Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's no place like home!

Pretty little Dorothy and her sweet puppy Toto had quite an exciting evening!  They had such a fun time at our church's (massive) Fall Festival!  This was Anna Kate's third Fall Festival and Caroline's second (she was 13 days old when she went last year!).  Caroline will probably get into everything a little more next year, but she did a great job riding around in the wagon.  Oh, and she LOVED the petting zoo - except when a goat got right in her face...she didn't like that!  Anna Kate has been so excited for this day to come (she's been talking about it for weeks).  Her favorite part was definitely the bouncy houses!  And the toucan tattoo she got on her hand...super cool.  And feeding the goats.  And the candy.  Who am I kidding, she loved it all!
On another note, our church's Fall Festival is always lots of fun, but we also make sure that we take full advantage of the fact that nearly 2000 people from our community come through our doors.  In years past, everyone has received printed gospel materials, as well as a follow-up phone call and invitation to church, but this year (thanks to my multi-talented and technologically-savvy husband), we were able to do something really neat!  Over the past couple months, our pastor has been doing a sermon series called "Salvation Stories".  Each week we watch a 5 minute video testimony of one of our church members telling their personal story of salvation (all filmed and edited by Luke).  Anyway, he compiled all 6 or 8 of them and had them playing continuously on a big screen outside at the front of the church.  It could be heard/seen by people in line for registration, as well as through the whole trunk-or-treat and many of the games!  Such a cool way to make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel with our community.  Oh, and if you're interested in seeing the salvation stories yourself, you can check them out here.

Ok, back to Anna Kate and Caroline!  I found Anna Kate's little costume at a yard sale this summer and we checked out a Wizard of Oz picture book at the library to get her ready.  She did a great job telling everyone, "There's no place like home!" And Caroline's outfit was pretty sweatshirt/pants with ears and a tail sewn on, and voila, a Toto costume!  And perfect, since she just learned how to make a doggy sound!

Unfortunately, they REFUSED to cooperate for pictures before we left.  Anna Kate just wanted to get in the car and go already and Caroline just wanted to eat the grass.  This was the best we got.

I did get a cute one of them in the wagon waiting in the registration line!

And a couple of Anna Kate having more fun than she ever thought possible!

Mommy with her big girl!


We didn't see much of Daddy throughout the evening since he was working extremely hard getting all 1800-2000 people welcomed and registered, but we did find him right before we headed home!  Caroline was officially done with the Fall Festival at this point...hence the fussy paci face.  Anna Kate could have stayed for hours.


And since I like to reminisce, here are pictures from the past two years.

(8 months old)

 (20 months and 2 weeks)

(Two and a half and 12 months)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dining Room Makeover!

Luke and I have been wanting to paint and redecorate our dining room for quite some time.  The green that was in there when we moved in was just a little dark for our taste and it made the room (which is quite large) seem smaller.  But, painting a room is quite a big undertaking with two small children at your feet!  You can only work from 1-3pm and then from 8pm until you can't keep your eyes open any longer.  So we just kept putting it off.  But Caroline's birthday party a couple weeks ago provided just the right incentive!  So we asked a lady from our church to come over and give us some advice on color schemes.  She is a decorator extraordinaire and knows these historic Camden homes very well.  So she actually took Anna Kate with her to the paint store to pick out some samples (she also took her to Walmart to buy anything she wanted...but that's another story!).  We ended up choosing a light gray/lavender color that we love!  We had the room finished in time for the party, but the fabric I ordered for the curtains didn't get here in time, so I just finished sewing those yesterday.  So, without further ado, here are the before and after pics!

(ignore the party decorations - the only pictures I could find of the dining room were from AK's 2nd birthday!)

And after!
(I couldn't decide if it was better with the lights on or here's both!)

And here is an up close of the fabric I used to make the curtains.  The gold color matches our living room, so we thought it flowed nicely!

Now onto the next project...Luke wants to do a little fixing up of our landscaping.  We'll keep you posted if/when we start that one!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Poor baby Caroline!

Caroline has had quite a rough week!  Saturday night (two days after her birthday) she started running a fever.  I kept her home from church Sunday, but her fever was down all day.  Then it went back up that night.  Monday it was down again and I headed to Greenwood with the girls for a few days while Luke went to a ministers' conference in Nashville.  Monday night the fever was back.  Tuesday, she was fine.  Tuesday night her temperature at bedtime was 102.  She went to bed fine, but woke up inconsolable at 10:30.  She was also really cold and shivering.  I took her temp and it was 96.  I woke up Margo (Luke's mom) and we decided to take her to the ER.  We just weren't sure what was wrong and felt we better be safe.  Well, it was quite an experience!

We arrived around 11pm and the check-in and triage nurses were great.  Caroline's temp was still low but she was acting ok at this point.  We got moved back to a room and the doctor came to check her out.  He found nothing abnormal on her.  Ears were fine, throat was fine, everything was fine.  So he ordered every test known to man.  Poor baby had a chest x-ray (while strapped to a papoose board), a throat swab, a nose swab, a urine cath, and worst of all, she was stuck FIVE different times by four different nurses trying to draw blood.  Her little veins are apparently not very easy to find.  She really was amazing throughout all of this.  Of course she screamed during each procedure, but then she calmed down and either nursed or slept in between everything.  She even giggled and did some of her animal sounds while waiting!

Finally, at 4am, we got enough blood to do CBC and they found that her white blood cell count was a little low.  The doctor ordered a shot of antibiotic in case it was a bacterial infection and after we waited the required 30 minutes to make sure she didn't have an allergic reaction, we were sent home with orders to come back in 24 hours for a recheck.  We decided to have her rechecked by our pediatrician here in Camden and it turns out she actually had roseola, a very common childhood virus.  She is completely better now except for the reddish splotchy tummy and back which indicates the end of the sickness.  So no more fever and other than a little fussiness from a completely missed night of sleep, she is perfectly fine!

I obviously didn't pack my camera in the diaper bag in the rush to the hospital, but Margo took this one on her phone! 

Speaking of Margo, I am SO thankful she was with me while Luke was gone!  I couldn't have done it without her.  And special thanks to Sam who babysat a sleeping Anna Kate back at the house the whole time!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Caroline!

Sweet Caroline Hope,

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!  Is it your first birthday already?  Oh how this year has flown by.  I remember the day of your birth like it was yesterday.  The night before you were born I still wasn't sure that you were going to be here any time soon, but your daddy and grandpa finally convinced me to go to the hospital.  We got one good night's sleep there (the last we've had since, ha!), but then you were ready to arrive bright and early the next morning.  I remember holding you for the first time and marveling at how I felt like my heart could just overflow with love.  And today, just as on that day, I can say with the Psalmist, "My cup runneth over."  You are such a blessing and we are so grateful that God chose us to be your mommy and daddy.  Watching you grow is such a joy!  And here is what our busy one-year-old has been up to lately!

~ You love reading stories - at home, at library storytime, in the nursery at church, wherever!  You love to go up to the bookshelves and pull off a whole pile of books and then sit and look at them.  You will sit and turn pages and "read" the books out loud in your little baby language.
~ Speaking of books, you also like to eat them.  Especially board books.  In fact, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has a hole in the spine from you chewing through it - Ironic!
~ You have become a bit territorial this month...especially with your mommy.  Everyone always warned us that Anna Kate might have some jealousy when a baby arrived on the scene, but it's actually you that won't share your mommy with her!  You do NOT like it if she comes and hugs me while you are trying to hug me.  We are working on that!
~ Although you do get annoyed with her on occasion, you really do think that your big sister is just about the greatest thing ever.  You love watching the silly things she does and she is always very sweet to you.  You love it when she gives you hugs and kisses or plays with toys with you.
~ You are getting very close to walking.  You took what might have been your first steps after your birthday party on Saturday.  It was just three or four, and you fell forward into my arms after them, but they were pretty good!  You have taken a couple steps here and there since then, but you have yet to really take off.
~ You now have a wonderfully easy bedtime routine.  We get all ready for bed and then sit in the rocking chair and read Goodnight Moon.  Then we turn off the lights and Daddy prays for you and your sister.  Then you nurse for 10-15 minutes and I lay you right down in the bed awake.  And then you drift right off to sleep!  I would love to say that you then sleep all night long, but no, you still wake up 3-4 times to nurse.  But only for 5-10 minutes each time.
~ You love to clap your hands and cheer for anything exciting.  In fact, we went to a high school volleyball game tonight and you clapped and cheered right along with the rest of the crowd!
~ You now eat just about all the same foods that we eat.  Well, you and Mommy still don't eat any milk, eggs, or peanuts, but other than that, you eat just about everything.  Frozen peas are still your favorite though!  And while you won't refuse many foods, you are funny with your preferences.  Like the other day, you acted like I was feeding you dirt when I gave you cut-up grapes (and actually, you probably like dirt better, now that I think about it), but I couldn't keep the spoonfulls of curried hummus coming fast enough! 
~ You have been playing peek-a-boo for a while now, but this month you have started to initiate it on your own.  You will hide behind a door or a chair or a toy and then pop out with a big smile over and over again.  You just crack yourself up!
~ You now say five words.  The first four are pretty normal - Mama, Dada, No No, Nana (banana) - but the last one is pretty funny.  You very clearly say "This" for everything that is not one of those four other words you know how to say.  You point at things and say "this".  You sometimes even say it as if it were a question.  "This?"  As in, "Can I have this, Mommy?"
~ You have become very fast at climbing stairs.  And very mischievous while you do it.  You know you are not supposed to climb the stairs, but sometimes I will catch you about to start and as soon as you see me you start racing up them as fast as you can go - while laughing hysterically. 
~  Now, except for the stair issue, you are really starting to obey Mommy and Daddy when we tell you that something is a no-no.  You are extremely dramatic about it, but if we tell you to stop touching something you will slowly pull your hand away, stick out your lower lip, start a long drawn-out cry, and sit down.  It's almost as if there is a real internal struggle going on as you decide whether or not to obey!
~ You have really been enjoying the park this month.  We've had some beautiful cool weather, so we have been going more often and you love to climb up the stairs and slide down the baby slide, almost all by yourself.  I still keep my hands pretty close, but you're getting pretty independent!
~ Your favorite toys lately are baby dolls (you LOVE the new one you got for your birthday today!), purses, and the kitchen set.
~ You also love to pretend that just about any object is either a phone or a hat.  You think it's pretty funny to put things on your head that don't belong there!
~ Daddy taught you how to click your tongue last week and it's your favorite new trick.  You start doing it multiple times a day, and you love it if we join in with you!
~ Speaking of sounds, you now know the doggy sound!  It's pretty cute to hear you say "Woo Woo Woo!"
~ I know I already wrote about this in your birthday party post, but you LOVED your first birthday cake on Saturday.  You had your own miniature chocolate cake (about the size of 4-5 cupcakes) and you probably would have eaten the entire thing if we would have let you! 
~ You have just decided recently that you are not a big fan of car rides.  Short little trips like to church or the store are fine, but anything longer than 10-15 minutes and you get extremely annoyed.  We're not sure this bodes well for our drive to Virginia for Thanksgiving!  Uncle Andrew is riding with us though, so maybe we'll just stick him in the back with you to keep you entertained!
~ One of your favorite things to do is to roll and bounce around on Mommy and Daddy's bed.  Sometimes we will wrestle and tickle you and you just think it is hilarious!  You also love to roll and wriggle away when we are changing your diaper.  Not nearly as funny to us as it is to you...
~ I've probably written about this before in my other monthly posts, but you are quite a dramatic little child.  Your highs are very high (you have the most wonderful smile and giggle!), but you sure know how to flip it around at a moment's notice!  You usually do this if Mommy (or even sometimes Daddy) leaves the room, or if we take something from you that you're not supposed to have.  You are definitely a girl who knows what she wants!
~ We still call you by one of your nicknames more often than not.  The most common ones are "Caresy Hope" and "Liney Bear".  We'll see how long you'll let us keep that up!

Caroline Hope, you are a joy.  We love watching your little personality develop and wonder at what the Lord will do in and through you one day.  I will close with the Scripture that your Daddy prays over you every night before you go to bed.

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up his face upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

Happy first birthday, Caroline Hope!

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

One year old!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A trip to the "Punkin Patch"

With how busy this month has been for us, we didn't make it out to the "real" pumpkin patch like we did last year, but we did get out to the one that one of our sister churches in Camden puts on.  We figured the money was going to a good cause, and the girls were just as excited, so it was a win-win!

I do have to share though, that we tried to go last week to get our pumpkins, but they didn't have them out yet.  We were all in the car, with the girls all dressed in their pumpkin outfits, and had told them how fun it was going to be, and we showed up at the church and found no pumpkins.  To say that Anna Kate was devastated would be an understatement.  No temper tantrum, just true honest-to-goodness tears of sorrow.  So we called and found out they would be arriving the next Sunday.  Perfect.  We got all excited, dressed the girls up again last Sunday afternoon, arrived, and same thing - no pumpkins.  Apparently they were set to arrive that evening.  We seriously felt like the worst parents ever!  Anna Kate was inconsolable.  We had now lied to her not once, but TWICE!  Oh, we felt terrible!  So we did what any good parents would do and got her ice cream and told her we would come back the next day and that they would definitely have the pumpkins then!  Which they did!

So, here are the pictures of our long- and eagerly-awaited trip to the pumpkin patch!

Anna Kate in pumpkin heaven!

Caroline gazing in amazement

This was the best shot of the two of least they're both happy!

Caroline really enjoyed eating the hay

The girls with Daddy

Anna Kate was very particular about choosing just the right pumpkin.  Here she is with her prize.

We let Caroline choose a couple baby ones!

And we tried to get a family picture...

Our pumpkins are now adorning our front porch, along with my little family of scarecrows.  It's very festive, but I don't have a picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Anna Kate's first haircut!

 We have been talking about Anna Kate getting her first haircut for a couple of months now, but just hadn't brought ourselves to do it until this past week.  But it was getting pretty uneven in the back and we wanted to trim it up before Caroline's party on Saturday.  So Friday morning we took her down to the salon where both Luke and I get our hair cut to see Ms. Lara Kay! 

Anna Kate did great for her haircut, and was very serious sitting in the chair with her little cape on! 


 She did think it was pretty funny to get her hair blow dried!

And the finished product!  This was taken that evening at the Camden High School football game.  A few youth groups in town put on a tailgate, so she and Daddy wore their matching youth group t-shirts.

And here is a little before/after of the back.  As you can see, it definitely needed a trim!

Before (She's on the right with the straight hair)



I know we really didn't get all that much trimmed off (especially in the front), but I can't believe how much more grown up she looks to me now!  My Grandpa Burgin would say she's just "one step further along in life!"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Caroline's 1st Birthday Party!

We had an absolutely wonderful time on Saturday celebrating Caroline's first year of life with some very special family and friends!  She was absolutely the star of the party (as she should be!), full of smiles and giggles the whole time.  I have so much to share about our day, so I will just jump right in!
Here is a picture of one of the invitations that I made (with significant help from Luke on the formatting/printing)

It reads: "Satin and lace and lots of fun, Our little princess is turning ONE!"

Rather than choose a specific theme for the party, we just went with the color purple and satin and lace -  inspired by her birthday outfit (which, if I'm going to be honest, I bought almost 6 months ago in anticipation for this day!).  Here she is looking about as cute as any birthday girl I have ever seen!

I hope you enjoyed the the hairbow in that picture because she refused to wear it the rest of the day.  
Oh well!

I do have to interject here, before I share pictures of the decorations, that I have an absolutely wonderful husband.  I knew 6 months ago that I wanted to decorate in purple for her party, but only 2 or 3 weeks ago did I realize that that was going to look terrible with the green color in our dining room.  Now, some greens go well with purple, but not this green.  So, without hardly any complaining, Luke agreed to paint the room!  We had been wanting to brighten it up anyway, so this gave us the perfect incentive!  We chose a light gray color with a hint of lavender.  I didn't quite have time to get the curtains made before the party, so stay tuned for a complete before/after picture of the renovation in another blog post!

Ok, now for the decorations!

Birthday banner (made out of a pretty purple/white fabric and white satin ribbon)

 Monthly picture banner on the mantel

On the mantel are two pictures - a newborn picture and her one-year picture - with a sign in between that reads: "From here to here in just one year!"

As our guests walked in, we asked them to share a Scripture, a prayer or a memory from Caroline's first year of life.


The table...we had Caroline's favorite meal for lunch - pulled barbecue chicken - she really does love it!

 The cupcakes...yes, they are dairy-free and egg-free and no one could tell!  Truly, they were fantastic!


 The bigger girls at the party loved coloring pictures of Caroline!  How cool is this?  Yes, I found the website on Pinterest.  Click here if you want to make your own!  


Speaking of the big girls, here they are enjoying their lunch!

Of course, the highlight of any first birthday party is watching the baby experience the traditional "Smash Cake" - and Caroline did not disappoint!  This really was her very first taste of anything chocolate (or really dessert at all...) and she LOVED it! 

 First tastes...

Still thinking...
Yes, yes, I think I will have some more...maybe the whole thing!

And now, I will present to you, my cake!

This is fun!

 Can we do this again tomorrow?


Even Grandma and Grandpa were able to be present via Skype all the way from Costa Rica for the smash cake!


After cake, all the girls (babies and big girls alike) retired to the play room!


And of course, we had to get some family pictures with our sweet birthday girl!


And one with Mimi, Papa, Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Allison

While Caroline is going to open her gifts from us and from my family on her actual birthday, she opened a couple from Luke's family while they were here on Saturday, so I thought I would share a couple cute pictures!

Caroline's new trick/game lately is pretending that everything is a hat!  Here she is pretending the wrapping paper is a hat.  Anna Kate was a little more interested in opening Caroline's presents than she was...

But once they were opened, she really liked them!  She loves her new little rocking horse from Mimi and Papa!

Thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate our sweet Caroline Hope!  It is so special to see how much she is loved by so many, near and far.