Monday, August 31, 2009

A view from the ain't pretty!

Steve and I had our bi-annual fight (that means twice a year, right not every other year?! Cuz I mean the one that happens twice a year) yesterday. It occurs when we sit down to take a bird's eye view of our calendar. Kind of look at what the next few months hold. It was not pretty.

Because our job requires us to still live by semesters (even though we are in our late thirties) we usually evaluate based on that. Even with the addition of a third child, I feel like I've been able to keep my head above water, until we looked at the calender. Pretty much, I am not a planner. Okay, maybe that's not true. I'm not exactly sure what I am. I like my schedule and my routine but I also don't like to feel pinned down or have every minute scheduled. I like the possibility of being spontaneous without actually having to live by the seat of my pants. I guess that makes living with me rather difficult. Hey, what can I say? I'm a complex creature. You'll have to take that one up with God.

So when we looked at the next two months and found that nearly every weekend has something we have to be at (even fun stuff) or Steve is away or there are dance classes for O or school starts 5 days a week, I began to suffocate. And that tends to spiral into a pity party and when that happens, pretty much Steve gets the blame. He really does get the shaft in this whole thing. Because he's a great dad and a great husband and it's not HIS fault that work actually gets him outside of the house while I feel like I'm in "kid prison."

I'm sure no other family runs into this, but the Sunday night fight happens when we both don't feel like we get enough "me" time. I feel like I'm "stuck" here all day and yet don't feel the freedom to take off in the evening. If I want to go to a doctor's appointment or to the store I get an automatic entourage of 3. Weekends we value family stuff along with all the "chores" that need to get done. We don't want to just divide and conquer. But we don't find ourselves doing much to fill our personal tanks either.

Steve on the other hand does get out each day, but as he reminded me last night, he's WORKING. It's not like he's in a men's softball league 4 nights a week out playing poker with the fellas all the time. A little guy time would be great for him and probably for our family as a whole.

So we fight. We apologize. We try to revamp our schedule. We try to do better next time. I realize we are in a "season." This too shall pass. I don't want to wish away these little kid days when they actually like us and WANT to be with us. I realize it passes all too quickly. For now I'll just keep plugging away at the day to day and hope that next "semester" the fight is a little less loud, a bit shorter and gets more quickly resolved! Until then, I'm open to any suggestions and input on how your family does it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

stirrups are for horses & the labor room....


But alas, I was on a solo shopping adventure this afternoon (God bless my husband and Saturdays!) and I hit up Old Navy in hopes of a $19 pair of jeans. FYI, mission failed! While this is a bit off subject, let me just say today I decided something that I have been fighting for years. I do believe this is the year I will bite the bullet and invest (and I do mean invest, we may need to take out a loan to move forward with this plan) in a well made, nice fitting pair of jeans. My theory in life with most things is, "You get what you pay for." But when it comes (lately) to clothing myself, I am into the best deal possible. But I do believe that being a 37 year old SAHM, my buns are calling for a well made pair of jeans. NOT the kind I'm going to get for $19 at Old Navy. But I digress...

So I was moving around the store in kid-free heaven. Only to discover horror of horrors... stirrup pants. Are you kidding me! Someone in the fashion industry is either having a mid-life crisis and is out to re-live 1982 OR the designers are so young and heartbroken that they missed out on this fashion disaster the first time around, they thought they'd cash in on it circa 2009.

After shaking it off, I moved to an aisle full of fall looking sweaters and corduroy pants, skirts and dresses. I NEVER have looked good in cords. EVER. I'm pretty sure only those pencil thin non curvy girls are the ones cords are made for, not for me. I'm trying to detract attention from my rear, not have people in line behind me at Kroger think to themselves, "That's a shame." I did, however try on a super cute egg plant colored cord dress and a just below the knee pair of brown pleather boots.

The dress would have been cute if it had been about 4 inches longer. I did a practice bend over (I have three kids, that's the kind of stuff you do in a dressing room!) and it was NOT pretty. I may have actually gasped out loud. And if I didn't, I should have. The pleather boots were cute, but not well made. (i.e. the get what you pay for theory.)

So I left Old Navy with a bag full of kids shoes. And a new resolution to stop trying to find stuff for myself there. I need to face the fact that stores like Old Navy are not for me. While I'm not resigning myself to mom jeans and embroidered sweatshirts, I do think I'm more likely to find flattering, life accommodating outfits elsewhere. Until then, I'm steering clear of all things 80's, been there done that- DON'T want to do it again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


So I'm feeling a bit bummed out. I feel like a lot of face book updates of my friends, blogs I read and random conversations I've overheard in the past several weeks have been about family vacations (primarily to the beach) and you know what??? I WANNA GO ON ONE! One thing about me is that I could probably live in a permanent state of vacation and be pretty happy in it (if there is warm weather, a pool, a yummy frozen drink on hand, a good book to read and a maid to make my bed everyday.) Yeah, probably everyone would sign up for that.

Pre-kids, Steve and I did an awesome job at taking little vacations. We received some great advice when we were first married. Our friends, the Weidners, told us to getaway as often as we could (even if it wasn't necessarily *in the budget* or *convenient*) because once kids come along, it gets a lot harder. Can I get a witness??!!

We loved our little jaunts near and far. We were even blessed to have an all-family (meaning Steve's brother, sister their spouses and my parents-in-law) pre-kid vacation to Aruba (thanks to Steve's parents... a little incentive to help them along on becoming grandparents if yaknowwhatimean!) MMMMmmmm.. To this day, I go back to Aruba about once a week in my mind. It was to die for.

So now I see pics and read stories about families who load up the van and head to sandy shores. I have to say, I get a bit jealous. The bummer is, we live in Southwest Ohio. Not exactly tropical and not exactly luxurious. Not even exactly near to somewhere that is. And honestly, the thought of a van ride much more than the required 4+ hours to visit family in the Cleveland area these days seems hideous and even a lovely beach wouldn't make it worth it.

I know someday soon (probably all too soon) the kids will be at a great age for a sandy beach vacation or a trip to the Magic Kingdom. But today, my getaway will be the Y. If I go and sit in the sauna and close my eyes and smuggle in a margarita, I just might fool myself. Let me know where you'd go if you could get away today!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

deaf-con 5

I've gotta make this quick since all three of my kids are upstairs screamingly announcing that nap time is over. But since I am in denial of that fact (and since reality is that they'll scream the same whether upstairs or down,) I'm going to keep them upstairs just a few minutes longer.

The fact is, these days my house is LOUD. I know that most homes that house young children have the potential to be noisy, but I'm talking we're the loud kind of home that you visit and as you approach your car you think, "Geez, I'm glad I don't live THERE." We may have also recently become the home that you would talk about once you were safely in your car with the doors and windows closed, "Geez, why don't Steve and E do *something* about all that racket?!!" I'm just saying, I may have--in the past--, said such things (not about any of you reading this, I'm sure.)

Truth be told, I get in my car (our out of it, depending on what the case may be) wondering the same thing about us. I've had some recent *out of body* experiences where I've practically heard and seen myself repeating one of my kids names over and over and with each repetition, the name getting louder. I know this is just bad parenting, but honestly, I don't have the energy nor the gumption to walk across the room half the time and give the situation/child the proper attention/discipline. I'm really just a Super Nanny episode waiting to happen. And the even sadder part is, I'm aware of it. Its just kind of like a train wreck that I can't seem to stop in time.

Its so bad, in fact, that Steve and I argue over who gets to clear the table and do the dishes after dinner. (Because then that person doesn't have to entertain the post-dinner extra rambunctious crew in the other room.) Last night we went back and forth over who got to do the dishes and finally Steve "won" by saying, "You go to the other room, Quinn always follows you! Then I can get these done even faster." So I huffed and puffed my way out of the kitchen. And you know what???

NOBODY FOLLOWED ME! Ha. I got an extra, unexpected and unearned 20 minutes to play on the computer. And I didn't even feel guilty. I did my part, I walked out and the fact that no one followed me was just a little bonus; God smiling down of me, if you will. Oh, and I WILL! Thank you very much.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Purple dinasours...oh my

Today was our big trip to Children's Hospital to find out what the future holds for us as far as Quinn's lip/nose repair is concerned. It was a long day but very encouraging.
Quinn will have a lip revision on Tuesday, November 3rd. We had a consultation with a plastic surgeon, who was fabulous!!! He spent a ton of time with us and answered all of our questions. Basically he said that Quinn's repair that was done in China was ok but not great. He thinks he can "fix it" and make it even better. (right now his nose if sloped quite a bit and the left side of his lip is quite fat from some scar tissue.) He will stay over night and be released the next day.
We also found out that down the road (probably when he's about 7) he'll possibly need a bone graph in his upper jaw where the gum line is. 25% of people with cleft lips need to have this surgery down the road, and it is quite possible he'll be within that percentile. They take bone from the hip and "fill in" the gap that may end up existing in his gum line. Doing so would probably help with the shape of his nose as well as make room for his permanent teeth to grow in properly.
Whew. A lot to take in. We also talked to a geneticist and found out he has only about a 3-5% chance of having children with a cleft lip. Not too big of a deal.
To round out our day at Children's Hospital, we swung by radiology for a renal ultrasound (thus the picture.) If you remember back about a year ago when China was in the news for toxic baby formula. They now do ultra sounds on kid's kidneys to make sure they don't have kidney stones from the bad formula (more of a precaution than anything.) Quinn did great, especially when the nurse put in a Barney video. I have desperately tried to keep the singing/dancing beast from my children, but I'm afraid I now have a Barneyaholic on my hands. HE LOVED IT!!!
All in all an encouraging day. Baby steps for making Quinn's life as "normal" as possible for the rest of his life.

Dairy King

Some experts may say that a boy whose been on US soil only three weeks shouldn't be feeding goats. (or interacting with strangers, or going willingly into the church nursery, or blah blah blah.) Not this kid! While he whines and cries if Baxter comes within 5 inches from him, he actually enjoyed feeding the goats at a local dairy farm that we took the kids to on Sunday evening.
We did have trouble convincing BOTH Quinn and Turner that the goats were NOT doggies. But I suppose when you're not even two, your world only contains 4 legged annoying animals with floppy ears that you call doggies. We'll work on that.
The kids also got to see pigs, cows and chickens. I think perhaps Steve and I were a bit more impressed than anyone else, but what can you do? When you live in Ohio, you have to pay respects to the local dairy farm at least once a season.

Please note the lovely Easter dress and sparkly shoes Olivia insisted on wearing to dodge animal poop with. Hey, some fights just are NOT worth waging these days. All poop can be wiped off-- that's my motto these days.
A new addition to the dairy farm this trip was a little track where kids can ride bikes (in the form of John Deere... lordhavemercy.)
Turner was all business!
This face pretty much represents 85% of Quinn's day. A cross between a smile and a whine (especially if mommy is around. He knows how to work the system.)

Next up on the system overload for a kid fresh off the boat was a "train" ride. Crazy enough, he didn't cry until the return trip when he saw us.
This kid, however, was in hog heaven!!! T-bone is a choo-choo lover. At first he was a bit hesitant but as soon as it started to move he was locked in. We then had to chase him down the rest of our visit trying to get him off the train.

Don't let the big grin for the camera fool you, the only one who cried the whole ride was our big girl. "It was too bouncy and I was afraid I was going to fall out." Yeah, just like all the other kids that were bouncing all over the farm from their ride on the barrel train.
And although our trip to the farm looks like a load of laughs it was not without the various ear flicks, time outs and repeated yelling of names across a dairy farm. By the time we pulled the van into the garage family fun day was OVER. It was operation bath/bed time. Ahhhh... hauling 3 kids around, 3 and under, taints the evening ride to the dairy farm... just a bit. Don't get me wrong, I'm soaking it up and trying to enjoy it. I just wonder if there is a way to do it an octave or two lower?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

China called

and it wants the coolest kid ever born there back!
Ok, so China didn't REALLY call. In the famous words of Olivia, "that would be SILLY. China doesn't even have fingers to dial the phone!"
But I bet if it did have fingers it would. Quinn is so enjoyable and so funny. He has really been into his sister's glass slippers the past few days. And its surprisingly scary how well he can maneuver in a pair of pink plastic pumps. Uh-oh!

He is doing super well in childcare. He laughs easily and plays well (for the most part) with Olivia and Turner. And when it comes to snacks, he's all over it! Notice the intense looks as he eats his fruit snacks!
And just to set the record straight, we endorse cross-dressing by boys coming to our home through adoption as well as biologically! No discrimination here. If you look closely and can get passed the pantless Turner, you'll notice a new found interest in pink pumps on Turners part as well. Funny how that never really happened until Quinn took a turn or two with the glass slippers. Ahhh... sibling rivalry.

After the Y this morning and before a doctor's appointment for Quinn, I took all three kids to Chick-fil-A for lunch.
Before you get too impressed I'll fill you in on a little secret... I've TOTALLY lost my mind! In the midst of the big rush and bustle of getting all three kids from the car to the restaurant in the pouring rain, I may have left my keys in the car. I didn't even notice it until I was rushing and bustling to get the kids back into the car still in the still pouring rain when I realized my keys were NOT in my purse. And since I didn't bring the diaper bag in with us (which was a huge bummer since Turner had a NASTY diaper) and they weren't in my pocket, it could only mean I had locked them in the car.
One reason to eat all meals out at Chick-fil-A (other than the great chicken and the playroom) would be the fact that actual restaurant employees were standing at the door with golf umbrellas ushering customers to their cars (YES, it was raining that hard!) So I asked the nice lady if she would watch my kids real quick while I went and confirmed that my keys were locked in my car (along with the cell phone). When I reached the car I didn't see them sitting on the front seat as expected. I took a chance hoping against hope that this one time I did not hit the lock button. HA! I didn't. A true miracle.
But when I opened the door it was strangely cool inside. And oddly enough the Black Eyed Peas were wooing me with their music. What the....???? Holy cow, I not only left my keys in the car, with the door unlocked, but I left the keys in the ignition with the dang thing RUNNING. Several words ran through my mind, and then a prayer of gratitude (mmmm.. should have been the other way around, I do confess. In fact I should have done w/o the few choice words even making an appearance. ooops.)
Then I remembered my small brood of children hovering under an umbrella on the sidewalk with the Chick-fil-A worker. Ran back, she accompanied me and the kids with the umbrella to the car and off we went. I have to say, at least the car was nice and cool for our arrival!
Oh and PS, Quinn does NOT have TB (that was the whole reason for the visit to the pediatrician in the first place, thus the meal out.) And to think, I started out my day hoping there would be something fun to post about. Be careful what you ask for!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I hate to brag

Steve and I took Quinn down to Cincinnati Children's Hospital on Monday morning. They have an awesome International Adoption Center there and we had Quinn evaluated there. We saw several nurses, an occupational therapist, a social worker who specializes in bonding and attachment issues and the doctor. It was a fabulous facility and they even provided an interpreter (that honestly, we didn't even really need.) At the end of our eval he also had to have some blood drawn and a TB test.

It was LONG but very worth it. We were there about 4 hours, but the evaluation we walked away made it time well spent. Basically, everyone confirmed what we already knew. But it was nice to know that we are not delusional or just imagining that things are going awesome.

Basically, they let us know that Quinn is spot on. Developmentally, he is a 22 month old boy. (Which, by the way, he IS.) Everyone that met him and evaluated him were SHOCKED by his size (he is basically at about the 50 percentile of an American 22 month old.) They told us most kids coming out of overseas orphanages don't even make the growth chart. As far as developmentally with in motor skills he is at 22 months with everything except walking up stairs (he's at 21 months: according to them he should be using the rail.) Geez... give the boy a break, my guess is that he's never gone up and down stairs in his life.

As far as bonding and attaching they were astounded at how well he seems to be doing and what a happy go lucky, smiley and friendly boy he is. And it is so true. Other than meal time (which is a bit challenging at times, but I think that is more of an age issue rather than an adoption issue) he is a true delight to have around. I am enjoying this kid a ton.

So, in case we didn't know this, once again, God has hooked us up!!! A true miracle. Two of the workers told us to count our blessings because he is a rare case. I'll tell you what, you don't have to tell me that twice! Thank you, Jesus.

This coming Monday we'll go back to Cincy Children's and meet with the Cleft Lip and Palate team to find out what the future holds for us in regards to his treatment for that. The doctor on Monday said they will probably want to do some more work on his nose and lip to get it more symmetrical and to expect extensive orthodontia. All of that comes as no surprise. But the doctor did also confirm that there is no cleft palate issue, yay!!! That was really good news. All in all, a great report. Looking forward to Monday.

Look Mom....

No cavities! It was Olivia's second trip to the dentist. Don't judge me, but I didn't take O for her first visit until she was three. (I just couldn't handle the screaming yelling and fussing, and she didn't want to go either!) Six months ago she was unwilling to go back by herself to get her teeth cleaned (personally, I think its a bit over the top to not allow a 3 year old's mom to go with them to get their teeth cleaned, but whatever.) I couldn't believe it but this time... reluctant but willing.
Thankfully so! I had both boys with me to boot. To have a fight with Olivia about going back by herself while trying to keep the two little guys busy would have been more than this mommy signed up for. Our appointment was at 8:40am and it takes a good 20 minutes to get over there so we had to leave by 8:15. Naturally, this is the morning that Turner took a bite that was too big for his britches- he choked and threw up his whole breakfast on the wood floor as we're trying to get out the door. And don't ya know that its the first rainy day in over 2 weeks around here. So I had to dig out all the raincoats etc.

All in all the kids did amazingly well. The boys played nicely and Olivia was super proud of her brand new Snow White tooth brush and new bracelet that she got as a prize for being a big girl. Yay.

But then I turned into stupid mom. After the dentist we headed to Target which is right across the street from the dentist. I COULDN'T miss that opportunity. Olivia needs new shoes for school that starts in 2 weeks since they need to have shoes with backs and she's basically been living in flip flops all summer. That alone would have been doable. But on our way out of Target I realized we were across the street from the mall and on a rainy day it would be really great to have the kids run a bit at the mall play area.
They had a ball. Its the first time Quinn's been to the mall play area and he had fun exploring. That was all good and fine until both boys had a poop. Whatever, I can change a poopy diaper in my sleep. But, I forgot that my next stop needed to be Sam's Club because we are 100% out of wipes. Hmmm.... these poopy diapers were NOT going to wait to be changed until after a Sam's run. I made do in the Family restroom at the mall and we were out the door.
Next stop: Sam's Club (to buy the aforementioned wipes. Curses!!!) And as soon as we entered the warehouse doors all h-e-double hockey sticks broke loose. Kids whining/crying, me yelling/crying/whining. OF COURSE we were too early for the samples that would at least fill their pie holes and keep them from screaming. So I grabbed my few things and got outta dodge. Why do I always feel like the biggest loser/idiot walking out of Sam's with my 3 items in the basket? Then I kick myself for not just getting wipes at Target and being done with it. But, hey, I might save $.50 by buying in bulk, after all!
Okay, new mom of 3, live and learn. Don't push your luck: the natives WILL turn on you!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In an effort to make time for each of our kids individually, I took Olivia on a date this past Sunday. Its pretty easy to please my little princess (she'll even view Kroger as fun as long as she gets her free cookie... a girl after my own heart) but I wanted to make our date special.
Steve pointed out a few days prior that the Bridal Expo was coming to the Convention Center (which is within walking distance from our house.) So, I printed up a coupon on line and off we went. Olivia was doubly excited when she found out she didn't have to take a nap that day because of the Bridal Fair.
In we marched and I have to admit, I felt a bit self conscious as I walked in with a 3 year old and everyone kept asking me "So, when's the big day?" I was trying out different versions of my story in my head before hand. "It's not for a year and this is my flower girl, isn't she the cutest?" "I have some friends who are thinking of getting married and we're scouting things out for them." "Yeah, her daddy got us in this mess, now he's gonna get us out of it" Stuff like that.
Then I settled on the truth. (I think I originally thought the vendors wouldn't allow me to sample the yummy wedding cake and fine chocolates provided if they knew why we were really there.) But the truth is always the best way out and when I told the vendors that actually my big day had come and gone a while ago but that Olivia just got a new brother and we were on a girlie date to enjoy all things beautiful and sparkly; you would have thought I was about to be crowned mother of the year! So fun, they really made a big deal over her.
We got there in time for the fashion show in which O insisted we sit down early so that we could "get a good seat." A woman after my own heart. She squealed with delight several times and declared more than once (rather loudly) "That's a beautiful dress!" So loud, in fact, that I'm pretty sure David's Bridal owes me some sort of compensation.
I'd say we were there a total of an hour and 15 minutes and it was the best six bucks I've spent in a long time. Hopefully, I have not created a monster. Everything in moderation, right?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Normal or Crazy?

My final conclusion this week is that our normal IS crazy! The first few days I walked around in my jet lagged stupor saying, "I just can't wait until I feel normal again." And then I waited.

This week we have had a revolving door of friends over, we've rushed to and fro, we've been to the Y nearly every day and we've even been to the pool several times. Every time I turn around we're piling into the car for something and if we're not headed out, someone is headed over.

Some "experts" may say you should lay low the first few weeks you bring home a newly adopted child. I say, phooey on that. We've been crazy this week and you know what? I feel incredibly NORMAL. And even crazier? Quinn fits right in. My kids (and by kids I mean Olivia, the only one who can talk) have been known to start the day by saying, "Where are we going today, Mom?" And Quinn came to me several mornings this week holding his shoes as if to say the same thing. Ahhhh... normal.
We had the great pleasure of hosting our friends Ross and Cindy for lunch this week. They are in town from New York City. The 4 of us go way back. Quinn also owes a bit of gratitude to them as well. Cindy and her girls were very helpful during the paper chase of the adoption and ran to and from the Chinese Consulate in NYC several times and saved us a wad of money and time. Quinn took to them right away.
Our good friends, the Hardys, also stopped by with dinner one night. Ava and O are great friends and I think O has been starved a bit for play time with her friends. She particularly enjoyed bossing Ava around some. Its a good partnership because I don't think Ava minded a bit! Quinn seemed as if he's been here from day one and fits right in. Its been a real blast this week and I really do feel "normal" again. We don't do chaos well around here, but we do do run yourself all around town well. Yay for American ADHA lifestyles. Welcome to your new home, Quinn, where we do crazy well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

How DID June Cleaver do it???

As I live out a modern day miracle (it's 1:30, all three kids are quiet in their beds AND I just mopped my kitchen floor- if you consider the Swiffer Wet Jet mopping... and I do!) I am dumbfounded at how June Cleaver did it all, while wearing a dress, no less!

I guess she never got on a jet plane, traveled half way around the world and brought Wally back with her and then tried to re-enter life while in a nearly comatose state for over a week. If she had, I'd be kicking June's coiffed hiney right now in the domestic engineering department.

I have to say, this morning as I was pouring my liquid cocaine, I mean coffee, I noticed a "friend" was hanging around. And by friend I mean a disgusting cockroach. Oh, bull. Have my housekeeping skills really gone that much to pot? Granted, we battle ants, spiders and even mice (you might remember the *small* problem last fall involving over a dozen dead mice in a trap right under Tuner's crib) but COCKROACHES are in a league of filth of their own.

I do have to admit that housework is rather low on the totem pole of importance in my life, but I usually manage to keep things in enough order around here to keep us off the 6:00 news. But just yesterday (before my little coffee discovery) I did hit the gag reflex as I looked around my kitchen and saw the floor in the daylight. Thus, the emergency nap time Swiffer attack. If I was afforded one overindulgent luxury in life, it would certainly be a cleaning service! But since we won't be winning the lottery anytime soon (I hear you gotta play to win) I'll just keep plugging along. And if anyone has any good roach removal suggestions, I'm all ears~!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back in the saddle

Today I must have been feeling really good because I made it to CVS. I was recently reading a blog of a total stranger who had recently adopted from China. She said something to the effect of, "the easy number of kids is one less than the number you currently have." I whole heartedly agree. I had a few errands to run this morning and since this was the last day of Steve's "maternity leave" I took advantage of it by taking Quinn and Olivia with me. I actually felt like getting my feet wet again in the coupon world (I've actually turned my back on saving a buck lately... it just has felt too overwhelming and time consuming in the weeks heading into the trip to China. And since we've been home I've barely been able to remember my own name let alone put a coupon with a circular.)

But today was the true turning point in my new life. Yeah, I went to the Y this week. Yeah, we got haircuts and went on a date. But as I crossed the threshold of the CVS doors, I felt like I was back in the land of the living. I did have to give myself a bit of slack as I allowed myself to use up all my ECB's pre-China and essentially was starting over. But the good deal on Coke products lured me in! So, with 6 ECB's in my pocket and a stack of coupons waiting to be clipped and organized, I'm planning just to clear my binder (even if the coupons are still good) and start over. It just feels like the only doable solution. And I can live with it.

Tomorrow I'm on my own with all three. I may be crazy, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I want to look insanity in the eye and laugh (or run screaming and crying like a little girl... whatever.) If you don't find a post within the next few days, feel free to call local hospitals and check the looney bin. I may have checked myself in. If not, I'll post pics soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You get what you pay for!

Things around our house are starting to get back to normal. All 5 of us went to the Y yesterday to "give it a shot." If you know me, you know my obsession with the Y. Its not so much that I'm an exercise junkie or health nut. It's more that I REALLY love an hour and a half of free childcare every day!!! So, if I can slip a work out and an uninterrupted shower all in a course of an hour and a half, I'm a happy mommy!

So getting back into the swing of things at the Y is crucial for my sanity (and my weigh in's at Weight Watchers, which by the way, regardless of how FunnelQuest '09 may or may not have effected my goal weight, I am still attending!) Quinn did great in childcare yesterday, a little less great today but the ladies there were awesome and bent over backward in getting him adjusted and allowing me to get my full workout in. Yeah!
After our workouts this morning we swung by Cookie Cutters. This is where I get Olivia's haircut. She would get a haircut every 2 weeks if I let her. You see, Cookie Cutters is pretty much Dinseyworld without a big mouse and fireworks. And its only about $5 less than a ticket to Disney. But hey, you get what you pay for!
I absolutely LOVE the lady who cuts O's hair. I literally get stopped weekly in stores and all over the place to receive compliments on Olivia's hair. She gets to ride in a pink airplane, watch Barbie movies, eat suckers, use the slide and if she were so inclined walk out with a balloon.
The problem over the past 2 years has been convincing Steve that its worth the money. Today is the first time he's gone with me and I think he's a believer!

Today Turner got his first professional haircut. (I've done it up until now... needless to say its gotten beyond me!) Both of my kids tend to grow mullets. I'm not sure why? Maybe its all the funnel cakes and they instinctively want to be a Carney with the State Fair or something, but today was the last stop on the Duran Duran tour for Turner. Mandy, the miracle worker, had T-bone looking like such a big boy when we walked outta there! He sat in the Bat mobile and watched "choo-choo's" (a.k.a. Thomas) the whole time, she could have chopped off his head for all he cared, he was in hog heaven!
Quinn was not in need of a hair cut today since he came with a fresh new crew cut 3 1/2 weeks ago. He didn't seem to mind too much since he still walked away with a sucker as well.
While it may be pricey and I may just be a consuming American at heart, I love the gimmicky Cookie Cutters and have yet to be disappointed. Its just a bummer that for the next 6 weeks every time we go to the Y I'm going to have to listen to Olivia beg for a haircut.

Monday, August 10, 2009


So, last night I had a breakthrough of sorts.

*This picture is of the 4 of us quietly and calmly watching a movie together. I announced to Steve that we will be watching tv all day, every day until things calm down around here. So when we're not eating lunch at Target, you'll find us on our big brown couch.
But that wasn't my breakthrough.

The breakthrough came after the movie was over and the 2 original Koproski kids hightailed it upstairs for bath time and Quinn lingered a bit on the couch. He laid down on his side and started singing a song to himself in Chinese. Oh, my heart melted and tears streamed down my face. This poor little guy's world has been turned upside down.
Steve and I have been having our own set of meltdowns and breakdowns and we are in our late 30's (Steve's being much later than mine by the way!) and we chose this dang thing. Poor kid was just quietly minding his own business and then one day 2 weeks ago- BAM.
As I rocked him before bed last night I cried again and this time told him I am really glad he's a part of our family. And for the first time in 2 weeks, I really meant it! Thus, my breakthrough.

Things have been going remarkably well around here. We busted out the backyard pool and sprinkler since it was actually hot around here for a change.
Something that really made me laugh the other day:
We were standing on the back porch with Quinn and Steve held him and in all seriousness said, "Quinn, what you don't know or understand is that all of this is yours" and with a waving gesture, pointed to our backyard.
You may notice, our backyard is approximately the size of a double grave plot (which is really great since the past two weeks just might kill us, now you know where they can bury us) and the grass is a bit *challenged.* I had to laugh out loud and add "lucky you". Boy a kid goes from only owning a sippy cup and a pair of ugly corduroy Green Bay Packers overalls to our backyard. Improvement? You be the judge!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I should get paid for this!

Because I'm no longer a mom... I'm a referee.
The boys are having a bit of hard time getting used to each other. Don't get me wrong, it could be WAY worse and I'm thankful for how well this whole adjustment is going. But still. (Note those are two crying boys on daddy's lap, not laughing boys!)

Pretty much if Turner and Quinn are near each other they are sizing each other up and vying for top dog position. Human nature I suppose, but just weird here in this house!
One thing that remains consistent... Olivia is a princess. My little princess starts school one month from yesterday and with all the other transition in my life, I just might have an emotional breakdown come September 8th. Isn't that the cutest outfit? I found it in China and just HAD to get it. Nothing said Olivia in China like this outfit.
We did our first family outing to Target today. I have to say, if I saw our family there, I would have totally judged us. (I am that shallow.)
At one point all three of the kids were running around like maniacs, screaming, laughing and then rolling on the ground. Seriously, I've never let my kids behave like that in a store, but honestly, they were having so much fun together (like I have yet to see since Quinn has joined us) I just didn't have it in me to break it up.

Then I did another personal first, fed my kids lunch at Target. (Not that I have anything against a lunch from Target, per say. And I'm certainly not one of those health food moms... its just territory we have not ventured.) Well, after a lunch Mr. Goodbody would have congratulated me on (chicken fingers and popcorn) we piled back in the minivan and headed home for nap time where Turner proceeded to scream at a sleeping Quinn from his crib for 45 minutes. Hey T-bone, it only teaches the new guy a lesson if he's actually awake to hear it!
So, all in all, our lives have been turned upside down. We've turned into THAT family and really, I don't care. We're in survival mode. If I'm still feeding my kids a diet of popcorn and cookies a month from now, send in the reinforcements!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Welcome back!

Ahhhh.... It feels good to be back here. I'm thankful that I could find a blog to use while we were in China, but I have to say, "There's no place like home!" :) I just wanted to put up a small little post just to let you know, indeed, I am back. I hope to be able to post some pics soon. I forgot to take my camera with me when we went out and about today (which was really unfortunate because there were some priceless moments involving a blond boy, a Chinese boy and two very large Sam's club chocolate chip cookies.)

It's funny, but now that I'm back here at my home blog, I already feel more light hearted! There was something about keeping an "adoption journal' that made me feel very serious and very somber. When I get back here to EEK, I feel kinda goofey, kinda like I wanna see my life through the fun lens again. And I'll tell ya, after the past 3 weeks, I really need my fun lens back!

I look forward to getting back into our new normal. Its funny, but I really do thrive on routine. I am a rather scattered person and have some *organizational challenges* in life, but when structure to my time and day is altered, I kinda lose it! So, here is to figuring out a new normal around here and embracing it. Any suggestions from parents with more than 3 kids (three and under by the way!) would be greatly appreciated. Here's to not losing it completely!!!