Monthly Archives: June 2012

Getting travel ready!

Hubby and I were lucky to have a sitter last night. Oh, a romantic date night you think…nope, not for us. We took the opportunity, without the children, to go shopping for some things for our upcoming trips.

This year is the year of travel for us; a non traveling type of family. We will be going to Florida, Walt Disney World, for Ms. A dance competition this coming month. Who in their right mind would go to Florida in the summer and visit a crowed park. Yeah…not our ideal time frame, but we are trying to make the best of it. We then will be traveling to China and be united with our daughter. This will also be a tropical climate, but at least it will be in the Fall. Lastly, we will be attending and participating in a wedding in November in the Florida Keys. This will be the first vacation for our new family of FIVE!

I can’t believe all the traveling adventures we will have in just a few short months!

Now, a little background info…. I am just a tad bit of an anxious traveler. Hubby has a handful to deal with me and the kids. I think of all the possible disasters and get worked up about them. I am the person who listens to the flight attendant. I check for the emergency exits and always keep my seatbelt on. Yeah, that’s me.

Before we even leave, I always make my list and check it twice… and then check it again. I do all the laundry, so I can choose from all the clothes, to pack for the all the members of the family. I then have to clean the house before we leave. ( heaven forbid someone break in our house and think I am a lousy housekeeper) I pack for the dog and her kennel stay. I get someone to check on the other critters left behind, pick up the mail, and water the plants. I make sure we have all the electronics and chargers, spending money from the bank, snacks for the road, and everyone’s comfort item.

And you wonder why I stress out about traveling….

With my list started, I see that there were a few things that need to be purchased. First off, some new lightweight suitcases. I did a little research and there is a huge differences in suitcases. Sizes, weight, wheels, and price. We settled on these two Delsey Air Flite. They are very light, so I hope that this will help us keep our forty pound weight limit for China.

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We also did some shopping for some very light weight clothing to help us deal with the heat and sun.

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The shirts have UV protection and are vented along the side and back panels. The have the feel of something silky. The maker is Adidas and its their performance series. I am going to have Mr. D wear them this week to try them out. I don’t want him to have a melt down on vacation because something doesn’t feel right. We also picked up some hats. Of course, Mr. D insisted on a fishing hat. I also purchased some light weight ball caps meant for runners. I plan on putting the children in the most obnoxious colors in order to be able to spot them in a crowd.

Ms. A got some cute halter tops and tank tops. We had a challenge finding shorts that where a decent length. Finding clothing for her age group is becoming so difficult. The clothes seem to be very adult like and risky. It took me three different stores to find shorts that were mid thigh length. I swear everything was Daisy Duke style.

So with the suitcases picked out. Clothing found, purchased, and washed. Reservations made at the kennel for Nala. I can cross three things off the ever growing list.

I need a vacation!

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Nala, the lifeguard.

Nala has picked up a new job title. Not one that I wanted her to have. It’s actually the last thing that I would have ever thought she would have been concerned about. She has become the pool lifeguard. This is a brand new behavior she has picked up and it just happens to coincide with Mr. D’s new found swimming courage.

What’s different with Mr. D’s swimming. He is now jumping off the side of the pool. No longer am I holding his hand or waiting to catch him. I don’t even have to be in the water anymore. I can now be lounging poolside while he just goes running up to the side and jumps in. Mind you, he makes a point of being in the shallow end, near the steps, and he never seems to go underwater. There are no huge cannon balls or fancy dives. He just plops in. Barely getting his hair wet and barely making any waves…..baby steps…really small baby steps for our big swimmer.

I was so happy about this progress. He is starting to enjoy the pool and he is having fun in the water. I am starting to enjoy the pool as a relaxation spot. I can be poolside talking on the phone, reading a book, or just watching the kids. No longer do I have to be in the pool being splashed, climbed on, used as a jungle gym, or jumping platform.

I finally think I am getting my freedom and Nala starts acting up.

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Mr.D swiming abilities is making her nervous. She was always good around the pool. We don’t allow her physically in the water, but she was allowed in the pool area. She usually found a bit of shade and would lie down to watch or try to steal one of the pool toys to start a game of chase.

No more…. She now paces back and forth. Leaning as far into the pool as possible to lick anyone she can reach. She will block Mr. D from jumping and even has grabbed at his clothing. Today, she even grabbed at a neighbor child when he was jumping in. Not good!

She has become so intense that she can no longer be in the pool area if we are swimming. I have tried to explain to her that she needs to let go. Mr. D is growing up and no longer her baby. I tell her that I am in charge and will keep everyone safe. She disagrees with me.

Nala is now only allowed to watch us from the deck. She is not happy about it.

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Babysitters are so much fun!

My kids love having a babysitter. Who doesn’t love to have a break from Mommy. This past week our normal teenage sitter was still on her family vacation, so one of my dearest friends volunteered to watch them all week while I was with my mom.

I have no sister by birth, I have two through marriage, and I have acquired a few sisters through some great friendships.

I don’t have a huge group of friends. I have a lot of acquaintances, but real friendships are a different matter all together. I can count on one hand all my good friends. Aunt Lori is a friend that is long standing. She and I met working in a locked down facility teaching children with mental health issues. I was teaching in the middle school unit and she was fresh out of college working as an aide in the elementary unit.

I am not sure what brought us together. I think at first it was because we were around the same age and then it became clear we had the same opinion about how to deal with the kids. We were never in the same classroom, but we dealt with many of the same children who were going through crisis. We spent hours tag teaming in the time out rooms, restraining kids to keep them safe, and just talking things out with them.

Working in such a stressful environment was not conducive to making friendships, but somehow it happened.

We started hanging out after work. We did fun things together on the weekend. She and hubby got along great. She was able to housesit for us and help us out with the dogs. She even got suckered into repainting our kitchen and family room. Naturally, when Ms. A was born, my dear friend Lori, became Aunt Lori.

Aunt Lori has been present at every big event in the children’s lives. I no longer work with her. She has moved on to teaching high school and coaching basketball. Yet even with our crazy schedules, we still are able to be there for each other.

So what did Aunt Lori do with the kids all week?

Well, they still did their morning chores and schoolwork, but they did a whole lot of fun things too.

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They did some baking…yum!

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They went to the school and played some basketball.

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There was lots of swimming…….and can you believe it…..Mr.D final got up the courage to jump from the side of the pool. Yeah!!!!!

They ran some errands and did some shopping.  They even had the opportunity to go out for lunch.  What could possibly be the topper to this great week….They ended it with a special treat; going to the theater to watch “Brave” the movie.  (both kids really enjoyed it, they give it a thumbs up)

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We get to pick our friends in this world. They are chosen and then held dear to our hearts. A friend may not be there everyday in your life, but they are there the days you really need them. Thanks Lori for being there and helping us out. The children are so lucky to have you and so am I.

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Adoption update for June

Rumor has it……China has done four days of work this month!

Our stats – Log in Date of September 22, 2006
China stats – matched till September 15, 2006

Only seven days of matching left. I can’t believe it!!!!!

If things keep going at this rate we could be matched in two months…August!!! I keep hoping we would have our baby by Christmas, but now I really think it might happen.

What do we still needs to do….. I need to get visa pictures taken of the family and send them and our paperwork to get our Chinese visas. We need to still have our fingerprints retaken for our 1-600 forms. We have to wait for them to assign us an appointment, so we wait. The kids are up to date on all their vaccines and needed shots. Hubby and I still need to get Hep A and Hep B series of shots. Of course, there is a shortage and we can’t seem to get them, so we wait.

Then we wait some more. I have heard that a lot of paperwork can only get done when you have been matched.

I have become a champion in waiting.

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Oh, how he loves creatures!

Mr. D did not have the pleasure of sitting through a three hour recital with Mommy and Daddy. He had the opportunity of spending some quality time with Papa Don. For some odd reason, Papa Don is always the first to offer to watch Mr. D on these recital days. Hmmm….I wonder why?

Well anyway, they planned a fun day of…..what else…. fishing. Yes, the guys went fishing and I am sure there was some ice cream involved. However, it was not all fun and fishing. Papa Don had a few errands to do and Mr. D got to go along for the ride. He needed to go to the local pond store for some supplies for his ornamental koi pond. Mr. D was in his element looking at all the fish, snails, and frogs.

Oh, did I say frogs…. Yep, frogs and tadpoles.

Guess what Papa Don purchased for Mr. D at the pond store. My little creature lover is now the proud owner of a bullfrog tadpole, frog, and one that is half way in-between.

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When we picked him up after the recital, he proudly presented me his fishing bucket that contained his new friends.

Thanks Papa Don! (next year you are coming to the recital)

Of course, we couldn’t leave them in a bucket. We needed to build an appropriate frog habitat. Off to the pet store we went. A tank with lid, a bag of crickets, and some rocks and log from our yard became their new home.

One condition I placed on this new acquisition….they are not allowed in the house. So, our new friends are living on our covered deck. Nala has taken quite an interest in them, so Hubby has clipped the lid shut. You know… Just in case.

I have a feeling that this is just the beginning.

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Costume craziness!

I know you all have been on the edge of your seats, wondering how recital went. Dying to see those unbelievable expensive, but not crafted well costume. Yes, eighty bucks a pop for each one and they were still in need of bedazzling, tacking, and adjusting. We are slowly accumulating a large selection of dress up clothes that will never be worn again.

So with big hurrah…. pictures of the costumes Ms. A wore this year for recital.

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This pretty red number was for her ballet class. They danced to the music of Sleeping Beauty.

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This hot pink outfit was for her jazz class. They danced to the music of King Tut. Not sure how the outfit fit the theme, but it was very sparkly and showed up well on stage.

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This was by far the craziest one of the entire recital. It was for her tap class and they danced to “Fireflies”. The head piece lit up. Then at one point during the dance they dimmed the lights and you just saw these floppy strands bouncing around. It was very…..lets say…..creative.

Overall, she had a great dance week and recital weekend. You could tell that she had a great time, because of the huge smile on her face when she performed. Hubby and I were very proud of all her hard work that she put in and of her wonderful performances.

She gets a week off from dance before she starts practice for Nationals in July. Then when she gets back, it starts all over with tryouts for the next year’s team.

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Starting the summer with a bang!

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We are in the middle of recital week. Ms. A has had length practices every day and this weekend is full of shows. What am I doing…well, I just can’t sit back and watch….Nope, I signed up for the wonderful job of “backstage mom”, helping out with the concession stand, and the raffle baskets.

If you have to be there, you might as well work….right?

Mr. D is being a great little brother. Our sitter is on vacation this week, so he has been along for the ride. He is not allowed with me in the back area because of the girls changing. This means he is “camping out.” I have been setting him up on a blanket in the backstage hallway. He has his picnic food, drinks, animal toys, and the iPad playing his favorite movies.

He is in the middle of the chaos, but safely tucked out of the way on his island blanket until Hubby picks him up after his work day. I have noticed that the older girls pat his head as they go on stage. The younger ones are usually watching his show while waiting for their turn on stage. Ms. A and her friends try to sneak some snacks.

It seems to be working well…phew!

When we get home, everyone is drained. We usually try to do a quick jump in the pool to refresh ourselves.

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Yes, if you look past the kids you see the main pool is still green. We have been battling an algae problem, only to find out our copper cleaning system is the problem. It’s pumping out way to much copper causing the pool to tint green. Or at least that is the current train of thought.

I still am doing my daily mornings with my mom. Some days are better than others. I have been bouncing the kids around to friends all week long. It makes it hard being consistent with their schedule and activities, but our sitter will be back next week. She maintains their schedule so well. They get their chores done, schoolwork, and lots of play time.

In the evening we started a new routine. The kids and I SCOOTER down the street to visit and feed the cows.

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I have found that a helmet is a must and that I really should not be on a scooter.  Lucky for me, Ms. A rides mine and I walk next to Mr. D with our bag of cow treats.  Nala is no longer allowed on these outings.  She has shown some “cow” issues.

Summer has started out with a bang.  Hopefully next week we can settle down into a manageable routine.

Have a wonderful Father’s Day Weekend!

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