Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Funny

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Me and my girls!

This pic was taken a few weeks ago, but I thought it was appropriate to post since I'm celebrating my first week withOUT chemo in a month ; this is what it's all about!

PS - I think we sometimes terrify Madeline, she seems to be wise for her years in knowing that her family in a little (or a lot!) crazy!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Letter to Charlotte: Month forty-eight

Dear Charlotte,

My spunky, sassy, Mommy’s girl spitfire that keeps us all on our toes; you’re four! Even though you’re a middle child, I still see you as my baby … and I think you’re happy to take on that role most days : ) I knew the minute you were born that you and your older sister would be different, not only in looks, but in personality; and boy was I right. You challenge me in ways I didn’t know possible, but love in an even bigger way. We’ll call you a passionate leader right now … and I just hope that you eventually lead a company and not a prison gang. Kidding … sort of : )

You are a talker and have a lot to say. Most of it’s true, some of it’s fabricated, but it’s ALL loud and urgent. You’re still in a phase where you want to tell me everything, and in great detail, and it can be exhausting. I keep reminding myself that one day you’ll respond in grunts or not at all and that I should enjoy this phase, but you have A LOT to say. You prefer we repeat after you to acknowledge we heard you appropriately and have no tolerance for abbreviations or misunderstandings. We’re working on interrupting your sister and other family members, but it’s a slow go because what you want to tell us apparently needs to be spoken RIGHT NOW.

A lot goes on in your head and you often times have a hard time getting it out. But you’re smart and cunning, in a sweet way. For example, if you don’t want to do something, you’ll throw out a line such as “if you make me try to potty, my pee pees will get very mad and make my stomach hurt” or “washing my hands makes them frustrated, so I’ll just use sanitizer” or “brushing my teeth makes them sad.” I know we’re supposed to keep a straight face as we parent in these situations, but we usually can’t and don’t,  and that generally makes you even more upset or demonstrative about the situation. Your dad is the worst; he cackles like a little kid … and you really don’t like that : )
You’re creative and smart and tickle us daily with the games you play, stories you invent, and the names you give your stuffed animals. You have specific places all of your toys go and an inventory of every knick knack you’ve collected, sticker you’ve stuck, and picture you’ve drawn; and know exactly where they should be. The stuffed animals are by far my favorites; your current fave is Figaro (aka Figs, Figgy) (the cat from Mickey Mouse, a gift from Anna), Cornfield (Shamu from Sea World), Little Rainbow (a not very little owl), Turkey (a giraffe), Blueberry (a blue bear), Elsa (a blue cheetah), and Figaro’s Mom.

You and your sister get along like sisters. There’s a lot of love, a little bickering, and you know how to push each other’s buttons. You have a barrage of games you play many time transcending characters and story lines and I can hardly keep up. You generally play well together and have a hard time when Anna wants to be alone or do something without you. You love your baby sister too, but obviously at this time you and Anna have a different and much closer bond. I never had a sister and with your Uncle being 4 years my junior, this is all uncharted territory for me.

You love to draw, write your name, and invent stories to go with each picture your mind creates. Your fine motor skills are amazing for your age and the ideas you come up with impress everyone. I walked into your preschool room one day and you were making a book and had also instructed your friends on folding the paper, gluing the pages, and had asked your teacher to help you with the text of what you wanted to say on each page. You weren’t even four! Your sister started bringing home reading homework after the holiday break and any evening that she had homework, you insisted on joining in, so I made up worksheets for you; you sat beside Anna and plugged away.

You’re very even keel and everyone’s friend at school, usually avoiding conflict or trouble. Last summer you were in a small preschool room and wound up being the only girl in class. The director approached your Dad and I, worried we’d be concerned with the gender ratio, but in talking to your teachers, they knew you’d be fine; and you were. You now know more about super heroes than I could ever teach you and are one of the boys many times in class and on the playground.

You took FOR-EVER to potty train this last year and have a bladder of steel. We tried a few times with the same method we used with Anna and you simply refused and held your bladder all day. So we waited a few weeks and would try again. Eventually you gave in about 5 weeks before I was due to deliver your baby sister and I’ll never forget the “joy” of sitting with you in the powder room, on a stool, a million months pregnant, swollen and achy, listening to you play the Elmo potty game on your iPad and hearing the sound of pee in the toilet. You took to peeing eventually, but pooping was another story and you reserved that for your pull-up at naptime or nighttime; never having a poop accident at school or outside of our house; but oh-so-many in your room. I will admit I cried about that many nights and thought we’d send you off to college in poopy pull-ups. But true to how you do everything, the flip switched for you one day as you turned four and you were done with that; and have since gone on the potty religiously.

You are your own person, Charlotte Rose, and you remind us of that daily, usually in good ways. You have the best smile, give the best hugs, and love so so so so passionately it’s easy to forget the tantrums that come with them. You can cry on a dime, but forgive just as quickly as you got mad or upset.  Although your independence and the fire inside of you can be exhausting, I hope you never lose it. You’re destined to big things, little girl, and I want to be there for you each step of the way.