Monday, April 19, 2010

the dirt slide

So tonite Elizabeth came over for dinner, with her daughter, Annika's best friend Riley. Probably half my blog is going to be devoted to the shenanigans of these two, every time they are together, they are so funny and ridiculous. Both our husbands have been out of town for days and we had that "single parenting" phenomena of being both completely exhausted - but also anxious for we planned to chat and enjoy thai takeout.

First of all, dinner wasn't exactly peaceful, it seemed like the kids constantly were needing things. Finally the girls decided to go outside and we got some (sort of) peace & quiet to finish our dinner. Luckily I saw Annika through the window right before she jumped into the water filled sandbox with her new dressy sandals on. We told them to stay out and watched from the window. They disappeared and suddenly I heard voices coming from our side yard. UH Oh.

Sure enough both girls were already dirty from playing in this big hole that roxy likes to dig in the dry dirt under our eaves. We took off their clothes, shrugged and then sat down on the back porch to chat while they did their worst. I have this vague memory of one of the kids dragging the slide by, but it didn't really click what they were doing.

Then I heard Annika laughing uproarously and knew we were in big trouble. She only laughs that hard when she's doing something naughty or at least making a huge mess. I thought to myself "what on earth could they possibly do that is worse than us letting them play in a huge dirt pile?"

Suddenly both girls ran back out, completely naked. Ah Ha. Awesome. We went to see what they were doing and it went something like this: Girls go down the slide buck naked, into the dirt hole while saben throws dirt up in the air onto their heads pretending it is an explosion. All the kids had piles of dirt in their hair and were covered head to toe. (literally, although Saben had kept his clothes on)

So we threw them in the tub, showered them off first and it was streams of mud. We filled the tub, but by the time I'd rinsed their heads it was completely dirty. Next thing you know, annika makes up this game where she lick's riley's mouth. "Riley! I lick you!" I HAVE NO IDEA. I just know my daughter kept lunging at her, tongue first and there was more of her uproarous laugther and I had tears I was laughing so hard. Somehow the fact that they were sitting in absolutely FILTHY water made it even funnier.

Finally I drained the tub, refilled it, washed everyone and we called it a night. Phew. I kept thinking I should grab my camera, but really, it wouldn't do it justice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saben turns five

On the morning of Saben's fifth birthday, he woke up to a present in bed with him (which he did not actually open until we got there) and balloons on the floor. Last year we filled his room with balloons while he slept and he kept asking about it this year. It might become a mouth tiring tradition.
Anyways, his present was a box of mini "sugar cereal" boxes. Normally we never ever buy that junk, but him & annika both love the mini boxes and so we relented. He was sweet enough to share them with his sister and mommy taught him the art of using the box as a bowl to hold the cereal and milk.

After breakfast Saben opened the rest of his gifts from us, a marshmallow shooting gun from Annika and the Wall-e movie, star wars lego set & bunk bed tent from mommy & daddy.
Saben immediately set to work building the lego set and had it finished by lunchtime. My heart melted when Saben requested a fresh mozzarella and pesto panini for his birthday lunch. Ahh, a boy after my own heart. (stomach)
Someone dropped off another lego set gift and he had it 1/2 built before his party. I think Saben would have spent the entire day building new lego sets if we hadn't forced him to do another things. He loves that initial first build of a new kit.
(sneak peek of our new office too!)

Saben had specifically been asking for a birthday pinata, so we had one, filled with candy, markers & lego pieces. As usual, mommy crafted an absolutely gorgeous cake, just perfect for the occasion.

Then the kids arrived....we invited 12 five year old boys to the party and I think ten of them were able to come. YIKES. When they arrived, there was a huge pile of legos set out and they went to work building. Most of the boys participated and spent about 30 minutes building.

Then it was cake time...

Then pinata. Let me tell you, they make these things tough. And nothing is scarier than ten five year old boys hopped up on sugar, swinging a baseball bat inside your house. Everyone got a couple turns, to no avail, so eventually I just ripped a hole and started shaking the goodies everywhere.

In a crazy Lord of the Flies moment, the boys all pounced on the empty pinata at the end and ripped it completely to shreds. Then it was gift time....

Then it was....uh oh, that was all I had planned and we still had 30 minutes left!!! I quickly improvised a game of balloon volleyball that was fun for all of 5 (10?) minutes. Two of the boys kept hitting kyle (HARD) and all of the boys were completely pumped with sugar and testosterone (from hitting the bull).
I finally herded them downstairs to our play room because things were starting to get sort of crazy. Saben had gotten a toy (not real) light saber and he was wielding it ferociously. Another boy grabbed his mickey mouse light saber, two more grabbed nerf swords and the rest just started hucking plastic balls at each other. It was mayhem and amazing no one got hurt. Those light sabers are not soft.
For dinner, we talked Saben into going to Shari's, instead of his very favorite restaurant, Dennys. Let me tell you, the Bellingham Denny's is not nearly as nice as the Arlington one I grew up going to and hanging out in until the wee hours of the night. I hate the Bellingham one, it's like a sleazy tavern. Shari's was much nicer, but seriously - expensive! - and we had a great time eating breakfast for dinner.
We love you Saben!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Potty Trained

I'd like to thank the following people for their help in potty training Annika:

First, Saben - once he exhibited how to go in the little mini potty, she went for the first time in it. He has continually encouraged and begged her to go, so that he could get a treat along with her whenever she was successful. Really, he's been awesome through this whole thing and really really sweet to help her.

Second, Riley - Really, I credit Riley and Saben almost entirely with Annika's potty training success. Breakthroughs 2-5 were all times when she and Riley spent time on the potty (potties) together. Riley's love of going in the pot made it seem much more fun for Annika.

I also must thank Kevin Menard, who was stuck for probably a good 30 minutes babysitting last week, with two little girls who wanted nothing more than to run around with no pants jumping on & off the potty. Especially thankful because when he heard Riley was going in the toilet, he looked aprehensive and asked "what exactly do I have to do with her?" and when he heard she liked to be left alone to go, he was seriously relieved. So much for that, it was a potty party in there. I like to think our girls definitely broke him in.

Grandmas also enouraged her with success and finally, the lure of ice cream was the true winner yesterday when she went "dry" all day to earn a trip to Mallards.

So far today we are also dry all day and even had a number 2 in the toilet. AWESOME.

Basically, I think Annika figured out how to do it a long time ago, but was reluctant, nervous to really go for it. She hates having accidents in her underwear and I think that is what tramatized her. Going cold turkey to let her "learn" from her accidents did not work, she just got scared. Bribing with candy & treats definitely did work, we'll see how hard it is to wean her off that.

She actually is still wearing pull ups and has no desire to put underwear on unless Riley is here wearing hers. (or if she gets to wear Riley's underwear. Seriously.) Encouragement from Saben and also having fun doing it with Riley were definitely turning points for her.

Hurray Annika! We are so proud of you!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

March Madness

March felt like the quickest, busiest month of my life. I'm sure it wasn't, but I wanted to record everything that happened. Lots of fun, lots of hard work and mostly just one thing after another, seemingly endless sometimes.

5th - Friends come with their two kids to visit & spend the night.
6th - Throw a baby shower at our house for Vale, one of my best friends
8th - Annika gets tooth knocked loose
9th - Watch Riley all day while her parents live it up in Vegas & make dinner for someone with a new baby
10th - Annika gets her tooth pulled
11th - Get four new windows installed in our two upstairs bedrooms
12th - My birthday! Have pizza with the kids for dinner, family celebration
13th - Take kids to my parent's house in the morning, spend the day emptying both bedrooms & painting them. Birthday dinner at our favorite restaurant in town - Prospect St. Cafe
14th - realize we bought the wrong color desk for our new office, drive to Ikea in the morning, exchange, then back to my parents house to get the kids & have a family birthday celebration. House is a complete wreck.
15th - 17th - Reorganize & move everything back into our "new" bedroom & office. Set up kids art table, reorganize their gazillions of art supplies, book shelves, etc.
18th - Kyle leaves for Taiwan. Kari gets a cold. Too exhausted to plan anything fun for while he is gone.
19th - Suffer through the most boring weekend ever. Rain, sick, no hubby, cranky kids. Thank goodness for babysitter Vale and book club Saturday night.
23rd - Saben does his "regular" morning sick thing, but is fine by noon. Rescued from insanity by Elizabeth who invites us to dinner.
24th - Kyle returns home after a week.
24th - 26th Prepare for Sabens 5th birthday and the twelve 5 year old boys I've invited over to celebrate.
26th - Saben's Birthday! (more on this soon, I promise!)
27th - Another fun birthday party for Kevin in the evening, house chores, yard work, Kyle biking, etc during the day.
28th - Kari gets 3 hours alone, Saben has another birthday party, Kyle goes biking
29th - Kyle announces he wants our entire "storage area" attic cleaned out as his birthday present.
30th - Kari gets to work sorting through years of accumulated magazines, kids clothes, books, photo albums, linens, clothes, you name it. Spends the rest of the week making trips to drop things off for a garage sale, to friends' houses and the dump to get rid of everything. Elizabeth gets a medal since she babysat the kids 5+ hours during the week so I could get it all done.

By friday the attic is clean, Kari is exhausted and all there is left to do is pack me & the kids for an overnight easter trip to seattle to celebrate Kyle's birthday and Easter. And now its april, so I must quit writing or else my title won't make any sense.