Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Going On?

These days life around here just doesn't seem to slow down. I sound like a broken record, but that's the reality.  Even so, it's a happy time, a growing time, and learning time (esp. for Mom and Dad).

Oldest daughter Eva turned 8 recently and I broke down and booked a party at Jungle Java.  Overpriced, chaotic, totally not something I'm in to, but it's within walking distance from our house and required almost no preparation on my part. I think the kids had fun, though, so I guess that's what matters.

Vika loved this little crawly thing. She laid on it for a long time like this.  Once again, we are amazed at how adaptable she is. She kind of liked the chaotic atmosphere.

So, being the mature 8-year old she is, Eva requested to get her ears pierced. Well, I got my ears pierced in 2nd grade, so I figured it was okay.  So, off to the mall we go. Turns out, it was a popular day for ear piercing, so we had to wait awhile. It didn't help that there was a newborn (5-7 weeks, maybe) right in front of us getting hers done and wailing at the top of her lungs.  Eva's not the bravest when it comes to pain, but of course I used the old "do you know how much pain I went through to have you? and I survived" bit. I like to think it helped.

Ice packs - her idea.  Smart girl.

She went with the timeless "Hello Kitty" design. Very chic, don't ya' think?

In other big kid news, only son, Eli is looking a bit snaggle-toothed these days.

I'm so glad the tooth-fairy is back at work, the last time she failed to come 2 nights in a row, forcing the parents to pay double her rate out of guilt.  But really, the whole jig is up at this point, especially after oldest daughter found several baby teeth in my jewelry drawer. They're just playing along now for the dough.

And in big people news, I (mom) have been doing too much of this lately. It's just that time of year, I guess,when some desperate choir director will beg me to play for them when their accompanist bails out at the last minute, so of course, I do.

Sightread Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons?" No problem! As long as you don't mind a few (a lot) wrong notes along the way.

That's really not that impressive, let me show you the most genius thing I've done lately.

A humble list, but oh, what magical results! I got tired of getting  upset in the morning as I tried to get Eva and Eli ready for school on time while they dawdled, enjoying how stressed Mom was getting. Now, they know exactly what they have to do without a thousand reminders and what time it has to be done by. If they get it all done on time, they get 30 mins. of computer game time in the evening plus a checkmark. 10 checkmarks = a special treat.  We are so much happier in the mornings. I don't have to get upset and feel bad the rest of the day. They like having something to work for and knowing exactly what the expectations are.  They are even working together.

It's a beautiful thing.

Lastly, in newest American news, we visited the ear/nose/throat doctor and I'm so glad we did. Vika has had almost continuous nasal discharge and congestion since we've had her. It gets worse, then it gets better, but it's always there. The dr. put her on an antiobitic and nasal spray and within a few days, the drainage is almost completely gone.  I love a clean nose!

They also did a hearing test. She has a hearing loss probably due to the fluid built up in her ear. She can't hear quieter sounds. Her right ear drum did not vibrate one little bit and her left just a little. It's usually kind of noisy in our house so she's probably been missing a lot. So glad we found that out. Once the fluid is gone, hopefully her hearing will come back and her speech will begin to develop.  So thankful we are able to get her help with that.

Next up - the cardiologist and opthamologist. Also looking into a feeding study.

Vika is absolutely blossoming. She has a rosy color to her cheeks and the dark circles under her eyes (probably due to dehydration) are almost gone. (Gabe does a great job making sure she stays hydrated).

She now gives the best hugs and is just the most affectionate little thing. She has done so well. We are so thankful the Lord knew just which child to place in our family and has blessed in this transition time. It's all because of His great mercy.

Until next time, Merry Christmas! Which reminds me, I should probably go shopping sometime soon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle

Busy, much?  Yup, you might say that. Here's a sampling:

Musical rehearsals.

Making time for physical fitness

Thanksgiving - Gabe makes a mean bird, for which I-cant-cook-huge-portions-of-meat-Melanie am so grateful.

Lots of cuddling

Thanksgiving leftovers - you've got to give them credit, at least they went for the good stuff.

Mommy-Eva date at the Bee's Knees in Northville.  I went for my standard dot design, extremely good and fail-proof for non-artistic people like me.

Plenty of general cuteness

And still more

Sisterly love

Extremely cool-Ninja-guy scariness (He really did scare me with this by suddenly appearing in the kitchen - a fact that pleases him immensely.)

Sharing of snacks - "orange you glad we're sisters?!"  Yay, I finally got to work that one in - I've been looking for an opportunity to use a bad pun.

And naughty little children. No lie, as I'm typing this, Millie and Vika are supposed to be napping, instead who do I see coming down the stairs in this get-up? I think I will be mourning the loss of the afternoon nap very soon.

Lastly, further evidence of the crazy things that happen around here.  During my shower this morning, I was chagrined to notice that my new bar of soap had disappeared. I was forced to make due with Gabe's which consisted of 2 measly little scraps pressed together to form a slightly larger scrap. I knew I had just put in a brand new bar, but it was nowhere in sight. Well, as I was putting the girls down for their nap, this is what I saw:

At least it doesn't have teeth marks in it. 

Something else weird I found today.

A parting shot (Millie forgive me) "Could someone grab those buns out of the refrigerator?"

Yes, we do clothe our children daily, but sometimes things happen. In this case, Millie is starting to think she wants to use the potty, so sometimes she will pull her diaper off, sit on her potty for about 2 seconds, and then walk around for a while like this. You can't deny the cuteness factor.

As you can see, Mom and Dad need lots of prayer for the stamina to keep up with these wee ones.  In the midst of it all, I often forget to be thankful for all my treasures, because that's what they are. Have you thanked God for yours lately?