Friday, April 26, 2013

I Know You're Awake

Paddy can easily climb up on the furniture now.  With ample ease, he can also scale sleeping adults and adults pretending to sleep, as pictured here.

Upon finding Daddyboy in a restful moment last weekend, Paddy squeezed himself on the chair with his sleepy friend and proceeded to cuddle away, as if to say "I know you're awake, big guy."

This little guy is the only one who can get Russell to put off a nap.

Happy weekend!  Hope you find time to cuddle with someone you love!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Curtains Down

Patrick and Claudia take great joy in ripping down the curtains.  They play ghosts, peek-a-boo, then abandon the curtain in a heap on the floor.  The simple act of the curtain dropping from the ceiling sends them into fits of hysterical laughter.  Maybe this is because I simultaneously shriek "No!  Nooooo!  Please!  Not again!"  

Then, when I'm sick of seeing the discarded curtain in a heap on the floor, I beg and plead with Russell to rehang it.  He then rehashes the Greek parable of Sisyphus, the Greek king condemned by the gods for general naughtiness, to perpetually roll a large boulder uphill, only to watch it roll back downhill, doomed to repeat the pointless task over, and over, and over...

So, in short, Sisyphus, if you are reading, I need help rehanging the curtains, pretty please.  =)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Girl is Four!

Sweet girl was ready to celebrate big this year!
Her only request was that we have a "mermaid dance party."   
So we had a dozen dancing mermaids at our house last weekend.

Claudia's favorite part involved the crowning of the mini mermaids (as she was Princess Mermaid).  
The best present of all... having Gram there!!  Living half a world away, birthdays are usually family-less affairs.  Sad.  But not this year!   My amazing mom flew over to help out after the surgery and stayed for C's big day.   Perfect day for CC!
Having the party a week after my hip replacement seemed pretty stupid at first, but I took many shortcuts that made the whole thing easy... delivery pizza, delivered cake, a theme birthday company to entertain the girls... but the best was the delivered goodie bags.  The company Carousel Carousel sends everything you need to make the bags, you just stuff them.  Cute fun stuff and they ship to everywhere... even Budapest!
The only boy allowed at the party (except for daddies and baby Nikolai).
When he wasn't being tickled, hugged and carried around, he was frantically scrambling around scooping discarded, half eaten candies and pogacia off the floor.   Sweet Paddy!
I wish I could have gotten a smile out of her here ... but she assured me at bedtime that it was "the bestest birthday of [her] whole life!"  This kind of made me smile, laugh and cry at once.  =)
Happy FOURTH birthday to the sweetest dancing mermaid.  We love you, CC!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Then and Now

Russell has given me two days on the calendar year to dress the kids in matching, monogrammed sissy suits. Naturally, I choose Christmas and Easter.
Here is Easter 2012.  Sweet Paddy is SO little.

And 2013.  Sadly, these guys are no longer interested in posing for my brother/sister matchy matchy nonsense anymore.  No matter, I will keep doing this because it makes me smile to see them dressed alike.  Just twice a year.
In case your wondering, they are watching SportsCenter over my shoulder. 

I bet next year will go better, maybe.

They were really sweet about sharing their Easter candies, though.

Like I said, next year, better.  Maybe.

She looks very much the same, but seems so much older at four!
Just one more from last year.   At least Patrick is no longer in danger of being crushed by Claudia.  Thank goodness for that!  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Something's Got to Give

In this case, the "something" was my hip.   Take a look, here is my new, bionic hip bone.  Two weeks ago, Russell brought me to Austria for a hip replacement.  My sad, decayed hip bone, which had no cartilage between the hip bone and the pelvis, had been giving me pains for years, but eventually got unbearable.   My hip would lock into place, slide out of place, grind bone on bone.  This was not pleasant for me and dangerous and scary for the kids.   We finally reached the point where a hip replacement was absolutely necessary.  

And guess what?  I feel SO GOOD now.  The surgery lasted an hour and was an anterior hip replacement, which has a much shorter recovery time than the traditional posterior replacement.  I stayed in the hospital a week, doing PT and now I am home walking (or learning how to walk properly).   I just can't carry Patrick for a while and can't drive.  I'm getting better every day and am so glad I finally got the surgery.  
When we left for Austria two weeks ago, it was still snowing buckets.  Yuck.  No patio cookouts for spring... because there is a foot of snow on the patio furniture. 
This guy can walk in the snow, with the assistance of a finger hold.
Claudia pitched in and helped shovel the drive.  
But mostly did a lot of snow eating.

Dad built a ramp and C was able to catch some air sledding down the hill and off the ramp.
As for Patrick...

... little sweetie as always.

He has figured out how to turn on the phone, so I've now got it password protected.   He just looks at the screensaver (his picture) and smiles.
This is just funny.   There was a man (or lady?) in an Easter Bunny suit at Claudia's school for the Easter Assembly.  He (or she?) was kind of scary for the kids and didn't interest them much (maybe not at all?) ...
... until he (or she) attempted to sit down.  Missed that chair completely.  Kids LOVED it!

Being away from Patrick and Claudia for a week was the toughest part of the whole experience.  I missed their hugs, laughs and company.  It feels great to finally be back with them.   Best medicine I could ever get!!
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