Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Caroline Harper!

ARTICULATE (for a 2-yr-old)
NICE (mostly)

September 26, 2010:

September 26, 2009:

2 years ago today while I labored for hours towards my prize, I poured over these words from Psalm 139:

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

My sweet Caroline, you are truly a beautiful creation of God.  I count myself incredibly blessed to be your Mommy and have been blown away day after day these past two years as I have watched you grow.  You have changed our lives forever, and I cannot wait to see what days ahead the Lord has ordained for you.  We love you forever!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My almost-2-year-old

My sweet Caroline Harper will be turning 2 on Monday.  TWO YEARS OLD!!!  I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around that.  But I'm not here to talk about me, I'm here to talk about this little fire cracker:

She is such a little ball of energy these days.  Sleep may be alusive, but energy?  No sir-ee.  The energy is here to stay!  (By the way, THANK YOU all so much for the encouragement on my last blog post.  You have no idea how many times I've gone back and re-read them this week.  And chanted my cousin Barb's wise words, "It gets gets better..."  We're having good days and bad days right now with the sleep.  I'm hopeful that she'll settle into more of a normal pattern again soon, but until then I'm just drinking lots of coffee.  Sorry Ellie.)

 A few days ago she decided she wanted Mommy to take pictures of her in order that she could then see herself on the camera.  She did lots of posing:

(hugging her "dobbles" - weeble wobbles from Aunt Kelsey & Uncle Brent)

 ...and then she'd run over to me to look through the new pictures.  Crack me up.
 She absolutely LOVES being outdoors.  Digging in the garden, playing with sidewalk chalk, going for walks, whatever.  The girl is in heaven when she's not contained by walls.  Last weekend we hit up a local park and she was about beside herself with happiness.  It is so much fun to do stuff like this with her now!

 We end up with lots of bumps and bruises, though.  She's not the most graceful kid (let's hope this is just a phase and not an inherited trait from her mother!), but she is tough.  Skinned up forehead & nose, bloody knees - we've seen it all lately.  But she usually bounces back faster than me in these situations.

She also loves animals right now.  Yesterday Memaw (Dan's Mom) came over and went to the zoo with us. Ellie slept the whole time snuggled up in my wrap, and Caroline had a BLAST.  Here she is checking out one of her favorite exhibits, the mere cats (which if you ask her about the animal at the zoo, she's likely to tell you about the monkeys & the mere cats). 

I believe there were leopards in there...and Caroline really wanted to go inside with them.  And she wanted to play in the creek.  Mommy was firm on both requests. 

Memaw even took her on a train ride!  I'm not sure who enjoyed it more :)

That's all for now.  I need to run and finish cleaning up a little incident involving my 6 week old and lots of poop.  Our days are certainly full around here!  Full and busy and exhausting...and some of the sweetest I've ever experienced, too.  I love my girls so much.  And this almost-two-year-old of ours brings more joy and laughter to our lives than we ever thought possible.

Friday, September 16, 2011

[Boring] Bullet Points (mostly about Caroline's sleeping habits)

  • I started writing this yesterday morning when I had a few spare moments.  I hoped to finish it but am just now getting around to it.  This might be the most boring read ever, but for lack of any other inspiration at the moment, I'm posting it anyway.  Enjoy :)
  • Last night was awful.  I mean downright pull-your-hair-out A.W.F.U.L.  For starters we went to bed too late, which is generally a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot sort of decision anyway.  And while we do have a new baby in the house these days, it was not Ellie who was the source of our angst last night.  Nope, it was big sister Caroline who pulled out all the stops.  We had lots of tears when she went to bed last night (which is very abnormal), then around 1:00 she was up again, crying for Mommy & Daddy.  Dan went up and tried to quickly settle her back down to no avail.  So around 1:30, I went up when her crying grew loud enough to disturb Ellie.  By 2:30 she was in complete hysterics, screaming uncontrollably and running to the door every time I tried to leave the room.  I finally caved took her into the guest bed and sort of slept off and on with her until Ellie woke up to nurse around 4:00.  I say off and on because I'm about 95% sure that Caroline never once fell asleep during that whole time, although she was finally quiet and [mostly] still laying beside me.  (Side note:  I did feel God's grace in those wee hours as my girl snuggled in close to me.  She's never been much of a snuggler, and we haven't put her in our bed, so I enjoyed those rare moments inspite of everything else!)  I went back down and fed Ellie, dealt with some spit-up, changed her 3 times, and finally fell back into my own bed somewhere around the 4:30 mark.  She had a hard time going back to sleep because of some congestion and was up until around 5:00, although Dan took that shift as I pretty much hit a wall.  We had a few choice words with one another somewhere in there, due to total exhaustion and exasperation.  Ellie slept until about 7:30 and Caroline is just now waking up -- it's almost 10:00.  Weird, frustrating, exhausting night.  Weird, quiet, restful morning.  His mercies are new every morning.
  • Caroline is singing to herself right now in the sweetest little voice as I listen to the monitor.  It's difficult to be frustrated when I find her so completely endearing.
  • The other day, Caroline found my Bible laying open on the table and decided to "read" for a bit.  She likes to very carefully flip through the pages, all while jabbering contentedly (aka reading out loud).  As she flipped, she came across a card Dan had made me on my first birthday we spent together way back in 2004 (my 20th).  She got very excited about something and it took me a few moments to realize it was due to the smiley-face stickers that adorned the inside of the card.  She had managed to peel a couple off before I realized what was going on, and I tried to put it back in the card, explaining to her that those were special to me because Daddy had given them to me.  She only gathered that they were from Daddy (don't ask why I try to explain things like sentimental value to my not-even 2-year-old) and quickly claimed them as her own.  I just found one stuck on the inside of my sandal.  I explain all this to you because I think there is something ironic in it all - my saving a silly little card for 7 1/2 years because it was from Dan and special to me, only to have it ripped up by our beloved daughter all these years later.  There's something ironic in it, don't you think?  I'm just too tired to figure out what that is now.  Wow, I feel like I just tried to tell you all a joke and forgot the punchline.  Sorry.
  • After writing this, Caroline proceeded to throw the same hysterical fit at naptime, and after listening to her cry (no, scream is more like it), I stuck both girls in the car hoping that might do the trick.  An hour later when we pulled back into the garage, Caroline's baby blues were still WIDE open.  Oh least it was a quiet hour for me!
  • Daddy put her to bed last night and we had a few tears, but they were short lived and she slept soundly through the night - HALLELUJAH.
  • Naptime today = more tears.  More hysterics.  More little fists beating against the door.  But after about 10 minutes, she must have realized that Mama was real serious and she finally gave it up.  She only napped about 1/2 the time she usually does, but that was an hour and a half longer than she napped yesterday, so I'll take it!
  • On an entirely unrelated note, I have yet to cook a meal during the week since Ellie's birth.  Not one.  Unless you count that frozen pizza I stuck in the oven all by myself the other day.  I'm such a big girl!  But seriously, I have been blown away by the generosity of our friends and family.  And we still have more coming!  Thank you Lord for providing for us so abundantly - both friends and food :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank you for your patience...

 We're alive and well!!!  Just a little busier than usual around here these days :)  And actually we've been having some internet issues that have made blogging rather tedious lately, so hopefully we'll get those problems resolved soon. 

I'm not even sure where to begin catching up on the last 3 weeks, except to say that they have been exceptionally full of a lot of wonderful things.  Ellie is such a joy, and watching Caroline fall in love with her sister has been one of my favorite parts of welcoming her into our family.  Dan & I are still trying to let our brains catch up with all of the changes, but I think with a little more time and SLEEP, it will come. 

We were incredibly blessed to have Nana (my mom) stay with us for 2 whole weeks which allowed us to get our feet under us a bit before we had to try it on our own.  Monday was my first day alone with the 2 girls, and I have to say, the week has been pretty successful!  We've all been clothed, fed and bathed, and for now I feel pretty good about that.  How in the world anything else will get done around here I haven't quite figured out, but I'm guessing once I stop using the few minutes of down time for naps for myself that it will come.  Maybe.  Today Dan's Mom came over, which allowed me to run to the grocery store kid-free, and then nap while she mopped my floor, cleaned my bathroom, and did laundry.  Did I mention that we've been spoiled by our Moms?

Okay, I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves about the past weeks.  Because my brain can't seem to put together a complete sentence anymore.  Here ya go:

She has lots of fabulous expressions.  This one was captured just today.

My sweet Caroline

What do you head?

Super Nana & her girls


For a few hours just the day after we came home from the hospital, ALL 4 of our parents were here in our home at the same time.  This was the first time they had all been in the same place since our wedding...5 1/2 years ago!

The best Daddy in the world & his girls

We took advantage of having Nana in town and went on a date (with Ellie) before she left, so we thought we'd take a quick family photo.  The date was fabulous!