Aug 4, 2010

18 Months

Cuddling her baby

18 Months has been a really great month for Charlotte.  She is an amazing girl, full of happiness and so intelligent.  As her vocabulary grows exponentially, I can see a great reduction in the number of tantrums.  She can communicate so much more to me, but also understands me so much better.  I also have enjoyed learning some new techniques from "The Happiest Toddler on the Block."  Speaking "Toddler-ese" has been so helpful in helping her know that I understand her frustrations.
In the last month we also made some big changes in our morning routine to get Brian more involved in the start of her day.  It was a rough transition, but after a week she adjusted nicely.  Now it is not unusual for her to choose Brian to put her to bed or to see her dragging him by one finger to her toy room for stories or Play-Doh.  This is such a relief to me because I am now in my third trimester and was getting very concerned about how to balance a newborn with a dependent toddler.
One month has also made a great difference in her eating habits.  We no longer give her a second meal if she refuses the first as I figured she was old enough to now understand the consequences.  She is still picky in comparison to her boy cousins, but eats with much less argument and eats from her high chair (whereas often she would cry for my lap).  What a big girl!
Loves to play dress-up with my jewelry
Charlotte's favorite things:
Play Doh (aka "playooo"), Swings at the park ("whee"), peek-a-boo ("I tee you!!"), graham crackers, bubbles in her bath, Elmo, her stuffed kitty and puppy, Super Why, playing dress up with my necklaces ("pretties"), books and more books (right now Runaway Bunny and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish).  She has started to pick out colors and knows most animal noises.  She points to my belly and says "baby," but was also reported to have done the same to her overweight daycare teacher.  I'm glad I wasn't there for that! 
Playing at Fennville Children's Museum
Amos and Charlotte playing with baby Sol's toys


Charlotte took her first camping trip with us Thursday - Sunday in Silver Lake, MI.  Not only did we go camping, but we stayed in a tent.  We learned quickly the first night that Charlotte was far too excited about the tent to go to sleep on her own.  After 1 1/2 hours of attempting "night night," we resorted to driving her in the car.  That worked like a charm, night after night.  However, expecting her to sleep through the night was impossible.  She was either rolling off her mattress, thrashing on ours, or calling out for Elmo.  Despite that, my favorite part of the day was waking up to her shining face in mine shouting "Hi Momma!"  Then she would tickle Daddy's toes until he woke up too.
This was such a short trip that we had to pack it with activities.  We played at the campground pool, Lake Michigan beach, putt putt golfing, children's museum in Ludington, shopping in Pentwater and more.  I loved the children's museum in Ludington and fully intend to plan our next trip in that town as it is so much more family friendly than Silver Lake.  I also fell in love with their local children's boutique, the Purple Monkey.
Despite the fact that this trip was hard work with little time for relaxation, I am very happy that we pushed ourselves to go.  Camping played a role in most of my valuable childhood memories and I want the same memories with my children.  Not to mention that Michigan is so beautiful, it's a shame to not explore this entire Adventureland!

Silver Lake State Park Beach
Mom, my hands are dirty!

Beautiful Day at Lake Michigan
Is that a baby bump or a beached whale? :)
Cosmic Candy in Pentwater - Charlotte LOVED the gummy fishes

Ludington Children's Museum - My Picasso
Daddy made the best bubbles!
"Home Sweet Home"
Our one and only family photo from the trip.