Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Birthday Fun

Before I talk about Saturday’s festivities, I wanted to include Charlie’s stats from his 1-year checkup at the pediatrician. Charlie weighed in at 19 lbs, 9 oz (10%) and 50% for height and head size. I am SO shocked he is only 10% in weight!! But he is a big mover, so I guess the baby pudge is falling off fast.

He is still my squishy, substantial little baby. I am grateful he’s not much heavier at this point, because my arms get so tired when we’re running errands and I’m carrying him in one arm and holding Eli’s hand with the other – my arm starts to burn!! We’ll wait a little longer to turn the car seat around, which isn’t as fun but I figure it’s safer to be rear facing longer anyway.

On Saturday we had my family over to have Round 2 of birthday fun for Charlie’s 1st birthday. We busted out the party hats…
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But Charlie’s hat didn’t stay on his head for long. He was more interested in the food. Round 2 with the birthday cupcake/candle went a little better, but this time Eli blew it out (instead of me). At least Charlie wasn’t trying to grab the flame like last time. He was cracking up at Eli, which made me laugh too. The best part of this video though is after the candle was out, I told Charlie to dig in – and Eli thought that was great and kept saying, “Dig! Dig, Charlie, Dig! Take a bite!”

I made these carrot cupcakes and they definitely weren’t as sweet as what we picked up from the bakery on Charlie’s actual birthday. But he still ate a good amount.
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After lunch, my parents were helping clean up the dishes and Gram sat with Charlie, looking at his birthday cards from the Severson grandparents, grandma Judy, and cousin Adele (and family).
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Here’s a video of Charlie enjoying the cards – this is for those who gave him cards :) You can see how much he liked them!

My parents and Davey gave Charlie some new books, and he loved this book with lots of soft textures. My mom knit sweaters for Eli and Charlie, which were very cute! I love Charlie’s high, happy voice when he feels the different materials in the book.

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Davey was SO excited about giving Charlie a gift. In the weeks leading up to Charlie’s birthday, Davey would call and ask us for gift suggestions.
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Here’s Charlie wearing the sweater – we do thing he looks a little professor-ish in it :) I love the knitting pattern though – the cabling is so nice.

Gram’s gift to Charlie was a big box full of fun stuffed animals. She wrote labels/tags for each one with a story behind each animal. Most of them were bears, but there was a gorilla and puppy too.
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Here she is, reading the tags to Charlie (the tag for the red bear is the funniest one – she said the red bear looks like my dad with his long limbs). Charlie loved the stuffed animals (he was squeaking with excitement) and all of the soft textures. Eli’s had a lot of fun with the new animals too, playing with them, walking the puppy on a ribbon leash, etc.
And finally, we got Charlie the singing Elmo balloon, which is the same one we got for Eli’s second birthday. Charlie LOVES this balloon and drags it around the house, bopping it up and down with a big smile on his face. He is such a sweet, sweet 1-year-old!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day in the Life… Charlie’s 1st Birthday!

I’m trying to push aside the guilt that we didn’t do anything huge for Charlie’s 1st birthday – I tried to make the day as fun as possible for him, but I also didn’t plan a huge party. Winter birthdays are hard!! I couldn’t come up with a good plan of who to invite to a party for Charlie, especially since we would be inside, in our house… most of my friends with young children also have older kids, which means even more people in a not huge space… all while trying to make it special for Charlie. It just seemed tricky. We’re having my family over on Saturday, so that will be his official party.

So I try to make myself feel better. So what if we had an enormous party for Eli’s 1st (because it was the same week as Ben’s 30th). Or that I forgot to put Charlie in his “1” t-shirt (it honestly didn’t dawn on me until I looked back at Eli’s 1-year-old birthday pictures tonight). Where is my head? Oh well. Maybe it’s because we’re in a different season than when Eli turned 1 (in May, when it was actually warm enough to wear t-shirts) – I don’t even open Charlie’s drawer with t-shirts because it is just too cold to wear them.

BUT – in the morning, our upstairs feels very warm (we set it to 68 during the day, and heat rises so the upstairs is more like 70 degrees). Warm enough for Charlie to walk around in a diaper until I get the energy to wrestle him into some clothes for the day…

This video is right after Eli woke up this morning – it gives you an idea of what my mornings have been like lately, when Eli is whiny and makes it clear he doesn’t want to see me, he wants Dada. I like seeing Charlie toddle around in this too.

Charlie has really thinned out lately, though I’m glad he still has some pudge to his cute little bod.

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Notice he’s wearing a diaper that is too big for him. That’s the problem with having two kids in different sized diapers – it’s easy to grab the wrong one, and sometimes I get lazy and just leave the wrong size on the child. It’s not as big of a deal when it’s a size bigger…

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Eli cheered up a tiny bit when he realized it was Charlie’s birthday. He walked around his crib singing to him, which was sweet.

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Then it was breakfast time – this week I started giving Charlie a bowl of Cheerios with milk and a spoon, and he loves it!

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Eli helped me make a birthday card for Charlie. He told me to write -

Happy Birthday to Charlie

We love...

-baby hats

-I like him to crawl

-I like to share cars

-I don't like to share stamps

-I like when he laughs

-I like him to crawl up the stairs

Here’s a video of Eli singing Happy Birthday to Charlie at breakfast:

Later, playing with cars -

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Here he is, drinking a little bit of whole milk. He drank a little, which gives me hope. There was no tongue-wiping afterwards (like he did with the formula).

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Eli likes to line his stamps up, then knock them all down with a ball. I like when he comes up with little games to play.

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Snack time for Charlie often means a banana – he and Eli both will eat an entire banana each in about five seconds.

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I love his chubby feet!

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After dinner, it was time for his cupcake! We sang to Charlie and he had no concept of blowing out the candle, so I eventually blew it out for him.

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He was tentative at first…

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But as soon as he had a taste, he started shoving pieces of cake into his mouth…

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Here’s a video of us singing to Charlie, his expression that he’s not sure what to think about the lit birthday candle, then him eating the cupcake – it is long (nearly five minutes) and I really only expect the grandparents to watch it, though it is funny to see his expressions :) Please don’t think I’m nuts for how many pictures I took in that five minutes either!

Eli picked out a chocolate cupcake at the bakery, which he chowed down on while Charlie was digging into his vanilla cupcake.

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Eli’s two, in case you need a reminder -

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Chubby hands mixed with cupcake crumbs, frosting, and sprinkles – great combo :)

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Cupcake crumbs almost up the nose are even better!

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We opened gifts shipped to Charlie from some relatives – this is a bunny from Ben’s Severson grandparents (his grandma also knit him a Christmas stocking – it’s so cute!):

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And my wonderful Aunt Babz sent Charlie his very own froggy snuggly!! He was so excited and snuggled with it right away. Eli got jealous and wanted one just like it, even though his froggy was sitting on the table.

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I’m too tired to move pictures around, but below are some shots from the middle of the day, when we went out to run some errands – we stopped at the library branch near our house…

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We stopped in the paper store to visit Eli’s favorite furry friends, the panda bears and polar bears…

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Charlie all bundled up, sitting in the stroller:

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It was a rainy, cold day, but the boys were pretty happy. We picked up our cupcakes at the bakery down the street, got free bread samples from Great Harvest… what more could you ask for? I think Charlie loved it :)

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Finally, things I want to remember about Charlie at age 1:

  • He walks really fast for such a little guy!
  • He crawls up the stairs pretty well, but going down isn’t always easy for him
  • He loves the books, Ten Little Ladybugs and Peek a Who
  • He is very curious about the kitchen cupboards and is constantly walking in there, opening them up, and pulling stuff out. Yesterday he pulled out the mini food processor and cut his finger on the blade. We’re also in a very accident-prone stage… (don’t worry, I moved the food processor up high)
  • He loves bananas, grapes, clementines, grapefruit, crackers, bread, turkey, cheerios, and yogurt.
  • He is very snuggly and often walks over and jumps into my arms
  • He has the tastiest cheeks. I kiss him constantly.
  • He loves to follow Eli around and get into whatever Eli is working on
  • He is the squirmiest kid when we’re trying to change his diaper/dress him – it is an exhausting process
  • He loves to chew on phones and remote controls
  • He loves dogs and squeals and laughs when they come close to him
  • He loves soft textures, especially blankets. When he touches one, he often sticks his thumb in his mouth
  • His favorite toys are balls - he loves to throw them, run and pick them up, then throw them again
  • He loves looking out our front window or front door
  • He wakes up at the crack of dawn and still doesn’t have a great nap schedule during the day, despite my best efforts. He often wakes up early because he pooped in his diaper.

Happy 1st Birthday Charlie! We love you so much and can’t believe you are so big already. I kept squeezing and kissing him all day, trying to soak in my newly 1-year-old little guy. Charlie is my little buddy and I appreciate his sweetness so much, especially when his big brother is being especially difficult (like between the hours of 8 and 8:30 a.m. and then 4 and 6 p.m…. I really think Eli would be such a happier kid if he napped. Thank goodness for the happy, sweet, fun moments that help me endure when he's throwing fits, crying, basically being an extremely emotional 2-year-old)

I’ll end this with a quick video (nine seconds) of Charlie walking:

Funny Brothers

Charlie likes talking on the phone, but for those of you who have had the pleasure of speaking with him, here’s a visual of what he’s usually doing while you try to have a conversation – eating the phone, pushing the buttons, saying a word here and there…

I know I vent a lot about Eli not being so nice to Charlie, so here are a few pictures of the boys actually getting along/playing with each other. It doesn’t happen too often at this point, but these give me hope that Eli and Charlie are in fact building a positive relationship and will be good friends. Hopefully sooner than later. :) DSC_9933 copyDSC_9956 copyDSC_9980 copy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blitz Trip to Madison, WI

On Saturday, we drove 2 1/2 hours up to Madison, Wisconsin to visit our friends Ben and Stephanie Rogers and their three kids. Stephanie is the friend I had mentioned last week with the sister in the ICU. Steph was home for a few days before she’ll fly back to Atlanta tomorrow to be back with her sister and family that is there, so we wanted to go have fun with them and bring some cheer.

First, we met the Rogers at a deli on the east side of Madison – Ella’s Deli. It was a SIGHT to be seen. Seriously, if you have kids and you’re ever in that area, you have to go see it. This place is a kosher deli and ice cream parlor. Inside is a specacle of animated figures all through the ceiling and the restaurant. There are wires everywhere and figurines going across them. We saw Spiderman, Superman, Harry Potter, Popeye, castles, jugglers, a Beatles diorama, etc. All five children were SO well behaved because they were staring at all of the stuff going on around them. It was hilarious.

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Here’s their baby Jackson, who was all bundled up still. It was COLD in Madison. See Ben S. (I have to distinguish since we were with Ben R. that day), there are colder places to live than Chicago… :) (We thought Madison was beautiful though – it has pretty hills and beautiful country outside of the downtown area)

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Ben R. offered to take a picture with me in it, since I’m usually taking the pictures. Eli wasn’t up for smiling :)

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Here’s Ben R. and Steph. It’s always fun to talk to them because Ben R. has lots of  questions. And Stephanie has to swat him here and there because of his questions (we don’t mind them, Steph – it gives us room to ask them right back) :)

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The genie from Aladdin and all kinds of other stuff on the ceiling -

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You can see Eli could barely focus on eating because this place was so cool -

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One other fabulous idea is the baby plate for those 1 and under. It had everything a kid this age likes to eat – cheese, applesauce, yogurt, turkey, mandarin oranges, and carrots and peas. There were also crackers and jam. Perfect! We need one of these for our house.

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The older Rogers kids, Lea and Ellis. They were warming up to me sticking my big camera in their faces :)

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There were even toys at this place that you could bring to your table!

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In the warmer weather, there is even a carousel outside the deli for kids to ride. It’s a pretty eclectic place, but the food wasn’t terrible and the ice cream was delish.

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On our way to the other side of Madison where the Rogers live, we passed one of the lakes (maybe Lake Mendota?) where there were a ton of guys out on the frozen water, ice fishing. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to get a shot with the 50 or so ice fishing huts set up on the lake, so this is toward the tail end. But it was really neat to see all of that going on. I bought Ben an ice fishing set at a garage sale last summer, but he has yet to try it – he says he wants to go with someone who knows what he is doing… any takers?

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In the afternoon, we hung out at the Rogers’ place. Here are some more shots of Ellis:

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Lea was still shy when I pulled the camera out…

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And Ellis and Jackson with their cute matching sweaters -

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We played some Wii tennis (Eli loved it):

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I watched baby Jackson eat and eat lots of good stuff (why don’t my kids eat and eat???) -

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I played Wii tennis with Eli, which was pretty funny since neither one of us is very good:

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and then Eli and Ellis had fun playing tennis together.

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The Rogers have moved around a lot since living near us so many years ago (they lived in DC and Pittsburgh before this), but it looks like they’ll be in Madison long term. They are building a house there, so Stephanie drove us over to the site, which is a really pretty area. I’m excited for them to feel settled there and it’s fun to have friends just a quick road trip away.

We drove back Saturday evening and everything went pretty smoothly, except that Eli stayed awake the entire time and watched movies. Crazy kid.

We had a great time with the Rogers – thanks for a fun day!

And on another positive note, Stephanie’s sister is doing well – the doctors switched her from an oscillator to a ventilator and woke her up. She responded well to commands and could use her limbs and muscles. They’re hoping she can breathe on her own today and hopefully get rid of the breathing tube. Yeah!!! Things are looking up.