Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Haws Clan Catch-Up

Quite a few tidbits happen around here that obviously are not caught on camera. Other things I catch on my phone but fail to upload to this blog. I thought I'd remedy that and go back a stretch and add in these things that are beautiful memories for our family. 

 Did I say beautiful? HAHA. Well, this was definitely a memory! I went to piano lessons a few weeks ago (I teach on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, but on Wednesdays I teach one lesson at my home and then head out to teach four girls at their house. It's a win win because my kids love it and are occupied and their mom doesn't have to drive. They only live about six blocks away so it's no big deal.) and came back to this. Now, the level the water is reaching on that car is deceivingly LOW. From where I was standing it reached my KNEE. This is an odd street and I keep wanting to take a comparison picture. Where we live, apartment complexes are all gated. So you have our gated complex on the right, and another gated complex on the left. From the cement fences there would normally be a foot of grass, a sidewalk, another couple feet of grass and then road in the middle. You can tell that the speed limit sign looks like it is in the middle of the road, but really it is just off to the side. I called my dad and opted NOT to drive through the water, but parked the van at Target (right behind this photo) and walked home. I think a drain was plugged or something because this doesn't normally happen, even though we do get ridiculous rainstorms with TONS of rain.

Ruthie is starting to mimic letters and I LOVE it! Her little R's are just the cutest thing ever! I love how she has two big U's at the top of the page and somehow they disappear later on. Haha.

While we're showing artwork, here is our Haws Clan Standard. I love the idea, from Stephanie Nielson's blog (the lady who was burned 80% of her body) to have a family theme every school year. She goes all out with a dinner and momentos and a framed theme and they all memorize it. I don't know if I am that crafty, although I really do love the idea so much that maybe next year when Ruth starts school we might start the tradition, and we aren't really quite financially ready to get too many things going, but we did our own little version this year. Ruth already has it memorized. We did not do a scripture verse, but chose instead a quote by Elder Holland from last general conference. It is very dear to my heart right now and I know it was inspired for our family. We picked it out and I wrote it on a long sheet of paper and the kids drew and colored on it for FHE and we hung it on the wall. Then one afternoon when Ruthie was painting I felt like getting crafty (this NEVER happens) and I made our standard a little nicer than a sheet of paper. I am so glad because it lifts my spirits every time I look at it, which is often, since Molly's high chair sits right in front of that space. 

At the park the other day (and no, it was NOT cool enough to wear a jacket, Will is just in love with ninja turtles and wanted to BE a turtle that morning...a turtle with cowboy boots no less :) Molly and Will were being SO adorable together. He is in a huge phase of hitting and pushing her (I really do think it is in love, at least I keep hoping that, because he's always trying to get her to play with him when he does it.) and so it's especially nice to watch them play kindly.

 This past week I made a menu (yay! thanks to having the missionaries over because that jump-started the whole thing!) and worked on some new gluten-free additions. The below picture is an adaptation of navajo tacos. You make cornbread waffles (cornbread, just instead of cooking it in a pan, you make it as waffles--I suppose the only real advantage there is how fast it cooks and how flat it is to stack things on) and then put your chili, cheese, sour cream, etc. on top. I was feeling fall-ish and this hit the spot. More than I thought it would. I'm usually a so-so chili lover, but I really, really loved this. So yay for an additional gluten-free meal!

 We've been going to the Farmer's Market with a fair amount of regularity lately. Mostly because we can double our money there (med student poor man perks) and their fresh produce is much cheaper than in stores (oh Miami, why is your produce so nasty and yet so expensive all at the same time?!?!)! On Halloween I let the kids get some cupcakes because I felt bad we hadn't made our traditional pumpkin sugar cookies. They loved it, of course!

Will got a runny nose, so Molly got a runny nose, which led to deep-chested coughs and my ever-lasting concern about RSV. Oh man, I don't mess around with that anymore. After giving Will a few nebulizer treatments and seeing the vast improvement on him, I decided to take Molly in to the doctor. NO RSV! YAY! They did give her a nebulizer treatment without the albuterol, just saline, which is similar to the hot bathroom/steamy trick which helps break up all the congestion. Poor girl. I'm also fairly certain she is getting her two upper canines right now (which means the bottom ones are right behind) so we have had a tough time during nights lately. Oh this girl does not sleep!!! The Daylight Savings Time transition has not helped at all. My kids are all sorts of grumpy. I've kept them up later, but they wake up at the same time, so then they are just on less sleep and everyone is whiney. It seems to be getting better though. As is the upper respiratory virus that they said Molly had. So yay!!
Will was quite impressed that they had matching masks when she got home, haha!

Shout out to my hubby, who, after hearing how much I'd been up with Molly all night, stayed home in the morning with Ruth and Will so I could run Molly in to the doctor. It was really lucky that he didn't have his normal schedule of morning classes and was able to take the train in the afternoon and catch his required classes.
Recuperating. Perfection. Oh that tiny elbow and those perfect features. Also, this girl LOVES her teddy bears. Anything especially soft (she's lugged Will's Olaf costume around for weeks now, whenever he isn't wearing it, because of how soft it is) she loves. 
After a weekend of keeping ourselves to ourselves so we didn't spread the nasty cold, we came out of hiding for playgroup today. And met up with this:

Ruth came and told me there was a snake and I didn't believe her. I thought it was a long leaf or something, and went to check it out to reassure her it wasn't a snake. Only then it was! Haha. Luckily, a few nannies were there (It is always so weird to me to be at a park with nannies. They often wear uniforms so you definitely know they aren't the moms. I find it very difficult to strike up conversations with them, as I have never really been around nannies before! I sit by them all the time at library story time too. Such a foreign thing!) and they said these snakes weren't poisonous. They said that landscaping people run into them all the time and usually they just slither away. Ruth was not mollified though, that snake sure made her anxious!

Will relaxing in the shade eating a cracker.
Boy, did we ever need shade breaks! It was 90 degrees, but with humidity my friends app said the real feel was much higher. What is with this November weather? And why can't it be like last year when we were happily in the 75-80 degree range at this time?! I literally was melting today. All energy sapped.

Blurry, I know, but she is so cute. And those tiny legs are just my favorite thing in the whole world. 
 Due to the extreme heat, we stopped at Wayside Market after our park date and got some fresh shakes. It was oh! so perfect. The kids picked out dollar push-pops and it totally made their little life that there was crushed up bubble gum at the bottom. Haha.
This is Tricia and Clarke. They are my lifeline here in Miami. I have NO idea what I would do without them. Isn't Clarke just the cutest?!?! Pretty much every single activity we do outside of our home, we do with them. Thank you, Tricia, for always being a second set of eyes on my children and watching them for every potty break and tantrum crisis so that I can get out with three kids!!!!! Lifesaver.
Today was an especially great day. Will is just the SWEETEST right now. And his VOICE! I try and get him to say things all the time just because I love it SOOOOO much! Before Halloween I was at Target (I know, it's the downfall of everyone!) and Room on the Broom board book was on sale for under $5. It is a classic, and with Halloween coming up, I decided to get it. Sterling was not annoyed, no, he was SO EXCITED about it! Haha. Let me tell you. In the past few weeks we have read the book at least TEN TIMES DAILY!!!! Ruth has it pretty much memorized, which is saying a lot. It may be a board book, but it has quite a few words on each page. Well, Will's favorite part (besides when the dragon flies away and when the broom snaps in two) is when they make the new broom. When you read that the frog gets a lily, the cat gets a cone, the bird gets a twig and the dog gets a bone (yes I did just type that from memory!) he points at each animal as you say it and then gets SOOO excited to turn the page and he yells "Ziggety, Zaggety, ZOOOM!" Except, he can't say his Z's and he can't really do G's. So it is this really weird jumble of vowel sounds and tones and I just die every time I hear it. I didn't even realize what he was saying the first few times but he repeated it enough that I caught on. "Ih-genn-ee, Aa-det-nee, OOOOOM!" you get the idea. I think it's the exuberant that really does it for me. :)

The other things I love right now is how excited he gets every time he sees the pumpkins on our front step. "PUUUUUNK! MY PUNK!!! LIDDLE PUNK!" and then he has to count all of them, every, single, time we walk in the front door. "One liddle punk, two liddle punk, three liddle punk, BIG BIG BIG PUUUUNK!!!!" He does the same thing with his blanket. He has a sailboat quilted blanket (crib-size) that his Grandma Carol made for him. It has always been my favorite, and he has slept with it in his arms since he was tiny. He now calls it his "Boat bank" and I just love how that O sound comes out and how he truncates the word blanket.

Last night I wrapped Molly up in a towel as they got out of the tub. I wound it around her and let everyone kiss the 'little burrito's' head and then played peek-a-boo for a bit with Molly all wrapped up. Will just got such a kick out of it! He thought the 'liddle burr-ay-doh' was the funniest thing! So then of course everyone had to be a burrito, but we graduated from the towel to a 'white bank' and every time I heard him say "burr-ay-doh" I just died a little inside. His voice is just TOO perfect.

Molly lately has taken to wrapping her arms around my neck and holding tight and that just MELTS me. There is NOTHING sweeter than a tiny baby holding on to you. It is like instant payment for every single time she has ever made life difficult (pretty much all of Molly's life, ha!) and I just want it to last forever. Of course, she is a wiggly little bean and it never lasts very long, but I am so glad she is in that stage right now! She is also HUGELY emphatic about what she wants and doesn't want but resorts to high-pitched screeching and holy moly, I can't wait for her to get some more words! 

Molly can also do some awesome hand actions. She does almost all of Popcorn Popping (Will picks that song every single night) and her little fingers curling in and out for the popping is the greatest little thing. So much concentration. She covers her whole face instead of pointing to her eye (although she does point to her eyes and her nose when you ask, separate from the song) and I laugh every time. 

Ruth is obsessed with turning five and birthdays. Every time she brings it up (at least daily) Will gets all emphatic about a "BWOO CAKE!" (blue cake). He has been requesting one ever since Sterling's birthday in September. Okay, okay, little man! You will have a blue cake for your birthday, I promise! 

We fed the missionaries tonight and oh! the happiness they had over the roast and potatoes, but ESPECIALLY the red jello with whipped cream mixed in! Haha. "My mom makes this meal and EVEN THIS JELLO! It feels just like home!!!!" I was hoping some more traditional western foods would bring some joy. Not that Cuban, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Brazilian foods aren't AMAZING. They can be!!! But they can also be pretty terrible depending on who's cooking. Which reminds me, our primary president Lili Jimenez promised to teach me how to make Ecuadorian ceviche and I am SOOOOO excited! Now, that is a woman who can COOK!!! She made empanadas for a ward thing and they were DIVINE! Back to the missionaries, we love our sister missionaries! She saw our Joy School house on the wall and was so excited because her mom did Joy School with her and then she was just so in love with everything--our food storage, our collage of pictures, our Ponderize scripture-haha, Ruthie's drawings on the fridge--maybe she was a little homesick and my home felt a little closer than normal? I don't know--but man it was nice to hear all the compliments! Especially when I feel like there is so much I always want to be doing decorating-wise in our apartment but never quite get up the energy since I know we're moving soon. They were in love with Will's 'Ohhh-kAY.' which, really, is the love of my life right now too. He says it after every statement you make towards him, or any answer you give him, in this sweet little voice and sounds so very settled about it. And his 'pead' which of course, is 'please' but in Will-ian. They also loved Ruthie--which might have something to do with the fact she colored and cut out pictures for them beforehand. Sheep and Santa Claus--both of which got cut up in the process of being cut out and therefore looked like filled in round circles--HAHA. 

Mostly I can't seem to figure out why my babies are all growing so fast and how in the world do you slow down time to be able to take it all in and enjoy it to the depth that I always want to?!?! Oh how I love those little chickadees of mine.

Which reminds me of our first November FHE:

Terrible phone photo, but I have to say I am impressed with my own craftiness. I plan on helping the kids put up more leaves throughout the month, but I was surprised by how well they did coming up with things they were grateful for. Will got stuck on 'dit tree' and 'deet leabs' meaning the tree and the leaves we were working with, but he slowly came around to expanding what he was grateful for. That 'b' sound in leaves reminds me that he says 'lub you' to me all the time now. That B sound is the CUTEST! Tonight when I closed the door and said goodnight he said "LUB YOU!" and Molly stood there waving at me as I shut the door. Heart full of thanks right there. And I don't know why Will got his own leaf and the rest of us got shunted to the 'family' leaf. Haha! 

I am so grateful I get to be their mom. I was told recently that I would be blessed to know them and understand them and understand how to make them become the best of friends for their whole lives. It is something I have thought about almost constantly since. Oh how hard this world is! And if I can give them that great comfort of having siblings to support them through the rest of their lives and give them life-long friends, it would be a true treasure for me as their mother. I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons because of that special focus on family and giving from our hearts. So grateful for these three tiny little hearts and it is just the greatest!


Cindy Ball said...

Thanks for letting me know you had updated your blog. I love, love, love reading it! You have such a talent for writing. Thanks for sharing your family experiences so far, far away. Love and miss you all!

Sara said...

Are you guys going gluten free? Your comment about having another gluten free meal made me curious.

Bridget Cunningham said...

There are so many things I could comment on! But basically I love all of this! I can not believe you put your kids to bed with them waving and smiling! I really need some pointers on that :| also I do have to say the haws clan standad... AMAZING! I keep thinking I'm going to do a ponderous scripture but haven't gotten around to it yet so kudos to you for doing that AND a standard! One day I'll be as good as a homemaker as you :)

Bridget Cunningham said...

Oh, and Will eating his cracker, so darling! He deserves his own leaf! Hahaha