Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Claire with the Coon skin hat!

It is Carlson tradition that goes back to my Dad's childhood days--the Davey Crockett inspired coon skin hat. It is a terribly ugly looking hat, but somehow it is has landed on the heads of my dad, myself, Drew and now Claire. The original hat my dad had as a kid no longer is around, but my dad found this hat on E-bay and had to buy it for Drew a couple years ago. Claire likes to wear it and then share it with everyone else. You cannot help but laugh when you put it on (or try to do so because it is too small for Aaron and I). Animal lovers--please note that the hat is not real raccoon fur--only synthetic fur and tail.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grandpa Bob

Recently, it was the second anniversary of my Grandpa Bob's passing. I miss hearing his voice when I would call my grandparent's house. He would always say a big "hello!" and then say, "well, hello there Jennifer!" He was never one to talk very much on the phone--but he left a big impression in the first minute of the telephone conversation. We took Drew to visit Grandpa Bob and Grandma Bernice in April 2006, so that he could meet one of his three (at the time) great-grandchildren. It was our last visit with him--but I was so grateful that we did it. I will always remember him laughing and clapping as Drew played at the piano while we enjoyed a family dinner. The only thing I regret is not getting a picture with him and Drew--I had planned to do it the last morning we were there, but Grandpa was not feeling well. I miss him tremendously. The attached photo was taken when Aaron and I were on our way to Minneapolis for his memorial service. The photo in a weird way represents the feelings I had on my way up there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Drew's famed art piece--Indian Corn!

Drew brings home a ton of his art projects from preschool and I love each one of them. I have been keeping them in a basket on top of our refrigerator (which seems to be one of the only safe places in our house these days). Last week, as I was picking him up at preschool--one of his teachers mentioned what a great job he did making his of paper Indian corn. Drew was quite proud to show Aaron and I his masterpiece. I thought it was so cute that I had to take a picture of Drew proudly holding his piece of art.

Random thoughts about the election and being a mom

First, I just want to say that no matter what your political preference is, last night this county made history. A moment that I never thought would come--but it has. Honestly, I just think that after eight years, our country was/is ready for a change. That is pretty typical. I was on the fence this summer about who I was going to vote for (and that has never happened before). I did vote for Barack Obama yesterday and I felt good about my decision. I do not envy the position he is in now--it is going to be a very tough job. I think John McCain is a good man--who has fought for his county in war and in the Senate and deserves our admiration and respect. Hopefully, this county can take the words from Senator McCain's speech last night and move this country forward together.

Second, after being home full time with the kids for just over a month--I have to admit that it has been a huge learning curve for me. Everything I thought that would be resolved by me staying home still remains unresolved. The house is still messy, I still stink at cooking dinner (well, not the easy stuff like Sloppy Joes, brats, spagetti, etc.) and I am still exhausted. I have renamed both of my kids "the tornadoes" because they can mess up a room in less than ten minutes. Just when I think I have one room looking somewhat respectable--the two of them come in and it looks the same before I cleaned it up. Ugh. I need some foolproof good recipes that everyone will enjoy in this family--not an easy task. I have always struggled with balancing my roles as wife, mom, employee, friend, daughter, etc. I am not sure I will ever reach that point where I think I have got it all figured out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Spiderman and the Puppy Dog

We could not have asked for a nicer fall day than what we had for Halloween this year. The weather was perfect for pictures in the yard and trick or treat night. Each year, I like to take the kids out in the yard and take pictures in their costumes when the sun is still out. Trying to get a picture of the two kids together (and both smiling) is quite a feat--but I gave it my best try. I put Claire in Drew's puppy dog costume--he wore it for Halloween when he was 18 months old--Claire is just a few months younger at 15 months old. I figure I will keep putting Claire in Drew's old costumes until she is old enough to care about it. Heck, she may be wearing the Spiderman costume in a few years. Of course, I may not be able to resist dressing her as a ballerina or princess. We took both kids around the circle we live on and then I took Drew to take on the rest of the neighborhood. We received our fair share of candy. Aaron stayed home to watch Claire and pass out the candy. This year, we had a ton of kids come to our house--by the end of the night, we were passing out quarters and full packs of bubblegum (that we had bought for ourselves). My dad came over to help pass out candy and I think he enjoyed helping--it had been a long time since he had done that.

Imagination Parade at Drew's Preschool

Watching little ones parade in their Halloween costumes is probably one of the cutest things to see. On Thursday afternoon, Drew and his fellow classmates at his preschool had their annual "Imagination Parade". It was Drew's first time participating in such an event and he did wonderfully. He proudly wore his Spiderman costume. The kids received treats from the staff at his school. There were some very imaginative costumes, a police officer, an old fashioned golf player, Peter Pan and one little boy dressed up as Slash--complete with the full wig and guitar. It was pretty darn funny. After the parade, Drew and his buddies in his class (14 boys--no girls!) had a celebration in their classroom.

Pumpkin Carving with Daddy

On Wednesday night, we brought out one of our pumpkins to carve. Aaron did the honor this year of doing it. It has been a long time since we had carved a pumpkin and it was Drew and Claire's first time to watch the fun and exciting process! Drew thought it was fun to touch the gooey insides of the pumpkin. He also wanted to take the pumpkin seeds and grow a huge garden of pumpkins--so we could have in his words "pumpkins all over the porch!"