Saturday, October 3, 2009

Birthday Cake

So my sweet baby boy turned seven yesterday and we enjoyed a full day of celebrating including special treats at school, a scavenger hunt for some birthday presents and dinner with family. (We have a few extremely close friends that we consider family and naturally they were included in the festivities.)

Since we moved to CA we started a tradition for Tim's birthday where we have special cakes made for him. One of the great things about being in the SF Bay area is that you can truly find anything here and there are some folks that just do amazing things. One woman we discovered three years ago is Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes. I don't know how to describe her other than to say she is an artist who bakes an incredible cake.

She's come to know Tim over the last three years because she's made cakes based upon all his favorite things. Our first year here she made airplane cupcakes for his birthday. Last year we were in a Super Mario craze and she made an outrageous Toad cake with Toad driving a car from Mario Kart. (You would simply not believe her cakes!)

This year I was stumped and asked her to come up with something. I completely trust her judgment and her creativity so I gave her permission to just go for it.

Look what she came up with:

Can you believe this? This has to be the cutest cake I've ever seen! And the detail is simply amazing. Check out Charlie with his ears flapping in the "wind."

Debbie took all the things that Tim loves (Charlie, airplanes, and Super Mario - those of you familiar with Super Mario will recognize the Toad character on the plane's tail fin), and made them into a cake that could not be more perfect for Tim. (It may be hard to believe but this adorable cake also tastes amazing! I'm actually blogging between bites of the leftovers!)

I have to admit, Chuck was a bit frightened by the cake ... perhaps he was uncomfortable with the thought of that cute little golden retriever being consumed! But Tim LOVED it. In fact, as we were tucking him in to bed that night Andy asked him, "what was your favorite part of your birthday?"

Without hesitation he replied, "airplane cake."

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Like many A Club children, Tim has certain passions that border on obsessions. In particular, Tim is an absolute aviation nut. (I'm so thankful that his interests are interesting to me too!) Like any other die hard A Club parents, we leverage Tim's interests in our efforts to work on his deficits. Fortunately, aviation is a topic rife with language opportunities so we spend an inordinate amount of time at our local General Aviation airport watching airplanes and talking about anything even remotely related to aviation. We've had some great results with this strategy and I'm constantly amazed by Tim's ability to accurately identify aircraft from extraordinary distances. (Just today he spotted a P-52 Mustang, a Cirrus, two Mooneys and countless Cessnas.)

Since the arrival of Charlie approximately 18 months ago, our frequent trips to the airport have included Charlie (at the insistence of Tim.) Charlie eagerly accompanies us every time and patiently waits by Tim until he's seen enough. (Some of our airport outings last for hours ... we also have regular "picnics" at the airport which is code for having a pizza in our strategically parked car as we watch a steady stream of take-offs and landings overhead.)

I know these outings may seem odd to some but I'm certain that I'll remember them forever and with great fondness. And, of course, Charlie will be a part of every memory.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Picture Day

Monday was picture day out here and after years of refusing to buy school pictures, this year I'm giving in. (Don't even get me started on my rant about the photographers who won't take the time to effectively photograph special needs kids ... sheeesh!!!) Naturally, Tim looked as cute as ever and he insisted on including his best friend in the obligatory-if-not-annoying home photo shoot. (I just LOVE that Tim insists on including Charlie in everything!)

Hard to say just who's cuter ....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Phone Pix and Charlie's Delight

The only thing more overdue than my blog entries (not including my library books, annual physical, and oil change), is the upload of all the photos accumulating on my cell phone. I have to admit how surprised I am that I even use a cell phone camera but there have been a few occasions where I've found myself without my trusty bag-o-camera-gear and having to rely on the only other means of recording the moment. Thus, the backlog of camera phone pix.

In sorting through them I found two that I must have taken while admiring Chuck's pure delight. The first was taken on the observation platform at a small, general aviation airport near our home. It's a regular stop for us as Tim is fascinated by all things aeronautical and Charlie is always happy to scamper up the stairs and stand by Tim as they spend hours watching airplanes take off and land.

This last one seems to speak for itself: Pure joy?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Camping for Beginners

So now that we've got the first day of school successfully under our belt, I'm wistfully remembering all the fun things Charlie and Tim did together this summer. There was the beginning of summer when Andy introduced Tim and Charlie to the notion of camping in our backyard:

Naturally, the tent was a big hit - don't know exactly how that zipper survived the countless zipping and unzipping (a real testament to the tents sold in the cheap-skate section of Target!)

Turns out that a back yard tent is a great venue for evening story time so the boys spent quite a few evenings out there reading before bedtime. But at the end of each story, Tim always refused to sleep outside and insisted on retiring to his own bed.

So, we thought we'd try sleeping bags.

Another big hit. Tim crawled in and out of them, made forts out of them, and encouraged Charlie to join him. But this still just wasn't enough to spark Tim's interest in sleeping in the tent. When we asked, he always declined saying, "I want to sleep with Charlie in Tim's bed." That was enough for us. (What do I care if he doesn't want to sleep in a tent? I'm more of a Four Seasons girl anyway!)

So now, in the aftermath of summer, the tent is packed away in the garage and the sleeping bags remain in a heap next to Tim's bed so that he and Charlie can "camp" in his room.

Good enough for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Giants Game 2009

Tickets to Giants game: $120

Parking: $40

Wildly overpriced/undersized ball park snacks: $28

Riding the giant Coke bottle slide: included!!

Obligatory first-time-to-the-ballpark souvenirs: $15

Hearing your A Club kid tell his best friend all about his day at the game: Priceless.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yes, It's Been a Million Years ...

I'm terribly, terribly overdue with this post and yet, as I sit here hammering away at my keyboard, I am simply too tired to be creative. The details of Tim & Charlie's summer will be forthcoming but for now, I'll re-enter the blog world with this brief but nonetheless meaningful note.

We were recently invited to attend a baby blessing for a close friend's new born son. These folks were kind enough to include Tim so naturally my thoughts turned to the MOST important issue: what will he wear?!!

Believe it or not, Tim does not have any dress clothes. He's never been invited to a formal event and, being members of the A Club, we don't typically plan outings that involve fancy clothes or frou-frou accouterments. So I've been carefully planning his outfit for at least the last 6 weeks.

It's nothing too outrageous - more like an east coast prep-school uniform complete with khaki pants, button down shirt, and some buckskin oxfords. But the piece de resistance is this little tie:

How does this relate to Chuck, you ask? Well, if you look closely at that tie, you'll notice that the little yellow blobs are actually little golden retrievers. That was the key to getting Tim excited about wearing a tie. Doesn't he just look irresistible?!!