Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've been tagged!

My friend Sue (Josie and Brynn's mom) tagged me. That means I should reveal 7 random things here that many of you out in blog land may not know about me. The rules are to list the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, linking their blog. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my seven random things:

1. I ran track in HS for one year. I ran the mile and always came in last but always finished. I think I embarrassed my parents with this one:) The following years I was in the more "athletic" ha ha sport of pom pons. Funny thing is that I actually tried out for the Illinettes freshman year of college. Don't know what I was thinking, but heck, I wasn't afraid to try . . . and fail.

2. I wish I could sing. But I can't. When I am alone in the car (rarely), I like to belt it out like I could.

3. I love to go to the movies. Lately, it's been more kid movies, but I really like seeing a good chic flick and eating one of the following: buttered popcorn, twizzlers or Snocaps since I LOVE dark chocolate.

4. I was almost attacked by a bat while watching a Dracula movie at my friend Kim's house in Wisconsin! Remember that Kim? I was visiting her one summer (I don't remember how old we were but I don't think we could drive yet) and we were watching this movie in the dark and we noticed something flying above us. We thought her bird got out of his cage. No! It was a bat! So her dad stuck us in a closet until he got a net and caught it. I remember it vividly.

5. My sister and I were adopted. And total opposites. She's tall, I'm short. She has blue eyes, I have brown eyes. She had blond hair growing up, I had brown. Now, we both color our hair and actually have a pretty similar color:) Growing up we would get comments like, "you're sisters?" We also have 6 adopted cousins.

6. I don't drink coffee or tea. (love Diet coke) My caffeine jolt in the morning comes from my shower. I always have to take a shower first thing every morning because it's what wakes me up.

7. I used to work in the advertising world before kids and well, when Matt was little, I worked part-time in the city at an ad agency. College jobs included Arby's (one day!) and then being a nanny for Charlotte. Her parents were both professors. In the summers I would work the night shift at the Jewel HQ bakery pushing hot dog buns into those plastic bags. The only perk about that job was getting to swipe a loaf of hot bread off the conveyor belt and dipping it in butter for a midnight snack! (Oh and the great tan I had from coming home and sleeping by the pool all day. Great, I probably have sun damage)

I am tagging:


Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Kevin's birthday. We celebrated over the weekend by going out to dinner on Friday night and then cooking a steak dinner at home Saturday night with an ice cream cake for dessert. Kamryn was funny because she finally understood that it wasn't still her birthday but that it was daddy's birthday.

We won't talk numbers, but can you believe I also celebrated Kevin's 19th birthday and every one thereafter with him too? Yikes! I remember it well, finally being old enough to go to the bars at U of I. What an accomplishment it was! And then to officially turn 21 and be able to go to any bar we wanted. (Now we don't even drink) At age 24 we were married and at age 28 we were living in our second home already (we're now in house 5) and having our first child. We essentially have grown up together, and I'm so glad that I can say he is still my best friend. I'm proud that he likes his job and does it well, and that he is a great daddy too.


We have been given the greatest gift by my Aunt Linda. You may remember that two summers ago Kamryn and I flew to Omaha for a girls scrap booking planning weekend. Linda and I went through pictures, looked for papers and planned out the book. Ever since then, she has been spending her time creating such a beautiful scrapbook of our trip to China. I recently received the "finished" product and it is more than I could have ever imagined. I would never have been able to come up with her creative ideas, and I would never have been able to devote the time to it like she did. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Lin! We all love it! We love you!

It's just so priceless to have our memories displayed so beautifully and it's great for Kamryn to be able to flip through the pages as she learns about when she joined our family and it became complete. As Kamryn looks through the scrapbook, she will point and name all of us in the family. Then she will say "our family."

I can't wait to show it off to everybody, so ask me about it and I'd be happy to! I've already shared it with some of our playgroup friends and they may just use the book as a reference for their own books! Lin, you are thought of as a professional scrapbooker! Thanks again for such an awesome gift!

Friday, February 22, 2008

President's Day Weekend

Last Monday the boys had a free day - NO SCHOOL! - for President's Day. We spent the morning bowling with some playgroup friends. The Sunday before this we had my cousin Diane and her family over for lunch. It was nice to visit with them. Jake played with the boys all day and Allie played with Kamryn all day. Allie was even able to put Kamryn's hair up in a ponytail. Before their car was out of the driveway, she pulled it out though. I would love to do cute things with Kamryn's hair, but she is a stinker & won't let me. For bowling the next day we said we would do her hair like Allie did and only then did she let me put her hair up again. It didn't stay that way for too long. Too bad the secret to doing her hair is to say "like Allie did it." Notice she "matched" Allie and even put on a headband while Allie was here. Hmm, maybe I should start wearing pigtails, ponytails and bows. Maybe then she would want to match me and start wearing things in her hair. Okay, no comments friends about my matching bows back in grade school!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mom & Kamryn ready for the party!

Lunar New Year Party

Today we went to a Lunar New Year Party that the western suburbs playgroup hosted. We all had such a great time! They had fun crafts for the kids, games for them too and since everyone brought a Chinese dish and kid friendly foods to pass, we all ate a lot! The room was all decked out in fun New Year decorations. Even an authentic Chinese New Year DVD was playing on the TV thanks to our friend Kerry who thought of bringing home CNY stuff for our party. (she's been home 2 weeks now from their journey to Maddie, thanks Kerry!)

One of the dads led the children in a traditional Dragon dance. The kids LOVED it! It was so cute to see Kamryn parading around shaking her noise maker and just grinning from ear to ear. She enjoyed every minute of it! The kids loved receiving their hong-bao too - red envelopes with money in it - today's envelope contained a chocolate coin.

Lots of us followed the tradition of wearing red (to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune) and the children all looked adorable in their authentic Chinese outfits. When Kamryn and I were getting ready this morning, she loved the fact that her and I were both wearing red, black pants and shoes and had on matching bracelets. It was so sweet to see her proudly run and show daddy her total ensemble.

You know I need to mention that the boys truly had a good time today too. They are so good about embracing Kamryn's heritage. Brendan really loves to learn about Chinese astrology and probably knows more than I do about it. We have a book about it, and he will sit and read it often. He already knows when the next year of the Tiger will be; he's a tiger. Today they both did the crafts and even played pin the tail on the panda bear!

Here's Kamryn with her friend Josie.

Normally we go to church on Sunday morning, but since we were already out, we decided to go tonight. As fate would have it, the gal leading the 3 year old classroom is logged in already to adopt from China too. She is going to be the lead 3's teacher in the new Plainfield church location, so hopefully we can connect her to these wonderful groups we are a part of!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Xin Nein Kuai Le

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today Kamryn and I will be watching the new premier of Ni Hao Kui Lan on Nick 10 am. I am so excited about the new show and hope she loves it as much as she loves Dora! It is on everyday for the first week at 10 am. The following was taken directly from the Nick Jr. website about the show:

Ni Hao, Kai-lan is the next generation of preschool television programming that introduces the psychology of biculturalism. If Dora and Diego popularized bilingualism, Kai-lan will weave together being bilingual and bicultural. Ni Hao, Kai-lan reinforces the idea that being bicultural and bilingual is being American.

The show will familiarize the viewing audience with elements of Chinese and Chinese American cultures to promote multicultural understanding in the next generation and goes beyond featuring "culture" as only ethnic food and festivals. Instead, it celebrates growing up in an intergenerational family, having friends from diverse backgrounds, and "habits of the heart" that are Chinese American. These values include:

Mind-body connection Typically, television portrays excitement as the good emotion to feel. In many Chinese-American communities, the good thing to feel is often calmness and contentment. Feeling excited and feeling calm can both be happy feelings, but they differ in how aroused the body is.

Perspective-taking In many Chinese and other East Asian families, children are encouraged to take the perspective of others to maintain harmony in relationships with other people.

Being a good member of the group Ni Hao, Kai-lan also emphasizes the Chinese and Chinese American value of being a good member of a group.

Social & Emotional Goals Highlight cause-and-effect thinking about social and emotional issues germane to preschoolers and to support preschooler's social and emotional development.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day!

The phone rang at 5 am. I knew it was going to be a snow day. (this district has an automated call program) Luckily I remembered to tell Matt to turn off his alarm just in case. So instead of waking up at 6:30 am, he woke up at 7:30 am. I usually wake Brendan at 8 am, but today he woke up himself at 7:45. After seeing Matt still home, and hearing the news from me, he got this huge smile on his face! How come they can't really sleep in?

All before 9 am, the boys were playing games and Kamryn had out the playdoh.

I have this plastic placemat with the World map on it, and we use that at the counter to do our stuff. I've showed her in the past where China is on the map and where Indiana and Illinois are. I've told her that mommy, daddy and the boys flew to China, picked her up and we all flew home together. Well, this morning out of the blue, she says "airplane" and points to China and then moves her arm like it is flying to the United States. So we made a playdoh airplane and then our family out of playdoh. She really does hear me. Hmm, is that a girl thing? Because the boys never seem to hear what I say! There's still a clean laundry pile in their rooms waiting to be put away! All in all, we had a great day, even though I made the boys go outside to clean off the driveway!