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.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our newest addition!

That's right, Jacob Daniel Clark is finally here!  He was born May 3rd at 2:04 am and was 6 lbs 13 oz and was 21 inches long.  The best part of the whole thing was that he and I got to come home TOGETHER.  No one had to stay behind and no one had to leave alone.  I also got to hold him minutes after he was born, which was amazing.  I didn't get to even see the girls until they were one day old, so that was very special for me.

His sisters love him.  Catherine especially tries to help out by giving him a paci or a stuffed animal.  She's always patting him on the head when she gets a chance.  When he first came home and he cried both girls put their hands over their ears, but they don't do that any more.  Dave and I both found that so ironic because A) when they play they are much louder than he is B) they ride with Dave on the tractor C) Samantha used to cry so loudly that it would get into the back of your skull when she was an infant and Catherine would sleep right through it.  Samantha isn't as interested in being a mother hen as Catherine is, but she still says she likes him.  Both of them are fascinated that 'mommy's tummy is gone and Baby Jake isn't in there any more'.  I think they are both excited I now have a lap for them to sit on again.

We had lots of visitors, including Nana, Grandpa, Auntie Nico and her daughter Emma-Marie (who apparently will be his future girlfriend) and cousin Paige who stopped by on her way home after finals at Duke.  We had lots of calls, too.  We are so loved!

Dave dressed him up to take his first picture in Gamecock gear.  He's so excited to have a buddy to hang out with.  They also spent a lot of time learning about the NFL draft.

Heidi has gone back to her usual protective self, hanging out in his room when I feed him.  I put the girls' chairs in there so they feel like they have a place in his room and can read him books.  It seems like it also is for Heidi.

His first bath and he hated it until he got his hair done.  Then he was positively a pig in mud!  Yes, she put his hair in a mohawk.  It does that even when it isn't wet if you brush it right.  

He makes the silliest faces, his forehead is so expressive and he can make his bottom lip completely disappear.  His cry is very much like what we imagine a baby dinosaur would sound like, high pitched and screechy, but so far not as bad as Samantha was.  We're all hanging in there, adjusting to this new little gift in our lives.  Keep coming back for more pictures and updates of what now is truly the Dave Clark 5.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

a new home!

So much has gone on since we last posted.  We are settled into our new house.  I think the girls did it faster than anyone.  The week after we moved Dave went back to get mail from the old house and Samantha said "this is not our home anymore".  Yep.  They're good.

Samantha has been amazing everyone with her verbal skills and making us so nervous with her motor skills.  She gets so excited she just does whatever she wants to at whatever speed she can and then looks so upset and confused when she falls and gets hurt.  Mostly it is because she spins and makes herself dizzy and then tries to run.  She doesn't like the room too dark when they sleep and doesn't like when the baby monitor camera moves.  I tell her if she's quiet it won't move and sometimes that works.

Catherine has been busy learning the names of the birds that come to the bird feeder and thinks the squirrels are 'so cute!'.  Both of them love playing outside and we are especially amazed at how far Catherine can hit the ball of the tee.  She just swings lefty while holding the bat as a righty, so maybe tennis is in her future.  

This is Dave's favorite new toy, and Samantha loves to help him use it.  Catherine, however, was afraid and it was too loud, but she still got on it and eventually took her hands down from her ears to wave at me.

We went to visit a friend's farm and the girls favorite part is not the sheep or adorable baby lambs (definitely my favorite) but the ATV ride to see the bull and go through the water.

A lamb born just a few hours before we got there!

This is little orphan Andy, who gets bottle fed so we can touch him.  

The girls have been very interested in their brother.  They've helped in his room, wash his clothes, and are always talking about how big he is getting, while at the same time acknowledging that he is little.  They give him goodnight kisses and hugs.  I wonder how they'll react once he is finally here, but I know that they will love him and help me as best as they can.

So we've been spending our days walking in the woods, going to the park, playing in the yard, working as a team to pump up the flat balls, and finally getting batteries in the bubble machine.  I'm so proud of them being able to play together, share, and occupy themselves.  I know that it isn't perfect, and everything will change very soon, but we are in such an amazingly perfect new home for our children to grow and explore and love as a family.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3 years old!

Can you believe it!?  They are 3 years old!!  We had so much fun going to Duke Gardens on a beautiful day and then to visit a friend's horses.  The girls actually got to hold their reins and sit on them!  They had a blast.  


Oh!  I just can't get enough of that little face!  She is me in so many ways that it is frightening and frustrating and endearing all at the same time.  How do you yell at a child who does something that you know is completely within your own personality and you did to your own parents at the same age?  She doesn't hold back.  She will find where that line is and step over it just a little while looking you straight in the face.  She is blunt and honest and 'forthright' as a professor once called me.

The train set is her absolute favorite toy now!

Yep, we have hip boots around here.  Though usually we need them for Sam.  It sounds like this: "Sam, what are you doing?"  Sam: "Nothing!"  Yeah right.

Birthday crown!

She was so scared of the horses after one of them sneezed.  It took us a while for her to go back to them and pet them, but eventually she got up on Candy and even waved!

Such a gorgeous spirit!


She has my eyes, and my big feet, and not much else, and if I could steal that beautiful hair I would, but she makes us smile with her creativity every day.

Samantha is sometimes such the opposite personality from Catherine.  She pushes over the line, but she does it while smiling at you and playing the sweet southern girl while plotting inside her head how to do or get what she wants.  She loves to sing and we are amazed at the number of songs she knows and how quickly she picks them up.  She wasn't afraid of the horses at all, went right up to them and couldn't wait to get on.  Not quite as coordinated as Catherine, as evidenced by the bruises she constantly bears between ankles and knees, she's still fearless and we love her for it.  My favorite thing about Samantha is the phrases she picks up and how she uses them with just the right intonation and timing. 

Love that pose!  Where's the magazine photographer when you need one?

Happy Birthday Catherine and Samantha!  May you have many, many more full of health, smiles, and love.