Sunday, July 31, 2016

Charlotte: 2.5 years

What a wonderful 2.5 years it's been since Charlotte Adeline joined our family.

We are so proud of our smart, imaginative, independent, delightful girl. She brings us such joy!

Charlotte is tall and slender for a two and a half year old. She wears size 2T shirts & shorts and 3T pants. Her shoe size is 8. She wears size four diapers, the same as Asher! We had a quick attempt at potty training back in the spring, stopped after two days (ha!), and expect to try again in the next few weeks. She is very aware of her bodily functions, but is not at all interested in taking the time to sit on the toilet. We will see what the coming days hold :) 

Two things stand out when I think of Charlotte at this age. First, singing. Second, mothering

She loves when we sing to her, and has a TON of songs she knows and likes. Lately, if she has a quiet moment, she will start singing aloud herself. It's the absolute sweetest thing. I love her little voice, and I love that she's really picking up on both the tone and lyrics of songs we sing. Her favorites are Amazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me, and "Lord song" (... the song about the Lord telling Noah to build him an arky, arky ;) ) 

Charlotte also spends a lot of time mothering her stuffed animals. She feeds them food and gives them a bottle of milk, pushes them in her stroller, changes their diapers, carries them in her little ring sling, and puts them to bed. I love to watch the way she cares for them so tenderly, and how she imitates the things she sees us doing. We also catch her mothering Asher sometimes, saying, "It's okay, Asher, I right here with you," or, "Asher, do you need sometin'? I can help you." 

We regularly hear her whispering to her animals quietly, "oh, my girl." At first we thought she was expressing frustration and saying, "oh, my gosh," but then she was talking to Bear and said, "oh, My boy." So now I'm confident she's mimicking a phrase I say regularly to the kiddos. Adorable! 

A few months ago we had a lot of difficulties with Charlotte's sleep schedule. I was afraid she was needing to give up her nap (horrors!!) But we persevered, and waited it out, and tried our best to remain consistent. These days she naps for 1.5 hours each afternoon- usually from 1-2:30, but it's flexible based on what we are doing that day and/ or what time she woke up. She goes to bed around 8pm and sleeps for roughly 10 hours. She often plays quietly in her bed for 30-60 minutes, but she isn't getting out of bed or crying or screaming... Just hanging out alone :) 

Charlotte continues to be a pretty good eater, though she is definitely expressing her preferences more and more. She could eat fruit all day long, and is pretty good at eating vegetables, too. She doesn't eat much meat, but will almost always try new things once before deciding she doesn't want any more. Lunch is definitely her favorite meal! Dinner is usually okay, too, but breakfast is a challenge. Lately I've not been pushing breakfast, I just try to give her a big, healthy snack around 9:30 or 10am. Usually we're out and about at that time and for some reason snacks are more appealing at the park or in the car seat, or on a hike ;) Toddlers, man. Her absolute favorite food is macaroni and cheese, but she also likes French fries, donuts, ice cream, sweet peppers, cucumbers, cherries, and frozen blueberries. 

A typical toddler, Charlotte has strong opinions about what she wears and how she spends her time. She likes to be independent and gets SO frustrated if we try to do things for her that she has proven able to do herself. A funny example: 

Today at lunch she said, "I want some cherries. Dad, please pass 'em to me." 

Joel said, "I need to take the pit out, right?" Then he reached his hand into the bag of cherries to grab a couple for her.  

She yelled, "No, Dad!! I can do it! Please pass bag to me!!" :) I calmly told Joel that Charlotte knows how to remove the pit from her own cherries, and he passed the whole bag right over. :) :)

Being this lady's momma presents some challenges, and I lose my patience regularly. By bedtime I am exhausted and I start each day feeling the weighty responsibility of raising her well. But Charlotte is absolutely amazing, and I love her so much. 

Little worm, you are my best girl. You are fun and funny and kind and brave. Your smile lights up my world, and I cannot imagine life without you in it. Xoxo, Momma. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Asher: nine months old

Growth/ development: Asher weighs 21 pounds, 2 ounces. We don't know his length. He wears size four diapers (same as Charlotte!) and his clothes are mostly 12-18 months. 

This was a big month for Asher's mobility. He can now army crawl all over the house!! Just this week he mastered going from sitting, to laying on his tummy, back to sitting again. One morning he wasn't falling asleep for his nap so I went in and found him sitting up proudly in his crib, after I had laid him down on his belly. So cute!!

We think Asher is starting to wave. He uses his right arm and waves it in the air happily, often upon greeting someone. 

Asher also "says" HIIIIIIII, and DADADADA and MAMAMAMAMA. ;)

Sleep/ schedule: this was the best month for sleep, I'd say. There were a few nights with significant interruptions, but the naps were just so, so good. Once our boy transitioned to two naps, he has been very consistent. Normally he naps from about 8:30-10 (earlier if he wakes up before 6am!!) and then again from 1-3pm. He goes to bed by 7:00, but once he got the two nap thing down he didn't need any more 6pm bedtimes- what a relief!! 

Asher likes: being mobile, playing outside, eating food at the table, chewing things, splashing in the baby pool (or sink! Or tub!), talking to people, following Charlotte around, taking things out of boxes or baskets, and so much more. 

Asher doesn't like: I can't think of much he doesn't like. Maybe being contained when he wants to move around...? I think that's about it. 

Parenting: being this boy's mom is the best thing ever. He is the sweetest, happiest, funniest babe in the world. I love him so much it hurts. 

One very difficult thing this month has been nursing him. Due to a poor latch, his bottom teeth have done quite a number on my skin, leading to some really deep, nasty cuts. I'm feeling ready to be done with nursing, because it's causing me such pain, but it's such a huge part of both of our days (and nights) that I can't imagine not breastfeeding him. He did start taking a bottle of pumped milk for me last week, so that could help the process a bit. It's frustrating and sad to me that things have taken such a bad turn recently because the first eight months of feeding Asher were so smooth and easy. 

Other than that, parenting Asher is an absolute gift. Happy nine months, baby boy. We love you so very much!