Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Here we come, Colgate!

Last Thursday, as I attempted to pack for our Georgia trip, some little someone told me I'd better pack one more thing!
Yep, Thursday morning, I saw that first pearly white peeking through! Of course, I called my Mom and Devin right away... Grammy came out at lunch to check it out and ride with us to get some "Hylands Homeopathic Teething Tablets" at Walgreens. Daddy was quite proud of sweet girl's newest milestone!
On Friday morning, pearly white #2 had also "erupted." I don't know how many people can say that their first two teeth were cut in two different states... Thursday at home in Florida, and Friday in Georgia!

That previous week, we had noticed Annabelle was a little fussier than she normally is and I was beginning to wonder where our easy-going baby had gone. We had just had her 4 month well check the week before and our pediatrician said she was showing no signs of teething soon... ha. She showed them!
I took pictures and I HAVE to share this one, because it's too funny. Bless her heart she looks like she has been to heck and back..... kind of reminds me of pictures taken in the hospital after a baby has been born, when the momma is all drugged up and her hair is all sticking up everywhere... (I speak from experience on that one).
I felt like a dog after I discovered her tooth and realized that she had cut it without one bit of Tylenol or teething tablets! Don't get me wrong, I am not into "medicating" kids, but dang, I remember cutting my wisdom teeth and that was painful! I totally would have given her some Tylenol... She's a trooper for sure. Very much like her big brother... (who also teethed early)...

Here's her two chompers. They're still pretty red...

She's so very proud of them and is constantly rubbing her tongue over them...

She's also decided that cutting teeth is pretty hard work...


Monday, April 27, 2009

Meetings & Greetings...

On Thursday afternoon, we headed up to Northeast Georgia to see our new nephew, Garrett! What a doll, is all that can be said. He is such a sweet baby, with a head full of jet black hair! Oooh, he's got some good hair! I'd have liked to try one of Belle's hairbows on him, but didn't think my brother would appreciate that too much. He is still in the newborn phase, so he sleeps most of time...except in the middle of the night! Those first few weeks are certainly the hardest, but looking back they don't last long enough...(I am sure Beau & Kristy would beg to differ on that right now).... holding Garrett this weekend made Devin and I both realize how big Annabelle is getting and confirmed that she's officially passed the newborn stage and is a full blown infant, growing as fast as she can toward toddlerhood. I need to take a deep breath at that thought... whew..

My brother and sister-in-law were sweet to let us come and hang out at their house and get our Garrett fill. I loved getting to hold him and breath in that newborn smell, and rub his soft hair on my cheeks. His big brother, Jackson, had the same hair, and I had to do the same thing to him when he was born.... something about that soft fuzzy hair gets me... ironically, my children were both born without fuzzy hair!?!?!?

I've been an Aunt for almost six years now. I became one instantly when I married Devin, who already had one precious niece and nephew. We've also got lots of cousins' sweet kids that call us "Aunt" and "Uncle", which I just love! I became an "instant Aunt" again to Dylan and Caroline when Beau married Kristy. But, four years ago when my nephew, Jackson, was born, was such a indescribable thing. I love all our nieces and nephews, but there's something different when it's your sibling's baby... It's the sweetest thing when you look in that newborn face and can see your brother.
I just can't describe it... Those feelings became new again this weekend when I saw Garrett. He's such a special baby, and I feel like he's the thread that connects their family. It's neat, that honestly he looks like ALL of them. One minute he'd look like Kristy or Beau, then I'd see Caroline or Dylan or Jackson in him... he's a little bit of all of them rolled into one! So sweet!Of course, they are all crazy about him! His big brothers and sister love showing him off and helping out. And his Daddy & Mommy rarely put him down...(thankfully, they did long enough for us to get to love on him!).

This weekend, we also got to meet my cousin's new baby boy, Bryson for the first time!

Bryson is a doll, too! How exciting that God keeps growing our family. Keep 'em coming, Lord! We love us some babies! (Not another for me quite, yet, though!) :)

On Saturday we enjoyed dinner down by the creek with a bunch of the family. It's always fun to get together at the creek... my Aunt's have the perfect set up behind their houses... a fire pit, screened in pavilion, swings, and a creek... just perfect...

Saturday night, we said our goodbyes and loved on Jackson and Garrett one more time.... and Sunday morning we headed home!

Jackson, Belle & Garrett

Look what we brought home with us...

Stephanie is staying the week with us and will fly back on Saturday. She was loving this Florida weather, so we ate dinner on our front porch on Sunday night...I can't believe she's really here! I am so excited to have her with us for the week! I am going to be sending her honey, a BIG thank you card!!!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beach Bound Belle...

This weekend we checked off another first on our sweet girl's list... We got to introduce her to one of our favorite places....the beach! Growing up in Florida (and in this family) a love of the water is pretty much a given, even at an early age. This weekend, DW and I took Annabelle to her Pappy & Granny's beach condo to introduce her to the sand, sun, and surf! We were hoping she'd enjoy being around the water as much as we do, and after the weekend, I'm happy to report I think she's going to!
Friday, I packed everything (except the "kitchen sink", and that was only because I knew there's one already there) and we headed for the beach... I'll admit, I forgot just how much packing you have to do for a baby! Wow...
Here's Belle with her bags...waiting on Daddy!

We left as soon as Devin got off work and arrived in time to breath in some salty sea air before dark. The weekend was spent oooohing and ahhhing at how cute little miss was in her bathing suits and enjoying her smiles and giggles at her first sight and feel of the ocean and pool.

We just relaxed and took it all in. Belle was a doll and I have pics to prove it!

Going to the condo always brings back fond memories... and this trip, we were certainly thankful to get to make some new ones with our baby girl! (and did I mention that the weekend also included driving to Krispy Kreme BOTH mornings and getting donuts when the HOT sign was on?!?!? I think it goes without saying, the weekend was amazing....)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Four Month Stats

Annabelle turned 4 months old last Thursday, the 9th. (I wanted to wait until our dr. visit today to do her 4 month post, though, so I'd have all of her stats!)
She's 24 inches tall and weighs in at 12 lbs, 4 ounces, respectively. I know, she's a whopper! Ha...

Our pediatrician says she's a little girl, with a big personality! She loves people and LOVES to be talked to. It doesn't matter who's around or what they are saying, she thinks they're talking to her. She smiles and kicks her legs with excitement. We think she's definitely going to be a talker, herself... she must get that from her Daddy.

Despite only being in the 25th percentile on her weight, she does have some chub on her. She gets that from me.

She is learning so much everyday and I love to see it. She discovered her hands a couple months ago, and it was precious to watch her stare at them and try to figure them out. She's reaching for things now and has better control and grasp. Anything she can wrap her fingers around goes straight to the mouth! She's been rolling over for a couple months now from her tummy to her back and we think any time she will be able to roll from back to tummy. She tries so hard to sit up and loves to be her in Bumbo so she can see things at eye level. When on her tummy, she pushes up and looks all around. She gets excited over pretty much anything. I think she gets that from me. Hello, I get excited about mail and a PedEgg... it doesn't take much.
So far she's still as good natured as the day she was born. Fusses only when she's hungry, needs a diaper change or when she's really tired. Our pediatrician, said to me today, "Wow, Annie, she's seems like such a happy baby." Of course I beamed. She had to cut me back down to size though, by reminding me that, "even though they are easy infants, does not mean they'll be this easy at 2 years old..." Thanks, Dr. M for keeping my head from swelling. I'm sure we have some tantrums in our future, but I have a feeling she'll be as pleasant MOST of the time when she's 2 as she is now!

She got shots today. BIG YUCK. I know hate is a very strong word, but I HATE shots. That pitiful cry and real tears just about did me in. She's a little toughie, though...she calmed right down and fell asleep. She's sleeping again now, in her swing. She's been fussy, which I totally expected. So we'll be spending the evening loving on and rocking her.

Photo on Left was taken 12/15. Photo on right was taken today, 4/15 (at our dr's ofc)

It's hard to believe our baby girl is already 4 months old. To say we are crazy about her is an understatement.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Recap...

Pictures & The Easter Weekend Recap....
Thursday night, DW and I decided to take Belle to have her picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Here's what she wore. I wish you could see the fabric up close... its the palest blue bunny toile...

She did so good with the Bunny. I'll even say the picture was worth the $19.99! Yes, $20.00 to have our picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Can you BELIEVE that?!?!? Evidently the Easter Bunny didn't get the memo that we're in a recession...

Saturday we spent the day at my Granny's house. We took DW's lawn mower and yard tools over, and all the guys worked in the yard getting ready for Easter day. Devin, Gabe, Jason and Uncle Ronnie worked all afternoon. They mowed, trimmed up palm trees, washed porches, raked leaves and got everything looking good. I am thankful that those cousins and I were blessed with such good husbands. And Aunt Kay, too. But we've all known what good men our Momma's married for a long time. Our Dads have always done whatever was needed or asked...It's a good feeling to know that this next generation will do the same.

The big kids dyed Easter eggs and the momma's cleaned Granny's house, baked (and ATE) cookies, and pulled chicken for casseroles.

Saturday night, for dinner, Aunt Kay fried two of the biggest packs of bacon I've ever seen, made rice and tomato gravy, white gravy, cream 40 peas, and Krissy made cracklin' cornbread. YUM. And we ate cookies.
Sunday morning, we got up to see what the Easter Bunny left Annabelle on her first Easter.

The "Easter Honey" also stopped by and left baskets for me & DW.... awwww.... :)

Here's what sweet girl's Easter ensemble looked like. I fell hard for this dress with the smocked bunnies and eggs when Carrie and I saw it in Fernandina. I didn't buy it, though. After I got home, I wished I had. So I called the boutique and paid for it over the phone and Carrie picked it up for me a few days later! I just wanted something sweet, girly and age appropriate. We took a family picture at church, but haven't gotten those pics yet from DW's Daddy...
But, here's a couple shots we took at the house....

After church, we went out to the cemetery to take Cooper an Easter egg and place an Easter Lily in his memory. This year I found the sweetest eggs filled with Disney's Little Einsteins characters. "Eo" (Leo) was his favorite. So we bought the Leo egg. When we got out there, I opened the egg and hadn't noticed when I bought it, that it was ORANGE. "Oange" was Coopie's favorite color. Then when I opened the egg, "Eo" wasn't dressed like he normally is. He was in PAJAMAS. I loved Cooper in pajamas and he loved to be in them. Leo also didn't have his normal expression on his face. He had a crooked, light-up-his- whole-face-smile. Which of course, made me think of my sweet boy's similar smile. I was grateful to have found this egg that I am sure Cooper would have loved. We are slowly finding our new "normal." Which when compared to most family's "normal" is so completely abnormal. Most parents don't visit their son's grave on Easter and desperately wish he was in his Easter suit (which his Momma would have made sure matched his baby sister's dress). But, this is what we've got. Bottom line. There's no changing it. We could let it ruin us. Many days I feel like it has. But, as we stood there on Sunday afternoon, Devin thanked God for what the day meant to us and for us. And I was reminded that Jesus conquered death. His own and ours. Coopie's grave is not the end. It is the end of many of our earthly hopes and dreams, but it's not the end. My Redeemer lives---and Cooper lives with Him! Because of that, I find peace and grace---Peace and grace that allowed me to spend the afternoon watching my cousins' children hunt eggs. Of course there were moments when I wondered what Cooper would have been like hunting eggs this year. Which is one reason I love this girl so much...

See, she's 3 days younger than Cooper. She is my cousin, Amy's, youngest. She's always been special, but now she's like a little time-line to me. I see what new things she's doing and learning and I get a little glimpse of what Cooper might be doing if he were here with us.
Anna loves my girl, a lot. The whole weekend she wanted to touch her and love on her and she would remind her momma that she "had washed" when Amy would tell her not to touch Annabelle. She's 3 years and 4 months older than Belle. Amy is 3 years and 10 months older than me. And all our lives, other than our cousin Stephanie, there isn't a cousin I was equally as close to. So the circle of life continues. Time moves forward. Everything changes. But thankfully, somethings come full circle.

Amy & Belle

Speaking of coming full circle... I had some serious dejavu moments this weekend watching all those Georgia kids... it was like being in a time warp. One of the boys would do or say something and we'd all go, "That was so BEAU!" or "That was so RITCHIE!" or "man, that looked like Seth"... the boys had a weekend full of chasing and catching lizards and even caught this "skink". I don't know if that's what these huge snake-looking lizards are really called, but that's what we know them as.

The kids played outside, rode bikes and took walks down the old dirt road. Just like all of us used to do! Of course there was some fussing and fighting, just like the old days! Here are some of them, sitting on the same black bench (that our papa built, I might add) that we all used to sit on... at that same brick house... at one point during the weekend, I found it hard to believe that us girls are now the mommas. Woah. I had to ask if the girls thought all the kids thought we were all as old as we thought our parents were. Aunt Kay assured me they DID. :) What a funny feeling, to be "grown up"...

What sweet memories and how sweet that we are STILL making them! The only way the weekend could have gotten better is if the rest of the family had gotten to be there.

Here's little miss with her Easter goodies. Poor baby- nobody ever gets her ANYTHING...

Easter weekend was a good one.