Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mommy, get with it!

I think this started out as a blog, but has become more of a baby book for Tillman and Caroline. My head is about to explode with everything I'm trying to remember to write about the kids, as I've been off line for a while, but for good reason!
We set to close on our house on the 11.26.13 (Nick's Birthday). We have called it home for the past 5 years. This home has helped us grow as a family.  Many of hour of literal (Nick's) blood, (Nick's) sweat, (my) tears have gone into this house. It taught me to put my "big girl pants" on in a lot of ways. We welcomed Tillman and Caroline "home" to this house, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Life has been all consumed with looking for a new house!  It is an exciting thing, but also a huge decision. Tillman has mentioned he wants a PINK house! Well, we haven't found a pink house, but we are on the search for the perfect house for our family.  Tillman and Caroline have gone to several house showing with us, so it has been fun to involve them in the process. We have even gone as far as putting an offer on a house, but were out bid for it.  We have taken the approach that if it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be. Surprisingly, I've been at peace with that approach!
Schools have been a huge factor in our decision making. This is the fourth real estate purchase I've been involved with in Charleston, and this is the first time I've been concerned with schools.  Wow, it is limited when it comes to an affordable home in a good school area. Recently, we've narrowed our search to the James Island area. I've even been visiting preschools to see where Tillman and Caroline would go, as it is the other side of town. The move from our "life as we know it" will be hard at first, but we are looking forward to the future.
Our goals in finding a house beyond the schools, is close to Charleston, new/newly renovated, and nice size lot! Seems easy, but that seems to be everyone goal.  Real estate is pricey in the Charleston area, so we've been doing a lot of number crunching to make sure we will be in a good spot.
I say all of this really to Tillman and Caroline.  We love you kiddos very much, and you are a huge part of our lives, so when making a home decision, we are putting our main focus on that for the future.  Please forgive mommy for taking a break on the blog. I promise, our new house will be filled with wonderful memories we will catalog for years to come!  Just where will we land?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Caroline's One Year Photos & Cake Smash

Getting warmed up
Cici made my outfit
Falling off the stool at the moment!
Tutus make everything fun!
Huge smile!
Huh...there's cake coming?
I love cake!
First bite!
Caroline's not sharing!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Caroline's 1st Birthday Party (a week of celebration)

Caroline had a week of celebration for her birthday.  It started of with a cake smash session with a local photographer.  Caroline was super active during the session.  Anything that wasn't bolted down, she was tasting, chewing, throwing, etc! This mommy got her work out that morning.
Smash Cake and her Caroline Cake
The weekend of Caroline's birthday we had a wedding for my cousin, Margaret. We headed to Lexington and did her party at CiCi and JRSs house that Sunday.  We had a small crowd of family and friends.  All the little ones helped Caroline blow out the candles and open gifts. 
All the kids singing to Caroline
Caroline was on the move for most of the party, so a little bit of help from the other little ones was much appreciated!  Tillman enjoys being Caroline's big brother, especially when that means CAKE!

Below are photos from her big week of her First Birthday.  The celebrations wrapped up on Seabrook at Pappaw's house.
Happy Birthday Caroline!

Cake Smash/dig...looks to be in a sugar daze!
In her Bday dress at the Margaret's luncheon.
Family photo op

After Daycare on 8.20.13
Celebration at Pappaw's house
Enjoying one of her Bday gifts...
convertible carseat! Pink of course!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Sweet Caroline!

I can't believe you are 1. Mommy barely got off her baby weight, and here we are singing Happy Birthday to you!  Time goes by so fast.  I remember when you were born.  Everyone in the delivery room kept saying "wow, she has a lot of hair," at the time I was annoyed by the comments as you were taking a while to make an appearance (mommy was tired).  The hair comments continue to this day (people stop us everywhere we go).  A head full of dark hair has turned into a head full of sandy blonde curls. I always dreamed of having a baby girl, and when we went for your ultrasound to find out your gender, I was hoping for a girl. When they said you were a girl, I was overly excited!  You have colored our world pink and introduced us to tutus, hair bows, baby dolls and fairy tales! You are more precious than I could have ever dreamed. I love your cuddles and your squeals. You are one happy baby! 
We always knew we wanted more than one child, but learning how to divide time we were certainly concerned. You made life so easy. Since the day you were born, you've just been along for the ride. You'll go to just about anyone, rarely fussy, and love to smile and giggle. You are one of the most content babies I've ever been around.  Along with your go with the flow attitude, you are very quick to pick up on things-crawling at 6 months lead to walking at 9 months. You simply grew up too fast! You certainly were not one we held for very long, you've been on the go for most of your infancy. 
Many people say you look like your daddy and other's say you look like my grandmother, Kathleen. Your great grandmother was adored by many. We see her in your grins, curly hair, and facial expressions. This weekend, we learned of a saying that she used to say to her girls (all of which had curly hair).
There was a little girl,
            Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
            When she was good,
            She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
Although I don't think you have been horrid, it is certainly a cute little poem that fits you. I know that my Granny would have loved to meet you, and I'm so glad that her memory lives on through you!
Mommy and Daddy couldn't be more proud than to be your parents. We love you to the moon and back. You have made life more joyful, and your sweet presence can make the worst day a bright one! You will be the one that teaches the family all things girly. Be patient with us, you have 6 boys a head of you and one behind you  (so far)!  We know you will have those boys trained soon. You have already shown that you are a tough little cookie but prissy at the same time! You've given CiCi a little girl to smock and sew for and hand down my dresses when I was little. You've given your MiMi someone to shop for! Shopping and making for boys isn't the same as for a girl! You've melted your JRS's heart, and he loves to hold you (the first grand that he's gravitated towards/felt comfortable handling). You adore your big brother! First you would watch him go, and now you are chasing after him. You guys are well on your way to be best buds. Tillman loves you too. He is always concerned about you and enjoys spending time and playing with you. Oh, and we can't forget about Graham. Graham dog loves you too. He is always coming up to you smelling you, and he doesn't mind a bit that you tug and pull on him. You must have melted his heart too.  
Thanks for being you, Caroline Sutherland!  You will forever by my little girl with blue eyes and curls! Wishing you many more happy years.
Mommy and Daddy

Monday, August 19, 2013

35 Months 8.12.13

Tillman called this "going vroom vroom!"
WHY? Tillman is Mr Why these days!  He wants to know why he has to do thing, and after you tell him why; he then ask why again!  If you ask him why, he just repeats what you say.  Mr Why is well on his way to being a detective!
At Margaret and Dawayne's wedding
Tillman moved up to his next class last week.  He is doing well. This class is getting a new curriculum, so I'm very excited to see him develop.  The last class was all about potty training, and I think he was getting a little bored. It is great to have him come home and talk about his new class. When he leaves in the morning he is excited.  He is coming home with lots a papers and crafts. It makes us very happy that he is being challenged. Just in the short week he was in this class, we could tell a difference in the amount he is talking and using sentences. His counting is also improving. I think he knows all the way to 20, except he always skips 14 and 15.  It is cute to hear him count.
Polishing off Caroline's Smash Cake
Speaking of him talking, he has a few Tillman words.  He says "That is mys" instead of mine (of course we are working hard to correct, but he looks at us like we don't know what we are talking about!). He also says "What?" very disrespectfully (kind of like "say what??"). We think he got this from someone else, so we are trying to break him of it. It is almost like him knowing a bad word and using it all the time!
Mommy and T eating candy! Check out his blue mouth!
With all of that, he also is doing very well with his manners.  He is very good about saying please, thank you, and yes/no sir/mam. We've also started to encourage him to order his food when we are out for dinner.  We do have to really encourage him to speak up.  This Friday we were at Wendy's.  He wanted chicken nugget. He was saying it really soft and shy to the lady.  We told Tillman to speak up.  In a very loud voice he says "I want chicken...CHICKEN....CHICKEN!" I'm pretty sure the cook heard him too!  It was funny, and we are glad he is learning.
Tillman breaking it down...child loves to dance
He also learning to sing and say the blessing.  He really isn't shy about it either.  He sang Caroline Happy Birthday this weekend in front of a group. He also love Darius Rucker's Wagon Wheel song.  He calls it "Rock me Mamma."  He jumps in when the chorus starts and really sings away.  With the blessing, he often starts saying it with no warning. It is normally when we put his plate down on the table to cool, he will say it.  Sometimes it is by the microwave.  We went to church yesterday, and he was trying to keep up with the service and songs.  He loved the Amens!  He is really doing very well in church. I think we are in a happy spot with church now. Caroline does fine in the nursery and Tillman is relatively quite in church (he is only 3, so he's working on his whisper, and if he wants something, we just give it to him as we know the volume will increase...especially for a snack!).
Getting water for CiCi's drip castles
He's also been working on his Strider Bike skills. While we were at the beach, the house had a small hill.  Tillman is now to the point he can ride down the hill without any feet action, thus fully balanced on the seat. He looked like a dare devil coming down the hill!  The bike is a cool concept. The thought is once he learns to balance on a bike with no petals, then he should be able to go straight to a two wheel bike without training wheels.  We'll see.  He loves riding his bike!
Sharing Lance's Trike!

Monday, July 22, 2013

34 months 7.12.13

"Take my picture!"
Most people say that Tillman looks like his daddy, and looking at the picture above I can see Nick in him. I guess him being my child and seeing them side by side, I just couldn't see it. I notice it more in pictures.  The ears, hair, chin, and lines in the face, yes, I see Nick (and I guess his Papaw too since Nick and his dad look so much alike!) Speaking of Nick, Tillman absolutely adores his daddy.  When he wakes in the morning, Daddy is the first thing he says to going to bed at night, Nick is the only person he wants to put him to bed. When Nick isn't at home at night, Tillman rushes down the next morning to see his daddy. On the weekend and at night, he wants to do everything his daddy does-cut the grass, watch him cook, blow the leave, ride in the truck, walk Graham, watch him fix things around the house and the list goes on and on.
Tunnel Time
Tillman gets really upset if Nick does things without him-particularly cut the grass. He can hear a mower from a mile away and it can wake him up from a dead sleep. He's more "obsessed" with his daddy than any cartoon character (Elmo, Thomas the Train, etc).  I have to do a ton of bribing (candy) to make him go back to sleep if Nick is mowing the grass.
On the way home from the beach, clinging
to his junk food in his sleep afraid
 we would take it away. As soon as he woke,
he just started eating again like nothing happened.
Tillman is starting to tell us more about his day at school. He can tell us what he had for lunch, who did what, and even are able to hear more about incident reports!  Tillman got bit last week. Of course, all the teacher can tell you is that Tillman got bit today.  When we left the room, I asked Tillman who bit him, and he was able to tell me.  He wouldn't divulge details (what were you doing when you got bit, etc), but he was able to tell me who.  It is funny because he told me a nickname of the person. I went to the school roster and I didn't see that person. He finally told me his full name after I started going through his class.  They all have nicknames in the class. Tillman is Till Till or Tilly or The Mayor!
Helping daddy with his tent and pool
Tilly is still 27-28 lbs.  I think he has grown a little taller. When buying Caroline the next diaper size up (3), I noticed that Tillman could wear those as well, so now we just buy one size. He used to be a 4, but down to a 3. I think he is just stretching himself!  Tillman is not a big eater...never has been. He would rather play than eat. His Papaw is the same way. He eats to live instead of lives to eat. We really have to force Tillman to eat dinner.  Don't get me wrong, he loves junk food and would eat that all day long. We really limit that stuff at home. I asked the daycare how he does, and they say he eats two helping sometimes there.  No sure about his eating habitats, but for me, I love to eat, so I can't wrap my head around not enjoying dinner....
All and all Tillman has had a great month. We are also party planning for him, as he is two months away from being 3.  Wow!

11 months 7.20.13

Sweet Smile in her Matilda Jane dress
All I can think is "I can't believe she is almost a year old!" She is moving up to the next class at school on 7.29.13, and they asked that we start working on sippy cups.  Also, I opened her last can of formula this weekend, so she will be moving to regular milk next.  Caroline is pretty much done nursing. She would rather hold the bottle, walk around while drinking, or keep her eyes on the room to make sure she isn't missing anything.  Can't believe she is growing up so fast. It is almost too much happening at once! With her turning one, the party planning has begun, the cake smash photo session booked, and the birthday attire is being planned! I'm excited about her party but not her growing up!
Kiawah Beach day!
(Daddy trying to brush off her hat)
Caroline has also started a new schedule.  She is now going to bed the same time as Tillman and is sleeping through the night.  By going to bed in the 7PM hour she now gets an extra hour of sleep at night.  She is easier to put to bed that early than I first thought.  I give her a bottle, and after she is done with that, she puts herself to sleep. I've heard that you shouldn't put your child to bed with a bottle, but for now, that is what works, so we are doing it! I think the extra hour of sleep at night will be key when she moves to the next class since they have scheduling nap time in that room.  She will go from napping anytime she wants to only once a day.  I'm glad of this. She doesn't seem to require that much sleep, so to have a scheduled nap time will help us with both kids on the weekend.
Saturday Morning fun...playing dress up in another MJ dress
Baby Caroline still does a great job with eating.  She has had all types of meat-salmon, tilapia, chicken to name a few. She loves them all.  There isn't much she won't eat.  When she wants something to eat, she wants you to put it in her mouth as soon as possible. She gets very antsy at the table if you aren't "shoveling" fast enough!  At the beach this weekend, she was at my knees begging for food. She ate watermelon, cheese, goldfish, and the list goes on.  She loves to eat!  I'm glad that she is a good eater. She has really slowed on the amount of formula she drinks. I think she will do just fine with the transition.
Hey guys, don't leave me in here...
Caroline staying out of the mosquitos
while we work on the pool
Caroline is pretty much a full-time walker now.  She will crawl to get to something under a table or in a corner, but other than that, she is on the go on her feet. She does walk "bow-legged." I've had 3 people say this.  Of course, being her mom, I get a little offended by those remarks.  Her legs do bow out, but I think that is how a baby maintains balance. However, I'm going to talk to the doctor about it just to make sure everything is normal! :-) (Like the good mom should...right?) Bow-legged or not, she can get those little chunky legs going pretty fast. She is almost to the point of running.  We've even noticed her legs have really thinned out since she has started to walk.  I hate to see those chunky thighs disappear, but I'm sure she wouldn't want those when she is a teenage!
Passed out before 8PM! Wow, we are finally at that stage!
11 month stats:
Diapers: size 3
Shoes: still not yet!  Not rushing this one.
Weight: I think she is maintaining at 20 lbs!
Sleep: 7:30PM!!  Sleeps until Tillman wakes up the whole house!
Things to work on: sippy cup (just didn't get to that last month...busy working on bedtime)
Naps: 3 times a day at school, but going down to 1 time a day starting 7.29.13
Clothing: 9-12 mo; although, she does were some 18 mo clothing!
Teeth: 4 upper teeth fully in. 4 lower teeth-2 middle ones completely in but on each side of the middle teeth there are one on each side that are coming in.
Playtime with Tillman in the tunnel
(she loves it although she looks
less than impressed in this pic!)