Saturday, December 29, 2012

The new Casa de Clute!

When we first found out we would be moving to Monterey we had planned to live on base. It was easy, the houses were big, and compared to the cost of living in town it seemed like a really good deal. But right before the big move Matt found an awesome place right up the street from Cannery Row. And lucky for us, about two blocks from our friends (the only people we know in town!). There was a lot of back and forth, pros and cons between the two places. On base was close to the commissary, had a lot of storage, a garage, but a small small yard. Off base was in town, had character, had an amazing view, but was smaller and storage was an issue. In the end we went with the quality of life. We can squeeze our stuff into the smaller place for 18 months for a great view and character galore. We called and put down a deposit. Our friends checked out the place to make sure it was legit and a few days later we signed the lease! It was a whirlwind (kinda like our move to San Diego) but exciting. We moved in right before Thanksgiving and have finally finished unpacking. Every single closet and storage space is full (we have a lot of stuff) but it is cozy and just right. And the best part is the amazing ocean view from our living room! 

First up on our tour is the outside...

our red front door!

view from the balcony

front gated area
There is also a huge yard for Harley (which he has yet to really use). We could have one hell of a party at this place!

And now for the inside....

the living room/dining room
It was really hard to figure out where to put our furniture. We wanted to be able to see the view and the fireplace from the sofa, but still needed a space for the dining room table. The table ended up against the window, which means dinner with a view every night!

the view!
Right behind the great room is the kitchen. 

There are two bedrooms on the main level, one to the left of the kitchen and one to the right...
Charlotte's room
the guest bedroom
little nook for the desk, perfect space for Matt to do his homework. 

And downstairs is the master suite. A walk in closet, bathroom, laundry room and bedroom....


It is a little cave like and very different from our vaulted ceiling master in San Diego, but we are warming up to it. There is a deck off the master with a view of the ocean. 

It is a fabulous house and we love it. I am so glad Charlotte finally has a room of her own where we could finally set up her crib! And a closet to hang all her clothes! And the overall feel of the house is wonderful. It is quaint and homey. We are very happy with our choice and will enjoy our 18 months in Monterey!

Now that you have seen the place, when are you coming to visit? Casa de Clute is always open! :)


Monday, December 17, 2012

the magical sheep

Ever since she was a newborn Charlotte has loved white noise. The vacuum cleaner, static on the radio or loud a "shhhh" in her ears. I know it has to do with how loud it was inside the womb, all the blood rushing through my veins and my heart beating. So when my sister-in-law suggested a white noise stuffed animal called the "sleep sheep" I immediately went to Babies R Us and picked one up. I only wish I had discovered this thing sooner because it is truly magical. As soon as the sheep is turned on (ocean waves is her favorite) Charlotte immediately gets a dazed look of her face. She goes into the "sleepy zone" and within 5-10 minutes is completely passed out. Granted we usually have to bounce her on the exercise ball at the same time, but it is so much easier than before. 


first time using it! she is passed out!

As you can guess, the sheep goes everywhere with us. In the car (especially on long road trips), in her crib at nap time, and all around the house as needed. We even took the sheep to my Mom's house over Thanksgiving. Unfortunately we did not watch it close enough. Harley got ahold of it and since it looks like one of his toys....


looking quite guilty



oh the carnage!!
It was an ugly scene. I was definitely mad, that is the only thing that gets her to sleep! Luckily, the music box survived the attack and still works. So the sheep has gone off to heaven but the music remains.  And it is actually a lot louder this way, which Charlotte loves!


still works like a charm.
For all you Mom's out there, I definitely recommend picking one of these up. It is amazing and we couldn't live without it!! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

happy 3 months Charlotte!!!

Charlotte,


You are 3 months and 6 days old today, and boy has a lot happened in the last month! 
look at those beautiful blue eyes!
Mr. H giving you kisses! He love you so much!!
We moved from San Diego to Monterey so Daddy could go to school. You handled the move great! You slept in the car the whole way (except the last 20 minutes. So close). 
sleeping in the hotel with your babysitter, Mr H.

So far you are loving the house. You finally have your own room with your beautiful crib and rocking chair all set up. You enjoy taking your naps in your new crib, cuddling up under the blankets your Grandma's made you. You sleep for 30-45 minutes at a time (I wish it was longer) with the help of your "sleep sheep" aka white noise machine. Ever since the move your sleep cycle has gone back to waking every two hours to eat. I am hoping you are either going through a growth spurt or just getting adjusted to all the changes. I really miss sleeping for 5 hours at a time! 

You have also discovered your fingers! They are no longer tight little fists. You open your hands and move your fingers so much more. You are learning to grab toys, hold on to them, and stick them in your mouth. Actually you try to stick everything in your mouth. And the drool! You must be getting ready for some teeth because you are a drooling machine! 
mmm fingers!


You have also started to play on your mat. You are a morning person and love to get up and play for an hour or so. And when you get lonely, you cry until Mommy lays on the mat with you and we play together. It's really cute, but harder for Mommy to get chores done around the house. 

And when you aren't playing on your mat, you love to watch TV. You are mesmerized by it, so we are going to get you some Baby Einstein videos so at least it's somewhat educational. :)

This month you got to meet even more of your family. Right after we moved Auntie Sara came to visit!

you smile all the time now!!

Then we went to Nana's for Thanksgiving where you got to meet the rest of Mommy's family. You wore a beautiful orange dress and had a wonderful time. You stayed awake the entire evening and cried the entire way home (45 minutes). You were exhausted!! 


the whole family!!
getting kisses from cousin Hannah

us!
meeting Papa Richard!! 

The next day we went shopping for your first Christmas tree! We drove up to Apple Hill and picked out a tree and cut it down! Then we ate lunch and went shopping for apples. You did great! Maybe next year you will be able to ride the ponies or play on the playground. 
at the 5k on Thanksgiving

our tree!!
And you went out to dinner at a restaurant for the first time. We met up with Great Grandma Hall and Grandma Rachel at Macaroni Grill and enjoyed a lovely meal together. You ate and then fell asleep. It was also Mommy's first time feeding you in public! I used a little privacy cover since we were in the middle of the dining room. It went great and we are happy to know we can handle a dinner out without a bunch of tears! Yay!

You are growing and changing before our eyes. We are trying to enjoy every single moment, watching you learn new things every day and teaching you all about the world. You are a wonderful baby, who demands a lot of time and attention, but that's ok with us! We love you so much!!




Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, November 8, 2012

happy 2 months Charlotte!

Charlotte,

You are two months old today! Wow how time flies. I feel like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time, amazed at what we just went through and in awe of you. You have grown so much in the past few weeks. You now weigh 10lbs 3oz and are 22 inches long! You get bigger and more beautiful every single day! One minute I look at you and see a spitting image of your Daddy and the next I think maybe I see a mini me staring back at me. You are the perfect mix and we love you so much! 

Yay! Two Months Old!!

This past month was a big one for you, you gave us your first smile!!! 





You love to smile when you are getting your diaper changed. You hate being in a dirty diaper and absolutely LOVE being naked! You think it is the funnest thing in the whole world.



You also love getting a bath. As soon as you get in that nice warm water I start pouring it all over your belly and you immediately relax. You also started splashing in the water, which is too cute!




But boy do you hate getting out!! We have to do a quick transfer from the tub to the towel to minimize the tears. Once you are all bundled up you settle down and like getting dried off.




Here you are post bath making some big eyes at us! haha!


You also just started taking (and liking) the pacifier! We thought for sure you would be a thumb sucker or nothing at all since you refused them for weeks. But you just started discovering how wonderful sucking is and sometimes the pacifier helps you go to sleep.

not quite sure about it
One other thing you love (but I don't have a picture of) is the "superman". Basically I hold you over my head and say "wee" and you put your legs super straight and look all around. The flying baby. :)

This month you got to meet Uncle Jimbo, Aunt Jenny, and Aunt Nikki! They all flew out from Washington, DC just to spend time with you! You loved it!

seriously my favorite picture!

This month was also your first holiday, Halloween! You are too little to trick-or-treat so Nana and I just dressed you up in your Giraffe costume and took you to a pumpkin patch. I wanted to make sure we had some festive pictures of you!

omg look at that huge pumpkin!

Let's see....what else....your baby acne that plagued you during the first month is finally gone! Yay! I was worried it would stick around forever but it eventually faded away, along with your first diaper rash (no fun!). 

waking up from a nap

You are also becoming a better at taking naps. Sometimes you fight it, but typically you fall asleep for about 30 minutes, a few times a day. Just enough for Mommy to get some chores done around the house and maybe write a blog post. :) (yes you are napping right now!) And you are sleeping great at night! We are down to only two feedings in the middle of the night, one around 1am/2am and one around 4am/5am, then we get out of bed around 7am. This is much better than the feedings every two hours during your first month. More sleep for Mommy! You still want to eat every two hours during the day, which is fine. Instead of hanging out for an hour and eating, you are usually done in 15-20 minutes now.


And you and Harley are becoming best buds! He loves to give you kisses!!
BFFs!


In honor of your two month birthday, you got your first vaccination! Here you are, hating every minute of it. 

It is so wonderful to watch you grow and change every single day. Part of me can't wait for you to get bigger....watching you take your first steps, hearing your first words, and teaching you all about the world. But a bigger part of me wants you to stay my little baby forever!! I love just carrying you around the house and talking to you. I tell you stories, talk about what I'm doing or what I'm thinking. And you just love to listen. When I make funny noises or talk in a deep voice you get the most concerned yet curious look on your face. Your eyebrows get all scrunched up. It is the cutest thing ever! And for some reason you actually like it when I sing to you! I don't really know why, my voice is terrible, but you love it. When you are fussy and not wanting to settle down, sometimes singing a silly song works. 

We can't wait to see what you learn to do next month. You are a wonderful baby and we could not imagine our life without you. You are absolutely perfect and we love you so much! 

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

best.gift.ever

While Jen and Jim were in town visiting and meeting Charlotte for the first time, they gave me/us the best.gift.ever. I don't even think I can put into words just how special and amazing this gift is. Fellow bloggers and Moms, you will love this too!

When I first opened it this is what I saw...



I thought it was a photo album, but it is so much more than that. It is an album of all my blog posts that I wrote while I was pregnant!! Jen took all of them, including the photos, and put them into this album for us. (There were a lot of posts so I know it took a ton of time!!)


From day 1 when we found out there was a baby on board, to Charlotte's birth story, it is all there for us to look back on, read, and treasure forever. It is something I hope Charlotte will enjoy reading when she is older. She will be able to see what we looked like, how I was feeling, what we were thinking about her, and just how big the belly got! 

A while back I was a little worried that all these blog posts would eventually just disappear into the internet black hole someday when I finally stopped writing this blog (my Grandma was even more concerned!). I am so happy to know that even if they do, the most important posts, those about our little girl, will be saved in this book! 

seriously made me tear up!
hilarious and awesome photo on the back!
Jen ~ I don't think I could ever thank you enough for giving us this gift. I would have loved to read something like this from my Mom so I know Charlotte is going to love this book. I would have never even thought to put together something like this (thank goodness we have you!). You are the best sister a girl could ask for and Charlotte is so lucky to have you as her Auntie. And seriously, you give the best gifts!! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

a full house

Ahhh I finally got a chance to sit down and write a blog post. It has been crazy around here, in a good way. We had a ton of family visiting over the past few weeks which has been wonderful for both Charlotte and I. 

Two weeks ago my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came to meet Charlotte (can't believe it has already been two weeks since their visit!). They arrived right after Matt left for the long underway so I was super excited to have the extra help! And I know they were thrilled to snuggle up with little C. We spent a lot of time hanging around the house so they could bond with Charlotte...


Uncle Jimbo cuddling with Charlotte

Love this one!! Charlotte is so excited to meet Aunt Jenny!
A pile of Clutes!!

but since this was Aunt Jenny's first visit to California we couldn't keep her locked up every day. So we took her to a famous California restaurant....
Charlotte eating her first french fry! lol jk
There was a lot of bouncing while eating for me. Sit down and take a bite, stand up and bounce. I guess Charlotte just wasn't as impressed with In-N-Out as the rest of us and required a bit more entertaining. Mommy obliged. 

Next we were off to Coronado to check out the view of San Diego and the Coronado hotel!
Passed out in the stroller
And after a snack in the car and a little more bouncing....
Asleep in the carrier. 

The weather was a little cloudy and cool but at least we were outside the house and exploring! And since Aunt Jenny had a lot of firsts on this visit, we didn't want to leave Uncle Jimbo out.....

changing his first diaper!

He did a fabulous job and was a pro at changing both cloth and disposables by the time they had to leave. And as a thank you, Charlotte gave Uncle Jimbo her first smile!! I knew he would get her to smile. :)


Their visit flew by and before we knew it they had to go home (darn jobs!). We were super sad to see them go and can't wait to visit and snuggle with them again! 

As they were leaving my Mom was arriving for her visit! Charlotte was thrilled to see Nana again and I was happy to have the company. We did a lot of hanging out and talking, and made a few adventures outside the house. First up: a trip to dog beach for Harley. He is cooped up inside with me all day long and doesn't get as much exercise as he should, so these trips are much needed!

gotta love the umbrella hat!
Charlotte usually falls asleep within 10 minutes of arriving....after I run/walk up and down the beach. She loves the constant movement!
Harley having a blast!
Since Halloween was just around the corner I wanted to make sure we got some pictures of Charlotte in her costume. She is too little to go trick or treating so we dressed her up and went to a nearby pumpkin patch (aka pumpkins in a parking lot) and got some festive photos!



The cutest giraffe in the whole wide world!

he he he we couldn't resist!!

And finally, a three generations photo!! Nana, Mommy, and Charlotte!

And as my Mom was leaving, Aunt Nikki was arriving! She made it out of DC right before the big storm hit and (sadly for us) was able to make her return flight home. We were hoping she would get stranded in San Diego for a few extra days so we could all spend more time together. We will just have to make plans for another visit! 

While she was here we managed to get out and go for a nice long walk by the beach, hit up Rubio's fish tacos (I have now taken the entire Clute family there!), and dressed up Charlotte for Halloween at my work.

Here are a few cute pictures of Aunt Nikki and Charlotte


bouncing on the exercise ball

And one final picture of Miss Charlotte....

Thank you all for making the long trip to come and visit us! I loved having the adult interaction and Charlotte loved meeting her Aunts and Uncle!! She is so lucky to have all of you in her life to love and spoil her. She can't wait to see you all again....especially if there is a new cousin involved. ;)