White Pine, and the world over, according to Carina: the ordinary is extraordinary. A day filled with events that we adults often overlook as nothing more than routine, mundane, and normal is cast in a completely different light when viewed through Carina's wide eyes: it is an adventure into Wonderland.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrating You, Carina: Happy 2nd Birthday!

March 30th, 2009

From the moment we first met (on the outside of the womb), we've been smitten with you, enraptured by your sweet and docile nature, alarmed and alerted by your foghorn-like cry, melted by your smile, giggles, and affection for your family and our pets,

and lost in your deeply intense eyes.
March 30th, 2009

You're a smarty, such a bright little gal, so attuned to your surroundings and any changes occurring within, and sweeeeeeeet, so sweet, even when you're having a rare (as of yet) fit.You have your preferences, you thrive on your schedule (or "skehd-joo", as you used to call it), bedtime and naptime and sleep-time at anytime must involve a 'gah' and your thumb since this day:
June 30th, 2009

You've trained us well. In many ways, Dear, YOU are raising US, training US, and teaching US to be our best selves, our most aware selves (anyone who has ever reared or babysat a toddler understands the perils of a non-babyproofed home), our most forgiving, patient, open-minded, and open-ended selves.
July 16th, 2009

October 11th, 2010

December 7th, 2010

January 10th, 2011

All that we truly know now is today, save for a few somewhat short-term goals. We have dreams, hopes, ambitions, and aspirations of our own for ourselves individually, as your parental unit, and for you, but as unpredictable as life has been oftentimes for us, there's no predicting either what your individual future will hold or what our future as a family will resemble.
April 15th, 2009



 July 11th, 2010

We're just anxiously looking forward to all of it. The good and bad, the happy and sad, the ups and downs, and everything between. 
Halloween 2010

September 24th, 2010

July 3rd, 2010

August 27th, 2010

November 28th, 2010

December 29th, 2010

 January 10th, 2011

 May 2008

 March 30th, 2009

"Love at first sight" made its first appearance in our lives on the day you were born, March 30th, 2009. You are loved, beyond belief are you loved, more today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today. You are a precious, blossoming little person and we want nothing more than to encourage every positive attribute that makes you who you are and who you become.  Never to squelch, never to demean, never to degrade. Always to love, and to love as fully as humanly possible.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweetheart! We love you and hope you had a perfectly birthday-riffic day! 

 I'll try not to cry when you blow out your #2 candle tonight...
 You're our big girl now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pre/Post-Birthday Weekend in Nashville for Poppy & Carina

I'm saving the sentimental post for the next entry; I can't believe our baby will be celebrating her 2nd birthday tomorrow! So, this one will be comprised of our trip to Nashville. There. It's taking all the self-restraint I can muster to not burst into a sobby, weepy meltdown of a blog entry. 
And I know it's not just the birth control hormones this time.

We made the trek to the mid-state for the weekend of March 19-21 and I would be most correct by calling our drive there "The Odyssey", not just a measly hop-skip-and-a-jump like it has trended to be in the past. No, this time was different: Carina was in the throes of a growth spurt that seemed a lot more like her infantile spurts than her toddlerhood spurts. Meaning: she ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate all day Saturday! We couldn't fill her bottomless pit tum-tum! She ate a hearty breakfast of oats n' toast at home, then 20 minutes down the road in Strawberry Plains she ate some Burger King Blueberry (REAL-imitation blueberries believe it or not!!!) Biscuits and Tater Rounds; 1 hour later she ate 1 whole Strawberry Full Circle Cereal Bar and some Nilla Wafers, stopped to change her in Crossville and explored Rocking Horse Antiques to stretch our legs and break up the monotony; we stopped again less than an hour later because Carina made a game of telling us that she had caca'd (pooped) and instead of Jared continually turning around and flinging himself over the highback seat or squeeeeeezing between the seats over the armrest to check her diaper, we just stopped, laughed about it, NO CACA, and continued on; stopped for gas at Linville Rd. Exit (oughta be called "Gasville Rd." because the only thing at the exit is a shady BP gas station and we later found out that they gouged the freaking price by 15 cents!!!!) and in case you weren't counting: we stopped 4 times between home and Uncle Mike's house. 
 4 times.  
4 times! 
We usually set the cruise control and roll on from White Pine to Nashville only stopping once for gas or vittles n' drink. 
'Hey, whatever it takes, right?'
That is and has been our parental pledge, for sure. 

Eventually, we arrived, unpacked, put Carina down for her nap, and got down to the biz-nass on decorating the birthday cakes! I had baked them a few nights prior and froze them to make frosting and decorating go more smoothly. Thank you, Brit for all of the helpful hints and tips!

As you might remember from a previous entry, this is the cake I decided to rip-off...I mean, use as a model:


And what I was afraid it would turn out lookin' like.
As some of you may have already seen on Facebook (I was so dang proud of the results, that I had to post a pic immediately after it was finished!), the results weren't too shabby:

My favorite little detail are the 2 curly-q candles used as antennae! 
2 antennae = 2 years old!
It's the little things...

 Eating from the BIG CAKE!

 SSUUUUUUUUUGGARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!


And here's Poppy's cake! I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do for him: Harley-Davidson cake with emblem and a toy motorcycle, but I was afraid of messing up the piping, so I enlisted my better-half, Dada, to take it on. He's pretty amazing:
Complete with Reese's Pieces minis (Poppy's fave), a "smoke" trail/ or burn-out mark streaking across the cake, and an H-D emblem with his age: 54 in the center. Go team!

We had a small gathering of family, ate lasagna, fixins', opened presents, and mostly just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. It was SOOO GOOD to be with everyone that was able to make it!

Carina's Gift List
  • drawing supplies from Aunt Linda: fat colored pencils, giant sketch pad, and a hardbound sketch book
  • Thomas the Train & Friends bathtub squirters (right on time, too, since we had just tossed out a few bath toys she longer played with) also from Aunt Linda
  • a cuddly lambie from Mama Ina along with several videos
  • a clock puzzle, nesting cups ball, and dinosaur pjs from Mama and Dada (her BIG present from us will be a BIG GIRL bed :-)

While Carina may be on the precipice of embarking into her 2nd year of gracing us all with her lovey, smiley, easy-going, mild-mannered, happy-girl presence, Poppy has also been quick to remind us that "The Terrible Twos" aren't called such without reason. I GUESS he would know having fathered 4 children himself...pfffft! He's been so incredibly and unbelievably adamant that "The Terrible Twos" exist, that he first began mentioning them with regularity (weekly) and counting down the days to her 2nd birthday when she had just barely BEGUN her 5th day outside of my womb, also the day he first he met her.

He sure loves his "Rinny", as he calls her.
Poppy & Rinny, August 29, 2010

He wants us to believe as he believes in "The Terrible Twos"...

 Poppy: "Well, Jenny and Jared, only 725 days until 'The Terrible Twos'! Enjoy this while you can...she's a precious, sweetheart now, but you just won't believe how they can change overnight..."

Me: "Haha (awkward laugh), Dad, don't speed time up any faster than it already tends to whiz by..."

Poppy: "Honey, I just don't want you to be blindsided like I was when YOU hit 'The Terrible Twos'."

Me: "Ohhh, Dad! I couldn't have been that bad..."

Poppy: "Shiiiiiiit! Girrrrrl, you don't even know the half of it!"
As evidenced by this conversation, which took place when Carina was 5 days old, his belief to the extreme in this legendary state of being of toddlerdom conjures up images of other such legendary beings:
I am hopeful Poppy will also be disproved in the long-run.
Hopeful, but also prepared to eat a 5 course meal of crow.

As would be expected, while we were helping her blow out her candles, Poppy, in his infinite wisdom, observed:
"Here they come! Here come 'The Terrible Twos', Jenny and Jared! (proudly telling everyone present) I've been counting down the days since she was born, haven't I, you two?!"

Sunday was a lazy day filled with exploring the yard, napping, eating (of course), hanging out with Dad and his gal Kelli, and crocheting.

 What a little doll! <3

 Fascinated by the birds.








 







 








 After all that lazing about Sunday, we headed to The Nashville Zoo on Monday, thinking all the while that we would have the zoo all to ourselves being a Monday: school-day, work-day, etc.

Yeah, right.

Ever heard of Spring Break?

Even so, the multitudes made for excellent people-watching, which somehow made up for a few animals we didn't get to see since they were sleeping after gorging themselves on veggies and raw meat during lunch. Most of the people-watching involved people eating. Disgusting, but like watching a couple having a raging argument in public, you just can't look away.





 






 Good times had by all and we are looking forward to going to The Knoxville Zoo soon, too!
Anyone want to go with us?