Sunday, May 29, 2011

Great-grandmother

My great-grandmother passed away on Thursday. She was 103. This was my mom's mom's mom. The reverend speaking at her service said that even when death is expected it always seems sudden. And that is so true. Mama had been with us for so long, it was hard to imagine life without her. I feel very grateful for the time I had with her. Adam and I typically visited Mama when on our way to or from the Upstate (where our parents live). We especially did this after Caroline was born - having children definitely makes you cherish family more. I am so glad Mama got to meet Caroline and Caroline got to meet Mama several times before she died.

I know I'm very lucky to have met my great-grandmother and to have gotten to spend so much time with her. It's crazy to think that she was 76 when I was born. She attended my wedding and got to meet my first child. I am very lucky.

One of my favorite memories of Mama is from when I was very little girl (probably about 4 years old). Mama had come to spend the week with us in Charlotte. I told her that I wanted to watch "the little girls" ("Little House on the Prairie - one of my favorite shows - I know I am/was weird). Mama hoisted me up to look at the clock. She pointed to the clock and explained that "the little girls" would not come on TV until the big hand was on the 11 and the little hand of the clock was on the 12. It's not a funny or passionate memory. It's just an everyday kind of memory and it makes me smile.

I have some other not so great memories - like telling her that she didn't make PB&J like my mommy did and running away from the smothering of kisses she was about to give me. But I'm sure that these things just made Mama smile too.

Other things I never want to forget about Mama:

  • She never drove. She never even knew how. 
  • She didn't think women should go out in the evening by themselves
  • She called hot dogs "wieners"
  • She had a really fun backyard
  • Holding her hand to cross a parking lot. Her hand always had a wadded up tissue in it.
  • Her plastic rain hat to protect her perm
  • Stroking her hair as she slept in the nursing home
Mrs. LeeIla Heatherly was dearly loved. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Partay

We kept Caroline's birthday party very small this year. Small shindigs are definitely more Caroline's personality. Caroline is shy and intimidated by large crowds. So on the Saturday after her birthday, we had a wonderful family gathering and celebrated Caroline. She had a wonderful time and felt extra special in her tutu. We had a Cinderella themed party, which simply meant a Cinderella cake and Cinderella plates. Caroline is all about the Disney princesses right now. She hasn't even seen a Cinderella show or movie - she's only read the books, but she adores Cinderella. She also loves "Booty" (Beauty) and "Mermaid" and Snow White.

Here are some pics of the birthday girl and the fun times.






Here is the cake that I made for her birthday. I had looked at cakes for the other Disney princesses. Ariel was dressed scandalously in the examples I saw so I wasn't going to do her. Then I found this Cinderella example and I decided to give it a try. I had a lot of fun making this cake for her and I learned a lot. My biggest lessons learned are: 1) Dye all the icing at the same time (notice the various shades of blue - those are not shadows), 2) Use homemade icing recipe - store bought icing melts as it warms to your body temperature while you are icing the cake, 3) I don't ever want to do this professionally! (I'll let my sister do that - she is much better than me)


Caroline's most treasured present is a Beauty piggy bank that my aunt got her. Caroline went around collecting every one's change and putting it into Beauty. Here she is collecting from Adam's grandma. Since this day, Beauty has gone many places with us and she has slept with Caroline in her bed. She almost went to church with us one Sunday, but then I thought her teachers might think this was Caroline's tithe =)

And Caroline decided to climb up into the tree house in our backyard at her party for the very first time. Of course she had help. She loved it and I couldn't believe how adventurous she was being. Way to go Caroline! Happy Birthday Baby Girl! You are cherished and loved by so many!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Caroline is 2!!

Caroline turned 2 on Friday the 13th. Interestingly we officially entered the "terrible twos" on Friday the 13th. I wonder what that means for us =)

Adam and I both had off of work on Caroline's birthday. It was so great to have sweet family time on her special day. We started the morning with homemade chocolate chip pancakes.


Birthday girl at the breakfast table.

We then headed over to Cottle Farms to pick some strawberries (some of which would be served at her birthday party). Caroline did really great at picking this year. She knew to pick the red ones.



We then packed up and headed over to a friend's neighborhood pool. Caroline just loved the pool last year. We weren't really sure if she would still love it this year, but the verdict was....


She loved it again! Thankfully she has a few more inhibitions this year and didn't like her head going under the water. Last year she was putting her head in every chance she got. We really had to watch her. It's fun to see her be a little bit of a daredevil since she's not one anywhere else, but it's a little scary too.

I really enjoyed being cooled off and weightless. I also enjoyed being able to pick up my little girl and hold her a lot since the water made her weightless too. Eight months pregnant at the pool is nice.

We tried to get Caroline to wear this bathing suit since it had the cool floaties in there. I'm glad I brought the back up bathing suit because Caroline just cried while she was in the one with built-in floaties. She kept saying it was "too fat" - lol! We will have to keep trying it because I think she would really love to be more free in the water.

One good picture of her with the floaty swimsuit on.

We had such a great time playing together and pretty much had the pool all to ourselves. After we had splashed to our heart's content, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and then headed home for a nap.

Caroline on the ride home.

For dinner that night, we had one of Caroline's favorites - spaghetti. We then gave Caroline her presents. We should have known better though. We brought out strawberry short cake, which I had put together during her nap. Caroline wanted nothing to do with it instead she wanted to play with her presents. I guess we should have opened presents after strawberry short cake - oh well, Adam and I ate it for her.

Birthday girl so excited and wearing her birthday tutu (same one as last year).

It's been such a fun year with Caroline. Seeing her personality blossom has been one of the greatest joys of my life. She is such a precious person! She is kind and gentle, loving and content. She has such a tender heart. It's almost funny to me how nurturing she is. It's kind of strange to have a 2 year old come over and rub your back, but she does it often. I know that God has big plans for her big heart.

She is doing and saying so much right now. I am so excited about the things she is finally doing by herself. Since we put her in a big girl bed (beginning of March), she hadn't once tried to actually get out of it by herself. And even though that is a wonderful thing that I love, I was also so excited for her when on her birthday morning I opened up her door and she was out of the bed all by herself! She has only repeated that action once since then. Both times she really had to go to the bathroom so I think that motivation was what got her out of the bed. She still can't open the doors in our house so she is stuck in her room until I open the door for her.

Easily climbing on her play set this month!

Playing baseball with Daddy.

She is also really getting into art and play-doh. She can be occupied for 30 minutes or more working on a little project. Our refrigerator is now covered in her art work. I bought her Do-It-Dots for her birthday and they are perfect for her age!

She loves to do her art at her princess tray.

All of her art on our refrigerator. She LOVES that her art is displayed there and frequently will point at a picture and say "Did you make that?!?"

Caroline is also really into dress up right now. We got this really great dress-up dress as a hand-me-down from one of Adam's coworkers. She could wear it 24/7. She loves to show you how to courtesy in her dress. But right now, Caroline loves all dresses. She asks to wear a "pretty dress" almost every morning.

All decked out.

Books are still a number one must have when we have to bring Caroline entertainment. She is getting really good at reading to herself. Especially since she knows most of her books anyway - we have read them all sooo many times. And let me tell you, we are not hurting for books. We have about 8 shelves full of them! She takes after her Daddy in that regard.

Caroline's 2 year old stats are:
Height - 35.75 inches (95%)
Weight - 29 lbs 2 oz (75%)
Head - 49.5 cm (93%) -

If you're keeping track, Caroline has actually grown 3 inches since her 18 month well visit but she's lost 11 ounces since her last appointment (a sick visit back in February). Several people have suggested that maybe it's ok for kids her age to lose weight since they are thinning out and becoming more active. But our pediatrician assures me it is not ok. She said that kids can plateau, but losing is not good especially when they have grown 3 inches! Dr. G thinks Caroline is burning too many calories trying to breathe around her enlarged adenoid. Dr. G also saw fluid in both of Caroline's ears. The fluid was a really dark amber color meaning it had been there for a long time. So Dr. G really agrees with our ENT Dr. V that surgery is something we need to do sooner rather than later. We see Dr. V again on June 1st. So we will find out for sure then. We also have to go back to see Dr. G for a weight check at the end of June.

Please keep Caroline and our family in your prayers as we prepare for all of this. We have a lot of big decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. We love our princess and want her to be healthy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fantasy Maternity Leave

I was telling Adam that lately I had been fantasizing about my maternity leave. I am so looking forward to spending this time with my girls. I want it to be as relaxing as possible - though I know adjusting to 2 children is going to be...well...a BIG adjustment. I just really want to maximize this time that I have with them.

I have this schedule in my mind of how our typically day will go. I'm sort of scared to actually write it down - knowing that 1) It's probably not going to happen, 2) If I admit that this is my plan, I will have failed if it doesn't work. But on the other hand, I love documenting this kind of stuff. I love looking back at things that I have said and done in the past and realizing how much I have changed/grown from that point. So I want to write this out too. Go ahead and laugh and tell me how ridiculously high this expectation is. Hopefully at least 1 day out of the 12 weeks will go this smooth. What do you think?

7:30 feed Lucy while Adam gets Caroline ready
8:15 Lucy goes back to sleep, Adam plays with Caroline while I shower and get ready for the day
9:00 Adam leaves for work, Caroline plays by herself while I do a  chore
9:30 Caroline and I get ready for our Morning Activity (playing in baby pool in backyard, trip to the zoo, trip to the park or playground or library)
10:00 Grab Lucy and commence Morning Activity
10:30 feed Lucy while doing Morning Activity
12:15 Lunch at home
1:00 Caroline goes down for a nap
1:30 feed Lucy
2:15 Lucy goes down for a nap, Mommy goes down for a nap (yeah right)
3:30 - 4:00 Caroline wakes up (she really does sleep for 2.5-3 hours) and we play together
4:30 Caroline does Afternoon Activity (something I've prepared from maybe this website or play doh or coloring - something she can do independently). Feed Lucy.
5:30 begin cooking dinner - this will definitely be the hardest part of the day
6:30 Hopefully, Adam gets home and we eat dinner
7:00 Begin bedtime routine with Caroline
7:30 Caroline goes to bed and I feed Lucy
8:00 Lucy goes to bed and nighttime feedings begin.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama knows best

Happy Mother's Day. My day has been really sweet with my sweet little family. I took a nice nap and we went out for dinner. I'll post some pics of the gifts I got later.

But I was thinking the other day about some of the odd things that I do. I'm not even really sure why I do them except that my mom always did. So here are some of them:
  • I put a bar of soap in every dresser drawer in the house. (When we are running out of soap, I grab a bar from a drawer, but I always replace it promptly when I have bought some more.)
  • I refuse to go to bed with wet hair. (I have made an exception twice in my whole life both time because I had taken a shower sleep walking and woken up at 3 am with soaking wet hair in the shower. I still wrapped up the wet hair in a tight towel and pulled the tight towel as far away from my head as possible before I laid down on the pillow to go back to sleep.)
  • I cringe whenever I say the word "nasty". I don't say it much and when I do, I regret it.
Moms are just wonderful and I miss my mom a lot. I'd love to just ask her why she did some of the stuff she did. Until I can ask her in heaven, I'll continue to do them because who knows - maybe dresser drawers fall apart if there is not a bar of soap in them.

What odd things do you do just because your mom did them?

Lucy Belue at 30 weeks

Well, here we are at 30 weeks (1 week ago) - me and little Lucy Belue. "Belue" is the middle name we have decided on. It is Adam's mother's mother's maiden name. So, if you recall, Caroline got a middle name from my mother's family and Lucy is getting a middle name from Adam's mom's family.


I don't really have a 30 week belly shot of me and Caroline. The closest I have is about 32 weeks. My philosophy is to take a belly shot when I remember so I remembered one morning last week so I took one.

To the outsider's eye, I may look like I'm carrying the same because, really, how differently can a 5'3" person carry? I'll tell you - VERY differently =) I personally notice a huge difference. I'm carrying Lucy much lower than I carried Caroline. How do I know? Because I can breathe, I can drive for 2+ hours without once pushing my stomach down and out of my ribs, and I don't sit in chairs arching my back. The driving thing is huge. It was so uncomfortable with Caroline. But on the negative side, I visit the bathroom a whole lot more. In a few weeks my belly may expand more into my ribs and I may have some of those problems again, but I'm enjoying driving for now!

The Braxton Hicks have started and are in full force. I was happy that they started almost 2 weeks later than they started with Caroline. Hopefully that foreshadows a later delivery.

Had my 30 week appointment last week. Doc also noted that I was carrying very low. She also was able to tell me that Lucy is head down. For several weeks, I had been concerned she was breech. Then about a week ago, I felt like she had shifted, but I wasn't sure how she was positioned. With Caroline, I had no problem knowing that her hiney was in my right rib. I was pretty sure my rib was permanently bruised, but with Lucy being so low, it's more challenging to tell where everything is. So it comforted me to know she is in a good position.

Lucy is on our minds and hearts everyday. I've made my to do list of all the items we need to do before she arrives. I am really the manager of the list - Adam is mostly the doer. I am really looking forward to my maternity leave and my 12 weeks off with my girls. I have lots of wonderful ideals and fantasies about how this 12 weeks is going to go. I'm sure we won't be able to do half of the things I have planned - 12 weeks will go by so quickly.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pictures with Grandpa

My dad took some pictures of Caroline this weekend. We went up to Greenville for a bridal shower for Adam's sister. It was perfect timing to have a photo shoot with my dad and perfect weather. He took these at Simpsonville Park - the same place he took pictures when she was about 6 months old. Adam is not in any of these because he had to work on Saturday. We will have to do it again when he can be in them.

I just love this little girl!





The playground was filthy!! These are her legs AFTER I had wiped them down a good bit. I asked my dad to take this picture so I could remember that. Of course the grime and grit was all over her hands too and she kept wiping her face and sucking her thumb so it ended up EVERYWHERE. I hardly ever keep baby wipes in the diaper bag with me now that we are potty trained - HUGE MISTAKE. I had an extra pair of pink cotton pants (in case of an accident). I kept wetting them with water from Caroline's sippy cup and then wiping her arms and legs with the pink pants - LOL!


My pensive little girl. (You can see some dirt on her face. I'll have to edit that out.)

Bubbles! Another from memory of this photo shoot: My dad brought about a half gallon of bubble solution to play with so we would get all of these beautiful smiles. Seriously enough bubbles for all 50 kids at the park that day. About 5 minutes into playing with them, the 1/2 gallon of solution toppled over and spilled everywhere into the grass. We still managed to scrape some bubbles out.








I told Caroline to give me a kiss and she planted a big one on me!



Playing with grandpa's face (I took over the camera here so we could get some with grandpa).




Sunday, May 1, 2011

Talking on the phone at dinner

Caroline picked up my phone which was sitting at the dinner table and started having conversations.

Bubbles with Nana and Papa

Nana and Papa (Adam's parents) came down the Friday before Easter. They brought the finishing touches for Caroline and Lucy's rooms. There will be a separate blog post for those. They also brought down a couple of Easter treats for Caroline including a bubble gun. This was the result.

Some funny Caroline quotes to listen for:
"Can you catch it?! Can you catch it?!"
"Are you ready Papa?"
"Good job Papa."