Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We're Done!!! (for now)

Today Karl turned in the last of his school work for this quarter. It's like one huge breath of fresh air for all of us. Tonight Karl came home from work, cleaned up the kitchen, made Soren one great dinner, put him to bed and helped me make lasagna. After we eat dinner, we're going to decorate our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music and drinking some hot apple cider. I'm in heaven...

Saturday, December 6, 2008


No that's not a song, it's a tasty ice cream novelty and it fits the subject matter of this long-overdue post.

Just days after I posted about Soren's vocab, he had a language explosion and it hasn't stopped since. Every day he wakes up and has about 5+ new words he can say. It's wild...and I love hearing his sweet little voice so much as he's experimenting. I can't even attempt a list now, there's far too many to count.

As I mentioned in that same post, he pronounces applesauce as "apposit." He does this with some of his new words and we haven't been able to find a rhyme or reason to it. Some words are normal some words are "it" words. Here they are:

almonds = almondsit
medicine = medicit
paci = pacit

I have never heard of a child doing this to some words, but I'm going to hold off on calling in the speech therapist quite yet because I'm sure this is considered normal. Now if he's doing it at age 6...then we'll see.


As for the rest of our lives, that's going to take waaaaaaay more time to write down than I have. So we'll save it for another time. We're so close to being done with this quarter which we're all very ready for. Stay tuned for more updates, but be patient - I'm one wiped out mama.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

1 2 3 4

One big rule of mine is no TV for babies (and by babies, I mean Soren...I know, he's not a baby anymore, but that's what I like to say.) Up until recently, we've done pretty well with this law but Karl and my parents have bent the rules when I'm away. Soren has picked some favorites from those times and I thought I'd share one of them with you. Obviously I'm letting this one slide because it's an adaptation of a song that I like to listen to.

Warning: This song may get stuck in your head for days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Soren Said

Ok, ok. That's not an actual song title, but it's adapted from the Death Cab For Cutie song "What Sarah Said." So there you go....

This one's about Soren's recent language explosion. He had been really into saying new words these days and it's been a lot of fun for Karl and I to try to figure out what he's trying to say. If we can't figure it out, usually my mom can. For example, the other day as we were sitting in the parking lot of TJ's, Soren kept saying what sounded exactly like "opposite." I kept saying "opposite?" and he would look at me with a disgusted look and say "no!" I gave up and we went inside. I told my parents about it while we were over there the other night and after some thought, my mom said, "I know what it is...applesauce!" Soren seemed really excited that finally someone got it. He must know that I buy applesauce at Trader's and that's why he kept saying it. Cute.

As for his other words, they are new every day. Here's a list of what I can think of off the top of my head at this early hour...

place (Violet's command)
thank you (signs it spontanteously when I give him something)
ak-mak (his favorite crackers)
Baba (grandpa)
Nanny (grammy)
side (outside)
clock (most used word these days)

There's probably a few more that I'm forgetting, but I've got to wrap this up.

I would try to get a video of all this cuteness, but whenever I get the camera out he just gets obsessed with grabbing it. So you'll have to use your imagination or come visit - but not now!

This is one of the reasons I'm so exhausted these days.

{Ahhhh. Contained.}
His favorite breakfast:
Ezekial bread with coconut oil
organic scrambled eggs

He's really serious about note-taking these days.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Used to Vacation

I'm exhausted.

Karl's turning into a zombie.

Soren loves "school" now, but misses his Papa all the time.

We've got 4 weeks left of this quarter.

Will we make it? Anything's possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I should so be in bed right now, but I just found this little clip from our family trip to Avila Valley Barn yesterday. Karl was up super late paying for a day spent with us, but I think he would agree it was well worth it (right, babe? wink. wink.)

Here's Soren being afraid of the ponies. Pretty darn cute.

And more of Soren with pumpkins. **I warned you this would happen.**

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daylight Fading

I am wasting too much time trying to come up with titles to my blogs, so - from now on I'm just going to name them a title of a song that best fits my mood at the time of writing it. Ok? Ok.

I know I say this every quarter, but...this quarter has been the hardest yet. Having gone into this year thinking it might actually be one of the easiest, we were hit with a big surprise. Karl has already pulled so many get-home-after-everyone's-asleep nights that we can't even count them, and we're only 3 weeks in. In the midst of a crazy school schedule, I just went through a week from hell and Soren has been acting out waaaaayy more than usual - partly because of his age, partly because of the changes and stress in our lives. We are all fried.

I contemplated not sharing so much of the hardships in our lives on these blogs. I truly feel like a broken record and like I'm complaining. The truth is, this is our life, and if someone is reading this who can relate, or who is going through the same season of life as we are - maybe reading this can help. I am confident that someday the story of our lives is going to look much brighter, and while there are still bright moments in our lives - right now, we're in winter.

I'm not going to go into details about my 'stressful is an understatment' week, but basically, I had several major issues to deal with while Soren and I were both pretty sick and Karl was busy with school. It feels like the dark cloud has lifted a bit and this past week was much better.

Last weekend my mom and I coordinated my cousin's wedding at the Hearst Castle. It had me stressing for weeks beforehand, but it all went off without a hitch and it was absolutely beautiful. Karl was able to be there to help me with Soren while I (literally) ran around the Castle making sure everything went smoothly. My aunt works at the Castle, so we had freedom to many more areas than other people do - which made it all the more fun. Soren loved exploring all of the steps, statues and fountains - it's not everyday that a kid gets to play in a diaper at a castle! My cousin was a gorgeous bride and I was honored to help make her wedding day perfect.

This weekend Soren and I went to Avila Valley Barn with my mom and picked out some pumpkins and gourds for his classroom. He is really into running these days, so he ran around the whole time, pointing to things of interest - namely goats and tractor parts. (Warning: I'm about to say something very cliche'...) It is amazing to see the world through the eyes of your child. It's like a surprise gift that a parent gets - like a second chance to find wonder in the things you take for granted as an adult. I love autumn, and it's just a million times better with Soren around. Showing him all of the different colors, smells and sounds of this season does something good to my heart. If it's this crazy right now, I can't imagine how I'm going to be at Christmas.

In the interest of keeping these posts manageable, I'll stop here. That's a little peak into our lives as of late. We miss all of our friends so much and promise that we will be able to hang out someday...in December...hopefully.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Funday

I love my boys, and I love the days when I can be with both of them. Today was (mostly) one of those days. Coffee in Shell Beach at The Steaming Bean, playtime for Soren and Violet at the Dinosaur Caves Park, hanging out in downtown SLO in the afternoon. Super fun. Here is the evidence:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Morning

I usually complain a lot about Saturdays, since Karl is rarely home with us on that day. I always wish we could just all have a day together, like other families get to, and I get sad. Today was a different story though. Of course I wish we could have all been together, but I was determined to have a fun morning even if Karl couldn't be with us. We have had such a long and tumultuous week, that I was just happy to be home for a day with my little man.

There's something about cold, foggy mornings that invigorate me. I feel like the air is fresher and I feel lighter - I'm definitely a cold weather girl. Well, this morning I took one look outside and knew we needed a long walk. So after breakfast, we got dressed and headed out the door to run some errands and walk to the Farmer's Market that's about a mile from our house. Soren was such a good little traveler and fussed a very reasonable amount for a 15-month-old stuck in a stroller. When I let him out to walk around after Farmer's, he started saying and waving "Hi!" to everyone he saw. One of the guys that Soren said "hi" to stopped me as he was driving away to tell me that Soren just made his day. I love this new little social side of him. Anyway, here's some pictures from our morning.

Best smile ever

Perfect walking weather



Pointing out every sprinkler we saw today

He's a bike guy

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today was Soren's second day at "school" - it did not go well. I guess after the initial curiosity wore off he was left feeling very uneasy about being left all day in a strange place. I don't blame him. We both cried a lot today.

One thing that makes this transition even more lovely is the fact that he will not sleep there. Before he started there, I told his teacher and the administrative staff that I could not imagine Soren falling asleep on a mat on the floor with 17 other children around. They assured me that they do this all the time, not to worry. Well, I'm officially worried. His teacher told me that he was one of two kids who refuses to sleep there. The other one screams and cries the whole time. Soren just lays there with his eyes wide open until they ask him if he's ready to get up.

When I picked him up today he looked like a zombie. We didn't even get 5 minutes down the road and he was completely asleep in his car seat (this never happens.) His world has been turned upside down and it's rough for all of us. It is the grossest feeling to leave your crying child in a room full of other crying children and have them run after you. I used to get so annoyed at parents who would say goodbye and then linger around and keep trying to comfort their child. I still get annoyed, but it makes a lot more sense to me now. You want to make sure that your child is going to be taken care of and that somehow they will see that they're safe and that you will be back. There's just no way to convey that to a 16-month-old, no matter how long you stick around. Goodbyes have never been hard with Soren. Now, they are the worst.

I have very negative feelings about having Soren in daycare, and despite what other people tell me (i.e. it will be good for him, he'll have so much fun, it will build his immune system, it's a good program, blah, blah, blah...) it doesn't make this Mama any more thrilled to have someone else raising her child. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that's the only reason we're doing this. It still doesn't make me excited about it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The newest word of Soren's is "uh-oooooooo" (supposed to be 'uh-oh') and it's a good thing, since we've been saying it a lot lately. He has discovered everything above his head and is trying to scale any object to get up there. For the most part, he's done a great job, but we've had some minor mishaps along the way.

Here's the injury report:

  • 1 bloody nose from falling on a nightstand.
  • 1 bloody upper lip from falling off of a stool
  • 1 completely bitten-through lower lip from falling face-first on the sidewalk.

It's been a bloody month.

On top of all of that, he vomited all over his crib after he bit through his lip (most likely from ingesting the blood) while I was attempting to see the dentist. He's also had a pretty gnarly cold for the past 10 days. He's been a trooper.

Here's what's new with us in a nutshell (Soren is whining in his high chair as I type):

  • Soren starts "school" next week at the ASI Children's Center at Cal Poly. It's a great program (as much as out of home care can be) and we think he'll enjoy his 2 days a week there.
  • Karl starts a new year at Cal Poly's College of Architecture. As weird as it sounds, we're both excited to be heading into the 2nd from last year in school. After a long road in school, 20 months left doesn't sound all that bad.
  • I am going back to working 4 days a week (out of the house) and possibly going back to school at Cuesta in the Spring. I'll keep you posted about this.
  • Karl is moving his business to a new shop in Grover Beach. After several years working at the "chicken coops", all of the guys he's worked with over the past 5 years are dispersing. Karl and our friend Ben (who originally got Karl the job at the Barn) are setting up shop together, and we couldn't be happier about this arrangement.
  • Soren has started to say "Papa"! Although, true to form, it's very intermittent right now. Karl is stoked nonetheless.
So that's all for this update. I've got to leave for another (attempted) dental appointment. I'm sure there'll be more to come with all of these new things happening in our lives. Stay tuned....

Cool Outfit

A picture Karl took of our bedroom ceiling with some "architectural implications"

He makes this face whenever he hugs Violet. It looks like he's in pain...as if to say, "I love her so much it hurts sometimes."

Bathtime with Arabella

Friday, August 22, 2008


I've been wanting to upload this video for a while, but I'm just now getting around to it. (He's a much better walker now.)

Soren loves wearing capes and since we don't own any, Karl made do with what we had. I think this is the best super hero costume I have ever seen. And the best super hero.

As always, we're usually about 3 minutes too late in grabbing the video camera. Soren was walking around Superman style with his arms straight out just seconds before this. It's still pretty cute though. Here's Soren coming to save the day...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Family Pictures

While my sister and her husband were here the first week of August, we spent their last day taking pictures at Jada Winery a mile from our parent's house in Paso. Although it was a super hot day, we were rushed to get ready and Soren wasn't in the most photogenic mood, Ken (our photographer) still managed to get some good pictures of the family all together. We have been begging our mom and dad to get updated pictures of the family for years and we (the kids) were all hating the outdated picture of us above the fireplace. Plus, we have a new little addition to show off now! So here they are...the updated Cashdan Family photos:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mama Mia!

No, not the movie.


After several months of trying out all kinds of other words, Soren has finally been saying "Mama" and using it appropriately! This is a sweet sound to a first-time Mama's ears. It's usually when something's happening that he doesn't like, and he wants me to bail him out, but just yesterday he said it when I walked out the door for a second to take something outside. I could hear him run to the door and cry "mamamamamamama" until I came back. Super sad, but also super cool.

Now we've just got to work on getting him to say "Papa" to Karl. Then we'll both be happy campers. Unfortunately, Soren really loves to say his D's, not so much his P's.

When we decided to call ourselves "Mama" and "Papa" to Soren, we had no idea it would be such a hard concept for most people to follow along with. I do realize that most American families call the father "Dad" or "Daddy", but it seems like there are enough families doing the Papa thing that people wouldn't be so thrown by it. We were wrong. I guess it just figures since a lot of people are thrown by the name Soren too - why start making things easy on ourselves now? Whenever you do something out of the norm, people have a hard time adjusting. We both just really like the way "Papa" sounds and we hope Soren will start loving it (and saying it) soon too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Science of Sleep

I've been doing a lot of thinking about sleep, especially because I have become increasingly more of a crazy sleeper and/or dreamer. Last night, Karl and I listened to a show on NPR about the fear of sleep as we played Scrabble. They had all kinds of stories from people who, for one reason or another, were afraid to fall asleep. One guy shared about his "disorder" that would cause him to act his dreams out while he was sleeping - a really bad case of sleep-walking. The final straw was when he jumped, not out of, but through a second-story hotel room window in the middle of the night because he was dreaming that he was about to be hit by a missile. How weird are our minds that we can come up with this stuff and we have the potential to actually carry them out in real life and not know it?

For the past several nights in a row, I've had a freak out about something in my sleep. Last night it was that Karl had to get up because he was going to be late. I started firmly tapping on his knee cap and insisting he check the time because he was going to be late to wherever he had to go. He told me he was not going to be late and that I should go back to sleep. I could not believe he was acting so non-chalant about being late. He didn't even care! He reluctantly checked the clock after telling me to be quiet and go back to bed. The time was 3:15am. Sorry babe! I was obviously dreaming, but Karl couldn't get back to sleep for a while after the hoopla. I have only vague recallections of this occurence and only after Karl announced that I will now be sleeping on the couch for my offense.

The night before last I woke Karl up at around the same time because I was convinced that there was a gigantic spider in the bed with us. I'm talking the size of a cat. I stood up on the bed and jumped over Karl's sleeping body and kept telling him very adamantly to get out of bed. He refused. I got so mad at him that he didn't care that there was a huge spider in the bed. He just told me that he couldn't get out of bed and I kept telling him that that's a ridiculous thing to say. Over and over we went back and forth until I woke up and realized that I was probably dreaming. I was still a little perturbed that he just flat out told me he couldn't get out of bed. I calmly climbed back over Karl and checked under the sheets - just to be sure there was indeed no spider cat in our bed - and fell back asleep instantly. I asked him about it the next morning and he vaguely remembers the ordeal, but he thought that it was hilarious that he told me he "couldn't" get out of bed.

Apparently, this kind of stuff happens a lot in our bed at night and it's becoming more frequent. The show we listened to mentioned that people who act out their dreams have a Dopamine deficiency so their bodies aren't able to regulate their sleep cycles. I'm not really sure if that could explain why this has been happening to me almost every night lately, but it's worth looking into I guess. I don't really want to sleep on the couch, and Karl's getting pretty tired of being woken up to me insisting that he get out of bed.

The last time this happened was when Soren was first born. Almost every night for 2 months, I would wake up sometime after having nursed Soren in bed, frantically try to find him in our sheets. Somehow my brain never remembered that I put him back in the co-sleeper after I was done feeding him and I was convinced that he was under our sheets. I felt the same exact panic that any parent would if they thought their baby had suffocated, except I was literally half asleep. Every night Karl would comfort me as I was madly tossing sheets all over the bed repeating "I can't find him...I can't find him!" Karl would ask me if he was in the co-sleeper and, of course, he always was.

Dreams are such a weird thing to me. We have other lives and crazy thoughts to live out that we would never have in our waking hours. I'm getting a little scared that my dreams aren't staying put in dreamland and although I know (or hope) this happens to everyone once in a while, my "episodes" are becoming more and more frequent. I guess I've got some research to do...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So Far So Good

Well, we made it successfully into August! It has been full of fun, family and driving so far. My family reunion in Cambria was really special and it brought back a lot of memories of growing up with all of my cousins. Apparently, there was a lot more singing in my family than in other families, because all of the "newer" in-laws seemed a little scared when we burst out in song. Of course Soren loved it and kept wanting to get ahold of my aunt's guitar during our sing-along. I think he's a great addition to my musical family.

Stancie and Adam leave in a couple of days and I'm amazed at how fast 10 days go by. I will post more pictures of their stay in a few days, but here's a teaser for you until then...

Soren has officially reached the age where he wants to try on shoes. He was adamant about getting into Uncle Adam's Vans...I love it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July....You Don't Want to Hurt Me

We've almost made it through the month of July alive. It was a close one though.

Here's a little taste of our month:

  • At the beginning of the month, Karl got food poisoning that lasted 2 days. At the same time, I got mastitis. Both of us were sicker than we had been in a long time and were completely useless.
  • Right after our bouts with sickness, Karl took off for a 2 week tour of the Bay Area with his Construction Management summer class.
  • Soren and I joined Karl for the 2nd half of his trip and stayed with my family in Pleasanton. I spent my days with Soren and my Aunt Christie, laying out by the pool, taking the dogs for walks, hanging out with my cousin and enjoying being away from my crazy life at home.
  • Right after we got back from up north, we turned back around and drove to Santa Cruz for Karl's mom's family reunion. Karl's grandparents and aunt from Alaska got to meet Soren for the first time, and I got to meet a lot of people for the first time too!
  • After the reunion Karl's parents, grandparents and aunt headed down our way to spend the week in Cambria. We somehow managed to see them every night they were here. By the end of their stay, Soren really warmed up to them and I think he understands that he's part of a really special family.
  • Soren got 4 molars. The uppers were especially hard, giving him a fever of 102 degrees and making him the unhappiest he's ever been. We've had some looooooonnnggg nights this month.
  • Soren learned three new things: 1.) How to eat with a spoon. 2.) How to throw a tantrum. 3.) How to give (close-mouthed) kisses.
  • The last day of this month (tomorrow) will be a great end to a crazy month. My sister and her husband are flying into SLO for our family reunion. (Yes, a lot of reunions this month!) They will stay for 10 days, which will be their first trip back here together since Soren was born. Soren's already practicing all of his new skills to show off.

So there you have it, a little glimpse into our July. As you can see it was a pretty wild ride. Needless to say, we're looking forward to August!