Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cheryl and Alec during our 'under-4-friendly' New Year's Eve party. We were home at 9:40pm. Thanks to the Lawrences for having us over. Happy New Year to everyone!

Emma, Aaron, and Caroline enjoyed their NYE (that's New Year's Eve to you) dinner of butter, chocolate, juice with a bit of bread and pasta.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Caroline trailed her Grandpa around his house during our final few minutes in Georgia. Thanks to the the Grandparents Lerman for a lovely few days.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

After a trip into Athens to eat some tasty lunch, we headed over to one of Grandma Libby's brother's places so Caroline could see some baby goats. Colton was nice enough to show us around the goat pen, explain the difference between nanny goats and billy goats, and let us pet the donkey.

(this is Cheryl) - Apparently, the donkey lives in a barn near the 30-odd goats to protect them from coyotes. I had no idea that there were coyotes living anywhere but the western states, and I also didn't have a clue that they like to eat goats. Anyway, when the coyotes strike, the donkey kicks the bejeezus out of them. That's pretty cool.

We're visiting the Lerman grandparents at their new house in a little town outside of Athens, Georgia. Although it was a bit chilly, Caroline got to check out a nearby park, stroll a bit around Athens, and visit a relative's goats and donkey. She also got to eat only chocolate cake and ice cream all day, thanks to my offers of nutritious options being consistently overruled.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Just today, Caroline has decided that sticking crayons up her nose is a good idea. She lost a short one up in there earlier; luckily, it hadn't crossed into her sinus and was easily pushed down and out by an uncharacteristically calm Mom. Just now, she proudly showed me two larger crayons shoved in her nostrils. She was rewarded with 5 minutes of quiet time in her freedom cage (commonly "crib"). If she does it again, she might merit some freedom cage time in the dark with a tickled Elmo. Bwa-ha-ha-ha. (kidding, kidding)

Caroline with a message for Grandma Z.

Wow, TMX Elmo was a huge disaster. Although she likes Elmo in the books she has, Caroline is afraid as all get out at the laughing, writhing non-plush robot banging around on the floor.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tonight we went to a party at the Davignons, featuring a visit from Santa. The oldest of theirs was unconvinced, but hopefully didn't spoil the fun for the rest of the kids. Later, presents were assembled and wrapped.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Caroline chillin' with Clayton in the donut at The Little Gym. Caroline and I (Cheryl) are very sad that our favorite teacher, Mr. Thomas, has recently left the Gym to work elsewhere.

Here, Caroline and Annabelle are hanging in the donut. Saturday morning Little Gym is good, good times.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Caroline met up with Aaron at the Children's Museum for some wrestling.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

We hit the Little Gym this morning, where both kids there (Caroline and Alex) ended up in tears at one point from over enthusiastic roughhousing. Afterwards, we took a trip to Caroline's favorite store to return a certain overpriced game machine. Maybe in a few years when she would actually enjoy playing non-dinosaur battling video games (if we let her), it will be affordable.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Caroline, Uncle Matt, Papa Steve, and I headed to the Seaside Boardwalk to enjoy the merry-go-round and the unseasonably warm weather. It's also fast becoming a grandfather-granddaughter tradition.

Later, we headed to the sand so Caroline could chase some seagulls and run around with her Papa. Caroline is a bi-coastal, jet-setting toddler now - she's been to the Pacific and the Atlantic in the space of just about two weeks.

I just liked this picture. Caroline and her maternal Papa on their way to check out the waves.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Caroline enjoyed water from her Strawberry Shortcake (or, as she called it, her "lady") cup while the grown-ups had some other assorted aperatifs before dinner. Caroline ate a TON of macaroni and cheese and 1/2 of a cheese-covered Bubba Burger w/bun. I'm not sure what a Bubba Burger is, but my family members were extremely impressed with her munching prowess. Maybe we've got another growth spurt on our hands?

Our girl is really racking up the frequent flier miles. This morning, Caroline (with Cheryl) left on her sixth airline trip this year, on a surprise visit to Grandma Zukes for her birthday (which was Thursday). We want to wish Grandma Lerman a happy birthday as well (which is today) - we'll be visiting her shortly after Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Caroline is most excited because I have just returned home from what should have been a quick, easy business trip to Akron, OH. It was not. In fact, it was an odyssey through about 5 airports comprised of nearly 21 hours in airports, cars, or on planes. I left Winston-Salem for a total of 32 hours. My business in Akron lasted about 2-3 hours this morning, and I conducted it in the same clothes I wore all day yesterday. As Caroline would say, "grossaroo". I did manage to sleep for 6 hours, brush my teeth with a complimentary toothbrush and paste (thanks to the Akron Hilton Garden Inn) and bathe, so there's that.

The reason for my being grossaroo was the absence of my one checked bag - containing a good book, some rather nice business attire, and nearly all of my eczema medicine. It is, according to US Air, somewhere. I presume is it east of the Mississippi and south of the Great Lakes. We've been told it will arrive in Akron tomorrow, to be shipped back to Charlotte, and then Greensboro by 2pm. I think I'll be lucky if I see that bag by Monday. Or ever. I explained this to Caroline, in a way that was meant to vent my frustrations with US Airways in a toddlerish way, and she picked up her hands and told me, quite simply, that those were "the rules". In my current exhaustion, I found this extremely profound. Like she's a skinny, cute Buddha.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Huzzah! Caroline finally got her hands on a PS3, so surely she'll be the coolest kid in playgroup now!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Caroline and I are still suffering from travel-related illnesses. Our noses are running like leaky faucets, and we're both far more grouchy than usual. Jay seems unaffected by our persistent malady.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Caroline, Jay, and I would like to welcome Theodore Isaac Bakken-Ziring to the world! He was born last night at 8:25PM CST and weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz, measuring 20 1/4 inches. I'm THRILLED that my dear friend Emily is a new mom, and I am certain that Em and Ben will be great parents. They're smart, loving, and hilarious. Caroline seems to agree based on the stories about them I've told her. Our hearty congratulations! We do, however, offer our condolences about Em and Ben's loss of sleep for the next 2-18+ years.

Added some pictures and posts for Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We're all home now. I suspect our jetlag will pass by Sunday. Caroline has nothing but wonderful things to say about Sophie, Kelly, and Michael. They are all "pretty and nice". When asked about Baby Blue, Caroline said, "I pushed him. I poked him. He cried and cried." When pressed, she added, "I don't like him. He cooked the boogies (or some other unintelligible thing) to me. He's scared of me. He's a little baby. Michael taked his ticket." I don't really understand her rambling, but it sums up their relationship.

I expect a June 2032 wedding.

In spite of my embarrassment over Caroline's bullying of someone quite dear to me who is about 80% her size, I think we all had a lovely visit in beautiful San Diego. Thanks SOOOO much to Kelly, Michael, Mike Felmar, Matt and Sharon for their over-and-above hospitality and assistance with our good time back on the Left coast. You are all welcome to come stay with us in beautiful Winston-Salem any time. We'd love to see you all again soon.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A few final moments of joy before Caroline heads back home.

Monday, December 04, 2006

We took the girls to our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant (they did not take advantage of the many food offerings) for lunch before heading to Seaworld to see Shamu not drag a trainer underwater. Despite the enormous volume of sushi I ate, Seaworld somehow made me hungry again.

We headed down to Victoria's Gardens yesterday to play on bouncy toys and take pony rides and navigate shrubbery mazes. The girls had a great time hanging with Sophie's cousins Nick and two month old Emily. Caroline also had fun yelling in Baby Blue's face -- which doesn't seem to phase him at all anymore. Kelly and Cheryl believe that Baby is Caroline's nemesis -- the Gerald (baby with the unibrow) to her Maggie. We are working to convince Caroline that Holden poses no threat to her.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I just wanted to post a picture of a smiling Michael, since he looked brooding and dangerous in yesterday's pictures.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

This is Cheryl. In a disturbing turn of events, Caroline has decided that she will exert her power over Holden (AKA Baby Blue) by shrieking in his face. The shrieking reminds me of a dilophasaur, the dinosaurs that spit poison in peoples' faces in the craptacular film Jurassic Park. It is rather horrible, but his sister does it to him too, which makes me feel slightly less terrible that my daughter is a big meanie.

The end of a great day.

After a long day of the girls playing, we talk a walk from our friends' house down to the beach to watch the sunset over the ocean.

Since October 1, 2004