Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another "baby" party

My friend Charity and her family are moving to California, so we had another baby party before they leave. Our daughters are weeks apart in age, and so are all these babies in the pictures. They were all in my water aerobics class 2 years ago. Now, all but 3 of the women are pregnant again and Charity was the first to deliver her next. 2 of the women think they are not going to have any more children.

Picture from Aug. 2006. Isaiah, Dominique and Trinity have been together a lot. At first every week, we would go walking with strollers and babies in tow.

This picture was taken in March of 2007.

Here's the stroller foursome the week of Dominique's 1st birthday, July 2007.

They have grown some more by Feb. 2008.

I bet you can't match the kids before and after. And they aren't the exact same kids, so that adds another challenge. So let's see if you can at least find Dominique. I don't even have the halloween pics in here. We've had 2 dress up gatherings.

I guess she doesn't figure she's a baby anymore. Now she's the momma taking care of her dolls and the rest of us.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The last of the Easter pictures

Brian is rottortillering up a new section of the yard in the hopes that we can actually grow something in Abilene's clay mud soil. We've tried valliantly 4 years now in a non-producing plot of our yard. We are hoping the reason we didn't get anything was due to all the trees and their roots invading the spot and not that the soil just really sucks.

The kids of course are avidly watching- so I can hang out on the net checking out blogs, facebook and write this.

This is the last of the Easter pics, and then I have more pics and videos from before that, plus what's on the camera now... so more fun to come (to those of you who think this is fun that is!!). By the way, I didn't do the face painting. My friend's sister did. They looked so great and sat very still while she created their little facial masterpieces.

Haven't asked a question in a long time...

What is your favorite Easter time memory?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

kitchen color and easter gifts

The little paint sample was actually some non-food sounding sample Brian had picked out. It was almost exactly like one of the many I had chosen. My greatest fear was that it would be too close to our old color and I was so bored of that. Not only has it been the color for these 5 years, but it is the color of every wall in the house and is not washable. The little paint sample was very deceiving. It looked so close to our old color, but turned out to be totally different- and we love it! It's a darker color, but much brighter. What looked like an off white sample size turned out to be a cheery yellow wall sized. The picture with both kids has Ivan on the new colored kitchen side and Dominique closer to the original color still in the hallway. Every day Ivan asks why we painted the kitchen, declares that it's beautiful and adds it to a mealtime prayer of thanks. So funny.

I for one am a fan of the dollar stores. For 2 bucks, I got the kids endless fun. Ivan practically sleeps with his new bat (I told him it couldn't be in the bed, so it is beside the bed). He didn't want it outside where it could get rain on it. Dominique is actually pretty good with it. Several times she has thrown the ball up with one hand and hit it with the bat in the other hand. Two handed, she's not so good, but always cute. Her batting position is more appropriate to a camera shoot than a well executed swing. I'll capture the moment sometime and you'll see what I mean. She's becoming a little poser.

Monday, March 24, 2008

a snake, a rat and some eggs

Dominique petting the snake.

Ivan petting the rat.

Dominique and her egg bounty.

Here are some of the promised pictures from this weekend. There are more pics and videos to come- and here I had been telling Brian that we've really slowed down with the picture taking. I guess we've slowed down in doing different things, but not this weekend. It was a time of discovering, friendships and celebration.

You are more than likely familiar with this tradition of finding eggs, but not necessarily the next one...

This is a hispanic tradition. There are special eggs called "cascarones". They are real, cleaned out egg shells with a chunk taken off the top, painted or died inside and out, filled with confetti and patched with a piece of gift tissue paper glued to cover the hole. The idea is to smash the egg on someone's head, but Ivan and Dominique were so careful in their "smashing", it was sweet.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pooped out with partying! Sat. we went to a fun party at the zoo. A lady had animals for the kids to pet- a hissing roach, a snake, a turtle, a chicken and a rat. Dominique wanted to pet them all, but Ivan only wanted to pet the furry one- he told me later that the reason he didn't want to touch the others were that they were fragile. There was cake, presents, then a tour of the zoo and goody bags with cool zoo paraphenalia. The monkeys are always my favorite and they were in high form. You know an animal is entertaining when a whole crowd is laughing and pointing, oohing and ahhing.

Then we went to another friend's place out of town where we hid and found eggs. Ivan and Dominique loved finding the colored eggs, chocolate eggs and eggs with hidden treasures, but they didn't like gathering the real eggs from the chickens in the little room where they discovered that chickens not only lay eggs, but they fly at little children's heads.

Today I cooked a huge turkey meal and we ate with neighbors, then we went to some more friend's house to eat again and hang out. I have tomorrow off from keeping the boys and it's a good thing because I'm pooped!

In between all this, Brian finished the painting project and cleaned the house and I got groceries and took care of our two kids. Pictures to follow. As of now they are still in the camera, but the kitchen looks so great! It makes us want to do the entire house.... ahhh, some day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is in the air

We've gotten some pretty good rains this past while with more expected for the weekend, so things are starting to green up a bit. The peach tree is blooming and I'm hoping we will finally get a peach crop. So far we've lost to ants, frost and birds. Maybe it's our turn this year. My most exciting news is that Brian is painting our kitchen tomorrow. I know- very exciting. I can almost see you doing the cartwheels from here. We picked out colors tonight. It will still be a pretty neutral color since the counter top is whites and offwhites and the cupboards are white, but we will finally get a washable paint. The house was done in matte paint which means everything stains the walls. Then we added kids to the mix- (expert wall stainers) and our kitchen decor quickly became an ongoing wall-sized compilation of meals gone by. We could call it creative, hands-on art or just disgusting. Now we will have some kind of paint named: honey pot, orange mist, almond whip or french pastry (no joke- it would really be cheaper to just give them food, spread it evenly, call it one of the above and seal it with gloss- but NO Brian wants to be professional about it)- ha,ha. I'm really excited.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring has arrived

Spring has come to Abilene! Our peach tree has little leaves and flowers popping out, bees buzzing around it and smelling so sweet.

This video was from when Dominique was running a fever thus the lack of clothes. It is a recreation of sorts because I happened to look on them and they were spinning their arms and shouting "spin faster" while their daddy was pushing the dirt around, but they stopped once I got the camera on them. Brian plans on moving the garden this year. We've tried the same spot 5 years and it's never produced well, but our neighbor across the street has much better returns, so we are trying to recreate his plot at our house. It'll be against the shed and under a pecan tree, so it'll be mostly shaded during the day.

In the video, Ivan asks "whycause?". He got that expression from Caleb. Kind of cute huh?

We are having some friends over tonight, so I've been cooking away and looking forward to being together. I am really excited for desert. I decided it was time to whip out the Saskatoon berry filling my mom sent down with us and made two pies. They look incredible and will be a taste of home I'm sure.

Is there some homegrown food that you can't find elsewhere?

Here they have cactus that the hispanics cook (I've never had it), although I have tried the cactus fruit and didn't think it was all that great. I have heard it makes good jellies though.

Friday, March 14, 2008

new heights, new abilities

Mom, Jenn, John and Imogen should be flying back today and will be glad to know that our house is back to health. My fever broke yesterday and I started to have some more energy by evening. Just in time, we have two birthdays this weekend and friends coming by for dinner Sunday.

Ivan is becoming mister independent. He has basically dressed himself all week. He can take off all his pyjamas and put on his clothes, except for a little help with the "bum bum and zip zip" on his pants (button and zipper). He also got to see Bob the builder for the first time and has been going around the house "fixing" things. I've had to explain that the windows don't need fixing and to stop banging them with his hammer, but apart from that, he's pretty harmless and terribly cute. He made his own Ivan the builder costume with swim goggles and ball cap.

Of course, Dominique wants to do everything her big brother does. She was also trying to dress herself, only she was trying to put her foot in the pant leg from the bottom of it. When I told her she was doing it wrong, she screamed at me. I'm hoping her screaming will diminish as she acquires more and more vocabulary. It surprises me how much she is now using "sentences"- mostly repetitions of whatever Ivan has just said, but she uses them with full understanding. Today she said "help you", pushed a stool over to the washer and "helped" with the laundry. Then the twosome "helped me" make muffins. Dominique helped by stirring the dry ingredients in the bowl and right out of the bowl. Ivan stirred with sound effects and showed me how his spatula had become "a motor". Then Dominique added the frozen pears to the dry liquids while my back was turned. This was not so good, since they were still in a ziploc back. Of course they both wanted to stir the completed concoction at the same time while I tried to dish it into the muffin tins. The kitchen has seen better days, but Brian cleaned it up and we all had delicious muffins as a treat.

You'll never guess what the healthy ingredients were! It would make my "cousin" Janet proud. I'll give you a hint to start your guessing. I was trying to use up some juice that had been sitting undrunk in the fridge.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I got hit!

Tuesday night I was putting the kids to bed and suddenly I felt as if a cement truck had creamed me. Every muscle in my body hurt, I had chills, fever and waves of nausea. It felt like a mix of malaria (if you've ever had that pleasure) and labor pains (if you've ever had that pleasure). I made the mistake of not canceling with the kids the next day. All of the kids had already been exposed (Ivan started with it during Nana's visit last week, then Dominique got it the next day. Both only had it 48 hours. The Aim boys that I keep had also had it). I didn't interact with the kids much, just lay down and supervised, until lunch time. Once I had to physically get up and get food on the table for them, I lost it and ended up calling Brian to come home ASAP. Once he got home, I got to lay down and my fever spiked to 103 at which point I had the pleasure of conjuring up memories of cool baths as I washed myself down trying to get my fever under control.

Today, I had to cancel 3 things and Brian had to stay home more than he would have, but my fever has finally broken and I am up for a bit. At least this is short lived.

Some people say that pets get more ornery as they age. I have actually noticed that both the dog and cat are becoming more aggressive. Saba will snap at the kids from time to time and Smaky will swat at them. I wonder why?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

bathroom fun

I think you only ever use the words "bathroom" and "fun" in the same sentence if you have young children. To them any place can be fun- well maybe not the doctor's or dentist's as much.

It's pouring rain again, with dramatic lightning, thunder and hail. That is nice for here since it is typically very dry. The only down side is having to keep the kids indoors tomorrow, but I'll probably need to anyways since Dominique is still running a fever.

She loves to look at pictures and has adopted a new phrase: "oh, how cute". I'll try to get it on video. Her vocabulary is increasing by leaps and bounds- not that I can always decipher it the first, second or ninth time through, but we are getting there.

Sometimes she likes to sit on the potty, usually after the big boys have gone. She had to go today and I rushed her to the potty. She told me "done" (but she hadn't done anything) and pleaded for a diaper. I knew exactly what was coming. These diapers are just too good and once they are comfortable going in them, the transition is a little daunting. Won't she just love me for that picture of her when she is older?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

May I have this dance?

I didn't know if I should publish this, because I didn't want mom to worry or feel like she needed to call, but we can use your prayers- so this just out- something has hit us again. A friend told me people are getting the flu repeatedly- as in it comes back. I'm not sure if that's what it is, but the kids are running fevers. Last night Nana was still here and we made it through Ivan's high fevers and wet cloth wipe downs. This morning he was done and I thought it was over, but now he's running around 100 and is being a real trooper. Hopefully it will just peter out. The good thing is that I'm a seasoned pro at this now and know what all to look for. Tonight it's been Dominique with the high temps. I'm hoping it will all be gone by the weekends end.

Ivan has decided he likes to wear jogging pants. He likes his newfound independence- like trying to wash his body by himself in the bath tonight. He likes to wear the joggers because then he needs no help at all going to the potty. If we put him in jeans, he protests over the "bum bum and zip zip". Yeah, we couldn't figure that out at first either, but soon discovered it means the button and zipper.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Bon voyage

Some of my favorite people on this globe we call home left the snowy north today for tropical sunshine and family faces. Mom, Jenn, John and Imogen took advantage of a ridiculously good seat sale so that they could go visit my grandma, aunt, uncles and cousins in Jamaica. I don't know who all they will get to see, but this is to say- hope the trip is good, that the visit is enriching to all, that the family gets to bask in the delight of our newest family member- Imogen and that they will get a good 4 generations women picture. Hello to our Jamaican family- we send our love and greetings through them.

We are enjoying a brief visit from our Houstonite Nana presently. She has been playing games and juggling them in her arms as they watch Franklin videos, read stories and talk up a storm. Here is a clip that clearly details one of Dominique's fascinations. I guess she is entering the stage where it's getting harder to catch her on camera. She's constantly running around to look from the other side.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Yesterday I was noticing that more and more people are walking around in shorts and or tank tops. Today it's snowing. OK, so it's not leaving the ground white yet, I don't know if it will get serious enough to be able to detect it apart from looking up in the air and noticing that the rain has some mass to it. Ivan was really excited that it might snow, so for his sake I hope it gets a little thicker. Last night we got heavy rain, lots of dramatic thunder, lightning and hail. We delayed bed time so that we could all go out and watch it. Another neighbor was out too on his porch. That tells you how little it rains here. The kids were very excited about the weather until we made them get in bed, then it was a bit intimidating and scary. I was glad they didn't wake up when the loudest booming I have ever heard occurred around midnight. It actually shook the house.

Here are a couple of videos from a while back, when we were drinking tea outside on a beautiful afternoon. Maybe it will draw you back to your memories of simple times.

We have had a leisurely day today. I'm off with the boys until tomorrow and Brian is off too, with the weather like it is. When went for a starbucks date, got a few things we were out of at the store and visited the pet store. There is a talking parrot there who loves kids and really showed off for us. They have great aquariums that are fun to look at with tropical fish too. Saw the snakes and rats- yuck, then picked out a new snail and a bright red fish on sale. I hope the snail survives. We've been really good at killing them off this year. The kids were all excited about our purchases. Anything with life- plants, insects, animals, flowers is cause for joy and wonderment around here. It's good to have 2 little people to remind us to drink in the goodness around us and to be in awe of even the little creatures and growth.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

growing up so fast.

Ivan took this picture all by himself. That is his favorite expression these days "all by myself". Today he nearly dressed himself "all by himself" and went to the bathroom with no help. This last week, I let him use a public restroom all by himself. He's asked before and I've said "no", but the store was very quiet and I just felt a peace about letting him go in. I prayed protection over him and let him go in the men's bathroom. An older man came out and said no one else was in there if I wanted to go in to help him, but I just waited outside the door (right outside the door). He came out beaming. I drilled him- did you put the paper in the trash? wash your hands? flush? He kept saying "yes, yes, yes- I did it all by myself", "you're a good mom" he added.

He is very good about saying thanks. When I cook, he tells me repeatedly "thanks for making supper, it was very delicious". The other day, he said "thanks for taking care of me". We have been having a lot of fun together being goofy and laughing and just enjoying life.

Here's the little rocker with his daddy's bass.

Dominique's hair was getting gangly. There was one strand longer than all the rest which was about the same length. You can't tell that very well from this picture, but I wanted to show you how long it had gotten. I trimmed off the little excess in back and it looks much better now. I wrapped it in a bow and put it in a ziploc in her baby book, because I'm sure she'll want her hair when she's an adult!

Dominique loves to say "yep" instead of "yes". It's so cute. I need to get it on video before she grows out of it.