Saturday, January 31, 2009

Computer Learning

Lately, Clay and I have been practicing his letters and numbers. He's still not super "performance oriented" but he's been doing his numbers a lot and we've just started on letters. He always counts when he thinks no one is listening (Mommy is ALWAYS listening!). His favorite numbers are "2" and "6". Funny thing, six has always been a favorite word of his (one of his firsts).

Anyhow, since we're raising kids in this technologically friendly world, I am trying to incorporate the computer into his learning. Here's a new favorite website of ours for working with letters and sounds (and eventually reading): It's very simple but Clay loves it. If you check it out, make sure to click on every letter you see. They all have sounds and do tricks. Have fun!

Also, please comment if you have a favorite learning website (blog stalkers, you too!). We'd love to add to our list!

Friday, January 16, 2009


For some reason I stumbled on this blog yesterday of a woman who was set to deliver her firstborn, a baby girl, today. I found a link to her blog when I was looking for ideas for Carolina's room. She has the cutest baby girl ideas on her blog and you can tell she is so thrilled to be a mother.

Out of curiosity, I checked back in today to see if she had the baby. From what I read, the baby was born tonight but has pneumonia. She was transported to another hospital and the pediatrician gave them a report that was not good at all. While I can't imagine what they're going through, we can lift them up in prayer for Baby Harper.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Something's Cookin'

We have a new chef at our house! I didn't include in our Christmas post much of what the kids got for Christmas but Clay's "big gift" was a new play kitchen. Even though he didn't get to actually open it on Christmas because we were traveling, he loved opening it at home.

I looked and looked at different customer reviews for kitchens and it was a hard choice- all the kitchens got good reviews. From what I read it is definitely a popular toy for this age so I was really excited to get one for Clay. Here is the one we chose:

The Lifestyle Grand Walk-In Kitchen

It's a super cute kitchen with lots of food and accessories. The spatulas and some of the other utensils are real metal and it has lots of pots and pans. The funny part to me was the faux wood floor- as if Clay would know the difference!

This is our kitchen in action:

It's always fun to see what's in the oven

The microwave buttons beep when you press them

He had to check out all of the cups and plates. He even tried to eat the food!

So many choices...

The kitchen also doubles as a jungle gym...

Clay was very excited to see his kitchen. To be fair, though, he hasn't spent the hours that all of children in the reviews I read spend playing in their kitchens. He loves it and will play in it but he definitely prefers to play in it when it's clean (guess who cleans it?) and when he has company. One of the longest periods he spent playing thus far is the night he figured out he could crawl through the kitchen window. I know I should probably stop him but it's pretty sturdy and it keeps him VERY busy.
So far, it's been a hit. I can't wait to see all of the creations that come out of this kitchen!

Poor Baby

Dear Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and any other people likely to get sucked in by this cute face:

We know she is adorable and quite possibly one of the cutest pouty girls ever. But, please, we beg you- don't fall for it! She is not abused, mistreated, unloved nor does she lack anything. Just know she has been practicing her pout from an early, early age- as evidenced by the above photo.

We love her dearly but the girl knows how to get her way- just take a look at that bottom lip! So, take some time, steel your hearts and get ready to tell her no to all the things she will try and get you to give her or do for her when her Daddy and I have already told her no. We appreciate your help on this matter.

Carolina Blair's Parents (aka the people who will end up caring for and cleaning up after the pony or puppy she gets as a result of the above pout)

P.S. If you need further convincing, please see exhibits A & B

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Carolina's 2 month check-up

Miss Carolina had her 2 month check up yesterday (a couple of weeks late since she's 2.5 months). She did such a good job! Our little girl weighed 12 lbs. 15 oz. and was 24 inches long (or two feet tall!). She's in the 90th percentile for weight and height.

Carolina is adorable. She has the cutest little smile. I love it when she grins super big and squints her eyes and opens her mouth SO wide. There's nothing like getting your baby girl to smile for you- she's too sweet!

One of the biggest surprises with Carolina has been her dark wavy hair and blue eyes. Her hair has the cutest little wave to it. Clay's hair was always curly when it was wet as a newborn but Carolina's keeps the waves and curls even when it's dry. I also thought all of her dark hair would fall out (like Clay's did) and be replaced with lighter hair. Not with this girl! She just keeps getting more hair and it tends to curl up on the top of her head like a little duck.

Her eyes are also a dark blue color. Mike is always saying he sees brown but I never do (the red eye fix on the computer makes them look brown, too). Considering Mike and I both have dark brown eyes and Clay's are almost black, I would have to laugh if Carolina's stayed blue. They're so pretty- I hope they do!

Every day it seems like baby girl is getting more active. She got a toy for Christmas that reacts to her kicking it with music and lights. She loves it so much and it is so funny to watch her "playing". I often catch her smiling at the ceiling fan or her toys (especially her swing mobile) when no one is standing by her.

Carolina is also doing pretty well with her sleep. She was sleeping through the night at 7 weeks (8-9 hours) and then she relapsed over Christmas. We are finally getting back on track and she has started sleeping through the night again the last couple of nights (thank God!).
The time is going by so quickly with Carolina. I try to soak in as much as I can with her given that Clay is so active. She is very patient with him as he loves to share my lap when I nurse her and he always holds his hands up to "hold" her. Even when she gets bumped in the head or sat on by a cat (we're always having to rescue the poor girl!), she still doesn't even really fuss. What a sweetie!
We're loving having a little girl around. We've definitely had a pink explosion and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. And like a good "girl daddy", Mike always reminds me when I haven't put her bow in as we leave the house. She loves her bows and I love them more!
Here's a few pics of Carolina from the last couple of months:
Sweet girl
Her first New Year's kiss!

Sassy pants!

A little late night talk

Trying out the bumbo

Carolina has been such a blessing to us. We can't wait to see what else our little girl has in store for us!

*Sidenote: I was pretty surprised at how big she is (90th percentile) since she was supposedly born almost a month early. For the record, our two NICU nurses told Mike there was no way she was that early. On her birth video you hear a nurse say, "Can you believe this is a 36 weeker? If she had gone to term she would have been 14 pounds!" Thank God she didn't go to term if that would have been the case!*

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy 20 Month Day!

Clay Morgan,

You are 20 months old today! Such a big boy! You are growing SO fast and it is very exciting for your Daddy and I to watch. Every day you do something new. We laugh at all the funny things you do and wait to see what you will do next. Here are some of the things you are doing now:

-Talking. You have always babbled A LOT but over Thanksgiving you picked up so many words. Every day you are talking more and more and communicating what you want. This morning you told me "up" and pointed to the empty bathtub. Once I placed you in there you told me "bap" and "bash". You tried so hard to tell me what you wanted that even though it wasn't bath time we took one anyway. You also started saying "cuckoo" (repeating mommy) and "uh-oh" today. The thing I hear most often is "It's stuck." You say it all the time and most of the time you have managed to get something or some part of your body stuck somewhere. Funny boy.

-Climbing. You are such a monkey! This month we have found you climbing over the gate blocking the Christmas tree, climbing on top of the toilet seat and into the bathroom sink, onto the back of the couches, onto the kitchen table, through the window of your new play kitchen and finally, into your crib (from the outside). You are constantly trying to climb onto things and find things to boost you up. You drag a stool around and use it to flip the light switches and you stand on your lion "bike" to get onto the backs of the couches.

-Loving. You are such a lovey boy lately. You love to give us hugs with your arms wrapped around our necks. You constantly come up to me and hold your arms out and say "up". I love it. You hate to be put down and cry when we do. Daddy is teaching you to say "I love you". Too sweet. Daddy gave me a kiss the other day when he was leaving for work and you ran over and puckered your lips and stood on your toes for your kiss. We thought you were adorable, sweet boy.
-Being a good big brother. Daddy and I are SO proud of the good big brother that you are. You are always so kind and sweet to your sister. We always find you giving her blankets and pacifiers and trying to lie next to her on her playmat. You want to hold her and hold your arms up until we put her in your arms (with a little help).

-Laughing. You LOVE to laugh. Today you were laughing at Maggie and the Ferocious Beast and it was so cute. You think everything is so funny lately. We can get you to laugh anytime by doing just the simplest thing. We love hearing you laugh!

-Singing. You work so hard to sing along with the songs that Daddy and I sing to you. You do the motions to the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "This Little Light of Mine" and several other songs and sing the words. Your favorite song is one that we sing in Bible class about the breeze and you always want Daddy and I to make the breeze blow with paper, books, etc.

-Writing. You love to have a pen or marker and write. You always end up coloring your hands as well as the paper but you're learning better. I love nothing more than to see your artwork hanging on the front of the fridge!

There are so many things that you do that we love. You are so sweet and we are so happy that you are such a good little boy. Happy 20 month day, Clay!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Holiday Card/Birth Announcement

Here's a little look at our Christmas card from this year. Since Carolina was born so close to the holidays, it doubled as a birth announcement. We enclosed a sweet picture of the children.

P.S. The picture of the card doesn't really do it justice- the company did a really good job!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Merry Christmas

For Christmas we traveled to San Antonio. Our car trips have always been adventurous but traveling with two kids and a dog brings it to a new level. We're quickly learning that an SUV that seats five isn't as big as it sounds. Mike's dad came through town a couple of days before we left and took a load of gifts because there was NO WAY we were going to make it to San Antonio with Christmas gifts for five kids (our two + my sister's three) and and all of the adult's gifts too. It looks like there might be some car shopping going on at our house before the next Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, we were joined by Mike's aunt and uncle and their family at Mike's parents' house. We exchanged gifts, had a nice dinner and visited. I kept trying to tell Clay about Santa but I don't think he'll really catch on for a couple more years.

Clay the Reindeer

Carolina's Christmas Eve outfit (I couldn't find what I wanted in her size so I made her this onesie instead- she loved it! )

Our little family

Carolina's Christmas Eve pajamas

We spent Christmas morning at Mike's parents' house opening all of our presents from each other. Clay was so preoccupied with his stuff from Santa that he didn't even open his stuff from us until that night.

The Santa stuff

Clay with one of his new toys

Mike and I got so many cool things this year. We just keep talking about how blessed we feel. The funniest part about my gifts is that I got two of them last year also. Once the cat ate the collar on my brand new wool coat and I ran over my Bluetooth all within a week of Christmas last year, Mike decided I might need replacements this year. I also got a really cool label maker (the OCD person in side of me was so happy!). My present for Mike was a Wii (but I'm hoping he'll share it!).

Clay and Carolina made out like bandits! I have been shopping for most of the year trying to find all of the best deals on cool toys. I did learn a rookie parenting lesson this year, though. I got so excited about finding good deals and making sure the children had a really fun Christmas that I WAY overbought and Clay was overwhelmed. If he had gotten a third of what we bought him he would have been thrilled. Next year, I'm cutting back to just a few special presents and I think it will be so much more meaningful. Lesson learned!

New blocks

Clay with his new dog flashlight

After we opened gifts at Mike's parents', we went to my sister's house. It's always fun to watch her kids open gifts because we put so much thought into what we get them and they always deliver on priceless expressions and squealing with joy. Mike was so excited about this hair beader that he found for my niece (how that happened I still don't know...) and that girl had those beads in her hair within minutes of opening the rest of her presents. Way to go, Uncle Mike! We had a nice dinner and Clay enjoyed playing with his cousin Brittan's new toys.

My dad and all of his grandchildren

Clay and Brittan with Grandpa

Clay getting in touch with his feminine side

Casey with her hair beader

Kaelen and his harmonica

Brittan being oh so delicate with the wrapping paper (she takes after her aunt!)

She was happy just looking at the picture on the box!

When we left my sister's we headed back to the country to Mike's Grandma Susie's house. She lives on some land in the country and has what could only be described as a mini-petting zoo. Clay got to hand feed cows, pet chickens and pigs and ride on a donkey. The best part was when he lost his shoe in the pig pen and Mike's dad had to rescue it. What a fun time for our city boy!

A True Pig Sty

Clay meets the Donkey

Uncle Larry, Clay and Nana

Clay, Papa (or Tot) and the chickens
By the end of the day we were all exhausted. Driving from the country to the city and back to the country can be tiring (4 hours total on Christmas Day!). We had such a wonderful Christmas!
A little boy who's had enough for one day....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Fun

With Clay being a little older this year it was important to me that we do some Christmas festivities so he could see what fun Christmastime is. Our first event was the Holiday at the Hall in Lewisville. Since I forgot my camera, I have no pictures. Boo. We saw some really cool ice sculptures being carved and Clay got to ride in the colored barrel train. It was cute and a good little intro to Christmas activities.

The next weekend Rebecca and I took the children to the Arboretum for pictures with Santa and to see some of their Christmas decor. As we strolled through the Arboretum we came upon Frosty the Snowman. Big mistake. Clay was totally freaked out and tried to crawl inside of himself while screaming. Seriously. Next was Rudolph. I took Clay out of the stroller while he clung to me for dear life. We took a picture but Clay did not enjoy the experience. At all.

Clay trying to stay as far from Rudolph as possible

When we finally made it to Santa, Clay was officially freaked out and wanted nothing to do with him. If his previous behavior hadn't already gotten him off the nice list, kicking Santa and screaming in his face surely did. Oh what fun! The best part is we got it all on video for posterity.

Clay hearts Santa

After Santa we went over to the Gingerbread houses. Carolina took her picture with Mrs. Claus (who was so sweet!) and we tried again to get a picture with the children together. Bad idea.

Little Carolina with Mrs. Claus

Clay trying to make a run for it....

Next, there was a cute little gingerbread house that you could take a picture in front of so we decided to wait in the line for that. Another bad idea. As we stood in line, there were flower beds with pansies on either side. The line was really long so Rebecca and I were standing there talking. All of a sudden Clay is slipping through the front of the stroller and off like a rocket- right through the beautiful flower beds!! I RUN after him (sinking in the mulch of the flower beds as I run). When I finally catch up to him (on the grass past the flower beds), I am mortified! Then I look up to a man saying, "Excuse me ma'am, he only has one shoe on." Wonderful. Guess who got to go back through the dark brown flower beds searching for a black dress shoe while the entire line watched?? Me. I'm the lucky one. So embarrassing...

Clay in front of the flower beds plotting his next escape...

After the Great Escape we were ready to head home. On the way out, I thought it would be a good idea to try and take a picture of me with my two babies and Rebecca was happy to oblige. After a TON of tries, (bless Rebecca's heart!) we gave up. The children were not feeling cooperative that day at all! Here's a good example:

Later that night Mike and I took the children to an event in Richardson called Santa's Village. It was WAY crowded but Clay loved all the fun stuff and the "people watching". It's a bunch of little one-room houses that are kid-sized and you stand in lines and walk through the house. Some of the houses we went into were the hospital and the music house.

Getting a goody bag at the "hospital"

Getting measured at the "hospital"

"Anyone home??"

Playing instruments with the Richardson Symphony girls

Clay had a great time riding in a little sleigh pushed by some "elves" and we also wrote Clay's first letter to Santa.

It was fun to walk around and see all of the festive things going on but at the end of the night Clay was SO tired. We had such a good time doing "Christmasy" things with Clay and Carolina. Hopefully, we've started some traditions we'll enjoy for the years to come!