Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Remember Us?

Hello to all who are still checking in on us. We've been super busy leaving little time (and energy) for Blogging. Now, where to start... Molly and Aidan turned 3 at the end of October. So hard to believe they are 3. People are forever remarking how quickly time flies as your children grow and man are they spot on. What an amazing age. Everything is a wonder. Their imaginations are in high gear and they are fascinating to watch. Aidan continues to refine his train drawings and has started to write letters. He also can write his own name. Molly and Aidan are babies no more. They are really neat little people. We celebrated their birthdays with a family party with all the trimmings including one Thomas and one Princess cake. The kids were showered with gifts and lots of love.

Molly and Aidan had their 3 year well exams and both are healthy and growing like weeds. Molly is in the 75-95th percentile for height and weight. Aidan is in the 75-95th percentile for height and 25th for weight. The Kazakh man is lean and mean. We had been practicing what to expect at the doctor's office with Molly and Aidan's toy doctor's kits and the doctor chuckled when the kids said ah before she even had to ask. I told Molly and Aidan that they would probably get a needle at the doctor's and they both received two. There were tears but cool band aides and lollipops helped to lessen the sting.

Pat has been doing a bit of traveling so one of the weeks he was away we headed to VA to visit Aunt Barbara and Uncle Charlie. This trip I left the pack-n-plays home and brought Molly and Aidan's kiddie-sized blow up beds. We set them up in the same room the first night. DUH. Do you really expect two three year olds to stay in their beds? There was much hilarity despite multiple visits and request to stay in bed by all three adults. On occasion Uncle Charlie saw two faces peeking out of the door (which was quickly shut when they spotted him). Charlie opened the door to find two kids in bed. When he asked "what are you doing?" they replied "sleeping". After two hours of partying Molly and Aidan finally fell asleep. It was funny but not conducive to a good nights sleep for anyone. We put them in separate rooms for the remainder of our stay and that worked out much better.

November 18th marked the arrival of Torin Daniel Evans, my niece Kristen and her husband Russell's new baby boy. I had the honor of being present at his birth. Kristen did wonderfully and when it was time to deliver she pushed the boy out in about 20 minutes. A beautiful, healthy baby with a full head of wavy black hair. Hearing his first cry was amazing. Torin is doing well and the new parents are happy and exhausted.

In other exciting news, our dear friends Bob and Beth welcomed home from Guatemala their daughter, Grace. They're getting settled in (including big brother Nicholas) and we can't wait to finally meet her.

Holiday preparations are underway and the kids are having a blast. This is going to be one magical Christmas. We've seen Santa several times already. Aidan leaps on his lap ready to chat and recite his wish list. It's hit or miss for Molly. Pat think the length of Santa's beard is a factor. The longer the beard the scarier the Santa. She's doing better than last year and actually sat on his lap on two occasions. Rudolph, Frosty, and as they call him, The Little Boy Who Drums are big, big hits. Their not big fans of the Bumble or the Winter Warlock as one might imagine.

Mo and Pop Pop arrived at lunch time on Sunday to baby sit while Pat and I did some shopping. Molly was headed to the potty as we were leaving when we heard her begin to wail. I thought she must have seen a spider in the bathroom as she did once before. I peek my head around the corner to see two little feet wiggling up from the toilet seat. The poor girl sat back too far and dunked herself in the toilet. Mo quickly rescued her and she doesn't seem to show any lingering effects.

Other than that it's been the normal whirlwind of life with our two 3 year olds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow. Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Time has been just zooming by. My dad and step mom were here from Florida for a visit. We had a really nice time and Molly and Aidan enjoyed spending time with their "other Pop Pop" and grandma. Molly is now fond of telling everyone that she has two Pop Pops. Aunt Barbara and Uncle Charlie also joined us for a few days.

Next on the agenda was preparing for my niece Kristen's baby shower. It was held at her house in Harrisburg on an unseasonably warm and beautiful Saturday. Kristen and Russell now have all the gear. The only thing missing is the baby. Torin Daniel is due at the end of November and we can hardly wait for him to arrive. Molly has been pouring over catalogs remarking that "Baby Torin will like this". Aidan's think what more could a boy want besides trains.

On Sunday we took the kids to a local farm that has a pumpkin patch. The weather was beautiful. Molly and Aidan picked out pumpkins, went on a pony ride (This is the first time Aidan wanted to ride after the incident at the zoo this past spring), and picked apples. Sunday was also our 18 year wedding anniversary. Who could ask for anything more.

Pat was out of town for a few days so I was flying solo. It's been a bit dodgy with Molly at bedtime but both kids were good a gold going down for mommy. And at a reasonable hour too. Whew! Daddy arrived home this evening to much hopping and dancing. Molly and Aidan missed their daddy and are glad to have him home. That makes three of us :-)

Next on the agenda...3rd birthday celebration. How did they get to be 3??? We'll be having a combo party. Now I just need to figure out how to make a Thomas The Tank Engine cake with Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty riding on top. No small task.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's In Her Genes

Those of us who have been to Kazakhstan (or Russia) have witnessed it first hand. Women every where in high heels. Not just for a night out but for everyday wear. Walking miles and miles. Expertly navigating city streets and shopping malls. Now I don't know about you but this is not a feat I could accomplish and after watching Molly sprinting around the house in her princess heels I have concluded that this skill is hereditary. I've seen the girl trip over invisible obstacles in bare feet or sneaker but amazingly never in her heels. It's gotta be in the genes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Princess Power

Aidan has been sleeping in a toddler bed for the last 9 months. Molly in her beloved cribby. We've asked periodically if she would like a bed like Aidan's and her reply has been "No. I like my crib". Truth be told mommy and daddy weren't in any rush to set her free as she is not always cooperative at bedtime. Recently, Aunt Barbara found toddler sized Thomas sheets and a matching pillow case. I finally got around to washing and putting them on Aidan's bed. The boy was in heaven. Molly wanted to know where her new sheet were. We told her she could have princess sheets when she slept in a big girl bed. Behold the power of the Princess. Daddy couldn't get the tools out fast enough. While Daddy and Aidan worked on the crib, Mommy and Molly (decked out in her princess skirt, tiara, jewels and purse) went in search of princess sheets. Three stores later we hit the mother load and headed home with our booty. We put her to bed that night and she promptly requested to have her crib back. We told her that she sleeps in a bed now. She was okay with that and we got her settled in. We left her room and waited anxiously downstairs. Not a peep from the little princess and she's been sleeping in her bed ever since. She only fell out once and didn't wake from the fall or from being put back in her bed. She's still less than cooperative about going to bed but once she's tucked in she sleeps like a champ. We're proud of you big girl.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fun in the Sun

We had a TERRIFIC week in Ocean City, New Jersey. The weather was gorgeous and we went to the beach every day. September really is the best month at the Jersey shore. The week featured lots of time on the beach, bike rides, fun on the boardwalk and quality time with Mommy, Daddy, Mo and Pop Pop.

Molly and Aidan loved the beach and we went for several hours each day after nap time. The house was a short two blocks away so we were able to load up the wagon with our gear and walk over. Molly loved the ocean and went in as often as Daddy would take her. The water was warm at the beginning of the week and cooled off a bit towards the end but that didn't dampen Molly's enthusiasm. She would request to go back in as she stood shivering and blue-lipped in the sand. Aidan wasn't crazy about the ocean because the "wave-es" splashed him in the face. He went in reluctantly when it was time to rinse off and go back to the beach house. Besides, the boy was way too busy digging in the sand and pushing his dump truck up and down the beach. We would set up sand "cones" and he would plow them over. Molly also liked digging and rolling in the sand. It was non-stop action on the beach. Our friends the Taylors were also staying the week in Ocean City and joined us on the beach a few days. Their son Andrew (2) is from Astana, Kazakhstan and their son James (10 months) is from Guatemala. The kids had fun together and so did the parents. There were a few stand offs between the Kazakh boys but it all worked out in the end. James was a happy baby and was content to crawl around and eat the occasional fist full of sand.

One evening we went for ice cream and took the kids in their strollers. They like when we turn them around and pull them backwards on the back wheels of the stroller. Pat was pulling Aidan in this manner and hit a bump in the side walk. The stroller slipped from his hands and Aidan was dropped on the pavement. The boy has a hard head and the drop wasn't very far but he was startled and began to wail as only a 2 year old can. We were in the process of calming him down when we noticed the two grandmotherly figures on the porch. Molly apparently spotted them at the same time, waved her hand merrily and shouted "Hello hiney!". Not exactly our most shining moment as parents.

During our stay we visited a friend of my in-laws. Her name is Dolly and she is 100 years old. She is an Olympic Gold Medalist (1924 games-swimming) and also swam the English channel. Molly and Aidan immediately sat on her lap upon arrival and hugged and kissed her. She was very sweet.

Molly was shall we say less than cooperative at bed time. She cried and called out for Mommy/Daddy and it took a good 1/2 hour or so to finally get her settled. Mo and Pop Pop offered to watch the kids one evening while we went out. The night arrived and we were a bit nervous about how Molly would behave at bed time but my in-laws are seasoned veterans and told us not to worry. We went to dinner and a movie and had a great time. We figured no news was good news and didn't check in. And we were right. The little stinkers went right down without a peep. How does that work?

We were originally scheduled to come home on Friday but Aunt "Leen and Uncle Ron decide to take the day off from work and come down so we stayed until Saturday. We had a very nice visit with them. On Saturday, we packed up the car after dinner, put Molly and Aidan in their PJs and headed home around 8:30pm. Its about a 2 1/2 hour drive and it wasn't until we were about 10 minutes from home that Molly closed her eyes as Aidan's began to flutter. I think we have the only two kids known to mankind that DO NOT sleep in the car. It was a great week. Thanks for having us Mo and Pop Pop.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

To The Beach

We're leaving shortly for a week at the Jersey shore. All our bags are packed and we're ready to go but the wee slugs are still in bed. Aunt 'Leen and Uncle Ron must have worn them out yesterday. They sat for Molly and Aidan while mommy and daddy golfed in the 4th annual neighborhood open. We'll have a full report on the trip when we return. Here are a couple a pictures from out trip last year.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mutiny On The Potty Revisited

If you had asked me a few weeks ago I would have told you that Molly and Aidan we're fully potty trained with the exception of nap time and overnight. We still use a pull up at these time because the kids don't have access to the potty. Aidan is usually dry after a nap and many mornings he is also dry. We were cruising. We spent two weeks traveling to Virgina and Canada. The kids did really well in the car and used the "big" potty where ever we were.

It all started at my sisters house. Molly and Aidan were outside on the deck while we watched them through the sliding glass doors from the kitchen. For whatever reason they were in their underwear (not an unusual occurrence). Aidan suddenly begins to dance and run in circles. I leap out of my chair, threw open the door and ran outside. Too late. This was the first time since we started potty training at the beginning of March that the boy p*oo*ped his pants. Accidents happen. Don't worry my sister and I tell him as we hose him off and clean up the mess. You'll make it next time. No big deal.

We decided before the trip to Barb's that this would be a good time to put the little potties away. Molly and Aidan arrive home to find their potties gone. We use the big potty now we tell them. Doesn't seem to be a big deal. We head off to Canada. Again both kids do well using the toilet. Aidan po*ops in his pull up after we put him to bed. This hasn't happened in a while. The day before we leave he hides in another room and po*ops his pants again. Luckily it is contained in his drawers. This time I'm a little firmer in my reminder that we don't go in our pants.

We get home and there are now many requests for the return of "my little potty". No we say. You're big kids now and can use the big potty. Aidan po*ops in his pull up one day and his pants the next. We were not so luck this time and have a mess to clean on the rug. Even firmer this time in our reminders that we don't go in our underpants. The next day we head to my in-laws to celebrate my FIL's birthday. Yep, you guessed it. Aidan sneaked off into the guest bedroom, p*oo*ped his pants and left a mess on the rug. Needless to say there was a lot of crying (mommy and Aidan) this time. Just to make things interesting and in an effort not to miss out on mom and dad's attention, Molly suddenly cannot hold her bladder. We're not talking a little wet either. Good Lord. She peed twice in her car seat (don't worry Kristen you can wash the cover). The second time she did it was on our way to the park. She had gone before we left the house. We didn't allow her to play at the park and she was one unhappy little girl.

We were in trouble folks and needed to bring in the big guns. No TV in the house or in the car for little girls and boys who pee and po*op in their underwear. Aidan decided to be on the safe side and not po*op at all. Nothing for two days (unusual for him). I was debating whether or not to get out the little potties but decided against it. Finally the boy tells me "mama I have to go stinkies" and he does. He has done so for the last few days and we're hoping that we weathered the storm. Molly decided she can't live without her beloved Backyardigans and has been dry as a bone. She will go to the bathroom and wash her hands all by herself. Of course, she has to close the door all but a crack because "I need some privacy" as she is fond of saying. Ah, the never ending joys of parenthood.

Friday, August 24, 2007

North of the Border

The remainder of our stay with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Charlie was terrific. Barb watched the kids for a day while I had a pedicure, shopped, went to lunch and then a movie. Needless to say I enjoyed my day off and Barb Molly and Aidan did too. We packed the car on Friday morning and there were many long faces as we pulled out of the driveway. Everyone agreed that it was a great visit and we plan on doing it again soon. Daddy received many hugs and kisses when we got home.

We were home just long enough to do the laundry and pack the car for our next adventure. We left Sunday morning and headed to Welland Ontario to visit our dear friends the Petrachenkos. Our hosts were Mike and Monique and their two children-Savannah (15) and Maverick (12). The travels went well and took about 7 hours. We arrived around 4pm and headed straight for the pool. Molly and Aidan swam in the pool by themselves (with their vests on and several adults standing on the edge). This was a first (one of many for the trip as it turned out) for both. They even climbed in and out of the pool unassisted via the ladder. Daddy hopped in after a while but Molly and Aidan insisted on "doing it myself".

Other highlights of the trip included a birthday BBQ for Mike, golf for the guys and a trip to the zoo for the girls and kids. The rest of the time was spent eating, drinking and being very merry indeed. We stayed up into the wee hours almost every night and spent several of them around an outstanding camp fire. I must mention that Monique is an OUTSTANDING cook and I'm sure we've added more than a few pounds during our stay.

Molly and Aidan were very comfortable. They loved the swings and sand volleyball court in the back yard. They also took a shining the Savannah and Maverick. Molly started calling Maverick her "favorite kid" while Aidan called him Max. Both Savannah and Maverick were good to the kids. Molly and Aidan napped and slept at night well. They went to bed at 11pm two of the nights we were there (a first) and Aidan napped in his stroller at the zoo (another first). Both kids ate well and we discovered that they both like cashews and pistachios.

After a whirlwind tour that when by in a flash we loaded up the car and headed home yesterday. We had a great trip. It was wonderful to spend time with our friends whom we consider family. We already look forward to our next visit.