Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Visit from Grandpa

Clay and Carolina got to enjoy a visit from Grandpa (my dad) the week after Thanksgiving. Our visit included a downtown Lewisville festival (I left my camera at home :(), a nice dinner out and lots of visiting at home.

At the Christmas festival they had a 4 wheeler pulling four little colored barrels with the tops cut out (to look like a train). It was so cute and my dad paid for Clay to take a ride in it. While we were waiting our turn I tried to figure out what color barrel Clay would pick when it was his turn. His turn came up and much to my surprise (and the train driver's), Clay went straight for the 4 wheeler that pulls the whole thing! All those trips on the one at Nana and Papa's had him thinking HE was going to drive the train. So funny!

All in all, we had a nice relaxing visit and the kids got to spend some quality time with Grandpa. Thanks for coming to visit Dad!


As usual, we traveled to San Antonio for Thanksgiving. Carolina was just a month old so it was great to have a few extra hands on deck to help with two babies and we always love visiting with our families. We stayed with Mike's parents and Clay had a particularly great time (he always does!). Here's some of the highlights of our trip:

Clay got to ride on the tractor for the first time this trip

Clay and Papa

Another first: Clay got to play with one of Mike's childhood toys-the Quadro (tubing and platforms that can be constructed into hundreds of different things- slides, forts, etc.).

Sliding down the slide

Mama and Carolina on Thanksgiving

Clay and his cousins with Papa on Thanksgiving

One of the most fun parts of the trip for Clay was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with my sister and her children: Casey, Kaelen and Brittan.

Clay and Casey

Kaelen and Brittan

Clay, Brittan and Stuart Little

"You talkin' to me??"

Carolina resting peacefully amidst the Chuck E. Cheese chaos

Clay found a new love: the carousel

The only hunting Mike did this year...

New Year, New Computer

Well, we are finally back from the holidays and what a wonderful holiday season we've had! Over Thanksgiving and Christmas we spent time with our families and enjoyed introducing Carolina to a lot of the special people in our lives.

We had such a great Christmas. It was definitely one of my favorites ever. One of the best parts of our Christmas was that Mike and I got a new computer. It's FABULOUS! Thank you Anita and Bobby! I haven't spent much time exploring it (I don't have much time these days...) but I love all of the parts I have seen.

Before our new computer came I had to take my camera's memory card to CVS, upload the pictures and an hour of work later I could bring the disk home and upload to my blog. Now you see why I didn't update with pictures more often! Now I can stick the memory card straight into the computer and voila! the pictures are there. I can even edit them - so exciting! So here's to a new year with lots more blog entries with pictures!

Lots of updates/catching up to come! Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

He's Gonna Find Out Who's Naughty or Nice...

*I didn't have a chance to post this on the day it was written but it now has photos of the evidence- even better!*

Dear Clay,

You're down for your morning nap and we're going to see Santa Claus today. I've been telling you about it and teaching you how Santa says, "Ho! ho! ho!". You say it when you see our Santa decorations and you're adorable. That being said, though,let's get down to business. It's only 10:30 and you've had a pretty eventful day. Here's a recap:

-You climbed into the dryer while I was unloading all of the laundry.
-I caught you standing on top of the shredder (which is turned off) and trying to reach a picture frame while I cleaned up your breakfast dishes.
-You colored on the wall, the dining room chair and the hardwoods with purple marker while I was feeding your sister.
-When I went to start your bath, I came back to a little boy sitting in the middle of the kitchen table with orange marker tiger stripes all over his face (and today is picture day!). So much for putting the markers up on the table to keep them away from you...

Listen, little man, this new climbing on EVERYTHING business is getting old. Yesterday when you got too quiet while I was feeding Carolina I found you in the bathroom sink with a Q-Tip in one hand and pumping soap with the other. And you've learned if you climb on top of the coffee table and onto the recliner and slide down that you end up behind the gate blocking the Christmas tree- with wonderful access to the shiny ornaments.

Now you know that your daddy and I have always been strict with you that the furniture is not a jungle gym but suddenly you think it's okay to climb to the back of the couch and lean against the wall.

Clay, I am nearly always in the same room with you watching you like a hawk (and taking pictures of your nonsense). And you also know that you were within my line of sight when you've been on most of your little adventures lately. You're a brave one, baby boy. Lately, you LOVE when I'm feeding the baby because it gives you just enough time to get into a mess. Don't you worry, though, I'm learning. I'm on to your tricks.

I just want you to know though that I know something you don't. I know how to talk in complete sentences. Yep, we're going to see Santa today and I can tell him what you've really been up to. You can tell him all you want to tell him but just remember- I'm your translator... Have you been naughty or nice???

I love you orange marker tiger face,


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Carolina's Bedding

Even though Carolina's nursery hasn't even been started (it's currently Clay's playroom), I did get her bedding ordered and made. After spending what felt like forever in nearly every fabric store in Dallas, I am so happy with the finished product.

If you click on the picture you can see it clearly (some of the fabrics look solid from afar) but the fabrics are pink cheetah, light green stripe, green floral, cream chenille and raspberry silk. Here's the picture from the bedding lady's website in her crib (Carolina's actual crib is cream and her sheet is light pink):

We were so pleased with how it came out (and would love to recommend the company). More pictures to come when Carolina graduates from our room and the nursery actually gets finished!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here's our little belated Halloween post:

Halloween with the Sklosses

Carolina the Sweet Pea

Clay the Dinosaur

Aren't they adorable???

Our Halloween had a few unexpected surprises (like Carolina being present!) but turned out really well. We went to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch and celebrated in style.

The Pumpkin Patch was so fun for Clay. Mike and his mom had a good time chasing him all over while I pushed Carolina and took pictures. I was so glad they had the energy to chase him because I sure didn't. That little boy takes off like a rocket!
He ran all over and each time he got ahold of a pumpkin he would pick it up and chunk it on the ground. I guess he thought it was a ball and would bounce. Oops.

Towards the end of our Pumpkin Patch adventure Mike and Clay were both very tired. Clay was throwing fits, hitting, crying and all around grouchy when he didn't get to do what he wanted. Normally, he is sweet and fun but it was right in the middle of naptime and he was
T-I-R-E-D from running for an hour (and throwing pumpkins). It definitely reached a point where everyone was ready to go home.
I am so glad we were able to go and do something festive for Halloween. Clay had a wonderful time and Carolina, well, I'm sure she had a good time, too.

All in all (with a lot of help) the Sklosses had a very fun Halloween. Here's a look at our day:

Carolina preparing for the festivities with a nap

Clay driving his tractor at the Pumpkin Patch

Checking out the pumpkins

Little Ghost #1: Carolina

Little Ghost #2: Clay

Little Boy Running Wild=Tired Daddy

Halloween Wears Everyone Out!

Going to Bed in Our Halloween Pajamas

Goodnight Halloween!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Meeting Baby Sister

Clay had no idea what was coming when it came time to meet his sister. Obviously though, Mike and I were very thrilled to introduce the two of them. He was very timid at first but warmed up to her quickly. Here's a few pictures from their meeting. I can honestly say it's just what I've always wanted. So sweet.

Daddy introduces Clay to Carolina

Welcoming Carolina

Here's a quick rundown of the events leading up to Carolina's birth and the period after her delivery.

Thursday (35 weeks 1 day): Our doctor wants to deliver due to the leaking and sends us for an amniocentesis to determine lung maturity. We prepare everything at home (bags packed, Clay's stuff ready) for a delivery the next day.

Friday (35 weeks 2 days): The nurse calls and tells us that the amnio showed very immature lungs. The perinatologist suggests we wait until 38.5- 39 weeks for delivery. I'm glad we did the amnio and didn't take any risks which would have surely meant a NICU stay. I prepare myself for a couple more weeks of pregnancy and feel good knowing I am keeping Carolina in longer to help her get stronger lungs.

Thursday early afternoon (36 weeks 1 day): Mike's mom (Nana) arrives to watch Clay so Mike and I can attend our second ultrasound and OB appointment for the week. She'll help me stay off my feet for the weekend and keep Carolina in.

Thursday late afternoon: The ultrasound goes well but the OB appointment shows I have high blood pressure for the first time in the pregnancy. As we get ready to leave to be admitted to the hospital they discover I have the two other hallmarks of preeclampsia (extreme swelling and protein in my urine (TMI?)).

Mama in the hospital waiting for Carolina

Thursday night and Friday morning: The high blood pressure continues. Mike goes to work to conserve his time off.

Friday afternoon (36 weeks 2 days): Nana and Clay come to have lunch just as I start getting very nauseated. After I finished getting sick and reported my nice little headache to the nurse, she decided to call my doctor. My doctor instructs me to call Mike. It was "go time" and the doc was already prepping for a c-section.

Later Friday afternoon: The nurses begin talk of "mag" or magnesium sulfate. I had heard of it before and that it wasn't pretty. It is a common treatment for preeclampsia to avoid problems during or complications after birth. I start trying to talk the nurses out of it (my head was feeling a lot better after getting sick) but to no avail. They were determined.

Labor and Delivery: They start IV's. The same nurse I had seen a couple of weeks before and had failed at my IV twice was at it again. I warned her nicely that she hadn't really liked me last time but she blew veins twice again this time. They called in the people from anesthesia for the final product.

I begin peppering them with questions about worst case scenarios for the mag and what the NICU will be like while I throw up every couple of minutes. The nurse tells me the Mag will make me feel like crap and some people complain of burning eyes. I can't wait.

I begin to get nervous about it all and start crying every time someone mentions the NICU. They administer the mag and I start hearing ringing and my vision gets blurry between times of throwing up. I hear the nurse tell Mike, "We're going to lose her for a second but we'll get her back." I stick around just to see what will happen. (It was gettin' good.)

The Anesthesiologist comes and administers my epidural. He seems to have a little trouble which (again) makes me nervous.

They wheel me back to the OR and I greet my doctor. Everything is pretty fuzzy from there. I threw up several times and they brought Carolina over for just a second when she got cleaned up.

Newborn Carolina

Early Friday evening: I am back in Labor and Delivery and they are checking me out. Mike is with Carolina in the NICU. The nurse (young and a little nervous) calls her charge nurse in because she thinks my stomach is swollen. It's been just a few hours since delivery.

The nurses keep pushing on my uterus trying to get it back in shape. I start wincing and they remind me that I have to move around to feel better. (*After Clay was born the nurses told Mike I was one of the Top 10 for getting up and moving around after a c-section. Also my doctor had continually warned my hospital nurses to strap me down if they had to because I was a "jumpy" one.)

I start crying and trying to explain that I understand I have to move around and have my uterus put back in shape but they were being TOO rough. I kept asking to see Mike and for them to call my doctor because I never experienced this much pain from the "uterus pushing" after Clay.

Finally, Mike comes in and they continue (while I have a washcloth in my mouth to muffle the screaming and tears stream down my face). After they decide enough is enough the charge nurse asks me if I work out. What?? I tell her no. Duh. I was pregnant a couple of hours before, lady. My stomach muscles got really tight when she pushed on me, she says. Wow. Could it be that I was in screaming pain??

They decide to call the doctor on call who proceeds to tell them that all of this is unnecessary. They then check the epidural and discover it isn't in place anymore. It hadn't been working at all. Surprise, surprise. The original nurse comes in and tells us how her charge nurse has the tendency to be "dramatic" with her procedures. Really??

Late Friday Evening: Carolina is in the NICU for fluid on her lungs. Mike and I attempt to get a good night's rest (with a nurse coming in every hour to check my vitals).

Saturday: Carolina is doing well. Mike comes in to tell me she is hungry so the NICU was feeding her formula (despite my instructions that she was a breast fed baby). I get ready to formally meet our little girl.

Carolina and her monitors in the NICU

NICU: I get to go in and feed Carolina and she does really well. Mike also gets to hold her for the first time. She looks great and the nurses say she might get to room in with us that night or the next morning.

Carolina's NICU suite

Saturday night: Carolina is not quite ready to come be with us but we go down to the NICU every three hours to feed her through the night.

Sunday morning: Carolina gets discharged from the NICU. Mike and I are thrilled.

Sweet girl

Tuesday morning: It's Mike's birthday and we get to go home with our healthy daughter. Thank God!

Carolina Blair

Fall at the Arboretum

Mike and I took Clay to the Arboretum a couple of weeks ago and snapped a few cute pictures. It was our last little outing as a family of three. Here's a few shots from the day: (We had his picture made with the photographer so we had to change his clothes once.)

Looking like Daddy

Our little man

Oh so curious

Being "soft" with the bunny

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carolina Blair is Here!

Just a quick note from a VERY tired mama that Carolina Blair was born
Friday, October 24th at 4:36 pm. She was 36 weeks and 2 days along but still weighed in at 8 lbs. 6.3 oz. and was 18 in long. She spent a couple of days in the NICU due to fluid in her lungs but she is healthy now. We came home today (on Daddy's birthday) and everyone is trying to get some rest. Clay LOVES her and can't get enough of his little sister. Here's a sneak peek until I can get some better pics downloaded. She has jet black hair and lots of it! More to come later...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Clay at 17 Months

It's been SO long since I updated with pictures of Clay so today's post is all about Clay and his adventures. He's 17 months old now and cute as can be.

He babbles a lot and still isn't saying a lot of words too clearly. Our pediatrician is expecting a "word explosion" soon so Mike and I are getting ready. His favorite thing to say is "Whassat?" (what's that?) but he also says "dada", "cat", "dog", "baby", "cars", "shoes", "hat", "hot" and probably some other words I can't remember.

The most important word we KNOW he knows and has said maybe five times: "mama". Anytime you ask him who I am he replies, "dada". Stinker.

His newest words are "star" and "wow". He points out star shapes, stars in the sky and every star in every book and on anything you can imagine. He's so excited when he spots one.

He runs everywhere and Daddy and his Nana and Papa keep commenting on how fast he's getting (I don't even bother trying to chase him down anymore). He's still a great eater (eating everything from calamari to carrots) and a happy baby most of the time.

Clay had his first two haircuts this summer (and needs a third one). He has fine hair like his mama but daddy is a very good barber. Clay tries to be really still and watch his shows while he gets his style done. We haven't had any bad styles yet!

I love his tender heart even though it's very tender sometimes. If I say anything that might sound like I'm admonishing him ("Don't do that", "No", "Clay" (in a stern tone)) he starts crying and won't stop until he comes and lays on me and calms down.

He also loves to laugh. His favorite is to have an audience and the more the audience laughs, the more Clay hams it up.
He has pretty much mastered eating with a fork and spoon. It's always faster when Mike and I feed him but we try to encourage his independence so we rarely feed him with a fork or spoon anymore.

He also points to his body parts. So far he does nose, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and belly button.

He is definitely not a "performance oriented" child. I work with him all the time on his body parts and talking and other age appropriate things but he couldn't care less whether Mike and I know what he knows or not. Half the time he'll be happy to show you where his teeth are and the other half he acts like he's never heard the word in his life. He's a stinker alright!

He loves to read and will sit very still anytime you read him a book. If Mike and I are sitting somewhere it is not uncommon at all for Clay to bring us a book. He points to everything and asks "Whassat?". His new favorite book is "Time for Bed" because there are stars that he can point to on most every page.

It's been fun to watch him go from sitting with a book for 30 seconds to finishing an entire book because he's so focused on what's going on in the pictures. He's focusing on things a lot more now.

He goes from being a very social guy to a very shy guy really quickly. Mike's brother got married this summer and Clay gladly went with anyone (family, of course) who would take him "outside". Normally, he's super shy and buries his head when people talk to him but lately he's been waving and saying "hi".

Two of his favorite people are still his Nana and Papa. He will TOTALLY ditch Mike and I for them. Once they're holding him we can't get him to come back to us for love or money. They spoil him endlessly and he eats it up. Nana loves to hold him and hug him and kiss him and Papa loves to take him outside. Clay divides his time at their house between cuddling with Nana and riding the Mule with Papa.

Clay is so into animals right now and loves to go the pet store and other places with animals. Daddy loves to take him to Bass Pro Shops and look at all of the animals they have there and play with all of the fun stuff.

Last week we took him to Rainforest Cafe so he could look at all of the fun animals there, too. Our seats were right next to the elephants so we got really up close and personal with them.

After he got used to the elephants, he couldn't stop pointing at EVERYTHING and asking, "Whassat?". It was so fun for Mike and I to get to watch him explore everything and try to figure it all out.

One of the things that Clay is not that in to is art. I try and create art projects for him but they are usually a big flop. He will sit with some markers for a while and color a page but he loses interest pretty quickly with paints (finger and watercolor).

Last night Mike and I made him some edible finger paint (vanilla pudding and food coloring) so that he could paint a pumpkin picture for Halloween.

We got out the video camera and the digital (this kid has a picture of every day of his life!) and we put all of his paints and paper in front of him so we could watch the show. All we got was tears. Crocodile tears at our wonderful attempt at Clay's first piece of Halloween art. Oh well. I'm going to keep trying more things as he gets older but it seems like art just isn't his thing right now.

Whenever someone starts singing a song, Clay is immediately attracted. He does the motions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "This Little Light of Mine", "Pat a Cake", "God's World" and "Pat the Bible". So many times he'll be singing away and doing motions in the back seat as Mike and I are driving down the road. Precious moments.

This little boy is definitely the light of our lives. We feel extremely blessed to have such a smart, curious, tender, loving and adventurous baby boy. He makes Mike and I laugh every day and we couldn't be happier with the son God chose for us. We love to hold him and rock him and sing with him but most of all we just sit back and watch him enjoy the world.