Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring is Here!

I know it's been over a week since I blogged last...sorry! We have been so busy enjoying the beautiful spring weather that we have had lately! It is so nice to be able to just get outside and go for walks, or go to the park, or play in the backyard. It does wonders for a certain two-year-old's general demeanor =) And Caroline loves it too!

We have had a few picnics on the front porch which AK thinks is about the coolest thing ever. Caroline just likes eating toys...

We also have to take this little egg carton with us whenever we go for walks to collect objects for each color. I just brought it once and now AK wants to do it every time! We couldn't find anything blue this day, so we "grabbed" some sky and put it in the blue cup =)

The park has also been a favorite with all this nice weather! Even Caroline is joining in on the fun! Here she is her first time in the swing...and loving it!

And, of course, we still LOVE to play in the sandbox...we spend time in it at least every other day.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

5 months old!

Caroline Hope is 5 months old today! And what a sweet 5 months they have been! We are falling more and more in love with our precious girl each and every day. She is a very very loved little girl. There are so many sweet things to remember about you this month, Caresy Hope, so here we go!

~ You have grown so much this month! You are now almost 16 pounds and 26 1/4 inches long. You have started to wear a number of 9 month outfits and we just moved you up to our size medium cloth diapers. Everyone at church says that if you don't slow down, you're going to catch up to your sister before we know it!
~ You could be the posterchild this month for the "babywearing" movement. You absolutely love to be worn on Mommy in the sling, or on Mommy or Daddy in the Baby Bjorn. In fact, lately I have taken to making absolutely sure that I have both a sling and the bjorn with us wherever we go. You have to have the sling when you want to sleep, but you love facing out in the Baby Bjorn and talking with people when you want to be awake!
~ You have started to use the exersaucer this month and do really well in it for about 5-10 minute little spurts of time! Your feet can't reach the platform, but you don't mind! It does really help while I'm trying to get dinner on the table and don't want to wear you in the sling while I'm cooking over a hot stove.
~ You can now roll over from your tummy to your back! You'll do it especially for some of your favorite toys which include the little flower rattle (that also happened to be AK's favorite toy at this age!) and the baby Einstein "iPod" music player that Uncle Stephen and Aunt Rachael and Leah gave you for Christmas. Honestly, though, you haven't had a whole lot of practice rolling over because you spend a vastly greater amount of time being worn by Mommy than laying out on the playmat...
~ You are so funny about "transitions". Going from the sling to the playmat, or going from Mommy to Daddy, or getting in your carseat from being held will sometimes cause a major meltdown. However, your daddy figured out that if we talk you through it, like a running commentary of what is happening, you do just fine! For example, "Caroline, I am going to place you down on your playmat now, but you will be just fine and I'm going to stay right here and look at you..."
~ You are still a Mama's girl and do not like it when you can't see me. However, you are starting to do a little better in the church nursery! As long as I make sure the nursery workers know how to swaddle you, you do pretty well!
~ Speaking of swaddling, you really are the easiest baby to get to sleep. Just swaddle you and nurse you (or give you a paci if you just recently nursed) and you're out. Now, staying asleep longer than 2 hours...that's another story.
~ While we're on that subject, let's just say that you and Mommy spend a lot of quality time together in the middle of the night. Like I said, you go to sleep extremely easily at 8pm with your sister, but then you wake up at 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, and then for good at 8. You're not inconsolable in the night, you just want to nurse and snuggle for 10 minutes and then go right back to sleep. At least you are extremely sweet and cuddly!
~ You have started to really use your voice a lot more this month. Sometimes you will just go on and on "talking" to us and having long conversations in your little baby language. Your little giggle is absolutely adorable, too! It's a deep belly chuckle and it's impossible not to laugh along with you!
~ You have a new nickname this month...our little coconut! We started using coconut oil to help with your dry skin, so you usually have a sweet coconut-y scent!
~ You have really started to enjoy reading books lately. Of course you've been hearing Mommy and Daddy read stories ever since you were born, both to you and to your big sister, but just recently you have started to pay attention and smile and listen when we read.
~ You have just about the sweetest smile I have ever seen. Sometimes when you think something is funny, or when you see Mommy or Daddy or Anna Kate smile at you, you start to smile in slow motion and it eventually turns into the biggest toothless grin!

Precious one, we are so grateful for the blessing that you are to our family. I can't believe it's only been five months since you joined us because it feels like you have been a part of us forever.

Here are your pictures this month:

One month

Two months

Three months

Four months

Five months

And for a little comparison, Anna Kate at five months!

Oh, and just because it's too cute not to's the rest of your outfit today...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My little shamrocks!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

We've been super busy up at the church all weekend preparing for our annual barbecue fundraiser where we make and sell 900 plates of all kinds of great food! But, I did find the time to take a few pictures of the girls this morning on our way out the door! Of course they had to wear their little St. Patrick's Day outfits. Caroline's is one you might remember from 2010 when Anna Kate wore it. My friend Christy made it and it is too cute =) Anna Kate is wearing the same one she wore last year (I purposely made it big for her last year so we could get a couple years out of it!). So here they are!

And how about a couple of flashback pictures?



Oh, and we did have green oatmeal for breakfast which Anna Kate thought was "Wacky!" One of her favorite books these days is "Wacky Wednesday" by Dr. Seuss.

And, like I've done the past couple years, I thought I would share another quote by St. Patrick. May I always have the same prayer as I begin each day!

"I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity
Through belief in the threeness
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the creator.
" ~St. Patrick

Doctor Appointments!

In trying to figure out life with two kids, we decided that combining doctor visits might make life easier, so we did our first double appointment yesterday for our 4-month (I know, she's almost five months...) and 2-year check-ups. I really wanted to schedule it with our favorite doctor on a Friday morning so that Luke could come with me. I wasn't ready to brave going by myself with both of them yet, although they were extremely well-behaved and I probably could have! Anyway, the check-ups went great, and although I forgot the camera, I still wanted to post about it because if it doesn't get written here, I'll forget!

Caroline went first and did a great job getting measured and checked all over. She is a very healthy little girl! We are dealing with some little skin issues with her, but our doctor had some more ideas for me to try and we are going to see if they help. Her little baby skin is just so sensitive! But, in other news, she has found her toes which apparently is a 6-month skill! Haha...she's going to be a genius ;)

Here are Caroline's stats:
Weight: 15 lbs 14 oz (75%)
Height: 26 1/4 inches (90%)

She did great with her two little shots in her chubby little legs, just a quick cry and then calmed right down when Mommy held her!

Anna Kate was perfect for her check-up and did everything the doctor asked her to do (and then some!), including saying "Yes, ma'am" to her questions (we've been working on this!). She had to get a little finger prick and didn't fuss once. In fact, Luke was explaining to her that this would help keep her healthy and wasn't that nice of the nurse to do that, and while the nurse was squeezing the drops of blood out of her finger she looked up at her and said, "Thank you!" Wow...she does better than I ever do!

And here are Anna Kate's stats:
Weight: 32 lbs (90-95%) Hmm...I wonder when I should stop posting her weight on here ;)
Height: 35 inches (90-95%)...almost 3 feet tall!

No shots at the two-year appointment, so that made it easy...and they didn't ask if she knew how to jump! Haha! Those who have spent any time around us lately know that I have been working on this with her. They asked at her 18-month visit if she could jump, which she can't. But they said, "It's ok, we'll just ask at her 2-year visit!" So we've been working. Problem is she thinks she's jumping, but her feet don't actually leave the ground! So she's going to have some catching up to do if basketball is in her future!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Giggle girls!

Luke and I took this sweet video of Caroline after we came home from church Wednesday night. I could seriously watch it over and over! Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face too!

Kinda reminds me of this video of Anna Kate around 7 months...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Last weekend on Luke's day off work, we decided to do something fun together as a family. We loaded up the girls pretty early and headed into Columbia to the EdVenture Children's Museum. We had purchased an annual family membership for super cheap on one of those deal-of-the-day websites, so we were excited to use it! Anna Kate and I had been before with some friends a while back, but it was Daddy and Caroline's first time and we all loved it!

Eddie is the main attraction when you first walk in. He is the World's Largest Child! You can climb all up inside him and learn about the parts of the body! He made Anna Kate a little nervous, but she warmed up after a while!

The first place we went was the kid-sized grocery store. Anna Kate loves going grocery shopping, so this was quite a treat! She really liked making each item beep at the checkout.

Our next stop was the farm where Anna Kate drove the tractor. Look how much she has grown since the last time we came back in July!

Next up was the automobile and mechanics exhibit. We learned how to pump gas and how one little gear can make lots of things happen!

My favorite exhibit was the storytime area that they had set-up. They had life-size (well, life-size for a kid!) interactive displays for 6 or 8 different classic children's books (The Tale of Peter Rabbit, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Snowy Day, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, among others). The featured story of the day was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (which we have borrowed from the library a number of times)! They did a read-aloud of the book and then the kids were able to make their own snowman craft. Here is Anna Kate's!

Here she is checking out the footprints in the snow from the story.

Then she headed straight for Peter Rabbit's hollowed out tree!

The Chicka Chicka Boom Boom exhibit included various musical instruments which AK thought were really neat! Here's a quick video!

Speaking of music, they had one room completely dedicated to music and the science of, I said that the storytime room was my favorite, but this one was really neat too! Here's Anna Kate playing hopscotch on the C Major Scale!

The life-sized board game room looked pretty neat too, although I wouldn't know since I was spending quality time on a bench with Caroline while Daddy took Anna Kate around this one! But here are the pictures of her learning how to play chess and battleship!

And last, but not least, we had to do a little news reporting at the television studio. Pretty cool to see and hear yourself on TV!

We had quite a fun morning! I have a feeling we will be enjoying our membership quite a bit in this next year!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New sleeping arrangements!

Well, we talked about moving Anna Kate out of the crib and into a big girl bed before Caroline was born so that the crib would be available, but since she was going through a crazy sleeping phase anyway (I think it was related to our move to a new house), we decided to wait. We thought we would make it a big deal for her second birthday to get to start sleeping in a big bed and it has been great! She made the transition perfectly and LOVES her big bed! In fact, she's actually sleeping better now than she was in the crib (rarely waking up in the middle of the night and sleeping a solid 12 hours). Here she is with all of her bedtime necessities (monkey, lovey, lamby, blanky, paci, and unga).

Caroline is also very excited that she was able to graduate from the Moses basket (which she was rapidly outgrowing) to the crib. I would be lying if I said she was a great sleeper in said crib, but at least she's cute!

If we're honest, she spends some of her sleeping time here...

And if we're going to be really honest, she spends some of her sleeping time here...but usually only in the early mornings!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beach trip!

We just returned home from a wonderful vacation to Myrtle Beach with Papa and Mimi (Luke's parents) - and their dog, Bonnie, Anna Kate would want me to add. It was spring break for the university where Luke's dad teaches, so they asked us if we wanted to get away for a few days. Of course we took them up on it! We had a great time relaxing around the beach house, walking and playing on the beach, visiting some area attractions, and doing a little shopping!

Our first full day there we headed out to the Brookgreen Botanical Gardens which I had heard of, but never visited. It was filled with beautiful plants, flowers, trees, fountains, and sculptures which we all enjoyed walking around. They also had a sweet little children's garden that Anna Kate loved!
Running around the fountain!

She really liked the turtle train!

I thought this quote from The Little Prince was sweet...

If you can't read it, it says, "Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them." A good reminder that our children do not think like adults and while of course we need to train and discipline them, sometimes we need to just let them be children!

Another one of our mornings we spent at Broadway at the Beach. We really didn't make any purchases (well, except for fudge at the chocolate store...), but we enjoyed feeding the big coy fish and playing on the playground! And I enjoyed looking at children's clothes to get ideas for making them myself!
Feeding the fish

Anna Kate loves to slide and thought it was super fun that Mimi did it with her!

When we first decided to go to the beach, I knew that I wanted to take some family pictures while we were there. Nothing super fancy, just our own cameras and Luke's parents as the photographers, but family pictures nonetheless. I made these sweet dresses for the girls and had enough leftover fabric for a skirt for how could I resist! Luke's just lucky that I ran out before I got to him...haha! Oh, and I found a super cute idea online for making fabric hairbows...LOVE it! Anyway, for those of you who live around here, pretend you haven't already seen the dresses if they happen to wear them for Easter...or maybe the Carolina Cup...

Here are some of the best shots. Not too easy to take pictures of this family of four, but I think we got some cute ones!