Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Neighbors

Who doesn't love real neighbors that actually interact with you and do life with you??? Granted that our neighborhood is new and still growing and soon people will come out of their shell, but we have lucked out with Andrew and Heather Francis. New friends from our church just bought a home in our neighborhood and we couldn't be more thrilled!

They have a precious little boy, Colston, who is only 7 months old. He is getting a red wagon for Christmas with 2 seats - one for him and one for a friend that I'm hoping will be Carmen. We'll get to walk together, play at the pool together, borrow eggs and sugar, help each other out with kid watching/dog watching, and the list goes on. I have been waiting and am ready for some real authentic community!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video Monitor

It was brought to my attention by many of you that my previous photo of the video monitor was "creepy." Even Carmen's own daddy called her creepy. I guess it was a photo that only a mother could love. I just wanted to clear things up and let you all know that it does not normally creep anybody out. It was a bad photo and there was interference which made things look weird. The monitor is an awesome, invaluable edition to my 3 story house right now and almost always produces a sweet little view of my sleeping baby. Nothing to be scared about...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bakers

We love them. (Not just because they love little CariBelle) But they are some of our favorites ever.

Don't you think they should have one of their own?!

Special Girl

Spending come time with Uncle Brad and Aunt Amanda:

Carmen was quite content in Amanda's arms. Isn't her little UVA dress darling? Michael bought it for her.

I still cannot believe this little snuggle bug is mine! Whenever I hold her, I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness that the Lord chose HER to be OURS here on earth. I never have to give her back to anyone, she's my baby. I'm the one people give her back to. I love it! She looks at me and knows she's mine. It's so so special.

I love the way her hair gets messed up on the sides after nursing.
I love how her hair is growing and getting fuller. There are about 5 little pieces on the top of her head that are an inch longer than the rest and stick straight out.
I love her beautiful voice. She is talking to us all the time now.
I love her stretches whenever you pick her up from a nap.
Carmen has the sweetest smiles and gives them out freely to anyone who entertains her.
She's got a slight giggle going on that has yet to turn into full belly laughter, but it's precious just the same.
She loves playing with her hands and is learning to move each finger individually.
If she's propped up on her boppy pillow, she uses her stomach muscles and tries to sit up fully - she's so advanced :)
Oh yeah, she weighed in at 13 lbs 9.5 oz and 23.5 inches at two months.
Her leg and neck muscles are super strong and make me realize how fast she'll develop and grow.
Her big blue eyes love to see faces when she wakes up.
She's just the most precious girl I've ever seen!

There is something so unique and special about baby girls. I hope all of you have one someday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick Post

This was Carmen at a month and a half. But now she's two months old. I was suppose to post this a few weeks ago. Can you count her arm rolls?
Our sweet friend, Teddy, had this made for Carmen! I have one just like it from my childhood. Most thoughtful gift from a single guy!

Here was her birth announcement that we sent out to family. It was super cute. But now she's two months old, so again, I'm well behind on updates.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wilbourns

Mike and Trinity Wilbourn and their sweet little ducklings lost everything in a house fire on Sunday afternoon. Praise be to God that the family was safely away at church when it happened. However, the loss that did occur is huge. Buddy, their dog, is gone along with most all their material possessions. Trinity is due in a little over a week with their 4th baby - can you even imagine what is going on in her head right now?? Her sister-in-law, Brett, has a helpful post on her blog.

I'm amazed at the army of people who want to help within our community. The body of Christ really is huge. But again, the need is great at this time and cannot to underestimated. The best way to help is prayer - pray for the Peace that passes all understanding to rest upon Mike and Trinity and their 4 little children during this time. But if you are urged to do more, gift cards or money might be the best, most tangible way to help. Michael is collecting our Portico communities' donations and working with a contact from MAG to keep tabs on what is happening on the "stuff" front. Mike and Trinity are long-time friends of ours and are a part of our weekly Community Group through our church. They are such humble people with servants' hearts - in spite of all this, Trinity already said that they "don't need much stuff since there are much needier familes," but still - there are definitely essentials that they will need to replace.

Leave a message or contact us or Brett or anyone you know who is organizing if you want to help out. We totally have an opportunity to love on them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hoo Baby and Sleep Talk

She loved UVA. Michael took her for a stroll around grounds and then went to Mincers to buy her a little UVA outfit. Daddy said she was so happy. Uncle Preston (my younger brother) just submitted his application to UVA last night so now we're praying that he gets in to the college. Say a prayer for his acceptance too if you think about it. We're a growing Cavalier family!

Carmen is doing so, so well! She is eating perfectly and growing steadily. Each new day she begins to talk to me more and respond with lots of smiles. She did get her first cold last week. Thankfully it wasn't horrible, just a lot of snot stuck in her nose that I had to suction out regularly. It effected her sleep but didn't effect her happiness - she's such a sweet girl. Speaking of sleep, there's a lot of it happening under our roof considering how busy and mobile we've been. I almost feel ashamed for talking about how well she sleeps (similar to talking about how lovely and sickness-free my pregnancy was), like I'm going to offend the mothers who's children don't sleep solidly through the night - but I need to get over it. We've worked hard at teaching our baby good sleep habits and it's quickly paying off. Carmen is transitioning into the 10 hour sleep stretch from 9pm to 7am. Occasionally I'll feed her later in the night, especially with this cold, but for the most part she is passed out and will not wake up - no matter how much I try -after her nighttime feeding.

We've followed the principles of Babywise and it's clear that they have worked for us in this season. Our first 3 nights at home with her were hard - she had her days and nights mixed up. So for about a week we tried to teach her the difference and reverse her sleep patterns. She quickly made the switch and with the combination of feeding her every 2.5-3 hours, she fell into a regular pattern of sleep, eat, wake cycles. She learned not to stay awake after nighttime feedings and after two weeks, I was able to let her sleep for 5 hour stretches at a time during the night. That brings us up to the 7 week mark where she started to sleep longer and longer at night. Like I said, we're almost to sleeping through the night. She always wakes up happy and from her nighttime sleep and her naps. I love going in to get her! She's still in her bassinet in our room at night and during the day she's mostly in her crib. My current goal is getting her used to her crib and laying her down awake in hopes that she falls asleep on her own (Marta, I repeat your words in my head daily) She's doing really well with it. Sometimes her naps are only 25 minutes but she's learning and we're OK with that! Carmen is my joy and I just can't get over how darn precious she is!

Sometimes I catch her staring at the video camera for the monitor, like this:

Snuggle baby.