Monday, February 28, 2011

Were the Oscars On Last Night..?

I don't know about you, but all weekend I was super excited for the Oscars.  So excited, that I dreamt about it the night before, and just could not wait to see what everyone was wearing and who would win.  So, I was a little disappointed when the hosts (an over excited and childish Anne Hathaway and a less than excited and sleepy James Franco) were less than thrilling, speeches were snooze fests, and the overall show was like an extra inning baseball game.  Yawn...

Now, with that said...the fashion did live up to the hype, and I was so happy to see some glitz and glamour on some of my favorite celebs!  My choices for Best Dressed:

Gwyneth Palrow in Calvin Klein. 
Wow.  Just stunning.  Everything about this look is flawless...the straight blonde hair, understated jewelry and sleek, yet glamorous silver dress.  I LOVE this look. 

Halle Berry in Marchesa
I love pretty much any Marchesa dress...and I love Halle Berry.  So she really could never go wrong in my book.  But this dress compliments her skin tone, and is a perfect choice for the Oscar red carpet.  Bravo, yet again, Halle!  This dress is something I would love to wear for a special event (perhaps a wedding??  haha)

Natalie Portman in Rodarte
I thought this was the absolute perfect color for the pregnant Natalie.  I know firsthand how hard it is to find an attractive dress while pregnant, so I was so happy to see such a beautiful dress on her last night!  I can't imagine being nominated for best actress and having to wear a maternity gown for all these awards shows.  She was glowing, and the earrings were a nice touch to finish out the ensemble.  Of course, I was happy to see her win for her amazing performance in Black Swan.

Oprah Winfrey in Zac Posen did it!  You finally dressed for your body type!  On her show, she is usually wearing too-bright colors, and too tight shirts, but this dress was elegant, classy and she looked like a princess at the ball.  I was thrilled to see her looking so glam, because Oprah is my all time favorite--go Oprah!

Andrew and I tried to see almost every movie nominated this year.  Of course the one movie we didn't see but had wanted to was The King's Speech...and it won.  This will definitely be a reason to get to the movie theater in the near future.  Overall, I was happy to see so many beautiful gowns, and was pleased with the wins, but next year...can we please bring back Whoppi Goldberg or Billy Crystal??

Charlotte was in bed before the show started, so she wasn't able to give her opinion ;) But as far as I am concerned, she is still the best dressed and most fun entertainment around!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Schedule

The schedule.  I feel like I have used the word "schedule" more than any other word since becoming a Mommy.  Andrew is tired of hearing it, my mom is tired of hearing it, and I find myself tired of hearing it sometimes too!  Our days are based around...the schedule.

That works for us.  People are always commenting on what a happy and content baby Charlotte is.  I really truly believe it is because of the schedule.  Thanks to a helpful friend and fellow Mommy, I sought advice on how to get Charlotte on more of a routine when she was about 7 weeks old.  She told me about Babywise and it literally changed the way I cared for my baby.  She started sleeping through the night 12 hours around 8 weeks old, and has ever since.  Now, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Babywise method of eat/play/sleep, and I know every Mom has her opinion on how their child should be raised, so I am in no way saying this method is for everyone.  But for us, it works.  I personally thrive on schedule and routine, and from what I have read so do babies.  So far I have learned my daughter seems to be the same way I am!  If she is even 5 mins off schedule...goodbye.  She freaks.  And it is rare to see her like that, so it is not fun.

When we explain the schedule to people, they are surprised at how little Charlotte is awake during the day, and we get a lot of raised eyebrows.  Her wake time, although it is short (between 1-1.5 hours at a time) it is good, quality wake time.  She is always happy, alert, content, curious and ready to learn and play during this time.  If I kept her up for hours at a time...she would spend most of that time fussing, rubbing her eyes and being generally cranky.  Thus, her short wake time is more effective for her.  Who knew raising a baby was such a science?!

So, since so many people are always so curious as to what exactly I am talking about, I (with the help of my genius business oriented fiance) have typed out the basic guide we follow daily.  Keep in mind, we are flexible...the times are not set in stone, and obviously things change day to day depending on where we are going, or if we will be staying put.  And...babies change.  I know that...but as of right now, this is what we are up to everyday!  So here is it...The Schedule:

A Mommy’s 3-step guide to a happy baby

WAKE                                                                  SLEEP
 8am                         EATà PLAYà SLEEP                          9am

Wake – change diaper
Eat – Nurse (milk)
Play – swing, cuddle, playmat

WAKE                                                                  SLEEP
11am                   EATà PLAYà SLEEP                      12/12:30pm

Wake - change diaper
Eat – Nurse (milk) and Oatmeal food
Play – run errands, take walk, etc

WAKE                                                                  SLEEP
2/2:30pm                   EATà PLAYà SLEEP                          3:30/4pm

Wake - change diaper
Eat – Nurse (milk)
Play – tummy time, exersaucer, etc.

WAKE                                                                  SLEEP
6pm                          EATà PLAYà SLEEP                          8pm

Wake - change diaper
Eat – Nurse (milk) and Oatmeal food
Play – tummy time, exersaucer, etc.
Sleep – 7:15/7:30pm: start bedtime routine—Bath, lotion, play cd, pjs on, nurse, rock. 
8pm: in bed with sleep sheep on.

**Optimal wake time no longer than 1.5 hours during the afternoon, ideally naps are between 1-2 hours**

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baths and Bows

That's what our day was about today.  Nothing exciting, no plans..just a girls day at home.  My favorite :) And Charlotte's too!  She is a home-body just like her Mama.

Watching Elmo..she wanted NOTHING to do with me.  I had to take about 15 pictures to get these two!  She likes to be left alone sometimes, I have learned that!  Charlotte wore another one of her birthday present bows.  This one is too cute with the pink and green.  I know it's kind of funny to dress up my child when we weren't going anywhere...but how can I NOT dress up this child everyday?!  She only wears each outfit a few times until she grows out of why not!

Like Gramps says, Charlotte is sporting "rubber band" arms.  It really does look like she has rubber bands wrapped around her arms!  I love it :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning to Sit

Charlotte is now able to almost sit up on her own!  Right now she is doing the "gorilla sit" as we call it, with her arms supporting her like a tripod.  She is only able to balance like this for a few seconds before toppling over, but it is so sweet to see her sitting like a big girl! 

In other snowed almost 10" last night!  No one was prepared for it, as the weatherman called for "flurries".  Needless to say it was a mess around here, but today the snow has stopped and it is actually very pretty and sunny.  That said...I am ready for Spring!  Last week was such a tease going out for walks in 70 degree weather.  Hopefully this will be the last snow for the year.  It is funny to think that a year ago at this time we had a blizzard almost every week. Let's pray that does not happen again...for now, I will enjoy the sunshine from our back porch and watch the snow MELT!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Charlotte Grace-5 Months Old!

This month has been the absolute most fun yet!  Charlotte is so happy, and curious, and has really become such a little explorer!  At 5 months old, Charlotte is now able to sit up with our help, and even rolled over for the first time this past weekend!  She can now roll over from front to back, but not very fast yet. She is becoming much more coordinated with her movements, and is able to grasp and pull toys to her mouth.  Everything goes into the mouth!!!  We have to make sure we are constantly sanitizing everything, because she will pick up a toy and immediately drop it on the floor.  Although she is very curious and loves exploring her toys, she is still not very interested in playing with them.  She would rather sit with Mommy or Daddy and explore us, and listen to us talk.  She loves people, and has become very aware of her surroundings.

Last month I mentioned that Charlotte was becoming wary of strangers (including her grandmas!).  This month she has seemed to have gained a little more confidence in new faces, and will even smile at people she does not know.  We have joined a playgroup, so she has been able to be more "social" and get used to seeing new faces, and babies around her age.  She usually sits back and takes it all in, but as soon as we get home she is a "chatterbox"!  That is one of the biggest changes this month...Charlotte loves to babble away at everything!  She is blowing bubbles, and I am really starting to hear lots of new sounds, "G", "B" and "oooh" are the main ones.  It amazed me to see her talk...and I wonder what she is trying to say?!

Sleeping is Charlotte's FAVORITE hobby.  No joke...this girl loves her sleep!  She must take after her Daddy.  She is still sleeping 12-13 hours through the night, and taking consistent naps during the day.  We are moving towards a good morning nap, and a good afternoon nap...because we are out more, and I am trying to stretch out her wake time.  She does get fussy if she is up too long, and once I put her down she is OUT.  So right now she is still taking about 3 naps a day. I'm guessing this is why she is so big--she sleeps all the time and is growing!

Charlotte is still nursing 5 times a day, and we have added in rice cereal this month.  Some days she has it twice a day (2 tablespoons) but usually just once.  Today she tried oatmeal for the first time, and i think she likes it more than rice cereal!  The first bite always brings a "yucky face" but then she gets used to it and starts to gobble it up.  We are working on keeping more in the mouth, and less on the bib--but it is a work in progress haha.  I have debated about trying her on solids, but i think we may wait a few more weeks and stick to the cereal for now.

Charlotte's favorite things (besides sleeping) are bath time, her activity mat, toy rings, her snoopy dog, and Mommy and Daddy.  We pulled out the activity center (exersaucer) this month, but she is still not so sure.  It doesn't help that her feet are no where near touching the ground, and she is so little in it still.  She gets frustrated because she can't get very close to most of the toys, and just ends up fussing most of the time.  We are still using the swing occasionally, but she gets pretty bored in there really quickly.  The activity mat is still her favorite!  She talks to her toys, and pulls at them, and kicks her legs back and forth.  We also brought the stroller out a few days last week when it was warm, and she loved it!  I can't wait until spring when we can walk everyday.

Charlotte is now wearing 6 month clothing!  I had to clean out her closet last week and put away most of the 0-3 and some 3-6 clothing.  She still fits in a lot of her 3-6 month stuff, but just barely.  She is wearing a size 3 diaper, and it looks like this size will (hopefully) last for a little while.
This age is my favorite so far, and we feel SO BLESSED everyday to have such a happy, fun, adorable, chubby, healthy and beautiful baby girl.  We love you sweet Charlotte Grace :)

Wonderful Weekend

This past weekend we had so much going on, it would take up way too much space to report it all.  So I will sum it all up in a little outline for ya:

  • We finally got a new car!  After months, and MONTHS of debating over what kind of car, whether to lease or buy etc etc...Andrew decided leasing was the best way to go and he picked up our brand new 2011 Hyundai Elantra on Saturday.  We are so relieved the car search is over, and love the new edition to the family!

  • One of my sorority sisters and good friend's, Megan, came from NYC to visit Charlotte and I on Saturday! This was her first time meeting little C, and we had a fun visit.  She brought her the most ADORABLE little hair bands, a giraffe and a St. Patty's day onesie!  Thank you Megan, we miss you already!

  • Sunday was a huge day.  After actively attending Shadyside Presbyterian for the past year, we finally made the big move and decided to join.  This is the first church either one of us has joined (aside from the church my family belonged to growing up).  We attended a new members class last weekend, and yesterday, along with 34 other new members, were recognized in front of the church.  We love Shadyside, and are so excited for this new journey in our lives!  Even more exciting, was Andrew's baptism yesterday.  I am so proud of him, and we both look forward to growing in our faith together at our new church home!  Our families were there to celebrate with us yesterday, and it was a wonderful opportunity to get everyone together...and of course, Charlotte was a hit as always!  A special thank you to Andrew's parents, Patty and Bruce, for the gorgeous tulips.  My favorite :)

  • Charlotte is a big girl at 5 months old!!!!!  I know I say this all the time, but I still can't believe how fast she is growing!  She is just such a little person now, and I am so proud to be her Mommy everyday and watch her grow and change :)  Oh--AND, she rolled over for the first time on Friday!  Big Girl!!

  • I have officially started "running".  I put this in quotes, because I am no where near calling myself a runner, and feel a little weird even saying it.  Andrew used to run half marathons, so we talked a lot about training for the half, and 5k's etc.  I decided to follow an online trainer, and am "training" for a 5k.  I would love to sign up for one at some point, but the trainer is a great tool to get me in shape for now.  I have always loathed running, but on Friday for the first time EVER I ran 1.5 miles.  I seriously have never run over a mile in my life, so this was a big deal for me.  Like everyone says, it truly is mental.  I could have easily stopped after 10 mins, but I talked myself into it, and was able to do it!  (17 mins later...ha!).  I ran again yesterday the same distance, and am excited to keep running and lowering my time's and lengthening my distance!  I figure now that I have put it out here on my blog..I HAVE to continue...right?!

    I am 5 months old Mommy!
    Gorgeous tulips from Patty and Bruce
    Daddy with his 5 month old!  All smiles :)
    Andrew, Charlotte and I with his parents after the church service
    New members of Shadyside Presbyterian with my Mom (who by the way, was a HUGE help during the service with Charlotte!  Thank you!)
    Learning to roll over on her mat!

Megan and Charlotte

Little Church Girl-5 Month Birthday Edition

Yesterday was a big day for our family--Charlotte turned 5 months old, we joined Shadyside Presbyterian, and Andrew was baptized!  Lots to report on that, but for now here are a few pics of our little church girl:

Sunday, February 20, 2011


This weekend my Alma Mater- Penn State University (that I will be posting more about tomorrow) is hosting their annual THON weekend.  THON is a 46 hour dance marathon that raises money for kids with cancer.  When I was at PSU, our sorority (Kappa Delta--AOT!) was very involved with Thon, and many of my friends danced their little hearts out for the cause.  There are only a few hours left (give or take) but if you want to see the live webcast go here.  And there is still time to donate!!!  THON was one of those weekends at Penn State that I will always remember, and it is amazing how one University can make such a huge difference in so many young lives.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Super Baby!

Before bath time (please excuse the poor quality photo).

I love that she automatically puts her arms straight out like an airplane.  So smart!


Today was a win-win kind of day.  First of all, I never win ANYTHING.  I am just not one of those people who enters contests and wins.  I think I have entered to win Oprah tickets over 100 times, and nothing.  I still believe it will happen one of these days (please!).

So yesterday I entered my friend Brittany's (b)log contest to win some yummy "mix my granola" premix.  And I won!  Yes, I know it is not a car or anything (sorry Andrew...) but it still made my day.  Thank you Brittany!

Then of course...this weather!  The high here in Pittsburgh was 69 degrees today.  Unbelievable.  Charlotte and I took full advantage of not having to bundle up, and took a long walk in the park.  She slept for most of the time, but when she woke up she was all smiles.  I think she was as happy as I was to be out in the fresh air.  I know this weather is just a tease, and we will be back to cold on Sunday, but I am loving the sneak peek to Spring!  So yes, definitely a win-win of a day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Weekend in Pictures

<3 xoxo Happy Valentine's Day everyone! <3

A Whole Lotta Love

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and we had not only a lovely day, but one of the best weekends in a long time.  We didn't do anything fancy, or super special, but the three of us spent a lot of good old quality time together and it was really nice.  I guess that's what happens when you are a grown up!  We are down to one car at the moment, so yesterday Charlotte and I were home-bound, which was kind of fun for a change.  I baked the most amazing cookies in the whole entire world...thank you OPRAH for the recipe.  Charlotte and I also got creative and made Andrew some homemade cards.  Gotta love the Internet!  When he came home he surprised me with a dozen red roses and Godiva chocolates. This is the only thing I ever want for Valentines day, and it never gets old!  We had a nice steak dinner, and watched half of The Town.  So far it's pretty good, although at this point kind of predictable so hopefully it surprises me.

The best Valentine's treat of all was our sweet angel.  She proved yet again to be the best baby on the planet this past weekend.  She spent time with both grandma's this weekend while Mommy and Daddy were out, and was well behaved and happy as can be both times.  On Sunday she went into the church nursery for the 2nd time.  When I arrived to pick her up (it was incredibly crowded this weekend), there were about 10 screaming/crying little children.  I looked around and saw our little Charlotte sitting in a bouncy seat smiling and looking around.  I couldn't believe she was so happy sitting in the chaos!!  The nursery worker told me she was a complete angel, and was so happy to see her again.  I was a very proud Mama :) We love you Charlotte Grace!!

This Valentine's Day Andrew and I were really able to take a step back from the many stresses and realities of life and truly appreciate the love we have for eachother, and our sweet little girl.  We are so blessed in so many ways and try each and every day to keep that the focus of our lives.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with the everyday logistics in life.  Valentine's day was a great opportunity for us to reflect on what we DO have, and what is truly important.  <3  I hope everyone was able to tell someone they love them, and continue to do so each and every day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Faces

Nothing too exciting going on with us lately, but I will leave you with some Friday faces to kick off your weekend:

As you can see, her hands and toys are constantly in her mouth at this stage.  Everything must be washed at all times!

Charlotte had a nice little Friday with Grams, which has become a routine the past couple of weeks.  We fail every time to get a picture, so we will have to remember next time!  I also finally set up her Activity Center and tried it out tonight.  She is not too sure...there is SO much to look at!  Her little feet don't yet touch the ground either, but soon enough I'm sure we will have to raise it.  She just grows so fast, I can't keep up! 

Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's weekend! xo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five Faves..

..about Valentine's Day:

1.  PINK.  Need I say more?

2. I love cards.  I know most people complain about Valentine's day being a "Hallmark holiday", but I am not creative when it comes to making up cute love poems or rhymes, so I find a lot of pleasure in choosing the perfect card for each occasion and person.  This can get me into trouble if I don't have unlimited time (which I rarely do anymore) because I will usually spend a ridiculous amount of time in the card isle.  But I look forward to giving and receiving (hint hint) a cute card just to say I love you.

3. Candy, chocolate and cupcakes.  Ok, maybe cupcakes aren't a Valentine's day staple, but I love them.  When I was pregnant I think I would eat at least 1 cupcake a week.  I realized keeping up with this diet post baby was a terrible idea.  I then realized that I had become addicted to sugar during my pregnancy.  So after the new year, I decided to cut out desserts completely.  I was planning on cheating if the Steelers won the Super Bowl by eating a celebration cake I bought.  However, they let me down and I only let myself have a bite.  SO, I am cheating on Valentine's day with a cupcake...or 2.

4. Dressing Charlotte up in pink, hearts and bows.  This is not very unusual, because I like to dress her like this everyday...but we can go overboard on heart day :)  And by Valentine's day, I also mean the week leading up to it with this one:

5. Taking a time out to remember how much I love my family <3  This will also mean extra cuddles for our little pup :)  Only a few more days! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Turn That Frown Upside Down

It's a sad day in Pittsburgh today for reasons we don't really need to mention.  Here are some scenes from the weekend that will hopefully brighten your day :)

Our black and gold church attire.  Charlotte finally tried out the nursery for the first time yesterday!  I think it was MUCH harder on me than her...I was a little nervous when we walked in and there was no crib or pack n play in sight.  I'm thinking...hmmm she doesn't do well without a nap this time of day, and with all these kids running around I don't think she will sleep!  Well, I was right about the no sleeping, but the woman in charge--Sonja, assured me that she was an angel the whole time, and even made a "friend" with a little 2 year old boy!  Of course the no napping left her completely out of sorts the rest of the day, but at least we know what to expect now.  She also tried out the exersaucer in the nursery and was soo cute playing in it.  Sonja said she played there most of the time.  We will have to set ours up for her now that she is such a big girl.

Gearing up for the big game!  This cute little outfit came from Elyse, one of the little ones I nannied for this past summer.

Before the game we went to my parents for a bit for some chili and to drop Charlotte off for a night of fun with Mimi.  My Dad and brothers all went to super bowl parties, and Andrew and I made a last minute decision to go to a party as well.

Our little family <3

Mimi with Charlotte!

Despite the outcome, we had a great time and it was an exciting game.  Better luck next year Steelers!

Time to put away the black and gold and bring out the pink and red--Valentines Day is just around the corner! <3