Sunday, February 28, 2010

Videos for some Sunday sweetness

Ivan's impromptu song

Emora's understanding us!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

crazy week

Sorry the posts have gotten delinquent again. Our neighbor Valerie is having some major health issues and it all started after her husband left for a deployment, plus they have a 2 year old son, so life's been a bit chaotic more than usual as we are trying to be there for her. Plus Emora is super cranks while she is pushing out 3 new teeth at once. She's only had 5 in such a long time and now she is getting her other top eye tooth, her bottom left eye tooth and first molar to the left. Not sure why her right side takes longer or if her last eye tooth is on it's way too, but it's made her particularly testy and snotty. Poor darling.

And then this month will just be nuts anyways. With us leaving, I'm trying to eek out everything I can from my YMCA benefits and so we are doing what we hoped to avoid- over schedule our lives. For this month only we have something going on every night Mon-Thurs and Sat. mornings. Swim lessons, across town for Ivan and Dom. Mondays and Wednesdays. Soccer practice and my water aerobics Tues. , my water aerobics Thurs. and soccer Sat. We have fallen into the wildness of kids in sports, but we will not do this indefinitely!

To appease your anger at my not posting, I'm adding these videos to delight you and endear you to me again.

A friend of ours had a made a puppet stage so that gave us our inspiration. We have the theater side, a treehouse/park side, a front of the house side with drawbridge entrance for the puppeteers and a mail slot for special messages. The last side is the inside of the house with beds that drop down for skits. The computer can be written on with erasable marker and we realized that you can add designs or details to go with skits with chalk on the cardboard. It has been lots of fun. We'll have to make another in Canada.

the puppet theatre

new hiding place

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Close down the town! it snowed

It snowed a bunch last night, so the city was shut down. Seriously, I heard there were police out on the highway turning people around except for emergency vehicles. In their defense, it does get real slick here. The plan for snow removal here in Abilene is simple: wait until it melts (like late afternoon). We got dressed quickly enough this time to get out there before it was all gone and managed to make a Texan snow man- shooter included. By the time we were done, the kids were wet and cold. Dominique doesn't have a real winter jacket, so I had her dressed 4 layers deep, she also went through a couple pairs of mitts (thanks Kim!). Emora stood still screaming most of the time. Last time it snowed, she fell bare hands into the snow and hasn't cared for it since. Ivan was ecstatic about it of course and is now begging me again to dress him up to play in it before it is melted and gone. We put a sun visor on our snowman to keep the sun off his face- don't think it will delay the melting process any.

I don't necessarily want to add to our wet clothing pile, but we have to take advantage of this opportunity. It's not everyday it snows in Abilene!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

soccer extraordinaire in action

Dominique kicks the ball (in the wrong direction- but that is such a small detail). She informed me that the person who blows the whistle is her friend. As they waited for the kids to get in place, we saw her chatting to him (the ref.). We have no idea what they were talking about, but it looked so sweet. Her- all of a few feet tall beside the 6 foot- official looking guy just yacking it up.

Dom. saying congrats at soccer

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go Panthers!

Dominique had her first soccer game today. As I was getting her dressed she cried because she wanted to wear her pink dress under her uniform so that she could show it to coach Amy. Then she cried because I put her hair up, which she detests, but I wanted it out of her way. However, once she got out there, she did great! It was good that I'd put her hair up, since it was super windy. She got in there, ran, kicked the ball several times and made a couple of assists, once for our team and another time for the other team ;) She threw the ball in from the side and kicked it out too. She also kicked it from center and then almost kicked it again from center when it was the other team's turn. I thought 5 year old soccer was cute, but 3 year old soccer is cuter!

One little boy had troubles remembering not to pick up the ball. At one point he threw it in the goal. We don't have goalies, at this level, but they may want to make him one in the future. We had lots of tears, a whole herd of parents on the field by the end of the game to assist their munchkins, flocks of jerseyed kids running with the ref to chase down the ball as it went out of bounds near another field... At one point, the kids seemed to think they were to play ring-around the rosie and were all holding hands for the whistle, or maybe that was a confusion tactic. They all slapped hands at the end and were not confused at all with what to do with the snacks. For some this was the highlight of the event.

Ivan thinks that he is the soccer expert in residence and sticks his nose in a little too much at times, so we are helping him to be a good cheerleader- a good skill for him too.

Our little number 3 made us smile and we are looking forward to following her 2 month soccer career with enthusiasm and gusto. Go panthers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shot and limping

Wow, have I ever been delinquent here! Sorry didn't know so much time had passed. I guess I was taking a break. Which is a very dangerous thing to do with kids you know? Today I was laying down for a bit, not because I was trying to rest, but because my super duper friend was saving me about a million bucks today by giving me a shot at my home instead of at the clinic where she works. While I'm laying there, with my door closed and locked to keep the invading trio from coming and jumping on the bed or watching a little too aggressively, I hear Emora pulling things out of the hall closet where we have all sorts of toiletries stored, not a safe toddler space. So I get up to take care of her, close and re-lock the door, lay back down and hear:

"momma, we are making salt!" I didn't know exactly what this meant except that it couldn't be good. "How are you making salt?", I yell through closed, locked door as Trish preps my needles (again). "From the ceiling" they giggle- "stop that!" I yell. Yep, real relaxing when you can lay down for a minute. It was pretty funny while Trish poked me she kept asking if I was ok and telling me to breathe. The concern was so sweet and I'm thinking- the needles are not a big deal, especially since she was super gentle with me- it's the trio ransacking the house that I was more concerned with- do you have a needle for that?

Sometimes I wish that Mary Poppins would pop in through the ceiling and snap all that popcorn texture back where it belongs, take the kids on an adventure and clean their rooms with a song while she was at it! I think the kids would like that too, but since she hasn't shown up yet, they get me and we do have quite a bit of fun most of the time, except when I'm trying to lay down for a shot for example and they just HAVE to watch or make me miserable that I didn't let them watch!

picture explanation: Ivan was wearing my jacket and his dad's gloves.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Glad they are home

I enjoyed our "vacation" with the big kids away in Houston so much that I actually feared that I would be disappointed when they came home. The peace was immense without them and their was a much more carefree, relaxed and CLEAN atmosphere in our home. But I am glad to report that I was so happy to see them again and it has been great fun to hear their rambling tales of their adventures. It is so nice to hear "momma" again and we got lots of snuggle time in this morning. Emora seems quite happy to be with her siblings again and is amazing us once again with her abilities. She performed her first chore today. I gave her some plastic and told her to throw it in the trash and she promptly did! She was also trying to help Ivan pick up the pencil crayons she'd spilled out of the container. She saw that she did not have the dexterity to put the pencils back, so instead she handed them to Ivan who then put them in the container. Teamwork already! Of course the rest of the day they have been screaming at each other.

I am thoroughly liking my new house rule. I've always had the rule that when they are done with one toy and wanting to do something else, they have to put the first one away first. This is not very well adhered to, so I added another measure of insurance to the guideline. I told them that we may have to live in a smaller house in Canada and can therefore not take everything. With this in mind, any toys found on the floor that they are not playing with will be put in the garage sale box and not find it's way with us to Canada. I have had to remind them a couple of times, but they are being much more mindful of picking up!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It snowed!

I can tell I'm getting older since I don't have the least bit of desire to play in our fresh snow. I do think it's very beautiful and lovely, especially since it is not bitterly cold or even windy. The kids will probably not get to see it since it is already melting. That's twice this winter when they were in South Texas during the Abilene snow storm!

Emora is hating baths now. She was not very fond of them before, but the other day, she fell in the tub head first because she couldn't stand the fact that I was away from her for the 10 min. it takes me to shower and was trying to get to where I was. She has a big bruise on her head from it and apparently very strong feelings against the tub now.

Brian was half way to work when his boss called to say they would take the day off, so he joined me in packing today. That helped a lot. We are doing weird packing right now. We are only packing half way. Half the toys, half the books, half the board games and computer stuff... But it's all about done. We are going to go through the shed hopefully some Sat. and try to figure out what goes or stays from that and that's about all we can do for now.

I talked to Ivan on the phone this morning. Dominique was too busy with something to say much, but Ivan gave us the low down from the last few days. Basically, they are having the time of their lives. They went shopping at the mall, went to the beach in Galveston, the Space Center and today they were headed to the children's museum. In between all that, they are playing the Wii until crazy hours at night, which was why they were all in bed when I called after 9am. Hum, I hope they keep sleeping late for a few days when they get back!

I was hoping we'd get rid of more stuff than we did. I'm the problem with that. But we do have all the stuff organized again, so that is very nice. I'm thinking when we are in Canada of only bringing out some things at a time and rotating it through, so that it will be new to them and so that we don't have so much out all the time. We'll see.

Brian and I are going to try to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the next few nights. It is just not possible when the kids are here to try to watch such long movies. We are too tired by the time they are in bed to even make the attempt.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

enjoying our "vacation"

We got to web cam with the kids, Nana and Papa in Houston last night. It was so hilarious. Here we were sitting calmly in quiet with Emora and on the other side, Nana has our two kids climbing all over her, shouting over her, showing us stuff Nana had bought them and telling us about their adventures, until they were bored of web caming (about 2 minutes into it, for Dominique and Ivan lasted about 10 minutes). Then Nana was still struggling to talk with us and hear over the chaos while we watched Ivan and Dominique rough housing with Papa who was just trying to peacefully lay down in the background. We told Ivan to get his butt over to the camera so that we could spank him and we all laughed at that.

Emora's been a fussy little girl today. Tighe kept her some while we used a gift card we had from Christmas to eat out and I was able to tell her that she cried and wanted me to hold her all day too. I have yet to fully figure her out. She slept in late and was in a good mood while we shopped for groceries, but after nap she was a bit of a crank.

Here is a visit we had with the Aim boys. Their newest super cute brother is named Titus. Ivan is so sad that we are moving because he doesn't want to leave his "best friend" Caleb (who we rarely see). But his mom suggested that they could send cards by e-mail and stay in touch that way. So maybe we can encourage that.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The peace and quiet are palpable

Our house is such an amazingly serene place right now with Ivan and Dominique gone. Emora is so much more relaxed, not as clingy and more confident. I have seen 2 different friends and she went up to each of them giving them cuddles and kisses! She has never done that before, always wanting to be in my arms. This makes me think that maybe she is a more introverted, quiet personality and that she is a little overwhelmed by the chaos of a house with 2 other preschoolers dominating the landscape.

The minute we got home, I started picking up toys and clutter knowing that the house would stay uncluttered the entire week that the big kids are gone. This gave me an immediate thrill of delight. Brian set his music gear up in a room and got to play uninterrupted. This hiatus is wonderful. We had energy and time at our disposal with Emora gone to bed and the house to ourselves, precious commodities around here. It's also extremely weird, like having an arm missing- the delight of which is that I know I will get them back in a week, so I am just trying to relish and enjoy the freedom right now.

Here are the pics from when Brian and his partner got to switch out the sliding glass doors with French doors. I am really enjoying them. It's so wonderful to have all the light shining in and to be able to see outside into the yard so freely.

It's also interesting to discover things about ourselves with this vacation away from the big kids. I have gotten to where I really dread cleaning the house. I thought it was because I hate cleaning. And while it is not my favorite thing to do, this morning, I really enjoyed it. Emora and I pumped up the music and it was so great to watch the house become clean and beautiful. So now I know that it's not the cleaning I dread, but trying to clean with all the kids under foot and the knowledge that all that work will be destroyed in less time than it took me to write this post. I'm not complaining that they are tirelessly messy, because that is just part of having young kids, but I am glad to discover I'm not just a lazy bum about it and that this will get better with time as they are more capable of helping keep the house more manageable.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

packing them up

It's very strange to pack the kids for a trip without me. I know they will have a blast and am looking forward to my own preschooler free holiday (I'll still have Emora), nonetheless, it is so weird to know they will be away from me for a week. They are such a huge part of my life, pretty much every waking and not awake moment, that when they are not under my immediate care, I get to rediscover who I am and Brian and I get to know each other minus all the conversation that revolves around the trio.

They have been so excited to pack today and helped me fill a suitcase. Who knew such little kids have so many accessories. I think we have them covered. And they got rid of their fevers just in time. Ivan's broke yesterday and Dominique's today around noon. I've heard they need 24 hours fever free to not be contagious, so by the time we do the trade off tomorrow, they should be well enough. We are both driving half way and trading the kids. THANK YOU in advance to Nana and Papa.

My job this week is to start packing for our move. I am not sure what all I will find to pack during the week, but I'm sure we'll be able to fill a few boxes of things we don't use. I'd like to think that if it's something we don't regularly use, we don't need to be taking it or keeping it either. But I've figured I can pack up our books and we can use library ones, plus albums and maybe some games and cds... We'll see. I can't pack summer clothes because we will need that here before we leave and I don't want to do the garage sale yet, because we still have 4 months to use stuff. But I'll still have Emora all day and she is our little cling on, so we will go on library dates and I'll get to see some friends without my full entourage too, which will be a little slice of heaven.

Pics are from Emora's birthday. Time to upload the ones off the camera. My pictoral arsenal has been depleted here.