Tuesday, November 29, 2016

21 months

Charlotte turned 21 months on Thanksgiving! This year we did a little something different for the holiday--our family of three went to the beach! My oh my how relaxing it was! There was no crowd, the weather was perfect, and we just did what we wanted when we wanted. It was a great way to recharge our batteries and spend some quality time together. 

 Charlotte loved the beach as usual, and luckily it was warm enough for her to play outside in her bathing suit. She kept finding it and bringing it to us saying "suit on, suit on!" 

She really wanted to be in the water which was pretty cold, but she would stand at the edge anyway. 

There is an indoor pool at our building so she did get to swim. Now that we are back she is still asking to be taken to the pool! She loved collecting shells this time and wanted us to hold them all for her.

 I love seeing her little face when she discovers something or when something delights her and there was no shortage of exciting discoveries at the beach. This age really is fun because everything to her is new and exciting and she shows it.

Her talking really picked up this month. She has started to say "all done", "did it!" "oh no" "clean it up". She is using adjectives regularly now as well-- "big bite" "bad cat" "nasty mess". She has started to call us mommy and daddy rather than mama and dada and every now and then she calls herself "Ah-dit" rather than "ad-di". Slowly but surely we are getting closer to her saying her own name correctly. I just love listening to her little baby voice and especially love her own little sayings. For example, when she wants you to pick her up she will hold up her arms and say "baby". It's precious!!

Right now she likes playing in "tunnels" and will crawl into the tiniest of spaces! Forrest has arranged some old furniture into "tunnels" for her to crawl through and under and she absolutely loves it! She will run up to one of us saying "tunnel tunnel" so we all have to go upstairs and play. It is so fun to watch her joyfully play! Now that it is cold outside and since it gets dark so early we can't really play outside much so I like that she has a way to run around a be active indoors. 

She really is an active little lady who doesn't like to sit still for long! That being said, however, she really does like to sit and color (she especially loves to trace her hands and feet, or for someone else to) and she enjoys having us read to her. She likes to choose the book herself and she is really into the ones that have things on each page for her to feel, so we are working on feeling words like fuzzy, rough, smooth, etc.

We are looking forward to Christmas with her this year--everything will be so new and exciting to her! I'm looking forward to her picking out the tree, seeing all the lights, and understanding what presents are. The magic of Christmas doesn't last forever, so I'm wanting to hold onto all of these memories as tightly as I can!



Friday, November 4, 2016

October fun

October was a crazy fun month for us all! Here is a quick look!
Charlotte went to her first bama football game! It was homecoming so she had quite a full weekend of fun! You can read about it here

Fall picture day!! 

Chattanooga weekend in lieu of our Disney trip

Is there anything more southern that a child in a cotton field?

Dancing on the tables at little bridge marina! 

Fun in her first bouncy house! 

She loved riding her first pony!! 

She has loved playing with papa Harold's new kitties!! 

School falls fest with Hadley! She had a big time in the bouncy house and on the big slides. 

We spent another great weekend in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama versus Texas A&M game. C got to go to the quad, tailgate, and even see her auntie M! 

We had a fun although crowded experience at boo at the zoo. C dressed as Alice in Wonderland and enjoyed the train ride. She will tell you "train, tunnel, piders" (on the train we went through a tunnel and there were spiders). 

Pop and Forrest carved pumpkins for Charlotte. I thought she would like to pull the goo out of the middle but that was a big fat no! She has had a big time playing Pop and Forrest against the other and telling them that she likes the other's pumpkin better when they ask her. 

Halloween was a big big day for our little Tinkerbell! We loved going to her Halloween parade at school and she was especially excited that daddy was there. She got very into trick or treating when she realized that she got candy in her "can-y purse". She would take it all out and then carefully put each piece back in.

After school we made a quick trip to daddy's office--the team had dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland. 

That night we had a few friends over and went trick or treating in the neighborhood. Forrest dressed up the golf cart and we hit the road! 
Wow--are you tired? We love doing these fun little things as a family. I think they definitely broaden Charlotte's learning and hopefully help her grow!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

20 months

This month has been more of the same from our little lady. Her vocabulary continues to grow and she is putting words together in different ways now. She still uses only 2 and occasionally 3 word phrases I heard 4 words one time) but they are getting more and more "sophisticated" if that is possible, and more demanding. for example, she will say "mama bah-der" which means "Mama you are bothering me!" Isn't that so funny! It's like she is a teenager!

She still pronounces things in her own way (ah you mama=love you mama) but I know that over time she will start sounding more and more grown up. I'm not ready to give up her baby talk just now! I did hear one of her little classmates say "bye bye Sar-lotte" and I kind of freaked out. She does not say her name that clearly (it comes out "ah-di") and that worried me. I know language develops at different rates so I'm trying to be cool about it. I currently speak fluent "Charlotte" so I generally know what she is talking about although others may not.

Since there isn't much new to report this month I will tell a little bit about her days and what she does. I know one day I won't remember these little things that consume us right now!
On days she goes to school, we generally have to wake her up (usually right before 8am). She doesn't like to eat right away so breakfast is hard--usually she is playing with her food mostly unless she wakes up earlier on her own. They have a snack right when she gets to school so I don't worry about this usually. I would wake her up earlier but I kind of hate to make her wake up before she absolutely has to (because I hate waking up before I have to). I take her to school and a teacher comes and gets her from the car and she happily goes about her day. I go to work and then pick her up when it's time for dismissal. She is usually excited to tell me something about the art project she made that day (my fridge is covered in them) and then we ride down to Forrest's office to visit him for a quick minute. Then we head home and she takes a long nap (usually until between 3:30 and 4:30) and I catch up on paperwork and housework. She usually eats her first dinner at 5:30 and then she eats again at 7:30. At her "first dinner" she eats more dinner type foods (basically whatever we are eating) and then at "second dinner" she eats cereal or a scrambled egg and fruit. Then it's time for a bath (which she still LOVES--and right now we practice letters, numbers, and shapes during that time). We get her ready for bed and then read her some books (she likes to choose them herself) and then I turn off the lights and rock her a little while she drinks some milk. I usually sing to her, either songs from Singing Sprouts (she loves to do "Hello little sprout, hello to _______" and loves to tell me what name to fill in) or Disney songs, and say her prayers and then I put her down and she goes to sleep. She still uses her satin pillow and blanket and has two wubanub pacifiers in bed with her (so she can find one at all times). I'm not willing to let any of her sleep items go quite yet!!

On non school days her "Nae Nae" (baby sitter Rachel) comes and stays with her while we are at work and we both get to go home and eat lunch with her before starting our afternoons back at the office.
One thing we are working on this month is discipline. She is very well behaved and a very content little lady but sometimes she will disobey. It's really hard to discipline her because I'm not exactly sure what all she understands about it. We have put her in time out a few times recently (for throwing food on the floor during dinner--which she thinks is hilarious) but I can tell she does not get it. We use a stern voice and tell her no and put her in time out but she just giggles and thinks it's a game. I realized one day that she would throw food on the floor and then point to the time out spot--she had figured out that if she threw food she could get out of the high chair--the little rascal!!  I know consistency is key so we are just going to keeping trying to figure out what works best for her age and her personality. Thankfully we haven't hit the terrible twos quite yet but she is so inquisitive and determined that I don't doubt they will be upon us when she gets a little closer to two.
Charlotte is very lucky to have a wonderful family that loves her and is excited about her! In recent months she really tries to communicate about them and to them so we are trying to make an effort to facetime them more so she is able to see everyone even when they aren't close. Sometimes she will just start "telling" me about them and it's adorable. She currently calls Forrest's parents (Mama and Papa B) simply "B" and my parents (Momsie and Pop) are "Mah-Nah" or "Mah-Ni" and Pop right now. My sister is "M" and my sister in law is "Ann", but she really can't say my brother Roy's name yet--although she gives it a good effort. Forrest's brother is "Day Day" and she tries hard to say Aunt Megumi, and gets in the ball park I'd say! She also talks about "Mimi" "Ann" (Aunt Fran) and "Sebe" (her godfather Stevie).

She still loves playing outside  and will say "ah-ni ball!" meaning "I want to throw the ball to Sonny!" We are enjoying the nice weather in the afternoons so we can stroll after dinner. Other favorites are stickers, minions, and now dressing up. She also likes to color and read books and still plays pretend with her animals and baby dolls. Her arch enemy still is the vacuum cleaner. She has finally mastered "Roll Tide" (well, more like "oll Tide" and will say it any time she sees a shaker. She enjoyed going to the Alabama v. Texas A&M game this month and cheering on the team! 
We wish nothing but health and happiness for this little one and are excited about the upcoming holidays with her.  This is a fun age as she is excited about every little thing!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Disney Consolation Weekend

About 6 months ago Forrest came home and told me that the Alabama dentist conference was going to be held at Disney World in October--I held my breath--are we going? Hooray! We were! Now, up to this point we had said that we were not going to be in a rush to take Charlotte to Disney because she had no idea what it was, she was too young, and we weren't super into it anyway. Well, all that changed in a mere matter of seconds. We were both beyond excited to get to go with her and the planning began. Luckily our friends and Forrest's partner were going too and as Disney aficionados, they handled all the planning from the dining to the fast passes. All I did (which mind you took way more time, effort, and energy than it should have) was plan Charlotte's outfits. Enter hurricane Matthew. This monster storm ravaged Haiti and the Bahamas and was set to wreak havoc on Florida the day after we were set to arrive. The parks actually closed for I think the 4th time in history due to the storm--and so we just didn't go. I was devastated--silly I know, but I had been looking forward to the trip for so long! (And Charlotte's outfits were on point!) We knew though that since our trip was short, it didn't make much sense to spend the first half in the hotel and then get only one good day before flying home (our trip was much shorter than the rest of the group's since we had the youngest child). Since Disney was offering full refunds, we decided it would be best to postpone the trip for value and of course, safety's sake. Charlotte of course had no idea that the trip was happening so she wasn't sad, but we had days off work and a weekend to kill, so we decided to turn our frowns upside down and used the time as family time anyway.
That morning we asked Charlotte what she wanted to do that day and she said "ebie" without hesitation (her word for zebra) so we headed to the zoo! It was decorated for Boo at the Zoo and there were all these Disney character cutouts. 
I should have been thrilled that she thought they were awesome but I kept thinking about how much more she would have liked the real deal (and on second thought that was extra dumb because the real deal could quite frankly scare her, so my pity party was totally off in more ways than one).
Next on a whim we stopped at the new hotel near the zoo and ate lunch on their awesome deck. Our food was fantastic and Charlotte loved being able to play outside. Again, everyone was totally sweet to her and were more than accommodating to her. 

After lunch we went to Mimi's to take a nap, and then she and Aunt Fran went with us to the park. It was most definitely a lovely day!!

Friday I worked a little bit and we got to go to lunch together as a family (where Charlotte became infatuated with another lady diner named Charlotte), but mostly we just relaxed at home together--something we don't do very often because we are always going and going.
The next day we went to Chattanooga for some consolation fun. We tried the Children's Discovery Museum and it was most definitely a hit, even if it was a little advanced for C. 

Next we hit up the aquarium for a quick hello to the stingrays, butterflies, and Charlotte's favorite, penguins ("pen-gin").

 Then we took her to PF Changs (who doesn't love a chain restaurant) where she thoroughly enjoyed coloring her menu (I'm so grateful that she enjoys coloring as it really helps in restaurants now) and scarfing down noodles. One trait I love about my baby girl is that she will eat practically anything, just like her mommy and daddy!

After nap we took her to ride a horse and carriage around the city. Since she had been so into the horse in Tuscaloosa we thought she would really like being around one up close. 

 Afterwards we ate at a Greek restaurant and watched a little football before crashing into bed. We had to wake that tired baby up the next morning to make it to our Duck Tour on time.

We were able to make it home in time to have our usually Sunday lunch with Forrest's family and dinner with mine (with a stop to see the kittens squeezed in). We cherish these Sunday's with our family so much and love that Charlotte has the opportunity to grow up with lots of family around.

Even though the hurricane changed our weekend we are so blessed that we didn't suffer any real damage. Hundreds lost their lives, and thousands lost their homes and livelihood. We send our prayers and love to all of those affected!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Tuscaloosa Girl

We spent the past weekend in Tuscaloosa--our favorite place! It was homecoming and so there would be lots of extra fun things for Charlotte to do plus several of our friends would be there too. We went down Friday night and were thrilled to be able to snag a reservation at Chris Hastings' new restaurant, Side by side. We were nervous about taking Charlotte but they were very accommodating and friendly to her (not always the case when you take a child to a restaurant). We opted to sit outside so she could be a bit more free and she had so much fun--waving at people (especially those walking dogs), beeping when a car would honk its horn, and perhaps picking a few flowers out of the landscape. Our dinner was lovely, as was the weather. It was a perfect fall evening!

The next morning my mom and dad watched c while Forrest and I had a date at our favorite breakfast spot, the Waysider. We sat at the same table we used to back in the day when we were still just dating. That feels like forever ago!! Afterwards we loaded up and went to campus to check it out. There are so many changes going on around campus--it's exciting to take it all in! It looks so different than when I was still there. 

 Charlotte took a little nap in the stroller and we really all had a nice morning just wandering around. It felt like fall so it was nice to be outside! 

After a quick lunch we posted up for the parade. I was so nervous that Charlotte would be terrified. She is afraid of the sound of the vacuum and anything similar (hair dryer, lawn mower, mixer, etc) so I thought the band and all the trucks might not thrill her. She actually did great! She sat on Forrest shoulders which I think made her feel comfortable and she danced (while sitting) and clapped. 
Her favorite part was the horse! She was beside herself. I guess she has never seen a real one and it blew her little baby mind. If you ask her about the parade she will tell you "horse" and then blow a raspberry (how she makes the horse sound). We also saw my cousin juju who c loves!! Afterwards we strolled around some more and met up with some friends for a while.

After Charlotte took a long nap we got her ready and went to the game. Again I was nervous about the noise scaring her. She gets scared of applause and also if we are watching football and start screaming at the tv--taking her to a game sounds like a smart idea right? I wouldn't take her except for the fact that the kick off time worked perfectly with her schedule and we had an extra ticket and a place to stay the night. Also, and most importantly, we were definitely going to win the game so I didn't mind being preoccupied and having to leave early. We started off in the stadium club with dinner. She was excited to see some "big girls" she knows from the neighborhood and I was glad they were there too because it made her feel comfortable. 
Side note--she thought her new Keds were totally awesome--she showed them to everyone.

Luckily their seats are right behind ours so I figured if she got scared they could distract her. Forrest had the lovely task of carrying her up the five flights of stairs to our seats and the whole time we were talking about how much fun she was going to have. We got to our seats and gave her a juice cup and a shaker and she was fine!!

 I was so impressed with her. She loved seeing all the flags, watching birds fly overhead, shaking her shaker, screaming a minute after everyone else did, and saying "boom" when the players would hit. We just passed her from person to person and she was content the whole time. 

We left at halftime quite pleasantly surprised with the whole experience! 
Now that we know it can be done, I'm looking forward to more football weekends with our girl! (And bama wins of course) 

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