Thursday, June 30, 2011

Third "Car" Party

Christian's birthday party was a breakfast at his favorite neighborhood park - the SPARK. I was the one with park idea, but my mom was the inspired creative mind that came up with the idea of breakfast. This was after I told her that I thought June in the park would be too hot for most people.

I prepared many of CJ's favorite foods and flavors: bacon, banana-nut-chip muffins, strawberries (just "berries" to him), orange-strawberry fluff, and chocolate-peanut butter Krispies. His father was 100% in charge of the "toupe" (aka cantaloupe) and as usual they were perfect. We also had mango and orange juice. There were other items, coffee for one, that were not of real interest to the little guy. Yes, there was a birthday cake as well. I made one that CJ's Pop could eat, wheat and gluten free, and decided on dye free as well to cut down on any hyperactivity possibilities.  It was a white cake with "cream cheese" icing.

The SPARK is actually two play areas in the mist of many pine trees and separated by a large pavilion. We set up all of the tables, chairs, and food under the pavilion and were very grateful for the swift breeze that blew for the majority of the morning. We brought two of CJ vehicles with us and he spent a good deal of time riding his trike around all of the party goers. I am very proud that when one of the other children did manage to get a hold of the trike he shared nicely.

Christian had many, many, many friends and family attend his celebration and everyone was more than generous. CJ was overwhelmed with the trains, cars (of varying sizes and purposes), and dinosaurs too. Appa Frig helped CJ decide which toys need to make their way to a local mission for homeless mothers and children in order to make room for all of his new belongings. This is the only way that all of the new play things will fit in his room if he wishes to be able to walk around.

Here are a few pictures of the event:

CJ with the grandfathers
"The Loot"

Loving' some water

Bubbles with Appa and friends

Friends and Family

Pops, Grandma, Cousins Casey and Sarah, & Aunt Ann

Papaw, Parr, & Giselle

Elena, Ramiro, and son Tyler

Birthday morning - a few small gifts from Omma and Appa

Monday, June 20, 2011

Planes, Trains and No AutoMobiles

Christian and I took our first domestic plane rides together this weekend when we went took advantage of my three day weekend to visit his aunt and my sister Robin. He was very excited to get to she "Aunt RaRa" since he hadn't had the pleasure of her company since Christmas time. In fact, when I was packing early last week, and we told CJ why I was packing, he proceeded to put away his toys and get ready to go right then and there. That was when his father pulled out the USA puzzle and explained how far away she was and that it would require a plane trip.

Christian was very well behaved on both flights that took us to Ohio. Despite the fact that we were traveling well past his bed time he spent most of his time quietly occupying himself with the few cars we had brought with us. Thankfully the man next to us on the second, very late flight, was a grandfather that obviously enjoys children. He was loads of helping keeping CJ happy. By the time we loaded all of our belongings and ourselves into the car it was past 11 PM and CJ was asleep in about 11 minutes.

Aunt Robin had done an excellent job of preparing for our visit. She had borrowed a box full of trains and various vehiles for CJ and us to use. From another of her friends, the lady that was kind enough to take us to and from the airport, she borrowed a two-wheeler with training wheels for him to ride. This was his first experience on a two-wheeler and he took to it very fast. I suppose he may need his own for his birthday!

Aunt Robin had also planned a play date for one of the evenings that we were in town. Christian started off the party by sharing his Chex mix with the other two boys. He then became the pied-piper of food and led his new friends out into the backyard to eat hot dogs and play bubbles.

We spent lots of time riding the bike, playing at the park, and even discovered the wonders of the children's area of the library. Now we need to investigate our own library and see if it is as wonderful. CJ did miss having a car, and was very thankful for ours when we finally found it in the parking garage late last night. I enjoyed the closeness of a small community and using travel between locations as a means of exercise.

If you are noticing a distinct lack of photos in this post it is due to my poor packing and Robin's poor luck. I believe letting younger CJ play with her brand new camera in Korea may have dramatically shorten his its life span. We were able to borrow a camera on our last day together and I hope to have some of those pictures to post very soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Until last weekend Christian had never said his name in my presence. When people (those we meet in public, friends, or family) would ask him his name he would just stare at them blindly. It was more than obvious that he knew his name, but saying it was a whole other story.

That all changed last weekend. Out of the blue he goes from saying "mine" to "That's Christian's." or  from "My spoon." to "Christian's spoon." Maybe he was waiting until he felt more confident in his pronunciation, but I think the "Shishian" is super cute.

Last Monday I mentioned to Ms Kesa, his main teacher, how he started saying his name. Her reply was "Oh yes, we have been working on that." The following day he thanked me for something and Ms. Kesa told me how she likes that he always says thank you. My reply: "That is something we have been working on!" It felt good to know that our efforts were paying off outside of our presence.

Speaking of all things Christian's. I would like to thank my former student Matt H. for the books he donated. While he has only had the Thomas the Train easy reader for a few days it has quickly become a new favorite. Tonight when he couldn't find it on the shelf he quickly said "Where's Christian's book?" as if the others belong to someone else.