Tuesday, June 30, 2009

catch-up time

i've been really bad at updating my blog lately!!
our A/C has been partially restored... a small, used unit was installed last week to tide us over until sometime this week when the new unit is supposed to arrive. the landlords are replacing the entire cooling and heating system in the house. it'll be about a 3-and-a-half hour job. meanwhile, the unit we have is struggling to keep the whole house at a comfortable temp (80), so i've been keeping the vents and the doors closed in the playroom and the office during the day. that way the bedroom, living room and kitchen get all the cool air, and the unit isn't running nonstop all day long to try to keep up. i am not looking forward to our utility bill next month...
kid news:
  • rowan is communicating a bit more. he says owl, bagel, mama, micah, and bye-bye on a very regular basis. he has certain sounds he makes for certain needs/wants, and he signs "milk" and "all done".
  • micah and rowan both are both becomming fantastic little swimmers this summer! rowan can jump off the steps or the side and go completely underwater, before being swooped up by me or whoever is playing with him. sometimes my dad and i play "catch" with him: i dunk him under and push him through the water to my dad, and my dad brings him up to the surface. he voluntarily dunks himself underwater all the time, then pops back up smiling. micah can put her face underwater and hold it there for several seconds, and can glide from your arms to the steps several feet away with her hands out in front like a torpedo. she also loves to kick around in her 'dora the explorer' inner tube.
  • micah is loving her dress-up clothes these days. she spends a lot of time wearing her beautiful dresses, skirts, headbands, crowns, purses, etc. we recently got some princess dresses and high-heel shoes from my friend alison, and they've been a huge hit!

we are all still adoring our new house!! the backyard especially is so fun for me; we have one of those little fisher-price cars (also from my friend alison - thank you!!), a small slide, and an airplace swing for lina. my grandparents have a blow-up pool for us, but they haven't brought it over yet.

we've been enjoying the summer so far, at home, in my dad's swimming pool, and going on several outings with my la leche league group. earlier this month we went to owen's farm in richardson and got to feed some goats, see and learn about many different farm animals, go on a barrel ride, and plant a pumpkin seed! today, we went to the flight museum at love field in dallas and went on a guided tour, got to see tons of vintage aircraft, climb aboard a real plane (some of the kids were nervously asking, "are we really gonna take off?!") and enjoy a nice, big, air conditioned play area! we also got to hear one man's first-hand account of WWII, including his memories of normandy and omaha beach, and the loss of his best friends. his story was very moving, and i had a hard time keeping it together in front of all the kiddos. at the end, when he was talking about how many men died on D-Day, he pointed to all the kids and us and said, "and each of you are worth every bit of that sacrifice." i thought about how blessed i am to have two grandfathers who served in the Korean War and lived to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Friday, June 19, 2009

i... can't... believe... my A/C seems to be broken again. it's not blowing cold air, and it won't get below 83 degrees in here, even though i have the thermostat set at 75. i'm going to scream, or cry, or maybe both. and we're supposed to have company again tomorrow night. lovely... at least tomorrow is saturday and i know my landlord will come over here to check it out. geez...
josh, the kids and i played with maya at her house tonight while mama and wesley went out on a date for their anniversary. we had fun dancing to music, molding things out of beeswax, and playing with dolls and wooden food. i took some cute pictures of maya and micah dancing, and will post all sorts of pictures from the last couple of weeks very soon...
i was frustrated this morning because i didn't get up to drive josh to work, and was stuck at home without a car until noon, which meant that i missed two fun playgroups with my LLL friends. alison and laura and their boys were at the splashground, which is where i really wanted to go, and vicky and others were at a shady playground in dallas, which sounded like a bit of a drive but still would've been fun. my other friend miranda was also at the dallas playground, with her 3-yr-old son, jack, and her brand new baby girl, lily! i'm sad i missed out on seeing her. she's having a "meet lily!" party tomorrow afternoon, but we won't be able to go because we've got a full day tomorrow already. i'm also super excited for my other friend, marina, who had her baby boy last week! i can't wait to meet and hold these precious, new babies!!
i'm looking forward to getting some plants and flowers for the small bed right next to the front porch tomorrow. i have an idea of what i want to put there, but i don't know the names of the plants or the flowers. we're also going to go buy a cheap weedeater tomorrow. we'll worry about buying a lawnmower next year; my dad said we could borrow his whenever we need it, and it fits nicely in the back of the station wagon.
we are almost completely settled in and unpacked over here on archery lane! a few boxes remain in the kids' room, and the office needs artwork hung on the walls and the shelves loaded up with books. there are a lot of boxes of books and DVDs in the office closet that need to be unpacked. i am trying to come up with storage ideas for the kids' playroom. i want one of these storage systems from IKEA to house all their small toys, dress-up clothes, etc. maybe i can get them this for christmas.

micah and rowan are loving the new place! they love the backyard, even though we don't have a swing set or anything out there yet - again, hopefully christmas! we do have a small toddler slide that they're enjoying in the meantime. and of course, the sprinkler is always a hit. my grandparents have a blow-up kiddie pool they're going to bring over sometime next week; i'm excited about that!

josh and his twin sister, jill, turn the big 3-0 on monday, the 22nd! we had a birthday party for them at their oldest sister, melanie's house this past wednesday night. it was such a blast. i will post pictures soon. we swam and listened to music and ate brisket sandwiches, and had the yummiest cupcakes you've ever tasted for dessert. josh got a charcoal grill with all the accessories, a new wallet, a stainless steel water canteen, a drafting pen set, a gift card to hobby lobby (which he's already spent on some brushes, paints, mineral spirits to use with oil paints and to clean his brushes, and a sketchbook), and an awesome t-shirt with a record on it (his younger sister, katy, made it).

before the party, jill and katy stayed with us for one night each, which was wonderful but - our A/C was broken for part of the time! our landlord came out to the house four differet times to try to fix it, and he finally determined what was wrong and got it repaired. but, ugh... it was kind of a pain having it broken while we had company. i love, love, love it when josh's sisters come to stay with us.

we've also had my dad and vesta over for dinner, and my grandparents (jo ann and sheridan, my dad's folks) over for pizza, my friend alison and her boys over to play and help unpack, and last night katherine came over with smoothies and hand-knitted gifts! she made me a dishtowel with the breastfeeding advocacy symbol on it (i will post pictures of this very soon, and can't wait to take it to my next LLL meeting to show it off...) and she made micah two knitted chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting and chocolate sprinkles!! they are amazing. she also showed me pictures of some of her other projects... she is so incredibly talented, and she's only been knitting a short time. she just has a knack for it.

in other news, rowan is still not saying much at all, but has no trouble communicating. he uses hand gestures and little sounds to get what he needs, and he's started to sign more. he signs for milk, all gone, and thank you (sometimes). and of course he waves bye, and stretches his arms out for a hug. it's really cute. : ) he has his pacifier in his mouth a lot, and i've wondered if that might be contributing to his speech delay... so maybe this week i'll try to keep the paci away as much as i can. i'm not worried about it; i'm sure he'll talk when he's ready.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

our landlord, gary, came over last night and sprinkled some bug killer on the lawn out back. hopefully that will take care of the chiggers and the little black ants that have been plaguing us.

we had some excellent thunderstorms this evening! all day long it was overcast and humid as anything, but the rain didn't start until around 6:30 pm, i think. the kids and i were over at my dad's eating dinner, and josh was here at home working on a painting. the rain started coming down, then started pouring down, followed by lots of strong wind, thunder and lightning. the warning sirens came on at one point, and we were a bit confused because the news channel we were watching was telling us the tornadoes were south of us, in hebron and cleburne. we found out later that a wall cloud had moved through our area, and tornadoes can drop out of wall clouds, so hence the reason for the sirens. it was a little nerve-wracking being separated from josh during all this excitement, but i knew we were all right, and at least we were both inside strong, safe houses. i was glad he was here with mia; she is terrified of storms. micah and rowan weren't too frightened at daddy's house. i went out back with rowan at one point to watch the storm, but he was really nervous, so we came back inside.

i'm looking forward to having jo ann and sheridan, my gandparents (daddy's parents) over for pizza and to see the new house on friday night! they're also being kind enough to give us an extra printer of theirs, so we can finally have a printer hooked up to our computer. i don't think we've had one since we lived in the house on greenville ave., right after we got married. i know printers are fairly cheap, we've just never felt the need to go out and buy one. but i will so love having one and being able to print directions to places, random information, and ... this one prints quality pictures, on photo paper. : ) yay!! speaking of pictures, my grandmother is also bringing with her on friday some picture frames and some old photos that she's going to let me look through to see which onces i want. my other grandmother, mama's mom, also has some family photos she said i could look through. i need to do that soon... there's nothing i love more than looking at old familiy pictures and listening to all the stories!

every time i visit my grandparents, i try to get them to tell me some old family stories. grandmommy, mama's mom, recently told me a really interesting one. her oldest brother, wayne (she had seven brothers, and one sister), was in the european theater in WWII, in france. he went missing over there; apparently, he went AWOL and went to live with a french family, and ended up marrying a young girl. well, back home, memaw and pepaw (grandmommy's parents, my mom's grandparents) of course didn't know this, and they were frantic when they found out he was missing from his unit. at that time, lyndon baines johnson was in some sort of government position in florence, tx, where they lived (my grandmother couldn't remember what his title was exactly). memaw and pepaw asked him for help, and LBJ personally tracked wayne down in france, and let his family here know where he was and that he was all right. so, grandmommy said, her mom and dad thought LBJ was "the savior of all the earth." wayne ended up coming home unharmed (sans his young french wife) and started a family here, but grandmommy said he was never really the same. i'll bet a lot of families had/have the same feeling about their sons, fathers, husbands, etc. returning from war.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I LOVE MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ahem. micah is ill right now, and i hate it. i wish i could take her tummy bug out of her body and swallow it into mine. i can take it. she's so skinny already... she (and rowan) had fevers all day long on friday. then late friday night, micah finally threw up, and did several more times throughout the night on saturday. all day sunday, she seemed fine; we even went over to my dad's to celebrate her birthday. she wanted to get in the pool and everything. then sunday evening she seemed to be feeling really yucky again... and then began the diarrhea. the kind where she wasn't able to make it to the bathroom every time. my poor sweet baby... she's sleeping well right now, and i hope this doesn't last long.

her birthday party yesterday was so fun, though. my sweet, wonderful, loving stepmom, vesta, made her a "my little pony" birthday cake.

doesn't it look incredible?! this was vesta's first attempt at decorating a cake! it was absolutely delicious. micah got two beautiful summer dresses, and a kid's cookbook is forthcoming from my grandparents. she will be so excited about that. she really loves to help me in the kitchen lately.

our house is so much fun. we have the living room all arranged except for paintings that will go on the walls, and a cool piece of furniture we're getting in a few weeks from josh's sister jill and her boyfriend. the bedroom is almost all unpacked. the office only lacks the futon assembly, and then the kids' room will be the last. we have determined that we have a major chigger infestation in the backyard; i left a message with the landlords this morning to see what we can do about that. we figure any future pest control issues will be our responsibility - like ants or roaches, since it'd be a direct result of our habits, like leaving food out and whatnot. but the chiggers were well established before we moved in, so... we're hoping the landlords will just send someone out to spray the yard.

micah has developed a fear of the wind. one day last week, we were out enjoying the backyard and i had the kids' tent set up for them to play in. a strong breeze came through and knocked the tent over. micah flipped out, thinking the tent was about to float away - just like a balloon of hers floated out the car window weeks ago (that's what started it all). since then, she and i have had many talks about what can and can't float away in the wind - leaves, feathers, little bits of trash vs. play tents, chairs, dogs, people, houses, etc. she's having a difficult time relaxing outside, though. i'm hoping she gets used to it soon. right now, whenever the sliding glass door in the kitchen is open, she whines until we close it. it puts a damper on our backyard enjoyment. i'm trying to be patient and help her get to the bottom of her fear, but sometimes i just want to sit in my backyard without someone complaining and begging me to come back inside - especially since the backyard was one of the things i looked forward to the most about living here. i know it will pass, and i just need to be patient and understanding...

josh hasn't painted since we moved in, and i know he's missing it. i can't wait until he gets the garage organized so he'll have space to paint out there. the smaller canvases he says he'll work on in the office; that's why we put the child-proof door handle on the office door.

mia is loving her new yard, although she has tons of chigger bites too. i hope we get rid of them soon...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

it's official!