Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ryan the Toddler

Evidently the medical definition of a toddler is a child who between 12 and 36 months of age (at least according to the online medical dictionary I used and we all know if it is on the internet it HAS to be true ;), right?) I know I always thought of it as a young child who is new at walking. That seems to be a popular definition, again according to the infallible sources of the internet. Either way, Ryan is now a toddler.

It took him longer than his brother, but not by much. Justin was walking a few days after his first birthday. Ryan is going to be 13 months old in four days. If I were learning to walk and had Justin constantly running around me, I would be a bit cautious too!

Ryan has been cruising forever. He has been confident in standing in the middle of the room. The walking just wasn't happening even though he loved to stand. He even loved to stand holding things. Here he is playing peek a boo.

Sometimes I swear that he is teasing me. I would try to get him to walk to me and he would get down and laugh. I just hope that he isn't as stubborn as his mother or we are in trouble.

Well today he was walking 7 to 10 steps in the playroom. He did it multiple times. It was so cute to watch how excited he looked. I finally clapped and said yay and then he went all limp noodle. I couldn't catch him on video. Finally, FINALLY I did. I wasn't the best walk of the day, but it is the one I got.

I am sure that before long I will wish that he weren't walking. It is only the start of more trouble.

And, speaking of trouble, how is this kid? Terrible twos has been replaced by Three year old from hell? It does get better, right? I shouldn't complain. Justin is normally a pretty good child. I think that makes it all the harder for me when he has a meltdown. Obviously in this case he is overtired and frustrated. Doesn't mean he is fun to deal with.

Sorry for all the video clips. Now that we are in Africa I figure I better keep Grandma up to date! Skip over them if you want. Don't feel badly. Sometimes I even find them a bit dull, but I figure better too many than not enough.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Story According to Justin

When you have a 3 year old, the birth of Jesus has a rough time competing with Santa and presents. Kind of an abstract concept. I bought the Fisher Price Nativity set thinking that it might help a little in the whole explanation of the Christmas story. Certainly it would bring some excitement into Justin's life. I mean more Little People and animals can't be a bad thing!

Not as interested in it as much as the Santa stuff, but he seems to get some of the basics. He has told the story in his own words a few times. I have learned some things from his accounts.

1. There wasn't enough room in the hotel and if they went in the hotel it would go ka-pow and explode everywhere because it was way full.

2. The wise men liked to sing a lot, mostly "dum de dum de dum" as they walked along.

3. On the way back home, one of the wise men stepped on some icy ice and he said "whoa" and fell down.

4. The presents were heavy so Mary and Joseph had to help lift them.

I wish I could remember all of the interesting things Justin threw in the story. I finally got him to consent to being recorded. Unfortunately the recorded version was not my favorite. He gets a bit camera shy and needed a lot of prompting. Tiny kept getting in the way too. Oh well. I imagine that when he is older he will enjoy watching it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spirit of Giving Through Regifting

This year we have taken a new approach (at least for us) on the idea of regifting. We have been here in Namibia for less than a month. There are all sorts of expenses associated with moving into a new home. We have been stocking up on food basics (flour, sugar, salt, spices, pretty much EVERYTHING!), cleaning supplies, pool toys :), outlet adapters (I HATE the stupid plugs here), bath mats, door mats, and a million more little things that add up. Everyone thinks of Africa as a cheap place to live, but let me tell you Namibia is NOT a cheap place at all. So anyway, our focus is on getting the things we need to try to get settled in.
BEFORE we came out here, we also spent a lot of money on things like a wii and some games, a bike for Rob, some food from Costco, toys for the boys, clothes, upgrades to Windows 7 and some other software, and heaven only knows what else. It isn't like we haven't bought anything. Some of the things could have been Christmas presents if we had waited.
So now Christmas is going to be here in a couple of days. The boys are taken care of, but Rob and I did not buy anything for each other. My mom and dad got us some things from our Amazon wish list (Thanks, Mom!), but other than those three gifts we have nothing under the tree. No big deal for us, but I suddenly worried about what Justin will think. Big three year old that he now is, he might actually be upset about that. He doesn't let a thing get by him. This is where the regifting comes in. I found some earrings and a bracelet in my jewelry box that Rob will help Justin wrap up for me. I grabbed a book, swim goggles, and a new comb from one of Rob's unpacked boxes and Justin helped me wrap those up yesterday. My sister sent me a book that she just finished reading and I will have Rob give that to me. (You don't mind, do ya Mer?) I need to grab something small that I can wrap for Rob from me. Justin and Tiny each have a present to give to each other too, but theirs are actually new things.
Silly, it might seem, to wrap things that we already own. Rob and I really don't care. I mean do you think he will be excited to get the goggles he bought before Justin was already born? Well, he might be if he forgot he had them, but that isn't the point. Justin was so excited to wrap something up for his dad. He will be thrilled to see Rob open the present and oooh and aaah over it. I guess in our regifting the real present we will receive is seeing the smile on Justin's face and enjoying the excitement of our kids. Cheesy, perhaps, but true.

Friday, December 18, 2009


We got the tree decorated. Justin was able to help put things on the lower branches. Ryan was able to take things off of the lower branches. It became a race to see who was faster. My busy little boys! Justin wanted to climb on a chair to reach higher, but we nixed that and forced him to stay within his reach. Parents can be so mean. The first ornament on the tree was one that Justin made at the Embassy Christmas party. He was so proud of the ornament. It is, well, let's just say that it is a treasure because my 2 year old made it. I don't think we have to insure it or anything. He had so much fun with his "project" too. My mom got him started on the idea of doing projects. Projects can be a variety of things involving glue, paint, markers, crayons, etc. I need to be better about getting projects for him to do. It isn't like I don't have anything. A lot of my teaching stuff is here and I have several things that Justin can do. It just gets to be a pain with Tiny helping all the time and Justin needing help but not wanting to have help.

Okay, back to Christmas. Yep, in that picture Tiny has something small in his mouth. Justin makes it nearly impossible to keep things even close to baby proof. Actually, since Tiny is over a year now I guess it is 'toddler' proof. My baby is so big! Ryan loves to stick anything and everything in his mouth except when I want him too. He will eat ants, paper, rubberbands, and the like, but will turn up his nose at new foods. Why is it that kids do that? Don't say that those things taste better than my cooking. At the Embassy party, Justin was a bit shy of Santa. When the gifts started coming out of the bag, Daddy was able to persuade him that maybe approaching Santa was not such a bad idea. It took awhile, but Justin did warm up enough to get his present and talk Santa's ear off. Probably better when he was shy. Ryan, on the other hand, was very different. He cried even getting near Santa. The picture of me with Tiny and Santa was the happiest Tiny was during the whole Santa time. Isn't it strange? I know it is common for small children to be afraid or shy of Santa, but my kids are generally so outgoing and love everyone. Justin was already blabbing about Santa non-stop, yet seeing him in the flesh was another story. Probably even stranger than kids being afraid around Santa is the need we parents feel to push our kids onto the lap of this stranger (don't we usually say DON'T go to strangers?) and try to get a picture. What are we thinking? Beats me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ryan at 1

Not very exciting, I know, but if I don't put it here I will forget.

At 12 months:
your child is 22.7 pounds, and that is
at the 45th percentile for weight.

your child is 32 inches, and that is
at the 95th percentile for height.

-Cruising well, standing on his own, and (unfortunately) an EXCELLENT climber, but not walking yet.
-Day before first bday took two steps and then a full body lunge to Mommy.

-Ravenous Beast! Wants to do it himself and have it look like everyone else's food.
-Signs eat and want, otherwise screams or points

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Leaving Idaho for Washington DC

November 20, 2009

We needed to get up at 3:30 in the morning so we could get to our 6:15 flight out of Spokane. Ryan decided to get up at 1:00 AM. Great. I really needed an extra early start to a long day. With my parents helping out, getting to the airport and checking bags was not a problem. Getting through security with my two boys, two carry on bags, a car seat, a stroller, jackets (snowing outside and you never know what it will be like on the plane), and liquids is enough to wear me out. Justin is able to get his own shoes off and on, so that is one helpful thing he can do. He wanted to help push the gray plastic bin along too. Sweet, but not as helpful. We got through and put back together again. United does NOT let people with young children board early. That meant I had to wait until seating group two. I am capable of carrying all my things and dealing with my boys, but it is difficult. Someone offered to carry my stroller.

On the plane, the flight attendants were friendly, but not helpful. Perhaps they don’t like one adult traveling with two small children. I only had TWO carry-ons. One was a small backpack and the other a small bag. We are talking under the seat kind of carry-ons. The airlines RECOMMEND that you have a seat for infants and use a car seat, so you would think that when you do that they would be helpful. Nope. I had to lug it clear back to my seat and buckle it in while balancing Tiny and keeping an eye on the ever-friendly Justin. The flight was uneventful, which is good. Justin announced that he could see Denver and that it was going to be a great day.

Off the plane with the car seat, carry-ons, and kids. Someone saw me reaching for the stroller and helped me get it set up. I loaded up Justin (Tiny rides in the ergo baby carrier. I had a hard time shelling out $100 for a baby carrier, but I have loved it and have not regretted it.) and put one carry-on over the stroller handles. That meant wearing the backpack on my back and throwing the car seat (in a travel bag) over my shoulder. We had a little over two hours to kill. Now I can get around, but it isn’t a lot of fun to carry all that stuff and navigate. My plan was to find a play area and camp out there for awhile and then change diapers and get food before we boarded the next plane. Can you believe that an airport the size of Denver’s does NOT have a play area? Great. Justin and Tiny both wanted to burn off energy and there are only so many appropriate ways to do that.

Justin wanted to go up and down escalators, which was a no go. Can’t do that with a stroller and a bunch of junk. Then he asked me where Grandma and Papa were. Oops. Even though we had talked about the trip, he somehow hadn’t realized that they weren’t with us. I thought we were going to be in for a major problem, but he accepted that they were back home. He was excited to see Daddy again so I focused on that. I couldn’t find anything that Justin wanted to eat. We got a McDonald’s happy meal for him and Tiny to share. Tiny ate more. Justin was thrilled with the toy—a nerf blaster of sorts. Great airport toy, something that fires darts. I told a little white lie about needing Daddy’s help to put it together (and then Justin showed me that he knew how!) and told him how it might get lost or broken if we used it before the hotel. Diaper changes went smoothly enough and we headed for our gate.

The boys were active, but stayed within a small area and left other people alone. Many friendly looking people commented on how I had my hands full. One woman offered to carry the stroller to the gate for me and get one of my carry-ons to my seat. When they didn’t ever call for people with small children, she even went up to ask. Nope, they don’t care. Go ahead and bump people’s arms as you go down the skinny aisles with a hungry baby and a huge car seat. We got to our seats and a man held Tiny while I got his seat installed. A couple sitting across from us said that they had three small children (visiting Grandma) and knew how difficult travel could be. They offered to help. They ended up sitting with Justin when I had to change Tiny. They also helped with the car seat, a carry-on, and a sleeping Justin when it was time to get off the plane. They were very nice. Another woman brought us the shoe Justin managed to lose somewhere along the way.

Justin expected Daddy as soon as we got off the airplane. I was glad to find Rob waiting at baggage claim so Justin didn’t have a complete fit.

It was a long day, but made easier by the kindness of strangers. So next time you travel, if you are able, help out someone who looks like they can use an extra hand. Don’t just say you will help if they need, be specific so they know you are sincere and what you feel comfortable doing. Offer to wait in line to buy their food or to save them a table while they get it. Volunteer to hold/watch a child so a mom can use the airplane bathroom without taking a dozen “helpers” with her. See if you can carry a bag on/off the plane. Let the woman with the screaming kid get in front of you in line. It is amazing how much small things can help. I have been very blessed in my travels and have been able to get through hard times a little easier because others were willing to help. And, the next time you are inconvenienced, you are allowed to be annoyed, but remember it could be worse.

Outsmarted by the Kids

I got Tiny a couple of sippy cups, which he seemed to really enjoy. So did Justin. I don’t really want Justin to use sippy cups because he is almost three and does not need them. He does have a couple of sigg water bottles that he can tote around with him. He likes those. So does Tiny. In fact, Tiny LOVES them. They are spill resistant, but not spill/leakproof like the sippy cup. Tiny ends up making a mess. Not so bad at home, but on the go or in hotels he can get wet enough that he needs a new change of clothes. Tiny now rejects HIS cups and wants only Justin’s. Sigh. I decided to ask Justin to drink out of Tiny’s cup. A few minutes later, guess who was interested in his sippy cup? That’s right; Tiny just wants whatever his brother has. Now Justin doesn’t want to give Tiny back his cup. Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Officially Our New Home
We made it to Windhoek and got introduced to our new home. It has a strange layout and will take some time to get used to where everything is. It is also SO much larger than our place in Tokyo! We have a kitchen large enough to eat in, a spacious living room/dining room, a den/computer room, a play room, a screened in porch, laundry room, three bathrooms, a water closet (toilet/sink only), good sized master bedroom, and four more bedrooms. Now three of these bedrooms are on the small size, but I think we can manage. [Symbol] We also have tons of storage space which is always good. The garage is detached. Not sure if that is a pro or a con. It isn’t like we get a lot of bad weather here, but it means further to carry groceries and things.
Mini Crisis Resolved
Our first night in Windhoek we had our first mini-crisis. Justin was happy to explore our spacious new house. He wanted to experience everything. Unfortunately, that also meant locking himself in the bathroom. The bathroom has one of the European style skeleton keys. He was able to twist it to lock it, but not to unlock it. I heard him shouting, and discovered his situation was probably the only one of the day that truly was shout worthy. We have other similar locks in the house, so no problem, right? Since Justin couldn’t unlock the door on his own, we had him take out the key so we could try other keys. Rob even tried unscrewing the door plate where the handle and lock go. No success. The door meets the floor quite tightly, and no key was going to be passed through that way. What should we do?
I asked Justin to read me what it said on his key so I could match up the other keys in the house. The keys are a snug fit and it isn’t easy to just go through them quickly. Justin read me the letters on his key.
“S-O-L-I-D,” came his cute little voice.
Of course that would be the side he would read. All the keys have that on them. He was able to turn the key over and find what we actually needed to know. No other key was coded the same way though.
Rob went to check out the windows on the bathroom while I continued to talk with Justin and keep him calm. I could see through the keyhole that he was playing with the toilet paper. I don’t like him to unroll it or make little TP balls, but when he is locked in the bathroom it is probably not the time to enforce proper TP use. Rob was able to compare the bathroom window to other windows of the house and give Justin directions on how to open the bathroom window. It is a two part process that is not particularly easy. Justin had to raise a handle and unscrew a hinge latch. Standing on the toilet (something else that is generally a no-no) and listening to Daddy’s step by step instructions, Justin was able to get it open and pass the key through. From there it was just a matter of Rob coming back inside and unlocking the door.
I was so proud of Justin. Rob was able to keep him calm so Justin was able to get through the ordeal without becoming upset even though he really wanted to get out. Justin was able to answer our questions and to follow the directions he was given. I think he did better than a lot of kids his age would have done.
The keys are now all removed from the doors. I had planned to do it anyway, but Justin’s little adventure got me to do it a little sooner than I otherwise would have.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Quarters I Need

No, not a plea for free money, I actually need these quarters to complete my 50 state quarters collection. It is hard to do when you spend most of your time overseas! The quarters I still need are all from the PHILADELPHIA mint and include the following states:
S Dakota
New Mexico

Those of you who will be seeing me when I am in the DC area, look through your change now. :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Mail in Namibia

I know I haven't written much for awhile. I have been putting pics on Facebook and posting video on YouTube without noting it in the blog. Since I am at my parents' house right now, there isn't a big need for me to keep my mom up to date. I should get better again once we leave Idaho.

We are leaving for Namibia on Thanksgiving Day. We will not have APO mail there. Several people are curious about our mail situation while we are there. We will be able to get mail through the diplomatic pouch. All the long, boring details can be found at, but I have copied the most relevant information and pasted it below. The post office also has some information at One thing it notes there that I think is worth mentioning (since I have two small boys) is that no weapons or things resembling weapons, INCLUDING TOY GUNS.

U.S. citizen direct hire members of the foreign affairs community and their family members may receive via the personal pouch letters and packages at a maximum size limit of 17x18x32 inches (no single dimension can exceed this limit) and maximum weight of 50 pounds.

In addition, aerosols, alcoholic beverages, ammunition, items for resale, bulk supplies, corrosives (acids), currency, explosives, firearms, flammables, glass containers, illegal substances, incendiary materials, narcotics, plants, poisons, and radioactive substances are prohibited. It is now permitted to send 16 ounces of liquid per box; liquids include anything that flows, such as syrup.

Using express mail services does not get mail to a post any quicker because the express mail service is only from the point of origin to Dulles. Packages may be mailed at any post office in the United States or sent by United Parcel Service, FedEx, DHL, or other non-postal means of transportation (although these also only speed the material to the Dulles starting point).

When using the Dulles, VA, zip code, for security reasons, nothing in the address field should reference in any way the mission, the office, your job title, or anything official about where you work.

All parcels should be securely packed and sealed. Insured and registered mail services are not available for items sent through the pouch and the Department accepts no liability for loss or damage.

FYI: Theoretically, you shouldn't have to pay Virginia sales tax to this zip code since it is only for diplomatic pouch. Don't count on all online vendors to have this in their system however.

Hope this answers questions for people. Let me know if you have others. I will do my best. Most things should be able to get to us fine according to these restrictions. We have many restrictions on what we can send out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Before and After

Justin really REALLY needed a haircut. He hates getting it done, as does everyone involved in the process. My dad took Justin to Barber Mike. When it became obvious that just a trim wasn't very practical (didn't take long to discover that and I wasn't surprised), we just shaved it off. I think he looks older!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back in the USA

Well, we have been back in the States for about a week and a half now. I think we are on the correct time zone. Who's to say though? Neither of my boys are known for their outstanding sleep habits. Right now it is after 11:00 PM and Tiny is not showing any signs of being sleepy. Why don't my boys need more sleep? We are also still fighting colds that we caught soon after our arrival. Nothing like snotty noses, sore throats, and coughs to make sure we don't get a full night's sleep.
One of my friends gave Tiny a little xylophone. He LOVES it, which means that Justin also loves it. When Tiny doesn't sleep, at least he gets a chance to play with some of the toys his brother always takes away from him!
At least our trip over was uneventful. Check in at the airport in Tokyo was a breeze. The Embassy driver parked the van in the loading zone and helped get our bags inside. He was even able to say something that got us to a check in counter that didn't have a line. Once past security we found a play area where Justin and Tiny were happily entertained until it was time to board the plane.
Now it is probably impossible for a nine plus hour flight with a nine month old and a 2 1/2 year old to be fun, but it wasn't bad. I spent most of the flight holding Tiny. He hates his car seat. He was fairly content and even slept some of the time for me. Justin slept restlessly when he slept. At one point he screamed for apple juice, but I don't know that he was awake. I think it was just another episode of him talking in his sleep. I had a bag full of things for the boys to play with, but the winner by far was the green stretch tube that my mom had sent. We didn't even get to most of the airplane toys. That means I can use them on other segments of our trip. Behold the great stretch tube! Maybe I should buy a dozen for Christmas and wrap them up separately.
Arrival in Seattle meant customs and a five hour layover before our forty minute flight to Spokane. The boys were decent human beings, but five hours is a long time and the Seattle airport is one of my least favorites. I think it has all the inconveniences and annoyances of a large airport without very many of the benefits. It does have a small play area. We basically spent our time there and the food court.
My parents were awaiting us in Spokane and we drove back (in two cars because of all the luggage) to their home. Finally able to rest. Thank heaven for grandmas!
Today Rob and I took the kids to the lake. They had a great time. It took Justin awhile to decide to try out the water, but Tiny was ready from the start. He loves the water and screams when he has to get out.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friendship Day

It started like a fairly normal Saturday. Of course we have already packed out, so we have very little left in our house to entertain the boys. Ryan has his beloved Sophie Giraffe, so he was content. Justin is a little harder to keep happy. He is anxious about the move and it comes out in some less than desirable ways. Today was Friendship Day at the US Embassy (Tokyo) Housing Compound. Since we live right on the compound (at least until Friday!), it made sense to check it out. Lots of other people had the same idea and came out on this hot, humid day to celebrate, well, I guess friendship between the US and Japan.

The highlight had to be riding in the little fire engine bumper car type things. Justin actually enjoyed that. He got to go once with Mom and then a second time with Dad. We got there early before there was a line. I don't know how people manage to wait in long lines with a 2 1/2 year old. Justin isn't a big fan of standing still and waiting. Since he didn't have to, all went well.

I was so excited for him to jump in the moon bounce castle. We had to wait until a group of older kids got out, but then he had the chance to try it out all by himself. He didn't want to jump. He just stood there until he decided to sit. There he was, all by himself on the moon bounce doing absolutely nothing. Sigh. We moved on. I thought he would enjoy playing with a water balloon. I guess they do this in the US too. Little round balloons with a bit of water inside them are put on an elastic cord. It is like a mini punching ball. This reminds me of when I was a kid and my family lived in Japan. Of course this doesn't mean that I ever had one of these when I was in Japan. It very well could have been in the US or Europe. The memory makes me smile, so I guess we will just leave it as it is. Justin kept changing his mind as to which one he wanted. I ended up carrying it. He wanted to go home. We went home. Rob went back out to get us some food. After lunch, I decided to run downstairs and grab a soda (free). Justin had a fit and wanted to go too. Okay. We went down and ran into Lucas and his family. Lucas and Eli were having a meltdown, so the family came up to our apartment for awhile. Lucas ended up napping, though Justin did not. :( Eli and Tiny got to play. I got to have some time with Alicia. We went in and out a few times, Justin never really enjoying anything. How can you not enjoy the mist tunnel on a hot day?

Early in the day we encountered Sesame Street characters. Justin was a bit scared. We talked about how they were just pretend and that there were people inside them just like a Halloween costume. Justin wanted to go back out and see them. He told me they were not real and just costumes, but he refused to go near them. Oh well. Lucas did. Tiny and I got a pic with Cookie Monster too.

Later in the evening, Justin seemed to have recovered. He wanted to go to bed at about 5:00 PM, so we were challenged to keep him awake until closer to his real bedtime. He gets up early enough as it is.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Final Countdown

We are in our final few days in Tokyo. In under two weeks our adventure here will be complete. The movers have finished packing us out and I am ready to go now! We still have Internet and cable, so if it weren't for the kids this could be a rather relaxing time for me. Not a lot of responsibilities for me right now. The kids make the difference. Justin, once excited about the move, is now not so thrilled. How dare they put his toys on the truck! He keeps asking where a certain toy is and then letting us know that he does not want it to go on the slow boat to Namibia. A little late for that now. With so little in the house it would seem sensible to find things out of the house to do. Whenever we are out, Justin is anxious to get back home to Harris Tower. When I had someone watch Tiny for a few hours, Justin was frantic. He did not like having his brother gone. He was relieved when I "found" him again. We have gone over and over that mommies come back and that everyone in the Weber family will go on the big airplane together. He gets it somewhat. He can tell people all about what we are doing and is excited about seeing family and friends. The reality of seeing his things disappear is a bit unsettling for him though. Just wait until further reality hits him. 1. There is NOT snow at Grandma and Papa's house right now. There was when we left in February, and he seems to think it should still be there. 2. Our house in Namibia will not look anything like the duplo model he built.

We will miss the produce vendors who come each week. They think Justin is so cute (obviously don't live with him) and shower him with free extras--oranges, bananas, peaches, grapes...

Tiny will miss Eli, his baby buddy and brother of Justin's friend, Lucas. Justin has made a lot of friends here. I hope that he is able to make some new ones when we get settled in Africa. They won't live as close as they do here! We won't have such a great playground to play on either, though we will have a yard and a pool. Ryan is just getting to the point where he gets excited when he sees the swing. He likes to swing with Justin. Note the cicadas making all the background noise in the video!

We finally made it to the Meiji Shrine. It isn't very far, so it was something that got put off for one reason or another. Justin's favorite part was the gravel. Our least favorite part was temperature heat index above 100. Ugh! On our way back home we stopped for lunch--at Wendy's. Justin was happy with his frosty, ketchup, and fries. Tiny was content to chew on a straw. Rob and I were just glad to have a cool place to sit that would accommodate us and our two rather lively children.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jesus On the Farm?

Today I was folding laundry and trying to entertain Tiny when Justin suddenly shouted for me to look at the wall. I thought that there must be some sort of horrible bug or something. It sounded pretty urgent. I looked, but I didn't see anything.

"Where?" I asked.
"There, Mommy! It's Jesus Christ!" exclaimed Justin.

Sure enough, there on the wall is the Greg Olsen O Jerusalem print that has been on our wall since we have moved here. If there is something that you don't want Justin to see, he will find it no matter how well it is hidden. Have something in plain sight and he is oblivious.

"Yes, Justin. That's right. It is Jesus."

"I think he is on the farm, Mommy."

"Why do you think he is on the farm, Boo Boo Boy?"

"Because maybe he has to feed all His sheep. When I get big I want to go to the farm and help Jesus feed the sheep."

"I think that's a good idea, my sweet, sweet boy."

(Sorry about the picture angle. I was trying to minimize glare.)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

How can Justin manage to be such an angel one minute and such a devil the next? I was surprised to see this picture of Justin in the lamb costume. It isn't that he dislikes costumes, just it means he had to stop moving for five seconds to get it on! We are on week 9 of summer camp. It is our last week. :( Next week the movers come! So much to do still.
Justin is starting to get into the whole moving thing. We are the proud owners of a step 2 playhouse. Some people brought it with them when they moved to Japan and found that they have no room for it. We don't have room for it here either, but we will in Namibia! Justin is anxious to get to Namibia and put the thing together. Rob said that the playhouse will not be leaving Namibia. I guess there will be a lucky school, daycare, or family who inherits it next. At almost 300 pounds it is quite the item! I think the boys will have a blast with it.
I continue to have a regular helper in the kitchen. Prep times take at least twice as long with his assistance. I try to get as much done as I can while he is at school.

Justin has made lots of friends here. He looks forward to seeing them at school or at the playground. It is going to be hard for him to leave them. I don't know that he will have the chance to play with kids as much in Namibia. I guess we will figure all of that out once we get there and settled in a little bit.

We had an earthquake last night (Sunday). It was a 7.1, probably the biggest we have had during our two years here. The funny thing is I didn't even feel it. Well, that isn't exactly true. I felt it, but I thought it was just me until Rob pointed it out. I developed a horrible headache on Saturday evening and turned to benedryl, one of the few things a nursing mother can take, to try to keep it under control. Puking, resting, and keeping doped up on benedryl made me feel much better, but I felt a bit off balance and tipsy all day. I went upstairs to check on Justin (already in bed but not asleep yet) and he told me that his toys were falling down. Can't pull one over on him. Didn't seem to phase him.
The thunder and lightening we had on Friday evening had him a bit uneasy. I decided to make the thunder less scary and more fun. Justin and I donned our rain boots and other rain apparel and headed out into the pouring rain to splash in the puddles. And splash we (mostly he) did! He had a blast. I regretted that I didn't have my camera. I don't know that it would have taken any quality pictures in the dark and rain though. We developed the ritual of giving each other a high five each time we heard the thunder. I came up with the theory that the louder the thunder, the more rain we would get to splash in. Justin loves thunder now.
Tiny is crawling all over the place. I think he would rather be walking though. That will come soon enough. He is now 8 months old. I can't believe how fast my little baby is growing up. Soon he and Justin really will be able to get together and plot against me.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Here He Crawls

Here comes Tiny! Now that he can crawl he won't stay put! I was trying to take pictures to compare with pictures I took of Justin. Tiny didn't want to stay still to pose. He will be eight months old tomorrow. Justin was not quite six months when I took the pictures of him. Guess that is why he stayed put better.

Here is a pic of Justin (at five months, not a current pic).

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Welcome August!

It has been a long week, yet it has flown by. I don't know how that happens. I continue to be up a lot in the night, but at least while Justin is in school I get to catch a little nap with Tiny on most days. There are only two weeks left of Justin's summer school and then I don't know what I will do to keep my sanity. Wouldn't you know that the movers are coming the week AFTER school gets out. Sigh.

This week I made it out with a friend to the fabric area of Tokyo. I bought some fabric as part of a Christmas present for my sister. Now assuming that she reads my blog, I realize this spoils the surprise. She won't know what kind of fabrics though. Justin saw them and wanted to know if he could have them. When I told them they were for Aunt Meredith he said that maybe she would make him a blanket with it like she made for Tiny Baby. So, here is the not so subtle hint for my sister. I think he would like to have some of the fabric on a blanket for him. How can she refuse?

Justin seems to be ready for toilet training. Sometimes he asks to sit on the toilet. I didn't think much of it, until he started to pee whenever I agreed and let him sit on the potty. Today I put him on the toilet three times and asked if he could make peeps. He did all three times. I am sure that people wondered when we were cheering for his penis in the bathroom stall at church! He isn't staying dry in between toilet trips, but I think he is ready to work on it if I try to take him on a regular basis. Great. We move in less than five weeks. Not exactly ideal. We will work with diapers (doesn't seem to bother him) and pull ups rather than underwear for now. Maybe when he is ready to poop in the toilet we will move on. Right now he will run away and tell me that he is NOT making poopies. Hmmm... Not at all suspicious to run off and say you aren't making poopies. I don't mind though. It gives me a few minutes of peace and quiet while he takes care of things. Peace and quiet are rare commodities when Justin is around.
Ryan continues to like to eat. Here he is chewing on a carrot. He loves these little teething food bags. Justin never really did. Correction: Justin NOW loves them and thinks he needs them too. Of course he does.
Ryan can now crawl. It has been a week now. Justin is already annoyed. He tries to explain to Tiny why big boy toys are off limits to babies. He likes to tattle on his brother too. Yeah, good plan. I will put Ryan in time out if he doesn't listen. Poor Justin.
Tiny enjoys being able to get to things. He has pulled a few things off of shelves onto himself. Oops. Guess we have to TINY baby kid-proof the house again. He is discovering all sorts of "toys" that have previously been denied him. Take the strap to Justin's booster chair, for example. Why have we been keeping that from him? How awesome is that? And it doubles as a teether. Ryan finds the most interesting things.

I got some goggles for Justin to see if that would make hair washing less of a drama. Short answer is no, it does not. I have not given up hope though. He may be a challenge, but he is a kid you can talk and reason with--usually.

I thought that I had posted this clip of Tiny, but evidently not so here it is.