Thursday, March 31, 2011

Caroline was busy in her room for a long time last night. She was being quiet and I figured she just needed some time to wind down from her busy day, so I didn't fuss at her. When I was finally ready to go to bed, I peeked in on her one last time. She was almost asleep (at 9:30, mind you) but I noticed something strange on her pillow. It was an enormous pile of wet wipes! I was so shocked I actually turned on the light and asked Caroline how the wipes ended up on her pillow. The container was closed, securely up on her dresser, and there was no tell-tale trail leading to her bed, or sign of anything she had moved to reach that high.
Caroline's reply? "It was an acc-sick (accident)."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Caroline loves her big-girl room. Today she shooed me out the door, "Get out my room mommy, off-limits!" She is 2-years old, going on 12!

On Friday, I took the kids to play at the mall playground and on our way to eat lunch, Rylan announced his menu selection.
Rylan: I want a cheeseburger, Mom.
Me: Are you positive?
Rylan: Yes, cheeseburger, please.
Me: Really, you have never eaten a cheeseburger before.
Rylan: I'm sure I want a cheeseburger.
Me: You know, a cheeseburger has, like, meat on it?
Rylan: Oh, no,no,no,no. Never mind. I want chicken nuggets.

On Saturday, I was sick with a cold and exhausted from single parenting two busy kids. So, of course I decided I also desperately needed a haircut and decided to brave taking both kids with me. We drove the two minutes to Great Clips loaded with a bags of cereal treats and small toys for both kids. Rylan sat on the chairs in the waiting area and I parked Caroline right next to me in the booth. Bless their hearts, those kids were absolute angels! They ate their snacks and didn't make a peep for the entire 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I got a tickle in my throat and was trying desperately not to cough and turn my haircut into a disaster. My haircut turned out great although I still looked a sight with wet hair, no make-up, red-rimmed bloodshot eyes, with huge bags underneath. Rylan looked at me as I quickly hid behind a hat and sunglasses. "Mommy, you look like a princess!" What a precious boy to cheer up his mama's heart.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Garden of the Gods, March 2011

Caroline's worried face. The progression on these pictures cracks me up. She wasn't as bold about climbing on this visit as she usually is.

I can't remember why she made this face. It looks like she touched a sharp rock or something.

Rylan, posing and looking every inch the cool big brother. Both kids spent a lot of time running on trails, and hiding in the bushes. I was glad I had dressed them in brightly colored clothing, cause I had some trouble keeping up with those little explorers.
And I have to confess something else, I had another reason to go to Garden of the Gods besides enjoying beautiful scenery and running some energy off my kids. The Duggars were in Colorado Springs last weekend and I was hoping for a sighting of their extra large family. Focus on the Family had a special event and book signing for them, but the tickets sold out quickly. I had a hunch they might also tour one of Colorado Springs' most famous landmwarks and it turns out they did, just not at the same time as we did. Oh well... At least we got some fresh air and beautiful scenery and I had two snoring kids in the back of the car on the way home.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Like father, like son

Guess what Rylan will be doing this week? Yep, he is starting karate with Charlton. Karate is a huge part of Charlton's life, so I hope this is something the guys in our family will really enjoy doing together. Charlton will actually be helping to teach the kids in Rylan's class.
That also means no more Little Gym for Rylan, we transferred his enrollment over to Caroline. She is going to be pleased as punch when she realized she gets to go into the gym every week and not have to watch the fun from outside! I am a little sad Rylan won't get to finish his sports class, but hope this will be a great new phase of growth for him. P.S. Rylan was really excited to wear his new gi for the first time, but also a little self-conscious. I couldn't get him to actually come all the way down the steps and only got this one quick shot before he ran back up to his room.
My kids are really growing up, both old enough to participate in activities outside our house. I just realized this week that we don't have a crib in the house anymore for the first time in 4 1/2 years. Also, we walked the 1/2 mile to our park this week with no stroller or wagon. Wow, it feels strange and kind of nice in some ways to move out of the baby stage.


This little card represents about 7 years of hard work for Charlton. Yes, he is finally officially a Licensed Practical Counselor in Colorado. He passed his national test way back in October, but had to jump through so many hoops to prove he really had enough hours of experience, his classwork was sufficient, etc... So this precious little card finally arrived this past week and we were all super excited. Here's the kicker, though. The state sends you this little tiny wallet card, but you have to pay $150 for a framed matted display copy of the license. They won't let you just buy the larger copy and frame it for yourself, more cheaply, if you want to. Oh well, it is definitely worth all Charlton's time and effort and it is going to look great in his office. Congratulations, Charlton Clarke, LPC!

Bed time stories

To say that Caroline loves her new room is probably an understatement! Throughout the day she will sneak away and I often find her playing in her room. One of her favorite activities is "reading" books on her bed. I have given up on putting her books back on her bookshelf until the end of the day, because she is constantly taking them off to read. One day this week when the windows were open, I caught her sitting on her bed just gazing out the window and watching the world go by below! The transition has been really easy. She actually is excited about being tucked in for bedtime and naps and if she does get out of bed, she stays in her room and puts herself back in bed pretty quickly. Charlton made a white stepping stool for her and that has definitely helped with the climb. I am planning on painting her name and some flowers on it to match her room.
The only minor problem we have been having is that Rylan loves to go wake Caroline up in the morning. No big deal, except that this is usually sometime around 6 am, a little too early for the rest of us. I have had to keep Caroline's door closed after I go to bed, otherwise we will be hearing the thundering of little feet and lots of squeals and laughter before the sun is up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Black is the new green

Rylan refused to wear green on St. Patrick's Day. Nothing would do but this batman shirt! Silly boy got mad when I told him I had to pinch him...., until he realized mom's pinches didn't really hurt. I made some yummy chocolate streusel bars for dessert. Nothing green about them, but as you can tell, they were chocolatey and delicious.

Will the real Caroline please step forward?

Hi, little girl? Have you seen my daughter? You know, the one who wears cute polka-dot pajamas to breakfast and always has a bow in her brushed hair? You are sitting in her seat, but you certainly don't look anything like MY Caroline!


Caroline's bed is now the place to snuggle for bedtime stories.
So excited!
The look on Rylan's face is so precious. You can just see how much he loves his sister.

Finally, the big girl room!

We ordered Caroline's big girl bed in August with some help from my uncle Roland who works for a furniture company. He gave us an amazing discount, but unfortunately there were a lot of bumps in the road and the bed didn't arrive until just a few weeks ago. Caroline's bedding has been sitting in her closet for about 4 months. Needless to say, we have been talking and anticipating moving Caroline into her big girl bed for a long time! My poor girl probably didn't know if it would ever happen.
The mattress didn't even arrive till the middle of the week, so finally, on Wednesday night, Caroline got to sleep in her big girl bed for the first time.
Poor baby had been running a fever since Tuesday and she really didn't feel well, but we didn't see how it would hurt to go ahead and let her sleep in the new bed. As bad as she felt, she still managed a big smile on her face. At one point she was walking slowly around her room, taking in all the changes, and exclaimed, "My b'and new big girl bed!"
Compared to Rylan's super traumatic transition to his big bed, Caroline's has been a piece of cake. We haven't had any problems with her climbing out at bedtime or any falls out of bed yet. I wedged her pretty pillow sham between the bed and the wall to soften the fall in case she rolled too far. Later that evening, I checked on her and saw that she had fallen asleep on top of the pillow sham, on top of her regular pillow! She must have thought I was holding out on her, not letting her sleep on the "pretty" pillow.

All tucked in with Jessie and Bullseye, her best buddies.
Its a little snug with the new furniture, but we have lots of storage space.

The bedside table now has a lamp and DVD player. The lamp has just a plain white shade on a pewter colored base. I would like to add some touches of color to the shade and pretty it up a bit.
We need some curtains still, and maybe a few more special decorating touches, but the most important stuff is done.

Caroline was up a lot that first night with a fever, so I ended up laying down with her early in the morning and actually fell asleep next to her! It is nice to have another comfortable bed in the house, especially for rough nights like these.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guess what is happening this weekend?

Sorry for the terrible picture quality. You can see the fun we had unpacking Caroline's new headboard and footboard. We had to store the bed in the basement for safe-keeping until the mattress arrives this weekend. Caroline was furious. "Hey, give my bed back," she yelled in her meanest, bossiest voice, when we carried the headboard downstairs. We are excited about this "big girl" event and will definitely post more pictures soon.

The boy and the girl

What joy these two bring to our family! They love each other so much and are growing so fast.

The boy

Our new "bean box". The whole concept of keeping the beans in the box was kind of impossible, but nothing that a little broom action couldn't fix. Rylan wanted to see what the beans felt like on his bare feet.

Rylan Daniel Boone Batman. This hat used to belong to Charlton when he was a little boy.

Sitting in his "thinking" tree, thinking deep 4 1/2 year old thoughts on a spring-like day. The morning the sun was shining brightly as we loaded into the car to go to the grocery. Rylan exclaimed, "What a beautiful day! Today is mother's day." Yes, sweet boy, it sure was!

Spiky hair! Rylan's requested hair-do this past Sunday. We are letting his hair grow out a bit, so the effect was quite dramatic.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My little Ironman

About 90% of the time we are in public, Rylan stays "in character" as a superhero. Lately, his favorite is Ironman. In these videos, he shows me how he turns from a boy into Ironman.
This is serious business to him, and I love his intensity!

I love the faces Caroline makes when she dances to this song. Also notice she has a flare for the dramatic and "milking it" for attention.

1st Week of March

Rylan and Caroline love their bubble baths! They also like to make funny faces decorated with bubbles.

They are so fascinated by watching videos of themselves on Youtube on Charlton's iPad. We love hearing them laugh and get so tickled by their own antics.

What a wonderful and strong big brother to give Caroline tractor rides! We loved soaking up the sunshine and fresh air this morning. It is supposed to snow on Friday, so I am glad we thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors while we could.

Rylan being a work-horse and missy Caroline loving her free ride. The kids have been so sweet and loving to each other lately. They still will fight passionately, but I am amazed and love to watch their attachment to each other. Rylan is very protective of Caroline, especially if he thinks we are going to discipline her, and whenever they are separated they race to each other and hug. Caroline hurt her finger the other day while I was busy cooking dinner. I gave her a quick check, kissed the boo-boo for good measure and kept on working. Rylan heard her crying and came running to check on her. He gave her a huge hug, reminded me that she was "hurt",
comforted her in his kindest voice, and even asked her if she wanted an ice pack! Wow, I felt like a neglectful mama. I am so glad they have each other and hope they will always be good buddies. I always thought it would be cool to have an older brother and I think Rylan is going to be great at watching out for his sister as they grow.