Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pandora's Piano!

Ever since leaving home I've always wanted a piano. Not a modern electronic keyboard, but rather an old school acoustic piano. After being forced by my mother to play for 10 years, I actually started to like the dang thing and now, like any good parent, I want to force my kids to experience the same hell that I did! (I still have nightmares about the "egg timer" and listing to it tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick... seemingly forever, waiting for my 1/2 hour practice to expire!)

Poor Brooklyn - she has no idea what's coming at her!

So for Christmas we decided to pool our gift money - especially from my parents (thanks mom and dad!) and find a piano. I searched Craigslist, visited nearly every new and used piano dealer in town, played probably 50 pianos and finally found what I thought was the perfect piano in terms of play and price. HOWEVER, "perfect" is a subjective term and while I was shopping for a musical instrument my beloved wife was shopping for a piece of furniture. Turns out they can be two very different things.

the smoking gun...

For the record Amber has an exceptional eye for style and decorating and she has never failed us when it comes to home decor - except for her brief fetish with chickens - WTF? Additionally, in my 7+ years of marriage I have learned through trial and error that hesitation or "sure" (the DEATH word from Amber) means she's not a fan of the idea/subject. So when I got hesitation, "sure" AND "if it will make you happy" I should have had SIRENS going off in my head... DANGER AHEAD, ABORT MISSION, IF YOU PURCHASE THIS PIANO, YOU ARE A DEAD MAN!

But, like so many times before my excited mind translated "sure" and "if it will make you happy" into "great" and "I love you so much I won't mind this at all". FALSE! But I foolishly steamed ahead, like the Titanic on its maiden voyage - destined for destruction, bought the piano and had it delivered two days later while I was at work....

The first phone call I received that day from Amber was innocuous enough... mostly a travelogue... piano was delivered, no problems, couldn't put it in the basement so its in the front room. So good so far and I am really excited to get home and see my new toy... but, unbeknownst to me, at -------------- an emotional storm was brewing that would make landfall soon...

The second phone call I received WAS NOT innocuous.. it involved tears, it involved me getting frustrated, it involved "I just hate it", it involved "our house was perfect" and it involved more tears, disbelief and frustratoin and an abrupt hangup.

The third and fourth phone calls are a blur - tears, frustration, apologies, etc - but suffice it to say that BEFORE I HAD EVEN SEEN THE THING it was mentally headed back to the piano dealer. Talk about buyer's remorse!

Fortunately our piano dealer offers a 1-year trade in program so we're looking at other options and - like most things desired by my blessed spouse - the piano she really wants only costs 5x the one I selected! Sheesh!

Back to the drawing board... this time, hoping to avoid "sure"!

taz at ten

taz at ten....
cruising around
playing in the snow
playing on daddies new favorite toy... (notice that I say dad's, mom is not so sure, this is a whole different post)

yes, red hair!
2 1/2 teeth
blue eyes
waves goodbye
says "da da da da da"
eats anything and everything he can
pulled over 2 tables, 3 lamps & broke 1 very loved tea set
hates the TV
loves the toilet
hold grudges
and is loved by all...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tylers (Very LONG) Christmas Letter

2009… where do I begin? This past year has been filled with joy and laughter – thanks to Brooklyn and Boston who never fail to entertain (Boston’s ghetto fabulous booty-dancing skills and Brooklyn’s crayola bumble bees / butterflies / flowers graffiti on the basement walls being the most recent examples!) – and another addition to the family… Taz Tyler Carlson, born 3/17/09. However, this year has also been filled with challenge and growth – thanks to the recession, too much to do and too little time and the transition from man-to-man to zone parental defense. However, life is a blessing and below are the “Mosts” of Carlson craziness in 2009!

The most anticlimactic event of the year was going in to have Baby #3 (sex then unknown) induced on March 16th only to spend 12 hours unsuccessfully laying siege to Amber’s womb with pitocin and then going home empty handed! However, after getting the doctor to actually come to the hospital and focus on getting the baby out, Taz arrived in style on St. Patrick’s Day and has been a mellow, happy tank ever since! He’s not a big fan of baby food, but when it comes to overpriced formula, fried rice, bacon or sausage he’s all in! He is a great baby, sleeps like a champ, is off the growth charts and is the apple of his mother’s eye.

The proudest moments of the year were Brooklyn riding the school bus all by herself to kindergarten at Bill Roberts K-8 and Boston starting Garfield Montessori preschool all by himself. Bix and Bos have always been connected at the hip so seeing them grow independently is very fulfilling. The highlight of my fatherly day is walking Brooklyn to the bus stop, talking about the weather, smelling roses and stomping ice along the way and driving Boston to preschool, telling him fantastic stories of him defeating monsters, dragons, alligators, evil witches, snakes, etc. with his sidekick Ryder and weapons of choice: light saber, sling shot and BB gun.

The most exhibitionist moment of the year was during our camping trip when Amber decided driving into the campsite was an ideal time to get topless! Granted, her intention was to feed the Taz monster but I was shocked nevertheless and nearly drove into a tree! Other highlights were finding an elk carcass (killed by a dinosaur – Boston; killed by a bear – Brooklyn), seeing Amber recall her 7th grade science class about conduction after melting her brand new running shoes on the fire ring and the kids managing to catch some monster trout, despite my complete lack of fishing skills (turns out you don’t need them at a trout farm… just a deep wallet!).

The most astonishing moment of the year was Amber pulling off a very surprise 30th birthday party for me in July. I really had no idea (not difficult when you’re oblivious to most domestic details!) and it was great to spend some time at the lake with family and friends – thank you for the years of love and support! Now I’m coping with the fact that, according to my brother Chase, I’m “one third dead!”

The most repressing moment of the year was transitioning Boston from warm and fuzzy Eastlake Montessori in Thornton to preschool boot camp at Garfield Montessori in Denver. Personally, I’m a fan of tough love so the no nonsense, they need to do everything for themselves, quiet as a library, everything-in-its-place approach is fine with me, but Amber’s not quite so sure! However, I must admit their nutritional Nazism goes a little far (as far as I can tell raw vegetables are the only acceptable lunch item!) and I’m boycotting any additional “mandatory” parent classes that tell me complimenting my kid disables their independence… Sheesh!

CENSORED: my original entry about ?????????? has been replaced with: The most physical moments of the year came when Brooklyn and Boston started their first season of soccer – they rocked the gear like pros but were a little timid / distracted on the field – Boston regularly quit games mid-swing because he didn’t want to miss out on treats on the sideline (heaven forbid Brooklyn actually eat one extra donut!) and Brooklyn seemed happy as a lark to just prance around the field, smiling and waving, oblivious to where the ball was actually located… There’s always next year I guess!

The most fun moments of the year happened at the lake where Brooklyn wakeboarded for the first time (standing on my board), Amber braved the rope swing and shot her first shotgun / clay pigeon (go super mom!), Boston was fear(ful)lessly rode on the tubes and Taz enjoyed chilling in the sun. My favorite was turning into the Swamp Monster with mud / cattails and terrorizing the kids!

The most tiring moments of the year were refereeing between Brooklyn and Boston. It truly is love/hate with those two… one moment they are inseparable, playing in their window well fort (complete with blankets, a roof, lawn chairs, toys and a space heater) and the next… “Boston threw a telephone at me!”, “Brookie says I’m not part of the family!” or Boston belting Brooklyn because she won’t play with him (is that how friendship works?). My other favorite is the Mystery Messer who magically appears, smashes Oreos into the carpet, colors on the wall, destroys the storage room and then vanishes… and the kids have NO idea who dunnit! Amazing!

The most “they did WHAT?” moment of the year was when I came home one day to find our tarp laid out neatly on the grass with the edges taped to the fence and every can of spray paint we own set out. Naturally, I thought Amber was doing a craft project but when I asked what she was doing I only got a disturbing, confused look. The details of how the kids managed to pull off a full blown Maaco spray paint operation to “paint mulch” (duh, dad) outside the purview of their mother remains a mystery, but the good news is they avoided the house and fence! Now if I could only catch the Mystery Messer who spray painted the inside of my garage!

The most disturbing moments of the year were Brooklyn telling us she learned on the bus that boys can marry boys (that was a fun discussion), Boston’s ability to dip anything (including grapes) in ketchup, Boston letting Taz suck on his big toe (YUCK!), Brooklyn deciding iCarly was her favorite TV show (what happened to Dora?), Boston wanting his toenails painted like the girls (his mom has blue for boys… ARGHH!), Amber teaching Brooklyn how to lay down in the shower with a washcloth over her eyes (how much does a 2nd water heater cost?) and Boston’s aforementioned uncanny ability to shake his booty ghetto fabulous style… go white boy go!

The most shocking moment of the year was discovering that Amber is pregnant AGAIN! (for those of you counting, yes it’s 14 months… holy #$%^!) Our fertility problem is the opposite of most (we’re now sleeping on different floors and I’m suing Trojan) but sometimes the Lord has plans of His own – ours certainly didn’t include another kid in 2010! However, it looks like we’re destined for another dynamic duo – Taz won’t be a solo artist – and now that 6th Christmas stocking that Amber bought 5 years ago is coming back to haunt her! So starting in May 2010 our lives will get REALLY crazy with the arrival of a new little baby GIRL. Heaven help us!

Love, Tyler, Amber, Brooklyn (5), Boston (4), Taz (9 mo) and ??? (are we being Punk’d?)

Friday, January 8, 2010


we haven't been in this house since we've had a crawler... yesterday taz found my cell charger that was plugged into the wall and shocked himself when he started chewing on it... then he ripped every single book off the book shelf in the office in a matter of seconds, then the little monster keeps closing all the heating vents when it's negative 2 outside, and today he is playing in the toilet... oh the joy! it's all coming back to me now!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas 2009

Since I fell just short of winning the "Mother of the Year Award" for taking thousands of pictures in 2009 (yeah right), I thought I might keep up the trend and post the few pictures I actually took (or Tyler actually took) of Christmas this year... My relationship with my cheap camera has been struggling over the past 9 months and we finally decided to kick that puppy to the curb and find a decent replacement... it's on it's way, can't wait!

This year with 3 kiddos and 1 on the way (yes, still a shocker) we decided that a Christmas at home might not be a bad idea... We did a traditional Christmas Eve with the Carlson's at Grandma Shirleys where she had Chic-Fil-A and Dave's BBQ catered, why doesn't everyone do that? Yum! Although I have been part of this Carlson Christmas tradition for 8 years now the pile of gifts under Grandma's tree never ceases to amaze me! She is one amazing lady! I can't believe the time, love and effort she puts into making each and every one of her loved ones feel special year after year! Boston scored a PlayMobile Castle and Pirate Ship and Brooklyn her usual American Girl loot... Of course Ty and I were spoiled as well... Thanks Grandma!

Brooklyn and Allison with their matching American Girl Loot
Brooklyn was Amazed when Santa actually showed up early at Grandmas....
Listening to the Carlson Kids Talent Show
Watching for Santa's Reindeer out the window
The gift pile (I couldn't even fit it all in the picture)

We had a quick Christmas with Clarkie, Grandma Jo and Jayci before we headed off to Arizona in the morning. Boston's favorite gift was his Ant Farm and Brooklyn toted her Matching Game everywhere we went for days after... Jo Ellen always hosts a small Birthday Party for Jesus with Candles, Cake and Gifts.. I love this tradition, it's such a fun way to teach the kids about the true meaning of Christmas...
Jesus Birthday Party
Boston checking out the nativity at Grandma Jo's
The kiddos in their Christmas Outfits ready to head to Grandmas
Taz and Jayci (with Skip on a mission and all the other kiddos married and with the In-laws, Jayci is the only one left home, but we loved having her around, the kids adore her....and so do I)

Christmas afternoon we jumped on a plane and headed to Arizona to spend some time with my family who anxiously waited for us to arrive to open gifts... My kids were spoiled again and luckily my parents gave us a suitcase set for Christmas so we could haul it all home! We had so much fun playing in the desert with my parents, sisters and Maddux, did some catching up with old friends, shopping, and made lots of lemonade from the lemon tree in my parents back yard! Tyler got in a round of golf with the boys and we actually went a full week without Ty's laptop or him disappearing off to his Phoenix office, a miracle in itself! Sadly, this is the ONE picture I took in AZ before my camera decided it was done...Hopefully I can get a few from my Sisters and add them in later...

Overall we had an amazing Christmas and are so grateful for all the thoughtful Christmas Cards and gifts we received from all our family and Friends! Thank you!