Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas with Abigail

We had such a wonderful Christmas with our little family. We couldn't help but think of last Christmas and just feel even more grateful for this Christmas.... Christmas morning Abigail woke up and John had her join us in bed. We enjoyed playing around in the bed with her making "Abigail sandwiches" and playing "peek-a-boo" with the sheets.

Modeling her Christmas dress after Church on Sunday

The week of Christmas was very busy -- We went to something every night, but we had lots of fun. We enjoyed getting a nap after church today. Monday was the extended Merrill Family Christmas party -- and you all got to see Abigail with her candy bar. Tuesday we had a blast at a concert a friend of mine invited us to -- Thanks Kellie! Wednesday was the extended Jones Family Christmas party. Abigail had lots of fun playing with her second cousins that are her age.

Christmas Eve was spent with the Merrills. John's parents have us over for a nice dinner that we all dress up for. We enjoyed delicious homemade tortellini. We read the nativity from the scriptures and Grandpa Merrill played the piano while we sang carols. You can see from the picture below that Abigail also wanted to play the piano. We opened gifts from each other and enjoyed yummy cookies.

More about Christmas morning....We just relaxed and enjoyed being together. Abigail was somewhat into presents. Santa brought her some more Legos/Duplos. This set was a zoo. Her and daddy have already had fun playing with it. She also got pajamas and an ABC Church Book from mommy and daddy.

The extended Riding Family Christmas party is Christmas Eve, but we were with the Merrills. However, it is also tradition to go to Grandma's house for lunch. So, we spent the afternoon visiting my grandparents (Riding and Jones) before my family's Christmas festivities.... Here is Abigail with my Grandma Riding.

My family has dinner together on Christmas night and opens our gifts from each other. Abigail had fun playing in the wrapping paper. My five year old niece loved that she had most of her aunts and uncle at her finger tips to play card games-instead of getting the attention from them one at a time. I just had fun holding my little nephew.

We hope that you and your family were able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas season. We are so grateful to have had so many family and friends to share it with -- and most especially to have our little Abigail with us this year.... My heart goes out to the many who have ever or will have to spend Christmas in the hospital.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chocolate Thief

Santa made a visit to the extended Merrill Family Christmas party last night. He gave out candy canes and candy bars. Abigail was quite cute going up to him. She was in heaven when the candy cane was placed in her hands. She then had almost no interest in coming back to me. She soon was attached to the wrapped candy bar. I gave in and let her hold it - after some attempts to take it. I figured it was safe - being wrapped and all.... I won't be making that mistake again.... She was quite proud of her efforts as you can see from the pictures.... It didn't take her long, either, because John found the mess when we stopped on the way home for me to pick something up -- I think it was only five minutes....

Visit with Santa

We took Abigail to see Santa at BassPro Shops (Thanks for the idea Rachel).... It was great!! They give you a free 4x6 and then we bought the picture files for $1.99 each -- hope they have that deal next year....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Toddler in the House

I feel like I have been posting a lot more lately, but I also feel that Abigail has been changing so much the last little bit. We put her to bed for the night and she wakes up looking different -- crazy!! She is bigger and/or something about her looks different.

I was in the kitchen alot this weekend, which means Abigail was there more, too. I am so glad that our oven does not get hot on the front -- or I would have to really worry. Abigail was intrigued by the oven as some cookies were baking.

It is like a whole different face seeing those top teeth....

I decided to just let her keep doing what she was doing for awhile -- because until we get latches, she will probably just keep going back to it -- and with it being the first time, I was your classic "first time mom" and thought it was cute. (However, I don't think that thinking will last long at all.) We are also starting try some suggestions that we got from our neighbors about getting her to stay out of some things.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting So Big

I bought these window clings during some previous Christmas season and was excited I had a child to share them with this year.... I just thought Abigail looked so big in this picture.

She is getting closer and closer to walking. Tonight in the bath she stood unassisted for probably 10-15 seconds. I think we were all surprised, including Abigail - and John and I started clapping.... John has apparently taught her to grunt, and she is starting to imitate it more. She has also started saying "Ma". I don't think she fully associates it with me yet, but she knows that we respond to it, and I love hearing it.... Today while we were playing she did some walking behind her push toy.... She is just getting big so fast. She is a very happy and pleasant, but she makes her wants clearly known -- giving her a strong personality -- I like to joke it is the Italian blood in her, but I have seen videos from my childhood and know she has it coming from both sides.... She has almost mastered clapping. If you hold your hand out for a high five, you will often get it.... She is full of so many smiles and hugs. I LOVE IT!!!

We had a busy week going to concerts for the aunties. It was fun, but Abigail eventually informed me she had had enough. Once we got home, she was happy as could be seeing her daddy and playing with her toys.... The above picture is from when we got back from our quick trip to Thatcher to see EAC's Festival of Carols. Abigail had a rough trip back home -- hearing her daddy's voice on the phone calmed her down.

Our Primary children met their new teachers for next year at a pajama pajama last Saturday morning. They also had a special visitor -- Abigail seems to be wondering who he is....

Here she is enjoying her toys.... She crawls and climbs into what seems like everything sometimes. If you or something are in her way, she just goes right over you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bath Time

Tonight, while giving Abigail a bath, my thoughts went somewhere between thinking about journaling (my lack thereof -- a little sweetie did something to the power cord to the laptop I have my journal on) and how much I loved bath time while Abigail was in the hospital.

I still enjoy bath time with Abigail, but it was one of my favorite things to do with Abigail while she was in the NICU. It made me feel like I was really taking care of my child. Eventually, John and I could bathe her without any assistance, and since that was one of the few things we could do without help, I loved being able to do it. It made me feel more like her mom.

I most especially loved bath time because it was one of few times I could see and touch Abigail without cords attached. This also meant that very close monitoring on our part had to be done with her coloring and breathing, but I loved seeing her beautiful face with nothing else -- and also the monitors off of her chest.

Now, I have a little girl who loves bath time and makes a dash for the tub when she hears the bath water on. Aahh -- how I love it!! She is just so much fun!! I have to keep her from eating the faucet - as the picture shows she loves to do. She will also be walking before I know it. She can walk herself along our couches and when she falls, she is falling more slowly (if that makes sense).

I am so excited for Christmas!!!! She has been pretty good with the decorations.... I am just so excited that she will be with us at the family stuff, instead of me practically wanting to cry as I longed to have her with us. (I keep praying for her good health to continue -- so we are not back in the hospital for the holidays -- still has me nervous.)

Oh ya -- and have I mentioned that our cutie has become quite the little beggar? She comes and begs at our knees when she sees what we are eating -- far cry from the little baby who prolonged her hospital stay due to eating issues. I have also had some comment on the amount or fervor with which she eats -- makes me happy and very grateful.

Thanks for sharing in my little sentimental moment....

Then and Now

I love her smile in this picture -- I love the love for life you see in the face of children!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Birthday Party

**Sorry to those who wondering where this post has been. I was going through pictures from the different cameras, and it has just been a busy couple of weeks....

It seemed to come so quickly -- my baby's first birthday party. I tried to keep it very simple so that I could enjoy it as much as possible. We were surrounded by close family and friends (who I pretty much count as family, anyway). We ate BBQ pulled-pork sandwiches, with some salads people were so kind to bring. We enjoyed visiting and celebrating that our little miracle was healthy and having a birthday.

I also wanted to give a little shout out of thanks to my sweet husband. He pretty much was the one running around at the party, keeping things going -- I didn't even ask or anything. He just knew I wanted to soak up the moment, and he is just wonderful. (He was pretty tired when we got home.)

Thank you to those who spoiled Abigail with so many wonderful gifts. And -- thank you to so many who have loved and supported us this last year (and throughout our whole lives).

My parents have a large backyard and allowed us to have the party there.... a big thank you to my parents and sisters for getting the yard and house ready.

I was okay with no decorations (except a banner and table cloths or something), but how could I pass up these cute princess lantern things when my sister found them on clearance for $0.25 each??

Aunt Wendi (my sister) was so very gracious and made her a cute princess carriage cake.

Abigail's first Legos -- if you know my husband, you know this was needed

Abigail and Brisa -- with their mommies: Kim & Emilie.... My cousin and I are two weeks apart, and have managed to do many things together throughout life -- even when we didn't mean to. So, it was quite funny when we discovered we were both pregnant - then had the same due date - and to keep it going, we were both having girls!!! (**and no, we did not mean to match at the birthday party**)

Abigail with her friends -- well, at least that's how the mommies hope they turn out....

Happy Birthday!!.... You can't see the balloon she got from Toys'RUs.... We stopped by there on the way home from her one year check-up to look for batteries that were one sale.... She had a great doctor visit, minus the shots!!

I was trying to get a final "weekly measuring bear" picture -- you can see how much she wanted to stay still

What a big girl with her measuring bear!