Amelia: 8 Months

DSC_0882

Dear Amelia,

I may not be timely on the monthly blog posts, but at least they’re getting done. Given that you turned nine months a few days ago, I thought it might be nice to catalog your eighth month.

It seems that you’ve decided that you finally like it here. Your demeanor is more happy, you’re more playful and a little less clingy. You love watching the world around you from our laps or arms — and lately, you’ve been wanting to join in on whatever is happening.

With that, you’re becoming a little more laid back, a little more flexible. You’re getting used to our crazy life with our weekends away and play dates during the week.

Speaking of weekends away, we did a bit of traveling this month — first to Evansville for the 4th of July and then to Chicago. It was your first trip to a city that holds a special place in our hearts, and though it didn’t blow you away, you tolerated it pretty well.

We love you so much, sweet girl. Snuggling with you is just the very best — can you always stay that way? We’re looking forward to the next month!

Love always,

Mom and Dad

DSC_0899

Weight: 16 lbs
Height: 27 in
Clothing size: 6 – 9 month clothes

Amelia Likes: Sitting in the exercauser or swing, listening to Mommy’s music (especially Sara Groves), sucking/chewing on baby carrots and looking at herself in the mirror.
Amelia Dislikes: Eating “real” food and getting her diaper changed before nap/bed.

Firsts: Swimming in the lake, visit to Chicago and 4th of July.

Diapers: Still doing medium cloth diapers at home and size 3 disposables.

Sleep: Amelia is still a great little sleeper! She goes to bed around 7:30 pm and wakes up at around 6:30 or 7 am. She still takes three naps a day. Her first two naps last for about two hours, and the final nap is anywhere from 45 minute to an hour long.

Feed: Amelia nurses four times a day and now takes baby food three times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). She is gradually eating more and more baby food, but it still takes about 48 hours for her to finish one 3.5 oz packet. We’ve tried to introduce real solid foods, but she has a really bad gag reflux. We’re working on puffs and yogurt melts as well as drinking from a sippy cup.

DSC_0901DSC_0926DSC_0935

Amelia’s Dedication

On May 15, we dedicated Amelia Rose to the Lord at our church in Indianapolis, College Park. We do not believe in infant baptism, given the fact that we believe baptism should be a choice made once an individual has chosen to follow Jesus. As it is an outward declaration of one’s faith, we believe it can’t be imposed on someone through infant baptism (sidenote: we do not judge anyone for baptizing their baby. The tradition is a sweet one. This is just our personal belief).

So with that, our church/denomination dedicates children to the Lord. This requires parents to present our children to the church and to make a public declaration that we will strive to raise this child so that she knows Jesus and has an opportunity to choose to follow Him all of her days. We do it in front of the church so that our friends there can hold us accountable to the promise we made, but it also implies that they should be personally invested in the outcome of childrens’ faith that attend the church.

We did the same with Charlotte at our church in Chicago, and we were so excited to have this special moment with Amelia too. Both of our parents joined us as well as two of my sisters. Amelia was a sweet, interested girl during her dedication, even listening intently as the pastor prayed at the end of the ceremony. Each child is also given a baton with a message from the church about living for God. For 18 years, the parents hold on to this baton as it is our responsibility to help start and nurture a child’s relationship with the Lord. However, at age 18, we pass the baton to our children — because the responsibility of their relationship with Christ passes to them.

Amelia, we wish so many good things for you — happiness, health and a life without pain and misfortune. But more than all of these things, we pray that you come to know Jesus as your Savior. With Him as the focus of your life, everything else becomes small. We hope that you live for Him and others over yourself. And we pray that you get to experience His saving grace, promises of life and assurances of hope and peace in whatever you face in this life. With Him, anything is possible.

Dedication1Dedication2Dedication3

Thanks to my awesome friend, Sarah, for taking these snapshots for us! We can’t wait to share this special day with Amelia as she grows older.

SB2K16

One of our favorite weeks of the year — spring break! Since I was a little girl, my family has been making the trek down to Ft. Walton/Destin area, and for a while now, we’ve made it our spring break destination. Charlotte and I have gone on our own for the past few years (though Ryan did come down for two days last year), but this year, the whole family went!

I was a little nervous to travel with Amelia. When Charlotte was this age, we went to West Palm Beach, and the trip wasn’t exactly relaxing. Because of that, I decided against going with my family to Florida for that spring break. So I was taking a chance by hauling Amelia down there.

However, she did great! Though her naps were a bit fitful, she slept through the night like a champ. And because Ryan was there, we were able to trade off between being in the condo with her during naptime and enjoying beach/pool time.

She traveled in the car pretty well — though she would fall apart about an hour before we reached our final destination both ways. She definitely wasn’t the only one in the car who felt that way, but her complaints were definitely the loudest.

Again, it was a great week! I already can’t wait for next year — Little Amelia will be at such a fun age!

IMG_9478 IMG_9486 DSC_0350 DSC_0364 DSC_0370 DSC_0388 DSC_0399 DSC_0410 DSC_0422 DSC_0438 DSC_0443 IMG_9499

3 Years: Q&A with Charlotte

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

I meant to ask Charlotte these questions closer to her actual birthday, but with baby prep and arrival, it  got away from me. Nevertheless, the questions have been asked and answered. I hope to make this a tradition with both of the girls (once Amelia’s old enough to verbalize).

It was fun hearing Charlotte’s answers, especially when I thought I knew the answer but she surprised me by saying something totally unexpected. Her answers just go to show that she’s her own person, marching to the beat of her own drum. I love that about her — and I love getting to know her a little more each day.

I may be in the minority by saying this — but three has been my favorite age so far. She loves to cuddle, randomly tells me that she loves me and really shares experiences with Ryan and me. We can have real conversations, she has her own independent thoughts and she’s constantly surprising us. It’s so much fun, and we can’t wait to see what the next few months bring with our Charlotte girl.

  1. How old are you? Three
  2. What is your favorite color? Purple and pink
  3. What is your favorite animal? Lion
  4. What is your favorite book? Little People Christmastime is Here flap book
  5. What is your favorite TV show? Bo on the Go
  6. What is your favorite movie? Brave
  7. What is your favorite song? Dancing in the Dark by Rihanna (It’s from the soundtrack to a kids movie — not letting my daughter listen to Rihanna albums — promise!)
  8. What is your favorite food? Quesadilla
  9. What is your favorite drink? Milk
  10. What is your favorite breakfast food? Cereal and a muffin
  11. What is your favorite snack? All kinds of different candy!
  12. What is your favorite outfit? This one *points to yellow shirt*
  13. What is your favorite game? The Color Game
  14. What is your favorite toy? Stuffed Stegosaurus
  15. Who is your best friend? You *points to Mommy*
  16. What is your favorite thing to do? Feed my baby
  17. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Dig
  18. What is your favorite holiday? Valentine’s
  19. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Steggie — Stegosaurus
  20. Where is your favorite place to go? I don’t know! Target!
  21. What is your favorite restaurant? Chinese food
  22. Where do you want to go on vacation? Chicago
  23. What do you want to be when you grow up? Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) — a few weeks ago, it was a ghost.
  24. What did you do on your birthday? I turned three and I blowed candles out and I ate the icing!

Celebrating FIVE Years!

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. At the same time, I feel like Ryan and I have been married forever — and in a good way. It just feels as if we’ve always been together, like time before our relationship was another life entirely.

It has been a GOOD five years. I have no doubt that Ryan and I will experience many hardships along the way — and we’ve had a few in these five years — but in all honesty, being married to this man is easy. I know that a large part of that is due to God’s faithfulness to us, but it’s also because of who Ryan is as a person. If it were all hinging on me, this marriage would probably be really hard.

Ultimately, Ryan just wants me to be happy, and I see that in the way he tolerates my plans, like digging up every plant in our front and backyard and moving them. Or rehanging photos that he’s hung one or twice before somewhere else. He’s learned very quickly just to be quiet and humor me in the small things.

Yet, when it comes to bigger decisions, he is a great leader for me and our family. I’m happy to let him make those big decisions for me, trusting him completely. And he’s always happy to listen to my input.

So given all of that, like I said, it has been a great five years. And although we would have loved to celebrate with a trip somewhere — just the two of us — that’s clearly not in the cards for us this year. Instead, we enjoyed a simple date night in Indy — dinner, coffee and cake, followed up by a movie.

I love you so much, Ryan, and I thank God every day for you and our marriage. To many, many more years of easy wedded bliss!

 

IMG_7822
Ryan really outdid himself on the bouquet this year!

IMG_7823

IMG_7824
The five year anniversary is wood. Although this wasn’t my present (new nightstands!), Ryan used Jenga to take a walk down memory lane. On each piece, he included a memory, trip or quality that he liked about me/us. It was the sweetest!

IMG_7828

The sentimentality was off the charts this year! I gifted Ryan with our wedding vows that we wrote ourselves handwritten by a calligrapher and framed in wood. 

 

Charlotte: 15 Months

charlotte_15mo

Charlotte,

We had a checkup this month so I thought it would be fun to include a monthly update as you’ve changed quite a bit in the last few months since your birthday.

You’re definitely more toddler than baby now — talking, walking and only taking one nap a day. At this stage, you’re not only discovering but really starting to learn from your curiosity. You mimic everyone and everything (so please, everyone, watch your mouths around Little Charlotte), from our words to songs we sing to sounds you hear.

You can identify the key components of your body, the color yellow and have a vocabulary of over 30 words at this time. We’re pretty sure you’re a baby genius. (Spoiler alert: we’ll probably always tell you you’re a genius.)

hands_15mo

You’ve taken quite a while to really walk. While you have been able to walk for about a month now, you are very particular about when and where you show off your latest physical development. Just last week, you really became more of a full-time walker. But, hey, in all seriousness, we LOVE that you’ve taken your time embracing this new milestone.

Since your birthday, you’ve celebrated your second Thanksgiving and Christmas, both of which you were able to actually partake in this year. We also spent our first time apart for a few days when your Dad and I went to Belize. You could have cared less, but we missed you SO MUCH. We’ve also been traveling quite a bit to Evansville for birthdays and such. You’re still really wonderful (for the most part) at traveling. And finally, we also celebrated our second Valentine’s Day as a family. This time, we actually all got to go out to eat this year. Thanks, big girl!

Charlotte, it is a pleasure meeting all of the pieces of your personality each day. You amaze us with all you accomplish, and we delight in everything you do and say. You’re our treasure.

Love always,
Mom and Dad

feet_15mo

Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 31 1/2 in
Clothing size: 12 – 18 & 18 – 14 month clothing

Charlotte Likes: Walking, reading books, building with blocks, talking to herself, singing, watching Curious George and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, going to bed, eating, Darcy, the Children’s Museum, exploring, shopping and the list goes on and on. Charlotte likes many, many things.

Charlotte Dislikes: Sitting still, having her head touched by strangers and being told “no.”

Firsts: Walking! And taking music and swim classes.

Diapers: We have gone a little lax on the cloth diapering. We still do it the majority of the time we’re home — we’re just not home that often anymore. Not to mention, we were experiencing MAJOR leakage while she slept at night. So we’ve totally nixed cloth diapers while she sleeps at nighttime.

reading

Sleep: Charlotte is still sleeping about 12 hours each night. Her big sleeping milestone was dropping the morning nap at the end of January (14 1/2 months). She’s still getting used to this as she falls asleep more often than not when we’re out running errands or going from one class to another.

Feed: She eats whatever we’re eating for the most part. Only recently did she become a meat eater, and she’s even enjoyed eating cod. But that’s her only fish-loving experience for now. This girl is also still drinking out of bottles. She hates milk from the sippy cup; however, she loves drinking water from them. We’re down to three bottles of whole milk a day — one when she wakes up, one before nap time and one before going to bed at night.

Talk: As I mentioned earlier, Charlotte LOVES to talk and has a vocabulary of 30+ words. Her most-used words are “HI,” “Oh no!,” and “Wow!” She also says “please” and “thank you.” We’ve noticed lately, too, that she understands a great deal of what we’re saying. We have to spell certain words out a LOT — like B-O-T-T-L-E and B-A-N-A-N-A.

Headband removal.
Headband removal.
...and trying to get it back on herself.
…and trying to get it back on herself.

We love you, sweet girl!

Christmas in Indy

I would say that for new residents, we packed in a fair share of Christmas activities around our new city.

It was our first year of chopping down our own Christmas tree, and we headed over to Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville on a balmy December Tuesday. Yes, chopping down your own Christmas tree is just as romantic as one would think…

The hayride out to the Christmas trees.
The hayride out to the Christmas trees.
A Charlotte-sized Christmas tree.
A Charlotte-sized Christmas tree.
...taking it to the next level.
…taking it to the next level.

…until you don’t take proper care of it the entire time it’s in your home, and then you leave for a week.

photo 3-3

I’m a big fan of fake trees, but Ryan always insists on a real tree. The deal is, if we have a real tree, he takes care of it. Well…as you can guess, next year we’ll be purchasing a fake tree.

But it was pretty while it lasted -- blurry photo and all.
But it was pretty while it lasted — blurry photo and all.
The stockings were hung on the antique radio with care.
The stockings were hung on the antique radio with care.
The Lilly House
The Lilly House
Christmas at the State Capitol with Auntie Marge.
Christmas at the State Capitol with Auntie Marge.
Charlotte very warily greeted Santa Claus.
Charlotte very warily greeted Santa Claus.

We also stopped by the Indianapolis Zoo to see Santa, where Charlotte refused to sit on his lap. Santa then suggested that I sit on his lap — of course.

DSC_0348

DSC_0349

Of all the photos we have, there is not one with all three of us looking at the camera. Winning.
Of all the photos we have, there is not one with all three of us looking at the camera. Winning.

DSC_0352

DSC_0355

Finally, Charlotte and I went to the Indiana State Museum to ride “Santa’s train to the North Pole.” This was seriously the best — not only because I got to ride on a tiny train but because that museum is awesome. Who would have thought?

photo 1-4

photo 2-4

Hopefully, next year, we have better luck with Santa, but regardless, she was at such a fun age this year. Can’t wait for next Christmas with our Little Bit!