Saturday, August 21, 2010

Charlie

Alec couldn't ask for a better younger brother. Charlie pays him the best compliment by always trying to copy him. If Alec screams something, so will Charlie. If Alec goes outside without shoes on, so will Charlie. If Alec is content to sit and read books by himself, so is Charlie. If Alec wears his basketball shorts, Charlie wants to wear his too.

Recently Charlie has exploded in his language development. He's trying to say most everything and gets really close a lot of the times. Even without all the words, he's very efficient at getting what he wants with his body language or his own efforts. He's figured out how to climb out of his crib very safely without any supporting furniture. He does the best car, plane and horse sounds. He dribbles a soccer ball extremely well. He loves to wear jackets, hats and pajamas. Far longer than the norm for children his age, he'll be content to sit with a pile of books and go through them. Although, he's also a bit destructive and loves to tear off any bits of the book that will come off, especially the spines. He is so helpful and happily hands me diapers, puts his dishes in the sink, turns off fans and finds our shoes simply if I ask him.

Charlie loves his independence and likes to wipe up his own spills, pour/dish out his own food, sing songs all by himself (even though he usually only knows the last word in each phrase), and do whatever Alec does on the playground by himself. He's very proficient at figuring out a way to do that at his own level (so if Alec climbs on the outside of the playground, Charlie will follow on the inside). After most feats, he'll happily exclaim with his arm held out wide in Ta-Da fashion, "Did it! self!"

Here is the promised video of Charlie's pedaling abilities. Super cute.


Oh and one of the things I love about Chris is how excited he gets about each of our kids' milestones. He whoops and hollers and yells for me to watch as he runs for the camera. These kids have one proud daddy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

She smiles!

Two days ago, right before bed time, we were all crowding around Gwen trying to see her smile. She looked like she's been trying to for a while, you could see it in her eyes. Right on cue (we used her as a distraction for Alec's impending tantrum) she gave us all a smile! And then another one just for Alec since he actually missed her first. It was a fun family moment and I can tell it is one of many more to come.

In that picture she's sleeping, but you get the general idea. It looks even more stunning when her eyes are open and in on the action. Also, she loves to have her hands tucked up under chin whenever she's feeding or sleeping. It just looks so peaceful. I can hardly believe how big she's getting, 6 weeks tomorrow!

For an exciting little preview, Charlie has mastered pedaling! He's been close for a while, but now he can start and pedal on by himself. Video, pictures and more details coming.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homecoming surprise

Gwen and I had a wonderful time up in WA for one cousin's mission farewell and another cousin's wedding. Chris expertly managed the boys at home for the second weekend in a row.

My mom and sisters and I were in charge of the flower centerpieces for the wedding reception. We had so much fun putting together 21 bouquets of flowers! None of us knew much about what we were doing, but we cut, de-leafed, tied, drooped, arranged and trimmed with the best of them. If I can manage to grab some pictures of the final product from either my mom or Sarah, I will. Here is one of Gwen surrounded by the flowers after we cut and sorted the initial bouquets.

Upon coming home, I was told there were some surprises for me, "one outside and one inside" according to Alec. I smiled in anticipation of something like: the patio being swept and the house cleaned up, or cookies on the table or some equally wonderful, cute, small surprise. What I did NOT expect in the least, was Chris to accomplish two big wood projects!

I found this outside:

and this inside:
I am in love with my new space-saving shelves and our "home" for our stroller and my sweet little helper boys and my amazing Chris. I loved being there for my Grandpa's funeral last weekend and Emily's farewell and Bethany's marriage, but most of all I LOVE being home with my family.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"eeng-a-lish"

We have a lot of friends and neighbors who speak other languages and we have some kid picture books that are written in different languages. Alec is intrigued by all of it and occasionally asks Chris or I to sing or speak in another language. He gets mixed up with the words English and Spanish and so sometimes he tries to speak in another language and calls it either english or spanish or some combination of those words. Today he said this as we were walking inside from the playground.

"Is time to go insice, I'm speaking splingliss. We mace this force to bouce in, bouce, bouce, bouce. Weeeeece, weeeeeeeece."Then he started to sing the ABC's, "Ace, Beece, Ceece, Deece, Eece..."

He wanted me to talk to him in another language as I was giving him the "wash your hands, get in your chair, sit down" lunch time instructions. I tried my rusty French out for the next few minutes and I realized both how much I remembered and how much I've forgotten.

Even before all that cute language talk this morning I was thinking to myself that I have the cutest boys ever, as in physically. I love their eyes and smiles and hair and little bodies and muscles and lips and cheeks and legs and tummies... I could go on and on.

Also, here is the most recent photo of Gwendolyn, taken this morning. She's getting so big and reminds me of both my boys.


And just because its fun, here are some pictures of Charlie and Alec at relatively the same age and angle.

Monday, August 9, 2010

6 years

Chris and I have been married for 6 years now. In some ways that sounds long and in others it seems like it should be longer. We had fun reminiscing about our wedding day and looking through pictures. We watched our wedding DVD my brother and sister-in-law put together for us (THANKS JARED AND ASHLEY!!) with the boys and they just loved watching it.

After watching the movie and looking through our pictures Alec said, "I want to get married." and after explaining how he will someday when he finds someone he loves and someone who loves him and then he can start a family just him and his best friend. Then Alec said, "I want to marry baby Gwen." Chris and I chuckled a bit and so Alec explained, "when she gets bigger."

Alec and Charlie are still really great brothers to Gwendolyn. They both love to put her pacifier back in ("only if she's crying") and they both love to pat her on the head and say, "Hi baby!" ("only if she's awake") and they both love to hold her ("only if you sanitize and sit on the couch") Here, they are all enjoying tummy time.

I love being married to Chris. He is the most perfect husband and father for me. I wonder where we'll be 6 years from now... as long as Chris is there with me I don't care where it is.