Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Genetics: Part II

Hey remember that time that Charley was only 4 months old and I was trying to figure out who she looked like? (The results: inconclusive) Let's do that again.

First up, Charley. In case you forgot what she looked like. Who am I kidding? This just gives me a chance to share more pictures of her. Favorite pastime, and all that.


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And now us.

This is John around 2 or 2.5.


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I'm not really seeing it John, sorry. Maybe your eyes. Well, the shape. Not the color. Yes, I'll give you eye shape.

And then me at the same ages.


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Here's us all side-by-side, if you need it:

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I'm giving this round to me. What say you, internet? I'm generally not very good at being able to tell who a kid looks like, but I am seeing it a tiny bit more with Charley. Is she a mini-John, a mini-me, a nice mix, or was there a mix-up at the hospital?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

He, Me, We

This post is a 'Division of Labor' post meets 'A Day in the Life' post. Basically, our roles and duties just when it comes to Charley's daily care. I would stick with the title and use the pronouns he, me, we throughout, but if I say "Me get Charley dressed" it would sound as if I'm a cave woman and that's not actually the way I talk, believe it or not. So, we'll use "me" in the title since it rhymes and sounds good and all, but I'll go ahead and use "I" in the blog where appropriate.

Tuesday April 8, 2014

6:40 a.m.  -  I hear John coming upstairs from his morning workout and HE makes his way to Charley's room to turn on her lamp so she'll begin waking up.

6:41 a.m - I go get morning hugs from Charley and begin to pick out her outfit of the day. Today she is going to my parent's instead of my sister's so I know that she will likely get dirty playing outside so I choose clothes that I don't care if they get stained.

6:45 a.m. - HE begins to make Charley's breakfast request of scrambled eggs, while I turn on the TV to a cartoon, another one of her morning requests.

6:50 a.m. - I throw a bunch of toys in a bag to take over to my parent's house. This is not normal since Charley has toys at my sister's to play with.

7:05 a.m. - Charley is done eating so I get her dressed.

7:15 a.m. - HE makes Charley's lunch while I am running out the door, so give her goodbye hugs and kisses.

7:18 a.m. - HE brushes her teeth and puts her shoes and jacket on her.

7:20 a.m. - HE takes Charley down to my parent's house, where she will play all day.

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Not a picture from today. But, I bet pretty similar to what today looked like.

4:50 p.m. - I pull up to my parent's house and greet my sweet girl, while getting updated on Charley's day.

5:00 p.m. - Charley is extra cuddly so I cuddle with her and chat with my mom. Some coloring, cartoon watching, and toy picking up also goes on.

5:30 p.m. - I get us home safely (that drive up the driveway can be so daunting).

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Another picture not from today. I don't think Charley possesses the ability to fall asleep in 45 seconds, although that would be cool.

5:40 p.m. - I begin blowing up Charley's new air mattress to test it out for an upcoming trip, while she helps.

6:00 p.m. - I then go to Charley's room to begin selecting clothing for a vacation coming up, while she plays in her room as well.

6:05 p.m. - John gets home and HE gets his afternoon hugs from Charley.

6:10 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - WE take turns playing with Charley or helping her with what she wants to play with. She plays in her new air mattress bed, she plays at her desk, she pours me some tea.

6:45 p.m. - John reheats some leftovers for her dinner and HE gets her set-up at the kitchen table. (Just realized HE was responsible for all 3 of her meals today. SOMEtimes I take care of breakfast, but for the most part I guess this is the norm. I just never really realized it.)

7:00 p.m. - I let Charley pick out a few temporary tattoos and put them on her.

7:05 p.m. - I turn on the TV at Charley's request so she can watch a show or two before bed.

7:50 p.m. - HE cuddles up next to Charley on the couch and watches some of her cartoon with her.

8:00 p.m. - I take Charley to the bathroom so she can pee and brush her teeth.

8:05 p.m. - I put Charley in her bed and pick out a few books to read tonight. Tonight's choices: Sweet Dreams Mimi, The Curious Cat & Do You See Shapes. None of them are my favorites.

8:15 p.m. - WE give goodnight hugs and kisses and shut the door, and then the gate.

8:30 p.m. - Charley opens her door and talks to John over the gate where HE tells her I'm asleep (WE have to lie to her about this sometimes- she has a hard time going to sleep if she knows I'm available for retucking and all) and then HE goes in to help her back into bed and tuck her in again. She goes to sleep this time.

(Tonight wasn't a bath night, but I did want to add that WE both give her baths - it just depends on the night.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dreher Island State Park

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About a month ago, I decided it was time to kick off the 2014 camping season. The weather was (very slowly) starting to warm up and I want to get some good use out of our camper this year. So John and I found a free weekend, and I found somewhere new to go check out. 

I found this article which listed the 5 best South Carolina State Parks. We are North Carolina residents, but we are so far south in the state that typically the SC parks are closer to us than NC ones. I mapped out each of the 5 parks the article recommended, cross checked them for availability and settled on Dreher Island State Park which was an hour and 45 minutes south of us. None of us had ever even heard of the park nor had anyone else I mentioned it to. 

When we got within a few days of the trip I started checking the weather and it really wasn't looking good. It started out at 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms with possible severe thunderstorms and as it got closer to the weekend it was only looking worse. We debated cancelling the trip altogether but realized that at that point we wouldn't get any money back. So we decided to just go anyways. My parents were coming with us and we'd make the best of it. I went ahead and ordered Charley a new game in case we were stuck inside the camper all weekend and just hoped for the best.

We left Friday after work and went through some showers on the way. Our goal was to get there before the sun set and we just barely made that. Just enough time to set up camp, run out and get some dinner and call it a night. Charley had a really hard time going to sleep that night and turned her light in her bunk bed on and off, and on. And off. And on, and off a million times before John unscrewed the light bulb and she finally relented and went to sleep. So far the trip wasn't exactly the best time we'd ever had.

The next morning we woke up and it was drizzling just the littlest bit and there was a cool fog over the lake.

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We made our typical camping breakfast of bacon and pancakes and the rain cleared up. We took this opportunity to go explore the rest of the park since we were pretty sure the afternoon was going to be rainy again.

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There were three playgrounds in the park but none within walking distance so we drove to this one (and took towels) so Charley could get some energy out. They had the BEST SWINGS which we all enjoyed too.



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We then headed back to the campsite and splashed in the water, did some fishing and fed the ducks. And that major thunderstorm or rainstorm we were supposed to get..NEVER CAME. & to think we were thisclose to cancelling the whole trip because of the meteorologist's predictions. The weather was absolutely PERFECT.

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& let's be real. We also included a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins in our day.

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There were also some trails to hike, but again, none within walking distance. The article that suggested this campground suggested staying in section A of the campground so that's what we did. After visiting myself though, I think we would have had a better time in section B. There was a playground in walking distance and trails. To get there from our section, you had to walk on a main road to cross a bridge that didn't have sidewalks. Um, no thanks. I have an irrational 2.5 year old with me that doesn't care to stay in her lane.

So the next morning we opted to just make our way back home instead of sticking around until checkout time. We had a good little getaway (which was very much needed) and we figured stopping for a good breakfast sounded more appealing than hanging around for a little longer.

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It was a good choice. Cracker Barrel never disappoints in the quality of food (DELISH!) or the number of plates (seriously, why so many plates?) & we were home in time to clean the camper out and get ourselves ready for the week. 

April is VERY busy with vacations & such so expect more of these photo-dump type posts soon. Those of you with whom I'm Facebook friends will especially love that. As if I don't force enough pictures down your throat over there. I can't help it. Have you seen Charley's curls?

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dexter & Walt & Jesse

(If you are still watching Dexter or Breaking Bad, maybe don't read this one. I don't want to spoil anything for you.)

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I'm a late bloomer. Nearly 16 if we are really talking about late blooming but I tend to take my late blooming and apply it to other areas as well. In this instance, I decided to wait 7 years before I even attempted to see what all the fuss was about a certain someone known as Dexter. And my fling with Dexter only lasted a few months, where you non-late-bloomers had 7 YEARS with him. I'm a little jealous of how long he was in your lives, because he was in and out of my life in an instant. So when this came across my newsfeed yesterday I felt a PANG OF SADNESS over missing him in my life. OVER A TV CHARACTER. A SERIAL KILLER CHARACTER. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME?

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Can you even handle that smirk?
 

I used to be exclusive with reality TV shows. Not really the trashy ones, but the ones that you guys were all into 15 years ago and have moved on from. I'm still stuck on those. Amazing Race, Survivor, anddd that's about it. But now that HGTV isn't an option for us since we no longer have cable, we have officially switched over to watching dramas and series that our friends and families have talked about for YEARS. YEARS I confidently (and snottily) told them I only liked reality TV and none of that fake laugh track sitcom stuff. I was wrong. So wrong. There is another category of TV shows with no laugh tracks and I've been missing it. But thanks to Netflix, we are catching up with the times. First my love Dexter, and now Walt & Jesse in Breaking Bad.

When I mentioned way back here that we were watching Dexter I had several comments that people wanted to hear what I thought of the show once it ended. (Most of my blog comments come from sharing posts on Facebook - before you go back to that post and promptly call me a liar) Well I guess I'll finally do that.

John and I saw the ending very differently. John was pissed. I mean, so angry that for a few days afterwards he would tell me that he was just feeling MAD and the only reason he could come up with for his angry mood was because of Dexter. I, however, had to laugh at him because while I WAS surprised, I wasn't angry with Dexter. How could I be? He'd been through so much and had ruined anyone that had been in his life so far. So the ending made sense to me. I was sad about it mainly due to Harrison, but not angry. I had a really hard time with his (lack of) parenting though throughout the show. I know I must have said it a hundred times while we were watching it. "What about Harrison, Dexter? Who is watching your kid?" while he was out taking care of his issue. I guess that was the parent in me talking. But overall I still love him and hope he's content with his new found logging career. (You see? I really think Dexter is out there logging somewhere. I am unable to separate these TV dramas from my other TV love - reality TV. I KNOW Jeff Probst is really on an island somewhere when the show is off the air, so I have a hard time letting myself believe that Dexter is all just a story.)

And now we are coming up on the end of Breaking Bad too. We only have 6 or 7 episodes left and I have a feeling that I'm going to miss Jesse as well. Not to the same extent of missing Dexter, but I'll still miss him. I have felt big-sister protective over Jesse and the way Walt has manipulated him for some time, and now that we are towards the end of the series and Walt has become the antagonist, I feel even worse for Jesse. Don't spoil the very ending for me, but can Jesse please come out of all of this okay? Goodness. Poor little guy. Poor little meth-making, pot-smoking, murdering guy. I feel so bad for him.

So. What's next for us? It needs to a) be on Netflix and b) preferably be something we can watch from beginning to end. I am not into this wait-a-week-for-the-next-episode nonsense.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Everyone Has A Thing

Had I been able to write this post as I laid in bed last Thursday night when the thoughts were flooding my brain, it may have been a lot better. The thoughts more real, the emotion more raw, the sentiment more clear. But I did not type it up then. I just let the thoughts roll over, and over, and over in my mind as I could not drift off to sleep. Anesthesia seems to have an insomnia effect on me.

We'll get to that in a minute.

Everyone has a thing. It's not a thing anyone WANTS and those that have more than one thing are even less fortunate. But we all have a thing that just flat out sucks and it's beyond any of our control. The thing makes you bitter with others that don't have this same thing, makes you say negative things about those that just don't understand your thing, and it can be all-consuming if you let the thing control you. Hell, sometimes you don't have to LET it, it just does. I will say in my case I have been able to keep my thing from controlling my thoughts and general mood. My thing only resurfaces as I let myself think about it - or as it happens again and again.

One person's thing could be that their child refuses to sleep at night, or wakes up multiple times in the night. I know several friends where this is the one thing that is controlling their lives right now. This thing does have the power to control aspects of their lives because sleep deprivation is a very real thing and it's a physical thing beyond their control. I know people with this thing have resented me (unintentionally) for not understanding their thing. I do not have this thing.

Another person's thing could be financial stress. Due to medical bills, every day living expenses, or a multitude of other things, financial stress can easily be a thing. I think the majority of us have had this one at one point or another in our lives and so we can usually relate when this is someone's main thing. But some people will never be able to shake this thing and I really feel for those people as well. Currently, this is not my thing.

Developmental or medical problems with one's children can easily be a thing as well. This is another one that you absolutely had no control over and it's a struggle to find others who understand your thing, and you could easily harbor resentment towards those that don't have a clue about your thing. You don't want to resent others that are excited about their children who aren't experiencing the same things as your child, but you do. It's understandable with your thing. This is also not my thing.

Family drama could be your thing and you could have a hard time seeing close families together. I don't have this thing either.

A poor childhood could encompass a number of things, none of which are my thing either.

Basically, from the outside looking in I must not have it so bad. Charley is a pretty great & easy kid and my family is happy and everything seems to go right for me.

But my thing is something that is very rarely talked about. It makes people uncomfortable. No one shares about this thing. I get both sides - I don't love to share about it either because you inevitably get advice that you did not seek and it could very well not help at all. But I do share about it because it's just my nature. I'd rather get things out then hold them in. It's a coping mechanism for me. Anyways, my thing as it turns out is this: recurrent miscarriages.

I just had my 4th miscarriage (the 3rd one in just 6 months) last Thursday after a very normal pregnancy thus far. This one came as a bit of a shock to me as I really let myself believe this one was okay - which I had stopped just shy of doing with the others. The first miscarriage was prior to Charley, and as you know we went on to have a perfect and darling baby girl after it. Had I not had her, the daunting number of FOUR in front of the even more daunting word 'miscarriages' would be a lot more devastating. She does make it better, but she doesn't make my thing go away.

But if one were to look at my Facebook page or scroll through my blog they could easily be annoyed with how perfect my life seems to be. It's easy to harbor resentment when someone seemingly has none of the things that you are struggling with. But, just know that everyone has a thing and a lot of times that thing bubbles right underneath the surface where you can't really see it.

So anyways, this may not be news to you. I absent-mindedly included both Preggie Pop candies AND surgery discharge instructions in my last post, on top of mentioning miscarriage a time or two before. From here, we wait and wait and wait. And I try not to remind myself that I could've had a baby in May, and then September, and then October of this year had my thing gone differently. Those are the things that really get into my head.

My new doctor's office (which I love and is way better than the last) is running some testing and all, but 50% of the time they find nothing conclusive. We just have to wait and see. I want to say I am confident we will have another child one day and then my thing may be a thing of the past (maybe to give way for a new thing to take it's place) but it's hard to say. How can you have confidence when none of it seems to be in your control? How do you cope with your thing? How do you control those feelings of resentment and bitterness?

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(This is just for those who may be more curious about my actual history. Feel free to email me if so.)

I have had three missed miscarriages and one chemical pregnancy. All three missed miscarriages were discovered at the 8 week ultrasound with a fetus that wasn't measuring as big as it should (the fetus measured right at 6 and a half weeks each time, coincidentally). I took Cytotec for one of the missed miscarriages, and had a D&E for the other two. I debated posting a pro/con for each of those choices since I've been through both, but haven't yet done that and not sure if my regular blog readers are the appropriate audience for that. If that's what you are looking for - email me. I will answer any questions you may have. I know I had TONS of them myself.

They are doing testing after this last miscarriage. I don't know how I feel about this yet and what it might mean if they do/don't find anything, and will revisit this once we get results.

Each time (except the chemical pregnancy) I have told people that I am pregnant and have had to un-tell. Not large scale announcements or anything, but close friends and family. I am grateful that they knew. They can really make the recovery so much easier.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spill It: Part 2

The last time I did this was FOUR years ago. I have been meaning to do it again and actually was refusing to clean out my purse until I completed this, because I wanted a real representation of my the ENTIRE contents of my purse on a normal basis. Sure, it's cleaned up now that I've gone through it all, but I give it 2 days before it gets to be like this again. More purse = more stuff. But smaller purse = less space to hold shoes, bottled waters, and my lunch as I need during the work week. So oh well. I'm in camp big (but not too big) purse.

This is my purse.

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It is my first and only expensive (ish) purse purchase, and I've carried it daily for almost a year now with tons of use left. Only one small spot on it right at the top there. If I ever really spent any time on it I bet I could get it out. But time...ha!

This is the contents of it as of 2 hours ago: 


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And here it is broken down into 2 sections so you can get a closer look/be even more nosy. (no shame! I'm totally nosy too!)


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A. My wallet. Very rarely gets used these days, but does still contain my checkbook and cards that get used less often.

B. My little wristlet 31 wallet. This sucker gets used way more often. At work everything is within walking distance, so usually just throw this on my wrist and go. Is supposed to contain all cash, my work badge, and cards used most often, however....

C. All cash does not always make it in the little wristlet...

D. ...and neither does my work badge most of the time OR my most used credit card. Whoops. It just likes to swim around freely in my purse sometimes so I can panic each time I go to buy something while I dig around for it in my suitcase of a purse.

E. Glasses. Normally a pair stays in my car and a pair stays at home, but I rode with someone else today so I tossed them in too. No, no case needed. These are scratch proof. (and that's sarcasm.)

F. Prescription sunglasses. I've had these puppies for 7 or 8 years. They aren't the most stylish. Hell, they aren't even my right prescription anymore and there is no need worrying about any more scratches on these. They were just floating around in my purse too, but usually stay in my car.

G. Kindle. Again, usually not in there, but due to today's events it was.

H. Um. Today's event paperwork.

I. A list of things I want to do while in Chicago this summer.

J. Random coupons, receipts, and deposited checks.


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K. Headphones. Looks like one earbud is missing. RARELY use these.

L. This starts Charley's collection of things in my purse. These are her sunglasses from Disney World that we did not pay for. Don't ask.

M. An extra pair of undies for Charley in case of Poopmageddon 2.0.

N. Headbands Charley wore out of the house Rambo style that she gave up on and had me carry in my purse instead.

O. CRAYOLA crayons, for use when we are out to eat and the restaurant gives us crappy crayons instead. Ugh. Crayola only, people.

P.  Protein bar.

Q. Let's skip this one. EDITED: Okay, let's not skip this one. Too many people are getting the wrong idea. They ARE Preggie Pops and I have absolutely no reason to have them at this moment.

R. Gum. I don't even chew gum but once a month or so. It's true.

S. Lip glosses, hey! there's my other eyeliner, concealer from Mary Kay that's about 10 years old and I don't use because I'm sure it's way past it's shelf life.

T. Hand sanitizers. 2 smell good, 1 stinks

U. Lotion, tampon, paperclip?, fingernail clippers

V. 2 pens

W. Various meds. Advil, cold meds, cough suppressants, Emergen-C in case of emergency

X. Earrings that didn't make it throughout the whole day when I last wore them. 3.5 pairs

The end! I showed you mine now you show me yours. Do it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Charley is 2.5!

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I am stealing this format from my friend at Live Inside My Bubble because it's been a LONG time since I've wrote what Charley was up to lately, and this format is pretty easy to follow. Thanks Heather!

Charley is now 2 and a half years old. If I had to quickly describe my baby girl, I'd say she's a sweet and polite little southern girl, with a side of bossiness and spunkiness. She's very funny, very chatty, and truly very sweet. Here's what she's been up to recently.

GROWTH
According to my non-official measurements, Charley now weighs 28 pounds and is 36" tall. She's got LONG legs so most of her 2T pants look like cropped pants on her. I purchased a lot of 3T winter clothing on clearance for next year and she's wearing the stuff now. Length is just right, but the waist is huge. She's wearing a size 6 shoe, but I'm buying size 7 for summer. She had such small feet for so long I thought she wasn't going to inherit my big size 9 feet, but now I'm not so sure. We are also still waiting on those top two 2-year molars. I really think they may be coming in now, but I've said that several times over the last year. Ha.

Her hair is still growing and it's amazing to look at the changes in it from the last 6 months or so. It's still very baby-ish, uneven, wispy, and messy, but I am slowly starting to see what she'll look like with an actual hair style. Although a hair style would mean she'd actually have to let me style it, which she refuses. Most of the time she puts on her own headband Jane Fonda/Rambo style and that's all she'll allow. I guess the good thing about having an infant with hair is they can get used to hairbows before they know they can have an opinion about things. Trying hairbows out for the first time on a two year old is less than successful.

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SLEEP
We changed Charley's crib to a toddler bed when sometime in December after a dangling-head-down-over-the-crib-rail incident. I didn't want to toy with possible head injuries, so the rail came off that night and toddler bed it was. Just a few weeks ago we went ahead and bought a twin mattress & box spring for her and she's currently sleeping in it while it's on the floor. (I can't find exactly what I want in my price range for the actual bed yet.) The transition was actually pretty easy, minus a few hiccups where she would get up in the middle of the night and make her way to my bedside and stare at me until I FELT her presence in my sleep. Those were a little frightening and still occur here and there (mainly when she can't find her lovey or something) but that part hasn't been too bad. Once she's asleep, she will typically stay that way until morning.

But, getting her to go to bed and STAY in bed has been a little tough lately. One night after a second consecutive night where getting her to stay in bed was taking 2 hours, I went to Facebook looking for advice on it. Most people said "good luck! it never ends!" so that was a little disheartening. But, the difference is my child is still small and blockable by way of baby gate. So, I put up a baby gate in her hallway. The first night she cried HARD for 5 minutes and that was so tough. It's always worse when they can talk and say MAMA PWEASE COME TUCK ME IN, PWEASE? Hard to ignore those sweet requests. But I stuck with it. And she honestly was asleep in 5 minutes. Each night thereafter has been better. Last night as I tucked her in she asked me if I was putting up the baby gate. I said "yep!" and she said "okay" and went to sleep. Never even opening her door once. I'll still be putting up the gate for a while (we take it down when we go to bed) but glad that the solution wasn't too terribly difficult.

Naps are still very necessary for Charley. At my sister's she will take a nap at least 2 hours long each day, but sometimes even THREE or FOUR hours long. She has never done that for me. She still sleeps in her pack n' play over there and obviously she really likes it. At home on the weekends, it's tough to get a nap out of her at all. If we do, it's because we've tired her out and plopped her down on the couch with a movie on. (Dumbo works like a charm every time!) Or occasionally in our bed with the iPad.

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MILESTONES
I just mentioned Charley moving up to her big girl bed. That's obviously a bigger one since there is currently no (assembled) crib in our home.

Another big one is potty training. She is still doing great with that. I'm guessing at this point it's no longer 'training' but 'trained'. I'll always remember what my sister said to me after Charley's first day being potty trained at my sister's house. She simply said: "You have no idea." She was shocked how quickly it happened...as am I. I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but besides a couple of practice days I did here and there when I had a day off, I used the 3 day method to a T and swear by it. It worked so well that on day 3 I was even able to attempt our first public outing with a potty trained child. No pull-ups, no separate night training or anything. I know I have an easier child, so I'm sure the method doesn't work for everyone. Just glad it did for us! (It hasn't been perfect...let's not forget Poopmageddon)

Charley has been able to count to 10 for a while, but if you ask her to say her ABCs, she almost always sings "A, B, C, X, Y" and that's it. But, I think she's fooling me because if I sing the ABCs and leave out a letter as I'm singing, she can easily fill in the missing letter as I go. So she knows it, I think, just stubbornly refuses to sing it for me. She's not really recognizing any letters or numbers yet but we've never really worked on that either, besides a few times with her foam bath letters.

We also are starting to do big kid things with Charley. We took her to a bounce house place a few weeks ago and have since gone back again and bought a membership. She's still one of the smaller kids there, so I still follow behind her and feel like a helicopter mom while the other moms sit off to the side in chairs and chat, but she is still little and sometimes needs some encouragement to come down the slides and not hold up the line for all of the other kids. Really - that happened. Just sat up at the top refusing to come down the slide. John had to go up and rescue her.

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She climbed up to the top of this wall and just stood there FOREVER until a couple little girls came along and pulled her up to the top. 
FAVORITES
Outside. Outside is by far Charley's favorite thing. No toy or doll or anything compares to just being outside. Every second that she's awake, we are home, it's daylight and the temperature is at least 50, we're outside. If there is water involved she loves it even more.  If we are inside- to be honest- the television is her favorite thing. So she usually wakes up with a show, and winds down with a show. Considering how active she is otherwise, it doesn't really bother me. But we do try and suggest other things instead sometimes. Usual winners: drawing or painting at her desk, reading books, playing Play-Doh, or building with blocks.

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THINGS TO DO
Charley is a gymnastics class drop-out. We signed her up for gymnastics back in October and I think she only went to 4 classes before we called it quits. It was a rush to get there after work and it was just so chaotic. I didn't feel like we were really getting much from the class and thought it'd be better if we just waited a while and came back to it. Charley still talks about 'nastics so I'm sure we'll join again someday, but a class of 15 2 year olds was just too much chaos to be paying for at this point.

Other than that, Charley goes to a church childcare thing once a week while my sister is in bible study and she really loves to go 'pway wif fwiends'. Considering looking into a preschool for a couple days a week next fall since she loves it so much.

FOODS
Charley eats pretty well. Much better than I do myself, but that's not saying a whole lot. She will eat fruit all day long. Any/all fruit is good to her. She's also a big fan of juice even though I know she's not supposed to have much. We originally started giving it to her to help along a certain bodily function and now we just let her have it with breakfast. I hope the juice police don't come knocking at our door.

She only does okay with vegetables. Green beans are her favorite by far. She'll eat broccoli most of the time, and carrots some of the time. She does love salad also. The rest has been hit or miss. But for a bribe ("eat two more bites of asparagus and you can watch a TV show") she'll usually oblige. So it's not that she HATES it which gives me hope for her future eating habits. (Me, for example, could never be bribed for even just a bite or two and still can't be bribed.) To be honest, I think we just don't offer her enough variety in this department.

Every meat is 'chicken' and she loves pasta. Yogurt is her favorite weekday breakfast, and pancakes her favorite weekend breakfast. I have started to try out this for her lunches and it's been so-so. Some recipes have been instant hits, most have not. Did get a few good ideas out of it though.

Other favorites: macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, chicken & dumplings, crackers, & quesadillas. Pretty typical toddler foods, I think.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY
I really don't think Charley has much distinction between immediate family (me & John) and extended family (my parents, sisters & their families & brother & his family). She sees them all so often that I'm pretty sure she thinks they are all her immediate family. I love that. The greetings she gives to my mom (Gaga) each day are better than any greeting she gives to anyone else. Running, arms out, big huge hugs type of greeting.

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Yes, there are words on her shirt. Which is why she's wearing it outside on a hike - play clothes!
Charley has two main friends she plays with most often. Aidan lives a little further away, but we still try to see him every month or two. (He's the one in that picture up there^) Him and Charley are two of a kind. Both love to be outside in the dirt having fun. Her other friend is Ella, who lives locally and we see every month or so too. Charley talks about them both all of the time.

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So that's what Charley is up to these days. Feel free to steal this format (Heather won't mind!) and update me on your littles too. Come on! It'll be fun!