Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday instead of Saturday

I am posting a day early because I do not know about the internet availability at our next stop, which is Philadelphia. This is our last stop before heading to our new home! This post will be just about the pictures taken below. I posted most of the details about these pictures, but I finally uploaded them and am going to post them today. These are pictures from our trip from Friday May 16th until Tuesday May 20th where we were in Jacksonville, Charleston South Carolina and Raleigh North Carolina. And then the pictures below that are from Williamsburg and Baltimore.

Anyway, just a quick update on us. The trip is going pretty well. We are weary, but hanging in there. We are in Baltimore right now. Williamsburg was fun and this stop has been great as well. We left North Carolina on Tuesday at lunch time and then traveled to Williamsburg. It wasn't a very long trip - about 3 1/2 hours. We spent all day Wednesday in Colonial Williamsburg looking around. Mat and I were there before when we were first married and lived in Baltimore. It was fun to take the kids. Well, fun to take Arlington anyway. She really had a great time. She is so curious and loves to learn. She is going to be a history buff like her dad I think. We got there about 9am, when it opened and spent the whole day there until about 5:30. Finley was the worst behaved, of course. She isn't a fan of the umbrella stroller. She wants to walk every where. That was fine for awhile, but then she wanted carried. If we got tired of carrying her and want her to ride, she would pitch a huge fit. She was really tired, and took an early nap and slept for 1 1/2 hours. After that, she was a little better behaved. Cainan was great, but he only took a 30 minute nap. That was a first! But he did just fine - I was surprised! The kids had a great time watching the horses and the cows and all the animals. Arlington loved looking in the shops and watching how they used to make things. She loved the clothes and the dancing, etc. she had a great time. She also picked a ton of "flowers" (aka weeds) and made a bouquet. It was cute. Around 5pm everyone was tired so we left and had dinner and came back to the hotel. We stayed at a nice hotel and were glad to get back and rest. All the kids were asleep by 8:30. I am looking forward to them going to bed at 7:30 like normal once we are settled!

Anyway, Thursday we got up and did some laundry and got the car packed to go. We had an early lunch at the "Colonial Pancake House" because Arlington loves Pancakes more than life. After lunch we started our drive to Baltimore. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive, and we didn't hit much traffic. Just the usual stuff around the beltway around the Washington DC area. That area is never without traffic no matter what time it is! The kids were asleep in the car before we left the parking lot of the Pancake house. They were exhausted!

We got to Baltimore and our hotel is WONDERFUL. We are staying at a Hyatt Place. It is neat. The rooms are huge and there is a 42 inch flat panel TV. It is pretty awesome. It was a welcome site for these weary travelers. We had dinner at our favorite North East (and California!) restaurant - Red Robin. After dinner we attempted the swimming pool again. It was FREEZING- even though it was indoors. But the kids didn't care. We didn't go far in with Cainan. As soon as he saw the pool he started crying. So I just sat on the stairs with him and let him splash and that made him happy. Finley was not happy - even though she was basically blue - when we had to get out. She cried when she realized that what came next was bath and bed. She was just so overtired. She wouldn't stay in the tub. I would put her in and she would immediately get out. It was pretty hysterical. She was so upset and crying, but we couldn't help but laugh because she went over the top. Once Mat held her in place so I could wash her off, I got her off and wrapped her up in a towel and she calmed down. Wow - psycho baby.

Today was a pretty fun, busy day. We now wish we would have scheduled another day here so we could do all the fun things that Baltimore has to offer. Maybe when the kids are bigger we will come back. Mat and I lived here for 5 years, so it brought back a lot of memories walking and driving around. We went to see where we used to live. They "paved paradise and put up a parking lot". Our old apartment complex is now a fancy school. :) And right where our apartment was -is a parking lot. We loved that apartment - it was great! This hotel has complimentary continental breakfast, so we had that and then headed out. Our first stop was our old jobs. I worked at Johns Hopkins Children's hospital for about 3 1/2 years before we left, so I went to visit some of my old co-workers. It was nice to see them! We have been gone for 7 years, but most of them still work there. The floor looked the same. I was a nurse on the floor with children who are 6-11 years old. It was a great floor. I had fantastic co-workers and friends. There is NO HOSPITAL like Johns Hopkins. They are second to none. I would work there again in a minute. I have worked in several different hospitals since I left and none are even remotely close to being as good as they are. Anyway, after visiting with them, we went to visit Mat's old lab where he got his Ph.D. He had a nice time visiting where it "all began" and the kids spent time running around in an open court yard while he did.

For lunch we had hot dogs off a vendor off the street. Arlington thought that was great, and I believe that is the best place to get a hotdog! :) We got our lunch and took it with us in the car and drove down to the Inner Harbor. This is the place to be in Baltimore. All the "touristy" stuff is there - the aquarium, the science center, the Children's museum, shopping, restaurants, etc. It is a lot of fun. When we come back, we will plan more time to take the kids to all of those great places. We walked around while the babies napped in their strollers and Arlington went on a few ships and in the submarine (or "undership" as she called it). After the babies were done with their nap, we headed out of the city and a little north to my friend Christina's house. Christina and I met when I first started working at Hopkins - she is a nurse as well. We have kept in contact over the years and even met each other in Disneyworld last spring. It was great to see her and her kids. She has three boys - 8 years old, 4 years old and 2 years old. They are very sweet. We spent about 1 1/2 hours at her house visiting and letting the kids play with each other. The kids didn't want to leave - they had a blast. It was nice to catch up and chat. I am glad I am going to be closer to these ladies - hopefully we can see each other more often.

We opted for fast food for dinner tonight because we left Christina's kind of late. It is 9pm now and the kids have been asleep for awhile. Everyone is tired. Tomorrow we are on to Mat's cousin Jon's house in Philadelphia. It is only 2 1/2 hours from here. Before we go we are going to lunch with two more of my old Hopkins co-workers/friends - Sara and Gina. Can't wait!

Here are the pictures from the beginning of the week on top and then below it - from Tuesday until today. I want to explain one picture below. It is the statue of Jesus that resides at Hopkins. That statue is a huge part of Hopkins history. There are only two of them in the entire world, and Hopkins has one of them. The statue was cut from a single block of Carrara marble and shipped to Baltimore in the 1800's, where it was pulled by a team of horses up Broadway Street to its permanent home at Hopkins. There is even a book "Here is My Hope" about inspirational stories because of this statue. Anyway, Jesus foot is "shiny" because the tradition is to come there and pray and think, and then rub his foot as you do. You will notice in the picture below that Jesus arms are pointing down. When the statue was made, his arms were pointed up to the sky. But due to the fact that there was no cooling system when it was shipped to Baltimore, the arms fell and pointed downward - extending his arms to all who come through the doors. You won't go five minutes without someone stopping at this statue to rub his toe, say a prayer, give him a wave. It is powerful to watch.

Enjoy the pictures. I won't be posting again until probably next Saturday because I may not internet access again until after we are settled and the cable guy comes next Wednesday. See you then!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman

Please pray for him and his family. One of the little girls he adopted from China was hit by a car driven by her brother yesterday and killed. The brother was turning into the driveway and didn't see her playing and he hit her. Steven Curtis Chapman has adopted several children from China. Please pray for him and his family.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just for today

Okay - so uploading the pictures isn't going as planned. But I am getting there. Anyway, to pass the time, I read this on one of my favorite adoptive mommy blogs (thanks Donna) and I wanted to post it here.

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you came to be my daughter and how much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day.............

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday from the road

Greeting from the weary (just kidding) travelers! This post may be a bit lengthy, and I apologize for that. I actually just tried to put in the highlights and spare you the boring details! So here you go. Best point - all three kids are still alive. Yes folks, we have not lost anyone, or given anyone away.....yet. Although, Finley is pushing her luck.

So it is Tuesday here on the road. We have been to Jacksonville Florida, Charleston South Carolina, Raleigh North Carolina and landed in Williamsburg Virginia today. We are moving it! We are in Williamsburg until Thursday morning, so a little break from the car.

Things are going pretty well so far. The hardest thing is about 2 days before we left West Palm Beach the hydrolics in our trunk went out, so now one of us has to hold the trunk up every time we have to unload the car. Not so fun, but not terrible. We have a good system in place so it isn't that bad.

Sunday we got up and did laundry at my sister in law Teen's house and then went to my other sister-in-law Carrie's house for lunch. We visited until around 1pm and then when it was time for the babies naps, we jumped in the car and started our drive to South Carolina. It was a 4 hour drive to South Carolina. The babies slept for about 1 ½ hours of that. Not much, but at least something. They always have a hard time sleeping in the car. But we drove the whole 4 hours without a stop and that was nice. We got to Charleston around 5:30. The hotel was a Double Tree suites. It was really beautiful and we had a one bedroom suite which was perfect. It had a separate bedroom and living area, and a little kitchen. Nice and big for the 5 of us. We got settled and left to have dinner at a restaurant called Sticky Fingers. It is a rib joint. It was very kid friendly and within walking distance from our hotel. We stayed on Market Street so we were right in the heart of Historic Charleston. It was pretty cool. After dinner the kids played around for a bit and then we got them settled for bed. There were two big beds in the bedroom of the hotel room, so Arlington slept in that room with us and the babies were in their pack and plays in the other room. Worked out well. Everyone was asleep by 9pm, which is late for our kids, but on vacation it was the best we could do!

Monday we got up and had breakfast after we checked out of the hotel. I had some food for the kids, so they had that while we were getting ready. Then we moved the car and walked to breakfast at a cute little coffee house near by. After that, we walked the open market of Market Street, where there were a lot of vendors selling their goods. I bought a hand made woven basket that the “low country” is known for. It was neat to watch these folks make the baskets. Very talented. We just bought a small one, as they are very expensive, but I just wanted something unique to the area. We took the kids down to Battery Park and let them run around for a long time. They loved it! They were having so much fun- the didn't want to leave. Battery Park was down near the water. We had to walk pretty far from Market Street to get there. I was glad we had the strollers for the little ones. Although Finley walked most of the way there – she loves to be independent. We walked past a lot of beautiful houses and historic buildings a long the way. They also have horse and buggy tours you can take so the kids would get so excited when they would see one go by. It was a fun morning. We had lunch at a little cafe we past on our way back to our car and that was fun. Everyone was pretty well behaved. After that it was nearly 1 pm, so we jumped in the car and started our drive to Raleigh North Carolina. Nothing really planned for there, just a stopping point. Cainan was asleep in about 5 minutes after we started out and Finley wasn't far behind him. We had about 4 ½ hours today – further than I thought, but even with one stop, we made it by 4 ½ hours. We decided to just get McDonalds around dinner time for the kids to eat in the car for the last leg of the trip.

We got to the hotel around 5:30pm and were settled and all ready to take the kids to the pool to burn off some energy. We got dressed, walked to the pool, and it was closed. Bummer! It was being repaired, so we couldn't swim. So that kind of stunk. We are at a Wyndam this time. It is nice, but not nearly as nice as the last room. But we are dealing. Everyone was asleep by 9pm again Monday night. We are mostly having to fight Finley to sleep. She isn't fussing – she just wanted to play. She is so bad.
This morning we got up and ate some breakfast and headed over to the University of North Carolina's campus. Mat has friends there from his lab he worked in when we were livign in San Diego. A few people from that lab in San Diego recently relocated to Chapel Hill, so we had a nice visit with them. The campus is huge and the kids had a great time running around and visiting. We had lunch there on campus before heading out and on to Virginia. We left for our car ride around 1:30, and within 5 minutes of the ride, all three kids were asleep! They were tired. It was peaceful in our car until 3pm, which was great. We got to Williamsburg, Virginia at 5pm this evening. Once we were settled in our room (We are staying at a 4 points Sheraton this time – very nice) we went and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. We never do that, but we were determined to do some swimming tonight! So after dinner we came back to the room and got dressed and headed for the pool. Cainan still remains terrified of the water, so that is always a challenge. But we keep taking him – we don't want him to be afraid. The girls had fun. We stayed about 45 minutes then came back to the room. Just a quick swim for something different to do before bed.

Tomorrow we are spending the day in Williamsburg. Mat and I have been here before when we lived in Baltimore. Then Thursday we head off to Baltimore. Tomorrow is also the closing day on our house. Closing is supposed to be at 4:30 – lets hope all issues are resolved and the close happens tomorrow. We shall see!

BTW - two days ago we went over "Pee Pee River". This is not a joke. Why would you name a river that?

So that is the trip so far. I would be lying if I said it was going “swimmingly”. Both of the babies have colds that they picked up from daycare those three days I sent them. Figures. I could have called that one, but hoping we were going to be lucky. Cainan, I think, has conjunctivitis, but it is too early to tell. We are just keeping an eye on them. The colds seem to be minor and no fevers, so I am just pumping them full of orange juice and keeping the air conditioning off in the rooms to try and help with their stuffiness. Poor things. Not a fun way to travel. Believe it or not, Cainan is actually worse than Finley this time.
It is also more like a marathon than a vacation. With three kids 5 and under, we are just trying to survive at this point! They get cranky and bored easily. I mostly have to keep feeding them to keep them happy! But again, that is minimal. Today was the best car day by far. We hope to have more like that one!

Also, we are having a slight issue with the new house. It is septic related again. The sellers had to fix a pipe to bring the septic tank up to code. But they did it cheaply, and according to the town codes, it is not complete. There is something else they need to do, and it is kind of costly. They are saying no. They can't really say no, but they are trying. Our closing lawyer and their lawyer and duking it out right now. We are refusing to close on Wednesday unless this is resolved. The sellers will be in a bind if that happens because they need the proceeds from the sell of this house to buy their new one. So they don't have much of a choice unless they want to be stuck with two mortgages and not close on their new house. Hmmmm. Let me think – put a little more money (probably around $1500) to fix the septic, OR lose out on the sale of my house and not get my new house because of it. Is there really a choice here? Anyway, because we are on the road, we are letting our agent and lawyers handle it, but I am still losing sleep over the whole thing. Tomorrow is the last day they have to fix it, or no deal. It would be a real shame if it came to that, but it is the principal. Their septic tank is not up to code. We cannot take the house knowing that. End of story.

So anyway, there are a ton of pictures, but the internet connection here is not very good so it isn't loading properly. So what I will do it work on it and either post the pictures tomorrow or Thursday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

quick post

Hi there! We are officially on the road. I am writing from my sister-in-law's computer, so no pictures at this time. Hopefully by Tuesday's post I will be able to post. For some reason here at her house our computers will not log into their wireless network. So anyway, just a quick recap

Wednesday and Thursday went fine with the packing. IT was amazing to NOT have to pack a thing - they did it all. And they were fast! I was very impressed. They packed well over 160 of their own boxes and then we had a few boxes that they used. Plus then there was all of the loose stuff that couldn't go in boxes. Crazy. Anyway, it went fine.

Friday the movers came and loaded the truck. It took about 7 hours. They brought 4 people with them and they did a great job. As they packed I followed behind and cleaned. They were just about done in time for the 3pm walk through. That went just fine - no problems. We were out of the house by 4pm and said goodbye to our house one last time. It was just Mat and I -we decided to pick up the kids from school and just head out. We stopped at our friend Julie and Mike's so that Arlington could say goodbye to her friend and we could have dinner with them. That was a nice treat before we left for good. We were on the road to Jacksonville by 6:30pm and got to Jacksonville a little before 11pm. So overall a good day. The kids slept in the car and went back to sleep once we got to Jacksonville.

Arlington also had a school program on Friday at her school. It was really cute and we took a little video of it! If I can figure it out, we will post it on the blog after we get settled. She did a great job and it was fun.

Today we have spent the day relaxing in Jacksonville and enjoying our family's company. We are staying here until tomorrow after lunch and then heading to South Carolina. So far so good, so I hope it continues! We are so anxious to get there to Connecticut!

I will write more later!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Last post from West Palm Beach

Okay - so this post, unfortunately - will have to be short. It is late and we have been working all day to get ready for the movers tomorrow. We are tired, but I think we are ready. I don't ever think you are really ready to move. Did we pack everything? Do we have everything set aside for the car ride? We did get a call from the moving company today that said they have enough people to help tomorrow that they think they can get us packed all in one day! So tomorrow evening at this time, we should be all packed up. We still aren't loading the moving truck until Friday, and the kids are scheduled for daycare all day Thursday, so....... we are going to run some errands, have lunch with friends and maybe catch a movie. There is a chance that the movers may have to finish up on Thursday, but we won't know that until they start working tomorrow. They are coming between 8-10am (of course, a time window), so if they come early, they should be done. We will see!

The babies and Arlington are going to daycare/preschool for the next three days all day. They are not going to be very happy, but honestly, they will have more fun there. It is going to be chaos here tomorrow and Thursday and Friday would be really boring for them with all of their toys packed!

So a quick recap. Sunday was a great mother's day. We just relaxed and enjoyed spending time together. Arlington's best little friend had spent the night, so we enjoyed playing in the morning and then at lunch time we took all the kids to lunch before taking Arlington's little friend home. They were both upset about separating. I am not sure how much the little girls mom has told her about our move. But Arlington was pretty upset. Poor thing. We had put together a photo album of all the pictures the two girls had taken together over the last 4 years, and gave them to her. Plus Arlington drew her a bunch of pictures. That helped a little. But this was my first mother's day with all of my children, so that was extra special. We had a great day.

Monday I went out to dinner with my friend Kathi. It was a girls night out to say goodbye. We hit our fav - PF Changs. We chatted (Kathi is getting married in a few weeks) and said our goodbyes. I hate that part! Kathi and I met here in Florida. She used to live across the street, but has recently moved to a near by neighborhood with her fiance. I am so excited for her that she is getting married and totally bummed that I am going to miss all that excitement. We had a great time.

Today was a whole day of cleaning and organizing and putting last things in order. As of tomorrow, we will be living out of a suitcase until the 27th of May. Not the fun part, but doable. I look around the house - the house where I first brought Finley home from the hospital. The first house Cainan lived in. All of the personal touches we have put on it. How everything feels comfortable here. I am actually going to miss this house for a lot of reasons. It is going to be weird to pull away Friday night and not come back. Not look out at the lake from Finley's room when I am changing her. Not sit on the back porch and watch the ducks and large birds on the lake. Etc., etc. But this is a good move for us. It is right and the timing, for once, is right. We need to go for our family.

Anyway, I looked at our hotels, and I think I am going to be able to post on my regular Saturday and Tuesday from the road. If you don't hear from me is because I couldn't get internet access. But I will try to keep you posted from the road.

I did manage to finish the top of Arlington's quilt for her new room! I am very proud that I was able to do that while we were packing up. I will make Finley one that looks the exact same once we get there. I just wanted to make sure it was going to be right before I left the place I bought the material. I took a picture below.

One last mention - today is 9 months since Cainan was adopted. The first time Mat met him. What a wild 9 months it has been for him!

Goodbye for now. We say goodbye to West Palm Beach. And for all of our friends we have here, we say Until Next Time......

Monday, May 12, 2008

If You Give a Mom a Cookie

If you give a mom a cookie, she's going to want a latte to go with it.

But before she gets a latte, she has to find her toddler's pink ladybug boots

To find the ladybug boots, she has to venture into the playroom.

When she tries to straighten up the playroom, she finds Daddy's left shoe, the salad bowl, and an open package of graham crackers. She also finds her cell phone.

So she'll yell at her toddler about the cell phone and wake up the baby from his morning nap.

But if she goes in to pick up the baby, the cell phone will ring.

When she answers, it'll be the doctor's office reminding her that she hand an appointment this morning and would she like to reschedule, say, sometime in November?

While she is trying to mentally re-create her calendar, the baby will start to cry.

Then her toddler will run to see what's the matter and find the graham crackers.

When she finds the graham crackers, there'll be crumbs all over the playroom.

So the mom will get the broom from the hall closet and notice that Daddy forgot to buy diapers last night, as she asked.

But she will find her toddler's pink ladybug boots.

And she she finds the pink ladybug boots, she'll remember her emergency stash of diapers in the car.

So she'll wrestle her toddler and her baby into their car seats and drive to the store to buy more diapers and more milk.

While she's buying the milk, she'll remember she wanted a latte.

And is she manages to order her latte without a tantrum or poop episode from either of her kids......

Then she's going to need another cookie. Julie Tilsner.

Happy Mother's day

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saying goodbye to good friends/last WPB Saturday post

Well, these last two days have been full of goodbyes, and that is always hard. As fun as it was to get together for playdates, dinners, and parties, it is hard at the end of the night to say goodbye to the people who mean a lot to you and your family. We laughed and had a great time, but as I looked around the room tonight at our last party - at the people who mean so much to us - I had a hard time not tearing up. I looked at our friends Julie and Mike and their kids and realized just how much we are going to miss them. We have fit as friends since day one, and our eldest girls have "grown up" together. They are the ones who threw us the party tonight, and I just can't believe we aren't going to be seeing them on a weekly basis anymore. That our eldest daughters won't be having day long playdates anymore. I believe that those two girls would have been friends for life, and I truly hope that they find each other again someday. As far as friends go - those two are sole mates.

Yesterday (Friday) was our last playdate with Tracy and her little girl they adopted from China. That was also really sad. Tracy and I met in August when fate brought us together with the trip to China for our children. I am still amazed that someone who lives less than 3 miles away traveled to China with our family at the same time! We have enjoyed our playdates every week for months now, and with our kids so close in age, it was nice for the babies to have someone to play with besides each other. And it gave Tracy and I a chance to chat, swap mom stories, adoption stories, worries, laughs, etc. She is a great person and a great friend and I am really going to miss her. I hope that we see her again. I know they love to travel, so hopefully some day they will visit us in Connecticut.

Also yesterday (Friday) was my dinner out with my co-workers. I loved my last job and was sad to leave in January of this year to start on my new adventure as a stay at home mom. But I wanted to see the ladies I love the most one last time before I went. So we went out to dinner last night at Chili's and had a fabulous time. It was great to catch up and hear what is going on in their lives, and what was happening at the center with the kids. I am so glad I had a chance to see them one more time.

So it has been a hard end to the week. Like I have said before, this is our 8th move, but our 4th state we are going on to. But each time we go, it is hard to say goodbye to the people we have grown closest too. But I also think about all of the friendships I have maintained around the country! I still have childhood friends in Pennsylvania, friends from when we lived in Baltimore (who we are seeing soon - whoo hoo!), and friends from living in San Diego. Pretty soon we will truly be able to say "anywhere we go, we have a friend". :)

So to Julie, Mike, Gina, Kevin, Brandon, Jennifer, Scott, Peggy, Erika, Loyda, Melissa, Ana, Tracy, and countless others - know how much we love you and we are going to miss you. We will treasure your friendships forever, and know that you will always be a part of our lives, no matter where we are. Thank you for making these last couple of days -and YEARS - memorable for our whole family. We are better people for knowing you.

Okay -that's all. I can't say any more and hold it together! On with the recap of the week.

Wednesday was Cainan's eye appointment. He didn't have his eyes dilated while we were at his appointment in March because the visit lasted too long, so we had to go back. We were pretty certain that this was going to be to get a prescription for his glasses. Well, we were very pleasantly surprised. He has been doing so well that at this time, he doesn't need glasses! The eye doctor showed me on the chart where he was last September on his first check and where he is now - what an improvement! It was really great. With good nutrition and just general stimulation for his eyes, he has actually gotten BETTER sight. We were so happy! Cainan doesn't really have a bridge to his nose right now, so it would have been hard to keep glasses on his face. So I am glad we went to the visit!

Thursday was his last speech therapy here in West Palm Beach (WPB). His speech therapist has been really great, and she gave us a list of therapist and craniofacial teams near us in Connecticut. That will come in very handy! He did great on his last day, so it was a good end. He will probably not be in therapy for most of the summer until we settle and Arlington gets back to school. It would be too hard to take three kids to therapy each week. So I will wait until the fall. He has come very far on his own. I know we can handle keeping him moving forward over the summer.

Friday was our playdate with Tracy and her little girl. We had a great, fun morning with them and I took a few pictures below. We tried to get the kids all together but they were much more interested in being silly - which made for some cute pictures! Tracy brought us a beautiful picture frame that says "Friends" and has a picture of all 4 kids in it from Chinese New Year. I added a picture below!

Friday when Arlington came home from school, she brought me a flower for mother's day and a card she had made. I took a picture of that as well. My favorite presents - homemade things from Arlington. She was so excited about giving it to me.

Friday night was the dinner with my friends from work. I was gone from 6:30-9:30. It was a nice break! We had a great time. I love eating out!

This morning was "family fun yard day". We wanted the yard to look nice for the new owners, so we all spent the morning outside. We were all hot and sticky and ready to come in for showers around 11am! It was over 90 degrees and humid today in WPB, and that was not fun! But the yard is done and looks great! That is the last time for that too! I can't say I am sad about that. Although we will have a new yard to take care of, at least it won't be a year round project like it is down here.

This afternoon was the party at Mike and Julies from 2-6. That was a lot of fun. Mat and Arlington went first, and when the babies got up from their nap, we went up. We laughed and carried on and ended up not leaving until around 7pm! We brought Mike and Julie's eldest daughter back (Arlington's best friend) for a sleep over tonight. The girls had a great time. After I bathed the babies, we put them to bed, then I bathed the girls and they watched a movie. Then we read some books, and they spent some time chatting before falling asleep. They had a great day together. Tomorrow, we will take them out to breakfast and lunch and then take her home.

So here are some funny things that Arlington said this week:

Arlington - when I grow up, I want to be a doctor
Me - that sounds great!
Arlington - well, I think what I want to be is a shotter"
Me - a what?
Arlington - a shotter. A person who gives the shots
Me - nice

Arlington - let's play "I spy" (in the car)
Me - okay - you go first
Arlington - I spy with my little eye something.....reddish/purplish
Me - seriously??????

Arlington - today at school a little girl brought in a chicka-wa-wa
Me - a what?
Arlington - a chicka-wa-wa. You know mom - the DOG
Me - you mean a chihuahua?
Arlington - yes mom. The dog

Finley also had a milestone this week. She learned to count to TEN! I was so impressed! She is a smarty. And she has basically the whole alphabet song down. She loves to sing that song.
Also, Finley did something funny. I was sitting at our dining room table, and she came out to see me. She said "up". So I picked her up. She started to pull on my shirt and said "up". She wanted me to hold her while I was standing up. Fine. So I stood up and stood near the table. Then she pulled on me again and said, "go". She wanted me to walk around with her while I was holding her! What a princess! She is a nut.

Cainan is doing well. He can count to three. He will say "one, two," and at three will tickle himself. (we made one, two, three a game). It is really cute.

Here are some pictures - enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Meme award and fun weekend

I was tagged by New Mommy Rant for this meme and I thank you! I would like to pass this award to the following:

Carrie at:
Hicks Family for being a wonderful sister-in-law and keeping me posted on all the happenings of my niece and nephew

Tricia at Kovall News – another wonderful sister-in-law who is about to have her first baby boy! We can't wait!

Tracy at the Ferriter Blog because she is a wonderful mom and I am so glad I have you for playdates with the kids!

Idleworship – this is my husbands blog and he works really hard, so he deserves it. It is a silly, funny blog that he plays around with!

Here are the rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

1.I love to quilt. I have made about 20 quilts in 10 years, and I love it. Right now I am working on making matching quilt bedding for my daughters new room in our new house!
2.I hate the beach. I have lived near the beach for 7 years and I have not grown to love it at all. I hate the sand and I really don't like going into the ocean. My eldest daughter loves it, and so does her dad, but I would rather not have sand everywhere for weeks.
3.I am left handed. My husband is left handed. We are still holding out that one of our children is left handed (even if we have to make them – just kidding). Cainan seems to prefer his left – how funny is that?
4.I met my husband in high school – I was 15 and he was 17. We started dating on March 1. We have been together for 17 years without ever breaking up! When Mat and I first started dating, his little sister was 10, going on 11. Now she just celebrated her 28th birthday. We are OLD. We got engaged on May 1st (5 years later!) and married on November 1st (1 ½ years later after we got engaged). My birthday is July 1st. The 1st of the month is special to us!
5.I hate to stay alone. As my kids get older, I am getting better, but will not stay more than 2 nights alone while my husband is away. I have someone come and stay with me (aka my parents). I am a big baby
6.I hate to fly. I did pretty well on my last flight, but if I never get on a plane again, I will not be sad. I tend to be “glass half empty” when it comes to flying. Although, I have to say Jet Blue rocks and being able to watch TV, does calm the nerves. But, still hate flying.

I tag everyone above have fun!

Okay. Moving on. So it is Tuesday. Next Tuesday at this time, we will be busy packing the last of our stuff that we don't want to go on the moving truck. It is getting so close! This week can't go fast enough. We still have a laundry list of things to do, but the list gets a little smaller every day. Mat has been working more and more from home and the office is almost completely organized. That is a first! I am just trying to keep the kids busy and answer the 100 phone calls we get a day.

Arlington is doing well. We talk a little more about the move every day. She is looking forward to having a sleep over with her best little friend this weekend. Her little friend is coming to our house this time. She has made a lot of pictures for her little friend, and I ordered all the pictures that I have ever taken of the two of them together and put them in an album for her. We are going to really miss our friends and Arlington is really going to miss this little girl. It is going to be a hard summer for her. Arlington is picking up on more and more words and is doing well even learning to spell them. I am hoping once we move we can spend even more time working on her words. She has memorized the 5 little songs she is going to sing for her end of the year program with her classmates. They are really cute.

I don't know if I ever mentioned that we play a board game every night with Arlington before she goes to bed. Everyone gets a bath, and we put the babies to bed, and then Mat and I play a game of Arlington's choice before she goes to bed. Right now we are playing Uno Attack, Candyland, and Memory (one game a night, of course). She loves it and is pretty good! She beats us regularly, and we are not letting her! :) It is fun for all of us and a special little time we give just to our eldest. Then, of course, we read to her at night (as well as the babies) and we are still working through the Fairy Series and the Junie B Jones books.

Finley is roughing it a little right now. She is getting a big tooth on the top and isn't taking it very well. She is cranky. But a little motrin fixes her right up! :) She gets a little better every day, but I will be happy when that tooth is all the way in. She learned some new words, “suitcase”, “lemonade”. She has so many words now – she is a chatter box just like her big sister

Cainan is doing fine. We are still working on the shapes. He isn't catching on very fast, but oh well. Someday it will sink in. He is goofy. He is learning to take off his own shoes. His hands are still very weak, so this is a big challenge for him, but he is getting better. He is now saying “milk” correctly. Before he would say “ilk”, and he has gotten that word with a lot of practice. His speech continues to improve.

Sunday Mat and I got a chance to go to the movies while Lucyette babysat. It was so nice to get out, and I give Iron Man 4 stars. It was really good. I normally don't like those superhero movies, and I am not a big fan of Robert Downey Jr., but in this movie, he was perfect. I really enjoyed it. When we got home Mat took Arlington to the pool for an hour. She loved that.

Monday Mat worked from home the whole day and in the afternoon after naps we all went to the pool for awhile. Cainan and Finley don't love the pool, but Finley likes it a little better than Cainan. She will tolerate getting in as long as Mat and I hold her close. Cainan, it takes awhile to coax him in, but once he is in, he will splash around. I am sad we are leaving an area where we can swim year round just because I would like to see the babies become strong swimmers like Arlington.

Today Mat went to work for awhile and the babies and I stayed here. He dropped of and picked up Arlington at school which was a nice break for me. We are just relaxing at home this evening – no plans.

Tomorrow Cainan has one last eye appointment. They are going to check his eyes for his glasses need one more time. I am sure he still is going to need them, so we will get the prescription and get the glasses. I am not so sure how he will react to having them on all the time, so we will see! Once he gets used to them, I am sure he will leave them alone.

Enjoy some pictures!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fun weekend

We are in full swing of our weekend. We are on the real count down to less than two weeks before we move, so we are busy busy. Here is a quick low down to our week

Wednesday was Cainan's CT scan. It was not fun, but was successful. We had to be there at 9:30 for a 10am sedation. Cainan is really great about not having anything to eat and not minding. I woke him at 5:30 and gave him a whole cup of juice – that was the last time he was allowed to have anything. So we were called back at 10am, but because we had to have an IV put in, it is almost 11am when the sedation starts. Poor guy. But he was a trooper. But it took about the max amount of medication he was allowed for his weight to get him sedated. He was really freaking out on the table. He does not like to have his legs held or his head held in place. It makes me wonder what they did to him in the orphanage. So finally after a lot of tears, sweating, fighting, he gives in. He falls asleep, the scan takes about 30 seconds, they get what they need. As soon as were finished and were unstrapping him from the table, he woke up and started screaming like he never stopped. But as soon as I picked him up, he was all better and we were out of there ½ hour, 6 crackers and 8 ounces of juice later.

Thursday was speech therapy for Cainan. Mat decided to work from home in the morning so he stayed with Finley and I went to therapy with Cainan in peace. It was nice! The first half of the session he goes in alone and works, and I wait outside. Then I go in and hear what went on and what we should work on for the next week. The therapist thinks he is progressing very well. She doesn't think he will have the nasality that comes along with some kids with cleft. He is still figuring out how to say some words, but they get better with practice and that is encouraging. He is behind Finley in language, but he quickly catching up.

Then after therapy, the nanny who used to watch Finley and Arlington came by for a visit. She recently moved to the Bahamas and when she comes back to Florida to visit she always stops by to see the kids. She really spent Finley's whole first year of life with her, and Finley adored her. It has been a few months since we have seen her, and it took Finley a little while to warm up. But soon she was cuddling with her buddy and Lucyette couldn't have been happier! I took a picture of them together and it is below. She is coming back on Sunday afternoon to babysit for us while the kids nap so that Mat and I can go to the movies. We are in heaven! We wish she still lived close. She is really great with our kids.

Friday was a playdate in the morning with our friend Tracy and her daughter that she adopted from China. We had a great time as usual! We played at Tracy's house this time. Tracy and her family just recently took a trip to Ireland and Paris, so we got to hear all about the trip and I was very jealous. They had a great time. We have one more playdate with them before we leave. We are very sad that we won't be seeing them weekly any more. Tracy and Tim and their little girl are a great family and we became fast friends. But we spent the morning with them catching up and playing. It was great.

Then Friday afternoon we saw Lucyette (our nanny) again for an hour so she and I could take the babies to the playground. They loved that. Arlington also left around that time to go on her sleep over with her best little friend. She was so excited. She paced around all afternoon waiting until the time came for her to go. Every minute passed like eternity for her. She had her suitcase packed and ready to go!

Friday night Mat and I decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants – the Crab House- while we only had the babies to deal with. It was nice going with one kid per parent! We had a lot of people stop by our table checking out the babies, and believe it or not, not one of them thought they were twins. Thank goodness! But they were very curious about Cainan. One person even had a personal story of how her son and his wife had recently decided to adopt. But we had yummy food and were home in time just to put the babies to bed.

Today was the annual beach picnic for Mat's current job. The kids love the beach. Well, Finley and Arlington love the beach – Cainan takes a little while to get warmed up to the sand and HATES the water. But we ate and mingled and then took the kids down to the water. Arlington, the fish, went right in and Mat and she had a great time. The babies and I played in the sand and then went down to wash off and check out the water before going home. Finley went in with Mat and once she realized she wasn't going to be harmed, she liked it. She kept calling it “bath”. She is a weirdo. Cainan screamed his head off. We wanted to wash the sand off, and he wanted no part of it. The water just came up to touch his toes and Mat was hold his hand. As soon as the water touched him, he lifted both feet off the ground and dangled there by his arm. It was quite funny. He is going to be a gymnast! We came home around 1:30 and put the kids to bed. Even Arlington was tired and slept this afternoon. We spent the afternoon getting a few more things organized for our move.

Tonight we are just relaxing and Mat and I have rented “27 Dresses” We have not watched a lot of good movies lately, so we will see. We have seen “The Mist” - really terrible ending, “Cloverfield” - not that great could have been better, “Michael Clayton” - not that great. So we will see. Tomorrow at the theater we are seeing “Ironman”. We are excited because 1 – we never get to go and 2 – it has gotten fantastic reviews. So we shall see.

So that is it! Next Saturday I will be writing for the very last Saturday at our house here in West Palm Beach. Sad. Not.

Enjoy the pictures.