Wednesday, December 29, 2010

we're still here.

Hey folks.

Just a quick blip to say we're still here!  We left Boston last week and ran head first into holiday festivities with two families across three different cities.  After that, we spent a few days with my parents - which was lovely - but there's no internet really, so no blogging.

I have just a second now before we head out to the next thing and just thought I should say Hey.  :)

In a nutshell, things have been great so far.  Traveling was pretty easy. My DEAR husband got upgraded on both of our flights, leaving me and Abs to fend for ourselves in Coach.  Luckily, I've got a pretty good kid and everything went smoothly.  I'll write more about the flight details later.

...and in Kyle's defense, he did offer the first class seat to me.

Christmas was a whirlwind, but a lot of fun.  Abby had a blast and was such a trooper being trooped around the state. I've got lots of pictures - most of which are blurry, but some of which I'll post later.

We spent a few days with my parents and siblings which was a nice time and gave us a chance to breathe and recoup a little energy.  I know we all enjoyed the time together. And now, we're back in Conway to spend our last few days with Kyle's family and visiting other friends.

Abby is loving the attention.  And the animals - the cats and dogs.  She's in heaven.  And, also, her vocab has exploded.  It's crazy.

Ok, gotta run for now, but just wanted to check in and give a quick update.  We're all happy and enjoying being around our family.  Trying to soak up as much love and southern goodness as we can while we're here.

I hope everyone had an excellent holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

first snowman

We got our first dusting the other day.  There's an inch or two on the ground now, which is nice.  It's enough to make things look pretty without being a complete pain to deal with.  Of course, that also means we didn't get a snow day either ;)  

So, while I was at work, Karen emailed me these pictures of Abby playing in the snow.  Last year, she was terrified of the snow.  She wouldn't touch the stuff and cried if we tried to even get her to stand in it. This year, she seems to be having more fun.  

first snow angel

starting the snowman

making the head

almost done...


I'm glad she had a good time.  My favorite thing is that when I got home, she started telling me all about it.  "Mama, I go jump in snow with Karen! I touched it! I made snowman!  I pat-pat the snowball.  Get rocks.  Put rocks on snowman!..."  I love that she can tell me these things for when I can't be there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

holiday baking!

We've had some fun over the weekend trying several new baking recipes.  I thought I'd share the quick versions of each.  I had a lot of fun baking with Abby - she likes it too.  Anything where she can help and be involved is so much fun for her, and, as long as you watch for eggshells, she can be quite the helper. 

The first recipe we tried was for brownie covered oreos.  Yes.  You heard me correctly.  A friend of mine shared this link.  If you want to make them, check it out - her blog and pictures are much much prettier than mine.  But, the gist is suuuuuper simple.  You dip oreos in brownie batter and bake them in muffin cups.  A word to the wise - really grease up those muffin cups enough and loosen the brownies as soon as you take them out of the oven.  After they cool a little, this will make it much easier to get them out.  I used the mint oreos with mine, and they came out yummy.

Last night, Abby and I worked together to make some Christmas sugar cookies.  I cheated and just used a bag mix for the batter, but we did make our own icing later on.  Abby had a great time.

that purple man *is* actually a spoon...don't worry.

This was Abby's favorite part for sure.  
(ignore the play-doh in the background by the flour.....secret ingredient. ;)

I actually forgot to take any good pictures of them decorated - but we'll be doing this again this week, so perhaps I'll remember to get some then.

And lastly, my favorite adventure of the weekend was homemade marshmallows.  I didn't even know people did this, and then I found this link and video.  Here's what you need to know.  The ingredients are not expensive, you probably have most of it on hand anyway, and they are super easy to make.  This is going to be my new holiday staple I think.  There are so many ways you could mix these up - but I made mine peppermint marshmallows.

All in the pan and waiting to set.

freshly cut and powdered

I chose to decorate about half of mine by dipping them in dark chocolate and candy can pieces. 
They're yummy.

So, just thought I'd share.  I hope those of you who enjoy baking are having as much fun with this time of year as we are.  

And just because I never got around to posting these earlier.  I'll leave you with these pictures of Kyle and Abby.  This was on her birthday lunch and she was being so silly.  I think they're sweet. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Since she's started talking, we've had a kind of pattern that we do with Abby when she asks something.  It stems from when she started talking and it was hard to understand her.  The format is:

- Abby says something
- we repeat it to make sure that's what she said
- she confirms that, yes, that is what she asked
- and we answer her.

For example:

Abby: "blkdalkMilk?"
Me: "Do you want some milk?"
Abby: "Milk."
Me: "ok.  you can have some"

But, lately, she's started doing something else.  And, it catches me off guard.  I think she's totally manipulating me.  Because now, when I repeat what she's asked me in order to confirm that's what she wanted - she takes it as her answer.

For example:

Abby: "Cookie?"
Me: "Do you want a cookie?"
Abby: "okay, thank you."

And then I have to be all like, "No, you can't have a cookie right now, I was just asking if that's what you were asking"....which is kind of hard to explain to a 2 year old.  And when she says "okay, thank you" She says it really chipper.  It's cute....which makes it harder to get mad at her for not waiting for a real answer.

Here are some others.

Abby: "Ready set go?"
Me: "Do you want to run?"
Abby: "Okay! Yes! Thank you!"
(takes off running)

Abby: "m&m's?"
Me: "no, you can't have any m&ms"
Abby: "Green m&m?"
Me: "Yes, that one is green."
Abby: "Ok. Yes, thank you!"

Me: "Abby, it's time to go, go get your coat."
Abby: "stay at party?"
Me: "Oh, you want to stay at the party, huh?"
Abby: "Ok! Yes.  Thank you Mama!"

And then sometimes, she just goes total Jedi on me.  The other day, I was eating something she wanted.  She stood right in front of me and just stared at me.  Eventually, this happened:

Abby: "want some?"
Me: "oh, do you want some?"
Abby: "Thank you!"
Me: "Um, no, this is mommy's food."
Abby: "Yes, thank you!"
Me: "This is not for you."
Abby: "Thank you, please" (holding out hand)
Me: "no, Abby"
Abby: "Yes."
Me: "no"
Abby: "Thank you! Yes. You're welcome. Please."
Me: "Abby, no."
Abby: "Mama, yes"

And then she waves her hand in front of my eyes and gets what she wants.

Just kidding.  Most of the time I stick to my guns.  Mostly.

Anyway, I'm heading to bed, but just wanted to jot this down before it escaped my head.  I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Perhaps I'll write more about ours later, but so far, it's been nice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dunkie Dates

With Kyle being in school, and both of us working full time, and having Abby to fill up all the space in between, sometimes it's hard to make time for dates.  Y'know dates? Those things where you put on real clothes and leave the house without a stroller or diaper bag?

One of the hardest things about living so far from all of our family is that we don't have that support where we can just drop off Abby for a night at Grandma's house or for a weekend with an aunt.  For us to leave the house, even for just a few hours on our own, means we have to either enlist the help of a kind and willing friend or pay a babysitter to come.

Since money is always tight, paying a babysitter to come is reserved for more "must-do" activities and our list of available and willing friends isn't long.  So, we don't like to draw from that pool too often.

Point being.  It's not easy for us to find time to go out.  It's rare for us to have that luxury.  And, that's mostly fine because we really do enjoy our time together as a family.

Now, that doesn't mean we don't make time to talk and spend time together.  We talk about our days every day and we discuss things every day.  We communicate.  I get hugs several times a day.  We email and text and stay in touch throughout the day. After Abs goes to sleep, we relax and watch TV together and that's our little way of making sure we have at least a little bit of time to chill.  And sometimes? Those nights where we order chinese food and rent a movie are so much better than putting on heels and walking the city (sometimes. ;)  But, it's nice to go out together too.

So, one thing we've done is, on the rare occasions where I can go into work a little bit late - I give Kyle a ride to work.  On the way, we stop at Dunkin' Donuts and have a quick breakfast together.  Sometimes, we just order a coffee and muffin and eat it in the car on the way - but sometimes, like today, we actually take the time to sit down and eat and talk.

The whole "date" takes about 15 mins.  But, it's more of the concept.  Just the two of us, out together, treating ourselves to a little treat.  In these instances, it's less about the time it takes to do it and more about the thought behind it.  And it's nice.

We both like our dunkie dates.

And I just wanted to document them.  And to say thanks to Kyle for always finding time for "us" even when there is very little time for anything else.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just to remember

I just wanted to remember this.

Last night, we were saying our prayers with Abby and we get to the part where we ask her what she's thankful for.  This serves two purposes - one is to be thankful and the other is to kind of review her day.

She starts off by saying she's thankful for Karen, then that she's thankful for music (she means her music cat keyboard she got for her birthday).  When we ask her what else she's thankful for - it goes like this:

Abby: "and outside!"
Me: "oh, did you go outside today?"
Abby: "Yes.  With Karen"
Kyle: "Oh, that's fun, what did you do outside with Karen?"
Abby: "down street"
Me: "Fun, you walked down the street?"
Abby: (pause) "Street, then time out"
(Kyle and I kinda look at each other)
Me: "did you get a time out today?"
Abby: "Street, then time out"
Kyle: "Did you get a time out for going in the street?"
Abby: "um, yes."

So, I texted Karen to ask if Abby got a time out today.  She said, "Yeah, we were outside about to come in and she took off towards the street without me, so she got a time out"

I'm not 100% sure why I find this so funny, but I do.  I mean, not that she was running towards the street - or that she got a time out - but, I guess it's just that she's now able to really tell us what happened during the day.

It's like she's a little person.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I should have posted all of this a week ago, but then we were all sick and then it was birthday time and then I was tired or something.  So, we're getting around to it now.  

I was inspired by my sweet friend Hannah who found a little tree for her son to decorate.  I thought that was a great idea.  I don't know why it hadn't really crossed my mind yet.  Maybe because I didn't know if we'd be getting a real tree yet - and we aren't exactly surrounded by wilderness.  I could probably have found a shrub to chop in the neighborhood...but then some old Italian woman probably would have come out her house and yelled at me and shook her fist.

Anyway.  Long story short.  I found a little tree at the tree lot.  They wanted too much for it, so I didn't buy it.  But, the next day I went back and offered them five bucks for it and they happily sold it to me.  So, score.  

Abby was pretty excited about her tree.  It took us a few days, but we finally found time to do some crafts and make some ornaments for our tree.  Abby really really liked this.  It was probably the first time I've given her free reign of a glue stick.  Add in some crayons, markers, glitter, pom-poms, and sequins and you have yourself a happy (if sticky) toddler. 

decorating her first christmas tree ornament

 look at this glue stick pro...

She had help, but Abby did more of these ornaments than meets the eye.  
Here's our snowman.  
She put all the glue on, placed the pom-poms, sequins, and nose. I just help keep things straight-ish.

Here's our second tree ornament.  I drew lines on the tree and she put the glue on the lines and placed the sequins.  She really only needed a little bit of help when the sequins would stick to her hands were pretty sticky by this point. 

I only have a phone shot of our tree thus far.  We found a topper, made a few more ornaments and Karen figured out a way to keep it standing. (we used rocks from the driveway...which is a post within itself...Abby's a bit obsessed with rocks).  Abby added the big ornaments to the basket and insists that they stay there. 

I'm pretty sure I speak for Abby when I say we both had a lot of fun decorating her tree. It was a good project.  She likes her tree and says "Hi" to it every day.  Sometimes she tries to hug it and sometimes she puts other things like bows, hairbands, or toys on it as well.

Of course, we did finally decorate our big tree as well.  Kyle was sick, but we decided to go ahead and pull out the decorations.  Abby's favorite part were definitely the lights.  She was quite impressed with them.

Again, she was more of a help than I thought she would be.  She really enjoyed putting ornaments on the tree.  It's so funny to look at a tree decorated by a toddler.  All the ornaments are clumped together in one or two spots and nothing over 3 feet off the ground.  

We don't have a tree topper for our tree yet - I haven't found the perfect one.  Traditionally, we just put a Red Sox hat on top -so I should probably just go get that out of my closet until we find a more traditional topper.  ;-)

In the week or so since our decorating got done, Abby has bonded with certain star ornaments we have.  She goes up to the tree, holds them, and sings "twinkle twinkle"  We've allowed her to carry 2 or 3 of the stars around.  On Sunday, she opted to take her star ornament to church instead of her baby doll....and the green star ornament gets pushed in her stroller regularly.  Funny girl.

So, there's our tree decorating post.  Good memories.  Good times.  Maybe even some good traditions started.

Monday, December 13, 2010

two years old

So, I now have a two year old on my hands.  How crazy is that?

Let's start with stats and milestones, shall we?

At 2 years old, Abby weighs about 27 lbs and is about 34 inches tall - at least by my mediocre measurements.  We have a doctor's appointment this week, so hopefully we'll get some official stats then.

- She has all her teeth and is working on her 2-year molars.  One or two of them are breaking through now.
- Her hair is still blonde - of varying degrees - and is naturally curly at the ends and straight on top.  When it's wet, it comes down to her shoulders now...well, at least in the back.
- She loves to do everything that toddlers are supposed to love to do.  She likes to sing and dance and run and jump.
- She knows her alphabet and can recognize all the letters.
- She can count to 20, but often gets stuck at 19 (and will say 19 over and over) and she can recognize her numbers up through 10.
- She knows her colors and her shapes with about 90% accuracy.
- She loves to sing and her favorite song to sing is Twinkle Twinkle.  But Old McDonald, the ABCs, Jingle bells, and the Hot Dog song are up there too.
- She likes to color, paint, stamp, and glue.  Anything craft related is a lot of fun for her.
- Her favorite toys are still Tilly the doll, Glowie the glow-worm, Little Baby, and most recently, Pink Monkey.
- She watches some TV, but only Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street.  She can name nearly all the characters on both shows.
- Her vocabulary is great.  I don't know how many words she knows, but she communicates well and can parrot back anything you ask her to say.  She speaks in sentences and is pretty good with letting us know what she wants, needs, and thinks with her words.
- She's still a good sleeper.  She takes a 2.5-3 hour nap every day and sleeps from around 7:30pm-7am.
- She's a good eater.  As with many toddlers, she goes through phases where she doesn't eat much and through phases where she eats a lot.  She loves milk.  She thinks M&Ms are God's gift to Earth.  Her other favorite foods are tomatoes, pickles, olives, hummus, cheese, cereal bars, and oatmeal.  She likes nearly all fruit.  She only drinks milk and water.
- She wears mostly 18 month - 2T clothing.  Size 4 diapers.
- She loves to help.  She helps put up dishes, throws things away for us, cleans up toys, "folds" laundry and any other chore that she can be involved in.  She also likes to help me cook and generally just wants to be included and involved with whatever is going on.

So, there's a snapshot of Abigail Katherine.

I write these things down so that I'll remember them.  I know that when she's 5 years old, I won't remember how tall she was at 2.  And, in some ways, maybe it doesn't matter - but I like to have a record of these tidbits nonetheless.

When Abby was a baby, it was difficult for me to adjust to being a mom for a few months.  Not *really* difficult, but a lot harder than I had imagined it would be.  I remember thinking "I'm going to be a great mom to a toddler"  But, then, I doubted if I was a good mom for a baby.  Well, of course things changed.  My hormones settled and Abby and I bonded and things have been beautiful.  But, I still remember thinking that and I remember looking forward to this age so much.  This age when she's old enough to talk to me and listen to me.  Where we can to crafts together and plan projects.  She's old enough to play pretend with me and we have tea parties and hunt for pretend monsters.  It's just so much fun.

Of course, it's also exhausting - but it's a happy exhaustion.  And, most days, I'm merely tired - not exhausted.  I try to remember to enjoy each age that she is - to not rush into wishing for her to grow up a little bit.  But, now that we're here, I can really say that I'd be ok if she slowed down growing a little.  I'd like to really savor this age.

I may change my mind if she starts on these terrible two behaviors I've heard so much about.  But, until then, I'm going to just enjoy this 2-year old phase.

She's a fun kid.  She makes me happy on many levels.  I feel like we've bonded in new ways over the past few months and there are days when I just think "man, she's fun to be around"

Anyway, I'm happy.  We're so blessed that Abby is such a strong, healthy, thriving little girl.  I try to remember that daily.  I can't wait to see what this next year brings for Abby and for us as a growing family.  There are so many changes in store that it is sure to be an exciting year for all of us.

Love to all.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Abby turns two!

She didn't ask my permission to grow older, y'know.  
And, I haven't really wrapped my mind around the fact that she's two 
(or will be in a few hours from now)

But, I'll write more about that later.  Right now, I just want to document her birthday party that we had this afternoon.  It was a crayon theme, which is perfect for Abby right now.  

She spent all afternoon pointing out all the colors and decorations and she really had a nice time.  It was a small gathering, but Abby didn't notice a bit.  We had a blast. 

One day, years from now, Abby will look back on these pictures.  And, even though she will probably have no memory of this day, I hope she sees that her daddy and I had a lot of fun putting together a fun party for her.  In fact, we probably had as much fun putting together everything as Abby did partying in it. 
So, here's her crayon party.  Happy 2nd birthday Abby!

 some of our party decor - Abby was particularly pleased with the "BIG cway-ons"

For party favors, we kept with the crayon theme.  I found some crayon rolls on Etsy that I loved and packed them away with some other themed goodies.

These were a lot of to make.  They're just chocolate covered pretzels wrapped like crayons, but Abby thought they were fun. :)

So, I'm not going to admit how long it took me to make the platter - but I'm happy with it and it really help set the atmosphere for the rest of the stuff. 

We did rainbow cupcakes, so here's a side view.

 Abby trying to blow a party horn.

this is her silly face (one of them)

Abby and her friend Emma sharing the picnic table to eat their treats.

Then, we had some color time on big poster boards.  Sorry, I didn't get many pictures of things as I was wrangling at the same time.

After coloring, we opened presents.  Abby was spoiled by friends and family for sure.  She got a lot of really great things and we're super appreciative of everything!  This music cat was a big hit.

I plan to do this picture every year till she's 100.


Abby trying out HER cupcake after blowing out her candle. 

And I really like this shot.  Her pefect little bite taken out of her birthday cupcake.

So, like I said, I'll write more substance later.  Once I get this kid to bed, sit down for a second, and let my brain TRY to understand how in the world my baby girl is two.  I'm not sure it's possible - or if I'll make it through this acceptance phase without tissue - but I'm sure I'll have something to say about it too.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Abby's party a lot of fun today.  We love you all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

word association

I have not been talking with Abby very much about her upcoming birthday.  Not because I don't want her to know about it, but just because toddler time frames are so different.  Telling her that her birthday is in a week - is the same as telling her that she'll have a baby sibling in 5 months.  Meaningless.

So, I was a little surprised yesterday when she brought it up while we were grocery shopping.

But first - a detour.  Y'all, I haven't been grocery shopping in about a month.  I've done a milk run or two and *maybe* picked up a single item here or there - but we have not been to the store in a WHILE.  This speaks well of our stocked up pantry, but poorly of how often we've eaten out over the past month.  And, well, to be fair, we've not eaten out TONS, but still, I haven't been cooking a ton either.  Mostly we scrounge.  It's sad.

So, I had a lot of groceries to get.  Abby wanted to ride in the firetruck cart (ie: extra heavy to push around the store).  It was fine.  The kid was content for the full 90 mins we shopped - which was quite the blessing.  While I'm in the frozen food aisle, I hear, "mama?  mama?"  So I lean down and look into the firetruck where she's sitting and say "yes dear?"  She says "Birthday?"

So, I smiled and said "yes, you're going to have a birthday soon"
Abby: "Birthday tea?"
Me: "Birthday tea? What do you mean?"
Abby: "Birthday tea Party??"
Me"Yes, you're going to have a birthday party - but not a tea party"

Then we kept shopping.  But, from there on out, about every 2 minutes, she would call me back, "mama?"

Me: "Yes?"
Abby: "Birthday party? CAKE?"
Me: "yes, you will have cake"
Abby: "tea cake?"
Me: "no, just regular cake"
Abby: "ok."
Abby: "mama?"
Me: "yes?"
Abby: "Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you?"
Me: "Yes, we will sing the birthday song"
Abby: "with cake? with birthday bird?"
(this is in reference to a Dr. Seuss book)
Me: "yes, with cake, but no birthday bird"
Abby: "mama? mama?"
Me: "yes?"
Abby: "I have birthday tea party with tea party cake?"
Me: SIGH.  "Abby, how old will you be?"
Abby: "TWO!" (then holding up two fingers) "Peace!"
Me: laughing.
Abby: "Mama?  I have two peace party with bird??"
Me: "You will have a birthday party, with cake, with the birthday song, but with no tea and no birthday bird.  you will be two years old."
Abby: "ok, mama."
Abby: "mama? mama? mama?"
Me: "What is it, Abs?"
Abby: "we get popcorn now?"
Me: "No, this is not target"
Abby: "abby birthday popcorn pwease?"
Me: "we'll see."

and so it goes on.  I love this age so much.  So so much.

PS: Thanks karen, for prepping Abby about all the birthday rituals.  :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

pics & vids

I'm on the mend, but I caught whatever 24 hour bug Abby had over the weekend.  Miserable.  I'll spare you the details, but I'm thankful for Kyle who walked to the store in 20 degree weather to get me gatorade and for Abby who kept checking on me to see if "mommy's tummy boo-boo" was ok.  

The poor kid.  She was scared to see me sick, and it's it's own, twisted, way - it was kinda sweet.  She was worried and would yell "mommy? mama?  mama ok?" and then she'd cry.  Sigh.   And I tell you what - I don't know that I've ever felt more like a mom than locking myself in a bathroom and intermittently yelling down the hall in my most cheerful voice "mommy's fine! yay!  mommy is happy!"  just to calm a little girl's fears. 

But, I said I'd spare you the details didn't I?

For now, I'm just gonna share a few phone pics I've been storing. 

Abby is all about counting right now.  The other night at dinner, she didn't want a thing to eat - but spent the whole meal playing with the sugar packets on the table.  I remember doing that as a kid too.  She counted them over and over, she organized them by color, she put them in and took them out of the bin.
and she was perfectly happy

more counting - but then she turned and said "mama! A bwidge!"  She was being a choo-choo train and walked back and forth saying "ding-ding!"
(such a city kid sometimes - there's a train bridge by our house where the T runs)

Abby showing that she's an equal holiday celebrator.

and finally, this video just makes me happy.  It shows her personality well.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

tree picking

So, Friday Abby was sick.  Poor Karen had to clean up after her all day long.  Abby couldn't keep anything down, not even water.  The good news was that she was in good spirits still.  When I got home from work, we just took it easy and I kept an eye on her.  She ate a little a few hours before bed and seemed ok.  

When I went to get her up on Saturday morning, I found that she had not been able to keep that food down either.  I'm guessing she thew up in her crib rather silently as I had all the monitors on as high as they would go and never heard anything suspicious.  Regardless, as I loaded another load of laundry, we decided to keep things low key.  We spent our morning doing some craft projects and watching a lot of Mickey Mouse. By noon, she had showed no signs of being sick.  She'd kept down her breakfast and was in really good spirits.  She kept down her lunch through nap, so we decided to venture out in the afternoon to get her very first Christmas tree. :)

Kyle is out of town this weekend, so Karen and a friend came over to help us.  Which, was muchly appreciated.  We told Abby that we were going to the church to pick out a christmas tree.  She got it.  She would ask over and over "church? Christmas tree?"  Yes.  

ready to go pick out our tree - with Tilly

Now, I'm super glad Karen and her friend came because they chased Abby while I checked trees.  The child was having so much fun running around - but, of course, had no interest in "helping" me pick out a tree.  That's probably as it should be at (nearly) 2 years old.

The picking of trees is an art and tradition that my family and I enjoyed every year.  There are a few rules.  Rule number one: the tree must not be too perfect.  It is important that the tree have a few flaws.  The best flaws include gaps in the branches - the better for hanging large ornaments and hiding presents. Rule number two: The trunk should be straight-ish.  A crooked trunk is a difficult flaw to deal with, so I do look for that.  Rule number three: must have adequate branches up top for the tree topper.  There are a few others, but those are the main ones.  

After a little while, I found a tree that pleased me.  I asked how much the tree was and the man asked me how much I wanted to pay.  Hm.  Trick question?  Since I knew I was in the $50 tree area, I told him I was trying to stay under $45.  He said "Let's make it $40"  Sold.  On the way to pay, he turned around and said, "Eh, let's make it $38"  So, that worked for me.  

Now, this is where my poor planning/lack of foresight comes into play.  As the workers sawed off the trunk end and tied the tree to the car - Abby lost it.  I didn't know what was wrong, but she was not happy.  Finally, she pointed to the steeple of the church and asked, "Church??"  You see - we had told her we were going to church and then to get a tree.  And she really wanted to go to the church.  It's not as angelic as it sounds, she has a playgroup at the church on occasion and what she was really asking was to go play with her friends...and she thought we were denying her that. Poor kid.

Of course, this is in addition to her having nothing more than a cereal bar and some water all day.  So she was hungry.  Plus, I woke her up a little early from nap - so she was a little tired.  Plus she's surrounded by trees and people and music - so she was a little overstimulated.  Bad combo, people.

This was the best picture I could get - this was her expression after being told that church was "all-done" for today. 

So, we headed home.  Abby's mood improved and she thought it was pretty funny that we were bringing the tree INSIDE.  How silly of us. :)  Karen and her friend helped me get the tree put up, and after a few adjustments, we got it up and straight.  

While we were putting up the tree - tightning the bolts, checking to see if it was straight, all of that stuff - I thought about all the Christmases growing up where this was part of our tradition.  I dunno, it made me happy to be doing it.  Kinda nostalgic-like. 

I secretly love seeing trees on top of cars. 
(um, only in the Christmas context ...)

our first live tree.

Kyle is out of town this weekend, so we're waiting for him to get home before we do the decorating - but that post will follow soon.  This will give the branches a little while to settle flat too.  I'm so happy with our tree.  I've always wanted a Fir and most of the Christmas trees we had in Arkansas were Pines.  I loved them, but I'm excited to have a Fir this year.  They look so classic to me. And it smells SO good.

So far, Abby seems to like the tree.  She was happy to see it this morning.  I'm sure she'll have fun decorating with us. I really love this time of year.

I took this picture because Abby actually had just said "color cwistmas twee?" 
...she actually just drew a lopsided blue-green circle, but I thought about framing it. ;)