Monday, May 7, 2012


we aren't the type that celebrates half-birthdays.  or rather, we used to not be.  but, not we are.  well, at least i am.  today is Charis' half birthday.  and let's be honest she's been talking about her birthday and party since november and every party we go to she thinks is her birthday party.  so, why not continue the celebrating!?  plus, these days i just feel like celebrating everything.  and i want to hold on to these final months of her being a toddler...i think at 3 they are still officially toddlers, but there is something about 3 that feels so big-girlish.  she already talks about how she's a big girl and "i'm growing, growing, growing."  today in honor of her half-birthday we made funfetti cupcakes.  note to self:  don't tell her what you are about to do unless it's right before you do it.  otherwise she will talk and talk and talk about it until the event occurs.  and, as with this one, she didn't quite get the whole we were making them deal so she kept talking about it.  goodness!!

 her first dress-up dress!

i am crazy about this little lady.  i mostly refer to her as "my lovey" or a "hot mess."  she is both.  and i enjoy both.  i feel like her name is so fitting and it's as if the Lord led us to name her Charis Root so quickly that He knew what a joy she would become in our lives.  she is "that which affords joy" to us and to so many others with her sweet spirit and fun personality.  she is kind and tender.  she is funny.  she is curious.  she is serious.  she is her daddy and mama all wrapped up in this extremely cute and cuddly package.  and we are having a blast!  of course there are days i want to scream and cry because she can be defiant or disobedient or ask why a million times.  there are days i'm too tired to be consistent and follow-through.  there are days where all i feel like i do is say "no" or "we don't do that" or "we don't talk to mommy like that" and stuff like that.  there are days, of course.

it's funny when people ask me what she's been up to and all i can say is " she is so much fun right now." or "she's a hot mess."  or something like that.  i realize it doesn't at all tell what she's up to.  so, let me tell you...

- she is still going to the same preschool she's gone to since she was 9 months old and she loves it.   she always talks about going to her "cool"(she can't say the s).  we will be on sharon amity, which is the way i go to her school, on any given day and she will talk about going to school and "play with desiree and sophie and levi."  let me tell you about levi.  he is this adorable little blond boy in her class and when they see each other it is hilarious, cute and a little scary.  they are so excited to see each other in the morning they usually run up to one another and pat each other or hug or even shove.  i love watching how they interact and try to imagine us doing the same as adults.  hilarious.  she has 3 more weeks of school then a summer fun month later this summer.  i'm not sure what we'll do in the fall, but i've been so thankful for her being able to go to "school" these past 2 years.

playing soccer with our friend, lindsay
- she is still a great sleeper and eater.  she takes a generous nap of at least 2.5 hours and sometimes as long as 4.  my favorite thing to do when she wakes up, which is signaled by "i wake up.  mommy!! i wake up!", is to go in and get in bed with her and have about a one minute cuddle-fest.  it's one of the best feelings ever.  ever.  she will sometimes wake up in the morning dry so some nights she sleeps in underwear.  she's officially been in underwear during her naps.  i haven't taken the full plunge at night b/c i'm not trying to change her bed too often.  yeah, it's all for selfish reasons.  she still eats just about anything but can be moody at times.  she loves corn on the cob and mexican food and anything with cheese.  that's my girl!!  recently she gobbled down some turnips then didn't want anything to do with the the next time i made them.  see, moody.
 eating guac at Cantina. yum!

cake pop! 

- she talks a lot.  a lot.  i'm not sure where she gets that from.  i'm always amazed with what she says and what she knows.  recently she's been using the word, favorite.  "purple and pink are my favorite colors."  i thought yellow was, but what do i know.  like i said before, she can't say the "s" when it's the first letter in a blend, like scooter, spoon, spicy, and star.  so it makes for some cute and funny try.  i'm trying to keep track of the funny things she says but i forget a lot.  luckily i have the iphone to make notes.  she says "ban dan" for bandaid and "pursh" for push.  i know there are more but i can't think of it.  she is saying "i know" a lot.  she'll ask a question and when i give her the answer she'll say, "i know but" and repeat it.  really?!  or i'll take an opportunity to make a teaching moment and tell her about something and she'll say, "i know."  it kinda makes me crazy.  cause clearly she doesn't know! :)

riding a scooter!

- sometimes she is super shy and other times she is the life of the party.  it's such a blend of adam and i.  last night at our neighbors' party she announced "i passed gas" then of course said "excuse me."  everyone just loved it and loved her.  and then, the scariest thing happened, she realized she had an audience and was "on" for the rest of the time.  that's when i go into observation mode and just watch.  but, honestly, at times i want to rescue her from it because i know the feeling of making people laugh and how good that feels.  but how it can became all she is and i know she is more that just a funny little girl.  i'll let her sort it all out later in life, don't worry.  because i enjoy her too.  she loves to tell people "i'm charis patwa" which i think is so cute.  we are continuing to work on using kind words and apologizing and stuff like that.  goodness, it's not easy!

- now that it's nice out we are trying to be outside a lot (except when it's too hot for mommy).  we've pulled out the paints and easel, which is so fun.  she loves to go on walks or bike rides or try to ride her trike.  she loves soccer, or at least talks about it all the time.  she loves to play with her trains.  "the gray one and the blue one are my favorite."  she loves to color and even lays her head down to the side to do it.  which is funny b/c i remember doing this as a kid.  she loves to play her memory game.  she loves Curious George and Elmo.  it's usually her activity when we need to shower.  so the other day she told Adam to take a shower so she could watch her movie.  she still sleeps with her dollie and now some other random animals and her blankets.  and she still loves to read.  a lot.  recently she wants to read so she will usually "read" a book she is familiar with and just tell us about it.  it's really cute.  she still loves her Storybook Bible the most.

 loves to swing

 coloring very intently

- last week we took her to the Zoo in Columbia, SC.  it was a beautiful day and Adam had off.  it was crowded but still a great day to go.  she loves animals so i figured she'd love the zoo.  i think she liked it for sure.  she still talks about it.  but she was more into looking (or staring) at other kids than the animals.  like when we fed the giraffes and they are all up in your face, she's looking at another little kid.  but it was still fun to see the animals (and a little sad) and ride the carousal and take family pics in the photo booth.  

watching the penguins

- she's very in tune to how i'm doing.  we talk more about me going to the doctor because she spends the night with a friend so we can go to Duke.  and she always wants to see my "boo boo" (ie port).  she never seems to be afraid of it, which i'm thankful for.  she's also into "draining mommy."  adam has to drain my PleurX (fluid from lung) about every 4 days and she loves to watch.  recently she asked to get drained too so adam "drained" her tummy too.   it's so interesting to think about what she will grow up knowing.  this is normal to her.  it's something that will be part of her story.
getting "drained" by daddy

i never thought being a mom would be easy.  sometimes i can't believe i've made it so far...two and a half years.  (only two and half years too)  especially since almost 2 of those years have been marked by this cancer thing.  i am often amazed with ourselves because there are times that are just hard.  yet God has been extremely gracious with us and my time with Charis.  there have been very few times that i've been too physically tired or sick.  and she was aware of those times.  i am thankful that i've had the energy to play and be with her.  and let's be honest, i'm with her most of the time, so she keeps me going.  it'd be hard not to, even if i didn't want to, i have to.  lately she wants to get wrapped up and rock.  and let me just say it's one of the sweetest times i get to have with her.  i'll wrap her up tight in her blankie then get in the rocking chair and just rock.  she will literally stay like that for an hour.  i don't know how much time i have with her.  i think about this often.  i don't always do a good job of soaking every moment up.  let's be honest, that's hard no matter what's going on in life.  but, this whole cancer thing does give me a different insight into being a mom and the time i have with my daughter.  what i long for most are two things: 1) more time with her and 2) if i don't get more time with her, then i really hope she'll remember me as her mama and all our time we got to have together.  this is why we make cupcakes today.  this is why, when she cries out, "i want to rock," i gladly go back in her room to rock her and sing to her.  this is why i kiss her a billion times a day.  this is why we do family hugs and family cuddle times.  this is why every time she wakes up i get in bed with her for a cuddle fest.  this is why i take a ton of pictures.  this is why i thank God for a new day.