Saturday, September 1, 2012

April 2012

Welcome to the longest blog I've ever attempted. April was busy around the Brand household. One of those months that I should have blogged our adventures about 20 times, but instead I'm going to try and cram everything into one blinding blog. Things are out of order because Blogger is messing with my picture order, and I'm too tired to care this morning. So, welcome to the chaos.

Our beach trip to Edisto, SC started in March but ended in early April. This is a rare family photo with all four human members of our family. I love it. So much so that it is the picture Adam and I chose for our anniversary book this year.
Sea for Eva had wonderful places for Kenly to sidewalk chalk.  Adam took some great pictures of her creativity.  I can never pass up a picture of chalk in the box. 
After Mops and  Pops left, my family came in to town to finish up the week with us.  Grandma came with them.  My 89 year old grandmother wiped out in the waves the first time she went to the beach.  We are talking full face plant.  She came back to the house wet and covered in sand and shell, but still smiling.  I swear she handled the fall better than I would have. 

Corah started practicing her pout.  It is majorly cute in an "eat your face off" sort of way.  Couldn't you just eat her alive?  She looks like her heart is breaking.  I'm so glad I captured this picture because she is not doing this adorableness anymore. 
Corah got her first taste of the sand and surf; she was not a fan.  But, I'm a fan of her sandy toes.
Don't let this picture fool you.  She looks indifferent to the surf here, but her true feelings will erupt.  Wait for it!
Kenly helped Grandma roll her hair at night.  She thought it was great fun to watch Grandma's cover her head in rollers.
Kenly also helped Nana make monkey bread for Adam's birthday.  Nana always offers to cook him anything he wants.  Monkey bread often makes the list.
Adam spent a great deal of vacation reading one of the Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  Not a bad place to read...
Monkey bread....yummy!
This was the view from our breakfast nook.  The first part of the week was warm and sunny.  Toward the end of the week, heavy clouds rolled in and the temperature got quiet chilly.  I think the beach is beautiful in any weather.
Papa and Kenly spent some time on the sundeck blowing bubbles.  The wind got so gusty that they could just hold the bubble wand up in the air.  The bubbles would then blow toward the beach.
Kenly did some biking on the sidewalks.  Since then she has learned to ride a bike with two wheel (if you don't count the training wheels).
See the wind making the beautiful bubbles?
Blustery days make for great bubble blowing...
Until your hands start to go numb, but then you have Papa to help you warm them up.
We went out to eat some yummy seafood at a hole-in-the wall restaurant on the island.  Hole-in-the wall restaurants are the best kind.  I have forgotten the name of this place, but I'm so glad they spend more time on the food than the decor.  Corah will always help me remember this restaurant.  I was nursing her while we waited on a table to open.  Suddenly my lap felt wet.  It might be more information than anyone wants, but Corah blessed me with the biggest poop of her life.  I should have been upset that I was covered in poop, but I wasn't.  Girl has issues when it comes to making movements, so I was thrilled.  A bit smelly and slightly embarrassed, but thrilled.   TMI--We even had to clean up the chair and the floor where I was sitting.  Can we say BLOWOUT? 
Everyone enjoyed their food.
Papa enjoyed the restaurant the most because Corah was giving him unforgettable "face loving." She would put her face against his and lean...not gently, but HARD.  She would only do this with Papa.
A teeny tiny face hug.
She must be a princess.  Nana fed her most of her fries.
More face loving for Papa.
Papa doesn't love this special attention at all.  Can't you tell?  He's in  misery.
Adam took this picture and I love it.  It captures Kenly so well.  Tricycle, sidewalk chalk dust, and wild striped socks.  This could be a poster for her childhood. 
Another restaurant shot.  
Grandma and Corah Beth enjoying the sunrise from the breakfast nook.  Grandma didn't want to go on the sundeck in her gown. 
Our trip ran from Saturday-Saturday.  Easter was the Sunday of our return home.  I didn't want Kenly to miss out on all the activities so I brought them along with us.  I'm still so thankful for the whisk trick.  Kenly didn't drop a single egg, and we had no major splashes.  This year she wanted to dye all the eggs by herself. 
I secretly think Grandma wanted to dye one too, but Kenly was a little stingy.
I love her.  I love her so much.
Adam did a great job with these shots.  They make me happy. 
Kenly had a vision for each egg, and she worked hard.  She wanted no guidance.  She scoffed at suggestions.
But, I think this picture shows that she was thankful for the opportunity to add a splash of color to our Easter.
Chance had it tough.  We treated him like such a dog the whole time we were on vacation. 
The finished product.  You can see that Papa was able to sneak in a hidden message for Kenly.
Adam took this one too.  I want it in an 11x14, but I would have no place to hang it. 
Me and my critters on the sundeck overlooking the Atlantic.
Love them both so much.
Kenly got cold during our photo shoot, so Adam gave her his Carolina Panthers hoodie to wear.  This was a huge sacrifice.  He didn't mind a bit.
Showing off their Panthers growl.  He's been brainwashing her since she was about 3 months old.  I remember being up with her one night and she and she looked up at me with sleepy eyes and said, "Daddy says, 'Go Panthers.' "  Now he's teaching her the players.  He'll ask, "Kenly, who throws the ball for the Panthers?"  She'll proudly reply, "CAM NEWTON!"  They'll do a little dance and high five each other.  It's cute, but what he doesn't realize is that he's training her to be some boy's dream girl.  She knows at least four players now.  This just might come back to bite him in the butt.
I think she looks good in this sweatshirt.  Daddy better watch out.  She might start stealing from his closet already.
Kenly loves her Daddy.  He brings her great joy.  I'm sure the feeling is mutual. 
Grandma enjoyed holding Corah when Corah would allow herself to be held.  Most of the time, even at this age, Corah prefers to be on the floor playing with a toy.  She's amazing at entertaining herself.  She puts Kenly to shame.  But, Corah has learned that she doesn't always get instant gratification.  Kenly rarely had to wait for anything.
Kenly loved her room.  It was pink and perfect.  She and Adam roomed together when Corah got to noisy in the middle of the night. 
This was our bedroom.  I loved being able to open the window and see the ocean.
Keeping up with a three year old who has mastered a tricycle is harder than it looks.  I think I might need to take up biking again when she gets better on her big girl bike.
Corah asleep on the big bed.  Before anyone freaks, I was checking on her tons.  We had already packed up the Pack-n-Play, and Bethie desperately needed a little shut eye.  We made do.  She lived.  Everyone is happy.
This was the screened in porch that was just below the sundeck.  It was amazing, but we quickly learned that it leaked when it rained.  A slight drawback. 
The sundeck.
The house that kept us safe and dry all week.  Meet Sea for Eva.  I would rent this house every year during spring break if I had all the money in the world. 
The view from the dining room/breakfast nook. 
In the March post, I mentioned that we got a minivan.  This is Cielo.  As you can see, Kenly really enjoys her captain's chair.  She also loves watching movies on the mini DVD player.  Cielo did not come equipped with  one of those fancy entertainment packages.  We make do, but we play I Spy and other car games for hours before we break this bad boy out.
Corah is such a chubby, happy baby.  Her smile is like a 100 watt light bulb.  I can't help but melt every time she flashes that amazing smile.  Add rice cereal to her face, and the cuteness jumps off the charts.

 Meet baby blue eyes.
When we got home, the Easter Bunny came to see the girls.  Kenly was super excited to open her basket on Easter morning. 
See that excited face...guesses as to what made her so happy?  Flossers.  Apparently dental hygiene is all the rage in three year old circles.
Another determined tricycle picture.
The Easter Bunny did a good job. 
Kenly got to open Corah's basket too; this went over smashingly well.
The ladies got dressed for church and headed off to Grace for the morning.  Kenly and Corah looked to beautiful in their yellow outfits.  Looking at this picture, you'd would never know that I nearly fell holding Corah just moments before.  Scared the mess out of me.  Twisted my ankle and made me cry, but neither of us were hurt.  Teach me to try and wear heels and hold a baby.  I'm just not that coordinated.

Adorable Easter cuteness. 

Proud of Papa's declaration of love.  We couldn't crack this egg for about a week. 
I think Corah looks amazingly silly in this picture, but it is really cute.

Kenly can be sweet to Corah when she wants to or when Mama begs her to kiss her sister so I can get one picture. 
Like I said, these pictures are all out of order.  The first part of the week, Mops and Pops came to stay with at Edisto.  This is Mops with her boy.
A few more Easter shots.
I love this is by far my favorite.
This one is cute too.  I never knew how hard it was to get both kids looking at the camera.  It is hard.
I love Kenly's fascination with the little things.   It reminds me to take in the beauty and wonder that is all around me. 
We are trying to teach Corah that there are cool things everywhere. 
The next three picture were taken on a random morning in April.  Corah and I went to get Kenly out of bed, and Kenly asked if Corah could get in her big girl bed to snuggle.  I will NEVER turn that down.  They aren't great pictures, but they do capture that Kenly loves Corah even if she sometimes hates the fact that she has to share now.

In April, my good friend Meghan Yoder moved back to Michigan.  To say  I was sad to see her go would be a colossal understatement.  This was her farewell dinner.  This group of ladies is my "NET."  I don't know what I would do without them.
More egg fun from the beach.
Adam set up a kiddie pool under the house in Edisto.  We thought Corah might like it better than the ocean.  WRONG.  Corah loves to play in the tub.  She will splash and squeal.  I can pour cups of water over her head and she doesn't freak, but if you so much as put her little toe in cold water, she lets you have an ear full.
Just before a cold water freak out.

Adam and Kenly had so much fun in the kiddie pool.  They would come back from the beach, hop in the pool, and then warm up while cleaning up in the outdoor shower.  I'd post an adorable picture of the shower, but it show a bit too much of Kenly for the blog. 
Corah enjoyed snuggling Daddy some too.  The couch was the center of all activity, so she could get snuggles and not miss any of the action.
Corah looked adorable in this little sunhat.  Since Adam and I make "big headed" babies, it is hard to find a hat that fits.  This one was perfect for the beach trip.  I  love this picture of me and Boo Bear.
I told you she didn't really like the beach.  It was strangely reminiscent of these pictures
Adam is a master fort builder, and he and Kenly have been know to spend hours at a time reading or playing Go Fish in a fort.  He is the best Daddy in the world. 
What makes him and even better Daddy is that he will read at least 10 stories from Kenly's princess collection before crying mercy.  He's just cool like that.
In April, our yard comes alive with color.  We have beautiful mountain iris and several different varieties of wild flower that come up without any work on my part.  Kenly helps me remember to take time to smell the flowers.
Corah is so excited to be eating real food.  (At the time I'm typing this, she's already 9 months old, and she doesn't want to eat anything unless she can feed it to herself.)  Look at the pure joy on this child's face.  I think squash is a hit. 
Chunky baby thighs and teeny baby feet in the surf.  Love it!
Come on're not feeding it to me fast enough.  I'm having to eat it off my bib.
PBE=Pretty Blue Eyes 
She doesn't want to waste a thing.  Right now, she loves carrots, prunes, and mango.  She about jumps for joy when she sees the Cheerio box and I think she'd push me off a cliff to get to a banana.
Bethie after bath. 
Corah really loves her Exersaucer.  I love her crazy face in the picture. 
In April we met my friend Suzanne at Jackson Park for a children's health fair that was sponsored by the YMCA.  Adam went fishing with Jeremy and I took the girls for a morning of adventure.  The kids were given an activity sheet, and they had to complete a certain number of activities in order to earn a T-shirt.  Kenly wanted to do everything.

She started with the inflatables. 
She climbed this huge rope ladder all by herself. 

She did a bit of hula hooping.
She's about mastered that hip action.
A kids event would not be kid-worthy if there was not face painting.  Kenly selected a butterfly.

Suzanne and Cameron got in on the face painting too.  Cameron selected manly flames.

Kenly tried out her first Zumba class.  It was a riot to watch her try and keep up with the instructor.
Look at those moves.
She even signed up for a fun run.  I thought this was a bad idea.  I knew I could not run the HUGE race with her because I wouldn't be able to carry Corah and run.  Enter and angel of God.  A sweet Mom was going to run the race with her three girls.  Kenly agreed to run with them.  That sweet woman ran the whole race holding my daughter's hand...she ran carrying her up the final hill until I could run down to meet them.  I'd say that was above and beyond the call of duty.
In April, Corah started sitting with support.  She really enjoyed the new perspective.  Not spending so much time on her back allowed some of her hair to begin growing back.
Kenly continued to allow Corah to "wake up slow" in her big girl bed.

 About this time, Kenly learned to ride her big girl bike.  Mills River Park finally opened, so I take the girls for walks and rides on occasion.  Kenly always likes to take a rest at the picnic shelter.

So grown up...I'm so proud of how she practiced and mastered the bike.  She still doesn't handle speed well, but we are working on that too.
Let's not forget Patton Park and duck chasing.  We feed them too.

Kenly and Daddy even introduced Corah to the thrills of chasing ducks/geese.  
Corah is the happiest baby until she is angry.  When she smiles, her whole face lights up.
See the smile in her eyes?

Corah loves prunes.  I thought the mass consuption of prunes would help her constipation, but I was wrong.  She makes the cutest little "mum mum" noises when she thinks something tastes good.  She nearly lost her mind when I let her taste my homemade peach preserves on buttered toast.

I think she'd be even happier if that brown mess was chocolate related, but she's pleased as punch with prunes.

Ahh...back to Edisto for a few pictures.  These are actually of the beginning of the week. 

Mops enjoyed playing at the beach with Kenly. 
Mops holding on to Kenly's hand in the surf.
I love this picture.  I can't exactly say why, but it captures motherhood so perfectly for me.  Moms try as hard as they can, but they can't make everyone happy all the time. 
Corah was so over the sand, waves, and sun by the time I snapped this picture.  Why do I love crying baby pictures?

Everyone is smiling.  Oh Corah, you have us all smiling.
I love these shots of Pops brushing Kenly's hair.  I love the lighting, but most of all I love the tenderness the photos capture.

I think she was so relaxed that she could have fallen asleep on the ottoman. 
Pops bought Kenly a kid-friendly horseshoe set.  It was perfect for play under the house.  Before Mops and Pops had to take off, she and Pops tossed a few horseshoes. 
Corah and Mops watched from the sidelines. 
Look at that face.  Pops is working it.  There is no taking it easy on the three year old in the Brand household when it comes to competitive game playing. 
Kenly "threw" a dead ringer.  Or maybe not.
They might be fierce competitors on the field, but they came put it all aside when the game is over. 
Adam did great with this shot.  I love the horseshoes framing Kenly's face.
How Adam managed to get all four of them looking at the camera, I'll never know.  You should see the outtakes of this shot.
I love the faces grandparents make at babies...PRICELESS!
I love those chubby cheeks.
She's working up to the full-fledged pout that I posted earlier.  Oh the misery.

This is our new baby.  This is Cielo.  The answer to a major prayer.  The whole family, including Chance, can ride together.  The bonus is that there is room for all the stuff that we seem to require these days.
This Melissa and Doug watercolor book is amazing.  All I need to bring is the table cloth, a brush, and the book.  Instant "art" without packing tons of supplies.  Down time for the super active Kenly Shae is a must. 
Adam was awesome about giving me some special time with Kenly.  He would listen for Corah during nap, and I was able to walk with Kenly on the beach.  I wouldn't trade anything for the time we had alone on the beach.  We had an amazing time.

I'm a sucker for feet pictures.  I have always taken pictures of my own I have this special one. 
Edisto is known for its shelling and fossilized sharks' teeth.  Kenly loved picking out special shells to take back to the house.  
I love this!  It I had time to make photo books for both girls right now, this would be the front cover of Kenly's book. 
More feet...I have a slight obsession. 
Kenly loved running in the surf.  It was amazing fun until she lost her balance in the shifting sand and wiped out HARD.  She was fine.  Not a single sand abrasion, but it scared her really bad.  I had to carry my sobbing, soaking, wet baby girl back to the house. 
Even with the wipe out, it was still an amazing time with just my big girl. 
Corah spent a good deal of the time playing on a blanket on the floor.  Have I mentioned that she's amazing at entertaining herself? 
Nana, Papa, and Grandma came up later in the week.  I love this picture of my Mama and Daddy taking in the view from the house for the first time. 
Grandma had a really good time.  After her wipe out in the surf, she was a little leery of venturing back out, but we convinced her to visit the beach a few more time. 
Kenly was playing Peek-a-Boo with Corah and Papa in this picture.  I always try to get pictures when Kenly shows interest in playing with Corah without having to be prompted.  I'm picking up the camera more and more these days. 

I love Corah's surprised look in this picture.  Kenly must have shocked her.  There were plenty of giggles this afternoon. 
The sundeck was a great place to watch the sunrise.  Most mornings Corah and I slept through the sunrise, but Kenly and Adam were almost always up.  Nana and Papa got up one morning to watch too.  the photos that Adam captured are pure magic.  I will love them for the rest of my life.

Did I mention that Chance loves the beach?  We love to watch him chase sea gulls.  We love to watch him frolic in the waves.  We love to watch him race up and down the beach.  He is in heaven while at Edisto.  He even tolerated baths to remove the sand without much complaint. 

Shells at Edisto are fun, but hunting for sharks' teeth is addicting.  Adam and I spent most of our "date time" walking along the beach looking for sharks' teeth.  I found the most, but Adam found the best tooth of the week--a fossilized GREAT WHITE TOOTH.  It is huge.  I don't have a picture of his amazing find, but I don't think we will ever find a better tooth. 
When Corah can't sleep, I put her in bed next to me.  She settles in and then we both drift off to sleep.  When I wake up, she has almost always nuzzled her way over to me. (I'm always clear across the bed.)  I love waking up to her warmth.  I'm not an advocate of co-sleeping, but I completely understand the appeal now. 
Who wouldn't melt every morning if they woke up to this?
Corah was very happy with the ocean when she could just sit on someone's lap and watch it from a safe distance.  She also loved to be shaded. 
Papa was happy to provide a lap...the perfect perch.

 Mops and Kenly enjoyed decorating the driveway with sidewalk chalk. 

Nana enjoyed feeding Corah some rice cereal. Corah was highly enthusiastic about eating "real" food.  I love watching Nana feed Corah too.  She opens her mouth with every bite she feeds Corah.  I know I do this too. 
These shots are of Corah enjoying that yummy rice cereal. 
I love this one...look at those cheeks and that covered chin. 

Kenly and Corah opened an Easter basket from Nana and Papa while at the beach.  Kenly got this super cool shirt. 
Grandma braved the beach, but she stayed a safe distance away from the surf.  She even put on a pair of shorts.  If you know my grandma, this is a huge thing. 
We did a little kite flying.  Part of Kenly's Easter basket was a Barbie kite. 

 It's always nice to have a "staff."  When Kenly got tired of flying the kite, she would just hand it off to one of her many admirers, and play in the sand.

Me and grandma. 
A partial family run in the surf. 
Grandma even ventured closer to the waves, but she was always watching so she wouldn't be taken off guard again.
A few days it was warm enough to venture into the ocean.  A little chilly, but it was nice to have the warm outdoor showers to kill the chill when we got back to the house.
If we were not ready to go home yet, we just used the warmth of the sun and a sun-kissed towel. 
This is Papa demonstrating the Edisto stoop.  He's doing what Adam and I did at every opportunity--hunting for sharks' teeth.
We built a few sand castles.

Corah decided to keep her toes clean.  She hung out in the shade with Nana and Grandma.

Adam watched Corah while I took my family on a ride in Cielo.  When we came back, this is how I found the two of them.  Corah is not one to snuggle very often, so Adam was soaking up every second of this opportunity. 
When she woke up from her nap, she was really happy.  I don't blame her.  I like to be snuggled by Daddy during nap time too. 
Chance got plenty of special attention too.  

Grandma did a bit of shell collecting as well.
Corah got three teething rings in her Easter basket.  She couldn't decide which one to play with, so she decided to use them all.  These have been wonderful.  She has her bottom two teeth already, but I feel like she's been working on the top two for the past month. 
Corah and Nana hanging out in the beach house. 
Now...that was April in one HUGE post. May should be somewhat shorter, but I make no promises. It was jumbled, and out of whack, but this post is somewhat symbolic of what life is like right now. Fun, full of adventure, but not at all organized.

No comments: