Saturday, January 30
It was also her last day at school. Her class made her a card and everyone wished her well and gave her big hugs. I got a little sad that this chapter of our life was closing - but very happy about the next one just beginning.
We celebrated down at the Davis' today with lunch, a cake, and presents. It was a lovely party with lots of love and family.
Her new bike:
Monday is officially the big day - we will celebrate again with one more little party.
Friday, January 29
In the past two years I have become somewhat obsessed with photography. I absolutely love it. I find myself looking at light differently. While driving I'll see beautiful pockets of light and wish that I had a subject to set up in that light. This past week I was outside with Charlotte pushing her in her little pink car and noticed how the light from the sun was reflecting off of the house across the street - and realized how important natural relection can be.
So, you will probably keep seeing Charlotte in this same place over and over again - because I'm not sure I'll ever tire of the way the sun and light look in these pictures. I can't tell you how much I wish there was as beautiful grassy field behind my house rather than a brown house, but you just have to make the best of it.
Wednesday, January 27
Tuesday, January 26
However, when you are finished carving it, shredding it, and picking every last ounce of chicken off of it's bones, you are left with a greasy, ugly pile of stuff. All of this stuff gets dumped into the trash can in our house.
Today I get the dreaded call around 11:30am. My phone's caller ID says, "Child Development Center." This is hardley ever a good thing. I've been told that Charlotte threw up (a lot) during lunch and needed to be picked up. I had been praying that we would avoid this stomach bug that's going around, but no such luck.
So, I leave the office and go to pick her up. We walked through the door at home and I immediately knew what was waiting in the kitchen. I knew that the trash had been emptied and rummaged through by a certain black dog because that certain black dog was not there to greet us when we walked through the door. I guess the smell of chicken remains was more than she could take. She ate the entire thing - not a bone left in the trash can. She also ate every last red onion that the chicken cooked with as well.
So, not only are we bracing ourselves to clean up Charlotte throw up tonight - we have the dog to worry about too. Wish us luck.
Monday, January 25
Over Christmas I made a decision. One that has been nagging me from the minute I went back to work after my maternity leave with Charlotte. One that has been harder to make than having children in the first place. I have decided to leave IBM and stay at home with Charlotte.
Every single day of the past 2 years the question has been in the back of my mind - "Do I really need or want to be working? Or do I need or want to be at home with Charlotte?" If you know me well, you are probably sick and tired of hearing about this decision and the fact that I have never been at peace with it.
Why has this decision been so hard for me?
1. IBM has been SO good to me. When I joined IBM a little over 5 years ago, it was my dream job with my dream company. I have been able to go part time and work from home on Mondays or when Charlotte is sick. I am really lucky - lots of working mothers would love to have my flexibility.
2. While we don't need my income - it sure is nice.
3. I have technical skills that will become obsolete in a year if I am not changing and evolving with each new thing. The languages I use to develop applications may not even be around in 5-6 years when/if I go back to work.
4. I enjoy the challenges of solving an issue or creating a new business process.
5. Charlotte is doing really well in daycare - her language skills are amazing to me, she interacts with other children really well, she is able to be more independent.
6. I really enjoy the quiet days working at home on Mondays. I also enjoy the adult interaction in the office (most of the time). I really enjoy drinking a cup of coffee at my desk with no one pulling on my legs.
7. Because it is easier to continue with status quo. It is easier to just keep working - because that's what I have always done.
Why did I make this decision?
1. I'm the type of person that is happiest when I can give 100% to what I am doing. I haven't felt like I could ever truly give 100% to work or Charlotte. If I was at work, I felt the pull at home. If I was at home, my mind would drift to work.
2. I am stressed out a lot. I don't like to be stressed out. I don't handle it very well. I tend to raise my voice a lot when I'm stressed.
3. Things are changing at work. Our group is changing priorities. They aren't necessarily the same priorities I have.
4. If I don't ever give myself the chance to stay at home with Charlotte - I will ALWAYS wonder what it would have been like.
I am extremely lucky that I can do this. I know a lot of people don't get to make this decision - financially it is made for them. I realize that and I am very grateful.
I also want to say that I didn't do this because I think day care is evil. I think that the right day care situation can be a wonderful thing. We have been very lucky to have Charlotte in the day care that she is in. She has grown so much. Her teachers are kind, loving, wonderful people. In fact, I am nervous that I won't be able to continue to teach her as well as they have.
My last official day is Feb 15th. I'll be working from home beginning Feb 1st. I don't have day care starting Feb 1st - so those two weeks may be a little hectic.
I am so looking forward to this next chapter. I have my new dream job. I am able to spend my days playing with our girl. She is at such a fun age, I just want to soak it up.
Lastly, a big thank you to Judd. The poor guy has put up with a lot over the past 2 years. I couldn't have made this decision without his support. I think that's why this decision has been so hard - because he has left it to me to make 100% - but he supported whatever I wanted to do. I think he has heard me talk about this more times than he can count. He has taken the brunt of it when I have been stressed to the max - sometimes it amazes me that he still loves me.
So, who wants to schedule a play date?
Sunday, January 24
Two Tuesdays ago Judd and I each made a life change. Judd went in for a routine physical to find that he needs to be a little more careful with what he eats and needs to start exercising.
So, he watched the Good Eats special where Alton Brown described how he lost 50 lbs. AB did this by creating 4 different lists - foods to eat every day, foods to eat 2-3 times per week, foods to have once per week, and foods to avoid. He also explained that he made a smoothie every morning that contains purple foods with antioxidants (blueberries, etc), bananas, and soy milk (for protien).
Judd has done well, already lost a few pounds. We have been making better choices about what we buy at the grocery store. He joined a gym and is working out about 3 times per week. He has also perfected he art of the smoothie. Charlotte LOVES to "eat Daddy's bek-fast".
More on my major change tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 19
Today I picked her up from day care and she had one of her backup outfits on. Since I hadn't refilled her cubby with backup outfits since September - you can imagine that it was a little small and quite Summery (is that a word?). It went well with her brown winter boots. Plus the fact that she had been munching on wood chips or dirt or something out on the play ground because her face was covered in dirt crusted snot. She was quite the looker.
It doesn't matter what she looks like, though - when she sees me and starts running towards me with a huge grin - she could be covered in poo and I wouldn't care. (that's not true - I'd probably draw the line at poo - but you get the idea)
We got home and she said, "hat, Mommy?". I said I didn't know where her hat was. She replied, "shirt hat Mommy!!". And then this is what she did.
Monday, January 18
I didn't have my camera with me, at the Farm Show, I had the Flip. I think I'm starting to love video almost as much as still pictures. Good thing I have two hands.
Friday, January 15
I can build a figure 8 track in about 30 seconds flat now - I've totally mastered it. Something that I think Judd is a little jealous of - considering he had to read the directions on Christmas Eve in order to put the Thomas track together.
I think Judd and I may have more fun with the train sets than Charlotte does now, but she will sit and play with them for a few minutes at a time. She's not quite there yet, though. Give it a few more months and she'll be a pro.
Why isn't she quite there yet? Well, she knocks it down, or moves it around because she isn't careful. She isn't careful to watch where her feet or hiney go when she sits down or moves a train around the track - so then I have to fix it. I have to fix the track a hundred times per minute when we play trains.
But, if anything having a toddler has taught me - playing isn't perfect - it's playing. As frustrating as it is to fix the track a hundred times per minute, I'm not sure I'd want her to move the trains so carefully around the track as to not mess up my beautiful figure 8's. I have to let her play how she wants to - I want her to make her own tracks.
Wednesday, January 13
Thank you for coming back to us. We have missed you SO much. That blast you sent us from the Antarctic was some sort of joke, right? I know that I personally take you for granted -maybe that is why you left us for SO long? I promise to appreciate you more now.
A mother of a toddler with cabin fever.
PS. I'm not totally crazy, the toddler with cabin fever refused to put her coat on - I realize that we are not out of winter weather yet. We only took a few shots and went back inside to our old drafty house with space heaters blasting.
Monday, January 11
Saturday, January 9
We actually had a light snow on Thursday evening the remnants of which are still in our driveway turning into a solid sheet of ice. It hasn't gone above freezing in a few days. Judd ended up working from home on Friday which was nice. All it took was a 29 car pile up reported on the news Friday morning to keep him at home. We haven't done too much other than huddle up inside. There was a venture up to Suwanee yesterday to capture Marshall's first birthday (pictures posted soon). Today a trip to the mall. Other than that it has been playing with baby dolls, trains, play kithchens and watching TV.
One good thing that comes from cold weather - yummy hot chocolate.
Thursday, January 7
Tuesday, January 5
This week has been a little tough for me, I missed Charlotte a lot. I took off the week between Christmas and New Years to be with her since day care was closed that week - but I probably would have taken it off even if day care wasn't closed. I had the best time with her. We played with her trains, played with her kitchen, played with her baby dolls, read books, went to a play date, ran errands, ate lunch together, and snuggled in my bed watching TV.
Each morning she would call out from her crib, and I would go and get her. Then she'd snuggle into bed with Judd and I and watch Nick Jr for a few minutes. She'd ask for "nilk" and I'd go get her a cup of milk. Judd would get up and get in the shower, but Charlotte and I would just lay in bed - heaven.
She is changing right before my eyes. She plays and pretends - while not by herself, I have to be there - she gets really into it. She knows how to do so much it amazes me. She says the funniest things and talks all of the time. On Sunday morning she picked up her baby and wrapped her in a blanket and sang, "You are my Sunshine", laid baby in her bed and said, "Wuv you baby". It brought tears to my eyes. Judd and I sing "You are my sunshine" to Charlotte every night before we put her down, we lay her in her crib and say, "I love you". The video below is of Charlotte singing "Jesus Loves Me" to baby before she puts her down. (You really just hear her say "Jesus" over and over.
I miss Judd too - he was home for a lot of the week and it was fun to have him there. We spent a lot of time together, just the three of us. We make a great team.
Saturday, January 2
For the past 3 days I have been thinking about what to write in this post. How do I categorize 2009? We had a good year. Judd landed his dream job. Charlotte blossomed into an awesome toddler. I began working part time and started C. Davis Photography. We were truly blessed to have accomplished so much in such a rough year.
I even accomplished something from my 2009 post - I improved my photography skills and took on some clients. However, I didn't lose the flab around the midsection - in fact I believe I've added to it. I also didn't post on the blog 4 times/week - but I did keep it going. As for being more patient with Judd and Charlotte -well, I guess you'll have to ask them.
What do I want to do in 2010?
1. I will turn this blog into multiple books through Blurb.com - one for each year. I am already almost finished with the book for 2008. I will post the results when I am finished with that project. This blog means so much to me. I would be devastated if I lost it. I want something tangible that I can hold in my hands - and one day that Charlotte will hold in her hands.
2. Take C. Davis Photography to the next level. I want to move out of building a portfolio and booking each month chock full with sessions. I have started this by creating a new blog that will allow me to expand and grow - check it out and update your bookmarks (cause I know you all have it bookmarked :) ) - http://cdavisphotography.com/blog
3. Embark on a daily picture project - the discovery project. Judd just laughed and rolled his eyes when I told him this. "Just what you need - something else to stress you out" But, the camera is in my hands just about every day anyway. I'm not committing to posting the pictures every day - rather every week or so. I believe posting the pictures is the stressful part - taking them is the fun, creative, wonderful part - so I want to separate those two pieces of the project. I hope you'll follow along.
4. Grow as a mother and a wife. Pick the battles that need to be fought - let the other stuff roll off of my back.
Sounds like it will be a busy year.
2010 started out wonderfully. We celebrated with the Himes family on New Year's Eve. Judd and Erin cooked a great meal - we even got to enjoy it without toddlers hanging all over us. We waited until after 8:30 pm to eat - Charlotte went to bed like a champ in the pack and play in Erin & Dave's room.
I don't think Judd, Charlotte, or I got out of our pajamas until after 3pm on New Year's Day. For the past 2 days we have just played, laughed, and hung out. Charlotte's had a couple of temper tantrums - but other than that has been so much fun to be with. I have loved every second of my time off from work.
And because posts are more fun with pictures - here is a little something I've been working on for Valentine's Day. What do you think?