August 31, 2009

Little Boys Who Grow Up

And it's not like it's a bad thing...he just didn't need his momma to help him get up there and go down the slide.  Over and over again.

I remember when he did...

p.s. if you're toddler is potty training or getting ready to, or you just want to be prepared for that lovely blessed wonderful event to take place (smirk) - then you can visit the following Huggies link for a free DVD on potty training!

August 29, 2009

Goodbye August, I'm sorry I won't miss you...

Yes, farewell to the last true month of summer!  The hottest and my least favorite month next to January (because it's just depressing people...the holidays are over, and it's just blah).  I think just to show me how much the weather gods heart me - we had a beautiful 80'sumthin day and evening.  It was wonderful!  We were picking weeds and doing some yard work tonight - all three of us (start em' young) - and I said "can you believe this weather?  Like it knows it's September in three days".  Lovely!

School is definitely back in session around our house.  Poor AB!  He's got a cold or something - sick already with the hustle and bustle of his new schedule, new classroom (or lack thereof - nother' post), and his brutal class load and impending rehearsal schedule.  He gave me a calendar with all the activities that are scheduled so I could add them to mine - sync up, if you will.  I about croaked!  What the frig!  I don't know HOW he does it.

Quint - sweet love of my life - is going through a really rough terrible two-ish stage right now.  Can you send us some good ju-ju?  Ha!  We need it.  He's whining all the time...saying "no, no no" (just started that business) when he doesn't get his way, having temper tantrums, all that jazz.  I'm not sure why he decided to wake up one morning and become Rosemary's Baby - but I'm just looking for a little sympathy, or a shout out, or a btdt mom to pat me on the cyber back and say "welcome to the frigging club".

Meanwhile, I'm very busy on the Keira's fundraiser front.  So much to do, so little time.  (my fault!) Thanks to all your great ideas, we've decided on some great functions - two that I think will really help ease the burden.  Please head over to read more about that at our new site.  You might be able to help out, never know!

In closing, I read today that a news reporter in Iraq got released from prison three months early after serving a nine month sentence for throwing his shoes at W (as in George B.) last year at a press conference.  Apparently he went from an obscure reporter to a hometown  country hero.  Like, big time.  And they're all hung up on how proud they are of him for throwing his shoes at Georgie to show their dislike for the US invading their territory.  No matter how you feel about George Bush - still, I just don't get it!  In the words of the great Austin Powers "Honestly?!?  I mean, who throws a shoe!?"  Seriously, people.  

August 25, 2009

Last Summer Swim

Ok, maybe we can still swim - but it was the last time before school started (which it has) and it was a really good time.

So after weeks of 95 degrees and up, I have to confess...I'm ready (so very ready) for Fall. I was thinking today how fast the last four months of the year go by - but everytime they show up, I'm so excited all over again. Definitely my favorite time of year.

Bring on the pumpkins, cool evenings and breezes, fall leaves, autumn colors, and yummy warm apple smelling candles...mmmm

Fall Post Coming up to get you in the mood for September (which is only 6 days away).

August 22, 2009

It's a start...

Click the picture above to visit our new Fundraising Site for Keira!

Thanks again for all of you who have left the most wonderful of ideas for us. You are a bunch of crafty ingenious people! We are working on some great options - and we have all of you to thank. We'll be posting our fundraising endeavors over on the new site - but I will continue posting here about our family life, as usual.

Thank ya...a billion x's!

August 21, 2009

You're A+

Whahoo! That's what we think about all of your great, fabulous, wonderful, amazing, ingenious ideas! If you left a comment on the previous post - thank you thank you thank you for your thoughtfulness!

We are still processing a lot of them - figuring out which ones will work, and how we can make them the best they can be. We don't have a ton of time - but all things are possible (if ya catch my drifty!).

You are the best! We WILL make this happen - just gotta get some of these great ideas into the implementation mode. I've got some ideas of my own brewing and I'll post about them as they come to fruition, so stay tuned on all of that!

Woot woot! (Feel free to keep leaving ideas, if the mood hits you!)

August 19, 2009

Need Your Help

Ok - time for some transparency. Most of you know, I'm not one to skirt around the truth over here.

After four years and one completed adoption, we've been steadfastly assessing the financial situation to complete Keira's adoption and sadly, it's looking very grim.

So drastic times call for drastic measures...

Humbly, I need your help -

Can each of you leave me a good (and practical) idea for raising money to complete Keira's adoption?

I know I don't have to tell YOU that the economy stinks...we've lost money among other things just like every one - and our hopes to rebuild our adoption fund after returning from Africa have not quite gone according to plan. At all.

I know all you clever people have some jewels up your sleeve and we need all the good ideas we can get.

I don't let my mind wander to the "what if we can't get the funds together"...actually, I do let my mind wander there. It's a dark place, friends. But you know that.

So all you creative thinkers send some good stuff my way. We really need to collaborate and possibly approach several different ideas at once - so all suggestions welcome.

Thanks in advance - I'm preparing to be inspired by your creativity!

Back to life...back to reality

Anyway, so we didn't make the China Referral cut for August. Meh. Whatever. Moving on...

It's Back to School round' these here parts - and so we've been somewhat immersed in the goings on of returning to our regularly scheduled family programming. I guess I've only done this once before with a child - and I was still in the throes of brand new motherhood and totally upside down - so I look back on it as a total blur. This time, I'm more like "uh-huh, ok...we're ready".

This means we get AB back for dinner time - something we learned to live without while he worked as a chef over the summer in a fine dining establishment (and taking him away 5 days a week during dinner). So we're back to being fed, like...real food. Not ramen, mac-n-cheese, or pbj every night.

It also means, we made our annual trek to the school to help prepare AB's classroom for the coming year. This time, he brought re-enforcements in the form of several students and their moms. He also enlisted the help of a certain 21 month old to make sure that the whiteboards were in proper working order. They were as you can see. So were the walls below said whiteboards. Ahem. ("Does this dry erase ink come off?!?" could almost here me murmuring under my breath...)

We're getting used to our routine again - and I had almost plumb forgot what it was like to wake up and pal around with my favorite toddler all day long. What to do?! Picnic at the park? Lunch at the "Fil-A" and adjoining play area? PBJ with some Noggin in the background? Magic Markers on big pads of paper? Play-doh? Backyard playtime? To the pool? Mall? Playdate with friends? So much to do and find to do...

As much as we love having Daddy home all the time - or at least during the day - it does create a sort of bump in the road to our routine. I think Summer break in general does this to most families. But for families with a teacher - then it's another element of change. Because it was the three of us sitting around trying to figure out what to do for the past two + months. When AB is gone for nine months working - we know what to expect. We have our day to day stuff and we look forward to the evenings when we can be together and talk about our day, etc. Summer just throws a monkey wrench into it - because we weren't able to really travel anywhere, and so we just sat around staring at each other. Got very borin'. (not really, but you get the drift, eh?)

AB is getting back into his routine as well - teaching, planning for big theatrical performances, scheduling practices and extra curricular this and that...rounding up his active parents, and thinking ahead to the coming months. It's definitely that time of year...

Speaking of - can I just say: I love summer. I do. I love flip-flops, Capri's, swimming, summer fruit - like berries and watermelon. I love getting a whole shade (snort) darker than LILLY white, wearing tank tops, and lounging around with AB to the tune of nothing... I love all of this.

But what I love even more is Fall. Yes I do, I really love you, Fall. You're my favorite. Shhh, don't tell. And, I miss you so much when you're gone. When summer seems particularly hot and long, and school starts up again - I start imagining when you'll come around again. Just thinking about it makes me want to light up a caramel apple scented candle. Oh yes! Caramel apples, chilly evenings, trees losing their colored leaves, pumpkins, apples, spice, warm flannel sheets on my bed to snuggle into, hot oatmeal for breakfast, harvest sights and smells, and all those beautiful colors that you bring with you. I just can't hardly wait for it!

And next month is September - and actually we're already almost's the 19th, after all. Which means, in two weeks - it won't be too soon to break out my fall colors and decor. Oh joy! And for three months I can enjoy them...and let them linger in the house. Until it's time know. BTW - yes, there are only four months and a couple days until Christmas. Not that I'm rushing you. I'm just sayin'. Just puttin' it out there. For the early birds. You know who you are.

So there you have it. Back to life. Back to the family routine for the next nine months.

Oh wait!! ...the routine is about to change again, very soon in the form of a little girl named Keira. Better not set anything in stone, eh?


August 15, 2009

My beef

Yes, that's beef in there.

And no...I don't believe we've made it anywhere near the China cutoff. Looks like they processed referrals through 3-24-06. 2 days.


The hits just keep on comin'

I kind of expected it

but still


I suspect they will take the longest possible road to match families with the 3-29-06 LID

Translation: three to four months more to reach a match for our log in date

Translation: Travel in January 2010.

Reality come January: Almost FOUR YEARS since Log In. Who could ask or expect anyone to wait that long? I mean, be reasonable. For the love of God.

Translation: Lame.

August 12, 2009

Paying homage to the great tv kart man in the sky

Dear Mr./ Mrs. TV Kart for kids,

I love you. I really love you. You must have E.S.P. You must have been a genius and the father/mother of a squirmy, wiggly, "don't make me sit in this cart or I'll lose my mind" child. You must have known that I too, would have this same type of child.

You must have. And I know this because you made this TV Kart just for me. Didn't you? Well, if you didn't, don't tell me. I'll just enjoy believing that you set out for the sole purpose of making my life easier when you so generously created this amazing contraption of attention grabbing, perfect distraction - with time to spare - and mind-saving device.

Today was my first experience with your blissful creation. And I'm still thinking about it. Left me wanting more, that's for sure.

You see, I had to go to the store. But I was dreading it, because Q-man is just not a fan. Not a fan of the store, or of having to sit in a cart. And it becomes a dreadful sight - him crying and melting down (oh wait, that's me!) after only ten minutes in the store together. I was totally at my end.

Then I strolled into my local Tom Thumb (Safeway for you West Coasters) and lo and behold - there it was. Gleaming and clean, bright, colorful and happy...and I thought...."what the heck! he's on a car kick lately...and I see a little steering wheel in there...maybe that will keep him occupied for a half hour while I try and pick up some stuff for dinner. Did I mention that the little car is a two seater? Good to know. And there was a ton of cart storage space. Deep and wide.

So we put Q in the little car, strapped the seat belt (he was already completely fascinated) and then a little screen lit up in front of me. I hadn't even noticed it until then. What was it? A control device? It then asked me if I'd like to initiate a cartoon for Quint. What is this? Seriously? And then I saw his favorite listed among four others as an option ~ The Backyardigans. An episode of the BY's? Seriously?! Sweet corn niblits! You better believe it! And I pushed the little button...and peered through the little window into the car...and there was the matching screen...and there were our favorite characters and WOW even our favorite episode...playing inside the car. AB looked at me like we'd just struck GOLD. I think Quint hit nirvana! A car. A steering wheel. A screen playing his favorite show. And you could actually hear it inside the little car, and not OUTSIDE the little car. Can I just tell you? Brilliant.

And for 40 minutes, I strolled without a care in the world through the store. No crying. No fussing. No meltdowns (talking about me again). No nothing. Just peace. And quiet. I love those two. They just don't come around often enough. And certainly never (NEVER) at the grocery store.

And so, I love you.

Whoever you are.

I love you.


And so does my son.

Bless your little heart.

I'm gonna be hard-pressed to shop anywhere else, ever...ever again. Unless they have your kart.

Whatsa happanin'

We have a fraction of days left until our summer is over and AB's school year begins. And by fraction of days, I mean five. Thus the reason for my lack o' bloggin.

For Christmas AB got me a gadget that converts camcorder video tapes into DVD's. It's really cool software, and I've been immersed for the last three days trying to convert a lot of our tapes into DVD's. One in particular that I'm especially proud of is our trip to Africa. I had video and pictures of our trip in five different places. Pictures and video that I and several people had taken and given to us, of our referral, departure, trip, and homecoming. It was amazing to combine all of them in chronological order and create a "movie" of the event with transitions, etc. So great to have for the future!

Now I'm working on the past year + of video we have of Mr. Q - and there's quite a bit. But I just keep thinking how dangerous it is to have everything on one little tape (or ten little tapes in our case). So much safer to create DVD's and store the tapes somewhere safe.

Of course, doing this project brings to the forefront how much our little guy has changed over the last year. It's almost surreal how much he has grown up - from a baby to a little man. And I have to say - it puts some things in perspective. Like say...not taking yourself too seriously. And appreciating all the little things, letting things go sometimes, taking in all those sweet moments as much as you can (and it's never enough), and recognizing that time goes by way too fast to spend them in constant "mom" mode.

Sometimes it's fun to just sit and enjoy the antics that a 20 month old can get himself into.

I've taken these pictures over the last few days that showcase some of that...

We bought this little "car" at a yard sale for $2 - it's perfect and Q loves it!

He also loves a non-traditional method of riding on his car - which I find rather hilarious...

and let's just all take a moment and say it together..."Charming". And he might know it.

We were preparing dinner. All together. And someone, not naming names, that is short and almost 2, and a into Daddy's pots and pans and started playing. And yes, that's a safety clip on the door...but seriously - in this case, what did it hurt? Nothing. And he's stinkin' adorable. And he entertained himself this way for almost 30 minutes.

Tonight, while making dinner, AB hollered for me to come and look, quickly. I found Quint had done three things:

1. Moved Daddy's desk chair out of the way.
2. Moved his own chair (for dining) up to Daddy's desk
3. Had started doing all kinds of "work" on the laptop - including but not limited to; paying bills, writing his local congressman, and catching up on current events.

As if he needed to smile at me to be considered any cuter. But he did. And he is. Cuter.

On the Keira Front: We're watching for referrals just like everyone else. Reminder for those not following - we're 7 log-in-days away from being matched. They average 2-3 log in days per current month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. We could see a referral for Keira in August (not likely) or September (most likely) or potentially October (somewhat likely). We're prepared for any of those scenarios - because we're not ready for any of them. Ha!

August 6, 2009

I missed it by one day, but you get the gist...

Wow. That's Quint's room now...

August 5, 2009

Everything in TWO's

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out. ~Erma Bombeck

I've been thinking about some of the things that we don't have but will invariably need to have with two (ahem) two (cough) two (sputter) toddlers running around our little house. I'm two (snort) parts excited, one part freaked out, and a dash of GULP on top.

I was talking with a friend a few days ago and I said "what if Quint is the calm one?" HA! People, if this is true - then we're royally and officially up a creek with no paddle. My friend tried to comfort me and added "maybe Keira will be the sweet, quiet, and thoughtful one". Have you met my husband and I? It's not likely. Fate is much to happy to see us squirm, I think.

Our little guy is energy on wheels and would rather climb, scale, turn over, push down, build up, topple, pull, seek and destroy than pretty much anything else. He has his moments of cuddle time - but they are scattered. He's all about getting into whatever he can possibly find. In other words, he's a typical toddler. So I'm ramping up for two. Double. Trouble.

Meanwhile, last night I found myself being reminded by another friend that she was (and has always intended on) planning a baby shower for Keira. Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Because you're going to get your referral in the next 6-8 weeks most likely, right (she added)? Um, right. I guess we are. Hmmm.

So much has changed since we started this path. So much is different. Everything was for Keira in the beginning. Everything was about her. I could hardly go shopping without noticing things I wanted to add to her growing collection of toys, books, clothes, and hair bows. It's been so long since I truly bought anything for her, with intention - I've almost lost the feel of it.

Yesterday I "splurged" and bought a cute little "first year" calendar for her. I was just looking at it. First word. First tooth. First ____. I'm not sure how old she'll be, but my hope is that we'll get to have as many of those firsts with her as we can. Finally though...I can plan to start sharing those firsts in the next few months. Before Christmas. Before Thanksgiving? Before Halloween? Absolutely surreal.

For the past two years, it's been all about our boy. Boy stuff. Boy clothes. Boy toys. Little boy toes and little boy smiles.

Now the time is closing in for Two's. One little boy and one little girl. Two kids. Terrible Two's (never mind, we're already there). Two highchairs, two boosters, two cribs, two car-seats, double strollers, and double the diaper duty. Two. Double trouble. Double love. Double hugs, kisses, and cuddles.

It's breathtaking. I just hope I can do them justice. All two of them.

Sending out an early S.O.S. They're going to eat me alive...

You'll find me in the pack-n-play...waiting for the storm to pass...(which is like, after high-school, right?)


August 2, 2009

Oops, I have a blog

Sorry bout' that. I think I kind of...err...fergot about this here blog for a week. oops. We just had such a busy week - I think poor Quint had more babysitters this week than he's had since he came home from Africa. Sigh. It's been transitional, because as much as we deeply appreciated all the baby boy help we got (and we got a LOT), he's also out of sync now - and doesn't want to...I don't know...MIND his parents. Ahem. Maybe a little too much spoiling went on with all the helping hands...but I think every little boy deserves that now and then.

Aside from the meetings, church commitments, a farewell party, and even a Marriage Retreat for a couple days (!! read oh la la !!) - work, parenting, long phone conversations that lasted five hours into the wee hours (Ma! ahem) and changes in some structure around our house - I have to say - it's been a challenging and very busy ten days. Lots going on and lots to do.

Meanwhile, lately in the back of our mind is the fact that we're nearing the end of our China journey. It's becoming more and more prevalent - and of course that has to do with the fact that we're now 7 "log-in" days away from being at the front of the proverbial line. It's been such a long journey - that I almost don't believe it. I hear myself telling curious friends where we stand, and watch their eyes get big as they realize how close we are - but it still doesn't feel real. I've been living the wait for Keira so long, that I haven't or can't or just don't imagine what the next phase will actually look like for our family. It feels naive and not in a good way. I know it will change the way our family functions, the dynamics, the way we do things - etc. And I guess, just like before Quint came home, I couldn't imagine how Quint would impact and improve our family life - in the same way I can't imagine those things for Keira. It'll happen when it does, and we'll take it one day at a time. To be really honest, we don't spend much time thinking about it - because life is full and busy and we've kind of taken the posture of just waiting it out and getting on with our lives. Easy for us to say, as we have Quint to keep us running constantly.

Anyway, here's some cute-overload as my son enjoyed a swim party earlier in the week. I love, I love, I love this child. He is my joy and heart!