Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I can hardly believe dad is already getting ready to leave. He just got here didn't he? It was too short, but he left his mark. Dominique wanted us to rearrange the table tonight so that she could sit beside grandpa. Both kids are playing a new game they got with him as we speak and they have been wearing out his arm as he pushes them everyday on their new swing set. Yes, pictures will be coming. The kids have been "helping" on it. So far it has a partially finished fort, a sandbox area, rock wall and two swings. Yet to come is the tire swing, the rest of the fort walls and slide, maybe a rope to climb too. It is looking really good and I hope will entertain the older two while mommy is a little occupied with our new baby coming soon.

Our baby is now officially full term. I am still dilated to a 1, but 60-70% effaced, so we are on our way. I still need to do many a project, but I started her clock today, so that felt good. An e-mail told me I should have my bags packed, so I guess I should have Brian go to the shed and drag out my overnight bag, the parts to make the crib a crib again, the baby bath and bassinet, the car seat... Oh we'll get there right? Funny how we are so laid back with #3. With Ivan we had all this done a month in advance and now we're not all that concerned. We live five minutes away from the hospital, so if I don't have my "stuff" I can send someone to get it and besides the hospital supplies fashionable lingerie and so forth, they also offer you a car seat, if we really needed one and it only takes 2 minutes to put up the playpen/bassinet, we've done it a hundred times.

Did you ever see the Cosby Show episode where the doctor (Bill Cosby) had 3 babies to deliver at the same time? There was newbie parents (with fainting dad), Spanish couple who didn't understand English and the 5 time parents who came in bearing zucchini cake, playing cards and cracking jokes between breathing through contractions, telling the doctor not to worry about a thing, they would be fine on their own if need be. I always thought it would be great to be that relaxed about the birth. I'm not sure if we're there yet, and I don't think we'll have 5 kids to see if we could be that cool about it, but it is nice to know a bit what to expect and not to have to sweat all the details.

Dad keeps trying to finagle the baby name out of us. Ivan actually knew it, and remembered it for a few minutes which scared us knowing the grands would try to draw it out of him, but we told him lots of other names and he quickly forgot it. Yeah for 4 year old attention spans!

Mom was humming Old langs eye (or whatever it's called) and cracking pecans... guess I should go be sociable. Happy New Year to all of you. May it bring goodness your way. We are looking forward to our life as a family of 5. We ate out at a chinese restaurant last night and my fortune said: The coming month shall bring winds of change in your life. (That will certainly be true!) Brian's said: The current year will bring you much happiness. (I take that as in the current year about to start and we'll take it ;)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The promised Christmas day videos

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas Day

We had a wonderful time together for Christmas day. We enjoyed waffle breakfast and opened tons of gifts before we had to get the house in a bit of order, start a turkey and stuffing, house rearranging and party with friends. We had a huge houseful, so that was a bit crazy, but nice. It was most especially nice since my neighbor Linda saved the day. I had asked everyone to bring two side dishes, but instead she cooked all day and brought about 6 huge side dishes- which was very good because I think we might have run out of food! We demolished a 20 lb turkey and the African dishes were gone before I'd gotten a plate to fill. The funny thing is that we had 4 pies, cookies and a huge fruit salad, but barely any of that was gone. Mom said that Africans don't eat desert much, but apparently they like turkey ;)

The kids got special gifts from even great uncles and aunts. Notice all the Canada shirts (even one for the baby). And Uncle Archie made the doll crib for Dominique. Brian's Star Wars movie collection is complete once again (they better stop making movies). I'm glad mom liked the painting I made for her. She was captivated by a scene in Jamaica and it only took me most the year to get it painted. But it was all worth her excitement over it. A little piece of her "homeland"- do you still call it that when you've lived much longer elsewhere?

Apparently my sister and I still think the same way as we had both gotten doctor type kits for the kids and they also got two sets of tools. This actually turned out great since they both have a stethoscope and hammer... so they don't have to fight quite as much over it all. But then, I think they enjoy fighting some, so they make up reasons to get at each other. I think mom and dad forgot what it's like to be around toddlers 24-7 and I hope we don't scare them away forever, with the energy, squabbles, screaming, whining... Of course all the change in routine and holiday craziness has not necessarily brought out their best qualities.

Hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas and were able to get together with friends and/or family. Sorry we haven't posted our family pic yet. Some immediate family haven't gotten their copy yet, so I am making all the rest of you wait until the new year. Then we'll be adding another new member and have to do another picture! I can't believe our baby is nearly full term! Only 3 more weeks until due day! Dad hopes she'll come before he leaves Thurs. but I don't really think that will happen. Mom got me pajamas and a robe so I'll be all ready for my hospital stay and for those mornings once baby is here when getting dressed becomes a monumental task.

My videos aren't uploading, so I guess that means I've put enough pictures and blah, blah to fill this post. Maybe tomorrow it will work better ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

They're here!

Mom and dad got here a little late and much weary, but here none the less. Dominique did her typical shy routine for about 10 min. then enjoyed doing sommersaults by holding on to dad's fingers and walking up his legs- the shyness stage was a thing of the past. The kids bounced around both of them all night and it didn't take long until someone had brought dad an album and they were looking over the last couple of years. The traditions live on. The MacLeods are renowned for taking lots of pictures, having tons of photo albums and boring anyone who enters the door with the snapshots of our lives, so it was only right that one of the first activities, before a suitcase was cracked open, was to look through albums.

Tomorrow we need to bake pies and get things set up for Christmas. Ivan will be so glad that he finally gets to see what is in the gifts under the tree. He has been asking if we could open them for the last several days. Apparently the kids also think my belly is a giant gift that should reveal it's treasure soon. They keep asking if the baby is coming, like they think I'll go into labor at an second. Well, I guess they are not the only ones. People in the store were wondering if she was about to come too. Patience, she's almost ready ;) Meanwhile, let the feasting and festivities begin!

Monday, December 22, 2008


They play hard and then they...

Today we got our big Christmas day grocery run done. I was so happy the kids were good! I let them cross off items on the list, since it was so big, I knew we would get lost in it all. I normally don't like getting things that aren't my usuals, because they are hard to find and I end up going back and forth through the aisles, plus the store was full of everyone else doing the same as us, but when the kids are pleasant, even the grocery store can be fun- a place of discovery and "treasure hunting". Several people who saw me mentioned that I may get a baby for Christmas or would comment on how cute or good the kids were. Kids seems to bring out the friendliness in others- especially older people. Their eyes light up and they talk to us.

We then went out to the house Brian is working on in Clyde, where he gave the kids the grand tour. I saw it on our date last Fri. We got to the partially finished master bath and I asked the kids what was missing. They said a bath (it just has a shower) and I said "yes, what else?". Ivan whispered: "there is no potty". When I exclaimed "yes, there is no potty!" excited that he had solved the riddle, he started hushing me and telling me to be quiet, like I shouldn't say something like that so loudly! I'm sure he would be most horrified that I just posted this information for all the online world to see.

We went out for lunch together with Brian at Subway and Ivan thoroughly enjoyed choosing his vegetables for his sandwhich (he picked everything!) If I had made it at home, he would have complained about the toppings, but there, it was exciting to tell the lady everything he wanted and then to eat them all.

Tomorrow the grands arrive from Canada, so that is very exciting. I can say that then our holidays really begin!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So much fun!

We had such a super anniversary. We had to stay in town since I could have a baby any minute, but several friends came together to make our evening so precious. Tighe took the kids for the night on their first friend slumber party. The above pic. is Dominique with some of the items we packed, a blanket, Dora pillow and Dora doll. She and Ivan loved their slumber party and want to do it again! Olivia, Tighe's neighbor, also played with the kids, which was one of the special highlights of their stay. We went to a movie, at a theatre! That deserves an exclamation point because we don't get to do that much anymore. We saw Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and were very moved by it. It's not exactly your feel good, romantic anniversary movie, but has a lot of substance and meaning that spoke to us on many levels. We ate a most incredible meal by Chef Joel, of TruBlu catering. They had made us a romantic little getaway in a part of his kitchen and he served us a most exquisite meal of lamb and couscous, salsa verde, spinach salad, pecan and berry desert... So yummy. I felt like we were eating in NY. and listening to music from New Orleans, but there we were in little Clyde Texas. I gave Brian what I guess you'd call a framed collage, with a picture of us at our wedding and one now. I need to scan it and show you what I did with it. I think we look different, a little older, but I like the us now, even more than the us then, because now we have 10 years of depths, experience, love, growing together...

Here we are with the master Chef and dining.

In the meantime, our house is getting into shape bit by bit. I've recuited some very underage, cheap help. They loved wiping down the baby toys we pulled out of storage. Of course Ivan remembered every single one of them from when he was a baby (even the ones that we didn't have yet when he was a baby). Here they are with the loot.

I got another clutter space organized because I was moving some stuff out of the baby room and into the cabinet when I realized that the cabinet would not accept anything more without a thorough going through and restructuring. So, I complied and we can now fit everything and more as well as find things which is good. Like who knew when I bought glue sticks a couple of months ago, that I still had about 10 of them in the cabinet from our neighborhood club days. Well, I know now, and can find them!

Brian baked a couple of pies for Christmas and I need to go through the recipes and find ingredients for a grocery run tomorrow. We have some friends coming by, but I'm making them all bring something because I'm mean and can't deal with the stress of doing a big meal by myself. Last time I did that pregnant, I actually got sick that night. Learned my lesson. So we'll get to have fun and a great meal, but I only have to cook a couple of things- yeah!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

our wonderful holiday schedule

I am a total sucker for sleeping in. The kids and I now get up around 8 or 9ish, which is great for sleep, but horrible for trying to get things done before noon. So now our noon is about 1:30 and naps some time after that. Ivan still needs naps everyday, at least he is much more pleasant and so are the rest of us, but it is taking him a long time to conk out, so that's a little rough. My natural inclination, which is to stay up until about midnight, lets me get some stuff done when the kids go to bed about 9:30 or 10pm. I have been going through baby clothes, washing, sorting, arranging, getting mom and dad's room ready and keeping up with regular household stuff like suppers and laundry. I'm trying to get Dominique to stop throwing everything on the floor when she is done with it, but this is not an easy lesson. I just can't reach down and be picking up everything all the time, not that I should have to!

We got to see Big Buddy today. He had his other leg amputated and is hurting quite a bit, but in good spirits, teasing all the nurses. We brought him a card with the above picture on it and he liked that quite a lot.

Tomorrow the kids go on their first slumber party to a friend's house, while we get to go out for dinner for our 10th anniv. and maybe even a movie sans kids. Yep 10 years ago, we were up there in what Brian called a "frozen wasteland" (his first impression from the plane), pledging our "I dos" in the midst of a huge snowstorm. It was a great start to a wonderful 10 years. I just can't believe it has all gone by so quickly!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's t-t-told outside

Ivan can't say his hard C sounds yet, thus the title. The kids have a video showing them the sound the C makes and so he likes to quote "it's t-t-told outside". Yesterday, Dominique was in a tank top and Ivan got hot in his black jeans. This morning, they came to me in their pyjamas with mitts from the bag Brian had left out when getting ready to head to work. They hadn't even had breakfast yet, but wanted their mitts on. I told them mitts were for going outside, when their hands are cold. Dominique said her hands were cold as she put her glacier fingers on my bare leg. Our lesson on placing the thumb in the mitt commenced immediately.

They keep saying we could get snow, but something more than colder temperatures needs to happen for that- precipitation. Brian said we haven't had rain in 3 months. It's so dry! Even Houston got snow already this year. Last time that my parents came for Christmas it snowed for them, so a repeat would be cool. They say we have another chance for snow this weekend. We'll see.

On to baby news... I had an appointment today and another one in 2 weeks, then weekly (I was mistaken before). The doctor said that I'm nearing my weight limit for the pregnancy- (like whatever that means) and that I need to watch my intake of sweets, fatty foods, nighttime snacks... Did she happen to look at a calendar?!! I knew this weigh in was going to be bad. My water aerobics class is suspended and I won't be back until 6 weeks after the baby is born, so I've missed out on that, plus we started celebrating our anniversary this week, so I have a huge cheesecake in the fridge that we've been working on and when I found out my parents have their own stash of German chocolates, we went ahead and started on ours, with the idea of saving some for their time here too of course. Humff. Watch my intake- she means watch them go in my mouth right??

OK, the nitty gritty-- To those of you who know numbers, I'm dilated to a 1 and 25% effaced and the baby is already in position and "engaged" at a 0 station, which the doctor explained usually means a quick labor. She asked if I've been having contractions and I'm not sure how to answer her. I've been having tons for over a month now and told her once before, which totally freaked her out and she checked me, but nothing was happening. So then the next visits I told her they were just Braxton hicks, but they don't feel like them, they feel more like not so intense contractions. Of course the doctor was asking if I wanted to be induced, but I don't think we'll need to be this time, with the way these feel. Ivan was one day early and Dominique induced a week late, so I don't think this one will come early. I guess we'll just see. In the meantime, mom and dad are to arrive, we have Christmas coming and the New Year- just a few things going on.

Can you believe it's almost Christmas?? Dominique is always asking me where her Christmas is and I have no clue what she is talking about: the tree, a present, a card, a decoration...???

We got to go see Mary today. The kids and Wynetta played Dominoes with her, which was great. I was helping both the kids play, but they did pretty well. I think Dominoes is one of the few games that any age can play and even enjoy with different ages playing together.

Big Buddy is in the hospital and scheduled to have his other leg amputated, so that really sucks, but it should help him a lot with his pains and he is pretty chipper about it knowing how much it helped when the other one was done.

We got our mailed presents in the mail today, so maybe they can get there on time. I hope Andrea's doesn't come back from Germany- like her birthday card did! yeah, argh, we got it in the mail today (I sent it in early Oct.). So Andrea, Brian said I should just scan the card and e-mail it to you. Plus it came back damaged, like they were mad at me for not figuring out the address- can you move somewhere easier to mail to (like Canada ;)? hee hee

A year ago today

I'll never forget this day. I got to see my niece from her first breath out of the womb. There was something so connecting at being able to be there, and healing and joyful and freeing.

Our lives were forever changed. I got to be auntie, Brian- an uncle and the kids- cousins. Imogen got lots of hugs, kisses, welcomes and camera flashes.

She has brought so much joy to all our lives and has displayed both her easy temperament, joyful spirit, talent and determination. She is now walking, eating table food and babbling away. I wish I could be there for every moment, but have to be thankful that at least there is the net, facebook, blogging and web cams to keep up with the changes. It does hurt when I want to reach through the computer and give her a hug or kiss or touch her little hands. So would someone up there do that for me? Tell her that her auntie, uncle and cousins in Texas love her very much and happy birthday.

In case she has learned to read on her own since we last web cammed (she is brilliant- you know): We love you Imogen Grace Wallace! Happy 1st birthday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Toddler tales vol.3

As I was unloading the groceries, the kids each snagged a block of cheese and were putting it up to their eyes as if the blocks were cameras, making clicking noises and saying "say cheese!" (so clever)

Tonight, the baby was moving around in weird positions, so I showed the family my rocking and rolling belly. Ivan looks up at me and says: "you look like a hot air balloon". OK, not exactly the compliment one looks for, but probably pretty true to fact. I start my 9th month this week, which means weekly doctor appointments and a soon to arrive baby.

I thought that once I stopped keeping the Aim boys, I'd have all this time to get ready and think about the baby and instead Christmas has slammed us in the face. I think we've got most of it done though. We are finishing up the last of our homemade gifts so I hope that we can get stuff mailed off Monday to far away family, except for the Canadian contingent who will get their gifts via dad's suitcase- you don't mind do you dad?

Mom always baked Christmas goodies and I haven't gotten at all that adventurous. I figure I was doing good to get a few gifts under the tree. Besides, we already eat too much sweets right? I could say that we're trying to be more health conscious instead of just lazy. And it's not like their isn't anything special in the house with the box of chocolate delicacies that my future sister-in-law sent us from Germany. Yeah, we are spoiled.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A wee bit busy

Sorry I've been a little negligent here. We've been just a wee bit busy (as my future sister-in-law would say). Last weekend we put up our tree and outdoor lights, plus Brian got our yard winterized. Monday, I had my last day with the Aim boys, but that seems like about 3 weeks ago. We've had multiple things going on everyday which can be very taxing on a 9 month pregnant lady and two toddlers. I got some Christmas shopping and projects done, had two fun nights sans children- a girls night out and a date night in with Brian. I surprised him with a fancy meal a week before our 10th anniv. It tasted good, but it's crazy trying to take care of kids, get the house clean and cook something fancy all at the same time. I was pretty wiped by evening to say the least.

Today was crazy, but fun too. It was super windy out, so Brian scratched his outdoor plans and got another Christmas project done- yeah Brian. Meanwhile, the kids and I made "lighter sabers" out of the paper at the end of the Christmas wrap, I finished up an ornament for Dominique, we decorated a ginger bread house (thanks Andrea) and enjoyed all being together.

We have a rule that the kids don't get desert if they don't eat supper and so decorating the ginger bread house with tons of candy they were not allowed to eat was pretty torturous for them, but they obeyed, mostly. I couldn't keep them from licking the icing from their fingers and then- to my horror or laughter (whichever wins out at the moment) licking the table and even picking icing off Dominique's shirt to eat. Yeah- gross.

So, what are your least favorite and favorite Christmas activities?

I'm not a shopper at the best of times, so that is torturous for me, but I have loved all the little celebrations- the parade, (the tree, which the kids are constantly re-decorating), decorating the gingerbread house, getting together with family (my parents fly in on the 23rd)... all the little things that give such joy to the kids and all the great ways to make memories and share experiences together.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Toddler tales vol.2

Today we had packages in the mail. The ever so exciting rewards from the HEBuddy kids propaganda club from our grocery store. We really like our store and they help the community a lot as well as provide fun activities for kids like fishing for live catfish in the parking lot. They are very generous with prizes, of course store propaganda prizes. They give the kids "buddy bucks" while we are in the store, which can be used on a grabbing game in the store, which gives them points, that when added up gives them prizes from a frequently updated catalogue. Today, they got the latest prizes we ordered: HEBuddy kid mugs that are also puzzles in that the picture turns on the mug so that you have to match up the store mascot (a grocery bag of food). Ivan and Dominique are so excited about them, but the laugh out loud statement that Ivan made was this: "wow, when I'm an adult, I can put coffeee in this and drink it!" Yeah, I see him as a 20something with his puzzle kid mug, drinking his latte!

Dominique has developed an interesting way to count just lately. She likes to count with the microwave. Of course she is counting up, while the microwave counts down. The funny thing is that she is counting all mismatched in 3 languages. She typically says something like: "un, deux, trois, cinco, siete, ocho, eighteen, nineteen".

One thing I hope to do better now that I am not keeping other kids is to talk more French to them. They know a few words, but should really be bilingual by now if I was more consistent. It seems with each new baby we have, I feel like I have the chance to start again.

Can you believe Christmas is around the corner? We are so not ready. We are still making and getting gifts, one of which Brian is planning to build for the kids the weekend after Christmas, not to mention I need to get the house ready for my parent's arrival and a baby!!! I start my 9th month this coming week. So exciting!

At the same time, we are enjoying sleeping in and being flexible. Yesterday we stopped by a friend's work to surprise her for her birthday and ran into a friend who took us for lunch and another friend, who then joined us- grandma Wynetta being one and (the one taking the picture)- Trish being the other. So fun! Today we were able to keep Isaiah some while Tighe took his sister for a vaccination and got to have lunch with them too ;) So nice to get to see some friends and enjoy other adults!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Toddler tales

Dominique loves Dora and all her Dora toys/books/cup/plate... Dora is a character on a popular kid's video/tv show. The cute thing is that Dominique does not call her Dora. If you've heard the theme song, it starts with repeating "do do do do Dora" (4 times) then goes into "Dora, Dora, Dora the explorer..." So Dominique calls her "do do do do Dora" and is often heard saying things like: "Where is my do do do do Dora?" Depending on what she is looking for we have to guess if it's the plate, bowl, cup, toy, book...


In the middle of the night, Dominique came crying into our room, crying "I want Ivan" "where's Ivan". I don't know if she'd had a nightmare in which he was hurt or what, but I took her back to her room, lifted her up so that she could see Ivan sleeping peacefully through the mayhem and put her back in her bed where she slept through the rest of the night. I think it's so sweet that they are best friends.


Dominique and I were in the kitchen goofing around when a stench filtered through the air. She said "Are you stinky?" I replied- "no, who's stinky?". "Ivan?" she not so innocently suggested. I argued "He's not even in the room. Did you toot?" She shook her head vehemently "Nooooooooo... I farted".


Ivan and Dominique were calmly finishing up their pancake breakfast when the phone rang. If you don't have toddlers, let me explain. The phone ringing is like an alarm. It means- mom is busy and we can create all the chaos we want and it will make her really angry and it will give us a lot of mischevious fun. So within two minutes of talking on the phone, when the screeching had escalated to the point of someone is getting hurt or something will get wrecked, I went to examine the situation. (Did I also mention that the alarm means run off into another room so that it will take mom some time to reach us?) Dominique was violently pushing the eject button on the computer, opening the DVD player and Ivan was holding onto the DVD tray that was trying in vain to disappear back into the computer. I could almost hear the DVD player crying out "I have nothing to do with this, please leave me out of this, let me go back to my comfortable little home". So, like any good mom, I screamed at them and banned them from videos for the rest of the day.

Ivan does not understanding bannings too well. He thinks that if he keeps asking every minute or so, he will eventually wear me down and I will give in. So, after about 5 requests for a video, I told him that if he asked me again to watch a video today that I was going to spank his bum. A minute later, he came up to me with the sweetest smile and said "mom, can you?" and he pointed to the computer with frantic gestures "um... put something on?". The answer was still no, but I admire his ability to think through the rules and create a new tactic. So now I specified that that is still asking and that he better not do it again.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What a trooper!

I took Ivan to the dentist today. He got 4 of his 7 cavities filled, which means we have to go back again in Feb.! The place just opened, but they are so good and I guess word travels fast. When we first went, getting an appointment was easy, now they have nothing open for months! He was so incredible. I've had fillings, lots of them, but not all at the same time! He did great with the first 2 and they kept saying how incredible he was. They said he was acting more like a 7 year old than a 4 year old. The dentist and technitian were so super and when he flinched on the next teeth, they had to give him shots and it went kind of downhill from there. I think he was tired and ready to go home. It didn't help that we waited a good 45 min. in the waiting room before they even called us. He was ready to go home before they'd even touched him. But they are by far the best dental experience I've ever seen or had nonetheless. I was so thankful for my friend Tighe who kept Dominique for me. She didn't need to see all the operations and Ivan needed my undivided attention, not to mention that would have been a bit of a zoo for the dentist too with a two-year old adding to the mix.

I managed not to cry when I could see that it was hurting Ivan and that he had had enough. I could tell they really sped things up as he cried through the last filling. Poor guy. Well one side done, one to go. They did pretty white fillings, so you can't even tell he has them. Maybe the fillings will protect those teeth some too so we don't have to do this again! One can hope.

While in Houston, we found this elf bearing gifts along with his beautiful assistant.

Here's the video of Ivan's first ride on a non-training wheels bike.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

10 years just like that!

I can hardly believe that we'll have been married 10 years this month. It went so fast. We visited the water wall where Brian (finally) proposed to me. I say "finally" because we were planning the wedding and were not as yet officially engaged. I didn't want an engagement ring, so he gave me a locket instead, made by a friend of ours who is a jeweler and also made our wedding rings. I'm wearing the locket in the pictures. Don't zoom up on it though. It's silver and I really should have polished it before wearing it. Maybe I was going for the antique look?

We took a ton of pictures there since we thought it'd be cool to get our family photo there too this year. That was not very easy. We had us, a tripod and camera with a timer. Last year, I put a balloon on the camera and had the kids smile at the balloon. This year I didn't have a balloon and we had a niagara falls sized mountain of water crashing around us and tons of people to distract the kids. We kept yelling "look at the flashing light on the camera" and when we'd check the outtake, Ivan was looking over his shoulder or sticking out his tongue. Dominique apparently lost her smile somewhere upon arrival. We did manage to get a cute pose, while not all the expressions were perfect- but I'm keeping the picture a secret until in the New Year... so you'll have something to look forward to I guess.

The tower Brian is beside was called the transco tower, but being so OLD, it has since changed names. It faces the water wall. The picture of us on the bench is the very spot where the proposal occured. When standing in the middle of the curved wall, it is very wet and if you look up, you can actually get dizzy with the effects of the crashing, moving, noisy water. It's pretty neat. You can hear how noisy it was in this video and I'm standing far away from it.

In other news... Brian saw our baby's foot. I've heard of people being able to tell a body part through their extended belly, but couldn't imagine how it was possible. The other night, I could feel some little hard part and told Brian to come check it out. All of a sudden, she pushed and he said he saw her foot's imprint. Of course I could see nothing from my vantage point, but he even told me which direction her foot was in and that the toes were facing up. I still can't picture how she is turned around in there.

Last night, we took the kids to the Christmas parade. I thought Dominique and Ivan were about to burst. I don't think anyone could have enjoyed the parade more than they did. Dominique kept saying "I see that!" Ivan still loves the "mighty street sweeper". There were lots of lights and music and candy (that they didn't need). They yelled "merry Christmas" to everyone and a lot of people made eye contact with them, especially Dominique. They gobbled it all up. They saw our grocery store mascot, which they were bonkers over- he's a paper back with food coming out the top. So I guess it doesn't take a whole lot to impress them, but horses, wagons, cars, lights, people, a big street party- what more can you ask for? We saw 6 people we know personally in the parade and others we know from places in town. I guess that's a sign you live in a small city.

Dominique keeps saying "I want my Christmas" and I'm not sure what she is asking for. I keep telling her Christmas is a season or day and not really a thing or place to go to. They don't really get it. They keep begging me to take them to the balloon festival and don't understand that it doesn't come back here until next year. How will we explain to them that Christmas is over come January? I guess we'll tell them now is the time for the baby's arrival.

So, what is your favorite part of a parade?

And if you've been proposed to, where was it? Have you been back there?

Monday, December 01, 2008

A week ago or so

Ivan took this picture of me. He is getting better and better with the camera. I took his picture and he's pretty cute on the other end of the lens too.

Nana was off from work Wed. which was why we left the day before. That morning we went off to get plants for the guys to plant in the flower beds. They did a wonderful job and made friends with plenty of huge worms. Nana offered for me to take a nap (which I did not refuse), while she took Dominique out on a grandma/grandaughter date. They got their nails done. Dominique was so excited about her nails and showed them off to everyone. Ivan wanted to show us his nails too.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home again

Ivan had a bit of a rough day on the way home yesterday, although you can't tell it from the video at the end of this post. He entertained us with singing for about 10 or 15 minutes. It was incredible. I was glad I got some of it on tape. Unfortunately I was out of memory space when a couple of hours later, Dominique made up a song of her own. It wasn't quite as long or elaborately phrased, but she is a good little song writer in her own rite. The rough part for Ivan was the leaving. He does better if I prepare him for things, so thanksgiving day, I told him we'd be leaving Sat. Each night he made this speech:"Nana we have to leave in a couple of days. Will you miss me? I will miss you." The morning of our departure, Nana was already at work and Ivan cried that we were leaving and did his best to make us change our plans to go. During the ride he protested more and cried some. When he woke up in Abilene, I asked him where he thought we were and he said with a hint of hope: "Houston street?" He was not pleased when I said we were home in Abilene and when he recognized that we were indeed turning down our street, real tears streamed down his face. Dominique was not so drastically affected. She clambered out of the truck and was barely in the door when she asked if she could use the computer and mouse.

She can be pretty easy going and hilarious. Last night her scab fell off, (where she got her finger slammed in the door). She was so very pleased that it was pink underneath. She kept dancing, jumping and saying: "look, pink, like my favorite color!" She is still excited about it today.

I'll start back tracking now and give you some highlights.
Here we are, on our way to Houston, at our traditional picnic stopping spot just off the highway. The kids actually traveled wonderfully. Dominique dozed off a couple of times and Ivan stayed awake out of sheer excitement. He also has an impeccable memory. He remembered that last time, we stopped for milk shakes as a driving treat and started requesting one a couple of hours into the trip.

Brian gave Ivan his first ride on a bike without training wheels. They had a blast going up and down the street.

The kids wanted to show off their "pregnant" bellies with me. We have gotten lots of belly shots lately- but none quite like this one. They put a stuffed animal up their shirts and posed. Notice how Dominique arched her back to accentuate her "pregnantness"? And the nurturing big brother is cradling his belly baby just so.

About the song in the video. It was inspired by the trees that are changing colors here and were dramatic displays of orange, yellow and red (when they could be seen). Also, you can hear Dominique a little, she was trying to sing back-up which is hard to do when neither of them had a clue where the song was headed. True improvisation!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Loading up

We are heading out in the morning, so I figured I'd load you up on pictures to keep you until I get to post again.

Tighe and Olivia who gave me the sweet birthday treat of an evening dining and spa like experience.

Baby Lily (Tighe's daughter) and her brother Isaiah in the background. The kids are so excited about her and our upcoming baby.

Dominique practicing her big sister skills.

They just can't keep their hands off her- and who can blame them? Babies just demand cuddling by their pure cuteness.

Finger painting.

In case you couldn't tell.

Brian said that the kids are doctoring on the bear. They were giving it a shot with an oversized ball point pen. Moments earlier, they were trying to give shots to the dog and Brian, wisely suggested they use the bear instead. As cute as they are, I'm glad my doctor wears pants to my visits and doesn't cover me head to toe in wrappings for one little shot. This must be a real informal, (but thorough) doctor's clinic.
Dominique doing one of her favorite activities: coloring.

Cuddle time before sleep, pre-bunk bed days, which was only a couple of weekends ago, but seems like much longer.

Packing is nothing like it used to be when I was single. I even remember not taking anything for an over nighter at times. Now it seems we have half the house in bags. Oh, yeah, I just remembered I forgot to pack sippy cups. The kid's bags still have room anyways. I used to pack their stuff together in one small suitcase, but their clothes have grown along with them and now they need their own small suitcase each, but they have some room to spare.

To all you American's-- we hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving. To all you Canadians and any other nationalities who may read this blog, we hope you have a week full of things to be thankful for as well.

I am thankful that I have such an incredible family and friends. For the Lover of the universe giving me strength, direction and outpourings of love. For another day. For our fabulous, comfortable beds. For another little person on her way to grace our lives and fill it with more laughter and craziness and yet another bag to pack- so thankful ;)