Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Caroline at 15 months!

I just wanted to do a little update about our sweet baby Caroline these days.  She is growing and changing so much lately, and I know if I don't document it, I'll forget it!

First, she went to big girl Sunday School for the first time today.  She did a great job in Ms. Tammy's class, but will definitely miss snuggling with Ms. Erin and Ms. Summer each week in the nursery.  She did great today though, probably because she is now in the same class as Anna Kate.  They will be together until Anna Kate is promoted in September.  It's so great having Anna Kate in there because she can tell me exactly how Caroline did!  From AK's report, Caroline even sat still for the lesson time!

Caroline is really communicating so much these days.  She really likes to use head nods/shakes and pointing to indicate her wishes, but she is also starting to use words too.  Here is a little video of her three favorite words:  Mama, Dada, and Sisssss (Sister).

We are still doing FANTASTIC in the sleeping department!  Caroline has slept all the way through the night (11-12 hours) for four nights in a row!  And before that it has been only up one time (if at all) for the past three weeks.  We have arrived...

Caroline will now sit through multiple books at a time and let us read to her.  Her favorite book is definitely Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton.  She loves to clap her hands and do the chicken sounds at the right times.  She also will just sit down at the book shelf and look at books for 10 or 15 minutes at a time all by herself.

Caroline is starting to participate a little bit more in family worship time.  It's still hard to get her to sit still for the whole time, but she is learning her first catechism question.  Here she is answering the question, "Who made you?"

Caroline has become quite active lately.  She has figured out how to run (although she sometimes careens out of control when she gets going to fast) and she LOVES to climb.  She can frequently be found standing or sitting on top of their little playroom table.

She has discovered lately that it is really fun to use objects for their intended purposes.  For example, if you hand her a brush, she immediately tries to brush her hair (or Mommy's hair!).  She knows that hairbows go on your head, and that cell phones go up to your hear (or she tries to text on them!), and that shoes go on your feet.  My favorite lately was she found a little pretend credit card in one of Anna Kate's purses and she took it right to the space between the door and the door jamb and tried to "swipe" it.  Ha!

Caroline has quite a fascination with jackets.  She loves wearing coats/jackets and usually wants to wear one around the house even if she's not cold.

She also loves any kind of chase/hide-and-seek/peekaboo game.  She loves the anticipation and giggles and giggles with delight!

Caroline is a joy and she brings such sweetness to our life!

And because no post is complete without pictures, here is one of Caroline and her sweet big sister after church this afternoon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

If she dressed herself...

This is what Anna Kate would look like every day.  Jammies with sparkly ballet slippers, a pink sparkly headband, a silver sparkly scarf, a pink sparkly tutu, and red sparkly shoes (on the wrong feet, of course).  Notice a theme?  What can I say, the girl loves sparkles!  This is how I found her after I got out of the shower the other day.  She said she was ready to go to the library.  It took a little convincing to get her to change her clothes...

Sweet sleep

Psalm 4:8
"In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 127:2b
"For he gives to his beloved sleep."

Proverbs 3:24
"If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
   when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

Those of you who know us well, or have followed our blog for any length of time, know that we have been blessed with a very precious child in our sweet Caroline, but one to whom sleep did not come naturally!  To give a little of the background here, Caroline was a fantastic sleeper as a newborn.  It was not uncommon for her to give us 5- or 6-hour stretches of sleep at two and three months old.  

And then something happened when she turned four months old.  Suddenly, she started waking up three and four times a night.  She would nurse and go right back to sleep.  We attributed it to her becoming more social and aware of the world around her, or a growth spurt, or teething pain, and figured this too shall pass.  Well it didn't!  Literally since the day that Caroline turned four months old, she has never (not once, not ever, never) slept more than 3 hours in a row.  In fact, most nights she would wake up to nurse anywhere between five and seven times.   It's amazing how you learn to cope with very little sleep!

There have been various times throughout the past year where we have wanted to try some method of sleep training...but there never seemed to be a good time.  Vacations and trips would mess things up, or we would have out-of-town guests in our house, or she would be getting new teeth, or getting over a sickness, and the list goes on.  And there were a few times that we did try, but it just did not work for Caroline.  She can be a very persistent child who knows exactly what she wants ("fellowship with Mommy" as my own mom calls it!).

But finally, last week we decided it was time.  We devised a plan (which we called "Daddy-it-out" opposed to "cry-it-out") and got ourselves all psyched up for what we knew would be a few hard nights.  The plan was to just have Luke go to her any and every time that she woke up and cried.  No more nursing all night long, but not leaving her completely alone either.  The first night she was not extremely pleased.  But Luke was able to comfort her each time she woke up, and she seemed to understand when he told her that "Mommy's milk has gone night-night!"  He also placed multiple pacis on her dresser (that she can reach from her crib) and she was starting to figure it out.  The second night she only woke up 3-4 times.  The third night was only 2.  And since then (for a week straight), she has either slept all the way through the night (11.5-12 hours), or has only woken up once, and she goes right back to sleep when Luke goes in there and tells her to lay down.


We truly were not sure if this day would ever come!  Never again will I take for granted a full-night's sleep, that's for sure.  Now if we could only keep Anna Kate from waking up at 3am asking to come to the "big bed"!  Oh well, one child at a time! 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas in Greenwood

We just returned home from a wonderful five days in Greenwood spending Christmas with Luke's family. We enjoyed lots of board games, fires in the fireplace, walks in the chilly sunshine, and of course, lots of sweet treats!  We headed to Greenwood right after our 3pm Christmas Eve service, so we were there in time for a nice hot supper and time with the girls before bed.  Before I start with the Greenwood pictures though, I wanted to share just a couple that I took at home before we left.

Luke and I in front of our massive Christmas tree!  

Sweet Anna Kate 

And I just love our stockings, so I thought I would post a mantel picture or two!

Ok, now for the Greenwood pictures.  Of course the girls had to open their traditional gift of jammies on Christmas Eve.




(Caroline obviously wasn't super excited about AK's arm around her neck...)
A little playtime before bed!

After we got the girls down, I got to work stuffing stockings and Luke got to work on the girls gift from us...a wagon!  They absolutely love getting to ride in their friends' wagons, so we knew they would love it...and they did!

Daddy and Uncle Jonathan working hard

Mommy testing it out to make sure it was safe!

As for Christmas morning pictures, the girls were so busy and active that we didn't get many good pictures.  But here are a few!

First, though, how about a couple videos?  Anna Kate was up first and just couldn't wait to get started, so after a little while, we let her go wake up Caroline.

And then we opened the most important gift of all.

My sweet girl picked out a present for me all by herself.  Pink and black snowflake pajama pants!

Anna Kate with Mimi and Papa

Here is another video of the girls seeing their wagon for the first time! 

Once we brought the wagon inside, Caroline wouldn't get out of it!  She wanted all of her presents brought to her in the wagon.

After opening gifts, the rest of the morning was spent decorating Christmas cookies...


Putting together new puzzles...


And going for rides in the new wagon!

After naps we had a wonderful steak dinner!  I know, not necessarily traditional, but delicious nonetheless...and who passes up the chance to eat a good steak!

I tried to do a little photo shoot with Caroline after dinner...she was more interested in the ornaments!

Our little family

Highlights of the rest of the week included more wagon rides...

And decorating a gingerbread house!  We had so much fun we just might make it an annual tradition!

Anna Kate with her finished house...

(My favorite part of this picture is Caroline in the background!  I know, she's missing a shirt, but she got her dinner all over it and we were about to go get ready for bed!)

We had a wonderful week celebrating the gift of our Savior and are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2013.  Happy New Year, everyone!