Days 15 and 16

Once again, I am playing catch up on the weekend! I will try and do better next weekend!

Day 15: I am thankful for the date night that Stephen and I had on Friday night. Our church sponsors these every so often, and all the parents get to drop their kids off at church for a few hours of free babysitting and then go on a date! We went to Outback and had a yummy dinner and loved spending time together while having conversation that didn’t revolve around a toddler. 🙂

Day 16: I am thankful for the fun day we had as a family. We got several chores done in the morning and then had lunch at Chic-fil-A and let Charlotte play on the playground before going shopping at Target, where we got gifts to put in our Operation Christmas Child box. I love Saturdays when we can all just relax and spend time together as a family.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

My Third Mother’s Day

This weekend was my third time to celebrate Mother’s Day, and it was a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday at the zoo, and we couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. It was Charlotte’s first time at the zoo, and though we got off to a rocky start due to some monkeys scaring her while we were eating lunch, she ended up having a great time! She especially loved watching the sea lions and polar bears and also liked the elephants and hippo. She also got excited every time we saw a bird or a squirrel, even though we have no shortage of those in our own backyard. 🙂 We purchased a family membership, so I foresee many more zoo trips in our future!

This one’s my favorite
Snack time with Pops. Her mouth is full of food, but at least she’s smiling!
This was the best family pic we could get.

Sunday we went to my parents’ church, and Charlotte ended up coming to the service with us. She did NOT want to get dropped off in the nursery, and they were a little unorganized at first, trying to figure out which classroom she would be in, so we just took her with us. She was wriggly and not the quietest, but overall she did pretty well. Stephen did end up taking her out in the hallway near the end of the service, but she did pretty great for a toddler. After church we tried to take pictures, but Charlotte has a personal objection to posed pictures and often makes it difficult to get a good picture of her. We managed to get a few, and though they didn’t turn out perfect, I know when I look at them years later I’ll remember her sassy, spunky personality.

Happy girl. I love love love pigtails.
My mom and me. At least we can take a decent picture. 🙂

I finished off the day with a 2.22 mile run around our neighborhood. It was around dusk, and the temperature had cooled off, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I ran last Mother’s Day as well, and I think it’s going to be a new tradition.

I hope all of you who are moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day, or those who aren’t at least were able to celebrate their moms. To those for whom the day is painful, know that I prayed for you as well.

How was your weekend?

Charlotte Turns Two

Charlotte turned two on March 4, and we had a party the weekend before to celebrate! Charlotte loves Elmo, so I decided to do a Sesame Street theme. I got all of the supplies at Walmart and kept it pretty simple, decorating our kitchen table and hanging some balloons and a banner. 

I also decided to keep the guest list small, so we just invited family. My parents, my grandmother, and my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew made up the guest list, and in our smallish house, that was plenty of people! Charlotte gets overwhelmed with a lot of people surrounding her at once, so she was pretty clingy and shy at the beginning, but that didn’t stop her from sporting her Elmo hat!

She is not too sure about what is going on.

After I started blowing bubbles and she was able to interact with her cousin Erika, who is six months younger than Charlotte, she started to warm up.

Instead of a birthday cake, I decided to go with a less conventional approach after having some yummy petit fours at my mom’s birthday celebration just a few weeks ago. My parents generously offered to provide the dessert, and the bakery was even able to put Elmo on the little cakes. I loved how they turned out!

For the food, we again opted for the simple (okay, lazy) route and ordered Pizza Hut pizza. While we waited for it to arrive, Charlotte started opening her presents. She got a ton of cute spring clothes from my brother and sister-in-law, along with coloring books and board books.

After the pizza, it was time for cake! Charlotte was a fan.

Digging in!

I tried unsuccessfully to get a good picture with Charlotte, but this is the best I got. We have such a hard time getting her to smile for pictures. She pretty much turns on the frowns when a camera comes out.

 My parents were also unsuccessful in their attempts to get a picture with her.

The party was a little bit chaotic with two toddlers running around, and I was glad that I had decided not to invite a few other kids closer to her age. I think I will save the bigger parties for when she is older and can really enjoy them.

On Charlotte’s actual birthday last Monday, we treated her to one of her favorite things, a donut:

And of course there were a few more presents! We got her a ladybug lunch bag and backpack to use at daycare, which she loved. She also opened presents from Stephen’s parents, some fun blocks and an alphabet computer-type toy.

We also went in with my parents and got her a playhouse for outside. I really wanted to get her a swingset, but the nicer sets are SO expensive! I am happy with this little house, though, and she had a blast playing in it this weekend after her sweet daddy spent some quality time putting it together.

She loved pushing the little doorbell and opening and closing the door.
There’s that sweet smile! Happy girl.

It’s hard to believe that she is already two years old. She is changing so much every day, and even though this is a somewhat turbulent age, I am loving it. It’s so fun now that she is able to talk to us more clearly and express herself, and she cracks us up with the little phrases she says. She is little Miss Independent, and I love seeing her take pride in being able to do things on her own. The days can sometimes be long, but the years are short. I pray that I cherish every moment with her, even the ones that are stressful, for I know that before I know it, she will be grown. We love you, Charlotte Marie! 

Charlotte at 19 Months

Let’s ignore the fact that Charlotte turned 19 months over a week ago, shall we? On most days, Charlotte is a little whirlwind, zipping about from place to place, usually with a smile on her a face. She constantly wants to explore and roam around and is rarely content to simply sit still, unless she is coloring or playing with stickers. Then, she’ll sit for a few minutes before moving on to the next activity.

Until the last month or so, Charlotte really wasn’t a big fan of books. When she was much, much younger, I would read to her every day, and while she was too young to show her enjoyment, she at least didn’t put up a fuss. However, as she got more mobile, she grew less fond of sitting still for a story, and before long she would just push books away if we tried to read to her, which broke this poor book-loving mama’s heart! I’m not sure what changed, but now she will latch on to a certain book and become obsessed with it, wanting to look at it over and over again. She especially loves to look at pictures of animals and can now imitate the sounds that dogs, cats, cows, and ducks make.

Charlotte started walking right around her first birthday, and she gets faster and faster on those little feet every day, it seems. I wouldn’t be surprised if she broke out into a full-fledged run soon. She also has become quite the climber, surprising me one day by climbing right up into her high chair without assistance. She now practices this skill on a daily basis and beams proudly when she is seated in the chair.

It’s blurry, but she was so proud to be climbing up in her chair.

Along with climbing, she also is fixated on buckles right now and spends a lot of time trying to buckle the harness on her high chair and her little toddler rocker. She has learned how to buckle these things but can’t get them unbuckled, so she gets really frustrated when she can’t unfasten things. In general, she gets really frustrated when she can’t figure something out and in her frustration will sometimes just throw down whatever it is she’s working on. I hope she’ll learn to keep on trying something instead of giving up so quickly. 

She is definitely all toddler, as she can go from laughing to crying in about two seconds flat. The smallest things can set her off. For example, this morning I had her try on the winter coat I bought for her, and she loved it. What she didn’t love was me taking it off, and she started screaming and crying and was inconsolable for several minutes, right about when it was time to leave for daycare, of course. It is challenging when she starts throwing a tantrum, and we’re not sure yet what the best response is, but we mostly ignore her or try and hold her and get her to calm down.

Charlotte’s vocabulary is growing, and her favorite word right now is our dog’s name, Bailey. She will say her name over and over again, and she loves to follow Bailey around and gets excited when she sees her. Sometimes in the morning when she first wakes up she’s more excited to see Bailey than she is us, which we try not to be offended by.

Never one to turn down food, Char has a healthy appetite and loves to snack on fruits and puffs and graham crackers. Her favorite foods right now are bananas, waffles, and crackers of any kind.

Mmm, spaghetti!

For some reason, however, she has gone a vegetable strike. She used to eat vegetables like a champ, but the past few months she has decided she doesn’t like them. We’ll try to get her to eat them, but she just shakes her head no and swats them away. She will eat them if they’re pureed, but it seems kind of crazy to keep giving her purees when she’s 19 months old! Still, we do give her veggies that way a few times a week just so she’s getting some, but that’s not a long term solution. She’s too young to really reason with, so I’m not sure what to do. Any suggestions on how to get her to eat more vegetables?

Here are a few more pictures of my sweet girl. She makes us so happy and proud, and I can’t wait to see the girl she becomes!