Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Johnny Soccer

We ventured into organized sports for the first time this fall with soccer, and Charlie is obsessed!  It is 3-year-old soccer, so I wasn't too sure what to expect (aside from a lot of chaos), but Charlie really wanted to play, so we went with it.  And I really have never seen him enjoy anything (other than driving around LV in the Ranger) so much.  It is the only activity that I don't have to ask him multiple times to get dressed for.  As soon as Charlie hears it is soccer time, he runs to the potty, throws on his clothes (it helps that he thinks his jersey, shin guards, and cleats are the best pieces of clothing ever), and is heading out the door before Evie and I can get our shoes on.  He tries to get us out to play every day, and always says that "soccer" was the favorite part of his day.  He has informed us that he is "Johnny Soccer when I'm on the field, but just Charlie when I'm off."  We have had two games and a few practices, and so far, it has been so much fun.  

Here is Charlie at his first game.  He was SO excited.
I have quickly learned with 3-year-old soccer that the hardest part is convincing 5 kids to go out on the field.  Charlie, luckily, does not have to be convinced.  He played the entire first game and when we dragged him off during the second game so that some other kids could get playing time, he kept trying to run back in.  

Here are Charlie, Walker, and Ford warming up for the first game.

Pre-game huddle:
The first game was mostly chaos, as the kids really had no idea what was going on, but the biggest excitement for Charlie was that he scored his first goal!  I really don't know if I've ever seen him so happy.  He cheered and then ran to Clint and gave him the biggest hug and then ran to me and gave me a huge hug.  He was SO happy, and could not stop talking about it after.  When we were walking to the car after the game, I heard him saying, "that was so awesome when I kicked the ball in our goal."  And everyone we saw for a few days after heard, "I kicked the soccer ball in our team's goal!"

Here is the little guy moving the ball down the field...
and GOAL!
The only time Charlie cried at the first game was when we told him that he couldn't play a second game right after.  And his only other disappointment was that the parents and other spectators were "just sitting on grass."  He thought we should all be sitting on "stadium seats."  I'm afraid C has high aspirations. :)

Our second soccer game was cancelled because of rain.  Charlie was so disappointed that my sweet siblings organized a family soccer game for him.  Little man was quite thrilled with that plan.

Here's Charlie heading to the "big" game.  We played our family soccer game at the little park near the house, which is also where our team practices.  One of my favorite memories of soccer so far is Charlie's happy face as he's speeding to soccer on his scooter.  He is always so happy and so excited to get there.  Evie and I are left in the dust, usually to Charlie shouting, "c'mon, we're gonna be late!!"

The family game was a little more intense than the 3-year-old soccer league.  As least Charlie is learning early that nobody in this family will just let him win. :)

The family soccer game was filled with lots of ball stealing, and it apparently made quite the impression on Charlie.  He was much more aggressive in game #2, and stole the ball quite a bit.  He scored 5 goals, and was so proud of every one of them (even though one may have been scored while the other team was not actually on the field :).  

A few photos of game #2 include: 

(1) Our pre-game pledge of allegiance (the kids are a little confused about this ritual).
 (2) A half-time huddle (lots of important strategy discussed here).  [Charlie is #7.]
(3) Charlie, on his way to score on of his goals!  So exciting. :)
My favorite part of soccer is the big hugs Clint and I get after Charlie scores.  He is just so happy out there that it makes the games so much fun!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Charlie's Theological Musings

Charlie has been slightly more chatty about school so far this year.  The other day, when I forgot to ask him how his day was, he finally got exasperated and said, "well, I had a great day!"  I haven't made that mistake since. :)

I could tell he really wanted to talk today, and when we got in the car, he started telling me all about chapel.  Apparently they are studying the story of Jesus' birth.  Charlie said "at chapel today, I got to be Joseph and Willa [a little girl in his class] got to be Mary.  I just loved that."  He continued to tell me about Joseph, saying "he was Mary'"  Hmmm...not sure that is quite the appropriate terminology. :)  His next question (which led me to believe that we still have a bit of work to do) was "who is Jesus again?"  When I answered that he is God's son, Charlie's immediate response (of course) was, "Oh!  Then I want to be God!"  Oh dear.  Charlie clearly loved his moment in the spotlight as Joseph and continued to talk about it all day.  He was dying to play Joseph again at home and have Evie play Mary, but unfortunately, she wasn't quite as cooperate as he would have liked. :)

Update: I think Charlie's experiences at chapel have been have really been making an impression.  When I picked him up from MOPPETS this morning, his teachers told me that he was their "biblical scholar."  I think it helped that they were talking about Noah's Arc, Charlie's very favorite Bible story, but he was still SO proud.  Never one to be modest, Charlie reiterated to me that he really "knows everything in the Bible." :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

First Day of School

We were all a bit nervous about the first day of school, but it well as could be expected. :)  We are in a new school this year (I loved their school last year, but the drive was just too far for me.  This one is just 5 minutes away and I am loving my new commute.)  Pros: we got to school on time, we had time to take first day of school photos (!), Charlie walked into his class happily and confidently, and I had positive reports from both kids' teachers during the day.  Cons: Evie cried a lot at drop-off and even hit her teacher when she took her from me.  I knew the transition would be rough for her as she is still SO attached, but it was still really hard for me to leave her.  The hardest part was when I walked back over to her class to peek in and see how she was doing.  I saw her standing in the middle of the room, crying, with her little shoulders just shaking, and it just killed me that no one was holding her.  I think one of the teachers tried to pick her up and she refused (or they were scared off by her hitting!), but it still made me so sad!  Luckily, every day since when I have gone back by, she has stopped crying and is happily playing.  Much better way to leave!  After the first day, the teachers told me a few stories about her tears and her troubles during the day, followed by, "but she is SO cute in that outfit!"  Haha--at least she looked good while acting terrible!  Whenever I ask Evie what she did at school, she proudly reports "Bobby!" (her name for her pacifier), so I think that may be handed out a bit more liberally at school than it is at home. :)

Charlie's reports from school have been nothing but positive.  His teachers are unbelievably sweet and the kids in his class are just adorable.  His teachers think he is a perfect angel (which makes me realize that he DOES know how to behave) and he just loves school.  The other day I forgot to ask him how his day was and as we were walking out, he finally got fed up, and remarked, "well, I had a great day!"

Here they are getting ready to head in on the first day of school.  Evie LOVES her "pack-pack" and "yunk box," she would just prefer to not have do the whole school part.

These two can be such little terrors, but I love the way they play together.  They make each other laugh so hard and Evie just lights up when Charlie tickles her or teases her.  I always pick Evie up from her classroom first (God forbid I not be the FIRST mom there to get her!), and the first thing she says every day is "See Ca Ga!"  She can't rest until we have him with us--then the silly side of her comes out again. :)
Last night of summer meant...popsicles on the patio!  Poor Eves just didn't know what all the fuss was about. :)
And here are the two little monkeys at the end of their first week of school.  Time for the weekend!
All in all, I am so pleased with the kids' new school.  I just love all four of their teachers and the other kids in their classes seem so sweet.  I was so nervous about doing something different this year, but I am so glad we did--this place feels so neighborhood-y and good to me.  Charlie loves it and I have a feeling that in a few weeks (or months... :), Evie will too!

Update: we just finished week 3 and Evie is doing much better.  At drop-off today, she let out a much smaller cry, and it lasted very briefly.  Her teachers said that she had a much better day, which made me so happy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Summer Fun, Part 2: Everything Else That Didn't Land Its Own Blog Post

Between our various little road trips and lots of fun play dates and outings, the kids and I kept pretty busy this summer.  But I am not always exactly sure how we stayed quite so busy, as it's always hard to explain how a few small events can make a day seem crazy when you have two little ones.  But we had so much fun and we all loved the relaxed schedule.  We had more lazy mornings than usual, and that was a nice change (but it has also been SO nice returning to a regular school schedule now!).  One thing I didn't remember to get pictures of was Charlie's first camp experience.  He did three weeks (2 days per week) of summer "camp" at Highland Park Methodist Church (along with several of his friends--Ryan, Ford, and Isabella), where we've been attending church.  His first week's theme was sports, second was water/splash, and third was Legos.  Needless to say, he thought camp was the most fabulous place in the world!  Charlie also did swim lessons this summer, both of the kids did art class and Kindermusik, and we had our regular playgroups.  But other than that, just lots of fun, different outings!

We are on the go a lot, and as a result, the kids love it when we take a day to just relax around the house.  They get so silly together--here, Evie thought it was the best thing in the world to share a chair with her favorite "Ca Ga."
The kids love to pretend together, and Evie has gotten surprisingly good at going along with whatever game Charlie comes up with.  I love to see her pretending to carry baby mice around the house (and panicking if her hand "tips" them out), taking a "ticket" from Charlie to get past the stair gates (and sometimes accidentally pretending to eat it), and chowing down on play food.  According to Charlie, in this picture, they were "flying on a plane and the boxes are our suitcases."
This box took on all sorts of personalities over several days.  At this point, I think it was just a boat... a bear cave...
I was lucky enough to slip away to Hideaway Lake one weekend with some of my girlfriends (we are all in a playgroup together).  It was so fun to get away without kids--we stayed up late and laughed so much.  Poor Clint was left with a potty-training Charlie who somehow contracted diarrhea, so he was not terribly happy with me. :(
We had a block party (this wasn't technically summer; I think it was in April, but I forgot to blog about it), and Evie got to try out the bounce house.  It was so cute to see her trying to make her way around.  I saw another boy hitting her at one point, but before I could get back there and intervene, Charlie had him pinned to the ground.  I hated to praise him for pushing someone down, but I was secretly proud of the little guy for taking care of his sister!
The block party also included area fire engines.  The firemen are so nice and the kids just love seeing the trucks up close.

Most of Charlie's friends have spring and summer birthdays, so we had lots and lots of parties this summer, which made our weekends so busy and fun.  I didn't get pictures at many of them, but here are a few.

Here we are riding the train at Ryan's birthday party.  Evie is crying because I told her we needed to give other kids a turn. :)
Charlie seesawed for hours at Layne's birthday party.
The post-party treats are always a big hit.  We love party favors!
Both of my kids LOVE cupcakes.  Charlie always insists on chocolate...
...and Evie just insists on "CAKE!!" (she also frequently requests "moose cake," but we cannot figure out exactly what she means--it seems to just refer to cake in general).  She has become so obsessed that she has trouble enjoying a birthday party until cake time has come.  I've started rushing her in past the cake and just hoping she won't see it. :)
For all her talk, you would think Evie would dive in to her cupcake, but eating is a long, meticulous process for her.  She dips one tiny fingertip at a time into the icing and then carefully licks it off.  This can continue for as long as I will let it go on...and then there's usually some screaming while I try to get the rest of it away from her...
More cake.  These kids are going to develop a serious sweet tooth.

Wishing Henry a happy birthday.
Sydney and Emmy took art class with us, and Charlie was always so happy to see two of his favorite little girlfriends each week.
Evie was a bit of a loose cannon in art class (Kassidy and Lissa would probably think this was a bit too mild of a description), but I think she enjoyed it.
In an effort to do more art projects at home, we began painting the driveway.  They LOVED this activity!

Charlie's first discernible self-portrait.  He was so pleased with his SUPER long arms.
We also spent some time this summer catching up with friends.  We loved meeting John and Caroline's sweet baby Lucy!

And both kids love it when "Aunt" Sarah comes to visit.  She always has time for a book, which makes her just perfect in Charlie's eyes. :)
Evie's fashion opinions have only gotten stronger and stronger.  These pink cut-offs were her very favorite thing this summer.  Whenever she started rustling through her drawers, Clint and I knew exactly what she would come out with.  She grabs these, trots over to us shouting "paaaants!," and demands to put them on with whatever else she is wearing.
While Charlie swam, Evie practiced her climbing (because that's what you're supposed to do on a play kitchen, right?).
We didn't do many zoo trips this summer due to the heat, but we did take advantage of one particularly lovely morning and met up with Ann and Michele there.  The kids love the zoo, and the splash area was a huge hit.
They both love the carousel, but I've never seen anyone love it as much as Evie.  She just lives for this part of the zoo visit!

Happy Charlie:
Very very very happy Evie:
Charlie and Ryan loved the leopard.
And feeding the giraffes is always a hit.  Neither of my kids would do it this time, although Charlie (of course) melted down as soon as the lettuce was gone because, of course, he really HAD wanted to do it. :/
The Dohertys were in the metroplex for one of Sarah Beth's basketball tournaments and we ran up to watch one morning.  The kids were so pleased to get to see her play and Charlie was super impressed by how good her team was.  Will and Meredith were so sweet to him during the game--he just loves them!
Visiting with Sarah Beth (who won!) post-game.
In other cousin news, Walter was a frequent attendee at our tea parties.
AND, in case you didn't catch it, we got preggers!
Evie was a good little companion at the doctor's office.  I was oh-so-sad when she had to go back to school. :)
Charlie also developed a major superhero obsession this summer.  I am not entirely clear how this happened.  We have no superhero books, he's never seen a superhero on TV, it just somehow seems to be some innate, inborn interest in little boys.  He especially likes Spider Man and, after the birthday party featured below, Iron Man.  This superhero party, with Iron Man in attendance, was a huge hit.  Charlie said that "Iron Man is the nicest guy ever!"  The party also included a DJ and we learned that Iron Man is quite an impressive dancer!

Also, note Charlie's cobbled-together costume, below.  The kids were supposed to dress as superheroes, but Charlie doesn't have too much in the way of superhero costumes, so he ended up in a Spider Man shirt and a Super Man-esque cape.  People weren't quite sure what to call him, but he was certain he looked just fabulous.
More superhero fun with Charlie O.
The summer also included some naked piano playing...
...and giant shoe wearing.  They were so excited to send this picture to Daddy.  I heard lots of "what's Daddy going to say??"
Aunt Mary gave the kids the best, simplest present ever: fort clips!  We have had so much fun making forts with these, and the kids' very favorite thing is to eat snacks and meals under the fort.
We even use camping lanterns for a super-authentic experience. :)

I think this was right after Charlie spotted a bear.  He got pretty excited about it, and was so realistic that Evie got a bit agitated. :)
One of my friends, Brannen, organized a trip for our playgroup to a local fire station.  The fire fighters were so sweet to the kids and they just loved this excursion.  Charlie insisted on wearing his fireman's hat, so that "the fire fighters will think I'm a fire fighter and take me out in the fire engine with them."  Unfortunately, that did not happen as planned, but he did thoroughly enjoy the tour (and got lots of acclaim for his hat, even if not actually mistaken for a fire fighter).
Evie was a little more unsure about it all, but enjoyed herself.
Soooo happy.
This axe was quite impressive.  Charlie couldn't believe they trusted him to touch it.
Perhaps most impressive to the kids was this huge break room with--wait for it--a television!  Turned on!  They were immediately entranced.  This totally sealed the deal for Charlie.  Once he saw this, he knew that he had picked the right career.

Future firefighters (from left, Grayson, Isabella, Ryan, Henry, Sydney, Charlie, and Emmy).
Summer is a great time to play in the rain.  My kids need to get outside no matter what!

Another highlight of the summer was the dinosaur exhibit at the Witte Museum in San Antonio.  We went with the Reeds one day and had so much fun.  Charlie was a little nervous about the "real" dinosaurs, but felt much better once he figured out that they just had machines inside of them.  He was quick to explain that to anyone who asked.

We had an impromptu party with the Gannons one night that included delicious cookies...
...birthday cake for me and Erica...
...and sweet Blythe reading to Charlie.  So much fun!
We started a nature box for Charlie this summer and love to take nature walks in search of bears, bugs, and other fun finds.  Evie is the best little bug spotter, and somehow, those fat little fingers manage to pick up the tiniest bugs without hurting them a bit!
Scooter boy tends to go a bit too fast to see many bugs...
Poser.  And did you notice the pigtails (i.e., "ponies").  You've never seen anyone so proud of those ponies, and I don't blame her--she certainly has waited long enough to get them!

Sometimes our nature walks turned into construction-watching walks.  Charlie could sit there all day, but Evie didn't have quite the same staying power.  "Mommy go!"

Klyde Warren Park is always fun on a hot day.  With the splash area AND sno cones, it provides a bit of relief from the heat!
Palmer ("Palms") was a good little companion one very hot day.

We went swimming with Colin one day, but the kids' favorite part of the morning was the post-swim relaxation in the hammock.  They just giggled and giggled in there. :)
We were lucky enough to try out the new Children's Garden at the Arboretum one morning and this place is the coolest. place. ever.  I cannot wait for the official opening (and cooler weather to enjoy it in).

Finally, the Reeds' long-awaited house is finally complete.  We saw it recently and it is amazing!!  I love the house, the land, the views, and especially the amazing porches.  What a fun place!
I was accompanied by a tough little soldier.

And, from Evie: goodbye summer!  We will miss you!  (And all the sunglasses that came with you!)