About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Friday, October 21, 2011

For my brother Mike

When I was in high school, I convinced my brother Mike to wear a silk handkerchief on his head and become Juliette's nurse for a film project.  I then showed this to his new family after he got married.  I have a feeling this is going to be Eli's fate some day :)

What do you do on mornings when the girl is running a fever and both kids are home?  Play dress up, of course!

From super cool pit crew...

To super pit crew chief undercover as a princess...  At least that's what I'm choosing to believe!

Eli got his first black eye at school.  He and another kid collided on the playground.  And apparently Eli looks a lot better than the other kid.  Whoops!

And Amelia got fever #2 after a Hep B shot.  Sigh.  So here we go again!  "Eli...this!"  "Ok.  Help please."
Twirl, spin, twirl.  While Mom laughs and snaps pics ;)

I'm so thankful my kids love each other so much.  I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parental Advice

Ah, the joys of having a 6 year old toddler.  In some ways Amelia is more advanced than Eli.  For example, she can run, walk at a normal speed, help with certain things around the house.  But in many areas Amelia is at about a toddler age.  She's in a 5 point harness because she wouldn't keep her seat belt on or over her shoulder.  She jumps on her bed, tears books, whines, plays with her light switch (and the pull string on the fan while standing on her bed), won't stay in bed at night, can't play by herself, ignores instruction, destroys anything she has if we don't watch her like a hawk, and puts everything, and I mean everything in her mouth - money, books, picture albums, small toys, big toys, and I even caught her in her bed with her foot in her mouth (ewwwwww!).

I need to be a better "natural consequences" parent, but I don't know how.  I think this week we're going to focus all my time and energy reminding the kids how to respect each other's toys.

What do you do when your kids continually touch feet under the table, then whine about it when the other person does it?  I'm thinking of making them stand if they can't keep their feet off the other chairs.

What do you do when the girl puts stuff in her mouth?  I usually take it away from her, but I can't take her feet off!  So on come the socks.  That she takes off and puts under her pillow as soon as I walk away.

What do you do in the car when the two of them are playing in a very loud and rowdy way, pulling on each other's hair and arms?  I mean, it's great that they get along so well, but they're too wild for the car!

But there have been improvements.  Most nights, the girl is so exhausted she passes out as soon as her head hits the pillow, so she doesn't have an opportunity to get out of bed.  And she and Eli are really getting along and love each other (she got sad today when we dropped him off at school).  And there are signs that she's maturing (like getting dressed in the morning without having to be told, only pumping the soap once, using an appropriate amount of toilet paper).  But there's such a long road ahead of us...

She's been home the last 3 days because of a morning fever (which is gone by 10am).  If she hadn't been lethargic and not eating I would have sent her to school anyway.  This morning was the first time she ate a good breakfast and seems "normal" so hopefully tomorrow will be the day she gets to go back to school.

We've established some routines that have helped our days.  Every night we choose what the kids are going to wear.  They wake up, potty, brush their teeth (I have to brush Amelia's still), and eat breakfast.  Then they change and make their beds so they can play.  Would you believe that they're ready in less than an hour?!

We're taking Amelia out of tutoring.  It was just too much for us.  Poor thing was getting burned out!  So we're going to start a routine of coming home from school, playing/having a snack for 30mins, then sitting down to do 30mins of "homework".  Some of this will be from school, but most of it will be from workbooks I'll get at the learning center.

All in all, things are settling down quite nicely...another 5-6 months and we'll be sitting pretty (HA!  just kidding!  But at least she'll be better able to communicate.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fun Times in tha Hood

This is what happens when Papa washes your hair...

Tongue tatoo!!

Amelia lost her first tooth.  The tooth fairy still hasn't come, though.  Silly tooth fairy!

Dave and I had a date night at a wedding.  From 3pm-10pm we were child free!  It was fun...I even got my dance on :)

Grandma Karl came in town just in time for Eli's field trip to a pumpkin/farm/cider park.  We went on a hay ride and walked through a "storybook" path.  

Eli and his teacher.  He LOVES his teacher!

Playing in the dirt...what else is there to do at a farm?!

They fed the ducks...

And heard a presentation about farm animals.  We even made butter from milk that was milked right in front of us...

We didn't want Amelia to feel left out so we went to a cider mill on Saturday.  We fed some goats (and a llama!).

and stood in line for, like, EVER for some cider and donuts.

But they were TOTALLY worth it.

And really messy, which was fun.

Amelia LOVES her Grandma Karl and misses her already.  Thanks for coming, Grandma Karl.  We love you and can't wait to see you again :)

In other news, we're having a hard time with getting Amelia's US passport.  We have all the paperwork done, but we can't find a time/place that works for all 3 of us.  Saturdays would be great, but with the cutbacks they don't do many Saturday appointments anymore.  Dave works a typical 9-5 job, and Amelia's in school from 9-4.  But most places only do passport services during the week from 10-3.  See our problem?!  I found one place that does by appointment only...I just need to call to find out when those appointments are.  Sigh.  We need it sooner than later so we can go to Buffalo to see family.  Stay tuned to see what new adventure awaits!