Saturday, January 25, 2014

Caroline: Months three and four.


Last week our little Caroline turned fourth months old!  Time. Is. Flying. 
She continues to be a very cheerful baby, waking with coos and goos instead of cries.  Her cheeks and thighs are as chunky as can be, as attested to by her official 4-month-checkup stats:

weight:  16lbs, 7oz (94%)
length:  26  1/4 inches (97%)

In her third and fourth month Caroline started to enjoy tummy time a little more, and used the jumperoo for the first time.  She has started using the Bumbo.  She was a cross-country travler, riding up to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving and to Texas for Christmas.  The day she turned four months, Caroline finally grabbed her toes!  She had been grabbing her knees and calves, but grabbed on to her piggies while we were in the exam room with the pediatrician (such a show off).  She hasn't rolled all the way over yet (from back to front), mostly because she will start sucking her thumb once she gets on her side and then fall asleep.  She rolled front to back once in the middle of tummy time, but I think it was a fluke.  Caroline has also started to use a lovey in the past few weeks.  Raffie the Giraffe is probably number one, but coming in closely for second and third favorites are her yet-to-be-named turtle lovey, and BeBe the Bumble Bee.  Four months brought on an official bedtime and actual naps.  We've been putting Caroline to bed at 8:30pm and she usually sleeps through the night until about 6:30 or 7:00am.  She'll take a morning nap around 9:00am and then one or two additional naps in the afternoon.  (She and Ellie are currently napping simultaneously - a miracle - holla!!)

Likes: Her sister!!  Better head control allows Caroline to look at Ellie whenever she is in the room, and her face usually lights up with a huge grin.  She also reacts similarly when Fiona lies down next to her.  Bath time - and the body oil/massage that follows.  Sucking her thumb and pulling objects to her mouth.  Having schmutz rubbed on her face (usually non-petroleum jelly).  Baby yoga and joint squeezes (they make her squeal in delight)!

Dislikes:  Being put in her car seat.  Short car rides.  Getting dressed.  Wearing socks.

Notes from Mommy:  I am actively trying to soak up all the precious time that I have with Caroline at this age.  My maternity leave was supposed to end when she turned four months old, but Pete and I have decided to extend it until she is a year old.  We think that is what will work best for our family.  I love being home and being able to nurse on demand.  I love sniffing her head and rubbing her fuzzy (red!) hair in my nose.  The way her face lights up when she sees me in the morning is something I hope to never forget.  Watching Ellie run over to her crib and peek over the side to say, "Good Morning sweet little Caroline!" and "She's my baby sister, I love her," these are all things I don't want to miss.
     I feel like I am finally adapting to parenting two small children.  We saw some friends at the club when Santa was there, and they also have two young children.  The mom said it took until the baby was 4-5 months old before she felt like she was doing any more than treading water each day.  I would agree with that statement.  We have eaten food I have cooked at least 5 days of the week for the past two weeks.  Prior to that, it was maybe three.  I've started exercising again (albeit only one day/week).  I've been doing my hair (somewhat) and putting on makeup (ish).  I am making crafty things with Ellie on her days home and have started planning her birthday party.  I still hesitate to take them both out by myself for any more than a grocery run, and potty training just might be death of me, but we have gotten into somewhat of a stride.
     I think I've written something like this before, but I am continually amazed at how awesome it is to be a mammal.  I have now grown two people (two!) in my body and am able to nourish them for the first year of life with relatively little effort on my part.  It's not a matter of personal pride, I just think it's wonderful what the human body is able to do and then put itself back together.  I wish I could ask my mom about it, if she ever thought it over and marvelled, 'Wow, I gave birth to three babies, my body is amazing!'  Knowing my mom, she never thought much about it and just went about her daily life.  (She would probably tell me I was silly for even thinking about it at all.)  Every day I find it hard to believe or quantify just how much I love this squishy second girl of ours.  The Crawford family feels complete.  and happy.  and lucky.  and loved.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas 2013 - Texas Edition.

now with captions!

On the second day of Christmas (12/26), we loaded the girls into the car and began the long journey to..... TEXAS!!

Unlike the wise men, it did not take us twelve days to arrive at the place designated by the (lone) star, but it did take us two.  Which can be a journey when your traveling companions are a toddler and a baby, but, luckily, we have the best little travelers in the world so we just drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and after we went through the whirly swirly gumdrop forest we arrived in a faraway land called Ft. Worth, Texas.

One of my brothers lives outside of Ft. Worth, and my other brother (and his family) and my dad were all visiting for Christmas.  I'm a stickler about having Christmas at my own house, but we didn't want to miss out on the festivities, and wanted to give my family an opportunity to meet Caroline, so we came right AFTER Christmas.

Ellie had SO SO SO much fun running around with all of her cousins, and Caroline was sweet and cute and warm and cuddly - just what everyone wants a baby to be - so it was a great visit!  Here is a photo roundup of our long weekend in the Lone Star State.

Pete and Jenni have a bounce house - this was the default place for the kiddos to play.
Ellie wore Cloudy's old swim trunks for an impromptu dip in the hot tub.
They loved it!!  L-R: Jacob, Ben, Ellie, Ryan, Cloudy
Apparently Ellie got herself up there.  I'm glad I didn't see it happen.
Carter grandkids in front of the tree!
Obligatory family photo - with a frowny Cloudy.
So we ALL made frowny faces!
When it got cool outside, there were always Legos.
and light sabers.
Snuggles with Aunt Jenni
Uncle Pete stole her hairstyle!
Ben love!
One last pic with Granddad before we hit the road.
Thanks again for having us, Pete and Jenni!  Can't believe we all fit under one roof - good thing everything's bigger in Texas!!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Christmas 2013

Let's see what I can remember....

Christmas Eve Day was a little hectic with me trying to prep everything for breakfast Christmas morning, dinner Christmas Eve, and prep two girls and myself for church that night (in addition to regular daily activities).  PLUS we had an extra-special task this year:  Decorating cookies for Santa!!

 Ellie took it all quite seriously.

As per usual, Audrey and Andrew arrived in time for dinner and the candlelight service at Max Pres.  The service was at 7:30pm and Ellie usually goes to bed at 7:00pm.  She did very well until the end of the service when she got upset and shouted, "I WANT MY MOMMY!!" as Woody gave the Benediction.  It was pretty stressful trying to keep her in the pew, quiet during the readings, not let her catch her hair on fire during "Silent Night," etc.  Luckily, Caroline slept the whole time.  Next year we might go to the 5:00 service which is more geared toward children It isn't the lessons and carols format I grew up with, so we might skip it all together and start our own tradition.  Who knows.


In my house we always got to open one present on Christmas Eve.  Mine was always a dress to wear to church.  Among the gifts Aunt Susie and Uncle Joe sent us this year was a little black box for Ellie.  I suspected what was inside and let her open it before we left.


It was a beautiful single pearl necklace - perfectly sized for Ellie.  Ellie also wore the silver bracelet Grandma Prann gave her at my baby shower for the first time this year.  I have very clear memories of mom letting me wear my pearl necklace every year on Christmas and Easter.  She would ceremoniously get the necklace out of the jewelry box in her room.  It wasn't until I left for college that she gave it to me for safe keeping.  I'm so pleased that Ellie will have a special something to wear now, too, and hopefully great memories of the times she got to wear it. 

After church, Ellie put out cookies and egg nog for Santa before we whisked her off to bed.

She carried the egg nog like it was wine for Holy Eucharist.  Come to think of it, Santa might not mind some wine on Christmas Eve ;)


Then, before we knew it, it was Christmas Morning!

Ellie checked to see if Santa left her anything nice.  Santa left me an Amy Farrah Fowler figurine - silly Santa!

Ellie got a new raincoat from Santa and an Angelina Ballerina book from Aunt Susie - she had to get Angelina from the basement right away and wouldn't part with her for the rest of the morning. Side note:  The raincoat was one of the last presents opened because it was from Santa.  Ellie does not like the man in red and was nervous to open a gift from him.  Only after most of the other presents were opened, including Mommy's present from Santa, and Daddy's present from Santa, could she be cajoled into opening her gift from him.


Caroline was there, too!  After all, this was her FIRST Christmas.  Alas, when you're only 3 months old, there's not much to do but get examined by your sister. 

So that was our Christmas Day!  Hope yours was fun as well!!