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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Shoes and New Heights

Karsten is trying to fill some pretty big shoes and climb to new heights lately.

I love how this kid rolls.

He is pure JOY.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012


This last Sunday I was trying to think of ways to keep the boys reverent during the sacrament when it came to me to have them each make a plan to do one act of service for someone else this week.  They were a little belligerent at first, mostly because I made them close their books and focus on this until they had their plans firmly in their minds.  Anders kept telling me he was finished, but when I would ask him what his plan was, he would respond, "To do something nice for you" (sweet boy).  So, we kept at it until he had something specific and the sacrament was passed and we were left with a nice spirit for the rest of the meeting.

Well, fast forward to this morning, when all thought of the aforementioned goals was absent from my over-stuffed and poorly-performing mind.  The boys were actively working on their morning chores that I had listed for them on the whiteboard.  One of the chores on Anders' side was hanging up (or throwing in the dirty clothes, depending on their level of wear and tear) all the shirts he tends to stuff on top of the dresser.  He hates this job.  He can't reach the rod well, so he has to grab a stool and it takes a lot of effort for him to get the shirts to hang right on the hangers.  This is probably why they end up on the dresser in the first place, but I try to tell him all the time that it would be easier to hang up one shirt every day than 10 on one day.  Anyway, as Anders proceeded to empty the dishwasher, I went looking for a missing Soren, ready to berate him for lollygagging the morning away.  He showed me.  There he was in their bedroom, hanging up all of Anders' shirts, beaming at me with this blessed, goofy grin on his face.

I shouldn't be surprised anymore at the things this kid is able to remember.

I went straight over to him and gave him a big hug and thanked him for taking this assignment seriously.  He had a great time surprising Anders and, of course, Anders was so thankful.  Another bonus?  The praise I lavished on him for hanging up Anders' shirts earned me a clean playroom and tidy bookshelves, two jobs that weren't on anyone's lists, but that Soren took it upon himself to oversee.  I say "oversee" because he actually had Karsten help him clean them as I listened to him encouraging and praising his little brother.

I love it when we have a sweet spirit in our home.  It makes me smile all day long.

P.S. Anders came up to me at lunch time with this awesomely excited expression on his face, "Mom!  I know what service I'm going to do for you!  I'm going to . . . O-BEY!"  Ha ha haaaaa.  Nice try little man.  I thanked him for his desire to do that, but reminded him that obedience was expected of him every day.  :)  We're still working on coming up with a service project for him, but I have an inkling that Soren's stellar example today will give Anders some ideas.
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

One-Month-Old Oskar

There are a lot of O's in that title.  Hmm.

So I'm stealing an idea from my friend, Amber.  She has been taking monthly pictures of her baby in the same place every month in order to make a compilation at the end of a year and see how he's grown.  I think it's a brilliant idea and am going to do the same (if I can remember to take the dang pictures each month, anyway).  :D

Here are Oskar's one-month pictures:

Now, why does the sweet Spiderman outfit keep popping up, you ask?  Well, remember these pictures from our birth video?

Because of his in-utero umbilical-spinning and his subsequent entanglement, we decided to dub Oskar our Spiderman.

That's it.  :)

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oskar's First Buzz

So, after taking Oskar's pictures, his hair started to do the baby hair thing that bugs me so. dang. bad.  It started to fall out.  And I could feel the tiny little hairs on my face and they irritated my skin to no end!  So, in keeping with Bagel tradition, I buzzed him.  I LOVE buzzing my babies!  I don't know what I'll do if I ever have a girl.  Probably buzz her baby hair, too.  :D



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Friday, July 13, 2012

Oskar's First Photo Shoot

These are images from Oskar's first photo shoot back at the end of June.  I missed my window (you know how they say newborns should be photographed within the first two weeks in order to avoid baby acne and sprawling) because I was waiting for his little goopy eyes to clear up.  His eyes aren't draining well (still).  But, I think they turned out great anyway.  Instead of cute naked pictures of a little newborn ball, I went for a bit of a different feel based on an image I saw on Pinterest.  I love how they turned out.

So, without further adieu, I present to you our little love muffin, Oskar:



I love that he's so totally sprawled out here.  From day one, Oskar hasn't been much of a "tucker."

After the official "shoot," we changed Oskar into his Spiderman onesie and Karsten climbed up to love on him for a few pictures:

Sweetest picture EVER.  See Karsten's hand?  He's doing sign language "I Love You" to Oskar.  Oh how I love this kid!

And that, folks, is a wrap.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012


Karsten is weaned.  And hallelujah for it!  Right around his second birthday back at the end of June, I put my foot down and said "enough!" You know, it would have been fine.  I could have handled tandem nursing . . . and even loved it.  But Karsten took to tormenting me with his nursing methods.  Since his nursing was more of a comfort thing than a need for nutrition, he would nurse only a few seconds (literally), just enough to bring my milk down, then declare himself "ah done" and ask for "ah side?" (other side).  I was dealing with issues of milk regulation and trying not to drown my newborn with the excess resulting from having two nursers, so I just quit Karsten cold turkey and tried to make up for the void in other ways.  I got him a little baby bottle and filled it with milk and anytime he would ask for milk, I would steer him to the fridge and pull out his "big boy milk" and cradle him while he sipped at it.  It seemed to pacify him nicely, but it didn't last long because he didn't like the cow's milk.  Now anytime I nurse Oskar, Karsten will climb up next to me, say "hug a Mommy? hode you?", and cuddle with my arm while he sucks his thumb.  I love it.  It's so sweet.  I give him lots of hugs and kisses and we read books together all the time.  He also likes to stare at my breasts while Oskar nurses.  He's very intent about it, too.  Sometimes he'll point to the vacant breast and say "Ahkur milk?  Ahkur turn, ah side?"  And I'll confirm that it is indeed baby Oskar's milk and his turn to nurse on the other side.  :D Other times Karsten will squeeze the breast Oskar is nursing on and get this proud little look on his face for his contribution to Oskar's nourishment.  I give him high praise, indeed, for his help.  This kid is such a hoot!

While he hasn't forgotten completely about nursing, I think we're on the right track. Now all I have to come to terms with are my own feelings of longing and nostalgia over nursing Karsten.  I really miss it.  He's my little buddy.

Boy, I sure love my toddler.  He's a riot and a cuddle bug all wrapped into one perfect little Bagel package.  Life would be dull without him.

I smudged out my cleavage in Photoshop so my mom wouldn't have a hernia about me sharing such a "revealing" picture.  Now I just look weird.  Oh well.  :D  One little note about this picture, most of my tandem nursing experience wasn't like this where they were both actually nursing at the same time.  This only happened maybe three times.  Otherwise, I was just switching off with them both all day long.  It was exhausting and while I miss nursing Karsten, I don't miss nursing two kids all day long.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

2-year-old Karsten

Karsten turned two on June 26th. I have a two-year-old. Two.

And a newborn.

A two-year-old and a newborn.

A chunky lover boy and a teeny tiny babe.

A toddler and a warm little lump o' love.

Should I keep saying it or have we all grasped the significance of this fact? I'm not the first to experience this. And it's not even my first time experiencing this. And I know I won't be the last to experience this. But regardless of its precedent or its repetition, it's overwhelming, people.  Pure and simple.

Good thing it's summer and I can throw schedule and responsibility to the wind.

Aaaannnyway, I do so love my two-year-old Karsten, despite the fact that it's because of him that I'm shaking in my booties for the time when I am abandoned by all outside help and Dan has to recommit himself fully to work.  In one word, Karsten's personality is best described as EXPLOSIVE.  When he is happy, he is explosively happy.  When he is upset, he is explosively upset.  I get tired watching him live life so fully, but every day I am grateful for his exuberance.  It keeps me young, I think (or makes me gray, I'm really just trying to be an optimist here, sheesh!).

So here are a whole bunch of things I want to remember about two-year-old Karsten.

I love . . .

~ that when he wants to eat something he sees, he says, "some?" and smacks his little lips, repeating both word and gesture over and over in his cute little voice
~ the way he says "So So" with a slight lisp
~ how he sits outside the bathroom door to wait for Soren or Anders anytime either of them is pooping
~ that he simply says "why?" when reprimanded or denied something
~ that his pointer finger plays with his eyelashes while he sucks his thumb
~ that he has developed a knack for imitating mommy's incredulous exclamation of "what?!" in a high-pitched voice
~ that he doesn't like tears in his eyes or on his face and will get extremely frustrated if he can't clear them off quickly
~ that he'll use just about anything to wipe his snotty noses (our bed sheets, daddy's shorts that he's wearing, his own shirt that he's wearing, his bare arm, etc.)
~ that he loves to chase people around the house, roaring at them
~ that he has the most awesome, bounding run
~ that he can very often be heard saying "weed book" (read book) to any one of the adults hanging around our house, after which he will bring a stack of books to said victim and keep him/her occupied for a loooong time  :D
~ that if one of his brothers wanders out of his sight, he'll yell for them with gusto, "SO SO! ANNERS! SOREEN!"
~ that he'll nurse for about 10-20 seconds on my left side, pop off, and ask for "mo miw a-side" (more milk, other side).
~ that if his brothers try to recover sneakily-appropriated toys from him and ask him why he took them, he now responds "cuz, it's mine"
~ that he loves to be sung to.  His favorite (and most requested) songs right now are: row row (Row Row Row Your Boat); Dawteen Song (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean with Karsten's name subbed in); poporn (Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree); a bean (Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam); pider (The Itsy Bitsy Spider); mommy song (Love is Spoken Here); ABC's (Alphabet Song); Tempo (I Love to See the Temple); yabadabadabadabadaba (If I Were a Rich Man, from Fiddler on the Roof); and he also hums the Elmo's World tune anytime he wants to be sung to
~ that he sleeps with Elmo and Guy Guy (a stuffed Lego guy)
~ that he calls motorcyclists "Ee-eego (Lego) guy guy!" and gets so excited whenever he sees one.
~ that he says the sweetest little "cue me" (excuse me) whenever he burps, gases, or needs to get by someone
~ that he says an equally cute "kink you" (thank you) at appropriate times and often without prompting
~ that when he says "you're welcome," it sounds like "a red bum"
~ that he loves to sit down, surrounded by books, and read for long periods of time
~ that he likes me to do "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" on his back, after he's lying in bed, for every nap and bedtime too
~ that he likes to ride on Daddy's back while he's doing push-ups
~ that he tools around the house spouting random number sequences like "2, 3, 4" and "7, 8, 9, 10" and even the occasional 1 all the way up to 12
~ that he loves to play cars with Mommy, which consists of him declaring over and over that his car "aw faw down" (oh, fell down!) and insisting that the mommy car help him back up on the pillow, after which he says "oh, kink you!" and our cars kiss
~ that he loves to watch Curious George
~ that he says "uh-kay" (okay) in his cute little voice
~ that he gets so sad when he gets in trouble
~ that he calls skeletons "pooky" (spooky)
~ that he calls ambulances, firetrucks, and police cars "wee-oo wee-oo's"
~ that he says "gark" (dark)
~ that he says "ope-it?" (open it?)
~ that he loves to wave, say "hi," shake hands, pound the fist, and give high fives to just about anybody and everybody
~ that he says "newman" for "snowman"
~ that he says "heppease" for "help please"
~ that he says "I did it!" when he accomplishes something by himself that he was previously asking for help with
~ that he runs around saying "a morneen" (good morning) when he wakes up in the mornings
~ that he calls Oskar "Okar" (Ah-kur) or "Cute" (As in, "Hi, Cute!")
~ that he calls Oskar "teeny tiny" and always wants to rub his soft head and kiss both cheekies
~ that he begs to hug people, which really means that he wants you to hold him "Hug a Mommy!"
~ that he sits next to me and "hugs" me (rests his head on my arm/shoulder) while I nurse Oskar
~ that he loves his family so much and always makes sure he knows where every member is at any given time
~ that he whimpers whenever he discovers that someone has left the protective umbrella of his care, "Daddy work?" "Daddy drive car?  Home soon?  Hug a Daddy?"  :(

Dear Karsten,

We adore you.  Every time we get to anticipate the addition of another member to our family, we wonder how we'll manage, how we could possibly extend our love to include yet another human being.  But that is the wonder of love, it expands . . . and expands . . . and expands. Now we can't imagine life without you.  It would be dull indeed.  Thank you for brightening our lives with your smiley rainbow eyes, cheesy grin, chubby legs, and bounding run.  We love you.

Your Family

Here are a bunch of pictures and videos from Karsten's intimate little birthday party, and, yes, those are matches on his cake.  Don't judge.

Birthday dinner

First piece of birthday cake (a healthy carrot cake with applesauce topping)

Lucky kid got to have both sets of grandparents AND Aunt Susan at his party

Soren and Anders both have stools that Karsten is always stealing.  He's thrilled to have his own now.  :)

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