Adjusting my focus!

As I sit under a blanket, in front of a fire, on this very cold below zero day in Januaray, I look back on what has happened with my family this past year. These quiet moments are so rare and I do need to take this time to reflect on all the things that I should be so very thankful for. Honestly, an activity that I don’t do enough of. Being positive and joyful on a day to day basis can be somewhat of a challenge for me. Is it how I grew up, how I am made…who knows? My sour attitude needs readjustment every once in a while. I definitely need a kick in the butt to be reminded to open my eyes and see the big picture. What is happening in the world around me and the people who touch my life. Not only do I need to open my eyes, I need to adjust my focus.

So here it goes….

First off, everyone in the family has been in good health, suffering nothing worse than a sniffle here and there. Dragon is up to par on all her vaccinations, no longer needs physical therapy, and is working hard in speech. Hubby has had another good solid work year. Being able to provide us with everything we need and more. Being the always stable rock, the oh so fun Daddy, and calming influence over us all. Our beloved Opa, has not thrown up his hands in defeat while trying to help out with our insane after school schedules and the sometimes not so successful family meals. His help and stable presence in our house make things go so much smoother.

Ms. A is just a shinning star in her first venture in middle school. She surprised us by earning a spot on the school announcement team and then trying out for the school musical and being selected. She is pulling off rock star grades and managing her super busy schedule. Dance season is just around the corner and she is just living it up.

Mr.D is holding his own. Currently he is a brown belt in TKD and really trying his very best. In a few weeks he will be testing for his red belt holding his spot as one of the youngest in the class. Kindergarten may not be educational, but he is having fun. We are so happy that he is having such a great experience. He just learned to tie his shoes, can almost ski down the beginner hill independently, and his reading skills are growing before our very eyes.

Dragon has been here with us for a year. Yes, it’s has been a year! The fastest year that I have ever experienced. I look at her and I still can’t believe this little person is my daughter. She is a different child from the one that we brought home from China. She loves her big brother and sister. She cuddles and wants to be held. Although her words are not here yet, she manages to let her wants be known. She is a little champ at her gymnastic class and will be starting a preschool mommy and me class next week. Dragon is sporting bangs and a set of earrings and is the cutest thing around. She moved out of the crib to a big bed. (I cringe when I hear any bumps at night and cross my fingers that I will still find her in bed.). She insists on using a fork to eat, which does pose some problems and finally has decided to drink from a sippy cup.

I am trying to stay calm with the children. I am trying to balance an insane after school schedule. I am trying to maintain the house at an exceptable level, letting things slide and not getting OCD about it. I am trying to get out and interact with people. I am trying to workout at least 30 minutes each day. I am trying….

I am trying to be a good mom. A good wife. A good daughter. A good friend.

Sometime I succeed and sometimes not so much. I just need to make a point of sitting back and letting it all in. I need to live in the moment and not look for the next….OK…I have adjusted my focus, stated all my thanks, and am ready to start this day in the positive.

Enjoy the pictures…they are growing up so fast.

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Almost a year of our Dragon!

It’s been almost a year since Dragon has joined our family. I can’t believe how the time has been flying by. December 26th of last year, we were on a plane to China and just a few days after that she was in our arms. We waited seven years for that moment and for that little baby and I still can’t believe some days that she is here.

Now, Hubby and I have come to the realization that she will be the last baby of the family. A very difficult decision that would have been different if the wait had not been so long. As “older” parents, we are soaking up every precious baby moment with her. Just this past week she moved out of her crib into a “big girl” bed. I was so excited for this big moment. So proud of her milestone, yet only when I was breaking apart the crib did it really hit me. With a heavy heart I realized this was the last time for this crib. There are no more to follow. It was a door closing on the baby stage in our lives as parents. Although I want my children to grow up, to accomplish new things, to reach milestones in their lives…. I want to just pause this one for a bit….I want to see her toddle around the house talking gibberish…

Instead, she is now jumping, climbing, and running through the house. She is standing in front of the fridge demanding a drink. She is inserting her opinion…she is growing up. Our little Dragon is no longer a baby. We have a little person with a Dragon Spirit growing up right before our eyes!

Dragon getting ready to celebrate her first Christmas with us!

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The first photo taken of Dragon on our Gotcha Day.

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What a difference a year makes. Sending our Holiday Wishes to you and a Happy New Year!

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A very late update…

It has been called to my attention that I have been neglecting my blog. At one point I was posting every few days and was fearful that I might be overdoing it. Now, I have seem to gone in the opposite direction. The best way to rectify the lapse is to review what’s on the phone and get everyone up to speed.

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Fall has finally arrived and we are enjoying the cooler weather and beautiful foliage. I even was able to get all three kids in a photo shoot outside with a professional photographer. This was the first time for Dragon and overall she managed. I won’t see the results for a few weeks, so cross my fingers that there is one shot among the hundreds taken that is Christmas card worthy.

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We had a great Halloween. Dragon got right into the spirit of things and loved being in the middle of the chaos of trick or treating. Hubby borrowed the neighbors tractor and wagon and all the kids loaded up and went door to door. I did manage to get half of the candy collected out of the house by the next day. The kids thoughtful sorted out what their favorite sweets were and donated the rest!

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Dragon has been going full force in her therapy sessions. The OT is working on her swallowing and chewing. Trying new foods with textures and working on drinking better from a sippy cup.

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Her gymnastic class is always something to look forward to and she is now following the routine of the class with little prompting.

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Lastly, we had the opportunity to watch our local university football team as guest in a suite. I am not a great fan of football. Much less, sitting in the cold with small children. However, you can put me in a suite any day! Buffet and a fridge full of drinks. Beautiful heated indoor seating behind a glass window. A clean bathroom located just across the hall and a lounge area for the kids to run around in.

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With some luck, I will get back to some thoughtfully written post that occur on a more timely schedule.

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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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No excuses, you are a big dog now!

Each birthday I hope for the best. This year Nala is three. Maybe this will be my lucky year. The year of calm walks, calm greetings, no jumping, no jumping on people, no stealing food off the counter, no stealing food from the baby and an overall improvement of the comprehension of the word NO!

Is it to much to ask? Is she still to young? At the age of three, she is consider to be a young adult. Are her behaviors appropriate for a young adult…. Hmmm, if she were drunk all the time!

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Nala received her first of three gifts this morning. It WAS a cute little alligator. It lasted 15 joyful minutes. We pace out the gifts. Her next one will be given this afternoon.

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Happy Birthday to my furry four legged child!

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It’s hat weather.

The weather is starting to change. The mornings are crisp and the sun needs some time to warm us up. This leads me to undertake the huge task of changing out the seasonal clothing. Tucking away the summer clothes that might still fit next year. Bagging up those items that can be passed on and packing away those that one day Dragon may wear. Then, the pulling out of coats and warmer attire that were bought at the end of the previous season. Hoping that the gamble worked and things fit.

Dragon has be blessed with some great hand me downs from her big sister and friends. However, I can’t resist the purchase of a cute hat or two.

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