Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best Video Ever

And while you anxiously wait on Caroline's 7 month old post (I know you are on pins and needles), here is the cutest video ever to hold you over.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Half Birthday

***Post was written on November 13th. Pictures just now added!


Today is Caroline's half birthday - Friday the 13th! I look at Caroline and I'm in awe. I can't believe how strong and beautiful she is. I love seeing her personality and learning more about her. She does new things everyday which keeps me on my toes. This month seemed to be especially filled with new things.

Here are some of her new tricks:
Recognizing the bottle (she gets really excited when she sees it)
Holding the bottle all by herself (at 5 months and 3 weeks old)
2 teeth (at 5 months and 1 week old)

The only proof of the teeth we have on camera. 



Sitting in a high chair and shopping cart
Sitting alone - completely unsupported (at 5 months and 2 weeks old)



Eating cereal, pumpkin, green beans, and apples (started at 5 months and 2 weeks old)



Grabbing her feet (at 5 months and 3 weeks old)
Recognizes her name (I'm really not sure when this happened - I just know she does.)

Personality

Caroline laughs more and more everyday. She always lights up with her big smile. And she is very affectionate. When I pick her up from my aunt's house she smiles really big at me and then buries her head in my shoulder. She'll do it over and over again. I absolutely love it.



She's begun to experience some separation anxiety - mainly when she's tired. She's gotten scared a couple of times this month too and each time only Mommy or Daddy could comfort her.

She's a big splasher in the tub. We've been bathing her by the kitchen sink since birth because of the nice spray hose we have there, but not anymore. After drenching the kitchen floor several nights in a row we moved her to the big bathtub (her infant tub sits in the bathtub - still not ready to just put her in the big tub).

Caroline has started playing with toys more. She loves the stackable rings, her colorful ball, and her stuffed Elmer. She will sit on a blanket on the floor and play with these toys for 30 minutes! She loves to kick them just out of reach and then grunt or moan until I come over and put them back in front of her. In some ways, I'll be excited when she is a little more mobile and can do this herself. But I am mostly dreading mobility. I love that she stays put.

Caroline with her favorite toys! 



Stats

As far as size goes, we are learning we have one big girl! The day we brought her home from the hospital she was 6 pounds even having lost a little weight after birth. Today at the doctor's office she weighed 18 pounds and 1 ounce!! We couldn't believe it. She is in the 87 percentile.

What's more is that she is 26 and 3/4 inches tall. The doctor couldn't give us a percentile for her height because it is off the charts! Caroline sure has come a long way. She is now in size 3 diapers and wears mostly 6-9 month clothes. We still have a few 3-6 months that work. She also seems to have skipped a shoe size. We are in size 2 shoes. I'm not sure what happened to size 1.




Food

Caroline has entered the world of solids now! After a fierce growth spurt, she is now eating solids 3 times a day. We've only been at for 2 weeks so she doesn't eat a big variety yet, but so far she likes everything. Her favorite (of the 3 we've tried) is apples. Interestingly, she prefers apples and green beans to pumpkin. She was a rock star at learning to eat. We were nervous at first and very impatient since she was waking up twice every night to eat. Sleep deprivation will do a lot to a person, but I was so proud of her. By day 5 she was opening wide for every bite! She's a member of the clean plate club for almost every meal! For breakfast, she has 2 cubes of a fruit with 2 tblsp of oatmeal. For lunch, she eats 2 cubes of a vegetable with 2 tblsp of oatmeal and for dinner it's 2 cubes of fruit, 2 cubes of vegetable and 2 tblsp of rice cereal.




She also gets only 4 milk feedings a day. We are still very new to this schedule and still figuring out all the kinks. Napping has been thrown off a lot. Hopefully we will figure out when the best time is to eat and nap in the next few days. Any moms have schedule suggestions? I'm just not sure where you fit 2 long naps in when she is supposed to eat 7 times in one day (4 milk, 3 solids).

Other Random Stuff


Caroline has lost a good bit of hair this month. I joke that we are losing our hair together. I guess all of my pregnancy hormones are finally wearing off and it seems like all of my hair is falling out. Caroline is also going through this transition. She has new hairs growing in behind the old and they appear to be the same strawberry blonde color, but it is hard to tell.

She's also had trouble sleeping since her growth spurt 2 weeks ago, but we talked to the doctor today and were reassured that she's getting plenty to eat during the day and shouldn't be hungry. The doc just says that this behavior is normal at 6 months so we are going to try some different methods to help her soothe herself back to sleep.

Loving the walker this month!


So pretty


Dressed up for church.


Some days she has to bundle up.



Playing at the park.


Our pumpkin.




Since she's not old enough to eat candy, Caroline passed out candy to all the kids who came to our door.


Reading with Daddy.


Yup, six months old!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Adventure

I'm starting a new adventure - a website to be exact. Currently the website is in the form of a blog. I have a vision of it becoming bigger, but we will see what happens.

The blog is called "Mommy of the Year". The idea is that all moms have their Mommy of the Year moments (MOTYM) - a time when you do something stupid, forget to do something important, or try to do something and fail miserably =) As much as we want to get it all right all the time, we can't. I wanted to create a place where we can share these MOTYMs to laugh at ourselves and each other, and in the end ... to encourage each other.

The site also has a running post of Moms in the News. I search out inspiring stories about moms everyday and post them for us to read when we have a free second (yeah right!) just to get an extra boost of encouragement.

I have a couple of other ideas in the works so please check back for those.

On Friday, I will have a poll set up for everyone to vote on their favorite MOTYM of the week. Right now I have posted 3 of my MOTYMs so it's looking like I'm going to win this week ;) If you have a great MOTYM, send it my way ashleybeam@gmail.com and I will post it to the blog.

Please also pass the word on to your friends about the site. The more input we have, the better the site will be.

Check out the site: http://iamthemommyoftheyear.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yum yum

It seems like at every step of Caroline's development I have not been ready, but she tells me she is. The same was true for eating solids. I was a true hold out. I wanted to wait until Caroline was 6 months old - more so for me then her. Caroline has been eating 4-6 ounces 6 times a day for close to 3 months now. I love that this was one thing that was staying the same. We had the hang of it. We knew how to do it.

Over the last 2 months, Caroline has begun to show signs that she is ready for solid foods. She holds her head up with confidence, she has been showing an interest in our food, she is a great sitter (UN-supported now!), she doubled her weight a LONG time ago, she has great hand to mouth coordination proven when everything goes in her mouth, and she lost her tongue thrust reflex. BUT, she seemed satisfied with her liquid feedings so I held out.

Slowly over the last week I began to lose sleep in that Caroline started waking up earlier and earlier to eat. It got as early as 4:30 am - and I still held out. I'm quite stubborn when I want to be =) But, my Thursday and Friday started at 2:30 am. This was unacceptable, thus we started rice cereal Friday night. My sis was in town and she has 2 little ones so she was able to help us through the process.

Without further ado, here is our cute video of our little girl's first bite.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lessons Learned

Well tonight I learned a few valuable lessons.

1) Don't put potato skins down the garbage disposal. The disposal might can handle a few, but definitely don't peel all of your potatos, and wait to grind all of the potato skins in the garbage disposal at once! You may be out both your disposal AND dishwasher.

2) Wait to carve your pumpkin until a night or two before Halloween! It may rot within a few days.

I came home from work today to a rotten pumpkin =(, but the repair man was able to fix our disposal and dishwasher.

Here is the documentation of our fun with the pumpkin before it croaked:

Showing Caroline the insides of the pumpkin. We picked out the seeds and roasted them that night - yum! Oh and look at how good she is sitting up!



Adam carving the pumpkin.


Posing by the pumpkin in her flower costume.


Posing by the pumpkin in her Carolina Panthers gear. This is how Adam and I compromise between Clemson and USC. Caroline wears neither - haha!


So it really was fun while it lasted.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Teeth

Guess who got 2 teeth this week!



This kid did!

The pic was taken on Monday. The first tooth (bottom right) came in on Wednesday night. The second tooth (bottom left) came in Friday.

I'll try to get a pic of the actual teeth up here soon. Caroline won't let you look at them long. She puts her tongue in the way so getting a picture of them seems impossible right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5 Months

This post has been ready to go for a while, but I haven't been able to upload my photos from our camera. The pictures off of my phone will have to do. Caroline turned 5 months on October 13th so Happy 5 months Baby Girl!




Guess who's five months old! I can't tell you how much I enjoy and love my little girl. Adam and I love hanging out with her. Most days we argue over who gets to bathe her, change her, read to her, hang out with her etc. Every day she changes and I am constantly amazed at how I cannot put her in a box. I've learned I can't say "She's a thumbsucker" or "She loves the mirror" or "She loves sleeping on her back all sprawled out" - all of these things I have said on this blog - because that all changes in a matter of days.

This week, Caroline loves to suck both of her hands at the same time. Every finger is in there. I can't believe they all fit - it kind of looks painful, but she's having a good time. And this week, Caroline is terrified of the mirror - seriously - huge tears and frantic screaming! "Why are there 2 mommys!! Aaaaahhhh!!" And this week, Caroline rolls over onto her tummy every time we put her down to sleep - naps and bedtime. So we will see what she does next week, but for now she is keeping her options open and not committing.

Caroline is "standing" and "sitting" all of the time now. Both are supported hence the quotation marks. She gets so excited when we stand her up. She is so proud of herself. She is also rolling over like crazy - back to tummy! It's the first thing she does when we put her on the floor. She rolled over back to tummy for the first time a few days before she turned 3 months old, but it was completely by accident. Now it is intentional, though I have no idea why she does it if she is going to get so mad when she gets there. She gets mad after she is on her tummy because she wants so badly to go somewhere. She even gets carpet burn on her cheeks from trying so hard to move.

It seems she has forgotten how to roll from her tummy to her back. This is the roll she was awesome at doing. Has this happened to other babies out there? I think it is because she has grown so much the last couple of months and she is having to reteach herself how to maneuver her body. But maybe she just doesn't want to turn over. I'm not really sure.

Caroline has become more affectionate with us this month. Not that she wasn't before, but she's so much more intentional about it. She will often caress our arms and when she is tired she will rub her cheek against ours. It's really sweet. I have to be a lot more careful about my hair and jewelry now though. She pulls on those all the time!

Our big girl is mostly wearing 3-6 month and 6 month clothes, but she has donned a few 6-9 month outfits. We have packed up everything else to lend to a new a little friend due to arrive very soon. She is still in size 2 diapers.

This month Caroline started sleeping from 8:30 pm to 6:30 am with no feeding in between. Adam and I have our evenings again! It's so nice to be able to hang out together after a long day.

Caroline is still eating between 4-6 ounces 6 times a day - finally something that has stayed the same =)

So here is this month's run down:
1 - She found her hands! (meaning she is bringing them together now) I love it when she folds her little hands - so ladylike!
2 - Sitting up in the bathtub
3 - Intentionally rolling back to tummy - she's a rockstar at it!
4 - Trying out the Doorway jumper. She would much rather spin in it though.
5 - Creeping backward
6 - Baby Dedication! (a whole 'nother blog post)
7 - She found her legs?? (meaning she is grabbing her legs all the time) I'm not sure if this is a big milestone or not - but I'm putting it in here. I have a sticker for "Finds Feet" in the baby calendar. She hasn't "found" her feet, but if she's anything like her mom then she won't be flexible enough to reach them so finding her legs may be as far as she gets =)
8 - She pulls the handle to play music in her bouncy seat without any assistance. She plays the music to her heart's content.
9 - She intentionally splashes in the bathtub.
10 - She remembers certain toys and looks for them. For example, we have a specific toy in the bathtub and as soon as I put her in the tub, she looks for that toy.

Back when mirrors were a good thing:


In a 6 month outfit!


Guess where these are going!


It's raining outside!


Daddy is an excellent reader.








She's very nonchalant about her excersaucer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Me

There is a new me ladies and gentlemen. Everyone says that having a baby changes you and I completely agree. I have always enjoyed kids. I like getting on my hands and knees and playing with them, but take that and multiply it by 10 and you have the new me.

I love hearing other parents talk about their kids – what they are doing, how they are growing. It’s exciting. I get excited too when their kids do something new – no matter how small. My stingy, frugal heart has become generous to kids selling stuff. I’ve reread blog entries about friends’ kids from before Caroline was born because I have a new appreciation for them.

I even get emotional about babies I don't know. I used to hate those baby stories on TLC, but now it's the first thing I look for on TV. AND, when the baby is finally born to this woman I don't even know...I cry - haha!

It’s really cool that Caroline is so young and she has so much to learn and yet SHE is the one teaching ME so much about life!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I ran over my badge

A couple of weeks ago, I drove my husband’s truck to work. I don’t even remember why, but I did. My husband drives a stick shift. I’m not the greatest a stick shift especially in my husband’s truck. The stick is awkward and on the floor of the truck. It is also difficult to shift.

In my parking garage at work, you swipe your badge at the card reader and the lever lifts to let you in. You immediately have to drive up a very steep incline.

On this particular morning, I was multitasking – shifting gears and talking to my dad on the phone. I drove up to the lever and told my dad I needed him to hold on and I placed my phone in my lap – I was going to need full concentration. I thought about my next moves. I would have to swipe my badge and immediately drive straight up this big incline before the parking lever went back down again. Of course there was a long line of cars behind me of coworkers so my thoughts are also “Please don’t stall out, please don’t stall out, please don’t roll into the car behind me, please don’t stall out.” Stalling out or rolling into the car behind you is embarrassing enough when you DON’T know the people, but when you know them it is awful. I rolled down the manual window and got everything ready – left hand holding my badge to swipe, left foot on the clutch, right hand on the gear shifter, right foot on the brake ready to move immediately to the accelerator. I held my badge out the open window to swipe my badge with that the lever was up and I was going – move this, shift this, etc. In all my hullabaloo I forgot the part where I pull my badge back into the car and set it on my lap. Instead I simply let go of my badge while my hand was still out the window. It was as if I thought “Well, done with that.” As my tires spun out of control up past the lever and up the incline, I heard the cracking of my badge – I was running over it.

(If you don’t drive a stick shift, then you don’t know that sometimes your tires can spin out when you give too much gas before your other foot is off the clutch. This happens to me often when I’m going up a hill because I am so worried about stalling out that I gas it early.)

After I heard my badge cracking, I knew I couldn’t stop. A car behind had pulled up to the lever and there was no way I was going to roll backwards down that incline. I would have to park the truck and then walk down to the parking garage entrance to find what was left of my badge. Sweetly, the woman in the car behind me had leaned out her door and picked it up for me. She then followed me to where I parked to give me the broken badge. I’ll never forget her look as she approached me. She looked puzzled. Why had I let go of my badge? It wasn’t like a dropped it – I let go of it. Why had I fled the scene like I had committed a crime? “This girl is strange,” is what her face said.

I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I was incomprehensible to my dad over the phone. We had to hang up.

The Excersaucer

So Caroline has been playing in her Excersaucer lately, but "playing" is a relative term. She really could careless about the cool toys. She's enthralled with the cloth seat. She loves rubbing the cloth and looking at it. She even likes to try and taste it. When Adam or I try to play with the toys on the Excersaucer she looks unamused and looks back at the cloth seat. I must be missing something because I think the toys are way cooler.

Singing herself to sleep

One of my favorite things Caroline does is singing herself to sleep. She doesn't do it every time, but probably half the time. She even does it for naps. The video is completely dark since the lights were out in her room and my iPhone doesn't have a flash or anything like that, but you can listen to her sweet voice.

Bouncy baby

One of Caroline's tricks is that she bounces herself in the bouncy seat. This video shows it the best, but its kind of dark - sorry about that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Office Move part 2

+ The building is oh-so-clean and pretty!

- My cube is the middle of a cube farm that looks so boring.

+ Sonic-like ice chips in the ice maker

- $1.25 for a 20 oz. Dr. Pepper!!! I used to get a 12 ounce can for 50 cents downtown. This is more than a 50% markup!

+ Gorgeous view of trees, lagoons, and other foliage instead of parking garages and dumpsters.

- Snake was found in my building earlier this week – eek!! - still a construction zone.

+ Get to see more coworkers every day since we are all on one campus.

- My fake hand can’t go on the outside of my cube since everything has to look uniform. To read more about my fake hand click here!

+ Mother’s room has a sink

- Can’t run next door to the bagel shop if I don’t have time for breakfast at home in the morning.

Blue Ridge Relay results

Adam had a blast at The Blue Ridge Relay 2 weeks ago. The team ran a total of 211 miles at a 7:35 average pace. They came in 3rd place for a coed team! Adam said the scenery was beautiful but it was hard to breathe because of the altitude. Adam and some of the others made short videos of some of the trip. They are entertaining and aren't long so if you care to watch, here they are. You can also find any of our videos on YouTube by looking at the user names TheAshleyBeam and TheAdamBeam. I know that "The" makes us sound pretentious, but our names-as-is were taken.













My fake hand

Have you ever played the game True Lies? The premise is that you tell a group of people 2 truths about yourself and one lie. The group has to guess which of the 3 things is the lie. I’m sure that if I played this game I would fool everyone – even those who know me best - with the truth “I keep a fake hand in my cubical at work.”

You see, a fake hand is completely out of character for me. I don’t really like practical jokes or fake body parts. I am mostly a go-by-the-books and follow-the-rules kind of girl. My dad and hubby will attest to this. So this is how it got started:

A few months after I was hired at my employer (4 years ago), a guy in the cubical across from me left the company. I was then told that when someone leaves, you pillage through their cube to see if they have anything good you can keep. You have to do this quickly before the facilities group comes and reclaims the stuff. A good whiteboard is usually the first thing taken along with fresh whiteboard markers. Another favorite is a stapler or 3-hole punch. Like scavengers a few of us went into the cube and began to pillage. We opened empty drawers and cubby holes. We found a couple of pens and notepads left behind. When I opened one of the drawers I found a fake hand. At first I was put off.

“What?...what is this doing here?”

I closed the drawer and moved on to another drawer. Then I laughed at the crazy thing.

“Why would anyone have this at work? How weird? I think I’ll keep it!”

You can’t throw something like that away. The first couple of weeks I kept it in a drawer in my office not sure what to do with it. Then I decided to proudly put it in a corner of my cubical so that it looks like someone’s hand is reaching up out of my cube. I mostly decided this because I knew I would never try to scare anyone with it – that’s just not me. However, in its location it did surprise people. People often thought there was someone in my cube. They would step into my cube and see me sitting at my desk and say,

“Oh..what…?”

Stepping back and looking at the hand from outside my cube.

Then stepping back into my cube.

“Oh…I thought that…”

Laughing.

“You have a fake hand in your cube.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Berenstain Bears

Did you know that in the Berenstain Bear book "Too Much Birthday", the bear cubs play Spin the Bottle at Little Sister's 6th birthday party?!?!

This is another crazy discovery Adam and I made when reading to Caroline.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Office Move

Well, I’m moving again! This time it’s my office that’s moving – not my home. My employer built a campus just outside of the city. I’m excited about the move. It will mean free parking, a free workout facility, a nice new office building, and a slightly faster drive to pick up Caroline. The downsides include being far away from restaurants for lunch and my cubicle will no longer be by the window.

My office is about packed up and I’m savoring the Chick-Fila 2 blocks away. My move day is Wednesday, September 16th. I get a delayed start! I guess it’s kind of like a Snow Day for teachers. I’ve always wanted a Snow Day. It should be utter chaos for few days, but I’m learning to love utter chaos since that is what life has become. Caroline is slowly un-tightening this tightwad!

Funniest thing so far is that Accounting is using these cardboard boxes called The Miracle Box to move a lot of their important files. The real miracle is if you are able to get the box put together! It’s so complicated. More tales to come of The Office Move!

PS Did I mention that the campus isn’t complete yet? So this ought to be interesting =)

Caroline Laughs



Monday, September 14, 2009

4 months old


I would like to take this opportunity to say that "Yes, I will have a post about Caroline every month. And yes, it will include an enormous amount of boring details like her current diaper size." Because 1) I am tickled to death with her!!!, 2) I'm thinking the info might help me if there is a kiddo number two, and 3) She is so cool!

This 4th month of Caroline's life has been the month of talking. Remember how last month, I said that she didn't talk much? Things are totally different now. She has so much to say. She "ooooos" and "ahhhhs" and makes sounds that are not type-able. She will even cough and make agitated noises to get your attention. I love it when she sneezes and then sighs!

Along with her new vocal techniques is singing. I guess this makes sense since Adam and I never stop singing to her all day long. Twice, she has sung herself to sleep - once in the car for a nap and once at the beach in her pack 'n play! It is so precious!

So here are the facts:
She has doubled her weight! Last month I predicted she would be 13 pounds at 4 months. Well, she never ceases to amaze. Our Caroline weighed in today at 14 pounds 6 ounces (74%)! She is also 25.5 inches tall (95%) and her head is 41.9 cm (88%).

Caroline is almost strictly in 3-6 month clothes now and she has blown out of size 1 diapers (literally). We have moved up to size 2s. She eats between 5-6 ounces 6 times a day!

Caroline is sitting up great in her Bumbo seat and she is even beginning to bear weight on her legs. She loves standing. She has also sucks her thumb a lot! She finds it easily now and much prefers it to the paci.

Here are this month's firsts:
1) Finds and sucks thumb easily (she found it once or twice before, but now it is easy for her)
2) Wakes up happy
3) Laughs out loud (She did this for Aunt Amber's boyfriend Bobby. Caroline is a sucker for a man with a beard! Videos will be posted soon!)
4) Tries the Excersaucer


5) Soothes herself to sleep at naps and bedtime
6) Sings herself to sleep
7) Stands assisted
8) First cold

Caroline has battled her first cold this month. She still isn't completely over it. She had a mild virus for 24 hours back in August - a slight fever (100.2) with a viral rash. However, this past week she has had a stuffy nose, cough, fever (100.5), sneezing and the rash again. I asked the doctor today if the rash was a red-head thing. Doc said it is just more noticeable because Caroline is a red head with super fair skin. Hopefully, we will be done with this cold in a day or two.

We also took a trip to the beach for Labor Day. This was Caroline's 2nd trip to the beach. The major difference this trip was that she opened her eyes! Before it was far too bright and windy. Of course she was only 8 weeks old and now she is double that! On this trip, Caroline got to be with all of her first cousins at once. It was really cool (and loud) having 4 babies together. More about this in a subsequent vacation post.



Here are some other fun pics from this month.













Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Blue Ridge Relay

Well, I'm all alone this weekend. Adam is getting ready to meet his next running challenge. At 9am Friday morning, he and a team of 11 others will be running a total of 208 miles from Virginia to Asheville, NC.

I haven't blogged about Adam's running in quite a while so let me update you.

Since the NY Marathon, Adam has begun running with a new group of people. They run fast - really fast and have challenged Adam a lot leading to his fabulous half marathon race in February. A few months ago, the group decided to run this relay race this weekend. They have been training really hard. Each member of the team will run 3 legs of the race for a total of 36 legs making 208 miles. Adam is the 9th runner so he will run legs 9, 21, and 32. The race is very difficult since it is in the mountains.

I hate that I can't be there. I would love to follow his team around and cheer them on. I'm going to miss greeting Adam at the finish of each of his mini - races. Caroline and I were hoping to go, but decided not to early this week. Back to back weekend trips are a little more difficult now and Caroline has a small cold =(

I'm so proud of Adam. Some days he gets up with Caroline in the middle of the night - 3 or 4 am. He then leaves to go run at 5 am, works a full day and comes home finally at 7pm with enough energy to give Caroline a bath and put her to bed! Now that's a real man =)

I love you Babe! Run your heart out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Posts

Please enjoy the 5 new posts below. Still to come: MiniVacay, Office Move, and more!

Learning

One of the coolest gifts I got after having Caroline was a book called "How to Photograph Your Baby". It gives really cool tips on exactly that. Adam's cousin Karen gave us this book. I made my first attempt for 3 month pictures. I figured we will see what happens. Overall, I am very pleased and I learned a lot! Caroline was great to let me dress her in lots of outfits and Mom was a big help too!













And because she is Caroline, here are a few of her cutting up =)

Honey, put your shirt back down!


Sweetie, quit hiking your dress up!