Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

So I left off with the boys and promised to start with the girls the next week, well that was before Christmas!!! OOPS!!! Anyway, I am finally back and if you want to join in, just click here:

Ni Hao Y'all

I want to start with:

How do I even begin to describe this child. She is our first daughter, after 3 sons, a pleasant surprise in more ways than one!! Hehe!! During my pregnancy with her and because I was of, ahem, "Advanced Maternal Age" (old), the docs recommended an amniocentesis and of course the results were that she was healthy and that she was definitely a she . We were shocked, happy and surprised!! Even the boys wanted a sister because, "little brothers are just too tough!" Come to find out that little sisters are even tougher!! Hehe!! Now amnio results are 99.9999999% (or something crazy like that) correct, but I honestly did not believe that she was a she until she was born and I could check for certain missing parts! If ya know what I mean! Well, she was definitely a she

and she has continued to shock and surprise us and make us very happy!!

From a very young age, Em had this way about her!

I think it was gas!!! LOL!!

When she was 5 days old, she rolled over for the first time and we knew we were in trouble!! She is, very simply, the female version of our Charlie!

Yep, trouble!!!

She has had us all wrapped around her cute little finger since the beginning:

Notice the tears!!

Em is our spunky, sweet, sometimes bossy but always loving little girl. She can already give her Momma attitude,

but is so cute doing it,

and she can't stay mad for long!!

Em has always loved her brothers and wants to be just like them when she grows up.

As a matter of fact, she always tells me that when she is big and is a boy, she will get to do everything her brothers do, like football!!

I think she knows now that she can be a girl and play football!! Whew!!

Em also just LOVES being a big sister. She and Lizzie have become so incredibly close. They can fight like crazy and there are some days that I swear that "time out" step will forever have the indentations of two very cute but very naughty little girl bottoms!! Those days, though, are overshadowed by the "I love you little sister," and the "I love you too big sister," and the fact that neither one of these girls may have had a sister, may have never had each other and that would have been tragic!!

Em is big and tough but she also relies on Lizzie for comfort and support, as Lizzie relies on her.

They are sisters and they have a very special bond and it has been a beautiful thing to watch!

So my sweet Em! You are the perfect combination of girly girl,

and tomboy,

Her big boy pants!!

You make us laugh constantly,

and you take our breath away - constantly,

Em is our ballerina, football player and mommie in training all rolled up into one cute little package, who, btw, is going to be a doctor (a baby doctor) when she grows up!!

I love you baby girl!

You make me smile!!!

Gotta end with Hubby's all time fav video of Em. He liked it so much, he used it as the ring tone on his phone!! He is laughing every time I call him!! Hehe!!

Friday, January 29, 2010


I guess the girls got tired of me shushing them at their brother's awards ceremony! This is how they solved the very tempting talking dilemma!! Hehe!!

Sorry for the quality of the pics! Of course I did not have my camera and was forced to use the ole cell phone!! Isn't that awful? Here I am at my first son's awards ceremony and I don't even bring my camera!! Jeez!! By the time the girls are old enough to have awards ceremonies, they'll be lucky if Mom even gets out of bed!! I mean it was at 7:50 in the morning!!! Hehe!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Double Digits!!!!!

So on Thursday, I will officially have not one, but two boys in double digits!! How did that happen?? Charlie will be 10 years old on Thursday and it seems like just yesterday that he was my beautiful little blond baby boy!!

My beautiful little blond baby boy who was crying over not being held or crying over being hungry or crying over eating too much (reflux), or crying over his big bro looking at him funny or crying over ALWAYS getting really bad Pokemon cards or crying over, well just about anything that didn't suit Charlie!!!

For the first 5 years of Charlie's life, he lived HARD and so did we!! Hehe!! As I have said before, however, the day that young Charles turned 5 years old, the clouds parted and the sun shone on my long suffering child and he became my happy go lucky, anything goes kid!!!

Don't know what was in the birthday cake that year, but whatever it was, I would really love to get some for Em and Lizzie's upcoming bday cakes!!! Hehe!! Anyway, My sweet, loving, caring, EASY GOING and very funny boy is turning 10! Wow! We had his party over the weekend because he is going to another friend's "all weekend long" birthday party with his big brother next weekend!!! You are a braver woman than I, Kim!!! LOL!! So this year, Charlie wanted a football party at the park. Easy enough, right? Well, the weather had us on pins and needles the entire day because I REALLY did not want 18 big smelly boys in my house for 2 hours with nothing to do but eat!!! The rain held off (thank goodness) and we were able to play some serious football - flag football! Apparently, however, it is just not cool to play flag football at a bday party! Who knew??? Being the really uncool, nerdy, mean parents that we are; we, of course, insisted on flag. Sigh! So, flags were adorned...

The really cute ref (hubby) was ready with whistle, cones, penalty flags and apparently (according to my very mature sons) plenty of bias toward any player that wasn't related to him!! Honestly, ya'll, they sounded (and please don't take this wrong) like a bunch of girls out there - no, a bunch of 3 year old girls! I have 2 three year old girls, so I know!!! They were whining and complaining and fussing at the cute ref (hubby) and just plain acting like well, 3 year old girls!!! Whew, I feel better!!! LOL!! In the end however, they all ended up having a great time because there was cake and snacks and because the really cute ref (hubby) threw in the penalty flag and just let them play their own version of flag (tackle) football!!! What is it with boys and wanting to inflict bodily damage to their FRIENDS???? Maybe it was the two cute little 10 year old girls that were watching them show off, I mean play?? Na, couldn't be, right???? Here are some of the pics from the party and please forgive the quality, my camera just does not do action shots! It has a sports setting but does not do action shots! Huh?? Go figure!! Anyway, I am sure by the time I have grandkids, I will have a camera that takes great action shots, right honey??? Hehe!!

There was cake,

and cookies,

and chips,

and no tackle!



Happy Birthday sweet boy!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!!!!!

Did ya miss me????? My computer decided it might be fun to get infected with some kind of nasty computer swine flu!! Thank goodness I happen to marry a super genius!! It took him ALL week, but he finally saved my computer from certain death! It was very odd feeling so disconnected all week, although, I must admit that it was also a bit freeing as well! I did not feel compelled to be online and was able to go to bed before 11:00 every night! I did discover, however, that it really doesn't matter if you go to bed at 1:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m., getting up at 5:00 in the morning just SUCKS!!!! Hehe!! Do you know, I had over 700 emails when I logged in for the first time last night! Yikes!!! Do I really need to stay THAT connected?? I did miss being able to post and really missed reading everyone else's blogs. I missed most of my friend, Stefanie's, trip back to China to adopt their (are you ready) 9th child!!! Amazing lady!! You can read about her wonderful family and their most recent journey to beautiful Vivi, on their blog, Ni Hao Y'all . I also missed the announcement of some incredible news on another friend's blog. Sweet Adeye and her family have committed to adopting not one, but two gorgeous little girls with Down Syndrome. Adeye has an amazing heart and her story of their journey to wonderful Haven got me hooked!! You can check out her blog at No Greater Joy Mom . So as nice as it was to go to bed before 11:00 every night, I am glad to be back!! Here are just some of the highlights from our week away, so to speak!!

Em decided that grossing out Momma can be fun:

She also decided that being cute can be fun:

Lizzie has decided that she likes being a football playing ballerina:

And speaking of football! Today at flag football, a very cute little boy decided that my girls were (gulp) cute too and worthy of impressing:

You can see the look of "what you talkin bout" on Lizzie's face! Thank goodness one of them has some "boy" sense about them! Hehe!!

Finally, I will end with our sweet new foster dog, Lily!

The dynamic duo, Aggie and Sophie, were adopted by 2 very nice families, so when Lily came along, I just couldn't say no! Lily has those sad spaniel eyes just like my first dog, Maggie, and 3 legs, just like our wonderful Tippy who passed away in October! She has been so great and so easy and I hope we can find her a family very soon!!!

It does feel good to be back! Check back tomorrow (hopefully) for my featured waiting kids and maybe some highlights from Charlie's 10th bday party (to be held tomorrow). Now off to catch up with everyone else! I guess tonight, I will see 1:00 a.m. for the first time this week:) Wish me luck in the morning!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do you remember????

Do you have certain things, precious things, that will forever and always be associated with a special person in your life, places that you have been or feelings you have experienced? I think we all do. I know that even a specific smell (good or bad) can take me back to a past time or place. When we went to China, I bought some travel size lotions and shampoos and such. Good thing too, because going to the Carrafore (China's Walmart) in Guangzhou was overwhelming to say the least and I would have more than likely ended up using Chinese Desitin as facial cream and wondering why my face was suddenly as smooth as a baby's bottom! Hehe!! Anyway, I ran out of my usual lotion the other day and tried something new. Sure enough, as soon as I opened the bottle, I was instantly transported back to the White Swan Hotel! It must have been the same lotion that I had traveled with and that smell took me right back! There are also certain smells that take me right back to being 3 months pregnant and wanting to rip my head right off my body because the shampoo that I had loved for so long, suddenly smelled as bad as an open can of tunafish - left in your car - in the middle of the summer - for DAYS!!!!!! Ugh!! Still can't use any Infusiam products:) However, I digress! This post is more about things/objects that remind you of important people or events or places! I began to think about it right after Dad passed away in September. I remember the day that I left to come back home after staying with Mom through the week of the funeral. As I was getting ready to go, I suddenly noticed Dad's "little weather radio" as we liked to call it.

Funny, it had been sitting in it's usual spot for the entire week and I had just really noticed it that day. I think sometimes we get so used to seeing something day in and day out, that we can just look right through it or past it and not appreciate it and I think that can happen with the people in our daily lives too, which shouldn't be. This weather radio, though, and it's predecessors gave my Dad a lot of joy! Even though he loved being a doctor, I think he secretly wished he could have been a meteorologist. He LOVED the weather. It fascinated him and he followed every weather pattern, and every storm and was on top of every single hurricane that threatened the East Coast!! I mentioned the radio to my Mom before I left that day and she very sweetly offered it to me, but I just couldn't remove it from it's place of honor on the bathroom window sill! That is where it has been for many years and that is where it should stay. This may sound strange, but that "little weather radio" will always hold a very special place in my heart!!

There are 3 other objects in my house that offer me comfort with the memories that they hold. The first is an old clock. A clock that, I believe, belonged to my grandparents. This clock sat in the living room of my childhood home for a very long time.

You see, my parents lived (and my Mom still does) in the same house for over 40 years. That is almost unheard of these days, so when I go "home," it is to the home of my childhood. What I remember about this clock is the audible and very soothing tick tock sound that it made and the soft clang, clang that it delivered on the hour. It was a constant in my childhood and while I have it in my house now, it no longer works and while I cannot hear those soothing sounds, I can just look at that clock and imagine the sounds of my childhood and that comforts me. I am afraid to think about what sounds might remind my kids of their childhood!! Don't think it will be soft and soothing, though:)

The next object is actually a piece of drywall!! Well, a piece of drywall that was painted with trucks and dogs and was in the boys' room in our first "family" house. We hired a local art student to come in and paint some trucks in their room and of course the trucks had to have dogs in them!! This one particular truck had a pup in it that looked so much like our beloved dog, Dingo, who slept many nights at the foot of the boys' beds!

When we moved from that first house we filled as a family, we cut that one truck (with the buyers permission) from the wall in that room. We framed it and hung it in hubby's office and it will always remind me of our first wonderful home that we rapidly outgrew but remember as the "baby house!" I think there must have been something in the water as the family that moved in quickly found themselves expecting #3!! LOL!

The other object in my home that takes me back and fills me with joy is a chair! Yep, a chair! A rocking chair to be exact. This rocking chair is not really stylish or trendy and honestly not really my taste, however, in my eyes, it is the most beautiful chair in the world and I will never, ever let it go!

It is the rocking chair (actually a glider) that we bought when we were expecting our first. I really didn't think much about it other than it was the right color of wood (to match the crib) and it was comfy! Little did I know how important that chair was to be. Our first son LOVED to be rocked. When Christian was a toddler and was no longer nursing at night, he would wake (just about every night)and want to be rocked back to sleep and while I knew that I probably shouldn't rock him til he was asleep again, I could not resist. It was OUR time and I was not ready or willing to give it up. I have to admit that there were some nights that I would be so tired and just did not want to get out of my warm bed to rock my boy, but I did. I remember one night in particular. I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant with our second son and was uncomfortable and was rocking Christian. He was quiet in my arms but as soon as I put him in his crib, he would wake and say, "mo wock." I remember feeling so incredibly frustrated and so incredibly tired, but as we rocked in the quiet of the night, I suddenly began to understand that I needed to remember this feeling. I began to realize how quickly these moments were coming to an end and I never wanted to forget the feeling of holding my little curly headed boy in my arms as we rocked together in that chair. Alas, none of my other kids loved to be rocked like my first did, but somehow that chair represents all of their babyhoods to me. It now sits in Christian's room, but I have a feeling that before too long, Momma will reclaim that chair and tuck it safely away while I wait for the next (gulp) generation and I just know they will all love to be "wocked!"

What items do you all have that can take you back or that hold special memories for you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blog Post

A few weeks back, I entered a blog post contest over at Adoption Voices. I entered and then quickly forgot about it because, well, I NEVER win anything!!! Til now, that is!!! The blog post I entered actually won! Must have been a slow day:) Hehe!! The winning post, most of you have probably already read but if not, you can read it here . Anyway, the point of this post is not to toot my own horn, but to show you what the wonderful people at Adoption Voices sent me! I received an email telling me that I won and that I would be getting a little package in the mail and $25 transferred into my paypal account! Whoo Hoo!! Honestly, I figured the package would be something small and maybe a little cheesy (forgive me)! I was much more excited about the 25 big ones!!! I mean come on, that's Pizza one night, delivered, right there:) My mouth was already watering!! However, when the box arrived it was heavier and bigger than I had imagined! I was intrigued but I waited til the kids went to bed and I opened it! Much to my surprise, it was a beautiful gift! There were some really yummy home spray scents and by some, I mean like about 8!! I love them and they make my house smell so good and with 5 kids, 2 dogs (if not more) and a cat, that ain't always easy!! As wonderful as that was, though, the beautiful books they sent were amazing!! I wanted to share them with you because I thought some of you all might be interested and because it was such a touching gift! Thanks so much Adoption Voices!!!

The first is

From the Publisher:
"I am nine years old and someone a lot like you. Part of my life has been like a puzzle needing pieces, but I am understanding more about myself and my life everyday. This is my story..."

So begins the honest, lyrical reflection of a pre-adolescent girl on what she knows of her adoption from China, and the strength she gains from her acceptance of her bittersweet experience.

The book addresses the underlying feelings and emotions that color the world of the China adoptee. At Home in This World effectively describes and empowers a young girl looking for acknowledgement, empathy and emotional validation. It also enables pre-teen readers to put their early lives into perspective, while emphasizing the supportive love that encircles them within their own families.

This will be such a great book for Lizzie as she gets older!

The second is

"Many adult adoptees have gone through life wanting to ask questions about their birthparents, but have feared making their adoptive parents uncomfortable. So these important questions go unasked and unanswered.

We See the Moon opens the adoption dialog at an early age by allowing the questions in your child's heart to be asked and discussed. In time these questions will form a loving foundation for conversations to come.

Written from a child's perspective, this beautifully illustrated picture book helps to form the questions about birthparents - What do you look like? Where are you now? Do you think of me?

This is a simply beautiful book, one that will open dialog and lifelong trust."

Even though we talk about Lizzie's birth family, what a great way to get Lizzie to talk about them!

The third is

"For the child who looks different from their parents for what ever reason...foster care, step parents, adoption. This multicultural book will empower your child to look beyond the physical features they have on the outside because inside our hearts, we are the same."

What a great book to read to Lizzie and Em's class in a year or two!

and the last is my favorite - right now anyway!

"A tender tale about a mother’s love for her adopted child who came to her from God. As Little Fox gets ready for bed, Mama Fox tells him the miraculous story of his arrival. First there was the waiting: “I’d go up to the cliffs and watch for you,” Mama Fox tells her child. Then the mother who had Little Fox made the big decision to give him away: “I think she prayed like crazy that you would be safe, Little Fox. I think she prayed for me as much as I prayed for her.” Then, finally, both their prayers were answered, the day God delivered Little Fox to Mama Fox: “When God found us you, you made me the happiest mama in the world.”

What an incredibly sweet and loving book that Lizzie asks for every night and sure enough Momma cries through, every night!!

It was even signed by the author!! How cool is that!!!

Anyway, I just wanted to thank Adoption Voices for this very sweet gift! I cried as I read through each book! Oh and am looking forward to the pizza too:) Might just be crying happy tears over that one!! Hehe!!