Carson loved his first Iowa men's basketball game!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Bring it on, Mother Nature!

As I logged on facebook today, I was not at all surprised about all of the posts with this snow storm we're about to get as the topic.  I find it humorous to read everyone's predictions about the weather.  If all of my years working at the pool has taught me anything it's that meteorologists really have no better idea as to what the weather is going to do than we do. 

We've been snowed in while living in Dubuque and didn't mind it a bit.  This will be the first time we've ever been really "snowed in" since we've moved back to Belle Plaine.  Although I'm sure we'll survive, I am thinking it could be a bit more challenging as we don't have cable now and we did in Dubuque.  I'm not saying we'd watch television the whole time, but it was nice for background noise as there isn't any other noise than the two of us... :)  I'm sure I could use this time wisely and do some deep cleaning or organizing.  Ha!  That only gets done when I'm avoiding ten million other tasks.  We've got our groceries, movies, Nerf gun and Candyland ready...  fHopefully this will hold us over until Friday!  I think the only other important thing I forgot to get was gas or the snow blower... :/  Guess I'll be shoveling those 12+ inches of snow.  Not! 

What do you do on a snow day?  I'll take any ideas you've got! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Make my toes match. Please!"

When my mom moved to Cedar Rapids, there wasn't really room in her new condo for her dining room table.  Mine, to say the least, was a piece... so I got her table.  She dropped the table leafs off and they were sitting in my dining room.  While running to the basement to do a load of laundry, I suddenly hear a bang and Carson screaming.  I ran up the stairs terrified with fear as to what I was going to find.  A table leaf was on the floor and Carson was holding his foot.  He told me he wanted it to be his train track and it fell on his foot.  Well after a few days the toenail turned purple.  Luckily, when the leaf hit, it cracked his toenail a bit so I didn't have to drain it with a needle or something.  I can see his toe is getting better, but it hasn't totally grown out yet.  This morning, I was painting my nails a somewhat dark color.  He saw this and said to me, "Make my toes match.  Please!  You can use that stuff!"  So... I did.  One doesn't hurt, does it?  ;)  We'll see if he still wants to the polish on his toe after the other little boys see it at daycare today...

The colors are close enough for Carson... :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Planning Panic!

Are you a self declared planner?  For as long as I can remember, I have been a "planner."  I like to know what is going on the next hour, day, weekend, month, year...!  Planning has been my means of staying in control of my life.  Planning for the life of a college student was easy.  Professors would pass out the syllabus at the beginning of the semester and I knew what I had going on every week/weekend for the next 16 weeks.  After receiving the syllabus, everything else I had going on or wanted to do just fell into place.  I was also able to plan for each day much easier as a college student.  My class schedule rarely changed and if/when it did, it just meant a class was going to be cancelled.  I would look for the next semester's course list to come out weeks before the semester even began so I could get a grip on what my schedule was going to be for the following semester.  The same goes for income in college.  I knew when and how much was going to be deposited into my account all the time.  Even though it wasn't ever much, I always knew where I stood. 

Substitute teaching is a whole new ball game!!!  Planning as I was once able to is no longer possible, and the adjustment is rather challenging!  So far, all of my sub days have been prearranged at least the night before.  Until about 6:30am, I truly don't know what my day will bring if I'm not already subbing.  I truly do enjoy subbing.  I love getting to experience different grade levels and different combinations of students.  I also love learning different things from the different teachers I sub for or sub with.  I am so fortunate to have been able to have such rewarding subbing experience thus far.  Adjusting to not knowing whether or not I'll be working next week is the only issue I have encountered.  I think it would be different if I wasn't a mother.  I have daycare, preschool, and transportation issues to consider in all of this.  Luckily, I am surrounded by family who basically have an "on-call" status as to whether or not I need them to take Carson to/from preschool.  Also, I am sooooooooooo fortunate to have the world's best daycare provider who I know I can take Carson there unexpectedly and she'd be fine.  Without these two aspects, I couldn't sub. 

Luckily, I have the rest of the week planned as I am subbing every day.  Unfortunately, so far, I have nothing THAT I KNOW OF next week.  This game is getting old all too soon.  It's going to be a long few months if I keep up this attitude...! 

Why does planning have such an effect on us?  There is so much more to life than knowing what is coming next.  Does being a planner take away from our appreciation of the little things that can occur out of the blue? 

Carson's back is turning red?

When I picked Carson up from preschool today his teacher told me what he had said...  Sometimes when phrases start like this from his teachers I seriously hold my breath waiting to hear what direction it's going to go... No bad reports yet!\

Apparently, Carson had told his teacher that his back is turning red.  When she asked why he said it was because he was eating vegetables and healthy foods like noddles, goldfish and fruit snacks.  We all found this pretty hilarious.  I think instead of healthy foods, he meant his favorite foods! 

I love hearing things kids say in the classrooms I'm in and that's mainly 3rd-6th grades.  I remember loving some of the things I heard as a preschool associate.  At the time, Carson was too little for me to imagine that some of the same things would be coming out of his mouth one day.  I often wonder what some parents would think if they knew everything their children shared about them in a school day.  I can hardly imagine what Carson's teachers are beginning and will continue to learn about us!! HAHA!

Soundtrack of my life...

As most of you probably know, Carson is an animal obsessed child.  He spends the majority of his free time setting up his totes of animals in different arrangement depending on whether the animals are in "captivity" or in the "savanna."  Besides playing with these animals at home, he pretends that he is an animal (usually either an elephant or lion) most of the time.  It is no surprise when he doesn't respond to his name and then requests to be called by whatever animal he is at the moment.  I try to allow this as much as I can.  I have seen his imagination grow over the past two years because of his exposure to zoo animals so often.  We are VERY fortunate to have Laurie and her family living in Omaha.  Without them there, I'm sure his passion for animals wouldn't be what it is today.  The last time Carson was at the zoo was in October.  I think this is the longest stretch he's gone between zoo visits in the last two years as we won't make it out there again until late February.  Sometimes, the growls and trumpets come at the WRONG time.  Explaining to Carson that it is not an appropriate place to be an animals is sometimes a challenge.  Although it is sometimes hilarious, Carson tends to scare some other children by making animal sounds.  He has no idea why it is "not nice" to be a lion at that specific time and place, but none-the-less, the kids who do not know him, look at him like he's crazy.  Fortunately, the kids at daycare have accepted that Carson likes to be an animal, and now I think a lot of them join him.  As we don't have cable, a lot of the time we spend watching T.V. is actually movies.  He doesn't really care to watch any movie that doesn't involve an animal or dragon.  His current favorites are the Narnia series and The Wizard of Oz. 

One of the glories of subbing is that I am able to spend some days at home playing with Carson.  Already this morning, I have been a zookeeper to a herd of zebra and wildebeests, watched a lion pride at the watering hole, and seen a herd of mother elephants circle around their young.  Some of this Carson has seen in movies like Plant Earth or Animal Atlas or even on T.V. on stations like Animal Planet, but a lot of it has come from him being read to and all of the trips to the zoo.  Carson's passion for animals has forced me to know more about animals.  Now, I enjoy sharing bits of animals trivia I've picked up along the way and sharing it with my students.  They love it!  If your kiddos are at all interested in animals, is a really neat website.  There are live cameras placed at watering holes on the African savanna.  We've seen quite a few animals stop at them...  It's amazing how they interact with each other. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our First Snowman

Carson loved playing in the snow when we built these earlier this week.  The big "Mommy" snowman only lasted about two hours, but the little "Carson" snowman is still standing as I write (6 days later!!).  I can hardly believe no one has messed with them as we only live three houses from the school.  Carson checks every morning when he wakes up to see if his snowman is still standing.  It will be a traumatic morning when he wakes up and it's no longer there...  He didn't care to be playing in the snow for more than about 15 minutes prior to building these.  I think this is mainly because he is a little bit afraid of the snowblower.  Hopefully he fades out of this like he did his fear of the vacuum! 

Now that we've gotten this milestone complete... Carson and I are ready for summer!  He talks about "swimming lessons" allllllllll the time!

Garage Sale

Kids say the darnedest things...

I recently cleaned out Carson toy boxes.  I only did the two in his room, but really should have started with the tubs of the toys in the basement.  I tried to get rid of as much as I could, but God knows it wasn't as much as I could have or should have purged.  I kept thinking, "He might play with this again someday."  I told him that we were going to take the toys to a place called Goodwill and people who need toys will go there and buy them.  Carson expressed his wish for a garage sale and I thought I was going to have to pull over I was laughing so hard.  I don't think he as ever been to a garage sale (except for the ones my grandma has in which he isn't allowed to bring anything home).  After talking about what he thought a garage sale was, I finally asked him what he would sell at his garage sale.  "I will sell G'ma and Papa's old stuff."  Now God knows that my grandma doesn't have "old stuff" unless it's something meaningful as she is much better at purging than I am.  I have no idea where he gets random ideas like this. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Tonight, Carson attended his first funeral visitation.  It was for his 98 year-old great-great-great uncle Delbert.  I was amazed by his reaction and level of understanding of the situation.  I think Carson stood at the casket longer than anyone else, trying to soak in the idea that he wasn't going to wake up because he lives with Jesus now.  (He was also deeply concerned about all of the people talking in church... Even after we told it was okay to use a normal voice, he refused.  If he was only that concerned about being quiet on Sundays!) 

I was born with all four of my great grandmas and two great grandpas alive.  As a young child, my great grandma Garbers was my best friend.  I would spend the night at her house regularly.  Some of my fondest memories of being at her house include rollerblading in her basement, taking care of her chia(spelling?) pet (the plant), playing with her clap-on/clap-off lights, her cinnamon rolls rising under her electric blanket, and her love for the Hawkeyes.  Even as an adult, I miss her terribly and speak and think of her often.

Carson also has many great grandparents and one great-great grandma still alive.  I feel that he is so fortunate to be surrounded by so many generations of family.  His adoration for his great-grandpa Garbers (Papa) is something I wish I could bottle up.  The two of them are two peas in a pod and I don't think either of them would have it any other way.  Carson and his Papa have no problem reminding me or anyone else that he is "Papa's boy!!"  When something breaks or a toy's batteries die, the first thing out of Carson's mouth is "Papa will fix it."  If he only knew what wonderful "fixers" his G'ma and Papa really are.  Although it's not necessarily apparent now, I am anxious to see how much Carson has learned and will continue to learn about life by simply being in their company.  How fortunate we are to have them in our lives. 

This is the third time I've written my first "real" post.  I haven't really figured out where I'm going with this blog, other than filling it with things I hope Carson will be interested in knowing more about when he's older.  I felt drawn to write this as it is such an important piece of our lives individually and together.  We have what some would call and non-traditional family, but I can't imagine having it any other way at this point.  The closeness and love we all feel is irreplaceable and will remain with us forever. 

God bless you and your family.

Friday, January 14, 2011

To Carson With Love

I have often pondered the idea of starting a blog, but continued to talk myself out of it.  I have enough on my "To Do" list that I really don't need to be adding something of this sort.  Although I have come into this concept with a few hesitations, I am excited to share the happenings of our lives with our family and friends.  Ultimately, what lead me to creating this blog, was the idea that someday, today, will just be a memory instead of a reality.  Just as home videos from my childhood are entertaining to watch as an adult, it is my hope that someday, Carson and I can reminisce about our lives together, just the two of us.  

Our lives in the last few years have been nothing less than unpredictable.  As much as I try to plan ahead, I am learning to get better at living a day at a time.  I feel as though Carson and his vivacious personality is what has inspired me to be more appreciative of the simplest, most meaningful things in life.

I cannot promise that this blog will be error free or entertaining, but the intended audience is more interested in being read to than reading at this point.  I hope that by sharing everything that I am learning from an amazing little boy, you will find something that is exciting, inspiring, or even lovable.  So here it goes...

I hope that someday we will be able to look back at this adventure and see all that we have taught each other.  Your passionate personality is inspiring and your smile is uplifting.  I love you for the little boy that you are and will love you for the man you'll eventually become.  Never let anything get in the way of your dreams.  It is what it is.  Make the most of it.  Thank you for being mine.
With love,