Monday, March 25, 2013

Normally, Virginia has a wonderfully mild end to March.  We've had the threats of snowfall the last several weeks, but narrowly escaped any real accumulation.  So it is strange, during spring break for my kids, to type this as there is already 1 1/2 inches of snow on the ground and up to 4 more inches on the way.

I know that doesn't seem like much, especially growing up in Wyoming and Utah, but they lack the plows and equipment to deal with it here.  They also don't know how to deal with it effeciently.  Add into that all the international drivers that work at the embassies in the area and this place can be an ugly mess.

I can't tell you the number of times we've instructed people on how to use 1st and 2nd gear on their cars and how they're shocked that you can't just punch the gas to get out of a slippery situation.

We'll see what today brings as I head over to the Ophthamologist today for my check up.  To think that it has almost been a year since I became un-blind.  And before correction, I was legally blind.  So the next time I see you, I may actually be able to see you. :)  Hopefully, the munchkins will be cooperative at the appointment.  No, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

When we go places poor Colby gets secured into his stroller so much still because of his food allergies that he is beginning to hate the thing.  And it doesn't look like he'll be outgrowing them any time soon.  Graded in classes from 1-6, his egg and milk allergies are now at a 5 and most of his nut allergies are at a 3 or 4.  It is hard to find new food that he can and will eat.  I am hesitantly looking through vegan cookbooks to find things to feed him.  We're also experimenting a lot with adapting recipes for him. 

Maya's allergies on the other had, are a little more stable in their levels.  She's still allergic to nuts, but not nearly as severly as Colby.  We are still very careful at avoiding contact with nuts, which I'm sure is  a slight headache for her teacher.  Maya is enjoying school.  I think she would love it if it weren't for the one boy who likes to antagonize her.  And unfortunately, since he is another of the nut allergy kids, she's stuck with him.  Still, she is picking up a bit of Spanish already.  Soon she and Ethan will be having conversations behind my back and I'll only be able to understand about half of what they say.  I guess I should get studying.

Ethan is maturing quickly.  He is now a bear in cub scouts and loves to go to all the activities.  He's discovering quickly that if he wants awards, he will need to get a move on things.  He has recently developed a love for magic tricks and pretending to be a spy.  So his Christmas spy kit from his aunt and uncle couldn't have been more perfect.  Last night, he was using some spy camera glasses to take still pictures that he plans to string together to make a movie.  He even made up scraps of paper to form the closing credits. 

For now, I need to close.  I need to get the kids up if I'm to get to my appointment on time.  Who knows when I'll post again?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Politically Frustrated

Oi!!  Living near DC has great benefits, like free museums.  But we also have to deal with a lot of political bull.  It's been especially difficult this year as we live in a "swing state".  I have just quit answering the phone if I don't know who it is because I'm tired of it all.  I have my opinions already and they will not be swayed by phone calls or commercials.

I just want the election to be over.  But I am also fearful.  I am afraid that we will continue to have a godless man in the White House.  A man with a silver tongue who goes to church once every four years for appearances only.  A man who would undermine the sacred relationship I have with my husband and the stability of family.  A man who would continue to sanction stopping a beating heart because it is too small to defend itself.

It has long been said, by their fruits ye shall know them.  If the past is any indication, I feel there is only one choice left.  I am proud to say that I will vote for Romney.  I was living near Salt Lake when he turned around the Olympics.  I am hoping he can do the same for our economy.  I like the idea that he will seek guidance from God in his choices.  This country was built on the support of our Father in Heaven, and can only be helped by his guidance.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ahem, so... I'm back. Update time I suppose.  Since I last blogged, we have stopped watching the twins during the day right about the same time we became pregnant with our third baby.  I got to have restricted activity again, hormone therapy again, but the gestational diabetes was new.  After many frustrating doctor visits, Colby was born on his father's birthday.  Ironically, the little boy who's name means dark hair, is more dirty blond.  He also shares a name with a type of cheese, which he can't eat because of all his allergies.  No eggs, milk, peanuts or tree nuts for this baby.  So, no, he can't eat many things.  We call him our Vegan Carnivore.

His allergies have been one of many interesting experiences these last 19 months since he was born.  I had an infection on my toe which resulted in having the toenail completely removed.  OUCH!!!  Then a few weeks later my flipflops helped me slip on the steps weird and rip off the back of another toe.  OUCH!!!  So tetnus shots and urgent care visits later, healing began. 

That summer we took the kids on a vaction road trip around Lake Eerie.  We started in Palmyra, New York where we took the kids to the Sacred Grove and the Hill Cumorah.  Ethan and Maya decided that running straight up the hill was a good idea.  I nixed the running straight down idea.  Our next stop was Niagara Falls.  We toured the park on the American side.  Though Ethan complained about getting wet, he now talks about it fondly.  Given all the allergies in our family, we chose to stay at a Marriott in Canada, as their entire line of hotels is supposed to be smoke free rooms.  We tried several rooms, but could not find one that did not reek of smoke.  That resulted in us being up at 2 am with a little boy having asthma issues, and since he does not usually have many problems, we didn't even think to bring an inhaler.

We drove through Ontario Canada on our way to Detroit.  After driving in rude, international drivers, traffic in DC, we were pleasantly surprised at how courteous the drivers in Canada were.  We stayed with Todd's aunt in Detroit for a few days.  Then continued on to Cedar Point, OH where we met up with my mom, brother Paul and his family.  We spent two days there.  One in the roller coaster park, where we inadvertently succeeded in making Ethan motion sick.  The next day we spent in the indoor water park at our hotel.  I think that was the kids' favorite day of the trip.

We rounded off the trip with staying at Paul and Kyla's house for a couple of days.  We visited Kirtland while we were there and loved touring the grounds.  This was a nice culminating event for Todd as he had just finished teaching early morning seminary where they had studied church history.

Todd taught one more year of seminary (Old Testament).  Ethan completed his second year of partial immersion Spanish.  In the middle of that, we experimented with foods Colby could eat and even started making some oat milk from scratch.  We went through a few rounds of Norovirus, not fun.

But one of the more exciting items was that Ethan turned eight and was baptized.  Both sets of grandparents came out for that.  Then all of us, 6 adults and 3 kids, went to Disney World for a week.  I highly recommend that adult to child ratio.  We played, ate, even slept a little.  Both Ethan and Maya began pin collections, with a lot of help from both grandmothers.  Ethan loved Expedition Everest and the Rockin Roller Coaster.  Maya loved the Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain.

To finish off the update, we survived a devastating derecho and 5 days without power.  I've had lasik done on my eyes and about two months ago, my foot was on the receiving end of a frozen chicken falling out of the freezer.  Though x-rays showed no obvious breaks, the fact that I am only recently able to wear closed toed shoes without pain indicates there were a few hairline fractures.  If I don't update again soon, sorry.  Life happens.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nominated for Biggest Slacker

Okay, so I've been one of the biggest slackers imaginable these last few, ummm...... months. In my defense........ I guess I don't really have one other than being busy.

Yes, I still watch twins during the day and yes, that keeps us incredibly busy especially with Ethan now in school. School has been a wonderful growing experience for Ethan. He has been reading simple stories to us and is able to complete addition problems into the teens. And, according to his teacher at parent/teacher conferences, Ethan now has a girlfriend named Estella. When you ask him about it, he just grins and turns away unwilling to divulge information. Apparently he meant to keep that a secret.

Maya is growing very quickly as well and is at that point where her vocabulary is exploding, but she doesn't always pronounce things correctly. Lately, she tries to say darn it, though that's not what it sounds like. Lol, I guess people will just think we cuss a lot for a while. She also loves to talk about her Punkle Paul. Amazingly, she is started to pronounce Kyla and MaKendree accurately.

We had Paul, Kyla and MaKendree at our place the week of Thanksgiving. It was a blast to have family out here with us. It had been so long since I'd gone to most museums that I was not as good a tour guide as usual. Sorry guys.

I will try to post more often, but no guarantees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mad Rush Preparations for School

My baby boy has reached the ripe age of 5. (Sniff, smile, sigh, sniff, sniff.) This means that he starts school this fall. We knew it was coming up, and had even tried to get him into some magnet programs. But we were rejected, oh sorry, not selected for a position in the program. No biggie right? So time to register him for Kindergarten.

We did all the appointments, shots, tests, filled out all the forms, jumped through 5 hoops and raced to the red door. Okay, so I'm exagerating, but that's how it felt. We finally got everything turned in only to discover that our boundry school is on a modified school calendar. So Ethan is supposed to start school at the very beginning of August. ?????????? Really? That fast?

You prepare yourself for them to grow up and are used to the idea and then the time line gets yanked right out from under your feet. One month. My baby? Going to school in one month? WOW!!!!

So round 2 of the mad rush starts. We get every item on his list. Apply permanent marker labels to all items and have it stashed aside ready for school.

We've fully adjusted to the idea, start looking at where the bus will come for him. We even drive by the school a few times so that Ethan can see it and get used to the idea. Life is going along at a nice crazy, super busy pace again. Ahhhhhh.

Then Monday, we get a letter from the School District. Oh, this must be the name of his teacher and the finalized bus schedules I'm thinking. "This is to inform you that Ethan has been selected from the waiting list for admission to .......". Wait, what? Yay!!!! What really? Ethan got into the magnet program!!!! Yay!!!!

Oh, I am so elatedly confused. It was so not the document I was expecting, but now we're really excited. What does it all mean? We're not entirely sure yet. But, it looks like round 3 of the mad rush is just beginning.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Arrival of Twins

We have embarked on an all new adventure. Twins!!! Disclaimer: They are only ours M-F 7:00am-4:30pm. Ethan and Maya have loved to have the two new little ones around. Not that I'm complaining of the extra snuggle time either.

The first day they came, Audrey smiled at Ethan and he was hooked. He instantly declared them friends and has wanted to hold her nearly every day since. Near the end of the day he was very upset that we had to give the twins back. He was under the impression that we got to keep them all the time.
Maya has adjusted remarkably well. I'm sure it helps that she is enthralled with babies in general. But she always has been a very girly girl. Loves shoes, jewelry, purses, babies and chocolate and easily gets emotional. Yep, all girl. Since Audrey is usually taken by Ethan, Maya goes to Charles to tickle his toes and gab at him, which he seems to love.
The real adventure comes when we all go out. I didn't realize it would take half an hour to load 4 kids in the van, but it does. Then there's the logisitcs of carts. Who's walking, riding, sitting in a backpack or staying in a carseat? All depends on the location. But the funniest things are the reactions of all the people in the community. (You know, people don't whisper as quietly as they think they do.) I don't have time in my day to explain to every stranger that they're not all mine.

For now, we are enjoying our adventure. And I'm pretty sure the twins are enjoying all the attention and affection.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg Roller Coaster

We have had many ups and downs in trying to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll again. When the tickets went exclusively online I thought, "that beats camping over night on the ellipse." And then we actually tried to get the tickets. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

The joke was on us, and half the other people around here. The internet site was bogged down so quickly that the tickets were gone too fast. We had three adults on high speed connections trying to get tickets, but the site kept crashing from the high traffic. After a while we gave up on that method.

Then Todd decided to try the old fashioned way, ask people he knew. We didn't count on getting tickets, just hoped and waited. Then, at the end of last week, we got great news. One lady had enough tickets for our little family. Hooray!!!!!!

We again got excited and started planning out our trip. I could hardly contain my excitement, for although past years had been a little stressful, it was always so much fun. They had always had sponsors that handed out fresh fruit, small drinks and trinket toys even before you got into the actual egg roll. Then you got a little candy, egg decorating kits, collectors egg, poster, coloring books upon entering and hardly had to walk around to find entertainers roaming the lawn, small stages set off to the side, and just in general had a lot of fun.

The big day finally came and we all went down, happy and ready for a great time. We walked from Todd's office as we ate our meager ham sandwiches. On the way we even got to see a large motorcade go through, which was kinda cool. Finally we reached the ellipse and got our first shock of the day. No activities on the ellipse. What?????? Only rows of ropes like cattle chutes. So we stood there in line for an hour, trying to entertain the kids.

Finally we got to move through security only to stand in another line for an hour. The "entertainment" was a middle aged man, trying to be a DJ, while dancing around in a strange orange outfit. Eventually they brought a magician on stage, but very few people wanted to leave their place in line to go watch.

Finally, we go inside. Yay!!!! Oh, can only enter half of the activities if your child is 6 years or older. A little strange considering to even get tickets you have to have a child 10 or younger. So we bipassed those activites from which we were excluded and went for the egg roll, chose the short line and got through quickly, only to discover that there was not the traditional piece of candy at the end. So we're trying to console a competitive 5 year old, without sugar as a distraction, while trying to figure out what is left that we're allowed to do, all while attempting to talk loud enough to be heard over the pounding hiphop music from the stage. Yeah, again, music and entertainment geared toward older teenagers at a young child event? Have these event planners ever seen a young child?

We trudged down to the egg hunt, hoping for something better. With some cute smiles they sift through the straw to find the eggs and place them in the provided baskets. The kids get through only to have everything prised from their hands, yet again, with no real compensation. (Why would a toddler be happy about a poster?) I glanced at the egg dying station which would only give 1 egg per family, yeah like that would work with 2 kids and vinegar, and they had eliminated the egg decorating kit which was traditionally given to each family when leaving the area.
With our heads throbbing, our children exhausted and bored, and little to show for our efforts, we left to get our collectors egg. We were hoping that Ethan and Maya could each get their favorite colors, blue and purple, but no. Another let down. All eggs given out were a horrid lime green. Seriously????

I'm sure that this would have been an absolutely spectacular event, if we hadn't gone the last couple of years and had such wonderful experiences. We've yet to decide if we'll go again next year. All complaining aside, we did have some fun and the kids did enjoy parts of the day. It was also nice to be together as a family.