Charlotte is Two

My sweet girl is two. Two! It makes me sad that time is going so fast, but it has been an incredible two years. It’s so fascinating watching her personality develop. She is talking so much and constantly making us laugh with her sassy personality and wit. She is too smart for us now. Today she asked for a popsicle. I told her we didn’t have any – I didn’t want to clean up the aftermath. She walked to the freezer, opened it up, and brought me two popsicles and said, “Have it!”

She has a spirit for adventure, exploring and figuring everything out. She loves animals, nature and being outside. She loves to get a reaction from us and make us laugh. She is determined, stubborn and knows exactly what she wants. These are great traits to have as she gets older, but can make parenting tough! She is brave, a thrill seeker, and loves to play rough – all traits I am lacking that I am so glad she has!

She is currently almost 33 pounds, wears 3T clothes and size 7 shoes. Girl is solid. She goes through phases of being picky or not wanting to eat much at all, but consistently loves all sweets/treats, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, chicken, french fries,  and granola & fruit bars.

Our bedtime routine remains the same. She goes through phases of waking up in the middle of the night and wanting to sleep with us.

Baby dolls, stuffed animals, dollhouse, dressing up, doctor, her kitchen and all imaginative play is her current favorite when playing inside. She loves Peppa Pig, Curious George, Doc McStuffins, Elmo’s World and most recently the movie Moana.

Current favorite things she says & does:

  • Dramatically says “oh wow” when excited about something
  • Adds “all day long” onto the end of everything
  • Calls us “my daddy” and “my mommy.” For example, she’ll say, “Come here my daddy.”
  • Using the word “impossible” incorrectly and it’s adorable
  • Sings Moana songs and they’re all missed up and out of order, but she gets into it!
  • Does an Elvisesque like dance anytime music comes on or she’s excited about something
  • Tells us to “pit it out” (spit it out) when we’re eating and thinks it’s hilarious
  • Catches imaginary animals and cradles them and says they are “cute”
  • Asks for “stawburries” (strawberries) and eats them by the bowl full
  • Randomly tells us “love you”

So far two is pretty fun! Looking forward to another year of adventure.

 

Advertisements

Charlotte’s Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Party

Our girl loves to be outside and all things nature, specifically rocks. Her love of rocks has been going on for awhile and when it came time to pick a second birthday theme I knew rocks had to be involved. When I began to plan a rock themed second birthday party I had a few ideas in mind, but I went to Pinterest for inspiration. A lot of the ideas I found were geared towards older children. However, I did find a lot of great nature themed party ideas so I decided a “nature rocks” theme would be perfect for Charley.Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion.

We rented a pavilion at a local park. I decided on this park because it has a large field to play in and a creek perfect for playing in the water and rock collecting.  To make the pavilion pretty, I strung twine across it and hung various balloons and paper lanterns, fans, & globes. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. Paper lanterns and strung balloons to decorate a pavilion. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. Paper lanterns and strung balloons to decorate a pavilion.

My mom and her spouse brought to life my vision for a food table backdrop. It turned out beautiful. They used lattice, natural vines, plants, bird nests, and flowers to place behind the table. I put up a birthday banner, a large gold 2 balloon, and an old window with photos of Charley. Decorated food table with a lattice backdrop. Tree stump cupcake stand. Old window picture frame to decorate. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. Decorated food table with a lattice backdrop. Tree stump cupcake stand. Old window picture frame to decorate. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. Decorated food table with a lattice backdrop. Tree stump cupcake stand. Old window picture frame to decorate. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. Decorated food table with a lattice backdrop. Tree stump cupcake stand. Old window picture frame to decorate. Nature Rocks 2nd Birthday Theme for a girl. Rock theme birthday party. Nature, rocks, birds, flowers, outside, park, pavilion. For the food I wanted to keep it simple, but still keep the theme. The main entrees were pizza we ordered and nachos Steve made and kept in slow cookers. For sides we had a veggie tray (with rainbow baby carrots!), watermelon, pretzel sticks (twigs!), and trail mix. I kept the trail mix toddler friendly by mixing a multigrain Cheerios and dried fruit. Then I added in some chocolate rocks. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party.

My dad made Charley’s cake stand and cupcake stand. I love how he personalized her cake stand. So sweet. I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes (dyed blue per her request) with chocolate frosting, chocolate rocks, and bird decorations. I added a faux moss #2 on her cake.Rock, nature, geology, bird themed smash cake. Tree stump cupcake stand with rock and bird themed cupcakes. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Rock, nature, geology, bird themed smash cake. Tree stump cupcake stand with rock and bird themed cupcakes. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. diy Tree stump cupcake stand with rock and bird themed cupcakes. rock & geology themed birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party.

I also made rock cookies using this recipe. I also made a brown glaze and used a brush to flick black food coloring onto the cookies to make them speckled. Rock cookies for rock & geology themed birthday party. Food menu with pizza, nachos, twigs, trail mix, veggie tray, and watermelon. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party.

Our party favors doubled as an activity for the kids. I got some buckets and we all went to the creek to go rock collecting. Rock collecting party activity and game. Bucket party favor for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Rock collecting party activity and game. Bucket party favor for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Rock collecting party activity and game. Bucket party favor for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party.

I also made treasure rocks for the kids to smash open. I used this recipe but doubled it using used coffee grounds in one batch and coarsely ground coffee beans in the other.  This gave them a marbled look since the doughs were different colors. They looked like real rocks and it was fun watching the kids beat them with mallets to see what was inside. DIY surprise treasure rocks for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. Butterfly fossil rocks to smash open. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. DIY surprise treasure rocks for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. Butterfly fossil rocks to smash open. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. DIY surprise treasure rocks for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. Butterfly fossil rocks to smash open. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. DIY surprise treasure rocks for rock, nature, geology themed birthday party. Butterfly fossil rocks to smash open. rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party.

By the gift table my mom put out some balloons and I added a chalkboard with photos of her & rocks.

Decorated gift table for rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Decorated gift table for rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. Decorated gift table for rock & geology themed birthday party. Nature rocks second birthday theme. Rock and geology kids birthday theme. Geology birthday party. We had a great time celebrating our girl and the theme fit her perfectly. She had a blast dancing to her party playlist, eating almost her whole cake, opening presents, and seeing her family & friends. Mother daughter second birthday portrait kissTo see where I purchased everything visit my Pinterest board here. You can also look at my other board for some inspiring posts for nature themed birthday parties.

 

Toddler Easter Activities Round Up

celebrating Easter with a toddler. Montessori inspired Easter work and activities.We celebrated Easter this weekend enjoying the warm weather, family and a lot of food! Charlotte (21 months old) really had fun this Easter. She especially enjoyed the chocolate and hunting for Easter eggs. Over the last several weeks we have had a lot of fun with some Easter themed activities. I have shared these on my Instagram and here is a round up:

Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter books on a toddler front facing bookshelf. Easter children's books.Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter books on a toddler front facing bookshelf. Easter children's books.Easter books: I put all the Easter books in our collection on Charlotte’s bedroom shelf. As we read through them I took out the books she did not like and replaced them with some from the library and some bunny books.

Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter sensory table bin. Ikea flisat sensory table. Boon drying rack hack reuse. Plastic easter eggs Boon drying rack & plastic eggs. She pushed these into the grass and stacked them. This will also be fun with some bunny and chick figures.

Easter play dough playdoh invitation. Pastel swirled play dough sensory activitiy Easter play dough playdoh invitation. Pastel swirled play dough sensory activitiyEaster play dough invitation. Swirled play dough, cookie cutters plastic eggs & picks. Picks and play dough are always a favorite with her.

Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter sensory table bin. Ikea flisat sensory table. Boon drying rack hack reuse. Plastic easter eggs with rice and beans. Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter sensory table bin. Ikea flisat sensory table. Boon drying rack hack reuse. Plastic easter eggs with dyed rice and easter grass. Easter Montessori inspired activities. Easter sensory table bin. Ikea flisat sensory table. Boon drying rack hack reuse. Plastic easter eggs Sensory table. We had a few different tables consisting of dyed rice, dyed white kidney beans, plastic eggs, Easter grass and various tools for scooping and filling.

Dying Easter eggs with a toddler using rice and food dye. Mess free Easter egg dyingDying Easter eggs. We did the classic dip dyes and we did this rice technique that was perfect for mess free dying.

Montessori Easter work and activities. Balancing Easter eggs on golf tees.Stacking Easter eggs. Golf tees poked into a box and plastic eggs.

Easter bunny breakfast with pancakes and fruit Easter themed yumbox breakfast for lunchEaster themed food.

Montessori Easter activities - scooping and transferring plastic Easter eggs. Montessori Easter activities - scooping and transferring plastic Easter eggsScooping & transferring eggs two ways.

celebrating Easter with a toddler. Montessori inspired Easter work and activities.And of course, egg hunts! We hunted for eggs in her room and at all her grandparents houses. She yelled “eggy” every time she saw one.

 

Charlotte 21 Months

Age: 21 months

Height/Weight: 32 inches tall and 30 pounds. You wear a 2T and 3T and a size 6 shoe.

Eating: You still eat pretty much anything (so happy you are not picky) but your favorites include anything sweet, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and chicken. You also love anything you can dip.

Sleeping: We typically start our bedtime routine around 8 pm. Around 7:30 we go to your room (if we aren’t there yet) and play for a little.  Then you get a fresh diaper, pajamas, and you sit on my lap and we read books. Depending on how dinner went, you might eat a snack while we read. Then you give me a big hug and kiss and crawl into bed with your stuffed animals – usually giggling and covering them up with a blanket too. We say goodnight to your blinds, sound machine and lights. You get a final kiss and we say goodnight. When Daddy is not working he participates in this too. Unless something is bothering you, you sleep all night until 6:30-7 in the morning. But, if you wake up during the night you usually don’t go back to sleep and are awake for awhile! As for naps, you always take a good nap typically from 1-3 pm. We can always tell when it’s time for you to sleep because you get extra sassy!

Favorites: You continue to love your stuffed animals and baby dolls. Lately you have been playing doctor and giving them check-ups. It is so cute. You say “check up!” and then use a toy to check their ears, eyes and heart beat. Then you say, “All better! Healthy!” You also like your dollhouse, animal figurines, coloring, and sensory activities. You love to help around the house with cooking or chores. You love to be outside and collect flowers and rocks. You like to watch Singing Time (sign language), Curious George, Doc McStuffins and Peppa Pig.

Talking/Signing: You continue to use sign language and have a huge ASL vocabulary. You say a lot of words (more than I can list) and are putting words together, saying short sentences and phrases. Between signs and words we are able to have pretty good communication. When something is exciting/interesting you say, “Oh wow!”

Toddler Vegetable Theme

I love Instagram and I am far better at keeping that updated than this blog! My apologies. I discovered some like minded accounts with weekly challenges that have been very inspiring and lots of fun! A few weeks back the week’s theme was veggies – see their post here for details. Here are all the ways Charley and I interacted with veggies:

Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Montessori practical life shopping. Toddler activities.First we went to the grocery store and picked out some vegetables. Charlotte got her own cart for the first time and had so much fun putting her veggies into it!

Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Montessori practical life cooking and chopping. Toddler activities.We roasted and cut carrots for dinner.

Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Montessori practical life. Printing with vegetables. Process art with vegetables. Toddler activities.I saved the scraps for vegetable prints. We used the end of a carrot, the top of a bell pepper, and the bottom of a celery bunch.

Books and materials on her shelves/play kitchen:Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Montessori practical wooden puzzles. Toddler activities.Vegetable wooden puzzles. We also used the pieces in her play kitchen and for matching work (seen below)Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable play pretend food. Vegetable play kitchen. Dramatic play. Our collection of pretend veggies for her kitchen. I wanted to include real veggies but with two dogs they would never last! Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable children's books. Usborne Shine a Light Secrets of the Vegetable Garden.Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable children's books. Usborne Shine a Light Secrets of the Vegetable Garden. The books we had out. The Shine a Light books from Usborne are so fun! Notice the bird seed Charley tracked into the house! She loves her birds.Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Language Cards. Photo matching.  Matching work. Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Language Cards. Photo matching.  Matching work.Matching work using language cards and pretend food.Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable play pretend food. Vegetable play kitchen. Dramatic play. Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable play pretend food. Vegetable play kitchen. Dramatic play. Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Vegetable play pretend food. Vegetable play kitchen. Dramatic play. Montessori Vegetable Toddler Theme. Usborne 1000 Things to Eat. Matching work.Her play kitchen set-up with all of our vegetables. She served us, the dogs, and her stuffed animals a lot of veggies!

What are your favorite ways to teach vegetables to toddlers? Comment below!

Charlotte’s Nursery Transformation

When I was pregnant with Charlotte I was so excited to create her nursery. Her bedroom is the smallest of the three in our house and it is a teeny tiny square room. When we moved in the room was dark green so we painted it this peachy beige color first. Then we slowly collected pink, coral, gold, and grey decorations. We had her room all set-up prior to her arrival.
Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Grey crib with bookshelf and infant toysThe crib is a Graco Rory 4 in 1 crib in grey. The shelf was handmade by my dad. The quilt was a baby shower gift handmade by a friend’s mom. I made her crib sheet. The baskets and shelf hold infant toys.Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Book wall using Ikea shelves. Front facing bookshelfOn the opposite wall of her crib is her dresser and book corner. The dresser is from Ikea. We painted it pink and added gold knobs from Hobby Lobby. The shelves are Ikea spice racks that we painted to match her crib. I made the cushion. The curtains are also from Ikea.Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Once Charlotte arrived we only used her room to store her things and to play. She slept in our room initially. We added a glider to read books and for nursing. Since she didn’t use her crib much and the room is so small, we placed it next to the crib.Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. GliderAs she got older and began moving around, we made more changes to her room. First, we needed more space so the glider came out. We also removed the bookshelf and dresser for safety and space. My husband added shelving to her closet to store all of her clothes that were in her dresser. Wooden crates and baskets were used to place her toys at her level. Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. RIE and Montessori Inspired infant bedroom nursery Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. Before her first birthday, I strung some dried plants on the wall and added a framed photo of her. She began to love baby dolls and stuffed animals so I added a wooden doll bed found at the thrift store. This is the wall that had her dresser on it previously.
Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. RIE and Montessori Inspired infant bedroom nurseryA month later she began to pull on those Ikea spice rack bookshelves. They were also just the right height for bumping her head. We took them down and tried them on a crate we added.Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. RIE and Montessori Inspired infant bedroom nursery. Wooden crate shelvesTwo months later, we switched out the crates for this cube shelf. We used her bedroom a lot to play since it is gated off from our dogs. Our dogs were still getting used to a walking toddler, so this was a safe place for her to play. This shelf gave us more space to add materials. I also brought up her rocking chair and we tried to use the Ikea book shelf again, but she continued to pull it down. I blame that for my lack of properly installing it! We eventually switched to baskets for her books.Pink, coral, grey, and gold eclectic vintage inspired baby girl nursery. RIE and Montessori Inspired infant bedroom nursery. Montessori inspired bedroom. Cube shelf for toys.Her room stayed like this until she was about 15 months old. That is when we super baby proofed her bedroom and she began sleeping on a floor bed rather than a crib. All of that is explained in her toddler bedroom post.Montessori inspired toddler bedroom. Montessori floor bed. Handmade patchwork quilt. Felt ball garland. Wood crate end table.Her bedroom is about to get a new addition though. Her Papaw is building her something special. Stay tuned!

Our Co-Ed Barbecue Baby Shower for Charlotte

When I first told my mom I was pregnant with Charlotte she was over the top excited. She was also very excited to plan and host my baby shower. She asked what I wanted and I told her I wanted a co-ed backyard style baby shower. It was important to me that our male family members and friends were included. In June 2015 when I was very pregnant with Charlotte, my mom and her boyfriend threw us the perfect baby shower. They rented a pavilion at a local park and decorated it in a rustic bbq theme.

Upon entering we had a table with sonogram pictures, my weekly bump photos and favors for guests: seed packets.A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Decorated with burlap, lace, and sunflowers. The favor table had seed packets for guests as well as a display of sonogram pictures and bump photos. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Decorated with burlap, lace, and sunflowers. The favor table had seed packets for guests as well as a display of sonogram pictures and bump photos. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Decorated with burlap, lace, and sunflowers. The favor table had seed packets for guests as well as a display of sonogram pictures and bump photos.

A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Decorated with burlap, lace, and sunflowers.

A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Decorated with burlap, lace, and sunflowers.

Food: Pork bbq, sloppy joes, and baked beans were kept in Crock Pot. Salads were kept on ice and chips were served in an adorable basket tower they made. Our dessert table was full of handmade pies, rice krispie treats and fresh strawberries. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Dessert table with strawberries, pies and rice krispie treats. Decorated with sunflowers and burlap A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Dessert table with strawberries, pies and rice krispie treats. Decorated with sunflowers and burlap A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Sweet tea, lemonade and water in pitchers jugs A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Dessert table with pies. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Cutlery basket with mason jars, burlap and lace A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Dessert table with rice krispie treats, strawberries and pies A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. DIY chip and pretzel sand using orchard baskets

Games: We played The Price is Right with baby products, BINGO using cards that had gift items on them, and Pass the PrizeA co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Baby Shower games Price is RightA co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Baby Shower games Price is Right
A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Baby Shower games Price is RightA co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. Baby Shower games Pass the Prize We ended the shower with opening gifts, celebrating with friends and family and a few sweet photos.A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower. A co-ed rustic country backyard park bbq barbecue themed baby shower.