Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Family is here - Saturday, June 23

My dad, step-mom, niece and nephew flew in on Saturday. We met them at the airport, and Taipan was a bit shy at first. We rode the shuttle bus to the rental car hub, and the entire time Taipan had his head buried in my chest. Once we got to a place where he could run around with his cousins he started to warm up. It's very good to see them all, and we're so happy that they were all able to come to Ohio this week. We have lots of fun stuff planned, which I'll blog about of course.

After the rental car was rented and the hotel was checked into (they're staying at a Hampton Inn, which is very nice!), we headed over to the Brecksville Home Days.

Of course Taipan was jazzed about the rides, but we got surprised because he wanted to ride one of the bigger thrill rides called The Sizzler.

At first he watched Elyse and Grandpa ride the Sizzler,

then the kids and I rode a low-key spinning pumpkin ride,

and we hung out a bit and watched some other rides. Then when it was getting close to time to get dinner Taipan told us that he wanted to ride something. "Ok," I said, "let's go look and see what you want to ride." And we looked at the pumpkins again, and some kiddie helicopters, and a kiddie coaster that my nephew had ridden a coupe of times, but Taipan was not interested. He took me to the sizzler and said "I want to ride that." So we asked the operator if Taipan was big enough and he said that Taipan could ride as long as he had an adult with him. So we went to find Yuta :-) Actually, I offered to ride it, but Taisim was upset from a bad pumpkin experience (older kids were on the ride with her, Grandma, Elyse & Jason, and they made the ride spin super fast, and Taisim was very scared and upset), so I took her to calm her down while Yuta, Elyse and Taipan went to ride the Sizzler. Yuta's not big on flat (spin-n-puke) rides, but figured he could stand it for three minutes to take the kids on the ride.

Maybe Yuta will post about the ride itself, but from where I watched, Taipan looked, um, concerned the entire ride. He had his head buried in Yuta's armpit, but his eyes were open because I'd see them peeking out every now and again. I guess he told Yuta he wanted the ride to stop, and fortunately it was right as the ride was stopping. When they got off Taipan wanted to be carried for a bit, and I can't blame him.

After that we headed to get some food, listened to music, and took a slow walk back to the van. On the way back to the van we stopped at a booth where Taipan got a Tootsie Pop - his first one. He opened it and inspected it for a while, then dropped it, and it cracked, so he got another one. He ate a tiny bit of it before he decided he was done. Ah, his first lollipop.

The kids also got balloon animals, except they weren't really animals. But Taisim had a blast with hers while it lasted. I think it was originally made up of six or seven balloons, and half of them popped before we even made it to the van.

As an aside - when I googled for a picture of The Sizzler, I found this site. Lots of scary stuff that will make you very paranoid about going on carnival rides. Or roller coasters in Europe. I'm glad I didn't see that before the carnival. Only go there if you want to read lots of sad stories.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Humpty Dumpty (and last night in general)

Last Saturday my in-laws were going to come over and bring dinner. I think the last time that happened was the night we colored eggs with them around Easter, and Taipan remembers that too, because when I told him that Ama and Akon were coming he said, "After dinner we can clear the table and color Easter eggs!" Well, as it turns out I had an extra box of Easter egg coloring stuff, so I picked up some extra eggs at the market and boiled them on Saturday afternoon. It turns out that my in-laws didn't make it that night, and then we all got sick anyway, so we didn't get around to eggs. Until last night.

Last night we got out the egg dyes, and the eggs, and coloroed eggs. It was fun, and kinda neat to do it in June. Taisim got into it too - she loved putting the eggs in the color. She also likes cracking the eggs, but doesn't enjoy eating them.

Taipan likes to put all the eggs in, and then continuously check them to see if they're done. And when he took the first batch out, we put the second round of eggs in and had one cup empty, so he decided to double-color an egg. Once he realized he could do that he was taking eggs in and out of colors.

We had fun for about 30 or 40 minutes until he dropped one of the eggs when he was pulling it out of the cup. It cracked. He wanted it fixed. We couldn't fix it. But it did give me the opportunity to tell him all about Humpty Dumpty and show him pictures and tell him how even the kings strongest and best men (or horses) couldn't fix that egg. It seemed to help him get past not being able to fix the egg. And cracking that egg was the end of egg coloring last night. He didn't want to do it anymore after that. But this morning he wanted to crack, peel and eat one - specifically the one that cracked last night.

After eggs we ate dinner and went outside to play, wrote a welcome message on our driveway for Elyse, Jason, Grandma & Grandpa (I think Yuta snapped a picture in case the rain comes before they get here), and then walked over to our community playground.

Both kids tried new things - there was another boy about Taipan's age who was much more adventerous about climbing and hanging on things, and that boy was hanging on some bars. Well, after watching him a bit Taipan decided he wanted to try hanging too. He wasn't up for dropping on his own, but he enjoyed hanging from the bars.

And Taisim was playing on the slides when she realized she could climb up them! She had tried before, but wearing soft shoes, so it was too slippery. Last night she was wearing her Vans and was able to go up the slide. Boy did she love that. Up and down, up and down, over and over. Then she saw an older girl climbing up a rope ladder kind of thing (kinda like this one, but all metal, and only about three feet tall) and decided that she could climb it too. The first time she did it I was on the other side of the playground, and I ran to get her right as her foot slipped at the top. She tried once or twice more with minor assistance from me, and after that she was able to do it on her own. Of course, I was a bit too nervous to leave her unattended on it, but I'll bet the next time we go there she'll be doing it on her own with me no where near.

It was a nice night. Today we might go pick strawberries - we'll have to see how the afternooon shapes up. We're planning to go to Ama & Akon's for dinner, but hopefully we'll get to pick berries on the way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Everybody's healthy again

I think we're all finally ok! Yuta had a day to catch up on his sleep on Monday, and while I'm still a little tired, we're definitely on the mend.

My tiredness could be due to lack of caffeine. I'm trying to take advantage of being forced off of coffee for a few days. On Sunday and Monday I just couldn't stomach it, and I figured by Tuesday that if I'd already gone three days without, I'd try for another. Truth be told, I'm really missing the *idea* of it - I really enjoyed the taste and having a nice warm drink every morning. Unfortunately, since the weekend coffee just hasn't tasted good.

So, I think that I'm past the horrible caffeine headache stage, and I'm going to try to stick with decaf, except in cases of dire emergencies. I really think I was having way too much coffee (two cups brewed at home, usually followed up by an iced venti Americano from Starbucks).

Taipan & reading

Well, this is kind of a catch-up post. Over the past two-three months or so Taipan has been spending a lot of time on Starfall, which is a website that is geared toward early reading. At first he wanted to go there and play movies or have me read him stories from the pages. Then he really began navigating the site, and started exploring everything that was out there. From that site he started sounding out words, and was really showing interest in trying to figure out how to read words.

So now he's got some basics and some site words, though his interest in reading comes and goes. He hasn't actually been on starfall for a couple of weeks, but sometimes when we're out he does ask me to find words that he knows so he can read them. And he likes to read some of the words when we're reading books together.

I also bought the first two sets of BOB books, as I figured he'd be able to sound out a lot of the words in those books and enjoy reading them. On Saturday, before he got sick, he actually read one of them (Dot) on his own. For those note familiar with BOB books, it's very simple and maybe has ten different words. I think it's something like "Dot has a cat." "The cat has a hat." etc. But it was kinda cool to see him read it on his own.

It seems as if he's going to stick with what he knows right now, and progress in his own time - we'll leave that up to him. What's funny is that when he doesn't know a word, his standard guess is "put", but he says it in a really weird voice. It cracks me up. It's also interesting to watch him learn to read because he'll sometimes be able to sound out words like "little", but get stuck on something like "bag".

The most amazing thing is that he decided on his own that he was ready to start learning to read. We read a lot around here, but we didn't say "let's sit down and sound this word out" or "it's time for reading lessons". Kids will learn things when they're ready and when they have the need. Cool.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sick and tired

Well, that about sums up our weekend. Saturday morning everyone seemed ok, so we went to the library to pick up the I Love Toy Trains 10, 11, 12 DVD that Yuta had on hold. After that we went to the grocery store, only Taipan didn't want to go in, which was our first sign that things were going downhill.

When we got home Taipan wanted to be held and said to me, "Mama, I don't want to be sick. I need some medicine." Uh-oh. Within a couple of hours he was sick. Fortunately, he seemed to bounce back pretty quickly and had a small appetitie by bedtime. He went to sleep early, and slept a long time that night. Which was nice, because around 11pm I was getting very sick, and that lasted until about 7pm Sunday night. Yuck.

Yuta worked on Sunday morning, and I called and asked him to come home. He was able to get home by 1:30 (vs. 3ish), and the minute he walked in the door I crawled into bed and slept for four hours. When I woke up I was still feeling awful, but managed to keep some ibuprofen down, which helped my headache subside. After a hot bath, I was feeling nearly human again.

So, Yuta's Father's Day was pretty awful. He also started feeling sick, and by 9pm, he was shot. This morning he woke up feeling horrible, but managed to get up with the kids for a bit so I could get on a conference call. We arranged for our sitter to come, so she's here now, Yuta's asleep and I'm listening to my team call. Hopefully Yuta will be feeling better soon and we can have a do-over for Father's Day.

We did manage to do some Father's Day things for Yuta before the weekend... separate post on that later.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Still sick

We thought Taisim was getting over being sick last night. But she woke up, tried to eat and threw up again this morning. She was awake for about two and a half hours and is asleep again. Poor baby.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sick kiddo

Last night we went to celebrate a friend's second birthday, and the kids had a great time. We ended the evening by playing Laurie Berkner in the van and watching six of the cutest kids dance around the driveway.

Here's Taisim in her party dress:

Anyway, we got home after 10, and the kids got ready for bed and went to sleep pretty easily. This morning Taisim woke up, and seemed ok. I picked her up and took her to the bathroom with me to brush our teeth and she threw up :( She's done it two more times today, but not since about 10:30am. Hopefully just a quick bug. Taipan seems fine so far.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

America's roller coast!

The kids had their first trip to Cedar Point this yesterday. I can't believe that Taipan had to spend three and a half years of his life having never been there. Haha.

The kids *really* loved it. Taipan's love of trains took an extension to roller coasters about a year ago when we went to Kennywood, and he has seen videos of the Cedar Point roller coasters (Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster, Magnum & Millennium Force) on our computer. He knew that we were going to see the roller coasters when his auntie got here, and had been talking about it for a couple of weeks. He loved watching them. And he actually rode Jr. Gemini - his first coaster!

Both of the kids rode the rides with cars on tracks quite a few times. It didn't occur to me that Taisim would be able to ride on them, but when Taipan was getting on the first one, she took off after him, so I asked the operator if she was big enough and they said "yep!". Taisim even rode two rides without Taipan. She has no fear about those things.

Neither one of them ever looked terribly excited or happy while on the ride, but after the rides were over neither one could wait to get on again.

Taipan's favorite thing was to watch Top Thrill Dragster. Taisim loved everything equally.

Yuta and his sister got to ride Maverick and Millennium Force too. The only ride I did was the kiddie 4x4, which was enough for me. And we got yummy corn dogs and kiwi slushies, which are actually quite good.

Cedar Point rocks!

Bedtime update

Well, I wouldn't say blogging about bedtime jinxed me.... Taipan's late afternoon naps did! We had a great pattern of relatively early bedtimes until Sunday night. He fell asleep around 3 and slept for an hour. That hour-long nap kept him going well into the night. And for those of you who would recommend that we wake him up: I tried to. Twice. He fell back asleep, and at that point I figured he needed the sleep more than I needed him in bed early.

So now we've had two late nights in row. I'm going to try to turn it around again tonight.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

New bedtime era?

Ok, I'll probably jinx myself by writing about this... but both kids have been asleep relatively early for the past four nights! And last night they were both sleeping before 10. The key has been to keep Taipan from falling asleep in the van in the afternoons. I'm hoping this will continue... they started sleeping in late, which made me stressed about getting to work on time.

I'm going to dinner with a friend tonight - hopefully I won't stay out so late that it ruins our new pattern.

I scream, u scream...

We heard the ice cream truck on Tuesday, and went outside to look at it and Taipan said, "I want a popsicle". So we ran inside to get money, and bought a Fudge Bomb for Taipan and an ice cream cookie sandwich for me and Taisim. Messy and cute pictures:

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Shout out to the cousins

I learned last night that one of the kids' cousins likes to read our blog! It made me feel good that she's interested in what's going on in our lives and seeing pictures of the kids.

So, Hi Elyse and Jason! We're glad that you're reading this.

Elyse and Jason are actually coming to visit us in about two and a half weeks, and we can't wait. They're coming with their grandma & grandpa and we've been trying to figure out fun things to do. We're planning to go to Niagara for a couple of days (Taipan can't wait to go back to Lego City), and we'll also take them to the Cleveland Zoo and probably go on a sightseeing boat on Lake Erie.

Speaking of visitors, one of Yuta's sisters is coming into town this Sunday, and we're really looking forward to seeing her too. We're planning on going to Cedar Point next Monday; I just checked the weather and it looks like it might rain that day. I hope the forecast changes.

Diaper hat

Last night while getting ready for bed I set Taipan's nighttime Pull Up on the bed. I was getting Taipan ready for the diaper change, and when I looked up Taisim had put it on her head:

I ended up trading her one of her Pull Ups to get his back:

She's funny.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Our weekend

Ah, I feel like I should post about our weekend, though it was kinda low key, which was actually really nice.

So, what'd we do? Well, I'll start with Saturday, since I can't remember Friday. We had planned to go to Stan Hywet to see the treehouse display they have set up. But we didn't make it; the treehouses are on display until October, so we have plenty of time. The kids were up late on Friday night, and we all seemed to feel like sticking close to home.

So we filled up our little pool with water, and Taisim and I splashed and played for about an hour. Taipan didn't feel like going outside, so he stayed in and played with his cars and some computer games.

When we came in, Yuta took a nap (he'd gotten up super early to pick his parents up from the airport). Then he woke up, and Taisim and I got to nap!

We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon playing at home, mostly inside, though Taisim did spend a few minutes outside in the rain. We made pasta for dinner and called it an early night. Except for Yuta, who went to our friends' house to watch the Cavs beat the Pistons for the Eastern Conference Championship.

On Sunday Yuta had to work, so the kids and I were on our own for most of the day. We woke up late (Taipan woke at 9:15, and Taisim at 9:45), had a late breakfast, played cars and trucks and starfall.com and games at hotwheels.com. We went outside and played 'tennis' and threw balls around the yard.

Around 1:30 we decided to take our quarters and go to the mall to "do the cars", which means ride the coin-operated vehicles that are near the play area. They've got a purple race car, a yellow motorcycle, a fire engine, helicopter, train & roller coaster. Taipan and Taisim love doing this. The last time the kids were at the mall was when Taisim hurt her arm, but she wasn't wary of climbing anything this time around.

We also stopped and got smoothies at DQ, bought Akon his birthday present, and bought Yuta a Cavs Eastern Conference Championship t-shirt - I got the last large in the store, and made quite a few people angry. Then we met Yuta at Friday's for dinner, walked to Target to get diapers (and a few Hot Wheels), then came home. Both the kids were asleep when we got home at 8:30. Silly me thought that meant early bedtimes for everyone. I was wrong! Taipan woke up when I unbuckled his seat. Taisim stayed asleep coming in, then woke up around 10pm to play. We were all up until midnight. Yawn.

The kids have been playing a lot of Hullabaloo lately, which is a lot of fun. Taisim even gets in on it, mostly be copying the motions that Taipan is doing. Yuta tried to get some video of it this morning, but as soon as the camera was on she stopped. Of course.