Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to build a Snowman

As most of you are aware, North Carolina had a White Christmas this year. The snow didn't fall until late evening, though, so the fun really began the next day, but "White Boxing Day" just doesn't sound so magical. To celebrate our fluffy white treasure, Bronwen and Daddy decided to build Frosty the Snowman. Step by step, here's how:

1. Make sure you're wearing the proper gear, and don't forget to use the hood to keep your head warm.

2. Roll the snow into a big ball, or at least into a big pile.

3. Take a break.

4. Invite friends over and give Frosty a face.

5. Give Frosty a nice, cold jacket to block those harmful rays of sunlight.

6. Make Frosty come to life with a magical old silk hat.

Okay, they got kind of stuck on #6. Bronwen felt a bit melancholy that she could not make Frosty come to life, and Daddy felt genuinely remorseful that he could not provide the magical hat to do the trick. But Frosty faithfully greeted our neighbors for the next two days and will always live in our memories of our first North Carolina Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Adam's Many Faces

New Flip

T.J. gave me a Flip video camera to celebrate Adam's birth. This is my first go at it. Hopefully you can see an improvement in the video quality.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is how we spent a cold, icy morning--watching Dora and trying to make Adam smile. I think the overhead light was bothering him, but I needed it for the video.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun Times

T.J.'s parents are here for a visit and getting to know little Adam, and T.J. and I get stricken with a stomach bug. Not only that, but Bronwen decided to join in last night as well. This is the first time Bronwen has ever had any stomach issues at all. It's been kind of awful. We didn't much sleep last night, but today is much better. Bronwen is back to her old antics, and I feel okay except for being bone tired.

I am just hoping Adam doesn't get anything. That would be a nightmare.

If I don't write for awhile, it's because i am trying to catch up on some sleep!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adam is Here!

Seems like our third child decided to be right on time. Adam Timothy was born right on his due date, December 7th, at 10:17 am. He weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 22.5 inches long.

I went into labor around 1:30 am. The doctor at my appointment the previous day had mentioned he thought the labor would go fairly quickly, so when my contractions were coming regularly right off the bat, I was a little concerned about getting to the hospital on time. Mom sped over to the house, and T.J. and I were at the hospital by 2:30 am.

Jen getting assessed:

Since I was already at 5-6 cm, they admitted me and took me to my labor, delivery, and recovery room:
Labor stalled, more than likely a result of getting the epidural. No big deal, as T.J. and I got to relax for a bit, T.J. even catching a little shut-eye. At 10:17, little Adam decided to make an appearance:

After getting weighed and measured, he decided it was time for little snooze:
Getting him warm and cozy, and showing off his fancy chin:
T.J. and his son:
Lila and her brother:
Proud oldest sister:
Welcome to the world, little Adam!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cold Weather Gear

Not sure these need any text at all.

Had to point out to T.J. that this coat/hat set is for 12-month olds. Not sure how it even fit, but as you can see, the sleeves are way too short.

Monday, December 6, 2010

House is Decorated!

I had two major goals with this pregnancy--three if you count the "deliver a healthy baby" obviousness, but the first two were to make it through Thanksgiving and decorate the house for Christmas. Granted, I had to push our Christmas decorating up a weekend, but really, thinking back on it, I am fairly certain we decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving last year as well just to utilize T.J.'s extra day off of work (and to have Sunday to rest and enjoy the new tree).

Friday was a wash-out with rain, so instead of going to get the tree, I went ahead and decorated everything else in the house that I could.

The dining room:
Christmas village in the dining room:
Saturday we found a lovely tree at the tree farm and hauled it home. T.J.'s main duty, besides carrying all the boxes down the stairs for me, is lighting. He is a master, and I dare not interrupt this process. He naturally had to go buy more lights about halfway through--I suspected he would since the tree is about twice the size of any we've had before--so while the girls napped, and T.J. went to purchase lights, I had the pleasure of visiting with my wonderful friend Tiffany, who ventured down from the mountains and stopped by on her way to see her sister in Charlotte.

Of course by the time T.J. returned and finished the lights, Mom and Dad arrived to enjoy her birthday take-out and cake. This meant that we had to save the ornaments for Sunday after church. (see Tree Decorating post)

Here is the final result:

Hung by the chimney...wait, we don't have a chimney:

Finally, Mom was kind enough to give us the pink Christmas tree she had from last year--the girls and I went to Hobby Lobby to find appropriate (plastic) decorations for it, and we spent the other night decorating it. I think they did a fabulous job, and the house looks great!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jumping--Part 2

Jumping-Part 1

"Elmo's World" on Sesame Street was all about going up and down. Since the girls love jumping so much, this was perfect for them! I am always happy when T.V. encourages them to be active instead of lumps on the sofa.

Decorating the Tree

We got a gorgeous tree at the farm; although I didn't realize how enormous it was until we got it home, and the top was scraping the ceiling. The girls were so excited about decorating it that we had to start immediately after we arrived home from church. Lila kept taking ornaments off the tree, but that was okay. Bronwen tried to show her the "right" way to do it.

There were a couple of pictures of me too, but TJ had the camera on the tripod kind of low, and right now the worst angle of me is from the bottom up. Therefore, he gets to have all the picture glory.

Lila did find her niche at the end, discovering that cleaning up the pine needles was super fun too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I think it is pretty well known that Lila is not as verbally advanced as Bronwen was at the same age. In fact, any time I get a new word out of her I am ecstatic. Usually she grunts in the "gung gung" manner of Law and Order. Still, despite her not articulating well, she reminds me daily that she is still extremely smart.

Aunt Jana gave Bronwen an alphabet puzzle board ages ago, and Lila has recently really taken an interest in letters. I was shocked to discover she can recognize the letters E and O, and today she also showed me B and made a hissing sound while pointing to S.

She also had all the letters in her shopping cart at one point and was trying to find the E to put back into the puzzle. She came running in carrying a letter and saying, "E!" It was actually the lower case M...but I found it incredibly smart of her because it does look like an E when you turn it sideways.

She also understands the concept of big girl underwear and wants desperately to wear them. As a result, T.J. and I are tentatively trying to potty train her. She has gone on the potty twice already, but I am not pushing the matter since I don't and won't have the energy with the new baby coming. Still, I pulled out Bronwen's old training panties, and we'll just see how it goes. Still waters run deep, right?

Day in the Life

Christmas Tree Farm

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we decided to go in search of the perfect Christmas tree. I found a Christmas tree farm (only one) in Gastonia, and after a few false starts and turn-arounds to retrieve some things from the house (Lila's shoes, for one) we were finally on our way. We met up with Mom and Dad who had already met the farm's owners.

The people who owned and worked the farm were wonderful from the start, letting us borrow a wagon. We picked out our Christmas tree first, and then we were off to explore the rest of the farm.

Dad and Lila meet Boots, the fainting goat. Luckily Boots was used to people and didn't actually faint in our presence. In the background, you can see the haystacks that the girls would later climb on.
Lila loved looking at all the animals, but I was the only one brave enough to feed Buttons the cow. Considering the stuff I got all over my hands, I'd say the others were smarter than I.

There was a little store where they sold beef and knick-knacks, and the girls found this face-to-face glider. They also got to make some Christmas ornaments, eat marshmallows (there was a fire pit outside for roasting, but the marshmallows never made it that far), and pick out a cookie to go with hot chocolate.

After that healthy and nutritious snack, it was hayride time!

The sun was bright, so I let Bronwen borrow my shades.

It was a great day at Stowe Dairy farm--we managed to get a gorgeous Frasier Fir Christmas tree and play around the farm!

A Hero Among Us

T.J. came home the other night, late, and I was scrambling to get something ready for dinner. He decided to take the edge off their hunger by distracting them with a game of cars. The game is simple--we have these cars that you can pull back and release, and they roll across the floor on their own. T.J. was on the mat at the front door, rolling these cars all the way across the floor to the back door when Bronwen took the game to the next level.

All of the sudden we hear, "Don't worry, Daddy, SUPER BRONWEN to the rescue!!" She would then gather all the cars and race them back to T.J.

This game lasted for the whole 30 minutes before dinner.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

We journeyed to Shelby for Thanksgiving dinner, despite my aversion to long car rides at this point. The girls were excited to go to Mimi's house, and Mimi was excited to give her fancy new kitchen and appliances a whirl. Everything we ate was delicious--from the turkey to the Brussels sprouts to the potatoes and stuffing. After our THanksgiving lunch, the girls went to take naps, and we just relaxed. Before we ate, however, we managed to snap one fairly decent family picture.

After naps, the girls enjoyed watching T.J. with Dja Dja.

Almost There...

This is the last day of November and at this point I am just waiting for this new baby to arrive. Looks like s/he will be a December arrival! Of course, it is only 10:25 am, and the day is still young. I have managed to navigate fairly easily through this pregnancy, but it is exhausting trying to keep up with Bronwen and Lila. I feel bad that I don't have the energy to chase them around the house or run races up and down the hallway before bath time. Thankfully, T.J. is Super-Dad and seems to contain boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Currently I am working on stocking up the freezer and getting gifts ready for Christmas. I am just so pleased that we managed to move, unpack, organize, decorate, and all before the next St. Romain arrived! I will post some pictures of our Christmas tree farm adventures and decorations to be published later this week, just in case I am in the hospital. :-)

Here is a picture of Sneak and me on Saturday:

T.J.'s Birthday Gift

Thanks to all of TJ's family for his new gift! It is fun for the whole family! I particularly like the sides since T.J. prefers to run like a maniac while giving the girls rides.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Spin Me RIght Round

This is Lila's new favorite activity. She just starts spinning and/or running around in circles in random places. She seems to handle the resulting dizziness like a champ, though

Playing Before School

The poor playroom gets messier and messier. As long as I can't bend down to pick stuff up, that is just the way it will have to be!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Day at the Park

Daddy, Bronwen, and Lila decided to go on an adventure. As the weather was pleasant with warm sunshine and a cool breeze, the girls enjoyed a leisurely stroll on the hilltop.

Then, Bronwen spotted something in the distance.

Lila had seen it also and was already scurrying down the hill towards the irresistible promise of a "ride."

But, Bronwen raced ahead and arrived first.

It was a park, with slides and swings and a mini rock wall! Other activities included jumping and dancing in the gazebo (Bronwen's house), collecting acorns and maple leaves, and staring at the two cargo trains that passed right by the park. And, of course, there was plenty of running up and down the hills. But most of all, Bronwen wanted to show off:

No to be outdone, so did Lila:


That's better:

It was a fun adventure at the park for everyone!