Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Zoo Fun

Speaking of the zoo...we have been there a lot lately.  We went with Clint on a day off recently, and then again with my parents on another pretty day.  It's such a fun way to spend time outside on pretty days, and the kids just love the animals (and we do too :).  

Evie liked the stairs as much as the animals...

Someone was super excited about the gorillas. :)
Our very favorite thing is feeding the giraffes...this never gets old!

A few of our favorite animals...

The safari jeep is another "must" on every visit.  The only difficult thing is that there are usually a bunch of other kids that want a turn, and Charlie just cannot believe that it is not his to control.  Maybe there's a membership level that confers exclusive Jeep privileges?
And we LOVE climbing on the elephants (statues).

This bulldozer was at least as exciting as the animals...
One thing I love about our zoo membership is the free pony rides.  So fun!
Miss E did great this time--no fear at all!
Daddy took the kids into the goats' pen and they had so much fun playing with them.

Charlie and one of the goats just hung out up on a ledge for a while...seemed to be engaged in a serious conversation.
Guess who had to come join in the fun?
Charlie and I just love this tiger.
Our other favorite exhibit is the lorikeet exhibit.  Charlie loves playing with and feeding these birds, and has no fear of them.  I do not like them walking on me, but they don't bother him a bit.  He was SO proud of himself afterwards!

And on the way out, of course, we had to ride the carousel.  Charlie and Clint went wild in the spinning nest...
...while Miss E took a wild ride on her horse.
Crazy girl!

We went back to the zoo with Papa and Ahh, and had another fun morning.  Charlie had to show them the lorikeets...
I think Papa was a little nervous. :)

Already looking forward to another visit!

My Days with Evie

Due to Charlie's young age and Clint's crazy work schedule, Evie and I hadn't spent too much time alone until the kids started school.  Since Evie only goes to school one of the days, we spend one of Charlie's school days running around together.  Before Christmas, this consisted largely of Christmas shopping and appointments, but now that the holidays are behind us, we have branched out and started having some fun.  It has been so fun getting to bond with her by myself.  Although Evie and Charlie are alike in a lot of ways, they are really different too, and those differences become so much more apparent when they are apart.  Evie is much more hesitant than Charlie.  He has always been one to run headfirst into a new situation, but she prefers to hang back and observe things for a while before deciding whether she wants to participate (and, if Charlie's not around, her choice is often for me to pick her up and let her watch from a safe distance :).  Because I'm usually busy or distracted when I'm with the two of them, I often don't push her as much.  But when we're alone together, I feel like I work with her a little harder and she does really well.  She doesn't always join in, but with a little encouragement, she can be pretty daring (all of this usually changes when Charlie is around--she is happy to run into any situation as long as he is leading the way).

It is also fun to get her alone because Charlie is such a big (fairly loud) chatterbox, and Evie's quiet little voice sometimes can get a bit lost.  But when we're alone, it's so fun to hear her tiny, earnest voice pointing out the different things she recognizes (her favorite is dog--she gets super excited and gives the cutest little "woof!" when we see dogs ("dogga"), it's a little frightening because she will drop everything and run straight toward any dog she sees; she also loves to point out apples ("abba"), balls, shoes, etc.).  Tonight, Evie, Charlie, and I were cuddling, and she reached her little finger out, touched Charlie's cheek, and proudly exclaimed, "Ca Ga!"  Miss E LOVES her Ca Ga, and he thinks his new name is just hilarious.

On one of our mornings alone, Evie and I headed to the zoo.  We had so much fun running around there, and especially enjoyed the Children's Zoo.  I was so proud of my hesitant little girl.  She was terrified about riding the pony, but after just a few seconds, she got comfortable and ended up thoroughly enjoying the ride.  By the end, she was petting her horse and did not want to get off (ok, so it wasn't terribly hard to get her off, but I think she had a very good time :).

Although we love the real animals at the zoo, Evie's very favorite thing is the carousel.  When we walk by it, she kicks her legs wildly and squeals (a signature Evie method of expressing her approval).
My other favorite "alone" time with Evie is at her bedtime.  She is a busy little bee during the day and never has time to stop for a cuddle.  But after her bath at night, she turns into the best little cuddler.  It has been a long time coming, but Evie has finally developed a love of reading and will now sit and read "real" books with me (for the first year of her life, we had to rely pretty heavily on touch-and-feel and interactive books to hold her attention).  Her favorite books right now are her big word book, Brown Bear Brown BearGoodnight Moon, Harry the Dirty Dog, and Moo (she has strong opinions and will pick books and bring them to me to read).  And after we read, Evie loves to cuddle and "visit" for as long as I will.  It is such a sweet time, and I just love having this special time with her.  I just want to freeze time and enjoy Evie's fun age--but it is easier the second time around to see time passing, because I think they only get more fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow Day!

We woke up to snow last week and it was so exciting!  I couldn't believe it when I looked out the windows and saw that our yard was completely white.  I ran upstairs to tell Charlie and he was pumped.  He was so excited when he looked out the window and immediately ran into Evie's room yelling, "Evie, it's SNOW!!"  They had trouble getting through breakfast/diaper changes/putting on clothes, but once we got all that behind us, we rushed out to play.  They were fascinated with the snow, but not thrilled with its coldness (I forgot to put mittens on them before we went out).  I thought about keeping them home for a snow day, but since Tuesday is the only day of the week they both go to school, I just couldn't bear to lose my day to myself.  But I felt like a terrible mommy, especially when I drove back from dropping them off and saw another mom building a snowman with her kids (knife in the heart!).  And then, to add insult to injury, the snow was gone when school let out and hasn't been back since.  I don't think Charlie has quite forgiven me, so we are all hoping we have another snow day before this winter is over!

Daddy is working nights right now and got home just in time to play in the snow with us.  Such a treat!

It was SO cold.  Charlie insisted on having his hood on his head!

Even Miss Mouse knew this was an exciting event. :)

 I love our white yard!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

School Pictures

Now that I finally got our holiday posts behind me, I thought we could move on to some more current updates.  Then I remembered that I had never done a post with the kids' school pictures from the fall!  So here you go.  I think these pictures are hilarious.  I know the photographer is good, but she somehow managed to take terribly unflattering photos of my kids (especially Miss E).  And neither of them looks terribly happy in the group photo.  But at least they are good for a laugh!
I think Charlie looks a little coy here.
I love this one of Evie.  They got her bow to stay in, but she somehow ended up with a paci. I think if E had a thought bubble in this pic, it would say, "you can make me sit here, but you can't make me look happy about it."
Poor, sweet Evie.  Just not her best photo ever.  Not that I blame the photographer--the girl is hard to photograph!  I can't imagine what she was like with a strange photographer, no Mommy there to cling to, and a short time to take the picture.  For Miss E, not a good combination. :)
This has been Charlie and Evie's first year of school and so far, it has been really great.  There were quite a bit of tears the first few weeks, but one day, Charlie just decided not to cry.  After we dropped off his stuff and washed his hands, he just gave me a big hug and walked off to play.  I was so surprised because he had been clinging to me and crying every time before that.  But ever since that one day, we have had no problems with drop-off!  (Evie still cries from time to time, but recovers very quickly.)

Charlie goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Evie goes on Tuesdays.  Thursdays are a little tough because Charlie does not like going with Evie, but he has decided to she goes to the doctor every Thursday, so that makes it a little more palatable.  I just feel terribly guilty every week when he runs up to her and asks, "how was your doctor appointment, Evie?"  Although Charlie seems to really enjoy school while he's there, and always has a good report when I pick him up, he never wants to go.  He told me one evening that he was "frustrated with school...because it is frus-ter-ating."  And has said several times that he is "nervous about school."  It's pretty easy to talk through his fears (one day, simply telling him that everyone was nervous made him quite relieved and happy to go :), but I am sorry that he gets nervous (but glad he likes spending time at home :).

We had a funny incident recently involving our last name.  Charlie had been bringing home his art with the name "Charlie Burns" on it.  Clint and I had been laughing about it and one night, we asked Charlie what his teachers called him.  He immediately smiled and said, "Miss Vicky, she call me Charlie BURNS!"  We laughed and asked him what his name really was and he said "Charlie B-U-R-R-U-S," in a very exaggerated way.  That got another big laugh out of us and I really didn't think about it again until Charlie got home from school the next day.  I found a note in his backpack apologizing for getting his name wrong.  I asked Charlie about it and he said that he had walked up to Miss Vicky and told her, "my name is Charlie B-U-R-R-U-S!"  Poor Miss Vicky--I am sure she thinks we are so picky!

At school, the cutest little lady, Miss Rose, teaches music to the kids every day.  I think my favorite part of the morning is after I drop off Charlie, when I swing back by Evie's class to peek in and make sure she's ok, and get to watch her doing music with Miss Rose.  She is always sitting in her little table, is happily shaking her musical instrument, and has totally forgotten about the trauma of drop-off.  Miss Rose always tells me how great Evie is as music, which is so funny to me--hard to imagine Miss E being "good" at anything yet! :)  One day, when we were riding along in the car, Charlie piped up from the back, "Miss Rose, she say ahhhhhhhhh (picture "ahhhh" in the highest-pitched, softest, sweetest little singing voice))."  Clint and I just about died laughing, especially because we could totally picture Miss Rose singing just like that!  [Due to the excellent reception he received for this comment, he has brought it back out many more times since. :)]

Charlie got into a bit of trouble recently when I found a small toy bulldozer stashed away in his backpack after school.  I questioned him about it, and he told me that "Miss Debbie and Miss Vicky told me that I could take it home."  I doubted the truth of this, so I told him that we would leave it in his backpack and return it to school on Thursday.  I forgot to give it to them at drop-off, but Charlie reminded me of it at pick-up time.  I opened his backpack and found another little bulldozer stashed away in there.  I scolded Charlie for taking them, told him that he could not do it again, and asked him to give them back to Miss Debbie and Miss Vicky and apologize for taking them.  It was SO sad to see his little lip start trembling and then, when I gave him a hug, he just started sobbing.  I think he was really embarrassed about the whole thing (and probably a little sorry that he wasn't getting to take the bulldozers home).  Miss Debbie and Vicky were very sweet about the whole thing (they thought the bulldozers had been their's, but said that Charlie had insisted they were his--they gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought he might have been mistaken, but they do not know how discriminating Charlie is with his vehicles; he knew exactly whose those were!), and so far, we haven't had another episode...hopefully it will stay that way.  But you are now officially warned to watch your small construction vehicles (and toy guns--see last post) when Charlie is around!

Charlie really loves all the kids in his class, and we hear a lot about each of them.  But he really really loves John.  If I ask him who was the most fun, he always answers, "John."  If I ask him who made him laugh the most, "John."  If I asked him who he played with, "John."  And if I ask who got in trouble the most?  You guessed it--"John."  Charlie has a story every day about some way that John got in trouble and a detailed explanation of the consequence that was carried out by Debbie or Vicky (they have confirmed the veracity of these stories). It is so funny to me how closely Charlie observes these interactions, and a bit scary to me how much he likes John's troublemaking personality. :)

Evie, in her typical way, handles school very well.  Although I don't get a rundown of her days from her, her teachers just love her.  She always gets a report of being "happy" and "playful" (and talkative!) at school and her favorite teacher (Miss Wanda) calls her "my favorite girl in the world!"  Miss Wanda had to find a slide to bring into the classroom recently because she has had trouble keeping Evie from climbing on things.  I was glad I'm not the only one with this problem!  And she loves the way Evie goes off to find a book and then comes back to her, backs up to her, and perches herself down into her lap.  It reminds me exactly of Charlie at this age!  Her teachers are so sweet to her and I think she has had a great experience.