Sunday, December 30, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours

Here is our holiday card this year. Unfortunately, the scanner shaved Justin Bear a little on the left but I am sure you get the gist.

It truly was "unbearable" to get a pic between Justin's heavy law school schedule and the dynamic duo's heavy play schedule ;0) so we decided to get a bit creative. I am sure our neighbors thought we were a bit wacky posing our bears on the bench on our front porch (grin)

May all your dreams come true this holiday season and in the year to come.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kina-Hora~Part Duex

Both kiddos are finally on the mend and we thought that now we were home free in the sleep department again; that is until my friend Kira and her hubby Dennis came over today.....

It all started out very nicely; they came to bring holiday gifts for the kiddos. We sat around and talked. Then we had lunch and played with Katie and Ethan. Now comes the part where it went all downhill. Kira and I decided to head out to the mall as soon as we put Katie and Ethan down for their nap. Kira decided to come into the bedroom with me while I was putting them down to sleep in their cribs. They went down without a peep. Katie even asked to go in her crib for a nap. As we left the room Kira commented to me how wonderfully that they had gone down and that it was so EASY! We started to gather our things and say our goodbyes to Marc when we heard a loud cry from Katie. Marc ran in and yelled for us to come......

Katie had climbed out of the crib and fallen to the ground. She was crying but I think it was more out of shock than anything. UGH!! We thought we had a couple of more months until we tackled the toddler bed as Katie has always been so happy and content in her crib and never made a motion to climb out before. Well, now Katie had broken out of our wonderful little baby prison. If she is anything like Justin was when he was a toddler she will find a million reasons to get out of bed and come knocking at our door at the ungodly hour that she wakes up in the AM.

As Marc and I were lamenting this bad turn of events we decided to lay her mattress on the floor for her nap and then convert her crib to a toddler bed before she went to bed tonight. We laid her down and got her settled and Kira and I again tried to leave. Oh no; not so fast!! Now Mr. Ethan cries out like a crazy man. We go running into the room thinking that Katie Starr is tormenting Mr. E through the rails of the crib, like she did in China when we had her in a toddler bed in the White Swan. What we found was far different. We found E jumping up and down laughing and babbling with no pants or diaper on; boyhood swinging in the wind.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! What is happening around here!!! Marc and I redress him and admonish him to keep his diaper and clothes on. He lays down with a mischievous grin on his little face. We leave the room and turn to my wonderful friend Kira and tell her - Thanks Alot!! You gave us a kina-hora by telling us how easy they are. What kind of freind are you anyway!!! LOL

So now as I type this our sweet little Starr is sleeping away in her newly converted toddler bed and our precious Ethan is sleeping in his crib with all of his clothing on...................................

At least we think that they are!

Kira and the Dynamic Duo

Katie Starr happy in her toddler bed

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This is the Yiddish term used by people in the Jewish religion that basically means that you should not be foolish enough to discuss your good fortune as it will bring about bad fortune onto you (kinda like being jinxed) If something good might happen and you dare to say it out loud, you must add a Kina-Hora at the end or the opposite will come true. I think it falls in the realm of being superstitious. I was taught it as a child and all of the Jewish families I know were also taught it as well.
The reason that I discuss Kina-Hora is that I slipped and discusses Katie's good fortune recently with her doctor as she has been with us (19 months) and has never been ill enough to go the doctor for illness or be prescribed medication. I made this statement as she was examining Ethan during his recent bout of bronchitis. She immediately told me to knock on wood (she is obviously superstitious as well). In our home growing up we not only said Kina-Hora after such a statement but we also knocked on wood and bit our tongue to cover all of the bases. I did not do any of these as if I remember correctly we were trying to keep the dynamic duo in line at that particular moment.

Well, unfortunately I have learned my lesson the hard way as now Katie is absolutely and positively the sickest she has been since we have been home. She has a bad ear infection, is totally congested with a hacking cough, has a 104 temp and is miserable in a way that I have never seen. She will not eat anything which is completely telling of her present state as this child lives to eat! Jewish guilt has set in for this mama. The above picture is our baby girl who is usually in constant motion laying down in a most unatural state for her with her sweet Chihuahua by her side.

Now someone please tell me that this was not my fault and just the fact that she picked up the bug at the Pre School that we just visited and she will be attending three mornings a week starting in January. Hmmmm maybe that was it.....
BTW, Ethan is on the mend and doing MUCH better :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Question: Didn't their mother warn them about being too close to the TV?

Answer: Yes, she did!! (probably about a million times) Well maybe not a million but it sure feels that way....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Today we celebrated My mom's birthday with a dinner in our home. It was perfect for my mom who prefers a low key celebration and does not like too much to be made over her birthday. I on the other hand love to have huge birthday celebrations; I am the ultimate birthday princess. I am not quite as bad as I used to be. I guess you have to turn over your tiara at some point ;0) Anyway, we had a very nice time until the end of the evening when we had to administer Ethan's nebulizer treatment for his bronchitis which brought about a quick end to the party. It is no fun to see him so upset. I certainly hope the doctor feels that he is doing well enough to stop the treatments when we see her tomorrow.

Back to my mom's birthday...Happy Birthday Linda Louie; we all love you very much!!
May you have many happy and healthy birthdays to come.

Love, your daughters, Lori and Jane, SIL's Marc and Steve, and grandchildren, Justin, Sam, Katie and Ethan. XXOO

Nana ~ The birthday girl

Justin with the kiddos who are trying to blow into their birthday noisemakers

My guys

Katie whooping it up!

Justin and my dad debating Marc (not pictured) at dinner; lots of debates in our house :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Scary Stuff

Katie Starr has been talking more about monsters lately and about things scaring her like bugs and such. All of the sudden she yelled out to me this evening as she was hanging off the side of the couch ;-)....MOM!! There is a monster here!!!! I walked over to look next to the couch for the monster and saw her shadow..LOL I told her "Honey that is just your shadow!" and proceeded to explain what a shadow was and then helped the story along with a visual of hand puppets. She loved that :)

I love age is really amazing!!

On another scary note the "E" man is really sick. We have all had a bit of a cold this week and Katie and I threw ours off within a few days of getting it but not Ethan. Yesterday he started with a cough that by the evening sounded pretty bad. That along with a fever prompted me to run him into the doctors office this morning. I just wanted to err on the side of caution before the weekend came. Well, good thing my mama instinct is honed as he has a bad case of bronchitis bordering on Pneumonia. We have him on the breathing machine every three hours to open up his bronchials. The Dr was shocked to find out that he had only been coughing for one day. I think that with Ethan I will have to err on the side of caution for the foreseeable future as he came to us in such a weakened state. He sure does not seem weakened though when it comes to taking the nebulizer treatments. He fights it tooth and nail and it is so horribly upsetting seeing the writhing, sweating, kicking, crying and screaming that goes on. By the end of it I am covered in sweat as well. We go back in Monday to evaluate his progress. Hopefully he will throw this off as quickly as he got it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's all about the Sleep

Ethan is most definitely a child that lived in an orphanage for 2+ years. Man oh man, that child can sleep through anything and I mean anything. He and Katie share a room and as I type this I am listening to her over the monitor talk and sing quite loudly and E is sleeping quite soundly; this has been going on over an hour. He even stays asleep if she cries out in the night. He often wakes up after her even though she yells for us to get her in the morning. Katie is a VERY light sleeper on the other hand. Somebody who may close a door five houses down the street can wake our sweet girl - just kidding! Seriously though, she is just like her mama ~ a horrible sleeper. Ethan takes after Daddy who falls asleep in mere seconds each evening while I am typing away and watching TV with the light on. Justin is also in the great sleep category. He began sleeping though the night at 6 weeks old and we had to wake him each morning at 10 am. I am sure dorm and apartment life in a college town only served to help him to block out noise as now that he is home and going to law school he still has no sleep issues; even if the gruesome twosome are banging their new drums right next to his room (see photo)

I would give anything to be like Marc, Justin and Ethan in the sleep category. I think it may be an estrogen vs testosterone thing. At least it seems that way in our house.

Here is a couple of photos of Katie and Ethan in his crib. She and he are always trying to get into each others crib and when they do they scream with happiness as you can see. They also hug and kiss goodnight - every night :)

The Dynamic Duo Rockin the House with their Chanukah Present

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Your honor ~ Here is the evidence; our son is just a picky eater!

Chanukah has been filled with tradition and festivities this year. We are so thankful to have our two children home in time to celebrate the holidays with our adult son, Justin, as well as the rest of our family and friends. We have been invited to two Chanukah parties and went to one of them last evening and had a wonderful time. At the party Ethan showed his true colors with regard to his eating issues. His problem may have started out as a sensory issue but it has turned into a behavior issue (Translation ~ He is a VERY PICKY eater ~ )

Above is exhibit A - After one of the party goers doled out these packages of cookies to all of the children and Ethan sampled his ( he totally loved them and begged for more!) he then decided to wait until everyone was otherwise occupied and took every last box of cookies that he could find around the house and stashed them in the bottom of my diaper bag. We came home and discovered his loot while cleaning out the bag. We totally laughed our A**s off :)

Anyway, on the eating front we are making progress. The therapist had already guessed that was once a sensory issue has become a behavioral issue and we are letting him know that he cannot have the food of choice until he eats the others. We are making baby steps with this method and as of his pediatrician appointment on Thursday he had gained just under one pound since we came home.
Here are a few more pics from the last couple of days.

Happy Chanukah!
Here is Katie Starr, Ethan and their friend Mia at the Chanukah Party

Katie Starr and Ethan playing with their pretend food that they received for Chanukah and having a pizza party. `
It seems that Ketchup and Mayo are a must have when you eat your pizza...who knew??

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our Cutie Patooties

Sitting among the stuffies
Just Chilling together before bed while they watched the "Goodnight Show"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Some new photos and a quick update

Things are pretty busy in our household these days. I have a feeling that I will be saying that for a that for a long time to come ;-)

Justin is winding up his first semester in law school and he is beginning finals. He is working his rear end off and I will be so happy when this first semester is history and he can see the fruits of his labor.

We had our first session with the one of the therapists that will be helping Ethan with his muscle tone and eating issues. We are also going to be seeing someone who will address his speech and overall development. We are excited about taking these steps to help him and are very optimistic about the future.

On Wednesday we took Ethan to Katie's Music Together Class and he had a blast. He joined in right away and amazed all of the mothers and Miss Sue, Katie's teacher!

Ethan also went to his first FCC Dinner and again had lots of fun running around with all of the children. The next evening we met our good friends Alan and Shannon for dinner with their daughter Mia who is Katie's best friend. More fun for the kiddos.

Finally, Marc had to go out of town for business. His family had some special events over the weekend including and engagement party for Marc's cousin and then a birthday Party for his great Aunt. Family and friends came in from all over the country and the kids and I had an awesome time. I was just sad that Marc could not be there to see his family welcome his children with so much love and happiness.
Katie also got to spend more fun time with my folks but I did not get any pictures of that.

Each day he gets more comfortable and is really doing quite well. He is very mischievous and he and Katie are becoming co conspirators.

Oh and BTW, Two 2 year olds is very labor intensive; I have never been this tired in my whole life (smirk)

Joining in at Music Together with Miss Sue

Ahhhhhhh...this is fun!!

Parachute Time

Drummer Girl

more photos

We love our bath

and a few more....

Heading out to our FCC Dinner to intruce my didi (little brother) Ethan
Hanging out after dinner with my best friend Mimi and brother Ethan
Mmmmmm...nothing like sucking on a baby bottle lollypop after dinner
We are off to see our daddy's family
This is going to be fun