Thursday, April 28, 2011

Conversations with Connor

In case you haven't noticed, my posts have been all about Connor lately. I figured it would be a good way to lead up to his big day next week -- his 5th birthday! And it just so happens that today's post about conversations with Connor coincides with my brand new blog look and title, "Conversations with the Courtrights." (Thanks Erin at Designer Blogs!) So enjoy the new look as well as the next couple posts all about Connor in honor of his upcoming milestone birthday.

These are some recent conversations with Connor that I couldn't resist posting:

I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I become overly short or terse with my kids when I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Poor Connor usually bears the brunt of my frustrations because I tend to become impatient and raise my voice at him. After returning from our recent vacation, I was completely recharged and re-energized to handle the everyday challenges of raising small kids. Connor apparently noticed this and told me, "Mom, you know, you're much nicer after you go on vacation to the Bahamas."

Many nights when Jeff is working late, I will stick chicken nuggets or corn dogs in the oven as a quick fix for the kids for dinner. Apparently I've been doing this more often than I realized. Recently I was asking Connor what he'd like for dinner. I said, "Hey Connor, how about some dinosaur chicken nuggets for dinner tonight?" He pondered it for a moment and then replied, "Sure, if you wanna do it the easy way."

It's no secret that our baby girl LOVES puppies. "Puppa" was one of her very first words and she continues to be overjoyed anytime she sees a dog. There is no dog too big or scary for her. She absolutely loves, loves, loves anything and everything about dogs and never gets tired of seeing them or talking about them. A few months ago, we were all in the car and spotted a puppy walking on the sidewalk. Kaitlynn got excited and did her usual chant of "Puppies! Puppies!" like she always does when she sees one. We all talked about how much Kaitlynn loves puppies, and then Connor summed it up better than we ever could have, saying "I think Kaitlynn was born with puppies in her heart."

Recently I took Connor and Kaitlynn shopping with me to find a dress for a special occasion. I told Connor that I was looking for a red one because his Daddy really likes it when I wear red. I wasn't too enthusiastic about trying on dresses with the kids in tow, but I went ahead and picked out a black one, purple one, and a red one to try on. In the dressing room, I tried on the black dress and checked it out in the mirror. Connor piped up, "Mom! That dress looks so pretty on you, you should get it." I said, "Nah, I don't really like this one." Next I tried on the purple dress and looked in the mirror. "Mom, I love that dress, you look so pretty!" Connor said. "And purple is Dad's favorite color, so you should definitely get that one." I liked the dress but wasn't sold on it. So I said, "No, I'm not really sure about it. I'll just try on the red one and we'll get out of here." I slipped on the red dress and started tucking in the straps and straightening the fabric. Before I could even look in the mirror, Connor exclaims, "OH yeah! OH yeah! THAT'S the one!" (It was my favorite one, too.)

Recently Connor has been on a huge dinosaur kick. He loves learning about them and his new favorite TV show is Dino Dan on Nick Jr. The amount of knowledge he picks up from a single show is incredible to me. The other day he was saying how cool it would be to have a Compsognathus (yes, I had to look up the spelling of that) as a family pet because they are one of the smallest dinosaurs. I said to Connor, "Well, as cool as that is, we could never have a dinosaur as a pet because dinosaurs are extinct." He immediately asked, "What's extinct mean?" I explained that all the dinosaurs died a long time ago but left behind their bones and stuff. (I'm clearly not the scientific type, but I was trying.) I went on, "Archaeologists have discovered lots of dinosaur bones and that's how we have learned and know so much about the dinosaurs even though they have been extinct for a long time." To which Connor responded, "No, mom, they're called paleontologists. Not archaeologists." A-hem. I stand corrected.

The other day on our way home from school, Connor was his usual talkative self and he was asking me a lot of questions. I guess I was responding more than the usual "uh-huh, uh-huh" because he said to me, "Mom, today you are answering all of my questions and talking very nice to me. It makes my heart feel so happy!"

Lately Connor has a new favorite saying to express his joy over exciting moments. When I tell him about a certain fun event or activity coming up, he will immediately exclaim, "THIS is the BEST day of my LIFE!"

The other day I was with the kids outside while they were playing. Connor was bringing his bike out from the garage and was trying to manuever it through a tight space between the car and where Kaitlynn was standing. I asked him to be careful and make sure he didn't hurt his sister, and he said, "I would NOT hurt Kaitlynn, she is too beautiful."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mommy's Baby

Recently I read this post on one of my favorite blogs and it really touched me. It touched me because I could completely relate. The mother's words were actually my own words, the same words I've been saying repeatedly to my firstborn for as long as he's been with me.

When he was brand new and I was trying to figure out this whole Mommy thing, I said to him softly, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When I went back to work while he was still so young and I had to entrust his care to someone else, before I walked away I cradled him closely and said to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When he plumped up so fast to become the fattest baby I'd ever seen and I felt sad and a little cheated out of the tiny baby days, I comforted myself by saying to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When he became a toddler and started to act out in naughty ways, I sent him to time-out and then I said to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When he finally had his precious blond curls cut off and he lost that sweet "baby" look, I couldn't believe how big he looked but I still told him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

As he grew older and began staying away from home overnight with friends and grandparents, I wondered whether he would miss me so I said to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When for years I ached with wanting another child and assumed my firstborn was also my last, I held tight to him and said, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When his baby sister was born, I worried whether he would feel left out or that he had been replaced and so I said to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

When he grew old enough to express his emotions and did so often by running up to me and telling me I was the best Mommy ever, I felt overwhelmed with love and said, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

And now as we have registered him for kindergarten and are preparing for the drastic life change that comes with his very first day of school, I hug him close and look him straight in the eyes and say to him, "Connor, you will always be Mommy's baby."

I say these words to him so often that now he repeats them back to me on his own. It's a title he has graciously and lovingly accepted -- for now. "Mom," he says to me so sweetly and out of the blue, "I will always be your baby."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Connor Hearts Cheetahs

I have no idea how it started, but for 1-2 years now, Connor has been obsessed with cheetahs. He is constantly playing "cheetah" which consists of crawling around on all fours with his hands in the cheetah position.

If you say anything at all about cheetahs, his hands will immediately curl into cheetah paws.

Last year for fall soccer, he insisted that his team be called the Cheetahs. Luckily his teammates and coaches were OK with that. I am constantly having to tell Connor to stand up and stop being a cheetah. Again, I have no idea where or how it started, but he just LOVES cheetahs.

So imagine our surprise and delight when we saw this movie trailer on TV. It's a Disney movie called African Cats, all about a family of cheetahs and another family of lions living in the African wild. Oh. My. Goodness! Connor was beyond excited and we went online to see the various trailers and movie clips about the movie. Connor was convinced they made the movie for HIM and he was SO excited to see it. We checked movie times and planned over a week in advance to go see the movie on opening day.

Yesterday was opening day and we took the whole family (except Collin). We got to the movie a little early and had to kill some time.

We were prepared with lots of snacks, popcorn, and drinks for everyone. It was the first time Kaitlynn had been to the movie in a while so I was curious how she'd do. I think she would've lasted the entire movie if we had not gotten there so early. I took her out for about 30 minutes of the movie to let her run off some energy, but other than that she did great.

The movie was really neat and Connor LOVED it. "This is the best day of my life!" he exclaimed multiple times throughout the night. I told Connor I thought it was cool when the narrator said that cheetahs are the fastest animals on land. He responded, "Yeah, I already knew that." He then said his favorite part was everytime that showed the cheetahs (of course). When we got in the car to head home, he said, "So who wants to talk about the movie all the way home?!"

Thanks, Disney, for making a cheetah movie just for Connor. He seriously hearts cheetahs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Picnic

Last week, The Foundry church (Connor and Kaitlynn's preschool/mother's day out) hosted their annual spring picnic for all the kids that attend school there. They had fun inflatables, Chick-fil-a meals, train rides, face painting, you-name-it! The weather was perfect and the kids had such a blast.

Last year when we attended, Kaitlynn was in her stroller most of the time and just took it all in. This year, she was free to run wild. And run wild she DID! Here she is enjoying one of the inflatables with Connor.

Kaitlynn's favorite part was the "choo-choo" train ride. Connor only stayed there long enough for a picture and then he ran back to the inflatables.

When it was time to eat, we grabbed our meals and had a little picnic on the grass. The kids LOVED it! Kaitlynn felt like such a big girl since she got to do everything Connor was doing.

After we ate, we noticed the Chick-fil-a cow was wandering the area. Connor ran over to give him a high-five, and Kaitlynn plopped down about 20 feet away. She LOVES the cow (she calls him a "mo") but she doesn't want to go near him, so she just sat there and watched from a distance. The expression on her face cracks me up!

As we waited in line for face painting, Connor and Kaitlynn were goofing off and giving each other lots of love.

The picnic was so much fun, and it's just one of the many reasons I am LOVING spring right now. We are staying up a lot later each night and just soaking in the nice weather and extra playtime. Gotta enjoy it while we can because the hot and humid summer nights will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random Kaitlynn Pics

Kaitlynn recently discovered Connor's microphone in the toy room and has been playing with it a lot.

She also LOVES hanging out with baby Lily when we have playdates with Lily's brothers.

Here she's hanging out on a table while playing with my iphone. It's her favorite "toy" and she doesn't give it back without a fight.

Last week for church, Kaitlynn was all dressed up in one of her spring dresses. I love how she rocks her high ponytail!

Too bad she's not more ladylike. I guess I need to get her some bloomers to cover up that diaper!

Now everytime we get in the car, Kaitlynn first climbs into Connor's carseat instead of her own. I guess she thinks she's ready for the front-facing bigger seat. (We finally got her one and just need to install it since she'll be 2 soon.)

Lately Kaitlynn has this funny trick that cracks all of us up. We tell her to blink her eyes at us, and when she does she gets these funny little nose dimples. I need to make a video to show it -- I've never even heard of nose dimples before!

She loves watching Connor play the computer before bedtime. The challenge is keeping her hands off the keyboard.

From the time she was crawling, Kaitlynn loves getting herself into confined spaces. She still loves hanging out under our tall barstools.

For years I've sworn up and down that my kids are NEVER the type to just fall asleep on their own when they're not in the car or in their beds. Then the other day, I gave Kaitlynn a magazine to look at and the next thing I knew, she was OUT. I stand corrected!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Jeff's birthday is today and we've already been celebrating for several days! First, we ordered one of Jeff's favorite chocolate cakes (Treebeards, yum!) and dug into it on Saturday after the older boys' water polo tournament. Soooo yummy! Then following in last year's tradition, all 6 of us loaded up and headed to the Kemah Boardwalk for the day. We had a perfect day of fun rides, yummy food, beautiful weather, and wonderful family time...the perfect birthday celebration for Jeff!

Happy Birthday, Jeff!