Charlotte’s Time Capsule: 11 Months

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I feel like I just wrote Charlotte’s last time capsule.  The harder I try to hold on to these last moments of her first year, the faster they seem to fly right past me.  How can she be 11 months already???

Memories for Charlotte’s Time Capsule this month:

-Charlotte started clapping this month!  It is so sweet watch her give herself a round of applause after she practices standing all by herself.  She’ll also give a high five (kind of).  :-)

-Turbo Speed:  that moment when she sees something she wants across the room and starts crawling in high gear.  She’s crazy fast.  I love it.

-The couch has become Charlotte’s favorite place to play because she can cruise alongside of it to get from place to place.

-She is soooooooo close to walking!  I love holding her hands and watching her take steps…she leads me all over the place.  I can’t imagine how different it will be when she’s taking those first steps without holding on anymore.

-Um, look at all those teeth!!!!!!!  She’s using them to eat a variety of finger foods now (without the funny faces!).  And occasionally, I have received a little love bite or two.  Gotta work on that.

-This one’s my favorite…Charlotte has loved giving kisses for awhile now, but this month she’s learned how to give raspberries on my cheek.  It’s such a sweet, slobbery treat and I could just eat her up!

Sooo, I’m having a hard time as we approach the one-year mark.  On one hand, I’m excited for the next phase, toddlerdom.  But on the other, I’m so so so sooooo emotional about Charlotte leaving her baby days behind her.  I’m not ready.  Not one bit.  Someone hold me!  Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

***K4C update***

Don’t forget that this month is Senior month for Kindness for Callie!  I can’t wait to hear about all of your acts of kindness!  Please click on the tab at the top of the page for more info about the K4C project :)  Thank you always for your support!

Kindness for Callie: March is “Seniors” Month

How is it already March 4th???  February really flew by!  Thanks to all of you who thought of some great ways to incorporate the ‘hearts’ theme into an act of kindness for last month!  I added your acts of kindness to the 2014 K4C log :)  Please don’t be shy…if I forgot one, TELL ME!  Don’t take it personally.  My memory is soooo terrible.   I ask at least 100 times a day, “Where’s my phone???”  It’s a chronic problem.  ;-)

Here is our March theme:

March-K4C

 

This month is all about helping senior citizens!  Or in other words, those who are “gifted in years”!  ;-)  When I was in college, I spent one summer helping to organize an ‘intergenerational program’ between the adult and child daycare centers.  It was so wonderful seeing the therapeutic effect of our senior friends being amongst preschoolers.  We gardened, did arts and crafts, read together…you name it!  It left a lasting impression on me.  Although I work with young children now, I could definitely see myself working with seniors as well.  It made my heart swell!

Here are some ideas for “senior” month:

-Volunteer at a senior center or assisted living facility:  You have many talents!  Give the gift of your time to help a senior with a skill that you have a knack for.  Play an instrument, knit, read the newspaper, teach a computer skills class…reach out to your local senior center and ask if they are interested in having you volunteer your talents.  :)

-Alzheimer’s has impacted our family closely as well as many others.  Help this month by making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

-If you know a senior who has trouble getting to the grocery store or making dinner, help him or her by making a meal and dropping by for company!

-Write letters to a senior.  This is a great one for a child to help with!  When I was a kid, our church organized “Pew Pals” which paired a younger and older congregation member together.  We wrote cards for each other and gave each other small gifts.  It was rewarding for both young and old!  I can still remember my pew partner always calling me her little “marshmallow” because of a hot chocolate mug I gave her.  It was really special and is an easy way to show someone you care!

 

Thanks as always for your continued support!

Charlotte’s Time Capsule: 10 Months

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Don’t you just want to squeeze those little legs???  I feel the one year mark fast approaching and I don’t like it.  Not one bit.  This past month was full of development and milestones for Charlotte…

Things for the time capsule:

-Watch out world!  Baby Charlotte can now pull herself up to a standing position!

-Charlotte has now moved on from army crawling to crawling on her hands and knees.  John installed baby gates to keep our little explorer safe!

-Changing her diaper is now somewhat akin to trying to dunk a cat into a tub full of water.  Now that she is mobile, she wants NOTHING to do with having her diaper changed.  Once, she pushed herself away from me so hard that she catapulted backwards and was left dangling in my hands by her feet.  Yes, covered in poop.

-Charlotte is very slowly beginning to add more finger foods to her diet.  She eyes them warily and takes teeny tiny nibbles.  Progress.

-Um, how can I say this??  She is a little more….  willful.  Yeah, let’s go with willful.  That’s a positive way of saying that Charlotte has developed a bit of a ‘tude on occasion.  Ok, lots of occasions.    ;-)  But she is still oh, so sweet.

-I love the way she plays a standing up/splashing down game with Daddy in the tub.  1…2…3…splash!!  **lots of giggles**

-Playing peek-a-boo is another favorite game.  I can’t get enough of watching the look on her face when she sees me again.

-Every once in awhile, I check to see if she still has a little fat roll where her wrist meets her forearm.  Yep, still there.  I love it so much.  That and her little pudgy feet.  :)

I have a feeling that we may have a walker on our hands by next month!  Only time will tell!

Don’t forget your “hearts” themed Kindness for Callie this month!  Still a few days left :)

Kindness for Callie: February is “Hearts” Month

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Thanks to all of you who did a “yellow” act of kindness (or any act of kindness!!) last month for January!  This month’s theme is “Hearts” for Valentine’s Day.  I listed a few ideas in the graphic above to get you started, but please feel free to be creative.  I had no idea that ‘yellow’ could be interpreted so many different ways, so I’m excited to see what you come up with this month!

Also, heads up that I updated the K4C page and created a new section for 2014 Acts of Kindness…I was running out of room!  :-)

The Last Day of January

There was a time, about two weeks before Callie’s birthday, when I considered driving straight to my therapist’s office and camping out in the waiting room until she could work me in.  I haven’t been back since my last visit, and I know if I needed to it would be ok.  When I stopped to think about what was behind that feeling, I realized that what I was really craving was the time to grieve.  At therapy, I always had time to grieve.

It’s not that I couldn’t grieve at home.  I could, and I did.  But life, as it should, has marched forward.  Most of the time, this is fine.  More than fine…it’s wonderful!  But with Callie’s birthday looming on the horizon, I found myself needing the time to remember, to cry, and to feel.  I was so busy with life that I couldn’t find much time to deal with it.  And so, the flashbacks snuck in.  Not quite as vivid as before, but still sharp and scary.

Thank goodness for a snowy January.

I was given lots of little gifts of time this month.  So, I took advantage of them.  If I felt like looking through Callie’s scrapbook while Charlotte napped, I let myself.  If I wanted to smell the hat that she wore, I did.  If I wanted to reread our own story on the pages of this blog, I gave myself permission.

Most importantly, on her special days, John and I took time off to spend them together.  We reread every single sympathy card.  We napped on the couch and watched the clouds go by.  I let out a few big ugly cries.

We coped.  We got by.  We did it.

John and I were so touched by all the messages, cards, gifts, and phone calls that we received to tell us that you were thinking about us.  We especially loved seeing all the yellow that you wore.  It made us smile to think of how many people were wearing our sunshiny color in the middle of such a blustery winter.

And wouldn’t you know it?  It was a beautiful, sunny day, ending with an amazing sunset on Callie’s birthday when we tied balloons to the cross.  And when we let them go, the sun peeped out and shot sunbeams all around us.  She was with us then, just as she always is.

The sun peeping out on the way home from releasing our balloons

The sun peeping out on the way home from releasing our balloons

It’s the last day of January.  Thank you for doing so many acts of kindness!  Many of you used the K4C theme of “Yellow”:

Basket of Sunshine for Sorority Recruitment

Basket of Sunshine for Sorority Recruitment

"Table of Sunshine":  Yellow Donations for the Food Bank

“Table of Sunshine”: Yellow Donations for the Food Bank

Yellow foods for the food bank, a yellow basket of sunshine for sorority sisters during recruitment, a yellow car freshener and free car wash to the next car in line.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  And so many others wrote to me to tell me about sponsoring meals for those in need, paying for the next meal in line, picking up the tab for a friend, and the list goes on and on.  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!  Knowing that so much kindness can come out of something so sad, really has a way of changing the way you look at things.

Thanks for the smiles.  We needed every one of them.

Stay tuned for February’s K4C theme:  Hearts!

xoxo

Callie’s 2nd Birthday

Have you ever stopped and listened to the lyrics of You Are My Sunshine?

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away…

To my ears, it ends with a desperate plea:  Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Why did she have to go?

The second verse:

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried…

My very last thought every night for the past two years is of holding you in my arms, Callie.  As I settle into dreams, I often pretend I can see you.

Can you see me?  

2:37 a.m. this morning marked two years since your birth on January 27, 2012.  This is our song.  It is a happy song, but one with a sad ending.  I wish I could change the lyrics, but then it wouldn’t be our song anymore, would it?

Happy birthday in heaven sweet girl.  You are loved.  You are missed.  You mattered.  You were here.

Now, you are there.

…But remain forever in our hearts.

Please Wear Yellow for Callie: Jan. 27-28th

 

Please wear yellow in Callie’s memory tomorrow and Tuesday.  It would mean a lot.  And please go do something nice for someone else.

 

Thank you so much for the thoughts, prayers, cards, and gifts.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

 

I will always carry you, Callie.  All my life.