Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our new names

A few days ago Dominique started calling her daddy "honey". "Can you get me a napkin honey? Bye honey." ring from her little lips. Now she has started calling me "Angela". "Um... Um... Angela, Ivan is hitting me"

I guess I call Brian "honey" a lot and he calls me "Angela". The little turkey. Ivan has always called us mommy and daddy and so had she until this new un-improvement.

I keep treasuring Ivan's blatant affection these days. He often tells us he loves us, liberally gives out kisses and includes the baby too. She averages about 3-5 "I love you baby" with accompanying belly kiss each day. He loves to be a care giver and helped put the dishes in the dishwasher tonight. I'm treasuring these moments and telling him how much I appreciate his love and help, both in the hopes of prolonging this behavior as long as possible and also with the sneaking suspicion that it won't last forever.

Ivan's prayer cracked me up last night. He said: "Lord give me courage and give Dominique gentleness, kindness, goodness and faithfulness and help her to stop hitting me and kicking me like she is now..." (She was indeed hitting and kicking him).

My water aerobic class is hanging on by a thread. This time of year it always gets really small with thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, but they are also changing the requirements and my current regulars are all due by Dec.1st. Before, the class cost about 2 bucks a session and the ladies used a punch card, so they were never penalized for missing a class, now the YMCA is wanting them to get memberships. But I found out it is not all that expensive. My class is also open to non pregnant ladies- so if you live in Abilene and want to have some fun exercise come to my class!!! I need some people and only get paid if people show up (sigh), plus, then I'll get to see you regularly and you'll be helping me escape the mayhem of the house to enjoy the effects of the water and adult interaction twice a week! OK, so there's my sales pitch. How did I do? ha, ha.

Question: do you have a special term of endearment for your loved one(s)?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Little personalities

The kids often surprise me. They are learning more and more how to play together without me having to initiate a game or activity. Of course, it is never very long before they are fighting over something, but those first 10 min. of cooperative play is so incredible!

Dominique really cracks me up. Last night we went to some friends who live out of town for a music jam night. Dominique was dancing on the stage when a moth joined her enthusiastic waltz. It didn't take long for her to catch the poor creature and for the next 20 minutes or so, she walked around with her pet moth. It was still alive, flapping it's wings, trying to escape and she carted it around to everyone to show them her exciting discovery. Ivan would have never picked it up in a million years! He did get a thrill out of playing his daddy's bass though and was the first to initiate cleaning everything up. Then he was diligently trying to figure out how to haul everything back into the car. He is such a thinker and I'm glad my first is such an organizer and neat freak. He helps me tons!

Here is a video of Dominique singing the "Bob the builder" theme song. In case you can't catch the words it says: "Bob the builder, can we fix it? Yes, we can!"

Yesterday was pretty exciting. One of my friends found out that a birth mother chose her and her husband to adopt her baby. She has lost several babies and it has been quite a roller coaster to find out when they will be chosen. Their baby is due to be born the 1st of Jan., so our babies will only be a couple of weeks apart or so. They are so filled with joy and we are so happy for them too.

Kids are just so incredible. I often gaze at mine and just wonder how they can be! Here they are this feeling, thinking person, in a little body with so much wonder and love to give. They are a part of me, yet their own person. They are such a vital part of our lives, have transformed our world and hearts. They are truly gifts from the Father of heaven and earth and we are so thankful for them. As our 3rd becomes stronger in her punches and kicks, it reminds us that she is going to join us before we know it and it makes us wonder who she will be and what all we will learn from her.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Most of these pics are from a month ago at artwalk. Artwalk is fun, but we don't always get to go since I teach water aerobics the night it is on. This time Brian was playing and we were doing my class early, so it all worked out for us to go. For those of you who have never heard Brian or haven't in a long time, I'm posting videos of a couple songs. He is playing the Chapman Stick, a two handed tap instrument, with guitar and base strings that you touch to play, using a similar technique as you would on the piano. We watched him, then went to our 2 favorite museums. The first had paintings and photography and the next had various exhibits. Last of all we visit the children's museum (if we went there first we'd never get to the other exhibits).

It was funny since one of the displays was of aprons. I know they used to be an indispensable part of a woman's wardrobe. The volunteer at the museum said that one reason was that the ladies did not have a lot of clothes, so they couldn't get what they were wearing dirty. Maybe I just have lower standards. I have plenty of clothes, but I just keep wearing it when it gets dirty. I mean you know how many spots and spills and dirty handmarks and my clumsy pregnant belly catching gets me dirty everyday? And that's not counting the days we paint or do something intentionally messy! I don't even own an apron and I'm sure I'd never wear one if I did. They sound hot. So, do you have an apron?

The kids' favorite part of the children's museum is the ambulance vehicle, as you can see. They were so cute!

This picture was funny because Saba was just waiting for Dominique to spill something, which of course she did.

last little tidbit... I've been noticing lately how incredibly clumsy Dominique is. She's naturally pretty athletic, but her feet get out ahead of her pretty often when she is walking, running off or dancing. Half the day her crying is about unintentional self-inflicted wounding. Poor girl!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Heard from Ivan today:

"Thank you mommy for NOT making potatoes tonight".

"Thank you for the sausage, the cereal, the eggs, the bread, the peaches, the pears..." (and on and on). Brian and I split up to do errands. I needed to get groceries and his phone died, so he had to get a new one, so we each took a kid. Ivan who missed the groceries, helped me unpack it all and thanked me for each item (even the potatoes).

I also discovered that Dominique is the instigator that has turned grocery shopping from a fun adventure to a pain. The kids used to be so great at the store, but for the last while, they fight the entire time and want to walk- which means they want to run in the aisles and touch everything in sight- not a good idea or try to climb out of their seats. Tonight, Dominique did well until about half way through and then she squiggled and squirmed and tried to crawl out and did many other gymnastics that were not helpful in trying to get us out of the store in a timely fashion.

Before we went to the store, we stopped by my friends and Dominique played wonderfully with her kids, which Ivan would not have done. He would have wanted to stay on my lap the whole time, whereas his sister went upstairs by herself to people we don't hang with a whole lot and enjoyed being with other kids.

It all makes me wonder what this next baby will be like.

The pics are from a trip to see our friend Mary in Anson. We go with our friend Wynetta. The videos are of the kids "reading" the story of the good Samaritan. Ivan almost has the whole thing memorized verbatim. He amazes me. And I love the drama he puts into his "reading".

I haven't asked a question in ages, so here it is: what is your favorite hot drink?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A not too recent trip to the park

Caleb goes to preK on Tues., so that means I only have 3 kids that day, which means we can go somewhere before naps. So far we've just hit parks and reading library time, but that has been quite fun. Dominique was the first one to initiate the swinging by the way. Notice in the video how Micah tries to imitate her. I think that was so totally cute. I'm looking forward to not having the boys because it will make things easier and simpler, but at the same time we've gotten pretty attached to them. Ivan keeps saying how Caleb is his best friend. It'll have been a year since we met them and I started keeping them. That is a big chunk of their lives when they are only 1, 2 and 4 years old!

Today we went to another park and I got to visit with a friend while we were there. The park is up on "the hill", which is an area of town slightly higher than the rest. The park is surrounded by trees and Ivan kept asking if we were in the rain forest. I kept telling him "no", but he was not convinced. Brian told him there were important things missing, like rain and a forest.

My baby is doing well and so is Dominique's. I told you she is "expecting" right? Yeah, she shows me her belly and tells me she has a baby and that the baby is moving and kicking. She says the baby is a girl and that her name is "Lily" (Isaiah's little sister's name). It seems she is more prepared than we are as we are again undecided for a name- sigh.

I better go see what the twosome is up to. They were told to clean up Ivan's room and so far they have thrown dirt clumps at the computer and brought me two destroyed art projects. I don't think the blocks are picked up either!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Turning 4 and more

We survived another boy birthday party. We celebrated Ivan's 4th year (which is officially tomorrow) on Sat. with tons of friends and neighbors.

Sweetest moments: when an elderly neighbor across the alley brought a gift and put it over the fence because she was so touched by Ivan inviting her when he saw her taking out the trash last week & Ivan letting Caleb hit the pinata first.

Worst moment: Ivan's crying fit when he didn't get a (second) turn at a game. (A lot of the kids didn't even get one turn).

Funniest moment: When the train pinata crashed and the bag of candy was still hanging up in the tree (I found candy in the tree the next morning too).

We had train themed everything: tattoos, craft (bandana painting), games, cake and pinata. Little mister organized picked his Thomas the train theme after his birthday last year. He also has the next 3 years planned out: #5 lightning McQueen, #6 Mator, and a house party #7. He got toys that they have played with all day long (THEY DIDN'T EVEN BEG ME TO PUT ON VIDEOS TODAY!!!), winter clothes (yeah, yeah), money (how can a 4 year old already be excited about money?) and his equipment to build a house. Yep, he now has a real hammer, some chalk, tool belt, hammer, gloves and he is busy building a house. Half the day was spent out at the shed with dad pounding the first nail into a board. His dad put about 8 nails in a board and Ivan is still working on the first one, but he tells me it's a house. Good thing we have the back up one we are living in now until this new one is built. It could take a while.

We all had so much fun, despite the fact that I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk today, but a lot of heat, massage, rest and a warm bath has me back to my waddling, but not in unbearable pain pregnant self.

PS. the more is my mystery age, which is celebrated the same day as Ivan. One the coolest memories I have is when I gave birth to Ivan in the hospital on my birthday with my mom there. It dawned on me that 31 years earlier, she had given birth to me, her first and now she was there while I gave birth to my first. It was touching to both experience such an incredible journey into motherhood while knowing my parents had had a similar experience with me, the same day, decades earlier.

Monday, October 13, 2008

cutie petuties

Went to the Dr. today and everything is good. I have to go do the gestational diabetes test that they test everyone for at this stage, so I need to wedge that in some time this week. I really do like my Dr. It's always reassuring to see her. Plus I am relieved of my parenting duties mid afternoon, giving me a shorter work day. I have to sit in a waiting room for an hour or more, but I take a journal and it's just peaceful quiet. I'm glad everything has gone so well and that I have such normal pregnancies!

Ivan decided he was ready to hurdle many milestones all in one evening. He bathed himself (with some help getting the water on and such), he dried himself, clothed himself, brushed his hair (with some success), and learned to catch tonight. He was quite pleased with all his accomplishments, but most of all with the catching. Dominique thinks she learned to catch tonight too, because she thinks she learns everything at the same rate as big brother (and she is doing some of that), but her catching is still fluke and the skill of mom to launch the item into her outstretched arms. Ivan was actually anticipating the objects trajectory and throwing his arms out to catch it. You should have seen the delight in his eyes! It was truly beautiful.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I saw her today

I am so super exhausted and I have the boys tomorrow, so I'll make this a quick one. I had the sonogram today. The last one until I see her sweet face in person. The specialist said she is measuring big, 2 1/2 pounds and nearly 13 inches. That won't make my Dr. happy. I have to dupe her into thinking the baby is little. It does alleviate my question of how she was growing though, since I've gained so little this pregnancy. My nausea is back, I think it's front heartburn now- sigh. Ivan didn't take a nap and wouldn't let me have one either, even though I tried. Got laundry nearly finished and made a couple of lasagna's so that we could run off to artwalk where Brian played tonight. It would have been nice to get out if the kids hadn't been totally horrible! They were not listening at all. So the best part of the day was by far seeing number 3. Plus my dear friend Tighe kept Ivan and Dominique for the hour I was gone and I got to visit with her some when I went to pick them back up, that was nice. The baby looks so cute, even in a sonogram. I saw one hand with long fingers and her foot looks bigger than last time with long toes. Her heartbeat was 160bpm. I think she was sleeping most the time. She moved a couple of times as the specialist waved his wand over my tummy, but mostly she was just hanging out- probably enjoying the silence like I was.

But tomorrow will be a great day (think positive). I have some fun activities planned and that always goes over well. I also have a bunch of library videos, so if the foursome drive me nuts despite the activities, I'll make myself some coffee and stick them in front of the screen to make it until 5pm!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

from the balloon fest

I thought I'd put these pics up from the balloon fest. I know some of them are repetitive, but I just couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I put them all up! I had an extra long weekend, but I'll pay for it now with the week ahead. I didn't have the Aim boys today, but will have them tomorrow & Wed. Thurs. I have a doctor's appointment and then I'll have the boys Friday. Thurs. and Fri. I usually clean the house, so we'll see how that goes and no I didn't get it cleaned today. Then on the weekend there is a kid activity that would be fun to get to and Ivan's party to plan. Brian suggested just doing a small party with a few kids. We may just do that. I just don't have the stamina for a huge party. Ivan told me the other day that he didn't even want to hit his own pinata, so I guess that means I don't have to make one?

We did have a fun day today. We got several errands done and got to visit with Tighe and Isaiah some. The kids enjoyed playing together. Then I took them to the pool. We came back for a super late lunch and crashed for naps, which was oh so lovely. Then it was supper making time and we got to visit with Big Buddy some. It feels like I never see him anymore. We used to eat with him several times a week, but now by the time we get to supper, we are already so tired out. Hopefully in the New Year we'll adjust to our threesome and be able to hang out more.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

She did it!

My daughter totally amazes me. I am declaring her potty trained and am going to donate her unused diapers! Yeah, yeah, yeah! For a while there, she was having troubles with #2 in that she was holding it for a really long time- like a couple of days, but yesterday and today, she didn't even tell me she had to go. She just went to the potty on her own, did her business and came to tell me so that I can give her a candy, clean the potty chair and wipe her. I never would have guessed it could be so easy after the cosmic sized struggle we had with Ivan. I think a lot of it has to do with her being the second in birth order and her easy going personality too. I am glad we had Ivan initiate us first. If we'd had the easier ordeal first we would have been severely worried over the struggle of it, plus we may not have been very understanding and compassionate with other parents' struggles. I am so happy for her, for us! Now I just need to ween her off the candy each time, which won't be hard. I go to stickers, then just praises and voila! Plus with Ivan's birthday and halloween around the corner, she will be having candy for just no reason.

Ivan is being a total blast too. He learned to play slap jack yesterday and loves it. Right now he is "helping" his daddy with the blower (yes we still have to mow lawns here). He is super sweet most the time with his little sis, giving her kisses and hugs. He likes to be the caregiver, tucking her in at night and taking care of her. He is starting to navigate more and more the difficult field of social relations and is doing so pretty valiantly. Brian heard him go up to a boy he didn't know and say "hi, I'm Ivan, what's your name". Only I think the boy only knows Spanish so it didn't go over so well. But he tried!

We are getting closer on choosing our 3rd baby's name, so that is a profound relief. I really don't like thinking of the baby as "the baby". I like to think of her with her name, even if we won't be telling any of you. By the way I don't know if you were trying to lure the name out of Ivan, mom, but I heard his side of the conversation when he was saying "I don't know what the baby's name is" and then he said "what do you think we should name the baby?". Dominique wants to name the baby other baby's names like Lilly (Isaiah's sister) or Micah (the boy we keep).

I am excited about having another day to recoup, but need to clean the house some again, sigh. I had a baby party Thurs. morning, so we had to clean Wed. night and it's already a mess again.