Thursday, January 31, 2008

It may be a loooooong night!

With her blanket
Originally uploaded by JJandStarr

Katie has a lovey that she sleeps with and she has had it since she came home from China. It is a small ladybug taggy blanket. (pictured here with Katie on our way to China 3 months ago). I purchased it from Tina at The Story of You for her and one for her friend Mia who we were waiting for at the time as well. Well, both Katie and Mia cannot sleep without their blankets. This is just a fact of life in our house. Recently, we have been able to convince her to sleep with a larger blanket in addition to the lovey as it no longer covers her completely. Let me tell you, convincing her to do this was quite a feat.

The blanket has traveled everywhere that we have and even was brought half way around the world and back when we adopted Ethan. We even go so far as to make notes and stick them on the door before a trip so as not to forget it. Listen, if you find a way to ensure that your child will sleep you will go to any length, well maybe almost any length, to make sure that nothing interferes with that. Actually Mia's mom, Shannon and I have tried to find a spare one just in case but have been unsuccessful.

Well, we have finally reached a fork in the road so to speak. This morning Marc decided to take the kiddos to Grandma and Grandpa's house on his way to work becuase I am sick (once again the kid crud got me) and could rest. He is such a doll. They were up there the whole day so of course he not only brought the blanket but also her pillow for her nap. I am sure you can see where this story is headed. He came home and within a few minutes his mom called to give him the bad news...that he FORGOT THE BLANKET and PILLOW...ARGH!!! He actually hit his forhead with his hand in self disgust..LOL. My in-laws live up in the next county so he cannot go back until tomorrow to get the blanket and pillow.

We are trying to be optomistic and look at this as an opportunity to wean her off of the blanket.

Sweet dreams everyone and I hope that we can give you report of our families sweet dreams tomorrow. Wish us luck.....

P.S. Marc just walked in and informed me that the babydoll that she sleeps with (we sent that to her in China in her care package and her foster family brought it to us on Katie Starr day) is also up there...double arg!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

You say Potato and I say ....

You know the old saying (it was actually lyrics to an old song)...You say Potato and I say Potahto; you say tomato and I say tomahto, so on and so forth. Well, in our house one little person (who shall be referred to hereafter as Thing One) pronounces that much beloved furry red monstor by his given name; Elmo and the other little person (who shall hereafter be referred to as Thing Two) pronounces his name Elma. I am sure you can guess by the amount of time that thing one and thing two have watched Elmo who is mispronouncing the name.

Well today, Thing One wanted to watch Elmo and started begging for a DVD to be turned on in the car and then thing two joined into the chorus of pleas. She was yelling Elmo and he was yelling Elma. Instead of being happy that Thing One had Thing Two on her side she became upset that he was calling her man, Elma!

Thing One: "Ethan, he not Elma, his name is Elmo!"

Thing Two: "Elma!"

Thing One: "Mom..Dad... Ethan is saying Elma!!" She was not a happy camper...

Thing Two: "Elma...Elma...Elma!!"

Mom: "It's OK Katie...he thinks that he is saying Elmo." :)

Thing One was not happy at all about any of this, no matter what Thing Two thought.

As the song ends... Potato, Potahto, Tomato, Tomahto...Let's call the whole thing off!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Candy Heart Are You?

I better go inform Marc about the results of my test. I am more than sure that since the addition of the Dynamic Duo into our lives he may need to dig into the far recesses of his memory banks and be reminded (wink)

Take this test!

When you reach into the candy heart bag, there's no doubt you're coming up with a fire red heart that reads "Hot Stuff." It's not so much a label as it's your style — turning heads, getting numbers and raising room temperatures a few degrees when you walk through the door.

You'd love someone who could match your flame-throwing ways, but so far, everyone just melts like wax when you turn on the heat.

Got a romantic fireside dinner planned for you and your very own hottie? Better keep a hose nearby because sparks could start flying.

And if you're still on the prowl, waiting to find someone who can hold their own against your undeniable sense of romance and action, keep a close watch. They're sure to come around soon when they see your "Hot Stuff" coming their way.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Here We Go Again

Here is the winning picture from the last post that will go to Katie's preschool and to our CNY celebration, all cropped and corrected :)

This morning the mission was to get an updated picture from each member of the dynamic duo. Again it was easier said than done. We got started bright and early again and when Justin heard the goings on you could almost see the dust in his wake as the door closed behind him.

As you can see we had a couple of location changes for both as well as clothing changes for Ethan. They both flashed their best fake smiles and Ethan decided to start batting his lush eyelashes for the camera. All of this silliness at 7:30 am again. I must be a total glutton for punishment but honestly I work really well under pressure as today was the deadline.

Somehow I got a natural half smile out of Katie and I actually got Ethan to laugh and smile finally by dumping a bowl of play alphabet letters on my own head. Hey, I took one for the team.

Here are the ones that fell on the cutting room floor......

and here are the winners......

Finally, a message to Nana, Grandma, my sis Jane and Aunt Shirley (all of whom beg me constantly for photos) - Don't worry, I will be sending you these pictures ;-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Now you can see for yourself why I have changed the title of my blog

Since we have been home I have not taken even one picture of our whole family together. When we have all been together I simply have not thought about taking one. About 2 weeks ago I found two reasons why I needed to take one ASAP!

Reason 1 - Katie's preschool asked us for one so that they can post it on the door of the classroom for the children to see.

Reason 2 - We are attending our agency CNY celebration in Tampa and they show a slide show during lunch of the children then(at referral) and now along with a family picture.

OK, now I have a mission - I must get a picture and I need it NOW!

Obstacles to that mission:

Mom and Dad (That is me and Marc) are either shuttling Ethan to a therapy or music class or taking Katie to school as well as juggling work schedules with each other and assorted other errands or duties that have to be done - our schedule is truly ridiculous right now!

Ethan and Katie - They are either at one of the above activities or playgroup and if they are at home they never seem to be dressed for a picture or clean enough for one.

Justin - He is always at school and if he comes home before the kiddos go to bed then they are usually covered in food at dinner or in the bath or in their PJ's.

OK, I know it sounds truly ludicrous but that is really how life is right now.

So at 7:00 this morning as I was in the shower I remembered that I HAD to get that picture and I needed it by Friday which is the deadline for the CNY event. I knew that Marc would not be home for the rest of the week at the same time as Justin would be home....I got out of the shower and Marc had already gotten the kiddos up and had begun dressing them. I told him to jump in the shower while I finished dressing them as we were going to take this picture NOW before Justin left for school at 7:45 am.

Now comes the fun part ~

Where is the camera???

Are we gonna pull out the tripod or wing it with something else?

Who's gonna be the one to tell Justin? (He is not that pleasant in the morning..oy!)

Where the hell is the camera???

Marc: "Lori, are you ready?" As I am throwing on a shirt and brushing my hair at the same time!!

Justin: "What?!! We are gonna take a picture now?!?"

Lori: "Yes, we are; come sit down and take off that grungy sweat jacket!" Oh believe me Justin looked thrilled with that statement, took off his sweat jacket and threw it behind him dramatically to make his point. Of course you know I loved that...sheesh!!

Marc: "How do you set this timer again?" as he is squinting because he does not have his reading glasses on.

Lori: "Crap; let me look at that, I will do it!" I then proceed to try and cannot figure it out. "Marc, you messed up the settings!" Of course he did since I could not figure it out (smirk)

Tick Tick Tick, that is the minutes ticking away before Justin tells me to forget it and leaves for school.

Somehow Marc figures it out and then we sit trying to make the kids smile and laugh while the timer is blinking in front of us and we are all trying to look happy for the picture. I think the kids really were happy, Marc and I were both pulling it off if I do say so myself but Justin was not quite there.

Here is the final result of that mess. What do you think besides the fact that we should have our heads examined? Which one is the winner?

Please, please, please if you have any mercy please pick a winner and not a do over.

Take One (Oh no, they can see we have no shoes on! They will also see the stacking cups on the floor!)

Take Two (Lori is a LITTLE animated)
Take Three (Justin looks thrilled doesn't he? Lori seems to be praying here and where is the rest of the family?
Take Four (Getting there except E looking at Gabby the Chihuahua) Somehow Justin has the grungy sweat jacket back on again :(
Take Five (is this the winner?)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Interesting Week

Last week started out on an official note with Ethan's Recognition of Foreign Adoption hearing. We traipsed on down to the courthouse VERY early in the morning with the dynamic duo and hoped for the best. When we did Katie's in 2006 we waited almost 3 hours to be seen and it was not easy to keep her happy for that long in such a confined space. We were not looking forward to the prospect of a deja vu experience times 2. We prepared the diaper bag as if we were heading off to battle and hoped for the best.

We are happy to report that we had our hearing and received our final judgement in record time although we were less than impressed with the judge who was, shall I say, less than warm to us and when asked to take a picture with our family rolled her eyes at the prospect. The hearing itself was very cut and dry until the moment when we were asked if we had come into the country on the correct visa, Ethan decided to let out a tremendous burp as his affirmative response...too funny.

Eating raisins while "patiently" waiting for the hearing the take place

Photo with Judge Friendly

We celebrated in the evening at home with Chinese food (what else?) and had some fun with the kiddos. A huge thanks to Viv who reminded me to celebrate the day :)

Mr. E has been giving all of us a tremendous run for our money this week. He has taken his mischievous ways to a whole new level and even two of his therapists noticed that he has been a bit tough to deal with. They are thrilled with his progress though and for that I am grateful. To illustrate my point I will give you the following pic as exhibit A. I will set the stage for you....

Justin's girlfriend Judy and I were talking in the kitchen on Friday morning after I had taken Katie to preschool. All of the sudden Ethan yells "Mom!!" I run into the family room to what is wrong with this picture?!? Also if you look closely you will notice the bruise on his chin, which happened as he was careening around the family room and fell into the corner of the fireplace.

Marc warned me that there would be many days like this with a boy but I always came back with the smug retort "I have already raised a son so I know how boys are" Well, I had not yet met my spicy boy from Jiangxi :) Justin was the kind of kid that would give most people the false sense of security that boys would all be that easy...right!!

Katie is doing wonderfully and her teachers cannot stop raving about her. She has also become a non stop yacker and is as dramatic as the day is long. Today, we had friends over for lunch and we had to keep reminding her to say excuse me as she must have interrupted us at least 100 times to tell us something that was VERY important, sing a song or just be her sweet cute self.

Before I end my post I would just like to put out a request: If anyone has seen this man...........

Please tell him that we are looking for him. It is my son Justin, who we never see anymore as his law school work is so intense. He cannot keep his nose out of his books long enough to see the light of day. Please tell him we miss him as does his girl, Judy, who is equally busy getting her masters. I used to think I wanted to be a lawyer but after seeing Justin working at this level I think that ship has already sailed.....

Friday, January 18, 2008

My New Look

Tonight was VERY interesting to say the least as I did a huge amount of finagling (is that a word?) to make sure that my old blog address redirected to my new one with the archives intact. I was able to redirect on my own but without my posts. A huge thank you to my Blogistan buddy, Mary-Mia for giving me an easy; albeit scary way to execute it..whew!!!

Another huge thanks goes to
~V~ the Blog fairy for all of her creative input and hard work on my blog redesign. Please visit her blog if you are looking for a face lift. She is so wonderful to work with and more than reasonable.

I love my new look. So what do you all think?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thank you, thank you very much!

My sweet friend Dawn over at Eggrolls and Chopsticks awarded me the blogging with a purpose award. Here are the guidelines for this award:

The guidelines that accompany this award:
1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
3. In their post about the award they need to link back to the original entry.
4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site.
5.The banner must remain linked to Eric Novak's site.

Dawn felt that one of the reasons that I should receive this award is that my blog "tells it like it is" and that "I keep it real" which is what I really try to do. I do share the light moments of this life that we are living but I also share the tough and stressful moments as well such as the attachment issues that we initially had with Katie and the unexpected twists and turns that Ethan's adoption have given us. I love that there are so many blogs now that are beginning to tell it like it is. It did not seem that way almost three years ago when I began blogging. I applaud all of you that are "keepin it real". For this reason I am making an exception for someone who has already received the award. I am re-awarding this award back to Dawn. Her Eggrolls and Chopsticks definitely keeps it real; very real! It accomplishes this with her particular brand of wit and humor. It is a must read for me and of course since we are friends I read it with a tremendous fondness for all of the subjects involved; love ya Dawn!! BTW, since I am breaking the rules and re-awarding this back to you; please feel free to break them as well and not award any more bloggers..LOL

We5Chois is a new blog that is authored by another one of my friends here in South Florida. Kim is another Brit who's humor and slant on things always has me rolling. Even though she is new to the world of blogging, Kim is a fantastic China adoption advocate and has a tremendous wealth of information to share. She is the mother of three children 6 years and under so you know that she has a lot to say and will make you think as well as entertain you saying it.

Cami Mei comes home is also nominated. Sherri's daughter Cami's comes from the same orphanage that Ethan does and her mom and I have forged a wonderful friendship. She and I totally get each other. We even share the same birthday although she is one year older than I am; sorry Sherri!! ROFL. Cami is Sherri's fourth child and this "earth mother", through her blog, can teach us all a thing or two about the power of loving nurture. Sherri can also see the true details in life's routine moments that many of us do not see. I have learned to stop and seek these details and nuances out because of Sherri.

Do they have Salsa in China? is the most viewed China Blog in the world and must be awarded this prize. Mary-Mia is smart, funny and totally in love with her twinados, Marie and Rose. I love reading about the daily antics of her life with Rod and the girls along with some wonderful grandparent influences. Mary-Mia's contribution to adoption blogging is without parallel. I will not even tell you to check her out because you already have (grin)

Our journey of love is last but not least. I nominate Barb's blog because it documents the true love that she and Mike have for their Beautiful Mia but also because Barbara is the person that brought China adoption into our lives. It is a long story and really much to personal to put out here but she is the reason that we were led to our youngest two children and there is no purpose greater than that. Huge hugs to you Barb, Mike and Mia!

I will leave you with this image - It seems that the gruesome twosome (you notice that I did not say dynamic duo, so you can see where I am going with this) have kicked it up a notch in the "let's get into mischief category". Today it seemed that every time we turned our back they were getting into something that they should not. They truly have become co-conspirators and the lead hooligan happens to be Mr. E.

Check out this pic of our bookcase in the playroom. We found this scene after Katie told us that her "bookcase was messy". We kinda ignored this statement as we thought that she meant the usual mess of books put in haphazardly but she kept insisting it was "really messy" We walked in and found in addition to the mess that E was climbing the bookcase...sheesh!!

A couple of pics of what we found

The lead culprit

Not happy that we scolded him for doing this and climbing up the bookcase

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Ramblings

This week has been a good one for our family. Justin is back in the thick of things in law school and enjoying it. Katie is loving "big girl school" and we are having lots of fun and great one on one time with Ethan. Ethan has four therapy sessions a week and we are beginning to see the fruits of that labor. He is getting stronger, eating more and starting to talk a little bit. We have even had some success in the beginning stages of potty training with him. Of course, Katie tells us that she is "too little" to go on the potty. Somehow even though she knows that Ethan is younger and he is going on the potty somehow, some way, she is still too little (grin).

We are getting into a good groove with the dynamic duo. Sometimes it is stressful when one of us takes them somewhere that they would prefer not being, like the doctors office. Yesterday, Marc took Katie for a follow up on her ear infection from last month and had to wait quite a long time for the doctor to get to him. When I called him an hour after the appointment, fully expecting him to tell me that he was done and that all was fine, I heard the sound of a VERY stressed daddy who informed me that if one of the children needs to go to the doctor we need to schedule it so that the other parent is with the other child!! Evidently, the two 2 year olds were a little out of control and Marc was having a Calgon moment. At the end of the appointment he was talking to the Doctor about a fundraiser that our FCC Group is doing (she treats many of our members) and would she like to be a sponsor? As they were discussing the details the kiddos were discussing a quick get away. When Marc looked down they had made there way out to the waiting room and if left to their own devises probably would have driven home. It sure would have been nice if they had paid before they left..LOL.

Finally, I will leave you with a funny anecdote from yesterday and a few pictures from the last couple of days.

Yesterday, Marc took Ethan to a music class and on my way home from work we met up on his way to the class and I took Katie home. We were having a lovely time together (just us girls:) and as the time approached for Marc to get home I preheated the oven for dinner. When the signal went off that the oven was preheated Katie yelled out "I'll get it!!" I asked her what she was going to get and she yelled out "the telephone!"

Do you think that means that my oven does not get used very often?

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Ethan likes to not only put his shoes on but also Katie's as well.

Do you think she got any spaghetti in her mouth?

Katie dropped water from her cup all over her shirt so I took it off and she started running around the patio like a crazy woman!

See what I mean!

What a smile :)

Another dazzling smile from our son :)