Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

its the most wonderful time of the year...

Its Christmas Eve... which feels like Christmas to me and my family.  We always celebrated 'Christmas' on Christmas Eve.  We'd have extended family come over for 'supper'- and have a traditional Swedish smorgasbord of meatballs, ham, rice pudding, jello salad (?), rolls... nothing green you'll notice.  After supper, we'd head to the living room to open presents... with our plates of cookies and mugs of coffee.  Christmas music would play in the background, there was usually a jigsaw puzzle spread out on the coffee table, and my grandpa would spend most of the night telling stories from his travels around the world or boyhood growing up in the south (unfortunately I can't recall many of these stories- his southern accent was so thick and as he got older, he became harder and harder to understand... plus he rarely finished a story without interrupting himself with his high pitched, wheezing laughter- I might not remember his words, but I'll never forget his laughter!).

Mr. Incredible was shocked to learn that I didn't grow up with presents on Christmas morning.  We sometimes had stockings to open but Christmas day was usually spent doing something as a family- movie, the beach- or traveling.  I can't tell you how many times someone in my family was flying somewhere on Christmas day.

Mr. Incredible's family did open presents on Christmas morning.  He remembers his brother waking everyone one up early in the morning to see what Santa brought them.  They'd share a cinnamon roll breakfast, open presents, and watch a new movie before getting dressed and heading to his grandparent's house for the evening.

Now with my own little family, we do the best of both worlds.  We head to my family's Christmas Eve celebration for a Swedish Christmas and then Christmas morning, open presents with the boys.  Austin's family comes over late morning for cinnamon rolls.

With Corbin being a little older, our Christmas celebrations have been amped up a level.  We've enjoyed so many fun activities and traditions this season and I've loved seeing Christmas through his eyes.

He's become particularly fond of Christmas lights.

We decorated a gingerbread house together (and he doesn't realize that he could eat it!).

The stockings are just another decoration right now- he'll soon learn that there's things inside them though!

Nora getting into the action:

We trimmed our ginormous tree...

And then it fell over...

Leo was pretty much a casual observer in all of this...

Corbin helped shop for orphans in Mexico and pack presents.

We actually had cold, 'Christmas-y' weather and busted out the coats and hats:


 Discovered new favorite books:

This boy... I've never known it was possible to have someone in your life who can completely drive you nuts to where you're doing everything in your power to not punch a wall or cry or scream and then in the next minute that same person says exactly the right thing to make you wipe tears away and completely melt inside.  I've mentioned before that he talks...a lot.  All the time.  We were circling the Target parking lot looking for a spot and I was on the verge of, let's say 'losing the Christmas spirit.'  People were driving badly, I had a long shopping list and a small budget that I was stressing over, and Corbin was whining about something directly behind the driver's seat.  I was going bonkers when I spotted brake lights in a spot just in front of me.  I hit the brakes, turned on my turn signal and said a silent alleluia that we would soon be out of the parking lot of terror (and into the the horror known as Target at Christmastime).  

As I was waiting, another car across the aisle started backing out so a car sat opposite of me stopped to wait for that parking spot. (confused yet?) As the two cars were backing out, another car decides they can't wait a second longer and pulled around me to drive into the middle of all this backing up parking mess.  Of course, this caused everyone to slam on brakes, narrowly miss colliding with each other, and in the midst of it all, some lady loses control of her shopping cart and it slams directly into my car.  She's apologizing profusely and asking if there's damage and I'm still waiting in the middle of the aisle for a spot to open up.  My spot finally is open and I'm about to pull in when an elderly lady careens down the opposite side of the aisle and crookedly parks in my spot.  I even gave her a little honk, hoping she'd look up and see all the cars waiting, but no luck.  Suddenly there are at least 10 pairs of eyes glued on me to see what I would do... including one little set who witnessed the whole thing from his car seat behind me.

Somehow I managed a few deep breathes and realized that nothing would be gained from yelling at an old lady so I shrugged my shoulders and gave a 'whatever' look to those staring at me and resumed my hunt for a parking spot.  A little while later we found a spot and were thrust into the chaos of shopping.

This story is not about how I'm a great person that can control my anger in parking lots... I wish that could be said more often.  We finished our shopping, loaded up the car, and started navigating out of the parking lot- which had only gotten worse during our time in the store.  As we were finally getting to the driveway, I noticed a woman standing on the grassy median, struggling with an armful of infant and a cardboard sign.  I realized she was trying to breastfeed standing up, juggle the sign, and watch a young 3-4 year old little girl who was playing in the grass.  

Her sign read 'Just lost mi job.'

I thought about my own breastfeeding baby and the little, talkative boy sitting behind me munching on some snack I bought waiting in the check out line.  Before I could think about anything else, I flipped a u-turn and circled back to where she was standing.  In that crazy, overfilled parking lot, a single parking spot sat open right next to the lady with the sign.  I pulled in, wiped my eyes, and pulled out whatever was in my wallet- wishing there was more but realizing that I needed to do something.  I handed her the wad of bills, she thanked me, and I jumped back in my car- and two little eyes watched me curiously out the window.

C: Mama, what that lady doing?
A: She's asking for help because she doesn't have a job.
C: What you give her?
A: I gave her some money so she can get food and maybe Christmas presents for her kids.
C: Why?
A: Some people don't have things that we do- like food, and um... trucks.
C: Mama, I can give her trucks.
A: Oh?
C: Yes.  I give her some of my trucks.

Oh Corbin... may you always desire to give more than you receive.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

recent conversations

conversations with the great corbin-o... while there are some things about 2 year olds that drive me absolutely bonkers, (I'm convinced Job wouldn't have 'the patience of Job' if he had to wait for his two year old to finish one toaster waffle) the sudden explosion of words and sentences and subsequent imagination and thought process is something I'm really enjoying.  A few examples (mama in red):

mama be careful with me...what if i'm not?...i break.

dear god, thanks for dodo and papa and you want to ask god for help? me put my underwear on.

what's your bible verse? good to allllll people... when you push molly are you following the bible?... no, she what's your bible verse?...don't push your friends.

nora! leave me be!

what are you doing out of bed?...just standing here looking around.

i have owie. i need angry bird bandaid... no you don't, you're not bleeding...i bleeding, i need angry bird bandaid...come here and show me where you're and here and here and here... you're not bleeding, those are your toenails...toenails?!  i have toenails!??!

what russell's dada's name?... dave...huh?!!!!

who's your friend corbin?...landon and karson and elmo!

who did you play with at church today?...the big lady. (she's 8 months pregnant)

mama! its light-time, you wake up!  mama!  you have to!

corbin, go play with something and stop bugging me...bug bug bug...

i love you corbin...i like you too mama

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Random Things- October 2013 Edition

Its been awhile since I've posted.  There are lots of reasons, excuses, etc but to sum to all up, having two little kids seems to suck the coherent thoughts straight from my brain and send them to la la land faster than I can type a blog post.  Don't get me wrong- I'm loving having a newborn again (actually I'm loving it more the second time around than the first!) and Corbin-o is just full of mischief and surprises and keeps me laughing and full of funny stories to share but the act of a.) remembering these stories and b.) recording them on the ol' blog is proving to be rather difficult.  So I started carrying around a notebook and jotting down some of these random things so when the moment finally did arrive for me to sit at the computer without a baby attached to my body or a toddler climbing and falling from a tall piece of furniture, I would be ready.  That moment is now (cue heroic music).

Now I just need to go find that notebook.  Drat.

1. My noisy life: Corbin-o never. stops. talking. Never.  He ALWAYS has something to say.  I feel like I'm living in a documentary- there's running commentary on my every movement.  The one word he hasn't seemed to grasp is 'why.'  (I do realize that that is a blessing in disguise right now)  He's also at the age where testing the limits and seeing how far he can go without getting caught is exciting to him.  So I find myself asking "why did you do ____?!?!" a lot.  And its the one question that he doesn't have anything to say about.  Well, he actually does say something- he's mastered the 'huh?' sound which just makes me repeat my why question... etc etc... its a never ending cycle.  For example:
me: "Corbin, why did you take your diaper off?"
CJ: "huh?"
me: "Why is your diaper off?!"
CJ: "huh?"
me: Corbin, why in the WORLD did you take your diaper off?"
CJ: "Mama, take diaper off?"
me: "No! Why did... oh never mind."

2. Wipers: It rained here!  Yay!  For two days!  Exciting!  Apparently more exciting for my two year old because "ohmygoshyouturnedthosewiperthingsonthecar!" when it rains.  Corbin's ongoing commentary on our drive to the store in the rain:

"It WET outside. WIPER! Mama's big new car get wet. WIPER! That Leo there-next to me. WIPER! Yellow truck outside.  Get wet too.  WIPER! Yellow truck drive down the road. Big yellow truck. WIPER!" and on and on...

Then I turned my wipers on high:

"WIPER! Mama- WIPER! it go- WIPER! fast! WIPER Mama-WIPER! Really- WIPER! Fast! WIPER!"

Cruel? I think not.

3. Parenting Milestones: I've learned over the last two years that if you write about your child doing something on the internet, the next day they will do the exact opposite of the thing you were talking about.  So I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of our potty training endeavors here since that would guarantee bad things happening on my floors but I will say that we are in potty training limbo with the Great Corbin-o.  He does his *business* on the potty without much complaint but is still in diapers for outings and naps etc.  He has a pretty extensive library in the bathroom to help with his *business* and we leave him there with a couple of books on a regular basis.  He yells at us when he's done- either with his stack of books or his *business*- and then we go about our business (of the non-potty variety).  It works.  And it actually serves as a nice transition activity when he wakes up grumpy from naps or something and is not quite ready to face the world.  He gets some quiet, alone time and I get a few minutes to prepare for the noise that follows that boy everywhere.

The other day during one of these potty-transition-times, things got a little too quiet.  Mr. Incredible was home to witness this particular act (lucky, lucky man).  Oh and it was trash day- a very important detail! (ok- parents of toddlers know this.  Trash day is the BEST day of the week.  The garbage man- might as well wear a cape and deliver candy.  We RACE to the window to watch the trash truck come, wave at the trash man, and if we have clothes on, run outside to watch up close.)  Back to our too-quiet-bathroom.  A trash truck drove down the road- we could hear it rumbling by.  Mr. Incredible finally goes to check on Corbin-o and finds him sitting in the sink.  Naked of course. And raving about the trash truck outside.  Thankfully he had finished everything up on the potty and when he heard the truck, climbed up and into the sink from where he could see the very top of the truck from the tiny window in the shower.

The climbing thing has gotten a little out of control.  A few other places I've found Corbin lately:
-on top of the picnic table outside
-on the back of the couch
-on the coffee table
-hanging from the 'window sill' in his room
-in the kitchen sink with the water on (soaking his shoes)
-stuck between the front and back seats of the car, wedged between Leo's carseat and the center console
-stuck inside a cardboard box that collapsed when he climbed on top of it

4. Big Boy Bed: Another recent development in our household is moving Corbin-o to a 'big boy bed.'  We've had a toddler bed set up in his room for awhile now.  He loved reading on it, jumping on it, calling it his big boy bed.  But if we suggested he sleep there- melt down.  So Mr. Incredible took Corbin into the room and used tools! to disassemble his crib.  We completely took the crib away and set up Corbin with his pillow, blankie, and animal friends (a growing collection).  And he's done alright.  Its a struggle some nights and naps for him to stay in his bed rather than build block towers and knock them over like King King (two nights ago) or race his fire truck and crash it into the glass closet door (last night) or stand on his side table and look out his window at trucks (every nap so far).  Here's an exercise I like to call "Where's Corbin?"

Answer: not in his bed!

5. Little Leo Update: I realize Corbin has stolen the show so here's a Leo update.  He's great!  He's a smiling bundle of baby boy who seems to enjoy playing second fiddle to his talkative, dare-devil older brother.  He just turned 3 months old (time flies!), weighs close to 15 lbs, and is a sweet, sweet baby.  He loves being wrapped in snuggly blankets, swinging, sucking on his hands, people making fishy faces at him, and his mama singing Journey songs off-key when we're in the car.  He's not a fan of long car rides, his big brother getting a little too close or rambunctious, and having to wait for food.  Here's a few instagram (follow me! christmastreeface) pics of Leo from this month:

Well, that's all I got for now.  I might actually get to hit 'publish' before one or both boys wake up too!  Oh... never mind.  Till next time!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

hanging with my gnomey

Hey-its not my fault I think in children's board book phrasing!

angry gnome

suspicious gnome

startled gnome

curious gnome

good- bye gnome!

Monday, September 30, 2013

fall photos...

Brilliant Idea: a fall photo shoot with Corbin-o and his BFF, Karson playing in the fall leaves.

Reality: Photographing two 2 year olds in the setting sun in a pile of leaves is a less than ideal situation (read: near impossible!!)

Realization: If your subject matter is cute enough, blurry, grainy photos can still be great!

Stay tuned- you'll be seeing more of these two monkeys in the future!


Friday, September 27, 2013