Friday, February 29, 2008
I am so blessed to have the privilege of rasing these two wonderful kids.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
- I’m thankful I have a job that stimulates me mentally and professionally, although there are days I’d prefer a bit less stimulation (and maybe a bit less conflict?). :)
- As I stare at the my month end bills to be written, I’m thankful that my husband and I both have jobs that provide a decent income and we don’t have to make tough decisions that many families face.
- As I b*tch and moan about my husband’s crazy schedule, I’m thankful that he has a job he enjoys. I’ve heard far too many stories and met far too many people that spend their days doing something they don’t enjoy just for a paycheck. I’m extremely thankful for the summers that he is able to stay at home and enjoy some quality time with the kids (how many kids get their dads home all summer these days?!?).
- Since no one helps consistently with the housework around here and I hate having a dirty house, I’m thankful we’ve hired a cleaning lady!!!!
- I’m thankful I have several pieces of exercise equipment in the house to burn off some of my frustrations when I’m so crabby. Maybe if I burned off a bit more frustration, my pants would fit a bit better…
- Despite the d@mn ISAT tests (Illinois’s answer to No Child Left Behind), I’m thankful my kids are in a good school system and are actively engaging their brains on a regular basis. Maybe after next week, they can get on with the business of learning and forgot about “teaching to the tests.”
- I’m thankful my son has the spunk and determination to drive me nuts most evenings. I’d rather he focus it in other directions at times…
- I’m thankful my daughter fell asleep tonight at 6:45…perhaps she’ll wake up in a better mood tomorrow. :o
- I’m thankful we only have 362 days left of Bush in office (couldn’t resist putting that in there…that’s for my brother and brother-in-law who might be moving to Canada in 363 days!)
- I’m thankful I have a family that can have good humored political debates, even though most of the rest of my family is wacko in their political beliefs (see above!) :)
My hubby (who is actually home tonight and honestly asked if his hair looked OK before I took the picture!)
My high-spirited son.
My sleeping beauty.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Enjoy some serious baby goodness :)
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
THIS is what our snow days look like:
This is pathetic. There's nothing fun about this type of "snow day" around here...no snow angels, no snow ball fights, no snow fort building. Nothing but yucky cold and ICE.
Car encasing, muscle straining, finger freezing, feet-a-slippin' ICE.
So, let's call it what it is...AN ICE DAY. The kids can get all excited about a day off of school, but let's not confuse the fun-filled SNOW days with what is actually an ICE day!!! :)
How unfair is that?!? I'd love to have a day home by myself (mostly to knock down my to-do list!) I predict it won't happen anytime in the near future.
He did drive all the way to school only to find out they were closed and had to brave the slick roads to come right back home. Hmmm...so much for their state-of-the-art notification system!
In all seriousness, he had another sleep study done last night to test a C-PAP (?) machine and I'm sure he didn't sleep well in a strange bed hooked up to all kinds of wires with the "scuba mask" (his words) strapped on to his face. So, honey, I hope you are getting a good nap today in all your snorin' glory. Rock the foundation with those snores if you like today.
And...if you get bored...the dishwasher needs to be emptied! :)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I also tend to over estimate how much I will get done in a week so I always feel behind (need to work on those expectations).
Here's my current weekly list. I know I won't get to them all as I have a work committment Wed evening and have to drive to Springfield, IL on Thursday for an all day meeting (which I predict will be one of the most boring meetings I attend this year).
This is the "crap cabinet" (probably not the technical builder name, but serves the purpose). This is part of a desk alcove in our kitchen. The top cabinets are one project, which will followed by the bottom shelves. HONEY...THE BIGGEST, MESSIEST DRAWER IS ALL YOURS TO TACKLE! :) I don't know if you can really see it, but there are tons of candy packages up there. Leftovers from holidays as far back as Halloween. We certainly don't need it, so it's likely going to work...hey, I work with college students, it'll be a 4 course meal for them. :)
This is part of a 3rd grade homework assignment. Yes, I've turned into one of THOSE mothers...the ones who "help" their child a bit too much! Seriously, he has to read a chapter book and give an oral book report using items to illustrate the book. Carson is reading King Arthur so I'm making him a King Arthur costume (which I'm hoping will work for Halloween this year!) He is still reading the book, writing the report and coming up with another illustration so I'm not really THAT bad, am I?!? (And I needed a good excuse to use the new sewing machine I got for Christmas.) As this is due next Tuesday, it's really taking priority over the other projects.A good friend introduced me to beading. I wanted to replicate a necklace I bought on vacation last summer and knew she was into jewelry making. She was in the process of moving and I did her a "favor" by storing all of her beading supplies at my house for a few weeks...with the freedom to use whatever supplies and tools she had. That's all it took for me to get reeled in...hook, line and sinker. This package of goodies arrived tonight. Some garnet, some jade, some tourquoise. Don't worry, I'm not using them ALL TOGETHER (that would be some serious ugly!).
These pants of my husband's need HEMMED! At 6 foot 8 inches, we don't often HEM his pants. I ordered a new brand and clearly was a bit overzealous with the sizing! So, I'll hem them up about an inch. (Baggy pants hanging past the shoes is not an attractive look for someone so large.)
And, finally, the same friend who got me into beading gave us this scrapbook for Christmas. I used do a lot of scrapbooking, but haven't done any since I finished Elise's travel album in 2003. Shortly after I finished that album, we had to deal with a difficult family situtation and much of my time/focus was elsewhere during that period and my scrapbooking projects were put on a permanent back burner. Elise LOVES her travel album and is so excited to work on this Princess album with me. I've ordered 250 pictures from Snapfish. THANK YOU TAMMIE for introducing me to that service! We lost most of our old pictures when our computer crashed but I since I had uploaded many of the better shots, I just ordered new prints for this album. We have all types of Princess type embellishments and papers. We're doing a "Princess Elise" theme and will run from the time she joined our family to the present. Should be lots of fun reliving those memories!
Those are my projects for the week (OK, let's be honest...the next few weeks!). What's on everyone else's To-Do list?
Monday, February 18, 2008
Carson tends to have friends over more frequently (perhaps because they can just show up...Elise's friends aren't so nearby!) We had a houseful of kids (mostly rowdy, stinky 9 year boys) at various times.
Elise's favorite activities on no school days are to build forts out of every sofa cushion in the house.
So, here's a taste of life at our house this weekend:
And this is the scene I walked into this afternoon. This is set up in our kitchen. Elise had set up a fort/school/diner for her stuffed animals (yes, pandas and turtles are big stuffed animals at our house). She brought her princess makeup stand, jewerly box and favorite picture of herself in a Chinese outfit down from her room. Instead of cushions, she managed to find every bench in the house.
Back to school tomorrow, kids! :)
Saturday, February 16, 2008
When I examined the notice, I realized there was a HUGE mistake.
The bank was trying to make a $24, 320,277 payment! It took my brain a bit to realized that number was $24 MILLION.
I started to worry that someone had access to our account, but after talking with a great bank rep, we came to the conclusion that instead of making a $50 payment to account number 243200277, I'd make a $24,320,277 payment to account number 50. Ooopss! (It did make for a great laugh and I assured the bank they'd be waiting a loooong time for that payment to clear, likely NEVER!)
NOTE TO SELF...pay more attention when setting up new accounts in the online banking!!!!
- Tyler was the first nephew/niece (ok, no nieces yet...Merry, could you work on that?) on my side of the family.
- My sister was pregnant with him when we moved down this way. I didn't work the first few months and spent lots of time with her during the last part of her pregnancy and first few months of Tyler's life.
- I had never held a baby so young in my life when I first held Tyler at 10 minutes old!
- We were in the infertility stage of our life. I didn't know if we'd ever have kids and I made the decision to enjoy the heck out of Tyler.
- When I was pregnant with Carson, Tyler exposed me to every childhood illness that a pregnant woman shouldn't be exposed to :) My doctor got used to calls that started "I was with my nephew this weekend and he's since been diagnosed with..." Thanks for those extra shots and tests, kiddo!
- Tyler was one of my first visitors in the hospital after I had Carson. I remember him climbing up on the bed with me to get a good look at his cousin.
- He was so excited to meet Elise and I remember how excited he was at the airport. He couldn't wait to get to know her, while his younger brother wasn't too sure about this little girl who had knocked him off his pedestal of being the family baby!
- Tyler has done every type of nasty in each of my vehicles.
We love you, buddy, and hope you are feeling better soon. We missed having you visit us this weekend.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
We hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day! Everyone here ended up with waaaayyyy too much candy!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
On the other hand, you'll notice an XX on the calendar for tomorrow. That means the lunch is gross and they want to pack a lunch. So, tonight, she'll tell me that I have lots of work to do tomorrow morning!
It's a fun little ritual and I greatly appreciate the help (and the reminders!)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
- I HATE.HATE.HATE shopping at malls. Drives me nuts. Might have something to do with being 5'10" and never happy with my weight. I never find anything I like and it just turns into an exercise of frustration. I tend to order most of my work wardrobe online.
- I get annoyed easily (which is probably why I don't do well in malls).
- Surprisingly, I love the home shopping networks (HSN and QVC). I've found some awesome things, including some scrapbooking items.
- I'm also probably bit OCD and I HATE the mish mash collection of hangers in our closet (wire, plastic, wooden, fabric, freebies, yuck!)
- So...another package arrived from hsn today (I SWEAR I don't order all that often!). But, I ordered some of the huggable hangers. Have you used these? I ordered some a few years back (again...I SWEAR I don't order all that often!) and decided it was time to replace some of the worst ones and get the closet a bit more organized.
- Joy Mangano drives me batty (she's the one who hawks the huggable hangers) so I'm really surprised I tried them in the first place.
- My closet is now looking purdy and much more organized! :)
- hmmm...wonder what the Today's Special Value is today...
Monday, February 11, 2008
Carson did feel well enough to help make mooncakes using Sandra's recipe.
Saturday - Our Chinese New Year party!
We've skipped the FCC party in St. Louis the past few years to celebrate with friends at our house. We invite 3 Chinese students we've gotten to know from the University where I work, along with all the adoptive families we know. This year was just as fun. Lots of great food (potluck), the kids had a blast and the adults had a fun time catching up. For the first time, there were more Vietnamese kids than Chinese kids.
Perry got hung up at work and was 2 HOURS LATE...I was too busy hostessing to take any pictures other than this one of my little buddy (that's my dad is holding him). He was adopted from Vietnam last year by some good friends of ours and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after coming home. They've had a rough time, but I can't imagine a sweeter little boy. I love to just cuddle up with him.
Sunday - Elise and I had a "girls day" at home while the boys went to a Boy Scouts function.
Elise decided to work on her Princess Valentine's Day cards. I lost the list that her teacher sent home (I'm sure I pitched it when cleaning for the party!) and she was NOT happy with me.
She decided to get into the mood by wearing her Snow White outfit. My mother in law made this beautiful outfit for her 2 years ago. It is truly a work of art that has gotten lots of wear!
Marking off the names (doing the girls first, then the boys, then the teacher).
We also put together "soda bottle care packages" for the cousins in college, utlizing some of the empty soda bottles from our party! Yup...these will really go through the mail!
And...finally...I told you Molly wasn't the brightest dog. She laid on the bed the entire time I was stripping the sheets...looking at my with a look that said, "whutcha doing?" She WOULD.NOT.MOVE! After taking this picture, she got booted!
Friday, February 8, 2008
- She's an AMAZING mom to her 4 unique boys (although she'll be the first to tell she's not qualified to give parenting advice!)
- She approaches every situation with compassion and grace.
- She always thinks of others before herself.
- She is so dang smart and well-respected in her field of special education.
- She has boobs (I have NOTHING...how unfair is that?!?)
- She has a special relationship with both of my kids (Carson is pretty interchangeable with her boys and Elise is her special princess).
Kris, I'm so glad we ended up living in the same area of the country. Who would have thought that we'd end up out here as I headed to Chicago and you headed to Boston?!? I love that our kids are so close. I love that your husband is a good friend to my husband. And I love that I can tell you anything. Thanks for being such a good friend.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Why does this type of thing happen? Why do we keep hearing stories like this? This happened in our metro area, in a town much like the one in which we live. (The victims are at the hospital where Carson was born.) My heart and prayers go out to those that have lost their lives in such a senseless manner. They left their houses earlier in the day much like we all have, yet they'll never return home. What a sad and scary world it is at times.
Our children are being raised in such a different world than the one we grew up in. As a parent I struggle with this type of news. If this can happen in Kirkwood, Missouri, it can happen anywhere.
On a happier note...Elise is SUCH a little girl! Every morning when we do her hair, she gives me strict instructions on how to do it. I don't always follow her intsructions for a lack of time/ability. But today, I thought I'd try something new. Her hair is so fine that I'm sure it has all fallen out by now and is just hanging in her face.
She has several friends who wear their hair in beautiful long braids or beads. She is always asking for lots of small braids. She has a few other friends with beautiful curly hair that looks adorable in so many different styles. She loves to sleep with a braid or two in her hair so she has "curly" hair. Try as we might, we just can't keep a curl in her hair.
She is so specific about what she wants...she doesn't want bangs but she doesn't like her hair falling in her face. I pretty much do the same style every day....a modified "pebbles-bam-bam" look.
OK, MR. FLU...IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE OUR HOUSE!!!! DON'T GET TOO COMFY HERE!!!! YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO OUR PARTY AND NEED TO GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF HERE BEFORE SATURDAY!!!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I'm also always on the hunt for new recipes to try! My husband likes meat meals, I don't. The kids are kinda picky but I'm always surprised by what they will try and eventually like. I'm always looking for meals that are nutritionally balanced and won't pack the pounds on me. Hubby also works crazy hours this time of year, so I like to make big meals that will provide him with leftovers. He often isn't home for dinner, but at least he can enjoy it at lunch the next day. We have very few meals that is a "thumbs-up" for every member of the family. :(
If anyone has any recipes or meal ideas they'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!
So, here's what's for dinner this week:
Monday - Pork Loin in crockpot
Tuesday - Pancakes (dad isn't home and sometimes you just need comfort food!)
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Dilled Shrimp with Farfelle
Friday - Buffet night (i.e. clean out the fridge!)
Disclaimer...I make no claim that any of these recipes are ones I've come up with on my own! I'll try to give credit where credit is due, but NEVER assume they are "my own" creations! :)
Sunday, February 3, 2008
As I mentioned before, we thought we lost many pictures when our computer crashed earlier this year. Those pictures included all of the pictures from China. My wonderful hubby, however, found copies on another computer so I've been having lots of fun going through the old pictures.
Elise is on the left and Erin is on the right. Go here to see current pictures of Erin! How these little girls have grown! I got to know Tammie (Erin's mom) during the waiting period (we had an AWESOME dtc group!). We were fortunate enough to meet Tammie, David and Erin in China! What wonderful people and wonderful memories!
Let me explain the outfit...
...the piggy ears...found while cleaning her room (which she really did all by herself)
...this is her favorite outfit from Christmas and she insists on wearing it every Sunday to church. You don't quite get the full impact in this picture...black sparkly tights, a velvet/crinoline skirt, a red sparkly sweater, her favorite "snowman" necklace and her black "dancing" shoes (it is ridiculously dressy for our very casual church).
If she could, she'd wear a dress EVERY DAY. (I, on the other hand, wear a dress about once every 3 years and that's too much for me.)
And the end result:
Saturday, February 2, 2008
- It was our first family picture (when Elise and I arrived home from China and she got to meet her Dad and big brother)
- Our computer crashed a few months back and I thought I'd lost all of these pictures, but hubby found a bunch of pictures saved on an old computer! :)
- With Chinese New Year right around the corner, we really focus on China this time of year and Elise is very interested in hearing about my trip to pick her up.
- I HATE pictures of me, but this one isn't too bad...considering the news media met us at the airport and made a big deal of the SARS epidemic. I look more than annoyed in most of the airport pictures.
(Yes that is an animal on his head...a bearded dragon to be specific!)
Favorite Animal: Turtles
Why do you have so many critters in your room: because fish, frogs, newts and turtles are my favorite animals
What do you want to be when you grow up: A vet
Current grade: 3rd
Favorite thing about school: Leaving
Here are a few more facts about Carson:
- He loves animals (did you guess that?!?)
- He loves to explore outside (we have a woods and stream in our yard and that's where you will usually find in a good weather)
- He is extremely strong willed...sometimes that serves him well, sometimes it drives his mother nuts!
We love our Carson!!!