Monthly Archives: July 2013

What? The Edge girls?

So it all started with an idea. A great idea.

A mid-morning matinee to a children’s feature with one of their best friends, Michael. I should note that Michael’s mommy was smart enough to hire a baby sitter for his 18 month old little brother…

We talked before about what to expect. We talked about how big the screen was. How fun it would be. That we would get popcorn! And then a fun lunch when the movie was over. In my head, I was giving them a super fun field trip. This seemed so much better than just hanging out at the house and eating mom’s boring lunch before hitting the bed for nap time.

We arrived early. We waited in line for our tickets. We purchased our popcorn and filled up our cup with lemon flavored powerade, one of their favorites. They taste tested the popcorn while we waited to go inside. It was an instant hit.

Once inside, I saw the awe. They had never seen a screen so big. What is this? We sit in these seats? Each too short to get in themselves, I picked them up and placed them in a seat together. With the popcorn between them and smiles on their faces, I thought this was going wonderfully and imagined that this would be something we could do on a monthly basis! What a treat!

We talked about using whispers in the theater. We talked about staying in our seats. We talked about potty breaks. Both were agreeable. Then, the movie started.

The previews came.. and went. And the Pixar short film, The Blue Umbrella, came, brought us smiles, and then went. I snapped the picture. By this time, only 30 minutes into our movie, the popcorn began to run low. Charlotte looked away from the screen and began looking around. In a panic for what I knew was coming next, I offered her the drink. She gulped, passed it to her sister who also gulped, and set it in the drink holder. I quickly grabbed for the next item I knew would occupy her… the fruit snacks. These bought me all of 30 seconds before they were gone and I was left with nothing. $6.75 for a kid’s snack pack and it got me 30 minutes.

Charlotte climbed to my lap and sat for a minute. Then she wanted down. Knowing how much she loves to play with my phone I made the mistake of pulling it out and offered it to her to keep busy. Another mistake. Charlotte is loud. Very very loud. She plays with my phone but then yells when she wants something changed on it. She lasts for 10 seconds on each app before yelling for the next. I don’t know why I even thought to grab it. I tried to put it away but she got louder. And then the tantrum came. I quickly shushed her and ran outside the theater with her to calm her down. We came back in a while later and Cameron said she was scared of the movie. And also that she needed to go potty. Of course she does.

We went to the potty. We washed hands. We went back to the theater. Both girls forget the whisper rule. Charlotte yells for the drink and then drops it on the floor. Gone. Cameron whines about the movie and asks when it is over. My gosh, the actual movie portion has just begun. Do I leave? Do I just wait outside? Are they just too young? Are my children spoiled brats?

For the next hour and a half I played this game. Up and down in the seats. In and out of the theater. Begging Charlotte to be quiet. Doing everything I could to keep her interested. Insisting to Cameron that the Monsters in Monsters University really are nice monsters!

I have never been so happy to see the credits. Ever. In my life.

I asked Cameron if she liked the movies and she said, “No I didn’t!”

And the pizza lunch that followed was no better. I picked a slice for each of us and ended up eating all 3 because I couldn’t bear to throw away 10 dollars worth of pizza that my children wouldn’t eat. They refused to sit. They refused to listen. They refused to eat. I just wanted to cry.

In the car on the way home I was furious. I was fuming mad. I was mad at myself for having expectations that Charlotte would last 2 hours in a theater when she will not even watch 30 minutes of TV. I was mad at Cameron for being three, big enough to enjoy and appreciate  such outings, and being so ungrateful. I lectured her on the way home about saying ‘Thank you’ when someone does something nice for you and to never in her LIFE expect that she is entitled to such things. And then I was mad at myself again for even thinking that she would retain anything I was telling her, she’s only three. And then the feelings of “I’m raising spoiled children” set in and then, after they were home and put straight to bed, the guilt set in. I can’t believe I was so mad. They’re just children. I had unrealistic expectations. And such high hopes. I just wanted to do something fun for them.

A while later, when they awoke from their nap, Cameron hugged me. I said, “Do you have anything you want to say to mommy?” I expected her to say “I’m sorry.”

But instead. I got a “Thank You.”

Every single day since she has told me thank you. Even for the little things.



 Gone are the days of matching outfits and freshly combed hair. This is real life. We don’t always have bows.  We have usually have stains from lunch on our shirts.  We are often soaking wet. Most days, I’m lucky to get them with any clothes on at all.

It’s unbelievably hot outside.

And here’s what we’ve been up to!

Washing the cars!

Ice cold popsicles on blistering hot days!

Who doesn’t love driving off into the summer sunset in a Barbie mustang?

Sun-kissed hair turning more golden by the day.

Playing anything she can think of that involves getting wet.

And spending time with chalk in the shade.

A special pool break/ snuggle session with her Didi.

Incessant need to be in the pool.

Incessant need to be dressed up and ready for the pool but on the sidelines.

Lollipops with great friends.

Field trips to the mall for a break from the heat.

Charlotte: A brief overview of 20 & 21 months

Whoa where is time going? Charlotte is 20 wait now she’s 21 months and rapidly approaching 22 months! Is she really just 2 months away from her 2nd birthday??

Holy smokes. Well here’s my attempt at catching you up on Charlotte in the last 2 months. Major mom guilt here. Nearly every free minute of my free time has been devoted to my photography business lately. Things are going well with it. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been to the point of being so busy that I am overwhelmed and learned where I need to limit myself. I don’t ever want my love of photography to be taken away. I don’t ever want to have my kids take the back seat to it. I don’t ever want to not take pictures of my kids..or take less than quality ones because I’m so busy.

So here we go. Charlotte. 20 months. Our little stubborn ball of energy and cuteness.

At 20 months she clocked in at a whopping 24 pounds. Bright blonde hair. Big brown eyes. And beautiful tan skin.

She has 2 new teeth!

Both upper canines. The left came in on 5-7-13 and the right on 5-20-13.

Charlotte uttered her first three word phrase on 4-30-13. It was “happen..Forrest…toe?” She said it while in the back seat of the car looking at her own toes. The night before we were at my parents house and my brother Forrest stubbed his toe and fell to the ground (very dramatically) and the girls stopped in their tracks with concern for him. Clearly, it impacted her because the next day she said this.  Since then she has been spouting out 2 and 3 word phrases left and right. She’s becoming more descriptive and is assigning ownership to items “Cameron’s goggles” and also using plural forms of words. “Go see doggies.”

Charlotte discovered mobile devices. We don’t have an iPad (yet) but we do have an old iPod touch that the kids play with. Charlotte calls it “E pod” and is obsessed with it. But it’s really funny because she is also obsessed with pressing the home button and gets so frustrated when she is watching something and it “randomly” returns to the home screen.

She has a lisp. And it’s adorable.

She pronounces most of her words remarkably well.

Some cute words she uses:

“O-gurt” — Yogurt
“Wimming Poo” — Swimming pool
“Hold you” — Hold me
“Rina” — Ballerina
“Aaay too!” — Me too

She loves to eat. Everything. She is our little experimental girl. We have discovered she loves Chinese food. She also loves spaghetti. And all fruits.

Charlotte has started to sing along with songs she knows. Her favorites are a Sunday School CD that we play in the car. She likes “This is the Day,” “The B-I-B-L-E,” “My God is so Great,” “Deep & Wide” the best. I need to get a video of it. It’s SO cute. “Wheels on the Bus” can always make her smile.

This month Charlotte had her first allergic reaction. It was mild, only rash/hives, and easily resolved with benadryl. We think it was either the Magnolia or Pine flavored Scentsy was she was holding/smelling. The girls like to play with them every now and then and smell the flavors to help me pick out what to use next. Interesting to note, is that prior to this reaction we were actually burning that flavor and noticed that she was turning red really easily and getting little hives everywhere. Now we know! Not a big deal, just another thing to check off of the old milestone checklist.

Ok now on to 21 months!

25 pounds! She’s going to catch her sister! She’s growing like a weed. No official height measured.

Charlotte loves to be outside. She loves the swing. She loves balls. She loves to run in the grass. She loves slides.

She is apprehensive about the pool, both the wading pool and the big one. But she seems to be gradually getting better. I wouldn’t hesitate saying this one is not our water girl.

She had her very first trip to the optometrist this month. She did amazingly well. In fact, the optometrist said to me, “Your girls are the best kids I have examined to date.” Whoa.. Charlotte was my brave girl. Big sister was a little frightened at the equipment but Char stepped up to the plate and cooperated like a champ..and then big sis followed right along. From what she could tell, Charlotte’s eyes are pretty good. She has an asitgmatism in her left eye which the doctor thinks is mild. It was too early she said to tell if it is causing vision problems because Charlotte doesn’t yet recognize letters or shapes.  I too have that same problem in my left eye and have a very mild prescription. I don’t really need glasses but they really help with driving etc. She thinks the same is true for Charlotte as the degree of astigmatism is almost identical to mine.

I had concerns that one of her eyes was crossing sometimes but the doctor said her eye muscles are strong but it may appear that her eyes are crossing due to her epicanthal folds. She says they will go away as her face grows.

My little angels had the opportunity to “model” headbands for a friend of mine. With all this hair I never really considered Charlotte would even wear a headband..but it’s super cute right!!??

If anything stands out to me for changes in the last month it’s how much closer Charlotte has gotten to her sister. She’s growing up so much that Cameron seems to actually enjoy spending time with her. When they wake up in the morning they ask for each other. They do EVERYTHING together. Everything. They comfort each other. They fight. They laugh. They yell. They chase. They play. They dance. They laugh. They cry. They are sisters. And we love this part, watching their relationship grow.

Here are my little “rinas” dancing.  You can really see how much Charlotte looks up to big sister. Watches what she does. Copies. They do this. Go dress themselves up and put on their dancing (church) shoes.


Sorry about Boy walking in front of the camera so much. He likes to demand attention when it’s not focused on him.

Anyway, here are some pictures of my girls being sisters. I really try to capture the essence of Cameron & Charlotte. The house may not always be perfect but I want to freeze these moments. Their interactions. Their love.

Playing cars.

Wet hugs.

Eating blueberries. And this is not posed. Isn’t it cute they just sit this close by choice?

Excited to go swimming for the first time in the neighborhood pool! (cell phone pic)

And my Berry being herself.

Lately, she gets names confused and calls everyone “Grandma.” It started out with a blend of Mommy & Daddy like “moddy or dama” but now it’s just “Grandma.” She usually only says it once and then realizes the mistake and corrects it on her second request. “More cereal Grandma.” (eats a bite) “More! More cereal Mamma!”

Charlotte has started riding her little yellow bumble bee bike like a champ in May. She tucks her heads down and speeds around the living room with her sister (on her big girl bike). Charlotte has learned how to steer it really well. I will be getting a video of her doing it soon. It’s too cute to not remember.

She is also running like a mad woman lately. Previously, she’d run but it seemed like even though her legs moved quickly she didn’t go any faster than when she walked. Now she can really run and it’s adorable to watch. Her entire body shakes and those precious little legs go so fast.

I just love the picture above. That’s our Charlotte. Always wanting to be held. We will miss this one day.

I guess I should touch on her sleeping habits..err arrangements. Well, essentially they include being cuddled up next to someone at all times. It’s either Cameron or me. Both girls are in our bed again. I think it was the double colds and ear infections back in May or June that led to it this time. And we haven’t been able to put them back since. I can’t say we are really trying very hard to get them to sleep in their rooms, though. Even though I may not sleep as long as I would if they were in their rooms, I feel more at peace, and secure, when I know they are safe between us. And I know they love it. Brian has even admitted he feels the same way. So for now, it works. One day, they will want their space and to sleep by themselves.

So with two years old rapidly approaching, this one seems to be right on schedule in that we are already seeing signs of the “terrible twos.”

Truthfully, I never thought two was all that terrible with Cameron. Sure all kids have their moments but I expected much worse. Charlotte is a sweetheart. She is such a love. She thrives on affection. But let me tell you…this little girl has a temper! I feel like it is happening sooner because she sees Cameron and her little three year old moments.  So, for example, I will pull the camera out and try to get Charlotte’s attention and she will make this sassy frowny face and purse her lips saying, “GO AWAY pictures!” That’s her thing when she’s mad. “Go away.” I know exactly where she got it from.

She has experimented with biting, hitting, pushing and hair pulling. But she also is beginning to understand that it hurts others (at least I like to think she is learning this) and will say she is sorry on her own and kiss or hug the person she has hurt.

I’d like to think that we give our kids a good amount of attention and give them each their own undivided attention. But for some reason, Charlotte seems to feel that she needs to talk over people. And repeat things. Over and over and over. So if she wants something and we do not agree to it, she says it OVER and over again louder and louder. Even if she’s being acknowledged, she just goes on and on. So persistant. The best way we can avoid it without going crazy is distracting her and letting her focus on something else.

Some of the cutest words she says are “Ummm” and “Aw-wight (Alright).” She says them all the time! We play a game while folding laundry and quiz her on who each piece belongs to in the family. She is really good at it. We played the game with Cameron too when she was this age. Anyway, when you hold a piece up she says “Ummm Umm Umm…Mommy’s!” (or daddy’s or Cameron’s) It’s just so cute. She says it anytime she’s thinking about what to say. Probably not the best habit or something we should encourage but adorable no less.

And “aw-wight” she says when she’s happy or agreeable to whatever you say. “Charlotte, daddy wants to take you to the store to get some groceries.” “Aw-wight daddy.” I’m just going to have to record it. Because it’s her little voice that makes it so cute.

Another thing Charlotte loves is feeding our dogs. She likes to make sure they each get a good amount and even sneaks some for herself. Yep, she eats dog food ladies and gents. Another one of those things I can tell her when she’s older.

Her favorite TV show is Super Why. She calls it “Uhh Why!” It’s probably the only show I can think of that she will actually sit down and watch. At least it’s educational!

If she ever comes to me and says, “Mom, what was I like when I was 21 months old?” I would say this.

You were adorable.
You were so smart.
You loved to sing.
You loved to talk.
You loved to eat.
You were stubborn.
You had a temper.
You had the cutest belly ever.
You were curious.
You were funny.
You loved to be held.
You never slept alone.
You loved animals.
You loved books.
You loved dog food.

And you ARE so loved.