Saturday, December 28, 2013

More holiday happenings.

Apologies for the continued delays in publishing posts - it's hard work to keep up with everything!

We got our tree decorated.  We sang and danced.

We went to Ellie's school program.

For the amount of very loud singing Ellie does at home, she was surprisingly silent for her school program.  But here's a clip of it anyway.  And a clip of her singing at home with Caroline.

Wednesday evening, we went to Southern Lights.  It was so much fun!!  Much better than the last time we went, which was about ten years ago.  We think the lights were the same, just the experience that changed now that we were seeing it through the eyes of our two-year-old.  And we saw the reindeer!!

Here we are with Comet.  Cupid was in the pen next to Comet.  The nice man at their stalls said that when they aren't working with Santa they live in Harrison County and go by Snowshoe and Avalanche.  He also told us that they would shed their antlers in about three weeks, and that this is an annual occurrence. (Yes, for you especially observant readers, I had about five inches of hair cut off between the school program in the morning and Southern Lights in the evening.)

Saturday the Wheelers came to visit! It was so great to watch Ellie play with Baby Kate and get a picture of three of the four Coonettes together.  Can't wait to see the Wheelers again - hopefully this summer in Charleston, if not sooner :-)

 Up next: Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Tis the Season

We've been up to all the things the season brings:

Christmas tree shopping in the COLD.

This is not our tree, but it was time for me to take Caroline back to the car to warm up and our tree was way down on the other side of the lot.

Cookies with Santa.  (Or in his vicinity - Ellie would not go close to him, and clung like a koala when he entered the building.)  The girls in matching dresses in front of the tree are pretty cute if you ask me.

North Pole Party in matching jammies.

(The littlest elf stayed home, but was still dressed to coordinate.)

Still to come:
-Ellie's first school Holiday Program.  can.not.wait.  We might even bring our real (and never used) video camera.
-Southern Lights.  The big draw here is the petting zoo featuring actual reindeer and camels.  You can ride the camels.  I might be more excited about this than Ellie.  Who doesn't love reindeer?!?!
-Making a plate for Santa's cookies.  Not sure if we'll actually get around to this one.  The store probably isn't firing plates in time for Christmas anymore, but we might try.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Caroline's First Turkey Day

Ack!  I thought I had published this a long time ago!! Sorry -

After the race it was just us at Aunt Susie's house until 4:00pm when other family members were scheduled to arrive.
Ellie matching capital and lower case letters (on eggs).
two turkeys
Me and my girls.  (This is Ellie saying, "cheese!")
Maren, Caroline, and Sophie
Uncle Corky!!
My gorgeous cousin, Pamela, and all her children.
Crawford family, Thanksgiving 2013
Friday morning we loaded in the car again and headed to Tamaqua to see Aunt Phyllis!

Ellie, Caroline, and their great-great Aunt Phyllis
Saturday even MORE family came in the afternoon and we all had dinner together to round out the weekend.  
Ellie and wee Beckham

Sunday morning we started the long drive home.  We only made two stops in the ten-hour drive and both girls were great, again!  Here's how Ellie looked when we pulled in the driveway.

We are so thankful that we get to see so much family in one spot!  So lucky to have family that welcomes us year after year!  Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, wherever you might have been!!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Ellie's first road race.

Pete loves a good Thanksgiving-morning road race.  Helps him feel like he's really earned all the stuffing he eats.  (The man puts back an ungodly amount.  Just ask Grandma about his stuffing sandwich in 2008.)  When we started going to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving in 2009, one of the first things Pete did was check for a local race.

Luckily, the nearby town of Honeybrook hosts an annual 5K - The Tel-Hai Turkey Bowl.  In 2009 Pete and I both ran it.  In 2010 I was pregnant with Ellie and ran/walked part of it, and my Uncle Corky joined us.  In 2011 both Uncle Richard and Uncle Corky joined Pete, I sat in the car with a sleeping Ellie.  Last year Ellie and I watched Pete (and Corky and Rich) while they ran.  This year, my cousin Logan came with the Uncles, and....Ellie ran it!!!  Well, she ran in the Kids Fun Run which precedes the race.  It is a one-mile event, and Ellie's goal was to complete a half-mile, or one loop of the course (a much longer distance than the dash she ran this summer at Midsummer Night's Run). 

Getting her number pinned.
Funny aside:  Just before the race, Ellie had a run-in with The Turkey.  Ellie is not a fan of costumed characters (the Chick-fil-a cow, Santa Claus, etc).  Last year she was totally freaked out at the sight of the big turkey and a man running in a pilgrim costume.  This year, she was still afraid of him, and I got really nervous of what would happen when he walked up to her and gave her a rowdy, "gobble, gobble!"  She stood tall on her two feet and said in her best Stranger Danger voice, "I GO WITH MY MOMMY!!"

The starting lineup - we're in the back on the right - can you see my headband?
And we're off!
We tried our best to keep Caroline warm
Rounding the corner for the finish.
Corky cheering on our littlest runner.
Ellie completed one loop in 6:50 - we were SO proud of her!  She ran the whole way and we think she might have been able to do the complete mile had it not been so cold - it was only 25 degrees. 

Happy girl after the race.
 We happily went back inside the meeting hall and drank hot chocolate and ate oranges while waiting for Daddy to finish his race.  Since we were inside, I have no pictures of Pete running (a first for me), but he came in 7th overall with a time 18:07.  A guy in suspenders and long pants beat him at the last minute - those Mennonites can be fast!!  (He was a really nice guy, though, introduced himself to us after the race.)  Can't wait for next year!!  

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Getting there is half the fun.

We've gone to my Aunt Susie's house in Pennsylvania for the past five Thanksgivings.  We usually leave early Wednesday morning (like 4am), and arrive at her house in the late afternoon.  That was the plan for this year until we took a glance at the weather forecast while sitting in the pediatrician's office Monday morning. 

Caroline's two-month appointment was at 10am, and before the doctor made it in the exam room to see us, we had pretty much decided we needed to leave that same day, and take a different route, if we wanted to avoid the ice and snow that was headed for West Virginia and Maryland.

As soon as we got home I started packing and Pete went to Ellie's daycare to pick her up early.  We put her down for nap at home and planned to leave when she woke up.  We finally got on the round around 4:45pm.  Our plan was to drive north through Columbus, OH before heading East through Pennsylvania and to break the slightly longer drive up into two days. 

Caroline was the big wild card for this trip as Ellie has done very well on every road trip we've ever taken.  Caroline, however, is not a huge fan of her car seat when we're driving around town, so we weren't sure how she would do once we were on the interstate.  We were hoping she'd fall asleep once we were moving consistently instead of stopping frequently. 

Both she and Ellie slept in the car Monday evening - yay!!  One adventure down, two more to go - up first:  first night in a hotel as a family of four AND Ellie's first night sleeping in a bed.  Thankfully, Ellie slept just as well as she does at home.  We just put her in the bed, and built a little border around her with four pillows.  Caroline slept in the pea pod set up on the floor. 

It's blurry, but here she is Tuesday morning, sound asleep in a queen-sized bed.
Burrito in the Pea Pod!
Pete woke up early to check the weather before we headed out and a quick glance out the window helped us decide that we wanted to leave about an hour earlier than anticipated, as the storm was already here.
Snowy Wheeling, WV
Would Ellie and Caroline travel as well in the daytime?  Yes and Yes!!  Here's a pictorial depiction of how Ellie spent her day in the car: 

And here's a blurry picture of Caroline - aka Snoozy Bouf, Jr.

We rolled into Reading just before two on Tuesday afternoon - plenty of time to recoup and get ready for the week ahead.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Months. (and ten days)

Monday morning Caroline had her two-month well check.  I am so pleased to report that at two months (and ten days) old, Caroline weighed 14 lbs, 3 oz and was 25 inches long!!  She is in the 96th percentile for weight and the 98th for height.  Woot!  I love a good chunky baby.  The pediatrician had nothing to say, really, other than to keep up the good work.

In her second month, our sweet little baby started sleeping through the night, sucking her thumb, and babbling up a storm.  She loves to smile and coo and goo with anyone who will look at her.  She lost most of her hair around five weeks of age, but has grown back quite the fuzzy head since then!  I think her hair is going to be thick, rather than the fine flyaway hair Ellie has.  She loves to kick at the cow that hangs above her playmat, and babble at her reflection in the mirror.  Caroline also has not met a pair of socks she can't kick off her feet :-)  She turns to voices she recognizes and lights up whenever she sees Ellie.

Caroline met her Grandpa and Estelle in her second month!  Carl and Estelle drove in for a weekend and were pleased to meet the littlest (possible) red head. 

Ellie continues to be the best little sister, already reporting on every little thing she does, and taking pride whenever she elicits a smile or wears a matching outfit.