Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Isaiah update

Keep up the prayers for Isaiah. He is no longer fighting for his life, but has suffered some brain damage. The good news is that the spots were small, much smaller than the doctors had expected. Also with Isaiah being so young, and the brain still forming and with it being a most remarkable organism, it can reroute itself around the damaged areas to recover full functioning. It can also suffer further damage. Isaiah is scheduled for another CAT scan Monday to make sure the spots are not getting worse- so pray for that. And of course pray for encouragement and peace for Tighe and Greg. There are moments when it seems very overwhelming to them and other times when they are more positive. Isaiah said a few words the first night, but nothing the next day or night. He did move his head though and reach for his mom and in the middle of the night sat up in bed. One doctor told them that Isaiah just needs some time and told them of a former patient of his who got meningitis and whose CAT scan looked like cottage cheese mush, yet she grew up and graduated from school and entered the ministry. Of course allowing time is difficult as they anticipate their second child's immanent arrival. The social worker at Cook's children's Medical hospital found Tighe a doctor there who will in all probability deliver her 2nd baby there in Fort Worth, TX.
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I need to catch up on posting so many pictures and videos. I can't even remember how old these are.

This is the baby doll that Dominique sleeps with every night, only she wants it naked all the time. I guess it's a good thing because it's often sticky and then I don't have to wash baby clothes, just wipe her up .
















Here are Ivan and Dominique playing with train tracks one early morning. She is playing trains, he is using a piece as a saw, having just watched "bob the builder". This morning Brian was getting ready to mow our lawn and Ivan told me: "daddy is going to mow the lawn and I am going to watch. That's MY job". I'm glad he finally accepted his fate (for now) on the other side of the doors and windows and takes great pride in it. We have promised him that when he is bigger we will let him mow the lawn. He's so excited about it. I hope he'll find it as enjoyable as he thinks it is now.
Was there something you just could not wait to do when you were grown up? What was it? Is it as enjoyable as you thought it would be?

Monday, April 28, 2008

prayers needed



Please pray for our good friends- Tighe, Greg, Lily and Isaiah. Isaiah was just flown to Cook's hospital in Dallas. He has menningitis and is in critical condition. Tighe is expecting their second baby (Lily). Her due date is in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Free concert- to you our loyal listeners



Brian has posted a lot of these on facebook, but for those of you who have not joined that cult, I offer to you these original pieces by our young artist. Ivan declared tonight that his favorite instrument was the bass and asked our dinner guest what she played. When she declared that she didn't know how to play an instrument, he asked why. Dominique also said that she liked bass the best, but I think she was just reiterating whatever Ivan said. In one or two of the videos, you can see her making dives and plucking at the strings- which she enjoys thoroughly as well as dancing.
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I hope they are not working on their act as we speak. Currently, they are buck naked jumping off the furniture. I guess I should do something about that. Hope you enjoy the show.
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

our weekend in pictures







First of all, my apologies to all my Canadian family and friends who were lambasted with a foot of snow. Now is a great time to visit Texas- open invitation to all.

Our weekend was really fun. There was a music festival in Buffalo Gap's historic village and we were invited. It does help having a musician husband so that we can get some culture now and then. Brian played a great set on one of the "stages" it was in an old historic church building, which was actually refreshingly cool after sitting out in the sun. We heard some really horrid music and some great acts, got to introduce the kids to stand up basses, accordions, 6 string fretless bass, violin, bongos, dulcimer, some guitar thing that looks like a table (I forgot it's name). We had picnic foods and enjoyed being outside where it was pretty, with people enjoying music and having fun.
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The bummer was that the acts Brian was most interested in seeing were past the meltdown hour, when children turn into overly tired little monsters- so we skipped out on those ones and headed home fairly early.
video I wish I had been further back so that you could have seen his foot action. Ivan was really grooving.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is it too early to cry yet?

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She was practicing.




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Then of course, Ivan wanted to practice too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We like them crunchy

Kids love to joke, so our home has become a place of fairly constant hilarity. Of course they find most anything funny and are quite spontaneously surprising, so this does not take much effort. I don't think the kids thought this joke was near as funny as we find it. All kids love juice and mine are no exception so when they hear there is juice in the house, they want some- even if it's vegetable juice. Notice how Ivan still says he likes it even though he obviously doesn't and refuses seconds. We actually have a video of the same thing when he was much younger. His expression and reaction are identical!

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Dominique has no problem saying it was "yucky". See how her shirt becomes instantly stained with juice? I don't think she swallowed any of it. And you should have seen them begging for the stuff before the video.
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Before my comment box fills up with concerns from readers over the pictures of Dominique in the dryer, I have to tell you the story behind it. I had just gotten a load of laundry out and was taking it to the bedroom. The phone rang and when I got off of it, I could hear Dominique counting and saying "ready or not here I come". Her voice was coming from the laundry room, but I couldn't see her anywhere. Then it dawned on me and I ran to get the camera. This is what I found in a giggling dryer machine.





It swings from "spring" to "winter" here pretty regular. We go from t-shirts and shorts to pants and sweater several times in the week, but I'm not complaining. It's beautiful- except for one of our trees that we think died. It was the prettiest tree on the block come fall, but I believe it will be replaced by an elm the neighbor offered from their yard. I'll miss the red fall leaves.
Here's Ivan working hard. He told me tonight that he had homework to do before bed. So I made an outline of his name for him to copy, but he didn't want that homework, until I told him I'd let Dominique do it.

Look who came out of hibernation. Big Buddy doesn't like to go out if it's "cold". He turns 91 this month.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An extra long weekend





I didn't watch the Aim boys today because the youngest is sick, and Brian arranged it for us to have the car, so we got to go out on the town. We got to the post office, to the library, where we found out there was reading time that day, then the kids and I went to the bakery to enjoy a treat. It was so pretty downtown. A nice little park area we walked by that has a waterwall is enclosed with bushes. They were full of pink flowers. I didn't even know those bushes flower. It was gorgeous. We stopped and smelled a pretty rose and headed back home.


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Birthday Bash and potty tales





Birthday Bash
Here are a few pictures from the day of Micah's first birthday. His mom made cupcakes and provided party hats and napkins. They enjoyed the little fiesta and now Ivan wants me to start on his pinata and birthday. I told him we've got lots of time, much to his chagrin.







Potty Tales

As any toddler parent knows, we could post volumes about potty episodes. Us women don't always appreciate constant potty humor- but sometimes it really is hilarious, of course guys never tire of it. And dad- Ivan did indeed say "Old MacDonald had a fart- EIEIO". Here, Ivan is trying to help his sister by reading a story to her as she sits on the potty.
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He was a little too helpful the other day. She had gone in her diaper, but wanted to sit on the potty, so I had sat her on it and run to catch the phone. When I came back, she was bent over with her feet and hands on the floor and Ivan was wiping her butt with wipes. There were about 35 wipes in the toilet. Yeah, glad I got there before he tried to flush it. Our toilet can barely handle regular fare yet alone a box full of wipes (we need to replace the sewer line ASAP- yipee ;(

Poor Dominique has been wrongly influenced by the boys. She wanted to sit on her potty, so I got her on it and told her to go peepee. I was shocked when I saw her trying to pull out and hold her privates like the boys do! It took me a minute to recover and I tried to gentle tell her that girls don't need to hold themselves like that to pee. Everything is so complicated when you're trying to learn it for the first time!!

Here is the cream of the crop! Dominique was trying to put on Ivan's underwear when I was folding laundry, so I went to her drawers and showed her her big girl panties. She wanted to wear some of course and promptly peed in them. So I put her back in a diaper and she was not too happy about it. Ivan, being the older and wiser brother, tried to explain things to her and ease her tension. I am quoting him here, 'cause I wrote it down as soon as I heard it:

"Dominique, you have to be a woman,
then you have to be a mommy,
then you'll know how to go to the potty"

Yeah, I hope she learns faster than that!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

so much to post about

I don't post many pictures of Brian or myself, so here are our token shots.




My blogables file is full and running over. I just counted 24 videos and didn't even try to count the photos, so I was trying to go through and just pick out the best ones. With the busier schedule Mon-Wed., I don't get much time to post those days and by night time I'm either getting ready for the next day or zapped of energy.

The kids have me laughing all the time and I try to remember what they've done or said to share with you. This video is just one of the funnies. Ivan thinks it's absolutely hilarious, as any 3 year old would. Daddy, (how should we say it?) helped Ivan come up with the song and now Ivan won't quit singing it.
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Today we said goodbye to our friends Trinity, Charity and Hannah who are moving to California (they are a military family, so this is their first of many moves- but it's still sad saying goodbye). Then we came home and had wonderful naps, tackled laundry, helped a friend with some translating and went to the pool. I actually spent 3 hours in the pool tonight (1 with the kids, 1 my regular class and 1 a class I subbed for). My fingers were a little pruny and I'm feeling very mellow and sleepy- the bed calls-- night night.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A few days with Nana






We enjoyed another of Nana's quick visits. She came up last Thurs. and left Sat. afternoon, but somehow we packed in a lot of fun- eating out, going to reading time, a trip to the library, the pool, Lowes (twice) getting and planting flowers and watching our chrysalis develop into a butterfly (more on that on another post).

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I had a bit of a hairy Monday. It seems that Mondays are the hardest for the kids- getting back into the routine, but perhaps that is the common theme for all of North America, with weekends then work or school. With just my kids I never noticed a difference, but now that we have Mon.-Wed. with more activities, structure and the thrill of other kids around I can perceive the rhythm of it more.

Are you going to (or have already) planted flowers this year? What kinds are on your planting list?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's my weekend





My weekend starts tomorrow. I know, you're all envious. The extra boys come Mon-Wed, so I consider Thurs. as the start of my weekend. The kids have great fun together and are learning a lot from each other- most of it good. Micah is fun because he is learning to walk and really taking off this week- all smiles and beaming with pride. Caleb is really smart, always talking about how everything works. Ivan and Dominique love all the games and activities we plan when they are here. Ivan is growing out of naps, but will sometimes take them with the boys here. They just play harder (and fight more). Dominique goes down good when they are here too.

My days with them start at 6:30 with me getting up and trying to mentally and spiritually prepare for the day ahead. They arrive by 7:30, then I get everyone eating breakfast. After that I dress my two kids (I asked Ivan if he wanted to match Caleb since they had just gotten similar shirts and this is what we came up with). Once hair is combed and fixed (or not) I either let them play some (with supervision) or do cds or my planned activities: crafts, games, stories, sometimes a youtube video depending on what we are learning. I may get us all outside in the morning, or not. As I get lunch ready, I put them in front of a video and start feeding Micah (who tires out first). The big kids come join lunchtime, then clean-up (or not). I let them play some before naps time. Hopefully they all take one, at which time I can take a breather. They get back up and we have a few more hours to go, more outside play or indoor mayhem. The last hour always seems crazy. Micah is ready for his mom to come back and everyone is ready for a snack, but I don't want to ruin my duo's supper. It's always an adventure. I told you all that to explain the boy's matching shirt. Brian always says that I can say things a lot shorter than I do. ha, ha.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hard to believe

Nearly every parent warned us before we had them- they grow up so fast, but it's hard to comprehend that until you are sucked into the child rearing vortex at which point you become awe struck, dazed parents like all the rest. This is due in part to amazement and shock as well as sleep deprivation and emotional exhaustion.

The kids and I were doing one of their favorite past-times- looking at home videos. We had just looked at this video of Dominique saying her ABCs then stumbled upon one of Ivan near the same age saying his. It was so crazy to hear his little two year old voice, all muddled and cute sounding just like hers. This lends to the absurd realization that Dominique will be talking as clearly as Ivan in 1.5 short years. Years seem short as they fly by with the kids now. Paradoxically, sleepless nights and days, temper tantrums, disciplining and potty training seem interminable.

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Dominique was hiding in a blanket and it reminded me of a picture of her in the hammock. I pulled it out. Is it possible that this is the same kid? It's very strange how my mind has compartmentalized their stages. It's hard for me to think of Ivan being the same little boy as an infant, as a two year old and now. As I look through the pictures or videos, I have memories at each stage, but am unable to reconcile the different Ivans or Dominiques in my head to think of them seamlessly as the same person. Does anyone else have this problem, or am I just a little nuts?

Here is my baby counting to 13 or so and her brother being bothered by the fact that she dare touch the blocks he was building with.
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Here is Ivan spelling his and Dominique's name.

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So I'm totally amazed at their abilities and development. No other creature (or grown person for that matter) can effect such drastic changes and dramatic performance increases. Babies go from infants who can barely see, can't roll over or move about, talk, pick up things or be at all self-sufficient to within TWO years become walking, talking, creative geniuses. Mind boggling I tell you.