Wednesday, September 28, 2011

26 Weeks

I'm almost 3 months away from meeting this sweet little baby girl.  Getting kind of nervous because I have no idea what to name her....I had a name and John nixed it.  So it's back to the drawing board for me.  I want to find something unique for her.  I think we will be stopping with the K in the middle of the name....but who knows I could be wrong about that too. 
Things are going good.  Been taking my vitamins and eating more red meat in hopes of getting my iron levels up.  Also been dreaming of all sorts of different outfits and hair pieces that this little girl will get to wear (hopefully -- well for sure the first two years of her life I get to dress her up in whatever I want...then she'll probably take over and make all the clothing decisions).
Super excited to have a girl but a little nervous because for the last 4 years I've been dealing with boys so wondering how different a little girl will be.....will she be the same as a newborn and baby and then become different as she gets older or will she be different from the start.  It will be fun to see!  I also can't wait to see how John is with her!  That will be the most fun....I have a feeling this little girl will be a little princess in our family.

Wednesday Playgroup -- The Farm Cafe

Today brought us back to the Farm Cafe for playgroup.  We got to play in a sand box, feed the ox (or maybe it's a water buffalo) and chat with friends and look at the adorable kids!  Little N & Little M enjoyed eating the pizza (first time eating food at playgroup -- besides the food I bring for them).  Thankful that we could go to playgroup and play with all the kids.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A nice visit

We were able to visit and chat with people that we haven't talked or really seen in 9 years.  We were lucky enough to have friends watch our boys while we went to Starbucks (vanilla steamer anyone -- even though it was 89 degrees) to chat and visit. 
Then we got to do more chatting and visiting with our friends and visitors.  It's funny watching how Little N and our friends youngest interact with one another. When we first arrived they played side by side but not really interacting with one another.....today was so fun to hear about how they were playing pirates and playing with trains.  They had lots of fun and for that I'm thankful.
While we were waiting for dinner to be ready a little friend of our visitors came out to visit and play with the kids....it's truly amazing how a puppet helps bring out kids personalities and wanting to talk with the mouse about what's going on in their life.   Good reminder of how to get a kid who is quiet to talk with you.
So thankful for good friends, good visits and a wonderful meal.  Thank you guys so much for everything!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Mommy Guilt -- birthday party edition

We all have the mommy guilt....that we aren't gonna do a good enough job for our kids or that our event that we planned for our kids just won't be good enough.  How do we combat the mommy guilt?  By not comparing our event with another person or by not comparing our kids to other kids.  We all have different ideas and things we want to do and it's not the wrong thing to do....it's just what we want to do at the time. Also every single kid different.....each has their own personality and we can't fit them all into the same model (and you know I wouldn't want us all to be the same!!).
We went to a birthday party today for Little N & Little M's friends.  The two girls turned 2 and 4 years old.  I ran into the mom at the stationary store (okay it's a book store -- but we were in the stationary section) and we started to chat.  I commented on how excited I was about going over to her house for her girls birthday party....and her comment back to me was that oh it won't be as fun as your birthday party was for your boys.  It's not outside and it's not very fun. I told her that it didn't matter that it wasn't going to be very exciting in her mind.  I was excited because we were gonna have the chance to visit and spend time together with one another.  I knew that while we were at their house that we would have laughter and that our kids would have a good time.
We got to their birthday party and we ate food -- oh boy did we eat food!  Then we watched the kids play with one another and have a blast together.  We ate birthday cake -- can I say that the birthday cake was absolutely delicious and super cute -- it was slightly amusing, John and I thought that the cake was amazing the whip frosting was just right and our hosts thought that the frosting was too sweet and after everyone had gotten a piece scrapped off the frosting (to throw away) and kept the cake...it's just a cultural difference and I found it funny!  We also had balloons to play with and oh my goodness did I laugh SO hard because one of the balloon pumps would blow up the balloons but then at a certain point it would also suck out the area from the balloon.....so the harder that you tried to blow up the balloon the faster the air got out of it!  We laughed so hard.....I was also terrified to attempt to make balloon animals because I kept on thinking I was gonna pop it! We had tons of fun and I was so thankful that we got to go over to play with our friends.
Let me tell you the birthday party for our kids -- it was fun....I enjoyed myself and I think the kids did too.  However we didn't have any games, or really any birthday activities.  It was just a time where we played in the playground with sand toys, we ate food and we talked with friends and just had a good time.  I felt kind of bad like we should have thought out more fun games and stuff to do for the kids....plus we didn't have a cake --we had cupcakes but not cake with birthday candles and singing.  I also felt like I was rushing around with my head chopped off but it was okay we had a fun day and I'd do it again.
Ladies (mommies) lets not try to compare or out do each other in the birthday party situation.  Do what you can and have fun with your kids and the people you invite.  The kids won't remember how much money was spent on their birthday.  All they will remember is that they were loved and cared about on their special day by people who loved them.  Don't think that what you are doing for your kids isn't enough....you are doing an amazing job just planning stuff out and making the day special for your kids.
 The birthday 2 year old (about a month ago was her birthday!)
 The awesome cake....I have always been leery about getting a cake from the bakery....I am completely sold and probably will just buy a cake from our favorite bakery for a special day -- hmm....maybe Christmas or when the new baby is here! (okay or maybe I'll just make a day a special cake day --- good listening day?) 
 The birthday girls with their parents! Such a cute family.
 Riding the no push car -- you just steer with the wheel and it moves.  The kids had a blast.....here are the two 4 year olds!
 Successful balloon animal -- a giraffe.  I made a snake & maybe a sword!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

25 Weeks

So we took pictures before my camera battery died on Monday....I am now 25 weeks along.  Baby Girl is active and I can feel her body from the outside a lot more than I ever did with the boys.  Sometimes in the middle of the night I can wake up and put my hand on my stomach and feel either a hand, foot, head or butt just poking out.
   Both little boys and John have been able to feel the baby and quite regularly the little boys will come up to my belly and give the baby raspberries (the mouth kind) and talk to her.  Little N is anxiously awaiting Christmas so that he can meet his little sister.  He just wants to show her and tell her everything!
  Little N & M just started their chore charts again and Little N wants to show his baby sister his chore chart....also he expects her to have a chore chart which we just have to laugh at.  Little M has been waking up early in the morning and if he's up too early or if the boys are goofing off in their beds during nap time he gets plopped into the crib.....usually when that happens Little M gets SUPER offended but after he settles down he falls fast asleep.  Little N usually will tell John that Little M had to take a nap in baby sister's crib....and Little M just pulls a face that just displays his absolute disgust about it.
   Went to the doctors today for a regular check up and John was able to join me for the appointment.....he made it for the ultrasound and then had to leave for class.  But he got to see the baby for the first time.  She wasn't very cooperative for him and wouldn't show her face or whole body....but he got to see the top of the head, the stomach and the feet.  She is head down which is a good thing....and I am praying that she will continue to be head down.
  Baby is doing okay and I found out that I'm a little anemic (was given iron pills that I have to take and was told to also take my prenatal vitamins along with them).....so we will be stocking up on the red meat for me and baby! :-) Also was surprised to find out that today I had to take my glucose test....oh the joys of that wonderful sweet drink.  Thankfully the hour passed quickly and I'll find out in October if everything is okay!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Monday Adventures

After just not doing Monday Adventures for a long time we finally went on our Monday Adventure.....John took us for a drive and we went to the reservoir near us (when I remember how to correctly spell where we went I'll fix this post!) and it was just the perfect day.  The kids (Little N) especially was excited about hiking and going on an adventure.  So we started to walk and it was perfect because it wasn't too strenuous and we felt like we were getting some exercise.
Where we went walking there was a suspension bridge....and I was terrified and I think because of what happened one time on another suspension bridge we got Little N afraid of heights also.  So we are working trying to get him comfortable on walking on bridges and not being afraid.  We also saw lots of butterflies....and again Little N was a little afraid.  Little M, on the other hand, had no fear and we constantly had to hold him back and make sure that he was being careful. 
Started to take lots of pictures and then after a while we realized that my camera battery was dying.....thankfully we were able to get pictures of me and my belly before it died but we saw lots of different bugs and a snake slithering down the path.  It was a good day for an adventure and I hope we will be able to go on another on next week!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A crafting day

I love to do things creative....art projects, whatever....I'm willing to try it once and see if I can do it.  My favorite thing to do is making cards -- now granted I'm not the greatest when it comes to being faithful to send them out to people but I keep on trying. Making cards isn't a difficult thing....you just look to see if there is a design you like or if you have an idea in your head....stamp it and then piece it all together.  Something mindless but so fun about it all!!
I was super excited because we finally got stuff so that I could sort, organize my stuff the week before.  Finally everything had a place and I could see everything.  Then this week we went and bought paper.  I was so excited but then felt a little guilt buying all this paper and supplies when I had so much of it back in storage in CT. I needed the paper so we bought and I put it into the organizer and was so excited for Saturday to come.
I decided to host a Craft day for people at church.  John set it up so we had a room at church to spread out and get our craftiness on. My goal for the day was to make 25 cards which I succeeded in doing.  We had probably 4 people come to the event but it wasn't about the numbers of people, I was just glad to play and make cards.  I'm thinking I might even try to do it again next month and maybe even the month after that.
 Little M "organizing" my stamp pads!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Glimpse into our Lives -- Our Place

Welcome to our humble home!  We are still trying to make it homey and our own but figured while the house was semi-clean we could show you around our house.  We live in an apartment....which is conveniently located to basically everything we need.  The church is a 10 to 15 minute walk from our house, the hospital is a 10 minute walk from our house, the traditional market is a 5 minute walk from our house we are very blessed with our location....it's definitely smaller than what we had before but we knew that we wouldn't be moving to a 6 bedroom apartment. 
We have a 3 bedroom apartment, two bathrooms (one is used as storage & will be the nursery), a living/dining room area, a kitchen (that is like a hallway kitchen) and a laundry/storage room.  We are slowly organizing everything so that it looks and feels like home and not feel like we are on top of each other.  We probably spend a majority of our time in our dining/living room area.
 Our dining room & living room open to the kitchen, the entry way, to the bedrooms and we have a small outdoor space where we can hang the clothes & look outside.  We have our toy area in the living room so every morning the toys get dumped out and every evening the toys get put away -- sometimes it's a struggle & other times the boys do it willingly.  We just finished making our chore charts again so hopefully that will motivate the boys to clean up (stickers make the world go round in our house! Little N wants baby sister to have a chore chart & for her to see their chore charts!)
 This is our hallway kitchen....we have a two burner stove and then our microwave.  In the laundry/storage area is where we have two small convection ovens, the size of a microwave!
 Laundry room with some of our clothes hanging up and then some toys that we are hiding or keeping away from the boys!
 Our main bathroom....toilet, sink & tub/shower.  We like it.....the tub is big enough that the little boys can take a bath no together no problem -- which is why you see the two coke bottles.....necessary part of bath time!
 Extra bedroom -- This room we just don't know what to do with -- it's a toy area when people come over with kids, it's a storage area, it will eventually become a guest room when people come to visit but mostly it's just a room that we don't know how to use.  It doesn't have ac so it's just miserably hot in the summer time (which lasts a long time over here!).  I know John would like to be able to use at a place he can go to get away & also that I could go do crafts but we just haven't spent the money to make any of that happen....mostly it's just a place for storage.
 The boys bedroom --- The room used to be a lot bigger with the two beds put together as bunk beds....but then we decided to put Little M in there so we had to put the beds down and we weren't able to find bedrails easily so we just decided to put the beds together and let the boys sleep next to each other.  In the room there are two built in units -- a built in closet & a built in storage area -- which of course we don't use to the best of our abilities but the closet is very well used and loved!!
Our bedroom & bathroom/storage/nursery....when we first moved to Taiwan.....Little M was in a crib and just didn't handle being in the same room as Little N.....so we put him in the bathroom.  The bathroom really hasn't been used as a bathroom....the owners of the apartment actually used this as storage so that's what we've ended up doing also.  Little M is out of the crib now but we decided that with the new baby coming that she could be in the bathroom and she would be close to us but still in her own little room.  Our bedroom is basically all about the bed, we have a chest & built in closets (that I love.....all my stuff fits nicely and they had amazing storage so everything has a place!  I love it....)

Thanks for visiting our apartment and hopefully the next time I put pictures up it will look a little more homey....with pictures and things to make it feel like our home!! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Honey Nut Cheerio Bars

For Grandpa's birthday and because we have an overabundance of marshmallows that we need to use up (well not really but we should use them up!) we decided to make honey nut cheerio (Rice Crisp Bars) bars.  But with some changes in them to just experiment and see if the kids would try different things.   We had bought the big bag of marshmallows, the big box of honey nut cheerios, a big tub of peanut butter and of course butter all at butter all at Costco (love that place -- a small piece of America in Taiwan).  We were slowly using the cheerios and the peanut butter but because we have a huge bag of marshmallows and no easy place to roast marshmallows like our previous residence I figured today would be a fun day to cook and introduce the boys to a special treat.
Honey Nut Cheerio Bars

3 cups of marshmallows
2 tbs of butter
6 cups of Honey Nut Cheerios
1/3 cup of peanut butter
A handful of Peanut Butter M&M's (which are very sacred over here because they were sent over from America -- Taiwan only has Peanut, Plain & I just saw Pretzel flavored M&M's)

- Grease a 8x11 cake pan set aside
- Mix the butter, peanut butter & marshmallows in a pot and cook on medium heat until marshmallows melt...stirring constantly.
- Add the Honey Nut cheerios and stir quickly then pour into your grease cake pan. 
- Wet your hands and smooth out the bars so they are even and after that place as many m&m's on top as you would like.....I'm sure if you wanted to you could mix them in so they were through out the bars but I just thought of putting them on there as an after thought.
- Cool thoroughly and then cut bars to snack size slices....Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad/Grandpa

Happy Birthday Dad!  We love you....I wish that you had been able to hear Little N sing a unique birthday song just for you!!  But he got distracted while talking to you on the phone....or shy...I don't know what! 
Love-
Caristy, John, Little N & M (plus Baby Olson)

P.S. Your birthday bars (Honey Nut Cheerios with Peanut Butter M&M's were delicious....wish you could have joined us to eat them!!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

24 weeks

    Looking back I realized that I have not been faithful with taking pictures week by week.  I'll be getting better at it because I want to have the memories of week by week changes.
    I also realized that I haven't told everyone via the blog that what the baby is....we went to the doctors about a week after we got back from Japan and had our big ultrasound.  John wasn't able to go but the little boys were able to see the baby on the ultrasound screen.  I completely forgot to ask for pictures that I could share pictures of this little baby.  Hopefully next week I'll remember to ask for some picture of this baby.
    I am doing fine with the pregnancy -- now the aches and pains are coming on a daily basis but thankfully it's nothing to terrible.  I still have to be careful with what I eat because I still have a gag reflex.  The weather is cooling down so I'm not getting the dizzy spells as often which is wonderful.  So I'm pretty sure that this is like the rest of my pregnancy....normal.
    Baby is doing well.....a little small so my Doctor changed my due date from Jan 1 to Jan 8.  I'm keeping my due date as Jan 1 though.  The baby looks good which is awesome....and what we found out was that we are having a baby girl.  We were shocked with the news.....excited to be having a baby girl but then just shocked because both John and I assumed that we were having another boy.  I made the ultrasound tech check a couple times to make sure she was correct with the gender.   We are excited that we are having a healthy baby and are praying that this baby grows healthy and will cooperate with a smooth delivery.
I never realized how badly I needed sunglasses....it was so bright out even in the shade that I ended up squinting!  Oh well....here is a picture of me 24 weeks pregnant with baby girl Olson.  

Moon Festival Fun

Over in Taiwan we had a holiday weekend.  It was the Moon Festival over here....we went over to a church member's house -- went swimming, played games, visited with others who came.  The basic reason for the Moon Festival is to get together with family and barbecue.  So we barbecued with friends.  John brought a steak and after cooking it, the steak looked like a shape of a heart. We had a great time and were thankful to get to know more people from church.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A first for the Little boys

First off -- it is a very solemn day....strange because over here in Taiwan it's just the day before a holiday (The moon festival) it was life as usual.  Strange to think that 10 years has passed since 9/11 has occurred...praying for all the family members that lost loved ones that horrific day 10 years ago.  

With Little M on the mend (thankfully) at the end of the day we decided to open a bottle of Apple Sidre, which is basically Apple Juice with carbonation, and let the kids try some of it! 

Little N wanted some so we gave him some -- we have his reaction on video it was pretty hilarious.  He just said that the drink was spicy (because of the carbonation) and that it bothered the back of his throat.  So funny to watch his reaction.  You can tell that we don't let him drink carbonated beverages often.
Little M also wanted to try some so we got out the camera and the video camera to get Little M's first taste of "soda"....his reaction was hilarious....he drank some and then the bubbles got to him so he had to stop, then he tried some more than gave the rest of it to his big brother.  It was hilarious!

Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!

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