Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goodbye Neon

Dear 1998 Dodge Neon,

The time has come to say goodbye. You've been with us since Nate and Rosa were first married and the first 5 years were amazing. You were very reliable and just right for our family. Whenever we needed you, there you were. However, the past 2 years... well... things have gotten weird. We aren't sure why because we've given you everything you could want, but since our daughters were born you've changed. You aren't the same car we got when we were married. You aren't reliable, you've cost us a lot of money in repairs, and you go through various parts as if they grew on trees. Various Parts! We aren't made of stone, and we can only handle so much before we have to make a change.

We really thought we could hang onto you a little while longer as we casually looked around for a mini van, but after this mornings incident we have decided we have to be a little more drastic. We don't know if it is some type of initiation for our kids that you've decided to do or what, but the first time you stranded us with Sanaa in the middle of Sherman, TX was enough. Stranding Layla and Rosa this morning on the Tollway was the last straw. Thankfully Nate's mom was only 10-15 minutes behind her, but we were quite irritated with you since Rosa needed to be at church early to practice with the flute ensemble since they were playing during the first church service.

It almost seems as though you would prefer to spend your time with your favorite mechanic and not us. Tomorrow we'll find out from the mechanic what exactly you did. We suspect it is something with the radiator hose since you insisted on leaking green fluid all over the shoulder of the Tollway. We're not even sure whether we'll bring you home or not now. It all depends on the diagnosis the mechanic gives us and how much it'll cost. We... don't want this to be awkward, but... we have already begun to look for your replacement. If the repair costs aren't too expensive we'll bring you home for a short while. But your time with us is over. We wish we could say we have had a great time with you and we did for the first 5 years. Seriously, we did. But these last two years, we just feel like you've grown apart from us. We are different people now. Don't worry, we'll find you a good home, but it is time for us all to move on and say goodbye.

The Pond Family

P.S. (From Nate in particular) Make sure you take your failed master cylinders and battery with you! They clutter up the garage. I'm changing the locks in the morning. You'll find your things on the curb.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Planting flowers

On Thursday I finally got outside to do some yard work and plant some fall/winter flowers. Nate was off and my plan was to work during nap time. My plan didn't go so well. Sanaa was suppose to be napping, but at some point looked out her bedroom window and saw me. I could hear her crying and saying, "Mommy, mommy." I went inside and tried to get her to lay back down but that didn't work, so I ended up bringing her outside with me.

Like a good little toddler she got right to work. I had little garden gloves for her and she was very excited to wear them (especially since I was wearing gloves). She then helped me plant the pansies. I dug the holes and Sanaa pulled the pansies out the container and placed them in the holes for me (I didn't ask her to do this. She just started doing it on her own.). She had a blast and I loved the help! It made the tedious work of planting and pulling weeds so much more fun.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The antics of a two year old

There are times with Sanaa that I want to burst out laughing instead of scolding. But I know that if I start laughing she'll repeat her behavior.

Last night I was getting ready to leave for flute practice while Nate was putting Layla to bed. Sanaa was running around downstairs playing. She ran up to me and showed me something in her hand. It was a piece of cat food. After she showed me, she promptly popped it into her mouth. I told her to spit it out in the trash can. She sort of listened. She did walk over to the trash can and look inside, but instead of spitting the cat food out, she chewed as fast as she could and swallowed. Then she ran over to the counter (where I had placed the cat food) and asked for more. Seriously?!? Gross! I told her no, cat food was not for people to eat and she got mad at me. So I made a compromise with her and let her eat cheerios. I'm not sure if she liked the crunch of the cat food or what, but it looks like we might have to keep the cat food up on the counter so Sanaa won't snack on it.

Sanaa and Layla have also been rooming together and this has gone well..... at least up until the last two nights. Monday night both girls went down quite easily, but about 30-45 minutes after we put Sanaa down we heard her growling. What in the world was she doing? Then she would laugh and growl some more. The growling sounded fairly loud so I guessed that she was near Layla's crib since the monitor is on that side of the room.

Yep. Sanaa was holding her tiger up to Layla and growling. It looked like she wanted Layla to play with her. Just great. Nate put Sanaa back in bed twice, but she just laughed. Right after Nate would leave the room, we would hear more growling. So I went up and warned her that if she didn't stay in bed and stop growling she would have to sleep in the pack 'n' play. Well, she lasted 5 minutes before she began growling again. I pulled out the pack 'n' play, set it up in the girls' room, and laid Sanaa down. She didn't fuss one bit. In fact, I think she liked being in the pack 'n' play.

Last night, the same thing happened, but she only got one warning before being put in the pack 'n' play. Luckily for us, Layla has become a very good natured baby and didn't cry once. She would just give Sanaa a look that seemed to say, "Really? Can't you see I'm trying to sleep." Layla also put herself back to sleep each time Sanaa woke her.

Now, we just have to figure out what to do with Sanaa since sleeping in the pack 'n' play hasn't deterred her from growling.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What we Watch

Nate here.

I wanted to provide my loyal readers with information that I am sure has been foremost on everyones' thoughts.

Simply put, what exactly do we do for entertainment?

I can't blame you for being so curious about this topic.

Well, I'll tell you what we don't watch. Movies are flat out. Now... we LOVE movies, but we have two children that make movie watching prohibitive.

Rosa and I's drug of choice: TV Shows. We can watch them in 25 min or 45 min. chunks, which timewise is the sweet spot. At about 9:45pm, Rosa immediately drops into a coma and doesn't wake up until 6:30am, so we have to be able to break our entertainment into manageable little morsels.

So here we go, along with some running commentary.

Rosa Only (Rosa has shows that only she likes, and she watches them when I work late).

NCIS: Los Angeles - (Notice a pattern?)

Both of Us

House - Most of the medical terms escape us, but the characters crack us up.

Glee - Escapist, overly emotional fantasy, with little bearing in reality but incredibly catchy songs? Yes, please.

Modern Family - One of our favorite shows right now. The family with the 3 kids is almost a carbon copy of our family. Rosa's personality mimics the mom, and my personality and interests are very close to how the dad acts. We also joke that our daughters will be like the daughters on the show, and shudder a bit.

Community - You have to know your pop culture references here, as the show parodies them often. This sometimes leaves Rosa in the dark while I'm laughing so hard I cry. That said, we have a good time with this show too.

Bones - Our favorite "serious show." We both laugh a lot at the characters, and we can follow the mystery without getting lost in complex medical terms like House.

Stargate Universe - Not sure why we watch this or like it, but we do. We are long time Stargate fans though, beginning years ago with SG-1, so anything Stargate we probably "have" to watch.

Sanctuary - One of the best sci-fi's we've watched in a while. It is little known (only 1.4 mil regular viewers), but hits the spot in terms of mystery for Rosa, while I like the different cultures and such that they explore.

No Reservations - Our "backup" show when syndicated shows aren't in season. Mr. Bourdain goes to other cultures and eats their food. Incredibly culturally sensitive. You end up understanding the culture quite well by the end of each hour.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This and that

Yesterday was a bad weather day. The morning was okay, but the afternoon was quite stormy. We even had a tornado warning and the sirens went off which woke both girls from their naps. Layla had been down for 45 minutes and Sanaa had only been down for about 30 minutes when the sirens went off. Thankfully there weren't any tornados, but I was a little nervous as I watched the branches in our big tree out front sway back and forth. So, nap time yesterday didn't really happen and we had to find stuff to do inside.

Sanaa is doing this a lot lately. She puts her hand up and then says, "No mommy. No take _______." You can fill the blank in with whatever she doesn't want to do, whether that's taking a nap, for us to stop singing, to stop taking pictures, eat her food, go upstairs, take a bath, brush her teeth, etc. It's kind of funny. She's even wiggled her index finger at me when she says no.
One of our activities yesterday was putting tape on tiger's eye. I don't know why this was so fun, but it was.

Sanaa also pulled open my junk drawer in the kitchen and found some children's scissors (still in their packaging). She started asking repeatedly to use them. So we learned how to cut things yesterday. I did make two rules for her in regards to scissors, 1.) she can only use the scissors while sitting at the table and 2.) she can only cut paper. I've now moved the scissors to a location that is out of her reach and I'm thinking I really need to clean out our junk drawer.
"Oh no mommy! I stuck." Well, not really. She had a blast pretending she was stuck.
And this is what happens at dinner time when nap time is missed.
Layla discovered her toes. They are so yummy!
Let's cover Layla with shoe string!
Layla actually enjoyed all the attention and didn't mind one bit that she was being covered.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're home

We're back home from our time in Oregon with my parents. The time out there went way too fast and I'm not completely ready to be home. We all had a great time with my family. While in Oregon, Sanaa's expressive language skills exploded. She is talking constantly and using short sentences. In fact, if Sanaa is awake, she will talk constantly and give us a running commentary on everything that is going on. My favorite comment from tonight was when she said, "Daddy, no please," as Nate started to sing something.

Nate had off today since we flew in really late last night (got home around midnight), so we spent the day unpacking, doing laundry and rearranging the kitchen. I pulled Sanaa's old high chair out of our pantry for Layla to use. To make space for the high chair I also had to pull our small kitchen table out farther into the kitchen to accommodate all four of us.
Smiley Layla hanging out in the kitchen "reading" as I cleaned up.
The book is really interesting!
Sanaa has no need for slippers or shoes right now since the soft blocks act as slippers and the lids to my pots have become her shoes. I have no idea what her imagination will come up with next.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin carving

Yesterday afternoon after nap time we carved a pumpkin. This was Sanaa's first experience and she was pretty excited about it. This morning when she woke up she ran to the pumpkin we carved to look at it. She then picked up a smaller pumpkin asking us to carve that one, but I told her we would have to wait and that maybe we could carve another pumpkin with Nate's parents.

My brother's dog, Apollo, was very curious about everything that was going on.
Sanaa was very excited about what was inside the pumpkin.
Sanaa showing Apollo the spoon and Apollo was really hoping there was actually something on the spoon to eat.
Watching grandpa cut out the pumpkin nose.
Layla posing with me after my dad finished carving the pumpkin.
I tried hard to get both girls to pose with me but Sanaa wouldn't stay still and this ended up being one of the better pictures.
Separating the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin pulp.
Today we roasted the pumpkin seeds. Yum! I offered one to Sanaa to try and she wasn't interested. That's fine. It leaves more for me to snack on!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sanaa had fun

Nate here.

So. Visualize the cabin that Rosa posted the picture of. We are in the living room either talking, or working on a puzzle, or something like that. I can't remember.

Unimportant. Moving on.

The cabin has a glass door leading out to the outside, but if I looked through it, I could see the window that looks into where Sanaa and Layla were sleeping. This was our first time to put them together in the same room by the way.

Go us! Major child-rearing hurdle overcome. Anyway. Moving on. Again.

I glanced through the glass door and noticed that the window leading into the girls' room was showing varying degrees of brightness. First it was dark, and then very bright, and then not so bright, and then VERY BRIGHT, and then VERY DARK.

Rosa and I stared at this little spectacle for awhile and then doubled over with laughter.

Sanaa has discovered light switches! They do cool things when moved up and down!

So she was in the bedroom giggling and flipping the light switches on and off repeatedly, while Layla was rolling around and squealing with laughter as only a hyper 4 month old can while her big sister entertained her.

We put them back to bed, and then went back into the living room and laughed until we cried.

Oy. Those two. Once Layla starts walking we are in trouble.

Pacific City, Oregon

On Thursday Nate, Layla, and I drove out to Pacific City to spend some time at the coast. We had Thursday night to ourselves (well... not completely since Layla was with us, but she went to bed nice and early!). Then on Friday morning my parents drove out with Sanaa and we stayed until Saturday afternoon. We stayed in a cottage that is owned by one of my dad's co-workers and had a great time playing at the beach and relaxing.

You may notice that Layla isn't in many pictures. We took her to the beach on Friday but she cried and screamed most of the time. It was windy and cool and Layla didn't not like it one bit. So my mom stayed with Layla at the cabin while the rest of us played at the beach.

Working on a puzzle. I haven't done one of these in years! Layla even helped me some.
Nate spent time reading.
We all took naps.
Grandma and Layla had fun hanging out together.
Grandpa reading Sanaa a bedtime story.
Building sand castles (with cheap plant pots. Since it's October I had a really hard time finding any buckets, so I settled for a cheap plant pot).
Grandpa digging a hole to put Sanaa in.
Sanaa willingly got in the hole. Here she and my dad are saying, "Cool." Aunt Karen taught her this.
Starfish in the tide pools!
Sanaa was fascinated by the starfish.
Sanaa was doing some puddled stomping and then decided to just sit in the puddle. She was scared of the waves but enjoyed walking through the little puddles around the rocks.
Rock climbing.
The house we stayed in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Some of my favorite pictures (so far)

Sanaa enjoying life.
Big hug for uncle Ryan.
Reading with grandma.
Walking along the beach.
Hand in hand with grandpa.
Picking up rocks at the beach.
Exploring the tide pools.
Playing with grandpa's chin.

Day at the zoo

It's been a busy, but fun week! I have lots to share and will hopefully get to everything over the next couple of days. Monday we visited my dad at his work, Tuesday we made a quick trip to Salem to see if we could find some shoes for Nate, and then Wednesday we went to the zoo. Thursday, Friday, and part of today we spent at the coast. But this post is about our zoo day.

We had so much fun at the zoo! My dad took off work and all 6 of us headed to the Portland zoo. There was so much to see that we actually didn't get to see everything before Sanaa started to get tired and fall asleep. So I guess we'll have to make another zoo trip the next time we're out here visiting my parents.

Sanaa's cool stroller we rented at the zoo. She had so much fun "driving" around and seeing the animals. It even had a cup holder for her drink!

Family picture. Layla did well. She spent a good amount of time in the baby carrier "talking" and cooing at things. Then she napped in her stroller some of the time.
Sanaa telling grandpa about the fish.
Monkeys! This was probably Sanaa's favorite area and she could have stayed and watched the monkeys most of the day.
An elephant taking a bath. Sanaa was slightly scared of the bigger animals and didn't really care for the sea lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, or polar bears. But she did enjoy all the fish, bats, monkeys, otters, and other small animals we saw.
Petting a goat. Sanaa was okay doing this but did give me a look that implied that she was only petting the goat because daddy asked her to.
All tuckered out. We barely left the parking lot before Sanaa was sound asleep.