Thursday, June 28, 2012

Missing Our Cousins

No pictures for this post, just a quick note to remind myself and Bella one day...

Bella is becoming more aware of her cousins and able to remember their faces after the few times that we get to Skype with them. All on her own, she started referring to all of them as "my friends." She'll see their picture and giggle and say, "Look! There my friends!"

Grandma and Grandpa and all of Steve's family just got back from Oscoda, Michigan, and we looked at pictures of their trip. For every. single. picture of the cousins, Bella pointed out her friends and said what they were doing!

I grew up away from all of my cousins, and it makes me sad that (so far) Bella has not lived near any of hers, but I LOVE that she knows them and enjoys seeing them on the computer! We will keep trying to see them in person as much as possible, so that Bella and Evie feel they have a friendship with all of them!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swing Time!

I got Bella's swing set up in the living room, and this morning was her first ride...

biiiiiiiiig yaaaaawnnnn!

I think her first experience was a success!

"Many Men Have Tried To Split Us Up..."

Whenever Mel and I are having a sister moment, I think of this song from "White Christmas". It's a memory for us! I finally remembered to put Bella and Evie in their matching shirts from Grandma at the same time! They looked really cute!

Hamming it up for the camera

Showing off her shirt to Mel

Checking each other out. I wanted to get a picture of them sitting next to each other, but that was asking way too much in Bella's mind!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Bonding Time

 Steve and I are having a great time getting the hang of our new family and getting to spend time with just the four of us! This weekend, we had some fun that were just normal, everyday moments. Those are the best!

Evie was officially two months old on Thursday! The time is flying by!!!

Mel was off on Friday, and we made blueberry pancakes! Yummy!

Saturday morning, we took the girls out to breakfast. The restaurant was near train tracks, so Bella got to watch the train go by.

Showing Mama how to "jump like a kangaroo"! Bella loves all kinds of animals!

Playing with Daddy when he took a break from mowing.

Snuggling with Mama while Daddy mowed the yard. Bella "helped" me weed the flower garden! She loves to help out when I'm cleaning or cooking; it just takes some extra patience on my part!

I had to get a picture of this! This is how Bella stands when she has to go "yuckies." She spreads her legs like she's been riding a horse and tells us that she needs "some space". You can't make this stuff up!

Evie's first bath in her baby bathtub. It's so much easier to keep her in there than to hold her with me while I'm in the tub! She's so cute and chubby!

Snuggling with Daddy after bathtime. We were all so dirty after yardwork, we stripped off our clothes in the garage (with the door closed, of course) and walked straight upstairs to the shower or bathtub. It felt good to be clean!

Evie's been smiling since she was about 6 weeks old, but we finally thought to grab the camera! She is cooing now, too; it's so incredible! This is such a fun stage!

Sunday night was a big thunderstorm, so we opened the front door after dinner and let Bella watch the rain. Steve and I both sat with her for a little bit, but I had to take a picture of this with the two of them!

Evelyn's Two Month Check-Up

It's always an adventure taking a three-year old and a baby to the pediatrician's. I'm always a little nervous about Bella's behavior; it's no fun being stuck in a small room for 30 minutes when you want to "walk like Tarzan". Both girls were troopers, though! Bella and I had to have a "come to Jesus meeting" only twice, which I consider a success over an hour timespan!

Evie had to get four shots this time! It's so sad when that first needle pricks her, and her eyes get big and wide before she starts to cry! The nurse always has me hold her hands, and I just focus on her face. She weighs 13 lbs. 5 oz. (90%) and is 23 inches long (75%). Her percentages are right on track where Bella's were; Bella was always in the 90th + percentile for weight...we like thick girls!

Evie has a little bit of thrush, so we got a prescription. I think the thrush is from her pacifier; the doctor recommended a different kind to use that it doesn't let in bacteria as much. It's nothing special or expensive, it's just made so that the nipple and the shield are one continuous piece, instead of two. That keeps Evie's saliva from getting inside the nipple and forming bacteria. Sorry if that was way too long of a description.

My Awesome Parent award came at the end as the pediatrician was saying bye to Bella. He always does such a good job of talking to her while he's examining Evie. He asked for a high-five, which she actually gave him! (I was a little surprised...) As he walked out the door, Bella yelled out, "Bye! Sucka!" Seriously. She called the pediatrician a sucker. Those are some amazing parenting points I get right there.

When Bella first started watching the movie "Despicable Me", she loved it when Gru's little minions would chuckle and say "sucka". Now, it's a special little thing between her and Steve - every night when he's about to close her door after prayers and kisses, they yell out "Sucka!" a few times to each other. Apparently, she thought the pediatrician would be equally enamored by it! Thankfully, the man thought it was great and started laughing!

Other than the thrush, Evie is looking great! She goes back in a few months for her four-month check up!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michigan And The Arab Festival

So much to share in such a small space! This last weekend, Evie and I spent 4 days in Michigan on a short-term mission trip. Our goal was to do "mingling evangelism." Rather than share the gospel through formal steps or a tract, we were at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan to talk to people and improve relationships between Muslims and Christians. It was difficult at times not to feel ineffective, but I know we were being obedient to what God called us to do!

At the Detroit airport, waiting for Trey to pick us up. Evie was a champ on the plane! We had some funny baby mishaps, but all in all, she was fantastic!

This one is for Steve! You've got to love "How I Met Your Mother" to really appreciate Tim Horton's and the Great White North!

This was one of the guys that came to our booth. He was very friendly and we had some good conversations. I had to get a picture of him with his Syrian flag as a cape!

Two things about this picture: #1: God truly answered my prayers in regards to Evie! She was a magnet for people! Just the fact that she was so little (and the way I was carrying her in the wrap) drew people in. It was so cool to experience a common bond with the Arab women. The little girls loved her, too - these two came to our table every single day to touch her head and peek at her!

And #2: There was such a discrepancy between the men and the women...90% of the women were covered in some way - from just a head covering and street clothes to a full tunic and only slits for their eyes. The young men, though, looked very stereotypical European; they had tight, "loud" t-shirts on, slicked back hair and large sunglasses. They were loud, friendly, and seemed very confident. The women seemed quiet, but warmed easily when you made eye contact and talked to their children.

 I was nervous about 4 nights without Steve, but we made it! I kept Evie in bed with me every night so I could have human contact. I know she won't  remember it, but it was a really special time with Evie. I wore her in the wrap almost constantly and she went with me everywhere. I was tired at the end of the day, but I loved it! 

Whitney and I at our booth...I was so thankful to have Trey, Whitney, and the kids there! I learned so much from them and their experience with Muslims, and I enjoyed having other kids around. David gave me my "Bella fix" each day. 

Sunday was the hottest day! I finally stripped Evie down and carried her around in just a diaper. It was just so muggy, but she was still a trooper. Maybe the heat made her lethargic!

On our last night, Nashaat took Trey, Justin, and I to his favorite local restaurant, Hamido. We had lamb, pita bread with hummus, and a bunch of other fun stuff. I tend to have a very wimpy palate, but here is proof that I ate grape leaves! I only ate two bites, but still! Luckily, I could eat my body weight in pita bread and hummus! We didn't leave the restaurant till after ten; I was thankful that Trey and the other missionary took turns with Evie during dinner.

Okay, some memories that I don't have pictures for...

  • Getting to talk to three different families with special needs kids. It is considered a shame in the Arab culture to have a handicapped child, but these kids seemed very loved, and I got to share about Rachel. I got to meet a little girl with Downs Syndrome and another girl that reminded me exactly of Rachel!
  • Having an Arab man call me "ugly" because he was lumping us in with the other "Christians" there. Each day, there were protesters with signs and megaphones, but on Sunday, they brought a pig's head on a stick. It was so sad and so offensive, and many of the Arab people lumped us all in together.
  • Having Whitney text me each morning to tell me that Trey had come back to the hotel with donuts from Donutville. I'm telling you...I don't even really like donuts, but these were amazing!
  • Learning I was bolder than I thought...and more of a coward than I thought.  I loved interacting with the Arab women; it was the most amazing experience. To have that common bond of being a woman and being a was an instant open door. I still wish I had been more open about instances where I could have shared the name of Jesus, but I learned a lot and I'm ready to go back next year!
  • My baby "disasters"!!! On the flight to Detroit, Evie slept almost the entire time...right up until we were about 5 minutes from landing. The sweet woman next to me offered to hold her while I got all of my things together, and as I lifted Evie out of her wrap to hand her over, I realized that she had pooped everywhere! The wrap was covered (and yes, I continued to use it all weekend), it was all up Evie's back, on my pant leg, ugh! The woman was incredible! Not only did she hold wet wipes and diapers for me, but she didn't bat an eye as I was peeling Evie's poop-soaked onesie off.
  • At the restaurant with Nashaat, I had to nurse Evie, but there were only men around and I had nowhere to go. I decided to use the bathroom and sat on the only toilet (which was clogged) for ten minutes so that I could feed her. So classy!
  • Waiting at the airport to go back to Georgia, I found a private, quiet spot to nurse Evie. As I balanced her in my lap to rehook my bra under the nursing cover, I suddenly felt very warm and very wet. I picked her up and her pee was literally pooling in my lap! I stood up and my dress was soaked in front and back! God totally came to the rescue, and I spotted a family bathroom right across the hall - it was big and private, so I could just lock the door and take my time cleaning up. 

It was an incredible weekend with so many lessons! I felt like we sowed seeds of the gospel and formed some relationships that can be continued. God's hand was definitely present and we were thankful!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love Me Some Boots

Bella may hate me one day for these pictures, but I just don't care. If you're going to raid (And by raid, I mean destroy) Mama's closet, you've got to pay the price!

You kill me, kid! Life is never dull when you're around!

Catching Up A Little...

There are a couple of events that I wanted to share that I just uploaded pictures for. First off...(drum roll, please)...Steve and I had a date night a few weeks ago! Woo Hoo! We actually left the house for five solid hours and didn't return until after 11:00 PM. Trust me, that's a first in many months! We left both girls with Mel and I had built up a supply of breastmilk from pumping, so she just fed Evie a couple of bottles. It was a little emotional for me as I was leaving, but once we got going, it felt so good to be completely free!

We went to dinner at Willy's, a little Mexican place here, and then went to see The Avengers. I seriously can't tell you how long it's been since we've been to dinner AND a movie! When I was pregnant, it always seemed like I was too tired for both, and it was just easier to come home and watch TV in bed. (I make it sound so glamorous, don't I?) We came home from our date so refreshed! It was a blast to catch up and have fun together with just the two of us!

Not a great picture, but the only one I have of the two of us that night. Thankful for Mel living with us, so we could have some time together!

Our tickets for The Avengers...I loved the comic book/fantasy aspect of it, and the one-liners were fantastic! Just a really fun movie!

The other thing I wanted to post pictures of was Bella's first sleepover at a friend's house! About a month before Evie was due, our friends, Ryan and Ashleigh, graciously agreed to keep Bella for a night while we stayed and crashed at home by ourselves. I blogged about our weekend previously, but I just stole these pictures off of Asheigh's blog. I was so nervous about how Bella would adapt, but she was a trooper! No tears and she and her friend, Molly, had a great time!

Why in the world is Molly pushing Bella when poor Molly is a good head shorter than Bella?!? I'm telling you, Bella is just a wee bit bossy, and I know Molly is a big sweetie - she probably didn't think twice when Bella got on!

Fun with sidewalk chalk! I love how they're both sitting the same way in this picture! So cute!

What a fun weekend for the two girls and we had a great time, too! We definitely owe Ryan and Ashleigh a night away!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Early Father's Day Fun!

Evie and I will be in Michigan this coming weekend, so we'll miss celebrating Father's Day with Steve. Such a bummer! We decided to do some early celebrating today and tomorrow, so that Steve would still get some spoiling in.

He's talked for awhile about wanting to do a longer solo motorcycle trip, and Father's Day seemed like the perfect time to give him some guy time. He rode the bike to Chattanooga this morning, found a fun local restaurant to eat lunch in, and then came home. I think he had a good time! (Steve's face doesn't exactly show boundless excitement very often.)

Tonight we took the family to dowtown Roswell and found a fun restaurant to eat at. We found a place called Diesel with good pizza, an outdoor patio to sit in, and a cover band playing Johnny Cash songs. It was perfect!

Steve stopped the bike to take some pictures of Tennessee Temple University, where my dad went to college.

Lunch was a fish sandwich at the Big River Grille! 

Dinner with the family at Diesel in Roswell

Evie slept through the whole thing, but she was there. Look at that double chin! She's definitely filling out!

Enjoying some Cookies 'N' Creme ice cream on the way home!

We'll treat Steve to some barbecue after church tomorrow! Hopefully this week, Bella and I can work on a cute Father's Day craft, so we're not just showing him love through food! I'm so thankful for the Daddy that he is to Bella and Evie! Words are not enough!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Moments!

Love these moments of quiet time that we get with our babies.

Daddy enjoying some one-on-one time with Evie. There is no sweeter sight for me than Steve with the girls.

Getting to fall asleep in Bella's bed with her little arm draped over me. So precious!

Memorial Day Weekend

I'm finally getting to this post! I think the idea of sifting through so many pictures was a bit daunting, so I'll just post some of my favorites. This was our first big trip since having Evie, and I think it went really well! Bella did great in the car and was actually able to sleep. I nursed Evie while we were driving...I was nervous about that, but she took to it just fine.

Rachel's graduation was wonderful! There were 23 teens graduating from her class; it was inspiring and moving to see so many special needs kids who had made such great accomplishments! You could tell how proud they were of themselves. We had a graduation party for Rachel on Friday night with a bunch of our friends - just a cookout and pool party, but fun and relaxing!

Rachel's teacher introducing her to the audience. We are so proud of her!!!

Our family picture after graduation. It was so nice to have Grandma and Grandpa Zinn meet Evie and spend time together!

Our great memory of the weekend!!! Mel, Mom, and I were standing on a dock during Rachel's party to have a picture taken, and all of a sudden, the dock gave away! Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and we ended up laughing hysterically! In my head, I was screaming, "The dock is falling! The dock is falling!"

Our post-disaster picture...proof that we survived. Even though the water was only up to our waist, we fell backwards, so we all got soaked!

Spent some great time on Saturday by the pool. Bella kept "surprising" Papa by throwing a bucket of water in his face! She would throw the water and then run away and giggle!

Evie and I sleeping by the pool; it was great!

Saturday night, we all went out to dinner and then walked along the bay.

Family picture after church

Playing in the water with Bella! She loved the beach!

Enjoying the beautiful weather

Our biggest little human, playing in the sand.

The entire weekend was a great mini-vacation! Papa got to meet Evie for the first time and we got to take both girls to the beach. We can't wait to get a long weekend with Steve's family over Labor Day!