Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A few pictures....

The girls helping daddy put batteries in the bouncy seat...getting ready for cousin Charlie and Emily!

This cracked me up...Caroline was studying up on her "Baby Wise" techniques. I guess she is worried her schedule is about to change!

Sunday morning fun...

Caroline is 15 months old!

Caroline turned 15 months on the 19th. It is absolutely amazing how much she is growing and changing on a daily basis. I wish that I could share every little bit of her life with friends and family that are out of town, but I know that's impossible. She brings us SO much JOY that Brad and I are constantly asking one another, "How did we get so blessed to have her in our lives?" She is full of so much life....so much fun!! Mommy friends always talk about when is the "most fun" age of their children. I have loved every age so far but this is by far some of silliest, funny times in our life together so far. Her little sense of humor is showing, her likes, dislikes, passions- she is blossoming into a real little person! Here are some of the things she is doing now...

-Caroline is sleeping so well!!! Down at 7:30 up and happy at 7:30-8:00 She puts herself to sleep and plays in her crib without any tears now! Hallelujah...some of you thought it would never happen...even me!

-She loves to wave...and blow kisses. She has a new wave technique that makes us giggle. She gets her head involved and usually has her hand pointed back at herself, but it is precious and she always gets peoples attention when we are out. She is a star out in public. Each morning when I get her out of bed she waves at me as if to say "hey! where have you been??"

-Still loves to eat but has tapered off a little bit. Loves fruit of any kind- except bananas- she is SO over those I guess. :) She is sucker for snacks of any kind and loves to ask for them very adamantly. Still drinking whole milk and 1/2 apple juice 1/2 water...her favorite!

-Loves Elmo, Dora, Einstein, and Praise Baby DVDs. She asks for them repeatedly through out the day. She shrieks when she sees Dora or Elmo on anything. I have worked in some Barney...and I think Blues Clues may be our next adventure.

-She turns the buttons on and off on the TV.

-Flips light switches on and off

-Still has beautiful red hair that gets noticed by everyone when we are out. The question to follow is usually- "Does she have the temper to go along with that firey red hair?" And my answer, "Sure does!" But she is really sweet as sugar...I can't complain.

-Brings me diapers, shoes, coats, and pretty much anything else I ask her to...she's so smart and this will be such a good thing as she turns into my "little helper" when Emily arrives.

-Still loves Passy...we can't part with it...and I don't really mind it so much.

-She still loves to play with my hair but has really taken a notice to her own hair now too. She will lay and play with it for a long time.

-I finally get to put some cute bows in her hair!! She knows when a bow is in it though and immediately takes it out, so we don't usually mention it. I wonder if she will be such a stinker about having her hair done like I was when I was little.

-She loves her baby dolls and likes me to "swaddle" them, feed them, and put them in Emily's play things.

-She loves to point out characters in books- sesamee street especially. She knows Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie, Elmo, Grover and Abby.

-She loves farm animals and has fun noises for them all....her favorite being the cat, dog, horse, pig, cow and rooster. She is adorable when she makes the noises.

-I THINK she is starting to try and sing with me. It's precious....very quiet and understated. She is addicted to my singing...of course, who wouldn't be??....but stops dead in her tracks to hear songs- her favorites would include Twinkle Twinkle, GuGunk went the Little Green Frog, Old McDonald, ABC's. She will sign "more please" after each rendition. I'm glad she appreciates my voice.

-She uses 3 predominant sign language signs that help her communicate very well...."more" which also works as "again", "please" which she thinks is a free ticket to get ANYTHING she wants, and "milk". She watches a dvd with signs and now will either attempt the sign or try to say the word for it.

-She has started mimicking very well...but she says these words very clearly and over and over- mama, dada. book, dvd, uh oh, eat, na (snack), assy (passy). She will jibber jabber away and answer/repeat things in her own language. She and daddy read a color book during bath time every night and he asks her what colors and she has a unique response for each color...nothing remotely close to being right, but she is attempting at least! She squeals when I mention her friend Mary Ellen's name and gets very excited. She attempts to say Mary Ellen, but usually comes out with a soft whisper of sorts. So sweet.

-She asks for daddy each morning when we get out of bed.

-She loves playing with Isabelle...but sadly, Isabelle has gotten the boot and is officially an outside cat now. I have two other precious little girls that need my full attention...she is #3 on the list. Poor cat has had her world rocked the past year or so.

-Caroline loves to run and play outside- she collects sticks and rocks and loves to touch the trees. We can't wait to get outside when the weather warms up and we have Emily with us.

-She is very social and LOVES looking at babies wherever we go. Good thing. :)

-Caroline loves to play peek a boo with her blankets...she will hide, then she wants me to hide, and it cracks her up when we pull the blanket off every time.

-She is ticklish under her arms...always gets a giggle.

-She will lay down on the floor to wrestle her pillows, stuffed animals, and blankets. She flops like a fish when she gets excited!

-She is so loving and is still predominantly a mama's girl...but she has started giving daddy some love too. He has started putting her to bed at night and that may be helping.

-Favorite books- farm animal book with sounds, Sesame Street, Jack and the Beanstalk.

-She has had a major growth spurt this month- I had to literally clean out her drawers with all the clothes and pjs that are to small for her. I think she's wearing 18 and some 24 months now and this spring/summer will be a full fledged 24 month to 2t. She has really gotten tall. Still size 4 diapers. We have her 15 month well baby appointment on March 1st...stats to come on height and weight. :)

So that is a quick, very informal update on our sweet Caroline at 15 months. I am sure I am leaving out a million details. She is our amazing first born and we can't wait to see her blossom into a big sister. She is going to be spoiled rotten this month with family around...but it's good for her every once in awhile! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Belly Shot- 38 + 2days

I took this last night since friends have been asking about seeing my baby bump one last time before Emily arrives. The overall consensus has been that I am much smaller than I was with Caroline- therefore everyone is thinking Emily will be smaller than our whopping 8 lb 14 oz first born. I guess we'll have to wait and see! Brad has guessed she will be 7.5 and I guess 8.6. Both grandmothers are thinking around the 8lb mark. I think that I was just extremely swollen and HUGE with Caroline...1st pregnancy lesson learned! And maybe Caroline has kept me a bit more active? Either way we are at the end...and I feel it. Any pregnant mommy loathes the last few weeks...and we are finally there. Yahoo!!! I may try to find some pictures to compare the 2 pregnancies. I think I would be ashamed though of how ROUND I look in all of them....oh to be able to wear NORMAL clothes again...jeans that zip, regular heels, fun, NEW things! I've been pregnant or post preggo for almost 2 years!!! I think a shopping trip is in store for this spring...wahoo!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

38 weeks!!

****I typed this blog yesterday and never got it posted. In between this blog and today we have had a wild adventure! We thought that Emily may be making her debut last night! We had 2 solid hours of contractions last night from 8-10pm! Oh if you had been a fly on our wall!! :) We had everyone praying that they would stop...and God answered our prayers thankfully. Not that we wouldn't have LOVED to meet her now, but we were counting on next Friday. But as my mom reminded me very sweetly..."Babies don't have our schedule in mind!" So a little after 10 the contractions stopped and we were able to rest easy. We have taken it VERY easy today and have sort of revamped and re planned our "emergency labor" plans a bit but are hoping for an uneventful week this week! Now...on to yesterday's blog*******

I don't have any pictures to share at this time so I'm sorry if this is a boring post...but I know our world is about to be tossed into a tailspin so I wanted to update even without pics. Today we hit 38 weeks! Praise the Lord!! There was a time when we were taking it day by day, praying that things would "stay put" and the Lord has answered our prayers! Emily is scheduled to arrive next Friday...yes, that is only 8 days away. We are SO excited and so ready. The hospital bags are packed (or repacked- after I looked at what I threw together after our "scare" I had to go back and add some things- my brain was obviously not working well during that week!) The car seats have been added to our cars. The infant car seat was brought back out, washed, and all spiffed up. We had our LAST doctors appointment today before the BIG day. Yahoo!

*Side note- Of course the FINAL doctors appointment had to go down in history for the WORST one yet. I thought since last week I was in and out in about 35 minutes that I could manage to bring Caroline along this week. HAHA. We had to wait for 2 hours...yes, 2 hours....in a stiffling hot waiting room- all to go back, not see our doctor and listen to her heartbeat. REALLY?? Because I am pretty sure I could have done that at home with our little store bought doppler that a friend is letting us borrow! It was awful. We left passy in the car, she went through all her snacks, books, toys, and was an hour and a half past her nap time. It was not fun and I was fuming mad after we left. BUT- it was the last so that made it a little better. :)

Next Wednesday the fun begins! Cara, Chris, and Charlie will get here first. Then Thursday both of our parents and Niki will arrive. We can't wait!! Brad is finished with work on Sunday so we will have Monday and Tuesday for "family" days. Kind of bittersweet....but so exciting!! We are all dying to meet Emily. We have had so much fun imagining what she is going to look like, what kind of tempermant she will have, if she will resemble Caroline. Will the red hair surprise us again?? Oh what fun. More than anything...we can't wait to experience the pure BLISS of falling in love with another precious daughter. There is NOTHING like it...we are so blessed, words cannot describe how full our hearts are.

Our newest excitement arrived on our front porch this afternoon via the UPS man. My parents surprised us with a new BOB double stroller!!! I about jumped out of my pants when I saw him carry the box up to our steps!! We have been debating all kinds of different strollers and pros/cons and just couldn't bring ourselves to make a decision. Well, thanks mom and dad for doing it for us!!! We are SO blessed by family that has showered us with more than we could ever imagine! Oh for the day to be able to repay. I still can't imagine what it's going to be like pushing 2 babies around, but this will make it a lot easier than I could have ever imagined!

I have started a bad addiction...ebay searching for matching outfits for the girls. It's addicting and dangerous...but so EASY!! Please don't try this if you're even remotely interested. :) I have gotten a few things that I cannot wait to see the girls in. It's so much fun! I know, I know, there is no telling what size they will be at the particular season, but I am just making a few "safe" purchases at such reasonable prices- I can't hold back! I can't get out of the house and shop, so the internet and UPS man have become my best friends.

We joined our friends Rachel and Mary Ellen at Chick fil a for POSSIBLY our last playdate for awhile. They came over to the house beforehand the girls played until they were hungry. Then we went out and enjoyed getting some energy out in the play area before we ate. Caroline made a small accomplishment while they were playing today- she climbed to the first level of the "play thing" all by herself. She has started trying to climb things and she did it! She couldn't make it to the next level...thankfully, because I was a tad nervous about her getting knocked out by the big kids around. :) I'm sure she'll be taking off on her own very soon. Mary Ellen is such a good motivator- she told her "Good job!!" after she did it. I told Rachel that they would have to come play with Caroline once Emily was here because I know Caroline will be wanting the interaction. So I have no doubt we'll see them soon.

Speaking of Rachel...she has started a crafty art of bow making! She has made the cutest ones for Mary Ellen that Caroline usually pulls them out and wants them for herself each time we see them! So here is my shout out for her new blog/business...rachsribbons.blogspot.com ....go order some bows for the little girls you know. I wish my daughter had enough hair to really wear them right now...but soon!! Maybe Emily will come out with a head full!!!

I painted 2 canvases for Emily's nursery. I did the same for Caroline, so I couldn't leave Emily out. :) They are their names and their meanings/life scripture verses. Emily means "Diligent One" (heehee which she has already claimed on her many attempts to get here!!) and the verse we chose for her was Colossians 3:23- "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Her middle name, Anne, means "Esteemed" and we are using Proverbs 22:1- "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver and gold." I think they look pretty good. I am not sure they will be up in her nursery to begin with, but she will have them.

Like I said...sorry if this was boring. Let me look for something interesting to add...maybe a video or picture or something!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

She may be on to something...

The past few days Caroline has realized that some of the "baby" things we have out are not for her...but for our little bundle that is about to arrive. I found her baby dolls in the swing which is a huge accomplishment...and she even left her passy with them!
Trying out the play gym

My sweet Aunt June and Uncle Jack sent a beautiful handmade blanket for Emily. Caroline was just checking it out...she approved....and so did daddy....

After the days of being trapped inside from the winter weather we were dying to get out of the house. We met Mary Ellen and Rachel at the mall to play on a few toys and eat lunch. Right now they were both happy to sit on the rides w/o putting money in them. We'll see how long that lasts! :) Caroline got a valentine from Mary Ellen that she carried around with her for a long time. She loves all her valentines!

This is a random one. Gevalia keeps sending us packages in the mail. I have finally cancelled it and they told us to keep this one. So Caroline was bound and determined to get into it...and into each box. She would have opened the actual coffee bags if I had let her. It occupied her for awhile, so we played "coffee" for awhile the other morning. She may be taking after her grandpa Wakefield!

This video is from the other day when Brad got home after being gone all night. They played back and forth for awhile before both went down for a good nap. Caroline is always tickled pink when daddy comes home.
I had my 37 week doctors appointment on Thursday. Everything was perfect and we go back next Thursday...and then the next week we finally get to meet her on Friday the 26th~ we are so excited that hotels have been booked, travel arrangements set, and all of our family is in high gear to get here for her birthday. Hospital bags are packed and we are ready to go...we still need to get the car seat in the car but we'll get to that sometime.
One more video...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unexpected Snow Day and Superbowl Wrestling

We had a surprise snow day on Monday! The weather man said that we had 7.1 inches! It snowed all morning long and was absolutely beautiful. Caroline liked watching it through the window...which is good because I was not up to taking her out in it. It is still here today- but is supposed to melt, then snow again on Thursday. I think it is beautiful- but I'm a little over it! Never thought I would say that, but when Brad is up before dawn and having to drive on the icy roads and coming home late at night- it loses it's "specialness". If he were here cuddled up with us to enjoy it I may feel different. :) All the schools are closed and Caroline, Isabelle and I have officially stayed in our PJ's for 2 days now. Maybe tomorrow we will venture out if the ice is gone.

Those are the poor mailman's footprints...I always want to leave him hot chocolate or something warm, but never know the right way to do it. Any ideas??

The Rutledges invited us over Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl. Brad brought a big thing of homemade Brunswick stew that we enjoyed with Jonathan's hot wings. It was yummy. I may have caught about 30 seconds of the game...in the midst of our wild ones. Caroline and Lane LOVED playing with one another and acted like the "big kids" while little Levi hung out with the mommies. Emily will join Levi's crew in just a few weeks. I loved seeing Caroline play with Lane- she loved his dinosaurs, bugs, and really liked wrestling with him on the floor. They were precious! Check out the video below.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our weekend

This was the only pic I took all weekend...but it captured the weekend perfectly!
We had a wonderful weekend with a fun visit from Nana Deb and Nik Nik. They were dying to get some Caroline sugar and decided last minute to jump in the car and drive our way on Thursday afternoon. They were able to spend 2 full days with us- Friday and Saturday and then they left Sunday a.m. around 11:00a.m. Caroline was eating up all the attention- of course! She recognized them and knew who they were...which thrilled my soul. Being so far from family I never know how she will react when new faces arrive, but she knew them. I think our time with both families over Christmas really helped her build up her memory of relatives. It was fun to see. Nana and Nik-Thank you so much for giving up your weekend, driving so many hours, and helping us in so many ways. We really love and appreciate all you do!

We were able to play a lot and get some things rearranged and ready for their next trip to Arkansas...when Emily arrives! We counted the days and realized it's only 18 days away. We are all dying to see Emily and see what she looks like. I haven't been feeling the best...which is to be expected during the last few weeks of any pregnancy. Trying to continue staying off my feet like the doctor ordered, but I'm getting antsy antsy antsy!! Just in the last few weeks my "nesting" instinct has taken over and really been at work. I have emptied and re-organized our pantry (with Carolines help...this was fun.), cleaned and organized our refrigerator, rearranged our bedroom and the biggest project of all that I have taken on is turning our "downstairs/guest suite" into a functional playroom and more "homey" guest room. I picked out new bedding, pillows, and sheets, rearranged furniture, bought rugs, side tables, lamps, and a few decorations, moved some toys downstairs, and even drew out the rest of the plans on paper...down to the detailed pictures and frames that will be hung on the wall. Hopefully I will carry this stamina until it's completed...if not, I'm happy to stop here and finish at a later date. But it is nice to have a project to focus on during this waiting period. I need to take some pictures but haven't gotten to that.

This week I go to the doctor on Thursday and will be 37 weeks. Brad works for the next 14 days with no days off...and 3 more nights of call. But then he will have a week of vacation- beginning Monday 22nd...we will have Emily on Friday...and he has the next week off using sick leave as paternity leave. I want us to enjoy those last few days as a family of three before we welcome little Emily into the family. Any ideas of things we should do with Caroline or as a fam before that Friday??

We cannot wait to meet our 2nd born, but I must say that I have had a little trouble thinking about sharing my love with someone else besides Caroline. She has been my world for over a year now and she fills my days with so much joy! I am fully confident that Emily will only add to that, but I suppose every mother wonders how the new baby will fit into the picture. My dear friend Brooke has just had her 2nd little girl and shared this quote with me...it was the perfect explanation.

"Once you make the decision to have more than one child you know that you can never give everything to everyone ever again. But then you find out that they start giving to each other, and there is no deficit. In fact, you're fine. You are all taking care of each other. It doesn't hurt for your child to learn to accommodate others; it helps them. Will they get everything they want or need as soon as they want or need it? No. And that's fine."

I cannot wait to see the new love we ALL have for Emily. I know Caroline is going to LOVE being a big sister- she is so nurturing and lovey dovey with every baby she comes in contact with. We are so blessed to be able to experience such an intense love with yet another family member. And if I haven't said it enough....


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I miss my man :(

I miss Brad. He is not gone on a trip, or out of town, or on call today. He is just living his normal day to day routine. I think that this fact hits me several times a week, but it especially hit me this morning when I got up (for the 4th time) to use the restroom at 4:25 a.m. (LOVE being prego!)

Why you ask? Because Brad was already up and was finishing getting ready, about to run out the door. We had about 2 minutes of sleepy, blurry eyed conversation- while he was brushing his teeth. We hugged a few times and mumbled to each other about having a good day. I asked if he needed anything, he said he was good, I crawled back into bed and went back to sleep. Now this interaction is usually a lot shorter if I'm actually still sleeping in bed...he usually just comes and kisses me goodbye, looks at Caroline on the monitor, then leaves. Tonight he won't be home until after 9. I have been anxiously awaiting an evening (for over a month now) when he can help me paint my toenails...I can't reach them anymore...but I guess it won't be tonight! My piggies will probably be in bed.

On the days he is not on call (where he has to sleep at the hospital) he works all day and HOPEFULLY gets home before 7:00 so that he can see Caroline for a few minutes- long enough to bathe her and put her to bed...by 7:30mind you. We eat dinner after she is down, and spend about 30 minutes chit chatting and watching TV. Then we go to bed. We have to...because his day begins again at 3:30 the next morning when his alarm goes off. This is everyday...even weekends. It is a BIG deal if he has a weekend off...which is maybe once a month.

So now we are at a crossroads of trying to figure out when he is supposed to be studying for a big test that he has coming up. He is stressed out MAJORLY about it because he hasn't been able to do a lot of reading or studying. There is a study session on Monday nights that meets from 6-9 that he could go to, but usually work has him tied up and he just can't get there. Plus that would be another night that he couldn't see Caroline. We have had many conversations about how in the world he is supposed to carve out more time to study...there simply doesn't seem to be any real answers! He needs more hours in his day for all the work he is doing. Unfortunately family is only getting a tiny portion of his hours. And I guess from now until the test, my 30 minute chit chat and TV time will be cut out and devoted to his studying.

My question to him last night was "how is marriage supposed to work during this time??" I was not mad, not pouting- just seriously contemplating how in the world relationships are supposed to thrive when only 5-7 hours a week are given to one another....and usually it is spent "just vegging out". We had no answer. No solutions. But this is what we do know...

This is for a season. God brought us here for a purpose. He knew and designed us for this time in our lives. God wants us to rely on His strength and stability to keep us on our feet. It is very hard to remember on a day to day basis- but maybe that is my challenge for this season of my life. Brad and I are completely head over heels in love with one another and love being married to each other. We knew this was going to be hard- we are just in the midst of all the stress and hustle and bustle right now.

Please understand I am not complaining- this is my JOY as a wife to support my husband. As much as I want to be a pity party thrower and sob and cry and pout about how much I miss my husband EVERYDAY....I can't. That's not what I am called to do. I am Brad's support- his helper. My job is cheerleader, encourager, peacemaker, helper. On the days that I have it rough I still have to ask God to help me help Brad get through the stress of it all. I am honored to be that person, regardless of the yucky circumstances. If I fall apart, then I know he is quick to follow. I am not saying I am not able to "crumble" every now and then, but if we want things to work smoothly, we all have to keep holding it together and rolling with the day to day punches this silly residency is throwing our way. The only way to do this is to put our faith and worries totally into God's hands and rest there. But that doesn't change the fact that....

I miss my man. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010


Brad and Caroline braved the snow this past Saturday afternoon. It was freezing out and mostly icey, but they had a blast. I stayed inside and giggled the whole time while watching them enjoy their adventure. Here are a few pictures and some videos.