Thursday, October 30, 2008
I can hardly believe Anna is 4 months old already - where in the world does the time go? I'm desperate to keep her a baby as long as possible. Her pediatrician, Dr. Patel, said she looks great. She weighed 15 pounds 13 pounces and was 26 inches long - 90% and above for both weight and height. She's still just nursing with no plans at this point to start cereal for another couple of months. She's getting better and better at steadying her hands as she reaches out for toys and such. And she's so content, she's not yet rolling over so we'll be watching for that milestone in the weeks ahead. Her sweet little coos are offering some new sounds which are music to my ears. And finally last night, she graduated to her crib and slept well... went to bed between 7:30 and 8 pm after nursing then although she wasn't awake, I nursed her around 10:30 before I went to bed. She cried out around 2:30 so Brian gave her her pacifier then we didn't hear from her again until 5:30 this morning when I nursed her and then she went back to sleep. Hopefully she'll continue to make progress as Brian and I would welcome some long uninterrupted hours of sleep. Until then, I'll just cherish each time I get the pleasure of cradling this precious baby girl in my arms!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Yesterday, I was reminded of how precious the love is between brothers and sisters. And it came at a time that Catherine needed to be reminded. Just a couple days ago, she was looking at some pictures of Benjamin and her from several years ago. The pictures were so sweet and in many of them, Benjamin was hugging her. She said to me, "Look, Benjamin loved me back then." It made my heart sad for her because in spite of how annoyed she and Benjamin both get with one another sometimes, I know without a doubt that they love one another so much. I tried to explain to her that at the ripe age of almost nine, Benjamin is showing her love when he does silly things like running up and tackling her - his affection is just different right now. So yesterday, when I looked into the family room and saw them dancing to Christmas music and laughing their heads off at one another, my heart felt so warm and thankful as I was reminded that indeed they do love one another in a precious way.
And while they were dancing, Mary Scott was in the other room with Anna changing her diaper all by herself. Boy, it's always exciting at our house and so full of love!
I have to say in all honesty, I have been so anxious for Mary Scott to grasp this potty training thing. Buying double the number of diapers is quite costly, not to mention her poopy diapers are about more than any of us can stand. Brian told her recently it should be against the law to have such stinky diapers! She's sat on the potty countless times and until Saturday, had never actually managed to make anything go into the potty, except toilet paper. When we got home from Benjamin's soccer game, she said she needed to go to the potty, and low and behold, she pee peed!!! I was jumping for joy. She has continued to go, although not yet exclusively on the potty. Sometimes she just tells me, "No, I want to go in my diaper." I'm just so excited she's making progress. Today, she and I were at TJ Maxx, and she told me she needed to go potty. So, she's sitting there straining but no pee pee was coming out, so I told her we would try again later. Then when I helped her down off the potty, I realized she had poo pooed in the toilet. I was shocked. Isn't it funny the things we moms (and dads for that matter) find ourselves celebrating. I'm so proud of her!
We had a great visit with my mom (known to the kids as Meme) this past weekend. She came up on Friday because Benjamin and Catherine were out of school. She got to join us for Benjamin's soccer game early Saturday morning and then we took Catherine to do a gymnastics class (she really wanted her Meme and Daddy to see all that she's been mastering at the gym). Saturday afternoon, Mama made white chocolate suckers with the kids in the shape of pumpkins. I enjoyed watching them as it brought back memories from my childhood when Mama used to make the same suckers for my friends and classmates. She always liked to do special little things like that (thanks Mama). Sunday morning we were off to church and then enjoyed a yummy lunch at Olive Garden. Before Mama departed for home mid day Monday, we joined Benjamin and Catherine for lunch at school. It seems our visits are way too seldom and go by so fast, but we enjoyed her visiting so much.
Last Thursday, we spent the afternoon in our front yard having fun with our sweet friends, the Wilsons. Kim is great at arranging plants and flowers for mixed pots, and she kindly agreed to come and give me a hand. While she and I were planting (actually, she did most of the work - thanks so much, Kim), Benjamin and Catherine, and Kim's boys, Austin and Ethan, had a great time carving pumpkins. Mary Scott had fun simply playing outside, and Anna took a little nap in the nice fall air. It was such a great way to spend an October afternoon.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I've noticed the past few days that Anna is starting to reach out to touch things... a toy, my hand, her blanket. Her movements are still unsteady yet clearly purposeful. I especially treasure when she reaches and takes hold of my hand while she's nursing. Her desire to be close to me is amazing. And her precious smile warms every ounce of my heart. Nearly every time our eyes meet, she greets me with this amazing smile.
She's definitely a snuggle bug. She finds it comforting when in her crib going to sleep to snuggle a blanket close to her. A couple of times when I've gone in to check on her, she's had her head completely covered with her blanket - yikes! She's napping pretty well these days. It seems after being awake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours she's ready for a nap. Some naps are short, but she does take at least one long nap, sometimes 2 each day. She continues to awaken between 3- 4 am to nurse, but other than that sleeps very well most nights.
Friday, October 17, 2008
It's been so dry in Rock Hill nearly ever since we moved here a little over 2 years ago. I am so thankful to finally be getting some rain every few days. And to say the least, my children love it! They're not content until they've gotten out and played in it, of course as long as there's no lightning and thunder. Thus was the story this afternoon... just a nice steady rain. Initially, they decided to dress in their bathing suits, however, responsible mom that I am always raining on their parade, told them it was too cool for such as that. So they got on their rain jackets and out they went. They had a great time. I realized, once it was too late, that Benjamin nor Catherine bothered actually putting their hoods on, not to mention shoes on their feet. And Mary Scott was showing off her long legs - she had on her bathing suit under her jacket. I enjoyed watching their little carefree spirits as they ran and jumped and screamed - just had plain fun!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Before departing from Virginia Beach, we met Rebekah, Avery, Nana and Papa for a yummy breakfast at Cracker Barrel. After eating, we enjoyed rocking in the sunshine before hitting the road. We had a wonderful time with our family all weekend. Thanks to Mark and Heather and Paul and Rebekah for your warm hospitality. The children always enjoy one another so much. And well, we grown-ups have a great time together, too.
The only thing that can make bath time more fun is to make it a family affair! Catherine and Mary Scott bathe together all the time, but what a fun treat to get to add Avery to the mix. I don't think Avery knew what to think at first but quickly decided it was pretty fun to have her "girl" cousins in the bath tub with her.
We were so thankful to get to celebrate with our nephew, Anderson (Mark and Heather's oldest son), and our niece, Avery (Paul and Rebekah's daughter). Anderson turned 4, and Avery celebrated her 1st birthday. It was the perfect reason to travel to Virginia Beach.
Anderson's party was on Saturday at a farm. It was so much fun. The children especially enjoyed it. We got to feed goats and sheep and enjoyed a beautiful fall day outside.
We celebrated Avery's big day on Sunday at her house. She was so cute taking it all in. She wasn't too sure about her cupcake but finally tried a taste or two. The celebration ended with the exciting news that she would be joined by a baby brother or sister in several months - Rebekah's expecting!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Anna gave me her first little laugh this evening, definitely the highlight of my day. I was dressing her for bed and was talking to her. I leaned down to "get some sugar" from her belly and her ribs and she broke into the sweetest little laugh. She did it again for the kids, and they thought it was so cute. Mary Scott said, "Mommy, Anna's laughing!" How exciting to think this is her first of what I pray will be a lifetime of joy and laughter.
Well, it's our second evening of Brian being in Philadelphia. As I'm typing it's around 8:30 pm and all is quiet. Benjamin, Catherine, Mary Scott and Anna are all snuggled in my room for bedtime - Benjamin and Mary Scott together on a pallet on the floor, Catherine in my bed and Anna in the moses basket. In spite of missing my sweet husband, it has been a great day. The house is a mess yet I can still pinpoint several sweet moments from the day. First, I got to catch up on the phone with a dear friend, Rachel Thomas, whom I've not talked with in nearly 6 years (thanks facebook!). After picking the children up from school, we came home and baked chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed them fresh from the oven while sitting on our front porch listening to the rain. After Catherine's gymnastics practice, we went to the Mayflower for fried shrimp. The kids had a great time watching the fish in the big tanks, and Benjamin and Catherine enjoyed playing tic-tack-toe. Once home for the night, the children played in the rain for a few minutes while raising their sweet little voices in a round of "Singing In the Rain." Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to make this time while Brian's away a good time. It truly has been a blessed day!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Benjamin loves for Anna to come snuggle in his bed with him before he goes to sleep. He often says how pretty she is. One day he told me that he bets she'll be a model when she grows up. She enjoyed him reading her a story. She looked at the pictures like she knew exactly what he was talking about. Treasured times in simple ordinary days... priceless!
I couldn't pass up posting this cute picture of Mary Scott. She was so proud of her pigtails. Can you tell she's a little stinker? But a cute and sweet little stinker. She loves to smile, laugh and scream. Sometimes I'm amazed that a scream so loud can come from such a little girl. She's so much fun!
Benjamin kicked off the 2008 soccer season by playing a great game. His team hustled and played great as a team. Benjamin scored the first goal of the game - GO BENJAMIN! It's always neat to see how much a year of growth and maturity improves the way the children play. I enjoyed cheering the team on. It was so much fun. And yes, for Benjamin's sake I have to say...his team won! Way to go Panthers. And Brian did a great job as assistant coach, too. My two precious fellows. I love them so much!
I am enjoying Anna so much. Even when I was a very little girl, babies just awakened something in me. I've always loved holding and tending to them. I'm so grateful that even with Anna being my 4th - it's no less exciting. Every sweet smile, tender sound and simply the way she sucks on her fingers - these moments are so, so special. She's smiling a ton and is extremely alert. She is able to maintain such good eye contact and gets this look on her sweet face like she has so much to say. She's getting better and better at head control and kicks her legs like crazy. I find myself calling her "Anna boo" - what a silly name for such a precious girl but somehow it fits. Most nights she greets me around the 3-4 o'clock hour to nurse. She's still sleeping in the moses basket by our bed. I told her the other night I could move her to her crib...but why? She is such a love.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Yay! One more project completed. I don't get around to many projects these days. In fact, I've had all the "parts" for our family room drapes for several months. I finally managed to get them all together this week, and Brian hung them for me. I'm sure I broke every sewing rule in the book, but with my very limited ability, they are done. I sew with the motto of ... if I achieve the look I'm going for then that's good enough for me. I guess that will have to be my motto until so much of my time isn't spent raising these precious little souls the Lord's entrusted to Brian and me. And frankly, I'm loving my days of being a busy mommy. I sure don't want them to pass too quickly just so I'll have more time for other things like learning to sew properly and actually learn to use a pattern. Until that day comes, I won't look to closely at my mistakes but instead just celebrate the chance to make our house a home.
It was a field trip day for Mary Scott. She, Anna and I have been getting together on Friday mornings with some friends for a play group, and this morning, we visited Windy Hill Apple Orchard. It was a beautiful morning to be outside. We met our play group friends at the orchard and started the fun by listening to the Johnny Appleseed story. We also got to see how apples are pressed for cider. After the story, we went on a hayride and along the way saw some pigs and some chickens. Each of the children got a little bag to fill with an apple shaped sippy cup plus a pumpkin or 5 apples. Mary Scott was excited to fill her bag with apples. We had a great time!
Benjamin's 3rd grade class is studying South Carolina for Social Studies. Yesterday, they got to do a fun project with Mrs. Ingram, their class's student intern. I am the room mom and took in what was supposed to be South Carolina shaped sugar cookies. Let's sum it up to say before the cookies were baked they looked like South Carolina, after baking we really had to use our imaginations! At any rate, the kids used different icings and toppings to mark the different regions of the state on their cookies such as chocolate chips as mountains to mark the Blue Ridge region and brown sugar to show the Sand Hills region. It was such a fun and creative way to reinforce what they had already been learning.
I enjoyed being in Benjamin's classroom and am so thankful I have the freedom to be involved. I count it a rich blessing. I even stayed for Spanish class to see what it was like. It was very interesting as they are being taught through immersion which is where the teacher only speaks Spanish while in the room with them and the students are only allowed to speak Spanish to her. It was awesome to see how quickly the kids were catching on and speaking the language.