Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Carsonism

Me: Why don't you try that again, and talk to me like a nice person.
Carson: I'm NOT A PERSON! I'm a BIG BOY!
This morning I realized I too easily get sucked into trying to rationalize with a 3 year old. This is the conversation on the way to Bible study this morning:

C: AAAA! Waaaa! [insert general freaking out] I have crumbs all over me! The rice cake made crumbs on my shirt! [insert fake and LOUD crying] Mommy, stop! Stop! STOP THE CAR!

Me: Carson, I can't stop. I'm on the freeway.

C: Stop right now! You have to get these off me!

Me: Carson, I can't stop right now until we are at a red light.

C: There's a red light right there on that truck!

Me: I mean a red STOP light.

C: Wuhl, just go off right there (we were passing an exit), right there, RIGHT THERE! WHY DIDN'T YOU GO OFF RIGHT THERE!?! [more loud, fake crying]

Me: Because, Babe, that's not the way to church!

C: YES IT IS! It IS the way to church! I SAW a red light and you need to STOP THE CAR RIGHT NOW AND GET THESE CRUMBS OFF OF ME!

We went back and forth, him scolding me everytime we passed an exit or he saw a stop light on a side street and I didn't leave the freeway or stop in any way to fix the crumb emergency. He kept trying to explain to me that there were plenty of red lights around and for some reason, I kept trying to explain to him that I had to stay the course and NOT stop on the freeway or we'd get hurt and/or never make it to church. After this inane back and forth, he was hysterical, and I told him I needed a time-out and turned up the music and started singing to drown out the whining. I know. Mother of the year.

His latest reasoning technique is to assume that I'm misunderstanding his desires. For instance:

Me: We don't have popsicles for breakfast.

C: YES I DO! I DO want a popsicle for breakfast! I DO! I WANT ONE!

Me: Oh, sweetheart, I'm not debating your personal longings and aspirations for a popsicle, I'm simply asserting our household directive that we do not indulge in sugary treats before consuming a nutritious meal!

I KNOW! I thought it would be a conversation-ender too, but sadly: I was mistaken.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And that would make me? Old.

Last week I had my first sub job since having Syd. It was at a private elementary school that pays really well, so even though I didn't plan on starting this month, I decided to take it. Holla to my mom for watching the kids, even though Sydney is boycotting bottles quite with some determination.

I was in a class of 5th graders that I know pretty well. This is the end of a short conversation I overhead between a girl and a boy:

Girl: Who's Michael Jordan?

(That alone had my jaw dropping.)

Boy: He's an old basketball player! Do you even know who Magic Johnson is?

Girl: Sure. He plays baseball.

Boy: No he doesn't!

I'm wondering how far into our future will some kid say to another: "Who's Tiger Woods?"


We had a lovely little party for C-dogg yesterday on my parents' beautiful deck. It was a bit warm, but not bad. You know, there are days when you realize how much you are loved, and it is so humbling. But on the days when I see how loved my children are? It just makes me weak with gratitude. I have no other option but to soak it in and thank the Lord for placing all these wonderful people in our lives.
I was pretty proud of myself for not going party crazy. Last year, with the ELMO theme, it got a little silly. I got Elmo balloons, Elmo streamers, Elmo wall decorations, Elmo plates, Elmo napkins, Elmo wrapping paper, etc. (I really don't regret the Elmo cupcakes, though. Those rocked! If you can't tell by how much I mention them.) This year I went all out on the cake, but that was it! I'm enjoying a wise decision.
This was the first gift-giving holiday where Carson was VERY aware and conscious that gifts were coming and they were for him. And let me tell you, our families did NOT disappoint. This little man was showered with love in the form of gifts. Just a disclaimer, I will NOT be able to mention all the gifts, so don't be offended if yours is not pictured in the blog. Seriously, they were all awesome.
It is hard to explain how hard it is for toddlers to sit back and watch someone else open really fun presents! The boys actually did really well. It didn't bother us or Carson at all that they were wanting to get in on the fun. They all had a great time playing before and after the gifts.
It has been a challenge to control the post-party high. ONE gift at a time, mister!
This is the gift from us. We didn't even bother bringing it to the party, but gave it to him last night when things had calmed down a bit. Just for the record, it WAS going to be a play kitchen, but Trent talked me into the smaller toy--a TOOL BENCH. Hmph. Get ready, Sydney, a kitchen is coming your way! That's a good Christmas gift for a 6 month old, right?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Feeling pretty proud of myself.

I just took this picture about 10 minutes ago, and finished decorating it about 11 minutes ago. I'm extremely paranoid that something is going to happen to it in the next 36 hours. We're having a little b-day party for Carson on Sunday, but this afternoon was my only chance to get some alone time to work on this. Good thing, too, because it took me 6 hours, including baking, making all the frostings and decorating. Yeah. Don't quit your day job, Jen. This competes with the Elmo cupcakes, but I'm not sure it tops them. I mean, those things had fondant eyeballs. Also, to answer one of WoosterWeester's questions, we didn't do anything wild for Carson's b-day, except after dinner we went to Chuck E. Cheese, where we had a coupon for 100 tokens for $10. (Which, if you read my previous post, may now turn into $100 to get a new car CD player.) I didn't know that Chuck's games are now all 1 token. When I was growing up, the good ones were like 4 or 5 tokens, so we thought 100 would be great. Turns out it was about 50 too many! But still cheaper than buying their pizza!

Stay tuned for more pics and stories from the par-tay.

That's MISTER to you.

I just stepped on "angry eyes" for about the 10th time this week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deep [blog] thoughts. By Brazenlilly.

I was talking with two of my blogger friends last night, Kristen and Beth, and I mentioned to them that I have a hard time remembering to blog about anything other than my kids these days. Then I remembered that writing about and posting pictures of my kid was kind of why I started blogging in the first place. It's so much easier to tell people about the blog than try to remember to send out emails with 10 attachments and stories that only I think are cute every couple months.
And I thank you, readers, all 6 of you (Hi Mom!), for letting me vent my joys and frustrations of this season in life. But am I giving a little TMI about the frustrating parts? One of my friends with no kids told me that reading my blog is "good birth control." HA! Oh dear. Was it the potty training? It was, wasn't it. The 36 hour labor and delivery story? The descriptions of a daily madhouse? More poop stories? I guess I should have a disclaimer or something. Or maybe I'm providing a service. You know, like a PSA. I mean, ignorance was bliss when I thought that parenting was rocking a sleeping baby while reading the latest novel from Oprah's bookclub, but when I'm verbally and physically wrestling with a toddler whilst holding a screaming infant and cleaning spit-up from my new shirt as I walk out the door (late) to church, I may be able to think "No one told me how hard this was going to be!" However, if you have read my blog, you can claim no such naivety.
Actually, I'm giving myself way too much credit. There are lots of other Mommy blogs with worse stories and Mommies who have it worse off than me. For instance, any mom with more than 2 kids. Or who has to work full-time AND do Mommy duties. Or who have a truly special-needs child. Or who have illness in their family. Or whose husbands are not as supportive as mine. Or who don't have both sets of grandparents nearby. Or who don't live 3 minutes from a Target. Or who have a bigger house to clean. Or who have pets other than a fish who obviously has magical powers and can stay alive in filthy water without food for days on end. Heck, come to think of it, what am I complaining for?!?!
Oh, but PS: Yesterday Carson put Chuck E. Cheese tokens in my car CD player and it is now broken. Fun!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

As Mariah Carey said...

"You'll always be my baby."

My baby boy turns THREE YEARS OLD today! I really can't believe it. Each year on our birthdays, my parents would gushingly (what?! it's a word!) look at us and say, "______ years ago at this time, we were rushing to the hospital!" or " I remember the day you were born!" Yada, yada, yada. Well, now I know why! It's so true! There are parts of those 2 and a half days (I was in labor for a long time) before Carson finally arrived that are blurry, but it is SUCH a life-changing experience, that most of it is crystal clear. And I think that birthdays make us focus on the birth day, and we remember our kids as those fragile little babies. THEN, we look up and they are no longer babies, and we go through all the cliches about parenting, particularly that common one: it goes by so fast! He's such a fun kid, and he has personality coming out his ears--his cute little Carson ears.

So, I thought I would write about some of my favorite things about Carson Michael at 3 years old:

*He LOVES his family--immediate and extended. Sometimes when one of us is holding Sydney, and the other is in the same room, he'll corral our legs and push us together and say "We're a FAMILY! And we're all TOGETHER!" Carson loves his sister and wants to be with her all the time and give her hugs and kisses. He asks when she'll be able to play with him, because he wants to share his toys with her. (Yeah...we'll see about that one.) He cannot wait to see any of his aunts, uncles or grandparents. He talks about them all the time and his eyes turn to saucers with excitement if I tell him we are going to see any of them that day.

*He LOVES his friends. Just yesterday he saw me writing thank you cards, and he decided he wanted to write cards to his 3 best friends. So we spent almost 30 minutes making cards for them, and he made sure that I addressed and stamped them. He kept saying with a grown-up inflection, "Oh, they are going to LOVE this!" (You three, you know who you are and will be receiving cards soon.) He prays for them each night, and almost every day he asks about E, N and H and all his other friends too, wondering if they can come over and play.

*He truly, in his heart, wants to please us. He forgets this sometimes, but we know it is true. He loves to bring me flowers and make things for Daddy. When he obeys the first time and I say "That makes me so proud!" he often says, "Do I make you smile?" Oh yeah, Babe. Lots.

*He is very funny! His language has totally taken off, and we can understand about 85-90% of what he is saying. (The percentage is probably lower for others.) He is imaginative and creative and likes to find ways to make us laugh. And then sometimes he makes us laugh accidentally. ;) His most recent and repetitive joke is when he says from the bathroom, "Mom! I got a present for you!" and when I walk in, he points to his poop and says grandiosely (what? It's a word!) "TADA!"

*He loves to snuggle with us and sit in our laps, which I hear rumor is not necessarily the norm for 3 year old boys.

*He is (almost always) very kind to other children. At least when I've watched, he talks nicely to kids we don't know and smiles at me like: "I made a friend!"

*He is grateful. He doesn't seem to take gifts for granted. Whether it is a churro at Costco or a day at the zoo or a new bottle of hand soap just for him, he says Thank You sincerely and often several times. I love that about him.

And now, you you can all walk down memory lane with me, here are some pics of C-dog's first three years of life.

Year ONE:

Year TWO:

I think another line in that same Mariah Carey song says, "Oh, boy, you never can escape me. Oh, darling, 'cause you'll always be my baby."

Yep. Pretty much!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mom's shoes.

As mentioned, my family has a weakness for nostalgia and pictures, in particular, are our precious family wealth. Here's a gem:
This is my little bro, Mike, circa 1981.

This is Carson 2 weeks ago.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Mom! My bottom's not working!" The sequel.

Some of you remember that conversation when C-man was a little constipated. Today we had a variation of it. I heard this from our master bathroom:

"Mom! This toilets not working! I need to move to the other potty!"

So we moved his bare bum to the toddler pot in the front bathroom. As usual when trying to have a movement, Carson says:
"Please leave me alone."
A few minutes later:
"Mom! This potty's not working either! I need to try the big potty!"

So he moved again to the big toilet and sat and concentrated and grunted for a few minutes. Finally:
"Hey Mom! This toilet's working! I went poop!"

Maybe toilets are magical. Who knows?

BTW, this morning at 5:45 am, Carson woke up calling out that he needed to go poop. Evidently, the "toilet" wasn't working then either, because he produced nothing, but also produced no further sleep.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Well. That's a first.

Yesterday afternoon our doorbell rang. We were all in the front rooms, so I answered it. There were 2 neighbor girls there, about 7 years old. I've met them in passing before a few times. One of them said "Can Carson come out and play?" Huh? Um.....I....don't know. Trent and I just looked at each other with surprise. Carson, on the other hand, JUMPED up and headed for the door. "I guess so!" I said. We hurriedly discussed that one of us should still be out there in the cul-de-sac (I mean, they're sweet girls, but I'm not letting second graders babysit), so I took the first turn. He chased them for a couple minutes (with his helmet on--funny) and then the one who lives right behind us said "Do you guys want to come jump on my trampoline?!" Of course, Carson says "YEAH!" and starts following her, while I'm quickly trying to assess the situation and choose my proper course of action. He's not even three! My gut is telling me I should not let him go play by himself at someone else's house; they are really nice, but I don't know them very well. However, our backyards are connected, the trampoline has a safety net, and if I stand on our deck, I can see their trampoline just fine. SO, I quickly set out some ground rules: 15 minutes, and only on the trampoline where I can see him--not in the house. He had a blast, which is a double edged sword: I love hearing him laugh hard and have fun, but that means future requests will come soon and often. I could hear and see how sweet the girls were to him. (I think they think of him as their little baby doll or toy thing.) I sat down to read, and I could hear when they were done, so I told them, over the fence, to walk straight up the driveway and I'd meet them out front.
Evidently, in the 45 seconds it took to walk from the trampoline to the driveway, Carson had invited the girls (or they had convinced him--I'm still not sure) to OUR house. Oh great. "The 'dirls' are gonna play on MY play park!" He announced, and they happily were following. New set of questions: Do their moms know where they are? Is it OK with them that the girls are here? Is it inappropriate for Trent (adult male) to be in our yard supervising 2 little girls we barely know, even if they kind of invited themselves over? (We decided yes, but that meant it was still my turn to supervise.) Of course I let them, and suddenly, C-dogg was in heaven.

For about 10 minutes he had a little harem that attended to his every whim. But then I could see that the girls were a little more interested in our swingset than in Carson. And I could also see that our discount swingset was perfect for a preschool kid who weighs 35 pounds, and not so perfect for 2 elementary girls swinging hard--it was rocking pretty good. Carson was no longer really playing WITH them, but just watching in amusement. I waited patiently as long as I could, then made up some excuse about how I needed to get ready for dinner, so we needed to "say goodbye"--which was my polite way to say "Time to go, dirls." I'm glad we have young families in our neighborhood, and both families are really kind and friendly. But they've already come by twice today asking to play with Carson in our yard, and I'm wondering if I'm ready for this new stage of childhood!

Friday, September 12, 2008

That's more like it.

This picture is kind of how I imagined having 2 kids would be like. Older sib would happily entertain and thrill younger sib, who would squeal and smile in delight for hours on end at the wonderful amusement while I snuck into the other room to remember what being productive feels like. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, my! Let me catch my breath after falling off the chair laughing at what I just typed. Truth is, this scene was so rare, that I almost tripped racing to get my camera to capture the occasion. I was reading an article in a parenting mag the other day (I DO miss reading a novel, but right now my reading time comes in 45 second intervals, so magazines have to do) that talked about mothers' guilty secrets; like one mom confessed her daughter really didn't turn out the way she had hoped--which was, basically, a mini-version of herself. That's not my secret. Despite any complaints, I do love the little boy Carson is becoming. The other secret the article talked about was having a favorite child. The author made a good point in the fact that when there is more than one child, it's hard not to draw comparisons and have a favorite. But, the good thing is, your favorite will change--day by day, season by season, hour by hour. And I really resonated with that. It took away some guilt I have the my precious eldest has driven me to drink (ok not really, but he has driven me to tears) out of frustration. When my 3 year old was yelling at the top of his lungs from his bedroom: "I WILL! NEVER! TAKE! A! NAP! NEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVER!!!!!" for 30 minutes straight, and my little 2 month old was laying in my lap smiling up with complete adoration--take a wild guess who the favorite was at that moment.
BUT, later when Sydney was finally asleep after fussing for an hour, and Carson was sitting in my lap making up hilarious stories about his imaginary dog and saying he was "Mommy's boy, NOT Daddy's boy!" I had a new favorite. After having kids, I have a whole new appreciation for unconditional love. I've never experienced anything that strong before in my life. Liking the kids may be a challenge (daily, sometimes) but loving them sure doesn't seem to be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old and new friends

It hasn't been hard to make friends here in Salem, since we moved about a year and a half ago. It has been hard to make GOOD friends. It's hard to leave a place where family are your friends and friends become family. It's easy enough for me to meet other moms, but to really connect with them, let alone if our kids like each other or our husbands connect--that's another story. A couple weeks ago, I found out another friend down here that I really like and want to spend more time with is moving. She's the fourth friend I've made here that has moved away! There are some awesome gals that I look forward to getting to know better, and I know that deep friendships take time. I'm not lonely by any means, just trying to be patient.
So, in light of these observations about making friends after a move, it has been such a blessing to reconnect with a couple we went to college with. We just had dinner with them last night and I told them that I TRY not to mention first and last names in the same blog post to preserve a little identity security. But those of you who know Seth and Christi from PCC, you don't need me to type their last name. They live in a nearby town where Seth is an associate pastor at a small church. We weren't close with either of them at school, but always liked them. Christi was my RA one year and she was good friends with my roommate, Kelli, so we spent some time together. But I'm so grateful God placed them in our lives at this time, b/c we really seem to click with them as a couple, which is way harder than finding another girl friend, don't you think? Our boys are about a year apart, but get along pretty well. I wanted to post a picture of their cute family. Their kids' names are Isaiah and Ivy. As you can see, the kids were not amused at all by my photo request. So, here's to making new friends, keeping the old ones, and making new friends OUT OF old ones. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Green thumb? NOT from his mother.

Here's some pics of Carson participating in one of his favorite helping activities at Gma Jo-Jo's. She's got a bunch of gorgeous flowers in their yard, and last summer he began the routine of helping her water them. He even has his own watering pot. As you can see, he takes it quite seriously!

Inside, Carson thought that Sydney didn't need a SOLO photo shoot, and asked to hop in.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

How much fun can one kid have?

And how many pictures can his mom post? Both are yet to be determined. Be prepared...I'm having a hard time deciding which ones to post.
At WiNeMa, there is a little inlet that takes water from the ocean to the lake. It changes in size and shape, but there is usually a large pool of very shallow water, and it is a tad bit warmer than the ocean. It is the PERFECT place for a (n almost) 3 year old to play for hours. This is a pic from up on the dunes. You can see Carson down at the bottom.

Sydney and I enjoyed from the sidelines. It was a sunny day with some good wind, so I was comfy/warm in a vest, but Carson was fine in his swimtrunks too.
Syd slept through most of the beach fun.
We went to the waves for a while, but Carson soon noticed that we gave him a lot less freedom when there's an undertoe involved.
So he decided back at the inlet was a better deal. He sat forever digging in the sand, dripping it on his legs, making sand piles... ...and running, running, running through the water.
We were joined on the beach by Uncle Chad and some other friends too for some wiffle ball and football.

The next day, Aunt Michelle took Carson fishing.

Here they are sharing a worm. NOT the worm they used for bait.
If I had a nickel for every time I wanted to do this...Again, Sydney watched the fun and has to wait a couple more years to partake.

Trent calls this picture "before it all went horribly wrong." Trent even gave the BIG water slide a trial run before taking Carson in his lap, but evidently, they just went too fast and lost control a little when they went into the water. Carson ended up going under for a second and was a little traumatized. Yeah for lifejackets! (And plenty of adults around.)
This is the dry slide--also very big! When we went on it together, his leg got off of the burlap sack a little at the end and got burned just a bit. He says to me, very tactfully: "Mom, I'm just gonna go on this with Dad. He has more practice." I mean, he's the one that almost let you drown, but WHATEVER!

What is camp without some BUNKS?

Here's the whole clan, including (far left) Jeremy, Wendy and their little girl Miley. They are kind of adopted bro and sis into our fam. Then there is Chad (Trent's brother) and wife Jess, Gma, Michelle, Tara (above), the 4 of us and Gpa. It was a great weekend! Sorry for the boring commentary, but I thought the extended fam would get a kick out of the Carson pics.