Friday, December 25, 2009

9 months

Sweet little one, you are growing and changing every day. We delight in you!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

The dresses

It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't have hand-made dresses for the girls! Caroline still fits into the dress I made 2 years ago. I was so happy when she tried it on and it still fit. Three Christmases in a row is an awesome run for one of my favorite dresses ever! Sweet Pea will be wearing it next year, I guess. I'm pleased that this dress has gotten and will continue to get a lot of wear.

For Helen's dress this year, I wanted something similar to Caroline's dress, but not an exact match. I bought the same fabric (satin batiste) and matched the lace from Caroline's dress. I used the same pleated daygown pattern that I used for Helen's Easter gown and embroidered 3 sets of holly berries with leaves. It's simple and looks so sweet on her.

My daughters are just beautiful - no matter what they are wearing!

Helen is saying, "Please rescue me! I'm all done here!"
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Wee little tree

Last Christmas we had no idea what our living situation would be this year. We didn't know if we would be in an apartment or a home or if we would have tons of storage or busting at the seams. So we packed up 95% of our Christmas decorations, including our tree. (We do a prelit, artificial tree.)

Caroline said one morning, "Mommy, when are we going to put up our Christmas tree?"

I said, "Well, we put our tree and ornaments in the storage unit in Memphis."

"'s almost Christmas," said Caroline sadly. I was crushed.

Kevin heard about our daughter's lament and came home with a tiny tree. A $12 tree. It leans and has a huge bald spot. It's a Charlie Brown tree. I love it. And, in a way, it's perfect for this season in our lives. I would have never been able to keep Helen out of our big tree. This one fits on our window seat.

Caroline had the best time picking out a few ornaments and the colored lights. And there was plenty of room for her hand-made ornaments.

Caroline is thrilled to flip the switch that turns the lights on each night.
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December crafts

I love finding little things that Caroline can create. She really loves it too. All I have to do is say, "Caroline, do you want a project?" and she comes running to see what Mommy has planned.

This was a card-making activity. She dipped cookie cutters in glue, "stamped" the glue onto a card, and sprinkled glitter on the glue. She loved it. I supervised her for a while to make sure she had everything under control and then went to start dinner. I heard, "Uh-oh. Mommy, I got glitter on my chair." Luckily, it was not as much of a glitter disaster as I had envisioned and the vacuum took care of it pretty well. Caroline is a very neat child.

This project was making tree ornaments by stringing beads onto pipe cleaners. This kept her little hands busy off and on for a few hours.

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Caroline woke up one morning to something very exciting! She couldn't get through with breakfast quickly enough! We didn't get very much and it wasn't good snow to play in (too dry). It was freezing cold this day, so we were only out for a little bit. I'm sure there are more snowy days ahead for us here in the North. (You all know how much I love snow. Bleh.)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

8 months

We all agree: You are the busiest baby we have ever seen. Nothing is off-limits or impossible in your eyes. If we allowed it, your favorite toy would be a magazine. You would eat too much of it, though. "No" is just a minor interruption in your never-ending quest. You love to explore and are not easily distracted. Getting you dressed in the morning and at bedtime is an interesting challenge. Determined is one of the words that best describes your personality. After happy, of course.

You love your sister to the moon. And she loves you that far and back. Your smiles are extra-big for Caroline. She loves caring for you - giving you juice in a bottle, showing you how toys work, teaching you sign language. You already have such a special relationship with each other and I pray daily I can foster that as you both grow.

Dancing, singing, and making music are joyful activities for you. If we are dancing together and I stop, you jerk your legs in excitement until the dancing begins again. The piano provides several minutes of entertainment, much to my delight.

Despite all your busyness, there are a few moments of calm in the day and I cherish them. One of my favorite things is to be around when you first wake up from your nap. I take you up and you are happy and cuddly and peaceful. The end of the day is lovely, too. You snuggle your head against my chest as we rock. Your energetic-self gives up for the day and is ready to recharge. You grow warm, soft, heavy in my arms. I hesitate every time I lay you down, remembering that this time in your life is so short. Too short. Your Daddy and I stare at you as you sleep, marveling at the wonder of you.

You remind us that our lives, plain as they feel on some days, are the biggest and most exciting adventures of all. We see that big things really do come in tiny packages.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lollipop Symphony

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has a special set of concerts for young listeners, called the Lollipop Series. It was the perfect introduction to the orchestra for Caroline! They gave out crayons and fun programs in the lobby. All of the musicians wore colored shirts that coordinated with the family of their instrument (strings wore red, brass wore blue, woodwinds wore yellow, and percussion wore green). The program included instrumental pieces, singers, ballet dancers, and sing-alongs. The theme of the program was Thanksgiving, so the pieces were about thanks, food, and animals. It was so much fun and Caroline really enjoyed it. Her favorite piece was the "Old MacDonald Sing-Along" and her favorite instruments were the big drums and the trumpets.

Going to the Symphony is one of my most favorite things and I really hope that is something we can continue to enjoy together.

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Caroline passed Level 1 swimming lessons! On to Level 2...
Mommy: Caroline! You swim like a fish! I'm so proud!

Caroline: No, Mommy. I swim like a mermaid!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Prima ballerina

Last week was Parents' Day at Caroline's dance class. Luckily, Kevin worked nights last week, so he was able to come with me. We were so enchanted by our oldest girl's dancing. We were proud, proud parents that afternoon! We took some video, but now need to figure out how to get it off the video camera. Hopefully, I can figure that out soon!

There was a lot of singing, which was nice. This is "I'm a Little Teapot."

Their last tap dance routine was to "Mama Mia" and was adorable!

And this is Caroline's favorite part every week: the Choo-Choo Train.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Indian summer

Y'all, I've got so much to post and I'm so far behind in posting it!

We really, really enjoyed every moment of the warm weather two weeks ago. It was wonderful.

I let Caroline do some art projects out on the deck.

Helen is always up to something.

We took a trip to the zoo. It was perfect - warm weather, no crowds. Awesome.

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We've been busy! More to come...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Playing Mommy

Caroline's best friend at school is Sydney. She tells me every day that her favorite part of school was playing with Sydney. They play "Mommy" many days. Kevin probed her a bit tonight at the dinner table to find out exactly what playing Mommy means.
Daddy: So, Caroline, how do you and Sydney play Mommy?

Caroline: Well...usually Sydney is the Mommy.

Daddy: And are you a Mommy, too?

Caroline: No, I'm the Honey!
It was all I could do not to die with laughter at the dinner table!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Here's just a cute picture of the girls before ballet class last week...
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Monday, November 02, 2009

Preschool songs

Caroline's been learning several songs at school. It's so fun when she comes home and just breaks out in a new, cute little ditty. For Halloween, they did a little song about 5 Pumpkins.

And this one is about 5 frogs. You'll probably get the gist of this one after one verse!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a very fun Halloween! Doing little things like making sucker ghosts and having a spooky meal make Caroline so excited. That's so much fun for us as parents.

Caroline (with a little prompting) decided a long time ago that she would be Emily Elizabeth from "Clifford, The Big Red Dog." I ordered a little Clifford for Caroline to take to her preschool Halloween party. Dogs don't go to school, according to Caroline. And then Kevin and I decided it would be fun if we could dress Tigger as Clifford by painting him red. As you can see, it worked really well! Tigger is such a good sport. Caroline - I mean Emily Elizabeth - and Clifford were a neighborhood sensation! Everywhere we went, people wanted to take their picture! They laughed and thought it was the best idea for a costume. And of course, they wanted to know how we made our dog red. Kevin and I really didn't expect the costume to create such a stir. We couldn't stop laughing!

It was really sweet to get out the cute duck costume for Helen. She stayed toasty warm in her suit and was very content riding in the stroller, taking in all the activity.

This is one Halloween we'll be talking about for years!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

St. Louis trip

We visited St. Louis this month and had a blast. Because Kevin took a little extra time off, we were able to make it a small vacation. We loved staying with Emily and getting to spend time with her. We took Caroline to the top of the Arch ("March," as Caroline says) and to the Children's Museum. We also met up with our good friends, the Halfords and the Wilsons. We all went to a "Life is Good" festival. And then we celebrated Elizabeth's 4th birthday a couple of weeks early. The girls decorated pumpkins with stickers and watched "Cinderella" together. Caroline was the only one without a baby doll to snuggle up with during the movie, so her pumpkin made a great substitute. It was a wonderful and busy weekend!

Here are a few pictures. To see the whole set of photos, visit my Picasa album.

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