Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlie Casanova

I'm not so sure if Charlie's little love-hormones would have kicked in at this young age if the tall, statuesque, blonde ex-model hadn't moved in down the street... but, she did. And he is smitten...

Danae moved down the street about two years ago. She's stunning and incredibly sweet - a combo most men seem to flock to (and why wouldn't they?), but five-year-old little boys? It never crossed my mind that a kindergartener would develop a crush on an older, married woman!

We first started to notice that Charlie had a little thing for her when everytime she'd come by he'd scream at the top of his lungs - "Danae!!!!!!!!!!!!" - and run to her for hugs and kisses. Mind you, even mommy - who spent nine months growing him in her womb and 14 hours of labor getting him out - does not receive such a jubilent and enthusiastic welcome. One night, when Danae was out of town, we had her husband, Mark, over for dinner. Without so much as a "hello," Charlie walked right up to him and asked, "Excuse me, but where's your wife?" It was then that we knew the kid had it bad. And not even a husband would stand in the way of his love for her... I caught him a few weeks later trying to convince her to not "get old" so he could grow up and marry her.

We asked him one night why he liked Danae so much, and he responds, "Ohh, she's soooo pretty, Mom." Ha ha. The great part is that he's right. She's beautiful. He has great taste... just bad timing.

And while I'd like to report that my son is a one-woman man, it seems his love for the ladies is
beginning to take on a life of its own. Just last week, another stunning mom, Lisa, was driving her kids in their golf cart around the neighborhood. She made a stop at our driveway for a chat. Charlie, who was sidewalk-chalking runs right up to her and writes on the street L-O-V-E with an arrow pointing right to her. I've seen him do that before, but only to Danae. I leaned over to my other neighbor, Jenny, and whispered to "Just wait. I bet you anything Charlie thinks Lisa is pretty." When she drove off, we asked Charlie why he wrote LOVE for Miss Lisa. He started twirling in little love-smitten circles and saying "Pretty, pretty, pretty!!"

On Halloween, we were grabbing a quick lunch and ran into an old friend from Pre-K, Rylee, at Chick-fil-a. Charlie was in the glassed-in playroom and Rylee was sitting with her mom at the table adjacent to the glass. Charlie walked right up to the glass where she was and started hamming it up trying to make her laugh. I told Rylee's mom that he was flirting and we got in a discussion about how they're too young for puppy love... I, of course, told her about Danae and Lisa. And as if on cue, Charlie comes out of the playroom and tells me that he doesn't want to leave... "I want to stay here with Pretty Gorgeous ALLLLLLL day" I about spit out my coke laughing! Again, great taste. Rylee was the prettiest little thing in his Pre-K class. At least he's getting better on picking ladies his own age!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As Seen on TV

My child is extremely brand aware. Extremely. He is a marketer's dream - a true product of a modern society inundated with advertising. He chalks cityscapes on the driveway for his matchbox cars filled with Best Buys, Dairy Queens, Targets, and McDonalds. He draws marker and crayon pictures of company brand logos -- in fact, I recently found a rather charming depiction of the money you could be saving with Geico.

I hate this!! He should be daydreaming of super heroes and race cars, not the mass subsidiaries of Corporate America!

A while back, I remember learning that it is illegal to directly advertise to children 6 and under. Which explains why Noggin, Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. do not have commercials. Happily, I contained his television-watching to these stations to cut down on the all-consuming brand awareness. However, five year olds seem to hit this point where they are not babies anymore and lose all interest in "baby shows". All of a sudden, he wants to watch Suite Life with Zack & Cody on the Disney Channel and the ever-delightful SpongeBob on Nickelodeon... All of which come with those obnoxious "As Seen on TV" five-minute commercials.

A few weeks back, I hear him calling me into my bedroom. I run in and he points to the TV and he says, "Mommy! Mommy! That thing on TV will grow tomatoes upside down! And there's the number you call to order it!"

Great. My five year old is brainwashed by the "Topsy-Turvey" tomato-growing wonder. This is the power of advertising, folks. Charlie won't even EAT a tomato. If only they had big budget commercials with celebrities and jingles aimed at getting kids to eat vegetables... now that's a commercial I could go for.
If that were not enough, I sent him back to his bathroom yesterday to brush his teeth before camp. He comes running back to the kitchen with his toothbrush in one hand and an almost completely empty tube of SpongeBob toothpaste in the other.

"Mom! I tried to get the last bit of toothpaste out, but it's stuck! If only I had a Touch n' Brush, then I could get out the bottom drop of the toothpaste and brush my teeth!!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Charlie's Conversations with Service People

Today was a big day for errands. Charlie, my little sidekick, came along with me.

We went to some stores, and then stopped in to get the little man a much-needed haircut. I normally have a woman named Barbara cut his hair. I try to stick with Barbara when I can because she's already used to and adores his percocious personality. For example, their first haircut together, he told her all about his wife in preschool AND all about his girlfriend in preschool. And how he's going to work at McDonalds when he grows up (she suggested he might want to work somewhere else to support a wife AND girlfriend). And then he went on to tell her how he was a "little bit nervous" about her cutting his hair. And to top off the whole cut, he pointed out that she has a different color skin than he does and they had a long discussion on their racial differences as I sat on the edge of my seat wondering where his little mind and mouth would take that...

But today, Barbara was on vacation. So, a young, blonde girl with streaks of pink in her hair got the job...

Charlie, not one for being quiet, began the conversation like this, "What job did you have before you had this one?"

She told him this was her first job.

"Well, what kind of job are you going to have next?"

She told him she'd probably still have this job.

"Well, I think you should go work at that five-dollar-footlong store."

"You think I should work at Subway?" she asked.

"Yeah, because then you could make sandwiches."
*The photo attached is the picture of Charlie having two post-haircut suckers at a time. Because one sucker is for suckers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What do boobies do?

Charlie and I have a special time in the morning that we call, "Snuggle Buggles". That is the time when he first wakes up and climbs in my bed and we cuddle and have little chats.

This morning, he climbs in and gets all comfy with me. I was telling him all about the day that was coming up... art camp in the morning, then a few hours at day care and then swim lessons... when he turns to me, points to my chest and asks, "What do boobies do?" (Don't you love how out-of-the-blue five year olds think?)

For a moment I was going to make something up, but then remembered my neighbor who had a baby when her daughter was three and a half. Her little girl was not given any fair warning that the new baby would be breastfeeding and was quite shocked to see her new brother suckling away at the teet. So... as always, I made an attempt at reality and decided to fess up on the true functionality of boobies - watered down slightly for a five year old.

I said, "Mommy's boobies are going to make milk for your baby brother to drink when he is born." I waited for the shock to appear on his face at this, but funnily enough, this news did not even phase him. He was more enthused than anything. He lifted up his shirt and pointed to his nipples and said, "Yay! When will my boobies make milk!?"

"Boys can't make milk and boys don't really have boobies."

"Well, then what do these do?" He wonders as he investigates his nipples.

"They don't really do anything. They're decoration, I guess."

"Decoration?! You mean, like for a party!?"


Dear god, I am just now praying he doesn't decide at some poor child's birthday party to lift up his shirt and suggest he decorate the festivities...

Saturday, May 30, 2009


We saw the new Pixar movie, Up, tonight with Brad and his daughter, Emma, who live across the street. Charlie really enjoyed the movie, but he has a few lessons to learn about being quiet in a movie theater. Everything that came on the screen, he felt the need to describe again... out loud. If there were clouds on the screen, he'd use his outside voice to explain, "Clouds!!!" I found this to be comedic and endearing and clearly blog-worthy, but Mike thought we should explain that it's respectful to be quiet...

But Charlie's a thinker. And he hasn't yet pieced together in his adorable head the reasoning as to why one would want to be quiet in a public theater. Therefore, the shushing of his comments only lasted a few minutes before he'd forget his manners and go back to his loud chatter.

So you can understand the irony when, only a few minutes into the movie, a woman sitting behind us found a scene to be quite funny and she laughed very loudly... Charlie turned around abruptly and said, "Hey lady! Would you please stop laughing!? I can't hear the movie!!"

She did not find that to be as funny as I did...

On our drive back home, Mike and Brad, both engineers for oil companies, began a discussion about the oil drill in the field across from our neighborhood. (Yes, you read that correctly... there is a large oil rig in the field across the street. The family that used to have a cow pasture struck black gold... and has traded up for a giant, well-lit oil rig. What can I say... it's Texas.)

Anyway, in their nerdy discussion about it's operation, the two five year old's little ears perked up in the backseat... and the conversation sounded a little like this:

Brad (referring to the oil rig): It reminds me of the coker that I used to work on with one unit down at the refinery.

Emma: Daddy, you make Coke!?

Brad: No Emma, that doesn't mean we make alot of Coca-Cola. It's a different kind of coke, like ground up coal.

Charlie: Kohl's!? I love that store!

Ha ha ha!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tech Junkie

My five year old child has lived his whole life in a world of technological advancement. He has never known a day without cell phones, computers, iPods, digital HD cable, DVDs, handheld video games... heck, he can fully operate our DVR beacause in this day and age, you don't have to miss your favorite morning tv show just because your parents need to get to work.

Most recently he has become tech savvy with our iPhones: those irresistable multi-media gadgets that go everywhere mom and dad go. Anywhere access to games, movies, music and the big favorite - YouTube. Like his dad, Charlie's perfectly content to stream video for hours. He even knows the difference between my older iPhone that runs on the Edge network and Mike's which is on the vastly superior 3G network. The difference being the download speed. For those of you who own an iPhone, you know that there is a loading period for your YouTube videos and acquired applications. Well, for five year olds... a loading period lasts a lifetime... and without a WiFi connection or in a spotty 3G zone, forget about it!!

Needless to say, Charlie has learned that sometimes you just have to wait for things to load.

And maybe you're wondering where I am going to get a Charlie-ism from this...

Well, this past weekend, we traveled to Austin for Mike's graduation. On Thursday morning, Charlie and I met my mom, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece in the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Charlie tugged on my shirt and announced that a bathroom visit was necessary. I followed him down the hall and we made our way into the ladies room. I got him settled and standing in front of a toilet, pants down, all ready to go... and then I waited. Finally, I asked Charlie, "Do you really need to go? Where's the pee-pee?"

Without a hitch, he replies, "It's loading..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Charlie's First T-Ball Game

Charlie is on a spring t-ball team with the West End Little League. His team is named the Green Tops and is coached by Coach Kevin, who was also Charlie's soccer coach in the fall. Today was Charlie's first game! And as with all things, Charlie brought his own little flavor to the game.

Charlie's first time up to bat was very uniquely Charlie. After a few tries, he hit the ball off the tee and began his path around the bases. From second base to third, Charlie walked - yes, walked. Nonchalantly and leisurely. And with total disregard to the entire audience of parents urging him to "Run!" I joined in to the encouragement and began shouting, "Run, Charlie!! Run!!". To this, he stopped. He looked at me for a moment. And the he screamed, "Nooooooooo!!!!" and began again his walk to third. It was at that point that I switched from the photo to video setting on my camera...

He did much better on his second time up to bat and running the bases. Below you'll find the videos of round 2.

To First Base:

To Second Base:

To Third:

To Fourth:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


In a previous post, I mentioned how desperate our child is for a sibling. Well, much to his dismay, he's still the one and only apple in our eyes. But last October, Charlie was very happy to welcome to the world Emily Reese, his cousin. A few weeks ago, she came down to Texas for a visit. Before her arrival, we busily prepared collecting all necessary baby items from our neighbors. It had been awhile since a baby was in our household. But, the little man couldn't have been more excited and proud when Grammy Barb, Auntie Carol and Baby Em drove up. He insisted that every neighbor come over and make their introductions with Emily. He showed her off as his prized possession. So happy he is to have her. It was only last week that someone asked him if he had a brother or a sister and he simply said, "I don't have a brother or a sister. But I have a cousin!"

The baby bathtub passed inspection:

I have a cousin and this deserves two thumbs up!

Here baby. Play.

I wasn't allowed to hold her at Christmas because I had a cold. But now... now, I am holding her and I am soooo happy!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For the Love of Papa

My stepdad, Darrell, has been the father-figure in my life. I didn't always get along with him, but as I grew, so did our relationship. He was, after all, the guy who always slipped me a twenty dollar bill whenever I batted my eyelashes and implored, "Pleeeease!!" He was the one who gave me the Dad-esque disappointed silent treatment when I was making wrong decisions. He was the one who walked me down the aisle and let me hold onto him for dear life as he gave me away. And he was the one on whom I perfected my sarcastic wit.

But poor Darrell. As much as we love the man, none of us have ever shared his interests. You see, Darrell is a good ol' Southern boy. He likes to hunt, fish, watch NASCAR, eat greasy home cooking, and work with his hands. And, well, as I was growing up, he was on his own in those pursuits.

He tried taking all of us camping once. Being city-slickers (or, really, suburbs-slickers), my mom, brother and myself opted to sleep in the van before we'd dare sleep with the ground only a layer of nylon away.

He tried taking my mom out to the fields when shooting pheasant a few times. She accompanied him, of course - but always under the condition that she could get a WiFi signal on her laptop and could find a nice spot in the sun to set out a folding chair for reading Wall Street trading books.

He tried taking my brother out fishing. My brother flat refused to pierce a worm with a hook, as this was inhumane. Actually, he flat refused to touch the worm in the first place, as they were slimy.

He tried taking me canoeing when we lived in Florida. I spent the entire trip crying for fear the boat would tip and we'd be immersed in murky waters that contained living creatures. Ick!

Eventually, he gave up on us and bought himself a companion. When I was in 8th grade, Darrell brought home a puppy - a German Shorthaired Pointer - and named her, Molly. But this dog was to be his dog. A real hunter. Fully trained to fetch fallen birds. She was to live in the backyard, was on a strict diet (no people food!) and was not to become accustomed to the comforts of an indoor dog. This lasted for a surprisingly long time until Darrell had to go out of town on business... When he came back, Molly was right at home as the family pet! In one weekend, we had spoiled her of training, invited her to live inside and found her new sleeping quarters in the middle of his bed. I had even taught her to sit on a kitchen table chair and eat food off my fork.

And that is how life was for Darrell. He never really had a chance against the three of us... until 2004.

April 29, 2004, Darrell finally found himself a friend weighing in at 6 lbs., 8 oz.

My child adores Darrell. And Darrell adores him. Everything Papa loves, the little man loves it too.

A few days ago, as I was getting Charlie ready to head out the door for the day, he turns to me and says, "Mom, you know who knows everything?"

"No, baby, who knows everything?" I ask.

"Papa does."

"Oh, yeah? He does, does he? Well, don't ever tell him that because I think I can hear his ego exploding a thousand miles away," and I scooted his little tushy out the door and into the car headed for school.

That night, we were chatting on speakerphone with Daddy who was out of town on business. Charlie accidentally hung up on him, and in trying to call him back, called Papa instead. There was some confused exchanges as they both figured out who was on the line, but once established, oh, how happy they were to talk to each other:

"Papa, you know everything," Charlie says.

"Well, I don't think I know everything. But, I know some things."

"Yes, you do, Papa. You know everything. You know everything about Jeff Gordon."

Papa laughs. (The ego is about to blow.)

"You know everything about fishing, too. And McDonald's! And Cracker Barrel!" adds Charlie.

Papa, incapable of resisiting such accolades, adds, "And golf!" (yup, there goes the ego...)

"Yeah! And helicopters!"

It only took twenty years, but Darrell has a very faithful and appreciative companion with whom to share all of his favorite things.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Bubbles!

Last night, I thought it'd be nice and relaxing to read a book in a luxurious bubble bath. Really, I should know better than to plan anything relaxing while in the company of my four year old by now. Charlie was drawn to the bubbles like a moth to flame. My "Mommy Quiet Time" was anything but. At first, he liked to pull handfuls of bubbles off the top and blow them at the cat. When that lost its appeal, he started dipping various toys in the bubbles to get them "dirty" and then "clean" them in the running water. Naturally, it was important to then test what Mommy looks like with bubbles on her head. (I wasn't planning on getting my hair wet - oh well!!). And then Mom needed a bubble-beard. Following that, he began to be curious as to what would happen if we turned on the jets - so we did. Bubbles grew exponentially. Obviously, at that point, he HAD to get in...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Charlie's Perspective

I am endlessly amazed by the sweet and innocent way that children see the world. You and I see a receipt envelope with the Amazon logo. Charlie sees a smiley man.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I often joke that Charlie has always been a fourth child begrudginingly stuck in an only child's body. He coos over babies. He oogles over toddlers. He falls effortlessly into friendships with any passing kid who will play. And just last night we found him on a friend's couch cradling a babydoll and poking at its eyes. "I'm giving the baby eyedrops," he explained. The poor child just wants a sibling...

That desire for a brother or sister - admist Mike's and my indecision to procreate for a second time - has materialized into an interest in all things baby. But most recently, his curiosity seems to be concentrated on the subject of where babies come from. And comedy, of course, ensues.

A few weeks ago, I picked Charlie up from school and on the drive home he asks, "Mommy, did you draw me?"

I was confused, "What do you mean, Baby, 'did I draw you'?"

"When you made me, did you draw me?" he continued.

"Ohhhhh!" I said, laughing at the sweetness of his curiosity. I gave my best explanation. "No, Baby. Mommy and Daddy made you, but we didn't draw you."

"Well. How did you and Daddy make me?" he pressed.

"Well, Daddy put you in Mommy's tummy and then you grew in there and nine months later I went to the hospital and had you!" I thought that had done it. I was able to answer the unanswerable with not too much detail and avoided lies about storks. Ever the case, I was impressed with my wise motherly explanation a little prematurely...

He wasn't satisfied. "But how did Daddy put me in your tummy?"

Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no!!! How do you answer that!? My brain wasn't quick enough! I couldn't think of anything but the truth and I wasn't about to tell him the whole truth! "Let's talk about that with Daddy a little later tonight when he gets home, ok?" Ahhh, there we go. I opted for delay and was relying on his four year old brain to forget to bring it back up.

"Ok," he said. "But... can I watch when you and Daddy make my baby brother?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Last June, Mike and I realized that our listening to the radio in the car was no longer unnoticed by our little backseat rider. On the drive from Charlotte to Wilmington for my best friend's wedding, we heard something along these lines coming from a small voice in the backseat:

"Apple Bottom Jeans!!! Hoops and the fiiirrrr! Everybody lookin' at herrrrrrr!!!! She hit the floor! Next thing you know! Low low low low low!"

Mike and I just looked at each other - both stunned and amazed - then we laughed and laughed!

Charlie, always the ham for attention, performed this same adorable rendition of rapper FloRida's Low just minutes before walking down the aisle as Ring Bearer. What can I say - We raise a classy kid.

Since then, he has gotten to be quite well versed in Top 40. It is now common background noise to hear him singing himself a Charlie-version of a pop song as he colors or draws chalk on the driveway.

Sometime last week, as Mike and I were relaxing on the couch, we were surprised to hear Charlie singing a tune in a new location - on the potty. Like I said, classy kid. Ever the parents who run for the camera, we caught the following on video and look forward to the day we can show this to a future girlfriend. See if you can figure out his song. (You may need to turn up your volume!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

US Airways Flight 1549

Hi everyone! If you are viewing this blog, you are most likely a friend or family - and I am happy to have you here in my cyberspace!

I have been considering this blog for a long time now. A place to not only document my life with Mr.C and share it with others, but also a way to remember these precious and hilarious moments that will all too soon be gone... (can I mention here how much I hate that children grow up??)

So... with a bit of inspiration from faithful blogger friends... I begin...

Today's Charlieism:

Yesterday afternoon a US Airways flight took off from LaGuardia Airport and lost engine power after a bird strike and landed three minutes after take-off in the Hudson River. I was fascinated by this for two reasons - 1. The obvious - my complete and total fear of dying a firey death from a plane crash was rattled - A paradigm shift! Everyone survived! How amazing! and 2. It was a US Airways flight which is the airline that is hubbed in Charlotte, NC. I have flown US Airways almost exclusively for decades. It was surreal to see that so-familiar plane floating in the Hudson...

Conflicted yesterday afternoon by my desire to incessantly watch the repeating news stream on this event and my desire to keep the footage from Charlie so as to prevent him from developing a fear of flying, I decided to DVR all coverage and watch after the lil' guy went to bed. But... I forgot to share that idea with Mike... and my husband, being the constant news-tragedy-watcher that he is... was all over the reports when he got home. The little guy started in almost immediately wondering why the plane was floating in the water...

Able to scoot him away to other activities, I thought I had managed to keep his curiosity at bay... but this morning, my Hubs turns on the TV again and there is that plane - floating off Battery Park - and Charlie inquires again, "Mommy, why is that plane in the water?"

Quick on my feet, I told him, "That plane was very tired of flying and decided to go for a swim instead!" (Thinking to myself that I was a very clever mother for thinking up such a wonderful and innocent response).

Boy, was I wrong...

Charlie says "Mama! Don't tell me that that plane is swimming! That plane landed in the water. And that is a real problem!"

Ha ha ha ha!!! I about died laughing! And to think I wanted to protect his innocence...

We decided to leave the news on at that point. And only a few moments later... the little guy said very nonchalantly, "Daddy, that's Gaza." Ha!