Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Beach Pics#1: Fun in the Sun

Last week, Matt, Caroline, and I went to the beach (Emerald Isle) with Matt's parents a.k.a. Grammie and Grandpa. It was a wonderful vacation! The week was spent relaxing, catching up on some reading (if you haven't read Same Kind of Different As Me...you MUST read it!!), laying/walking on the beach, playing games, eating some good seafood, and most imporantly spending time with Caroline's sweet grandparents. Grammie and Grandpa live near Washington D.C. and don't get to see Caroline nearly as much as they would like. So it was wonderful to spend a whole week with them. They are such sweet, generous, fun (and I could go on with the adjectives :-) parents/grandparents!!
We arrived at the beach late at night and had to put Caroline to bed right after we arrived. Needless to say, we were SO excited to show Caroline the ocean for the first time. We took her down to the beach right when she woke up the next morning (that's why she is still in her pjs). Here she is seeing the ocean for the first time.
I think she likes it!
Here is Caroline touching sand for the first time. This wasn't the best idea because she quickly stuffed her sandy fingers in her mouth. She didn't seem to mind eating the sand but of course all of us freaked out. We cleaned her up quickly after that.Too cool for school!
Unfortunately, the water in the swimming pool was too cold for Caroline to swim in. So we filled up this baby pool which warmed up quickly. It was a fun alternative.

There is a good reason Caroline is wearing a swim shirt instead of a typical bathing suit (in case you're wondering). About a year ago, I had a mole removed that came back as a very early developing melanoma. Luckily, we caught it before it turned into a problem. Coincidentally, Matt's dad had a mole removed about two years ago and he was diagnosed with Stage 2 melanoma. Luckily, again, the cancer had not spread into his lymph nodes and he's currently considered to be in remission although these next few years are critical. Needless to say, Caroline has a very strong genetic tie to this cancer. My dermatologist even said she could possibly need to start having annual skin checks before the age of 10. So we will be diligent in protecting Caroline and any future kids from the sun. Hence, the swim shirt. We had to snap the pics below in a matter of minutes since Caroline was out from under our canopy. Sorry they're crooked.

I took over 100 pictures on our trip. Don't worry, I won't post them all :-) But I did have to break the posts up. More pics to come!!

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Best Friend's Wedding

Sorry for the delay in posting. We've been out-of-town for a week. We took Caroline on her first beach vacation with Matt's parents!!! We had a wonderful trip and I have a lot to blog about. But first I wanted to post about my best friend's wedding!!
Two weeks ago, my friend Stephanie married a terrific guy (Danny) in Kansas City. My mom kept Caroline for the weekend which was so wonderful. I would have loved for all my friends to see Caroline again but it was great to devote all my time to Steph, sans baby. The wedding was absolutely beautiful!! Stephanie worked so hard on every last detail and it paid off. Despite some bad weather, the wedding weekend was just perfect. See details below:
Steph and Danny at the rehearsal...such a cute couple!!
Charlie (my friend, Shae's, husband), Matt, and Jarrett (Kelly's boyfriend). They coincidentally happened to dress exactly alike for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We made fun of them a lot. This night, they were nicknamed the Blue Crew.
Shae, Kelly and me. This picture was taken in a really cool tunnel in the pub where we had the rehearsal dinner.

Kelly, the BEAUTIFUL bride Stephanie, me and Shae having our pictures taken before the wedding.

The bridesmaids and the bride! Kelly, me, Niki (Steph's sis), Steph, Shae, Jennifer (Danny's sis) and Bree (Steph's cousin)
The ceremony!! Stephanie and Danny had their wedding and reception in a big, picturesque, red barn. The wedding was originally going to be outside but rain moved it indoors. That's okay though because it turned out great. The barn was decorated in tons of Christmas lights...it was really pretty and reminded me of something out of a movie.

First dance...awwwww

Stephanie's sweet Uncle Tim from California with all the "Baylor Babes". Tim refers to any girl who went to Baylor as a "Baylor Babe". Tim, his wife Kim, and daughter Melissa have been hosts to us a couple of times when we went on trips to Cali and we all love them! In the pic L to R, Shae, Tim, Kelly, me, Amanda, Casey, Steph, Cori, and Niki. I must take a minute and talk about these Baylor Babes. Other than Niki, Steph's sis, who is older than us, I spent almost 4 fun, memory-filled years with the girls in this picture and the one below. I'm blessed by their friendships more than they'll ever know!! I'm so glad to have known them for almost 10 years now. They will forever be some of my closest friends!!! These are the girls who made my college years the best EVER and I love them all!!!

Wrapping up the night...we danced for hours. What a fun wedding!!! L to R: Jarrett, Kelly, Matt, me, Shae, Charlie, Stephanie, Danny, Mike and Emily


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sittin' Tall and A Funny Story

Caroline is ALMOST sitting up all by herself. She still falls over sometimes so I can't leave her alone yet. But for the most part, she's doing great sitting up without any support from me. She looks like such a big girl when she does this...where did my baby go?!? Anyway, below are some pics of Caroline sittin' tall!!
Now, the funny story. So today I was dancing around my den to Nelly/Ashanti/Akon (sp?) who were performing on Ellen (Disclaimer #1: No, I do not usually let my baby listen to rap on t.v. however sometimes I watch Ellen while feeding Caroline. Disclaimer #2: Yes, I dance around my house to music by myself sometimes but give a girl a break...a stay-at-home mom has to get her kicks somehow, right?!?) But I digress. As I was saying, I was dancing around the den and Caroline put down her toys and started watching me when she realized what I was doing. Well, I must be a funny dancer because all of a sudden Caroline starts laughing. And not just regular laughing. I mean uncontrollable, hysterical, belly-shaking laughing that I've never seen/heard her do before. The more I danced, the harder she laughed. Eventually, I sat down on the floor next to her laughing hysterically myself. There I am laughing on the floor with my 5 1/2 month old daughter. Definitely one of the funniest moments I've had with Caroline since she's been born. I seriously felt like Rachel on Friends in that episode where she was rapping to her daughter to make her laugh. There will definitely be more dancing to rap at our house if it elicits laughter like that!!

Caroline has such a sweet and happy disposition (MOST of the time :-) This girl loves to smile!!!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Painted Helmet and Playgroup Pics

This week, we had playgroup at my house. Somehow, we fit 10 moms and 10 babies into our family room. Obviously, this playgroup is more for the moms than the babies at this point, but we look forward to when the kiddos will start interacting with each other. Caroline had fun seeing all her friends, and I had fun having some much needed adult conversation during the day :-) We also had Caroline's helmet painted over the weekend. We love how it turned out...the background is pale pink and there is a vine of flowers going around it. There are also little butterflies on it and a big ribbon/bow in the back. Here are some pics.

The Square One babies clockwise (minus Asher and Finn who had already left for afternoon naps): Caroline, Parker, Ava, Hudson, Brady, Stone, Lucy and Sloan

More pics of the front of the helmet

The other side and part of the back (with sweet Lucy)

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big Debut!!

And now, without further ado, making her first helmet debut, I give you....
Sweet Caroline

Not even a helmet can keep that smile off her face!!

The appointment yesterday was looooong and very tedious. We were there about 3 hours. It took a long time to shave down the helmet to fit Caroline's head perfectly. Caroline didn't seem to mind until she got really tired then it was all over. She even fell asleep on my shoulder which she NEVER does (she's a crib kinda girl :-) Anyway, we're only putting Caroline in the helmet a few hours today then we'll build up everyday so that by the weekend, she's wearing it 23 hours/day. So far, she doesn't seem to mind at all. As far as I can tell, she doesn't even know there is something on her head. However, the true test will be sleeping in the helmet. We try that with naps first on Thursday. I really hope she does well, but I don't see how it will be comfortable for her to sleep on her stomach in that thing. We'll see.

I'll be honest, even though I'm trying REALLY hard to stay positive, this experience is not easy. The helmet covers up much more of Caroline's face/head than I thought it would. It's very difficult to see her that way...all covered up. I know this is all in Caroline's best interest but it's still hard. Definitely not something I ever thought I'd be dealing with, that's for sure. I think I just need to get used to it and I'll feel better.

Oh, one more thing, we ordered a white helmet because we're having it painted on Thursday. There is a lady in our neighborhood who paints these things. Who knew?!? I have no idea what I'm going to have painted on the helmet. Anybody have any ideas?? If she was a boy, it would be easy, half of it would be decorated like a Cowboy football helmet and the other half would be the Giants (I'm a Cowboys fan and Matt is a Giants fan...Fall football brings a whole new level of competition into our home). But of course I wouldn't do that to my girly girl. The painter lady says she has lots of designs to pick from so I guess I'll just have to see. Anyway, her helmet won't be plain for long. Thanks for all of your sweet prayers, calls, and emails...so far, so good with this new adventure.
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bye Bye Bows, Hello Helmet

Tomorrow is the day we say bye to Caroline's bows and hello helmet. I had been dreading this day until I heard a wonderful speaker at Building Blocks (see link on side). She said there will be many problems in our children's lives and we can either choose to be part of the problem, kicking and screaming along with our kids, or we can be part of the solution. Well, I'm going to be part of this solution and will be cheering tomorrow when Caroline gets that helmet (well, at least I'll cheer in front of her). I know Caroline is only an infant, but she can sense distress from me and if I'm happy, positive, etc...then hopefully it will help her with the transition. We're going to have happy hearts and happy faces tomorrow!!
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful." Proverbs 15:13
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Caroline is 5 Months Old

Caroline is 5 months old today. I LOVE this age, and we are having a lot of fun with sweet baby girl. It has been an exciting month and Caroline is doing lots of new things. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Caroline started rolling over and also sleeping on her tummy. This makes for better naps and she sleeps 1-2 hours every nap most of the time. Good riddance 30 minute naps!!! She's still sleeping about 10-11 hours at night, thank goodness. This is a blessing that I thank God for everyday...really, I'm not just saying that. Every morning I wake up and give a little shout out. I just don't think I'd be able to function as well if we weren't having good nights (as evidenced by my emotional stability, or lack thereof, when I was really sleep deprived during baby girl's first 6 weeks). Caroline eats 4x/day and takes anywhere from 32-36 oz. of milk (total :-) We haven't started rice cereal yet but maybe soon. She's still sleeping well through the night and doesn't seem too interested in our food so I don't think it's necessary quite yet.
Caroline is more interested in her toys now and will also grab anything nearby that she can get her little hand around...including my hair, her new favorite toy, ouch!! She just started smiling at her toys too. I think it's really funny...she'll look at a toy that she really likes and give it a big smile. Like she knows it makes her happy. Caroline loves to listen to books and will even turn the page if I get it started. I hope she loves to read!!
Caroline has also discovered her voice this month and loves to squeal and "talk" (but mainly squeal). I'm the bad speech therapist mommy who squeals right back at her instead of modeling the correct vowel and consonant sounds. But squealing is more fun...we can have an entire conversation that way, turn taking and everything :-) However, I probably need to stop encouraging her since she is now doing it in public and it's pretty embarrassing in restaurants. We've heard a few consonant sounds (m,n,ng,g) and consonant/vowel combos but not many and not consistently. I'm looking forward to hearing more babbling!!
A few things that Caroline really dislikes at 5 months are the nasal bulb aspirator (she lets out a scream if she even sees it...I guess I wouldn't like someone shoving something up my nose), missing naps, people other than her mom and dad if she's tired or hungry (I thought stranger anxiety started later but we definitely have some of this going on), taking the bottle out of her mouth to burp her, and of course, shots. Speaking of shots, Caroline received some more immunizations yesterday in honor of her 5 month bday...what fun! She screamed/cried so hard that she didn't take a breath for a few seconds and turned purple. I did not like that!! But she recovered pretty quickly, esp. when Dr. Prestidge came in to see her. She loves him! Luckily, she's had no reaction from those shots the past 24 hours.
Sorry for the boring post but I don't want to forget anything going on at 5 months. We're definitely loving this fun, interactive stage Caroline is in and look forward to what this next month will bring.
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