Surprise visit to Georgia!

For Christmas, we surprised my Mom and Geoff. They had no idea we were coming at all! Kerri pretty much planned the whole surprise, which took a lot of work, but she did a great job and it all worked out. We arrived on the 22nd, Kerri met us at the airport, and we arrived at the house in the evening. It was fun surprising them.

Carolina with Poppy and Mimi (Carolina rarely cries, but she does when she’s tired)

On Christmas Eve, we went to Church on the square. Liam wasn´t his best, so Rafa stayed at Kerri´s with him. Then Kerri had made Christmas Eve dinner and we celebrated my birthday. Kathryn got Liam a gingerbread house to make, which proved to be trickier than one might think.

The surprises weren’t over because on Christmas Eve night, Kristen, Reid, and Graham arrived. It was pretty late, so they stayed at Kerri’s house and came over Christmas morning to surprise Mom and Geoff. Again, they were shocked!

Here we are all opening presents and having breakfast in the living room. While we were there, the kitchen was being renovated so we had to improvise a little.

These two cousins had so much fun together! They played pretty well too, most of the time.

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Carolina loved Miss Lulu.

We had a relaxing trip and spent most of our time with family while there. We did go up to the Marietta square quite a bit which was nice. Liam loves the train, and on New Year’s Eve we ran into some Chic-fil-a cows which he thought were hilarious!

 

A day at the beach- Otur

It seems like the last few years we’ve been in Asturias in winter, we’ve had great weather! I remember last year spending New Year’s Day on the beach, and this year we were able to do the same (well, a month earlier).

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We always go to “Playa de Otur”. It’s the closest beach to Rafa’s parent’s place, and it really is beautiful. In the summer it’s usually full of people, but on a day like this there was barely anyone there.

img_2655-480x640My two diggers

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Liam loves the sand and water. He was one happy boy playing at the beach in January!

9 months

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Dear Carolina,

You are now 9 months old and you’re growing sooo fast. It seem likes over night you have learned how to go from sitting to pulling up to standing. You are very strong and can kick and whack pretty hard. It’s very difficult to change your diaper now. You are active and like to be on the move, but you are also a snuggly baby. When you are tired, you usually like to be held.

You are into EVERYTHING! You like to pull books off shelves, the fruit bowl off the shelf and pretty much anything you can reach you grab. Lately, you like to stare at yourself in the oven “mirror” and you stare at the music speakers trying to figure out where that noise is coming from. You laugh all the time and are the friendliest baby. When we are out you stare and talk and laugh at people until they look at you and then you put your head down to pretend you are shy. It’s quite funny!

You absolutely love your brother and he loves you. Both of you can actually “play” together now. Liam even WANTS to play with you and he includes you in most things he does. He’ll lay on the floor with you and crawl around the apartment with you. Lately, he covers you up with a blanket and plays peek a boo, which you also love. He also takes care of you and shouts when you are about to hurt yourself and picks up tiny pieces off the floor so you don’t eat them (yes, at times the floor isn’t perfectly clean). I am so happy you both have each other.

In December you traveled to Asturias (your second visit) and to Atlanta (also  your second visit). You did a pretty good job on the flight and adjusting to the time changes.

You love to eat and will eat and try almost anything. You still have 6 teeth (4 on top and 2 on bottom) You still have 2-3 bottles a day. You still aren’t the biggest fan of pureed foods, but sometimes will eat a little from the spoon. I think you weigh about 10 kilos.

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We love you Carolina! Love, Mommy, Papá and Liam

 

Here is your 9 month schedule more or less:

6:30/7 Wake up and have bottle

8/8:30 breakfast

9:45/10 nap (for about 1-1.5 hrs)

11:30/12 lunch

1:45/2 nap (about 1-1.5 hrs)-sometimes you’ll have a bottle before this nap

4/5 snack

6:30/7 dinner with family

7:15 bottle and to bed

 

Caneo in December

In December, we traveled to Caneo to visit family for about 10 days. This was Carolina’s second visit to Asturias. We had a wonderful time!

Here we are before leaving Frankfurt and then arriving in Asturias.

And we had fun with cousin Carmen too!

Liam loved playing with Papá´s toys (Playmobil) from when he was little….and so did Papá.

Here is Carolina with Abuelo, Tía Macri….and Papá and Abuela are cutting some yummy ham in the kitchen!

 

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We were so lucky to have such nice weather in December! It was actually warm a few days, and was sunny!

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Liam loved this tractor, but I´m not so sure how much he loved pulling Carmen and Carolina.

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The two fine ladies catching a ride….

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We spent a lot of time playing outside and visiting the animals. Here you can see the neighbor´s big pigs. They actually slaughtered a few while we were there and made chorizo and morcilla (sausages).

Liam also loved the cows. He would go several mornings to watch Rafa and Eugenia milk them. He also loved watching the truck come in the morning to get the food out for the cows. I think we have a little farmer on our hands!

8 months

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Miss Carolina turned 8 months while we were in Asturias. This was her second visit to Spain and she definitely learned a lot from cousin Carmen, who is 2 months older than her. I’m a tad late posting this, but here is what Carolina was doing at 8 months:

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Carolina still doesn’t like eating pureed baby food. She loves to eat but prefers to feed herself. She takes 2 naps a day and now has 6 teeth. She can almost sit by herself, but sometimes topples over.

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Carolina is a happy baby most of the time, unless she gets tired. She is moving more and more. She gets around by pulling herself across the ground and still hasn’t gotten her bottom up yet to crawl. Everything she sees she sticks in her mouth, including dust balls and rocks. We really have to watch her!

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She got her first bad cold while we were in Spain. Unfortunately, it looks like she will have the same problem as her brother: chronic bronchitis, which comes everytime she gets a cold (aka asthma from a cold in babies). The good thing is that Liam has outgrown this, so hopefully she will too! Her lungs just need to grow. We’ve got her an inhaler now, and we know what to do. So hopefully, Carolina will stay healthy throughout the rest of the winter.

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Carolina is growing so fast and we love this little one so much! Happy 8 months sweet girl!

7 months

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Our Missy Moo is now 7 months! She ‘s become such a happier baby this past month. She’s finally learned to sleep long enough naps so she doesn’t wake up tired. She takes 3 naps a day usually (sometimes 2). Although the clocks going back hasn’t helped much, she’s still a good sleeper I’d say. Hopefully she gets this time change down soon because I’d much rather wake up at 6:30 instead of 5:30.

We officially have a crawler (or army crawler). She started last weekend, and is already starting to get into everything. Liam now plays with his toys in the window sill so Carolina can’t get them. We are working on sharing with Carolina. Liam is very good at taking what she is playing with if he wants it and then replaces it with another today. Hey, trading is a good idea, right? Let’s see how long Carolina allows that….hopefully for a while. 🙂

Carolina loves to be on her stomach. She will lay for what seems like all day on her stomach. She plays, then crawls a bit, and then plays some more. She can really entertain herself for a while. When we go for a walk, she even lays on her stomach in the stroller and lifts her head up over the side to look out (perhaps hard to imagine if you’re not familiar with a German stroller). She also sleeps on her stomach. We are working on sitting up. She can sit for a little bit and then topples over to the side.

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I have officially given up trying to spoon feed baby food. Carolina just eats by herself, which makes her happy and me too. It’s a mess, a big mess, and I guess I spend just as long cleaning it all up as I would feeding her. She tries everything you give her and if she can’t chew it she just ends up spitting it out. I don’t think she’s really ever choked on anything.

Carolina now has four teeth! The bottom two popped through around 4.5 months, and the top 2 made their appearance a few days ago.

It really makes me happy how much Liam and Carolina love each other. Sometimes I can’t wait to go get Liam so he can “entertain” her. She just watches him, and he barely has to do anything to make her laugh. He is very sweet with her and does a good job taking care of her. I hope it stays like that forever!

Happy 7 months Missy Moo! We love you!

 

Oh and here is part of a 6 month update I wrote, but never posted. Bad mommy, and poor second child:

The past two weeks she’s had a bad cold that seemed to last forever, and a fever too. Hopefully, we’re done with colds for a bit!?She weighs 8.5 kilos (18.7 lbs) and is 67 cm (26.4) long. She’s in the 50% for height and 75% for weight. This past month she’s grown in length, but not in weight. Most likely because she  couldn’t breath so well due to her cold….good thing she’s chunky. 🙂  She still has amazing rolls in her legs and back, but she’s definitely “thinned” out a bit.

Since she didn’t like food last month, I waited til she turned 6 months to try again. Today, Carolina finally opened her mouth for some oatmeal. She likes to eat pieces of food, but does not like pureed baby food. I give her pieces of food, and keep trying with the pureed food too. So far, she’s eaten: banana, pear, advocado, apple, mango, orange, carrots, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, and bread. She LOVES drinking water from a big cup. No sippy cups for this girl.

 

3 years old

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Wow! It seems like yesterday our Liam was born, and now he is a big 3 year old boy. We had a great birthday party in the backyard. We’ve been so lucky with the weather. It’s been really hot and sunny. Just this past week it got cold. We had several of our friends over, and Liam’s best friend from school, Anouk, came too.  Rafa and I made a fire truck cake and we had a fire truck piñata. It was a lot of fun and Liam had a great time celebrating with all his friends.

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Mommy, Papá, Liam and Carolina on Liam´s 3rd birthday!

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This little boy loves his chocolate!

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Let´s see… more about Liam at age 3….

Liam’s language has taken off in the past couple of months! He speaks German, English and Spanish quite well for 3 years old, actually much better than I think we were expecting by now. His Spanish and English improved a lot while we were in Spain and the U.S., and he definitely knows that Papa speaks Spanish and Mommy speaks English and changes back and forth no problem. He does throw in a few German words every now and then, and some of the sentence structure in Spanish or English has German tendencies. But it’s quite impressive how fast he is learning.

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Yummy Chocolate Cake!!!!

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We’ve also tackled potty training in the past month or so! I bought Liam some cool “Paw Patrol” underwear while we were in the states in June and put it in Liam’s drawer. When we came back in July and he went back to “school”, he decided it was time to get rid of diapers and wear big boy underwear. This was all his idea, because I was planning to “train” him in Spain in August. At “school”, he’s the youngest and started the group early at 2 and a half because they needed more room for babies in his old group. It’s a class of 15 kids from the ages of 3-5. I would say peer pressure definitely works well and the fact that Carolina is a baby and she wears diapers, Liam no longer wanted them. At first, you were very motivated, and then in Spain not so much. But you would by no means put a diaper back on, unless it was a pull-up to go to sleep. And pooing…was a huge problem. But in the past two weeks, he’s been awesome and asks to go, and poops too! Woohoo for poop in the potty! Anways, lets home it stays like this now.

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The cool Fireman piñata!

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Umm….I think I was more into hitting the piñata than Liam. HA HA!

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Collecting candy from the piñata…

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Me and my sweet boy!

Liam has lots of favorites these days but the top things are….fire trucks (all things fire related), tractors, (all things farming really), Paw Patrol, and legos. He also loves playing outside in the sandbox, and has recently gotten pretty good at soccer. He likes to “fix” things too and plays a lot with his tools fixing things around the apartment. He’s also FINALLY started riding his laufrad (balance bike). We got him this for his second birthday, but has always been afraid he’ll fall. He zooms around like crazy now!

We had Liam’s check up last week at the doctor. He’s definitely a shorty measuring 93 cm (37 inches) and weighing 13.3 kilos (29 pounds). It’s kind of funny to think that at 6 months he was almost 10 kilos. HA! Besides being small, you’re a healthy little guy!

Liam can also do so much by himself now and wants to do everything BY HIMSELF. He can put on and take off his shoes, put his underwear and pants on (although he sometimes needs a little help) and take them off. Although, he is a “big boy”, he still loves his Ernesto (his little bear he sleeps with) and chews on him (yuck!). He sometimes asks for me to sing to him and rock him like a baby before bed too.

Happy Birthday Stink Monkey! We love you!!!

 

 

5 months

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Dear Carolina,

You are such a sweet sweet baby. You are changing so much every day and have learned to do so much this past month. At 4 and a half months you got your first tooth. This was very painful for you. It seems like the whole month we were in Spain, you cried much more than normal. After the first tooth popped through, a week later, the second one did. For the past 6 weeks you have been chewing on EVERYTHING! Seriously, everything goes in your mouth.

At the same time you got your teeth, you learned to roll over (back to front). And in just the past couple of days you know roll front to back too. You are moving more and more and can definitely turn around 360 degrees. Since you’ve mastered rolling over you like to sleep on your tummy most of the time.

At night you sleep from 8/8:30 pm- 6/6:30 am which I think is pretty good. Suprisingly, you and your brother have no problems sharing a room. You never wake him up…unless it’s close to when he usually gets up (7am). We do keep the white noise on all night to muffle the sound if you cry. Napping is another story….we try to have a napping routine, but sometimes you just won’t have it. At the tiny age of 5 months, you seem stubborn, and fight napping. We can usually get a good 1.5 hr nap out of you and two 45 min naps per day.

We started giving you food about a week and a half ago. You will not open your mouth for the spoon. Your arms fly around and want to grab the spoon and feed yourself. We’ve tried pears, apples and carrots. I’ve even done a little dance to get you to open your mouth. Maybe ONCE you have. So, I’ve also tried giving you big chucks of food too….a banana, pear, cucumber, carrot, and potato. You seem to like this more. At least you are opening your mouth and feeding yourself. We’ll keep trying.

You got your last round of shots (for now anyway) at the 5 month check up. You are a BIG girl: 63 cm (24.8 inches) and 8.5 kilos (18.7 lbs). I wouldnt say that you eat so much though. You have 5 200 mL bottles a day. We love you chunky and everyone is extremely impressed by your thighs!

Your favorite person is definitely your brother, Liam. You love him and he really loves you too. You might be crying and then he comes by and tickles you or talks to you and then you laugh. You love to watch him play as well. I’m so happy you both love each other and hope it stays like that always! 🙂

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Happy 5 months “Missy Moo” or as Liam says “Caroliny”!

Love,  Mommy and Papa

 

Summer of Fire Trucks

Liam LOVES fire trucks. He goes around”tootaa-ing” all day long. Yes, in German the fire truck says “too-taa”. He puts out fires all over our apartment.

We started off our summer by visiting the Edison Fire Department in New Jersey. Kerri organized it for us since her friend’s husband is a fire man there.

Then while we were in Georgia, we passed by the Marietta Fire Station one morning. It was great! You can just show up and they give you a tour of the museum and show you all the trucks.

And, then 2 weeks ago, they had an open house at our Local Station here in Germany. The kids could ride up in a ladder and spray the fire house. They even have a Junior Fire Department here for kids ages 6 and up. So they did a little show as well.

 

New Jersey

In June, we visited the states. Our first stop was in New Jersey for my cousin Julie’s wedding. We stayed there for a week so we could spend time with Grandma too. Julie and Gate’s had a beautiful wedding. They got married at Grandma’s church and the reception was a bit further from there, but absolutely amazing!

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This is actually the first picture we have as a family of four! 🙂

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This is my grandma who will be 93 next week. Doesn’t she look beautiful!? It was so great to see her and spend time with her. She really is doing well for her age!

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Grandma loved Carolina.Once I left Carolina on a blanket in the middle of room while I went upstairs to get something. When I came back, Grandma had somehow pulled Carolina to the chair, sat down, and was singing to her.

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We didn’t take many pictures at the wedding, or actually any at all. I think between Liam (although he didn’t come to the reception) and Carolina, we forgot. Or we were just having a good time!

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I’m not sure who took this picture (maybe a selfie Geoff took), but it’s one that I love!