Carson loved his first Iowa men's basketball game!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter 2011

As many of you know, Emily is the Easter Bunny for the city-wide egg hunt.  I'll never forget being in eighth grade and being asked to be the Easter Bunny.  As an eighth grader, it wasn't too bad because my life at that time consisted of babysitting, so I knew a lot of the kids.  I would have never imagined that 11 years (how long either of us has been doing it) later my sister would be dressing up as the good ole' bunny the day of my son's 4th birthday. 

Carson wasn't too excited for the egg hunt... First of all, he thought if he went, he was going to miss HIS party.  I assured him that the party was HIS and couldn't start without him.  Secondly, he was upset that I said "no" to wearing his lion costume to the egg hunt.  It's really a cute little vest, but I couldn't start the whole "wear it where ever we go" deal; especially since summer is upon us.  Carson's comment about not being able to wear his costume was, "Well, Emily got to wear hers... Why can't I wear mine?"  I tried to explain that wouldn't be the costume she'd be wearing to his party.  When we got to the egg hunt, we walked past the line to see the bunny.  I laughed out loud with sympathy.  It was quite comical to see everyone and their brother in line to hand Emily their screaming child.  When the police officer let off the siren to start, Carson (along with the other kids) sprinted off to find some eggs.  This feeling was very foreign to me.  Usually, I make him hold my hand whenever we're places with a LOT of people.  I decided since I knew most of them and it was his first birthday, that I needed to let go of his hand and just chase him (along with the 50 other parents chasing their kids) instead.  I'm sure the sight was as comical as it sounds... :o)  The egg hunt on Easter Day was much more of a "hunt."  I think Carson's favorite part was just being able to be outside.  Below are a few pictures of the different festivities.  Hope you all had a blessed Easter!

Like I said, I was behind him, so this is the best shot I got of him collecting his eggs... :)

Getting some candy from his favorite bunny, Auntie Em'.

So, Emily, did any kids try to kiss you after this...?  P.S. Love my Clinque blush on your cheeks and nose... NOT! 

Easter morning... This is the "Ahhhhhh, COOL!  Mommy, look what the Easter Bunny brought me!!" look. 

And this is the "Mom, I don't want to take a picture right now..." smile.  The basket was kind of light considering his birthday was the day before.  He loved his coloring books and pool toys though. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carson's 4th Birthday Party

Well, I now have a four year-old....  Crazy, I know.  For some reason, I think four sounds so much older than three.  Based on how the last few days have gone, I think I'm really going to like four. 

It took me forever to decide what I was going to do for his birthday.  It was the day before Easter, so there was a lot going on that weekend.  After much debate, I decided to go ahead and have his party on his actual birthday.  Carson loved the circus we went to a couple weeks ago so much, so I decided to make "circus" the theme of his party.  We had the party in my grandparents' basement in Keystone and had started decorating for the party four days before.  While we were decorating, Carson went on and on about how "cool" it was.  He kept thanking me and his G'ma as we'd hang each piece.  He took a lot of pride in accomplishing the little tasks we'd give him.  We were turning Papa's basement into a three-ring circus! :)

Carson didn't want to go to the city-wide Easter Egg Hunt the morning of his birthday because he was afraid he was going to miss his party.  Preparing for the party wasn't a lot of work.  I actually found most of the decorations at the Dollar Tree, and what I didn't find there, I made.  The costume store in Cedar Rapids is going out of business, so we found some cute costumes and cheap face paint there.  I think these two things were Carson's favorite part of his party.  G'ma Kae got Carson a cool lion costume the day before his party, that he continues to wear around our house. 

Special thanks to my sister... Emily so kindly decided she'd be a balloon-animal-making clown.  Carson enjoyed helping her get "clowned-up" by handing her each piece of her costume.  However, it was too bad that she used most of her balloons making snakes and other random animals for Carson two weeks before the party.  Who would've guessed there would only be fifteen balloons left to start the party... !  Oh well., Carson enjoyed popping all of them on Monday.  :)  She was also very helpful in keeping the kiddos corralled.  Another special thanks to my mom who helped pick up so much from the costume shop and brought so much to Keystone, so I didn't have to worry about forgetting it.  Let's face it, I was loosing my mind by Friday.  Last, but not least, a HUGE special thanks to my grandma and grandpa.  The party wouldn't have been possible without all of your help or your house!  Thanks so much for letting us have Carson's special day at your house.  You are special, wonderfully amazing people who I love and appreciate very much. 

Thank you to everyone who was able to help us celebrate Carson's special day!  He is a very blessed little boy!

Love them!

Coolest lion ever!!!!

Carson walked away at the perfect time for Emily to get a picture with the cake... ha!

Let the balloon-animal-making begin!

Alicia painted Carson's face with a kit my mom picked up from the costume store.  She did AWESOME!!  He loved it!

After purchasing the pinata, I realized there wouldn't really be a place to hang it.  It worked out really well just laying it on the floor and letting the kids bang on it.  Much better for this age.  Carson said this was his favorite part of his party. 

Cake time! :) 

Carson's idol... Jacob.  Maybe the coolest 7th grader I've ever met.  This picture perfectly describes why Carson loves him so much. 

Carson and Avery playing with the dragon ship from Auntie Em.  Carson would go "visit" this toy EVERY time we went to Target.  He knew that he couldn't take it him, but he still liked to get it off the shelf and play with it in the aisle for a couple minutes.  He has played with this toy soooooooo much since his birthday party.  Definitely taught me a lesson in parenting... He appreciates this toy so much more because I never gave in all of those times he went to visit it at Target. 

As you can see, the party was a success!  Thanks so much to all of those who helped make it so special.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Jesus Picked You For Me"

Quite often, Carson wants me to tell him things about me and Emily and when we were little.  While Carson was eating dinner this evening, he was telling me how sometimes he eats fish strips at daycare.  He proceeded to ask if Emily and I ate those when we were little like him.  I informed him that yes, Grandma Lisa did make us fish sticks when we were little.  What he said next made tears roll down my cheeks...

"When you were a little girl, I lived in Heaven with Jesus.  Then, when you got to be a big girl, Jesus picked you for me." 

My great-great uncle passed away in January and my great grandma in March, so we've had a lot of conversations about Heaven and angels lately.  Also, somewhat ironically, Carson has shown a lot of interest in the Stations of the Cross in the last few weeks.  Sometimes, we have our own quiet discussion about the stations during the extremely long homilies... but hey, at least we're in the back and keeping the convo religious... most of the time.  Carson would ask me things like why is that bear brown or why is my hair brown, and my response has always been, "That's the way God made it."  Now, instead of asking, he explains things are the way they are because that is how God made them.  What really intrigues me is that God, Jesus, and prayer have really become topics that I am no longer surprised to hear in a conversation with Carson.  It seems as though praying at bedtime and (sometimes) mealtime and going to church regularly has started filtering through him already.  Although I didn't give anything up for Lent, I have consciously spent the last few weeks trying to be more reflective of myself as a mother, teacher, friend, daughter, sister, etc. and person.  I am so thankful to have such a wonderful little boy.  God bless you and yours!

Monday, April 4, 2011

"It's your birthday surprise!"

Happy, happy birthday to the best friend I could ask for, Miss Morgan.  Carson and I absolutely loved celebrating your birthday with you.  Thanks to the ladies that helped to make it even more special.  Another wonderful evening in the books.  Nights like this make me feel very blessed to have the best friends that I do.  I realize everyone (almost everyone, at least) loves their friends; otherwise, they probably wouldn't be friends.  I truly appreciate the friendship I have with my closest friends and feel blessed to be surround by such wonderful people.  It helps that Carson absolutely loves them!  When Morgan walked in this evening, he yelled, "Happy Birthday!  We have a cake for you!  It's your birthday surprise!"  He was obviously extremely excited to celebrate her birthday.  Little did he know, she had all of the answers for his birthday celebration... :)

FYI:  I had a pretty tired child as this point.  Also... they really do love each other.  Some onlookers wouldn't always believe that, but they do... :)