Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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I so remember the night before we left for China. Getting the last items in the suitcases, picking up stuff around the house, videotaping Kamryn's empty room with anticipation to be back home with her in it. My friend Delilah and her family leave tomorrow for China. Please be sure to check out their webpage on www.myadoptionwebsite.com - Journey to Mary Grace.

I have another friend from our FCC Chicago group who is also leaving tomorrow with her family. Their blog address is Our Suzhou Princess.

And yet, I have one more to share. A friend of mine through our adoption agency is an amazing momma to 5 kids; two bio and three adopted. Her and four of her friends were in Chicago (up from Indy) for a girls weekend away last weekend and unfortunately were victims in that accident where the semi truck plowed full speed into the bus station and CTA station. She is so very open on her blog. You can read about her scare at her blog, True Moments of Family.

I have had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that one minute everything can be fine and the next minute, BOOM, everything is far from fine. It is yet a reminder to me that we are not in control and that is so hard to remember especially for me since I generally like to think that I am in control. Thank God that Andrea and her friends will be okay. Prayers are with everyone involved, especially the families that lost loved ones.

No wonder I am just recovering from a major migraine. Lack of sleep and too much thinking. I've had migraines with auras before but did you know that sometimes an aura is not visual? (just researched them online) This afternoon I had tingly, numb hands and was so extremely cold! I kinda thought I was having a heart attack of course because then I got nervous and short of breath. I tried to rest and when I finally got into bed, the headache came. Tonight is Family Night at Matt's school so he and Kevin and Kamryn went. Ah, a little peace until they return home. Gotta go enjoy it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Craft Day at NIU

One of the moms from our local adoptive groups walked into the Asian American Center at Northern Illinois University one day just out of curiosity to see what they do and even with the hope that our group and their group could get to know each other. A bunch of us adoptive moms met with the director of the Asian American Center one night, and we all decided that it would be nice to have both groups mingle.

We had a brunch and craft day at NIU earlier this month that Kamryn and I attended. We couldn't stay long because the boys opening baseball games were that same afternoon. The hour that we were there was fun though, and I was impressed at how well the students, girls and boys, interacted with the kids. Kamryn seemed to enjoy herself and loved the attention!

One of the girls (I forgot her name, shame on me! Julie do you remember?) drew two circles on the board and Kamryn took the marker and "finished the drawing" by making a smiley face - the two circles being the eyes and she added a nose and a smile. It was fun to see Kamryn's thought process. The game continued on.

The group that got to stay had a nice walk to the park and great conversation. One of the students is an adoptee from Korea. She had mentioned to the moms how great she thought it was that we all get together and learn about the girls' heritages. It really speaks volumes to me that she likes to participate in the activities that the Asian American Center has to offer. After all, she is Asian American even though her family is not. I really feel blessed for having this special opportunity to get know all of these students. Even though they are the students, hopefully they will teach us a lot.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Surprise Visitor

My mom has always told me, "keep your house company ready." Yeah right, easier said than done, but I do try to keep the house picked up and clean. It paid off somewhat Tuesday morning because I got a phone call from my 2nd cousin Kristie who lives in Bloomington, IL. She asked if we would be home that day because she was in the area and could stop by. She knew I was anxious to meet her sweet little bundle of joy who was just born in February.

So of course I told her to come over after we got home from speech. And I buzzed around in the morning wrapping the baby gift I had already picked up (thank goodness) and straightened up the remaining clutter that didn't get put away the day before.

We had a nice little visit. Aubrey is a cutie pie. Kristie looks incredible like always. Next time we see them, we'll go to Bloomington. Already looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't let this cute face fool you!

Yes, she is cute. Yes, she is three. Need I say more? I now remember why I thought the 3's were more terrible than the 2's with the boys . . . it's happening again with a girl too! It's that stage of wanting to be independent and yet wanting to still be a baby. It's the "I'll do it myself" at getting dressed, brushing teeth, and doing projects that end up like this when mom isn't looking.

Or peeing on her carpet because I don't know why . . . because she isn't "training" at all even though she can do it. She just hasn't decided to do it, and that 3 year old stubbornness is so powerful! The stinker can change her own diaper independently. (and she does a very good job of it too! If that doesn't scream that she is so past ready to go on the potty and be a big girl . . . those pull-ups just don't work well overnight; why we have both products in the house. I know I need to bite the bullet and stay in for a few days with real pants and get over the messes she'll make.)

She'll ask to be held like a baby in one breath and then two seconds later she's saying, "that's enough."

She's coming in bed with us every night. Who really has the energy to fight it at 2 am? It's just so much easier to help her up and tuck her back in even if it is right next to me. Quite honestly, when she falls asleep in our bed, we get a whole nights rest. Don't tell the experts . . . but I see a family bed thing happening here. Matt did that too, but he grew out of it. The downside, besides her sleeping sideways alot, is that she is waking up early with me when I get up with Matt at 6:30 am. And then napping at too late of an hour in the day which prevents her from going to bed at a "normal" three year old time.

Truthfully, she has been driving me crazy.

Thankfully, I've stumbled across articles in Parent's Magazine that confirm that it's an age thing. Not the sleep issues I'm sure, but everything else seems to be a stage. She will get through this confusing time of figuring out how to be a big girl and still get loving. I will get through this time of either being wanted all the time or none of the time. A little sleep would make things easier I'm sure. All in time I guess.

P.S. Did you notice the pigtails? She never lets me do anything with her hair, but this day SHE DECIDED she wanted to look like her doll. See her own terms again. She went to speech class Tuesday like this and of course brought along the doll.

P.S.S. Can you read between the lines . . . it's so a transition time for mom too. I want to keep her my baby since she's my last, yet I want her to be a big girl too. So it's so hard to play the tough love card yet I know the sooner I am more firm with some of these things, the better off we'll both be. Ugh!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baseball is in full swing!

The boys have played their first games. Too bad Mother Nature didn't get that message and warm up the temperatures for them! For their opening games, my mom, dad and Aunt B came to watch both games. During one of Matt's night games, Melanie and the kids came out and watched a cold inning before the little ones decided the park would be more fun:)

Last night (yes a school night during testing week!) Brendan had a night game at 7:45 pm and played until 9:45 pm! Matt had practice before that so while riding in the car at 7pm, Kamryn fell asleep and took a 45 minute catnap. (Not good! Sunday she fell asleep at 5 and slept until 8pm and then was up until midnight! Topic for another post.) I was not going to let her "nap" last night for too long, so she and Matt came with me to Brendan's game and she got lots of fresh air. There is no way this little spunky girl would sleep all night through from 7pm to morning. (Kevin of course was out of town)

It was so bitter cold last night. The temperature in our car read 42 degrees but I'm sure with the wind, it was much colder than that. Despite the cold, Brendan had a great game with an awesome hit which got him a double and eventually he scored. He was the player who brought home the game ball since he got the team going when they needed to get going.

He was so happy and just beaming. This is so good for him. At the first baseball meeting he seemed a bit discouraged because he didn't know anyone on the team, and the other boys seemed to have played more baseball than he has. He has only played one other season. He is learning a lot from these coaches and the practices are paying off for him. It's so great for his self-esteem. He's learning that he can do anything if he puts his mind to it and practices often. (he'd often say, "I'm not good at that.") I remind him that most people have to work at the things they really want; that it doesn't come naturally for most.

Then to top off his night, Kamryn only wanted Brendan after his game. During the game she was crying for him too. He just loves the attention from her, and she knows it, so she only gives it when she wants to. I'm glad she was proud of her big brother too!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Proud of the Boys!

Yep! They both got great report cards! All A's I must brag! (Well Matt got one B but all A's last time) Plus, Matt was Student of the Month for his team in February. They do so well in school, and we're very proud of them both!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bye Bye Ray-Ray

As you may remember, in March of 2007 the boys got pet guinea pigs. Matt's unfortunately died after a pregnancy gone bad. Brendan's has remained well and active but Brendan decided a while ago that he didn't want it anymore. He didn't want him in his bedroom so his little piggie moved into my master bath. Yes, right up there by the whirlpool tub that no one has ever used. I took care of Ray. Fed him fresh veggies, cleaned his cage, pet him. I kinda bonded with the little rodent. I talked to him all the time. He used to squeak when I came in the room, and when I was getting ready in the morning, he used to jump around with joy or else lay down so contently.

I am allergic to him though. I started thinking about taking him to the pet stores that would put him up for adoption, but I just couldn't bring myself to doing it. Lucky for me, my sister was talking about it to her mother-in-law and her MIL's eyes lit up. She is an animal lover and said that she would take him.

So my sister came for him Saturday morning and Kamryn and I said goodbye to our little furry friend. All weekend Kamryn has been saying that she misses Ray-Ray. I kinda do too. It seems so strangely quiet in my bathroom and now I have no one to talk to when I am in there:)

Having fun in the tub!

Hand Me Downs are fun!

I was going through pictures and found this one of Kami with her friend Sophie. Sophie was over one night and had her little gymnastics outfit on. Kamryn needed to put hers on then too. Good thing for hand-me-downs, because otherwise I wouldn't have had one for her to wear since she hasn't taken any classes yet! Lilly, Lindsey and Sophie pass on some great stuff! Thanks everyone, and thanks Lindsey for sharing this one!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Catching my breath

It's been a whirlwind around here. Easter, and then spring break, and now cling on Kamryn.

Easter was nice. We went to church at our new satellite church location in Plainfield - it's one of those multi-site churches. Kamryn loves going. Actually even the boys don't complain about going to the kids classes. That's something to celebrate in itself;) For Easter dinner we went to my parent's house. The kids love hanging with their cousins, and this Easter they got to see even a few "second" cousins as my cousin Jennifer and her family drove up from Fishers, IN. (they just moved there from AZ; too bad they weren't that close while we lived in Carmel!) It was the first time Kamryn met them and she seemed a bit shy at first until I explained to her that Jen is my cousin like Lauren is Kamryn's cousin. They bonded immediately after that.

I had a very sweet pink dress picked out for Kamryn to wear on Easter, but she had other ideas. The Easter bunny left her a new outfit for her bitty baby and a matching dress for her to wear. She immediately wanted to put that on and then didn't take it off. It is so cute so I didn't mind at all.

Kevin and I took the kids up to CocoKey, an indoor water park in Arlington Heights inside the Sheraton hotel, for an overnight adventure. What an adventure it was! What were we thinking doing this while many other towns had their spring break too! It was so crazy crowded, but the kids still had a great time. Kamryn loved the water but didn't like spending the night in the hotel room. She wouldn't fall asleep and kept saying, "I want to go to Kami's house." It made for a sleepless night for us all, but mostly me.

My mom's birthday was the day we came home from the water park. I had the entire family over including my aunt and uncle and cousin who were in visiting from Virginia along with more cousins for a little birthday party. My cousin Jen even surprised everyone and drove up from Indiana again and spent the night here.

The boys and I continued our little spring break getaways by driving to Indiana Saturday for an overnight with my friend Delilah. I helped Delilah shop and start packing for her upcoming China trip. It was nice to get out to dinner at Abuelo's (one of my favorite restaurants that isn't in Chicago yet!) with Delilah, Carol and my playgroup friends who helped shower Delilah with gifts and much talk about China. I hope we didn't overwhelm her! Delilah is the one with the radiant, excited glow on her face, second from the left.

I drove down my Aunt B so she could visit my cousin Jen and her family. Funny how I haven't seen Jen for at least 3 years and now I have seen her 3 times in the last week. We all went to church together at Northview so she could check it out. (our previous church in Carmel) They seemed to love it and will probably continue to go there! We loved it too and miss it.

When I talked to Kamryn on the phone on Sunday just before leaving to come home, she told me "mommy I miss you." It was so sweet and so sad at the same time. I think this was the longest I've been away from her. My mom has kept her overnight a couple of times but I haven't been away for two full days. It's no wonder really that she has been cling on Kamryn since I've been home. I was glad she had no "school" on Monday morning so we didn't need to get up and out.

Kamryn and Daddy had a little adventure of their own Saturday night. Some people he works with were at a dinner presentation and their slide show memory stick was corrupt. He and Kamryn had to drive downtown Chicago with his working memory stick. He said she loved looking at the buildings and driving through the one building and under all the roads and trains. I guess suburban driving is not as exciting. Fine by me!

Here are more pictures from Easter time.