Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dave's Take

We went out to a Mexican restaurant for Griselda's birthday on Monday night. We drive by this place at least once a week and always say that we will try it some day. So, it is a Mexican restaurant in Detroit. Just to set the stage. So we go. Everyone is excited. They have the "typical" restaurant fish tank to keep the boys busy while they get a table ready. So we get seated. We were handed our menus. The menus looked great. A good variety of all the traditional Mexican dishes. Then we look at the kids menu. Soft taco - OK. Hot dog, chicken fingers, and hamburger.....at a Mexican restaurant. Well OK, it is a kids menu. Why not? Then our waiter comes. He introduces himself with a heavy eastern European accent. Griselda and I order. We are asked what sides we would like. Nachos or salad. I get nachos, because it is a Mexican restaurant and Griselda goes for the salad. My nachos arrive. 3 tortilla chips sprinkled with cheese. Three chips. Not LARGE chips. Not even Big chips. Just three chips. The salad. nothing special. The meal. OK. The rice and beans were good. The enchiladas were.... in Griselda's own words.....They're OK. It's not like I have to force them down or anything. Anyway, we came up with a few key things to look out for at Mexican waiters. Hot dogs and hamburgers on the kids menus. Eastern European waiters. Three chip nachos. Needless to say. We don't plan on going back. Hope that you are all well.

Dave

P.s. we even have some pics of the nachos. I'll be posting them soon. Seriously. 3 chips. That's it. Three.

Jeydan (a.k.a. JJ) = the bruiser
Kaelan = the old man / the muscle
Lathan = the brains
Griselda (a.k.a. Mama) = the beauty
Me (a.k.a. Daddy) = the absentee, the tired one

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Typical Sunday

Things have been run-of-the-mill for while here; and since I didn't have anything particularly special to showcase, I thought I would just take some pics of the usual.

We are all just biding our time until the joys of Spring come our way. The boys have been asking to go skateboarding outside a lot lately, among other things outdoors (for some reason usually when it's raining) and I have been resorting to "because I said so" statements because apparently the wet and cold aren't reasons enough to stay inside.

This past week was nothing too unusual, except that a couple weeks back a truck-mounted snow-plow guy ran into us and busted our driver's-side tail light and back panel and we took it in to get it fixed this week (it would've been much worse if I hadn't had such NASCAR style maneuvers, heh heh heh), so Dave and I had to juggle schedules to get to each others' destinations in the cold and in the snow. Dave was a hero and ran or biked to work four of the five days with single-digit temps. One day he was able to get a ride with a fellow resident. That's right. We were without a car from Sunday night (late-night drop-off for early morning start) until Saturday morning (they wanted to give it back on Monday afternoon/evening!). I couldn't believe that such a small area could take SO LONG to fix! My feeling was that they must be working no more than 20 minutes each day on our car. Thankfully we live close to most things we need; but I was seriously loosing my mind having the kids packed tightly in a Jeep Cherokee poking each others' eyes and pulling hair - all the while being close enough to me to have their screeching bring me to a sudden and rude stop en route to various places. When Dave joined us the few times that he did, I could tell that his lack of patience and BP were skyrocketing. And he only had to be in the car for 5 minutes a day, if that.

This week holds a little more excitement for us. Tuesday is my birthday (for which nothing is planned - and that REALLY is ok with me!), so I just hope for some good foot-rubbing, back-scratching, non-meal-planning fun. I've overindulged on the sweets this week because of the ease at which I can get a hold of the stuff, so I'm thinking that that part of the birthday will be skipped. But other than that, we have a parent-teacher meeting on Thursday for the boys. I finally get to hear what the teachers have to say about our MAGNIFICENT boys. I wish I could watch them in action more, but since scheduling doesn't allow me, this is my only chance for educational insight.

I'm surprised to have posted as much as I have lately. Hopefully I keep going on this posting streak. I like to keep Nana & Pops and uncles and aunts informed; but as you can see, my pregnancy laziness doesn't just plague my legs, but my mind, too.

Now some pics of our typical Sunday...

This is Jeydan doing his daily work-horse workout just pulling these bouncy balls around the house.


Kaelan was the "spotlight" today in Primary and he chose these mechanical pencils as his prize (this just confirms that Kaelan's personality is clone-like to David, who is obsessed with writing utensils).


The two little guys playing with various non-toy objects: JJ with a frosting dispenser and Kaelan with his new pencil.


Lathan was feeling a little blue, so he built this "fort" and spent some alone-time looking at the photos archived on the kid-camera.


Lathan decided that he needed a few more of us on the camera and started coming out of the blues when the camera was in action.


We don't watch TV during the week (usually), so on the weekends (and Fri nights) the boys LOVE watching movie after movie after movie (but I only limit them to one, MAYBE two a day); and since Sunday is the Sabbath, we only watch "church" movies and this includes Veggie-tales (JJ's favorite). So here he is peacefully watching one of their short films right after coming home from church. The sequence that follows is priceless (I think anyway!):
videoWe went from this...

...to this...

...then this...


...to then the inevitable, where Dave kindly repositioned him allow him to get some good rest.

The boys made me some Triple Chocolate Fudge cupcakes for my birthday and are showing off their culinary style here.


The boys just messing with the pillows - AGAIN.


This one's for Nana & Pops. Look what Dad helped Lathan create from his Xmas present!


Thank goodness pillows are a safe and soft weapon (mostly).
video

One of my good friends asked us to send her a self-portrait of us "in love" for a project she wants to display in her apt; so Dave and I hammed it up and faked it the best we could ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Have you Ever...

Play along. Copy and paste and highlight the things you've done! Then when your finished add something you've done that wasn't on the list!

1. Started your own blog 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland 8.Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18.Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train 21.Had a pillow fight 22.hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a 1/2 Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31.hit a home run. 32.been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44.Sung karaoke Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67.Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten Caviar 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone. 78.Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82.Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read the entire Bible 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous 92. Joined a book club 93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee 100. Made amends with someone who offended you 101. Flew in a small Cessna plane with just you and the pilot 102. Ran out of gas 103. Eaten fried okra 104. Swam in the Caribbean Sea 105. Peed in a swimming pool 106. Stayed in a beach house 107. Hosted an exchange student 108. Been a Secret Santa to a family 109. Worked on a political campaign 110. Coached a sports team 111. Baked bread from scratch 112. Driven from coast to coast 113. Paid off all of your debt 114. Roast marshmallows over a campfire.115 Cut up a credit card 116. Drove a car through a flood 117. Been on t.v 118. Had braces 119. Been to the twin towers in NY. 120. Have played in both the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans 121. Been to ground zero 122. Bite my fingernails 123. Likes to scrapbook 124. Hates pie 125.Visited Mexico 126. Seen a Tornado in person 127. Have ever been lost at sea! 128. kisses a frog. 129. Gave birth to twins. 130. Received 2 moving violation tickets in 1 day. 131.Been Life Flighted. 132. swore 133. stranded in a motel for Christmas. 134. Been in 2 countries at once! 135. Adopted a pet from Humane Society 136. Did a triathlon 137. Never received a speeding ticket 138. Live with one kidney 139. Slept on the floor of a train station in Poland 140. eaten rocky mountain oysters 141. Volunteered at an orphanage in Chile 142. Run into a sliding glass door/screen

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

So I realize that I was a bit depressing in the previous post; so in light of that and the special love that Valentine's Day brings, I thought I would turn it all around and mention all the things for which I have to be thankful.

Dave is a true trooper. He has worked so much these past many weeks and has been able to come home with a truly positive spirit (well, most of the time). He is finding that certain residents are really trying his patience. He swears that one of these days he is going to lose all self-control and implode, or explode with expletives (hard to imagine!!!). I feel so bad for him. We both are put into a situation that we both don't prefer, but we both realize that we have to endure for only a little bit longer.

Lathan is such a sweetheart. He is always looking to please his peeps. He loves to entertain his brothers (it is such a hoot to watch, too) and is constantly in the process of making something special for Mom and Dad. We go through paper and tape like crazy here; and nothing is complete without some scissor action. He knows so much about so many things that I am actually intrigued by many of the conversations we have throughout the day. He's been growing up so fast this last little bit. And what a handsome boy he's become. Speaking of which, he's decided that he wants to grow his hair out, but I really don't know what that means.

Kaelan is our little man who I think has such an old soul. He is always choosing to hang out with the big people rather than play with the kids. I am always finding myself including him in the daily humdrum activities (e.g. loading/unloading dishes, cooking dinner, doing laundry, even grocery shopping). I love his company and his funny conversation. He loves to be included in all things adult. A while back Lathan's Kindergarten teacher said that Kaelan pretty much begged to do the dish clean-up after an activity (strictly a Kindergarten job that takes preparation and several demonstrations to gain privileges) and she gave in. She said he did the job slower than a Kindergartener, but that he did it perfectly. That's my boy!

Jeydan is a happy-go-lucky spirit that loves to constantly move and talk. He is developing his language and is fun to listen to, but his frustration levels are sky-high because I'm never getting his words fast enough or at all. It's my favorite when he mimics or rather shadows either of his brothers when they are telling me an animated story. He uses the same gestures and inflections in his voice as the boys do and it's hilarious! He does have a serious fetish with my hair and I have to admit that I love how much cuddle time I get from it; but I've gotten really serious these past few days about withdrawing hair privileges and he is not at all happy about it. He's actually quite sad about it for much of the day. I try to distract him with other activities throughout the day, but can only truly remove his sadness by removing myself from his presence. He would be happy all day long if I let him fly high off the couch onto our HUGE stuffed animal bear, Clancy. If only that was more portable...

My Michigan friends. As we near our time to leave the state, I am beginning to wonder what life might be like without my circle of friends. I'm saddened that I will have to say goodbye. I know that the opportunity ahead of us is SO exciting; but I will dearly miss my peeps. Thank heavens for Facebook, right? It's not the same as the real thing, of course. I've had so much fun meeting and playing with the Michigan-folk. So many different things have happened to us here (both good and bad) and we've been so fortunate to have so many friends to lean on.

ALL my friends are fabulous - and you all know who you are (if only by simply reading this!). So many awesome things to look forward to this coming year:
I'm so excited that one of my bestest friends from my snowboarding days is getting married this summer and I get to see a lot of people who are so important to me in such a fun setting and I can't wait (I am seriously considering buying funny contraptions to reshape a post-baby bod, along with putting up with serious pain in my workouts to avoid the dreaded, 'oh-I-just-had-a-baby' look to remind me in photos for decades to come).
I'm having a baby fairly soon and my BFF is coming from Utah to help me with the whole adjustment (it also helps that she's a die-hard workout queen, so that can only help the previously mentioned). If only to just visit with her is making me so excited; but she's voluntarily taking on the role of Mommy of 4 (she's bringing her little boy, making 4). How awesome of a friend is that? Super-awesome.
Dave is graduating in June and that means some of our family is coming out to celebrate the occassion, which will be SUPER AWESOME!!! Graduation itself would be just enough in itself after nine long years of training; but to add family that we don't get to see much is the chocolate fudge, whip cream, and cherry on top of a first-class sundae. Sweet beyond sweet.
Finally, the move to California will be treacherous one with just having a baby, moving to a relatively unknown place, finding an actual home (should we rent or own?), starting a new job, making new friends, selling our house in MI, which that by itself could be a harrowing experience since we could either be stuck with the house, or be lucky enough to sell it only to move into a tiny apt with a new baby and having friends and family come to stay with us! I don't which one I like better....hmmmm).
Just the idea of Spring itself is an exciting prospect to look forward to since this winter felt extra cold and dreary.
Finally, although I'm sad that Dave's parents are in Australia serving a mission and will miss the birth of our baby, I'm very excited to visit them down under! I don't know when we'll make the time to go, so if you are family and are interested in joining us before they return, please let us know and we'll make whatever adjustments necessary to go with other family. I have to say that I do love the idea of a Christmas in Sydney ;)

I know this was a boring and pretty much useless post, but since I've had almost nothing to update and there is so much nothingness going on without Dave around, I had to look to the future (mostly for my own sake!) to post something.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! We did, but we were regrouting the shower and organizing the house while a dear friend watched the boys during the day. So romantic, huh? Let's just say that I'm saving all the cool celebration for my birthday (knowing us, Dave will be working late, and I'll forget it's my birthday, and it will all come crumbling down). In the meantime, I'll work on keeping happy thoughts!

video
We were able to go the Ward's ice-cream social and to take a moment to burn off some sugar:



We also were so graciously invited to my friend Judy's house for some fun Valentine fun and some early birthday celebration (such yummy sandwiches and choc strawberries!!!! Thanks Judy!)

JJ was enamored with all things baby (he especially loved this stroller)





I caught JJ sneaking in some Manta time even though it was Jacie's and pink :)

We found all the boys sprawled in a funny way one night (but Lathan switched it up before I had time to take some pics) so we tried to capture it.




So I guess I did do some fun stuff this week! Well, it's still the middle of winter, so we're not that exciting, still.

Love to you all,
griselda

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Long Overdue....

Things have been rather overwhelming for me as of late. Taking the load for everyone right now is taking its toll on on my ability to blog. I also have to confess that being this far along (only 31 weeks really) doesn't inspire me to bring out the camera for lots of family shots. So the pics posted are actually Lathan's. We found our old digital camera from so long ago and decided that Lathan should have it, while giving the other indestructible "kid" camera to Kaelan and Jeydan. This was a result of a picture night where we actually had Daddy Dave around.

Dave has been really busy with work since the New Year. He has been on call every weekend, except for one and he was in Washington D.C. for that one. Then this weekend he is actually taking an extra moonlighting shift to pay for his $1500 medical boards in the spring. I haven't seen him during the week earlier than bedtime for the kids except for one or two times. Now that we are six weeks into the year, I'm really tired and drained from all that goes with being a single parent - a large and lethargic pregnant single parent. My "me" time has become excrutiating as of late because I decided that despite all the temptations to be lazy and lounge, I thought being active would be the best thing for my psyche and for the baby and me. So everday, except every other Friday when I see the OB, I swim a mile in the lap pool and take a LONG shower. I am feeling physically fit, but SO EXHAUSTED. I don't think I replenish my water, either. I just feel so spent. I need a vacation! I really don't have it that bad, but I know that it's coming because I still have so much to pack and organize before the baby comes to prepare for our move. I have always been a procrastinator and do very well under pressure, so this shouldn't be surprising. But I feel so much pressure mounting that everyday I feel so guilty if I take any sort of break for down time.

The boys have been so good this past week after really getting at each other the whole month of January. I have been more prone to throwing my hands up rather than be part of the fight. I don't know which is better, but sometimes I feel no matter what I'm doing some sort of damage. But at this point, it's all self-preservation.

What a downer of post, right? Well, since I don't have Dave to talk to (even if I did, he's working hard, too, so he would probably last 3 minutes before falling asleep!), y'all are going to hear it.

On the bright side, Lathan is such a helper and surprises me everyday with what he's learned. We were all at the car dealership getting our oil changed, etc, when there were a bunch of lame magazines in the waiting room. Well, soon after looking at the mags, Lathan turned to me and said, "Vuh... ale, Vail. Mama, this says Vail." And I looked half-heartedly wondering what in the heck he was talking about (because I was involved in getting all the snacks prepped and ready to divvy out) when I saw that he had a ski mag in his possession. I thought WOW. That's not the easiest word to read - at least with the diphthong and all. I'm no teacher, but I thought this was a later stage of reading. So then I started testing him on other more difficult words. I can't remember what other words I got out of him, but he knew A LOT of them. I was so impressed. I had no idea he was that good at reading. Honestly, I didn't really know he could read beyond cat and hat.

Kaelan has been a non-stop talker and has had some pretty funny stories to tell. If he's not telling stories, then he's explaining how the universe works in his head. It's all very eye-opening and quite hilarious. He is a philosopher, for sure. He always reminds me how my clothes don't fit over my belly and that my belly is showing AGAIN when doing stuff around the house.

JJ finds his opportunity to show his love for the baby when my belly is showing and will take extra care to find the right position to give my belly a nice soft kiss. He is always loving the belly. If I'm not careful, he will lift up my already busting-at-the-seams shirts and make his move.

My boys are dying right now because I've taken too much time here on the computer. I'd love to say more about everyone, but now it's time for me to go. Until next time I need to vent....!










Dave's Take

On call. My fourth weekend in a row, finally with some free time. So here goes our update.

Jeydan

Our little quasi two year old. Started sleeping in a big boy bed. Loves his "manta" and his "mickey" stuffed animal. Has a serious fetish with Griselda's hair. Serious fetish.

Kaelan

Our little chef. This kid is growing up SO fast. Asks the craziest questions. Like deep philisophical questions. Blows our minds.

Lathan

Our little closet reader. That's right. Lathan can read. He does it in secret though. Won't read when any one is around. The only way that we found out was that Griselda caught him reading words in a book one day. She thought it was crazy, so she had him read some other words. Sure enough, the kid can read.

Griselda

Swears that she can't get any bigger. Really. She is getting big. Big and always beautiful. Nothing like a HOT pregnant mama to come home to.

Dave

Finally got me contract from Auburn. Reading everything over and getting really confused with all the legaleeze. Probably should try to read it in more than five minutes and probably not while sleep deprived.

Anyway, we are doing great. Getting ready for our new baby, whose name we still haven't figured out. Trying to sell our house without losing a ton of money. Looking forward to California and our future; however, getting a little sad about leaving some many friends.

Dave