Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween!












Why can't it be easy??

Ugh. Life this past couple of weeks have been crazy. We've had a wedding one weekend, a visit from grandma and grandpa the next weekend, and a busy weekend this weekend, too. Add to that doing all the laundry that adds up, cleaning, cooking, housekeeping and looking at houses, makes for an extra-busy time.

Z and I have decided that we are going to look seriously at housing options for our family. Housing prices are down a bit...and it seems like it could be a good time to buy, for those who can secure a loan. We've been weighing our options and to be honest, I'm having a bit of a hard time. I LOVE the town we live in. I LOVE the school that Jellybean goes to. I would LOVE to find a home in our current school district to make our own. But the problem is that every home we've looked at in our current town (regardless of school district)in our price range has some serious issues. Either the house is a MAJOR fixer-upper, or its way too small, or there is NO yard. Yuck! Sure, if we had $50,000 more to spend we'd have a lot more options, but right now we just don't have that. So...we've started branching out...looking at homes in smaller towns in the area. We can get A LOT more for our money if we just go 10 miles from our current town.

But...then I get a tinge of sadness about leaving Jellybean's school district. For a town in central Iowa, this school is amazingly diverse. There are children from ALL over the world in this one school. And there are families who look like ours. There are children who look like Jellybean and Peanut. That's important to us.

All the schools in our area are good schools. I have no doubt that if we move to another town our kids will get a good education. But...the other towns simply do not have the amount of diversity that you can find in this university town.

So, I'm waffling...I'm flip-flopping. I want the best for my kids. I want to have it all (the nice house with the nice yard in the great school district). But, we're just not finding it.

I'm not sure what we're going to do...but I do know that we are SO READY to have a place of our own!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Their dad says they have a PhD in adorability....

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of attending Z's brother's wedding. The wedding was beautiful....and all three of my boys were included as part of the wedding. So this meant that I got to spend all day Saturday with 3 of the best dressed men around.

The boys did a great job being ring bearers. On Friday evening at rehearsal, we were a little concerned about how things would go on Saturday. Jellybean's job was to pull a wagon carrying the adorable flower girl, and Peanut needed to walk in front of Jellybean with the other (very handsome) ring bearer carrying a ring pillow. During the first walk-through, Peanut had a meltdown half-way down the aisle where all the confusion and nervousness came out in full-on tears and crying. During the second walk-through Jellybean tried to pass the other two ring-bearers while walking down the aisle pulling the wagon. Apparently, they weren't moving fast enough for him.

After some additional coaching the day of the wedding, the boys were ready. And they ALL did a great job! Everyone made it down the aisle (with smiles on their faces)! They were all so proud of themselves (and we were pretty proud, too).

They all lived through the picture-taking with only minor meltdowns. Considering they were all way more tired than a typical day and the fact that there was WAY more excitement than a typical day, I think they all did great!

Here are some pictures so you all can enjoy the adorability, too...














The boys ended the day by dancing the night away. They had SO MUCH FUN at Uncle Benny and Aunt Tanya's wedding!! It was so great to see everyone who was able to come and to catch up with people we haven't seen in ages (some the boys had never met...and others that I hadn't even met yet).
Thank you for including us in your special day Benny and Tanya!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Funny

Z and I are news and politics junkies. This political season has us all in a tizzie...its like its the Super Bowl or something around here. I make fun appetizers for debate watching nights...we tune in to CNN every morning and evening...and check the online news sources for news reports throughout the day. Its like an addiction, really.

But, it also means that the boys often hear us talking about Barack Obama and John McCain. They are definitely household names around here.

This afternoon, I was letting the boys watch a little Spongebob Squarepants when the Nickelodeon version of a political add came on during a commercial break. The "Kids Pick The President" add features both Senator Obama and Senator McCain. When the add was over, Jellybean turned to me and said:

"Mommy - look! Its Uncle Bama and John The Cane!"

It was too funny not to post for all of you to enjoy.

Jellybean Funny...

The other day at dinner we were all being a bit on the silly side. We were telling funny stories, making funny faces, and laughing like crazy. It was during this time that Jellybean decided to tell a joke. Jokes are new to this kiddo and he doesn't quite "get" what it is about the joke that is really funny. But, he so wanted to contribute to the conversation, that he pulled out something he heard at school (though he didn't remember it just right).

"Mommy! Make like a banana and leave!"

We all laughed so hard...and then I had to tell him what the joke was supposed to be (well, I told him what both jokes are supposed to be).

7 Random Things


Carolyn tagged me! Thanks, Care! And, she said I was "cool". Truth is...Carolyn is WAY cooler than I am. And she has a heart of gold.

So, now I have to come up with 7 Random Things about me. Hmm...
(I don't remember if I've done another random list like this before or not...so if you've heard some of these things about me already, I apologize.)

1. I got a tattoo - yesterday. This is a picture of the Adinkra Symbol that I had tattooed on my back. My tattoo doesn't look exactly like this (since the tattoo artist - Izzy - did some interesting stylizing and shading). Someday, perhaps, I will post a photo of the actual tattoo (maybe on the other blog).

This symbol is one that has special importance to me. During graduate school, I made the decision that I was going to get a tattoo when I finally finished my degree. I did my research on ferns, and so it seemed fitting that I should get a tattoo of a fern. Then, Z and I decided to move forward with our adoption plans and the tattoo idea got pushed to the back-burner. I knew I still wanted one and I knew that I wanted a fern to be a part of it, but I could never decide where to put it, or exactly what it should look like. Then, during the process of adoption, Anita brought the Adinkra symbols to my attention. And, right in the mix of them is a fern. A symbol of a fern from my sons' homeland. It seems perfect, don't you think?

2. I have my nose pierced. Mine doesn't have an interesting story like Carolyn getting hers pierced in Ethiopia, but its pierced none-the-less. I had wanted to do it since my sophomore year of college, but I finally did it during my last year of graduate school. Personally, I love it!
I also like to tease my big brother about taking his daughters to get their noses pierced when they are old enough. I think I just like to see the surprised/horrified look on his face. When they are older, I'm definitely going to get them "stick-on" piercings to scare their dad.

3. The very first time I ever got on a commercial airplane to go ANYWHERE was my senior year of college...I was headed to Tanzania. I was so nervous and so excited for that trip! I spent a month camping in the African bush (for a J-Term travel course offered by my college). It was a trip that changed my life, without question. Plus...there's something so totally cool about falling asleep in a tent and hearing lions in the distance. Scary at times...but totally cool.

4. I was a total tom-boy as a kid. I grew up on a farm and every spring and summer I would wander around outside picking up all kinds of creepy-crawlies to show my mom. My poor mom...she never complained about me walking around with snakes or salamanders or frogs. She just told me to keep them outside. My parents finally just gave up a stock tank every summer for my brother and I to put whatever we wanted into it. We'd keep all sorts of things in there. We'd collect frog eggs in the spring, watch them hatch into tadpoles, feed them, watch them grow, watch them transition to frogs, and then let them go. We'd put snakes in there. We'd catch minnows in the creek and stick them in there. We'd put turtles in there. We'd observe things for a while, and then always let them go.

5. On top of having the two kids in our lives, Z and I also have 5 pets. We have 3 cats (Paka, Crickette, and Mojo) and two dogs (Grommit and Oliver). Its a busy place...and I hate that we have to vacuum up hair so much...but we love all of our pets. They really are a part of our family. Z also really wants a bird - a parrot of some kind. But, I don't think a place with 3 cats would be a good place for a bird. Maybe someday.

6. I was born with two thumbs on my right hand. When I was an infant, the extra thumb was removed, so now I just have one. But, the one I have has a pretty ugly scar from the surgery, a deformed nail, and is back-wards jointed. Occassionally, its painful. When I tell people that I was born with two thumbs and that the extra one was removed, people almost always ask "do you have the other one in a jar somewhere?" No...I do not have the other one in a jar somewhere. I don't even have a picture of my hand with the extra thumb.

7. During my time doing research for my Master's degree, I spent two months on a National Science Foundation funded exchange program in Taiwan. It was an incredible trip! I got to spend two months in the rainforests of Taiwan (mostly at Fushan Field Station). Taiwan is beautiful...and the people of Taiwan are so friendly. I was nervous about spending two months traveling alone, but I NEVER felt unsafe during my trip. And, I did take some time to travel around Taipei...go to beautiful Kenting for a long weekend...and to Tainan for a weekend to see the incredible temples. I ate some really strange food during my time in Taiwan...and I ate a lot of really great food. I tell people that I would go back to Taiwan just for the food - and its the truth.

Hmm...now I am supposed to tag people.
Amy Fabu
Anita
Heather
Jenny
Megan
Leslie (even though she was already tagged)
Kelsey
(sorry everyone if I've tagged you before...)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, Monday

Today is one of *those* days.

It seems the autumn cold is going around here and at the moment I'm the only one in the family not sporting a runny nose and a sore throat. Which, of course, means that I'm the one making all the tea and wiping all the noses (well, I let Z handle his own nose). It also means that I get to bear the brunt of the tiredness and cranky attitudes.

Last night I was called into the boys' room 3 times between 11pm and midnight. It seems Peanut needed some extra assurance last night. I understand...he's not feeling well...and that's when you need a mommy most. First it was because he needed a drink...then he wanted to tell me that he was coughing...and then it was because he wanted me to rest by him for a while. As a result, I'm a bit tired myself today.

The cranky attitudes are getting tough to handle today. And to be honest, I'm not sure if its them who need the time-out, or me. Now that I said it, its probably me.

Let's hope tomorrow (or maybe this afternoon after nap time) is better.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Saturday afternoon we headed to the local pumpkin patch/petting zoo for an afternoon on the farm. The boys had a great time feeding animals, getting a pony ride, going on a hayride, and picking out their pumpkins. What a fun day!









Waiting on the Tooth Fairy


On Saturday morning, Jellybean lost his first tooth! Its been loose for a while...and by yesterday morning it was barely hanging on. But, it finally came out (and it didn't even hurt)! Jellybean was so excited to put his tooth under his pillow last night...and was definitely excited to see that the Tooth Fairy had arrived to put money under the pillow in exchange for his tooth!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apparently this is all it takes...

At lunchtime today, Peanut declared that today was "the best day ever!"

Did we do anything "interesting" today? Nope...we just put the Halloween-themed table cloth on the table and put a decoration on the front door.
I'm starting to wonder if I should be happy that he's so excited about decorating the house...or if I should feel bad that most of our days are so boring?!?! We do MUCH more exciting things around here, I promise!
I guess Peanut is excited about Halloween?
After all, he's got a super hero costume to wear!
Mostly, though, I think he's just really excited for his big brother to get home from school and see what we did. Look! The House! It looks different from when you left! I did it!
I've never been the kind of person who decorates for every season (or holiday). I usually put a couple things out for Christmas, but last year I didn't even do that (not a tree, not a stocking - nothing!). But now that there are kids in the house? Yeah...I wanna decorate at least a little. I've been praying that we have a house by Christmas so I have a good space for a Christmas tree this year. I'm beginning to run out of hope that it will happen this year. And I'm bummed about it. But, we'll figure it out.