Sunday, February 28
Judd, Charlotte, and I went to the Big Apple Circus today in Stone Mountain Park. One of my co-workers invited us to attend along with her crew that goes every year. We had fabulous seats - 3 rows back and smack dab in the middle of the ring.
Judd and I were a little nervous about taking Charlotte to sit still for 2 hours during nap time hours - also sans diapers. But she did awesome. We did have our first porta potty experience during potty training - and I can't even describe it - I'm trying to block it from my mind. Lets just say that I had to hold her up above the seat about 10 inches to stay away from the nastiness. Then doused her hands with a bottle of hand sanitizer.
She loved the circus - she sat mesmerized for a lot of it. She clapped, laughed, and even told the different performers, "Good Job!" Judd and I really enjoyed it as well. It was smaller than we expected, but was very entertaining. The performers are amazing!
Charlotte's hands down favorite part was the popcorn that Judd bought during intermission. The child would have eaten the entire bucket if we would have let her. She was still talking about it at dinner tonight.
(Excuse the pictures - lighting was horrible and no flash was allowed)
Friday, February 26
One of the items that I have loved the most is the camera. It takes the pressure off. I don't have to worry about getting the settings correct, metering, focusing, etc. I can just concentrate on the subject/composition and take the picture - it is very freeing. I always have it with me too! It is a great tool to just capture the every day moments.
Each Friday I'm going to compile some pictures that were taken throughout the week and post them here. Just a little picture diary of what we have done throughout the week.
Monday, February 22
We are doing good despite missing the leading man in our lives terribly. Charlotte asks about him each morning when she sees he is missing from our bed. She talks about him and reminds me every day that he is going to bring her presents when he returns. She knows he is in "Australia" and lets everyone know that. I'm watching the DVR fill up with the shows that we watch together and I don't want to watch without him. I miss our time on the couch together each night.
Charlotte has been my little buddy lately, attached at my hip. I had a conversation with one of my oldest and dearest friends the other day about how much our little girls were going to become our buddies. We talked about how they already were. Today we were heading to dinner and as we pulled out of the driveway Charlotte said out of the blue, "Mommy's my friend." Yes, baby, I am your friend and hope that I always will be - but I know I'll always be your Mommy first.
Sunday, February 21
Snuggled on the couch watching the same episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for what seems like he 100th time. She'll only sit like this for maybe 5 minutes, so I try to soak up every second.
Friday, February 19
Please be warned - this post is not for those easily grossed out with potty talk.
About two weekends ago, Charlotte wanted to use her potty a lot. She was keeping her diapers pretty dry. So, I figured we could just roll with the momentum and get going on this potty training thing. Why not go ahead and do it? I was going to be in the house with her a lot more now.
So, I told her that when she used the potty she could have 2 M&M's for #1 and 4 M&M's for #2. She was reluctant to go #2 on the potty. After a couple of days - and bags of M&M's - I told her that we would make a special trip to the store and pick out big girl underwear if she would go #2 on the potty. After a couple more days of constant reminders about big girl underwear, she finally went #2 on the potty. I jumped up and down, kissed and hugged her, told her I was SO PROUD, and shelled out 4 whole M&M's into her little palm. Then we got in the car and drove to Kohl's to pick out big girl underwear. We were on our way to victory!
The next day she had 4 accidents - two of them #2. Potty training has it's highs and lows - and A LOT of laundry.
She knows how to work it to get more M&M's - it only took her about 2 hours to figure it out. Some days she goes #1 no less than 5 times in an hour just to get more M&M's. She will sit there and squeeze out a drop and proclaim, "I WANT A TREAT - I PEE PEED IN POTTY!" Not sure how we are going to phase out the treat situation, but I'm not worrying about it now. I have been able to trick her into just 3 M&M's for #2 instead of 4.
I didn't know how gross potty training was going to be. I knew there would be accidents - but when there is an accident with #2 involved and you stick your finger in it when pulling down her pants to clean it up - gagging ensues. It is NOTHING like changing a diaper. The whole wiping portion is pretty gross too - I'll be pretty happy when she can master that part of the process.
Then there is the whole public toilet dilemma. She won't let me hold her above the potty, she insists on propping herself up. I can actually see the nasty public toilet germs crawling all over her hands. I can't get her to the sink to wash her hands fast enough.
As gross as it is, the experience is pretty funny. Whenever she goes #2 she always has to point out a "big one" and a "wittle one". The other day after she was done going #2 and I wiped her, she looked in the potty and said, "ROOOOAAAARRRRR!" I asked her what she was doing and she replied, "I scaring it". Whatever that was about I don't know. Then today she went #2, I wiped her, she turned and looked at it and said, "It has chocolate in it!". At the rate she is eating M&M's, there may have been some undigested chocolate in it.
She tried to pull a fast one on me a couple of days ago. She sat on her potty and some gas came out. She exclaimed, "I POOTED! TREAT?" I said that there were no M&M's given out for pooting. If that were the case she'd go through a bag every couple of hours.
All in all she is doing pretty well and I'm really proud of her. We keep diapers on for naps and bedtime, but she is in underwear most of the day. She is still having some accidents - but they have been #1. She seems to actually prefer to go #2 in the potty now and not in her diaper. I'm trying to stop asking her if she needs to go, but letting her take the lead. I think we are on the right track and I feel like it is pretty successful so far - but for us it isn't going to be a 3 day training - I'm just taking it easy and not putting any pressure on her - it is her decision. I'm definitely accepting any advice from all you moms that have been through this!!
Thursday, February 18
Tonight, since your Daddy is out of town, I had the pleasure of putting you to bed. You sat on my lap in the rocker in the corner of your room with your 2 favorite blankets, piglet and cup of milk. There is hardly room for all of it plus the two of us, but it is so comforting to you - it is part of the routine, and we aren't planning to change it anytime soon. Taking your paci away was heartbreaking enough. I will rock you in that rocker until you leave for college if you want me to.
After we read your new favorite book, "I Love You Stinky Face", I turned out the light and started to sing to you. I sang all of the songs that Daddy sings - "You Are My Sunshine", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", "Jesus Loves Me", and "Jesus Loves the Little Children".
As I was singing, you started to sing - you know all of the words!! You didn't just sing softly, you sang as if you wanted everyone to hear. You have the sweetest voice and I absolutely adore the way you sing certain words. I'm not sure why I started to cry, but it brought tears to my eyes when you sang along with me. You didn't notice, you just kept singing even though I know a couple of tears dripped on your clean hair.
You are getting so big, but are still such a baby to me. I can hardly believe that the tiny baby I struggled to feed in that rocker is now singing songs with me. I'm so terribly proud of you and what you are becoming. I came downstairs to write this moment down so we would have it forever - if I could put those moments in a bottle to somehow have again one day, I would. But, I can't - this is the best I can do.
Sleep tight tonight.
My parents made it last weekend despite the weather that we had. The two flights before theirs were cancelled, but their flight was right on time. I'm glad, because all Charlotte could talk about all day Friday and Saturday morning was Grammie and Grandad and the fact that they were coming to her house.
We had a really good visit. My parents were hoping for some warmer weather, but it wasn't too cold. They babysat Charlotte on Valentine's Day so Judd and I could go to a movie and to dinner. We had a wonderful evening together. We went to Varasano's Pizzeria in Buckhead. Judd read about it online - and it was the best pizza I've had. It was SO good - so if you get the chance to go to Buckhead make a reservation and check it out.
The rest of the visit was spent hanging out and playing with Charlotte.
Today Judd is packing to head to Sydney for over a week. He leaves tonight. I'm really happy for him that he gets this opportunity, but really sad that he will be gone for so long. Char and I are going to try to head to PA at some point for a few days - hopefully today.
Monday, February 15
10 years ago Judd and I were a brand new couple on Valentine's Day. We had met 2 weeks earlier. He had made plans to take another girl out on Valentine's before we met - so we didn't go out on a date. However, he stopped by the sorority house on his way to pick the girl up.
We sat out on the back porch and exchanged cards. Then he handed me three roses. I thought it was sweet and thoughtful. I went out to dinner with my friends, and he went out with the other girl. (that was the last he went out with another girl while we were dating!)
A couple of years later the real story about the 3 roses came out. That first Valentine's Day he went to Kroger to pick up some roses. In true poor college guy fashion, he picked out a half dozen roses and asked the florist to split it into 2 bouqets. He said the florist just gave him a look, but complied with his request. So, that's what I got the first Valentine's we were dating - not my own bouqet of half dozen roses - but a split bouqet. Very romantic.
Friday Judd surprised me with a dozen roses. It was very sweet. I'm glad that I have finally made it to the full dozen - I'm just hoping it wasn't originally a bouqet of 2 dozen and there is someone else out their holding the other half :)
Sunday, February 14
Friday, February 12
We waited all morning, then the snow began after lunch and piled up fast. I'm pretty sure this is the most snow we have seen since we've been in the house. We built 2 snowmen, threw a hundred snowballs, hung out with neighbors, and even made a snow angel or two.
(it was 4:15 when I took these two pictures - and yes, she still has her pajamas on - her Christmas pajamas. Since I've been home with her we had our first all day pajama day - and it was fabulous)
Judd built Charlotte a "snow chair" and she loved it. So did all of the neighbor kids!
We are hoping my parents will make it tomorrow for their visit. They were looking forward to escaping 2 feet of snow to warmer weather - no such luck!
Wednesday, February 10
Monday, February 8
Sure, when she says the same sentence - no lie - 25 times in a row - even after I repeat it back to her to indicate that I understood it - or answer her statement - it is REALLY annoying. But, I do love learning about what is going through that little brain of hers. I also like knowing what she wants or needs without having to do too much guessing.
But probably the BEST part about her speech is what happened a couple of nights ago. I was putting her to bed. We had just finished reading books, I turned out the light and she snuggled close. She had her arms around my neck and said, without prompting, "wuv you Mommy." I love you too, baby.
Sunday, February 7
What I am thinking about today, and can hardly believe, is that I met Judd 10 years ago during Super Bowl weekend. We met at a party he and his roomates hosted. I was invited by one of my friends to go. I had broken up with a boyfriend about a week before and wasn't really in the mood to socialize, but my friend dragged me into the car and to the party. I looked horrible - I don't think I had make up on, had a crummy sweater and jeans on - just looked like I didn't care.
I remember having a pretty good time. I was surprised that one of the roommates(Dave) was in one of my classes. Judd and I ended up striking up a conversation later that night out on his porch. He asked for my number and - be still my heart - programmed it into his flip phone! I was amazed he had a flip phone - I didn't even have a cell phone let alone a FLIP phone.
Judd called me on Super Bowl Sunday and I met up with him later that night to hang out. The rest is, well, history. We were together pretty much all of the time after that. We "studied", went to movies, hung out, went out to eat - but the thing that I remember most is that we would just sit in his room and talk and talk and talk. We talked about everything. He made me laugh, I made him laugh, we understood each other. It didn't take me long to fall for him.
There is another thing I am thinking about today. We brought Charlotte home from the hospital 2 years ago on Super Bowl Sunday. So, 8 years to the date (almost) that Judd and I met, we brought home our little girl.
So, Super Bowl Sunday doesn't mean football to me - it means so much more. I'm reminded of the beginnings of my family.
Friday, February 5
I used blurb.com to create and order the book. They make it really easy. You download their book making software, then choose the "Blog to Book" option. After you enter your blog login credentials it "slurps" all of your posts into the software and you pick and choose which ones you want to include in your book.
I spent about 4 evenings getting the pages/posts just the way I wanted them. Because a lot of my images are sized for web, I had to import the original images, or manipulate the size of the image from the blog. It was tedious - but worth it.
I chose the smallest size, 7"x7" because I knew that the images from the blog would have a low resolution. I was a little nervous that it would be too small, but the print is easy to read. Some of my pictures are really small - so I know what to do differently for the 2009 book. I think I will have to import a lot more of the original images. I don't mind spending the time, these are Charlotte's baby books since I didn't keep one for her. So, I just think about all of the time I would have spent working on that.
The price was reasonable - for 181 color pages with a custom dust jacket it was around $55.
I have started putting the 2009 book together and I think it is going to look even better than this one. I love having a version of this blog that I can hold. Now I know that it is backed up in at least one place!
Wednesday, February 3
There has been a debate going on in our house for a few months - to take the paci away from Charlotte or not. Judd thinks the sooner the better. I think naps and sleeping through the night are awesome and we should keep everything status quo.
Judd headed off to San Antonio and Austin this week. Talk about trial by fire with this whole stay at home mom thing. My first week and I'm alone with Charlotte for 3 days and 3 nights. So, what did I decide to do the first day he was gone - take away the paci. Smart huh?
I didn't intend to do it - it just kind of happened. She was laying in our bed watching TV and said something about "Babies and Pacis". So I said that, "Yes, babies use pacis - not big girls - and you are a big girl." She thought about it then I heard "UH HUH".
My heart started to race - this was my chance.
So, I said, "Well, we could send your pacis to Aunt Sally's baby, so when the baby is born he can have pacis." She said, "send pacis to Riley." (Riley is my mother's dog)
I decided to just go with it. So, I ran and got a box and we went through the house looking for pacis. We ended up finding about 8 pacis - they were under her crib, in my purses, etc. She did this happily - too happily. I was a nervous wreck - I wasn't sure I was ready for all of this to happen.
We headed to the post office. I actually chickened out at this point, I didn't think I could really go through with it. I needed the pacis as much as she did. I put my bills and cards in the mail box and pulled out of the parking lot. She said, "Send pacis to Riley, Mommy?" So, I pulled back in and we got out of the car.
We went into the post office and stood in line. When it was our turn we handed the box of pacis to the nice postal worker and I said, "We would like to mail these pacifiers to Riley". She just kind of stared at me. I said, "Yes, we want to send these, so can you please mail them." Then I looked at Charlotte as to say "Hint, Hint." I mouthed, "You can throw them away - PLEASE, just take them." She then got the point and said, "Sure thing - yes, I will send these - would you like a sticker?" Charlotte was thrilled with her new 1st class sticker and we went on our way.
Not that easy. On the way home from our other errands she started to get tired and whine. Nap time was horrible yesterday. She cried for 45 minutes before falling asleep for only 40 minutes. It was heartbreaking. She LOVED her pacis. They comforted her. I could hardly stand it. I tore open my book bag from our plane trips and found an extra. I was about to go in and give it to her - but then she got quiet and fell asleep.
Last night actually went well. She talked about it, but ended up falling asleep without a tear and slept through the night. I was THRILLED!
Today we went and bought a new special blanket because she was such a good girl to give up her pacis and send them to Riley. She went down for her nap well, but about 5 minutes later started crying. She cried for 20 minutes before falling asleep. So, the new blanket helped a little bit I guess.
This was a really hard thing for me to do. Probably one of the harder "growing up" things we have done so far. Bottles didn't bother me, even ending breastfeeding didn't bother me as much as this. I have been just as dependent on the pacis as Charlotte - but I knew the time was going to have to come sooner or later and jumped at the chance.
It is funny - I can already tell a difference. She talks to me a lot more while I read to her before naps and bedtime. She also sings along with me now when I sing to her in the rocking chair. Hopefully naps will get back to normal within a week or so.
One thing I learned - I won't attempt any other major changes while Judd is out of town!
Tuesday, February 2
Weight - 28 lbs 8 oz - 50-75%
Length - 35 inches - 75-90%
Head - 19 1/8 inches - 75%
What is she doing now that she's two?
- She is speaking in sentences - her vocabulary amazes us every day.
- She has recently started to use pronouns rather than "Mommy", "Daddy", "Charlotte" - she says, "I", "Me", "You", "she", "he", etc.
- She is still sleeping in her crib - we don't have any plans to take her out.
- Not potty trained - but we are pretty close to going for it.
- She is singing more - she can sing all of "Happy Birthday" - and will sing parts of "You are my sunshine" and "Jesus loves me"
- Can count to 10
- Sings the ABC's if you sing it with her. - She skips some letters, but gets a lot of them.
She is a bright light in our lives. She makes every day happier. Sure, she has her stubborn, independence seeking side, but for every one of the times that side shows it's colors, there are five moments of joy. There are many times a day that I just look at her and my heart feels like it will burst.
Charlotte's 3rd and final birthday party was yesterday afternoon. We had a small party with a few of her best friends - you'll probably recognize the usual suspects.
Thanks for coming over and celebrating with us - I know that Charlotte had a great time - even if she did have some trouble letting everyone else play with her toys!
Monday, February 1
We had a whirlwind of a day - 2 year appointment, grocery shopping, cleaning, lunch, nap, a little birthday party with friends, dinner, bath, and conversations with grandparents. Now Daddy is rocking and singing Birthday Girl to bed. I hope he read Dr. Seuss' Happy Birthday To You to her tonight.
"Happy Birthday Dear Baby, Happy Birthday To You"
More about her birthday day tomorrow.