Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We had two fun Halloween adventures this year with both Trunk or Treat and Trick or Treat experiences.

We started on Wednesday night with the annual Trunk or Treat sponsored by the United Residence Halls Council at Circle Park on campus. This is organized by the wonderful housing student group and they do such a great job each year.

We got ready in my office and Jeremy donned his engineer costume for the 2nd year in a row. He insisted on being this same thing again and did not want to even hear about anything else he could be. Works for me - free costume!Violet clicked her sparkly heels together to transform into baby Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Super cute. She only threw up on the dress a little bit, so I was impressed.Student organizations sponsor a car and decorate their trunks to give out candy. The UT students are so cute and creative. Jeremy had a blast!We ran into William, and since the boys are no longer at school together any reunions are hilarious. There was a slow motion running into each others arms while they called out their names.Family photo my boss Jerry took. We are all sort of facing the same direction! Success!Jeremy got his face painted at the booth. I was chatting with parents and not paying attention, but then I turned around and saw that Jeremy had a tree on his face. Yes, my son requested a spooky tree. Every other kid had ghosts, witches, pumpkins, etc. I love that he is unique and has an overactive imagination. Of course he wanted a spooky tree, why not?Tonight for real Halloween we went to William's house since he lives in an actual neighborhood rather than an apartment complex. Last year Jeremy threw a tantrum in the street and we had to leave after only 2 houses, so I had high hopes for this year.

I was not disappointed. They posed for pictures, then took off! Notice William is now Dracula!William and Jeremy were quite good at begging for candy, and mostly polite about it. 90% of the houses got a "thank you" and 10% got a raspberry blown at them. Proud parent.Violet had to change since the weather was cooler, but she rocked out some gorgeous headgear! The owl hat was handmade for her by one of the gals from my work, Kristina. Isn't it cute?What better sign is there of a night well spent? Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Violet: 5 Months Old

Girl, you'll be a woman soon.Violet's 5 month photo shoot includes two different outfits since she threw up halfway through. It is hilarious taking her photo now as she is starting to react and understand the "cheese!"At five months, Vi is really active. She is on the brink of sitting up on her own, she has rolled over (and promptly freaked out because her arm was stuck), has begun sucking her thumb while sleeping, eats almost 3 jars of baby food each day plus 3 bottles plus nurses twice. Suffice to say, she is still quite the little chunker. She still wants to be held 24/7 and since I spoil her rotten, I do it. She smiles a lot, giggles, squeals, and loves when Jeremy plays peek-a-boo with her in the car. She hates her carseat, but is beginning to love her play gym and likes watching TV, especially when there is music, be it Dora and Diego, Thomas, or the random musicals I force upon my children. Her hand coordination is getting better, and she puts everything in her mouth. The spitting up is still pretty constant, but now it comes in fun colors thanks to the baby food, so that's cool.She continues to be pretty amazing, and while this may sound immodest, she loves me. She does. We are pals, and I am so excited about that. I have until she turns 14 to be her fun mom and I am looking forward to the spinny dresses, dance parties, pigtail braids under baseball hats, and mud pies to come! Love that little gal!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jeannie's Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day

Do you ever have those days where you somehow find yourself just sitting back and watching as you make bad decision after bad decision?

Have you ever felt the urge to call Child Protective Services on yourself so that your kids can be given a chance at living a good life?

Do you ever find yourself screaming in your car, in front of your kids, and just can't seem to stop the downward spiral?

You haven't? Well, consider yourself lucky. Here is my day and why I am writing this at home in a bathrobe rather than at work doing my job:

I spent last night in blissful excitement watching one of the best World Series games ever. It went into 11 innings and demanded I jump up and down on the couch several times in my giddiness and frustration. So, even when the game ended, there was no way I was going to fall asleep anytime soon.

After about 3 hours of sleep, I woke up to get my kids ready for school. Today was field trip day, so I had to time everything right and provide proper outdoor attire for the kiddos. Today also happened to be negative 30 degrees and pouring down rain. As I was pulling out the parking lot, actually on time - shocking, I backed right into my dumpster. Hard. Jeremy politely informed me that I broke the car and Daddy would be mad at me. Thanks for the support. There is a huge crack/hole in our bumper now.

I yelled a bit, still high with the adrenalin of getting two kids into the car with extra clothes, bottles, baby food, Mr. Moo, rain gear, and my work stuff. After the yelling, which involved some punching of the steering wheel, Jeremy started crying and told me to stop being bad.

That did not make me feel at all guilty, horrible, or immature.

Oh, and Violet's new thing now is to scream bloody murder anytime she is placed in the carseat. So, that lovely background noise did nothing to help the situation.

I proceeded on my drive, hit a red light, paused, and made a right turn. Oh, fun! A police car. Jeremy was thrilled. Then he thought I was going to jail, and again told me to stop being bad. Luckily, I managed to suppress my rage while the cop informed me I did not come to a complete stop before turning. The screaming baby did nothing to invoke sympathy. Thanks.

So, I was late. I missed the carpool to the field trip. I headed to Halls on my own with the kids to find the pumpkin patch. And find it we did. I strapped Violet to my chest and watched Jeremy jump in every single mud puddle around. The incredibly helpful other parents and teachers made extremely nice and supportive comments like, "Why is your son the only one without rain boots? All kids need rain boots!" "Oh, that poor little baby! She will catch pneumonia out here." "I'll sit by Jeremy on the hay ride, I can see you can't handle it." "You know, that coat is fine but in the rain, he really needs a rain slicker, not just a coat." "I would never bring my newborn baby out in this weather!"

Really? Well, your kid is ugly and eats paste.

Is what I wanted to say.

Instead, I silently fumed as my son got wet feet, fell out of a hay ride, and suffered immeasurable indignities while wearing only a coat and my daughter silently died of pneumonia in my arms.

None of that actually happened, but I was certainly led to believe it would.

I finally gave up and left the field trip without a pumpkin (I could not carry it anyway). On our way back to school, we were literally run off the road by a car. I had to swerve onto the shoulder/grass when some idiot pulled right into my lane. I should mention again it was POURING DOWN RAIN. AND I WAS DRIVING MY KIDS BACK FROM A PUMPKIN PATCH. COVERED IN MUD.

Back at school. I took Violet to her class and her teacher told me the classroom was a safe space if I needed to cry. Bless her. Too bad I was too busy yelling at Jeremy to keep his muddy feet (sans the magical rain boots) off the infant carpet area to appreciate that she was honestly trying to help me.

I tried to take Jeremy to his class and found I only had extra shorts, not pants, in his cubby. Back in the car. Back home. Screaming for Halloween candy. Strip change in the hallway, frantically digging in the dryer for clean pants. Success. Back to school.

You would not believe how much that kid wanted to get away from me. He made a beeline for the classroom door and did not even say goodbye. I managed a half-hearted wave.

At this point I finally looked at myself. Mud and water up to my knees. Hair soaking wet plastered to my face. Coat collar half straight up, half stuck under. Crazy eyes.

I decided to go home and just skip work. Thank God. Otherwise, I would probably be adding "got fired for screaming at innocent students and making them cry and eat their hair" to my list.

I have been wallowing at home ever since. Here are my thoughts. I made some bad decisions. I stayed up too late. I did not organize the kids stuff the night before. I should never have taken Violet out in that weather (in my defense, she was completely dressed properly). I certainly should have been paying attention and not backed into the dumpster. I should have stopped completely at the red light before turning. I should not have let my bad mood affect the children or myself so much.

That being said, I never had rain boots, I think I am fine. I don't own a rain jacket, and I think I am fine. Will Jeremy die because he does not own these all-important items? No. Will I be guilted by other parents into buying them? Yes. Was it too cold for Violet? Not really. She was actually quite happy the entire trip and never once cried, other than when I put her in the carseat. I have good kids, I do my best, I am not always perfect (or even close), but I am not a bad mother.

Today, however, was most definitely a bad day.

But, tonight is Game 7 and tomorrow morning is Saturday. I am looking forward to both!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

monster attack!

So, I wrote a post a bit ago about how my kids are monsters. I have further proof.

Context: Saturday mornings are special for me and the kids. Brian works almost every Saturday, so I try to spend quality mommy time with each kid and do nothing on those mornings but play, play, play. No cleaning, dishes, nagging, etc. Some of my absolute favorite kid moments are on these mornings. I am planning a "Saturday Morning Musical" post later to describe one of our favorite activities, so stay tuned for that.

Suffice to say, our Saturday mornings are sacred and fun.

This past Saturday, however, Jeremy made me break one of my rules. I scolded, disciplined, and yelled (after I took a picture because under my anger I was laughing uncontrollably).This is an ENTIRE large bottle of baby powder. It was virtually brand new. Look at the footprints - those puppies were deep. The spots on the photo are the powder particles in the air. I had to take Violet back upstairs and nurse her on my bed because I was legitimately scared she would die if she inhaled that much powder.

To his credit, my monster helped me clean it up, even though he is still terrified of the vacuum cleaner. Btw, it is super hard to vacuum powder. I had to wet down the entire living room and wipe off every single surface - there was powder everywhere! But, it did smell quite nice.

...You know, for some reason, ever since this incident I have had an uncontrollable urge to revisit an old friend of mine by the name of Ramona Quimby. Hmm...

Monday, October 10, 2011


Fall Break was at the end of September and since the kiddos were out of school, I decided to transport them across the state to visit our family in Memphis (Pop's House!). I was terrified of the screaming that would ensue in a 7 hour drive with a 3 year old and a 4 month old with only me to assist since Brian had to stay behind and work. But, I was shocked. Both ways, there and back, neither child cried even once!! I feel crazy even typing that sentence, but it is true, despite all laws of common sense against its possibility. It was a sign of a great trip, and this post is mostly a ton of photos to showcase the fun we had.

Aunt Cheri and Mr. Ted took Jeremy to the "Big Backyard" at the Memphis Botanical Gardens.
Violet had her first bites of solid food, with a sort-of successful rice cereal attempt. It was also her first time in a high chair.Aunt Judy came over and brought Violet some new bathing suits (she is our official bathing suit connection) and Jeremy a new plane that my dad launched across the street onto a neighbor's roof.Nona and I took Violet on her first real shopping trip for clothes. Aunt Dani works at Stein Mart so we went to embarrass her and buy some clothes in their clearance sale. Strap her to your chest and Violet is an angel for literally hours. She even paid when we checked out!I cut off all of my hair again. I can't be bothered to brush it, so it had to go before I got fired for looking like a slob.Violet got to hang out with her Great Nona, who loves her and made her a new blanket!Nona had her birthday party a week early so that we could be there, and we had a campfire, s'mores, and hot dogs on the new patio at my parent's house. With about 50 guests, in true Carr over-the-top fashion:
Mom's birthday cake (a s'more cheesecake made from scratch by Cheri)Mom and Violet (yes, we bought that crazy feather head thing at Stein Mart for her to wear at her party - because that is what you do, duh)Pop's BFF, Steve, with my baby girlNona, Violet, Chris, and Uncle Joey's face Making a fire with PopUncle Joey and Aunt Megan (perfect godparents helping get Violet to sleep)My brother Joey and my sister CheriMy other sister Dani - we Carr kids look nothing alike, do we?Back massages with Aunt BarbaraAnd finally, an attempt at a family photo before we headed home to hug daddy. We had a blast in Memphis hanging out with crazy family and sharing in Nona's birthday celebration, and though I am sure the house is much quieter and cleaner without us there, we hope we are still invited back for our next random trip!