Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What could be better than ...

... an almost-three-year old who sleeps until 9:45 am?
... an almost 7-month-old who sleeps until 7:45 am, plays, poops, has some milk, goes back to sleep by 8:45 am and is still sleeping more than an hour later?
... the quiet of a house where two little ones are sleeping and a mama is relaxing at her blog!

Of course, I have just totally jinxed any chance I had of getting my two girls to take naps this afternoon, but ... whatever ... it's been pretty wonderful to have a full hour to myself in the morning. 

Was I productive?  No.  Sink full of dishes staring at me right now.
Did I catch up on emails and visit a few blogs.  Sure, why not!
Did I manage to get myself dressed and semi-primped without interruption?  Yes.  Even had time to admire my newly waxed brows ... what a different that makes, I mean, really and truly!

Am I going to be late to our play date at 10:00 am?  Yeah, it's looking that way!

You know what else is pretty fabulous?  This photo I took of the girls snuggling together:

Hope you're having a great day, too!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Toe Boogers & Foot Munching

Oh, nap time was quite a fiasco today. 
I think my Facebook post sums it up:
Apparently my girls didn't get the memo about this being nap time ... NHV is complaining of "boogers" on her toes and CJV is practicing her new skill ... foot munching! Seriously, girls, give your feet a rest already!
I had just made it back downstairs after going through the whole nap time ritual-rig-a-ma-roll, when heard NHV calling through the monitor - in an almost panicked voice, "Dare's a b..... mmmm ... toe." All I could think was somehow a BUG got in her bed and bit her on the toe. I raced upstairs - imagining some huge spider taking a chunk out of her foot - to find Natalie standing on her bed. She had (that bane of my existence) binky in her mouth making it difficult to understand what she was saying. But she was adamantly saying, "Mommy, dere's a booger on my toe."  Here's the really funny part.  Natalie was not referring to a green, slimy bit from her nose.  For some reason, her word for a hang nail is "booger."  In deed she did have a funky bit of nail on her big toe.  Grabbed the clippers, banished the booger, and told her to go to sleep!  Thankfully, once the booger was taken care of, my daughter, the power napper, slept for 3 hours!

In the room across the hall, CJV was chattering away.  I peeked in and just had to laugh.  My tiny 6.5 month old was folded in half.  Holding her right foot with her right hand.  Bringing those cute tootsies right up to her mouth and having a taste!  She was so amused by the whole thing!  When she noticed me watching her, she got the biggest smile on her face ... and so did I.  But a nap was much needed, so I scooped her up, gave her my signature sway-and-pat, told her to put her toes away it was time to nap, and headed back downstairs to start on my To Do list.  Yeah, right, 40 minutes later and several more trips upstairs, - each time finding her with foot in hand - and CJV just would not take a nap.  Finally, I grabbed my camera and went to get her.  She rewarded me with the genuine look of happiness to see me ... even more endearing is the fact that she released the hold she had on her foot in order to wave her hands excitedly.

Just about the time Natalie was waking up, Charlotte was ready to go back down for an actual nap.  Her timing is impeccable!  Sometimes the naps just do not align .... sigh.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Look who ...

Look who discovered her feet ... just this week!

Look who is eating a tootsie snack - yummy!

Look who is getting just the tiniest bit chubby - 
look closely at the wrists and legs -
but still weighs less than 12 lbs.

Look who is wearing a very cute 3-6 month dress; 
a gift from her Aunt Missy.

Look whose mommy waited one day too long 
before trimming her nails and now has 
an awful gash on her forehead ... ouch!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Divide & Conquer

Most evenings - after dinner - Chad and I go our separate ways.  I take care of Charlotte, while he takes on the bigger challenge of getting Natalie ready for bed.  Some evenings I really miss that time with Natalie, but mostly I cherish this one-on-one time with Charlotte.  Tonight happened to be bath night (we do this every other night for the sake of sensitive skin), which prolongs the process but also gives me even more reasons to love my share of the Divide & Conquer  ...
  1. It's calm and quiet - no screaming or whining or questioning.
  2. My second born gets my full attention, which is hard to come by during the hustle and bustle of our day.
  3. My little baby - all 11.5 pounds of her - is so adorable in all her naked glory!
  4. Infant splashing is fun and cute - even when water gets all over the mirror! 

  5. Did I mention it's calm and quiet?
  6. Putting lotion, a diaper, and then pajamas on a toddler involves a chase scene. That's definitely not the case with CJV - at least not yet!
  7. I don't have to answer any questions.
  8. That fresh from the tub smell!  Well, I get that from Natalie, too ... but it's just different on a baby ... mainly because she puts up with my sniffing. 
  9. Which book we read and which song I sing ... yep, those are both MY choice :)
  10. I am finished and typing this blog post while Chad is still upstairs reading a second book and answering a bunch of questions!  The trade-off of which is that Charlotte and I will get even more "alone" time in the middle of the night and in the early morning.  Now we're even!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Swinging to New Heights!

Yes, I did end up with mulch on my back and in my hair ... 
but it was so worth it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rice Cereal TMI

While I know this may be Too Much Information for some of you, I figure most of you are moms and you can stomach a little talk of the number 2 ... or lack thereof.

Introduction to rice cereal went so well last week.  Charlotte was opening wide and enthusiastically eating!  In fact, my normally laid back baby let me know loud and clear how she feels about her rice cereal.  As I brought the bowl toward her high chair, she kicked her little feet and squealed with delight. When I realized it was still just a little too hot, I took a few steps away - with the bowl still in my hand - and Charlotte started to cry complete with a pouty lip and all.  I had never seen her do that before, and I couldn't help but smile at her ability to communicate :)

Well, it must've been foreshadowing because that rice cereal caused a lot more crying.  Not the cute kind of crying.  The kind that lets you know your baby is in pain ... and it just about breaks your heart.  Apparently all that rice cereal did a number on Charlotte's digestive system, which kept her from doing a number.  Wednesday night she had a tough time sleeping and woke up actually crying (very unusual) several times.  After an hour of consoling her, Chad brought her downstairs to hang out in her bouncer chair for a while.  She was somewhat productive - and finally went to sleep.  

Saturday afternoon we had a repeat performance of the fussies, and it was clear that she was in pain.  She would bear down and get red in the face and then just wail.  After forty minutes, a dose of Mylicon, and some leg bicycling, I was beside myself.  I called my mom.  I called my sister.  I called the doctor.  While I was on the phone, poor Charlotte passed out from the exhaustion of it all.  The doctor calmed me down, assured me that "this too shall pass," and suggested that we stop rice cereal for at least a week.  Charlotte had several more bouts of tummy aches until finally Sunday morning the diaper was filled, and my happy baby returned.

I am frustrated because I hate to see Charlotte in pain.  Clearly her digestive system is not quite ready for the next step. But also because I thought rice cereal - the start of solids - was going to help with her very slow weight gain.  When I weighed her last night - one week since her 6-month check-up - I was disappointed to find out that she weighs exactly the same.  She hasn't gained an ounce in a week.  Does that seem right?!  At one point she was up 4 ounces, but now she's back at 11 pounds 5 ounces.  I will talk to the doctor again tomorrow and come up with a plan to re-introduce solids.  I also need to tell her that I was mixing the rice cereal with formula (not breastmilk because I hate the thought of pumping) because maybe that has something to do with the constipation.
At least my baby girl is back on the poop-wagon ... for  now :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Handling a Playdate Bully

Thought I'd try something new here at MommyBrain.  Mainly because I like new, shiny things ... but also because I find myself pondering some of life's big questions ... often through internal dialogue that rather closely resembles "crazy-mumbling-to-myself."  Makes me wonder if my lips are moving during those conversations?  Am I the only mama talking to myself?  Please tell me I am not alone! Anyway, sometimes there are these trivial quandaries that pop into my head and I can't help but wonder ... What do YOU, fellow mamas, fellow bloggers, friends near and far, SAY?  What's your opinion?  How do you handle this situation or that predicament?  Or even, what could I have done differently?  If the question/situation inspires you, please leave a comment :)

How do you handle a playdate bully? Okay, so this week's question happens to be a predicament I haven't encountered to a major extent.  For the most part, the playdates we attend - and we do attend plenty of them -  are pretty tame ... only minimal pushing or occasional toy snatching.  However, I was at a playdate earlier this week, and this was the topic of conversation.  A mom feeling like her son was being bullied.   The mom of the bully was not appropriately responsive to the problem.  The bully was warned by the other mom that if he kicked her son one more time, the playdate would be over.  The kicking occurred again and the mom and her son left.  When she recounted this story to me, she asked, "How do you handle a playdate bully?"   It's such a good question!  Of course, this problem is exasperated by the fact that the moms are friends.  What does a situation like this do to a friendship?

I think she did the right thing.  I believe in advocating for my child in this situation ... even at the expense of a mommy friendship.  Keeping my little ones safe is my number one priority, and I am not okay with the idea of my child being kicked and hit or pushed and shoved ... beyond what I would deem "normal" physical contact with kids her own age. I'll be the first to admit that Natalie is guilty of pushing and toy snatching.  I make it a point to react to her misbehavior because it is not okay or kind to push and snatch.  While we haven't encountered an actual bully, I have been in the situation when pushing and snatching is all but ignored.  That is frustrating enough.  It is a tough conversation to have with a fellow mom; to point out that her child, her pride-and-joy is doing something "wrong" ... and even worse that she is not doing her job by ignoring it.  I  mean, can you imagine?!  I am not really one for conflict, which makes it even more difficult.  But ultimately, I go back to the fact that I want and need to keep my child safe.  How do you do that tactfully?  How do you do that and still maintain mommy friendships and your spot on the playdate circuit?

I am really stuck on this one ... actually, as I look back at what I've written, I notice it's now two questions:  What is the best way to handle bad behavior that goes unnoticed by the parent?  How do you handle a playdate bully?

So ... what do YOU say?

Please leave a comment ... or link up if you feel strongly enough to blog about it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Snapshot: Favorites

Natalie is just about one month shy of 3 years old ... insert disbelief and sniffles here! Today while we made rainbow rice and played stickers and did puzzles, I asked her about her Favorite things and kept a piece of paper handy to record her answers.
  1. Color: "Red," pronounced with an extra syllable so it sounds like ray-ed.
  2. Sesame Street Character: "Elmo ... cuz Elmo is ray-ed, mommy!"
  3. Book: "All of dem," said with a big smile :)  Her all-time favorite is an anthology of Little Critter stories, and her current bedtime must-have is a huge book of fairy tales.
  4. Letters: "M, O, and P."  Hmmmm ... guessing she has no idea what that spells ...  nobody likes to mop, right?!
  5. Number: "Two.  Dat's how many I am, mommy!"
  6. Treasure: "Rocks!"  Anytime we are outdoors, Natalie collects treasures - mainly rocks, leaves, and sticks. In the house, she collects "stuff or fings" and carries something around in each hand most of the day.  I am so intrigued by this phase.
  7. Snack(s): "Yogurt Melts, Teddy Grahams, and peanut butter crackers from Trader Joes."
  8. Movie: "Da DI-no-saur moo-bee," referring to Ice Age 3, which her friend Emmett introduced her to and her Aunt Missy gave her ... without the case, as NHV likes to remind me.
  9. Princess: "Cinderella.Natalie is fairly new to the whole Disney princess obsession, but princesses are definitely a favorite thing right now.  Yesterday she was Sleeping Beauty.  Today Cinderella gets a turn.
  10. Place to Go: Cee-Cee's House
  11. Store: "Target!"  Why? "Cuz we go to the baby aisle when we are at Tar-get."
  12. Restaurant: "Chipotle!"  Natalie gobbles up the guacamole with a spoon!
  13. Song to Sing: "Da A-B-C song!"
  14. Song to Listen to: "Caspar Babypants!" Yes, we like anything sung by Caspar Babypants!
  15. Thing to do at the park: "Swing, but we half-ta wait our turn, right mommy?"

    Notes to my Girls

    Dear Natalie,
    I don't know what is causing you to be far grumpier than usual - or than you need to be - these past three days.  I have grown so accustomed to your easy-going, rarely whining, sweet ways.  This new found grumpiness and difficulty listening to me the first time and resistance to just about every play option I suggest ... well, it's all taking its toll on me.  And I know you're entitled to have an off day now and then, but really I think three days in a row is enough.  I don't like the impatient mommy I've become.  I don't like the tone of voice I used with you this evening.  I'll try harder.  Please shake off those grumpies, and let's have a good day!

    Love you,

    Dear Charlotte,
    You crack me up!  I love the new "skill" you spent all day showing off!  Your little tongue poking out through your perfect lips.  That determined look on your face.  The shower of spittles and finally that funny noise. What I love most of all is the look of complete satisfaction you get when you make me laugh!  Oh, sweet baby, somehow today you knew exactly what I needed!  And I agree with your reaction to your sister's grumpiness ... pffffft, in deed ;)

    Now please gain a few ounces this week!
    Love you,

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Rice Cereal 101

    There's really nothing to it!  
    Insert baby in high chair - newly bestowed upon her by big sister.
    Struggle with the "easy pour spout" opening on the cereal box.
    Pour small amount of precious (liquid gold) breastmilk into bowl.
    Add in some rice flakes and stir (don't shake).

    Grab a really big bib and a tiny little spoon. 
    Move goop-filled spoon toward baby's mouth.
    When she opens wide, shovel it in!
    Capture those initial expressions of ...
    what the heck is this?

    Beware of grasping hands,
    "returned" mouthfuls for gooey-ness,
    and a baby who just can't get enough!

    You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
    posts here and here.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Off the Charts

    Is there ever a scenario when being "off the charts" is a good thing?  Perhaps when speaking of intelligence?  Dude, your intelligence is off the charts!  Yeah, that would be cool to hear.

    And I know when something is "off the hook" that's a good thing, right?  I crack myself up when I try to be hip.  I am halfway through my thirties and the mom of two ... being hip is not really an option for me.

    Oh, I digress ... I am dragging my feet because I am not sure how I feel about the news we got at the doctor's office today.  It's not terrible, by any means.  But I feel ... discouraged ... like I've done something wrong, or at least not right ... hopeful that everything is totally fine and this is a needless hoop to jump through ...

    Not surprisingly, Charlotte's weight has fallen off the charts.  Instead of plotting steadily along the 3rd percentile trajectory.  Instead of gaining an adequate amount of weight.  My little peanut fell right off the chart.  Here's the bottom of the chart ... and here's her little dot ... below the acceptable margin.  She is also lagging just a bit when it comes to length.  But her head circumference is right on track ... and really, if there's a measurement you want right on track, I guess it's the one related to her brain, right?!

    Dr. M has decided a second opinion is not a bad idea.  But she doesn't want just any second opinion.  She wants Charlotte seen by some big-wig pediatric endocrinologist.  Of course, it is nearly impossible to get an appointment with Dr Fancy Pants (that's my nickname for him and I haven't even met him yet); apparently he's highly sought after (what must that be like?) and he sees patients on a very limited schedule (like only three days a week).  I am hopeful that our second opinion will involve non-evasive testing and will either a) reassure us that everything is fine or b) will provide us with answers and lead to effective treatment.

    In the meantime, Project Introduce Solid Food is in full effect!  Which means I am back to pumping (oh, how I hate to pump!) once a day to have enough breast milk to mix with rice cereal ... yummy!  We've also considered supplementing with formula, but the plan is to go for solids first and leave formula as our plan B.

    Those of you with tiny babies, please give me some insight, peace-of-mind, questions I should be asking, ... 

    I'll leave you with one last thought ... 

    Fair to say Charlotte's cuteness is off the charts, too!

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Say It With a Song: Best Friends

    Ask Natalie to name her best friend, and without hesitation, with no doubt in her young mind, and a big smile on her face - she'll say, "Cee-Cee!"  They were born five days apart but first met at the tender age of six months.  One of Natalie's first words was "Cee-Cee" and despite the fact that her friend's name is actually Sahara, I have a hard time calling her anything but the nickname Natalie bestowed upon her at about 15 months of age.  In just about a month, these best friends will turn three years old!

    Almost  not a day goes by that Natalie doesn't ask to play with Cee-Cee.  When they do see each other - probably about once a week - they run to embrace each other and then fall in step as they head off to play with each other.  It is the sweetest thing!

    Here are a few photos taken at a local park on a recent (and rare) sunny day:

    Between these candid photos and the words of this song, I think you'll start to understand that this friendship is truly special!

    Best Friends
    written and sung by Frances England

    We’re best friends
    We look out for one another
    We’re best friends
    We take care of each other
    I know you and you know me
    We fit together like puzzle pieces
    When I wake up in the morning
    It’s you I want to see, It’s you I want to see

    We share our books, we share our toys
    We jump up on the bed and make lots of noise
    Sitting in the backyard under the tress
    It’s just you and me, it’s you and me

    Building forts with blankets and sheets
    Swimming in the pool to beat the summer heat
    Riding our bikes through the park
    Staying up late, after dark

    You can hear a preview of this song here.

    I am linking up with BJ Mama 
    for her Say It With a Song Sunday

    Blog Make-Over

    I've been busy ... 
    and staying up way too late ... 
    but it's finally finished ... 
    and I hope it's everything BJ_Mama dreamed it would be!



    It started with a font choice (Pea Bandit from here
    and just grew into a bright, whimsical, bold, cutesy, 
    brand-spankin' new blog design!  

    Happy Blogversary, my fabulous friend from afar!

    Head on over to BJ Mama's World 
    check out her new digs and what-not ;)

    Oh, and because I was feeling a tiny bit of blog envy, I stayed up 30 minutes longer and gave myself a new header ... I tried to give the dandelions to BJ Mama, but she passed and I haven't been able to get them out of my head!  I kind of miss my little stick family, so I am not sure how long this change will last ...

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    Leaving Kids in the Car

    Thought I'd try something new here at MommyBrain.  Mainly because I like new, shiny things ... but also because I find myself pondering some of life's big questions ... often through internal dialogue that rather closely resembles "crazy-mumbling-to-myself."  Makes me wonder if my lips are moving during those conversations?  Am I the only mama talking to myself?  Please tell me I am not alone! Anyway, sometimes there are these trivial quandaries that pop into my head and I can't help but wonder ... What do YOU, fellow mamas, fellow bloggers, friends near and far, SAY?  What's your opinion?  How do you handle this situation or that predicament?  Or even, what could I have done differently?  If the question/situation inspires you, please leave a comment :)

    Do you ever leave your kids in the car?  I fear this is a controversial topic, but I am asking this in a very benign way - promise!  Perhaps I'll first explain what I am NOT talking about ...

    Someone recently told me a story of a gambling addict who left a very young baby in a car for 12 hours while she was inside a casino ... ummm, gambling would be my guess.  I don't know the outcome of that particular story, however I've heard horrific stories of little ones left in cars - accidentally or otherwise - and those scenarios did not end well.  But for my purposes and peace of mind,  I am going to assume that no one reading my blog would knowingly put a child in a life-threatening situation.

    What I am talking about ... 
    Today it was raining - big surprise - and I made a late afternoon trip to the market with both girls.  After doing our shopping, I brought my cartload of groceries and both girls through the raindrops and the puddles to my car and unloaded everything.  I didn't want the girls to be sitting in the rain while I put bags of groceries in the back, so I put them in their carseats first.  In my experience wet groceries are easier to deal with than soggy kids.  But then I am standing there with my empty cart and few options: 
    • Load the girls back in the cart to walk back to the store to then carry CJV while holding NHV's hand all the way back to the car.
    • Lock the doors and leave both girls in the car while I run the cart back.
    • Stand in the rain, wait for someone to pass by, and offer him my cart.
    I went with the second option, but I felt kind of funny about it.  I double checked to make sure the doors were locked.  I looked back over my shoulder a dozen times and kept the car in sight as best I could.  But I just felt like ... should I leave my kids in the car ... even for a minute?

    I have one more example for you.  A few months ago, I needed to run into the local nail salon to grab a gift certificate for a friend.  I had both girls with me, but I didn't want to unload them for such a short errand ... and I really didn't want CJV (a newborn at the time) to be exposed to the fumes.  So I parked my car right out front and went inside.  The gentleman behind the counter helped me immediately.  I told him what I needed and explained that I had small children in the car.  I went back to the car to check on the girls, and then returned to sign the credit card slip and grab the certificate.  But I still felt unsure about leaving my kids in the car.

    So ... what do YOU say?

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    ESP: 6 months

    Happy Half Birthday to my little baby girl!

    What?!  How in the world did that happen?  It's been six months - half a year - since Charlotte Jane was born.  I'm gonna blink, and it will be time to plan her 1st birthday party!

    Since my last ESP report (and, I know, it's been way too long), it seems like Charlotte has begun to take her role as Little Sister more seriously ;)  I've really enjoyed watching my two daughters interacting more and loving on each other plenty!  Charlotte absolutely lights up when Natalie walks in the room!  She has a great smile anyway, but there's something extra special about that expression she has for her big sister.  While Natalie goes about the business of being a toddler, Charlotte watches her ... and her eyes tracking her from one side of the room to the other.  And when Natalie checks on her baby sister, there is always a squeal of delight!

    Let's get right to the photos ...
    and the stats ...
    Weight: 11 pounds - seems like she is hovering right at 11 pounds
    Length: 23 inches (according to Chad)

    She's a peanut!  Yes, my SIX month old is still wearing size THREE-month clothes.  I've been forced to buy a few new outfits because I am so sick of seeing her in the same things!  What a shame!  That Little Sister onesie just called to me, and those pants are capris - they're suppose to be short.  And grammy insisted on getting her that crazy headband.  I resisted at first, but now I can admit that I think it's pretty darn cute on her little noggin!

    Eating: Still exclusively breastfed, but we are gearing up to introduce some "solids" soon.  She nurses six to eight times in a 24-hour period.  Nursing during the day is really hit-and-miss ... or latch-and-unlatch ... because she is so distracted by what's going on around her.  Using the Hooter Hider doesn't help; the bold pattern is like a feast for her eyes ... when she should be feasting!  At night, she is such a great, efficient, appreciative eater ... she latches right on, takes care of business, and gives me little sighs of contentment.  I love the way she balls up her fist and puts it right in my cleavage ... I'll miss that someday!

    Sleeping: Remind me never to "boast" about (or even mention) having a baby who is a good sleeper.  That just isn't true of Charlotte - at least not anymore.  Is it possible that I totally jinxed myself!?  I am not entirely sure when her habits went so terribly wrong, but she had an especially tough time while we were in Illinois.  In fact, most nights she fell asleep in the crib but ended up sleeping with me from about midnight on. 

    Since we've been home, she wakes me up about every two hours.  Sometimes she wants to eat, others she just wants to check in with me or needs help locating her binky.  Because she is still so small, I haven't even considered sleep training, and honestly, I don't have any  hopes of her sleeping through the night anytime soon ... better to keep low expectations and be surprised!  

    She actually puts herself to sleep fairly well.  I usually just give her a few pats and a kiss on the head and let her take care of the rest.  A noisy sleeper as a newborn, she makes this adorable, rhythmic "winding down" sound as she's falling asleep.  I am still swaddling her from the chest down, but I am not sure she "needs" it.   Her preference is to sleep on her side with her feet crossed and her two hands pulled together near her face.  Bedtime is about the same as Natalie's - 8:30. She wakes me up - like an alarm clock - at 6:30 am.  Because we have the bed to ourselves, I snuggle up with my baby girl and we sleep until Natalie wakes us.

    During the day, her current pattern is to take three or four naps:
    • two hour-long nap in the morning - one about an hour after waking up and then again after about two hours
    • a 2 or 3 hour nap in the afternoon usually at about the same time as Natalie's
    • a little 45 minute snooze in the evening - usually while we eat dinner.  
    Personality:  Charlotte is full of smiles and also very patient - and that's quite a combination!  Smiles, smiles, and mores smiles!  And she doesn't discriminate ... just about anyone can get a big gummy smile!  Say hi, tell her she's a cutie, smile at her, ... chances are she'll smile right back!  Meeting our family back in IL was a thrill as she won them all over with her sweet personality!
    Caring for both a toddler and an infant is tough - even on a good day - but Charlotte makes it a little easier on me because she's just so darn patient.  She waits and entertains herself through potty breaks and snack serving and meltdown avoidance.  As long as I check in with her and she sees my face, she's okay; she'll wait ... even near her own mealtimes.  Most of her "waiting" is done on the playing mat or in the bouncer seat or under her mobile.  Recently we also introduced her to the jumperoo - but she just dangles and bats at the toys. While she plays, she rubs her feet together - almost constantly.  I have to keep socks on her tootsies or she'll rub the inside of her feet until they are bright red.
    Yep, she'll happily sit on the sidelines, but Charlotte also loves to be right in the middle of the action, too. She happily sits on my lap and reads stories with her big sister.  It cracks us up because she is most vocal during storytime - it's almost like she's reading the book or commenting on the plot!  Some mornings we all snuggle in bed for a few minutes, and Charlotte squeals with delight and kicks her feet and reaches for Natalie's face.  She also rides in the Bjorn or Ergo without fussing.  Just yesterday she took a nap in the Ergo while Natalie and I browsed books at the library.  It seems the only time Charlotte is high maintenance is between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am ... when she can have my full attention!

    • Grasping, Reaching, and Putting in Mouth - check, check and check!
    • Recognizing her Name - Yes, and smiles when she hears it :)
    • Rolling Over - Well, she can roll from her tummy to her back, but she doesn't do it very often.  No luck with back-to-tummy although she does try.
    • Sitting Up - Not even close.  I am going to blame her small size on this one.  She just doesn't have any extra cushion to help hold her upright.
    • Eating "Solids" - that's next on my list ... waiting for her check up on Monday to get the official go-ahead from the doctor, and then bring on the rice cereal and bananas!

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Moms & Daughters

    A daughter may outgrow your lap, 
    but she will never outgrow your heart.  
    ~ Author Unknown

    Natalie and I were snuggling on the couch.  Chad happened to notice the sweet moment and grabbed the camera.  I just happened to take a shower and dry my hair that day.  The snuggling is typical, the level of hygiene/styling is sadly not!  Anyway, the "planets" aligned and the result is a photo of me that I can actually stand to look at - and Natalie looking adorable :)

     Grandma always made you feel 
    she had been waiting to see just you all day 
    and now the day was complete.
    -- Marcy DeMaree

    I love this shot of my mom because it's candid.  She hates having her picture taken, so I have to be sneaky with my camera sometimes!  Also, it captures her "in her element" - at the place where she serves lunch three days a week.  It's this quaint little restaurant in the downtown area where I grew up.  It's a busy, fun atmosphere, and everyone - customers and coworkers - absolutely loves my mom! Here she is showing off her newest grandbaby!  She's just beaming with pride, and Charlotte is just taking it all in.

    You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
    posts here and here.

    Top Ten Tuesday - Mom Dating

    I blog as a way of journaling my life.  As a way of preserving memories of my daughters' early lives.  As a way to remember what happens in the blur of motherhood.  And I really like to look through my "archives". 

    I've realized that there are some really good "old" posts floating around this little blog of mine, so I plan to dust them off, shine them up a bit - just for you - and share a favorite each Tuesday.  I even made a button ... 

    Mom Dating originally posted January 20, 2008

    I am fairly certain I was picked up at Starbucks today. Her nonfat vanilla latte came up just before my own nonfat, extra hot chai tea latte. She swayed with a sleeping, knit hat clad baby in her oh-so-northwest Ergo carrier. I rhythmically pushed my stroller to-and-fro in the hopes that my little NHV would finally fall asleep. Eyes met. Knowing glances were exchanged. And a 15-minute conversation ensued ... with a total stranger ... a woman who, prior to giving birth, wouldn't have even said hi to me as we grabbed our hot beverages from the barista's counter!

    Our tiny companions give us enough in common to chat like old friends. Of course, we provided our babies' names before we introduced ourselves - that's what mommies do. I think we are so darn proud of having made such a monumental decision, that we just have to share that information first. Anyway, we covered incredible amounts of information about our babies - from age and weight to sleeping and eating habits ... and about ourselves - from our feelings about the dreary NW weather to our decisions about returning to work. Yes, it was a successful first date.

    Our conversation ended with a somewhat awkward phone number request, but something tells me, she won't call. And that's alright with me. You see, the immediate and compelling need for adult interaction was satisfied ... at least for today. And there's always another mommy to meet ... and, if I am being honest, that fact is more than a little comforting. There are days when the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" just isn't enough.


    Today's Thoughts:  It felt like deja vu this past Saturday when - for the first time - I gave my "digits" to a mom I barely know - and by barely, I mean I've seen her twice in my entire life. Before I left for my recent trip to IL, we chatted outside the Carter's Store while our girls rode the quarter carousel. This past Saturday we both bravely attempted a trip to Costco - on Memorial Day weekend!  In line for frozen yogurt, our eyes met.  I thought, "Huh, she looks familiar."  Natalie started whining and distracted me.  Suddenly, it clicked and I said, "Hey, I know you from the outlet mall."  Great pick up line, huh?  We chatted and made our way through the crowd to our parked cars and said our good byes.  But I had this lingering thought that I would really like to hang out with her again.  While CPV made sure the girls were strapped in their car seats, I scribbled my email address on a random scrap of paper and raced toward her minivan.  And, guess what, today I got a message from her ... inviting me (and the girls) to a playdate in this week.  Funny, it's so NOT dating ... but there's still a certain thrill to meeting a mom who could potentially be a friend!
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