Monday, February 25, 2008

Bubbles and Nods

As I was cleaning up dinner last night, Carson got into the blackberry jam and spilled it all down the front of himself and all over the carpet. Knowing that blackberries leave hard stains to get out, I acted quickly by stripping his shirt and cleaning up what I could from the carpet. "Carson, where did Kenzie go? Go find Kenzie, buddy!" I said to him, trying to get him away from the mess. As he walked away, I grabbed the Resolve carpet cleaner and started squirting the purple stains. Carson came running back into the dining room shouting, "Bubble! Bubble!" And, sure enough, bubbles were coming out of the squirt bottle. I realize that this might not sound like a really awesome thing...but you have to realize that for an 18 month old, Carson doesn't really say a lot of words. So I get really excited whenever I hear a word that is recognizable as English. Anyway, it was too cute, so I had to get a video.

I actually got two different where he said 'bubble' effortlessly, and then this one where his goopy nose got in the way a little bit - but this video is a bonus because, along with the word, it has his 'affirmative nod'. He can't actually say 'yes' or 'no' (which is funny, because 'no' was McKenzie's first word), so he nods or shakes his head instead. And it's a whole body movement! You'll's cute!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I am, I am, I am the Luckiest

I know Valentines Day is over...but I've been thinking a lot about Brian over the past week or so, and I have fallen in love with him all over again. When we first heard the lyrics to the Ben Folds song referred to in the title of this post, it said it all! I can't believe it's been almost 6 years since we deemed that song 'ours', but I'm so glad to say that I still feel like "I am the luckiest" girl in the whole world.

50 Reasons why I love Brian
1. For Valentines Day, he got me a ham. (If you've ever watched the second season of The Office, you will be able to appreciate the hilarity of this gift! If you haven't seen should.)
2. He does a great deal of the dishes without complaining
3. He hates contention and avoids it at all costs
4. He doesn't stress easily
5. He's always the first to apologize over something
6. He finds intense joy in watching sports
7. He doesn't care about what other people think of him
8. He doesn't bother with insignificant details. (We have these little decorative block letters that spell HOME...and it's not infrequently that Brian will put them away spelling HEMO)
9. He can stop the smoke alarm from blaring without using a chair to stand on.
10. He always finds a better way to do something
11. He hates traffic with a passion
12. He loves his mom
13. He's very independent
14. He furrows his eyebrows whenever he's studying
15. He can't sit in a rocking chair without rocking
16. He wakes up in the middle of the night with the kids
17. He wakes up in the morning with the kids if his schedule allows
18. He loves meat
19. He loves big breakfasts
20. It's easy to make him happy
21. When he's really happy, he bounces when he walks
22. He's quick to smile
23. He can't wear his wedding ring on his left ring finger because those fingers are slightly 'webbed'
24. The only song lyrics he ever remembers are Christmas he sings those frequently...all year.
25. Whenever I turn the TV on, it's always on ESPN. Always
26. He keeps his jeans, shorts, pajama pants, gym shorts and sweaters all in the same spot - no organization...
27. He likes really deep massages
28. The 9 year old kids in our neighborhood come over to see if Brian can 'play'
29. His shirts are always just slightly too short
30. After 4 years, he has finally learned how to pull McKenzie's hair in a ponytail
31. He remembers everything he ever reads or hears
32. He loves to watch Jeopardy
33. He never believes anything without thinking about it first
34. He never leaves the toilet seat up
35. He doesn't mind eating leftovers
36. He can make great gravy...or anything else that has to do with spices
37. He'll watch American Idol with me
38. He loves to travel
39. He can (and does) eat everything and never gains a pound
40. He can't grow much of a beard
41. He never had a girlfriend before me
42. It doesn't bother him to wear socks with holes in them
43. He doesn't care what he wears, as long as it's clean
44. He can't go to bed without a little snack (usually chocolate, ice cream, or popcorn)
45. He is naturally coordinated
46. He loves the mountains
47. He wins every game we ever play, but he never rubs it in
48. He's great with teenagers
49. He doesn't mind being in pain
50. He loves me and the kids unconditionally and undeniably

I love you, Brian!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, McKenzie!

Can you believe it? Four years ago, our little girl changed many lives by coming into this world. She made Brian and I parents, she made our parents grandparents, she made our brothers and sisters uncles and aunts.... and there, at the beginning of her life, I saw that my life, too, was just starting.

Have you ever been so proud of someone that tears sting your eyes? I saw it happen many times in my own mother's eyes as I was growing up...but I never understood it until I had my own daughter. I'm proud to tears over many, seemingly insignificant, events in her life: her first word (no), her first sentence (Hi more bug!), her first step, potty training breakthroughs, taking such good care of her little brother, her preschool Christmas program, writing her name, writing 'mom' and 'dad', knowing simple answers in primary... How can I even describe the proud feelings that swell in my heart as I watch her learn something new... Nothing makes me laugh harder than her silly words! Nothing is more precious than a spontaneous, sincere hug from her. McKenzie is quick, smart, stubborn, sweet, manipulative, caring and loving. I was so happy to celebrate the four wonderful years we've had so far!

We generally don't have much sugar cereal laying around the house, but when asked what she wanted for breakfast on her birthday, she immediately responded, "Special Cereal!" So, the day started with 'special' cereal and opening her presents from Grandma, which included a cute little dress that was immediately tried on for good that day.

Next, she went to preschool. She was the 'line leader' and got other special treatments all day. Brian and I went for snack-time and brought some sugary rice-krispy treats for the class to enjoy. It was so fun to meet McKenzie's 'best buddy' JulieAnne. They were inseparable while we were there! I had never seen her like that before - how fun! (Another weird 'proud mommy tears' moment!)

We then met a bunch of her friends at the 'swings park' to have some pizza and more rice-krispy treats. She always has so much fun at the park. Especially if there are swings! :)

When we returned home, we opened a couple more presents from Nana and Poppy and aunt Michelle. Poor little Carson was more than ready for his nap by this time, so Brian stayed home with him while I took McKenzie to Toys 'R' Us to spend the $10.00 she received from her Great-Grandma Clara and Great-Grandpa Arvid. She bought a spongy baseball bat & ball, and a huge, pink bouncy ball - she even had enough change left over to ride the little coin-op car in the front of the store.
When we returned home, we ate broccoli soup for dinner (her request...) and I brought out the flamingo cake (another request). What do you think!? I didn't have quite enough time to get a great picture (once you promise cake to kids, you light the short fuse to the ticking time bomb of patience) but this will have to do. :) McKenzie's favorite animal is the flamingo (highly due to it's pink color) and she was very excited to see the flamingo cake! Her aunt Michelle sent her a stuffed flamingo - it was one of the favorite presents of the day!

Following the cake, she opened the rest of her presents and played with them until bedtime - at which time McKenzie went to sleep as a very tired, happy four-year old.


To snow, or not to snow....

It's true that I miss the snow during winter-time. But I'm beginning to see that there is a good side to having mild winters. So far this year, there have only been a handful of days where I wouldn't venture outside because of the cold temperatures - and that has left a lot of days where we can throw on a jacket and play in the open air!

Santa left McKenzie a bike for Christmas this year. (One that was originally blue - notice the fantastic paint job done by yours truly!) She was so excited, and started to pick it up as quickly as a timid, careful little girl could. But after a few nasty falls off the 'cliff' (the curb), she was terrified to go faster than a snail...literally. I kept thinking she'd get over it, but after a couple of weeks, it was still the same. So I finally got my own bike out, strapped on my helmet and invited McKenzie to go bike riding with me. After watching me turn circles in the parking lot for a few minutes, her courage started to return and we went from snail crawling to pedaling faster and faster until she felt confident enough to even turn her handle bars while moving (that was a big issue)! I was so proud of her!

Now you can be proud of her, too. :)