Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daze of December is Upon Us

The first real snow storm hits us in the first part of December and were we ever ready for it. If you're from Minnesota and don't like snowstorms you're in the wrong state because the weather here is quite unpredictable and can change quickly.

Demitri and Drew watching the storm from our porch. We got about a foot of snow with 2 to 3 foot drifts out of the deal. Very nice introduction to winter 2009!

Drew and Demitri getting right to it trying to get a early start on snow removal that normally happens after the storm.

The big snow pile that gets made behind our dining hall from clearing roads around the place. Here the boys are playing on the snow pile. At some point the kids will make sledding paths down its side.

Demitri (fearless of all living creatures) playing with Duke the black lab.

Demitri warming himself in front of the fireplace after playing outside in the snow.
Drew sporting his Mickey Mouse cap and gloves, announcing "Ich orbit" (I'm working).

One of Demitri's latest, newest activities is sitting in Drew's bed all my himself and reading/looking at books.

I have all but given up on taking naps on the couch; whenever I lay down, it doesn't take more then a minute for two boys to notice, run over, clamor up and want to sleep with me as well. This would all be fine if they would actually sleep but they can't lay still for more then 10 seconds, then they start climbing around, going down to get toys, repositioning themselves, reaching for my glasses, standing up on my stomach... just not a very restful situation at all.
(Note Demitri's stool in front of the couch, he carries it everywhere to get where he wants to go, which is usually upwards.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Weekends Events

Last weekend we had friends from Manitoba, Canada stop by for to visit, Manuel, Janet and two of their four kids, Kalen and Kirsten. Oh yeah, I got to sit back and relax from being the ox that the boys ride on for those evenings!

Manuel being the ox for the evening; he was heaving the boys up in the air and letting them down as if they were gliding down like an airplane. Kalen knew the drill but, Drew for whom this was totally new, didn't quite trust this makeshift launcher and so his glides back to earth weren't as smooth.

Drew sleeping (at least pretending to) in the laundry cart. Apparently, the idea of a human sleeping in places other then a cot or bed, seems totally new to Drew. He watched his friend Kalen sleep on the couch for siesta at our house and a week later he still lays down on the couch and pretends to sleep. During the day they lay down in the carts out on the porch so I guess he's going to ask to sleep out on the porch in the laundry cart one of these nights.

Kalen (Drew's newest friend) having a whale of a time in the basket cart.

Drew (4yrs old) and Kalen (3yrs old) posing with the interlocking mats and strips. Notice the near exact height despite the age difference.

Whoa, we nearly forgot Demitri in all this hubbub. Here's he was posing, putting on the charm, while wearing Drew's backpack. He's got a high mood and a low mood... we're still looking for the mid-range mood. Here he's planning to go visit Babushka in Canada.

Clean bundle of joy: your best chance to get a clean hug or a kiss from Demitri is definitely right here; right after he's been in the bathtub. Every minute thereafter your chances decrease significantly. Oh, did I mention he extremely enjoys the event of bathing. His favorite activity is to see how much water he can remove from the bathtub via splashing, carrying or moving it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drew our Lil' Helper and sometimes Demitri feels helpful too...

Drew enjoys helping out with chores, tasks, and anything useful that we adults do around the house. Things like helping dress Demitri, hanging the wash on hangers, sorting clothes, putting/carrying stuff to its rightful place.

Drew helping with hanging the newly washed clothes on the spider hooks. Demitri (in background) folding clothes OR at least putting them in his mouth for a taste test. He has to taste everything before he approves it for consumption, use or whether he will like it or not.

Drew playing Honey Bee Tree with mom where you try to slowly pull out the green branches without dislodging the bumble bees. The person who dislodges the fewest bumble bees wins. Its similar to "Pick up Sticks".

In the off chance that Demitri feels "grown up" he will attempt to eat his yogurt himself. He strongly detests your assistance with this task when he's in such moments. But, lookout! He may even get yogurt on you if you happen to be too close.

Drew posing with one of his favorite homemade shirts; the baseball shirt. I keep telling him he has wrestler arms.

Demitri so intently staring at his birthday cake. Nov. 19th was his 2nd birthday so we are officially "continuing" the "terrible two's". Taking the picture of him was the worst, he kept putting his tiny hands on the non-extinguishable candles so we quickly took a photo and removed the cake before he did one of his usual mantras of sneezing, touching, smearing, rearranging the cake.

Yes, Demitri thought the cake was delicious. And you shouldn't need a fork when eating cake; it just needs more water and soap for washing dishes in the end. Why not just wash the boy?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fixed Ox

I had a dislocated rib that Ferber "the fantastic" chiropractor popped back in without x-rays. We should have the blog back on track in a few days.
We had Manuel, Janet (Oakbluff) and two of their children visit this past weekend. Drew was so intrigued with their 3yr old son Kalen talking "huttrisch" all day that after they left he started abandoning Russian at an astonishing rate. He must have picked up a dozen new phrases over the weekend and just practices and practices talking to us in these new found words and phrases.
My least favorite word that he stopped saying this weekend is "shmahterly" which means "look" in Russian. He now says "shah" which is the huttrisch word for "look". So now its "mama shah, papa shah" over and over throughout the day as he shows us different things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

TYO -tya "Auntie" Karen

Last week Aunt Karen came for a visit. She stayed for a week, helped out and played with the boys. Drew, right away, thought she was just great... at least somebody to take him off the porch when nobody else had time, but Karen managed him quite nicely when he tried running the other way. You could see she was used to handling boisterous nephews.
Demitri, however, was another story. It took a few days to warm up to Aunt Karen, and then I think he still bit her on her last day here, when she tried to put his t-shirt on, lol. He had fun squiggling and wiggling while she tried to dress him.

Grandma and Grandpa from Canada also came to visit again, I guess they hadn't gotten enough of us in Russia. The boys still remembered them, but you could see the questioning look in their eyes when they first saw them again..."where have you been all this time?"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Artist

I couldn't resist sharing this picture. This is too cute. It's my brother Philip's artistic ability; I never knew he had any. Having kids does that to you, says he ... and a whole lot more. Oh good, I can't wait.

And...backing up a little, the subject, is Bradley!

Drew and Demitri...

Drew playing with play-dough.

I like it when he does something quiet for a change. He loves to carve it up with a plastic knife. Today we played Memory, the card game where you match up two cards. We made a set, cut out from a Click magazine of animals and their homes and laminated them. He caught on quite fast, but... mom won. He learned to wait his turn and to pick up only two cards. When he picked up two that didn't match he said, "nyet", and put them back down.
Note Drew's new"padaruk" shirt (the little that's showing), that Rachel made for him. A padaruk is a gift (accent on the "da"). Come Sunday, we'll try on his "padaruk" pants that his aunt Asnath made for him. He wanted to put them on right away, but it was at the end of the day, and ... um, you know, it wasn't the best time of day for little boys to try on new clothes. Drew takes his "padaruks" very seriously, he carries the packaging around for days (til we throw it out), and it's always called his padaruk shirt or pants.

Demitri, like Drew loves it outside, no matter what the weather or temperature. This morning we played peek-a-boo behind that two-trunked tree.
Demitri learned two new words and he is sooo proud of himself; he is constantly looking for opportunities to try them out. They are: "bye-bye" while waving and "eil, eil" (hurry, hurry), while beckoning towards himself with his hand. So while he is walking away he turns around every 5 seconds and says, "bye, bye".

Lately Demitri has been taking a morning nap. He wakes up at 7:00 am, sometimes earlier, but never later, then he gets quite nasty and irritable a little after 9:00 am. So one day he took me by the hand, with his teddy bear, led me to his crib and said, "Hah-hah" (time to sleep). He sleeps for an hour and is totally refreshed until afternoon naptime. I'm glad he knew what he needed, cause I sure didn't.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More in the life of the Wipf household

Drew getting set to start the day at his first factory job assembling power sweeps. We were visiting my dad at Haven Industries and of course Drew has to pick up and touch everything we walk past.

My dad helping Drew put his shoe back on after it fell off in the action.

Drew playing with Alex on an empty furnace crate.

Drew playing with the homemade Radio Flyer wagon at the boiler shop where we helped/hindered installation of a furnace.

My dad with Demitri and Drew on his lap. They keep the scales balanced; hold one and the other one is sure to follow on his heels and want to be on your lap as well.

Drew wanted to play "You Can't Wack my Bottom with the Dollar Store Paddle" and of course, Demitri wants in on the action as well.

One of the repetitive scenes played out each day; to get away from Demitri's persistent nagging, teasing Drew locks himself in his room.

Papa trying to teach Drew how to brush his teeth. Demitri decides he's also old enough to learn.

Papa playing "Ride the Ox", everybody wants on!

Me trying to take a nap, to no avail as the on-deck is full with more patrons waiting to climb on.

Demitri ready to head out trick-or-treating..

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Pictures Please...

The most asked question we get via email or chat is "will you be posting more pictures of the boys?" So to appease all those seeking more pics here you go.

Drew, the Multi-tasker with Demitri (lil' bro) looking on; he enjoys doing multiple tasks at the same time. Unfortunately, he does this during lunch and spills milk or juice multiple times throughout a single meal.

Drew and Demitri building their first house together. The only issue they had was Demitri kept taking walls apart as they were building it.

Drew on his purple cellphone. At the most inopportune times, he whips it out and places these sometimes long, serious phone calls, everything sounds so legitimate. My best guess would be he's trying to call his previous caregivers about all the things we are doing wrong now.

Demitri all bundled up, wearing his leathertops and outside during our first snowfall for Winter 2009. All this in October! It didn't last long; one of those wet, heavy snowfalls when its still barely freezing.

Drew pushing around the new snow with a garden spade.

For Demitri the new porta-potty is nothing more then another comfortable piece of furniture.

Drew making Papa build towers with Mega Bloks at 10 in the morning.

Demitri not only enjoys eating yogurt, he also enjoys putting the empty bowl on his head, on the floor, put his elbows in the bowl, try to get as much of the remaining yogurt on the surrounding area is what the game is called.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photos @ Last! Part 5

Hello again: Still battling a nasty flu here but, during a brief calm in the action (my dad took Drew to his house for a short reprieve for us all.)

Drew's favorite position when we play is upside down. Perhaps this is the only way to get a "rush" in Russia. He likes being swung by his feet, being thrown in the air, or swung side to side while holding his arms and legs.

Parents be careful what you model to your children: When Drew needs a timeout we put him in his room. Now when Demitri is bugging him or taking his things, he takes him by the hand and walks him into their room and closes the door thus, giving Demitri a timeout. Not sure where he thinks he gets such rights from.

Drew and Demitri jockeying for lap-time. They are consistently keeping the scales balanced as to how much attention we give each boy, if you give something to one boy, you have to give it to the other one as well or a squabble is inevitable to follow.

A rare moment when big brother (Drew) decides to be keeper of little brother (Demitri). Perhaps with time the frequency of these moments will multiply...

"The ride stops here!" is the message from big brother as he helps Demitri dismount.

Demitri eating Vienna Torte dessert. That stuff must be pretty much the nastiest food you can give to a child in terms of them making a mess with it. (Do not ask me to explain.)

Demitri posing in his angel outfit before bedtime, with best friend his bear and photo album.