Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's been a long time...

I had a sort of unofficial new year's resolution in my mind when 2016 began.  I wanted to write in my blog at least once a month.  Three and a half months later I am finally writing here. 

First, I want to tell some stories of the cuteness of the kiddos.  My big girl is taking ballet now and LOVES it.  I started looking for a class for her after we did swim lessons last summer.  At the end of those lessons she told me she would rather do ballerina swim lessons.  Haha, so anyway, I finally found a reasonably priced class for her age group that started in January. We go once a week and she has made some friends.  The class ends in May, but she likes it so much that we signed her up for the next session that goes through the summer.  The teacher is a high school student who does an amazing job with them.  Each of the motions she teaches them has some sort of picture or story that goes along with it.  For the classic ballet pose with the arms in a circle in front of the ballerina she tells them they are holding a beach ball, now a bigger ball, now a bigger ball!  For one of their stretches their legs are butterflies and they get to pretend they are flying somewhere.  My big girl loves to be in charge and luckily for her, my little girl loves to follow and adores her big sis.

My littlest bug loves to sing and now can sing so many songs.  She still says G like D and K like T most of the time, which can be pretty funny sometimes but also so endearing.  I really wish I could get a video of her singing "I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud" from the Pooh movie.  For her it comes out at "I'm just a little black rain toud" and it's almost too cute to handle.

There is so much make believe happening with my little ones.  Nori has loved playing pretend for a long time now, but now Hannah's imagination is blossoming.  Today she jumped inside a hat box and pretended to drive with the top as her steering wheel.  Later she laid down in it and told me, "I'm baby Moses!"

Baby Moses





Friday, January 30, 2015

New House


Well, we are officially moved into the new house.  Gordon brought the last load from our storage at the old apartment last night, almost two full weeks after we started our move.  I don't think it would have taken quite so long except that we have had at least one of us sick for almost all of those two weeks.  Right now all of us have a cold, although I think we're on the upswing now.  Whew.  I'm tired out, though.

I'll post a few pictures from our new place.  It is a tri-level house.  If you come through the front door, you come into the living room and then can continue on to the kitchen.  If you go upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom.  Downstairs is another bedroom, bathroom with laundry, and a family room.  We have the piano down in the family room and have part of it set up as a play room and part of it reserved for a sewing area.  The downstairs bedroom is Gordon's office/man cave (it houses all of his musical stuff except for the piano) and this room will act as a guest room when folks come to visit.  Now that we have all of our stuff in here, it seems quite remarkable that we could have squeezed it all into that apartment. 

View from upstairs.  We enjoy the vaulted ceilings in the living room.  The living room has a couch now that we didn't have yet when this picture was taken.

View downstairs into the play/sewing area.

Kitchen.  Lots of storage space in these cabinets, but I have to use a footstool to reach most of them.  So I just try to have the things I use most often in the most accessible places.

Cutie at the table.  We have a deck out back and Gordon can't wait to grill.  There's also a trampoline back there that we have jumped on once so far.

Gordon's office/guest room.

Nori's room.  We used some wall decal stickers to fancy up her walls.  She's pretty excited about them.
Our other big news for today is that Nori pooped on the potty today.  We have been continuing our cycle of happy girl post-poop to whiny/needy girl after a few days of not pooping.  I met with Nori's pediatrician today and we discussed what to do.  Doctor H says this is a very common problem around the time that kids potty train.  Sounds like we're doing things "right" but she had some helpful suggestions.  It's amazing to see how Nori is almost a different person based on how long it's been since she's pooped.  I could see it pretty clearly today as I put her down for nap right after pooping and she was doing gymnastics on every corner of her bed as I read the stories.  If she still hadn't pooped she would have been trying to keep her body in a position that wouldn't let any poop slip out.  Here's my happy post-poop girl who has tucked several of her favorite plushy animals into bed with her.
 
Now at this point she was friends with the world, but when she was on the potty shortly before and Hannah got in her space, she tried to make her move farther away, which resulted in Hannah falling on her head.  Then I had two crying screaming girls in a small bathroom.  But after the poop came, she apologized very sweetly and Hannah seems no worse for the wear.

Hannah has been trying to boost her immune system lately by eating any fuzzy or tiny bit of whatever on the floor.  She can crawl really well now and you can tell when she's bookin' it with a purpose.  That's when I have to be on the lookout to see what she's after.  It's funny though- if I say, "Haaannaaah" in that "what are you getting into" voice, she will stop in her tracks and thinks it's hilarious to have me scoop her up and tickle her and put her somewhere else.  Unless it was something really good.  Once in a while she gets frustrated when she doesn't get a chance to fully examine whatever it was she was interested in.


And now, the latest in toddler fashion.  As you will see, clothing is so totally last year.  Here's what's in.
Headbands are all the rage.  And toddlers are wearing them in lots of new ways.
Hangers were in last week.  As you can see, anyone can pull off the hanger look.

Rubber gloves on feet turn you into a chicken.  Then you must convince your mom that you are a tasty cooked chicken that she should eat.
Now since it's been so long since I've posted, here's a few cute photos from our vacation.
At the airport



Nori's sweet cousin




Nori and Brit







Still besties. 



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Candelit service and other fall fun


Today we had a sort of candlelit service at church because the church was without power.  There was a strong wind storm last night.  We still have power at our apartment only a mile or two away, thank the Lord.  To me, the church service in the dark with my girls (Honey only stayed in the make-shift child care a short time) was kind of cozy.  I got to give a simple explanation to Nori of what communion is and was glad she wasn't too disappointed to not get her own juice and cracker.  Pretty much every time that Pastor Gary would pray, Nori would ask, "Are we praying?"  She tends to do that a lot.  If you say something to Nori like, "I'm going to get the laundry." She'll respond with, "Are you going to get the laundry?"  It drives me a little crazy sometimes, but I have to remember that she's just processing the information.

I just saw another headline on my news app about a school shooting.  What is going on?  Why are there so many?  Why schools?  Another reminder that I need to prepare my girls to be strong and courageous in the Lord.

Friday we went to the farm with a Chinese friend and her neighbor.  I think they were disappointed about not being able to pick as many veggies as they envisioned (many were already picked for us), but we had a good time.  It was a little hard for me to explain what the farm was like ahead of time.  My friend tends to be concerned that I don't dress Honey warm enough.  I think it's a Chinese thing.  She thought Honey must be hungry every time she started to talk.  She also insisted that I was going to get the hangy head cover part of the baby carrier dirty even though I told her it was fine- I could wash it if it got dirty.  And she was worried about Nori having muddy hands while eating tomatoes.  I told her a little dirt was good for kids. ;)  I was a little worn out by the time we were through and Nori napped in the car, so I didn't get my nap time.

Honey got her 6 month check-up, plus 4 shots and an oral vaccine Friday.  Nori got a nasal mist flu vaccine.  The nurse asked if she wanted a bandaid and she knew right where to put it- under her nose! She had the "Mom, I need you" look after getting the mist up her nose and her prompt placement of the bandaid made me laugh so hard.  I would have laughed harder, but didn't know if I should. 

Honey is getting really good at sitting up on her own.  And she can grab things really well and is experimenting with the highs and lows and volume of her voice.  She loves the games where you do things like tossing her up in the air a little bit and will just giggle and giggle.

Yesterday we had a lot of fun at the park with the giant maple leaves.  We would toss them into the air.  We also loved watching the wind blow tons of maple helicopters down with a big gust.  Nori liked it when I would run to catch them.
 
 
Ok, time for the photo summary of all kinds of cuteness.

Sister love!

Mommy made her first quilt.  Not perfect in a quilter's eyes, but perfect for my girl.  Flannel top, cuddle fleece back.  She loves it and it fits her toddler bed.  She better fit in that bed for a while, it was a lot of work to make that thing!

Nori loves to feed Honey Bee.


My little pumpkin.

My two little pumpkins!

I just love her smiles!

Now THAT'S a sleepy face.


 


 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall!

I have always loved fall because school starts again!  Even though I am not going to school or teaching anymore and the kids aren't in school yet, I love that things start back up in the fall.  I love my routine.  Our normal activities have started back up at church, we've scaled down on some things and picked up some new things.  Gordon is getting involved in the music at church again, which I'm happy about.  We have been here two years now, and he hasn't really made many close friends.  I think this will be a great opportunity for him to connect with some people.  Plus, it's just fun for him.  I am leading a table at our moms group again this fall and am helping out with a parenting class.  The course is taught via DVDs but I helped with some of the planning, revised the note taking guide to be more helpful for our international guests, bring some snacks to share each week, and play the role of MC. Last week I managed to step on the switch for the power strip running the projector just before I was going to start up the DVD.  Oh well.  The guests seemed to enjoy the class and some said they were going to tell some friends about it for next week.

The area we live in is such a melting pot of different cultures.  My Chinese friend B invited me to Chinese story time at a mall nearby.  We went and it was a lot of fun.  Some was in Chinese, some in English.  While we were there B held Honey for me for a while.  She told me later that the other Chinese moms thought she was so cute, but one had asked if I had shaved her head!  Hahaha!  Gave me a good laugh.  B remembered that Nori had the same hairstyle when she was that age so she was able to tell her that I hadn't. I have decided that this hairstyle is ideal for little babies because I can just use a wash cloth to wash her hair when I give her a bath.  After the Chinese story hour the teacher was going to give all the kids a stamp and told them to line up.  Nori knows nothing about lines yet and slipped right through to the front next to the line.  There were too many people crowded around for me to get in there easily with Hannah, so I couldn't really help her find the line.  The lady ignored her in order to take care of the kids who were in the line, which was fine.  But I was proud to see Nori waiting ever so patiently with two fists out while she stood right next to the teacher watching everyone else get a stamp.  I was glad she was able to be so patient. 

Another funny incident with B happened when we were in a consignment shop.  B's daughter K was playing with a toy there and another little boy came up and wanted to show her how to do something with it.  K doesn't speak English, so all she knew was that the boy appeared to be taking her toy.  She did what many two year olds would and whopped him with it!  He was upset (rightfully so), but it really was just a misunderstanding.  How was he to know K didn't understand him?  And how was she to know he wasn't taking her toy?

I'm really happy that Nori and Honey still really love each other.  In the mornings I let Nori watch a video (usually Elmo) when I take a shower and I put Honey in the bouncer in the bathroom with a toy.  The other day Honey looked tired, so I nursed her to sleep in my bed and then decided to leave her there with pillows to block her from rolling off.  When I peeked out to see how she was doing I found Nori up on the bed cuddling with her.  Honey was still asleep and Nori was just happy to cuddle.  It was really sweet.  I really hope they will always be good friends.  Honey also finds Nori hilarious sometimes.  Sometimes all Nori needs to do is run around doing the crazy things two year olds do and Honey just laughs and laughs.

I should probably wrap things up, but I want to tell my dear aunts that I have neglected to email that they should find a real piece of snail mail soon and I will try to email soon.  *HUGS*

Picture time.
I can grab my toes now.  Yum!

Just after eating an ice cream sandwich.  That's how I feel about ice cream, too.

Nori wanted to eat lunch on the couch.  I suggested a picnic on the floor.  She started describing something I didn't understand.  Later I figured out she wanted a fort.  We ate in the fort.

Serious faces.  Do we look like sisters?

Honey's first fort.

Trying to get a selfie at the farm.  Can you spot the strawberry juice I dripped on Honey's hat?  Way to go, Mom!

Smiler.



   

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vacation

We had a great time back in MI visiting family.  First we visited my family for our family reunion, then hubby's.  The time came and went far too quickly and I didn't even get to see half of the people I wanted to or for as long as I wanted to.  Sorry Grandma and Grandpa F. and Nana that we didn't see you this time. :(  We will definitely plan time to see you at Christmas!

During the vacation my Nori-girl started purposely putting her poopy in the potty again.  Yay!  I think it was in part that she was having too much fun to keep it in.  Then something seemed to click and we had poop after poop.  There must have been somewhat of a backlog.





Hubby climbed the pole!




Nori and her best friend at the fair.




At Lake Michigan


On our way to the airplane to go home.  Daddy was making us smile.

Playing in the activity seat.

"Nori-baby has a funny looking Frisbee on her face."



Some of my joys from today:
1.  Nori and Honey played together.  They played with the toys on Honey's activity seat and jumped on the bed together which resulted in giggles from both.
2.  Nori has figured out that my legs are prickly sometimes.  Today she said, "Daddy is not prickly because he has whiskers on his leg."  Made me laugh!
3.  Tonight at bedtime Nori said, "I want to hold your hand!"  This would have been endearing except that she had an index finger working its way up each nostril at the time.


So thankful for my little family.