Monday, March 31, 2014

March 30, 2014 Catching Up!

I'm back!  The good news is when it takes me a few weeks to write I have more to write about than doing laundry and taking kids to and from school. :)

The Embassy family we are sponsoring arrived and Ryan was SO excited that they have a five year old.  Even though their son is already in kindergarten, Ryan has found plenty of opportunities to play with Aiden already.  He loves being able to have a friend who lives so close.

Playing with sidewalk chalk.
Once again the boys had fun building traps to try to catch a leprechaun on Saint Patrick's Day.  They were not successful, but the leprechaun(s) left them some gold rolos candy and two 1000 dram bills.  It looks like they used the money and the candy to help them get out of the traps.  The leprechaun also turned our milk green.  Ryan claims that the green milk tastes so much better.  The boys have some ideas for next year already.  They really want a leprechaun.  Justin thinks it would be a great show and tell.
This one somehow used magnets.  Not sure how that all works. 

Jake and the Never Land pirates toys helped with this trap.
One day when the boys were playing in the basement, I managed to fall down the stairs.  The Embassy puts these non-slip grips on the stairs.  They really do a number on our socks and we have holes in almost all of our socks.  Sometimes I try to avoid the stupid strips and step on the plain wooden part of the stairs.  Well, as I heard the noise of the stupid strip grabbing on to my socks, I stepped over the rest of the strips.  I ended up missing a step altogether and tumbling down about 6 stairs.  The boys were having so much fun that they didn't even notice.  My ankle hurt so I went up to grab a bag of frozen peas from the freezer.  I went back down and elevated my leg with the peas on the ankle.  Boys didn't notice that either.

Swelling wasn't too bad, but it hurt to put weight on it.  Guess this was just the reason we have been carrying crutches around the world with us.  It is kind of a pain to do things with crutches though, so Friday morning I decided to take Ryan to school before eating breakfast.  Rather than grabbing something quickly I could sit and have a leisurely breakfast while sitting in the recliner and reading my book.

Evidently my blood sugar was a bit too low for that.  I ended up passing out at Ryan's school.  Then I passed out a second time when I sat up.  As people were helping me move to a more comfortable location while Lilit got me some juice and a piece of chocolate, I passed out yet again.  For some reason people seem to think it is a bad thing to pass out, so they called Rob.  Rich and Claudia helped get me home and stayed with me until Rob arrived.

Rob made me breakfast and then I got into bed to sleep for awhile.  He made me lunch and then returned to work.  I was feeling okay with the food in me, just really sore from falling down the stairs and then passing out and not being caught the first time down.  Claudia brought Ryan home.  It was a bad day for Ryan because I fell down AND Richard didn't bring his rabbit for show and tell.  Bummer.  Rachel brought Justin home from school.  Rob came home early and I continued to rest.

Saturday was the charity sale that Ryan's school was hosting.  Since it was so close to our house, I went for a little while.  I then went home and let Rob stay to hang out with the boys.

My crutches weren't as impressive as his stilts.

I thought that the tightrope guy was cool.  Rob pointed out that
it is a slack rope though.  Does that mean it isn't cool? 
I realize this guy isn't super high or anything, but I still enjoyed it.
Not something you see everyday at little neighborhood events.

Ryan with the start of the apricot blossoms.
 I was able to get a picture with the start of the apricot blossoms, but unfortunately I didn't get them when they were full.  I thought I had plenty of time to get out and take a picture, but I was wrong. :(

On Wednesday I hosted the book club.  We meet once a month and it is good for me to get out and about with adults and leaving the children behind.  Only a couple more months before most of the group goes away either for summer vacation or to move on to a new place.  I have read some books I wouldn't have otherwise chosen.  It has been fun.  I hope it starts up again in the Fall even with some of the key members gone.

Rachel gave Ryan a much needed haircut.
 Ryan has been in desperate need of a haircut for awhile.  I asked Rachel if she cut her kids' hair.  I mean three young boys, she might, right?  She does!  She got Ryan taken care of and did a better job than taking him in for a "real" cut here.  He was so excited when he saw himself in the mirror.  He thinks that he looks just like Aiden.  He couldn't be happier with his new look and I am thrilled that he doesn't look like an abandoned waif anymore.

Doing some building with the Lego Education WeDo set.
 Ryan and I spent some time working with Justin's Legos.  Justin is impatient when he and I go through the activities.  Ryan and I spend much more time.  He is patient and doesn't get frustrated if he doesn't already know everything.  We spent some time working with gears and then moved on to pulleys.  Once we get through figuring out how everything works we can move on to the projects.

 On Saturday, Rob and I went to have khorovats with some people from work.  We were going to a place outside of Yerevan.  This was the day our beautiful weather turned ugly.  We hadn't gotten very far when it started hailing hard.  The wipers could barely keep up with what was falling.  Always lovely to have it hard to see when you aren't exactly sure where you are going to begin with.  We couldn't find our way there, so we backtracked to a landmark where someone met us and took us where we needed to go.  I doubt we would have found it in good weather.  Some of the roads we were on did not look like roads for anything but local traffic.

The food was good and I ate too much.  There was some really good bread (you can see it in the picture) in addition to the traditional lavash bread.  I was surprised that I liked the aveluk.  Aveluk is a kind of local sorrel, which as far as I am concerned seems to be a weed.  Prepared well though and I had more than one helping.  Also lots of greens, olives, some cheeses, pickled vegetables, and of course the khorovats, which are the local shish kabob thing.

On Sunday we awoke to SNOW!  Our biggest snow of the year.  Thought we had been in spring for awhile, but evidently winter realized we had missed out on snowfall I guess.  We went to church, which ended up being a bit of a crazy thing to do as we encountered less than ideal driving conditions.  When we got home the boys "helped" Rob shovel off half the driveway.


Sunday, March 02, 2014

March 2, 2014

The weather continues to be mild.  Now that February has transitioned to March, I am hopeful that the weather will continue to be mild and will only improve from here on out.  Yesterday the weather forecast promised highs in the low 60s.  Today it is threatening chance of snow tonight and Wednesday, with highs in the low 50s.  I suppose that time will tell.  Regardless of this week's weather, surely there can't be much more of winter left.

It has been a pretty normal week with Rob going to work, Justin to school, and Ryan to preschool.  The boys enjoy being able to play outside without bundling up.  They also enjoy playing inside with a variety of toys.  It continues to drive me a bit crazy that they get so many things out at one time, but they do play with them.  This week skylanders figures from the wii built block fortresses to fight against imaginext figures.  Evidently they also needed some food so the play dishes and food came out.  It is nice that the boys generally play so nicely together.  It is good for them and good for me as well.

And they still got out more!
Wednesday was my book club night.  I swear that it is always rainy, snowy, or something on book club night and I don't want to leave the house.   Once I am there I do enjoy myself though.  I have been reading some books I wouldn't otherwise read and having a grownup conversation.  Sure, I talk with Justin and Ryan about books like Captain Underpants, but it isn't the same.  This month (March) the group will meet at my house and I chose the book.  It ended up being just a so-so book, but I think we will have a good discussion about it.

Friday was a half day for Justin because of parent teacher conferences.  I am thrilled that he continues to do well in school both academically and socially.  He is fortunate to have a good teacher this year and I keep holding my breath for next year.  We shall see.  Since he spends so much of the day in school, I want him to like being there and it certainly helps if he has a teacher who appreciates him for who he is.

Remember December when my kids had their birthdays?  Well, with Christmas, New Year's, and some other Armenian holidays, I never got around to taking them in for their well child check ups.  I finally did on the last day of February.  Both boys seem to be doing well.  Justin is currently a pound heavier than Ryan and almost two inches taller.  Being over 48 inches is excited for Justin as he can now go on "big" rides and waterslides in a lot of places. Ryan, being the sweetie that he is, is excited for his brother rather than jealous.
After the dr apt we played on the Embassy playground.

J tried to hide from me, but he wasn't fast enough.

On Saturday we needed to run into Yerevan to pick up a black binder for Justin's music class.  No, there is not a Target or somewhere nearby to go to.  We had to go to a stationery store to find what we were after and that would not be out in the suburbs.  Since we had to go for such a boring errand, we decided to do something fun as well.

We found the stationery store and the binder quickly and decided to head over to the History Museum of Armenia.  Justin was very excited because he had already been there.  His class went in to see the cuneiform and other related things during their study of Mesopotamia.  The museum has quite a few interesting things.  Unfortunately, there is no photography allowed inside the museum.  There are a few things that I would have liked to photograph for the blog.  It does kind of free you though when you aren't allowed to use a camera and just see things in the moment through your eyes rather than the camera screen. 

We were in the museum for just over an hour.  The boys were well behaved and even interested in some things, but they were definitely done and ready to get out of there.  Just a good reminder of why we are still not doing layovers in Paris to go to the Louvre.  Interest and attention level of the boys is still definitely more children's museum, science museum, and zoo.  I suppose that they will grow up fast enough and we can be more "cultured" then.  Perhaps.

My cuties.  I was able to get a few pictures outside
of the museum.

Republic Square in the bright sun.
 We went to a little cafĂ© for lunch.  Rob and I had eaten there before.  They have an English menu with some kid friendly items.  It is really average food, but the boys were thrilled to be there, ate well, and were well behaved.  Good enough for us.  Definitely not a place you would go to impress someone, but we are pretty plain people.
Ryan wanted a picture with the giant ice cream cone.

It was good to get out.  Rob and I agree that we need to make an effort to see what Armenia has to offer.  The boys saw a model of the Temple of Garni in the museum and that is easily accessible so perhaps that will be a place to go in the near future.  Warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight should help.  All in all, we are pretty boring people though.