Sunday, January 30, 2011


I can’t believe that it’s been five years since THIS happened.  I had a distinct feeling as I went into labor walking around the supermarket on that January 26th 5 years ago that this baby boy would be a dreamy child.  He was, after all, coming right on the day and at the hour when I wanted him to come.  His birth was so unique and exciting.  He was born with a caul which is an ‘omen that he should be destined for greatness.’  Everything pointed to him being a star….and boy is he a brilliant little star.    He’s captured my heart and bound me so close to him over the past five years.  I love this crazy, smart, cuddly, exuberant caring boy of mine. 

Charlie had a great birthday (he has low expectations, unlike some of the women in his household) which makes things pretty easy for me as the mom.  We had Jackson Soufflé for breakfast (easy peasy), king of the burgers for lunch and Special K cereal for dinner.  Couldn’t get less demanding than that.  And the great thing is he was thrilled with every bit of it.  IMG_6207IMG_6210Here’s Charlie at his fancy birthday breakfast.  He has been counting down the days to turn five and during breakfast he declared that it wasn’t hard at all to be five (I’m not sure what kind of challenges he was expecting to come his way first thing in the morning). Charlie brought blueberry cupcakes into school to share with his class.  He always chooses blueberry everything for his birthday, which is awesome because I think it was his great grandpa Dean Eyre (who Charles Dean Eyre Shumway is party named after and who shares his January 26th birthday) whose favorite dessert was blueberry dumplings.  IMG_0083After school I picked up Charlie and his three best school buddies and we went to “the King of the Burgers” for lunch.  I might as well not have bought these kids their kids meals because all they wanted to do was climb through that nasty play place like crazy storm troupers.  They played Star Wars for nearly two hours before we headed home to build Lego land in the attic.  I loved having nothing to do but sit and watch them play.  Charlie is a good friend.  I think since it was his birthday he got to be Darth Vader and call the shots (I guess Darth Vader always tells everyone who they are and if they are dead or alive).  He was a pretty kind leader and so good at making everyone happy and feel included.  I was pretty proud of him. IMG_0081IMG_0090IMG_0102

Once Jeff got home we headed out into the snow storm to our local Red Roof Inn to swim.  Because of Charlie’s initial plunge into the tub on his actual birthday his birthday tradition is to go swimming.  It’s always fun to find an indoor pool and swim in the dead of winter.  Charlie was a little fish.  We had our fancy dinner of Special K, clementines and bananas right there at that fancy Inn.  It was great. 


The day was going swimmingly (mind the pun) until we realized how late it was and Charlie started getting worried that he had only opened one present from his big pile.  We loaded back into the car and headed home through the snow storm.  Charlie promptly fell asleep.  By the time we got home and woke up Charlie everyone was pretty strung out and the present opening/cake eating was a far cry from perfect.  Charlie was thrilled with his gifts, but in a weird funk and Hazel was a basket case, melting down at every turn.  We put Emmeline to bed and Hazel turned out the lights to bring Charlie his lighted cake and sing to him for the first time that day (at 9:30pm).  Something in that chain of events set both kids off screaming and crying.  Charlie wasn’t pleasantly surprised by the lighted birthday cake, instead he screamed that he was afraid of the dark and Hazel was deeply wounded that Charlie wasn’t appreciating her ‘cake bringing in efforts.’  It was pretty much a disaster.  Jeff and I just looked at each other and laughed (which didn’t improve things much).  Thankfully the trick candle in the cake brought Hazel and Charlie around and my little five year old went to bed happy and longing for morning when he could build all his new stuff. I’m hoping I’ll remember not to try to pack so much into a birthday next time round.   IMG_0128

I can’t believe I’m posting this. A little slice of real life (after 8pm) at the Shumway house.
Whoa, that’s some loopy laughter by Hazel.

IMG_62175 things I love about my 5 year old:

1. He is a kind little soul.  Charlie has been going through a little bit of an angry stage, but underneath that façade is a sweet kind little soul.  He stops what he’s doing to give me a hug when I need it.  If one of his sisters is sad or hurt in the blink of an eye he has ran upstairs and fetched whatever little thing he things might make them feel better.  He is sweet as can be to Emmeline (when he isn’t pestering her).  When I ask him to choose something he often asks me right back what I think would be the best thing to do, or what I want.  He’s quite considerate.  He has is daddy’s kind heart.IMG_6216

2. Charlie is the perfect Son for Jeff.  His mind works so much like his dads and I love how they interact.  Charlie wants to know everything, and Jeff does know everything.  He’ll sit still for way longer than I can while Jeff explains technical things to him.  They make a perfect pair.  They do fixer guy stuff together on Saturdays and Charlie is starting to be a genuine little helper.  He just soaks in everything he observes Jeff doing and has all kinds of questions and suggestions. .  IMG_6223

3.  I love Charlie’s mind.  It is curious and observant and absorbs all kinds of information.  He wants to know everything about the world, but mostly he wants to know technical things, like how everything works – from cars and computers to space and the universe.  He’s still pretty determined to be an astronaut and be the first man to land on Mars.  He is drawn to anything that has parts and gears and motors.  He has a building brain and delights in building with anything, but most especially with Legos.  I think he sees Legos in his head while he falls asleep, he dreams about them and then they are the first things to pop into his little mind in the morning.  He’s been obsessed with the things for years but he’s finally at the stage where he can really build almost anything with them.  I hope this little sponge never gets saturated, it is such a joy to watch him fill up his brain with knowledge.   IMG_6219

4. Charlie has the greatest voice and accent.  Not sure if it’s still just his baby accent or if he’s invented a new Bostonian/baby accent that will stick with him.  I hope it does stick because I love it.   IMG_6246

5. Charlie has a good soul.  He has his days and moments where he whines and yells and pushes and shoves.  He has the most wicked mad face you’ve ever seen.  But, once he’s been to time out, or put his nose against the wall he often gives me the most sincere apologies.  He says things like, “Mom, I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t do that, but sometimes it’s just so hard to control myself.”  He has wisdom in that deep soul of his and he has all the right desires to be good.   

We’re all so grateful that he’s a part of our lives. 


  1. Gorgeous pictures of this adorable five year old! I can't believe that it's been five years since that little guy splashed into the world! Did you read in the definition of a caul that it saves you from drowning? No wonder he "splashed down" safely! (smile).

    Loved the videos. So life! Hug that cutie for us!

  2. Happy Birthday, Charlie! I some some of these attributes on the single occasion I met him. I love all of your shots, but I love that happiness in the one in front of the birthday banner. And I love the silly faces with his pals.

  3. Happy birthday Charlie!

    The most impressive thing about this post is how you spelled façade with the little thing under the c.



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