Friday, February 29, 2008

Flowering blooms in the wintry peace

with love for my mom...

"Flowering blooms in the wintry peace"

Forty years ago today
She stepped upon the frozen soil
Draped in winters' finest array
Harshly brushed in cold's frozen grasp

So young, so beautiful, yet hauntingly daring
She left the warmth of home
The fierce beauty of the Jamaican isle
To be trained and further cultured in the helm of Europe

Then a call, a draw, a pull
To some unknown land
A cold land, so far, so far

Before the days of the internet, web cams and e-mail
She left the familiar voices of home
The laughter, the musical, enchanting lilt of voices familiar
and stepped out

Such risk, such cost, such unknown adventure
Placing her future in the hands of God and destiny
Embarking on a journey into an unfathomable land
She took a step and changed history

My history.

If she had never gone,
They would have never met,
I would have never been.

How did the call sound
That could pry her
From the comfort, the rhythm,
And sweet melody of the Caribbean dance

Was it the wintry breeze calling her name
Birthing moms, crying out in pain
Children's laughter rippling the air
Grandchildren's love sent with a flair

Whatever the call
Whatever the tune
I hope the cost is worth it
I owe everything to you.

For taking that step into the unknown
Flowers still bloom and multiply
Dotting the landscape with your courage, beauty, strength and love
Leaving a mesmerizing hint of the exotic

on the prairie landscape.

Love you mom- happy 40 year anniversary in Canada

You'll have to excuse Ivan's little potty dance at the end of the first video, I think he was just overcome with excitement. In the second video, I told the kids we'd record a message for grandma. It might help you understand them if I explain that I've had them repeatedly record and re-record our phone answering message, since they have repeatedly erased and re-erased it by pressing all the machine's fun little buttons.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

have a cup of tea with me

Dominique has some items she obsesses over a little... a book based on the Hokey Pokey song, a cd she calls E-I-E-I-O because it has the song Old MacDonald on it and videos. The other night she woke up, so I brought her in bed with us and she stirred in her sleep crying out "video". She used to say the word balloon, but has decided they are now called "Iya" her name for Ivan- not sure why.

Cute Ivan episode: he was talking about all the things he will be able to do when he is grown up and on the top of his list was vacuuming I just had to put that in for posterity. I'm sure he won't always feel that way.

Was there something you really wanted to do when you grew up? Have you done it? Is it as exciting as you thought it would be?

Friday, February 22, 2008

chewy nuggett #I lost count

I haven't had a "chewy nugget" post in a long time, but the other day, I had one of those otherworldly, surreal moments where life just smacked me in the face. Dominique and I were goofing around and she was laughing (I believe she was jumping off my knees into my arms- we should have made her a built on helmet and knee pads when we gave her "Courage" as a middle name). As I gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. I felt that eternal youthful age that time seems to have frozen my sense of identity in and was utterly shocked and bewildered to realize that this little amazing being is "mine". Is it really possible? Do I have kids? Are these fascinating, loving, cheerful and challenging little beings actually an integral part of my existence? Where has time flown? How is it that I'm so privileged to have this life?

Children are amazing. They are not like a mate- who I chose and choose every day by staying with him, loving him, working together to make the family a wonderful experience. Children don't have a choice and while I had a choice to have them, there is no picking or determining of who will become "mine". They are a part of my life forever. There is no possibility of divorce, or change. I am and will forever be their mom, unlike anyone else in their life. They are and will forever be my children no matter how good or bad our relationship may turn (hopefully only good), it does not change the fact that they are integrally a part of my existence for always.

I told Ivan "pardon me" when I didn't hear him today which he misunderstood. He corrected me saying "part of me- daddy's a part of me". It dawned on me then that in a sense, Brian is more closely related to the kids than to me- they are blood related, but Brian and I are not at all linked in that way (thankfully). He and I share a totally awesome other relationship, but it's on a very different level.

So enough of my philosophying... here's Ivan in his youthful perspective.

In case you have a hard time hearing what he said after the point of:

"What do you like about being up?"
"umm cause I, I always go in my dream in whole life and always look at my tattoo and see things all around."
"that's great. what fun thing did you do today?"
"mumm... umm... some birds."

I just love how grown up he sounds and looks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All set

I've been working on numbers (1-5) with the boys. This morning Ivan said 3 was how old he was, then I showed him 1 for Dominique, 2 for her next birthday and 4 for his next birthday. Well, that sent him off. He's got the entire year figured out. He wants a teddy bear birthday with paper (pinata) and we have to put candy in it and hit it with the stick from the shed- and of course he needs the matching teddy bear cake. Then he asked Dominique if she wanted a teddy bear party, but she said no. He made several other suggestions and she said yes to a dog birthday, with dog pinata and cake.

Dominique's new skills include putting cds in the player, starting them and ejecting dvds.

Here are the kids with their loot Valentine's day. Dominique was given a barbie from the dollar store. One of the reasons they are so affordable is because their clothes are virtually non existent, so we had to get something the barbie could wear! And she got chocolates from her daddy. Daddy got Ivan a flashlight. We don't get them stuff very often - they already have so much, but they do get so much delight from the simplest things.

Here's big Buddy with his braids. I don't know that he'll let me do it again. He thinks it makes his head look small.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

one year

We are officially well! Ivan has been fever free 24hrs and is back to himself. The house is cleaned (thanks mostly to Brian) and I closed our infirmary (a bed for me amongst the sick kids) and put up all the medicines. Ivan will continue his new antibiotic through the 10 days, but he doesn't fight me with it. If he protests in the least, I ask him if he'd prefer the "brown medicine" (it was the one that was so vile it made him puke) and he quickly laps up the new medicine. Tonight I'm going to sleep all night in my own bed.

I was looking through old videos and was so surprised to see how much they have changed in a year. These videos are a year apart- almost to the day.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Today was a good day. Both kids finished the horrid, vile, disgusting flu medicine that everyone admits probably doesn't help much anyways. I'm not sure it did Ivan any good, but it probably cut Dominique's round short. I managed to get Ivan in to the doctor before lunch thanks to my speed dial capabilities. For 30 minutes, I dialed every 10 secs until I got a non-busy signal. The doctor said Ivan's ears are still horrible and prescribed a new antibiotic. We started it already and Ivan is acting much better. I think all he has is the ear infection now- barely any fevers, if any today.

I also got a nap. Ahhhhhhh, a nap. ;)

Speaking of, here are some pics along that theme. This is BEFORE.

This is a minute or so AFTER.

In this one, she fell asleep with a balloon in her bed, which I thought was dangerous, so I removed it as she slept. I heard her moving about that morning and found her in the living room with her balloon again.

This was where I found her after she threw a fit for me putting her in her bed for a nap. She just climbed out and thought she'd enjoy a little read, but sleep was too strong for her little protest.

This is how I found her one morning after she got up and I let her out of her room- raring to go with Ivan's backpack and book.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope I didn't speak too soon about getting over the sickness the other day. After I wrote it, Ivan started having high temps again and crying about his ears hurting. So I called the doc and they gave me some ear drops to use as needed. If he's not lots better by tomorrow, I'll at least call again if not take him in.

We aren't being very romantic today- but Happy Valentine's day to all of you anyways. Brian has a gigg tonight at artwalk- which the kids and I are not attending since they are sick. I cancelled water aerobics since they are sick too and who could find a babysitter on V day or want to when they are sick.

I was at least going to make super, if not something special like other years. We've been living off of Big Buddy's fried offerings- pork chops and fish. With the kids not eating much, his gifts stretch for many meals and we have leftovers in the fridge again- so we may just eat that. However, we do have chocolates from Germany (the best- thanks Andrea) and Valentine cookies from Nana, cards, stickers and cards this morning with little gifts, so it's fun.

It looks like we are taking more pictures of Dominique than Ivan and we are. Mostly because she will smile for the camera and Ivan will run away.
Are you doing anything special?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

over the hump, but not out of the woods

I think I can safely say we are on the mend. We have navigated ourselves into a workable "feeling sick" arrangement that includes hours of watching videos and two children fighting to sleep on top of me each night. I had three beds set up in Ivan's bedroom with them all pushed together so that I could comfort one, then the other, but they would rather be comforted by the constant feel of my body holding them. Ivan is still saying that his ears hurt and is running temperatures, but as of last night, they have come down about 3 degrees, so they are in the 100 range. I think Dominique is done with the fevers.

The worst part has been the super high temperatures and the flu medicine they were given. Ivan is taking an antibiotic once a day and both are taking poison in liquid form twice a day. The first time I gave it to them they threw it up within 45 secs. So then we tried with food and they threw up the medicine and food. I tasted it and decided to try that old cherished song- "just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down"- only it takes more than one spoonful. I have to mix it with 3 teaspoons of sugar and either chocolate milk, yogurt or ice cream- then force it into them- but at least that way they don't puke it back up.

For some nicer visuals: here are some pics from our well days...

Cute things while sick: Ivan has given us new nicknames. Dominique is Meem and I am Momeem. Yesterday Dominique threw a fit when I wouldn't let her feverish body be clothed in a jacket, but she compromised with shoes- so all day she was dressed in her shoes and a diaper. Always stylish- that one.

I now have two nurses. Dominique was feeling better first and wanted to help rub Ivan's back (only she has cold hands like mine and Ivan didn't like that at all). She likes to name whose medicine is whose (he's on children's tylenol and motrin, while she is on the infant version), hand out tissues, take out and put back the thermometers... Today, Ivan, who is feeling much better, decided he wanted to wipe up Dominique who was slimed in her choco-poison medicine. The problem with mixing it is that it makes the dose even bigger.

What I have been thankful of is that we are in a place and time when this is at worst frustrating, tiring, a drag. I have access to doctors, pharmacies, feel good foods, a comfortable home and the liberty to take off time to recuperate- what many people in the world would only think is a dream. To them and others in our past, this could have been a devastating occurrence. I'm also mindful of those who are being hit with this who are not in good health. My friend's daughter, Ale is battling leukemia and her sister just got the flu. I pray Ale will be all right.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

in sickness and in health

For those of you who are so enthralled with our daily happenings that you actually read this blog and are thus fiercely interested in our progress through our current wave of sickness- I'm hoping we are on the mend. Actually- Brian seems to be feeling better. Ivan has been totally miserable for 3 days, until his last dose of Motrin when I suddenly got my son back. It wears off in an hour so we'll see how he is, only he's been saying his ears hurt, so we may end up spending the day at the walk in clinic if they still hurt tomorrow (please NO!). Dominique woke from her nap with a fever, but I think that was because she wouldn't take off her jacket when she went down for a nap and was in a warm room.

The house was supposed to get cleaned yesterday or today. I tried doing a really skimpy job on the bathroom, but still only got half done. Ivan just wanted to be held and whine all day. He watched a lot of videos, but wanted to be held even while he watched those. I did take off when the kids were sleeping and braided Big Buddy's hair! He likes to wear it long and I've been teasing for years that he could get it braided. A week or so ago, he said he wanted it done. It actually looks great.

Here is Dominique's first original composition on the play stick. She cracks me up so much. She just enjoys life so fully, except when she's screaming at 80 decibels at her brother, but I think she even enjoys that- much to our chagrin.

Do you ever make up songs? What do you sing about?

Friday, February 08, 2008

produce co-op

I have a friend who has been getting her produce through a co-op some people formed in another town. They buy directly from a truck deliverer who was kind enough to let them buy only part of his load. The more the merrier, so she spread word that if there were some interested she would pick up ours there along with hers. We place our orders based on a week old list and pick it up a week after that. Sometimes things don't come in, or come in more than anticipated, but the prices are so much better than what you can buy at the store and it's exciting to be able to buy more expensive items that I normally would not buy. The kids get a real thrill from it too- as you can see.

Be praying for our health. Ivan has had steady temperatures all night and day. He's tired of taking medicine and I'm tired of giving it to him (just children's Ibuprofen so far as we've not been to a doctor). His temperatures are in the 100 and several times has gone up to 102.6. He really hated his cool bath and it barely brought down the temp. Then I gave him the option of eating ice cream or taking his shirt off. He chose ice cream- but only ate one bite I forced on him. I got fevers a lot as a kid and remember how bad it was. I hallucinated too. It was awful.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I got a little concerned when I read that my cousin Roberta's house got the flu. Thanks for sharing the bug! That's a joke, 'cause it seems that we have parallel lives. Truth is the boys I watch were sick the last couple of weeks, along with half of Abilene, so it's no wonder that it finally hit us. Brian has been sick all week, Dominique had the sniffles, but didn't seem so bad. Ivan, who I thought missed it, started running fever last night and is now officially miserable. As soon as the ibuprofen wears off, his temp. goes back up again. Nevertheless, even with feeling miserable- he asks if Caleb is coming today.

Dominique has what could be an unhealthy fixation on Ivan's backpack. I call it unhealthy because she thrown many a fit over it and missed out on grocery shopping today because of it. She doesn't ever want to take it off. She wants to sleep with it on (doesn't work), go in the car with it on (doesn't work) and shows up at her door in the morning wearing it. Brian hid it today after she got left and was crying hysterically from the traumatic moment when I told her that she could bring the backpack, but not wear it in her car seat. Apparently he didn't hide it very well, because she found it. I found a new hiding place. She is so cute wearing it though. She is also enthralled with shoes and enjoys putting on the boys shoes and walking in them giggling all the while. She has also figured out how to put on one of her shoes, but only one and on the wrong foot.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Imitation is the highest form of flattery- dad quote

Do you remember the video from Brian's birthday with Danny playing some kind of funked out drum that you sit on? If not, just go back a few posts. The kids have decided the sitting drum thing was pretty cool, as you can see...

Dominique has been really cracking me up lately. She is communicating so much and loves to imitate goofy expressions or impress us with her antics. She is growing up so fast and I think is trying to all the more with two older boys around. Yesterday, when we were swimming in the pool, she told me "poop"- I checked and to my relief there was nothing- yet. I asked her if she needed to go potty and she said "yah". So I took her to the potty- in the icy cold air conditioned dressing room and to my surprise she peed on the potty! All day she wanted to sit on the potty and actually went twice. Yeah, yeah, it seems we're underway. Ivan can go all by himself now, so that is really awesome. I think it's really helped them having Caleb here, since he goes all on his own too.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sibling love

Our very belated Christmas picture from before we left for Canada and a picture of us in our real life attire. We never used to dress up for family pictures. It's Dominique's fault because she has so many pretty outfits given to her. I guess she upgrades the rest of us.

Our bed time ritual includes baths, wild screaming around the house, a race to Ivan's room, stories, prayers, kisses and hopefully sleep sometime thereafter. Usually I get the kisses, but sometimes Dominique or Ivan wants to show their affection for each other. These pictures came out all funky since I had to use the slow flash for it to not be glaring white with the regular flash.

Funny Ivan story- Ivan called out to me: "Mom, I spelled Dominique's name." When I looked, I saw this... I started to spell her name for him saying: "Her name starts with a D", but he interrupted me "There's a D right there".

So, he knows that his name is spelled "I V A N" and that her name is spelled with a whole lot of letters- basically most of the alphabet.