Crunchy Thoughts

The thoughts are crunchier here.

August 22, 2014
by Carrie

life with a four year old

I think I hear a small voice mumble in the hallway, “I need to go potty.” It’s Sam, who is never keen on asking permission for anything except going to the bathroom, which is the one thing he would never need permission for in the first place.

“Then go potty,” I holler.

I hear his door slam shut, then nothing. He’s gone back into his room. I stick my head through the door, and he’s laying on his bed with Bear. “Do you need to go potty?” I ask. He just looks at me. “Did you ask if you could go potty?” I persist. Blank stare.

Okay. Maybe I was hearing things.

Thirty seconds later I hear Sam crying in his room. “What?” I ask, sticking my head through the door again.

Sam sobs, “I need to go potty!”

August 13, 2014
by Carrie

i think i’ve made a huge mistake

Lydia looks up from a room completely filled with train tracks of all sorts to ask, “Can we go outside?”

“Sure, once y’all pick up all these train tracks,” I reply.

Lydia surveys the damage. “Can we go outside, then pick up the train tracks?”

“No, because y’all promised me you would pick up these train tracks once you were through with them.”

Lydia, not yet defeated, surmises, “Ummm, that might have been a mistake.”

July 15, 2014
by Carrie

kitchen complaints, episode two

**in which my daughter perfects the art of backhanded compliments**

After we sit down to dinner, Lydia points at her applesauce, crasins, and salad.

“Mommy, I like this, this, and this. I am pleased with this.”

She looks back up at me and beams.

“This is the first time you’ve pleased me!”

June 27, 2014
by Carrie

six year old taco

Poof! Another year gone. And suddenly Lydia is six whopping years old. I would almost swear the years are going by faster.

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Lydia is really a well-rounded kid. She’s my outgoing child, very athletic and eager to please. She is still very much a morning girl, rising with the sun. I recently invested in a new pair of blackout curtains for her room, since the sun — and Lydia — are currently rising at about 5:30 a.m.


She’s grown a lot, too. Though officially she just gained three inches from last year, it was a really big three inches. Over the course of a few days she suddenly grew out of about every pair of pants she owned. There has been a lot of clothes shopping in our house, and I don’t think I’m done yet. Last week I noticed her gymnastics outfits are not fitting well anymore.

The biggest news of the past year is Lydia’s first year of school. Not knowing what to expect at all, I left my job to homeschool her. Everything really went better than expected. Lydia’s favorite subject right now is math, believe it or not. She enjoys finding the patterns in the numbers and how they all connect together. Her handwriting is pretty good as well. We get a lot of practice in by writing letters to friends, family members, and the people that make Cheez-Its.

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Reading is Lydia’s least favorite subject. She can do it, but it is still more work than just immersing herself in a story, so her passion for it isn’t there yet. Every kid learns differently, and I believe it will click more during this upcoming year. Perhaps soon I will be fussing at her not to read books at the dinner table.

The ‘school’ part of school did not take up much of the day at all, so the rest of the time was usually spent playing. After a month or so, we took Sam out of daycare as well, and the kids just play, play, play. They play inside, they play outside, they play at the park, they play in the grocery store despite my nagging. As a result, Sam and Lydia are probably the closest they’ve ever been — they work really well together.

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During the last year we have both lost and gained family members. We lost our sweet Hermione last fall, but gained a new house kitty in the form of Watson. Lydia loves this cat to pieces, petting and snuggling on him whenever she gets a chance. Watson still has a lot of kitten in him, and Lydia takes great offense when Watson chases her around the house even though she was chasing him not two minutes earlier. She can dish it, but she really doesn’t like to take it.

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The other new addition is a sweet little cousin in the form of Jonathan. Both kids are always glad to see ‘the baby’.


This winter we had the first really decent snow since Lydia was an infant. Both kids were enthralled by all the fluffy white stuff — though Sam didn’t like how cold it made his hands — and we played in the snow for a few days. It was incredibly cold all last winter, though now that it’s in the 90s and steamy outside I’m having trouble remembering how miserable it was. I think we all could use a little snow right about now.

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After a long hiatus, a few trips were had this year. Lydia was finally able to experience a successful beach trip in September, then both kids went out of state for the first time when we went to visit Ken and Lisa in Louisville. Lydia can mark Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana off her list!

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Just a few weeks ago, we had a big breakthrough in the swimming department. For years, even though both kids would swim all summer, they were very averse to sticking their face in the water. Well, Lydia finally gathered her courage and suddenly we have a deep water fish! We went from it’s-not-gonna-happen to oh-my-gosh-underwater-is-so-awesome in the span of about thirty minutes.

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And so life speeds on. The kids are enjoying summer and I am in planning mode for the next year of school. I’m so excited — we’ll be doing science and history this year! I know Lydia will love science. She’s already a big animal person, loving on everyone’s dogs and always bringing me worms and insects. History is my own personal love, so maybe some of that will rub off on her.

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. . . or maybe not.

Just smile for the camera, girl.


June 9, 2014
by Carrie

sputnik; fourty-eight months in orbit

You know, I was all ready to write up Sam’s birthday post on his actual birthday, but I decided to wait a few days to make it fashionably late — for old time’s sake. It’s just no fun otherwise.

Sam is now a jumping, running, destructing four year old. It’s like the previous years’ Sam iterations, only more intense.

intense Sam

This boy is strong. He is a muscular little thing with maybe an ounce of fat on him. He even sports a six pack. That plus his tan and the way his swimsuits hangs off his hips, I sometimes call him Abercrombie.

happy jumping sam

Last fall there was a big change in the family dynamic when I left my job to homeschool Lydia. After a month and a few experimental test runs, we ended up taking Sam out of daycare to be home full time with us as well. Lydia was in great need if a playmate, a role Sam is usually willing to fill.

sam lives in a girls' world

Now Sam spends most of his days playing with Lydia, working with Math Bears while Lydia concentrates on her multiplication, or doing his own thing while Lydia sulks because she’s momentarily lost her playmate.

math manipulation monday

Sam still has some of his obsessions from previous years — he still likes anything orange and is always in the water — but some have dropped away to be supplanted with new loves. There is no more Yo Gabba Gabba in the house — now he is all about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Frozen. Oh my goodness, does he love Frozen.

Another new one is car washes. How can I describe his love for car washes? It is simply on another level of obsessiveness. On his birthday we treated Sam by going through a car wash, but then he talked about that car wash for hours.

Even his birthday party was car wash themed. It was his own idea and we ran with it.

car wash birthday

running through the car wash

Overall, his temperament has been much better this year. If he has a fit over something, it is a dead giveaway that he is tired. I have learned that you never wake up a sleeping Sam, even if said Sam is still asleep at 9:00 a.m. This indicates he was probably up in his bedroom until 10 p.m. the night before.

sleeping sam

Though Sam has grown a lot over the past year, he still has not overtaken his sister, who is reeling from a growth spurt of five or so inches. He’s a couple of inches shorter than her, but the “Are they twins?” question comes more and more often.

the three of us

As the kids get older, it is getting easier to travel with them. We made another attempt at a beach vacation last fall and it was a resounding success. Sam loved digging in the sand and swimming in the pool. We are already looking forward to going back at the end of summer.

sam at the beach

We also made the trek up to Louisville to visit Ken and Lisa. Though Sam was a little scared of their dog, Melody, he enjoyed the trip. I was so afraid he was going to dive right into the Ohio River.

sam in louisville

There were two new additions to the family this year. The first came in December — a new cousin, Jonathan! Sam is very cute with him. He is always wanting to hold Jonathan or touch him. He asks his Aunt Cathy, “Can I pet the baby?”

sam and jonathan

The second addition was a new cat, Watson, who arrived in February. We lost Hermione last fall and had been catless for a few months. Sam calls Watson ‘Lotson,’ and he enjoys the cat more than the cat enjoys him.

sam and watson

It was such a busy year. There was snow,

sam in the snow

and anniversaries,

sam at the anniversary party

and holidays,

sam at christmas

and broken things.

broken blinds

it gets harder and harder to keep track of it all. The years are going by fast. I shall try to enjoy it as best I can. Except for the broken things. I could do with less of that.

sam sticking his tongue out

June 8, 2014
by Carrie

release the kraken

As far as cats go, Watson has been the epitome of normal. He usually is running around like a bat out of hell, hunting his little spring toys, pieces of paper, or the kids’ ankles. There has been no crazy barfing, no eating of afghans, no missing of the litter box. The oddest thing I can say about him is he has a bit of an addiction to peppermint.

I’m probably jinxing myself here.

Despite his normalcy, he was successful in freaking me out the other night. Steven and I were lounging on the bed watching snarky movie commentaries when Watson came bounding up to us after running laps around the kitchen.

He is munching on something.

“What’cha got, Watson?” I ask.

He looks right into my face and stretches open his mouth, releasing a humongous black something out of his mouth and onto my ear.

“Yahhohmygodwhatthefuckgetitoffholyshit!!!” I scream while bounding backwards off the bed. Steven looks around frantically for the Satan Bug.

We never found out what exactly Watson had leashed upon me. We’re pretty certain he finished the job and ate his prize soon after.

May 16, 2014
by Carrie

a gift

As Sam is playing in the grass, he comes up to me with a torn bit of leaf in his hands. He hands it to me and says, “Here Mom, I got you a flower.”

“Thank you, Sam. You’re a very sweet boy.”

“No, I’m Mom.”

April 25, 2014
by Carrie

dive dive dive

The kids have really been putting me through my paces this week. There have been a lot of arguments between the two of them, a lot of hitting, spitting, and general brawling. I am very glad we made it to Friday.

A few days ago I dragged out the inflatable pool since it was finally nice outside. They enjoyed it all afternoon, and the hitting was kept at a minimum.

Today we were back outside, trying to burn a bit of time before we went out of the house. I was planning a little treat because, hey, Friday. I tell them in no uncertain terms not to mess with the water in the pool, which was still outside, since we’re going out later.

They manage to steer clear of it and opt for bike riding. Well, I take that back. First, Sam throws an ever-loving fit when he wasn’t able to swing, then he got clocked upside the head when — still having a fit — he ran in front of Lydia, who was swinging high.

After all that — bike riding.

At one point Sam flies down the hill in his Big Wheel and runs smack into the side of the pool. Word of warning: “Don’t do that, Sam,” and next time he steers clear of it.

Lydia was riding around on Sam’s orange balance bike. Sam hasn’t really taken to that bike yet but Lydia will ride it occasionally. She was decked out in her bicycle helmet, a colorful Rainbow Dash glitter shirt, rainbow socks of her cousin’s that went up to her knees, and rainbow shoes.

I look up just in time to see Lydia flying down the hill on Sam’s orange bike. The turn to the left to avoid the pool doesn’t occur. As I’m forming the words to say, “Lydia, don’t run into the pool,” she smacks into it.

Newtonian physics take over as I watch her, as if in slow motion, smack into the rubber side of the pool. The back wheel, which hasn’t noticed the front wheel is embedded in rubber, keeps spinning, which sends the back half of the bike up and over the front wheel, carrying Lydia with it.

As the bike rotates around its stationary front wheel, I see Lydia dive head first into the water. There is an almighty splash, and the wave of water rises up and envelops her, with only her rainbow-clad legs sticking out.

The bike ends its descent, following her into the pool with a smaller splash.

By the time I’m standing up Lydia has hauled her soaking wet body out of the water, shivering and crying from the shock. My body wrestles with itself, not sure what to do with the two separate emotions of “Is she okay?” with “Holy shit that is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen; why was I not filming that?” I end up shaking with silent laughter, tears coming out of my eyes while I comfort my wet daredevil daughter.

So much for keeping them out of the pool.