Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 15, 2013

This week Justin continued his love of creating things out of construction paper and tape.  Keeps him busy, but hard to find places for all of his creations.

 
The boys had a great time in the snow.  We were all feeling well so they had the opportunity to enjoy playing outside.  It looks pretty enough, but it gets old fast.  I hate having to put on the layers and pulling off wet boots and having my entry floor dirty and wet. :(

Sun!  Unfortunately, clear skies mean it is colder. :(

The community has someone do off our driveway.  They don't do it all the way, but they do it enough that we can get in and out.  Sure glad I don't have to shovel the snow.  Brrr!

Ryan at school.  When I went to pick him up, he couldn't figure why I was there.  He couldn't believe that it was already time to go home.  He had a lot of fun playing in the snow with the other kids.

J and R had fun playing out in the back yard.
 My book club meeting this month took me to my first Soviet era apartment building.  It was an experience!  Once buzzed in, you enter into a lobby(?) indoor courtyard (?) that reminded me of the kind of parking garage where you would be afraid to park.  It was dark until we got over near the elevator and the stairs and finally got the automatic lights to sense us and turn on.  Here is the elevator, which evidently smells really badly in the summer since it is next to the trash chute.
 This is an apartment on the ground floor.  I loved the exposed wiring, etc.  Nice, huh?  Anyway, the apartment I went to was nice.  It was a smallish size two bedroom for US standards, but cute and a fine place to live.  Definitely larger and nicer than some of the places my sister has had in New York.  No offense, Meredith.

Evidently, the apartments are redone and some are small studios while other people have taken over all of the apartments on a floor and made them into a large place.  Heating and water conditions vary according to apartment as well.  The building, as others I have seen, is really ugly on the outside.  It amazes me to think of what the apartments used to be like and what a depressing place it must have been to live.  I guess some of the places still are.
 
Ryan got to have his preschool winter performance.  He has been SO excited for it.  It was a nice little show.  The teachers are very kind and hard working.  They love and care for and about the children and it shows.  The parents are great about helping to make the preschool a good place to be.  They are generous with time and resources.  It will be sad to have Ryan leave in the Fall when he is ready for kindergarten.
 
     
        
 

 
On Friday, Justin took cupcakes in to school.  His birthday is over the break so he can't take in cupcakes on his actual birthday.  It just so happens that his teacher has the same birthday as he does.  Justin took in cupcakes and a present to celebrate HER birthday and will take in cupcakes for HIS birthday after the break.  He has a great teacher and he really likes school because of her.
 
Now the boys are on winter break until January 7th.  It might be long.  They alternate between playing really nicely together and fighting like cats and dogs.
 
On Saturday, Rob and I went to a Christmas bazaar and then out to lunch.  I bought several wooden ornaments. There wasn't much else that interested me.  Lunch was fine, not great, but it was good to be out of the house without the boys.  They were at home with Skyler.  They lover he babysitting so much that they wanted to know if she could be their new mommy.  I'm glad that they are happy when we leave them.  I wish Skyler could be their mommy when they are sick or up in the middle of the night.  I doubt she wants the job though, especially since the mommy job doesn't pay.
 


There wasn't really anything to take a picture of at the Christmas bazaar, so I took a picture of a statue we walked by so I had a picture of something. :)
 
Tonight we had the missionaries over for dinner.  It was fun to have them here and they seemed to enjoy having some American food and conversation for a change.  We had Christmas cookies to give to them.  It was amazing that I hadn't eaten them all myself.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December 8, 2013

This week was not as busy as I had anticipated.  Monday as I walked Justin to school, he pointed out the rare sunset.  I told him that it was actually a sunrise and asked him why he thought it was rare.  He said that we don't see one very often so it must be rare.  Yep, we are getting to that time of year when the sun doesn't rise quite as early.  I look forward to the days growing longer again so we don't see the sunrise.  Guess that will be some time away still. 

We decorated the Christmas tree.  The boys were very excited to see it up and to rediscover ornaments from past years.  We really don't have a lot of Christmas decorations other than the tree.  That is probably a good thing as the boys continuously play with the Little People nativity and the musical snow globe we do have out.  It is fun that they are so excited for Christmas.


 

Tuesday was Ryan's 5th birthday.  How did my baby get so big?  Well, I guess he has always been big, so how did he get so old?  Justin made many birthday decorations for Ryan and was excited for him.  We have had problems getting our mail, but fortunately Grandma mailed Ryan's presents very early.  He got presents from Grandma and Papa and a book from Justin.  We are crossing our fingers that his birthday presents, Justin's presents, and the Christmas presents arrive.  Many arrived in Dulles around Veteran's Day, just haven't gotten here yet. :(  Anyway, Ryan was VERY excited about getting his Skylanders, so once he opened that I think he would have been done with presents even if he had had more.

Ready to open his presents

video
 Do you think he is excited?

Getting in some Skylanders time before J has to go to school

Ryan wanted a butt cake, but I refused.  I made him a 5 cake instead
 On Wednesday we had some friends over for dinner.  They moved on Saturday so it was good to have a little bit of time with them.  Ryan will miss Cyrus at school and over at the house.   It was fun for him to have a friend right across the street.  Ryan is about 1 1/2 years older, but he enjoyed being the older kid for a change.

By Thursday my headache and just not feeling quite right turned to feverish.  Yuck.  Lucky for me, even though it wasn't a regular school day for Ryan, the teacher asked if he could be there so he could do a special activity.  I spent the morning in bed.

On Friday Ryan wasn't feeling well either.  I started to take him to school and then brought him back.  He was really whiny and it wasn't just the four hours of sleep he had for the night.  By the afternoon he also had a fever.  We had some good cuddle time at least.  Cyrus came over with his mom and brother to return a few things.  We took some pictures before saying goodbye.


Doesn't Justin look freakishly tall in this pic?


Saturday was the day of Justin's winter concert at school.  He had been talking and talking about it.  We were all well enough to go.  He was a cutie and did well in both of the things he was in.  Unfortunately it was hard to see him very well.  I will upload the two video clips to youtube for Grandma to watch.

I saw Justin and Ani's Mesopotamian city on display at the school.

Justin and Ani before the concert.

Justin and Ani waiting for the dance part to start

He is on the stage near the bottom middle
The hour at the school wore me out and made Ryan cranky. 

On Sunday we woke up to our first snow and Ryan was so excited.  I had to take a picture because it was funny how excited he was over nothing.  It did start to snow again later and we got a measureable amount.  Ryan and I stayed home from church and rested up.  We both no longer have fevers and seem to feel much better.  I hope we are ready for the last week of school before Christmas break.  I also hope we get mail!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

December 1, 2013

I can't believe that it is already December!  November went by pretty quickly.  The weather is definitely colder, particularly at night, but we have yet to see snow.

More leaves ready to be picked up!  These are some I did, but the community crew came and raked some as well. 
Cyrus' family is leaving on Dec. 6th, so this week the movers were busy packing them up.  Ryan was thrilled to have Cyrus come over to play after preschool so that he wouldn't be underfoot.  Ryan is starting to get a little bit sad about Cyrus leaving.  Even though Cyrus is only 3 1/2, the boys get along pretty well and he lives right across the street! 

J and R playing with Cryus in the rocks.

When our mail arrived on Monday, I was happy (for once) that we hadn't gotten very much. Everything had gotten very very wet from sitting out on the tarmac for heaven knows how long and it was absolutely soaked!  Unfortunately, my book order was one of the things that arrived.  About half of the books were quite wet.  I dried them off as best as I could.  While many aren't pretty, they can still be read.  Justin could hardly wait for some of them to be dry enough to read.

I had a fan blowing on the books all night.  It seemed to help.
 
Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Rob and I went over the many Thanksgivings we have had since we have been married and realize that very few have been traditional.  Those that were usually were only because we were in the US with family.  A big Thanksgiving meal for the four of us (with only two of us really eating much of it) seemed a bit much.  We decided that we will do the whole turkey thing over New Year's when Rob has three days off.  Instead we did what we did for our first Thanksgiving--pizza and pies!  Of course it isn't like Papa John's delivers here, so Rob made homemade pizza. :)  We opened our pizza stone (Christmas present) early so we could have the best pizza possible.  I made cherry and pumpkin pies.  We also had chips and onion dip.  Justin came home from school and we had an early dinner together while we watched one of the Shrek movies on TV.  Definitely not the Thanksgiving most people picture, but it was relaxing and we enjoyed it.

Friday Rob and I went out to the mall to see a new grocery store.  We rarely go to the mall because there is nothing there that we would want to buy.  It is easy enough to get to though, so we went to see if the grocery store was any good.  It has nice wide aisles, but it isn't any better than the closer store in terms of stocking products we want.

The mall on Black Friday.
 
Either they haven't stocked yet for the day (but they have been open at least an hour!) or they are out of a lot of produce.  Neither thing would be unusual.
In the evening we had a 6:00 PM dentist appointment for Ryan.  He had been complaining about a tooth when he ate.  Sure enough, he had a cavity in a back tooth.  We spent an hour an a half at the dentist getting it taken care of.  I was SO proud of him!  He was nervous going in, but he was brave and very well behaved.  The pediatric dentist doesn't speak much English, but someone else came in to talk with us and explain what needed to be done.  While working on Ryan, the dentist often told him that he was a good boy and that he was being brave.  Sometimes she just spoke in a soothing voice in Armenian.  I was standing right there too and tried to distract him when he looked like he was getting upset or scared.  The bill came in at under $40 and it looked just as modern as the dentist we go to in the US.  Yay!  Not that I hope we have to go in to see her a lot, but we know a dentist for the boys now.   Justin was playing on my phone in the waiting room or I would have taken a picture.

We went to KFC for dinner because it was dinner time and KFC was just up the street.  We ordered Ryan ice cream and pineapple juice so he wouldn't chew on his numbed cheek.  Looks like he did that later on in his sleep anyway. :(

On Saturday I went with Ryan to a birthday party.  The girl's birthday is the same day as his so I was hoping it wouldn't upset him that he isn't having a party.  He enjoyed the party and doesn't seem to care that he isn't having a party.  I said that he can take cupcakes to school and that he and I will spend the day doing things that he likes to do.  Maybe a party next year...

I was also able to get an all important video clip of Justin giving me permission to give him hugs and kisses even when he gets older.  I already had one of Ryan.  These things will be important for me to have in the future.  I keep getting an upload error, so here is the link.