Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday morning we woke up early and made our way to Hershey's Chocolate World to have breakfast with Santa. We arrived and immediately started loving on all of the large pieces of chocolate wandering around the atrium.


We saw Santa first, before we ate - before the line got too long.


Max surprisingly sat in Santa's lap. He's not happy about it, obviously, but he didn't scream and fight to get off the big guy's lap like I thought he would. I was shocked.

Then it was time to dig in to the breakfast. Charlotte thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate, chocolate chip muffins, and Hershey kisses. Nothing like a chocolate filled breakfast to get you in the Christmas spirit.


We did the Chocolate World tour after breakfast. After that, Sally, Jacob and the other members of the Birmingham clan left for home. Poor little Jacob was not feeling well. Max was doing pretty good, so we decided to take Charlotte into the 4D theater to see the movie.


I was glad we did, she loved it and Max actually fell asleep! So, it worked out. I'm so happy that Rachel was able to use Judd's ticket. She was a HUGE help. I couldn't have done it without her. She even had to clean up Charlotte's entire cup of spilled orange juice while I was chasing Max around the buffet.


Once we were home, it was time for some piano playing and Christmas carol singing.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving, Part 2

We woke up to a gorgeous day on Thanksgiving - sunny, highs in the 60's. After everyone woke up and got moving, preparations began. The day before Charlotte helped Aunt Rachel and my grandma make some cookies - so those were already done waiting for after the meal. (Well, maybe someone had one for breakfast)


My mom, Sally & Andrew, and Adam's mom were bringing most of the sides, so the biggest thing that needed to be done on Thanksgiving was the turkey. There had been MUCH debate the night before and the morning of Thanksgiving as to how long this bird would need to cook.


Adam was in charge of the turkey. He rubbed some butter and herbs on it, popped it in the oven, and it came out great!

Time to eat!

(everyone at the table, sans the photographers - me and my dad)




I was seated to Judd's right, Max was to my right, and Charlotte to his right. At one point Judd whispered in my ear, "When I look to my right, I have SO much to be thankful for."

After dinner and digestion, we gave the kiddos baths and headed to my parents house to spend the rest of our visit.

Friday was spent hanging out and visiting. It was another gorgeous day. Charlotte was a very busy kid. She got right to work helping Granddad clean the patio furniture to put it away for the winter.


After he teased her and "missed" one of the chairs only to get Charlotte a little wet, it was her turn to give it a try.


She got him back.


Then it was inside to help my mom bake some Christmas cookies.



Friday evening, Jacob and Sally came to visit. Rachel and Adam also came. While Adam and my Dad headed to the Deer Camp to meet up with Andrew - the ladies hung out, ate pizza, and played with the kids.

Tomorrow...our visit with Santa at Chocolate World and our night at Candy Lane!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I'm going to continue Thanksgiving posts tomorrow..but had to interrupt regularly scheduled programming for something I've noticed in a couple of pictures. Seems that Charlotte has acquired her Granddaddy's "concentration face".


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving, Part 1

We arrived to my sister and brother-in-law's house on Wednesday around lunch time. I think by three o'clock that afternoon, my brother-in-law said to my sister, Rachel, "I don't think we're at all ready for this" - meaning the children. And - the kids were pretty well behaved! We turned their quiet, clean house into a loud, messy place in a matter of minutes.

We had a nice afternoon visiting with my grandmother and Adam and Rachel. We made cookies, played with play-doh, rested, took naps, went for walks, and fought monsters in the basement. It was a fun afternoon. That evening, we feasted on home-made lasagna, put the kids to bed and watched T.V. It was such a relaxing, fun day.

However, Judd got a phone call Wednesday afternoon that his aunt Pam was moved from ICU to hospice. She went into the ICU earlier in the week. If you have followed this blog, you may remember that she has been sick for some time, fighting cancer. (She was diagnosed 6 years ago with colon cancer.)

Thursday morning, my dad and I took the Charlotte to the little play ground in Rachel's neighborhood. It was unseasonably warm - high in the 60's on Thanksgiving. When I got back, Judd pulled me aside and told me that Pam had lost the battle - it was over.

Judd's family is incredibly close. Pam was Judd's only Aunt. She was just as close, or closer, to me as my own Aunts that I grew up with. Kids loved her. She was always quick to tease, and the kids caught on and loved it. Katie, Lilly, Charlotte, and Max are blessed to have been loved by her - she loved them like her own grandchildren. Pam was blessed with her first grandchild, Jack, at the end of October. I saw her hold him - something I will always remember.

Judd flew home, by himself, on Friday morning to be with his family. I wanted so badly to be with him, with his family, but knew that the kids would be better off in Pennsylvania sticking to our original plan. Charlotte doesn't understand - and when I tried to explain things to her Friday afternoon, she didn't really get it.

Pam was buried Saturday morning in Cordele, GA.

I'm not going to try to write here how much she will be missed. Anyone that knew her, knows how much, and I just won't do it justice. She was a very special lady and I know that my life is better having known her.

I believe in my last post that I promised pictures of cute boys in matching outfits, well, I want to deliver on that promise:


and because this one can't be outdone, here she is too:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Break


Charlotte's school is closed this week for the Thanksgiving holidays. That was really fine by me. It has been nice having her with us in the mornings.

Yesterday, I took advantage of the Mommy and Me pricing at the Georgia Aquarium and took Charlotte and Max to see some fish. We met up with some friends when the aquarium opened at 10. I'm glad we got there when we did because the place started to fill up fast.

I could spend hours and hours there - I love it. Some of the exhibits are SO beautiful. The Beluga whales are amazing. I could stare at them all day jealous that they get to live life underwater like that. However, I had a 3 year old complaining about lunch in one ear and a one year old wanting to be free of the stroller. So, we moved quickly through the exhibits. I do think Charlotte had some fun, but most of the last hour was spend complaining she was starving to death.

Since the Varsity is only 1 mile from the aquarium parking deck, I figured we should have lunch there. We all ate some hot dogs, onion rings, french fries, and frosted oranges before heading back home.

Today we had a nice visit with the Allison, Marshall, and Summer. Then we spent the rest of our time doing laundry and packing for our trip Northeast tomorrow.

My sister, Rachel, and her brave husband, Adam, somehow managed to get roped into hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family on Thursday. So, we are headed to their house to ruin their peace and quiet. Wish us luck! (and them!)

A Mess


I think I like it best, when you are a mess.
When you have rolled-up black sweats
underneath your navy striped dress.
When your hair is less than neat
and slipper boots cover your feet.
It is then that I see you shine
and my heart is so happy you are mine.
Yes, I think I like it best, when you are a lovely mess.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Charlotte's First Game

Judd took Charlotte to her first Georgia game on Saturday. We made the mistake of telling Charlotte Friday night that she would be going with her dad - but only if she wanted to, of course. Well, of course she wanted to! Not because she deeply loves the bulldogs, bleeds red and black, yada yada yada - but because she knows they have cotton candy there. Now that is something she would walk across burning coals for.

So, since we told her Friday night, she was up VERY early on Saturday chomping at the bit to go. Judd said that she was really good and they had a good time together, but by the time they got to the game and she had consumed her cotton candy - she looked like this for the remainder:


She basically wanted to wiggle around in the seat, lean on him, sit on his lap, lay across the bleachers, you get the point. So, they left at half time. He had to carry her the whole way back to the intramural fields. (quite a long distance) She then slept the hour back to Atlanta.

She declared when she walked through the door that she wouldn't go back to a game until she was 5. That way she would never get tired.

I think Judd agrees.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Game

Charlotte's on her way to her first UGA game.  I'm pretty sure she's most excited about the promised cotton candy, though.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


One day, his future wife will thank me.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baltimore and Other Things

photo (1)

Last Friday, Judd and I had the opportunity to leave the kiddos with Judd's parents and head up to Baltimore. Andrew, our brother-in-law, was turning 30 on 11.11.11 - how could we miss that? I think Andrew's been planning this party for years. Judd and I had an easy time traveling. We had a few hours before the party to just hang out, shop, and have lunch together. It was very relaxing. The party was great and I had a really nice time hanging out with my sister Rachel and her hubby Adam. It isn't often that I get a chance to talk to them, together. I'm so excited for Thanksgiving in just over a week. Rachel and Adam are hosting!

We woke up on Saturday and were able to visit a little while with Sally, Andrew, and Jacob before heading to the airport. Jacob is almost 6 months older than Max, but is about twice his size! He is so adorable. He warmed up to me a little Saturday morning and I was able to play with him some. He took to Judd, however, and Judd was able to carry him around for a while. I'm very interested to see how Jacob and Max interact. Sally and I have been busy searching for matching outfits for the boys this evening - in about a week and a half I hope to knock your socks off with some cuteness around this blog.

Today the kiddos enjoyed lunch outside. When rain is in the forecast, we spend a lot of time outside before the rains come. Besides, it was in the mid 70s today! It was cloudy, but a perfect day to dine in the backyard.


I was surprised that Max actually sat and ate most of his lunch at the table. He sat there for probably a whole 5 minutes.

But then, as I suspected, his mind began to wander to things like acorns, the sand box, the dirt - and he couldn't take it anymore. He had to stop eating and explore.


I tried to put him back at the table to finish his lunch a couple of times, but then gave up. I could get frustrated with him and mad, but, it's downright impossible.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bye Everyone!


Each Wednesday Charlotte stays for play group at school.  This means that she stays past the regular noon pick up time, eats lunch, plays, and then I come and get her at 2 PM.  This year, I signed her up for ballet each Wednesday.  She packs her ballet clothes, the teachers change them and then an instructor comes in and teaches them for an hour.  It's awesome - it means I don't have to drag Max to a ballet lesson.  Charlotte LOVES it - seriously, LOVES it.

So, today I picked her up at 2.  Carpool was in the front of the sanctuary due to construction going on in the lower lot.  So, all of the children and teachers were waiting on the steps next to the driveway.  I saw Charlotte and she had a huge smile on her face.  She was in a fabulous mood.  A teacher gathered her things, held her hand, and Charlotte bounced all the way to the car.   She climbed in and strapped herself in.

As we pulled away, I heard Charlotte's window go down.  (She can reach the button in our new car - something she is very happy about)  Then, I heard her say, "BYE EVERYONE!".  Like she owns the place.  All of the teachers just laughed.

Oh, she makes me laugh.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Showing your love

I love Nickel Creek.  Luckily, Charlotte does too.  Last week I was taking her to school.  Nickel Creek was playing - specifically the song, "The Hand Song".

The first verse of the song is about a little boy that hurt his hands picking some roses for his mom.  He was showing his love by picking those roses - and that's how he hurt his hands.  In the next verse, the little boy sees a picture of Jesus and sees that Jesus hurt his hands too - on the cross.  The verse goes on to say that "Jesus was showing his love and that is how he hurt his hands".

Charlotte picks up on this and begins asking questions.   She was confused about how he was "showing his love" - she wanted to know what love looked like.  I tried to keep my explanation at a 3 year old level, but it was pretty hard. I just told her that you can't see love, but you can show it.  When you hug someone or kiss them, you are showing them your love.  I saw a little light click on her her head.

She said, "Just like when you are so happy to see me when you pick me up from school, right?".

Yes, Charlotte, just like that.  As I pulled away from carpool that morning, wiping a tear from my eyes, I realized that I must be doing something right - because my children see my love for them - I am showing it.  I am very grateful for that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

12 months


So, I'm a little late with this post. But, the picture above was taken only 2 days after he turned 1. He didn't have his 12 month check up until yesterday, though. So, I figured I'd wait until then to post his stats.

Weight: 23 lbs 73%
Length: 33" 99% - this is wrong, though. When the nurse measured him and said 33", I didn't say anything, but I thought that he was not that tall. So, while we were stuck in the room waiting for an hour, I measured him again and he was 31.75" long. I have no idea where that is in percentages. I do know that 12 month clothing is getting too small and 18 month clothing is a tad big - so I think he's just about right :)
Head: 19" 95% - he's got a big noggin.

At 1 Year of age Max is:
  • Bottle free.  Drinks whole milk from a sippy cup.  He's doing pretty good with milk.  Sometimes I mix it with drinkable yogurt if it seems like he hasn't had too much that day.
  • Eats whatever we eat and more!  The kid has a great appetite and usually crams whatever I put in front of him into his mouth.  Some days he eats more than his sister!
  • Is doing OK in the area of sleeping.  The last two nights he has slept a solid 11-12 hours, but until then, we had about 2 weeks of multiple night wakings around 2-3 AM.  He is still taking 2 naps a day.
  • Waves "Hi" and "ByeBye".  The other day Judd walked into the kitchen while Max was eating breakfast and I swear Max said, "Hi Dada". 
  • Really only says "Dada".  Not a "Mama" to be found around here.  Over the past couple of days he has been saying "Uh Oh".  It's pretty cute.
  • If he is awake, he is moving.  The kid doesn't stop. 
  • He LOVES to be outside.  He would spend hours just walking around picking stuff up off of the ground, digging in dirt, playing in sand, just messing around. 
  • Diaper changes are a wrestling match that usually ends with him screaming crying and me stressed out.  It doesn't help that the kid poops after every meal and needs his diaper changed often. 
  • Loves to "play chase".  If you "run" after him saying "I'm gonna get you"- he just laughs and laughs.  He would play it until his legs fell off.
I love the little boy he is becoming.  He is so different from his sister. (Not that I don't love her to pieces too!  It's just interesting to see the differences)  I love his laugh.   I love his smile.  I love his cute little feet and hands.   I love that he loves his blankies and carries them around.  I love how he smells when he first wakes up.  I just love him so.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween started really early - around 4:45 AM for me - with a crying baby. That's a pretty scary way to start Halloween. Max ended up going back to sleep, but I was up. So, I searched around on pinterest and found a couple of Halloween inspired breakfasts. Charlotte woke up to Jack-O-Lantern cinnamon rolls. She was pretty psyched. That started a steady stream of sugar in her veins that lasted until late this afternoon.

She had her Halloween party at school. I really wanted to attend, but Max was still asleep at 10:15 AM when it started. I couldn't bear to wake him up to go to a party that would last about 15 minutes. She understood.

After school we hung out and rested up for the big night. Late afternoon, Erin brought Ella and Emma over. We hung out and played, then Erin and I cooked the girls a very scary dinner. Mummy dogs with blood for dipping, scary mouths, not so scary Fall leaves, and super cute owls. It was a hit! Little Max ate an entire Mummy Dog.


After the trick-or-treaters were fueled up and ready to go, we got them dressed in their costumes and out the door for a picture op. (Max wouldn't sit still for this)


Remember this? so, so cute

After the pictures, it was time to head to the parade.


There was a certain cowboy that line danced all around the col-de-sac before the parade.



After the parade, the Himes family headed back to their neighborhood to trick-or-treat, Judd took Charlotte around our neighborhood, and I headed back to the house with Max. To say Charlotte was excited to trick-or-treat would be the understatement of the year. She was beaming from ear to ear. After she mader her way around the neighborhood, she came up to our door with a full bag of candy. She immediately dumped it out on the floor and picked a pack of Nerds to eat. Judd and I were eyeing the snickers bars. She wanted to stay up to "serve" people candy. But, it was getting so late. So, I took her up to get a shower. As soon as she got undressed, a group of kids came to the door. Such was her luck for "serving" candy to the trick-or-treaters. It was a fun Halloween through Charlotte's eyes. It was the first year that she REALLY got into it. She was into it last year, but she seemed so much more excited this year. Judd and I loved it. halloween6