Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Carrie

My sweet Caroline is now five years old. She loves animals, art, and digging holes in our yard. Her favorite color is green, her favorite food is shrimp, and she loves anything to do with pandas.

Carrie was born in New Haven, CT at just 27 weeks. She weighed in at 2 pounds 4 ounces. Despite her prematurity she was a surprisingly healthy baby, and had an uneventful NICU stay. Once she was able to take all her feeds by mouth and keep her temperature up we were finally able to bring her home. It was Easter Day when we were able to bring her home to stay. We went to one last church service as a family of four, then brought our two toddlers to the hospital to go get baby Carrie. We were fortunate that she was at a hospital that allowed siblings to visit the NICU, so Beth and Matt had already met her and were very excited.
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Carrie was our third child and was born into an already busy household. After our rambunctious little boy, we were pleased to find out that Carrie was an angel. Out of four, she remains my only truly easy baby. She slept well, ate well, and was so well behaved I barely had to childproof. She didn't enjoy the car seat that much, so we took to wearing her in a carrier whenever we were out and about. That left my hands free for the other two, and life was easy. Or as easy as life can be when you have three kids under three.
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When Carrie was two she loved Elmo, our pet cats, and doing whatever her brother and sister were doing. She had a little girl named Xoey next door, who was just her age, and the two of them were the greatest of friends. After Carrie was about nine months old I went back to college to finish my teaching degree. She went to a wonderful daycare, along with Beth and Matt. I still talk to many of their teachers today. Right as she turned two, I graduated. Seeing how I was expecting #4 by then, and I knew the Coast Guard would be moving us soon, I decided not to start looking for a job with my fellow graduates. Instead, we said goodbye to our friends from the daycare, and I began my life as a stay at home mom.
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Caroline turned three right after the Coast Guard moved us from Connecticut all the way down to Mississippi. I had been homeschooling Beth, but following the move we decided to enroll her in public school. With her out of the house part of the day, and Katy still a baby, Carrie and Matt became the best of friends. It was about 65 degrees in the winter in Mississippi, and seeing how it was 9 degrees the day we left Connecticut, I felt like we were in paradise. We had a little park right behind our house and the kids and I spent many happy days there. Being on the Gulf Coast, Carrie also got to experience her first Mardi Gras parade and developed a love for seafood.
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By the time Carrie turned four we had moved once again, this time to Washington DC. We spent out first year going into the city and seeing all the sites. Carrie started a two morning a week preschool program, and began ballet and tap lessons. Beth and Matt were in kindergarten and first grade, so her new buddy became little sister Katy Ann. The two of them spent many hours enjoying their play dough and coloring with their crayons, and I took them to the library or park almost everyday. Carrie has always been small for her age, so I was still able to push them in a double stroller when she is thoroughly enjoyed.

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And now my Carrie is five! Wow, the years have gone by so quickly. This year I homeschooled Beth and Matt so my gang of four has been all together. It has been so much fun watching Carrie become one of the "big kids." Santa Clause brought her a bike with 16 inch tires this year, and she petals her little heart out on that thing. She also presents me with stacks of her beautiful art each day, and explains the elaborate games she plays with her stuffed animals. In short she is our little redheaded princess and we are so glad to have her.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I can't believe how much of January has already gone by. Christmas was such fun and was over before I knew it. The kids have now settled back into preschool and homeschool, as well as their other activities. We made it through the inauguration excitement here in DC. I am embarrassed to say that I stayed home and watched in on tv, even though I live 15 minutes away. I just didn't think I could pull off taking four kids on the metro on the same day as 800,000 other people. Maybe next time.
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We are continuing to prepare for our move to the rental house. I am so excited and also so overwhelmed. It really is a nice house in a lovely area. Just the kind of place I'd like to live. Small, safe, quiet. And near the water...can't forget that part! Stay tuned for pictures next month. Or maybe the month after that. I am sure unpacking is going to be a disaster. I have already packed up quite a bit, and the more I pack the more I enjoy my current house. I do not miss the clutter one bit. I really should take the whole lot of it to the Goodwill. The kids of course do ask about their things, and I've assured them they will meet them at the new house, so I can't really do that. I have thinned the herd some at least.
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The kids all had their bi-yearly dental visit today. They love the dentist...every last one of them. My two year old sat quietly while her teeth were cleaned, and then let them take an x-ray of her bite. What kind of two year old will actually sit there with that film between their teeth? The dentist and hygienist were gushing over her, but she is the fourth in a row to be like that. It's not that they are super well behaved in general either, it's just that they love the dentist. They had been counting down the days until their visit. Crazy kids! I guess it's always been pleasant for them. I only take them to pediatric dentists, who tend to have fun offices, and they've never had any cavities. As usual their teeth were clean and cavity free today. And as usual the dentist pointed out how small their mouths were, and how much orthodontic work they are going to need down the line. It's so sad! They all have the cutest smiles right now, and perfectly straight little teeth. Those little teeth have no gaps at all though, meaning their adult teeth won't fit. Our dental insurance isn't that great either. Forget the college fund for a minute...I think we need to get to work on the dental fund!
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