Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ansley's 3rd Birthday

We FINALLY were able to have Ansley a birthday party! As you all know by now, our girls are sick all too often. We have tried to give Ansley and Emma Kate a birthday party each year on their birthdays, but they have always been sick on the scheduled day so each and every party has been cancelled. But not this year- not even snow stopped our fun!!!! Ansley loves all things princess so we had a princess-themed birthday party complete with a 15-foot space jump in the shape of a pink palace!! It was such a sweet morning completed by our family and friends who joined us for the celebration. This birthday party required some special effort to attend as it just happened to be the coldest day of the year thus far AND IT SNOWED!!!! The party was at 10 a.m. and all of the snow was falling out of the trees as the children arrived. It was truly beautiful- little children running, jumping and smiling everywhere- if not for the giant castle, then for the snow!!! The little boys loved hitting Mr. Josh with snow balls! What a sweet morning filled with smiles that will fill our hearts forever.

Aunt Ria was SO sweet to wear her princess crown and jump in that castle with her nieces! They loved playing ring-around-the-rosie with their "RIA!"

She FINALLY got a real birthday cake with lots of family and friends around to sing to her as she blew out her candles!

Daddy was such a good sport and even wore a tiara for a moment- anything for his little princesses!

Uncle Brian and Ansley- true pals! Ansley LOVES for Uncle Brian to push her in the swing since he pushes her "Super Duper HIGH"!!!!

Thanks to all who came and braved the cold and snow!!! We truly appreciate your effort to make our little princess' birthday so special.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving fun

We had a great Thanksgiving- spent all of our time at my family's place in the woods in Yazoo County! The girls had a blast being out in the woods with their MeMe and PaPa. Josh and I even hunted one afternoon together- what a fun date it was for us!

Emma Kate- always the queen bee!

Charlotte kicked back watching her first Egg Bowl with her Mama and Papa- she was decked for the game, but so disappointed as we were!

Emme loved going on the "mule" for rides in the woods- she obviously became so comfortable that she thought she could drive! Few more years, Scooter.

Ansley and Emma Kate loved spending time with their cousin, Trinity. Any time they get with such a big girl is a real treat for our little ones. Trinity came up with her parents and MeMe for Thanksgiving Day- what a fun thing for us all!

PaPa and Charlotte catching some R&R moments in the recliner!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Pictures of Charlotte

Here are some recent pictures of our little Charlotte. She is doing very well...gaining weight...sleeping a lot (three cheers for an easy baby!!!)...and big sisters adore her more each day!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Charlotte Belinda Arrives!

Praise God, Charlotte is here!!!!!

We are so grateful that our Charlotte Belinda arrived safe and healthy last Monday, September 21. She was one month early, but weighed 6 lbs 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long (good thing I grow 'em big!). Josh and I went for my weekly appointment and my doctor told us that indeed "it's time folks!" Even though we were nervous about her being so early we had prayed daily for God's timing in Charlotte's arrival and trusted my doctor completely. An added bonus was that the bed rest and my illness would be over!! We are so grateful to my doctor as his wisdom proved perfect on that Monday morning...she was born healthy and perfect in every way! She is so tiny and dainty with a head full of beautiful black hair!

Ansley and Emma Kate met their new baby sister on Wednesday. True to their personalities, they each reacted completely different! Ansley gently patted Charlotte and said "Aw, she's so beautiful, Momma. I love you, Baby Charlotte." Emma Kate ran around the hospital room oblivious to Charlotte but enjoying the cookies that a friend had just dropped off! Finally, Emme ran over to Charlotte and popped her on the head and said "Hey there Baby!" I just love how God creates each child (and person) in their own unique and beautiful way! The girls are doing great now that we have been home one week. Ansley and Emme are adjusting beautifully and Charlotte, thus far, is the easiest baby we have had- thank you, Lord!!!! Josh is doing great and loving ALL his girls...such a rock for our family through this entire season...still lobbying for the male dog which will probably arrive this year. He is, however, looking into all sorts of new savings accounts that will earn interest as we are already planning for THREE weddings!!!

Thank you all for all of your prayers, calls, concerns, food, help and encouragement through the past 8 weeks- God heard, God answered, God was once again so faithful.

Here are some pictures of our first week at home...more to come later as I find 2 minutes in my week to post!

Ansley holding Baby Charlotte while Emme looks on!

We all look at our newest family member...the girls love to climb up the side of the crib and watch their baby sister sleep. We just have to watch Emme or she'll try to share a goldfish with "Char-Char" (her name for Charlotte!)!!!

The girls made a welcome home sign with Meme and PaPa to welcome Mommy, Daddy and Baby Charlotte home!!

The girls checking out their sister again.

Emme loves to call people...she called many friends to tell them that she was waiting for

Char-Char to come home!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ansley's day with Bailey

Our friends Carrie and Bailey Blount dropped in yesterday to show Ansley a fun kind! Ansley was missing her friends. They went to the park, to Bailey's playroom and made "Mrs. Carrie pizza" (Ansley's term). Ansley had such a fun morning and has asked at each subsequent meal if she could make "Mrs. Carrie pizza." Note to self: must ask Carrie what in the world it is as our daughter thinks it is the greatest thing since Oreos.

Here are some shots from their fun morning together! Thanks Blounts for thinking of us and loving our Ansley in this great way.

Bed rest?. . .seriously?. . .Bed rest?. . .seriously.

As you can see from the title of this post, I have been put on bed rest for the remainder of this pregnancy. . . ahhhh! Apparently, I have developed quite the heart murmur which is causing me to faint at random times and not be able to walk down the hall without having to "rest." (And I just thought it was all the blizzards taking their toll on me that Josh had to go get for me at 9 p.m.!) We are most thankful that Charlotte, so far, seems to be just fine and growing even at a faster rate than expected- maybe she'll come early?! Oh I hope so!

So, my "know-only-one-speed-180 mph" personality has been ordered to bed. For the first several days I tried to do too much even around the house. I proved my instincts wrong and my doctors orders correct- totally fainted in the kitchen one morning which made Josh just about faint as he helped me through the ordeal and then started having contractions. What a deal. I have now surrendered to bed rest and learned to enjoy it! Already, I am seeing how this has been a blessing for me personally as I have had sweet time to be with the girls in a more quiet setting and just simply enjoy some stillness.

Thus far, I have read two books (one entitled "Bed Rest" which totally cracked me up as I could empathize with the author on every page), six tabloids (got to get my fix), organized my purse 4 times, discovered 3 spots in our bedroom that need to be touched up with paint, decided that our bedroom needs to be repainted altogether, fallen totally in love with the Food Network, become disgusted with daytime-mind-numbing television and discouraged with morning news shows that seem to become dumber as the hour goes on (one main political headline at the outset of the show and by 8 a.m. the segment is on "How to make your feet look slimmer in the Fall's fashionable shoes.")

One total week down and I am forever indebted to our family- both biological and church families- for how they have jumped in and helped us. Our moms have come each day to help me and be with the girls. The girls are loving it! Our church has dropped off food, books, magazines (hey Dabbs- you finished with that new US Weekly yet? I am now shamefully curious as to whether Ed from the Bachelor has been dumped by that Jillian girl yet!!!) and grocery shopped for us. My grandmother and aunt went grocery shopping for us too and have brought food to last for days. We are so thankful for the hands-on-help that is loving us through this time. Truly, I am at a loss for words as I think of all the ways we have been helped by those we love. . .all I can say is "Thanks be to God."

Hopefully, I will be able to be better about keeping our family blog updated- I certainly have the time!!!! Hope you and your families are all well!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ansley's 1st fish!

Last weekend at our family's "farm"...aka a wonderfully relaxing cabin nestled back in the woods overlooking a beautiful lake where the only things that grow are our waistlines after one of my mom's great meals...Ansley caught her first fish!!!! Josh took her fishing early Saturday morning- sweet time for just the two of them. We had no idea that she would actually catch one...and really no idea how she would react. When they pulled the fish in she stopped and looked for a few seconds and then reached out to pet it and said "Good job little buddy!" So sweet. Josh said that when they released the fish she said "Ok, have a good day little fish. Bye bye little buddy."

Hope your 4th was filled with sweet memories too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Soakin' Up the Sun in New Ways

For as long as I can remember I have been a huge beach lover. Keeping with what used to be a rather "extreme" personality trait (the extreme nature has learned to find the beauty in moderation after parenthood took hold!!), I would stay on the beach from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. when my family or friends would beg me off the beach to go to dinner. Yes I have been burned many times and I used to consider it a "badge" of the beach...crazy and oh so naive idea of a young girl obsessed with being tan. (If you happen to still be said "young girl" reading this blog...BELIEVE what the wiser voices in your life tell you- you will regret damaging your skin via sun! Don't do it- straw hats are too cute now...very chic to have healthy cancer scares are as horrific as your wiser voices tell you!!!!)

My family and I just returned from a week at the beach with my parents. One thought kept running through my mind..."oh my how times have changed." Rather than packing my sun "amplifying" oil with 0 SPF, I packed 50 SPF for my face and 30 SPF for the rest. For our girls, I packed 55 SPF! I also went on a mad dash last week for the biggest tent I could find so that all of us could sit in the shade!!!! Instead of my normal 12 hour daily homage to the sun, I made sure that we played on the beach from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and from 3:30 until 6 more of that 11-2 sun for me. My beach bag was also very different this year: Goldfish, juice boxes, Nemo snacks, kite and sand-castle-making-tools rather than radios, fruity beverages and cell phone. I saw a lot more dolphins, crabs, sea shells and sea gulls than I used to!

Josh and I talked with my parents and each other about how sweet it was to experience the beach through our girls' eyes this year. It was as if we too experienced seeing kites, playing in the sand, making sand castles, looking for sea shells and crab hunting at night for the first time. Years ago I would have been so annoyed if my beach neighbor would have been throwing food for the birds...not this year. We were searching for any cracker we could find just to hear Ansley yell "Great job your goldfish!" I might have annoyed our beach neighbors (we had fewer at the end of the week than we had at the beginning!) but they were patient to allow us to make those memories with Ansley and Emme. True enough, this trip was my favorite beach trip of my life...and another sunburns in this house tonight!!!

We have a second beach trip planned next month with Josh's family and we are already talking about what fun we will have all over again- we can't wait!!! Here are a few sweet memories captured on camera from this trip:

A favorite first for the girls was their discovery of a 1/2 head-stand!!! Emme discovered it first and taught her older sister!! No matter how many times I see them do this I crack up laughing.

While on this beach vacation, my parents celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary! WOW! Each year on their anniversary, my mom puts on her wedding gown before going to dinner with my dad...isn't that sweet?! (No- she never wears it in public- it is just a fun and sweet tradition at home which has now been shared with the entire world wide web.) Mom jokes that her dress is the most worn dress in the history of wedding gowns- I think she is correct! Having been a bride and now having brought forth almost 3 children into this world this tradition is more amazing and admirable to me than ever before!!!! Ansley and Emma Kate thought their MeMe looked so "bootifull" (Ansley for beautiful). When Meme walked out to the beach with her wedding gown on Ansley ran to her and said "Meme you have a bride look so pretty!" How special to share this tradition with our children. Thanks be to God for blessing my parents with 39 years together- what an encouragement they have been to so many- especially me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ain't Nothing Easy about "The Big Easy"

Several weeks ago, Josh planned a trip for our little family of four to head to New Orleans together. He planned that we would go to the Aquarium and the Audubon Insectarium. We booked the hotel room and off we went on this adventure this past weekend! I have always loved New Orleans- the food (!), the music, the art and the architecture...all of it really makes me feel alive. Therefore, it was never hard for me to understand or relate to the city's nickname "The Big Easy"- until this past weekend.

We were so excited about this trip and had great expectations. I tried to be super prepared- all medicines, comfort blankets, favorite music even favorite juice cups were in tow. I even went so far as to get the girls their very own $3 disposable cameras so they too could take pictures and I might get just a few of them with our camera without them trying to grab the "real" camera (or "smile" as they like to call the device) out of my hands!

Friday afternoon was fine but it all started once we got to McComb- Emme's fever spiked up to 103...we stop at the local Dairy Queen...administer Motrin and continue on. Fever breaks and she is happy again with seemingly no issues. We check into our hotel- girls are thrilled and play phone while we thing I know, they are jumping on the bead and, of course, Emme falls OFF the bed onto her head- I freak out, Josh does a quick exam and determines that she is perfectly fine as she is already off and running. After I got some oxygen and a Sprite (my how times have changed for me in New Orleans!) we headed directly for the Audubon Insectarium. (If you haven't been with your children- it is fun- girls loved it!) This was a blast for the girls- we went through the ant cave at least 6 times and the butterfly exhibit has been discussed at great length for days. I saw the largest beetle I have ever seen or thought about and learned that there are over 350,000 different species of beetles!! After this we head to the River for a little seafood- found a great restaurant with a live band and tables outside...girls were great...loved their food...champs at dinner...we danced by the river and headed to the hotel. Emme goes down at 6:30 just like every night and then wakes at 8:30 p.m. screaming her head off...fever is back at 103 and she is inconsolable...we could only hold her and pray...she gets real sick at midnight- you can use your own imagination- we consider packing up and going to Tulane's emergency room or heading straight for home...she eventually calms down and finally crashes at 3:34 a.m.!!!!! At this time, I am holding her listening to all of the "French Quarter patrons" coming in from their Friday night fun. Even though I was exhausted beyond description, stressed and worried about Emme, I had to laugh to myself at how poetic the situation was for me personally!!!!

6:34 a.m.- Ansley awakes singing to Josh and I- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Since we had only 3 hours of sleep the entire night, we begged her to hum and just talk to Charlotte. She loved that and laid on my stomach and told Charlotte the story of "Goldilocks and the Free Bears"! As exhausted as I was, it was a priceless moment! Emme awakens shortly thereafter and feels miserable. We pack up- grab breakfast and head to the Aquarium so not to disappoint Ansley. She loved everything about it- she loved the Anaconda even! Her favorite exhibit was the penguin exhibit and the clown fish exhibit as she was convinced it was truly Nemo in that tank!!! Below are some pictures from our trip. You can tell how much Emme enjoyed the Aquarium...she slept through the entire thing!!!!

Once we got home that afternoon, we took Emme straight to the doctor- she had hand, foot and mouth disease!!! For those of you who have not experienced this virus- it is one of the worst ever. Our girls have had it 3 times and every time I doubt whether I am going to make it through the 96 hour duration!!!! But, all is well now and looking back now we certainly made some memories! Ansley had a blast and has asked daily when we are going to see Nemo again! Josh and I are going to give New Orleans another shot to earn its "Easy" nickname from this Poole clan!!!