Showing posts from 2012

{merry everything} from the carlsons

Chances are we haven't spoken with you in a while.  Return phone calls have been slow; emails neglected.  See that little man sleeping in the santa hat?  We blame him.   And the new home is a little at fault as well.   Our move (five blocks from our first home) was greatly needed and has opened up a new world of possibilities.   Previously,each day ended promptly at 7pm since Chase was in bed and his room had a partial wall.  Lights were dim, movement was limited.  People were allowed in only if they did not laugh.  Or speak. Now we shut the door to the kids' rooms and behave with reckless abandon.  Our new life is filled with lights on full blast, a TV which can now use volume, and speaking to one another above hushed tones.   With the not-so-great real estate market, our decision to keep our previous home has added "landlords" to our growing list of responsibilities.  This new role would be going swimmingly, if not for the major antifreeze flood in our uni

Signs You Have a Toddler - Part I

Are you often singing a tune you wish you didn't know?  Perhaps someone is trying to convince you nap time is over (when it definitely is not)?  These are a few indicators you may have a toddler in your home.  Below are 4 of the top 8 signs our house is occupied by a toddler: (1) There is an upbeat, but irritating song in your head. Half the time it takes me until noon to even realize a toddler tune has been buzzing around in my head and to those nearby all morning.  Then reality sets in: this song won't stop reminding me of the joys of new foods ( Try it!  You'll like it! ) until a new, equally positive and repetitive song replaces it.  It's a never-ending cycle.   Somehow an Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song snuck into our home and now those squeaky verses about hoola-hoops are horrifyingly playing over and over in my head.  If you see me staring blankly ahead while at a busy crosswalk, I am most likely weighing the pros and cons of throwing myself into t

Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, It's Back to Work I Go

A small view into our morning walks to school.... It's officially been 12 weeks and it's back to the workforce I go....with  mixed emotions.  After getting into a routine of having two babes, Chase (the oldest) and I were able to create a new relaxed morning routine in order to spend some extended time together.  With no need to arrive at school by a certain time, we packed up the littlest family member in the car seat and meandered our time away.   There was extra time spent getting ready for school, petting the piggy (yes, there is a pig in our park), and cheering on the construction & landscape workers along our route.  Stopping to  hop on tree roots and spontaneously dance on the sidewalk was no problem.   And while the beginning of my time with Kiefer was inexplicably hard (see What Not to Say for proof), the past few weeks have brought smiles and coos unlike I have ever seen.  Even Chase is entertained and has full blown "conversations" with his

What Not to Say

As I amble into Target   --  newborn  in tow -- with  my hair askew and an un-showered appearance, a person (or 10) undoubtedly stops me to say sweetly "Look at the new baby!  Don't you wish they could stay like this forever?" Though I smile politely at this stranger's notion of perma-infants, in my mind I have landed an upper-cut-jab-combo squarely on   the unsuspecting shopper.    To be clear: this stranger wants to freeze my son at an age where sleeping one to two hours is considered an amazingly long time?  Where his all too frequent diaper changes are  filled with piercing screams as if an appendage is being removed?  Where he sleeps like an angel in my arms, only to wake with a jolt the moment his head hits the crib mattress?  No thank you. I understand their heart is in the right place.  A sleeping infant with its cute button nose and little baby coos is undeniably wonderful.  Seeing such a teeny human is a bit surreal.  They are so new, so innocent.  

Kiefer Maddox Carlson

This is my first attempt to post-date and add in something after the fact.  Here's to hoping it works as I would like to have the ability to refer to this as the year's go on, instead of being lost in the archives of my email . ---------- We are proud to announce the (early) arrival of our son:  Kiefer Maddox Carlson While they say never to compare siblings, let's ignore this for a moment: Chase: 10 days late (9/9/10) Kiefer: 10 days early (9/11/12) Chase: 9.5 pounds, approximately the size of two Kiefers. Kiefer: 5.5 pounds, the smallest kid on his hospital block  Chase: Bald at Birth.  Still looks relatively bald at 2 Kiefer: Full head of jet black hair. Chase: Big appetite.  Wouldn't stop feeding Kiefer: Would rather be sleeping at all times Chase: Parents well prepped for the hospital.  Lists made, lists adhered to.  Calm, collected Kiefer: Parents behaved as though this was their first time.  Mom made it to the hospital carry

Every Day is Independence Day

3 photos on the left: July 4, 2011 | Photo on far right: July 4, 2012 In my ideal world, efficiency is key.  With the need to accomplish so much in a day, I walk quickly, email succinctly, and stay focused.  Sometimes a phone call with a friend resembles more of a speed date than the casual catch up we both desire.  And while this fast pace gets me through the work day, my child's desire for independence throws speed & efficiency out the window the minute I arrive home.  Some examples: Taking out the trash: 2  minutes Taking out the trash with our child carrying an item: 10 minutes Walking down the stairs: 1  minute  Chase maneuvering from the 2nd to 1st floor: 5  minutes   Carrying Chase to the park: 1  minute Chase transporting himself  to the sandbox:  15 minutes  (this feels generous) You get the idea.  I won't even allow myself to figure out the lost hours spent watching him struggle with gravity and slippery pasta during dinner. If I were to a

Silver Lining of Pregnancy

With a plethora of books on pregnancy (a quick search shows over 28,000 options), the last thing you need is more information on pending changes to your body and emotions.  Instead, I'd like to dwell on the Silver Lining to my pregnancy of water retention and indigestion: Body Changes Obviously the midsection is stretched beyond recognition.  And it seems my hips view this as a competition and relentlessly keep pace with my belly.  However, the side benefits of a larger chest and thicker hair aren't too shabby.  I love transitioning from flat-chested to exclaiming:   I probably shouldn't wear this any longer with all this cleavage!   When in fact, I will wear it more often.  And having my hairstylist no longer elicit sighs or looks of pity during my visit helps me forget the thin, fine locks which will return in a few short months. Stretchy Clothes Aside from being insanely thankful to Fashion for the return of leggings in 2005 (thanks  Wikipedia ), pregnant peopl

A Good Day

Sometimes I have a terrible day and pray when I greet Chase at daycare that 1) he is happy to see me 2) he decides not to throw a temper tantrum the rest of the evening (which is a tougher wish more and more) Very rarely are both goals met.  Number two is usually the culprit. Today I was worn down mentally and physically.  Feeling beat up.  All I wanted was to dwell on & pity myself. As I walked into school, I prayed my 1 & 2.  And today he knocked both out of the park.  When he saw me, he cracked a big smile, opened his arms wide and cried out "DADA!" Okay, obviously we need to work on that. Regardless, he was excited to see me (or Dad's stand-in anyway). I wanted to be alone to sulk, but Chase knew better.  We met a lovely new friend on the bus, watched some middle-school kids play basketball, and waved to numerous strangers as we jogged the last block home.  He minded all directions, ate his full meal, and went to bed like a dream.  I almost don&

Baby Two is on the Way!

Does Chase's shirt make me look pregnant? With the announcement of Baby Two being due, I can guess the two main responses: (1)  Uh, come again? Yep.  I strongly touted "No Kids. Ever." early in marriage.  Then begrudgingly changed my tune to One and Done when pregnant with the birth of Chase.  So I understand the head scratching.  The new (and final) mantra is Two and We're Through. (2) Who cares. Beyond grandparents, not many get excited when hearing another baby is on the way.  You aren't excited to learn -- let alone remember -- another name. So while you may not care (and probably stopped reading long ago), it is surprising how much thought goes into deciding to have a second.  On one hand , there is the advantage of knowing what to expect.  On the other hand, there is the  dis advantage of knowing what to expect.  So we are preparing for our new roles as "referee"  ( Chase! Stop poking the Baby.  CHASE. No hitting ...)  as it was dete

Let's Be Honest...

Let's be honest, parenting is hard. Stay at Home. Career. Unless you are a deadbeat, parenting is tough. Moms and dads who gush about every moment with their kids being "a blessing and joy" are experiencing a heavy case of selective memory.  This (popular) parenting outlook neglects to mention how gut-wretchingly hard it can be.  To be clear: I love my child fiercely and unconditionally.  But the intense love of my child does not equate to skipping through each day filled with only giggles and hugs.   There are moments or days I am completely defeated.  Many times I don't meet the mark of Perfect Parent.  Some Mother of the Year examples are below: My son has eaten cheese puffs for dinner. Pickles were the "vegetable." The Five Second Rule is typically extended an extra 10-15. Starting when I see it. Some days I am happier to see 7:00 pm (bedtime) than 7:00 am (awake time). Sometimes I go to the bathroom, even when I don't need to. There is