Ten things I love about my daughter right now:
May 03, 2012

    1.  Every time I get her dressed to go out, if I blink my eyes she strips and dresses up in a princess dress.
    2.  Her imagination is taking off.  The stories she tells me are increasingly elaborate – and always based on the fairytales and myths I stuff her head with.  Yesterday, she spent all day pretending to be Atalanta...with a twist of having elf friends who made her shoes.
    3.  Every now and then, she still is so exhausted at the end of the day that she curls up in my arms and falls asleep.  It is always that heavy, deep slumber of a child who knows they are safe.

    4.  We read chapters out of books to her regularly – she gets one chapter before naptime from a book she and I read together (currently Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and we’re on the lookout for some Dr. Doolittle next)  and one chapter before bedtime from a book she and Donald read together (they just started Stuart Little).  Surprisingly, she not only retains the plot lines, she also likes to act them out.  It is quickly becoming her favorite sort of reading.
    5.  I gave her an old hairbrush of mine to play dress-up with.  She only uses it to torture the cats.  She says her hair is “like a sheepdog” and that sheepdogs do not use brushes.
    6.  Twice this past week, she has showered alone (well, with the door open and Donald or me right there helping her scrub up).  Cutest damned thing in the world.  Also: the only known cure to her hatred of having water touch her hair.
    7.  The control battles have started.  I’m not THRILLED about this whilst in the middle of “the only excuses I will accept to breaking quiet time are injury or needing to use the toilet,” to be honest, but I am loving the process of helping Charlotte gain and exercise independence in certain aspects of her life.  My girl is a force to be reckoned with.  This makes me so unbelievably proud.
    8.  She was recently in the car with a relative and she kept telling them that they were driving too slow.  So the relative told her that if they drove any faster, the police would pull them over and then how would she get home?  It quieted her down, and now any time Charlotte feels that I am driving too fast (read: on a freeway), she screams “SLOW DOWN, MOMMA!  I WANT A RIDE HOME PLEASE!”
    9.  She cracks me up.  Yesterday when I wasn’t feeling well, I told her I needed to lie down for awhile until my stomach settled.  She said, “Okay.  I will take care of you while you rest.  But do not rest your eyes because then you will fall asleep AGAIN and who will peel my banana?  Nobody.  I will have to do it all alone and it will make me sad.”  Um.  Okay, kid.
    10.  She really REALLY likes mud.

** Charlotte is two years and nine months old.  I am thirteen weeks pregnant.

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  1. By Megan R. on May 03, 2012

    Gotta love Charlotte’s spunky personality!  I also think it is awesome that she loves mud.  My girl is still a bit girly, but I think she is slowly coming around.  Every kid SHOULD love mud!  ha!

  2. By on May 03, 2012

    You need to buy this book. Really. My son loved it for years. He’s 23 now and still remembers it.


  3. By on May 03, 2012

    She’s a HOOT!  And you guys are great parents!  I love all the things little kids say!!!

  4. By Lindsey on May 03, 2012

    I love the “10 Things” posts! Charlotte is delightful in so many ways :)

  5. By Sarah Christensen on May 03, 2012

    Megan R - I have SO MANY pictures of her just caked in mud everywhere except for her neck and maybe her face - she’s not a big fan of mud on her face =)  I love it!  For a long time, she didn’t want anything to do with touching fingerpaint or mud or any of that, but then she saw some older kids getting into it and BOOM! insta-love.

  6. By Sarah Christensen on May 03, 2012

    Elaine - Thanks for the book recommendation!  I’ll check it out.  It looks like a really lovely picture book.  We’ve been really grasping at straws for chapter books that work for her age as well as picture books with more complicated ideas.  If you have any other recommendations, please let me know!!

  7. By on May 03, 2012

    My kids LOVED Charlotte’s Web and Mr. Popper’s Penguins

  8. By on May 03, 2012

    Not sure if this is a good place to ask, but being in a similar situation (have a nursing toddler, trying to get pregnant after miscarriage) is Charlotte continuing to nurse?  I am very interested to hear your take on the nursing/second pregnancy “issue”.

  9. By Sarah Christensen on May 03, 2012

    LW - Yes, Charlotte is still nursing.  Before I got pregnant, I always wanted to tandem-nurse Charlotte with a sibling - I thought it would be a great bonding experience for them and I wanted to experience it for myself to see how I felt about it in the future.

    What I’ve decided is that nursing while pregnant is much more exhausting than I ever could have imagined - and for me, it’s painful too.  Over the last few months as Charlotte has gradually nursed less frequently (she’s down to about twice in three days at this point), I’ve noticed that she uses her teeth more and that I find breastfeeding to be a bit of a dreaded, painful chore.  I’ve always believed that breastfeeding only works as long as it works for both parties, and even before I got pregnant I was starting to doubt whether or not it was still working for us.

    Since my energy is now starting to rebound, I’m doing better with tolerating the nursing sessions - and Charlotte seems to appreciate them even more right now since I’m a little less patient with morning sickness than I usually am and she seems to really crave time nursing spent just close to me - but I’m not sure if we’ll continue through the pregnancy or not.  I am really glad that I didn’t wean her before my miscarriage or when we found out we were pregnant last time because I never would have forgiven myself if I’d forcibly weaned her and it didn’t work out…but I have really mixed feelings on it right now.  I want her to have control over her food supply to whatever extent she can - I think it’s empowering for her - but I’m also reaching the end of my tether.

    Who knows where we’ll go from here, though?

    I do have to say that one of the perks of nursing a toddler while pregnant, though, has been how much support I’ve received for it.  I never expected that at all and I have found it immensely surprising that when I nursed an infant in public without a cover I sometimes received negative comments, but when I nurse a toddler in public without a cover while pregnant, nobody bats an eye.  I don’t know if I just give off a “don’t fuck with me” vibe or what, but there has been an unprecedented amount of support from strangers lately lol.

  10. By on May 03, 2012

    Such a sweet picture and sweet and funny girl. My daughter is a realist so pretend play took a while. She would get annoyed that the pretend boat wouldn’t move or something. She also dreams in realistic ways. And she LOVES mud. She loves getting caked in anything really but mud is her favorite. I love it!

  11. By on May 03, 2012

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for the thoughtful response.  So many people have told me the reason I am not getting pregnant again is that I am still nursing Eleanor. However I feel that weaning her when she still loves/needs it so much (she is nursing 2or 3 times a day) and I still really enjoy it wouldn’t be fair.  I’m not sure what we will do.  But knowing that you are still nursing and got pregnant reminds me that it is possible. 
    Also great to hear about the nursing in public.  I havent done it in a while, but only becaue we haven’t had the need.  I like the ‘don’t fuck with me’ vibe, I think I send that too! 
    Thanks again for your blog.  I really enjoy it.

  12. By Sarah Christensen on May 03, 2012

    LW - People said the same thing about us not getting pregnant too - and after we miscarried, a few people suggested that it was because of the breastfeeding.  One person had the nerve to say that I had killed (KILLED!) Aurora by my selfish insistence that Charlotte continue to nurse.

    Their IP address is now blocked from this website, bringing that total up to a whopping two.  Ever.

    At any rate, from what I’ve read,a healthy human female only actually (viably) ovulates a fraction of the time she menstruates - I’ve seen different studies that put the percentage anywhere from 25% to 60% of the time and my personal guess is that the frequency must depend largely on age, diet, genetics, environment, etc.  Knowing that irregular ovulation and bad eggs are just part of the deal really brought me a lot of comfort when we weren’t getting pregnant.  That said, when I got pregnant last summer, the cause of the miscarriage was actually implantation location (the egg implanted very near the tube and as the fetus grew, it pushed against the tube, so my body aborted it) and had nothing to do with breastfeeding…and I was still able to produce a viable egg during a viable menstrual cycle although I was nursing several times a day.

    Obviously the lactational suppression of ovulation is a force to be reckoned with, but I know several women who have become pregnant while nursing.  (That said, all of them had a menstrual cycle and most of the kids were past their second birthday.)

  13. By on May 03, 2012

    LW, everything I have read and heard says that breastfeeding only prevents ovulation while you are exclusively breastfeeding. I was still breastfeeding 4 or 5 feeds a day when I fell pregnant (daughter was only 10 months) and she self weaned not long after that, before I even knew I was pregnant. Point being, it sure didn’t affect my fertility! I just hope I get to feed this one longer. I had hoped to go to at least 2 years old so was very sad when Evie weaned herself :(

  14. By Alicia S. on May 04, 2012

    We’ve read a lot of chapter books and our favorites have been the classic Peter Pan and Pippi Longstocking. Both stories are totally fantastical and imaginative (which always makes for great conversation afterward!) but the language makes it all very easy for even a young child to follow. As soon as either ends, Matthew wants to immediately start from the beginning again. We’ve read Peter Pan six times and Pippi twice. I love so much that Pippi is such a strong, female character, even as a child. So much of Matthew’s art incorporates elements of these stories because he’s enjoyed them so much.

  15. By tara pollard pakosta on May 07, 2012

    I bet she would love the Little House on the Prairie Series!!!
    Have you read her Charlotte’s Web?
    another great one that my Ava loved was
    Trumpet of the Swan!!!

    I LOVE that you read her chapter books!!!
    I started reading mine chapter books when they were about 2-3 also and they LOVED IT!!!


  16. By on May 08, 2012

    I really enjoyed Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books when I was young. Even as an adult reading to kids, they are silly and enjoyable. Charlotte might like them too.





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