Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Charlie's Letter from Camp Gramps

Hello Muddah, hello Faddah, here I am at Camp Granada... I mean, Camp Gramps. (Papa told me no one born after 1960 would understand this reference. He said look up "Allen Sherman" in Wikipedia, whatever that is.)

This is your son, Charlie, writing a letter home after my first week at Camp Gramps. They told me you two are visiting Paris. Is that a sibling I haven't met? I look forward to it.

Anyway, this has been kind of fun but not all a bed of roses. Ali and Papa are old. Papa said Ali will be 60 this year. (Dad, what is a 60?) They go to bed early and get tired easy.

We have done some fun stuff. Papa started me driving a golf cart, and I have graduated to his truck. Here is a picture of me driving. He thought he was helping but I can do everything myself; that's why I have such a knowing look:

Guess what! I have learned how to slide!! I will dive down any slide head-first with a fiendish grin. Who knew it could be so much fun? Ali took stop-action pictures of me doing it:

Man, if I was any braver, I would be slaying dragons and rescuing damsels, whatever they are!! Papa tries to get me to wear my hat correctly but I think the backwards look is so much more rebellious.

The oldsters were chilling and I was ready for action so I headed out on my own. Not all that easy when you are not walking alone yet. Pushing a cart can get tiring.

Had to take a rest. Unfortunately I was only a a little ways from the grand'rents house:

I think I will figure out another way to get out on my own.

Papa just thought I needed help driving. I guess I showed him when his truck was gone!

Didn't make it too far since it was snack time. Sonic is just around the corner and it looked good!

Had a little trouble getting them to understand my order. But they finally brought my pureed cheeseburger.

Unfortunately they wanted me to pay with something called "dollars" and "cents". The only thing I know to pay with is that magic plastic card my mommy has. People will give her anything if she just shows her plastic card!!

Then I drove by the Seguin Fire Station. I have always (or at least for 11 months) wanted to be a firefighter. Here I am, living my dreams:

I had been to the ranch with Papa and Ali before so I knew the way. I am so helpful; here I am preparing to plow the back 40:

After that I drove around the ranch and found a beautiful tree house. What a view:

Mom and Dad, I have decided to stay out in the tree house and live there for the rest of my life (or until you guys get home, whichever comes first). I met some forest creatures out here who also live in the tree house. They are simple creatures but they will make good pets. This is my friend Darrell and his other brother Darrell:

Mom and Dad, hurry home, with or without Paris. I am having lots of fun and new experiences but even a kid needs normal.


Your son,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Charlie to the Emergency Room!!

No. no, there is nothing wrong with Charlie. I just know there is so much competition between blogs and bloggers that I needed something catchy to attract readers. As my high school journalism teacher always told me, go with the strong lead. And of course in today's journalism, that lead does not even have to be true.

As you can tell, this is not Katie blogging. While Katie and Clint eat bonbons in Paris, Charlie has gone to Camp Gramps at Bud and Ali's. I am Katie's father, posting for her (although she may disown me after she sees what we have done to her son).

We decided that Charlie needed to get his own way this week. We think kids should be spoiled rotten by grandparents and then returned to the parents for recovery. We decided to start with his diet. I mean, really, a kid raised on peas, chicken, whole grain bread, blueberries and the like. Where is the good old American food?

Here is a picture of Charlie with his breakfast buffet. he could not of course eat it all, but this gives you an idea of the selection:

Charlie then made his choice for a main course. Breakfast of Champions, right? The good thing is that it also gives him lots of energy for the grueling activities at Camp Gramps.

Katie and Clint's safety consciousness is a little over the top as well. Katie even had us install a gate at the bottom of our long stairs. The problem is that Charlie loves to climb stairs...over and over. Of course while doing that, he is also expending lots of energy which means he sleeps well and Papa and Ali get lots of respite from busy kids. So to encourage stair climbing, we just hit on the simple idea of leaving the gate open so Charlie can climb whenever he wants. Of course the climbing goes great; it is just that he comes down a little fast (he hasn't quite figured downstairs yet). However he is tough and cries it out well.

This is one of the few times we actually noticed him on the stairs. See how proud he is! Who could take that away from a kid?

I also do not care what the law says; I do not think 11 months, 2 weeks of age is too young to learn to drive. Of course we started relatively slowly--in a golf cart at Starcke Park Golf Course. Here is Charlie going full speed ahead:

He cannot quite reach the pedals but, boy, can he steer! As long as I keep the throttle at full speed, we just go wherever he takes us. Of course we did take out a junior high golfer and a small shrub but nobody's perfect...and he is just learning. I expect he will never be satisfied with a car seat again!

The only problem that we had is that Charlie was supposed to caddy for me. I am used to supportive caddies, encouraging you even when you are not playing well. Here is a picture of Charlie's technique; notice the body language after I hit a bad bunker shot. He would not even look at me.

And he was reluctant to tend the pin. Here he takes his own sweet time getting to the green:

There are some benefits though to having a young strong boy around. We gave him a lawnmower cleverly disguised as an Easter present and turned him loose. Saved me $50 on the yardman this week.

Seriously though we are loving having Charlie. He is a joy, almost always happy and bringing a sunny smile to us at any moment. He is constantly active but also very rewarding with the love he radiates. I had forgotten how much an 11-month-old eats, sleeps and poops but Charlie has reminded us. We have even more respect for Katie and Clint ( and all young parents) as they persist in this most important of human jobs. There is no better feeling than holding that sweet tyke and reading him a bedtime story.

I am going to sign off now. I have never blogged before; I had no idea how tiring and demanding it is. Fortunately Charlie can now get me a beer from the refrigerator and bring it back to me in his teeth. I just hope that opener does not pinch his fingers again.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Au Revoir

Clint and I are headed to France today for a little vacation/baby-moon. Charlie decided not to accompany us this time; he will be staying behind with his beloved Papa and Ali. We will miss the little guy, but I am comforted by the knowledge that he will be having MUCH more fun than we will. :) I won't be blogging for the next week or so, but Papa has graciously agreed to take over for me during our absence. Look forward to some interesting posts to come... :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter this year and were so happy to be in Seguin with our family. We had a fun, family-filled weekend and an action-packed Easter Sunday. We started off with a trip to church. Charlie behaved quite well during the service, thanks to some cute girls who sat in front of us and made eyes at him. :)

The Easter bunny came while we were at church!
We couldn't believe all the fabulous things he left for Charlie. We were especially impressed with the "Mooower."
Charlie loved investigating the goods in his basket.

And he was quite the avid egg hunter...
...especially when he realized there were Puffs inside!
There were a LOT of Puffs eaten today.
But, luckily, we got good exercise with the Moower.
The big kids were even better hunters (and don't worry, their eggs did not contain Puffs :).
Jackson is SO sweet to Charlie. They just adore each other.
We tried to pose Charlie for a standing cousin pic...
...but he may not be quite ready for that yet. :)
Baby Katie finally woke up and joined the fun.
Charlie is a BIT more interested in Katie than she is in him. :)
Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

BIG Surprise!

Charlie has some news he's been wanting to announce...
He's so excited about his news, he's decided to study up for it.
Still don't get it? Maybe this will help:
Yep, that's right! We are surprised (and thrilled) to announce that we are expecting Baby #2! Charlie's book title is a bit deceptive--he is not a big brother YET, but he will be this November (he's just trying to get ahead of the curve). Baby #2 is due on November 7, 2011, so we are almost 12 weeks along. This pregnancy has gone just wonderfully so far, and is very similar to my pregnancy with Charlie. I have the same cravings, same aversions, same nausea, and, interestingly enough, ended up having to break the news to Clint in the exact same way as I did with Charlie. He was on early-morning rounds at Baylor both times when I found out, and both times I couldn't wait to tell him. :)

I had my second sonogram on Thursday (hence, the photo above) and it was one of the most fun sonograms I have had. The baby is quite the mover and was all over the place during the sonogram (which didn't surprise me too much, given Charlie's antics). I had so much fun watching the little kicks, twirls, flips, and other acrobatics--the baby looked like it was on a mission, and I fell in love with the busy little thing immediately. :) We can't wait to see what this new addition brings!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bathing Beauty

Although you can't tell from this first photo, Charlie loves his time in the bath each night. It is a fun time for both of us--he keeps himself very busy in the tub and loves to visit, play games, and laugh while he's in there. And I never mind a fun event that involves Charlie being confined to one small space. :) I think he'd stay in there all night if I let him--getting out tends to be a bit traumatic (although the trauma can usually be eased by a rousing game of Peek-a-Boo :).

Charlie splashes wildly. I almost never leave the bathroom dry...

Peek-a-Boo might be my favorite part. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our Church Easter Egg Hunt

Charlie had his first Easter-egg hunting experience on Sunday and it was wildly successful (and by "wildly successful," I mean there were no tears (until we made him leave) and we somehow managed to leave with 3 little treats in our basket). Charlie didn't completely get the "hunting" concept, but he did seem to enjoy himself. He particularly enjoyed crawling on other families' blankets during the picnic beforehand and stealing their food and chewing on their water bottles. It's the small things, right? :)

Our fearless hunter waiting for the hunt to begin.
Relaxing with Daddy.
This is the view we saw of Charlie most frequently. He loves to explore at events like this--he was fascinated with the bushes, the sidewalk, other babies, and other people's food...
The Grays joined in on the fun.
George, having lived through one Easter already, was a much better hunter than Charlie.
"Oh no, what do I do with this thing?"
"Now I just need to capture a few more of those..."
George sweetly helped Charlie fill his basket.
Charlie was most excited by George's decision to leave his puffs in Charlie's basket.
George hugging his new stuffed bunny for the camera.
The spoils of the hunt.