you know, that week after Disney

Charlie, in my working backwards way, we are now at the week after Disney.

You had a baseball game that Sunday.

BTW, you played baseball with the state all-star football players before we left for Disney. Here you are with your buddy E.

We also went to Chicago before Daddy headed back to work. . . We went to the Shedd (we go a lot) and the Children's Museum at Navy Pier.

At the Shedd, you actually enjoyed the penguins. We sat and watched them for some time. You loved getting close to the glass and one kept swimming up to you. . .

At the Children's Museum, the water table was once again a favorite. This time you actually climbed up the crow's nest to the next floor. The whole time you were saying "Help Charlie!" and "Save Charlie!" as your Daddy helped you from behind. . . The girl at the top thought it was funny, Daddy didn't.

They have a room that is always changing. This time it was full of race tracks. All kinds. I think we spent the most time here.


the past week

Charlie, I know, you want to read about Disney. . . We will get to it. There are a lot of pictures for that. . .

This past weekend was the 4th. You drove your tractor in a neighborhood parade. We also went to the zoo to see the new flamingos.

We also did a little swimming. . . You really enjoyed the splash area, specifically the buckets.

We took a trip to Chicago with E, A, and Aunt M. We ventured to the Shedd, Water Tower, a fire house and a park near it. You have decided you want to be a fire truck. The really nice fire fighters let you sit in the truck and took their picture with you, before needing to leave to answer a call. You enjoyed seeing the engine leave the fire house. 


last day of ECE


Today is your last day of ECE. You had your first day back on December 2, 2013. . . When we went for your evaluation sometime that November, Mrs. K was the first one to greet us as we walked into the building. She greeted you by name, this told us how special your school was going to be. (Mrs. K, I so hope you realize how much that small gesture made to us. It told us so much about the environment of the school where someone we just happened to meet on the stairs knew our son's name already. We had no idea you would be working with Charlie twice a week for almost 3 full school years, we just knew it was a school who cared enough to be sure teachers and staff knew who was coming and would possibly be new Rookies.) Your Mommy may have been apprehensive about sending you off to school (okay, I was very scared) but honey, you have grown sooooooo much.

Your first day of ECE. I took you to school that morning and left you with Mrs. L (crying and screaming) that day. You have since come to love school. You asked about going on the weekends and over the summer. You gained language skills, you learned to climb stairs, you drove a tractor, you worked on throwing and catching, jumping, played at a water table, showed others your love of pirates, Perry, Doofenshmirtz, and trains (Thank you Mrs. L for allowing Charlie to share these loves with you and going along with it.)You called Mrs. S gorgeous and became a rock star.

You had one Mrs. L for two years and then moved on to another Mrs. L. Instead of going to school in the morning, you moved to the afternoon. I was nervous, yet again. You continued to grow and shine. You lost your interest in pirates, but your love for Doofenshmirtz increased. (You told me many times he isn't evil, just misunderstood.) You played with your friends at school and were invited to your first school friend birthday party. You showed how you like to give voices to the characters you play with at the doll house at school. You finally held a crayon without hand-over-hand support. You spell and Mrs. L encouraged your spelling and sounding out of new words. You grew to love numbers and shared your love of numbers with Mrs. L and Mrs. M. You continue to charm and smile those around you. With Mrs. L and Mrs. M you cooked this school year. Every Friday you made something at school. I can't imagine cooking with a group of 4 and 5 year olds. (They are brave.)

When you started we had to drag information out of you. We used your communication book to get "yes/no" responses that were not always accurate. Now you start out with "I want to tell you about my day!" This started this year and I am so glad it has. Without prompting you tell us about your day and share details that are not in the communication book. (We know who was and wasn't at school and what others ate for lunch.) You share information! Mrs. L tells us how you initiate the conversation for the group during snack time.  I love this.

You rode the bus. You love the school bus and Miss A and Miss L. (sorry, you will not be riding the bus next year. . .)

You had so many "teachers" who worked with you directly and indirectly.  (We have always looked at everyone at school as a teacher. They are all there supporting your education.) Mrs. S and Mrs Y for speech. You would refuse to work, but you did it with a smile. Miss H for OT, who may have had to work the hardest to get you hold a crayon and keep it. Mrs K who walked many hallways and stairs with you. (I can't imagine the number of miles she has logged walking the hallways and stairs.) I know others have worked with you. Mrs. R and Mrs. M next door this school year. Mrs. D who worked with you in ESY for the past two summers and Mrs. O this past summer. There was Mrs. M and H in the office and the your awesome principal Mrs. H. (Even though she tried teaching you to cheer for other teams.)

When you walk into the building you are greeted by name still. Not because someone took the time to be sure teachers knew who was coming that day, but because they know you and care about your success and growth. I love the foundation they have set for your love of learning. I pray it continues as you move onto kindergarten (Oh, you will get off the bus as a kindergartener! Deep breath.)

I hope you continue to dance into school and greet your teachers by name and with a smile on your face. I want you to ask to go to school and to be excited about what you will do that day and be excited about sharing it. I hope the smile you are giving here on your last day of ECE is the same or bigger this time next year.


Family Day 4.0


Today is Family Day. Four years ago we carried you out of the black gates at Hannah's Hope. Happy Family Day! We love you.


weird food


This school year you have come up with some weird food. . .

1) In the fall, you told us how Miss Jana gave you corn dogs and black ketchup for lunch. You went on and on about awesome the black ketchup was. Yea. . . you didn't eat the corn dog and there was no black ketchup. (Shocked about the no black ketchup thing.) You are not a fan of hot dogs and you have never used ketchup, let alone black ketchup.

2) Today. You invented a food. Chocolate kale. Again, you had it at Miss Jana's, at least according to you. Miss Jana thinks it is a good idea. You might be onto something. . .



Charlie, once upon a time a family of three sat at the dinner table. As one parent crammed a bite into their month and then got their son to take a bite (using hand-over-hand with a spoon and let us be honest, eventually just feeding you to get the process over, this could last up to 40 minutes to get their son to eat all of his food) the other parent sang two verses of "Old MacDonald." By the end of the second verse, parent 1 was wanting food and a chance to breathe, while parent 2 was desperately trying to remember which animals had and had not been used as the roles switched up. It was amazing to discover the animals who could live on the farm and also make noises. (Again, for the sake of honesty, it was about the animals who could make noise. A rabbit is great, but you were not into the idea of a nose moving up and down. BTW- you are the son and we are the parents in this story.)

Tonight we read the Pete the Cat version of the song. I loved how you provided the animal noises. I especially loved the rooster noise. You have come a long way. . .




So you started back to school yesterday. You had been asking to go back for about a week. . .  

Over break you got a haircut. I guess several teachers asked you about it. Jana shared when I picked you up, Mrs H had said your response was consistent throughout the day. "My hair is gone, but it's okay."

I guess your friend E (or as you refer to her, "My best friend, E") was not at school today. You told everyone she wasn't there. I am assuming you missed her since you talked about her all break.

So the best part of the day? Bath.

Before your bath you climbed up on my lap while I was sitting on the step stool just to cuddle. As you climbed up you asked, "Are you my girl?" Someday you are not going to want to cuddle (or fit in my lap). Someday you are not going to think of me as your girl, but today you do. I love today.