Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Busy Summer!

So many events in the last 3 months! Let's see if I can get them in the correct order. First, Laurance and Kimberly had their 2nd baby boy, Joshua, at home while Jonathan slept. The midwife barely made it in time. Then I met my college roommate in Columbia for a day at Riverbank Zoo. Oh, it was so hot, but it was great to catch up with Sarah and meet her newest addition (she now has 3 girls!). And Ella really enjoyed the lorikeets eating out of her hand. Next, it was off to RI for Charles and Sarah's beautiful wedding. The most touching part was when Charles sang "Yours Forever" to Sarah after she walked down the aisle.  We all enjoyed our rented 2009 Chrysler Town & Country-I could so get used to that-and getting to stop to visit with friends on the way there and back. Ella, of course, loved being a flower girl!

Soon after we got back, Jeff and Emily finally had their little baby girl, Lydia Aven.  She was able to be delivered at the birthing center on the last day possible before Emily would have had to be induced! Next, came Ella's 4th b-day and then Charles and Sarah came here to visit w/the family after their honeymoon. There was the 4th picnic, having lots of playdates w/Karanena and Gracie (yay, I have a friend in town who is not a relative!) and then my b-day. The summer won't be officially over for us until we go on our annual beach trip (3 nights to Surfside) in a few weeks. When we get back, it'll probably be time to close up the pool (sigh) and then I suppose it will be back to the treadmill for exercise. However,  I have located a Pilates instructor in the area who gives lessons at her home. I really want to try that out-we'll see. 

My little man has 4 full teeth and 3 half ones. Confused? So are we. His first 4 came in fine by 6 months, but the next 3 started coming in around 7.5  months and are still only halfway in. In fact since 8 months, they've been at the same spot and now Caleb is fast approaching 11 months old. Not sure if something's wrong. Usually it only takes teeth 2-3 weeks to come in once they break through. I'm actually taking him to the dentist this week just so he can get a quick peek and see what he thinks. Not that there's anything that they could really do about it right now, but if it puts my mind at ease, then it's worth the trip. 

Our Ella Belle has started taking dance! She actually did gymnastics this summer and is now taking ballet and tap and loves it! Just last night she put on a show in the kitchen for us. "And a tap, and a tap, and a tap, tap, tap!" She's just too cute. She said she likes tap better than ballet because "I can be loud in tap!" And of course, our sweetie is now 4! She had a princess pool party complete w/a princess castle cake. It was a homemade cake and worth saying the $40 I would've paid to buy a similar one, but let's just say you could tell it was homemade. :-) Ella was still so proud of it and that made everything okay. The kids enjoyed swimming, decorating their crowns, and waving their paper towel holders wands.

It was a great b-day party, but Will and I decided that for Ella's next one, we're taking the year off! It was just too much planning and stress, and I didn't get to really enjoy the day, so we're having her 5th b-day party at the lake at my parent's house. Pressure off me, yay!

Caleb is standing and cruising now. Actually he's been pulling up on things and cruising for several months now, but just in the last couple of weeks he can get to a standing position all on his own and push his walker around. I'm sure by his first birthday (how can that be coming up already?), he'll be walking. And Caleb loves to clap, for himself or others. When we were swimming the other day, Ella jumped off the diving board and I yelled, "Good job, Ella!" Immediately, Icee began clapping for her in his float. He's such a sweetheart! I was just telling my dear friend Sarah (who is due in Feb!) how I used to wonder how I'd be as a mom to a boy-I didn't even have brothers growing up to help me adjust to having a boy in the house. I even thought nursing a son might be weird. I know that's a crazy thing to think, but I did wonder about it. And then just as soon as I met him, it was as natural as could be. Not just nursing him, but loving him, getting to know him and providing for his needs. He is really my little man now. I love him to pieces and could not imagine my life without him. 

Caleb likes watching deer videos w/his daddy. He says "Duh, Duh, Duh!" when he sees the deer. However, that is also now his word for any creature-such as our dogs and cats, or Ella's Raggedy Ann doll. He gets so excited and pumps his arms up and down, "Duh! Duh!"  This morning, he said it while he was on our bed.  I couldn't figure out why he was saying it. Then I realized he was looking at Will's deer picture; as soon as I put him on the floor, he crawled over to the chest of drawers so he could see it better. He then wanted me to lift him up to give him a closer look.  Aww, just like his Daddy. I'm sure he'll be out in the woods by the time he's 2!

Ella's already asked Will about going out this year but it's just too hot to take her. He did get a hunting blind though and now that he has permission to hunt in the woods behind our house (yay!!!), she'll be accompanying him when the weather turns a little colder.  Just last night when we were coming home from Ma-ma's, a big buck ran across the dirt road in front of our car. "Did you see that, Ella?" "No, Daddy." Later she said, "Daddy, what I was thinking was (she loves saying that phrase), you should have had your bow so you could get him!" 

And I've been teaching Ella how to read using the How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We're on Lesson 11 now and she is already reading "me, am, see, sat, mat," etc. She can write the words too. I'm so proud of her! 

Oh, and re: extreme couponing which I referenced in my last post; I'll just say, if you're at all interested in saving some money off your groceries/dipes, etc., go to www.southernsavers.com. All the info you need is there. In a nutshell, CVS is great because of their Extra Care Bucks. A few weeks ago, they had a deal where if you bought Pampers for $9.99 you got $5.00 in ECB. There was also a $1.50 off manufacturer coupon. So basically you paid $3.49 for a jumbo bag of diapers, which is much cheaper than even the Parent's Choice diapers at Wal-Mart. Just last week, I went to CVS and spent $1 (after the ECB) for 3 Aveeno sunscreen products.  Rite-Aid does single check rebates, instead of ECB. A couple weeks ago, I got Will two 45-count Zyrtec bottles for free at Rite-Aid. Grocery-wise, I save much more by shopping at Bi-lo than I ever did at Wal-mart. The key is to buy the buy one get one free products (you can just buy one-it rings up half off) and then use a coupon on top of that (coupons double up to .60 at Bi-lo). I got Will a 4-pack of Yoplait yogurts for 5 cents!  It does take some time to get it all organized, and I'm still trying to simplify things, but I think I've found a new hobby! I just don't want it to get all consuming!

Well, that's all I have time for now. Who knows when I'll post again. This seems to be turning into a quarterly blog. And Facebook is not much better. Oh well, I guess occasional updates are better than never blogging/updating at all. 

 Here's a video of Caleb making some cute sounds.


rcsnickers said...

sorry I did not comment the day I read this.. back when you first posted it! What a great update! You have been busy but having fun! They had such a beautiful wedding and thrilled you all made it up there! Your castle cake is great! I love it! I know Ella loved it too! I cannot believe she is 4! I would love to see her tap tap taptaptap tap! :) And reading already! That is great!!!! Caleb is quite a big boy! He'll be a year before you know it! Thanks for the update!

rcsnickers said...

oh yeah... is there a video of Charles singing? I bet it was outstanding!

Emily said...

Thanks for the update...I finally got around to catching up on blogs! Your cake was beautiful and the party looks like it was fun! Hopefully it will not be long before we can see you (next month I'm thinking). I'm glad Ella is enjoying tap so much. And can't wait to see Caleb again! He's getting so big!