Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our First Week of Christmas Countdown Activities!!

This year I decided to do a Christmas Countdown Calendar with activities for each day of the month of December. Some of the activities are things that are going on anyway and I just added them to the countdown. I had made a cute calendar last year and this year actually put things in it! Caroline was so excited to find out about the activities and she couldn't wait to get started. (It was a great day because her elf appeared at the house the same day!) She really "gets" Christmas this year and wants to know when we are going to make a birthday cake for baby Jesus and when we are going to buy him some presents! She has also already told Santa what she wants for Christmas and is pretty sure he is going to bring them for her. Here are some pictures from our first week:

December 1 - Cookies with Santa. We went to a great event where the kids wore pajamas, had their picture made with Santa, listened to Mrs. Claus read a book, and decorated and ate cookies!

December 2 - Decorate a Christmas tree for your room. I gave her the box of ornaments and a box of candy canes and let her get to work. She loves her Christmas tree!

December 3 - Write a letter to Santa. I helped her write a letter to Santa and she colored it. She is absolutely unchanging in the 3 things she has asked Santa for.

December 4 - Watch a Christmas parade. We went to Fairhope to their Christmas parade and Caroline got so much stuff!! She loved the parade even though it was about 20 degrees outside.

December 5 - Make a gumdrop wreath. I had seen this on someone's blog and thought it was so cute so Caroline and I picked up all of the things to make it and had a great time! It is hanging on the door of her bedroom.
December 6 - Drink hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. She didn't like the hot chocolate, so just ate the marshmallows!!

We are enjoying December so much and have so many things planned. Caroline was in her first Christmas parade and had a great time "waving at all the people"! She was very disappointed when she would wave at someone and they wouldn't wave back to her. She said they weren't being very nice! I hope everyone is finding some time to enjoy this season! We certainly are!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Days!

So we finished the first week of school with very few tears (and they were all mine!). Caroline was so excited about school and playing with her friends that she bounded into the classroom with a huge smile. I can't believe it was just one year ago when she cried for the first 37 days of school when I left her. She has certainly grown up into a confident, outgoing 3 year old who loves people and new places. I remember not long ago it took her a while to warm up to new people and she would rather be with me than anyone else - and there are days that I want that baby girl back! I love what she is becoming but I miss what she used to be. So I cried everyday when I got back in the car after leaving her at school and teared up every afternoon when I picked her up with a great big smile on her face. Growing up is hard!This is her first day of school last year. She looks so little!
First day of school - August 11, 2009.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to School

It is the time of year that I usually have mixed emotions - I can't believe summer is over and I can't wait for a new school year. I always start every school year with thousands of ideas and good intentions and can't wait to meet my new students and try some new craft activity. This year I only have one emotion and it is sadness. This year the only person in our house going back to school is Caroline. She will be going to a 3-year old preschool class a couple of days of week and I will substitute or volunteer (or take a nap!) while she is at school. Because she is an only child, Bob and I feel that this is the best plan for her. She gets to socialize with other children, learn a few things, and boss somebody else around for a few hours a day a couple of days of week. Although I know it is the best thing for her, I can't stand to be without her. I don't want her to be a big girl and go to school. I want her to stay with me and ask me 10,000 questions and ask me 2 dozen times to play a game or read a book. I want her to eat lunch with me and snuggle in my lap for a nap. This week I am going to take her to school every day and I am going to try to find some way to entertain myself while she is gone. The first thing I did was make back to school treats for her friends and teacher and my teacher friends. Look how cute they turned out.
These are the individual boxes for her friends. They are white chocolate covered pretzel sticks wrapped in crayon wrappers.These are the boxes I made for her teacher and my teacher friends. I tied a crayon tag that I found in the dollar spot at Michaels to them.

I would love for everyone to think I am so creative I just made this up, but really I am a great follower of directions. I found the directions on this blog and I downloaded her back to school printables kit for the crayon box. You should check out the rest of her blog and her etsy shop - she has some very cute things! Everyone loved them and Caroline was so excited to take something special for everyone. So while I sit at home and cry that my baby is at school, I am busy thinking of ideas for next week's sweet treat!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Caroline's Birthday Clubhouse

Today we celebrated Caroline's 3rd birthday with a Minnie and Mickey Mouse party. After visiting Disney World in December, she has been very excited about the mouse so we knew early on she was going to have a Minnie Mouse party and we included Mickey because he was on all the decorations! She loved all the pink and polka dots and mouse ears! We played games, ate lots of food including cake, cupcakes, and cookies, opened presents, and enjoyed spending time with our friends.
All the kids - notice there is only 1 boy at the party! Poor Billy! We really need to make friends with some more people who have boys!

The cake table complete with cake, cupcakes, and cookies. The cake was made by the bakery and I made the cupcakes and cookies.

The cupcakes.
The gift bags sitting on my new dining room furniture. You can see the boy bags on the back row and there were only 4 boys invited with 16 girls.

Katy and Emma - Katy was the photographer for the party and took all of these pictures and about 400 more! Thanks Kate!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt - Take 2!

Today we went to the city Easter egg hunt at the park with Maggie, Nana, and Aunt Dana. Aren't the girls just precious in their outfits? Caroline is really becoming an egg hunting professional and shakes them when she finds them to see if they have anything in them. She also tends to only pick up the pink ones - because you know pink is her favorite color (and if you don't know, you only have to be around her for about an hour for her to tell you 50 times!). Again the weather was so nice (although Nana and Aunt Dana came home with a sunburn) and the girls had a great time hunting for eggs and playing in the park. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hunting Eggs with 14 Two and Three Year Olds - Does that sound fun?

Today Caroline had her Easter party at school and today may be the first day she was actually excited about going to school! She set off in her Easter dress holding her bucket with treats for all of her friends and she couldn't have been happier! I really don't know how her teacher kept them calm all day because they didn't hunt eggs until after naptime - who can actually sleep with the anticipation of finding plastic eggs? So here are some pictures of the hunt and she left school hyped up on sugar with a basket full of sugar to take home!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Georgia on our Minds

This weekend we went to Atlanta to try to finally sort out Caroline's citizenship paperwork and see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the High Museum. We also worked in a trip to the zoo (after sitting in traffic for 2 hours!), visiting with family, eating at the Varsity, and shopping until the vehicle was full!

Saturday we ventured down to the zoo and Caroline loved all the "aminals" and the beautiful sunshine. We got to the see the panda exhibit which was not open the last time we were there and it was worth the trip. As a funny side note, when Caroline saw the tigers she said "Look, Mommy, it's Mike the Tiger!" I guess she did learn something watching football all those Saturdays with her daddy. It was so nice outside and we really enjoyed the zoo.

Watching the flamingos intently.

Outside the gorilla feeding.

Outside the panda exhibit.

In the newly opened parakeet house.

At the petting zoo.

But back to the main reason for the trip - since we returned from China in May of 2007, we have been working on Caroline's citizenship. When she landed in America she automatically became a citizen and we should have received a Certificate of Citizenship within 90 days of returning from China. Nearly two years later and we have received nothing (oh, we did receive a notice that they did have a file for her and did we know where the file is?) After exchanging letters, emails, and phone calls for 18 months and getting no response, we decided to schedule an appointment and actually talk to someone face-to-face and see if we could get anywhere with a live person. We didn't get anywhere and we are now moving backwards in the efforts to receive a certificate. They really do not have any paperwork on Caroline and we will have to apply for a green card for her and then apply for citizenship. This doesn't mean she isn't a citizen, but we have not been able to readopt her in the state of Alabama or get her a social security card. Hopefully this will work out quickly and we can move on to something else!

After getting nowhere at immigration, we met our friends at the High Museum to see the Terracotta Warriors. It was really an interesting exhibit, but it was very crowded and Caroline was very grumpy. It was also very cold outside and the wind was blowing so hard I thought it was going to pick Caroline up and take her away! So we showed her a little piece of China and told her a little history and then moved on to lunch at the Varsity. Everyone should see the Terracotta Warriors and everyone should eat a hot dog at the Varsity. A good time with great friends!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Boardwalk

What to do on a cool, cloudy, sometimes rainy day? Nana and I decided to take the girls to the Boardwalk for a little shopping, a trolley ride, a carousel ride, and some ice cream. Sounds like a perfectly wonderful afternoon, doesn't it? First stop was the fountain where the girls threw all of the pennies (and nickels!) I had in my wallet into the fountain. Who exactly started this tradition of throwing money into fountains? Probably the inventor of the fountain! (I am going to look this up and get back to you on it.) I know that over the course of my lifetime I could have bought myself something really nice with all the change I have given small children to throw in a fountain!

So after throwing 42 cents of Caroline's college tuition into the fountain, we rode the trolley to the carousel. We had to walk around the entire carousel to find just the perfect animals to ride. Emma chose a pink horse and Caroline chose a fish. I am still amazed at how much children love a carousel. I just don't understand the excitement of moving up and down and going round and round (at a snail's pace!) but every kid I know loves it!

After the carousel ride, we had ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. I asked Caroline what flavor she wanted and she said "pink". I tried to explain to her that pink was not a flavor but she just didn't get it! She wanted pink no matter what flavor pink turned out to be.

We finished off the afternoon with a nap. The perfect cool, cloudy, sometimes rainy day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Since Caroline started in her new class at school in January, she has been very interested in dress-up. They have some dress-up clothes at school and lots of times when I pick her up she is in a princess dress. She also has been very interested in wearing her tutu around the house (and to Wal-Mart and to dinner and to the post office . . .) and has asked me several times for a ballerina suit. I finally found one small enough to fit her and she would wear it every day if I would let her. Her outfit of choice for most days would be her ballerina suit, a tutu, and ballerina shoes. I let her wear it around the house as much as possible and I must admit she looks pretty cute in it! Emma came over to play today and Caroline and Emma wanted to play dress-up. I searched (which actually means Bob searched) the basement storage for some dress-up clothes and found some for Emma, but Caroline wanted her usual get-up. When they came back upstairs they announced the princesses were coming - and here they are!
Emma kept trying to get closer to Caroline for the pictures (her mom taught her how to take a picture!) but Caroline kept bending away! So cute!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daddy's New Golfing Buddy

Today Bob decided to take advantage of that golf membership, a beautiful spring day, and a girl who wanted to spend time with her daddy. Caroline was so excited to go golfing and had a great time. I bet he can't wait until she is old enough to carry his clubs! Here are some pictures he took on the golf course.
In the cart where she spent the first part of the afternoon.

Later she decided to get out of the cart and help Daddy.

Then she decided to get in on the action and putted a few.

And when all else fails, play defense!