Saturday, January 29, 2011

New House

We are homeowners again! The closing went well yesterday and we got the keys! All 3 of us went out to Troy to the title agency, and we had all kinds of distractions for Vivi- a Sesame Street dvd on my laptop, a baby doll, books, and some snacks (including special treats like a sucker and cookies) and she did really really well. They had some crayons and paper in the room so she was scribbling and telling our realtor and the closing lady what letters she had 'written'. It's cute-she'll make a little scribble then look you right in the eye and say "E" and then make another scribble and say "M". Maybe she's learning how to play 'teacher' from cousin Amy ;)

After an hour and a half we were out of there and went to Eric's parents' house to borrow a front door since they had just replaced theirs-our realtor said everyone in the area could have a copy of the current key so we should change it right away. Eric spent a half hour in the fading light (there is no electricity yet) trying to figure it out and then it ended up not fitting so he had to put the old one back on. My parents took us out for Chinese food to celebrate.

Today we went back over and my dad and Eric started taking up the carpet and rolling it up to put out by the road for the garbage trucks. My mom and I were able to rip down some of the wallpaper but Vivi really just wanted to play out in the snow.

The electricity will be turned on on Tuesday, but I'm not sure if we will have heat then. We can give tours to anyone that wants one but it's in pretty sad shape right now so I think the tour would be much more enjoyable later on ;) Our contractor said it should only take 3 months, tops, so we may be moving sooner than we thought!

ALSO-Eric did figure out a way to import the old blog into the new blog, so you can go back in time and view the archives if you wish.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Welcome to our new blog, a more private way to share our lives. I also made the resolution to post more, so we'll see how that goes!

We'll start with today: We had our Mom and Tots group at church this morning, which I started this fall so we'd have somewhere to go when the weather starts getting cold. We have had great turnouts, one particularly snowy day we only had one other friend join us, but we have had as many as 12 kids! We have invited our friends and made some new friends, and it is great to have a place where the kids are contained enough that we can actually have a normal conversation. Although, a 'normal' conversation these days is growth percentiles, teething, and toilet habits. But hey, at least we're talking to other grown ups!

Speaking of toilet habits-Jenavieve has shown occasional interest in using the toilet. As per my Montessori training, I was going to call it 'toilet learning' instead of 'potty training' and was asking Vivi if she needed to 'use the toilet' instead of 'go potty'. She would have a few hours of great success, but eventually she wouldn't care anymore and would refuse to sit on the toilet. We aren't in a huge hurry, she'll get there when she gets there, but we do still ask her and encourage her to try. When she does 'go', she knows it's a big deal and she claps for herself and says "yay". She loves to throw the toilet paper in and watch it flush. Now to get her to care enough to do it all day!

Pull Ups has this new campaign with some children's singer singing "Do the *clap clap* potty dance" and the commercial has kids and parents dancing and singing, and a clip of a child sitting on the toilet. Vivi, the little parrot she is becoming, pointed and said "potty!". I said "Yes, a potty is a toilet. Would you like to try using the toilet?" She responded "potty" and ran to the bathroom, where she proceeded to 'go' and announce "potty!" So I decided to let go (mostly) of the terminology issue, because they're just words, and whatever makes her want to use it, we can do.

Hopefully an update soon about success on the toilet/potty!

We're Moving!

I have 2 moving announcements! The most exciting one:

We are closing on a house tomorrow! It is down the street from my parents (about a 5 minute walk) and on a nice wooded lot, almost an acre of land! The house itself is 1500 sq ft with a full basement (yes, that means storage!). It is a foreclosure that has been uninhabited for almost 2 years and needs a lot of work. We are putting all new floors in, painting the walls, and doing repairs on the back room because of some damage. It also needs some electrical work-the previous owner apparently thought they were good at doing it themselves, but they were not. All of the upgrades should be done in a few months and we'll move in then. Here's a picture of our future home:

The plan is to add a 2nd floor in a few years as our family grows, but if you include the garage it is more than 3 times the space we are currently living with, which is really exciting!

Speaking of our family growing, we have decided to move our blog. Having kids and posting pictures of them, we will feel safer having a website that doesn't include our last name. My dream is to be one of those blogs that many people come to read and that maybe we can inspire someone else to consider adoption/special needs adoption. Our push to special needs was on someone's blog :) We will leave this blog up for you to look back (I'm not sure if there is a way to move it all over-that's a question for Eric)

This will show my dorky side, but I wanted to find a good blog name that fits us now, and will fit us later, and ended up thinking of a bible verse and using it to be a little 'punny'. The verse is "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. -James 1:2-3" Which is a good verse to live by, and we are the J's who want to be able to count it all joy-so we will be the count it all J's. It will work on another level in that we want to have a big family, so you'll also be able to count all the J's. The one problem with it is that Eric does not start with a J, but he's a good sport about it :)

And so, without further ado, here is the link to our new blog!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Breakfast of champions?

Vivi has discovered a new do-it-yourself snack

Baby needs some too, of course
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playing in the snow

Here's a video of Vivi's first time out in the snow (except the one time last year but she doesn't remember that ;) It was taken the week before Christmas but we just got around to getting the videos uploaded.

A Christmas Eve video

For those of you who knew me growing up, that doll is Jennifer, my favorite doll. Now it is one of Vivi's favorites! She thought it was so cool to have matching pajamas for Christmas!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Melkam Genna!

Merry Ethiopian Christmas! Even though our kids aren't home with us yet, we had planned on celebrating with doro wat, a chicken stew that is Ethiopia's signature dish. But, Jenavieve has been throwing up the last 2 days.

**If you're not a parent or have a weak stomach, I apologize!**

One little girl, in one hour, managed to throw up on the carpet in 2 rooms, 2 couch cushions may be goners, 2 cats (they were not thrilled!) daddy, 3 pairs of pajamas and lots of blankets. We did a lot of laundry in the middle of the night!

Yesterday she woke up, ate, and played, so I figured she was fine. She never had a fever, so I thought she must have eaten something that didn't agree with her and that was it. Eric had his first class (2 semesters left woo!) so we went to my parents' house for dinner. We hadn't been there 10 minutes when she threw up all over their couch. So much that they are throwing it out. She also got it on her coat, so we hung out while we washed her outfit and coat, and not long after she was asking to eat. She had tea and toast and goldfish crackers, and eventually the laundry was done, and we went home.

She's been 'fine' again this morning, but we've decided on a full 24 hour quarantine so we aren't replacing anyone else's furniture (or buying a whole shelf full of products at the store).

**Nastiness over!**

So, we're just hanging out today, watching lots of Sesame Street. Maybe I'll get to posting pictures from Christmas (and Hanukkah, and New Year's...) At the next house, we'll have a better set up and I'll be able to upload pictures and supervise Jenavieve at the same time. Although by then, I'll have 3 times as many kids to supervise... :)