Carson loved his first Iowa men's basketball game!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Circus 2011

Today, we went to Des Moines to the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Circus.  It was just as much fun as an adult as it was going as a kid.  As a child, I was a Shriners patient.  I remember going to yearly check-ups and seeing kids that had braces on their legs, in wheel chairs, etc. and feeling very lucky, even at a young age, that my issues were as "minor" as they were.  The Shriners do wonderful things for so many who need them.  If you are familiar with the Shriners or what they do, check out the link.  Today, I overheard a child ask her mother what a Shriner was, and the mother told her that they just go around and put on circuses.  She couldn't be more wrong. 

Last March, I very randomly picked Carson up from daycare early and drove what I thought was going to be about 1 hour and 45 minutes to a circus in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Boy was I wrong!  The drive ended up being closer to 2 hours and 45 minutes with thirty-mile durations of no cell phone reception, surrounded by "BEWARE OF FALLING ROCKS" signs.  To say the least, Carson loved every bit of it.  His reaction was absolutely amazing.  I've been disappointed ever since that I had a dead camera battery, but the memory is still there.  When I found out that the Shriners were having a circus in Des Moines, I got excited to take Carson again, without as terrible of a drive.  As you can see from the pictures below, he had a wonderful time again.  Unfortunately, my camera died (again) and this was all of the pictures I took.  When I asked him what his favorite part was, he said, "Driving the elephant!"  I love doing things like this, just the two of us.  Sometimes, we let Emily join in on our fun, but it really is the more random, special days like this that cling to our memory.

Now, we're home watching Dumbo.  :) 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tonight, as I was washing the dishes (yes, hand-washing... :-/ ), Carson said to me, "Mommy, I know where we can go."  I wasn't quite sure where this was coming from or where it was headed, but I proceed to ask, "Where?"  As confidently as ever, he responded with, "Vagina."  Shocked and mortified, yet extremely thankful we weren't in public (even though I'm sharing), I couldn't think of anything else to reply with other than what seemed like twenty questions, "What did you just say?  Where can we go?  Who'd you hear say that?"  Again, as sure as ever, he said, "You know, Vagina.  Mommy, like where Kung Fu Panda is."  Actually, this response settled me a bit.  "Carson, do you mean China?" I asked.  "Yes, I said China.  We can go there."  Relieved that I could hear a definite CH before the ina, I went with it...  It has been awhile since we've watched Kung Fu Panda, but we'll definitely be adding that to the movies we watch this weekend.  Unfortunately, I is no where close to being one of my favorites.  When it first came out on DVD we got it as a gift.  I watched the first couple minutes and wouldn't let Carson watch any more.  Finally, at like three, I relented and he loved it.  As his 4th birthday is fast approaching, I am wondering what type of things will be coming out of his mouth next?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Carson's Night Away

We moved back to Belle Plaine last May after two years of living in Dubuque.  Dubuque was a wonderful city to live in, go to school in, and raise my son in.  Obviously, it is not a huge city, but has so much to offer for its size.  Some of our favorite spots in Dubuque included the following: Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Grand Harbor Waterpark, Carnegie-Stout Library, Jumpin' Janes, and the play area at the mall.  It was quite an adjustment to move back to a small town without all of these places just around the block.  None-the-less, I feel very fortunate to live in a small community that is not only working to sustain, but also to improve, the quality of life it provides.  Changes within the community in only the last three years include the new school facilities, preschool through twelfth grades, and the new aquatic center.  More improvements in the near future include giving our "historic" mainstreet a face-lift. 

Anyways... Since we've moved back to Belle Plaine, Carson has only spent a handful of nights away from home.  Although I don't get out that often, when I do, my sister is usually here to stay with him.  This past Sunday, we went to my grandparents for dinner, like we do many Sundays, and while Carson was eating he said that he wanted to sleep at their house.  Carson is a home-body and this is usually the only place he wants to sleep, so we were all surprised when he said he wanted to sleep in G'ma and Papas bed.  Carson had made a comment about Papa having to wear earplugs sometimes at night, which is something that was news to the rest of us.  We all new that G'ma was a snorer (sorry grandma :) ), but it was funny to hear Carson share this little bit of private info with the rest of us.  When we got home that afternoon, Carson packed his suitcase with toys, books, and movies and I add the necessities.  The plan was for G'ma to pick Carson up from school the next day and take him home to stay the night. When Carson got to daycare that morning, he was sure to tell Cathy that he was spending the night at his G'ma and Papas.  I called a few times, and every time, I could hear Carson talking in the background and was told he hadn't mentioned me once.  Did I feel bad?  Not at all!  When I called this morning, he told me that Papa was getting him a donut from the coffee shop and G'ma was taking him to Yogi Bear at the movie theatre.  The excitement in his voice was enough to keep me from going to get him immediately.  I feel so fortunate to have grandparents that are young enough in age and at heart to do things like this with my child.  Sometimes it comes as a shock to people that my grandpa not only babysits all day by himself, but he also changed diapers, made bottles, and helped with potty training!  Actually, I think he kind of likes it... :) 

So, as I sit at home alone this morning, working on homework and peacefully watching GMA, Ellen and The View, I am feeling extremely blessed to not only have those special people in my life, but also those special memories.  I know I have a similar post somewhere on my blog, but this is really the memories that we're making. 

Carson, obviously making himself comfortable, at a Iowa basketball game this year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, New Fish

Really, the title says it all.  Last Thursday, on a whim, Emily (who was on spring break) and I took Carson to Cedar Rapids to get some fish.  The boy loves animals.  What he'd really like is a dog, and anyone who knows me knows that isn't going to happen.  When went to Wal Mart and got all of our supplies.  I decided to splurge and spend the extra $4.05 and get the small tank instead of the fish bowl.  I did this not only for the price, but the tank came with a started kit.  Believe me, I needed something for beginners.  As I was checking out the fish, Carson was loading the cart with all sorts of decorative accessories he thought he needed.  He was so excited to be getting the fish that he didn't mind at all when I told him we need to put some (most) of the things he picked back on the shelf.  I walked around the store trying to find someone to help us get the fish.  I finally reached customer service and they paged someone to come to the fish area.  As he was getting all seven fish out of the tank for us, I asked the two other customers standing near us who seemed to be "talking fish" what I should do to keep these fish alive.  They definitely gave me some useful information.  Carson held the fish in the car the whole way home.  He was so proud and excited.  After arriving at home, I was completely dreading this idea.  I had no motivation to set up this fish tank.  Finally, 11pm rolled around and we had gotten the fish in their new tank with the filter running.  The next morning, I got up at six and checked on the fish.  Three were no longer swimming.  I decided to ignore this and not mention it to Carson.  When he woke up, he checked on his fish and informed me that three of them were still sleeping.  I went with this.  By that evening at 5pm, no fish were swimming.  I decided that I probably needed to tell Carson and figure out what I did to cause these fish to die.  After discussing this experience with a few of my friends, I found that Wal Mart fish don't usually last long because of something called Ick.  I got the dead fish out of the tank and dumped them in the toilet.  Carson wanted to do the flushing.  I decided we'd go back and just get the cheap 28 cent goldfish, especially since I just made the investment in the tank and such.  We went back to Wal Mart and noticed that there were some dead goldfish in their tank.  I carefully tried to convince Carson that he needed healthy and strong fish and he agreed to leave fishless.  My mom picked up six more goldfish from Pet Co. for him.  He was once again, extremely excited about this.  Guess what?  They're all still alive!  I was thankful to find it wasn't just me, it was the fish before they arrived in my home!  Carson does enjoy these fish, but I'm sure it's not as much as he would a dog.  Poor kid, I know.  Carson has new names for them every day... Emily, Licorice, Memo, Sharky, Mommy Dragon, Orange, Simba, etc., etc.  The best part about all of this is that Carson doesn't fight sleeping in his own bed at night because he says he has to "protect the fish."  :)  So like the title states, it really has been a one fish, two fish, dead fish, new fish kind of week!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Carson's Birthday List... Already.

Carson just stood in front of me and asked if he could give me a flower some day.  Of course, I said he could and that I would be so happy to get a flower from him.  "Maybe you can ask Auntie Em to help you buy me some flowers," I said.  He kindly informed me that he would give me a pink one for my birthday. 

Almost instantly, he went on about this birthday.  He pointed to each of this fingers and with a matter of fact tone he said, "I would like a trampoline, that dragon boat at Target, that dragon castle at Target, and an instrument."  The first three I knew about, but I was a bit surprised to hear him mention on the instrument.  I don't know where that came from because he never plays with the instruments he already has.  A couple weeks ago, I told him not to jump on the couch.  He responded with, "Well, I don't have a trampoline!"  That Sunday, he saw a trampoline in one of the ads that was in the Gazette.  He made sure to show me the picture and make a comment about wanting that for his birthday.  He better not get his hopes up on this trampoline deal.  :) 

His birthday isn't until the end of April and happens to be right before Easter this year.  You'd think this would be an easy party to plan because it's on a Saturday.  Well it's the hardest one I've planned (or not started to really plan) yet.  Carson insists that only him and I are in-charge of his party.  This might get interesting!  I just can't believe he's almost 4!  :/

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday and Carson the Lion

Tonight, Carson and I went to the first ever "Feast Before the Fast" at church.  What a hit!  As we enter the Lenten season, I was so thankful to be a part of such an active, supportive parish and community.  With Mardi Gras as the theme, there was music, decorations, beads, mini parade floats, face painting, and lots of good food, friends, and fun!  Carson's favorite part was the face painting, of course.  Shortly after arriving, he saw one of his friends with his face painted as a tiger.  He went up to the lady who was painting faces as soon as he could and asked to be a lion.  This is the first time he has had his face painted.  I couldn't help but sit back and admire his reaction to this from everything to the huge, glowing grin on his face when making the request to the smushed cheeks and smile while getting it painted, and finally the joy that consumed him after seeing the finished product.  I was a bit worried that he'd be upset when it was time to wash it off.  If he was just going to daycare tomorrow, I would have let him leave it on, but I really didn't want him wearing it to school.  Tonight, I told him I'd take a picture of him with it on so he could see it when if "fell" off.  When it was time for bed, he agreed that it needed washed off so it wouldn't get on his new lion Pillow Pet.  (We're up to three Pillow Pets: an elephant, a giraffe, and now a lion.  Crazy.)  After really looking at the picture of him below, I am so thankful to have such a passionate and truly happy little boy. 

He wanted to give his lion the beads.  Can you hear the roar?  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cover Letters, Cover Letters, Cover Letters

My blogging has been pushed back on the priority list lately as I have been busy writing cover letters instead of blog posts.  Job searching, researching schools, writing cover letters, proofing cover letters, rewriting cover letters, resume proofing, etc., etc. has pretty much consumed the majority of my time that isn't spent subbing at this point.  I've had so many wonderful experiences in classrooms I'd never had gotten the chance to be in without subbing.  The things I've learned from subbing about classroom management and teaching methods have been so beneficial.  One of my more recent subbing opportunities took me to high school P.E. last week.  They seemed to like me better after I told them, "This is hell for me."  My weeks can get pretty diverse with classes like fourth grade, high school P.E., four year-old preschool, and middle school resource all in a matter of five days.  Hopefully, it will all pay off soon with interviews and eventually a job!  Other than that, we've been well and don't have much to report.  Carson started what seems to be just a cold, so hopefully we'll escape the influenza A and B bugs for the season.  His main topic of conversation lately has included something about how both him and I are in charge of his birthday, which is the day before Easter this year.  Can't believe he's going to be 4!  Sooooooo bitter-sweet!  I've been doing more preseason pool work than ever before.  This must be a sign that the warm air has to be joining us soon?!?!