Monday, September 21, 2015

rookie of the year!

happy 1st birthday abner lee!

you stole all our hearts when you rushed into this world.

you rocked your rookie year. looking forward to many more!

we love you little bug.
(you can't see his shirt, but it is perfect. orange and blue, his colors. a baseball player, his game. the number 4, his number. and it says rookie all star, which was the theme of his birthday party!)

(oh, and that stadium seat? it was from comiskey. i have two, 13 and 15. thought this one was fitting for the year!)

Monday, August 31, 2015

abner is (was) 11 months.

abner likes...

crawling away.
being a joy.
biting out of love.
his woobie.
flapping his arms.
climbing stairs.
being the best brother ever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

abner is (was) 10 months.

and i'm still in denial.
abner likes...
smashing his face into blankets.
his sisters.
being outside.
making noise with toys. banging hammers against the floor.
playing in his own room.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

hattie at 2 1/2.

she is intense.

she is a mess.

she is the best 'nuggler.

she is passionate...or just stubborn and dramatic.
she is eliza's shadow and echo.

she loves to love on abner.

she loves to show him that she is bigger.

her prayers are awesome.

her eyes are killer.

her laugh even more so.

she moves at her own pace...her very own, very slow, pace. my little duck always trailing behind.

she is day time potty trained, and goes without being prompted!
her baby is her most prized to food.

this girl can eat, and eat, and eat.

she tries hard to sing her abcs.

she can count to 15...even though i never worked with her.

she knows the colors of the rainbow...also not my doing!

she may be a bigger klutz than me.

she is still a mama's girl. on long drives it's torture that i can't hold her. "i need you! i 'nuggle you!"

but daddy is okay too.

nana is way up there on her list.

sometimes she just needs a hand to hold, an arm to lean on, a leg to grab...physical touch is her thing.

she is learning the ways of the world...especially when daddy is around.

some days it is tough.

i feel like she is older than she is, but i know that is eliza's influence.

she talks a ton and is as crazy as can be...until people come over, or we go somewhere.

she puts on a big front.
(thanks aunt corinne for this shot!)

i feel like songs will be written about her.

she is wild, she is sweet, she is stubborn, she is moody, she is hilarious, she is dorky, she is everything.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

abner is (was) nine months!

and keeping us on our toes!

abner likes...
going from sitting to crawling to sitting again.
standing against furniture.
screaming like he is in a lot of pain when he wants to nurse.
biting everything.
laughing at his sisters.
exploring the house.
banging toys against the floor, a chair, the table.
water...baths or swimming.
hanging out with daddy.

man this is getting harder and harder. he is keeping us so busy, but i also think i just want to prolong his first year. i cannot believe how old he is getting. dude has a ton of teeth. he weighs 21 pounds. as i lug him around it's hard to remember my little 36 weeker. he wants to go so bad. he is all over the place, and trying to cruise around furniture. active guy, but still as sweet as can be! he's happy 90% of the time. so quiet and content. this month was a little rougher though, getting 4 top teeth at once will do that you. extra snuggles and tickles help ease the pain. now, if we could just find a way to stop him from getting too big!

Friday, May 29, 2015

abner is (was) eight months.

crazy. crazy. crazy.

abner likes...
army crawling.
exploring food.
sucking his fingers.
standing up. don't you dare try to make him sit.
finding the smallest speck on the floor and going for it.
being determined.
playing outside.
playing with toys.
time with daddy.
smiling at his sisters.
being happy. "does he ever cry?"
complaining about teeth. "yes, yes he does."
the months continue to pass quickly, but are filled with so much fun now that you can really see his personality shine. he plays, he laughs, he lets you know if he doesn't like something. he gets to where he wants to be. we went on our first camping trip as a family of five and to keep him contained we brought a blow up pool. worked great to let him have freedom, but keep him safe! he got his first glimpse of lake michigan, and loved the sand and water. he is very intrigued with beer. makes his daddy proud. continues to be so easy going. and that fedora. oh how i thought they were silly for babies, but when you have a kid that doesn't bother taking it off? it's irresistible. nana has said often that i am so in love with him, and he is so in love with me too. it's true. he stole our hearts. his sisters are still enamored, although he is slightly less cool since he can now eat crayons or grab ninja turtles...and hair! :) just getting a head start on the sister torment.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

conversations with eliza.

eliza - "i just want to wear this shirt, but i don't like the white sox."

me - "excuse me?"

eliza - "i don't like the white sox."

me - "that's not ok."

eliza - "what...i just like the bears and colts!"

me - "well, that is football. you can still like the white sox."

eliza - "i just don't like them."

nana - "what are you? a cubs fan?!"

eliza - "oooh! that sounds pretty! i like the cubs!"

me - "just go. get out of my house!"

eliza - "why?"

me - "you can't like them. they are a horrible team!"

eliza (growing concerned) - "why? what do they do?"

me - "THEY LOSE!"

it took a phone call to uncle luke, but we got her straightened out. "well, i like them...i just don't love them!"

james told her just to say she doesn't like baseball. we can accept that. not liking the sox? that requires an intervention.

also, she requested that abner wear his baseball shirt today. so fitting for our home baby!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

abner is (was) seven months.

and i took the picture, then we left for a week. so here it, finally, is...

abner likes...
his sisters.
trying to crawl.
being awesome.
stealing hearts.
his woobie.
standing...all. the. time. (with assistance)
sucking his thumb.
getting his head scratched.

seriously...this kid is awesome. he had a few more ear infections, that gave us a bit of a run, but overall he is one happy kid. i have said he's the best of both worlds. eliza hated snuggles, hattie couldn't get enough, he is cool one way or another. "oh! we get to snuggle? that's cool." "oh. you can't hold me right now...i'm fine with that too." mellow. we started exploring with food. not eating a whole lot yet, but enjoying some here and there. he grew his first two teeth. i was not ready for that goofy gummy grin to disappear! we lowered his crib this month, and removed the bumper. that made for some silly sleeps. it also gives the girls a chance to peek at him when they wake up in the morning. he puts up with being on the inside of the bars pretty well while they bounce around making faces. it is still all about abner around here. guess that is standard for the baby of the family. we are all just enamored with this boy of ours!

Monday, April 13, 2015

eliza at 5 1/2.

she loves...

ninja turgles...especially michelangelo.
books and comic books (tmnt and mlp)
elephant and piggie.
making things.
coloring, drawing, painting, cutting, gluing.
giving gifts to people. like...all. the. time.
helping with laundry, and housework, and mowing with daddy.
holding abner and being a little mama to hattie. 
following the rules.
ice water.
pop tarts.
picking flowers.
her buddies.
watching teenage mutant ninja turtles, my little pony, wild kratts, curious george, odd squad, transformers, care bears. 
reading chapter books together. (magic treehouse, little house, never girls, anne of green gables)

she does not like...

itchy clothes.
hattie bugging her.
getting dirty, unless she has "messy clothes" on.
"falling down jeans"
and apparently, fancy nancy. she told me today when i asked if we could finish one of her chapter books. i tried not to cry.

favorite recent thoughts, that show how big of a heart she has...

"i want to go back to korea someday so we can show hattie."

"i like when abner smiles at me, because it makes me feel happy inside."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

and they were the best of friends...

at least today.

these two really know how to push each other's buttons. this is new territory for us.

eliza is pretty patient with hattie. she gives in. she helps. she cares...a lot.

hattie is...hattie. she adores eliza. she copies every little thing. but she is a firecracker.

as most sisters, i assume, they love each other and then can't stand one another. for example, hattie had to go to time out for not helping eliza clean. eliza started running around frantically cleaning because "my friend hattie needs to get out of time out!"

today, they were all about one another. they were hugging, playing, laughing, snuggling. it was awesome...and weird.

i came out from putting abner down and found them together on the rocking chair. eliza "reading" to hattie, and my heart burst. 

eliza had her arm around hattie, and hattie wasn't screaming!

they didn't fight over the faucet during baths. they took turns. they helped me wash the other. they held on to each other when they had to lay back.

it was all so sweet, but it was also bedtime so i was a little impatient. i didn't really realize how great of a day they had together.

so now, let's back up, last night i escaped to target with a friend. skipped out on dinner and bedtime (ftw!) 

when i got home nana said eliza didn't have her cold blanket, she couldn't find it, but wanted me to look when i got home. this has happened before, and she's usually fine with grabbing another one, delia's is usually top pick. (love that!)

if you know eliza, you know that cold blanket is always around. we've had it since before she was born, and she latched on around 6 months. it's been everywhere. we had a backup (double baby shower, and enola didn't get attached to hers) but eliza could tell the difference. (hattie's is bumpy of course, aka the fabric has pills) so now hattie has it...because she has to be like eliza and no other blanket would do.

well, i didn't find it. she asked once today, but not again. did bedtime and neither one of us noticed that it was still missing. it wasn't until later that i realized i still need to find cold blanket, but wait, she didn't even ask. what? not okay. and i thought is she done with it? that is okay...i guess, but i need to find it, to keep for memory sake. she may not care, but i do! 

so i go on another hunt, the garage, the car, the couches, my bed. i start to climb the stairs and see her bitty baby "dandra" in the playroom. seriously, she all of a sudden doesn't need cold blanket or dandra? when did she get so old?

hunt in nana and papa's room one more time, and found it in the dirty clothes. 

i run in to cover her up with it and drop it near the door. 

well, of course you don't need a blanket or baby doll when your sister is sleeping with you.
my heart has exploded many times, but this was one of the best.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

abner is (was) six months.

half a year. wow.

abner likes...
his hands.
sucking his fingers.
sitting up.
standing up.
his sisters.
sleeping on his tummy.
his woobie.
showers and baths.
clean diapers.
trying to inch around.
i heard that if your parents didn't fill out a baby book for you, it just meant they were enjoying your babyhood more. we'll say the same applies to blog posts. ;) i did finally begin his book. we got little tastes of spring this month. it was nice to get abner outside and discover the world. he wasn't so sure about the wind and the sun though. we fought his second double ear infection. he was a fairly happy sick baby. a few screamy bursts, but not bad. he now sleeps in his crib 75% of the time. it's in our room while my parents finish building their house. (they are staying in the nursery) he goes down for naps and bed time awake, and can get himself to sleep. usually sucking on his fingers, his woobie, or just inching around the crib and talking. he will still randomly fall asleep while playing, or waiting for me to finish up helping his sisters. he continues to prove himself awesome. i told nana that i feel like we should apologize..."sorry world, we have the best baby there ever was and will be." i am sure daddy thinks he could improve in some areas, less girly squeals, more sleeping, but i am just smitten.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

abner is (was) five months.

and i had the collage all ready to go, cut out his 5, and forgot to bring his blanket, when we left for a week, to take his picture!

abner likes...
sleeping on his tummy.
acting like a big kid.
drumming on this tummy.
his woobie. (new name for his lovey. funny story with that!)
shoving his hands in his mouth.
sucking his fingers.
watching his sisters.
clean diapers.
holding on to things.
sitting and standing up.
mama being his paci.
stealing hearts.
abner was born almost a month early, rolling at a week, and i don't think he will be slowing down anytime soon. he now rolls both directions. he gets up on his toes, face smashed on the ground, and inches around. he loves to stand. all that work helps him be a pretty good sleeper. nights could be better, but we're working on it. abner experienced his first snow this month. he wasn't too thrilled, but daddy did help him make a snow angel. we all slept through his first superbowl. he discovered toys. he lost a bunch of hair. he smiled and laughed, and laughed and smiled until our hearts felt like they would burst. we also celebrated the day we were surprised with a positive pregnancy test. one whole year of loving abner! life will never be the same.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

one tuft of hair...and i lose it.

eliza's hair flowed for days...or years. always a mess in her face, and she didn't care at all. i both hated and loved it.

hattie's hair was amazing from day one. she also had one curl that i said i could write a whole love letter to.

abner came out with hair that made me think "is he really ours?" then smiled because i thought the same about delia and her hair.

cradle cap hit hard and i whimpered over the clumps that i combed out while dousing him in coconut oil. he has lost so much.

and yet, he has a tuft.
one perfect little tuft that i could swoon over for days.

something so simple causes so many emotions with this crazy (in love) mama.

he stands in my lap.

he wants to see the world.

he smiles.

he bounces.

he wiggles and squirms.

and then his chubby little legs tire.

i turn him around and he still wants to stand.

except now he leans against me.

my hair brushes his cheek.

he smiles and shrieks.

rubs his eyes.

because he is oh, so, so tired.

then he leans in.

he looks down, and it happens.

he nuzzles around and around, pops back up.

and there it is.

that tuft.

my broken heart explodes.

broken, because i know this moment is fleeting.

i want to soak it all up.

yet my mind wanders to far (far, far) off places.

i worry about what to do with a boy and having regular haircuts.

it's so foreign.

then i think about his hair getting fluffed after hitting a home run.

or striking out.

i wonder what kind of hats he will wear over that hair.

will he even like baseball?

will he be a country boy?

my heart sinks a little.

will he wear a beret like his daddy?

an army cap?

ever since he was born, since finding out he was a he, i have a new respect for my mother in law.

i cannot imagine seeing my little boy go and do what hers did.

how hard that must have been.

and there i go, getting ahead, worrying about the future.

instead of now.

now i will go sniff that baby fresh hair.

i will nuzzle in.

and thank God that he let me be this boy's mama.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

different mama.

it's no secret that i've changed since first becoming a mama. a lot changed after delia. a lot of me changed. some good, some bad. in a lot of ways my preferences are the same, but in so many ways i have switched to survival mode, what works, what is best for us, what makes them happy, what keeps me sane. especially now, going through these baby stages for the third time, i just have to stop and laugh. i am sure i will be adding to this list. here are just two from the last few days...

first child (that had very limited tv the first few years) sings her version of "angels we have heard on high"

third child hears the "glooooooooooooria" part and sings "ah ah my pony! my pony"


first child gets cute outfits when visiting the doctor.

fourth child gets a onesie and babylegs because mama knows she can have baby dressed, they can get their thighs poked, and she can get out of there asap!

Monday, January 26, 2015

abner is (was) four months!

dude just keeps growing and growing.

he also gets cooler and cooler.

bonus picture this month. papa helped get some smiles out and abner really responded!

abner likes...
being a mellow baby.
baths and showers.
being swaddled.
sucking on his hands.
sucking on his blanket.
cooing, gurgling and letting out little shrieks.
stealing hearts.
bow ties.
sleeping on his tummy.
being upright.

fun month with abner's first Christmas. the start to his (or my) bow tie obsession. his first story time that wasn't for his sisters. becoming more crunchy and sporting his amber necklace. can't start it soon enough, i'm sure he will have teeth before we know it! one not so fun thing, this month he got his first double ear infection. discovered that at his well baby check. :( abner continues to be awesome. his sisters may steal some of his time, but he is laid back enough that if i need to set him down he will either be content to "play" or fall asleep. (most of the time...he does have his needy moments) i told james he is the best of both worlds. one girl would not be held or rocked and the other couldn't be put down, if he gets snuggles, that's cool...if not, he is okay too! continuing to thank God for the blessing that abner is. we just eat him up daily, and love to love on our boy. he is just starting to really respond to the girls and it melts this mama's heart time and time again.

Friday, January 16, 2015

sometimes i wonder...

if eliza can read. words or minds.'s freaky. it's happened many times before, but here are the latest ones.

she randomly asked me "what if you have a baby when abner is still a baby?"

a week later we were pulling on a wishbone and as we made our wishes i thought "i hope we have another baby...wait! no i don't...just give me peace one way or another."

we pull. i win. she asks "did you wish for a baby?"

my friend said she is so intuitive. many times i wonder if she is really 5, or one of my friends.


after that james emailed me a video of the app of anna giving birth (um. what?)

i told him i'd have to watch the video when she wasn't standing right over my shoulder.

then i told him about the whole wishbone thing.

as i was typing she asked "why hasn't your wish come true yet?"


she always wants to make cards to send to friends.

yesterday, not long after i read about glitter bombs, she cut up some paper, brought me a card and said "can we put this in the card? so when enola opens it it will just fall out, and it will be really fun and funny."


stuff like this happens all the time. i am excited for her to learn to read, but not sure i am prepared for it.

:runs off to clear history:

also...get out of my head.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


this little bear is getting ready to turn two!

Monday, January 12, 2015

these girls. these moments.

hattie has been fighting naps and bedtime lately.

it's been rough for all of us.

today i made sure all things that could get her in trouble were out of their room. then i pulled the whole "you don't have to nap, but you need to have some quiet time" trick.

she cried a little, but then was quiet, for over an hour.

then from the playroom eliza said "is quiet time over?"


"well, hattie just wants me to open the door."

"don't do it."

then through the vents i hear "ziza, hep pee" (eliza, help please) over and over.

"she's just sitting by the door mama!"

and this is why it will be okay if hattie never learns to open doors.

fast forward a bit. i go upstairs while they are watching frozen, to see what damage she did during quiet time.

hold my breath, walk into their room, not a thing is out of place. the covers on her bed aren't even messed up. everything is how i left it.

she really did just sit next to that door for over an hour.

fast forward even more. bedtime comes. bedtime screams come. i go. to try and enjoy a few minutes before abner gets mad.

eliza comes back out "can you lay with me mama?"

"is your sister asleep?"


i go up there and see this...

and i melt.
lay down with eliza and enjoy some time with my big bean. we chat, she listens, i listen, we just enjoy each other.

"why does sister bear throw fits at nap and bedtime?"

"i don't know mama."

"probably because she is almost two. have you heard of the terrible twos?"


"she is still a baby in some ways, but she wants to be a big girl. she gets frustrated when we can't understand what she wants. she doesn't have all of her words yet. wouldn't that be frustrating if people didn't understand you?"


deep breaths, pats on my shoulder, some whispers, silence.


"yes mama?"

"you are the best big sister."

"you are the best big mama."

"gee, thanks!"

"mama, sometimes, on tv, i just hear 'nationwide is on my side.'"

"aaaaand it's time for me to go."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

rainbow stars!

over the summer i asked eliza what kind of birthday she wanted. i also informed her once she picked, that was it. no switching the day after i start buying things like last year! she probably would have switched after being introduced to ninja turtles at her cousin's birthday. girl became obsessed with them. but her first choice...

"a star birthday!"

i had all these visions of pale pink, gold, shimmery stars. i thought oooh, this could be cute!

then she chimed in some more "RAINBOW stars."

well then. of course, we already had two rainbow parties this year, why not another?! she came with to hobby lobby and i held up two different rainbows in paper, and she picked the more muted one. i loved the shades.

this will probably be her last "big" birthday party, so i wanted to make it fun! i told her we'd do parties until 5, and from then on she could pick something fun to do, and invite a friend or two. we'll still have cake and presents, just at dinner on her birthday, and whatever family wants to be with her on her day, can be there. cannot believe my first baby turned FIVE!

like all her other birthdays, i made her invites thanks to my cricut. i just wrote the info on the back. 
of course the morning started off with pancakes. she picked green, because of ninja turtles. (although now she only picks the colors they are...for everything. "i want orange, cause that's a turgle color!" "no blue, that's like turgles!" and my former pink loving girl that always claimed "that's okay, red is kind of like pink" now switched to "that's okay, pink is kind of like red." obsessed i tell you. and if you ask her "well what about green?" she replies "no, that's not a turgle color" ummm...what?!)

 birthday serenade from nana and papa.
opening a couple presents at breakfast.

over the summer she had her first encounter with a pinata. she made sure to let me know she wanted one at her party, over and over again. figuring i wouldn't be able to find a rainbow star one, i decided she would get a mama made one. it was actually really easy, and fun to do! the hardest part was probably hushing up my perfectionist side, and not worrying about a perfect star shape. although, i did find a nice tip on how to make a huge star. make a pencil and string compass. draw a huge circle. then think of it like a clock, and mark the 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 minutes. those are the points of your star.

since this party was for kids 5 and under, i made it a pull string pinata, but they all had to pull at the same time. i attached buttons on the inside and once everyone had a string we counted and they pulled.

i wanted to make a game out of it too. we just so happened to have 6 little party guests. eliza had decorated favor bags, and inside i placed one star, each bag had a different color. we let them randomly choose. then they gathered on the porch and that was the beginning of the rainbow path. before the party the grandmas had taken yarn and ran all over the yard with it. up and over, around and under, all over. each kid had a wooden star that i had painted in their color. james drilled a hole in it, and they were supposed to run it along their color string and find the pinata at the end. it didn't work as well as i had imagined. i needed to give better directions to the grandmas, but our internet was out all day, and i couldn't show them what sparked the idea. so instead of nicely sliding along, it was a slow, tangled mess. all except for enola, she was first and got through before the tangles occured! it was still fun though, and i am tempted to try it again, maybe on st. patrick's day?

also, funny side note, i warned my sister-in-law and friend about how this was going down. having girls too, we thought it would be a good idea to prepare them about not getting to pick a color. the whole "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" thing. not everyone was going to get pink. and funny enough, reese, the only boy, was the one that ended up with pink. ha!

 i love their faces!

to keep it simple, and following the theme, it was filled with skittles and starburst. and a few other random things (bouncy balls, necklaces, bubbles)

it was such a clean break too, that my friend ended up using it the following month. she turned it into a snowflake for her daughter's frozen party. it broke clean there too, so it may have to become the traveling pinata!

 ready for cupcakes!
and gifts. decided to start a new tradition, and laid out the blanket that i took her monthly pictures on. she may roll her eyes later, but it was fun for me to see!
 james was driving home from fort wayne the day of her party, and i had him make a pit stop to pick up this desk. found it on craigslist for $5. it was already pink! he had just made a flip down desk (out of an old medicine cabinet we had in the garage) for the girls, and hattie busted it on day two. i was super excited to find this!
 this girl loves to help me craft. so every time she asked to make decorations i gave her a star punch and paper, and let her go to town. then i sewed them all up into garland. i love that she loves to craft!

 she got a new doll from nana and papa. she really wanted a baby "without wooden hair" she still loves dandra (her first bitty) the most though, because she has soon realized that the one with hair "just pokes me in the eye when i'm sleeping"
 peek-a-boo hattie!
grannie and grandpa...and hattie.

and of course, i had to do a birthday shoot with her. she kills me with how beautiful she is! she loves to pose and cheese it up. we love you eliza june! even if instead of buying online we had to go to the store to try dresses on to make sure they weren't itchy. ;)

i bought that ribbon in her hair when we lived in korea. held onto it, not knowing what i was going to use it for. this was perfect!

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