Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just one of those days...

Yes, that is a little terd at the bottom of the toilet bowl... maybe Bryce is just trying to re-enact the miracle that happened on the Hudson.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Road Trip

Thursday again. Four kids, two 2 year olds (one in each arm)and two 4 year olds holding hands as we walk what seems like a mile to the fitness first in Rockville. (Seriously, what is with the lack of "expecting mother parking or mothers with infant parking?! Okay, so I'm neither, but still 4 kids 4 and under I think should qualify, but why even debate it because they don't have it anyways!- But should!!) Back to this past Thursday... so after getting on coats, shoes, socks, gloves, hats and braving the icy sidewalk and street to the car to drive to Rockville in the first place, and then again getting the kids out of the car and into the gym, I open the door of course at 10:30 (which is what time my class starts) needing to sign in the kids, take off coats, gloves and hats before kisses, hugs and running up the stairs two or three at a time to get to my class a minute or two late (which is okay b/c they are still setting up and the class before is just getting out...) However.... this Thursday, I come in, kids in tow, with the wind blown look and a sweat glistening off my forehead b/c we hike a mile to get in there b/c there is never any parking and the lady at the front desk says to me, "Oh Christy, it was a two hour delay today." (Because of the two inches of snow TWO DAYS AGO!) "There is no childcare until noon. Do you not know fitness firsts school delay policy?" Uhhh....does it LOOK like I know the policy? Does she think I thought it would be FUN to run through the icy parking lot carrying two kids and having the others hold onto my pant leg and eachother? She looks at me, I stare at her and blinked a few times. She says, "no, I guess not." She hands me a flyer with the delayed school policy which is really helpful at this point. Good news is that my class was also cancelled because of the delay so I didn't have to worry about a bunch of people waiting for me upstairs and no place to put the 4 kids 4 and under. So, I gather everyone up again, put on the gloves, hats and coats that have already been torn off in the 30 seconds we've been inside standing in the lobby, pick up the two boys, have the kids grab each others hands and my leg, WALK out in the icy parking lot a mile away to the car and head home after a fun road trip just for the heck of it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bryce arm update

(harder than I thought to get a good arm picture. Basically there is one long one and three dot looking ones where the pins were)

We FINALLY started Bryce's occupational therapy yesterday after phone tag, miscommunication, insurance issues... blah blah blah. But everything is good now. The lady that works with him, Tracey is really nice and makes it fun. As soon as he sees his arm, he stops using it, but if it's covered with his sleeve, he's okay. Funny huh? Maybe it's the scar that looks weird to him, or the cold air somehow feels different, I'm not sure, but we have a while until Spring, so in that sense, it's good. He is having a hard time straightening it fully and not rolling his shoulder to compensate for the lack of strength and flexibility in his forearm and upper arm. So, we've got some homework exercises and meet with Tracey twice a week for ten weeks and hopefully we'll see an improvement. Overall, Bryce is in great spirits and is willing to "play" and try anything (as long as he thinks it's playing. As soon as he suspects you are trying to get his arm to do something, you get "the look" which involves him looking up at you, chin down and him looking through his beautiful lashes and he doesn't move. He just stares you down). It's quite adorable, but hey, I'm the mom, so I think most things he does are adorable. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snow! Really this time....

Well...really for a Maryland snow anyways. We got maybe half an inch and that's pushing it. But we made the most of it sledding. The boys had a great time sledding, eating snow, and shoveling up snow off our sidewalk and into their dump trucks. We ended the afternoon of snow fun with hot cocoa of course!

(check out those rosey cheeks!)

(Carter doing "service" for the neighbors)

(Just before I bruised my tailbone going down that stupid hill)

(Boys making a "train" going down backwards on their tummy's)

(Going up is never as much fun as going down...)

Ranch anyone?

I'm not sure exactly why my boys like ranch with everything. If they are having a hard time eating dinner -lasagna, salmon, toast, pretty much anything, I put ranch on their plate, and it's usually gone. This is Carter's idea of making leftover pizza more appetizing. No, the white is not extra cheese, it's ranch. Gross.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Brady!

Brady turned 31 Sunday the 18th! I can't believe how old he is (over 30!) which makes me old too since I married the man. Carter helped me plan the perfect superhero party since of course that is what daddy is- a superhero! Every time we go to the library Carter asks the librarian, "Excuse me, do you have any Superhero books? Or Spider man books? My daddy loves Spider man. He was Spider man for 3 Christmas's in a row when he was little. Except the books are a little scary for me and give me nightmares, so daddy can just look at them because he loves them." He is quite the little chatterbox! The amused librarian helps him pick out a few while I just stand by making sure Bryce doesn't pull all of the books of the shelves.
We went to five and below and Carter spent his money (insisting that HE pay for it himself) on some spider man games (checkers, bingo, card games). He was SO excited to give Brady his gifts and distraught that we had him wait until his actual birthday.
First thing that morning when Brady returned home from church meetings, Carter ordered him back to bed for breakfast in bed. We had been making pancakes and sausage while he was gone and decorated the house with streamers. We had all eaten and were ready to serve the birthday boy his in bed. Unfortunately Bryce ate most the sausage so Brady only got one a half pieces (the half having been pulled out of Bryce's mouth when I caught him eating it).

Before Brady had the chance to eat Carter had him open the gift he got him and they even played a bit. Bryce got him a few spider man board books which were fun to read. After church, family and the Martin family came over for dinner of bean soup, biscuits, and salad. I had the kids play 'pin the mask on Spider man' and then 'get the bad guy.' I printed out a picture of Dr. Octopus and gave the kids silly-string so they could pretend to be Spider man and get him with their web. The kids LOVED that (and so did Brady). He jumped around the house shooting it from his wrist making all the kids (and adults) laugh. What a sport! We finished the night with Spider man cake that I spent way to long making and ice cream. What a fun night. We love you! Thanks for being a Super-husband and a Super-father! We are so blessed!
(My cake helpers! Check out Carter's face!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

2 Questions answered

While doing dishes tonight, Brady asks me, "what do you think is the hardest thing about parenting?" and then, "what surprised you most about becoming a parent that you wouldn't have understood before being a parent." What interesting questions... here are my answers because they kind of surprised me too.
1- The hardest thing about being a parent is fearing that no matter what I do, and how good my intentions are, I'm not doing something right. Not doing something I should be to love and teach my children, or doing something that is hurtful to them overall. (I'm actually tearing up now thinking about what pressure I put on myself to be the "perfect" parent). I fear my inexperience, my human-ness, my imperfection and how that affects my children everyday. I don't have all the answers, and sometimes the right thing is not clear. Most times the right thing is not clear and just hope I can do my best and give all I can to be the the best parent I can be in spite of me and my human-ness.
2- I was not prepared for the amount of love that has filled my heart and soul. For me, as soon as Carter was laid in my arms, I love him more than I loved anything else in the entire world. More love than I knew I was capable of having. (Tearing up again...) I knew I would always love him and protect him with everything I had (and have). Love of a child is the first time I experienced unconditional love, truly and without question. I was so concerned the entire pregnancy with Bryce fearing that I would not love another the way I loved Carter. That it was not possible. That my heart and soul had filled with love to it's capacity. I remember crying several times throughout the 9 months, afraid I couldn't love the way I wanted to as a mother for this second son that would be mine. So, the second surprise for me was that my love was not "shared" or divided. It was in fact multiplied. My heart and soul somehow doubled in size filling it with just as much unconditional love for my beautiful Bryce. My life would not be complete without either. Without my incredible husband. What an amazing father he is for our two boys who I love more than words. And because their father feels the same way about them as I do, it has increased my love for him two-fold as well. How blessed I am to be a parent. To be a wife. To have so much love for all three of the amazing, beautiful males in my life. I could not ask for more.

Cold day fun

I decided since we're all feeling a bit cooped up in the house recovering from sickness, I'd break out the paint. I actually had a lot of fun painting with the boys and was able to relax a little bit about the mess which was refreshing. Joy in the journey right? Might have helped that my wonderful husband cleaned up after us. What a guy!

SNOW!! Kind of...

This morning was 11 degrees outside! (I know...all you people out west dealing with
-11 think I'm a baby) BRRR! I say if it's this cold, it should at least snow, which it did the night before last...kind of. I woke up yesterday morning with Carter shouting, "SNOW!" Look everyone it snowed! Mommy...MOMMY! It snowed! Come look! I"m going to to play, come on Bryce....!" I drag myself out of bed determined to be excited for the first snowfall of the year to see this...

Well, without the kids anyways...the snow part was the same. Being the good mom that I am, I use my 'excited' voice, but then really couldn't help but to laugh and really enjoy seeing my children "play" in the "snow." They were scraping it off the sidewalk to try to eat it and said "ewww..." Uh, yeah, b/c there is still the cement showing through! I suggested eating it off the cars... a little less dirt there? Maybe? Anyways, they liked that and riding their scooters up and down the sidewalk until I made them come in 10 minutes later. With Bryce finally feeling a bit better and seeing an end to the croup tunnel, I didn't want to risk the cold air making him more sick. (but hey...dirty snow is fine...):)
We came in and had our hot cocoa with our cereal. What a fun "snow day" (or hours since it was gone a few hrs later...)!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You know you are a mother when...

you are woken up in the middle of your dream by a sick, crying child and you realize your dream was about the toilet being clogged with finger paint projects, hotwheel cars, and stuffed animals and you're wondering how you are ever going to clean up the mess. What the heck kind of dream is that?? It better not be a premonition...


So the only thing worse than being sick is having a sick child. The only thing worse than having a sick child is being sick yourself and caring for a sick child. Croup has reared it's ugly head at our house once again with Bryce. I took him in Monday after waking up choking on his phlem and struggling to breath. So, we got more steroids to open his airway just like when we took him to the ER in October. He is starting to improve a bit although still not sleeping well. He's up at least 6-7 times each night and is taking a short mini nap. With all the teachings of 'sharing' we do in our house, I guess Bryce decided to master the concept with the sharing of germs. Good times.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Awaking at 7am, the boys were so excited to go downstairs. Carter more so, because he is old enough to actually understand that downstairs probably means more presents.:) They came down and saw a big present wrapped in front of the tree and started unwrapping it together. It was a kitchen set that we got since they always want to help us in the kitchen, and Bryce plays non-stop with the real microwave (he's microwaved my keys, play power drill, know things that can break the microwave and the sparks that fly inside are pretty cool too) maybe they can play with this instead.
(Kitchen set behind them, unwrapping the 'working' microwave and play food). We got Carter the Disney monorail he's been talking for since last March when he saw it at the airport waiting for our flight to take us home from Florida after the Disney cruise.

This is the things that started the whole working and saving his money thing so he could buy it.

So, he tells everyone he sees that he got a "monorail for Christmas and it costs 70 dollars!" Weird I know, but I guess he appreciates it more since he knows how long it takes to save 70 dollars. Maybe he really is learning the value of money...
Bryce got an animal train set that goes around the track when you push the steam stack and it makes chugging sounds with he loves. He is a train lover like his big brother and calls them "choo-choos."
The boys were definitely spoiled this year by getting great gifts from family from Idaho too. Grandma and Grandpa gave them each a Tonka dump truck which they love to push around,sit in, carry things in from place to place, and crash them into each others truck and other things around the house.... (thanks grandma and grandpa :) It'll be nice when it's warmer and they can run with them outside where there is more room. Aunt Sarah and Uncle Steve got the boys dinosaur gifts and a DVD which they really like. We really miss our family in Idaho and MO especially at Christmas time!
We played with gifts for a while and ate breakfast before going over to my parents house for gifts and lunch/dinner. We were definitely spoiled there too! Carter got a geo-trax airplane set (remote control of course) which he's been asking for and cut out of magazines for his catalogue a few times. When he opened it he said, "hey! This is in my catalogue!"

Bryce got a remote control train that is easy for a toddler to use with just a front and back arrow. Both gifts are loved well! Bryce took a long nap which allowed us to enjoy an early dinner of tenderloin, twice baked potatoes and salad. I must say it was delicious! Followed by a dessert made my yours-truly which was yummy if I do say so myself. It was a Oreo and peppermint ice cream cake. YUM! It was great being with family and talking to Matt. He called and was all got to chat with him for an hour. (He is in Minneapolis serving a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and has about 6 months left to go. We get to talk to him twice a year- on mother's day and Christmas so we were pretty excited). He is doing really well and it's amazing to hear how much he has grown and matured as a man and in the gospel this past year and a half. I've really grown to respect him as more of a peer than just my little bro. Love you Matt! Or should I say, Elder Petersen. :)
How grateful I am for family and friends, especially at this time of year. I'm so grateful also for my testimony and knowledge of Christ and that he was the Son of God. I hope I can do more this year in 2009 to become more like Him. Merry Christmas (although late) to all and to all a good night!

(Carter crashed around 7pm while sitting next to me)

Christmas Eve

Every year since I was eleven or so, my family have spent our Christmas Eve's singing carols to people residing in nursing homes. It's a great tradition that now my children are able to participate in. What a great opportunity to do and teach service and the true meaning of Christmas. Carter spent an hour or so coloring pictures/cards to hand out to people while we sang. Carter loved handing out his pictures/cards to "help make the old people happy." The people there loved talking to and touching/shaking hands with the boys and it was so fun to see their eyes light up as we sang and visited with them.
We then went to a persons home in our church who is too sick to leave his house (suffered from many strokes) and his wife who cares for him. We sang a few songs there while he was in his hospital type bed in the family room, his eyes full of awe and happiness. I had always seen this man before as kind of gruff but that night I truly felt our Saviors love for him and saw him as I'm sure the Lord, our Father does. I got choked up a bit and just looked around at everyone in that small room and felt the same love for each of them as well. I could not have received a greater Christmas gift than to feel Christ's love for me and the one's I was singing to and with that night. And isn't that what Christmas is really all about?
We then said good-bye to other friends who came with us and the grand kids opened their Christmas Eve gift (which are always PJ's) and put them on. Carter got dinosaurs and Bryce Spider man. Each loved them. The kids got PJ's too after a "announcement" that this was the last year the big kids got PJ's. Brian's job was to go pick out men's PJ bottoms for Brady and Jason. He was instructed to get XL for Brady and M for Jason. Here is what happened....

And can I just say that this picture does not do it justice. Brian went to the women's department and got Jason a Medium and still in the women's department got brady a XL... but a 7XL! Yeah, Dave looks normal b/c his were the right size that mom picked up herself. I guess we know who the favorite son-in-law is- and he's not even official yet! :) We were all cracking up and mom said, "this is why I do things myself!"
We then did sibling gifts amongst myself and my siblings. There was a mix up this year about who had who and just so happened both my sister Brooke and Brian got me something. Oh well, I'm not complaining! :) Anyways, Brian got me a very cute Monkey's Jumping on the Bed game for our family to play. I wonder why... there are no monkey's jumping on the bed over here.... not anymore at least. :) He also got Carter a remote control airplane which he LOVES! Brooke got me some mixing bowels which I've been wanting, the pants that are exactly like hers that I have been envious of and the cutest shutterfly book that recaps our past year with little poems and pictures. Too fun! She and Dave (her fiance) also got Carter a remote control motor boat. Needless to say, Carter was beside himself with excitement that night and it was only Christmas eve! We got home late but Carter remembered (he has a memory like an elephant) that I said a few weeks ago Bryce could open the gift that Carter bought him with his own money that night. So, here we go again with the opening of presents around 10pm.

It's a motorcycle track that the motorcycles run down and do flips themselves then go up the elevator to do it again. Fun to watch. Bryce loved it and Carter loved giving it!
Since PJ's were on, we just brushed teeth and put them to bed. It was so fun to feel their excitement for that night and anticipation for the next day. However while sugar plum fairies danced around in their heads, Brady and I still had presents to wrap and stockings to fill. Brady gave me the greatest gift of all that night. He mopped the floor!!! I don't know when the last time I did it was, but that's all I asked for so I could have a nice, clean house Christmas morning and I did. Finally we went to bed around 1am. But what a great night~

2008 Christmas Card and Letter

Happy Holidays from the Darringtons! This year has been a fun and eventful one for us all. Last spring we went on a Disney Cruise with the entire Petersen family and had a blast! The boys still ask when we can do that again. We’ve traveled to Deep Creek Lake several times in the last year for some boating, swimming, water skiing and tubing fun and last month for some sledding and a Turkey feast. We love it there! We also had the chance to go to Idaho to visit family in August and we had a fun packed week of fishing, riding grandma’s horses, fair and rodeo, and going to a water park in Boise. We sure miss our family in Idaho but are grateful for the fun memories we made there this summer.

Brady began his second year at Financial Services Advisory as a client service associate. He has had the opportunity this year to meet and interact with more clients which he really enjoys. He just passed his exam to be a registered Paraplanner. Brady still loves to play basketball weekly with the other guys from our church and especially enjoys blocking their shots with those long arms of his. His favorite thing is coming home from work to a nice hot meal and being with his family. The boys love it when daddy is home and run to him screaming, “daddy” each time. He likes to chase after the boys before bed being a monster which always results in laughter, screaming, and half the time bumps and bruises from playing too rough. But the boys always come back for more!

Christy has had an exciting year by finishing up her master’s degree in social work. We are proud of her for being so diligent to finish it up while raising two boys. Now that she has her masters, she can focus more of her energy and time to what she is really passionate about- her family. She is a stay and home mom teaching Pilate’s at least 5 times a week between fitness first (a local gym) or at a ballet studio which she enjoys. It’s the perfect “mom job.” Christy has started a blog, which she enjoys updating frequently. In fact if you really want to keep updated with our family, check it out at She keeps very busy finding new things for the house on her 2nd favorite internet site, freecyle. She is always having me run to pick up this or that after basketball or after work. I’m glad she is such a bargain shopper and avid yardsaler.

Carter is 4 ½ , loves his second year of pre-school and goes three times a week. Anything that involves moving- Carter loves. He learned to ride a two wheeler with no training wheels last April. He scares us to death now flying by over speed bumps and over curbs while he just laughs at my worried expression. He loves his scooter, and running everywhere and anywhere. He recently started soccer and enjoys that. He is into stuffed animals and in addition to his two favorites- Ee-oo and Herbivore (a lizard he got at the ER when he split his chin open), he has 5 or so other big animals he shares his bed with. We need to arrange them just so each night so there is even room for him! Carter loves to be read to and is beginning to sound out a few words on his own and identify letters and sounds. He is really a social kid and loves being around other kids big or small. He loves to color and “write” letters to everyone and mom ends up throwing half of them away instead of sending them or else we’d have to take out a second mortgage on our home to pay for stamps. He loves to serve others and make people laugh. He likes to collect the mail in hopes of a toy magazine being in there. He cuts out his favorite and tapes it into his own catalogue he’s made with several clippings/ads from magazines. It is not uncommon for Carter to ask adults at his school, church or neighborhood for jobs so he can earn money to pay for the things he’s collecting in his catalogue.

Bryce keeps us on our toes- constantly. He just turned two in September. He is such a happy spirited boy. He is the child who is going to be a mountain climber and likes to practice on our furniture. Beginning of November, after he and Carter were jumping on the bed, he fell off and broke his arm. It required surgery and 3 pins. We are just waiting now to see what’s the next step. He is in good spirits though and it hasn’t slowed him down (fortunately and unfortunately). He likes to be outside and keep up with his big brother riding his tricycle or 3 wheeled scooter. His best friend is sheepie, which his Aunt Sarah sent him as an infant, and he takes it everywhere! Sucking on his paws puts him to sleep. Hey, whatever works! He likes to say “poo bum” to everyone and everything. This past week in the mall we passed Santa’s workshop where he was sitting and Bryce yells, “Hi Santa poo-bum!” with a big smile. I guess we know whose getting coal in their stocking this year…

We love our life and are grateful for all of our many blessings. Most of all we are grateful for Christ and his atoning sacrifice for us all. We strive to make him the center of our lives and are grateful for repentance, forgiveness and the journey of life. We love you, our family and friends and wish each one a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With Love:
Brady, Christy, Carter and Bryce

Christmas Catch-Up

What a fun holiday we had! It all began with going to Butler's Orchard to cut (saw) down our own Christmas tree. All the trees there were about the same, but we roamed in the cold for about a half hour to find the 'perfect one.' Carter was very into it, and even carried around the ice scraper pretending it was a saw using it on unsuspecting trees as we wandererd around. Bryce was pretty cranky and cold. He didn't want to keep his gloves on and then whined because his hands were frozen. He perked up when Brady let him have a turn to saw (with help of course). Carter was very proud to be the other man to help carry the tree to the car because he is so strong. We went inside after it was tied to our car and got some cider, hot chocolate and a few other free samples of crackers, jams and bread. Good stuff! Both boys fell asleep on the way home so we had to wait to decorate it when they woke up. Very fun. Probably make that a tradition in our little family each year.
Strong muscle men!

Saw Daddy Saw!

Carter says, "I LOVE this tree!" Gives it a hug followed by, "OUCH, it's sharp!"

Mama's boys!

"Brycie the snowman..."

Our little salesman

Carter decided to sell water on a freezing, windy winter day. I tried to convince him no one would buy water when it's so cold but for those who know Carter, he has a stubborn streak (must get it from his dad :) So, I decided to let him go ahead and learn from experience. He got a tray, and a few cups of water filled half way. He was out there for about 5 minutes when I checked on him and he asked, "what's the problem? People used to drive by here..." we are at the beginning of a culdisac. He then decided to do "service" and just "give away the water to thirsty people driving by." Another 5 minutes, and no one in sight and he came in a bit defeated. He said, "well, I guess we'll try again in the summer time when it's a little warmer."

Don't let the sun patches fool was FREEZING!

Pilates pro

I guess there is a reason that it's called "rest pose." Sleep well little Brycie~!

You know you've had too much pizza when... look 8 months pregnant and you are a two year old boy~