Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FTIA Picnic 2008

Every July, FTIA, our adoption agency, always has a big reunion picnic. It was great the first summer home with Kamryn when we lived in Indy because we only had to travel about 10 minutes away from home to get to the park. This was our third picnic, and now it's a good excuse to get back to Carmel to see our friends.

It was a terribly hot day the Saturday of the picnic. Kamryn enjoyed the carousel ride this year and the boys were able to play mini-golf. One of the highlights for me (other than seeing how big the girls are getting) is shopping the booths that vendors have set up. The gal from Scrap-N-Tell.com is always there and she has the best supply of adoption related scrap booking stuff. This time I bought two albums so that I can maybe try to copy what Linda did and make each of the boys their own travel book. The covers are red with black Chinese characters on it. Of course I forgot to get some stuff so I am planning to order from her soon. If anyone wants to tag onto my order so we get free shipping, let me know! If you happen to order yourself, let her know I referred you and I'll get a little gift certificate;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Start Your Engines!

The same weekend as my parents' party were the Nascar Races at the Joliet Speedway. My Aunt Linda is a HUGE Nascar fan to put things mildly and since she was coming in for the party, we treated her to the nights at the races as a kind of a thank you for all of her hard work doing our China travel scrapbook.

I was able to go with Kevin, Brendan and Linda to the Friday night race. It was more fun for me to see Linda's reaction to the whole event and especially Jeff Gordon's trailer of stuff. She's a huge #24 fan! Jeff wasn't racing that night, but we did get there in time to watch him practice for Saturday night's race.

Linda rented us these cool screens and headphones to keep tabs on the stats and listen to whichever car we wanted to. Since I was a bit busy on Saturday preparing for the party, Matt went to the Saturday race with them instead. (Matt is not into racing as much as Kevin and Brendan) They were able to leave at noon on Saturday and spend all day at the track. I was told they all had a great time. Kevin was able to text a message to Linda on the Sprint scoreboard in the infield. Pretty cool for her to see her name out there!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Greatest Fortune Ever is a Love as Good as Gold

It was a "golden" day. The sun was shining, and we were surrounded by family members from both my mom and dad's side of the family. My Aunt, Uncle and cousin from Virginia drove in to be here, my Aunt drove in from Omaha, my Aunt and Uncle drove down from Wisconsin and we had cousins drive in from Indy, Bloomington and Rockford and a bunch of other towns . . . everyone was together from aunts and uncles to cousins and their kids. What a celebration it was! Thanks to everyone who came to make it so special.

Here's the wedding party 50 years later!

Isn't it amazing that the wedding party could celebrate together? How cool is that!

Thanks to our designated photographers of the day, Ginny and Linda:) we have a great collection of photos that captured the day.

A special thanks to my cousin Teri who helped me bake, set up, and clean up and for entertaining Kamryn with homemade play-doh the day before the party. The kids didn't need help being entertained during the party because my sister and I rented one of those big bouncy playhouses and set up lots of outdoor games. Honestly, I don't think I saw the kids much at all during the party. Kamryn tuckered out and took a short hour nap starting at . . . yes, gulp . . . 6 pm that night.

It was a sweet day . . .

At the end of the night, we even got my dad and Aunt Ginny to dance to "their" Glenn Miller song, In the Mood. My sister and I always enjoyed watching them dance at family weddings. My mom says at all the parties they would dance while she and my uncle would sit and have a drink:)

Too bad we can't have this big of a family reunion every year! We honored my parent's marriage and reminisced about years gone by. Boy, how they seem to be flying by faster and faster . . . maybe we'll have another party when they hit 60 years together!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prayers appreciated again

My dad had knee replacement surgery a week ago Tuesday. He's been doing great with his therapy but last night he started complaining of shortness of breath and that his ribs hurt. My mom took him to the hospital, and he has a blood clot in his lung. It's so hard to see him down like this because he is such an active guy. Please keep him in your prayers that this clot disappears soon and that no others form.

My Uncle Fred (my dad's brother) could also use prayers. He and my Aunt Polly were one of the first guests at my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary party, and not 5 minutes in the house unfortunately he took a fall. To make a long story short, he ended up spending the party time at the hospital and even though everything checked out fine that day, they realized a couple of days later that he had broken his foot. He is recovering in a nursing home.

Hopefully these two brothers will be home and well soon. Once again, it's a reminder that even with the best of plans or doing as the doctor orders, some things are just not in our control. That's why prayers are appreciated.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Florida visitors!

Dad and Dianne and Kevin's sister Kathleen and her husband Peter left the Florida sunshine for some Illinois sunshine and fun with family. They came up the last weekend in June. Kath & Peter actually celebrated their one year wedding anniversary while here in Chicago! We surprised them that weekend with a copy of the video we took at their wedding. (they didn't have it professionally videotaped) It was fun to watch it together during our big family barbecue. Some of Kath's friends were even able to come over so they could meet Peter for the first time. (Kathleen met Peter while living in Florida.)

Look how lovely Maddie made Kamryn's hair! They were sitting watching the wedding video together. Notice Kamryn's boo boo on her nose. Figures a couple days before this she fell down the stairs and got this major rug burn.

Try cooking with two professional chefs in your house! A bit intimidating, but I pulled out all of my best recipes:) Plus, it was actually nice to have so much help in the kitchen! Peter and Kath did most of the preparing for the barbecue, and Kevin and I learned a few tricks:) Everyone agreed that my chocolate chip cookie recipe was the best one ever! The kids even helped make those.

Since Peter's trips to Chicago have been limited, Kathleen wanted to finally show him the house where she grew up in. So one day while Dad & Dianne were at cousin Maddie's dance recitals, we all drove to the south side of Chicago. It was a trip down memory lane since we then found ourselves also driving by her high school and then the first house that Kevin and I lived in after we got married almost 17 years ago! It's for sale now so we had to stop and pick up a flyer. They have redone so much inside and it looks great! No more yellow and white tiled bathtub and an updated kitchen!

Grandma Dianne and Grandpa spoiled the kids rotten one day too. They took them to the movies, out to lunch and then to play mini-golf! The kids loved it. The boys especially love just hanging out with Grandma Dianne and Grandpa because they will play games with the boys all the time. This trip it was Sequence. Grandpa was a good sport when Kamryn got out her play doctor kit and listened to his tummy:)

We all enjoyed their visit and wish we could see each other more often. It's great to see how Kamryn just loves on them and picks up right where she left off. And even with Peter, whom she has only met the one other time at the wedding. She knows who loves her and is great at returning that love. Her newest saying is, "We're family, we're all together."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Life in Six Words

I've been tagged by my friend Sue to describe my life right now in six words.

Party Planner - My parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary party was at our house. I planned every detail of the party to make it memorable for our parents. (and it was memorable! A separate post about the party coming soon!) They didn't renew their wedding vows, but other than that, it was like an actual wedding reception. There were gorgeous flowers on the tables, a special corsage and boutonniere, music playing from the 50's, golden tablecloths, golden wrapped silverware, golden balloons, a memory book for guests to write a note, golden picture frames adorned with crystal hearts showcasing their wedding picture and also a recent picture from Lake Geneva, homemade food (just like their wedding), golden sparkling wine for a toast and gold organza bags with customized fortune cookies as favors. I also splurged and ordered customized gold and white m&m's with their name and wedding date on them. My sister and I also put together a musical picture slide show of pictures throughout their 50 years together.

Decorating Crazy - Okay, it's one of my passions and actually an obsession. I LOVE to decorate my home. I used to sell Home Interiors & Gifts for 8 years which I stopped doing when we moved back to IL. Just recently when I was getting a quote on window blinds/treatments, I was told by a decorator that I should start my own business. It was such a huge compliment coming from her and was nice to hear. Anyway, the one big project that I recently finished and didn't post pictures of yet is Kamryn's bedroom/playroom. It's adorable. Pictures coming soon.

Blessed - Blessed beyond belief to have good health, a wonderful husband, three really good kids, a great family-immediate and extended, and friends-old, new and reacquainted ones! in my life.

Mom - It's the biggest job and best job that I have right now. With the boys being older and Kamryn being three, it sometimes can be a challenge to keep them all happy. We've been having a great summer though and keeping them all happy!

Nurse/worry wart/hand holder/hugger - No, not a licensed nurse. But I feel like a nurse none the less. Matt had a "mole" removed earlier in the summer (easy), Kamryn had her surgery (not as easy) and Brendan actually has one coming up in August too to remove a birthmark from his leg. It will be pretty intense since it's a pretty big nevus on the back of his thigh. (hopefully not too hard) I hate when my children are under anesthesia, that's the worry wart part. But I do like to hold their hands (the boys who are too old to cuddle) and hug on them. Kamryn is so good at cuddling, until she says "that's enough mommy."

Hectic - But fun . . . but it's been nonstop. I really need more whitespace on my calendar:) But then I will be looking for things to do. Why is that? This afternoon we stayed around the house and the boys found two little frogs out in the street while they were pulling weeds. Brendan was complaining about his chore but then was so happy he was out there.

I am supposed to tag 5 other people, but I think many of my blogger friends have been tagged already. If you are reading this and haven't been tagged, consider this your tag. Go ahead and try to describe your life right now in 6 words. Even if you don't blog, think about it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Forgive me blogger

for I am behind. Terribly behind. About one month behind really even though I posted two weeks ago. I will try to catch up. I have been too tired, busy, not in the mood to post but I will try to get out of this funk.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Okay, so she eats ice cream too!

This picture was taken this past weekend in Lake Geneva. Grandpa treated everyone to an ice cream cone after the boat cruise. Okay, not good for her teeth I know, but we were celebrating!

Isn't her dress adorable? My mom made it for her. She couldn't pass up the ladybug print fabric since she knows we have a thing for ladybugs. Ladybugs are a good luck symbol for Chinese adoptions. She even made a matching purse. Thanks Grandma!

Her surgery is over

I am so glad that the morning is behind us. She is doing well and is back to her spunky self! She hasn't even napped at all today even after the anesthesia; figures, this girl never sleeps! Actually, I wouldn't want her any other way than her "normal" self.

It was terrible to see her all dopey on the sedative they gave her before the surgery to help with the separation from us. When we got to the hospital room, she started throwing a fit, refusing to even put on the gown. Ten minutes after the sedative, her eyes started rolling and she just laid on my lap.

Three and half hours in that waiting room is no fun.

Finally, the dentist appeared. He filled 11 cavities and did the two crowns on her two front teeth. We only knew about 4 cavities going into this. Needless to say, we were very shocked! He said it is due to the bad enamel on her teeth, probably from lack of prenatal care. Hmph. No fluoride in the water in China probably didn't help either. Two strikes against her right from the start. Really, it is not our parenting skills . . . she doesn't really drink juice, yes she eats suckers and will drink pop sometimes . . . but the boys haven't even had one cavity yet. I guess I will brush her teeth more often even when she insists on doing it herself.

It is what it is. The dentist put sealants on her other teeth. Hopefully that will help. Oh, and the ear tube was still in so the ENT took it out and fixed the hole in her eardrum. He put packing stuff in her ear so he said she may not ear well for a few days until that all dissolves.

The ENT was the hero though. Her teeth are bothering her more than her ear. We are tired here tonight. Getting up at 4:45 am and leaving the house at 5:30 is not common for Kamryn or mommy. Looking forward to some sleep tonight.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Please say a prayer

Tomorrow morning we are off at 5:30 in the morning to go to the hospital for Kamryn's dental surgery. Ugh. It was going to be a dual surgery with the ENT going first to remove an ear tube that has been in her ear for over 2 years with the dentist going next to do the crowns, fillings and xrays. But when we went to the pediatrician for the pre-op physical, she didn't see the ear tube. So the ENT will still take a peek but hopefully it has in fact fallen out on it's own. I think this surgery will be harder on me than it will be on Kamryn. I can't wait until it's over.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Then . . .

And Now . . .

It was a golden day as our families took off for Lake Geneva. The kids were happy to be with their cousins, Kamryn was happy to be with her Uncle Todd (she wouldn't leave him alone!), and Melanie and I were happy to be with our parents and Aunt Bernice and reminisce about their wedding days. We were all happy to share the beautiful day together!

My Aunt Bernice was my mom's matron of honor.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary!

The greatest fortune ever is a love as good as gold . . .

My parents celebrated their Golden Anniversary today. We were lucky enough to spend the day with them up at Lake Geneva and took a luncheon cruise. More details and pictures tomorrow I promise . . . wanted to post this on their actual anniversary! Love you both! You are an inspiration.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My little rocker

This is what happens when she sees the boys playing guitar hero . . . she wants a guitar of her own! So we did find a cute little pink one that plays preloaded children's tunes or in a different mode Kamryn can make up her own tunes. She's so funny because she'll stand real still and play and then once in a while lift the guitar up like she sees the boys do.