Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Latest Adventure

I thought 2012 would be less adventurous than 2011. Last year, we had LOTS of adventures. (See here, here, and here, plus a kitchen fire last January & the whole moving with 5 weeks' notice thing last spring.) This year, however, is not starting out to be the calm, adventure-free year I had been praying for. I know God teaches us through these little adventures of ours, but I thought I was due a break from lessons.  Anyway, here's the latest.

JA has had some medical stuff going on. Nothing too dramatic, but enough that whatever it is remains unknown. It's been difficult to explain to a 7 year old, "Why so many doctors?"

JT has decided that temper tantrums are the way to go. I had really considered myself especially blessed in that he was such a happy, cheerful child. Sunday School and AWANA teachers would ask if he was always happy, and I could honestly respond with a resounding YES! For the past several months, though, he's been building up his tantrum throwing abilities, and they have gotten out of control. He even had one at a friend's house this past week. We've tried time-outs, removing privileges, and even spankings(!) to little avail. The best recourse seems to be a combo of all of the above, with Papi & I tag-teaming throughout.

JMC is cute as ever and beginning to talk. Whether it's because he's not felt completely well since his 105 fever, or because he's getting all 4 incisors at once remains unclear, but he has been CRANKY for the past couple of weeks. He prefers to be held, and preferably by Papi. He'll accept being in the BabyHawk, but only for awhile. When he gets upset, he cries that horrible cry in which he holds his breath, makes no noise, and turns blue, immediately followed by very loud screams.

Tuesday, Papi was home (thanks to some handy schedule switching at work) so I could take JA to the doctor (again). Then, he ran some errands during "naptime." He came home to grab some papers, and since the boys weren't sleeping, offered to take one with him. During this time, I turned on the dryer and helped him get JT ready to go out. Within 2 minutes, the smoke detector went off. As Papi was checking it, I saw smoke coming out from around the laundry room door. I yelled to him, and got out with the boys. He looked in the laundry room, grabbed JA and the dog, and was right behind us. Thank God, just outside the apartment, the maintenance men were there. I told them what was happening, and they ran inside. They took turns, running and shouting orders, getting the neighbors out of their apartments, and calling our landlord. They opened the doors and windows, and lots of black smoke was coming out. I thought we would lose all of our stuff.

It was our dryer! Within 2 minutes of turning on the dryer (on low, even!) the clothes inside caught fire. With a fire extinguisher (a big one, not the little one we have in the kitchen) and water, they got the fire out. Again, thank God, the fire had been contained inside the dryer. If we had been asleep, or not home, it would easily have spread. They pulled the dryer outside and took it apart right then and there to find out what caused the fire. And, it was lint! I clean the lint trap at every single load, but enough lint had fallen down inside the vent, that it blocked the heat from escaping and caused the fire.

Apart from the dryer, and the load of laundry inside it, nothing was really damaged. (OK, a few things that were on top of or near the dryer were ruined as well.) I am so very thankful that we are all ok. And, even thankful that we have so much laundry to do, and things that need to be cleaned, because it shows God's providence in not only our family being safe, but also our things. Once the apartment was safe, Papi and I took turns running in quickly for necessities. We both got headaches from even the few trips we made inside; which made me even more grateful for the men who were inside during the fire.

So, now to the fun part. While the landlord brought in an ozone machine to deal with the smoke, and fans to air out the apartment, even a brand new dryer, we stayed at a local hotel and had a mini vacation. It was kind of weird staying at a hotel with no luggage, but we had a good time. We watched movies on the tablet, had free breakfast the next morning, and even went swimming. We were able to go home the next afternoon, and everyone was glad to be back.

Watching Nick Jr.!

Look who climbed up on his own!

We've been cleaning up from the smoke damage, and by Friday, we no longer had headaches while inside. It's a slow process, but I am still so very thankful.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kate's Smile Snack

Our friend Kate has a favorite snack, and we decided to try it. We used peanut butter instead of Nutella, which is Kate's preference. The kids have declared Kate's Smile Snack one of their favorites. Thanks, Kate!


When JA was basically recovered from being sick for a week, but still needed to rest and be quiet for her brothers, I decided to teach her to crochet. At first, she didn't like it at all, but after practicing on her own for a couple of days, she discovered that she can crochet jewelry. Here are just a few examples of her work, all completed today.


All 3 were sick for about a week and a half. Between them, there were temps up to 105.3, 2 calls to the pediatric nurse line, a trip to the ER, about 6 quarts of Gatorade, and at least 20 hours of cartoons.

Tackling Papi

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Fun

 JA & JT recently discovered pipe cleaners. OK, it's my fault - we used pipe cleaners to make ornaments this year. Anyway, the kids prefer to use them to tie doorknobs together.

It was 62 degrees here today, so this afternoon we went to the park to play. It was great to be outside and the kids had LOTS of winter energy they needed to expend. We didn't end up going until 5pm, so it got dark pretty quickly, but it was still a lot of fun. Thanks, Uncle Andy, for the Nerf football. JT thought it was just the best thing to be playing North American football. :)  
After we got home, no one was hungry (we'd had a big lunch) so instead of dinner, I set snacks out, and then we munched while we had a Wii Sports Tournament. The snacks were all fairly sugary, so to make some type of nutritious addition to the "meal," I used our new juicer for the first time and made fresh fruit & veggie juices. They were a hit - Papi, JA, & JMC preferred the carrot, apple, pear combo, while JT & I preferred the kale & orange combo.