Friday, October 30, 2009

say cheese; or don't

I've been meaning to write this post for several weeks now. But as you are well aware, I've been running a bit behind on life. So it should come as no surprise that this particular post has been *on deck* once something less interesting/exciting was already written about (and don't think I don't know how interesting AND exciting my post of all lost items was the other day!)

But having a daughter in pre-school has brought along many firsts. First day of school, first fundraiser, first fall break, first parent/teacher conference AND first school picture.

First of the firsts would be the parent/teacher conference. I'll tell 'ya what... its been a LONG time since my buns tried to squeeze onto one of those mini plastic school chairs. My guess is that the teachers have a good old laugh at us moms who could stand a chair a size or two bigger, thankyouverymuch! Anyhoo... the report was actually really good. I didn't expect to hear anything crazy like that Olivia is bullying others or disobedient or even disruptive. But I WAS surprised to get the report we did. Her teacher started out by saying, "Well isn't Olivia just the cutest, quietest, most petite little thing?!" Yeah, well duh, she gets that from me!

The teacher went on to say that Olivia is the youngest, smallest and most quiet in the whole class. (She is in a classroom with other kids 3-6 years old and she is one of only two 3 year olds.) She said that she does her work diligently and is "cautious." That didn't surprise me but what did surprise me is how she kept saying how quiet she is. Girl must save it *all* for me then. 'Cuz she can run her mouth with the best of 'em.

I tried SO hard not to be that mom that steps in and corrects the teacher by bragging about her large vocabulary or that she's been saying "Go Buckeyes" since she was 18 months old. I mean, I have no idea how she operates when she gets to school. And apparently, she operates as a mute. Hmmm... who knew? The teacher also said she won't let the other kids push her around, get in her work or cut in front of her in line and that she can really use her body to block the other kids out. YOU GO GIRL! Now that's what I like to hear!

On a different note, we also had our first school picture day. I was SO excited! She wore an adorable dress, had cute hair and *loves* to cheese for a photo. I had to order sight unseen, so I figured I'd go ahead and think about some Christmas gifts for family. So, I spent $30 on this...

dontcha think a professional could have gotten my daughter to flash even a fake grin???

Seriously, if this is the best they could do, someone should be fired.

Oh well, lesson learned. Next year we'll skip buying the school pics and march straight to J.C. Penny's.

For real. This picture looks like a most wanted shot. Probably wanted for boxing out a 5 year old for cutting in line.

Hey, if 'ya mess with the bull, 'ya get the horns!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Has anyone seen my self-respect?

Because it seems that along with Turner's shoe and Olivia's Halloween costume, that too has come up missing this week!

And this is why...

I took my family to Kroger last night, FOR DINNER. And you may think, "Well, its a grocery store, of course you bought your dinner there."

I mean... we actually ate dinner on samples last night. And not a one was healthy.
This is the 2nd annual, Koproski family fun night at Kroger and obviously I was counting on a better showing than last year. In my back pocket was the knowledge that since our Kroger has remodeled, there is now a cafe, we could always get some chicken fingers and mac 'n cheese and call it a night.

But lets just say, Kroger Freshfare did not disappoint!
While I'm a bit embarrassed to say that my whole family had ONLY sugar for dinner, it was a true treat of an experience!

There was a pumpkin decorating station, a cookie decorating station, employees dressed up like a bride and groom handing out "wedding cake" and "diamond rings" (she even threw the bouquet and O was heart broken that some other girl "got to take those flowers home with her." Yeah, it won't be the last time, kiddo!)

Turner was mesmerized by the chocolate fountain. And to his delight they gave him a chocolate covered pretzel rolled in Halloween sprinkles (2nd course on the all sugar all the time dinner.)
Quinn, who won't touch a veggie or a fruit to save his life was in hog heaven as we hit the Chex Mix station as well as the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut out in the shapes of a black cat. (Can I count PB&J as health food? MMmmkay, thanks!)

Although it was hard to get him to come out of the car cart, he popped out if there was a *something* dipped in chocolate to intrigue him. Are you SURE I didn't birth this child??
Even Steve declared, "I'm ashamed of myself" as we rolled ourselves back into the van, once our shopping was finished. And I confess, Weight Watchers, please forgive me for I have sinned. However, YES! I did, in fact, get my weekly shopping done. It just took us an hour and a half to get there.
Lo and behold, don't you know the culmination of the night came 10 minutes before we walked out the double doors because me oh my, there was FACE PAINTING!
As you may recall, Olivia has been transformed into a butterfly no less than a half a dozen times in the past 2 months.
I was hoping to sneak out of the store without her knowing there was face painting, but she is much too observant for that. So with only a half hour before shower time to enjoy her butterfly self, she made every moment count.
As much as last year was an utter failure, Kroger has redeemed itself in my eyes as a viable option for some sugary, self-indulgent fun. Have mercy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Retro Quinn

I was goofing around on the computer just now and I unearthed some pictures that I never posted from our trip to China this summer.
I have to laugh at how totally silly Quinn looks with that buzz cut. Oh my!
I know that Steve will disagree, but I'd say that those $12.50 "luxury" haircuts have been worth it for the boy!
It was really fun/ startling to look back and see how happy Quinn was right from the get go (minus Gotcha Day.) What a blessing.
That little smile will melt a heart, I tell 'ya. And in one short week from today, that smile is going to get even better. Gulp. Next week at this time *hopefully* Quinn will be coming out of his surgery with a new and improved smile.
It seems like a million years ago that we were here... in Guangzhou, China. A million miles from the other 2 kids and a million miles from home.
Tomorrow marks 12 weeks home. Time flies when you're doing life.

Don't judge a book by it's cover!

Because I know you think this is going to be a post about some hayride I took with Olivia and Turner (while Steve and Quinn were down in Cincinnati for some pre-op appointments, how rude.)
Truly, these pictures are pretty self explanatory. We rode a wagon covered in hay, picked a pumpkin or two, saw some animals, and froze our buns off. (Note, I had my winter coat and let my kids wear sweaters and sweat shirts. Mom of the year, at your service.)
But because I'm so far behind in life, I'm just now posting the pics for family to see. *Side note, after viewing the pics, I promptly headed off to get my daughter a haircut. Funny how you can see them everyday and not notice the need but when you see the hair in pics, it screams, "Cut me!"
No, the REAL story of the day is my rude cashier at CVS today. She's really got me in a bunge and I need to do some blog therapy right here, right now.
Due to my busy life (places to go, people to see) I didn't know how I was going to *squeeze* in a CVS run today. You see, there was a nice little candy deal going on (coupled with a few coupons was going to make me fat and happy) but it ends today.
But because I have a chiropractor appointment this afternoon and after that the kids and I are going to hit our second annual Kroger Halloween party I just didn't know how I was going to make it happen. So after working out and before picking Olivia up at school, we hit a nearby CVS (not my normal one.)
I had my game plan all mapped out. It included using a $5 off a $25 purchase from Rite Aid. My usual CVS takes competitor coupons. I was aware that this one may not, but I didn't have time to go to the one near my house.
When I got up to the cash register I could already tell this woman was annoyed when she saw my coupons and ECBs in hand.
I politely asked her if this location accepted competitor coupons. She looked at me like I was speaking to her in Chinese. "WHAT?" So I repeated it again and explained that my local CVS would accept my Rite Aid coupons and would she?
She sighed the biggest sigh and said in a real snippy voice, "Well, I'm gonna have to check on that." Okay.
So she rang me up and gave me my total. I handed her all of my coupons and then she gave me my new total. I then politely asked her, "Would you mind checking to see if you can take my Rite Aid coupon?"
Another HUGE sigh. "Fine." She called up the manager in her best annoyed voice. Let me just stop right there and say that this was a victory for me. There would have been a day when I would have felt badly about asking in the first place, let alone pursuing her to check for me. And FORGET IT if she had been annoyed. I probably would have apologized profusely and then just moved on.
Instead, I stuck to my guns and let her DO HER JOB for crying out loud. As it turns out, they did not take my $5 coupon. Which really was a bummer. I'll go ahead and admit that I've spent and re spent that $5 100 different ways since 10:45 this morning. But whatever, I'm still richer for having stuck to my guns and not let that lady getaway with her attitude.
Moral of the story: Do anything for a free bag of candy, stick with the CVS you know and love and ALWAYS put a winter coat on your kid before a hay ride.

Oh, and get your kid a haircut before it looks like THIS in a picture. THE END

Monday, October 26, 2009

One more thing I forgot...

Our final step in making Quinn an "official" American citizen.

While he immediately became an American on August 5th when he crossed through customs in New Jersey, there were a few more formalities to go through in order to get him a social security card and an American birth certificate.

So a week ago last Friday the 5 of us went to court. (Olivia was protesting and decided not to be in the picture. Whatever!) The lady on the phone encouraged us to "bring everyone" since this is the first time in all the official court stuff a camera was allowed.
*Luckily*? Olivia was out of school and so she was able to join us. But I have to say, the lady on the phone seemed a bit more positive about having young kids in the court room than the Judge did. Although, I have to say, O was NOT on her best behavior! If you look hard over my shoulder in this picture you will see her crawling all over the benches. She also messed around with microphones and the jury box before she got reprimanded by the Judge.
In my defense, how the heck are you suppose to discipline your child in a COURTROOM before the JUDGE who is deeming you fit to adopt a new child?!?
While I wanted to flick her ear or spank her buns, I didn't dare do either. So before she pronounced us Quinn's parents in the eyes of Montgomery County (a mere formality at this point) she tongue and cheek gave us a hard time about the behavior of our kids. (Which mostly just ticked me off.)
Apparently, the Judge is a few years past 3, 3 and under.
Quinn got to meet the Judge and she gave him a tiny little gavel as a keepsake.
As for me, I'd rather forget the whole mess! The court date that is, not the adoption!
Congrats, Quinn! You made it kid. You are a true Buckeye now!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Missing: Snow White

If you happen to find her, please return her to our house.

I *may* have mentioned that I am organizationally challenged a time or two, right? Well, this week, I've officially lost my mind (and several rather important items.) And I'm even annoying myself right now.

I've spent the better part of my relaxing Sunday afternoon looking for several items I've *misplaced* this week. I like to think that one of the three kids is really the culprit (and for 2 of the 3 items, they may be) but as for ALL OF MY WINTER SHOES, SCARVES AND HATS, probably not. Shoot.

After nearly 45 minutes in every closet in the house (let's just say with an old home like ours, storage is NOT an issue) I finally found them. Neatly tucked away in the attic in 2 large Zip Lock storage bags and one diaper box. All appropriately marked, no less. Ha! This time I was actually too efficient for my own good. I never thought to look for them, put away.

As for Turner's other shoe... it may have gone to be with all of the missing socks in our house. A kind of laundry purgatory if you will. But I'm really sad that we can't find this shoe. Mostly because its the only fall shoe we have for him, currently. And its cute. But it loses its cuteness when its frustrating the crap out of you that you can't find its mate.

Then there's the issue of the lost Halloween costume. I was so so so proud of myself this year. I took Olivia out nearly a month and a half ago to a consignment shop to get a jump on a good used costume. We found a lovely Snow White dress. (Shocker, my daughter is insisting on being a princess for Halloween.) And we are now totally committed to the Snow White thing 'cuz the brothers are going as Happy and Bashful dwarf (Steve's aunt MADE their costumes, so cute, turning back now.) I've only let her wear it twice because we're "trying to keep it nice." It occurred to me a few days ago that I have not seen it around lately. But with a lot going on this week, I just didn't spend the energy to go on a dress hunt.

Today, I did. So I'm pretty sure that up in laundry purgatory there is an angel (are there angels there?) wearing one size 7 brown Merril tennis shoe and a Snow White dress up. The angel was hoping to wear a scarf and a winter hat too, but I foiled her plan by discovering the box in the attic.

So if you're trying to find me later this week, I'll be at Target buying a Snow White costume and some shoes. And maybe a new brain.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Under the Sea

My kids are currently glued to The Little Mermaid, Steve is cleaning the upstairs bathroom and since I finished unloading the dishwasher and unpacking from our overnight getaway, I thought I'd take a moment to blog.

Steve, the kids and I went with the group of people we work with on an overnight getaway to "bond." We wanted to go somewhere to enjoy the peak of the fall foliage. And while I complain and make fun of Ohio, THIS is one time of the year it is glorious to live here.

Steve is the king of Internet deals and a few weeks back he booked the group of us several suits on the east side of Columbus. The group checked into all kind of fun outdoors-y kinds of stuff to do (which isn't easy with 5 kids 3 and under and a 6 month old.) It was even more challenging when it began with a torrential down pour yesterday morning and continued on all night.

We went to Granville, which is a beautiful college town... which we saw from the inside of our vehicles. There were several laughs over failing GPS' and washed out roads. We finally made it to a mall where the kids played. Okay, at this mall I discovered perhaps the 9th wonder of the world. A children's clothing store called Crazy 8. HELLO... why has no one told me about this store???

It is a daughter company of Gymboree. Gymboree cuteness without Gymboree prices. I'm in l.o.v.e. Now who do I talk to about getting one to move Dayton? With the promise to spend lots of money there? If you have kids and you like to dress them cute but hate to spend the ridiculous prices out there, I'd HIGHLY encourage you to check this store out. MMMmmm... total kid yummyness.

It was a late night for the kiddos with lots of playing and fun stuff. This morning brought more clouds and threats of rain. But we braved it and off we went to Ohio's largest festival (or so they say) Circleville's Pumpkin festival. It was a virtual sea of humanity with all things pumpkin being offered. Quinn's favorite thing this week has been to point out pumpkins. Fun when you're NOT at a pumpkin festival. When you are at a pumpkin festival it's just downright annoying. "Yep, there's *another* pumpkin, Quinn. We're at a pumpkin festival. You just might see a few. Stop telling me about it."

We watched a pie eating contest that was all too eerily familiar to the scene in Stand By Me with Lard *ss. We ate pumpkin doughnuts and fried bologna sandwiches. It was too cold/too crazy to take pics. So I'll spare you the snotty noses and wind blown tears, I'm sure you can imagine.

So now we're home, unwinding and warming up. We may even carve our own pumpkins tonight. If we're feeling crazy. Thankfully the rain has stopped and we still have one more day of weekend. And all God's people said, "Amen!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Butterflies in my stomach

I had dinner with my good friend, Sally, last night and as we were chatting and I was unpacking some of my nervousness over Quinn's upcoming surgery, I realized... it is in less than 2 weeks.
For a long time now we've had his lip repair scheduled for Tuesday, November 3rd. And up until last night that was just some far away date. Now it is 13 days away.
Ever since we received Quinn's referral and knew that he had a cleft lip I've been faced with the reality that *someday* we'd make that long drive to a hospital with the intention of repairing his lip. While I know that this is for the good of his future, it is down right scary. While he's under we're going to have them also go ahead and do a circumcision. It's not medically necessary but we talked and prayed about it and it seems like it will remove (ouch, sorry) one more barrier toward him being different. Different from his brother and dad and different from others in his class/sports teams (rock band.. whatever) growing up.
When I think about the pain we are about to put him through for his own good and the betterment of his whole future, it reminds me of the way God works in my life. Some of the painful things it seems He could have spared me from. In my opinion, they don't make sense. But because He is a wise and all-knowing God, He has better plans for my future that may be painful now but will improve the outcome of my life.
A rich spiritual parallel, but it still sucks to be the parent carting your kid off for surgery.
It is difficult for me to imagine what his lip/nose will look like post surgery. There is still a long road ahead for little Quinn. He may never look exactly like someone who wasn't born without a cleft lip. But you know what? It's the cleft lip that God used to bring him into our family. I actually might be a little sad if there wasn't some kind of small reminder of God's grace to our family. I hope that some day Quinn gets to a point in his life/ spiritual life that he, too, can be thankful for his cleft lip, his pain and even his abandonment, without which, he would not be part of our family.
But until November 4th when we are safely bringing him back home, I'll be a butterfly-y mess!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Utterly overwhelmed

I should be cleaning my house and writing about 15 thank you notes to friends and family for gifts given for Quinn's birthday. I'm about a week behind in blogging. Olivia is home this week for "fall intersession" (a fancy word for fall break.) Why a 3 year old needs a 7 day break from school is beyond me. It's probably the teachers who need the break. I realize I'm very comfortable with the school schedule and the space it provides for me. Taking 2 anywhere is way easier than taking all three. But I digress...

And on top of everything, my mom has been sick and in the hospital and is now in a nursing home temporarily for some physical therapy to regain her strength. We went up there for a weekend visit. I didn't know how all three of the kids would do, shuttling back and forth between my mom and dad's house and visiting her. Why is it kids will ALWAYS amaze you? When you expect them to behave, 9 times out of 10 they won't and when you expect complete disaster, they turn out to be the perfect angels you always suspected they were.

My three kids were the absolute delight of about 15 ladies that live on the same hall as my mother (oh, AND for my mother as well!) They waved, they smiled, they gave out high-fives like they were the most out going kids on the planet. They barely fought, they only were loud *a little bit* and they loved their BeBe well.

Instead of being spoiled by just my mom and dad, they had little old ladies passing them treats left and right. In fact my kids left with Rice Krispie Treats, cup cakes, Fig Newtons, snack cakes, pop corn and even a stuffed dog. Frankly, it was a bit embarrassing. And on top of it all, I think it was fun for my mom to show off her "kids." Talk about embarrassing! It was a virtual whose who of grand kids around there! So cute.

But now I'm paying the price of being gone for the weekend and for having an extra kid around all day for the week. Lots to do with little margin to do it. But that's okay. CLEARLY my priorities are in check since I'm here using my precious few minutes of nap time to blog and whine. Hey, whatever keeps you sane, right? Wish me luck, I'm off to make a dent in this thing called my life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's up doc?

Yesterday was Quinn's 2 year check up. Which really felt unnecessary after the number of doctors we saw when he first got home only 10 weeks ago and the numerous tests they ordered. Not to mention the fact that he has two appointments scheduled in 6 days at Cincinnati Children's Hospital for his pre-op. But... I figured we might as well go ahead and establish him at our local pediatrician's office.

Pretty much I take the kids to the least efficiently run doctor's office in the city. I don't have proof of this but I'm gonna go out on a limb and state it as true. I have a handful of stories that would back up this claim over the past 3 1/2 years! Why not change doctors? Oh, don't think I haven't threatened that in my mind at least 20 times. (I'm sure he would be heartbroken to lose our business since OBVIOUSLY he is the busiest pediatrician in town.) But I genuinely LIKE the doctor and his care for my kids, its the way the office is managed that makes me want to lay down on the floor and have a temper tantrum of my own.

My first mistake was scheduling an afternoon appointment. I NEVER schedule an afternoon appointment, especially for a well visit. I'm not that experienced of a mom, but even I know that the later you go in the day, the longer you sit in the waiting room; praying your kid doesn't touch, breath or lick anything contagious. So imagine my horror when I realized I would be taking all three of my kids to this 4:00 appointment (that wasn't even truly necessary.)

Because I have a *slight* obsession with being on time (as in if I'm not 10 minutes early, I consider myself late, kind of obsession) we arrived at 3:50. I had armed myself with a purse full of snacks. For awhile the kids were rather well behaved and the waiting room was rather full. But once they had looked at all the books and re-arranged all the kid sized chairs in the waiting area they began chasing each other. I wasn't thrilled but I figured it would be a few more minutes, they'd call our name and off we'd march to our own little hiding space called the examining room. I made light of their games by laughing it off to another mom whose little girl sat quietly and nicely on her lap, "Obviously, we're here on a well visit." She smiled knowingly and said, "I have two more at home. If they were here they'd all be doing the same thing." But I know in her mind she was REALLY thinking, "You MORON, don't you know to find a babysitter for the other two on a 4:00 appointment? Rookie!"

After several feeble attempts to re-group and get them to NOT play chase or do somersaults down the corridor of the waiting room, I broke out the snacks. And finally, at 4:35 I huffed and puffed my way to the receptionist and *politely* asked the kid behind the desk when he thought we might go back since we had a 4:00 appointment. The kid smiled sheepishly and said, "Well, it looks like you're next to be called back. Dr. Matt is running a bit behind" Then he had the Kahunas to say, "Would you like to stay?"

UM, HELLO... I have not been here with my three kids for 45 minutes so that we can reschedule this nightmare and come back later in the week to do it all over again. "Yes, we'll stay" is what I ended up telling him.

Steve was on his way home from work so I called him and asked if he could swing by and take at least one kid home so I could regain some sanity. My blood was boiling because don't you know they finally called our name to go back to the examining room where they weighed him and measured him and then we sat and waited ANOTHER 25 minutes to see the doctor. Thankfully, by that time Steve came and we did the trade off. I took Olivia home and Steve stayed with the 2 boys.

So that's that. I officially hate going to the doctor's more than my kids do. Have you ever broken up with your pediatrician? If so, I'd love to hear how you did it and any advice you have on this one. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

All aboard

for some family fun.

The 5 of us, plus Grandma and Aunt Kerry(Steve's mom and sister), who were in town for Quinn's birthday, went to Lebanon, OH for a cute little train ride.

It's called the Pumpkin Patch Express. It was a 45 minute train ride to a little farm (it probably would have been about a 10 min. ride if the train had ever reached speeds over 10 mph) where there were animals to feed, pumpkins to pick, port-a-potties to visit and a nasty long line to stand in for a piece of pumpkin pie.

The train riders were given 50 minutes to visit the farm and then were loaded back onto the train for another 45 min. ride back to our cars.
I *may* have mentioned a time or two that I can't get any info out of Olivia regarding school. However, Monday afternoon she told me that she told all her friends at school she got to ride a choo choo. I asked her what they said and she told me they all said they hope they get to ride a choo choo some day!

Well, that was worth the price of admission right there. Not necessarily her being the envy of her classmates (is it wrong that I'm a little happy that she was???) but more that I got a school story out of her!
I've been wanting to do this train ride ever since Turner developed his love for all things choo choo.

In fact, this kid is train crazy!!!! (I guess most little boys are.) He doesn't really have much to say but if there is a train nearby or a Thomas video on, look out!
It's funny how much I delight in my kids' happiness. They say it happens... but hey, I was a skeptic. I'm an only child, selfish pig. NEVER in a million years would I have believed in my early 20s if you told me that one day I would dream of riding a slow train to nowhere just to watch my kids have fun. But I did, and I do.

So, life is spent differently these days.
And guess what?
I love it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Of parties and 2 year olds!

Hey, sorry for the unexpected bloggy break. I'll spare you all of the boring details of how life has thrown me more than I can keep up with therefore keeping me from posting. Suffice it to say, planning a 2 year old birthday party for 30+ people takes a lot out of a mommy!

And that's just what I've been up to this past week. Quinn turned 2 on Saturday and in his honor, we held a big 'ole bash Friday night. We nearly had to paddle there since it had rained in record levels all week. But we made it.

Because we have nearly out grown our home (dare I even say this when so much of the world lives in a 2 room shack?) I so badly did NOT want to host this big party in our house. So I didn't!

I utilized my resources and decided to host it in the basement of a dorm where Steve works. (Why does Steve's place of employment have dorms you wonder??? Strange? Yes. Convenient? Yes- when you're hosting a large party!)

We ordered in Chinese food from the local Chinese Buffet. (ummm... stereotypical when your birthday boy is Chinese? Maybe... but we're gonna ride that wave for awhile.)
It was a really fun night. We kind of used the night not only as a birthday party but also as a kind of welcome home party for friends who have yet to meet him. There were plenty of kids running around to make it super lively even if the adults outnumbered them.

Quinn was the guest of honor but honestly, he didn't know the difference. He was pretty focused on the food all night. I'm not sure WHAT I was thinking but I had M&M's set out on several tables and I'm pretty sure my three kids ate a pound and a half between them.
What would a kid party be without an obligatory game of pin the tail on the donkey? I'm pretty sure that this was Quinn's first go at it. I'm pretty sure it won't be his last. (Only 2 of the 10 kids would actually wear the blindfold. There may be some traumatized kids wandering around the Miami Valley after their go at the donkey. Oops.)

And don't you know that Quinn raked in the loot all night but was more interested in the crappy party favors I passed out at the end of the night?! Sorry friends who brought such nice gifts! Next time feel free just to give 2 cent rings and some glow in the dark bracelets. Apparently that'll do.
Unless, of course, you're my daughter. You might remember her last birthday party. After opening each lovely gift that our dear friends brought her, she would reply, "Is this ALL I get?" *Maybe* one of my more embarrassing moments.
I guess she is evaluating the level of generosity here. Thankfully, she kept her mouth shut this time around.

Whose birthday is it anyway? I'm pretty sure Turner thought he died and went to heaven. He may have reconsidered his initial judgement on this whole brother thing... trucks, trains and cars when it's not YOUR birthday???? Maybe having a brother ain't so bad afterall.
Here is Olivia with her buddy Joshua. He and his family are part of our house church and they've been our friends for a year now. Sweet Joshua picked a fighter jet out of his own collection to give to Quinn. Which Turner immediately confiscated. Isn't that the sweetest? I mean the gesture by Joshua, not Turner.
As for Quinn's first birthday with us, I had several reflections. The biggest one being the morning of October 10th (the day the orphanage gave him as his birthday, which by the way is a pretty good guess since he was delivered to the orphanage while he still had is umbilical cord attached.)
My thoughts that morning wandered to that day 2 years ago when another mother held him in her arms, devastated. THIS was not the way, I'm sure, she envisioned his birthday to be. And then several days later, feeling *forced* by life to abandon him on a chair in a hospital waiting room. Fast forward to Friday night. Two years later. Another mother so overwhelmed by God's grace. THIS lovable, chubby, sweet little boy *gets* to join our family. Is surrounded by 30+ friends who love him. In some ways he's all of our baby. They've prayed for him, gave toward the adoption, celebrated his union with his forever family. In two short years he goes from abandonment to lavish love. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, QUINN. and many more.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Confessions of a judgemental pig

Back in the day I thought migraines were made up by people who just wanted to go to a dark quiet place and take a nap. I mean, I'd had headaches, lots of them. But none so bad that I couldn't press on, do what needed to be done, pop a couple Tylenol and move on. Naps are for wimps. (I *might* also have similar thoughts of PMS. Kick the dog - or worse- and blame it on hormones. Brilliant!)

But then in the Spring of 1998 I was living in New York City. I worked at NYU and had an apartment about 25 blocks away. I was meeting with a student when all of a sudden my peripheral vision started to go. Then the right side of my face got a little numb. I excused myself and high tailed it to my apartment (about a 20-25 minute walk if I didn't pop in any shops on my way home.) By the time I got home I could barely put any thoughts together. I called a good friend of mine and was freaking out. I told him what was happening and asked him to call me back in a half hour. Honestly, I thought I was having a stroke. At 26?

And then it hit. The headache from hell. Every noise was like a drill going through my skull. The light was killing me. By the time he called me back, my vision was intact, the numbness had subsided and I could once again form a complete sentence but it was hours before the headache went away.

Over the past 11 years I've probably had a dozen, no more than 2 dozen migraines. And this is my public apology to all others whom suffer and I have previously judged. They SUCK, with a capital SUCK.

I bring this up because I was with the kids all day yesterday and had invited some of my students over just to hang out, bake cookies and have dinner while Steve was at a work meeting. Then at about 4:30 I noticed that part of my friend, Lauren's face was missing when I looked at her. (This was a small indication that a migraine might be coming on or that Lauren was actually an alien with the ability to remove part of her face, which was the option I was actually hoping for!) I took a few Excedrin Migraine tablets. I'm not totally sure they did anything, but they probably helped in some fashion. Lauren was a Godsend. I'm not sure how I would have watched all three kids with one of those. Thankfully, Steve wasn't too far away and was able to come home in time to put the kids to bed. I HATE being an invalid and unable to even take care of my own kids. But seriously, that's how bad it was.

I went to bed at 7:30pm and woke up at 6:30 the next morning. Now, that'll put a damper on your weekend. I just hate how a migraine can totally wreck a day. So, don't judge me if I need to go escape to a quiet dark room and sleep. I'm either suffering from a migraine or am the mother of three, 3 and under. YOU be the judge!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Don't bother the help!

And by the help I mean my kids.

I was busy doing some tidying up Friday afternoon when all of the kids were begging (literally) for a paper towel to help.

To that I say, knock yourselves out!!!

Who am I to stand in the way of wee little one channeling their inner Mr. Clean? I do have to admit that part of me wanted to scream and run as their little fingers printed up my freshly Pledged table. (I am in NO WAY OCD, but I *might* want to polish my table 10 times a day.) Want is the operative word here, because I actually only do it about every other day. They were cute little helpers though, and I guess its never too early to instill a work ethic.
And speaking of work ethic/don't bother the help; my friend and personal stylist (Aimee Loeser, stylist at Square One Salon, Centerville.) paid a visit to our house last night (thus the frantic cleaning effort in the afternoon.)
Funny story about highlights. (Because I know you're dying for a funny highlight's story.)
Two days before our wedding, I was in Toledo getting my hair "wedding ready" and Steve was coming into town for all the last minute wedding stuff. For timing purposes, he was to meet me at the salon. (Bless his heart! Chalk that up to "still engaged!")
He walked in when I was half way through getting highlighted. So I was fully foiled and just waiting to single handedly launch the space shuttle from my head when he walked in. He just stood there speechless. His response was something like, "Wow. So this is what it takes?" Yep, and we were just 2 days away from making it permanent. And he still said I do.
It was funny because the 2 boys had similar faces last night. They kept looking at me with these startled looks in their eyes. Kinda like, I think that's my mom, but I'm not 100% sure. Well, today I'm fresh and ready for the fall. Thanks again, Aimee, for the great work.
All that to say- You better watch yourself! If you stop by, we just might find something for YOU to do.