Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Double Date Night :)

Tonight we met Chad and Amber for dinner at Maggiano's and had a great time visiting with them. Charlotte also had a great time being hugged, kissed, and held by her Uncle Chad and Auntie Amber who spoil her rotten. I spoiled her by having a caramel apple for dessert that she'll be able to enjoy later... Does it work like that? Caramel apple flavored milk? If not, oh well, because I sure enjoyed it! We sat outside to eat dessert and chat and by that time of the evening it was a bearable temperature (in the shade at least). Love that Florida heat!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lazy Summer Days...

We went to the pool for the first time this summer! We were planning on actually swimming, but once we felt the water we decided just soaking our legs in it would be enough fun for us. It was Charlotte's first trip to the neighborhood pool and only the second time she's ever been in a pool, so she wasn't quite sure what to think of it all. She eventually got used to it and we even saw a few smiles :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Charlotte's First Solid Food

This morning Charlotte had her first solid food! It's really more of a thick liquid than a solid, but she took to eating the rice cereal off the spoon like a pro. Some of it actually stayed in her mouth! I was scared that she wouldn't like it at all and would give me a hard time, but she seemed to like it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our New Ride!

I'm officially a mini-van mom! I always said I would never become one, but in the search for a new vehicle we decided a mini-van would make more sense for the family as a long-term purchase than a car. And we ended up finding a Toyota Sienna for about the same price as a lot of the Toyota Camrys we were looking at! We test drove a Camry and another Sienna in the past few days, but didn't have a good feeling about them. And while looking around on AutoTrader today, we came across the van that is now sitting in our garage! We actually got it for under the Blue Book value so feel like we got a really great deal. Yippee!

Jared says this sign is redundant on a mini-van

Our cars match, how great is that?!

Sweet Smiles and Nice Hair

Charlotte took a very long nap today (hooray!) and when she woke up she was in the best mood and had the cutest little hair-do!

Happy "6-Month-Birthday" Charlotte!

Six months has never gone by so quickly before. Everyone said it would fly by, and I knew it would... I just didn't expect it to be this fast! Jared and I were talking about all of the things we've learned over the past six months from being parents and thought you would enjoy all the wisdom that we have gained...

Children are little sinners from the very beginning!

Vacations will forever be different. Traveling with a 5-month-old is not necessarily a good idea.

A "full night's sleep" means something totally different after the baby is born. If you get to sleep till 7:00, consider that "sleeping in".

Getting out the door quickly takes much planning and preparation.

Always have a burp cloth handy (we recommend keeping a few tucked in drawers in each room of the house)!

A car ride from Jacksonville to Keystone may only take an hour, but can seem like a lifetime with a squalling baby in the backseat.

Don't read a parenting book expecting your child to follow that plan exactly.

There will be some days where the only thing that gets done is that you change out of your pajamas (and some days where that doesn't even happen).

One of the worst feelings in the world is to know your child is hurting or not feeling well and not being able to do anything about it.

The Proverbs 31 woman needs a good kick in the pants for setting such high standards (Can I get an “Amen”?).

You begin to understand your own parents a little more.

There is no "going by the book" because every book says something different... Wait, I take that back. The Bible is "The Book" to go by.

When Jared suggests something that's different than what I'm thinking, I would be wise not to dismiss it immediately just because "I'm the mom and I know best".

We shouldn't compare Charlotte to other babies and should not use them as a gauge for how Charlotte is doing and how we're doing as parents.

Be quick with the diaper change, lest you want to be peed on (though it's still not a guarantee that it won't happen).

Babies are little Houdini’s with how they can wriggle out of their bouncy seats or car seats if not properly strapped in (see May 13th posting for appropriate picture).

Never say, "This has to be the nastiest diaper I'll ever change..." That's just asking to get an even nastier one the next day.

Seeing our little girl smile is the definition of happiness.

We have loved these past six months with our new family and are constantly amazed by all of God's blessings in our lives. We are so undeserving yet He continues to pour out His love on us. Parenting is a challenge and not for the faint of heart, and there are days when I think, "What have I gotten myself into..." But then she looks up at me with those big brown eyes and lays her head on my shoulder and once again I'm wrapped around that tiny little finger.

This past weekend we went to see Prince Caspian with some of the Rollins family. The Chronicles of Narnia was Jared's favorite book series growing up so it was very nostalgic for him. The movie stayed very true to the book and we're looking forward to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader coming out in 2010.

On Sundays, instead of having an evening service, our church has home Bible studies where we have a discussion about that morning's topic. We used to keep Charlotte with us during the Bible study, but she's getting to the point where she's needing to be entertained more, so last night we sent her to the "kids' room" where our pastor's wife, Heather, was taking care of the younger ones so the parents could pay attention and participate in the discussion. Towards the end of the discussion, I heard Charlotte "talking", which then turned into "fussing". There were two doors closed and a long hallway between her and us and we still heard her expressing her displeasure at who knows what. Charlotte seems to only understand two volumes: off and loud. And more often than not she's in the latter of the two!

We hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cutting the Cheese...cake

Last night I was in the kitchen getting a piece of cake and Jared was standing behind me. I leaned forward and tensed to apply pressure to cut the cake (it was frozen). Jared asked, "Are you trying to fart?” to which I answered… “No, I’m trying to cut the cheese cake.” We both got a good laugh out of the unintended play on words. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Public Service Announcement

This shows why they say not to put a child in a car seat on a raised surface like a table or countertop. She's a little wiggle worm!

Our little drool baby playing with her Daddy!

Funny story... You'll notice the phone ring in the background right at the end of the video (we have the ring tone as "Beethoven's Ninth"). While Jared and I were watching it (we watched it several times), we kept thinking the phone was actually ringing and trying to answer it- but no one was there... After the third or fourth time, we finally figured it out! Not the brightest crayons in the box...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Charlotte and Jared spoiled me rotten for my first Mother's Day! We went down to Keystone and visited our old church, Trinity Baptist. It was great to see everyone down there again and for our old friends to see Charlotte. Everyone agrees: She's adorable! Afterwards we had a good time at Johnny's BBQ (Keystone's finest establishment!) visiting and eating with the family. Then we stopped by my Dad & Bobbie's house and visited with them for a little while. And I'm sad to say that we saw all the grandparents, and even all the great-grandparents on my side of the family and we didn't take any pictures with them! We're horrible about that! So here are some pictures that we took before church while we were in the car. These pictures are after I was changing Charlotte's diaper and she peed all over the place. That's her new favorite game... one that I'm not too fond of and don't find as much humor in as she does.

"Eat my dust!"

"Ready to go guys?"

6 months... going on 16 (years)!

And this is the beautiful locket that I was given by Charlotte (& Daddy)!

And the personalized card! Hooray for!

I just want you to know that I'm the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to have you as my Mom! Thank you for how patient you are with me and for teaching me how to love god and be a good little girl. I may not always act like I'm listening and learning... but don't you worry your pretty little head about that! I AM paying attention and learning all the time. And I want to be just like you when I grow up!
Happy Mother's Day!
Your Little Squirt
(& Daddy)"

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommas, especially the wonderful mothers that Jared and I have in our lives!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Crying Car Rides

On Saturday, Charlotte and I went to Valdosta to see my cousin, Mandy, graduate from Valdosta State University. It was so exciting to see her graduate because she has worked really hard for her degree in mass media! Charlotte loved all the attention she got from the family since she was the only baby there. It was my first trip of any great length (2 hours 15 minutes) with her by myself. The drive there wasn't too bad, but she cried (screamed would be a more appropriate term) almost the whole ride home. She took a break every now and then to catch her breath, but only for a minute or two before she started up again. What a stinker! Mandy has some good pictures on her phone and she's in the midst of the move, so when things settle down for her she's promised to send me the pics that I'll share of Saturday. For now, here's Charlotte peeking around the corner (with a little help from her Daddy) when they were playing Saturday night

Friday, May 2, 2008

She's Sitting Up!

Charlotte is getting so big so fast! For a while now, she's been pulling her head up and trying to sit up when we lay her down in the car seat or her bouncy seat, and now she can sit all by herself when she's on level ground. She's very wobbly and ends up leaning over or toppling over, so I always stay right by her so she won't land too hard.

In the pictures, she's sitting on her changing table playing with her musical flower. It's wrapped around a spindle of the table and we play it whenever she's getting a diaper change and she just loves it! She used to just stare at it and smile whenever she saw it, but since we've been back from Vegas, she's been twisting around and pulling it down to her face whenever she's laying up there. Granny & Papa (Brittany's Dad and stepmom) gave her the flower and it's one of her favorite toys!