Charlie turned two! I can’t believe it! The time has gone quickly, as they say, but it is hard to imagine life without him. We had his party the weekend after his actual birthday, so it was pretty low-key the day of his birthday. Before Dad left for work, we picked up some donuts. He sure loves donuts...and so do we! That afternoon, we met up with Grandma Gruber, Uncle Karl, and the Riverton Grubers to check out the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. Again, you have got to love having family with a season pass! Despite the huge, crazy crowd, I was so impressed with the museum! The place was so awesome...I may have even enjoyed it more than Charlie. Charlie is content just walking (or running) around the room. It gets a little stressful when there are so many people around, but I definitely had some help from Karl and Nancy. I can’t wait to go back and take Jason. I just know that he will love it! They did such a good job on the place! After exploring the museum and spending a little time at the splash pad there, we had lunch at Zupas (Alex’s request). It is so funny that an eight-year-old boy would choose Zupas over burgers and fries. Can I also just mention how much I love all of the new restaurants that are popping up by Thanksgiving Point. Ah, it is so convenient having so many yummy choices there! Love it!
Later that night, I experimented and made some Navajo Tacos (thank you, Pinterest). They turned out so tasty (too bad Charlie wouldn't even try it, of course)! It was the week of Strawberry Days, so after dinner, we went to the carnival. We walked around, got some treats, and picked up a birthday present for Charlie. We found an Usborne booth and really loved a lot of the books they had to offer.
The only other thing worth mentioning from that day was our Amazon packages being stolen! We were so excited for a tricycle to arrive that day, and when I checked the delivery status, it said it had been delivered that morning. Yet, there was no package on our porch. I asked the neighbors if they had seen anything, and Katina did mention she saw a guy in a white truck come and pick up the packages. I was hoping that meant Jason, but had already talked to him about the missing packages. I was also confused that she would say packages (plural) since we were expecting one package. Anyways, turns out that they were legitimately stolen! We found out a couple of days later that the Tuttles had also ordered and sent an Amazon package to us that should have arrived that day, as well. So, yes, there were packages (plural)! Can I just say how much I love Amazon?!? They are so great. I called them the day I noticed it was missing and they immediately sent out a new one...it was like a five minute conversation, tops! I expected to have to wait a few days or send some kind of proof, but they ordered a new one right away and it arrived two days later, in time for his party! The Tuttles were able to do the same and have their gift re-sent. Amazon rocks! I am just glad that Charlie is at an age that he has no idea what a birthday is...so he wasn’t heartbroken when no gifts arrived on his birthday (even though I may have been).
The day of his party arrived, and we were so excited to celebrate with the family. We wanted to keep it small this year and at a more convenient location. As much as we would have loved to have another party up the canyon, we just didn’t want to ask everyone to drive all the way up there. We wanted to settle for a BBQ in one of the nearby parks (either Discovery in Pleasant Grove or Draper City Park). Neither of those worked because Discovery was already booked, and Draper didn’t have a BBQ grill. As we kept looking at different parks, the results proved the same...booked or no grill. Ah, I have learned my lesson. When it comes to parks and summertime, you have to reserve well in advance! We ended up having the party at the Grubers in Alpine, and it was perfect! We had no reservation fee, and the set up and food storage was so much easier than it would have been.
Here is the invitation I made using Pixingo. I love how it turned out! The photography on the front was done by my friend, Amy Stallings (more of her two year are pictures towards the end of the post). Check her out!
As I mentioned, we kept the party small this year...only immediate family. Those who attended were George, Nancy, Karl, the Riverton Grubers, my parents, and Bryan. The food included grilled hamburgers, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit, chips, drinks, vanilla cupcakes, and homemade peppermint ice cream. The family was so great to contribute and bring food. It made it so nice! It was such a fun and pleasant evening (even with my stressed-out hostess brain on). The weather was perfect and we couldn’t have been happier. Another birthday party down...countless more to go!
Of course, all the other kids were more interested in his trike than he was
I wanted to conclude this post with my observations from Charlie’s 24th month of life. Charlie has gotten a lot better at consistently signing “more”. This especially picked up when Kids on the Move introduced the Learning Box. This is our “work box” designed to help encourage interaction, listening/obeying skills, and lengthening attention span. Justine (our Kids on the Move representative) really got him interested in signing “more” as he had to do the sign before being able to move on to the next activity in the box. By now, he uses that sign for practically anything and thinks it will get him whatever he wants. It did for a bit, but now we are encouraging actual words...not that we are getting any. But it has been a breath of fresh air seeing him communicate in some legitimate way other than just pointing or whining.
Speaking of Learning Box, he just loved that thing! Everyday, sometimes twice a day, he would go the the closet door where he knew it was kept. It was usually the first place he would go in the morning after breakfast. I loved it because he kept getting better and better at it. I realized how smart he really is, even though he isn’t talking. He is great at matching colors and objects, and loves doing the little technical activities, like sliding a rope through beads. He would spend a good thirty to forty minutes doing the activities in the box, which is the ultimate goal of the box. I was thrilled! Justine warned me that the excitement of the box would probably fade with time, but to continue to try to push him for more attention.
Charlie has become obsessed with carrying things around with him. Sippy cups, cups, spoons, cars, whatever it is, he carries it around forever and demands to take it with him in the car if we leave, in the store, to bed, etc. He definitely likes things a certain way.
He also loves to clean up, especially when he hears the “clean up song”. For example, at nursery one day, he was really upset. He was crying and needing to be held and cuddled by one of the leaders. As soon as they started singing the clean up song for the blocks, he immediately stopped pouting, hurried over to clean up, and was just fine after that. I really like this “clean up” obsession he has. We’ll keep that one!
I have switched to using the iPad to distract him while changing him. It has been nice to just leave it there, and he almost seems eager to be changed...which has been a nice change! But, he has definitely had days where he doesn’t want to part from it, so sadly we will need to wean him from it. I figure if he is going to cry for a half hour after changing him, it is not worth it. The purpose has been lost! I would rather deal with a crying, cranky boy for a few minutes while changing him than create a monster who demands his iPad for every little thing. Oh how my parenting choices are ever-changing!
As you can see, most of the still (non-blurry) pictures I can get of Charlie are when he is watching TV.
And here are Amy's amazing shots from his Two Year Photo Shoot:
(the focus was capturing what Charlie loves best...playing with cars)
Happy Birthday, Charlie!