Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Babies Have Awesome Hair

This may be my favorite picture ever taken. Maggie snapped it as we were leaving Tupelo Honey earlier this week. Wind tends to tunnel between the buildings here and Caroline looked and acted like she was about to be swept away. And Duncan's hair is just amazing.

This girl! She's so fun. And so into everything right now. She asks for "a show" constantly but never watches more than two minutes of anyting. She wants "a bite" but is turning into a rather picky eater. She's so polite though and usually manages to say, "help please" before getting upset with not being able to do something. She says "open shutty" when she wants something opened. And if you ask her what she wants to eat, she always responds with "a sammie" meaning a peanut butter sandwich. She's quick to say "tank yoouu" and "bye bye" to everything and everyone. 

You know a friendship is real when said friend offers to take you and your two kiddos out to lunch to use up a gift card and leaves her own child in daycare. Caroline kept looking around like, "where's Lillie?" Don't move Maggie!

Duncan ate: his biscuit, Maggie's biscuit, half a black bean burger, Caroline's mac & cheese, and about seven French fries off my plate. And still wanted more. And I wonder why he's totally skipped 12 month size clothing?!?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Weekend

We had a delightful Easter weekend and packed in about as much fun as possible. Not only was it full of plans with friends and Easter-y things, it was Ryan's first weekend off after a tough rotation, and that always leads to a massive feeling of playing catch-up on all we've put on hold out of necessity!

Friday morning I took Caroline & Duncan to Tyger River Park in Duncan (the town!) for an Easter Egg Hunt put on by Duncan's (the baby!) early interventionist's group, Bright Start. There was a photo booth, face painting, craft station and, of course, tons of Easter Eggs.

First face painting experience. They were not sure what to think! Duncan looks like me 90% percent of the time, but look at those eyebrows. Those are all Ryan. 

Our early interventionist, Lizzie, who we all just adore. She brings special toys for Caroline to play with while she works with Duncan each week. Caroline makes a beeline for Lizzie's big tote bag as soon as she walks in our door. 

The egg hunt turned out to be a little disappointing. Someone accidentally picked up Caroline's basket, and by the time I convinced her to use Duncan's the hunt was over. She got two and half eggs. But she was way more excited about her first Hi-C! She drained that box so fast and quickly signed and asked for "more, please."

After nap playtime included yoga practice with bunny ears. Caroline has her own versions of plank and down dog. And Duncan just thinks it's hilarious. 

Friday evening we headed over to Shoe & Carter's house for a cookout. Caroline walked in the door and started calling out for "Ollie." It's been so fun to watch their little friendship grow and now Duncan is getting into the mix as well.

Peer pressure is real - even at just 11 months. Duncan sat up for his longest stretch yet trying to hang with his friends!

Saturday morning I had some girl time with Jennie and Abby celebrating Jennie's birthday. First up was a yoga class at Run In. One of Abby's friends holds a free class in the store before it opens. It was my type of yoga - a great workout that left me sore for two days but also feeling rejuvenated. On Monday morning and I could still feel the burn in my upper arms and back! Our teacher, Maria, taught us the Rabbit pose in honor of it being Easter weekend. It was a new one for me. Here's an online guide from Yoga with Adriene.

And afterwards we felt compelled to document our class successes...

Jennie - crow pose; me - wheel pose; Abby - tree pose. The wheel pose was my New Years resolution and I, obviously, still have some work to do on my technique, but my head is off the ground! Afterwards we treated our selves to brunch at Golden Brown Delicious and coffee from the Village Grind in West Greenville. So good!

Our church's children's ministry team sent out a recipe for Easter Story Cookies. Basically you make a meringue cookie that illustrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. On Holy Saturday you leave in the oven over night. The cookies rise and become hallow (empty tomb) by Easter Sunday. These two are a little too young to get all that, but it was a fun experience for me and they enjoyed eating goldfish and watching me smash a bag of pecans with a meat cleaver. I hope this becomes an Easter tradition for us as a family. 

Maggie and Lillie came over to play. We tried to get the girls to hunt eggs, but they had other ideas. 

When Ryan got home from tennis we dyed Easter Eggs. The whole activity lasted about three and half minutes. But Caroline got really into and Duncan looked like a blue smurf from dipping his hands in the dye. 

I've loved our footprint "carrots" banners. The top one is Caroline from 2016 and the bottom one is Caroline and Duncan from this year. Saturday night the Easter Bunny had fun putting out a few toys. We got them one big thing (a water table for the backyard) to share and then filled their baskets with some Dollar Tree specials. Duncan also got his own ducky lovey. It's from the same company, Bearington Collection, that Caroline's ducky is from. And get this - it's official name is Duncan the Duck! Ryan pointed out that Duncan the Duck has long legs just like Duncan the Baby! He's already attached to him and Caroline is calling it "Bubba's Duck."

Sunday morning I was so excited for Caroline and Duncan to get up! We were attempting to make the 8 a.m. church service so I woke everybody up a little before 7 a.m. Even though I thought I'd done everything possible beforehand to get us there on time, we were still late and missed the first two hymns. 

Hot cross buns from the Village Grind for breakfast. They weren't as tasty as they looked. These two sure have gotten squiggly for pictures. It's so hard to get them both in focus, much less looking at the camera!

The service at First Presbyterian was wonderful and Caroline and Duncan went down the aisle for children's church for the first time. I walked them down there and than sat close by. When Dr. Gibbons spotted us he said, "And Duncan is here!" Which was really sweet because it's the only name he said out of the group of probably 20 plus children! Of course, when we got home after church Ryan informed me I'd never finished zipping up my dress all the way. Lovely.

My friend Elise convinced me I could pull off the hat, and it was so much fun to wear one. I've always wanted to and last year noticed that there were lots of hats at the Easter service. Please note that Caroline did have pretty shoes to wear, they just never made it out of the diaper bag!

The nice thing about church is it wears everybody out and by 9:30 a.m. we were home, Duncan was in his bed napping and Caroline and Ryan snuggled up to watch Chicken Little. 

Then we had our egg hunt. 

And Easter dinner à la Bi-lo's deli with fried chicken, potato salad and Hawaiian rolls. I did make some stuffed eggs that Duncan in particular loved.

Jennie and Savi came to play Sunday afternoon. 

The dogs enjoyed the water table as much as the children!

And my Easter afternoon craft - a bunny cake - Pinterest inspiration! Basically it was two round cake pans with one cute up into bunny ears and a bow tie. Now I'm off to download pictures from my phone, because I'm out of storage!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pretending We're on Spring Break

Greenville schools have been on Spring Break this week so we've pretended we are too! This town clears out, and it seems everyone we know is in the mountains or at the beach. The good news is parking downtown has been possible and traffic is nonexistent. All Duncan's therapies were cancelled except for his early interventionist. She has now come to us in tornados and ice - not much stops Lizzie and we love her for it!

My mom has been here, and we've had so much fun.

On Saturday Duncan turned 11 months old! (He can't believe it either or is that expression just shock that Siggi took the bottle out of his mouth!?!). On Monday we celebrated Mom's birthday with a fancy blueberry muffin breakfast. She declined for us to celebrate her birthday in months :-)

As many times as Mom has visited in the last three years, we've never been able to have lunch outside at my favorite lunch spot, Passerelle Bistro. The patio overlooks the waterfall and bridge at Falls Park. It was Duncan's first time to sit in a toddler highchair for the entire meal. We'd packed food for C & D, but they both much preferred my croque monsieur and frites. Next time I'm going to order them one to share!

Caroline now always wants to walk. If I pick her up to go somewhere she says, "Walk. Mama, walk." She's not a big fan of handholding so we compromise and she pushes Duncan in the stroller.

Tuesday evening Ryan and I slipped out and headed downtown to the new Hyatt Regency's Up on the Roof restaurant. The view was amazing! On one side a stunning view of downtown and on the other the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The menu was amazing and everything looked good. Ryan let me pick and we shared a smoked salmon soup and this charcuterie board. Yum!

Duncan is starting to like books as much as Caroline. They both want to sit in your lap at the same time - whether on the floor or in the rocker. Caroline say "rock" when she wants to snuggle in the glider in the nursery. 

I got some big items checked off my list like figuring out what we are all going to wear on Easter Sunday and ran what felt like a gazillion errands by myself. I finally got around to spending my Christmas morning and getting a nice haircut (only by second since Duncan's birth!). Mom but her organizing skills to work and took charge of sorting all the baby clothes. Does anyone else feel like this must be done all the time? She also helped me tackle paperwork/medical bills that have taken over the upstairs space.

Wednesday was designated as FUN day and we took a break from projects and errands. We packed a picnic and went to Riverbend Equestrian Park to hike the trails that wind behind the horse pastures. One of the first articles I wrote for TALK magazine when we moved here was about the Greenville Pony Club and the equestrian park. Turns out it was about five miles from our house, and we had the entire park all to ourselves! We all enjoyed it so much, and Caroline walked about one and half miles. Sister was worn out. At the very end she kept saying, "Up. Up, please." Duncan rode in the Ergo for the first time (he's about outgrown the Bjorn). I found the Ergo much more comfortable!

We all crashed during naptime. And I was so happy to make it back to Bible Study that night. We celebrated Jennie's upcoming birthday with a cake from Broad Street.

Thursday afternoon Duncan had an EEG schedule to check and make sure he was still seizure free and that there was no hypsarrhythmia waves (indicator of infantile spasms), We got the ALL CLEAR. His neurologist, Dr. Taft, came in to love on him afterwards and the two techs who have followed his progress since he was four months old just couldn't put him down. It was also the first EEG where he didn't want to snuggle but basically kicked me out of the bed so he could stretch out and nap. (He still wanted me to hold his hand and sing the whole time though). He also moved up to the purple sized "cap" for the EEG. Prayers are being answered each day with this little man's progress. I'm so proud of how hard he's worked in therapy and every single day to learn how to do things. His little brain is "re-wiring" and it's amazing to witness. 

I did note to myself how far we've come because in the early days of EEGs I wouldn't have planned anything else for the day. Thursday morning I went to a yoga class and then ran errands. Ryan was off in the afternoon and drove us to the neurology office. We had lunch in the lobby of the hospital and leisurely made our way upstairs right on time. Afterwards we came home and when Caroline woke up from her nap, went to the park and played. Just like a normal day. The EEGs still stress me out because I'm constantly worried that he's having seizures and we're just missing them. But Dr. Taft assures me I can loosen the bubble I've kept us all in since the infantile spasms started in January. 

Ryan worked a moonlight shift on Thursday night and Mom and I had the most amazing Napoli pizza from Tito's. She left the house before 5 a.m. to catch the train back home. I'm taking C & D to Duncan, South Caroline this morning for an Easter Egg Hunt with Duncan's early interventionist company, Bright Start. Happy Easter weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hello, Blog World!!!

Well I've been MIA from this space for way too long. And I've missed it. I want to record these precious memories and milestones. I made it to church two weeks ago by myself for the first time since Duncan was born. As an older lady and I passed each other on the ramp, she pointed her walker at me (pushing D in the stroller and carrying C on my hip) smiled and said, "I remember those days. They were hard, but I miss them everyday." It was such encouragement to me as I had started prepping for us all to leave the house since 7 a.m. for the 11 a.m. worship service.

Somehow having two under two has kept me on my toes! My hands are full but so is my heart! It dawned on me the other day that instead of having two babies, I'm about to have two TODDLERS. What??? That can't be right, because there are still much-too-small newborn pajamas in Duncan's pajama basket.

I'm going to make an effort to "back blog" about the last seven months while it's still somewhat fresh on my mind. I want to remember these days - even if I feel like by the end of the day I couldn't tell you what we all ate for breakfast. At least I'm fairly confident we all had breakfast! For now, some fun pictures because Duncan Doodle and Caroline Noodle are both napping and my to-do list is waiting...

Our first attempt at using the finger paints Caroline got for Christmas. She ate the paper, and Duncan ate the paint. Don't think we'll try this again for awhile!

Downtown on Saint Patrick's day listening to music. This girl loves her daddy.

Duncan thought the music was good too! Caroline wore this same onsie last year!

Duncan has hypotonia (low muscle tone) and this has made milestones like sitting up a challenge for him. He does physical therapy twice a week, and it's making a huge difference. This was his first time to sit up in the grocery store cart. He's been trying to catch Caroline's curls for months. 

We checked out the pool at the Y and Caroline thought her puddle jumper was pretty cool. 

Ryan was on call one weekend in March so the kiddos and I loaded up and went to B'ham for a short visit. EM was a little disbelieving that we were spending Spring Break at their house. She turned 6 in February and Mary Thorne and Poppy turned 4 in March. Caroline was totally fascinated and jumped right in with them. She called them all "Poppy" and started calling Sis "Mama Sissy." We'll see if that sticks. 

These girls! How would we have gotten through residency without each other? Maggie (left) and her family are moving this summer. The first of us to leave! Her husband's residency is only three years and they are going to Lexington. 

Duncan wears kinesio tape along his back, shoulders and stomach (a lot of cross fitters use it). We think it's really helped him get stronger as it "wakes up" the muscles when they pull against the tape. I'm thinking about asking his PT if she'll tape my stomach...not quite swimsuit ready!?!

Our first antibiotic at 18 months for a nasty pink-eye virus. While we waited on her meds at the pharmacy, Caroline and I had a "special treat" her first chocolate croissant. 

Pedialyte popsicles on the porch. Scout is endless entertainment.

In B'ham Caroline picked up on the fact that dogs have names. She came home and immediately started asking for Pepe. She still calls Scout "dog" but it sounds more like "duck."

The "wrestling" these two do just warms my heart. They can't get enough of each other. They share a room, but Duncan usually wakes up first. The first thing Caroline says when she wakes up is "Bubba? Where Bubba?"