Friday, November 7, 2014

A Soggy Halloween and other Scary Stories

October simply flew by. Quicker than I had hoped for. We squeezed in a last minute trip to the pumpkin patch. It was so very busy being the last Saturday of the season. This nice lady gave Kase two tickets to get free pumpkins so we were happy about that. The girls loved riding on the hayride to the patch. There were pumpkins scattered everywhere and they eagerly went looking for the perfect one. It didn't take long to realize most (if not all) of the pumpkins were rotten. It was bad. Really bad. However, a tractor pulled up and started tossing fresh pumpkins out into the field. I was afraid Eliza was going to get hit in the head with a pumpkin. Caroline picked a giant pumpkin that needed Daddy to carry it, and Eliza picked a perfect Eliza-sized one. We got in line to wait our turn to ride pack to the farm. The next thing we knew Eliza had dropped her pumpkin. It was rolling down the hill with her chasing after it. We were trying to juggle Caroline, a pumpkin, the camera, and diaper bag in order to rescue Eliza and her pumpkin. Another nice lady jumped out from the line and saved Eliza's pumpkin, now covered in rotten pumpkin juice from rolling through all the rotten pumpkins.

We then enjoyed the rest of the activites on the farm. We visited the goats and chickens. A nice boy gave Eliza some of his feed so she could feed the rooster. (There were so many nice people there.) Their favorite thing was the sand area. Both of the girls loved playing in the sand. On our way home, we stopped at a little local dinner called Twisters and had dinner. It was very good and the perfect ending to a perfect day.

That Sunday was the Primary Program. Eliza actually went up on stage and sat with her class. She was the 3rd child to have to get up and say a part. She went up to the microphone with her teacher by her side. She said something to her teacher and sat back in her chair. She did a great job singing all of the songs. We thought she had gotten too scared and didn't do her part. However, her teacher told us later that she said her part to her teacher but not in the microphone. We were very proud of her. Her part was "I'm a child of God and can be like Him someday."

Halloween week was a busy week. On Wednesday, we went to the church trunk-or-treat. Eliza was Elsa (surprise!) and Caroline was Anna. They were both very excited about their costumes. Caroline kept giggline and saying "Anna" when she put her dress on. On Thursday, the girls came to my work for our annual trick-or-treat through the office. It is so much fun to see all of the coworkers kids. They get SO MUCH candy and there is a party with cupcakes at the end of the trail. Eliza ran ahead and followed my coworker's granddaughter around. Carolien stuck with me and took her time deciding which piece of candy to choose. One stop had M&Ms and apples. Caroline was so excited about the apples and immediate started eating one. She sat at the cupcake party table finishing her giant red apple. It was the cutest. On Friday, actual Halloween, we went to a friend's house to trick-or-treat. It was the worst weather: cold, rainy, and windy. I had dressed up like Sven the reindeer with paper antlers and a black nose. I was supposed to look silly but I think it was a little too silly. I had to carry Caroline, her bag, and an umbrella. Meanwhile, Eliza's shoes were too big. Did I mention it was cold? The wind blew too hard and my antlers flew away and my umbrella flew off and broke. We kept going, but then Eliza fell down some steps thanks to her too big shoes. She also kept trying to take off her jacket because the "cold doesn't bother her anyway." Caroline kept shivering and wanting her hat back on. By the end of the night, I was thinking that I'm not such a big fan of Halloween after all. I'm grateful for the patience of our trick-or-treating friend that went with us.

To remember for next year: Kase MUST come trick-or-treating with us, NO princess shoes shall be worn while trick-or-treating, and black reindeer noses look silly when your antlers get blown away (Well, they look silly before that too so just forget the black reindeer nose).

   Shopping for a birthday party gift:

Anna and Elsa:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Been a While

Hello. I've not written in such a long time. I used to love to write but it seems I'm always on the computer at work and I just don't want to look at the computer any more when I get home.


I also don't have a very good memory. Time is flying by. SO FAST. I try to keep a journal, but it's hard to sit down and write. So I need to try to do better about recording life somewhere, somehow. A little bit here and a little bit there.

So here's an update on the going ons in our house:

Mid July, Caroline woke up and didn't want to walk. At first, I thought it was her shoes. Then I noticed she was limping. We thought she had twisted her knee climbing on a little chair we have in our room. We gave it a week or so to heal but it didn't seem to get better. She would limp around, especially in the mornings. I took her to the doctor and they sent her over to children's hospital for xrays and blood work. We had a follow up visit two days after that. The xrays showed nothing wrong. The blood work showed an elevated SED rate and a positive ANA. So they referred us to a rheumatologist. Fortunately, they were able to get her an appointment quickly. We were so worried about her. Her rheumatologist diagnosed her with pauciarticular juvenile arthritis. They said that she will probably outgrow it but we don't know when. The kind of arthritis she has usually affects around 6 joints in the first year, and on one side of the body. So far, she has it in her right knee, ankle, and middle finger. It's the worst in the mornings. She limps and cries. Some mornings are worse than others. Their first course of treatment was ibuprofen 3 times a day. However, that didn't seem to work well. So now she takes Naproxen (perscription Aleeve) twice a day. It seems to help but she still has a little bit of swelling in her knee. We were referred to a Orthopaedist for possible cortizone shots put in her knee but he said her knee looked ok. We're going to hold off on that. It's hard to see our little girl hurting and limping around. But in th big picture it's not the worst thing that she could have. It is manageable and hopefully she will outgrow it.

In mid August, we went to Idaho to visit Kase's grandparents, aunts, and uncles. It was such a lovely trip. The girls handled flying pretty well. Kase's parents and brother came as well. It was nice to spend time with them. The grandparents are the sweetest and live in the cutest little town in Idaho. The weather was absolutely wonderful (no humidity!) and we enjoyed spending time with family. Caroline met her great grandparents for the first time, and Eliza re-met them (she doesn't remember meeting them when she was 6 weeks old). We strolled around town, ate some good food, went to the fair, and visited with family. It was a wonderful time and our hearts were sad as we drove away from family and the beautiful mountains heading back to the airport. We hope to go back to visit again soon.

In late August, my trusty almost 20 year old jeep bit the dust. We had been looking for a new-to-us car for a few months, but I just couldn't commit. We wanted something bigger that would be easier to haul kids around in. I felt bad about getting a different car when mine still worked.... well mostly worked. It was loud, smelly, and would randomly shut off while driving. Our mechanic couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. One night, after test driving cars, Kase headed out to play soft ball and I was taking the girls home. We had just turned onto a busy road when my car shut off. We rolled to a stop right in the middle of the busy road in front of where giant diesel trucks pull in to get gas. The car wouldn't start back up. I tried and tried. The girls were worried and I was nervous as cars whized past us. I called a friend to come get us and scheduled a tow truck. I was nervous about getting the girls out of the car and into my friends car. Finally, the car started. We drove halfway home and it died again on top of some railroad tracks. We rollled off the tracks and it eventually started again.  That was the last straw. It was time to say good bye to my beloved jeep. We drove down to Chattanooga and picked up a Toyota Sienna that we had our eye on. We got a decent deal, plus it is SO much easier with the girls. THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM! I never understood how awesome a minivan is. I'm in love. AND my dad was able to fix the jeep. So it's still floating around in the family.

September was a jmuch calmer month which is always nice. We did take the girls to a children't museum in Knoxville. It was small and a little ghetto but they liked it. Caroline finally started talking more in September and not just whining/crying a lot. She is able to be reasoned with. She LOVES her stuffed puppy dog and her plush Elsa. Of course, she LOVES frozen and Elsa now too. She has become so much fun. She is pretty fun.

So far, October has also been a good month. October and Autumn are my favorite. It's been rainy and we've not been to the pumpkin patch yet. We did camp a little with my parents in their RV. Kase, my dad, and my brother worked on one of our cars and put on new rotors, struts, shocks, and breaks. I am proud of Kase for learning how to do all that. Eliza has been practicing for the primary program. She knows all the songs and her part, but she is very nervous. It is this Sunday and I am hoping that she will do it. We got her some Elsa click shoes (as she calls them.) also known as heels that light up when you walk. She loves them. She went to bed with them on the first night. I snuck in and took them off of her after she fell asleep. The next morning, she had them on again. I asked her how she got her shoes back on. She said she woke up and they had snuck off into the floor so she caught them and put them back on. She thinks they're magic. At church, I just got a new calling (that is sort of like an assignment that you accept for where you will help out at church) from nursery/ward music director to young women beehive (youth girls 12-13 yrs old) advisor. I'm excited to get to know these girls. I think it's going to be fun.

I'm going to try and be better about writing so that I can remember all the seasons and details of our life. It's a pretty sweet life with two sweet little girls.

I'm also going to try to post pictures soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Caroline is 18 Months

Here we are, going over the hill on our way to two! Caroline turned 18 months on July 7th. It is sooooo hard to get pictures of this kid. She either whines, won't be still, or she makes a terrible squishy face and says "Cheeeeeessseee" which is cute but doesn't make for a good picture. But we think she is pretty adorable any way.

Caroline Selfie-gone-wild
Ms. Independent won't sit still for long
Addicted to her paci
Caroline at 18 months:
- Weighs 23 lbs and 13 oz
- 31 1/2 inches tall
- 12 teeth (4 front teeth on top/bottom and 2 molars on top/bottom. She is still missing her K-9s)
- She says some words that we are able to understand: Puppy (her very favorite thing), Baby, Hi, Bye, Mama, Dada, Hot, Good (Caroline, how are you? Good.), chicken, and a few others that I can't think of.
- She jabbers a lot of nonsensical things that we don't understand.
- She is still sweet but is also very sassy. When she is tired she just whines and whines and whines. But when she is sweet, there is nothing sweeter.
- She is addicted to her paci. She knows where they are located at home and at daycare and she will beg you for it. We have cut down her use to night time, naps, and while we're trying to make dinner because she is tired and misserable. We plan on losing the paci after our flight to Idaho in August.
- When she is tired, she twirls her hair on top of her head. She loves to be snuggled in the rocking chair before bed time.
- She HATES when we brush her teeth. I mean, she screams bloody murder. But it's getting a little better.
- Her favorite foods are: cheese, bread, cheesy bread, mac and cheese (you get the point), fruit, some chicken, and pretty much no vegetables.
- Her favorite things are: puppies, a good snuggly blanket, her paci (see above), baby dolls, whatever toy her sister has, whatever food her sister has, her sister, and walking all by herself everywhere.

We are so glad that Caroline joined our family. We adore watching her grow. There is nothing better in this world than watching Caroline and Eliza hug and play together. We love our sweet Caroline.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eliza turned 4

Elize turned 4 last week. I really can't believe it. She is changing so much. I keep thinking that she doesn't look that different from last year, but then I look at pictures from last year and she looks so different.
For her birthday party, she originally wanted to do a superhero party as her love for Wonder Woman and the Justice League is still strong. BUT then we saw Frozen and she has fallen in love with it. So we decided to do a Frozen party with a little bit of wonder woman.
We have some friends that use to live one street over from us. Before we knew them, we would get their mail, food delivery orders, and occasionally home repair workmen knocking on our door. They had a little girl born 3 days before Eliza and we signed up at the same daycare at the same time. We finally met, and figured out that we lived 1 street apart. The girls have been best buds since they were a few months old. We decided to try out a combined birthday party this year. It helped ease some of Eliza's nerves as she usually cries at her party.
They had a Frozen/Ninja Turtle party. Everyone Swam, ate, and played on the playground. I think it went pretty well.
Eliza's cake had frozen figures that I managed to hunt down (everything Frozen is so hard to find!) and we incorporated Wonder Woman into the cake. She is behind the cake lasoing Hans:

Eliza and Katerina:

The Birthday Girl:

We decided to not open gifts at the party and I think that was the best idea ever. Eliza gets so nervous and doesn't like to open them and it ends up being very stressful for me. So we took the gifts home and she opened them after she had a nap. It was so much more enjoyable.
At 4 Eliza:
- talks non stop at home. Although I've been told that she is quieter at school.
- Asks a billion questions. She asked me yesterday morning why Jesus doesn't come to church and she asked me who is the leader of our church.  
- Is very smart. I know I'm her mom so I'm a little biased but others have told me that she is pretty bright.
- She is a great big sister. She shares pretty good. She watches out for her sister and is a good helper to me. She does smoother her by getting in her face a lot though.
- She loves her family. She gets so excited to spend time with grandparents and asks me about her cousins/aunts/uncles and her great grandparents in "Idahoda."
-She seems tall for her age, I will find out for sure in a few weeks. 
- She is well behaved mostly. She rarely gets in trouble at school. At home, she can be a little sassy. When she is tired is when she misbehaves the most. When we get all worked up and in a tizzy, she will tell me that she wants to "start over" and we count to 10, take a deep breath, and start over. Then she is pretty good.
- She loves stuffed animals right now, and reading books. She imagines and lot and loves to play.
- She has started liking to pick out what she wears but can easily be convinced to wear something.
- She loves to have daddy tell her stories.
- She makes up songs a lot.
- She is a joy and we love watching her learn and grow.
Eliza bug's birthday interview:
How old are you? 4
What makes you happy? My birthday cake and playing. Oh, and snacks and coloring.
What is your favorite animal? Zebra
What is your favorite thing to eat?  Cake
What is your least favorite thing to eat? Chicken Pot Pie
What is your favorite thing to do? Play with Grace and Elin
What is your favorite tv show?  May Poppins, Frozen, and Wonder Woman
What are you really good at? Playing and doing the parachute
What is your favorite movie? Frozen
What is your favorite color? Purple
What is your favorite song? "Rocky Top", "Icecream and Cake Cake Cake" (a song they sing at exercise class)
Who is your best friend? Elin, Katerina and Nicole
What do you and your mom do together? Stay home, Play, crafts, go to stores, and Sams Club
What do you and your dad do together? Go to Chuck E. Cheese. Help cook dinner. Watch shows.
What is your favorite sport? Going to church
Where is your favorite place to go?  Mall playground and to see Frozen
What is your favorite book? Frozen and Wonder Woman
What do you want to be when you grow up? A cowgirl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Caroline is 15 months

Caroline turned 15 months on April 7th. She is such a joy to have in our family. She is very loving. When I got home from work yesterday, she came waddling up and threw her arms around me. She patted my back and gave me open mouth kisses all over my cheeks. I could feel her little teeth poking my cheeks. She is marvelous.
She began walking a few weeks ago. She has the hang of it but she still waddles and looks like a zombie or an elderly lady with an invisible walker... or perhaps a zombie elderly lady with an invisible walker.
She has suddenly become a picky eater. She only wants fruit and bread with occasional meat. Oh yeah, and pizza. She won't touch veggies.
She has about 8 teeth with a couple more just under the gums.
She LOVES bath time and splashes and plays.
She says Hi and Bye bye (with a cute wave). She also says Dada and Mama occasionally.
She folds her arms for prayers which is more of one hand on top of the other. The she says "AH" for amen. It is really cute.
She follows her sister around and loves to get into things. She loves to play. She loves stuffed animals and baby dolls. She loves to put play purses on her shoulder and walk around.
Daycare has commented that she is such a sweet girl. She did start occasionally hitting yesterday at school. We gotta stop that quick.

She also sneaks into the bathroom and licks the water off of the shower curtain. Good thing it was a clean new shower curtain. She is sneaky.
We adore her. So much.
Our Bear.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Caroline's First Birthday Party (Back in January)

Caroline had a lovely birthday party back in January. It was a hot air balloon/up up and away theme. We kept it small with just family and it was actually pretty relaxing and fun. I really enjoyed it.

Her hot air balloon cake:

We decorated the mantle in honor of Ms. Caroline with her favorite stuffed animals and things about her. I think this may be our new tradition during birthday time.

Princess Pea:

Hot air balloon stress balls, a must-have for any parent of a toddler.

Holly and Carebear.

Uncle Tommy and Aunt Angela. Aren't they cute?

Papaw and Memaw.

Like father like son.

Again, like father like son.

Sweet girls.

River, Angela, and SuperDeb.

Aunt Holly and Uncle Ryan.

Unlike Eliza, Caroline LOVES opening gifts. Everything was the most exciting and best prsent ever.

Cute little River.

Unlike Eliza, Caroline DID NOT LIKE her cake. It was weird to her I think.

The awesome balloon fun made up for the yucky cake. She laughed and laughed when the ballon would hit Papaw's head.
She had a wonderful birthday party.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Caroline is 1 Year Old!

Caroline turned 1 on January 7th. She has been such a joy to our family. Before she came along, I was a little worried about how it would be to have two children. Now, I'm so glad with have two. She doubles the laughter and the fun (and the laundry but that's ok). It has been so fun to watch Eliza grow in her role as bit sister. So far, these sisters are very opposite, but I have the feeling that they will get along (most of the time) and that they will love each other forever.
Caroline at One:
- She weighs 20 lbs 6.5 oz and is 28 3/8 inches tall.
- has 3 teeth with a couple more trying to pop through.
- is not walking but cruising everywhere. 
 - She loves to stand up on her own without holding on to anything, and she claps for herself. She is so proud.
- is a picky eater. She won't eat baby puffs or several table foods that she use to like. It is hard finding what she will eat.
- She will eat (and loves to eat) string cheese, baby food sweet potato, graham crackers, waffles, and pizza (she is her father's child).
- She has FINALLY started sleeping better. I mean, she usually goes to bed in her crib awake with her blanet. Then she wakes up once around 2 am, snuggles/eats, and goes back to sleep. So that is nice.
- We found out she is allergic to penicillin.
- She loves to be read to. Especially if there are flaps to lift, or touch and feel books.
- She is still friendly with most everyone and loves to climb up in your lap.
- She LOVES going through her sister's room and pulling out all the toys she can find.
- She is very sweet and we cannot get enough of her.

Soon I will post pictures from her birthday party.
We love you Carebear!