Sunday, March 27, 2016

Update, March 27, 2016

I guess we can't really call it a weekly update anymore. :) But here's what we've been up to this month:

Isaac recently got retested for allergies and is still allergic to everything - trees, weeds, grass, dogs, cats, tree nuts, peanuts.  He tests positive for almonds and hazelnuts, but he's always been able to eat them with no problems.  Weird. 
Per our pediatrician's recommendation, we also got Daisy tested for some allergies, namely dogs/cats, and nuts.  She's not allergic to pets, but she definitely has an allergy to peanuts and almonds.  Sigh...
My birthday was last Saturday.  Collin and the kids did a great job making me feel special that day.  I woke up to presents: Isaac made me some paper flowers in a paper vase with an original poem, and Sammy made me a paper fan and a 3D card.  For dinner we all went to a sushi restaurant called "Tsunami." 

Our awesome neighbor Amy offered to take the kids for the afternoon, so we went to Home Depot... and ordered new flooring!!  We got a killer deal on installation for laminate, and the one we chose just happened to be super discounted, so we decided to go for it.  We will be removing all the existing flooring ourselves - all the baseboards, carpets, linoleum, and underlayment beneath the linoleum.

We recently had a nice sunny day so we took the family for a picnic at the park.  We all had a wonderful time and Daisy loved the swing. :)
The boys are still obsessed with Legos.  Sammy has really been wanting a Lego set called the "Earth Driller" - it's a vehicle with a drill on the front and internal gears that turn the drill as the vehicle moves.  I told him he could just make one himself with the parts we have so we went online and showed him the instructions for the official Earth Driller set and he adapted the instructions for the parts he had on hand and made this amazing pseudo-Earth Driller all by himself.
Sammy came home from school on Friday proudly brandishing a plastic sandwich bag with an earthworm in it.  His teacher had apparently done some science project with the kids involving worms and then let the kids take them home.  He insisted on filling a mason jar with some dirt and keeping his new pet ("Wormy" was its name) inside.  So all weekend we've had a small jar full of dirt sitting on our dinner table.  Boy, I love this kid!
Daisy's getting really close to crawling.  She can get up on all fours but so far can only crawl backward.  So she does this bizarre butt-shuffle to get around instead.  It's not obvious how she moves by watching her but somehow she just sits there, moves her legs a little, and suddenly she's several feet away.  Yet she still has trouble rolling over from her stomach onto her back, especially in the middle of the night. Sheesh.
The kids are having lots of fun playing with Daisy now.  At one point today I saw them all gathered around her for probably around 20 minutes hooting and hollering and having a wonderful time.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture.  But here's one of Sammy playing hide-n-seek with her.
Last week Isaac wanted to make cookies all by himself.  He did everything including reading out of the cookbook, measuring, mixing et cetera.  And the cookies were great!  (although for the first batch in the oven he put 1/2 cup oatmeal instead of 1 1/2 cups.)  But they still tasted great and he brought them to his cousins' house and the kids all ate his cookies.  He was so proud.  :)
Note the gap in the bottom row of his teeth: He finally lost his first tooth a couple weeks ago!!  He's the last kid in his class to lose a tooth, and there wasn't room for the adult tooth to come in so it's hanging out a little farther back than usual. 

Speaking of teeth, Daisy just cut her first two bottom teeth!  I don't have a picture yet, but it happened two days ago and she's very pleased with herself. 
On Friday the kids decorated Easter eggs.  Ellie LOVED it.  The boys did too, but Ellie sure had a wonderful time. She kept dying the same egg over and over in different colors, which really impressed the boys. Then a few hours later the eggs were mixed up to make egg salad sandwiches at their request.  (They were a little disappointed that the eggs weren't colored on the inside.)
We had our annual street-wide Easter egg hunt yesterday morning.  It had snowed a bit overnight and there was a bitter cold breeze, so everyone was a little glad when it was finished.  We had a great discussion with the kids about Jesus' Atonement and resurrection today.  And tonight we went to the Menkes' for Easter dinner.

Recently at a DI trip we found the game "Forbidden Island" for $2.  So good!  We played it today and Sammy and Isaac really got into it.  The idea is to get all the treasures before the island gets flooded.  It plays a lot like "Pandemic" in that it's team-based and you're racing against the clock with ever-increasing disasters thrown at you periodically and unexpectedly.  At times it gets pretty suspenseful and the boys were eating it up.  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Biweekly digest, March 6, 2016

I'm two weeks behind and it's picture overload time! 

We had parent-teacher conferences a couple weeks ago.  Both boys' teachers were thrilled with their progress.  Isaac is reading at well beyond benchmark level, so much so that his teacher stated she needs more advanced books for him in the classroom.  He still prefers to stick to the Captain Underpants, Jedi Academy, and Notebook of Doom series.  And Sammy is officially a reader now!  He can read most simple and many medium words. You can catch him quietly whispering words to himself as you read to him or as he's reading something. 

Sammy went to the dentist on Feb. 25 for a cavity filling.  He was so brave and didn't so much as twitch the entire time the dentist was working on him.  They gave him laughing gas and a shot of Novocain while he watched a movie up above.  When things started to go numb he asked me, "Why can't I feel part of my mouth?" To which I replied, "Because the dentist just gave you a numbing shot." " What!?? They did!?? Cool!"  Only the amount of slurring prevented him from sounding quite as impressed as he really was. 
The weather has been gorgeous for the past week, reaching up to the mid-60s.  The whole neighborhood has come out of hibernation. Why, just the other day it was so warm (read: 65 degrees and partly sunny) that I put Ellie in her new springtime dress and she had an impromptu dance session (that happens a lot with her).  This girl is so full of light and life!  Sometimes I just watch her and marvel at her joie de vivre.  The last picture is super blurry, but I think it perfectly captures Ellie's essence. 

Daisy continues to be super cute and sweet.  She has no problem sitting up on her own and rolling onto her stomach now, though rolling back to her back is still a no-go. She happily munches on anything within reach.  She loves to eat, nurse, jump, throw herself violently backward, nod and/or shake her head emphatically (especially when Sammy acts silly near her), smile, and babble (though I could swear she only says "ma-ma-ma" when she wants me).  She hates tummy time, other people holding her, and sleeping at night (it's gotten worse again!).  The whole family sure loves her, and her siblings completely dote on her. 

I'm a fairly lazy parent, but I'll occasionally manage a burst of non-laziness/creativity.  The other day Sammy requested that I make ooblek, a crazy viscous/solid/liquid cornstarch and water mixture that is super fun and terribly messy. I obliged and he and Ellie spent the next long while happily playing "Zombies" together (my children are super wholesome like that). Those two getting along for more than 5 minutes made the mess completely worth it!

Ellie is 3, which means she says some pretty funny things.  She's been in the habit of talking with her hands a lot lately, and is very inflect-y in her tones. She gets dog-whistle-high-pitched by the end of her questions. "We're going to Farm Country???" If she had a catchphrase right now it would be "Yeah! Sure!" (spoken in an enthusiastic staccato.)   And she's been using Eeny Meeny Miney Moe a lot to choose which shoes she'll wear, only she says, "Eeny. Meeny. Miney. Moe. Ketchup tigers. By the. Toe." Slays me every time!