Friday, November 30, 2007

A Cold Day on the Oregon Coast

Last weekend we took advantage of the non-rainy weather and headed out to the Coast. We went to Neskowin, one of our favorite spots. Unfortunately we were still pretty stuffed from the holiday gorging so we didn't get to stop at the charming Hawk Creek Cafe for pizza. But we did enjoy walking along the beach. It was cold (hence Soren bundled in a down coat) but bright and sunny. And the waves were huge! I love the Oregon coast!




Thursday, November 29, 2007

He Looks Like Me!

Since Soren was born there was always the question about whether he looked more like me or Peter. Most people say Peter. In fact, Peter is known to frequently ask total strangers - waitresses, checkout clerks, gas station attendants - two questions. The first question is "Isn't he (Soren) cute?" To which people, of course, always say yes. (I mean how can you say no when a proud daddy says something like that?) Then the second question is "And don't you think he looks just like me?"

But honestly, I don't quite see that Soren looks just like Peter. But I don't see that he looks like me either.

At long last, the question has been scientifically settled!

One small note: I did have to try about 468 different photo combinations in order to get these results. Shhh, no one needs to know that though, right? Oh, what's up with the fact that he only looks like me when I use a photo with his face smeared in jam?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where Does Jesus Live?

When we were setting up the Christmas decorations on Friday (another tradition currently being test-driven: decorating the day after Thanksgiving) I pulled out our Nativity set and as we were setting it up Soren and I talked about each of the characters. Earlier in the week I had picked up a "story of Christmas" kind of book, so I took this opportunity to pull it out for the first time. We sat down and went through the story. He really liked it ("The angels have beautiful dresses.") but he got confused on the whole gift giving idea. The book says that we give gifts at Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday. He's been to birthday parties before and is pretty clear that the birthday person gets the gifts...not all the other people.

It was so much fun to watch his little mind working out the details. His biggest concern was where Jesus lives. (Obviously, we need to get there to bring him presents). I had a hard time answering that one "in your heart" felt too abstract for a 2 year old, and "in heaven" was a bit off.

It was a special moment deliberately introducing him to something so integral to our culture - the story of Jesus. Most stories like this are just part of something that we feel like we've always known. But there actually is a first time we really hear them.

We have yet to tackle how Santa Claus fits into the whole story (since he doesn't.) The whole Santa thing is pretty interesting. For the past few years Peter and I have discussed whether or not to "do the whole Santa thing" with Soren. Peter clearly remembers finding out that Santa wasn't real and feeling so misled. So we had talked about not really perpetuating that story. But the thing is, that Santa is real! I saw him at the mall just this weekend! It is interesting to see how I have just jumped into the "if you are good, maybe Santa will bring you that present" mind set. Oh well, I guess you can't be so deliberate about every little thing...hopefully he'll get a good therapist someday to get over it when he finds out that Santa isn't real.

As a sidenote, can I say that there are some really lousy Christmas books on the market? Most of the stories are too full of non-kid language but one of the books had all the characters looking like children. How confusing would that be? "Mom, is Mary 7 years old?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Traditions

I think I've mentioned before here that we've been working on coming up with some meaningful Christmas traditions. Peter and I actually disagree a bit on how traditions happen. He says that they sort of evolve over time, which I suppose is true. But the planner in me isn't really content just seeing what sorts of Christmas traditions develop in our house. So I've come up with a list of traditions that we're trying out. I've been working on this list pretty much since Soren was born, but now that he's really getting into the whole idea of Christmas it seems more important.

One of the traditions we're trying is building up Jesus' bed. I pulled the straw out of the manger and from now until Christmas Soren gets a small piece of yarn everytime he is helpful, kind or does something nice.

Here is Jesus' manger today:


I'll keep you updated throughout the month on how comfortable Baby Jesus is!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was terrific. We had Peter's parents, brother, nieces and sister plus my mom and sister all over for the big day. Soren doesn't see his 4-year old cousin Hailey very often. And he has another friend named Bailey. So he kept calling Hailey "Bailey". She was not very happy with that situation.

When we were saying the prayer before our scrumptious feast, Soren got a chance to do his normal prayer which as I've mentioned here before is simply a litany of all he's thankful for. Here's how it went this time:

Soren: Thank you for our food. Thank you for Grandma. Thank you for potatoes. Thank you for Bailey...
Meanwhile at the other end of the table you can hear "He called me Bailey again! My name is not Bailey."
Uncle Garth (whispering): Shhhhh, it is ok, don't worry about it.
Soren: Thank you for Grandpa. Thank you for milk...
Hailey: But I don't like it when he calls me Bailey! I am not Bailey!
Uncle Garth (whispering): Shhhhh...
Soren: Thank you for family. Amen.

But the most hilarious part is that later that night we heard Hailey reprimanding Soren. She said "Carson, my name is not Bailey!" Yep, that's right, she kept calling him Carson. Perhaps these kids need to get together more often?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why We Love Satsumas

We love Satsuma oranges. They are easy to peel and very tasty...

But mostly, we love them because they come in a really great box.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Psychedelic Snacks

So here's a conversation that I hesitate even to tell for fear that someone is going to call child protective services!

Me: Hey Soren, do you want to make some brownies?
Soren: OK! I want to make hash brownies!
Me (oblivious): Ok, go get up on your stool.
Soren: We're making hash brownies! I want to make hash brownies! Let's make hash brownies!
Me (still oblivious): Ok, you pour this into the bowl.
Soren: I'm making hash brownies!


Me (sort of catching on): What did you say? Hash brownies? These aren't hash brownies, these are just brownies. What are you talking about?
Soren (sits quietly for awhile, then): Can I take a bite of the hash brownies?

I swear I am so far out of the whole drug culture that I didn't even register what he was saying...anyone else though would probably have noticed that a two-year old is asking mommy for some the brownies. Oy. The worst part is that he learned all about hash brownies on our family breakfast days...when Peter orders hash browns!

So, I was wrong I won't follow up the two-year-old-plays-with-life-endangering-scissors video with juggling chain saws. We've branched into making psychedelic brownies instead!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today Soren Told His First Story...

"The sun came up. It got stuck. The sun told the cars to go. The sun was very hungry. It didn't have any arms. It didn't eat raspberries. It ate clouds."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Funny Soren Sayings...

1. We've been potty training for a while now. We'd been using incentives to reward activities on the potty. Small prizes (an M&M, or teddy graham) if he pees on the potty and a bigger prize for when he poops. He's clearly figured out that pooping is great. He now has lots of grand plans for all he's going to acquire from upcoming bowel movements. Most of them include Thomas the Train characters. "I'm going to poop for James! Then I'm going to poop for Gordon! Then I'll poop for Henry!" Our living room is already a mess with train pieces all over the place. Would it be wrong for a mother to wish some constipation on her son?

2. Peter: Soren, the clock says it is nap time.
Soren: The clock in the other room says it is time to play!

3. Peter was teasing Soren the other day by blowing on him whenever he looked away.
Soren: Dad, don't blow on me. I'm not bacon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sitting With Scissors

Ah yes, the truth comes out about how we pass our time in our household. Next weeekend: juggling chainsaws.

Lessons learned:
1. A child-safe scissors is on the list of things to pick up ASAP.
2. Things look more dangerous on video than they do in real life. I swear, when we were doing this it seemed harmless. But when I watch the video I'm like "er, who let's a 2 year old play around with a sharp and pointy scissors?!"
3. Activities seem fine while you are doing them, but when you picture them as a newspaper headline you rethink it. Child, 2, Runs Amok with Scissors as Mother Watches
4. Maybe it is time to put another log on the woodstove when my son needs to wear a fleece hat inside the house!

(Note for those of you on dial up or otherwise unable to see the video - don't worry, nothing bad actually happened!)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Joy of Christmas

So, I've been thinking about holiday traditions lately and decided that I wanted to help Soren get excited about giving presents for Christmas. Often it seems that people try elimiate the focus on gifts altogether when creating a "meaningful" holiday, but I like the giving aspect of Christmas, so I hope to focus on that in our house. But it appears that we have a ways to go...

Me: Soren, did you know that Christmas is coming soon?
Soren: (blank stare)
Me: And we can get presents for people. Won't that be fun?
Soren: (blank stare)
Me: We can get a present for daddy. What do you think he'd like?
Soren: And a present for me?
Me: Well, it is really fun to *give* people presents. It makes them happy. Wouldn't it be fun to give daddy a present?
Soren: No, you give daddy a present. And get a present for me!

Sigh. I guess it isn't surprising that a two year old is thinking about himself first...but I do hope to he can eventually find the fun of giving this season. I'll keep ya posted.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Gastric Bypass, Anyone?

As promised here are the sumo videos...

This first video shows me "wrestling" my sister Christine (I'm in the red, uh, thong?):

And this one shows Peter attacking me! Is kicking allowed in sumo wrestling? I have to say that it was actually scary to wrestle him...I knew that for sure I was going to get smashed!

This was so much fun! I have one video that I took of Peter wrestling our friend Alan, and you can't really hear much over the sound of me squealing and gasping for breath because I was laughing so hard as I watched them. Too funny!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Taking the Stomach Stretch Quite Literally!

This weekend we hosted our annual Pre-Holiday Stomach Stretch. It is an annual event that we started 12 years ago when we realized that we wanted to spend time with our friends over the holidays but that things were always too busy at that time of year. We now get together before any of the holiday craziness starts...and we begin conditioning our stomachs for the feasting holidays coming soon.

This year we rented sumo suits for the party. My stomach is hurting today, not from too much eating (ok, that might be part of it) but from laughing so hysterically. I have two videos that I'll post, but for now here are a few of the photos.

Peter and me (before he attacked me!):
Amy and Peter - Sumo!

After Peter shoved me down the hill:
Crashed - Amy and Peter, sumo

Does this hairstyle make me look fat?
Does this hairstyle make me look fat?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

For the past few weeks people have been asking me about our Halloween plans. And I haven't really been too excited about it. We happened to have a bee costume at home and so we planned to let him wear that to the party at the toddler time class that he attends with Peter on Wednesdays. But other than that, I just didn't get too excited about Halloween for a two year old. I mean, does he really need the candy? Will he really be able to get excited about it? So, we didn't even really talk about it at home.

Man, I was wrong!

Yesterday the neighbors called because they wanted Soren to stop by for a Halloween present. People really don't trick or treat in our neighborhood since we live so far out, but they wanted him to come over. When I got home Peter had Soren all dressed up in his bee costume, with coordinating (pure coincidence) rain boots. It was so stinkin' cute!!! I couldn't believe it. And he was beside himself with excitement to get over to Zoe's house so that he could say "trick or treat".

It was so much fun going to that neighbor's house that we went over to the other neighbor. He still doesn't understand that Halloween is all about the candy...he just likes to say "Trick or treat" and tell them "Happy Halloween."

Now, I'm already excited about Halloween for next year!