Peek-a-boo: Abby Update

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Tomorrow Abby turns 17 months old. No, she’s not walking yet. The race is still on to see whether she’ll beat her big sister at that. But this month Abby started crawling around on all fours. She’s gotten efficient enough that she will crawl on all fours more often now than army-crawling.

And the favorite activity of the month is…peek-a-boo. Abby is the perfect age to play peek-a-boo and it keeps her (and everyone else) giggling. Sometimes she gets her hands over her face, sometimes she misses. It’s adorable either way.

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She’s a little mischief-maker, crawling all over the house when she knows I can’t really chase her. Abby will keep herself entertained for hours. Her latest favorite toy is a small metal pot and a small ladle. She’ll stir that pot for the longest time without getting bored. She also knows some things that are off-limits, and if she ever catches a plastic grocery bag on the floor or the bathroom door open, she’ll scurry over to it faster than you can believe.

But for all her adorable mischief, Abby is still very sweet. When I snuggle up on the couch to read to Lydia, Abby crawls right over, pulls herself up to a stand, and starts yelling at me to pick her up too. She has no interest in using real words or sign language, her different grunts and yells all have their meaning and do well enough at getting her what she wants.

Is Abby ready to be a big sister yet? Well, I’d love it if she was walking first, but I think she’s going to be very excited about the new baby whenever s/he comes. It’s hard to believe that once all this snow melts we’ll all be able to go for walks to the park with Baby wrapped up in my Moby, and Lydia and Abby walking alongside. We can hardly wait.

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Abby Update: 16 Months Old

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Abby is 16 months old now and she’s learning new moves! During the past month Abby started pulling herself up on things and now she loves to stand every moment she gets. The race is on to see if Abby will beat Lydia in learning to walk. Lydia didn’t walk until 21 months, but Abby looks like she might just beat her. Only time will tell.

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Abby still army crawls using her one armed, one legged method of getting around, I guess because she knows it works. However, she can now push herself up on all fours back into a sitting up position. I’ve also caught her trying out crawling on all fours, but that hasn’t taken off just yet.

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Abby has also located the nose. If we ask her, “Abby, where’s my nose?”, she’ll happily point it out for us. She has yet to find her own nose though.

She still love to eat. It’s probably her favorite activity. She likes to eat as soon as she wakes up in the morning or after any naps, and if you put her in her high chair with food on the table, she will not tolerate waiting any length of time for her meal.

Abby still keeps us smiling and laughing. She is far less cautious than her older sister and may even be more independent than Lydia, if that’s possible. She’s happy to play by herself for any length of time as long as she isn’t hungry or tired. She’s as smiley as ever and is always adding joy to our days.

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Abby Update: 15 Months Old

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As Christmas approaches, Abigail is as joyful a baby…er…toddler(?) as ever. She’s not toddling yet, but she’s not exactly a baby. So, while I’m not sure how she classifies title-wise, I do know she is the smiliest little person I’ve ever met.

Abby is always happy unless she is very hungry or very tired. She’s always smiling unless she’s very unhappy or sucking her thumb right after a nap. Those cuddly moments are sometimes my favorite.

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Abby’s crawling around pretty efficiently using her one-armed, one-legged army crawling technique. It gets her where she wants to go so she’s happy to keep using it for now. She can crawl up a step and is pretty fearless, so she keeps us busy chasing her around.

Though she hasn’t taken to sign language like Lydia did, Abby is starting to use a few words. She can say “daddy”, “uh-oh!”, and “buh-bye”. When she eats her food and wants some more she makes a certain little grunt. She tries to say “mama” but more often than not it comes out as “baba”.

Abby’s all-time favorite thing to do is eat.

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And she eats a lot! She’s not too picky as long as she has food when she wants it in a nearly unending supply. If you interrupt her during a meal for any reason, she’s give you a harsh rebuke. If someone else is eating something different from her and she thinks it looks tasty, she’ll give you a few grunts until she gets a sample. Once she’s done eating she wants immediately out of her high chair so she can play or, more often, take a nap. After all of our struggles trying to get Lydia to gain weight, it’s nice to have an eager eater.

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Abby is a joy to the whole family. If find it so entertaining to hear the girls (who share a room now) chattering back and forth after we tuck them in for bed or naps. I find it just as heart-warming to hear their synchronized thumb-sucking once they do fall asleep. Lydia loves her little sister and we all have fun playing with her, tickling her, and getting her to laugh and smile in any way we can.

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My Thankful for 2014

When Lydia was not yet one year old,  I started a tradition that I hope to continue with each of our children.  Instead of creating a Baby book by hand (I’ve never been much of a scrapbooker) I designed a photo book online.  A month or so ago, I continued this tradition with Abby.  This is really irrelevant to the rest of my post except to explain the pictures.  The pictures used in this post are taken from Abby’s little book.  Moving on.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, our family has taken time to reminisce on the past year and share some of the things for which we are the most grateful. Lydia’s favorites have been Sandy rides at Meijer, and the color pink. Some of Dan’s top blessings have been God’s provision for us with a new home and job, and Abby’s long awaited homecoming last December. Abby’s only “Thankful” has been food. Although, she is, in general, pretty happy about everything.

Today I thought I’d share one of my “Thankfuls”.

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About a year and a half ago, we were still living on campus at Dan’s college, and I was pregnant with Abigail. Since we didn’t know why Lydia had been born early, we didn’t know whether or not Abby would follow in her footsteps. It was a struggle not to be anxious. Would Abby be born early? Would she be born earlier than Lydia? Would she be born too early to survive?

Frequently I would lay in bed at night praying over these questions and God would bring to mind Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” It felt like a Word from God assuring me good things for Baby, but not answering my questions about when she would be born.

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As it turned out, Abby was born early. She was born earlier than Lydia, and she stayed in the hospital far longer. She had more issues to deal with and was a puzzle to the doctors. There were even nights I wondered if she would ever come home.

Finally, last Thanksgiving Day, Abby had two surgeries that allowed her to come home. Her surgeries were Thursday and we brought her home Sunday morning.

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Shortly after Abby came home, I was holding her one morning as I sat in my glider. She was asleep and I was praying for her and asking God what specific things I should be praying for her future. Among other things, I felt led to pray that Abby would bring joy to others. Abby wasn’t even smiling yet, and the prayer didn’t spring from anything I had observed in her character, only what I thought the Lord had in mind for her future.

Soon Abby learned to smile, and since then she has rarely stopped. Others have observed, and I agree, that she is simply the happiest baby we’ve ever met. A week or so ago, as we were tucking Abby in one night, Dan commented that, “Our family wouldn’t be the same without Abby. We have more joy because she’s here.”

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This year, among a host of other things, I am thankful that God gave us Abby: that He created her and protected her, brought her home, and had a plan for her future. Even while I was laying pregnant in bed anxiously praying for an unknown future, God could already see far beyond the pregnancy, the hospital stay, and even past today. How reassuring it is to know that a good God holds our futures in His hands, and the futures of our most loved ones as well.

Our One Year Old

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Last Thursday, we celebrated Abby’s very first birthday. Dan brought her home some miniature roses which she was thrilled with (mostly because she wanted to eat them). She’s at that age when everything goes into her mouth.

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After dinner…presents! For someone who has never had a birthday before, she seemed pretty excited. Lydia must have given her a heads up.

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In the end, Dan had to help her out a little.

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The jumbo knob puzzles may or may not have been a hit. Mostly, she just wanted to put the puzzle pieces in her mouth. Lydia, on the other hand, was happy to play with the puzzles.

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In lieu of a birthday cake for our not-really-one-year-old-yet preemies, we’ve made a family tradition of giving the birthday girls watermelon instead. Abby loved her birthday watermelon and successfully at her whole piece minus the last bite, which fell on the floor.

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So what’s the little one-year-old up to these days?

Well, she’s officially a big kid. Sometime in the past weeks we caved and started buying jarred baby food. It was just too much work to make our own while we’re living in transition. Since then, Abby eats like a pro, averaging two jars per meal or snack. She’ll eat anything, but has lately shown a little less favor toward the spinach potato combination.

Abby chatters away during the day and at meal times and is (still) always smiling. While we were visiting Rob and Crystal a couple of weeks ago, she figured out how to “crawl”. It’s an interesting version of crawling, but it gets her where she wants to go. She keeps up with her big sister pretty well now, and keeps us busier than ever.

One Year Old!

Well, it’s been a whole year since our Abigail was born, and what a year it has been! Today we celebrate a whole year with Abby Faith. We celebrate that she even made it this far, that we’re no longer driving back and forth to see in her in hospital every day, and that she is a happy and healthy baby girl. Most of all we celebrate that God entrusted her to us and for all the precious memories we get to share in the years ahead. We love you Abby!

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Love, Laughter, and Bloopers

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Last week I took the girls outside for a brief photo shoot before posting Abby’s latest update. Lydia wanted to be in on the fun, so I took pictures while the girls played together. It was sweet. Afterward I realized that I had taken some pretty funny pictures, and some cute ones too.

Mind if I share?

Few things make my heart happier than watching these two talk to each other, play together, and just love on each other.

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Sometimes I’m not sure they’re BOTH enjoying themselves.

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And sometimes I KNOW they’re not both enjoying themselves.

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Sometimes they just need some alone time.

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Sometimes bad things happen when I’m not around.

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But these two forgive quickly. Then they’re back to sharing secrets.

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Maybe I was just in a wedding mood, but this one reminds me of bridal party shots where all the girls are talking and laughing. Don’t grow up too fast girls!

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Maybe we can duplicate this one at the a wedding too. 🙂

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Abby has a tendency to bite fingers, eat faces, and poke people in the eye.

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And sometimes she just won’t smile.

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I love my girls. And all our squishy selfies too.

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Abby Update: 11 Months Old

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In the past few weeks Abby has really gotten the hang of sitting up. Mostly she just sits in this propped up position until she wants to get somewhere else, than she just plops down onto her tummy. She’s still not crawling, but she can get anywhere she wants to go pretty quickly by rolling around.

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When she’s crawling around, Abby will put anything in her mouth. We have to watch her pretty carefully to make sure she’s not eating dirt, grass, rocks, bugs, hair…you name it. Lydia is a pretty handy helper, always willing to run and get Abby a toy that she can put in her mouth.

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Solid foods are coming along slowly. Sometimes when we’re eating a meal Abby refuses to eat what we give her. Other times she jabbers away angrily until we share some of our food. Her favorites right now are cooked broccoli and raw bell peppers, and she absolutely refuses avocado (and gives us a nice face to let us know how terrible she thinks it tastes).

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Unlike her big sister, Abby’s first word is “mama” and she says it anytime she’s hungry, wants Mommy, or right after she wakes up from a nap.

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She loves attention and she loves playing with or being tickled by her big sister. It doesn’t look like Lydia’s going to be the “big” sister much longer because Abby is catching up. When I was taking pictures of them together this morning I was surprised at how close they are to being the same size already.

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She’s a delight in our home. There’s nothing like seeing her smiles and hearing her jabber away. Here’s a little video of her smiles and giggles. I hope they brighten your day like they brighten mine.

Abby Update: 10 1/2 Months Old

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I know this update is late. It’s been busy around here and mostly I just haven’t gotten a chance to take pictures of our adorable Abigail. And I know you all really read these updates mostly for the pictures. 🙂

Last month I told you all that Abby was very smiley. Now I want to make it known that Abby is the happiest baby on the planet. It certainly wasn’t our doing or I would give everyone our method, because I think everyone should share the pleasure of having such a happy baby. Abby smiles almost all the time. The only times she isn’t really smiling are:

1. When she is asleep.

2. When she wakes up hungry. Or anytime she is hungry.

3. When she is being denied food at the dinner table, or if anyone takes something away while she is playing with it.

It’s true, Abby has a bit of a temper. She doesn’t really like to stay on her back during diaper changes and she will yell at you if you take away her toys. But it’s not hard to get a smile out of her even after snatching away a toy, shoe, or whatever other odd item she picks up during her wanderings.

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Abby is becoming more and more mobile. She’s still not quite sitting up, but she can rotate and roll to get anywhere she wants. Despite her active wandering, Abby has kept her chubby cheeks. She’s not as heavy as those cheeks make her look, but it makes us so happy to see her plump and healthy after such a rough start.

Abby and Lydia are best friends. One day I asked Lydia, “Who is your best friend?”, thinking she would mention one of the friends she had just seen that morning at church. She answered me very matter-of-factly: “Abigail”, and went on playing.

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When I go running, the girls hold hands. When I change Abby’s diaper, Lydia lies down next to her and makes her laugh. When Abby is hungry and crying because I can’t get to her right away, Lydia talks to Abby while she waits and Abby loves it. It’s enough to melt your heart.

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s not obvious in the pictures, but Abby has red hair. She doesn’t have a lot, and we’re not sure if it’ll stay or change, but right now we love her red locks. She still has brilliantly clear blue eyes, making her the smiliest, chubbiest, blue-eyed redhead in this household.

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Abby Update: 9 Months Old

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Weight: 14 pounds, 4 ounces

This month has been a busy one for Abigail, but mostly she is just full of smiles. Abby will sit in her jungle, bouncy seat, or on a blanket and play happily until someone gives her attention. Then she greets them with the biggest grin!

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This month Abby got her first tooth, and her second tooth is really close. She also ate her first and second foods: avocado and sweet potato. At first she gobbled it right down, but lately she hasn’t been too interested. That’s ok, we’re not in a hurry either. Abby is also (dangerously) close to sitting up. And she’s becoming more and more mobile. One evening I changed Abby’s diaper on the floor, then left to throw it away. When I came back, Abby was gone! I found her under our bed with a big grin on her face.

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Abby is as sweet as can be, and I am so thankful that she is one content little girl. She loves to get attention though and will make friends with anyone who gives her any. Everywhere we go we catch people smiling and talking to Abby from all around us, out for walks, at garage sales, in restaurants…Now if only she would sleep as often as she smiles, I would be one happy Mom! Abby has lately been getting up 3-4 times a night. Let’s just hope this is a growth spurt. That’s ok. I’m still getting my naps in on most days and she’s so adorable I just can’t stay mad at her for long even when I am tired.

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