Category Archives: Family

Show me a smile!

School picture day is just around the corner. In our house, we practice our smiles. Trying to avoid those forced grins.

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Dragon has this routine down pat. No camera shyness for this little one.

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I am a huge proponent in documenting their growth and development through photos. I would drag my infant and toddler on a monthly basis to our local photo place with my coupon. You know, the one that includes a free sitting and a thousand photos for $4.99. It was a bit extreme and a huge commitment, but it was so worth it.

When they hit school age, we switched to a yearly birthday photo in the spring and the required school photo in the fall. Gone were the days of $4.99 photos. I was floored with the expense of the school portraits. Packages that can cost up to fifty dollars and I don’t even get to choose the smile.

In order to not blow the budget, I made a deal with hubby to pick the economy packages that offered the class photo, but I was still shelling out more than I wanted to.

Now Dragon came to us at ten months, with only two existing photos. She was already behind by ten photo shoots. It was my first quandary as an adoptive mom. I wanted to be equal with all my kids, but this was something I couldn’t change.

Something so small, a picture frame showing the first twelve months, is missing. This fact is so bothersome to me. I am overwhelmed with sadness that I can’t even do this simple thing for her. My goal of treating all three the same in everything we do….already out the window.

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Time out fun

The ultimate threat done in my very loud voice. “Do you need to go to Time Out!” A threat that has worked very effectively for twelve years….until now.

My little Dragon is not phased by getting sent to the steps for her allotted 2 minutes.

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If given a choice, she will happily place herself in the designated area instead of doing the task told.

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I think I may need to try something else.

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Let’s add to the chaos!

It seems like when things start to get into a routine. When things start working smoothly. When we are finally finding our pace…we like to mix it back up!

Introducing our newest member of the Green Thumb Clan…Felix.

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A little kitten that has been a whole heap of trouble. Mr.D picked him out. A total surprise to the entire family when I said “yes” to the request. Once again, it was my attempt to ward off any reptiles entering our household.

Felix was so small and so lethargic. Rescued, weighing just over one pound, the vet asked if we really wanted to try because it looked so bleak. That was a question that had an easy answer.

So this little bundle was quickly loved on by all the members of the family. After months of medication and tender care, he is doing great. A whole six pounds, he is an eating machine.

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We have had some bumps with this new little guy. Especially the huge incident of peeing on my favorite chair and Nala’s bed. Current, he is allowed selective freedom with high levels of supervision…no further incidents have occurred…Knock on wood!

What about Nala you ask?

Umm…. She is big, he is small…much like the rabbits she enjoys catching. Felix, however, doesn’t realize that and attempts to stalk and pounce on her whenever he gets a chance. Like I said….close supervision is currently needed. Nala is not amused!

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Here we go again.

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Did I mention that I started to take a ballet class at the age of 40. Yep that’s right! Here is my little partner in crime.

Her little class didn’t go as smoothly as planned. It’s now a “mommy and me class”.

Like I said…I am taking ballet…sans tutu.

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Goodbye summer.

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The night temps are falling to a comfortable cool sleeping weather. The kind were you leave the windows open and snuggle down under a layer of blankets. However, these open windows make it for a brisk morning wake up. This week we needed to dig out the pants and sweatshirts to head out to school. Which leads to the huge project of…..

Yes, that’s right. The biannual flipping of the closets. What a chore! Might go faster if I had children that would stop growing. But alas, I feed them, therefore they grow. What a cycle.

Ms.A is official on her own. I cringe when I even attempt to look at her room, much less her closet. She has access to all her clothes, all year long. I have given her all the tools of organization with many hours of training, she just needs to implement them. I do still make her pick out her outfits the night before. This saves a huge amount of time in the morning of just standing in front of her closet “thinking” and allows hubby to veto any outfits that I disapprove. So far this school year it’s been good. She hasn’t had any huge growth spurts, so I just left a bin at the bottom of her closet to put unwanted or to tight clothes in.

Mr.D is growing like a weed. Literally, nothing still fits from the spring, so we needed a shopping spree. I am better to go shopping on my own and bring back for him to try on at home. As luck would have it, I just needed the next size up and I found them with coupon in hand. A request of camouflage was made and regretfully fulfilled. Smaller clothes placed in a bin to pass on, new clothes in cubbies, voila done! Boys are soooo easy.

Then there is Dragon. My fashionista. The littlest one with the biggest opinion. Is it because she is my last child and we have time to go over clothes and discuss them before getting dresses? Or is it her strong personality shinning through? Whatever the answer is, she likes her clothes. Likes to pick them out. Loves to accessorize. And she actually has great taste!

We are blessed with great hand me downs and it’s like Christmas when the boxes arrive. Lucky for me the girls line up seasonally and her mommy is an avid shopper. So Dragon helps dig through and organize her new things. Trying on layers of clothes in the process. She is just at the beginning stage of dressing herself and it kept her busy and me entertained while we sorted.

So fall is coming. School is in full swing. Afternoon activities are at a max. We are official heading into this year at full speed and with the right fitting clothes on!

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He has my back and his thumb!

After a car trip and lunch with Hubby, Mr.D picked up a new accessory. Now I have a superhero in training…who sucks his thumb.

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Mr.D never had a pacifier as a baby. He actually was tongue tied and had difficulty sucking. At three months he had his tongue clipped (not a fun experience for the both of us) and only then did he start sucking his thumb. I never thought much if it. He was able to sooth himself and I was blessed with never needing to franticly search in the middle of the night for a clean pacifier.

However, he is a very big six year old and this habit needs to change. It really hit me when I saw him climbing into the school bus, getting to his seat, waving me goodbye, and then putting his thumb in his mouth. Oh no…this is now a problem!

I was a thumb sucker and my parents tried everything to break this habit. I recall a “special nail polish” applied to my nails to deter me due to the foul taste. Yeah, that didn’t phase me. I am not sure what finally worked, but I was over this addiction by the time I attend school.

Now that it is on my radar, I see that he does it often. Anytime he is watching television, sleeping, waiting for something, in the car, or feeling sad about something.

I have verbally promoted him to take his thumb out of his mouth. I have asked him to sit on his hands. I started him on a reward chart. I have even….bribed him…yes, a bribe of a reptile. Nothing seems to work and I am known as the queen of behavior modifications. When you ask him, he says he will stop when he is seven. I am not so sure about that.

I am stumped and I am in need of some brilliant idea……

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As the days fly by….

It has been quite an interesting few weeks. With hopes of things getting into a manageable routine, it has been just the opposite.

Ms.A is now seeing the middle school workload, competition dance team is three nights a week and every weekend, and religious classes have started on Monday evening making it a very long day.

Mr.D started his intro into outdoor soccer on Monday nights. His TKD classes are twice a week, religious class on Sunday, and Kindergarten is three days a week.

Now, let us not forget Dragon. Every Wednesday we head off to….gymnastics class. Yes, even the littlest one gets to have a schedule. She still does therapy (OT, PT, and speech) and library time. We did have a private evaluation done on speech with the same results (that she is on target). I am still stumped by this, but I saw the expectations of an 18 month old and she was doing all that was required.

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So…..with the middle school bus on its way to school, I have a few minutes of quiet to post some pictures.

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We headed to Hershey Park for an annual adoption reunion. This was not our actually group we traveled with (ours has two families out of Virginia), but some friends who opened their arms and included us. We had so much fun and just loved seeing these girls so happy. This group has been home for three years. They included one 14 year old and the rest of the girls are age 4. The one issue we had with the entire trip…Mr.D was the only boy. He did complain to us about all these girls…however I think in a few years his opinion will change.

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Halloween is just around the corner and fall weather has final arrived. The pool was sadly closed down and the yard is getting winterized. Halloween costumes are attempting to be created. Ms.A wants to be a minion, Mr.D will be the pirate Jack Sparrow, and Dragon will be a butterfly.

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We spent some time with our cousins on a very fun zoo trip. I can’t believe how fast these kids are growing up.

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Life is just flying by. It seemed like we did so many years of waiting and not being able to really live in the moment. Now I just want to hold on tight because these moments are just speeding by!

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