Saturday, January 28, 2012


Well hello there little ladies.

This is our fellow Jayhawk fan Emma. She's so stinkin cute!
Her parents invited us over to watch the KU game with them.
The anticipation was too much and by the time we got there Emma had decided to nap....through the whole game.
And Charlotte didn't do much better. I think she made it to halftime.
Which turned our planned 3ish hour playdate into about 5 hours. Thank you Krissy and Eric for being such great hosts!

What? We lost?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We have a lot of good days.
And our fair share of bad.
Tonight, oh tonight was bad. In all caps.

C and I get home by 6 each evening with one goal: To get dinner on the table by 6:30.
30 minutes. But it seems like an eternity. For a little girl who has just spent 9 plus hours away from home spending an extra 30 minutes entertaining herself while I cook is too much to ask. And juggling hot pans, flames, and sharp knives there's no room for a one year old underfoot. And so a tantrum was born. And 30 minutes later was still going.

So I sat down to eat. By myself.
A mere 5 feet away sat a screaming-can't-catch-her-breath toddler. I contemplated removing myself from the situation, eating my dinner in the laundry room while perched on the washer, but what does that do? (Besides remind me of the mountains of dirty clothes that need washed. And that I need to by detergent) So I sat. And ate. In anything but silence.

Hoping and praying that I was playing the right parenting card. Showing her that bad behavior will be ignored, not rewarded. Success? Not exactly.

Eventually after an entire hour of this and long after my dinner was gone and my sanity shot she stopped crying for approximately 15 seconds. A small window - I was ready for this moment. So very ready. I jumped up from my chair and took a slice of orange that I had been saving just for this moment and handed it to her. All was right with the world again. I talked to her. Tried my best to get her all calmed down and then walked her to her highchair. Where she slowly ate her dinner between residual sobs.

Just goes to show that we're not all rainbows and unicorns all the time.
Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bath Love

Now days when you ask Charlotte how old she is she'll hold up her left index to form ONE. Only her left.
She's growing up. Right before our eyes.

And then there's this.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sick Days

It started with a fever Sunday morning. And then came the rash.
Hand Foot Mouth Disease. That's what the doctor calls it.

Apparently a highly contagious virus that will last a week or so. There's nothing that we can do to speed things along or relieve the pain. Just "let her eat whatever she wants" and "keep her hydrated". Good thing Mr. Haigh makes an amazing vanilla bean ice cream.

As an obvious course of action we pulled her out of daycare (Hello, my daughter has what looks like face herpes, can she play with your kid?" I think not) and are keeping her home for the week. As fate would have it Troy isn't traveling so we can split the stay-at-home-with-sick-baby-days between us. And judging by the pics I get throughout the day she's soaking up her Dadda time. Naps together on the couch, furniture rearranged to make obstacle courses, etc. She's got it pretty good.

To make matters worse we managed to leave more than an AA advantage card and a couple of toys in TX. We also left them HFM disease. Ugh. Sorry Woods. We're a generous people.

Monday, January 16, 2012


And Texas makes 6.
6 states and a little over a year old. We're setting the bar pretty high for 2012 travel.
This past weekend our good friends the Woods took us in for the weekend. 2 families that are so dear to our hearts and we had an entire 4 days uninterrupted with them. No work. No plans. Four whole days doing absolutely nothing. Just spending time with great friends. And although I always look forward to coming home I was sad to leave.
If only we lived closer. If only I was more willing to move to Texas. I'll never say never but at the moment it still sends chills down my back so I think I can safely say we have no plans for heading that way. I will say though that 70 degrees in January is hard to turn down.
Here's hoping that August comes quickly - we have a new niece or nephew on the way that I can't wait to meet!
To the Woods and Avelars, thank you for everything - we had a wonderful visit and can't wait to see you again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Movin On Up

Today was a big day at school. When you turn one you're no longer an infant, but are you really a toddler? I mean toddlers run, and color, and throw tantrums (God help us). But infants roll, and drink out of bottles and take two naps a day. Enter the "waddler" room. Cute name right?
Today was C's first day there and although it started out a little rocky ("WAAAAAaaaaaaaaa MmmaaaaaaaMaaaaaaa!!!!!") it seems to have ended well. Plus, sister was reunited with her old boyfriend Gabe and bestie Evelyn.
To new friends, reuniting with the old, new routines and new teachers. Welcome to the Waddler room!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Letter to Charlotte: One Year

One year. 365 days. 52 weeks. 525,600 minutes. And I'm thankful for every single one of them.

It has been a truly amazing year. It hardly seems possible that the helpless newborn baby that we brought home from the hospital last January has faded away in front of our eyes. In her place stands a beautiful little girl. A little girl who has taught us so much more than I had ever imagined about life and love. And about ourselves. Everyday you teach us more about being parents. When to hold on, and how to let go. How to be silly. We've re-learned how to laugh at ourselves. And how to find joy in the smallest of things. Through you we've learned that being parents, more than anything else, is about being here. In this very moment.

You've taught me that once you have a child, you are more vulnerable than you ever dreamed possible. And until you have your own children we never fully appreciate all that our own parents did and continue to do for us. You have taught me that the amount of love that the heart can hold is immeasurable…that just when I am certain that I could not possibly love you more, you prove me wrong. And for this I am thankful.

As I think about all of the things I want to tell you I'm flooded with life lessons, advice, and mistakes I've made that I want to share with you. And in time we will. This is our job as parents. This is our privilege as parents.

Life is so very fragile Charlotte. Feelings are fragile. But people, people are unbelievably strong and capable of remarkable things. Never forget this. Don't try to accommodate everyone. Apologize. You'll know when you are wrong.

You are beautiful. Amazing. Smart. Funny. Never let anyone tell you different.
Above all else, be kind and trust yourself. Fall in love.
And listen to Bob Dylan.

And always, always, always know that you are loved. Unconditionally. Immeasurably.

Happy Birthday!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cause for a Celebration

It only happens once.
Our little girl, our baby, our itty bitty, 6 pound 6 ounce baby girl turns 1.
The big day falls on a Monday so we celebrated on Sunday.
I had been thinking about how this day would go for what seems like months. Big party or small party? Cake or cupcakes? Theme? Presents? Decor, pictures, and the list goes on.
Taking advice from so many others that have gone down this road before us we opted to keep the celebration small. We ate fondue, sliced cake, opened presents, drank wine and lemonade...but not together.
I faced the day head on. No tears. In fact, I couldn't stop smiling.
And all the planning? Balloons were picked up in the morning, a text invitation was sent about an hour before, lemonade was put on ice, paper hats were put out and a cake was baked. Ah, the cake. THIS is what birthday parties are about. And although I've never had an appreciation for cake I was adamant that Charlotte have home made cake for her birthday. With sprinkles.
3 hours and 2 batches of butter cream later we had just that.
And just like her Mama, she reached out her now-one-year-old hand, pushed away the slice of chocolate cake and went straight for the those sprinkles. 'Atta girl.
I couldn't have imagined a better day than this. It was in a word; perfect.

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to Charlotte Jean
Happy Birthday to you

We love you!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas! (Again)

Just like there are two sides to each story, there are two families that came together to create this one.
And for as long as I can remember Troy and I start planning the holiday schedule in early November. Usually involving some sort of cross country drive crammed into a handful of days, countless hours spent on icy highways, and by the end of it a pile of presents with missing bows, bent corners and ripped paper. But this year we changed things up. We spent Christmas in Kansas with Grandma Susan and the Haighs and we had a wonderful trip.
So tonight, a week later we're doing Christmas again, only this time with Oma. More home cooked food, family and presents? No complaint here.
It was a great night. We laughed, we loved we lived. And there was plenty to open. Plenty.
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Twenty Twelve!

2011. Bon Voyage. Sayonara. Adios.
It's been real. Amazing. Beautiful. Bittersweet. Blessed.
As I look back on this year it's hard to pinpoint where it all went. Hours were spent rocking and snuggling. Spending time with family, cookouts on the back patio, birthday celebrations and weddings. Countless hours were spent traveling; Kansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Minnesota. Not nearly enough were spent sleeping. But when I collect all the pieces and fit them together I can't complete the puzzle. Instead there are missing moments. Blurry moments. I know we lived them. And I hope that we lived them to the fullest, but how can I be sure? And maybe you never can. Maybe it's because our minds don't have the capacity to hold those more mundane moments of living. Which is a bit of a shame when you think of it because aren't those moments really what life is all about? Yet, at the end of the year what stands out most are the few handful of memories, good and bad, that had the biggest impact: Hearing Charlotte's first cries, seeing the tears stream down my husband's face as he heard of his Mom's diagnosis, seeing my own mother hold my daughter for the first time, my heartbreaking first day back at work, my best friend's wedding, my 30th birthday. And the firsts, oh the firsts. First holidays, first teeth, first words, first steps, first smile. Each and everyone of them brought with it a small reminder of how fast time goes by.
It has been a beautiful year. Sure, undoubtedly there are things I would like to change. But still, it's been the best year of my life. My hope is that at the end of next year I'll be able to say the same about 2012.

Happy New Year!!