Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Adam!

Happy Birthday to our Superman! I don't know how he does it. He works long hours, but still gets up before the sun to get his run/workout in. He gets up that early so that he can be home before the girls wake up. He gets them ready every morning and puts the 3 of us in the car. 

He never needs a single minute or a single second to decompress from it all when he gets home. He immediately comes in the door to help. 

I'm so thankful for this man. He is a great husband, father and man. 

Adam's family came to our house on Saturday to celebrate with us. We had barbecue sliders for dinner. I made Velvet Spice Cake out of Julia Childs' cookbook. The recipe says it is a very crumbly cake and it is, but it was good.

The girls wanted Adam to have a Gamecock theme so I put this on top of the cake.

Caroline wanted to give Adam a picture of a Gamecock football player. She colored most of the jersey orange. Of course, I didn't mind that.

Happy 31 Babe! I'm so thankful that you have been in my life for more than half of my life. I'm so thankful we are raising this family together. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lucy 2.5

A July birthday girl gets to celebrate her HALF birthday at preschool. Lucy turned 2.5 on January 10th. At that point she was doing amazing at potty training and was just 5 days away from sleeping in her big girl bed. What a month!

The name Lucy means "light" and this little girl is definitely a light in our lives. And that includes Caroline's. Lucy is always on the go and always has many subjects to talk about. 

But just because she is on the go, don't peg her as a Tomboy. Lucy loves all things baby dolls. It's all she plays with at preschool, church and home. She takes at least one with her every morning in the car even though she knows she must leave it there. And there's barely enough room in her bed for her with all those babies. 

Lucy loves to pretend. Her imagination has blossomed just like Caroline's. She's had a few consistent friends - "Sally" and most recently "Tootsie". Tootsie is a baby. Lucy is often carrying her with both arms clasped across her chest.

Lucy is still a great napper. At home, she often naps 2.5 -3 hours in her big girl bed. She is still pretty short in stature wearing 24M or 2T pants. She can wear 3T shirts, but usually wears 2Ts. She is running about 3-4 sizes smaller than Caroline. Her hair requires some serious conditioning to get the beautiful curls instead of frizz. I need to start investigating some products. I'm not used to hair that curls like hers.

Lucy can recite all of the books of the Old Testament and several memory verses. We are working on the New Testament - should have that before her 3rd birthday (my goal). She can also write "L" pretty good. We are working on writing her name. She can write several other letters, but not "U, C, or Y" yet. We are also working on letter recognition - almost there. She's more difficult to teach than Caroline was/is because she is always soooo busy. She still won't sit to read long books. But she is clearly one smart cookie so I'm not worried about it. We get to work on these things when Caroline is at swim practice and that is plenty of time for now.

I think Lucy is pretty social. She talks to me a good bit about little friends at church and preschool. She knows their names and tells me what they did together. But she is very independent too. She can entertain herself for long periods and wants to do everything by herself. She dresses herself and can do all of her bathroom stuff by herself - Hallelujah!

Lucy still has the best laugh I've ever heard. She is extremely ticklish and just doesn't know how to giggle - it always comes out as a big belly laugh. She also loves to laugh at movies, silly conversations, books, and pictures. I love this picture. Lucy's teacher told them to make silly faces. Lucy was the only one did =)

I just love it!

What a joy it is to be this little girl's mother! We are so thankful for this chocolate-loving, baby-doll-hogging, belly-laughing chatterbox.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Room Transformation

With another little one on the way, the girls will need to share a room. So we decided to go ahead and move them in together at the same time we got a big girl bed for Lucy. So when I was ordering a bed for Lucy, I went ahead and ordered one for Caroline too. 

Bunk beds were not an option in my mind. We have hardwood floors, the girls are 2 and 4, and both of them sleep walk. So twin beds was an easy decision for me and the room is a good size to accomodate that.

So here is a before picture

Before the beds arrived, I spent a lot of time working on the bookshelf and the closet. Both of the girls had a large 5 shelf bookshelf. I knew we would really need one of those for toy organization in the closet since there wouldn't be room for a toy box or toy areas in the room. So I combined a good bit of the books, donated duplicates and put the rest on a smaller 3 shelf bookshelf in the baby room. It took a lot of creative stacking to get all of these to fit.

We did a closet makeover with a kit from Lowes and I included the 5 shelf bookshelf we already owned.

For a few days, I had Lucy's clothes in the closet even though she was still sleeping in the crib in the other room.

We also obtained a double-sided dresser from Adam's aunt's house (who has passed away). The size is perfect for 2 little girls. Caroline helped Adam and I repaint it and put shelf paper inside.

Then the beds arrived. We moved Caroline's old Full size mattress and box springs into Lucy's room with the crib so that Adam and I would have some working space to assemble the beds. It was a week night, but we were eager to get the work done so we put the girls to bed in Lucy's room - Caroline on the mattress on the floor and Lucy in her crib - while we went to work.

We couldn't complete the task that night because we were missing a dowel. But we finished up on Wednesday night after church. And at about 9 PM, we put the girls to bed in their room. It was also Lucy's first night in her new bed. The room was still in disarray with toys and boxes and books everywhere, but they loved sleeping in there.

I have spent a little time each day working on their room and it's just about done. Nana is working on some quilts for their bed and that will be the finishing touch. So here is the almost-final product:

A view of the new dresser.

And the bookshelf.

The girls have shared a room several times before - whenever we have guests stay with us, when we are out of town, etc. We've never had major problems. They may talk a little, but I actually really love that part. And their night sleep schedules are roughly the same. Lucy is our little chatterbox. Caroline has come to complain to us a couple of times that Lucy won't stop talking =) but even that hasn't happened in several nights. These girls really are best buds. I hope this sharing-a-room thing will make them even closer.

They've been sharing a room now for 2 weeks.

Beam Team is Recruiting again

We could not be more thrilled about adding another little one to our family. On January 21st, we went public with our news that we are expecting a baby in July. 

My due date is July 20th. Caroline and Lucy are over the moon and ask questions on a daily basis. They are always finding toys and giving them to me to put aside for the baby (of course, they want to play with it 10 minutes later).  Caroline asked me one time, "Do you just pray to God to ask Him when it is time to go to the hospital and have the baby?" And Lucy says that if the baby is a girl, she wants us to name her "Tootsie". This is also the name of her newest imaginary friend. Caroline also wants to send out invitations for people to come to the hospital and see the baby when it is born. I'm so glad I have these girls to help me take care of all the details =)

We told our girls the news on Christmas Eve. It was a hard decision to tell them so much earlier than our public announcement, but we knew we would be taking some very long car rides over Christmas with family members. We wanted our family members to know why I wasn't feeling chipper and why I was sucking down hard candy like there was no tomorrow. So we told the girls at our intimate Christmas dinner at home. We showed them ultrasound pictures.

On Christmas Day we told our parents. I was 10 weeks along.

I have been so thankful to have my first trimesters between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure it limits what I can eat, but at least I'm off of work for a lot of time. Sure makes it easier to keep the secret from coworkers. The days I felt the best were the days I slept 14+ hours and believe it or not, I actually got to do that a good bit since I was off work for almost 3 weeks!

Before they knew, the girls had been praying for Mommy to feel better for several weeks. Poor things - always saw me on the couch asleep with a heating pad on my back.

Lucy came to comfort me one such time. I was mostly asleep. She brought me several "lovies" and then "read" me a book =)

And we've had lots of slow, snuggly Fridays - I don't work on Fridays.

We didn't tell the girls to keep the news a "secret". I didn't want them to be burdened with that. And at first I wasn't really worried because Caroline didn't really talk about the baby the first week she knew. But Caroline is a thinker and about a week after we told her, she started talking about it nonstop with excitement and all sorts of questions. She told her preschool class the first day back from Christmas break. That really was fine because her preschool is not around my coworkers or our church with a lot of our friends. So I told her that was just fine. But I then told her, we weren't going to tell anybody else for 2 more weeks. 

We took the girls to my 12 week appt, which happened to be when I was 13 weeks pregnant. To my surprise, we got to have an ultrasound! It was so fun for the girls to get to see the baby. The baby was moving around like crazy and waved at us. The sweet doctor wrote "Hi Caroline!" and "Hi Lucy!" on some of the ultrasound pics. That was such a sweet day for us!

I'm so thankful to be feeling much better. Every once in a while I still have a bad night and my back has still been bothering me, but for the most part, my car-sickness and nausea are gone - YIPPEE!

So here I am now at 15 weeks starting to feel some little kicks. We are so very excited to meet this little one!

Lucy's a Big Girl

January has been a big month for Lucy. As soon as we got home from our whirlwind Christmas tour, we hit the ground with potty training. And she did amazing. It's night and day training a 19 month old versus a 29 month old. I still wouldn't change anything about the way we did it, but it's amazing how much she can do all by herself. It's a lot less work training an older child.

I also ordered a bed for Lucy when we got home after Christmas. It took the bed 2 weeks to arrive. I had told Lucy, now that she was potty training she was a big girl and she was going to sleep in a big girl bed. She got slightly confused and curled up in Caroline's bed the first night of potty training. I had to explain that she was getting her OWN bed and it would be a NEW bed and it wasn't going to arrive for 2 more weeks.

So we went to pick out sheets. Lucy picked out Dora sheets with  Minnie Mouse as her backup set. She carried the Dora sheets all around Walmart while we grocery shopped.

The beds finally arrived and Adam and I spent several hours putting them together. With the room in disarray, boxes and toys everywhere, Lucy went to sleep in her big girl bed as soon as we finished getting it put together at 9pm on a Wednesday night. 

Getting all her babies tucked in.

Lucy has done fantastic with both potty training and her big girl bed. We have not put bed rails on the bed. It is pretty low to the ground. She has fallen out twice - both times in the middle of the night and the first time was after a full week in her bed so I think we will keep the rails off. I'm so proud of her. The ease of both of these transitions show me she was more than ready. My baby is turning into a little girl (tear)!

January Happenings

January 2014 has been 100 times better than January 2013. For one thing, I didn't get the flu AND no one has gotten a stomach bug (yet - boy am I nervous typing that). So here are some things that DID happen in January

I cooked our first traditional New Years Day meal. I cooked Hoppin John! It was good, but a little too spicy for me and the girls.

We have had plenty of fires in the fireplace.

Lucy learned to put her coat on. Sometimes it ends up like this.

We have played lots of games.

Our washer and dryer broke - so we bought new ones. They broke the day we got home from our Christmas vacation =/

On Pajama Day at preschool, Caroline got to take home the class teddy bear for the weekend.

We took Boris to the new trampoline park.

And then we had another Pajama Day at church.