Monday, February 15, 2016

Dear Charlie: 1 Year

Dear Charlie,

You turned one last week. I am pretty sure I experienced every single emotion that a mom could have about this milestone. I am so proud of the boy you are becoming and these glimpses of your personality and quirky little traits make me smile all day long. You are so stinking funny and you belly laugh at your own silliness. You and your brother can be in the middle of tears and before I have time to calm you both down, one of you does something to make the other laugh. This especially happens in the car or high chair. 

My favorite milestone this past month is without a doubt: YOU SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. The first few months of your life, I told everyone that you were a great sleeper because you were. You would typically wake up twice to eat and quickly fall back asleep. This slowly turned into three times a night and that turned to some nights four or five. Some nights we were both so tired we would fall asleep in the glider or I would just bring you to bed. From the first day of your life, you slept just feet away from me. It wasn't until we took a trip to the family's house in Sebastian and we had three bedrooms to spread out in that you had your own room. You slept wonderfully and only woke up once! We took advantage of that and the first night home we put you in brother's room in his old crib. We were mentally prepared to let you cry off and on but you did so well. You woke a few times but really only fussed for a few minutes and went back to sleep. The best part? Brother slept through it. Most nights, the two of you sleep through the other's cries. Harper loves having you in his room and I'm pretty sure you are happy in there too. 

You are still taking two naps a day. Typically both naps will occur  in your new crib in your shared room but some days you do fall asleep in the car. Your morning nap is your standard 30-45 minute but your afternoon nap keeps getting shorter. You really want to fall back asleep on me after I get you out of your crib. I love the cuddles when it is just us at home but when brother is home it doesn't work out as well. Whenever I don't want you to fall asleep in the car, brother has gotten pretty good at yelling "Charlie, stay awake!" I don't see your eyes Charlie!". It is hilarious. 

You have now been walking for a couple months and as expected that has escalated to running and climbing. I can never turn my back or you will be onto of a chair, table, couch or even your rocking horse. You are beginning to tolerate shoes a little bit better but it is a battle to get them on your feet. 

I believe that you are up to nine teeth in your mouth. Every time that I try to count, you quickly become a snapping turtle.You LOVE having your teeth brushed with your dads electrical toothbrush. It is the funniest thing to see how excited you get. Now only if this would rub off on brother. Your dad is still brushing your teeth when he takes a bath with you and brother. Most nights you love the bath and many nights brother is yelling to get out. Overall it is a positive experience that I believe your dad enjoys. You do like being cradled and soaped up. Its too cute. 

Pretty much anything that qualifies as food is your favorite type of food. Hummus is definitely in the running for your number one. You had a tough ear infection for the first few weeks of January and there were days that all you wanted to eat was spoonfuls of hummus. I had to clearly write your name across the tub. Blueberries, toast, noodles, vegan quesadillas, sweet potatoes, brown rice, vegan mac and cheese, chickpeas and pretzels all qualify as favorites as well. You eat so many more things then I ever would have fed your brother. Both good and bad. I'd put chocolate and popcorn on that list. 

You have become a very happy one year old. Always smiling and giggling. There was one week this past month that you wanted absolutely nothing to do with your carseat or stroller. You fought it so hard. Arched back, kicking and flailing. I would have to distract you with a snack to buckle you up. 

I know you love me so very much. There is no doubt in my mind that that isn't true but the love you have for your dad is so wonderful. The excitement in your face every single time you dad walks into the room is so special. You have a real bond with him and I cherish that. 

We had a wonderful robot themed first birthday celebration with both of your grandmas and a bunch of our friends. You had so much fun at the party and I loved seeing every dote on you. Your favorite moment had to of been the cake. I think that was brothers favorite too. He kept referring to your party as his party. It was pretty cute and you obviously didn't know any different. I loved celebrating you. I definitely stretched the celebration with a trip for soft serve at Disney Springs, multiple rounds of birthday cupcakes and donuts, cheesecake and finally birthday cake. It was perfect. 

This past year has been such a blessing. You bring so much joy to everyone in your life. I am really looking forward to this second year. I know its going to be a good one. 

I love you Charlie Ash. I always will. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dear Charlie: 10 & 11 Months

Dear Charlie,

These past two months with you have been a wild ride. You quickly proceeded with cruising along furniture, standing on your own, teetering to full of walking around the house. We are slowly mastering walking with shoes on. That has been a battle! Your grandparents were in town the first week of December to see some of your first steps. Everyone was so proud of you.  There are moments that I see you walk around the corner and am shocked to see standing there. Harper was the most excited to see you walk. We have been talking about this milestone with him for months and he was beyond ready. He is a proud big brother as long as you aren't stealing his toys or pulling his hair. 

Your newest trick is throwing things. You LOVE to throw the obvious balls, food and brothers toys but remote controls and cell phones get thrown just as often. Thank you Life Proof $90 cell phone cases. 

Intentional face planting on Argos's hairy, stinky dog bed or any soft surface brings you so much joy. Belly laughs from brother and not so happy grunts from the dog. It is absolutely hilarious. I have seen you face plant, roll around and start all over at least a dozen times at once. You always want to make sure someone is watching. 
Big brother loves showing off in front of you. He climbs furniture and jumps which leads to you attempting to climb. I caught you standing on top of one of your brothers toddler chairs the other day. Momma isn't ready for two climbing boys. 

Kid, you love to eat. I'm pretty sure you would spend two hours eating dinner if we let you. You finish your plate and then start reaching for mine and brothers. We keep telling Harper that you are going to be as big as him soon. I believe y'all are only around two pounds different. 

You are still a great crib napper. Most days you take a morning nap that lasts around 45 minutes and an afternoon nap that lasts just about the same. Some days I even get your and your brothers naps to overlap a bit and it is wonderful. I try not to have you fall asleep in the stroller or carseat on a regular basis but for road trips or when we are really out of routine it works out well. You are typically pretty content riding in the car or in the stroller. Give you a snack and something to chew on and I can get at least thirty minutes. Such a wonderful change from when you were little.  

Night time sleeping needs a lot of work but I know we will get there. Your doctors says that I just need to let you cry. Its tough but I think we are all ready for you to sleep longer than a few hours at a time. 

We are prepping for your birthday party. I can't believe you turn one in just a few short weeks.

I love you Charlie Ash. I always will. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dear Charlie: 9 months

Dear Charlie,

This has been a huge month for you! You have become such a speedy crawler! You definitely have your own style but it works for you and is so adorable to watch. It is amazing how quickly you can get across the house. You also are able to pop right up into a standing position and even cruise across the couch or coffee table. All of our absolute favorite activity is walking around the house while you hold one of my hands and of of your brother's hands. You are so proud of your self. I bet you will be walking by Christmas! 

I would have to guess that you have doubled your intake of solids this month. Luckily, your dad's garden is in full bloom to allow you unlimited supply of yellow squash and green beans. After you have had your fair share of finger foods at each meal I then offer you a pouch. For a few months I was unsuccessfully spooning the food to you but now you want to hold it yourself and slurp it right up. You still make a huge mess when you eat! So much food gets stuck in all of your rolls.

We went to the doctor last week for your nine month checkup and a flu shot. Your stats are off the chart. You are weighing in at 24 pounds and 2 ounces. Needless to say, the doctor is very happy with your growth. 

Since you are such a big baby, we had to upgrade you to the next carseat. There was no way I was going to be able to keep getting you in and out of the infant seat. Brother thinks its so neat that you both have the same seat. I know you are more comfortable in it. The only negative has been that when you do fall asleep, I have to attempt to unbuckle and move you or just let you stay in the car. 

Napping has continued to go great in the crib. You regularly take three naps a day. Typically two thirty-ish minute and one around an hour. I figured you would drop the morning nap by now but most days you are awake by 6am and ready for a nap by 9am. The second nap is after your early lunch and then we aim for the third by 4pm. You are able to sleep in the jogging stroller now so when the weather is nice I try to have you take the morning nap outside. 

Nighttime sleeping continued to be rough this month but as we neared the end I saw some progress. You were still waking up every few hours. I try to let you cry for a few minutes and upon occasion you will adjust and get back to sleep but most times the crying just gets more intense and I try to grab you before your dad and brother wake up. 

You are up to seven teeth! Seven teeth you like to bite with. Eeeeek. 

You say DaDa, GoGo and MaMa currently which is so exciting. You are babbling constantly. 

You still like to be carried but don't like to be held or cuddled. I take advantage at night when you are sleepy! 

I love you Charlie Ash. I always will. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear Charlie: 8 Months

Dear Charlie,

I knew this month was going to be a fun one. You love to play and are starting to be able to bounce with a beat. It is hilarious watching you bob around. Any toy that can be knocked over or chewed on is still your favorite. You are so quick getting around in your walker too! Everyone needs to watch out for their toes when we place you in it. You absolutely love it. You are happy in the activity saucer when there is activity to watch. Lately, I have been putting the saucer outside while I chase your brother around or water the plants. You love being outside and the weather has gifted us with a few cooler days this month. 

Drool, drool and more drool. There aren't enough drool bibs and outfit changes to keep you dry. Those darn teeth give you such a hard time. You officially have four but there are maybe another four that I can see. I am unable to get a good look because as soon as I go snooping around you chomp down. You have become quite the biter. Pretty much every single time I pick you up, you try to take a bite out of my neck. I've tried a few different "natural" teething remedies and brands but I don't feel like they do anything. It also appears that your amber teething necklace only makes people think you are a "pretty little girl, with so much hair". Sorry kiddo. 

We aren't sure if it is teething, sleep regression or your overall hatred of sleep but nights haven't gotten any better. Most nights you end up in our bed for a few hours when I become too tired to rock or dance you around. Napping isn't horrible. You typically take two crib naps and another nap on the go totally around 2.5 hours a day. Sometimes more and sometimes a lot less. 

I know you can crawl, I've seen it happen a few times, you just have chosen not to. I am completely ok with that. I know that when I set you down you will be within a few feet of where I left you. You will be mobile for the rest of your life so for now keep sitting an smiling. I have also seen you pull yourself up a few times. All of this happens when you think I am not watching. I am always watching, little one. 

You are such a joy. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dear Charlie: 7 Months

Dear Charlie,

You have become such a happy baby. You love interacting with the world around you. New sights and sounds make you smile and of course anything you can touch goes directly into your mouth. You are now a confident sitter and are content playing with your stacking cups, noise makers or any of your brother's toys. You still hate being on your belly and will scream whenever you wind up there.

Your second bottom tooth cut through this month. Teething drives you wild. You drool through multiple bibs a day, you have to be chewing on something constantly and you are so cranky. Once the tooth is through its no big deal and life is back to normal. Except when you bite me...

Lunch and dinner is a messy, fun time for everyone involved. We are still offering a variety of purees mixed with baby oatmeal  but are now also offering you slices of avocado and roasted sweet potato. You love chewing on carrot sticks, celery and apple slices but that is more of a teething need. You do love grabbing handfuls of your brother's food when his plate gets within your range. 

Your sleep hasn't improved much this month. Part of the blame can go towards teething and your hatred of being on your belly but you also caught your first cold.  Your brother brings home snotty nose germs daily from school, the park and play groups but this was the first to stick. You had a constant runny noise, a brief fever and a cough that stuck around for a few weeks. Laying on your back made breathing difficult and you wanted to be held all night long. 

You are quickly out growing all of your 6 to 12 month outfits. I am hoping when you decide to be mobile you will thin down just enough to get a few more months out of them. You are suck a chunk and I love  it. At this months check up you weighed in at 21 lbs 5 oz and 28 3/4" tall. Your brother better watch out or you will be bigger than him! 

I can already tell that this next month is going to be an exciting one!

I love you sweet Charlie Ash. My little duck. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dear Charlie: 6 Months

Dear Charlie,

Happy half birthday! I really can't believe we have reached the sixth month milestone. I still picture you as your squishy new born self but you have become a strong, chunky boy. 

This past month has had so many important memories. You cut your first tooth! This is the tooth that we have all sworn was going to "come through any day now" for the past two months. It finally cut through and it cut through with vengeance. I keep forgetting how sharp the little tooth is and when you need to be soothed, I instinctively give you my finger to suck on. This loving gesture is quickly taken back when you clamp down as hard as you are able. 

We also started you on organic baby cereal and pureed veggies this month. So far you have approved of sweet potatoes, carrots and peas mixed in with your baby oatmeal. You are finally starting to accept avocado which is a good thing because one tree is currently ripe and our big tree is just weeks away. We have been feeding you in the Bumboo seat and only at dinner but plan on transitioning you into the highchair this month and adding lunch. 

You were baptized this month. It was a beautiful service and so many of your family members were present at the church and celebrated with us at our home after the service. The entire congrigation smiled when the water was placed on your head and you gave the biggest (at the time) toothless grin. You did so well and my heart was so full of love. Unfortunately, I came down with Mastitis in the middle of the night and was not feeling well but I was so happy to have so much help and love all around. 

Your nighttime sleeping is still varied. Most nights you wake up two or three times, nurse for less than ten minutes and go back to sleep without issues. A few nights you only woke up once. There have still been many nights this month that you are sleeping three or four hours the first stretch and then waking up almost every hour after that. I place you in your crib awake enough where you let out a scream but quickly fall asleep and you typically sleep on your back for the first few hours. After that you tend to roll onto your belly, which is fine, until you wake up and start screaming because you are on your belly and normally crammed into a corner of your crib. You are 100% able to roll back onto you back but you don't. I try to just roll you over and not get you out to nurse but somehow you get even angrier. 

You want to crawl so bad and I think that may be part of the sleep issue. You are able to squirm enough to get a toy placed a few inches out of your reach and you can roll multiple times when needed but you aren't crawling. You are able to get your legs tucked in under you but then all forward progress is halted by you face planting. Then screaming... 

You are starting to sit like a champ and as long as you don't get distracted can sit for a few minutes without timbering over. You dad is looking forward to your sitting improving so that we can move past the infant tub and take a bath with your brother. Harper is so excited for that. 

You got to go swimming for the first time this month too. You loved it. We sat you in a baby pool float and you just hung out while brother practiced his swimming. It was so much fun. 

You are such a happy baby. You love to bounce in your Jolly Jumper, be worn facing out, play in your activity saucer, chew on teething necklaces  carried around and kissed on. You do not like to sit still, sit in your carseat or your stroller, nap in your crib or to be set down. You love attention from your brother but hate when he cried. You always fall asleep shortly after brother has left, like you know it is now safe to relax. 

You are a sweetheart and I feel so blessed to be your mom. I look forward to the next six months! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dear Charlie: Month 5

Dear Charlie,

We are halfway through your sixth month but I am now finally rested enough to write about your fifth month. If I had to choose one word to describe our last six weeks it would be exhausting. You hit the four month sleep regression like clockwork. IF we got you to sleep in less than an hour;  we were lucky if you stayed asleep for longer than an hour. Every time you woke up, you woke up screaming. I would nurse you, you would fall asleep and then there was the tricky part of transitioning you to the crib. I know I shouldn't nurse you to sleep but it felt like my only option. Sometimes we would fall asleep in the glider and I would wake, startled by you flinching and realize we had been sleeping for an hour or sometimes two. Every morning around 4:30 I would bring you to our bed and lay with you and pray for a little more sleep knowing that your brother would be up before the son. Your dad had a long six weeks with work and had to be up and gone before Harper was awake making for very challenging mornings and long days. As I knock on wood, you have been back to only waking twice at night... Zero complaints from me.

I think the sleeping troubles added to your daytime hours of upsets. Luckily, those have also seemed to pass but it was back to the newborn witching hours that seemed to last for most of the day. You seemed to scream and scream and scream until I nursed you or tricked you into a nap. It would break my heart but then you would just start smiling again. 

When you are a happy baby you are such a joy. You have the best, goofy laugh. You love to be kissed on and peekaboo is your favorite. The activity saucer has been a big hit this month and so has the Jolly Jumper. Both can buy me 15 minutes to prep dinner, start a load of laundry or attempt a quick workout but most of the time I find myself chugging a smoothy, power eating a salad or eating half a bar of chocolate. 

You are no longer safe set down on raised surfaces because you will roll and roll and roll. Every day you seem to enjoy being on your belly more. You still hate your carseat. Luckily, your morning and late afternoon nap both fall on Harper's preschool schedule so you typically fall asleep on the way to his school.  Harper loves showing off his brother at school to all of his friends. He is always so concerned when you aren't with me.

No teeth yet but necklace teethers are your best friend. You weighed 16lbs 13oz and were 27" tall at our last doctors appointment. He gave us the go ahead to start solids. He is hoping that it might help with some of your tummy troubles and maybe even give me a break. 

I know I will remember the sleepless nights but I hope I also remember your sweet coos and that wild comb over hairstyle you are currently sporting.

I love you Charlie Ash. I always will.