Sunday, July 29, 2007

...things we love currently

I thought to mix things up a bit, we'll talk about how things are going by talking about things we currently love:

1)Bi-O-Kleen Bac-Out: It's this natural enzyme spray cleaner that is good for so many things. It takes (organic) stains out of clothing, cloth diapers, carpets and such with no problem. What's even more amazing, ants hate them so we've been able to use this friendly-around-kids spray to quarantine the ants we've had in the house. People tell me it's a Florida thing but it was no fun to find ants in the house, esp. since we've working so hard to keeping it so clean to prevent roach problems. :( The ants were coming in thru the cracks in the base boards looking for water [at least that's what people have been telling me they do and yes, it's been fairly dry here.]. But with the baits we've put out and the Bac-out to quarantine them, they're pretty much gone. How annoying, though. I'm just glad they're not spiders. But a large mass of anything buggy gives me the heebee jeebees (or however you spell it). Blech!

2)Talc-free baby powder: We've never actually used it on the kiddies' bottoms but we've been using it incessantly to take sand off their bodies after our many beach trips to try and keep the car clean. Seriously, this stuff works like magic! You just sprinkle some on and then brush it off - voila! No more sand! This really helps with the post-beach trip diaper changes. :) Plus, someone gave us the Jasmine-scented one, so we're all a nice-smelling, slightly white bunch after a trip to the beach. :)

3) DEET-free bug spray: Because it's so warm all the time, I think Florida is home to a lot of bugs! Mosquitoes, no see-ums, you name it! So everytime we've gone out, we've had to remember to spray ourselves down from head to head. However, those no see-ums still seem to get Kev and I - I'm thinking even though we can't see them, they can still see where we've not sprayed! Doh! [The kids have not been bitten as much as us, praise the Lord!] Anyhow, we heard it gets better when it's not so hot - we're looking forward to it. But anyhow, the spray has been one of our best friends lately. :)

4) The extensive Pinellas County Library system: I think there are about 5 librares that are pretty close to us - we've been to 4 of them already. Not only are there programs galore (puppet shows, dog shows, storytime, etc), there's a ton of kiddie and non-kiddie DVDs to rent out and lots of fish books. [Trust us, we know; we've taken about 30 of them home already!!] One of the library even has an entire floor devoted to kids - we're impressed. Plus, we can borrow books from any of these libraries and return them all to the closest one. Needless to say, we go there a lot and the kids don't complain! :)

5) Forums: The main way I've been meeting moms is through these 2 forums - Mamasource and Mothering. It's definitely a different age these days, I guess. I've tried going to play areas and library to chat with people but it seems as if they're already in a group or don't have too much time to chat b/c they're running around chasing after their kids, too. But thru these forums, I've gotten to know these moms a bit and have even met up for playgroups and such. It feels a bit funny sometimes to meet up with perfect strangers but it's been working out great. :) I do miss all of you mommies I used to hang out with, though! Much love to ya!!

6)Our little Weber grill, meat thermometer & Cooks Illustrated: We've been grilling lots since it's been so hot and it's been great! :) Kev, the master griller, has been reading up on how to make the juiciest, tenderest meats (thanks to Cooks Illustrated!) and we've been reaping the benefits. No more tough chicken, dry steak or charred hotdogs. Yay!

7) Joovy Caboose Ultralight Double Stroller: So, we finally jumped on the bandwagon and got ourselves a double stroller. It was a tough, agonizing decision because I wanted something light, yet sturdy. Something that fits in the Camry's trunk when folded. Something that's fits through doorways and not hard to steer. Something that can accomodate an infant car seat when we have another. So, after lots of research, we decided to try this double first. The next one on our list was the Baby Planet Unity Double - a side by side double. Anyhow, praise the Lord b/c this stroller ended up working out great. Aidan doesn't mind sitting on the bench facing me, though he does do contortionist moves to see the front sometimes. There is a lap belt for the little guy, so at least he can't pop off at whim. It only weighs 21 lbs, so not too hard to manage and fits in our trunk! It steers great and fits thru aisles just fine (we took it outlet shopping without a problem). I like the big sunshade and the parent organizer but don't like how hard the basket is to get at, though. When Aidan prefers to walk, I don't feel like I'm pushing a train (it's not that long) and it's much better than pushing those shopping carts with a car in the front! Anyways, the long and short of it is, we do like it and anticipate using it a lot. :)

8) Cloth trainers & Thomas/Sesame Street underwear - Yuppers, Aidan is now formally pottytraining! It took a long while to find the right time to do it, from selling the house to moving, but we're finally settled somewhere. Plus, we wanted to make sure Aidan was pretty ready so it wouldn't take a bazillion years and lots of accidents. ;) Welp, we started about 3 weeks ago and for 2 weeks he's been in underwear during the day and a diapers at night. Yay! Thanks to all the moms that gave me great advice about training and for praying for us. :) Having Thomas & friends and various Sesame Street characters on your butt seems to be a big thing for a 2 y.o. boy. :) I also invested in cloth trainers for long outings where bathrooms might be hard to find (though we stashed a new little potty from freecycle that's in our trunk right now for places with no potties), which has been a God-send. Thanks Auntie Jen for lending us some from cousins' stash. [Sshhh! We won't tell them they shared!] We're also getting to know where the bathrooms are at the places we frequent and who has the nicest, cleanest ones. :)

9) And the last one is just for the ladies - Nordstrom's free bra fitting: After you have a baby (or two or three) and esp. after breastfeeding, your body is just not quite the same, esp. in the chest area (at least that's how it is for me). Since I have finally weaned Jana, I decided to go for a bra fitting. They do a great job and really know what they're doing. Actually, a lot of times, you end up being surprised at what size you actually are. And have a great fitting undergarment is an awesome feeling b/c your clothes will fit better, too. Plus, they are currently having their famous Anniversary sale, so it's very likely that your bra will be on sale!

Anyways, long post, eh? Before signing off, we just wanted to welcome Baby Lucas Foung and Baby Boy Naran into the world! We love you guys!! Alrighty, over and out.

Monday, July 9, 2007

...what's new!

We're getting more into a groove here, now that we've been unpacked for 2 weeks or so. We're still doing lots of exploring around our area, even venturing into Tampa a few times. This humidity isn't too kind, though. We've been trying to brainstorm places to take the kids during the heat of the day, so we all don't wilt. :) So far, I've been taking them to these indoor play areas [that they have at almost every local mall around here], libraries [though storytime ended when school ended - boo!], our old standy Barnes & Noble with the Thomas train table and various stores to run errands. I've also hoped to meet some SAHMs to hang out with since it's been a bit boring now that we have all the stuff for the house. I've met a few moms on different forums that I'm on and will be meeting with a few of them this week and next. So, please pray that I will meet some kindred spirits and that our kids will play well together. :)

I can't wait til it cools down because there are so many quaint towns to visit here - downtown Dunedin, Safety Harbor and places like Hyde Park in Tampa. We've tried walking around some places already but by 10am, it's already blazing hot. It's no wonder they have so many water activities here - even the Florida Aquarium has a water play area. Next time, we're be more prepared and have the kids in swimsuits like we saw everyone else wearing. :)

On the church front, we've visited 2 churches so far and it's been ok. One church didn't really have small groups but we went to visit because we knew a family there. This week, we went to visit Countryside Christian Center, this huge church with lots of small groups and a well-established nursery. I couldn't get a real flavor for this church because Jana didn't stop crying until they got me, 10 minutes after I dropped her off. I do realize not every baby can be an Aidan. With Aidan, we literally pushed me aside and rushed into the nursery so he can meet the kids and play with the toys - and this is at every nursery we've been to so far. Kids are so different, aren't they? Anyhow, we plan on visiting a small group this week and have 2 more churches on our to-try list. Please pray that we would find a church soon - we might only be here for a year and I don't want to spend too much of it church hopping. We are mainly looking for a church that is grounded and open to the Spirit. Also, is one that has small groups with good childcare.

Oh, for the Fourth of July, we went to Honeymoon Island - they call it the "Real Florida". It was nice with lots of white sand, though some parts were still a bit rocky. We had a blast but got a bit burnt because we were so busy putting sunblock on the kids we forgot to put some on our own bodies aside from our appendages [though Kev's right chest did not get burned because he was holding Jana there - haha!]. We'll hafta post some pics soon. That night, we watched fireworks from the parking lot of Ruth Eckerd Hall. There was a spot where you can watch 4 different displays of fireworks! We thought to ourselves, yes, fireworks are legal here - haha! After all, they do sell them in Target! LOL!

We've also been finally introduced to Raffi and The Wiggles. I know, I know, what's taken us so long? I've been trying to resist the Wiggles every since I saw them on TV and I've just never been able to get a hold of any Raffi CDs. But anyhow, I think I really like them!! Raffi is pretty soothing for the most part (think Baby Beluga) and The Wiggles are very catchy, esp. songs like Hot Potato and Fruit Salad. I find myself humming it throughout the day without even noticing it, which is the annoying part. Anyways, just thought I'd let you know! Hah!

We still need to find a sitter for during the day and occasional nights. I so miss the Thursday mornings that I have free to run errands without the kiddies. ;) Running errands with them have been ok but I'm realizing that I need a double stroller now. We've got this one on the way and if that doesn't work out, will consider this one. It's just so much easier if Aidan is strapped in.....ahem. Anyhow, we continue to claim this year as a honeymoon period for our family. Praise the Lord He is always the same, no matter where you are and that we are always at home with Him. For our own enrichment, I've been reading this book lately - so much to chew through. Good stuff! Have also been listening to this lately. If anyone has any other good books and sites that've really boggled your mind, please let us know! Over and out. :)