Sunday, January 25, 2015

Four Months: Caroline

Dear Sweet Caroline,

You turned four months this week. It's been four months since we all fell in love with you and it just keeps getting better and better! 

You have recently really started showing us your personality-- and it's adorable, of course! You like to smile and squeal when you're happy. You also like to squeal when you're upset and so that can get tricky trying to differentiate. You are still a pretty easy going kiddo! You'll sleep despite the noise at a basketball game and you'll smile at anyone who holds you. 

You are particular about a few things: you need to swaddled to sleep (and sometimes just to relax) and you want to be facing out when being held. You strongly oppose changing clothes and we have nicknamed your carseat the torture chamber because you simply hate being buckled in.

What have you been up to this month? Well, you found your fingers. And you love to have them in your mouth! One day, Isabelle was playing with you and she said, "do you have lollipops on those fingers, huh?" I thought it was so funny and sweet and so we refer to your first two fingers as your lollipops. 

You also love this little ball. Actually, I might love it more. It's perfect for your little hands to grasp and it keeps those hands from bothering you! Those cute little hands are known to frustrate you from time to time and toys are a great distraction. It's so neat to watch you learn to play with toys! Of course, they all go into your mouth. 

You are learning new things each day and it's fun to watch. You like to sit in your bumbo seat and be included in whatever we do as a family. You also started playing in the bounce-a-roo. You like to play with the toys and kick your little feet! 

You eat about every 3 hours during the day with a longer stretch in the afternoon because you take a long nap. You definitely clock in more sleeping hours than the rest of my kiddos. Sometimes, you'll sleep past 9am if we don't have to load up to take Jackson to school. Now, if only we could get you to sleep through the night! 

You were actually quite an easy sleeper prior to getting the flu. But one of the side effects of Tamiflu is an upset tummy and so while you were sick, you had really restless sleep. We haven't quite recovered your good sleeping patterns yet. Daddy and I are forming a game plan because there are nights, like last night, when we both are getting up 3-4 times each! It's the hours in between 1:00-6:00am. Before and after those hours, you sleep like a champ. We love you to pieces, we really really do. However, we'd really love to not see those eyes or hear those fusses over night. (I hate to resort to peer pressure. I mean, your brother was sleeping 12 hours at night by now.....).

I love your sweet cheeks and I kiss all over them every single day. Sometimes I'll even get a giggle! Daddy and I love you so much sweet girl! XOXO


Thursday, January 22, 2015

When friends came to visit

Back in December, I had two old friends fly in Kansas City! I met these girls ten years ago when we were summer missionaries in Myrtle Beach. Here we are with the rest of our Myrtle Beach gang back in our glory days. Stacey, Tricia, and I are in the front in orange, white, and red respectively. 

We had a mini-reunion in Baton Rouge in the fall of the same year, but I hadn't seen these girls ever since! I'm so thankful for facebook, twitter, instagram, and texting so we can stay in touch. It didn't even seem as if so much time had passed between getting together because we're so connected! Of course, being together in person is so much more awesome than any group text and we had a great time.

Here we are now... still baby-faced, but a decade older! We had so much fun!

We had plenty of fun just hanging around and doing nothing at all, which doesn't sounds all too exciting but it was cool just to be doing nothing with fun friends. Does that make sense to anyone? Well even when doing nothing is enjoyable, it certainly doesn't leave much to blog about. We had a good mix of hanging out, but also exploring the city. Here are some photos of the fun things we did. I borrowed a few of these pics from their instagram feeds. Thanks ladies! :) 

Welcome to Missouri Tricia and Brue!

The first Kansas City meal: Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Yuuuuuummm!!!

And then we toured The Roasterie. I'm not a coffee person and so I've never visited, but I knew we needed to visit when these gals were in town. It was actually quite interesting touring the facility. I hear the coffee is delicious if you like that sort of thing. I can attest that the hot chocolate was quite yummy.

Some of us had more fun than others...

We visited Christmas in the Park

And stopped by the Magic Tree. These pics just don't do any justice to this tree. It really is so cool!

We made a trip up to Crown Center and toured the Hallmark Visitor's Center. And of course we pushed the funnest button in all of Kansas City-- the one that makes the bows!

Afterwards, we visited Kaleidoscope. 

The kids painted.

They made the iconic puzzles, too!

After lunch, we enjoyed a fun production of Rudolph at the Coterie children's theater. It was a cute show!

After visiting for several days, Stacey flew back home to spend the holiday with her family. Then, the next day, Adam (Tricia's hubby) flew in! Adam spent the summer at Myrtle Beach with us, too. He's top center in the picture up top. This photo of Adam reminds me of him while we were summer missionaries -- only it was the backyard Bible club kiddos climbing on him instead of our own!

We spent a couple of jam-packed days celebrating the holiday and then we went about exploring the city some more. We visited Union Station.

And we walked over to check out Liberty Memorial.

I just LOVE this view!

While we were driving one night, we took a wrong turn. I honestly just loved getting to see the city from a completely different perspective! It's still my favorite skyline. 

Of course, a trip to Kansas City wouldn't be complete without a visit to what was formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's. The restaurant recently changed it's name to Joe's Kansas City BBQ. Regardless of the name, it's my favorite BBQ and I'll willingly accompany any visitor who wants to check it out!

I am so thankful that Tricia and Stacey (and Adam!) took the time and effort to come visit! They were probably just hoping that I'd stop sending "Top 10 reasons to visit KC" messages if they actually came.  When Derek and I are feeling up to traveling with three little kiddos, we're looking forward to visiting Stacey, her new little puppy, and checking out her new house in Charlotte. And then heading down to see Tricia, Adam, and Brue (and their new arrival coming this summer) in Baton Rouge. They have promised my kids that they could hold baby alligators. I haven't decided if that's a reason we should go or stay home! :)

Okay, so who's coming to visit next?????


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A new 'do

Both of my kiddos have been long overdue for a hair cut. I decided to take the kiddos after school and they had a ton of fun. They barely even knew they were getting a hair cut. 

Jackson got his typical hair cut-- a modified child version of a high and tight. Belle was due for something new.  Her hair had grown really long (except for the bangs that Jack cut this summer, but those are slowly growing back!) and with the long hair came tons of tangles. She prefers to wear it down and so I wanted to try something new that would hopefully save her tears and me frustration. 

I love her new look. And apparently so do all of my facebook friends because nearly 100 people liked her photo. I wanted to say something like, "We just cut off several inches along with every last drop of baby girl," but I felt that might have been dramatic. Fortunately, so many other people have validated my thoughts: that my little girl looks so grown up. I can barely even believe that we are planning her 4th birthday next month. FOUR!

She sure is a sweetie, isn't she? 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A few non-sick days

Over the past few days, our house has been getting a bit healthier by the day. Little by little. My voice is back and my sore throat, cough, and headaches are gone. Yay! Caroline hasn't had a fever since Saturday at all and really has been a champ at battling the flu. Except that she's not sleeping well. Like, waking up between six to eight times a night. I think it might take another day or two for her sleep schedule to return after being sick. I hope it doesn't take much longer because Derek and I are both running on fumes at this point. Fingers crossed! 

Though we've practically sleep-walked through the whole week, here's what we've been up to:

Aunt Laura stopped by for bedtime stories before heading back down for her last semester of college

The kids each had a dentist appointment, which they both loved. Jackson doesn't have any loose teeth yet and the dentist said there don't look to be any adult teeth, other than his six year molars, trying to make their way in yet. 

Isabelle got a case of the giggles when they cleaned her teeth. Her gums must be super ticklish!

The girls and I visited Derek at work today. Isabelle made herself right at home!

Uh, Dad, I need to check that email...

We packed a lunch and ate in the atrium. It's a beautiful office!

And a trip to Daddy's office isn't complete without a turn (or two) down the slide! Derek's company moved into a new office building since the last time we visited and the slide and the dodgeball court moved too! This time, Derek's office had tons of nerf guns and the guys helped Belle shoot them across the room. Jackson went into work with Derek last month for several hours and decided that it was pretty boring, but Isabelle is under the impression that Daddy gets to play all day.

Just as we were enjoying our healthy-again family, venturing out, and crossing items off my to-do list, Jackson came home with a 102 fever. I had one of those "laugh so you don't cry" moments when he read me the numbers. Don't mind me, I'm just over here waving my white surrender flag to germs everywhere-- stop invading!!!!! Fingers crossed it's a quick bug and it's not too icky. I texted Derek and told him to bring home dinner. Between snuggles with my buddy and a can't-sleep-without-being-held baby, there was no way I could manage to cook. He brought dinner and a bit of my sanity restored itself. 

Derek mentioned that he felt a bit queasy after dinner. He has strict orders to not get sick. And if he does, I'm calling in his mom and I'm running away until after cold and flu season.

Jackson's fever went down with some tylenol and he was eager to climb in bed tonight. Hoping that laughter really is the best medicine, the big kids and I sat and watched home videos of when they were babies for quite awhile tonight. That was really fun. 

So if you're keeping track... our are fingers crossed for Caroline to sleeps, Jackson's sickness to go away, and while we're at it-- we'll just put in a permanent request for all germs to leave our family alone. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The cutest little gymnast you ever did see

Basketball sign-ups came and went in December and Jackson was sodisappointed that we didn't sign up for basketball this year. I just couldn't commit two days each week for practices and games right now! We have so many years full of practices and games and so I'm glad we opted out this season. Plus, I really wanted to prioritize giving Belle an opportunity to participate in an activity. I've hesitated shelling out money to sign her up for anything because she really marches to the the tune of her own drum and may or may not be in the mood for cooperation.  I found a groupon for a local gym and signed her up! So for the month of December, Isabelle joined a gymnastics class.

She was very excited. I pulled out this tutu that was a gift from Julie and she couldn't wait to wear it! And then the day came, she got ready, we drove to the gym .... and I had to bribe her with a donut to participate. She had so much fun that I didn't have to use bribery any other time! Her teacher, Mr. Will was fantastic. Belle loved him and followed his instructions on point! If you ask her what her favorite part of gymnastics, she'll say, "EVERYTHING!" 

She genuinely did love everything. And she looked so cute doing it all, too!

Gymnastics was so good for Belle. It offered the same social lessons such as listening and following directions as other sports do, but it is an individual activity and so it allowed her to the freedom to do things her way. She worked hard to balance and do new things with her body-- and she enjoyed figuring it all out! 

Oh how I wish she could do gymnastics for the same cost as the community sports programs that we've done for Jackson. She loves it so much, it's tempting to consider a second mortgage to keep her enrolled. Seriously though, in a few months, we'll probably look into it again and give her the chance to go some more!

One cost we didn't consider was the American Doll Girl of the Year named Isabelle. I had known this all year that the doll this year was Isabelle, but it wasn't until my sister sent me the picture of the doll that it reminded me of the picture of my Isabelle and I just knew she had to have it! Fortunately, Grammy jumped in to save the day and in a few years when our Isabelle is old enough to play with American Girl dolls, she'll get her very own Isabelle doll. 



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