Lots of new and exciting things have been happening in our house. It just seems the days are going by faster and faster.
Stephen is nine months old!
He has so many new tricks now, though he hates doing them in front of the camera or on Skype. Stephen has perfected the army crawl, and can get from the play room (formally my office) to the front door in about five seconds. He is also able to pull himself into a sitting position while he’s laying down (which has made bedtime and naptime entertaining!) and pull himself from sitting to standing if he’s leaning on something, like the stairs or his bouncy seat.
|See why we locked ALL of the cabinets?|
Needless to say, Shawn and I have spent quite a bit of time baby-proofing the house this month. Our kitchen cabinets now have locks on them, the crib mattress has been lowered, and we’ve finally found a gate safe for the stairs. Hopefully, that will be installed soon. We still have a few things to do to make our house even safer, but we’re on track!
|And why we have a baby gate?|
The weather has been so beautiful here. Early this month, we surprised Abi and Stephen with a family picnic in the park. We just packed up our stuff, grabbed dinner on the way, and ate and played together. Treats like that are always fun, and the kids had fun playing after we ate. Stephen loves the swings! Abi is such a great big sister; she took Stephen down the slide over and over again. She really knows how to make him laugh.
|He loves to swing!|
|Hey, Dad! Why did you stop pushing me?|
|A rare slide by herself!|
|Honestly, I'm not sure who was having more fun!|
We’ve been very busy this month. At the beginning of the month, we attended “Fun Day at the Farm”, which was a fundraising event for our friend’s daughter. Aaliyah is a two-and-a-half-year-old that has been diagnosed with medulloblastoma. Earlier this month, Lawzyday Farms in Alexander County hosted a fun day fundraiser. We took Stephen, along with Aunt Katie, Aunt Emily, and Braxton. We met Aaliyah, her sister Lanie, and their mother Shannon (and LOTS of other family members!) at the farm. We had a picnic lunch, and then took a hayride to an Easter Egg Hunt and petting farm. Stephen loved watching the big kids run through the field to collect eggs, but he really enjoyed getting up close and personal with the animals! We were able to pet baby donkeys, cows, pigs, goats, and ducks. Braxton and Stephen got a little too excited with the ducks, though. I really hope that poor duckling will be okay!
The Easter Bunny made a stop at our house, too. The Easter Bunny likes to hide the baskets in our house; Stephen’s basket was hidden in his high chair, and Abi’s was hidden upstairs in a suitcase! Both of the kids enjoyed their full baskets; Stephen found a new puzzle and some cereal puffs. Abi found a peony bulb and gel pens. Abi has already planted the bulb, and we have a sprout! Hopefully we’ll see some beautiful peonies soon. And, of course, we followed the tradition of pictures with the bunny!
|Stephen took a few minutes to try to figure this out.|
During the week of Spring Break, Abi had the opportunity to volunteer with one of her teachers at Bark For Life, a Relay for Life event for dogs and their owners. Abi worked the event, selling dog treats and snacks, and was able to enjoy some fun and dancing while she was there. Stephen and I went to visit, and ended up winning a gift basket from Candles for a Cause. Abi really enjoyed volunteering, and plans to participate in more fundraising and volunteer opportunities for Relay for Life through her school.
|Leading the group in the Cupid Shuffle at Bark for Life|
Abi has had a pretty exciting month, filled with new things. Her new glasses look great on her! She was also fitted for contact lenses for volleyball, though we’re still waiting for those to come in. For now, she’ll play in her glasses. She also came home one day to a new bed! Shawn and I purchased Abi’s bed when we moved into our first apartment; it wasn’t the best bed, but it was what we were able to purchase at the time to make sure she had a complete room in our new home. That bed was on its last leg, so we bought her a new one. After sleeping on it for the first time, she woke up and said, “I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like my old bed…until now! Can I stay in this bed forever?”
|Doesn't she look great in her new glasses? She's so grown up!|
Abi isn’t the only one to have new things this month. Shawn and I had a fence installed around the back and side yards. We’ve wanted to do this for some time, and the time was right! We now have a six foot privacy fence on our property, and I love it! We are planning to stain it later this year, but for now we’re enjoying the perks of a private yard, including letting the dog out without a leash! We’re still planning to work on the landscaping this year, but that will have to wait until Fall, since the weather is getting too warm to start anything.
|It was exciting watching the daily progress!|
I have to brag: Shawn and I have been SO proud of Abigail lately. A few weeks ago, she brought home this semester’s report card. Abi had improved all of her grades (in all of her classes!) and made A’s in every subject! Shawn celebrated with her by taking her to see The Hunger Games at the local theater. Then, last week, we went to her school to watch her induction ceremony. Abi has the high honor of being inducted into the National Junior Beta Club. She was nominated into the club by her teachers for her “noteworthy academic performance and outstanding attitude”! Her school hosted the ceremony and reception, and we proudly sat in the bleachers cheering her on. Abi was ecstatic to be able to wear something other than her school uniform, which was a perk for the inductees on that day. She looked absolutely beautiful, and was quite proud of herself, as she should be!
|Abi accepting her award from the vice principal.|
|Look at that smile! We're SO proud of her!|