Monday, November 30, 1998

Kids Update

Cees, just turned 7yo: doing great, very interested in the world around him, just decided he will take up astronomy as an hobby. So today I let him web surf and he spent quite some time reading about the Cassini mission to Saturn. He is also very much into Goosebumps. He had his 7yo checkup today and was very healthy, apart from the throwing up issue of course and he is dropping in percentiles in weight. He is now totally off the charts, while he used to be between 5th and 10th percentile for most of his life. Another one to push calories on! When we are settled in our new house, I plan to make a lot of foods from scratch and add calories and things like protein powder wherever I can.

Tim, 5yo. He is doing reasonably well, although all the stuff surrounding the upcoming move is really hard for him. He thrives on structure and it is hard to provide it all the time for him in the middle of trying to get everything ready and painted and organized for the move. Still, I do homeschooling with him almost every morning and that helps him a lot. I keep it short, just some math and phonics, it just has to be there. But I think things will go much better once we are settled in our new house.

He is very creative, I think that's one of his strong points. He can spend hours just cutting and taping and drawing and making up stories and games and adventures with the props he creates.

Sleeping is still an issue. Even on medication, he goes to sleep after 11pm. But he doesn't lose it all the time any more at night, like he did before we started medication. I hope things will get better when we are more settled. I might up the medication, but not yet. We'll see what happens.

Tara, 2y5mo: another non-potty trained 2yo. She was very interested in it about a year ago, but with all the moving around, we have not been able to follow up on it. I plan to start putting her in underwear when we are settled into our new house and just see how she does. I think she must be ready, but of course, you never know :-) She can scream extremely well and is very very grumpy every morning when she wakes up. She speaks in full sentences and can be very caring one moment and yelling and hitting the other. Very two! She is starting to count, sometimes it is 'one doll, two dolls, two dolls, two dolls, two dolls', other times it is more like '1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 6, 10'. I have heard her count correctly a few times, but it still needs some work most of the time :-) She is very much into shapes, especially triangles and squares. Also rectangles, which she call 'beds'. We have geoboards for the boys, but Tara seems to spend the most time with it, almost every day. Winnie the Pooh and the Teletubbies are her favorite characters. Her favorite computer game is Reader Rabbit Toddler.

Jane, 1y4mo: emulates lots of behavior from her big sister Tara, both positive and negative. Is too independent for her own good, running off whenever she gets the chance. I have to keep her in sight every minute when we are out. She is using lots and lots of words and if she can't make it clear with words, she will use signs and gestures. She is another climber, she reminds me a lot of Timmy at this age. Including the non-sleeping characteristics.... She is in the process of giving up her nap, since if we let her nap, she won't sleep till 2am or so.... She loves singing, especially songs with gestures. She loves to play with dolls and bears or to carry them around in the sling. It is impossible to keep her confined to a shopping cart or a stroller, she will climb out of everything, even when buckled in (only then it takes her 10 seconds, instead of 1) Good temper tantrum thrower, she is clearly close to being 2yo! :-)

The Birthday Present: -3.5mo. Not much to say about this one. Moves about a lot. He/she is now big enough that I can identify the different body parts and point them out to the other kids. Neat!

Friday, November 27, 1998

Our Thanksgiving

We had a different Thanksgiving this year. Usually we have a nice dinner as a family with a big turkey (and lots of leftovers, since the kids won't touch the turkey or any of the other food :-) But this time we decided it was more important to get some things done in our new house, instead of watching a turkey bake in the oven.

So I did some grocery shopping this morning and in the afternoon we went over to our new house and did some more painting. The former owners had a huge dog and it destroyed a lot of the lower part of the house, including gnawing some door posts. The paint looks horrible. But, the good thing is, that with a layer of Fresh Start and a layer of paint, it looks so incredibly better! And we got the house for a real good price because of the condition it was in, and I kind of like painting. So today we tackled the hallway and it looks so much nicer already! Tomorrow maybe the dining room and the top of Tims room. We'll see how far we get.

Then we went back to our rental and had an easy dinner with chicken instead of turkey. The girls had fallen asleep in the car, so after the boys were upstairs, it was really quiet. Until the girls woke up again and Jane spent the rest of the night running around (she is still awake at 12:45am) and Tara did fall asleep again, but only after I laid down with her for almost 2 hours.

A different Thanksgiving, but it still feels good to us. It is a nice feeling to work in our own home and get it ready for moving into it!

Thursday, November 26, 1998

Too Much McDonalds...

I do a phonics lesson with Tim every day, which slowly introduces every letter, with a sound and a keyword. We just started a few weeks ago, so we have only done 6 letters or so. Today, when we got started, he told me 'I know where the M stands for'. 'Oh yes?' I replied. 'Yes, for MCDONALDS!!!! A giant M!'. I could only agree :-) Then he proceeded ' And the giant T is for Timmy!'

I guess we have been going to McDonalds too often when we were living in the hotel :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 1998


Jane got a hold of crayons a few weeks ago here in the furnished rental we are living in now. She had drawn on quite a few walls and doors before we got her.... And we have regular showings, so the house should look neat. Bubby and I used a hard brush to get most of it off and found that the places where she had used pencil instead of crayon worked well with an eraser.

About painting: we have started painting our new house. It badly needs new paint in a lot of places. I started yesterday in the downstairs bath room, which was painted BLACK! So, after two layers of primer, it now looks like somebody tried to paint white over the black... :-) I am going to put a top layer on today, hope it will cover the black better than the primer does.

I mean, what were they thinking???? Who, in his right mind, would consider painting a whole bath room black??? Not only that, but all the fixtures are gold colored...

Tuesday, November 17, 1998

Cees's First Web Page

Cees has me seen working on my own home page lately and decided he would like to write something for a web page too. Today we sat down together and he dictated what he wanted on the page and I typed it for him. Then he used paintbrush to draw a picture to go with it.

The result.

Not a lot, but I thought it was neat that he did this!

Cute Things They Say (2.5 years old)

Yesterday, Tara came over to me with the book 'What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know'. She asked me to read it to her. So I wanted to start reading in the literature department, some poems, etc, which I have done before with her. But she got all upset. She yelled 'No, not that! Africa! I want you to read AFRICA!!!!'. ...... So I went to the geography section where she was totally happy to discover Africa and hear some about it and then she spent the rest of the night telling me to read more about Africa and then every time I tried, turning over the pages to look for more Africa.... She also pointed out America to me, but told me that I shouldn't read about that...

Guess somebody had been paying attention while I was reading to the boys about the continents a few days ago :-)

Saturday, November 14, 1998


Jane swallowed a penny last week... It took about 2 days to get through her digestive tract.... She didn't seem bothered by it at all. I, OTOH, was bothered by looking carefully for it in every poopy diaper.... The joys of parenting :-)

I put in over a hundred spring bulbs today!

Friday, November 13, 1998

Our First House!

Since early this morning, Friday the 13th, we have been the proud owners of our first home!!!!!!!!!! Now we can finally start to settle down! (after we have done all the painting and stuff that is needed :-) We have never spent so much money in one day as we did today!

It is in a nice neighborhood, has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths upstairs, living room/kitchen, dining room, 1/2 bath and 2 extra rooms downstairs, a mud room with lots of cubbies (very convenient for us with all the kids) and an attached 2 car garage. There is a large, unfinished basement, that we are considering to change into a big play room and maybe an office. This all on an 1 acre lot. We are very happy about it!

We will take our time getting the painting etc done and move our stuff out of storage. This is the first time in the last 8 months or so, that we don't have to move in a few days! We want to be settled there by Christmas.

Of course, now one of the cars broke down later this afternoon, so I guess we will spend even more money over the next week!

Thursday, November 12, 1998


Here a cute one of Tara: we went on a hike last week, over an easy river trail. At some point we found a tree that looked like it had been chopped off by a beaver. The boys enjoyed looking at it and talking about the beaver. Tara looked at it and then declared: 'Uhoh! Tree broken. We need to buy new tree!'. :-)