Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sneek Peek

I have a lot of new pictures to share, but not much time this evening. Just thought I'd give you a sneek peek while you wait :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dan, Dan the Mountain Man

Caroline seems to have turned a corner today, for which I am very grateful. Ear infections are no fun, sir. She currently waking up from her nap, so I need to keep this short.

Last night Dan was working on transferring some firewood from his truck to the back of our house, which is a process that requires some serious work since our townhome doesn't allow for a way to get a vehicle behind the house. As he was making his trips through the house, he said to me, "You should really take a video of this to post on your blog and call it Dan Dan the mountain man."

I won't keep you waiting any longer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visit to Daddy's Office

Caroline and I had a date scheduled today - lunch with daddy. Unfortunately, she woke up from her nap feeling a little feverish. I called Dan to let him know and we decided I should bring her on over to his office anyway and he'd check her out. It just took a quick look in her little ears to discover the problem - her first ear infection :(

Daddy thought she was a good patient, especially considering the circumstances. We drove through the pharmacy on the way home and picked up her first antibiotics. Sad day :(

Tonight all she really wanted to do was snuggle - which is very out of character for our busy girl. Daddy didn't mind though. The two of them snuggled down on the couch for some Monday night football.

I'm praying she feels better in the morning. Those sad little eyes are just about enough to do me in.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Big ONE Year Old!

On Monday Caroline had her official 1-year check-up. The Doctor gave her an A+, said she is healthy and growing right on track, and was especially impressed with her communication skills (Caroline was quite chatty that morning and even showed off some of her sign-language she's been learning). I thought I'd share with you her official stats, as well as a few of my own notes on what my big one-year-old is up to these days:

  • 28 1/8 inches tall, 25th percentile (she started at 20 1/4")
  • 19 lbs. 5 oz., 25th percentile (she started at 8lbs even)
  • I didn't write down her head circumference, but it is in the 75th percentile...and still perfectly round :-)
  • She currently only has 3 teeth and is working on a 4th - 2 bottom, and 2 top, but not in the middle. She might look a little like a vampire, just in time for halloween. Perhaps there is a Twighlight character she could dress up as?
  • She knows sign-language for about 7-8 words now, including more, all done, please, milk, drink, eat, bye-bye, and almost has thank-you.
  • She is so close to walking. I feel like I've been saying this for awhile now, but it's been true for awhile it seems! She has taken about 8 steps clear across our living room and often takes 3-4 steps between furniture to get to where she wants to be. She just hasn't quite figured out how to "take off."
  • Her favorite toys are containers that can be emptied and filled over and over and over again. She has a couple of purses she got for her birthday (complete with a real wallet and fake credit cards - her favorite thing to take apart) that she plays with a lot. She also loves music and "dances" quite often when it's on.
  • She's happiest when she is with her Daddy, and especially when they are outside. She'll sit quite still and listen for birds (her Papa even taught her about crows) and airplanes (a very frequent sound at our house), pointing excitedly when she hears or spots one.
  • She is a great sleeper (do I dare say that out loud?). She goes to bed around 7:30-8:00 and typically sleeps until about 7am. She still takes a nice, long morning nap (between 2-3 hours!), and then another afternoon nap of about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. It's going to be a sad day for me when she drops down to 1 nap!
  • She's becoming a better eater. Some of her favorite foods include yogurt, oatmeal, cheese, sweet potatoes, any type of fruit, and yogurt melts.
  • She is officially weaned, as of this week. I could probably write a whole post on this as there are a lot of mixed feelings for me, but mostly it's been a smooth transition and I'm (mostly) relieved to be done. She has been a little hesititant to drink whole milk, but with a little encouragement and formula mixed in, we're making progress. As previously noted, her love for cheese & yogurt helps me not worry too much about her getting an adequate amount in this department!

I could go on and on, but you all are probably bored by this point. I realize that I am totally biased, but Caroline really has such a sweet spirit and loveable little personality. It didn't even take close to 12 months, but at this point I can say with full confidence that she has totally and completely stolen our hearts this past year. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to watch her grow each day.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Picture Perfect Day

Today was just about as perfect as they come. Dan and I decided some time ago that this was the weekend we would set aside to go camping. Well, I was a bit hesitant with the whole tent camping thing with Caroline (even though I love it ordinarily), and after our recent crazy travel schedule we decided that just a day of hiking, exploring, picnicking, and adventuring would do just fine. And just fine it did!

We headed out this morning in time for Caroline's morning nap and were able to get all the way to our destination while she snoozed. A couple of years ago around the same time of year, we camped and explored the historic Natchez Trace and fell in love, so we headed back for this same gorgeous stretch of land. When Caroline woke up, we got her out and let her stretch for a bit before we hit the trails.
She was a little unsure at first...

But with a little encouragement from Daddy, she was ready to go!

Our little naturalist investigating one of her specimens from her perch on Daddy's back.

She spent most of the hike in Daddy's backpack, but then decided she needed to do a little hiking herself.

We soon learned that this is actually Caroline's idea of hiking:

"What's the problem, guys?"

We drove a bit further down the Trace, then stopped for a nice picnic lunch. Caroline was parched after her long hike.

Our picnic site was conveniently located right next to another trail that followed a creek, so we were off again after our lunch.

Caroline was plum wore out by the end of that hike and took another nap in her new big-girl carseat while Mommy & Daddy enjoyed the time to just drive and talk and take in the gorgeous scenery.

We even did a little "off-roading" (as Dan likes to call it) on portions of the original Trace. It doesn't get much better than this!

We lingered a little too long at an old cemetary we happened upon, and Caroline decided nap time was over. So we decided to stop for one more quick hike at a waterfall and do a little more exploring.

These two...they have so much fun together. And in case you were wondering, yes, Caroline did come back wet from this little excursion. (But considering the 85* weather, it wasn't a problem)

She really can't get enough of the great-outdoors.

A quick self-[family] portrait. (At least we're all looking at the camera)

Here's a peek at our drive home - GORGEOUS.

At the end of a wonderful day, we stopped in a small town South of Nashville and ate a delicious, Southern-style meat-and-three dinner, complete with sweet potato fries. Then we walked just a little bit more and took a few last pictures to end the evening.

Being in God's creation is so refreshing for my soul. It's even more refreshing to take in the beauty of Fall with my husband and daughter by my side. I'm so thankful that God gives us days like these, days that create precious memories that I will carry with me forever.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Catching Up

I realize that I never exactly filled you all in as to where exactly we were these past couple of weeks. It's been crazy, to say the least. I know this is quite boring, but I'll enjoy looking back at it a year from now, so here's a quick run-down of our travels:

  • We left Thursday, Sept. 23. Flew to Fargo, ND via Minneapolis. Arrived late, couldn't fit in the miniature Yaris they gave us and got upgraded to a Tahoo instead. Awesome. I could see my breath upon arrival, after leaving 95* weather in Nashville. Not awesome. Drove 90 miles to Jamestown late that night and checked in to our hotel.
  • Friday morning we got up and Dan took Caroline to meet Iver (we were there for Iver's wedding...and because we had always wanted to visit North Dakota...or not). Had breakfast at a local grocery store deli. Caroline smiled at everyone. Wedding fun all day, some girl time for Caroline & me in the pool. Rehearsal and dinner that night. Good times catching up with old friends from college.
  • Saturday more wedding fun. The boys golfed and played football, then had lunch at Pizza Ranch (AMAZING). I decided that guys do weddings totally differently that us girls. Dan had a blast - all of the groomsmen & the groom went to college & played football together, so it was a bonus that the whole wedding party knew each other. I enjoyed catching up with other friends from school, meeting knew babies, etc. The wedding was beautiful, Caroline did great (until she spotted Daddy...), and the reception was a lot of fun. Headed back to hotel and packed very quietly after she fell asleep.
  • Sunday, Sept. 26 - Left at 3:30 AM (not a typo). Made it to Fargo by 5:00 for our 6:30 flight. Quite a way to kick of Caroline's birthday! Flew to Minneapolis, had breakfast in the airport, Daddy and Caroline played hard until it was time to say good-bye. Daddy headed to Boston for a medical conference, and we boarded a plane for Missouri. It was very hard to say good-bye :(
  • Still Sunday (this was a very long day) - arrived in Omaha, NE by 10:30am, met Aunt Linda, Ali & Keaton at the airport. Had a lovely brunch in the Old Market and enjoyed the visit very much. Headed South to Missouri with Aunt Linda. Caroline was in 5 states by 3:00 on her birthday - ND, MN, NE, IA, and MO!
  • STILL Sunday - Arrived at Nana & Papa's! Spent the evening exploring and celebrating her big day. Nana made a smash cake that night, Kelsey, Brent, and the Blythes all came over to celebrate and watch her partake. She picked off the sprinkles one at a time until I helped her dig in :-) And finally, we CRASHED.
  • Monday - Birthday party day! Aunt Linda and I worked on the cake and other preparations that day. We had the big bash at Aunt Kelsey's, but unfortunately a softball game had been rescheduled and she and Brent couldn't come until late. I'll try and get a whole post up about the party, but in short, it was great! Caroline had her own "baby bug" cupcake to eat , but mostly just enjoyed the frosting. She enjoyed every moment of her big night!
  • Tuesday - went to Jamesport with Aunt Linda & Nana (mom). Took Caroline for a wagon ride and got some great pictures at a pumpkin stand. Stocked up on Amish goods. Enjoyed the time very much.
  • Wednesday - Stayed home for most of the day so Caroline could get caught up on some rest. Visited Aunt Kelsey at her classroom at school. Went to a softball game that night in Hamilton to watch Kelsey coach and Paige & Torri play.
  • Thursday - Aunt Linda headed back to Iowa. Went to a funeral and saw some dear friends. Back home, back to a softball game in Maysville that night.
  • Friday - Spent some time at my Grandparents. Caroline explored everything. Grandpa got out a rocking horse, they explored the garden, Grandma fixed a delicious lunch. Good times :) Then spent the evening with Nana, Kelsey, Brent, Paige & Torri. Caroline played and played in her house that was custom built by Uncle Brent & Aunt Kels. Gave her a bath at their house. She peed on the counter. Everyone laughed. Nana brought her home for bed, I stayed and spent some time with Kels & Brent. It was quit refreshing.
  • Saturday - headed into St. Joe with Nana. Went to Piper's 1st birthday party for a bit. Watched some more softball. Did a little shopping. Headed back to Nana's.
  • Sunday - church. Visited with lots of friends there. Spent lots of time outside with Papa (one of her favorite things). Hung out with Paige & Torri. Delicious dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's. Said good-bye to Papa, Brent & Kelsey.
  • Monday - packed up. Said another hard good-bye to Nana. Grandma & Grandpa picked us up and brought us to the airport. Flew back to Nashville. Caroline completed a crazy travel cycle without incident (she really is the best baby ever) and was greeted by a very excited Daddy at the gate. Those two didn't let go of each other until we got to the car, then Caroline fell fast asleep before we made it home. Everyone crashed, happy to be back in our own beds.

So ends the longest 11 days in quite some time. Whew! They were crazy and full, but very very wonderful. We're glad we made it happen, even though we had our doubts at times. We know that some people think we're crazy for traveling as much as we do, but we've realized there is simply no other way to spend time with dear family and friends that live so far away. It's worth every dime and every moment.

But I'm also very glad to be home :-)

P.S. Again, I apologize for the lack of pictures. We misplaced our camera and didn't have it on the trip. The pictures I took with other cameras haven't made it to my computer quite yet. I'll hopefully have some to share soon!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Caroline's Visit to Missouri (slideshow)

I took about a bazillion photos while I was home last week. Right now I only have access to them through snapfish since I used Kelsey's camera and couldn't manage to get a disc burned before I left. Here's a link where you can go and view a slideshow if you'd like to see a few (or all 254 of them!). Click on the picture above, then it will take you to my snapfish album. You'll see a button just above the pictures that says "view slideshow" - just click on that and it will flip through them for you. I'll try and get a post up of her birthday festivities soon.
Click here to view photos