Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning Abby was kind enough to let us sleep until 6am.  Katelyn then came into our room at 6:40.  And off we went to open presents.

So in our Christmas jammies we had a party.  Here are probably too many pictures to show you our morning.

IMG_0271 IMG_0272

Let me just say, Devin gave me a new camera lens for Christmas so I spent the morning playing around with the camera.

IMG_0273

If you want to see any picture bigger, you should be able to click on it.

IMG_0274

Katelyn sporting her new shoes.

IMG_0286

The Munch taking advantage of the “eat anything you want on Christmas” rule.

IMG_0291

All the talotalate you can eat.

IMG_0292

Playing with “Abby’s” bathtub boats.

IMG_0305

Abby enjoying her Christmas jammies.

IMG_0308

IMG_0309

IMG_0312

A decent shot from the big sister who really didn’t want to hold Sissy.

IMG_0321

Abby enjoying the toy Katelyn gave her.

IMG_0343 IMG_0347

IMG_0354

Looking a bit sleepy from all the excitement.

IMG_0360

IMG_0362

Gotta love that Christmas morning hair.

IMG_0364

Ready for church in their Christmas dresses.

IMG_0374

A little more successful with this photo shoot.

IMG_0386 IMG_0392

My favorite one.

IMG_0390

Merry Christmas from the Collier family.

IMG_0404

‘Twas the night before Christmas

Katelyn was itching to open presents.

IMG_0172

IMG_0203

But of course, Abby pulled an “I’m down for the night” at 4:30 for the second day in a row.

IMG_0211

So I tried to distract her by making her sit and stare at the tree and presents while I took pictures.

Then she pulled a classic Katelyn move and started removing decorations from the tree and began decorating her fingers. Precisely the reason I put about 1/4 of the ornaments on this year.

IMG_0219

IMG_0221

We finally gave up on waiting for Abby and opened Katelyn’s Christmas jammies followed by making the necessary preparations for Santa’s arrival.

IMG_0232

And after Katelyn was tucked in and sleeping, Abby woke up.

IMG_0234

And I made her stare at the tree for a while.

IMG_0248

Christmas Tooties

Like many other families, we like to poison our bodies with sweets during the Christmas season. We made all the old Sal standbys—pecan sandies and candy cane cookies. Plus, we added homemade caramels this year and they were delicious! 

Here we are making candy cane cookies.

(hmmm…shoulda cropped that picture)

IMG_0009

IMG_0023 IMG_0014

“No eat it!”

IMG_0028

IMG_0037

Oh I love dis girl!

IMG_0030

Abby—four months

IMG_0053

A few days after Thanksgiving Abby turned four months. At her checkup, her doctor suggested that we start some serious sleep training. Up to that point, she slept in her car seat for most of her naps, in a swing for the first stretch or two at night, and in our bed for the rest.

Can we say survival mode? I think so.

Up to that point, the goal was to get her regular rest. But now, it was time to get her in bed and sleeping on her own. We are still in this process. It is a daily battle but we are making some improvements.

At night, she is in her bed at least 95% of the night. Over the last four days we have gone from four+ feedings a night to two. Feeding times are not to be confused with waking times. We are still muscling through two or more waking times to avoid feeding. But even that has improved.  We are slowly going from screaming, to crying, to squealing.   

I have successfully stretched out her day-time feedings from 2.5-3 hours to 3.5-4 hours. That has been great. And for three days we were on a predictable schedule that I didn’t have to write down.  I feel like my mind is like mush and I can’t ever remember what I did when—even when I am staring at my watch I forget what I am doing.

The doctor suggested that we try adding rice cereal into her diet. But my gut feeling tells me her night waking is not because she is hungry but just because she doesn’t know how to sleep. Besides that, I’m not ready to complicate my life with keeping track of rice cereal, too.

blog

Another challenge with Abby is that when she was about 2 and 1/2 months old, she suddenly became sensitive to dairy in my diet. Blood in her diapers made it so I had no choice in the matter. If she was just fussy, I’d deal with a fussy baby but this was a little more intense.  So for eight weeks I was 99.9% dairy-free and 100% miserable. No milk. No butter. No cream. No cheese. No butter. (Oh yeah, I said that already…no butter).

So any baked goods were out of the question and I had to read labels on everything. My saving graces were humus and dark chocolate chips with peanut butter. Fortunately, we found some dairy-free buttery spread but it wasn’t until week 8 that I discovered all the vegan products at the Whole Foods bakery.

On Thanksgiving the doctor game me the green light to eat whatever I wanted for my pleasure and sanity. So I did. And it was glorious!  But nothing happened with Abby. So I kept going, waiting for the dreaded diaper to show up. And it never did. So butter I kept eating.

Thank. Good. Ness.

And as for Abby’s stats? Oh sheesh. Did I mention my mind is mush? That’s why the doctor’s office keeps records.

A few things to note about Abby at this age:

-She is generally very happy as long as she’s got someone talking to her.

-She gives the biggest open-mouthed smiles.

-Not much of a giggler—you have to work hard for that.

-Actually enjoys tummy time for short periods.

-Not so much a fan of car rides.

-Coos a lot!

IMG_0043

Thanksgiving Vacation

We were lucky to have another year with a one week vacation for Thanksgiving.  This year we also had the special treat of having Devin’s sister Megan and her family come to stay with us for nearly the whole week.  It was a week packed with fun.

We went to the zoo. Which really isn’t much of a zoo but the girls had fun playing on the huge playground and going on the kiddie rides.

Devin had the privilege of chasing Katelyn up the giant playground structure and going with her down the slides.

IMG_4690a

Katelyn and Brooklyn loved the ladybug ride, though they weren’t too sure about it at first.

IMG_4696

Katelyn was also a fan of the car ride where she could “drive, drive, beep, beep” all by herself, in a fire truck, too!

IMG_4708

At the end of that day, we took a ride on the carousel where we got one smile for me taking the picture.

IMG_4720

Which then quickly turned into the “it’s way past my nap time” look.

IMG_4719

 

In addition to the zoo, we spent a few hours walking around downtown SF, checked out Temple Hill, took a drive down the coast, got some shopping in, and a few other things.

On Thanksgiving day we had a full house…er, cardboard box. And though things were crowded, we were able to get some finger painting in before the dinner making got crazy.

IMG_4678

By dinner time, Devin’s brother Kennon and his girlfriend also joined us making a total of 10 people in a place too small for four. But we all managed to gather around the table to enjoy a fabulous meal.

Aside from all  that, we just did some hanging around and enjoyed the company.

IMG_8723

Tut, tut. It looks like rain…

With the arrival of Abby and her…uh, difficultness, Katelyn has learned to embrace the TV. She never cared for it before until Devin took the liberty of putting Winnie the Pooh videos on the TiVo. After that, there was no turning back.

One day she wanted to play outside with the umbrella where for about a half hour she danced around saying, “Tut, tut. A-rain.  Tut, tut. A-rain.”

IMG_4589

Some days to keep entertained she finds some fun outfits. She’s particularly fond on her swim suit.

IMG_0284

Few outfits are complete without a snuggle shirt.

IMG_4726

This girl couldn’t be more obsessed with shoes. Her shoes. My shoes. Devin’s shoes. Even Abby’s shoes she’ll attempt to put on. I clean up more shoes throughout the day than toys.

IMG_4638

How can you not love this Munchiekin?

IMG_4655

Trip to Utah

Back in October we took a trip to Utah for a few days. Here are a few of the highlights.

We stayed with Devin’s sister and her family where Katelyn enjoyed plenty of play time with her cousin Brooklyn.

IMG_7953

We had a pajama party which lasted just long enough to snap a picture and concluded shortly after that with bedtime routines.

IMG_8060

We had a lovely family dinner where afterwards we celebrated Katelyn’s second birthday. This is when she learned about presents and got to enjoy some cake.

IMG_0092

IMG_0115

IMG_0124

All the kiddos enjoyed burning off the sugar with bubbles.

IMG_0163  IMG_7987

Abby and Grandpa Collier even got in on the action.

IMG_0169

Katelyn also enjoyed her time playing with her Aunt Sarah who was Katelyn and Brooklyn’s personal hair dresser.

IMG_0056

And we can’t escape a Collier get-together without the dreaded family picture.  We all survived and almost everyone was looking.

IMG_0021

Then we tried to get all the grandkids with Grandma and Grandpa.

Semi-successful.

IMG_0032

Hmmm….what am I forgetting. 

Oh, yes.  Abby stayed in character and cried the whole weekend.

IMG_0088

Slowly settling in

Since Abby came around, we came to realize that we are probably going to be in this apartment for some time longer. How long, we aren’t sure. But I figured I should but some sort of personal touch to it.

So now in girls’ room there are some decorations. Finally.

I saw these cute little butterflies at Target. Just foam cutouts but still fun.

IMG_0289

 

Just after Abby was born (I know, I’ve got some catching up to do) I put together these little numbers.

IMG_0293

IMG_0294

They have their names, birthdays, and the hats they got in to hospital.

We’ve had this shelf for a while but it’s nice to have something for both the girls now. Even though Abby still resides in our room…yes, still.

IMG_0296

And PS, this lovely quilt my mom made for me years ago.  All by hand. As in no machine. I think.