Monday, July 27, 2015

Beach baby

Charlotte went to the beach for the first time this summer!! She was there for over a week and was going through her 4 month sleep regression so it was not exactly the trip I imagined but we had a relaxing time nonetheless. We actually started the weekend off in mobile because Forrest was playing in the state tennis tournament. My mom came with us to help with c and she was so very needed as c threw a giant fit in the car for the last couple of hours. She apparently doesn't like being in the car in the dark and my interior light bulbs just happened to be blown! It was awful!! 

The opposite of this...

It was raining basically the whole time in Mobile so we really didn't do much and Forrest ended up having to reschedule his matches for the evening when it wasn't raining so we didn't get to go to dinner or anything like that with the rest of the group. We did get to visit my sweet friend Laney and her new baby Margaret who is exactly 2 months younger than c. 

And despite the weather, Forrest and his team won the tournament! 
Forrest went home to work while Mom and I took c to the beach and Rachel came to spend a few days with us too. We introduced c to the ocean which she loved and the pool which she tolerated. 

On Wednesday Rachel left and my dad and Forrest came. 

On Thursday my sister and her bf and my brother and his fiancĂ© came as well as my cousins Stevie and his wife Melissa and Andrew and his gf Ashley. It was so much fun to have everyone together!! 

Before dinner, which I didn't get to go to because c was a hot mess...

Forrest and I were thrilled to have c at the beach. Next year is going to be a blast with her!! 

We spent a lovely 4th of July there and I decided c needed to do a photo shoot with her cute outfits I brought. She was less enthused...

We got up and left early the next day which turned out to be the best idea. C did great on the ride home thankfully!! I can't wait until the next time we get to take her. It was quite the adventure and nothing like our usual beach trips of course but it made me realize that every year the beach will be a new experience. Next year she will be walking, the year after that who knows!! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Father's Day

Forrest and I started dating in high school and since we were so young I can't honestly say I thought about what he would be like as a father way back then. Fast forward 13 years later and I have to say he is the most perfect daddy there is.

 When I was pregnant he was so involved an attentive. If he couldn't grow the baby himself he was going to make sure I was eating right and feeling great. When we found out c was a girl he was beyond thrilled even though I was nervous he might be disappointed. He dove head first into this sparkly world of bows and pink and glitter and is so sweet to let me go all out girly with her. When we was born he was so enraptured with her I hardly got to hold her and I never even changed her diaper til almost a week later.

When she went back in the hospital he never left her side or stopped holding her little hand.
Now she will smile the biggest smile when he comes home and she saves her biggest laughs for him.

She loves their special reading time and walking with him in the yard. 

I love hearing him talk to her and one of my favorite things to do now is sit with him and talk about the fun things he wants to introduce her to one day. He deserves all the presents in the world for being the wonderful husband and father that he is. I can't wait to see Charlotte turn into daddy's little girl and I know he will just melt. 

We love you Daddy!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Ivory Pony

I am so pleased to introduce you to my latest venture, The Ivory Pony! A few months ago my friends Jenny and Holly and I decided to start our own line of children's clothing. (Yes, I took this on while I had a newborn.) We wanted to create a brand that hearkens back to the clothing we wore as children--simple and classic designs that would still translate to today's modern styles. It has been the most fun process! Designing the dresses, choosing fabrics, choosing the tags and logos--all of it has been so exciting! We just launched our site and our first dress, the Bonnie Blu, is currently available for preorder.

Big girl dress

Baby tunic and bloomies 

I get excited every time an order comes through. It's sort of thrilling and I can't tell you how proud it makes me! Working with my friends on this endeavor has also been a great experience. We each bring our own talents and strengths to the table and are in charge of a facet of the company. It's an all hands on deck operation!
I can't wait to share with you all the great designs we have in store. We are finalizing the details on our Christmas dress and it is beyond gorgeous!! I will post updates here but for current info and sneak peeks make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. You also can create an account at our website and receive up to the minute newsletters and info. I hope you will check it out!! Thanks for your support and encouragement!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4 months

There is so much I want to remember about Charlotte at this age. She REALLY has gained some new tricks in the past week. It's like one day she can't do something and then all of a sudden she can the next. It's so fascinating to watch her develop! In the past week she has decided she will ONLY sleep on her stomach (necessitating a few nights of sleeping on me and the installation of the Angle Care movement monitor). How she knew she liked sleeping on her stomach is beyond me as she never had before. On her stomach she can scoot around all over the bed (resulting in one false alarm when she got off of the monitor and two terrified parents), lift her head at a 90 degree angle, and do a mini push up. She also has learned to roll over both ways. She still gets stuck on occasion though!

She also is pulling up with her back and wants to sit up by herself. 

She is not content to lay down any longer. She also really wants to stand so she has been playing in her jumparoo and in the exersaucer. 

She is talking up a storm--all day long. We think she is saying "Hi" to us when we say it to her and she waves when we wave to her most of the time. She kind of opens and closes her fist--too cute. I just LOVE to hear her jabber away! Every other day or so she adds a new consonant to her babbling. This week we have been hearing "k" and the occasional "d". She loves to have a "conversation" with you and sometimes she will "sing" if you sing to her. 

We read to her every day and lately she has been reaching out and touching the pages. She even turns them for you! She is fascinated by letters, but I'm sure she just likes the contrast and patterns made by the letters on the white page. She also will touch the letters on your tshirt while you are holding her. Speaking of holding her, when she is tired and or fussy she wants to be held close to you upright on your shoulder. We keep the fussies away by sticking to her night time routine--Bath, then quiet time while getting dressed and lotioned, and her dinner. 

Sometimes she will fight sleep (she has done that her whole life) and will want to be held and walked around for a while but she mostly has been going to sleep pretty quickly after being fed. The whole "carry me until I fall asleep" thing is kind of annoying but I kind of love it. She gets really quiet and still and just stares until eventually I can tell her little body gives in and falls fast asleep. I like to think she likes this because it feels like it did when she lived in my belly and my walking would lull her to sleep. I'm sure people are thinking how miserable this sounds but it's really sweet. I like to walk figure eights through the house with the lights out and I check her eyes in a mirror on every lap. It usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes and she is out. This is actually getting harder though because she is getting so heavy. Have you ever carried a bowling ball around your house for 20 minutes? It's like that. The need for this little house tour actually makes since. She needs this on days when she is especially over stimulated which is another thing I used to think was made up but it's true. I mean I do this. No one can just go from wide awake to sleeping; we all need to wind down, watch tv or read or just settle a bit. Also can you go to sleep after being all riled up? I can't. After an exciting movie or football game or party I can't just shut it down and need some time to decompress before I can sleep no matter what time it is. This clearly has been passed onto Charlotte so I can't be upset that she needs some extra help in settling some days.
Also new as of late, she wants to touch everything and put everything in her mouth. Her favorite is her fist of course but she has started bringing toys to her mouth. 

She really isn't a fan of the pacifier but if I'm not there and she is really fussy she will take it for whoever is staying with her. Recently Forrest let her pet Brownie or cat and she loved it. She was pulling at her fur and rubbing her hand on her back until Forrest decided that Brownie might be tired of being loved on so he put her down and picked Charlotte up to take her to wash her hands. Well she lost it. She screamed and cried and would not stop until I found Brownie, who was then hiding in the closet, and let her pet her once again. Now she was tired and hungry and ready for a nap but still--she has learned that she can let us know what she wants. It's also fun to see a little personality coming out in her. She wants to be in the heart of the action and gets so mad when you walk out of her view.  She gets so frustrated when she can't shove something entirely into her mouth, like a book. You can tell if she gets nervous or worried because her head starts searching for mama. If she can see me she usually stays happy and calm. I've been so impressed at her ability to adapt to any place, like a noisy rehearsal dinner or even a baseball game.
At her appointment she weighed 15 lbs and 7 ounces (80%)  and was 24 1/2 inches long (50%). I thought she might do better with the shots this time but it was actually worse than last time during the shots and better than last time at home. She was crabby and her legs were sore but she didn't scream all afternoon like last time.
 We can't wait to see what she will learn next!! 

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

6 years in Chicago

Celebrating 6 years that is. For our 6th anniversary Forrest and I really wanted to go somewhere to celebrate. We knew we would be bringing Charlotte so we chose Chicago since it was just a short direct flight away, plus we have some family and friends that live there. People thought we were crazy to travel with a 3 month old but we didn't have her to leave her all the time and since we live to travel we thought we should start early to get her and ourselves used to it. I was terrified about the flight but I did lots of research and got some great advice from friends. Plus my friend Julie reminded me that I would never have to see the other passengers again so if she screamed I should just say "I'm sorry" and not worry about it because really I couldn't control very much. I liked that. I have to brag on myself because we were able to fly using only carry on luggage. Southwest makes it so easy to travel with a baby and since we always fly southwest for free with our points we were thrilled to find that they were so baby friendly. Charlotte was wonderful on the flight thankfully!! 
Not too sure about it but quite content. 

We used our hotel points to stay for free at the Waldorf Astoria. It was gorgeous and so luxurious! I rented a swing for Charlotte from babies away and it was waiting on us when we arrived. That was one of the best decisions I made for the trip! 

After room service and a nap for c went took a cab to the First Lady of Chicago architecture cruise
Also not sure about the cab..

It was freezing but I really enjoyed seeing all of the magnificent buildings! 
C was less than impressed by the architecture but we loved it. 
Next we strolled down to millennium park to see the giant silver bean and took touristy pictures...

We had dinner at Gibsons with our friends Carly and Adam. It was right by our hotel so even though it was chilly we walked had a nice stroll.
Mom where are we and why is it cold in June?

The following day was our anniversary and to celebrate Forrest took us to the Drake hotel for tea. The staff was so enchanted with c they brought her a bear from the gift shop! 

I don't like sharing my stroller mom..

That evening we met up with my cousins for Chicago style pizza and they surprised us with an anniversary cannoli cake! 

On Saturday we had brunch with Adam and Carly and we got to see their darling house. The even took us strolling on the bloomingdale trail.

That being we met my cousins Carol and Lisa at the cubs game. I am really not a huge baseball fan but the game was so much fun! It rained so we left early but it was a cool experience to be in Wrigley field.

The next morning we left pretty early. But it was nice to go ahead and get home. It was definitely a slower paced trip than we are used to taking but we wouldn't have liked to go without Charlotte so we had to change our ways. It was actually nice to rest during the day and have some down time with her. It was a trip we will never forget just for the simple fact that it was our girl's first.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Walker wedding weekend

Two weekends ago we had the privilege of being a part of Steve and Brittany's wedding. Forrest and Steve are fraternity brothers and not only were we excited about the couple's wedding but we were also thrilled to spend the weekend with lots of our favorite college friends. Of course we took Charlotte, making it her very first weekend away. I was nervous about the car ride and her behavior at the wedding events but as my mom says life doesn't stop simply because you have a child so we prepared for the unexpected and hit the trail. Luckily she slept all the way there! Our friends Jody and Kristen told us one time that they took their son everywhere with them because they honestly didn't want to go without him. I loved that they said that because we feel the same way.  If it is safe and prudent we want to experience life with Charlotte so she is going with us as much as possible.

The rehearsal dinner was at sweet water brewery which was not only a really cool venue but also an appropriate one for a group of fraternity brothers from Alabama. It was great to catch up with old friends and to introduce them to our new love! The guys were all so cute as they talked baby talk to her and passed her around.

Little Miss C was wide eyed the whole time and LOVED being at the party. She is a party girl at heart--never wants to miss a thing!

On Saturday we went to visit my friend Deborah and her little girl Kaylee who is a year older than Charlotte. I hadn't seen Deborah in months and it was the first time she was meeting C. I loved seeing them but I really really enjoyed seeing little Kaylee and all she could do. The last time I saw her she was 10 days old!! I couldn't believe how much she had changed. Seeing her also made me excited for all the developments Charlotte will make over the next year.

Taking photos of a 3 month old and a 14 month old is next to impossible!

 After a good visit and a hilarious photo shoot we went to the buckhead diner for lunch before going back to the hotel for naps (all of us) and to get ready for the wedding. My brother and his fiancĂ© came to the hotel to stay with C while we were downstairs at the wedding. I know I just said I wanted to go everywhere with her but I didn't think a 3 month old would be a prudent addition to their ceremony and the seated dinner reception would definitely surpass her bed time. I just went upstairs to feed her when it was time and we had no issues!

Singing college fight songs with Uncle Roy

The wedding was the first Jewish ceremony that I had attended and it was quite beautiful. I loved the old prayers and traditions. The reception was quite over the top and fabulous, with a band called Simply Irreparable that played dance number after dance number and kept the crowd on the sparkly dance floor all night!

Dinner was steak and lobster--yum yum--and the black and white decor was timeless and modern all at the same time.

It's safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the evening! Charlotte actually celebrated by sleeping both nights in the hotel crib for 7 hours straight! Of course she hasn't done it since but it was nice while it lasted!! 

On Sunday we stopped by the farewell brunch to wish the couple well before we headed back home. The weekend was a complete success and we were really proud of ourselves for handling the new challenges that come with traveling with a baby with as much grace as we did. We didn't do it perfectly but we did our best and learned for next time!! 
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