BOY!!!!! We found out this morning that our newest little one is most definitely a boy, and we couldn't be happier! Even before the ultrasound tech said anything, I could plainly see that it was a boy---which was so surprising because both Ben and I thought we were having a girl. I think it will be so much fun having another boy in the house!! Now we just need to think of names....and unfortunately, Grayson's constant suggestion of "Gorgeous Colorada" or "Gorgeous Texas Colorada" just isn't in the running. I don't know why! :)
Can you tell I'm on a video kick tonight? :) One of the best parts of having Gretchen and Ben visit is listening to Ben sing and play his guitar--he is an amazing musician!. This was taken one night when Christie's family was over for supper and we had a little dancing time with all of the little ones. We miss you, Ben and Gretchie!
All of my friends who watch this video will attest to the fact that she definitely doesn't get her rhythm from her mama! :) Please excuse the applesauce all over her shirt and her red, snotty face---this was taken a couple of weekends ago when she was sick but I couldn't resist posting it...
After giving myself the Bad Blogger Award, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my friend Emily had actually given me a good award! :) Thanks, Emily, for the award! It is nice to know that people enjoy reading my ramblings!
The award states: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
I may be giving this award to some who have already received it because it looks like several people on my blog roll already have it, so I apologize in advance, but here are the eight people I'm passing the award on to:
Hopefully her bunny won't have to stay with her every day because it came home covered in blue paint today :)
EC's teacher, Ms. Carolyn
playing the chimes
Today was Emma Claire's first day of school, and she did wonderfully. She was only there for part of the morning (8:30-10) and tomorrow she'll be there the whole morning. Grayson was so excited that his sister is going to be across the hallway from him, and I know that she will thrive there. How sweet are these pictures? I especially love the one of Grayson walking his baby sister to her classroom! :)
EC took a break from the fussing to do Jacqueline's hair :)
Celebrating Steve's birthday and engrossed in a movie...you can see EC's red cheeks from the Fifth Disease
As I said in my earlier post, our friends Laura and Steve came to visit this past weekend. Laura was one of my college roommates and they live only a couple hours away so it's nice to be able to see them fairly often. Steve turned 30 on Saturday so we tried to make his birthday a fun one, although I'm afraid the screaming 18 month old in our house didn't make that very easy. Grayson and Delainey, who is a year older than he, had a blast together and even slept in the same room with no problems at all. 9-month-old Jacqueline ran a fever all weekend but you wouldn't have known it---she is the happiest, most content baby I've ever met! I wasn't a very good photographer since I had a crying child clinging to me for most of the weekend, but here are a couple pics from the weekend (Laura, thanks for letting me steal the hair pic from your blog!).
Emma Claire turned 18 months old right before Christmas so I'm doing this post a little late, but I guess late is better than never! She is our little drama queen and is FULL of personality. She never stops moving and can throw award-winning tantrums, but we are so very thankful that Emma Claire is a part of our family. She's our little climber and has recently started jumping---she loves jumping from the coffee table to the couch, from the ottoman to the chair, from the chair to the floor, etc. I predict many broken bones in this girl's future! She is very affectionate and gives the best hugs and kisses...in fact, just this morning I walked into the den to find Grayson and Emma Claire hugging and giggling. Don't get me wrong, they do their fair share of fighting, but they love each other so much and can have such a good time together that it sometimes brings tears to my eyes to see what good buddies they are. I pray that they continue to be close as they grow up together.
We had her 18 month check up yesterday and she's doing perfectly developmentally and is growing right on track. She weighs 23 lb 10 oz (down a few ounces from a week ago before she was sick) and I can't remember her height but she's in the 55th percentile. She's saying more every day and just said "Hey Daddy" this morning--her first sentence! I love this age where they literally change before your eyes every day. Happy 18 months, sweet Emma Claire!
ME, of course! I have been the worst blogger lately--almost as bad as my sister-in-law Anna (although my brother did take charge and post some pictures of my new niece last week) and my friend Meg, but not quite! :) I have good excuses, of course, if you want to hear them....after the craziness of the holidays and having company for a week (and you can't forget the nice round of the stomach bug that was thrown in there), last week I took Emma Claire to the doctor for her horrible cough that kept getting worse over the past month only to discover that she had walking pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, Prednisone (steroid), and oral Albuterol (medicine that's in inhalers and breathing treatments), two of which turned her into an absolute MONSTER. We had company again this past weekend (our great friends, The Columbia Fam) and thankfully they love us so much that they didn't pack their bags and head for the car when they realized that Emma Claire wasn't going to stop screaming and crying the entire weekend. I'd heard warnings from other parents that Prednisone is evil and now I know why---Emma Claire literally spent almost the entire day on Saturday screaming hysterically. We eventually realized that there was nothing we could do and we just had to deal with it. After a flustered call to the on-call pediatrician, we stopped giving her the medicine and her mood improved over the next few days, THANK GOODNESS. Thank you, Laura and Steve, for putting up with our darling little monster for the weekend! We had a blast and are so happy that you came to visit! We hope Steve's 30th birthday will be a memorable one! :)
Of course, the pneumonia and company aren't the only things that kept me from blogging, and if you know our health record in this house the past few months, you won't be surprised to hear that there's more---we found out yesterday that Emma Claire had Fifth Disease over the weekend, a pretty harmless virus that causes red cheeks and a rash on the body. No biggie unless somebody less than 20 weeks pregnant is exposed. It can cause health problems and/or miscarriage in the fetus, so I had to go this morning to have my blood drawn to find out if I'm immune or not. Crossing our fingers that I'm immune to it since about 50% of adults have had the virus at some point in their lives and are immune, and my OB said that we'll discuss further steps after we get the lab results tomorrow. I swear, if things don't settle down around here soon I may head for the loony bin!
Besides all of that craziness, things are going pretty well around here. Grayson and Emma Claire are both in school now (EC's first day was today! Pictures to come in a little while...) and are doing great. Grayson moved up to the primary class at school and is loving it. EC took Grayson's place in the toddler class and I think it will be perfect for her. She's very smart, social, and independent so she was definitely ready for school. Grayson is going 5 mornings a week and EC is going 3 mornings a week, and I have NINE hours per week that I don't know what I'm going to do with myself! I've been a full-time mommy without a break for over three years now so I think I'm going to be a little lost without a child to care for three mornings every week. I have visions of a spotless house (HA HA!!), breakfasts with girlfriends, going on walks without a stroller (don't even remember what that's like), and enjoying some rare quiet time. :)
Ben is busy with work again but was able to enjoy two weeks off during the holidays. We all loved having him around so much and wish his schedule wasn't so busy, but he's an amazing husband/father/provider so I try not to complain too much. :) He gave me a trip to NYC for Christmas so we're having fun planning it for next month. Neither of us have been so if you have any recommendations on places to visit/eat/etc, please let me know!
I'm now over 14 weeks along and so far everything is going really well---the morning/all day sickness is starting to subside and I'm hoping that by 16 or 17 weeks I feel like myself again. Grayson is really excited about his new sibling and is constantly asking questions. Yesterday he was asking about the doctor taking the baby out of my tummy in July and asked, "Are you going to be nekkid at the doctor's?" I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants!! I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff!! He's been very inquisitive about how the baby got in my tummy and thankfully is totally satisfied with my answer of "God loves us so much that he decided to put a baby in Mommy's tummy so we can have another person in our family to love." We find out the gender next Friday and we can't wait! I think it's a girl and Ben thinks it's a boy...stay tuned! :)
Okay, enough with this mile-long update. I'm going to start posting pictures now! Hope all of my blog readers (if any of you have stayed with me through this drought) are staying warm and are having a good 2009 so far!
Sanders doing her granddaddy's signature move, the dying cockroach
The kiddos dancing to Ben's music---so cute!!
dancing in the kitchen
watching Jungle Book (one of the eighty times they watched it)
matching Lightning McQueen pajamas
Tyler, Grayson, Sanders, and Henry---I love this picture :)
Ruby sleeping on the boat
Emma Claire not too happy in her lifejacket
Grayson, Tyler, and Sanders
Is this not the sweetest picture? Best buds!
For my 300th post, I'm going to post 300 pictures! :) Just kidding, but I took just about that many in the entire week that Gretchen, Ben, Henry and Ruby were visiting. Here are some of the highlights of their trip, which included a boat ride on a beautiful December day with 6 adults and 7 children, lots of pajama time, playing outside, playing inside, dancing, hugging, and being silly together. We had such a great time, and it was the perfect way to ring in the new year. Ben (Gretchen's Ben, not mine--it gets confusing sometimes with two Bens) leaves on Monday for a 9 month deployment to Africa, so please keep their family in your prayers. We were honored that Ben wanted to spend his last few days in the States down here visiting us! :)
Gretchen and Ben are such amazing friends--we met by chance as neighbors in our old neighborhood and now even though they live in MD and we live in SC, we get together several times a year and the children are the best of friends. Gretchie and Ben even stayed up very late one night helping clean up Emma Claire's vomit---multiple times---the night that she came down with a nasty stomach virus, and then didn't even complain a few days later when they came down with the same bug. If that isn't friendship, I don't know what is! :)
Gretchie and Ben, thank you for being such fabulous friends! We love and miss you dearly!