Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve and Day have been so wonderfully exciting and relaxing at the same time.  This is our self-timed picture we took before heading to Christmas Eve service at our church.

Nana, Papa, Hannah, and Rebeka met us at church, then we went to Shogun's for our Christmas Eve dinner.  Elizabeth was practically bouncing off the walls from the moment they got here.

After dinner, we opened up our pajamas and hung out by the fire.

I was so excited for Elizabeth to come downstairs this morning to see what Santa brought her.  She got the most amazed look on her face when she saw her bicycle, but she played shy and stuck to her daddy's leg.  I think she was just really in awe that "Santa" actually brought her the bike she asked for. 

It didn't take long before she was on that bike and peddling around the house.

She saw that her stocking was full too and immediately grabbed it to see what was inside.

After all the presents under the tree were opened, we went to the basement where Santa had left another surprise.  I think the train table is a present to her and her daddy.

This picture cracks me up because just like every other 21st century family, we spent a lot of our time on some sort of electronic device.  But we did get to stay in our pajamas all day long, which was my main goal this year.  We even ate our turkey dinner in our pjs!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy 8 Month Birthday, Caroline!

Caroline, Today you turned 8 months old.  It's our first day out of school and we're all home together.  What a great way to spend your 8 month birthday!

Elizabeth has been singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus ever since I promised her we would make a cake to celebrate.  So today my little cooks helped make a red velvet cake.  I'm not a good baker, and we attempted to make it from scratch, so cross your fingers that it comes out okay! 

Here's what's going on with you at 8 months old:


You weigh right at 19 pounds and wear 9 month and 12 month clothes.

You can roll around when you want to, but lucky for us, you don't do it much.  If you want on your tummy, you roll onto it.  If you want to be on your back, you roll over on your back.  So you are able to be where you want to be, but you don't roll away just because.  Thank you for making my life a little easier!

You do roll over on your tummy at night and spend most of the night like that.  And thankfully you're still a great sleeper.  Sometimes you go to sleep as early as 6:00, and you don't wake up until 6:30.  On the weekends, you snuggle in bed with us after your morning bottle and typically fall back to sleep until 9:00. 

You sit pretty good all by yourself now.  After a few minutes, you usually fall over.  But then you just lay there and play with your feet. 

You are still the biggest sweetheart ever!  Even when you were sick, you smiled at me constantly and hardly cried at all.  It broke my heart knowing you were so miserable but not showing it at all.

You are a great eater.  I don't think you really like green vegetables, but you do eat them.  You just don't scarf down peas and green beans the way you do squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.  Speaking of, you ate carrots today for lunch.  I should've thought that out better.  I took your 8 month pictures after lunch and your sweet little face was stained with an orange tint.  I wiped your messy little face down, but carrots like to leave their mark!

You are so animated all the time.  It makes it hard to choose pictures. 

Here you are at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 8 months.

My girls at 8 months:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I already posted about how much I love our huge Christmas tree in our little living room and our new stockings with each of our names on them.  But I wanted to remember a few more of my favorite Christmas decorations this year so I can show my girls one day. 

Bert hung wreaths on all the windows for me.  Next year, I really want to line our whole house in lights.  I really, really do.  But this year, the wreaths made me very happy each time I pulled into the driveway.

Each year I get the girls a new ornament.  Actually, they get a few, but one special one.  It's something that my Dad and Di did for me each year as far back as I can remember.  Then they wrapped them all in a big box and gave them to me when Bert and I got married.  And those were really the majority of the ornaments on our tree that first year.  I still put most of them on there every year which brings back great memories and many laughs in some cases.

This was Elizabeth's first year and second year ornaments.  Already Elizabeth has interests, like Dora and Minnie, that I will make sure to forever remeber through an ornament.  But I will also get one that I like for her, and she will hopefully still like when she's 30.  And if she doesn't, I'll jsut keep them on my tree:)

Another one of my favorites is this train ornament that we gave to Elizabeth last year.  Everyone that knows Bert knows how he loves trains and he passed that love on to his little girl.  Bless her.  So I just had to get this ornament for her and him. We hung it on Bert's train tree in the basement.

Another one of my favorite things this year is seeing my sweet, sleeping baby sprawled out on her daddy's lap on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

And I also love my lively toddler, who insisted her daddy take her to church even if mommy had to stay home to take care of her sick sister.

I am so blessed by my favorite things!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Party for Elizabeth, Doctor Visits for Caroline

Elizabeth was invited to a classmate's birthday party, so we went on Saturday.  She always gets so excited about birthday parties, but this was the first time I saw her get this excited about celebrating with the actual birthday girl.  It must be because she spends every day with this girl.  And Logan is one of the 5 kids Elizabeth NEVER stops talking about from school.

Camille was also there, and they were pretty much inseparable (another one of the 5 kids).  Elizabeth usually does her own thing at birthday parties.  But these girls never left each other's side.  I guess it's time for me to get to know their mamas better!

I'm so glad Elizabeth loves her school friends.  And I'm glad that they're such sweet girls. I think I need to blow this one up for their classroom!  Their faces are priceless.

This video is of my little dare devil jumping into the foam pit. 

Caroline, on the other hand, has been one sick little baby.  On Thursday she was diagnosed with double ear infections and pink eye.  She seemed to be getting better until Sunday morning.  She woke up with 103 fever which never broke all day even with medicine.  After spending the evening in urgent care, we left with no diagnoses and baby who still had a fever.  We'll be keeping her close tonight, and going to see our doctor tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From the Mouth of Babes

Since I give monthly updates on Caroline, I thought I'd update our family blog on our babe who is talking and experiencing new things everyday.  I never want to forget the silly little things she does on a regular basis.  And because I've not taken any pictures this week, I'm using the ones from my phone.

play date with Will, Lainey, and Kathryn
Elizabeth is really into playing pretend.  Her imagination is definitely growing.  The other day I asked her to get into her booster seat for dinner.  She simply said, "I can't mommy.  Swiper's in my seat."  Swiper is the "naughty fox" from Dora.  At first, I didn't know what to say.  I decided to play along with her.  So I said, "Get down, Swiper.  That's Elizabeth's seat."  She just smiled, and climbed up into her seat.  No more was said about Swiper.

C wearing her sister's shirt that Aunt Beth made
She's become very independent when it comes to going to the bathroom.  She goes completely on her own, and sometimes doesn't even tell us.  This only poses a problem for #2 because she can't wipe her behind well.  So now we give her treats for telling us when she's done going #2 so we can wipe her.  And in that case, she insists on shutting the door and won't let us in until she's completely done.  This might be TMI, but someday she may want to know the quarky process of her potty training.
C wearing her outfit from Auntie Melissa
Elizabeth is still in her crib.  We keep talking about converting it, but we haven't actually done it.  I still can't believe she hasn't started climbing out.  I know she can, but she just doesn't.  She does, however, climb into it.  If she wants in, it only takes her about 5 seconds to do it. 

making an ornament at our Advent Festival
 She is also a creature of habit.  Her daddy rocks her most nights, and heaven forbid mommy has to do it.  Sometimes she understands when I tell her that I have to put her to bed.  She'll say, "Daddy still at work?", but if she's really tired she starts crying, "Daddy rock me.  Mommy check on Caroline."  It kind of breaks my heart and warms it at the same time.  I know she loves me, and she clearly loves her daddy and sister too.
exhausted after Christmas on Peachtree
When I am rocking her, she gets ready to stretch out after a few minutes.  She tells me, "I wanta lay in my bed.  You go check on Caroline."  Every single time I put her down to sleep (nap or bedtime), she tells me to go check on Caroline. 
having a blast at HardRock Cafe
Elizabeth loves to celebrate birthdays and always associates cookies and cupcakes with someone's birthday.  She calls them birthday cakes, and insists on singing "happy birthday."  Since we've been talking about Christmas being Jesus's birthday, she especially likes to sing it to Him.
a little holiday cheer!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Putting on her Jacket

A few weeks back, Elizabeth started refusing to let us help her put on her jacket.  She insisted she could do it by herself.  I made the mistake of doubting her, so she showed me.  Apparantly, her teacher at school taught them all how to do this.  She puts it on the floor inside out and upside down.  Then puts her arms in through and flips it over her head.  It's funny to see them all do this before they go outside to play. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I was crazy busy last week getting our kids ready for our Shop with a Greyhound program.  It's definitely my favorite thing we do all year.  And when the day finally arrives, it's so rewarding that I completely forget the months of (sometimes stressful) preparations. 

I totally stole these pictures from Ashlyn's blog who I was so thrilled to see there and grateful that she took some pictures, especially since she's a fantastic photographer!

When the kids arrived, they were so nervous and sweet I almost cried.  Then one of their teachers handed me a letter written by a single mother who had just recently lost her job and was trying to explain to her first-grader that there was no money for Christmas presents this year when she learned that our kids had raised money to take her child shopping.  After reading her letter, I did cry.  

I know it sounds cliche' to say, but it's hard to know who gets more out of this day.  I'm pretty sure it leaves a lasting impact on our kids who are blessed with so much.  They pour their hearts and souls into these kids from the very beginning.  By the end of the day, they are physically and emotionally exhausted.