Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat!

We had a chilly but fun Halloween this year! We started the day with a doctor's appointment, but we all wore our costumes. The doctor was dressed as a bunny, the kids got a kick out of that. Then we met Eric at Subway for a special lunch (somehow a long sandwich wrapped in paper is a special treat for the kids, even when it is piled with lettuce and other veggies. My kids are weird!) and went to visit my uncle's office. I worked there once upon a time and now I go back to visit every year for their Halloween party and to wish my uncle a happy birthday. After that we swung by my mom's store to say hi and smell some candles, then back home for quiet rest time.

FINALLY it was time for dinner and then costumes back on for trick or treating (I made them change for dinner, just to be safe!) It was chilly out so I had them put on fleece footie pajamas under their costumes, and we put their coats in the stroller.

Ready to go!

They were into it for the first house, then Vivi got shy and Jeb and Journey were left bravely marching up to every door yelling 'trick or treat'. Jeb thought it was funny that he got to walk up to houses and yell at the closed doors.

Picking a treat to eat while we walk. I convinced Journey to trade her shiny full sized 3 Musketeers bar for a small Reese's cup by telling her it has peanut butter in it-her favorite. They got a handful of full sized candy bars, aren't I-I mean they-lucky? ;)

We put coats on after about 8 houses, and trick or treated at maybe 12-15 houses before heading home. The kids loved going through their buckets and got to pick out one more treat to eat. Jeb and Vivi both decided that Skittles are their favorite candy, Vivi picked skittles for both of her treats tonight and before Jeb even knew what they were, he was picking them whenever he got a choice.

The other highlight for the kids of Halloween being over , besides having a lot of candy, is that their costumes are now 'toys' and can be worn whenever they want. They were Halloween party attire only until Halloween, so I think I'll be seeing them every day for the rest of the week :)
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Pumpkin Carving! Lots of pictures...

We carved our pumpkins Monday night, and not a moment too soon-Vivi's was starting to get soft on the top. She noticed the yucky spot and got all offended, then Journey noticed it and stuck her finger in it, making it worse. I couldn't get a good picture of Vivi at the pumpkin patch because the pumpkins were too dirty, and then at home I didn't get one because it was too yucky. Hers was the first one to carve, we cut the top part right off!

We discovered that Vivi has quite a taste for raw pumpkin...

Eric helped the kids pick shapes for their eyes, nose and mouth, then helped them draw them on with marker before he cut them.

I love Journey's face as Vivi eats pumpkin guts

Make the face your pumpkin is making!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zoo Boo!

My sister-in-law asked if we wanted to go to the Zoo Boo with them, and we ended up picking the perfect day to go, it was nice and warm out! Last year was freezing and rainy and they had to wear their winter coats, so this was much more enjoyable!

Waiting in line, Jeb's first experience saying 'trick or treat!', or as he kept saying, 'candy cant!'. Halloween brought a whole new set of words to learn. He also keeps forgetting 'witch' and instead says 'switchbroom'. The first time he said it I didn't know what he was talking about, and he said "a switchbroom-a lady with a broom under her butt!" ;)

Doing the twist while we waited to get in

Jeb and cousin Elo

Enjoying their treats! One of the trick or treat stations was sponsored by whatever company makes sierra mist pop, and they were giving out whole cans of pop. I didn't want to spoil their excitement at getting a whole can of pop, so I let them each have theirs. Journey had an accident before we even left the zoo, Jeb was zoned out from too much sugar all the way home and went right to bed, and Vivi had the kind of sugar buzz you see on tv: "Can we hear that song again? Can we hear that song again? Can we hear that song again? Song song song song song!" and was up until midnight running around.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

The goings on of October

October has been a pretty busy month for us! Vivi has dance class on Tuesday, Journey has dance class on Wednesday, and then Jeb had soccer practice Wednesday evenings and games Saturday mornings. Jeb is also enjoying his Friday classes at the homeschool enrichment hub. Eric got a teaching job at a local college, so he has been gone one evening a week, and then church on Sundays and our weeks are just flying by!

Jeb just had his last soccer game this past weekend, they won all but 1 game, although Jeb never cared about that, he just wanted to kick the ball as often as possible. He struggled on his team this year because it is a competitive team as opposed to the instructional classes he did in the spring. He is the smallest and slowest on his team and he knew it, so he didn't try very hard. He decided that he would rather take gymnastics, so I told him that he could do gymnastics after soccer is over. So, after every practice and every game he would say "Is soccer over and I can take gymnastics?". He never complained about going to the games, and he did like that his buddy Camden was on his team, he was just ready for it to be over. I'm glad that soccer is over too, 2 commitments per week was a lot and it was getting really cold out there for those early Saturday morning games!

During the game this weekend, Jeb and Camden were running after the ball right next to each other and when Jeb noticed, he smiled really big, until Camden sped up after the ball, leaving Jeb behind him. Then Camden noticed that Jeb wasn't next to him anymore and held his hand out, and they ran together, holding hands until the end of the play. It was so cute, and even cuter that my best friend's son and my son are such good buddies.

Jeb's homeschool enrichment hub had their Halloween party after school on Friday. It was supposed to be a Trunk or Treat, where you go from car to car, trick or treating, but it was cold and raining so it ended up being inside the building in the lobby. It started with a big group picture, then the kids went from parent to parent, collecting candy and toys. It was really fun, the kids enjoyed it a lot. It was interesting because we got to see the majority of the students all at once; the teens have their own lunch room and travel from class to class on their own, so you don't really see them. I was surprised how many teens there were, and all the kids looked like they were having so much fun. Something to look forward to for my kids ;)

The girls are both enjoying their dance classes. A few weeks ago, Vivi dropped a heavy puzzle on her foot and couldn't walk on it for awhile. When I told her that she might have to skip dance class if she can't walk, and she was so upset, and very willing to get up and try walking! She is taking a tap and jazz class, but likes tap best.

Journey is LOVING her 2 year old ballet class. She is so excited to do everything and so enthusiastic about every little thing. Every week they play 'freeze dance' where they dance around and then have to hold still when the music stops. It's the only time she doesn't do what the teacher says-she just can't stop dancing!

The kids have been enjoying the fall colors, it was Jeb's first time seeing the leaves turn colors and fall off the trees and he has been very impressed. We collected some leaves and did leaf rubbings, which worked out better than I expected for their ages.

So, everything is great over here! Super busy, but we're enjoying every minute of it :)


Last warm day of the season

Last week was unseasonably warm, and we tried to take full advantage of it! We went to the zoo for one more nice warm day. We have a membership, so we still go to the zoo when it is cooler out and just stick to the animals inside the buildings, but it was nice to enjoy the warm sunshine and watch the animals play. As cold as it has been this week, it's hard to believe that just a few days ago we were running around outside in t-shirts!

"Journey, this is about a kangaroo! Want me to read it to you?"

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Pumpkin picking!

In the past we have gone to a local apple orchard that just stacks their pumpkins in big piles by the barn, but with this being Jeb's first American fall season, I wanted him to see how they grow in a patch, so we found a different orchard.

We rode on the hay ride all the way back to the pumpkin patch

Jeb was determined to find one he could carry all by himself. He would start to pick one up, then decide it was too heavy and find another one. He finally settled on this one

Vivi had no interest in picking up any of the pumpkins because "they're too dirty!" I made her hold her pumpkin for a quick picture, and she hasn't touched it since ;)

And Journey is going through a phase where she thinks everything is going to eat her and was afraid of the hay ride tractor. Luckily Bapa was there to protect her and her baby pumpkin!

As we walked through the parking lot when we got there, Vivi, our resident nose, sniffed the air and said "I smell cinnamon donuts here!" And it's not a trip to the cider mill without eating some warm cinnamon donuts!

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Journey's 23 hour EEG

Journey finally got her 23 hour EEG that we scheduled months ago. She was not thrilled about having dots drawn on her head, then wires glued on, but the staff was really good and they even wrapped her baby's head.

She was attached to a machine behind the bed by her wires, and she was pretty bummed about that.

Then lunch came and all was well :)

A volunteer from the DIA brought some kind of quick drying dough to make pencil toppers. She thought it was very cool, and named our creation Journey.

I invented a 'game' for her to play with some foam cubes I got at the dollar store. She had to match them to the colored squares I drew on the paper. She really enjoyed it and did it a few times. While getting the wires attached, she told everyone that purple is her favorite color, so the nurse went and got her a Project Linus blanket with purple in it to cuddle with.

And of course, multiple calls to Bapa and Daddy were made. Bapa is her go to person when she has something brave to announce, such as every single time we put in or take out her ocular shell. The moment it's done she says "I call Bapa??"

We still haven't gotten the results of the EEG, she didn't have as many seizures as usual (of course!) but we did catch a couple so hopefully that will give them an idea of what is going on.
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Jebby turns 5

Woops, I just noticed that I never hit publish on this one!

Jeb's 5th birthday was more low key than his party, but we made sure to make it really special. The night before his birthday we went to the store for his birthday 'picks', a tradition in our family where the birthday child gets to go shopping and pick special treats like juice, sugary cereal, chips, etc. Jeb picked Bolthouse Farms mango lemonade, Envirokidz Chocolate peanut butter cereal, Natural Cheetos, and because he doesn't like ice cream, I let him pick a different treat, so he picked Kashi blackberry graham cereal bars. He also picked clementines and green grapes to go with breakfast and lunch. He had a lot of fun walking up and down the aisles saying "I think I should probably get this for my birthday" to the most random things like energy drinks and spice packets :)

We also got the ingredients for his birthday dinner, which was an Ethiopian feast. He specifically requested injera (Ethiopian spongey bread that is used to eat the food), and 'beef siga' (siga is Amharic for beef, the all of the kids use both names for it.) Even though it's kind of a small thing, I was thrilled that he chose Ethiopian food for his birthday dinner. I'm glad that he still loves his first culture and of all the new American foods he's had, he chose injera and siga for his special day.

After we put him to bed for the last time as a 4 year old, we got to work blowing up 3 packages of balloons to fill his room. That was more work than I realized it would be!

It was so worth it, we woke him up and as he sleepily climbed down, his face lit up and he said "balloons!"and got right to work playing with them.

All 3 kids are somewhere in this picture, the balloons were a hit!

Jeb's birthday was also his first day of school at the Homeschool Enrichment Hub, he was excited to get to wear his 'birthday boy' shirt to school.

After school we opened presents, we gave him $5 in singles (he's really big on saving money for specific toys), Cooties the game, a basketball hoop for his room, some new cars, a Mickey Mouse nightlight, and some clothes. After all of the presents, he still said the best part of his birthday was the balloons ;)

I was so busy cooking and serving and eating the Ethiopian food that I forgot to take a picture, but I made injera, doro wat (spicy chicken stew), siga wat (beef stew), and a spicy lentil stew. It was reallllly good and Jeb ate a ton of it :)

Cinnamon rolls for dessert, his favorite and the only dessert he'll eat a whole piece of. We pointed out that there were 5 candles and asked why there were 5. He thought for a minute and said "uh...because it's a big cake?" :) We sometimes forget some of the cultural things like that that seem so obvious to us aren't obvious to others.

Last year he *should* have been home in time for his birthday but didn't pass court in time, so we were a little bummed out on his 4th birthday. We still made a cake and we knew he'd be home for his 5th birthday for sure, but this year's birthday celebrations more than made up for the agonizing wait :)
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