Sunday, May 31, 2009

One down, eight to go

Well, it's here. My first week long solo mission. I'm pretty sure I can make it. We'll see. Let's just say we got off to a rocky start though.
With just 5 hours under our belt *the ice machine in the fridge broke, *the light in the kitchen went out (it's one of those really high halogen kind- b/c I AM capable of screwing in a light bulb- thank you very much!) *my son was running around the yard holding dog poop which I rescued him from (but not before he had stepped on it, getting it all over his shoes which in turn got all over my shorts)
** disclaimer** that is NOT dog poop around T's mouth. It IS, however, dirt from those filthy chairs pictured right behind him. He's such a little dirt ball.** end disclaimer
*the dog went completely pshyco and for some reason would not come out from under our bed and when I went to get him he growled and snapped at me. So I'm pretty much guessing tomorrow can only get better.
As I was preparing O for her daddy's departure the other day I asked her what fun stuff she would like to do. She told me, "One day we could go to the mall. One day we could go swimming. One day we could play toys. One day we could paint cupcakes." The list went on and on but at the top of the list was definitely "painting" cupcakes.

So before Steve could get through the doors at the Dayton airport, Olivia was scheduling our cupcake party. And that is just what we did.

Thanks to Aunt Kerry (Steve's sister who doesn't have kids yet and therefore gives those fun Aunt kind of gifts) O has a cupcake decorating kit that I barely ever get out. Well, today we broke it out.
We were having friends over for dinner and I put the cupcakes out but also made an adult friendly cake version. Although who doesn't want to eat a cupcake that's been man handled by a budding 3 year old artist?? (And yes, that just might be the paint brush IN her mouth. But don't worry, friends who ate dinner at our house, I assure you we did not put that one out for YOU.)

Hi Daddy we love you and we miss you!

O wanted to save one for you but I'm afraid she just couldn't wait that long. That will teach you to make your trips shorter next time! Stay tuned to see what other fun stuff we've planned for operation Daddy Storm.

Friday, May 29, 2009

So close I can smell it

I just grabbed our passports from the Fed-Ex lady who was at my door. Steve and I just got our visa's from China so that when we get our Travel Approval from China we are all set to go. One more crucial step toward this little guy. I can barely stand it. I am fully expecting to get our dates in the next week or so. And travel should be anywhere from 3-6 weeks after that. (Oh how I'm hoping and praying for the 3 week option.)
As I was praying and thanking God for arranging the visas hassle free (it usually is, but with this swine flu thing we've been hearing reports of China freaking out and not letting Americans in so freely) I was overcome with this feeling of "I love my life." Even though I'm heading into a week of being a single mom (Steve leaves early Sunday morning for a separate trip to China and returns the following Monday late) I am realizing how full and meaningful my life is.
16 years ago when I started really being friends with Jesus I would have never written this script for my life. I get to do some really cool stuff because I live such an amazing adventure with Him! And now, I'm getting ready to bring home another member of our family. And doesn't he look like he needs his mommy and daddy, brother and sister???
Super cool God note: The painting behind him was actually painted by a really good and long time Chinese friend of mine! Random? I think NOT! My friend (I'll call her Sunshine to protect her identity) mobilizes artists every summer to go and beautify orphanages. It is a way for Believers to serve orphans. Last summer Sunshine and a group of friends went to Quinn's orphanage and painted murals. I contacted her when we got these updated pictures and asked if that happened to be one of the murals. She wrote back and said, "That is exactly what we painted last summer!" Can you believe God would arrange that special treat for all of us?! Why does He spoil me so rotten???
Another fun fact that Sunshine told me is that all of the Special Needs kids are in a separate facility from the larger orphanage. Almost all of the caretakers there are believers. Of all the orphanages in all of China, Sunshine went to OURS. Of all the orphanages in China, Quinn was put in one where at least some of the workers love Jesus. In case you don't know, that is next to impossible!!!
Like I said, I love my life because I just never know what surprises God has for me. Some are hard, some are utterly lovely and amazing. Either way, my life is so NOT boring. Stay tuned for the next step on this journey.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Celebrites welcome!

So I put this Google Analytics program on my blog a few months back. It tells you a lot of cool statistics (most of which I don't really understand or quite frankly even care about.) The purpose of putting it on my blog was more out of curiosity of how many people read my blog (since few of you ever leave comments - but I'm not bitter) and where they are reading it from.

I forgot to check it for a few weeks and after getting a nasty comment on a post last week I went back to see where it may have come from. I think I narrowed it down to Taiwan. So if you are reading from Taiwan, could you please not leave me disgusting comments anymore? Thank you very much. (I know, I know, if a person is into that kind of nastiness they probably aren't going to stop just because I asked nicely. But it makes me feel better.)

Anyhow, in the midst of doing my research, I found that someone in Beverly Hills found my blog. So now I'm pretty convinced that Katie Holmes is reading my blog! We did, after all, graduate from the same all girls high school here in Ohio! (Thanks for noticing, we are a *few* years apart. So it's not exactly like we sat next to each other is Sr. Rita's journalism class or anything) but nonetheless, I'm pretty convinced she would be curious about my life as a mom- much like her life as a mom.

So, Katie, since you're an avid follower of EEK... I have a blog! Welcome. Feel free to leave a comment (as long as it's G-rated) and even if you're not Katie Holmes or any kind of a celebrity, you're always welcome here.

Every girl has her price

And my daughter's is ice cream! Yesterday was her pre-school "screening test." Isn't it silly that 3 year olds get screened? But she did.

On our way in I was prepping her. I told her that we were going to meet a teacher and could she please answer the teacher's questions like a brave big girl. (It really is a crap shoot on how Olivia will react to new people.) Her response was, "Well, I might be shy for a few minutes."

My response? "If you can answer the teacher's questions bravely, we can go and get an ice cream treat afterward." I am not above bribery and I'm sure Super Nanny would have a few strong words about my tactics. But you know what? It worked!

We walked into the class room and Olivia bravely told the teacher her name (she very rarely does that.) And then it was on to the test. Parents were invited to stay with the child but I chose to sit near but not with Olivia. Good thing too because there were several occasions I was so tempted to give my two cents.

O had to identify letters. (This was the first activity.) The teacher simply pointed to a bunch of letters and asked O, "Do you know this letter?" O answered no to all except one of them. It was KILLING me. I'd probably make a really good stage mom to one of those little pageant toddlers
'cuz that's how I was feeling on the inside. "Come on, Olivia, that's an A, you know A. Geez." But thankfully I was able to sit there and keep my dang mouth shut.

Next up was color identification. Thankfully things turned the corner on this one. She was 12 for 12 on her colors... YESSSS! Following colors the teacher gave O a pencil and paper and asked her to draw a picture of herself. O thought about it for about 3 seconds and said, "No, I'm going to draw a bird." Great. If that was a test on following directions that got a real clear insight into how things go down around here. Lovely. So, she drew a picture of a bird.

It is so crazy how warped we are. How Olivia performed in no way shape or form reflected on me as a parent. I know that. In fact no one in that room was thinking about me-- except for me! And although it was subconscious at the moment, later I realized the reason I wanted O to perform well was not for her, but rather for me. So that I appeared to be a mom who has taught her good stuff. Gross, huh?!

Finally she ended with a word identification activity. The teacher said a word and O had to pick the matching picture from the page. Every page had 4 choices. Some of the words were rather easy, like penguin. But others were more complicated like pasting or sewing or patting. The chart was not facing me so I could not see if O was choosing the right pictures. I was trying to tell from the teacher's face if she was getting them right or not but she was doing a good job of being indifferent, dang it.

Afterward, the teacher told O she did a great job and that she was surprised at how many words she knew. The teacher explained to me how the test revealed her vocab level. O is 3 years and 3 months and has the vocab of 4 years and 3 months (at least according to this silly test). So, embarssingly enough, I did manage to work into the conversation how I was surprised that O didn't identify the letters since she is clearly so smart and advanced for her age (well, I didn't say it exactly like that but....)

All in all it was pretty fun seeing O interact with a teacher, be challenged in some areas and show an interest in the school building and the activities in the classroom. On the way there she was pretty excited to go to school. "Turner can't go to school because he's too little. But I'm a big girl so I'm going to school." Here's hoping she gets accepted, in spite of the bird drawing incident.

Finally, we ended with a mommy/daughter date at Dairy Queen. We sat, talked, ate ice cream and laughed. It really was a special afternoon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Next time I'll be prepared.

Last night I was getting Olivia ready for bed. It was post bath jammie time and Olivia asked me, "Why don't I wear a bra?" Oh great, we're HERE already??? Deep breath. "Well, you don't need one. But when you're 12 or 13 maybe then you'll get one." "Maybe when I'm 5?!" What the flippity flap??? "NO! When you're 12 or 13, an older girl." (But who am I kidding, she'll probably be younger than that, but it makes me feel better to think she won't need one until she is 12.)

Then she asked, "What do I put in a bra?" Oh crap... this one snuck up on me and I hadn't really thought through my answer. My mind raced as I scrolled through my options. Up until now we've navigated life w/out actually naming "them." And before I knew it this was my answer... "You'll put boobies in a bra." Boobies??? I've never called them that in my life. But for some reason breasts coming from a 3 year old didn't seem right either. "Oh, okay" was her reply and on we went with bedtime.

As I replayed the conversation for Steve last night he was appalled! "Boobies? You told her to call them boobies?" "Yeah, I know. It's what came out. I was unprepared. Okay hot shot what would you have called them?"

"I don't know, headlights?" Classy dude! Apparently that's the way we roll around here.

"I have nipples, Fauker, can you milk me?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tossing his cookie

They're getting so big. Doesn't Turner look like such a big boy sitting in that chair with his sister? He's so big in fact that if I wait any longer to teach him how to brush his teeth they'll all fall out and he'll be wearing dentures by the time he hits 8th grade.

So yesterday we were on a Target run and I had to get a *few* things. As we were walking down the aisle that dead ends into the $5 kid DVD end cap Olivia declared officially what I have only thought in my head for years, "I want to live here!" Yes, wouldn't that be fantastic? Live in Target and make short weekly appearances at my home instead of vice versa? Oh the glory of it. Everything you need in on small yet appealing space. And when you get tired of eating "off the shelf" you can have the guy in the red Target baseball cap grab you a hot dog off the rotating wheel (because who wouldn't want to satisfy their hunger by a day old dog that's been spinning it's guts out?)

But I digress. Because Turner is getting so big and NEEDING to start brushing his teeth (please don't report me. I promise I had O brushing by herself at 11 months. I'm just a little behind with number 2.) I was on a mission to get him a tooth brush. I decided to splurge and get him a Cookie Monster tooth brush that was neither on sale nor had a coupon (couponers please don't judge me... sometimes a girl's just gotta spend a little extra). I hope this kid values his teeth more than a college education, 'cuz now I'm just throwing money away!

I even let Olivia have a similar splurge and leave it to my diva to pick an expensive Barbie tooth brush. But hey, it got her to brush 3 times yesterday.

Turner was pretty jazzed about the new tooth brush and carried it through the whole store, in the car and into the house. We all marched upstairs to try out the new treasures, upon O's orders. I opened up the two brushes. O got ready to do the drill and Turner grabbed his and ran for it. Before I could catch up with him, he beat me to the toilet and need I say more? Cookie Monster went for a swim.

I fished $3 from the toilet and put in straight in the garbage much to a sobbing Turner's dismay. When I got home and told Steve the story he couldn't believe I just threw it away. "Couldn't you have just bleached it or something?" I may be turning into a tight-wad but there is something about giving your kid a tooth brush that's been in the toilet that is just wrong! The moral of the story... always keep the lid down.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How did June Cleaver do it?

Because we like to keep friends around that are crazier than us, meet Sy (Sy's not crazy, but his parents are.) His mommy and daddy are taking him and his not quite one year old sister to India for a month starting on Thursday. In hopes of helping my friend Susie out, Sy came over to play for a few hours while Susie ran to a meeting. I mean, girl's taking her family 1/2 way around the world in a few days, least I can do is lessen her load by one kid for a few hours, right?!

Sy and O are friends from a once a week childcare situation we have at work and they typically play nicely together and have some of the same quirks. I was all geared up for a fun morning! My friend Sally called and I figured the more the merrier. So I invited her to bring her two kids over as well and perhaps we could have a bit of an adult conversation (and no, I was not high when I had that thought.) This is O and Sy watching a Thomas video before the others arrived. *they did actually play! I did not just plunk them in front of a video so I could run to Target*

Thomas was plan B since our HD antennae decided to NOT pick up our PBS channel and I already had the kids hyped up on the idea of a little Sesame Street break. *insert snide comment about how we wouldn't have that problem if I would break down and just get cable.*

Next stop, lunch. A little macaroni and cheese, grapes and a big bowl of broccoli in the center of the table. Granted all the kids declared their utter disdain for broccoli the moment it hit the table but hey, it made me feel better.

I really really want to be the cool mom on the block and the house that all the kids want to play at. My plan? Feed them cake! They all got a little cake after lunch. You didn't eat your broccoli? Who cares? NOT Olivia and Turner's mommy, that's for sure. (I know, desperate!)

After all was said and done, every one survived, no one had a tinkle accident and all that was left was a bit of a toy bomb that seemed to have gone off in the back yard. No harm no foul. So, if you have a kid, send 'em over! Just be sure they'll come back to 'ya sugared up!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Word to the wise

Never give a 3 year old a Fiber One bar. That thing will rip right through that delicate small-child system and will become a force to be reckoned with!

I learned the hard way because either a.) no other parent had the courage to speak up about what actually happened when their small child ate a fiber bar or b.) I'm just plain stupid.

I was having one for a snack yesterday and when O begged for one, I thought nothing of it and actually thought, this is better than some other piece of crap snack that I usually give her (pun most definitely intended!)

Fast forward about 5 hours later when our happy family was returning from an evening of family fun. We were in the van no less than 3 minutes before O declared rather emphatically "I gotta sit on potty." All would have been well and good except we were on the highway determined to get home before major meltdowns from Turner occurred. "You'll have to hold it, we'll be home in 12 minutes." We did all we could to distract her but every time I turned around there was O holding "herself".

We made it to the potty just in time for an explosion like none other (O needs her privacy, thank the good Lord) so Steve and I just looked at each other and laughed at the horror that was occurring on the other side of the closed door. "I've never heard anything like that come out of her" was all Steve could muster.

So, heed my warning all you with small children. Dole out your fiber bars sparingly and upon occasion where there is a potty nearby! Good luck and happy pooping.

Friday, May 15, 2009


So, I'm sitting here trying to wrack my brain with something clever to say, a funny story to tell, or even a heartwarming thought provoking nugget. But I got nothin'. I could tell you about the 45 minutes I spent weeding yesterday until I found the biggest, slimiest ugliest slug I've EVER seen and remembered why I hate the great outdoors and prefer to call myself a city girl.

I could tell you about how tragic it is that my favorite Weight Watchers facilitator was "let go" (still haven't been able to overhear the scoop as to why she mysteriously was *replaced*) or how her HILARIOUS replacement (I swear the man could be a stand up comic) is also leaving. Did I mention that our family doesn't do well with change? But I figured that story would be dull.

I could tell you about how I'm just sitting in my living room waiting for the mail man to come because I KNOW he's going to be bringing the final piece to the adoption puzzle and then I'm going to run to the Post Office and mail this sucker to our agency. But I figure you don't really care about that.

I could tell you about how entertaining my Zumba class was this morning because of the two rather flamboyant men in the front row (why can't I move like them?) but that may be controversial!

I'm tempted to write about the cute things O and Turner did this week (like when Olivia prayed for Turner before naps yesterday for the first time and said, "Thank you, Jesus, for Turner. Amen" Or when I asked her to choose one of her stuffed animals to give to Quinn and she ran to her bed and chose her most precious and beloved bear and said, "Here, I want him to have this one. I'll just choose another one.") but all I ever do is write about my kids.

I could mention that I have a 30% off Gymboree coupon that is burning a hole in my pocket. Don't you think Quinn could use a few new clothes? (note the slipper/shoes and mitten sweatshirt that is a bit girlie in the recent photos) But that makes me seem a bit shallow.

The thought occurs to me that I've gone the whole American Idol season without giving my opinion. But then I would just go on and on about how this season has not been my favorite and how tired I am (as are most people) of Adam's screaming and shrieking. And then I'd have to go on and on about how many times I'm going to vote for Kris on Tuesday, so I'll just skip it.

So, I guess today, I'll just say nothin'!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sleepless in Dayton

So last night I was up from 2:30-about 4am. (the thunderstorm that rolled through around 5 didn't help either as I found myself in my daughter's bed trying to comfort her and make up for the lost sleep earlier in the night. Yet another, "Not gonna do that when I have kids" moment.) But I digress. My original sleeplessness came from those stinkin cute pictures I received yesterday. That little munchkin who lives half way around the world stole my heart back in October when we received our referral, but he ran away with any remains yesterday when I saw those grown up pics of him.

As I laid awake last night I had so many thoughts running through my head. Most of them really great and exciting thoughts. Of how it's going to be to have him join our family. Don't get me wrong. I think I have my feet on the ground on this one! I'm pretty much planning on 6 months of living hell as we bring him home. Our family doesn't do so well with change (example: 6 nights at grandma and papa's house this week. Not a good night's sleep across the board. One night back in our own house, everyone -but me- slept like a log!) So when the change of adding another Koproski hits, I fully expect things to go haywire.

Not to mention poor Quinn himself. We are about to pluck this nearly 2 year old child out of the only home and family he's ever known. He doesn't speak English, hasn't seen white people, hasn't had a personal belonging to call his - ever- may have never seen a dog before (enter Baxter!) leaves his "home" with strangers, gets on a plane, deals with jet lag, a big sister, little brother, new food... you get the picture. Oh, sometimes I get a feeling of guilt. But I know that the long term is far greater and better than the roughness of the short term.

But what I'm excited for and can't wait for is to see the little boy that God has chosen to be part of us. I love my family. I have a hilarious and thoughtful husband. I have a pre-madonna, precocious daughter and a rough and tumble clown of a son. What personality has God given Quinn and where will he perfectly fit into the fabric of our family? (eventually).

My mind is racing and it feels like the week before Christmas when you've circled nearly every toy in the Sears catalogue and now you're just waiting to see what you're gonna get. I did let God know last night as I tried to shut off my mind that I need to get some rest. We probably won't travel for another 6-7 weeks and I HAVE GOT to get some sleep. But it's so fun to imagine!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh happy day

We got an update on Quinn. I don't know about you but I see trouble in those eyes!!!! I know I'm biased, but isn't he the CUTEST thing, ever???!!! We were also sent some recent measurements. Guess what? He and Turner are the exact same size. How crazy is that?! I guess Quinn is thriving at the orphanage. (Or I serve food equal to or worse than an orphanage... hmmm?)

Sorry for the brief blog hiatus. We were gone to Ashtabula for the past 6 days. Spending time with Grandma and Papa was fun, but its always good to be home. Our kids don't do so well away from their own beds. Sleep was at a premium and I'm hoping things get back to normal tonight. Don't you know both kids had crazy high fevers and Olivia had the barfs. We can't ever just go some place, but we have to make it an event.
An update on Quinn, along with the pictures, is that we are getting closer each day to picking him up. We should get a needed form from the US government tomorrow that we will turn around and send to our agency (along with 3 other forms). They will send those on to China who will send them on to the consulate and within 2-3 weeks we should know when our travel date will be. (Still thinking late June, early July). I will apply for my visa to China this week as will Steve. Then it's really real. It feels SO real now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 3, 2003

6 years can go by really fast! We joke and say, Hmmm... seems like 20! But in a good way. We had a great wedding day. Lots of fun memories. A really great trip to Mexico (pre swine flu!) The day was chilly but I was tan, so who cared!

We had yummy appetizers, a great dinner and we actually remember stuff. Steve laughs because as I walked down the aisle I personally greeted each guest with a look or an under my breath "hey". He says I didn't even realize he was there until I nearly ran into him as the aisle came to a stop. I'm not sure if that is true, but I have to say when I watch the video (or used to watch it before I taped over it with the American Idol a few seasons back. True story!) I am actually a bit embarrassed. But walking down the aisle was truly one of my all time favorite memories in life. To see so many friends from different eras of my life all in one place at one time was once in a lifetime.

And if I could only have one food for the rest of my life it would be wedding cake! Don't get me wrong, I love all kinds of cake, but wedding cake is in a league of it's own. It was the one thing I wasn't going to compromise on my own wedding day. And it was fabulous!

In fact, I was so determined not to miss out on my own cake, during the reception I stood in line for a piece of my own. You only get that dinky piece you feed each other (which we DID NOT smash all over each other if you were wondering) and that clearly wasn't going to cut it.

Several people insisted that as the bride I should cut to the front of the cake line, but it ended up being one of my favorite wedding day memories, standing in line for a piece of my own cake. It was a great place to mix and mingle. Our cake people did a great thing too. Instead of sending home the top tier to freeze so you can gag it down a year later, they gave us a coupon for a freshly baked duplicate a year later. So not only did we enjoy cake once, we enjoyed it twice. That's what the call in Chinese "Double Happiness."

I have tons of wedding day memories, but those are just a few. Because we were flying back from Lisa's wedding on our anniversary, I missed posting this. Even though our anniversary has come and gone, I didn't want to let the opportunity pass to let my amazing husband know that I love him EVEN more than the day we got married. The past six years has been SO MUCH FUN. I am so thankful and feel sad for all the ladies in the world who don't get to be married to you. I got the catch of a lifetime! Happy Anniversary. and many more to come.

a blogger's dilemma

This past week was super jam packed. So full, in fact, I didn't even have time to blog. Which leaves me in a dilemma. How much time past an event is it no longer blog worthy? I guess it's up to my own discretion. Does that make you worried?

So to spare you from a week's worth of Koproski minutia here is the highlight... A trip east with my honey to celebrate my best friend, Lisa's, wedding. Steve's mom and dad came to our house to stay with the kids and early Thursday morning we got on a plane- ALONE- headed to Philly. Not as glamorous as a tropical island, but kid-free anywhere makes even Philly a sought-after destination. Lisa's wedding was actually in New Jersey, just across the river. Since we didn't have to be anywhere Thursday we did some sightseeing and had an anniversary dinner (Sunday May 3rd was year #6 for this thing!)

Steve and I are different in a *few* ways. One of them being our love (or my lack there of) for history. We went to pay our respects to the Liberty Bell. Pretty cool. Steve wanted to read ALL the info about the bell. I wanted my picture by it to document my respect.

Later we "scored" a pair of tickets for the tour of Independence Hall. About 10 minutes into the most boring 30 minute presentation of my life, I began looking around the room wondering who was a carrier of the swine flu. I finally pegged a lady who was stifling a cough into her jacket. Moments later, the guy sitting next to her got up and found a chair across the room. I could barely contain myself.
I'm sure there were dozens of other historic places to visit but with limited time, I had to get my buns on down to Chinatown. I got the yummiest bubble tea this side of the Great Wall. There is something so right about being in a place with ducks skinned, cooked and dangling in the window and the smell of fish hanging in the air.

All in all, our trip to Philly was a good experience. It was a super fun way to celebrate 6 years of marriage to an amazing man, doing what we do best- having an adventure!