Friday, December 28, 2007

Posting a little early

I wanted to post today because all of our company is gone and we have lots of pictures to share! I may divide them into two posts - we will see. Do some today and some tomorrow! But we had a nice time.

Mat's parents arrived the day after Christmas to spend the day with us and their grandchildren. We opened presents with them and went out to dinner! It was a great evening.

Then on Thursday Mat's brother and sisters and all of their significant others and kids, and Mat's grandma and aunt came to the house to make us a total of 18! It was so much fun having all of those people here. We had food waiting for them when they arrive and the snacking began! Then we had a nice, simple dinner together and afterwards opened presents and played games. It was the first time Mat's youngest sister and her husband, Mat's brother, and Mat's grandma had been to our house so that was nice to have them here. We love being together and Mat's family is really large so it is loud and crazy and just a blast. Mat's mom loves having all of her kids together and since we all spread out, it doesn't happen very often. We took a lot of pictures to capture the day. And everyone slept at our house. We had plenty of room for all and enjoyed the large slumber party.

Everyone left today. It was a short visit, but a fun one. We wished everyone could stay longer, but understand the need to get back to their everyday lives. Mat's parents stayed the longest and just left this evening.

So overall, it was a very successful and fun week. We are a little tired, but it was a good payoff for having everyone together like that. Now we have our New Years Eve party to look forward too!

Arlington got two gifts she really liked these last two days. Aunt Betty got her a very fancy Sleeping Beauty costume. We are going to a Princess party at Disney in Feb. as part of her birthday, and Sleeping Beauty is who she is going as, because she is her favorite. And she also got the "Bitty Twins" from American Girl. She is a little young for American Girl, but saw these twins and thought of Finley and Cainan. So Mat's mom got them for her as part of her gift. They are really cute. The girl has blonde hair like Finleand the little boy has black hair like Cainan!

Here are some pictures to enjoy! There are lots so bare with me! I added them all!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We cannot believe the day is already over. We had a full and fun day at our house. Santa was very good to us this year. The morning started with......a bath. Ha! Arlington was up first, so since her brother and sister were still sleeping, I gave her a Aath to pass the time! She really wanted to go and see her presents, but I wanted us all to go downstairs together, so she had to wait. She was fine, and about 1/2 hour later, the babies were up and ready to go! They were very excited to come downstairs and see all the presents from Santa, etc. Arlington wanted to charge through the presents, and the babies were just content walking around. Finley spent half the morning just carrying a banana around that she got in her stocking! She is funny. Cainan would take a small piece of wrapping paper off a present, clap for himself, and walk away. He wasn't about to do too much work for his presents! Once everything was opened, the we cleaned up and the kids really got a chance to play with their new goodies. Finley's favorite present was a cradle from her GiGi (Great Grandma). Arlington loved everything, but played the most with a Cinderella castle from Santa. Cainan seemed to really like some of the toys Arlington got (like a batmobile) and anything that had cars and little people. He is definitely all boy!

While the babies took a nap, Arlington got a chance to play without interruption and then we played Uno with her, which she loved. It was a nice chance for her to have alone time with her parents, which is rare these days. And this evening, we are just continuing to play with all the goodies! Finley got a small bounce house from Santa, and we moved that to the back yard and the kids played out there in that for awhile. Now we are winding down and bedtime is quickly approaching.

But Christmas is far from over! Tomorrow Mat's parents arrive, and then on Thursday we will have a total of.....drumroll.....18 people staying at our house for 24 hours. It will be so much fun! I have room for all, and it will be great. We are expecting all of Mat's brothers and sisters and their significant others and children, and Mat's grandma and aunt. It will be SOOOO fun! So we have many fun filled days ahead, and we can't wait. Saturday's post will be full of photos!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and felt as blessed as we did for our family. Here are some pictures! (well, a lot actually)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Family Fun Yard Day

This is what Mat has nicknamed the day (or in this case, the weekend) before Christmas each year where we are outside all day (or again, this year - ALL weekend). We are getting our yard all ready by trimming and planting and fixing it up nice. It is a lot of work, but fun too. The kids enjoy just playing outside and running around, and this year, Arlington even helped us with some of the work! We did it all day yesterday and I forgot to post, so I appologize! We will be working on the yard again today and tomorrow will be reserved for getting the inside of the house all picked up!

This week was busy with the kids Christmas parties and finishing up with work and getting last minute presents. We are so close to Christmas! We are all excited and can't wait! We never would have thought we would have had our little boy by this Christmas, and are very blessed that he is here with us. Now our family is complete.

Arlington had her Christmas party this week and is really getting excited for Christmas. Mat is taking her to another Christmas party this afternoon just to help get rid of some of her energy! She REALLY wants to open some presents. And this week, Arlington finally started asking questions about Santa. The newest one, "How does Santa get to all the houses in just one night?" Hmmm... I knew this day would come. She is starting to wonder about how he does it all and what is real and what isn't. She still VERY much believes in Santa, but knows that Frosty and the "snowmeiser" are not real. But she knows elves are real because they MAKE the toys! She is funny.

Finley has some new words. She says book, up, down, and she says "no, no" all the time! Everything is "no". Great.

Cainan has really gotten happier this week. He is getting a little less sensitive, which is nice. He seems more playful. We are starting to figure him out. When he is really tired or hungry, EVERYTHING bothers him. Otherwise, he is pretty good. He is doing the sign for "up" and he tries to say "down". And he is working on "ball". He is getting pretty good!

I will probably not post on Christmas day, but I might Christmas night after the kids are in bed.

To all of our family and friends have a very merry Christmas and know that we are thinking about you and we love you! Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I forgot

I forgot to add last night that on Saturday I was bit by a ton of red fire ants! Yeah, I was in the yard (with sandals on) putting up Christmas lights along our fence when all of the sudden, my feet felt like they were on FIRE! I looked down, and sure, enough - fire ants! I brushed them off and ran inside and put cool water on them. They hurt for about 1 hour and then started to itch and swell. By Sunday morning, my feet were so swollen, I couldn't put shoes on! I kept ice on them all day and tried to keep them elevated. By Monday they were slightly better - I was able to put a gym shoe on. Today (Wed.) the right foot is still swollen, but not as bad, and almost back to normal. Now I am just left with itching. I am trying not to scratch, but it is hard!

Once again - I HATE FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Visit with Santa

Well, we finally braved it and went to see Santa with the kids. We decided to go on a weekday during the day so there wouldn't be a very big line. We just happened to time it wrong and got behind an ENTIRE preschool class going to see Santa. Now, it wasn't that bad - all the kids just sat on his lap for a second and took a quick picture. So it went fairly quickly. I did feel bad for them - they were 4 year olds, and didn't get to talk to Santa at all. Poor kids. But, it was a nice idea.

Anyway, we were in line about 45 minutes which wasn't that bad. Arlington went up first while the babies just kind of checked Santa out from afar. Arlington showed Santa her list and Santa told her that he could bring everything on the list. Good thing mommy and daddy are on the ball after that statement! She was very excited to see him. We took a picture of her alone with Santa and then decided to put the babies on his lap. Finley was okay at first - checking him out. But when I stepped back to get Cainan she started crying. I put Cainan on his lap but before he even got all the way down he was having a fit! Cainan is not great getting handed over to strangers as it is, so I knew it would go badly! But we took the picture anyway (as you will see below) because we are in to torturing our kids.

But this week has not been a lot of fun. Starting Monday afternoon, Arlington has had a fever. It lasted all day Monday and she stayed home today and still has the fever tonight. So she isn't going to school tomorrow, either. I feel bad because tomorrow is their Christmas party at school, but she just isn't feeling well enough to go. Poor kid. She will be sad she missed it. Finley is also sick. She has had diarrhea for a few days and will be missing school again tomorrow. Cainan is okay, but has a terrible congested cough that he has had for awhile. I still have a cough, but Mat seems to be okay. Mat stayed home with the kids today because Cainan had a lot of appointments that I needed to take him too. Unfortunately I am going to have to miss work tomorrow so that he can go back. Hopefully everyone will be well enough to return to school on Thursday. Cainan is going to school tomorrow. I think he has a better chance of not getting what the girls have by not being home with them!

Cainan had occupational therapy on Monday. He did fine, there. He is very stubborn and not very good at following directions, so it is challenging for him. But he is getting better. He is strengthening his hands and his thumbs, and also trying to get over his "sensory" issues. He didn't have a lot of sensory stimulation in the orphanage, so some things are overwhelming to him. So we are working on getting him over that, and the OT seems to think that will decrease his anxiety and how emotional he gets. Let's hope so!

Today Cainan had speech therapy, an ear nose and throat (ENT) appointment and a helmet appointment. Speech Therapy went fine. He still isn't saying much while he is there, but I continue to get a lot of pointers to use at home which is helpful. The ENT said his tubes looked good. She cleaned out his nose (which he hated) and listened to his lungs (since she heard his congestion and cough). His lungs are clear and his ears looked good. So it just seems to be a cold. Let's hope it stays that way.

Then we went to our helmet appointment. I was hoping we were getting the helmet off today, but the helmet lady said another month - possibly two. What????? She is trying to kill me. But she did say I could keep it off of him during the day and just put it on for sleep and car rides. That will help. I don't see much change, but she still believes that his head can mold a little more. So we will see. We see her again at the end of January, and then will make the decision to do one more month or call it quits. I am voting for stopping - especially if there hasn't been any change over the next month. So we will continue to drive to Fort Lauderdale a little longer.

So that is our week so far. Today was by far the longest. Cainan and I left the house at 8:15 and didn't return until 6pm. Long day. But Cainan is a good boy and did well with the long day and was very happy tonight playing with his sisters.

Updates and funny things:

Arlington said something funny. She was doing something she shouldn't the other day and I told her "Santa is watching, you better be good". She said, "well, he can't be watching me right now because he is at the mall taking pictures". Nice.

For any of you that have seen the movie "Elf" do NOT watch it with a very inquisitive 4 1/2 year old. She asked about a million questions - "why is Buddy so big?" "where are his parents?" "Why is his house so small?" "Why does he have to walk - where is his car?" "Why isn't the real Santa in the movie?" "Why is Buddy's dad on the naughty list?" on and on and on. I think I saw about 2 seconds of the movie.

Finley learned to say "hat". She says it really well and knows what it is. It is cute. Cainan has learned to say something that sounds like "I want". He says " I wa" and does the sign for "I want".

So we are one week from Christmas - our first Christmas with Cainan! We can't wait! He did get a present in the mail this week from our wonderful family friends, the Hornicks. So he got to open his VERY FIRST Christmas present! It was wonderful and we thank the Hornicks for giving him his first gift!

Here are a few pictures:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Decorating the tree

Well today we finally decorated the tree. We have had the tree for a few days, but haven't had the chance to get to it! Arlington was very excited to get to help. We set aside a lot of "unbreakable" ornaments for her to hang any where she wanted and we did the rest. The babies did pretty good not touching the tree. We had to put a few ornaments back on the tree after Cainan took a few off, but after awhile, they went back to playing and forgot about the tree. We will see what happens over the next couple of days! Each year we usually lose one ornament due to it falling to being taken off the tree. :)

This was a busy work week and we were glad for the weekend day. We are all still kind of sick. Cainan and I have a lingering cough, Mat is congested, Arlington has a sore throat, and today, Finley threw up everywhere at dinner time. Poor baby! She has been acting okay, but she has a sour stomach. So she won't be joining us for church tomorrow! She doesn't go back to school until Tuesday, so hopefully by then, she is back to normal. She hasn't wanted to eat all day - now I know why!

Today Arlington and Mat went to a birthday party for Arlington's best friend. IT is hard to believe the girls are 5! These are friends of ours from when we lived in California, so the girls have been friends almost their whole lives. They had a nice afternoon. The babies and I stayed at the house because the party was during their nap time. Arlington had a great time at the party, and it was a good outlet for her energy. She should sleep well tonight!

Most of you know, but Finley learned her first two word sentence - "bad baby". Great! She says it all the time. Now, yes, we do say this to her - ALOT. She is always causing mischief, and one day she repeated us! Now she says it all the time. She says it to her baby dolls. She can also say "mouse", and when her stuffed minnie mouse falls on the floor, she says "bad mouse". She also says "night night" and is trying to finish words. For example, she says "bath" pretty well, and is now trying to figure out the "th" sound, so she says "bap". Goofball.

Cainan learned to shrug his shoulders. He goes around shrugging them all the time. He is also getting better with stepping down steps. He is kind of afraid, and will just stand and wait for someone to help him, but he is trying to do it on his own. Big step!

We have just about wrapped up the Christmas shopping. Mat is making one last run tomorrow for some last minute things, and then we are done! Yeah! I can't wait to have the kids open all of their gifts - that is so fun to watch their faces. Now with the tree up and the outside lights done, it really feels like Christmas at our house!

Here are a few pictures from today. Sorry Finley is in a diaper for most of them! She threw up all over her clothes after dinner, so we just left her in her diaper after that! I promise to take some cute pictures of them in front of the tree later!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home from Disney World

Hello there! We are back from our Disney trip! We had a really great weekend, and I will try to recap it here in a short version! All I can say is that if you ever have a chance to go to Disney at Christmas time - do it!! It is WONDERFUL! Now, I don't recommend going the week of Christmas or New Years because it is really busy, but right about now is PERFECT! Here is our weekend recap:

Friday - left the house at 9am. We wanted to leave around 7, but everyone kind of slept in, and since we knew it was going to be a long day, we decided to leave a little later. We got to the park around 11:30. We went to the Magic Kingdom on this day because we had tickets for the Christmas party there that evening. We had a really good time. Cainan seemed to enjoy himself. He didn't seem overwhelmed. He loved the music and the lights and the attention of all the Disney people. He LOVED the parade. I thought he was going to jump out of his skin when he saw Mickey Mouse and the other characters. We didn't take him up close, but he loved to watch them move around. Finley did pretty well, too. She kind of buried her face while we were on the rides, but loved to ride around looking at everything, and eating! Arlington, of course, LOVED every minute. Now that she is 41 inches tall, she is big enough to ride every ride in the park besides Space Mountain. For those of you that aren't familiar with Disney - that is their big roller coaster. Anyway, she got a chance to ride two new rides at this park - both roller coasters, one a water coaster. She couldn't get enough of either! She is such a little dare devil. She barely makes the cut off for these rides, but she was ready LAST year! :) The babies did really well and took a long afternoon nap, so that Mat and I could take turns taking Arlington on her favorite rides.

In the evening was the Christmas party. This is a must if you travel this time of year. The park closes at 7pm, but you can buy these tickets to the Christmas party that is from 7:30pm-12:00am. We would never make it to midnight, but we made it until 10pm! Which is good for a 4 1/2 year old! But you get a special bracelet that allows you to stay. The park pretty much empties out, and the characters all come out and dance with the kids in certain areas of the park. They don't stand around so you can stand in line to get pictures taken. They talk and play and dance with the kids. It is SO great. Arlington got a chance to dance with the stepsisters and stepmother from Cinderella and she loved that! They kept coming up and dancing and talking to her, and she was having a blast. They also give away free cookies and hot chocolate all night long. There are Christmas stories and music going on all over the park, and then they do a big special Christmas parade. It is really nice. Before the parade starts, while you are waiting around, the Disney people come out and play games with the kids - jump rope, hop scotch, limbo, etc. Right in the street. That is fun. AND all the rides are open, so you can continue to ride while the park is pretty empty. Which we did! It is a lot of fun. The babies just slept in the stroller, and that made it so easy. It was a great day.

Saturday - Epcot. This park Arlington found a new ride as well. Finally tall enough, so that made it exciting! We rode a few rides, ate some really good food, and headed to the countries area. Again, if you are not familiar with Epcot, they have a section with 12 countries that replicate a lot of the buildings, food, etc. Very cool. At Christmas time each country tells the Christmas story of their country (example - the Christmas witch in Italy - nice). They are cool stories. They also have Kid Stops where the kids can get a mask, then get a decoration to attach to the mask, and a stamp from that country. They color the mask as they go. We made it around 7 countries, so not bad! It is a long walk, and Arlington was a trooper. The babies slept for a good while when we were in the countries, so that helped a lot. Arlington enjoyed going to the countries and getting the stamps and coloring.

Epcot is decorated for Christmas as well, and each night someone famous reads the Christmas story. The night we were there was Steven Curtis Chapman (Christian singer). We stayed until we got tired for walking - which was around 8:30pm.

Sunday - Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios. AND today is 4 months since "Gotcha Day" with Cainan. We can't believe he has been with us that long already! Now our plan wasn't to do two parks today, but it worked out that way! We started with the Animal Kingdom. We had never been to this park before, and it was nice. There is a lot to do there, but I thought it was a lot like the zoo. There were a few fun rides, but mostly animal stuff, which was fine. Arlington got to ride a ride called "Dinosaur" (again because of her new height!). Now this ride was SCARY! But she loved it and rode it a couple of times. It was dark, but she knows it is pretend. From the first time we started going to Disney, we have explained to her that it is all pretend and just for fun and that nothing will hurt her. She has always been on the brave side, and since she knows there isn't anything real with the rides, she is free to just have fun. So on every new ride we start with "We know this is going to be fine because it is...." and she says "pretend!". And we say, "and nothing will hurt us because it is...." and she says "pretend!". It is cute, and it works. I don't want her to be a scardy cat like me. :) We took the safari ride there, and that was a nice. Arlington and Cainan loved seeing the animals. Finley fell asleep. The babies were both kind of tired early, but not cranky. Luckily they are little troopers. They both took another long nap at the park while Arlington rode and when they woke up we decided to go to MGM studios. There were a few rides we wanted to see if she was big enough for over there, and MGM has a great Christmas light show at night, so we went there about 4pm. MGM was open until 8pm, so that was perfect.

MGM- Arlington rode....the Tower of Terror. Now, for those of you that don't know, the name says it all. I would never ride this ride. It is dark, and in the end, the ride drops you straight down and then springs you back up. NO WAY. Arlington LOVED it!!! I can't believe she was big enough. Mat took her a couple of times. Yikes. We are in trouble with her! There is also another ride called Test Track which is a roller coaster type ride. She loved that as well. That was another new one! That was the best part of this year's trip - she was big enough for all these new rides. It kept it exciting for her! The Christmas light show at night is always very cool Every building on their "back lot" is completely decorated from top to bottom with rows and rows of lights. They set the lights to music and every couple of minutes a show starts. Then in the end, it snows which Arlington LOVES. Even the babies thought that was cool. For us, we don't get to see snow fall at Christmas, so that is always fun. The lights were donated by the Osmond family. They used to be at their home, and now they are at Disney. You can't imagine how many their are! After the show, we left for the night.

Monday - our last day! Everyone was being so good! Everyone slept well at night and the babies took great naps during the day. We were very very blessed with that! It gave us a chance to give Arlington some one on one attention which she really deserved. Anyway, we were back at the Magic Kingdom today. This is Arlington's favorite park so we always do this park twice. She LOVES to ride, and this is were most of the rides are! Today was spent most of our day with our good friend Julie, her parents and her kids. Her oldest daughter is Arlington's best friend, so that was fun for both the girls. Julie also has a set of boy/girl twins that are 5 months younger than our babies, so we were a large pack running around! Julie had never been to Disney before, so that was fun! The girls rode rides all day until about 3pm, and then we separated. Arlington was ready to ride some roller coasters, but her little friend isn't big enough. So after we said goodbye, Arlington was off! We stayed until about 7:30pm, and then decided to head out for home. It is only a 2 1/2 hour trip, and Arlington had school today, so we wanted to get home. We let Arlington pick a small gift (she chose a tinker bell polly pocket that she could dress) and got some things for the babies - Minnie mouse for Finley because she can say "mouse" and loves stuffed animals, and a Donald duck car for Cainan because he can make the "vroom" noise and wants nothing to do with stuffed animals!

We also bought Arlington a big gift, but we will wait and give her that for Christmas. She actually chose it, and talked about it several times during the weekend. We wanted to get her one more thing, so this worked out well!

So that was our weekend. We had a blast. Everyone was well behaved, we ate a lot of good food (even Mickey ears ice cream - yum!), and were sad when it ended. We do go several times through out the year, but there is nothing like the trip at Christmas!

Three stories:

1 - our first day there we saw a guy propose to a girl right in front of Cinderella's castle. That was really neat to see!

2 - In Epcot China section, we saw TONS of families with adopted Chinese children! It was just fun to see. We saw many blended families all weekend, but here we saw the most! We even saw some families with boys! And we saw one family with 4 little Chinese girls! Amazing!

3 - The last day, at the Magic Kingdom, we were watching a little show. One of the cast members came up to Arlington and said, "are you enjoying the show?" Arlington said, "no" and shook her head. The cast member laughed. I said to Arlington, "she didn't ask you to JOIN the show, she wants to know if you LIKE the show". Arlington said, "oh, yes!" She thought the lady was asking her to join them, and she didn't want to! Goof ball.

3 - Cainan learned to shug his shoulders and lift his hands up like "I don't know". It is took funny! He also said "hi" constantly to people all weekend.

Enjoy the pictures! There are lots! Oh, and I made a typo - instead of "hair bows" I wrote "hair boys". Sorry! Too hard to fix. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't be mad!!!

I am so sorry I forgot to blog yesterday! I am losing it. I thought all day today was Tuesday, so my intentions were to come home and blog. But it is Wednesday! Ugh. I am working some extra days this week because we are going to Disney on Friday, and I am all confused.

Anyway, I don't have any pictures to share either. Again with all the extra working I have been doing, we have basically come home in the evening, got dinner ready and got the kids ready for bed, and that is it! Plus I do a little online shopping and maybe some packing for our weekend trip! Sigh.

This week has been busy. Cainan had his occupational therapy visit on Monday. He did really well. Mat took him this time. He brought home some therapy putty we are to use in the evening to encourage him to stretch his fingers. He is doing well with the splints and his thumbs are getting better, but he still needs therapy. He is learning about following directions, and hopefully will become less stubborn (yeah right!). He did really well, and the therapist was pleased with his progress. She would like to see him once a week, but for right now, she is going to have to settle for every other week.

On Tuesday, Cainan has his 18 month appointment. He is doing pretty well, and the doctor was pleased overall. He wasn't crazy about his weight, which is now at 18 pounds 9 ounces. He lost a 1/2 a pound probably due to the surgery and his limited diet. But he is so small! Finley is well over 20 pounds, and she looks so chunky next to him! He is just a little thin rail. He drinks 3 cans of pediasure a day, yet his weight just isn't getting better. So we are doing a fatty diet, and will probably start to add the half and half to his pediasure like we did for Finley when she needed to gain weight. Whatever works! But he got some shots and now we don't have to go back until he turns two. He is finally caught up with his shots! Yeah!

Also on Tuesday our van wouldn't start when I came out from work. I got into the car, tried to start the engine, and NOTHING. Our van is not that old, and we keep it very well maintenanced, but what the heck??? I thought it was the battery, so I got out the manual and looked up about the battery. From what I read, the battery was fine. I called the dealership, and they thought it could be the battery or the altinator. Okay, so I needed a jump. We have very good friends that Mat works with, and they offered to go get the kids at daycare and then come and give me a jump. That was so great! But I had a co-worker with jumper cables, so Mat and our friends went to the school to get the kids while I took care of the car. The jump worked and I drove it to an Auto-Zone to have it checked. There wasn't anything wrong with anything! The Auto Zone people thought that maybe a light was on somewhere all day, and it drained the battery, and jump starting it is all it needed. And it has worked since - no problem! Stinking car. But we want to thank our friends Mike and Julie for being such wonderful friends, and my co-worker, Manny, for giving me a jump start! :)

So that is our week so far. The girls are doing great. Finley learned to say Santa. Cainan will point to himself when you say, "where's Cainan?". He has learned where his belly is as well.

This weekend Friday through Monday we are going to Disneyworld! We are all very excited about our trip! The weather is going to be in the 80s, but the humidity is down, so it should feel pretty good! We can't wait to go. So I won't be posting this weekend, but will return next Tuesday after our trip with a lot of good pictures.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Busy Sunday

We have been really busy here at our house! Now that we are in the Christmas Season, we are busy decorating, shopping and just enjoying the season. But time is going by quick! And now that Cainan's surgery is over and we are back to school/work time is tight. But that is okay - makes the time until Christmas gets here go that much faster. We did get our family stockings this year. Now that our family is complete, we decided to get our permanent yearly stockings. We ordered them from Pottery Barn, and are very pleased with them.` I took a picture, of course! :)

Let's see what has been going on:

Wednesday was my first day back to work after 2 weeks, and Cainan's first day back to school. Both of us where happy to be back in routine. He loves going to school and playing with the kids, and I really think he will get more language development there listening to the other kids. And I was glad to be back amongst adult conversation!

Thursday and Friday where pretty typical. Nothing to report. Busy working and getting the kids off to school. I don't know if I told you or not, but we had success with getting his occupational therapy and speech therapy covered by our insurance. After many phone calls, getting the state department involved, and having a contact on the inside, we got a phone call that we were indeed approved for both! Thank goodness! The insurance lady was so excited that she had to call me right away and tell me.

Saturday - Mat went to work for a few hours and Arlingon had her best friend over for a playdate. They play so nicely together that having this little girl over is actually a break for me! The babies took a nap while they played and then Mat took her home after dinner. In the morning Finley and I took a trip to the post office to mail a few things and then went to the toy store to do some shopping. Nice when they are little and can't reveal what has been bought! She enjoyed looking and testing all the toys that I put in the cart. we are very close to being done shopping for the kids.

Sunday - today we went to church and then Mat did his shopping for the kids this afternoon while the babies took a nap. I cleaned the house (yuk) and put laundry away (double yuk). Now that everyone is awake, we are all planning on going outside to play for awhile.

New happenings:

Finley says "french fry". Not surprising since it is her favorite food! She says it pretty well too! Also, we put lighted garland on our staircase, and I didn't want the babies to touch it so I told them it was hot. It worked, and now Finley will say "hot" and then blow on the lights to cool them! Too funny! Hope the same works when we put up the tree!
And Finley has a little book that has babies on each page. IT is a "good night" baby book. Well, one of the babies is Asian. Every time we come to that page, Finley touches the baby and says "nice". (This is what we tell her when she touches Cainan!) We kind of think she thinks Cainan's name is "nice" because she hears it in reference to him all the time!

Arlington is counting down the days until our Disney trip next weekend! We went last year at Christmas time as well, and it is so much fun! If you are able, I highly recommend Disney at Christmas! We can't wait to go! We are going for 4 days. Arlington would live there if she could. We are lucky to live so close by.

Cainan is donig well. He says "hi" really clearly now, and "more" is getting better. He has started using the sign for "eat" more appropriately, and even started saying something like "milk". He is also practicing blowing on the lights, which is good to see. With his palate being open, he wasn't able to have air movement like that before, so couldn't make that sound. Daily progress! He still sticks his tongue out from time to time, but even that is getting less and less, and mostly only when he is concentrating!

Cainan also turns 18 months old today! Time is going by fast! We are soon going to celebrate 4 months since Gotcha day - hard to believe!

Here are some pictures!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tomorrow Tomorrow!

I will post tomorrow! We are busy tonight getting things together for Christmas and making some final decisions, so I don't have time for a post! Tomorrow I will see you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday good news

Hi all! Today's post will be kind of short because Mat and I need to spend the evening discussing Christmas presents for the kids. Lots of shopping in our future!!!

Everything is going well. Cainan is back to his old self. Being a good boy and a lot of fun. He is really getting lively. Babbling a ton, and we said goodbye to the bibs for good! (except for meals, of course) He is no longer drooling, and that surgery was worth every bit just for that alone! Yeah! It is nice to go out without a bib. Slowly he will get rid of his "gear".

Cainan had his doctor appointment today with the surgeon. Today was follow up from his surgery 2 weeks ago. The surgeon was VERY pleased with his palate. Looks like the little hole we thought he had closed itself, and now his palate is completely in tact. It looks great, and we were cleared for him to return to daycare and to eat whatever he wants! Yeah! He had chicken nuggets for dinner to celebrate and I never saw him eat so fast! We don't need to see the surgeon again until February and at that time they will start injecting his lip to soften to tissue to get him ready for his lip and nose revision he will have next summer. So that was a huge success. He also had a helmet appointment today and the helmet person thought that another month/month and a half and he will be done with the helmet as well. Another victory! She hasn't see much change since the last appointment which probably means that his head is reaching the end of the growth it is going to do, so that is when she decides the helmet is done. We don't have to see her for another 3 weeks and then we will know more about when we will be done with that.

The girls are doing great. Both were at school today while Cainan had his appointments and we did some Christmas shopping. Finley now says the word "no". Fun fun! She says it A LOT. No to everything. Great. She is saying "cracker" better and is working on saying "brother". That is a hard one. I know what she is saying, and she points to Cainan or Cainan's picture, but it is still kind of garbled. And "snowman" is getting clearer".

Arlington is the same! A little chatter box. I asked her before bed tonight about her day (we got in REALLY late from the doctor's appointment) and she went into a 10 minute, non stop, non breathing rendition of every detail of her day. But - in no particular order. She was all over the place, and it was quite funny. I really had to pay attention.

I didn't take many pictures. After taking over 200 to get the right pictures for our Christmas photos this year, I wasn't in the mood! But here are three to enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Week in review

We had a very fun and eventful week since Tuesday. Here is a small recap:

Wednesday: No school today for the kids. They were all home with me during the day and we had a nice day. I even ran errands with all three of them! Very proud of myself. We didn't do much. I needed to make some returns and pick up some diapers, so that is all we did, but it felt like a victory. The kids had a good time. The babies love to ride in the stroller and Arlington is old enough to walk so I thought - we can do this! And everyone behaved. Especially with the stores being decorated for Christmas, they had a chance to look at all the decorations. Then I spent some time trying to get a picture of all three kids for our Christmas cards this year. We wanted to do several different shots for a collage, but I knew attempting it by myself might prove to be challenging. I was right! After taking 48 pictures, only two came out half decent, and they will have to do! I was SWEATING! Mostly it was our little rascal, Finley, who was causing the trouble. She wasn't interested in sitting still. Cainan is happy sitting in one place (but I couldn't get him to smile) and Arlington is a big girl, but Finley - too much to do! Pull the grass, look at the sky, explore the yard. Sit still - no fun!!

Thursday - Thanksgiving! We had a nice day together as a family. We don't have any family that lives near us, so our Thanksgivings are always very quiet. In the 10 years Mat and I have been married, we haven't lived close enough to family to have Thanksgiving with them, so our tradition has go OUT to eat! HA! Why not? Neither of us like turkey, and to make a big meal for just us (and now Arlington which doesn't eat much), never made much sense. When the kids are older, and eat more, we will eat HAM at home. But for now, we have always looked for a place that serves pie, and go out for dinner. It is fun, and we are NEVER alone! You wouldn't believe the people that go out to eat on Thanksgiving. As we were leaving the restaurant this year, a party of 18 was coming in to eat. But we had a nice meal, and all the kids behaved, and we didn't eat turkey. Actually, our waitress commented that we were the only ones she had all day that hadn't ordered turkey. But remember, the pilgrims didn't eat turkey either! Actually, they were thinking about making it the national bird. So we are sticking with that story. :)
But before dinner, we started the day by watching the parade, which Arlington loves. Then after lunch Arlington and I went to the movies to see "Enchanted" while the babies slept. It is nice to have a kid to go to these movies with! We had a good time eating popcorn.

Friday - today is usually one of my FAVORITE days of the year! I love to go shopping on Black Friday! AND, I am one of the early birds. I get up to be at the stores at 6am and get all of my shopping done and am home by 9am. Now, I am not hard core. I do skim the ads the night before, and cut the coupons, and have a plan, BUT I don't go to toy stores or electronic stores. I have never done a toy store, but I did go to an electronic store one year, and I thought I was going to be murdered by the hurd of people, so NEVER AGAIN. :)
Anyway, I just usually do some shopping for the grandparents and the kids on this day, clothes wise, and maybe hit like Michaels and Joann Fabrics. But this year, I didn't go. I had a terrible headache and didn't feel well Thursday night so I went to bed late, so the 6am thing didn't sound so good, and really, I couldn't justify going this year. We brought gifts back from China for the grandparents for Christmas, and I wasn't successful last year with clothes shopping for the kids. So I decided to pass. Sigh. But it IS fun. :)

So Arlington and I decorated for Christmas today. Mat went to work for a few hours, so we got all of the Christmas stuff out, and put on some Christmas movies and had a great time. Cainan had no idea what was happening except the house exploded with santas and snowmen. He was having a blast! We have some singing items, and he really liked those. Finley was into it as well. She kept diving into the boxes and pulling this out to look at. I showed her a santa and I said, look Finley! And she said, "Elmo!". She was close. He WAS in red. I am teaching her to say Santa and Snowman. We will see if she picks it up. Cainan likes the jingle bells the best, and was dancing all around with all the stuff. It was great! That was our big event for the day.

Saturday - Today was our busiest morning yet. This morning we got everyone up and dressed in their Christmas clothes so that we could take the kids Christmas picture. With Mat's help, I knew it would be easier! Well, it was more INTERESTING! It went pretty well, but again, I think that it is just very hard to get two little ones under two to cooperate when taking pictures. We took many, many, many, and we have a few that will work. The looked so cute in their Christmas clothes, but it didn't make them better behaved! Mat and I were tired after that work out! After that, we got everyone dressed in their Chinese outfits and headed for the beach. Now, for all of you that live up north, this is going to make you jealous. Yes, we were at the beach, in our bathing suits, on November 24th. It was in the 80's today. We have lived in warm weather for about 6 years, and I STILL can't get used to listening to Christmas music and wearing shorts.

Anyway, we headed for the beach. We wanted a picture at the beach and in their Chinese outfits, so to save sanity, we combined the two. On the walk from the parking lot to the actual sand, Cainan got fearful. The sound of the ocean scared him pretty badly. He fussed quite a bit. He didn't like the loud roar of the waves. AND, even thought we have a sand box, he didn't like the sand at first, either. He was very scared and cried until he realized that all was going to be okay. But it took awhile. So the look on his face in some of the pictures - well - explains it all. BUT, once he got his bearings, and realized that the sand here was the same as the sand at home, and he got used to the ocean noise, he calmed down. I took him down and put his feet in the water. He didn't like that one bit, but he did it anyway. That is as close that any of us got to the water today. There was a warning for dangerous marine life - a little girl got stung while we were there, so no ocean time today. Bummer.
Finley and Arlington loved the beach. Finley is a little dare devil, so she kept trying to run into the water. She rolled in the sand, which you will see from several of the pictures, and had a great time. And Arlington has always been a lover of the ocean and sand. She hasn't ever known any different. We have lived next to the ocean since she was born, so it is part of her. We were there for about 2 hours, and the kids all took REALLY good naps today!

AFter nap, we all headed outside and put up our Christmas lights. That went pretty well. We need a few more extension cords, then we can light up our palm trees! HA!

A few new things:
Finley - new things: roars like a bear, says "moo", "cup", "book"
Cainan - talking more - finally! Since Thursday he has felt so much better, and many of his words are back. AND he learned to say "more" - or is VERY close. He says it and does the sign at the same time - we were so happy! He isn't drooling as much, almost doesn't need the bib any more. He learned to come down the stairs by himself. He learned where his eyes and nose were. So progress for our little man!

Here are some pictures to enjoy! Sorry - there are a good bit, but I just couldn't chose! And family, the rest will be on shutterfly within the next couple of days. Except the Christmas pictures! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday in our Humble Aboad

Well, the best thing about the time from our last post - we AREN'T in the hospital! Cainan is doing very well, and getting a little better every day. We are over 1 week post surgery now, and his mouth is healing nicely. There does not seem to be any problems so far. Yes, he still has a hole in his palate and food still gets into his nose, but it isn't as bad as it used to be. We know that he will have that fixed in the future, so for now, it just is what it is! (Sorry Carrie, I know you hate that sentence!)

Anyway, he is healing nicely. His tongue is almost down to normal size. It is still swollen in places, but getting better. And his palate swelling is down as well. He is looking pretty handsome! He is still drooling a ton, but it gets a little less each day. Instead of changing his bib 6-7 times a day, we are down to two or three times.

He is also not eating great. He eats okay, but seems to have a bit of an upset stomach. He contracted a virus while in the hospital, so I think it has made its way to his stomach. He is gagging a bit, but it is lessening as well. He isn't unpleasant - just doesn't want to eat much. We aren't pusing it at this point. We also think his jaw is still really sore. He doesn't like to chew much. He is better with thin liquids and things like yogurt. But each day I see him use it a little more. I think he is afriad it will hurt, so he doesn't want to move his mouth! Poor guy. I don't want his jaw to get stiff, so we continue to work at it each day.

The most disappointing thing (besides the hole in his palate) is that he has really stopped talking again. Now, I know that it will pick back up once he is feeling better, but I have a good feeling we are going to have to reteach him a lot of things. He won't say much. None of the words he knew before the surgery. All he does is "uh, uh" when he wants something, and signs "please". But we are working on it. He has to use his jaw to close his lips and he just isn't into doing that right now. Sigh. Baby steps.....

Other happenings:
Arlington and Finley had their Thanksgiving feast at school today. Today was the last day of school for them this week. Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten doesn't run the rest of the week, so everyone is just staying home. I am home anyway, so no biggie! Mat is off on Thursday, so that will be fun. But the girls seemed to have fun at the feast at school. They had a lot of good fun and fun projects.

Arlington had fun tonight deciding on her dress for Christmas. I had gone to the stores and brought home a few for her to pick from. We had her model each one and let her decide on the one she wanted. She is growing up so fast! She loved doing a little fashion show. I have moved from the "infant/preschool" section of the stores to the "big girl" section! She isn't a baby any more! :( I can' believe our baby is going to be 5 soon. She is such a big helper to us with everything - including the babies. I don't know what I would do without her. She is wild and loves to have fun and gets carried away, but she is also smart and generous and loves everyone with her whole heart. We couldn't ask for a better daughter.

Then there is Finley....just kidding! She is a pistol, that one. She is the little boss of our house, that is for sure. She is funny and loves being a comedian. But I REALLY wanted a girly girl, and she is so far from that. As you will see from the pictures below that I can dress her up, but she finds a way to become disheveled. Neither of my girls are "girly" and that is okay. I didn't think it is possible, but I think she is wilder than Arlington was. She knows what she wants and she will get it no matter what! She is trouble, that one! This week, I caught her throwing rocks against our garage door because she liked the noise.

Anyway, she has learned some new words. She now can say Elmo, leaf, stop. She will also make a little sentence. She sees a dog/bird and if it leaves, she wants to know where it went, so she will say, "woof, woof go?" or "tweet, tweet, go?" and will put her arms up in wonder. Too cute.

Cainan - well, he is trying to say "tweet, tweet". Today he went "ee, ee" and started flapping his arms like crazy when he saw a bird. It was really cute! A breakthrough!
And yesterday he had his first experience in a toy store. He was on overload! He wanted to touch everything. He was bouncing in the cart - he was so excited! It was a lot of fun.
Today we were in Target, and there was a large tree in the entrance way. He wanted to check it out, so we went over to look at it, and he proceeded to try and pull it into the cart! He about pulled it over! We got too close! But he started clapping and kicking - he loved it! The store was playing Christmas music, and he was bopping his head to the music. This is going to be a fun Christmas - I can't wait to see what happens when we decorate and get our own tree. He is going to be so excited!

Anyway, that has been our last couple of days. As we come upon our first Thanksgiving as a family of 5, we are thankful for our health, and that Cainan is here with us. We are greatful that we can give our kids a good home and a good life and glad that we are all together. Too all of our family and Friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here are some pictures

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday report

Well, we are home from the hospital! Cainan was released yesterday late morning and we were home by 1pm. It is nice to be home. Cainan was happy to see his toys and even see his sisters! He didn't have fever since Wednesday evening, so we got to leave. Yeah! After 4 nights and 5 days in the hospital, we couldn't get out of there fast enough. I know it isn't that long, but it is hard to entertain a toddler that long. He was so bored - we all were. Cainan didn't do as well this surgery as he has in he past. It seemed to take him longer to recover from the anesthesia, and just had generalized grumpiness. He got a little better each day, but he doesn't want to eat much. He will take Pediasure, and is on a liquid diet until Monday, but doesn't want much else. He doesn't want to move his jaw much - I think it is sore from the holding his mouth open during surgery. I am trying to work it during meal times so it doesn't get more stiff, but he resists. He just wants the food to slide down his throat like it always has, but now with the palate in place, he is gagging more. It is weird! He never did that before, and it is new for him.

He still has a terrible cough. It is all in his throat from the tube from surgery, but it is annoying him as well. He coughs a lot when he eats and that doesn't help either! Poor guy. The cough is the one thing that hasn't really improved.

So the palate is done for now. He does have a small hole from his nose down into his mouth, so thin liquids still come through his nose if he coughs hard or sneezes while he eats. The doctor said that is the hardest part to close, and since Cainan's surgery was challenging, he couldn't get it all the way closed. So we will have to have a revision in the future. I am sure we will talk about that when we see the surgeon for his follow up appointment in a few weeks. I am sure it will be a year from now - from what I understand they like to have the palate heal for a year before messing with it again. He will still have the nose and lip revision in the spring, though. We aren't out of the woods, but still have a break for awhile. Now we can just let him heal and enjoy his first Thanksgiving and Christmas with us!

He is doing well. Getting back to himself and playing. He doesn't seem to mind the arm restraints, and since this surgery is on the inside of his mouth, we can take them off for bigger intervals because we aren't worried about him touching the sutures. He isn't allowed to put toys or his hands in his mouth, so if he is out of sight, he has to wear them. But the little breaks make him very happy. He is easy going about them anyway, so it isn't a big deal. I am not sure how long he has to wear them. At least two weeks. Beyond that, I won't know until his appointment on the 27th. He is taking the pediasure well, and we are working through getting some baby food, cream of wheat and other liquids in him until Monday.

In other news, here are some updates:
Arlington - said something funny. You know the "Bee Movie" that is out? Mat took her to see it, as I have posted before. Anyway, we were talking about some things she wants for Christmas and she said, "hey, I know something I want - the NUMBER ONE Bee Movie!" Advertising works for Arlington!

Arlington had also made a get well Card for Cainan. It was really cute. She wanted to make one because she said she missed him while he was away and sick. Very cute. She also made one for Finley because she didn't want Finley to feel left out. It was a card that said "I love you" since she wasn't sick, she told me.

Arlington is also learning to tell DIGITAL time. She is figuring out numbers - she can count to 100, but doesn't always recognize the numbers out of sequence. Today she finally got it, and could read the clock correctly. She was so proud of herself and we were proud of her too!

Finley - has some new words. She says "sticker", "mommy", "diaper", "Finley". She can count to three, kind of. If I say "one", she will say "two, three". It is cute. I remember Arlington started the same way. I could never get her to say one. I would say one, and she automatically would say "two". Finley is the same!

And our bad baby got into some chocolate this morning. Thank goodness for her big sister Arlington always keeping an extra eye on her! Mat was making breakfast while I was getting Cainan up, and Finley was walking around. All of the sudden, Arlington said, "Finley has chocolate on her face". Mat went around the corner, and she had gotten into my purse and was sucking the chocolate off some milkduds I had from the movies the previous night! She was covered - her face, hands, clothes. She went running when she saw Mat had caught her, laughing all the way! That one is trouble!

Cainan - he has learned to point to things he has noticed. It is cool to see. He is becoming more aware of his environment. He is also doing a lot of dancing. He marches around and will shake his head back and forth. He even spins in a circle! It is really cute. He loves music and singing.

Here are a few pictures from our last days at the hospital and today at home. ENjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quick update

I know it isn't Saturday yet, but I wanted to update everyone on Cainan. I don't have any more pictures, but we are still at the hospital. We thought we would get to go home today, but he ended up getting a fever this morning. The doctor doesn't want to take any chances, so he wants to keep us here until he is fever free for at least 24 hours. He drew blood cultures, urine cultures, some other blood, nose culture, ear culture, chest xray and CT scan. Fun huh? Cainan got 45 minutes of sleep the whole day! He was miserable. The highest his fever went was 103.5. We didn't get the CT scan done because of that high fever, so we will get that done tomorrow. They have to sedate him for that, so they weren't comfortable doing that with the fever.

Anyway, he is a mess! Poor baby. So miserable. Mat is going to come and stay with him tonight because we don't have any clothes left. We will return tomorrow morning and then Mat can go to work. The doctor thinks we will go home either tomorrow evening, but more likely Friday. We have to wait and see what the cultures grow and they take anywhere from 24-48 hours to do so. Fun, fun! We just want to go home and get some rest. I think that in the end it is going to just be a virus because he is one a strong antibiotic and that really would take care of anything big. But the doctor thinks he could have a bad cold, the flu, or RSV. So we will see. Sigh.

Okay - that is the update. I will let you know more on Saturday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Well, Monday was the surgery and it was a success. We got to the hospital at 6:15 am, and we hoped we would go to surgery soon after that, yet it was 9:50 am before Cainan was taken to the OR. He was a good boy and just played while we waited. The surgery lasted until 11:30 - much quicker than we thought. Dr. Stelnicki said everything went really well and that it was a little bit of a challenge because the cleft was large, but he was able to close it. We were taken to the recovery room around 12pm, and stayed there until 2pm when his room was ready. He was in the PICU on Monday until today because he needed to be on the monitor and be monitored closely. His tongue is REALLY swollen, which you will see from the pictures, and because of that, they had to put a stitch in it to keep it from slipping back and blocking his airway. I am sure that was the most uncomfortable thing, to have such a swollen tongue. He was pretty miserable all day Monday - just not himself and didn't want to stay awake. He was very irritable and the nurses told us that the more surgeries kids have, the longer it takes for them to recover from anesthesia. It is showing because he just doesn't have any pep. He had a good night and slept all night and had pain medicine just to keep him comfortable. He went to bed around 7pm, and got up around 6:30pm. He was disturbed a few times over night by the nurse, but he barely woke up for that.
Today he is a little more himself, but still doesn't want to do much. We did get released from the PICU and are on a regular floor. We even went to the playroom for a little while which he enjoyed. We were hoping to go home today, but Dr. Stelnicki wants him to stay one more night. His tongue is still really swollen so he wants to wait until tomorrow morning. That is fine - we figured we were staying two nights. Since my mom is with me this time, the days don't seem as long.
So that is our story. We are waiting to have a CT scan so that the doctor can make sure all is well with his palate repair. Then we will have a peaceful evening. We have our own room and it is HUGE and wonderful! We love not having to share. My mom is going to stay with Cainan overnight tonight and I am going to stay at the clubhouse. Even though Cainan slept all night, I slept about 2 hours because our roommate's little girl crieds from 8pm-4am because her mom had let her sleep all day. It was miserable. Thank goodness Cainan was able to sleep through it!
Here are a few pictures.

Sunday before surgery

I took some pictures of the kids this day, and just wanted to post them separately. They were all playing around acting goofy and we had a nice day. We all went out to dinner to let Cainan have his "last meal" before surgery, and he scarfed down chicken nuggets and french fries! Good thing because he won't be seeing those again for a few days! Here are some pictures

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday before surgery

This is Cainan's last weekend before his surgery. We are stuffing him full of finger foods because he won't get to enjoy them for awhile! Poor baby. Tomorrow night we are going out to dinner for one last good meal before he has to go on a liquid diet for about 2 weeks.

Not much going on the last several days. I had to work Wed, Thursday, Friday, so not much to report! Cainan had his clearance for surgery on Friday at the pediatrician's office. He is all clear. He was still 19 pounds - hasn't gained anything in the last two weeks since he had a shots visit. Sigh. The doctor wasn't concerned, though. He is 31 1/2 inches tall. We also got a call from the hospital that said that we had to be at the hospital at 6:15 Monday morning. No idea what the actual surgery time is, though. We never do. They usually go from youngest to oldest. Let's hope we are one of the first cases. Doctor Stelnicki does multiple surgeries a day, so we don't know where we fit in yet.

Friday we went to a little get together at one of friend's houses. It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of our friend's there with their kids so all the little ones got to play together and the adults had a little chance for some conversation! Not much, though, since we were constantly making sure all the kids were accounted for. But it was fun. We always enjoy our time with these families.

Today Mat took Arlington to see "The Bee Movie" She has wanted to see it, and has been looking forward to it all week. She really loved it, and Mat said it was a good movie. They went to lunch first, and then to the movie and I stayed here and cleaned and played with the babies. They went with one of Arlington's best little friends and her dad, and had a great time.

I will try to post from the hospital on Tuesday (I know there is internet access) to let you know how Cainan is doing. But if not, I will post as soon as we get home which will be anywhere from Tuesday night to Thursday.

A few cute things:
Finley - learned to say "ta-da!!" and throw her hands in the air. And when she does it, Cainan throws his hands in the air! She also said "feet" today as well. Her vocabulary is growing by the day

Cainan - babbling more. He also learned to stand up from where he is to get up! He was using furniture, etc. that he would have to crawl to, to pull to a stand before he could walk around, but a day or so ago, he just started standing up from his spot in the middle of the floor. Yeah!

Arlington - so funny. I wish I could bottle her 4 year old innocence and throw it on her when she becomes a mean teenager. :) Yesterday, we were riding in the car, and she was admiring the stars. She said, "mommy, the stars are following us". We talked about how it definitely looks that way, and she said, "no, really mommy. I know they are following us because I speak starish and that is what they told me." Apparently there is a star language!
Then, that gave me the opportunity to talk with her about how the Wise men followed the star that led them to Jesus (since I knew she knew the story), and she started asking questions about it and wanted to know if they walked there. We talked about it, and she said, "well, I guess they could walk, but that would be boring. You know, they could also leapfrog there". See, the Wisemen didn't know what they were missing!
Last, we have a gate at the top of our stairs to keep the babies from tumbling down when we play upstairs. The gate is not bolted to our wall, we can completely take it down and use it other places. Anyway, Arlington wanted to go downstairs to get a drink before bed. Mat said to her, "take the gate down and you can go". She said okay, and we didn't hear from her for a very long time. I asked what she was doing downstairs, and she said she would be right up. When she came up she said, "I did what daddy told me, I took the gate downstairs". Sure enough, she had carried the gate down all of our stairs! When asked why, she said, "well, daddy said to take the gate down". Oops! Poor baby.

Enjoy a few pictures from the last couple of days! Sorry today I didn't have time to edit them first! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday fun at the Pletcher house

Well, I know it has only been a few days since I last posted, but I wanted to get back on schedule. Not much new going on. Here is the recap!

Monday - Cainan's readoption day!! As many of you know, since I didn't travel to China, Cainan wasn't an offical United States citizen. He was a permanent resident with a green card. Well that all changed on this day. We went before a judge and swore that we would treat him as a biological child and he would have all the rights and privileges that the girls do (which at their age they have NONE - ha!). It took about 10 minutes, but the judge was really nice. He said he loved doing things like this - that in family court, most of the time it is battles and bad stuff. So he was very excited to do an adoption hearing. Our lawyer was there with us, who was also really great. Everything went smoothly, and the judge signed on the dotted line and that was that. Now we can apply for his certificate of citizenship, and once that comes, he will get a social security number. So I would say by the spring we should have all that stuff. Oh, and his birth certificate as well! The judge gave Cainan a toy - he had them hiding behind his bench, and Cainan was allowed to go up and pick one. We had our picture taken with him and he said he wanted us to send him a copy. Great experience!

Tuesday - not much today. Cainan had speech therapy this morning and I took Finley with us. That was a circus! But Cainan made a lot more noise because Finley was there! Mostly screeching due to not wanting to share, but noise none the same! Finley had a doctor's appointment, so I didn't want to drop her off at school for just an hour and then go and get her! So she just came along. Cainan joined Arlington at school after his therapy and they came home later in the day.

New stuff - not much! Arlington is really into Christmas and what she wants this year. As the toy magazines come in the mail we give them to her to go through and have fun with. She got out a pen and started circling everything on every page! Sigh. She didn't get it. Or maybe she did! Ha! She is so goofy.

Finley - saying more words. Today she said "Cainy". It was really cute. She knows who her brother is, and looks for him when I say his name. And this morning at speech therapy, every time the speech therapist said something, she would repeat it. That wasn't helpful! She is really rambunctious. She loves to wrestle. And she is becoming a little daredevil. She will climb on anything! Throw caution to the wind! that is Finley's motto. Ah, just like her sister - aren't I lucky?

Cainan - talking more. today he said "up" or something like it, and "out". And his sign for "please" has gotten really good. We are going to teach him a few more signs to get him through until he gets to talking more. And he seems to be getting a few new teeth. He has just a few more days before his big palate surgery, so we are stuffing him full of finger foods. After the surgery, he won't be seeing those again for about a month!

I don't have many pictures since it has only been a day and a half since my last post! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weekend recap

Well here we are at the end of a fun week and weekend! Let me start from where we left off!

Wednesday - Halloween! We had a nice day. Arlington and the babies all had parties at the school for Halloween. They did a little parade and had a nice party afterwards in each room. Arlington and the babies all came home with many treats from the day and a definite sugar high! Arlington was Supergirl this year for Halloween. The babies didn't have costumes. We decided to wait one more year for that. Besides, Mat had to get the kids ready this morning for school all by himself since I had to be at work early, and I think that would have been a bit much! So they wore little Halloween shirts instead. They are too young for trick or treat anyway - next year they are definitely dressing!
Then Wednesday night was our Halloween party. We had a few of our friends with their kids over for trick or treat. Everyone had a great time. We had pizza and then got the kids dressed to go. We got to do about 5-6 houses before the downpour of rain began and chased us indoors. But that was plenty of trick or treat for these little ones! The got a lot of candy just at those houses, so they were very happy with the loot. When they came back in we had dessert and let the kids play a little longer before everyone went home and our kids crashed. It was a fun day.

Thursday - our 10th wedding anniversary! Neither Mat or myself can believe that we have been married for 10 years. Where has the time gone? We celebrated with presents, but are planning on taking a nice trip together some time in the spring once Cainan gets past all of his surgeries. But it was a nice day. It is always nice to remember the day I got married to the most wonderful man in the world.

Friday - not much exciting this day. Finley had a doctor's appointment, so she got to stay home from school. Cainan and Arlington went, though. In the evening we just packed for our weekend at Jacksonville. Cainan turns 17 months old today! Where is the time going? We have had him home for almost 3 months already - amazing.

Saturday - Cainan's first road trip with the family! We left midmorning for Jacksonville to visit our new nephew! We were excited to see him and our niece (and of course their parents!) Mat's sister, Carrie and her husband Jonathan are the new parents. Carrie's twin, Teen, and her husband Frank also live in Jacksonville, so we had a nice day visiting with all of them. Our nephew is REALLY sweet and cute and it was nice to hold a little baby. And our kids had a great time playing with our niece who is 2. They ran all over the place! 5 kids - what a full house! It was fun. We spent the whole day with Carrie and her family and then spent the night at Teen's house, since there isn't room for all 5 of us at Carrie's. That way we had a chance to visit with both families. It was nice. Everyone is doing well.

Sunday - spent the morning with the new baby and kids and then headed home around 12:30pm. We live 4 1/2 hours away from them, so we wanted to get on the road around the time the babies were going to take their naps, so they could rest in the car. We got home around 6:00pm (after a few pit stops!) and had dinner, and put everyone to bed early. Everyone is still a little messed up from the time change (although we did get lucky and everyone slept until 7am - yes!!!) so all wanted to go to sleep. We unpacked and got ready for the week ahead, and now we are ready to go to sleep ourselves. It has been a nice weekend, and it went by fast!

Tomorrow is Cainan's re-adoption hearing, and he will be an official citizen and we can then apply for his Florida birth certificate. Yeah! I am going to work, and will leave for the hearing and then return. (don't ask - I am a sucker) But I will post again on Tuesday with more pictures and updates!

Here are some pictures from last week and the weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sunday post instead

Okay my faithful friends! I will post tomorrow (Sunday) instead of today. We are getting ready to leave for Jacksonville to see our new nephew/cousin for the first time! So we will be back Sunday evening and I will post Halloween and weekend pictures then! Don't forget to turn your clocks back!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday fun

Here we are at Tuesday already! Time sure does go by quickly when you are busy! Here is a quick recap of our last couple of days:

Sunday - spent the day cleaning and Mat went in to work for a few hours to work in peace. When he got home, it was time to work in the yard. Even though it is the end of October, we are still experiencing 90 degree days, so the kids put on thier bathing suits and played in the water and with the water table while we worked. They had a great time. Everyone was tired and went to be early!

Monday - no school for any of the kids today. Today was a teacher work day, so everyone was home with me all day. We played and just goofed around. Everyone behaved really well, and we all had fun. It was a rainy day for the most part, so we were stuck inside, but that didn't seem to matter.

Tuesday - Today Arlington and Finley went to school for the day. Cainan had speech therapy this morning and then an appointment for a helmet adjustment and then an appointment with the surgeon. As most of you know, Cainan's palate surgery is on November 12th. So today the surgeon wanted to discuss that surgery with us and what he would be doing. He also wanted to see how Cainan's lip was coming along. We are now massaging it three times a day to break up the scar tissue and soften his lip. Hopefully he will start to look less and less like Elvis overtime. The doctor is going to start giving him injections in his lip to help with that as well. They will do the first one during his next surgery, and then he will get some in the office after that. Fun times! But his head is showing some nice rounding, so his helmet got adjusted - yeah! And speech therapy went well. Cainan still isn't saying much while we are there, but I am getting a lot of good pointers from the therapist that are really helping him progress at home. Tonight we cleaned up because tomorrow we are having a Halloween party before trick or treat. Arlington is so excited!

Some fun stuff:
Arlington - she said/did something funny the other day that I wanted to share. We don't let her watch a lot of TV, but she really wanted to watch Scooby Doo on Sunday morning while I was cleaning. I came in the living room and caught her digging around in a cereal box. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "the TV told me there were prizes in the cereal box, so I am looking for it." That is so great - the TV is now giving her directions.

Finley - learned to say the word "please" and do the sign for it. She is so cute when she says it. She also says "moon". Don't know why. She just likes being cute I guess. But she remains our little "bad baby". That girl is just trouble! She likes mischief very much.

Cainan - learned to say "hi"and "bye" and do the sign for please. We were really impressed. He says hi all the time to people now. The "bye" doesn't come as easy. He is doing a lot more babbling AND a lot LESS drooling. We used to have to change his bib 6-7 times a day. Now we are down to 1-2. I actually see him close his mouth more to swallow and wipe the saliva away from his lips. Yeah! That is great progress.

Here are numerous pictures from the last several days. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin patch day!

Well, today we went to the pumpkins patch for Cainan's first Halloween. Just a brief recap of the last couple of days for us. But before that, I want to say happy birthday to my dad (on the 24th), happy birthday to Zac - Mat's brother (on the 25th) and happy anniversary to my brother AJ and my sister-in-law Tricia! (on the 26th)

Wednesday: I didn't have to work this Wed. I got to come home. We didn't need so much staff, so I got the day off. I was glad because I have been feeling under the weather. Arlington has given me her cold, and I am still feeling it. So I was glad for the time off. I came home and tried to relax, but I still felt like I needed to be somewhat productive around the house! I finished painting in Cainan's room. We are really close to having his room completely done - yeah!

Thursday - Cainan had a small check up today. He just went in for shots - didn't see the doctor, just the medical assistant. They gave him 6 shots, poor guy! Mat took him to the appointment since I was working. He also had some blood drawn because when he was there the last time, they did a lead level and it came back slightly elevated. The normal range is between 0-10, and Cainan's was a 7. The doctor wasn't that surprised since he is from China, but wanted to make sure the level was on its way down. The doctor wasn't concerned, since he was still in the normal range, and said the level should come down to 0 on its own over time, but just wanted to keep an eye on it. We do have a good pediatrician! Just one more thing that had me a little worked up! I feel like we can't get out from underneath the stress! Between Cainan and Finley, we are losing a lot of sleep these days.
Cainan went to school after his appointment, but by the end of the day, he had a fever from his shots. (or so we thought at the time!) He was really hot, so when he came home he didn't want to eat much and fell asleep early. We gave him some tylenol and that brought his fever down.
But there is a funny story that went along with the doctor's visit. Mat said he and the medical assistant were talking, and she asked how long we have had Cainan. Mat told her, and with ALL seriousness she responded, "so are you going to keep him?" I guess Cainan is our new puppy.

Friday - Cainan felt cool by this morning so we sent him to school. He did well all day. But when he got home in the evening, he didn't want to eat dinner. He didn't eat ANYTHING. That was a first. He just cried and cried, so we put him to bed. We were supposed to go to a trick or treat thing with some friends this evening, but it got rained out. It was good in a way, because Cainan just clearly didn't feel well.

Saturday - Cainan woke up not feeling that well this morning. And wouldn't eat breakfast or lunch! By the time he did finally eat, it had been over 24 hours since he had any food at all. We were pretty upset. We finally got him to eat some fruit and some pediasure after his VERY short nap today. Oh, and by the way, he woke up at 5am! It has been a long day. He was so overtired, that I knew he would take a short nap, and sure enough - one hour later, he was up. He was miserable the entire day. He cried basically non-stop all morning, and all afternoon. Finally after some food he looked a little better, but still not himself. He basically just sat around all evening after we came back from the pumpkin patch, and then we put him to bed after some dinner. His fever is back - not really high, but he is warm. So no helmet for him until it goes down (helmet rules). I gave him some medication before bed, but let's hope he sleeps okay and feels better by tomorrow. I am not sure if he is still feeling the effects of the shots or he is now coming down with something. I wouldn't be surprised with us being sick and he just starting daycare. But his timing is a little bad. With a major surgery in two weeks, we are desparately trying to keep him well. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Anyway - back to the pumpkin patch! One of my favorite trips of the year. We are not big Halloween people, but we love the fall. We have lived in warm weather for 6 years, and this is the time of year I REALLY miss the cool weather of the fall. We went to the pumpkin patch and it was 80 degrees, but we still had a lot of fun. Finley was a riot - she loves every pumpkin and went around trying to pick them all up! She was really into it. Arlington couldn't decide on just one. She wanted to biggest pumpkin they had, of course, but in the end we talked her into a manageable sized one. Cainan wasn't sure what to make of the whole experience. I think he was feeling sick, so he wasn't really into it. But I am sure it looked a little scary to him. All of these big orange things that mommy and daddy want him to pose on. But he was a trooper and we got a few good pictures.
The carving at home was fun as well. Arlington doesn't really like to scoop out the pumpkin with her hands, but we finally got her to touch it this year. She used a spoon for awhile, and then stuck her hands right in. Finley just wanted to eat it all. She kept trying to put it in her mouth. But she got the idea and helped us pick the seeds out after awhile and put them in a bowl. We roasted the seeds in the oven and ate some this evening - yum!! Another one of our favorites!

Finley also has a few new words. She is getting really good at repeating what we say now, so her words are coming faster these days. But she has learned to say "yes" and "nice". She pats Cainan all the time and says "nice". She is getting better with touching him nicely. He still winces a little when he sees her coming!
Arlington is slowly learning to read. Now that she is getting the sounds of the letters down, she can sound out the words a little easier. We have taught her to spell, write and recognize (newest words) baby, yes, no, cat, dog just today! Our Arlington is a fast learner. Add that to the 10 or so words she can already write and spell, and I think she is getting the idea. We will have her reading in now time. Hard to believe it! I can still picture her at Finley's age.

Here are some pictures from today. I didn't take any before today because we have been busy, but there are a lot, I apologize! I hope you enjoy!