Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Conversations With a 2-Year-Old: The Value of Money

This conversation took place the day before Chase's 3rd birthday.

At Christmastime we usually find a family to help out with Christmas gifts. This year our school sponsored some families of needy students and I sponsored a 4-year-old sibling of one of our students. I chose a small child because I wanted to involve Chase this year to try to teach him about the spirit of giving and all that good stuff. I wasn't sure how much he would understand but I really wanted to try.

Now because of confidentiality I didn't actually know who we were sponsoring, but we thought it might help Chase if we had a picture of a kid we could show him. So Brian printed a picture of a random little boy off the internet and we told him this little kid didn't have many things so we were going to buy him some presents for Christmas. On the way to Target I worked hard to explain things to him, pointing out that while he has lots of toys and clothes, some people don't have a lot of things. He seemed to be getting it pretty well and the whole shopping experience was a good one. He helped pick out the items for the little boy, saying things like, "I think the little boy would like this one!" and "Ooh, the little boy would love that!"

On the way home we talked some more about it and in the midst of our conversation Chase said, "Mommy, the little boy doesn't have money?" I was floored. Not once in my explanation of what we were doing did I mention money, because I thought there was no way he would understand that concept. It was all about "stuff" and how Chase has more things than other kids have. How in the world did my 2-year-old understand that the reason the little boy didn't have things was because he didn't have much money? That just blew my mind!

At any rate, he got it. And I was so thrilled he got it. We are so fortunate and I really want to be sure Chase understands and values that, while embracing the concept of giving.

He did so well. The next day we brought him to my school so he could give our organizer the gifts. He handed them right over to her and said, "These are for the little boy." She thanked him and he said something like, "I have lots of stuff. I have trains and cars and balls...."

Talk about a tear-jerker! Man, I love my little boy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Conversations With a 2-Year-Old: Cleaning House

I can still say "Conversations With a 2-Year-Old" because he was 2 at the time.... I just forgot to post this until now!

Brian has wanted some Cutco knives for the longest time. He finally decided to get some and if you have a sales rep come to your house for a demonstration you get free stuff (vs. ordering online)! So Brian and I were cleaning up the house a bit to prepare for the sales guy's arrival when Chase stopped what he was doing, looked up at us and said:

"Who's coming over?"

Brian and I stopped what we were doing and just stared at each other in disbelief. We hadn't said anything to Chase about anyone coming over. He just knew someone was coming to visit because we were CLEANING!

I guess we should clean more often.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chase's Birthday

OK, finally I have time to download a few pictures and a video from Chase's birthday! Chase did get some fun gifts for his birthday...

...but he got just as excited about his cards!

And here's a little video of him blowing out his candles (Facebook viewers, click "View Original Post" to see it). He had so much fun with the candles that's all he wanted... more candles! Eat the cake? NO... More candles!

Enjoy!

video

Friday, December 18, 2009

3-Year Wellness Visit

Chase went to the doctor today for his yearly check-up and everything looks great! Doctor said he is 100% healthy. He is now 37" tall (50th percentile) and 34.6 pounds (75th percentile), which is pretty much exactly where he was at this time last year (percentile-wise)! Our little baby isn't a little baby anymore!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Chase!

Chase celebrated his third birthday today. Can you believe it? I took some pics and videos but I have no time to download right now (school play opening tomorrow). I will post them soon, I promise! Look for them this weekend.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chase's Wish List

Need Christmas or birthday gift ideas for Chase? Here you go!
  • Clothes: Size 3T (he especially needs pants or warmer tops like sweaters)
  • Shoes: Size 8 (I keep his feet pretty well "shoed," but just in case you're like me and just can't resist!)
  • Games for the V.Smile TV Learning System
  • Trio building blocks (any kind age 3+ except Crazy Creatures)
  • Board games (any game age 3+ except Diego Chutes & Ladders)
  • Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway (make sure it says "Wooden Railway," because there are several different versions). He already has the following: Thomas, Salty, Molly, Emily, Rusty w/ Cement Mixer, Harold the Helicopter
  • Anything Dora the Explorer
  • Anything Diego
  • Anything Wonder Pets
  • Challenging (age-appropriate) puzzles
  • Anything to help him learn his ABC's
If you buy anything specific off this list, let me know so I can update it. This will be a "live" post (I will be revising the list as things change). Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

O Christmas Tree

This year we had the idea we would chop down our own Christmas tree, so we set off to Silo Christmas Tree Farms. What we didn't know was that the only type of pine trees that can be grown in this part of Texas are, well... ugly:

This picture just doesn't do it justice. It was like weeds growing on a tree trunk.

Chase did fall in love with a little "Charlie Brown" tree and I managed to get a picture of him giving it a hug:

We ended up buying a pre-cut tree from elsewhere in the U.S., and when we got home we decorated the tree together and Chase has SO much fun!

There is one section of the tree that is quite heavy in the ornament department but we love that!

Christmas is coming! Woo hooooo!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa!

Thanksgiving night we drove to Belton to see a Christmas lights display, which Chase LOVED. Santa was also there and Chase actually requested we go see him! He wasn't sure about sitting on his lap at first, but they offered a good alternative:

However, after a couple pics with the family...

...he got a little braver!

When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas he said "cars." Lord. Like we don't have enough cars already! But it was fun because this is the first year Chase really understands that Santa is coming and all that jazz. Can't wait! I put my countdown ticker up, people! 25 days til Christmas! Woo hoooooo!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am smelling our Thanksgiving ham as I write this. One more hour until we can dive in!

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for so many things, but our little guy jumps into first place. With that in mind, I thought I'd share his school pictures. First, the good one:

Now, the glamour shots:

Ha ha ha! I hope you all are enjoying your holiday! Gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Waco Zoo with Grandpa

Brian's dad is in town visiting and Chase decided he wanted to take Grandpa to the zoo on Sunday! He had a good nap on the way there...

...and we got some decent family photos!

More photos are in our Photo Album if you're interested!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mutant Grapes

Brian and I went to the grocery store today and bought some grapes. Scratch that.... We bought some mutant grapes:

Oh, I'm sorry.... You probably need something else in the photo for scale. Here it is with its friend, the adorably average red grape:

Still not doing it for you? Insert my freakishly long thumb:

You actually have to take bites of these grapes. You can't just pop them into your mouth. It takes like three chomps!

Yes, I'm blogging about grapes. But to be honest, they kind of freak me out! They can't be healthy.... I'm sure they're pumped with steroids or something.

P.S. This is my third post of the day. Check out my previous two posts if you haven't already!

Christmas on the Farm

We went to Aware Central Texas's "Christmas on the Farm" event on Saturday. It was a bit early for Christmas festivities in our opinion, but we went to support the cause. ACT is a child abuse prevention organization where Brian volunteers and they put on a great event! I took some pictures but it was really crowded and they didn't turn out great. I did get kind of a cute picture of Brian and Chase on the hay ride:

I also have to share this with you. They had a stuffed animal booth with 5,000 stuffed animals the kids could choose from. Out of all the animals in that booth, Chase just HAD to have this one:

Brian and I are still laughing about it every time he pulls it out. He loves that goofy looking thing!

This is my second post of the day (I'm playing catch-up again!), so check out the previous post if you haven't already.

Waco Zoo

We headed to the Waco Zoo when we were all off for Veterans Day. We have been there so many times now it seems crazy to keep taking pictures. I only took four this time, and this is just about the best one I got (sad, huh?):

Hope everyone enjoyed their day off as much as we did!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting

Hi there. We have had some emails of concern come through in regards to the Fort Hood shootings. We wanted to let everyone know that we are fine. Some of our district high schools were on lockdown, but luckily it was an early out day and the middle school students got out of school right when it happened (of course we didn't know about it at that time), so we didn't have to go through a lockdown or anything.

Brian has been put in charge of organizing some crisis counseling services at the university so he's going to be busy! And I'm wondering what school is going to be like tomorrow, with so many of my students being from military families. And I'm worried about the students I had at the school where I taught last year, because half of those kids lived on post (which was literally right out the back door of the school).

When I picked Chase up from daycare they were in a panic because with Fort Hood being on lockdown there were going to be a ton of kids stuck at daycare. I was happy to take Chase off their hands. When stuff like this happens you can't help but hug your family a little bit tighter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nap Time Fun

Well, it finally happened to us. We had heard of this happening to practically every other parent we know and we were just waiting for the day it happened to us: Chase smuggled a blue crayon into his room during nap time.

He colored all over his white toy box (and decorated it with stickers)...

...and his white bookcase...

...and his wall:

I knew something was up when I found him like this:

(Someone was tuckered out after all that hard work!)

He looks pretty pleased with himself, doesn't he?

Of course we made him clean it up:

I had to call my mom right away and say, "What goes around comes around," because one of her favorite stories to tell about me is that I loved to color on the walls... and every time I did, she made me clean it up. Then one day my mom cleaned it up herself and I got MAD. Turns out I only colored on the walls so I could clean it up.

If Chase loves to clean that much I'm going to put him to work scrubbing toilets.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Chase was a ghost for Halloween this year! And as I stated in my first post of the day, I made his costume all by myself! I am so proud.

Here he is admiring a leaf that changed colors. We don't see that much down here so it was a small taste of the north!

We went trick-or-treating and it was so much fun! First we went to an area park that had a bunch of fun Halloween games and activities for kids, and then we drove to a trick-or-treat friendly neighborhood and went house to house. Chase had so much fun! He was so good about saying his "trick-or-treat's" and "thank you's," and then as soon as he got his candy he would turn around and shout, "Let's find another house!" Here are a couple photos I took of him trick-or-treating:

Chase got some "candy sticks" that looked strangely like the candy cigarettes we used to get as kids and it just felt wrong watching him eat them!

Ha ha! When we got back to the house he helped us pass out candy to the neighborhood kids, which was really fun, too.

More pictures are in our Photo Album. Happy Halloween!!

P.S. This is my third post of the day. Be sure to check out the previous posts if you haven't already!

Pumpkin Carving

Today we carved pumpkins. This is the latest we have ever carved them, simply because last year when we carved them a week before Halloween we learned that down in Texas you can't carve pumkins that early. How did we learn this? When they caved in within a day or two of sitting on our porch in the heat and we actually had to throw them out before Halloween even came. So this year we bought our pumpkins last weekend and waited until today to carve them so our trick-or-treaters could actually enjoy them!

Anyway, Chase got to help this year for the first time, but he wasn't so sure about all the "gook."

It's funny because when Brian and I were carving pumpkins for our first Halloween together nine years ago, he told me that his mom would always gut the pumpkin for him and he would just do the carving. I was like, "WHAT?!? That's cheating!" and made him gut his own for the first time. He was not (and still isn't) a big fan of it.

Chase did OK once I got the majority of the guts out, but when I stepped back to take pictures I couldn't help but laugh at the irony. My two boys (the "sissies!") were gutting the pumpkins while I (the brave one, for once) stood back and took the pictures. Brian at one point said, "What's wrong with this picture?" Ha ha!

And when we went outside to put them on the porch, Chase explored our new Grim Reaper friend at the front door:

Creepy, huh? It has made me jump on more than one occasion. More photos are in our Photo Album if you're interested!

P.S. This is my second post of the day. Be sure to check out the previous post if you haven't already!

Holidays Domesticate Me

I am not very domestic by nature. I don't like to cook, I don't sew, I love a clean house but don't love to clean it. I would have been very single in the '50s. But for some reason holidays and special events tend to bring out a little domestication in me. This Halloween I feel like "Mom of the Year." Thursday night I worked in the kitchen for 3 1/2 hours, decorating two dozen cupcakes for Chase's Halloween party at day care Friday:

(I would tell you the story of how Brian delivered the cupcakes to daycare the next morning and one of the teachers dropped one of the pans face-down and caused an owl mass murder scene all over the classroom floor... but then I would burst into tears. So back to the subject of domestication....)

In addition to my fabulous cupcakes, I actually MADE Chase's Halloween costume this year. I am SO proud of it. I panicked when he told me what he wanted to be because we couldn't find it in the stores anywhere (and there was no changing his mind)! So I got on the internet and thankfully found a "no sew" costume. I was still nervous to make it because I was sure I would find a way to screw it up, but it turned out great. Phew! Stay tuned for photos!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spirit Week: Crazy Hair Day

It's spirit week at school again! I love it! Yesterday was Jersey Day and of course I sported my Mizzou jersey. Today is crazy hair day!

The scary thing is some people actually like it this way. What does that say about my normal hairstyle?!?

Actually, from the side it is kind of cute, in a funky sort of way (although a bit high for my taste), but the front is NOT!

UPDATE: My mom had too much fun with these photos! Click here to see what I mean!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We drove to Temple to the Silo Christmas Tree Farm today to play in their pumpkin patch. We all had a great time. Chase used a water pump to race rubber ducks...

...and he got to feed the animals:

I managed to get him to pose for a few pictures while we were there (we bribed him with a chocolate cookie... that's my boy)! We have learned we can't say, "Smile!" to get a nice picture of him or we get this:

But we finally figured out if we can get him to laugh the results are much better:

After all that he got to jump around in the hay:

The more he jumped the less air he got under him. And then he realized he could throw the hay, too (Facebook viewers, click "View Original Post" to see this video)!

video

There are more photos in our Photo Album if you're interested!