Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

I love pumpkins. I love pumpkin patches, pumpkin decorations, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, carved pumpkins, pretty much everything pumpkin. In fact, I even have a loaf pan mold shaped like a pumpkin patch to make pumpkin bread (which I made yesterday)! All that to say, we could not let October pass us by without taking a trip to the McLeod Farms pumpkin patch. We had never been, but it may just be a new annual tradition! We loaded up the babies and drove 30 miles or so out to the farm! We had a great time on the tractor-pulled hayride out to the pumpkin patch, choosing pumpkins, walking around the little store and museum, and letting Anna Kate "drive" a few tractors herself! Here are some pictures of our morning (which, by the way, was a very cold one)!

AK and Mommy

AK and Grandpa

Silly faces!

Waiting for the hayride

So fun!

Yep, this one's mine!

My two little pumpkins!

Driving an old wagon

Sweet sisters

Mommy and her girls

Our pretty pumpkins!
(Mine is on the left with all our initials, AK's is in the middle with the cute face, and Luke's is on the right with the autumn leaves. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see that his actually has two leaves, one carved all the way through and one carved halfway through so it just glows...very cool!)

And, one more note...I thought Anna Kate would have a lot of fun helping us carve the pumpkins, especially digging the insides out. I was wrong...apparently our girly girl thinks that pumpkin insides are "Nasty Yucky!" She had fun watching us do it though!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making cookies!

My mom has been such a big help over the past 10 days since Caroline was born! One of the biggest jobs she has is entertaining Anna Kate while I nurse the baby. Last week she came up with the idea to make activity that kept AK occupied and having fun for well over an hour! And here's the video to document the occasion:

Sweet Caroline

There's really no rhyme nor reason to this blog post other than to just share a few pictures I've taken of our sweet Caroline over the past few days. She really is so fun to dress up and take pictures of! So, enjoy!

Her "coming home" outfit
(purple hat and blankie from Great-Grandma and Grandpa Burgin!)

Sweet sleeping baby

With Grandma in my pink and brown plaid (Grandpa said I look like a schoolgirl!)

On my way to my 1-week doctor visit

With Daddy at the doctor

By the way, she did great at the doctor on Tuesday and everything looks great! She weighed 9 lbs. 7 oz., so almost back up to her birth weight which is not supposed to be until 2 weeks. There's no questioning whether this one likes to eat!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A post for my sister...

Sarah made a request for a picture with Caroline's eyes doesn't happen extremely often, but I did get this shot yesterday, so I thought I would share!

Now for a little story about Caroline's eyes...

I was telling Anna Kate yesterday what a pretty girl she is. Then I asked her if Caroline was pretty too. She looked at me with a questioning face and said, "Blue eyes?" As in, does Caroline have blue eyes? Apparently she thinks one can only be pretty if they have blue eyes! We'll have to help her understand that even if Caroline might have brown eyes, she will be beautiful!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sisters, sisters

"Never were there such devoted sisters!"

One of the best parts about bringing Caroline home has been to watch our two baby girls interact with one another. Anna Kate truly loves her sister and we really haven't seen a whole lot of jealousy (yet)! When she wakes up in the morning or from her nap, the first thing she asks is "Carry-yine?" She always wants to hold her, which we do allow, but we have to be extremely vigilant that Caroline's eyes don't get poked, or that she doesn't get squeezed too tight, or that any other number of hazardous things don't happen! We are so looking forward to watching these two little girls grow up together and grow to love one another and hopefully become best friends!

"Big Sister, Little Sister" shirts at the hospital

First day home

Watching the Clemson game together

"I could never love anyone as much as I love my sisters!"
~Jo March, Little Women

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caroline Hope Tolbert!

Caroline Hope Tolbert has arrived! At two days past her due date, she was a long-awaited baby, but let me tell you, she is worth every moment of those 40 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy! I have so many pictures to share, but I thought I would start with her birth story.

All throughout this pregnancy, my ultrasounds have been measuring a little bit big, indicating that this baby may come a little bit early. In fact, when I started going to weekly appointments about 5 weeks ago, I was starting to progress toward labor a little earlier than expected. So with those two pieces of information, combined with the fact that second babies often come earlier than first babies (Anna Kate came on her own at 39 weeks and 1 day), we started to really prepare for a baby 3 weeks ago. Well, obviously that didn't happen! Our doctor suggested inducing if we would like to, since I have a history of big babies, and we actually had two induction dates scheduled (both of which I decided at the last minute not to go through with)! I just didn't feel like she was ready yet. Well, Monday night things started to change.

I taught my late afternoon violin lessons, we ate dinner as a family, and then went to a softball game of one of our youth group girls. All through that time, I started to feel a little bit more pressure than usual, but no real pain yet. But we decided to put Anna Kate to bed over at my parents' house just in case. While getting her ready to go over there, my contractions started to come about 5 minutes apart, but still not painful at all, just very tight. Since I was already pretty far progressed at my doctors' appt. that morning, however, we decided to head on to the hospital. I was admitted around 9 pm and they monitored my contractions for a little while (5 min. apart, but not painful), and then we walked the entire hospital a couple times. Around midnight we decided to get some sleep and see what happened in the morning. I woke up around 4:30 or 5 to some much stronger contractions. We got up, did some more walking, I took a shower around 6:45 and waited for the doctor to come in around 8. By the time he got here it was obvious this baby would be here very soon! He broke my water at 8 and she arrived at 8:46! Praise the Lord for a healthy delivery and a healthy baby!

Although childbirth is obviously very painful (and this one was!), I am so thankful that it went as quickly as it did. I feel like I was able to really take it all in more than I could with Anna Kate since it was all so new. I wasn't quite so worried or nervous or scared this time and could actually experience the birth as the awesome miracle that it is.

So Caroline Hope Tolbert arrived at 8:46am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. She weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces, and is 22 inches long!! Another big healthy baby! She has been an absolutely wonderful baby her first 36 hours of life, eating well, sleeping well, and snuggling perfectly!

And here are the pictures you have all been waiting for!

Just arrived at the hospital

After all that work, she is here!

First picture as a family of four!

Our precious little miracle

Anna Kate loved meeting Caroline right after she was born, but she was a little more excited about spending time with her today. Maybe it was the matching big sister/little sister outfits!

Joy inexpressible...

We love you, Caroline - you are our joyous song of hope, just like your name means!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Caroline's Due Date!

Well, we've made it to the due date...40 weeks today! I have officially never been this pregnant before, since Anna Kate made her appearance at 39 weeks and 1 day. You know, they say second babies are supposed to come earlier than first babies...well, apparently not for me. But truthfully, I cannot complain about anything because I really do feel great, I'm not even that uncomfortable, we have beautiful and cool fall weather outside, and I have a sweet baby girl who is content to keep growing inside me for a little while longer. Now, would I welcome signs of labor? Absolutely! But she'll come when she's ready. Here is a little video of Anna Kate getting ready for her new baby sister. She just started saying this out of the blue a couple days ago and has now been saying it constantly!

If you didn't catch it, she said, "Happy Birthday to you!"

So, today going to be your birthday, or are you going to keep us waiting a little longer?

Friday, October 7, 2011

A trip to the zoo!

We woke up yesterday to an absolutely beautiful cool October morning, so we decided to spend it at the zoo. We hadn't been all summer since it's been so hot, so it was fun to see how much Anna Kate has changed and how much more she enjoyed it this time! She loved making all the animal sounds at each exhibit and she loved how close we were able to get to all of the animals. Here are some pictures from our morning.

Nothing like a Mommy and her little girl

Watching the elephants

Up on Daddy's shoulders

What does the elephant say?

(that's her trunk if you can't tell)

Checking out the lions with Grandma

Feeding the Lory birds with Grandpa

She wasn't too sure about those birds at first, but once she got used to them, she thought they were pretty funny!

Such a tiring day at the zoo!

So I thought that maybe all that walking would encourage baby Caroline to come...still nothing yet, but we will keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The girls' room!

We finally finished all of the updating/decorating that needed to happen in the nursery before Caroline's arrival, and I absolutely love it! Probably my favorite room in the house! It's still the same pink/brown flowers and butterflies theme that we had with Anna Kate, but with some new additions, so here are the pics! The room is actually really big, so I couldn't get a shot of the whole thing...just a little bit at a time!

View as you walk in

(the dollhouse was made for me and my sister by our grandfather and decorated to look just like the house in Oregon that we grew up in)

Sweet baby girl dresses...the one on the right was actually my dress!

Close-up of Anna Kate's bed
(which is not really her bed yet, but will be as soon as we get the courage to move her out of the crib!)

I mean, this should work, right?

And since we took a couple of Anna Kate with her bed, here is Caroline and her bed!
I'm planning on making another canvas picture for her like we have for AK with her footprints, birth stats, etc. But we need to have a baby first!

In between the girls' beds is the rocking chair in front of the window

And Anna Kate wanted to ham it up for the camera...

The fireplace. Yes, we have a fireplace in the nursery! Actually we have four fireplaces in the house, but they are coal-burning fireplaces used to heat the house when it was first built in the early 1900's. So, now they're just for decoration until we figure out how to burn wood in them without burning the house down!

(and those are some of my porcelain doll collection from when I was growing up)

Changing table area

And, last but not least, here are a couple close-ups of the canvas art that you saw above AK's bed and above the changing table. I did all the painting and my mom did the calligraphy. Thanks, Mom!

(And yes, Christy, I got the idea to use this verse from your nursery...hope you don't mind!)

So there it is! Hope you enjoyed the tour!