After writing James’ 2 1/2 year post a few weeks ago I thought that I should probably chronicle all the things that Charlotte is up to these days. It seems like she grows so much older each morning when she wakes up and I don’t want to forget this age even if it is kind of crazy!
One word that can describe Charlotte right now is SILLY. But don’t call her silly to her face or she’ll vehemently deny that she is. She loves silly jokes (Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9!), goofy faces, pretending to be animals, making funny sounds, talking silly….just about anything that’s funny. I hope she stays un-self conscious because that character trait can take her far in life!
Charlotte loves everything about dance! We stopped art classes this spring because I couldn’t manage it with my growing physique and she needed to get that additional rest time, and while she’s missed it and asked when she can go and see Miss Ginna again, she’s not missing it too much because she’s so focused on dance. It helps that her class gets to be Ariel in Showcase this summer! Getting to dance to “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” every class obviously makes it more fun! She’s getting the hang of more moves and is starting to overcome her pigeon-toe-ness with the ability to finally turn her feet outwards and keep her heels together for a plie. Her love of dance probably mostly stems from wanting to be just like her cousin Abby but I’m not sure I could think of a better role model so I’m encouraging it!
Charlotte still loves her “babies”. You can only see maybe 1/4th of the babies that she sleeps with every night in this picture. She thought that the weekend that she got to bring home the class “pet” Rocky (who she’s holding in the picture) was one of the best weekends of her life. She rotates them in and out of her bed for who knows what reason but she always has a bed full!
It seems like Charlotte is getting so grown up these days. She’s moved to a booster seat and likes to unbuckle herself while we’re waiting in the carpool line and stand up next to me and talk. She’s asking questions about things that I wish she wasn’t dealing with yet (girls being mean, etc) but she still seems more appalled at their actions instead of thinking they’re cool which I’m thankful for. She uses a surprising amount of large words and asks very well thought out questions about our world, God, and nature that constantly surprise me. I didn’t think that I would have to google as many things with a child this age as I actually do!
Charlotte has always been vocal about her clothing choices and I gave up mandating what she wore when she was about 18 months old. I decided that it was a battle that wasn’t worth fighting for me and as long as I stocked her closet with outfits that I approved of, she could assert her independence in that small way without bothering me too much. While this sometimes leads her going to school in pants that are too short and outfits that don’t necessarily match, I’m proud of her for making her own way. She eschewed smocked dresses before her 3rd birthday but recently has become enamored with some vintage dresses that my Mom made me when I was about 6. Even if they are a little big on her now, I love seeing her in them and am loving the sweet way they complement her personality!
As Charlotte has gotten older she has definitely started to come out of her shell. Whereas last year she was still pretty timid in new situations, this year she warms up to new situations fairly quickly and is quick to try anything. For example, she was quick to jump on the sled and go down a big hill by herself in the snow! She still loves holding my hand and isn’t very talkative if she doesn’t know you, but she’s definitely becoming more confident around people that she doesn’t know and is confident that we’ll always be there to support her and so will God.
Charlotte has finally embraced a baby doll in my old American Girl doll, Felicity. She loves matching Felicity and has multiple outfits and pj ensembles that they can match with. She sleeps with Felicity and sometimes even wraps her up in a blanket like a baby. It’s nice to see her embracing an actual baby doll since she’ll have a real live one to play with in a short seven weeks!
Taking after her parents, Charlotte is a perfectionist. She gets frustrated very quickly if she can’t master something immediately and that frustration can turn to tears and emotional situations very quickly. This is something that I’ve been concerned about for fear that it could impede her as she gets older. But recently she’s started showing that some of this might not be as hard coded as I previously thought because she was finally able to master riding a bike with training wheels even though it took her a little while to get the hang of it. And even when she fell off she took some time to calm down and then was back up riding some more. It’s hard trying to modify your behavior because you know little eyes are watching you and mimicking what you do but this is one area that I feel it’s really important to show her that perfection isn’t required and instant mastery isn’t either. Hopefully I can ease off on my perfectionist tendency’s before she follows me into the perfectionist hole!
I can’t give an update on Charlotte without talking about what a great big sister she is. She loves her little brother and is so sweet with him. They are big buddies and super playmates (for the most part). They love playing together doing everything from racing trucks, building with legos, or pretending with Barbies (sorry Jason, I think he needs some super heroes or something for his birthday). She likes to take care of him and make sure he’s ok and teach him things that he should do. Sometimes, he resents the help just like he would resent ours but for the most part they get along really well.
I also couldn’t tell you about Charlotte right now without mentioning “Frozen.” I’m guessing that every little girl this age is obsessed with it, but it’s so interesting to see in Charlotte since this is the first real constant fascination that we’ve come upon. She loves the songs and sings them constantly. She “plays” the movie all the time and has given everyone in our family some part in it (i.e. James is Olaf, Jason is the King, I’m Anna, Papa is Christoff, etc.). She got scared watching the movie in the theater and we had to leave early (she greatly dislikes people being mean to others and scary stuff) but even that hasn’t dampened her love for the movie!
I mentioned that we aren’t doing art classes this spring but that doesn’t mean that Charlotte’s love for art has dimmed at all. I’m not sure that she is ever happier than when she has a stack of blank paper and new crayons or colored pencils. Twistable’s have become our friends because they don’t leave behind the pieces of crayon wrapper that we used to deal with as she peeled the wrapper down. And if you ever want to support our family financially you can show your love with lots of different blank paper — all colors, it doesn’t matter, but she goes through it quickly! Watching her get the hang of drawing people and drawing scenes has been really fun and often now she draws pictures for people that tell a story. I can’t wait to see what she can do when she starts art lessons again!
And no update about Charlotte would be complete without the big news that she read her first book last week! She came home on Monday the 17th with a certificate saying that she had read the book “Hop In” by Julie Small-Gamby. It’s a very short phonics reader but she is good at sounding out the words that she doesn’t know and really is reading it. Now I’m on a mission to find more books like this that she can work on reading by herself. In this picture she’s showing James how she can read while also trying to teach him how to sound out words. I can’t wait to see her expand on her new knowledge and hope that she loves reading as much as we do!
There is not much that I love more than being Mom to you, James, and soon Hadley. I love watching you grow and learn. You are so sweet and kind to everyone and everything and I hope you never lose that. You love God and Jesus and are constantly asking questions about them. I pray that in the next year or two that you embrace your faith for yourself and make it personal for you. You are so smart and can do anything that you set your mind to. I pray that you always remember that you can do anything and that we will always be there to support you no matter what. We don’t expect you to be perfect and know that you will fail, just like we do, but we pray that you always remember that there is nothing you can ever do that will make us love you any less or any more.
We love you sweetheart!
love, Mommy and Daddy