Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome Home!

Surprise! Look what was waiting for Ben when he first came home from the hospital! Pop-pop and Mae rented this lovely inflatable yard stork and put out a yard-sized birth announcement so all of our neighbors could share in our great news!

For those of you that don't know, Kirsten's Dad has always been a fan of yard displays -- handmaking Christmas signs when Kirsten was little. With four kids, he hasn't had a great deal of time to keep up with this hobby, but with the new popularity with inflatable displays he's had a renewed interest.

They didn't have a lot of time to get things together since Kirsten and Ben came home from the hospital early, and they didn't really know their way around Raleigh. But Mae was so excited to show off all they had done to get ready for her "bebe"!

What a great way to welcome home our newest addition!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ben!

We are elated and proud to annouce the arrival of Benjamin Walter Collins, born July 23, 2008 at 4:01 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs., 14 ozs. and measured 20 inches.

Ben before...

Although his birth time was delayed several times that day, the actual birth was easy and very successful. Kirsten and Ben will be staying at the hospital until at least Saturday, but we are excited to bring them home.
... and after!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Kevin!!!

We are so excited to hear the birth of another new curler this month! Another set of curling friends, Rachel and Jason, welcomed their son Kevin into the world on Monday (7-21-08) and we couldn't be happier!

We guess the "race" is over -- and we are coming in last, still awaiting our latest addition! We hope he will be here any time now!

All the best to Rachel, Jason and Kevin! They make such a beautiful, little family!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Joker in Town!

Ha! Ha! Ha! We had just seen a preview of the new Batman movie on television when Mae decided to "paint" her face with blueberry pancakes. We thought the resemblence was impressive... and a little scary...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome, Zachary!!!

We are sooooo excited to welcome (from a long distance) little Zachary Christan to the world (born 7-9-08)! Congratulations to our friends, Natasha, Phil and Alex!!! From the pictures we've seen, he is JUST BEAUTIFUL!!! Look for pictures of this new curler on their blog: Under the Lemon Tree.

As some of you may know, we curled with Phil and Natasha (prior to Alex and Mae) in Russia. This is the second time both Natasha and Kirsten were pregnant at the same time, and little Alex and Mae are about 7 weeks apart.

We have another curling friend, Rachel and Jason, who are also expecting this month -- just before Kirsten. Now the "race" is on to see who is coming next! Good luck, all mommies and mommies-to-be!

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Wa, Wa, Walk!"

As we've mentioned, Mae is walking now and it's amazing how such a simple thing has altered our lives. One thing we're working very hard on (and so far, successfully to our surprise) is teaching Mae that she MUST hold a hand when she is out walking and so far she is generally obliging.

Now, fast-forward to last week. Mae and Kirsten were out and about in a classical wooden toy store where she fell IN LOVE with this "Dancing Aligator" walking toy (sorry, Robyn!). She spent the day hugging it and seems to be now calling it "Bobbo." Kirsten thought this might be a fun toy now that she's mobile and might give me a few minutes distraction during the day to run to the bathroom or fix lunch.

Over the weekend, we tried to prompt her to use her toy (instead of just hugging it) and say, "Mae, let's walk Bobbo," to which she replied in a growl, "Wa-wa-walk!" we (wrongfully) assumed the growl was for Bobbo - but we quickly learned it was for Mae. Now, we were fully intending for her to walk Bobbo, but in her mind "walking" means she has to hold our hand. So, she grabbed Bob's string in one hand and Kirsten's finger in the other and proceeded to lead both around the kitchen! This was how we spent much of Sunday (and now a part of our daily routine).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July! Now that we are travel-restricted, we decided to enjoy our local town and take in the annual fireworks celebration in Fuquay Varina! Although it is a small town, the celebration was pretty awesome! They held the fireworks on the 3rd (which worked out great since most of the fireworks celebrations July 4-6 were rained out) in conjunction with a free fair complete with a band, a variety of kids' rides, carnival food, and free balloons (Mae's favorite!).

The fireworks seemed to be a big hit with Mae, who had never seen them before (last year was rained out) -- but we did get to enjoy nightmares later in the evening so we decided we would wait a little while before trying fireworks with her again. Still, a great celebration!
We hope all of you had a great holiday -- whatever you did!