Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is a week of celebration for our little family of 3. We received an incredible (to us) Christmas gift, a direct answer to prayer. You see, Karis had a plugged tear duct since birth - if you look closely in pictures, you can see that her left eye is often moist or weepy. Not a big deal, her pediatrician said it would probably clear up between 9 - 12 months. By Karis's 1 year check up her eye was weepy as ever and even got infected for the first time. So . . . off to the opthamologist we went, and she strongly recommended surgery. It was up to us, the biggest negative was having to put her "under" with anesthegia. While not a huge deal (I fully realize this is small potatoes compared to MANY health concerns other people face - but this was also just our reality), we really didn't want to do that and we started praying for healing (another huge topic that I won't get into here). 

Like I said, shortly after her check-up her eye got very infected. What I thought was pink eye was actually turning into something worse called periorbital cellulitis. I took her in to the doctor one day from a "mother's intuition" feeling, and the doctor didn't alarm us but was quite quick to give her a hefty antibiotic shot and wanted to see us right away the next day. Later I found out that many such cases end up needing to be hospitalized! We felt so blessed to have caught it early enough, and medicine cleared up the infection. As a side note, Karis was still so amazingly happy even though her eyes looked miserable, it reminded me of her deep joyful temperament and that she really doesn't complain much! As her eyes cleared up, it seemed that the weeping cleared up too. Finally, after about 4 weeks of her eye not weeping at all . . . we canceled the surgery. All this to say, the surgery was supposed to be today, December 16th. So, we had a par-tay! At YUM, of course. Karis got a bite of God's goodness in the form of a cookie. I can't wait to tell her one day how God cares about even our smallest concerns - yes, many people have it much worse, but He takes care of us always. He gave us all a tremendous gift in the unplugging of her tear duct, and we are rejoicing!

My prayer always is that when things happen (probably worse things) and we don't receive the healing that we pray for . . . that we will still celebrate the goodness that surrounds us and the gifts we enjoy every day. For today we're celebrating! I mean really, any excuse to go to YUM, right? My bro and his girlfriend M were able to join us, and we sneaked in a Christmas celebration as well, finishing the night watching The Family Stone (such a sad movie, but I can't help but love it - I think sad movies remind me to be thankful and remember all I have to be happy for). 

Karis gave us a gift this week as well. We went to her 15 month check-up and she is thriving beautifully (I feel like those check-ups are my "mom test", so I'm always grateful when they go well!). After talking to her pediatrician, I was affirmed that we could do a little bit of "sleep training" (since Karis had an ear infection a few weeks ago she got used to getting up several times a night). Anyways, this week she started sleeping all the way through the night and we're very thankful. Again, little things that mean so much. 

Bro, M & K post gift exchange. So cute. M has been a great gift to us this year as well! 

Loving her new book of nursery rhymes

Monkey-ing around any chance she gets

Monday, December 13, 2010

16 months?!?

I really don't know where to start (pattern of my life lately . . . do I do the laundry or write that card or just get on the floor and play?!?). Karis is 16 months old and is as "Karis Hilarious" as ever! Just today she was entertaining me by walking around with one of my t-shirts on her head - as in, covering her head, and she was loving walking around without really knowing where she was going. Slightly dangerous, this girl is fearless. What's prompting me to write today is her expanding vocabulary and her monkey antics - I want a place to write it down and feel like if I write in my journal these milestones will get lost in the pages.
  • Just today she learned to say "bottle" and "baby" and seriously tried to say "belly button".
  • Her favorite word is "hi". When we go anywhere - a coffee shop, the grocery store, a restaurant, church . . . - she says "hi!" to everyone who walks by. She wills them to look at her and to engage her. I've lost any hope of anonymity in public, I'm attached to a 100% extrovert.
  • Her first pronounced name was "Lukas", however to us it sounds like "Deeee?" (really adorable inflection). Yup, that's Lukas. She loooovvveeees Lukas.
  • "Dada" is also a favorite. Often her first word after waking up.
  • One of her very first words was "bow-wow" - it's what I started calling our neighbors' dogs, and she quickly became obsessed with the "bow-wows" next door, to the point that many times we would leave the house and she'd look to their yard and say "bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow". Bow-bows are a big deal in Karis's life right now.
  • "Nana" - when we pass the bananas in the grocery store Karis exclaims "nana".
  • "Bye", "bu-ba" (name of my grandpa's dog), "nigh-nigh" (for "night-night")
  • The one word we couldn't get her to say was "momma". We would go through the list of words and she'd repeat them back, but when we got to "momma": silence. Finally, she started saying "momma" just a few days ago.
  • She tries to say "bumbo" as she climbs in and out of it.
  • Karis also has this cute little "Uh?" noise that she makes basically every time she wants something. It's great. I'm enamored watching her comprehension and language development grow.
We've also enjoyed doing some signs, Karis can communicate: nursing, hi/bye, all done, please, more, nose, belly button, eat.

Words I have in my vocabulary to describe Karis are: vibrant, joyful, charismatic (her name seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy), outgoing, fun-loving, curious, strong-willed, active, silly, welcoming, communicative. So many more, but these come to mind.

You all should know that we have a monkey. Her name is Karis. She loves to climb on, into, over, on top of, and through anything that she can find. Such as climbing in between table legs. Or climbing on to a full size rocker. Or climbing into her bumbo seat. Or under her high chair. Or up stairs (at a clipping pace). She can safely crawl off our furniture and bed. She can be a dancing maniac and we laugh so hard watching her shake her shoulders and stomp around to certain songs. Her favorite thing to do in her room is sit on a stool with a book in hand.

Karis is fiercely independent, and yet at times is getting more cuddly and content to sit in our laps. It's fascinating to watch her personality and preferences develop.

As a family, we're making some marvelous memories these days. We still frequent Sams Club, Caribou and Lucia's for "cheap" family dates, we enjoy time spent with our extended families both here and at their homes in NoDak. Last weekend was wonderful, we got snowed in on Saturday and I felt like "this is how it's supposed to be" - lots of time together, nowhere to go, not much to do, a warm and comfortable home. Life is too good and we're thankful.

In one week, I read in three different places the adage that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world". I'm often humbled and sometimes overwhelmed at the responsibility we've been given as parents - and then I'm reminded that Karis is God's child, He's entrusted her to us and He's made us the parents that she needs. And she is the child that we need! I'm constantly learning about myself, God, and Trevor as I learn more about Karis. The lessons are too numerous to list, which means I probably have plenty to write about . . . hopefully more later. I seem to enjoy the word "later" these days!

I'm reading some freaky books about raising girls: Bringing up Girls and Reviving Ophelia. Thankfully I'm also trying to do some Advent readings that help put some of the sorrowing realities of our world into perspective; I'm increasingly aware of the need for a Savior. What a beautiful and reflective time of the year, we have much to celebrate.

Taken a couple months ago . . . I find their expressions to be amusing
Monkey and bow-wow
Again, a couple months ago. One of her favorite activities is taking clean laundry
out of the basket and playing with the items