We had a fun but a bit busy weekend. AJ, Abby and a couple of their friends went to the movies Friday night, Aliens vs. Predator 2, they liked it. Saturday we to a 5K/10K walk, run, biked ride...AJ did the 5K run in 28min. The rest of us did the 5K walk not sure how long it took us but I do know there was a lot of "Come on Aiden, you can do it, let's race and catch up to Papa". Oh and what was even more fun, OK it was really totally not fun, we discovered Bryson doesn't do so good on car rides, he gets sick. At least he did good on the 5K part. It was held a park I have been wanting to check out but and heard it wasn't much better than the one just a short walk from here. It isn't really but it is a bit bigger and with more of the same toys. I think I will take the boys on occasion just for some place different to run around.After the the walk we dropped Matt and Bryson at home and the kids and I went to the BBQ, we took sugar cookies, apple peanut butter cookies and fudge. It was fun. Upon returning home I learned we were invited to the neighbors for some dinner and hopefully some cards but I knew their would be Mimosas at least. I was tired but as Atticus had slept for the 5K I knew bedtime wasn't anytime soon. With 8 kids under 6 running around cards didn't happen but we got to chat and snack on homemade pizza and nachos so all was good. We tried to hit the pool on Sunday but there was some big party going on and it was far to crowed for mine or the boys taste. So I used the day to declutter a few areas and play with the boys a bit. I was hoping as Atticus didn't nap he would be back on schedule he has napped the last few days which as meant a bedtime of 11 or 12pm. He did go to sleep easily, he was watching Aiden play on the computer about 8. However he woke up a bit before 4am and NEEDED chocolate milk and food, I tried for 15m or so just to get him to wait but gave up. He was up about an hour I guess before he went back to sleep at woke a bit after 6am with me. Which was an "OH NO" moment as AJ needs to be up at the latest 5:30 to make the bus, so we got to take him to school this morning, I think that is the first time that we have overslept to that degree, maybe once or twice a little bit and Matt had to take him but this was to late for even that.
If you haven't checked out our trip to Las Terrenas and the Whales you should. The hotel that we had issues with has offered us a discount for our next trip and they have a few around the Dominican Republic so hopefully we will have better things to say net time. There were some who were happy for the switch, the hotel we were at was quieter and it was a nice place. Our issues I think were due to be a family. We wanted the kids room besides us, not on another floor. We wanted 2 queen beds in the rooms as we were told we would have, not a king suite with a small sofa pull out. The other hotel also had other restaurants to make reservations at, Matt and I had planned on doing that and leaving the kids in the room but we could very well leave them down the beach with them not really speaking the language. The hotel we were booked at had a kids play area and kids club, that though not necessary it would have been fun for them. Then their beach was free of rocks, where ours AJ and Aiden were cut by them.
This past weekend was Aiden's first campout. It was an easy one to as we (Aiden, Atticus and I), went with Aiden's Cub Scout pack, we stayed in cabins and the food was prepared for us by Rancho Wendy staff. The pictures are here, though I really don't think they do the view justice, it was so beautiful. We drove up to Banao, about an hour or a bit more from here to Rancho Wendy where we spent Sat and part of Sunday. The boys did a few things around Rancho Wendy to work on badges, as well as running around being kids. I think the most fun was had on the river walk on Sat. and then the hike on Sunday to the waterfall. Though I must say the smores Sat. night were rather tasty. I think Rancho Wendy was a nice spot to stay, if we were a smaller group they had horses to ride and their seems to be plenty of trails to either explore on your own or take a guide. I would vote for the guide not only not to get lost but they were great help carrying Atticus.
As for other news, AJ got his report card and he did really well. We finally got the call and the appt. to have Aiden evaluated for an alternative augmentative communications device, we will go in March to Ft. Lauderdale. Abby's baby bird didn't make it, she did a good job keeping the egg warm and it even started to hatch but it didn't make it through the hatching process. Atticus is doing well and keeps us laughing. A couple of his latest phrases "What are you talking about?" " In a cuppa (couple of) days" this one can be followed by anything I think I first heard it when he was telling be the blocks of sidewalk were going to turn around, and "I need a cup tea!!" They had ice tea at the campout and he really liked it.
I have recently found the best radio station, OK maybe that isn't quite true but I really like listening to the radio. I don't have to pick out what to play and I get surprises. In the states I listen to country music not an option here, wasn't in Manila either. This radio station plays 80's, I don't know if all days will be as good as today's, but I heard Footloose, We didn't' start the fire, a couple of songs from Dirty Dancing, Jessie's Girl (Rick Springfield was the first concert I ever went to). It will be nice to just turn on the radio and here songs in English that I like.
AJ's drama class had a comedy night. The kids did really well, I did miss the end of it as Atticus couldn't sit quiet. Aiden however sat through all of it and laughed quite a bit, he seemed to really like it. AJ had 2 basketball games, they won one and lost one. I didn't make it to the one they lost, but I heard the other team had only 4 players so they borrowed one of ours and the referee was their coach. I told AJ it isn't a big deal you win some you lose some and before long he won't remember it.
Aiden had to go back into the dentist. Twice when he bite into something he cried out his tooth hurt and asked me to just pull the tooth out. I figured it had to hurt a lot for him to want the tooth pulled. Turns out one of his fillings had chipped off. He did great in the dentist chair, I will say she was great with him, giving him time and letting him hold all the tools and use them.
It has been cool here, down in the 50's at least for a couple of nights. As long as that is as cold as it gets I am happy. AJ is really short on pants for school and Atticus too. I have a bunch of overalls that would fit but he wouldn't wear them. Actually I put a pair of pants of him to go to AJ's comedy night and he had to change into shorts he didn't like the pants. I think he has worn pants 2X since last May.
There is a new video of Aiden on drop shots. I have one of Atticus too, but can't seem to get it put up. The link is up above. It gives you an idea of how his words of come. I did choose words that I knew he could say clearly and they are in context. I want to do another with him telling a story, so it is more out of context and not something I choose and see how he does.
How's your weather? Ours is beautiful or so I think. Still warm enough to swim but not so hot that you don't want to be outside. For those in below freezing temps here are some pictures from this weekend to tempt you to visit.
The kids are doing well. They went to a birthday party on Saturday that they had a lot of fun at. It was like a murder mystery dinner for teens. I think they may like to try one on their own. AJ had another birthday party on Sunday. He went sailing and spent the night on the boat. For what I gather the birthday boy's family has recently bought the sail boat. AJ had a blast, though he is feeling the sunburn this morning. As well AJ had his first basketball game last week and they won. His team did a good job. If all goes well they will have another game this week. Unfortunately games here aren't always a sure bet, it takes a little more arranging and hoping the teams will show than in the states. Abby is moving along with school, she is wishing she could study Japanese for her foreign language, her school doesn't offer it but we might see if their is a way around that. AJ, Matt and Abby are all having fun learning some Japanese, however I will just be happy to learn a bit more Spanish first. Aiden and Atticus are same as always loving each other one minute and hitting the next. I am really tired of playing referee with the hitting. It was so much easier when I knew Aiden did it, Atticus has learned well from Aiden on that one. Hopefully Aiden can teach him something a bit more useful too.
It is speech therapy morning. Guess I should get ready. Aiden is doing well with the therapist. Hopefully I will get a video put up today and you can see how much he has improved since you last saw him. He still has far to go and most words are approximations but in context and words he uses frequently I think they are understandable. However if you or even I haven't a clue what he is talking about he is unintelligible and it becomes a guessing game. We are still waiting to hear about testing for the AAC device. I had hoped to go in Feb., but it looks like March is more likely at this point.
How is the new year starting out for you? I hope it is going well so far. Ours is OK, we have had a few sore throats, coughs, sniffles and Aiden was throwing up and feverish the other day. However no other problems so I think it is a good start. The last year brought us a few good things and hopefully this year will too. I think the best news of last year was Aiden's words. He has a long way to go but he made such a huge leap, something I was beginning to think would never happen. I hope this next year allows Aiden to speak a bit clearer. The past year brought us a move to our new home and new friends. Although I wouldn't say this is the greatest place, it isn't terrible and the friends we have made make the move a good one. This next year we will bid again and see where our new home will be in 2009. We will get to make a trip home this summer which we can't wait for, to see all our family, some we haven't seen in a couple of years. Hopefully the driving around the states will sit well with the little ones.
As for new news here. We sponsored a family, although not a first time, it seemed like it. The first time we did it in Manila, the family was military going into a hotel and had family there, we really didn't need to do anything. This time we got to do the whole deal, grocery shopping, checking out the home, picking them up from the airport. It was fun and I hope we did a good job, our sponsor had done such great job.
We signed up for the Whale watching trip next month. In case anybody would like to come for a visit, I think that would be a great time. It does mean a long drive across the island but hopefully it will be worth it.
I took Abby and Atticus back to the dentist to have their cavities taken care of. Abby did fine, Atticus really doesn't like even having his teeth brushed nightly so there was a lot of screaming. At least once he was done he calmed down, quickly.
Did I mention the puppy who started as Oreo, went to Cookie is now Bryson. He is doing well. Abby still has the midnight shift, I guess for a bit longer. He is growing and doing well.