Friday, July 31, 2009

The little one

What can I say about Charlotte? This child is a JOY. She is funny, stubborn, and oh-so-silly. She is a kid magnet! Everywhere we go kids (and adults too) flock to her, they ask if they can touch her and they follow her around. I'm not sure if it's her squidgy legs, or her nearly bald head, or her huge chocolaty eyes, or the toothy grin she always has plastered on her face, but something about Charlotte draws people in. I've even had 8 year old boys at the park who abandon their games of war to come and sit by Charlotte and pet her, and narrate her every move.

Charlotte is totally my girly girl. She loves dress up, jewelery, baby dolls, and shoes. Everyday she has necklaces on, and it always makes me giggle because she does it herself and then walks around the house like it's totally normal to be wearing 10 strings of beads. She often finds random pieces of clothing and figures out a way to wear them. I joke with Dan that she is either going to be a fashionista or a bag lady because she usually ends up looking like a homeless woman......but maybe she just knows more about fashion than I do!

My girl is also a total love bug. She doles out kisses and hugs all day long mostly without any prompting. And her kisses are all over the place.....if I'm holding her she will kiss my shoulder or arm, if I'm sitting down she will kiss my leg or knee and she also kisses pillows, baby dolls, tummies (she is good at blowing raspberries) and sometimes even her own toes. And her hugs are the arms wrapped around neck squeezing kinds.....the best! Charlotte is a very nurturing child. If Maddie gets hurt or is crying, she is right there to make sure that she is okay and more often than not she is crying as well.....on Maddie's behalf. She takes care of her baby dolls, kisses and hugs them, tries to feed them and puts them to bed. Sometimes she even shares her paci with them, but she always takes it back within a few seconds. Someday she is going to make a wonderful Mommy.....she just needs to learn that you don't throw the babies into bed! :)

Charlotte is a really smart girl too! I know that every parent feels that way about their kid, but I really think she is a smarty. She talks all the time, and knows so many words the newest ones are: juice, eat, bye bye, ta-da, cheese, (in both the food, and picture taking goofy smile references) I see it, and team work. I get cartoon songs stuck in my head a lot and end up singing them all day long and the "team work" is from Wonder Pets......I say whats gonna work, and she says team work. lol She amazes me with what she can understand. I can give her simple directions like-go sit in your chair-and she will walk over to her blue chair and plop herself down. I can also ask her where almost anything is (even if it's in another room) and she'll go get it and bring it to me. She has started to really get into books and she will sit still through 2-3 books, and not baby ones, the books we read are ones that Maddie likes too. She is just now starting to like puzzles, but she isn't very good with them yet. I can not claim that she is a genius though because she still enjoys eating play dough and crayons, and I'm not sure why but I feel like a baby genius would know that those aren't food and don't taste good! :)

Along with all of the fantastic traits that Charlotte has, she is also stubborn and showing signs of a temper. Yes, she is proving to resemble her Mama in more than just looks. lol She has this new face that she makes when she is mad. She scrunches up her face and pouts out her lower lip and makes pitiful whiny sounds. She has also been yelling when she doesn't get way and she'll bend over and hit the floor with two hands and then stand back up to see how I react and then yells some more and hits the floor again. Mostly I just stare at her with a why are you doing that face which generally makes her stop her antics and move on, but occasionally she'll try hitting the floor once more just to make sure I haven't changed my mind. She has also learned that there is water in the toilet bowl and that it's fun to play with, so we have to be very diligent about putting the seat down and closing bathroom doors. Fun!

I spend most of my day laughing at the ridiculousness of my child. She is such a character. It is so fun to sit back and just watch her. Most of the time she plays unassisted by me. I am always near, but she does her own thing with her babies, or her jewelery. She does follow Maddie around a lot and tries to play with whatever she is doing, but a lot of the time she is content to just play in her own world. I love Charlotte so much! I can not imagine what our family would be like without would be a lot quieter, but there would be less laughter and definitely less kisses and I wouldn't give that up for the world!

This is her mad face


This is her cheese smile.
She actually says cheese, and makes this face

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the wrong choice

Life is full of choices.....often you know what the right choice is from the start, but sometimes you don't find that out until you're stuck. Take for instance today.....I drove downtown to take care of a registration ticket I had lovingly received earlier this month. I should have realized something was up from the 50+ cop cars spread along the road going into the city, but silly me I thought they were just cracking down on speeders. It wasn't until I had spent a good 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot that I remembered hearing on the radio a few days ago that Mr. Obama was going to be in Raleigh for a town hall meeting. I finally found a parking spot, made my way through extra special security at the court house and took care of my business. On my way out of Raleigh I took my normal route and came upon Dawson street which they had closed for Obama to travel on and got to sit for 15 minutes in stopped traffic while people waited for him to pass by. Eventually people got the good sense to one by one back up and turn around to get free of the parking lot that downtown had turned into, but I had to drive 15 minutes out of my way and go completely around Raleigh to get home. At least the DA dismissed my ticket and I didn't have to pay $140. Moral of the story: It was a bad choice to head into Raleigh today and next time I drive into downtown I'm going to check if there are any important people coming to town.

Monday, July 27, 2009

hard headed

We had so much fun riding bikes on vacation that we decided to make it a permanent addition to our lives. Dan has had a bike pretty much since I've known him but I needed one. On our date night on Sunday we went bike shopping and I picked out a cute Schwinn 21 speed mountain bike. I REALLY wanted to get a beach cruiser, but it just wasn't practical and wasn't nearly as easy to maneuver on. Our big consignment sale in Raleigh was this week and I did my shopping on Wednesday and picked up 2 kid bike seats for the girls. We also got helmets for Maddie and Charlotte and I must say they are pretty stinkin' cute. So little. Both girls were really excited about their helmets but Charlotte wanted hers off after a very short time. Maddie was walking all over the house wearing hers! I think once we get the bike seats set up and actually hit the road neither girl will mind having a helmet on their's hoping anyway......they won't be going anywhere without their helmet!

Disclaimer: Obviously the helmets are not adjusted
and would be fitted before we ride!

Get this thing off of me!


My tomato plants are finally starting to produce fruit! I was starting to think that I wouldn't get any because they had such a rocky start. I started them from seed and they were looking good and then we moved and it took a while for me to get them into the ground and I didn't really harden them off the right way. I did have 2 casualties and bought plants to replace them and one of the new plants seems to be dead, but the other 6 plants are doing good and all of them have tomatoes growing. I am trying to wait patiently but it's hard.....I am so excited for them to mature so that I can eat them!! Two of my plants are peach tomatoes and will look just like a peach, color and all. Two of my plants are black pineapple tomatoes and will be yellow and black.....these were from my heirloom seeds. The new plants I bought are just the average run of the mill red beef steak and roma tomatoes. This small success with my tomato plants is getting me really excited to have a full size garden. We haven't even started the plans yet, but I know the location I'm gonna put it and I have a neighbor I want to talk to about gardening. She has an a-m-a-z-i-n-g garden and utilizes almost all of her property as garden, but it's really tasteful and pretty and almost looks like landscaping the way she has it set up. We are really lucky that this neighborhood is as old as it is because that translates into amazing soil. In most new neighborhoods the developers come in and take all the top soil out so they can sell it which leaves very unbalanced and nutritionally weak soil that doesn't grow very well. Dan and I will have far less work to get our garden ready and if all the gardens in the neighborhood are any indication, it will be very fruitful. We have also thrown around the idea of planting bamboo all along the back of our property because it grows fast and well in shade and will make a good privacy barrier that won't take over our lovely trees. Bamboo can grow upwards of 16 feet in just a couple years. I can't wait to dig in and landscape our property. I hate the bushes planted out front and want to find something to replace them, and I have lots of flower seeds, but we need to make beds first. Lot's of work to do, we just need some time, some money and a plan....which means that I need to sit down and draw out the yard and where I want things to go and I need to do some plant research. Till then, I am patiently waiting for my tomatoes get red and peach and black and yellow! They are going to be delicious, I can already taste it!

mountain climbing

I don't know how this always happens but I end up with a mountain of laundry that needs to be taken care of. The washing and drying is the easy part, but folding and putting away is way harder for me to stay on top of. Right before we left for vacation I finished about 5 loads of laundry, folded and put it all away, and now, not even a week after being home I have another 5 or 6 loads of clean laundry covering my bed that needs to be attended to. How did we make that much dirty laundry?!? I think the biggest deterant for me and folding laundry is the kiddos. They make it nearly impossible because while I'm folding they are going around to my piles and unfolding them. Either that or they lay around in the laundry and bury themselves inside it. I don't mind that last part because it's cute and doesn't mess up any of the work I've already done, but so many tasks in my life are made more challenging by the little elves that follow me around and undo any progress I make. This cycle of laundry was made more difficult because as soon as we got home from vacation we started with the potty training which pretty much took up every second of our day. Thankfully this weekend was spent folding lot's and lot's of laundry and trying to clean up the tornado that went through our house this past week. I think we pretty much have all our camping stuff put away, and now the laundry is done and bless my sister in law Hannah who came over to babysit last night and cleaned up all the girls toys! You are a brave woman Hannah! I wish I had a better way to stay on top of the household chores. I always tell myself that I am going to do one load of laundry at a time and keep up with it, but it never happens and I end up with an overwhelming mountain to deal with. Does anyone out there have a chart they use to keep organized that you could send me? Or better yet, how do YOU keep up with your house? Kids make any kind of cleaning task take 15 times longer and more complicated. I need a better plan!

Highly embarrassing, but I thought I'd share anyway!
At least it was all clean laundry.
Don't judge! lol :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Baltimore was a blast! The city is really cool and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Amy. I like the feel of a big city and being able to walk to almost everything. One great thing about being in a bustling city on the water is taking water taxis. We had a great time getting to our destinations by boat and seeing a different view of the city. There is so much to explore in Baltimore and we didn't even scratch the surface! I think it would have been a better trip if it wasn't at the end of a ton of driving and camping. Next time we head up to Maryland it will be our only destination and hopefully we'll have more time to explore. We did however eat some amazing food; salmon topped with crab cakes, street vendor hot dogs, authentic Italian pastries, SUSHI!!! The girls rode on a merry go round, (they chose chickens) made huge bubbles and chased after birds. Such a fun time! A big thank you to Amy for letting our loud brood crash at her place.....sorry for the air freshener spill! :)

Great food!

Charlotte is seriously amazing with fork skills

Flowers in the city

Chicken go round

Marching to her own beat

Watch out comes Maddie

Lot's of really cool tug boats

City girl

Sun setting on the city

Amazing painting on the side of a brick building


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Okay, so this is the last blog dedicated to our trip to Ohio.....but don't get too comfortable, I still have pictures from Baltimore that I need to edit and post. On the last morning I got a little time to photograph the cousins together. The only one missing is Norah, but she is too little (4 months old) to be hanging out on the beach, and it was pretty windy and cold. So, here are 3 of the 4 cousins: Hailey, Maddie and Charlotte.

County McCounterson