Charlotte’s 4th Birthday

20160403-IMG_3803Charlotte turns 4.  My heart couldn’t love this girl any more.  She is definitely our sugar and spice and everything nice.  When we quoted that line four years ago to announce our first baby was a girl, I had no idea how true those words would be.  Some days Charlotte is pure sugar.  I love it when her sweet side comes out and she says how much she loves me or how grateful she is to be my daughter.  I also completely melt when she takes Johnny by the hand and talks to him in a “mother’s tone” as she tries to teach him something.  Sometimes she squeezes me too hard and expresses herself so eloquently while saying “this is the best day ever”.  She also loves to get silly and laugh really hard.  A current pastime in the car is telling jokes.  For instance, she will say how does a tree talk?  And then proceed to laugh really hard.  (Her audience is an easy one, Johnny and I will laugh at about everything she does.)   I totally get her when a song comes on she really likes – she closes her eyes and will just dance.  Man, I love this girl.

But when I say there is spice, oh boy… let’s call it caliente.  While she exhausts me, outsmarts me, negotiates the heck out of me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Charlotte is far from simple and far from a push over.  There is always an opinion and a way to do things Charlotte’s way.  I rack my brain on an hourly basis trying to decide when to let her run the show and when to pick my battle.  It begins with how we make pancakes or the type of egg she would like and then proceeds into the level her juice needs to be poured.  It continues when choosing an outfit while negotiating the right shoes for the weather that day.  It is never a simple or quick conversation.  Once we finally get in the car, she likes to number off about 3-8 things she did really well in the last 30 minutes which is why she deserves that many candies.  At some point I just yes, of course, Charlotte.  Her questions are usually extremely thoughtful and heavy which in turn requires the right reply.  I sometimes fail while completely frustrating her because I can’t explain the difference between North America and America or why there is a McDonald’s flag next to the American flag.  Then there is the whole conversation about the moon lately and why you need a space suit because oxygen and gravity don’t exist in outer space.  She currently wants to be three things when she grows up – an astronaut, a music girl, and famous.  Heaven help me…  And to think she just turned four.  I’m extremely nervous for 14.

Then there is nice.  One day, Charlotte started crying in the car when she heard the song “Clementine” for the first time.  It absolutely broke my heart as I had to explain that she wasn’t really “lost and gone forever”, that it was just a song.  She also has become quite a caring older sister.  When I ask her to go grab a snack, she will always make sure to get one for Johnny as well.  When Johnny gets hurt, she will automatically give up her blankie or a stuffed animal to ease his pain.  I love it when she sincerely asks John and I how our date was or how the party went.  She truly is thoughtful and caring.  Her head is full of happy and complex thoughts… and totally innocent.  This is where I could just cry my eyes out thinking about her changing any bit.  I adore Charlotte and love to spend time with her.  She really is the most interesting person I know, and I get to call her my daughter.  Happy 4th birthday, Charlotte.

Below is Charlotte’s unicorn rainbow birthday party (per her request).  She was in heaven to have her friends and family come over for a perfect afternoon on April 3rd to celebrate.  Thank you to all that love and support Charlotte.

(p.s. she decided to get her face painted as a wolf… naturally, a wolf unicorn is the most magical creature anyone could come up with.)

20160403-JC3A065420160403-JC3A065920160403-JC3A066820160403-JC3A067520160403-JC3A068520160403-JC3A068820160403-JC3A068920160403-JC3A069320160403-JC3A069420160403-JC3A0696

Charlotte’s first bike ride with her new bike.

 

 

Happenings with Johnny and Charlotte

January through April has been a bit of a blur.  We moved into our house on December 28th and I had no idea how much work still needed to be done.  The new house post will come later but I didn’t want to let these few months go by without acknowledging some major happenings with our family.

First off, the amount of snow we received this winter gave John many opportunities to tractor, i.e. plow snow.  Johnny adapted quickly to such a manly cause.  The rest is history when it comes to Johnny and tractors.

SONY DSC

IMG_3579IMG_3576

And then Charlotte started skiing… she killed it at 3 years old going down blues by the end of the season.  John has done the same.  My Park City winter wonderland is now complete (besides Johnny).

More importantly, Johnny started preschool at 17 months old.  After taking Charlotte to school for a year and a half, Johnny was eager to go and learn more.  It took some coaxing of the school administrator, but I gave in and let them have Johnny for 3 hours a day.  Of course it was such a bitter sweet moment for me, but the progress I’ve seen has made it all worth it.  He skips into school now (or giddy-ups) with such confidence and would rather not be held by his mama.  And when I pick him up, he’s eager to share his new songs or the latest owie experience (that’s a scratch or bruise).  I just die over his yearning for more, especially to follow in Charlotte’s footsteps.

IMG_3635

Lastly, mud season might be the bane of my existence… Hello, Park City.  We love you.

IMG_3934

Christmas in Mexico 2015

Ah, Christmas in May!  That’s what happens when I’m 4 months behind on our blog.  But better late than not at all.

This year we headed to our favorite spot in Mexico (Punta de Mita) again to get warm and avoid the hype and chaos of Christmas 2015.  We all (well at least John and I) agree that having this be our present is the best way to celebrate.  We love warm afternoons at the beach while the kids get sand in every crevasse.  With two children under three, the serenity is balanced with sleepy meltdowns, dawn wake ups, and food fits.  We keep telling ourselves we’re “so close” to being able to go out to dinner and not have to look at the waiter and say “so sorry for the mess”.

So, here’s to seven days of sun, sand, chips and salsa, and ocean with our sweet family of four.

A few things worth noting, this was the first trip where Johnny was walking.  He felt like a million bucks strolling around the beach with a shovel in hand.  This also helped develop Charlotte’s relationship with him.  Progress between the two of them continues to be slow but steady.  I tried several times to get the perfect cuddly picture of Charlotte and Johnny together, but eventually gave up on that idea.  I hope to look back at these pictures in a few years and remember the good, the bad, and the in-between.  The days are long, but yet it’s going by so fast.

20151221-JC3A0046

Johnny Jr. aka El Jefe

20151221-JC3A0057

20151221-JC3A0061

They’re still getting to know each other.

20151221-JC3A0089

Our sugar and spice

20151221-JC3A0097

20151221-JC3A0101

Daddy’s girl

20151221-JC3A010320151221-JC3A013220151221-JC3A016220151222-JC3A0199

20151223-JC3A0208

Another attempt at photographing them together…

20151223-JC3A020920151223-JC3A0212

20151223-JC3A0240

Feliz Navidad

20151223-JC3A025120151223-JC3A028420151223-JC3A030020151224-JC3A0310

20151225-JC3A0341

Sunrise on Christmas morning

20151225-JC3A039320151224-IMG_3412

20151225-JC3A0462

Got this one on about take 34

20151225-JC3A0482

Our only picture together – Christmas dinner

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

We continued John’s sabbatical with some beach time in Dominican Republic.  This place has been on our list for a while and we decided it was the perfect time to brave it with our two young kids.

It was an amazing destination with plenty of adventure for the four of us.  The ocean water was warm, calm, and crystal clear.  I felt like we were in a kiddie pool most of the time – perfect conditions for the Mellor Mermaids.  The beaches weren’t crowded and full of beautiful white sand.  (One downfall was the excessive amount of seaweed on the beaches while we were there.  Guess it’s a seasonal thing.)  The house we stayed in had the cutest southern charm with plenty of space for the kids to play.  We even had a pet iguana on the property that Charlotte fed (from a distance, of course).  Golf carts and bikes were our main means of transportation to and from beaches and restaurants.  It was quiet and relaxing with plenty of sunshine and food to last us the rest of the year.  

One day we ventured out on a boat to do some mermaiding – snorkeling and visiting secluded beaches.  We were so proud of Charlotte for jumping into the ocean and feeding fish.  Johnny also was inducted into the mermaid/man club when we made him leave the boat.  This trip was a major milestone for Johnny when he earned his place in the family with the nickname El Jefe (a.k.a. the boss).  The days passed by and we quickly became accustomed to island life.  We spent most waking hours in the pool to stay cool, only breaking for meals and naps.  By the last day, most of us were ready to head back home.  We’ve learned our kids start to get home sick around day seven which is also when we as parent are pretty much exhausted.   It’s never easy to travel with these kids at their ages of 3 and 9 months, but the journey is always well worth it.  

I’m grateful we were able to experience Dominican Republic together as a family and create some incredible memories.   Also, a huge thanks to Adobe for providing John with an amazing six weeks off where he truly got to unwind and spoiled us with lots of daddy time.   It was a very special time for our family that we will always remember.   One more thing, we couldn’t have braved this adventure without our right hand girl, Alli.  Thanks for putting up with all four of us!  

#adobelife #inspirato

20150614-IMG_1161 20150614-IMG_1173 20150614-IMG_1185 20150615-IMG_0005 20150615-IMG_0037 20150615-IMG_0042 20150615-IMG_0045 20150615-IMG_9973 20150615-IMG_9974 20150615-IMG_9985 20150616-IMG_0058 20150616-IMG_0088 20150616-IMG_0097 20150616-IMG_0098  20150616-IMG_1724 20150616-IMG_124120150617-IMG_1203 20150617-IMG_1207 20150617-IMG_1719 20150618-IMG_1213 20150618-IMG_1214 20150618-IMG_1439 20150618-IMG_1716 20150619-IMG_1714 20150620-IMG_0152 20150620-IMG_0230 20150620-IMG_0240 20150620-IMG_1218 20150620-IMG_1388 20150620-IMG_1431  20150621-IMG_1712 20150705-1234798_1158564817503019_1183502116214518526_n 20150705-1551631_1158564634169704_263253320450269418_n   20150705-11400996_1158676500825184_3196532237628774186_n 20150705-11427797_1158567840836050_2100407307897299093_n 20150705-11535714_1158567080836126_3821034842758700826_n  20150705-11541917_1158676350825199_1207802437316445119_n20150621-IMG_1710

Disneyland

Disneyland… They say it’s the happiest place on earth.  We know one little girl that totally agrees!

We decided to kick off John’s six week sabbatical with a dream come true for our Princess Charlotte – three days in Disneyland.  The focus of our entire trip was everything princess (sorry Johnny, your time will come).  It was the kind of magic we knew Charlotte would die over at the perfect age of three.  With that said, we hope she doesn’t think this kind of trip is going to become a tradition.  It’s a sabbatical that comes maybe once every five to ten years 😉  Pretty sure Johnny won’t be asking to go back anytime soon.

On our first day, we entered the park right when the parade was going on.  We saw every princess that ever existed in the first 15 minutes.  I think I was just as star struck as Charlotte.  From that moment forward, it all became a little blurry with sparkles, sugar, flashing lights, loud music, and lots of people.

The second day was Charlotte’s princess makeover at the Bippity Boppity Boo boutique.  After hair, makeup, nails, and a costume change she was transformed into her princess of choice, Sleeping Beauty.  She was then escorted to meet several princesses one by one.  They all made her feel so special and even indulged her with some twirling.  I don’t think we can ever top this day for Charlotte.  

We spent the third day at California Adventure.  The awe and fascination continued with the whole “Frozen” experience.  We lunched at Ariel’s Grotto where Charlotte was able to meet even more princesses.  At this point, Johnny was learning how to endure by becoming completely  enamored with the pretty ladies.  Apparently, Ariel stole his heart.  The grand finale of our trip was a family ride on Mickey’s Wheel.  I’m not sure words or pictures can ever do it justice but we are all grateful for the magic of Disney and for making our little girl’s dreams come true.  Until next time, or not.

*John had a small “owie” on his nose that required a band-aid and Charlotte insisted it be a princess band-aid

20150602-IMG_1748 20150602-IMG_990920150603-IMG_994320150603-IMG_174520150603-IMG_1079557127300025571273000320150603-IMG_174320150603-IMG_174220150603-IMG_174120150603-IMG_174020150603-IMG_1102557127300015571273000020150604-IMG_11225571273000420150604-IMG_173620150604-IMG_173420150604-IMG_173120150604-IMG_173020150604-IMG_173720150604-IMG_172920150604-IMG_1127

Spring Break 2015

After the long but mild winter, we were so excited for some spring break in Mexico.  It was also a nice way to continue Charlotte’s 3rd birthday celebration with an authentic piñata and lots of mermaid time!  We thoroughly enjoyed the long sunny days with lots of beach and pool time.  I would love to call it relaxing but I think we’re still a few more years away from that with these two lively kids.

Johnny (a.k.a. Juancito) finally earned his beach card at seven months old while ingesting handfuls of sand – such a proud mama.  Charlotte and Johnny had a few moments of play time together in the pool and we had our first glimpse of what I would call “siblinghood”.  We also had such a great time swimming with dolphins again.  A very confident, newly three year old Charlotte rode a dolphin all by herself.  I wasn’t kidding when I said mermaid time was the perfect way to celebrate Charlotte.

What I would like to remember most about these kind of vacations is the solid seven days family time.  It makes all the hard work worth it and creates a special bond between the four of us that gets us through the regular days of life.  Thanks, Mexico, for another great time!  Hope to see you soon.

20150404-IMG_0695 20150405-IMG_9332 20150405-IMG_9343 20150405-IMG_9369 20150405-IMG_9377 20150405-IMG_9391 20150405-IMG_9422 20150405-IMG_9438 20150406-IMG_9467 20150406-IMG_9516 20150406-IMG_9535 20150407-IMG_9558 20150408-IMG_0708 20150408-IMG_9606 20150409-IMG_0716 20150409-IMG_9618 20150409-IMG_9655 20150409-IMG_9670 20150409-IMG_9682 20150410-IMG_9687 20150410-IMG_9716 20150410-IMG_9744 20150410-IMG_9783 20150410-IMG_9806 20150410-IMG_9847

JUAN (11) JUAN (29) JUAN (34) JUAN (69) (1) JUAN (78) JUAN (82)

Charlotte Turns 3!

And then she turned three.  My heart continues to grow in love and adoration for this girl.  When you think a heart can’t take anymore, it just bursts from one moment to the next.  I suppose this is what being a parent is all about – the good, the bad, and then the really good.

I’m so proud of our Charlotte on her third birthday.  She’s the girl of my dreams to put it simply.

Charlotte greets everyday with with a big smile and lots of energy!  She’s the epitome of living in the moment… which means there’s never a dull moment.  I love her spunk, her charm, and her sweet heart.  It’s such a joy to see her walk into school with confidence and kindness.  I try to embrace the daily fight of getting dressed each morning – it just has to be twirly, sparkly, or both.  But when I see her twirl for her friends at school, it all makes sense.  One of my favorite parts of the day is our drive home from school.  It’s fascinating to get a peak into the three hours she spent away from home.  I’m always left wanting more from this enchanting girl.  She usually ends up asking me how my day has gone so far, and then I melt.  I also try to enjoy the daily fight of eating a meal.  Apparently, she’s just not into eating – or maybe she’s figured out a way to manipulate my undivided attention for 30 minutes per meal.  Some of her requests lately are pancakes, over easy eggs, peanut butter, and the ongoing favorite “picnic”.  I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to the makeup counter in my bathroom.  We talk endlessly over lipstick color, lip gloss, sparkles, blush, etc.  And then we have nails to consider.  Like I said, the girl of my dreams.

Charlotte has become a little person in every way.  The way she genuinely says “thank you” or “I love you” makes everything seem okay.  She knows how to turn my “mad” to “happy” in a matter of seconds with a brief song she learned from Tigey – “Take a deep breath and count to four”.  It’s funny how that really works.  Thanks, Charlotte, for keeping things in perspective.  I should also mention her obsession with anything having to do with a princess costume.  At home she is in full princess attire at all times.  I wish I could do the same.  And then there is dancing… again, in full costume.  When the perfect song comes on, the perfect dress must be worn as well.  Charlotte’s dancing will make anyone happy, especially Johnny.  Last but not least, there is mermaid Charlotte at this perfect age of three.  Swimming has become one of her favorite things.  To see her jump into the pool with such ambition is thrilling.  This girl has no fear… heaven help us.  There’s always something to conquer in Charlotte’s world.  I just can’t wait to see the years unfold with her.  Somehow we need to borrow or steal some of her energy (or spunk) to keep up.  Carry on, Charlotte.  The world is yours.

The pictures below are from Charlotte’s very special birthday on April 3rd, 2015.  The day started off with daddy making her favorite breakfast – pancakes.  Then she opened some of her presents – a purple balance bike, a kitty helmet, and the most sparkly gold shoes.  She was over the moon.  Charlotte and mommy continued the day with a special date at the Disney Store (our first time ever).  Oh my, princess overload!  We also had time to stop by the nail salon on our way home to get some sparkly nails.  That evening we had family over for a small princess celebration with pizza, a purple sparkly cake, and a piñata.  Happy third birthday, Charlotte!

20150403-IMG_9108 20150403-IMG_9122 20150403-IMG_9145 20150403-IMG_9152 20150403-IMG_9162 20150403-IMG_9166 20150403-IMG_9185 20150403-IMG_9199 20150403-IMG_9209 20150403-IMG_9220 20150403-IMG_9234 20150403-IMG_9243 20150403-IMG_9255 20150403-IMG_9267 20150403-IMG_9284 20150403-IMG_9285 20150403-IMG_9293 20150403-IMG_9299

We celebrated Charlotte’s birthday with her class at school a week later after everyone returned from Spring Break.  They did this little ceremony with Charlotte and the earth traveling around the “sun” three times to represent her turning three.  Then we all sang happy birthday and she got to blow out the candle which represented the sun.  John and I were so happy to be a part of her class and enjoy this special moment with her.

20150414-IMG_9857 20150414-IMG_9863 20150414-IMG_9872 20150414-IMG_9875 20150414-IMG_9880 20150414-IMG_9885