Friday, September 30, 2011

Can you say?

Found a new options page on here that allowed me to make it easier for people to comment.  So if you have been trying and having problems maybe it will work now.  Can you see the rainbows and hear the chirping bird sounds?

And the successful uploading of a video a few days ago prompted even more video creations.  Here is Kaia showing off Theo's new vocabulary.  Notice how he gets distracted by the 2nd to last word.

and a quick Theo-ism :
2nd siblings learn some lessons FAST
                                        Mommy:  Theo, who brought the plush toys outside?
                                        Theo:  Me 
                                        Mommy:  Theo, the plush toys get dirty and do not belong outside
                                        Theo:  Kaia 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day off

Wednesday is still our day off and this Wednesday was packed with fun.

 Craft Day.  Kaia was able to craft with us.  We made nice soap out of not so nice soap.  This is Kaia's that she made for Daddy... mint scented with bougainvilleas and calandula petals.

 Then we joined her friend at her school for Literacy Day.  It was really well run with a story circle, face painting (of coarse) and a Make Your Own Book center.  Then there were a few performances by the teacher and each class.  

 Both the kids were especially shy since they didn't know anyone.  But they quickly overcome their shyness (and are developing a reputation) for never being too far from the sweets table.  And here, for the gooiest brownies ever, you can see Theo will fight (I mean share) until the very last crumb.

Then we madly rushed home, dropped of Theo, scarfed down some lunch, and the girls headed out to the movies.  Winnie the Pooh is here and there are hardly ever movies that are appropriate for little kids showing at our one little tiny theater.  Kaia hasn't been to the theater since the day before she started school last year.  This was very special and we went with her friend and mom so it was also girly. 

 Then we came home for a few last moments with Pray and Amy.  As fast as they came, they have now just as quickly gone.  Amy will be a live in nanny for a 2 week old baby.  Absolutely awesome experience and opportunity, but they will be SOOO missed!!

And 'what's all that flashing' Grandma asks as she squints trying to see us on skype in the dark while simultaneously being blinded by camera flashes.  Oh, it's just PJ documenting every moment of her children's lives.   
My beautiful family.
Look how happy they are :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sit, Roll over

Morning ya'll.

The left egg is Mama's.  Legs has also started laying again which has decreased her dinner plate appeal.  The monster on the right we bought at the grocery.  Identical twins?

 Carl made up a new game for the kids last night.  He has a toy basket in his lap.  As they pass on his left they get a new toy, as they pass on his left they have to drop it in the basket.  I don't know why he was yawning.  The game was so fun!!

This is an old video we have tried every now and again to upload.  It is Theo mimicking the doggie commands.  I think it may have worked today!!  Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Toilet Paper

Nice Weekend.  Carl has been sick or working for what feels like forever and a Friday night dance and all day Saturday meetings in Moshi were the end of my rope.  But today we all spent a relaxing Sunday doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.

We all did what makes us happiest.  Kaia painted her nails, I did yoga, Carl shopped, and Theo went to town on the toilet paper rolls.  He LOVES taking the blue paper wrappers of each one.  I was baking cookies at the time and knew he was doing it but was thankful to have a few peaceful minutes to work.  The mess has yet to be cleaned.

Baking?  But our oven is broken.  I don't know.  It started working again.  Why would I even check you wonder.  I don't know that either.  Now it takes 2 hours instead of 50 minutes to bake bread but way better than no bread at all.  It was so good with our all American Chili for dinner.

Now I need a down home Canadian dish recipe.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Spirit Week Continues...

 Nationality Day.
If you ask what her nationality is, Kaia can tell you she is Canadian and American.

 Famous Persons Day.
Kaia is a princess.  Carl is Homer Simpson.  ?!?  I don't know. 

 Theo at Music Makers.  He loves this playhouse.  We usually stay for an hour or so playing after the songs are finished and it usually takes him 55 minutes to refind the playhouse.  Then he refuses to leave.

 And it finally rained!!  Not for too long but enough to justify rain coats and boots, clean out the garden, and freshen the air.

Silly kids.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Carl's 44th

We spent a wonderful day preparing for Carl.  Literally from dawn till dusk.

Kaia spent days coloring and cutting out pictures from her coloring book.  She put them all up on the wall for Daddy.  I count approximately 37 that she painstakingly put up one by one with blue tack. 

We obviously made a cake too.  We were going to make one that said DADDY but the oven broke so we only had enough for DAD.  

Oven Story
Let's take a quick intermission here to tell our oven tale.  Tuesday seems to be our 'power' day so that has also become the baking day.  Starting in the morning I made 2 loaves of bread, pan of brownies, and a sheet of healthy cookies.  I was very proud of utilizing the power and accomplishing so much.  We had a second pan of brownies, second sheet of healthy cookies, baked chicken, and pappas still to go when the oven just quit on me.  SAD FACE.  So I sent Amy to our friends house to cook the chicken, cookies, and pappas.  What a lame day.  And how foolish did I feel sending my dinner off to cook in someone else's oven. Look's like we will have to forfeit our homemade bread for a while as it will probably take forever for the power AND fundi to overlap, assuming it is even fixable.  Sigh.

And Back to Birthday.  Kaia was an awesome help on the cake.  She frosted the A almost entirely by herself.  And here she is LICKING the frosting off her feet afterwards.  Amy took this shot and chose to click rather than reprimand.  EWWW!!

'We' made a picture frame for Carl for his birthday this year.  We also had a photo shoot on Sunday to get a nice shot.  Theo was a grumpy butt!!!  We took over 300 photos and I could barely find 6 that were nice.  Not only had Carl not seen the picture before, but Theo is also sporting Pray's old suit that Carl had never seen before so the gift was special on many levels.

This shot was also pretty hard to get since Theo was grumpy AGAIN.  But with a binky we were able to tame the beast and Carl is clearly pretty tired from the effort!  Kids take a lot out of you at 44!!!

Happy Birthday Dude!!
We love you!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jammie Day

Finally... Jammie DAY!!!
Gearing up for Daddy's birthday tomorrow.  Stay tuned for awesome live action 44th birthday shots. 

 Aren't they the cutest little bugs.  Notice what they are sitting on.  Kaia brought her kitten with her too.  Formerly known as Pepper, this kitten's name has switched so many times it is hard to keep up with.  Right now I think it is Rainbow Flower.
Here they show off their yoga back bends.  Pray can even put one leg up for a moment or two, Kaia can get her head off the ground sometimes, and Theo just likes to participate.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hippie Day

Car Status
So nice to have the car back... but... it was returned with an almost flat tire, it may be leaking a little now, the small change was missing from the ashtray, AND I found a rag in the engine!!  uugh.  I probably shouldn't be too surprised but come on!!

Washing machine status
It has been about 4 weeks now since the fundi came.  He knows exactly what part we need for the machine and we thought he hadn't come back because it was so hard to schedule around our power ON times.  But he just can't find the part.  Would have been considerate to text back and tell us that but I am probably being too picky.  So what now?  He is going to 'make' one.  Ha Ha!!  It is an electrical timing piece that tells the machine to move on to the next cycle.  This should get interesting.

ISM spirit week this week.  Hippie day.  
Kaia was very unimpressed.  It was sold to the EC class as people who 'wear lots of flowing clothes and flowers'.  I actually thought that would sell her.  Joan... I am sorry, I know you will be appalled by their definition.  Tomorrow will be better.  Jammie day.  And Kaia is so excited she can't wait.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fisherman's Tale

Yawn.  Slow Sunday.  Carl is still sick, I am exhausted from being up sick all night.  The kids are running rampant through the house and yard... just like kids should be doing anyway :)

 I caught this moment of play from across the yard without being noticed. They seemed to be walking down a parade route hand in hand waving and smiling at the crowd.  Who do you think initiated that game?  Kaia also ran around the house EIGHT times with Pray!!  Her personal best and then she was pooped!!!

 Where's Theo?  

And WHAT is he wearing?!?  Also notice the green toe nail polish.  Not exactly high fashion here but it keeps me laughing!!  They remind me of baby gruffulo feet.

 This is just SO Kaia.  I love this look of hers.

And we introduced 'Fisherman's Tale' into the kid's vocabulary.  Every day now we hear a few fisherman's tales, mostly to do with the size of the bananas they ate.  But here... well here is the real deal.  Look at the size of that noodle!!!  NO fisherman's tale!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some to go

Carl is home safe and sound... yea!!
 Carl is sick as a dog... boo!!
Our car is back in the driveway... yea!!
The power is on... yea!!
There has been so much going around school this week... parvo, mono, AND a stomach virus.  We are lucky we haven't suffered more so aren't going to complain.  Carl has been sick to his stomach on and off for about 36 hours now and I had a terrible but short lived bout of it last night.  So far the kids and Summer's family have been fine.  

Here are Amy and I after a workout looking totally red but happy.  She has been awesome about working out with me almost every day!!! 

And here is Pray joining in.  Both Pray and Kaia love to join us for our workouts for about 30 seconds.  The back bend is the cool move of the week.  Pray can do a full back bend and Kaia has the form and can almost push her head off the ground. 

One of Kaia's friends turned 4 this week.  Both Kaia and Theo are terrible about hanging around the snack table at ANY social event... munching the entire time.  They served the sweets first at this party and the main food didn't come until just before we were going to leave.  Kaia asks if she can take some food 'to go'.  I say sure figuring she will double fist some fries and a sausage.  Instead she...
neatly unfolds a napkin, piles it high with food, and wraps it all up into a bundle to take to the car!!   
You can see it in her lap in the photo. We should probably have a talk about etiquette but at the time I was so taken aback and was too busy trying to refrain from laughing out loud.  Who taught her this!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Art Class

Carl has been in Moshi for the last 2 nights and somehow we survived without him.  The first night was terrible... the kids wouldn't fall asleep for forever, slept terribly, and kept me up most of the night.  I set my alarm on my phone for the first time and the 'standard' setting is SILENT!!  The only reason I woke up in time to get Kaia to school was because Theo fell out of bed at 6am.  Poor guy.  Poor us.  Terrible way to start the day but it did get loads better by nightfall.

Funny driving bit...
Yesterday a water pipe broke and was spurting water 20 feet in the air at the side of the road.  It was at a dip in the road and a few cars had collected.  I was worried the dirt road had gotten muddy and that cars were struggling or stuck.  Turns out they were just taking turns sitting under the spray getting free car washes :)

Now that Kaia goes to school in the afternoons she does more creative projects.  Often she will just come home with pages of pictures or letters but they are always interesting.  Here is a self portrait of her with the rain, sun, and rainbow.   Because 'the sun and the rain make a rainbow' which she says she learned in school but since we have talked about it so many times I am going to claim teaching rights on that one. Notice all her toes.  She likes to include all the fingers and toes.

 And here is a bird flying above a field.  At the bottom you can see the grass and bird poop in the field :)  And because of that well organized bird poop this is one of my favorite drawings.

And as if to make up for the first night, last night they were angels and things couldn't have gone much more smoothly.  They slept soundly and I had to drag them out of bed in the morning.  Theo sat quietly in the car for the 2 hour and 15 minute carpool ride to school this morning.  Poor guy.  Also Amy's car overheated a bit from the drive, hopefully it isn't the sign of future problems.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Amy's Move

It took 2 hours to drive the kids to school this morning.  Brutal!!  Then Theo and I helped Amy move all her stuff over.  Her last load barely filled the car so I packed it with loads of other stuff she was planning on leaving behind.  You can never have too many toy cars!!  Our house is now bursting at the seams with toys, and books, and mags, and Tupperware :)

 We had a great time setting up the sitting room.  I LOVE unpacking and settling in even if it isn't my own stuff.  Amy was awesome and let me do whatever I wanted.  Win Win I guess.

 It wasn't until over an hour of playing in Pray's toy room (Pray was still at school) that Kaia finally asked... 'Mommy, why is there a whole room full of new toys?'  As if this sort of thing happens every day.  She hasn't put down Pray's Leapster since she unearthed it from the toy shelf.  She just might be a tech geek like her dad and Grandma Love.  She can already do it better than I can and is standing in the middle of the living room floor totally focused on it as I write.

And I just wanted to include one of Theo too.   Dimple Dude.  I found this on Amy's Facebook yesterday and thought it was so cute.  He was awesomely patient today... hanging out with Amy's chickens, bunnies, and door guy as we packed, sneaking a tube to toothpaste to eat, and was finally being rewarded with a whole room FULL of new toys!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Happy 40th Anniversary to my beautiful parents

This is the gnome couple that my mom got for my dad, they are cuddling on the couch.  This summer my father included Carl and I in their celebration by giving my mother a dreamy diamond studded cross to mark their 40 years together AND my 38th birthday.  But why celebrate my 38th birthday with a gift to my mother?   My father was 38 when I was born, thus marking the point in his life when has been a parent for as long as he has not.  Very romantic. 

 In our own mini celebration today we did the kids hair.  After Kaia had her hair braided Theo just HAD to have his done too.  Which is fine because it goes well with the pink nail polish he just HAD to have done the other day.

 And here is the fire across the street in the empty lot.  They burn garbage a lot and it drives me nuts.  But today the put the whole lot on fire and at points the flames were at least 5 feet above the bush line!!  I was terrified and wouldn't even let Carl leave to go shopping until it had died down.  Thankfully the wind was blowing the other way.

And in other news... our driveway is jinxed.   Here is Amy's poor car.  This suspension bar really shouldn't be dangling down like that.  So sadly her car is ALSO in the shop.  Pretty poor timing as she was supposed to finish moving out of her old apartment today.  We'll sort that somehow.  Her car has a  better outlook that our car though... it should be home tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Capsized Ferry

Very sad day for Tanzania...Hundreds feared dead after ferry capsizes off Tanzania

STONE TOWN, TANZANIA—An overcrowded ship carrying at least 600 people sank in deep sea near one of Tanzania’s top tourist destinations on Saturday, leaving at least 45 people dead and some 370 more believed missing or dead. Many of the missing are children.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Brownies :(

Brownies!!  I just want to bake 1 pan of brownies!!  Is it too much to ask for?  We woke up yesterday to no power and it didn't return until 830am this morning.  Brutal cuts this week, a minimum of 16 hours a day.  Amazing what we can adapt to though, quiet days and long dark evenings are just a way of life now.  As long as it comes on often enough to charge the computers and phones it is hardly a problem... except for the brownie cravings that come periodically!!!  Oh, and it would be nice to have some warm water for a shower every now and again.

 I was hoping for early potty training but Theo couldn't be less interested.  He did get a terrible case of diaper rash this week though so we did as much diaper free time as possible.  Poor cat is still Theo's best friend.

We are also working on building new relationships.  No worries because as you can see Theo LOVES 'Maame' and half the time we have to peel Kaia off her lap for baths and meals.  Soon I will take a video of how excited Theo is when they get up in the morning.

Kaia and Pray are also the best of friends and can barely do anything without each other these days.  Pray is very athletic and it is rubbing off on her... He will run laps around the house and now she goes with him.  Initially she would be 1/2 a lap behind him after just one lap but now she can almost keep up for one or two.  She also spends a lot more time on her balance bike.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grandpa Love...

Happy Birthday!!!!
You wear 76 beautifully!!  
Glad we were able to chat even if it was quickly and amidst quite a ruckus.
We all love you and hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Engine

The bad car news... we heard from the car guy today.  He says we need a new engine.  He has found one and the owner has agreed to sell.  How kind.  Any opinions on our situation would be very helpful.  We left the car in the shop over the summer so he could troubleshoot any impending problems.  He had it 7 weeks.  Then 3 weeks after we returned the engine started making funny noises, Carl brought it straight home, we had the mechanic come the next day, he found there was no oil in the engine.  NO OIL!!  In your opinion do you think the mechanic should take some responsibility on this?  Or do you think that after leaving it with the mechanic to troubleshoot problems that we should have checked the oil level within 3 weeks of having the car returned to us.  Obviously from my tone I am quite frustrated by this mechanic but could really use input from anyone that knows more about cars than us.

The good news... We have finally transitioned the kids to their own room :)  They start off there every night anyway.  Kaia quietly wakes up at some point every night and comes into our room, gets herself a pillow, and cuddles up with me.  I love it.  Then later each night Theo wakes up, realizes he is alone, and screams his head off until someone comes and rescues him from under the mosquito net.  Not quite so nice but a little endearing.  

Well... last night Carl fell asleep with the kids while putting them down to sleep.  So when Kaia woke up she was already snuggling a warm body and didn't have to come find me.  When Theo woke up he also found companionship close by and didn't have to scream for rescue.  So I...

 ... slept in this large bed that usually fits four, under my glorious down comforter, and with every single pillow all to myself all night long.  You'd think it was my birthday or something!

 And today was Kaia's day off school AND our first official craft day.  Claudia and I are hoping to set aside one day a week for kid and adult crafts.  Today was poorly planned but the kids did each make a rockin' picture frame of pink glittery satiny material.  Could it be any more girly?  Next week we are dreaming of making little concrete leaves to decorate the table and use as small bowls.  Ambitious?  Maybe but Claudia is the craft queen!!! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So life is S-L-O-Ho-Ho these days.  Still waiting on word about the car.  So glad Amy is here or I think I would have gone mad ages ago.  Today I hitched a ride to the stationary store and the veggie stand.  Exciting times.

This won't come as a surprise but Amy and I did have time to upgrade Pray's snorkel mask.  Carl is a touch jealous.  We also made fresh millet bread, and homemade mac and cheese with garlic almond green beans for dinner.  The house smells lovely.