Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

Breakin' Up Growin' Up Is Hard To Do

Dear Carter, 

You're growing up, and the time will soon come, sweetie, when you'll have to say goodbye to your paci.  But, just as your paci has been there for you... to comfort you when you are tired or hurt, sad or disappointed... I will be there for you, too.  I love you so much.  Love, Mommy

Flashback Friday - Carter's 2nd Birthday!

Okay, we're flashing back to another birthday I haven't posted about... Carter's 2nd Birthday last month!  

(And to the person who created "Flashback Friday," yes, I understand your intentions were to flashback more than a month... but I'm still trying to catch up!)

Carter's theme this year was Shrek.  The kids watch limited TV/movies, and what they do watch is carefully previewed and selected by yours truly unless I am not home and Jeremy plays something for them that is not on my pre-approved list.  Well, Shrek was one movie they watched once when I wasn't home and they fell in love with the big green ogre!  So, I had to decide to let it go... I had to overlook the fact that Shrek calls Donkey an a#* and Fiona kicks some guys in the forest.  (But I told Jeremy that if Rylee comes home with a note saying she called someone an a#* at school, Shrek is off the list!)

After finding a plastic Shrek figurine at a friend's house, Carter decided he was simply in awe of the guy.  Thank goodness my friend (thanks, Kris!) let us borrow him, and from that day on, Shrek and Carter were inseparable!  So, when it was birthday-party-theme-pickin'-time, it was an obvious choice!

Carter helped decorate with some window stickers, which he put on, pulled off, rearranged, and put back on the window at least 30 times before the party began.  (My apologies to Donkey, who eventually lost his tail, and Fiona, who somehow wound up on the floor and was stepped on throughout the party.)

Pretzels were a little pre-party snack... and Carter is showing HIS way of holding up 2 fingers for 2 years old!  (I mean, it really is a lot to ask of your thumb to hold down two other fingers all on its own.)

After our pre-party snack, a few pre-party pictures were in order...  (yes, we run our birthday parties much like the Super Bowl... they've got the pre-game, the game, and the post-game...)  

Big and little sis join the birthday boy...  (and the only reason I'm getting such a big smile from Rylee is that she knows the sooner we get pictures done, the sooner we bring out the cake and ice cream!)

And then I break out the party hats... 

Carter: "I like Shrek, Mom, but honestly -- are you kidding me with these Shrek ears?"

Rylee: "I will just smile slightly since I know that's what Mom wants me to do, but I really think this is cheesy."

Jordyn: "Oh, what the heck... I'll be a good sport about these Shrek ears and pray my friends never see this picture.  (Honestly, this picture shows the true spirit of Jordyn... what a trooper she is having 2 little siblings!)

Carter had fun opening presents -- he was a lot quicker this year than last, so he actually got to open many of his own.  (Last year, taking his time didn't allow him many opportunities... by the time he got 1 present opened, sister Rylee had opened 3 others for him!)

Okay, so do you remember the cake genius in my family?  Well, she came through for me, and I can't take much credit for the cake this year.  Even after 3 Shrek movies, a cake pan wasn't created for him.  (Not sure if the cake-pan-making-companies have a problem with ogres or what.)  So, here he is... and yes, the face, arms, and tummy are built up dimensionally with cake.  Yes, cake. But don't forget to check out the purple frosting stars... those were my speciality.

Carter was so cute when we were singing "Happy Birthday" to him... he got so shy and gave us these adorable little expressions, as if to say, "Oh golly gee, you guys... you don't have to sing to me!"

He was all for blowing out the candles.  We even lit them a second time so the fun would last a little longer.  (But no, Carter, that doesn't make you 4 years old... you can't grow up that fast.)

Okay, so where was I when the cake was being cut and pieces were being distributed??  OBVIOUSLY not around... Jeremy, the king of cake and frosting, gave our little guy the biggest, most gigantic piece of cake!  (Jeremy defended himself by saying that Carter, of course, needed to have the piece with Shrek's head on it, and being the big ogre that he is, it made for quite a large piece!)  Thank goodness Carter got full well before I had to be the bad guy and say enough was enough!!  So, here he is, planning his consumption.

Carter's birthday party was postponed due to lots of throwing up sickness at our house.  Because Mom and I had already made the cake, Shrek had to hang out in our freezer until everyone was better and the party could be rescheduled.  Well, I didn't realize that Shrek needed a bit more time to thaw than I gave him (due to his plump nature, I assume.)  So, when it was time to eat the cake, it was still rock hard  a bit firm, which made for some interesting cake-eating.

"Mom, my fork is stuck in my cake... what's a birthday boy to do?"

Shrek was still very yummy (not a comment I thought I'd ever make) and Carter had no problems enjoying his cake!!

So, my baby is 2 years old now. *Sigh*

Happy Birthday Carter!

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Thanks to my 3 kiddos... for making my yearly Mother's Day photos unique, full of personality, and completely unpredictable!

Summer To-Do List

We've been airplane-watching

and climbing...

digging in dirt

and cheating at  playing basketball.

We've been going on nature hikes

and laughing with siblings...

swinging on tummies

and swinging on behinds!

All of that, and it's not even June yet!  We love summer!

(Exciting announcement: Because of Rylee's true style in wearing her brother's too-small visor, with the huge tag sticking out and hair springing up in all directions (in the tire swing photos), she has been chosen to appear on America's Next Top Model  TLC's Reality Show What Not to Wear.  Maybe they will consider making it a special sibling show after I send them this photo.)

Just a Day at the Doctor's Office...

"Ma'am, I'm sorry to tell you that it doesn't look good.  I believe your daughter has what's called "Plastic Skin Syndrome."

"Does this mask make my butt look big  eyes look blue?"

 "Hi, I'm Dr. Rylee and I'll be taking care of you today.  Let's start with your heart..."

"I'm afraid I can't understand your symptoms with that paci in your mouth."

"What was your name again, Doctor?  You look quite young -- did you happen to go to med school with someone named Doogie Howser?"

Walking In Eating A Winter Wonderland

When Carter was almost 1, we bundled him up to experience the fun of the snow!  After the 20 minute preparation (Long-sleeve shirt? Check. Winter coat? Check. Adorable hat that you will someday hate me for having you wear? Check.) I toted Carter outside.  Hopeful to get the charming snow photos I had already composed in my head, my camera came along with me. (You know the photos... eating the snow, attempting to crawl in the snow, and maybe even taking a few steps -- all the while laughing and smiling.)  

After a mere 6 minutes of being outside, we found ourselves heading back inside.  Of those 6 minutes, Carter had spent 5 of those minutes crying.  (Hadn't even touched the snow.)  My charming snow photos?  Here is one of them... charming in its own right, I guess.

Fast forward to this past winter... February to be exact.  (Well, February 5th to be even more exact.)  Carter was 22 months old and gave me a little more of what my camera and I were waiting for!

"Hmmm, just how much snow will fit in this nifty little bucket Mom gave me?  And boy does my tongue want to taste this stuff!"

"Okay, I can't stand it anymore.  I will just take the teeniest, tiniest little taste..."

"Alright, this stuff is good. I'm gonna have myself a great big chunk of snow now!   I hope Mom didn't let Zoe out here earlier to go potty."

After a tummy full of snow, off he went.  Rylee was at school, so it was fun watching him "roam" our Winter Wonderland by himself... mastering the art of walking in snow with "cloggy" (did I just make up that word?) snowboots.  He did have quite a few spills... no tears, but simply hesitation after each fall, as if he were thinking to himself, "Okay, don't cry.  Just try to pick yourself up out of this cold, wet snow without getting... well, cold and wet."

It wasn't long before he found "the path of least resistance" -- the areas of our yard with just enough snow to make footprints, but not too much to cause problems in lifting those "cloggy" boots. (If that's not a word it should be.)

So, thank you Carter.  This past winter, you gave me what I wanted.  Eating snow.  Walking in the snow.  I didn't get much for laughing and smiling, but I could tell by your intent looks that you were, indeed, enjoying yourself.  And that, my sweetie, is what makes a charming photo.

(And, for those of you with an eye for photography, yes... South Dakota has blue snow.  Isn't it a pain in my... beautiful??!  I'm open to tips on making our ever-so-abundant South Dakota snow WHITE!)

Flashback Friday - Jordyn's 14th Birthday!

Okay, so Flashback Friday is probably meant to flash back a bit further than this... but let's face it.  I'm behind in posting photos.  We have had 2 birthdays around here and no one has seen so much as a glimpse!  So, we're flashing back to... (hold on to your seats) JANUARY!  (No one really has time for long travels anyway.)

Jordyn turned 14 in January and Jeremy began his "I-am-in-denial-I-have-a-daughter-with-a-driver's-permit" phase.  As far as I was concerned, I was google-ing South Dakota's driving rules! Laws about when you can start driving are different in Iowa (where I grew up -- hold the Iowa jokes, please) and it sure seemed like 14 was young!  (There's another "boy-Carin-sounds-old" comment, for those of you keeping track.)  But, sure enough, it's true!  

So, Jordyn passed the test, paid the state, and smiled for her 1st official Driver's Permit.

As many of you know, I make the kids' birthday cakes.  It's a tradition that my mom started when my sister and I were young.  Being the amazing creative genius she is, the cakes she created for us were spectacular.  (I mean, she literally sculpted a baby lying in a cradle out of the cake for one of my birthdays -- based upon one of my favorite books at the time called Baby Dear.)  Anyway, my cakes definitely lack the spectacular label, but I do love making them!  

So, Jordyn's cake this year was inspired by her newly-acquired permit.

Jordyn is always taking pictures of herself on her camera phone... though she opted not to pose for a photo like that on her permit, I definitely had to put one of her famous "cool poses" on her cake!

Though we didn't have a typical "birthday party"... (I'm not sure why Jordyn was so opposed to my idea of clowns and birthday hats) we still had a fun get together with our family and one of Jordyn's best friends, Emme.  

Being the super-great big sister she is, Carter and Rylee got in on the candle-blowing fun! We even managed to slip in a lame, off-key "Happy Birthday" song without so much as an eye-roll.   

So, there it is!  Another birthday.  Another year older. One step closer to high school (next year.)  All in all, I think it was a success!  (Give the girl some cake, ice cream, and a new cell phone and she's one happy birthday girl!)

Special Days in Blogland

So, as I learn more about the blogging world, I find out that there are all sorts of days.  Some people have "Wordless Wednesdays" where they post a picture -- and that's it.  (No description or comment, which to me seems impossible! Anyone wanna put money on me being able to do that??!)  

There are some who have "Flashback Fridays" -- traveling back in time to a day or event in the past.  (I think this sounds like an opportunity to post pictures from years ago and laugh at how bad my photography was!)  

And then there is my all-time favorite... "Not Me Mondays" allows people to show a little "human-ness"... to confess to doing outrageous things by pretending they didn't do them.  (Oh my... this one definitely sounds interesting!)

Does anyone else know of other "Special Days in Blogland?"  (And if there is a particular blog-technical term for these days which I do not know, it will show you just how new I am to Blogland!!)

We'll just have to see what kind of days there are in my tiny corner of Blogland!

The Reality of Getting Older

Just got home from my typical late-night grocery run.  After filling my cart with the typical stuff... you know, like bread, milk, hamburger, yogurt, apples, bananas, and grapes - I approached the check-out line of a friendly boy.  Boy?  Young man?  Not sure what I'd classify him as, but anyway...

So when he asks me if I found everything alright, I say "yes."  Though I know that's a standard question everyone has to ask, with little desire to know the truth, I decide that at 10:30 pm this boy may enjoy a little small talk.  So, I say, "You must have had a busy day here!  The shelves in grocery are pretty bare!"  He proceeds to tell me that it was a busy day, probably because High School graduation is coming up this weekend.  

Our small talk continues throughout the sounds of the scanner.  He is quite the talkative one... telling me about his upcoming High School graduation and plans to move to California this summer.  He talks about a relative he's planning on living with, and which California college he's hoping to get accepted to.

By now all of my groceries have been bagged, loaded into my cart, and I'm ready to pay.  He asks to see my debit card for my signature, and still, our small talk continues.  He tells me about his upcoming graduation party... how his mom is inviting everyone she's ever met and he was just hoping to have a few friends over.  I wish him the best of luck and off I go.

Now, as I push my cart out into the windy night and begin to load my bags into the Yukon, you'd think that I would be reflecting on our conversation.  High school graduation -- geesh, it's been 12 years since mine.  California -- wow, I bet they're having great weather there. 
But do you know what I was thinking?


Yup, I'm getting old.