Saturday, August 29, 2015

carnton plantation

 Today went to Franklin to the civil war site Carnton Plantation.  It was fascinating!  When we first got there Heidi was fascinated by the large mailbox and wanted her picture by it, ha ha ha.  The girls and mailboxes.  I wonder when they will stop being such a novelty.

Then we had lunch on a bench next to the war site.  There was a cool path you could walk around with interesting facts and the weather was overcast and very perfect for a walk.

 Heidi wanted to carry Caimbree but finally settled on holding her hand.  The girls had fun playing around on the grass and path while Jeff and I read the history.

I learned a lot.  The story of Carnton is that the McGavock family lived there when Confederate General William Loring's division marched to the plantation and told the family their home would be used as a hospital, as they were anticipating heavy casualties.  By sunset the wounded began to arrive.  A few at first, then scores.  The family assisted as injured and dying entered the house.  Amputations and operations were done by the windows and by lamplight.. John and Carrie McGavock and their two young children (ages 7 and 9) began tearing tablecloths, sheets, and clothes into bandages. The floors became wet with blood and you can still see the blood stains on the original hardwood floors...there was carpet at the time and there was so much blood that it soaked through the carpeting and stained the hardwood floors.  As you can imagine, my little doctor Heidi was fascinated by all of this.  More Americans became casualties in the 5 hour battle than were lost in the first 24 hours in the Invasion of Normandy.  The other thing I learned was that Tennessee had more battles fought in the state than any other state except for Virginia.
 Also, Tennessee was split in opinion.  While they had a large amount of soldiers fighting for the Confederacy, they also had a large number fighting for the Union.  While 52% of the population in middle TN was enslaved, a lot of wealthy white people had no slaves.  Anyway, there are a lot of things I learned and the plantation itself was fascinating.  No pictures could be taken inside the home.
 After the tour of the home we walked along the grounds.  It really was a beautiful day because of the cloud cover.  The girls did pretty well considering the hour long presentation!

We are having a blast discovering all of the things around us!  We seriously fall more in love with Tennessee every single day.  It was a great move for our family...the girls are so happy and Jeff is a whole new person with his new job.

Friday, August 28, 2015

heidi at five

 I am still a little in shock that Heidi is five.  I don't know why it seems so much older than four.  She is really starting to seem grown up now and I we are having fun watching her discover her independence and talents.

*Heidi still has the most incredible memory.  Vocabulary words, directions, names, and random information.  It never ceases to amaze me.  The other day at the library she reminded me she wanted to see if they had any Betty Bunny books and that the author was Michael Kaplan (I had mentioned the author's name one time two weeks prior to our visit).  I am still shocked she remembered because I had long forgotten.  Friends, family, and even strangers have commented on her vocabulary and memory skills.
*Loves crafting and art activities.  She could color, paint, or draw for hours and hours.  She had so much fun making all kinds of crafts with my mom when she was here.  She is getting really good at drawing now too and her cutting abilities are far better than I would expect her to be at.
*Loves school.  She was built for school really.  Following directions, following rules, being responsible...yeah, all those things make her love school all the more.

 *Still enjoys playing doctor, but she doesn't seem to play as much as she once did.
*Always coming up with games to play.  Whenever she is around other kids, she seems to be the ring leader and invents all kinds of things to play.  It's fun to watch and kind of surprises me.
*More withdrawn in large groups or when she is around people she doesn't know very well.
*Absolutely obsessed with books still.  Checking out ten is just not enough.  She wants me to read them to her the minute we get home from the library and at least 4 times after that and then she spends a great majority of the time reading them to herself.  She is getting self conscious about it and prefers to read if she doesn't think anyone is watching her.
*Enjoys riding her bike and running at the lake.
*Loves puzzles and card games.
*So responsible.  I can always count on her to take care of her stuff and keep everyone on track!
*Still says she wants to be a vet when she grows up.
*Loves building legos and especially loves following the booklet to make what they show.
*Very sensitive and loving.
*She says her favorite foods are pizza and spaghetti but she is a good eater and is usually the one I can get to at least try most things.  She absolutely loves strawberries and would eat a carton a day if she could.
*Loves to sing and picks up on new songs very quickly.
*Heidi is a very, very good big sister.  She is so good at helping me with Savanna and Caimbree and she is always so careful when swinging with Caimbree or just watching her to make sure she isn't climbing something she shouldn't be.
*Loves the trampoline, hide and seek, and tag.
*Loves to say, "Last one there is the rotten egg!"  If she's last she will laugh and say, "Guess I'm the rotten egg!"
*Loves to be silly with her dad.
*Makes friends easily.
*Likes to be in charge.
*Can get very sassy when she's tired...yikes.
*Loves shoes, clothes, and shopping.
*Heidi loves her dance class and is so excited to go each week.  She is getting really good and especially likes that her class is both tap and ballet.
 *Getting braver around water.
*Her nicknames are Heid (I am pretty sure I have rarely heard Savanna call her anything else), Heidi Bug, Heider Spider, Heidi girl, Heids

 We are so happy to have this delightful five year old
in our family!  She brings us all so
much joy.  I am so grateful she is learning and 
growing and developing so many
talents.  I would be lost without 
my amazing helper and buddy.

We love you, Heidi Bug!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

getting in a new routine

 The first few days of Heidi being in school were a little rough.  It was rough for me trying to figure out how to make the time productive and not focus on missing Heidi and really hard on Savanna.  Heidi and Savanna are always together.  Always.  It's weird to see one without the other.  They depend on each other.  Sometimes they fight and it drives me nuts. but they also play really well together most of the time.  When we build our new house I don't know if they are really going to separate to different rooms.  They both depend on each other now and don't like going to sleep later or earlier than the other.  It's pretty cute.
 Today we dropped Heidi off at school and for the first time Savanna didn't cry.  I have been trying to not let myself get busy with stuff like housework and focus the time on Savanna and Caimbree.  I am really starting to cherish this time with my two littlest.  Their favorite thing to do is play outside as soon as we get back.
 I want to use the time to work with Savanna a little bit on preschool stuff.  She still has 3 years before kindergarten because of her late birthday and she isn't really interested in sitting down and doing workbook pages or anything.  Her learning style is different than Heidi's and I am having fun figuring out what works with her.  The last few times we have been working on counting.  She used to count, "One, two, one two".  So we went on the trampoline and counting our bum jumps, then we counted how many times we could run around the trampoline, then we counted our high jumps.  Today we counted how many times we were swinging and surprise!  Savanna can now count to 10!  This might not seem like that big of deal, but I have been trying to work with her on some of this stuff for months and she has shown no interest.  It is so rewarding to work with her and figure out what she likes and how she learns.  I am so in love with her personality.  She is getting so creative and I always consider her to be my little free spirit.  It is so fun watching her grow and change.
 Caimbree has also been enjoying a little more attention.  She is such a dream and we all love her so much.  She seems to have a shy and cautious personality.  She LOVES to be outside.  She gets excited over animals.  She loves climbing on everything and has recently figured out how to get on a chair.  She adores slides and especially likes to try to climb up them.  She loves to be read to and is convinced that whatever book someone else has is the exact one she needs.
Caimbree also started walking this weekend.  She is 14 months old and is my latest walker.  I am happy to see her walking because I was really starting to get nervous that maybe there was something wrong with her hips or legs.  Once she started walking, however, it really hit how fast she is growing up.  She is most likely my last baby and knowing that this is the last time I will experience one of my babies learning to walk was a little bittersweet.  What a dream baby she has been....if I knew I would get another one just like her I would have twelve more.  In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love my girls.  I love being a mom.  Some days are so hard and overwhelming, and sometimes I am not quite sure who I was before I became a mom, but I wouldn't change this life for anything.  They are growing and changing faster than I can keep up and my heart just keeps filling up with more and more love for them every day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

celebrating heidi

 Last night we got to celebrate Heidi's birthday! She had the BEST day at school.  She got a birthday sticker, a birthday hat, a birthday pencil, and a book from her "best teachers ever".  She was on cloud nine when she got home.  She apparently also invited her friend Georgia over to celebrate. Apparently she told her the name of our street and that we live in a white house that has a bird on the side of it.  So funny.

Jeff came home a little bit early (4:30) to be with his birthday girl.  We had her requested dinner of spaghetti and then she was ready to open presents.  She got clothes, a dance leotard with a tutu, a gift card from Grandma H., some new books, and a new bike helmet.

We also got her a pedal bike. Our plan was to have it in the back of the van and then go to the lake and surprise her with it there but it was raining.  So Jeff and Savanna put it on the porch while she was putting on her helmet.

 I kept her distracted and then told her we were going to go see if she was big enough for a bike her friend gave her (she probably won't be for at least 3 more years).  Jeff sat on the porch dinging the bell on her new bike.  She kept saying, "Whats that noise?  What is that noise??"
 She was pretty thrilled when she went outside and saw the source.  She had tried this bike before and we told her we weren't going to get it so she was quite thrilled to see it again.
 Everyone wanted a chance to sit on it.  Caimbree looked pretty cute on it and screamed bloody murder when we took her off.  She just wants to be one of the big girls!
 Heidi is still super nervous on bikes, especially in our neighborhood with the steep hills but she gave it a try and we are going to a flat area tonight so she can really get used to it.
Then we celebrated with the ladybug cake the birthday girl requested.  It wasn't quite how I envisioned it, but she was pretty pleased with it so I suppose that's all that matters.  She was disappointed to wake up today and realize it was no longer her birthday.  I reminded her that it will be here faster than we think it will.  Plus she got to take her gift card and choose her present from grandma and that made her so very happy.  She has been busy playing with her new lego kit and dressing the barbie doll she always wanted all afternoon.  I think it's safe to say five was a fun birthday to celebrate!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

happy birthday, heidi bug





Happy 5th Birthday to my
beautiful Heidi.
It feels like yesterday I held you in my arms
for the first time.  I didn't think I could ever love you more than I did in that moment.
It turns out I was wrong.  I love you
more and more every single day.
What a smart, responsible, creative, and kind
girl you are.  The world is a better place with
you in it.  I hope your day is out of this world.
I love you, baby girl.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

first day of pre-k

 Today was the day Heidi has been waiting for...Pre-K!  This whole week has been exciting actually because she started dance Monday and had the "best time ever".  Last night we put the"ready confetti" under her pillow that her teacher gave her at open house to help her sleep.  She woke up happy as could be.  She quickly got dressed and started asking if it was time at 6:30 am.  She ate her breakfast, made her lunch, brushed her teeth and had her backpack on by 7:30.  The whole morning all Savanna did was bawl.  She kept saying she wanted to go to Pre-K too.  I kept telling her she could go to preschool too but it would be in her own class and that only made her madder.  I told her she was going to do preschool at home and have special time with me and that made her even madder.  All she wanted was Heidi.
After we dropped Heidi off in her classroom and Heidi gave Savanna a final hug and kiss Savanna was inconsolable.  You know you're in the south when every person we passed on the way out responded with, "Oh, bless her heart."  We went to the park and met with some friends, had some lunch, and before we knew it, it was time to pick up Heidi!  She was over the moon about school and said she can't wait until Monday to go back.  I hope her enthusiasm continues and that Savanna gets used to the time apart.  Heidi seems pretty exhausted from her day.  I still can't believe she's old enough for all of this and I am so glad she had such a fun day!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

mammoth cave

 Today we decided to take the girls to Mammoth Cave.  We had a great time!
 We just did the self directed tour since the others were two hours and we knew that might be a little much for the girls to stay with a group and listen in a dark, enclosed space.
 The girls thought it was really cool. Afterwards we had a picnic and then went for a little hike.  The weather was beautiful and we had such a great day together!
On the way home we stopped and let Heidi try out a few pedal bikes.  It was nice to see her on a bike again.  Overall, it was a great day!  I love spending time with my little family!