Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall is here!

Happy first day of fall from the Tolbert sisters!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Conversations with Anna Kate

Anna Kate has been saying and doing some pretty funny things lately.  Here are just a few!

The other day at the grocery store she kept asking if we could go by the bakery to see if they had any free cookies.  We often do this when we go, but this day she had already had a number of sweets, so I told her that we weren't going to get a cookie.  She looked at me very sadly (not angry or demanding, just sad and pleading) and said, "But I have made it clear that I want a cookie!"

We have been working on teaching Anna Kate how to wake up and get out of bed without waking up Caroline who may still be sleeping.  If she sees that the first number of the digital clock is a 7, she can get out of bed quietly and come downstairs.  Sunday morning, however, she apparently forgot and called out, "I'm awake!" very loudly, which of course woke up Caroline.  I went in there and got onto her for waking up her sister and she said, "Mommy, just milk her and she will go right back to sleep!"

Yesterday while I was doing dishes in the kitchen, I heard Anna Kate playing in the dining room (which was set up for me to teach violin lessons later that afternoon).  She was apparently giving her imaginary rhino friends a violin lesson because I heard her say, "No, rhinos, I told you to play it on the A string, not the E string!"

Any time that she finds something that she hasn't see in a while (even if it's just something small like a pen cap or a bouncy ball), she excitedly holds it up and exclaims, "We were been missing this!"

Anna Kate has become quite the negotiator lately.  The other day she asked me if I would snuggle her as she fell asleep for nap and I told her that I would for one minute.  And she said, "Two minutes?" To which I responded, "Ok, two minutes."  And she said, "Or seven?"

Sunday morning her Sunday school teacher said that the first thing Anna Kate said when she walked in the door was, "What will we be learning about today, Ms. Tammy?"  Tammy told her that the lesson would be about Jeremiah and Anna Kate responded, "Hmmm...ok!" as if to say, "That will be acceptable!"

And just for fun, here's a picture of my funny girl.  She put this little ensemble together herself the other morning:  pink headband, Olympic gold medal, hippo jammie shirt, two different purses, and purple butterfly underpants!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Eleven Months Old!

Caroline Hope, you are eleven months old today!  You have absolutely blossomed this month.  You are so much more interactive and doing so many more things than you were even just a month ago.  It is so fun to watch, but bittersweet as well to see our tiny baby growing up!

~ You now very clearly say Mama and Dada.  Not always on command, but when you say them you mean them.
~ You have a new favorite sound to make: "Hoo Hoo Hoo" like an owl.  You pucker up your little lips and will keep saying it over and over again whenever you are really excited about something!
~ You can stand up all by yourself without holding onto anything.  You still grab on to furniture to walk around but you stand for little stretches unassisted.
~ You still love to play phones and baby dolls with various objects.  You also love to play tea party now and know just what to do with the cup and teapot!
~ You love to wave hi and bye-bye to everyone you see.  You usually pretend to be shy for a minute when we talk to people, but then you reach out and give them a big smile and a wave!
~ You have recently developed a love for books.  You love sitting and listening to us read stories to you and will even sit through 5 or 6 at a time.  Your favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Go, Dog, Go (just like your big sister!).
~ You are FINALLY sleeping unswaddled.  It was not easy to break you of that...we have tried multiple times over the past 5 months or so and given up each time.  But you haven't been swaddled to sleep now for 2 weeks!
~ Speaking of sleeping, you are also putting yourself to sleep without being nursed or rocked.  Don't get me wrong, I still nurse and rock you, but I have been putting you down awake instead of asleep.  We went through a tough week or so where you kept standing up in your crib and throwing your paci out hoping we would come back (which we always did...), but you rarely do that anymore.  Usually you just roll over and go right to sleep, or you sit for a little while talking before you collapse!  You still wake up 3 times a night to nurse, but we might start working on that soon...
~ Now that you are unswaddled, you have started to develop more of an attachment to your purple blanket and your pink teddy bear.  It is so sweet to see you roll over and cuddle them as you fall asleep.
~ I just realized the other day that you haven't been to the doctor in three months, and even that was just for your 8-month well visit.  So, really, you haven't needed to go to the doctor since May.  Which, for my sweet little baby with allergies and skin issues, is really exciting!  You are doing so much better as long as you and Mommy just stay away from dairy, eggs, and peanuts.  We will go back to your allergist soon to see if you have started to outgrow any of those, but for now, we are doing just fine and your skin is beautiful!
~ Your hair is still growing in quite curly, especially around your ears!  It's one of the first things people comment about when they see you - "What cute little curls she has!"
~ You are doing so well eating just about anything we eat at the table.  You would MUCH rather feed yourself finger foods than eat off a spoon.  Your favorites lately are black beans and frozen peas.
~ You had started to throw food off your tray when you get full, which is a no-no, but you have now learned to sign "All Done" and that is helping immensely!
~ At last month's update you had four teeth, and you now have seven!  You have all four across the top and three on the bottom.  The fourth on the bottom should be coming soon!
~ You are quite the climber.  You LOVE climbing the first three stairs up to the landing in our house, but you can't make it down them.  We have a baby gate after those first three, but we can't gate off the bottom part, so I have to be extremely vigilant!
~ You love music.  You love listening to Mommy play violin, or Daddy play piano and sing.  You dance right along and clap your sweet little hands!

Here are your pictures!

One month

Two months

Three months

Four months


Five months


Six months


Seven months


Eight months

Nine months


Ten months


Eleven months!

and how about big sister in the same dress =)

Sweet Baby Caroline, watching your grow and change this month has been so fun!  You light up our lives, and truly are our "Joyous Song of Hope", just like your name means.  We can't wait to celebrate one whole year of life with you next month.  We love you more than words can say!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Clemson v. Furman!

We had quite the weekend!  Luke's parents have season tickets to all of the Clemson home games and invited us to come with them to the Clemson/Furman game (my alma mater, for those of you who don't know!).  Luke's dad is a Clemson grad and Luke and his siblings grew up going to all the home football games, so they are quite a Clemson family!  It was so fun to get to take our girls and carry on the tradition.  And especially fun for me to be able to cheer for my Furman Paladins too!  However, since they are a school of only 2700 students...they got trounced.  But the band did fantastic...we do have a great music department!  Here are some pictures of our day:

Tailgating at the RV campground before the game...and celebrating Aunt Allison's birthday!

Have you ever seen so much orange in all your life?  I just wore purple and cheered for whoever had the ball!

Anna Kate with her Aunt Allison


Jonathan, Luke, Allison, Anna Kate, and Margo (Mimi)

We didn't get a good picture of the girls up at Clemson, but I took this one last weekend, so I thought I'd share it!  Go Tigers!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Anna Kate's great tooth fiasco!

It all began last Wednesday night.  We were up at the church building to eat supper before youth group and kids programs.  I was in the kitchen preparing the food and Anna Kate wanted to play with one of the big ice chest coolers.  She has quite the fascination with them.  You know, the ones with wheels on one side and a handle on the other.  She just thinks it's super fun to pull it around like a wagon.  Anyway, she was pulling it around the fellowship hall and then had an idea.  She got on top of it and asked one of her little friends to pull her on it.  Probably not the greatest plan, but just one of those things that kids will do.  Well, it wasn't long before we heard her fall.  She was crying about her mouth hurting and upon closer inspection we realized that about a fourth of one of her top front teeth was missing.  While it was all Anna Kate's idea to ride on the ice chest, her little friend felt terrible!  He was so cute afterward when he said, "But I was only going medium speed!"

So back to the tooth.  We called our dentist first thing the next morning and he worked us right in.  He said that he could fix it very easily with a white composite filling and it would take 10 minutes and be as good as new.  The only catch was that she would have to sit still for it.  And that was NOT going to happen.  She behaved perfectly until he stuck the first instrument in her mouth and then it was all over.  So our dentist suggested we wait a week, talk about what the appointment would be like, practice playing dentist, and give her atarax (like Benadryl) an hour beforehand.  So we tried that for our next appointment a week later.  We brought Daddy along for that appointment...but that was a no-go as well.  So Dr. Carson referred us to a pediatric dentist in Columbia.  He said they might have more luck with our strong-willed two-year-old!

We headed into Columbia for our consultation appointment this morning and met the dentist and the assistants and I was encouraged that they might possibly be able to fix my sweet girl's tooth.  We were planning on having to come back for another visit for the actual procedure, but then the dentist asked if we wanted to just wait a few minutes and he would work us in.  Yes!  The plan was to give Anna Kate some nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and hope that it calmed her down long enough to do the procedure.  So we waited in the super cool movie theater room for a little while, just long enough for Luke to meet us there.  He hadn't planned on coming since it was just a consult appointment, but as soon as he found out they were going to actually do the procedure, he came right over!

Anna Kate did great for the initial administering of the laughing gas (she thought the mask on her nose was pretty silly) and really did pretty well for the topical anesthetic as well as the injection.  It wasn't until the filing of the jagged tooth that the assistants and I had to do a little bit of restraining.  But let me tell you what, this pediatric dentist knew what he was doing!  He did a fantastic job (even with Anna Kate exercising her strong set of lungs...) and fixed her tooth as good as new in 10 minutes flat!  It was quite an exhausting time, but it's all over and sweet girl's smile is all fixed!

I did get a couple of pictures so that you can see some before and after shots!

This first one is pre-accident.  You can click on the pictures to make them bigger so you can see her pretty smile!

This one was the first morning after the fall.

And this one was taken this afternoon.  All fixed up!

We have had quite the week, but as my grandpa would say, we are "just one step farther along in life" for having walked through it!  But we're glad that's done!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Big Girl

There has been a lot going on in Anna Kate's little life lately!  I feel like she is getting more and more grown up each and every day! 

Anna Kate has just recently started participating in the children's choir at church.  Last week was Children's Sunday and she performed three songs with the choir!  She had been working so hard in choir as well as at home (and in the car listening to the CD) learning all of the songs and motions.  Her favorite one is "Roar Like a Lion"...which talks about how God is surely alive and active and roaring like a lion!  The other two which are so sweet to hear her sing are "10,000 Reasons" and "Where I Belong".  So, back to Sunday morning.  She did great lining up and filing on stage with the group and got through the first song perfectly.  Here's a little video for you to see!  She's on the far right of the front row.

And then...she decided that she'd had enough of the standing in rows thing.  She wanted to be front and center.  So she just walked right out to the center of the stage and continued singing from there!  At one point she turned around to "direct" the choir herself.  And then apparently she got tired because she sat right down and kept on singing!  So, we have some work to do, but for her first public performance, she did pretty well!  Here she is sitting down in front of the choir...

Another big change for Anna Kate is that she no longer uses her beloved "Paci" and "Unga" (extra paci) anymore!  Truly, the way she was attached to them, I was a little worried she might still sleep with them when she was sixteen years old.  But no!  One morning last week we were preparing to have some friends over who just recently had a baby and Anna Kate looked at me and said, "Mommy, I think I want to give my pacis to Baby Ava!"  So we put them in a pretty gift bag and she handed them right over when our friends arrived!  I actually waited a whole week to post about this because I was pretty sure she would have a fit and we would end up giving them back to her...I know, I know, I'm a wimp...but she has done great!  She hasn't asked for them once!  The only downside is that it now takes her 15-20 minutes to fall asleep instead of the 2-3 minutes it used to take.  But that's fine with me!

So as a little reward for being such a big girl, we told her she could go to the store and pick out some new jammies - any kind she wanted!  She took quite a while to decide, but finally settled on some hot pink ones with stars and ballet slippers.  Here she is her first morning after a paci-free night!

I also just have to share this picture of my sweet kitchen helper.  We LOVE fall around here and can't get enough of all things pumpkin, so when we woke up last Saturday to a crisp 65 degree morning, Ithought we should make our first pumpkin bread of the season.  Anna Kate wanted to help and was so proud of our accomplishment.  She especially liked my pan that makes the pumpkin bread look like a pumpkin patch!

And last, Anna Kate has become extremely sweet and loving lately.  She has started telling Luke and me (and Caroline too!) how much she loves us at just random times throughout the day.  She will also just come up to you and give big hugs and kisses!  Yesterday afternoon we needed to leave to go somewhere and Luke and I were fighting over who could be the one to go wake her up from her nap (she's super snuggly when she first wakes up).  So we compromised and both went and crawled in bed on either side of her.  She opened her drowsy little eyes, saw that we were both there, immediately put one arm around me and the other around Luke, and said, "I just love you forever."  Melted our hearts...