I am SO Proud of Her

Today, my daughter has made me more proud of her than she ever has before.  Real proud…not the “I asked her what she wants to name Ducky and her response was ‘Bacon’” pride I’ve felt for her previously…this was a heartfelt, down to my core proud.

When I took Evie to Comic-con this year, I told her that she could play when we got there.  And she did, she got to run around (we played an hours worth of “Red Light / Green Light” where she would run ahead and stop when I said Red Light…and go again on Green light…saved my shoulders a bunch not having to carry her) and she got to do some stuff with kids…but it wasn’t the “play” she was looking for.  She wanted slides, swings, etc.  So, I told her on the way home that because she was such a good kid at Con, I would swing by the McDonalds by our house and she could play for a little bit.  She is very excited.  Now, she is still dressed as Super Girl, and is still Super Cute.  We walk in, she heads off to play and these two “boys” (I’ll not print the words of what I really think they are) run up to her and start pointing and laughing in her face.  They are maybe 5-8 years old, brothers, whose mother is stuck on her phone doing Facebook in the corner.  They tell Evie she looks stupid, they tell ask her what is she dressed as, Super Stupid.  They tell her she looks dumb, and all sorts of other really mean and hurtful things.  They get some other kids to come down and point and laugh at her too.  She doesn’t really understand what they are saying or why, so comes over to me.  I tell her that they are just being mean, that they are jealous of her cape, and that she just shouldn’t play with them.  I say this pretty loud, the mother barely glances up from her phone then goes back.  She is worthless.  Evie accepts this and goes off to play on the slides and such without too much issue.  The boys (after hearing me back her up) leave her alone mostly but say mean things from up in the jungle gym now and then.

Five to 10 minutes pass, and this little Hispanic girl comes in.  She is wearing a full Hello Kitty outfit, all in pink.  She speaks little to no English (nor does her Mom) but the little “boys” come down to torment her as well.  They start saying things about her being stupid too, whatever.  I’ve had about enough and am getting ready to say something when my super amazing darling little girl walks over to where they have Hello Kitty girl blocked.  She pushes them out of the way (they are a good 2x her size), tells them “You no be nice! You be mean!  We no play with you!”, she then takes the little girl by the hand, takes her over to the slides, and says “you play with me, I nice”

I’ve never been more proud of her in my life.  She totally emasculated those little bullies, in front of their friends.  The boys then got trashed on by some other kids because some little “super girl” totally got one on them.  She completely shut down the bullies without beating them senseless, without any violence or anger.  Just “you are bad, we won’t hang around bad people”.  Her and that little girl played solid for a good half hour.  I was so proud of her I went and got her an ice cream cone.

Evie and the little girl playing…

Evie is quite empathetic…much like her Dad and Grandma.  We feel the people around us greatly and spend much of our energy trying to make them feel better (sometimes to the detriment of ourselves).  Its really evident watching her at dance class or gymnastics.  She spends more than 1/2 the class trying to make whatever kid is cranky that day happy…instead of learning dance or doing her gymnastics.  I would correct her, but who am I to say that she doesn’t get more out of making them feel better than she ever would about learning how to do a handstand or to walk on pointed toes.

You really can learn much from a 2 year old with a huge heart.

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Emerald City Comic-Con 2014

Its that time of year again…time for Comic-Con!  Sadly, this year Daddy is really sick so isn’t going all out as he normally does but we are going so bring on the costumes!

Here is Evie dressed as “Super Cute!”  (she actually named herself…Mommy told her she looked cute as Super Girl…her response?…”Daddy, I Super Cute!”…works for me!)

Now, every Super Hero needs an alter ego…hers was unorthodox, but appears to work…I present to you….Ray “Evie” Charles and her seeing eye dog Baya…who Evie called over to sit next to her for the picture….as you can tell, Baya was “thrilled.”

At this years con they had an entire area set aside for the tiniest of Super Heroes (and sidekicks).  They had game areas, special prizes for the kids, adventures, princesses and a “shoot the Stormtrooper with Nerf darts” area (a personal favorite).  We spent a fair amount of our time in here as Dad was too exhausted to haul around a hyperactive 2 year old for very long.  When we arrived, Eves went into her “I’m shy…no, really I am!” mode and wouldn’t hardly interact with anyone.  That lasted a good 20 minutes of Dad coaxing her to play and engage.  Then for some reason known only to her, she became super comfortable and was terrorizing the good folks of the con at warp speed. 

There was a group of Princesses (from Dragon Theater in Portland…great group of folks) and other friends doing face painting, balloon animals, puppets, sing-songs and dances out in one of the larger areas.

Evie was enthralled with them and wanted to hang with them all day.  Luckily, Tinker Bell took a liking to her too and spent a good 30 minutes “playing.”  She made her a Super Princess Balloon Sword (more on this later), got her a vial of Pixie Dust for her very own, danced with her and stood near her while Belle painted her hand.  Evie loved every minute of it, even gave them hugs as we were leaving.

Evie with Tinker Bell and Peter Pan right before we left.

Big thanks to the Dragon Theater folks…really made Evie’s day.

Now…to her Super Princess Balloon Sword…its about 2 feet long.  Its bright pink with a big purple heart on it  (here is most of it in a badly taken selfie of Evie and Daddy during the day, best I could do solo)

I kept Evie on my shoulders for a good portion of the Con…she’s little, there are lots of big people in costumes who can barely see forward let alone down, and there are toys EVERYWHERE…hard to explain to a 2 year old that they aren’t for playing with…they are for collecting…and um, looking at?  (yah, I don’t really understand it either).  Anyway…she’s up on my shoulders…and she has this cool 2′ long balloon sword…and she feels empowered!  So, what does she do with this power?  She bops people on top of their head when they aren’t looking.  And says “Bam!  I got you!  You be good now!”  Many people turned around possibly ready to be angry…then they see a Super 2 year old with a pink balloon sword laughing maniacally telling them to be good.  I swear she caused more fits of laughter than I’ve seen at con in years…which encouraged her to bop more “bad people”…vicious cycle.

Was a pretty great day.  Didn’t get as many pictures as I normally do, due to being sick, but the day was fantastic.  (Daddy did get to meet and have his picture taken with John de Lancie [Q from Star Trek TNG], who was an amazing guy, he even came out to shake hands and talked to the people in line waiting to see him…because the other folks were delayed…and Michael Dorn [Worf from Star Trek TNG and more cartoon voices than you can imagine] who was awesome…and Dwight Schultz [Reginald Barclay from Star Trek TNG and Howlin' Mad Murdock from A Team] who was as down to earth and nice as I expected…and Nichelle Nichols who was a very sweet (and very small) woman.  She was very kind and gracious, I enjoyed her immensely)

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The Unicorn

Met up with Megan for lunch so she could drop off Evie’s unicorn (from Megan’s birthday party) and spend some time with us.  Was a beautiful day out and we went for the best pizza around.

Gotta say, I think Evie did an amazing coloring job on her unicorn (looks even better in person).  She seems pretty pleased with it too.

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At the Library

Had to hang around town a bit…Mommy was getting her back massaged (her belly is so big its killing her back…its brutal) and we were just walking around outside.  After a few blocks, Evie gets all excited because she can see books through the window and wants to look at them (helped that there were a few girls close to her age in there doing the same).  Took her into the library and she had a field day.  She went to get “her books” because she didn’t like the ones already out. As she was searching, she kept playing peek-a-boo through the book piles, would crack herself up.

She pulled down her selection of books (after much debating), sat at the table, and “read” her books for quite some time.

Now bored of the reading game she spies a computer lab built for the under 10 crowd. Running over, she has me put on the headphones, grabs the mouse just like Daddy does and starts to use it. She moved the mouse around, clicked on things…she did keep touching the monitor thinking it was a touch screen when she couldn’t get her mouse to work right, which made me laugh. She was a natural, blew me away at how fast she was grasping what was required to run the paint program.

She has such a derfy face when she does her fake “smile for the camera” look…makes me laugh every time.

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Stolen Glasses

She is told never to touch glasses (she was really grabby with them or a while) but occasionally we let her hold them…  She likes to wear Mommies glasses…Cute!

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Ducky in 3D

We decided to go in and get a 3D ultrasound with Ducky like we did with Eves.  However, Ducky did not play as nice with the camera as the Otter did.  It took us two tries* to get anything decent and even with that, we were not able to get as many pictures as last time (the placenta would get in the way and Ducky kept her hands and feet up next to her face). 

We took Evie with us so she could see “the baby in Mommies tummy”…we didn’t think she would get too much out of it, but was worth a try.  Dad hooked her up with some Bubble Guppies and headphones from his tablet while the parents spoke with the ultrasound technician about what we were seeing.  About half way through, Evie gets interested in what we are doing and what they are doing to Mom so climbs up on the bed to watch.  She snuggles down (after pointing at the gel on Mom’s tummy and saying that the lady put yucky stuff on her), hugs Mom, and oohs and ahhs with the rest of us.   She also spent quite a bit of time talking to the baby, saying hi, telling her to move and behave.  It was really cute and a wonderful afternoon.


The big ball thing on the lower right quadrant is the placenta.  She would hide behind it (and her umbilical cord) often.

Covering her face with her hands and/or feet.  She did this a TON during our session, so much so that we often couldn’t see much but fingers.

Side profile:

* So we actually had to go back for a second appointment because we could see NOTHING the first time.  She was in a position that wouldn’t allow us to see anything on an ultrasound.  On that first trip however, did get to meet somebody pretty cool.  Mike McCready was there with his wife Ashley (who was quite pregnant and looked REALLY uncomfortable, poor girl) getting an ultrasound for their new child.  Evie played with their son out in the courtyard while we checked in.  Didn’t spend much time with them, they were mostly walking out as we were walking in.  But was pretty cool for Dad to get a “Congratulations, man!” from a guy he loves (he’s the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, Mad Season, Temple of the Dog and Walking Papers…utterly fantastic guitarist).  And, if you are ever needing or wanting a 3D ultrasound…  http://www.babypicturesultrasound.com/ are wonderful people.  The staff are amazing, the facility is intimate and nice and the technology is just cool.  Highly recommend them.

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Happy Birthday, Megan!

Today was Mommy’s cousin Megan’s birthday and her daughter Peggy was in town to celebrate.  We were invited up to paint ceramics with the girls.  We’ve been wanting to take Eves to try it anyway and it was a wonderful excuse to go hang with family.

Evie decided that she wanted to paint a Unicorn. She picked out her own colors, her own paintbrushes, and did it all herself. She had a blast.

After painting we went out for a nice dinner. It was a great day, huge Happy Birthday! to Megan, hope it was as fun for you as it was for us.

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Looking for Work: Pancake Chef

So…Daddy got stuck on a work call for about 15 minutes this morning.  He had put on Bubble Guppies on the TV and had gotten Evie a snack to entertain her while he was busy.  He finishes up his call, but notices that it’s quiet (and that the Otter hasn’t been in to bug him in a while)…so he heads off to find his darling little girl.  Walking into the kitchen…he finds…well, let me just tell you what she said:

“Daddy…I make mess!  Fun sand…I make snowman!  I make angel now?”  (at which point she tries swings her arms and legs around like she would make a snow angel. )

She emptied two FULL boxes of pancake mix on the floor…threw it all over…it was on the fridge, on the cabinets, on the counter, in her potty (which she brought out for some reason…I assume to use as a stool to reach stuff), on her high chair…and on the couch there were about 10 of these wonderful white handprints…and all over the living room are these white foot prints, both dogs have white mustaches and a bit of dust on their backs…sigh.  She was having a ball.  I will tell you tho, that cleaning that stuff up is a gigantic PITA that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  You can’t sweep it up (it just stays in the broom and makes a bigger mess) can’t use a vacuum cause it just blows out into the house, you can use a wet cloth but it just makes a smearing mess (REALLY glad she didn’t dump out the dogs water bowl…this time).   We love the fact that she can get her own breakfast/snacks/etc out of the pantry, but it might be time to lock that cabinet up like the rest.  What a great start to the day!  (anyone want to buy a kid?  only slightly dusty, could be a great chef but needs a cleanup person to follow behind her)

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Picture with Santa 2013

Was an hour and a half wait…Evie was SUPER excited to see Santa…kept saying “Ho Ho Ho” and “Merry Christmas” while we were in line…get all the way up to the building where Santa stays…she is SO excited…step into the building…BOOM, she’s done with it.  Sigh.  She wouldn’t look at the camera hardly at all, she wouldn’t really smile, didn’t want to sit on Santa (but was ok next to him)…she perked up quite a bit when he gave her a candy cane tho.  We left pretty disappointed thinking that they didn’t get a shot….boy were we wrong.  It turned out just stunning.

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December Ducky Ultrasound

She’s getting bigger and bigger.  Kinda cool you can see each of her fingers and such.  (up by her head in this pic)

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Happy Halloween 2013!

Its Halloween time, which means time to dress up, go out, and get some candy!  This year, Evie is going as one of her favorite characters…Minnie Mouse.  So Daddy picked her up at daycare, got her dolled up and headed out to a local Trunk or Treat (same one as last year, they were even better this year too).  Here she is doing her best Minnie pose…

And here I am teaching her how to say “Trick or Treat”  (she couldn’t get it…but would just say “Treat, pease”…which was awesome.)  Sorry for two similar pics, but I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so you get both.

Mommy met us there not long after we arrived, and boy was Evie excited to show Mommy her costume…

The trunks this year were pretty great.  They had ones done up like pirates, some done up like sports teams (for some strange reason, there was three trunks done up with an Oregon Ducks theme…which is odd in Seattle), and several done up in Disney themes.  Not long after we arrived, “Mickey” showed up to escort his “Minnie” around.  Liam and Evie were quite excited to see each other, show off their candy buckets and give big hugs…was super cute.

 The kids were super good and really seemed to have a great time.

After we hit the Trunk or Treat, we headed off to the local high school (where most of Mommy’s former students head go) to their sponsored Trunk or Treat.  The buckets we got the kids had flashing handles (highly recommend that btw, the kids think they are fun and you can see them from a mile away) and we got them matching glow necklaces, made them super easy to see in the dark.  First trunk we get to, we run into Evie’s friend Annabelle and her Mom (and Dad and brothers).  Evie got very excited to see her, gave a hug then saw that there was more candy and all else was forgotten.

It surprised me how patient the kids were, there was no pushing, no shoving, no trying to get ahead.  They would wait patiently, in line (there wasn’t really a line, but if there were kids in front of them they would just wait calmly).  Sometimes each kid would go and get a second piece of candy just to give it to the other kid…

One of the trunks was done up (pun intended) in an Up theme.  They had balloons attached to their car, they had a kid dressed up in a boy scout uniform with a golden at his side, they had a cranky old man and they had “Kevin”, the bird.  This kids costume was awesome…the bird part on his head was a good 4 feet tall, and he walked around just like the bird, making weird noises and staying in character the whole time.  Evie thought he (and the dog) was just awesome, didn’t want to go away from them.  It was likely my favorite of any of these trunks, mostly due to the acting and involvement of the HS kids.  This is also one of my new favorite pictures of the Otter…gone is the baby, gone even somewhat is the toddler…this is my little girl.

After getting a great haul of candy we headed off to get some dinner at our favorite Indian place.  The mommies and the kids sure look like they had a great evening…

Mickey giving Minnie a good night kiss :)

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The Jones’ Pumpkin Carving Party

One of the teachers at Mom’s school, Liz, invited us to her house for a Pumpkin Carving Party and Dinner.  Was costume encouraged for the kidlets and a good time for all was planned.  As we didn’t want to put Evie in her Halloween costume yet (its part of a set and the other half wasn’t going to be there) Dad had to pull out one of his tricks.  We got her a few outfits for next years Comic-con and they would be perfect for this!

And man…did she ham it up for the camera…   I present to you….BatEvie and her trusty dog BatBaya!

Outside, in her BatFortress…keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood…

Small story…as Mom was getting Evie dressed, she was singing the Batman theme song to Evie….(“na na na na na na na na BATMAN!”)…so, as we are getting ready to go, Eves is running around the house singing “nananananana” over and over and over…we get into the car to head up to Liz’s…Evie is in the back…”Mommy…sing nanana!!” over…and over.  I swear Terre sang that song atleast 40 times….she sang it so much her voice started to croak, so she pulled out her phone and YouTube’d the theme song…Evie listed to that 4-5x before we finally arrived…every time it would stop…”More!!  Sing!!”  That’s my girl!

The party was pretty great, there was 10-14 kids there and 20 or so adults.  When we arrived they were already starting carving the pumpkins (catching it while it was still light outside).

Evie wasn’t super interested in carving a pumpkin yet, maybe next year.  However, she did find a game she liked quite a bit.  Her and Annabelle (Liz’s daughter, in the best Tinkerbell costume I’ve ever seen…her shoes even lit up when she walked…was so fantastic) played “throw the bag into the pumpkin” for a good 30 minutes.  Now, much of that time was spent putting the bean bags directly into the mouth instead of throwing, but who are we to judge fun.

As it was getting cold out we headed inside for some more activities.  Evie’s favorite was the cookie decoration (surprise!).  She had a blast, putting on her own sprinkles, candy, frosting, etc and just generally making a mess.  She even liked those nasty Candy Corn things (yuck) on her cookie.

They had this big inflatable spider cushion on the floor which Evie thought was fantastic. She had the hardest time getting ON it (often had to ask for help) but once on was riding it like a horse.  Its not quite the BatCycle…but, would work in a pinch…plus, it keeps Mommy away…handy during bedtime.

As we were getting ready to leave and saying our goodbyes…Evie disappears with Annabelle.  We hear laughing and such coming from their room, go in to find that Liz has taken off Annabelle’s costume, but that Annabelle wasn’t done dressing up for the night.  She got out her tutu, her feather boa and some other fun things and dolled herself up good.  Then, Evie brought her a baby bottle because she looked hungry.  It was so much fun, Annabelle looked so cute, and they were having a ball.

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New Ducky Ultrasound

Went in for the next checkup, got a much better view of how Ducky is coming along.

We also got to find out (through genetic testing) that we are having another little girl!  This is good news…won’t be as expensive during early childhood because we still have everything that Evie got…however, have the sad feeling that this is going to get much more expensive when she’s older.  Also, Dad is feeling just a WEE bit outnumbered…lets count, shall we?  Two Female Cats, Two Female Dogs, Two Female Lizards, 15 or so Female Hissing Cockroaches (1 male, we’ve tried bonding, no go), Evie,  Mom, Ducky….and Dad.  Sigh.  Pity him.

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At the Pumpkin Patch!

As is what is now becoming a tradition, Daddy has dressed Evie up in her finest and stuck her at the top of the stairs for her mid October / Halloween picture!  Turned out pretty great I think (little washed out because for some really odd reason, we had SUN!)

So last year, we tried to take the Otter (and Grandma/Grandpa) down to the local Pumpkin Patch for a hayride, some pumpkins, maybe a corn maze and generally a good time.  When we got there, the heavens opened up and massive amounts of water fell from the sky and sadly we went home.  This year, with some great luck, we had an utterly beautiful day for our pumpkin outing so off we went!

We snagged a hauling cart, put the kidlet on it and headed out into the field.  She thought it was pretty great at first, but after seeing other kids running around she wanted off soo badly.  As we slowed down she hopped off and ran over to a pumpkin to get on and ride it like a horse.

After which, once released from the confines of parental control, she bolted out to find HER pumpkin.

After a bit of walking around she got very excited, jumping up and down in the mud and pointing and yelling.  We thought she had just found the pumpkin she wanted (a nice looking one at that) but alas no.  Ol’ Eagle Eye Evie found a little tiny black and yellow bug.  And, we all had to see it.  And by all, I mean Mommy, Daddy and anyone who would look at her when she yelled at them.  She stayed and played with that bug (making it crawl on the leaf, then back to the pumpkin) for a good 5 minutes.

As it was really muddy out in the field (and Evie falling several times) Dad took one for the team and hauled her up on his shoulders.  I say took one for the team because the field was VERY fertilized, you could smell the manure in the soil miles from the place.  And, with it all over her shoes, made for quite a pungent aroma in Dad’s face (is why I am holding her feet, she kept putting them in my face and laughing).  The picture turned out a pretty nice however, with both the moon and Mt. Rainier in the background.

After Mom and Dad snagged their pumpkins, we headed back to the main area to find Evie one (a nice small one she can hold).  While Evie was trying to find the one she wanted (which they didn’t have…she wanted a green unripe one) we were joined by Chu, Lexi and Liam!

Evie got the pumpkin she wanted (and several gourds because Mom is an enabler) and went to hang with Liam while we paid for the stuff.  They decided that this pile of pumpkins would make for perfect chairs…and looking at it, hard to tell them they are wrong.

As we were getting ready to leave, we put both kids on the wagon for the ride to the car.  Evie stuck her thumb in her mouth and snuggled up to Liam.

Now, we all thought this was pretty adorable and we were fawning over them…until Liam decided to make fun of Evie sucking her thumb…

Now, at this point, we are all laughing so hard I had trouble even taking more pictures…we were laughing so much the kids started laughing a bunch too…really made for a great end of the trip…and one of my alltime favorite pictures of the two of them.

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Good Night!

After a long day of play, its time for the little Otter to crash out…

Have a great night, everyone!


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Climbing Little Monkey

Evie is fearless.  Really, it astounds me as to the things she is willing to try and do.  We often let her try stuff with supervision and spotting to encourage her to keep experiencing new things.  That being said, her new “game” tightens the pucker strings of both parents a bit…even if she is really good at it.  She has learned the fun game of climbing.

There is a playground near our house that has a 7 foot tall climbing wall on it.  She can go up by herself, without any real assistance (she sometimes likes a spotter when she can’t find her next footing).  She doesn’t use the rope, just generally gets in her way.

This video is one of the earlier times she’s tried it…she went up 3 more times after without my saying a word.

At the school near our house, they have a bunch of old school metal playground equipment.  Went there today and she went straight for the climbing bars, and went right up.

Once up there, she went edge to edge, inching herself across.  Then back to the middle and down.  I caught the video after she was already up and over part way…but. (love her saying “up” and “down” while she is climbing off)

There was this real sweet little girl there at the school with us.  She ran over as soon as she saw Evie and asked if she could “show her the playground”.  I said yes, she grabbed Evie’s hand and off they ran.  They did slides, they did this rotating thing, and they did the tire swing (a personal favorite of Evie’s).  She likes to be spun in a circle as fast as you will do it (and she will keep saying “faster, faster!” if you aren’t doing it right).  When she gets off, she’s so dizzy she usually falls over, giggling.

As we were leaving the school, the sun was setting…was really pretty, even Evie commented on it  (Daddy…whoa).  This time of year is one of my favorites…its not too hot, its not yet raining every single day and there is still some daylight left.  There are not many days like this, but I sure do appreciate them when they happen.

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Brittney and Rachel’s Wedding

So my cousin Brittney (in black) and her partner Rachel (salmon/white) have officially tied the knot!  The families flew down from Alaska and my Mom drove up, was a very wonderful ceremony.  The judge presiding was warm, caring and quite fantastic…she made it very special for them.  It was kinda fun too, we all got to sit in the jury box (had much more comfortable chairs than the benches).  We are very happy for them both, and wish the happy couple all the best luck in the world, congrats!!

We did bring Evie along…and she looked real cute (was her first meeting with my Uncle Jason, Aunt Shelly, Cousin Nicky and Cousin Brittney).  She was “pretty” good…as good as a 2 year old gets (was great until about the middle of the vows…when she decided that singing was the right choice of action…sigh, sorry Brit).  And it’s a good thing she’s cute, cause Daddy could have sold her several times on the way out (including to the judge…who asked the cost when I threatened).

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CrAzY Hair!

Pulled Evie out of the shower and started drying her off.  Wrapped a towel around her head and dried off her hair (which has gotten really long, wet it hangs down to the middle of her back)…when I pulled off the towel…she had this really demented look on her face…that, combined with that crazy hair…just sold it.

Every time I look at this picture however…what I see in my head is a purple Evil Minion from Despicable Me 2…..maybe a Halloween option!

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Our little peasant girl…

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Well, we kinda did it again.  We are having another little addition in April.  Currently, it’s codename is “Ducky.”  Terre has actually been pregnant for quite some time, but we’ve kept it quiet…wanted to do a fun reveal at Thanksgiving with both families. 

I present to you…the larval form of Ducky!.

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