Kaelen’s First Easter

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First of all- Happy Easter!   Jesus Christ is Risen!   My wish for all of you is that you not only have a personal relationship with Jesus and that you know the power of his blood in your life.


Today we celebrated Easter as a family, but with lots of friends!   We are truly blessed to have many close friends and family who not only lift us up and encourage us, but who share our same faith and values.  We ate a feast that everyone brought a little something to contribute to.  Then we played Mafia & Three in a Hat.  I think my favorite part is all the laughs!  Here are some fun pictures from our gathering today:

From Left: Becky, Bethany, Carlee, Me, Macie, Leslie, Jessica & Makenna


From Left: Frank, Doug & Kaelen, Greg, Alex, Scott, & Phil

~ Erica

3 Months Old

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We have seen such amazing growth and change this month!  Kaelen is getting so big and really showing more of his personality!  Since this is a monthly post I’ll be going into significant detail on milestones and development for my personal use, so feel free to skip or skim if you only wish to take in his cuteness in the photos below.


Kaelen3Months047 Kaelen’s getting so tall!

So Serious! Kaelen didn’t really smile the whole photo shoot today.
I really love his eyes in this picture though.

“Look at me stand!”
(Daddy was standing right there to catch if needed)

“I looooove my Daddy!”
This is one of my favorite pictures of my boys together!

Kaelen’s hair is finally starting to grow in on top of his head.  He was born with hair on top of his head, however it was very thin and it has always looked like “Old Man” hair or like he had a comb over.  I’m looking forward to it filling in!  His cheeks have gotten really chubby and are soo cute in many of the expressions he makes.  Kaelen started to drool a bit in the last two weeks and some days seems as though he may be teething a bit.  As a result our little man has figured out how to blow bubbles and does so frequently to amuse himself.  He often likes to stand when the person holding him is sitting down and he is strong enough that he only needs balance support.  He can hold his position for up to a minute or two at a time.  The first few times he did this when was when he was mad and screaming, but has since started standing frequently for enjoyment.  Kaelen also  “crunches” up when he wants to be sitting instead of laying down.  It amazes me how strong his core has gotten!

Kaelen regularly sleeps for 5-6 hour stretches most nights and then goes back to sleep once or twice more for 2-4 hours at a time and gets up for the day between 8-10am.   He is up and super cheerful for 45 minutes or so before he wants to take a 45+ minute morning nap. He also takes an afternoon and evening naps but its not yet predictable timing and he often cat naps while nursing or hanging out otherwise.  I know it won’t be too much longer at this phase and he will begin getting more a regular sleep schedule that we can plan around.

Activity wise, Kaelen’s favorites are singing and dancing to music with Daddy.  He seems to like most styles of music and vocalizes along with whoever is singing.  In the last week he also started moving his arms and legs to “dance”… it is sooo cute.  At some point I hope to capture a video of this to share.  He also has started to enjoy looking at colors more and will lay under his play gym for 15-20 minutes at a time watching and talking to the toys hanging above him. One of his favorite “friends” remains the ceeling fan in any room.  He will even take a pause in crying or from being mad to investigate the fan and enjoys it when we turn the fan on so he can watch it spin.

Kaelen’s vocalizations have become more diverse as he has added some true sounds in addition to cooing.  Thus far he has used the sounds: /G/, /Uh/, /A/, & /Ooo/. Its been funny to hear some of the things he “says” almost sound like words.  Kaelen carries on at times and will “talk” to Mama or Daddy or a friend for several minutes at time.  He is often very serious about communicating whatever is on his mind!  I’ll post a video of this at some point as well….

Socially, Kaelen has learned to laugh appropriately (Click Here to see the video of him laughing).  It is so fun to be able to have more interactive play times with him.  The other night we got laughing at him laughing and that went on for at least ten minutes!  Kaelen has also started trying to imitate faces that he sees Daddy or Mama make frequently.  Its so cool to see him “mirror” us…. speaking of Mirrors he LOVES to watch himself in the mirror and talk to himself.  Little man has learned to indicate when he is wet or dirty and also has a different cry for when he is tired… now if only we always understood the message right away we’d be all set.

Hope you enjoyed this update for those of you who chose to read through it!

~ Erica


Kaelen’s First Laugh

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Doug reported to me that Kaelen started laughing aloud during “playtime” one day in the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately neither of us remembers exactly which day it was.  I was working out or in the shower when Kaelen did it so I hadn’t had the opportunity to see or hear him laugh except in his sleep until last Wednesday night.  Evidently, I’m not very funny to Kaelen or I just haven’t figured out what I need to do to get him laughing- haha :).  On Wednesday, Kaelen was with his Aunt Noelle and he found her to be hilarious because he laughed with her all evening, including when I returned to pick him up.  It is the cutest thing ever!  Anyway, she stalked him with her iPhone to get a video of him laughing so now I have it to share with you!  Enjoy!

~ Erica

12 Weeks

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I can’t believe Three Months is almost here! I’m excited for our three month infant photo shoot that is coming up this week and we will also take some family photos as well! Some day I’ll actually post his newborn pictures… Since 3 months will be a long entry I’ll just leave you with his picture 🙂



~ Erica

Kaelen is 11 Weeks!

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As much as I am soaking in EVERY possible moment with Kaelen, it seems every time I blink he’s changed in some way.  I can’t even count how many times people have told me to cherish the time I have while he is little and I sure am doing my best.  Doug and I were comparing weekly pictures and noticed how big a difference there is between weeks 8 and 10…  There are even days we notice how different he is than the day prior.  I have a couple posts with videos that I hope to get up this week at least one having to do with a new milestone but I’ll leave the topics as a surprise.

One thing that has changed recently is that Kaelen can sit upright propped only from behind.  This is much better now than it used to be, which has made taking his weekly picture MUCH easier!  Once we sit him in the chair we only have to adjust him slightly if he changes position rather than being on guard every second to keep him from falling sidewise and hitting his head.  I still prefer that Doug help me to take the pictures because he is so good at keeping Kaelen focusing his eyes towards the camera and getting him to smile, but in a pinch Kaelen and I have done the pictures alone (like for the 9 week pictures).

Another HUGE first is that Kaelen has slept more than 6 hours consecutively on two different occasions in the past week!  Doug and I are so pleased and are feeling much better rested in general.  Kaelen is not yet consistently sleeping that length of time every night, but it is becoming more frequent that he sleeps at least five hours. We know more consistent sleep patterns are right around the corner!  I know I wrote about sleep last week too, but its a big deal to us :).

For the picture this week Kaelen is wearing an adorable classic outfit that was a gift from Doug’s Aunt Corinne:


I love how big his smile is in this one 🙂

I couldn’t resist sticking another one in here too… I think he looks really tall from this angle.


On a side note, Doug and I are excited because all of the cloth diapers have arrived and we have been using them for several days!  We have 24 Bum Genius 4.0 Pockets with microfiber inserts and 18 Sun Baby Pockets with bamboo inserts as well as some Thirsties Duo inserts that we use as doublers for overnight diapers.  We are still figuring out what combination of things work best for which time of day, but are so pleased with the new diaper stash because Kaelen was wetting through multiple diapers and outfits per day while we were still using the fitteds and the covers (they worked great for him as a newborn though).  Now, we are happy to report that he is staying SUPER dry and can go a bit longer between diaper changes. I’ll be posting more on the cloth diapering experience and what all I have learned later on- but you can click the links above to see the diapers if you’re at all interested. Stay tuned for more….

~ Erica

10 Weeks Old

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This week went for Kaelen’s two month checkup.  He has gained over 5lbs since birth and is getting longer and longer… not that we needed the doctor to tell us those things… Haha!  A few other milestones from this week:

Kaelen slept for five and half hours for the first time this week!  It was FABULOUS!!!  His longest sleep cycle overnight has continued to slowly lengthen over time, and although it is still inconsistent night to night I am a big fan of the trend.  Today his naps seemed a bit more organized instead of him falling asleep many times and only taking “cat-naps”.

Kaelen seems to recognize more people than just Mama & Daddy, like his Grandma & Grandad (Doug’s parents), Nana & Papa (my parents).  When he recognizes them he immediately gets a huge beaming smile which he directs towards them.  This is often accompanied by him cooing a greeting.  It makes my heart melt when he does it with me!

Little Man also has a super strong grip which he applies readily to anything that brushes his palms.  He often has Mama’s hairs in his hands and can grab fistfuls if my hair is down… getting him to let go is the trick!  This feat also makes getting him dressed or undressed a bit on the tricky side.

I took a few close up pictures of Kaelen this week in addition to the regular weekly picture.  His Daddy was making him laugh and I thought his faces were priceless.  Enjoy!






~ Erica

Florida Trip

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The weekend that Kaelen turned 6 weeks old Grandpa (or as the great-grandchildren call him “Grandpa Magic”) turned 90.  So all of the Charlotte clan headed south to Palm Harbor, Florida to celebrate with him.  The Charlotte crew rented a large vacation home that had a pool out back and was a fantastic setup for all four couples and the 3 grandchildren.

The first day we went to see Grandpa Magic at his house where he held Kaelen for the first time.



We decided to take Kaelen swimming since it was warm even though it was the beginning of February!  The pool was a little cool for Kaelen so he didn’t stay in long, even after he adjusted to the temperature.  The rest of the clan joined in the fun either poolside or swimming/horsing around in the pool.


KaelensFirstSwim34Daddy, Mama, & Kaelen


KaelensFirstSwim58Getting in the Water with Mama

“Daddy I’m COLD!”

KaelensFirstSwim77Warm again with Grandma!

Caleb playing on the whale

 KaelensFirstSwim114   KaelensFirstSwim97
 Mark & Doug throwing the whale…  Boys will be boys…


KaelensFirstSwim121I’m laughing at the boys playing

KaelensFirstSwim91Josh glaring at the camera.  (Thank you Sarah for taking these pictures for me!)

KaelensFirstSwim118Connor practicing with the snorkel


Sunday was the big celebration with Grandpa Magic and everyone in his community.  There was of course a magic show, singing, and alot of yummy cake!  We got a few family pictures that turned out great!


The whole family surrounding Grandpa Magic
From Left-Back Row: Nancy, John, Jay, Susan, Doug, Sarah, JoshFront Row: Sara, Scott, Michelle, Grandpa Magic, Me (Erica), Kaelen, Caleb, Connor, Nicole, & Mark


Four Generations: Doug, Kaelen, Dad(Jay), & Grandpa Magic

There were a few other highlights of the trip that I don’t have pictures of.  We had a few big breakfasts with the whole family (Sourdough Waffles- YUM!).  Fabulous dinners at The Lucky Dill and Spoto’s Steak Joint.  A few of us went shopping in Tarpon Springs and we ordered an entire flat of Baklava that we demolished throughout the rest of the trip.  Thanks for the idea Mark!  A special closing note (no pun intended) of the trip was coffee on Monday morning before we got on the road to come home.  Grandpa Magic plays violin in a band with several other members of his community and they played several valentines classics for everyone in the community! It was a wonderful trip and we especially enjoyed Kaelen getting to meet Grandpa Magic and our extended family for the first time.

~ Erica