Friday, September 28, 2007

Chocolate cake a la Ivan

Before you watch this video, I have two questions for you.

What fruit or special ingredient would you put in a chocolate cake?
What else goes in a cake?

I mean, what were you thinking?

If you ever need that spark of creative genius, just call us up and we'll let Ivan add his special twist to the equation.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

leaves are falling, but it's still hot out. Can you believe how big this leaf is from our backyard fruitless mulberry tree? (If you click on the leaf picture, it will blow up and you can see her molar- if that really interests you!!)

Ivan doesn't take naps everyday now. But I try to make him have some quiet time at least reading or drawing in bed (with the idea that he may accidentally fall asleep ;)

He has started using the potty very rarely, but we'll take it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Her barely perceptible dance moves (the bob/ leg crunches) and his energetic leg kicks.

Whoever invented these was a genius. No child was injured during this jump session- an added bonus.

Your turn:

Do you remember dancing as a kid? on your own? with parents or siblings?

What child play equipment have you been injured on?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

from my blogables file

Domininque our little bull imitator. I don't know why, but she loves to walk around with this ring in her mouth.

I think skirts look so cute on her! This shocked me, I noticed another birth mark on her after her being a part of our lives a whole year! It's real faint and nearly behind her right knee. I was trying to wipe it off along with some other unmentionable goo that had run down her leg, and realized it was a second birth mark!

Dominique and Alexis, who are about 1 month apart in age. We get to have Alexis with us some days. That's how I found out Ivan can be nice to little 1 year olds as long as they are not his sister.

Ivan was dancing with a neighbor friend- Jaime. I braided her hair, Dominique's, and mine and Ivan insisted on one too. This is his warrior (not wuss) braid.

Ivan invented a game that was hilarious fun. Ride in the stool. Alexis and Dominique spent the morning crawling in after they saw me pushing Ivan in it.

On the positive front: Ivan has peed in the potty two days in a row! I am so hoping and praying that this will quickly become a pattern and ordinary event. He was very proud of himself and flushed the toilet, sticking out his chest and explaining that "that's what big boys do". He's also peed through lots of training pants and shorts, but we won't go into all that ;)

We killed a snail in a record amount of time. Maybe even on the way home from the store. I'm still not sure it was alive at the store, to tell you the truth, but with some coercion they gave me another and it's alive after it's first 5 hours here, so that's good.

Enjoy some laughs with us over Dominique sleep eating.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

more pics and surprises

Here are some more pictures from Nana's visit. Was it only last week? Time sure flies! I always anticipate visits from family and then it's gone so quick and seems so long ago in a short time! Oh, well, that's life I guess.

A couple of weeks ago or so, I was sure that Dominique was cutting her 8th tooth and kept looking for the missing front tooth, but it never appeared. I was totally shocked when, a couple of days ago, I noticed (in her wide open screaming mouth) that a molar had popped through! I was filled with awe, surprise, sympathy and the realization that I was right in that she had been teething, but not the tooth I was anticipating.

She has also surprised me recently with lots of new words and her first sentences! Ivan and I were singing the clean up song from library time as we put toys away. Dominique started chirping "ean up, ean up" as she threw toys in the box. The next day, I noticed that she also says "thank-you". None of it is very clear, so she may have been saying lots of intelligent things without us comprehending it, but these two phrases came out pretty clear. I would have never guessed that her first sentence would be "clean up"! Thank goodness for somewhat tidy kids.

Are you pretty tidy or somewhat disorganized? Do you sing songs as you go about your daily chores?

Monday, September 17, 2007

World Refugee Day

I'm glad to say that Abilene is starting to have a bit more of a multi-cultural feel to it, due in part to an organization bringing in 100 refugees a year. It's been going since 2004 here in Abilene. Our neighbor is a teacher and she told me our public school system has 127 languages spoken among the students. I'm sure the number sky-rocketed when the refugees started coming. I just get a thrill out of meeting people from different places. When in Houston, I always see people from vastly different cultures. My ears dance with the musicality of other languages. My eyes cheer as I see clothing made (and worn) in India, Africa, Asia... Abilene has a long way to go to opening minds, hearts and systems to other people, but at least there has been a start*.

*As one who doesn't really know, I do think that Abilene has done a fairly good job at catering to the hispanic culture in that many banks and some businesses will make an effort to make it known that they have Spanish speaking employees. There are lots of ESL classes geared toward Spanish speakers, a huge section of Spanish materials at the library, Spanish speaking churches and of course restaurants...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

quick Nana visit

Nana came for a couple of days. It was so good to be together. She read and read and read some more. So nice to have someone share the JOYS of reading about Baby Bop and her syropy happy days over and over. It was like a vacation for me. Someone entertaining the kids while I get to have an uninterrupted shower is sheer delight. She also took us out to eat, which is a total treat for us and means I don't have to cook! The first night I didn't even sit beside a kid, which meant I got to just focus on my food and the enjoyment of it. AHHHHH ;) Most days I barely taste what I'm having as I'm cutting, pouring, mopping, wiping, spooning...

She also took us shopping. Nana found out that Dominique likes necklaces and bought out Claire's (I got some stuff too ;) Ivan picked out new pyjamas at the store for himself. How nice of him! But he wasn't all selfish, he also picked out some things for Dominique which he just took off the rack and put in the cart! Nana thought Ivan needed some new shoes; Ivan thought he needed the GREEN ones. It is nice to get new things and we know that Nana loves her grandkids and us a lot (and not just by her credit card bill- sorry about that!!)

Ivan was having a long conversation with someone telling them all about Nana's visit and his new shoes... but didn't like getting caught on video.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the right age

I guess Ivan is currently at the perfect age for a parade. We've taken him other times and it was not all that exciting to him, but this time, EVERYTHING was exciting. The West Texas Fair and Rodeo parade features lots of horses, bands and cars. At one point a car was going by with it's parade sign on it and Ivan said: "LOOK LETTERS!" Yep, pretty easy to please. He really liked the tractors. He now has all the baby Einstein DVDs and a favorite one is about farming, so when the tractors went by, he said "TRACTORS! SOUNDS LIKE THE VIDEO" (He says "sounds like" instead of just like") Brian used to hold the theory that the videos dumbed down kids because Ivan used to speak monosyllabic like the puppets to imitate them, but he changed his theory saying it made Ivan smart when Ivan started to correctly name all the instruments in the marching bands.

It was pretty hilarious when Ivan saw some cheerleaders who had their mid-drift showing and yelled out "LOOK MOM! THEY'RE BUCK NAKED!) and laughed uncontrollably that someone would go out in public like that.

Always the mom taking advantage of real situations for teachable moments, I pointed out to him the deposits of manure made by the horses in the street and told him to watch what happened when the sweeper vehicles passed. He loved the spinning sweeper and decided that that was his favorite part of the parade. What can I say? Brian says Ivan's non-conformist, while everyone else was packing up their chairs and stuff and driving away, Ivan is still excited, thinking the best was saved for last, the most exciting part of the parade- big noisy machines making a clean sweep of it all.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My 21month apart twins

Do you remember this video? We recorded this in Sept. of 2006. Ivan was nearly 2 years old.

Now here is Dominique. Like brother, like sister. The non documented child milestones: singing EIEIO.

Do you have any favorite memories of nursery rhymes or songs? Which is your favorite kids' song or rhyme?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

i love u 2

How old were you in your first memory?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

morning light and vacation

I could take hundreds of pictures in the gorgeous morning light. OK, I probably have taken hundreds of pictures in the gorgeous morning light. Sometimes a shot just comes out so clear, you feel like you could reach out and enter in or touch the person.

Talking about entering in, I've been absent for a bit, my apologies. I've been on a literary vacation with norwegian settlers discovering North Dakota and the virgin prairies of the early 1900s. A friend lent me some books that recreate the realm my grandmother may have lived in and it's been fun devouring them. I have a bad habit. It was an ok habit while single, but is not so good with family. I don't just read novels, I like to pick it up and not let go until I'm through. I'm the same way with movies- don't talk and good dark chocolate- don't disturb and a nice glass of wine- which is a little harder to do solo since I usually have one when with other people, nonetheless I like to savor it drop by drop, sip by sip. I developed this skill shortly after I discovered the power Jenn had over me as a kid when I inhaled my chocolate bar in seconds and she tormented me with her slowly enjoying each bite.

So instead of checking e-mail, blogging or checking facebook, I've been reading. I took a breather tonight. I just finished the 2nd book of the series.

I've also been keeping an extra child the last few days, so that adds to the treasures and business of the day. Alexis is Dominique's age, but doesn't walk yet, so worked on that some today. Ivan loves to take care of Alexis and push around Dominique. Both were jealous when I held Alexis' hand to walk- they all wanted to hold a hand, but I only had two. When Ivan tried holding Dominique's hand, he wanted to be the lead pack wolf careening us down the treacherous toy strewn pathways.

Are you a savorer or devourer of foods/drinks you like? When you read do you keep setting it down and picking it up or do you want to read it all at once?