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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day in the Life Of

I'm 38.5 weeks pregnant and have a 2 year old and a 3.5 year old daughter, so things are bound to change day by day. This is what a typical stay at home day looks like for us though, or as typical as it can get!

6:30 I wake up on my own and try not to move do that the rest of the house doesn't wake up. I play Candy Crush on my phone and try not to flip around. 

6:50 the girls, who are sharing a room now, erupt in a bout of yelling "no" and "yes" at each other. I remind them that this is not how we wake up and that I will come get them up when they are quiet. 

7:00 I take the girls downstairs and Ian gets up and gets showered. The girls watch an episode of The Hive and drink milk. 

7:30 I get the girls cereal after they pick out their bowls and I get them set up at their kid table with another episode of The Hive. Then I get in the shower while Ian eats breakfast and irons his clothes. 

7:50 I'm out of the shower, much to my chagrin and Ian and Sophia come upstairs. I put Sophia on the potty (again) and change her out of her pull up into panties. I put my pjs back on and pull my hair up into a bun. It's going to be one of those days. 

(As a side note, Thursday's are the only day of the week where we stay home. Three days a week we are out the door by 7:50 for the girls' school and I run errands or sit in a coffee shop and study and on Tuesdays I help lead a ladies' Bible Study so we are on the road by 9.)

8:00 Ian's done getting dressed and we chat for a minute about what his day is going to look like. Sophia has to go potty again. Ian kisses us all goodbye and hits the road. He has a meeting at another city, 2 hours away.

I build blocks with the girls until Sophia melts down over wanting all the blocks for herself. 

I read to Sophia while Grace builds and then re direct the girls to play with something else. 

8:30 I slip out of their room and come downstairs to eat breakfast. 15 minutes of semi peace ensues. Grace bosses Sophia around and I remind her from downstairs that she is not showing a "happy heart," towards her sister. 

8:45 Peace time is over, and just as my coffee was cool enough to drink. Grace gets a time out on the stairs while I talk to her about self control and how her reactions to Sophia's actions are just as important. I try to claim five more minutes of coffee time before returning upstairs. 

9:00 I dash downstairs to start a load of hand towels and bathroom rugs. I start a stock pot of water to boil, wash dishes, and fight against the never ending onslaught of ants on our counters. I find their entry spot and treat it with ant killer. I add five pounds of chicken to the stock pot and peruse my pantry for all of the ingredients to make five batches of freezer enchiladas. I'd usually make the chicken in the crock pot but mine isn't big enough for this much chicken and with our utilities being raised 30 percent this year, the gas stove top is much quicker and cost effective even if it won't turn out as tasty. 

9:15 The girls are still playing well (a totally new skill for them!) so I come upstairs to set up the pack n play in our room, clean the mattress pad for it, move the changing table into our room, and move a bookcase into the nursery/guest room so my mom will have a place to put her things when she comes next week. 

In hindsight, moving all of that furniture on my own was not a good idea!

9:45 I give everything a final dusting and run back downstairs to turn off the stove. I put away the contents of Luke's closet and spend three minutes locked in the bathroom trying to come up with a plan to entertain the girls while I do some freezer cooking. 

10:00 I finally allow the girls to come downstairs, get them a snack of rice crackers, almonds, and raisins, (much healthier than normal, trust me, but I am cleaning out our pantry!) I fill my water bottle, realize that the washing machine door hadn't sealed so water was all over the floor, move the towels to the dryer, then collapse on the couch to enjoy 22 minutes of octonauts with the girls. How is it only 10 am? Still 8 more hours until Ian gets home. 

10:25 Octonauts is over but there is no way I am getting off the couch. Fatigue washes over me and I flip the Apple TV over to iTunes Radio. Dora and her music entertains the girls as they play chase and puppy dog in the family room. I pin various things to boards on Pinterest on my phone. 

11:00 I notice the time. I find some energy to get up. Mainly a piece of bread with Nutella is calling my name from the kitchen. I make a piece for all three of us then get the girls set up with Legos. I start rough chopping the chicken for the enchiladas. 

11:20 I take a pause to grab another piece of Nutella bread and pray that the girls don't see me. I take Sophia to the bathroom. I get back to cooking and the girls play on. 

11:30 I move my computer into the kitchen so I can watch an episode of The Bachelor. It's not great television but it amuses me. I like the Bachelorette better. I'm on to garlic mincing and opening cans of chilli peppers. 

12:00 I pause to get the girls lunch around: diced chicken, a tortilla with Peanut butter, orange, and apple slices. I turn on Daniel Tigers neighborhood then watch some more of the show while I scarf down my chicken and cheese quesadilla. 

12:30 I'm so close to being finished with the enchiladas! I start another episode to buy me time and try to power through. 

1:00 The girls join me in the kitchen as I assemble six pans of chicken enchiladas. Five will go into the freezer and one will be dinner tonight. Grace hands me each tortilla as I fill and roll it and Sophia stands on the stool peering into the pots on the stove. As I am finishing up I send them to the family room to clean up Legos. Several fights ensue. I get Sophia to stop bothering Grace and when they are done cleaning up I send them upstairs to pick out three books each. 

1:35 I join them on my bed and we read six books through all of yawning. Potty breaks, pick out books for their beds, then off to nap by 2. 

2:00 I collapse into bed and type up the day up to this point. I fall asleep around 2:30 

3:25 I wake up disappointed that I didn't sleep for very long. The cold I woke up with in the morning had settled into my face over the last hour or two. I did not feel good but just willed myself to lie still until the girls' wake up time. 

4:00 I go to wake up Grace but she won't stir. Sweet girl also was coming down with a cold. She had her blanket pulled over her face and it had made her really sweaty. 



4:10 I leave her side to get Sophia. She is up as soon as I open the door to her (old) room. Happy and cuddly, as normal. I take her back to their shared room and Grace finally wakes up. I change them out of their pj bottoms into play shorts then we go downstairs to get snack (birthday cake,) and take it outside to eat and play. 


4:20 I settle into a patio chair, enjoy my cake, and check emails on my phone. The girls eat their cake then play with the soil that is in their water table. We eventually water the potted plants in the backyard. It is 99 degrees outside. Phew. Summer is going to be a doozy this year, considering it's only February. My feet start to swell and the girls get listless. 


5:00 we head inside. I refill their water bottles and take them straight upstairs to the bath. While they bathe I work on reorganizing their room. Their bookshelf had gotten all crazy and all of their baby dolls were naked. I took out a box of their "treasures," that are trash. 

5:40 I wash the girls and pull them out of the tub and get them in their pjs. I dash downstairs to turn on the oven and unchain the front door for Ian then return upstairs to help Sophia with a puzzle. Grace helps me find the right clothes for the right baby dolls. 

6:05 I notice the time and tell the girls that Ian will be home any minute. We come downstairs and they pick up the family room while I get played around for dinner. Enchiladas and baby spinach salad. 

6:10 Ian walks in the door, gives us all bugs and kisses, then takes the girls upstairs while he changes out of his work clothes. The girls like helping him take off his dress shoes and tie. They come back downstairs and play Simon says while I finish washing some dishes. 

6:20. We sit down for dinner. Ian tells me about his day but I don't have a lot to say about mine. I'm pretty worn out by this point.

6:45 Ian takes the girls upstairs to go potty, brush teeth, and read stories on our bed. I finish up dinner dishes and clean the counter before joining them upstairs for prayers and songs. 

7:05 the girls are in their beds and Ian and I lay next to Grace and sing her a song (in Arabic,) pray over her, then Ian leaves. I sing two songs with Grace (old Rugged Cross and Jesus Loves Me,) while Sophia joins in from the other side of the room in her crib. It's pretty cute. I ask Grace to tell me three things: what made her happy today (playing in the dirt,) what made her sad (when she hurt her leg on a Lego,) and what did she learn (boys spray their mommies when their diaper is being changed. Ha! She had asked me what a Peepee Teepee was for this morning.)

7:25 I walk out of their room and go downstairs to the couch. There I shall remain until I think it's time for sleep! Ian is wanting to get a new video game for the PS4 and I will probably finish watching The Bachelor on my computer before getting caught up on Castle. He will probably rub my feet before bed (he's a real keeper!) I expect to be asleep before ten, which is my new normal!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grace and Sophia: 3.5 and 2

I'm nearly five months late with this little update on the girls, but better late than never, right?

Grace

Grace turned 3.5 and on October 2nd and it's been so fun to see what changes have come.

Grace's sleep has improved drastically in the last several months. Because of a medicine that she was on, she was suffering from some big vitamin deficiencies which was causing insomnia. In a 3 year old. It was just awful, mainly because it took us so long to realize it was a medical issue and not a discipline issue. She would lie in bed crying because she couldn't sleep and there was nothing we could do for her. She's back to sleeping for two hours for a nap and close to 12 hours for night time sleep.

She's become a (little) better eater- has willingly said she likes asparagus, tacos, and steak, and knows that when we sit down to eat she is expected to eat what is in front of her.

Grace loves to play but I haven't pegged it down to any particular favorites. She doesn't have one special toy that she loves or one game or activity that the migrates to. She is such a people person that she usually likes doing anything that someone else will do with her. So if it is not Ian or myself, then she will rope her little sister into playing. Lately there is alot of pretending they are sneaky foxes, crawling babies, or stacking and sorting games.


 Grace loves being outside, loves going to school, and loves crafting of any sort. She can easily complete 12 piece puzzles and is ready for 24 pieces. She can almost write her name and she can count to 20. Grace loves Octonauts and Letter Factory shows. She thinks her favorite princess is Snow White, but she's never seen it. I'd guess it's actually Rapunzel or Elsa.

She loves running and is very fast. She can do a somersault all by herself and loves walking on a balance beam (or curb.) She's recently figured out pedaling a bike and I suspect a bike will be her next birthday present. One of her favorite games is to run in the house, leap in the air, and land on her knees on the tile (ouch!) and slide- as long as she's wearing long pants. She gets some good speed and loves doing this, but it drives me crazy.

Grace can put on all of her clothes herself now, but sometimes needs help with her shirt. She loves to cook and we are getting close to being able to do some independent food prep, such as pouring cereal or milk. Grace can empty the silverware and kids dishes all by herself from the dishwasher and helps me move clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. She also wipes down the kids' table after moving the dishes to the sink.

She wears size 3T but I've moved her up to 4T since her sister is fast on her heels. She wears size 8 shoes. She is long and skinny.


She is still my Gracie girl and I love to cuddle her post nap time and tell her she is my first baby!

Sophia

Oh, Sophia. My little nugget. She is so gosh darn cute. She has a great little voice and talks all the time. She's my cuddly girl and loves to be in my lap, even if it has all but disappeared in these last few months of pregnancy.

Sophia turned two on September 29th and is approaching her half birthday.

She goes to preschool three, half days a week. She is one of the oldest in her class. She can recognize her name and loves to talk about her friend Jumaa, (who I have never seen her interacting with.)

She doesn't have time for eating. She'd rather be playing. She loves playing with our pretend kitchen, Legos, or picnic set. She plays for really long stretches by herself but she loves playing with her sister as well.

She has just figured out how to complete a 12 piece puzzle, with alot of assistance!

Sophia wears size 2T but will move into 3T as soon as we are done with our "winter" clothes. She is in mostly size 6 shoes but I just had to put away 3 pairs that were to tight on her, so size 7 is in our very near future!

Sophia was potty trained in about 3 days after Christmas. She has only had a handful of accidents outside of the home and loves wearing big girl panties like her big sister.


 Sophia naps in her old room but sleeps at night in our second crib in Grace's room. She says to me "no laughing, no singing," when we tuck her in, because she knows she is supposed to be quiet. We sing her the Doxology and Silent Night at her requests.

Sophia has much more of a temper than Grace has ever had. She gets angry and frustrated when she doesn't get her way. She shows alot more attitude, will cross her arms and pout, or say "I don't want to/I don't like it."

 
 Sophia loves milk. We finally had to cut her off at 2-3 cups a day because it was causing all sorts of attitutde problems if we didn't  get it for her when she wanted it.

She hates getting her hair brushed and loves putting on makeup with Mommy. She loves eating bananas, toast, eggs, and cereal. She is learning how to sort the silverware and likes loading and starting the dishwasher or dryer. Carrying in any grocery bag is immediately met with an "it's too heavy!"

Sophia loves Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Caillou. She tolerates Grace's choice as well.

I'm so thankful for Sophia and how she is my cuddly girl

Monday, February 2, 2015

Well, That's New!

Last week, a friend invited me to go watch a tennis tournament final. 

Now, I'm not really a tennis watching kind of person. My (not so) vast knowledge of the game mainly stems from my childhood days of playing Tennis on our Super Nintendo and my college days of going to the court with my friends and pretending to know what we were doing. 

Ian and I played together at our first apartment when we were first married, but played is a really loose term. We didn't know the rules and pretty much just treated it as a gigantic ping pong match, let's be honest. 

So, when my friend invited me my first thought was one of reluctance. Then, when she told me it was at the palace and put on by one of the Sheikhas (princesses,) the decision was a pretty clear one for me. After all, it's not every day you get to go to a palace, right?

I mean, for a princess that is, but not for me! 
So off we went, nervously giggling as we passed through the front gate and drove around the palace grounds to a parking spot. We were directed to the tennis court and the grand stands that had been set up there. Ball girls dressed in sparkly hot pants escorted us to our seats and national flags and noise makers were distributed. 

The match started out with a laser light show (duh,) a helicopter fly over, and several patriotic clips. Nothing says Abu Dhabi like flashy and over done. I secretly love it. 

The players were introduced and the Sheikha who was playing came onto the court. She was modest and seemed humble. The match started and the ball girls brought out continuous stream of hot chocolate, cappuccinos, fries, popcorn, and donuts. 

I was really into catching up with my friend so I had to keep reminding myself to focus on the court! Ha. And who to cheer for? The choice seemed pretty straight forward. 

The princess, of course! 

She had put on this whole thing anyways. 

After three games (matches? I'm still not sure on the terms. But almost two hours later,) the princess and her doubles partner won the tie breaker and there was an awards ceremony. 

Afterwards, we were all invited down, out of the grand stands to a high tea served by a famous British tea house. At 10 pm. Why not? 

My friend and I came down off the stairs and a hostess happened to see me and my enormous belly and offered us one of the few seats. We munched on fresh scones, jams, macaroons, and a plethora of appetizers and sipped on fresh lemonade and Moroccan mint tea.  

All of this eating was going on while beautiful models in ball gowns were circling our tables, pausing to show off the diamond necklaces and earrings they were displaying for a famous British jeweler. 

Nothing like a nine month pregnant lady stuffing her face with scones and lemon curd while a rail thin, six foot tall model pauses next to you for admiration to make you feel like a whale. 

*crumbs fall out of open mouth*

Also, where are you supposed to look? I felt like I had to make and lock eye contact with them just so they know someone wasn't looking at just their jewelry or their dress. Like it was up to me to affirm each and every one of them as a human being. 

We toured the Sheikhas clubhouse then my friend ran back into the grandstand to grab five sets of clappers/noise makers for our kids. (Because we are classy like that.) She then shoved them all into my arms so she could go up the princess and thank her in person for hosting the event. All while I nervously giggled in the corner. 

It was a great night and I am so thankful for the experience of seeing another side of life and culture here!