Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Journey to Five (#7)

Tuesday, December 28th

I do a lot of online shopping. Dale might say too much. But this evening's order was not one that was placed flippantly or without forethought...

I ordered the first personalized item for our baby boy.

So that means his name is set! No going back now, at least not without wasting the $15 that I spent on his (highly discounted) Pottery Barn Kids stocking.

Wanna see it?

Wednesday, December 29th

Just to be sure I don't waver on Bryce's name, today I ordered our first family ornament for next year (again, highly discounted in the after-Christmas sale on

Friday, December 31st

I sure hope that ultrasound technician was right about this being a boy! I've been doing some fairly-regular shopping for Bryce, and yesterday was no exception. Since it was a work holiday for me, but day care was still open, Dale and I had our annual shopping-and-a-movie day. We checked out the new outlet mall that is just 25 minutes down the road in Mebane, and then returned to Durham in time to see "The Tourist" at Southpoint Mall. Not only was I successful in finding some maternity tops (I think I have enough to make it through winter and early spring now!), but we also scored some good clearance deals on clothes for Bryce for next fall/winter (I just hoped we guessed correctly on the sizes!).

Although it was nice with Macie not having to do much clothes shopping (since she is all set with hand-me-downs from Ivie and Emerson), I must say that it's kind of fun "starting over" for a boy, too.

I wish Osh Kosh B'Gosh had a picture online of the swim trunks/top we found for Bryce for next summer. It might be the cutest thing I've ever seen, though I'm not sure how many times we'll take a 3-month old to the pool... At least he'll be cute lounging in the stroller while the girls swim!

On second thought, I guess I could get my camera and take a picture of it myself. Oh, okay, I'll stop being lazy and do it. Here you go...

See what I mean?!? A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E.

Well, it's 9:08p on New Year's Eve. Dale just came downstairs and said he's going to bed. And that sounds pretty good to me, so I'm going to head that way, myself. New Year's Eves sure change once you get old and have kids...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!! May 2011 bring peace, happiness, and many blessings to each of your families!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Macie's (A)Musings (#3): Whatever It Takes

Over the past couple of weeks, Macie has occasionally snuck upstairs in the evenings after dinner (around 6:15 or 6:30p). After a while, I'll go up to check on her and make sure she's not getting into trouble.

This is what I find...

...proving that she will stop at nothing (even climbing INTO her crib) to get that paci!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jumbled Mumbles (#3)

1) Macie's been asking to sit on the potty for a couple of weeks now. Which is a definite upgrade from months ago when I would ask her if she wanted to "sit on the potty like Ivie", and she would reply with an adamant, "NO!".

A couple of days ago, while in Missouri, she actually sat on the toilet and pushed so hard that a teeny speck of poopy popped out. (Sorry for the detail - I've got to get these milestones in writing!) I think it surprised her as much as it did me, so, while we were excited, we didn't put much stock into it becoming a pattern.

And, it didn't.

Tonight, before bath, she sat on the toilet again. Happily, for a solid two minutes. About 1:30 in, she actually went potty for about .8 seconds. Another milestone!!!

So I cheered and danced and made a fool of myself for several minutes longer than the potty episode had lasted, gave her a high-ten, and made a big deal out of sending Ivie on a Daddy-telling mission. Mac was pretty proud of herself, to say the least.

Maybe potty training is something we can get done before baby boy arrives, maybe not. But it's nice to dream...

2) It's Christmas Eve, so we put ready-to-bake cookies in the oven for Santa (weak, I know). Before bed, I let the girls pick out the plate and cup for the cookies and milk. Their selections cannot be considered Christmas decor, by any stretch of the imagination.

At least we have a cool place mat on which to put them...

3) It's 11p on Christmas Eve, and Dale and I just finished putting together Macie's Little Tikes Police Car (no, it's not very girly, but yes, in the back of my mind I WAS thinking about how her little brother might want to play in it some day, too..). Thank goodness we only had one project to put together tonight, since it took us, ohhhhh, 2 hours.

Seriously. Why can't they use a FEW words in the instructions, instead of trying to explain everything through pictures?!?

But we came out of it still friends, and the car is only missing one measly washer. I'm sure it won't be missed.

And hopefully Macie won't notice that a couple of the stickers are crooked. I really get much more stressed out by that process than a grown person should.

Tooth #16

I bet most of you, when sitting around in your spare time, have been thinking that I've forgotten about keeping Macie's tooth chart up-to-date. Particularly since the last tooth post was a solid 9 1/2 months ago...

Well, that's not exactly true, though it HAS taken me quite a while to "fix" the error it is now apparent (thought it wasn't at the time) I made early in the game when I put January 16, 2010 in as the date that Macie got her upper right lateral incisor (for those of you that aren't dentists or orthodontics salesmen, go ahead and look on the chart below - it's labeled tooth #2).

Turns out that Macie's upper right central and lateral incisors are fused. Which explains both the size of the tooth, as well as the diastema (huge gap) between her two front teeth.

It makes for a cute toddler smile now, but we're hopeful that her permanent teeth don't follow the same trend. We won't know for sure until her pediatric dentist can take x-rays, which he won't even attempt until she's 4 years old, due to the fact that younger kids don't sit still enough, so we'll just wait it out.

That being said, I've corrected the chart below to show that Macie doesn't really have an upper right lateral incisor, or at least not one that presents itself as a tooth with its own identity...

And, in other news, her first second molar (otherwise known as the two-year molar) came in while we were in Missouri! She'd had a couple-day bout with diarrhea, and Bobbie randomly asked if she was, by chance, getting a tooth. So I checked it out, and, sure enough, there it was!

Hence, the updated tooth chart and blog post.

Please try to contain your excitement.

Macie's (A)Musings (#2): Don'tcha Mess With My Tutu

While the girls were playing with their tutus over the weekend in Missouri, I randomly started saying, "Don't Mess With My Tutu", to Macie, playing on the "My Toot Toot" song by Fats Domino (of which I didn't know details until I looked it up for this post!).

It got to the point, over the next two days, that whenever either Dale or I would say, "Don'tcha mess with my...", Macie would follow up, enthusiastically, with a loud "TU TU!". It was so cute that we said it to her over and over again. To the extent that everyone except the three of us was probably extremely annoyed.

On to what makes this story even more (a)musing.

We're still at the stage, particularly with Macie, where we have to put her to bed individually, in a quiet room, with no distractions from Ivie. But, on Sunday night, I had a glimpse of what bedtime will be like someday when the kids are all grown and able to go to bed "on their own".

Because of our late return to Mom and Dad's after spending the evening at Scott and Bobbie's, all four of us went to bed together at 10:15p. And, with the set-up in the basement of Mom and Dad's house, all of us could see/talk to each other as we got into bed, so we said our rounds of good night (I felt like the Waltons). Macie was in a bit of a giddy mood, so Dale decided to send her into dreamland with a couple rounds of the tutu song...

As Dale approached and climbed into our bed, he said, several times, "Don'tcha mess with my...", to which Macie responded each time with "TU TU!".

Then, as the short game ended, Dale's voice got quieter and quieter for his portion of the phrase. Finally, in an attempt to see if he could say it so quietly that she might not even hear him, he uttered the phrase in merely a whisper.

Macie, not letting us down, responded with "tu tu" in a barely-audible whisper of her own!

It was WAY TOO CUTE. Dale and I (quietly) giggled ourselves to sleep, which we do fairly often these days. Ahhhhhh, kids!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Journey to Five (#6)

Thursday, December 23rd

The Lilypie ticker on my blog this morning says that Baby Boy Herman is nearly a foot long (11 1/2 inches) and weighs one pound! It also says, "Busy with baby workouts and playing somersaults."

Ain't that the truth! He's flopping around like crazy in there, so I'm basking in the enjoyment of feeling him move, but not yet suffering through any extremely painful jabs by his exploring limbs...

This pregnancy is flying by. 22 weeks already?!? I told Dale the other day that we better get to shopping for some blue, or the little guy is going to have to come home from the hospital in pink! I also need to get some maternity shirts for myself. For some reason, everything that I have from my pregnancy with Ivie (which followed the same seasons, since she was born on April 13th) is in spring-y colors. Probably because I didn't get as big as quickly! So Dale and my annual shopping/movie day (December 30th this year, when we are both off work but day care is open) will probably involve visits to least 1 or 2 maternity shops!

Back to buying stuff for the baby. Quick funny story for you. The day after Thanksgiving, when we were at the beach, we went shopping at the outlets. As I stood in a long line in one store and Grandma entertained the girls outside, Dale said he was going to wander over to Children's Place and "look for boy clothes". I could just see the twinkle in his eye...

By the time I paid and moseyed across the walkway, he was already in line. With 2 pairs of dress pants (navy and khaki), a button-down shirt, and an argyle sweater for next winter.

I laughed and said that I can see it now: Our girls are going to grow up in t-shirts and jeans, and our little guy is going to be stylin'. Clearly following the pattern of their parents. Sorry, girls - you're going to have to go to someone else to learn how to put on make-up, too...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Highlights from Missouri: Christmas, 2010

I think I blogged every day of our Missouri trip last year over Christmas. This year, I took a different approach. I didn't turn my camera on nearly as often, and I didn't boot up my laptop A SINGLE TIME. The reason for the change? My new BlackBerry, which allowed me to keep up with work emails without my computer. I see how people get addicted to those things.

So to recap Missouri this year, I'm stuck relying on the memories that will be sparked by the pictures I DID take. So here's the trip summary, in bullet (and occasional picture) format.

1) On Thursday evening, Nina and Papa kept all 7 grandkids, and we siblings/spouses went to Columbia for the Mizzou game. And dinner beforehand at Buffalo Wild Wings. I'll never forget when Scott and I passed each other going to/coming from the restroom. No one around there knew, obviously, that we are siblings, so Scott, joking, said, "Excuse me, ma'am?". When I turned to acknowledge him, he said, "Are you pregnant?". I didn't see it, but Scott said the jaw of the guy sitting there dropped to the floor. Hilarious.

We had a wonderful time. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

2) Friday was tutu-making day. It ended with our Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad's and more "hanging out", just the 15 of us (everyone except for Matt and Carla, as it's their year to go to Ohio for Christmas instead).

3) Saturday was our Christmas celebration, both at Granny and Papa's house, as well as Mom and Dad's.

Granny and Papa's was a success, yet again. There were 36 of us there, as we were missing only Matt, Carla, Emily, and Nathan. It was great fun to just hang out with family...

Ivie's gift from Granny and Papa was a "talking Jessie" doll. She liked it. Can you tell?

Macie got 2 sets of books (you all remember the "Little Miss" and "Mr. Men" series?!?) and a hat/mittens set, which she was happy to model.

Then, of course, there were the annual tractor rides.

After we returned to Jeff City and had a bit of resting time, we had Christmas at Mom and Dad's, too. Toy Story was the theme of this year's Christmas for Ivie (Legos, puzzles, books), and Macie got several coloring books and puzzles herself, to go along with her "Speedway", complete with Hot Wheels cars for racing.

The best picture from the evening was the yearly cousin shot...

...but I did get a picture of Mom and Dad with the canvas we had done for them from Matt and Carla's wedding.

4) Sunday, our last "real" day in Missouri, was low-key, including church with Scott and Bobbie and lunch at El Jimador. After naps, we all congregated at Scott and Bobbie's house for dinner and playtime. The kids (for the most part) stayed downstairs and played/watched a movie...

... which allowed us adults to get in a game of "Catch Phrase".

I must say that I don't generally like games. Any game, really - I'm not very competitive. But I got into this one. I'm sure most of you have heard of it. You have two teams, and the premise is for one person on the team to give clues to assist his/her teammates in guessing the correct phrase (without, obviously, using any of the words in the phrase).

Just to get it in writing so I can laugh again someday, I'll tell this quick story...

Toward the end of the game, when it was getting really heated between the guys and girls, the guys chose their "go-to" category: Sports and Games. Not the best topic for us girls. Bobbie, for example, admittedly doesn't have a plethora of sports knowledge, so she cringed every time Dale (who was sitting to her left) chose that category, since it meant that she would undoubtedly have to work within that genre, as well.

In this particular instance, the timer was running down (signified by the very fast beeping) and the game was passed to me. The name on the screen that I'm supposed to get my mom, sister, and sister-in-law to guess? DENNIS RODMAN.

One might think that this would be a lost cause. Seriously, how do you describe Dennis Rodman to several women who could care less about the NBA?!?

Except, in this particular instance, I was lucky.

Know why?

Because Scott, in high school, had always claimed to be the "Dennis Rodman" of his team. And Bobbie dated Scott in high school.

So my clue, as I looked straight at Bobbie:

"The basketball player who Scott always pretended to be in high school!"

Without hesitation, Bobbie yelled out "Dennis Rodman!", I passed the game to Dale, and the buzzer sounded. POINT - US.

When the point was over, Bobbie said,

"You could have also said, 'the only biography Scott has ever read'. I would have gotten it from that clue, too."

I seriously laughed until I cried. And the girls ultimately won the game. Perfect night.

5) Monday was spent lounging and packing, as our flight left Columbia at 4:30p. We were sad to say bye to Mom and Dad (I try not to, but Ivie cries every time we say bye, which makes me cry, too!), but we had a wonderful visit with the Schaeperkoetters. Thank you, God, for the blessing of wonderful family and the ability to travel to see them, even though it's only on occasion.

Wordless Wednesday (#38): 22 Weeks and Growing...

(Pretty soon, I'm going to have to make the switch to maternity shirts, which are not nearly as fun as maternity pants.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Thanks to my co-worker, Shelly, who shared the idea with me, I got a wild hair to make tutus for the four girls (Ivie, Macie, Josie, and Olivia) while we were in Missouri.

The girls played with them non-stop, but for some reason I only snapped a few pictures, mostly of Macie, before packing them in the suitcase at the end of the trip to bring them home.

Note to self - packing tutus at the bottom of the suitcase under a bunch of Christmas gifts is not a good idea. They won't ever be the same...
Thankfully, they only cost $5 each!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Macie's Turn (#4): Dora Ball

Ivie was sick on Tuesday this past week, and, because of the 24-hour no-fever rule at school, I had to keep her home with me until lunch time on Wednesday.

We took full advantage of our morning together by getting her hair cut and doing a little shopping. I was on the hunt for some cold weather gear (hats, gloves/mittens) for the girls, so we started at Old Navy and ended up at Babies "R" Us.

While we were unsuccessful in that search, I DID find some oh-so-soft BLUE blankets for baby boy! And, on our way out of the store, Ivie spotted a center-aisle display housing a bunch of small playground balls. The sign said, "Buy 1 Get 1 Free", but, of course, the price was nowhere to be found... But I gave in and let her pick one out for herself (a princess one, of course) and for Macie (Dora and Boots). I'm still trying to decide if I think $5 for 2 balls is overpriced...

Anyway, when Macie saw hers after school, it was love at first sight. And the ball quickly moved to the top of the Show-and-Tell list for the week...

Show-and-Tell, Round 59: Dress-Up Bear

This past summer, when my cousin, Amanda, was living with us briefly, her dad, Bill, came out to visit as a birthday surprise. (My aunt, Julie, came, too, but she was out here three times, so it wasn't quite as special to the girls as the one visit we got from Bill!)

Anyway, Ivie fell in love with Bill. She referred to him then, and still now, as "That Man". I'm not sure why. But she loved how "That Man" would play Little Red Riding Hood with her, and she thoroughly enjoyed dancing and singing for him in the kitchen.

Based on Bill's later references to Julie upon their return home, I think the feelings were mutual.

Fast-forward to a week or so ago when Julie and Granny sent a package out to us. Along with the girls' yearly Christmas ornaments was a set of two dress-up bears for the girls, complete with 4 different princess outfits. When I asked Julie where they had come from, she said that Bill had found them in Hobby Lobby on a recent shopping trip with her and knew the girls would love them.

When I finally brought the package out, Ivie and Macie were beyond thrilled. I got a solid 30 minutes of quiet play time in that first sitting, and much more since then.

Ivie, of course, wanted to take her bear with her for Show-and-Tell this week. Macie, of course, had to take hers along, too, and put it in her locker for the day.

Thanks for the sweet bears, Cartee family! Especially "That Man!".

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I originally drafted this post in September of 2009. I'm not sure why I never actually posted it! But instead of continuing to have a "draft" in my blog list (its incompleteness was really getting to me), I'm going to just post it now, nearly 15 months later.

By the way, I'm sorry if you thought the name of this post might have something to do with the names we're discussing for our baby boy. Because that couldn't be further from reality. Trust me.

September 13, 2009 - Original Post

Ivie is in the "naming" phase. Anything she plays with has to have a name. And she's started to have lengthy conversations with these dolls/animals, as well...

What's blog-worthy about this, you ask?

Well, Ivie has a hard time making up names. She doesn't use typical names, like Lucy, Suzie, or Abby. Nope. I think the pressure gets to her, and she freezes and can't come up with anything that makes sense. The result? Names more along the lines of Ha Ha, or DoDo, or other mumbled syllables like these.

And the standby? The one that is always first to roll off her lips when pressed to come up something quick?


Interesting, huh?

You'll be glad to hear that, over this past year, Ivie has, indeed, begun to use socially-recognizable names for her dolls. Most of the time. In fact, I don't remember the last time I heard "Shingy" come out of her mouth. Which is exactly why I'm posting this now. Because I don't ever want to forget about the "Shingy" phase.

And I promise all of you that our son will not be named Shingy. Although it might be an interesting nickname in utero. I'll bring it up to Iv and see what she thinks...

Our Trees These Days...

Here's a view of our greenery this season, with varying degrees of elegance, depending on the decorator. Nature's touch on our yard yesterday being the most beautiful, of course.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Macie's Turn (#3): Rudolph

Given what Iv took for Show-and-Tell on Thursday, none of you will be surprised by Macie's selection on Friday.

Although, it's not really as it seems. It was actually Iv that was the "copy-cat" this week (at least with regard to Rudolph), as Macie had him pegged for her Show-and-Tell from the moment she laid eyes upon him after he was rescued from the Christmas decorations bin. She says it's "mine's".

The nose, though? Yeah, that was totally Macie wanting to be just like her big sister. Pretty good imitation, I'd say...

Show-and-Tell, Round 58: Rudolph and the Nose

Exactly one year ago today, December 4, 2009, I posted Show-and-Tell, Round 39, which was the singing stuffed Rudolph.

Guess what Iv took for Show-and-Tell on Thursday? This year, for good measure, she also brought HER version of Rudolph's nose.

I love when the typically mundane show-and-tell items that I see every day are replaced briefly by the singing holiday toys!