Eliana is Seven Months Old!!!!!!!

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Baby girl has been learning so much, so fast lately!!  She figured out mobility, which has been exciting to say the least.  No more of that, set you down and stay while I run to the bathroom stuff anymore.

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Although Elly hasn’t actually figured out how to move forward, she is great at pushing herself backwards and rolling all over the house.  She will get up on all fours for little spurts of time, but hasn’t actually crawled yet.  She loves to hold herself up with straight arms.

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Elly weighs 15 pounds and hasn’t grown too much since last month.  She’s definitely making her cousin, Belle, look big. haha

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Peaches’ hair is finally starting to thicken up a bit.  There isn’t enough to really tell what shade it’s going to be, but it definitely isn’t as light as Evie’s yet.

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Elly is loving sitting up lately.  I still like to put her boppy pillow behind her on harder surfaces since she likes to get down to the floor after a while and she’s not super graceful yet. haha  She is definitely getting the hang of it though!

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Some of Elly’s proudest accomplishments this month were learning how to whine and learning how to yell (where she picked that up from, I have nooooo idea…..).  Coincidentally, these were my least favorites….

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Chewing on tags is continues to be way better than playing with toys….

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Babykins is still getting up around 7 a.m., napping for about half an hour around 9:30 or 10 a.m. depending on whether or not it’s an errand day, and taking her longer afternoon nap starting around noon or 12:30 p.m.  She has shortened her afternoon nap up some and has been done by 3 p.m. the last few days.  I’m hoping it doesn’t shorten much more than that, at least for a while here.  Sometimes she will wake up mid nap and if I nurse her quick, she’ll go back down for an hour or so.

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Night sleeping kind of depends.  If we stay somewhere other than home, it’s a guaranteed disaster.  She’ll nurse like fifteen times and whine a bunch.  If we’re at home, doing our usual routine, she’ll either sleep through the night or do 1 – 2 quick feedings somewhere in there.

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I finally decided the time had come and got around to crib training little Elle a little over a week ago.  It really wasn’t too painful.  The first night, she cried off and on for twenty minutes, while I went in every five to comfort her.  Since then she has gone to bed in her crib quite well, other than the night we came back from family Thanksgiving festivities.  We know to expect out of whack children post holiday gatherings though, so that wasn’t much of a surprise. ha

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This was baby girl’s last nappy in the boppy pillow.  Awwww.  Look at her catching those rays!

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Listening to books is hit or miss for Elly right now.  Sometimes she’ll stand for it.  Other times she won’t.  Her sisters sure appreciate it when she decides to sit through a story!

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One of Eliana’s most notable changes this past month was her increased interest in table food.  She now yells at me if I’m eating and don’t offer to share with her.  She has tried quite a variety of food at this point and seems to eat just about anything.  Sometimes I’m a little rude and give her things like pickles to suck on, just so I can laugh at her stellar expressions.  She always goes back for more though, so I don’t feel too mean.

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Baby Boy finally decided to start eating more table food recently too.  My meal times now consist of me sitting on the floor with my plate and alternating between putting food in two mouths.  Sadly, neither one is mine. haha  Elly has been signing, “more” here and there as an alternative to yelling at me when she needs another bite.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think that means she signed her first word earlier than the older sisters. #winner!

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Elly has slowed with nursing some, but still eats pretty frequently.  I’m thinking she’ll tone it down more and more now that she’s starting to get more with table food.  Of course, just chewing on the spoon is pretty exciting all on its own!

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One of Elly’s favorite things to eat is Kix cereal.  She figured out how to pick them up herself with that newfound pincher grasp and she is smug as can be when she gets to sit munching on a pile of those!

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Eliana loves having her big sisters around for constant entertainment.  They make her laugh more than anyone else.  Her big sisters just want to hold her and feed her Kix all day.

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Pickle pucker faces.

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One of Elly’s favorite joys is terrorizing a bin of toys.  She loves when I set her in front of a bin filled with exciting new things.  She will frantically snatch them, chew on them, fling them, and go for more until she empties the entire container.

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The big sisters are usually sure to keep a nice pile of toys in front of each of the babies.  They like their babies well entertained!

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Elly Hope lived through the Cubbies finally pulling off the World Series!!  We were so excited!

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She also tagged along with her parents and watched them vote in the presidential election.  There was a voting spot close enough for us to walk.  Elly enjoyed her snug little ride with Daddy.

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We’ve still been trekking our mile after breakfast each morning, but everyone has had to bundle up a bit more with the chillier weather.🙂

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Our little sweets is looking so much bigger in her car seat than she used to!! Awww….

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My little tot LIKES to be held.  Although she will play pretty content when everything is good, if we’re somewhere new, she is at all tired, or any other thing is a little off, she wants Mama holding her.  It’s a good thing that is what I want to do anyway.❤

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When we are around less familiar people, she will stay pretty calm with things as long as Cabz or I am holding her.  From her safe perch, she will beam away at new faces.  Relaxin’ with Daddy.

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Peaches was sick a couple weeks ago, along with the rest of us, and her and I had a couple of pretty wakeful nights followed by bad napping.  One thing that temporarily lifted her spirits was a warm bath in the kitchen sink.

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Little baby chubs are so cute!!

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Watching the big girls playing outside.

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Elle Babe is usually a pretty good-natured little soul.  Well, as long as I hold her on command.

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Elly Hope is still just like my other two tots were.  SQUIRMY.  She is constantly on the move.  She may want me to hold her, but it will require an olympian effort out of me to get it done.  She just wants to move, move, move!  We love this precious baby girl tons and tons and can hardly remember life without her in it!! ❤❤

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Abigail is Four!!!!

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*Disclaimer:  I know this is long and I did a horrible job narrowing down my picture selection, but it’s my blog and my extremely indecisive self had a really hard time cutting any….. so I guess I’ll do what I want.  Enjoy a million pictures of my favorite four year old!!  heehee

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Abigail Joy is four years old!  I’m not really sure where those last four years went, but here we are!  I don’t know what I’d do without my Abby each day.  She still wakes up chattering and asking questions – mostly questions – and doesn’t stop ’till she hits her pillow at night.  She’s getting so big – she weighs 32 pounds now and fits mostly 4T shirts.  She still wears quite a few 3T pants.

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She’s also very good at reporting everything.  This especially kills me when it’s a situation like the following:

I’m standing literally two feet from Caleb.  Abby is also in the near vicinity and asks, “Daddy, do you have to work tomorrow?”  Caleb answers, “Yes, I do.”  Abby turns to me, “Daddy has to go to work tomorrow.”  Sometimes I’m not even sure how to respond.  Does she want me to respond?  Does she think I somehow didn’t quite get it?  Gotta love it. haha

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Abs is our incessantly inquisitive tot.  She wants to know everything about everything.  The girls alternate each Friday for our, “Popcorn Movie Night!” who gets to pick the show.  Sometimes they will choose an old Mr. Rogers off youtube.  I always laugh with Cabz because when I was little I remember sort of zoning out for the informational video parts.  Bored out of my mind.  Abby, on the other hand, LOVES those segments.  She gets all focused and is SO interested to watch how towels are made in factories or how they package and ship off foods to stores.  She will talk about it afterwards and explain it all to me. haha

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Although our pool is currently leaned up against the wall in our garage, the girls used it almost daily when it was warmer out.  This was Abby’s face the first time we filled up the pool for the summer. haha

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The girls were always running around the backyard in their suits, jumping in the pool to cool off as needed.  They would hop right in with the icy water straight out of the hose, screaming and giggling!

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The theme of the later part of summer for Abby was BUGS.  My poor kids want a pet so stinkin’ bad.  (Me too, but we aren’t allowed one in the house we’re currently renting)  They want one so badly, that Abby spent day after day making pets of every bug she could find outside.  Wherever Abby was, there was sure to be a pet bug in a bucket nearby.

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She would study her bugs and try to figure out what they liked to climb on and eat.  Her bug buckets would often contain sticks, a little water, rocks, leaves, and bits of plants or grass.  They always were given names.  A few of her favorites were, Max, Ruby, Pebbles, and Sam.

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Some of Abby’s common catches were leatherwing (or soldier) beetles, boxelders, caterpillars, black beetles, and stink bugs.  Yes, stink bugs.  I got a little tired of their smell, but Abby would tell me, “I don’t mind it at all!  I just really like bugs!  They’re my favorite pets!”  She enjoyed learning all about her bugs from the internet.  Sometimes we would save up some questions for Daddy to look up when he got home from work.

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Animals usually like Abby quite a bit.  While Evie is your typical little kid, running arms outstretched and screeching towards animals (as they take off in the other direction), Abby tends to be very gentle, soft, and quiet with them.  Her approach is much more, I’ll sit here and they’ll come to me when they’re ready.  Evie is instantly hands on, while Abs might give a very light pat once in a while.  Kittens and baby goats are so much fun!

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Abigail enjoyed every bit of summer!!  Frisbee golf…

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Flying kites…

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Going to parks…

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Playing on our park at home…

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Enjoying the sandbox…

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Running a few one mile races…

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Our three day, two night, first ever family camping trip (I love her adventurous, outdoor spirit!  She loves what I love!)…

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And swinging!!  The park we usually walk to doesn’t have any swings, so we weren’t able to have Abby practice pumping very much.

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We did hang up a “baby” swing in our yard this year though.  While it isn’t too easy for the girls to pump this one, they did both figure out their own methods of getting it to swing.  Abby would kick off from the wooden edging around our tree area and get herself pretty high!  I was impressed with how much she grew to love our swing, because she has never been much for getting pushed.  In fact, she usually hates it.  She would panic and there were often tears involved.  It must be the feeling of being in control that helps her remain calm and enjoy the ride when she does it herself. haha

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One of her favorite activities, of course, was biking.  That girl biked, and biked, and biked!!  I’m surprised she didn’t wear through her tires! ha  She definitely had a blast with her bicycle.  Daddy got an evening jog/run almost every night during the warm months.

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Abs loved riding down our little grass hill onto the driveway.  She biked through summer….

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And into fall!  It took her awhile to enjoy pedaling through the grass – because it was trickier – but she was getting really into it by October.

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Once the leaves starting changing color and falling off the trees, the girls both enjoyed bringing their favorites home for Daddy to look up.  They wanted to know all about the different kinds of trees.

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Abby is always so excited about each new season.  Children are a great reminder that every season has something fun and beautiful to offer.

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Abby discovered that she could climb trees this year.  She was SO excited about that – to the point that I felt bad I hadn’t introduced her to it earlier. haha  It just never occurred to me that she would get such a kick out of it!  She liked it best when I would let her climb her tree and eat an apple up there.  LIVING. THE. GOOD. LIFE.  I tell ya….

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These are some of my favorite Abby poses and faces.  Love my big girl soooooooooooooo much!!❤

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Although Abby had her bang phase and I had to trim them occasionally, I’ve never actually given her a hair cut.  I couldn’t even bring myself to even up the ends.  I’d think I was going to do it and then she’d have a curly hair day.  Seriously, the sweatier and dirtier her hair is, the prettier it looks.  Unfair.  She used to get these gorgeous ringlets all over, but they aren’t as prevalent with the length now.  People used to ask me all the time if I curled it.  Nope.  I still don’t even own any hair tools, other than a brush and comb.  I suppose I will give it a trim eventually.

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If helping me constantly was possible, this girl would sign up in a heartbeat.  She has always loved “helping” me cook.  The girls also both have so much fun cooking on their toy kitchen set!

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Our Abby Joy loves to build with Legos and Duplos.  She enjoys being creative and comes up with the best stuff.  She built a combine, inspired by her ride with uncle, Tim, and a castle, inspired by her birthday party theme this year (She had a princess party, and here’s the post on that!).  She is often building away during everyone’s Quiet Time.

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Abs has also been quite the artist lately.  She loves to practice drawing things.  The other day she brought this over and said, “I drew a helicopter.  It’s flying over the sea!”  I thought it was cute.  Also, funny tidbit and classic Abby…. sometimes she will draw a little girl for me and forget the arms.  I’ll say, “Aww, she’s cute!  But where are her arms?”  Abby is quick to reply, “Well, I’m not finished yet!” as she runs off to quickly add a couple arms. haha

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Quote Time!

“Cuz why??” – Pretty sure she brought this one back from a while ago, but we hear it after almost everything we say currently

“We’re gonna play Membory.  Me and Evie.  That’s OK if she ruins it!” – This was during one of her super obliging, get along perfectly with my sister moods.  I love those moments.  She was referring to the game, Memory.

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“They must have unblowed that one.” – In reference to some deflated, blow up Halloween decor.  You know the ones.  Nothing screams, HOLIDAY SEASON, like those big blow ups in your front yard.😉

“Can I stay up early, Mama?” – Why, yes.  Yes you may.  Gotta love it when they mix up word meanings.

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“Cancakes” – Pancakes

“Yittle” – Little

“Wan” – Van

“Witamins” – Vitamins (She has a huge obsession with getting her “witamin” every day.  We literally hear it about it until it’s in her mouth)

“I have to go potty.  I do!  The big sister does.  Not Evie.” – Classic Abby, so much to say so little.

“Sometimes I just don’t want to say dat ‘cuz I’m so gassful!” – (That) refers to “excuse me.”  Sometimes we refer to her flatulence as “gas.”

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I had said something along the lines of, “Hi there, Little Princess!” to Elly.  The next day, Abby was talking to Baby Boy and I heard her say, “Well, hi there, Little King!”  She saw me watching and proceeded to explain that we could call girls queen or princess and boys could be prince or king.

Speaking of royalty, our oldest is the queen of spilling her milk.  We have her apologize and then clean it up herself with napkins.  One meal, she had dumped her milk everywhere as per.  She had been mopping the mess up with her first pile of napkins when Cabz handed her a second pile.  She burst out, “THANK you, Daddy!!”  Turning to me, “Daddy gave me more napkins!  Because mine were soaked!”  I guess it really is all about the little joys.

I ate scrambled eggs at the wrong time during my pregnancy with Elly.  Ever since I have to be in the right mood to enjoy them.  One Saturday morning, Cabz asked the girls if they’d like some scrambled eggs.  Abby’s response, “Mama doesn’t want any, but our daughters do!!”

The girls love when we have enough time on Wal-mart day to look through the Christmas aisles!  The first time we went, Abby and Evie were oohing and ahhing over everything.  Abby saw these decorative bells, scooped one up, and exclaimed, “Look, Mama!!  They even have these….. these… Christmas party hats?” – I love her innovative mind. hahaha

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We were driving somewhere and went by some weeping willow trees.  I instantly hear Abby, “Evie, those are weeping pillow trees!  Do you see them?  Those are weeping pillow trees!  I’m ‘splaining to Evie about those weeping pillow trees, Mama!  Do you hear me?  I’m teaching her about them so she knows what they’re called!”  I was sobbing silent laughing tears in the front as she went on and on and on, really TEACHING Evie what those trees were called by golly!!

Abby is constantly trying to teach things to Evie.  One of their favorites…. Abby gets a number or letter book and has Evie repeat the name of each.  “Can you say 14, Evie?”  “Fo-teen!”  “Mama!!  Evie knows really big numbers!  I’m teaching her really big numbers!  Do you hear her??”  Amazing, Abs.  Amazing.

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And this next one is probably my favorite quote to date.  Prior to Abby’s birthday, we kept telling her, “Don’t turn four!!  You can’t get grow up and leave us!”  She had been responding with things like, “I’ll just live here when I’m grown up.”  (Don’t I wish that sentiment would stay, Sweet One??)  On her birthday, she must have been thinking it over again, because she came over to me and said, “When I grow up I’ll never leave you!!  Never!!  When you go to Aldi Baldis, I’ll go to Aldi Baldis!!  People can’t stay yittle all the time.  I’ll never be that yittle again.  People just keep having birfdays until they die!”  – I love the Alidis reference.  That was the strongest way she could let me know she wasn’t going anywhere. haha  We are definitely grocery shopping buds.❤

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We don’t watch movies very often at all, but once in a while we will attempt to let the girls see one.  Finding Dory finally made it to the Redbox, and we thought the girls might enjoy it.  Since our Abby Joy has quite a sensitive little heart, we try to pick low key movies and ones that don’t have overly intense action.  I try to talk through what is happening as we’re watching.  For this movie, I kept reminding her that the ending was going to be happy – that Dory was going to find her parents in the end.  Even so, the tears were flowing.  Every single scene where Dory remembered something from her childhood and the emotional music played, Abby was a puddle.  I asked her if she wanted to stop it or keep watching and she always sobbed that she wanted to keep watching.  Poor little tot. haha  I can totally relate to her pain.  Most people who have watched an action or suspenseful movie with me…. never will again.  I panic, I talk to the characters, I talk, I can’t be quiet, I wish I just knew the ending, I ask if anyone knows the ending….  It’s rough.  As a child, I loved reading the Trixie Belden mystery books, but I don’t think I ever made it through a book without skipping to the end as soon as it got suspenseful to make sure everything turned out okay.  Then, I could go back and read the book in peace.

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Speaking of emotional, Abby can escalate quickly over the important things in life.  You know… if she thinks she lost an important Lego piece or one of their bath toys went down the drain.  A while ago, she broke a lamp we had and we ended up throwing it away.  She was pretty upset about it.  A couple weeks ago, the girls’ cd player broke (they use it every night at bedtime and Abby does during her Quiet Time) due to a lot of use.  Abs went into PANIC MODE.  She broke down sobbing, tears streaming everywhere, she raced out of the bedroom, stopped in front of me, and as dramatically as possible cried, “Mama, I BEG YOU!!  I BEG YOU WITH ALL MY LIFE can we please buy a new one????”  Of course we were planning to get another one right away, because the girls do so well with it as part of bedtime routine, but she broke down so fast we didn’t even have a chance to comfort her with that.  I have to say, this was one of those parenting moments where Cabz and I about lost it.  We were holding it back and then made eye contact and laughed just a little.  That obviously didn’t go well.  The good news is, Abby was relieved to find out we would be getting another one very soon.

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Baby Rose is still Abby’s favorite baby doll.  She loves to dress her, change her, take care of her, and mother her.

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I just want to give her squeezes all day!

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Cuddles in Big Sis’ bed in the morning is the best way to start your day!

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If I was a younger sister, I would hope my big sister would be like Abby.  She enjoys taking care of her younger siblings so much!

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Holding Elly is still such a treat.

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Evie and Abby are becoming better playmates all the time.  There is still a noticeable developmental gap due to age, but they work around it and get some pretty fun games going!  They definitely know how to be goofy together…

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All three of our girls are so wonderful!  Each one is already so unique and precious.  We love them all dearly!

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I love Abby’s eyes.  They’re so pretty!

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Abby has so many nicknames. haha  We call her Abigail, Abby, Abby Joy, Abs, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpernickel, Big Sis, Biggin, Sweet Pea, Sweet Cheeks, and probably some more I’m forgetting at the moment!  The other day she decided she would like us to call her, “Pomegranate” sometimes too. ha

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Oh ya, we also tell her she is Trouble #1.  Followed by our other children, Trouble #2, Trouble #3, and Trouble #4. haha

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Goofy Girl.

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Abs always whips her socks off so she can “Check for fuzzies!!”  She’s very OCD about getting those lint fuzzies out of her toes.

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Oh, my little barefoot baby!  Slow down a little for me, please.❤

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I had never asked Abby to “show me your muscles” before, so I thought I’d try it.  Here’s what I got.  No idea where she learned this. ha

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Rockin’ her side ponytail and being a goof.

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I think my babies are so cute when they’re all bundled up in their winter gear!

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In stark contrast a couple months ago….. when you’re too cool for the heat, until Mama laughs at you.

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Turning into such a big girl. *sigh*

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We love you, Abby Joy!!  We pray you will grow up loving Jesus and loving others!  You are so special to us and such a beautiful part of our family.  I thank God for you all the time and can never be grateful enough for you!

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Abigail’s Princess Birthday Party

Trains… trucks…. the princess party is finally here!  I have waited long enough to have a more girly themed party. haha  Abby had actually been planning to have a princess party for her four year old birthday ever since last year.  She currently has the next two years’ themes picked out as well.  We’ll see if she changes her mind before then, but I kind of doubt it.  Here is one of the princess invitations I made, recreated from a version on Pinterest/Etsy. haha

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Abby was hoping I could make a “castle cake” for her party.  I found some inspiration off Pinterest and came up with this.  I could have made it a little more appealing by using two layers for each of my layers, but that would have required more time, frosting, and well… throw some candy on there and Abby was going to be excited regardless. haha

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I loved the idea of using sugar cones as the low maintenance castle towers.  I spread a light layer of frosting over each cone, and dropped sprinkles all around them until they were covered.  For each flag, I used half of a toothpick with a paper triangle taped on.  I was having some trouble getting them to stand upright on the cones, so I melted a little almond bark and drizzled it around the bottom of the toothpicks.  I had to do one at a time and hold them in place while they dried, but it went pretty fast.  I was worried they wouldn’t hold up, but they were actually stuck on pretty tightly when I went to break them off at dessert time.  I could have just used a glue gun for speed, but I didn’t want the kids getting glue in their food.  Ew.

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Tasty sugar cookies with purple frosting and light and dark purple sugar crystals sprinkled heavily on top.  I used this recipe from my mom.

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Decorating was so much fun!!  Abby picked out some princess colored rolls of tulle at Wal-mart, and I cut strips and knotted them around a string.  When it was long enough, I tied/taped it around our dining room table and voila!  A table fit for a princess!

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I created this princess banner.  My favorite part about it was how the princesses were “holding” it up.

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Oh my word.  My sweet, little four year old was inspired to create with all of my decorating going on.  I let her cut and glue with some of my scraps and I’m pretty sure she created a princess from my nightmares!  Awww! haha  She was so proud of it, and wanted to be sure we used it in our decorating!  Of course we had to find a prominent space on the fridge for it, but oh dear….. it is a bit frightening!

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The table spread, complete with necklaces and wands for all the royal guests, and princess napkins of course.  They were from Wal-mart and they were the coolest.  Seriously, they were like little princess booklets with a different princess on each “page!”

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In preparation for party time, we blew up some balloons and I painted the girls’ fingernails PINK!!  They were loving it.  Abs still gets uptight about me washing her hands, because she doesn’t want me to wash her polish off!  I told her we could repaint if needed.

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Getting her “princess shoes” on.

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She still needs her crown.

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Our little princess all decked out.

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Abby’s “princess dress” was one of my old dance recital dresses.  I actually wore this one when I was seven, but it was the most princessy one, so I pinned it a bit in the back to help it fit and we went with it.🙂

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Little sister, Evie, wanted to dress up like a princess too.  I’m not sure she ever realized this wasn’t her party…. ha

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I asked Abby to show me how old she was and she went with the ol’ 3 + 1 method.

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After a tasty supper of pizza and pink lemonade, Abby was ready for the long awaited CAKE TIME!!  Following a round of “Happy Birthday,” Abs finally got her long awaited ice cream and cake.

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Quick picture with the birthday girl before the faces were destroyed….

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Abby Joy loves to be prepared  and had picked out her two ice cream flavors (strawberry cheesecake and cotton candy – the real hot item) months ago.  Cotton Candy was a real success among the young guests.  Oh, and with my brother, Jake…. but, he is basically still a child.😉

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The party was great, but I was left wondering….. Are you sure you can’t stay my little girl forever??❤

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Abigail’s party was a couple days before her actual birthday.  She was ready to enjoy another day by the time she really turned four though.  Evie and her were excited to start the morning off with some giant princess coloring pages!

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Although Abs had to wait for Daddy to get home before she could open her present from us, she got to open her tiny present “from Evie.”  I think Evie was just as curious as Abby was to see what was in there.

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It must have been pretty great, because Abby was excited to share her “Baby Rose” with Evie afterwards.

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This precious little girl really is four years old!

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Snack time = leftover castle towers!

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Daddy finally came home and Abby got to open her new Lego set!  She was pretty excited.

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For supper, Abby picked to have chicken wraps!  Excellent choice!  I just looked and I’m pretty sure I never posted the recipe I use, which is pretty tragic considering it is delicious!!  I’ll put it on my to-do list – yes, it’s actually real, also HUGE, and endless.

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Sometimes you just have to make it fun

Housekeeping.  With children, is it ever really done?  The answer is, no.  No, it is not.  It’s great if you enjoy it though, because unlike the last mini cheesecake in the fridge, there is always more to be had.  If you’re really that good that you run out of stuff to clean, you can just knock at my door and I’ll generously share our messes with you.

There are some things I feel I am quite endlessly doing.  Picking food off the floor, L-A-U-N-D-R-Y, stacking the shoes, scrubbing bathrooms, and…. sweeping.  If I don’t sweep my kitchen after even ONE meal, it looks like someone handed a two year old a big bowl of food and said, “See if you can get this to cover the entire kitchen.”  Which, is basically what happens, minus the part where I tell her to.

So…. how do I cope with the constant housework?  I make up ridiculous songs about what I’m doing and sing them at the top of my lungs.  It’s very therapeutic.  Try it sometime.

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Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep the floor!

Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping,

Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep some more!

Sweep, sweep, sweep!

Sweep the floor!

Sweep, sweep, sweep!

Sweep some more!

Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping,

Sweep that dirt right out the door!

I should mention, I’m not even passably decent at singing.  I can play the piano, but ask me to sing something and you’ll be running for the door.  That’s the best part about this.  My kids think I’m great.  They love when I make up a new song.  They all watch me in awe and then start singing along, because it’s just that good obviously.  I can finally feel like a real rock star.

Eliana is Six Months Old!!!!!!

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Elly is half a year old!!!  She’s officially an old baby now. *sniff!*  She celebrated the occasion by going on a little streak of binge eating.  The last few days have seen her waking up strictly to nurse (No, Mom.  The binky is NOT the same thing.) two, if not three times a night.  She better gain a pound or two after this….

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Speaking of pounds, our tot finally teetered out of the chunky baby status.  We knew it was bound to happen based on our previous two babes. haha  She weighs 14 lb 8 1/2 ounces and dropped down to the 24 percentile.  I got all of the, “Is she still nursing well?  You haven’t noticed a disinterest in eating, right?” questions, but our doctor wasn’t too concerned since she knows our babies tend to be small.  This is similar to Abby’s baby days.  Elly was 29th for height.  Since she didn’t grow too much since last month, she is still fitting in the same size of clothes.

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Eliana loves to roll and squirm all over the place.  She is definitely excited about figuring out how to move!  She will be keeping up with her sisters before long I’m afraid.

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Babykins is starting to figure out sitting.  She will do it for a while here and there, but mostly just wants to escape the sit position and get into trouble instead.

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Our baby girl is following after her sisters and is getting SO squirmy when I hold her, that it can be quite the task not to drop her!  I’ll be holding her with one arm and trying to eat with the other and she is just all over the place.  On her tummy, on her back, clawing at my face, flipping over, etc.

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Also, while I’m attempting to hold her and eat, Elly enjoys tasting my food and then making faces.  She thinks it’s great fun.

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Although Elly Hope loves to play on the floor, she only loves it when I am right next to her.  She is always very aware of where I am and if I try to sneak off and throw a load of laundry in or something else equally productive… BAM… commence crying.  She likes me to hold her a LOT.  I do love to hold her, but it’s interesting when I have to actually get something done once in a while.

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I have to constantly watch it when I’m holding Peaches lately.  She officially reached the stage of, “If you can reach it, SNAG IT!”  It’s amazing how incredibly fast she can be!!  I’ll do a quick turn, just a pinch too close to the table, and Elly has snatched something off it.  Unbelievable.  This also adds to the excitement of my meal times.  She has almost flipped my cup and plate of food on the floor one too many times.

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This goes for stroller rides too…..  The other day I stopped for a second to adjust Evie’s jacket.  Abby started shrieking, “Look at Elly!  Look at Elly!  She’s getting the plant!”  Apparently I had parked a little too close to something within Elly’s reach.

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Elly has definitely reached “stranger danger” phase.  She doesn’t freak out as much as Abby did as a baby, and will tolerate different faces pretty well as long as they play by her rules.  She does not like other people getting in her face or  talking too much and too directly to her.  She prefers a little warm up time from Mama’s arms.  She also STRONGLY dislikes it when there is a new face in the house and I set her down.  Unfortunately, this has to happen three days a week for Little Guy’s visits.  Unless I can get her napping prior to his visit times, I have to set her down to buckle him into his car seat when the worker arrives to transport him.  This makes her start screaming.  Every. Single. Time.  What makes it “better” is when the worker tries to cheer her up by getting in her face. haha  This creates a disaster.  Oh well.  It only lasts a couple minutes, but it does make things exciting.

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We’ve been bundling up a lot more with the cooler weather.  Hats are so fun.

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Someone was ALL READY to enjoy every second of their stroller ride!  She tried her best…..

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Our baby is not shy about asking for attention.  Lately, whenever I am holding her and trying to focus on something other than her (cooking, an activity with the big girls, etc.), Elly will grab my face with her hands and pull it around until I’m facing her.  Then she’ll smile, very pleased with herself.  It’s super adorable, I must say.

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Elle Belle also loves to “eat” me when she’s feeling wild.  This involves grabbing me, diving at me with her mouth wide open, growling, shaking her head back and forth and essentially acting like a little monster baby.  Her favorite is attacking my shoulder or face when I’m holding her and playing with her.  She is something else.

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Little feeties are still SUCH a riot around here.

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This is a very similar picture to one I took of big sister, Evelyn, at six months old.

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Being outside is always so exciting!

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Lego diapers are our favorite.
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Silly little girl figured out she has lips a while ago and enjoys making all sorts of funny faces.  She is the queen of this goofy top lip sucked in face.  She thinks it’s super cool.

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Smiley little princess.

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Carriers are so much fun!  You get to be safely attached to your beloved parents while seeing all the sights!

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When your big sister thinks it’s SO COOL that you are twinning with her.

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Big sister, Abby, is always watching over me.

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If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!!  This baby is usually such a cheerful little soul.  She doesn’t hesitate to let me know when she wants something though.  You have to use your voice if you want to be heard around this place.

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I keep meaning to crib train this sweet babe and then never get around to it.  We had a fun cold for a couple weeks and I was kind of waiting for that to die down.  Hopefully I’ll pull it together and work on the whole crib thing a little before her next monthly update.  In this crazy household though…. no promises.

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Elly is currently waking up for the day around 7:15 a.m. and takes a morning nap around 9:30, or 10 a.m. if I’m behind.  She falls asleep for her afternoon nap around noon or 12:30 p.m.  She will still do a really long stretch here, as long as I wake her up to nurse her about two hours in.  Ideally, she sleepily nurses and then kind of keeps sleeping.  The first couple hours, she naps in the boppy pillow on the couch.  After I feed her, I put her back in our bedroom for the rest of the time since the girls get up from their Quiet Time and are anything but quiet afterwards….

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With this schedule, Elly will usually sleep until around 4 p.m. which is a WAY longer afternoon nap than my other girls ever took.  I didn’t even know babies could sleep that long. haha  Sometimes I even have to wake her up at that point, so she goes to bed well!  Bedtime is anywhere from 7 – 8 p.m. depending on her afternoon nap.  I still wake her up to feed her quick before I go to bed.  Normally she will sleep through the night, but obviously has growth spurts and change ups here and there.

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Her little ears still kill me.

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Sometimes you are so ready for your afternoon nap that you pass out when Mama sets you down to amuse yourself with the playmat for a minute while she washes up your big sisters.

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Lately, Elly’s thing has been “peering.”  I will get her to sleep, lay her down in her boppy pillow and then try to move away.  If she wakes up a little, she will quickly lift her head to peer.  If she spots me and, um what?!, I’m not holding her….. watch out.  I get such a kick out of her peering though.  Seriously, Elly?  You are such a little twerp.

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Bath time is so much fun!!

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We have been having a lot of fun enjoying the fall weather around here!

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The girls love all of the leaves.  Nature is so full of fun things to play with!  Leaves!  Sticks!  Rocks!  Such fun!!

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These leaves weren’t as tasty as they looked….

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We love you, sweet little Elly!!!!!!  Thank you for making our days so much brighter!!  These pics of me and Elly were some Kayla took for us a few weeks ago.

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Evelyn is Two!!

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Our little Evie Grace.  She turned the big two.  Of course, every time I asked her how old she was turning, I’d get responses like, “Free!”  “I ONE!!” and “Four!” Age is just a number, right?

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I always get emotional over my babies growing up.  The day before her birthday I kept taking “one last” pictures of my one year old.  Awwww.  Don’t turn two on me!!

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I got her Daddy a little sentimental too, and he made off with some one year old cuddles.  I love how much our kids love their daddy.  He is the best.

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Little Miss Trouble weighs 25 lb 13 oz.  She is speaking full sentences almost all the time now.

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Evelyn is our wild child, our daredevil, our feisty, impulsive, happy girl.  She is determined to do everything Abby can do.  If I would have told Abby at this age not to do something because it was too tricky/dangerous/etc. she would have instantly believed me and never even given a thought to doing it again.  Evie is simply determined to prove to me that she CAN do whatever it is and takes every opportunity to do so.

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Our (at the time) one year old, was the first one to climb over the tunnel on the girls’ playground.  Abby was so proud of herself, “I climbed over the tunnel just like Evie does!” when she finally became brave enough to try it herself a couple weeks later.

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Evie LOVES to swing!  She would swing all day if I had the time to push her.

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Her constant cry is, “Higher, Mama!  Higher!!”

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Okay, I think this may be a “Mom thing,” although it could just be a “me thing”…… but I am obsessed with my kids when they’re sleeping.  They are just so cute!  I want to watch them and cuddle them and take pictures of them all day.  Yes… prepare yourself.  Here are SLEEPING EVIE PICTURES!!!!

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When you fall asleep texting……

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When you fall asleep on the phone……

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Clutching toys is Evie’s way of drifting off.  I know she’s out when I hear them start to drop. haha

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And your classic, and my personal favorite – butts up!

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Speaking of sleeping pictures….. how dysfunctional is this sleeping arrangement??  Evie naturally wants to cuddle and moves towards Abby as the night progresses.  Abby naturally likes her space and moves further from Evie as the night progresses. hahaha  We have since gotten a bed rail for Evie’s bed too, which helps keep the girls contained to their spots.

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When Evie is really excited (usually because a meal is being served) she will race around giving everyone hugs.  You know she’s SUPER excited when she voluntarily is bear hugging Abby.

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Sometimes Evie will announce she is going to do her tummy time.  She takes it very seriously, and I don’t have the heart to to tell her she’s too old for tummy time now.

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Our little tot has been whining a lot more recently.  Sometimes I will ask her, “Evie, why are you whining?”  Usually her response will be, “Cuz…. I so tiwerd.” haha  I think she’s heard us say, “You must be tired” one too many times.  She tries to use it a lot.  When asked to do something….. “I tan’t.  ‘Cuz I so tiwerd.”

Another classic: “Ev, go get your shoes so we can go outside for a walk!”  “No, I tan’t.  I tiwerd.”  “You’re not tired, silly goose.  Go find those shoes!”  “I jus’ so tiwerd.”

Or when Abby is teasing her….. “Bi’ Sis mae me tiwerd!!”  (Big Sis is making me tired!) haha

Some of my favorite Evie words and sayings right now are:

“Boo bites” – bug bites…. The other day she was mad at her bug bites and told me she was going to dump them on the floor!

“I nee my foo fwatter!!” – I need my flyswatter.  She loves that thing.  She actually took out an aggressive bee the other day!

“I’m trying my bes!” – I’m trying my best!  Love this one.

“macs” – gnats

“I run fastly!!” – English is confusing.  It’s okay, Little One!

“dandaid” – bandaid

“My muhkey’s havin’ tizzy.” – My monkey’s having a tizzy.  That’s my word for a hissy fit. haha

“yes!” – saying the full word, ‘yes’ instead of ‘ya’ all the time… it just sounds cute🙂

“I love you oooh much, Mama.”

“Thank you!” – She will always thank whoever prays for the meal. haha!  I think she’s so grateful when we’re done praying because it means she can finally eat.  She also thanks me profusely for food and was so cute thanking me for her birthday party preparations, which you can read more about here.

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Feeding her baby – sometimes “Baby Rose” copying Abby, sometimes “Baby Eliana” like her sister.  Used to be “Baby Boy” all the time. haha  The other day Evie told me, “I just love my Baby Rose!”

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Until next year, Summer.❤

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Although our Evie Grace did a great job transitioning from the baby to a big sister, once in a while she needs a little extra babying.  I had started calling Elly, “Peanut,” every once in a while.  We used that nickname for Abby and Evie when they were babies too.  The other day, I said to Elly, “Hey there, Lil’ Peanut!” and I noticed Evie staring at us with a little scowl.  She saw me looking at her and she huffed, “No, I Peanut!!”  Also, the Bumbo isn’t just for babies……

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I thought it was a given that our kids would all be “Millers” through and through.  Apparently not.  I said, “Well, hello there, Evelyn Grace Miller!” a couple days ago and Evie quickly responded, “I not Miller.  I Peanut.”  She is determined that her name is going to be “Peanut” from now on.  Okay then……

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Daddy always has lots of little helpers!

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Library Day is a favorite with both our older girls.  They love picking out books and reading through them all as soon as we get home.  Evie’s attention span was always much shorter than Abby’s, but she enjoys listening to books quite a bit now.

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She also loves to read them!!!

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Sometimes your baby needs to hear some stories too.

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Evelyn loves playing in the sandbox and pretending to cook for me.  Her favorite things to whip up are pizza, sandwiches, and keifer.

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Evs still is completely obsessed with drinking.  She would sit and guzzle all day long if she could.  I think she’d be perfectly content to live off a liquid diet.  Her favorite drink is keifer.  I mix up my glass of keifer every morning and always make sure to pour a little in Evie’s cup too.  As soon as I start the process, she is at my side, “You makin’ tef, Mama??”  “Yes, Evie.  I make it every day.”  “You makin’ tef for me, Mama???”  “Yes, Evie.  I always give you some.”  Every morning, man.  She acts like a coffee addict with her “tef.”  The other day she stretched her arms up as I was pouring her glass and with wild eyes she cried, “I NEE it!!” She also is a big fan of Daddy’s smoothies!

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Jumping on the trampoline is the best according to our little tot.  I think she would jump all day if we had our own!!

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I’ll let Abby and Evie play out in the yard quite frequently, while I am sitting right inside the door feeding babies or whatnot.  It helps them stink off out there and they absolutely love running and playing.  Evie hit a stage a few weeks ago where she wants to cling to me a bit more (my kids always seem to be hanging on me, but this is more so, just to clarify haha).  She’ll play outside for a few minutes and then need to come in by me, “‘cuz I cooode” – this being the excuse on really hot days too.  In and out.  She bops back and forth.  I guess she just needs that extra boost of security for now.

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The girls’ pretend play has been improving each day as Evie becomes more capable of appropriate interaction.  Her favorite opening line, “Hi!  Wha yur name?”  Abby will respond and ask what Evie’s character’s name is.  “I Goat”  or “I Cow” is Evie’s constant name choice.  I love it.

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When you get in trouble and your Mama tries to take a picture of you sitting.

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Every once in a while, I catch an Evie expression that is totally a Caleb look-a-like.  I feel that this is one of those!

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Talking to Daddy after he got off work – this is a fought over privilege!!

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I do believe this is one of my favorite pictures.

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Ev Babe loved our swimming pool when it was warmer.  She would hop in the freezing cold, straight out of the hose, water jumping and screaming away!  Splashing is so fun!!

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Sweetcheeks went through her bug freakout phase earlier in the summer.  However, she had a change of heart after her big sister became bug obsessed and was constantly making pets of them.  During Evie’s “panic at all bugs everywhere” phase, this was a picture of her bug spotting after waking up from her nap.  This happened daily.  She wasn’t a bit bothered by sticking an empty cicada shell to her shirt though!

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Our two year old loves to laugh!!!!  She is always ready to enjoy a silly joke, a bunch of tickles, or some goofy noises!

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Evelyn still lives for Fridays, aka Popcorn Movie Night at our house.  Sometimes she will get upset with me when I announce what day it is (if it isn’t Friday obviously…) and will shout, “No!  It FRIday!!”

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Miss Curiosity wants to know about everything.  I hear, “Whas dat sing?  Whas dat sing called?” almost constantly sometimes.  I don’t work with Evie on her numbers and letters nearly as much as I did with Abby at this age, because one kid vs. four.  Bam.  She surprised us the other day when she burst out counting and went all the way to ten!!  She loves to count everything now!  I made a few cds the girls listen to at night and did some counting rhymes in them.  Must have been inspiring. haha

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My girls’ repetitive, sometimes over the top foolish, questions come at me SO fast and SO constantly, that I admit… there are times I might not answer one of them RIGHT AWAY.  When this is the case, Evie is quick to whine, “You nah talk oo me, Mama!!”  (You’re not talking to me, Mama!!)  Some days, the headaches are real. hahaha

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My big girls have two modes.  Get along really amazingly well with absolutely no fighting or constant grouching and fighting over all sorts of nonsensical things.  The other day they were fighting over a toy bunny.  It was Abby’s turn, and Evie wanted the bunny.  Abby decided to switch things up and actually offered to share the bunny with Evelyn.  Evie promptly replied, “No!  I don’t wan’ tha bunny!  I subborn.”  She’s heard her big sister telling us, “Evie’s just being stubborn” one too many times when she refuses something she really wants.

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Trucks continue to delight Evie’s soul.  She loves to watch them when they drive by outside, construction sites are her favorites, and she thinks her toy trucks are great!  I let her play with her dump truck during bath time a few weeks ago.  She had it full of water and I beeped it over and dumped it out on her leg.  She shrieked, “Don’t pour water my leg!!  Thas daerous!!” (dangerous)

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Evie doesn’t handle Baby Boy leaving for his visits super well.  It has always stressed her out a bit.  She doesn’t quite get the concept that Elly doesn’t ever have to leave, but he does.  If she ever notices one of the babies is “missing” she has a mini panic attack, “Where BayBoy go?!  Where Ehyee go!!?”

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I love that Evie is naturally a cuddlebug.  She’s a squirmy cuddlebug, but at least she loves to snuggle! haha

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Evie loves to shout, “Don’t yeave me, Mama!” when we’re getting ready to go somewhere.  I would never leave her and have never told her I was going to leave her, but that’s what she came up with.  I find it kind of funny.

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Cabz and I always talk up foods that are healthy and our girls picked up on that.  Now when I give Evelyn something to eat she loves to say, “Iss hewfy?  Is so hewfy!!”  The best was when she said this after the girls each got a cake batter truffle.  “No, Evie,” I had to break it to her, “No…. these are not healthy.” haha

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On garbage day, I sometimes call the girls over to the window with, “Quick!  I see the garbage truck going by!!”  The other day, Evie came running up the stairs calling, “Quick!  I sirsty!!” (thirsty)

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Evie continues to grow into her big sister role.  She will often hush the babies with, “Don’t cry!  Don’t cry!  Don’t cry!  Is’ okay.  Is’ okay.”

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During the last couple summer months, Evie was obsessed with and sooooooooo proud of riding her strider bike every night after our walk.  Heaven help us if we tried to skip it.  She is really good at walking it, but hasn’t quite figured out she can sit on it and balance.  I think she’s close, but weather-wise I’m afraid she’ll have to wait until spring to consistently try again.

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Probably Evie’s favorite and defining phrase of the moment is: “I do it mysewf!!!”  She already thinks she is way too big and can do it all…. without any help whatsoever.  Also, if Abby can do it?  You better believe EVIE CAN TOO.

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Evie Grace, you are our spunky little daredevil child and keep our days from feeling dull.  You are so enthusiastic about life and always ready for some hugs.  You can always bring a smile to my face.  I love waking up each day with you in it!!  Love you, Lil’ Peanut!!

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Evelyn’s Truck Birthday Party

Evie has been determined to have a truck themed birthday for the past few months.  We have three daughters and they pick trains and trucks.  Come on now, girls!  Give me a little pink and purple frills to work with! haha

I made some very etsy copied truck birthday invites, because it was fun.

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Since Evelyn’s actual birthday was on a Friday this year, we decided to have her party the following day.  I’ll begin with an account of her actual birthday, followed by party festivities.

We started the day off right with breakfast shakes!  It’s a good day for Evelyn when she gets to eat a meal via straw.

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Lamby needed something to drink too.

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I sure do love my little two year old!!!!!!!!!!

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Evie had a couple presents sitting on the table all day, waiting for her to open when Daddy got home.  I asked her, “Who do you think those presents are for??”  And she answered in wonder, “I on’t oooh!?” (I don’t know)  It’s been quite a while since we had any presents around, so she didn’t quite grasp the idea that there was something fun inside.  Abby was more impatient waiting for present time than Evelyn was.  Abby helped me wrap them and did a great job keeping everything secret from Evie.

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The big two year old!!  She’s always sure to find the best sticks out in our yard.  Totally not a danger hazard at all in her hands…..

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There were some extra trucks from the pack I got for cake decorating.  Evie put those to good use.

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Finally Daddy got home from work and it was present time!  Abby jumped in to help a bit with the opening.

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When we had asked Evie prior to her birthday what she was hoping for, her response was always, “I wan’ eggs!  And pizza!!  And ice cream!”  We were planning pizza and ice cream for party day, so the girl got eggs for supper on her birthday.  Chowing down on some turkey bacon.

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After supper, we went for our routine evening walk.  We have to enjoy every chance we get at this point!  I asked Evelyn how she felt about being two now and this was her response.  Fair enough.

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Our pony and calf (not so much anymore) friends were right by the fence to wish Evie a happy birthday of course.

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It was a pretty perfect day to turn two.

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Alright, birthday party time!  I was really excited to make Evie’s truck cake, inspired by some ideas I’d found on pinterest of course.  As I was setting out each cake decorating item, Evie kept exclaiming, “Thank you, Mama!  Thank you!” haha  I used yellow paper and electrical tape to cover a cookie sheet “construction truck” style.

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The cake was your basic chocolate devil’s food cake box mix. haha  I wasn’t planning to decorate a cake AND make one from scratch.  I had frosted with the bottom layer a couple days ago.  I put on a second layer of chocolate frosting right before decorating.  First, I stuck alternating yellow and orange Reese’s Pieces around the edge.

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Then, a row of crushed Oreo cookies – frosting removed – was the “dirt” on top.  I realized later that I should have tried to put them on around a two shape, vs. coating the whole top and then trying to scrape them off the two.  That got a little sketchy.  The cake kept trying to pull up and make a disaster.  I had to refrost the two for it to even show up and that was incredibly tricky with Oreo crumbs trying to stick all over.  It was a mess for a while there, but eventually I got ‘er done.  After placing a few “dee-gars” around, the cake was finished!!  Other then Caleb thinking I had made a “Z shape” on top the cake (come on now….) it turned out perfectly.

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These traffic light treats were brownies with M&M’s frosted on top.

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The girls enjoyed some pre-party balloon fun.  Elly was laughing so hard about all the balloons flying around!

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My birthday girl was digging being two.

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There were a lot of helpers making homemade ice cream for the evening.

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They were especially available during the taste testing. haha

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The kids all enjoyed playing in the yard before supper.

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It was great to see this cute little brother of mine.  He is totally Opie Taylor’s look alike, right?!?  SO adorable.  He even mowed our yard.

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We had a demolition site, complete with a wrecking ball.  The wrecking ball was a balloon filled with sand, wrapped in duct tape and hung by twine.  Evelyn was loving this, and cracked up laughing after she knocked over the boxes.  I just wrapped the boxes in packing paper with “bricks” drawn on.

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I was in a hurry and had a little dumb-dumb moment with my wrecking ball prep.  I blew the balloon up, got a funnel spout in the opening, and dumped some sand in, hoping it would somehow empty in even though it was full of air.  Well, that turned out awesome.  The sand was just sort of sitting in the funnel and although I started realizing this was a really bad idea, I gave it a little poke…. still hoping it would seep in there somehow.  It seeped a little bit and then POOF!!!  It exploded out into my face.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I know.  You’re thinking it’s a bummer no one was documenting that moment with the camera.

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Evie needed a tutu, just because, so I made her the only kind I could – an elastic band with tulle knotted around it. haha  I thought it was amazing because I can’t sew at all and it was something you could wear that I made myself.  Don’t laugh too hard.

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This is how she was showing everyone how old she was.  Holding up two fingers on one hand was a little too tricky.

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Two days of birthday festivities was starting to wear Evie out.  It’s hard to handle that much attention!

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Birthday truck decor I made, inspired by (or completely copied from) the lovely pinterest.

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Excited for cake time!!

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The spread…..

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It was worth the wait.

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Balloons and presents in the house.

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We love you, Birthday Girl!!  We’re excited to help you enjoy some good adventures and learn new things this year! ❤

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mama

 

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