Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Matthew's New trick

Here's a short video showing Matthew's new skill. It's a good thing that the doors to all of our stairs have locks :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grill Fest Friday

Here's some pictures from Friday night at Embry's school. I'll narrate along with the photos...
When we arrived, we dropped off our guacamole and cake and picked up name tags. The event was supposed to for all of the new families to get acquainted with the other families at the school. So we were assigned a table (all set up in the playground and decked out with balloons)and a veteran family to sit with. Our partner family has 5 kids at the school including twins in Embry's class, so I was looking forward to meeting them. Unfortunately, they did not sit down to eat until long after we had finished, so I never got to meet them.
Shortly after we arrived they began the games. They also had face painting, but Embry, for some reason, is never interested in that sort of thing. But I didn't have to ask twice if she wanted to try the cake walk. Here she is walking in a circle to the music and waiting to see who won. She won on her third round, but was having so much fun that she just stayed in line and kept playing.
Finally, after she was tired of playing, I reminded her that she never collected her prize. She picked out a chocolate cupcake and she actually waited to eat it, until we sat down.
Matthew was less interested in playing games, and more interested in the grass and leaves. The picture below was him climbing up my leg to get to the camera.

We waited in line for some food, but by the time we got to it, the hot dogs were all gone and so was our guacamole (a huge 2 quart Tupperware full!). But there was tons of other food, though, and most of it was new to me and to Embry. Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, German, and lots more. She filled up her plate and she ate almost all of it! We were shocked. She never eats anything for dinner, let alone strange food she has never seen before. She finished quickly because while standing in line she noticed the ponies in the parking lot. She patiently waited for us to finish, and we made our way down to the animals. The people who brought the ponies also brought a few other animals for the kids to look at while they waited their turn. There was a duck, a chicken, a rabbit, and a goat. And then it was her turn..

She had the option of riding in a cart with some other kids behind a donkey instead, but when given the choice she said, "No, I want to ride the big one... by myself." I thought for sure she would get scared once we got down there and not want to do it, but she continued to surprise us and hopped right on. She took a slow lap around the parking lot as it was getting dark, and thanked the lady walking the pony when she was finished.

After the pony ride we went back up to the school building for some dessert. Even after eating her cupcake, and a big meal, Embry had room for a brownie and I grabbed J and I a couple of cream puffs (Yum!). We decided to leave shortly after because it was half an hour past Matthew's bedtime and he was getting pretty crabby. Embry cried because she had just got on the tire swing (her favorite thing on the playground) while I gathered up our dishes. We left earlier than most, but we noticed that not too many people brought their kids that were Matthew's age or younger.

Everyone was wore out but had a great time, and I know Embry will be looking forward to the next school event.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Embry School Pictures

Here's some pictures taken by a staff member at Embry's school. These are a real blessing since Embry has been less than forthcoming about what she does there everyday. Now at least instead of asking her, "What did you do today?" I can ask, "Did you fold napkins today?" I'm getting a little bit better response now.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I had some issues transferring them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wednesday Update

Around the house: Not much going on here the last few weeks (hence the lack of blog entries). It actually nice to have some quiet time. We are already starting to plan for the holidays. Yes, I am one of those people who Christmas shops all year round. But Embry is most excited for Halloween. Ever since we saw costumes at Costco she has mentioned it at least one a day. Unfortunately the costumes at Costco were way to small for her. Amazingly I think she remembers last year, her first time trick-or-treating. She keeps talking about walking up the steps to people's doors and, of course, getting candy. I keep reminding her that Halloween is still a few weeks away, but I'm not sure how much concept of time she understands yet. We plan on getting her a costume in a few weeks. I'm sure she will choose some sort of animal (she was a chicken last year). And even though Matthew will be way to young to beg for candy we'll dress him up too just to be cute.

In the kitchen: Not to much excitement in the kitchen lately either. We do have a cookout at Embry's school to go to on Friday afternoon. Officially it the Annual International Grill Festival. We are supposed to bring a side dish or dessert that is "unique to our child's heritage." Given our time and budget constraints (whatever we choose to make I'd have to whip it up during nap time the afternoon of the cookout), we have decided to bring some fresh homemade guacamole. Embry is 1/4 Mexican, and guacamole is much easier to make than a traditional German dish like Pot Roast, AND guacamole is much more interesting than brownies (my usual backup). We are also bringing a dessert for the cake walk, but I'm going to cheat and buy a box cake mix. Maybe we'll win a dessert to take home!

New with Embry: Embry has recently taken a bigger interest in playing with Matthew. She has always loved singing and helping out with him, but I think that she has now realized that he can interact with her. And I have gotten to the point where I can allow her to play with him without worrying that he will get hurt. If she takes something away from him, he protests...if she knocks him over, he gets right back up. Matthew loves every second of it. Playing with his sister is his favorite thing to do everyday.

New with Matthew: Just now getting over his cold and FINALLY sleeping good. He actually slept all the way through the night 5 days in a row last week. Hallelujah! I don't know what changed other than him getting over his cold, but I won't over analyze. We are just enjoying the good night's sleep.

I am Grateful For: The new TV season starting. Our TiVo is working hard recording "Dancing with the Stars," "House," "Oprah," "SNL," and a few more. Now if we only had the time to actually watch them all :) See also sleeping (from above) and weather (from below).

The Weather Outside: Since our hurricane a couple of weeks ago the weather has been awesome. Cool at night and warm during the day. Perfect!

I'm Obsessing About: A new yoga video that I found. It's very challenging and I can't do all of it yet, so my goal is to be able to get through all 40 minutes of it without taking a break.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Forest Park

We spent the morning at Forest park today. It was a perfect day for being outside, and we had not yet been to the park since we moved here. We brought a picnic lunch, played on the playground, and drove around the park. The park is beautiful and though it seemed as if there were tons of people there, it wasn't crowded at all. The kids of course had a great time and only got upset when it was time to go home. I can't wait until they are old enough to ride bikes through the park or rent a paddle boat. Here's some pictures...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Couch Photo

I decided to take Matthew's weekly photo on the new couch, so for anyone who's curious, here's what it looks like. (Most of it anyway. The front room is small so I couldn't backup enough to get the whole thing in view.) Now I just need something to put on that big empty wall behind it :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Update

Around the House: We finally found a couch for the front room formally, the empty room that Embry keeps toys in. We bought it at Costco (what can't you find there? :). It is the perfect size and the perfect color and a pretty good deal too. I smile every time I walk past it.

In the Kitchen: Embry and J made brownies tonight, a rare before bed treat for her. And we had a great sandwich for dinner. I adapted it from a Rachel Ray recipe that I found. I took some Kalamata olives and pesto and blend them to a paste in the food processor. I spread the paste on some good bread (we used big sourdough loaves from Costco). Then I layered sliced cheese, sauteed peppers, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil on top of the paste. I topped it off with jarred artichoke hearts, chopped fine. I put the top on the sandwich and wrapped it really tight and put it in the refrigerater. We cooked ours in our panini pan, but you can warm it in the oven. It was a great dinner because we already had the pesto, olives, and artichokes, and my Mom-in-law brought us lots of fresh peppers and tomatoes from the garden. I used the basil from my Aerogarden (one of the best inventions ever!). J said it tasted like a Muffaletta but without all the fattening meats.

New with the Kids: Both sick. That's right, for those of you who were taking bets it took Embry exactly 8 days of school before she brought home her first cold. I'm actually surprised that it took so long. Embry gets a fever if someone sick looks at her. And she's such a good sister she shared her cold with her baby brother who came down with the same symptoms 2 days later. Embry is getting over hers and returned to school today while Matthew is right in the thick of it and keeping J and I up (more than usual) at night. I almost forgot what it was like to take care of a sick baby. Embry is very good at taking her medicine, blowing her nose, etc. because she understands that these things will help her to feel better. Matthew is not yet so cooperative. Amazingly, he remains happy as ever, even though its clear that he feels like crap.

I'm Grateful For: Embry getting better, because I can tell tonight that I'm coming down with it too and it is much easier to take care of 1 sick kid than 2 if I'm not feeling well myself. Hopefully J will stay healthy for a few more days so Matthew and I can recover.

The Weather Outside: Well, you might have heard about a storm called Ike. Well, it blew through our neighborhood Saturday night / Sunday morning. We got about 5 inches of rain overnight and about 2 in our basement. We spent most of Sunday mopping up and making sure nothing got wet. After watching on TV this morning all of the damage to the Texas coastline, though, I feel pretty stupid complaining about a little water in the basement.

I'm Obsessing About: Finding a new bank for our checking / savings accounts. We are currently with US Bank and we have had nothing but problems with them since before we moved up here. We thought it would be convenient to go with a big bank since they are located at all the places that we travel frequently. Big mistake. Lots of problems, terrible customer service, ridiculous fees, you name it. We are done.

Side Note: Friends in KC are checking in to have their #2 baby tonight. Good luck and congrats early! I hope everything goes smoothly and that Mom and baby are healthy and happy. We'll be thinking about you guys!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Friends for Lamb

Embry and I have been busy making some friends for the sock lamb I made earlier. These are so much fun! I have to try some of the animals made from gloves next...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pie and School Update

Well, the first day of school has come and gone. Embry was so excited, as was I. When we were getting ready to leave Tuesday morning she told me to wait and she ran upstairs. So came back down wearing her backpack. So cute! She doesn't actually need a backpack for school, but I didn't have the heart to tell her just then. I took her picture before we got out the door, much to her disapproval as you can tell.

When we arrived, she proudly unbuckled her seatbelt and let herself out of the car. The teachers meet the students at their cars, so as to avoid long goodbyes. Other parents were getting out of their cars to take pictures and some kids were crying, but Embry (of course) barely said goodbye and ran inside with her teacher.

When I picked her up, she was crying and said that she did not want to go home. She did the same thing today. Hopefully after a few days she'll realize that she gets to go back every morning. And all I could get out of her about what she did at school was "swing in the tire swing with her friend Tristan." Other than that she told me to top asking.

We had a great time at the cookout on Monday. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the pie before we left. We were in a hurry to get out the door, as usual. It turned out well though and was a hit. I only remembered to take a picture after we got home so, here's what's left...you get the idea.