Charlotte is One!!!

IMG_7855Charlotte is a year old!!!  She made her debut of sleeping through the night in late March, but this last week has been the first full week that she has slept through the night.  Hallelujah!  She loves eating.  And now that she is one, she is starting to show favor towards some food.  Like this morning when she had egg and bread on her tray, she made a lot of noise until I finished cutting up some peach to add to her tray.  Thankfully, her fine motor skills aren’t perfect yet, so whatever is on the tray near what she wants also gets into her hands and most of it is in her mouth.  I do sweep the floor around her seat after each time she eats.   IMG_7866Charlotte says Ma and Da.  She is playing with other sounds, but nothing is consistent.  Above she is making sounds while making raspberries.

It looks like her blue eyes are here to stay.  She also has 6 teeth.  IMG_7863Charlotte doesn’t want to be left out.  If her sisters close their bedroom doors, or I close the bathroom door, she will scoot to it and bang on the door.  Charlotte doesn’t have the typical crawl, but her scoot is quiet fast.  The nurse practitioner we saw yesterday said 7% of babies don’t crawl, 7% find a way to move that isn’t crawling, and the rest crawl.  She also assured me that she is okay scooting about.  Charlotte can crawl if I am behind her making sure her legs move in the typical way, but she is much faster scooting with one leg tucked below her. IMG_7869Can you see how delighted she is to learn to stand on her own?  She isn’t walking yet, but she is thrilled to stand several times a day.  Here she is standing on a blanket my Nanny made for Eliana.

I am so thankful that Charlotte is a content baby.  So much of her first year was hard, but over the last few months she has grown to be a happy content baby who loves exploring.  My back is thankful for the relief.  The added sleep sure does help too!

We love Charlotte and are glad God put her in our family!

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Charlotte is 11 Months Old!!!!!

IMG_7846Charlotte, my sweet baby, is growing and trying new things everyday.  For the most part, she is a content baby.  I am so glad that after such a rough start, I can finally say that.  She doesn’t have the typical crawl, but I think that is due to the tile in most of our house.  She is quick, so we have to keep the doors closed.  She did find the toilet this week! Yikes!  So, I again reminded the girls that the doors MUST be closed when she is awake.  Charlotte thoroughly loves her sisters.  She will bang on their door if she is left out.  Charlotte is in the wonderful season where she likes all of the food I make.  It would be nice if one of my girls stayed in that season rather than becoming picky and then “getting” to eat what I make for dinner.  Charlotte is pulling herself up on chairs, the couch, and our legs.  This week she started trying to free stand on her own, and we all clap and cheer her own.  All the praise delights her.IMG_7847Bedtime… well… we are still working on it.  She lays down completely awake for her naps without a problem and falls asleep, but that is not the case at bed time.  We moved Lydia back in with her last week.  After a Bible story, prayer, hugs, and one last run to the bathroom, Lydia goes into her room.  I nurse Charlotte with the hope that she will go to bed, and most nights before I bring Charlotte to her room, Lydia has fallen asleep.  This is great for Lydia.  She is getting better sleep now than when she was with her sisters.  They would talk, play, and fight until late.  Things have settled for both rooms for the most part.  It did help to have Lydia with her so that she doesn’t automatically start crying, but after a few minutes most nights she cries.  Charlotte can go a half an hour straight crying without letting up.  So, I rock in a chair until between 9 and 10.  Sometimes it is later.  I read, and she eventually falls asleep.  The good thing is that she sleeps until 7:30 or so.  She also takes 2 really long naps due to not sleeping as much at night.  About half of the week she will sleep through the night, and the other half she wakes up once. IMG_7848Charlotte still is not a fan of other adults.  When friends try to hold her, she cries almost every time.  It takes her several hours of watching someone to warm up to them.  We saw extended family on Wednesday, and I was blessed when she was happy to play with Aunt Marcie and Aunt Rachel near the end of our visit.  It took her a little to warm up to GramE when she stayed with us, but then she was golden.IMG_7849

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Eliana is 8!!!

IMG_7739Eliana has learned so much this past year.  Most days she does her own hair.  She not only makes her sandwiches, but she helps make her sisters.  She loves planning and being efficient, so she came up with a system in which she folds the clothes and Natalie puts them away.  And I must admit, this is a much faster option than when they would fold clothes together and play for an extended amount of time.  Eliana is even tall enough to start the washing machine now!  She can also do most of the parts needed to make bread with our bread machine.  She continues to love art and is a flourishing reader.  She has read The Chronicles of Narnia several times this year.  Eliana and her sisters don’t always get along, but she loves them and they love her.

This year we thought a trip to the lake would be a cooler option for gathering people to celebrate her birth.  Uncle Kevin found a fabulous spot which was shaded most of the time, and all of the kids had a blast while we enjoyed a picnic lunch.  Plus, no decorating, games, or entertainment needed.  There was the lake, sand, toys, food, and cake!  That was a big win for all of us!

We love Eliana and are so glad she is in our family!


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Charlotte is 10 Months Old!!!

IMG_7708Charlotte turned 10 months old last week in the middle of Eliana and Natalie’s last week of school.  It was a busy week, so this post is a little late.  Charlotte is enjoying interacting with her sisters and playing of the ground.  Hooray!!!  We have come a long way from the season when she was content for 10 seconds on the ground.  She is scooting places.  I can get her to crawl the typical way if I am behind her and making sure her legs move.  But she has gotten to be fast scooting places and isn’t interested in crawling.  We will keep working on it since I know that crawling helps with reading.  I do wonder if the tile floor is part of the problem.  When I work with her to crawl, we do so in the carpeted bedrooms.IMG_7711

Sleep is still an unpredictable event with Charlotte.  She has had plenty of nights where she has slept through the night, but she also had about a week and a half of being up for 2 or so hours at a time.  She still has a morning and afternoon nap.  Each of those naps can be around 2 hours each.  It all depends though.  She likes to keep me on my toes and changes things up on a regular basis.  This week, she has been sleeping until 8 or so in the morning.  I feel a bit lazy sleeping in that late, but I figure catching up from last week when she had me up 2 or more hours in the night is an okay thing.IMG_7714I am enjoying that Charlotte is content overall.  Even when she was up in the night, she was happy if I was holding her.  We love her giggles and that she thinks her sisters are funny.  I enjoy her cuddles, and that when she is having a hard night I can now rock her in a chair rather than having to walk the house.  She gets super excited when Kyle comes home, and she loves pulling on his beard.


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Charlotte is 9 Months Old!!!

Charlotte is busy exploring.  She is happier much longer on the ground now that she can scoot around.  This also means that my floors were swept and mopped last week since she is only staying on her blanket in the living room for a few minutes.  She isn’t crawling yet, but she is getting places.  Charlotte takes 2-3 naps.  She is still a night owl.  Occasionally, I can get her in bed before 9.  I look forward to her going to sleep closer to 8.  She wakes 1-2 times a night.  I am trying to just nurse her once, but rocking her back to sleep often takes longer than if I just nursed her.  She continues to grow in her contentment, and I am still dairy, citrus, and chocolate free in an effort to help her with that.  Charlotte has all sorts of pureed food, and she is eating solids 5 times a day.  We love her bunches.  She gets very excited when Kyle comes home, and she is interacting more with her sisters.  Her smiles and giggles are great.  She is jabbering and started saying Mama last month.

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Charlotte is 8 Months Old!!!

IMG_7628The beginning and middle of Charlotte’s 7th month was full of little sleep for me, BUT she has made great strides at night.  There have been a handful of nights that she slept through the night.  They aren’t in a row, and she tosses in a night or two a week with very little sleep just to keep me on my toes.

Charlotte has also been making great strides in being content.  There were months when the length of contentment on the ground or in chair of some sort was about 10 seconds. We have worked up to 5 to 10 minutes.  She still prefers to have someone with her, so her sisters are often talking to her.

What helped Charlotte to start having better sleep is adding a 4th solid feeding.  She eats a lot of pureed fruits and veggies.  She isn’t a big fan of rice or oatmeal, but I can sneak some into applesauce.

Charlotte is even being kinder to other adults, and that is a huge relief.  She is okay longer with Kyle, and she’ll even on occasion let another adult hold her for a few minutes.

Charlotte enjoys sitting up and playing with oodles of toys that her sisters have enjoyed in seasons before her.IMG_7632

She takes 3 naps most of the time.  Her morning nap is 9-11ish, and her afternoon nap is 1-2:45ish.  Her evening nap time varies in length and the timing changes often.  Sometimes she skips it altogether.

I am still dairy, citrus, and chocolate free.  Last night I had a little dairy in a delicious soup, and she was up more times than I can remember.  I had a little chocolate earlier this month with the same sleep issues.

I am not rocking her to sleep anymore.  My Fitbit “steps” on my wrist have gone down considerably due to the lack of rocking, and I am totally okay with that.  She is able to be laid down away for her naps, and most of the time she doesn’t fuss at all.  The evening though can be tricky.  Sometimes she will go down easily, but I have rocked her in a chair to help relax her if she fusses in her crib for awhile.

We love Charlotte, and I am so thankful for the progress this past month.  I am hoping that sleep will continue to regularly improve.

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Green Dress Tradition

IMG_7639 - CopyThe girls’ GramE and Aunt Marcie wore green dresses as babies.  Each of my girls has had a picture in the green dress.  And a small miracle that happened, all four girls are smiling at the same time.  This is the only photo that happened in of all the ones I took.  Hooray!!!

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Charlotte is 7 Months Old!!!

IMG_7595Charlotte went on an adventure with me this past weekend.  Ladies from my Life Group went to the beach, and they graciously were okay with me bringing Charlotte.  Another mom brought her wee one too.  We timed our travel to match her naps, so she did better than I hoped for travel time.  She still prefers me over others, but she was okay a couple of times with others holding her.

Things Charlotte has been up to this past month:

*rolling from front to back and back to front

*eating solids 3 times a day

*still waking 1-5 times a night, but she is only up for about 10 minutes to either nurse or be walked around until she falls back to sleep


*spending a lot more time being happy with Kyle and the girls

*she loves watching her sisters as they use their bikes and scooters

*she is contents with toys while on the ground for 5-15 minutes, and that is a HUGE step in the right direction compared to the 10 seconds she’d be happy on the floor from months 3ish-6ish

*she had a few days were she tried dropping her evening nap, but most days she has 3 naps

*I went dairy, citrus, and chocolate free in January, and that has helped her tremendously in regards to nursing.

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Camera Angles and Negative Space

IMG_7578After being inspired by my friend Sarah, I am playing with the idea of negative space and minimalism.  I think I would have needed more of the fence in these pictures to capture the full idea, but these were fun to take.IMG_7579


And these others are just for fun since my girls were willing to have their picture taken. Plus, I was thinking about the Degas painting were you only see the bottom half of several ballerinas.  I always wondered what the rest of them looked like. IMG_7581IMG_7583IMG_7585IMG_7588

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Charlotte is 6 months!!!

IMG_7512A half a year has passed.  The past few months are pretty fuzzy due to sleep deprivation.  A blessing of the last month is that I didn’t have blue days.  There were plenty of hard moments, but not blue days!

Charlotte eats solids pretty well.  She has enjoyed green beans, peas, avocado, acorn squash, pear, apple sauce, sweet potato, yams, and oatmeal cereal.  Oh, and she had a few bites of a yummy potato soup a friend made for us.  IMG_7541Charlotte was sitting on her own for a few moments last night.  She still prefers to be up in my arms, but I am working to slowly get her to be content not in my arms.  This is simply because all of the rocking, swaying, and holding her is taking a toll on my body.  She was pretty sick last week, and I held her upright, propped up some pillows behind my back, and slept on the couch.  It took some effort, but she is back to sleeping in her crib.  She prefers me over everyone, and although that may sound cute, it is pretty hard.  I left the room to throw a diaper away, and I returned to her screaming at Kyle.  Charlotte is happy for a while outside watching her sisters on bikes and scooters and the cars driving by.  She is even content while I sit in a chair holding her while we watch her sisters.  This is progress from only being content if I was standing.  So we go out front nearly every day.  Being outside is good for all of us.  It is a moment of rest for me.

I wish that the moments captured in these pictures were what is was like all of the time, but the reality is that I pray for contentment in this hard season and for sleep nearly every night.  I know with all of my girls that some things get much easier once I am not being woken multiple times in the night.  In the mean time, I am reminded that Jesus loves me and sees me.

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