Charlotte at 18 months

At 18 months, Charlotte is a bundle of energy. And emotions. She goes from smiling to crying in two seconds flat and then back to smiling a few minutes later. If she doesn’t get what she wants when she wants, or if we tell her no to something, she starts stomping her feet and wailing and putting on quite the show. I was shocked the first time she did it because she has always been so sweet, but her temper has definitely come to light! What’s funny to me is that even though she may be crying because of something we said or did to make her mad, she will come running to us with her arms outstretched. She still needs us to make her feel better and help calm her down. There is nothing I love more than feeling her little arms tight around my neck and having that sweet head of hers nestled into the crook of my neck.

Smiling at Daddy while wearing his shoes

Speaking of her head, Charlotte continues her trend of having a head circumference in the 90th  percentile. Her head has been large since the beginning, and as I said yesterday on Twitter and Facebook, it’s because she has a giant genius brain. How could she not, with such brilliant parents? (Says the woman who just the other day was looking for her sunglasses only to realize they were ON HER HEAD.)

Charlotte’s current stats:

Weight: 25 lbs (slightly above the 50th percentile)
Height:  33 inches (75th percentile) She grew 2.5 inches in 3 months!
Head:   48 cm (90th percentile)

Of course, the minute we got back to the doctor’s area yesterday, Charlotte started crying. She’s no fool. She knows where the pain happens. Even when the nurse was trying to weigh and measure her, she was crying. Poor baby. I am so glad that we don’t have to go back for another checkup for 6 more months! She only had one shot this time, too, which was nice for a change. I hate the way she cries and looks up at me as though I’ve willfully caused her pain. (And I guess in a way I have, since I brought her to the doctor. Oops.)

These days Charlotte babbles all the time, and she’s starting to talk more. I’ve been a little bit worried about her language development because she’s not saying a ton of words, but she knows over 10 words, so the pediatrician wasn’t worried at all.

Charlotte’s favorites:
1. Our dog Bailey. She wants so badly to be friends with Bailey, but Bailey’s having none of it and keeps her distance whenever possible. Charlotte brings her toys and even feeds her food, but still I’m pretty sure if Charlotte were gone tomorrow Bailey would throw a party. I hope they’ll be friends when Charlotte gets a little older and learns to be more gentle. Right now her idea of petting is to swat at her.
2.  Snacks. The girl could snack all day long (hmm, wonder where she got that?). She loves puffs and veggie straws and goldfish and bananas and grapes.

Fascinated by the macaroni and cheese

3.  Outside. She loves to go outside and asks every day when we get home if she can go outside. Today when I told her we couldn’t because it was too hot and wet, she threw herself on the ground and thrashed about as though her life were ending. I can’t imagine where she got such a dramatic streak.
4.  Her paci. We primarily give it to her only for naps and nighttime sleep, but she is SO attached to it. Her face lights up when we give it to her, and she has to sleep with one in her mouth and one in her hand. For a while she was doing a good job of willingly giving them up when she woke up, but lately we’ve had to wait until we can distract her with food before getting it away from her. Man oh man, are we going to have a time when we wean her off the pacifier!
5. Music. Charlotte has loved music for a long time, and that hasn’t changed one bit. She will start dancing the minute she hears music, and on our rides home from daycare I often catch her bobbing her head along with the music. It cracks me up to see her bustin’ a move. I hope she grows up loving to sing and listen to music. 

Charlotte’s dislikes:
1. Getting into the car seat. She has started fighting this with a vengeance. Last week I spent literally 20 minutes (and I do mean literally) trying to wrestle her into the seat. She was screaming and kicking and then she would giggle like she was playing some hysterical game. Mommy was not amused. She still puts up a fight, but I’ve gotten better about getting her strapped in. The kid is strong!
2.  Diaper and clothing changes. I don’t know why she hates these things, but it’s rare for Charlotte not to get upset while we’re trying to change her diaper or change her clothes. We’ve had some success with changing her on the floor instead of the changing table, but even then she sometimes tries to roll away naked. She’s free-spirited, I guess.
3.  Baths. She’s gotten better the last few baths she’s had, but for a while now Charlotte has cried and screamed when we try to give her a bath. A few times we resorted to just sponging her off in the sink, she was so hysterical. It’s incredibly stressful, and sometimes not even toys or her paci will calm her down. I’m hoping she grows out of this phase soon!
4.  Vegetables in solid form. This is really weird, but lately we’ve hardly had any luck getting Charlotte to eat vegetables UNLESS they’re pureed. Has anyone else experienced this? We can try to give her some carrots cut up, and she won’t eat them, but then she’ll gobble up a baby food jar of carrots! That makes no sense to me!
5.  Saying goodbye to us. It’s hard to drop her off in the morning for daycare and at church on Sundays. She gets very clingy and starts to cry and doesn’t want us to leave. It breaks my heart! She’s getting better at this, though.

I look back at where Charlotte was just 6 months ago and am amazed at how much she’s grown and changed. I know that by the time she’s 2 so much more will have happened. I hope I can savor and cherish every minute!

Our little diva

Charlotte at 14 Months

This post is slightly late, as Char turned 14 months on May 4. Life’s been busy, what can I say? Stephen and I actually split the day staying at home with Charlotte right now because she came down with a fever and diarrhea yesterday. Because she’s also had a cough that has lingered for a month (yes, a MONTH), we took her to convenient care last night, and the doctor gave us an antibiotic and steroid to treat her cough. He also recommended we keep her at home. Fortunately, she hasn’t had a fever today, and I loved getting to spend extra time with her!


At 14 months, Charlotte is always on the go. It’s rare for her to sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time. Usually the only thing that will keep her seated longer than that is eating. Charlotte LOVES to eat and seems as though she could eat constantly. She’s figured out where we keep her snacks, and so she goes over to that area and gestures in that direction to indicate that she wants something. She’s gotten much pickier about what she’ll eat, though; one day she loves green beans, and the next she couldn’t care less about them. I think certain textures have started to bother her as well. One day she had green beans and carrots, and she was devouring the carrots but would put the green beans down after picking them up. I finally tried feeding them to her, and she ate them fine, so I wonder if she didn’t like how the green beans felt. She’s done a similar thing with lima beans and peas, too. Very funny.

 I like to think that Charlotte is going to be neat and organized because she’s started realizing where things go and will put things in their place. She knows that trash goes in the trash can and will put things in it, and she will put back items she’s taken from the table. She loves taking her blocks out of the bucket and putting them back in, and she loves anything that makes noise. She also has tried to wipe down her tray and clean up a spill on the floor with a towel. I can definitely put these skills to use in the future. 🙂

She loves being outside and would probably stay out there all day if we let her. She’ll go to the back door and bang on it, and she knows how to say “outside.”

She has become obsessed with her shoes and loves carrying them around. She tries very hard to put them and her socks on, but that’s still a bit above her skill level, so she’ll bring them to us to put on. I’m biased, but I think she’s one smart cookie.

Her separation anxiety has definitely increased recently, as has her moodiness. Whereas she used to be very even-tempered and easygoing, now she’ll throw little tantrums if she doesn’t get her way or we tell her “no” about something she really wants. She also has grown more attached to her pacifier, much to my chagrin, as I was hoping to wean her soon. We’ve only been giving it to her at naps and at night, but she’s stopped willingly handing them over when she wakes up, and sometimes it’s not worth the battle to take it away. I’m glad she has something that soothes and comforts her.

Her love for our dog Bailey has not lessened, and now she’s learned something new: how to feed Bailey. She’ll get a few pieces of dog food in her hand and walk around until she finds Bailey. Bailey is so gentle about taking it from her, and I think it’s helped her warm up to Charlotte. That and the fact that Bailey gets all the food that Charlotte drops on the floor. 

It is so fun to see how big Charlotte is getting and how much she is growing and learning. She charms me every day. I’m so glad she’s ours.

Charlotte at 13 Months

Charlotte is at such a fun age and loves to go go GO during the day. Gone are the days of holding her in our arms for long periods of time; the only occasions she tolerates that are when she’s sleepy or not feeling well. She’s toddling around and getting faster. Soon we’ll have to start chasing her instead of slowly ambling along behind her as she explores every nook and cranny of the house. Her hair is getting longer and longer, and I think we’re going to have to get it cut soon, but the thought of cutting her beautiful locks makes me want to cry. Still, girl has some crazy hair first thing in the morning.  She’s also figured out how to remove ponytail holders and bows and clips from her hair, so all my attempts to tame the mane are in vain.

Charlotte’s had an eventful week. She came home from daycare on Friday with pinkeye, so we got antibiotic drops to put in her eyes 3 times a day for 7 days. Naturally, she screamed like a banshee when we tried to put the drops in, and it took both Stephen and I to administer the drops for the first few days. Now she doesn’t fuss hardly at all when we do it, and we’ll finish up the drops tomorrow. Her eyes cleared up after the first day, thank goodness, and it didn’t seem to faze her much.

However, the pinkeye wasn’t the allow event of the weekend. On Sunday while I was doing nursery duty at church, Stephen was at home watching Charlotte, and she fell and hit her head on a little tin cannister she liked to play with. She ended up with a rather large gash above her left eye, which necessitated a trip to the doctor. Fortunately, the doctor determined she didn’t need stitches, so he glued the wound shut, but all of this was not without many tears and screams of protest from our poor baby, who was scared and had no idea what was going on. The whole experience was incredibly traumatic for all of us, but Charlotte is on the mend, and her injury didn’t slow her down too much after spending the day with me at home on Monday.

Now Charlotte is back to her usual activities, which involve roaming about the house in search of items to play with that are NOT her toys. She enjoys typing out her thoughts on the keyboard with Daddy.

She loves going outside and walking around in the backyard, and she likes swinging in her swing and attempting to climb her slide.

She also loves examining the local flora and fauna: 

She’s also decided that she needs a bigger sippy cup. Ha.

She eats pretty well, although one day she’ll decide she doesn’t like a food and then the next day she’s changed her mind. She still sleeps like a champ at night, but naps are hit or miss. She’s wearing 12-18 month clothes right now and loves carrying around her shoes more than she likes wearing them. She chases after Bailey a lot and tries to give Bailey her toy, but Bailey is still not sure what to make of Charlotte.

Simply put, Charlotte is a delight and the treasure of our hearts.

One Year!

My sweet Charlotte is one year old! I can hardly believe what was once this:

has become this:

Is that not the sweetest picture?? I found a Groupon that offered a relatively inexpensive photo session with live ducklings, and I thought that was perfect for Charlotte’s 12 month pictures. She had a BLAST with those ducklings. I don’t think the ducklings felt the same, however, especially not the one that almost got its head yanked off by Charlotte’s overly enthusiastic hand. 🙂  She got down in the water and splashed and splashed (hence the wet shirt) and scared all the ducklings into the farthest corner of the little “pond,” but fortunately the photographer was able to get this picture of Charlotte’s trademark happy grin (the real version does not have the top of her head cropped off).

Big things are happening in Charlotte’s life right now. She’s WALKING! She started taking a few steps here and there last Monday or Tuesday, and now she can get across an entire room. She still has lots of stops and starts, but when she falls or almost falls, she gets up and starts going again, usually with a hugely proud grin on her face. It’s amazing to see how quickly she’s caught on and how much she has learned. A lot happens in the first year of a baby’s life! At this point she still prefers to crawl, but I think in a few weeks she’ll discover that walking is much more efficient and allows her to carry her toys around without resorting to the rather crippled-looking crawl she currently adopts when wanting to bring toys with her as she moves.

 

Charlotte has been pretty clingy with us of late, and while it can sometimes make getting ready in the morning difficult, I cherish this time because I know one day she’ll be a teenager who will probably roll her eyes at the mere sight of me. She especially loves being with her Daddy and lights up when she sees him. She loves to climb all over him and sit on his head. It’s quite the sight. She also loves to push her push toy and giggles when we act like we’re running away from her. She also giggles when we pretend to chase her, and she’s an all around delightfully easygoing and cheerful baby. She waves at almost anyone she sees, even if they don’t even see her, and she loves to watch people. She can clap and wave and blow a kiss, and she recently began pointing at things she wants to look at more closely. She’s a great mimic, which causes her Daddy to make goofy gestures that she then repeats.

She has gotten much more talkative, although her speech doesn’t resemble anything close to real words, with the exception of “uh oh” and “dada.” She says “mama” on VERY rare occasions, and never when I try to get her to say it (the stinker!).  Hearing her little voice chatter as I drive us home after work makes my day.

When it comes to food, she will eat virtually anything we give her. We’ve discovered that she signals to us that she is through eating a food when she starts casually throwing it on the floor. Our dog Bailey wishes she would do this more often. 🙂 She likes to have food to hold in both of her hands and will ask for more even while both hands are full. She has transitioned from bottles to sippy cups with relatively few problems, for which I am grateful since there was a time when I thought she’d never want to give up her beloved bottle. She can down a sippy cup of formula in mere minutes, and she also really enjoys drinking water. We don’t give her any juice, so I’m glad she seems to like water. I’m hoping that continues.

Charlotte Marie, I never could have imagined how you would change my life. You are a true blessing and an absolute joy. Stephen and I couldn’t love you more if we tried.

And no matter how old you are, you’ll always be my baby. I love you always.