Friday, January 29, 2010

A bunch of sickos

TGIF. Although it won't look much like a weekend around our house. Steve is in charge of and has been planning a weekend-long retreat for about 300 college students from around the region. We're super excited about it and our very own pastor, Rob Turner, is the main speaker. With everything kicking off tonight, I've secured a babysitter for this evening so that I can go and enjoy dinner and the first session with the 25 UD students who are attending. Its going to be super fun.

But I wasn't so sure it was going to be as of last night. Steve and I went out on a date. Kind of our usual (so usual in fact, our babysitter just laughed when she heard what we were up to.) Shopping and then dinner. I still have gift cards from Christmas that had yet to be used and was in desperate need (although I use that word loosely in light of world catastrophes and all) of some make up. I've been using remnant of concealer and foundation for nearly 2 months now. But the thought of taking 3 kids into Sephora is my own personal hell. We can barely make it through Kroger where they are secured in a cart. Can you imagine the *fun* they could have with the million tubes of sample lipsticks? Lordhavemercy.

So, off we went to our local "shopping towne center." All of our good stores have moved out of the mall and into this outdoor, walk your butt a mile from one good store to another, location. Fine when its spring, summer or fall. But when you live in Ohio in the middle of January and your high is 20 degrees in the heat of the day, strolling around the towne center is not so much fun. But hey, when duty calls!

After we froze ourselves pretty good, we headed to our favorite Indian restaurant. I loaded up on my fav... chicken tikka sagg. Oh it is spicy heaven on earth. Their scale is 1-6 and I like mine at a 5. On our ride home I noticed I was feeling a little *off*. I even mentioned to Steve I was glad we shopped first, because it's no fun to try on pants when your bloated. By the time I went to bed at 10 (I couldn't get warm) I was full blown nauseous. By 11:15 I was revisited by my chicken tikka sagg- spice level 5. Oh, please, for the love of all things good in this world, promise me you'll never throw up anything spicier than a 2!!!! Torture, I tell you. This morning, I woke up feeling fine. Tired but fine. Its the weirdest thing. I feel like I've battled these weird throw up spells for the past 6 months. But what do you do? Go into the doctor and say, "Hey doc, sometimes I throw up and I don't know why." Good luck with that!

Also, by way of update, my dad is home from the hospital. He was released on Wednesday evening. He is feeling tons better but we still don't know the actual diagnosis. The verdict is still out on a rare lung disease. But I guess since he is improving without the treatment for the disease, they are leaning away from that diagnosis. Thanks for your prayers and concerns. Thankfully we are nearly out of January for another year. My mom is a week or two away from coming home as well. I, for one, will feel tons better when they are both home and we are safely into the month of February. But hey, its a good thing I'm not superstitious!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cloudy with the chance of crazy!

I woke up this morning and there was a big fiery ball in the sky. Some say it is the sun, but I know not of what they speak! In fact the fiery ball was so bright in the sky, I needed a pair of special glasses to protect me from its blinding rays. I enjoyed it and I hope it stays.

The winter blahs have definitely been taking their toll on our family. The 2 two year olds (with a bit of help from their 3 year old sister) have already put a hole in the jump house so we are back to the drawing board on how to get the crazies out.

Let me tell you, one way to NOT do it is by taking them all for a family outing to the grocery store for your big weekly run. 'Cuz all that'll do is make the mama crazy! And blast you, Kroger, anyhow. By the time we rounded the corner to the bakery where the promised "if you behave yourself and stop trying to throw your sibling from the cart, I'll let you have a free cookie" cookie usually lives, we found out this is the day they were plumb out of free cookies. Ack. That was right about the same time Olivia decided she couldn't wait to go home to use the potty (naturally 3 minutes after I had hit the frozen food section.) So I did a very interesting dance between the bathroom and the full cart of food as well as the brothers who were trying to escape the dreaded "car cart." If you've used one, or have been trapped in the cereal aisle by some one using one, you know why its dreaded!

We made it. I saved $85 by taking advantage of a sweet sale/coupons. No one died or lost a limb. (The verdict is still out on my sanity, however.) All in all a fine trip.

There was one Turner report that made me smile yesterday. I picked the boys up from the Y child care. I get a daily Turner report, now that he's 2 he is acting the part. The ladies were smiling and said that Turner was very "obedient" today. He went up to a little girl and was about to hit her. The ladies said, "Turner, keep your hands to yourself." He smiled and folded his hands. Then, he kicked her instead.

Hey, if they are nothing else, my kids are creative! Creative I say.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slowly but surely

Here are the fruits of our labor.
While I didn't pick up a paint brush this weekend, I feel entitled to say "our labor" because in order for this to be completed my labor of love with the kids was much in order.

It's too bad you can't get the full effect of the colors here. Because it turned our really nice.
We've also added some "grown up" accessories. I found this lovely photo of the Empire State Building and a coordinating wall clock this week at Target. I think it helps to update the bathroom. I'm a sucker for anything NYC!
I also added this new basket.
I like to keep my hairdryer easily accessible and therefore keep it in a basket next to the sink.
We are still waiting word from the tile guy. We're hoping he can work us in within the next 2 weeks. Once that happens we'll also be able to install the sink, medicine cabinet and get rid of the old medicine cabinet between the two towel racks in the first photo.
I also included a pic of our current shower tile. Tony is going to replace this with tile that matches our floor.
Super excited.
I'm off to an early bedtime to recover from my crazy weekend!

Take two asprin and call me in the morning

Hung over! That's what I am this weekend. From all the partying we did.

It was back to back kiddie parties for our family.

And apparently this is Olivia's new party pose...
lovely, isn't it?
This is a fun new phase for our family. Parties for kids who are friends with ALL three of our kids.
Pizza. Cake. Juice. Big empty spaces to run and go crazy.
Paradise when you're 2 and 2 and 3!
Pandemonium when you're 37 and 38!
Party 2 was at a Chuckie Cheese knock off. It was the craziest Saturday night Steve and I have spent in a long time.

The kids had a B.L.A.S.T.
Turner loved the games. The lights. The music.
Quinn loved the pizza. The cake. The candy he won at the end of the night.

She loved being with friends.

Somehow she managed to snuggle up to both birthday boys each time they blew out their candles. It was kinda funny.
As for me? I gotta get crakin' on planning my own 4 year old birthday party next month. We were going to rent out a bounce house until I checked on the cost. We're going to the Y instead. I appealed to my daughter's greed (oops) by telling her if we had the party at the bounce house she only got 1 present from mom and dad but if she chose the Y, she could have 3. She chose the Y~! Hey, it was either appeal to greed or take out a second mortgage on our home for her party. Cut a mama some slack. I learned a valuable lesson... ALWAYS do research before introducing idea to child.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Who stole my children???

In order for Steve to make a dent in painting the bathroom I've been in charge of keeping the kids occupied today. No sweat. It's who I am, it's what I do. It's just that usually Saturdays around here are team effort. A day I look forward to, because I don't have to shoulder the responsibility of entertaining 3 very energetic children for a whole day... by myself... in the dead of winter... in Ohio. (do you hear the desperation? are you extending pity? just checking!)

My plan? Off to the Y so that someone else could entertain my hoodlums for an hour and a half while I worked out and grabbed an uninterrupted shower. I'm no fool. Next stop, the mall play area.

Let me first start by saying, I've not been so proud of my three for a long time. I think we've just entered a new stage around here. And I likey!!! The 4 of us walked into the mall, all holding hands. No one wandered into traffic. No one refused to hold someone else's hand. No one made me regret the day I said "I do."

Next, we hit the play area. And believe it or not, when we first arrived there were only 2 other kids there. One was a girl, who turned out to be 2 days younger than Olivia. They became fast friends and played well for the next 40 minutes. The boys played their guts out- running, jumping, rolling and sliding. Turner only hit 2 people (and they *might have* deserved it!) I found a nice grandma to talk to and actually enjoyed it rather than being annoyed by it.

Everyone came when I told them it was time to go home. No one whined. No one cried. No one made me chase them like a lunatic through the mall. No one pooped in their diaper. No one had to go potty in the restroom. No one begged for a cookie (stupid mall planners put American Cookie Co- or whatevertheheckitscalled RIGHT NEXT to the exit of the play land). They each got a sample chicken nugget from Chick-fil-a as we walked out out... they even said thank you.

So, either we've turned a corner as a family, I've chilled out, or my kids have been replaced in the middle of the night by stepford children. Whatever the reason, you won't hear me complaining!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Up to speed

I have about 40 blogs that I keep up with. Most are written by people I don't know. Some are friends of friends. And then there are a handful of people I actually know and may even consider friends (hopefully the same would be said of me!)

I'm always amazed that these people seem to find SOMETHING to write about. I had been devoted to some over the past 2 years but have dropped them because they either a.) never update (and that drives me BONKERS) or b.) are boring, preachy or uninteresting.
Does that make me a blog snob? If so, I can live with that.

The point is, I found myself going to write a post this week and finding nothing to say. I'm fearful you'll drop me 'cuz I don't update. Or worse. 'Cuz I'm uninteresting. Oh well, to each his own I guess.

Drop me if you will, but my post today is just a bit of hodge podge to bring you up to speed.

1. Extreme Home Makeover: bathroom edition. It was going full force and then we might have gotten a bit too big for our britches. We've decided to hire some *English as a second language* friends to install tile in our shower and to our floor. Its gonna be awesome, but its going to be a few weeks until Tony can come and do it. And when he does, it's going to take 4-5 days. Ummm... he needs to take the toilet out and NO SHOWER for that time. Have I mentioned it's our only shower? It could get dicey around here!

Steve started painting the walls. The color is nice. But its taking awhile. When you have 3 little kids you have rather small windows to get a job done. Its not done.

The cabinets and sink can't go in until the tile is down. The back wall can't be painted until the medicine cabinet is ripped out and dry walled. Yep. Definitely too big for our britches.

2. We had a realtor come and check out the house to put it back up on the market. Basically she said, "You haven't done jack to your house... you need to ask waaaaayyyyy less than you did last time." Oh, "And paint your kitchen." Great. Its taking a week to get the little bathroom painted and she wants us to paint the whole kitchen. What have we gotten ourselves into?

3. My dad is having a lung biopsy in about an hour and a half. What we thought was pneumonia may actually be some crazy rare lung disease. Hopefully the biopsy will let them know for sure that it is/isn't. We're praying for isn't. Pray with us if you would!

4. Saw the movie Book of Eli this week. Crazy movie! If you love Denzel- go see it. If you hate violence and hands being chopped off- don't.

5. My friend, Susie, left this morning for Rwanda to pick up her son, Charlie. She's going to blog about it when/if the Internet allows. Follow her journey with me, if you like.

6. Two kid birthday parties this weekend. Finish painting the bathroom. And Supernanny tonight.

Consider yourself up to speed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Maybe I'm just weird!

Over the weekend, I realized that we're just cruising along doing life.

For a long time it seemed like this blog was about me waiting. Waiting on the whole adoption thing. The journey. Now, here we are- just doing life.

We went to the UD women's basketball game the other night. The five of us. We met up with about 12 of our college friends. And there we were, just being us.

A lady a few rows ahead of us kept doing the goo goo eyes thing at Quinn and I could just tell she was DYING to ask about him. She finally got her chance. It was fun to share the brief 1 minute version. Turns out she really just wanted to talk about her sight seeing trip to China this past summer. Whatever. It got me thinking.
I don't think I'm a normal "adoptive mom." I don't think I'm an adoption crusader. While I love and live adoption and I have a heart to see all kids have permanent families, I'm not sure I live in a personal world driven by the adoption cause. I don't belong to a bunch of adoption websites or chat rooms. I don't even read a ton of adoption blogs. I think I'm just doing the life God's called me to do.

I realized I haven't even given a Quinn specific update in a long time. I haven't bragged about how great his English is or how much he fits in with our family. How awesome his lip revision looks. Or how he irritates me just as much as the other two do at times. I haven't told you about what a kind and generous 2 year old he is or how we consider sending Olivia and Turner for a stint at an orphanage so that they can become as obedient and tender hearted as their brother.

In all honesty, I forget that he's Chinese or that he looks different than I do. I forget that 5 1/2 months ago he turtled up and wouldn't eat, drink or talk for 2 days. 'Cause now he's just Quinn. He's my son. He lives here and he belongs here. But it's kinda no big deal. I don't really think about it and I certainly haven't been blogging about it. It's just life.
So you can imagine my surprise this afternoon when I was eating my lunch while the kids were watching some show on PBS and out of nowhere I started tearing up.

The show had a segment about China. Olivia and turner were glued to it (Quinn was still at the table finishing lunch, naturally... he's the last guy down from each meal!) Olivia yelled, "Hey mom, look its about China." Then Turner got super excited and super animated.

He started running and dancing and saying, "Mom! LOOK! CHINA!" He was running around the room smiling and yelling, "China!" I asked, "Hey Turner do you love China?" He yelled back, "Yes! LOVE China.!"

I'm no fool. I know that Turner had little to no clue about what he was excited about. But the fact that my kids, all three of them, celebrate China brought joy to my heart. They've ALL three been to China. They will all three go back. We will continue to develop that love and enthusiasm for China through out ALL of their lives.

It was good for me to remember that we are an adoptive family. I may not be a deep thinker on the subject or spend a lot of time meditating on that fact or engaging in the adoption world. But I don't want the day to day life to go by too much without re-visiting the reality from time to time.

I still maintain I'm just weird. But hey, so is the rest of my family! Did 'ya notice those pics???

Monday, January 18, 2010

Its like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

Yeah, the irony of my kids really gets me sometimes!

Take for instance, Turner. He is my rough and tumble kid. He can launch himself out of the jump castle like some kind of circus act.

He will go up to a first grader at the Y and scream in their face. (Then sit in a 5 minute time out!)

The kid seems fearless when it comes to any kind of physical activity.

His favorite 2 movies are Bolt and G-Force.

He can make a weapon out of a torn piece of coloring book.

today on the ride home from visiting my parents we watched a Barbie movie and Tinkerbell and the kid cried and screamed and carried on like he was scared out of his mind. In fact, I've never seen him so wound up, covering his eyes and screaming bloody murder!

Barbie and Tinkerbell. Isn't it ironic, don'tcha think?!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If I were superstitious

For the past 5 January's something radically, drastically B.A.D. has happened to one or(some years) both of my parents. Their health has wavered. Good, bad, normal, dire straights; you name it, they've seen it. If I were superstitious I'd dig a hole on January first and I'd climb in and on February first I might climb back out.

2 years ago, about 8 days after Turner was born I got up from a nap and Steve made me sit down. He delivered news to me that my mom had called and there was an accident. My dad was driving and had a severe heart attack and totalled his car. He had to be life flighted from one hospital to another. Our family hopped in the car and ended up living in a "hotel" at the hospital for nearly a week (with less than a two week old baby.) I still hadn't fully recovered myself, if yaknowwhatimean! My dad was in ICU for 10 days and dontcha' know made a full recovery. God has been incredibly faithful over the years.

My faith has wavered. Not in God and not in His healing power or even in His sovereign plan (if my dad had left us that time God STILL would have been good). My faith has wavered more in my belief that I have not truly believed it is better to be in the presence of God than here on Earth. Don't get me wrong, I love life, I love my family and I love being here... but I think in the last few months God has been growing me to believe that it really, truly will be better than ANYTHING to be with Him.

All that said, it is in fact, January! True to the calender, my dad was admitted into the hospital with pneumonia yesterday. Without getting into all the gory details, he's been sick for over 3 months and is a stubborn old fart. I've been encouraging him to go to the emergency room for over a month. All on his terms!

Thankfully we already had a trip scheduled to visit this weekend anyway (no school on Monday means a bit of freedom in our schedule.) Here's praying that they can get the source of the infection treated and that there is nothing more serious going on (my dad smoked 3 packs a day for about 50 years... he quit about 15 years ago... but its always in the back of my mind.)

I'm thankful that God sits on His throne today. Regardless of the outcome of my January's for the rest of my life, I can rest in the fact that God loves me. Nothing surprises Him. I find peace in that. Here's hoping that I didn't jinx anything (jk! 'cuz I'm NOT superstitious.)

*****Oh, and an update on Olivia's Haitian Hurricane giving. $.69 was graciously given up by my sweet 3 year old. (I have to say, I was hoping for a better showing from the piggy bank, but you don't want to crush a good thing.) Looks like we're going to have to help a girl out a bit by adding a bit of our own.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A change of heart

Because the people have demanded it (and by people, I mean YOU Bethany :) I am finally updating my blog. I've been meaning to but life kinda got in my way this week (and by life, I mean American Idol).

A few days ago I was going to write about how annoying the month of January is. Annoying because I go to the Y and I can't get a bike in my spinning class because every body and their 63 year old mom thinks they'll "give spinning a whirl" as their New Year's resolution. It was an actual conversation I overheard as the "regulars" were all clamoring for a bike 12 minutes before class even started. "Don't worry, mom, even if all you can do is sit there and move your legs, we're just glad you're here." Ummmm.... hello visiting girl I've never seen before, NO, no we're not. You see, if you're just going to sit on a bike and just "move your legs" then there are about 11 bikes in the fitness room for you to do that on. THIS is a class where you follow an instructor and actually DO WHAT SHE SAYS. And it's hard. And you're suppose to hate it. And its why some of us drive 25 minutes to get there.

And then I was going to write a post about how still annoying the month of January is. Annoying because I go to Weight Watchers and I can't hardly find a seat. Annoying for two seatless reasons. One because everyone will be there *getting thin* until they receive that heart shaped box of chocolates in February, never to step foot on that WW scale again. And annoying two because I COULD find a seat if you all shoved your coat under your seat like I do (or put it behind your back like your mama should have taught you) INSTEAD of on the seat next to you... therefore causing a bunch of regulars to have to stand for 30 minutes during a meeting. I for one got a seat, 'cause I asked someone to move their coat. I call it assertive, not rude.

Yeah, I was going to do those posts and then I realized I would sound so negative and would appear so heartless toward all those out there trying to get healthy.

So, instead, I want to tell you about a conversation I had with Olivia on Thursday morning. (Which hopefully casts me in a much more favorable bloggy kinda light.) We were watching the news as she ate breakfast and got ready to head off to school. It hadn't occurred to me that there would be wall to wall stories on about the Haitian earthquake and Steve and I hadn't discussed how we wanted to handle that with the kids. Looks like the way we were going to handle it was by jumping in, feet first.

Olivia dialed right in and started asking a million questions. "Did the kitchen fall in?" Yes "Did the roof fall in ?" Yes. "Did those people die?" Yes. I could read the unasked question in her eyes, "Will it happen to us?" so I answered the unasked question. "You don't have to worry it probably will NEVER happen here in Dayton."

We talked for a moment about Haiti and how its another country and how we will start praying for those people before bed. She said, "Well, I think they all can just build a new house." I gave a 3 year old explanation about how a lot of those people may not be able to build a new house, it costs a lot of money to do so, etc. I DIDN'T get into the technical stuff about foreign aid, corrupt governments, no running water, no electricity etc. I told her that there are people who will help them. That the helpers are asking people like us to give money so that people in Haiti can build a new house. I asked her if she would like mommy and daddy to find a group for us to give money to? "YES! Because we have lots of money!"

In her little 3 year old mind we do have lots of money. And in light of the Haitian crisis, she's right. So, our project over the weekend is to decide who we will donate to. Then the next project is to sit down with Olivia and her piggy bank and have her decide how much she wants to give. I'll let you know how that goes.

I guess in light of not having a plan on how to handle stuff like this, God helped us manage ok. And in light of losing everything, losing your bike or your chair just ain't so bad!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Seven years ago I badgered my poor husband for a dog for Christmas. I mean, I made myself a real pain in the butt kind of badgering. The Hollywood idea of waking Christmas morning with a sweet puppy wrapped up in a box or yelping under the tree with a big red bow around its neck was just what I wanted Santa to bring me. REALLY BAD.
Lets just say things didn't quite work out in time for a puppy to wind up under the tree. And there are so many things that are different between my sweet husband and I. One of the biggest is how we go about huge, life-changing decisions. He is very practical. Does lots of research. Pro/con lists are his friend. He looks (and looks...and looks) before he leaps. Me? If I have an idea that seems like it won't hurt me or others, I'm in! And as far as puppies go... I had wanted another dog ever since my childhood dog, Fanny, went to the big kennel in the sky.

Sometime mid-January, of 2004, Steve and I drove to a breeder of Champion field Springer Spaniels and made the biggest mistake of our lives! We drove home with Baxter. Early on we went to puppy obedience classes. He literally was an embarrassment. There was NO controlling him. A few months after the failed obedience class, we hired a "personal trainer" to come to our home. Within moments Chris from K-9 Obedience had Baxter in a choke hold on the floor. "Clearly, this dog thinks he's in charge around here. You guys, especially YOU MA'AM need to gain back some control around here." (Did I mention Steve and I spent over a month sitting on our wooden dining room chairs to watch tv because whenever we sat on the sofa he would jump up and bite us. We tried to stop him... but what can I say, we were prisoners in our own home.)

After 4 sessions, we promptly went out and bought a shock collar for him. Don't judge us. If you do, clearly, you've never spent time with Baxter. And on top of it, he's nuts. I mean certifiably nuts. (He sees and chases imaginary bugs!) The shock collar is the only power we have over this guy. Don't misunderstand me. He is GREAT with the kids. He loves us. He is part of the family. But he is sooo naughty, he has burned all bridges with family and friends. He is no longer welcome to family visits (mostly because he can't settle himself nor can he control himself when food is on the counter.) Many a loaf of bread, stick of butter, or kid's breakfast has been lost to Baxter.

Which brings me to the whole reason for my rant on Baxter. Last night we hosted our weekly House Church. Everyone brings an appetizer or dessert to share. We usually rush upstairs as everyone is leaving to put the kids to bed. We were hosting a bunch of college students right after House Church and some of the girls were already over. As we put the kids to bed, they thought they would let Baxter out to stretch his legs. Very thoughtful. And very helpful, once ALL the food is put away. The girls overlooked a bowl of buffalo chicken nuggets someone had brought and left for us to share at the student meeting.

As Steve was coming downstairs from putting the boys to bed, he heard the girls yelling at Baxter and chasing him around the room. Baxter-1/ buffalo chicken nuggets- 0.

Fast forward to midnight. Steve and I are all nestled snug in our bed. Then the whining began. Because of his untrustworthiness, Baxter sleeps in his own personal "home." A nice roomy crate. The soft whimpers became larger cries that turned into yelps. Steve ran down and let him out. He raced around the yard and did his business. There was one more round for Steve about 45 minutes later. Then at 3:20, it was my turn. At that point it was Baxter-1/ buffalo chicken nuggets-3. Tyson was the clear winner of this fight! I then had trouble falling back to sleep in fear of another freezing cold wake up call.

It is one thing to wake up in the middle of the night and help out a sick child. It is quite another to lose sleep over your maniac of a canine! I'm not exactly sure what the moral of the story here is. Could it be that buffalo chicken nuggets are never a good idea, no matter how you slice it (but boy, they sure do taste good!)? Or is it always listen to your sensible husband and SOMETIMES let him win? I'm pretty sure THAT'S not the right lesson.
But I do think a dose of Tylenol PM is on tap for tonight!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who needs HGTV when you have EEK?

For about the past 6 weeks (ever since Olivia wouldn't go to her ballet class anymore) our family has been going to the Y to work out on Saturday mornings. We drive an extra few minutes to go to the Y that has personal tv's on the cardio machines.
Because we don't have cable at home this is a treat. I've been watching a show on HGTV called Sell That House and its all about getting a house ready to sell while spending not much money.

Since then, I've gotten a bee in my bonnet about re-doing our bathroom. It seems the big buzz word on these types of shows is "spa like feel." That is not exactly the kind of feel you get when you're in our bathroom. And since we have a house that has one full bathroom, we need to up the curb appeal if we want to try and re-sell this thing.

So right after Christmas we hit some post-Christmas sales at Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a new shower curtain, bath rugs and towels. After 7 years, our towels, mats and curtain definitely needed a make-over. And personally, I think you can never go wrong with a line from Nautica. We also added that little brown stool you can see in the corner from TJ*Maxx.

This is our new shower curtain and the colors we're going with. I wish I had thought to do a before picture while the old stuff was still up, but I was so excited to hang the new stuff, I didn't even take the time to get a picture. Just imagine lavender, light blue and sea foam green. It wasn't as ugly as it sounds, but I like this much more.

Our bathroom is a very odd shape. It is a bit of an L shape. When you walk in from the one side of the upstairs you come upon the shower first. Then you round the corner and see this. The sink and toilet.
Since you can't make it a true "spa experience" by just adding new towels and throwing up a new shower curtain, we decided we needed to get a new medicine cabinet and sink/cabinet.
This current thing has been repainted about 3 times and now that the paint is beginning to peel, you can see several layers.

The week after Christmas we made our first trip to Ikea and picked out the vanity. Its really cool and I'm pretty excited to get it up and replace that current mirror.
Yesterday we went to Lowes and got a new light fixture for above the new vanity. In case you can't tell, this current one is brass... and ugly.
We are going to have to rip out the medicine cabinet that you can see in the mirror that is on the back wall. It will require dry wall b/c there will be a hole once its gone. Gulp. We don't know nothin' about no stinkin' dry wall.
Then, finally, we also picked out some paint while we were at Lowes. It's a pretty light coffee color that should tie it all together nicely. Currently, the entire bathroom is white (except the counter top of the sink that is that sea foam green color.)
I get so bunged up when I decorate. I really become paralyzed. But hopefully, spa feel, here we come!
At first, Steve was thinking about doing it himself (ackhem... remember we know NOTHING about dry wall) which made me a bit nervous. Even though he was going to get help from a good friend who used to re-do bathrooms as a profession. But when you only have one bathroom with a shower/bathtub, you can't afford to have it be out of commission for too long.
Now it looks like we might call in some outside help. Get 'er done right and get 'er done fast is my motto. (who knew I had a home improvement motto?!)
This is us at lunch TODAY at Ikea. We went back for the sink/cabinet/spicket. Hopefully the last need for our spa.
If you've never been to an Ikea its a real hoot. (Yes, I just said hoot.) We'd go occasionally when I lived in NYC and then again when I lived in China, but its been a long time since I've stepped foot in one. And never since I've been a "grown up."
Its forever big and thanks to our 3 hour debacle the first time, we figured out how to do our research at home and get in and out (lunch included) in about an hour and a half.
I'm going to try and update with pictures as we go. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project. Who knows... I just may not want to move out of my very own home spa!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't send gifts, just send $ for future therapy

Tuner is 2 today. Just look at that cheeky little grin that says, "I'm plotting and planning and you better hope you can catch me, lady!"

I love this little boy and I LOVE birthdays, but I have to say, I'm worried I'm going to scar this guy for life. I have a million excuses and I won't get into all of them here, but lets just say we don't *exactly* have a gift for him. And by *exactly* I guess I mean, he ain't gettin' nothin'. Oops. (This is where I direct you back to the Chirstmas post and ask if you still feel sorry for him?!)
I never would have dreamed this little (9lb) peanut would go giftless by the time he was two.

Can't you just see it in my eyes? All the dreams of grandeur, now being a mother of two... not to mention the 70 extra pounds.

Apparently, I used pregnancy as a real good excuse to have an extra cake or two. But I do have to say... I did like my hair back then!
Gosh, if we had only known back then what the Lord would have in store. Little did we know back on January 8, 2008 we were actually having *twins.* Not a medical miracle, an adoption miracle.

And can we just talk about my folically challenged little girl? Oh my. I guess time really does heal all wounds because I had actually forgotten how really rough her hair was... for about 3 years. Wow.
(And oh my... I could barely stand to put that photo of me on the Internet... but lets just call it a commercial for the power of Weight Watchers.)
And just look at this proud big sister. She has always been so sweet with her brother. Except for when she's not.
Oh well.
In spite of her hair, don't you love how she was rockin the zebra print? I loved that dress. sigh
I can hardly believe Turner was so little.
Here is a fun fact about T-bone. He was born sporting a faux-hawk. No kidding. He was all the rage with the nurses because they thought it was hysterical. And it was. And he was so cute. And still is.
And then just a few short weeks later, he replaced the faux-hawk with a tiara.
That may have been the LAST time he allowed such tom foolery from his sister. In fact, just yesterday he grabbed her around the waist and tackled her to the ground. Oh boy.
Olivia was born at 6 & 1/2 lbs. My whole pregnancy the doctor said that we tend to have the same sized babies. So I was banking on a smallish guy. Despite my weight gain, I was measuring a rather small baby (hrmph!) so you can imagine my surprise when they weighed him in at 9 lbs. The stinker.
And now... here he is at two.
I am still as in love with this little boy as much as that first hold... maybe more.
If truth be told (and you know I don't hold back) I'm not a baby lover. Give me a kid who can walk and talk and express them self any day.
And this kid is such a unique mix of tough guy and tender heart. I love his little voice and his gentle (sometimes) hugs.
He is physical and strong and L.O.V.E.S his daddy. He melts my heart when he looks at me and says "Sorry, mommy." And my heart gets melted multiple times a day... there's a lot to be sorry for when you're Turner.
So even though he's not getting stuff for his birthday today, he's getting a ton of love, smiles and hugs from his mama. I can't get enough of him and today, he's MY gift.
Thanks God, for Turner Paul.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Did you ever see the Shining?

By far the most horrible movie I've ever seen!
But honestly, if we spend one more week where the temperature doesn't go above 20 degrees, we may have a massacre on our hands. The natives are RESTLESS! Can't you just see it in her eyes?

I'm pretty sure the reason the boy in that movie had to ride that bike up and down the hallways and go all crazy 'n stuff is because he never got a Little Tikes bounce house!
Thanks to the power of the Internet and a blog I love to read called KJ the DJ I made the wonderful discovery of an inflatable indoor jump castle.

Just what the doctor ordered for the string of sub-freezing days we've had and nearly two 2 yr. old boys.

I can NEVER get Turner to smile for a picture but do you see that ear to ear grin as he pounces on his brother! Thankfully you can't hear Quinn's screams of notsomuch delight from where you are!
My lesser favorite things about the bounce house.. the static. Oh my the hair around this place is atrocious.

As are the sparks that fly when one of the kids gets out and wants to touch me. Is it bad that my motto these days is, "Get away from me. Don't come near me. And don't even think of touching me."
I love this action shot.

This is a pre-naptime shot.

Yes kids, get it all out. Bounce 'til you drop.

Just don't touch me when you're done.
I'm not sure Turner understands that this isn't just for him. He is a total maniac. I love the delights, squeals and occasional (or regular) growls that come out of this otherwise reserved boy.

Speaking of T-bone...he turns two on Friday. And I'm afraid he's got one of those birthdays that falls just a little too close to the holidays, because I've got just about nothing planned for him.

Oops. I finally ordered him a cake yesterday and invited some friends over to jump on Friday. I might throw in a pizza and a gift if I can manage. Do you think it will scar him for life?
Here he is in a time out (Turner spends half of his jump time in time out!) and do you think it looks like its teaching him a lesson?
Can't you just see him plotting his next move of terror?! Yep, he is our crazy one. Terrible two's here we come. At least now it will be official.
So if you don't hear from us for awhile just know that either the cold or the crazies got to us.
Heeeeeerrrrrrreeeeee'sssss Turner.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

At least I didn't resolve to be on time!

2010 seems to be starting out a wee bit behind the 8 ball seeing as how I'm just NOW getting our Christmas pics posted.

Oh well, who doesn't need a little Christmas on the 5th of January, right?!

Our re-cap (which got a little long, so if you're not family... I totally understand if you skip the whole dang post and wait for something better to come along!) of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning starts with O's dress-up display for Santa. "In case he doesn't know who lives here!" Good thinking... there's no mistaking this house.
*She later re-thought the dress ups being out and cleaned up before guests came over that evening.
The kids opened one gift each that evening.
They each got a new pair of Christmas jammies.

This shot was taken only a few hours before Turner barfed all over his new jammies. That's what I get for sending my kids to church in pj's. On our way to the service he projectile'd all over himself and the seat in front of him. Thus the moose jammies in all the remaining photos!
We left apples for the reindeer too. O insisted on it.
Stockings hung by the fake chimeney with care.
She called this her candy cane face. Don't try that at home!
This kid thinks America is pretty cool. October 25th you walk around to your neighbor's homes and they give you candy. Then 2 months later you hang a sock up and voila... more candy.
God Bless America!
Santa came through! Its the make up (monstrosity) table, just like she asked for. Girlfriend was beside herself! So was I when I saw just how horrifically ugly the thing really is.
An artist is born.
We get to find room for ANOTHER big toy. Yay.

And... wait for it... a bouncy castle. Do you hear the hallelujah chorus in the background?
Followed by a bunch of boos as we need to make room for a 6x6 inflatable jump yard.
Hopefully, Santa's bringing us a new home.
Finally, the grand daddy of them all... a train table.

Yes, this was the year of the GINORMOUS toy at our house. But all incredibly worth it. I'm not sure I've ever seen 3 happier kids.

And all of this because a king became a baby. Thanks Jesus. It seems rather trite to say. But, Happy Birthday to our God and King. (who do you think picked out the cake? Pink flowers and all). We ended our celebration with a round of Happy Birthday Jesus in English and Chinese.
So, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!