Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bird Talk

There has been a shift in the household during the last week or so, and that is that Sydney has become the more high-maintenance child. Now, Carson still completely takes the cake several times a day with complete and total tantrums, meltdowns, hissy-fits--whatever you choose to call them. But this last week Sydney has just been feeling slightly under the weather, and it showed. She doesn't have a lot of huge meltdowns like her brother, she just manages a constant, mid-level whine that doesn't stop. She knows a little bit of sign language, but doesn't talk, which makes the day a game of "What do you want, sweetie?" And after the whining continues, and she shakes her head no to any solace you offer, it turns into a desperate plea of "WHAT THE HECK DO YOU WANT LITTLE GIRL!?" I realize she probably doesn't even know what she wants, she just knows she doesn't feel good. It was lasting for so long that I was beginning to worry it was a permanent personality change, but yesterday she totally went back to being her normal self: a bit whiny like all toddlers, but much more self-entertaining and happy.
Another Sydney-centric issue we've been having is the temp in our house at night. For some reason her room is at least 7-8 degrees colder than the rest of our rooms. And she happens to be the only one who doesn't know how to keep covers on her. We have some fleece PJ's, and I was layering her up, but I wanted to find a sleep sack for her like we did when she was a baby. I ordered one online at Amazon that had high ratings. It is hysterical! It is labeled as 12-18 months, and it would totally fit Carson! It hangs around her ankles like she's wearing a sleeping bag.
But it keeps her warm! You can't see them, but it has little legging spots for her feet so she can walk. Sometimes she has to lift up the draping fabric like big dress so she can walk! This is one of the mornings she was NOT feeling well, as you can see. She's also adopted the method of carrying Pinky Minky in her mouth. It must be a comfort thing, because she does it all the time--even during waking hours when I can't sneak it away to wash it. Let me tell you: Pinky Minky is becoming Stinky Minky.

This is a pic from yesterday when she was feeling better. She was feeling so happy, actually, that she kept wanting to hug her brother. He thought it was sweet at first, but then would get a little annoyed with her. Here he's trying to watch TV and she's loving on him. I'm just glad to have my Birdie back!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Patch & the Bling

Oi. What a week! I took a 4 day sub job, and this mostly-stay-at-home mama is not used to the juggle involved with full-time working outside the home. Especially since we have no routine for childcare on length like that, the day-to-day rush of getting them ready to go, figuring out when they needed to be there, who had the right carseats, picking them up and getting myself ready was tiring. I have a new respect for you moms who work full-time! Also, I started the week off with a sore throat and hoarse voice and it never got better. Sydney is also under the weather too. So, no pictures of this week, but these are from LAST week when Carson's preschool class went to the pumpkin patch.
It was a drizzly, chilly day, but we went anyway! The first thing they got to do was ride a pony! I cringed when I found this out, b/c I knew Trent would not be pleased that they rode without a helmet!
To make matters worse, this sweet older gal wasn't used to working with such little kiddos, and the teacher and I would have to trot over to them when they were sliding out of the saddle.
But everyone made it through unharmed!
Sydney was along for the ride. She seems happy enough here, but when it started to rain on the hayride, she was less than thrilled.I let her explore a bit. Clothes and shoes can be washed, right? Right!
Another parent offered a photo op.
Cool hay maze/mountain. Perfect for little monkey 4 year olds!
Carson is just young enough to still think it's cool that his mom tags along on field trips and wants to hug him. This picture was right before it started to rain and Birdie informed the entire farm she wished we had stayed in the car.
The class going through the corn maze.
So, I figured it was OK to post this picture since none of the kids are looking at the camera! Ha! This is most of the class. When we first met Mrs. M and she told us about the 13 boys, she was thinking of her other MWF class. It turns out Carson's class has only 9 kids, which is awesome. But they are still a handful!

Aaaaaaand, awkward segway into something totally unrelated. Remember those beads Carson got at his jogathon? Well, Sydney very quickly adopted them as her own.
She is fascinated by any necklaces (including Trent's marathon medals, those count too) and loves to put them on and off, on and off, on and off. She even found my headband and put that on herself too.
It kind of makes me excited for when she's a little older and we have more dress-up costumes and things. I think the two of them will have a blast together!
"How do I look?"

Monday, October 19, 2009


Carson participated in his first fundraiser last week. I don't think he had any idea! His school does a jogathon and raises money per lap around the track. He woke up and I told him he'd be doing a race at school. Okay! Any prep beyond that would be wasted. I had Bible study and Trent had to work, so my dad was able to be there to be a "parent" helper and cheer Carson on. He (Bapaw Roy) took some cute pictures of the day. I'm not going to post many, because I don't want to show the other kids before I ask their parents.
Here is Carson and one of his special friends. (wink,wink!) I'm not sure what they are discussing, but I'm familiar with the Tompkins' flirtatious look, and that's it. Carson specifically chose his "eagle shirt" because eagles are fast and maybe it would make him run fast. The kids got a bead necklace for every time they ran around the track. Yes, the big track! Here's a shot during one of the breaks.
My dad said Carson was just running and running. He didn't seem to want to walk. He would stop and look around and see if any of his friends were nearby, then just keep on going.
He ended up getting TEN necklaces! That's over 2 miles! I was bummed that I missed it, but it sounds like it was a special time for Carson to show Bapaw his class and his friends. I heard there was a game of tag with the old guy involved. We were really proud of Carson's hard work and go-get-'em attitude...even though he probably had no realization what he was running for!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Picture time, it's picture time!

"It's time again for picture time! It's time to get your crayons and your pen-cils!" Remember that song?! That has nothing to do with this post. It was just a fun title that got me sidetracked.

I'm totally backtracking here with this post. I needed something to post about. About a month ago, on a warm September weekend, we went with my side of the family to Black Butte, a deserty/foresty resort in central Oregon. We got a rental deal because it is the "shoulder" season (after labor day) and it turned out to be perfect! The house had a beautiful deck where the kids played a lot. Jojo helped spearhead this clever little game: pine cone golf.

It's funny, Jack is closer in age to Sydney, but he and Carson seem to play very well together. Carson adores Jack and Jack seems to want to follow Carson and do what he is doing, so usually it is perfect. One of my favorite memories of the two of them outside is when my mom and I were trying to get Jack to say "pine cone." (He's talking like crazy at this age!) Carson decided to try to help, but with his little speech impediment, he was very clearly articulating:

"JACK. SAY 'PINE TONE.' Can you say that, Jack? 'PINE. TONE.'" :) It was pretty funny.

Here's the 3 cousins after waking up. What a shocker. Pantless Wonder strikes again there on the left.

Three families in a small 3 bedroom house make for some early morning wake-up calls all around! These 2 early birds enjoyed their bran muffins at 6:15am while the rest of us tried to wake up a little.

There was lots of wrestling!

Mostly (ok, only) with all the males in the house.

Carson watched Toy Story and Horton Hears a Who with Jack on the little DVD player and gave him a play-by-play of the plot. In case Jack was...blind and deaf? I don't know, but sweet Jack didn't care.

But we also had lots of storytime.

Lots and lots of stories were read.

One of our favorite things was that Black Butte just got a brand new pool area that also has fountains for the kids to run in. This has never been a huge draw for us, but now that we've tried it out, we know how fun it is!

Oh, I'm so biased, but she's pretty cute.

Jack, checking out the sprinklers...

I love this one!

Jack was not timid at all about the water.

How can that feel good?!

This was taken on our last day, when I didn't dress Sydney down for the water. She still got a little taste of it, though.

It was a great weekend. Thanks Bunches!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Things I'm loving this week

Well, first, as I type this, my house is filled with the DELISH smell of pumpkin bread baking, and I'm loving that. So we'll make that #1!
Also, we're having a renewed love affair with our Wii. Yes, I said it. A video gaming system. I love it. Now, forgive me as I sound like a commercial here for a minute, but the Wii is just....different. It really is. I've been around video games for years. And mostly my personal experience was watching boys/young men/grown men sitting on the couch totally captivated by some video game while their girlfriends/wives/children/parents observed with feigned interest or just left the room. (The short exception to this was my fleeting--yet victorious--foray into the world of Dr. Mario during college.)
the Wii is different! One of the first things that sold me on the Wii is that you don't have to have a degree from MIT to figure out the control or the games. Pretty much every game we've played you can learn in one practice round. In fact, pretty much every game our PRESCHOOLER can learn to play in one round. Not necessarily excel, but at least participate. Which is the biggest thing for us: an entire room of people can participate. Young and old. It is appropriate, it's fun, it's active and it's transferable (meaning my cousin can pick up my bowling game at frame 6).
This week we've gotten renewed interest because we borrowed a new game called Wii Resort, with several new games like fencing, 3-point basketball contest, ping-pong, frisbee, etc. Here's some pics of us the first night we got it. Just move the clutter out of your way and pick up a Wii-mote. Here's my boys. As usual: clothing is optional. Trent is trying to master frisbee. Or he could be posing for the camera...I'm not sure.
Here is me in a frantic, no-rules sword fight with my own son. I'm not kidding. You have "pads" on, but you are wildly waving your sword and dueling with your opponent, trying to knock them off a platform into the water. I lost--legitimately--to Carson three times before...
I finally won.

Another thing I'm loving is actually something I've been loving for a few months, but haven't posted a picture. My mom made this carseat cover for Sydney when she inherited her brother's old, dingy carseat. I. LOVE. IT. She's made me dozens of things over the years, and this is probably in my top five.
These are some pics I took of Sydney from the way back of the mini-van. (Which, I'm also STILL loving, thank you very much. Take that, Howerton!)
We arrived to pick up Carson from preschool and were pretty early. Sydney often is very active in her little seat, rocking out to whatever music I have on. I got the sudden impulse to rush into the way back and see if she would keep dancing for me. She kind of kept up her hand motions, but this is very toned down from her usual moves. (Watch carefully the first few seconds of this video...I think it looks like she is plunking out a little air-bass guitar.)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Four...so far.

I can't tell if it's the simple addition of preschool into our lives (and all the book orders, field trips, fundraisers and drop off/pick ups that includes) or if it's just fall and schedules really pick up, but we have felt SO BUSY lately! Thanks for those who commented on my last post. For a couple days there was one comment and I was beginning to think my venture onto a serious topic had alienated all of you. :) I just haven't had much time to blog, let alone good pictures to post. These still are not great pics, but they will hold over all of you gmas/gpas & aunts/uncles.
Here's a pic of Carson & Daddy playing with one of his birthday gifts: a frisbee that lights up in the dark. It was the night after his party, when the weather was still warm, obviously. Here he's playing with another present, some sidewalk chalk from Nina.
We've had more angry sibling encounters lately, but most of the time, these 2 still get along famously. Sydney is getting older--she's 15 months--and is pretty much walking exclusively, and is a toddler! She pushes buttons and boundaries and wants to investigate any off-limits item from the computer's power button to her brother's toys. But here's a few out-of-focus pics of them in happier times.
I SO wish this one was in focus!

It turns out that deciding to do preschool has been a great decision. Carson is totally thriving. I think the fact that he is the oldest in his class really helps. Those few months are not a lot, but with only 3-4 years of life, they provide a teensy bit of maturity. Whatever it is (stellar parenting?!?), his teachers have been telling me what an easy student he is, what a huge help he is, that he went out of his way to be especially kind to a new boy in class. One teacher even said he is "the model student." I was happy, but honestly, a little surprised, and I told her so. Remembering THAT VERY MORNING he had a complete and total meltdown where I had to physically pick him up, kicking and screaming, and take him to a time-out in his room where he was throwing things at the door in anger. And this was because it was raining and I told him he needed to choose shoes that were not flip-flops. So, yeah, I was a tad bit surprised. When I told her Carson was strong-willed she said "Are you kidding me?!" And I looked at her, trying to be sure she wasn't being sarcastic and I said, "Are YOU kidding ME?" I don't care. I'm thrilled. I hope the magic continues!
Swimming lessons are another story, but I'm running out of time, so I'll blog about that next time.
So many people I see occasionally say "Her hair is so much redder in person!" Don't know if you can see here, but it is pretty red. And my cheap camera is pretty lousy.
Look at this one for a minute until you see a cute face.
Loving the sunny fall weather!

"Smile, Carson!"
"I said, 'SMILE' Carson!"

Guess who's getting some teeth?! Can you tell by the drool?

Watching brother's antics.

Love that smile!