Tag Archives: Dear Charlotte

Charlotte is 5!

Dear Charlotte,

I almost can’t believe it, but you’re 5 years old! You are the baby of the family, but you are really turning in to a big girl. Bravery, hilarity and kindness are some of your best personality traits right now. Plus you’re the cutest little girl ever. I mean, look:

Charlotte - 5 years old

To say this has been a big year for you is an understatement. I think the year between 4 and 5 always is, but you’ve had a big one.

You started full time, all day school. Not by my choice, but by our school district’s. This fall, you began going to 4K all day every day. And you rocked it. I shouldn’t have doubted you for a minute.

First day 4K

So proud to be in school with your brother all day. And I was a little surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, by how much you loved it and how much everyone loved you. All the teachers commented that you give the best hugs, that you’re the happiest little girl, and they’re right! You lost two pair of sunglasses and a fleece during your first year of full time school, but I can’t even be mad. You made tons of friends, learned to read, and couldn’t love school more. Score!

The other big event of the year was our move from the only house you’ve ever known to another one. And again, why did I doubt you? You rocked it, too! You love your new pink room. You love our big yard. You are just the happiest little girl and we couldn’t be happier.

I love the way you say things that you know aren’t true, with such conviction, just to see if we will actually believe them. I love that sometimes you call sneezes “bless yous”. I love that you always notice when I have my nails painted and make a fake angry face because I did it without painting yours, too. I love that you are a girly girl, wanting to wear dresses and necklaces, but then you can skateboard right alongside your big brother, too. I love that you are never, ever stingy with hugs and kisses and I love yous. Never lose this , sweet girl.

Happy 5th year, baby girl.

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Thanks for being my best friend!

Love, Mommy

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Dear Charlotte,

It has officially been three years since you were born and I heard your daddy exclaim, “Is it a GIRL? It’s a GIRL!!” as you entered the world. To say we were shocked and thrilled would be an understatement. In three short years you have brought more joy, love and happiness to our lives than we thought possible. IMG_4748

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We used to joke that we hit the jackpot when we had Riley, but with you, we know we are equally lucky and we are equally grateful. You haven proven to be an opinionated, independent little girl. Which means there have been some tantrums this year. They’re almost comical – you stomping your foot with an emphatic “NO!” And then you calmly looking at us to see what our reaction will be.

The one thing I will remind you of over and over when you’re older is what a crappy sleeper you have always been. Seriously. Ever since you outgrew infanthood, you decided that sleep is not something you’re interested in. I still get up with you almost every night. Last night was THREE TIMES! Seriously. You don’t need anything. Other than a hug from your beloved mommy. But you magically nap like a dream for your daddy every day while I’m at work. Figures.

Xmas came and went and now we can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!

Few things in life have made me as happy as seeing the relationship between you and your brother. As we imagined, he’s been your protector, your BFF, your irritator and well, your favorite person. No matter what he’s eating or what treat he gets, he automatically asks for a second one for you. He’s got your back. Since birth he has called you “Goo Gee.” Like most good nicknames, none of us remember where that name came from, but it has stuck and we all call you Goo Gee. Another thing to tease you about when you’re older of course. But in reality, we’ll probably still call you Goo Gee on your wedding day.

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You idolize your big brother, that’s for sure. If he’s riding his bike, you want to ride your bike. If he’s playing Thomas trains, you want to play, too. It is rare not to hear you exclaim, “Rah-leeee!” in either happiness, attention-seeking or in anger. A perfect brother-sister duo.

I couldn’t have hand-picked a better daughter. You’re hilarious, independent, opinionated, equal parts girly and tom-boy. You’re perfect. Even when you’re stomping your foot and waking me up at 3 a.m.

Driving the boat.

I love you so, my sweet little girl.

Happy birthday.

Love, Mommy

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2 Years Old

Dear Charlotte,

Today you turn two years old. It really feels like you’ve always been a part of our family. Last year on your birthday, I wrote about how difficult that first year with two kids was for me. I’m happy to report that this year has been smoother. You’re such a sweet, happy girl who makes everyone so, so happy.

 

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

You are adventurous and independent. You want to do everything. You have no sense of danger, which is terrifying for your parents. You see a bird outside and say, “my hold it?” I have to explain to you that no, you cannot hold a wild bird. No, you may not walk down a flight of stairs without holding my hand (which made you scream in anger), and no, you may not eat that grass. When you get something in your strong-willed mind, you will not take no for an answer. I’m hoping this is more due to your age, not necessarily your personality, because I’m afraid of what that might mean when you’re a teenager.

You’re still a cuddler, which makes me so, so happy! You’ve always loved to be on my hip, snuggled into my shoulder. And you still do. Though you’re getting heavy, I don’t mind. I’ll take all the Charlotte cuddles I can get.

You love to stack blocks, draw (you’re surprisingly good at drawing circles), do puzzles, play with Riley’s cars and trains and watch Dora. Oh, your Dora obsession. Specifically your obsession with Dora fruit snacks is epic. Sometimes you ask me for “Dora nee nacks” when you randomly wake up at 4 a.m. I have never complied with your request. However “Dora nee nacks” has become your comfort word. If you fall and hurt yourself, which is often, you poor girl, you cuddle into my shoulder and mutter, “Dora nee nacks.” I’m not sure if you even want them, you just want to say it.

Your birthday party was this weekend and the moment when you realized all this was for you was when we were singing happy birthday to you. The look on your face will be forever burned into my mind and I will think of it on your wedding day. You were perched in your favorite spot (on my hip) in front of the horse cake your grandpa made for you, with a “2” candle lit on top. As people started singing, you looked around at everyone, wide-eyed with a shy smile on your face. You realized it was all for you. That our backyard and garage were full of people who love you and see what a special, sweet little girl you are and in that moment, you felt like a special, sweet little girl and it was amazing to watch.

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Another amazing thing? The love between you and your brother. You want to be just like him. If he jumped off a bridge (or the couch, or the porch steps) you would, too. He adores you. If anyone on the playground, at school or in a store acknowledges you in any way, he proudly announces, “This is my baby Charlotte. Her nickname is Googie.” (Yes your newborn nickname has stuck, sorry about that, Googs.) Most people chuckle or ask him what he just said, but it doesn’t matter. He wants everyone to know you and notice you. He’s proud of you. And you’ve got his back. If we give you something, you ask for one for “Ra-Ra” too. You two talk to each other through your closed bedroom doors sometime at bedtime. You have a lifelong bond as best friends and your daddy and I will do everyone in our power to make sure it stays that way. You two deserve each other.

Goofy BFFs

Goofy BFFs

You’re getting to be more fun every day. You sneakily pretend you’re going to grab something we just told you not to grab. With a naughty smile on your face, you creep closer to my water glass, my phone, or whatever else you want to get your hands on. When Daddy or I yell, “Hey!” you giggle uncontrollably and run away.

You  make us all so happy.

I love you to infinity and beyond.

Love,

Mommy

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Dear Riley and Charlotte

Dear Riley and Charlotte,

There are times throughout the day that you both do things that are either hilarious, adorable, or a little bit of both and I realize that you won’t do these things forever. Riley, you’ll be FIVE in a couple months, and that just blows my mind.


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Gone are the days of you calling our dog Lola, “Wahwhoa,” or saying that maybe some candy would, “feel me better.” I miss that little boy, but I love the little boy you are today. The one who:

  • Tells me on a daily basis that I’m the best mommy ever
  • Thanks me for making dinner and usually says it’s the best dinner ever, even when it’s just spaghetti
  • Asks uncomfortably inappropriate questions like “Mommy, why don’t you have a wiener?”
  • Loves his sister so much it hurts. Sometimes literally. Yesterday you hugged her too tight and too long and she struggled to get away. Apparently you still didn’t let go and she bit you right on the cheek. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I think she made her point.
  • Immediately takes my hand whenever you get out of the car. I don’t need to remind you, you do it automatically and I can tell it makes both of us happy.

And Charlotte, you are now 18 months old and you’re getting bigger and less baby-like every day.

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I love how you:

  • only call animals by the sounds they make, not what they’re called. For example, your favorite, a horse is a “neigh neigh,” a dog is an “arf arf” a cat is a “meow” a rooster is a “cock a doodle doo” – high pitched of course – and a bird is a “tweet tweet.” I should probably be correcting you, but it’s too cute!
  • are so observant. You see your favorite, a squirrel, from across the room, outside the window and up a tree across the street. You don’t miss much.
  • love kissing. You make a cartoon kissy face and come at us with a “mmmmmMMMMMMWAH!” until we let you plant one on us.
  • I love the way you say yes. It sounds like “yesssshhhh”. It’s too cute for words.
  • Whenever I’m holding you, if I sigh out of the sheer exhaustion of raising two kids and working full time, you instantly mimic my sigh. Because maybe your life is hectic, too.
  • At night, you insist on me reading “moooooon!” (Goodnight Moon) as one of your bedtime stories. However, you refuse to let me open it up and read the pages. Luckily, that was one of Riley’s favorite books too, so I’ve had 4 and a half years to memorize the book. I read it to you every night from memory, while you sit on my lap and hug the closed book.

This list really could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. You two are the best things that ever happened to your dad and me. We can’t wait to see the people you become. You will always make us proud.

Love,

Mommy

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17 Months

Dear Charlotte,

Today you are 17 months old. And wow, you are definitely a little person. An opinionated, goofy, crazy little person. I’m actually really worried about the teenage years now. But look at you! How are you this adorable? How?

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Like I mentioned, you’re the most opinionated little girl I’ve ever met. If you ask for a cracker and I dare to hand you one from the box, you squawk and motion to the box until I put the cracker back and lower the box so you can reach in and grab your own cracker. Which is probably the exact cracker I just handed you. Where do you get this? (From me, you get this from me, your daddy says).

You love babies. You squeal with delight if you happen to see a real baby. Though you call almost any kid a baby, regardless of age or size. A 5 year old boy is a baby to you. Your favorite thing to do is scroll through the pictures on my phone and see the pictures of yourself, your favorite baby. When you met a real baby on Thanksgiving, your cousin Emily, you could barely contain yourself. A lot of shrieking and arm flailing and touching the baby ensued.

A REAL baby!

A REAL baby!

You could hardly stand it.

Your other favorite pastime is climbing things that you shouldn’t be climbing. This includes end tables, any large toy with a flat surface, the arm of the couch, boxes that cannot support your weight, and laundry baskets that you have turned upside down. What happens then usually is you fall. And after you fall you cry. And after you’re done crying, you climb right back up on the thing from which you just fell off. I admire your ability to “get back on the horse” as they say, but could you please STOP GETTING BACK ON THE HORSE? Please?

So happy 17 months little girl. You’re sweet, funny, cute and really good at driving us nuts.

We love you!

 

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Happy Birthday!

Dear Charlotte,

Today is your birthday. You’re 1!

char1A year ago right now, I was in the hospital in the most excrutiating pain of my life. I can now say that I know what natural childbirth feels like and I think it’s safe to say I’d never like to feel that again. But the moment you were born was life changing for me. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget hearing your daddy say, “Is it a GIRL? It’s a GIRL!” We were shocked, happy and so, so thankful for you. We still are.

IMG_4748I’d be lying if I said this year has been easy; that I’ve loved every minute of it. Becoming a family of four, especially a working mom to two kids, has been much harder than I anticipated. I’ll tell you more about it someday when you become a mother and call me frazzled, stressed and over tired. I’ll remember this past year and reassure you that you will be fine. By then, I’ll have hopefully done my job and prepared you to be an awesome mom, just like my mom taught me. Being a mom is my most favorite thing in the world. I mean that so much. You and your brother make me a better person and for that I am grateful.

Ok, sweet girl, enough with the heavy, mushy stuff. Let’s talk about what kind of baby you are. You are loud, opinionated and funny.

IMG_6594You can do tricks! You started walking about 3 weeks ago. It amazes me how you can move those chubby little legs of yours. Riley announces it to the world every time he sees you do it. “Charlotte’s walking!” he yells proudly. He loves you so much.

You blow kisses, wave bye bye and say “bye!”, your favorite word is still “Mama” with “Lola” being a close second. You like to dance whenever you hear music. Pointing is your favorite past time. You point at anything and everything and recently started pointing to pictures of me and Daddy to let everyone know that you’re thinking of us. When we tell you no, you cry big crocodile tears. Because you are going to be a drama queen, maybe? Yeesh.

Sleeping is definitely not your favorite thing. At least at night it’s not. You like to nurse during the night. Which I can’t believe we’re still doing. Breastfeeding was also pretty brutal this past year. I will spare you the gory details (at least until you’re a mom yourself) but I’m proud of both of us for making it through the first year together.

I love you little girl. I’m so glad you’re mine forever.

Happy birthday.

Love,

Mommy

 

 

 

 

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11 Months

Dear Charlotte,

Today you are 11 months old. Every day you become less of a helpless infant and more of an opinionated toddler. This makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Words cannot describe how difficult these photos are to take now.

Words cannot describe how difficult these photos are to take now.

 

It seems like every day you have a new trick or you do something that amazes us. The other day you picked up your brother’s recorder and expertly blew into it like you’ve been playing an instrument your entire life (all 11 months of it). Every once in a while, I hear a recorder tooting away and it’s always YOU who are doing the tooting. Crazy.

I swear, you can talk. You started saying, “Mama” about two months ago and now you have words that sound like “hi,” “bye,” “Lola,” “Dada” and one that sort of sounds like “Riley.” You continue to amaze us.

Ninety percent of the time, you’re a happy baby. You still LOVE for me to hold you. I can’t believe that you don’t want to be more independent. You are sometimes, but most of the time, you prefer to be in my arms, pointing to what you want until I walk over and let you touch it. You love to look out the window.

Goofy.

Goofy.

 

One of my favorite times of the day is when I go in your room first thing in the morning when you wake up. You give me the biggest smile when you see me, then you frantically crawl over to me in your crib. I pick you up, you snuggle into my neck and then you immediately start your morning pointing ritual. You first point to the cross hanging on your wall. I walk you over so you can touch it. Then you point to the window and I open your blinds and let you look outside. By this time, Riley is usually in your room, and you squeal and smile as soon as you see him. I think this is one of his favorite parts of the day too.

Snoozefest.

Snoozefest.

 

You are soooo close to walking. I really thought you’d have walked in your 10th month the way your brother did, but maybe you’ll be a little more cautious than he is – that is not a bad thing. You can stand on your own for longer periods of time, but you just don’t want to pick your feet up and move unless someone is holding your hands or you’re holding onto the furniture. No problem, Charlie. I don’t mind you not being able to walk. You take your time, kiddo.

I try to get photos of you and your brother playing together. I know the day is coming when neither of you want to play together, but for now, my heart leaps when I see you two building train tracks together. You pretty much just mess up what he puts together, but he loves you anyway. He usually yells, “GooGee! You broke my track!” and then he starts building it again.

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Oh yeah. That’s what we call you – GooGee. Sorry about that. I promise we’ll stop calling you that before you’re 16.

We can’t wait to celebrate your birthday in a month, Char. We go big for birthdays in this house so get ready.

We love, love, love you.

Love,

Mommy

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