Saturday, 20 October 2012

Charlie's Godmothers are Back in Town!

Charlie's godmoms, Corinna and Maria, are visiting from Seattle!  This is their second visit to see us and we absolutely LOVE having them!  I'm quite heartbroken to be missing out on their visit this time but I'm having fun obsessively checking out their pictures on their blog and Instagram feed!  You can follow along here: Twins Abroad!

PS:  Here is a link to their first visit!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cute Stuff Charlie Does

-She loves singing her favourite songs:
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • The ABC's
  • Sleeping Bunnies
  • Ring Around the Rosie
  • The Incy Wincy Spider (there are lots of small changes between US and UK kid songs that should probably get its own post!)
  • The Wheels on the Bus 
-I put up some decorations around the house for Halloween which included a 3D spider that I hung in Charlie's window (right over an enormous existing spider's web outside!).  To distinguish it from the real spider, I told her it was a "silly spider."  She is now a bit obsessed with spiders and loves to look at the "real cybah" and often talks about the "silly cybah" in her room.  As a result, we sing A LOT of the "Incy Wincy Spider" (or "Incy Wincy Cybah" in Charlie's case).

-If you ask her to sing you a song, she'll generally sing "Baa Baa Black Sheep" first.  Her version is a bit different from the original and goes something like this:

"Baa baa black sheep, yes siree.  Nanalumma, in your lap!"

However, if you ask her to sing the "ABC's" (which she calls "ABCDF") she gets nearly every letter as well as the little postlude.  

-Whenever Charlie calls out my name (Mama), I either respond, "Yes, baby?" or "Mama, loves you!"  She LOVES either of these responses and often calls my name just to hear the response.  At some point, I started responding "Yes, baby" in a funny, pouty voice which she loves to imitate.  She'll even have the conversation by herself and will say, "Mama?" followed by a pouty, "Yes, baby?"  I'll try to get a recording of it at some point.  It is the sweetest thing!

-Charlie loves her swimming lessons and will often pretend to swim in the bath while chanting, "Paddle, paddle, paddle!  Kick, kick, kick!"

-At some point in time, Charlie started talking about people being happy.  She'll be playing and then look up and say, "Emily's happy?" or "Megan's happy?" (Megan is her babysitter).  Then she loves to go through the list of everyone she knows in order to announce that they are happy.

-Right before we left for Morocco, Charlie somehow picked up the phrase, "I don't like it" and proceeded to use it All. The. Time.  Seriously, she didn't seem to like anything!  She even woke up from a nightmare one night yelling it!  Jason ingeniously decided to start asking her "Well, what do you like?" every time she repeated her mantra and eventually wore her down with it.  Phew!

-On the rare occasion that Charlie has trouble sleeping or wakes up in the night, the easiest way to get her back to sleep is to talk about who is currently sleeping.  Just like the litany of who's happy, the litany of who's sleeping is both calming and reassuring to her.

-Charlie is getting pickier and pickier about what she wears.  Recent obsessions include a tank top (or vest as they say in the UK) that has little stars on it.  It is a hand-me-down from Emily Bemily and she is obsessed with it!  She also loves her little pink Gap tutu skirt as well as a floral jumper (light sweater) that a woman at our church bought for her.  She is equally picky about her shoes.  I've learned to not get my hopes up too high about putting her in adorable outfits because she's bound to want to put on her Crocs with an adorable little dress or her floral jumper over an already patterned shirt.  I've decided to choose my battles and her clothing is not very high on the list!

-I am generally freezing cold at any given moment, so it isn't uncommon for me to wear my big fleece robe over my clothes if we're hanging out at the house (don't judge me).  If Charlie gets hurt or needs a snuggle, she'll ask to get into "Mama's robe" for a snuggle.  If she's particularly needy, I'll wrap her up tight and carry her around the house that way while I tidy up.  I used to carry her around with me in my robe all the time when she was a new born and love having her all snuggled up that way.  The night before I left for Florida, I let her use my robe as a blanket in her cot so she can be in Mama's robe every night.  :)

-Favourite foods:

  • bananas
  • raisins
  • pasta (which we generally only give her when her babysitter comes over because she eats it a lot at school.  When we've given her pasta on a regular evening, she asks if Megan is coming over!)
  • milk
That being said, she'll generally eat anything we serve her thanks in part to this book I recently read!

-We don't really watch TV, but every now and then if she wakes up super cranky from a nap, I'll let her watch an episode of either Winnie the Pooh or Bob the Builder.  She usually loses interest after about ten minutes or so, but recently she's been loving Bob the Builder!  Luckily it isn't one of these kids shows that drives me crazy with annoying music and stupid characters.  They're both pretty harmless.  Jason also has some Charlie and Lola episodes on his iPad that he lets her watch when we travel.  It is such a cute, pretty show (except, maybe a little confusing for her given that "Charlie" on the show is a boy!).  

-Speaking of indulgences when we travel, Jason also has Angry Birds on his iPad.  She calls it "Birdies" and she loves playing it!  It was a great way to keep her busy on the flight, but now she asks for it all the time!  Luckily Jason takes his iPad with him to work, so we're less likely to have a video game playing toddler (oy).  

-While we were in Morocco, Charlie started calling us "Mamapapa."  It came from always having the both of us around (which she, of course, loved!).  When we got back and Jason went to work on Monday, Charlie was sad.  Jason said, "I have to go to work."  Charlie pouted and said, "Charlie go to work."  Our hearts melted.

I'm sure I'm forgetting SUPER cute stuff, but this will have to do for now.  In closing, here are some adorable shots of Charlie playing at the pool in Morocco.  They were some of the only shots we got with our nice camera before the battery died (we forgot the charger just like in Italy.  Ugh!):

And and awkward shot on the beach (which she didn't love).  But how cute is that belly??

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Florida and DC Bound Again! (plus lots of pics of mama and Charlie)

Tomorrow I leave for the states and will be gone until the day before Halloween.  It is a long trip, but I'll be making a lot of beautiful music!  I have a brief recording in DC for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign (watch this space!) followed by a tour of South Florida with Grammy nominated choir, Seraphic Fire.  Then I'll head back up to DC for concerts in the DC/Baltimore area with my medieval trio, Eya.  

Having recently been on holiday with Jason and Charlie, it feels even more difficult than normal to leave them.  We got to spend such wonderful time together in Morocco and have been really enjoying each other's company in general.  Charlie is more and more fun every day!  I know I owe you all a "Cute Stuff Charlie Does" post and maybe I'll get a chance to write that while I'm away.  Until then, here are some pics from a brief photo shoot we had one night before bed.  Charlie was being over-the-top adorable and wanted to cuddle with me in bed while drinking her milk/singing the "Incy Wincy Spider" (yes, it's "Incy Wincy" here and not "Itsy Bitsy").  

We got one shot in with the nice camera before it died and the rest are iPhone pics:


She was so tuckered out from a busy day at the pool and the beach that she went from singing to fast asleep within the span of about ten seconds.  It was the sweetest.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


When Jason and I decided to plan our first official family holiday together, we decided it should be be somewhere warm and somewhere with a beach.  There are loads of easy options in Europe for such a vacation when you live in London (Greece, Spain, Portugal, the south of France, etc.) but with a little research we learned that all of the obvious places wouldn't be quite as warm as we were hoping for this time of year.  Some stewards on a recent flight Jason took recommended we look into Morocco and we were totally sold!  

When we were childless, our vacations were not unlike a trip we took to Costa Rica where we rented a car and drove eight hours through the rainforest to get to a secluded house on a beach.  Then there was our trip to Barbados where we hired some locals to teach us to surf, rode the local bus routes and ate at a tucked-away restaurant that was a favourite of the locals.  

Needless to say, our previous trips were not particularly child-friendly.  This time around, we decided to go with Club Med in Agadir, Morocco.  I'll do an entirely separate post about the facilities there, but they were extremely child-friendly!  They also had a nursery service that we took advantage of so that Jason and I could spend some time together lounging by the pool while Charlie socialised with kids from around the world (okay, mostly from France).  She was also able to take her nap there so that Jason and I weren't stuck indoors for two hours in the middle of the day.  We would pick her up after naptime and play by the pool or on the beach until dinner.  It was pretty perfect.  We all feel relaxed, rested and ridiculously well-fed.   

We didn't stress ourselves out by taking too many pictures with the nice camera as we wanted to focus on being in the moment as much as we could.  We did manage to snap quite a few moments with our iPhones though.  Here are some of our favourites (made prettier with some Instagram filters!):

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