Camille's First Birthday Party!

On January 5th, we celebrated Camille turning one with a big "snow princess" birthday party at the Fountain Inn Center for Performing Arts. It was a nice space that served us well, and we were so happy to have so many good friends and family there. I am sure Camille felt quite loved as she partied it up!

First, some pictures of the decor. It was pink and silver with lots of snowflakes and tulle!Collapse )

Camille is ONE!

It is unbelievable to think I am writing this post, but it has finally happened. My third baby has turned ONE! Camille is officially... well, she's still a baby. But she thinks she is a big-girl baby now :). Actually, she really does try to be a big girl. She has been walking for 1.5 months now, has several words ("baby is her favorite!), and she carries thing around when she walks (often pretending the thing is a phone - strange, since I am never on the phone in front of her). If I had to describe her, I would say she is super sweet, happy, easygoing, and very friendly. She loves meeting people and visiting with friends. She waves and smiles whenever we see ANYone.

She is a pretty good sleeper now. She puts herself to sleep at night (with a binkie) with no tears. She sleeps from about 7PM - 6:30AM straight. She takes 2 naps (we rock her for those but plan to phase that out soon) for about 45-90 minutes each.

She isn't eating too many things. She just does not love purees, so we are giving her more finger foods now. She likes pears, Cheerios, watermelon, Mum Mums, puffs, and Italian bread. She also LOVES ice cream cake (found that out on her birthday).

As far as what she enjoys, she loves the baby swings at the park, playing peek-a-boo, baby dolls, bouncing games on my knees, anything to do with Daddy, dancing, and reading (especially touch and feel booksCollapse ) But she is super healthy in every way, so small is fine!

Christmas Eve

I have been pretty absent around here, but I am trying to catch up again. I have been reading and plan to start posting more. Thought I would pick things back up with a little recap of Christmas...
Collapse )

Halloween - finally

Cross-posted from my blog, but wanted to share here...

Halloween was extra special this year. It was Camille's first! She had no idea what was going on, but Anson started to figure it out, and Grady was like a pro!

Early in the day I made a Haloween sensory treasure hunt bin for Anson, and even Camille joined in...




They both enjoyed it, but the one who really loved it was Grady, who played with it for a long time after getting home from school.

That evening, after a spooky dinner of hot dog mummies, it was time to get into costume.

Anson was a pirate



Grady was a beekeeper (he insisted since Cami was going to be a bee)


The boys


All the kids



The beekeeper and his favorite bee


Anson and Caroline, one of his favorite neighbors


It was a fabulous "Teeny Halloweeny" (for some reason G thinks it is hilarious to call it this), and a good time was had by all! The boys even got to stay up late and continue to give out candy to the big kids.

Looking for opinions!

First, to update everyone on the trip, we have decided to go to Antigua. Now sure whether we will do Sandals or another resort, but it seemed to offer a lot of what we want. We will be going in July, so I am super excited about that.

The 2 things I am looking for advice on are related to gifts

1. We are getting Grady a telescope for his birthday. Does anyone have one for their children that they like? I only want to spend about $100, and I have found some on Amazon for about that which get good reviews, but I wanted to ask on here.

2. My IL's just gave us a check for $600 to put towards the kids' Christmas gifts. I would have preferred that they take the time and pick out thoughtful gifts, but whatever. I give up on them. I am thinking it may be nice to do one large gift, so I was considering a swingset (we could do baby swings as well as regular). We do have a nice climber for about ages 1-4 (G still uses it) but it is simple. We also have a great playhouse that Eric built and a sandbox. Any good ideas on what to use the $ for? We spend all year playing outside here, so outdoor toys are great, but we could also do memberships at our zoo and children's museum for that price and still have $ left over for a smallish thing for each kid. Any suggestions? Oh, I also considered a trampoline with a net around it. Totally insane? Camille could not use it for a while, but even Anson could do it. He just used one at a friend's party.

Travel - input needed!

So Eric and I are planning a big 11th anniversary trip for July (would have done 10th but Cami surprised us!). We have thought a LOT about it and settled on 2 very different choices. I seriously want input because we can NOT decide!

We want a place where weather will be good in July, not too far, easy to call home, some adventure, luxury accommodations, beach, and fairly relaxing.

So we have...

1. Costa Rica - thinking 5 nights on the coast in Guanacaste at the Four Seasons

Or the Westin

Both were on the recent Travel and Leisure Magazine list for best resorts in Central America.

Then we would go to the Arenal Volcano area (close enough to do a day trip.) for 2 nights. I think we may stay here:

Or here:

Totally different place, most biodiverse place in the world, adventurous. Top-notch accommodations. Looks amazing.

2. Stay at Sandals Antigua - no planning anything and free scuba trips. We can't scuba but have always wanted to learn. They teach for free and you can go right out after. Very relaxing. Super AI, so no worries.

Input please!

Sweet Camille is 9 months old!

Miss Camille is such an amazing little baby. She is so very mellow, happy, content, and sweet. She loves her brothers (especially Grady!) and enjoys watching all that they do (which is pretty much constant entertainment).

Right now she is taking 2 naps per day and sleeps OK at night, usually waking once in the early AM to eat and then going back to sleep. As far as eating, she eats solids 2-3 times/day but isn't eating too much variety yet, mostly because I try to go slow on her belly. She LOVED mangoes, which was a recent addition to her menu. She also eats peas, carrots, pears, peaches, apples, prunes, watermelon, Cheerios, and Mum-Mums. Chicken was "not her favorite". The baby-lady has a great pincer grasp and has no problem picking up on thing at a time.

She is strong physically and crawls very well now. She pulls up and stands a lot and has stood on her own for a few seconds here and there. She has also walked with her walker quite a few times.

She has 8 teeth and seems to be getting another one currently.

She has a few words, which is fun. She says "mama", "dada", and "bye bye" (so it seems - she also waves).

She really loves books and focuses very well for story. She will even kiss the babies in her "Global Babies" book.

She loves her baby dolls and plays with them as soon as she wakes up. When I come to get her she is almost always playing with one.

She really enjoys being tossed in the air and will often giggle for that.

Some pictures of the baby beauty...

Trying Cheerios for the first time


Happy girl!








Showing a little bum cheek in the kitchen...


She is also getting hair!



Playing with Dada, who she adores!





On her 9 month birthday




We love our little Cami Rose!

Back to school for Grady!

Grady started kindergarten, and is at a new school this year! He is going to Five Oaks Montessori, a beautiful school that is housed in a 100 year old farmhouse on 10 acres of land. So far he is loving it and making lots of friends. He was so excited on his first day!

Here he is with Cami, who is chewing on his new pencils


With our back to school banner


Being silly


Showing off his backpack



He was so excited and came up with the idea of jumping for this picture


In his new classroom!


To give you an idea of how well he is doing in school, here is a recent email his teacher sent...

"What can I say about Grady?  He brings a wealth of knowledge on every subject and has an unmatched enthusiasm for every new lesson.  Grady is a great friend, polite and kind to all, and is always helpful and reliable.  He is a wonderful role model for younger children.  I look forward to that great smile of his every day!

Have a great day!"

We are so excited for this new adventure in his life!



Thinking of New York today. How I was almost there, but instead safe at home. Thinking of all those who were not safe. God bless America today and always.