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...
...now 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!
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.
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!)