Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prepping for pics.

This was just before getting our family pictures taken. I think everyone was actually in a better mood here; if only I had a nice camera they would have been keepers! And Isla actually had a headband on if you can believe it!

Faye at the car wash.

I recently saw an advertisement for a three dollar car wash and figured that was worth saving me the effort, so I told the kids we could go through a real live car wash after we ran a couple of errands. This was one of the best announcements of their lives; they were so excited! 

While the boys remained thrilled about the whole thing, apparently Faye had no idea what actually happens during a car wash. She went from being this excited about it, to...

this, when she saw the humongous red rubber flappers coming straight for her, strapped in with no where to hide. I don't think she'll be going through a car wash again any time soon, or trusting her brothers to tell her what's going to be lots of fun!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Family Pictures 2013.

My amazingly talented friend Kim took some great family pictures for us a few weeks ago. One of my favorite things is putting together coordinating outfits to make these cute kids look even cuter and then seeing the results. We walked just down the street and found this rocky area behind our neighborhood pool and park. It was perfect, and Kim makes even cranky kids look happy! (Isla was particularly a mess.) Here are some outtakes and a few winners!

Great for the Christmas card, except...Isla is busy nursing.
Now everybody's trying to make Isla happy.
THE WINNER. I love this picture!
Is that a cute face or what.
I guess Rick didn't get the memo to duck down... or maybe I didn't know to pop my head up?
The girls.
Oh, and happy anniversary to us two days ago! Seven years.
Marriage is still fun!
And now, to attempt a full family picture...
Kim may or may not have switched some heads around to get these great ones. :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Otto family!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Carson is six!

The age transition from five to six seems a little drastic. A five-year-old is still a little kid, barely consequential. But a six-year-old! Six-year-olds read, write, ride bikes, take out the trash, mow the lawn... well, maybe not yet. But it does seem like we have an old kid in the house!

Carson is quite mature, so his turning six didn't seem quite that dramatic. But he has acquired his first loose tooth since turning six! And when I watch him play with friends, socially he does seem like he's getting much older. The other day we had a dozen kids over, and Carson and two other six-year-old boys were doing some hard core wrestling in the family room. (One of the boys weighs almost 100 pounds, but Carson held his own!) He and his buddies like to play "boy scouts" at our house. You can bet the girls are not allowed into their secret hideouts.

Carson loves reading Roald Dahl books, so we went with that theme for his party.
The invitations were good handwriting practice! Carson's teacher has mentioned that handwriting is his one area that could use some improvement, and since his writing looks a lot like his dad's, I'm not sure it's going to get much better!
The party decor.
Party favors. 
The craft, making an enormous crocodile.
Which they used later on during the story time.
Party food from various Roald Dahl books. The kids were not as adventurous as I'd hoped with trying the foods!
We also did a few games outside and here, made our own dream jars like from the BFG.
Current favorite things about Carson:

  • He carries around a little schedule of the Spurs and pretty much has the thing memorized. This morning, he surmised that the Spurs were probably going to get on an airplane tonight, since they're playing all the way up in Toronto tomorrow.
  • He and Everett love to play the game "war" with face cards. Sometimes they play while running around the backyard, calling out what cards they pull from their stack. If they pull the same card, they run to each other, plop down, and start the "war."
  • It he's talking to me about something kid of secretive, he spells everything out so the little kids can't understand. When everyone's ready for bed, he usually gets 15 minutes to read before he has to turn out the light. To ask for it secretively, he'll say, "M-O-M, C-A-N I H-A-V-E M-Y F-I-F-T-E-E-N?" He never says the spaces though, so sometimes I have a hard time knowing what he's saying.
  • He loves to do "exercises." If I need him out of my hair while I do the dishes or something, I'll give him an assignment to do sets of push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, squats, etc. He is all about completing the work outs!
  • Carson attends a second grade reading group at school that he loves. His kindergarten teacher is so awesome about giving him extra things, and he is thriving at school.
  • He's received a few love notes from a girl in his school class. It's obvious that he has no idea what they mean, though. When I asked him if he thought Chloe like him, he said, "of course! We've been friends since Pre-K!"
  • Yesterday, the next-door neighbors' dog passed away, and we went over for the burial. Carson was visibly emotional and sad about it, even though he is terrified of dogs.
  • I think our house would be a disaster without Carson. He is amazing at cleaning up, delivering laundry, and even taking out the trash. With a little incentive like earning "points" for putting things away, he goes crazy!
I could go on, but we'll leave it that we love our smart, hard-working, strong, helpful six-year-old!