Posted by: ccarro7 | August 23, 2010

Aug. 22, 2010: The End of a Wonderful Summer

I can’t believe the summer is already over and school starts tomorrow.  The last six weeks have been awesome!!!   Throughout the last two weeks, Brian and I have kept passing the same look to each other:  “we love our family.”  Our kids are adorable (even when they’re whiny, crabby, defiant, or clingy), and our dog is so good-natured.  Ahhh–we’ve been truly blessed to have this much time to share together.  (I apologize for the cheesy Christmas-card-style of the last few sentences, but I’m sincere, and I’m a little scared of what might happen during their adolescence.) 🙂

So, here are some of the highlights of the past six weeks:  We’ve taken the kids bowling, to a birthday party at Pump it Up, to the Wisconsin State Fair, to get their first haircut, to the Lincoln Park Zoo,  and lots of trips to the library/story time, park, grocery stores, and other free, short-distance places.  Olivia and Connor loved each experience–of course, some more than others.  Connor, for instance, hated getting his haircut, but Olivia was such a little lady.  Needless to say, Connor’s hair is pretty uneven.  😦

Connor has also mastered eating all real–no more baby jars–food, climbing stairs, taking a bath in the real tub, AND walking now.  Oh–and he’s loves playing “So Big!”  He really thinks he’s something!  Even though he’s incredibly shy, he’s coy.  He’ll hold out one arm, almost like an elephant, pointing it at you, and just when you go to reach for him, he’ll snuggle back into me or Brian.   And he’ll just smile and laugh.    Anytime we take him anywhere, we hear three comments over and over:  “He’s big.  How old is he?…Oh, man, he’s really big!”, “Where did he get that blond hair?  It’s really white.” and  “What beautiful blue eyes!”

Olivia is really becoming her own little person.  She’s mighty precocious all of the time, talking like an adult much of the time, always trying to help me, Brian and Connor, or using logic and constant questioning/repetition to solve  life’s “problems/puzzles.”   Sometimes she pairs that trait with a bit of timidity in public,  but at home, she is a ham–always trying to be the center of attention, laughs, and good times.  She can be pretty bossy, too.  Daily, Brian and I find ourselves amazed at what Olivia remembers, clings onto, or reasons out.  For example, this morning when she woke up, she greeted me with “Hi Mom.  Where’s Kelly?” because her aunt Kelly babysat her the night before.  She also mimics our behaviors and vocal inflections, which can be quite disconcerting.  A couple of weeks ago, we noticed her starting to call Brian “Daddy Carro” and me “Mommy Carro” when we’re “in trouble” with her for something because when we want Connor’s attention for a troublesome behavior, we say “Connor Carro.”

Each time I post a blog entry I feel like I’m inserting way too many pictures, but I have many to choose from, so enjoy what I seem to consider the best of bunch.  Many of them involve food or making food because our kids LOVE to eat.  As Brian says, they only stop eating when we stop feeding them.  Too true…too true.

Posted by: ccarro7 | July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010: Family Vacation

Last week, Brian and I had one of the biggest adventures of our married life yet.  Nope, we didn’t go to Africa.  We went to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for a family vacation.  My family on my mom’s side (20 people total) rented a house in the mountains (see picture below–it was beautiful!).

The vacation itself was great, but Brian and I were so worried beforehand about the packing, the money, the 11 hour car ride with two kids under the age of 3!  We got lucky.  Overall, the kids were pretty awesome in the car, and Olivia had a blast the whole week, soaking up the attention from all of her cousins, aunts, uncles, and great-grandma.  (Connor was a little clingy to say the least.)  But we really did not have one bad day; we got to hike, whitewater raft, play cards and game with the fam, explore the strip a little (first time for me on go carts and playing lazer tag).  We do it again in a heartbeat.   We ended the vacation with a stop in T-Town to see Grandma & Grandpa Grunloh and Aunt Amy and Uncle Aric.

Olivia was a trip last week.  She made up nicknames for my cousins on day one (probably due to cognitive associations and mispronunciations, but they were funny).  She called Whitni, “Pooha” (we think because of Winnie the Pooh), Josiah “green giant”, Shayla was “Sheira”, Madalyn was “Moman.”  Because we were laughing at her names, she thought she was the wittiest little thing, so she kept being a clown the rest of the week.

Posted by: ccarro7 | July 13, 2010

March-June 2010: Time’s moving too quickly

There is no way I can remember or concisely retell all that we’ve done since spring break, but here are some highlights: Olivia turned 2; the Blackhawks won the Stanley cup; we’ve visited lots of friends, zoos, aquariums, and other funny people.

Olivia is quite an adorable handful these days.  Some moments she is the most precious thing I’ve ever beheld:  sweet, funny, outgoing, singing, witty, etc., but in an instant, she can turn into a whining, crabby, mean big sister.  Fortunately, the good times outweigh the bad.  She got a bike for her birthday, and she loves riding the tricycle in addition to blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk, playing soccer…really anything outside.  She’s reading books by the dozens still, and she’s singing all sorts of songs to herself.  Her favorites are the “ABC’s,” “Hush, little baby” (mockingbird song, as she says), and “Bad Romance.”  She overcounts everything by 1 and thinks she’s hysterical, and she’s talking so much.  I love listening to her babble.  One of our favorites non-words, though, is “pacimouth” which is what she calls Connor’s pacifier.

Connor is cute!!!  Seriously, he’s going to melt some hearts with those blue big eyes, huge smiles, and tight hugs.  He’s still a little shy around strangers, preferring Brian and me to anyone else, but he’s really a happy kid.  I often joke that his first word better be “mama” since I have to carry/soothe him when he’s tired and frightened.  He started crawling around 8 months, I believe, and since then, we’ve had to keep a constant watch because he will get into everything!  Babyproofing has not stopped him from hurting himself.   And for the past two weeks, he’s been “walking” with the baby stroller.  He’s going to take off here any minute.   🙂  Oh, he’s still big, too!  He’s catching up to his sister’s weight and height fast!

Finally, here are the pictures. Some are from Olivia’s birthday, mother’s day, father’s day, our time at the zoo, our parents’ houses, and the aquarium.

Posted by: ccarro7 | March 27, 2010

March 2, 2010: Portraits!

Here are some professional photographs of the kids from this week, commemorating Connor’s 6 month birthday and Olivia’s 2nd birthday in April.

I forgot to mention in the last post that Connor is huge!  He weighs 21 pounds, 7 ounces and measures 28 5/8 inches long. Wowsers!

Posted by: ccarro7 | March 27, 2010

March 25, 2010: Yikes! We’ve been busy!

I’m being hassled again because I haven’t posted in such a long time.  (Your time is coming, Abby!)  And, I’ll admit that I regret not posting more often because there have been too many funny/cute stories of my kids in the last 3 months that I can no longer do justice in a blog.

So, since I’ve returned back to work, life has been a little busy.  When we find a few minutes of relaxation, Brian and I usually find ourselves sleeping since Connor still isn’t sleeping through the night.  (Oh, we’ve come close to a full night, but we’re still awaiting the day.)  Connor is an adorable, sweet, mostly happy baby.  He smiles and squeals all of the time.   He’s rolling over one way, sitting by himself, and just starting the crawling movements.  He loves being tickled and kissed; he breaks out into belly laughs and chuckles every time.  He does not seem to like baby food at all, which is a little disappointing.  Connor loves his momma, though, and boy, do I love him!!!

While Connor isn’t quite on the move, he keeps us in constant motion (he still likes to be carried/moved everywhere) as does his precious big sister.  Olivia has entered the terrible 2’s a little early–one minute she’s an angel who’s the best mommy’s helper and sister ever, and the next minute, she’s crying, throwing a tantrum, or hurting Connor or Keira.  The chaos is only beginning.  She’s also turned into a singing, precocious daredevil and imitator–climbing onto everything, jumping off of it, singing “twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or “A,B,C’s” while she does it.  (She also counts to 10.)  She still loves baby dolls, and she’s getting more inventive with them and her other toys.

Brian and I are doing well; mostly, we’re just getting through the work day as happily as we can (luckily, I’m enjoying my classes a lot this year!) and spending as much time with the kids and Keira before the atrocious hours of night grading.  We have managed to get out a few times thanks to our families.  Unfortunately, during our last night out, I broke my hand dancing at a wedding in Memphis, which, needless to say, has complicated our lives even more.  It’s nice not to have to change diapers or wash dishes, but I miss typing normally and holding my babies easily.  😦 Ah well, it’s geting better everyday, and, thankfully, my sister just spent spring break with us to help me out while Brian was working.

Enjoy the pictures.  Lots of personality!

Posted by: ccarro7 | January 3, 2010

Jan. 3, 2010: Happy New Year!

Best wishes to everyone this new year!  Brian and I were just talking about what a beautiful, fun, exciting decade we’ve had.  (Yes, we’ve been together for almost nine years…crazy, right?)  We’ve been so blessed by having so many great friends; fabulous, caring families; good jobs; amazing overseas vacations; a comfortable (now a little too cozy) home; a fun and cuddly dog, and, of course, our two adorable children!  Ahhh…  Ok, sentimental moment over.

Brian and I brought in the new year by staying home, watching a movie, and drinking a bottle of wine.  Actually, I think he was the only awake at midnight…oops!  But the following night, we were able to get out of the house for a little bit, thanks to Kelly and Dave.  The rest of this weekend has flown by in a whirlwind of cleaning, running errands, and holding/chasing our little ones.  That pretty much sums up most of the days of break, except last Wednesday we went to Shedd’s Aquarium with Grandma and Grandpa Carro (and then out to dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe with the rest of the Carro clan).  For those of you who don’t know, Brian loves the aquarium (and zoo), so we’ve been meaning to take Olivia for quite awhile.  Brian talked up the trip so much that when Olivia awoke in the car as we pulled into the aquarium’s parking lot, she burst into laughter and squeals:  “babies,” “fish,” “babies.”  She was ridiculously excited by all of the kids, but she loved looking into the tanks at all of the much that we had a hard time corralling her to move onto the next window.  It was almost like she didn’t believe that there were more fish or turtles anywhere else.  Unfortuantely, we didn’t get to see the dolphin (or “dolfish” as Olivia says) show or the beluga whales since it was so crowded.  But it was wonderful to see her pure excitement and joy with each exhibit.

Olivia makes us laugh everyday.  One of her new things is asking the question “why” all of the time.  We’re not sure if she’s really asking the question or just saying a letter, but we give her an answer every time.  She really is repeating everything we say, too.  I’m starting to understand why my parents used to refer to each other as “mom” and “dad” because a couple of times Olivia has said Brian’s name repeatedly when I was trying to get his attention.  She still loves to read and now has most of the board books memorized.   When we read Snuggle Puppy, Olivia starts saying the “ooo” and giving us kisses right before we get to that part of the story.  She also still loves music and dancing.  We have do to “Head and Shoulders” at least once a day, and yesterday we learned “The Monkey Dance.” Olivia enjoys acting like a grown-up, too, whether it’s cooking food with her kitchen, talking on the pretend phones, caring for her babies, or starting to dress herself.  It’s funny and very humbling to watch yourself be impersonated by a toddler.

My little Connor is so cute, but he’s still not rolling over.  (We practice all of the time, and Olivia loves to show him how to roll, too…but nothing yet.)  We have put him in the exersaucer a couple of times this weekend, and he seems to enjoy it so far.  He’s definitely strong enough to stand on his own. He doesn’t fall asleep on us very often anymore, but he did yesterday and again this morning, so I enjoyed the moment (see pic below).

Posted by: ccarro7 | December 27, 2009

December 27, 2009: Winter Wonderland

Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!  What a beautiful snowstorm we’ve had the past two days!  I really hope we get another one on Jan. 4th and 5th!  🙂  …If you don’t already know, that’s when I have to go back to work, and I really don’t want to.  If you would have asked me in November, I probably would have said, “Sure…no big deal,” but now that the date is approaching, I am getting extremely sad (and even a little stressed) about it.  Of course, just looking at my beautiful kids’ pictures below will explain why.  I’m going to miss them so much!  And Brian’s going to miss having me home, too.  In addition to keeping the house and laundry clean, I actually cooked some dinners.  Plus, I agreed to almost everything he said/wanted to do because I didn’t have to worry about grading papers. 😦

Connor went in for his 3 month check-up before Christmas.  He now weighs 17 1/2 lbs. and measures 26 1/2 in. long. While that’s only in the 97th percentile, he is a big kid, proportional yes, but still big.   Connor is the sweetest baby, though.  His smiles floor me–they’re so big and precious!   I just wish he slept more.  He still hasn’t slept through the night–usually only a 4-5 hr. stretch from 8ish-12ish and then he wakes up every 2 hrs. to nurse.

Olivia is still adorable, but she is getting an attitude!  She’s kind of like a toddler version of Jeckyl and Hyde.  One minute she’s the happiest, sweetest girl who adorns and protects her brother, and the next, she’s screaming, crying, and hitting everything in sight.  She’s also testing our discipline skills.  After we tell her not to jump on her bed, or hit her brother, or throw toys, she’ll do it again to see if we’re serious.  After two warnings, it’s time-0ut time!  More crying ensues throughout time-out, but after 1-2 minutes in a corner, Olivia is back to her helpful, caring self.  Olivia’s speech skills are continuing to grow; she’s repeating almost everything, even 3-4 word sentences.  This weekend she said “I love your cookies” and “Where are your keys?” clear as day.  She still loves to read, sing, and dance, often requesting more of all three.

Anyway, I just wanted to post some pictures of my kids.  Many of them are of Olivia and us in the snow, sledding.  She LOVED it yesterday; even after she did a couple of face plants and couldn’t get up due to her big snowsuit, she didn’t want to go inside.  Neither did Keira.  When it snows, our dog Keira follows us around the house until we take her out.  Then it’s all about playing in the snow–she doesn’t care if we play soccer, throw snowballs at her, run from snow pile to pile, walk, or shovel.  She’s up for anything snow-related (well, except for salt).

I love many of the pictures below.  For instance, doesn’t Connor look adorable in his Sunday best–almost like a dressed-up taxi driver with the hat?  Olivia put herself in time-out the other day (first picture in second row); I still don’t know why she wanted to punish herself; perhaps it’s best that I don’t know.   I also love the picture of all 3 of kids (3rd pic in 2nd row)!  And notice Connor’s shirt in the 3rd pic in 4th row; it says “Mommy’s lit’ Superhero” with a Batman symbol.  I found it at Gap and HAD to buy it for my little munchkin and my own mania.

Posted by: ccarro7 | December 27, 2009

December 25, 2009: Christmas in Niles

After attending a beautiful, joyous Christmas Eve mass, we celebrated Christmas Eve with the Carro family and Christmas Day with the Marciniak family.   The only snag in what we consider another great celebration was that Olivia didn’t take a nap either day, making her cranky and clingy.  Not a good combination, especially for a 20-month old.  But, of course, after some food and time to warm up to everyone, Olivia entertained the crowd.  The Schraub girls definitely got a kick out of her showing off her tummy to everyone.

Olivia and Connor were both spoiled rotten by everyone this year, but I think Olivia’s favorite gift is a kitchen from Grandma and Grandpa Carro.    Brian and I like it, too, because she can entertain herself.   (Brian’s favorite gifts were Connor’s GeoTrax stuff; he spent an hour putting all of the tracks together last night, making sure all of the signs and trees were in the exact right spot.)  Watching Olivia open gifts was amusing since she wanted to open the box and play with whatever gift was at hand, ignoring the rest of the wrapped presents.  And Aunt Kelly was right–Olivia really is the best when it comes to receiving clothes.  She holds them up to herself, “oo”ing.  So cute!  Having kids really does make one appreciate the simple things in life!

The Carro group shot with matching shirts is for Aunt Karen in Arizona who sent her kids the shirts but made us wear them.  🙂  I think we look pretty good.  And please check out Uncle Kevin’s footed pajamas.  Can you believe he wouldn’t wear them to his grandma’s house?

Posted by: ccarro7 | December 27, 2009

December 21st: Christmas in T-Town

Brian and I were expecting the worst weather conditions and terrible tantrums on our way to and from T-Town this holiday season, but we were pleasantly surprised–no snow and the kids slept pretty much the whole way.  (Thank goodness!)  Our Christmas with the Hastings family was wonderful!  Olivia took to everyone pretty much right away, especially her Uncle Aric.  Brian and I were excited to spend time and play Wii with the Bozdechs the following Monday.  Olivia was also much more comfortable at my parents’ house this time, which meant more sleep for all of us and less temper tantrums/mommy holding than last time.  Grandma G probably sang “Frosty the Snowman” a billion times while Olivia danced and then demanded “more.” We had to hide Frosty and Santa Claus (who played another tune) a couple of times.  And Grandpa G had a great time with his grandkids, snuggling up and rough-housing.  Aunt Amy and Uncle Aric even baby-sat one night so Brian and I could go out with friends.   Good times!  **Notice the pictures of Connor sleeping with Brian and Uncle Aric.  I think almost everyone we visited has fallen asleep with Connor this holiday season.

Posted by: ccarro7 | December 15, 2009

December 13, 2009: Connor’s Baptism

This weekend Connor was baptized during a simple, beautiful ceremony at Holy Family.  His godparents are Aunt Kelly and Uncle Aric.  Both Connor and Olivia behaved pretty well.  Connor cried a little when he was sprinkled with the holy water, but he didn’t poop in his baptism outfit.  🙂  (We were very afraid that was going to happen since he hadn’t pooped in two days–and still hasn’t.)  The ceremony took place during Olivia’s nap time, so she was a little clingy throughout the afternoon, but she rallied several times.  We planned a light lunch reception at one of our favorite restaurants in Palatine.  While the food was good, it was definitely “light.”  Oh well…it beat cleaning our house and trying to jam 30 people into a living/dining room filled with toys and furniture.  We were just happy that our families were able to be with us for the special occasion!!!

Not much new to report…Olivia has had many temper tantrums lately; the babysitter told us that she’s going through a defiant “everything’s mine” phase.  We’re trying to be patient with her and trying several different discipline techniques, but sometimes her stubborn attitude gets the better of all of us.  But of course, her sweet nature and cute personality balance the trying times.  Connor is a happy boy.  He’s eating every 3-4 hours now (sometimes still 2) and is sleeping a little longer, 4-5 hour stretches at night, but I am really looking forward to one solid night’s rest.  Brian and I are great; I know he’s looking forward to winter break.

Here are pictures from the baptism and some random ones thrown in there from the past two weeks.  The only one (in the 3rd row) that has a story is the one of Olivia in Uncle Kevin’s hands (next to Aunt Amy), pointing to baby Jesus in the manger.  At church Olivia really wanted to pick up the baby Jesus doll and play with it.  In a moment of rationalization with a 1 1/2 year old, I told her that “you can’t hold baby Jesus; Jesus holds you.”  When she gave me a quizzical look, I told Kevin–her godfather–to explain.  🙂

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