Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Two Poles...

Boy oh boy, over the last couple months, the differences between the two boys have become more and more obvious and distinct. Here are a few examples from the last couple days.

1. A ball was stuck behind something in the basement and Caleb wanted to get it out. He tried various "tools" to approach the problem from several angles: the "knock it out" angle, the "scoop it out" angle, the "reach it out" angle etc. Eventually he got it out...and then he wanted to put it back and see if he could find an alternate way to get it back out! Philip got a laugh about that...the engineering mind at work! (Joshua, meanwhile, was of course totally disinterested in the whole process!)

2. Last night around 5:00 Joshua said he wanted to have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. Here is how the conversation then went:

Me: Joshua, we're going to have tacos for dinner
Josh: Tacos?!
Me: Yes, tacos
Josh: You mean with sour cream?
Me: Yes
J: and tomatoes?
Me: Yes
J: And cheese?
Me: Yes
J: oh WOW! I love tacos!
Me: I know you do. :)

3. At dinner, Joshua asked for the orange plate...knowing it's Caleb's favorite. I let him have it, since Caleb ALWAYS uses it, curious to see what Caleb's reaction would be. It was not good. First he asked to switch. Nope, sorry. Then he suggested that he could have it when Joshua was done eating. Nope, sorry...it will be dirty. Then he reminded us we have TWO orange plates. Yes, but the other one is already dirty in the dishwasher. All through dinner, Caleb just sits there looking dispondently at his burrito sitting on his green plate. As soon as Joshua is done eating, Caleb says "his plate isn't that dirty...can I have it?" Nope, sorry! Anyway, he did eventually eat, despite the green plate. :)

Caleb = routine, follow the rules
Joshua = freespirited and enthusiastic

Monday, January 28, 2008

He Did It!

Caleb did it! He completed the 1000 piece puzzle with no help from us! Wow! He was very proud! It probably took him about the same amount of time it would have taken me to do it! One would also think that while Caleb was doing his 1000 piece puzzle that he would have focused his efforts on the one puzzle, but oh no, he still had two other 500 piece puzzles in progress at the same time and was working on those as well, depending on which room he was in at the time. :) And yes, he has already selected and de-boxed the next 1000 piece challenge.

Caleb was also excited tonight because this afternoon, thanks to Freecycle, we acquired a game called "Rush Hour" which is supposed to be for ages 8 and up. I told him he could try playing when he was 6...maybe. But, I agreed we would let Philip open it tonight so we could see how hard it really was. After Philip did the first few (with the help of his non-engineer wife!), we let Caleb try and were surprised that he was not only able to solve the puzzles, but able to set up the board himself too! Go Caleb! He was thrilled to have proved me wrong. :)

In other news, Philip continues to pound away in the basement. He now has all three walls framed, the electrical work done (except for installing the light fixtures...but they are wired), and the air vent in. He is now working on adding an air return to the basement (there wasn't one before) and then will probably be ready to put up the dry wall! Wow!

And I am still pregnant and growing. Here I am last week at 24 weeks. This morning the baby and I played "poke" with his foot and my finger. It was fun. :) I tried to see if Joshua could feel "Benjamin" move this morning since he had been so active, but of course by then he was napping or something. So, I was prodding around to see if I could get some activity out of him. This was too much for Joshua to just watch...he had to join in the poking. THAT was not as much fun for me. Ouch. :) Oh well, Joshua will get to feel him move....no worries about that. This kid is like a whirlwind when he gets going. Seems like that reminds me of my pregnancy with someone else...who was that? Oh right...Joshua. Yikes! Maybe he's getting all his energy out now and by the time little "Benjamin" arrives he will be a nice, sedate kid. :) I am also hoping to win the lottery without buying any tickets. :)

On the baby note, this morning after StrollerFit, a friend had her 4 month old lying on his tummy. Joshua came over and stroked his back and then came back a few minutes later and leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. It was so sweet!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Left or Right?

So Joshua has us in suspense wondering if he is left-handed or right-handed! Some days he eats with his left and sometimes with his right. We certainly are hoping he goes to the right! :) I guess genes could go either way as both my parents are left-handed. How did they manage to have 5 right-handed kids? Go figure.

Puzzle update: Caleb is now at least 75% done and still doesn't want help!

Friday, January 25, 2008

2 Year Old Logic

This morning Joshua was observing the contents of a container of hair gel I had. The container is green, the gel is clear. This was his comment, about the gel inside:

"Actually, it's green because it's green actually."
Wow...can't argue with that! Kinda like Dr. Suess...it just IS. :) That is the kind of thing Joshua says all the time. He apparently thinks himself to be an expert in nearly all subjects. He frequently parrots everything I say, or else when I make a factual comment of some type can usually be heard saying "yep" very emphatically as though he already knew that.

Here is how Joshua looks much of time...cheesy grin. :) He really is a very joyful kid and these days can often be heard saying "we're supposed to be HAPPY!"

P.S. Caleb's current puzzle conquest is 1000 pieces. So far he's probably about 50% done and hasn't asked for help yet. We'll keep ya posted. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

9 Years...

It's been 9 years today since Philip and I met. I am still amazed that it happened at all! From the fact that we are from opposite sides of the country, to the fact that he wouldn't have been around the weekend I had first tried to come, to the fact that I very nearly missed my plane out of Charlotte (and I would have post-9-11...I was still lost on my way to the airport 20 minutes before take off!!), to the fact he almost decided to go build speakers that night instead of going swing dancing with a girl he didn't know. It's still amazing we hit it off enough that he showed up everywhere I was that weekend and we developed enough of a friendship to continue after I left. I am still amazed that he waited only 2 days to call me (and that he feels that was a lifetime!) and that yet we managed to not move the relationship "to the next level" for more than a year and a half. I am still amazed that he stuck around through all the crazy bumps and ups and downs of our relationship, through all my quirks and the unusual requests from me and my parents. I am still amazed that despite it all, he married ME! And nine years later, he amazes me still by the husband, father and man that he is. :)

Happy 9 Year "Know-a-versary!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Joshua Holds a Baby

Today we visited a friend, Liz, and her two week old little girl, Rachel. I was interested to see how the boys would respond to such a little one. Predictably, Caleb looked (and was amazed that she produced 10 dirty diapers a day!), but wasn't interested in touching or holding her. Joshua, on the other hand, was. We sat him on the couch and I helped him hold her for a while. He sat very still and just looked at her and smiled. Then I took her back. He asked her to hold her again! So, I re-positioned her on his lap. He snuggled with her head and stroked her face. I wish I had had the camera...it was very, very sweet! Hopefully this is a good indicator that he will be a loving and sweet big brother to our new little one! Caleb probably will too...he just takes longer to warm up to things. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Current House Project

When we bought the house, it was with the intention to create a 5th bedroom in the basement, similar to what we had in the townhouse. We loved having the downstairs bedroom option available for our guests since it was quieter (usually!) and more private than sharing the upstairs with the rest of the family...especially the boys who awake quite early! Immediately upon moving in, we put the guest bed in the basement (Which already had a full bath), but there were no wall surrounding it for privacy. I had assumed we would eventually hire a contractor to finish the room. We decided a few weeks ago it was time to move forward with the bedroom project since the baby will be coming in a few months and we wanted to have it completed before his arrival, if possible. So we did some research and selected our contractor. I think he will be familiar to most of you. Would you trust this guy to build a room in YOUR basement?

Yes, last week, Philip informed me he wanted to do the project himself. And I said "Oooookkkk". I am pleased to report that so far no injuries have been sustained and there are no holes where they aren't supposed to be...except in this one column...but that's another story! :) Here's his progress so far:

Here's the room before we moved in. Don't you LOVE the room color? Yeah, that will be getting changed eventually.

Here is how it looks tonight. One of three walls is framed. The other wall for the bedroom will go near where Philip is sitting and then the 3rd wall will go on the left side of the picture over to the left wall (not visible) to create an office space/storage room. The bedroom will be about 10.5 x 10.5 and the office room about 7 x 8.

We'll let you know how it goes!!!

A Year Ago Today...

We first saw this house. What a year it's been! And the house barely resembles the one we looked at that day. Oddly, I still remember how cold it was inside (and out!) and the way the house smelled. I remember how I felt as I saw it.

Here's a few before and after pics of changes we have made:
Dining room before: green walls, carpet, no molding

Mid-process. Took us a while to decide whether to paint the bottom red or off white.

Dining room after: red walls, wood floors, crown molding (painting and molding done by Philip!)

The entry way before. What I call "80's tile gone wrong" and one of the things I knew would have to go immediately. The walls are a funky yellow color. Actually, the whole house was one of three colors: pale blue, pale lime-ish green, and this yellow. Yuck. Not my color scheme.

Mid-process. Pulling out that tile was a MESS!!! We were thankful we hired out that work. They actually had to replace the sub-flooring.

The entry way at Christmas. Wood floors and a much more neutral paint color!

It's hard to believe it's already been a year. What a year! We love almost everything we've done to the house and we love living here!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

We Have Another Nephew!

Alexander Daniel Kroboth was born at about 7:15 am PST this morning to my brother Dan and wife Angela. He was lucky enough to be born at home, so no stats yet, but the official word from Dan is that "he looks smaller than Will", who was about 10.5 lbs! So, maybe they got a 2 month old this time, instead of a 3 month old. :)

Anyway, congrats to the new parents and big brother Will! We can't wait to meet little Alex!

For more information, see their blog here!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve

We drove back from NC on Saturday and on Sunday Philip's parents arrived here to spend a few days before moving into their temporary home about 90 minutes away in PA! We are so excited to have them living so close!! Yesterday, we had a blast going to Frying Pan Park and Chuck E. Cheese before enjoying a yummy NYE dinner and opening the last of our Christmas gifts that arrived at our house while we were away.

Frying Pan Park is a free county park located about 15 minutes away. It was a great day to go. About 50* and sunny. ALL the animals were out! Joshua and Caleb even got to feed the cows some hay and see a brand new baby calf. We also saw some baby piglets getting their ears "notched" for identification, turkeys, sheep, horses, chickens, ducks and a peacock.

Grandpa and Grandma and the boys

Caleb feeding the cows

Christmas Fun!

We spent a week in NC over Christmas with my family. We had a great time and the boys especially enjoyed all the hours of playtime with "Uncle Bar". We still don't understand Joshua's origination of this nickname for my brother Tim, but it seems to have stuck. Joshua and Tim were roommates, which meant that Philip and I got a break from Joshua's 6:00 am rising time. The boys had a blast playing air hockey, imagining with little people, taking walks, reading, and of course Caleb put together 4 new puzzles, with the help of Grandma and Aunt Deborah. Christmas morning was fun, as there were a few surprises for each of the boys. Joshua was especially thrilled to receive our own copies of "Snow!" and "The Eye Book", as well as a Percy train. And once Caleb saw puzzles, he was in the heaven. :)

Here are a few pics from our trip.
Apparently, Joshua didn't want to get left behind, so he packed himself in a suitcase!

Here are the boys decorating our gingerbread house. It's not quite as fancy as the ones we saw at Reston Town Center a few weeks ago, but they had fun!

On Christmas Eve, we got to visit with Great Grandma Kroboth, who turned 90 this year! I hope I look that good when I am 90! Maybe I will...I inherited a lot of her other genes. :) We had a great visit with her!

Chrismas Morning

The whole family who was present.

We hope you all had a blessed Christmas! If you didn't receive our Christmas letter, let me know. We had a lot of bounced addresses this year and with Outlook going kaput on me this summer, I am sure I missed some people!! If you found this blog because of our letter, please leave a comment and say hi! :) We love to know who's reading.

"We Wanted A Girl Because...

Mommy says it is time for a girl," says Caleb when asked by Philip if he is excited to be having another BROTHER. Oh well. Mommy may have said it was time, but God didn't agree. Another boy will be joining us in May. He frequently makes his presence known with lots of movement. Philip was even able to feel him kick last week (a full 2.5 weeks in the pregnancy before we felt Caleb move). I am sure the boys will love having someone else to rough and tumble with...and it certainly means I'll have to buy less clothes! Maybe next time. :)

Caleb frequently asks "what shall we name the baby?" He and Joshua have decided on Benjamin. So, if you ask Caleb and he tells you that, don't believe him! We won't be releasing the baby's name before he is born! Gotta keep something a secret!

What a Way to Start the Year...

Well Happy New Year 2008 everyone!! We stayed up until 11:50 and then went to bed. What chumps! Oh well...who needs to see a ball drop! :)

So, posts about Christmas and the baby are forthcoming, but I just haven't gotten my act together with the pictures yet. Can't post without pictures! Anyway, to let you all know we are alive and made it to the new year, I am posting to about my tooth. Yes, you read that right. I have bad teeth. Always have. My mom says it's hereditary and I like that explanation since I really do try to take good care of them. But despite my best efforts, I always seem to be getting cavities and having fillings fall out. This fall, one of my molars cracked and I had to get a crown. Fun times. Well, I have this one tooth that didn't grow a replacement. So, the baby tooth remains. No one knew how long that poor little tooth would last, but we were all hoping for the best. It had made it to 2007 with only one small filling, which had to be replaced last fall when it fell out. And then it fell out again over Christmas. No biggie...it's just a little whole. Well this morning I was minding my own business when I notice I am chewing something that seems a little hard. Upon inspection, I find that poor little baby tooth has just lost a huge chunk and is now sporting a not-so-trendy jagged, gaping hole! (I'll spare you pictures of this!) Alas. Has my tooth finally met it's demise in 2008? Guess we'll see what the dentist says. I was hoping to avoid contributing further to his retirement fund for a while, but I guess that plan goes out the window for now. I hope he can at least put the tooth out of it's misery without too much pain and suffering on my part. Stay tuned. What a way to start the year!