Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finger Food Fun!

Could my baby possibly be old enough for finger foods, like Cheerios and Puffs? As much as I hate to admit that he's growing up and able to do such a thing, I know the time is now. (And, not to mention that, his teachers politely asked me to bring snacks in because "Jake was sad watching all his other friends eat at snack time.")


And a short video to capture the fun!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Super Cooper is here (and now two + weeks old!)

I am so behind in this post, but I did not want to forget to mention the birth of Jake's newest partner in crime, Cooper Samuel Morrison. This precious one was born on Tuesday, July 13th at 8 pounds 11 ounces and is pure adorableness. We were unfortunately at the beach when Baby Cooper was born, so I was chomping to get my hands on this little pumpkin. We visited (then) 10 day old Cooper and his awesome parents last Friday, and Cooper did not disappoint. What a sweet angel and blessing from God!


That wraps up the last baby to be born to the "Carolina Girls" this time around. 5 babies in 11 months- we were busy! But...I still have more babies to pray for and celebrate on the "Oh, Baby!" list to the right. And please let me know if you would like YOUR baby added to our list!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do you remember this family?

If not, Brooklyn will be happy to introduce you...

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy 9 month birthday, Jake!




...and of course + one day. It is completely unrealistic for me to think that I can take a picture, load it, write a post, and publish all in one evening after work. :-)
These pictures pretty much accurately sum up what is going on with Jake. This month has probably been the most challenging of all. Jake has finally reached the frustrating stage where his body is just not doing what his mind wants him to. He wants to crawl soooooo bad, and is so close, but just hasn't gotten the coordination right yet. He kinda "butt scoots" around a bit and is a rolling champ, so he is semi-mobile...but no actual crawling yet. He is starting to pull up more, too.
Jake had his first fever virus this week. Between that and teething, we really haven't had a good night's sleep since before our beach trip. Chad and I are just chanting that old parent mantra "this is just a stage...it will get better." And we've taken to just realize that we may be walking around with dark circles under our eyes for a while. At least I have the power of Maybelline concealer.
So, what else is Jake-Jake up to these days???

He is wearing size 12-24 month clothes and still wearing size 4 diapers. At the doctor's office today, he weighed 24 pounds and 12 ounces. He has really plateaued in his weight gain (thank goodness!), and has only gained about 8 ounces in 6 weeks.
Jake has this awesome cheesy grin that he pulls out every once in a while. I think he knows it cracks us up. He also has his normal precious smile (accented with now one teeny bottom right tooth) and a fabulous contagious belly laugh.
Jake still enjoys playing in the pack-n-play every once in a while...and the exersaucer in small doses. He really just enjoys sitting in the floor on the blanket and playing with his toys (or Brooklyn's).
Before Jake had his fever he was sleeping un-swaddled a few nights. But, unfortunately, the past week's sickness has caused Jake to scream whenever he goes to bed...and usually scream every hour throughout the night. We have gone to swaddling him again just to get him to go to bed quietly. It's all about survival in the Johnson house. :-)
Jake is still solely breastfed and eats three solid meals a day- breakfast (cereal), lunch (fruit and veggie), and dinner (fruit and veggie). Now that he is 9 months I am gonna start introducing some more "exotic" foods, like blueberries, apricots, etc. I also have started throwing a few cheerios on his tray just to see if he is interested. Fortunately, he has the "technique" down to pick them up...he's just not totally into eating them.
Jake is definitely growing his personality more and more each day! He is completely loved by his sister...and has experienced more than his fair share of head butts to prove it. I love each and every stage my children go through, and I cannot wait to see what the coming month brings!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brooklyn's Beach VACATION

Brooklyn wasted no time in literally diving right in to the beach. She had an awesome VACATION because it was 100% fun 100% of the time (I mean, with Aunt Patty driving you around in the golf cart, Nanny taking you to the pool, Bryce playing games, and having a fun bedroom with Daddy and YOUR OWN TV that stayed on Nick Jr all the time...how could she not have the time of her life!?)

She did so great with the pool...and by the end of the week was dunking herself under water and looking through her goggles.


And what's not a family beach trip without a random Easter egg hunt thrown in?


This girl is a typical 5 year old...when she's happy, she is the most joyous, beautiful, blessed angel there ever was. But when she's not getting her way....watch out! But, as you can see, we had "blessed angel Brooklyn" all week because it was her VACATION.
Dancing on the beach...

Drinking some capri suns...

Brooklyn is continuing to enjoy her summer with Daddy. They take trips up to school so Chad can work on his classroom and tutor, making stops by Feeney's for some frozen yogurt along the way. And many days are spent in one of her, now 4, baby pools or the slip-n-slide in the backyard. They've bowled, played mini-golf, played real golf (I believe my child even drove the golf cart on one visit), and even fit in some fun Kindergarten workbook activities to keep her mind sharp.
This was our last summer vacation, and we won't travel again until Drew's wedding Labor Day weekend when we are headed to Asheville. I have to admit that last week I did enjoy myself, but just kept thinking "oh, in three years, this will be soooo much easier!" Then, my "vacation" will become a VACATION again. :-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

thanks for the memories!

Though she is never far from my mind, I always tend to think a little harder each July about one very special woman. On July 25, 1997, the world lost a beautiful woman, and I lost an amazing teacher and friend. My dance teacher, Blanche, was tragically killed in an automobile accident while I was attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans with youth from my church. This has still continued to be one of the greatest losses of my life, and there are days where I still think "what if?" What if she were alive today? Would I have continued dancing through college? Would I have attended Greensboro College (instead of UNC) so I could continue teaching at her studio? Would Brooklyn be starting her first dance class this fall in that bright red dance room on Market Street?
Though no one can answer those questions, I can say one thing. I would NOT be the woman I am today if it had not been for her influence in my youth and teen years. I spent almost ten years of my life learning from this woman- and not just how to plie, jete, and point my toes (while smiling through the pain). Blanche was very much like my own mother- between the two of them, I learned about what it means to be a hard-working wife and mother, as well as a strong, confident woman. I saw that when Blanche used to have to single-handledly send homeless men away from the studio so they wouldn't bother us girls. I saw her bravely take several of us on vacation to Charleston so we can see the Spoletto festival with our own eyes. And I saw her confidence in ME as she gave me my very first singing solo at the age of 15 when I had never sung in front of ANYONE. (And now look at me. :-) ha ha!)
I never said a final goodbye to Blanche 13 years ago, as unfortunately I was unable to make it home from New Orleans in time for her viewing and services. But, in a way, it's nice because it's always just been a "see ya later." The final memory I have of her is just a simple "goodbye...see you in a few weeks" after seeing one of her summer productions at Greensboro College.
I do, however, see her everyday in my precious girl, as I gifted her with Blanche's middle name, Marie. Lord, I even think some of her feistiness and confidence came with the name. :-) And I see her legacy continued through the lives of her two children, many students, friends and colleages (thank you, Facebook!). What a blessing she was in so many lives, and I thank God for the memories I do have of her and the little piece of my heart that she continues to live in each day.
(Photo credit: "borrowed" from her son's FB page...if you are reading, thanks Aubrey! And how can you possibly be old enough to get married????)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jake's Beach "Vacation"

There is so much to say about our vacation, I just have to do this in smaller posts instead of one large one. I want to start with Jake and his "vacation." I love how my friend Elizabeth put "vacation" in quotes on her blog, because that's exactly how it is with a baby. Sure, it's a break from work, from home chores, from the general routine of day to day life, but it is definitely not a vacation from the constant diaper changing, feeding, napping, entertaining, and hauling around a baby requires. Not to mention the extras, like sunscreening a squirmy 8 month old, daily pitching a tent on the beach, carrying around 4-6 chairs at any given time, and bathing an extremely sandy (and again, squirmy) boy in the kitchen sink.

But Jake was none the wiser and just so happy in this big giant sandbox.

He was just so amazed everytime he woke up and saw that there were 9 other people living in our house ready to play with him.

He loved playing in his seal baby pool.
And he loved swimming in the big pool.

He even got a new Cars float for the occasion from Nanny and Grandpa.

Unfortunately, though, Jake was kinda "off" during the week. I kept thinking it was just a change in environment that was totally screwing up his sleep at night. Or maybe even an ear infection. But when we got home, I felt the teeniest sharp bud of a tooth poking through his bottom gums. The boy is finally teething!

This constant knawing didn't given clue me in because he's been doing this since Month 3.

But, as always, Jake was a sweet, happy, joyful boy during the day (it was just the nights that started to wear on mama towards the end of the week). And I loved the opportunity to spend 9 straight days with my precious boy who is growing up so fast before our eyes.

Stay tuned for Brooklyn's Beach VACATION post...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Annual Ocean Isle Vacation

This year, we stayed in a 5 bedroom house in Island Park- 37 Atlantic Way. Vacationing in this house were: the 4 of us, my parents, and the Patterson family- my "aunt and uncle" and their son and grandson. It was a full house, but oh so spacious.


Yes, that is an inflatable pool and a golf cart...we live it up on vacation!

During the week, we celebrated an anniversary...

Time with grandparents...

Even an Easter egg hunt...

And a birthday or two...

But most of all, we played and played and enjoyed the beach and time together.

I have so many pictures of the kids that I hate to narrow down. Stay tuned for more posts on Brooklyn and Jake and their fun beach times!

I'm thinking about getting one of those "free" canvas prints that they advertise on the internet. Has anyone done this? What do you think about this picture?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

we interrupt this blog...

...to introduce you to a new blog!

The band that I play in- Grace Reigns Down- has started a blog to help keep our fans up to date with our shows, the album, and all that's going on with us.

Visit us at http://gracereignsdown.blogspot.com/.

Won't you please bookmark our page, become a Follower, leave some comments, and check back often?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Way Back & Wordless When-esday

WAY BACK WHEN-ESDAY
Here's Brooklyn with Grandpa on her first Ocean Isle beach trip in summer 2005 (5 months old).

And here she is with Nanny (last week).

Last week, as we enjoyed Brooklyn's 6th beach vacation in Ocean Isle, I was reminded often just how fast time flies and how quickly they grow up. (It made my sleepless nights with a teething baby just a little better knowing that it doesn't last forever, and yes, we do get sleep again soon!)
And...I could not help but add this picture for WORDLESS WEDNESDAY.
This is what happens when Mommy goes to the pool...

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Back!

I'm back from vacation (and a small break from blogging). Here's a peek at what we've been up to:

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I hope to get my pictures loaded soon and tell you guys about our beach trip last week....but if you simply cannot wait, visit Elizabeth's vacation re-cap. We pretty much had an identical trip....including the downpour of rain on the drive home :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Outside Fun

It's been so hot lately, and the kids have not been able to play outside as often as we would like. But last night, we did a mini-trip outside before dinner (around 6pm). Still about 90 degrees, but no scorching sun overhead. Both kids enjoy swinging so much!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Weekend!

We had a great 4th of July holiday weekend...lots of family time!


The Gramma and Nanny with their favorite babies!

The last family picture we took was at Christmas time...once every 6-7 months??? I need to be better about this!

Jake and Ansley, his future girlfriend/wife/best friend/doesn't matter as long as they just like each other person. :-) Ansley was not impressed with Jake's boy moves in the pool...let's just say he can create quite a tidal wave with those splashes! But they did enjoy playing rousing games of "pass the paci" and "staring."

I kinda put my camera down for the rest of the weekend, but trust me when I say there was a lot of water play, as Brooklyn and her friends played in our other two backyard pools and then we spent Monday, the 5th, with the Bump, Jumpe, and Henzler families at the pool. Brooklyn did not leave the water for 5 hours and came home with perma-wrinkled fingers. Jake enjoyed his first time in the "big pool." He even kept his hat on most of the time.

Hope everyone had a great, relaxing holiday weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Johnzler Oak Island Beach Vacation (Part 2)

I was just amazed at how brave Brooklyn was this year at the beach. She loved riding the waves in the inner tube!

And Brooklyn and Allie dug for clams and sand fleas.
And on Day 2, Aunt Mimi helped Jake play in the sand...and learn how yummy it was! :-)

Here is our beautiful God-daughter, Allie. She was such a great big sister to Brooklyn and Jake all week! I cannot believe she turned 9 last month!

Thanks, Henzlers, for a fun-filled, Phase 10 playing, crab legs/shrimp/scallop/steak/peanut butter cookie eating, pee-in-your-pants-spit-out-your-milk-funny, stay up later than I should week!

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