Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dinner Conversation and Entertainment

Hubby is gone for another week long business trip. He left Sunday night and he'll be back Saturday night (ugh!).  It's been over 2 years since he's been gone for so long on one business trip.  He actually has another one sometime next month and then in February he'll be gone 2-3 weeks. Yikes!

When he's away I try to find my own routines. I get dinner on the table earlier and get the kids to bed much earlier.  Last night my parents came over to give me a hand. They spent time with the big kids playing games before giving them their bath. While my mom bathed the big kids, my dad spent some one-on-one time with Mr. Bananas. I cleaned the house.

By 8 o'clock last night all 3 kids were in bed and my parents had left.  I finally sat down for my dinner. When it's just me, I find it easier to feed the 3 kids and then eat dinner by myself after they are in bed. While the big kids eat, I feed the baby.  So at 8:30pm I had reheated a bowl of soup and decided to watch the Sing-Off while eating my dinner. Wouldn't you know that not 2 minutes into my solo dinner, my daughter came downstairs?

DM:  Buggy what are you doing down here?
B:  You know what I'm doing.
DM: I do?
B: Yes. I'm watching tv with you.
DM: You are?
Buggy sees that I'm watching the Sing-Off: Oh, and I'm dancing.

While the contestants are singing, she gets off the couch and starts dancing.  When they finish and the audience is applauding, my darling daughter starts bowing repeatedly and saying, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you" Humble, isn't she? (Ms. C, I think she is a natural performer! It's a good thing I have her taking dance classes at your studio!)

At the next commercial I start to carry her upstairs. I'm almost to the top of the stairs when I see that the gate is in place and locked. Um????
DM:  Bug, how did you get downstairs? The gate is locked?
B:  I'm little. I'm 3, but I'm still little. I'm still little and I fit! I'm 3, I'm little, and I fit! (The whole time she is giggling).

The little stinker crawled underneath the gate and walked downstairs.

I finally got her back in bed.  It's never a dull moment with my little performer...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lola's Birthday

This year Lola's birthday landed on Thanksgiving.  My kids love birthdays and they were really looking forward to celebrating my mom's birthday.  The night before we weren't sure if we would see my mom for her birthday. My mom hadn't decided whether or not she would join us for her birthday breakfast. While my husband and I were discussing the schedule for Thanksgiving day, my daughter very excitedly said, "And we'll celebrate Lola's birthday!" I looked at her and said, "Baby, I don't know if we'll see Lola tomorrow. We'll see."  She very dejectedly put her head on the kitchen table and sighed. She wasn't happy that she might not see her Lola on her birthday.

My mom decided to come over and we did our traditional birthday breakfast in the midst of getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. The kids were so excited and I think my mom enjoyed herself. She is a tough lady to shop for because she really does have everything. I crocheted her a scarf and the kids made birthday cards. They were so excited to see her.

Mom's not real big on birthdays for herself or for anyone. She doesn't want anyone to fuss over her, but I think that having grandkids trumps that wish.  They want nothing more than to celebrate her and pour love all over her. I'm glad she let them do that. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Cooperative Play

Nothing warms my heart more than when my children play well together.  I love when they cooperate and share.  Last week Buggy had an assignment for her bilingual class. She was supposed to write and illustrate a book to share with her classmates.  We co-authored a book titled, My Family.  She told me what to write and I wrote it for her.  She then spent her time illustrating each page.  When her brother came home from school, he was excited to learn that she was making a book. Boogie loves to write and make books.  He offered his help and the two of them spent quality time illustrating her book.  Buggy was thrilled with the extra attention from her big brother, and Boogie was happy to lend his expertise to help her out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Soccer Season Gone By

Boogie played soccer this Fall. We try to involve the kids in activities from the our church. Our church is part of a Soccer League with other parishes in the vicinity. For $40 you can't beat 8+ weeks of activity.  Granted it took me about 30 minutes (with traffic) to get to practice every week and there were games every Saturday...but overall it was a good experience.

It was a way for Boogs to run around and burn off some of his pent up energy.  It was also good for him to refine his skills and to focus on one thing.  In the beginning it was a lot of running around, not understanding the rules, and chaos as 5-7 year olds chased a soccer ball. As the weeks progressed, I noticed that Boogs was becoming more focused, was able to participate more, and refined his skills. By the last few weeks they started putting him in the goalie position and he was becoming better and better at defending his goal.

I'm a big fan of exposing our kids to as many activities as possible so that they can be well rounded.  Soccer was just one part of that. Bug is already excited for when she will be old enough to join the soccer team.  As our kids continue to grow I look forward to finding out what their favorite activity is and going with it full force.

I, unfortunately, had to miss the last game as I was prepping for the birthday party, but Hubby said that Boogs scored a goal. I know that totally made his day!  Boogs also received his trophy and was very excited to share it with me.

However, between dance and soccer, I am getting an inkling of what our future holds as Hubby and I coordinate our schedules and take the kids to their activities.  I'm sad that I can't attend every event, but it seems that our kids don't mind when Hubby or I can't be together at the same event because the other is taking care of someone/something else. They seem to go with the flow and that helps a lot!

I am grateful that our parish offers a lot of activities for our kids:  religious ed, t-ball, soccer, summer camp, choir, scouts, etc.  It helps us to be better connected to the church and it's members. We are part of one body.

A Veggie Tastic Birthday

My Pinkalicious Girl 
My daughter turned 3 a few weeks ago, but we finally celebrated with the extended family this past weekend. We hosted the birthday celebration for Bug and her cousin B. who is 3 weeks older.  Between scheduling conflicts and Bug coming down with the stomach flu last weekend, this was the soonest we could celebrate.

We decided to go with a Veggie Tales theme this year and it was a lot of fun.  Bug enjoyed having her family around to celebrate though when I told her that the family was coming over she said they were there to celebrate her cousin's birthday. She didn't realize they were there to celebrate her as well.

I had a lot of fun creating her cake (super easy this time!). We made her a Bob the Tomato cake with strawberry cake mix. I tried looking for red velvet, but since that was available at our store we went with strawberry. What better for my girly girl who loves pink. We even had pink strawberry ice cream which was a big hit with the girl cousins.

My uncle watching the kids hit the pinata
As with every birthday I tend to go bigger than the average bear.  I like a good celebration and I love celebrating the births of each of my children.  Hubby made a super cool poster for the kids and I put together a slide show of the kids.  We had a ton of food and my oh-so-favorite empanadas from our local Filipino restaurant. YUM!  My mom also made lumpia and pancit to round out our honey mustard chicken and fried rice.

It was neat to see how much the 3 year olds have grown.  As with any family gathering it was very busy, but a lot of fun.  The kids play really well together as they have gotten older, the adults are able to relax a little more.

The party was a hit and we enjoyed celebrating another year.

Our Bob the Tomato Cake

The 3 year olds

Mr. Bananas is 9 months old!

Our dear Mr. Bananas turned 9 months old recently. I'm still amazed that this charming little boy is a part of our life.  He is full of fun and giggles.  He still adores his big sister and she continues to be a tremendous help with him.  Even his big brother is starting to realize that Mr. B. can do more than just sit.  So Big Brother has been playing with him:  rolling a ball, lots of hugging, playing in the same vicinity. It's been great.

Mr. Bananas continues to be on the small side. His weight at his last checkup was only 16lbs 1oz.  Just 7 pounds than when we was born. I'm not overly concerned as he continues to play, listen, babble, crawl, eat food, and smile at us.  His pediatrician is concerned that he keeps dropping on the chart, but as one of the SILs pointed out he might take after my Filipino side and just on the smaller side.  I've tried to do what the doctor asks by feeding him all the time, but really, Mr. Bananas is not all that interested in being stuffed with food. But I keep trying.

His newest skill is communicating with us in sign language.  Hubby has been teaching him simple signs: all done, more, and please.  Mr. B. likes that he can tell us when he's done with his meal so that I don't keep shoving food at him.  I like we have continued the trend of teaching our babies sign language.  Boogie learned it and still uses a few signs when he speaks to us. We taught Bug when she was a baby, and now it's Mr. B.'s turn.  I like it and I like being able to communicate with him a little better.

Mr. B. continues to crawl and while most of the time it's an army crawl, he's starting to move on all fours.  We notice that he uses his right leg to push him along.  He likes to try to keep up with his siblings, but if they're too fast, he will sit and holler until someone shows him some attention.  No one is ever too far away.  One of his favorite routines is walking Boogie to school.

When Hubby comes home from work, Mr. B. starts to flap his arms and becomes very excited to see his Daddy.  Just as with the other kids, Daddy is a favorite in the house.  Mr. B. is getting a little extra attention from his Filipino relatives and he's enjoying it immensely.  Whenever they are around his feet never have to touch the floor and his carried adoringly around the house.

Life continues to be a joy and we enjoy our newest member immensely.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

One very well cleaned out pumpkin
With my Filipino relatives being here, my husband has been excited to share with them some American traditions.  He constantly wants to share with them new experiences such as non-Filipino food, taking the bus, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving....the list can go on!

The most recent experience he was able to share with them was pumpkin carving. Before Halloween we had picked up several pumpkins.  I'm not very creative and I remember when I was little and my mom not really into pumpkin carving because of the mess. As a result, I like the end product, but I'm not a big of fan of the process to get the carved pumpkins. On the other hand, my husband is very creative and doesn't mind a mess, so he enjoys this Halloween tradition.

Cleaning out the pumpkins and setting aside the seeds to roast them
One weekend before Halloween we invited my extended family over for breakfast and pumpkin carving.  Everyone enjoyed their time and I was pretty impressed with their creativity. It took the whole afternoon and everyone got into it. They listened to music, chatted, and were intensely focused on their creations.  I am so grateful for my husband wanting to share new experiences with my family.

My kids and their cousins with the completed products

This is What I Call Sexy

Sometimes a way to a woman's heart is not jewelry, flowers, or even chocolate...sometimes it's when our significant others see through the turmoil and craziness of the day and lend a hand when it's least expected.  (Though, Hubby, if you are reading this, I wouldn't say no to a new pair of earrings or a pair of new shoes!)

But seriously, sometimes what makes me fall more madly in love with my husband (if that's even possible) is when he lends a hand when I least expect it. We both have our list of chores and "to-do"s and we go through our usual routines. 

But when my hubby steps outside his usual routines and chores and helps me with one of mine, "wow!" It seems that with a new baby the chores have gotten a little harder to complete and my energy isn't what it used to be. I blame old age for my energy level.  I've also been preoccupied late with other things and I have been putting my energy and time in trying to help my extended family with job interviews, applications, etc.  I don't mind doing it, but since it's a new routine, it shifts what I've been able to do.  It's appears being preoccupied makes me tired even if I'm not actively doing something.

But anyhow, I was sitting back one night crocheting and watching television when my husband came down the stairs with a basket of clean laundry and started folding clothes. He had already put the kids to bed and cleaned up after dinner.  I was touched that he saw through the craziness of my days and decided on his own accord to help me with the laundry when all I wanted to do was chill out after another busy day with the kids. That's what I call sexy!

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect...and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mama's Helpers

Buggy and I seem to be in sync. She can pick up when I need help and she automatically does it.  Or maybe it's that she's really more in tune with her baby brother. Maybe that's what it is.  When Mr. B. wants to play she  will find the toys that he can play with (nothing small) and sits next to him. She sings, trades toys, and talks to him. He'll babble at her the whole time, excitedly telling her about his day (all in baby talk of course).  Dinner time tends to get a bit hairy.  Kids are hungry, I'm running around trying to clean off the kitchen table from art projects and homework assignments, and Mr. Bananas has decided that he is absolutely, without a doubt hungry, and he wants you to know it!

I'm getting better at getting dinner started earlier. But there is very little time between the time Boogie finishes his homework and I start dinner that it's a gray area if I have the time to feed Mr. B. or if he is even hungry.  Sometimes he likes to let me know right when I'm in the middle of things. 

The other night I tried to hand him a bottle in the hopes that he would be able to hold it on his own and keep him occupied until I could start dinner, and have a few minutes to feed him solids while dinner cooked.  Buggy says, "Mommy, I'll feed him." I agreed distractedly, only to find her a few minutes later, precariously perched on the edge of her chair, leaning over the high chair, putting the bottle in the baby's mouth. He was happy and quiet and she was down to business about helping her brother. It was really sweet and very helpful. I think she will be my right hand as she grows up. She seems to anticipate my needs and swings into action even at the tender age of three.

Boogs can be just as helpful. Now when we all drive somewhere together, I do not have to unbuckle Bug from her seat when we arrive at our destination. Boogs will unbuckle himself, unbuckle his sister, and open the door, and wait for directions.  It certainly makes my life a little easier as I try to round up the baby and all the stuff that goes with him ;)

I'm one very blessed Mama.

My Pensieve

I started blogging today and my eldest sat next to me on the couch asking what I was doing. When I explained that I was writing, he asked who I was writing for and why I wrote.  I told him that I wrote for myself and that my head has so many thoughts in it that I liked writing them down. Once they were out of my head and on (digital) paper I was able to concentrate better and focus on the more important things in my life, like my children.

Overhearing our conversation, my husband chuckled and said, "So it's like your pensieve."  I guess that would be right :)  A very public pensieve I guess, but my pensieve nonetheless ;)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two Vikings and a Monkey

It seems every year we decorate just a little more for Halloween. Part of it is that we have children and there is a reason to decorate and of course, I'm not working so there is time to decorate.  And every year I start thinking about next year's costume.

When Boogie was born his Aunt M. bought him a sweet pumpkin costume. He wore it when he was a baby and Buggy wore it for her second Halloween. (Her first Halloween she was just 9 days old).  I had planned on putting it on Mr. Bananas this year, but Hubby found a cute monkey costume and he couldn't resist.

This year the kids had decided to be characters from their favorite movie, "How to Train your Dragon."  I did look online for any ready made costume, but I'm not one for spending tons of money on a costume that will be worn once maybe twice if I'm lucky. And when I say tons of money, I mean $20-$25 per costume. I know it's not that much, but for something only worn once and for just a few hours, I can't justify it.  So after looking at the crazy prices for the costumes I decided to improvise and make my own costumes putting together pieces from different outfits to make a costume.

The result was:

 "Hiccup":  green fleece pants, snowboots, a green shirt (I bought for $5) that I cut and sewed the "lacing" to make it look like the real characters shirt, a wide piece of ribbon for a belt, and a leather vest given to me by my SIL (Thanks, L!) to replace the v-neck sweater vest I was originally using for "hiccup's" vest, and a cardboard shield (that Hubby made after walking in the door at 11:30 at night from a week long business trip so that it would be ready for Boogie's Halloween parade the next morning).

"Astrid":  All the pieces I did buy, but I can use separately as pieces to real outfits she can wear outside the house.  1 "magic" shirt (that stretches to fit any kid any size), legwarmers for her arms, pleated skirt, wide black headband for a belt, black stretchy pants, boots,  an orange headband, and a cardboard battleax Hubby made the day of our October snow.

And of course, Mr. Bananas, had the only non-homemade costume:
For the Godparents: Love, Mr. Bananas
One of my favorite pictures, because of the look of delight on Buggy's face when Boogs held her hand in his school's Halloween parade.
I love Boogie's expression in this one.

Buggy grimaced like the viking she is in every photo!