Friday, June 24, 2011

Carter Gets a Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Carter lost his first baby tooth yesterday. It had been loose for about three weeks and we were wondering which would happen first:  Carter losing his tooth or baby Lauren’s arrival.  Lauren beat out the tooth by 10 days.  I can’t believe how long that tooth held on!

Carter’s tooth came out during snack time at camp. He was so excited when he came home and flashed me his smile.  He had his tooth wrapped up in a napkin and immediately ran upstairs to put it under his pillow.  He couldn’t wait for the Tooth Fairy to visit.


The Tooth Fairy did indeed visit, took the tooth, and left a $10 Target gift card in it’s place! The poor Tooth Fairy.  The price of teeth has far surpassed inflation in the last 30 years.  From what I hear, the first tooth is worth much more than subsequent teeth.

I can’t believe how much older Carter looks now with a gap in this teeth.  My little boy is really growing up.  *sniff sniff*

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lauren Audrey Gale

Lauren Audrey Gale arrived today at 10:55 am, weighing 7lb 2oz, measuring 20 inches.  We are completely smitten with her and are, once again, amazed that we created a person.


Though she is an average sized baby, she seems so tiny compared to Carter when he was born.  Carter was 8 lbs 5oz. That extra pound (plus!) really makes a difference. Lauren is our little bean.

She has a shocking amount of dark, dark brown hair.  It is so silky soft.  Unfortunately she also has some on her ears (like an old man) and on her back.  No halter tops for her this summer!  It will be interesting to see if the hair on her head all falls out like Carter’s did.  Ironically, around the time I was 5 months pregnant, we asked Carter what we should name the baby.  He suggested “Furry.”  Little did we know it would be quite appropriate.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cat Stevens and Insecurity

I’m sure this post title has you saying, “Huh?”

Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense except that I want to talk about both:  Cat Stevens and insecurity…but not necessarily together.

Today was a perfect Michigan spring day.  It was in the low 60s, the sun was shining, and there was a nice breeze.  I was able to leave work a little early and I drove home with the moon roof open and the radio blaring.  I was singing away and was totally happy.  I don’t even remember what I was singing but was thinking that if Cat Stevens’ “If you want to sing out” came on the radio, it would be the perfect song at that very moment. 

All was right with the world.

For the moment.

A short while later, I was picking Carter up from school.  I ran into the mom of a friend of Carter’s.  We were perusing the books at the Book Fair and I asked if her son could read.  Carter is doing OK with sounding out some words and has a decent grasp of many site words, but he’s not a bonafide reader, yet.  We have other friends whose children are the same age as Carter and they are reading quite well, can write several sentences together.  I had just sort of chalked them up as anomalies…thinking they were just exceptionally bright children or they go to better schools. Well it turns out that Carter’s friend from school can read pretty well, too.  Hmm, definitely can’t blame it on the school, now.

So now I’m feeling all insecure about Carter’s reading and writing levels.  He’s a smart kid.  Just ask my husband or my parents.  They’ll tell you!  But somehow he’s not doing as well as his peers with reading and writing and it really disturbs me. I’m sure that it’s not a matter of his capability, but a matter of effort. My effort…or lack there of.  Now I really just feel like a bad mother for not spending enough time with him practicing.

And then I feel even worse when I think about next year. He’ll be in the first grade and we’ll have a young baby in the house.  It’s not like I’ll have more time to dedicate to Carter and school work next year. 

In less than two hours time, I went from a fabulous, spring-induced high to a new low brought on by parental insecurities.

Quick, find the nearest Walmart.  I need to go be reassured that there are worse mothers than me out there.  

Hey, at least Carter was in bed by 8:30, freshly showered and in clean PJs.  Oh, and he’s never had a sip of soda or chewed gum in his entire, 5 1/2 year life. 

He might be illiterate but at least Child Protective Services can’t take him away from me.

PS - While I’ve been writing this post, Ben has been working in the basement.  Filtering up through the vents are the sounds of wood being cut on the table saw, the air compressor charging up, the power nailer being used, and the occasional giggle of satisfaction coming from Ben.  Not only is he kicking butt down there and making great progress on finishing the basement, he is getting immense enjoyment and fulfillment from the task. 

I’m so incredibly envious.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Taekwondo Tournament

Carter participated in a Taekwondo (TKD) Tournament today at his TKD school.  Honestly, I was very much against him signing up for this.  He’s only been doing TKD for about 3 months.  He’s still the lowest belt level possible (white).  I was thinking that he would be the youngest, smallest, least experienced kid there and it would be a disappointment for him. 

Well, I was right on the youngest, smallest, least experienced part.

Given his level and (in)experience, he could really only participate in the board breaking portion of the tournament.  I was definitely not excited about this because he’s never tried to break a board before.  I was so nervous for him to try this in front of an audience.  To make matters even worse, they started with the least experienced kids and worked their way up through to the black belts.

You can see him in the picture below with one board in front of him and one board behind him.  The goal is for him to punch through the one in front of him and then whip around and punch through the second board in one fluid motion.


Carter didn’t break the first board on his first attempt.  But he totally stuck with it and on his third attempt (and after he calmed down a bit) he punched that thing in half. He quickly turned around and broke the second board into three pieces on his first try!

Sorry for the terrible quality of the photo but I was ridiculously nervous for Carter.  In fact, I only got that one photo because I think I was holding my breath the whole time.

Needless-to-say, Carter was beaming with pride afterwards (as was I).

Carter earned a participation trophy which he was thrilled about until he saw that it was possible to earn bigger trophies.   SAM_0635

PS – No, I was not thrilled that my son was strong enough to punch through a piece of wood, I was thrilled that he had the confidence and focus to do it.  I cannot say enough good things about TKD.  It has taught him confidence, respect, and self discipline and is a fabulous work out for him twice a week.  AND, most of all, he loves it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Bedroom Furniture

With a baby on the way, we needed to get Carter some new bedroom furniture. His furniture is actually part of the nursery set and so we need to move his dresser, nightstand, and bookcase into the baby’s room.

We decided to upgrade Carter to an even bigger “big boy” bed.  He now has a full size (aka, double) bed.  We are planning on this set lasting him for at least the next 13 years…at which point he’ll be sleeping in a crappy, twin-sized dorm bed.



I still need to find that perfect picture or two to hang above his bed.  It’s looking rather bare up there.  Do you remember the mod-podged stars from this post?  They’ll be moved to the area above his bookcase to the left of the bed.  I have a trophy shelf type thing on order that will go were the stars were originally hanging. 

Clearly there’s more work that needs to be done but we are making progress (which is more that I can say about the nursery these days!).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hug O’ War

I have been reading a lot of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends to Carter at night.  These are fun little poems that are sometimes just silly and meaningless. There are others that are cute and have a point.  Regardless, they bring back lots of childhood memories.

My favorite is Hug O’ War.

I will not play at tug o' war

I'd rather play at hug o' war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses

And everyone grins

And everyone cuddles

And everyone wins.

- Shel Silverstein

Do you have a favorite Shel Silverstein poem?  If so, what is it?  Or do you have a favorite from another children’s author?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby Girl Dresses

I have already purchased two dresses for our little girl.  I just can’t help myself.

baby gap dress

gymboree dress

The fact that I only have two articles of clothing for her proves extreme restraint on my behalf.  Clothes for baby girls are just so cute.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Nursery

So with a little girl on the way in less than 4 months, we ought to be making plans for her nursery.  In theory, we don’t have *that* much to do as we are using everything from Carter’s nursery.  We are using the Chamois Lambie bedding that we used for Carter and using the same furniture. Really we should just be able to paint the room and be ready to go, right?

Of course not.  There are a couple of key things standing in our way. 

First of all, this is what the room looks like right now. (sorry for the poor quality photo.  My camera batteries were dying and I was too lazy to find fresh ones to put in it)


It’s currently Carter’s Lego room / an extra guest room.  On a daily basis the floor is totally covered with Legos.  Believe it or not, this is after I tidied up the room.  When the cousins come visit, I sweep all the Legos into the closet and open up the futon for the kids to sleep on.  Please note Shelby coming out of the blue & red storage bucket to peek out the window.

We are working on finishing the basement but really only just started. Ben is doing most of it himself (with a little help from his dad) and so he can only work on it nights and weekends.  He’s given me a completion date of xmas 2011.  So we are a long way off from having an appropriate place for Legos in the basement and for the cousins to sleep down there. 

Secondly, Carter is still using the furniture.  OK, not the crib but certainly the dresser, bedside table, and the book shelf.  We are looking to purchase a new bedroom set for Carter but can’t get over the sticker shock.  Besides, where are we going to put the old stuff when the new furniture comes in if the baby’s room is still covered in Legos.

And finally, the paint color.  I’m not sold on painting the walls green like we did with Carter.  I’m thinking I should soften the look and maybe go with a soft pink. 


Here’s a closer look at the pinks.  I’m not sure the camera / computer is doing justice to the shades correctly.


What do you think?  Would the bedding colors look OK with pink walls?  I’m thinking the 4th one from the top. 

Or should I rethink the greens?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

This pretty much sums up our Super Bowl watching experience tonight:

SAM_0445 SAM_0447

The whole family is wiped out from our “eventful” night last night.


Carter puked for the first time ever last night.  He actually puked two three four seven times.

Seriously…this kid is 5 1/2 years old and has never thrown up before.  Were we the luckiest parents in the world or what?

OK, so that’s not entirely true. He threw up once when he was roughly one year old. He had a double ear infection and was given the antibiotic Augmenten.  It made him sick to his stomach and threw up once, we never gave him anymore of the stuff, end of story.

So anyway, back to last night (as if you are dying to hear all the details).  Shortly after putting Carter to bed, he came out of his room complaining of a tummy ache. I snuggled with him for a while and so did Ben.  Being totally exhausted from driving in hazardous snow conditions all afternoon, I went off to bed.  Ben woke me around 11pm saying poor Carter threw up everywhere and he needed help cleaning up.  

Ben was awesome. He had already stripped the bed and gotten Carter out of his nasty PJs and was tending to Carter in the bathroom.   Me? I’m terrible with vomit.  I violently gag if I have to clean up cat puke.  I absolutely cannot handle the sound of someone else throwing up.  And now, with my overactive sniffer (thanks pregnancy hormones) I have to go into a room and clean up birthday cake laced puke from the carpet? Yikes.

Suck it up, Carla!  What kind of a mom are you??

I got the room all cleaned up and Ben got Carter all cleaned up.   Having never done this before, Carter did not understand what happened.  He said something to Ben along the lines of, “ Daddy, that was terrible. I didn’t like that at all.

I spent the rest of the night running between the laundry machine and Carter’s room.   Fortunately, he picked up pretty quickly to the concept of getting it into the bucket.

Sometime around 4:30 am, he said to me, “I’m having a pretty rough night, aren’t I?”

Poor kid.  If he/his room hadn’t smelled so bad, I might have snuggled longer with him.

PS – I don’t recommend realizing you are missing a critical piece to your carpet steam cleaner AFTER your child has thrown up all over his bedroom carpet. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


We had a blast sledding with some friends this morning.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

I love how you can hardly see Carter’s face in this one.  He’s made sure there’s no exposed skin to the cold air.


Sledding buddies!


Carter went down the hill all by himself…face first!


How cool is this kid?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It’s a Girl!

We went for our big ultrasound today and found out that we are expecting a little girl!  We are so excited. We would have been excited either way (boy or girl) but it’s such a relief to have all the anatomical measurements completed and to hear that baby is right on track for growth / size.

Here a picture of our baby girl.  Her nose is a little funky looking but you can see her hand up to her chin.

 19 weeks #1 

And here’s proof that she’s actually a girl. (That’s her bum on the right side with her two legs stretched out to the left)

19 weeks #3

Sorry if that was too much detail for you.

Carter was so excited that were were going to learn the gender of the baby today that I made a promise to him.  Since Nana was picking him up from school today, she was going to help him call me so that I could tell him over the phone instead of having to wait several more hours for me to get home from work.

Nana called as planned and handed the phone to Carter.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Hi, Carter! Do you want to know what the baby’s going to be?

Carter:  Yes.

Me: It’s a girl.  You are going to have a baby sister!

Carter: I wanted a boy.


He hung up on me!  The poor guy wanted a brother so badly. Fortunately he got over it pretty quickly, came to terms with the fact that we don’t get to choose, and is excited about being a big brother even if it is to a baby sister.

Of course my own brain is just flooded with thoughts:  ooh, maybe she’ll color with me (since Carter won’t)…what am I going to do with her hair? I can’t even do my own hair! would it be wrong to give her a buzz cut like Carter?…girls’ clothes are SOOOO much cuter than boys clothes…and on and on…

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tae Kwon Do

We signed Carter up for tae kwon do at the end of last year.  We thought he needed some sort of physical activity for the winter months and we had heard that martial arts were great for helping develop focus and discipline in young children.

I’m not sure if we are seeing any improvement in focus or discipline, but Carter loves classes and looks so darn cute in his uniform.