Friday, July 29, 2011

Caroline's First Pageant

I watch "Toddlers & Tiaras" on TLC all the time and I'll admit it, I judge those mothers. I don't have anything against pageants. It's the extremes that some of those moms go to -- especially when the child isn't interested in participating, that's what really gets under my skin. But for some reason, I can't help but watch that show when I see it's on. Go figure.

Last night Caroline participated in the Vanderburgh County 4H Fair's Tiny Tots Contest. It's for ages 0-4, but they divide the age divisions up by 6-month increments. So she competed against other 6-12 month old babies. I was very surprised how much effort parents put into their kid's costumes and props! One little girl was decked out in peacock feathers and several came on stage on their own floats.

Despite the fact that our costume wasn't very detailed, Caroline was freaking adorable and I was so incredibly proud of her. She wore a red, white and blue tutu, bow, and onesie with a flag on it. Her music (that we got to pick) was "American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz. I honestly believe (although I'm slightly biased) that if she would've smiled at the judges on stage, she would've won - hands down!. She gave us some of her beautiful smiles before and after going on stage, but there were a LOT of people in the audience and I think she got a little overwhelmed. We will definitely be participating again next year.. and will be kicking it up a notch (or two)! We've already been throwing around some ideas... :)

Here are some pictures of my munchkin all decked out in her patriotic gear...


We finally got a video camera this past week - something I've wanted since Caroline was born. We decided on a Sony Bloggie and I love it so far. It's the same size of my iPhone, has a 12 megapixel camera, and tons of internal memory. Here's a short video of Caroline on stage last night...

video
I honestly think the judges from last night should schedule an eye exam ASAP because Caroline is the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. We did get a ribbon (that we will display proudly in her room) and a voucher for a free outdoor photo session at Straub Photography (where I got my senior pictures done) that is a $52 value. That will definitely get used.. I can't get enough pictures of my little beauty queen!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Caroline's First Trip to St. Louis

We spent a few days last week in St. Louis. Although it wasn't Caroline's first vacation - we went to Florida in March - it's so much fun watching her experience new places and new things! Brad and I both want her to be a well-traveled little girl and she's definitely starting out on the right track. We spent an entire day at the St. Louis Zoo (amazing!), went to the top of the Gateway Arch, and did some shopping.




At the zoo with her new pal, Louis the penguin!




The view from our hotel room.




Right before her first ride on the subway!




Playing in the pillow cave daddy made her in the hotel room.




Reading the morning paper with daddy. I love her face, lol.



The Arch! So beautiful but the trip up it was really disappointing. We paid $10 each to be crammed like sardines into an observation area. They really need to limit the number of people they allow up to the top at once. Not so much fun with a 9-month-old!




On her way up to the top of the Arch.




Looking down on St. Louis from the top of the Arch.




Absolutely exhausted after our day at the zoo! We were there from 9:30am-5pm and still didn't get to see everything. We'll definitely be going back!




Doing some shopping at St. Clair Mall on our way home. She's such a happy shopper.. just like her mom - and dad! ;)

We definitely had a good time - it was a much needed getaway for us. I know as Caroline gets a little older she's going to love our family vacations.. and they are definitely memories that we'll treasure, too! We're planning on making our spring Florida trip an annual tradition for us. In the next few years we also hope to go to Boston (gotta introduce her to Fenway Park!), Chicago, and California. Pack your bags, Caroline - we want you to see the world!



Friday, July 8, 2011

Health update

Just wanted to update everyone on Caroline's iron levels situation. I got a call from her pediatrician yesterday that she is anemic, but it's not at an alarming level. We'll be giving her a multivitamin (in liquid dropper form) everyday to help get her levels to normal. My first thought - like any mom - was "what did I do wrong?" Her doctor reassured me that some babies just don't absorb iron as efficiently as others do. As long as she's still taking in formula (and Lord knows she is), she's getting everything she needs from that. All the other food we give her at this point is basically just practice for when she's a year old and starts eating more solids.

As my mom said, it's almost comical that she's anemic. I associate anemia with frail people that have zero energy, the complete opposite of Caroline! We are just incredibly thankful that it isn't anything serious. :)

One other note, it's so much fun for us to predict what Caroline will do with her life. Right now, all of our money is on her becoming a dentist. She is ALWAYS sticking her hands in our mouths, feeling around and exploring. Here's a picture of her playing dentist with Brad:



She has also handled her teething process so easily - knock on wood. She currently has 2 bottom teeth & 4 top teeth, with 2 more looking like they'll break through anytime. Such a tough girl!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Healthy & Happy Little Munchkin

Caroline had her 9 month appointment yesterday! She weighed in at a healthy 21 lbs, 5 oz and is 27.5 inches long. She's definitely never had any trouble in the growth department -- something her pediatrician and I are both very proud of! The only concerning part of yesterday was finding out that her iron levels are low, so we were sent to the lab for additional testing. Watching my sweet baby girl have blood drawn absolutely broke my heart. She sat in my lap and was very brave. We should know the results of the test by tomorrow.

Here's my munchkin's monthly picture -- every month it gets more difficult to get a good picture. This month, she was all over the place. Trying to crawl up the back of the chair, crawl off the chair, everything.


We had her 9 month pictures taken last week with our favorite photographer. Here are the teaser pictures she posted on Facebook:


 I can't get over how well they turned out. Can't wait to see the rest of the proofs! We scheduled another photo session for early September so we can get Caroline's smash cake pictures taken for her birthday invitations. I have a feeling that's going to be fun.... :)

Many people have asked me if Caroline is going to be a vegetarian or not. I've been one my entire life, and I know she would follow in my footsteps if I was raising her completely on my own. But Brad was very vocal about wanting her to eat meat and I feel that successful parenting is based on compromises. Her first "meat" was tofu, cut up in tiny pieces and she LOVES it! We will expose her to all different kinds of foods and let her decide later in life if she wants to be a vegetarian or not.

I'm not going to lie, it made me smile tonight when she completely rejected meat lasagna baby food but devoured her cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni. I've made the majority of her baby food since she started eating solids at 6 months old. We've saved a lot of money and it's really given me piece of mind knowing what she was eating. Now that we can introduce her to more complex foods, I've been using jarred baby food from time to time. Her very favorite is Hawaiian Delight from Gerber - and I don't blame her, it's delicious!

Looking forward, Caroline will be able to add Missouri to her list of visited states next week. We're taking a mini-vacation to St. Louis since Brad has the week off from work. We're very excited about taking her up in the Arch and visiting the St. Louis Zoo!

I know some people may roll their eyes at this but we've also entered Caroline in a baby beauty pageant. She'll be participating in the 6-12 month age group Tiny Tots contest at our local 4H fair on July 28th.She'll be wearing a patriotic outfit, complete with a red, white, and blue tutu. There will definitely be lots of pictures taken that night!

Caroline continues to amaze me and make me laugh every day. I have a feeling that will never change!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Caroline, Month by Month

I got the idea for these photos from someone on TheBump.com, a site I visited a lot for support when I was pregnant. I'm planning on doing something fun with these pictures for her first
birthday party, although I'm not sure what yet.























I will post her 9 month picture on Monday -- I'm sure it will have some type of 4th of July theme to it! :)

Better late than never....

I've been wanting to start a blog for Caroline since I was pregnant. I kept thinking "yeah, I need to do that" and it just never happened until now. I'm definitely a slacker when it comes to updating her baby book - something my mom did such a good job with when I was a baby. I'll record the basics - her weight/length after doctor visits and major milestones like the first time she ate solid foods. But my whole motivation behind this blog is that I can put all the in between stuff here. Things that make her laugh. Likes and dislikes. Special moments.

Who knows if Caroline's generation will still blog when they are older? It may be seen as the old fashioned thing to do, like writing a handwritten letter to someone. But I want to make the effort. My biggest regret is that I didn't start this up earlier in her life.

Our sweet Caroline Grace was born on October 4th, 2010 at 3:51 P.M. at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Newburgh, Indiana. I delivered her via emergency c-section at 40 weeks & 6 days. During labor, our oxygen levels were getting dangerously low and the doctor was worried about both of us. But she was delivered safely and at a healthy weight of 7 lbs, 13 ounces! So many people came to visit Caroline during our 4 day stay at the hospital. Everyone was astonished at how beautiful she was and how much she looked like her daddy.

Caroline has had a happy and healthy first 9 months of her life and we are extremely thankful for that. Everywhere we go, someone tells me "that's the happiest baby I've ever seen!" She's such a little ham that likes to make everyone around her laugh. You can already see her sense of humor emerging and its so wonderful.
At (almost) 9 months old Caroline has: been on an airplane, vacationed in Florida (she's definitely a beach girl), been to a Red Sox/Yankees baseball game, and visited our local zoo many times.
I can't wait to blog about all of her future adventures and milestones. I know my Facebook friends will probably be slightly relieved since right now I'm using that venue to update everyone on her milestones. Even though I care about all the little stuff that happens to her, I know they probably don't. ;)
Although as her mother I'm a little biased, I really feel that there is something special about Caroline. She's a wonderful human being and I really  feel she's going to make something special of herself.