Friday, January 29, 2010

Family Fun Day

It was a fun filled field day at Addie's school on Friday. The sun was shinning (beating down on us) and all the kids had their parents present to play games, build kites, tug-of-war, and lots more. Addie and the other 2-3 year olds were a tad overwhelmed and preferred to sit back and watch the older kids. She was pretty excited about the Hula-hoop. I was taken aback at how big she looks in these pictures. Addie was a blue Bear Cub and won four medals!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

pull-ups off, waterproof pads on

At two and a half the milestones are noticed less but still celebrated. Addie reaches new heights of cleverness, stubbornness, and sweetness on a weekly basis but they aren't things you'd necessarily write down in her baby book. For example, yesterday she ripped the flaps off one of our favorite Christmas books for no apparent reason than she was bored and not getting the attention she wanted. I clearly expressed my disappointment with her ill treatment of the book and told her that she would have to tell Daddy when he got home from work. This news was very upsetting to her because she knew Justin would be mad. She said "No, Daddy will say damn it!". Ah, her first swear word. A milestone I will not be keeping track of (even though I just blogged about it). We have made a mental note to be extremely careful what we talk about and we leave the radio off in the car (talk radio in Manila is like late night "Loveline" with Dr. Drew and Adam Corolla when I was in high school-utterly inappropriate). Adelaide has an uncanny ability to observe and listen to what adults are talking about. I've noticed that most kids her age are oblivious to what the adults are conversing about. Addie is listening even if she is doing something else. Justin and I were relying a few more months of being able to talk around her and give each other knowing winks and nods-HA! Not with this girl. She is all ears and immediately is asking questions.

The milestone I was planning to write about is that Addie is totally and completely potty trained. She had been potty trained for the most part now for two months but she was still wearing pull-ups at night. She complained over the weekend how the pull-ups are uncomfortable so I promised to put a waterproof pad down on her bed so she could wear her panties to sleep. Last night was the first night and went wonderfully. She woke me up at midnight (damn husbands who can sleep through everything) to go pee on the potty and then slept the entire night dry. It's a miracle! She is all about doing it by herself now too. She decides it's time to go and gets up on the potty all on her own, wipes, and everything. The big success here is that she's giving her number two's to the city sewer system without me having to look at it (she still wants to admire her work afterward-but I don't have to look!). We are very proud of her accomplishment. It's truly a New Years gift!

Her other first was picture day at school. The AmeriKids program with the embassy puts together a yearbook for the kids complete with class and individual pictures of all the kids. I am on the committee and nominated myself as the photographer (why the heck not?). Addie turned all clingy sad baby while I was at her school all day and refused to smile. The logic kids have about being disastrous for their mothers by wonderful for strangers is beyond me. Anyway, you can see the adorable dress she and I picked out for the occasion. Too bad her pretty face is all scrunched up in a grimace.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

oh lolly lolly pop

I remember being fascinated with lolly pops when I was a little girl. We called them suckers in my house . I'm not sure what the excitement is about them but Adelaide is in love with the candy on a stick. They are her absolute favorite. After immunizations they calm her, after using the potty all by herself they reward her, for dessert they excite her. She loves a good lolly pop. We don't generally have them in the house, but Grammy sent a bag of Dum dums for us to give to the children in Yaya's village for Christmas and the bag never made it there. Every once in awhile Addie gets to pick out a flavor from the bag. She sucks on it for a few minutes and then the temptation to bite the candy becomes all consuming and she starts chomping down. Justin and I got away on Saturday to see Sherlock Holmes (entertaining movie and has confirmed my crush on Robert Downy Jr. and renewed my interest in Jude Law, Rachel McAdams is back on Justin's top three list). On our way home we stopped and picked up a Tootsie Pop for Addie just because we love her. Luckily she had used the potty for some pretty serious business while we were away and, according to Yaya, she did it without help; so we had a good reason to give her the lolly pop. She was in heaven. She taunted her little sister with it and savored every last lick.


Bella started teething seriously this past Thursday night and has been fairly miserable since. Since then, she's had a fever that is just now going away today (Monday). She refuses to eat anything besides her milk and a watermelon frozen fruit bar on Saturday. She'll drink cold water too but no solids. She hasn't been sleeping well and when she's awake she's fussy and clingy. I can see where the first tooth is going to burst through, it just hasn't happened yet. I'm hoping it won't be long for every one's sake. Yesterday, Bella took an extremely short first nap that caused her to be even more cranky. We took the girls for a nice walk and Bella just didn't want anything to do with anything or anyone. Luckily she passed out for her second nap and slept a good while. When she woke up, he hair was sweaty and she had a huge indentation on the side of her face where she had slept on her pacifier. Her eyes were bright and she gave us a big smile! Finally a good nap. If you look closely in the picture you can see the indentation. It was so good to have our happy baby for the afternoon. Hopefully our pretty baby will be sporting her first tooth soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Justin and I packed up the girls for a little tourist outing on Monday. The rest of the Philippines bustled about like normal while Justin had the day off. We drove to Intramuros, the walled city the Spanish built in the 1600's during their rule of the Philippines. Intramuros was really the Spaniards outpost of all the East 400 years ago. The wall is still there surrounding the more European influenced architecture and mini city. Unfortunately the historic site has been through some tough times after the war and when the Americans liberated the Filipinos from the Japanese. Intramuros should be a charming little piece of tourist heaven, and while it has some pretty sites and amazing history, the charm is lacking. They could do so much more with the site. Hopefully the restoration will continue. While we were there, we walked by trash fires, exhaust spewing trucks barreling down the narrow streets and locals badgering you for horse and buggy rides. The poor horses looked like they needed a meal. Anyhow, we find it sad to see the potential of a beautiful spot like this wasted on, well, I hate to say it but, the Filipinos. I'm not sure they get it.We walked around for a bit trying to avoid the creepy men who are always talking to our children as we walk by. Justin and I know to ignore them but poor Addie is always bothered by them and says "No thank you" with a scrunched up nose. It doesn't help that she looks adorable at all times since she will not wear anything out of the house but a dress, and this is after I have forbid her to wear a tutu outside. We found a nice little plaza that had some pretty fountains and ivy covered walls. Then we spotted a restaurant and decided to stop in for lunch. It was much too fancy for our crew but luckily we arrived before the lunch rush of business people. The live music really kept the girls attention, Thank God! Great food even though we ate in shifts. I always feel silly sitting at the table eating alone while my awesome husband is trying to manage the kids elsewhere. Justin and made a pact that we would go back again without kids.

"comfy and cozy" the way Addie describes her bed, blankets and pillows in a heap on the floor, and pretty much anything that is well, comfy and cozy. One of the morning on the weekends she grabbed her pillow and blanket and made a bed for herself and her sister to share. Bella was so happy to be included in the fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Missing Megan

We all missed Megan the moment she left last Tuesday. I hate goodbyes, especially when we won't see one another for a long time. We had so much fun together. The girls love their Aunt Megan and Justin and I really enjoyed giving her a taste of Manila. Not to mention the holidays together and our beach trip. Awesome fun. Megan is such a great Auntie, she plays with the girls so nicely and they just adore her. I immediately felt a tad lonely playing by myself with the girls during the day. It's so nice to have someone to do that with.

One of my gifts for Christmas from Justin was a night at the Dusit Thani hotel! Megan and I got to stay in a wonderful room with a big soaking tub all by ourselves. We got pedicures and dinner and then I soaked in the tub and slept the whole night without waking for pumping and feedings. In the morning we enjoyed the huge breakfast buffet. I was in heaven because, again, it was a buffet! When we first checked in that night we stuffed our faces with fancy little hor d'oeuvres and Megan had her first and only San Miguel beer while being in the Philippines. You have to have at least one! It was a special night to remember where I didn't have to be Mommy and Megan didn't have to be all powerful RD. We could just be sisters and friends. Great view of the sun setting from our hotel room.

tutu initiation

Addie's a pro at the tutu. She wears them everywhere. Including the store and to friends houses. Bella had her first tutu experience on Friday. Addie was pretty excited that she and Bella were both wearing pink tutus. The girls are playing much more now which is so sweet to watch. It's like they already have their own little sister language and world together that I will never completely be in-on. I love it. My favorite quote is from Addie the other day. She said "Bella, you are the best sister every day!" She said it with such gumption that it was super sweet. Bella just beamed back at her big sister.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Phew...two and a half

Addie's two and a half and going on 17. She's mastered the phrase " I don't want to!". She can be pretty demanding so we have to remind her that rule number one is manners, all the time. She's giving up her nap. She needs it and I have to force her to take one sometimes but she whole heartily refuses most of the time. It takes the patience of a saint to manage it all at times. She's so wonderful and pleasant most of the time. She loves playing make-believe and making crafts with all the new craft supplies she received from Christmas. She adores dress-up and changes outfits or costumes a million times a day. I have to keep my cool when she asks for one dress but then changes her mind the moment we get it on. She's just asserting her independence...strongly. She's very articulate now and I love hearing the sentences that come out of her mouth, especially when she is playing with herself and talking to her dolls or animals. She says the funniest things. She's fully potty trained now with the occasional accident here and there. I still have to remind her to go but it's a relief that she's not pooping in her underwear any more. Last night she got herself on the potty and went without asking or requiring any help. Breakthrough! I'd love to say I had a magic method for potty training but I didn't. In fact, she really just decided she was ready finally. She still gets a little chocolate when she poops on the potty. She's a chocolate girl like her Mama!

crawling, standing, pulling and moving a lot!

The trip to Boracay was Arabella's "coming out". She surprised me in so many ways. She's not a tiny baby any more and I was amazed at how well behaved given there were so many changes in her routine. She loved being outside and loved the beach. She mostly loved seeing and interacting with so many people. She had started real crawling before the holidays but once we returned home she took her movement to a whole new level. She's all over the place now. She's pulling herself up on things and standing with no or little assistance. She even pulls her hands away at times. She's a very joyful little girl and it makes me so happy to see this transition from fussy baby to happy, active, playful child. She's eating lots of different foods now. She still loves breast milk but is also eating yogurt with fruit, squash, some veggies. She likes the sweet things as usual but I am trying to expand her horizons a bit. She's less verbal than Addie was at this age but she definitely gets her point across. She's much more physical so maybe she's focusing on developing that part of her brain right now. Bella has a strong sense of determination in her movement. She stands in her crib now when she wakes up from a nap. All these new developments are just as much fun with baby number two. In fact I think I'm more surprised because I'm not waiting for the milestones to happen. They just are! She's turning into such a pretty baby! Some of her facial expressions are a crack-up!

Bella and Addie love taking a bath together. I can't believe this is happening already! It's so fun.

Meggos photos

I'm stealing a few of Meg's photos for my blog from the beach trip.

the rest of Boracay

Blogging the end of a vacation is always kind of sad because it takes you back to the location you miss. Getting myself to blog the end of a great vacation takes so long and then I feel sad thinking about the trip being over. Anyhow, the entire trip to the beach was fabulous. Having Megan with us was so much fun and such a big help. Meg and I are a like in lots of ways so she tends to do things similar to the way I would do them. That's why it's so great to cook with Megan, we're like one mind moving in two bodies. It makes things more efficient. We made some great memories in Boracay this year.

We took some great family shots in the water.Later that night we had a perfect sunset dinner at Nigi Nigi Noo Noos. Awesome seafood and an even better view. Justin, Megan, and I took turns holding Bella and entertaining Addie so we could all eat our meals. Justin took the girls to the water to let me finish eating. I stole a photo of them when he wasn't looking. I love my family.The next day we spent time at the beach again. Megan celebrated her 27th birthday but sadly both Justin and Megan came down with a stomach bug that was going around. Luckily (after much prayer) the girls and I didn't get it.

Addie bringing her breakfast to the beach.Look at the belly on our Bella!