Friday, February 18, 2011

Wishing on an eyelash...

Charlie (age 7, size of a peanut) has been slow to learn to read. Unlike George (age 9, and nine year old size), who was reading in kindergarten, Charlie has struggled.

He was chosen to read one of the petitions (we pray to the Lord) at the kindergarten and first grade mass. He practiced each night and had it down pretty good. Yet, on the morning of the mass, he pulled me aside and said:

"I found an eyelash today and I blew on it to make a wish. I wished that I was a better reader."

I immediately dropped down to peer right in his sweet little face and said,"I have way more respect for a guy that finds it hard to read and keeps on trying than for someone it just comes easily to."

I couldn't make it to the mass. Nana and Poppop went and said he was great. My friend Audrey said he did awesome, that he read it like he had practiced for weeks.

When he got home, he and I jumped up and down screaming,"Yeah! Yeah!"

Then he begged to read to me. So we sat and he read his new book Big Nate. Two pages in, he was reading so well that I kept turning to him and asking, "Did you read this already? Did George read this to you?". I kept on asking and he kept insisting it was his first time reading it. Finally, he punched me in the arm and said, "I can read now!"

And I realized, his eyelash wish worked. The switch in his brain flipped. Charlie can read.

He is awesome. And a very brave little dude, too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why Charlie cracks me up...

Tonight Charlie came running upstairs while Matt and I were finishing dinner. Just as we were about to yell at him to get lost, he said, "Wait, wait-Mom's gonna love this- I just was stretching out this rubber snake and it snapped back and hit me in the coconuts!"

At which point, I am ashamed to admit, I burst out laughing. I love that guy...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Lovin' -Gorilla Yogi Style

I took Charlie and Clare to a Gorilla Yogis event at Powderhorn Park on Saturday. Even though Charlie said he was nervous he'd be too embarrassed to do yoga there, I told him its normal to be a little scared and we should just go for it. So, we grabbed 3 yoga mats and hopped in the van and headed across the river. As we neared Powderhorn Park, we saw a guy on a bike with a yoga mat strapped to his bike. We decided to follow him - the kids waved maniacally at him through the window.

When we got to the park, we had a way to walk to the event. We trudged over the grass and came to a group of thirty some people on mats. We unfurled our mats and waited to start. At least 40 more people came before class started - there were probably less than 10 kids total. The money collected went to the Youth Urban Farm Project and we practiced facing the farm plot.

We started our practice with tree pose and Clare got right into it. Charlie hung in
for at least half of the 75 minute class with some beautiful Warrior Poses. By final Shivasana, the kids were beat and just piled on top of me shading their eyes from the sun.

When we got in the van, Charlie said, "I had no idea it was gonna be like that - that was awesome!". What a great learning experience!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why Team Sports ROCK...

This week, George and Matt went to the end of the year swim team banquet. George was OBSESSED with winning a ribbon. The minute they walked in, George got a trophy (every kid got one just for being on the team). But he still only wanted the ribbon.

As they went through the ribbon presentation, George had both hands tensely poised with fingers crossed. Matt quickly realized the ribbons were being handed out to the all the kids that qualified for State. They were handing them out straight out of the printed program from State. George was not in the program because he went in place of a kid on the third and fourth grade relay that couldn't make it to the tournament. Once all the riboons were handed out and George hadn't won one, he was heartbroken. But as usual, he kept up a good front, trying to stay positive.

Then, special certificates were handed out. The coach got up and told the story of a second grader who joined the team for the first time this year. He talked about how this boy worked hard all year and really wanted to go to State, but in the end didn't qualify. Then he described how this boy was asked at the last minute if he would be interested in going to State on the third and fourth grade relay team. He said that the boy agreed to go without even hesitating and how impressive that was since it's intimidating to swim with older kids. George leaned over to Matt and said, "He's talking about me!"

When the coach announced George's name for Rookie of the Year, kids were shouting, "Yayy George! GEORGE!"

On the way home, George told Matt he was so happy when they called his name that he thought he was going to cry.

Needless to say, he can't wait to be on team next year...

Friday, April 02, 2010

George goes to State...

Last Saturday, George went to Prelims for the swim team. He competed in 25 yard freestyle and backstroke. I took him. It was insane, more kids running around in swim caps then I have ever seen in my life.

Poppop came with us. It was a lot of fun and I was so proud of George. George was convinced he was going to State. Poppop and I had our doubts.

That night, I went to the web site to see if George did make it to State. Not even close. The next morning when I broke the news to him, he looked totally deflated and said, "Awwww...." But then, he smiled and said it was OK, he'd try again next year.

That night as I was getting ready to go to bed, I got an email from Brian the coach. A spot had opened up on the 3rd and 4th grade 100 yard freestyle relay team. He wanted to know if George wanted to go to state.

The next morning I asked George. Before I could even get the full story out, he yelled, "I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!" He was so excited.

That night, Matt and I took George to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center for the State Tournament. We screamed like crazy people when he swam his leg of the relay. They took third place.

I emailed the coach the next day to thank him for giving George the chance to go to State. He emailed me back and said that George "definitely has a great attitude!"

I totally agree...

Charlie's First Date

Charlie has been mentioning a little girl from his class named Annie. Her name just seems to come up when he talks about his day. He has asked if he can go to her house. I think it's nice that he has a girl that he plays with at school, but I didn't think much of it.

Then I went with his class to the Arboretum, and Annie came running up to me asking when she could come over to our house. I talked to her mom, who was also chaperoning that day, and said we should set something up.

Next thing I know, Charlie came home and told us he was going to Annie's cabin for a sleep over. He told us that Annie asked him to come to his cabin over spring break. According to Charlie, when Annie asked him to come to her cabin, he asked her what exactly this whole "cabin" thing was about (in his version he uses air quotes for emphasis).

I called his mom and invited Annie over. She and I laughed at their little friendship. Apparently, Annie told her mom and dad that when Charlie spends the night at their cabin, they'll sleep in separate bunk beds until she gets scared. Then she'll have to climb into bed with Charlie.

When Annie came home with us after school, she was very sweet. Talkative, cute, energetic - a very nice little girl. Charlie and she walked around the backyard, talking and trying to figure out what to play. When Matt got home they were racing down the alley, Charlie being pushed on Clare's trike by Annie. Both Annie's mom and dad called during the playdate, just to see how it was going. They were very nice and loved hearing how much fun the kids were having playing together.

After they came inside, all they wanted to do was wrestle. I wasn't sure if that was totally fine or a little weird, but I let them wrestle anyway. I just stayed downstairs with them just to make sure Annie did get hurt.

When Annie's dad came to get her, she didn't want to go. I told her dad she should be exhausted after all the wrestling they did. Later that night, Charlie told Matt that he had a great day. He said, "I love today. And I love Annie."

And I love Charlie...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Charlie = Class Clown!

I went into the boys' school yesterday and taught yoga. Charlie was in my first class and he is just too much. He and his little buddy James sat next to each other and could not shut up! The minute I asked the group if they knew how we should breathe during yoga, Charlie was bouncing up and down off his matt yelling, "Oooo! Oooo! I know! I know!"

I decided to nip this in the bud, so I told the class, "I am going to call on my son for this first question, but then I won't call on him the rest of class. He gets to answer the first question and then he is done, OK?" They all seemed to think this was quite reasonable.

So I said, "OK Charles, how do we breathe during yoga?"

And he leapt up and yelled, "LIKE THIS!" And he proceeded to run full force around the room until he crashed into a wall and fell to the ground.

Amidst the kids' shocked laughter, I calmly stated, "No, that is not how we breathe, we actually breathe in and out our noses," and continued on with class.

During the remainder of class, Charlie periodically yelled, "HEY GUYS WATCH THIS!" He would then get in a yoga pose and hold it for a minute before crashing to the floor face first.

I had such a great time teaching the kids. And Charlie wasn't too distracting - he was kind of funny. But I did find it a bit disturbing that tiny little Charlie is apparently a bizarre reincarnation of Chris Farley...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A night of bliss and back to THIS???

Matt and I went to the new W Hotel in the Foshay Tower in Downtown Minneapolis on Friday night for a mini-getaway. We left the clan with Marjahn (our beloved sitter) on Friday at 4:15 and hightailed through traffic it to Minneapolis.

After parking in the TCF lot, we went into the skyway system, bought some soup at Panera because we were both starving and made our way to the W. Unfortunately, Matt neglected to follow his self-proclaimed most important rule "never listen to Chrissy for directions" and let me suggest we go through the skyway to get to the W instead of doing the obvious and walking directly across the street to the hotel lobby. We spent an extra ten minutes at least winding around the skyways until we got to the W. But cooler heads prevailed and not a cross word was spoken...

We checked in and went up to a small but luxiouriously modern (and very dark) hotel room. We explored the movie options for the night (I was confident I would watch three movies before bed) and then hopped in the ginormous bed for a pre-dinner nap. I was in HEAVEN.

At about 6:00 we got back up, got dressed and headed up to the 27th floor to the Prohibition Bar. It was very dark and back lit with purple light (much like the rest of the W) and had all kinds of nooks and crannies with sofas and chairs (and a bed?) for people to drink in. We didn't see anyone we liked better than ourselves therefore went back down to the lobby. We decided to eat at Manny's Steakhouse at 7:15, so we got our names on a list and headed over the the Barnes and Noble. Although it was huge, it was still just a B&N, so we quickly went back to the Living Room (the W Hotel's bar in the lobby). We sat in a little sofa/chair area and drank diet coke and n/a beer.

But then Dinner. We ate a ton of food - salad, steak (Matt), fish (me), hashbrowns (Matt), baked potato (me), and had a blast. We are convinced we were sitting by a boss who was sleeping with his employee and an eHarmony couple. After a couple of coffees, we went back up to the room. We watched The Box (Cameron Diaz pushes a button on a box and gets a million dollars and someone gets killed). We also had Sebastian Joe's ice cream (delivered in the pint container with a spoon) and it was PERFECT. I only made it through one other movie - The Time Traveller's Wife (the book was better).

The next morning, we awoke at 8:00 (so much for sleeping in) and ordered room service and watched the first half of Capitalism A Love Story (Michael Moore - very good, I need to rent it to watch the end).

And then we checked out and headed home to our (little) peeps. As we pulled up to the house, we were so excited to be reunited with our three little buddies. I asked Matt,"What do you think they'll be doing when we walk in?"

Well, this is the scene we were greeted by: We walked in and all was quiet. Matt called out, "Hey, we're home! Anybody live here???"

And a stampede was heard trampling up the basement stairs - led by Clare, who yelled, "MOM! DAD! The toilet is overflowing!!!!"

Needess to say, the toilet was overflowing - it had even leaked a bit into our laundry room. We took a deep breath and began the cleaning up process. I won't share the gory details, but let's just say it was essentially a crime scene in our bathroom. And neither Charlie nor Clare will tell us exactly what happened in there (George was not involved).

A beautiful night away and back to reality....