Thursday, August 28, 2008

Before I leave...

I knew I'd better put a quick post up before we leave for the weekend, because my last post has the word "boobs" in it, and no males will comment on that. We are off to WiNeMa this weekend: another camping trip! We're really looking forward to spending some time at the beach and with Trent's family. Here's some pics from the backyard today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Sign of the Times

A sense of urgency while stuck in traffic, circa 2000: I'm late for a movie and I do NOT like missing the previews!

A sense of urgency while stuck in traffic, August 26, 2008: An 85% potty trained child saying "Mommy, I have to go poop RIGHT NOW," a screaming, hungry infant and leaky boobs.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's the little things

Sometimes, it's really funny what will really lift my spirits. Last weekend, it came in the form of a neighbor's garage sale. Some of you knew that I had come to despise my kitchen table. (Our kitchen table also doubles as our dining room table in this cozy house.) It was one of those ones with white tile top--you know, they were hugely popular in the early 90's. Well, when the tiles and grout were clean and the chairs weren't falling apart, it was just fine. However, it was wickedly difficult to clean--crumbs clung to that caulk like you wouldn't believe. Also, THREE of the FOUR chairs were broken and we had to warn all visitors not to sit down. How is that reasonable? We scoped adds for new tables, but everything was out of our price range, which was very low. So, I had pretty much given up.
Then last weekend I was driving away to a playdate with the kids and saw a dining room table at my neighbor's garage sale. I hopped out of the car and called out to her asking how much the table was. She said $50. I didn't even hesitate. I would use food money if I had to. I said "We'll take it! I'll be right back!" I put the car into reverse, ran back into the house, grabbed the checkbook and told Trent he needed to run next door and get our new table! He agreed and I'm so happy with our decision. It's bigger than our last table, has no grooves for food to get stuck in, has nice chairs (even though only 5 are working), and it feels like I finally have a table for grown-ups, not something that belongs in a recent college grad's apartment. It's not a big thing, but it made me smile.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sydney talks.

Seriously. About second #42 I swear she says "Hi."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Here are a few random things that have made me laugh out loud lately.

First, you may have seen this video, but it is worth watching again.

Second, my friend Mrs. Towne mentioned this blog in HER blog, and I was cracking up as I made my way through several of the posts. It's not just the cakes, but her comments that make this a winner.

And lastly, a laugh-out-loud in my own bathroom. The conversation went like this the other day when Carson was on his toddler pot having the unusual problem of not being able to go #2:

Carson: Mom, go in the other room.
Me: OK. (hidden smile)
A few minutes lapse. I do hear some grunts.
Carson: Mom. Come back.
Me: What's wrong?
Carson: I don't know, it's just that my bottom's not working.
Me: (More hidden smiles) OK, well, why don't you keep trying.
Carson: OK. (grunt) You get out of here.
Me to myself: gladly.
About a minute later.
Carson: MOm! My bottom's working again!
Me: Good!
Carson, waving his arms and wrinkling up his nose: Oh! It stinks in here! It smells like...[and here is the funniest part. He truly, honestly, was trying to FIGURE OUT what was causing the sudden bad odor. He had a quizzical look on his face and was searching for the end of that sentence, when he says in TOTAL SURPRISE:] POOP!
Me: Fall off the toilet lid laughing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I forgot

I forgot to post these cute pics that Mike took of Sydney last month for her birth announcement. It was the day she turned exactly one month, and she's now 7 weeks, so that quickly they are kind of out-dated. I was bummed because although she looks quite stoic in these shots, a few days later she started busting out the smiles. Oh well! He did a great job. It's nice what you can choose from in about 250 frames. ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You're yelling at me in my love language. And, also, you're just yelling.

Like many pre-marrieds, Trent and I read "The Five Love Languages" before we got married. You know, so we'd communicate our affection better, yada, yada, yada. ;) The languages are physical touch, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and giving/receiving gifts. It's not a bad read, but I think most people receive and give love in a number of ways. But we did notice that since I grew up in a household that expressed love through comforting touch, like hand-holding, back rubs, hugs, high-fives, hands on the knee, etc., that I expected more of that from him. So, when we were sitting in church or at the movies and my fiance-at-the-time kept his hands folded neatly in his lap, I would stew in frustration that he wouldn't put his arm around me. SO, reading this book helped us address this miscommunication. According to the book, physical touch would be one of my primary love languages. I recently read The Five Love Languages of Children, and have started noticing some of Carson's tendencies. He's still really young to tell, but I think his strongest ones so far are physical touch and gifts.
On an unrelated story, but one which I will soon connect, in college, I had 2 friends with whom I would invent characters--the kind of characters we thought should be on Saturday Night Live. My favorite character Kellianne and I created in our dorm room was Coach Ed, The Harriest Swim Coach Alive. He was a coach who...actually, his title leaves little need for explanation. Curtis and I would create characters in the Ekklesia* van on long drives. One he created and would enact to annoy us was Personal Space Pete. "Pete" had no space boundaries and would violate acceptable social physical and verbal limits.
Lately, I feel like I am living with Personal Space Pete--and I'm not talking about my husband. Yes, physical touch is one of my primary love languages, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I'm experiencing it. Daily. I've been trying to make a point to spend some quality, one-on-one time with Little C each day. No sister, no dad, no TV--just him and mom. And yet, he feels the need to be connected to me, skin-to-skin, all the livelong day. He follows me from room to room, hanging on my clothes, clinging to my leg, asking for piggyback rides, etc. Bless his little heart, I do love snuggling with him, and try to do that as often as possible to try to fill his need. Even when I don't feel like it. But lately--I am ALL TOUCHED OUT! I am going to try to get a video of him while I'm feeding Sydney, because that is when he begins to yell at me in this love language. If it weren't so frustrating, it would be funny. I literally become his personal jungle gym. This is stress-inducing for me, because Little Miss is not a great eater. She's an on-and-off-and-on-and-off snacker, which takes some focus on my part to get the job done. Which, come to think of it, having another small human literally attached to me so much of the day is probably adding to the feeling of physical hollering. Mr. Potato Head, books, snacks and movies seem to hold his attention only until he realizes that there is a perfectly warm body nearby, ready to be scaled like a lumpy ladder. While yelling. And playing the recorder. Or shaking a rattle at Sydney's face. Or pretending he's a lion and ROARing and clawing us. Or trying to ride horsey on my leg. Pick your poison.
I hesitated to even blog about this, because I feel like I'm complaining about my kiddo a lot during this transition to a new sibling, and I seriously love him so much that it hurts. AND, he's had many perfectly delightful moments in the last 6 weeks. But I find myself commenting on other mommy blogs for them to feel comfortable talking about the good and the bad, so I decided it was OK to vent to any of you who choose to read. I know that we will get through this, the weather will cool down (which will help me not feel so "gamey" as JJ would say), and I'll start getting more sleep which will all help. But for now, if I see you, don't feel the need to hug me. In fact, I'm temporarily switching my love language to "gifts," so feel free to love me in that way. ;)
*One of my newer friends asked what Ekklesia is. It was a singing group I was in during college. We traveled around on the weekends and all summer singing and telling people at churches they should send their kids and money to our university. It was a huge part of my college experience--and helped pay for a lot of it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

We did it!

We went camping all weekend with a 6 week old! I was really not sure if it was a good idea. I really wanted to go, but it was supposed to be cold. And she doesn't sleep through the night. And all four of us sleep in a tent together. But we survived and it went pretty well, thanks to a very involved Daddy, a cooperative big brother, a borrowed snowsuit for warmth and lots of grandmas, grandpas, aunties and uncles who helped with both kids--especially with Carson when I had to disappear into the tent frequently to feed Little Miss who likes to take her sweet time.


This was our 7th annual family campout to Still Creek, near Government Camp on Mt. Hood. check out Mike's blog for some great pics. We look forward to this trip and plan for it all year. The truth is, the trip is not as relaxing and laid-back as it used to be. We used to just spending time in nature--reading, talking, eating, hiking, boating, etc. The addition of SIX kids has changed that! Unlike at home, where there are some physical boundaries, like, you know, doors and walls, camping kind of requires a one-on-one offense for the three toddlers who move quickly in separate directions--especially considering the swiftly flowing, freezing cold river about 20 yards away. The campground is pretty rugged; there is one outhouse down the road and next to it is a faucet of ice-cold water. Other than that, you are on your own. Fortunately, the Jagger/Bunch families do not camp like most people: we camp in STYLE!

For example: please notice a plethora of plastic toys, potties, tricycles, slides, swings, picnic tables, shovels, etc. We eat well and big at every meal--and usually in between as well. We had 7 large tents and 3 large canopies on--I kid you not--what has to be the world's LARGEST campsite. (Actually, 2 of the tents were on the adjacent site, but STILL!) We also have a campfire burning about 19 hours a day, which was really nice this year because it was extra cold.

Sometimes people ask me (and sometimes, when it starts to drizzle, I ask myself) why we choose to spend our vacation time like this, when we could go for something more along the lines of warm hotel beds, sandy beaches, etc. I heard a comedian once say he doesn't work all year to spend his vacation living like the homeless. :) But there's just nothing like it! For three days, I didn't hear a phone ring, hold a remote or look at any kind of TV or computer screen. Better yet--our boys didn't see one either. Instead they played in the dirt, hopped off of and climbed over logs, threw rocks in rivers and ran around ALL DAY. Yes, it was a lot of work. No, it was not relaxing. Yes, it was freezing cold a lot of the time. But this is TRADITION! I've always enjoyed it, but it's meaning even more as we introduce it to our kids.

Grandmas and grandpas get to spend time with their grandbabies...

...and pass on some lifestyles and passions to a new generation.

Little boys get to live like little boys: be dirty and pee in the bushes...

...and young dads get to use an ax and a frisbee more than they use their laptops.

Here's a shot of all the Tompkins' stuff. I think we need a bigger car next year.

But for those of you who still have a hard time wrapping your brain around the camping experience, I filmed a little tour of our Mt. Hood digs. Just think of it as MTV Cribs with fabric walls. (And for those of you who DO camp...aren't you always a little curious what the inside of other people's tents looks like? Now you know about ours.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Carson has two uncles (and 2 more "uncles") who work at Nike, so this contraband Adidas outfit--although pretty darn cute--is frowned upon. Blame his Aunt Tara, who can't turn down a good sale on good lookin' clothes for her nephew. Also, Carson got a haircut! Daddy did the deed this time, and yes, it was a dramatic scene again.

Monday, August 04, 2008

You take the good, you take the bad... take 'em both and there you have the facts of life. Ah yes.

Today has been full of both good and bad. I won't get into all the details (for once) of the bad, but it has to do with frustrations with health insurance and their confusing ways, some of our own mistakes, a lot of money we don't have but now owe, and some tears on my part. Also, the bad has to do with my precious son who gives me a full-on battle at naptime EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. (And before you ask: yes, I'm sure he and I still need him to have it because once he falls asleep he stays asleep for 2 solid hours or until I have to wake him up and then he goes to bed at the normal time AND if he misses his nap he is extremely cranky and irritable for the rest of the day so saying goodbye to naptime is not an option for me right now thank you very much.) Also, he hit his sister in the head. With a boot. On purpose. I witnessed it.


However, there has been some good today as well. We finally put together our new double stroller (thanks Ron and Leota!), which is a "sit 'n stand" kind. Sydney's car seat fits in the front, then there is a little jump seat and platform behind her for Carson, who can "sit or stand," thus the brand name. Yesterday we went for a walk as a family and today I took both kids on a walk to Wallgreens to buy stamps and stickers. Carson did a great job staying on the stroller (when he gets off it ceases to be a "walk" and becomes a "dawdle") and I got some exercise. It was a positive experience all around.


Also, Sydney is starting to smile more, but we have to really work for them! But it is quite fun. The lighting and everything in these pictures is horrible, but it was one of those "quick--grab the camera!" diaper changes and I just wanted to try to catch the facial expression. Didn't have time to worry about photo quality! My caption for this first one is: "Rock on!" Carson told me she is saying, "To infinity...and beyond!"

Friday, August 01, 2008

Best Buds

The other day we heard someone reference their "best friend" and I asked Carson who his best friend was. I was curious, because we've never used that specific term before. Without hesitating, he said "Ethan and Henry and Nate." I thought it was really sweet. Those four boys are all within 10 months of each other and have been basically been forced together since birth. Since their parents get along so well (and some of us are pretty much related), we foster and nourish the friendship as much as possible.
These just happen to be some great pictures we have of Ethan and Carson in the hospital room after Sydney was born. As all toddlers are, some playdates can be more fighting than playing, but this particular day the boys were living up to their best friend status. I love the images of them together and the love they have for each other. We'll have to get the camera out more often to capture all the boys together, even their newest comrade Jack.