Friday, May 23, 2008

He's a mover and a shaker

I am really slacking when it comes to important updates and I apologize. Last week the big guy started walking. We were reading stories to the kids at bed time when Jen noticed that Tarik was standing. He has this favorite spot on our fireplace, it is a little ledge that he sits on and he just loves to sit there and play with his toys. Anyway he apparently decide to stop sitting and stand up without pulling up on anything. We were of course excited and saying way to go kiddo when he took a couple steps! He wasn't the most graceful but since then a couple of steps has turned into a few, and a few more. He is currently crossing the room from the couch to the love seat and he is pretty proud of himself. We are too! Of course I don't have a picture to share but will put one up this weekend.

Last weekend we went to Chicago and got together with 5 of the families we traveled to Ethiopia with, unfortunately 3 families were not able to make it. I think everyone had a great time. We stayed at one of those waterpark hotels, which I am becoming less of a fan of. (Too loud but the kids love them.) On Saturday night we all ate at the hotel restaurant which was pretty dead so we had the place mainly to ourselves and had a blast. Afterward I held the first Ethiopian Dad's meeting at the hotel bar and we agreed on our bylaws and mission. Meeting notes are available but may not be legible.

On Sunday we ate an Ethiopian restaurant in Chicago. The place was fantastic, food marvelous and the staff amazing. They all kept coming over and talking with kids, carrying them around and just making us feel welcome. Afterward we went to Lincoln Park Zoo and enjoyed a cool but pleasant Sunday afternoon. We talked about getting together again in September, maybe Minneapolis, and I am hoping that all 9 families can make it.

Here are a few pictures, enjoy!







Monday, May 12, 2008

more bday pics

I didn't get my word in - Happy Birthday my sweet little baby boy! Tarik was 23 lbs,6 oz at his 1 year checkup and 29 1/2 inches. Annalise was 30 pounds and 36 inches at her 3 year appointment, the week before. Funny 2 years apart and just over 6 pounds and 6 inches. This might be part of the reason.

Oh, no, I'm not hungry.


Ok, well, I will try alittle bite.


Wow, that was good


Mmmmm


WHAT?


And one last pic of my sweet big boy after his Tiger Scout Blue and Gold Banquet - the orange marks have something to do with him graduating from a Tiger to a Wolf (? maybe).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Big Guy!

Somebody turned 1 today. Here is a hint...



It is kind of a strange day for me. I understand Tarik is a year old today but since we have only him for 7 months my brain is having a hard time reconciling this. We got together on the east side of the state last weekend for a big combined birthday party. Tarik's cousin Ben turned 1 last week so we thought it made more sense to do them together and save family the expense of traveling twice. I am not sure about the final count but we had to be close to 50 and it was fairly organized chaos.

In other news Katie celebrated her First Communion the on the 20th. I have pictures but not accessible to me right now. (I will post one tonight sometime between swim lessons, a softball game, bath night, and Tarik opening his presents.)She looked so beautiful and I couldn't believe how grown up she has gotten. Funny story about her dress, Jen wanted to get a veil for the outfit and I looked at her like she was nuts. I mean I could not picture ever seeing a veil on a First Communion outfit, at least not is the last 30 years. Anyway so I took Katie early on Sunday for pictures and noticed almost all the girls wearing these cute lacy trains, head bands what ever you call them. Then I thought, hmmm is that called a veil? Turns out it is. I thought a veil went over your face, you know like at a wedding? This shows once again I no nothing about fashion and that I should never question my wife and let her do whatever she wants.




We had a nice day, Katie got to give one of the Prayers of Intention and did a great job. Afterward we took everyone out to eat. The weather was finally perfect and we were able to eat outside on the patio at the restaurant. Really just the perfect day.

On the same day Katie celebrated her First Communion, Jen turned 26 (Okay I realize that we are celebrating our 11th anniversary this year and that would imply she was 15 when we got married, one more reason math can get you in trouble!) and in celebration went to see that Bon Jovi guy again. He was in town on her birthday (coincidence? I hope so) and her best friend bought her a ticket so I had no say in the matter. She had a great time and came home to me that night so I guess I win Jon!

That's it for now. I promise we will do better posting.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Memememe, oh and #8



First things first, Tarik got tooth number 8 last week. Just after he turned 11 months! Hopefully he will get a little reprieve for awhile. He has gotten 6 teeth in 2 months!

Oh, and we had the 4 babies together at Easter and had to take more pictures that will surely make me the 'worst mom ever' at some point in the future. (I think the dads are starting to be on the babies' sides, so this might be the end of the cute baby booty pics!)


I was tagged by my friend Niki , so I guess I will attempt to continue the little game. One problem is that I read very few blogs...

Here are the rules for the meme:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you. [done]

2. Post these rules on your blog. [done]

3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.

4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry.


OK, so 6 unimportant things about me.

1. I have 3 sisters and no brothers, so when I had an ultrasound and found out my second baby was a boy, I seriously didn't know what to think. It was just so weird to picture a boy in the family (my poor daddy - as if he isn't a boy). He would also be the first grandson, so my mom wasn't alot of help. She seemed as confused about it as I was... We got over it and I couldn't love my sweet boy anymore. Gramma thinks he is pretty awesome too.

2. I lived in the Mississippi until I was 14, but both of my parent are originally from Iowa. I developed a slight southern draw, but still never understood many key southern phrases, such as "over yonder" (I never could figure out where yonder was), "y'all come back now, ya here" (I was confused by this comment, in places where I might never be back to), and "fixin' to start" (so are we starting or not?). We didn't drink tea, eat greens or grits. I know many of my friends thought we were alittle odd. I lost any southern accent I had very quickly when moving to Iowa in 8th grade.

3. I love 80's/90's hair band music, such as Metallica, G&R, White Zombie, Ozzy, Danzig, AC/DC, Bon Jovi. I can't help it, I flip stations and really like lots of new stuff, but get sucked back in when I hear any of this music. I crank it ridiculously loud, and I know I look cool in my minivan. heehee

4. I told my new sweet husband that I would move anywhere when we got married. But when the real conversations of moving started, I chickened out and am 35 minutes from my parents. We are a whooping 2 hours from much of the rest of the family, which is alittle too far. And I think the 5 hours to my sister in Chicago is way too long. But to what may be the extreme, my grandma lives on the same street as two of her children, which is a few blocks away from another daughter, and a couple of my cousins. And another daughter and my grandpa used to live within a block of her too. But talk about a close family, there is always someone to talk to, ask for help from, and hang out with.

5. I have worked at my employer for 10 1/2 years, and it is the only 'real' job I have ever had since I graduated from college. I like it there and have had tons of experience and many roles, but my resume sucks. I am alittle too old to list my part time college jobs.

6. I spent a couple hours on Saturday picking up dog poop in the back yard. We had friends coming over on Sunday and we had TONS of cleaning to do Saturday, but it was an amazing day (and we have had a cruel, long, cold, snowy winter). So, I was happy to pick up poop, just so I could have an excuse to be outside. It was a good thing too, Sunday turned out to be decent and the 7 kids in addition to our 4, were dying to play outside. Since the guests were all 5 and under, we were outside supervising and I would have died if any of the little ones were to step in poop. **On a side note, despite our carpet cleaner and fridge breaking down a couple days prior to the get-together, we were able to pull off the appearance that we live in a clean house, despite 4 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. Until...my 6 year old swung open the door to the storage area, right off the family room. You see, to get our house to this miraculously clean state, we had to hide a few things and the storage area was crammed with junk. I about fainted since we were all right there and screamed, 'quick, Jack shut the door'. He was climbing through like it was a jungle gym with another boy following right behind. He said 'why mom', and I responded that 'it was a mess and dangerous to climb through there'. He said 'I always do this mom', which is not true. Anyway, I was embarrassed and everyone was laughing, with me, not at me I am sure ;)

I am not sure who to tag, so if you read this, you are tagged. Sorry for the lame transfer there. Did I 'break the chain'??? :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!



My little Annalise turned 3 on Friday! She got a call from her Papa that morning and when he asked how old she was she said 'o-most free'. She seems to think 'almost 3' is the actual age - 1, 2, almost 3, 4, 5. I have been talking it up for a long time, and I am sure I have completely confused her.

No big party, since Easter was the week before - it is tough to ask the families to make the long drives. We took her to Jumpin Jacks that night and the kids had a great time on the inflatables slides and jump house-thingies. We went right at 5 and the place was pretty empty, so they had it to themselves for awhile. Tarik thought the kids were pretty funny and he got a kick out of watching them. I did let him crawl around in one, and he liked it until he got stuck on his back in the corner. He just couldn't get himself rolled back over.

Here are a couple pics of the big girl!





Friday, March 21, 2008

The other man

I fell in love with him before I knew my sweet wonderful husband, and never stopped loving him. I have only seen him a few times over the years, but think and hear of him frequently. He is busy with his own life, though I hope we will see eachother again some day. Of course, I will have to fight off my own sisters for a chance at him. I did have the pleasure of seeing him recently in Chicago, thanks to my main man. Here is just a little picture.



Isn't he awesome?! It was a great concert - really great! And I do get to see him again, with my BFF in April. I am the luckiest girl in the world! :)

Back to my favorite topic - teeth! They just do not stop coming in. I posted last that Tarik got his 5th tooth on the 10th. He got his 6th on the March 13th and his 7th tooth on March 16th. Seriously, that is quick. 7 teeth and he is not quite 11 months. He also got his second haircut last week.

It is Spring Break week, so Gary and I have been juggling days off, with the help of G&G M. Last Sunday we went to Omaha's awesome Henry Doorly Zoo. Then we surprised the kids with a stay at a hotel with a waterpark. We haven't ever been to one, but since we weren't doing anything else on spring break, we figured we would splurge. They were very surprise and had an awesome time. Tarik loved the water and would have drowned himself if I had let him. He just crawled and crawled around the baby pool, which slightly sloped out from zero depth to about 2 feet. And he crawled right into fountains of water shooting up and under dumping water from above, never cried, never sputtered. He loved it. Annalise was quite happy in the baby pool too. She was not happy if we took her in anything deeper. And the one slide she tried splashed her in the face, so she was done with that. The place had 4 small slides, 3 medium, and 3 big ones (that actually went outside the building). Katie and Jack thought it was pretty cool!



Monday, March 10, 2008

They grow so fast






So, 2 days after my last post, Tarik got his 4th tooth, and then 4 days after that he had his 5th tooth. And by-golly, there is a big lump on the other side, so tooth number 6 is close.
And the weekend after my last post, Tarik mastered pulling up to his feet and now is starting to 'cruise' around the furniture. He particularly like to hang on to the rails overlooking the steps to the basement and shake them - making his poor momma have a heart attack. They are attached pretty well, due to some gluing (ask Gary about the one that is upside down), so nothing to worry about... HA!

Annalise is doing great going on the potty chair - and she still gets excited every time she goes. So cute. Some days she still insists on wearing a pull-up, but she keeps it dry all day and has been dry all night a few times too.
She is learning so much from her big brother and sister, mostly the bad stuff - like saying NO to me. They do it and know when I am serious and they need to cut it out, but she hasn't figured that part out yet, so she tends to get herself into trouble. I have also caught her giving Tarik stern little lectures, 'No Thank You Tarik. We do not hit our friends!' He looks at her with these confused big eyes trying to figure out why the toy he was drooling on was just swiped from his chubby little fingers. This is a phrase I know she hears at daycare and it just is so funny to hear her say it, but I have to scold her about treating him like a little brother and not a doll.

Katie seems to have grown up alittle lately. And I am sure it will pass, but lately she has accepted punishment with a simple 'OK'. Such as no more TV, because she bolted from the dinner table in 4 minutes flat to see the same (but it's my favorite!!) episode of SpongeBob for the 100th time. And she has been better about helping me with simple chores. And she comes in from school and super politely asks me how my day was. Now, she did have a fit about not getting to sit by me at dinner the other day and threw herself on the floor-as if she was Annalise's age. But, in general she seems easier to reason with and knows when she needs to suck it up and deal with it.

Jackson - not so much. He is 6, and it is often hard for me to remember what Katie acted like 2 years ago. So, I am not sure when I am expecting too much. He still has the shortest attention span. (jack put on your shoes, jack your shoes, Jack, JACK, JACKSON - huh? PUT ON YOUR SHOES. then it starts over with the coat.) But, he must be the most cuddly, huggy thing. He loves to crawl in bed with us and play with my hair until he is back asleep. When he can't sleep with me, then he will try for one of his sister's beds and there they are arms around each other and they all seem to sleep better that way. He is a momma's boy for now. I am sure it won't last, so I will take it while I can.



Only 3 more days of work this week, then Spring Break and Gary and I are juggling a few days of vacation, with the help of Papa M! YAY!