Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Settling in

Well, we are finally settling into the school year routine. It is still a bit tough to drag everyone out of bed in the morning, but it is going fine. Ashtyn is making friends and likes her teacher. The school is getting the traffic congestion under control (thank you for giving me back 45 minutes of my life!) Mason and Mackenzie are bonding together pretty well. She is by his side in their little kitchen:They are hangin' out at her crib (which he filled with stuffed animals):

And he has enough silliness in him to get crazy with big sis on the weekend, too:


Can you tell this kid is filled up with life and laughter? Dont let him fool you though...he is like the little boy in the poem: When he was good, he was very, very good, but when he was bad he was horrible! Trust me, it's not all roses :) Oh! I keep meaning to post this. The little daredevil has learned to ride his "wobbly" bike without training wheels. He says when he grows up he is going to race BMX in the Olympics. Maybe so...he shocked me by learning this at the age of 3:

video

Azima is lighting up more and more. She had to get in on the dress up, too. Here she is sportin' her Kyrgyz hat:

And loving some cherries:


She is showing us more everyday how much she is growing and changing. In a lot of ways, she doesn't seem 13 months yet, but then she surprises us by showing a clear understanding of how things work. She loves to put headbands on her head and sunglasses on my face. If she gets lucky enough to get her little hands on a necklace of her sister's (we have to work on picking up the non-baby items) it goes right over her head. She picked up a tiny baby doll the other day, and just hugged and hugged on it, it was so sweet! Here is one that just made me laugh. She crawled up to the cordless phone lying on the floor, put it right up to her ear, and tried to say hello. I tried to get her to recreate the moment, this is as close as I got (sorry- I have no idea how to rotate it):

video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to School...sort of


Well, school is officially back in session my friends...sort of. Today should be day two, but instead it is a hurricane day. Actually, tropical storm day, which I never realized actually warranted a day off of school, but apparently the local school board must have all just relocated from New York or something, because they decided to cancel today. C'mon people! It is barely storming. Yes, I realize that it hasn't really reached us yet, and yes I realize I will soon have lake-front property from all the rain it is going to dump on us, but please! At it's worst, I expect this storm to bring us a couple of gloomy days, a whole lot of rain, and maybe a free tree trimming of those loose and dead branches. Remember '04, the year we got slammed with 3 hurricanes in a row?! I am just praying we are not headed for a repeat of that. By the time storm 3 came and finished off our screen room, I just laughed as it came crashing down....laughed because I knew that meant the insurance would certainly pay to repair it, and, hey...at least it wasnt our roof (which had minimal damage, but the insurance company also paid to replace...nice!) My biggest worry that hurricane season was actually that Mason would make his big debut in the middle of storm 2...I was hugely pregnant, under a lot of stress, and there is something to the whole drop in the barometric pressure theory. So we stayed at my mom's house for that storm, who happens to live next door to a doctor, just in case. Thankfully, he stayed safely inside, made his debut (barely), at a regular hospital, and was home in time to witness storm number three and the aforementioned screen porch crash at the ripe old age of 2 days! But I digress...hugely!

Back to School....Ashtyn's first day came back with weak reviews..."We didnt have any fun and it was all rules, rules, rules, all day long! They told us we would have a little fun in the media center....but we didnt!" Poor baby...I am confident it will get better. Her teacher seemed really nice and really great with kids. As for Ashtyn, at least she didnt have to sit in the car rider pick-up line for an hour and a half at the end of the day! An hour and a half, seriously! Sitting in the car with Mason and Mackenzie. What do you do with them for that amount of time? Here is what Mackenzie did to occupy herself:
Play with the ball
Throw the ball
Throw a fit because she threw the ball
Insert pacifier that mommy threw at her
Go to sleep

And Mason:
Scribble briefly in a color wonder book
Throw color wonder markers all over the floor
Look for a moment at a View Finder
Throw View Finder and all of his disks all over the floor
Draw for 2 minutes
Fall asleep with crayon in hand
(Please note that I spent 3 hours cleaning out the van that morning...he even helped...and he knows better!)

And what did I do (other than picking up the markers and crayons and view finder)? I was actually pretty productive:
Ate a snack
Applied full make-up
Filed nails
plucked eyebrows
Painted nails
Checked dance schedule
decided to go for the "smoky eye" look
figured I might as well go ahead and do the full French manicure, b/c hey...both kids were strapped down and sleeping and I wasnt going anywhere!

So, when I look on the bright side, I had a little mini spa right there in my van. Hey, if these storms ever pass and we get to take her back to first grade, maybe I will wear flip-flops for pick-up that day and plan a pedicure. Who am I kidding- I wear flip-flops every day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Racing to a finish

(Pictures added)
So it is officially the middle of the night, and I am up late again. The summer has just rushed by, and I am trying to beat the clock and get everything done on schedule. Which means less sleep for me. Tonight (and the past few nights) I am up late preparing for a directors meeting for Awana...we are starting up again on Aug 24th. I have never had to kick off a club year as commander before...whew! There is so much to do! Most of it is fine, b/c I can do it late night...I am stuck on how to make phone calls though...3 busy kids dont lend well to a long list of contacts I need to make. I really need a few more leaders.

Mason got new bunkbeds yesterday. He is really excited to be sleeping on the top bunk. The whole bedroom situation since bringing Mackenzie home has been a mess. The first few months we put her crib up in Ashtyn's room, Mason was in a toddler bed in his room, and Kenzie actually slept in our room in the pack n play. But every time she stirred, we would get up with her, so we decided we needed a little distance between us to encourage better nighttime habits. So...the crib went into Mason's room, and he got a twin bed in Ashtyn's room. I was determined this would be a temporary arrangement however...mostly b/c I didnt want to have to redecorate 2 entire rooms. Plus, my mom had made the girls beautiful matching quilts! So, finally, we are getting things straight. We got him bunks since he has grown so accustomed to sharing his space with his sister...that way she can sleep in his room whenever she wants (he begs her to EVERY night). The girls room is a girls room again, and Mason is asking for Monster Trucks in his room now. Could he have picked a theme that is harder to find? Good thing Grandma sews!

Shaun took the day off today to spend with the kids...he has worked so many weekends and had so may trips out of town, it only seemed fair. Our original plan was to go to one of the beautiful Florida springs. The weather, however, didnt cooperate as it was rainy and overcast all day. So, we ended up at Monkey Joes...one of those inflatable playgrounds that are a paradise for kids and quickly drive me crazy with all of the noise and commotion. The kids did have a blast, though, so I dont mind suffering through. This is the first time Mackenzie has really been mobile at a place like that...she had fun exploring everything once she got used to the place.
Tomorrow is meet the teacher for Ashtyn. School starts on Monday. I cannot believe the summer is almost over! I am really not ready.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blog Award

Thanks Andrea, over at Holding on for the Ride, for the blog award! We finally met in person at the CWA picnic...she has 2 adorable kiddos, one from Russia and one from Kyrgyzstan. My older 2 got pretty attached to AP that day. They rode in the horse-drawn carriage together. Here is the bling she sent my way:
So, now I am supposed to answer some questions about myself and then pass it on. Here goes:


A. Attached or single? Attached

B. Best friend? my husband, Shaun

C. Cake or pie? Pie

D. Day of choice? Saturday

E. Essential item? Diaper Bag- always overpacked, always on my shoulder

F. Favorite color? blue...actually that shade of blue green you see when you are out boating in the ocean and the water changes from the shallow reef water to the deep ocean. Breathtaking

G. Gummy bears or worms? yuck! Chocolate, please!

H. Hometown? born in Valparaiso, IN...raised in Kissimmee, FL

I. Indulgence? ummm....reading blogs?

J. January or July? July

K. Kids? 3

L. Life isn’t complete without? Family and faith

M. Marriage date? 12/19/98...ten years this December! (and what would have happened if I had answered A. differently?)

N. Number of brothers & sisters? Two older sisters...three brothers in law, one sister in law

O. Oranges or apples? Apples

P. Phobias? Shaun's driving! Specifically, his sleeping at the wheel

Q. Quotes? Galatians 6:9

R. Reasons to smile? the moment daddy arrives home from work- smiles all around

S. Season of choice? Summer

T. Tag seven peeps! (see below)

U. Unknown fact about me? I was engaged at 17

V. Vegetable? carrots

W. Worst habits? procrastination

X. X-ray or ultrasound? I looked forward to ultrasounds...begged for them really, so I guess ultrasound (especially the 3D kind- so cool)

Y. Your favorite food? steak

Z. Zodiac sign? Pisces

So, now I get to tag 7 of you to do the same. The trick is finding 7 that havent already been tagged, and that I actually have 2 ended conversations with (I tend to lurk on some blogs):

1. Rachel: Rach is the kind of person you feel like you have known forever the first time you meet her...but in actuality, I am sure there is a lot I can learn about her.

2. Jackie: Maybe an award will get her out of hibernation :) It's OK...we really do know you are crazy busy...just miss hearing from you , that's all.

3. Hillary: Havent ever meet her in person, but I suspect we would hit it off right away.

4. Kerry: My dear friend...I am breaking out of the Kyrgyz blog ring here...we have a very long history...swam together in HS...got SCUBA certified together...bridesmaid in my wedding (the bachlorette she threw still makes me blush)...same major in college...now living the dream in Hawaii

5. Ivy: We met first over dinner in Bishkek. It was so nice to connect with a family going through a similar process while so far from home. Her waiting has finally paid off and she is home with Dylan!

6. Holly: Mom to a bio son and a Kyrgyz beauty who is hearing impaired...inspiring

7: Johnda: Josie's mom...hopefully it will lure her out of hiding :)


I enjoy reading all of your blogs...I think I indulge a bit too much!