Friday, January 23, 2009

Christmas Holidays! - Christmas eve

Christmas eve was spent mostly at home, Mike having to work a half day, the kids and I hanging out here at home and amazingly, all gifts were done and ready to go! LOL!

Here's some shots of my crazy boy and Rei:

Rei laying on her blanket next to the desk, Alex sprawled out in front of her, head laying on her tummy and with a big ornery grin on his face!

Alex on his side, giggling as Rei nuzzles him in the back, tickling him.

Then after Mike got home, we went over to Dad and Sue's for our annual Christmas Eve with Dad, Sue, Margaret, & Dan. The kids were VERY spoiled by all this night! LOTS and LOTS of toys...

The crazy trio:

Alex on the left with a cheesy grin, Katie in the middle on her knees and an elf hat on, and Meaghan on the right and grinning too!

The kids made out well with lots of different things, Dinosaurs, Barbies, remote control robots, clothes, and even mp3 players for the girls, which they LOVE and use all the time at home!

Alex looking at his new magnetic board with magentic letters.

Alex opening a present as Grandpa looks on from behind and Katie and Meaghan look on from the right.

Alex standing up and holding the box of his new construction vehicle set!

Really dark picture of Meaghan excitedly holding up her new kids Disney princesses cd player.

A close up of Sophie the Papillon watching all the action.

Meaghan happily holding up the Hannah Montana guitar.

Meaghan sitting in the middle and Alex and Katie paying close attention to the box she is unwrapping.

Meaghan with a wide open mouth of surprise at the box of dinosaurs she got (she LOVES dinosaurs!)

Meaghan crouching down with a grin on her face, down behind the box of her Roboraptor.

Katie happily showing off her new MP3 player.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update on the Counter Surfing War

Mike went to Walmart and was unable to find Cayenne pepper there, however, while she still shows interest in foods that are out in the open, she wasn't nearly as quick to go for them after the two days of her mouth burning.

With both girls home too, I made it a point to make sure the kids put thier plates away immediately and they too realized how important this was. I also became diligent in keeping the sink cleared of dishes for the most part, or at least rinsed off any foods that wouuld entice her to be there. Mike also was on board with tag teaming with me of us making sure one of us watched her closely if there was food being prepared and so forth. We made use of the tie down during meals as well and we are seeing much improvement in her not getting people foods. All throught he holidays, with this diligence and paying attention to where things were, we were able to keep all of the food stealing almost to non-existant. :D So we continue with this regimen and are able to let her be loose when there isn't food items present and watch her super close/tie her down when there are. :)

Rei is also doing much better about listening when I tell her Leave It! or if her nose does start pointing up to the countertop, a sharp NO! and she immediately turns and moves away, so we are making progress and she's learning that it's not acceptable. In the last three weeks we've only had one problem with it, and it was more Mike and my fault, as he had lunch out, I didnt realize it was on the countertops and he went outside to look at something at my request and oh boy, she saw the chance- no one around and free food for taking, so she did it. I heard dishes rattling and did get to her in time to give her a good hard correction in the act, so that was a good thing. But we learned our lesson and since then, all has been good. :)

Monday- Dec. 21: Trip to the Children's museum with the Fillingers. :)

The girls were home with me, Katie being on Christmas break now, so Anne Marie called and asked if we'd want to go to the Children's Museum with the girls. I said sure, so Katie and the girls could have some fun together, so we packed up for an afternoon of fun. :)

We really didn't do a whole lot at the museum, but that is the beauty of having a membership, you know you can come and go and not have to get your money's worth out of it for the day! :) We started out in Dinosphere, which Meaghan was afraid of the thundestorm that they have in the exhibit, so we went to the side since there was starting to happen as we got there.

The girls all looking inside of a cave with dino bones.

Meaghan sitting on the floor with Rei, who is "protecting her from the thunderstorm". :)

After the storm was over, we went over to the Dino Dig, where the kids and "dig for bones".

A good handful of kids, with goggles on, diggning in sand for dinosaur bones.

Meaghan working on the wall that has a bone in it.

The older girls working on another spot on the wall.

All five girls working on the T-Rex skeleton puzzle. :)

Meaghan doing a computer program about dinos.

The older girls doing a different program.

Anne Marie with her younger girls doing another program.

The younger ones and Katie all playing at the dino table.

From the dinosphere, we moved on to the train station. Meaghan absolutely LOVES the train station every time we go there. She doesnt care about the big train engine itself, but she loves to play in the station office itself. :) However, the lighting is very dim in here, so the pictures are all really dark.

Meaghan on the old style phone.

It was so cute to watch them, as the rest of the girls came in, they all began playing together, the older ones making phone calls, the younger ones taking turns selling tickets to each other through the ticket window.

Making phone calls.

Ticket sales.

The girls watching the model trains going around.

After leaving the train station exhibit, we went up to the Winter Wonderland exhibit, where they had "ice fishing", a snow castle play ground, a cookie kitchen, and Santa for the kids to visit. We basically just turned the kids loose as it was one big room with only one way in or out, so Rei and I stationed ourselves to the right of the door and could pretty much see the whole room from there and could alow the kids freedom, but could make sure they or no one took them out. :)

Anne Marie watching over her younger girls ice fishing.

Meaghan in the center of the picture ice fishing.

Meaghan at the scale and about to weigh her "catch" which are stuffed fish. :)

Kids on the snow castle.

Meaghan peeking through a window on the snow castle.

The Fillinger girls with Santa. :)

A picture of Rei laying on the floor in front of me. :)

Rei- one REALLY tired puppy at home that night, since it was VERY crowded through the whole museum and there were lots of people since it was over school break. She did such an awesome job and I didn't have to worry about anything, which really made it nice since the younger girls were being a little wired by the time we left, from going without naps all afternoon. Rei is such a blessing and relief to have and I know I dont have to worry about bumping into anything when she is at my side!

Saturday & Sunday - Dec. 20th- our 11th Wedding Anniversary

Well, it was our anniversary on Saturday, but since Mike was on call for the weekend, we were able to set up Grandma and Grandpa watching the kids for us to go out to dinner on the 27th, the Saturday after Christmas, instead.

However, this day was quite a productive and busy one, as Mike finished up the sanding/mudding of the closet and I worked on finishing up the last of sewing the stockings.

Rei saw a squirrel out the front picture window and was quite interested:

Rei standing on her hind legs, front paws on the window sill and looking out the picture window.

A close up profile shot of her watching the squirrel scamper across the street.

Then we went to church that night and it was a good sermon. We didnt feel like going, but we enjoyed it once we got there. :)

Sunday, we continued to work on things around the house did our last minute preparations, wrapping of gifts for Christmas. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wed through Fri, Dec. 17-19th. The remains of a busy week.

We all had dentist appointments, as in the kids and I. All of us had clean bills of health, no cavities!!! Yay!!!! The dentist did say though that Alex's teeth are very tight and crowded, so to be expecting to be looking at braces as he gets older and when his permanent teeth come in though. :( Hopefully it won't be that bad!

That night, Mike worked on the girls closet some more and demo'd out the separation wall in there. Tore it out and got all the stuff out to start getting it ready for the new organizer unit he'll be building soon to make it much more useable as well as gain the 6 inches of space lost by the partition wall being there. ;)


I started off the morning with an IM meeting with Laura Thomas of the Helen Keller National Center, going over different things for InDBA and some stuff for myself as well. We are working on some meeting things, a collaboration between HKNC and InDBA, and a Deaf Blind workshop coming up in July, hosted by InDBA.

I continued to finish up the stockings that I'd been working on for gifts most of the afternoon. Since it was Alex's turn to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the evening, Mike went after work up to the Big Boy's Toy Store: Fry's. Where he picked up an internal hard drive, an external hard drive, and a few other things we needed. Katie and Meaghan and I hung out here at home for the evening. :)

Friday evening, Mike continued working on the girls closet, mudding, sanding, letting it dry and so forth. I kept the kids entertained and out of his hair with that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Decemeber 16th: Silly Girl, Katie's Living Pioneer Museum, & ICE everywhere!

okie dokie, bathrooms are done. ;) whoo hoo we are getting there! :) Need to fold laundry next and work on something for dinner after that.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16th- Meaghan showed me a new use for the cubbies we have in the playroom- What a stinker! :)

Meaghan with her head only out of the toy cubbie and a big cheesy grin on her face!

Another shot of Meaghan with her head out of the cubbie, head sideways and grinning from ear to ear of her accomplishment.

A farther off shot, showing that she is 3 1/2 ft off the floor and has her entire body inside this cubbie bin cabinet.

Don't ask me how she got in there, as I didn't see, but I definately pulled her out. LOL!

Then in the afternoon, Katie had her Pioneer Living Museum Day at school and the parents were invited to come. So Meaghan and I walked over to the school and Rei did beautifully. She was VERY good and I didnt have any problems with bumping into anything or what not and she was very good around all the kids too. The kids were also very good about asking first if they could pet and most didn't even ask, as I do know that the third grade classes have been learning about service animals, so they knew they shouldn't. The couple that did ask, I was quite impressed with the one little boy, he actually came up and said "Maam, may I please pet your dog?" I was shocked first off that he said Maam and secondly that he said please and waited until I answered. I thanked him heartily for asking first and being polite and he said "your welcome" and walked away with a big smile on his face. :)

So here is a few pictures of Katie, who had dressed up in the same outfit she did to go to the one room school house:

Katie with her buzz saw toy she made.

Giving the toy to a classmate to try out.

Katie with the Conastoga wagon that she made.

Katie trying out one of the other kids pioneer toys.

Meaghan trying out one of the other kid's pioneer toy.

After the hour was over for the parents to be there, since I walked to the school, Mrs. Orr invited Meaghan and I back to the class room with the class to hang out until school dismissed about 45 minutes later.

The kids then went over to the cabinet and listened to the featured kid of the week- the "Sea Star" of the week, as the room is in an ocean theme.

Then Mrs. Orr called everyone over to the reading rug and she sat in her rocking chair and read to all of the kids a story.

The kids sitting on the floor listening to Mrs. Orr read.

Katie and Meaghan sitting together.

The whole time, Rei was being a perfect angel, laying quietly at my feet as I watched the kids do thier thing. :)

Rei in harness, looking across the room, laying still at my feet.

Rei in harness, looking at me as if to say, "Are you taking my picture, AGAIN???"

Then it was time for the kids to gather their things and line up at the door by where we were sitting. Several of the kids asked if they could pet Rei and I went ahead and gave them permission. Very quickly, Rei was on her back for belly rubs and the kids were on thier knees, more than happy to give them. LOL!

Rei in a circle of kids, licking a little girls hand.

So then we walked home and the girls asked if they could play outside on the ice, as there was ice EVERYWHERE! I had Meaghan hold Rei first though to get a couple of pictures of her in harness for her puppy raiser. :)

Here's my pretty girl in front of the tree. It is so hard to get a good picture of a black dog!

So after I got pictures of Rei, the girls went in and changed into warmer clothes and we all came back out. The girls played on thier sled, sliding down the driveway and I turned Rei loose out in the back yard to play as well.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

The girls sliding down the drivway.

Goofy dog with her Kong toy. :)

Katie and Meaghan on their sled

One of my favorite pictures of Rei, even with it being a little blurry.