Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Wonderful Week with Mimi

Charlie got another special treat during my second week of work--Clint's mom (Charlie's Mimi) came to take care of him. They had a truly wonderful week together and Clint and I felt so blessed to have such incredible help. Mimi is SO sweet with Charlie--I just loved watching them bond and seeing his little eyes light up when he talked to her (and they talked a LOT). He was such a happy little baby all week and I know it is due to the wonderful time he was having during the days. Thank you Mimi for coming to stay and for doing such a great job with Charlie (and for cooking us some great food!). We love you and miss you!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tummy Time Fun with Aunt Meg

I love these pictures that my sister took of Charlie one afternoon while they were playing. You can tell from these how excited he gets about playing with her. Have you ever seen a baby having so much fun?? (she did reveal that she used Mr. Frog--who will be discussed in a coming post--to help elicit some of these expressions... :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Return to Work and a Week with Aunt Meg

What a week! I returned to work this week and it has been (and I think will continue to be) a difficult transition. I have been so emotional the past week and a half and I know that I am just having such a hard time being away from Charlie. We had such a wonderful 4 months together and it is so difficult to spend my days doing something else. I am hoping that I can work out my schedule so that I'm not away from him too much--otherwise, I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it! The worst part is that Clint and I are now competing for Charlie time in the evening--he was very generous and let me have extra cuddles this week, but I'm not sure he'll be so benevolent going forward... All in all, the week definitely had its ups and downs, and was easier in some ways and harder in some ways than I expected. I am hoping that I figure out a way to make this work (and feel good about it) in the next few weeks!

Here we are on my first day of work. I was not holding up so well...Charlie, on the other hand, was pretty excited because his Aunt Meg was in town!
My sister, Meg, gave me the greatest possible gift this past week by coming up to Dallas and keeping Charlie for me while I transitioned back to work. I cannot imagine leaving Charlie with anyone more perfect--she is so incredibly sweet with him, can get him laughing no matter what mood he's in, is incredibly energetic and fun, and was just tireless in keeping him entertained, fed, rested, and happy. It made the return to work so much easier than it otherwise would have been--I was so much happier knowing how much fun Charlie was having at home and what a good job Meg was doing with him. She had a big task of getting Charlie used to and comfortable with a bottle and she did an incredible job. He cratered a bit on Friday, but he had some great bottle-feedings during the week. I so enjoyed getting funny little updates during the day and had SO much fun coming home to my sweet sister and getting to spend every evening with her. I think my favorite part of the week was seeing Charlie's huge smiles when he first saw Meg every morning. Thank you SO much Meg--we are all missing you dearly!!

Since I wasn't at home with Meg and Charlie, I decided I'd let Charlie blog about their week together.

chALs hur. ant MegEE n me had so mush fun. we plAyd lots of gAms and tuk lots of wolks outsYd. she let me rYd in the baby byorn a LOT.
i lyKed rYdng n my strolar.
i luk sad hur but megEE ushallEE mAks me laf.
i rullEE lYk kissng megEE.
she beter com bak i mis hur.
Come back Ant Meggie! We miss you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Grandparents Day!

Charlie wanted to send happy grandparents' day wishes to the best grandparents (and great-grandparents) in the world. We just love our Papa, Ali, PawPaw, and Mimi. You'll forgive us for being one day late, right??

(and I know that his name looks funny on the sign...I spelled it wrong initially...doesn't bode well for a triumphant return to my legal career... :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Four Months Old

Wow--I cannot believe we have had 4 months with our sweet little Charlie already. Time is passing so fast, but it is already so hard to remember (or imagine) life without him. As my time at home comes to an end, I am feeling so blessed for an incredible 4 months with Charlie. We had more fun than I ever could have imagined, and I feel lucky to have bonded with him so deeply. Seeing everything through Charlie's eyes has made life so much more fun. Even little chores, like grocery shopping, that were mundane pre-Charlie are so fun now--the little guy takes so much joy in each excursion that it's hard not to do the same. His love of people, of walking around outside (really, just walking around anywhere), of observing new things, of visiting with people, of laughing, and of being silly have really rubbed off on us.

At 4 months, Charlie is still just as sweet as ever. He is becoming more and more sociable and just loves being around people. He loves it when people talk to him--he becomes incredibly animated and will try very hard to talk back. He is making lots of sounds--"ah goo" is probably his fave. :) He screeches, squeals, and waves his arms and legs up and down when he gets excited--this often happens in the bath and results in lots of splashing, which really thrills him. He still loves Wheels on the Bus, Peek-a-Boo, and Pat-a-Cake, and really loves all music and dancing. I put on a children's music CD for us today and he just started squealing with laughter--it was too cute.

Charlie is also rolling over (both front to back and back to front), sitting up with assistance, and loves to pull up on our fingers. You can almost always calm him down by helping him stand up. He is very proud of this trick and loves to bob his little head around to see how many people are watching (and hoping they are impressed). He also loves us to "fly" him over our heads and gets very excited when I change his clothes--I think he thinks it's a game because he just gets so tickled each time I pull a shirt over his head (his little chuckles makes me want to change his clothes all the time :). He has found his feet and they are incredibly exciting to him. He has even managed to get them into his mouth a couple of times--I'm sure his breech-positioning in the womb enhanced his flexibility. :) Bottle training has had it's ups and downs over the last few weeks, but it's still not going great. Hopefully my transition back to work won't been too stressful for him--luckily, we have lots and lots of bottles at home for him to choose from!

Some fun pics from his past week, and some more tidbits about month 4 are below... :)

We think this picture is just hilarious. Doesn't Charlie look proud here? Clint thinks he looks like he's smirking at all the babies that haven't hit the 4-month mark yet.
He was smiling and laughing for Clint when we took these pictures--so fun!
I took the next few pictures after his 4-month doctor's appointment. Charlie did a great job at the appointment, charming the nurses and our pediatrician. As Charlie was squealing and laughing on the table, the pediatrician joked that he had never seen such a miserable baby. :) Charlie cried just a bit for his shots, but calmed down nicely once they were over. Poor baby felt terrible the next two days, however, and only perked up after we gave him some Baby Tylenol. My mom was up visiting and we had to come up with lots of distractions for Charlie, as he was a bit more cranky than usual. He slept a lot--the first night after the shots, he went through the night. I guess that's the silver lining along with the misery of the shots...

Here are his 4-month stats:

Weight: 14 pounds, 7 ounces (40%)
Height: 26 inches (80%)
Head: 16 3/4 inches (50%)

And here is our tall, "skinny" little guy looking perkier than I remember post-shots...
Note the sweet Beatles tee--the first (and only) item of clothing Clint/Daddy has purchased for Charlie. :)

Aren't these chubby bandaged legs adorable??
My mom came up to spend some time with us during my last week at home. We had so much fun with her, and I can't thank her enough for all of her help (and emotional support!) during my last week. She really helped me get organized and ready to go back to work and was there for me when I started to get nostalgic and nervous about the transition. We ran around a lot, laughed a ton, and just enjoyed being together. Charlie just loves his Grandma Ali and it is so sweet to see them together. His little face lights up when she is in the room and I think he really missed her when she left--he was definitely a bit fussier than normal the first day without her. So Mom--you have to come back soon--we are all missing you like crazy!
Mom took some sweet pictures of Charlie with her new camera...
After Mom left, we had a fun weekend ahead of us. Among other things, Charlie took us along with him to George Gray's first birthday party. George was the cutest little honoree and we had so much fun celebrating with him. Saturday (9/11) was a special day for us as well, as it is the 1-year anniversary of the day we found out we were pregnant. It is incredible how much has happened in our lives this year!!
Sweet George.
Charlie and I tried to pose for a few pics later that evening before he went to bed, but we couldn't get him to look at the camera. Oh well...
And the final two pictures are pretty amazing--it is incredible how much our boy has grown in 4 months. Here he is at 5 days old...
...and here's a picture of him tonight. The "big" boy has transitioned from his swaddle into a sleep sack and so far, so good. Our first swaddle-free night was terrible (he was up almost every hour for the entire night), but every night since has been great--he's even slept 11+ hours a couple of times. Good job little Charlie--we are proud of you!
All in all, this has been an incredible month filled with fun trips, fun summer days, and fun times with friends and family. I have loved my time at home with Charlie and get so choked up every time I think about my return to work on Tuesday. I could never have imagined how much fun a little baby could be. And based on the past 4 months, I am guessing the 5 month is going to be pretty wonderful as well--can't wait!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Littlest Gymnast & A Scary Tornado

Charlie here. Doing some blogging while Mom sleeps. Just thought I'd tell all of you about my first experience at Little Gym (it's like gymnastics, but much more manly). I pretty much rocked it. I was the littlest baby there, but I did great (if I do say so myself). I never cried or whined and did all the tricks. My mom kept laughing, but I stayed focused. I couldn't figure out how to put my hands down for the forward somersault, but Mr. Barry said I'd figure that out in the next few months. All in all, I was pretty great. The 8-month old girls in the class thought so too. Ok, so on to the pics...because I know you love them.

Here I am stretching before things really got going. I had my shots the day before so my thighs were a bit tight.
Back flip and perfect landing. I'd say this was a perfect 10. Mr. Barry thought so too.
Here's a fabulous picture of me relaxing with some music and waiting for instructions from Mr. Barry.
Chillin' next to the bar. I am not quite tall enough to pull up, but I could do it if the bar were shorter. I swear.
Hey ladies! Come over on this side!
I wasn't scared at all on the balance beam. I think I'm a natural. Check out my form!
Ok, so maybe I did get a bit upset on the uneven bars, but what do you expect? I'm 4 months old!!!
After we got home from Little Gym, we heard sirens and found out a tornado was headed straight for us. My mom actually didn't realize the sirens were going off until my dad got home from his run and told us to get into the bathroom for protection. I wasn't scared at all and mostly just liked getting some extra playtime before bed. Luckily, my mom brought lots of toys into the bathroom for us. Unfortunately, the tornado warning ended very quickly. Oh well--hopefully we'll get more excitement another night!
Signing off now...gotta figure out how to get back in my crib before the 'rents realize that I'm not asleep. Check ya later!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Charlie Finds the Lost Pines

In celebration of Labor Day, the end of summer, and my incredible 4 months at home with Charlie, Clint and I took the little man to the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop for an impromptu vacation. It was a short getaway but we had so much fun! Charlie was a trooper during the long drives both ways and seemed to have a great time in Bastrop. He was too little to really enjoy most of the resort activities, but I think this will be a fun vacation destination for us over the years. We certainly have good memories of this first vacation there together!

We arrived at Lost Pines late Friday night and Charlie entertained the staff with his bright eyes and inquisitive stares. He was particularly interested in hearing about the spa amenities. He was so amusing that the front desk clerk, Clint and I started giggling about him and couldn't stop--as a result, our lecture about the resort amenities was cut a bit short. :) Charlie woke bright and early on Saturday morning--here is the man himself, in his traveling PJs. Beep Beep!
After breakfast, we took an early morning stroll around the resort. It was so lovely seeing it virtually empty in the morning before everyone woke up. Charlie just loved the beautiful weather!

The resort is located on the Colorado River. When Charlie is a little older, we can kayak the real river! (for now, we stuck with the fake one...see below)
We all enjoyed the beautiful weather. Charlie spent his morning catching some rays.
Dad, you forgot to unbuckle the straps under my hat!
The Reeds and the Skaggs (minus Amy and 4-day-old Charlotte) joined us on Saturday. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was playing with the "big" kids in the lazy river and on the water slide. We all had so much fun. Here are Addie and Baby Katie waiting to watch us take on the water slide. Even Baby Katie took a turn!
Dad and Charlie got in lots of good bonding time. Dad was pretty awesome over the weekend--he stayed in the room with Charlie during his naps, and then he and Mom watched Charlie on Saturday night so that Clint and I could have a date night out. It was so nice having all the help. We haven't felt so foot-loose and fancy-free for a while now! :)
The goofy glasses society.
Spider-man building a spider castle.
Katie relaxing with a bottle. We tried to get Charlie interested, but he decided that bottles didn't look too enticing.
Clint chased Jackson around the lazy river.
And Julia motored me and Charlie around. Charlie loved floating the river!
The water fountain was a big hit.
As were the funny hats at the general store...

Charlie watched his first Texas game, and even wore burnt orange for the occasion.
Take that Rice!
On Sunday, Charlie relaxed at the club while the men golfed. Although he didn't actually golf, he did dress the part. :)
I can drive the cart next year, right?
Clint and I managed to fit in a rousing game of tether ball...
But Charlie didn't find it quite so rousing. :)
Family picture on T-Bone, the resident longhorn. I feel like this should say "Merry Christmas from the dorky family from Texas" underneath.
What a wonderful weekend!