Saturday, March 27, 2010

16 months

Father and son wearing matching John Deere shirts. Holding Dad's phone, like always...
{Warning: long post} Ever since Carson turned one and I don’t do my monthly updates with the cards I’ve been lazy with the updates. So now at just over 16 months I feel like I should record what he is like. To some-up Carson in one sentenceHE IS NON-STOP! From the moment he wakes up to when he goes to sleep he is getting into everything, wanting to explore and discover everything, CLIMBING UP everything, and trying to figure out how everything works. Son of an engineer I’m afraid. At story time at the library all the other kids sit and sing songs and listen to stories on the mat. Not Carson, he is climbing chairs, opening cupboards, playing with light switches, etc. He does like the Old McDonald song though. He will dance along to that one.
Carson is a dare devil! He has no fear, which freaks me out sometimes. We go to the park a lot and he is going down the big kid slides. Like I said before he is a climber. He will figure out a way to climb up anything and looks so proud of himself once he is at the top.
He loves to “snuggle/wrestle”. He likes to be tossed around and roll on the floor with Mom or Dad, but likes when kisses, snuggles, and tickles are involved. He loves to give slobbery kisses which are basically a lick or suck on the face. We have to be careful though because sometimes it turns into a bite, which he thinks is hilarious.
He is starting on the throw tantrums stage. His tantrums are bursting into tears and sobbing uncontrollably, sounding like he had his feelings hurt. He is great at the pouty bottom lip during these episodes. It is frustrating when he decides to do this in public because people look at me with that “what did you just do to your kid” look because he sounds like I just kicked him or called him ugly or something. 
When we are at home Carson wants to be constantly entertained by me. It is exhausting, which is why we aren’t home very often!  If we are anywhere else he is Mr. Independent and I am just there cramping his style. He is not shy and likes to play with everyone. He is quite the entertainer and loves attention from others. He has joined a little play group with “big kids” and thinks they are really cool. The problem is he is the youngest and doesn’t understand sharing, which frustrates the 2-3 year-olds.
Elmo’s World and The Wiggles are the favorite TV shows right now. He isn’t much interested in other shows. Carson loves to dance along with The Wiggles. His new thing is bringing you books. He loves to sit on our laps and read books. He never sits there for too long and likes to just turn the pages, but we’re excited he is finally into books. His favorite is this really lame one called “Beaten by a Balloon”. It really is a stupid book, but for some reason it is the one he always finds and picks.
Still not much talking yet, although he definitely understands a lot more now than even a month ago. He LOVES  his Dada and says his name constantly, but rarely says my name. When I say “Mama” to him he responds back with Dada with a smirk on his face and knows that he is being funny and it is a joke! Whenever he hears an interesting sound he stops whatever he is doing and says “what’s that?” (sounding more like wasat). Examples; when the garage door opens when Dad comes home, the garbage trucks, a phone ringing, you get the picture.
Carson is turning into such a helper. He demands to throw-out his dirty diaper after he gets changed. I bought him his own broom and he goes around the house sweeping. He is down to one 2 ½-3 hour nap a day, love it! It really opens up the day to more time to go places. He also goes down for bed around 7:30 and sleeps until about 6:30, which is fine by me.  He usually just relaxes in his crib and talks to himself when he wakes up for 15 minutes. So funny.  
Well I’m sure I can go on and on, so I better stop. Carson is at such a fun age. We love playing with him and watching him learn and absorb everything in this exciting world!

We got passes to Six Flags this season and have already gone a few times. Steve took Carson on the "big kid" roller coaster. If you click on this an make it bigger you might be able to see his facial expression. I think we will wait a little longer before he rides this one again, even though he did have a big smile once the ride was over. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Looking for a life changing experience?

August 2001-December 2001 I was in Cuenca Ecuador doing volunteer work in orphanages. The organization I served in O.S.S.O (Orphanage Support Services Organization) is struggling to find volunteers due to the recession. They are in desperate need of more volunteers in order to keep the program going and to offer services to the orphanages. I got an alumni email today and they are asking us to let as many people know about this amazing opportunity as we can. If you or anyone you know is searching for something they can do to help change the world this is it! Going to Ecuador was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I was able to experience living in a foreign (3rd world) country, which I would have never done otherwise. Cuenca is absolutely beautiful by the way! I was able to give myself wholly and completely to the kids I worked with. It was so wonderful to be able to not have to worry or focus on anything other than SERVICE for 4 months. I also made life-long friends. Everyone there was amazing.

I’m not sure how different the program is now then when I went 9 years ago- but I lived in a large house with 20+ other girls, as well as a local family who are the directors. We had a maid and a cook. We took Spanish classes the first 6 weeks and had 1-2 shifts a day at an orphanage. I worked at the special needs orphanage. There is also a Catholic orphanage run by nuns and a new orphanage started by O.S.S.O right next door. We had free time to shop and site-see locally. We went on 1 excursion a month, but the main focus in on service, not sightseeing. Before I left we (me and 7 other girls) went to the Amazon for a week, which I highly recommend (not included in the price). Like I said though, I’m not sure what is different and what is the same is now.

Here is some background about O.S.S.O. The organization was started by a Doctor at Ricks College. He and his family traveled to Cuenca and saw the need. I’m not sure of the details on how long you can go for or cost, you’ll have to check the website for that. As far as I know you cannot earn college credits for going and you have to pay your own way. If you know someone who is at a point in their life where they can take off for a few months tell them about this. Going to Ecuador taught me so much about myself and made me such a better person. GO!!! You can get all the information you need here:

I’ve included a few pictures. Enjoy. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I love talking about my time there.

The kids at "Special Kids" the special needs orphanage.

The river in Cuenca. We would walk by it everyday as we walked to the orphanage.

Pablo, my favorite little guy at Special Kids.

Turi, a type of day care in the mountains where we would volunteer a few days a week at.

A group of us with our guide in the Amazon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What a Helper!

Steve and I are doing some projects in our family room. (Once it is all finished I'll post a picture). Anyway, I was touching-up a few places on the walls today and Carson was quiet for about 4 seconds. Whenever Carson is quiet you know he is doing something rascally and this was no exception! So, before I rushed to clean all the paint up I had to grab the camera. The video is pretty short, because I had to get him before the damage got too out of control- but you get the jist...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Importance of a Mother's Love

I was reading the March Ensign this morning and came across a quote from Elder Ballard in the article What Mothers Can Learn from the Savior.

"A mother's nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence." 

What a beautiful way to see and understand the importance of the love we need to give to our children!

Friday, March 5, 2010

What's better than playing fort?

Lately Carson has been obsessed with building and playing in forts. All day he brings me blankets, sheets, towels, he's not picky. I had to snap a few shots last night when Steve got home and we all played fort. His favorite is when all three of us do it together.

Loma Vista Farm

There is this little farm run by a program that gives elementary age school kids the opportunity to care for farm animals and learn how to care for a garden. It is really close to our house, so we packed up this week and headed over there. I think he liked the pigs and the rosters the most. The pigs were very friendly and the rosters were very loud. You can't beat that! I was a little scared by the geese I have to admit, geese are mean, but Carson wasn't phased. We'll have to go back when it is less soggy.

More fun in the rain

Well- I caved and even though it is towards the end of the rainy season I bought Carson some rain boots. They have already been put to good use.