Sunday, August 31, 2008

baby's paintings

I was painting some today and Ivan wanted to paint something for the baby. He suggested I paint the baby a house clock. I guess he means a coocoo bird clock or something. It was so sweet that Ivan wanted to make something for the baby. He is so incredibly considerate- often looking for ways to help in the house or be generous with others. Of course there are other less charming moments, but he really does amaze me with his strengths. He's incredible at memorizing. I read 3 books the other night and Dominique insisted on another one, so I told them to read it to me. It was a fairly long library book that I've read to them about 4 times and Ivan could quote parts or all of every page! I was stunned.

Tonight, he also gobbled up his fiber filled meal. It didn't hurt that it was in the form of a burger and "chips" with bean dip. He loved it. We'll probably have to make it a regular. But I don't think he liked it quite as much as this other fiber in disguise meal. Dominique would eat beans all day, but the boys will only eat them refried, so I invented "make your own pizza" meal. It was a toasted tortilla, with refried beans, sliced lunch meat, salad fixings and cheese melted on top. Each person assembled his/her own pizzas. Ivan shared his with this doll and begged me to have "make your own pizza" meal everyday.

Dominique is not feeling near as well today as she was when this video was taken. She sure had a blast with her nanna here. Today she is sick, running 102+ temps and miserable. I hate it when this happens, which is only about the 3rd time with Dominique, so I'm thankful for that. I'm writing now at nearly midnight so that I can give her a dose of 6 hour Ibuprofen at midnight when the acetaminophen will have worn off. What I hate the most is having to bathe them in cool water to get the temps. under 103. I've already done that twice for Dominique today. I hope she bucks this quickly. Thankfully I won't have the boys tomorrow, but I will have them the next 3 days after that- so pray for our strength and health over here.

Notice how quickly a gentle little game turns into a fierce battle! And we are about to add another to the mix? Yikes. No nannas were injured in the making of this video (I hope).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We are having a baby...

Girl! The sonogram was so fun. Since I will be 35 by the time of delivery, I am now considered "old" and they check for a lot more stuff, which just means that we got an extra long sonogram look. We saw her heart beating and all four chambers, he measured her legs, head and arms. She is 14oz, measuring 2 days ahead of her due date (so a perfect size for her age thus far). He showed us the blood flow between me and the placenta and looked for abnormalities, but didn't see any.

While we were looking at her, I said "Ivan, you are going to have a sister" and he cried out "but I already have one!" Dominique kept saying over and over "that was fun seeing baby". I will be going for another sonogram in 6 weeks, so we will get to have another gaze at her before she comes next year. Doesn't that sound so very far away?

After the doctor's we went on an unsuccessful hunt for a maternity swimsuit. I found some, but not my size, then I found some my size, but all they had was the bottoms! So I went online. At least I was able to try on the ones that were the wrong size to know what the cut was like and imagine if it will work for lap swimming and aerobics class. Most women's swimsuits are just not made for swimming! But I think I found one that will work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am at the start of an exciting long weekend. It's Wednesday which is the start of my weekend (meaning that I don't keep the extra boys for the next several days, in fact I won't have them Mon. due to labor day). Here is a pic. from when I was reading them stories some weeks ago. Tomorrow we find out if we are having a boy or girl at my 20th week doctor appointment, so we are super excited about that. Ivan has gone into super big brother mode. I've noticed him trying to defend Dominique on several occasions, shielding her from what he considered a little bit rough behavior and saying "that's my little sister" or "don't do that to my sister". Tonight, she refused to come out of a special shopping cart once I had loaded up the car, so I told her I was leaving and Ivan went into conniptions "you can't leave my sister!" She was undeterred. I kept watching her out of the corner of my eye of course and calling out "come on, we're leaving", but had to close doors and start the car before she came tearfully running to us. Ivan was beside himself "that was a bad decision mommy, she can't stay at the grocery store all night. I was trying to protect my little sister". So at bed time, I reassured him that I would never do anything to hurt her and that she needed to obey when I said to come.

Dominique has reached several milestones this week in preparation to be a big sister I'm sure. She is wearing underwear, although she hasn't perfected the art of going number 2 yet. She does number 1 consistently in the potty and says every morning when I put her underwear on and every time she goes to the potty "don't pee pee or poo poo in your underwear" all motherly like with her intonation. She also learned how to jump in the pool by herself. I took the foursome and she yelled out to me "look mommy" and jumped in! She came up with the biggest eyes, got out and did it over and over again. Micah (age 1) also decided that he didn't want my help anymore and walked off the side into the pool. Ivan (nearly 4) is another matter. He was getting a piggyback by a girl in the pool when Caleb had the bad idea of getting on as well. The girl pulled Ivan forward, to get Caleb off and Ivan's face went in. Was he ever upset! He won't jump in and continues to tell people not to splash him! Funny boy.

The other night we watched the movie cars together. A friend had lent it to us and I told the kids we'd have a family movie night. This is the first time we've done this and Ivan was so very excited. He kept saying "come on daddy, we're going to have a family" and "do you want to have a family?"

His other cute expression right now is: do you want to go bare footing?

Dominique's cute expression is how she has personalized colors. Apparently she has full ownership of pink. She'll name her colors: " blue, green, black, Dominique pink!" If there is no pink, she'll claim purple. Sometimes she gives other names like "Ivan green", but pink is never pink all by itself, it's always "Dominique pink".

I'll try to post again tomorrow and get the news out. All four of us are going to the sonogram so that we will all find out together. We are all excited. The kids are convinced this is a boy, so we'll see if they are right. This week I have been feeling much stronger movements and with knowing the gender, we'll be able to tackle the name decision some more and have even a clearer sense of soon having our third child! Soon as in next year- but time flies when you're having fun and/or parents of toddlers- ha,ha ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

the mystery of the phone

This is a true happenstance from this afternoon. We are having a good day. I'm finishing reading the 9th library book to the kids who are sitting and listening. The phone rings. I set down the next book and get the phone. Within seconds Ivan is screaming "my butt is wet" which I have learned means a battle of the potty is ensuing, where I try to get him to sit and poop in the potty and he avoids it at all cost, wanting to use an entire roll of paper wiping his butt, but not sitting and getting it over with. I notice that Micah has portions of a necklace of Dominique's and that little plastic, swallable hearts are strewn over three rooms of the house. As I try to answer the questions and lead an intelligible quick conversation while picking up a hundred little hearts, and taking away three other necklaces in a battle of the wills from little toddlers, Dominique says something about the potty. By this time (2 minutes) I am winding up the conversation, and have picked up all the little hearts. Ivan is still hollering and I discover that Dominique has pooped in her underwear. I clean her up, her underwear up, she goes potty and I find that Micah is also poopy, so I change his diaper. All because the phone rang!

Maybe we should ban them. It never fails. The house falls apart when the thing rings. When I hung it up, Ivan decided his bum was no longer wet, Dominique was in a fresh set of underwear, breakables were safely put up, all butts were clean and dry and they were ready for another story.

On the good side. Ivan did have 2 potty victories today and Dominique did number 2 in the potty for the first time and peed in it all of today and yesterday. She probably wouldn't have had her accident if it wasn't for the phone! She's been in new underwear for 2 days now and is so proud of herself.

Pics from the African wedding, that I ended up translating for. Ivan took the pic of me and Brian all by himself. He loves taking pictures. And a pic from Nana's quick visit last week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It rained!!!

Last weekend it rained and rained. During the entire month of July we had 1/100th of an inch of rain, plus 100+ temps, so we were most excited to have it rain. It was the perfect rain for Abilene, since we also tend to flood. It would rain off and on, sometimes heavily for a little bit, then calmly for a while. It was so very lovely. We kept going out to look at it, then enjoyed the cool temps. in between the downpours. Ivan was excited to have a "waterfall" in the backyard (the water gushing off the roof). It was great. Now it's humid and hot again, but at least everything is green and healthy looking. Brian tries to keep our yard nice, but even his efforts at watering only kept most things alive, not vibrant, like now. The butterflies have also arrived. We have wild flowers in the front flower bed and there are now usually one or two monarchs fluttering around them.

Nana came down for one of her whirlwind trips, so we were all so happy to get to see her and spend a little time together.

This afternoon is Caleb's birthday party, so I'm trying to get the kids down for a nap, so they will be somewhat humane at it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First blood and the party goes on...

We've had a crazy weekend again. I ended up getting cajoled into translating for an African wedding. Thank God I knew the preacher from ages ago and he sent me his sermon, the vows... by e-mail the night before. I spent the whole morning finding the right words, even calling the family who conferred on some key terms that don't translate well. Then the preacher added an entire page more the morning of the wedding, but all said, it went really well. I, however was exhausted. Partly due to the fact that everything was late, as in an hour or more late. The reception was still going strong at 10pm at which time our family all turned into goblins and left before the next transformation occurred into even scarier creatures. It was beautiful none the less and the kids of course had a blast. In these pics, Dominique was cuddling up in a scarf a friend had brought me from Thailand. I think she looks exotic.

The day would have been much rougher if we had had to go to the emergency the night before. Dominique was spinning and throwing herself on Big Buddy's couch when she missed the couch and hit the back of her head on a coffee table with a glass top laying on top of it. I ran to her and picked her up and felt wet- hoping it was sweat. When I pulled my hand away, it was red and I rushed her to the kitchen to try to locate the cut. She had blood everywhere and I had to basically rinse out all the back of her heair to find where the gash was. By the time I found it, she was ready to get down and it was already coagulating. It was not in need of stitches, but I did call the doc on call to find out about concussion rules and such. It happened to be our pediatrician and he said if she wasn't knocked out, she should be ok. I'm glad and surprised that nothing has happened before this considering how much she throws herself around.

These were the pics from our outing to the pool. Sorry they are way late. And my apologies to the reader who asked if this was the state park pool. I never got back to you to say that it was and it is fabulous, but probably closed now since they close up right before school starts.

I don't know if you will be able to see this video at all since it was so dark. It's Dominique and I skating at the roller rink. On a funny note, Dominique's latest expression is: "I'm busy". The other day, I was laying down and she came to join me. I asked her to rub my back, so she did for 5 secs. Then asked me to rub hers. So I did, then said it was my turn again and she replied "I busy" and hopped off the bed and away she went.

Here is Ivan "reading" Angela's airplane by Robert Munsch. I started recording him when he was already a couple of pages into it. He's really good at memorizing. It's nice that he can "read" some on his own now sometimes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

wedding success

We attended our first of two weddings this month, which is a real treat, because we seem to attend a lot of funerals and few weddings. The kids were pretty ok during the ceremony considering they are 2 and 3 years old. It was short and quick, so that was a good thing. The reception was great. They had real food, as opposed to just cake and nuts like some receptions here. We got a table next to a back door that lead to the bathroom- perfect. Met some nice people. No one had a potty accident, although Ivan complained half the night that his stomach hurt. Our test if we should cut out early was when Brian asked Ivan if he wanted to leave and miss cake (to which his answer was a resounding NO!). So we stayed. I looked for some tea to give him, but gave him some decaf coffee of mine in a pinch, prayed over his tummy and after a little bit, he said it was better. Once the dance started the kids became unglued. We all danced and danced and they didn't want to leave. We went home late (for them) and Dominique repeated in the car about 50 times "thanks for going there". We also stopped by the house that Brian is working on with a house flipper to see the "before". Ivan wanted to go back- he loved seeing where his daddy has been working.

Next weekend is a wedding for some African friends, so that will be fascinating and lively too. It's so great to be able to take the kids to some celebrations and tell them about it all. Ivan wants Brian and I to get married again since he missed the wedding ;) I think he just wants cake, food and a dancing party.

Here are the foursome dancing in the kitchen. Notice who the instigator is in the second video!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

august-lotsa parties month

Apparently this is the party month. We were at Isaiah's 2nd birthday pizza and skating party last week, where the kids got to try rollerskating for the first time. They loved it and I could barely walk for the next two days. Apparently it takes special strength to skate while squatting down an entire night, helping short people learn to skate. It was worth it. We should have gotten a picture with all of us on skates, which did happen for a little while.

This week we went to a pool party. It was actually a little cool since it was in the evening and had rained earlier in the day (our first good rain in ages). We did get to see a rainbow, so that was extra special.

Today we are going to a wedding, next week is a wedding and birthday and the week after another birthday. The kids love it and it's fun to celebrate the great moments in people's lives. Children are growing up and lives are being enriched.

I think I've actually felt the baby some this week. It's very early, so I'm not entirely sure, but it's happened several times. I know I was about 20 weeks along with Ivan and only 17 weeks with Dominique the first time I felt her. I am 16 weeks now. It'll be really fun when Brian and the kids can feel the movements too. The nausea is much much better. I think the only times it hits now is when it's really hot and I'm really tired.

Dominique is doing her favorite puzzle right now. She's really good at puzzles. Ivan watched a cute video called "handy manny" and is walking around the house with his tools "fixing" things. Here he was one day with a toy mower a friend gave us. Be sure to watch the video to the end for the big surprise.

Monday, August 04, 2008


For those of you who try to guess the sex of the baby by the heartbeat, he/she's heart was beating at 140/min. The baby was moving and grooving although I can not feel the movements yet.

Here are some pics from last week. Our yard time swim. Ivan using the slip-n-slide as a bed. Dominique's most elaborate hair-do thus far. I had to keep telling her I was almost done for her to sit still, even if I was only half way through.

I broke down and filled the prescription Ivan was given if we needed it. The doctor wanted us to try diet first, but after he sat on the toilet for an hour crying, I decided enough with diet, we were calling in the big guns. The boys I keep drink some vegetable juice that is not V8 tasting, so I'm going to look into it too.

It was nice to have my day shortened since I had the doctor's appointment. I used to get irritated waiting so long in the office, but now I don't even try to take kids and brought several journals I've been meaning to write in. I wrote so much my hand hurt (my handwriting muscles are total wimps since school was so very long ago).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Singing the ABCs

This weekend has flown by without us knowing where it went! Could have something to do with very busy Thurs. and Fri. which meant I still didn't have the house cleaned by Sat. and who can find time for that!! It's also unbearably hot, I know I've said that before, but it will balance things out when I read all the Canadian blogs complaining about the cold of winter during the winter months. So go ahead Canadian friends and family and be thankful it is nice weather where you are. I know it's a little hard to imagine it being too hot- I had trouble with this concept having grown up in Saskatchewan. Let me help you out. Picture your hot oven and you in it, or ever got a burnt feeling on your head when using a hair drier?, think of a giant, unmoving hair drier blasting your entire body- it's called outdoors in July in West Texas. There are trees, but lots of them are mesquite trees, which are small and have feather-like leaves that do not make adequate shade. There are pools- two outdoor pools in Abilene, both packed with people. The grass is brown, the flowers pathetic and the electric bills high as we whine away in our air conditioned homes. But at least I have a home, it is air conditioned and my electric bill is not as high as the house payment- others are not so fortunate. For these I will always be thankful.

The kids don't seem to mind the heat. Ivan keeps asking to go to the park. We are going to a pool party Wed. night, so that will be refreshing too.