Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Evie at Three Months

This little cutie is the Sweetest Baby in the World--we tell her so all the time, and we all believe it!
At three months, she is holding her head up without any uncertainty, not needing as many feedings, and letting out funny little laughs that make us all act like complete morons to get more out of her. She is my first baby to truly hate tummy time. The others had short attention spans on their stomach, but she cries as soon as I put her on her tummy. Then Isaac comes over and tells her how good exercise is for her, and how strong she's going to get when she keeps it up. In case you were wondering, the pep talk never helps.

She loves Isaac and Claire, patiently puts up with their attention, but prefers Mama and Daddy. We do have a bit more experience with babies. She loves hanging out with us (ie, she must be held nearly constantly), which is fine, because we love being with her! Happy 3 months, baby girl!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Christmas

While the rest of us were lolling around drinking coffee and relaxing, Allie showed us up by being all productive. I expect to see that scarf in my stocking for next year! :)
Dad and Claire testing out the bean bags a bit more...
Isaac with the guitar that Uncle AJ and Aunt Julie gave him. Probably the biggest hit of the day. Between that and the cowboy hat from Papa and Noni, Isaac has been the spitting image of Garth Brooks lately. Hmmm. At least he's thrilled with himself--yesterday he said, "This is the BEST music I've ever heard in my entire LIFE!"

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Christmas 2010

Evie getting ready for the Christmas Eve service. I didn't get a very good picture of him with all the dark lighting, but she was so cute in her little hat! We kept all the kids in for the candlelight service, and they did so well. Except for the part where Isaac pointed out a woman who, in his words, "She eats too much food!" Par for the course around here, and fortunately she didn't notice. Distractions aside, the service was wonderful.
Christmas morning at the Whitakers is a long, drawn-out affair. I came out of my room at 7:30 to the sight of two little munchkins parked in front of the tree, basking in the glow of the lights. Just like we did as kids...

They were so excited to have a "big party for Jesus' birthday!" And, as Isaac commented, "Jesus isn't selfish--he gives all the presents to us!" Aside from the selfishness inherent in that comment, he spoke a lot of truth. Vance read 2 Cor 8:9 to us after the story of Jesus' birth: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."

After sticky buns and scrambled eggs and fresh-squeezed orange juice, we read the Christmas story and sang a carol. Then it was on to the presents. Isaac and Claire were a little overwhelmed with excitement at first, but they settled down and really enjoyed the whole process. The blocks were a big hit.
So were the bean bags (that I made), and the cornhole board (that Dad made). He had a lady in his church paint it--isn't that adorable?! It ended up being the gift that children of ALL ages could play. Meaning, of course, that we adults commandeered it for an evening of competitive beanbagging :).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let Claire Eat Cake!

The (violently purple) Cake
Listening to us sing Happy Birthday, and staring at her beloved...
Eating all the icing off the tail...
Papa decided she wasn't messy enough.
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Claire is Three!

Yesterday, Claire turned three! Little Miss "All By Myself" is growing up so fast. She is a nurturing little mama to Evie and her baby dolls, an independent little lady, an opinionated drama queen, and our very sweet little girl. She is saying so many cute things these days, and keeps us laughing up our sleeves at the dinner table.

Lately one of her favorite songs is "Glorious and Mighty"....real words are on the right:

Glorious and Mighty Glorious and Mighty
You're Sovereign in Cuuuuties You're awesome in beauty
Greatly to be Raised Greatly to be praised

Claire has no problem keeping up with Isaac these fact, he depends on her to find missing toys, open packages, and attend to other activities which require patience and fine motor skills. She loves to dispense the morning vitamin, oversee any cooking, play playdoh, and sing loudly and with exaggerated vibrato. She thinks she is fifteen already, and takes her little responsibilities very seriously.

Since Papa Dan, Deonni, and Aunt Allie were here for Christmas, she got to celebrate in style (even though we're waiting a couple of weeks after Christmas for party/presents). Aunt Allie took her to see her first movie in the theater (Tangled), which she greatly enjoyed. She chose asparagus and macaroni and cheese for her birthday dinner, and a purple kitty cat cake--which she has been dreaming about for months. It is so fun to celebrate you, sweet Claire, because we love you so much! Happy Birthday!
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Friday, December 03, 2010


I have so many little conversations with the kids stored up in my head, but as said object is less than reliable, I realized I needed to save these stories for later. I might need them :)

* * *
Today, in the car:

Claire: When I grow up, I want to be Cinder-lella.
Isaac: Princesses like beautiful things. They like to live in beautiful castles, and have beautiful pink tulips, and beautiful purple tulips.
Me: Wow, Isaac, you know a lot about princesses. How did you learn so much about princesses?
Isaac: That's just the way God made me!

* * *
At dinner with friends, when Claire returned to the dining room with both legs stuck in one side of her culottes (yes, my daughter has culottes. Crazy.)

Me, picking her up to show the other girls: Look what Claire did!
Everyone chuckles, and as I set Claire down, she starts wailing.
Me: Honey, what happened? Did you hit your head on the table when I set you down?
Claire, still sobbing: Don't be laughing at me!

In that moment, I realized two things: 1) My girl is growing up so fast--I can't believe how self-aware she is, and 2) I have a GIRL. And if her hormones are like this at 2, I have a lot to look forward to in the teenage years. Hang on to your hats...

* * *

At Wal-Mart, checking out. At the time of this story, I was 9 months pregnant, and the cashier was also very round, but very NOT pregnant.

Isaac, looking at the cashier: When is your baby coming?

Note: At this point in the story (the point at which my heart hits my stomach), I notice that the cashier does not yet realize that Isaac is talking about her. I have two options: 1) ignore Isaac's comment, and hope that he does not say it louder, or 2) play the comment off as referring to me. I choose option 2.

Me, laughing: Our baby will be here soon, sweetie! In just a couple of weeks!
Isaac: Not your baby, Mama! HER baby! (as he points to the cashier)

At this point, the smile dissolves from the cashier's face, and she finishes checking out my items in silence. I can think of nothing to say that will help, and lamely wish her a nice day and run off as soon as I have paid.

* * *
At our house, where we are hosting a cookout for Vance's lab. About 15 people are here, gathered and ready to eat. It would be helpful to note that, in our reading of On the Shores of Silver Lake the previous day, Isaac asked me what "drunk" was. We had an enlightening discussion on the sin of dissipation. Vance had just finished blessing the food, when Isaac, ever the gracious host, pipes up with his announcements for the guests.

Isaac: The beer is in the cooler by the fridge! You can only have ONE at a TIME! If you have too many, you will get DRUNK! Don't do that, you will LOSE your PRIVILEGES!!!

(Everyone laughed. But was it coincidence that only half a dozen beers were consumed that evening?)

All I want for Christmas is a social filter for my son. :)

Evie at 2 Months

(because my blog is also my baby book)

Length: 24 in (95%)
Weight: 12 lbs 11 oz (90%)

Evie's chunking out, just like her sister did. I thought Evie had won the fattest baby prize, but it looks like Claire actually had her by 2 oz at this stage. She is the longest baby, so far. But the best news is that she's happy, healthy, and doing everything a 2 month old should do!

She's so smiley these days, and she LOVES being around people. It's amazing how, if she's crying, I can just go talk to her and touch her (without picking her up), and she will calm down. Isaac and Claire are more than happy to pull out their song-and-dance routine to keep her entertained. Must be nice to have your world completely wrapped around your little finger. Enjoy it while it lasts, little one.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Old Mill

Down the road from Vance's parents' house is The Old Mill. It really is old...I think there's a legend that General Cornwallis ground his corn here during the Revolutionary War. It has a lot of history in its old walls.

I have a little bit of history here, too. I visited the Old Mill on my first visit to Vance's house, before we were dating. It was the summer of 2003, and Vance had just graduated. His parents threw him a birthday/graduation party, and I was invited.

I was mentally going round and round in my head that summer, trying not to obsess over whether Vance liked me or not. He was leaving for MN that August, and I was not going to sit around wasting away for someone who didn't like me. So I decided that it was time to fish or cut bait. If I couldn't tell that he liked me when I went for a visit, I wasn't going to like him anymore.

Easier said than done. I left his house with no hard evidence that he liked me (in fact, I thought maybe he had a crush on one of the other girls there), but I still couldn't get over it. I buried myself in Burroughs' The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. It was a great book, but it didn't cure me of Vance.

Fast forward 2 months: we're dating. 3 more: we're engaged. 6 more: we're married. And the rest is history.

But every time I drive by the Old Mill, I remember being there 7 years ago. Hanging out with friends, having fun, but all knotted up inside because I wanted something I wasn't sure I could have.
Isaac and Claire got their first visit to the Old Mill last week. Isaac told the miller all about how the corn gets ground.
My first picture with Vance was taken in front of this gate. And now my children are playing on it. Life is sweet.

Photo Credits: Vance Whitaker :)
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

November in Raleigh

Isaac on the swing Dad made for me growing up

We took a whirlwind trip to NC for Thanksgiving, since it's too tight for us to come up for Christmas--too many strawberries vying for Vance's attention. Sorry to all our dear friends in Raleigh: it ended up being a stealth visit, since we were only one day with the Stolldorfs. It was a short visit, but we packed it all in.

We spent the morning and afternoon with the Bragdons, and it was so much fun as always to see the cousins playing together. I was too out of it to actually pull out the camera, unfortunately. That evening we saw AJ & Julie, and Melia met her new cousin. Again, not enough brain cells for pictures.

I did get some the next morning, though, before we left for Thanksgiving with the Whitakers:
Papa and Claire
Noni and Eve
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Tomorrow this little lady will be 8 weeks old. Can I still get away with calling her a newborn? I'm realizing that I've already missed my window for some of those ultra-cute newbie shots: she's getting more alert now, and won't sleep through any crazy poses. I do take pictures of her...I just haven't found as much time for an elaborate shoot. Maybe soon :)

She's still happy, sweet, and loved to pieces around here. She can now hold her head up by herself, and she is getting more alert and smiley by the day. She's pretty easy-going, as long as she's held. That's the key. And the reason why I have to do almost everything one-handed these days. Naptime is amazing because, as much as I hate to put down my little bundle, it's an INCREDIBLE feeling to suddenly be able to use both appendages.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Saturday

The double piggy-back: a new necessity in the Whitaker household.
I haven't posted much about our little garden. In Florida, we plant when the rest of the world is harvesting. It's strange, and it's still hard for me to get excited about planting when everyone else I know is canning and freezing and eating winter squash and other mythical items we don't grow around here. But I'm grateful to have a garden, and it's growing! This year we just have a little plot--green beans, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, and lettuce. Isaac quickly commandeered it: it's now his job to water it and check obsessively for new growth. As you can see, that takes up a lot of his time. He likes to just sit down and spend some quality time with his plants. I wonder who his daddy is?
Two more people I love.
And one more.
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Hooray for Saturday!

Last Saturday we went to a friend's 3rd birthday party. They had won a birthday party at Planet Jump as a prize from our church's fall festival--I was secretly jealous, but then they invited us! Isaac had a blast going on all the bounces. Claire wasn't quite as enthused, but it turns out she's the reigning queen of the 2-year old division of air hockey. Really, it was pretty impressive. Maybe she has her daddy's coordination after all (pleasepleaseplease :).
This Saturday has been a bit more relaxed and lazy. I like mornings like this.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Season

Vance brought these little beauties home today. It's the beginning...

I'm looking forward to strawberry jam, strawberries and whipped cream on waffles (one of my favorites!), strawberry shortcake, strawberry salad, strawberry ice cream, and strawberry smoothies. If you have any strawberry recipes, send them my way! I'm sure I'll be running out of new ways to deal with strawberries by the time spring rolls around.
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First Beach Trip

Vance surprised me by taking Veteran's Day off and taking us all to the beach! We went to Santa Maria Island, and the kids were excited. Well, the older kids were. I'm sure Evie would have been excited to be there, had she been awake for it. She was in a mood to be lulled to sleep by the susurrations of the waves. :)
I didn't see much of Isaac and Vance. They were running around on the beach while I was holding down the fort with Sweetie Bee (Isaac came up with that one :). Claire came to visit and work on drip castles every once and awhile.

I had to wake Eve up to feed her before she left--otherwise I don't think she would have seen the beach at all. I think it was a bit bright for her. But she looked very cute in her little sunhat (thanks, Joy!).

Nothing says "November" like the smell of Coppertone and the feel of sand between your toes. Happy Fall, everyone!
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Sunday, November 07, 2010

First Haircut

Today we did it. I took Claire in for her very first haircut. It was time...her curls were mostly grown out, she's been resisting ponytails, and there was just too much damage for it to look decent. At first she said she didn't want to go, but after I talked to her in hushed, reverent tones about the wonders of the hair salon, she was ready to get her hair cut and be a big girl.

She did it, too, without getting scared. It was so cute to see her sitting stock-still in the chair: she knew this was a big deal! She is very proud of her new do. Now for the million dollar question: will the curls come back, or are they gone forever?
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