Thursday, August 30, 2007

How often do you see this?

I wasn't driving when I took this picture, I promise. Thought it was funny to see a license plate with Hawaii on it, the Aloha state. Wonder why they are driving around Illinois? Wonder how they got their car here in the first place? Ferry boat I guess huh?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Matt's off for Jr. High!

I can't believe I just sent Matthew off for Jr. High this morning! I can't believe he needs to get up at 6:30 to catch a 7 am bus since school starts at 7:30. He was a bit nervous, and I can understand that. Heck, I went to the same school K-8th so I don't even know what it's like to go to a separate Jr. High. Plus, he still doesn't really know a lot of kids, so I bet he'd feel better if he'd recognize more boys in the hallways and his classes. On Monday we had Locker Day at school so we went to drop off his school supplies and he practiced his locker combination and found all his classrooms. Not staying in one classroom will be fun for him I told him. He came home that night and made a copy of the school map and his schedule and he highlighted all his rooms and taped his schedule to the bottom of the map. He is SO organized!

I used to take pictures of the boys on their first day of school, but I asked Matt if he was too old for that this morning and he said yes. (boo hoo) No such luck with Brendan either. I just took that first picture of Matt a couple of nights ago so that's as close as I'm going to get.

When we moved to Carmel, Brendan was still in preschool. So on his first day of kindergarten, I got his picture getting on the bus. The pictures below are of the boys their first fall day of school in Carmel (K & 2nd grade) and then them again in fall of 05 when Brendan was going into 2nd and Matt was going into 4th grade.

Well, both boys had a good first day. Matt said it was fun, and Brendan seemed in good spirits too even though he got home later than normal due to a tornado warning (so the school kept the kids longer rather than sending them home on the buses in bad weather.) The happy moods were probably because there was no homework given tonight. Let the fun begin.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kamryn's First Stitches

Ugh! It happened. The kids and I were coming home from dinner out (hubby out of town) and I parked the van in the garage like always, and got out and walked around the van to Kamryn's side like always, and when I opened her door, she literally rolled out and landed flat on her back on the garage floor. I didn't know what happened until there she was staring up at me crying. It happened so fast and so unexpectedly that I didn't have time to catch her.

Brendan unbuckled her and apparently she was leaning on the door. I thought she was crying because she got the wind knocked out of her or from hitting the back of her head on the floor. I picked her up, and then we saw the blood running down her face.

She must have clipped the bottom of the door or something sticking out from the door because she had this puncture spot to the side of her left eye which was bleeding. I settled her down a bit, cleaned her wound and then we headed back into the van to go to urgent care. Poor girl. I was so hoping they could "glue" the wound but since it was circular, the doctor thought he should stitch it. Just one or two. What a lot to go through, the whole papoose thing because she was completely hysterical and quite strong for a little munchkin, the shot of novacaine, and two and half hours there all for just one or two baby stitches.

Our new rule, even though I know Brendan was just trying to help, is that no one unbuckles her unless you are standing by her open door and ready to grab her!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fun with Chicago Playgroup Friends

When we moved back to the Chicago area, I did not waste any time joining the local FCC (Families with Chinese Children) group. After I joined, I discovered that there were two yahoo groups set up for the western suburb families; one is a monthly playgroup and one is a monthly book club/moms night out group. I joined both and enjoy them very much. We all have different aged children which is great especially because we can all help each other out. I got lots of great advice about the ear wax situation from moms who have been there done that. But it's also nice for Kamryn (& me) to get to know some of the girls around her same age better (& their moms:) so I found some 2-3 year olds & started a separate smaller little playgroup. We try to meet every week.

We get together at our houses mostly but this summer we've gone to the Glen Ellyn Splash Park and the Riverwalk Park downtown Naperville. Here are some pictures of Kamryn with her new little friends. (ignore the incorrect date on the one picture. Grandma just changed her batteries and thats what happens. I like that my mom can come to playgroup too!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kamryn's Therapy Progress

Kamryn has been doing great during her speech therapy sessions, and we've really noticed an improvement even after only a few sessions. Kamryn thinks it's great that Miss Lora comes over with a bag of fun toys to play with and even leaves us DVDs to watch during the week. Funny how Kamryn will repeat 2-3 words at a time for Miss Lora. During sessions, Lora will bring a toy up to her mouth to direct Kamryn to watch "how" to say a word or phrase. Monkey see, monkey do, and then Kamryn will take a toy and put it to her mouth just like Lora does.

Kamryn's new saying now instead of just "hi" or "bye" is "hi ya mommy" or "bye ya daddy." Cute how she's incorporated some Southern talk into her vocabulary. Must have been those few days with our Texas friends;)

I was folding laundry one day and unprompted Kamryn said "nice and clean." I was so surprised! I do say that a lot when folding laundry or getting her out of the bath, and I guess she does listen to everything.

A few nights ago she awoke in the middle of night crying hysterically at 2 am. She was wide awake so we went into her little play room off her bedroom and she was doing a puzzle and said, "I like the puzzle." Oh, I was so happy to hear a sentence but really wanted her back in bed instead. It's nice to hear what's on her mind though even if she still can't tell me why she awoke in the first place.

I had to take her for a hearing evaluation since she qualified for speech. I thought it would be easy since she's done one before in Indiana. Wrong. She screamed and kicked and would not let the lady put the ear probe in her ears. We finally held her down long enough to get a reading on her right ear, which is fine, but the probe wouldn't capture the left eardrum because of all the wax in Kamryn's left ear. So in the sound booth she did respond to the sounds coming from both sides of the room, but that only tells us that her one ear is working. They want us to come back after having the wax removed. We are using ear drops to help us with this. Many of the Asian kiddos have ear wax problems because their wax is flaky and harder to get out.

I have Kamryn signed up for a mom's morning out program at a Lutheran Preschool starting in September. They need a school physical form for her so we made a trip to the doctor. She weighs only 24 pounds! She had to have her lead tested again for the physical and thank goodness it is down to 5 now. When we got home from China it was 18. Don't worry, I've checked the Mattel recall list and luckily we don't have any of those toys.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Roloff Reunion

Last weekend we had our first annual summer picnic with my dad's side of the family. (Yes, Roloff is my maiden name.) It was a hot day but lucky for us not as hot as it's been lately. We all brought our own lunch and salads and desserts to share. My cousins David & Wayne grilled steak tacos for a few of us families and yum were they good! There are first cousins and second cousins and it's fun to see how the family is growing. My cousin's daughter Kristie just announced she is expecting! It's hard to get everyone together at the same time, so it was nice to plan this one day when we all could get together. Dani, Beth and Allie (my cousins Debbie and Diane's girls) basically played with Kamryn at the park most of the day. Kamryn loved the attention! If they lived a little closer, less than 45 minutes away, they would make great babysitters. The boys were happy skating in the skate park and playing ball in a nearby field. We had a shaded pavilion so the aunts and uncles were happy to sit at the tables and chat. It was a great day for everyone!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Hard Life Lesson

Guinea pig: $14.99
Bigger cage in anticipation of babies: $80.00
2 earlier vet visits: $100.00
recheck, xrays & euthanasia: $181.00
Experience for Matt having a first pet: Priceless

I knew the first time we took Scooter to a vet that it was the day she should have had her babies. The vet examined her and told us it would be that night and then it didn't happen. I had a feeling something was wrong. A month later when we took her to a different vet, he examined her and said everything seemed fine, but I still had that feeling that it wasn't. We took Scooter back to the vet today and he did an x-ray. It showed 2 babies and a possible third and from the size of the skulls they should have been at term a couple of months ago, yes, back in May. Our only options today were to say goodbye to Scooter or to do a c-section but with no promises that it would turn out okay. After realizing how long these babies have been inside her, we choose the humane thing and said goodbye to our furry friend. The vet asked if he could do an autopsy since it's something he doesn't see everyday, so we allowed him to do that and then he called to say that we made the right choice since the c-section wouldn't have been a success after all because of all the damage inside. Her uterus was twisted like a kinked hose therefore preventing her from giving birth. Our poor little friendly Scooter. She would squeal every time she heard me in the hallway, and I interpreted it lately as a "help me" kind of sound. I would pet her and she seemed to relax. It's amazing how attached Matt and I became to this little pig. Matt was having a hard time saying goodbye, and it's a hard thing to learn with a first real pet . . . that sometimes the pets we love have to leave before we want them to.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fun in Indy!

The kids and I had a great time in Indy last week. The first night we were there, the boys went to VBS at Northview (our old church) with their friends Julia & Sarah. During that time, my friends Edie and Sue surprised me with a little party at Edie's house for my birthday. It was wonderful to see more friends and catch up with everyone. Edie even had cupcakes from my favorite bakery in town!

We were supposed to check out the new water park in Carmel on Thursday, but the weather was not pool weather so we ended up at Ben & Ari's for pizza and arcade games with some friends.

Karen and Suzy (playgroup mommy friends) then took me out to dinner that night at the Cheesecake Factory (yum) while Sue graciously offered to watch the kids. It was a normal Friday with getting together with our playgroup friends. The only not so normal part about it was that now the girls are starting to potty train so for the first time we ended up in the bathroom for a potty party. Kamryn doesn't really seem interested in this yet, but liked Suzy's potty song! Oh, the things we do . . .

Since many of the families that we traveled with were in town by Friday night for the reunion on Saturday, we were to meet at a local park. However, it was raining again so McDonald's Play Land it had to be. I so missed not having our house there since last year we had everyone over for ice cream the Friday night before the reunion. Kevin drove down on Friday and we stayed at a hotel Friday and Saturday night with our friends who drove in 15-16 hours from Texas. (Jia in the picture) The kids loved swimming in the hotel pool together and it was great to have more time with them.

Jia lets Kendra put pigtails in her hair! Jia, like Kamryn, has two wonderful older brothers. The reunion was wonderful. It's so nice to be able to see the girls who came home from China with Kamryn and our other friends too who have formed forever families with sweet little ones. There were over 2,000 people at the reunion, wow, and everyone always looks so happy:)

Kamryn slept great while we were at the Orr's house, but the first night in the hotel she did not do so good. She woke up hysterical at midnight and nothing calmed her down. It took a good 10-15 minutes and she seemed really out of it. After she seemed more aware and awake while lying next to me in bed, she just looked at me and said "sorry" and then gave me a kiss. It was so sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. Poor girl. Poor Brendan. He ended up on the floor both nights, his choice instead of trying to squeeze in bed with us. So much for trekking the pack-n-play along. This is the first time we've been in a hotel since our trip to China, and I just wonder if she had a night terror.
We decided to stay longer on Sunday and went to the new water park then since it was a gorgeous sunny day. Michele and Alec and Delilah and Mark joined us and we had a nice afternoon.