Sunday, July 31, 2011

A New Adventure

This weekend started out much the same as any weekend. Brenden woke us up super early, much coffee was consumed, and then we headed to a t-ball game. Mike and Connie had offered to have the kids spend the night with them on Saturday so Tim and I had some free time, which never happens.

Tim has been trying to convince me that we should buy a house before we buy a newer car. He's been researching houses online, different builders and real estate sites, and checking interest rates. Every day he mentions something else that he would like in a house...different cabinets, plush carpet, new appliances...anything to pique my interest and "win" at the house vs. car argument.

Since we were out and about, we decided to drive by and see the builder that we had agreed was our favorite. We stumbled upon some open houses in a different neighborhood and decided to look around. They were beautiful houses, but much too large and well beyond our price range. I was slightly worried that we wouldn't be able to find something we really liked that covered everything we wanted and was still affordable.

We drove down the road and found the community that included the builder we liked. Their office was open so again, we decided to have a look around. The gentleman and lady that helped us were both very knowledgeable, didn't make us feel as though we were wasting their time by asking a ton of questions on the first day that we were out looking, and never tried to up-sell us. (At least not obviously...ha!)

They offered to let us see a house that was almost exactly like what we had wanted, only it was in a gated community. As soon as we turned the corner, Tim said, "I love this neighborhood." It has some custom built homes that bring the property value up and you can tell that everyone that lives there right now really takes care of their homes.

Stepping through the door, we were both surprised that we liked it so much. They pointed out the different lots that were available and I immediately felt that pull in my chest. I wanted to live there. But I know that sometimes I can be impulsive and I know that Tim is good at pulling me back. After snagging a few print outs from the office, we headed out for lunch.

(Side note: Sushi Train in Tulsa is AWESOME. It's exactly what you might think. Sushi served on a toy train that drives around the building. We were slightly hesitant to choose anything but every waiter came over to help us at one point. I could not recommend them enough. Fun, good food, super nice people. Also, get the cheesecake roll. Delicious!)

All during lunch we were itching to talk to someone about a home loan. We ended up going through the pre-approval process online with USAA and after triple checking to make sure that our budget would work, our minds were made up.

We're building a house.

(Oh my gosh I'm so excited!!!)

We'll have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining room, a nook, a living room, a utility room and an upstairs game room. Our yard will be smaller than the one we have now, but it's still plenty big. We get to design everything, from the wall colors, to the counter tops, to the light fixtures. There are a few upgrades we'd like to make and some wish list items that we may do if money allows, but no matter what, it's going to be awesome. (Pictures of a house that is very similar are here.)

I'm sure I'll be posting a lot about how the process is going, so I'll apologize in advance. We've never been on this particular type of adventure.

We're ready.

Our land! (That is so crazy to say!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I know I've mentioned Brenden's aggression issues a time or two. It's something that we've been working on for quite a while, and we have had some success with focusing on positive reinforcement and a rewards system. I don't think his behavior is extreme. I think it's mostly his age, testing his boundaries, pushing for independence, and learning to voice his frustration.

So it's no surprise that our stomachs dropped yesterday when his swimming instructor came over to us and said, "There was an, um....incident today."

Our first thought was, "Oh no. Brenden has done something so awful that he won't be allowed back." Although I'm sure if that was the case then they would have come to get one of us before the lesson had finished.

"Did Brenden do something to someone?" I sputtered back to her.

"Oh no! Not him." she replied. "Hold on, I think I see the other little boy."

We had to stand there awkwardly as the little boy, who I know clawed at Brenden's face the second day of classes, walked past us with his mom. I'm not sure what that boy has against my son, but they just don't mesh well.

After a quick sigh of relief, she explained that the other little boy got angry when Brenden tried to hold onto the back of his life jacket, which is what they do to stay in line. Brenden was only following directions, but this little kid was not happy about it. He turned around and punched Brenden right in the face.

At this point, my mouth was hanging open.

Brenden never cried, never complained to us about the "incident", didn't even seem to remember it happening. He was so excited about wearing a life jacket and being able to jump into the pool and swim on his own that nothing was going to ruin his day.

After confirming that the instructor had already talked to the other mom, we felt comfortable that everything that needed to be done had been done. She did say that she planned on keeping them apart if she could, but that's hard to do in a class full of 3 and 4 year olds. We only have one more day so I'm not terribly worried.

I feel bad now that my main concern was making sure Brenden hadn't misbehaved, instead of worrying about his well being. However, I know him and I know if he was hurt then that would have been the very first thing he said to me and not, "Mommy, I wore a life jacket!"

Just another reminder that one of the most difficult things we have to face as parents is letting our kids go out into the world. To let them be hurt, literally and figuratively. To let them cause hurt, unintentionally or on purpose, and hope that we have taught them to do everything they can to make it right. To let them make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

Knowing that Brenden shrugged this off, that he didn't retaliate or let it dampen his enthusiasm for his swimming class makes me feel like we're on the right track. Now to figure out how to keep on chugging.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

~click on picture to enlarge~

The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.
~Pablo Casals

(Inspiration from here)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today I put Lauren in her car seat to head to swimming just like I always do. No special magic tricks, no funny song, nothing to make this one time special.

She puckered her lips into her fishiest, "give me a smooch" face. Of course I gave her a kiss. I dare you to turn that down!

I turned to get into the front seat when I heard her little voice say, "Lub ewe!"

*heart melt!*

Guess who got another kiss.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Memories Monday

My brain (and heart) are having a hard time realizing that this little guy:

Has grown into this:

Bye Bye, Sucker!

Yesterday was a long day in the land of Lauren and Tim. We had stopped by my mom's house to pick the dogs up (more on our trip to Independence later) and I realized that Lauren was tired and that I still needed to help my mom clean out my closest. Somehow I talked Tim into putting Lauren down for a nap in my parent's front bedroom while I enjoyed the peace and quiet in the other part of the house.

A few hours later, Tim came back to beg me to help him lay her down. I guess she had taken a really short nap and the rest of the time was screaming her head off. I felt terrible for both of them.

I relieved a very weary Tim of a very weary Lauren and went to try my luck at laying her down. I grabbed her baby, popped her pacifier in, and starting singing, just like I normally do. She immediately started batting at her face, and eventually threw her pacifier on the floor. You better believe I was going to capitalize on this new development. It took about 20 minutes, but she eventually calmed down and passed smooth out. A few hours later she was awake, a lot happier, but a little puffy. Screaming and crying for long periods of time will do that to you.

Tim was not as happy about this as I was. He knew that the screaming in our house would intensify before it was back down to the normal, migraine inducing level that we're used to. But the one thing I've learned with my kids is that if we give in once, trying to change something the next time is three times as bad. So last night we did the normal bedtime routine, minus the pacifier. And you know what? She not only fell asleep, but she also stayed asleep! She was ready.

I must admit, I'm a more than I little excited to throw those things away. I know that there will be some really difficult omg my head is going to explode why did we do this again? rough moments, but there's no going back now.

Asleep with no pacifier in sight.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I'm pretty sure most people know that I'm adopted. It holds a special place in my heart and is something I'd love to be able to do, although I don't see it in our immediate future. (Don't get your hopes too high, grandmas! Haha!) I've been blessed to have an amazing experience, to have such a wonderful very extended family.

A few months ago I found out that a guy I went to high school with was in the process of adopting. I started following his wife's blog and contributed to their adoption puzzle. I've followed their progress, mostly on Twitter, and then today I saw this:

I'll admit it...I squealed, and then I bawled. I'm just so very happy for them! I may not have seen Mike since high school and I've never met Vanessa, but I know that they will be fantastic parents and that this little boy will be more loved that he can imagine. 

The world is full of sad, disturbing news. I just had to share this one bit of happiness. 

Congratulations, guys! Can't wait to see pictures!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


To move the tall curios out of my grandma's house we had to take out both of the kids' carseats. Lauren's was installed in my parents' car while they took the kids to see their cousins in Oklahoma City. Brenden's ended up left at Mike and Connie's house when we picked up their truck. Guess where his seat was on Monday. (I'll give you a hint...not where it should have been.)

The 2nd session of swimming for Brenden, and the 1st for Lauren, started that same day. They both had a fabulous time, but the highlight for Brenden had to be his new booster seat. Tim and I agreed that since he is now over 40 lbs and 40 inches tall that he would be just fine in a booster for one day. (Although the ease of it may convince me to just keep using it. He's pretty close to 4 years old now.)

His eyes lit up and he whispered an awed "wow". I explained that he would be using the seatbelt and that he wasn't allowed, under any condition, to touch the buckle unless I had stopped the car and told him it was okay.

He climbed up, snapped the belt together, and with eyes as large as saucers said, "This is SO COOL!"

 It is definitely cool, but oh my gosh this picture breaks my heart. Where did my baby boy go?!


Lauren has been showing an interest in all the things her big brother does. Coloring, riding a scooter, swimming in the big pool, climbing all over his bed, speaking in short sentences. What she doesn't understand is that her mommy is just not ready for her to do those things! 

The sentence thing is shocking. I don't remember when Brenden started speaking in sentences, and I'm not saying she's ahead of any curve, but it just seems to come out of nowhere. The past week she wandered down the hall, stopped at Brenden's door and said, "Bubba's room." In the bathtub the other night, Tim said, "Stand up so I can wash your booty." and she replied with a loud, "My booty!" Of course we started laughing because the word booty coming out of a 15 month old's mouth is hilarious. Her other favorite phases include, "I did it!" and "Gonna get you!" (which really sounds like "unna et eww!") 

Everyday is something new, and a few days ago it was something extra crazy. Combining her new mastery of "my booty" with a double hand pat on her bum, she wandered into the women's restroom at the pool. "My booty! My booty!" *pat pat pat* I stood there, confused, as she walked towards a stall and motioned towards the toilet. 

All I could say was, "Sorry miss. I'm not ready to jump that hurdle yet."

My children are out to make me feel old...and it's working.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Not to Say

Every day I learn something new...change something about the way that I parent my children...shift my views on different subjects. There are very few things that I've always been firm on, but when it comes to what is said to my kids I have a long list of things that I have vowed to never say, especially in anger. (Or let anyone else say if I can help it, although I know that's not always going to be possible.)

You're fat.

You're ugly.

I hate you.

I shouldn't have had children.

I'm going to kill you.

I never want to see you again.

You're stupid.

I love your brother/sister more than you.

Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?

Since they will inevitably one day be teenagers *shudder* I know that the word "stupid" will cross my mind once or twice. Tim and I have done our best to stop using it at all already. Instead we say "That wasn't a good idea." I'm sure one day they will utter the word "hate" in my direction and I hope to have enough sense to be able to stop myself from saying something like "Well, I hate you sometimes, too."

I know first hand how damaging the smallest, seemingly meaningless joke can be. I was often told that my rear end was "two ax handles wide" or that my chest resembled "mosquito bites" or "scrambled eggs." I can see now that it was all in fun, but my young, impressionable self didn't see it that way. To say I was, and still am, insecure about my body is a gross understatement. Some days it can consume my entire being. It's unhealthy and I know it. I'm working on focusing on being the healthiest I can be, and not scary thin.

(A quick example: When Tim was deployed, becoming skinny was my goal. By the time he came home I was 107 lbs, super thin, and still wanted to lose another 5 lbs. My diet consisted of Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine pizzas, and cigarettes. Healthy, I was not.)

Yes, that's really me on the left. And I thought I was FAT.

If you can't tell, the thing I'm most worried about never saying is the word "fat" to my children. I'm pretty positive that day will never come, but unfortunately it's become obvious that most people do not share my view on this. Case in point, the other day at swimming lessons the subject of what our kids eat came up. We were all complaining about how crazy our toddler's eating habits are, how they like something one day and can't stand it the next, or refuse to eat all at. One lady turned to me and said, "Well that's good for your little girl. At least you know she'll never be fat." 

Excuse me????

When did it become okay for someone to say this? Who thinks this is actually a GOOD thing? So what you're saying is that if my son decides to stop eating for a week that I should freak out and be worried about his health, but if my daughter stops eating it's a good sign that she'll become anorexic and that's OKAY?! Because God forbid she not fit into a size 2?! 

The only response I could manage was, "She'll be absolutely perfect no matter how much she eats." I'm sure there was something more eloquent or scathing I could have said to completely convey just how ridiculous I thought her statement was, but that was the best I could do. 

It was a good lesson for me in how little control I have over what people say and do. I realized that I need to work on ways to make sure that my kids know that other people can say really inappropriate things but that they should never let those things define them. I want them to grow up knowing that whatever their profession, however they dress or look, and whomever they love, that their daddy and I love them and support them 100%, without question.

They could not be more perfect.

Now if I could only convince myself to take my own advice. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Piece of My Own History

I think one of the hardest things for a family member to do after a loved one dies is to sort through their things. Every scrap of paper, every folded sock, every dusty box holds a different memory that can make you burst out laughing or break your heart all over again.

This past weekend, Tim and I took some time to go to my grandma Halter's house to pick up the curio cabinets and lawn furniture that my mom said were ours and to see if there was anything else we would like to keep. I mentioned to Tim, while sorting through the stacks of jewelry that my grandma owned, that it felt as though we were stealing. When I repeated this to my mom she said that a lot of the family had felt the same way. We know that grandma would want her things to stay with someone, but we also knew just how important every little thing was to her.

It wasn't difficult to find things that I wanted to keep. There was some beautiful cut crystal pieces that I loved, as well as a chair that I thought looked really cool. I was drawn to a metal jewelry box and gold mirror in the spare bedroom. Brenden became the new owner of a few cap guns and Lauren has a new Lissi doll. We found a few things for our kitchen and Tim was intrigued by the clock in the bedroom.

The Lissi doll with her "adoption" papers...all in German.

(Side note: The clock is actually one that my parents bought in Germany when we lived there in the early 1980's. My mom said that they had a friend whose family still lived on the communist side of Berlin and she was able to get them two different clocks. We aren't sure who the maker is, but I'm really glad that we have it now.)

Of course, there were also odds and ends that will always remind me of my grandparents. The trivet from the kitchen, as well as the tiny Tupperware cups that I always thought were so neat. A Tom Mix Museum sign and the hand painted Buddha that my grandma made long ago. A few old photographs, including one of my grandma that was made into a calendar, and the green hat with a white feather that is one of my favorite memories of my grandpa.

One of the last things that I convinced Tim to move was a side table from the den. I thought it would work really well in our eat in kitchen, which will now be more of a sitting room. (We never used that table. By the way, Justin it's waiting for you!) When I mentioned to my mom that we were bringing it home she was much more excited than I expected. Without knowing it, I had chosen a piece of furniture that my grandparents bought right after they moved into their house in Dewey, which was at least 50 years ago.

I feel very lucky to be trusted with these tiny pieces of my family's history. I feel blessed that every day I will be able to glance at that silly hat and smile. More than anything, I feel a sense of peace knowing that these things are with me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Splish Splash

Brenden's first session of swimming lessons ended today and I'm very happy with how well it went. Brenden had a great time, became even more comfortable in the water (although not comfortable enough to jump to his instructor off of the diving board.) and I ended up making a friend, too. Whoo hoo!

I'm really excited to see how the next session goes, not only for Brenden, but for Lauren as well. She wasn't afraid of putting her face in the water when we went swimming on vacation, but I never know how she'll react.

Hopefully it will be somewhere close to this. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Break it Down!

We were trying to get Lauren to dance and in comes Brenden to steal the show! We had no idea he could do this. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recipe: Cauliflower Gratin (aka: Low Carb Quiche)

Most people who have spent more than 5 minutes around me lately know that I'm on this crazy low carbohydrate diet. (I'm sorry! I became a little...ok, a LOT, obsessed. I promise I'll stop talking about it soon.) However, I have found a few pretty great recipes lately I'm pretty sure someone who isn't on this type of diet would still like. This is one of them, found here, that we tweaked and now like even better.

When I made this the first time I forgot to add the heavy whipping cream. *face palm* It makes a big difference. Both Tim and I thought that it tasted a lot like quiche and that it would make a good main dish, as well as a yummy side dish.

Mashed Cauliflower Gratin

- 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets (I grabbed a steam-in-the-bag frozen package that worked just as well)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 2 strips of bacon, cooked and diced
- 3 slices honey ham, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook cauliflower until fork-tender (microwave or steam)
  • Blend cauliflower with cream, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg. (I used a stick blender. The original author noted that if you use a regular blender, letting it cool a bit helps. Otherwise it might explode. Eek!)
  • Add eggs and 1 cup of cheese. Blend.
  • Stir in bacon, ham, pepper and onion.
  • Pour into casserole or gratin dish, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden brown. (Time varies by the shape of the dish)
Even Brenden said that this was "Yummy!" I'd call that a win.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Lauren and I were able to share a mommy/daughter day today. Brenden successfully begged his way into spent the day with Grandma Ginger, and Tim had to work at the Army. What do girls do to bond? Shopping of course!

I hadn’t planned on going into Payless, but I wanted to see if I could find any cheap tennis shoes. (I’m digging the low top chucks but I’m not sure I can pull it off.) Lauren did her best to help me, holding different shoes up and squealing. Eventually it became obvious that finding shoes for myself was a lost cause and I was drawn towards the ridiculously adorable, delightfully tiny shoes in the children’s section.

Lauren was in heaven. She pulled pair after pair off of the shelves, shoving them unsuccessfully on top of the shoes she was already wearing. I searched the shelves for the cutest and cheapest (it is Payless after all) little girl shoes I could find. I thought I had found a winner in a pair of brown leather gladiator sandals but alas, they were too small. Just as I was about to give up, Lauren walked up to me with the sparkliest, pinkest, girliest shoes available. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let her try them on….always a bad idea.

As soon as they were fastened, she was up and running. She grabbed my purse, turned towards the door and said, “Bye!” The girl had made her selection and she was ready to go. I reached for the shoes, just to see how well they fit, and she threw a fit to rival all fits. I finally calmed her down (Someone remind me that reasoning with a toddler is always a lost cause.) and was surprised to find that they fit pretty well.

She wore them out of the store.

Moral of the story: Do not take Lauren into a shoe store unless I'm prepared to buy a pair of shoes.

I could have just told her no, but I really didn't want to! They are some darn cute shoes...even Tim agrees! She's already gotten several compliments on them. I see a lot of sparkly shoe wearing in her future.

My biggest fear? Just how scary her shoe obsession will become as she gets older. *shiver*

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Swing Set

Right around Lauren's birthday, waaaay back in April, Mike and Connie bought a swing set for the kids. We were all super excited! But since then, between vacations, work and every day life, we have not had any time to put it together. Mike, Tim, Connie and I decided to remedy that today. Connie would be the kid wrangler and Mike and I would start putting things together. Tim would join us on the construction when he got home from work. I think we started around 1 pm.

We tried to be very organized from the very beginning, laying out all the pieces according to the list and making sure that every nut and bolt was where it was supposed to be. By 2 pm I think we finally started working on the slide. It was slooooow going. Plus it was HOT.

By the time Tim got home we had assembled the slide and the cross bar for the swings. I'm so glad he was able to come home and help but wow, we don't do work very well together. Sorry honey! (and Mike and Connie!)

There were a few setbacks along the way. A few holes that were supposed to be pre-drilled weren't even marked, which added at least an extra half an hour while we figured out how to fix it. At one point we had to take two entire sections apart because they main posts were upside down. When we got to the point of putting the platform on, we realized that it wasn't level at all. We thought we could work it out and didn't worry about it. (Can you see where this is going?)

Upside down!

Fast forward to putting the railings on the side and we come to a complete standstill. Tim thinks we should just keep going and deal with the unevenness. I want to see if we can correct it at all. Mike decides to sit down and wait it out. (He's good at that.) Eventually I complained enough convinced Tim that trying to fix it was better than leaving it all wonky. We loosened some bolts, took out a few screws, and it was almost completely level in 5 minutes. I'm so glad we did it because it really looks better. (And who doesn't like being right?) ;)

Brenden...the boss.

Finally, we put the two separate pieces together, attached the slide, and our two very anxious children were able to play on it. Brenden had to try out all the different elements...the slide, the trapeze, and the swing. Lauren went down the slide once and then ran back to the swing and said, "Please!?" I think we know her favorite.

By 8 pm we were done. Seven hours, a lot of heat, a few arguments (totally Tim and I...sigh) and several extra nuts and bolts later, we have a wonderful swing set. I know the kids will be begging to go play on it as soon as their feet hit the floor in the morning.

Thank you so much Mike and Connie! We love it!

Ben Folds! And Kenton Chen!

For Tim's Father's Day present, Mike and Connie helped me surprise him with tickets to see Ben Folds in concert. (He's one of the judges on The Sing Off.) I enjoy his music, but Tim loves it. He spent the last few weeks listening to every Ben Folds song on his computer so he could be ready. The concert was last night and we were not disappointed!

Connie met me at Brenden's t-ball practice to take over kid-watching duties, which I heard later was a crazy practice full of very little listening on the kids' part and a lot of tackling. Sorry, Connie! Tim and I headed to Hey Mambo for dinner (super yummy!) and then to The Cain's Ballroom. I was excited because I've never been in there.

The opening act was Kenton Chen, who was on The Sing Off with his group The Backbeats. He played a short set and did all of the music and vocals by himself, utilizing a recording device of some sort. (We weren't close to the stage so I'm not sure exactly how it all worked.) He was fantastic! I especially liked his song Believe In (I may be wrong about the title...sorry!) which he wrote about how popular music is so sexualized and young girls are interested in becoming famous at the cost of their childhood. So catchy and meaningful!

We were able to meet him during the break between his set and Ben Folds and he was just the nicest guy. I mentioned posting to his fan page on Facebook and he remembered that he had replied back to me! He's definitely worth a listen. Thanks again, Kenton!

Unlike most concerts, Ben Folds actually took the stage at 9 pm like they said he would. For the next two hours we were treated to an absolutely fabulous concert! Whether you were a hardcore fan that knew all the songs (Tim) or someone that only knew three songs (me) I can promise you would have enjoyed this. Tim and I had a list of songs that we wanted to hear him play and we got our wish! All four songs, "Still Fighting It", "Luckiest", "Hiroshima" and "In the Army" were all on his set list. I haven't seen Tim that excited in a long time. It was awesome.

It was a wonderful night and I cannot wait to see him in concert again. I better start listening to his cds now so I can know all the songs!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Brenden likes to hear "stories" at bed time after he says his prayers and before I leave his room. We always do two stories, the Kendyl story and the Brenden story, both of which he helped me make up and neither of which are all that exciting to anyone but him.

The Kendyl Story:

There once was a boy named Brenden and a girl named Kendyl and they decided to play soccer! And they became really good friends and went to each other's houses and each other's birthday parties. And then they decided to play t-ball! And they were best friends forever. The End.

The Brenden Story:

There once was a mommy and a daddy and they loved each other very much. And then they decided to have a little boy and they named him Brenden! And then they said, "We should have a little girl!" And they did. And they named her Lauren! So there was a mommy and a daddy and a Brenden and a Lauren and they all loved each other very much. The End!

Not long ago he decided to make up the Grandma story.

The Grandma Story:

There was a grandma and a grandpa, a mommy and a daddy, a Brenden and a Lauren, and a Jackson and a Dillon. They worked at the gym and were very happy. The End!

I'm not sure I see a creative writing career in his future. :)


On the way to drop the dogs off at the groomer, Brenden asked me if we were still in his neighborhood. The concept of a neighborhood was not one that he figured out quickly. He used to get so upset with me when I would try to explain it. Eventually he got it but it was only after I continued to explain that our house was one small part of the neighborhood, much like how his room is a small part of our whole house, or his closet is a small part of his room.

I told him that we were no longer in our neighborhood, but rather in the city of Broken Arrow. We've talked about cities and states before, and he knows that his grandparents live somewhere else, like grandma Karen being in Colorado, but I don't think it really sunk in until that day. The ideas of "close by" and "far away" are starting to make sense to him now.

"There are lots of neighborhoods and lots of streets and people and stores, and those all make up the city of Broken Arrow," I said.

"So there are lots of houses? Lots and lots of houses?" he asked.

"Yes! Even more than you can see from right here," I replied.

"Wow..." he said, amazed. "That's unbelievable!"

I can only imagine his face when he starts to grasp the idea of states, countries, and then our infinite universe. I sure hope I have my camera handy!

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