Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving with the Tolberts!

We had such a wonderful time last week celebrating Thanksgiving with Luke's family. It was a much needed few days off work for Luke, and a much appreciated few days of help with the babies for me! This post is going to be FULL of pictures since I took quite a few myself, but also since Luke's brother Jonathan is working on his photography skills and took hundreds that he shared with us!

The first day we were there we took Caroline to meet Luke's Grannie for the first time. I love how this picture captures her excitement to meet her second great-grandchild!

And here she is again in great-grandmother heaven! (And is it just me or does Anna Kate look way too grown up in the picture?)

Anna Kate loved getting out all the toys that her daddy played with when he was little. The two biggest hits were the Duplo Lego blocks and the wooden train pull-toy!

On Wednesday Luke's parents and brother and sister offered to let Luke and I go out on a date for lunch while they watched the babies. Looks like Mimi had it all under control!

We so enjoyed sitting by the fire that Jonathan kept going almost the whole time we were there! Anna Kate had never seen such a phenomenon before and she was quite intrigued.

And here's my little Caroline on her first Thanksgiving!

Getting a picture of these two little turkeys together is not very easy, but here are my best two!

And no surprise here...Anna Kate is ready for the Thanksgiving feast!

And the whole family at the table!

And then we decided we needed a more formal family picture...this was the best shot of everyone!

Back Row: Anna Kate, Luke, Patty, Caroline, Papa (Sam), Jonathan, Allison
Front Row: Grannie, and Mimi (Margo)

After a great Thanksgiving feast we decided to head to the park to get a little fresh air and exercise!

Anna Kate loves her Aunt Allison!

On Friday we headed to a Christmas Tree farm to pick out a tree for Luke's family. Anna Kate had a blast "driving" this tractor!

Then we found one more her size!

Time for a hayride!

And finally, here are a couple of Thanksgiving crafts that I did with Anna Kate the week of Thanksgiving. First, we made a Thankful Tree. Anna Kate collected the sticks with her daddy and we all made leaves that said what we were thankful for.

And a coloring page that Anna Kate did. I helped her write down all the things she was thankful for. She came up with these by completing the sentence when I said, "Thank you God for...."

In order, she is thankful for oatmeal, yogurt, Mommy, Caroliney, Daddy, Nora (church friend), and craft time!

We truly have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. And all of our thanksgiving is to the One from whom all blessings flow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rockabye Baby

One of Anna Kate's favorite things to do lately is to rock Caroline and sing her "Rockabye Baby". It's hard to catch Anna Kate doing anything on video because she moves from one activity to the next before you can even grab the camera, but I finally caught it this morning. We are all in jammies because we are staying home from church with stuffy noses and a little cough. We didn't want to share it with the rest of the 1- and 2-year-olds at church. Anyway, enjoy the video and please excuse the 20 seconds of obstinate behavior at the beginning...haha! I promise it gets cute.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who's who?

I have been able to see similarities between Anna Kate and Caroline all along, but it didn't really hit me until I took some pictures of Caroline wearing a nightgown that Anna Kate had worn as a newborn. See if you can guess who's who!

Friday, November 18, 2011

1 month old today!

Happy one-month birthday, Caroline Hope! It's amazing how much joy you have brought us in such a short time! One month ago today we were just meeting you for the first time and now we can't imagine life without you. Here is what we have learned about you in your first month of life:

~You would much rather sleep with someone rather than in your own bassinet! In fact, you are snuggling on the couch with your daddy at this very moment! You spent every night for the first couple weeks snuggling with Mommy or Daddy. However, you are doing MUCH better and now spend almost the whole night in your own bed!
~You LOVE to eat! I think you would probably be just fine with nursing every hour. Usually you nurse every two hours during the day and every three or four at night. Although sometimes you need just a little "comfort" snack in between each real feeding...
~You haven't really established a regular routine yet, but that could be more my own doing than yours. With your big sister, I was more concerned about establishing that routine so that it would work with my schedule when I went back to work. Since I am staying at home with you now, I am just able to enjoy every moment and not worry about a schedule. However, I think you are starting to have a little bit more of a regular routine which will be nice.
~You are really a very easygoing baby. You do very well if I have to lay you down in your Moses basket or your swing during the day while I chase after Anna Kate!
~You love for me to wear you in my sling. You love the rocking motion of my walking as I go about my day. You also do really well in it at church all cuddled up next to Mommy.
~You already have quite a few nicknames, as any true member of our family would! You are frequently referred to as Sweet Caroline, Care Bear, Caresy Bearsy, Caroliney (which sounds more like Taro-yiney when your sister says it!), Line Line, Liney Bear, and Caresy Hope!
~We just started to see glimmers of your first little smiles the other day, and it's quite a beautiful one! You have also started to coo just a little bit in the last week or so.
~We had your doctor's appointment yesterday and you are growing well! You were almost back to your birth weight at your one week appointment and now you weigh 10 lbs. 9 oz! You have also gotten taller and are now 23 1/2 inches long.

Sweet Caroline, you are such a precious little girl. You are a treasured daughter, sister, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, niece, and cousin to so many! You truly are a blessing from God to our family!

And here is your first month picture! (Actually two because I couldn't decide)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Anna Kate these days...

I know I'm not doing the official "monthly" updates about Anna Kate that I did throughout her first year, but she has changed so much over the past couple months that I thought I would just type up a little list of what she's been up to lately! And of course, it's a good opportunity to share some of these sweet shots of her that I took at the park the other day!

~ Anna Kate's vocabulary is expanding rapidly! She amazes us every day with the words that she knows that we didn't know she knew. Really there are too many to list, but a few of her favorites that we hear all the time are: again, hold you (which really means hold me), Unner one (other one - we hear this any time she wants something other than what she has!), I love you too, Big Helper, and "Anna Tate Too!"
~ She has quite the little memory. She currently has all the words to "Jesus Loves Me", "Pat-a-Cake", and "Rock-a-bye baby" completely memorized. She also has two Bible verses memorized: "Help one another" and "A friend loves at all times".
~ She absolutely LOVES to read, and finishes the last few words on each page of most of her books. Her favorites these days are: I'm a Big Sister Now, Ellie in the Fall, Hippos Go Berserk, and My Big Girl Potty (not that it's doing any good yet...).
~ She is still quite attached to her paci. I think I mentioned this a while back, but not only does she have to have one paci when she goes to bed, but she has to have two. She calls the first one her paci and the second one her "unga" which was how she used to say "extra". She can now say the word "extra", but "unga" has stuck!
~ She absolutely loves her baby sister, affectionately known as "Caroliney" or "Caresy Bearsy"...except when she's nursing. Every time I feed Caroline, Anna Kate comes up and says, "Hold you!" In fact the other day she brought Caroline one of her beloved pacis (Caroline doesn't really use one) and said "All Done!"
~ If given the option, she would much rather walk around with bare feet than with shoes or socks on. She calls this "Free Toes!"
~She has learned to throw quite a temper tantrum lately (which we've learned is called "pitching a fit" in South Carolina). It usually happens whenever we have to stop doing something that she really likes. It's not all the time, but when it happens, let me tell you, it's a good one. Time-outs seem to work the best, and hearing her say, "Sorry, Mommy," is the cutest thing ever. She also has to tell us how she is supposed to obey (all the way, right away, and with a happy heart). And I must say, it is nearly impossible not to laugh when she says "happy heart" while sobbing!
~ She is quite attached to her bedtime routine and you better not mess with it! It doesn't take very long (10 min), but it has to be just this way: Brush teeth (while singing the toothbrush song that Mommy and Daddy came up with), wrap up in blankie and start rocking, read Goodnight Moon, pray, sing a song of her choice (one of the following: Jesus Paid it All, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Gentle Hands, or Cherries are Ripe), lay her in the bed (with the following items: paci, unga, blankie, lovey, lamby, and sippy cup of water) and keep singing as you walk out the door. Occasionally you have to lay your hand on her chest for a few seconds once she's in the bed. And this, friends, is why we rarely ask anyone else to put her to bed...
~ And last, but not least, we finally (knock on wood) have a child who sleeps ALL the way through the night consistently. She never did this at all until somewhere around 11 months. Then she was pretty good until 17 months. But then we moved. And she spent the next two or three months waking up for at least an hour in the middle of every night. Our doctor said this was pretty normal for a child that age when they are in a new environment. But I was really really worried about how we would manage with her AND a newborn. But, God is gracious! I kid you not, the very day we brought Caroline home from the hospital, Anna Kate started sleeping through the night. As in, 7:30pm to 7:30am - without waking up! I think she's only woken up in the middle of the night maybe twice in the last month. Way to go, Anna Kate!

Well, although I am sure I could go on, that's Anna Kate's major developments lately. Stay tuned tomorrow for Caroline's 1-month post! I can't believe she's one month old already!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daddy's latest project

Luke has spent many hours over the past month working on quite a project for Anna Kate (and Caroline in a year or so) - a sandbox! Now, this is no small, ordinary sandbox. This is a 6 foot by 6 foot sandbox that contains (literally) a ton of sand - 2000 pounds! Now that we have a big backyard of our own, Luke has had a lot of fun getting out some of his power tools and doing all kinds of things for the house. And we are definitely enjoying the fruits of his labor! Here are some pictures of the final project.

It has a retractable cover to keep leaves, squirrels, and the neighborhood cat out!

Anna Kate LOVES it!

And so did her cousins this past weekend!

Thank you so much, Daddy, for building me such a great sandbox! And Mommy says to thank you for providing me with hours of entertainment each day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Burgin family (early) Thanksgiving!

We just spent a wonderful weekend with my ENTIRE family all together here in Camden! They all drove many hours to come and meet baby Caroline and we are so glad they did. We haven't all been together since Christmas of 2008, and at that time there was only one grandchild (Wesley) and one on the way (Leah). Now there are five grandchildren! It was quite a busy weekend with five kids age three and under, but we had such a great time. Here are some pictures that my dad took...I was too busy running after kids to take pictures!

Grandpa reading to all of his grandkids!

Thanksgiving dinner

Let the Christmas carols begin!

Whole family after church Sunday

From L to R: Anna Kate with Luke and me holding Caroline, big brother Stephen and his wife Rachael with Leah, little brother Andrew, big sister Sarah holding Cooper and Sarah's husband Dustin holding Wesley. Mom and Dad are sitting up front!

Thank you all so much for driving such a long way to come and meet baby Caroline! We love you and are excited to see you again at Christmas!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who is that cute little fairy and sweet little butterfly?

It's Anna Kate and Caroline!

We had a GREAT time on Monday evening going to our church's huge Fall Festival. And when I say huge, I really mean huge! We had nearly 2000 people come for games, trunk-or-treat, bouncy houses, hot dogs, a petting zoo, and much more! The coolest part about it is that each family who came is going to receive a personal phone call from a member of our church inviting them to come back to service Sunday and hopefully share the good news of Jesus with them too!

Last year, I was one of the many volunteers for the event, but this year Anna Kate and Caroline were my full-time job! We had so much fun doing all the activities and getting treats! Anna Kate was so excited that she refused to stand still for pictures, but here are a few blurry ones to document our night!

Playing ring the bottle
(AK was extremely meticulous about placing the rings on the bottles - not tossing them!)

Running through the bouncy jungle!

Checking out the pony!

So far I've been successful at keeping her to one or two treats a day from her bucket...we'll see if I can keep it up!