Sunday, July 27, 2008

New York Girls

After much fretting and worrying about making it to my parents' house with both girls, we are here and having a great time! The were both wonderful in the airports, on the planes, and all without any napping! My dad has been out of town and returns today, so we have had 4 days of 'girl-time' with Nana. Aly is attached at the hip to my mom, and is loving all of the one-on-one book-reading. Caroline has become an expert stair-climber and has perfected crawling to the point of exhaustion (mine!) We have taken full advantage of the New York weather and had picnics, trips to the park, and a visit to the lake. We still have a week of vacation left, and Chad is coming to join us on Tuesday. Although I spend the majority of the year wishing that my parents lived closer, we are so blessed for these weeks to have a hideaway like this to visit!

Playing 'peek-a-boo' at dinner (kind of!)

At the lake's beach

Cruisin' 1

Cruisin' 2

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quirks and Milestones

Ten signs that Aly may be a TAD obsessive-compulsive:

1. She wants a new bib once she gets the tiniest spot on hers.
2. She loves cleaning up her toys...and would prefer for others not to help because they don't do it right.
3. There is an order to everything. Brush her teeth before brushing her hair, and prepare for a melt-down.
4. She hates 3/4-length clothes. Shirts and pants must be either short or long.
5. She cannot leave her room in the morning without a bow in her hair and Crocs on her feet.
6. As she's eating dinner, she repeats, "next is bath, then pj's, then night-night" over and over--I guess she's worried that we may forget.
7. She must have on her tap shoes for our daily morning walk.
8. Her play kitchen is more organized than my real one.
9. Daddy gets her out of bed in the morning, and Mama puts her pajamas on at substitutions or switch-er-oos!
10. Both parents are the exact same way! It's hopeless!

In other news...
Caroline is finally getting some teeth. She seems to be a little of a late-oral-bloomer, but she has 5 teeth pushing through her little gums all at once. It's not easy being a baby! She also stood on her own for the first time yesterday! Since my camera's flash is broken, I couldn't video the momentous occasion in the kitchen where it took the time I got both girls and the camera outside, she was not in a 'standing' mood. I guess that's the beauty of being the parent: you can just doctor the dates on the pictures or in the baby book to be anything that works! :-)

We spent the afternoon at the park today. Although most sane people would see the bank thermometer that read 100 degrees and think, "Pool", I convinced Chad that the park was a great activity (mainly because both girls love it...and it's so much easier with 4 sets of hands!) Below are a few pictures from our sweat-a-thon. New York we come!

The 'Big Girl' playground...

...and the 'Baby' playground

Thursday, July 17, 2008

6 Days and Counting...

So, I've gotten the green-light from Chad to get a new camera, and I'm planning to make up for a month of taking no pictures! And just at the perfect time: I'm taking the girls to my parents' house in New York next week for almost 2 weeks!! I can't wait, and I know they will have a blast. My parents have done a great job over the past 2.5 years (since grandkids) of visiting all of us spread out ...Texas, Virginia, Georgia. I LOVE when they come visit, but because they both work, it is usually a fairly quick visit. I have always really wanted to be able to take advantage of this time that I have without an 'outside-the-house' job to be able to go to New York and spend time just letting the girls hang out with Nana and Papa, without the end of a short visit looming. Astronomical gas prices put this summer's trip in jeopardy, but Sweet Chad realized how important this time was to me and made sure that the girls and I could still go, despite the high cost of flying (I mean, charging for BAGS? Are you serious?!?) We are leaving on Wednesday, and will be there until the 2nd. I know that the time we have will be well-worth the airport, the flight, and the connections! Aaah--I'm feeling that nervous, sick-stress anxiety already!!

Below is a candid picture Shana took in the mall of Aly and her very best friend, Lizzy. What sweet innocence captured in that moment. Because my camera now only works outside, I also got one picture of the girls--in their wagon ready for a walk. The highlight of all of our walks is the chance of seeing "Miss Harriett", the sweet elderly woman who lives 2 doors down. She walks with a cane, so Aly spends quite a bit of time each day carefully selecting a stick from the yard so that she can look like "Miss Harriett". Quite honestly, for as many spills as Aly takes, a cane may help her a little!

Looking right into the sun makes for such pretty facial expressions!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

News We've Been Waiting For!

Many of you have been asking about our friend, Shana Pardue, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in March. She and Bill met with the surgeon today, and after 8 rounds of chemo, she was declared cancer-free!! She'll meet with the oncologist on Tuesday, but he should have the same results! She is the toughest person I know...she even still has her hair! I know that she appreciates your prayers, so thank you. God is good!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To the Beach and Back

The beach was great. We had a wonderful time from the day that we got there and really enjoyed lots of family time. Being F.C.A. camp, I had really been looking forward to the coaches' wives Bible studies, but didn't quite make it to them (childcare was a bit of a nightmare!). God, no doubt, gave me that extra special time with the girls for a reason, and as the week went on, we were joined by more and more moms and kids who had given up on the 'childcare' themselves! Chad was free each day from about 10:30am on, so we rented bikes, swam, and (of course) went to the beach. The girls both loved the salt, sand, and water, and especially the outside showers we hosed off in every afternoon before dinner! Aly saw her first sunset one evening (Caroline was already asleep), and Chad and I loved being able to sit each night outside--with no t.v. in the background.

We made it back home in time to eat dinner with some friends, and then watch the fireworks; it was Aly's first time to see fireworks, (again, Caroline was snoozing!) and she loved all the colors. Well, she loved the first few she saw, and then enjoyed dancing and twirling around for the remainder of the night! Big D and Poppy capped off her special 4th of July weekend by taking her on a trip on the riverboat "The Roman Holiday". She even got to drive it!

We moved the girls into the same room a couple nights ago, and they have loved it! It's as if being the big sister (or having someone in the room with her!) has completely taken away Aly's recent fears of going to sleep at night, and Caroline just adores having her big sister near. I always wanted a sister and always wanted to share a room with her, so I've officially put my own desires on my daughters! Well, at least until they are old enough to say that they want separate rooms! Until then, we have a guest room available for anyone who would like to come and stay!

Recruiting season has officially begun--Chad left yesterday and will be pretty busy on the road until the end of the month. This is usually a time and part of his job that he really enjoys, but he had quite a hard time saying, "good-bye" yesterday morning. We pray that he will be safe and hurry home!

By the way...Elizabeth (if you're reading this), notice that ALL but ONE of the outfits that the girls have on--bathing suits included-- once belonged to Warner...what would we do without you?! (and your fashion sense!!)

Daddy and His Girls

The Warner Girls

Aly looking for seashells

Always ready for a hug!

Dinner at the Crab Trap

Aly's 1st sunset

Can't wait to go 'back' (ha, ha...get it?!)

"Happy Birthday, America!"

Aly's ride on the "Roman Holiday" with Big D and Poppy