Monday, April 17, 2017

charlie, one year.

How strange to type "one year" in the title of this blog entry. Baby Charlie, you are not a baby anymore! You are our spunky, busy, funny, naughty, and sweet toddler!

The last month has been bursting with business and change! You got to see some familiar faces in person for the first time when Uncle Andy & Auntie Cheryl came to visit us in Tennessee. You took your first steps while they were here, from Uncle Andy's to your Daddy's arms! You took your third plane trip to go to Orlando where we spent the last part of our time with them exploring the world of Legos and Harry Potter. And while you got plenty of attention from your doting Aunt & Uncle, you did have to share them with the one who'd been about to burst waiting for their visit to arrive.

The amount of baby tricks you can do these days is staggering. You are saying so many words now! Finally "Mama" is on your list. "Pappy" & "Gaga" are on the list now too. This made for some very happy grandparents! A few other new Charlie words-

-"Blooo-ba" (blueberries)
-"Byyeee-Bye" (in the most southern baby dialect you can possibly imagine)
-"Bipe" (when you're ready for another bite)
-"Bat-bat" (when you've snagged Henry's batman figure)
-"Pep-Pep" (Preston)
-"Guuuuu" (anytime you see Gus)
-"Poo-poo" (yay)

You pretend to take our picture and you pretend to blow your nose. You adore being on the trampoline. You ride your Rhino all over the living room and kitchen. And you've decided that Pappy meant for you to ride the horse he made for you every day, and you do. You point to your hat once you've mounted your steed. Although you rarely keep it on.

You are still a huge pet lover. Gus is still the only one who will tolerate you (no one knows why). You watch every move he makes, especially if he sneaks out the window.

You are a climber! Henry never climbed anything when he was a baby/toddler, so I was caught a little off guard when I saw you climb up onto the couch this weekend! And heaven forbid we leave the dishwasher door open. It is just the right height for naughtiness. We've found one activity that will keep you highly entertained and out of mischief for a minute-

You are still a really good eater. You love just about everything we've put in front of you. Blueberries are a favorite this month, along with watermelon and hummus. You still love eggs, bananas, peas, and oatmeal. You are not a fan of cow's milk or almond milk, but love yogurt and cheese. Yogurt is always a major undertaking because you insist on holding the spoon and your aim is questionable at best. Your party isn't until this weekend, but on the day of your birthday we got you a cupcake to celebrate. I have never seen you eat more precisely in your life. Hopeful dogs were disappointed at the lack of crumb dispensing. The whole time you were eating your cupcake you kept pausing to clap. Ha!

Last week we meandered out to the yard to take a couple of sets of one year old photos. The first set might be my favorite, because you are wearing your big brother's shirt from 5 1/2 years ago.

I also wanted to do some photos with you holding one of the big "1" balloons. I let Henry talked me in a pink one. (It's like I don't even know myself anymore.) But that balloon is your favorite thing in the world! You drag it all over the kitchen and we hear "boon! boon!" on repeat. And even I have to admit that the pink balloon was kind of perfect-

Charlie, we cannot believe you are 1! We can't imagine our lives without you! Your arrival turned Henry into the best big brother we could have imagined for you. Your Daddy is most certainly wrapped around your finger and, I only imagine, is in for more trouble than he knows. You keep us busy, challenged, exhausted, laughing and in love! You are funny and busy, mischievous and sweet. Happy birthday our sweet girl! We love you, Charlie-girl!

Monday, March 13, 2017

charlie, eleven months.

The realization has hit me like a ton of bricks. We have less than a month left until you ditch the title of "baby" and magically transform into a toddler. You are eleven months old, Charlie! Your first birthday is barreling towards us so quickly. While some of the nights (and days) along the way have seemed very long, this has been the fastest 11 months of my life.

In the last month you have turned into a total chatterbox. You sit and "read" your books and it is just the sweetest thing anyone has ever heard. Daddy gets most of your vocal attention. At first you called him "Dee-dah! Dee-dah!". Now he's Dada, and it is of course your favorite word. My favorite thing you say is "cheee-tahhh". You're trying hard to say dog and cat. We went over to Corinne's a couple of weeks ago to see their newest farm babies and you stood beside them and said "chi-chick". When we're eating and you want more you'll sometimes say "biiiii!" (bite). You've said Ro-Ro, Yaya (Layla) and so far just call me "ba-ba". Still working on that "m" sound, ha! That's okay, I'll wait.

Your latest trick is that you've learned to blow kisses. Amazing. You can point to your belly, your hair, and your nose. You love to sit on the trampoline in my lap while Henry bounces. You love to put things into a container then pour them out. And repeat. And you still love to squeeze yourself between any two pieces of furniture you can.

You love all the pets in this house. Floppit flees when she sees you coming. Layla begrudgingly lets you pet her, but only so she can sit next to me as well. Gus puts up with all kinds of nonsense from you, and just rolls over to let you pat (or pull the fur off of) his belly. But Preston is not a fan. You keep trying although his answer is the same every time.

You made your second trip up to Ohio last month. We went up with Gaga, Pappy & Henry to celebrate Evy Ruth's first birthday! It was so much fun to watch the two of you together!

You've decided that these two folks are definitely some of your favorites.

You make our days brighter, Charlie Anne. What ever did we do before you? Happy eleven months!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

charlie, ten months

Dear Charlie-

You sneaky little baby. Somehow you've managed to transform into a ten month old when I wasn't looking! My mommy brain can hardly comprehend the fact that we're on the rapid countdown to your first birthday. Each day you get livelier and funnier. You love to explore and get into everything that you're not supposed to. You find new and unusual (and naughty) places to play, especially in the bathroom.

You still love Gus and the feeling is still not mutual.

You're an expert bubble blower. It's pretty impressive, to be honest. You open that little mouth and say "maaaa" and look just like a little bullfrog, every time.

You do the funniest little thing where you sit on your bottom and use your feet to spin around in a circle. You still love to "give lovings" to people, especially to your Daddy. You light up when he comes downstairs at the end of his workday. You've (unfortunately) learned to climb those stairs too. You have FINALLY gotten over your stranger danger (you know, that's been going on since you were two months old) and you will let other people hold you!! Some days you eat like a teenage boy. The other morning for breakfast you ate an entire bowl of oatmeal and a banana! The day before that you ate three scrambled eggs. Hungry girl! We really haven't given you any food that you just won't eat but eggs, strawberries, bananas and green beans are favorites. You love to drink water with a straw, even Mommy's LaCroix. You take two naps a day- usually a couple of hours just before lunch, then a shorter one later on. You do so well with putting yourself to sleep. You usually go to bed around 7 and most nights we don't hear a peep out of you until 4-5 am when you will sometimes wake once to nurse and go back to bed. The last three nights you've skipped that early morning wake-up and waited until 6:30!

You're still not walking, although I have no doubt you have the physical ability to do it. You just haven't psyched yourself up mentally for it yet. You spend at least 50% of your day pushing the chairs and barstools around the kitchen and living room to get to where you want to go. You crawl so fast these days you're like a blur. We call you "baby slap-slap" because we can always hear those hands smacking the floor when you're on the go. On warmer days you love to go to the park and get pushed in the swing. It makes you laugh your head off. You love when we go next door to visit so you can try to stick your fingers into every orifice of Hudson's face. You love to be upside down and are so ticklish.

Happy ten months, Charlie-girl. You light up the world with joy and the world can't help but smile right back at you. We love you!

Monday, January 30, 2017

living room makeover!

A few weeks ago I sent a text to my friend Molly. In the text was a photo of my pitifully bare mantel and the blank wall above it. It's been that way for two years. Ridiculous. I just could NOT figure out what to do with the space- or the living room in general really. But Molly- this girl has an eye for decorating. I remember falling in love with her historic farmhouse the minute I walked in. It has old mixed with new, beautiful textures, amazing style in general. You walk in her house and you just want to settle onto the couch with a cup of coffee (or glass or wine, ha) and let your eyes wander from one thoughtfully designed area to the next. So I knew she was the girl to ask.

Somehow the quest for something over the mantel turned into a discussion with Molly about what my goals were for the living room. And a pinterest board of ideas. And an amazing group of sketches that Molly did to show me what the room could look like. I was instantly sold. And since I'm about to turn 40 (and figured that SURELY could be used for leverage) I sweet talked Mr. Zuill into funding this design adventure. I quickly sold our couch, lamps, tables, & rug. Gave the coffee table to a friend. The walls that were previously "relaxed khaki" got a fresh coat of "revere pewter". Will swears we painted the walls the exact same color they were before but he's also admitted to being pretty colorblind in the past, ha.

Yesterday Molly came over, her suburban loaded to the brim with her wonderful finds. The four of us were gently herded upstairs to the bonus room where we watched a movie and played and waited to get the green light to come downstairs. I've watched those home makeover shows where people cry when they walk into a room that's been done for them. I had NO doubt that Molly had worked magic in that room, but I was surely not going to cry. Wrong. Totally teared up. It's amazing how having such a thoughtfully designed and beautiful space can affect your mood! This room just makes me happy!

A few before and afters- I still can't believe it.

This room is just perfect for us. And these accent chairs? Molly wove those chair seats herself with material she ordered from the Netherlands. Shut the front door. Blown away. And those two big photos of my kids on the wall, taken by my ridiculously talented BFF, Sarah B. Gilliam. There are so many special parts and touches in this space that I just adore.

I adore this little part too, but she was not too happy about not having my full attention.

So yep, there you go. An entire blog post about my new fabulous living room. I feel it's totally justified. Molly, my friend, your talent is astounding. I seriously don't know how I will EVER be able to thank you enough for all the time and energy you put into this! If anyone needs help with a room transformation, she's your girl! But maybe don't give her a call until we get finished with my bedroom, ha!