Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eating a doctor a day keeps the apples away...

It made perfect sense to Katie when she said it but of course the parental units could not hold back the laughter at that statement. All I have to say is thank goodness for the humor of raising children because man oh man, raising two "virtual twin" three year old's is hard work. It is gratifying and rewarding work but it is exhausting if you put your heart and soul into it like we do. Heck, it is probably hard even if you do not put your heart and soul into it (smirk)

I hope all those that are waiting for their precious children do not feel that I am being ungrateful by expressing how parenting can be grueling. I think many of you know by now that I am one to speak the truth. Isn't it better to feel that we are all in the same parenting boat and bailing the water out as fast as we can so that we do not sink amidst the tremendous work load that we all carry? You can love your children more than life itself and wish for a some carefree and child free moments like I do right now.

Marc is working tonight and after reading to the kids, playing outside with them, playing inside with them, refereeing their squabbles, meeting all of their needs, I told them that they could choose a DVD before bed. After it was over and we were cleaning up the family room before bed, I see Ethan looking behind a chair in the room for something. I asked him what is behind there and he reaches back to pull out oodles and oodles of stuffing from the couch cushions that he has removed...ugh! Thanks mischief man, appreciate that!!

OK, back to the cuteness that brings focus to this overworked and tired mama. Thank goodness that I get the compensation of smiles and laughter that ease my weary mind and soul. Here is some more of it for your viewing pleasure.

Goodnight for now because morning comes VERY early around these parts and it all begins again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

新年快樂 Xīnnián kuàilè Congratulations and be prosperous. Happy Lunar New Year of the Ox!

We have celebrated this New Year of the Ox at two different celebrations; one in Orlando with our Florida Great Wall China Adoption family and then last night with our FCC South Florida Family.

May this new year bring you all things good. As far as I go, I think that the coming year bodes quite well for us as Marc and I were born under the sign of the Ox. How can we miss?

Here are a few photos from both celebrations...enjoy!

Here comes the lion at the FCC South Florida CNY Dinner!

Katie was not pleased at all!

Ethan was!

The DD are Yin Yang

Here they are before the Orlando Great Wall CNY event the week before

Ethan not sitting still for the picture as usual

Me and my sweet Starr

I love this photo of my mischief man and his gal pal, Erin

BFF's, The Dynamic Duo and Mia

Ethan had a ball at the party

Ethan holding the limbo stick with daddy at the party

Our good friends, Julie and Kacey

Mama's and children

Marc and I pose for a photo (hardly ever see that :)

Oh no, the lion is gonna eat Ethan (he loved it)

Our good friends, Heidi and Jaci Lu

One of our Great Wall travel mates and good friends, Bob and daughter Malia

The Girls

Katie's Gansu "Sister" Meghan and mom, Lisa

Sweet Rachel (password protected)

After the Great Wall event in Orlando all of the families from South Florida got together in the hotel and had a group dinner. Then the kids played and had a ball!

I am seeing into the future

Intense concentration

The next three video are off the kiddos playing after dinner. Video one is Ring around the Rosey, video two is the first attempt at duck duck goose and the third video is duck duck goose gone wild :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This was just plain wrong!

Tonight, Shannon, Alan and Mia were over for a visit. After dinner, we hung out talking and laughing while the kiddos played. We then gave the children a snack and Shannon and I I mean asked our husbands nicely to go out and get us ice cream from Dairy Queen. They came back and we all sat (minus Marc who was not hungry for ice cream......whatever!) and started to eat our ice cream. Mia sauntered over and asked us for some ice cream. Shannon spontaneously busts out with the fact we were eating Broccoli. Wow, Shannon...that was quick thinking!! Mia looking disgusted, walks off and leaves us alone...bwahahaha! Then the mischief man walks over 5 minutes later and asks for ice cream from me. I tell him that I am eating Broccoli. He then looks to Shannon longingly who tells him that she is eating an onion salad (onion salad...huh??) and then his last chance was Alan who says he is eating Spinach. Ethan walks away looking gloomy and we could hardly contain our laughter at the whole ridiculous scene. This really was wrong on every level but hey you gotta do what you gotta do when you want to eat your treat all by yourself.

Of course, Ethan had the last laugh when he came back and told us that he would like some of our Broccoli!! Foiled again!

Well...actaully we were not really foiled as we had already finished our "Broccoli." hehehe!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fabulous Blog Award

My SFAM Gail, of Aging with Grace and Strong Will has given me this award. As Gail described in her nomination, we have a great deal in common; even more than meets the eye! We lovingly call each other SFAM, as we feel that we are like "sisters from another mother.' ;-) Gail is such a supportive friend and an amazing mom to her two beautiful children from China, Grace and Will as well as her adult son. She and I have only scratched the surface on what it is to start all over again at this point in our lives, though I think that we both agree that the wisdom that comes with the our years trumps youthful energy any time.....well maybe most of the time! When Gail and I are not communicating via our blog or e-mail then there is always facebook to keep us updated on each other's adventures. Thank you SFAM for the honor of your nomination.

The Rules are:
Pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs, including the one that gave it to you and link them.

This is one tough task because I think that all of the blogs on my sidebar (some of which are password protected) as well as many others that I view are fabulous but I will choose five like I was instructed to......

1. Viv of Life with Kerri writes a fabulous blog and is a dear friend to boot. She is a transplanted Canadian who used to live here in South Florida. I love her blog and her daily tales of Life with Kerri almost as much as I love her and her family. Check out this amazing full time mom and wife's blog who knows how to cherish the moment.

2.Mary of Ladybugs and Dragonflies is another dear friend of mine and "blogger of late." Even though Mary is new to the Blogisphere she has been around the block a few times. Actually four to be exact with her two wonderful homegrown children, Lindsay and Chris and her two precious daughters from China, Olivia aka "Livi" and Sophie. This full time mama is usually in her minivan running someone to somewhere, so I am not sure how she fits blogging in but I am sure glad she does as I love her ability to tell it like it is.

3. Colleen of Welcome to the Nuthouse is mom to six; her four grown up sons and her two adopted beauties, Olivia from Korea and Addison from China. Colleen and I waited for her Addison and my Katie Starr at the same time and have found support in each other for a long time. She has been the cheerleader for our DTC family in addition to her own and her devotion to all that she loves knows no bounds. Check out the antics in her "nuthouse" and you will know why this lovely woman can't keep the laughter out of her blog voice.

4. Tammie of On Being Erin's Mother is another wonderful friend of mine and the voice of honesty. She never holds back in her blog nor does she hold back with her love and care towards her friends. There has been no one in my life that has reached out to me in support and care as much as Tammie and most recently with the illness of my FIL she has been the daily voice of love, concern and prayers. My only complaint with Tammie lately is that she is not blogging as frequently as I would like her to. I need my Erin fix. Tammie's amazing little girl is as devoted to my Ethan as he is to her. They share a red thread that weaves us all together.

5. Last but not least is Barb at Journey of Love. Barb is the reason that Marc and I adopted from China. She is Marc's ex-wife but there is nothing ex about her. She is a friend to him and to me and now we will always have the connection of our children from China. It is a long story as to how and why we adopted because of her but suffice it to say that we are very grateful to her. We will always hold her in a special place in our hearts. Her daughter Mia is the perfect fit for her and her hubby Mike and she is as special as they are. Check out the their blog and you will see a family that is living the credo that love is the journey and not the destination.

Part of this award asked to list my five fabulous addictions. I am going to pass on that one as life has been so hectic for a couple of different "NOT FUN" reasons lately and I have virtually no time (or money) to pursue the things that I would love to be addicted to like traveling or shopping or dining out like I used to be able to. Blogging is of course a huge passion of mine and my guilty pleasure of facebook is an awesome way to keep up with the family and friends easily in a fun way.

I know I promised photos of last weekend and I promise that I will ASAP. Marc is taking me to dinner and to see the "Dancing with the Stars" show tomorrow evening. He gave me the tix for Hanukkah and Justin is coming by to take care of his little sis and bro. This weekend I will do my best to catch up a bit!

Monday, January 19, 2009


will be quite a special day. Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President of the United States of America. I cannot tell you how much hope I have in my heart because of him and all that he stands for. I think he will be a truly great president, dare I say that I believe he can be the best leader that this country has ever seen. Even saying that, I know that we will ALL have to do our part in turning this country around and head it back in the right direction. One person cannot save us from ourselves. We all have to do our part and I think this amazing man will lead the way.

I will be watching tomorrow, along with the rest of the world, as history is made. I will have great hope in my heart and a renewed optimism for the future.

The day after the inauguration, I will be back with our regular scheduled programming. I have lots of cute pics and video from this past weekend when we took the Dynamic Duo up to Orlando for our adoption agency's Chinese New Year Celebration as well as a mini reunion of fellow adoptive parents in Downtown Disney.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it

Thanks to my friend Shannon who is also a mom in the trenches for sharing this with me. Now, I share it with all of my mom friends out there. A mom's work is never done...hehe!

Friday, January 09, 2009

~Engagement Photos~

Justin and Judy had their engagement pictures taken a couple of weekends ago in Gainesville, Florida on the University of Florida Campus. This is where they met and fell in love. They also both graduated from UF and as the say...they bleed blue and orange. It would only make sense then that they would get married in Gainesville, so this time next year we, as well as all of their family and close friends will be traveling to Gainesville to watch them unite in marriage where it all began.

Here are two photos from the shoot. Click here to access the blog where the photographer talked about their story, photo shoot and posted many photos from the shoot.

I know I am biased but I totally think they they look so wonderful in this picture. Again, check out the rest of this photographer's amazing pictures of my kids by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hello, I am Lori and I am addicted to Facebook!

I already had computer usage issues before but now this darn Facebook has me hook, line and sinker. Any little bit of free time that I have is spent posting my status, commenting on other people's status's and photos, perusing to see what my "friends" are doing, joining groups, taking fun little quizzes, sending flair and other gifts and on and on. I am sure that there must be a support group for this but with my luck it is probably on Facebook (snort!)

Of course, to add insult to injury, I also have to face the constant ridicule of my son and future DIL who are mortified that I, as well as the rest of the "back in the day" crowd, have infested their sanctum. Facebook used to be a "college only" social networking site but it is not anymore. I keep reminding them of that fact and that they are not in college anymore but my arguments fall on deaf ears.

If you have not ever been on Facebook and you are like me with virtually no extra time to waste, I say "stay away before it gets you too!" I love it but I waste more time than I care to discuss. If you have already been bitten by the bug and you are hooked like me...well then.....

I will catch you on Facebook where we can make sure that all of our friends know what we are doing at all times and most especially when we should probably be doing something watching TV or something!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Halfway there!

Justin is just about to enter into his second half of law school after completing his first three semesters successfully. Law School is tough; really tough and the stress level is horrendous. I think that comes from basically having to retrain your mind to a new way of thinking and speaking a whole new language. I believe now that he is understanding that new language more and more that the second half will be a little more pleasurable for him.

Justin; Marc and I are so proud of you and we know how hard you work every day to attain your goals.

Congrats on your good grades and for persevering.

Mom, Marc and the Dynamic Duo

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Let's get the party started!

Even since Katie saw MC Daddy do his thing (see previous post) she has been trying to lead us in her dances. She is also pretty adamant that we follow what she says. This video is a bit lengthy (a little over 4 minutes) but it is full of cute tidbits that are sure to bring a smile.

and here she is folks...MC Katie sTaRr!!!!!!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Like Father, Like Daughter!

As most of you know my DH is a Disc Jockey. It is not his side job or hobby; it has been his full time business for the past 29 years. He loves it and he is really good at it; in fact I think he is amazing at it! He is not a radio DJ and he is not someone who just spins music, in fact he does not particularly enjoy music that much. He definitely does not listen to it in his spare time. That always amazes people when I explain that little known fact about Marc. As he puts it "a monkey can be trained to play music." I should know, for a few years at the beginning of our relationship I was his part time "monkey." while I still ran my own business.

Marc is an entertainer and he entertains the crowd while his computer plays the music. He provides entertainment at social events such as weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah's, corporate events etc. He is funny as all get out and you really never know what Marky Marc (as I call him) is going to do at any given moment. Nothing he does is scripted and he is just all about being spontaneous. I think that is what sets him apart from the rest and what has allowed him to make a good living doing what he loves for all of these years. He is also very lucky in my humble opinion because he gets to do what he loves for a living.

Well, it seems that our little Starr has a lot of the same attributes as her dear ol' daddy. Yes, Katie is smart, funny and entertaining but that is usually reserved for the people that she trusts the most. She is usually quite reserved in new situations but today the "entertainer" in our daughter came out to play!

Marc was entertaining at a community camp for 5 to 11 year old's and asked me to bring the DD to see him. The kiddos know what he does for a living as they have seen him once or twice fairly quickly. Katie Starr always says "my daddy works on the microphone", but this was the first time they have even been able to be involved.

When we pulled up to the park where he was working, we saw him and over 100 kids there. We walked over and he was leading a popular dance with the kids called the "Cha Cha Slide". We watched as he did that and I watched as Katie sang the words right along with him. Since he is a DJ she gets to hear all of the top 40 stuff so she knows a lot of the words. The only other person in my family that loves Top 40 as much as Katie does is my mom. I find it a bit weird and surreal that they were both singing the lyrics to "Womanizer" by Brittany Spears recently...together!...OMG!

But I digress...

Marc then entertained the kids with a game and Katie was absolutely entranced with the whole process and enjoyed it immensely. When it was time to dance again, Katie ran up to the front, faced the crowd with her daddy and tried to lead the dance with him. She was amazing and the kids loved her. Ethan got involved too but he was soon off chasing ducks so of course Mom was off chasing Ethan (smirk). She stayed for another 15 minutes or so just free dancing with the kids until Marc started a circle dance where the kids throw off their skills in the middle. Guess who got into the circle and threw off...yes, that is right...our Starr! OMG, it pushed the cuteness quotient off the charts and Marc and I had grins from ear to ear. Later, after we left, Marc called me to tell me that the kids could not stop talking about Katie. They thought she was so cute and that she was such a good dancer ;0)

Check out these pics. Unfortunately, this bad blogging mama did not have her camera at the ready so these cell phone camera pics will have to suffice.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Snow in South Florida?

Happy 2009!!

May the new year bring you good health, great happiness and a little prosperity thrown in for good measure!! :0)

Thank you to all who have shared yourselves and your friendship with us this past year through your comments, posts and support. We look forward to making many wonderful memories in 2009 that we will share with you as you so kindly share with us here in the Blogisphere.

With Love,

The Dynamic Duo of Katie Starr and Ethan


The Adults here at "Stress is the New Black", Mommy Lori, Daddy Marc, Big brother Justin and sister in law to be Judy