The Daycare Search Begins

We have been so incredibly lucky that I have been able to bring my sweet Charlotte to work with me and thus, have avoided sending Charlotte to day care. That luck was taken to the next level in recent months, as my Milly (Mother-in-law) has been watching Charlotte in the mornings and then I take her in the afternoon (just in time for nap time!).

With that said, we’ve decided that Charlotte is getting to the age where she needs more interaction with kiddies her age, a bit more stimulation than we can manage in our house, and some more opportunities to grow, learn and be challenged.

Starting the search for daycare is overwhelming to say the least. I literally went through and wrote a list of all the centers in our area, then sought out reviews, perused websites, made calls and started eliminating some. Ultimately, I narrowed it down to three, which is now narrowed down to two.

I eliminated the most recent (one of my top threes) because the program did not accept children under two and honestly, I had a bad feeling. I read two reviews online… one was totally glowing, one was the opposite.

Anyway, the two left both seem to be pretty great options. We went for a tour of one last Friday and really fell in love with it. The program uses the Reggio Emilio Approach, which focuses on a child’s ability and desire to learn. The school seems to really empower children to become a part of the community, to be helpful little beings, to explore not only items and materials, but also concepts. Instead of telling the children what to do, they help them to uncover options and let the kiddies choose. Sounds pretty cool, right? The kids (yes, even the tiny 2 year olds), help to serve lunch and set the table! YES!! Let’s teach the little one to contribute!

We both have a really good feeling about the school, but have one more tour scheduled for next week before we’ll make up our mind.

Once enrolled, Charlotte will likely start at a couple of mornings a week and then transition to 4-5 mornings a week over the next several months. I’m excited. I think this will be really great for C… but I can’t help feel sad/apprehensive/nervous… this will be Charlotte’s first time having a life that’s independent of mommy and daddy. I mean, obviously Nana and her Grandparents babysit her or take her for overnights, but that’s still very much within the realm of mommy and daddy. This is different. Charlotte will have her own friends and her own activities. It’s SO, SO good for her and SO exciting, but it makes it REALLY feel like my little baby girl is growing up.

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Weekend Update

We he such a fun weekend! I’m going to do a full post on Charlie’s Halloween costume because it was so dang cute, but for now, just pictures.

Friday we went to a Halloween party at the place where we were married with my parents, sister and her family. It was hilarious. They had everything “Spookified” and there was a DJ, dance floor and literally more neon lights than Charlotte has ever seen. From the moment we arrived, she was pumped. Probably 50% because she was so weirdly excited by her costume and the other 50% because of the severe stimulation. 

The second her mini feet hit the ground, she was strutting her little stuff on the dance floor, walking up to strangers, dancing and being goofy. It was hilarious. 

How cute was our little Jane Fonda??

   
    
    
      
    
    
    
    
    
   
On Saturday, Mark and Charlie had a daddy daughter day while I went shopping with a friend and went to my sweet little friend’s baby shower. It was a costume shower… Please not my adult version of the Jane Fonda.

   
 On Sunday, we went to a little 2 and under play group called “Bagels, Books & Babies”… We were pretty grateful, because the mini one woke up in serious need of entertainment. 

   
 
After BB&B, we went home for nap time, and then it was time to celebrate Mark’s father’s bday. We went to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, which is just about the coolest place for littles. I’ve talked about it before, but everything there is tiny and set up as a little city. There is a grocery store where the kids can shop and work. I can’t even explain it… It’s amazing.

Charlotte has been once before, but it’s her first time as a walker. She absolutely loved it. Everywhere she turned, there was another adventure to be had, another exhibit to explore. She was all smiles.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
All in all, it was another great weekend! 

Overnight Babysitter Kind of Saturday

   
 

 
This past Saturday, my parents took Charlotte for an overnight so that Mark and I could attend a wedding. We got all dressed up and headed to the reception at around 4.The wedding was for more of a distant friend, but it was fun catching up with others who we haven’t seen in awhile.

But here’s where things get pathetic…

By 7:30, pretty much right after dinner, I was feeling too tired to keep up small talk. I started hinting to the hubs that we should bolt and try to catch a movie or something. Finally, around 8:30… which is about the time the dancing started… Mark and I snuck out through the coat room. We sat in the car for a few minutes looking up movies to go see, but nothing started until 10 and we didn’t really feel like waiting around… AKA we’re old and were already exhausted.

So alas, we went home and WENT TO BED! Oy. I feel old.  

It’s not too often that we have an overnight babysitter and how do us old as parents spend it? Snoozing by 9pm. I guess that’s what happens when you have a non-stop toddler running around… or at least that’s my story!

Happy 15 Months!

Wow does time just whiz on by. I can’t believe our tiny litle love is already 15 giant months old. The past month has been pretty huge in terms of development.

  • Miss thang walks when she wants to! Charlotte is now officially a walker. Now, don’t be confused, that does not mean that she is walking full-time, but it does mean that the tops and bottoms of her feet have equal opportunity to be coated with dirt by the end of the day (YES! My hard wood floors need a deep clean.)      
  • Miss Chatty Pants has many words: this “dis”, that “dat”, Maaaam – a – mom mom mom, DAAAAAD, BAMPA (or something like that… which translates to grandpa), doutdide (Outside), Nana, Yah (yes)
  • Little one has many tricks:
    • What does the puppy/dog/Toby say? “WOOF” which sounds a little bit like “Oooof”
    • What does the kitty/Ollie say: “Meeeeeeow”
    • What does the elephant say: “EEeeee” (any little noise) as she throws her arm (aka her trunk) in the air
    • What does the monkey say? “Ooo Ooooo Ooo” as she puts her little hands to her armpits
    • She can sign: more, water, milk, eat, help, thank you, hello/goodbye
    • She blows kisses, smooches on command and hugs on command
    • She fetches!! “Charlotte, can you pick that up for mommy and bring it back to mommy?” SO helpful!
    • My favorite is anytime I end a sentence/question with “Right?” Charlotte shakes her head dramatically to say, “YUP!” For example, “Charlie, Mommy is your favorite person in the world, right?” It’s such a sharp head nod. I need to remember to take a video.
    • She can climb up stairs/ledges/anything she can reach and knows to climb down by turning around and reaching one little foot back, then the other.
    • She high fives.
    • She polices herself. When Charlotte touches something she isn’t supposed to touch or does something she isn’t supposed to do, she simultaneously shakes her head “no” to let you know she’s doing something wrong.
    • “Ear muffs!” She doesn’t quite get it, but randomly or when she hears a noise, she’ll do ear “muff”… Singular… Only one muff.   
    • That’s all that I can remember for now…
  • Her schedule has been pretty regular, although I think I’m going to adjust it a bit in the coming days.
    •  Current:
      • 7ish wake up
      • 9:45/10 “rest time” for one hour, unless she falls asleep and then we let her sleep an hour from whenever she falls asleep
      • 12 lunch
      • 2-4/5 naptime
      • 7 bedtime
    • New that I’m going to try:
      • 7ish wake up
      • 9:45/10 “rest time” for 30 minutes
      • 11:45 lunch
      • 1-4 naptime
      • 630/7 bedtime
  • Favorite foods: FRUIT (berries… she can literally eat a pint in a sitting with no problem, grapes, peaches, mmm fruit for days), bread, pasta, tomatoes, veggie shakes, applesauce  
  • Favorite toys:
    • The Fischer Price TV Radio… omg how I wish this thing played more than just the Farmer-in-the-Dell. This damn thing is nonstop singing. She loves it.
      tv radio
    •  Her Sugar Bowl from the Play Circle Dishes Wishes Dinnerwear. I swear, she is contantly carrying this little toy around. Open. Close. Open. Close. So goofy. Out of all the toys out there…  
    • The Cozy Coupe – if she could play in this all day, every day, she’d be happy forever.  
  • Other “passions”: destroying the house, emptying out the cupboards, trying to type on mommy’s computer, trying to turn off mommy’s computer, shutting the refridgerator, shutting any and all doors/cabinets, going outside, throwing food, pulling the cat’s tail, petting/harrassing the dog, reaching things she shouldn’t be touching, using the car key remote, pushing anything and everything around the house, emptying containers and filling them back up, putting her hands in the pets’ bowls, knee walking, laughing, causing trouble, being my sweet little babes.                

Warm, Toasty, Sweet & Spicy, Wonderful Fall

By the time fall hits, I’ve usually put on at least 3-5 lbs of summer BBQ weight (or some pre-winter hibernation warmth as I like to call it), making me even more excited for sweater weather. But really, it’s the colors and the smells that I love. In Wisconsin, we have four distinct seasons… they definitely aren’t equal in lengths, but we get at least a couple solid weeks of fall.

Fall in Wisconsin is just cozy. It’s sweaters and boots and leggings. It’s cinnamon and pumpkin and apples. It’s reds and oranges and yellows.

I really love fall.

A few days ago, I was nominated to share some of the “sweater weather” faves by I Am JustAudrey, so here they are!

Favorite Candle Scent: My favorite fall candle scent is probably pumpkin pie.

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate: Coffee has been killing me lately… horrible heartburn… BUT if it weren’t for our recent issues, I would say coffee all the way. Mmmm Skinny vanilla latte on a cold day. Yum.

What is the best fall memory you have? Remember that time I tried to shove Charlotte in a pumpkin we carved so beautifully??

Pumpkin Pic

Can you tell how much she enjoyed it??

Pumpkin Fam Pic

Okay, I don’t know if that’s actually my favorite fall memory…

Really, there’s nothing so over the top amazing about fall… it’s just the little stuff. The football game parties, the tasty food, the colors, the breeze. Just fun. OH!!!! AND! How could I forget? Thanksgiving… EVERY YEAR! I’m obsessed. My absolute favorite holiday ever. Oh goodness… guess who’s going to LOVE thanksgiving? I’ll give you a hint… she’s tiny and she eats lilke a horse!

Yes! Charlie. Get ready, Thanksgiving Dinner. Charlie’s going to take you down.

Best Fragrance for Fall: Maybe Chanel Chance or Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue… either those or bon fire 🙂

Favorite Thanksgiving Food: Don’t get me started on fall foods. I love a good chili. Vegetarian, Beef, Bean… So many delicious varieties. And of course, pie. And apples. And STUFFING. Oh goodness… thanksgiving. Everything on the Thanksgiving Day table.

What is autumn weather like where you live? When it’s good, it’s good! 60’s and sunny. Perfect sweater and boots weather.

Most Worn Sweater: I have this Michael Kors grey sweater from last year that I love. I bought it in a size too big and it’s just cozy and amazing. Here’s a bad picture of me wearing it while pregnant with baby C.

sweater

Football games or jumping in leaf piles? My husband will likely be surprised to read this, but I’m going to say football games! I love any excuse to make tasty food and hang out with friends.

Favorite Type of Pie: Doesn’t matter as long as you have ice cream and whipped cream to go on top. But apple is pretty tasty… or pumpkin. Actually, I love cherry and blueberry pie. Whatever, all pie is fabulous.

Which makeup trend do you prefer, dark lips or winged liner? I so wish that I had any sort of ability to try makeup trends. My makeup looks the same every day. I’m just not talented. But I guess I’d say dark lips. I wish I could wear dark lipstick. I don’t get much darker than mauve.

What song really gets you into the fall spirit? 

Come little children
I’ll take thee away
Into a land of enchantment

Come little children
The time’s come to play
Here in my garden of shadows
Please tell me I'm not the only Hocus Pocus fan!

Please tell me I’m not the only Hocus Pocus fan!

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? Not in my mind. I do not like pumpkin spiced / flavored anything… except candles and pie.

Favorite Fall TV Show: What have I told you about my TV tendencies? Yes, that’s right. I love shows for teenagers. With that little warning out of the way, I’m going to say Pretty Little Liars (YES! Everyone is A! Everyone!)… I’m also ready for some more Grey’s Anatomy (in case you were wondering who that last Grey’s fan was… it’s me!)… what else? Orange is the New Black… I feel like there was another show that I was recently obsessing over. OH! It’s with Ryan Phillippe… hmmm. Secrets and Lies! Thank you, Google. And Nashville. I love Nashville.

Skinny jeans or leggings? They’re both so comfortable… I love them both.

Combat boots or Uggs? I love boots. I try not to discriminate. As long as they’re not too high. I used to require a 2-3″ heel, but now that I have to lug around 25 lbs of sweetness, flats and 1″ heels are as big as I can get.

Halloween – Yay or Nay? I’m NOT a fan of dressing up myself… it’s just not really my thing. I used to love it back in the day… for a good old fashioned Halloween party with libations and bar crawls. But these days, I’d much prefer reserving the dressing up for my babes.

Remember??

Bunny BabeBunny cabbage patch

Fall mornings or evenings? I’m not partial to either… I’ll take both!

What do you think about Black Friday? I LOVE shopping. For the past two years, we pretended like we were going to buy a big CHEAP TV on Black Friday, but never did. But I like shopping for random stuff, clothes, whatever. I’m a huge sale shopper. It’s just way too fun. BUT… you won’t see me in line or up at 3 am. I’m way too lazy and obsessed with Thanksgiving for that crap.

One Fall 2015 Trend You Love: PLAID!! I just love flannel and plaid shirts. I’ll be rocking them all fall and winter.

Now to nominate more of my mommy blogging friends…

Grace of the Father

Just Live It 

Bumbi’s Mom

Have fun, mommas!

Bunny Sniffer

Charlotte has two “lovies” as others call them… These are her two “must haves” for bedtime/nap time/still half asleep time. 

1) her lamb wubbanub – aka her paci with a little lamb stuck on the end of it…   

2) her bunny. This cutie little thing from Pottery Barn Kids (called a thumbie)…   

For many months now, Charlotte’s predominant self-soothing technique has been sniffing her bunny. 

It’s super goofy. 

She does it when she nurses, when she’s sucking on her paci or just whenever. She takes bunny’s ear and sometimes holds it directly under her nostril and other times just balances it there and then proceeds with what she’s doing. 

I’m not complaining because she’s a mega self soother, but I find it so interesting. We have a few of these bunnies floating around… And I don’t feel like they have any specific scent, but it’s her thing! She’s a bunny sniffer…   

 Anyone else’s kids have unique self soothing techniques?

Puppy Love

Charlie and Toby have made strides in their relationship over the past week or so. It used to be that any time Charlotte would “pet” Toby, he’d growl at her, run away or try to bite her. And rightfully so… anytime Charlotte “pet” Toby it would evolve into severe hair/tail pulling or hitting. Lovely, huh?

Well, after MONTHS of stressing the whole “gentle” concept, my gal has got it! She’s been so sweet with Toby, giving him loving pets and kisses. Every so often her pet gets a little aggressive, but nothing too scary.

How cute is this video of Charlotte hanging out under the chair with Tobes as he snacks on his treat:

  
I must mention that while Charlotte has made significant improvements in her treatment of animals, she’s still a toddler. Yesterday she and Toby took a slight step backwards when she slowly poked his eyeball and then pulled his face hair. Oops.

Toddler on the Move!!

Guys… FINALLY another walking update! Girlfriend is taking some steps! She’s had up to 6-7 steps in a string! Exciting, right? I was literally starting to think that she was going to crawl at her second birthday. Hope has been restored.

Check out her baby moves…

  
Ignore her silly outfit. I didn’t have a bib, so I grabbed a spare onesie and threw it on over her cutie pie shirt.

GO CHARLIE!

A Weekend of Single Momming

This weekend (Friday-Monday morning), Mark was out of town for the unveiling of his grandfather (Pop) who passed away last year. That meant it was a weekend of just the little Miss and I.

Can you see why I was stressing and obsessing over C’s naps last week?

Regardless, we SURVIVED!!

On Friday, we went over to my parents’ house for dinner and the little one’s afternoon nap. We made it home for a 7/730ish bedtime. 

   

 On both Saturday and Sunday morning, the little one made peeps at around 5/6 am, but then went back to sleep until 8.

Saturday morning, we ate breakfast and then went for a 3.15 mile speedy walk to the park and back. 

   
    
 Then, it was time for rest. Charlotte rested like a good little nugget from around 10-11 am. It was cute. She laid in her crib and paged through books, played with toys, etc. At 11, I grabbed the little one, got her fed and then my parents picked us up to go visit Grandpa in the hospital.

   
    
 After a nice visit, we headed back home for a late nap. Oops. Didn’t get her in bed until 2:15/2:30ish and of course, she only slept for 1.5 hours. DANG!

Then, we went back to my parents house and met up with my sister and niece for dinner and playtime. Charlie was chasing her cousin Gabby around the house and actually let me hold her hands for some assisted walking! We had a nice time and my parents watched C for a little so I could work on a puzzle with my sis. I can’t even explain how nice that was. 15 minutes of peaceful mindlessness. Then home for bed!

   
    
   
Sunday, we ate breakfast, played, took a bath and it was rest time once again. No sleeping again, but after rest, Charlotte and I went for lunch at Einsteins (I LOVE BAGELS!) and then for a visit with Charlotte’s Grampie (Mark’s dad). We made it home in time for a nice 3 hour nap.

   

    
 I’m not going to lie, by the time last night hit, I was a zombie. My body felt flu-like… my hair was tired. I was SO happy when Charlie quielty got in bed because it meant I could do the same.

   
    
   
Needless to say, we were very happy to see Daddy this morning when he stopped by on his way into the office.

I literally do not know how single moms do it. I’m 100% stumpped. I would lose it. Charlotte was a literal angel this weekend. I loved our time together. She was fun and sweet and loving. But I am EXHAUSTED! No breaks is tough. Here’s to all the REAL single mommas out there. I’m in awe.