Monday, October 31, 2011

This is Halloween!

We have had a week's worth of Halloween festivities already, and still more to come!

We had a party with one of our play groups where the kids wore costumes and everyone brought a Halloween themed snack for a pot luck lunch. I brought these cheese fingers-string cheese with little wedges cut out to look like fingers. The nails are orange bell pepper. There are some seriously gross looking Halloween snacks out there if you google. Lots of fun ideas for bigger kids!

Then we did Kroger's trick or treat event. They have stations around the store and employees dress up and hand out candy or Kroger brand cookies and milk. In the bakery they had a station for decorating cookies. Some of the booths had little games like tossing rings around Kroger brand pop bottles. It's cute, free, and indoors!

Our church had a Halloween party with games and crafts and snacks, and Vivi was excited because one of her little friends from the nursery was also a zebra!

We went to the Zoo Boo with Eric's mom and grandma last night. It was chilly but the rain held off and the girls had fun. Vivi was SO excited! All day she kept asking to go to the Zoo Boo, and she was all into the pumpkin displays that looked like the different animal exhibits. The girls wore fleece footy pajamas under their costumes, and then coats over. We had a fun time when Vivi said she had to go potty, trying to undress her really fast! Luckily we thought to bring the little bucket potty in the bottom of the stroller so we didn't have to book it to the closest restroom and then try to undress her! She went and stayed dry the whole night!

Yesterday we had my parents and grandparents over for brunch, which wasn't Halloween related but it was delicious-bagels and lox and all the toppings! It was our first time hosting someone at the new house besides my parents. It was mostly successful, except that Journey had a major diaper blow out and then 5 minutes later Vivi had her first accident at home (the only other one was at the church party, she was having too much fun to stop). It was a good thing my parents were there to entertain while Eric and I cleaned up all kinds of messes!

My parents came back over for dinner and pumpkin carving. Vivi was upset at first when Eric pulled a knife on her pumpkin. She said "oh no daddy, my pumpkin!" and looked all concerned while he was sawing into it. But once she saw that she could take the lid on and off by herself and play in the guts she was ok. We gave her options for the pumpkins features, we let her pick the shape and the number of eyes, nose, and mouth. She picked one triangle eye, 3 square noses, and a smiley mouth. She fed the scraps to the pumpkin through his mouth, then brought the thermometer out to take his temperature! When Eric lit the candle inside, she sang happy birthday and blew it out :)

Journey wasn't thrilled about the guts at first, she is wary of new and different textures, but she eventually got into the fun too. I think her favorite part was using her spoon to try scooping the seeds out. Eric cut a cross into his pumpkin.

It was a fun, relaxing evening-we ate pizza, made cookies, listened to Halloween music, and spent a couple of hours playing with the pumpkins, and roasted the seeds. Then the girls put on their Halloween pajamas. In our new house :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The swing of things

We seem to have a solid schedule in the new house-as solid as we get in our flexible world. Poor Journey is doing a lot better and seems to know her way around the house now-with her poor vision sometimes she would wander in the wrong direction and get lost and upset :( She still has her moments when she is following someone around the house and that person moves too fast that she can't keep up. She has also figured out the 2 steps on and off the landing and hasn't fallen in weeks-her depth perception is poor, I think because her eyes have differing sight. It can really stress a mother out when she just walks right off the edge of things!

Her follow up blood work to check her levels after taking 2 months of her thyroid medication came back normal, so she will continue to take that same dose. I was crushing it on a spoon and then filling the spoon with water, like the directions said, but she stopped taking it that way, so I had to get creative. After a couple of failed plans, we now give her a cup of water with a straw, bend the top of the straw down, stick the pill inside, and unbend the straw when she starts sucking on it. Most of the time it works fine and she doesn't even realize she is taking a pill. Once in awhile she'll catch me putting it in the straw and either refuse to drink it or take a small sip and spit the pill out, or the worst one, she'll blow into the straw instead of sucking, so the pill goes into the water. It dissolves, and you have to take it right away, it can't sit in the water.

Journey has also been artificial dye and nitrate free for over a month and she hasn't thrown up since we became more diligent. That's reason enough for me to keep it going, even though Halloween especially has been tough because EVERYTHING is colored! We get to try again when she turns 2 and hopefully she'll have outgrown it. For now, she doesn't quite understand what she's missing.

Vivi has gotten the hang of dance class, last week she was the most cooperative kid in the class. Not that that says much, it is a class of 2 year olds! I still have to sit inside the room with her (as opposed to standing in the hallway and watching through a window) but she participates and talks and sings the songs and really enjoys it.

We finally got our recycling bin and got to enjoy putting our recyclables out by the street and someone else came to get them! Our condo complex didn't recycle, so we had to collect it in the house, load it in the car, and drive 10 minutes to the recycling center. Such a pain! For trash, Eric would take the bag when it was full, balance it on the trunk of his car, and drive really slowly to the dumpsters at the front of the sub. Now we take the bag out to the garage and put it in the can, and then drag it out once a week. And by we, I mean Eric ;)

And of course, now that we are in the swing of things, it's time for something to happen to change it all up. As long as that something is Jebriel, I'll be ok with it :) He has had a couple more delays, but hopefully the final interview they have to do will take place this Monday, and we will be cleared right after that. If we get cleared on Monday or Tuesday, Eric could travel as soon as the following week. Please pray that things go smoothly from now on so he can just come home already!

To clarify, or re-clarify on Jeb's name, it is pronounced like Gabriel, but with Jeb in front instead of Gabe. Jebriel (and it's other various spellings) is the Arabic form of Gabriel, which means 'strong man of God'. We call him Jebriel or Jeb and Vivi lovingly calls him Jebby :)

I'll end with a picture of the girls in their costumes! Vivi is a zebra and Journey is a cheetah. They love their costumes and are enjoying the Halloween festivities we have been to so far!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We are here!

Sorry for the absence! We are all moved in (well, almost all moved in!) and after hitting a few bumps, we are finally settling down.

Moving day went well, my sister and brother-in-law and my parents helped us, and Eric used his brother's truck. Since all of our furniture is from Ikea (seriously, all of it!) Eric and Ryan went to the apartment, took apart a piece of furniture, loaded the pieces into the truck, and brought it over to the house to set back up.

The first night went well, neither of the girls had any problems going to sleep at the new house. The old house had been getting weird for them anyway since we were slowly moving things out. After moving the table and chairs to the new house, we were eating breakfast and lunch on the floor where the table used to be, and then when Eric came home from work, we would load up the car and eat dinner at the new house. Vivi wasn't enjoying her things being in different places and not knowing what important piece of furniture would disappear next. I think we were all ready to move!

I think we have been here for 3 weeks now? We didn't have the internet until a week ago, AT&T has horrible customer service and in order to transfer our service to the new house, they just put us at the end of the line and said someone would be out in November. ??? Eventually we learned that if we signed up as new customers with Uverse, they would have someone out within days. So we decided to get cable tv for a month in order to get the internet. The day they were supposed to come out, the girls and I stayed home all day, but they never showed! Eric finally called them and supposedly we got scheduled by one person and then someone else noticed that we had a problem with our line and unscheduled us, but nobody was going to call and tell us that. Since we had this problem, nobody could come out and fix it until November. Arg! So, we called Comcast. We're paying a little more, but they came out within days and were friendly and seemed to actually value us as customers.

I don't know if it's that we're picky, or if we're just having bad luck lately, but we have been firing a lot of people in our lives! We won't be going back to the girls' dentist, Journey's hand doctor AND her eye doctor (who we really liked but he won't return our numerous calls, and we need answers, so he's got to go!) We wanted so badly to fire our contractor but that didn't work out, and then we had to fire our internet provider! I was thinking it was bad service, but now I'm starting to wonder if it's us...

Jebriel's case has been delayed again, and again, but we are slowly inching our way toward the finish line and he should be home in just a couple of weeks. We can't wait to get him home and the wait is driving us crazy, but it is a comfort to know that he is happy and healthy and in good hands while we all wait.

I should really be sleeping right now, because tomorrow we are getting up early for dance class, then I'll be spending the rest of the day with my best friend Sam on her wedding day!!! We are getting our hair done together and then heading to the church to get dressed and ready! I am so excited! A little bit nervous about giving my maid of honor speech, which I had all written and then today I started panicking and picking at every sentence until I just had to print it and fold it up and I'm just not going to look at it anymore until I get there!

I'll close this post with an adorable picture of my girlies! We went to Kensington the other day, where Vivi really enjoyed petting all the animals, and Journey hid in the back seat of the double stroller and cried if an animal looked at her. But, I was able to snap a few cute pictures under this pretty autumn tree!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Officially moving!

We passed our inspection for our occupancy permit last week and have been moving our actual every day stuff. We still haven't had our FHA inspection, and our contractor has a few things left to do before we can pass, but we haven't seen or heard from him in awhile. We're not sure why he isn't in a hurry to get rid of us and collect his big check, but we aren't going to worry about that anymore, he can not show up all he wants because we are moving in!

 We moved the dining room table and started eating dinner there every night, most of my kitchen stuff is there now. It's amazing how much you take for granted in a fully stocked kitchen! Every day I pack what I need for dinner, and every time we get to the new house and I start preparing, I realize that I have forgotten something. So far this week I have forgotten a can opener, oven mitts, foil, measuring cups, and a spatula. Things that at home are right in my reach but I don't even think about them until I'm cooking and need them.

Every night when we come back to the apartment, Vivi looks at the empty space where the table used to be and says "oh no, Vivi's table! I don't know where it went!" The move has been confusing for her, and she is started to get frustrated when she wants a specific toy and it got left at the wrong house.

This is the big move weekend, our bed will go either tonight or tomorrow and we will officially live at the new house! We have (through some sort of mistake) through the end of October instead of the end of September, so we don't HAVE to be completely moved but we want the every day stuff to be there so we can get settled in before Jebriel comes home. This weekend we are moving the rest of the every day stuff like our pantry, clothes, and furniture, and then the next week or 2 we will just take car loads of the rest of it, and then the last couple of weeks that we have the apartment will be spent cleaning and repairing. White carpet in the dining room is a terrible idea with toddlers, they will probably need to re-carpet that room. Then there's crayon and marker to scrub off the walls and retouching the corner where one of our cats likes to scratch.

We bought a cool bed for Jebriel from a family friend and they just delivered it and helped set it up. It is kind of a loft bed, with drawers and shelves underneath. Since Jeb's room is kind of small we didn't want to fill it with furniture. This bed is big and takes up one whole wall, but he won't need a dresser to take up another wall. We had already bought his sheets and pillow so we made his bed. Vivi's new big girl bed is set up in her room with sheets on it too. We hung her bedroom art in her room to make it more homey.

Not a whole lot else is going on right now, I spend the day playing with the girls and packing boxes, then we spend the evenings at the new house unpacking boxes and finding new homes for our things, and doing other chores like painting. I can't wait to be all unpacked and living there!