Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 25, 2013

We had a good week.  Justin and Ryan absolutely LOVE Jack and Charlie and I couldn't be happier.  They are the nicest boys you could ever hope to meet.  Monday they came over here to play and everyone had a great time.

On Wednesday we went on the CLO trip to the Children's Railway.  Jack and Charlie were on the trip as well as Cyrus.  I was glad that we were there with someone who spoke Armenian because I would have thought the place was closed.  We arrived at 11:00, an hour after they supposedly opened.  There were some workers loitering around by some of the rides and sitting on benches, but no children in sight.  We headed over to start at the train and it took a good ten minutes to find out where to buy tickets and how to actually get someone to run the train.  Once that was done, we settled in and waited for the ride.  We went about twenty feet and stopped.  The driver got out, counted us, and said that he had to talk to a manager because they are supposed to have ten or more on to run the train and we were only nine.  Really?  I would have paid the extra 75 cents if that's what it took to get going, but permission was granted and we took off.

The ride was okay.  It wasn't very scenic and it was a bit bizarre to come to an end and then back up to the station again.  I guess you make do with what you have when you are using a former railroad station and track.

The stairs down to the train platform.

Fortunately, the ancient train in the background was not the one we were riding on. 
The boys wanted to explore it, but mean old mom would not let them. 


The station might have been beautiful at one time, but
now it has fallen into disrepair.

Lights on the ceiling of the train station.

Waiting for the train to start.

Colorful engine next to ours.
After the train ride, we went over to the other part of the park.  The kids chose some rides and we bought tickets.  They enjoyed bumper boats, bumper cars, the family coaster, and the elephant ride.
Bumper boats are always fun!
The boys paired up in the bumper cars and were ready to go.  The ride attendant was ready to start it up, when a co-worker started to talk with him.  Evidently, they decided that Ryan and Justin were too small to go in bumper cars without an adult.  Justin was upset that he wasn't one of the "big" kids.  Siena was already with Cyrus.  The attendant decided that Siena, Nune (Jack and Charlie's nanny), and I could ride in the bumper cars for the cost of one additional ticket, which Nune hurried over to buy while I settled in with Ryan.
Before we had to rearrange the bumper car seating.
I just couldn't get a good shot of them on the roller coaster.
It was the boys' first time on a roller coaster and they LOVED
it.  Had to at least put some sort of pic up for it.

Elephant ride!
After the park, KFC with Cyrus and his mom. :)
 We went to KFC for lunch and the boys enjoyed the special treat.  It was the first time we ate at a restaurant in Armenia.  I know that KFC is not in any way, shape, or form an Armenian restaurant, but it was something that we all enjoyed.  I know my boys ate a lot more than they would have in an Armenian restaurant or little café.
On Thursday we had Jack and Charlie over to play.  Whenever that happens it is a good day for the boys.  On Friday they went over to Jack and Charlie's to play.  So excited for the boys to have people they enjoy playing with so much.  It's great that we can walk to each other's houses too!
I picked up the boys and got home in time for the movers to bring us our consumables and our other supplemental shipment.  That was my project for the rest of that day and I'm still not done with it.

Kind of like our own little store.  Just a little bit more to put away.

On Saturday it was hard to tear myself away from my organization, but I had plans to go to the vernasage with Siena.  It is high tourist season, so prices are higher than they will be in the Fall.  It was nice to get out of the house, look around a bit, and meet a few of Siena's friends.  They have a lot of interesting things, but I don't know that they had a lot that I personally want.  It might be fun to get a hand carved chess set while we are here and a few other things.  After that we had a nice lunch at a little café and headed back home.

I thought that some of these were really well done,
but I have no idea what I would do with one.

Internet was horribly, horribly, slow so I haven't been able to get the blog up until now.  Guess I should post before it ends up being next week.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, 2013

This week at church we learned that some of our friends will be returning back home to the Philippines.  While this is good news for them, we will miss them.  The Hansens decided to host a little get together for them on Monday so we could have a chance to spend some time together and say goodbye.  Justin and Ryan were thrilled with the news that they would get to go over to Cyrus' house to play.

Monday morning I received a call from Sienna.  She had caught the stomach bug and was not feeling up to having people over at her house.  She asked if we would be willing to have it at our house instead.  We have a big enough house and live across the street, so it made sense and I could see no reason why we couldn't have it here.  Sure the boys would be going to bed a bit later than usual, but no big deal.

It was nice to have everyone over and have the chance to talk.  The Reeses decided to wow us with their mind reading ability.  We put out nine DVDs on the table and had Elder Reese leave the room.  We choose which DVD we wanted to be "it" and called him back in.  His wife would point to different DVDs and he would have to say when we got to the chosen DVD.  I knew how it was done, so I went out next.  As people caught on, they would go out and take a turn reading her mind to determine which was the chosen DVD.  Finally, Justin shouted out that he knew how it was done.  People were pretty impressed with him until he explained.  He told everyone that it wasn't really mind reading, but some kind of trick like a magic trick.  Everyone laughed and laughed and he didn't get what was so funny.

Next we played fruit basket and the boys had so much fun.  Justin had such an expression of joy and triumph on his face when he would get a seat ahead of someone else.  He also enjoyed being it, so really he couldn't lose.  Ryan laughed and had fun too.  In fact, the next day he asked if our family could play the game.  I told him that four people really wasn't a big enough group for that game and that he could find a different game that we could play instead.

On Tuesday I got up early when Ryan came in to get me at about 4 AM.  He said that his stomach hurt.  Sure enough, later that day he was puking.  Joy.  At least he seems to know when it is coming and was able to get in into something rather than all over the floor like Justin does.  He needed a lot of extra cuddles that day.  He seemed back to normal by evening except he wasn't hungry. 

Wednesday Cyrus came over to play for a couple of hours.  The boys had a good time, but Justin sometimes gets frustrated with some of the things Cyrus does.  Cyrus is often guilty of the offense which boils down to the fact that he acts like a three year old.  Since he IS a three year old, there really isn't much to do about it.  After about 2 1/2 hours they were getting to the point where there was going to be a meltdown soon. I called Sienna to come get Cyrus so they could part on good terms.  Of course when she came Cyrus did not want to go and my boys did not want him to go.

The rest of the week was pretty much routine.  We aren't very exciting people.  We spent time playing outside in the back and riding bikes and scooters in the front.  I can often get yard work done while the boys entertain themselves.

Friday I got a call from a woman who just moved here with her family.  She said that she has a 10 and a 7 year old and wanted to know if my kids were interested in meeting her boys.  Well of course they are!  Justin heard me talking on the phone, so even though we weren't getting together until Saturday, he wanted to walk to find their house.  I wasn't exactly sure where it was, so we ended up walking the long way.  It was about a ten minute walk and you would think that I was torturing my children.  It was in the 90s, but there was a nice breeze.  We were able to walk back in just over half of that time because I knew where we lived and had no trouble getting back.

Saturday morning the boys were anxious to meet their new friends.  I was a bit less optimistic because of the age difference of the ten year old.  Can I just say that the four of them had a blast!  The boys are going over there on Monday, we will see them at the Embassy kids' outing next Wednesday, and then they will come here again on Friday.  Once school starts the older boy will likely find friends his own age, but I think that at least Justin will still spend time with them at school and probably at other times too.  I sure hope so.  It is nice for the kids to have other people to play with.

Saturday afternoon I told the boys to show Rob how they have gotten better on bikes and the scooter.  Justin rode the balance bike and I was able to convince him to let me take the training wheels off of his bike.  Guess who rode down the hill and then back up!  I was so excited.  He has a ways to go before he can do it without having to think about it so much, but I am just thrilled that he can do it.  I didn't think he would ever learn because he doesn't like to take risks in front of other people.  Both boys are getting better on the scooter too.  Yay!

Ryan was in desperate need of a haircut.  Rob assured me that even if I really messed up that Ryan is only four years old and would not be scarred for life.  I got off a lot of hair and think that he will feel much better.  I am still not brave enough to just shave it off like Justin's.  I think with his big forehead he would look strange.  I also worry that it would make him look even older.  Ryan's hair isn't bad enough that people will stop and stare, but Rob said that he would be really upset if he had paid money for a cut like that.  I agree.  Maybe next month when it has grown out a bit I will take him to the Embassy for a haircut.  I got a picture of the hair I cut off, but I forgot to take a pic of him before bed.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11, 2013

 Last week I didn't write because Rob was kind enough to share his stomach bug with me and I wasn't feeling well.  I will try to catch up and write for both weeks.

August 1st marked the last day of summer camp for the boys.  Justin always seemed to enjoy his time once he got there, but he was never very excited to go.  Ryan, on the other hand, was always excited to go.  It was good for them to get out of the house a bit and quite a nice break for me.  Ryan is on the waiting list to go to the preschool there in the Fall.  I think that he is going to miss Justin once school starts and it would be nice for him to have a chance to have something special for him as well.  Keep your fingers crossed that an opening comes up.

On August 2nd, Justin decided that it was his time for the stomach bug.  He didn't have much diarrhea, but he managed to vomit many times.  Unfortunately, one of the locations was my freshly cleaned floor.  Sigh.  At least it wasn't the rug.  I cleaned up and then mopped the floor yet again.  He didn't eat for the rest of that day or much the next.  I always worry about my skinny little J Man when he doesn't eat.  He doesn't have a lot of weight to lose.  Fortunately, he was feeling better by the 3rd, just not eating quite yet.

Saturday the 3rd we had a BBQ here with employees and families from Rob's section at work.  He works with some neat people.  We had gotten together with them at the beginning of July and I knew that they are a pretty laid back group so it wouldn't be a lot of work.  Everyone brought something so we just supplied the place, the paper products, potato salad, and a few drinks.  The weather was perfect and we were able to sit out on the patio, out on the lawn, or inside the house.  There was more than enough food and it was a nice get together.  Ryan really enjoyed all of the outdoor time.  The pictures aren't very exciting, but at least my mom can see a little of our yard.

And then Sunday came and it was my turn with the stomach bug.  That pretty much sums up Sunday through Tuesday for me.  Rob and the boys went to church on Sunday.  The boys were pretty good on Monday and Tuesday.  They got a lot of extra time on the ipad, ipod, etc.
Wednesday was our 11th anniversary. The boys tried to make it extra special by creating "fun" games for me to play.  They also managed to pull out just about every toy they owned to help decorate.  Joy.  Evidently it wasn't hot enough for them, so they had lots of blankets for me too so I could be comfy.  Ryan combed his own hair without complaint.  I was feeling much better, but not 100%.  I envied Rob being able to go to work and miss out on the celebration.  I guess it was sweet of them though to want to do special things to make it the best anniversary ever.
On Thursday I had an exciting outing to the Embassy for my health briefing and to get my picture taken for my diplomatic id.  I had the boys with me, of course, but they were hooked up to the ipod and the iphone and headphones so they were angels.  It's nice to be able to keep them quiet when needed.  When we got home, we spent time outside.  They enjoyed riding their bikes outside in our cul de sac.  I hate to watch because sometimes they get going pretty fast and they are not nearly as skilled as they believe they are.
Friday brought more time outside.  This week I was able to pull quite a few weeds while I was out watching the boys.
The weekend was pretty routine.  Saturday the boys wanted to show off their bike skills for Daddy.  I pulled out a scooter that I had purchased for them last month and they got to try that as well.
Somewhere along the way, Justin managed to lose his tooth.  Then, when he was cleaning it, he really lost it.  Luckily, the tooth fairy is quite understanding.