Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Theo's Bday

Here we go ... an attempt to shows some highlights from Theo's big day of 2 !

Mommy deserves so much credit here for this wonderful day, and for alllllllll the preparations for the party, and never mind Christmas in just another few days!
Here is the beautiful cake that was worked on for days and days ... !
If you look carefully there is a pic of Theo and Kaia driving the engine at the front here!
 Here is Daddy with his leg down (for a moment - nice ugly knee no?) opening a big ball present
 Theo trying to blow out the candles on his cake
 Theo getting help/advice from the big girls re: opening presents
 Kaia enjoying the pool
 Theo enjoying watching others enjoying the pool!
 One of Theo's presents - a little tent/pod ... approx. 5 little wee ones can fit in here, and they love the privacy ... I think though at this point Kaia enjoys the present more than Theo does ... no matter!
 and Theo opening up his truck gift ... great look on his face huh? - like he has never seen a truck before?!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Xray Day

 
Look at that big boy!!  Theo's birthday lasted for 3 days.  But since Amy has the pics I will wait and post about it later.  He did spike a fever before all the excitement and Kaia took very good care of him.  Very nice sisterly moment. 

 In the meantime... Carl's knee.  
It's a chip of the ol' patella.  
You actually have to rotate the photo 90 degrees counter clockwise (or your head 90 degrees clockwise) to see the picture correctly... the chip lies ABOVE the knee.  Going on 11 days now and healing is slow but steady.  Seeing the physio was the best thing he could have done.  He initially scared us into thinking that Carl would have to be evacuated to Canada for surgery... so now a little chip doesn't seem so bad.  We will just have to give it some time and then see how he feels after the swelling is down and circulation back up.  Lots of ice and regular massage.  Doesn't sound SO bad... but Carl isn't one to sit around for long.  Hopefully he doesn't go mad before this is over.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hummus

We had a very busy weekend... birthdays and Christmas a comin'!!

Carl's leg has buised up pretty well.  It will be slow to heal, Carl is coping pretty well.  It isn't easy for him to have to sit around.  Ear is doing great though!!
These pics are actually from a few weeks ago but I didn't have any new shots from the weekend and these are pretty cute...

 You know how Kaia and I have been doing a lot of cooking together... well Theo does like to help too.
  He does better helping with things that aren't sweet so here he helps Daddy make hummus.

 Very involved.  Very interested.

Hmmmmmm.  Yuck!!

Ha Ha!!  He KNOWS he shouldn't be pickin' this while cooking that'!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Knees and Ears

 UNCLE DAVE!!!
First thing this morning we got online hoping to catch you before your big move but you were already gone.  Very sad to see your skype name NOT online.  We hope you had a great move and that your internet gets hooked up sooner rather than later.
 Daddy update.  
Sunday he couldn't even move, Monday he was up a few times on two crutches, Tuesday he was hobbling around out of boredom on one crutch, and by Wednesday he was ready to head back to work.  I think it was a little premature and that in combination with the LONG days was definitely taxing and by Thursday night he was exhausted and ready for the weekend, yet he still pursued and went in on Friday too.

BUT... on Friday there was a staff party and goodnaturedly he hobbled there and blopped himself down in a chair in the middle of the garden.  It was a Posh/Bohemian party with a golf game set up in the immense garden.  You know, one of those parties.  Very fun!!  Until... Carl got HIT IN THE EAR BY A STRAY GOLF BALL!!!  I mean honestly, talk about hitting a guy when he is down.  Thankfully he was chatting with out town Doc and she superglued him right up.  

He is handling it all very well and is in very good spirits this morning.

 Meanwhile my work-mate was gone for 2 weeks in Dar for a Christmas Fair but came back for Thursday.  So Theo spent a lot of time with Moses as I have been building a playground out of used tires.  We are both having a blast.  Theo loves to do what Moses does.  Pics to come of the playground but so far it has just been a lot of garden cleaning.

Bibi has arrived!!!  Theo loves her and could say her name just a few minutes after he met her.  He showed her all of our Christmas decor and he cuddled right up and had her read book after book.  Obviously Amy is over-the-moon happy too.

And here is Kaia.  Busted!!!
I was cooking dinner and could hear some rustling around the tree so I grabbed the camera and snuck around the corner.  She had been collecting the popcorn in this little pink box and then dragging Theo into the guest room, hiding behind the bed, and eating it with him!!  This is TOTALLY her guilty face!!

The popcorn is getting pretty stale so this problem is solving itself.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Santa

I have been very good this year.  I love cooking with Mommy, putting up the Christmas tree, putting up the ornaments, putting up the stockings, going swimming, going to the library, playing with my kitty and lizard.  I like eating, collecting eggs, playing with my friends, playing with my brother, and hugging my Mummy and Daddy.  I know sometimes I don't always ask before I take things, sometimes I say things that are not true, and sometimes I don't always listen right away.  I am going to try to be better.  I put the lights on the Christmas tree.  I want a princess.  I want the silly doggie from the big cold mall.  I also want a tiny pink bear.  Sometimes I climb trees.  And my daddy fell down on the grass and he hurt his knee and he is at work now but he hops with a little stick.  

Love,                                       
 Kaia                                           

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rudolph

So I know most of you on Carl's side haven't met many of us on my side... 
I would like to introduce my beautiful neices and nephews.
These are the children of my little brother Tom and his wife Tataya.
They are Oliva, Jai, and Munay.

video

Oliva is 13 months older than Kaia.  When she was 3 months old we visited and they let me carry her almost the entire time.  That was when Carl and I decided we were ready :)
Jai is 7 months younger than Kaia.
Munay is only a few weeks older than Theo.
They were quite the crazy clan at the campground together this summer!!

video
I turned it on for Theo one day while Kaia was gone at school.  He knows how to start the video again by himself and he watched this at least 20 times!!  AT LEAST 20 times!!
He can't say Oliva at all, no problem saying Jai, and listen for what he calls Munay :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Tree

Finally tree weekend!!

 When things weren't progressing fast enough Kaia decided to BE the Christmas tree.

 We all helped hang the stockings and Kaia handed them out.  Left to right it is Daddy, Mommy, Kaia, and Theo.  I thought for sure she would want the Teddy one for herself. 

 The finished tree.  While Theo was napping we put up the ornaments and made a popcorn chain.  We didn't get too far but  it was so pretty that I couldn't help myself and finished it off in the evening.  The bottom row is disappearing quickly!!

And the highlight of the evening.  Finally we get to dig into the Christmas cookies!!  It took all of Theo's willpower to wait while I took the photo.

And here is the selection... 
THANKS MOM FOR ALL THE RECIPES!!
Homemade eggnog
Mint bars
Phefernussen
German checkerboards and swirls
Chocolate covered cherries
Mint candy canes
Kaia's cutouts
I am very proud and the rest of the family would say how happy they are... 
but their mouths are full.

On a sad note...
On Sunday Carl fell from our kids swing as he played with the kids.  His knee is swollen pretty badly and turning a nasty color of blue.  He is doing alright, probably not broken or anything too serious.  His spirits are high and he is already getting around the house a bit on crutches.  He will probably stay home tomorrow as well but try to get back to work on Wednesday.  We'll see how he feels. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cookies

'Tis the Season!!
I am trying to be very hard to my Mom/Grandma this year and have been slaving in the kitchen all week long.  Every time Carl is heading home from school I seem to need more eggs, flour, or butter.  I have learned a whole lot about sifting and butter texture.  Still have a lot to learn about my oven!!

 I have the children's attention.

 Today we invited a few of Kaia's friends over to decorate cookies. 
First they cut them all out which was 'so much work!'

 But the decorating was very fun.  A touch messy. 
Bless Carl.  He found me a canister of sprinkles, albeit for an insanely high price tag.  Those smiles (and all the giggles, and even the sore bellies the next day) are worth every penny.

 Awesome results!!
So we sat down to enjoy a few with a warm mug of hot chocolate.
And after a warm mug of hot chocolate?
.
.
.

the SPRINKLER!!!
Gotta say I really don't miss the snow even the tiniest little itty bitty bit.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mud Puddles

After a few busy days it is time for some lounge time.  
Playing and relaxing in the garden.
But what should we do when it starts to rain?

 Yup.  That's right baby!!
Find the biggest mud puddle you can...

 ...and jump as HIGH as you can!
Can you get the mud to splash all the way up to your hair!?!
(Notice the cheeks that are still red from yesterdays performance)

 And run run run!!
Slide slide slide!!

And then a warm
colorful
fluffy towel awaiting
fancy shampoo 
bath

Look at the color of that water!!!
They've gotta be clean now, right?

Kaia-ism:
Kaia and I were baking cookies.  Daddy was going to run errands and I had something I wanted to add to the list.
Me:  Kaia could you tell Daddy something for me?
Kaia:  No, I don't want to.
A few moments later...
Kaia:  Ok, I will go tell Daddy something for you.
and she runs out of the kitchen.
Me (yelling behind her):  Don't you want to know what to tell him?
Kaia (yelling back):  YES!!
a few moments later... Kaia returns.
Me:  So did you tell Daddy?
Kaia:  Yep.
Me:  Umm, what did you tell Daddy?
Turns out she told him goodbye :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RATS

RATS
The Musical

Kaia has been practicing for months.  But despite all the 'practicing' she had done at the house I have a very blurry picture of what the performance would actually look like.  So long loong day today.  Show at 1pm and another at 630pm!!  Pretty demanding for the little tikes.

 According to Kaia she was a farmer.  They sang Old McDonald Had A Rat.  They all wore overalls, straw hats, and wellies.  The 'makeup crew' gave them all rosy red cheeks.  Her first performance was Tuesday afternoon and she hasn't let me wash her cheeks since.

 Despite the funny photo above, Theo actually loved the show.  It was FANTASTIC!!!  The school invested in a professional 'play package'.  So the songs and lines were written for them.  The songs were great and there was humor for all ages to appreciate.  Each classroom teacher was in charge of a song and the songs were glued together by some small acting scenes.  They have enough good actors in Primary that these scenes were hilarious.  And as for the music, with the work so spread out each teacher could really focus on their section and EACH song was really great!!!  Theo and all the little kids were bopping to the music and had their eyes glued to the stage.  Adults too, it was really impressive.  When the first performance finished I was really excited for the second to start. 

 I videoed during both performances and don't have many still shots yet, it will take a few days before all the dotting parents exchange photos.  But I couldn't wait to give you a taste so more shots will come in the next few days.  Here is the final section when everyone gets on stage to take a bow.  Can you find Kaia in the front row on the right in a little overall dress and pink wellies.
 ~Old McDonald Had A Rat~
EC Class 2011 


I am really proud of her for doing this!!  She has gone back and forth the past few weeks between being very excited and very proud and warning me 'I'm not going to get up on that stage mommy!'.  Well she did.  Three times!!  She was a bit of an emotional wreck after each performance today... teary, shy, emotional, grumpy.  But it faded fast each time and she DID it!!  And even though she doesn't want to talk about it too much, she is very proud of herself. 

Theo did love the show!  And during the thank you section at the end he kept screaming out AIA AIA AIA.  He sang songs about rats and chatted about rats and Kaia all the way home.  Well half the way home until he instantaneously crashed due to exhaustion.  Carl said that during the night Theo stirred and again yelled out NO RATS!!
Here they are again.  Final stage walk during the final show.  730pm.  Pretty late for Kaia.  Can you find her again?  And what is that she is hugging?  Is that her Pretty Pink Sticker Purse?  Good night folks.  Another great day here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Father Christmas

Gearing up for Christmas here now.  
We plan to put up the tree this weekend and to me that means Christmas cookies and Eggnog!!  How do I make eggnog?  So I spent the better part of today baking my mom's old recipes and will try to do a few more batches throughout the week.

 Theo helped.

 Then in the afternoon Father Christmas came to Melanie's house.  A German tradition we really enjoyed being a part of.  The kids waited patiently for an HOUR for his knock at the door and were so excited when he finally arrived!!  Even the non-German kids weren't too surprised to see him in this outfit... I guess any old guy sporting a big beard and funny attire with a bag of gifts will do.

Kaia has asked some questions about how Santa looks different sometimes... how could she not when he was black just a few weekends ago!!  We explained he can't go everywhere and see everyone, especially this time of year when he is so busy.  So instead he has many helpers who represent him.  A little girl today explained to me that he is a bit like a chameleon; he looks different when he goes to different places and meets different people, to fit in.  I thought that was quite clever too.

I did tell Kaia last night that she did once meet the REAL Santa in Finland when she was just a baby, and that was very special since most of the time you do only see the helpers.  I told her that we saw him in the Post Office when we were mailing our Christmas presents and that he gave her a candy.  Then I sat back to enjoy the beauty of a child who still believes in Santa.  The magic and wonder in her eyes, I think her cheeks even suddenly became more plump and rosy.  I don't know that I have ever seen her so excited.

 Anyway... Father Christmas was so good with the kids they were all entranced.  The night before I emailed him a few lines of what Kaia and Theo had been doing lately and something they could work on.  All the parents did so he took a moment to speak to each child individually. 

Kaia:   
Very helpful in the kitchen including candy cane cookies
Very caring with Theo including putting him down for a nap this weekend
Inspiring and uplifting when she does her crafts or dances to music
A few times she has said things that are not true

 
Theo:   
Very helpful in the yard including getting chicken eggs and keeping chickens out of the garden
Makes everyone around him happy with his infectious laughter
Can sometimes be a little rough with Sassy

And when Kaia's shyness reared and she plastered herself to my leg I was really worried he would devastate her by reprimanding her for lying in front of other people.  But good old Santa did a great job and skimmed right over it... no wonder everyone loves him so much.   

 I brought presents for the kids that I slyly gave to Melanie for him to give to the kids.  I had no car the last 2 days and just picked them from our gift stash.  Theo even helped he wrap them, I figure he won't really be the wiser.  Kaia was too shy to go up an get hers but Theo was more than happy to assist.

Kaia got this Pretty Pink Sticker Purse. and she RECOGNIZED it from the gift stash!!!  She didn't think much of it though and explained to Daddy that Santa came to the house to pick out her gift!!  Hilarious.  And a lesson that I am going to have to be more careful.

Pray also recognized his gift.  When Santa left behind a small rope Pray commented about it to me.  I said I was sure it would be no problem, when he got home he could tell the Elves and they could make a new one.  Pray said, 'the elves didn't make my present, he got mine at the Blue Heron.'   Clever kids.

Anyway... Kaia slept with her book all night long.  She held it in her hand while she slept an dragged it with her when she squirmed or rolled over.  It was still in her hand when she woke up this morning.  So cute!!  I think I am loving Christmas even more as and adult than I did as a kid.  Is that even possible?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

No Dada

Another working weekend for Carl.  I would complain but Friday is a holiday and as of the 22nd we are off for Christmas break.  Yea!!

This is what the house looks like when Dada isn't around to clean it.  It was also movie night so... 'we'll start the movie as soon as the living room is clean' has all the power in the world.

And it can't be a coincidence that I have so many car problems when Carl isn't around.  
Dead Battery.
 Totally my fault again.  It started to rain, I put the keys in the ignition to put the windows up, I got distracted.  Same old story.  2 hours later it wouldn't start.  Shocking.  Kids do enjoy the drama though.

 Science 101:
Hypothesis:  Children enjoy animal food more than my cooking
Procedure:  Offer snack.  
When refused put leftovers in animals bowls.  
Watch children for reaction.
Keep camera handy for documentation
Conclusion:  Theo does in fact enjoy the animal's food more than his own.

 Tonight is movie night right?
That means naps.  I told Kaia if she wanted to watch a movie then her and Theo had to nap.  So she marched him in the bedroom, had him read her a story, and rubbed his belly until... 

... the unbelievable happened.  How amazing are these kids?  Now she didn't actually sleep but she did lay in bed for a good 30-45 minutes quietly reading stories next to him.  

A movie well deserved... Captain Hook.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Elderberries

I have a BOIL in my ARMPIT!!!
It is awful, just awful.  I will spare you the pic.  You know how Theo loves to grab on to my armpits?  Well it turned into pinching and one day when his nails were abnormally long he cut me pretty good.  I can only assume that is what started this whole mess because it is in the same place.  5 days now.  I thought it was doing better but ran into the doc at school today and she gasped when she saw it.  So I went to see the homeopath and will go with that approach till Monday. If that fails it is antibiotics for me :(  Will keep you posted.
AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL

MOSES...
Interesting news to report.  Moses has a new pair of shorts.  They are a navy blue pair of what appear to be silk boxers with big white stars on them like an American Flag.  They are SO funny!!!  But I feel funny asking for a pic to show you, I wouldn't want to embarrass him, but I may have to sneak a pic if he keeps wearing them!!

 Elderberry Syrup
 We harvested Claudia's Elderberry flowers and I made my first attempt at homemade syrup.  I tossed in a few mint leaves to spice things up a bit.

 After 24 hours of marinating in sugar water.

Theo was shockingly helpful and Kaia took the pics.


This family project made 2 bottles.  We are set for ages... especially since the kids don't even like it all that much :)