Charlotte’s TWO!

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Charlotte,

Our sweet girl, how can this be?! No matter how diligent we try to be in savoring the time with you, it just goes by too quickly. But honestly, I love you growing up and growing older.

Every day, you are a little bit smarter, a little bit funnier, a little bit more independent. There are times when you say or do something and we ask each other, “Did you teach her that?” To which the response is usually, “No, I don’t know where she got that.” You are truly your own person, and we’re quite enamored with who you are becoming.

Everyone thinks they’re child is the smartest, but Charlotte girl, you are brilliant. You talk conversationally now, work hard to try and figure how things work and fit together, and learn new tasks in a matter of a few tries.

You are also EXTREMELY nurturing. You take care of all of your little babies and stuffed animals, pretending to change their diapers, feed them and sing them to sleep. In addition to caring for your stuffed animals and baby dolls, you also try to soothe us. There have been several times where you’ve rubbed our backs and said, “It’s ok, sweetheart.” Yes, it melts me every time.

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Finally, you’re starting to “express your independence.” Which is fine, but it’s also trying on us too. Sometimes, you are very adamant about getting your own way, but you welcome time out like a champ. Afterwards, you always greet us with a hug and say, “It’s so good to see you again.” Obviously, it’s hard to be upset with the way you treated us before time out with a remorseful attitude like that.

We can’t wait to see what the next few months and year bring for you, peanut girl! You’re the best!

Love always,
Mom and Dad

Weight: 23 lbs
Height: 34 in
Clothing size: 2T

Charlotte Likes: Grocery shopping, visiting the bookstore or library, playing make believe, reading, singing, taking care of her babies and visiting friends and family.

Charlotte Dislikes: Being told “no” and potty training (kind of).

Firsts: Halloween, family vacation with just the three of us and potty training.

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Diapers: Obviously, we have moved on from diapers to undies. We used the three-day bootcamp method, and while things seemed hopeless at first, Charlotte did great starting the night of the second day. We’ve definitely had our share of regression, but we’re all learning to cope with this new aspect of life. Charlotte wears undies the entire time she’s awake and pull-ups or diapers during nap time and nighttime.

Sleep: Charlotte is still sleeping roughly 12 hours a night, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. She also naps about 2 to 3 hours a day each afternoon (yay!).

Feed: For the most part, Charlotte still eats what we do. More and more though, we’ll fix her a plate and then have to scavenge for something else. Still, she’s a pretty non-picky eater.

Talk: Like I mentioned earlier, Charlotte speaks pretty conversationally now. She remembers things that we tell her and can recall them after a nap or nighttime sleep. She’s also singing a lot more and knows at least 10 songs for the most part.

We love you more and more every day, Charlotte!

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/randolph-family

Trick or Treat — or Silently Glare at Adults on their Doorsteps

This year, Charlotte celebrated her first official Halloween, meaning we went to great lengths to fashion her costume and spent hours going door to door in our neighborhood collecting candy. Ok, that was a trick…because it’s a lie.

I’m not super big on Halloween, and while Mom-guilt prodded me to search and attempt to craft a costume, my husband’s wise ways won out (thank goodness). Rather than go crazy making a costume that probably wouldn’t turn out so great, he suggested we recycle Charlotte’s flower girl dress from Josh and Jessica’s wedding. We also had a pair of fairy wings and a coordinating wand in our costume drawer so we just stuck those on her and voila!

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Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very cooperative that night. Most of the night it rained hard, and the air was chilly. So we opted to drive to a friend’s house, and then hit three houses in our neighborhood.

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We geared Charlotte up with lots of “trick or treat” practice, but when it came time to actually perform, she just glared at whoever opened the door. Good thing she’s cute, right? I think we made a few older ladies’ nights bringing Charlotte to their door.

Hopefully next year is better, but either way, watching her enjoy getting dressed up and eating her candy at home later was quite the treat.

Oh, the Places We Go — Wedding Edition (Nashville)

Finally, we finished up our travels in Nashville, Tennessee for Josh and Jessica’s wedding. Though we didn’t get to sightsee a whole lot with all of the festivities, we did have our share of fun. Plus, we got to be a part of a really beautiful wedding ceremony for two people who just really love the Lord, their families and one another.

Boy facials at the Bachelor Party.

Boy facials at the Bachelor Party.

Whiskey tasting.

Whiskey tasting.

The King of Selfies.

The King of Selfies.

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The Partay.

The Partay.

The couple that cliff jumps together, stays together.

The couple that cliff jumps together, stays together.

Boating on Percy Priest Lake.

Boating on Percy Priest Lake.

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Rehearsal Dinner

With the beautiful flower girl.

With the beautiful flower girl.

Can it get any more Tennessee than this?!

Can it get any more Tennessee than this?!

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The Best Man

The Best Man

First Dance

First Dance

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Sleepy Flower Girl

Sleepy Flower Girl

Mother and Son Dance

Mother and Son Dance

Amazing night for an amazing couple!

Amazing night for an amazing couple!

Oh, the Places We Go (New Orleans)

Most of our time in New Orleans was spent eating. I don’t know of a better place to eat in this country, honestly. From po’ boys to chargrilled oysters, we had our fill of the culinary delights of this city.

We also visited the zoo, aquarium, Garden District and French Quarter, in addition to a few day trips to the beach in Mississippi and Oak Alley Plantation.

Fun at the Aquarium.

Fun at the Aquarium.

That toddler life.

That toddler life.

Walking around the French Quarter.

Walking around the French Quarter.

Preservation Hall

Preservation Hall

Fun on the Gulf of Mexico

Fun on the Gulf of Mexico

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The beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.

The beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.

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Oh, the Places We Go (Out West)

If you know us at all, you know we love to travel. Having a baby didn’t stop that, and having a toddler certainly didn’t stop us either. This summer, we made our way out west to the Grand Canyon and Jackson Hole with the Knight family, New Orleans on our first ever just-the-three-of-us vacation and finally, Nashville for Josh and Jessica’s wedding.

Even though we’re avid travelers, we’re happy to be resting quietly at home for a few months. Nonetheless, we made some awesome memories this summer…

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

Jeff Knight and me.

Jeff Knight and me.

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Charlotte fell asleep on a rainy, hour and a half hike to a waterfall in Grand Teton. She definitely got the better end of the deal.

Charlotte fell asleep on a rainy, hour and a half hike to a waterfall in Grand Teton. She definitely got the better end of the deal.

Ol' Faithful fizzling out. #notimpressed

Ol’ Faithful fizzling out. #notimpressed

Grand Prismatic Springs

Grand Prismatic Springs

Quality time with Jacky Boy.

Quality time with Jacky Boy.

Lewis Falls in Yellowstone Park with two of my sisters.

Lewis Falls in Yellowstone Park with two of my sisters.

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Mormon Row Barn

Mormon Row Barn

Atop Rendezvous Mountain.

Atop Rendezvous Mountain.

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Inspiration Point in Teton National Park.

Inspiration Point in Teton National Park.

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Cascade Canyon Trail, i.e. Heaven on Earth.

Cascade Canyon Trail, i.e. Heaven on Earth.

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To be continued…

Home Sweet Home

I’m not going to let this blog fall off the face of the earth, regardless of how long I go between posting. “Thankfully,” I’m feeling under the weather so I’m devoting some couch time to the blog.

In February, we were house hunting, and after several open houses in cookie cutter homes, I suggested we go to one more at a house which I described as “kind of ugly.” It didn’t have much curb appeal, but as soon as we walked into this home, it was obvious that this was the house for us.

It wasn’t in terrible shape at all, but it did need some work, which was something we were looking for. Plus, it had more than plenty of room in which to grow our family. A week or so later, we were making a final offer on the house.

In March, we signed for the house while I was in Florida on Spring Break, and the month of April was used for demolition and renovation. There wasn’t a whole lot of DIY involved because the scope of the work was beyond our skill level. To our great surprise, the work was finished on time, and we were able to move in during the first weekend of May.

So without further adieu, welcome to a snapshot of our home…

BEFORE: The "beautiful" wood-paneled Bum Room.

BEFORE: The “beautiful” wood-paneled Bum Room.

The kitchen, which we'll update later.

The kitchen, which we’ll update later.

BEFORE: The informal living room with a wall bordering the formal living room.

BEFORE: The informal living room with a wall bordering the formal living room.

Signing day -- Facetiming Ryan with the keys to our new home.

Signing day — Facetiming Ryan with the keys to our new home.

Carrying his Bride over the threshold.

Carrying his Bride over the threshold.

Ryan getting ready to do some demo -- he's been waiting for this for years.

Ryan getting ready to do some demo — he’s been waiting for this for years.

Charlotte and I lending a hand.

Charlotte and I lending a hand.

Informal/formal living room.

Informal/formal living room.

Informal/formal living room.

Informal/formal living room.

Informal/formal living room.

Informal/formal living room.

AFTER: Bonus room. New floors, new paint.

AFTER: Bonus room. New floors, new paint.

Move in day! Charlotte is SO EXCITED!

Move in day! Charlotte is SO EXCITED!

BEFORE: Exterior of the home.

BEFORE: Exterior of the home.

AFTER: Living room. Ryan has since completed the fireplace -- so it looks like the blog is due for an update already :)

AFTER: Living room. New floors, new paint, no wall. Ryan has since completed the fireplace — so it looks like the blog is due for an update already :)

AFTER: Exterior of home.

AFTER: Exterior of home.

Charlotte: 18 Months

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/charlotte

Charlotte,

Bye, bye, baby. Hello, toddler. Time is flying by more quickly than it did during the first year, but that may have to do with the fact that we’re having so much fun.

While I long for the baby days sometimes, I love this age. You are talking up a storm, make believing when you play and surprising us with your personality. Every day, you say or do something totally new, and we have to ask ourselves as well as each other, “Where did she learn that?”

Since your 15-month post, we’ve gone on Spring Break in Florida, celebrated Easter and moved to a new home. We’ve also spent quite a few days at the Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Art Museum, friends’ homes and the parks and trails around Indianapolis. Needless to say, we’re having a blast exploring our new hometown.

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One aspect of your personality that has emerged that we find especially endearing is your caring, nurturing side. Your are always taking care of your “babies,” i.e. your stuffed animals, or helping us clean up, “cook” and do yard work. You also love looking at and talking to babies but are equally interested in big kids as well.

Though you have been extremely shy for the past few months, you’ve become very outgoing over night. It shocks us to see you walk up to any kid and strike up a “conversation.” You’re also comfortable hamming it up in front of almost anyone.

I think if you keep getting more awesome, our hearts are going to explode. But we welcome you to test our limits. You give us so many reasons to smile and laugh and enjoy life with you, girlie.

Love always,
Mom and Dad

P.S. For the record, you turned 18 months in May — and not July. Forgive me for the late post!

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/charlotte

Weight: 22 lbs
Height: 31 3/4 in
Clothing size: 18 – 24 months and 2T

Charlotte Likes: FROZEN, playing in the backyard, Kindermusik, parks, digging in the dirt, story time at the library, Children’s Museum, talking, singing, and the song, “Happy.”

Charlotte Dislikes: Not getting her way, which happens quite a bit now that she’s into anything and everything.

Firsts: Merry-go-round ride, HOME, full-length movie love (Frozen) and many other things I’ve forgotten, I’m sure.

Diapers: She was in disposables for quite a while we moved from the apartment to our house. We’re back in cloth diapers while at home but still doing the disposables on-the-go.

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/charlotte

Sleep: Charlotte is sleeping roughly 12 hours a night, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. She also naps about 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day each afternoon.

Feed: She eats everything we eat, including salmon, cream cheese and green beans. We think she has an extensive pallet for a toddler, but she can be picky in a way. For instance, some days she LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; other days, she’ll have nothing to do with it.

Talk: Charlotte is talking up a storm, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her Mom. Every week that we pick her up from the nursery at church, the volunteers comment on how much she talks. Strangers in stores comment on it as well. I’ve lost count of the words she can say, but for the most part, we can understand what she wants and needs.

You’re such a big girl now!

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/charlotte

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/charlotte

Photos by LinneaLiz Photography in Indianapolis.