The last few days here have either been raining or wet so we've been stuck indoors. (Plus the whole swine flu thing going on we don't want to mingle at the library or other kid places.) So yesterday the boys watched a movie - with popcorn. Popcorn gets them so excited and if we eat it without daddy then it's extra special because they know daddy likes it and they got some and he didn't, ha ha! (Wow, was that a run on sentence or what?) While I was making lunch the boys drove round and round me on their cars so I would block them and say "red light" and then move and say "green light". They know what the lights mean and even like to tell me when to stop or go while we're in the car. So I thought it might be fun to make our own traffic lights. We painted small paper plates red and green and then glued popsicle sticks to them. (Actually I used foam plates and the paint is chipping off of them. I think today we're going to color circles on carstock paper and try again.) After they were dry we took turns being the traffic light. I'm hoping this will also help Alex learn some colors. Zachary's got them down but Alex still get confused.Notice Zachary's boots & shorts ensemble? He wears them every day beginning as soon as he wakes up - pajamas and all.
While cooking dinner tonight I stuck my fingers in hot oil and burned them so bad I wanted to cry. (Miraculously they haven't even blistered but I did soak them in ice water all through dinner.) Thankfully my hubby Chris and our friend Brad jumped in to finish up the cooking. I had to grab my camera to catch these two men in the kitchen - what a nice sight!
After dinner we got a call from Alex's speech teacher telling us that our school will be closed until May 11th due to the swine flu. We don't have any cases here yet but I guess they're being extra careful.
O.K. don't get too excited yet. We haven't actually started anything but we are almost ready to add a little sister to our family. Although our Russia experience was good and we have two wonderful boys from that country, we're not immediately signing back up for another Russian adoption (we might end up there though). We are no longer afraid of domestic adoption. We're even looking into to foster care adoption. Now that we already have two children we need to find the right fit for our family. Some countries require longer stays than others which would be hard for us (with or without taking the boys). The domestic agencies I've contacted so far haven't worked out - one isn't accepting new families and the other doesn't accept families with two or more children already at home. We know very little about foster care adoptions and are waiting on more information. So today, we know our hearts are ready for another "baby" - we just have to find her.
While I was gone to an eye appointment this morning Chris made the boys tents over their beds. They thought it was so cool and had to show me right away. Unfortunately Zachary's got torn down but Alex decided he wanted to nap under his this afternoon.
Today Zachary got boots to go along with his new cowboy hat. He is in heaven. We stopped at a western store to get Chris some work boots and found some boys boots that didn't cost an arm and a leg (especially when they don't wear them that long). We thought about holding out until Zach's birthday in July but he was so excited that we couldn't make him wait. Alex tried some on too and said he wanted some but I knew he really didn't care and he couldn't even walk in them.
Fiesta is a big deal in San Antonio. It lasts about ten days long and is full of parades & parties. This coming friday even many schools will be closed for a big parade. Yesterday the National Guard had a Fiesta celebration of their own. The boys and I went a little bit early so we could stop by Chris's work and look at the helicopters. Zachary was so excited all morning saying he was going to "fly a green one". Of course we didn't get to fly but the boys had fun sitting in it and looking at it.
Zach is ready to go!
Then it was off to Fiesta! There was a big stage and live music, dancers, etc throughout the day. Lots of booths of food and games for the kids. There was also a pony ride. The boys were so excited to ride a pony, which they've done once before, but when it came time Alex sat on it and immediately asked to get back off. Zachary wanted to ride both ponies.
Both boys had very messy Spiderman ice creams.
With daddy's help, Zachary won a cowboy hat. He was so happy.
The Fife and Drum Corps performed. They play all over the country and even for the President. They had to be so hot yesterday in those uniforms.
We had a good time and maybe next year we'll go to some of the parades. One of them is even on the river.
While at my parents last weekend my mom gave me a potty training book. I really need to read it. Both boys will go to the potty when you take them but neither will tell you when they really have to go. I haven't been as hard-core in potty training as I should be but I also always hear that it won't happen until they're ready. Please tell me I'm not the only one with a 3 1/2 year old that's not potty trained?!
It's fun living in a wooded area. I think the boys are going to just enjoy it more as they get bigger. We see fun things all the time. We have a decorative mail box on our front porch which is now doubling as a birds home. I can't get a shot of the bird and haven't seen or heard any babies yet but I'm keeping an eye out.
The boys and I spotted a little brown lizard today on our nearly dead ficus tree on the front porch.
We've found more squirrels in the tree outside out dining room windows. I think there are three of them living in one hole in the tree and we've been having fun watching them for the last few days.
We also saw six deer about 20 feet away from Alex's bedroom window yesterday morning. I was changing Zach's diaper when Alex told me to come and look in his room. I couldn't get to my camera but the three of us watched them for awhile. What I'm hoping to never have to see and post about are snakes and scorpions. We're already trying to train the boys as to what they do if they see these things - run, run, run and get mama or daddy. Then daddy will "go boom" with a gun if it's a snake.
Happy Easter....just a few days late. We headed out to my parents for the long Easter weekend. We were surprised by my younger sister who decided to come at the last minute so we had a house full of kids. We got rain on Easter morning but that didn't stop the church Easter egg hunt. They just moved it indoors. Let me tell you, it was a madhouse. Since you can't really hide eggs inside a big hall they were all over the place, floor, on the tables, in the chairs. We now have way, way too much candy!
Since Easter is a big holiday in Russia I decided to try adding a Russian tradition this year. I made a Kulich which is a Russian Easter coffee cake. It's really more like bread with fruit and nuts in it. It's baked it a coffee can so it comes out round. It took four hours or so to make because it has to rise three times and then bake for an hour. I actually turned out despite hearing that it doesn't always cook through. I didn't really like it though. I'm glad to have tried it but this may not be a Russian tradition for us.
Without further ado - pictures!
Easter morning. At the egg hunt.
Baking the kulich.
Another attempt at a grandkid picture.SistersMy family
When I went to wake up Alex for school this morning I said softly "Alex, wake up. It's time to get ready for school." He cracked his eyes open and said "Two minutes mom" and closed his eyes again. I have a feeling that as a teenager it will be more than two minutes though.
Who knew that it would be so much fun to buckel and unbuckle a seatbelt? Zachary and I were early picking up Alex from school yesterday so we sat in the car to wait awhile. I let Zachary out of his carseat and he sat up front by me. He found out that he could work the seatbelt pretty much on his own. He got the giggles every time!
In my new Glamour magazine that I was reading today they were talking about someone doing a 30 day challenge to eat at home. I know I can't realistically do that. Sometimes that's the only way I get to leave the house! I did though, decide to make a menu plan for the rest of the month (not including weekends) that I really want to stick too. This way I'll grocery shop on Tuesday's while Alex is in class & I only have Zach (that's the easiest time for me) for that week's meals. The weekends are free for eating out or leftovers. While making this menu it really help for me to write down everything we typically eat or new recipes I want to try. That way I could pick from that list. I actually think I'm going to type up the list and keep it. That way I can always look at it instead of in ten different cook books for ideas. Unfortunately Chris is out of town again until Thursday so my new plan won't start until next Monday. It still feels good though and I think it'll take most of the stress out of meal planning. Plus, I've worked one meal into each week that has leftovers that will freeze nicely. That way I'll have a backup for emergencies, weekends, or whatever. Any other leftovers the boys and I will eat for lunch during the week.
I've been feeling crafty lately for some reason so yesterday I came up with another project for the boys. I think they have fun doing it but the second they're done they want down from the table to go go go. We made baby chicks. First I traced a chick on cardstock paper. Then I covered it with glue and let the boys stick on cotton balls for the chick fluff.
Next we dabbed the chick with yellow paint.
After it was all dry we used an orange crayon to color the feet and beak. Here is the finished product.The boys suggested taping them to the dining room windows and I should have taken a picture before I put it up there. They are really cute and we didn't make a big mess even with glue and paint on the table. Alex did his pretty much all by himself (well I put on the glue) because he's used to glue and paint from school. Zachary had to have a little help with the paint. He kept wanting to use two hands - one to hold the bottom and one to hold the top of the paintbrush.
This afternoon Spiderman (Zach) and myself (The Incredible Hulk) went to a birthday party for Batman (Alex). Ahhh.......good times. (The boys know that Mama's not a fan of violence so we usually have birthday parties with our toys instead of fighting crime or something.)
Zachary has been asking alot lately about us eating outside on the deck. I keep telling him that it's too cold or too windy (whether it was or not). Well today the sun is shining and I said lets do it! I think the boys really wanted me to cook outside on the grill too but I wasn't up for that with Chris gone again. So we had pb&j and sliced oranges. It didn't really matter - Zachary wasn't going to eat when he could watch airplanes go by or listen to birds chirping. I told them that after their nap we could go back out and play. Although we still don't have much of a yard there is a little work that I need to do back there.
I am a stay at home mom to two boys adopted from Russia in November 2007. We went from a family of two to a family of four overnight. Alex and Zachary sure keep us on our toes! Hubby is also currenty deployed so I'm temporarily a single mom. Boy is that alot of work!