Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rain, rain come again

Last week was full, both of stuff to do and rain. I had my ultrasound on Monday... baby looks good, but, for those of you who are going to ask, we still don't know what gender it will be. We also got a new refrigerator because our old one had a leak with the ice maker. That was a lot of work to have to pull everything out, put it in the deep freeze and then put it back in after. I've also been trying to put up shelves and get more organized. Eric and I went to a friend's house to help them move in on Saturday and seeing her house and remembering how cute it was before made me even more motivated to get decorating. I am having a nightmare of a time picking out curtains, but I am one step closer... I actually went and got a few to try out. Wish me luck! It also rained many days last week. I know our grass was happy, but we were all getting stir-crazy, and I thought, "What do we have raincoats for anyway?" The kids ran through puddles, floated sticks down the gutter, helped me pull weeds from the cracks in our driveway (the pile below is purely weeds we pulled from our driveway cracks),and before I could stop them, they laid down in the puddle (see video). So much for raincoats! Elia about lost her jeans and Ethan didn't like the floating dirt that looked like bugs and if you wait to the very end you will see his cute reaction to the bubbles in the puddle.
video
They ended up muddy from head to toe, but it was actually very nice to not try and keep them clean or from stomping in puddles and to actually get those weeds pulled. I just had them strip down in the garage before I carried them up to a nice warm bath.
Here is our personal eye-spy game. Can you find Elia? This is how I found her one afternoon during her nap:
And, last but not least, we are getting ready for Ethan's birthday on the 18th! I decided to have people bring "recycled" gifts... meaning something Ethan would enjoy from either the Goodwill or from their own collection. Then, I just sort of got carried away and decided to make it a whole "green" themed party. It isn't that I am ready to chain myself to a tree to prevent it from being cut down, though I do think it is important to protect the environment, but the idea sort of snowballed and it has been fun to think of eco-related party games and center the party on a theme. I am far from an environmental protection pro, but it should be fun. Oh, and one more funny thing, I was finishing up the invitation today and I started to wonder when Earth Day was. I looked it up, and it is April 22nd. Honestly, it is just so coincidental that I would plan this kind of party for Ethan's birthday and it is the weekend before Earth Day. I guess it was meant to be! We'll let you know how it turns out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brothers, Bugs and Babies

I can't believe how green it has gotten here... just in the last couple of weeks it seems like everything has put out their leaves. Our backyard went from skeletal to bushy it what seemed like two days.
We are very excited to plant our garden this week. Our garden box is full of dirt and the plants are in the garage. Hopefully they will go into the ground on Monday. It is our first gardening experience in Texas, so we'll hope all goes well. I'm especially looking forward to fresh tomatoes! Our neighbor knew I was going to do a garden and came over with the name and number of her mother who has a truck and said that her mom would be glad to help me get a truck full of dirt. This was a huge blessing as having the dirt delivered would have been more than the cost of the dirt! The woman was super nice and happens to be a master gardener which was also great because when we went to the soil store there were like 5 different kinds of dirt to choose from!
Eric and I also watered and put "weed and feed" on our lawn for the first time. Our lawn has a lot of recovering to do, but we're cheering for it. We have also seen an increase in bugs. We have at least one mosquito hawk in our house each night and we caught "Karen" the caterpillar:
And "Mark" the roly-poly:

I was going to keep the caterpillar and have him turn into a moth, he will be a giant leopard moth, but he wasn't eating any of the variety of leaves I gave him and I didn't want to kill him, so I put him outside and he escaped. Oh, well... maybe next time. :(
Here are a few pictures Elia took one afternoon. I thought they turned out pretty well, so I wanted to share...
And, the fun part are the videos. This first one demonstrates exactly why Elia has a brother. He doesn't even know what he is arguing about, he just likes to say the exact opposite... if he isn't doing that, he is copying her. Either way, she rarely takes it well.
video

This next video shows how Ethan walks around the house maybe 50% of the time... on tippy toes! He has amazing balance and is so comfortable doing it... maybe he just feels he can see better. Who knows!

video

Aren't little brothers great?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention why I put "baby" in the title. On Monday we go in for our 20 week ultrasound... And nope, we're still not going to find out. We're excited to see the baby though! I'll try to scan some pictures for next week's blog and you guys can try and guess if it is a he/she. By the way our name thoughts are Hannah or Liza if it is a girl and Will if it is a boy. Of course, these aren't set in stone, but we both like those names.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cruising

Life is just cruising along here in Sugar Land. I can't believe the year is almost 1/4 over! Where does the time go?
I was about to start the blog by saying that not much was going on, but then I thought about how the kids have both been sick, Ethan is on steroids, we bought a pass to the Children's Museum, did our taxes and Elia is really getting into bike riding... and then I wondered which I should start with! Life is never dull is it?
So, the kids have been sick, I think it is probably the flu virus... Elia was sick first and stayed home from church last week with a fever... then Ethan got sick and when he gets sick, things are just complicated because of his breathing problems. I ended up taking him into the doctor (Yes, I finally found one... after 7.5 months here, it was about time), who put him on two medicines in the nebulizer machine, a steroid and an antibiotic. It seemed a little overkill, especially since I really thought it was a virus that wouldn't respond to antibiotics, but the doctor said he just wanted to make sure he got everything. So, this week we kept Ethan home from church. He kept pulling at his polo and saying, "church shirt"... he was not happy about staying home from church! Maybe next week, we'll all make it.
This week I also splurged and bought a pass to the children's museum. We used part of our tax return money for it and I think we'll get a lot out of it... especially this summer when it will be too hot to do much else.
I was also proud of myself for completing our taxes... and pretty early too! My eyes were really opened to what I'll have to do next year when I really have to do taxes for my photography business.
Last, but certainly not least, Elia is really excited about bike riding. Eric was anti-training wheels and he had Grandpa take the wheels off before they even gave it to her. I was a little skeptical, but I had no luck changing Eric's mind. We bought a little bike from the Goodwill and took off the pedals so she could learn to balance. She wasn't too keen on this, especially since she has this fabulous pink bike that Nana and Grandpa gave her for her birthday. So, we've been helping her with it and it hasn't taken her too long. She is still far away from riding completely by herself... but she can balance and pedal. She is getting a lot better at steering, though she needs work on that and on getting started too.
Of course, Ethan gets included too. He and his little bee helmet that he loves to wear even when he isn't riding, but really, it is too small for his head...
Enjoy the video. I combined the one of Elia riding and Ethan's cool trick (assisted by Eric).

video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A visit from Grampy and Yia Yia

The day after we got back from Utah, Grampy and Yia Yia (in case you are wondering, that is Greek for grandma) came for a visit. It was a whirlwind of five days. On Thursday we hit some of the free museums downtown (The Museum of Fine Arts and the Health and Science Museum). On Friday we drove to Galveston and played in the sand. Eric couldn't join in the fun, but he helped us get ready...Ethan has a love-hate relationship with these boots. He wants to wear them all the time, but hates them because they are a little big and sometimes fall off.
Ethan was so mad that I wouldn't hold him or stay with him on the beach because I wanted to wade in the water, so he sought comfort from Grampy.On Saturday we went to the Houston Arboretum... Eric and Elia resting on Sunday afternoon. The love sac in front of the window is one of our favorite resting spots. We got lots of extra rest with Grampy and Yia Yia. The kids sometimes bothered them in the morning instead of coming right to us. I love Elia's position in this photo...
On Monday we stayed around the house and dad, as helpful as always, helped me build a new box for our soon-to-be vegetable garden, helped fix our shower curtain rod and shower head. I specifically didn't make a "to-do" list so he could be on vacation... but I think he can't help himself. It was such a nice relaxing visit... though it was too short! We can't wait for our June visit!
Thanks for a great visit Dad and Yia Yia! I love this picture of the two of them.After they left, it was back to normal... or semi-normal, seeing how Eric was gone for all week to Atlanta. I got a lot of stuff done around the house last week including spending about three hours sorting and filing our stacks of papers. I hate paperwork! Does anyone have suggestions on how to deal with it? It is so overwhelming to me. Eric wants to go paperless and scan everything. What do you think?
Well, about one more month until Ethan's second birthday. We are seriously debating putting his hair on the chopping block... literally. So, the debate is whether to trim it... maybe 3 inches off the back (make it less mullet-ish as people think it is), or go for a classic little boy haircut with short sides and back and longer top (kind of like Eric's). Any opinions?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Finishing up in Utah

What a week! We got back from Utah on Tuesday, then my dad came on Wednesday night for a long weekend visit. We figured that between all the moving we have done and all the time he has spent in Florida taking care of my grandfather, it had been about a year since he has seen the kids! They leave tomorrow, so I'm going to wait until next weekend to post the pictures of their visit. For now, I'll post the rest of our Utah pictures.
On Monday we spent the morning with my sister Davina. Elia adores Davina and could spend all day watching her do her hair and put on her make-up. Davina has a pass to the Discovery Gateway Children's museum and we all explored there for a few hours. It was pretty crowded since it was President's Day, but we all had fun. We also got to see Davina a week later when we stayed at her house the night before our plane left. She cooked us a gourmet dinner that was a spin off of our favorite childhood meal: homemade macaroni and cheese and hamburger patties with fried onions on top. Elia found this fun wig in one of the closets and was the biggest ham with it on:
In Utah we enjoyed the snow thanks to some borrowed snow clothes from a neighbor who has kids about the same age as Elia and Ethan.
Sledding with Nana:Campfire in the canyon (with Grandpa):
On our way back to the airport, Elia insisted on pulling the suitcases. Our suitcases have three wheels on each side that rotate making it very easy for even a kid to pull. I didn't weigh my suitcases and was 10 pounds too heavy in one of them. What a pain to have to transfer stuff while at the counter! Argh!
Ethan and Elia's favorite thing: A Rudolph the red-nose reindeer nose. This is my favorite picture of Ethan with it on. He even says, "red-nose reindeer". So cute!It will sure be a change this week from the last few weeks. I'll be solita this whole week because Eric has to return to Atlanta from Monday through Friday and dad leaves Monday. It will be a little lonely around here, but it will also be a good chance to get back on track with everything.