Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Daddy time

Anna Kate got to go on a special date with her daddy on Friday morning while I took Caroline to the doctor. She was so excited and wanted to wear a "pretty dress". And of course I forgot to get them in the picture, but she HAD to wear these pretty little pink satin shoes with a rose on them (she would have nothing of the boots I tried to put on her!). Here they are heading out the door!

Another thing that Anna Kate LOVES to do with her daddy is read. She would sit and listen to him read stories to her for hours. And even baby Caroline is getting in on the action now! Here they are all snuggled up for a bedtime reading of "Wacky Wednesday" by Dr. Seuss.

These girls sure love their daddy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

6 month check-up

Caroline had her 6-month doctor visit yesterday! I was actually really proud of myself for getting it this close to her actual 6-month birthday (she was more like 5 months old at her 4 month visit...oh well!) It was a beautiful morning, so we walked to the doctor (we usually walk since it's only about 3 blocks away). Here she is in her stroller in the waiting room.

Anyway, she did great for her appointment and passed with flying colors! Here are our sweet girl's stats:

Height: 26 1/2 inches
Weight: 16 lbs. 12 oz.

She is growing well and becoming stronger every day. She showed off her sitting skills for the doctor very nicely! Her favorite part of the doctor's office is the paper on the table. She likes to grab it and crinkle it and try to put it in her mouth...luckily she's not faster than Mommy!

On another note, we are going to go see an allergist to see if we can figure out what is bothering her skin...she has been doing somewhat better since I stopped eating milk, eggs, and wheat. But, that doesn't leave a whole lot for me to eat, so we would like to figure out which one of those (if any) it actually is! But for the meantime, if anyone has any gluten/dairy/egg-free recipes, send them on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

6 months old!

Happy half-birthday, Sweet Caroline! How can you be six months old already? Surely you can't be growing up this fast. Just about every time we take you out, our friends say, "Look how big she's getting!" Except of course when you're in the sling and you look like a tiny little papoose! You truly are growing into such a precious little girl, and you get sweeter and sweeter each month.

~ You are now rolling over both ways easily! Although, we don't see you roll from your tummy to your back much anymore, because you would much rather be on your tummy! The very moment I lay you down on a blanket/playmat/bed, you immediately flip to your tummy to see what you can reach for!
~ You are working very hard on sitting up by yourself, but you're not quite there yet! You can do it for up to 10-15 seconds at a time, but then you topple right over, so I have to make sure I'm right there with you when you're practicing!
~ You are really starting to love your exersaucer this month. You started using it last month, but your feet can now touch the platform, so you can bounce and spin all around and reach all the toys. You have even figured out how to push the little buttons to make the music play.
~ Speaking of music, your favorite toys are definitely the ones that play music. You have a few of them and you love to hold them and reach for them and chew on them as they play.
~ You love to grab Mommy or Daddy or big sister's face with both your hands and give big slobbery kisses. Anna Kate is not sure how she feels about this yet, but mommy and daddy love it!
~ We have started going to the park a lot more this month for a few reasons: first, the weather has been nicer, but secondly, you are starting to enjoy it more yourself! You are perfectly content to swing in the baby swings for quite a long time. You are not sure why I won't let you down to play in the sand, but you'll settle for the swing for now!
~ Your sweet toothless smile that I mentioned last month has become even bigger. I understand what the expression "grinning from ear to ear" looks like now. It's also getting pretty easy to get it out of you...usually all it takes is looking at you. What can I say, you like attention!
~ About that attention, you are finally starting to be more willing to laugh and smile and yes, even be held by people other than Mommy and Daddy! Of course, we're still your favorites, but you are becoming much more friendly and outgoing!
~ You still love to be worn in the sling or baby bjorn by either Mommy or Daddy. You frequently get "worn" on walks, or around church, or even just around the house. I think you like feeling the closeness, but also being able to see the world from our perspective.
~ You now definitely know the words "milk" and "hungry". You can't say them of course, but when I ask you if you want some milk, or if you're hungry, you immediately throw yourself back and assume a nursing position in my arms =)
~ I think your eyes have finally settled on a color, but it's very unique. They are definitely dark, but it's almost like they are a perfect combination of Mommy and Daddy's eyes. They are brown, but with a dark bluish tint. I really have never seen any just like them, but they are beautiful!
~ You really love your big sister. You laugh and smile at just about anything she does (even when she's getting in trouble...ha!), and you love to reach out and touch her face, her hair, whatever you can grab. I am so looking forward to seeing you interact more and more.
~ You got your first real sickness this month: pink eye. It's been going around church and somehow the rest of us were able to escape it, but you had a full-blown case. You were so pitiful with your oozy red eyes =( You also HATED the eye drops that I had to give you! But you are back to your happy little self now and for that I am grateful!
~ I am afraid to say that I think your days of swaddling might be numbered. You still absolutely love it, and it's the only way you will sleep, but just within the past day or two you have figured out how to roll over to your tummy while swaddled. You don't do it until you're ready to wake up, but then you get stuck! Luckily, I'm never very far and I come and rescue you...but I think you may have to learn to sleep without it...
~ About that sleeping thing, you are now only waking up 2-3 times per night! That's actually really good for you! In fact, last night, we put you to bed at 8, and then you only woke up at midnight and four! Hopefully we are on the uphill swing of this whole sleep regression =)

Caroline Hope, what a special baby girl you are! And what a wonderful six months it has been since you first joined our family on that early October morning. We love you!

And of course, here are your pictures.

One month

Two months

Three months

Four months

Five months

Six months!

And Anna Kate at six months!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He leads me

Yesterday was one of those days. Anna Kate was just obstinate, not wanting to do anything that I asked, Caroline was having a fussy day, maybe reacting to something I ate that I couldn't figure out, the housework was piling up...and I was overwhelmed. And then there was today. Caroline and I woke up together at 7 and had an entire hour to ourselves before Anna Kate woke up. We worked on rolling, sitting up, and crawling...all of which she is making progress on! Here she is sitting up with one of her favorite toys.

Anna Kate then woke up happy and sweet and I brought Caroline up to snuggle with her. They really are starting to be very sweet together.

Anyway, unlike yesterday, Anna Kate had an extremely well-behaved day. In fact, she kept asking me if I would give her something to obey...I kid you not. "Mommy, can I do another obey?" "Why yes, Anna Kate, why don't you put all those legos in the basket?" After playing and reading stories, we walked to the park and had a great time with friends. We came home and both girls took long naps and I had time to get things done around the house, but more importantly, to spend time in God's word. I had time to just sit and think about how God really does care for me. There is a verse in Isaiah that I feel like was written just for young mamas. Isaiah 40:11 says, "He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." He gently leads those that are with young. He cares for me, a mama with two small children who is often just...tired. Today his grace came in the little things. A sweetly obedient two-year-old. No temper tantrums. A beautiful walk. A quiet house. A giggly baby.

I am so grateful that he leads me. I am grateful for the hard days that teach me to rely on Him. And I am grateful for the days like today that remind me how blessed I am.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wesley and Cooper come to visit!

Anna Kate LOVES her cousins. She is constantly talking about Leah, Wesley, and Cooper, and how much she loves them. Well, she was so excited to hear that Wesley and Cooper were coming to Camden for Spring Break (although leading up to the visit, she kept saying, "And Leah?" Well, not this time =( Next time! Anyway, the long-awaited day finally came and Sarah, Wesley, and Cooper arrived...during naptime. Anna Kate usually wakes up slowly from nap, playing with her toys, and rolling around a little bit, but not this day. When she heard that her cousins were here, she bolted out of bed! And I don't think that the noise/running/excitement stopped for the entire 5 days they were here! We kept them all super busy, but we had a great time. Cooper and Anna Kate played so well together (except for arguing like brother and sister a few times!) and Wesley took great care of baby Caroline! Here are some pictures of our time together.

First snuggles!

Saturday we took Sarah and the boys to the famous Carolina Cup steeplechase horse race right here in our little town of Camden. Although we had to skip naps to do it, the kids had a great time and it's always fun to have an excuse to get all dressed up!

Side note...we had to walk over and visit my freshman roommate, Mary Margaret, who was one of the 80,000 spectators who came to the races! So fun to catch up with her and introduce her to Caroline (she met Anna Kate last year!).

Sunday afternoon, Luke (bless his heart), offered to take the three big kids to a special event at a local farm where the kids could meet the animals and see how a farm is run. Sarah and I stayed back and enjoyed some quiet time with Caroline and cleaned up the house for our small group that night.

Love this it a mirror, or a window? Haha!

Monday we took it easy and just showed them our favorite spots around town: the park and the library!
We had to get Caroline in on this one...but, yes, I am holding her...I just tried to hide my hands!

Too sweet

Caroline looking up at Aunt Sarah while the big kids played

Choo choo train!

We also enjoyed some ice cream on our front porch on a beautiful spring evening!

Yay for ice cream!

Tuesday we thought we would go on one more big outing - this time to EdVenture! We love our children's museum and knew that the boys would too!

Wesley had no fear climbing up inside Big Eddie!

And of course, the grocery store was a hit. Not sure what it is about this...

And Cooper was pretty serious about his tractor driving!

Wednesday morning came and we were very sad to see them go. Thank you so much for making the drive to visit us. Come again any time!