Greetings from sunny Florida! Today it was sunny- yesterday, when we arrived, soggy. But that was o.k. with us... because it was tolerably cool in the rain... phew! We're here because we have very much wanted to introduce Caroline to her great grandma Til who recently celebrated her 95th birthday. Caroline is her eighth great grandchild. Her ninth was born just a week or so after Caroline (and shares Caroline's middle name). I guess this will be one of those posts where I work backwards... Til has been VERY excited to meet Caroline and we have been VERY excited for Caroline to meet Til. They met officially for the first time last night. Caroline was pretty sleepy at the time... so no pics from that short visit. But... today... we spent a good three plus hours with great grandma, the first hour or so in her room before heading out. Great Grandma wants to hold her almost newest great granddaughter and we would like that as well, but separation stuff seems to be kicking in for Caroline (for about two weeks now she's been going through a major MOMMY phase- even crying hard with daddy at initial separation... I know this is normal at this stage, but it is sad... It does make me feel special and loved, but... I loved how comfortable she was with so many before! And Kev provides SO much care to her that he deserves primary caregiver status too! Soon enough he will be... and then I guess the tables will be turned!) and she has not allowed great grandma to hold her. She has had some very happy play time on great grandma's floor and has flashed her more than one beautiful smile. Caroline stares at great grandma pretty intensely, trying to soak in this new person in her life, it seems. Here are a series of shots from today.
Caroline and Great Grandma checking each other out, with delight, from afar
Great Grandma delighting in Caroline
Caroline delighting in Great Grandma
Caroline delighting in the wheel on Great Grandma's walker
And the two of them togetherish again
Perhaps tomorrow we'll get a shot of them CLOSER together. We'll see. For now, two more pics from that play time of our girl- they're blurry, but the first one i love and the second one kev loves... so they're being shared.
Big news of the day, other than the quality time with great grandma, is that at breakfast Caroline was showing great interest in my banana. We have taken a bit of a solids break after trying applesauce repeatedly to little interest or progress. We've been meaning to make up our own rice cereal, but just haven't gotten around to it. Anyhow... I figured, why not? I mashed up a bit of the banana, put a smaller bit on my finger, and put my finger in her mouth. And she didn't even wince. She sucked and swallowed. And then she opened her mouth for more. She took several bites before producing the gagging/coughing noises she often produces with solids. She only gagged a bit, but still was willing to take more even after that. It seems our girl likes bananas. As I said to Kev at breakfast "Shh... don't tell Barbara Kingsolver, but if this is what she'll eat... it's what she'll eat!" I'm tempted to try avocado while we're here, but we're supposed to do one solid at a time... so I guess we'll wait on that.
Last night we had dinner at Barnacle Bill's upon the recommendation of Kev's grandma. They offered us a high chair and we weren't sure. We haven't had a lot of luck with restaurant high chairs so far. Inadequate straps for our smallish and SUPER active little girl. But theirs was better. So our hands were free for dinner... most of it anyhow... ah. She spent a good deal of dinner throwing down toys we'd give to her and then looking around to see if the other guests were paying attention... or so it seemed. She also found the high chair (and the table) quite tasty it seems!
Note that dear Caroline is in her pretty green dress handpicked by her Aunt Katherine. Yesterday Aunt Katherine turned 30 years old! And so Caroline wore this dress to meet great grandma in Aunt Katherine's honor! Happy birthday, again, Aunt Katherine! We love you!
We flew in yesterday and Caroline did great on her fifth and sixth flights ex utero. She had a bit of a meltdown waiting for the delayed second flight (we could tell our fellow passengers were LOVING us as she screamed while we waited in line, but once we sat down and she started nursing she was fine. Caroline had fun playing with our baggage as we waited for our plane... EVERYTHING goes in the mouth these days! (Her bottom teeth are definitely in and her pediatrician says that her top gums feel VERY full... the teething goes on...)
And here are daddy and Caroline as we waited for the rain to die down here in FL before heading to our rental car. I love this shot for the funny looks on both of their faces and because you can so clearly see that they have each other's eyes.
So before we left town? Well... it feels like it was a big developmental week... as I reported earlier, she pulled into a stand on her own for the first time ever. She also, apparently, crawled her first steps, but I was not privileged to see that. Daddy did. I can tell she has all the skills she just needs to work out how to put them all together. Often though, when she gets into position to crawl, she pushes up into a full push up and it looks like she's trying to stand and forego this all fours nonsense. She then usually gets pretty frustrated. She was having a frustrated "I CAN'T DO THIS YET!" moment here... Just in case you've forgotten our girl is INTENSE. Still is...
We've had lots of good, silly times together this week. For example, we were playing peek-a-boo with a burp cloth and then for some reason, wrapped it around her head, which she didn't mind a bit. We just had to take a few pics...
On Tuesday we spent the whole day with Fiona, Sam's daughter, at their house. We'll be doing this the next two Tuesdays too. Helping Sam out during a teaching intensive she has going on. Fiona was rather blue all day... it is hard to be away from mommy (and in the care of virtual strangers) all day. I realized then what a non-cuddly baby I have. In her sadness she just snuggled into me all day. I had more nuzzling from Fiona in 11 hours than I've had from Caroline in 7 months. In any case, Caroline did GREAT on this day. She was full of smiles and played beautifully.
She is playing independently so much more and for longer and longer stretches. This is MARVELOUS. We just really have to keep an eye on her. I had an experience this week of her getting really quiet and me thinking "There will come a time when that should make me nervous". I decided to check what she was up to and indeed, now is that time! She had found a clothes pin and was happily sucking and chewing on it. Um, not a great toy. Not the worst, but not good! She is brilliant at making a bee line for the one WORST "toy" in her vicinity.
On Sunday I preached again, at a different church, and Caroline had a grand time in the nursery. This was a VERY cool church nursery. I wanted to stay there myself. And she was the only baby so she got LOTS of quality attention.
I'm super tired and working fast here, but I think that's all the major news. Oh... more shots on Monday. She survived. And her ped. confirmed it, we are all dealing with chigger bites. Lovely. O.K., really, I think that's about it.
I may post addendums tomorrow. But for tonight... tis all!