Friday, July 29, 2011

And we're off... Almost...

I will be taking a little break from blogging for the next week or so. We are leaving on vacation tonight and we could not be more excited to blast out of Wichita Falls! We're going to Destin, FL, but we're driving to Lafayette tonight to stay with Steven's parents. We're going to leave around 10:30 or 11:00 tonight, after we feed Caroline for the last time. We figure since she can sleep the whole time, this will be the easiest way to get her through the 9 hour drive to Lafayette. But, nothing ever goes according to plan with babies, so we shall see. We will be leaving Lafayette for Destin Monday morning and spending the entire week there. I am SO excited to see water again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I might just die right there on the beach.

I'm taking my computer with me, but let's face it, I'm probably not going to be on it much when the beach is right outside my door... I'll save that for when we get back to dry, dusty, hot as hell, dry, boring, (did I say dry already?), Wichita Falls.... (You want to know how I really feel?) Did I mention that we are really excited to get out of here for a little bit? No? Well, we are.

So, pray for us as we make a loooonnggg drive with a 4 1/2 month old... And pray that I haven't forgotten anything. With a list about 4 typed pages long, I feel more like I'm preparing to go to a third world country for 2 months. So seriously, pray that I haven't forgotten anything because I'm not sure my type A ego or my sanity could take that blow :) Tah-tah for now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding her voice...

Back in my college days, my friends would always tease me that not only would I have children (up until about 3 years ago, I swore I wouldn't... and I meant it... funny how things change:), but that my children would do crazy things in public to just absolutely humiliate me. Well, Caroline has officially earned her first badge, thanks to her *adorable* new trick.

We now have a squealer on our hands. Steven must have let Caroline watch Dumb and Dumber, because Caroline has been doing her best to imitate Jim Carrey's "Most Annoying Sound in the World" (If you don't remember what I'm talking about, watch the youtube video below to jog your memory).

Almost overnight, Caroline went from being our sweet, quiet little girl to a loud, rambunctous... baby... I am now kicking myself for at one point almost bragging that we could pretty much go wherever we wanted with Caroline in tow, and most of the time people would never know she was even there. We never even thought twice about going out to eat because she was content to just hang out in her carseat and observe or play with a toy. Well, last week, she found her voice and started making these really shrill squealing noises. At first, I thought she was unhappy, but once I just took a step back, I saw that she was just talking to whatever toy she happened to be looking at or playing with at the time.

I didn't feel like cooking last Friday, so we just went to Pizza Hut (hey, give me a break... we're talking about Wichita Falls here). I spent most of the meal outside with her because she was being so loud. Yes, I know, it is a public place and it's not like Pizza Hut is a place that people really go for the atmosphere, but I am super paranoid and maybe a little too considerate of other people when it comes to my child. I didn't want to ruin other people's dinner, so I took Caroline outside to squeal her heart out. Steven and I kinda shrugged the incident off as just "one of those days". The next day, our friends invited us to go out to dinner so we went. On the way to the restaurant, we wondered if it would be a repeat of the previous night. Annndddd it was. And of course, we go to the one restaurant that did not have ANY music playing.. Not even elevator music. So, all the noise that my Sweet Caroline made seemed that much louder. I wanted to crawl under the table. And like I said, she wasn't unhappy, she was just talking to her toy... I don't know what the toy did wrong, but I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of that squeal.

And of course, when I tried to video her, she just sat silently and looked at me. I tried several times, and I managed to get a little bit in the following video. Seriously though, doesn't she kind of sound like Jim Carrey???

As *adorable* as that noise is, I am happy to report that Caroline isn't practicing it as much any more. I know I am probably crazy, but I swear her "regular" voice sounds different now. It is a little lower and not as squeaky. So, maybe this was just a very short phase and she was just clearing out her lungs... Here's hoping :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Loves

I was doing some stuff around the house the other day when I heard Steven playing with Caroline. They were having the best time and Caroline was giggling up a storm. I am not really a mushy person, but there is nothing better than the sound of a baby's giggle, especially when it is coming from your own little nugget.

I love these two :)

Caroline kept trying to chew on Steven's face, despite his 5 o'clock shadow


Caroline has grown increasingly interested in the dogs. She has shown the most interest in Jack, I think because he has all of that crazy hair that she likes to grab. However, the other day, she was playing on her activity mat, and of course, Fred was as close as he could possibly be without me telling him to get off the mat. Caroline was being a little rolly polly, and playing with her toy and she finally rolled over to where Fred was. She had been chattering away, and then all of a sudden, she just stopped. When I looked to see what was going on, she was just staring at Fred. Then, she just started chattering away again. I think if she could have figured out how to scoot over to him, she would have latched onto those big floppy ears. But instead, she just jabbered on and on to him. The funny thing is, he never even woke up :)

"What? I'm just hanging out, playing with my crazy ball, and trying to get this big brown sea cow to wake up and entertain me."

"Hey YOU!"

Rice Cereal

Now that Caroline is 4 months old, it is time to start her on rice cereal. From rice cereal, she will transition into veggies and then certain fruits. I can't believe the time is almost here for her to eat real food! I thought it would never come!

About to get started... Leaning over to take a look at what she's about to eat
First bite... That face was priceless. Needless to say, she wasn't too fond of her first bite of cereal. She just scrunched up her face and looked at me like "Mom! What is this garbage you are putting in my mouth?!"

Most of it went in... and came right back out

"If you think I'm going to eat the rest of that slop, you're crazy."

By the time it was all said and done, she had it EVERYWHERE. I guess I just better get used to that :)

We're still trying to get a little cereal in every night, but it is a slow process. Caroline still isn't crazy about cereal (and honestly, from the looks of it, I can't blame her), but we're making strides.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Visit from Papa Ed

Since we moved to Wichita Falls, we have had a regular visitor: Papa Ed. My dad has a cattle sale in Ft. Worth every couple weeks, so on his way to Ft. Worth from New Mexico, he stops in and stays a night with us.

Now that Caroline is getting bigger, Dad is a little more comfortable holding her for longer periods. He still passes her back to me when she starts to make any noise though :)

Having fun with Papa Ed

On his way to Wichita Falls, my dad stopped and got Caroline a little baby doll. She giggles and makes all kinds of noises when you squeeze her. It is still a little big for Caroline, but she LOVES it! She will sit in her chair and chatter away to her baby doll. But her favorite thing is to chew on the doll's hands. It keeps her entertained for quite awhile!


Loves her new baby!

Staring contest

My dad won't be back until some time this fall, but we are already looking forward to his visit!

When Dogs Became Dogs

See these guys? These are our other children that you don't hear much about these days. The big guy on the left is Fred and the little guy on the right is Jack (ignore the looks of humiliation on their faces in this picture). Before we had Caroline, Jack and Fred were our children. We treated them like children, and we even talked about them like they were our children. As a result, I don't think that Jack and Fred got the memo that they are not people, but in fact dogs. In the days leading up to Caroline's debut, people would tell me that once we had the baby, we would hardly even pay attention to our dogs. I remember thinking "Yeah, well, we actually really love our dogs and we just will not allow that to happen." Steven and I schemed and planned how we would still include our boys and make them feel loved once Caroline came along. We were so concerned with their feelings and how to make the transition as smooth as possible for them.

Fast forward 4 months and here we are. As much as I hate to admit it, Jack and Fred have become dogs (don't tell them though-we're still trying to let them think they are sort of people). For about the first month, Steven and I worked tirelessly to make sure that all of our children felt loved and had plenty of attention. But as the days went by, it just became more and more exhausting to keep up with all three of them. I hate to say it, but a baby human trumps a dog, so Caroline's needs come before theirs. And these days, she is quite needy.

I really can't complain because the boys have done SO well with Caroline and they genuinely do love her. I feel terrible because there are days that I don't say anything to them except "Go away" or "No". Their behavior really hasn't changed and they are still up to the same shannigans that they always pulled, but these days it just annoys me more than ever. I have my hands full with Caroline, and with Jack and Fred, it is like I am staying home with 3 kids all day long. And when one of those kids can't go outside without jumping in the pool or eats almost an entire chicken off the counter that you prepared for dinner (I'll give you 2 guesses as to whom I am talking about and the first one doesn't count... Hint: He is big and brown), it makes for a very long day.

Now that Caroline is a little more predictable, I am trying to get back to showing my boys some love and attention. Please don't think that these dogs are being abused and totally neglected because I can guarantee you that they still live better lives than 80% of dogs out there. That's just it though: they're now treated like dogs. I think things will be better once Caroline gets older and interacts with them more. She is becoming more and more interested in them and has started reaching for them, so I know that they will absolutely love any and all attention from her. It has been a transition for all of us, but I think Jack and Fred have had to endure the most change.

Even though she has taken the spotlight, Jack still loves his Caroline

Fred tries to get as close to her as I will let him. I know he is anxiously awaiting the day that he can roll around on the floor with her.

This is what happened when I left Fred in charge while I went to the bathroom. I came out, and there he was, just waiting for her to throw his duck. At least he is willing to share his toys :)

Our family is feeling a little growing pains, but I know we will get through it and our boys will be happier than ever to have Sweet Caroline to play with and love on.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Caroline 4 Months

I can not believe that my little nugget is already 4 months old... I remember just praying that I made it to this point in those first few weeks. Every day is more and more fun. She has changed so much since she was born, but I really feel like just in the last 10 days or so, she has REALLY changed. It seems like she is doing something new every day!

She is using her hands a lot now. She is very interested in her toys and loves to grab them now. Of course, everything she grabs goes straight to her mouth. It is funny, because she already seems to have a couple favorite toys. And, she not only tries to grab her toys, but she has started trying to reach for the dogs, especially Jack. I think she is intrigued by all of his crazy hair. She found her feet a couple weeks ago and is always holding onto at least one. But, a few nights ago, Steven and I went out to dinner and she figured out how to suck on her toes, so she is doing that a lot now. Whatever makes her happy!

She has sort of been rolling over for about the last month, but she just couldn't quite get it right. She would always end up with one arm pinned beneath her, and she just couldn't figure out how to get it out. But, she has perfected it now. I have tried and tried to get her to spend time on her stomach from the beginning, but she just wouldn't have it. But now that she can get there herself, she likes it. Go figure :)

Caroline is starting to babble more and more. I feel like she comes up with a new sound every few days. For the last two days, she has been doing this weird growling noise. She will just sit and do it for about 20 minutes straight. It is too funny. Again, whatever makes her happy.

We went to the doctor for her 4 month check up today. She now weighs 12 pounds 0.05 ounces and is 25 inches long... Basically, she is long and skinny. Big surprise there! We're starting her on rice cereal now, so stay tuned to see how that goes. I can't believe she is about to start eating real food!

This pic pretty much sums up my Sweet Caroline at this point.. Hands always in her mouth, and usually playing with one or both feet.

Oh you want a picture without me chewing on my hand or playing with my foot???

That didn't last long... But she's happy :)

Look what I can do!

Oops... What happened to you weird blue bird that lives in my room?

SOOO happy! If you're having a bad day, just look at this picture... I bet you smile :)

People keep telling me that time will fly by and before I know it I will be dropping her off at kindergarten... I know it is true, so I am trying to cherish every little moment with her. Some days I still can't believe that I have a baby and that I am a mom, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I can't wait to see what the next few months have in store for my Sweet Caroline.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cup of Caroline

Not long after Caroline was born, I found this teacup planter and thought "Hey I should put my baby in there and take a picture of her". And so we have a Cup of Caroline :)

I put her in the cup and she just looked up at me with those big eyes like "Really Mom, what are you doing to me now?". But, she quickly put her embarrassment aside and hammed it up for me. It was a bit of a challenge keeping Jack and Fred out of the picture (Can you say sibling rivalry? More on that later...).

I'm not what I would call a "photographer", so I really have to give all credit to our fancy-dancy camera and my darling girl for this one. I absolutely love this picture of her.

I mean what is better than a baby in a teacup with a giant flower on her head?!

This picture just makes me laugh. Those pouty little lips. She sat like this for a little bit, and I think that if she had a thought bubble over her head it would read "If my mom humiliates me like this now, I don't even want to think about Junior High..."

She is such a good sport for most of my crazy ideas, and I love her for that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One year ago today....

I found out some news that would change my life forever. As most of my good friends can tell you, I have a weird talent for remembering the date of just about any random event, such as the day I got my braces off or when one of my friends went on her first date with her boyfriend (right Em?).

So, it is really no surprise that I remember that it was Monday, July 12, 2010 when I found out I was pregnant. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be, but I still just about fainted when I saw that second pink line pop up. Steven was at work when I found out, and I absolutely could not wait to tell him. And of course, once again, if you know me, you know that I can't just go with the ol "Guess what... I'm pregnant! We're going to have a baby!". I immediately jumped into action. I ran out to the store and bought everything to make an awesome Chinese dinner. I made sweet and sour chicken and homemade eggrolls. Steven loves Chinese food, and I had never made him my Chinese food from scratch, so I figured this was the perfect occassion.

For dessert, I made homemade fortune cookies, complete with little fortunes inside. Since I didn't really know how to control what cookie Steven picked up and I didn't want him to suspect something, I just put the same fortune in all of the cookies.

(If you can't read that, it says "Diaper changes and sleepless nights are in your very near future... Congratulations!")

So, after slaving away on this special surprise all day, I was a little bummed when Steven came home in a bad mood. He had had a particularly rough day at work, and even an awesome Chinese dinner didn't lift his spirits much. But, we still sat down to dinner and tried to enjoy it as much as possible. I was about to squirm out of my seat the whole time we were eating because I just couldn't wait to dive into those fortune cookies.

Finally, after what seemed like three hours, we finally finished dinner and I grabbed the tray of fortune cookies. Now, one thing that Steven and I do NOT have in common is the fact that he is not really a big dessert person. Usually, when we go to eat Chinese food, he will open his fortune cookie, look at the fortune, and give me the cookie. So, he wasn't exactly thrilled when I brought the tray of cookies over to the table. After seeing the sad puppy look on my face after he intially declined, he finally gave in and took a cookie. I also took a cookie, opened it, and pretended to read my fortune (even though it was the same as his). *What happened next is what I will tease my dear husband about forever.*

Steven opened his fortune, stared at it for a minute, and with a smirk, tossed it aside and said "Gee, thanks Dallas." I was speechless.... Then it hit me... He didn't get the little "riddle".... So I asked him, "What did yours say?". He read it to me, and said "Thanks a lot. You're telling me that I'm old. I'm going to be wearing diapers soon." (Steven has grown a little sensitive about his age in the last few years) I just about lost it. I repeated the fortune, and at the end added, "I'm pregant.... Get it now???"

It is starting to sink in.......

Now he gets it!!!!!

(Keep in mind, he had no idea I was pregnant when he came home from work and changed. I about died when I saw him come downstairs in this shirt... Oh the irony)

After he finally got his fortune, he jumped up, grabbed me and shook me up and down so hard I was worried the baby might fall out.

Yup, three tests... We just wanted to be sure :)

Looking at Caroline today, it is so crazy to think that exactly a year ago, my journey as a human incubator was just beginning. I had no idea how awesome being a mom would be or how much work it is. I never could have imagined that one little person could make me so happy. Pregnancy was not fun, but it was so worth it to have my Sweet Caroline.

And here she is this morning... Crazy to think that one year ago, she was about the size of a grain of sand... Love that little face :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Caroline's Christening

*This is about the 4th time I have tried to make this post.... I might have a few gray hairs now....

So, as usual, I am late in making this post... What's new right? Well, better late than never I suppose. We had Caroline's christening a couple weeks ago (June 25). It was such a special day and we were so glad that a good number of our family and friends could join us.

Caroline did pretty well with the whole thing. She got a little fussy in the middle of everything because she was hungry. I tried to feed her before we left the house, but of course, she wouldn't eat. And surprisingly, she didn't cry when the Deacon sprinkled the water on her head, but she did get pretty upset when he put the oil on her chest.

We don't have any pics of the actual ceremony taking place because we were videoing it, but here are the pics that we took afterwards.

The three of us with Deacon Bills

Caroline's Godmother or "Nanny" as they call them in Louisiana is one of my best friends from college, Darcy. Her Godfather or "Parrain" is Steven's long-time friend, Dan. They were also college friends. We were so glad that they did us the honor of being Caroline's Godparents and we really appreciated them both making such long drives to be there for Caroline's special day (Darcy and her husband David drove up from Houston and Dan and his family made the trip from Lafayette... They are awesome friends!)

Nanny Darcy!

Parrain Daniel!

This is a shot of the entire group. We asked the Deacon to take it, and this was the best of the two... Sorry, several of you have your eyes closed....

Grandma Daisy and Bump

Sugar and Pops

Steven's sisters, Janet (left) and Julie (right). Janet and her family made the long trip from Lafayette and Julie and her two boys, Pauly and Phillip drove down from Kansas City because they had been there all week for doctor's appointments, and then drove back to Lafayette on Sunday. We can't thank them enough for coming!

Dan, Julie, and their adorable kiddos, Owen and Ellie

Darcy and her husband David (and a very "over it" Caroline)

It was such a special day, and we were so happy to have friends and family there for it. We are so blessed to have them all in our lives. After Caroline's baptism at the church, we went back to our house for a cookout/reception/pool party at the house. I have pics of that too, but that will be for another post :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

You know you have an awesome baby when...

Since Caroline has been in the picture, our lives have changed a lot. However, Steven and I have also tried to keep things somewhat the same on our end. I'm actually pretty proud of the fact that we have still remained somewhat sociable since we have had a baby. Let's face it, it isn't like Wichita Falls has a hoppin social scene, so it's not like we have tons of options and we're dragging our baby to raging parties. We are pretty low key and the most exciting thing we do is go out to eat at least once a week with a group of our friends here. And even though we have had a baby, we still do a lot of entertaining at our house. Caroline is pretty agreeable to just about anything we do. But, this week, we put that to the test.

There have been several movies that Steven and I have been wanting to see lately, but we kind of just shrugged it off because we're not quite at the point of getting a babysitter to come watch Caroline while we do dinner and a movie. We kind of started playing with the idea of going to a later show and just taking Caroline with us, in hopes that she would just sleep through the entire thing0. I still didn't think we would ever brave a movie theater though. But finally, a movie came out that Steven just couldn't wait until it came out on Blu-ray....


Caroline and I didn't exactly share his enthusiasm for this movie. Steven decided that since he had a 4 day weekend coming up, we were going to go watch it one night. So, Thursday night, we hauled ourselves to the movie theater for the 10:35 p.m. showing of Transformers in 3-D. We gave Caroline a bath, fed her, and put her in her pjs. She passed out and didn't even wake up when we put her in the carseat. Even still, I was a total ball of nerves. It wasn't so much that I didn't trust Caroline to be good, it was more of dreading the looks from the other theater patrons (which we did get, but come on, I would have given the same look upon seeing a baby enter the movie I was about to watch). But, our darling girl did great! She didn't even wake up once, which is saying something considering all of the crashing/blowing up that was taking place on screen. I think if she can make it through Transformers, a chick flick should be no problem :)

I didn't get a pic of her in the theater. I was too stressed out before the lights went down and the movie began, and I tried to get one as the movie was ending, but Steven was trying to run out the door (yes, he is THAT guy that makes a mad dash towards the exit). But, picture or no picture, I still think that Caroline's first movie experience is worth being told. I was nervous for no reason. All in all, it was nice to almost feel like a normal couple again... even with a carseat at our feet in a movie theater :)

Working on it....

We had Caroline's christening last weekend. I have tons of pics, but I still haven't had a chance to sit down and get a post put together. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend. That is the story of my life... I feel like I am always at least a week behind :-/