Saturday, February 27, 2010

Calvin's Room

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We've been incredibly busy. We've both had a lot of homework every night and with leaving and hosting some friends for a few nights our free time has been severely limited. When I'm stressed I have a crazy need to create. I've been working on projects for Calvin's room for a while and I've been pleased how they turned out. (I can't say Marvin was too pleased to hang them up on concrete walls, but because he's the best husband in the world he drilled his little heart away. Thank you sweetie.)

So Welcome to Calvin's Room:

First up was project curtains, I've been eyeing this IKEA fabric for a while and they just make his room seem cheery, plus I love hearing him say "ippo".
Despite having a toddler bed, Calvin prefers to sleep in his big bed. He finally has stopped falling out of it about a month ago. He loves all his pictures of his family. It's fun for grandpa and grandma to be so close to mind. I whipped this quilt up literally 2 weeks before we left the states and even though it was a lot of work I love it.

I've seen very few apartments with closets. Instead they use wardrobes. So Calvin's closet space is in the hallway. Thankfully the apartment came with this little entertainment set that works perfectly for his clothes and some toy storage.

I've been enjoying my modge pod I brought with us. It's allowed me to do a few fun projects like the family sign and the art board. Our fridge was becoming pretty overwhelmed with art work and due to space in our luggage I had to leave his create magnet board in the states. But this alternative is going to work pretty well. I love how the embroidery hoops turned out. What a simple and easy idea. He loves his hand print and every time he sees it he'll say "my hand".Marvin's quite proud of this wall because of Calvin's first hoop. Calvin loves to play ball with his daddy and I can't wait for many more hours of bedroom basketball in the future. We also picked up this little table at IKEA and it's much sturdier than the one that came with our apartment. I also don't have to worry that the chair is going to break every time he sits on it.

So there you have it. Our first decorated room. I can't wait to get back and finish up a few projects that I've been working on for other rooms.

Goodbye Stinky

Since we moved into our apartment we've had an unwelcomed houseguest. Thankfully it wasn't a live one, but it sure did stink, and by stink we're talking some major BO stink. After politely asking our landlord almost every week to take it out of our apartment he came and got stinky.

BEAUTIFUL!!!! We were finally able to move our dining room table into the living room, and it's been wonderful. We've fully enjoyed Stinky's absence.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spoosh Spoosh

Calvin's very into playing "green guys" and "blue guys" recently. Here's how it works, run to your kitchen and get out two wooden spoons, they have to be wooden. Run back to the living room and go to the tv, pretend to turn it on. Run and give the spoon to someone else and ask them to "play guys". Run back to the TV and point at the imaginary green or blue guys and get em. It's seriously an awesome game, we play it a lot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potty Training was going well before this......

We have officially begun potty training, yes we are leaving in 1 week for our visa run, and yes we know it's bad timing, but Calvin's ready so we're rolling with it. And especially because it's been a battle every time we try to put cloth diapers on him. He'll walk around for about 30 minutes after he has a new cloth diaper on saying, Ouchie. I will admit they are a little rough, since we don't have a dryer, but I did add a fleece layer to them so he couldn't feel it. Undies are going well, and he loves to pick out a new pair in the morning, and so far he's stayed dry throughout the day, but we are taking him to the potty quite frequently.

It all was going great until this happened.....

I ruined a shirt last night because I splashed some cleaner on me while cleaning out his potty. GRRRR. I didn't bring very many clothes and it was one of the shirts I really liked and planned on wearing it until it fell apart. I wish clothes weren't so expensive here. The other day I stopped into a second hand store and even those clothes were expensive, sometimes more than I would pay for something brand new in America.

So this brings me to a question. How do you clean out these little potty chairs? Since last night's incident I pulled out the vinegar and have been using that. Anyone use any good homemade all purpose spray that does not use Borax or bleach in it?

One tired Brain

Since we’ve been here Marvin and I been exhausted by the time dinner rolls around. It’s exhausting thinking in a foreign language. I have absolutely no idea how on earth international students study on a collegiate level in ANOTHER language. I’m sure they are exhausted beyond my wildest imagination. But maybe they are just awesome.

Some are gifted in the language arena, I am not. This language in particular has lots to remember and my brain quite often jumbles it up.

One of my most dreaded things in this language is any to go verb, they have about 2 pages in the dictionary worth of to go verbs. For example I want to go by car I use one verb, if I want to go by walking I use another. If I usually do it and I am going like normal I use a different, and on and on it goes. Sheesh….I will get it eventually.

Don’t even get me started about changing the endings of words based on the part of speech. Remember diagramming sentences? Well every time I say something my brain diagrams it and I attempt, although very horribly to change the ending of each part of speech and by horribly I mean painfully slow and most of the time I get it wrong.

But I love me some adverbs! They never change! It’s like a breath of fresh air every time I use an adverb, which I try to do often. I call those my confidence boosters.

Now I’m about to finish my homework. I must work on giving direction. I cannot do this in English and NEVER know which direction is north, south, west, east, NEVER, so it should be fun.
So if anyone has any great language learning tips or a new brain for me I’d gladly accept them. And just so you don’t think I’m over exaggerating here’s a peek at my homework. Covered in red by my teacher. Nice, huh!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love It!

Marvin and I headed out last night on our first date since…..ummm October???? I think. It was much needed and we enjoyed a nice dinner in a cafĂ© without anyone smoking and nasty music videos playing. We had a great time talking about our upcoming visa run. We’re excited to go back to the place where Calvin was born. Even more excited to see some good friends while we are there. We enjoyed a little walk down the main street. Things are much different at night; it’s something we’ve not done a lot. We did some pretty romantic things like browse through the bath and cleaning supply store. I guess only married people can enjoy a date picking out some new soap. We’ve entered a new era in our marriage I think.

We invited over some other ex-pats for a play date. Calvin loved having a few friends to play with and it was fun to get to chat with their moms. It’s like we have our own little MOPS group. We ate homemade heart pretzels. Painted and decorated hearts, read some books and had lots of laughs. It’s so nice to have other young moms in the same stage of life also living in a culture outside of your own.

When I came home Thursday from working out there was an advertisement for an electronic store in our mailbox. I loved to flip through the grocery adds in America. I know it’s weird, so I loved this little add. But as I was looking through the add I saw a microwave on sale for 20 dollars cheaper than what we were going to buy, and they gave us a coupon for 5.00 off our next purchase. Yes I did say coupon, I was slightly excited since we need to buy a vacuum sometime soon, which are also on sale, sweet!

I also love creating with Calvin. This week we made some fun valentines. I found the idea at one of my favorite blogs, MADE. They were the perfect project and he hung on and painted every heart. He loved it even more when we filled them with M&Ms. It was almost comical watching him try to resist eating the M&Ms. This is how it went, drop a few in eat a few, try his hardest not to eat any and just stared at the M&Ms. Willpower is tough stuff.

Love this family Father has given me. They're pretty special.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Walk with Me

This week I ventured to the grocery store by myself. It's something I rarely do. I usually have a little guy walking alongside me, which makes the trip twice as long. I love the company but this time it was nice just to walk. As I was walking I realized how different my life is now, than one year ago.

A year ago I didn't have to walk on a solid sheet of ice all the way to the store. I wasn't thankful when it was freezing or did I appreciate the frozen mud, it makes the best shortcuts. I didn't have to find the best frozen ice to walk on, when it gets smooth it's DANGEROUS, I prefer the frozen slush, it gives your foot something to hold on to.

A year ago I didn't have calculate how much I could buy at the grocery store buy what I could carry in a couple bags.

A year ago I didn't have to worry about whether or not the store would have milk that wasn't expired. (PTL for shelf stable milk).

One year ago I didn't have to worry about giving the cashier a large bill, I knew she could break it. Here I get a nice little glare when I try to break a large bill, or don't give the exact change.

One year ago I did not get excited over finding real chicken nuggets at the closest grocery store.

One year ago I did not have my selection of about 15 brands of mayo.

One year ago I was wondering when we'd ever make it back to a place so heavy on my heart. It's good to be here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A little Saturday morning excursion

We've seen signs up for this temporary aqua terrarium all over town, the last month. It's a traveling exhibit and set up camp in the lobby of a theatre in town. We'd talked about going, but we've always had something else we needed to do on Saturday. We weren't sure how Calvin would do. He loved every minute of it. We heard lots of "WHOO's" and "WOWs" and "What's that name". They even had a monkey and a hawk, yes I did say we went to an aqua terrarium, and no it doesn't make any since, but it was great entertainment.

They let the kids give the monkey a banana and Calvin's been talking about it ever since. And keeps trying to convince us to take him back.

The people working this little exhibition were great. They got certain snakes and lizards out and let the kids touch them. They even let the kids touch a little alligatorish thing, and yes I was nervous the entire time. Especially since Calvin decided to pick up the snake right at the head. The little boy next to him asked if he could hold another one, and the handler said "No it will eat you." This little boys face drew pretty somber all of a sudden, it was pretty funny.

Pretty sure this guy didn't have his jaws wired shut. Nice and I let my toddler touch it.
The boys checking out the snake that will "eat" you.

The highlight of the morning for Calvin was the other kids. There was one other family there and the boy decided he was going to show Calvin all the creepy crawlies. So he took him by the hand and led him to each aquarium, telling him the name of every thing they saw. Calvin was beaming the entire time. It was pretty special to watch. We do hope he has some good local friends sometime soon. He just loves playing, regardless of the language they are speaking.

We were pushing our limit with Calvin when we stopped for lunch. The bad thing about eating out here is that there are flat screen TVs at almost EVERY cafe and restaurant that play the most disgusting music videos. So the whole time we were waiting for our food Calvin desperately wanted to watch TV. I even brought his puzzles and coloring stuff, but he was just determined to watch TV. So I guess we will be bringing our food home with us from now on, it's just not worth the fight and not worth the images he takes in.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

can't stop grinning because...............

........ I now own this beauty. Isn't she sweet?

Since we've moved I've been missing my sewing machine. I checked out prices around town, but we've had other priorities to buy, but finally we had some time. I'm in love and can't wait to get to all those sewing projects that have been swirling around in my brain, but Marvin says I have to wait until after nap time.

First up a pair of house shoes for Calvin. Next up hemming Marvin's jeans, blah. But after that I have so many projects I've been dreaming of. Here are a few of my favorites I'm dying to create:

I can't wait to add this pleated pocket to something!!! It's just darling!!! I LOVE cute pockets.

I don't usually make clothing for myself but these are just too cute Circular Vest and a cardigan wrap, I can see me dabbling in clothing here, since it's so expensive!

One Word Canvas that says Welcome, wouldn't this be the perfect cheery way to welcome guests to our apartment (and should be understood by people since they sell mats here that say Welcome in English).

And for even better news as if the day wasn't already beautiful I've found several Etsy shops that will ship internationally!!!! Imagine me jumping up and down, because I am, can't wait to get some bright Michael Miller and Amy Butler Fabric in my hands. I desperately miss beautiful cheery cotton fabric. I cannot wait to show you finished projects. There's just something that comes alive in me when I create, these two months of not making anything new has taken it's toll on me.

Oh and I am excited to frequent the sewing machine store. I found several treasures there, ELASTIC thread!!! Backing for all those applique projects, (no wonder under, though). I'm pretty pumped.

Alright I'm off to cut out a few projects.

Friday, February 05, 2010

it was what it was...

This week has been one of those weeks, the kind where everything does not go as planned. We're not new to this, but it's never fun. The week just started off awful, I was battling a cold/sinus junk and our new nanny started. I could not for the life of me conjugate a verb to save my life. For example....I wanted to tell this, "Please take Calvin on a walk every day." Here's what I really said " Please Every Day We take Walking." Yes very eloquent. I just had a day where my brain did not function well in this language. It's completely humbling and frustrating when this happens.

Then the next day our nanny's mom calls and says she's sick and can't come, again the next day, and again the following day. So our day gets shuffled around and Marvin can't go to the office and he doesn't work well from home. (I'm pretty distracting and he never gets work done when I'm there because I just want to talk, and you add in that 2 year old distraction and well it makes it impossible to concentrate.)

There have been days this week where all I feel like I have done is discipline Calvin or teach him how to behave. It's exhausting. Don't even get me started about the battle we have EVERY time we go outside. It necessary to dress him in snow pants, and several layers, but he hates the marshmallow effect. So rather than fight him, we just let him stay home. I hate that.

I've been short with Marvin and Calvin lately. My tongue has been loose and I hate that.

I also broke my favorite spoon, silly but frustrating.

But I am so glad I have a God who knows my heart, knows when I'm struggling. One who I can seek forgiveness in, because let's face it I mess up a lot. sure it sweet. Thankful for a God who convicts my heart of selfishness, convicts me to be a better mom and sit down and play blocks rather than clean the bathroom. Learning is never easy but I'm glad I know the one who is the giver of wisdom because I desperately need it.