Nature walks

We've been taking advantage of the little trails and town conservation lands near our house lately. The girls especially enjoyed Fitch's Bridge which crosses the Nashua River. A little panic-inducing and constant vigilance needed since Karina has no self-preservation instincts at this age! But, we had a lot of fun throwing rocks at the ice in the wetlands nearby and getting some fresh air.

Evie was also apparently feeling very open  to having her picture taken and gave me some great smiles!

This other location is also just around the corner from us, but we cut the trip a little close to naptime!

Bright lights

Another little seasonal activity we enjoyed was a quick trip to Tower Hill Botanic Garden to see some Christmas lights. It was nice to smell some fresh flowers and citrus trees, and see some plant life again in the conservatories. The visitor center was decorated with a number of trees and lights, but the biggest hit was an igloo made out of recycled, plastic milk jugs.

Christmas Season

It's been such a busy month with a million little memories. We've had so much fun watching Evie's excitement for Christmas grow each day and Karina just being her cheerful little self, happy to come along for the adventure!

Advent calendars with a daily piece of chocolate were a big hit!

We learned that IKEA is a magical wonderland for running and playing any time of the year.

We picked out a Christmas tree on a very chilly day, about 3 hours before Micah had to fly to North Carolina for orientation and training for his new job.  

Decorating for Christmas is like discovering totes full of toys that we forgot we had.


Santa does not bring joy to our children. He brings catatonic behavior (Evie) and all out wailing (Karina). Evie told me on Christmas Eve she didn't want to be awake when Santa was at our house...She likes his presents but she doesn't like him.
Of course there are still images from the day itself and we went to several wonderful gatherings throughout the season. Plus, there are many more planned in the weeks ahead...we feel very fortunate for our family and friends. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

2nd Child Syndrome

As Aunt Leanne always said, the 2nd child never gets the attention the first one does. She still talks about how Diana had multiple baby photo albums, while she didn't even have a full album to herself. I guess there is some truth to that as Karina is turning 10 months old today and we have barely posted any of her monthly photos. It's not so much that we aren't giving her the same attention as Evie, there is just a lot less time to go around! We've been taking the photos faithfully but haven't managed to post them as often. As a labor of love, here is a collage of Karina's month 1 through 9 photos. She's changed so much!

And here are additional cute outtakes from her 8 and 9 month shoots.

   

A Foster Tradition

Last weekend, Evie and Karina got to experience the excitement that is the Foster Old Home Days! From the farm animals, to the little train ride around the fair, Del's lemonade & Ray's french fries, carnies & their games, catching up with friends, and the infamous hug-a-bunny pen, it was everything Mom remembered it to be. It's just a lot smaller when you aren't little too!




Thanks to Bacca for braving the smartphone and taking 50+ photos of the train ride!

Double the Destruction

Karina is moving ever so slightly. She can pivot 360 degrees while sitting, she can scootch backwards when she is on her belly, and she repeatedly reaches so far forward that she actually makes slow progress across the room on her bum. It's similar to the very early days of Evie's crab scoot. This means she is also reminding me of the days when Evie could reach new locations and fully explore. She's flipping over toy baskets and "helping" with laundry. I can see where this is going and I have no hope of keeping up with two adorable but destructive tornadoes.

Little Naturalist

Lately, Evie's been enjoying playing with some of the pairs of binoculars we have at our house. We had a porcupine visiting a tree in our backyard for a few days in a row, so we went to get a closer look. I hope she'll continue to enjoy taking nature walks with us when she gets older!

 

Yes, Virginia

Mama has been a John Denver fan since she was little, so she was pretty proud to catch Evie singing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" at the doctor's office the other day. Evie's lyrics are original with such gems as yes Virginia and mountain hornet (West Virginia, mountain mama for those non-fans out there). She continued singing pretty loudly, unaware of the nurses that had gathered to listen and clap at the end! (I wish I had kept the video rolling longer!)

UV Protection

Evie takes sunscreen application very seriously. She usually insists on doing it all by herself, but Mama and Dada insist on helping. The other day we accidentally left it out where Evie could reach it....this is why we insist on helping.