Friday, January 30, 2009

New look & new tricks

I was getting tired of the maroon, so I switched up the look on the ol' blog. Please be patient, as I don't have time in one sitting to update all my links and whatnot.
A new thing this last week was that Sydney got to sit in the big bath with Carson. They both enjoyed the novelty, I think. We have to sit on the floor with a vigilance we haven't needed in a while in the big tub. She's slipped a few times and got her face wet, but nothing scary. I thought it was really fun that they could be in together, and when Carson was excited I said "Yeah, now you guys can take baths together for a long time!" Trent looked at me with a weird face and said, "Uh, not a LONG time."

I LUV this FACE!
These pics are of my brainwashed kids for my husband's side of the family, who are all huge OSU fans.

Here's a video of Sydney's new trick. She's been blowing raspberries all the time for the last few days. She was a little distracted by the camera cord, but normally we go back and forth for quite a while. It's the simple things in life that make me smile!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Minor progress

OK, so it is no secret that I am not an animal-lover. For the record, I would like to remind everyone, I am NOT AN ANIMAL HATER! I despise seeing animals hurt or abused in any way. I enjoy an occasional trip to the zoo. It's just that I do not have any desire to ever own a pet. At all. And although I have come to have a fondness somewhere between tolerance and affinity towards some pets of my family/friends, I still find them much more annoying and inconvenient than anything else. Especially dogs. Plus, now that I have kids, I have seen some dogs change irrationally from sweet tail-wagging to scary barking/growling/snipping because the kids have done something offensive unwittingly, and when my kid is at their head level, it's really unnerving.
BUT, my biggest pet peeve is that in our cul-de-sac, there are approximately 37 dogs. OK, that is an exaggeration, but I'm not kidding there are at least 8. A couple of the neighbors are conscientious owners and I rarely hear their dogs bark, but many don't bring their dogs in at night (it's worse in the summer.) Also, out our bedroom window, we have about 10 feet of sideyard, then our fence, then a maze of 4 or 5 backyards mashed together because of flag lots and roads behind ours. I know for a fact that of those 5 yards, there are at least 3 dogs (possibly 4). It is frequent that one or more dogs will bark a lot during the night, and I have no idea where it's coming from, so it's not like I can politely go knock on the door the next day and ask them to bring the dog in. It is such a frustrating, helpless feeling. I had been suspecting our new neighbors though. Right next door. Lab.
Well, last night at 2am, a dog was barking solidly for about 15 minutes, and I was wide-awake. I admit, I was not thinking nice thoughts about this dog. DO NOT mess with my sleep, people. It is rare and precious, and I defend it vehemently. It seemed really close, so I went to my window to see if maybe THIS time I could tell if it was our immediate neighbor's dog. Sure enough, I saw their light turn on, I saw the neighbor open the door and shake his finger at the dog. THEN CLOSE THE DOOR. The dog kept barking and barking. The light went off. A minute later the door opened again, and you'd better believe I whipped open my blinds and opened my window. Now, this is a very nice young couple with no children. (I know the type--they aren't ready for kids so they get a dog. I know this type because it's pretty much EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR BEST FRIENDS! You know who you are.) I didn't want to alienate them as neighbors or make them feel horrible, but I needed them to know that this was getting tiresome.
Trent will confirm that I used a VERY KIND voice, although it was totally fake. "Is that your dog?" I asked in a syruppy sweet, head-tilted to the side voice. "Yeah, sorry." He said. "Is there anyway you could bring him inside?" "Yeah, we will," he said. "Oh, ok, thanks!" says I.
HA! I laid in bed very pleased, partly because the dog had FINALLY stopped barking and I had finally been able to DO SOMETHING other than lay in bed wide awake deciding if I should plaster the neighborhood with nasty notes to dog-owners or move. One neighbor down, 36 to go.
On a side note, Carson tasted Preparation H yesterday that he found in a drawer even after I told him it was not toothpaste.
"It was really yucky," he said when he brought it to me.
I just smiled. "Yeah! I bet it was." (Don't worry, I have poison control already plugged into my cell phone.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carson tidbits.

Typical morning. Carson gets too silly around Sydney when she's trying to "eat" and stops to look at him, causing me to get annoyed.

Carson: Mom, why isn't Sydney eating?
Me: Because she thinks you're so exciting.
Carson: Well? I AM so exciting!


In the car after church on Sunday...
Daddy: Carson, tell us about your story in class today.
Carson: There was a sheep and he got lost from all the other sheeps.
Mommy: Good memory! Then what happened?
Carson: Well, uh, Jesus came and found him. And then there was a manger. And the donkeys and sheep ate from the manger. And when sheeps are in trouble, I'm the only one who can rescue them from the bad guys.
Mommy and Daddy just smile and shrug.
After all my potty-training woes that I shared last June, I have to share that Carson has done a wonderful job and is almost completely PT'd. He wears a pull-up at night and most naps, but during the day he does a great job. In fact, we've put the toddler pot in the attic and most of the time he can go by himself and even wash his hands alone. (Twosies still need an adult helper for the wiping.) (Did I just type that?) ANYWAY, a few weeks ago, Carson announced that he was going alone and didn't need help. Great! I thought. He then came out (sans pants & unders) and told me we were out of TP, and was going to get a new roll. Fabulous! "Wow." I thought to myself. "We have really entered the promised land here. I'm almost a non-entity in the potty world, and I LOVE it!" He walked back by me with a new roll from the closet, finished his biz and came back out with his clothes on and hands washed. I was bursting with pride.

A couple hours later, I venture into the bathroom for my own biz, and I see THE ENTIRE ROLL of toilet paper floating in the toilet water. Sigh. It seems that promised land is still a ways out. Hopefully not 40 more years.


We are currently in the middle of a new imagination game (Monica, Chandler and Rachel aren't around as often these days). Now, Carson wants more interactive involvement. We rotate between two games: "pet store" and "don't hurt my babies." The first game involves Carson becoming a puppy, and I am a shopper at the store and I inquire about the cute puppy to the "pet store man." Sometimes the puppy is hurt. Other times the puppy is locked and can't get out. Sometimes the puppy is sick. Every once in a while I actually get to purchase and keep the puppy, but that is rare. The versions of this game go back to back to back to back. It seems endless. The only easy thing about it is that Carson tells me exactly what I'm supposed to say and exactly what Pet Store Man says. There's very little thought involved.

"Don't hurt my babies" is a jungle game, and in this game we actually get to switch roles back and forth. Each of us is a wild animal, and one has babies. (This is where Sydney gets to play. She is the babies.) The other one stalks, growls and narrates his/her evil intentions to devour the babies if no one interferes. Giraffes, tigers, lions, hippos and especially jaguars are the star of this game. Don't worry, the mommy/daddy wild animal always swoops in just in time to save its babies from the jaws of the other wild animal. It, too, can last for what seems like an eternity when I have a million other things to do, but I try to indulge a few times a day to be a good mommy. Carson, first child that he is, also directs this one as carefully as a staged performance, and commands each move and all the dialogue. What is in store for this kid's future? I can't wait to find out. I also can't wait for preschool to start.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Tattle-tale and the Bouncer

We have a small house. It is great, and I love it. The way to get to the garage, where we park, is to go through a small laundry room. Well, my dear husband irons his own shirts, which is also great. But he usually leaves the ironing board up when he goes to work, and I don't discover this until I'm four feet wide with a purse, huge diaper bag, infant carseat and trying to push big brother out the door. And, of course, we're always late, and I have to shimmy backwards and unload, put the board away, then load up and shimmy out again. The ironing board surprise is never a pleasant one, and apparently I've grumbled out loud about this a few times too many. Because...
The other day Trent was getting the ironing board out before work and Carson told him very seriously: "YOU need to put that away when you are done. Mommy gets mad when you leave it." Husband was quite amused by this and reported to me what he had learned. I pretended to be embarassed but was actually amused myself that Carson had done my nagging for me! (Hmmm...what else can I have him scold Daddy for?!)
In fact, he's such a good little Mommy's pet that yesterday when Trent was getting the board out, Carson stood up and cocked his head and lifted his eyebrows at his father. I wasn't there, but Trent said it was hilarious how seriously he was reprimanding the adult with his facial expression. "You'd better put that back." Then, a few minutes later, Trent reported to Carson in the kitchen that he had, indeed, returned the ironing board to its rightful place. Carson said (having heard it a few times himself) "Show me." HA!
Also, we only have one couch in our house, so we tend to be there a lot. I now have many pictures of the kids on the couch, and I thought I would include some. This was a sweet moment when C-dog got out this little mini-Bible and started reading Scripture to his sis. Sydney was mesmerized by Carson's new hairdo and the jelly in his dimple.
Can you even handle the cute-factor on this one?

Here's a great vid of Syd (I'm a poet) enjoying her Christmas present. It totally cracks me up! You can hear Carson in the background, wailing that he had been put in time out for some infraction.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Embarassing, but funny.

Have you ever had one of those days when you don't exactly go the extra mile in getting yourself presentable? You know, you don't bother blow-drying your wrinkly, frizzy hair; you just put on enough make-up to get by; realize your "good" jeans are dirty, so you wear a not-as-cute pair? You think to yourself: "How many people could possibly see me today? Not that many!"

Yes, I had a day like that. Eleven years ago. In my defense, flat-irons were not yet invented--at least, I had never heard of one. And a last-minute invitation turned into those 15 minutes everyone is promised once in their lifetime. A friend recently informed me that my regret in those morning preparation decisions is now captured for the world on YouTube. Enjoy, and try to laugh WITH me, not AT me.

Something you may not know about my husband...

***warning: LOTS of pictures in this long post***

A couple years ago, I heard a Newlywed Game question: "Which of your husband's relationships would need a deeper analysis by a psychologist: his relationship with his mother or his male friends?" This was a no-brainer for me. While Trent loves his mom, he has a serious, bewildering connection to his male college friends. When we are away from them, he will talk seriously about his affection for them, his concerns and prayers for their marriages, children and financial worries, his gratitude for their friendship, etc. But as soon as he is in the same room as one of them, they are immediately transported back to the college dorm, which many of you know is indistinguishable from the middle school boy's locker room. Teasing is relentless, giggling at potty talk, multiple attempts to throw an object at each other's crotch...I'm telling you, it's like the last 10 years never happened.


Last week we met up with Kipp and Sarah and their little boy Tanner. We had such a good time! We saved tons of money, because Sarah had a connection to a free time share with a full kitchen, so we made all our meals and never ate out. Kipp and Trent were in classic mode from the minute we walked in. Here's an example of typical afternoon activities. "Let's see if Kipp can close Trent into the murphy bed?"

The answer is "almost."

Also, they love making a competition out of EVERYTHING! Here we are at a little kid's park, and they kept seeing who could swing higher and propel themselves further.

Because of their close friendship, I'm sure it made them happy to see our boys playing so well together. The age difference is about a year and a half, but Tanner and Carson had a blast and fought very little. Here they are wrestling like their daddies.

And here are the Daddies egging them on!

The little boys had a great time, and it was like watching little Mini-Me's!

I also want to say that Trent and Kipp were Superstar Dads, and took Carson and Tanner out for all kinds of adventures while Sarah and Sydney and I relaxed, cooked and talked back at the condo.

We all went on a picnic to a nearby park at the Lake.

Hello?! How sweet is this?

Did I mention Sarah is pretty much 9 months pregnant? She's having her baby on Febrary 20. Her name will be Peyton Elizabeth. So cute! Sydney is excited to play with her next time!

We also went to the local "town" where the main attractions were a Safeway with a Starbucks cart and a no-frills bowling alley. Preggo looks good, huh?!

The boys also went fishing. The mommies came down to supervise and fret about the lack of lifejackets. (But the water was shallow and the dads were ready to jump in if need be.)

He sure looks the part, huh?

This was the gorgeous view from our balcony. We were at Clear Lake in California. It was almost exactly equal distance from our house and the Lyons' house to meet in the middle.

A family shot. We could not believe the weather! It was warm--in the 60's & 70's the whole time!

Here's som pics of me and my sweet bird, whom I'm falling more and more in love with every day! She is crazy-sweet and mellow.

Our picnic was on Carson Street! Ha!

One last story. Our whole family slept in one room, which was a little sketchy, because the kids kept waking each other up. We ended up letting Sydney fall asleep in the living room with us, so that Carson could be alone while falling asleep. Well, we put him to bed and when I came back to check on him, I opened the door and saw his little legs (he doesn't like wearing pants to bed) running across the room from the bathroom to his sleeping bag in the dark. I went over to him and even in the dark I thought I could see something on his face. Not yet old enough to be too savvy about mischief, he said, "Mom, I found something. By the toilet." Oh, no. My mind started to wonder what kind of filth was on his face. After a few minutes of questioning and finally turning the lights on, I realized he had found my old mascara tube, which evidently did not make it all the way into the trash. He had painted his face, hands and arms with it. I couldn't help myself. I got the camera and took this pic....even in the dark.
It was a great trip! You can check out more pics at Sarah's blog. We love you guys!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ode to the Road Trip

I have many pictures to post from our fun little budget vacay to Northern Cal, but first, I'd like to dedicate a post to the driving portion of our time away. There is something timeless about the idea of a road trip. My mom tells of traveling along 2-lane highways in a station wagon with her parents and 4 other siblings when she was a kid. I remember trips to So. Cal as a kid and one BIG road trip to Colorado/Wyoming/Montana/S.Dakota when I was about 11. Also, in college I spent literally hundreds of hours over three years in a van traveling the country with our little school-sponsored singing group. I love the excitement that precedes the departure! Packing music, books, magazines, little projects, and of course, lots of SNACKS! And I especially love car napping. Mmmm.
We have never done anything like this with Carson, let alone both kids. Trent was more optimistic about how the drive would go. I was planning for 9 hours of whining and crying. The reality was somewhere in the middle, but the pendulum swung both ways for what ended up being ELEVEN hours each way. I will say, Carson and Sydney both were troopers. They obviously did NOT like it, but we had no monumental, tear-my-hair-out meltdowns. We borrowed the in-laws Chevy Suburban, which made a WORLD of difference. We packed the entire house in that thing, partly for our time with the Lyons and partly to keep our 3 year old busy during the trip.
It turns out that, for our trip, being the driver was the easy job. I usually ended up in the back seat between both kids, soothing/feeding (with a bottle in her carseat, people--safety first!) Syd and finding something new for Carson to distract him from the fact that he was miserable. We sang songs, we watched movies, we colored, we did stickers, we read books, we made animals out of pipe cleaners, we played I Spy, we had drinks and thing we did NOT do was sleep. After a couple of hours, I was begging Trent to let me drive because I was going bonkers. On the 11 hours down, Carson finally fell asleep around hour 9.5. Five minutes after he fell asleep, Sydney woke up crying. Those were the only 5 minutes they were asleep at the same time. FOR ELEVEN HOURS. The double-child-sleeping time increased a tad bit on the way back, but we were all happy to be home and get into our own beds. But, you know what? It was worth it! We had an awesome time and we saved a bunch of money. Here's some pictures of the drive down. I actually wish I had taken more!
This was a rare moment when I let Carson use my camera.
Quiet resignation is her trademark look.

AND we're adding "Watching movies in the car" to the "Things I said I'd never let my children do....and changed my mind once I actually HAD children" list. Lifesaver!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Business Venture #2

Before Christmas, I posted about my entrepreneurial endeavor of making Christmas photo cards for some extra Christmas money. It was fun! Thanks to all those who let me experiment with their cards.
Another side business that I started last fall was selling Uppercase Living products, which are vinyl designs/expressions you rub onto your wall. Doesn't harm the wall, easy to remove whenever you want (but not reusable). It's an awesome and affordable way to totally change the look of a room. Sizes range from small designs to large quotes. I NEVER thought I would do sales of any kind, because I usually find those parties pressure-filled and not really enjoyable. But I looked at a catalog, fell in love, and found myself ASKING to be invited to more than one party! When I got a catalog and wore it out with puppydog-earing the pages, leaving my coffee mug ring on several pages and even taking it camping to pour over; I was talking it up so much that it started to make sense to think about selling it.

Here's one that Aunt Tara got for Carson's surf theme bedroom.

This is the design that got me started on my obsession. I still love it!

Some people have expressed interest, so I thought I would make a plug. A new catalog with lots of new items was just released, and you can access the entire thing on my website, under "products." If you are quite sure you want to order something and would rather have a hard copy of the catalog to flip through, I could send one to you, but would need to add about $4 to your final total.

These expressions are mainly for walls, but can be used on all solid surfaces. Textured walls work great, and smoother surfaces like glass or wood work even better. There are hundreds of expressions to choose from, but another really popular thing is to create your own design on the website, choosing your own wording, font and color.

If you are interested, my contact information is on my UL website, that I've linked about 5 times in this post. :) If you have questions, feel free to comment on the blog or email me. When I get back, I'm going to host a VIRTUAL PARTY for all my blog readers (that includes all of you silent readers!), so check out the catalog and see if it floats your boat. I can testify (as can Steph, Becky and Sarah) that there are lots of things to choose from and it can be really hard to decide!
You can't place orders online yet, only through me via phone, email or have your own party and get lots of free and discounted stuff!
We are headed out for about 6 days first thing tomorrow morning, so this post will be up for a long time--sorry about that! We're going on a road trip to Northern Cal to meet up with the Lyons. Woohoo! Many pictures to come, I'm sure.