Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mattie Claire ~ 4 Months

Dear Mattie,

Happy 4 month birthday, baby girl!  As you celebrate your 4th month in heaven, we just want you to know that you have not been forgotten, and you never will be.  You will continue to live on in our hearts.  We've had a busy month filled with good times and sad times missing you.  We've accomplished a lot of the fun fall traditions we have come to love doing with your brothers, and you were always with us in our hearts during each and every memory.  No, it isn't the same to us, but it is the best we can do under the circumstances.  We know you are enjoying every day in your heavenly home as you watch over us all.  We just love you so much, and in our weakness, we do long to have you here with us.  We are very thankful to have one another to help us through our saddest moments, and we know God is helping us too.

So if you were here today, you may look like:

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Big Brother Evan ~ Yes, you may even be sucking your thumb like Evan!

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Big Brother Brody ~ And if you were like this chunky monkey, you would weigh close to 16 lbs. already!  
This month, we were very honored to remember you on October 15th for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (the entire month is actually recognized but October 15th is a special day).

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Daddy had candles lit for you when Mommy got home from work.  He's such a wonderful daddy! 

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Evan says the 3 candles represent him, Brody, and Mattie. 
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My sweet blog friend, Lauren, honored Mattie and other lost babies with a special balloon release.  Hopefully, we can plan to do something next year to help honor all of our lost babies!
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I got to finish my birthday, Mattie, anniversary present with charms for Evan (the little boy), Brody (the little teddy bear), and Mattie (with her name and birth year on it).  

And as tradition, if you were with us this month, you may have worn the following little outfits on our special outings:

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This is actually a very special outfit.  As soon as I found out you were a girl, I had to buy something pink for you to wear.  I had my eye on this little pink sweater since I first saw it at Janie and Jack.  I had prayed it wouldn't be sold out before I could get my hands on it for you.  Janie and Jack puts out several lines of clothes every season, and once they sell out, you can't purchase them anymore.  This little sweater was sold out in the store by the time we found out you were a girl, but your sweet daddy ordered it for you online. 

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I just loved how soft and snuggly it was, and these adorable little bunnies sealed the deal! 
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This little pumpkin dress would definitely have been the perfect option for our trip to the pumpkin patch! 

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And this little pumpkin shirt would have been great with your first pair of blue jeans! 
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Of course, we would have enjoyed dressing you up for Halloween with your brothers.  Since they have insisted on being a cop and escaped convict, we think you would have been an adorable little bunny rabbit.  

We love you to the moon and back, little princess!  May you have a wonderful 4 month birthday in heaven!


Mommy, Daddy, and big brothers

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Miscellaneous Fall Fun

Fall is a fun season, but it is also a busy one.  We have so many traditions that we like to squeeze into our already hectic schedules.  We try to experience the fun of the outdoors during this cooler season.  We haven't had a chance to have any fun playing in fallen leaves yet as ours have barely even started turning colors.  I do hope we get to enjoy a little fall color before the leaves fall off. Along with our big trips to the apple orchard and farm/corn maze, we visited a local pumpkin stand down the road to pick out pumpkins and mums to display on our front porch and to carve for Halloween.  I just hope we can get enough energy together to perform our carving ritual this week. It is going to be a very busy week!  Thankfully, Evan is out of school on Friday (the day after Halloween) so he can get some much needed rest after a late night of trick or treating.  Well played, Charlotte schools, well played!  Evan and I also participated in our neighborhood's pumpkin painting while Brody was taking his afternoon siesta.  Yes, I did want to join Brody's activity, but I couldn't miss the pumpkin painting festivities again.

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Evan and Brody at the local pumpkin patch. 

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Our littlest pumpkin in the patch 

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Brody searching for the perfect pumpkin. 

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Brody was like "This is crazy!  They all look the same!"  

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"I'll just take this one.  Now how do I get out of here?"

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"Yep, this one will do." 

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Brothers at the pumpkin patch after church. 

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Mommy and her little pumpkins

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"Here, Edah!  Mommy is always calling you her pumpkin head!" 

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One mischievous and one sweet.

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Sweet boys. 

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Last year's pumpkin mountain was a lot bigger, but this one was still impressive. 

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Daddy and his pumpkins

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I wanted mums that weren't all open yet so they would hopefully last a while. 

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The sweetest kisses from my boys!

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We needed a fall family picture and didn't get one at either pumpkin patch so this will have to do.  

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One with Brody's best cheese smile
Pumpkin Painting!

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Evan creating his masterpiece.  He decided he wanted a Panthers pumpkin painted Carolina Panthers blue.  Unfortunately, the child safe washable paint did not dry quickly on slick pumpkin surfaces and the paints ran together quickly.  

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He still painted like a pro. 

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The color he chose was a pretty good match to Panther blue. 

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He attempted to write Panther on his pumpkin and did a decent job considering the difficulty of the slick surface and runny paint.  

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I attempted an R pumpkin for us and had to sit and hold my pumpkin for a while until it dried. 

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Evan ran off to play while I waited for them to dry. 

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Evan and his neighborhood and school friends enjoyed a little game of tag. 

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And then I turned around, and Evan had sneaked the Kindle out of my purse, and I caught this.  *Sigh*  He just can't help himself!  

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Friday, October 25, 2013

What I Love About Brody Lately

I know I have been pretty slack on doing regular posts about what the boys are up to these days.  Life is pretty busy with this little first grader and preschooler, and I especially want to remember some of the little things Brody is doing lately.  It seems like he is changing daily as he is developing his own little character and personality.  He is so active, and he can really tire us out some days, but we wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.  Here are a few “stories” that I need to document about Brody:

·         Talking – As you know, Brody wasn’t my early talker.  His big brother was the talker who was always at least a year ahead of his age group in this development.  He was talking in sentences by 18 months.  Brody is more of my physically active child.  He just loves to always be doing something.  He doesn’t like to sit down for very long at a time to read or watch television.  However, in the last few weeks, he has been making big changes.  He has definitely started to take an interest in using his words to express his self, and he does a great job at it. He is very articulate so the words he does say are very easy to understand.  Some of his favorite words end in “p” like “up” and “help.”  He likes to really stress the “p” sound, and giggles when he spits on you.  Ha!  He tends to like action words like saying “up” and “down” while raising his arms up in the air and then touching his feet or the floor.  He likes to say “on” and “off” while playing with the light switches.  This morning, he was yelling “Help!” when Daddy’s fire pager went off a couple of times while Daddy was taking Evan to school.  He uses “help” a lot to ask for our assistance in doing stuff he can’t do like opening up packages (yes, sometimes he ask us to open stuff we don’t want him to get into).  He says some phrases like “I eat” and “I want to get down” and "I poop" and "I want that."  He still signs while saying the word “more” when he wants more to eat or drink.  He says “yes” and “no” while nodding or shaking his head correctly in answering our questions, and I am thankful he actually likes saying “yes” more than “no.” He is also learning his colors and seems to like saying "green" the best.  I'm not sure if that is going to be his favorite color or not.  Evan's first color he learned to say and recognize was orange but green is his second favorite color so they both seem to have an appreciation for green. 

Brody got some cute little choo-choo trains for doing such a great job talking and using the potty the last couple of weeks.  He has gone number 2 on the potty several times!  No, these aren't Chuggington trains.  Target doesn't seem to carry them so we just bought him some cute little Target brand wooden trains to tide him over until Christmas. 

·         New Likes – Brody has developed a very intense love of trains lately, and he has found his first real favorite television show.  No, it is not that well-known blue train either.  Neither of my boys ever really got into Thomas.  I think they didn’t like the slower pace of that show with the narrated voice telling the story and doing the voices.  Brody has been loving the Disney Junior show Chuggington so that is going to make Christmas shopping a little easier.  As soon as he gets up in the morning, he comes in our room and wants us to turn the TV on so he can watch it while we get ready for the day.  As soon as the music starts, he starts moving his arms and doing the “chug-a-chug-a” train motion and then says “toot toot” instead of “choo-choo” at the appropriate part of the song.  Chuggington is just a faster paced cartoon with brightly colored trains but still has a similar plot revolving around talking trains living in a train depot town.  We have stored up several episodes on the DVR for him which are so much cheaper than going out and buying the DVDs for him.  I really am glad he has found something that really sparks his interest because I think that is especially good for little boys. 

The characters from Chuggington.  The theme song is really catchy too. 

·         New Games – Brody’s newest favorite game is “rock, paper, scissors” although for him, I call it “rock, rock, rock” because he only does rock as he repeatedly pounds his little clenched fist onto his palm begging you to join him.  His big brother is responsible for this one.  Big brother started doing “rock, paper, scissors” with him, and big brother has even added “shoes” as another option to the game.  So big brother will either slam his fist down, put one open palm down for paper, make finger scissors, or hold up his shoe clad foot.  Shoe really only beats paper because scissors could mutilate a shoe and a rock can get into your shoe and really be a pain.  Ha! 

·         Picture Posing – Brody loves to have his picture taken although he does still like to take pictures too.  He loves to cheese anytime he sees a camera.  This week, he decided he wanted to start a new tradition of posing for a picture every day before he goes to school.  This started on Monday when I wanted a quick picture of him dressed up for his school pictures.  Then, he proceeded to run to the same spot on Wednesday and Friday and pose for me.  He is such a stinker! 

Monday's Picture

Wednesday's Picture

Friday's Picture

And an especially cute picture of Brody's cheese face when Mommy was trying to take a picture of big brother wearing his new Ghost Buster's shirt.  

·         Other Things to Love – Although Brody still has a pretty big temper with a short fuse and can be pretty physically aggressive when he doesn't get his way, he is also a really sweet and lovable little man.  He loves to cuddle, give “tisses,” blow “tisses,” and give big hugs.  I get extra special love from Brody on days when I wear something that is “silky” so you can imagine I like to do that.  As soon as I get dressed in the morning, he’ll be stuck to my side like glue just rubbing the fabric with his little fingers.  Yes, it is pretty funny too.  He also enjoys giving the biggest hugs to his big brother.  Just this morning, when big brother came to tell us bye before he left for school, Brody was still lying in our bed because big brother has to leave for school early.  Brody reached out with his arms spread wide open wanting a hug and then he wrapped his little arms around Evan and just squeezed like he didn't want to let go.  Later, when I am heading out the door and Daddy is preparing to take Brody to school, Brody will make kissing noises and want bye bye kisses and will then stand in the doorway and wave and tell me bye bye and blow me kisses repeatedly until I pull out of the garage.  It is going to break my heart if he ever stops doing this!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Last Saturday after another soccer game in the morning, we decided it would be a good day for a trip to the pumpkin patch/corn maze/farm.  Most of the ones in our area all offer pretty similar stuff so we have enjoyed trying out different ones every year for the past few years.  This year, Eddie suggested we try Rural Hill's Amazing Maize Maze which is just a little north of us in Huntersville, NC.  The road back to the farm was very curvy, and I thought for a second I was in the mountains.  I was also riding in the back of our minivan because we had Grandma and Aunt Naomi and baby Grady riding with us.  I am happy to say I survived the ride.  This particular corn maze is actually on property owned by our county, but a private business handles the activities.  The corn maze was apparently sponsored by a local law firm this year.  This was probably the biggest maze we've ever attempted, and we had a large group with all our children (and two strollers).  We were warned that the maze would take approximately two to two and a half hours to complete although some people have taken much longer if they get lost.  This maze involves finding mailboxes with pieces of a puzzle you have to complete to create a map to help find your way out.  The corn maze was laid out in a farm scene with a windmill, a barn, a fence, etc.  It was pretty neat, and we got out in a decent time and claimed all of our puzzle pieces to create our picture of the maze scene.  We also enjoyed the other activities the farm had to offer and enjoyed getting some fall pictures of the kids too.

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First, Brody heads off into the little hay bale maze.  I am proud to say I finally made it out of this maze while making only right turns.  Haha!  

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Yes, Brody made quite a few left turns. 

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Big brother tried to help him. 

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Big brother found a little red tractor.  As you can see, Brody was on his way to check it out. 

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Evan showing little brother how to drive the tractor. 

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Brody's turn.  Nope, he hasn't got the hang of pedaling yet. 

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Lookin' like a cute little farmer!

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Sweet boy

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He was like "we have got to get one of these!"

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Toddler problems - he can only go backwards. 

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Little farmer

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And this is the method of driving that he prefers. 

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Cate took advantage of Brody's willingness to push. 

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"Faster Brody!"

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Cousins playing together. 

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Sweet little farmer girl driving a tractor. 

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The kids lead the way.  Yep, it was sort of like the blind leading the blind here. 

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Brody was not loving his seat. 

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"Wahhhhh, I don't want to do the corn maze!" Haha!

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Evan enjoyed the important job of bearing our rescue flag in case we got lost.  We found our first mailbox. 

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And after a couple of hours wondering through corn, we arrived at the finish line!

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Even cousin Reade was present in this picture despite his spending over half the maze with his nose buried in an electronic device riding in comfort in his sister's stroller.  Yes, he's an addict!

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The maze from the finish line bridge. 

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Of course, we had to take some pumpkin pictures. 

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Sweet boys. 

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And one with cousin Grady. 

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Sweet cousins

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Pictures for Grandma

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Love the way Grady is gazing up at Evan.  Cousin love!

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Grady's 1st pumpkin patch visit

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Evan enjoying a cool sweet treat after working up a sweat in the maze. 

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Lanny too. 

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And Emma. 

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And Reade even put down the electronics for some sweets. 

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Big brother shares some with little brother. 

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So sweet!

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Uncle Paul thought it would be a good idea to buy this girl a red snow cone.  Haha!

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Clown face!

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Brody driving the big tractor.  This one calls for a comparison. 
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Evan driving a tractor at the pumpkin patch in 2009. 

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Driving a tractor down on the farm. 

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Waving like a country boy. 

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Quite possibly my favorite picture of Brody ever. 

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Sweet country boy. 

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We "heart" tractors!
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I don't know why Evan was sticking his tongue out. 
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Brody found a scarecrow. 

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We got lots of pictures of Brody while Evan ran off to play with his cousins. 

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Evan did help his little brother through the little inflatable maze. 

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Out comes Brody. 

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And down the slide. 

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Happy to see big brother waiting for him. 

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Evan wanted to "catch" him. 

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Then, Evan and his big cousins did the obstacle course. 

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And Brody and cousin Cate enjoyed jumping together. 

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Love this picture of my pretty little man. 

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So photogenic

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Big brother is his hero!

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Evan trying to get Brody to cooperate for pictures. 

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Sweet memories. 

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It was a great day!

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