Somehow, Charlotte turned three years old yesterday.
Right in front of our eyes, she has become a little girl. And I know this happens to every kid, all around the world, every single day. But I don’t know, I just STILL wasn’t ready. I feel like so much of parenting is doing the same thing over and over again, and then all of a sudden you look up one day and realize that every single thing about your child changed overnight?
I’m trying very hard to notice everything about her, to appreciate all of the quirks that come with each new stage. I still can’t believe God gave her to us.
Tyler and I just marvel at her all day long, sappy as you can imagine, just embarrassingly in awe of our (probably very ordinary) three year old.
Charlotte is precocious, thoughtful, and curious. She loves her people and has an amazing sense of humor. She can be stubborn and seems to have inherited every ounce of strong will from Tyler and I combined.
She loves construction equipment, all forms of transportation, Minnie Mouse, dinosaurs, Frozen, blocks, and DRESS UP.
She says “youuuuu BETCHA” and pops her tiny thumb up in the air, just like Mickey, and we all just shriek with laughter.
Her love language is puzzles. If you sit on the ground and do a puzzle with her, you’re IN. She could do puzzles for hours, even just by herself in her room. I love watching her little wheels turn as she figures out where to place each piece. She is an engineer’s daughter, through and through.
Char HAS to do everything by herself–except instead of “by,” it’s “all.” It’s her response to almost everything. Get dressed? Wash hands? Climb into the car? “I do it all myself.”
Her face lights up when she sees a butterfly. She has a special obsession with them which is why we did a butterfly theme for her birthday party and Halloween costume. Her babysitter lives right next door (perhaps the greatest perk of the move?) and put a couple of fake butterflies up on the fence next to Char’s window which she of course loves.
Charlotte is going through a more reserved stage right now when it comes to strangers and new people. It worried me a little at first because she used to be a very social and bubbly toddler, but I think all kids kind of go in and out of phases like this. I’m trying to find a balance.
It’s important to us that she is polite and kind and continues to practice greeting people, making eye contact, etc. But we also want to respect her boundaries if she is feeling less social or not up to chopping it up with a sales associate or whatever.
She loves Emmie. Char calls her “Em” or “Emilia” or “Sissy Girl.” They are finally in the stage that I’ve dreamed since the day we decided to try to have our first (only? IDK) two babies close together. They play, play, play all day. Even when they aren’t actually playing together, they kind of just share the same space and beep-bop around each other. It’s amazing.
As expected, they are starting to drum up trouble around the house together, too. For instance, last week I left them alone with the door closed for too long and walked in on them spreading baby lotion all over their hair, legs, and the rug together. It was very annoying but also kind of funny. (Also, to be clear, I would never intentionally leave them behind a closed door. Emmie has a tick where she has to close every open door in sight so it’s difficult to always be on top of it lol).
And of course, Charlotte gets very territorial at times and screams at Emmie at the top of her lungs if Emmie so much as glances in the direction of something she’s playing with (or considering playing with). It’s all very dramatic, so we are trying to reel that in, too.
In theory, we should have potty trained a lot earlier than we did, but I blame Emmie I think? It just always seemed like such a big hurdle to take on that I kept putting it off.
We ended up doing a little potty training boot camp in August–right at the 33 month mark, I believe. We used this book called Potty Training in 3 Days which I do recommend. The one perk of waiting a bit longer was that she got the hang of #1 within the first hour or two. The downfall of waiting, though, was that she was a lot more in her head about #2 than I think she would have been if we did it earlier. It took a solid 3-4 weeks for her to feel comfortable going on the toilet. Possibly my least favorite month of parenting so far?
She’s doing great now, though.
Sleep + Big Girl Bed
We moved to our new place at the beginning of September, and even though the new house has a similar room layout and is in the same neighborhood, Char struggled with the transition. She didn’t like her new room at first, so she started fighting her naps and bedtime HARD for the first time in her life. It was a headache.
We pushed through and actually ended up switching her crib to the toddler bed. This felt very risky at the time but ended up helping a lot. Sadly, she never went back to regularly napping but is very locked in to quiet reading/playtime in her room now when Emmie’s napping. Occasionally, she’ll have a responsible moment and put herself to sleep, but for the most part she just plays quietly in there. She does fine at night again now, though, which is the most important thing to us.
Last spring, we signed her up for two mornings of preschool per week, starting in September. We ultimately decided with COVID getting bad again, mask mandates, etc. that we didn’t think it was worth it to send her just yet. Currently we are shooting for January so hopefully that works out. The girl needs some structure in her life, lol.
We did a 10-day swimming boot camp in August with Swim2John here in San Diego. The first two days were traumatizing, but by day three she was swimming all by herself! By the end of the camp, she was able to swim across the pool alone. She also learned how to swim back to the wall and climb out if she falls in. I highly recommend this bootcamp to anyone local to SD.
We take her swimming a couple of times a week now at the Y, although since the weather has turned a bit we haven’t been as consistent. It’s such a special time, though, and she LOVES practicing her swimming.
Okay, I think that’s all of the current updates. Time to go scroll through baby photos of her, read her birth story, and generally just wallow in how fast life is moving.