Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jan '11

So Much Catch-Up

I hardly even know where to start.

My favorite video of my two kids together so far. This was taken mid-December when Carissa was 4 months old. I was taking photos of them together on the couch and paused to snatch a video of them.

We had a pleasant and low-key Christmas, involving just the four of us and a Papa Murphey’s take-and-bake pizza.

For Christmas, my mom gave Carissa a dress that I wore when I was a baby. When my mom lived in Utah for college she worked at a clothing company called Mini World. She was a garment inspector, and this dress came from there. She also sent us a picture of me wearing the dress in 1981 or so. Now I really do have a mini-me.

I was blown away by the generosity of gift-giving to our family. Too many wonderful things to even mention. A few:

My mom-in-law gave me a Flip HD video camera, which means I’m pretty much taking videos of my kids all day long.

John gave me a grain mill that hooks up to my Kitchen Aid mixer. Now I can grind wheat and other grains. I’ve already bought an assortment of grains from Good Earth for a terrific healthy cookie recipe I’ve tasted before and loved, but haven’t been able to make because you have to grind the grains into flour first. Now I can!

He also gave me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which makes me think he might have his hopes set too high for my cooking skills, but I told him I’d try.

My sister and her family showered us with wonderful gifts that we use every day, which makes us think of them with gratitude every day. Perhaps the greatest gift to the environment is the reusable water bottle she gave me. I went through a lot of plastic water bottles before! This is a much better idea.

My mom gave Wes my little brother’s old Thomas the Tank Engine books, which he reads every day. (By “read” I mean “flips through and looks at the pictures”.) He loves books, and I hope he’ll be a happy reader someday.

Wes started Sunbeams at the start of January. This is the class at church for three-year-olds. It’s kind of a big step up from Nursery, which is for kids ages eighteen months to three years. Instead of playing for an hour, plus a short lesson, ten-minute singing time, and a snack time, he sits through opening exercises with all the kids ages three to twelve. Then he has a longer singing time and lesson time. His teachers still bring snacks though, which is very smart. I worried a little about how he’d do with more structure, but he is doing fine. On his first day, his teachers said he fell asleep during lesson time. But the following week he was at least awake the whole time, and he had a dirty mouth which meant he ate the snack. So, progress.

Another big step for Wes is that this week he started going to preschool four days a week instead of two. His teacher felt he would only benefit from the added time, and I think she’s right. Wes loves school, but lately he has been reluctant to get on the bus when it comes. Our neighborhood is fairly quiet, but you know when Wesley is getting on the bus because you can hear the word “NOOOO!” echoing among the rooftops. His bus driver and aide tell me that once he’s buckled in and they’re on their way, he’s fine.

He likes his lunchbox a lot. Whenever he’s hungry he’ll go find his lunchbox in his school bag and bring it to me. Then together we’ll head to the pantry and pull out snacks (pudding, fruit, string cheese, cookies, crackers) and put some inside his lunchbox with a spoon and napkin, as if he were going to school. Then he’ll carry the lunchbox to the table and ask me to help him unzip it. When he opens it and sees what’s inside he always exclaims in delight, like “Wow! Look what’s in here!” Then he methodically unpacks each item and decides what to eat first. (I know from doing this that at school he always eats his cookies first.)

Wes loves numbers, the alphabet, shapes, and colors. He knows “circle,” “square,” and “triangle.” He can say and identify and sign all the colors.

Here he is counting.

Today I caught him pulling out tissues from a box in Carissa’s room. I don’t like it when he does that because then all the tissues end up stuffed back in the box and hard to pull out one-at-a-time. But I had him stuff them back anyway. I sat down to feed Carissa, and the stinker started pulling the tissues out again. But he was counting each one so well as he pulled them out that I didn’t want to stop him. Counting is good.

Wesley knows the signs for all the letters. If you go through the alphabet slowly with him, he can sign and say each letter. When we sing the song (like in the video here) he just catches a few of the signs, and chimes in on the key letters, like “P!” He also likes when we write letters and words for him to “read.”

Wes likes to watch football with Dad. He gets very emotionally involved. He will be a great coach someday.

Wesley’s hair was getting long…

and starting to resemble a famous pop icon…

So we had to step in and do something. Trimming Wesley’s hair is a two-person job and isn’t fun for anyone. His hair cuts aren’t ever remotely even (in fact, one day at church the day after I cut his hair, a lady looked at him an said, “Someone found the scissors!” Like it was such a bad cut that Wes had done it himself). But at least it’s shorter. Phew. Now we can wait a couple more months before undergoing such torture again.

His “before” picture is from this little scene here:

I was on the phone around the corner in another room, and I heard him eating dinner at the table. But when I came back, he had moved on from dinner to the pans of cooling red velvet cupcakes on the counter.

I made cupcakes specifically so I could play with my fantastic new toy (that I bought for myself)–a Wilton decorating tool. It’s not the traditional plastic bag you fill with icing, but a plastic cylinder that’s washable. I love it. I could use one tip to fill the cupcakes and another to swirl the top with homemade cream cheese frosting.

Aren’t cupcakes so much more fun to eat when they look like this??

Every now and again I crave something creative, and this does it for me. I would like to take a cake decorating class someday.

As for Carissa, she is five months old today. She is growing at a normal, steady rate, which makes her growing up so much faster than I remember Wes. He was a baby for a long time. Carissa is about 12 pounds and in 3-6 month clothing. She still has a lot of dark hair (slightly lighter than at birth), with a bald spot on the back, and her eyes are blue so far.

I can’t get over sometimes how bright and alert she is. Her hands always want to be busy touching and exploring and discovering. She watches her surroundings carefully. She recognizes the bottle and is visibly excited to see it. She is a little ticklish. She loves watching Wes play. He is her favorite entertainment, I think. And he loves it when she smiles and laughs. If we tickle her, he mimics and tries to get her to laugh, too.

Some giggle moments:

As John says, Carissa is definitely a girl. Which, I think, refers to her sometimes melodramatic attitudes and extensive vocalization. Wes is pretty mellow. Carissa is a good baby, but next to Wes she comes across a little more fussy. She is also loud and squeals a lot. I have often been thankful for the quiet car rides with Wes in back, because he doesn’t make much noise. Carissa is always testing her vocal chords (they work). She can be a squealer. I hope this is temporary.

She loves her binkie. She sleeps through the night (I don’t feed her), but often we’ll have to get up and replace her binkie or re-swaddle her (her left arm always wriggles loose). I am getting closer to the point of letting her cry it out instead, but am steeling myself up for it. She can cry a looooooooong time. In any case, I am sleeping better now than I did a few months ago.

I could go on longer…about how Wes still only likes his milk warm and will hand it back if it’s too cold for his liking….about how I tried cooking thai food tonight and it turned out moderately OK…about how when Wes is hungry for real food he always asks for candy…or about how when I asked Wes to go to the pantry he ran the opposite way to the Christmas tree instead (panTREE…)…but I’ll leave it for now. Until another time.

1 Comment »

One Response to “So Much Catch-Up”

  1. tara72 Says:

    wow, there are so many thoughts that crossed my mind as I read your post that I can’t write them all! letsee….
    1. I love how Carissa is falling over all the time in that first video. did I hear Wesley say “no” when you told them to smile? they are so cute together!
    2. love your new frosting tool! your cupcakes look professional. you have a knack for doing that. but I guess it will help if Wes gets to them less so you have more to decorate. :)
    3. I think you do a really good job cutting Wes’s hair for the record. I’ve never been brave enough to cut anyone’s hair (except my own when I was 9). maybe you can do Ashleigh’s! her hair is in her eyes and I don’t know what to do.
    4. is there anything cuter than a giggling baby? maybe Wes watching football. but it’s a close one.

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