Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daddy's Dates

I still remember exactly what I was wearing when my dad and I went to the Girl Scout father/daughter dance (a pale yellow and white striped shirt with a yellow corduroy skirt). It was a sweet night with a sweet memory.

Chad took Aly and Caroline to their first father/daughter Valentine's dance last night and all three of them savored every minute of it. They have been talking about it and excited about it for two weeks and, since the dance didn't begin until 6:30pm, yesterday was a LOOONG day. But with hair washed and curled, new flower-girl dresses (from a wedding which the flu kept them from attending back in December) and a tulip for each date, Chad and his girls set out for a night that did not disappoint. They danced, dined, and danced some more. Chad said that one of the first songs playing was Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl" and he almost lost it! They walked in the door with stories to tell, dance moves to share, and corsages to show off. I love that, though it was just a few short hours, all three of them will carry a memory that they can hold tight to forever.

Nothing Better...

...than siblings, laughter, and spring weather.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Best Seat in the House

We have just moved to a new house (albeit a house one block away from our other house) . Well, new to us but not new. Pretty old, actually. And with it's age comes the fact that it tends to be a little drafty. There is a heat vent in the living room that is really, really warm and has become the place where the kids all play. And this is how I saw sweet Caroline a few days ago. Sweet, silly, and warm Caroline.

Baby Mine

Everyone always told us that we would just keep finding more love to give as we continued to have kids. That was so hard to imagine with just Aly, as I felt like she carried my entire heart in her little one-year-old self. And then I guess that somehow a photocopy was made of my heart, as Caroline holds it with just as tight (if not a more amusing!) grasp. And then came Jack. Sweet Baby Jack who took us all by surprise but, wow, would this family be so incomplete and strange if he weren't a part of it. I have to say very sincerely that having Jack Warner in our family has been such a thrill, treat, and privilege this past year. I don't know if it's a boy thing, a knowing-he's-the-last-one thing, or just a Jack-thing, but he has captured this heart in a whole new way. I love watching him and seeing Chad 34 years earlier; I love picturing the kind of man that he will grow to be; I love the attachment he has to me; I love that when he gets excited, his little feet move in circles; I love that when he hears his sisters from anywhere in the house he immediately starts laughing and searching; I love that when Chad calls him "champ" he responds with pride. I love him. Completely, strongly, protectively, and proudly. He is my son and I love that that will always be true.

We were able to celebrate twice for Jack's birthday: once on his real birthday and once with a few family and friends. You would think by these pictures that all we did was eat... I guess that as a one-year-old, what else is there to do on your birthday?!

Birthday Breakfast at Panera (our family really should own stock!)

Chad had a game so the girls and I had a mini "first-cake" celebration with a mini cake.
But I don't think there is such thing as too much cake!

"First Cake" part two with a bigger audience

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.

The Jumping "Bug Ball"

I am a huge fan of at-home birthday parties. I think that it's so fun to pick a theme and just get creative! I love putting together party favors, making fun cakes, playing silly games, and having a house-ful of kids. With all that said, I was thanking my lucky stars on the evening of February 3rd that we had made the decision 2 months earlier to have Aly's birthday at our town's giant-inflatable-jump place. Knowing we would be moving at some point and therefore not sure which address to put on invitations, I thought that this would be smart. As it turned out, we were in mid-move, Chad had a game, and cold, icy weather was moving in. The fact that there were people there to serve the kids, clean up after the kids, and get all of the presents from the party to my car in the snow with three kids was so worth a year's break from a home party. All we had to bring were the kids and the cake!

At the end of the day, Aly had a wonderful time and felt so special. As we were leaving, huge white snowflakes were falling, which she truly thought was orchestrated for her. She had originally wanted a "Bug Ball" birthday so she was a sport and settled for a butterfly cake. And the clever little thing picked out a dress with flowers on it because, "that's what a bee would land on and a bee is a bug." What a smart cookie.

A Little Friendly Teamwork

Look at those sweet faces in the background!

My party lifesaver: Big D.

Admiring the loot before bed

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Internet drought amid a dizzying windstorm!

We have been internet-less for the past 2 weeks. Within those two weeks we've had two birthdays, two birthday parties, two Valentine's parties, fevers, and countless basketball games. Oh yeah--and we moved. (Hence the cut-off from The Great and All-Powerful World-Wide-Web.) We are finally settling down and catching our breath but I have some serious downloading to do. So stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Half a Decade (gulp!)

5 years ago today we met our baby. She is about 14 in a 5-year-old's body, but she was our first-and-always baby. She has a tender heart: she hurts when others hurt and loves to make people happy. She is sharp: she not only picks up on what is said but also on things unspoken. She is a Daddy's girl through-and-through but also loves special time with me. Caroline and Jack absolutely light up when they hear her voice, and she gives them her full attention and love. She is graceful, imaginative, opinionated, and a leader. She is a good friend, a sweet girl, and our very own princess. She is our precious Aly-bug.

Birthday Breakfast at Panera

Treat at School

Phone call from her cousin, Ben