Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday Brownies

Along with helping our dad with projects around the house, Sancha and I made him his favorite desert – brownies! Sancha went really gourmet, making three different kinds including some with special chocolate and walnuts. I went less “overachiever” and made a batch of pecan brownies. I am very happy with how they turned out – now that I am home I wish (and I know Wayne agrees) I’d made an extra batch for home. ;) Here are pictures of our gifts, Sancha’s are on top – almost gone, and mine are the picture on the bottom.

Happy Birthday Dad

Today we gathered at my Dad’s house to celebrate his birthday, help him with household projects and enjoy a delicious meal. We sure did have a full house – my Dad, Leigh, Katie, Patrick, David, myself, Wayne, Charlotte, Sancha, Erik, Jacob, Brennan, Marg, Bill, a friend of Katie’s and finally a surprise visit from Tyler. Typical HUGE family gathering! Everyone took turns watching/corralling a kid while Erik, Sancha Wayne and I helped my Dad by installing a new mailbox and cleaning up a lot of yard clippings. I think my Dad was happy to have a few extra hands to lighten the load.

As usual, the day was loud and jam-packed with jokes and laughter. Erik literally pulled the old mailbox out of the ground by hand, pole and all, and carried it IN THE HOUSE to ask… “Where did you want this?” It was SO funny! The celebration was full of fun including a surprise visit from my brother, Tyler, who drove down from Savannah to surprise my Dad and help wish him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Brennan and Charlotte spent a good part of the day being passed around to all the adults for “visits” and the rest of the time playing with Jacob’s giant Lego’s – he and his Dad were trying to make a robot . Marg (Nonie) was really happy to see all her babies. The last time she was able to visit was in late March. Quality time with the little ones was well overdue. Charlotte especially enjoyed visiting with her Granddad, Grand Leigh, Uncle Tyler, Nonie and Grandpa Bill. Jacob very sweetly said “I love you Nonie” right before they left – he is just adorable!

Thanks Dad and Leigh for opening your home to the horde and providing such a delicious, delicious meal!

PS - I am so sorry that the pictures of Charlotte today don’t show her outfit in more detail. It is a beautiful bone colored linen dress, embroidered with detailed delicate pink flowers and includes a matching diaper cover. This is an outfit that Aunt Sancha gave me at my baby shower and I have been waiting, impatiently, since then for Charlotte to grow big enough to fit in it! She also wore her Pooh/Piglet socks from Grand Leigh which are so adorable too. THANKS GRAND LEIGH AND AUNT SANCHA! Well, in what I am finding to be a typical baby fashion scenario, Charlotte may have worn this for the one and only time. Outfits just look so much bigger on the hanger and she gets grows so fast.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Crafty Saturday Night

So tonight I FINALLY got to make transfer onesies for Charlotte. A little search on the web for fonts and graphics, transfer paper, white onesies and that’s almost it! I have wanted to make her some ever since my friend Lauren told me she was making some for her son Liam (about six weeks younger than Charlotte). But in true Erin form I have been slowly gathering the materials – “oh look I am at Target, let’s get a few onesies for my project” – ‘I am already looking up info on that Ramones’s documentary, I’ll snag the logo at the same time”, etc. Anyway, obviously the I (HEART) Optimus Prime, Geekling and Future Gamer are all for Wayne’s little girl! I think he will get a real get a kick out of them. I have a lot more transfers just waiting in the wings but with Charlotte growing SO fast, thought I’d save some for the next size up!

Green Beans

Tonight we gave Charlotte green beans for the first time. She also had some oatmeal cereal, which she really seems to like. As with the peaches, rice cereal and butternut squash – she seems to like it well enough but is not really overly impressed with anything. Kinda takes the wind out of our sails a little. I keep my hopes up that with one of the new foods she is gonna give us a WOW reaction! You see in these pictures that she is holding/trying to eat a spoon. This is not the “official” spoon we feed her with but a “dummy” she plays with while we try to feed her. We, OKAY I, just got sick of the mess (above and beyond normal – think walls) she was making trying to grab the spoon away from me – she is stronger than she looks! Anyway the spoon she is holding is made by Gerber out of a VERY flexible rubber. This way I don’t have to worry about her poking her eye out with the “official” (metal) infant spoon. Please note that she is looking to her left the whole time –Daddy was making dinner and entertaining Charlotte at the same time!

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Pownall

Our friend Traci got married this weekend in Lexington, North Carolina. Unfortunately, we were not able to travel to the wedding but we can tell from the pictures that everything was perfect! Wayne and I are so happy for Traci, Danny and Hunter, Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Pownall.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Every Woman Should Vote

I was lucky enough to find this in my email in box today...

Remembering Those Who Paved The Way

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining? We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote. History is being made

More Dots And Circles For Charlotte's Walls

Today I added more circles and dots to Charlotte's walls. This is a little more of what I initially had in mind but just never had the time to make the additions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Six Month Stat Charts

Here are Charlotte’s six month stat charts. I love being able to illustrate this info for everyone, thanks for the idea and link Maite! With this chart it is easier to see that for weight she was born in the 94th percentile but at six months she dropped again and is now in the 74th percentile. In length she has gone from the 77th percentile at birth to the 94th percentile at six months. She continues to be a very tall and skinny little girl.

Six Month Doctor's Appointment

Charlotte had her six month “well” visit today. Wayne and I actually managed to get there early – a HUGE accomplishment! I can remember that as new parents we almost missed her two week appointment trying to gather all the things we needed, get the baby dressed, fed and packed in the car – what a change six months makes!

Anyway, Dr. Fisk said that she looked great and even that she was “advanced” with some of her skills – we are so proud of her. She received one oral vaccine and three shots today too. Charlotte did cry but it was not nearly as bad as those first shots at two months.

She has also been a little cranky the last two days and along with a slight fever on Sunday and a tiny runny nose we thought she might really be getting sick for the first time. Doctor Fisk said she had a minor cold but that her ears and lungs were clear, not to worry. We can’t believe that she has stayed healthy this long as it is!

Weight: 17 pounds, 2 ounces (74th percentile)
Height: 27 inches (94th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16 3/4 inches (50th percentile)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Six Month Birthday

These are Charlotte’s Six Month pictures. The baby block she is eating has a number six on one side and is supposed to be pointing toward the camera – Charlotte had other ideas.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jacob's Name Pennant

I wrote before about the baby pennants I have made for the last three or four years. Today I found a picture, unfortunately not a close up, of the banner I made for my sister’s baby shower. This one was for baby Jacob, initially used as a shower decoration, and then it hung on his crib, now it hangs in his big boy room.

Butternut Squash

Tonight Charlotte tried butternut squash for the first time. She is so laid back about everything that we assume she liked it since she didn’t spit up or try to turn away. She was mostly interested in getting her hands on the spoon and bowl of squash. Next feeding we will give her a “dummy” spoon to keep her busy and hope that helps us get more food into her mouth!

Charlotte At 6 Months Old

Charlotte Morgan Chambers At 6 Months Old

  • Nick Name: Charlotte Bunny (Funny Bunny has not been used as much in the last month or so)
  • Eye Color: ?
  • Feature most like dad: Nose
  • Feature most like mom: Smile
  • Firsts this month: Sitting up with very little assistance. Doing abdominal crunches to pull herself into a sitting position.
  • Smiles when: Anytime she sees Daddy or Mommy gives her a big smile and talks to her in a high pitched voice. Grandma tickles her with the “Grandma Claw”!
  • Favorite activity: She does pretty well with playing by herself and really likes her activity center, walker or playing on the floor with this neat flexible orb toy she has.
  • Size Clothing: Charlotte has been wearing nine month onesies for about two weeks. They end up being big around the middle but “just right” in length. For pants she is wearing size six months – nine month size just fall off of her. She has worn “real” shoes, in size two, a few times.
  • Sleep Schedule: One to three naps a day anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. Recently – to her parent’s dismay - she has only been taking one nap a day! Still sleeps thru the night from about 9pm to 8am. She really likes to snuggle with Daddy at the end of the night while he hums video game theme songs to help her settle down.
  • Doesn’t like: To be left alone for very long - she seems to play better by herself if she can see that someone is in the room. If Charlotte is “alone” for too long she will start to fuss until you pass by her that alone will usually calm her down.
  • Cries when: She is overtired from not taking a nap, hungry or bored with what she is doing.
  • Must have travel item: Still the frog activity bar that attaches to her infant carrier (Thanks again “Aunt Lauren”). For overnight trips her activity pad is a must (Thanks Katy)!
  • Eating: Charlotte is on formula and has four bottles a day. Her morning bottle is between 8 and 12 ounces, throughout the day the rest of the bottles are 8 ounces each. We started giving her tastes of rice cereal at about 5 months. At this point we have moved on to rice cereal mixed with prune juice, peaches and butternut squash. So far she likes it all and we look forward to her reactions as we try new foods in the future.
  • Things we find MOST endearing: Her smile, it’s just so precious to see her eyes light up – and impossible to truly capture on film. Her laugh is also adorable but very hard won, she doesn’t just laugh at anything, you have to work really hard to get her to do it.
  • New skills: Charlotte knows her own name! It’s awesome to see her turn her body all the way around to look at whoever has called her name! We are also working on having her sit up on her own, which has been hard because she would rather just stand up. Surprisingly she can use things around her to pull herself up to a sitting position but doesn’t really care for the actual sitting up part. She has great hand eye coordination and transfers things from hand to hand. Instead of swatting at something she wants she puts her whole body into it and reaches with her hand opening and closing. She has also been “talking” for quite a while now – and she is LOUD! Favorite thing to say – to Wayne’s delight - is “DaDa”! She usually says it over and over then adds some other sounds in the middle then back to DaDa!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Playtime With Daddy

Today Charlotte stayed home with Daddy while I went to work. She wore her Formula One onesie for this special day. This is a onesie Wayne and I found shortly after we found out I was pregnant - we think of it as a play on words since Wayne and I are HUGE Formula One Racing fans. Anyway, take a look at Charlotte playing in her play mat this afternoon. She LOVES this thing and has been playing in it (it’s convertible and can be set up differently to accommodate her as she grows and gains new skills) since she was two months old. One of those “can’t live without” items!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Welcome Home Daddy

This was Charlotte’s reaction to Daddy coming home today. Her face just lit up and the smile went right into her eyes!

I also included a picture of her Ducky Lovie (aka baby blanket). She has just started to really use it and it is adorable, although impossible to get on camera, to watch her try to suck her thumb and hold the blanket in one hand! Thanks Aunt Sancha, now if I could just find one or two backups – you know she is gonna leave it somewhere, never to be seen again, at the worst possible time! :)

Catching Up With Tyler

I got a call today from my brother, Tyler, who is currently living in Savannah pursuing his degree from SCAD. He just wanted to check up on us since we have been getting such crazy weather, such a nice guy! He is planning to take off work in the next six weeks or so to make an extended visit to Orlando and wanted to semi-coordinate that too. I am really excited to visit with him and for him to see how much Charlotte has grown in four months. Anyway our intended brief conversation ended up being an hour long call – how lucky am I to have a brother who WANTS to talk to me that much! ;) Anyway, he shared with the new site he is working on to publishes some of his drawings and renderings – see the link under Family Blogs & Websites on the right side of our Blog. I am including a picture of him wearing a funny shirt (he actually won the shirt in a family poker tournament we had a few years ago for Father’s Day) and one of his drawings I particularly like. Just to extend my Tyler Love Fest (Ty, you really get mega points for listening to me go on and on about all the new things Charlotte can do) I also wanted to include one of his personal philosophies that really rings true to me:

Have not that which is wasted;
waste not that which you hold.
Fight on when your heart fumbles
do not fall for people's gold
Stand up when pressed to kneeling
and kneel when all seems lost
I know it seems expensive
but I'm here to split the cost.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Charlotte's Dinner With Nanny

Today Wayne’s Mom, Sonia (aka Nanny), watched Charlotte for the day again. We are SO LUCKY, for the past few weeks she has been watching Charlotte once a week for us. It really has worked out great for everyone: Sonia and Charlotte get to spend more time together (sometimes Auntie Gwen visits too), Erin get more work done at her office, and Charlotte gets more one on one attention. We feel very lucky to have such great family support. We are getting Nanny set up with baby gear too; she already has a car seat base and now a door jumper too! Tonight after bringing Charlotte home, Sonia agreed to stay and have dinner with us. (Erin’s Mom was over too as she comes to help us and visit with the baby on Monday nights) Right about the same time, it was time for Charlotte’s dinner too so Sonia offered to feed her (peaches and rice/prune mix) for us. They both really seemed to have a great time, Charlotte just gives her Nanny such big smiles and wiggles her body to say hello. Enjoy the cute shots!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Charlotte’s First Real Meal

Today, for whatever reason, Wayne and I decided it was time to give Charlotte a real meal of baby food instead of just giving her tastes of rice cereal every once in awhile. We settled on peaches (she liked the nectarines, right?) and rice cereal mixed with prune juice. The prune juice gives the cereal some flavor and helps her digest all the new foods. Anyway, Wayne held Charlotte in his lap and I got to feed her. She really seemed to like the peaches and rice/prune mix. Surprisingly, she was not bothered by the horrible smelling peaches At All! As expected she did make a mess but spent the time between bites showing off her smile. She just melts our hearts!

Sancha’s Birthday Celebration

This morning Wayne, Charlotte and I drove over to my sister’s house for a belated birthday celebration. As a family we decided some time ago that rather than spending money on gifts we would gift our time helping each other accomplish projects around the house.

We got this idea from the Nesting Party my family threw for Wayne and I just before Charlotte was born. The entire family came over and helped us finish so many of those “I’ve been meaning to get to…” projects. They painted our living room, kitchen and dining room, did laundry, organized closets, unpacked baby items, built a dog crate cover, washed baby items, installed shelves, painted graphics on the nursery wall, etc. It was amazing what they got done in one day and such a relief to my pregnant “about to burst” self!

So today, Wayne, Eric, my mom and I all pitched in to give Sancha a little help. She choose tree trimming for her project. We actually got to three of the trees, trimmed, cut up and stuffed in garbage cans. This is the first step for Sancha to be able to bring her gardens back – now some light will finally get to them. It is very timely that she wanted her trees trimmed since Tropical Storm Fay is on its way. This weekend was a kind of double duty Birthday and Hurricane preparation! Our Mom, Sheila, was nice enough to keep track of the kids most of the day – I think she had it harder than we did – and we had falling tree limbs! Jake just wanted to be with his parents, Brennan was crawling all over the place and Charlotte was too distracted all day and did not want to take her bottle. We were able to accomplish so much for Sancha but it sure was a comedy of errors trying to wrangle the kids and manage heavy duty work outside! Mid day we stopped for a casual family lunch and some yummy yellow birthday cake, complete with a candle to make a wish on! Thanks Mom!

Anyway, I should have taken before and after pictures as the change was dramatic, but I forgot. I did get these cute pictures of Wayne and baby Brennan, enjoy!

Happy Birthday Sancha!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Visit With The Parkers

Tonight we had a wonderful visit from my cousin Brooke (our Mom’s are sisters), her husband, Josh and their baby girl Haidyn. They drove down from Lilburn, Georgia for a family vacation with friends and were able to make some time to stop in Orlando for dinner with their Florida family. Wayne, Charlotte and I joined them at my sister’s house to have dinner with my mom and sister’s family. Even with seven adults the four little kids kept us on our toes! This is the first time we were able to meet little Haidyn although since they also have a blog ( it feels like I already know her. She is so sweet and I had so much fun playing with her – she danced for me, let me hold her, waved, clapped her hands and gave such cute smiles. Luckily Sancha has a designated play area and the kids (of varying ages) all had a great time with the toys. I am so amazed at how much Brennan, Sancha’s youngest, has learned just in the last two weeks since I have seen him. The adults had a yummy lasagna dinner, thanks Mom, and delicious birthday cake for desert, thanks Sancha, to celebrate Brooke’s birthday. We laughed so hard a dinner each telling our own crazy maternity ward stories. At dinner we had Brennan in a high chair, Haidyn and Jacob in buster seats and Charlotte alternated between Wayne’s lap and the pack-n-play. Once Jacob was done with his dinner he wanted to get into the pack-n-play with Charlotte so he kept dropping toys in for her to play with since the adults would not let him get in with her. It was really sweet until he started telling us to take Charlotte out so he could make a fort! That adorable little boy is SO smart! Anyway our visit with the Parkers was really fun and I wish they lived closer so that we could see them more often; we always have such a great time together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I’m Berry Sweet!

Tonight we dressed Charlotte in her newest gift from Auntie Gwen. This adorable pajama set that has little strawberries scattered all over the bottoms and a top that says “I’m Berry Sweet”! She really is the sweetest thing and we are SO lucky! Thanks Gwen very much for the cute pajamas.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mom Baby Connection

Today Charlotte and I had our first Mom Baby Connection class and lunched afterwards at Dexter’s in Winter Park. This class is a lot more relaxed and “play date” oriented than the Mommy & Me classes we have been taking. It has been so fun to watch all the babies grow up and learn new things! Today we realized that almost all of the babies are sitting up on their own – except Charlotte. So I spent the better part of an hour during class propping her up and showing her the wonder of sitting up like a big girl. Charlotte really is great with rolling over and doing pushups but I don’t think we have been doing much to encourage her to sit up on her own. We’ll work on it! On the other hand she has been talking up a storm and loves to grab people’s faces in both of her hands – it just melts you heart. She also really likes to play in her activity center and turn herself around to get a better selection of toys to play with.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Poor Little Nectarine

So today Charlotte was grabbing for my mom’s nectarine and was actually able to get a two handed grab on it. Grandma was so proud of her strength (those things are actually very heavy for a little baby) and skill she set Charlotte up to recreate the moment for me. Stating emphatically “It’s time to get Charlotte a ball”. Well this time around Charlotte picked up the nectarine with the fruit sticker side facing her. Grandma took the sticker off and Charlotte immediately put the entire nectarine up to her mouth. She just thought it was the BEST thing! It did NOT look appetizing when she was done with it. Charlotte gummed on the thing for five whole minutes, only stopping when we took it away – mid adventure I thought - “I wonder if she is allowed to have nectarines yet”? I looked it up on the computer and even though her doctor would like us to wait until she is six months old to give her “solid” food, nectarines are safe first foods for babies. Whew – crisis averted! This of course does not take into account the fact that we have been randomly giving her rice cereal and “tastes” of food since she turned five months old. Guess Wayne and I will have to face the music at her six month doctor’s appointment at the end of the month. :( Anyway the pictures are so cute because she got little bits of fruit all over herself including on her little nose, she LOVED it and so did Grandma and I!