Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Two Years (two months late).

Charlie is two. Two years since we met him for the first time. Two years since the full weight of responsibility finally became real. I remember looking down at our new son right after he was born through tear soaked eyes wondering how I was going to raise him. I never really cracked the baby manual Betsy bought. I never changed a real diaper. I knew for a fact I was going to drop him. I had no idea what I was doing.

Luckily, Charlie was a nervous parent's dream. He was the best baby.  He was always in good spirits and slept a ton. I mastered the art of the diaper change. I never dropped him. He turned one. I was so relieved. Here is a quick, albeit not complete, list of our adventures this past year.

Charlie's biggest and most impressive change to date was when he learned how to walk. When he was learning, he would hold on to a stroller or walker wagon with white knuckles, wobbling down the street or hallway.  Now he takes off running every time you put him down.

Another big change in Charlie's life was the move back to San Francisco. East bay living was awesome but when we learned we were going to have another baby, we wanted to move closer to our friends (with babies). Our awesome Elmwood apartment was just too small for another baby.  We found a flat for rent in the Richmond District that would accommodate our growing family. We were very excited to be close to the beach.

One of the best things about living in San Francisco are the picturesque vistas that abound the city. Charlie and I love to go to tourist attractions and goof off and ask people to take our photo. It's fun.
Charlie loves scenic overlooks. The higher the better. He loves to point out "mama work," "our house," "big ocean," or other various known points of interests visiable from these vantage points.
The view from Betsy's office window is his favorite. We often make an excuse to visit so we can check it out. Betsy thinks we're visiting her but it's really to spend an hour looking out her window. She unfornutaly gets second billing.
Since moving back Charlie has become very popular,
and he has lots of girlfriends. He's a real ladies man.
Charlie is also very excited to be closer to his wingman, Finn. These two get into lots of trouble on the playground and love to play together. Until they start to fight over toys. They always want what the other is playing with.
Charlie loves to watch vehicles of all kinds, especially construction vehicles.  He gets so excited when they pass by and runs to the window to stare, smile and wave.  Once, a house caught fire down the street, and while no one was hurt and the damage was superficial, the calvery was brought out.  He was glued to the window and when we ventured out, he made quick friends with the firefighters. It was possibly the best day of Charlie's life.
When he is lucky, he sometimes gets to drive the fancy machines.
Most of the time he just has to watch from the sidelines.
When planes fly overhead, he makes a point to tell everyone about it. We recently took him to an airplane museum. He was stoked.

Charlie loves to take public transportation. He also likes to watch buses and trains drive by. We often just go to a neighborhood and watch them go by.
Charlie loves learning about science on our trips to the California Academy of Science and The SF Zoo. He pays special note to the floor lights.

Charlie loves democracy. Unfortunately, he's already grown cynical about the entire two party, corporate funded, political system. But he loves America.
Charlie loves visiting family and loves Grandma Heywood,
and loves when Grandpa Santos reads his favorite books to him.
 Charlie loves to visit his family in Utah and loves playing with his cousins.
Charlie loves the beach and since we live just down the street we go all the time. Charlie loves to build sand castles, dig holes, and jump around in the water. His wingman loves the beach as well and they build the best sand castles together.

Charlie experienced camping for the first time this year with a couple of his buds. He loved being outdoors, sleeping in a tent, and cooking s'mores. He loved the campfire and playing with all the sticks. We need to take him again.

In addition to watching people do chores, he loves to watch and dance to live music. He loves to sing and dance at home as well but nothing beats live music.

Charlie has alway been a picky eater. He never liked to eat solid foods, and his diet consisted of dairy and crackers. But every now and then he will try a random food and love it. Like pickles or his love of peas and edamame. I just don't get this kid.
Like any child, he loves sugar but as you can see this is too much. It's written all over his face.

Charlie is such a rambunctious kid. I think it's great that he would rather be outside running around thowing, kicking, and riding his scoot. If we stay in the house too long, he goes a bit stircrazy and starts jumping in the bed and throwing balls and small trucks at my head. What a knucklehead.

The biggest change to Charlie's life this past year was the addition of a baby sister. Prior to her arrival, all our attention was showered on him night and day. Now he has to share the spotlight with this small, squishy, blob that slept all day and cried and took his parents attention away from him. It was an adjustment but Charlie is such a sweet boy and quickly took to helping mommy and daddy take care of his new sister. He would also would let us know when he felt neglected by throwing his toys in our general direction. That little stinker.
Charlie was the only one getting a full night sleep those first few months and would always wonder why his parents were so tired when he got up. We tried to explain to him that his sister got us up throughout the night but he never understood. He just wanted us to start playing.
Charlie helped where he could and often offered to walk his sister in the stroller. I had no idea why he kept crashing the stroller into the bushes. I guess he couldn't see. No animosity whatsoever.
He was very gentle with Piper and loved to kiss her on the head. He also wanted to make a fort using his blankets and her play mat. The fort was mostly for him to hide in but Pipe was usually in the way. However this violation of personal space motivated her to roll over and get out of the way so we allow it.
Sometimes Charlie asks to jump into her crib so they can dish.
Charlie always wanted to show his little sister how to do things. Often on the stroller ride over to the park he would explain the physics of swinging and how to get dad to push. Piper picked it up quickly and he was proud of his student.
Of course this post cannot capture a year of growth and development, setback and success, that we have witnessed as parents. And it shouldn't because who would want to read it? Besides, most of the day to day is captured on facebook and instagram.  But know this, I love to take care of Charlie (and Piper.)  He is a sweet boy and we have a ton of fun together, even when all we do is move dirt piles from one side of the backyard to the other. His excitement, curiosity, and good natured attitude make even the most mundane tasks fun. Sure he just screamed bloody murder for no reason in the post office and gave the lady in front of us a heart attack, but when she turned around to see what the commotion was, a huge smile was there to greet her.

Charlie has always rocked the 10th percentile (often lower) but we are proud to report at his last check-up he has jumped to the 50th. Our child is average. Sweet.