes probably fit her a little better but with the changing seasons, she still fits in the 9 month summer stuff well enough to last a little longer before we officially switch to long sleeves for 12 month.

Karsten now has four teeth- two on top and two on bottom. She has two more top teeth that are about to pop through so she has gone from no teeth to 6 in just about 6 weeks.  It's been rough.

This girl loves bath time. LOVES it. I think she would live in the water if we let her. She has so much fun splashing around. When she was teeny, she did not want water to get on her face at all, which obviously made hair washing pretty hard. Now she doesn't care. I can pour a full cup of water on her head and it doesn't bother her in the slightest.

She is walking all over the place. It's hard to believe that she's only been doing this about 4-6 weeks, because she's gotten so good at it. She's nearly to the point of running, though it is pretty fair to say that she almost ran before she walked. She is in such a hurry to GO.  She would have been walking even sooner than she did, but she wanted to start moving before she even got her balance. Just call her Miss Impatient. I joke with Kevin that she got this from HIM. 

She is so rough and tough when it comes to falling down. Girl knows how to take a fall. She knows exactly how to hold her head to make sure it doesn't get bumped. Maybe it is because of having a big sister, but she doesn't cry much from getting boo-boos.

With that being said, she is super sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily. If she's doing something she isn't supposed to, or about to do something that may hurt her, and you tell her "no", she stops what she's doing, turns around, starts crying and then immediately runs to you. She wants you to pick her up and then she'll bury her head in your shoulder and cry.  My sweet, sensitive baby girl!

I was a bit worried about her eating, because for the longest time she was totally opposed to foods with textures. She would eat purees just fine, but that was it.  She's now eating just about anything you put in front of her.  She loves cheerios, green beans, carrots, sweet potato soufflĂ© (thanks, Kevin!), and basically anything that is on our plates. We haven't found much that she doesn't like yet!

We tried to start transitioning to whole milk a few days ago and it was a little rough.  After an awful diaper rash, along with some blistering on her bottom, we stopped giving her milk and switched back to formula. We're going to transition a little more slowly and mix formula with the milk, but I think it's pretty likely that some of the problem were those 2 top teeth that are about to pop through.

Karsten has started saying so many words lately. Of course a lot of them are words that only WE would understand, but we know what she is trying to say.  She says:
  • Mama
  • Dada and Daddy
  • Bottle (Baba)
  • Hey
  • Bye
  • Bible
  • Uh-oh
  • Ouch
  • Boys (when she is talking to our dogs, Max & Cooper)
  • Up (as in, "pick me up")

She will wave, blow kisses, give you five, "fake" laugh when you ask her to, and copy you doing lots of things.  Just this morning she saw the pediatrician grab some hand sanitizer and start to rub his hands together.  So of course, she started rubbing her hands together just like him.

It is so hard for me to believe that just one year ago, she was this sweet, tiny baby girl...

And now she is this sweet, energetic, smiley (still baby) girl!

A year ago today, our lives had completely changed, and we didn't even know it.  But, the very next day we found out when we got THE CALL from our agency and were told that our daughter had been born the day before.  We prayed for her for such a long time, not knowing it was Karsten we were praying for.  Now we can't imagine our family without her in it.  We are so thankful for the strong, courageous mom that carried this baby for 9 months and then chose US to be her family. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift than this child, and for the gift of open adoption.

Happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you more than you'll know!


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