Monday, November 30
This past Saturday Judd, my parents, and I took Charlotte to have breakfast with Santa at Hershey's Chocolate World. We were greeted at the door, seated at our table that was covered in Reese's peanut butter cups, Hershey's miniatures, and Hershey's kisses. We then went to the buffet and chose from chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, and other various yummy things.
After I finished with my cup of hot chocolate covered with whip cream and chocolate chips, Santa came out with Mrs. Claus to visit everyone. Charlotte knew just who it was and waved her little jingle bell bracelet with everyone else. We were released by table to go up and visit with Santa - so now standing in long lines. Charlotte did really well - no crying - but no smiling either!
After her visit with Santa, we went to do the Chocolate World tour and then the 3D show. By the time the 3D show started, Charlotte was finished with cooperating and my mom ended up taking her out soon after it started. She was a really good girl for most of the morning, I think her sugar high was starting to wear off.
Nothing like Reese's for breakfast.
Before the 3D show
Sunday, November 29
My grandmother brought the "Marble Speedway" with her along with an assortment of colored marbles. The Marble Speedway is an antique toy that my father and just about every other child that has visited my grandparent's house has played with. It is just a wooden toy that a marble can travel down through a series of shoots - but has the power to hipnotize children - here Grandma is showing Charlotte just how it works. I just love the tongue sticking out in concentration.
Judd flew back to Atlanta on Saturday. I decided to stay up here with Charlotte this week. My youngest sister, Rachel, gets married on Saturday and we were going to need to be up here for that!
Wednesday, November 25
Tuesday, November 24
Judd and I got a chance to sneak out for dinner and a movie on Saturday night. We were originally supposed to go to the UGA game, but I was exhausted Saturday and the game was going to be over late. So, we went to see The Blind Side instead - we still got some football in. (It is an awesome movie - go see it if you can)
Sunday, after Judd's parents left and after Charlotte's nap, we decided to go to Lenox mall to let her run around and burn off some energy since it was raining. When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw that the Pink Pig was up and running. Judd and I thought Charlotte might get a kick out of it, so we bought a couple of tickets and stood in line.
She LOVED it. She got so excited waiting in line - which included screaming at the top of her lungs. Then it was our turn, Charlotte and I rode together and Judd watched us from the side. She sat right next to me and smiled the entire time - we looked at the Christmas trees and all of the pigs - then we got to the mirrors and she waved and waved at herself. When it finished, she looked at me, held up her little finger and said, "One More?".
So, where's the picture? I didn't have my camera. But, I'm OK with that. Initially I was upset - knowing that I wouldn't have something to show for the experience. But it allowed me to just enjoy the time with Judd and Charlotte. Rather than worrying about f/stops, shutter speeds, and ISO, I was able to concentrate 100% on Charlotte and Pink Pigs. I have my mental pictures. I have one picture in my mind of her sitting next to me holding onto the side of the car with her little hand - her eyes wide looking all around - and her little mouth smiling. I have another picture in my mind of Judd, holding my purse, waving and smiling to us as we went by. Sometimes, the best pictures are the ones you don't take.
Friday, November 20
At her parent/teacher conference yesterday at school they said 'art' was one of her favorite activities. This morning she said she drew a 'frog', then 'mommy', then 'daddy'. Frog, Judd, and I all looked like circles - hope she's not telling me something. :)
Thursday, November 19
Go ahead and throw your temper tantrums. Go ahead and throw your empty cup at me enraged because I won't get you more cheerios. Go ahead and fight me while I strap you into your carseat - arch that back! You can go ahead and cry and scream in my face because I'm making you pick your markers up. Go ahead and do all of these things and more - I know you need to do it.
You have an idea of what independence is and you feel you need to exercise that muscle. I get it, I understand.
I'm here for you. I'm here to set your boundaries. I'm here to show you what you are in fact independent enough to do.
I know you have can have stressful days too - it is hard to constantly learn - and I know that you are constantly learning because those eyes are always watching us, observing everything we do. Go ahead and get all of that stress out.
But, just know that after you are all done with that tantrum, you can always come back and climb in my lap - that no matter what you do, Daddy and I will always love you.
Wednesday, November 18
I've been pretty busy, but I also just haven't really felt like it. I think I just need a break every now and then.
Charlotte and I flew up to Baltimore last Friday. Charlotte went to spend the weekend with Grammie and Grandad, while I spent the weekend with my sisters for Rachel's bachelorette party. Sally planned the whole weekend - and did a fabulous job. We toured a couple of wineries in the area, then went out for a really nice dinner that evening. After dinner we kicked up our heels at Power Plant Live in downtown Baltimore. There was some great people watching on the dance floor.
Judd flew from Milan to Baltimore and spent the weekend with us too. It was Rachel's fiance's bachelor party on Saturday as well. So, Judd and Andrew headed downtown in the afternoon to meet up with the other fellows.
We flew back on Sunday and tried to get our lives in order before the start of the week. I can't believe little Rachel is going to be married in 2.5 weeks!
Yesterday I got a call from Judd around 12:30pm. He got a call from daycare saying that they needed someone to come get Charlotte immediately. They had a gas main break and had to evacuate the church. Of course, Judd had a busy day and so that meant that I needed to leave my job and go get her.
I pull up to the church and see fire trucks and other emergency vehicles outside with areas roped off. I pull around the back of the church and there are 5 buses filled with kids. It was kind of crazy. There were little infants out there - they had pulled some cribs outside - I felt so bad for the infant room teachers.
I got Charlotte - she seemed to be having a great time - wasn't scared at all. Then the assistant director comes up to me and says:
"We had a little bit of a scare with Charlotte."
me: "Oh, really?"
AD: "Yes, we all evacuated and came out here to the parking lot, then called roll. We discovered Charlotte wasn't out here"
me: "Oh, really?"
AD: "Yes, we ran back into the Toddler 2 room, and there she was asleep on her mat - she had fallen asleep after lunch"
me: "So, she was in there asleep all by herself??"
AD: "Yes, but only for about 2 min"
What, seriously?? This really freaked me out. I'm not sure what to do about it. I feel like I need to know the evacuation plan a little better - what if the building were on fire, and not just a gas main break?? What if she had woken up and realized that everyone was gone? She would have been so scared. Ugh, I swear - it's always something.
Tuesday, November 10
Sunday, November 8
A few weeks ago Charlotte woke up really early one weekday morning. I was in the shower, so Judd got Charlotte out of her crib and tucked her into our bed with him. He turned on the TV to a cartoon on PBS and she actually laid there with him the entire time I got ready.
This was a big deal. We had been trying to get her to lay in bed with us on weekends for a few minutes for months and months. We thought it would be a good way to get a couple more minutes of down time before the day began. But, she would have nothing to do with it - she wanted to get the party started.
However, you will notice in the picture above there is something in her mouth - the beloved Paci. This has been reserved for crib only since she was 15 months. But, Judd thought it would be ok to let her have it in our bed too. Well, Charlotte wasn't born yesterday and caught onto that little loophole pretty quickly. Now she wants TV in bed a lot. I guess I can't blame her. It sure is nice snuggling into bed with her on a Sunday afternoon.
Saturday, November 7
But, I know that I am lucky that I get to stay behind and take care of Charlotte. Because if I had been on the plane tonight, I would have missed her face as she went down the big slide at the park. She was so surprised that it went fast!
I need to adjust my attitude to that line of thinking - rather than "oh poor me, I'm not stuffed on filet and hot fudge sundaes en route to Milan" but "I'm so lucky that I got to watch Yo Gabba Gabba 5 times tonight and laughed and danced with my daughter".
That competitive streak in me - and it's a wide one - wants to be going places in my career too. But, we can't both move up that ladder and raise our daughter the way that we want to. It's give and take. But, there's no one in this entire world that I would rather be on this seesaw with.
Tuesday, November 3
There is a time when your new baby won't sleep or sleeps to much. She cries a lot and for a reason not known to you. You worry about the amount of milk she drinks and whether or not she has had enough dirty diapers. You worry about the weight she is gaining or not gaining. You worry constantly. She needs you all of the time, you are with her all of the time.
Then there is time when your baby starts to be mobile, which is reassuring, but then scary because of the new world it opens up to her. She still cries a lot, but you usually have an idea about why she is crying and can fix it. She starts to need you just a little bit less because she is trying new foods. But, then there is worry about the foods she is trying or not trying, liking or not liking. She is sleeping more, which means you sleep more, but you still can't always count on it.
Then there is a time when your baby starts to talk to you, and you now know what is going on in her little head. She becomes so expressive and really begins to develop her very own personality. She is so much more mobile now, which is wonderful, but adds a whole new set of challenges and worries. She is weaned from you and eats everything that you eat. She cries a lot less. She becomes more independent - she is needing you less. She sleeps well and it is something you can count on.
Then comes a time when your baby not only talks to you, but tells you small stories. She jokes and laughs with you. She starts to play by herself and pretend. You want to take her places and show her new things because you want to see her reaction. She will watch a favorite TV show for more than 30 seconds. She can now tell you exactly how she feels, and exactly what she wants. She hardly cries at all - except when she doesn't get what she wants. She sits at the dinner table with you and you can enjoy dinner together.
There really does come a day when you look around and notice that it has become easier. But, then at the same time, you notice that she isn't so much a baby anymore.
Sunday, November 1
They all got rained on for Halloween.
It was so yucky here yesterday. Constant clouds and drizzle throughout the day. But we made the best of it. Dave brought his new smoker over and smoked some beef short ribs for us while we
watched the game chased the girls around. Erin and I did a couple of crafts with the girls and they watched me carve our pumpkin. We ate a fabulous dinner then got the girls changed into their costumes. Our neighborhood had a parade at 6:30 so we loaded all three girls in the wagon and headed that way. You've never seen such a cute wagon in your life! (I think Erin got some shots of that)
The parade was great - it ended in a col-de-sac and some very wonderful neighbors had games and music set up for the kids. Charlotte danced and danced.
Erin and Dave headed back to their house while we took Charlotte to a couple houses to trick or treat. She was really pretty brave considering a man with a chainsaw came running out of one of the houses - she had a mission - and that was candy. She didn't let anything get in her way. She said "trick or treat" (we think - it was a variation) and grabbed her candy. When we got home she happily ate a "wowwypop" out of her bag. Judd and I combed through the rest and ate our favorites :)
Remember this little lamb and her bumble bee sidekicks? here's a little comparison picture from last year - seriously amazing.