Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Charlie has Stuff to Say!

My quiet little boy suddenly has words tumbling out of his mouth, though there's definitely some translation required. It's kind of like Pig Latin, only instead of moving the consonant to the back of the word, Charlie just drops it all together. Snow is no. Pillow is whoa-whoa. Umbrella is basically the sound you hear if you stick your tongue in and out of your mouth really fast. Thank you is the sweetest, slowest drawl of vowels that we made sure to get it on video so we could document his 23-month-old Nashville accent. But my favorite is, "Maple, where are you," which sounds like "Aa-poo, waaaa-r-ouuuu?"

As a first time parent with Madeline, I worried I should be doing more if she didn't hit milestones at the exact week or month mark that parenting books said. Then I learned that lovely, comforting thing that experienced moms always remind us of -- children do things in their own time. I didn't notice that my tiny Madeline was scaling fences and doing 50-meter sprints while some of her friends were still learning to walk and falling head first over curbs -- only that she didn't have the 20-word vocabulary kids her age are "supposed" to have. Her pediatrician at the time said "We won't worry. Yet." That three-letter word banged around in my mind from time to time afterward. So when her speech exploded like Charlie's is now, it was truly one of my first lessons in not only relaxing as a parent but also fully focusing on, enjoying and absorbing the present moment. This time around with Charlie, I never worried. I just kept a running list as his vocabulary grew, which is a joy for me to look at now as I write this post.

It's safe to say that my children seem to focus on physical development before the verbal, since Charlie was climbing trees before he could say "all done." During my last OB check up, my doctor had to chase our zygote with her Doppler to catch its heartbeat. She eventually asked it politely to slow down. Seems the Vlach kids are quite active before they're even born. And though Charlie has lots to say now, I'm guessing he'll still appreciate the peace and quiet that most men enjoy, but that every woman in his life will be happy to fill with lively and animated conversation.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011! As we think about the coming year, our minds are singularly focused on the third baby
that's coming our way this summer. We're starting now to prepare, getting Madeline excited about a new big girl room, planning all travel for early spring, buying a bigger car, and shuffling around our entire house to make room for the tiny eight-pounder.

My girlfriend Paige surprised me by proposing a day trip to the Atlanta IKEA to pick up some things we need. Little did she know Rob has the catalog memorized and is reorganizing every closet in the house, as well as the garage. I would call it male nesting, but it's not -- he lives for organization, while I live to try to be organized. We're converting our eat-in-kitchen (which we've never once eaten in) into another fun living space that may even double as extra guest quarters. Sound crazy? Come on down -- it's gonna be pretty cool! We already created a stylish office out of our large laundry room and we're in the process of turning our upstairs linen closet into a place for me to store all my things that have been displaced over the years (and now reside in random boxes scattered around the house). It's all happening...

We had a quiet but very fun New Year's Eve at home with just the four of us. Rob's department had to cover year-end deals, so he was at work on Friday and has Monday off in its place. This year, instead of fancy dinners or hotel slumber parties with friends and their kids, we ordered in Papa John's, put on sparkly party hats and silly glasses, and had a dance party. I got crazy with my mock-tail in a martini glass.

Here are a few other things going on:
  • Madeline has decided. If the baby's a girl, she will be named Sophie. If it's a boy, he'll be elephant squeak. My family jokes that it'll be named Buck, inspired by the company my dad recently helped Caterpillar acquire. They all have a special ring to them...
  • The kids have been packing their backpacks with random things from the coat closet and pretending to take plane rides to Italy. Charlie even said Ciao.
  • Charlie ate pavement last week. I actually saw his little face skid and bounce against the asphalt. He busted up the outside and inside of both his lips, and was so swollen, it looked like he had a white marble under the skin. To add insult to injury, he has tripped and reopened it again three more times since then. Poor little guy. 
  • Madeline, Charlie and I went on a coffee date at Starbuck's! The kids sipped their hot cocoas and felt so grown up.