Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: THREE

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Splish! Splash!

We have spent the last four evenings at the neighborhood pool.  The temperatures have been in the high 80's and the sunshine's been plentiful!  NHV is almost fearless in the water this year, which is both a blessing and a curse.  It's exciting to watch her gain confidence and independence but also very scary!  Gone are the days of lounging (sarcasm implied) by the kiddie pool.  Natalie calls it the "kitty cat" pool, which is such a cute confusion of kiddie vs. kitty!  This year, of course, Natalie wants to be in the big pool ... on the steps or ladder.  She doesn't know how to swim, but she does a good job of walking up and down the steps, putting her face in the water, blowing bubbles, pulling herself along the wall, and jumping off the side into daddy's waiting hands.  How do you teach a three year old her limits in relation to water safety?  There are some lessons I really do not want her to learn through mistakes!  CPV is great with her in the water, but being the daddy also gives him license to up the fun and encourage some risks.  

I just look away ... and relax in the shade with CJV.  She is perfectly content to lounge on the chair with a few toys and her toes.  Mostly we people-watch.  She's had her toes wet on more than one occasion, and CPV dipped her booty in the "kitty cat pool" for a few minutes.  Her feet were moving constantly - like a cartoon character winding up to run!

Natalie is wearing the same bathing suit from last year, except now we call her bikini top her "shells" because of her recent Little Mermaid obsession.  When we're getting ready to leave for the pool, she asks, "Mommy, where are my shells?"  I just love that her ruffle butt bottoms still fit!  I wanted more coverage from CJV and bought her a UVSkinz knock-off in a color combination that is one of my favorites - light blue and red.  Natalie got the real-deal UVSkinz, but she refuses to wear them because the top does not look like a mermaid's shells ... hoping this princess thing doesn't last too long!  Notice there are not any photos of me at the pool ... with good reason, my friends, with very good reason!  But I am there ... having fun and taking the pictures :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let Your Presence Be Your Presents

Sometimes 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 :)

This week's question is not terribly serious, and I am asking mostly out of curiosity.

How do you feel about birthday parties without gifts?
Quite often it seems, parents are requesting "no gifts" at their child's party.  In fact, for NHV's recent birthday, I used the oh-so-clever "let your presence be your presents" line on the invitation.  My thinking was that , first of all, she already has soooooo much!  Secondly, really and truly, I just wanted to get together with my mommy friends and watch Natalie enjoy time with her little friends.  I did not want people to feel obligated to buy a gift simply because I sent out an invitation and baked cupcakes.

But then there's this part of me that feels like a party isn't really "complete" without a table full of  brightly colored boxes! Where does that mentality come from, I wonder?!  I also know that Natalie loves to tear into a gift.  Her face lights up and she immediately wants to "open it, please" so she can get right down to the business of playing and having fun and being a kid. 

At Natalie's party, I was not surprised to see several moms arrive with a package - despite my suggestion that gifts were not necessary.  (For the record, NHV received delightful presents, and I was touched by the thoughtfulness of my friends.)

Okay, enough of my recent experience ... time for the question(s) ...

Do you attend a child's birthday party ... empty-handed?
Do you show up sans gift - and respect the host's wishes?
Do you bring a little something just because it feels weird to attend a party without a present?
Do you ignore the "no gift" request and give the perfect present?
Have you made that "no gift" request?  Why or why not?

Do you let your presence be your presents?

How do you feel about birthday parties without gifts?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dear Blog ...

I miss you.

I have so many photos and stories to share.

Just can't seem to find enough
time in the day to give you the love
and attention you deserve.

Please forgive me. I will do my best 
to make you a priority ...soon.  Very soon.

All my love,

P.S.  NHV and CJV say, "Hi, too!"

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's My Party, and ...

... you know how this ends, right?

Natalie's friends.  Guests at her birthday party.  Having a great time. 

Poor Natalie.  Thought she was just being difficult.  Then realized her eyes had no sparkle.  Still not sure if it was allergies or a head cold, but my baby girl did not feel well :(

And CRY she did.  She also spent a lot of time sucking her binky and resting on a towel in the shade.  Whatever was making her feel lousy did not stop her from eating about half of a cupcake and all of the icing!  But otherwise, she was pretty mellow during the party and took a marathon nap when we got home.

At least it isn't officially her birthday - yet.  We celebrated with Natalie's best friend about a week before her actual day.  And there's more celebrating planned for Colorado!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July Recap

Just a teaser ... because I really should be in bed, but BJ_Mama sent me an email asking where I've been and making me feel all guilty and neglectful ;) ... I promise to come back with details soon ... and tell you all about my weekend as a single parent, celebrating the 4th but not my anniversary.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

ESP: Lucky Number 7

Another month older ... and wiser.
Another pound bigger ... it's about time!

WEIGHT: about 12 pounds (officially 11 pounds 14 ounces at her doctor's office weigh-in, but at some point this weekend my scale indicated 12 pounds)

CLOTHING SIZE: Still wearing 3 month clothes, but I've started pulling out the 6-month stuff!

We have not had much luck with solids.  The rice cereal caused constipation and gas.  Waited a week. Tried bananas, at the pediatricians urging, but those caused vomiting.  Honest-to-goodness puking ... for like three hours.  Waited another week.  Gave oatmeal a try because a few moms suggested that oatmeal is easier on the tummy.  Well, it never actually made it to CJV's stomach because she absolutely refused to open her mouth.  And, so my hopes of a decent growth spurt - caused by the introduction of solids - didn't happen.

Someone set Charlotte's internal alarm block to 6:30 am - sharp!  Every single morning, she wakes up at 6:30 ... no matter what time she goes to bed, how dark her room is, how quiet the house is, ... she's awake.  But not for long.  I usually snuggle her in bed with me, nurse her a little, and get another hour of slumber.  Then she hangs out while NHV and I have breakfast before going back to bed for an hour or so. She also takes a great afternoon nap; usually 3 hours or more.  And then she would like to go back down for 45 minutes in the evening, but that pushes bedtime back.  But if I keep her awake, she goes down at bedtime, wakes up 45 minutes later, and won't go back to sleep for an hour.  This is a habit I would very much like to break.

Charlotte loves bathtime! Just the mention of the word "bath" gets her kicking and smiling!  Her tub is up on our double vanity, which may have to change soon because she splashes so much!  The entire counter and mirror ... and bath-giver ... get completely soaked.  She splashes with such a determined look on her face that I can't help but laugh.

Charlotte is also enjoying her toes!  Her right foot is in her mouth (or close to it) about 75% of the time!  This is my favorite "baby" milestone.  There's just something so fascinating about this discovery ... those appendages have been there all along, but she just now figured that out.

Her favorite toy appears to be Jangles, a Discovery Toys Giraffe.  He hangs from her car seat handle, and she adores him!  The Rainforest Bouncer and Jumperoo also get a lot of smiles and squeals!

Charlotte continues to be quick to smile.  People comment on this all the time, "Oh, she's such a smiley baby."  "She smiles with her whole face."   If you smile at her, she's more than likely going to smile right back at you!

She is still not sitting up but can hold herself pretty well in the Bumbo and tripods with some encouragement from me.  She pulls herself to a sitting position whenever I put her on my lap ... no more laying back when there's a whole world to see!  She can roll from her tummy to her back but doesn't always bother ... sometimes she just lays her head down and fusses instead.  She is so close to being able to roll from her back to her tummy; Natalie was about this age when she mastered that skill and dislocated her elbow.  Charlotte laughs a lot and verbalizes when the mood strikes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Big Kids & Babies

Rain cancelled my Red, White, and YOU playdate today - had crafts all ready to go, made the mistake of telling Natalie about it last night.  I was seriously bummed, and Natalie was more than a little distraught (it is so hard to be three)!  When we got a very impromptu invitation to hang out with a few friends - indoors - we jumped at the chance.  This little gathering included a photo session.

Here are the "big kids"* - all nearing their third birthdays** - who have known each other since the days of tummy time and rolling over!

* Matthew is not pictured.
** Morgan (far left) is only two and a half, but she hangs with this "older" crowd!

And here are the Babies ... all born since December. 

Charlotte is the oldest, but not the biggest, thanks to Alex ;)
Of course, she is also not the smallest, either.

Before I became a mom, I never realized just how special
my relationships with other moms would be ...
sharing, celebrating, commiserating, supporting, enjoying, ...

That our children would be playmates who look forward
to seeing each other almost as much as we do.

That our babies are growing up side-by-side, making memories. 

Watching their interactions and their individual personalities is a absolute wonder!  

This is a very special (and unexpected) part of my motherhood journey! 
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