Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Big Wheels Keep on Turning

Look who's riding big brother's tricycle!
So proud!

Does this mean she's not a baby anymore??

Monday, December 19, 2011

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

 As I mentioned earlier, I couldn't get it together for a special Christmas card picture, so we ended up using one from the beach. 

I LOVE this picture of the kids and the phrase "oh what fun" seemed really appropriate because it was such a fun memory AND it is a lyric from Barrett's favorite carol, Jingle Bells (he especially loves to shout "...one horse open sleigh, HEY!"

We had sundaes with Santa at the DZ house~~  the kiddos made Christmas ornaments, met Santa, and ate sundaes (well....just the toppings really; Charlotte ate teddy grahams and Barrett ate gummy bears)
Charlotte sat on Santa's lap and whispered her wish list in his ear (a baby doll)

 Barrett was less enthused about standing still for a photo-op, much less sitting on Santa's lap, but I'm pretty sure Santa knows that Barrett wants a train set for Christmas.  I don't think he was afraid of Santa, he just had other things to do, like playing with another little boy's matchbox cars.  I mentioned to Santa that some of his own matchbox cars might also come in handy.

We made a fun night-time visit to the zoo to see their Christmas lights~  At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, it is DARK at the zoo at night, and you really can't see any of the animals.  I guess they don't have much need for outside lights since they are normally only open during daylight hours.
Kristopher, the kiddos, and the TRAIN!!!  A favorite.  Obviously.
 It was fun to stroll around and look at all the lights~ they had hot chocolate, reindeer games, and carols.  Very festive :)
Reindeer
We even squeezed in a rare date night to the symphony to hear their special Christmas concert~~   This was SUCH a fun date -- there are few things that will get you in the Christmas spirit like hearing an orchestra play Christmas music, new and old.  I hope we do this again next year. 
All in all, a very merry holiday~

Weekend Fun

The weather is unseasonably warm for December, don't you think?  
 Even though I expect warm temperatures in the South, it almost doesn't feel cold enough for Christmas.

BUT, the major upside to the mild weather is that we can still run down to our neighborhood park so Barrett can run off some energy before his afternoon nap and let Charlotte play on the swings.

Wheeeeeeeee!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Monogrammed Christmas Ornaments

Guess what??  Jenny from Seamingly Smitten asked me to do a tutorial on her blog for her Sew Crafty Christmas feature!!  After I recovered from shock, I started thinking about what to post...

Jenny makes the most adorable sewing patterns that are easy enough to whip up during naptime.  Remember Charlotte's fur swing coat??
Took about 30m. 
It was so easy, I made one in all white too, during the same naptime
I think she likes it :)
And she wears them all the time!
AND, she just re-worked this pattern for women, so you can make one for yourself too!  (Kelly, I'm looking at you....)  In fact, her women's ruffled collared cape pattern just hit NUMBER ONE on youcanmakethis.com!  Yay Jenny!

Seriously, Jenny has the cutest ideas that are so approachable, even to a beginning sewer.  So, what could I possibly do for a blog post?  I was worried about looking like a fool with my beginner ideas...

Although I almost did a post about Barrett's train fort (coming soon...), I finally settled on monogrammed Christmas ornaments.  Personal and festive, right?  And you can use whatever leftover fabric scraps you have on hand.

Extra toile fabric from Charlotte's nursery made the perfect ornament for my Little Miss
Although I kind of stick out like a sore thumb as a newbie among sewing experts, it was still fun and a great way to get my creative juices flowing.

See my post here and be sure to check out her blog and sewing patterns while you're there!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Card Outakes

I tried to get a good picture of both kids in their Christmas outfits ~ perfectly timed their full tummies with clean outfits and well-rested dispositions...
But, it just didn't work out.
Barrett thought I was hilarious ...
Charlotte?  Not so much.  She preferred the gingerbread man ornament I was originally using to distract her.
Don't get me wrong -- I love these pictures!
Just not what I had in mind for our Christmas card.

For the Record

Whew!  So much has been going on lately, that I better get this all out now, because I know I won't remember it all by the time I get around to putting it in the baby books...
Here's what the kiddos have been up to lately~ aside from pulling ornaments off the tree and taking bows off presents:
Charlotte said "Mama!"  Warms my heart so much, I can't even tell you.  She babbles all the time and even strings together two words occasionally.  She also seems to use words in the proper context, like "night night" (aka "ny ny") when we put her down and calling me "mama" and Kristopher "dada."  It could just be a coincidence, but I chose to believe this is obvious further evidence of her exceptional-ness :)

She is crawling all over the place -- REAL baby crawling on her knees, not just army crawl -- and especially on carpet, where she can get traction.  She can even stand by herself for a few seconds, at least until she notices that you aren't supporting her anymore, at which point she plops back onto her bottom.

She loves shoes.  I could insert some kind of budding fashionista joke here, but the thing is, she loves to chew on shoes. 
Er...not quite the same. 
Specifically, she loves to put the ends of my high heels in her mouth, but she'll take Barrett's tennis shoes or Kristopher's boots if she's in a pinch.  Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.  Obviously, I keep the closet door shut when she's in our room so she can't crawl in and have A Big Time, but the real conundrum is that I can't just kick off my shoes in the living room/kitchen/wherever anymore.  On another note, She also shows a consistent preference for leopard print.  Girl after my own heart :)

Barrett has become a climbing monkey.  Although not a unique toddler characteristic, obviously this is problematic.  After a few harrowing days of Barrett using the kitchen step stool or the chairs from his wooden table set to climb onto the kitchen counter tops and wreak havoc on my nerves, we decided to relocate said furniture to avoid catastrophe.  It is working...for now. 
Our friend, Leighton, always pays special attention to Barrett and has now taught him to say goodbye in five languages!  Every time she leaves they go through the same drill...
Leighton: Bye Barrett!
Barrett: Bye AyeTon!
Leighton: Au revoir!
Barrett: O-Ree-Vah!
Leighton: Adios!
Barrett: Ah-Dos!
Leighton: Aloha!
Barrett: A-O-Ha!
Leighton: Ciao!
Barrett: Chow!
Leighton: Sayonara!
Barrett: Say ara!
Leighton: Umm...that's all I can think of right now...I'll have a new one next time!
Ever the patriot, Barrett can say the pledge of allegiance.  He put his hand over his heart during Saturday morning pancakes and started saying the words.  Then, he started singing and clapping his hands.  Kristopher and I looked at each other ... "does that sound like the pledge to you??  Where did he learn that?  And what's that song at the end??"
Well, a quick glance at his mother's day out schedule reminded me that they say the pledge followed by a "morning song" which turned out to be "This is the Day That the Lord Has Made."  I am amazed how much he can learn two mornings a week (and ... maybe .01% hurt that I wasn't there to teach it to him myself, but 99.9% proud that he is becoming more independent and is healthy enough that he can go to a MDO program!)  What a big boy!




Friday, December 2, 2011

Fireman in Training

To Barrett's extreme delight, we stopped by the fire station near my parent's house.  
 I have fond memories of my dad taking me and my sister to the fire station near my grandparents when we were little.  The nice firemen let us ride in the firetruck and even run the siren.  Of course, my grandfather was mayor of the small town and the fire chief was my dad's college roommate, but surely all firemen are accommodating and don't mind showing little kids around the fire station with zero notice....right???

Well, my dad WAS right!  The local firemen were happy to give Barrett an impromptu tour and even let him try out the new firetruck~

Barrett even received a "Junior Fire Marshall Certificate" and a fire safety coloring book.  I'm telling you, the fire department really has their act together!

We will now make it our business to frequent other fire stations back home too.

Now, all he needs is a Dalmatian.  Maybe we can paint spots on Sassy...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Milestone Moment: Charlotte's First Tooth

On November 27, 2011, Charlotte had a major breakthrough -- literally!  Her first tooth finally popped through her bottom gum line, like a tiny little pearl.

Sweet buttercup wasn't even notably fussy, aside from having trouble settling into bedtime the night before.  I don't want to brag too much because I KNOW that will come back to bite me with future teething, pun intended.
 
Yes, believe it or not, these are the best pictures I could get of the new tooth.  I know you can't really see it...
I'll try to update with better pictures.  Santa is bringing me a BIG GIRL "real" camera and I just know I'll be able to take better pictures!  Can't wait!
Now she has a whole new spectrum of culinary options ahead of her~
Am I allowed to teeth on my crib??
Here's hoping for the most pain-free teething possible!



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Milestone Moment: Charlotte Can Stand

Imagine my surprise when I went to get Little Miss one morning...

 And she was standing up to greet me!!

What??  She looks so BIG standing there like that!

I knew this milestone was just around the corner because she is starting to transition from scooting to crawling and tries to pull up on furniture, my legs, Sassy, you name it.  I even caught a peek of her standing in the pack-n-play at my parent's house over the video monitor, but until November 25, 2011, I hadn't seen it in person!

Now, she greets my this way most mornings, and I can't think of a sweeter way to start our day :)

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Milestone Moment: Barrett's Second Haircut

On November 18, 2011, Barrett got his second-ever professional haircut. 

Um...mama?  Are we sure we want to take hair advice from the man with the ponytail??
 Even though the first haircut is usually the major "milestone," this was a big deal too because it had been nearly a YEAR since his first haircut.  I'd just been trimming up the ends myself and it was time for another professional cut.
What is he doing to me???
Barrett was VERY apprehensive, but didn't cry at all.  Of course, we were armed with fruit snacks and juice, which helped tremendously. 
All done!

The cut is a little shorter than I anticipated, but it will grow out soon.  What a big boy!!! 

Milestone Moment: Snack Cup

We've had several important milestones lately, so brace yourself for a whole series of Milestone Moment posts to catch up!

Charlotte Can Feed Herself!

Around early November, Charlotte started feeding herself from her snack cup! 


This is a life-changing milestone for me too -- now I can bring along pacifying snacks when we are out to run errands, at the doctor's office, in the jogging stroller, on long car trips...you get the drift. 

It is SO nice to be able to give her something to occupy her little hands and appetite, even when I can't be holding her.  My little lady is growing up!
So proud!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cargo

We all know that Barrett is somewhat obsessed with truck and trains.  Or, as his sweet teacher says, he's "possessive" with certain trucks in the classroom.  We are working to remedy this "possessive" streak and are enforcing a strict sharing policy at home.  If Charlotte is playing with something first, Barrett is not allowed to snatch it from her. 

In attempt to circumvent our efforts, Barrett has started stockpiling his favorite toys in the back of his dump truck and pushing it around with him.  This way, he won't have to share, because the favorite items are safely within his truck, which he keeps at hand at all times. 

Usual truck cargo: other trucks, the train puzzle piece from his sound puzzle, the tiger from his zoo, sippy cup, Christmas ornaments, any shoes, the jingle bells that are supposed to hang on the front door handle, etc.

In a new twist, he has also started appropriating items that are NOT within his purview, but that he covets and loves to play with even more than regular toys, probably by sheer virtue of the fact that they are off limits. 

For example, in the last two days, I've found: a cordless phone, remote to the bedroom TV, my cell phone, and the baby Jesus from the nativity scene. 

I'm really worried that baby Jesus might permanently go missing from the manger and be suspiciously replaced with a handful of goldfish.  I don't mean to make a blasphemous joke...that is a pretty realistic scenario.  This dawned on me yesterday as I automatically ran to the Tonka truck when I heard the phone ringing.

But still, his favorite cargo, hands down?
Tickle, tickle!

Hold tight, Char-du!!

Editorial sidenote: Barrett habitually calls Charlotte "Char-du" -- I guess as an adaptation of the nickname Kristopher uses - "Charlotte Sue," even though her middle name is Vivienne.  I know.  None of this makes sense.  But what can I say??  I call her Buttercup or Bunny more often than Charlotte so I don't really have room to talk.