Tuesday, August 31

My Little Grasshopper


It was Charlotte's first day of the 2 day 2 year old program at Oak Grove YCS. She is in the Grasshopper room. She walked right into her room and never looked back. When I picked her up her teachers said she was just as sweet as could be. She saw me at the door, but was too busy singing the song to come to the door - so she ignored me until they were done with their song.

I haven't been able to get too much out of her as far as what they did. What she has told me so far is that she had animal crackers for snack and she had to go potty before she went to play on the playground.

We had a special first day of school lunch at Chick-fil-A then headed home. She cried and cried saying she didn't want a nap, but mid scream she fell asleep at the end of her bed.

All in all a very successful first day of school.

Monday, August 30

Thursday, August 26

Meet the Teachers

Dear Charlotte,

The day had finally come, the day to meet your teachers. I had been building this day up all summer - just wanting you to love your new school. We picked out your outfit, I gave you choices - you picked your ladybug outfit. You said you wanted a bow in your hair, so I put a little ponytail in and clipped in a bow. You wanted to look in the mirror - I love how you are proud of the way you look.

You talked my ear off on the ride over to school. Asking me lots of questions about what was going to happen - I did my best to answer, but there were some answers I just didn't know.

You held my hand as we walked inside. We found your room - you are in the Grasshopper class. Your teachers immediately said "Hello" to you and said that you looked SO cute. You got shy and hugged my legs. I moved into the room farther and sat on the floor with you. It didn't take long for you to jump off of my lap and find the baby dolls. You found a baby doll to put to sleep and started to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" to her. I stopped worrying, I know you will be just fine when school starts.

I talked to your teachers - they are VERY nice. I asked the questions I had and got all of the right answers. I think school is going to be a great thing for both of us.

I emailed this picture to your daddy before we left to meet your teachers. He emailed me back and said, "She is SO big". When did this happen? How has our summer flown by and school is starting? How is it that you will be a big sister soon? Part of me can't wait for your school to start and to get on with the year, but there is a part that just wants things to stay the same. I wish I could describe to you how proud I am of the little girl you are becoming. How very proud I am that you are mine.

You'll start school two days a week this coming week. I know you will have a great year, learning and playing. I can't wait to see how you grow - just don't grow too fast, OK?


Tuesday, August 24


Cindy, Charlotte's doll, has become a big part of our lives lately. She is starting to go almost everywhere with us. Some days I feel like I already have another baby to take care of.

We take her to the park with us, to the store, sometimes to the nursery at church. Usually whenever we take her somewhere, Charlotte has to pack her purse with all of the things Cindy will need: a bowl and spoon for Cindy's yogurt snack, a bottle, an extra diaper, and a toy. (Charlotte does all of the packing and gathering of items for the purse)

Yesterday, Charlotte wanted to ride her bike with Cindy. Charlotte really wanted me to unpack the infant car seats and use those for Cindy, but I refused. Instead I said we could make Cindy a sling and Charlotte could carry her on her tummy. Charlotte replied, "That's a great idea!". So, I went and got a scarf and fashioned a sling for Cindy. Worked like a charm, Charlotte carried her around like that almost the entire time we played outside. If only American Girl made a Baby Bjorn for Bitty Babies.




Monday, August 23

31 Weeks


Moses in a Basket

I got a call a month or so ago from our church asking Judd and I to be Sunday school teachers for the 2 year old class. We would be teaching with another couple, and could alternate Sundays so it wouldn't be an every Sunday commitment. After talking it over with Judd we decided to commit.

When babies are baptized in the Methodist church, like Charlotte was, the congregation makes a commitment to that baby to be active in their church life. I had always recited these words of commitment during a baptism, but never really thought about it until after having a child of my own. So, I feel strongly that Judd and I need to be more active in the lives of children at our church.

This past Sunday was my first Sunday to do the "lesson" for the class. I use the word "lesson" very loosely. With 9 two year olds, you get about 2 minutes of an attention span. But, I prepared with some songs, the story of Baby Moses in a Basket, an activity, and a coloring sheet.

As I prepared the lesson I realized that doing this teaching is going to be so much more for me than just giving back to the church. It is really going to help grow my faith. The lesson books that we are given really break down these Bible stories into one meaningful sentence that a 2 year old can understand. This week's sentence was, "God will keep me safe." But, sometimes, even a 31 year old needs the stories broken down into one meaningful sentence to really get it.

I brought a laundry basket with me to class and each child took turns getting in it and "floating" down the river like Moses. When they got in it, they were supposed to say, "God will keep me safe" just like he kept baby Moses safe. As I watched these kids jump in and yell, "God will keep me safe!", I thought to myself - "If only it were that simple!"

But it IS!

So, this week while Judd is out of town and I have my usual moments of panic as the house creaks and groans at night that someone is coming to get me and Charlotte, I am trying to remember that God will keep me safe too. But, it is harder for an adult. There is nothing quite like the faith of a child. There is a lot to learn from 2 year olds.

Thursday, August 19

I won! I won!

I never win anything. Wait, I take that back - when I was in elementary school I entered a gas station giveaway and won a 3 foot tall Gund stuffed gorilla. So, besides that, I never win anything.

I enter all kinds of blog giveaways, but my comment is never the one that is randomly chosen.

That all changed a couple of weeks ago.

I entered a contest over at Fresh Art Photography for a set of Photoshop overlays from Vol25. I happened to check back at the post a couple of days later and I saw MY NAME! I won - whooo hoooo!

The overlays are super cool and really easy to play with. I put this together in about 5 min this evening:


Then, my friend Stacy over at Inkspot Workshop hosted a giveaway for a necklace from Christina Kober the same week. I entered thinking I would NEVER win because my comments were the first ones. No one ever wins when their comment is first, right? WRONG - I WON!!

I have my very pretty "C" initial necklace that I haven't taken off since it arrived in the mail last week.

I'm sure my streak is over. I'll probably never win again - but it sure was fun while it lasted!

Tuesday, August 17

30 Weeks

Here we are at 30 weeks into this pregnancy and I feel like I haven't mentioned it at all. It has been pretty much identical to my pregnancy with Charlotte, other then I have more pelvic pain - my doctor assures me this is normal since it my 2nd pregnancy and my muscles are all stretched out. (Nothing like hearing that to make you feel good about yourself.)

Baby Brother is active. Loves his sweets. I don't mind giving them to him. However, I have gained more weight to this point than I had with Charlotte. Not much more, but a few pounds.

I saw this series when it was going on and fell in love with it. Here is my attempt to duplicate it for the next 10 weeks.

I'm not big on maternity pictures. I won't have them done professionally. But, this pregnancy will most likely be my last - so I want to remember these last weeks of it.


Sunday, August 15

What Charlotte Did This Weekend

Judd's parents sent me an email a couple of weeks ago asking if they could keep Charlotte for the weekend this weekend. My reply, "Uh, of course you can!" So, while Judd and I spent all weekend painting and rearranging the house to get ready for baby brother, Charlotte was living it up at the lake.

Whenever Charlotte spends time at their house without me, Judd's Dad is awesome about taking pictures of Charlotte throughout the day and sending them to me. He snaps them on his blackberry and sends them just after he takes them. I love that I know what she is up to throughout the day. The thing is, he takes the pictures at the moments I think I would take the pictures - he really understands the parts of her day that I want to capture. It is a small thing, but so thoughtful. I'm not sure he realizes how much I love the images. Here are the pictures I got this past weekend.


Thursday, August 12

Cookies with Grammie


Tuesday morning Charlotte had the opportunity to help her Grammie make cookies. She woke up at 6:45 AM talking about it, wanting to start right away. Grammie held her off until 8:30 AM or so, then put her to work. They were making peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses on top. Charlotte's job was to unwrap every Hershey Kiss.

I thought, "Sure, that's gonna last all of 2 Hershey Kisses".

She unwrapped all but 5 Hershey Kisses needed! She stood there so long doing it that at one point she sighed and said, "I have to kneel, I can't stand anymore". Mom and I just laughed, she's so dramatic.


Then, she even helped to put them on the cookies.


She was so patient and waited until we went to pick up Great Grammie to eat her cookies. As SOON as we walked into the door, she ran and climbed into her high chair and ate a cookie. (Well, she really just ate the Hershey Kiss out of the middle)

PS. You may be wondering why my child continually appears shirtless, shortless, or both on this blog. It's how she roles. I just go with it. I figure as long as we are in a house, it really doesn't matter - and she's happy. If she's happy, I'm happy.
Judd, Charlotte, and I flew up to Baltimore early Saturday morning to visit with my sister, Sally, her husband, Andrew, and our nephew, Jacob. Because of work, traveling, etc, Judd had not been able to get up to Baltimore to see Jacob yet - so he was really looking forward to this trip.

We had good luck getting the first flight of the day up to Baltimore. Andrew was there to pick us up and we spent the day hanging out with them. My sister Rachel and her husband came over for dinner. I love how we all get along, how our husbands all get along. It is really fun when we all get together.


Charlotte thought her cousin was pretty cool. She had her baby, Cindy, with her. I think Cindy was placed in every one of Jacob's seats and swing about 100 times on Saturday. She had a great time pretending to be a mommy. She also pretended to be a baby and was found swaddled under a toy sucking on a pacifier at one point.


Sunday was the big day. Jacob was surrounded by family and friends on the day of his baptism. He behaved beautifully during his big moment. Sally and Andrew just stood up at the front of the church beaming at their son. We all went back to their house and had lunch. Charlotte had a great time at Jacob's "party". She tried to boss around Jacob's cousin on Andrew's side, Garrett, but Garrett didn't really want to be bossed around by a 2.5 year old.


Judd headed back to Atlanta that afternoon. Charlotte and I rode back to Mechanicsburg with my parents to spend a couple more days with them. Judd couldn't get on a plane in Baltimore and ended up having to take a cab to D.C. and got on a plane there.

Charlotte and I had a great couple of days at my parent's house. We got to visit with both of my grandmothers and made a trip to Chocolate World.

It is always an adventure traveling with Charlotte and Tuesday afternoon was no exception. She had little sleep on Monday and Tuesday, so she was a little on edge. While we were waiting to get on the flight, we had a snack at McDonald's. I guess the combo of her McDonald's and the bag of salty airplane peanuts she ate on the plane didn't sit well with her and she threw up in flight. I didn't have any wipes with me so had to clean it up with 50 cocktail napkins from the flight attendant. Then, just as we were about to land and all of the seat belt signs were on, she looks up at me and says, "I have to POOOPPPYYY". Great. So, I risked it and took her to the bathroom. We made it without getting into trouble. This whole trip I was thinking, "I can't imagine doing this with an infant too!" My life is about to get a lot more interesting.

Wednesday, August 11

Jacob's Baptism

We're back from Baltimore/Mechanicsburg. We went up there this past weekend for Jacob's baptism. He's such an awesome little guy, with awesome parents. Here is just one picture for now.


More to come later in the week when I find the time. For now, I'm headed downstairs to veg on the couch and enjoy the quiet house during Charlotte's nap time on my birthday. :)

Thursday, August 5


Charlotte's bedtime, whether it is nap time or bedtime, has completely gone to the birds. Judd and I just kind of scratch our heads and hope for the return of our obedient sleeper. We are VERY consistent with the routine and time. It's not like we are wishy washy about it. However, for the past couple of weeks, we have put Charlotte to bed at 8:15PM and listen to her excuses for not going to sleep through the monitor for 45 minutes.

"My shirt is TOOOOOOOOO tight!"

"My pants are TOOOOOOOOOOO hot!"

"I need anoder sip of milk!"

"I just want to give my Mommy a hug!"

"I need just one more song!"

I think the best one so far was tonight:

"There is a string sticking out of my pillow" (No lie, those were the exact words out of her mouth.)

She was exactly right. There was as string sticking out of her pillow. She felt this was a good enough excuse to not go to sleep. After a quick shove of the string back into the pillow case, she calmed down and went to sleep.

I guess I'm going to take a pair of scissors to her pillow tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 3

Officially 2 and a half


On Sunday Charlotte was officially 2 and a half. I really can't even begin to list everything she is doing. She amazes us every day with the things she says and the things she observes. She is an incredibly observant child - doesn't miss a beat. I even spelled something to Judd the other day (about going to B-E-D) and she got the context clues enough to know what I was talking about.

She is starting to be very interested in letters and words. She can recognize a few letters by sight. She has begun to "read" to us. It is pretty cute. I'm very thankful for her love of books.

She is getting to be quite the manipulator. Especially when it comes time to go to bed. She can put together a solid argument and knows just what buttons to push.

She has threatened to drop her nap. We have been struggling for almost a month. Most days there is a battle. Some days there is no nap at all. Some days I have to lay down with her. Some days she goes down quietly and sleeps for 2 hours. I really never know what it is going to be, but I'm not ready to give up on a nap time. It seems if she does nap, she is up until 9 or 9:30 PM. I'd almost rather her skip the nap to go down earlier. I'm not sure what clicked in her, but her sleep pattern has changed. We'll just see how it goes. She starts school in a few weeks so hopefully that will change things back to the nap side of things.

She is my buddy. She is about as sweet as they come. When we were at the beach I tucked her into bed one night and she looked up and me with those eyes and said, "Mommy, I love you right up to the moon." It blew me away.


Sunday, August 1



Judd and I met in January of 2000. We knew within a few short months that we would be together for the long haul. In late July/August of 2000, I talked him into getting a dog. We looked through the classifieds and found black lab puppies for sale out towards Commerce. We loaded into his truck and went to pick out our puppy. A little female came up to us in the pen and we picked her. On the ride back to Judd's apartment she curled up on my lap and we named her Jody.

She was with us for 10 years. She was with us almost as long as there was an "us". Yesterday Judd and I said a very tearful goodbye to our friend.

Jody's arthritis began a couple of years ago and had progressed to the point that she wasn't able to control going to the bathroom. She was going in the house. With a 2.5 year old and another one on the way, I just can't deal with animal waste in the house. And poor Jody had this terrible look of shame every time it happened. She wasn't able to go for our walks around the neighborhood any more and thought twice about going up stairs. We just felt it was time for her. The vet felt the same way.

I think it has hit us both a lot harder than we thought it would. She was a big part of our lives. We miss her greeting us when we open the door. I miss seeing her laying in her "spot" in the hallway. I miss her company. I know I will miss her even more the first time Judd goes out of town.

We told Charlotte that she went to live on a farm. That Jody was happier running and playing with all of the pigs, cows, and chickens. She believed us and even commented during the thunderstorm last night that, "Jody probably isn't scared because she is in the barn." We are grateful that she believes us. In a way, I am trying to believe that it's true too. Maybe she is somewhere better now.

She was a wonderful, sweet, loving dog and will be missed for a long, long time.

(taken yesterday before Judd took her to the vet)