Sunday, December 11, 2011

Emory Claire Hall!

Well, this girl likes to do things on her timetable! :D  On Thursday, Dec. 1st, my doctor informed me she could schedule me for an induction Monday (Dec. 5th) morning if I, yes please!!  So we quickly moved Josh's paternity leave around, and made arrangements with MawMaw and Nana for the big sister and brother.  Pam came down Sunday evening to stay at the apartment with Charlotte and Liam while Josh and I stayed at Mom and Dad's house so we could get some extra sleep and be close to the hospital.  We left the apartment about 8:45pm, and by the time we arrived at Mom and Dad's I had experienced 4 contractions...didn't tell Josh this until we got there.  We visited for a little while and then everyone went to bed.  I continued to have contractions all night, which of course meant very little sleep, but I was excited!! Little (well, big, as we later discovered) Emory was going to do things her induction needed here :) My doctor had already told me labor would be quick once it got going, so I was hoping the contractions would help steer us in the "quick delivery" direction.  I basically labored all night, kind of wanting to go on to the hospital since Dr. Cannon had told me not to wait too long, but not wanting to go and be sent home.. (I'm not a good judge of whether I'm barely in labor or really far along)  So I made it until 6:00am, at which point I woke Josh up and said, I think we should head on over (induction was scheduled for 6:45, so I figured we wouldn't be sent back home to wait if I wasn't very far along).  We arrived at the hospital, got checked in and set up in a room with all of the monitors and things, and waited.. My dr had said she had a surgery at 7:30, and so I could start the Pitocen drip at 6:45 and she'd break my water when she got out of surgery.  So all of this went accordingly, and when she arrived around 8:45 to break my water, she told us that I was at 8cm and going to have Emory really soon.  I had planned on an epidural, but Dr. Cannon said I'd have her out after a few contractions and I could get the epidural but it would be pointless.. So at that point I made a decision I never thought I would and decided to just forego the epidural (!)  I had 2 more contractions before I felt like I could bring myself to push (aka cause myself intense pain on purpose...weird!!!), and then pushed through 3 contractions and boom! There was our beautiful baby!! It was an incredible experience where my eyeballs came out of their sockets and Josh's hand became rubberized, but it was amazing and I'm thrilled I got to experience it with the best guy in the world by my side. :D 

Emory Claire officially entered the world at 9:21 am, weighing 8 lbs 14 oz (!) and stretching out to 20 1/2 in!  She is, as you have seen above, gorgeous and we are absolutely head over heels in love with her.  Not to leave out that she sleeps through the night (I have to wake her up for her to eat~awesome!) and is a doll baby during the day.. So far she has only cried when she is gassy, but I'm sure that will change as she leaves the "sleeping and eating only" phase of infancy. 

Big Sister and Brother are taking extremely well to her~Charlotte is in hog heaven and Liam apparently thinks she is fun because he is always laughing when he interacts with her.  We are so so so so so so happy and are thrilled miss Emory is here safe and sound. :D  We love you, sweet girl!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just for the record books...

And by record books, I mean ours when we convert the next installment of blog posts into another book..  But just to keep track of things,  I had my 36 week obgyn appointment this past Tuesday (11/15) and I am 70% effaced and 3.5-4 cm dialated!  Miss Emory is definitely on her way!  We are ready to meet her whenever she decide to make her appearance,  and since we close on our new home in 2 weeks (!!), we're excited to find out if she will arrive before or after that happens :)  She'll have a whirlwind birth story either way, haha!

Leaf Pile!!

Charlotte loved this!! When it was Liam's turn (and he was dying to try it), he counted 1,2,3 and then got tossed in...only to immediately say Out!Out! Help, Nana! :)  What a fun leaf pile. :D

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lunch Date!!

We had such a great time getting to see Lauren and her sweet boys (Mr. Ben, pictured, and Mr. Nate, not pictured) for an impromptu lunch last week!!! What a treat!! :D

Christmas at Biltmore!

We headed up to Biltmore to see the Christmas Trees on display in the house.. It was gorgeous and the kids had a great time! They look for Christmas decorations everywhere now. We are definitely looking forward to closing on our house so we can get in there and put our Christmas things up and around :)
This trip counted as our "Christmas Trip to the Mountains" since, with Emory's upcoming birth, we decided to forego Blowing Rock/Dan'l Boone Inn/Christmas tree cutting.. We'll definitely pick back up next year!


I love this girl. :D

Preschool Recap

Updated: Pics from Josh's phone of the Thanksgiving Program!!

She was telling me about all of these things, *which would have made a better video, but hey..* and then I just asked her questions about the things she told me about... And I was taping her in the rearview mirror.. don't worry..I got it lined up on a stoplight and then watched the road :D I'm pretty pleased with how well it stayed on her haha! She does love her some preschool!!

T Ball :)

The kids are getting their Tball on.. :)  Josh is clearly miserable and sad about this...siiiiiike!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Back Yard FUN!!

Nana and Poppy's house got an upgrade in the back yard last week!!  They installed this slide and climbing wall off of their deck. I even need to write that the kids LOVE it?!  It rocks!!  The slide ends right in their "Castle" tree, which is awesome.  :D  Thanks, Nana and Poppy!!

Halloween 2011!

Well, here is the cutest Tinkerbell ever, and Captain Hook (since Peter Pan was vetoed by a certain daddy of our household who shall remain nameless...) looking his most handsome!!  We also trekked up for our book club halloween party (even though we were all soo under the weather).  We had a great time and it was great to see all our friends..but the kids were D-O-N-E by 1:00 so we had to hit the road home... :/

Excuse the terrible pics..if I can track someone else's down where some of the kids aren't cut out I will! 

Eye Doctor

Miss Hollywood here had just had her pupils dialated..hence the amazing throw-away sunglasses.  Charlotte had a check up for her eye alignment (recommended at her last well visit), and everything came out great!! Perfect vision and no problems with the alignment!!  We think ol' Bud Bud is good to go on vision, too.. It could be miss Emory that follows in Erin's footsteps instead of Josh's..we'll see! (no pun intended ;p)

Sick Nap

We've all had a terrible cold this week...poor kiddos.  But it has made for some cute Donald Duck voices and extra snuggles..  Mr. Liam conked out hard one day for naptime ~ didn't even make it to the bed.  :/

Beach Babymoon!

After we went to CH to meet Harrison, Josh and I took off on a little "babymoon" to just rejuvenate ourselves before we are officially parents of 3!!  We did nothing but get Starbucks, take it to the beach and sit under a blanket (our view each morning pictured below), eat, shop a little, and go on like, 7 dates!! :D
It was really wonderful, and as always, we are so grateful to our sweet family for letting us use the beach house!!


It was sooo amazing to finally hold my sweet nephew, Harrison Cole!!  All I can write without crying is that we are so grateful to God for bringing all three Smiths back from Colorado!!  Love you all!! Praise the Lord!!! :D


It definitely took these two a while to figure out how to actually play with leaves...our old yard didn't really have a lot of big leafy trees for them to learn..haha!  but they got the hang of it :)

Game Day!!

We figured it might be a while before we make it back up for a game, so we decided to take one of Josh's friends up on a generous offer of tickets and a parking pass (a must for a very pregnant lady)!  We had a ball, and saw a winning game!!  The kids loved it :D


Our second trip to Asheville this year was a whirlwind, but it was such an sweet and treasured time for us. We had perfect weather and got to see all of the outdoor activities ~ gardens, animals, little village below the inn, etc. We had such a great time that I barely took any pics, but here is one of the kids :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


Not sure when this was...we are at the "horses" at Concord Mills. :)

Sword Silliness!

Oh my gosh I laughed so hard loading this.  Sorry about the fussing at the end~came off a sounding a little harsh b/c I was trying to make my voice stop laughing still.  My new favorite part is Liam's "sword is totally still, head is going back and forth" contribution to the event!!  When he came running in here to see the video he heard playing, he looked at the screen and said "where's my pants?" haha Funny Sweeties!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Singing along to the "News Reporter" song from Backyardigans

You can't see anything, b/c it was nightime in the car and video footage would have been terrible, but this is Charlotte joining "Unique-qua" (sp??) from the Backyardigans CD... awesome!!

Train Lover!!

Yes, he is in Charlotte's seat. I put him there after we dropped her off at preschool b/c it was the side of the car the train would be coming by..

also, side note: Liam almost always calls me "mom"... eh well, waddaya gonna do?

Mister Blankie is super funny!

Bedtime can be like 2 am for college students...when everything is funny..

Playground Prowess..


Well, Josh and I took our first picture on these steps in May of 2005.  Our lives have changed so much since then..This is our last family picture on the front porch of our Shaw Hills house.  We'll always treasure the memories of all that happened while we were here.  :D  What a great first home!!
(Charlotte: 3 yrs, 8 mo., Liam: 2 wks shy of 2 yrs, Emory: 28 wks gest.)

The posts below are some before and after pictures of the move...might have teared up a bit (!)

Charlotte's Room...

Liam's Room...

I'll use Liam's room as the example of the packing process...Day 1: they came and broke down pieces and packed up boxes, Day 2: they loaded the boxes and furniture onto the Giant truck, Day 3: they drove the truck (which was taken overnight to a secure warehouse that Armstrong Relocation owns) down to Matthews where our storage unit is and unloaded it ~ it is packed to the gills!!

 Break down
boxed up
All done!  Goodbye sweet nursery/Liam's room :/ So many sweet memories... (like every room)


Dining Room...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baby Girl: Name Announcement!

Emory Claire Hall   is the name we have chosen for this sweet little bundle we can't wait to meet!! We are excited that we have this decision made!  I always love when we can call them by name.. :)

And speaking of sweets...

I can still eat them!!  I am so happy to record here for posterity that I passed my glucose test!! Looks like I'll be buying the girls nicer cars than Liam...just kidding~my sweet little man just was too sweet for me in utero :)  I am so happy that we don't have to do the "leeks and lentils" diet, as Josh and I call it ;)

Bring on the cheesecake!! (just kidding again...trying to keep the weight gain down this time..)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Um, Sweet!!

Josh told everyone to hold hands on the way to the car. (which is on a quiet street right beside the field~maybe a 30 second walk from the bench pictured in the post below).  I grabbed his, so the kids were left to fend for themselves!!  Just kidding, but what we saw when we turned around warranted getting the camera out...
 "C'mon Buddy, you need to hold a hand, Daddy said.."
 Almost got it...
There we go... complete sweetness!!

Dilworth Elementary

Everyone loves to go to Dilworth Elementary after work or right before dinner on the weekends and play ball. All kinds: soccer balls, mini basketballs, beginner baseballs, even beach balls. We throw a bunch in the car and head over. They love playing with Josh and digging in the dirt under the willow oaks. I got out there a couple of times, but I've gotten a bit large to run around, so I usually hold down the fort on the "blue bench" as the kids have creatively named it.. We've already come to treasure these times at this place, and so, to document for memory's sake, here are some pictures... (you can get a better view of the fields in the videos, which I'll post later).

 They love these old nets and the dirt under the trees as much as any toy or playground we have or have been to.. :)
 Daddy resting after a tough session of "I try a'gin" with Liam. :)
Me and my two sweaty sweeties! (and baby girl :D)  Thanks to Josh for the greatly appreciated loan of his new sunglasses.. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Can't think of a more appropriate title than...ADORABLE..

The kids were ready for naptime in our room, and I was finishing up putting the dishes away.  When I got back to the room, this is what I found: Charlotte pointing out different things and Liam repeating her. This video is 2 minutes, but it was going on way before I started filming.  Sweet little dears. Love Them!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sleepy Boy

One day as I was tidying up lunch dishes, I realized I didn't hear the sounds of cars and various toys being thrown around in Liam's room, so I went to investigate. (Keep in mind this was only minutes after he'd been at the lunch table)...  Sweet little guy had climbed in bed, gotten his blankie, and konked out. Too sweet!! Hindsight showed that he was worn out from cutting two back teeth simultaneously.  He only has two teeth to go until his first set is complete..thank goodness! :)


The kids think taking the trolley uptown is equally fun to whatever we are actually going uptown to do! They have a blast.  Charlotte thinks she is big time when she pulls the "stop requested" rope above the window :)

The trolley stops at our apartment every 12 minutes, so we always see it come by when we are at the pool. Liam loves to shout (from the pool through the breezeway and atrium) "Hey Trolley!!"  So cute.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Some video of the girl swimming!! She is rocking it~these are from several weeks ago!  Now she can swim all the way across this pool and back :)  She also goes on lots of "rescue" missions to retrieve Ariel from the middle of the pool.  Quite the little tadpole, huh?

She completed a six week swim lesson course at the YMCA, and got "most improved" in her class, but the real progress took place in our apartment pool with Daddy as main teacher.  She has gone from playing on the steps and not wanting water to touch her face at jumping in with no swimmies on her arms, touching the bottom with her toes, then popping up and swimming to the other side of the pool.  We are really proud of her and happy for her to be able to enjoy such a fun summer activity!!

Future Drummer..

Um, needless to say, he had a blast.  :) I see a sound proof room in our future haha!

Baby Girl's Future Room

These are some factory images of the furniture we got on clearance!  We have tossed around all of the ways we could do furniture to figure out our most cost-effective method :)  There were probably a couple of different ways we could have sliced it, but we ended up deciding to convert our current crib to a full size bed for Liam's big boy room when we found this entire collection for only a couple hundred more than buying a second-hand crib would cost us!! Talk about easy decision!  So, we went to USA baby to look at the crib I was looking to get off craigslist and check the color, and found a clearance sale of not just the crib, but the nightstand and dresser as well! (the pics below show the hutch, too, but we didn't get that.)  We got the collection in the "Snowdrift" color that you see in the nightstand.  It is so pretty and we were able to tack on the conversion kit in the price, so we've got a complete bedroom that one of the girls will use from now on!

Baby Stuff!

Well, I've been searching on craigslist as the summer has gone on for some of the "baby gear" we had sold or that had broken..and today completed the process!

We had used our swing until it didn't work anymore, and it would have cost so much to have the motor replaced by graco that we just decided to look for a "new" one.  The bouncer/recliner we had was also so stretched out that the babe would have been resting her tootsies on the music/vibration motor, so we were in the hunt for a new one of those.. Fortunately, our first craigslist score was a product that does both!  It is a baby swing that not only does side to side And front to back swinging, but you can also remove the seat from the swing frame and use it as a baby papasan chair!  (an added bonus is that the pattern is verrry living room friendly!)  Plus, we saved $145 dollars off of the purchase price by going through craigslist!  (the key is to look for those people that barely used their stuff, so it is in better condition..and all of our purchases are in such great shape that it makes me a little sick to my stomach that we bought brand new the first time around! ah well, lesson learned :p)

Then, I had noticed on a friend's blog that her exersaucer was really neat: instead of putting the child in a seat surrounded by toys, this model has a toy table that the seat revolves around..this allows the baby to start out on those walking movements, and plus you can remove the seat feature and just have an activity table once baby can stand up and toddle around!! We love it!! The family we bought this from only used it for 6 months since their son walked early, and he was in daycare full time so he barely ever used it!  Savings on this item: $50!

Then today, we purchased a travel system that is perfect!! We bought the cadillac of strollers the first time around, and while it is feature-filled and smooth-riding, the graco quattro tour deluxe is also Gigantic!!  We had actually sold our travel system in order to have some $$ to put towards our double stroller a while back, so we didn't have an infant car seat or a single stroller.  This week, the perfect combo popped up: the Chicco Cortina system.  It is a very lightweight car seat that will be much less bulky than our old infant seat, and is rated extremely high on safety and customer satisfaction.  Love it!! (plus the fact that it is tan and Pink is an extra bonus ;p)  Even though Charlotte will probably be able to go to a booster seat in the near future (as soon as she hits 40 lbs after her birthday this winter), it still made sense for us to have the infant seat since they have changed the reccomendations and we'll be cramming in 3 car seats for a little while! Whew! On the way home from meeting the seller I looked in the back seat and felt like I was driving a little preschool van instead of our family Pilot! haha :D  We also like it a lot more than we would have if we'd had to purchase it new...we saved $235 by going the craigslist route..hurray!!

Just so this post isn't all words, here are some pictures of the stuff.

Sorry for the boring post~I was on a shopping endorphine moment haha!
We joked at lunch that now they will let us put her in the car since we have an infant seat again!  Baby girl, we are ready for ya anytime after Thanskgiving! :)