Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Charlotte: TWO years old!

Big, independent girl!
My baby was 2 on Sunday.  How can this be?  It seems like just yesterday we were in the hospital together, my brand new baby and me.  And now I have a big, smart, funny, beautiful girl.
Last night as a 1 year-old
Charlotte never ceases to amaze me.  She is such a happy, social girl, and people seem drawn to her wherever we go. She is talking more and more each day; she is up to 4-5 word sentences, and is like a little parrot. She'll say back almost any word I say to her, but often leaves out consonants in the middle of a word.  So "waffle" becomes "wah-ell."  Mostly I understand her, although this morning she was asking for "kisses" for breakfast and I couldn't understand what that was!  It is great that she's so able to communicate, which helps cut down on temper tantrums (sometimes). She can say her name, and tell you that she is 2.  She calls anything pink "my favorite color." I told her she was my baby and she said, "No baby! Big girl!"  She has always been in such a rush to grow up, that girl, and all I want to do is drag out her babyhood because she's my last baby.
Dessert: one of her favorite food groups
Charlotte's favorite foods are... impossible to predict.  She is no longer my eat-everything-baby- she changes her favorite foods from day to day.  She likes many fruits, and loves spinach and broccoli, and almost always loves pasta.  She detests all meats that aren't processed, which means she will spit out chicken, but devour sausage.  She likes pizza ("tee-ta"), cereal, eggs, cheese, and sometimes yogurt.  I think her favorite food is mac and cheese, because that is what she asks for the most.

As with her favorite foods, Charlotte changes her favorite stuffed animal from day to day.  Instead of always taking her Kitty Cat with her, sometimes she takes a rabbit ("raddit") or a small white kitty.  Lately White Kitty gets taken out on the town, but it's always Black Kitty who she wants when it's nap or bedtime.  She just got a gift of a big Hello Kitty doll and calls her "Hi Kitty!"  Her enthusiasm about everything is contagious and adorable.
Every birthday party needs a tutu
She is certainly a girl.  Besides loving pink, she loves pretty dresses and tutus.  She likes to dance in her dresses and twirls like a ballerina with her arms over her head.  She loves dolls.  But- she also loves cars and trucks and playing with her brothers.  She's pretty sure she is 4 years old and can do anything that they do.

Charlotte does like to watch TV.  Her top 2 shows right now are probably Animal Mechanical (pronounced "Amuhl Camuhl" and as bad as the title implies) and Care Bears.  But it kind of seems like she'll watch anything that comes on!
Playtime in the tubby
Everyone adores Charlotte.  Her brothers mostly dote on her, but they also take advantage of her younger age by bossing her around and blaming accidents on her.  I think she knows she's getting unfairly accused, and one night Eric heard her in her crib scolding all her stuffed animals.  "No, no, no Raddit.  No, no, no Kee-kee.  No, no, no Pih-ee."  But her brothers worry about her and take care of her, and often defer to her tantrums because we all hate to hear her cry.  One morning we heard Charlotte in her crib, and I didn't rush in to her, but Asher did.  When I came in to get her, he was sitting in her crib with her, talking and laughing.  She can be very bossy with them, and possessive of Mommy and Daddy, but for the most part, they let her get her way.
Playing at her party with her friend Elliott
Charlotte has developed a love of the words "NO!" and "My's!" (for mine).  Eric described her as willful, but also confident, with a mind of her own. The he said, "how many different ways can you say that she's perfect?"  She is a wonderful girl, a wonder, a miracle, a blessing, a marvel. How is it possible that we could make such a delicious and beautiful girl?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Away

Eric & me
Eric and I went away for the weekend- to New York City for my friend Amanda's wedding.  It was our first time away together since before Charlotte was born, and our first time spending more than 1 night away together since we had kids!  It was made possible by the help of our family and friends- my parents took the kids Friday night and early Saturday morning; my sister did Saturday into Sunday; Jane and Ed did Friday night dinner, Saturday night dinner, and Sunday morning breakfast; our friend Geoff took the boys to a classmate's birthday party on Sunday.

We had a GREAT time.  It helped that the whole weekend was planned and provided for by Amanda, her husband Brad, and their families, so we went from one delicious meal with an open bar to another.
Flat Iron at sunset
We took the train up on Friday afternoon, and did some work on the train.  We were staying at my mom's cousin's apartment at 37th and Park, which ended up being a very walkable location for most of our weekend activities.  We started by walking to Rent the Runway for me to get a cocktail dress for the night- I found a dress, but we ended up race-walking back up Park Avenue to get ready for dinner.  As is the way when you're already late, everything took too long.  I needed new pantyhose and there was a line down the aisle at Duane Reade; the first train that came through our station didn't stop and the train we did get on kicked us off 2 stops before our destination; we started walking the wrong way on Canal... We did get a cab and I was changing my pantyhose in the backseat, and double-sided taping my dress to my bra while we rode!
my Friday night dress
Friday night dinner was fun- we got to catch up with old friends, and I toasted the bride and groom.  We did try to get home a little early (10:30) since we knew we had so much we wanted to do the next day, and that the wedding would go late.

Saturday was perfect.  The weather was sunny and not too cold.  First thing, I went for a 5 mile run, up 5th Avenue and through Central Park and back down again.  I got to look at the store windows decorated for Christmas without inconveniencing Eric.  After my run and a shower, we went out to breakfast together, and then walked down toward the Flat Iron district.  We did Hanukkah shopping and shopped for ourselves (but didn't get anything. I looked at the things I want most for Hanukkah- Chloe perfume and cold-weather running gear- but didn't buy).  Then we parted ways. I went to one of Amanda's husband's offices (he runs a huge company, which is impressive, given he isn't even 30 yet) where there was a company called the Glam Squad set up to do hair and makeup for everyone.  There was Prosecco, coffee, sandwiches, small desserts... Amazing.  Back in college we drank cheap "champagne" and ate who knows what as we got ready together- Amanda has clearly moved up in the world!

I have never had both my hair and makeup professionally done, not even for my own wedding, and it was great- I felt so beautiful.  After hair and makeup, I went back to the apartment where we were staying to get ready for the wedding.  My parents were there, too.  We got ready and left with what seemed to be plenty of time.
my hair- loved it
But Saturday was a big day in New York.  Not only was there a large protest/march against police brutality, it was also Santa Con, which apparently means lots of people go around the city dressed like Santa/reindeer/elves and get stinking drunk and/or high.  All this translated to: not a cab to be found.  Well, we got one cab to pull over but when we told him where we were going he said it was "too close."  So we walked.  I was in 4 inch heels.  I couldn't do it (we walked 6.5 avenues west and 6 blocks south), so I poked my head into a nail salon and paid $1 for the cheap foam pedicure flip flops.  So I speed-walked all the way to the wedding in a long gown, a vintage fur stole from my great-grandma, and pedicure flip flops.  People were laughing at me the whole way there (and I was laughing at myself!) but I had to save my feet for dancing.
cross-town trek in pedicure flip-flops
The wedding was gorgeous!  Candle light, rose champagne, natural touches.  It was especially wonderful because it was so clear that the bride and groom were in love, and that their families were happy with the marriage and all got along.  There was no tension (that I was aware of or that was obvious) and everyone seemed genuinely thrilled to watch Amanda and Brad get married.  There was endless food and endless celebration.

We had so much fun- I had to take my shoes off to keep dancing.  I also felt great. I loved the dress I had rented from Rent the Runway (and so did Eric) and I felt so beautiful.  I probably felt as beautiful as I did on my own wedding day, or more, because now I feel especially proud of myself for getting back into shape after 2 pregnancies.
the back of my dress. I felt so pretty
Sunday was a brunch (more food! and mimosas!) and we were all running low on energy.  We left around 11 and got home around 1 to a house full of love bugs who had missed us.  It was great to be home- but being away definitely felt energizing and exciting.  I think we will have to do it again sometime sooner than 2 years from now.

And one of my best friends in the world is now happily married to a great guy.  I thought a lot over the weekend about how well things have turned out for all of my close friends from college.  We have married great guys; entered into meaningful and enjoyable careers; had beautiful, healthy children.  It was a gift to watch Amanda get married; after hours and hours of phone conversations over the years about love and heartbreak, she has married her perfect match.  I was so honored to be a part of all of it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Plague

Daddy and Asher at urgent care Thursday night
I had many other posts I had hoped to write, but we have all been taking down by a plague- or a variety of plagues.

Last weekend I started with a cold, and was miserable Sunday and into Monday.  Then Charlotte started a fever Monday/Tuesday. Then she seemed better Wednesday, but Asher had a fever.  Then on Thursday, Benjamin had a fever. On Thursday, I took Asher and Charlotte to school, and as we pulled into the parking lot, Asher said, "mommy, my throat hurts."  Being the excellent mommy that I am, I told him I was sure he was fine, and have a great day at school!  By 10 am, the school had called Eric to come get Charlotte because she had a fever.
Sweet, sick baby
By the time I got home from work on Thursday evening, EVERYONE in the house had a fever over 100.  Except me.  So we all went to urgent care.  Asher had strep (nice job for me, telling him he was fine, and therefore exposing a roomful of kids to strep), Benjamin had strep, and Eric and Charlotte were deemed "viral."  Friday we stayed home to recover; Saturday everyone but Charlotte had fully recovered, and she just had a runny nose.  Saturday night, my throat started to hurt.  I went to bed hoping that I was just a hypochondriac and not actually beginning with strep.
Mommy, Charlotte, and Benjamin at urgent care
Sunday, I woke up and knew it was definitely strep.  I called the on-call doctor from my doctor's office and explained the story- 2 diagnosed cases of strep in the house, huge tonsils with white patches, fever, dizziness... He called in antibiotics for me.  All 3 kids seemed fine, and Eric took them to Costco so I could rest. I was convinced I was going to feel fine, and we'd take the kids to Sesame Place in the afternoon.

I went downhill FAST and spent the rest of the day in bed.  Then Benjamin started with a fever around dinner time.  Then Charlotte woke up with a fever this morning.  I called her doctor's office and we were able to get in at 4 pm today, where they said she definitely has an ear infection, and prescribed antibiotics.
How a sick mommy gets to "take it easy"
Now 80% of our household is on antibiotics.  I have bleached the kitchen top to bottom, and our cleaning lady comes tomorrow- I will make sure she gets all our door handles.  We have been housebound for a week.  The kids have missed plenty of school, and it's just the beginning of December.  The only good thing is that this happened now- on our least-eventful weekend of the month, so we didn't miss out on too much fun or celebrating.  Now I hope we can all get well and stay well.