Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jesus loves me

Each night before she goes to bed, I sing Anne Caroline "Jesus Loves Me." When she was first born and teeny tiny, I honestly had a hard time getting through it without a lump in my throat. We sing it before naps as well, and each time we do, she'll look up at me and smile the sweetest smile. Words cannot describe how much I love singing to her and breathing in her nighttime smell- a mix of Mustela shampoo, lavender wash, and her special baby laundry detergent.

As I put her down tonight, I thought as I was singing how much He loves me too. I have dreaded this weekend since we found out Richard's deployment was moved up. I love celebrating Valentine's Day with him, and I knew it would be lonely without him. But it turned out to be a weekend full of joy. Richard had flowers sent to me via a dear friend who has gone out of her way to check on me and welcome me into her home for dinners and coffee and chats. I had Valentine's Day lunch with another dear friend, who told Anne Caroline about all the people who loved her while I ordered my food.

One of the best aspects of military life is all the people you meet who you would otherwise likely never have the chance to know. Min, Vin and later Gia became some of our closest friends in DC while we were there and went through a deployment exactly a year ago. Min's parents actually live in Columbia, and they came to visit this weekend. It was such a blessing to share and chat with them about what to expect and how to cope with Richard being gone. I was able to introduce them to AC, and it was like they had been buddies for a long time. They are the kind of friends who you can laugh and cry with, who you always order dessert with, who would do absolutely anything for you, and those are the best kind. We cannot wait to meet baby girl Capaldi #2 in just a few short weeks!

Happy Valentine's Day! AC with the beautiful flowers from Richard.

Min and AC meeting for the first time

fun afternoon at the zoo- AC just started riding in the stroller without the car seat adapter earlier this week!

a delicious dinner at Rosso

frozen yogurt date

Anne Caroline's first carousel ride!

 Gia's an old pro at the carousel

Friday, February 14, 2014

a valentine's to remember

So in the past 4.5 months since I have written, we have added a sweet new little one to our family. Anne Caroline, who arrived on September 27th, 2013, has blessed our lives more than we could have ever imagined. The first few weeks were rough- nursing issues, a bout of mastitis, and just general feelings of incompetency as a mom- but it has just gotten better and better. I want to go back and chronicle her first few months, but this day pulled me back to the blog because it has been one of the more memorable Valentine's days in quite some time.

We are in the midst of Richard's deployment, and today was a big day for him in terms of movement and travel. I have thought of him frequently and was just sad that he wasn't here to celebrate a fun day with his girls. To add to that stress, we have had ice and snow over the past two days, and while it finally was mostly melted by this afternoon, our power went out just as AC went down for a nap. Thankfully it came back on, but it made for a panicky hour while I contemplated the best plan for Anne Caroline and me. After a calm evening of our bath and bedtime ritual, I sat down to watch the Olympics...and then felt the house shake. Twitter was quick to confirm I wasn't the only one who felt the 4.1 magnitude earthquake, with an epicenter in Edgefield. So unsettling. I actually felt a tremor in Clemson, SC a few years ago (one that was strongly felt in DC), so it wasn't an entirely new experience but still fairly alarming, given the sleeping baby upstairs. But she slept right through it!

So other than sleeping through earthquakes and ice storms, what else is AC doing at 4.5 months?
  • sleeping through the night in her crib (yay!). She started from going from about 11 pm- 7 am between 10-11 weeks, but she is now consistently doing about 8:45 pm to anywhere between 7 and 8 am. Would love to push her bedtime back to 8 pm soon!
  • eating solid foods. She is still breastfeeding 5 times a day, but we have introduced rice cereal, oatmeal, and green beans. She went through a bout of getting up at 5 am, and I hoped a fuller belly would help her sleep longer. It seems to have done so thus far!
  • starting to sit for short periods of time on her own. She is still shaky but she's making great progress. 
  • laughing out loud and fake "coughing" for attention. So funny. She loves to hear herself. 
  • smiling and giggling at her reflection in the mirror. 
  • actively playing with "Scoots" the snail, "Flutter" the butterfly, her birds on the play mat, her singing dog, and putting anything she can find in her mouth.  
  • and humoring her mom by posing for photo shoots!
Love this funny valentine so much! So thankful for her on crazy days like these.