Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Chatterbox

Charlie has been talking more and more lately, and it is so much fun to see his little personality grow and develop along with his growing vocabulary. His first and favorite word is "Dada." He now knows exactly what it means and yells it every time he sees Clint. Since Clint has been sleeping at home at odd hours due to his new night/day schedule, he also has started yelling "Dada" every time we walk in the bedroom--regardless of whether Clint is in there or not. I told Clint about it and he was horrified. Since Charlie isn't really aware that Clint has been working nights, he's afraid Charlie is going to think "Dada" is exceedingly lazy. :)

Much to my satisfaction, Charlie has also started saying "Mama" with more regularity. He is pretty cute with it--he loves to say "Mama" over and over in the car so that we have "conversations" back and forth (they generally go somewhat like this: "Mama." "Yes, Charlie?" "Mama!" "Yes, Charlie?" "Mama." "I love you, Charlie." Mama.") He also says it when he has woken up and needs me to come get him. The other day, he was saying "Mama" in bed and I, making his breakfast, didn't get him up quickly enough. Pretty soon, "Mama" switched to a very insistent "Dad!" :)

Aside from Dada and Mama, Charlie says "ball" (his real first word), "tractor" (sounds more like "cracker" and refers to anything bigger than a car), "car," "dog" (although he prefers to just bark), "uh oh" (another favorite), "apple" (sounds like "ah-poo"), "hot," "all gone," "bye bye," "Papa" (he likes to whisper this for some odd reason), "Ahhh" (for "Ali"), "Dede," and "Auga" (for Audra). He has all kinds of new sounds this week, and is starting to string them together in ways that sound much more like sentences. He is also starting to try mimic me more and more. Charlie loves copying not just words, but also sounds--he particularly loves imitating my sneezes or coughs, which always makes both of us giggle.

Charlie hasn't gotten to the stage where he is saying funny things yet, so I have to rely on bigger kids for that. For example, Charlie and I ran into a 4-year-old boy at our apartment building today. He remarked that Charlie has an "amazing nose." I thought, "What a brilliant child! Even at just 4 years old, he can tell what a beautiful nose my baby has." Then, looking closer at Charlie, I realized he was blowing a huge snot bubble out of his "amazing nose." Certainly burst MY bubble. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Weekend with Aunt Meggie & Uncle Foggy

Clint was working all weekend, so Charlie and I took those lemons and made some lemonade--we went to visit Aunt Meggie and Uncle Graeme (Foggy) in Austin. We had a great weekend with the two greatest hosts you can imagine. Meg had set up a playdate for us, checked out wonderful board books at the library, got a wading pool that Charlie loved, cooked for us on Friday night, took us to the Children's Museum and Deep Eddy, and took me birthday shopping and out to dinner on Saturday night (while my sweet parents babysat)! We were spoiled, spoiled, spoiled, but it was really fun!

Here's Charlie with Meg. He was distracted by a dog in the background, which is why he isn't smiling (I think this is one of the only times he was with her and NOT smiling :).
The Children's Museum was so much fun. Meg described Charlie as looking like a "drunken sailor in a brothel," and the description was quite appropriate. There were so many things to do, he did not know where to turn first!

We used the wading pool for an outdoor playdate on Friday afternoon, and then Meg moved it inside for some indoor fun as well. Charlie liked it just as much inside as out--for some reason, it thrilled him!
His favorite activity was "hammering" the floor with the back scratcher.
We went to Deep Eddy on Saturday afternoon and it was so nice. The water was cool and beautiful, and it felt so good after a hot day. Charlie just loved all the people and space at Deep Eddy. He paddled all around the pool and loved meeting new people and exploring the various areas. He really wanted to swim laps in the lanes, but we made him stay in the main pool. :)

And I am just sick that I didn't get a picture of Charlie with his Uncle Foggy! Charlie loves Graeme and loved getting to spend time with him this weekend. When he realized he had to leave Graeme at home to join Meg and I for a "ladies' lunch" and the Children's Museum, he threw quite the fit.

Thank you SO much Meg and Graeme for a wonderful weekend. We had the best time--so good, in fact, that Charlie was in a great mood for the entire car trip home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things...

Charlie has definite opinions now, and has settled on his favorite things. He has a special affinity for all things with wheels (particularly trucks), balls (not particularly choosy in this regard; we have about 10 different balls and they all get plenty of attention), dogs, and books (especially those about trucks, tractors, diggers, and dogs). As evidence of his love, some of his first words and noises have been related to these special items. Charlie makes truck noises every time he picks up a vehicle, his first word was "ball," and he barks wildly every time we see a dog (or a dog-like animal :). He is starting to talk more and more--I was so proud of him the other day when he brought me the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and said "Bow Bear!" It was pretty adorable. :)

Charlie's favorite truck, below. This one is constantly in use. It disappeared for part of a day recently and caused quite a stir.
We have many trucks to choose from, however.
Our favorite activity is sending trucks down the slide. This can entertain us for minutes (which is a long time in kid-world).
Charlie and I went to a Monster Truck birthday party recently. Charlie was so excited he could hardly stand it. There were trucks everywhere and Charlie frantically tried to play with them all. He even got to take a Monster Truck photo--I love the tongue sticking out. :)
Balls are a constant fixture in our days. We throw them at each other, against the walls, and anywhere else we can think of. One of us really likes to bite them (I'll let you guess who).
Caught you, Charlie!
I came out of the kitchen the other day to find this--Charlie crammed in his wagon with his favorite ball and trucks, patiently waiting for me to take him on a joy ride around the apartment. Wiggly Giggle ball made for a bit of a tight fit, but who could leave a ball like that behind??
Charlie REALLY loves his books. He reads constantly, and now that his room--with his bookshelf--is easily accessible in the apartment, he spends a ton of time in there. I try to put the books on the shelf from time to time, but they don't stay there long. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes until all the books are back on the floor, as seen below. Charlie seems to derive much more pleasure from his books when he has to crawl over them to get to the one he wants. For some reason, organization is not appealing to him (in this way, I think he may take more after his Dada :). Some of Charlie's favorites are Heads, Tails, Llama, Llama, Red Pajama, Good Night Gorilla, and I am a Bunny, but he really loves them all.
This is a very frequent sight...
If you ever feel like the worst-mother-in-the-world, don't worry, you're not. The person who didn't have time to read Charlie his Bible Stories book (resulting in the extremely distressed face seen below) is.
Poor baby had to read his Bible Stories on his own. :( (Don't worry, I did read all of them with him later...and we really were in a hurry; I swear! :).
Dogs are another constant favorite of Charlie's. Whether they are real or stuffed, he always barks at them. Charlie gets so excited when he sees a dog that his whole body goes still, he stiffens up as he prepares to bark, and then he very carefully goes closer to inspect. We love reading about all things dog--our current favorites are Where's Spot and DOG. Charlie received a stuffed Spot from his Mimi and he is truly a cherished pet. Spot goes in the crib with Charlie and comes out when Charlie comes out. It always cracks me up to hear barking in the crib when Charlie is going down for a nap or waking up... :) this book! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charlie's Home Videos

Charlie is pretty hilarious right now. He is turning into a huge ham and loves to make us laugh (which he does, constantly :). I can't tell you how much fun we have with this little I'll let you see for yourself... :)

[Disregard my annoying voice in the background.]

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Papa's Birthday Weekend

Last weekend, my parents came in town to celebrate my dad's birthday. We had a wonderful, laid-back weekend and it was so much fun having the company. Charlie just adores Papa and Ali, so he was in heaven all weekend. On Friday night, we cooked burgers on the grills out by the pool and relaxed at the apartment. On Saturday night, we had a really fun dinner out with my parents, Sam, and Audra--capped off by a fun s'more dessert! We had brunch with my parents on Sunday morning before they left and Charlie clung to his Papa and screamed when we finally had to leave them. Made us feel a bit like terrible parents, but I do love that he loves my dad so much... :)

Charlie has developed a bit of an obsession--he insists on people (especially men) wearing his toy buckets as hats. It doesn't really seem to make him laugh; he just get agitated if people take them off when he thinks they should be on. My dad got the brunt of this over the weekend--since Clint was working most of the weekend, Papa was on hat duty most of the time. :)
And sometimes one hat just wasn't enough...

Uncle Sam was also forced to wear a hat when he came over to play. Below, the prison guard stares at his victim...
Finally, we did a bit of swimming over the HOT weekend as well. We have been loving the pool at the apartment! Charlie and I are in there almost every day, and we've recruited lots of company to join us. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Charlie's One-Year Photos

Right around Charlie's first birthday, I had some photos taken of him as part of his "first-year" photo package. These are about 2 months old now, so Charlie's already changed a ton (not to mention my belly :), but I love them and love that they captured our little one-year-old so well!

These were taken right before Charlie started really walking, so he spent a large part of the photo shoot crawling around on his hands and feet, trying to keep his knees off the pavement. He was a little ball of activity that day, so I can't believe Emily got so many good shots of him!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Fun Celebratory Weekend

Clint was working all day Saturday and Sunday of Fourth of July weekend, so Charlie and I headed down to Seguin for some family time. We had so much fun with my parents, my cousins, and all of my cousins' kids. Charlie loves his big extended family and always enjoys seeing everyone so much. We missed Clint, but it was a nice little get-away!

On Saturday, Seguin held a little Children's Parade around the town square. Charlie got dressed up in his best Independence Day attire and we headed down for the festivities. Above, Papa and Charlie got in the Fourth of July spirit.

Not easy to get this crew to pose for a photo, but I think they look pretty cute in their holiday gear. Charlie and Katie sported some pretty sweet decorated strollers. :)

Charlie prepared for the parade by running wildly around the square. His cheeks were SO red by the end of the evening!

Holding Papa's had and trying to look innocent...
Our little parade crew.
Aunt Addie had to take over stroller duty when Julia got tired. :)
Jane Ann played sweetly with Charlie.
Unfortunately, our group--despite our fabulously decorated strollers--did not win any prizes in the parade (much to Julia's chagrin). Charlie looked very jealously at the winning contestant. He was dying for that jeep!
We headed to Freedom Fiesta following the parade and had a lot of fun. The highlight for Charlie was riding in this train, below. Jackson sweetly rode with him and chaperoned.
He loves it!

Jackson has been playing baseball this year and is getting really good. He knocked the kid in the dunking booth 3 times (out of 3 throws!). I think the poor kid was very glad to see him leave. :)
On Sunday, Aunt Dede agreed to have the whole posse over for a swim party. We had the best time. Charlie started jumping in the pool this weekend, and loves it!
Papa and Jackson swam with Charlie, which thrilled him. He is crazy about these 2 guys!

Jackson is SO sweet with Charlie and can always make him smile and laugh. I have so loved watching them bond over the past year!

Miss you all already!