Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Abby's Fashion Trends

This is what happens when Abby is asked
to pick out her own shoes. :)

Latest fashion trend? Maybe.

Hot Pink Converse with Polka Dot Easter dress. Why not?!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend + Photo Overload

I'm happy to report that the past three days have been full of sunshine, beautiful skies, and only passing afternoon showers that leave almost as quickly as they roll in. It is looking more and more like Spring out there and I'm lovin' it!

Easter weekend not only brought beautiful weather but time with family and friends. Heather (my sis), Justin and Emily (the kiddos) spent the day with us on Friday. We took a walk in the morning, ate at a local restaurant for lunch, and spent the rest of the afternoon inside playing with Abby and dying eggs. The warm, sunny weather hadn't quite arrived yet but we were able to make the most of the day anyway. It's always special spending time together and making new memories!

Then Easter Sunday came along. Jim had a day game so he headed into the ballpark early in the morning . Abby and I lounged around the house early on, then headed out to the grocery store for last minute items to make a nice dinner. Afterall, it was Easter and I figured Jim would appreciate coming home to a yummy, home cooked meal. So while Abby napped the afternoon away, I prepared a pot roast crockpot dinner. I seasoned the beef, cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots and gave it a toss in the trusty crockpot. The crockpot really is the perfect way to put together a homemade meal, forget about it for a few hours, and then come home to a dinner that is ready to put on the table!

Abby's Easter Dress - courtesy of Nana & PopPop :)

After Abby's nap, we went to church with good friends, hoping that the guys would be able to join us after the game. Of course, right before the service started, a torrential downpour hit Baltimore hard, leaving the O's with a rain delay. Not to mention it was already tied in the tenth inning. Needless to say the guys didn't make church but at least the ladies had each other. :)

Since dinner was ready when we got home, Abby and I sat down to our Easter dinner, waiting on Jim to join us. He got home about midway through, although he had already eaten at the field. So my efforts of making a home cooked meal was a success for me and Abs... and the hubs just had to enjoy the leftovers.

We all know life doesn't always go as planned. You think the day will unfold one way and then it ends up being full of twists and turns that are unavoidable. So even though we didn't make it to church as a family or we couldn't sit down and eat dinner together ... we are able to embrace the love that we share... not just on holidays ... but everyday.

Family is what matters most. Always.

Friday, April 22, 2011

If everything could be this carefree ...

I've been really slacking on the monthly updates I used to do. You know the ones, right? The ones with Abby's latest milestones and measurements. I can't remember writing about 15 months, I know I missed 18 months, and here we are at 20 months old. And I've got nothing. I'll write a 20 month letter to Miss Abby in a few days .. but for now, this is all I have. A photo that captures such a carefree moment in the life of a toddler.

A few months ago I would have said that it was the roughest and most challenging age so far. Abby was trying to find her words and instead of being patient (what is patience to a child?!) and waiting for us to figure out what exactly it was she wanted, she would whine ... and moan ... and cry out of frustration. There were some days where I felt Abby spent most of her day acting like this. It was hard. Frustrating. I became impatient. The days were always a challenge and I looked forward to her expanding her vocabulary.

As if this wasn't enough, Abby wasn't one to play by herself. She constantly needed attention and to be entertained. Whether I would be cooking or doing laundry, she would be standing at my legs crying and wanting me to play. She always wanted someone right by her side.

Well let me tell you .. it's still no walk in the park but it is getting so much better. I'm enjoying this age so much. Abby is learning so much, showing off that personality of hers, and is finding it easier to express what she wants. Last night I just sat back watching her play by herself and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. She fed her Baby her bottle, placed her in her crib, covered her with a blanket and patted Baby's head. It's these moments that I want to soak up and hold on to forever.

I know this really just means Abby is growing up. She's becoming a "big girl." She wants to do everything on her own, she's learning so much, and it's getting easier for us to understand her needs and wants. As much as I want time to stand still or slow down, I love witnessing the carefree life of a toddler who is simply trying to figure everything out. :)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Moms that get it

I'm not gonna lie, today feels like it's been three days wrapped into one. And as I write this it's only just after one in the afternoon. I'm sure y'all can relate to having days like this. Everyone has them and hopefully they don't happen too often.

Today started bright and early, around 6:15 again. I'm not sure why Abby is getting up so early here, although I'm pretty sure the loud traffic that starts at 6am has something to do with it. Or maybe it's the sunlight that peeps in her windows at that early hour of the day. Which reminds me, I'm totally going to make some sort of contraption for the circular window in her room. That sucker needs to be covered!

Anyways, back to today ... there was actually sunshine outside and the weather was nice enough to leave the jackets in the closet. Kathleen (a friend of mine) and I decided to try a playgroup at a local library. A neighbor told me about it and raved about the program so I thought we'd give it a go. Abby likes things like this. But not today ... it was a disaster. You see, the lady leading the playgroup was singing and using props that Abby wanted to play with. She didn't want to sit in my lap, she wanted to play the tamborine! This lady wasn't too nice though and she was not happy when the little ones started to move about. Thankfully, Kathleen's son Jacob is a clone of Miss Abby. They share the same personality and the same want to be on the move. all. the. time.

After awhile, we noticed we must have been in the wrong class as Jacob and Abby were clearly the oldest children. So we left the crazy, not so nice teacher and the other moms behind to sing songs with their babies in peace. These women looked like they were in complete shock that children could behave this way. Don't worry ... your turn is coming ladies.

So off to the park and lunch we went. Then we headed back to our house where the kids played together so much better. Minus Abby's hitting (Ugh, when did this start?) and Max's attempt at escaping. Actually, he did escape and ran right down the busiest street in Canton. Oh yeah, fun times. Thankfully, I was able to get him back in the house, unharmed by any moving cars.

All in all, it was actually a good morning. I'm so thankful to have friends ... that are moms ... that "get it." Today I'm simply thankful for friends like this. Together we'll get through these challenging times and why not get a few laughs out of it?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Fun with Daddy

Daddy, I'm missing you on your first road trip of the season ...

but Mommy and I will see you soon ...

and there will be plenty of time to play when you get back!

I love you, Abby

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I'm reading ...

A few months back, I was driving home from babysitting my BFF's daughter and was listening to my favorite Christian radio station. There was a lady doing a phone interview with the station and right away I was intrigued by what she was saying. She was talking about recent books she had written, specifically a book titled, "Am I Messing Up My Kids?" Her soft voice, funny parenting stories, and strong faith in God made me want to know more about her.

So I went home and googled her name. Lysa TerKeurst. Turns out she is a Christian mentor, an author of many books, and a mother of five children, two of which are adopted. The way she talked about parenting literally made me laugh out loud that night in the car and I couldn't wait to dive into this book of hers.

As it always seems to happen, time got away from me and I procrastinated buying the book on Amazon. Lucky for me, I have a close friend that was ordering something for herself and knew I wanted to read this book. Thanks D for thinking of me and ordering it for me ... because I would still have "buy that book" on my to do list.

The first chapter of the book reached out to me... it was almost like the words on the each page were written just for me. No one else, just me. That's how much I was able to relate to everything she was saying. Lysa tells about how being a parent isn't always simple. Even a trip to a store with a toddler can be quite chaotic. You know those times ... times when it looks like you are having a major parent fail, when in reality your child would be so much happier running and playing instead of being buckled into a cart. It's just like the child you looked at before you were even pregnant and said to yourself, "my child will never act like that." We've all been there. But then you have a moment like this yourself and it all comes full circle. It's not your fault. It's not the way you parent. It's just the way life is.

I'm hoping this book will provide me with ways to be more patient and prevent me from focusing on the things that are out of my control. I want help from God on becoming the best Mama I can be.

If you want a good read, you should definitely make "buy this book" a priority on your to do list. Or check out her blog for short, inspirational stories.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Come on in ... welcome to our new "home"

One thing I look forward to each baseball season is moving into a new home. We usually rent an apartment or condo in a high rise building, but this year we wanted something different. Something with a more "homey" feel to it, in a nice neighborhood with a lot to offer. Easy to find right? That theory proved me wrong and it took us a long time to find the perfect (or close to it) fit.

There are many old yet renovated row homes in Baltimore that are each unique in their own way. We wanted to find one that was right for us but that meant it needed an outside area for a dog, parking, and closed stairwells. Finally we settled on a rental in Canton, minutes from downtown Baltimore, but a little more family friendly. There is still the downtown feel as we are only two blocks from the "heart" of Canton ... an area full of restaurants, bars, gift shops, and unique boutiques. We are also within walking distance to a playground, dog park, waterfront park, and the gym. It's perfect.

It isn't any quieter here, but we are getting used to the city noises again. Fire trucks, police cars, big trucks, horns, car alarms, barking dogs ... you name it, we hear it. We'll get used to it and before long, it won't bother us at all.

Most importantly, I feel safe here. I was concerned at first with how I would feel living in a row home, with street access. But it hasn't bothered me... not yet anyways. Hubs has been home every night so far, so we'll see how I feel when he is on his first roadtrip of the season! And it also helps to have awesome neighbors!! It's so comforting to be near friends of ours, who are a part of our baseball family. Shout out to Maria & Matt :)

So with that said ... we are settling in and trying to get used to the baseball routine. Here are some photos of our new "home."

Love the kitchen :)

And love the view :)

I forgot to take pictures of the Master Bath, but it's nothing too exciting... and we have a finished basement too, with a full bath and extra bedroom. It will be nice to have that space for visitors ... any takers?!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Opening Day - Play Ball!

Opening Day baseball has come and gone. The season is officially underway and the Orioles are off to a great start! ::knocks on wood:: We had a lot of fun at the ballpark on Opening Day, despite a busy toddler wanting to dodge in and out of the crowds, no fear whatsoever of all the towering people surrounding her.

Abby actually did a great job ... we watched the first two or three innings in the stands, then headed downstairs to the family room where she could play with the other kiddos. One of the new players this year has an adorable son, whom Abby just adores. As soon as she spotted him, she started to whine for his attention. They played together for the next three or so innings ... kissing may or may not have been involved. :) It's going to be a fun season watching these two grow up together, especially since they are only a month apart in age. After we tired the kiddos out, we ventured back up to the stands for the end of the game ... just in time to see a WIN!

It's so different with Abby this year. She is a handful ... to say the least. BUT ... she danced to the fun ballpark music on my lap, clapped when everyone else clapped, and was fascinated by the wave. This is going to be a fun season! I may be exhausted at the end of each day but we're going to have a great time together.

Even though we were at the ballpark, the highlight of Abby's day wasn't even baseball. It wasn't the crowds or the loud sounds. It wasn't the ballpark food or the fireworks. It was seeing her Daddy after the game (it had been a week) ... and seeing her get that excited makes my heart melt. This little girl loves her Daddy!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Are you there sunshine? It's me, Liz.

Oh pool days ... come back.
Abby & I miss you.

It feels good to be back home, it always does. Abby and I are staying at my Mom and Dad's house for a few more days until our Baltimore rental is all set and ready to go. We've had a lot of fun playing with family and it is definitely nice all being together.

The downside of coming here in April is the weather. Blah. It's cloudy, dark, rainy, cold, and depressing. I can't take it!! I miss the Florida sunshine, the sunshine that makes my heart happy. The good news .... this weather won't last too much longer. It usually comes and goes throughout the whole month, but there are nicer days coming. Even a 70 degree day in the forecast next week. We can do this!