Wednesday, December 30

It MUST be a Wonder Week

That is our answer now when Olivia is acting uncharacteristically fussy. It must be a Wonder Week.

And folks...we are AMIDST  Wonder Week 19--aka "mental leap 4" and she is ALL drama right now.

Here's what we're experiencing:
  • laughing and suddenly crying in the same breath--and then laughing again
  • refusing to nap more than 30 min at a time and thus tired earlier
  • clinging to mommy (which I admittedly love)
  • needs constant amusement 
  • suddenly shy with grandpa and people who look drastically different than me, Charm City Daddy, and the nanny.
  • and basically---fussy, Fussy, FUSSY!

But that's just the wierd stuff. There's good stuff too!
  • she's swaddle free
  • she's rolling/squirming around in her crib.
  • she can almost sit up by herself---soo close.
  • she's grabbing objects quite intentionally and easily.
  • she's playing with the water in the bathtub.
  • she can hold her own bottles when I use these nifty little trainer handles.

(major liberating moment for Charm City Mama pictured above!!)

I am actually glad to be on vacay this week to really give Olivia the attention and stimulation she needs right now. But hey, I'm not crazy--I've got nanny help everyday until 2 p.m. MAJOR sanity saver!

Speaking of sanity savers....I want to do a product review of baby gear I've found useful in the first few months. Working on it...

Monday, December 28

And Exhale...

At 7 p.m. the baby went down, I made dinner, and then I finally got to my place of Zen-->Me. Google Reader (to keep up with all of my favorite blogs)...and Wine.

Check out the glass  that Charm City Daddy poured for me...

(glass o' Boordy reisling--my fav!)

Yowzah! I accused him of trying to entice me to have our second child. He claimed "it was the last of the bottle." To paraphrase the Fox News Channel slogan....I report. You decide.

Lazy Monday...

I should be...
  • taking down Christmas decoration.
  • starting dinner.
  • polishing up my grad school essay.
  • uploading camera pics.
  • getting a head start on some writing assignments for work.
  • at the mall getting in on some post-Christmas clearances.
but instead, I'm typing with one hand doing this...

(photobooth pic from my macbook pro)

Turns out rice cereal has magical sleeping powers! She keeps dozing off and we LOVE that. 

Only this time I got stuck underneath.

Sunday, December 27

Tuesday, December 22

My Bags Are In...

and I love them. Merry Christmas to me.

This pic doesn't do the fabrics and their varied colors and textures justice. Pictured (from left to right) are the LILL Studio "Ericka" (for my laptop),  the "Paula" (a travel bag), and the "Hadley" (a big phoofy purse that I have already filled to the brim)--all custom fabric selections by moi.  Go get one (or three) while the sale is still on.

UPDATE: Charm City Daddy said my brown giraffe purse (far right) looks "militant" and "afrocentric." HAHA! That wasn't on my mind when I was designing it. I thought I was being chic in my color choices. Now that I look at it--he's right. It looks slightly Jamaican and like something I picked up from the hustle man at  my black beauty salon. Oh well, I'm STILL rocking it. (*with fist in air*) Fight the Power!

Pillow Talk

Hey, remember how I mentioned this pregnancy pillow of mine that is still lingering around? No, I am not pregnant as someone has already asked me.

Actually I am SICK of that pillow. I was ready to toss the pillow the second I was in labor and made our bed one last time before heading to the hospital. There is no way to make the bed look good with that pillow in the mix. I have added extras to cover it up, but it is just awkward.

Charm City Daddy, on the other hand, has slowly developed a relationship with the pillow.  During my pregnancy, I would often find him curled up with it after I left the bed. If he got to bed first, I could forget about sleeping with it.

At first he was embarrassed and after some time, he threw all caution to the wind and now it is no longer my pillow. It is his pillow. It remains on his side of the bed. He uses it to prop up his bad knee when he sleeps. He jokingly whispers to it telling it he'll "never let it go." He has all but named it. 

And you better believe he will DENY every part of this post if every confronted with this information (as he doesn't follow this blog).


Olivia had her 4-month check up's the rundown:

  • Weight: 14 lbs 14.4 oz (75th percentile)
  • Height: 24.5 inches (50 percentile)
  • Head Circumference: I forget it now...but she grew 3 inches and is in the 75% percentile for her noggin. 

How about that! She's plump and big headed and I love it!

The doctor said we could start rice cereal and then stage one solids at any time. I am looking forward to that because we are flying through formula--which I am buying by the case load. Olivia takes about 5-6 ounces about 6-7 times a day. The doctor said that is about her peak 30-35 ounces.

She also had two more shots today and a taste of some sweet stuff. She was sooo good for the first shot, but the second got her good. She hollered for about 10 seconds and let it go. Overall, MUCH better this go round. 

After her appointment, Charm City Daddy took her to the mall (all by himself for the first time) to go Christmas shopping, I guess. I was more nervous for him than he was. In fact he wasn't nervous at all. He was all, "I got this. I'm very competent." I was like "Cool, go Daddy! Here's the Baby Bjorn and diaper bag. Peace!"

Then I went home finished shoveling our driveway (total role reversal there for a second--him shopping me shoveling). Did I tell you we got about 19-20 inches of snow? Then I made dinner--paella!

Three hours later daddy and baby arrived home like no big deal. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the clock the entire time they are away thinking..."oh its time for her next bottle. I wonder if he's changing her diaper.."yaddah yaddah yaddah.

Guess what? He gave her no bottle between 4pm and 7pm nor did he change her diaper and they were both perfectly fine!

Man, why can't I have stress free shopping trips like that?

Saturday, December 19

I Knew It!

Well cabin fever set in on Charm City Daddy after about 8 hours!

I should have known it was going to be a short haul when he offered to go out in the middle of the night to get me some Robutussin for my sore throat at 12 midnight. By then there was about 3 inches of snow out.

We slept in until about 11 a.m., had a big breakfast, and as soon as we sat down to watch TV, CCD looked at me and said "Want to head over to your parents' house now?!"  I was all, "huh?!" And he was like, "C'mon it'll be an adventure!" And I retorted, "An adventure with a baby?"

Needless to say, I gave in as I always do and started packing us up to make the 25 mile trip.  Here's our  hour-long trip in pictures...

Did I mention the Governor of our state declared a STATE OF EMERGENCY?!

The baby was her usual sleeping-angel self in the car. Like her wizard hat? hehe

Provisions in my new ThirtyOne utility bag. I like it!

I insisted that we bring a snow shovel in case we got stuck in the 10-12 inches that had already accumulated. Mr. Invincible New England Boy - aka Charm City Daddy protested, but I won using the baby argument. I'm glad I did! The plows had hardly been out, and we saw two abandon cars and stopped and helped a stuck emergency worker who was on his way to the airport. Even the road leading into the airport was terrible.  Buckley, our black lab,  even helped out.... I took pics from the warm, dry car....

We didn't need the shovel, but I'm glad we had it to help this guy out.
So now we're in Severn...snowed in. And I have to go now, as CCD is harassing me about what we're going to eat.  Off to fry to chicken...

Friday, December 18

Let It Snow!

My favorite Baltimore weathergirl  is calling for a foot of snow (maybe more) between tonight and Sunday morning--with the heaviest downpour tomorrow!

There goes my plans to take Olivia to see Santa on Saturday at the mall--and anything else I wanted to accomplish this weekend. It's a good thing I'm primarily an online shopper (year-round for that matter).

When it snows in Maryland (even a dusting) everything comes to a screeching halt. It's pathetic. Drivers strike stupid, schools and government shut down, and grocery stores become madhouses.We live in the city, and I don't expect a plow to come down our street until Monday--if we're lucky. 

I'll enjoy having an uneventful weekend cozied up with my bebe. I kinda wish I had purchased this Smores kit from Cosi when I first saw it months ago. It would have been the perfect compliment to homemade hot chocolate this weekend. 

Charm City Daddy gets stir-crazy after sitting at home just a few hours, so this weekend should be interesting!

Thursday, December 17

Four Months Old


What happened to my little Charm City newborn? I remember when I could hold on my chest to burp you and your head would be nestled under my chin and your little legs would be all curled up and didn't pass my belly button.  Now I have to put your big head on my shoulder and you use your feet to push off of my thighs!

Daddy calls you the "midget bully" and our "little pre-teen." I tend to agree with him. You yell, not cry at us if we are kissing you too much and push us away with your little hands. In fact we captured one of those moments on this year's Christmas Card.

Yep,  you know how to use those little hands to hold the bottom of your bottle (which makes feeding you difficult at times). You also grab toys, mama's hair, mama's necklaces, and you gouge and scratch up mama's face and eyes! You must really love me.

Everyone comments on the fact that you are such a happy baby. You are! You greet everyone with the sweetest, biggest smile like they just told you a funny secret. You love to giggle, especially at your own jokes and this week you started having full out outbursts of laughter with yelps of delight--particularly at the changing table.  When you get really excited your eyes open up wide (along with your mouth), you yelp, your shoulders go up and you arms stick straight out to the side, and occasionally there is some "happy feet" involved.  It never fails to make me laugh too.

You love the mirror, and I make a scene everytime we pass one, singing "Who's that baby? (to the tune of "Who's That Lady?" by the Isley Brothers). You laugh and smile at your reflection everytime. I love the way you crinkle your nose to smile in the mirror sometimes. It's like your saying "I'm cute ain't I?" You still impress me with how you allow me to clip and file your finger nails. It amazes me how still you sit and how must you focus when you are intrigued by something--particularly books.

You are a good sport about the constant wardrobe changes and you do pretty well when I try to comb that little afro of yours (your hair is getting long!).  Your nanny Julia loves dressing you up multiple times a day. Today when I got home she had not one but two bows in your hair--and of course they didn't match and I got another good laugh out of it.

You are an excellent sleeper and always have been. You don't need swaddling anymore and I can just lay you in your crib after a bedtime story (or two) and you know just what to do. Your daddy ordered the "My Baby Can Read" starter kit from the TV infomercials and has started working with you this week. We found tonight that it is yet another good way to put you to sleep. Daddy didn't like that. haha.

Recently, I've been able to see how you interact with other babies and toddlers. You just stare. You follow them around with your eyes watching them with an expression on your face like they are little children, but you, YOU are an adult. Daddy says it's a sign that you are a leader. I'll go with that! At Thanksgiving, your cousins wanted to hold you and kiss you, constantly.

Look how nervous my neice Simone is! Cracks me up.

And Cousin Bethany holding you!

God really blessed us with an easy baby in you, and I thank Him every day. Your daddy and I have incorporated you into our Friday night dates and you are quickly making your rounds to Baltimore's best family-friendly restaurants (in your PJ's and a hair bow--bedtime is 7:30 p.m. sharp). In fact, you have spoiled your daddy because he thinks all pregnancies and newborns will be as easy-going as you.

You are developing, changing, growing, maturing so quickly and I can't wait to see what's next.

Love You,

Charm City Mama

Monday, December 14

July in Christmas?

IMG_2082, originally uploaded by Charm City Mama.
I had a late meeting at work tonight and arrived home to see this cute little fat snoring baby in my bed (Daddy was hanging out with her too).

That's right. It's another nanny creation.

Folks, you are looking at a colorful sundress (minus diaper cover hence the cloth diaper peeking through) complimented by trumpette socks.

Yes, it was 40 degrees today and my baby was wearing a sundress that is way too big by the way.

Nonetheless I'm beginning to understand Julia's approach. She changes Olivia 2 to 3 times a day in any number of outfits just so the baby gets a chance to wear the cloths. Its not about whether it fits or if the outfit is in season. Apparently it is also not about matching either. It is about getting through the clothes. I get that. And boy is it funny to watch. It makes me look forward to coming home.

Side Note: Do you see that pregnancy pillow she's snuggled up in? I bet you're wondering why that THING is still hanging around. Ah yes. That is a whole different post. Coming soon....

Charm City Baby's Christmas List

Although she has no clue, Olivia has a nice little Christmas list and it seems to be getting longer and longer by the day.

Because Charm City Daddy has spoiled her by always making her stand up and she LOVES standing up, the first item on the list is this jumparoo:

Then I thought--better go ahead and get the walker because we'll need that soon too.

Then today I saw this cute little scarf (neckie) on Halle Berry's little girl...and thought "awwww my little girl would look cute in that too!"

And can I say something about how quickly we are losing floor space to all things baby? Ahh! I was at Babies R Us this weekend and almost purchased the bouncer and walker but when I saw how enormous they were in person, part of my heart sank and I had the selfish new parent feeling like---"we must surrender MORE of our grown up home to MORE baby stuff? Really? Geez."

Then we went to a Christmas party at a friend's house later that day--a friend who has surrendered the entire second level (aka family room and formal dining room) of her townhouse to an enormous kids area. I am not kidding. She had everything, every contraption or toy you EVER saw in the store and wondered if your child would really like it or if it would waste your money.  It was perfect for the Christmas party b/c we all brought our kids and they entertained themselves. I also got to "test drive" the bouncer and walker (she had the exact ones  I was looking at) with Olivia. Guess what? Olivia LOVES them both! Charm City Daddy and I looked at each other within seconds of putting Olivia inside them and said "Oh yeah, we've gotta get these." Crap.

So, there goes more of my coveted living room square footage. Oh well. For the development of her gross motor skills and perhaps 45 minutes of baby pre-occupation,  it is definitely worth it. Ho! Ho! Ho!*

(*for some reason, I'm lovin' that phrase this year)

Thursday, December 10

Cloth Diaper Update

Since I mentioned cloth diapers in the last post about the washer/dryer, its probably a good time for a cloth diaper update.

Report: It's going well! And get this nearly 2 months in... ZERO leaks. ZERO diaper rashes.

We're completely off disposables (unless we're visiting grandma) and using cloth wipes as well.

I am still using disposable wipes in addition to the cloth wipes b/c let's face it the poo gets messy and I want to make sure she's clean!

 Charm City Baby (Week 9) modeling her bumGenius in pink!

I primarily use the bumGenius 2.0's, and when we leave the house (shop, restaurant, church) I put her in G diaper hybrids as they take up less room in the diaper bag and I don't have to carry around stinky soiled diapers. I also use these super wonderful pre-folds and Bummis Super Whisper covers and guess what I really like them too.

We're doing laundry every other day and that seems to be working fine too. Sometimes we wash major explosions right away, if it makes sense. At first I was pre-rinsing the poo diapers, but now I'm just throwing the whole mess in the washing machine and they are coming out beautifully fresh and clean.

I'm glad we're being eco-friendly but mostly I feel good about the money we're saving, particularly since we're all the way into using formula and I find myself stockpiling coupons for my bimonthly Babies R Us visits.

At first, Julia, the nanny wasn't too keen on using them. She kept telling me about Costco specials on bulk disposables, but I think I've converted her as well.

So! We forge ahead and we'll keep you posted!

How Motherhood Changes You...

On Saturday, while I was reading Charm City Baby her bedtime story Charm City Daddy popped into the nursery with a little wrapped gift and surprised me with this beauty...

He said it was my pre-Christmas gift b/c I "needed a little pink" referring to the center pink diamond.

Well, I LOOOOOOOVED it. Yes, I just used past tense. I wore the ring all day Sunday, but all I could think about as I stared at it (over and over again) was this...

The front load washer/dryer set I've been wanting for a while.

So, guess what I did? I took the ring back. Yes, I did! Since he's a regular there, Charm City Daddy had it on consignment from the jewelry store in case I wanted the yellow one instead. Wasn't that sweeeeeeet?!

When I returned to the jewelry store on Sunday after church you should have seen the confused faces of the 2 women that helped me. They were like, "What?  He gave it to you? You want to give it back? And you don't want to pick out something else?"

Now, of course CCD told me I could I have both the washer/ dryer and the ring, but that didn't seem like the most practical and prudent thing for new parents to do.

Ahh how motherhood changes our priorities. But hey those cloth diapers are gonna love the new washer / dryer--which arrives next week.

UPDATE: I ended up canceling this washer/dryer order after I realized I had ordered an electric dryer and I needed a gas one. Then I dropped the ball on reordering. Then I convinced myself that I should really wait until the present washer/dryer combo actually DIES, before investing into something shiny and new, and RED. Talk about the ULTIMATE in prudent parenting AND mom guilt.

Tuesday, December 8

Another Nanny Creation

I came home today and couldn't stop laughing.

1. Rockawear Onesie +
1. Old Navy Heart Tights (worn on top of onesie)
= Happy, but Fashion-Confused Baby.

If Olivia were on the the red carpet, I'd ask her "Where are you going?"
She might reply, "To a Jay-Z concert as an 80's dancer, on Valentine's Day."

Monday, December 7

A "LILL" Multi-Level Marketing Please?

So it's no surprise to anyone who knows me and reads this blog that I. LOVE. PURSES.

And this past weekend, after many requests from my friends who liked a particular purse of mine, I decided to host an 1154 LILL Studio Custom Handbag Party.

 Have you heard of LILL?   If you haven't, follow the link and don't blame me for the HOURS you are about to spend on the website designing your own purses, travel bags, diaper bags,  clutches, etc.

If you are familiar with LILL, you'll probably understand the frenzy of purse samples and fabric swatches that were flying about in my dining room on Saturday afternoon---despite the 4 inches of snow that gushed out of the Baltimore sky that day. That's right. My girls are not fair-weather purse fans either. Rain, snow, sleet, or hail they were ready to design their bags and with the help of a generous pitcher of sangria, we had a blast. I only wish I had taken before and after pictures of my dining room table.

At any rate, ever since I was introduced to LILL, about 3 years ago by my friend Denise, I have been a big fan. The quality of fabrics, the functional,versatile, yet chic bag styles, the excellent workmanship of the bags, and the thrill of making an exclusively yours custom piece right down to the pocket lining. (breathe!)

The company and it's founder, Jen Valarde, have a great story (and blog) and are a B-school case study in building a creative but focused, consumer/employee-driven company. In my humble opinion, companies like Thirty-One do not compare in any way, in selection, quality, or experience.

So here's my only issue with LILL (and I know I'm not alone in this because I talked to my local sales rep ad nauseum about this)....why can't LILL be a multi-level-marketing setup? Seriously, I've NEVER been enticed to sell soap, nasty juices, make-up, knives, plastic ware, jewelry, baskets, legal services, candles, home goods, wrapping paper, or even Girl Scout cookies (although I did get the badge for it), but this LILL company is calling to me (albeit in a part-time, weekends only fashion--but hey they are calling!)

As a business-minded person, I can probably anticipate LILL's (or Jen V.'s ) response to the MLM question, which I'm sure she gets all the time. I'm sure it has something to do with the founding principles of the company, preserving quality, the personal experience, its handmade/Chicago-based production, not diluting the brand, etc. I not only respect that response, I appreciate it particularly after having experienced a Thirty-One party. Many things (including quality) is certainly lost in their MLM. Again, just my humble opinion--and I did by their very nice utility bag and had it embroidered--a nice little extra that Thirty One has.

With all that said, this doesn't solve my problem. For the first time in my life since pageants, I'm open to the idea of a "side-hustle" (yes, I just called the Miss America and Miss USA pageants I competed in a side-hustle--paid for college!) but LILL on Location reps aren't necessarily needed in my area. Further, I'm unsure if being a part-time representive would give me the flexibility I need to keep my day job and be a mom.

Nonetheless, This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, and have talked to Charm City Daddy about how I would approach the business. I told myself I would just get through the party this weekend to see if I still felt as strongly and it "seams" that I do. (heh) In fact, I can't wait to plan the next LILL party for the spring fabrics when they come in! I guess it is something I will need to continue to pray on and work through. Perhaps create a MLM empire of my own?! (muhahahaaaa) Not likley.

What would you do? Should I call up the company and find out the time commitment? Should I apply to the company regardless of where they need reps?

Sunday, December 6

Christmas Cards Made Simpler

ChristmasCard2009, originally uploaded by Charm City Mama.

Today, we took our Christmas card picture. We finally found a time, when we were all home, decent, and had a third person to snap the photo. I really should invest in a tripod.

To my delight, when I hopped onto to begin designing our card, I learned that they have a new (beta) delivery service.

This is what happens: you design your card, import your contact list (for me, a coveted excel document), and they address and mail your cards directly to your recipients for you. They also send you the leftovers, if you have any.

For $0.35/ piece (the cost of printing the addresses on the envelopes) that was an offer I couldn't refuse.

So basically, we took our family pic, designed the card, and sent them off in an hour's time!

Not only have I saved my invaluable time and sanity, I also used a coupon code that is good until midnight Dec. 7th "Decholsale" and I got $50 off my order!

The discount varies based on your order total. You can also use the promo code "momtobe" for 10% off your order, whichever works better for you.

If you haven't done your cards, yet, do it now!

And if you've already finished them...check out our Christmas Card "outtakes" on my Flickr photostream in the column on the right. Miss Olivia was in rare form.

Friday, December 4

Nanny Update

We LOVE Olivia's new nanny! She's a professional, and we consider ourselves very blessed to have found her.

And hey, while you're here, take a closer look at Olivia's outfit. The nanny dresses her up in the funniest outfits (multiple times a day)---just for giggles and because the baby will grow out of everything so quickly. I had to take a picture of this recent creation.

Pajama hat--w/ pulled bangs? (lol) + Church Dress + Gym Socks = Hilarious.

Isn't she a doll? ...Like the one I always wanted as a child. Praise God.

Thursday, December 3

Christmas Decor

Last Friday, I managed to get almost all (except those pesky window candles) of my Christmas decorations up while my mother-in-law, who was visiting, could watch and entertain Olivia. As I was unpacking the stockings and the ornaments I realized that I didn't have a stocking or any ornaments for baby Olivia. :( Bad Mommy.

Knowing that I'd like to personalize those items, I immediately turned to Things Remembered and Pottery Barn. Neither disappointed.

Both have specials and sales going on right now and specifically Pottery Barn has a little special on their stockings that includes free shipping.  If you were also in the market for these things, it's worth checking out.

Wednesday, December 2

Charm City Mama's Holiday Gift Pick #5 (For the Papa's)

Are your dudes hard to shop for? Mine is. So much so, when I see something he may like, I write it down in the memo pad section of my Blackberry. So, basically I'm going to run down that list right now...

Here are a few things, I think he (and almost any guy) would appreciate this holiday season:

Charm City Daddy is a preppy New England boy at heart. He loves his Vineyard Vines.
He would LOVE these pants...

In case you can't see, those are little Santa whales...

His outbursts during Patriots games are so dispruptive and startling to the baby, I had to send him away this week to watch Monday Night Football somewhere else. He would love this VV tie.

Is there a man on this planet (with HBO) that doesn't have an obsession with Entourage?
Buys the first six seasons in a boxed set.

We've been talking about getting one of these for a long time.

Finally, I think all daddy's should have a camcorder or some sort. We have this one. And it does the job.

But we will need something a little more substantial for those extended cinematic moments that should be captured like gift opening on Christmas Day or maybe Olivia's little dance recitals.
Something like this would be nice...

And of course when all else fails Charm City Daddy has also always appreciated cufflinks, metal collar stays, new gym socks, or something from Brookstone. Typical dude.

Charm City Mama's Holiday Gift Pick #4

Anyone that has been to my home knows that I am a candle lover. In fact, I used to be a regular at Candles Off Main when I worked in Annapolis and would visit their downtown boutique on my lunch break. Yep, that bad. They have REALLY good stuff though and it's a great place to get educated on candles.

Anyway, one of my favorite brands of candles is Voluspa. If you have every smelled their distinct, sophisticated, and "powerful fragrance throws" you know why people are loyal to the brand.  I buy the Voluspa three wick tins all of the time, but last year around this time, I bought the Voluspa Basic Black Votive giftset with the intent to actually gift it, but then I couldn't part with it! Ah! I decided to keep them for myself and I travel with them, put them in our guest bedrooms for our guests to enjoy and take with them. These candles are so powerful I keep the box in my closet and it smells up the place better than a sache.

I suggest you get the gift set for a friend (and yourself). That way you can decide which scent(s) you will become addicted to from the assortment and can then commit yourself to purchasing them for the rest. of. your. life.

And while you are in scent shopping mood--have you seen these?

Lampe Berger (pronounced in your best French accent) is another creation Susan at Candles Off Main introduced me to a couple of years ago.  Apparently these lanterns were used in Parisian hospitals back in the day to kill airborne bacteria and neutralize odors. I love my basic clear glass one, but there are many ornate lamps to choose from to match your home decor. I suggest starting with the starter kit which basically includes everything in the picture above. Susan's web site explains how to use them beautifully with an instructional video as well.

Okay..technically that was two gift picks. I promise to pick a men's gift next!

Just Enjoying My Baby

Hi Friends! I haven't been posting much because I've just been enjoying some days off of work, relaxation and baby kissin'.

I could just eat her up!

She does have a little personality on her. :)

The latest and greatest: Olivia is mesmerized with the Christmas tree and all of its splendid lights. Just tonight she was chanting to it and seemingly telling it jokes and then laughing at her own jokes.

I'm working on getting a video of it. You must see it.

Tuesday, November 24


CoverThoseNaps, originally uploaded by Charm City Mama.

What am I to do with all of Miss Olivia's hair? It's too long to look neat in a little mini afro, but too short for me to get my braid on.

Poor thing has learned to fall asleep like this after her night time baths to prevent me from platting up those naps! I'm gonna get them!

The inevitable smiley face is rubbing it's way in on the back of her head from her constant head turning in the crib.

I'm doing my best to keep every lock in place.

Poor Lucy

Lucy the cat was euthanized on Sunday. Poor Lucy. 

She lived an eventful 15 years as my sister's companion from college to the birth of her now 3 year old. My sister once told me she named her Lucy partly so she could come home from class and say "Lucy, I'm hoooome" in Ricki Ricardo fashion. 

She was a really sweet kitty, and I'm not even a cat person. In fact, I'm allergic. But Lucy just made you laugh. I wish I had an electronic picture to share, but I don't.

She tried to reach out shake your hand with her paw when you arrived.  And she would meow continuously. She used to sit up on her butt with her shoulders against the wall like a human being. And in her later years, I think she had arthritis in her paws because she would "tip toe" lightly carefully placing each paw down on the floor. It was cute.

Anyway, it was her time. She was loved dearly by all.  We'll miss you Lucy.

Friday, November 20

Charm City Mama's Holiday Gift Pick #3

When I said I would pick some holiday gift ideas for the mamas and papas out there, I forgot one little thing. I really don't shop too frequently--or at all. And if I buy anything, it's mostly online. I thumb through my favorite mail-order catalogs when I get home and that's enough of a fix for me. If I see something I love and am compelled enough, I'll order it online or (this is even more rare with the baby) pay it a visit in the store.
This lack of shopping makes it quite a task to think of holiday gifts and shopping. Whoops. Needless to say these Holiday gifts are rapidly approaching their culmination at  number five.

But hey, here's one that I can personally vouch for and love. The Pandora charm bracelet. My colleagues gifted me one with a few baby-related charms just before Olivia arrived and I love it.

It's a different take on charm bracelets and worry-free, I might add. Once this thing is clamped on it's going nowhere and neither are the charms. It's a gift that keeps on giving too---kids and hubby and family can help you build up the charms and you can change them around (add or take them away) at any time. I personally like it's weight and how the variations and combinations are endless.

Two more picks to go! Next up...a gift for the papas.

Tuesday, November 17

Three Months Old

I can't believe it.

In just three months time, so much has happened.

Although Olivia found her voice and started baby talking with call and response at 5 weeks, now she has full out conversations with herself (and us) particularly when she is gazing into the mirror in her swing. Her conversations get dramatic too. Sometimes I think she is cussing out the little lambs on her mobile. They really piss her off. I have to tell her to watch her little mouth.

"really mom? another picture?"

Speaking of attitude... Olivia is so positive and happy! I love her laugh. She greets everyone with the biggest smile which I haven't been able to capture yet with my big, intrusive mamarazzi flash camera. She doesn't like my camera too much, but she's gotten used to it.

 "The godmama"

She STILL loves the TV and it remains the best babysitter if you need to take a quick shower or get dressed.

She's a great sleeper! Last night she went down all by herself at 7:30 p.m. and we didn't hear a peep until 6:30 a.m. CRRAAAZY! I had to go in and check on her (one of those 'is she alive checks?') and change her diaper at 2 a.m.

Her focus is amazing. I can read through an entire book and keep her attention the whole time, and she looks at the pictures and pages like she understands. Sometimes I just keep reading the books over and over until she squirms out of interest.

Her neck control and grown into being able to get up on her elbows! yay! And boy is she a kicker. She can squirm with the best of them. She's also understanding how to use her hands to grab stuff. She tries to grab her own bottle--but those little hands are still too little.

I'm finally convinced that she knows who I am. For a while there I thought she would think my name is "Do you know who I am?" She definitely knows daddy and his voice too. If I put Charm City Daddy on speakerphone, she immediately perks up, startes at his picture on the screen, and smiles.

And boy are they two peas in a pod. It's scary.

Basically, three months in I could not be happier with motherhood and this beautiful, blessed baby. She has really been a great baby...and dare I say an "easy baby" but I'm sure most mamas say that about their offspring.

It ALL didn't turn out the way I planned it in my head, but that's okay. We had diaper rash for a week when I returned to work. We fired the au pair. We only made it 11 weeks with the breastfeeding (although I still have some left in the freezer).  And we will restart cloth diapers (gulp) this weekend as the disposables disappear. Not all perfect, but we're all perfectly happy.

Another milestone is coming that could make our/her whole world come crumbling down (drum roll)...I want to take the pacifier away for GOOD! We only use it so she can soothe herself to sleep but...pray for us.

Monday, November 16

I Like the Name Lucy

That's what Charm City Daddy told me yesterday morning when I was brushing my teeth before church.

Thinking that he was joking, I laughed and said "Yeah." Then I paused, looked in the mirror, and turned back to him and said with a mouth full of toothpaste "Were you kidding, or uh?"

He was not joking. He wants to name our next daughter Lucy.

Lucy. Hmm.

My sister's cat's name is Lucy. She is a mess. Literally.  She was taken from her mama too early and doesn't know how to groom more than her face and thus has dreadlocks like Bob Marley. (Sorry to put your biznass in the streets sis--but everyone knows it). My sister takes Lucy to the groomer and pretends she's a stray cat that she just found. I'm sure it's been a task to find a different groomer everytime for the past what 14 years sis? Everytime I see Lucy the cat I laugh myself to tears. You would to. She's really sweet too, and tip toes.

I tend to like the name Lucy as it makes me laugh and think of Lucille Ball and of course the rastafarian cat.

I'll have to let this one settle in for a while. No worries we have plenty of time before number two.