Saturday, February 28, 2009

lamb chops and crab cakes

So we showed up in Hilton Head for a work conference for Steve. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel and it was quite nice. Upon our arrival and check in the manager came out to greet us. She went on and on about how she hoped that we had a great stay and how excited they were to have our conference staying with the Crowne Plaza. To which Steve responded, "Uh, thanks."

You see, our division of our company is a bit of a guest at this conference and while Steve is an influential leader, he is not exactly a big wig. So the greeting just seemed a bit odd.

When we arrived in our room (which was spacious and lovely) we found a complimentary box of hand carved chocolate with a kind note from the management thanking us for our stay. Nice touch.

But later that night, after dropping off the kids at Steve's parents' condo for the night (yes a 5 night kid-free stay... ahhh) there is was... a "special" gift. Room service with a very nice note welcoming us (once again) with a complimentary lamb chop dinner awaiting us.

But that doesn't look like lamb chops in that picture you say?

Well, that's because this is the SECOND complimentary room service dinner delivered to our room the night before we left. Crab cakes awaited us along with another note thanking us for our stay.

So, we're pretty sure that the Crowne Plaza thought we were someone we clearly are NOT. We even mentioned the lamb chops to some of our co-workers after that first night and when we realized we were the only ones, we were a bit embarrassed. Ooops. I'm pretty sure there was some important big wig staying there that got jipped. But for us, it was a real treat to live like royalty for a few days.

Oh, and by the way, I almost didn't even include this photo because I look like I've failed Weight Watchers and gained all my weight back. I assure you, the crab cake dinner did NOT go straight to my mid section, however, Steve's hideous fleece didn't do much for my figure, however it did help keep me warm.

Why does Mother Nature hate me?

A week ago today the 4 of us boarded a plane headed for the South. Hilton Head to be exact. (Steve had meetings for work- I SWEAR.) Normally, this would have been daunting with a VERY active one year boy, except I kept telling myself we'd already done this once all the way to China and survived. Plus I just got done watching an episode of John and Kate Plus 8 where all 10 of them went from the East Coast to Utah and survived. 2 little kids, to little 'ole South Carolina, ain't no thang.

Except one minor detail- when Buckeyes head down south in the middle of the winter, we want to wear shorts, bask in the sun and deny reality for a few days. Instead, we froze our pale little patooties off! However, the Koproskis did see their shadows, I think that means 4 more weeks of winter, or something like that.

Even though Olivia had to wear two coats and Turner had to wear several layers, I managed to wear capris each day (which left me cussing because it was dang cold!) But I did get to sport my cute new pair of Old Navy hot pink ballet flats (which won't re-appear now until well into May because who wants to tromp through snow in hot pink ballet flats?)

Because it was too cold to head down to the ocean (we tried it the first day and I came back with a double ear ache) we stuck to dog watching in the harbor instead. I promise, if there is a dog around, Turner would be set for the day. The people down in Hilton Head KILL me with their dogs. O was quite impressed with a dog named Fergie. Fergie was a little yappy kind of thing that had bows in her hair and her nails painted. Are you kidding me???
It really didn't matter what the weather was like outside, because life was JUST RIGHT inside Grandma and Papa's condo. Turner and Olivia were spoiled rotten (as were Steve and I) all week. Such a fun time.

And lucky for Turner there were cupboards galore. If he can take things in and out (and if there is a dog around) he is really REALLY happy. So to sum up our week in Hilton Head:
weather= big bummer
family= delightful
break from bitter cold and snow= amazing
weather greeting us back in Dayton= exactly the same as Hilton Head...Mother Nature's cruel joke on me. Boo Hoo.. poor me, I know you are already slicing the cheese to go with my whine!

Friday, February 20, 2009

fi'ty cent

That's what I paid for all of this stuff at CVS today. This may have been the actual first time I did what I intended to do, didn't forget a step or buy the wrong size product. I only paid two shiny quarters from my pocket for this stuff, used coupons from the paper, CVS and my friend, Jenny. I also used some of CVS' "magic money" aka ECB's. I walked away with 11 more ECB's for next time.
Today Steve declared, "I'm a believer." (Up until now I think he truly believed I would drive our monthly budget into the ground AND that my friend Jenny is actually a paid employee of CVS- luring unsuspecting, truly unorganized people like me into the CVS trap.) I think today helped prove both theories to be untrue. So, Jenny, you and I are both off the hook and I'm good to hunt down a fun bargain for another week.
PS: To those friends who have revealed that they secretly love my CVS debacles and look forward to reading about them; I'm sorry to say it looks like you're going to have to go elsewhere for your jollies :)

3 years of Olivia fun

One of the biggest adjustments for Steve when we got married was how my family does holidays. Growing up as an only child, let's just say I *may* have been a bit over-indulged. We refrain from using the word spoiled...but because there were no siblings to share the limelight with the world did, on occasion, revolve around me.

We didn't just have a birthday in our house, we had "birthday week." And so, it seems, the tradition may have accidentally carried on. (Although after this birthday week, there may not be a repeat, I'm worn out!)

I thought O may enjoy a dinner on her actual day where the waitstaff come and sing to you. We had a bogo free coupon at t.g.i Friday's, so that seemed like a no brainer. Girl is NOT a fan of balloons. You know, they might pop and stuff like that. So when three waitresses came to the table with balloons, the look on O's face was a bit less than appreciative. (She suddenly grew a fond affection for balloons when I gave one to Turner and he enjoyed his. Funny how that works!)

She was, however, a huge fan of this ridiculously large sundae they brought out after singing a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. Seriously, this sundae was bigger than anything an adult would order- and she didn't want to share. And you know what, in honor of birthday week, I didn't make her.
So, my baby is three. Some people get all mushy gushy and don't want their kids to grow up. Maybe I'm heartless, but I LOVE watching my kids grow up. I'm so proud of who she is and think she is a blast. She is so unique and so full of drama and flare. In fact, about three days ago she decided to start calling me MiMi. (??? you're guess is as good as mine!) The crazier thing, I've started responding. I don't know if now that she's three she thinks she's too old to call me mom or what. But it's been very consistent. So, I'm not sure if for the rest of her life I'll be MiMi around here, but to be honest, I kind of like it. I'm not sure what year number three holds for all of us around here, but one thing is for sure, it will not be predictable.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tidiness is over rated!

Yesterday was a window into what could be.

We had a showing of the house last night. (IF you're keeping track, that's exactly 2 in the last 4 months.) Because of the CRAZY past week and a half there has been very little margin for me to clean up the house and get it show ready. (In fact, I'm not sure there is enough margin in the next 6 months for it to be show ready, but whatever). So yesterday, after I took my Chinese friend, Susan, with the two kids in tow, to the dentist for a root canal (yes- you CAN imagine the horror of that song and dance all the way around) I set my buns in high gear.

So, what I learned was that if I took 5 hours each day and didn't do anything else and was the toy nazi, my house would look awesome. I got rid of some of the obvious clutter (although Steve did find me out when he opened the receipt drawer and papers and all kinds of obvious clutter exploded in his face) and bagged up MORE toys and books for Goodwill. (FYI the Pink Disney Princess pop tent my mom got O for her birthday is even BIGGER and PINKER than originally suspected. It is at least 6 ft. by 5ft. and is possibly the most obnoxious gift ever given to a grandchild. Thanks, Bebe!)

I would give my right arm for one of those TLC shows or HGTV shows to come in and give my house a clutter make over. But since I've got a better shot at having pigs fly out of my rear, I'll just keep plowing along and hope for more frequent showings (just so that I can keep my house presentable.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A fairytale birthday

Valentines Day what? Not at our house. February 14, 2009 was Princess party day. The day where 10 children 5 and under descended upon our home in a pink explosion! SO FUN.

As a special surprise for the birthday girl Mommy Princess made an appearance.

Much to Mommy Princess' utter chagrin Olivia opened each gift with a loud, "Is this ALL I get?" Did mommy princess ever wish there was an evil witch to cast a spell upon all party goers that resulted in instant deafness. Since no such witch could be found, Mommy declared we are going to get rich friends next year!

The great thing about a birthday party on Valentine's Day? Heart shaped pizza!!!

My biggest regret of the party? Not getting a photo of all the kids together. Everyone came dressed as a princess or a super hero. We had 4 princesses, one incredible hulk, one spider man, one batman and a police officer.

Have I ever mentioned my love for cake? These cakes are from my favorite bakery in Dayton... The Cake Shop. Beautiful and delicious.

In fact, I went a little overboard in the cake department. There was a gorgeous cake that was a Princess castle. But we would have had to put a second mortgage on the house to buy it, so this was my compromise. Isn't that Cinderella cake something (and the green tongue even somethin-er?!) Note the police officer over O's shoulder. No funny business allowed!

Olivia, um, you can have seconds. No need to lick the plate! (Is that all I get???)

She is her mother's daughter!
Thanks to all who came to the party...I don't care what anyone says, I thought you were all very generous :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

toys ARE us

6 years ago when Steve and I were engaged and were house hunting we eventually landed on our current neighborhood because

a) Steve wanted a house
b) I wanted to live downtown where I could walk places
c) We loved the idea of a historic home.

All great ideas when it was the two of us. (Minus the where I could walk places part. I've walked just about nowhere since I've been here. I guess you can take the City out of the girl- or at least replace it with lazy!) But now that we have a family our urban living = incredibly stupid. We have no yard, no basement and no play room. That means there are toys in every nook and cranny of my house!

Today I am getting ready for Olivia's birthday on Saturday and then for her actual 3rd birthday on the 19th. As I do this I am purging the toy boxes, dress up bins and other random places of un-used toys. (Didn't I just downsize 2 months ago for Christmas??)

If you know my daughter or anything about her, you know that we are about to get all kinds of pink sparkly crap around here and the big question is, where to put it? I like to think I've been pretty creative and have tried to hide the toys but a basket loses its cuteness when bulldozers and Elmo figurines are poking out of the top.

So I've been spending time filling some bags with toys that I will either sell at a local consignment shop or will go straight to Goodwill.

I'm sure if I were a better mom there would be some kind of cool teaching opportunity here somewhere, "Olivia, there are many kids nearby who don't have all the nice stuff you do. We are going to box up some of these toys and bless them them the way you've been blessed."

But honestly, I'm just trying to keep my head above water here. As we speak, there is a pink Disney Princess pop-up tent that my mom sent waiting up in the attic for the big day. Where in the SAM HILL is that gonna go? Tents in the living room... Oye Veh! Yet another thing that was on the "I'll never do THAT when I'm a mom" list to cross off. I was such a better mom before I had kids.

If you have a creative way for me to hide my toys or get rid of them for that matter, please leave a comment and share the wealth! Help a mama out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A recommendation for you

For the first time in my life I LOVE the church we attend. There are a million different reasons, and I won't get into all of them, because I don't want to assume you care. However, I do want to let you know that one of the top things that makes me never want to move from Dayton (was that outloud?) and leave our church is the worship. Phil, our worship leader, is AMAZING. He has a great voice, writes songs that take me straight to the throne of God but above all, I always get a sense that he is doing what Jesus is telling him to do. He's not all into himself and he gets out of the way well.

Why tell you all of this? Because there is a chance for you to share in my weekly experience. Phil and his wife, Amber (along with their two super cute kids) are adopting a child from Ethiopia. Another great reason to love the Wings! They put out this CD that is for sale at and I would HIGHLY recommend getting over there and buying it. 100% of the proceeds go to help fund their adoption. I LOVE LOVE LOVE song #2 on the album and wish I was technologically savvy enough to link it up here and have you listen. But we've been down that road before on this blog and you and I both know that ain't gonna happen. So take my word for it, shoot over to the website, plunk down a few bucks and walk away a happy camper while helping to bring home their baby!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


It was a long weekend. I'm fried. The remedy for a tired, weary mama at 9:10 on a Sunday night-- really bad tv. As I flipped around our 6 channels, I instantly found what my exhausted soul was looking for. It felt like an episode of the old show Name That Tune. Within a split second of the tv landing on the CW, Steve and I both yelled out, "Teen Wolf- YES!"

Now, I cannot tell you when the last time I watched Teen Wolf would have been. But I will tell you that at some point in my early teen years I had set my VCR to a movie channel and taped Teen Wolf. I watched that video (commercials and all) over and over and over. Michael J. Fox had definite influence in my life at that point in time (I ONLY drank Diet Pepsi for years because he had a series of Diet Pepsi commercials around the same time.)

Even now as I type, I am enjoying a wolfed-out M.J. (as I called him back in the day) put on a white tux, blow dry his face and go to the prom. Honestly, I can't freakin' believe how big the hair in this movie is. What's more, I can't believe MY hair was even bigger.

And it has such an important social message (as all "good" 80's movies did.) "I am what I am." Oh, and the special effects... how his eyes went from blue to red back to blue when he got angry and turned into the wolf, very realistic!

If you had Michael Jackson pins on your jean jacket, teased your bangs as high as they could go and loved a good pair of Treetorn tennis shoes- you too may enjoy a stroll down memory lane. Hit this link and have some fun. Oh, and Steve's closing comments: "Michael J. Fox is NOT a good athlete." In this movie, that is the least of his worries!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Log in Date- another piece in the puzzle.

Today we got an email from our adoption agency letting us know that we have received our Log In Date. What does this mean for us? Well, it means that China has officially received our dossier (that big packet of papers) and now will go through several approvals before we are officially approved to adopt Quinn.

This is the home stretch, people! Our LID is January 13th. If we were normal people, this would begin the clock ticking for us to be matched with a child. But because everything about our adoption has not been normal, this begins the clock ticking for us to go and get Quinn. But once again, your guess is as good as mine as to the time frame. From the info that our agency has given us the "average" time frame would be 5-6 months from the LID till we go and pick him up. So it puts us in the May/June time frame. I'm praying for May. We'll see.

All in all, getting a LID is exciting and another step toward Quinn. Although, I have to say, on my not so good days my thoughts are- take your time, China. What are we getting ourselves into. But then I see the pictures of that little face and I want to yell, "Hang on Quinn, your mamma's comin!"

I've tried to debate in my mind if it's been better or harder to know his face and his story while we wait. Most people don't find out who their child is until just a few months before they travel. All in all, I'm glad I've been able to picture his little face and pray for him by name. But it is harder, knowing there is an actual face and person waiting for me. But we are in the final lap, now. Hurry up, China!

Parting is such sweet sorrow

I've mentioned before that my daughter is a bit OCD and what I witnessed today confirms it. (And I'm not sure where she gets it- just because I need to have the same bike at spinning class each time, sit in the same pew at church every Saturday and even complete my blog reading each day in a rather "methodical" way- it seems so odd she'd be OCD!)
Since being potty trained for nearly 6 months, O has rarely had an accident. And this is where the OCD works in our favor! She HATES messes (except for those involving brownies like the one in this picture), variations on the routine and any kind of removal of said routine. I won't even start to describe the 1/2 hour lucky rabbits foot that is bed time! I silently pray each night as I tiptoe down the stairs that I have remembered every nuance of the routine in fear of the blood curdling scream that happens if one wink of the eye has been omitted.
Well, potty time is not without it's rituals. And I've been seeing this one coming for a few days, but today's addition was one for the record books. She likes to call me to assist on the wipe after a poop has occurred (and I'm all for it- since we all know what happens if there's been a poor wipe!) and after I've swiped a few rounds she likes to say a few words to the poopies or tinkles and then flush and wash. Well today I was on my way out and because I heard her voice becoming a bit muffled, I turned to see what was happening. She had her head- INSIDE- the bowl (gag) and was saying "Bye bye poopies, see you next time, I love you and I'll miss you."
Are you kidding me?? I laughed so hard I nearly tinkled in my own pants. First of all, get your head out of the toilet and second of all- there better not be a next time. One and done with you, Poopies!!! The wishing well of our poop friends is one thing, but "I love you" said about as fondly as is said to me as I leave for the day- a little weird, if not disturbing. We'll see if this new tradition sticks- this one I could truly do without.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Once upon a time

there was a girl who lived in New York City. She was a twenty-something who LOVED city life. Although life for her was "modest" (meaning her friends who had "good" jobs went to really cool places) she ate at pretty cool places, hung out in Central Park on the weekends, went for all day walks on Saturdays, popped in and out of fun shops and generally lived a hip and care-free life.

Several years later, this same girl jetted off for a three year stay in a city twice the size of NYC. She learned a whole new (and might I just add difficult) language which enabled her to jump on subways, buses and trains to explore and cruise around this City. She and her friends enjoyed games, shopping and eating out on many whims and during the winter vacations took exotic vacations to beautiful islands in Thailand. On many occasions this girl could be overheard exclaiming, "I can't believe THIS is my life!!!"

Then along came a husband. A wonderful, dreamy husband. And life changed. The girl now had a travel partner (to exotic locations, like Louisville, KY for example) and a dining out partner. The waiters at the local Indian restaurant knew them (until it burned down.) Although her address was now in the 100th-ish biggest city in the US, life was full and fun.
Then, along came children. Adorable, funny and smart (if not a bit OCD) children. And life changed. The girl now found herself at parties with other mommies discussing the most effective cleaning agents to use on their hardwood floors (utterly sad yet true story!) and being pulled from her aerobics class because of poop explosions. Friday nights' highlights are Wife Swap and Super Nanny (hope and bright spots in a long week if not reminders that life, in deed, could be worse) and on a good night she stays awake through most of the 10:30pm re-run of King of Queens (which brings her in touch with her inner New Yorker!) And yet, life is still full and fun...just a different kind.
Our girl's life has taken many twists and turns. Some exciting and glamorous, some - not so much. Whether it be a night out in The Village or a night in on a snot-stained brown couch, our girl can't wait to see what adventure the next chapter holds! She's quite sure they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A crummy friend

One of my favorite things about my job are the friends I've made over the years. Erin is one of them. Erin played softball at UD and graduated last year. It was sad to see her go. She got married in July and it was honestly like seeing my little sister get married. I had the privilege of giving the charge at their wedding.

(It was also at their wedding where I learned a valuable lesson-- check to see what color the bridesmaids are wearing if you are speaking in the ceremony. Totally by chance, I wore a dress THE EXACT same color as the girls and it totally looked like I was trying to match. Erin "claims" it made her look organized. But I thought it made me look like a total 36 year old bridesmaid wanna be. Awkward.)

Erin was also one of the first people to visit us at the hospital after Olivia was born and held her hours after her arrival. Needless to say, she is a special person around here.

No matter what kind of history you have with a person you better keep a close eye on who eats snacks around your kids :) After enjoying a brownie (and Turner, some Nilla Wafers on her lap) Erin looked down and said, "Oops, I got brownie crumbs on your kid's head." And true to my blogger self, I said, "Wait, don't wipe 'em off yet-- I gotta get my camera!"

The moral of the story is either never trust a former UD softball player (hopefully she handled the ball better than her brownie) or never trust a blogger (all mistakes in life are subject for public display and fodder for a good post!) Thanks for spending time with us yesterday, Erin-- we love you!