....there just isn't enough.  I bet those of you who read my blog...or used to...are wondering where in the world I have been.

Alas, I've been here....just with very little time to actually sit down and put a thought together.

A lot has been going on around here.  A new job for me starting in January and other possibilities as well for our family....yet to be determined, though.

The kids are great!  Growing like crazy.  Charlotte continues to be the sweetest baby I've ever known.  I absolutely adore that baby girl!  Collen is acting more and more 2 with each passing day.  He is so, so smart and sweet and such a boy.  He wants to be independent...but tends to get in trouble when he exerts this independence.  It continues to be a learning experience for us all.

There is much, much more to update you on, but it is Christmas Eve and midnight, so I must head to bed.  I promise to be better about updating.  Look for a new post soon!

Merry Christmas to you all, and I pray you all have a safe, wonderful, Happy New Year!

3 Months Flies By

My how 3 months can come and go so quickly.  It's so hard to believe that I gave birth 12 weeks ago!  Charlotte is growing like a weed.  She is so tall/long (however you measure them before they walk)!  I can't wait to see how much she has grown when we go in for her 4 month check up (although, I CAN wait for the shots....a repeat of last time will completely break my heart).

Take a look at our little girl:

You're "supposed" to put them in a white onesie with the stickers, but yeah...I don't have time for special wardrobe changes. So, the sticker goes on whatever she is wearing, which happened to be her sweet little Christmas pajamas.

Sharing a moment with her brother as he shows her the star on her playmat.  I have loved watching all of our children play on this.  It's sweet to have memories of all three sharing the same toy.

And this....THIS...is our favorite.  Just look at that sweet, precious face.  Oh...it melts my heart. And she smiles like this almost all the time!  She is such a content, easy baby. 

She loves to smile and coo at you. Sometimes, she will let out the best squeals!  

A few things I've learned about Charlotte:

1. She loves to be swaddled. Sleeps so peacefully this way.
2. She likes to be rocked to sleep, preferable being held very tightly.
3. I don't think she would need a paci if we didn't offer it to her, but it does help lull her to sleep, so alas...she gets one.
4. She prefers to be bottle-fed - easier than having to work for it by nursing, but I have been working with her, and if someone else bottle-feeds her, she seems more willing to let me breastfeed her.
(The above issue really dealt a blow to my Mommy confidence. All of a sudden, she was rejecting me, and I was at a loss.  I felt like she didn't need/want me anymore.  But as I said, I've been working with her, and I'm able to get her to breastfeed for her nightly feeding before bed, if she wakes up in the night, and for her morning feeding.)
5. She is a good sleeper.  If I feed her around 9pm, she will go right to sleep and sleep until 6:30am.  I probably just jinxed it, but wow....what a breath of fresh air.  Collen STILL wakes up several times during the night...never was a good sleeper.  I'm hoping she continues this because she is like me - we need our sleep.
6. She can make you feel as if you are her entire world with a captivated stare or that big smile.  She just sucks you in and you get lost in her.  She is just the sweetest baby I've ever been around.
7. She likes a routine and has developed a good one! Woo!  She is super easy to please and soothe if you stick to her routine, but she can be flexible as long as you follow her cues.
8. From day one, I've been able to pretty easily figure out what she wants in her fussy moments.  Early on, I distinguished the sleepy fussing from the hungry.  Again...easy, easy baby. Open book.

We have been getting ready for Christmas in our house!  Normally, we wait a little longer to get festive, but this year, I wanted to enjoy the holidays for longer than a few weeks.  So, we got our tree and decorations up the day after Thanksgiving.  We've been in Christmas mode since then!  I am so looking forward to Christmas this year because it is the first year that Collen has been somewhat aware of what it all means.  We read Christmas books every night, and we try to alternate between sharing the Christmas Story of Jesus's birth and stressing the importance of that and also including Santa stories.  We make sure we emphasize the story of Jesus though, and he is so sweet when he talks about "baby Jedus" and the "shepherds." He tells us that "Jedus" is in your heart...and then goes on to list everyone he knows and says Jesus is in their heart, too.  

Christmas is also a time where we remember those who are waiting for us in Heaven.  This will be our 4th Christmas without Ayden and our 2nd without my Dad.  I continue to struggle with both losses in different ways.  With Ayden, it's the loss of memories we never got the chance to make.  With my Dad, it's the same thing but also grieving the memories we do have with him and how hard it is to go through our traditions without him.  It's hard to live without your rock, and we are all learning how to move forward without him.  It is proving to be a difficult task...but we move forward because that's all we can do.  We hold on to our memories and choose to live in hope and thanksgiving.

Collen named his elf Ho Ho.  He is wearing a red and white outfit and a red hat.  Anything dressed like that is Santa to him, so the elf got dubbed Ho Ho.  Ho Ho turns up all over the place these days.  It has been a lot of fun to watch him look for Ho Ho every morning. :)

Lastly, a picture of Mr. Collen.  He likes to be "wrapped up" after his bath. 2 is proving to be a trying age for us.  He wants to be independent and express his defiance at times, and we are struggling with discipline.  He doesn't quite grasp Time Out, but he knows what actions will result in this Time Out that we talk about, and he will put himself in Time Out after one of those actions...like, hitting Mommy.  So, he understands the basics of right and wrong.  We're still learning together, though, on discipline and boundaries.

Collen still has no interest in potty training.  We've encouraged him, let him sit on the potty (he never does anything), tried to be patient with it and show him that the potty is fun, tried encouraging him to tell us when he needs to go.  I've decided he just isn't ready yet.  He is close, but just not ready yet.  One day, though, he will be. He is a quick learner, so I think he will be one of those that goes straight to it and never looks back.  I hope. :)

I apologize that I go so long between posts.  Work keeps me busy, and having 2 little kids most definitely takes up the rest of my time.  After I pick them up, it's a whirlwind of supper, feedings, baths, pajamas, bed times, and then me finally sitting down about 1-2 hours after they go to bed.  Whew....I stay tired.  Hope you are all doing well!  I try to keep up with you all and continue to pray for you and think of you often.  God bless and Merry Christmas to you all!