Thursday, August 28, 2014

Celebrating with Friends

Charlie's favorite part of the party was probably the cookies.  We are pretty sure that is all he ate besides the cake and he ate about 8 of them!  You only turn two once!

Some of our guests enjoyed playing dress up during the party.  This made for some fabulous photo opportunities!  
Sarah Graves was a princess and a doctor all in one ensemble.  Don't you feel better when your doctor wears a tiara?

Between the life size Mickey and his crazy Boo Boo Charlie didn't know what to think here!

 Greg joined Sarah Graves in dressing up!

 Charlie was excited about his cake and he knows how to blow on things, so with a little coaxing he knew how to blow out his candle!  

 This is baby Merida that we know from my work and our music class.  

We were so excited to have family from out of town come for the party!  Boo Boo, GG, Maw Maw, and Pat all made the trip in for the party.  What a lucky boy to have his great grandmothers and his godmothers come to love on him for his birthday!

Sarah Graves loves party games, but none of our other guests were interested in playing.  I guess there was too much going on with all the different toys and the bounce house going.  

Charlie did not lack for eager assistants to help with his gifts!

So grateful for long time friends to celebrate with us.  

As usual, I didn't get as many people pictures as I would have hoped.  We get busy during the party and just forget to take them.  It was a fun time with family and friends.  Everyone there showed Charlie a lot of affection and for a two-year-old he was extremely gracious, saying thank you when people told him happy birthday and appreciating his gifts.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Party Details

This was the invitation for his party.  I love the invitation almost as much as I love that precious boy!

I had the vision for the banner and Jeanne' used her cameo silhouette machine to make it!  I think it came out super-cute!

Table decorations that Jeanne' and I made using die-cuts I bought at Michael's.

He loves balloons, so we did several different big balloons.  

I made my iced sugar cookies and kept it simple with the Mickey head design and the number 2 or the letter C on each.  I get lots of compliments on my iced sugar cookies and this is where I found the recipe.  

Charlie asked for cupcakes (yes, he is that verbal and that opinionated!), but I didn't want tons of red or black dye for frosting, so I found this idea and it was perfect.  Jeanne' was able to make the cupcake wrappers on her cameo and saved me a ton of time!  

I love doing these signs for the food and it was a fun way to add interest to the food table.  I was able to download the Disney looking font, but then we had printer problems.  We have two printers and neither of them were working well.  So, i ended up writing these myself and I think it worked out okay.  

Yes, we served hot dogs as the meal along with fruit, veggies, and chips.  Charlie loves hot dogs, so this was a great option for the theme.  

I LOVE these goodie bags for our tiny guests.  I cut out the black paper for the body and ears and Jeanne' used the cameo to make buttons.  Charlie helped me pick out the prizes inside, so his friends received bubble wands, sidewalk chalk, tattoos, and cookies.  

We used these lanterns with the Mickey ears to bring the theme into the dining area.  

Lovie and Pops took care of this great cake that really made the food table pop!  They are so awesome to help out with these fun cakes that bring in the theme of the party!

I found chicken nuggets shaped Mickey's head, so those were a must have.

Jeanne' made Mickey heads to dress up these fun straws.  

She also made this great sign to welcome everyone to Charlie's party.  

This was the sixth children's birthday party that we have hosted and I have to say that I could never pull it all together without the help of Jeanne' and my parents.  Aaron helps out too, but having everyone jump in and help me make all my researched ideas come to life is priceless.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Birthday Boy!

I can't believe that my precious baby is now two years old!  I am know I am partial, but I think he might be the most handsome two year old boy ever!  
We celebrated him on his birth day with family and friends who love him and a lot of Mickey Mouse!    

Thanks to Lovie for making his shirt!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter Month Twenty-Three

Dear Charlie,

You are a ball of energy with amazing ideas and the ability to make connections that surprise me.  I recently called you to come to the dinner table and you never looked up from what you were doing in your play kitchen and said, “I’m working; I’m working!”  I took that as a hint that you were occupied and not interested in eating our food!  
Recently, you were having a tough day and had asked to nurse about six times in one hour, and I felt worn out.  So, I suggested that you didn't really need to nurse for a sixth time and that instead, I would play with you.  You loved having me play with just you and we began stacking blocks.  While you stacked them, I counted.  All of a sudden, I realized that you knew the next number before I even said it.  I was so amazed to realize that you could count to ten!  
You are a consistent sleeper taking a nap in the afternoon for a couple of hours and going to bed in the evening and sleeping for ten to eleven hours.  You enjoy nursing in the morning, at bedtime, and any time in between that you feel the need!  You are a solid eater as well.  You enjoy fruit the most, followed by broccoli, then meat, especially sausage!  You also like pancakes and waffles a lot.  You have come around and no longer seem to fight diaper changes as much as you did several months ago.  
You continue to show us your sense of humor.  You think it is very funny to hide and start laughing when we find you!  You also like making objects into a hat.  Yes, you will find a basket of clean laundry and make a pair of underwear your hat, and you think you are the funniest thing going.  And you definitely are!  You wake with bed head good bit and will reach up and pat your head saying, "puffy hair, puffy hair!"  You still like to steal a toy from Sissy as a way to get her attention and maybe instigate a little action!   
The kitchen remains one of your most favorite things to play with.  You also love to go outside and play with Play-Doh and often request to blow bubbles.  You can actually hold the wand and manage to blow a few bubbles on your own.  
You are a sweet guy and are your happiest when we are together having time to hang out.  You still like to be cuddled and rocked at bedtime.  You are so excited to see me and your sister in the evenings.  You often come running saying, "Mommy!  Mommy!"  It is by far one of the best feelings of the day!  You like to be with me and Daddy.  Separating to stay at Lovie's can be hard and Daddy feels bad leaving you.  You are okay once he is gone, but you hang on to him as long as he is in sight.  We wish we could all stay together too.  
You continue to amaze us and surprise us with the things you know and do.  You are sweet and show lots of affection.  The light in your eyes and your sheepish grin are so precious.  I feel lucky to call you my little boy.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Letter Month Fifty-Four

Dear Sarah Graves,
I can't believe that we have made it to fifty-four months or four and a half years.  The time has passed in the blink of an eye.  You are a lively little girl full of ideas and interested in so many things.  Your toddlerhood is far behind you now, but I am really enjoying a lot of the maturity that you have now. wear a size 4 clothes, a size 10 shoes, you like the colors pink and green, and your favorite songs are "This Girl Is on Fire" and anything Frozen.  You have been taking swim lessons since the spring and are getting the hang of it.  You can keep yourself up in the water without a life jacket on and you are not afraid to go off the diving board.
You are a talker.  Your teachers at school tell me how they talk to you like you are an adult and they are impressed by your vocabulary.  You like to talk to me and daddy a lot and use the cutest hand gestures and head tilts.  My favorite is when you think there is an injustice and become indignant about it.  You get particularly worked up if you think that the injustice happened to me.  It isn't meant to be funny, but it is a little bit.  It is also rewarding to hear you talk to Charlie using some of the same phrases and tones that we use with you.  You mirror his feelings and tell him it is alright.  You are a sweet sister that way.  You sometimes lose your patience when he takes your toy and start to yell at him saying, "Charlie Matthew!", but overall you do a nice job with him.
You are decidedly not a morning person.  You resist getting out of bed in the mornings and prefer to ignore the alarm clock or me trying to wake you.  This makes our morning routine a little rough at times.  Picking out your clothes can be difficult too.  For a while you only wanted to wear pants.  Then, for my birthday, of your own accord, you put on a dress and since then you only want dresses.  You have given up your afternoon nap and seem to do fine without it.  You prefer for me to put you to bed at night, but you are getting better at letting Daddy do it.  You love it when we finish the story and I lay on you like you are a pillow, a wiggly, giggly pillow!  As I lay on you, I try to find the "button" that will turn off the wiggling and giggling.  You love this time and ask me for it every night!  It is pretty fun for me too.  Almost as fun as playing "crocodile" with you and Charlie.  You love that time rolling around, tackling each other, hiding under a blanket, being tickled, and just enjoying being together.  It is wonderful time that we have together.
You love to play with princess barbie dolls and have a great time making up all sorts of scenarios for them.  Most of your ideas for your play come from your passion, which is watching videos on YouTube.  Your favorite videos are made by a lady who uses the Frozen princesses to act out some crazy stories about Anna and Kristof and their subsequent children.  She has Elsa do some crazy things and Barbie shows up as well.  You think they are hilarious and love to tell me about the funny things they are doing or stop the video so I can come watch it with you.
Food is still a tough thing for you.  Honestly, I think your food preferences are continuing to become more narrow.  Buttered pasta, yogurt, crackers, apple sauce in a pouch, frozen waffles, pancakes, crispy bacon, and buttered biscuits from Chick-Fil-A are you most frequent choices.  We have started working with an Occupational Therapist to address issues with muscle tone in your mouth and how you move food through your mouth.  You like the time with her and think you are just playing fun games where you handle fruit, sometimes give it a kiss, and finger-paint with yogurt.  We also do mouth stretches each day in an effort to build the muscles in your lips and cheeks.  We know this will be a slow process, but hope that it will help you to open up to eating other foods.
Preschool has been good for you.  You know your letters, the sounds they make, and you can write most of them, and you can write your name.  You can count to thirty and miss only a couple of numbers!  You are a good listener at school and I am told you are very helpful.  You get along well with the kids in your class.  Your best friend for a while has been Emmeline.  You loved to play Frozen with her, but she didn't share well and insisted that she was always Elsa.  It was hard on you when you switched to your new class a few weeks ago and she did not go with you.  You quickly became friends with the older kids and have enjoyed the new girls.  You have reached an age where you realize that the boys don't want to play the same games as you and feel hurt when they tell you girls can't be superheroes.  Daddy has taught you about Wonder Woman and some of the other female superheroes.
You have a tender heart and show so much love.  Sometimes you say, "I love you." or "You're the best mommy ever!" out of the blue.  You are generous and you care about other people.  You are funny and you make us laugh.  You are a great kid and I am so lucky to have you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Silver Comet

The Silver Comet trail is a wonderful path that goes on for miles and is built for biking and walking.  Sarah Graves enjoys riding her bike there and it's an opportunity for us to get in some exercise.  Sunday evening we headed there to let the kids have some fun outside and although it was really humid, the shade made it pretty cool.

This is serious work; riding her bike and watching out for other riders. 

Sarah Graves took this picture of me and Aaron and did a pretty good job!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another Day of Fun

Sunday was a turning point for Charlie and he found some fun with Aunt Lex.  He hasn't been himself for weeks and finally, on Sunday some games really made him laugh.  Apparently, being carried around in a laundry basket while Alexis talks in a voice that reminds me of Chef on South Park made him laugh hysterically.  He did not want this game to end!

Our attempt at a picture of all three of them was not super-successful.  

She did get some laughing going for Charlie!

I was so happy that Alexis got to see Sarah Graves process into church from Children's Chapel carrying in the cross and wearing the robe.  Sarah Graves just beams when she has a chance to do this!  

After church we enjoyed a lovely brunch with Lovie and Pops.  We had more time for play-doh fun before it was time for us o take Aunt Lex back to the airport.  

We had so much fun having her here with us.  It was good for my spirit and Sarah Graves loved it.  We are so thankful that she made the effort to come see us!