Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sweet Charlie turns five!!

Today our sweet Charlie turned five years old!

He woke up to a room filled with 70 multicolored balloons. It literally blew his mind. So we started with a bang. Okay, full disclosure. He actually woke up at 3am to go to the bathroom and that's when he first discovered his surprise. He ran into our room saying, "There are hundreds of balloons in my room" with enough energy for it to be high noon.
Rob, John and I went to Charlie's classroom first thing in the morning to read a story to his class. He chose Ambulance in Action, and sat between me and Rob in the special birthday chair, wearing the shirt Grammy made him and the "I'm Five Today" sticker that Aunt Andi and Uncle Kyle sent in his birthday card. He loved being the center of attention.
Charlie was Star of the Week at school!
After school, Rob and I loaded both of our cars with little boys and headed back to the house for a fabulous Spiderman birthday party. Charlie wanted Madeline at his party too, so we sprung her from first grade for a couple of hours. The boys played Duck Duck Goose (they called it Spiderman Spiderman Ironman), which cracked me up because the first time Charlie touched a buddy's head and said Goose, all eight boys hopped up, running like crazy around the living room. I realized I had to teach them how to play first. Then we took turns hopping down the hallway in potato sacks, and sat down to mini pizzas and strawberries for lunch. Cake, gift opening, bouncy house in the basement. A five-year-old's dream come true.
Charlie, Thomas, Richard, Conrad, Georgie, Charlie H., Miles, Teddy
Later that night, we went to the brand new pizza restaurant around the corner, Roman Candle, for Charlie's family birthday party. Before we settled on that though, I asked Charlie what he wanted for his birthday dinner -- Rob and I chuckled as he answered in his throaty voice, "Uhmm, cheesy hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly and pizza." Sounds great to me!

Last weekend, my dad and Ning took Charlie on his birthday adventure...Charlie Day! He chose to eat at Jimmy Johns, and then they took him to Winkie's to pick out a toy!
Then on Sunday, the Vlachs came up to celebrate our little guy too! We LOVE you, Charlie!!

Duck Duck Goose (Or Spidey Spidey Ironman, as the boys said)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Daddy Daughter Dance!

Like a scene out of a movie, Rob sprinted through the airport from Nashville, where he'd been for work. He banged on a window until the airline reopened the jetway to let him on the plane and flew like a bullet without his luggage...all so he could surprise his little girl at her first Daddy Daughter dance, which was sponsored by the Girl Scouts at her elementary school. He walked up behind her as she ate her dinner with our good friends, George and Magnolia -- she had no idea he might make it. I asked Madeline the day of the dance if she wanted a corsage, and she said, "Nah." She just wanted to go eat the sweets!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Swimming Lessons at UWM

On Saturday afternoons, Madeline and Charlie take private swimming lessons at the University of Wisconsin-Madison rec center. They were so excited to receive their brand new goggles (John didn't take his off for days), and they love Miss Emma, the college student who teaches them. I'm excited that the pool will feel familiar to them when summertime comes!
John wore his goggles everywhere for days

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Having Fun Despite the Cold!

All three on skates!
Yes, it has been a long winter. The 17th coldest on record, but we tried not to let that stop us! We invested in heavy duty outdoor gear, and bought everyone in the family their own pair of ice skates, including John's set with a double blade. Several of the parks by our house created outdoor ice rinks, complete with warming houses; whenever that windchill was bearable, we popped over after school or on the weekends with hockey sticks, pucks and hot cocoa.
We built forts, the kids snowshoe-ed through the yard, we built snowmen, went sledding, and did a lot of driveway shoveling. Rob even tried to make our own ice rink and igloo in the front yard!
Santa brought the kids snowshoes for Christmas!
Even Maple had to get bundled up in her coat and boots.
Madeline got the hang of ice skating almost immediately!
The snow was taller than John!