Carson loved his first Iowa men's basketball game!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When I think of Disney movies, my mind automatically travels to The Little Mermaid, The Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, Lion King, Bambi, 101 Dalmatians, etc.  It was about a year and a half ago, when Carson was just a little over two, that we discovered Disneynature films.  It was around this time that Carson's love for animals began.  I saw this movie, Planet Earth, which was produced by Disney, on the shelf at Target.  After Carson saw the images on the case, he immediately wanted the DVD.  To make a long story short... This DVD now skips because it's been watched and traveled with so much.  Oceans is the most recent Disneynature release.  Although I have not purchased that one yet, I hear it is great.  I'm thinking I'll probably need to make it a birthday gift.

On Earth Day this year, April 22, 2011, Disneynature will release it's next film, African Cats.  Below is a link to the official trailer for the film.  It literally gave me goose bumps the first time I saw it... back in September.  We have been and continue to wait for this film to come.  It will be the highlight of Carson's birthday weekend (other than celebrating the resurrection of Jesus).  Carson can't stop talking about how great the preview was; I can hardly wait until he sees the entire movie. 

As most of you know, I am not an animal person.  I've never had a pet in my life, and I don't mind if it stays that way forever.  Carson's passion for animals has given me a new perspective on how extraordinary they really are.  These films have also really helped me find a new respect for the amazingly complex planet we all live on.  The message in African Cats is clear.  "Every mother has one mission.  Protect her family."  If this type of movie isn't really your thing, please, at least give the preview a chance.  It wasn't really mine until I took the time to watch and listen to the first one. 

Check it out!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You'll Be In My Heart

As I was tucking Carson into his bed and going through his bedtime routine this evening, he asked if I would sing the "I Love You" song.  I began (with my beautiful voice... HA!) "I love you, always forever..."  He quickly chimed in and said, "No, no the other one."  I immediately knew which one he was talking about, "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins.  He first heard this song on the Tarzan DVD last fall and fell in love with it right away.  For Christmas, he got a Disney Classics CD for the car and this is the first song on the disc.  We listen to it and "Hakuna Matata" every morning on our way to daycare.  I sang him as much as I could remember.  He lovingly thanked me and said, "To the moon, Mommy."

If you haven't heard this song or if it's been awhile, below is a link to a YouTube video of it from the Disney movie, Tarzan.  The lyrics so closely describe the relationship between Carson and me.  All mothers (I hope) feel a unique connection to their children.  Carson and I have had an interesting road, just the two of us.  I am excited to see where it takes us throughout the next year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love, Love, Love

6:30am - Monday, February 14th, 2011
Carson crawled in my bed in the middle of the night... As I went to wake him up...
Mommy:  "Carson, Happy Valentine's Day!  I love you!"
Carson:  "Well, Mommy, will you be my valentine?"
Mommy:  "YES!" 
Carson:  "Good because I love you.  Please shut that light off out there.  It's too bright and I'm sleepy."

While Carson was eating breakfast, I had mentioned to him that I had gotten him a Valentine's Day present, but he couldn't get it until after school.  I reminded him to make green (good) choices at Cathy's and school today, so he could be sure to get it later that day.  As he was thinking about all of this, he said... "Well, can I have the note card now?"  I was in awe over the fact that he actually likes the cards!  I had no idea; so I had to tell him that I didn't get him a "note card."  :(

I had a fun, eventful day planned for this valentine holiday, but most of it went out the window when I got a call to sub.  I wasn't about to turn down the sub job, so I had to rearrange a few things on our agenda.  Thankfully, we were able to do a lot of Valentine's Day activities last week as I had a few days off.  We started by making Valentine's Day cards with construction paper, stickers, chalk, crayons, markers, and glitter.  Carson has just recently become more (just a little) interested in art/crafty type of projects.  I was impressed that he worked on these for so long... a whole 25 minutes.  :)  We also made homemade playdough and dyed it pink.  We have played with this multiple times a day since we made it.  It was my first time making homemade playdough... I'll definitely do that again!  Easy peasy!  Finally, we made heart cookies (dough compliments of Pillsbury :o) ).  Carson loved decorating the cookies.  Me on the other hand, had to take a deep breath while watching him frost the cookies and put sprinkles on them.  Eventually, I explained that sprinkles are kind of like glitter, we don't need a pile of them on one cookie. 

I have always loved Valentine's Day.  The fact that the simple yet complex feeling of love is shared is something to be celebrated.  Most people think of their significant other on this special holiday, but I truly enjoy celebrating the love I have for many people on this day.  It is days like today, that I slow down, look around, and realize... It  all will be okay.  Remembering this every day of the year is something I need to work on.  I feel so very blessed to have the unique, special, loving relationship that I do with Carson.  I hope you all were able to connect with someone you love this Valentine's Day. 

To all of you whom we love so much, Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Look Out Justin Bieber!

Homemade playdough and Justin Bieber on this Saturday evening.  Love him.  :o)

Bike Riding in February? YES!!

Today was the first of many beautiful days in store for us this week.  After the arctic temperatures we endured last week, 40 degrees felt like a heat wave!  Carson has been asking for weeks to ride his bike, but obviously, that is kind of hard to do with snow covered sidewalks and freezing temperatures.  He was overjoyed to be able to get his bike out and ride it on the sidewalk up and down the block today.  When he got outside and discovered his snowman had melted, tears rolled down his cheeks.  Explaining to him that since his snowman had melted it was warm enough to ride his bike wasn't easy, but I think he got it.  Eventually, he pulled his lawnmower and Little Tikes car out of the garage too.  I remember the ice storm that left us without power at this time in February when I was pregnant with him four short years ago.  Hopefully, a sunny sky instead of a snowy one is a sign of an early spring!  As he gets older, it is so, so much harder to stay inside.  We're both ready for days at the pool!

Testing out the bell.

So nice out that he wanted his sun glasses on.  He kept asking me to take his picture every time he got out of the car.  Goofy boy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Happy Birthday, Bramma Lisa!"

Like most kids, Carson loves birthdays, no matter whose birthday it is.  I have never been one that gets too excited about my own birthday.  I do, however, enjoy celebrating other people's birthday.  Whether it be sending a card, giving a gift, or just getting together, I enjoying seeing the glowing radiance beaming from the smile of the birthday girl or boy.  Carson is the same way.  Like most 3 year-olds, his favorite part of anyone's birthday (including his own, I think) has to be blowing out the candles and making a mess out of the cake.  He's no dummy!  Today, February 11th is my mom's __th birthday!  (She was born in 1964.  You can do the math.  This way I can't get in trouble for revealing her actual age. Haha!)  We get together for dinner for everyone's birthday, whether it be at home or a restaurant.  Grandma is usually (always) the cook for "home" dinners, so since they're gone, she decided to go to Texas Roadhouse.   Due to crazy schedules, we had her birthday dinner last night and spent the night at her house afterwards.  Below are a few scenes from the evening.  Also included is Carson's rendition of "Happy Birthday."  I think it is obvious how much Carson really did enjoy celebrating his "Bramma Lisa's" birthday.  He has a great deal of love for her, and I know she accepts that as the best gift of all.

There was a song on that Carson thought he needed to dance in his seat to. 

Approximately half the candles we really needed... ;)
"Happy Birthday to you..."

Someone's excited to have a bite...!

We tried to surprise Bramma Lisa with these flowers at work today... To say the least, it didn't work out as she was out to lunch when we arrived. 

Happy Birthday, Mom!  I know it may be hard to believe at times, but we really do appreciate you and all that you do.  Although it hasn't always gone as planned, I feel truly blessed to have had the childhood I was given.  I am also grateful to have you as a mother because it has helped me be the mother that I am.  You are a wonderful grandma and the mutual joy that you and Carson bring each other is obvious.  I know my accomplishments in the past few years wouldn't have been possible without your love and support.  Thanks for all you do.  Hope your day was as great as you are.  Wishing you many more years of happiness and joy. 
Lots of love and prayers,
Anna and Carson (and Emily too, I know she feels the same :o) )

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Awfully... Well...."

Carson's vocabulary is growing ever day.  I have been told more than once that he talks like a "little old man."  His comments usually either make me laugh or terrify me for what is about to come... Lately, many of his comments include the words awfully or well.  Here are a few things he has said to me today... Hopefully, he'll get a kick out of it years from now. 

After eating Cheerios with milk at the table...
"That's an awfully big mess."

After receiving a chocolate kiss for repeatedly using good manners...
"That's awfully nice of you, mommy."

Walking outside to get to the car...
"It's awfully cold out here.  I just don't care for this winter stuff anymore!"

"Well" gets used all of the time.  Too many examples to list specifically.
"Well, I think we should..."
"Well, who's going to..."
"Well, I don't really..."
"Well, you should..."
"Well, what if..."

The way toddlers learn to speak, understand, and communicate is simply amazing.  Listening to toddlers communicate with other toddlers is my favorite.  Although I cannot understand what some of them are saying at times, Carson understands it plain as day.  Carson is a very interest driven child.  If I can find a way to relate whatever it is that I want him to grasp to animals, he's got it.  The knowledge he has about animals is wonderfully remarkable, but I wish he would show as much interest in learning to write his name as he does about the fact that zoo animals live in captivity.  I am glad that he is passionate about something, but I hope he spreads his wings soon... I'm getting bored with zoo animals!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday Funday

Our day started bright and early at church this morning.  Carson has been doing so well.  I have noticed a difference in him even in the last two weeks.  I haven't retained much from church since before he was born.  I have spent the last three (almost four) years doing whatever it took to keep him quiet and still for an hour.  My mind has either been on how to quiet him down or what to do keep him quiet the next time he cries, laughs, or speaks too loudly.  Today, he sat next to one of his friends.  She is a doll.  It was hilarious to sit and listen to their whispers.  If anyone had a hard time in church, it was me.  There were points where I just couldn't hold back a laugh.  Carson still likes to sit on my lap for the majority of mass, but finally sits still and quietly without taking any toys, books, or snacks to church.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it is!  Another milestone gone by...

After lunch we decided to go sledding.  The hill we chose behind the old junior high school was perfect!  Big enough that Carson was able to speedily slide down the hill, yet small enough that he was able to carry his own sled and walk back up.  At one point, he asked me to carry him up.  When I said that we'd have to go home if he couldn't walk up the hill anymore (mean mom, I know) he quickly said he was fine.  His sock had fallen off in his boot and as much as that bothered him, he didn't want to stop sledding.  We'll definitely have to do this again before winter comes to an end.  Unfortunately, this week is going to be bitterly cold, so it might be awhile. 

When we got home, Carson wanted to make valentine cookies (break and bake ;o)).  We ended the evening by watching part of the Super Bowl.  Carson decided he wanted the Packers to win because he has a friend that loves the Packers.  He claims that he only likes the Hawkeyes and the Lions (he doesn't quite understand this isn't exactly animals playing animals).  We traded the Super Bowl for Flicka and fell asleep... Sunday=Funday!   :o)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Carson the "Cat-too" Artist

Emily and I took Carson to Target this evening so he could pick out the Valentines he would like to give his friends.  Of course, as soon as he saw the animal ones, he had to have them!  He began to notice the other pictures on the box and soon realized tattoos were included.  Until this point, I have discouraged tattoos.  They weren't something that my mom really let us have as kids.  It's not that I have an issue with Carson wearing a tattoo, I just fear him forming the same obsession for them as I see many kids do.  When we got home, Carson had to apply tattoos to both of us.  Here's a clip of him applying Emily's.  His GG'ma and Papa have only been gone for two weeks... The next six or so could get long waiting for them to return! 

P.S.  It must be your turn to be the big lion, Papa... ! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No Skipping the "Hair Dry."

Can you imagine a child that LOVES the swimming pool but doesn't like getting his hair washed in the tub?  Well, that'd be mine.  Carson spends a lot of time at the pool under water.  I can't describe the way people looked at me when I let him go under the water at the pool this summer.  Eventually, he would come up for air and on-lookers would start breathing again.  I remember looking at parents at the pool in this exact same way as a lifeguard.  Now, that I'm a parent and pool employee, I find it pretty comical. 

Ever since last September, Carson has not enjoyed me washing his hair when taking a bath.  I give him a bath almost every night because its calming affects are obvious for him.  He refuses to take a shower, but I'm sure when the day comes that he won't let me give him a bath anymore, I'll miss it. 

Also, since September, Carson has insisted on me blowing his hair dry after his bath.  Some nights, I try to coax him into skipping this part of  his bathing routine.  His response is always, "No skipping the hair dry."  I really hope this fades by summer!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed In...

I can't turn on the T.V. or computer without seeing or hearing something about the foot of snow we have "so surprisingly" received over the past two days.  No matter how long people live here, they always seems to get extremely worked up over a little snow. :)  I suppose if I had to worry about getting somewhere I'd be a little worked up too.  Carson being sick with strep throat came at the right time, because we wouldn't be going anywhere anyways. 

Although I don't have to worry about traveling, I do have to find enough to do to for us to stay sane.  So far, since Carson hasn't felt the best, we've spent the majority of our time watching movies.  Some we've watched multiple times, and we haven't made it all the way through others.  The number may seem extreme, but remember, we don't have cable so it's movies or IPTV.  I wonder what Carson will think at 22 when he sees all of these movies he loved when he was three.  I'm sure he'll wonder how he ever survived without cable!  Sometimes, at 22, I wonder how I'm surviving without it... :)  

Obviously, some of these are childhood favorites of mine.  I wonder if any of these will be favorites of his children...?

Other than movies, we've read a lot of books, played with a lot of animals, and put every puzzle together that we have at least once.  While my biggest task has been washing bedding, pillow pets, and throws, Carson's has been building this Lego house. 

I can't imagine how bored we'd be without his imagination...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"This is my facebook."

Carson was "writing" on his white board the other night, and when I asked him what he was doing, he replied with very serious expression, "I'm writing my name on my facebook."  I about died laughing.  He continued by telling me that was his facebook and "reading" the different "words" that he had written.  Although I will take the majority of the blame for this one, I know I'm not the only adult in his life he has seen on this mind-boggling social network.  I often show him pictures that I think he would enjoy seeing of people he knows.  He also likes seeing pictures of himself from previous months/years.  I can hardly imagine how social networks like facebook will change and grow by the time he is ready for that sort of thing.  Scary!