Monday, May 11, 2015

Jake is 1!

From this (born 6 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long)

To this (23 lbs 12 ounces and 29.5 inches)

We've learned so much about our handsome little man in this last year and love him more and more every day. He makes us laugh, he's positive and bright and smart. He figures out all sorts of problems, which usually creates more problems for the rest of us. He loves to get dirty and always finds dirt to grab and throw on the ground, or carpet, and then stick in his mouth if you aren't fast enough. 

He's walking and standing up on his own, started the week before he turned one. He kind of says 'bye bye' and 'down', and he knows who everyone is, even if he can only say 'mommom' and 'dada'. He eats everything and shares with the dog. Jake also loves his little elephant lovey and we are too afraid to see if he'll sleep without it. We'll probably go without the paci first this summer and then see how brave we get. He doesn't use either during the day unless he sees it, so we keep them out of sight, but when it is time for bed he needs those 2 things and the sound machine on 'train'. Works like a charm.

He knows where the camera is and where the ladies are. He is a flirt and a charmer with a smile that disarms you and you can't help but smile back.  You know there is a little bit of a devil behind it and yet you don't care. And he knows that, too. He loves to play games and explore.

So from those first few weeks... the first few months,

…from a skinny baby who wasn't eating well...

…to a super chunk healthy little man...

…we are so blessed to have Jake in our lives...

…and can't wait to see how he grows...

…and what new adventures we will share together.

Happy Birthday Jake!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter break

My 3 beautiful kids in front of the beautiful tulips and flowers at Duke Gardens. It doesn't get any better than this. Easter break was wonderful. We went to Duke Gardens to see the tulips twice, went to see our new nephew Shiloh, built a vegetable garden, and went to the zoo.

But first, an update on the kids. Jake still isn't walking but he is crawling at lightning speed and getting into everything. He claps and waves and tries to say 'bye bye' and point to himself when you ask him 'who's Jake?'.  He's so smart that even though we have used bungee cords to keep the bakeware and tupperware off limits so he doesn't strew it all over the kitchen floor, he reaches through the cabinet with the pots and pans that we can't seal off and gets the tupperware anyway. At least this way he doesn't make as big a mess as he could.

Catherine is such a little problem solver! She automatically finds a solutions from a new angle like it is second nature. She can't reach the door handle to pull it open so she pushes the door next to it to grab the edge. She throws feed into the goose pen to help her cousin get the goose back to where it belongs (instead of chasing us and biting me and Sam).  She loves her brother and is a big help with him, keeping him smiling and finding things to keep him occupied (and away from her stuff).

Our sweet Samantha finds the joy in everything! Everything is her favorite and new and beautiful and exciting. She also misses everyone and everything the second we leave. She told Dave she missed her cousins and we hadn't even gotten in the car yet ;-) She still sings all the time, especially in the bathroom for some reason. My mom taught her the words to "Oh my darlin' Clementine" which she pronounces "Clementahn".  We still have no idea where her southern accent comes from. Not even our sitters have talked like she does, throwing extra syllables in everywhere she can.

A nice lady offered to take our picture!

On Easter Sunday the girls had a blast looking for eggs in the yard.

And Jake looked very debonaire in his 'jaunty chapeau'.

Jake and Nana

Spinning in their beautiful dresses!

Our crazy kids with their crazy grandparents, nothing could be a more true picture of our life and we love it.

In a dinosaur egg at the zoo, 2 movie stars and 'farmer Jake'.

A little Marilyn moment for miss Catherine.

We had a very close encounter with the chimpanzees at the zoo, it was great! She played peek a boo and blew kisses to the kids until she had to go break up a fight between 2 little chimpanzees.

Catherine is becoming quite the little photographer with the camera she got for Christmas. Here are a few of her best shots at Duke Gardens and the NC zoo. I did not edit these in any way, not even cropped. Not bad for a 4 year old, right?

A rhino red with mud.

The momma breaking up the fight.

The mommy and daddy lion with 4 cubs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

4 years old!!!

Look at those beautiful young ladies! Can you believe they are 4? They are smart and funny, have extremely different personalities and yet get along with each other so well.  They truly love each other, even when they say they don't.

They got big kid bikes for their birthday and after just one day they were pedaling on their own, not looking at their feet, getting going on their own, and learning how to brake. Samantha picked a princess bike with streamers and a heart basket and Catherine picked a Disney Jake bike with pirate treasure chest basket.

They had their first birthday party with friends from school. We had to be inside instead of at the park, but they had fun anyway. It was a Wild Kratts theme with vine and creature power disc decorations, gummy worm dirk cake in a pail of course, and pin the tail on the hippo game. Sam missed the first time but did much better the 2nd try. Catherine nailed it.

On their actual birthday we had ice cream cake and played with Nana and Grandpa. Bocce ball and balloon games, even using static to put balloons on the wall! Sam tried to rub the balloon on her own back but to no avail. Only Grandpa seemed to have the magic touch.

A few pictures from school. Samantha is loving school and has songs memorized after just a few times, she really impresses me. She sings and Catherine dances. We're growing out her bangs and she hates having it put in a pony tail. We have to work to get her to use clips. She says the funniest things and you swear she is putting the moves on you. "Mommy, I saw the perfect flower and picked it just for you." She thinks looney toons are hilarious and pretends to hit her foot and hop around. She also tries to reason her way out of things and then later her reasoning backfires on her.

Catherine has started getting very serious about some things and when she does she looks up at you through her bangs, slows her voice down, and uses her hands like a little old Italian lady explaining something to an idiot. It makes me smile every time! She is progressing so much at school, writing her whole name without help (poor thing, Sam only had to do 3 letters), and insists on coloring all parts of a project. She especially likes rainbows and smiley faces.

Aunt Alyssa and Uncle Mike got them tents for their beds and they were so excited to go to sleep tonight.

So happy birthday to our girls. We love you so much and can't imagine a world without you. It would be a boring place without laughter.