Monday, February 29, 2016

Star Wars and Six Year Olds

Well, it's that time again.  Time for me to gush about how my kid had another birthday and somehow got older right before my eyes.  I could mention things about how quickly time has gone and how it feels like just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital.  I could add that life has passed incredibly fast and incredibly slowly in the past six years-- all depending on the situation and circumstance.  And I could throw in that I feel like I'm wrapped up in a wrinkle in time-- meaning that it's hard to believe that Charlie is already six years old.... but it's even harder to believe that he's only six years old.  In many ways, I feel like Charlie is my missing piece-- I can't imagine life without him-- and memories of life before him are hazy at best.  It seems impossible that I've only known him for six short years, and yet every piece of him is tightly wrapped up and over and around and through my own heart.

This past weekend was all about Charlie.  We basically celebrated for three straight days--- and then crashed into our beds, frosting covered fingers and party hats still on top of heads, on Sunday night. Here's the rundown:

We were spoiled with some unusually warm weather on Friday-- perfect for some swing set action and a few walks around the block.  Charlie's birthday weekend was made extra special by receiving the special class stuffed animal, Ivan.  So naturally, Ivan partook in all the festivities as well.

Ivan loved being zipped up in Charlie's jacket.  (According to him)

Some pinata prepping with Ama....
(note to self:  plan ahead and leave enough time to cover the balloon with more than two layers of paper mache...)

TC arriving at the birthday party

The birthday boy!!

Look at these smiles.... I love it!

TC was the best-- playing with the kids non-stop and they loved every second of it.

That big cat even went down the inflatable slide about a million times.

Nora had special instructions to not take all of TC's time (which she may have taken a little too literally).... but she did get some special alone time with the top cat.

Charlie: "Did you see us pile on to TC on the slide?!  Everyone was all ready and he started going so I just had to jump on head-first and hang on!  It was my only hope!!"

Obviously, we had a Star Wars theme. According to Charlie, I am the best cake decorator in the whole universe and should be a professional.  (He really loved the BB8 cake.)  Honestly, I'm still riding the wave of his affirmations.

Opening presents was a mad, crazed, frenzy.  I have absolutely no idea which friend brought which gift because they all were torn into in about ten seconds.  And from what I observed, it appeared to very much be a group project.  (The thank you cards will all say: thank you for the special gift!)

Before we knew it, TC was hugging his new friends goodbye and heading back to UNI.

We ended the party outside.  In FEBRUARY!!!  Can you tell we broke into the 50's this weekend?  (Time to bring out the shorts, people!)

At home, Charlie wasted no time assembling his new toys and testing them out.  (His dad didn't seem to complain much about helping him with this)

Everyone was exhausted from the party, but not too tired to skip the opportunity for a little reading with a grandpa.

Oh, and we had a few more presents to open!  Nora received an un-birthday present that happened to be "just what I wanted!'

And Charlie received a Star Wars shirt (that is on his body today).

After Liz and the girls headed home, Ama read a few more books before everyone hit the hay for the night.

I went to be on Saturday night thinking about these smiles and how fun it is to watch your child(ren) have so much fun.  (more sappy thoughts on that later)
Pictured: Keira Day, Abby Butler, Morgan Wessles, Charlie, Cooper Keller, Jayce Fryslie, TC, Riggs Yoder, Weston Wessles, Nora. 

On Sunday morning, Charlie opened his birthday presents from us and played with his new toys.

And despite all the Star Wars items, he was over the moon about receiving these new football gloves. I'm pretty sure they have not come off his hands in the last 24 hours.

That night, I read Charlie books and slipped into his bed with him.  We snuggled into each other and talked about his weekend.  He sleepily told me that his favorite part was 'everything with TC'.  And Ivan.  And the cake.  And his amazing presents.  I kissed him goodnight for the first time as a six year old and crept out of his room, thinking about my favorite part: Watching my happy and healthy little boy grow another year, filled up with love and surrounded by friends and family.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Super (Bowl) Party

It's that time of year again.....  Super Bowl!!

It cracks me up that I even am aware of "Super Bowl Time" because before Charlie was interested in football, the only thing Super Bowl night meant for me was a free night home scrapbooking with Amanda.  But those years have come and gone and now, I'm the mom who finds herself planning a 'mini- Super Bowl party' for her five year old.

At this point, I should admit that I'm using the word "plan" very loosely.  I'm sure there are a zillion cute ideas for Super Bowl parties on Pinterest, but I've learned a few things about planning parties for my son.
   #1.  Charlie could give two shits about the decorations and cute ideas
   #2.  Charlie only really cares about snacks.

So C's Super Bowl party involved inviting three people over (narrowing the invitees down to three was extremely difficult and ultimately resulted in inviting "people who don't really get to come over here much"), ordering pizza, and picking up football shaped cookies from Hy-Vee.  And you know what?  I think that it ended up being perfect.  Our guests arrived shortly before 4:30 and had changed into full football gear by 4:32.  At that point, teams were chosen and a full-on basement football game (that resembled track racing/wrestling/nay-nay dancing combined) commenced.

Pictured: Evan Blythe, Charlie, Cooper Keller, Jayce Fryslie
The boys played in the basement, running around like crazy people, and also spent time with Charlie's toys in his bedroom.  For the most part, they all got along very well-- it's always a little difficult for me to 'let them be' when I hear arguing or shouts of "No Fair!" but I try to remind myself that kids need chances to figure these things out on their own.  (In my opinion, so much of the reason they can't do this at school is because they are over-supervised at home. More on that later.)  Anyway, they shared and took turns and shouted and laughed and giggled.  When the game started, Charlie hopped up on the couch, ready to watch some football.  His friends, however, were immersed in C's toys and stuffed animals and begged him to play with them.  After a little prodding, Charlie begrudgingly agreed and joined them.  (The beauty of dvr, right?)

As the evening ended and the boys were getting ready to go, one little friend shouted, "Miss Karah?  I broke your wall!!" The others thought this was hysterical-- and also extremely serious.  "He Did! He Did! Come down and look!!"  I assured them that it was okay (we do have a pretty good "in" with the people at the local lumberyard) but they demanded I go look.  And when I saw that knee-sized hole in the drywall I have to admit that I had a glimpse of what's to come in future years.  Ah, boys.  And Super Bowls.  And fun.  It's all good.