Charlotte’s Back to School!

My little social butterfly went off to school again just after Labor Day. She missed school so much over the summer, but I think the summer days spent with Amelia and myself were tolerable.

She is back at Hazel Dell Christian Preschool, and her teacher this year is Miss Becky. Though she was just one of three girls in class last year, her class this year is evenly divided between boys and girls. There is one boy in her class from last year, but knowing Charlotte, she’ll make new friends in no time.

It’s also worth noting that when I asked Charlotte on the first day of school what she wanted to be when she grows up, she answered, “a ghost.”

I hope she always loves school as much as she does right now — go get’em, girl!

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First day of school tradition: cupcakes after school!

Amelia: 1 Month

 

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Dear Amelia,

When I stop to think about the fact that you’re one month old, it blows my mind. It has been a long four weeks; and yet, I’m not ready for you to be one month old already!

I feel like I’m barely treading water, but you don’t seem to notice. You are growing like a weed, smiling already like a little sweetheart and becoming increasingly aware of the world around you. It’s amazing how much you’ve changed in so little time.

Our first two weeks with you were pretty easy — mostly because you slept A LOT. However, you did NOT like sleeping at around 5 a.m. Now, you’ve shifted to not liking sleep between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. We’re hoping you either gradually move into the early evening — or stop altogether! That would be great!

Though you can be a stinker at night, you more than make up for it as soon as you smile. I know babies vary on when they give their Mamas their first smiles, but you were especially early in smiling at me at around week three. You know I need it. Now, you smile at your Daddy too.

In your first month of life, you’ve celebrated your first Thanksgiving and Christmas, met Santa, completed your first road trip and visited both grandparents’ houses. Given the hectic life we’ve led this month, we haven’t really settled into a routine yet, but we’re looking forward to some normalcy once we’re home for a while.

We waited so long for you, sweet girl, and it’s still kind of surreal that you’re here. We’re so looking forward to knowing you better, beautiful girl!

Love,

Mom & Dad

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Weight: 9 lbs, 5 oz (46th percentile)
Height: 21 in (35th percentile)
Clothing size: Amelia has been in newborn clothes until Christmas Day — or the day before she officially turned one month. Bring on the new clothes!

Amelia Likes: Mommy, Daddy, Charlotte, ceiling fans, Christmas lights, the artwork above her changing table and taking baths.
Amelia Dislikes: Sleeping at nighttime, getting into her car seat and getting dressed and undressed.

Firsts: Thanksgiving, Christmas, bath and road trip — but isn’t everything a “first” at this point?

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Diapers: Amelia is in newborn disposable diapers. We still plan to do cloth diapering — although we’re a little less enthusiastic about it this time — but for now, she’s too small to fit into the cloth diapers without leaking. And I have enough laundry to do, thanks to the amount she spits up sometimes.

Sleep: Sleeping is hit or miss with this one. She has good sleep sessions and bad sleep sessions too. Sometimes, Ryan just has to hold her at night while she sleeps. Other times, she’ll go four hours between feedings at nighttime. In terms of napping, it’s very much the same. One thing she does not do well with is being transferred while sleeping — either from person to person or from car to home.

Feed: Amelia is eating every 2 1/2 to three hours, and for the most part, she guzzles like a champ. We have had our fair share of breastfeeding issues this first month, though. From problems with my body (breastfeeding has NOT been easier the second time around) to her spitting up large amounts to not liking how fast my milk lets down, there have been plenty of reasons to give up on the whole endeavor. However, I know the benefits as well as how easy it becomes down the road, and that’s been my incentive for sticking with it.

We also learned at her doctor’s appointment that the poor girl has reflux. It’s not bothering her at all, thank goodness, so we don’t have to take medication. We do, however, have to take reflux precautions, like putting a pillow under her mattress so that she’s sleeping at a 30-degree angle. Say prayers that this becomes a non-issue in a few weeks!

This month has definitely been chock full of challenges, but our little girl is thriving. I know we’ll get the hang of life with four — and maybe one of these days, I’ll even be able to clean the house. For now, we’re just taking lots of deep breaths and enjoying those smiles when we get them!

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Oh, hey, Darcy.

Disney Familymoon!

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There were several times over the course of our five-day trip to Disney that I was overwhelmed with how wonderful and how thankful I was that we took this trip together. I’ll admit, as much as I’m a fan of Disney World, I was a little anxious in preparing for this trip being 30+ weeks pregnant and taking an almost three-year-old.

But IT.WAS.AMAZING.

Charlotte was a champ and loved “playing” the whole time she was there. After every ride, character meet-and-greet or show, she declared, “I want to do something else!” Everything was magical and fun to her — so much so that on our last night, she was plowing full-steam until we MADE her stop at midnight.

It was so fun to indulge her whims and experience the magic of Disney through her eyes. There were so many times Ryan and I looked at each other with glee because of her reaction to characters, fireworks or rides. Given this, it was a little bittersweet. We’re thrilled to become a family of four in a few weeks, but I know we’re both going to miss the abundance of one-on-one time we both get with Charlotte. We’ll just have to remember that everything we experience as a family will be double the fun with two in tow.

Again, I’m so, so, so glad we did this, and Charlotte’s first trip to Disney will undoubtedly go down as one of my favorite family vacations of all time. And now, here is the photo and video overload of our Disney trip — enjoy the magic!

Rapunzel's village.
After landing and getting to our hotel room, we took the bus over to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Ryan and I have gone before, and though it seems crowded, the numbers are actually lower than a typical night at Magic Kingdom — so you’re able to enjoy short lines and trick-or-treat stations around the park!
Rapunzel's Tower!
Rapunzel’s Tower!
First of several rides on Prince Charming's Carousel.
First of several rides on Prince Charming’s Carousel.
This quickly became a trend -- falling asleep on our way out of the park.
This quickly became a trend — falling asleep on our way out of the park.
First impressions of It's a Small World -- creepy.
First impressions of It’s a Small World — creepy.
Breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table!
Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table!
Most of the time, she was way more interested in her activity mat. Sorry, princesses.
Most of the time, she was way more interested in her activity mat. Sorry, princesses.
Meeting Ariel in her Grotto.
Meeting Ariel in her Grotto.
Classic Disney moment!
Classic Disney moment!

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Charlotte starred as “Chip” in Enchanted Tales with Belle. You’ll also be able to barely hear her saying, “Belle’s here, Mom!” This was one of the coolest things we did at Disney — highly recommend it!

We brought a photo mat for all of the characters to sign -- thanks, Pinterest, for the great idea!
We brought a photo mat for all of the characters to sign — thanks, Pinterest, for the great idea!
I had to get in on a couple of character photos too!
My Mom shoes and I had to get in on a couple of character photos too!

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Disney does such an amazing job of making every kid feel special. This was one of the best moments of the trip:

Elsa asked her if the cold bothered her. Charlotte’s simple reply was, “No.” Ummm, I don’t think that’s the answer for which Elsa was looking.

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Again...
Again…

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Charlotte's new boyfriend?
Charlotte’s new boyfriend?

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Meeting Belle (again!) at Akershus Royal Hall in Epcot.
Meeting Belle (again!) at Akershus Royal Hall in Epcot.

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Fun fact: this Snow White was SO annoying.
Fun fact: this Snow White was SO annoying.

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Charlotte loved Mickey -- I think the feeling was mutual.
Charlotte loved Mickey — I think the feeling was mutual.

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I'm pretty confident that the Photopass folks take blurry pictures on purpose so you have to buy theirs instead.
I’m pretty confident that the Photopass folks take blurry pictures on purpose so you have to buy theirs instead.

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Charlotte leading the conga line with Mickey at our breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana. Again, thanks for making my kid feel special, Disney!
Charlotte leading the conga line with Mickey at our breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana. Again, thanks for making my kid feel special, Disney! Aaand the blurriness of this photo is why I shouldn’t ever take photos. This was, funnily enough, the best in the bunch.
Showing Lilo how she hulas.
Showing Lilo how she hulas.

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Sorry I'm not sorry that there are a bajillion pictures of Mickey.
Sorry I’m not sorry that there are a bajillion pictures of Mickey.

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Watching Festival of the Lion King -- I think this is the exact reaction Disney is hoping to get.
Watching Festival of the Lion King — I think this is the exact reaction Disney is hoping to get.
Trying the Grey Stuff (it's delicious!) at Be Our Guest.
Trying the Grey Stuff (it’s delicious!) at Be Our Guest.
Thanks, Beast, for hosting us for dinner!
Thanks, Beast, for hosting us for dinner!
Last night in Disney :(
Last night in Disney 😦
She came, she saw, she conquered.
She came, she saw, she conquered.

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Amelia/the bump have been getting all of the attention lately, but our sweet Charlotte had a pretty big first today.

The scene at our house this morning was like that in Finding Nemo. Charlotte was running around and chanting, “First day of school!” We’re both glad she was excited, and we were excited for her too. I only started crying once we had officially dropped her off, and she was out of sight — it was a quiet morning for this preschool Mama.

She seemed to enjoy her first day, nonchalantly declaring when she got in the car that a boy bit her. Classic first day problems.

First day of Preschool. 2 year class at Hazel Dell Christian Preschool.
First day of Preschool.
2 year class at Hazel Dell Christian Preschool.

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Charlotte's backpack peg.
Charlotte’s backpack peg.
New first day of school tradition: cupcakes after school!
New first day of school tradition: cupcakes after school!

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.

Charlotte’s Partay, Pt. 2

We had a month to plan Charlotte’s birthday bash and opted to host the party “off-site” at the Monon Community Center in Carmel since our apartment, while bigger, is still a bit small. We invited our families and friends in the area for some pizza, cupcakes and gift opening. It was a blast, and for being planned somewhat last-minute, it turned out great.

Charlotte got CRAZY spoiled at her birthday party, and we want to thank our friends and family for showing her so much love!

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Again, thank you everyone for the gifts, the love and the birthday wishes!

Charlotte: 11 Months

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Dear Charlotte,

Well, sweet girl, we’re nearing the end of these monthly posts. You are such a big girl these days. We’re seeing less and less baby and more and more toddler.

Like the past few months, you’ve grown in personality and skill, making life with you so much fun. You delight in so many things these days — what you see, hear and do. It’s like seeing the world with a new set of eyes when we’re with you.

You’re pulling up on everything these days and have been starting to cruise along the furniture lately. We think you’re still a month or two from walking, but it’s fine with us if you take your time! You tend to wait until you’ve perfected a move before you make it. For now, you love it when we hold your hands and walk with you.

While your feet may not be doing a whole lot of moving, your mouth certainly is. You talk almost non-stop and are saying actual words at this point, associating them with the objects to which they belong. You’re such a smart little girl; it’s no surprise that your most favorite “toys” are your books

We got some big news this month: Dad got a new job in Indianapolis, and we’ll be moving in just a few weeks. While we’re sad to leave the city, we’ve always known that we wanted to raise you in more of a suburban setting. And fortunately, this move puts us a lot closer to friends and family.

We’re getting so excited to celebrate your first year of life, but we plan to savor this last month of you being an official baby. You’re the sweetest, smartest little girl, and we love you to pieces!

Always,
Mom & Dad

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Weight: 18 lbs, 2 oz
Height: 29 in
Clothing size: 9 – 12 and 12 – 18 month clothing. The 12 – 18 month clothing is a little large so don’t judge us if you see our child in baggy clothes. Baby girl has a long, skinny body so while the 18-month clothes fit in length, they may not fit her around.

Charlotte Likes: Pulling up, cruising, books, sucking on her arm, experimenting with her vocal cords, Mickey Mouse, the Wheels on the Bus, talking and mimicking.

Charlotte Dislikes: Finishing a book, getting in her car seat or stroller from time to time and not being held when she’s in a bad mood.

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Firsts: Cruising, few words and pumpkin patch visit.

Diapers: Still in cloth diapers.

Sleep: Still the same on sleeping too.

Feed: We’re still doing a bottle four times a day followed by solids three times a day. Charlotte loves cheese, carrots, tomatoes, crackers, french fries, macaroni, yogurt, bananas, blueberries, grapes, rice cakes and pasta. She likes chicken most of the time, but other than that, she’s not a big meat eater yet. And I don’t think it’s been mentioned in any other post, but she got her top two teeth during the ninth month. So she now has four teeth total.

Talk: Charlotte’s first official word came in the ninth month too — that is, the first word she said that she associated with something. And that was “clap.” Now, she says “Dah” for Darcy, duck, moo and “ack” for Jack. We’re still trying to teach her to associate “DaDa” with Ryan and “Mama” with me — maybe we should have been animals instead.

Happy ELEVEN months, peanut girl!

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Charlotte had her final head scans earlier this month, and the doctor encouraged us to keep the helmet on until Charlotte’s first birthday — so we’ll have plenty to celebrate on November 15!

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