Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Forgetting Stellan

Lest you forget he is being lost in the shuffle, here's the latest on my brilliant Stellan:
  • He is taking gymnastics, and rocking. After his very first class at our new gym, they immediately bumped him into the 4-5 year old class, even though he was only barely three and half. Now, for the summer, they are putting him in the advanced 4-5 boys' class.
  • He got his first two-wheeled bicycle. (It was a steal at $7 from our local thrift shop; we then outfitted him with new training wheels, helmet and pads.) He's getting faster all the time.
  • He is loving words. He says them out loud to himself all the time, then comes up with rhyming words and sounds. He also likes to make up Spanish words.
  • He is kind of a know-it-all. At the park a couple of weeks ago, one of his girlfriends invited him to ride on the airplane with him. He responded, "Actually, it's a space shuttle." He then proceeded to prod her into agreeing and finally rode the shuttle with her.
  • He loves building things. We spend hours of our day with his multiple marble tracks, his car tracks, his train tracks and his blocks. One of his favorite things to do is construct a Rachelle-proof enclosure made of blocks to hide his marble in.When the weather is decent, his construction efforts extend to the dirt pile out back.
  • He says awesome things. Here's a good one: we were at our local science center, which we visit almost weekly. An older couple came through, explaining that their 4-year-old granddaughter was coming to visit and they wondered if she would like this museum. Stellan quickly told them about his favorite exhibits and reassured them that he loves our museum. Then he added, "We love it because we're Museum People. Right, Mom?" No arguments here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Rachelle

I'd like you to meet my adorable daughter, Rachelle. Not newborn Rachelle.

Not 3-month-old Rachelle.

Not 6-month-old Rachelle.

I'd like you to meet this Rachelle.

Today she passes a special milestone; this is the day I celebrate the fact that she has been in my arms as long as she was in my uterus - 40 weeks plus 1 day. She is more amazing each day. Rachelle is a sweet and loving baby, quick to flash a smile at her mama, her daddy or her big brother. She is much more quiet than Stellan was, but just as curious and eager to explore. She is furniture cruising, trying to stand on her own, eating more than her big brother does in a day and charming everyone she meets. I love her so much, and so I'm going to go all mama-crazy and show you how cute my sweet Baby RaRa is. You'll find a slideshow of some pictures I took on the trampoline while Grandma and Grandpa Cook were here. I've also included a video of a typical Rachelle encounter; I dare you not to smile when you see the look on her face. And finally, for comparison's sake, a photo of my daughter and a photo of her mother at a comparable age.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Newest Nephew

My beautiful sister Jenn delivered a beautiful baby boy this morning. Noah, you are so cute! I can't wait to meet you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa!

Kevin's parents came to visit us for a week, and we sure had a great time with them. I loved watching my kids enjoy their grandparents, and Kevin and I were both really grateful for all their help around the house. We love to see them come, hate to see them go and hope they'll be back soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lightning Trip To Atlanta

When Viv said, "We're coming to Atlanta. Can you meet us?" I was 100% in. Then I realized she was getting there the day before my in-laws were coming to visit us in Shalimar. Perhaps the sane choice would have been to just scrap it, but I couldn't resist the chance to see Vivian and let Stellan and Levi spend some time together. So we drove to Atlanta (6 hours each way) for an overnight visit.
Viv's sister Carrie was kind enough to let us stay with her, and it was a party at Carrie's. She has a son, Theo, who is the same age as Stellan and Levi, so the first 2 hours we were there was just a blur of running, jumping and tackling kids. So great! We were thinking about going to the zoo the next morning, but it was raining so we went to the bounce house instead.
I am sad to report that I don't have many pictures. It was tough to get those kids to stay still! But I do have a video for you. I hope the joy Stellan felt at being reunited with his bosom buddy comes through.

In case you wanted to see that look on Levi's face again, here it is:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guess I Misjudged

While Stellan was napping the other day, Rachelle and I were playing, doing housework, cleaning up and generally having a good time. She started getting a little cranky just as I had to start on dinner, so I figured we could multitask; she could eat while I was cooking. So I popped her in the high chair with some Cheerios and started to work. Two minutes later I turned around and this is what I saw. Oops - tired and hungry sound a lot alike sometimes. Sorry, Rachelle.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Timber Lake

We went for a hike on President's Day to Timber Lake. Enjoy - the last picture is the money shot.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Around the House

In our blogging absence, we've been trying to keep busy. So here's a quick update.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our Great Return

[Note: During the course of our awesome trip, our camera was lost. It was later found and returned, hence the blogging hiatus. Sorry.]

After 3 long months away from our friends in South Florida, we went back. Our friends were baptizing their baby daughter and were kind enough to invite us, so we came. It was a short trip (3 days) sandwiched by a 10-hour drive each way, but totally worth it. Enjoy some photos! And please, people in South Florida, give us another excuse to come visit - it was a blast. Finally, a special thank you to Jorge and Rosanna, who let us crash at their pad, at great cost to to their sleep, their home's cleanliness and their dogs' sanity.