Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updates ... and more than you really wanted to know about us

My mother-in-law sent me a friendly reminder across the miles that she is missing out on the blog updates.  As a grandma, these things take on great importance!

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

I don't know what has happened but it's like after we all were sick at the end of January I lost my blogging mojo.  Or perhaps I have just been busy playing catch-up after almost 2 weeks of being out of commission and have had little time for blogging.  Or some days I feel like I don't have anything much that is worthwhile to share with the general public.  For example, does anyone out there want to hear about my trips to the grocery store, the latest kid tantrum, or what I'm making for dinner?

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?
[Insert sound of crickets chirping here.]

Yeah, guess not.

Okay, well there is more going on in my life and churning around in my brain than dinner and shopping for the family.

I'm going to start off with kid updates, because let's face it - this is what many people family members want to hear about.

Audrey was off from school for the past six days.  After I adjusted on day one to all the chatter and constant stream of questions, I really enjoyed having her around.  She is so, so helpful these days.  And she is a great big sister.  Well, she is a great big sister to Chloe.  Carter is sometimes left in the dust, poor guy, but she kept Chloe busy quite a bit with all things girly.  She is really becoming such a responsible and pleasant kid.  This was confirmed when we went to her school conference the other day.  Her teacher had only very positive things to say.  She is excelling in reading and math, and her teacher raved about her handwriting.  She also mentioned that Audrey has not missed a single spelling word all year.  She has me to thank for that ... I was the spelling bee champ in school when I was a kid.  :)

Anyhow, Audrey will have a new teacher starting tomorrow, and I am a little concerned about that.  (She has had a long term sub all year as her teacher was on maternity leave since day two of the school year.)  It took Audrey a number of months to really adjust to first grade.  There were many days early on of "I want to stay home with you" and "I don't want to go to school" and "My tummy hurts."  Since Christmas she had really turned a corner and I don't want a regression.  So, besides trying to stay positive about it, I just keep praying and putting Audrey and the whole situation in God's hands - which is all I can do anyhow.  I know that she will ultimately be fine but I do feel for her and her classmates having to adjust to a new person so late in the year.

On to Carter.  We also had a very positive conference with his preschool teacher back in January.  He is a smart little guy so no concerns there.  The main thing I am trying to accomplish with Carter right now is having him take more responsibility for himself.  He is a kid who would be happy to have me dress him, feed him and wipe his bottom for the rest of his life.  Okay, maybe not the rest of his life.   But for now he is quite happy for me to do things for him despite the fact that he is quite capable of doing things himself when he puts his mind to it.

Well, apparently he is not going down without a fight.  The other day before school I asked him to put on his socks.  Something he is absolutely able to do.  He wanted ME to put them on and I said no, he would need to do this.  He had a meltdown about it, and to make a looooong story short - I ended up putting his socks and shoes on, Chad ended up taking him to school because he would NOT get in my neighbor's car to go, and he lost TV & Wii all day.  (HA! This always give me the upper hand!)  So guess who put his socks on the next day .... and the day after ....

Despite his sometime helplessness, gosh darn it, that kid is such a joy to be around.  Today we had a little friend over (last minute) and he was so kind - he offered to share his beloved cars and marble race and was just so sweet to his friend.  It made me as a mommy so proud of him.  He is also a very loving brother and he routinely tells me "Mommy, I love you" out of the blue.

Oh, and he is officially done with nightime pull-ups!  (Really I should've ditched them awhile ago - he always wakes up dry.)

And then we have Miss Chloe.  She is now 19 months old, and in the past month her verbal skills have taken off!  She says so many words now... and she just communicates so well now verbally and otherwise.  However, my least favorite word that she has learned is "No" (while shaking her head).  The other day she sat in her booster seat like a princess, while turning down everything I offered.  "How about yogurt?"  "Noooo."  "Okay then I'll give you a grilled cheese"  "Nooooo!" as she points to the snack cabinet ... ugh.  And if you dare put something on her tray she doesn't like, over the side it goes.

She is also a singer these days.  Her new favorites are the ABC song (she can get to about  J or K and then she's done) and today she picked up "Are You Sleeping?" which she would sing every time she put her baby in the cradle.  So cute.

Lately, she is in a total "Daddy" phase.  The past number of days she has actually cried when Chad left for work.  I absolutely LOVE this development.  :)

Now for an update on the parents.

Chad and I went SWING DANCING last weekend!  Woohoo!

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away (also known as Chicago in the late 90's), Chad and I used to go swing dancing here and there.  Chad is actually a really good dancer.  Well, a really good swing dancer - he refuses to do any other "freestyle" kind of dancing.  But back in the day we would go with friends and it was always a great time.  Well, this past weekend our church (yes you read that right, our church) hosted a Valentine's swing dance and boy did we have fun!  It has been awhile but I think we've still got it!

Chad has been busy working on our closet.  We hired a friend of ours to widen the opening and now Chad is finishing it up by caulking, sanding, putting  in shelves, installing the door, etc.  This is great but it is also depositing copious amounts of dust all over our bedroom, our clothing .... I see a lot of dusting and laundry in my future.

He is also becoming quite the expert at Mario Kart on Wii.   :)

And now for me.

I have all kinds of things on my mind lately - from the light to the heavy.  Sometimes I think that when I stop blogging it's because I have too much on my mind and - being more of an internal processor type of person - I need time to process it all before I can write.  Or should I say - before I can write and hit "publish post".  I have quite a few blog entries that have never been posted because I was kind of processing on the screen but ultimately felt they were not for public consumption.

Anyhow, a few things I've been thinking about:

How can I listen to and hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me more clearly?  (courtesy of my Bible study)  I really am trying to "listen" better ... and then obey.

What should I do/ what gift should I get my Mom for her birthday? How can I make her feel special?

How can I encourage a very close friend who is struggling with a deep sense of grief and depression?  And why has God allowed her to go through so much and deal with so much pain?  When and how will she ever be healed and functioning in her daily life?   And why has He spared me from that kind of suffering?  And trying not to feel guilty about that.

On a more happy note, I have 2 friends who are about to have babies in the next couple weeks!   So I've been thinking a lot about them and all the changes that are coming for them.... I've also been thinking about God's goodness.  Both of them had trouble getting pregnant and one also had a miscarriage in the past year.  So I am praising God for these babies and so thankful that so many prayers have been answered.  Such a gift.

All right, I'm losing steam on this post, so I'm going to go ahead and wrap up.

So - Mom S. .... this one is for you... :)   Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The downside of reading ...

In my last post I mentioned that Carter has started to try to sound out words and has a number of sight words, blah, blah, blah. 

Well, one of his favorite things to do is watch the ticker go by at the bottom of the TV screen while I watch the news/weather channel/etc.  (Strange?  Yes, I know.  But he is our strange little guy and we love him for it.) 

So this morning it happened.  A word went by that I am not sure that I want him to spell, know by sight, or even say out loud at his age.   SEX.  And of course in true kid fashion, he zeroed right in on it.  After all, it IS only 3 letters and very easy to sound out.

So he yells out "Mommy!  S-E-X!  That spells (pause to think ...) SEX!"

My response "Right, Carter ... now look!  What does A-N-D spell?" 

C:  "AND!   And S-E-X spells sex!!"  He was very proud of himself. 

And all I can think is - PLEASE, PLEASE do not go to school (or church or anywhere else for that matter) and inform everyone about your new word!

Just for the record:  What went by on the TV was something about someone having to register with the sex offender registry.  Nothing really inappropriate but I guess sometimes the news is a little questionable for the under-5 set!  Mamma Mia!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Belated Birthday Post ...

Oh my poor Carter.

Every year it seems that his birthday comes ... and he gets sick.  Tis the season!  So this year was no different - he (and every other member of our immediate family) was sick this year too.  So this weekend we FINALLY got to celebrate his birthday with him.  I have said this before but just for the record - Carter has been sick on 3 out of his 4 birthdays!  I sure hope this is a streak that is broken from now on!

  Birthday #1 - Smiling despite the ear infection ....

Birthday #2 - HEALTHY! 

Birthday #3 - Sick with a fever ... :(

Birthday #4 - well, a week after his birthday.  So glad to have my smiling, happy boy back!
Complete with a mouth covered in cupcake crumbs!
This weekend Carter had a small party with some friends at Chuck E. Cheese.
He loves it there (and he kicks some butt at skee-ball!!)

His party was mostly girls .... but he did have one little guy friend who came along!  I keep saying - he is going to be a great husband someday because he sure will have plenty of practice hanging with the ladies.
Carter is a funny boy.  He seems to appreciate gifts once he receives them, but we could give him absolutely nothing  and I don't think he would care one bit.  On the way home from Chuck E. Cheese I said "Carter, when we get home, how about we open your presents?"  And he replied, "I think I want to take a bath instead."  Audrey looked at him like he had 2 heads.  (She is already telling us what she wants for her next birthday - in SEPTEMBER!)  Gifts - while not HIS love language - are definitely her love language!!  

We also celebrated with family. 
Here he is opening SEVENTY matchbox cars from his Mom-mom & Pop-pop.  SEVENTY.  
But my parents also supplied a handy little carrier so he can put them away in there.
(I still have a feeling I will be finding little cars in every nook and cranny of this house.)
He does love his matchboxes!

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy.  I can't believe you are FOUR already!

The rest of this post is for me.  I just want to remember what Carter is like right now.

Latest stats:
Height - 43 inches - 94th percentile
Weight - 44 lbs. - 90th percentile
(just a side note here - Chloe had her 18 mo. well check at the same time and her weight was in the 15th percentile.  Yes, I feed them the same things but one is a heavyweight and the other a lightweight I suppose!)

Carter still loves his letters and he is starting to read a little bit.  Meaning, he can't pick up a book and read it, but he has quite a few "sight words" - he actually read most of the card Audrey made for him for his birthday.  He's very interested in what letters say so he does a lot of asking me "Mommy, what does R-A-I-S-I-N spell?"

Now if I could get just get him to willingly dress himself and put on his own shoes ....