Monday, September 8, 2014

new starts

Well, we're now the proud parents of a baptized 4 month old boy and 2 3-year-old girls who go to preschool!

Isn't that the greatest smile!!?? It says "hey baby" and "ain't I adorable" all at once and I can't decide if it is good or bad or both but I don't care.  Jake is now 4 months old, 15 pounds 13 ounces and 24.5 inches long.  He seems huge to us and yet he's only running 50% in weight and 25% in height.  He was baptized in early August and we spent wonderful time with family.

Aunt Mary Anne read LOTS of stories.

Pops got lots of baby love from all the babies there.

And we took grab family pictures with everyone smiling and looking at the camera.  Who would have thought that was possible?

With the Godparents, we are so proud to have such strong and caring people in his life.

This is what is looks like when Dave works to 11pm one night and has to be at work at 7am the next day.  He makes it to about 9pm and then they all quit.

And my girls are going to school!!!  They go for 3 hours 3 days a week and they love it.  They get in the car and Samantha especially talks nonstop about what they did and their new friends and what they ate for snack (or didn't eat).  Their teachers said that they are nice and polite and seemed very comfortable, which makes us happy and proud.  We both have mixed feelings about dropping them off in the morning.  They don't even say good bye, they just hang up their backpacks and say hi to their teachers and go in and get playing with their friends.  It makes us feel wonderful that they are excited about school and independent and happy, but a little sad that they don't miss us.  Don't they need me?  Yes.  I keep reminding myself that you always need your parents, no matter how old you are and they know that deep inside, even if it isn't a fully realized thought yet.  So look forward to updates about what the girls are saying about school and what Jake is eating, going to try to start bananas and sweet potatoes soon.  Yum!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The girls exploring new things

Well, I think the girls have really been enjoying their summer despite a little brother being thrown into the mix.  We took them to a baseball game and all they can talk about is the bull and how his tail moves and smoke comes out of his nose.  Catherine was especially excited, it was all she could talk about for days and every time she sees a baseball game on TV she thinks there will be a Durham Bull there.  We're taking them back at the end of the month, hoping that they'll last long enough to run the bases this time.

We went to visit Dave's family at Ocean Isle again this summer and the girls had a blast.  One of their favorite parts was the hammock.  We may have to figure out where to put one at the house.

No, this is not a picture of the girls, but I've got a picture of Catherine looking just like this. Jake may look a lot like Sam (except for his hair) but he acts a lot like Catherine.

Our new patio set came in one giant box and it has now become a fort/cave/castle/whatever.  We went to a Frozen party and made flurries for Olaf and put them on the doors.  A ton of stickers that were once on their legs ended up on the back.  Stickers are awesome!

The girls have also started taking gymnastics and they absolutely LOVE it!  After the first two classes in which they had a lot of difficulty sitting and waiting their turn they are doing great.  They had never done a class before with other kids and had to sit and watch what they were supposed to do before it was their turn to do it.  They've gotten much better and I love watching them.  Catherine just seems to have a natural talent, and I think it is starting to help Samantha's coordination, which makes me very happy.  She's kind of a klutz like her daddy, tripping over her own feet.  So, more to come soon after they start preschool, can you believe it!?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

3 months old!

Jacob Daniel Clark - 3 months old

Jake is 3 months old today!  Where did that time go?  He's doing so well sleeping and yesterday he rolled from his tummy to his back (again, but we were counting the first few times as flukes because he was a month old).  A lot of his 3 month clothes are getting small, but most of his 6 month stuff is too big.  I'm learning that he has a long torso like me.  It just doesn't look long because he has a big budda belly most of the time ;-)

Isn't this a great picture?!  I just love the look on his face.  He has such a wonderful smile that is adorable, and yet at the same time says "I am so handsome and you know it."  He's going to be trouble when he gets bigger.  He has a sideways smile and he looks up at you with his eyebrows raised that reminds me of his daddy and certain actors.  T R O U B L E ! !

Here's another cute preppy outfit for church from our sitter's mom, isn't it cute!  Or, as my brother and nephew would like me to say: this is Jake from State Farm in his khakis.  He he!  He loves to pose with that one hand by his head for some reason.  And he's also wearing a  Gamecock football outfit, ready for the season to start.  Woo hoo!  He talks up a storm and is definitely a night owl, but he is such a happy baby.  In the morning sometimes I can hear him awake but he just oooooos and haaaaas and is happy in there by himself.  When I go in to get him he just smiles at me!

He loves to sleep on his tummy so we let him when we're hanging out next to him so we can adjust his head.  He and Heidi are snuggle buddies.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2 months of 3 kids

A cranky beach baby.  Jake just wanted to sleep in his car seat but I just had to get a picture of him in his new hat.  So he slept and the girls hung out in the pool for the 4th of July.  We weathered the hurricane, even went out to the store to get the girls a game because they were bored!  So Arthur was no big deal and we were able to get to the beach and see some family and go to the pool.  We also had fire works!

Before that cousin Lily came for a visit and she was so enamored with Jake.  She wanted to touch him and kept smiling at him (such a pretty smile she has!) and got upset when they were separated.  I know they will be good friends!

Not the best picture, but what do you expect with 2 3-year-olds and 2 under the age of 1?

Jake is such a good baby for us.  He sleeps 6-7 hours at night and sometimes even 8.  He's starting to goo and gaa for us and he's getting so good at keeping his head up and scooting forward when you put your hand behind his feet.  It reminds me of when I would do it for the girls and have baby races to see who would scoot forward the farthest and fastest.  How far they've come!  Catherine is growing again.  They both took a gymnastics class to see how it would go and they did great.  Well, mostly.  They were so excited and they've never done anything like this before so every time the teacher demonstrated something they immediately got up to do it rather than wait until he was done and it was their turn.  But I will say that every time he asked them to sit down (which was about 100!) they did so quickly without complaint.  I'll have gymnastics pictures soon.  In the mean time I can give you their latest conversation "Samantha, don't sing!" "People don't have to do what you say all the time!"

I leave you with more pictures of Jake and his fantastic head-holding-up skills and adorable face.  He now weighs 12lbs 8 oz!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6 weeks old already!

I know it is really all about Jake for a 1 month post, but we'll update about everyone from youngest to oldest.

Jake - he's so big!  8lbs 13 oz, he's gained 2 full pounds since he was born, but he was so slow to gain in the first 3 weeks that is has been almost 2 pounds in 2 weeks.  He's wearing clothes that the girls wore in September and he already rolled from his tummy to his back, something Catherine didn't do until 4 months and Samantha didn't do until more than 5 months.  This is so amazing to us, and we feel so blessed.  Blessed because Jake is so healthy and strong, and blessed that the girls got such a rough start being 6 weeks early and still are healthy and strong and unaffected by their experience in the NICU.

Daddy, you're so funny!

Holy cow, have you seen my sisters?!

Samantha - her sentences are so long and complicated and full of adult inflection that I marvel at her every day, still when this has been going on for months.  She's very careful about telling you exactly what she is doing, unless she's going to touch something she knows she probably shouldn't touch.  And that's a lot of things.  She'd be great for a play by play announcer.  Her imagination runs wild and often we are playing supergirls, or beach parties, or going shopping or to the post office to mail a package.

They make sand castles with Dave and then have even more fun smashing them to the ground like giants.

Catherine - she loves the movie "Wall-E" and has made it her life's mission to learn the words to 'Put on your Sunday clothes" which is from Hello Dolly, but is also in Wall-E.  She's getting close!  She's also becoming a hockey fan, yelling Go Rangers as soon as you mention the word.  Soccer is her sport for sure.  She can already dribble the ball quite well while running.  Sam is more of a golf girl, she can get the ball to go over 10 ft.  Catherine is definitely a problem solver and you can see the gears crank as she figures out how to do everything like an adult, even if she is too small.  He favorite sentence is "Let me do it".  We have to add the 'please' at the end.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick big sister update

Just a quick update on the girls.

There's a butterfly on my bottom, Mommy!

Catherine is getting very good at forward rolls, and without my help!  She jumps and dives into it and lands on the back of her shoulders as she is supposed to.  It is amazing!  We're starting cartwheels later today.  Catherine is also going to the bathroom by herself.  You have to watch because she'll run out of the room and then you'll hear the toilet flush and know that she took the small potty and emptied it into the big potty and you run in praying she didn't spill.  At least this is progress, right?  She is also super obsessed with the birds that come to the bird feeder.  She's always looking outside while we're eating to see which bird friends are joining us and she's trying to learn their names.  Samantha isn't as interested in what is outside, but she loves looking in the book, especially at the owls, and she likes when we take walks and see the geese and our resident heron.  My mom and I took them to feed the birds at Duke Gardens and there were about 8 babies following the girls around, it was incredible and the girls thought they were 'so cute'.

Samantha has figured out how to get water from the fridge door.  Silly me, I told Dave to make sure that the water/ice maker in the door was up high but our smart little Sam just got a stool and filled up her cup on her own.  Her new phrase is "let's do this!" and she loves to pretend play.  I can find them having a beach party on the floor with all their blankets and stuffed animals or waving their wands around making things disappear by saying "bippity bop pity boo".  Her imagination seems to know no bounds and I love that about her.  And she has gotten so tall!  Both of them have, but Sam had a growth spurt and it is not just the fact that I have Jake now who is so small making the girls look so big in comparison.  How did they get so big!?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What we're learning about Jake

Isn't he just adorable!!??  I couldn't believe how much older he looks when his hair is all puffed up after he gets a bath.  I couldn't believe he was born with hair in the first place.  And we swear it is getting lighter every day as it continues to grow.  It also took us a while, but he's finally starting to gain weight and lose the jaundice from his eyes.  We're already so proud of how well he can held his head up and turn it from side to side during tummy time.

Dave says this is Jake's 'Go to move'.  He often looks like this when he's sleeping and resting, one hand by his head, posing and saying "I'm so adorable".  

He is like Catherine in the bottom half of his face, his mouth and chin.  I can't wait to see what color his eyes turn out to be.  He likes his pacifier like Samantha and also likes to be swaddled when he sleeps, like she did.  He tries to suck his thumb like Catherine still does sometimes when she's sleeping.  He's a slow eater like Catherine but burps like a champ, like Samantha did.  He cries while he's still asleep, like Catherine still does.

But Jake also has qualities all his own.  He makes the cutest facial expressions, especially with his eyebrows and forehead.  When he does that he reminds me of his daddy.  He has even done the Zoolander face a few times.  He cries when he needs something and as we've gotten to understand his feeding needs better he's become a much more calm baby who can be put down to chill out and play and hang with his sisters.  

He loves his swing like the girls both did, but we're still trying to find out if he likes music.  The girls are getting along with him OK so far.  Samantha goes from interested and helping to indifferent equally.  Catherine can be a mother hen.  She wants to know where he is and if he's awake or eating, and she'll bring him his pacifier or get me a diaper or burp cloth.  My mom has gotten both of them to help hold him and that has been nice to see.  And though they picked out his name from a Disney cartoon they used to watch, if you ask them if Jake is a pirate they say "No, he's just Jake.". So, here we are, getting used to our new normal with Jacob Daniel.