Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Christmas Breakfast

Not the most enthusiastic kitchen helper...

Nope, not much help at all!

Start them young...

Charlotte has a new favorite toy...

Tim and I highly approve of her choice of entertainment...

She diligently swiffered the entire kitchen...

Hmm... How will this work in the living room?

Humph... Not so well

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sleepy times...

Despite our best intentions, Charlotte is not much of a sleeper. She was never content to take naps. She's not one of those kids that passes out in her high chair, or curls up on the floor with a blanket. She doesn't even like to crawl into bed with us and cuddle.

Basically, she is only happy to sleep in her crib- holding her stuffed bunny, wearing her footy pajamas, and wrapped in a blanket. And if you wake her up, she's up.

So imagine our surprise when she fell asleep on the chair with daddy the other night watching television. She even stayed asleep as daddy carried her upstairs and tucked her into bed!

That's some heavy sleeping!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Charlie in a box...

This is the box that B'Oscar likes...

This is Charlie looking into the box that B'Oscar likes...

This is Charlie all the way in the box that B'Oscar likes...

This is Charlie excited to be in the box that B'Oscar likes...

Silly Charlie...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Charlotte loves her kitty...

Charlotte loves her kitty, B'Oscar. (Yes, B'Oscar came home a couple of months ago and Charlotte quickly attached herself to him.) She likes to follow him around and give him kisses. She bends down and tries to pick him up. She pulls his tail... And through it all, he stays calm and patient with her. It's a surprising turn of events, because he used to slink away from her as quickly as possible and hide under the couch.

Charlotte was playing with a box recently that had a plastic front with a hole in it. One day, B'Oscar crawled into the box, much to Charlotte's delight. She reached in and petted him and started screeching because she was so happy.

Now, every time B'Oscar gets near the box, she gets very excited. Sometimes she carries the box around the house following him. Sometimes he is a good sport and goes in, but usually she gets too excited before he gets the chance, and he opts to pass on the poking and prodding and squealing.

The other morning, he was sitting near the box when she walked in the room. She got so happy she ran towards him. When he turned and walked the other direction, she followed him, pointing at the box and jabbering at him. As he got further from the box, she got more insistent in her jabbers. When he walked out of the room she shouted after him, then turned to me and burst out crying!

Poor girl just wanted to play!

I wish I had gotten the exchange on video... it was funny and sad at the same time.

As a consolation prize, I shoved B'Oscar in the box this morning and Tim shot this quick video. He isn't in there long, but you can see how happy she is play with him. It's especially cute to watch her wave good bye to him as he leaves the room! Then she goes on to jabber for a little while... Enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Evening

Charlotte's in bed...
The house is quiet...
The fireplace is blazing...
What a wonderful evening...

Comfy cozy by the tree!

I took this picture on my front porch around 8:30 this evening.
Left the shutter open for 30 seconds and this is what I got!
Baby, it's cold outside!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things Charlotte has taught me...

If someone had told me two years ago where I would be today, I don't think I would have believed them.

There was no way I would be okay with someone throwing up on me, or wiping their snotty nose on my shoulder, or peeing on my bathroom floor.

And I certainly would not have agreed to 'read' the same picture book twelve times in a row.

But that was two years ago.

These days, I choose my outfit based on whether or not that snot spot can rub out.  I use phrases like, "Is that cat poop in your mouth?" and "Are you blowing bubbles with your nose?" and "I think someone is going to the bathroom!"

I make late night emergency runs to Walmart for diapers... I have a stockpile of rice milk... I know that original formula Desitin works the best... I am keenly aware of silence and the mischief that can be found there... I'm constantly locked out of my own kitchen cabinets... I know diapers are one of the few things in life you cannot buy generic... I know where all the squeaky boards are in my house and avoid them after dark...

I know that showers are a luxury and there is no such thing as a quiet dinner... I've learned that my food is not my own... and that scalloped potatoes take longer to cool than any other side item... Also, eating lots of vegetables can turn you orange...

I've learned that more words rhyme than you think they do... And I know that the word "dat" can mean any number of things from kitty to ceiling fan to butterfly...

I have also learned that I am not too mature to hide behind furniture and pop out just to hear squealing... that baby massages always tickle... that kisses sometimes involve teeth... and that when all else fails, chasing the cat always elicits a smile... That footy pajamas have just enough traction to get you where you need to go... and where you need to go is usually up the stairs...

And finally, Charlotte has taught me that going to sleep is much easier with a soft blankie and a stuffed bunny...

I'd like to take this moment to thank Charlotte for all my new found knowledge! I truly believe I am a better (if not well rested) person because of her!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween - Lion Style

For Charlotte's second halloween, we dressed her as a lion. She had a rough day and I was a bit worried she would reject her costume, but thankfully she was a good sport about it and didn't complain at all the whole evening! Our church had a fall festival and when we first arrived, she seemed a bit timid. There was so much going on, she was overwhelmed. But as she warmed up to the environment, and got more steady on her lion paws, she had so much fun! She ran around a lot, played in the ball pit, jumped in a moon bounce, watched a puppet show, took a hayride and went down a giant slide with daddy. She was so preoccupied with all her adventures, I couldn't even get her to slow down and eat. 

She passed out the second we put her in the car and didn't want to wake up when we got home. I tried to make her eat some dinner, but all she did was whine and squirm until I got her in her pajamas and took her to her crib. I handed her a little pink bear, which she promptly hugged and kissed. She was smiling as I laid her in her crib and she immediately fell asleep. 

What an adventure filled evening for my little lion. I'm so glad that she had so much fun!


ball pit fun

In the ball pit with cousin Gabe and cousin Daniel

down the little slide (she kept going back to this slide)

Friday, October 28, 2011

More Photoshop fun!

Dancing Charlie

Evil Charlie
           Open Wide

running                                                                lion face

Thursday, October 27, 2011

14 Month Charlie

Well, we finally got Charlotte's one year photos taken... 2 months late!! Here are just a handful from her photo shoot!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Thought it would be fun to see a side by side comparison of Charlotte and Chapter 2! 

Charlotte                                                  Chapter 2

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Now to unveil Chapter 2...

Well, today was the big ultrasound day. We had to be in Annapolis at 8:15 am. We dropped Charlie off at her grandparents and headed up.

When I had Charlotte's 2nd Trimester ultrasound, they had a hard time getting a picture of the four chambers of her heart. An hour and twenty jumping jacks later, they gave up and sent me on my way. When I next saw the doctor, she said she wanted me to go back for another ultrasound to see if they could get that one picture. They weren't too concerned, they just wanted to make sure. So I asked if I could go to a place that did 3D ultrasounds. So, by the time I got Charlotte's 3D pictures, I was about 21 weeks along. Plenty of time for her to pack on some chub.

Right now, I'm 18 weeks along. That means, no chub. So, you have been fairly warned that Chapter 2 currently looks slightly alien like!!

Anyways, other than the absolutely normal lack of chub, the doctor said the baby looks 'perfect!' Praise God!!
adorable profile
kinda looking at the front of the face
alien baby!
no chub means you can see the entire jaw line
I said, "Tim, our baby looks like a mime!"
Tim said, "No, it looks like Stephen King's 'IT'."

As before, we asked the ultrasound technician not to tell us what we were having. Once she was done, I asked her if she knew and she said, "Yes." And when the doctor took a look, he made us cover our eyes so that we wouldn't accidentally see something. Tim teases me that he thinks he knows what we are having... Hmmm... As for me... I'm guessing boy. Any thoughts?

It's amazing how quickly and completely you can fall in love with someone that you have never met. Chapter 2 is already such a huge part of our lives and I can't wait to meet him or her on (or around) March 14th. (Probably around, not on!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

She's got moves!

God was there too...

"How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend... some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold. " ~ The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King (film)

There are moments in our lives that, for better or worse, define us. We carry them with us, haunted by them. Their specters invade our thoughts, cloaked in memory and brimming with emotion. As time passes, they become more distant, the scar becomes numb. But it never goes away. It lies dormant, waiting patiently for an opportunity to cut through years of built up defenses to create a sensation so reminiscent of the original injury that time compresses and life stands still.

September 2001 saw the beginning of my senior year in college. I lived in 200 Water Street, in the Financial District of NYC, less than 10 blocks from the World Trade Center.

That Tuesday morning did not go as I had planned. I woke up early that morning. It was my first day of the semester at my job at the NYU video post production desk. When I got up, so did my roommate. She had a class a bit later than I had to be at work, but she said she wanted to head up to campus early with me. She looked exhausted, sitting at the table eating her breakfast. When I asked her if she was ok, she said that she hadn't slept well. She kept having dreams that all these people were dying. Strange.

NYU had a shuttle that would pick you up at the Water Street dorm and drop you off at campus, right in front of the Tisch School of the Arts. I hated taking the shuttle. You had to wait in a line and there wasn't always room, and if you missed it, the next one didn't come for awhile. Me, I preferred to take the subway. It was a short jot up Fulton Street. The N/R was at the base of the WTC. the 4/5 was a bit closer to my appartment. Either one brought me close to campus. Granted, it took longer than the NYU shuttle, but I enjoyed the experience so much more.

We were running late that morning. There was no time for the subway, but there was a massive line for the shuttle. As students crammed into the bus, I was relieved so see that we were going to make it on. Barely. I was the last one to get on the bus and the driver kept yelling at me that if I didn't keep my feet behind the white line, he was going to kick me off. Little did I know that at about that moment, the first plane hit the World Trade Center mere blocks away. As the bus made its route, there were a lot of sirens; ambulance, police. This is not an unusual noise in NYC, so I wasn't at all alarmed.

It took longer to get to campus, but when we did, I got to my job at 9am, just in time to open. It was then that my boss got a call from his mother. She told him a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. Imaging that it was an accident, it never crossed my mind that it was on purpose. We found a tv and turned it on. By that time, the second plane had hit. This was no accident.

On any given day at NYU, you could see the WTC clearly. I could have run outside and seen it, but I was glued to the tv. It made it feel a little less real. There was a wideshot of lower Manhatten and it suddenly began to fill with smoke. The girls standing next to me screamed. It wasn't immediately apparent that the tower had fallen, it looked like subsequent massive explosions. When I realized what it was, I started to feel sick. A few minutes later the other tower fell.

The towers had just fallen. There were people in those towers. Those people were now dead. I rode the subway with those people. I walked the streets with those people. All of that just happened in my back yard.

The remainder of that day and the subsequent weeks I can recall in such vivid detail.

I remember the fear of not knowing if my friends were safe.

I remember the smell: that metallic smell mixed with burnt flesh. It would get stuck in your nose and the back of your throat. You could taste it.

The ash that fell like snow. The people covered in dust, stumbling up broadway. The deathly quiet of the city, punctuated with police and emergency vehicles.

Cell phones didn't work. Landlines were static-y.

Never once did I cry... there was no time for that.

We weren't allowed back to our apartment. We had nothing. No place to stay. No clothes. And no idea when we could return. I spent that night on the floor of NYU's health center. I had a friend that worked there. I went to K-Mart and bought tennis shoes.

The next day, we got up early to head to Queens to our friend's apartment. The black cloud had expanded and the smell had gotten stronger. The streets were quiet and empty, save for the National Guardsmen patrolling with their large guns.

My heart broke for the people that were missing, for the families that were searching and for the answers they would find. The days that followed the attack were so surreal. I never once got on a subway or a bus when a complete stranger wouldn't strike up a conversation. There was this overwhelming need to connect with another person. So it happened everywhere you went. I met a man who was holding out hope that at least one of his seven missing friends would turn up... Seven...

When a plane would fly overhead, everyone would stop and look up in unison. Which direction was it going? Was it flying too low? Was it about to happen again?

It took two weeks to get back into our apartment. I lived in a 33 floor building and they had to make sure that is was structurally sound before we could return. When we first surfaced from the Subway onto Fulton street we were struck by the thick layer of dust still clinging to the buildings and the cars. Walking into our apartment, we were greeted with the overpowering stench of rotten chicken. There had been raw chicken in our fridge that day. The chicken smell, mixed with the burning smell made me want to vomit.

September 11th was horrible... But what followed wasn't much easier.

The initial clean up took months. Dust fell from the sky as the workers dug, searching for bodies. I tried not to think of what that dust contained as I dodged the flakes. I saw Ground Zero every day... a constant visceral reminder of what had happened. The first night I couldn't sleep. I could hear the clean up efforts and feel the building rumbling slightly. I kept thinking about all those people and the broken lives of their loved ones.

The smell lingered for weeks, which turned into months. Every other corner had a soldier with a large gun.There were posters of missing loved ones everywhere, most of whom were never found. As time passed, they opened a viewing platform to look at the rubble. You had to get tickets, and those tickets were found across the street from my building. The street I took to the subway became populated by posters of planes ramming the buildings and statues of the towers. Anything a hapless tourist might buy. For me, I bought a snow globe with the towers intact. It still sits in my china cabinet.

Early on I didn't cry... I thought I needed to be strong. And as each day passed, I became more numb. I thought, if I'm numb, then it won't hurt. I can survive. I remember my first visit back to Maryland, and even subsequent visits, when it seemed apparent to me that everyone had moved on. Their lives had kept going. They had gone on vacations or started dating or bought cars, but me, I was stuck. I was reliving that day over and over again. I couldn't escape. I kept waiting for it to happen again. It took years for me to break out of my survival mode. Even now, when I see a plane that is flying low, I get an adrenaline rush... When I smell rotten chicken, it transports me back to that moment... When my cellphone stops working, I lose my breath...

Alongside these memories are etched the memories of how I saw God work that day.  I was encouraged to see the hand of God in the midst of such devastation. I saw how He orchestrated that the towers would be at lower capacity that morning. That there was time for so many people to escape. I saw the kindness of strangers helping each other. I saw God provide for my needs in ways that I did not expect. And I saw God comfort the broken. I saw these things in tangible ways. In ways I had never experienced.

I don't doubt that God had me move to New York, at least in some part, to be there for that day. He kept me at a distance far enough to be safe, but close enough to live it.

It's been ten years since that day. Each year gets a bit easier. The memories don't flood me like they used to. But every once in awhile, something will happen that will remind me of that day. The scar will open and I cry the tears that I didn't cry then. It's true that you can't go back, some hurts go too deep and they take hold.

That day changed my life, but not in the ways that I thought that it would. It actually gave me the opportunity to live a life more fulfilling than I imagined. I'm married now with a beautiful daughter and another kid on the way. I wonder what I will tell them one day, when they ask about that snowglobe in the china cabinet. What answer will I give?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big girls walk and drive cars!!

Now that Charlotte has turned one, she has wasted no time on learning to walk...

Next milestone... driving?

Meet Chapter 2...

Today was my twelve week appointment... Yes, twelve weeks! I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is happening. We got to hear the heartbeat. Tim thinks it is faster and lower than Charlie's was. Boy maybe?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Water Baby

As Charlotte is turning a year old this week, I should probably rename this post "Water Big Girl." Happy Birthday Week Charlie!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chapter 2

Well, this pregnancy is officially in full swing!

Current cravings... (yes, there are more than one!)

1. french fries (made at home in the oven, topped with salt and a little Old Bay and dipped in the slightest amount of ketchup)

2. ice cream (preferably strawberry, but in a pinch any other flavor will do)

In fact, last night's dinner consisted of french fries... followed by ice cream... followed by french fries... and topped off with another round of ice cream...

Five words...

I'm going to be huge!

When I was pregnant with Charlotte, I had a lot of different cravings. Usually I would crave something for about a week, eat a ton of said craving, and then move on to the next food. My cravings included onion rings, strawberry ice cream, smoothies, BLT's,  hash browns, blueberries, etc.

One week we had french toast for dinner every night.

During the 'morning sickness' phase of pregnancy, I don't really worry too much about the nutritional value of what I am eating, I just focus on actually eating anything and keeping it down.

Last time the sight of raw chicken would turn my stomach something terrible, but I really wanted cooked chicken, so Tim was relegated to chicken duty for awhile. The other day, I spent a few moments in the meat department in the grocery store, trying to force myself to inch over to the poultry section and pick out some chicken, but in the end I gave up and headed to the frozen french fry aisle. I'll let that be a battle for another day!

This pregnancy, I have to eat pretty much constantly to keep the nausea at bay. Since the last thing I want to do when I am nauseous is eat something, this has proven to be challenging. During my last pregnancy I got in the habit of carrying around a bag of food with me. I never knew what would make me queasy on any given day, so I stocked it with everything I imagined might be okay to eat.

Well, I've started stocking the food bag real high again. My bag today contains saltines, honey nut cheerios, frosted mini wheats, an apple, a fruit cup, a granola bar, shortbread cookies, a little debbie cupcake and instant oatmeal... Don't worry, I don't eat all that every day. I really just nibble throughout the day. Whatever works.

If you've never had morning sickness, let me describe it to you. It feels exactly like motion sickness. Exactly. Most of the time you feel just nauseous enough to not throw up. You feel it in your head, the back of your throat and deep in your stomach. When you have the flu and you throw up, you feel better. Not so with morning sickness. You throw up and then you feel the same. So, it's totally not worth it!

At least that is how it feels to me. The only thing that helps is eating and sleeping. So I try to do both whenever I can. The sleeping part is hard to pull off with a 12 month old at home.

Early on Tim and I had a discussion about what to call this baby until it is born. If you remember, Charlotte was known as Shlomo for the duration of my pregnancy. Tim never liked the name, but I caught him calling the baby Shlomo towards the end. Good thing Charlotte was a girl or she might have had a hard time shaking the name Shlomo! This time around someone recommended "Shlomo-dos," which I like the sound of, but I doubt I can get Tim to sign off on that!! At first Tim wanted "Bambino" and I wanted "Chibi." I think we may have settled on "Chapter 2," but it is still a little too early to tell. If you have any recommendations for nicknames, pass them on! I will discuss them all with Tim and we will hopefully come up with a name we can both agree on!

And to finish out this blog post... Here's a picture of Charlotte and a dog. Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Reunion Time!

This past weekend the long awaited Pearson Family Reunion took place in Carrollton, Ohio. As expected, it was filled with singing, dancing, outfits made out of curtains and Nazis...

Oh wait... that's the Sound of Music... well, scratch the outfits and the Nazis and you get the picture!

Honestly, though, it was an amazing weekend. Tim and I headed up late Thursday evening. Charlotte slept the whole way! Friday was spent exploring the area, rehearsing some music and hanging out with the family at Tim's grandparents house.

Charlie would ONLY nap in grandma's arms!
How did I end up with an outdoorsy kid?!?
She LOVES crawling in the grass 
enjoying the swing
out by the lake at the campfire
evening at the lake

Saturday was the actual reunion. We played bocci, had a picnic and went paddle boating. Charlotte had fun playing with her cousins. 

playing bocci
Tim, the bocci king
loving on my girl
love the hair!
Hi Cousin Emma! 
pretty girl
We all slept real well on Saturday night! Sunday we got up for church cause the Pearson Family (minus me and the babies) were scheduled to sing during the offertory at the grandparent's church. As always, they sounded amazing! Then it was lunch at Grinders and back to the house for packing. We didn't let Charlie take a nap so that she would be exhausted for the ride home. It worked! 

See her cute little pajamas with the bunny feet? They have no traction. Right after this picture was snapped, she slipped and fell and bumped her head. There were lots of tears! 
On the swing with her great grandparents!
look at that smile!
happy girl!
I thought Charlie looked silly in this pic, so I included it!
My wonderful little family!

Overall, it was an amazing trip! We had such a great time and can't wait to do it again...

Oh... And by the way...

Tim and I are expecting a new baby!!!

Didn't see that coming did you?!?!?

"Chapter 2" is due March 13, 2012
Keep Posted!!