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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas we had!  My parents came into town on Wednesday and stayed until Christmas morning.  It was a nice visit, all but a little nuts.  Brooke spent 15 days in Hawaii so I was on double duty at work and it was bananas.  I was thisssssssss close to losing my mind!  I just felt like I couldn't keep up with life.  But...I survived and she's back so let our "normal" routine ensue :)

Charlotte was so much fun this year.  She loved Ruby (elf on the shelf) and looking at Christmas lights.  She kind of understood Santa and loved opening presents.  "For me???"  We are so in love with our girl.  We headed up to Cleveland Christmas morning and spent the day at Nana's house.  We sure miss Papa.

New Years was spent watching that awful Buckeye game and then going to bed before midnight.  It was perfection in my book :)

New Year's Day enjoying the 60 degree weather!

Feeling the beat at lunch :)

Loving her Lion that Santa brought her!

Holidays are rough...

Santa's sleigh with the Smith's girl


Christmas concert at church!

Looking forward to a blessed 2017!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Been Too Long!

Man, I feel like I have been saying it every time I post, but it's been too long.  It's been a very busy fall and start to winter.  We lost Greg's dad unexpectedly at the beginning of October.  We are all heartbroken and miss him and his sweet smile, silly laugh and one of a kind love.  That man was the best Papa and I can't wait to tell Charlotte all about him when she's older.  I want her to know that even though she didn't have much time on this earth with him, he loved her fiercely.  Thanksgiving this year was very different without his presence.  We all missed him and that day will never be as enjoyable without him.  We were all together and kept his spirit alive, cracking jokes, drinking only halves of beers and letting the kids run wild.  On his birthday, a few days after Thanksgiving, we all got on a conference call together and shared a beer in his honor.  It's incredible to reflect on all that he created.  Not just six children and fourteen grandchildren, but the traditions that will live on without him.

On a more pleasant note, we had a fun Halloween.  Charlotte dressed up like Rainbow Dash and had a ball strutting herself around the hood.  Greg stayed back and passed out candy while she and I made the rounds to our favorite neighbors.  She opened every piece of candy she got immediately!  She didn't know what to do with herself she was so happy!

Charlotte is a riot these days.  She talks non stop, has quite the vocabulary, repeats almost everything we say, remembers everything and makes us laugh constantly.  Here are some things I don't want to forget about this age:

-She loves shopping and requests it,  She will point out Kroger, the car wash, Starbucks and "french fries"...any drive through other than Starbucks.  When we are in a store, she has to stop at every candle to smell it!

"I smell it!"

-She loves going through tunnels and requests them.  She usually says "again" before we are even out from under a tunnel.
-She has quite the sweet tooth.  Her favorites these day are chocolate milk, suckers and m&ms.
-She is always holding something her in her sweet little hands.  This morning it was a ball of play-doh.  Last night it was a wooden candle from her pretend birthday cake.  Speaking of this birthday cake, when she plays with it she demands that you sing Happy Birthday to her :)

Notice the ball of play-doh!

-Loves mash'ems - squishy little characters from her favorite shows (Bubble Guppies, Dory and Paw Patrol).
-In the mornings or after nap she prefers to lay in bed and play on her ipad then get up.  She gets this from her father!

Go Bucks!!!  Greg and I went to the Michigan game!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Major Slacker!

Wow, I have been gone way too long.  So much has been going on and I need to make sure I write some of this stuff down so I don't forget.  Little lady is AMAZING.  She is seriously so much fun and melts our hearts each day.  Greg and I lay in bed each night and run through all the sweet, funny, cute, etc, Charlotte days every day.  We are beyond blessed.

So over the last month, we've hit some major milestones (well at least in my book)!

A few weeks ago I decided no more bottles of milk at bed time.  Honestly, the bottles were more for me than C, because it was the one and only time throughout the day she'd let me hold and snuggle her for more than three seconds!  Homegirl didn't skip a beat and only asked for her "pink cup" once.  Rockstar!

On another BIG note, no more paci!  She has only had it at nap and bed time since about 18 months, but she loved it!  She would get giddy for it when she would see it after getting out of the tubby.  I dreaded it and put it off for almost a month, until one morning when I woke up I just decided today's the day!  We were going to the zoo with the girls that day, so I packed about ten in a ziploc bag and started talking it up as soon as she woke up.  We talked about going to the zoo and giving her paci's to the baby cows, baby flamingos and baby monkeys.  When we got to the zoo we visited the monkeys fairly quickly and it was perfect.  There was a monkey right up against the glass.  I pulled a paci out of the bag and gave it to C.  She immediately put it right up to the glass and said "bye bye paci, I share with baby monkey".  I was soooooo proud of her!!!  We spent another hour or so at the zoo before visiting the flamingos on our way out and she asked to give them pacis too...so we put them in their "mailbox" (trash can) since we couldn't get quite as close to them.  She literally didn't skip a beat.  After riding the carousel we decided to head home.  She was tired, hot and hungry so I was expecting a melt down.  Nope, big girl got home, ate her lunch and then we went upstairs.  She asked for her paci but I told her "remember, you shared with the baby monkeys and baby flamingos.  That was so nice of you!!!"  She cried on and off for maybe five minutes when I laid her down for nap and then she was out.  SHE HAS NOT MENTIONED THE PACIFIER AGAIN!!!  I'll be honest, I had some anxiety about getting rid of that darn thing, but she ROCKED IT!

Those are the two biggest milestones in my mind, but there's a bunch of other things I want to remember:

-She is into taking showers.  Some nights we take showers and some nights we take a tubby.  I usually shower with her and then she says "Mommy all done, Charlotte's turn" and I get out.  She is so smart.  She knows the bleach spray and razors, both kept in the basket in the shower, are "no-no's" so when I get out, she says "here Mommy" and hands them to me.  It gets me every time!!

-She loves to spray things.  Water bottles, hoses, hairspray...anything that will spray she enjoys :)

-Mommy's makeup is a favorite of hers and if she's in my bathroom she likes to crawl up on the stool and get into it.  She knows it's kind of off limits, so I'll say "go get Charlotte's makeup" and she'll run down to her toys and bring her makeup bag up!

-She discovered My Little Ponies at K K's house and is a big fan.  We bought her a few at the store and Auntie Katie gave us a load last week when we went over for a visit.  Speaking of, C had an absolute ball with her cousins and was doted on the entire night.  I still can't believe little Ruby is five and a big girl.  And don't get me started on how grown up Ellen is!!!  Love those kiddos :)

-She still is a hoarder when she sleeps, hahaha!  Lovey and puppy are still her top two, but she also demands purple blanket, pinky bear, ellie and usually her elephant pillow.  I can't say no tho.  She looks all cuddled and comfy when she sleeps.

-Kristi is still one of our biggest blessings.  She's amazing and we feel so incredibly lucky knowing she is treated like K K's own.

-She is very smart (whether I'm her Momma or not) and aware of what is going on around her.  She is constantly asking where people are or telling me what's going on.  "There's the moon Mommy!"  "Where's the moon Mommy, is it sleeping?"  "Daddy's working", if Greg is in his office with the door closed.

-Each morning, the first words out of her mouth are typically "Where's Maddie?  I want to see Maddie!"

-Before bedtime, we usually spent about 15-30 minutes cuddling in our bed, watching a show or her favorite, "Bee Movie".  It's such a sweet time and I hope she doesn't outgrow this anytime soon.

-She still likes to be on the move and be outside all. the. time.  She knows Mommy's car is white and Daddy's car is red and usually requests whichever isn't in the garage, haha!  She likes to ride shot gun when we drive to K K's or Brooke's and thinks she's total hot stuff.  Pretty adorable.

-Her favorite toys right now are her Jeep, ponies, makeup and baby dolls.  She is also getting more into books and having us read to her.  Kristi told me yesterday that she played with legos for hours!  Our little tom boy :)

-We are still in gymnastics once a week and each week seems to go a little better.  She does great, just struggles sometimes with following instructions.  She's two, so I'm not really worried about it :)

-She loves to go "shopping" and her favorite store is "Kroger".  Mine would be too if I got a cake pop every time!

So that's the latest and greatest in Charlotte's world.  I'm sure I'm forgetting lots, but wanted to make sure I got at least some stuff down.  And I need to be better moving forward!

Greg and I are doing well too :)  We are both still pretty busy with work, but it's slowed down a tad which is definitely welcomed.  So many weeks I feel like we are just passing each other by!  We enjoyed Labor Day weekend.  The weather was absolutely perfect..Greg golfed twice and we took C on Uncle DJ's boat for the first time.  She LOVED it and was an absolutely angel.  She loved the wind and swam with her floaty all by herself.  She keeps talking about Uncle DJ now :)

We had a parents night out two weeks ago and saw our favorite band...Needotbreathe.  They are AMAZING!  The venue was so quaint, the weather was fabulous (HOLY HOT) and we danced the night away.  Auntie B kept C for us overnight so we could stay downtown.  It was a nice little getaway and much needed time together.

We also have been doing some little projects around the house and are starting a bigger one.  Think Joanna Gaines...shiplap!

All in all life is good and I am just loving this season of life.  So much to be thankful for!

"Mow Mow'ing...like Momma"

Left unattended for three seconds!

These three...pure joy!

Bye Bye Paci!

Sweet friends :)

Cousin Cuddles


Ta Da!

That look!

Cousin time!

Go Bucks!

Our little loner :)

All dressed up for church!

She ADORES her Daddy!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Charlotte's Two Year Check Up

Charlotte had her two year check up Friday morning.  The doctor was impressed with our little lady.  He said she is developmentally more like a three year old.  She told the doc her name, her age, her colors, etc.  No shots this visit...not until kindergarten!

Weight: 24 lbs, 3 oz (18%)
Height: 34.75" (82%)
Head Circumference: 19" (73%)

We are so thankful for our healthy and happy little lady.

After the apt, we headed to Kroger where she had her worst melt down yet.  I don't know what got into her, but she was just ornery!  No matter what I did, she was not happy and was quite vocal about it!  She was THAT child.  I thought about just going home, but instead we headed to the zoo and I'm glad we did.  She had a BALL.  We met Kate, the girls and Josh and visited some animals, rode the train, played at the playground and ended our visit with a ride on the carousal!  She wasn't sure about it at first, but after the music started and she saw the girls enjoying it, she loved it!  It was super hot and humid outside, so we came home, cooled down and then she took a looooong nap.

Waiting patiently for the doc!

Train ride!

Up and Down on the horsey!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Charlotte is Two Years Old!!!

Our baby is TWO!!!  I really can't believe it.  I'm definitely having a harder time than I thought I would.  I just find myself reminiscing and thinking about the baby days.  This age is SO MUCH FUN and we are beyond blessed to be her parents.  She is such a sweet, sweet little girl.  I know I am biased, but she really is just a joy to be around.  She's a free spirit...likes to explore on her own and do her own thing.  She doesn't cling to us in public places, which we are thrilled about.  Mommy and Daddy are still her favorite people, but I don't think she's ever met a stranger.  I can't tell you how many people have stopped us to tell us how adorable she is and that she just made their day.  She's known by name at Kroger and at our favorite restaurant.  Words just can't describe how in love I am with her.

We have her two year apt tomorrow morning, so I'll report back with stats.

-tubby time
-nemo, dory, bubble guppies, team umi zoomi, wally kazam
-carrying anything around!
-sidewalk chalk
-chocolate milk
-watching the bee movie in mommy and daddy's bed
-ANYTHING outside!

-having her nails clipped
-depending on the day, diaper changed
-being told No (she's got the pout lip down)

Greg and I were both able to spend the day with her on Wednesday.  We started the day off by visiting Starbucks.  Home girl asked for it by name and can't get enough of the birthday cake pops.  She snagged a purple Happy Birthday balloon from Kroger and we let her pick out a toy.  She went with Play-doh...lucky us :)  We visited Orange Park and she had a ball running around.  It was hot, hot, hot so after about an hour or so we headed home to the AC.  We had lunch and then got a visit from Kate, Joy, Julia and the boys!   They brought her new bath crayons and Marshall and Sky from Paw Patrol.  She's in love and has carried them around ever since.  After some snuggles and nap, Mimi and Pop arrived!  She was so excited and talked their ears off.  We met Brooke and the kiddos at our favorite restaurant Buns.  The outdoor courtyard is a hit with the kids.  I packed a blanket and they had a little picnic and ran around.  Of course we had to go for ice cream after dinner.  We capped the night off with tubby time with Grey and Tatum and watching the Bee Movie.  She requested cuddle, so I was happy to oblige :)

Our little sunshine!

Ice Cream

Spoiled rotten by the Rinks :)

July Shenanigans!

Whew...and just like that July is almost over!  It's been a crazy month.  We've had a lot going on and have been very busy.  Lots of work, but also lots of fun :)  I am ready to work to give a little.  I have been working extra, which makes me miss my time with C, but I am thankful for my job and try and remember just how lucky I am!  Greg has been working hard too.  The life of a sales man :)

July 4th was a good time.  We went to a party at a neighborhood friend's house and C had a blast.  Lots of kids, fireworks, bounce houses, sprinklers...what more could an almost two year old ask for?!?  We attended Mark and Katie's annual cookout.  I forgot how gooooood the food is!  Everyone brings a dish or two and literally, some of the best food I've ever eaten.  Kim's baked beans are to. die. for.

Sky, Brooke and the kiddos were in Hilton Head for a week.  We definitely missed them!  The week flew bye though and we had plenty of cousin loving when they returned.

Greg, Charlotte and I went to Kristi's on a Friday night for dinner and had the. best. time.  I drank a little too much, but it was a long week and I "needed" to unwind!  Kristen, Brad and the girls came too and we just had the best time.  All the kiddos occupied themselves so it was nice to have some adult conversation :)

Brooke and I hosted a Stella and Dot party at my house last weekend.  Lots of girls from the hood came.  The weather was perfect, so we mostly hung on the patio.  Brooke and I scored so much cute stuff!!

Brooke had a big birthday so C and I joined them for dinner Sunday night.  Birthdays just aren't as exciting as they used to be.  Speaking of...someone is about to be TWO!  (insert tears here!)

Greg and I finally decided to get the main level of the house painted.  We hired our go to painter and it was the best money we've spent!  It took them a day and a half and they do such a great job.  We are still working on putting the house back together, but that's the fun part.  It made such a difference!  I also found an old church pew online and that is my next project.  New entryway bench here we come!

Eating a cake pop while Kroger-ing!

Running on the golf course!

Pool time!

So blessed to have these kiddos in our life!

So cool!

Splash pad in her diaper

Bike parade in the neighborhood

Water balloons

Our little free spirit :)

Cuddle time with Joy :)

Cousin lovin'

Donuts with friends and cousins :)

Baby cow!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Catch Up!

Whew...it's been a busy month.  Work has been CrAzY to say the least!  We had several people leave, it's the busiest time of year for our industry, plus being people on vacation = I might lose my mind!  I have been working extra and it's been hard.  I am so so so thankful to be home two days a week and have a new appreciation for full time working mommas.  Thankfully, my sister has been awesome and we've been able to help each other out with the kids.  Plus, the Alexander girls have been loving on C some days.  I also got her signed up at Mango's Place for days when I need to pop in the office for a short while.  It's been great and she seems to enjoy it.  I almost died when I picked her up the first day and they gave me a craft she had made...so it begins!

It hasn't been all work and no play.  We had family over for Memorial Day/Greg's Birthday celebration.  I still can't believe Greg is the big 4 0!  I went to an antique "show" called Zassy's Treasures with Kristi and we had so much fun.  I could have spent approximately one million dollars, but we didn't.  We enjoyed some drinks while we walked around and checked out all the vendors.  Then we stuffed our face with margaritas and mexican after :)  It was a nice night out and much needed.

We had some friends, Barb and Jay, in from Cleveland which was a lot of fun.  We watched the CAVS game and hung out on the patio.  The weather was perfect!  Their son, John, who is 16 was amazing with Charlotte and she didn't stop saying "Johnny" for a week!

Last weekend we celebrated Patrick and Christie's wedding at the golf course.  It was such a fun time.  I haven't danced like that in ages!  Brooke and Sky kept C overnight so we had the after party back at our patio.  Let's just say there was some dancing on table, haha!  It's good to act a fool sometimes, right?!?

Sunday I went to Buckey Country Fest with Erin.  Oh my gosh, we had a ball.  She was supposed to go with her mom, but she was sick, so I got to go!  We saw Dierks, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan.  FGL was AWESOME!  By far my favorite.  Dierks was really good too.  We spent most of Luke out in the hallway watching the CAVS dominate!!!!!!!!   Ahhhhhhhhh, about damn time!!!!

This weekend Brooke, Kristen and I have our quarterly getaway!  We are just going to Easton to shop til we drop, enjoy a good dinner and spend the night out that way.  Will be nice to get some rest and get away, but I always look forward to getting home too!

Pool time!

"I dip!"

Loving outside

Her first official craft!!

Three amigos!

Love this lady!

Snuggles :)

So incredibly lucky to have cousins so close

Happy Father's Day!

Dierks shot gunning a beer...I knew I liked him :)


Getting our country on!

Donuts :)

I gonna get you!

Skinny dipping!!!