Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Real Time Update

We interrupt the recap-of-vacation blog posts to bring you these images:

Baby Girl started preschool yesterday.  It's the same location as her daycare, just a different hallway.  But now she will go five days a week from 8:30-11:30, with extended care two days of the week.

Here she is after school (after dinner, in fact) showing her handwriting skills.  Pretty impressive for a not yet three-and-a-half year old!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beach Week 2014

Hooray!  We're home after a week at the beach.  We rented a house with the Wheelers in Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and just had the best time.  Vacationing with friends is the way to go - other kids for your children to play with! free babysitting!

Two kids plus sunscreen and towels and chairs and hats and umbrellas and sand (did I mention sand?) doesn't leave much room for my big camera, so all of these photos are from my phone.  There are some good ones, though!  I did make a point to bring my camera to the beach on our last afternoon in town, but am saving those images for another post.

Matt's parents live in Tennessee and were kind enough to let us stay overnight at their house on the way down.  We really are so lucky that our friends have parents love our kids when our family is farther away.

feeding the fish with John
playing blocks with Peggy.
Saturday morning was Pete's birthday - so Peggy had a candle in the banana bread!
sticker girl
Saturday morning we drove four hours to Matt and Jen's house where Pete was quickly adopted by Kate as her second Daddy.
she has a thing for tall guys - and the only guys taller than her daddy are Pete, Adam, and Mike :-)
 After a quick lunch we headed for the beach!

Helping her daddy assemble his birthday Legos
It poured rain on Sunday, and we feared that the whole week would be a wash out.  Ever the ones to make lemonade out of lemons, the boys took to the street with the kayak.

testing out the (street)waters
watching her Daddy be silly
Our house had both a front and back porch, so we could eat lunch in or out.  I also gave Pete some popsiscle molds for his birthday, so we enjoyed those after lunch.

Sharing with her sister - yes, I'll have to get this one printed :-)
  The front porch was great for morning storytime.

Ellie reading to Kate
Pete reading to Kate and Ellie
I got to take a walk with this girl during Caroline's morning nap
It's not a Crawford vacation if we don't seek out a mini-golf course, so one sweltering morning we hit the green and grabbed hot dogs and root beer for lunch afterwards.  This was Ellie's first time to play.

Brief instruction
The best her form looked all morning!
obligatory family photo
Then, during one afternoon nap, I got to go to the beach ALONE!  It was amazing and surreal.  I got bored very quickly, though, and could not wait for my girls to wake up and join me.  This cutie was awake and available for entertainment, though.

Kate LOVED the water.
Pete wanted to run over the Cooper River Bridge at least once while we were there, and, luckily, there is a great pier and playground underneath the bridge.  So we all loaded up one morning and made the quick drive towards Charleston.

Ellie especially liked climbing on the dolphins. (and looking like a grown-up girl)
Reading Dragons Love Tacos before heading to Taco Boy for lunch.
We each had a solo date night and had a sitter come one night so the four of us could go to dinner.  (Of course we got no pictures, even though we were all dressed up and on a double date for -we think- the first time in four YEARS.) If we weren't on a date, we were playing board games.  That's what everyone does during a vacation, right?!?  In the course of the week we played Phase 10, Monopoly, Sequence, and Rummikub.  And had so much fun!!

I lost this and two other rounds of Rummikub - almost unheard of. Jen was dominating that night.
And then, as if all of a sudden, the week was over.  It was time for us to pack our things and gather our shells, and hit the road.  Just as we were loading into our cars, it occurred to us to take a picture of the house.  So glad we did.  Next time there will FOUR kids - can't wait!!

Our beach house at Station 29

Friday, August 08, 2014

Dance Class 2013

Ellie started ballet/tap class the Monday we got home from Pennsylvania.  We enrolled her in a six-week session that met Monday afternoons at a studio that's really close to our house.  She has some basic familiarity with dance terms from a dvd my cousin Karen gave her for Christmas.  We haven't watched it much since the weather warmed up, so I was anxious to see what she retained.  Alas, this dance class didn't feature any classical music or dance terms but lots of Ke$ha (did I spell that right?) and Katy Perry.  My friend Meredith and I were thrilled at the music choices, to say the least.  Our favorite was the 5-10 minutes each week of "free dance" to the soundtrack from Frozen.  Um, we do that at our house 4-6 days a week for free.  Thanks.  

But.  BUT.  The girls looked darling.  Just perfect.  And they had fun.  And Ellie didn't pull Clara's arms out of their sockets, so it was a win.  Without further adieu, the thing all you friends and relatives want, an onslaught of pictures and videos. 


  (yes, that's Ellie you hear singing)

And, of course, token picture of Caroline watching dance class:
(class was typically in the tiny hot pink room, only the last class was in the large studio for parents to be able to watch)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Though Ellie's Eyes - first edition

I keep forgetting to post this! Here is a collage of pictures Ellie took when her camera was brand new.  (I think I took the top middle one.) She's gotten better about having her eyes in the viewfinder when she presses the capture button, but hadn't mastered that yet for these shots.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Caroline - 10 months.



Caroline is ten months old.  We've entered the 'say it ain't so!' phase of her first year.  I cannot believe ten months have gone by.  It seems like she was just born.  My last baby is on her way to being a toddler.  I know she'll be fun in each of her new stages, but will miss my squishy baby as she grows.  At ten months, Caroline weighs 21 pounds, 1 ounce.  This month she started pulling up - first in her crib, now on anything that doesn't move.  She has climbed the bottom two steps, but we've not given her the opportunity to do much more.  On 7/12, after three days of fever and clinginess her top right tooth finally broke through the gum.

Eating/Sleeping:  Not much change in what Caroline is eating.  Mostly just smaller amounts of what we eat.  She still does not like bananas - will pick them out of a mix of fruit and push them to the side of her tray - so funny!  Loves nectarines, clementines, blueberries.  Caroline only takes two naps now, but they're both usually really long (2-3 hours each.)  She sleeps from 7pm to 6/7am with, usually, one feeding during the night.  When she was up with fever last week she was pretty miserable from 10:30-11:30 each night, and got Motrin around 1am two nights in a row, and was then up again at 3am, 5am, etc - but that was pretty atypical and I am attributing it to the tooth.

Likes/Dislikes:   Caroline LOVES water in a straw cup!!  She drinks some, spits some down her chest, shakes some out on the floor, and just has her own little splash park party.  I've finally learned to take her clothes off BEFORE giving her a cup, because otherwise I have to change her immediately afterward.  Caroline enjoys playing with her stacking cups, wooden grasshopper, and constellation turtle (So, pretty much, if it's a gift Pete and Jenni gave to Ellie, she loves it.)  The only thing I can think of that she dislikes is public changing tables.  If she even sees one, she starts screaming.  Changing her diapers on our way to/from Pennsylvania was an adventure, to say the least.

I don't want to forget:  her smell, the softness of her skin, watching her fall in love with her Raffie, my daily surprise at the wonderful color of her hair.

fun in the pool at Caitlyn's house
mastered the snack cup
more active playing with sister (who came home from school with that hair)
first pair of shoes from Daddy (not to be worn for some time)
end of an afternoon at the pool
reading with Ellie
conquering the steps
WV hotel-room crib
day one of fever - not sleeping, just feeling puny
feeling better at the pool Sunday evening
My favorite stage - the Starfish Hands!!  She crawls around the house rapidly, slapping her hands on the floor as she moves.

Oh Caroline, you sweet, sweet girl, we love you so.