Sunday, April 10, 2011

Did You Wonder if I Gave Up?

Where does the time go? I'm sure I've lost most of my followers but for my friends and family members who aren't on Facebook, here are some pics of my adorable blondies. Not in any order but cute none-the-less!

December- digging through his closet, Carson re-discovered his girl style capris from his Nemo costume at age 2 years 4 months. Only now he's 4.5 years old! Hilarious! 

 Welcome to the world of boys! Anything can become a launch pad!

 Our very talented Keaton at 16 months. Should he go for 3?

 Cardboard is the BEST, CHEAPEST entertainment ever!

 Best of friends, 80% of the time!

 Howdy Partner! I love dressing up like my big bro!

 It's a hoe-down, cowboy style! Swimtrunks, swim shirt, and onesie!

Costumes can be made from anything! Daddy's gymshorts and shirt too!
Random cutie-pie moment! Keaton is comfy in Jackson's toy basket.  

 All ready for the snow!! Keaton is wearing bowling shoes since we didn't have any itsie-bitsie snow boots!

 Carson's first Build-A-Bear experience! Loud noises are one of his sensitivities. Funny since he is one of the loudest people I know!

 Getting that bear clean!!

 Our shortest zoo trip ever!! Christmas Zoo Lights: freezing cold, bi-polar Carson, and tired Keaton. Ugh!
 Notice the scowl on Carson's face!
 Recent zoo trip. MUCH better! Keaton walked nearly the whole time and had a blast!! It was his first trip wear he actually got really into it.

 Snack time since Carson is VERY affected by his blood sugar levels. They were dangerously low which means evil Carson is sitting on the top step. 

More to follow! I have super fun pics on my iPhone that I need to send to my computer. Not great quality but GREAT way to capture our every day memories!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Not so Green St. Paddy's Day

So far I have been a total flop as a mom for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m hearing of all these other moms who planted evidence of the leprechaun’s late night escapades, sprinkling green glitter, hiding gold chocolate coins, setting leprechaun traps, green pancakes.

I am feeling pretty badly so I think our naughty leprechaun might make an appearance tonight, he’s a bit delayed by Santa’s sleigh, wait, no that’s not right either!
Let’s hope I get this mothering stuff down by the time Carson loses his first tooth. I can’t mess up the tooth fairy!!

On a cute note, poor Keaton had nothing green so I pinned a green glittery shamrock on his shirt. Upon removing his jacket in the “pre-tods” room this morning, the pre-tods descended upon him like zombies from night of the living dead. It was quite a sight as they all toddled over, arms outstretched, all clawing at Keaton to take his shamrock. Keaton was outraged that his friends would turn on him like that and clutched it as tight as he could, making his best “mean eyes” at them.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Calgon Take Me Away

We made it 4.5 years with Carson, and 1.5 years with Keaton …. until today we have never experienced puke in the car.

My sweet hubby has taken the day off to spend with his loving family before he leaves for his annual "Dude's Weekend". 

After a successful speech therapy session (where Jeremy got to experience what's it's like to be trapped in a 5x5 observation room with a toddler for 30 minutes), we were headed to Target to pick up birthday presents for another round of parties this weekend.

Then we heard the first burst of barf. In the car seat. Small-ish amount that was all contained within the jacket.
Small enough that we chalked it up to a fluke.

Joked about the "what if" it's a stomach virus and I'm trapped at home all weekend with pukies and no daddy.

Pulled over, cleaned up with the two wipes I had left, yes, I'm usually a very ill-prepared mother. And naughtily left the barfy wipes on the side of the parking lot. Carson tattled that we were littering but quieted down quickly when we pointed out the other option was to put the pukey wipes next to him.

Quick and easy trip to Target. Made it all the way to the parking lot, clipped Keaton in to his carseat and then...

Then he erupted. Projectile puke that spewed all over like a sprinkler. I swung my purse out of the way, phew!

Jeremy's eyes nearly popped out of his head and he went instantly white at sheer volume of stomach contents lying in pools on and around our dear child, and sprayed all over the back of the seat.


"Run back in and buy wipes" I commanded.

He ran as fast as he could -- I think to get away from the puke- I questioned whether he'd actually come back or not.

And then as I pondered my next move, How do you get a puke covered kid out of a carseat?

It started again. My fingers slipped on the puke coated straps and release button as the projection began. As fast as I pulled him out, the puke rained all over everything.

Carson's leg.

Into the pocket on the back of the seat.

My Thomas Guide.

Three library books.

My floor mats

And ALL over Keaton himself.

My mind was racing and blank all at the same time.

Keaton stood looking shell shocked in the parking lot and, thank God, didn't move a muscle.

The towels in the swim bag were my only option but in a moment of delirium, I still thought we could make it to swim class in 20 minutes. Fortunately the moment passed and I cleaned as much as I could with the towel.

Stripped off Keaton's shoes and pants.

And then Jeremy came flying across the parking lot, ripping out baby wipes with a speed known to few. We started un-bagging the Target purchases to contain all of the nasty towels and wipes.

It wasn't enough but enough to get Keaton back in the seat and head home. Carson was beside himself with sadness that we were missing swim class AND it was going to be the first time Daddy was going to witness his amazing swimming.

Bless his heart, Keaton fell asleep on the way home. We all felt vomitous from the horrible smell that hung heavy in the car.

I called the school searching for the duration of this icky illness. Bout four hours is the best they could tell me, and oh by the way, if the parents get it, plan on being down for a few days. A few days!!??

I wish I could say our story ended there. But alas.

I have now cleaned up three or four more puke explosions. Jeremy was able to help as much as he could. He was a trooper and cleaned out my car. Thank God we have a second set of car seats as the puke one is out of commission soaking in bleach.

But now, Jeremy is on his way to Dude's Weekend. I am solo. I am praying. Praying this mean little virus comes and goes quickly.

For the mom's about to email me and tell me my husband is a lousy guy for leaving, he did try to stay. I wouldn't let him. But I did tell him that if I get it, or if both boys have it tomorrow, he's catching the first bus back to Portland!

Selfishly, did I mention I had to cancel a ladies night out tonight? Oh and that I have clients flying in tomorrow to house hunt? And two birthday parties to attend? Holy hell how am I going to get through this?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Best Daycare Call Ever

I always hate to see "Learning Years" pop up on my my iPhone caller ID because it almost always means one of the boys is sick and has to be picked up.

Not this time.

Voicemail. Started with, "This is Johnna. I'm calling about Carson but don't worry he's fine"

That's a good start. I figured broken arm for sure.


"Carson got his head stuck in a chair. We tried buttering his ears but that didn't work so we had to break the chair apart".


Can't. Stop. Laughing!!!!!!!

And I really couldn't stop laughing as I called school back to tell them to stop worrying. I wasn't going to file a complaint.

Actually my only complaint.... as my mother called within 30 seconds of receiving the email from me:


My only complaint? No picture :)

And the chair was in the dumpster by the time I got there.

The only evidence remaining?

Slippery, sore ears.

And a towel, hammer, and screwdriver piled in the corner.

It actually took three people to get him out.

One to hold his towel covered head.

One to hold the chair.

And one to wedge the screwdriver into the chair and smack it enough times with a hammer to break the chair into pieces.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bad, Bad Blogger

The usual excuses.... I work full time... I have two boys.... I'm pooped by the time they go to bed....

And then I realize I spend enough time each week blog-stalking everyone else that I have enough time to blog. Or at least post some pictures of the world's cutest brothers!!

So now do I go back and post Christmas or start fresh?

How about a random smattering of pics in no particular order!

But first, a quick update:

Carson: Where do I start? The end of December found us at our wit's end again with the tantrums, "poop" talk, "I hate you!", "You're not my friend" and so on.

This is where the former teacher in me struggles. I met with his teachers to find out what was happening in school. I am of the opinion (yes, I know I'm very opinionated), that there is one particular child who is influencing Carson, and not in a good way. I chatted with his teachers and the director about their discipline methods and how to best keep the "poop" talk out of the classroom.

And then I stop myself and ask, "Am I being too strict?"

He is a boy after all. A four year old boy. Poop is cool, right? Poop is gross. Everybody poops. Ugh.

So after being told he's "normal", I ran to the library, checked out books on parenting, re-read my teaching discipline bible (Love and Logic), and discovered a great new book (thanks Laurie!), Little Sugar Addicts.

Now we try really hard to serve a protein with each meal. Less simple carbohydrates, more complex carbohydrates, and feed him (like a zoo animal) on a regular schedule, every 3 hours.

Warning, do NOT miss a feeding, this zoo animal will turn into a raging beast when his blood sugar levels fall!

Bi-Polar is the term we use. Nuts, crazy, insane, Dr. Jeckle/Mr. Hyde, that's Carson.

We were also told it's a 6 month cycle of positive growth and behavior and challenging, negative behaviors. Supposedly we're near the bottom and supposed to be heading back up for the next 6 months! If that's true, drinks are on me tonight!

It's like that 80's movie with the Gremlins. There are 3 rules to raising Carson:

1. Feed him every 3 hours.

2. Do not look him directly in the eye.

3. Walk on eggshells until you know what kind of mood he's in.

It's like the weather in Oregon, wait 5 minutes and it'll change!

LOVE the kid! He is the BEST big brother ever!

Shares 75% of the time.

Encourages his brother to join him at the potty (we don't encourage that one). 

Speech therapy is interesting. Again, being the former teacher, I realize now how hard it is to see a specialist once a week for 30 minutes and expect instant results. We are trying much harder now to schedule "homework" time for Carson each night and make it fun. We are seeing better results.... we also implemented chocolate chip rewards. So much for curbing the sugar addiction!

Still wearing a pull-up a night. Can't seem to kick the night habit just yet. He would love to, we would love to! We even spent a small fortune on nightlights to light a very specific path from his room to the bathroom so if he wakes up in the middle of the night to go, he doesn't have to wake us up or turn on any lights. It is about 30% successful :)


Hilarious little bugger. Doesn't seem to be growing much.

But it's hard to grow when you don't eat anything but string cheese, cottage cheese, and watermelon. Pickiest eater in the world!

We recently suffered from (I say we because it's so GROSS) two weeks of diarrhea. Daycare kept trying to kick him out because of the "no more than two runny diapers" rule but I can't afford to take that much time off work for a little soupy poopy!

Doc said gimme a poop sample. Oh ya, for the second time in my fledgling career as a mother, I scraped poop out of a diaper with a tongue depressor and into a vial. All that for nothin' too! No bacteria, just a "long lived virus".  He's now on a daily probiotic to "firm things up".

Talking... a whole lotta nuttin' yet. Doc said not to worry. I've given up worrying about his delays in development. I realize he was put on this earth to test my competitive nature. Keaton does things at his own pace. It all happens eventually. He says, Mommy, Daddy, Dog-dog, Moh, and Uh oh.

Swimming is going better. Keaton is a bit timid and a mama's boy so he bawled 70% of the first class. Second class was about 50% crying. And our third class today was much better. He should be having fun by Hawaii in August!

You can tell Keaton is a second child. Carson had the cutest swim trunks for his first class. Keaton is wearing the cheesy blue swim underpants required by the pool... and that's it. He looks ridiculous but when the three of us are all soaking wet, freezing cold, and trying to crowd into the ridiculously small curtained changing room, the less he has on the better!

Have you ever tried to take wet swim trunks AND underpants off while bending over and praying your keister doesn't push open the curtain! Less is better!

This was the first swim class where all of us left in dry clothes! When you're a mom, you count the small victories!

First swim class, Carson and I left with soaking wet jeans because our swim suits dripped water all over the "dry" area. And I did I mention Keaton peed all over the floor. Had to report it to the management, embarrassing!

Second swim class, I thought I had figured it all out! But alas, Keaton somehow ended up in soaking wet jeans. Oh and by the way, it's about 40 degrees out! Wet jeans and cold weather SUCK! This time the pee was contained in the swim underpants and only landed on the used towel.

I NAILED it today! All three of us left in dry clothes! Only a little pee spill to report.

That's it for the updates. Sorry for the long post. One little boy just woke up so my time is limited. Pictures to follow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lincoln City Follies!

What kind of mom packs ONE pair of shoes for a trip to the beach for a four year old boy? DUH!
Yet another nomination for lousy mother-of-the-year!

We are blessed with a family beach house in Lincoln City that we grossly under-use!

We packed up the troops and their endless gear (by the way, it's just as much crap for one night as it is for three) and met Jer's dad and his wife for a quick and fun weekend.

 Are we having fun yet? Can Daddy actually see out the back? Should Mommy be wondering if there is actually a bug in the bug watch on Carson's wrist??

And then Carson made Mommy super proud by writing his name in the sand .... thank God it was with a stick and not with pee. The boy has lots of random talent!

Grandpa Rader and his precious grandsons!


 Freeeeeezzzing and beautiful view!

 Grandma & Grandpa Rader

 This is a man-bag? So does it clash with my gloves?
 I make this look WORK!

 Chalking up for a game of pool!

 Almost ready to play!

 Not to be left out, we broke the house rules so everyone could feel involved!

 Why don't I get a giant stick like Carson did??

Friday, December 03, 2010

When Parenting Works

Awkward but Teachable Moments:

All said within earshot of victim.

1. Man with prosthetic leg in Target: "Look Mommy! That man has a robot leg!"

2. Obese man in Safeway: "Hahaha! Mommy that man has a FAT tummy!"

3. Very pregnant lady at the park: "Mommy, that lady has a baby in her tummy. And it's a SUPER BIG ONE!"

Each one of these totally embarrassing situations was followed by the lecture of: "Carson, we don't say those things out loud in front of the person. If you need to let me know, wait until we get home. We don't to hurt those people's feelings."

Let's hit rewind and jump back to Daylight Savings. A concept that is divine to teenagers who gain an extra hour of curfew for the Homecoming Dance.

BUT pure torture for parents of children under the age of five. Who is the world thinks that a 15 month old toddler understands he "gets" to sleep in the next day?

My children didn't get the extra hour of sleep memo. They were up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:40 am on Sunday morning. Surprise. Surprise.

I couldn't possibly imagine an extra hour stuck in the house on a cold rainy day (oh by the way, I'm not a creative parent who has brilliant ideas with play-doh, glitter glue, and cardboard boxes) so I Googled Winco.

Oh yes, Winco. The world of child leashes, butt cleavage, and an overabundance of Hispanic foods.

Glorious Winco is open, wait for it, 24 HOURS!

Yup. I printed up my grocery list, categorized by section, then alphabetized, and we loaded up.

I debated. Fit in with the early morning, 7 am, crowds and wear my jammies, or crank it up a notch and go with slippers and jeans.

But I digress. Shopping at Winco at 7 am is AMAZING! No crowds, no lines, no merging into aisles.

Carson talked me into a random bag of sesame breadsticks. $1.50? Whatever, he was being exceptionally good so I threw them in the cart.

And then it happened.

Classic Winco.

There was a tap on my shoulder. A voice that was mostly feminine. A faint swelling of breasts around the belly button area. A plaid flannel shirt. And a full mustache.

He/she launched into an elaborate description of how the $1.50 breadsticks I just mindlessly tossed into my cart make the most SUPREME Bacon Wrapped Treats.


Carson, Keaton, and I were entranced by the gravelly and extensive, step-by-step instructions of how to transform a simple breadstick into a Martha Stewart specialty by wrapping it in bacon.

All the while, I'm thinking OMG is this a man or a woman. By the end of the long tutorial, I was 99% SHE was not a HE.

I scraped Carson's jaw off the crusty concrete floor, pretended to add a package of bacon, and hightailed it for the freezer section.

Bless my son's heart, he didn't say a word. But honestly I was so focused during the whole conversation at keeping my eyes above the hairy lip area that I nearly forgot about the boys.

Later that night, finishing up dinner, Carson says, "Mommy that lady looked funny today"

Play it cool Mommy, "Oh really honey? Why do you say that?"

C: Mommy, she looked like a man.

M: A man? How come?

C: Mommy, she had a mustache like Poppa"

M: Carson, I am SO proud of you for not saying anything about it today at the grocery store!!"

C: Well Mommy, we should only talk about that kind of thing at home. We wouldn't want her to feel bad."

HOLY CRAP!!! Our parenting is actually working!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Month Late but without Further Delay- Halloween Pics!

Super duper gooper guts!
Not a fan yet!
Yay! Guts!
Hard at work!

Does this look work for me? I'm just not growing hair fast enough!

Cold but clear and dry for our annual trip to Plumper Pumpkin Patch!

I wish, I wish, I wish for a princess! Isn't that what happens when you kiss a pumpkin?


Goofin' around with the sole astronaut helmet!

Watch me brother! This is how it goes!

Is this right?

Heading out to the annual Hook Halloween Party!

On a Mission!!

Halloween Parties are a lot of work!

Pajama Party at School! They make lounging look cool!

Like big brother, like little brother

Trick or Treating at Nana's office!

Cutest little Astronaut Ever!

How Old is Carson?

How Old is Keaton?