Category Archives: our girl

working my way back to now…


The “whatever” it is that has kept me from keeping up on the blog has, also, kept me from tracking some pretty cool things about my kids’ development, milestones, and adorable idiosyncrasies. The purpose of blogging, for me, is twofold . . . to share with you, and to share with me and Josh and our increasingly forgetful brains.

Is it possible to backtrack, and document a year’s worth of firsts and “oh my goodness, did you hear what your child just said” moments? Absolutely not. But, here’s to trying, and to not giving my 2nd-born any reason to think that we loved him less 😉 .

Our Zacky…

In his most intense, giddy moments, he will move his body, and flail his arms in a “dance”, resembling what one might imagine a cavemen, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame, to move like. In these moments, he will also purse his lips together and talk very “seriously” as well. He says he wants to do ballet like his sister, but I don’t see our little Quasimodo pointing his toes any time soon.

He is the messiest little booger at the dinner table. I’m certain that most of that can be contributed to typical 2-yr-old behavior. Still, daily, I am blown away at what a mess he’s capable of dishing out. What’s more humorous, is that sitting next to Mr. Tasmanian Devil, is his sister, who squirms if she gets peanut butter on her hands, and insists on eating most finger-foods with a fork.

Our little guy has started to say “I love you” on his own, and not in response to our sentiments. Its in moments when I can tell that all is right in his little toddler world . . . and usually after being handed a fresh, cold, sippy-cup of milk. He’s also very cordial, especially in the morning, to whoever comes to rescue him from his crib. “Good morning, Daddy.” “How are you?” “Oh Mommy, I like your shirt…its beautiful.”

He runs pretty fast, and rides his bikes like a maniac. He can’t peddle yet, and has no interest in trying. But he Flintstone’s his way down a hill way faster than I can keep up, and it beyond thrilled when his bike crashes into the bushes. Its official, he’s all boy . . . and we’re in for it.

Sweet boy is seriously attached to me, and I am eating up every leechy moment. For being pretty audacious, he’s also pretty sensitive. He cries whenever another little person cries, gets his feelings hurt when a toy is taken, and calls for me a lot, especially when its bedtime. Josh has made a little game of asking if he can put him to bed, knowing full well that Zack prefers for me to do it. Josh will persist and Zack will say, “Mommy read a dory . . . you put Abby to bed”. Josh will insist once more, and Zacky’s little hand will reach out and nudge (not hit) Josh, and lean in closer to me. I just smile smugly at Josh, and breathe in the smell of my little cling-on.

He loves to sing, and will still serenade us from his bedroom, sometimes, for entire naptimes. When the singing is over, he is very eager to get our attention (through his bedroom’s accordion wall) by hollering “Mom!!! Can you get me?!?!” or “I want to talk to you!”

He loves cranes (trains) and crucks (trucks) . . . so much so, that about 57 times a day, he will ask a willing family member to get down and play cars or trains with him. Thomas the Tank Engine is his very favorite TV show, followed closely by Gay Gay the Getplane (Jay Jay the Jetplane), both of which have, according to Zack, very catchy and very singable theme songs.

Zack absolutely idolizes his sister, and each night when I ask him who loves him, his first response is always, “Abby”. Most of the time I believe his sister loves him back, but she’s also smart enough to know she has him wrapped pretty tightly. She can manipulate him like Play-Doh when it comes to a toy of his that she wants. But, she really loves him so deeply, and I’m finding her more and more, genuinely concerned for his well-being. Whenever they are apart, they ask about the other, and are happiest in all the world (as in uncontrollable giggle happy) when they are chasing and wrestling each other.

Our Abby…

Is all girl. With the exception of her shameless obsession with flatulence and her bare bottom (thanks Josh), she is an emotional, tender-hearted, feminine, whimsical little girl. I am really trying to take mental pictures of this time, because the imagination of a 4-yr-old girl is like no other. In one instant, she is a monster, the next she is a baby, the next a mother . . . a grandmother . . . a kitty . . . a pirate, and so on. I’m finding that Abby has a gift of orchestrating (not to be confused with being a little bossy) her friends into games of salon, or kitties, or the classic “baby-princess” (the role of said baby-princess is usually played by Abby herself . . . of course).

She is my helper. Having the kids pretty close together hasn’t been without obvious challenges, but now she loves helping me and feeling responsible for her brother and household. She and I are trying to get into a new pattern of cleaning up her stuff (me not picking up after her so much, and she taking responsibility for her messes), and its been going so well. Now, the challenge is me taking as much pride in my bedroom as she does in hers.

After, apparently, giving it up for Lent some 2 years ago, Abby has started eating again. Our picky-as-all-get-out preschooler has been chowing down on everything in sight. Ironically, this is happening at the same time that her brother is beginning to forfeit meals for driving his cars all over the house. At least we know, now, that in 2 years, he may one day start enjoying non-processed, non-sugary foods again.

The Asthma monster has, apparently, made a home in Abby’s lungs as well. We’ve known about Zack for a while, but its become clear that neither of my kids have escaped their family heritage of poor-breathing. Abby is now doing breathing treatments daily, will begin allergy testing next week, all in hopes of avoiding another, very sick Williams’ winter. Like her brother, she’s a trooper, but we look forward to the time when we have her little system figured out so we can avoid missing preschool and playdates like we have had to.

She is almost enjoying preschool. She’s missed quite a few class days, so has only begun building relationships. But she’s getting more comfortable, and especially enjoys when the sun is shining and there’s nobody on her swing. When her daddy picks her up in the afternoon, he finds her in the same place each day . . . in her own world, swinging and singing away. She also just learned how to cross the monkey bars, a feat which she has challenged herself with for a while now. I am so proud of her. She has persevered with the monkey bars, so I know she will come to love school soon.

Abby is so grown up. Physically, she is on the tall side, which only adds to her dad’s and my angst. Then, when she says things like, “I’m just a little bit exasperated” in response to being reprimanded, a parent can’t help but cringe at how quickly this ride is going. She’s my little buddy. The other day, I was out on a pretty tough walk, and the last tiny hill to our neighborhood was killing me. Abby leaned out of the stroller, and chanted, “Go, Mommy, go!” then, “I believe in you Mommy. I know you can do it!” Then after I came to, “Look Mommy, you persevered!” I love my little cheerleader!

Both my kids have beautiful, curly hair, which on a good day, stops people in their tracks, soliciting the question “Where did they get their hair?” On a bad hair day, however, the tone of that question sounds a bit different, as the kids’ hair begins the process of dreading with 5 minutes of a bath. Abby’s hair, in particular, can be a point of contention some mornings, as brushing it out it necessary . . . and painful for both of us. I’m always shocked to hear “Ow!” come from my baby’s mouth in the same cadence that a 14-yr-old might sass her mother.

As grown-up as my baby is getting, she still loves being sung to and rocked to bed, is attached to her white “binky” like Linus, thinks that anything that occurred before the present happened “last year” and any impending event will take place after naptime, and screams her way through the dark hallway (creating a domino effect of screams between she and her brother, usually ending in tears).

Well, in a nutshell, there’s the “right now” of our little ones. Hope you enjoyed reading, and so thankful I got it all down before my silly, sleepy brain let it slip through its brain fingers.


sweet tooth


My sweet girl has a sweet tooth. It was inevitable. It’s a family trait…one we’re very proud of, I might add.

In less than a week, our first-born will turn 4. When asked what she wants for her birthday, she will tell you, “Birthday cake…oh, and polka-dot pajamas with feet on the bottom.”

Daddy’s “sweet sugar”, Mommy’s “sweet girl”, and Grandma’s “sweetness face”, you shall have your cake…

(Now, where the heck am I gonna find polka-dot jammies with feet on the bottom this time of year? 😉 )




When he’s not clinging to my leg, Zack can be a very independent little guy. But, on the walk from our carport to our condo, he has to hold hands. Abby took the lead on today’s walk . . .

. . . and he was so happy!

miss communication


Abby is very independent and does things, “All me by self.”

While sitting on my lap, she groans, “I have to get up . . . you’re too heavy.”

As I’m cutting strawberries for snack, she asks, “Mommy, can you take the hair off?”

When asked, what does it mean when you hear a siren, she answers, “Its when the men get the people and throw them in the fire.”

In the process of explaining to monkey why he’s in time out, she states, “OK, Monkey, here’s the deal. Don’t hit me in this face. This beautiful face. God made my face for a long time.”

Turns out, our sweet girl pretty much has the world figured out.

undie art


Abby’s getting very creative with her things. She’s spending more time in dramatic play, and is a great mommy to all items . . . even balloons. The other morning, I found that she can even have fun with her panties. (Don’t worry, they’re clean 🙂 ) If only we could all be as content with the little things like our children are. Lesson learned, Little One.

celebrating a little lady


(I’m fairly certain Zack won’t notice that I posted pictures from Abby’s birthday before his. I won’t tell if you won’t, ok?)

We had a wonderful time celebrating Abby’s 3rd birthday. Our sweet girl soaked in every minute (and graciously made her way through meticulously opening all of her gifts). We had dinner on Thursday with the Downing’s, donuts on Friday morning with the Stumpo/Williams’, a trip to the Clubhouse FunZone, a Skype chat with Uncle Andy, and a Saturday playdate with her Sunday school buds. She kept it together so well, amidst all the extra special attention, and I’m certain she’s already tearing rings off a secret 4th birthday paper-chain hidden her room. Here’s just a few pics from the week.

Abby kept putting on her gold dress and her bling all week long.

She is now the proud occupant of a big girl bed.

This was how Zack looked during the big bed reveal. He was so happy!

Abby in her new toy box.

The Downing/Cook fam enjoying our new patio set (my birthday gift from ALL the family . . . thanks everyone!)

Aunt Tami showing her the fine art of coloring with big-girl crayons.

Abby and her Rolling Pin donut cake (and her new "cheese" face 🙂 ).

Zacky and his Uncle Cam.

The Stumpo/Williams/Gin fam watching the birthday girl open gifts.

She got some awesome presents from everyone. Looks like there will be another year of her dressing WAY better than her Momma 🙂 .

Abby at the FunZone. The kids would have stayed all day if they didn’t make it so apparent that naps were in order.

Zack went NUTS with all the push cars and the huge area to move around.

Carter and Abbott joined us. These two humored me with a quick picture, but didn’t slow down the whole time.

Little Fireman Abbott . . .

. . . and Josh and his Aunt MaryAnn.

Saturday morning was a gorgeous day for a playdate with Abby’s buds. They’re really starting to play WITH each other, and not just NEXT to one another.

Abby, Maddie, and Rayah had some serious girl time at the top of the slide . . .

. . . and my boys did a little bonding of their own on the ground.

What an awesome celebration for an awesome little person!

princess parade


Our little girl is 3 today! We are overjoyed. This is the first birthday where one of our kids "gets it". You know, she was looking forward to it, talked about it, and then woke up on her birthday morning super excited. This is a parenting first, and what a cool thing! So, aside from going nuts with the curling ribbon last night, I wasn’t sure how else to make her birthday morning special, since her birthday festivities wouldn’t be starting till the evening.


Well, she made up my mind for me. We needed a birthday hat, didn’t have the car to get one, so we went on a little walk . . . only she was dressed like this. She’s not usually allowed to wear her dress-up clothes out of the house, so today was really special. She lifted up her dress in her hands the whole way (about a mile there and back) so as not to let it drag. She walked straight and tall to keep her crown from falling off. People all over the place stopped to tell her how beautiful she looked (one woman screamed it out of her car window while driving by . . . little scary). Another woman insisted on hugging her in the super market. And Abby ATE . . . IT . . . UP! She told everyone she was a princess and that it was her birthday. She was sad to go home, because she wanted everyone to "see how beautiful I am". The greatest sentiment was an adorable, older neighbor of ours, who sent Abby off with "many happy returns" for her birthday.

I think Abby would agree, this was a great start to a great birthday weekend 🙂

3 years in 3 days



Our baby girl is turning 3 in 3 days, and Josh and I can’t think about it without getting weepy. Our rolly-polly little baby girl is now a gangly, spunky, smart, beautiful, hilarious, dramatic, imaginative, sometimes stubborn, wild, compassionate little person. She sees and hears everything, and teaches us lessons about life and about ourselves every day. What a ride this has been . . . and what joy we have to look forward to.