Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Warm weather/cold weather

What will it be today? Warm or cold. Well, as my mom would say "50 degrees isn't cold, it's cool". The weather has been all over the place this weekend. It would be 50 degrees over night and 75-80 degrees during the day. Then one day it was 60 all day. I love the cooler weather, that is for sure! I just wish mother nature would make up its mind! I never know how to dress the kids.

But anyway, we had a nice weekend. Only one day of rain, and it didn't last the whole day. Sunday was Cainan's baptism. It rained in the morning, but was done and sunny by the time we went to church. We took a few pictures, which I will post below. We tried to get a nice family picture, but Finley refused to look at the camera. Oh well. The baptism was really nice. We had a great pastor, who actually was adopted himself as a child. The person who spoke for the sermon was a guest pastor they had that was visiting from Africa. He told very intriguing stories of how he grew up as a black man in Africa and what he was taught about white people. It was really interesting! But he spoke several times about Cainan and our family and that was very moving. He grew up with so much hate and then changed his ways as an adult and became a pastor in Africa. He said that when he sees an interracial family like ours, he knows that what we (our family) see when we look at Cainan is not a foreigner, but the face of God. He was very moved by our family, and our adoption. It was the perfect Sunday to have Cainan baptized because this was the start of our world missions month.

We went out to dinner Sunday night - Aunt Betty treated us! We went to a local mexican restaurant, and it was very yummy. Mat was the only one that had been there before, so I was glad to try a new place. We had a good time and the kids behaved pretty well. Finley was the worse one. Mostly because she is "anti-eating" lately. She doesn't want anything we give her - we basically have to put the food in her mouth to get her to eat! But she did okay there.

Aunt Betty left Monday and we were sad to see her go. It is always nice to have her here for a visit. She is a lot of fun and the kids just love her. We will look forward to having her here again.

This weekend we also finished up some yard work. We have wanted to do some new things to the backyard, and we finished it up. The plants we put in look really nice and we planted some new grass. It is always nice to plant new things and watch them grow.

Today was supposed to be Cainan's circumcision, but the surgeon had an emergency, and the procedure got pushed back. It was going to be about 2 hours later than in was originally scheduled, and since Cainan wasn't allowed to eat or drink, I didn't want him to have to wait for something that was only going to last 10 minutes. So since it wasn't a major procedure, we changed the date to the 12th of February. Hopefully we can have it done at that time and get it over with. So he is safe for a few more weeks. :)

Not much up this week. Going to be kind of quiet for a change! Our biggest excitement is that we are having our grout cleaned on Friday. Not really exciting, but we are looking forward to the cleaning. Our grout is white and our tile is light and after about 6 months,it just looks awful. This is the first time we are having it professionally cleaned, and it is supposed to stay white for a long time! We shall see! If we ever move, I hope the next house had NO TILE. Or at least less grout! :)

That is about it. The kids are all doing well. Nothing much to report. Arlington got her mid-year school report from Pre-K and she is doing really well. The teacher wants her to start working on reading actual books. She is either in the developing stage or mastery stage of all the skills they are working on this year (levels are "introducing", "beginning", "developing", "mastery".) We are very proud of her. The teacher feels that she is more than prepared for Kindergarten at this point, which is good to know. We are now working on her drawing stories and then telling us about them and then learning to write some of the words she knows into sentences.

Finley, like I said, is protesting food. She just doesn't really want anything. I think she is getting a few new teeth and just going through a stage. she does want a lot of milk, though. Maybe it hurts a lot to chew. Hopefully the teeth will break through and she will be back to her old self.

Cainan is doing fine. No new skills to report. We are now working on him NOT being Finley's shadow. Even Aunt Betty noticed how Cainan follows Finley around everywhere and only wants to play with what she is playing with. He doesn't seem to want to play by himself EVER. If she has it, even if we have two of the item, he has to have it too, or be playing with it at the same time Finley is. Finley is getting kind of tired of her shadow and I have seen them fighting more. So we are trying to set up individual time to play with each of them, so that Cainan is forced to play by himself. He gets upset when he has to, but it just has to be! Finley deserves some individual attention. If she is getting some, he is constantly trying to get in front of her, sit on my lap, interrupt, etc. But we are putting a stop to that. He will deal. Finley does not show the same problem. If I am playing with Cainan, she finds something else to do. Baby steps.

Here are some pictures - enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Visit from Family

We have been having a nice visit with Mat's aunt Betty. It has been a lot of fun having her here and I really enjoy the company during the day and the extra help with the kids. She is staying until Monday, and I will be sad to see her go!

We have been keeping busy just running after the kids. Thursday Finley had a cardiology appointment and that was just fine. The pediatrician had heard a heart murmur and wanted it checked out, and it turned out to be an innocent murmur just like Cainan's. She had an ultrasound done and she was very good for it - I was surprised. She just laid and let them do their job. I was glad for the good news.

Friday we had another playdate with our friend Tracy and her little girl that she adopted from China. We had a great time. Aunt Betty was glad for a chance to visit with both of them because she had traveled with them to China. It was a fun morning.

Today was spent doing yard work. We had wanted to put some new plants in our backyard and today was the day! We were glad for Aunt Betty's help - she loves to work out doors. We completed as much as we could and had the kids outside playing with us. The weather was near the 80s, and so they had their bathing suits on and were playing in the sprinkler and sand/water table. They had a blast. We were out there for a long time, so they should sleep well tonight!

So that is our happenings. Not a very eventful week, but fun none the same. Tomorrow is Cainan's baptism, and we are looking forward to that. I wanted to plan it around Aunt Betty's visit because she was so involved in his adoption. It makes it even more special to have her here.

The kids are doing great. Cainan is starting to figure out the "p" sound, and "s" sound. He also learned to blow raspberries! Too cute. I will have to video tape it - it is funny!

Finley is her regular cute self. We are working on shapes and letters. She would rather not, but we are trying anyway! She is so different than Arlington in that way! She has great language skills, but Arlington was much more into learning new things than Finley is! Today we were playing at the sand table outside and she took all the wet sand she could and stuffed it down her bathing suit until she was full of wet sand. It was gross and wet and yuck. But she thought she was hilarious!

Arlington is doing great. She is reading complete sentences now out of the words she knows. Today we did a hide and seek game with her words and she did really well - only missed a couple! She loves games. She is also working on her United States puzzle and knows most of the states now. She knows something about them as well. I hope her love of learning always continues. That will make homework much more managable!

So that is it. Here are some recent pictures. I find it funny that on Thursday when I took the first set of pictures, it was cool enough that we needed jackets outside and then today's pictures the kids are in bathing suits. Crazy weather! We live for the cooler days, though. They are too far and in between for my taste!

Enjoy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I am mommy, I am tired!

Okay, all of you stay at home moms out there. Why didn't you warn me about how much more tired I was going to be staying home with the kids than working? This is truth! I am sore, and tired, and slightly crazy. I am sore because all I do is chase kids, pick up kids, clean up after kids, lift kids onto and off a changing table all day long. And I am tired because of the above and the hours I am trying to keep! AND, I am crazy because - well - of all the above.

Luckily for me I have a wonderful husband. I don't tell him that enough, that is for sure. When I want to sell all the kids - put them in the front yard with a sign "free to a good home" (just kidding) he is there to comfort me. He is he calm, rational one of the group. Thank goodness there is one! He always takes my side and I love that about him. He is making this whole new adventure doable for me. :)

Anyway, we had a nice weekend and are having a pretty good week so far. Sunday we just stayed around the house. We were planning on going to the beach for the morning to let the kids run around, but we woke up to an ugly, rainy, cold day. What a bummer! So we stayed inside all day and the kids went basically nuts. We couldn't even go outside to the backyard - yuck! We were glad when bedtime came!

Monday was no pre-kindergarten due to the holiday and Cainan had occupational therapy. Mat stayed home from work in the morning with the girls since having all three at the therapy would have been a challenging hour. The therapist was very pleased with how he was doing and saw a lot of progress in the use of his hands and crawling with his hands open and doing sensory things, so she thinks we can see her every 3 weeks for now. Yeah! She said when he turns two we may have to go back to every 2 weeks because of something or other that I can't remember right now, but for now, we have a little more freedom. That will helped a lot, especially with doing speech therapy every week. After we got home from therapy, Mat went on to work and we played inside (still raining) and then the kids took a rest. Although, Cainan decided that a short nap was in order for him, and after 1 hour, 15 minutes - he was up! He woke up crying, which he never does, and that is usually an indication he isn't done sleeping. Cainan and Finley both sleep between 2 1/2 to 3 hours for their naps. So I tried to resettle him, but that just made him more upset - he wanted out! In the meantime, he was so loud that he woke up Finley and she was not happy! UGH! For those of you who know Finley, you know that girl needs her sleep. She is always the last kid up in the morning and the last kid up from nap. So now I have two unhappy babies. Fun times! So we didn't have a great afternoon. And by the evening, even Arlington was crazy. She didn't want what we were having for dinner, and refused to eat and just sobbed and sobbed. By 7:15, we had all had enough, so everyone got a bath and went to bed. Usually bed time is 7:45, anyway, so what is an extra half and hour? It ended up being the right decision because no one got up before 7am this morning.

Today was much better. We were off to a good start because everyone was rested. Arlington and Finley went to school all day. Now, even though I am home with the kids, if I need a day at the school to drop kids off, say, if Cainan has an appointment, etc, I can do that. So Finley, was not excited that she was being left, but ended up having a fun day. Cainan had a helmet appointment today and I didn't want to take Finley all the way to Fort Lauderdale for this appointment. She hates riding in the car, so I decided that trying to take Cainan was enough. Arlington stayed at school all day and I picked up the girls at 4:30.

Cainan's appointment went well. We were released from the helmet all together! Yeah! For the last month he has only been wearing it for naps and at night, and now, we are officially done. So glad! They scanned his head in the beginning and then again today, and there is definitely a difference in his head! He is nice and round now. I scanned the picture and will try and put it below so you can see the before and after. We are very pleased. I didn't remember how flat it was until she showed me the "before" scan.

So that is our happenings so far this week. Tomorrow Mat's Aunt Betty is coming in for a visit and is staying with us through Monday. We didn't get to spend a lot of time with her over Christmas, and since she traveled with Mat to China to get Cainan, I know she would like to spend some more time with him. We are excited that she is coming in! Arlington is looking forward to seeing her as are we!

Here are some pictures! Enjoy!

First I will post Cainan's scan. Picture on the left - before. Picture on the right - after. If you click on the picture, that will make it bigger! Below will be more pictures!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A day in the life

I want to start my post today with a few congratulations! First, I want to congratulate and announce that my sister-in-law Tricia and my brother AJ are expecting a baby boy! They found out today that their baby is a boy and we couldn't be more happy for them! Now our family is going to be tied - two girls, two boys! Of course, we have three of the four, but hey - Tricia and AJ will catch up! Ha! But we are beyond excited for them and look forward to meeting our new nephew this summer. He is going to be spoiled rotten by us because Tricia and AJ spoil our kids to no end!
Also, I want to congratulate two of our travel mates (China travel mates that is) on their upcoming adoptions! One has not officially announced yet, so I won't say anything further, but the other has! Jennifer, Andrew, kids - we are very excited for you! Congratulations to both families on the upcoming expansions on your family. This will be the second adoption for one and a third adoption for the other. I know these children are very lucky to be joining such wonderful, loving families.

Well the week ended in success! All the kids are still alive after my first official week as a stay at home mom. I call that a success! We had a busy week and it doesn't look like it is going to slow down any time soon.

The kids were pretty well behaved. We got into a little routine, although we still had a lot of appointments to attend to. I am hoping in the future we have more weeks where we don't have to run here at there every day or every other day. That will help. Arlington didn't have school on Friday, so they were all home that day. It actually was fine because the babies love playing with their big sister, so she was great entertainment for them. AND they all three took naps Friday afternoon, and that was great! I got some things done.

Wednesday we had a fun playdate with my friend Tracy and her little girl. She adopted a little girl from China and traveled with Mat to bring her home. We still find it amazing that someone in our China travel group lives less than 2 miles away! This was the first time I got to meet her little girl, and that was a lot of fun. Now that things have slowed down for both of our families, and I am home during the week, we are going to get together more often. We already have another playdate set up for next week - yeah! But it was nice to "compare notes" and talk about our kids and parenting, and just have general conversation. I am glad to have a friend like that. It will help us a lot! We had a great time together and her little girl is very sweet. She is 5 months older than Cainan, so they are close in age to play. It was fun.

Thursday was speech therapy and Cainan actually said some words while we were there! We are going to start to go weekly now to speech and I think that will help him come out of his shell. He recognizes the therapist now, so that helps. She was pleased with his progress.

Friday was no school, so we did do some shopping! I was proud of myself! We went to target for just a few items and then to the library. It was nice to go out. We were gone for about 2 hours, so that took care of some of the morning. Then we just played until nap time and after that - went outside. Yes, for all of you northerners, it is in the 80s again here. We had a small break last week from the weather, but this weekend is hot again! We have been outside every day, which does help break up the day. Once the babies are a little older, too, we won't be so confined. They just don't make shopping carts for two little ones!

Today we are just hanging out at the house. Mat is at work for a few hours, so we are home playing and just relaxing. No real plans for today. Life with kids - very boring sometimes!

Arlington is doing well. Now that she knows so many words, we are working on sentences with them and she is doing well with those! She loves reading and has been having fun finding words she recognizes in her books. I hope to have her reading small books by the summer. She will love that. Arlington has always been one to chose books over toys, which I love. Better for when she goes to Harvard......

Finley is her typical bad self. Poor baby is going to get a complex. She says "car" and "house" and "sissy go?" She started making a motor noise with her mouth when she plays with cars. This week she practiced climbing our dining room chairs and sitting on our dining table! She is a little monkey.

Cainan is doing well. He is perfecting his cup and straw drinking. He loves to push the baby stroller around, but usually without the baby but some boy toy instead. I think he needs a wheelbarrow! He is perfecting the word milk, and now says "moo", "meow". He also shakes his head yes or no in response to a question - "do you want milk" for example. Before he would just do the sign for "please" or do nothing at all, and now he is answering yes or no. We are happy to see that progress!

Of, course, being out on the road each day taking Arlington to and from school I always encounter fun driving experiences. I was waiting to turn out into traffic from Target (making a right) and there was a car approaching slowly. They were in the left hand lane, and suddenly, decided they wanted to come to Target (making a right to do so), so no turn signal or warning crossed over both lanes and turned right. Wow. And one guy was talking on the cell phone while driving and decided he needed to look for something in his car. I was behind him. He was looking, talking, and driving. Never a good combo. Well, all of the sudden, he comes to a DEAD STOP on the road to look for whatever he needed to find. Right there, in the lane. I had to go around him. Everyone was honking and pulling around him, but he didn't care. He continued his conversation and digging as I drove away. Sigh. I could go on forever.

And I got something fun in the mail yesterday that was funny! Our car insurance company sent us an advertisement to buy Golf Cart insurance! How funny! You can get insurance for up to $500,000 in injury and damages while driving your golf cart around. Too much! It is funny - a lot of the "active adult" communities we have here (for the 55+ crowd) offer free golf carts if you buy/build a home in their neighborhood. So, why not insurance! Good grief.

Okay. Here are some pictures from this week. enjoy! By the way - I don't ever put the names of our friends/families children in our blog because of the fact that our blog is public and they are not our own children. I just felt that I needed to explain that!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! I don't know why we can't celebrate just a regular day, right? Truth is, I am running out of ideas for blog post titles!

Not much has been happening at our humble abode. Same old, same old. We had a nice weekend. We went plant shopping to replace some of our old plants in our backyard. I finally convinced Mat to remove a vine that had one foot in the grave due to a frost we had a few weeks ago. I hated that thing anyway. We saw some things we liked, but are still shopping around for the right thing. In Florida there aren't a lot of choices for plants that grow in extreme heat. They have about 30 kinds of "Florida hearty" plants, and that is about it. As I walk around our neighborhood, around Lowes, etc., I only see a few choices. There aren't a lot of flower choices, to be honest. Most things are just boring green.

Anyway, we did that, and then went out to lunch on Sunday. We try to go at least twice a month, out to lunch as a family, usually on a Sunday. To be honest, are kids are well behaved when it comes to restaurants, so that hasn't ever been a problem. this week we chose TGIFridays. Yum.

Monday began my official first day as a SAHM. It went pretty well! We started the day with Cainan's 6 month evaluation by the social worker. See, China requires a 6 month and 12 month visit from the social worker to make sure things are going well. Cainan will be home six months on February 13th. Our agency requests the social worker comes to the house about 1 month before that time so that the social worker has time to write her report and submit it to our agency so that it gets to China on time. The visit went very well. She was here about 1 hour, and she was pleased with all of Cainan's progress and everything that has been going on for him since he came home. Arlington was in school, so only the two babies were here, and they played nicely while the social worker visited.

I have also begun cooking more! For those of you who know me, it will probably snow here in Florida now that I have said that. I DON'T cook. I don't like it and I am not good at it. But I made a resolution to try harder. So I am keeping up with it so far! What are we, two weeks in? Not bad I must say! Each night we have a meal together, and that is really nice. So far, so good.

Arlington is just going to school in the mornings now, and that seems to be working out well. The babies are happy to see her when she gets home. We spend the time while the babies are napping with her taking a small rest, and then working on her workbooks. I took her to the store the other day after it rained, and we were watching for a rainbow, which we see often after a rainstorm. We spotted one, and she watched it the whole way to the store. We did our shopping and came out, and I said to her, "do you remember where we parked?" she said, "by the rainbow". Great. She is so funny. too bad that landmark was gone by the time we came out of the store!
And she has gone from recognizing 13 written words to 42! Quite a jump just from last week! We do it every day, and each day she adds several more words. She has picked it up pretty quickly.

Finley is doing well. Her new words are "cookie" "car", "not nice". She is funny. I think she is the happiest to not be going to school. Even when I take Arlington, she wants me to carry her, because she thinks I am going to leave her there. I know she liked it, she just didn't like being left by mommy.

Cainan is doing great too. Now we have more time to work on his therapy stuff. We try to do a little each day. He and Finley have been playing nicely together. I am trying to get down a routine. He didn't have speech therapy today - it got moved to Thursday. I think she will be pleased to learn that he is drinking from a straw. He too has learned to do a front roll. Anytime you grab him around the waist, now, he immediately tucks himself to roll.

so, I didn't take any pictures over the last couple of days. The camera batteries were charging, and I didn't get to take any. BUT I did take a little bit of video, so I posted that below. Don't worry - it is only like 3 minutes long. I mostly wanted to tape Cainan trying out his words. Finley wasn't as cooperative with parroting what I was asking her to say!

Enjoy! Make sure you have your sound on

video

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday in South Florida

I want to start my blog today with a song (sung to the tune of Frara Jaqua)

I hate Florida
I hate Florida
Yes I do
Yes I do
Old people and bugs
Old people and bugs
I wanna move
I wanna move

(you can replace the verse with alligators, bad healthcare, bad customer service, sweltering heat, hurricanes, etc)

Okay, I feel better.
We have stayed busy here at our house. Even though I am not working any more, time has not slowed down. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the kids were in school for their final days (the babies) and Arlington's final full days. She will just be going to voluntary pre-kindergarten from 8:30-11:30 starting Monday. So now I am officially a stay at home mom. I used Wed - Friday to catch up on errands, returns from Christmas, phone calls, etc. so that I wouldn't have to try and do those errands on my first weeks home with the babies. This will give us a chance to get into a routine.
So besides running into Miss Daisy on the road (read the post below this one if you haven't yet) I also had to deal with incompetent billing departments at the hospital were Cainan had his surgery, kill about 100 ants in the house (even though we have been exterminated twice in the last several weeks), and wait for people to give estimates on cleaning our grout who think that coming between 10:00-12:00 means coming at 12:45 or not at all. :)

The kids are doing well. Arlington has learned 13 new words! We are so excited! She will be reading in no time. My mother in law bought her a lot of great workbooks for Christmas, and we have been working on them daily. What impresses us the most is that she is actually remembering the words she learns from one day to the next, which is new for her. In the past she wouldn't be able to remember. I think she might actually have it! And she loves it so much. She is so proud of herself and we are proud of her too. She continues to be a chatterbox. Non-stop talking that girl. From the time she gets up to the time she goes to bed she is only quiet for maybe a 1/2 hour. But that is okay. Someday I know she will want to be left alone and not want to talk to us, so for now, it is okay by me.

Finley is doing great. More words daily. She learned to do a front roll. She thinks it is funny. She will basically stand on her head and wait for her dad to roll her over. Oh, and every day that I pick her up from school, Arlington is there at the room with me, and she walks right past me and goes right for her "sissy". Nice! And each morning when she wakes up, I go in to get her, and she says, "sissy?" That girl loves her sister. She is also very curious. She will inspect every speck of dirt on the floor as well walk around stores. If it is on the floor, it requires her attention.

Cainan is doing well. Being his same goofy self. He is still practicing the word "light" He almost has it. The "L" sound is new for him with his new palate. But he is getting the idea. And, I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but this week he started drinking from a sippy cup by sucking on it! We are very happy about that! But the newest - he is drinking from a straw!!! Hooray! It surprised him a bit when he first did it. But now that he is drinking from the sippy cup, he can do a straw. Once he did it, man he just took off drinking from the cup. He was so excited! He really has to concentrate, but he can actually do that faster than the sippy cup. Yeah for him. He also is building a 4 block tower. He has amazing concentration when it comes to lacing things through holes, and stacking, doing puzzles. Finley doesn't have the patience, but Cainan is good at it. I hope this means he is going to be a good student! :)

That is the happenings. Next week we are busy again. Monday the social worker comes for Cainan's 6 month visit. He will have been home 6 months come beginning of February, so we have to have the visit completed and all paperwork turned into our agency by then. Tuesday I am having a phone conference with my new case manager with our insurance company to help me manage all of the statements I am getting from all of his doctor's visits and hospitalizations. They are all covered by our insurance and we don't owe anything, thank goodness, but the Florida customer service idiots can't seem to get that. So the case manager and head person at our insurance company are going to be taking over for me, because I am done being the middle man for stupid Florida. Wednesday is a playdate with a family that traveled with Mat to China to pick up their little girl. She lives a few blocks from us and we are anxious to see them again. Thursday is Cainan's new speech therapy day. We are now going to be going on a weekly basis. And Thursday I am going out to dinner with girlfriends! Yeah! Friday there is no VPK for Arlington, so I will have all three children home. Should be interesting. I am sure it will be fine.

Here are a few pictures! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Driving BEHIND Miss Daisy

Okay, I know this is not a normal day for me to post, but I had to throw this one in here. There is nothing to report on the kids. Only on the people who live and drive in West Palm Beach. Now, during the day I have always discovered that who is out is a few stay at home moms and the other 90% are people over the age of 70. Doing their daily business, but since West Palm Beach is the capital of "aging citizens" I see many white haired men and women on my daily runs. Today was just about as typical a day as usual, but I don't get to post on what usually happens to me when I am on the road with these folks. There is a rule - if you are going to live in West Palm Beach, you MUST be a defensive and patient driver. Because no one else is. Today's adventure - Driving Behind Miss Daisy.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. I seem to only see the "aging citizens" when I am at these appointments. So they are always the ones I have to drive against. As I was leaving the parking lot today, I had to stop while a little Q-tip topped lady was pulling out of her spot. She was small and couldn't see very well over the wheel. And, of course, she had the typical dark, black sunglasses on. So I stopped to let her back up. Now, seriously, if you think about it, how long does it take you to back out of a parking spot? 10, 20 SECONDS? Really. I just want you to think about backing out of the spot and going on your way. I timed this lady. 3 MINUTES. Now, 3 minutes isn't much of your day, but just to back out of a spot? That is a long time people. She would go an inch and stop. Look around, fool around with something in her car, and start again. But, I was in no hurry, and this is not that atypical, so I just watched and waited. Finally, she is out and starts to leave the parking lot. Now, from her spot to the edge of the parking lot - parallel to the road she needs to turn on - takes another several minutes. It is only 20 feet, MAX. She inches her way forward, putting on the brakes every so often, and fumbling around her car. She FINALLY gets to the edge of the parking lot and is getting ready to turn right into traffic. She waits patiently for passing cars. Well, for awhile anyway. Suddenly she decides she has waited long enough and no matter what, it is her turn. Out she goes at 5 miles an hour right into the path of an oncoming car. Don't be scared, people, she was fine. Not even phased. The person she cut in front of, though, had to slam on their brakes. Good thing they were paying attention. See, THEY were following the rule. The honked, she ignored, and continued on her way at 15 miles an hour. I pulled out, and had the joy of getting behind her. I was going to turn left onto the next road, and she was doing the same. So I followed her. She was SLOWLY getting over into the turn lane - not quite sure this is what she really wanted to do. We stop at the light. She starts fiddling in the car. The light turns green. I am in the habit of letting people have 5-10 seconds to get themselves started before a honk. So that time past. She didn't move. I honked. she looked up, but didn't move. She went back to fiddling. I waited, and honked again. Same pattern. The light turns RED, and then - guess what? SHE GOES. Wonderful. She off she goes and there I am still stuck.

Okay, my light turns and I, of course, catch up with her because even though the speed limit sign says 45 miles an hour, she reads it as 25 and that is the speed she is going. I am stuck behind her - again. But, I am not in a hurry, so I follow her. Now, seriously people, she was driving so slow, yet she was not really on the road. She was on the burm - over the yellow line with her right side wheels. Now, it wouldn't be such a big deal, we all do that from time to time, but this particular burm wasn't road - it was GRASS. So she was driving partly in the grass. But oblivious. So there we are, driving along, and little Miss Daisy decides that she needs to make a left. Hold on to your hats because she is in the RIGHT hand lane, and needs to cross over the left AND get into the turn lane to do this. No signal, she just makes a COMPLETE left turn from the right hand lane into the next parking lot where she was going. She crossed over Right lane, left lane, left turn lane, ONCOMING TRAFFIC left lane, and right lane. a 4 way highway without blinking an eye (OR using a turn signal). God was watching out for her on this one.

This is where our paths parted. I just shook my head in disbelief. But alas, this is NOT an unual day for us here in sunny south Florida. Instead of West Palm Beach, it should be "Retirement Village of the South".

I HATE FLORIDA.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuesdays with Finley

Well, the baby had her 18 month old appointment today and then got to spend the day with mom. She is such a little rascal, though! Taking care of her is like taking care of about 6 kids sometimes. She is very mischevious. She gets into nothing but trouble! But she is very cute so it is hard to get mad. She had a pretty good visit. She is 20 pounds, 10 ounces (still 3rd percentile). She has gained 3 pounds since her 15 month visit. The doctor was happy with that. She is 32 inches tall. She only has to be 35 inches to ride a roller coaster at Disney - how crazy is that? That is the 75% tile. So she is doing well. The doctor heard a heart murmur today. He hasn't heard that in the past, so he is thinking it is probably innocent, like Cainan's. 9 times out of 10 they are. But he wants her to see a cardiologist to be certain at some point over the next couple of months. I am not that worried because a lot of kids have murmurs. Unless she is having surgery or dental work (neither which are in her future) they don't do a thing. So that will be something we will take care of in the near future.

Arlington is happy to be back at school and playing with her friends. She needs an outlet for her energy. I am glad she is back in her routine. This is her last week of full school and then just half days. But at least she will have school daily to keep her busy.

Cainan had occupational therapy yesterday. He did really well. He didn't cry at all, which was good. He played nice and did everything he was supposed to do. We got a few more exercises to try. After that he had an orthopedic appointment to have his thumbs look at. The doctor thinks he can go to just having the splints on at night, which is great. We are just to watch to make sure he doesn't trend back to pulling his thumbs in, and he can leave them off. The doctor thinks that will help strengthen his hands. He doesn't need to see him for a year - yeah!

Then today Cainan had speech therapy before he went to school. That went well. He doesn't every say anything while he is there, but did some signs and she got to see him drink from a cup. He has been actually "sucking" lately! Before he would just chew the sippy cup to get the liquid out, and now he actually is doing what he should and sucking on the cup. Yeah! That was a huge step. Next we will have him drinking from a straw. We are proud of that step. He learned the sign for "open" today and I saw him use it. And he is starting to say the word "milk".

Tonight at Dinner Cainan was eating his chicken. About half way through the meal I heard a "vroom" coming from him. He had made a little car out of his chicken and the chicken was going around the edge of his plate and he was motoring it along. He is a goof. He has been in a really good mood today and being a really good boy.

Finley is her bad self. Yesterday she climbed up on a chair at our kitchen table, grabbed Mat's fork and started to eat his dinner! We were just getting set up, and there she was - helping herself. I then put her in her highchair, and she really didn't feel like eating the chicken we made her, so she kept putting it down her shirt to "hide" it. She thought she was SOOOOO funny. What a goof. It is hard to get mad at her!

Tonight at Dinner Finley was trying to get her baby doll to finish her dinner. She didn't want any more, so she wanted to feed the baby. She would take a bite, though, if the baby doll "feed" her. Then she would laugh.

Today she kept bringing me sodas. I didn't know where she was getting them from. I went into the laundry room and she had opened up the packages of soda we had sitting in there and she was bringing me one at a time. Sigh. She is a handful.

Here are some pictures for your entertainment: There are some pictures where I tried to get the babies hugging each other. My flash on my camera takes a long time when it is dark, so I couldn't get a good one. Finely was hugging and kissing Cainan - a first! I will try again to get a picture.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

First week as SAHM

Well, I survived! This was an easy start to my new job as stay at home mom. (SAHM). I only had Arlington. VPK is still not in session due to the fact of Christmas vacation down here lasts two whole weeks. I am sure other parents like myself are going a little crazy having thier kids home for so long. Arlington is bored and misses her friends and is looking forward to Monday. The babies were in school this week due to the fact that I had to give a two week notice. They will go next week as well, and then that will be the end. I can drop them off on an as needed basis for a daily cost, which I will need to do on days Cainan has appointments with the surgeon. Those are really long days and managing all the kids would be trying on anyone's nerves.

Not much exciting happened to report this week. Cainan is doing well. He has learned a lot of body parts and is really working on saying book and baby. He can say "eye", and he attempts a good many words. He is still feeling under the weather. His fever is gone but he has a terrible cough. Poor guy just can't get pasts these viruses. I am hoping having him at home will help. He is going to be circumcised in late January, so he needs to be well for that surgery. At least that is outpatient and quick. We are working on Cainan walking over things. He doesn't like to step on things or barrel them out of the way like the girls. He looks for any way he can to step AROUND things. So we block his way at every chance to get him to just step over the object. And I mean things like pillows and toys. You would think, though, the way he cries about it, I am asking him to step on glass. Day by day.

Finley is doing well. She seems to be getting a little cold. I am sure Cainan gave it to her, but it just seems to be a runny nose at this point and she is a little cranky. Hopefully it won't last long. Each day she wakes up and asks for her sister. She is funny. I go into her room and she says "sissy?" Nice. I wish Arlington could take over changing her diaper! She says "blankie", "chair", "baby no", "mine".

Arlington and I spent a lot of time on her workbooks this week. We are working on learning some new words to lead to reading. It is hard for her, but she is starting to get it. This week she learned 6 new words. Let's just hope she retains them. One of the words she learned was "come". I told her the word when she first saw it, and when I went back to it and said, "Arlington, what is this word?", she said "come on". She said it about 15 times. I guess she hears me say "Come on Arlington" about 50 times a day. She thought that "come on" was one word! Silly girl. She also asked today why Santa doesn't wrap the presents. She is still stuck on questions about him and how his operation works. She has been really playing with the babies this week. She is so excited to see them when I pick them up from daycare that she will spend hours playing with them. They, of course, love that! I am glad to see them form such great sibling bonds. They will be friends forever.

This week is my last week of "peace". Monday Cainan has occupational therapy and an appointment with the orthopedist. Tuesday Cainan has speech therapy and Finley has her 18 month appointment. Wednesday I have to get a PPD test (even though I am technically not working any more as a nurse, my job has me on inactive status, so I still need to keep up with their requirements). Thursday, peace and quiet. Friday I have to take the van to the shop for a routine checkup. Fun week, huh? We lead such unexciting lives.

Here are a few pictures to share! I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

We wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and our hopes are that you have a wonderful, healthy 2008. We also want to wish Mat's dad, Ben, a very happy birthday!! What is it - your 29th birthday, right? :) This is also my 100th post!! Exciting that it fell on a holiday - at least for me!

2007 brought a lot of wonderful memories for us. Finley turned 1, Arlington started pre-kindergarten, we went to the lake for a weeks vacation this summer, our nephew was born, my brother and sister in law announced they were having a baby, and Mat's sister and brother in law decided to adopt. And of course, bringing our final child into our family! 2007 will always hold a special place in our hearts for that reason. I personally will always be greatful to Aunt Betty who accompanied Mat to China to help pick up our most precious package. It meant the world to us that she was able to do that!

A brand new year means a brand new set of resolutions. Mine are always the same. Eat better, cook more, don't yell at the kids (ha). But alas, by January 2nd, usually one of my resolutions is broken! But being that it is still the 1st of the year, I am hoping for the best. It is hard to eat well when you can't cook well, and hard not to yell at the kids while you are trying to feed them a healthy meal you slaved over all day that they don't like. :) But hey, it is all in fun making resolutions anyway.

Since my last post last week, our large ball of company all went home, and we enjoyed a peaceful weekend of doing not much of anything but playing with all of the new toys. We did go out to eat Sunday for dinner as a family, bu Cainan wasn't feeling that well. He had a fever starting on Saturday and it is still on and off today. I took him to the doctor, but the doctor thinks it is just a virus. He has a terrible cough that is keeping him from resting well, and just doesn't feel well. Poor guy. He really hasn't been sick much, but is having trouble shaking this one. We have a prescription for an antibiotic if the fever isn't better by tomorrow, so we will see. He is just very restless and hasn't had much sleep since Saturday, so he is overly sensitive. For those of you who know Cainan, he can be sensitive ANYWAY. He seems to have sensory issues - he doesn't like having his legs touched, or anything on his lips. He doesn't like to be crowded (unless by his mom and dad). He doesn't like uneven spaces, or things to bump into him. The list goes on, but he is getting better all the time. But when he is sick, look out! Hey, who wants to be bothered when they don't feel good, right? Quadruple that for Cainan.

Arlington is doing well. I have been very proud of her lately and her big sister skills. I do think that being 5 MIGHT be better than 4. For all of those with little kids - here is how it goes. Ages 0-1, you don't get a lot of sleep, but the babies are cute and small, and pretty stationary. Ages 1-2, they start to develop some personality and some "mood swings". The terrible twos actually start around 18 months! LOL. Ages 2-3, worse than ages 1-2 in the fact they have more language skills and have learned to stomp their feet and say "that's not fair". Ages 3-4, worse than 2-3 because they THINK they are wiser than you and will tell you! Ages 4-5 are worse than 3-4 because they KNOW they are wiser than you and back talking becomes just a lovely daily occurance.

But I digress. Arlington has really turned into a little lady. She watches her brother and sister and LOVES playing with them. She and Finley played in her room today for about 1 hour with no problems. They never really fight over anything. I guess the age difference makes that so right now. Arlington understands that Finley is a baby and doesn't understand what she is doing. Arlington has always been a pretty easy going kid who doesn't mind sharing (although she has her moments), so her personality comes into play. She is her dad through and through. Their personalities are mirrors. Is that a good thing you say? Well, I expect her to go to Harvard, but I could to without the - not 20 - but 50 questions a day. She is a little dramatic like her mama, but NOT like Finley.

Arlington also talks a little in her sleep. Each night when we tuck her in before we go to bed, she will roll around a little and murmur something under her breath. LAst night I tried to "adjust" a doll she was holding and she just grabbed it tighter and said, "no Sabrina, I want to hold it like that". (Sabrina is her best little friend). Then she giggled. Never opened her eyes. And today we watched the rose bowl parade, and she was very curious about the flowers. She wanted to know who had to water all of those flowers. :)

Finley is, well, Finley. She is her mama through and through. Everything is drama and all about ME. :) "No" is her new favorite word and she says it constantly. Do you want a drink - no. Do you want to eat - no. Do you want to get down - no. I never know what that girl wants. She is practicing "cup" but will say "cut". She says "side" to go "outside". She says "mommy" "daddy" very clearly. She says "baby night night". She knows what a cow and a sheep say. And she has started to memorize a favorite book. I think she will be smart like Arlington (althought at this point Arlington was speaking a lot of two word sentences and knew her ABCs by heart and recognized most letters) but she is just going to be much more stubborn. It could be a long road to 5 years old with this child.

Cainan is doing well. REally coming along with language. Even though he can't say a lot of words, or a lot of words sound the same, he is repeating us syllable wise. WE say "baby" he says "baba". Tonight he said "night night" and it came out "nigh nigh". Not bad! He says "book", "ball", eyes" - those are new. We are working on "light" because he knows what they are and points to them contantly. He added a new sign "down". If we could just get him over his sensitivity, we would be good! I am just not used to having a sensitive child. And because he is a boy, I guess it surprises me a little! :)

My news is that as of today, I became a stay at home mom. It wasn't really of my choosing, but something Mat and I have been discussing. I LOVE working. I know that sounds crazy, but I am a pediatric nurse, and for the most part, in 10 years, I haven't had a job I didn't like. I luck into these great jobs with great hours, so how could I say no? I have been working just 3 days a week. Not much at all. Just enough to keep my license active and give me a little break from the kids for some adult conversation. But I got a call that my job is making some changes. I am a "per diem" staff person. I work as neccesary. I have had pretty steady hours in the almost two years I have been at this job because of the nursing shortage. My job didn't offer part time, and I didn't want full time, so this was the compromise. But our company was bought out by a new set of CEOs and they are cutting the budget. A long story short, they are really limiting the amount of time per diem staff can work. I would have gone from 3 days a week to maybe 3 days a month. Now balance that against the cost of daycare, and it doesn't make any sense. I basically work to pay for daycare and keep my license active.

So, I am jumping into a new adventure. I am treading in the deep end with this one. I am trying to embrace the fact that I will be home with my babies and Cainan is going to get more one on one attention. Both babies will stop going to daycare all together. Downfall - they were really advancing socially and with their language. Arlington will still go to pre-kindergarten, but only in the mornings. It is free, so now we don't have a daycare cost at all. Upside - in the afternoons while the babies nap, Arlington and I can get ahead on her school work and her beloved workbooks. (That girl is going to be smarter than me by the time she is in first grade).

Downfall - I will NEVER have a moments peace. :) I will have to take the babies to all of Cainan's appointments. That should be interesting. Sigh. I need a nanny.

Okay - here are just a few pictures I took! Enjoy!