Happy Easter!

We had a nice Easter weekend.  Friday night we dyed Easter eggs.  Jack enjoyed it; Charlie was more annoyed than anything - he didn't quite get the "drop it in and wait" concept.

This is Jack's new picture smile.  Lovely, eh?
Saturday night my mom's family came to our house for a low-key gathering.  It was a nice time.  We enjoy having people at our house because it is so easy to get Charlie into bed close to his normal early time (7:30-8:00) without missing anything.

Sunday morning Jason came down with strep throat (yuck!) and was out of commission all day (and for several days after that).  The boys had fun searching for the eggs the Easter Bunny hid but I didn't get a lot of great video footage with my one-man crew.  Charlie woke up on the wrong side of the bed so the first video I took has him squealing and whining in the background the whole time - I will spare you from that melodious sound.

The Easter Bunny brought some new superhero shirts, including a Batman shirt with a cape for Jack.  We immediately put that on and have worn it MANY days since then.  Charlie got some new animal stamps (photo above) and they both got some Legos other small miscellaneous stuff.

After we were finished at home, we went up to the Minchers' for the second annual Easter Egg hunt with the neighbors.  This time the Scallys joined the Ashers, Minchers and us so we had 7 kids on a mad dash for eggs (Logan Scally was napping - he'll join in next year!).  My favorite was that the Minchers had thrown out some old bread for the birds and Jack thought it was part of the search.  I caught him putting one piece in his basket and had to tell him those weren't for taking.  When we got home and went through his basket I found another one.  Funny stuff.  I'd love to have been in his head..."Bread?  OK, guess I'll take it..."  The weather was great, so we stayed and played for about an hour.  It's so nice living on quiet cul-de-sacs.  Very fun morning. 

All the neighbor kids: Addison & Ethan Asher, Jack, Jack Scally, Charlie and Nathan & Tyson Mincher

Love this one: Renee laying down the law

Power wheels fun!

These videos are kind of funny. The first was Charlie's first attempt at operating a Power Wheels vehicle on his own.  Not so successful:
Then he tried out a car instead and figured out (accidentally I think) that the button sticks, kind of like cruise control.  Funny stuff.
Since it was so nice out and Daddy was laid up we decided to have a quick lunch with the Ashers and then to the park.
 Charlie had a mini Twix on the way there and then passed out.  Nice.
After our naps, we headed over to Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Todd's house for Clayton Easter.  It was still nice out, so we spent most of the evening having fun outside.


Charlie at 18 Months

Charlie officially turned 1 1/2 on March 9!  He suddenly seems like such a little toddler now!  He's talking all the time and surprises us every day with new words he knows.  My sister tried to count the words Parker says to estimate if she's on track (they say 15-20 at this age is normal), so I thought I'd do the same.  I came up with 30+ words off the top of my head, so he's clearly on schedule for this area of development.
He also says a lot of things we don't understand still, which causes frustration for all of us.  He will repeat the same thing over and over again while we guess what it means.  His newest thing is pointing out buses and planes he sees while we are driving.  BUS!  It reminds me of when Jack used to yell out EVERY time he saw a truck, train, bus, plane or motorcycle (bike).  And it was a LOT.  I'm sure we're headed that direction with the Char Man.
He loves doing anything Jack does and they play together pretty well these days.  Jack has started trying to wrestle Charlie which he enjoys at first, but then it gets a little too rough and he wants to stop.  He has become very curious about Jack's potty habits.  About a month ago he started telling us he needs to "boop," after which he would scoot the stool over to the toilet, and stand with his hands on his crotch like he sees his brother do.  Too funny.

I finally convinced him to sit on the little potty, which he has done a few times now.  One time he actually tinkled a little bit, much to his and my surprise!  Of course it went all over the place.  We are not actively pursuing this interest.
Charlie loves taking baths.  It's quite a conundrum really because Jack does not look forward to baths (though he ends up having fun once he's in), so we try to give him lots of warning when it's bath night.  But we can't say it too loud because as soon as Charlie hears the word bath he runs to our bathroom saying "bath," "bath," "bath" until we appease him and get the bath going.  We've had a few meals end abruptly because of this mistake.
Cute little tushies

Speaking of dinners, Charlie is not a great eater these days.  He will go days and barely touch his lunch/dinner.  He usually eats pretty well at breakfast - he loves his "wawa" (waffle) with "bop" (dip, which is either syrup or Cool Whip), but other meals are pretty hit or miss.  One day he'll surprise us and chow down several meals in a row of the same foods he's been ignoring for weeks and then a day or two later he's back to his normal bird-like eating habits.
He's clearly not missing the extra calories; at his 18 month check-up Charlie weighed 26 lbs, 6 oz (76%) and was 33.5" tall (84%).  He still has a giant head (off the charts) but I think he just has a lot of brains in there.  ;)  Side note: I'm not sure I believe the weight at this appointment; last time we went to a sick visit on January 24th, he weighed 27 lbs, 14 oz and on January 13th he weighed 27 lbs, 6 oz (he had an ear infection and Impetigo, respectively). Granted, they weigh with clothes on at those visits so it's less accurate, but I find it hard to believe his clothes weigh 1.5 pounds AND he hasn't gained any weight in 6 weeks??
This weekend we were at Lowe's and Charlie was very impressed by the saw the worker was using.
Charlie is also hitting a really fun terrible-2s-esque phase.  This week he has taken to yelling our names over and over again until we respond.  When we do respond (whether the first time or after he's repeated himself numerous times) he usually doesn't have much to say then he just starts over again "Mom! Mom! Mom!"  Fun times.  Other times he yells our names and when he has our attention he says "Watch!" and does something silly or kicks a ball or throws something.  That's pretty cute, but we could do without all the demanding yelling.
Little stinker took LOTS of my shirts off their hangers.  I knew he was too quiet in there!!
He's taking after his brother in the athletics department. He has been able to throw pretty well for awhile but now he can actually catch sometimes too. He's also really good at kicking and loves to use the aforementioned attention-grabbing methods to show us this newly refined skill. Pretty impressive for a little guy I must say.
Charlie and his buddy Ethan Asher

Another fun little thing: Jason has been playing this little game with Jack for years where he says "Hey Jack, guess what" and Jack says "What?" and Jason says "I love you." He started doing this with Charlie too and instead of responding with "What?" Charlie started responding with "I Wuv Wu." Seriously melt my heart.
Charlie is a sweet little guy who loves to make us all laugh.  We are having a blast with our big toddler!!


Road Trip to Columbus!

Kelly and Greg had a wedding reception to attend in Columbus, OH in mid-March.   Since my parents' good friends, the Hodges, live there, Kel asked if they would want to meet them there for the weekend and watch Parker while they went to the wedding.  Jason and I caught wind of the plan and thought it was a good chance to get some Goforth time (Columbus is about halfway between St. Louis and Rochester), so we went along too!
On the road!  He said he wanted to hold those sticks until we got to "Hohio."   I think he made it about 20 minutes.
The boys were really great during the 7 hour drive each way, but we learned a valuable lesson on this road trip.  We thought it was a good idea to leave at bedtime so the boys would sleep in the car.  They did just that, but when we arrived at our hotel at 2:00am it was playtime!!  It took a very sleepy and very frustrated Mommy and Daddy until after 4:00am to get the boys back to sleep.  Phew!!  We won't be using that plan anymore!
2:30am - The luggage cart is like a jungle gym!

We had a nice weekend, though.  Friday the men played golf so we took the kids to the Columbus Zoo.  It was pretty chilly outside and we had a tight schedule so the kids could have decent naps to make up for the night before, so it was a short visit.

Parker & Kel checking out the baby elephant

Friday night we went to the Saneholtz's house.  Sarah is Joan and Larry Hodge's daughter so we've been friends our whole lives, but sadly we hadn't seen her and her family since our wedding in 2006.  We got to see Cole who was a baby then but is now seven and we met Cami who is five now.  We had a great time playing at their house - the kids loved checking out all their toys and especially the cool bouncy house in their basement.

Saturday morning we went to a St. Patty's Day parade - they live in Dublin, OH after all, so it was only fitting.  Jack had been to only one parade before - when the Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 - which he didn't really remember.  All the kids had a great time looking at all the people and floats.  We were about 4 people deep from the front so the prime seating was on any adult's shoulders.  Jack even got brave and weaved his way up to the fence at the front with Cole and Cami (even though he couldn't see us well from there).  We were impressed.  They got some candy from the people in the parade, including Jack's first taste of a Pixie stick (Why do those exist??? Colored sugar in a tube??).

After the parade we went out to lunch with the whole crew.
All the kids!  Camden, Parker, Jack, Charlie and Cole
Saturday night Grandma, Grandpa, Joan and Larry graciously agreed to keep Jack, Charlie and Parker overnight at the Hodge's house.  Kelly and Greg went to the wedding and Jason and I had a nice (quiet!) dinner out.

Sunday we headed home, but not before switching Charlie's car seat around to be forward facing.  We turned Jack around at one year, but were trying to wait as long as possible with Charlie since they now recommend holding off until they're two.  We knew we wouldn't make it to two since he is so big and it's getting harder and harder to cram him in there, so we thought just before a 7 hour car ride was a good opportunity to give him a new view.  He loved it!!  The whole way home he was calling our names - I think just because he could see us!