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.

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


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


Katelyn sporting her new shoes.


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


All the talotalate you can eat.


Playing with “Abby’s” bathtub boats.


Abby enjoying her Christmas jammies.




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


Abby enjoying the toy Katelyn gave her.

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Looking a bit sleepy from all the excitement.



Gotta love that Christmas morning hair.


Ready for church in their Christmas dresses.


A little more successful with this photo shoot.

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My favorite one.


Merry Christmas from the Collier family.


‘Twas the night before Christmas

Katelyn was itching to open presents.



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


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.



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


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


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


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)


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“No eat it!”



Oh I love dis girl!


Abby—four months


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.


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!


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.


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


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


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


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



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.


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.


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.”


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


Few outfits are complete without a snuggle shirt.


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.


How can you not love this Munchiekin?


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.


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


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.




All the kiddos enjoyed burning off the sugar with bubbles.

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Abby and Grandpa Collier even got in on the action.


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


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


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



Hmmm….what am I forgetting. 

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


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.



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



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.


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