Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MBC: Shayna’s Village

Today Charlotte and I attended our Mother Baby Connection class, just a few left before we “graduate”. They brought in a speaker to talk to us about Shayna’s Village at the JCC. Soungs like they have quite a lot to offer. As is becoming the usual these days the “big kids” all sat in the back and the moms spent most of the time trying to keep them from trampling the “little” babies. Charlotte was no exception – she is on the move now and into any open bag like it is a candy store. The speaker also led some group singing with the added bonus of bubbles, maracas and colored scarves for the babies. Charlotte LOVED this and clapped her hands and bopped her head to the music. We really had a great morning singing and playing together.

Charlotte also caught another ride with her friend Amelia. Charlotte just loves being pushed around and Amelia likes to give rides – they are too cute together!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ward Family Seafood Boil

Tonight the three of us joined the Ward family and a few friends for a Seafood Boil. This was the last gathering for my friend Lauren (Ward) Eddy and her family before she heads back home with Matt and Liam.

We had such a great time and I really want to thank Ken and Carla AGAIN for including us. The all too short visit was filled with activity and great food. Luckily Lauren took pity on the few non seafood eaters (Wayne and Justin I am typing to you) and also made Chicken Chili (my Mom’s recipe) and a Roast with vegetables. All of the food was YUMMY as I feel it is the DUTY of guest to TRY everything being offered. At least that is how I am covering for my second helping of Chicken Chili. For her last day in town she sure was a busy cooking bee – lucky us. Lauren and I were also able to get more shots of Liam and Charlotte as well as some with “Aunt” Holly and “Uncle” Justin.

We are going to miss the Eddy’s terribly but feel so fortunate to have spent so much time with them during their short visit. Love you guys!

Happy Birthday Christiana

Today Wayne, Charlotte and I were all able to attend a first birthday party for one of Charlotte’s friends, Christiana. Of course we were late but this time it wasn’t Wayne or I – it was Charlotte – that made us late. She just would not go down for her nap (about 11am) so, when she went down late, everything else got pushed back. Anyway we did make it to the party JUST in time to sing Happy Birthday and watch Christiana eat her cake. It was an adorable moment because after everyone sang to her they clapped and she got a little scared – too sweet! We enjoyed meeting some of Maite and Jamie’s family and friends and hanging out with some of the other Mom & Me group. Maite was one of the first moms I met at M &M class. Although we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like, I really enjoy the time we do have. I have also been amazed at all the milestones Christiana has achieved over the last year. Happy Birthday Christiana – you are a big girl now!!!!!

It was a perfect day for Christiana’s party and we had a great time at Phelps Park too. It’s a beautiful location and we had NO IDEA it was even there – SO close to our own house. It is so nice Wayne even said to me as we pulled up, “Is it too late to move Charlotte’s party?” Yes it is too late but we sure will go back to visit very soon!

Charlotte At 11 Months Old

Charlotte Morgan Chambers At 11 Months Old

* Nick Name: Charlotte Bunny

* Eye Color: Grayish Hazel

* Words She Can Say: Really Da-Da is the only real thing she says constantly and that can be understood by everyone. She also says Ma-Ma VERY infrequently and “dOg” with a lot of emphasis on the “O”. She also does her own version of “Thank You”. Charlotte sings songs and you can tell what she is singing by the melody and some of the sounds. Her favorites are Down in the Meadow and ABC. If you sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat to her and pause before singing the rest - most of the time she will sing “Row, Row, Row” back to you! It’s really neat because she says it very clearly.

* Favorite Song: She likes any kind of music and shakes her head to “dance”; now we sometimes get a bum shake and clapping too! With all of her new music toys she is in seventh heaven and tries to get them all going at once. She loves for anyone to sing to her, especially Grandma who knows a lot of neat songs.

* Favorite Game: “I’m Gonna Get You” which is our version of warning her that the tickle fest is about to begin. She also likes to be the one to “get you” so with help from one of us we say “Charlotte let’s get Daddy” and she gets a big smile and holds her hands out. She also likes to crawl around and have you chase her – especially if she spies shoes or socks – the chase is on cuz she really tries to get to them before you get to her. Loves being tossed in the air and having you flip her over like a back walkover.

* Firsts This Month: standing up without any help or having to hold onto anything. Taking steps. Charlotte has taken up to five steps by herself but usually gets really excited after the first few and throws her hands up in the air – throwing off her balance – and falls down. She likes to walk around holding onto your finger. Charlotte has started to stand up without holding onto anything. Climbing like a maniac – its kind scary how far she can get and how determined she is. Still gestures while she is talking, like you understand her? Eating a lot of table food and gets upset if you don’t automatically offer her some of what you are eating.

* Smiles When: You tickle her, she is happy, or on the spot if she sees Mommy, Daddy, Nanny or Grandma.

* Health:
This month has been pretty healthy for Charlotte.

* Favorite Activity: Still eating expensive electronics, paper, Wayne’s glasses, and flip flops. She also likes to play with her toys especially the ones that make noise.

* Size Clothing: Charlotte is almost exclusively in the eighteen month size clothes. As per usual with Charlotte we find that the torso length is a better fit but the waist is still too small. Thank God for adjustable waistbands. We spend a lot of time pulling up her pants and rolling up the cuffs.

* Sleep Schedule: We can tell that Charlotte is in a transitional stage or is it teething? Either way she changes her “schedule” for naps everyday…luckily the overnights are still solid. She is starting to stay up a little later but stays asleep once we put her down. Luckily she wakes up happy – rarely cries right off – and will play in her crib for at least an hour before she decides it’s time to get out of her wet diaper!

* Doesn’t Like: To be “stuck” anywhere that keeps her from exploring. We continue to see more signs of her getting upset when you take a toy away from her or don’t let her go somewhere she wants to be – aka block her from trying to eat our shoes. What DOES she see in flip flops? She starts to whine and will flap her arms – the funny thing is that she doesn’t do this right away. After about the fifth time of taking something away, telling her “no” or blocking her attempts to escape THEN she gets upset. She is a very determined little girl…wonder who she gets that from!

* Cries When: She is tired, hungry, wants her ducky, or wants whatever you don’t want her to have.

* Must Have Travel Item: Duck lovie blanket

* Eating: Mostly table food that we either mash or run through the Cuisinart. We have tried finger foods too like corn, crackers, beans which she likes. Charlotte is down to about three eight ounce bottles of formula each day, which we have to encourage her to eat. At least she has mastered holding her bottle and feeding herself! However, if you just give it to her and walk away she will get distracted and “forget” to finish eating.

Happy 11 Month Birthday Charlotte

I swear it's the flash that gets this reaction... at least she is sitting still...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crafting: Birthday Party Goodie Bags Part II

Here are some photos of the now turned and pressed favor bags for Charlotte’s Birthday Party. You can’t really get the full effect yet- they still need to be packed with goodies and be adorned with ribbon – but you CAN see the bright and festive colors! I am so happy with the way they turned out and cannot say enough about the serger my Mom loaned me – it made ALL the difference in getting this project completed!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Visit with Liam & Lauren

Tonight my good friend Lauren (Ward) Eddy and her son Liam came over for a visit. Lauren and I have been friends since early high school and somehow managed to get married and have our first children within months of each other too. Lauren’s husband Matt (also a longtime friend) is in the Air Force and so they have been moving around quite a bit for the last few years. They came back to Orlando for a visit and so I FINALLY get to meet Liam in person!

We planned to get together, make dinner and just catch up. Well, we were having so much fun watching the kids and catching up we didn’t even make dinner until 10 pm! We got Charlotte to sleep in her swing and Liam in Charlotte’s crib – if we were not afraid we would have taken pictures of that too because they were adorable. All the adorable pictures really capture how much fun we all had visiting. Love you guys, thanks for a great night!!!

Crafting: Cupcake Tree

I found a really neat tutorial online for making a cupcake stand and thought I’d give it a go. With limited table space at the park I thought a “cupcake tree” would be both cute and a space saver. Double score for us. Anyway – I am in mid process but thought you’d like to see this stage and then I will post the final – whenever I get to finish it. At this stage I have covered the cake “dummies” with fabric and the cake boards with wrapping paper. I am really pleased at the professional finish obtained with the fabric cover on the cake “dummies” but not at all satisfied with the wrapping paper covered cake boards. They just look a little lumpy since the paper has a bit of metallic finish and just accentuates the imperfections of the cardboard underneath. Also, the tutorial online suggested using ribbon for the boarder – tried that but couldn’t keep it straight, you know how I hate for projects to look sloppy. So, I need to tweak this a little – means putting my thinking cap on – and then come up with another plan of action. I will post more photos once I figure this all out. :0 It really does have the potential to be adorable – let’s see if I can make that happen.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crafting: Birthday Party Goodie Bags

Well preparation for Charlotte’s first birthday party is well underway. For the last few nights I have been measuring, cutting and ironing fabric for goodie/favor bags. I am working with solid pink, pink with white polka dots, solid orange and orange with white polka dot fabric. Tonight I finally sat down to sew them all up! I was planning to use my sewing machine but luckily my mom offered me the use of her serger. This made the assembly 100x faster. I was actually a little surprised at how quickly things went and I EXPECTED it to go fast. Anyway, originally I was going to sew gussets into the corners so that the bags would stand up but after the initial assembly, I realized that gussets just made the bags much smaller – so the final goodie bags will lean instead of standing up by themselves – gotta craft on your feet. These pictures show the “wrong” sides “out” as I will turn them this weekend and iron them once more for the final step.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stay Puft PINK Marshmallow Baby

Thanks Auntie Rosie - this jacket saved the day - who knew we'd need a REAL jacket in Florida?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

3rd Anniversary Trip

Wayne and just got back from a MUCH needed trip over to St. Petersburg Beach for our 3rd Anniversary. I actually won a 3/2 stay at the Trade Winds Resort just weeks before I had Charlotte so we decided then that we’d use the trip as our first getaway together (sans adorable baby) after having her. Luckily my mom, Sheila, offered to stay with Charlotte, even before she was born, so we could enjoy our trip just the two of us. Wayne and I drove over to the beach on Sunday afternoon, got settled in to the resort and promptly started the pub crawl. It was so much fun “trying” out all the different bars (I think there are seven on property and one at a sister property up the beach) and specialty drinks. We both intended to stick to the golden rule and stay with beer but the warm day and neat drink options got the better of us! Luckily and very surprisingly, we did not suffer any ill effects from switching back and forth. It was really fun to tour the property for the crawl too. Anyway we managed to hit all the bars and so we won t-shirts! This is a beautiful resort with a waterway built in and around all the buildings it makes for a lot of beautiful bridges and neat wildlife. The few days we were away were of course COLD, we DID get married in January after all, but we managed to have a great time swimming in the heated pool and lounging in the sauna anyway. They have so many more fun things to do, min golf, giant chess, three story water slide that I’d really like to go back some other time so we can experience all the resort has to offer. We had a great Anniversary celebration and look forward to many, many more – especially if they are at nice resorts like this one.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Orchid In Bloom

I thought I’d share pictures of one of my Orchid plants that is in bloom. This is the craziest plant which I inherited from the houses previous owner. I think the plant used to hang in the tree by my front walkway and must have literally gotten so big that it broke the hanger. I uncovered it, growing into the ground, right before Charlotte was born and we were doing a lot of yard work in preparation for a serious lull in garden upkeep. Anyway it was living under an overgrown bush so I pulled the roots out of the ground and moved it more into the light. Anyone who know orchids know how strange it is for one to be growing in soil. At this point it is too big to be a hanging plant anymore – truly if I had the skill it could probably be separated into four or five different plants!!! I really did not do much over the last year or so - can't take much credit for this amazing bloom. Anyway, imagine my surprise when, in the midst of a (painfully) cold snap, this tropical plant is blooming like CRAZY! Lucky me I get to enjoy it right by my front door every day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Tyler & Cameron

Today my “little” brothers turn 29 - I cannot believe it! I remember being about nine years old and trying to figure out how old I would be when my sister was X and my brothers were Y. All those “big” numbers seemed SO old at the time! Well, look at us now! Thought I would include two pictures of my brothers that I took in November when they both came home for Thanksgiving. Love you guys…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crafting: Happy Birthday Banner

Crafting for Charlotte’s first birthday is well underway! Here are two photos of her Happy Birthday Charlotte banner, mid project. At this point the letters and pennants are cut and assembled and now I am sewing the banner together and adding ribbons. Once I have a chance to run by the store for more ribbon, we’ll be back in business. I am LOVING this color combo even more than I thought I would. It is just so cheerful and festive and I think a toned down version will be the new decor for Charlotte's big girl room. Don’t worry, for those of you who keep asking I will post more photos as the project is completed. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crafting: Cupcake Toppers

These are the completed cupcake toppers for Charlotte’s birthday party. Initially I was going to make the centers “1”s but in the end I liked the way the combination of papers looked by themselves.

MBC & Lunch With The Girls

Today Charlotte and I barely made it to Mom Baby Connection, just one of those mornings. When we finally got there it was kinda funny because since this is the new session most of the class was made up of younger babies – at first I thought I had the wrong week. We were one of only four “older” baby/mom combinations. This class is for babies up to one year old so I hope that some of the other mom’s we have been in class with will come back for a few more months. I have so much fun watching the kids play together! Anyway, I shot this adorable picture of Ryder and Charlotte.

After MBC Charlotte and I met Cyndi, Daisy, Sonya and Gabriella at Beefy King for an impromptu lunch. You can always talk me into BK and hanging out with the girls is just icing on the cake! Daisy and Gabriella were SO cute; they were feeding each other and then fighting over the food. It’s amazing to me how much they have grown up!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crafting: Charlotte's First Birthday Party

Now that were almost a month away from Charlotte’s Birthday Party – it’s time to get moving on all the decorating and gift projects I have planned. Thought you might like to see what my work table looks like tonight/this EARLY morning. So far I have only finished the cupcake toppers…at about 1:30am. But I know I will need to work on things when I can in order to get them all done in time. As you can see I have decided to do a “theme” of pink and orange polka dots and the project list is kinda long so I better get back to it… more pictures as projects, hopefully, are completed!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Day At The Park

This afternoon Wayne and I took Charlotte to the Maitland Community Park to check out the site for her Birthday Party. We all had so much fun playing on the play set and walking around the park under the shade of the trees. We helped Charlotte down the slide in the Tot Park and she LOVED it. Hope she has this much fun and more for her Birthday Party!

Charlotte's Birthday Party Location

We finally picked the location for Charlotte’s Birthday Party. Wayne and I have been driving around looking for the perfect location for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, although our house is perfect for us it’s just not big enough nor the back yard in good enough shape for lots of little kids running around. Think (at BEST) dogs and two huge bougainvillea bushes with two inch thorns. So, we finally settled on the Maitland Community Park. It is nestled back in a cute community with a lot of beautiful shade coverage from some huge trees. The park has a big play area for bigger kids and another small area that they call the tot park, for little kids. Our party will be centered around the tot park since most of the kids will be under three and it’s close to the bathrooms. Luckily the larger play area is just around the corner if the big kids wanna check that out too. Anyway, thought I share some preview pictures. Will post more after the party so you can see how we plan to deck it out for Charlotte’s celebration!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Ava

This afternoon Charlotte and I attended a first birthday party for her friend, Ava. Charlotte and Ava met in the Mommy & Me Classes we have been attending since Charlotte was two months old. The afternoon was so much fun and Ava’s parents were fantastic hosts for the party. Charlotte and I spent most of the time in the playroom with all the babies vying for one toy or another. The big hit was the indoor slide – although Charlotte never seemed interested enough to try herself. The best part was Ava’s reaction to her cake – just dove RIGHT in! Thank you guys so much for having us – we had a great afternoon! Happy Birthday Ava!!!!

Charlotte And The Sofa Table Capers

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day: Epcot Adventure

Today Wayne and I spent the day, sans our adorable baby, at Epcot. I received tickets from a work connection and we decided it was high time Wayne experienced Epcot. The day got off to a slow start, packing up Charlotte for a fun day with Auntie Gwen – Thanks Gwen – took a little longer than usual plus we were more worn out from New Years than we were expecting. Anyway, our day was filled with lunch in Mexico, various rides (although I punked out on Test Track and made Wayne go alone – it just did not sound like a good idea after chugging my beer – he is made of sterner stuff), dinner in England and fun in between. Epcot has changed A Lot in the last ten years or so and I’d love for us to go again sometime soon – there is just so much to see!