Sunday, December 20, 2009

Naomi Faye

Two weeks ago at this time, I was starting to have some contractions. In one sense it seems like forever ago, but in another it seems like just yesterday. I realize that makes little to no sense, but oh well. These past two weeks have been a blast. I'm really enjoying having two girls, and by God's grace, it hasn't been as challenging as I thought it would be. Getting up in the mornings is difficult, but thanks to DVR we have an endless supply of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I can lay on the couch and rest some more for an episode or two (or three or four...), knowing Charlotte won't be roaming around the house getting into trouble. I usually hit a brick wall in the afternoon, but the timing of Charlotte's nap with Naomi's feedings and naps have allowed me to sleep for an hour on most days.

Charlotte is still loving on her baby sister, but is not yet convinced that her name is Naomi. A coworker of Jared's asked her what her sister's name is and Charlotte answered "Baby". She still runs over to Naomi whenever she fusses or cries, which isn't often, and tells her, "It's okay, Baby." On the way home from the store yesterday, Naomi had a couple minutes of loud screaming, which Charlotte hadn't heard from her sister, and it really upset her. She has such a sweet heart :)

But enough talk, here's what everyone really wants... (they're in reverse order with the most recent first... I'm too lazy to change the order).

She managed to escape the swaddle

Look at those lips and cheeks!

Can you see the spit bubble?!

Staring at her Papa

Cuddling with her Grandmom

Charlotte holding Naomi for the first time

Giving Naomi some shade

Kissing her baby sister :)

Those cheeks!

The hospital picture... they managed one shot with her eyes open

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life With Two

WARNING: Gushy, hormonal momma bragging on her babies in an excessively long post with no pictures. (Don't worry grandmas, I'll post more pictures in a day or two!)

I have officially survived my first week home with a toddler and a baby! Granted, this is only the second day I've been by myself with the girls all day, but still, quite the accomplishment, no?

Naomi is doing wonderfully. She has such a sweet disposition already and is a very relaxed and calm baby. She seems to be a typical second-born. The only times she has really fussed were when she had lots of air in her tummy or had an upset stomach from me eating too much dairy (Charlotte has issues with milk, as do I, but I didn't realize this until I weaned her to whole milk... What I thought was acid reflux when she was younger, I'm now pretty sure was lactose intolerance). But other than those couple of times of spitting up and burping enough air to fill a Macy's balloon, she hasn't really complained much. She is a cuddler, which I love, but she's also content to sit in her bouncy seat and look around.

Naomi is quite expressive. Her facial expressions crack us up. She's very ticklish, especially on her neck and cheeks, so of course she is tortured tickled constantly by her Daddy. And I know they say babies can't smile or laugh at this age, but I am dead serious, she giggled in her sleep on Monday night. The belly and chest were bouncing, she had the biggest smile on her face, and she even made a giggling sound. Oh how I wish we had it on video! It was priceless!

How She's Sleeping and Eating

Naomi is a great sleeper! She has slept through just about everything. Jared was blowing off the back porch and the only thing between him and Naomi in her bassinet was about three feet and a sliding glass door. She was not phased one bit. Nor has she been phased by Charlotte's giggles, squeals, and loud talking.

Because she is such a great sleeper, she has a hard time waking up enough to take a full feeding through the night, so she tends to wake up every 2 hours. Last night I let her squirm for a little while and she got herself back to sleep so that when she did wake up to eat around the 3 hour mark, she was a more awake and ate more. I have a tendency to be a bit delirious through the night though, so when I hear her stir, I jump up thinking she needs to eat right away. After trying to wake her for a couple minutes, I've had enough time to come to and realize there's no waking her.

Breastfeeding has been much easier this time around. Not nearly as difficult or painful. For some reason she doesn't have a great latch on the left side so she takes in more air, but it seems to be getting better.

How Charlotte Is Adjusting

Charlotte has done a great job adjusting to the role of big sister. We have yet to convince her that her name is "Naomi" rather than "Baby", even though we talked about Naomi for months. She hasn't made the connection that the two are one and the same. :) She loves giving her kisses and gets very concerned when Naomi fusses or cries. She comforts her by saying, "It's okay, Baby. It's okay." Melts a Momma's heart! She hasn't shown any aggression towards Naomi and there haven't been any displays of jealousy. The only hint of anything of the sort was yesterday when I was feeding Naomi and Charlotte wanted me to see something in her room. I told her I had to finish feeding Naomi but as soon as I was done I would go with her. She looked at me with the most serious expression on her face and said, "Baby night-night. Baby in bed," telling me to just put the baby in her bed. It was a simple solution in her mind!

It took her a few days to realize that Naomi would be sticking around. One morning when either Jared or one of our moms was here, I walked out of the bedroom with Naomi in my arms, and when Charlotte saw her she said, "Baby again?!" Yes, Baby again... and you may notice a trend of Baby again from here on out :)

Labor and Delivery

I've had lots of questions about the labor and delivery. I guess that's what happens when you're only 5'1" and you birth a 9 lb. 3 oz. baby! I started having contractions around 9:45 on Sunday evening. They were 3-5 minutes apart but weren't really intense as far as contractions go. They continued throughout the night but didn't get any more intense for a while, and even started to get more time between them. I got really scared that it was false labor, especially since we had called/texted some of the family and we had 4 people here awaiting her arrival. Around 6 a.m. Monday morning they got much more intense and I was certain she would be born that day (December 7th, Pearl Harbor day and Charlotte's due date). We left for the hospital right at 8:00 and thankfully traffic was not an issue. I started bawling on the way there because I realized I had just hugged Charlotte for the last time as my only child. That still makes me tear up. Hormonal much?

The nurse checked my dilation and said that I was 7 cm dilated. I could have done cartwheels! When they first checked me with Charlotte I was 2-3 and progressed very slowly. Having all those small numbers behind me was so encouraging. By the time the doctor came in to check me, I was at 8 and he went ahead and broke my water. It wasn't long before I was at 9, then seemed to hang out around there forever. I felt the urge to push before the cervix was completely gone so I had to fight through that. Torture. Pure torture. Especially since the nurse was demonstrating how to blow through the contractions by blowing right in my face. I'm too nice to say anything, even in labor, but in my head I was throwing a pack of Tic-Tacs at her.

After maybe 15 minutes or so of feeling like I needed to push, I finally got the green light and began pushing away. It only took 15 minutes of pushing (as opposed to 20 with Charlotte), but it was much more intense and painful this time around. I guess an extra two pounds squeezing out will do that. I'm also really bad about pushing "with my face"- holding my breath and tightening all the muscles in my face while I push- so I managed to pop a blood vessel (or two or three) in my eye, which I did with Charlotte as well, but this time I also got lots of splotchy freckly bruise type marks on my face. They're faded now, but let me tell ya, I was scary looking for a few days! Red eye with a splotchy, swollen face. It wasn't pretty, ya'll!

Funny story about being pretty during labor... Shannon came to meet her niece and complimented the pearl earrings I was wearing. I laughed and told her that I had been planning for a while to wear them when I delivered Naomi. I had looked back at the pictures right after Charlotte was born and realized how horrible I looked. At the time, I couldn't have cared any less about that, but now when I see myself in those pictures I think, "Yikes!" And the Southern gal that I am, I believe pearls not only make any woman look better, they'll make you feel prettier too. So for the last month the only earrings I would wear were my ridiculously fake pearls so I would be ready for labor the moment it happened :) (Hindsight: The pearls really didn't do much for me looking better. They're pretty, but apparently not miracle workers.)

Almost immediately after delivering Charlotte I was sure that I would want to do that again. In the middle of delivering Naomi and even for a few days afterwards, I was pretty sure that would be my last delivery. It was just so much more intense this time around that I knew the rest of our children would be adopted. But a week has passed and I'm on board with the possibility of another pregnancy and delivery. The recovery has been much easier this time. I'm exhausted, yes, but I feel better than I did after Charlotte.

I was able to have another completely natural, drug-free delivery, which I am very grateful for, but I do have to give a lot of credit to my wonderful husband who coached and encouraged me through it all. After my delivery with Charlotte, he kept saying that Tim Tebow wore Brittany Rollins pajamas (a reference to the "Chuck Norris wears Tim Tebow pajamas" saying that was so popular amongst those in the Gator Nation). Naomi's birth was right after a game that doesn't need to be remembered so no Tebow references were made this time, but Jared was encouraging and supportive throughout the entire process. I know I would not have been able to make it through naturally if he weren't by my side.

Life With Our Girls

Having two is not as challenging as I expected it to be. Granted we're only one week into it, but things seem easier this time around. I'm not as nervous or anxious, I don't feel the need to call the pediatrician for every little spit up. I feel like I can enjoy it more now that we're parenting experts ;) But I really am enjoying it so much. I love saying "our girls." I love snuggling with a tiny baby again. I love seeing Charlotte give her baby sister kisses. I love that we're experiencing all of this for the second time at the same time of year that we did with Charlotte. I love the shock that I get when I put down Naomi and pick up Charlotte. She's not a baby anymore and having Naomi has made me realize just how far from the baby stage Charlotte really is. It has made me appreciate how much she is growing and changing, even within this past week.

God is so good to us. I can't get over how great of a life we have.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcome Naomi Faye!

Naomi Faye Rollins
Born 12/07/09 at 10:18 a.m.
9 lbs, 3 oz
21.5 inches

She is finally here! God has continued to bless our family beyond what we could imagine. I just cannot get over how much love I feel for my husband and my girls. Girls, did you catch that? It's plural. We have two now!

The hospital wouldn't allow any children under 5 in the labor/delivery area, so it was Wednesday before Charlotte was able to meet her little sister. Wednesday also happened to be our 3rd wedding anniversary! On the way home with my wonderful husband sitting beside me, our two daughters sitting in the back seat, and the first time we were all together as a family of four, it was easy to say that it was one of the best days of my life.

I'll post more pictures later, but here are a few to hold you over...

Her Daddy is already smitten

Snuggling with her Grammy

Meeting her Toto

Charlotte loves giving Naomi kisses and loved that she came home wearing a bracelet

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Her Name Is...

Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll for Naomi's middle name! Kate was by far the most popular, with Lynn and Anne following, respectively. We also had a write-in for "Olivia" (thanks Stephanie!), but were really only drawn to a one syllable middle name for some reason. Having a one syllable middle name will be easier to yell when she's getting into trouble :) We also realized that we were favoring names with a long A sound. So after much deliberation, our daughter's name shall be...

Naomi Faye!

Yeah, I know, hate us that it wasn't even on the list. We fell in love with it a day or so after I made the poll. But that was one of the rules, remember? "As the ones who contributed DNA to this child, we reserve the right to pick the least popular, the one you didn't vote for, or one that isn't even on the list."

Faye also happens to be the middle name of my best friend, but I got her permission and she's on board with it too :) We weren't seeking out to use a name of someone in the family or someone we know (we actually tried to avoid that, as illustrated by us not using the name Olivia as a first name), but our families are too large and we know too many people to completely avoid that. And if Naomi will have to have a namesake, she could do much worse than her Aunt Shannon.

Whew! What a load off now that we have our child named! Now we're ready for the labor and delivery part... take a hint, Uterus!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

STILL pregnant

Charlotte came three weeks early so I am in disbelief that I am still pregnant. Seriously. Every pregnancy is different, I know that. I've had so many women tell me, "Oh, my first was three days early, my second was a week late..." But I always silently thought, "Yeah, but three weeks early is a little different than three days or even one week." Then Jared's boss had to go and tell Jared that one of his kids came three weeks early and the other one came two days late. Heart-Breaking. So I'm trying to get it into my head that I might be dealing with the aches, pains, and discomforts of pregnancy for two or more weeks still. But I'm still hoping, praying, and keeping my fingers crossed that Naomi will be here sooner rather than later! In the meantime, I'll do my best to focus on enjoying the movements, kicks, and hiccups that carrying such a blessing brings.

Pretend like the lighting isn't absolutely horrific and that the mirror doesn't have toothpaste splattered all over it. But look how low I'm carrying her! It has to be soon, right?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Traditions

The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year! And definitely not because of the after Christmas sales. I'm not brave enough (or crazy enough:) to go out in the wee hours of the morning and jab some elbows into other mommas on a mission for the latest toys. We continued our family tradition of going to WalMart to "cut" our tree. I don't know if it was because we went to the newer (nicer!) store that was recently opened near us, but WalMart was much busier this year than it was in years past. It wasn't horribly busy, but the past two years the store was practically dead so it was a little bit of a shocker.

Anyway, we got our tree, along with a few tree-decorating essentials (sugar cookies and egg nog). While we were picking out the tree, I saw a pile of limb clippings off in the corner. They had some trees on display to show the different sizes, so I'm assuming the clippings were from those few trees. Jared laughed at me, but I snatched those things up! There was no one out there for me to ask if it was okay for me to take them, but the way they were just haphazardly tossed to the side, I can only imagine they were going to be thrown away. I didn't want those beauties bio-degrading in a landfill without serving some purpose for greater beauty, so I'm giving them a home throughout our home. On the mantel. Maybe a wreath. Who knows :)

We got home and thus began the decorating. Except not till the next day. Actually, the day after that. Sunday. That's when we decorated. On Friday we were too tired. On Saturday we went over to Lake City to have our third and final Thanksgiving meal. This time with some of the local Rollins family. Charlotte had a blast playing with James, and has since not stopped asking about him, Toto, Pop, and Mel ("May-el" as Charlotte says, with a little Southern accent). On the drive home, Charlotte started screaming for no reason. She's not the best travel companion. We stopped in Baldwin to let her get out of her car seat and go to the bathroom, hoping that she might just have to poop. No poop, but she did calm down, until we tried to put her back in her car seat. She started freaking out again. We asked if she wanted the baby's seat to ride beside her. It was just tossed in the backseat, but after we snapped it in the seat beside her she calmed down. Strange child.

So, Sunday afternoon we finally began the decorating of the tree. And here come the pictures...

Charlotte glitterfied. All of this glitter was previously on a Mickey Mouse ornament. I am expecting to find some glitter in the toilet in the next day or two.

You might notice the red puffy eye in the above picture. She got into a fight with another mosquito. The mosquito won. This is what it looked like this morning.
Please disregard the fact that she was wearing the same outfit this morning as she was last night. I may or may not have been too lazy to put pajamas on her before bedtime. And this may or may not be the first time this has happened.

I'm sure you can't even tell, but her favorite ornaments were the blue, glittery balls.

She saw the topper, recognized it as a star, and from then on has been calling it a hat

Hanging an ornament other than a blue, glittery ball

We ended the evening by reading a musical book, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" to her

This time of year is special to begin with, but having a child to share in the excitement makes it all the more fun and special. She gets excited about seeing the decorations, lighted trees, and all the hooplah of the season. I know that's not what it's all about (it's really the hokey-pokey, right? haha:), and we're doing our best to teach her what the true meaning is, but it's so much more fun for me now that I have a family of my own who I can enjoy it with (or "with who/whom I can enjoy it", since you're not supposed to use a preposition to end a sentence with :)... I know that's the rule, but dadgummit, sometimes it just sounds better with a preposition at the end. And do you really expect someone who uses a word like "dadgummit" to follow all the rules of grammar?)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Funny Book

Now that we are officially in the holiday season, which is heavily based on family traditions, I thought I would share with everyone one of our family traditions. It's not something specific to this time of year, but a fun tradition nonetheless.

While Jared, his brothers and sister were growing up, his parents kept a "Funny Book" for their family. They wrote down all of the funny things the kids said or did to make sure they wouldn't forget them and be able to recall them to their prom dates :) It's something that we've started for our family as well, and now that Charlotte has started talking, we've been adding to it more frequently. A lot of the stories aren't as funny when written out, but it at least helps us remember each story, and we can remember how funny it was at the time. Even if it was a "You had to be there..." sort of thing.

Here are a few stories from our Rollins Funny Book...

Prior to Brittany’s Lingerie Shower, Jared asked…“Do women try on the lingerie for each other at a lingerie shower?”

On the Honeymoon, leaning back in his kayak off the coast of Maui while gently rocking back in forth in the swell, Jared mused…“This is just like lying in a hammock, only uncomfortable.”

One night in September of 2007 we were going over our family verse (Col 3:17-20) and Jared asked Brittany if she thought she was submissive. Of course she said she was, so he asked her to give him an example of how/when she was submissive. She said "No, I don't wanna!"

While working together in the nursery at Grace Community Church, Brittany was watching one of the children, Zack, play with a ball. It was inflatable and clear and had two smaller balls inside of it. Brittany asked him, “Are you having fun with that ball, Zack?” Jared replied, “I don’t know that I would call it that…” because he thought she had said, “Are you having fun with that ball sac?”

While watching the pre-game activities of a Florida State football game, Charlotte saw the flame lit on the spear and ran up to the TV and began trying to blow it out. (Approximately 22 months old)

While loading up the van to go visit family, Jared and Brittany were making several trips in and out of the garage. Charlotte could tell we were all going somewhere and grew tired of the in and out (and the let-down of when we would come back inside), so she looked to her Daddy and asked, “Hey! Wanna go?!” (2 years old)**

**A prime example of something that you just can't explain how funny it was in words. But just having this story written down will help us remember her expression and the tiresome sound in her voice as she was asking if we would like to go already.

And in full disclosure, I must admit that I have the most entries in our Funny Book. Apparently, I say more dumb things than Jared. Or at least the dumb things I say are funnier or more memorable. Such a good thing to be the best at, right?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has as many things to be thankful for as we do. I could list them all, but I don't want to make ya'll jealous and start coveting my life. My life sure isn't perfect, but seriously, I have it so good and am grateful to the Lord for His blessings.

We started off the morning by watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving while eating homemade bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. I remember seeing the Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas as a child, but I think this may have been the first time I saw A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It's hilarious, folks. Jared and I were cracking up throughout the whole thing. "A must-see family movie," says Brittany.

We had planned to have Thanksgiving lunch with my stepmom's family today, but because of her stepdad's health, the lunch at his place ended up being canceled. So plans changed sort of last minute to spend the day with my dad's family over in Hampton instead. My Dad is the oldest of 11 kids. Nope, not a typo. 11. As in eleven. They grew up on a farm so I guess needed the extra help for milking cows :) Anyway, I suppose when you have 11 kids and an umpteen number of grandkids (in the upwards of 25... plus those who've married... plus the great-grandbabies), you get used to last minute guests. And like every Southern family, there's always way more food than can be eaten. So we spent the afternoon visiting with the few who were there (only 25 or so. A very small crowd for a Meng gathering.). Charlotte enjoyed chasing Pop's dog around the house. Pop's dog endured being chased around the house by Charlotte.

Like all grandparents, Grandma and Pop have lots of pictures of their grandkids around the house. Jared was holding Charlotte and pointed to the picture below and asked her who it was.

Charlotte, very confidentely, answered, "Charlotte!"

Can you say "Mini-Me"?!

Seriously, how cute is that picture of Aaron and I? Our arms around each other and everything. I'm pretty sure candy or ice cream was involved to get that pose :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ABCs and 123s

No comments about my awful singing, the unmade bed, or clothes hangers scattered on the floor. I was going to get the mess cleaned up, but just decided to keep it real for you :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Naomi's Middle Name

Naomi still does not have a middle name. Poor thing. But we now have a list of names that we like! Baby steps, right? ("Baby steps", how appropriate...)

Naomi Anne Rollins
Naomi Kate Rollins
Naomi Lynn Rollins

I've put a poll up on the right hand side of the page. Please vote for your favorite! The only rule is that you can't be offended if we don't pick the one you chose or whichever one wins. As the ones who contributed DNA to this child, we reserve the right to pick the least popular, the one you didn't vote for, or one that isn't even on the list. Contributing DNA makes one pretty powerful in these situations.

Picking a name this time around has been quite the challenge. With Charlotte, the name Charlotte popped into my head, I asked Jared how he liked it, he said it was a winner. A couple days later, he asked how I liked Michelle for a middle name. Thus was Charlotte Michelle. Naomi, on the other hand, was not quite as simple. We had a list of names we liked but none that we really loved. Actually, Naomi was never actually on the list. We had seen it several times on baby name websites and books, but it never popped out to us enough to put it on the list. Then one day, Ta-Da! There it was, suggested to me by Nymbler, a website that you can enter up to six names that you like and it will give a list of an infinite number of names that it thinks you might like as well. I seriously spent hours on that site. I saw Naomi, fell in love, e-mailed it to Jared, he like it, that was that. Whew! I never understood the parents who made lists of names and couldn't decide. You hear a name, you like it, that's your kid's name! Unfortunately, not always.

Funny story. Not super funny. Just sort of, huh, that's kind of funny...

The one name that Jared and I both really liked was Olivia. But there is a little girl in our church a few months younger than Charlotte named Olivia and we didn't want to be the copy-cat couple, especially since they would be so close in age. So Olivia wasn't an option.

A name that I liked from the beginning was Claire. But I didn't like the sound of Claire Rollins. The "r" sound at the end of Claire and beginning of Rollins was too hard to say. So that wasn't an option.

The other name that I really liked that Jared never got on board with was Vanessa. His reason? It made him think of the character on the Cosby Show and he didn't want someone else to come to mind when he heard his daughter's name. Okay, I can respect that.

But once he said that I realized that three of my favorite names were all characters from the Cosby Show. How funny is that?! I know, not super funny, but sort of, huh, that's kind of funny... Right? Humor me, folks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

No, I'm Not Having Twins

Throughout the pregnancy with Charlotte and Naomi (yes, I'm still pregnant with Naomi...), I have been quite amazed and appalled by some of the things people choose to say to a pregnant woman. I will grant you that I am in a slightly more hormonal state (if you speak with Jared, he will likely exaggerate this condition of mine. Please feel free to ignore his opinion:), so I might be a tad more sensitive to some comments received, but I do strongly believe people need a filter between their minds and their mouths. What you say to a pregnant woman is likely to be translated differently than what you said or how you intended it. And you do not want to make a pregnant woman angry. Or cry. So for anyone who has not been pregnant or been around a pregnant woman to know how she thinks, here are some things to put on your "What Not To Say" list.

"Are you sure you're not having twins?" or "Are there two in there?"
No, kind sir or madam, but thank you for implying that I am large enough to have two beings inside of me.

"Wow, you're huge!"
Umm, thanks. No one likes being told this when they aren't pregnant. Why would being pregnant change this fact at all? C'mon, folks!

"Are you pregnant or just fat/gaining weight?"
Don't mention the words "fat" or "gaining weight" to a pregnant woman. At one of my appointments during Charlotte's pregnancy, a doctor told me that my weight gain was a little high. While I know it is his job to be concerned and keep me informed of the progress of the pregnancy, if even a doctor's comment about weight is translated in a pregnant woman's mind as, "You're fat and you have a chunky butt," the layperson commenting on the subject doesn't stand a chance of getting out of that conversation without great offense to her. And to be on the safe side, just never ask this question. One day you will ask it of someone who is not pregnant and you'll be in an "open mouth-insert foot" situation.

"Are the doctors concerned about your weight gain?"
Seriously? Did you seriously just ask that?

"You'll never make it to your due date"!
Thank you for implying that I am that large. Much appreciated.

"This is your second? No wonder you're showing so early." or "... No wonder you're so big."
For the most part, unless you're telling her that she looks great or is "all baby", it's best not to comment on her size. Ask her how she's feeling or how much longer till she's due. But comments about her size are generally going to be taken badly.

And about the stomach-touching... It's always a good idea to ask if this is okay. Especially if you don't know the person. If I were to approach a non-pregnant stranger and begin patting and rubbing their belly, they would likely look at me like I was insane. Please do not be surprised if I give you, dear stranger, the same look when you touch my baby belly. I don't so much mind the touching from people I know, but for some women, the belly is completely off-limits for everyone. Ask before you touch.

Now, I do understand that there are some women who have gone through their pregnancy feeling beautiful, love being told how large they are getting, and love having people touch all over their baby bellies. They are an anomaly. A rare breed. Not the average pregnant woman. For the sake of not having your head bitten off, assume that all pregnant women have a crazy case of raging hormones not to be reckoned with. Play it on the safe side. Tell her she's beautiful. If she's in the latter part of her pregnancy, she likely doesn't feel it. And even if she may not look beautiful on the outside, she is carrying a precious gift from God and that is a beautiful thing. And just typing that thought made me tear up. My hormones are fine, I swear :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

I can barely believe it, but two years ago at this time, we were holding our precious newborn, "ooh"ing and "aww"ing over how cute she was, and ""ing over the fact that she came three weeks early. She has brought so much joy and so many smiles to our lives. It really is hard to remember what life was like before she was here, even though it was only a two short years ago.

We had a small, family party for her this past Saturday and she had a blast!

Apparently, she was not a fan of our singing

Much more content after blowing out the candles

Ready to tear into all the presents

A little mommy

And here are just a few of my favorite pictures from her first two years...

On her birth day, in the arms of her proud Daddy

As if she wasn't gift enough, she gave us her first smiles on Christmas day

How I coped with things when she was two months old :)

The day of her Dedication

Seriously, this smile melts my heart

Just over one year old at her Aunt Shannon's wedding

Looking so cute in her Christmas dress!

Taking care of business in her Daddy's office

Happy Birthday, Charlotte Michelle!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Last week we down to Disney with some of Jared's family and we had a blast! It was the first time Charlotte and her cousins, Anson & Ella, had been there. Like any excited parent, I took a ton of pictures and will just give you a recap of the day in photographs...

Charlotte and Ella in their limousine

I thought I would be smart and take a picture of the sign for the parking lot we were in... You can see how well that worked out...

Riding the "Choo-Choo"


Anson riding down a slide in Toon Town... I can't believe how tall and skinny he's getting!


Pop and his girls

I've never even thought of doing it that way before!

Riding the Winnie the Pooh ride

Waiting to fly on Dumbo!

Ella and her Prince Charming

Not a great picture of the two of us but it's better than the three previous we took

Ready for Mickey's PhilharMagic show. Charlotte giggled and squealled through the entire thing! It was so much fun just to watch her!

Little Minnie Mouse

Family photo op on the Jungle Cruise

The kids "steering" the boats

All three of the kids were so good throughout the day, despite this being the only nap taken (and it was only 40 minutes)!

And my favorite picture from the day: Charlotte on her Prince Charming's shoulders when she saw Mickey Mouse for the first time!

The postcard-worthiness of this photo with the castle in the background, combined with how excited she was to see Mickey (with a few pregnant hormones thrown in for good measure), I was fighting a few tears. Charlotte loves watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (the first thing she asks for when waking up is "Mickey"), so she was thrilled to see him in the parade.

We could not have asked for a more perfect day. The weather was fantastic, the crowds and lines weren't too bad, and the kids behaved themselves all day long. I know Charlotte won't remember this trip, but she had so much fun and seeing her face light up at seeing Mickey was so worth the trip down there. Plus, kids under 3 get in for free! And this was only the first part of our long weekend- I'll try to share the rest of the photos tomorrow (try to contain the excitement, folks!)

Arin will be blogging about the trip soon, too, and as soon as she does, I'll likely steal borrow some of her pictures :)