Monday, July 26, 2010

our amazing army-crawling baby!

Yes, that's right.....Shelby Frances is army crawling at 14 and a half months old. She started doing it about a foot at a time last week, but has quickly become stronger and faster and can now move across the room. This is a HUGE milestone for her, especially considering her visual impairment and weaker left side. I am in absolute awe of this amazing child and still tear up watching her go!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sisters, Cousins, Friends and Babies

I only have three more weeks till I go back to my teaching job, and I intend to make the most of that time. In that spirit, Shelby and I left the boys to their own devices and headed down to Atlanta for a relaxing weekend with my sister and cousin Kate. Grant did a great job cooking for all of the visiting women and putting up with us in general. It was really nice to be able to catch up with Kate who is pregnant (yipee!). Hopefully the extended time with the babies didn't scare her too much. I also enjoyed getting some time with my sweet niece Riley who seems to be growing and changing by the day.

My friend Melanie came up for brunch on Saturday morning with 1-year-old Henry and it was wonderful. We hadn't seen each other since February, and that is way too long. We got to hang out and hold each other's babies over coffee and really good food. Below is a picture of Henry and Shelby in the midst of their second fight. They both wanted the toy and were too intent on getting it to cooperate with the camera. The first fight occurred when they were only about a month old and Shelby smacked him in the face. Let's hope their arguments aren't going to be a tradition, because I'd like to see a lot more of Henry and his parents.

Saturday night, Grant watched Shelby and Riley (thank you to my awesome bro-in-law) while Chris, Kate and I met our other cousin Courtenay for dinner and margaritas at Nuevo Laredo. We were probably not as funny as we thought we were, but I don't think I have ever laughed so much in my life.

Sending love and thanks to Chris, Kate, Melanie and Courtenay for making my weekend great!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Motley Crew

The rest of the Kinnaird clan traveled from Texas last week for Matt and Ashlee's wedding. On Sunday afternoon, we took them on a tour of our property (now that the driveway is finally complete). This picture of all the Kinnaird men was taken from the top of the driveway which can now be accessed by other vehicles besides the Kubota. We're hoping to entice the Texas Kinnairds into purchasing property that adjoins ours. We just can't bear the thought of them needlessly suffering in the sweltering Texas summer heat. Also, my father-in-law has started a family blog that will document our progress with the land. Check it out if you are interested:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

They're finally interacting!

I have been looking forward to my children playing and enjoying each other's company. Harding adores Shelby and has tried to engage her in play since we brought her home from the hospital. She just hasn't been into it at all. This afternoon, I got a glimpse of them starting to interact and it was adorable, so I grabbed the flip camera and was able to capture the moment.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We had a fun, but very busy weekend camping out at Deerfields in Horseshoe, NC which culminated in Matt and Ashlee's wedding there on Saturday night. It was a lot of hard work, but so worth it. The weekend was absolutely perfect and it was a reflection of Matt and Ashlee's personalities and their relationship. I didn't take any pictures, but Trip's aunt emailed me this one from her camera. I'll post more as I get them from other people. Harding was the "ring bear" as he called it. Trip and I told him that after he brought the pillow down the aisle and gave the rings to Uncle Matt, he could go play. He took this seriously and all but ran up to Matt, tossed him the pillow, and went off to play with his friend elsewhere. Luckily, the wedding ceremony (very much like the happy couple) was very laid back. I can't wait to see the video.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chromey Photos

It is so convenient having a photographer right across the street from us. Chris generously offered to take some shots of the kids one morning a couple weeks ago. Harding and Chris's son Isaac are big buddies though, so Harding wanted to play instead of sitting still for the camera (as usual). We decided to let them play with their trucks for a little while....

And we took pictures of just Shelby, who is an incredibly difficult subject. Trying to get a visually impaired child to look towards the camera and laugh is so challenging because she can't see things that aren't real close.

I think Chris, his daughter Meisha, and I were all blowing raspberries to get this toothy grin:

Eventually we were able to entice Harding to come over and sit down. But at this point, Shelby was done with being cooperative.

Is it weird that I really really love this particular picture? I'm definitely going to get it framed. It pretty much sums up the morning. Thanks for being so patient with us neighbor!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Caught in the act!Warning: If you harvest a whole bunch of fresh basil from your garden with the intent of making a batch of pesto, keep it well out of Harding's reach. He ate half of the leaves Trip picked this evening. The kid loves basil and eats it like candy. No pesto for us tonight.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Catching up

There has been so much going on since the end of May that I have barely had time to breathe, much less blog, so I will attempt to do a post on everything we've been up to. Prepare yourselves--this is a lengthy one. Or you can just scroll down and peruse the pictures.

We went to my Aunt Dearing's Memorial Daze campout over Memorial Day weekend and had the best time. The Gillilands came with us and our children entertained themselves for the most part, allowing the adults to have fun and relax as well. We were also able to check out Stephen and Cambridge's tailgate market in Richmond while we were there, which blew us away. The farmers tailgate markets in Asheville are tiny compared to Richmond's South of the James market. If you are in Richmond on a Saturday, check out the Common Ground booth and say hello to my brother. :) We also were able to extend the long weekend and go to the Chesapeake Bay for one night.

Harding and Derek specialized in waking everyone up at 7 a.m.

Shelby and Aubrey being their usual cute selves.

Harding kisses our hostess, Aunt "DeDe"

Stephen being a salesman:We had a hard time pulling the kids away from this booth at the market.

I forced Stephen and Cambridge to pose in front of their Common Ground booth: The Gillilands minus Derek: Harding and Derek running into the bay (and screaming): We finished making the rounds for Shelby's various one-year follow-up doctor appointments (including seeing her neurosurgeon at Duke Children's) and everything looked pretty good.

Dr. Grant attempts to get Shelby to smile for their picture: Shelby has pretty much been sick the entire month of June. There was a terrifying 5 day period during the first half of the month when she did not eat a thing and drank very little--this was very perplexing to the speech therapist we see for feeding and scared Trip and me to death. I finally called Dr. Love (our wonderful pediatrician who I can't say enough good things about), and he said, "Bring her in, I bet she has hand foot and mouth virus". Sure enough, when he shined the light in her mouth, there were sores in the back which had probably been causing Shelby a whole lot of pain. I have never been so glad for my daughter to be sick. Since then, Shelby has been reinfected with H/F/M and also gotten a cold. She is on the mend right now, and I hope it sticks for awhile. Luckily, Harding has managed to stay healthy.

The kids and I took a road trip with my parents to Zanesville, Ohio for my friend Kelly's beautiful wedding at Dillon State Park. The drive through TN, WV, and southern Ohio was exceptionally beautiful--especially the WV turnpike. We stayed at a cabin at the state park and had a great time catching up with the Anderson family over the course of the weekend. At the wedding reception, Harding became obsessed with dancing with the bride and stalked Kelly all over the room. Luckily, she was willing to humor him several times. At one point, Harding actually cut in when Kelly was dancing with another kid.

Dad tries to distract Harding into behaving at the rehearsal dinner:

Cheezing for the camera:
This would have been a great picture if Shelby had cooperated: Harding didn't want to take a break from dancing for a picture:
Cutting a rug with the bride:
We also went to Folly Beach, SC for a couple days to celebrate my future sis-in-law Ashlee's wedding. Harding was the only boy at this "bachelorette" vacation and was sure to tell Trip that he had been hanging out with lots of pretty girls. Harding, who is overly cautious about most things, is fearless when it comes to the ocean and wanted to be in the water the entire time. Shelby decided that she was not a fan of the beach. To sum up her point of view: it was hot and the wind kept blowing sand onto her overly sun-screened body--plus she hates for anything to be on her head and I made her wear a sunhat when she was outside. Keeping up with two small children at the beach was a challenge, but I had a lot of help from the other girls and managed to get some relaxation time in myself.
I love this picture of Chris, Harding (and Riley) walking:

All the girls and Harding:In addition to all the traveling we did last month, I also took my first graduate counseling course, which I enjoyed very much. One down, many many more to go. I have decided to slowly pluck away at my masters degree and only take a class or two at a time. It will take me forever to finish, but family time is too important right now while my kiddos are little!

Here are a couple more photos:

Harding at the Asheville splash park "Splasheville" Chris helping Harding hold his sweet cousin Riley: