Friday, December 28, 2007


On Christmas, the weather was sunny and about 65 degrees. The kids had some time to go outside and play while the parents were cooking.

Here is L trying to hang from the bar on the jungle gym. She was really determined.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Merry Christmas to all. We had a full and great one. My sister Denise and her 2 girls are here and we had a good day to get the kids together and used to each other again. On Christmas eve, we put up the stockings after all of the kids had a bath and then we watched a movie and had microwave popcorn. Mom and Denise finished wrapping and even got to relax for about an hour before it was time to go to bed and fall asleep before the midnight hour and Santa's wild ride.

The kids did a great job of sleeping "in" - well that is an overstatement but we did stay in bed until 6:30 or so. then, there was a rush of excitement. Time to wrap...3 hours - Time to unwrap... 30 minutes.

Followed by breakfast of french toast with some of the pepperidge farm oatmeal bread that my brother Steve sent with Denise. Then, the Lavoie family tradition of no opening stockings until after breakfast.

We had a nice dinner of pork loin roast with fugi apples and raisin stuffing; herb roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, cauliflower, and applesauce. Everything turned out great!

Today we took the kids to this place called the Playroom. It has all kinds of toys, climbing things, blow up jumpy things, basketball hoops, etc. For $6/kid, you can stay all day. It is pouring here so we needed a place for the kids to blow off steam. We bought a pizza and ate it there for lunch and then went back to playing for another hour or so. Now, several of the kids are sleeping and the rest are playing (pretty) quietly.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


In the latest episode of the amazing difference between girls and boys...Logan has started liking only pink and / or "spark-kal-lee" things. She insists on wearing shirts that have sparkles or other things. Yesterday as we were driving home, she says as we are driving down the main street to our house. "Look mommy, that house is spark-kal-lee too!" So now, I have to make our house spark-kal-lee which I have been very lax about doing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bedtime Blues...

Well, I finally succumbed and traded in my queen-sized bed for a king. It has gotten pretty much standard here that one (and frequently more than one) of my kids wanders in and sleeps with me each night. I can't remember a night I slept completely alone for about 3 months. The kids were all excited to try it out (JUMP!JUMP!JUMP!) on Saturday when we got it together. Then, the statement I was dreading came out...can we sleep in your bed? why not? its big enough for all of us now!
I'm hoping what everyone says about them not wanting to sleep with you when they are a teenager ends up being true.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

The kids and I are having a low-key holiday with a few friends coming over and a huge turkey in the oven...We will put together Logan's bunk bed and spend some time outside since it is supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny. Right now it is about 60 and cloudy.

I am thankful to God for my family (both near and far). I am thankful to the women in Russia who have given me the most precious gifts and allowed me to be a mother. I hope that they are healthy and that they know that I will treasure them till the day I die. I am thankful for my career and for being able to go to a job I love everyday and to come back home to a family that I love. Our trials seem trivial.

I hope that your day is happy and that you stop to enjoy the fruits of life!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Going back!

I have been working on getting my homestudy updated for about 10 months now. Initially I was planning on going back to Russia but because of all of the slowdowns with accreditation issues, I spent some time this spring and fall doing some extra education and things while I considered adoption from Foster Care.

Ultimately, I decided to go back to Russia. I've spent the last 2-3 months trying to choose an agency. I can now say that I have signed with The Cradle to complete my 4th (and probably last) Russian adoption.

The exciting part is that I am going back to Rostov-on-Don! I am sooo happy to be having all of my kids have a common heritage and hope that it will make things easier when we go back to see where they came from.

The Cradle is an agency in Evanston IL. The international coordinator has been very nice, and very responsive. We had a phone conference on Monday of last week and we reviewed the dossier requirements. They do things a little differently than my previous agency and I was able to get the first installment of documents together and sent off to them by Friday in order for them to send them to Russia for them to be translated and for me to get a referral. She thought that I might be able to get a referral and first trip before the end of the year! I have a counter on the page to document how long it has taken from the time of signing with them. Here's hoping it is relatively quick.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend behavior...or can you say we don't like Mom working on the weekend?

I am on service in the hospital this week and next so had to work yesterday. I had arranged for the kids to go back to the hospital Daycare for the day. The hospital has this new "perk" called Back-up Care and for 20 days a year, you can have your kids either babysat at home or got to a center for care if you are working - or they are sick - or the school is closed. It is a great deal cuz for $25 I got to have all 3 at the center for the day. Even with a teenager babysitting I would have had to pay more!

Only problem is that I reap the negative behavior after a day like that. they pretty much act out after a day away (when they expect me to be with them). I've been struggling all day.

Today was busy. First we went to get doughnuts - which I had promised them yesterday. We got back and they ate and ate...still 2 hours later, Matthew wanted a snack! All that sugar goes thru you fast. Riley woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was alternating being in time out and being sent outside to do laps. Nothing worked to make his mood better.

Then we had Church. The mother who was supposed to stay with the teacher this week didn't show so I stayed with my co-teacher. So, I didn't get to go to church and relax. Then we came home and ate lunch.

After lunch, Logan took a little nap and Riley and Matthew went outside ...they lasted about 20 minutes. Then they annoyed me and alternated playing with my laptop journaling program - they like to color with the different pen/ink sizes and colors using the tablet feature.

At 2:15 we all got up to get ready for Soccer. Logan was off with a neighbor girl and her dad who is taking some early childhood education classes for his master's degree and he needed to tape language in a toddler.

Today was the last soccer game. The boys both did well but the other team was good (and aggressive) -lots of elbows were thrown and Riley was getting annoyed. But he held it together and really behaved well. Afterwards the kids got "trophies" and they were even engraved with their names. I was proud of them.

Can't wait till they start basketball in the new year!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


For those of you who know us, you might know about Matthew's struggles with Sensory Integration and (specifically) feeding. He basically came to me with an inability to chew and reflux and vomiting. The first two years were a blur of therapy and vomiting. He's much better now, but still tends to hold food in his mouth much longer than most.

Tonight Logan took a great big bite of her sandwich before jumping down from the table and ...she started gagging on it. Matthew was standing next to her and as she gagged he said...

It's okay, me...just chew like this (and then made these exaggerated chewing motions with his mouth. Apparently - he is an expert now!

Weekend Fun

Well, it has been a good and bad weekend. I am on service starting tomorrow for the next two weeks so we will have full weekends with me working the larger part of the Saturdays. Yesterday Riley went to a classmates birthday at the bowling alley. While he was there, Matthew and Logan and I went to see The BEE Movie. We got home around dinner time and had a staple ...Macaroni and Cheese.

Today we had church and then went to the boys soccer game. It was a good game! Both of the boys scored at least 2 goals!

Matthew (finally) seemed to get it. Last week he was funny because he had really liked playing the "pirate" game in practice - one child gets to be the pirate and kick the ball out from under the other kids. He spent the entire game last week kicking the ball out (of bounds) from others feet.

Today he started off playing pirate but the coach pulled him aside and said something like...look up and kick it toward the goal and ...he got it. He headed downfield and got a goal ahead of everyone. And even repeated the feat about 5 minutes later. He was so proud of himself and was so excited he nearly knocked the coach off his feet!

We have two more weeks of soccer and then nothing until January when the two boys will play basketball. That ought to be interesting.

Friday, November 2, 2007

All Ready for the Flu!

My friend Beth researched for me about some Flu vaccine clinics at the local pharmacies - my insurance benefits were paying for them free to clients and their Dependants. There is one near my house which had a clinic from 7:30 - 11:30 so we got up really early and left the house before 7 to get there and get breakfast. I had told the boys (well, really Riley who gets all worked up about these things) that they could get the flu mist this year (given intra nasal) and luckily, the FDA approved it down to 2 years so Logan could get it that way too. So we all got our flu vaccines this morning. I got the regular shot because I have a cold and didn't want it to interfere with the nasal vaccine. Anyway, the kids were great but because I had a bandaid (and since bandaids are so popular in our house) all 3 of them wanted one. My little Logan is pretty bright and when they gave her one, she opened it as we were leaving and put it squarely across the bridge of her nose! Even though there was no pain, she knew where her ouchy was! Thank god that is less thing to worry about!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Christine, over at Smiles and Trials and The Ukraine Train tagged me today. I haven't done this answering the four questions before so I will start with the basics and then update with Christine's new questions.

Jobs I've had in my life:
1. Worked at Bickford's Pancakes and Family Restaurant between the age of 15 and 21. It was one of the best jobs for making money and saving (as I did in high school and college) but also gave me some of the worst nightmares in my life...picture you being the only waitress in a building with nearly 150 people arriving on a bus and no chef!!!!
2. Physician specializing in Infectious Diseases and with a specialty in Pediatric HIV. Truly a job of the heart and I have been lucky enough to be very successful in my career so I can get to know some of the most amazing people in the world and have their trust and respect. It is both satisfying and I am constantly in awe at the people who let me into their lives through it.
3. Teaching medicine and pediatrics to medical students and residents. It is one of the most exciting jobs to see young people grow into this profession and inspiring to see them develop skills over time.
4. Mom to 3 children adopted from Russia. I often cannot believe how good God is to me to allow me to have these special children in my life.

Places I have lived:

Thornwood NY
Raynham Mass
Worcester Mass
Albany NY
Richmond VA

TV shows I like to watch:
Anything on TLC
Law and Order (the original)
Dancing with the Stars
Grey's Anatomy

Places I've been to:
I've been to nearly every state in the US at one time or another.
Europe (Italy, Germany, Austria, France, England)
Russia (5 times)
Canada (Ontario, New Brunswick)
Mexico, Bahamas, Turks and Caico's

Fave food:

Fajita's with chips
Cheese (nearly any kind)
Blackened Tuna
Pumpkin cheesecake

Books I've read in the last 5 years:
Several things by James Patterson
The Madman and the White City
...can't remember many (not alot of time to read with 3 kids under 6 years)

Things I enjoy:

Snuggling in bed with my kids
Having my slightly attachment challenged 6 year old turn to me at the end of the day and say (unprompted) "I love you mommy" - and mean it.
Talking about my kids to people who understand what they have come thru to get where they are.
Ice cream

And here are the update questions (and answers)

Jobs I would love to do while still being a Mom:
1. Sounds corny but my current job! I love what I do. My life as a mom has made it even better and even though I don't spend as much time as I did pre-kids, I love that I can go to work and then come home to them at night.
2. Teach all of those clueless people in public schools about what trauma does to children and how "one-size" doesn't fit all.
3. Run a charity

Places I would love to live for one month:
1. Paris
2. In a house located on the Atlantic Ocean so that I could open my windows and hear the surf all night long
3. Alaska (in the summer)

Food I really don't care for:
1. Lamb
2. Lentils

Concerns about adopting from Russia
1. Leaving my other children at home while I travel for the new one(s)
2. Travel in country. the drivers use the lanes as only "suggestions" and especially in the winter, it is scary.
3. Not being able to take them home right away and having to do extra trips

Weekend Catch-up

After 4 days of rain, the sun is finally out. It is a good thing because the kids were starting to get a little stir crazy - and Mommy too.

This weekend my goal is to do the laundry (and fold and put it away) and get the summer clothes into boxes and the winter clothes sorted and only those that will fit put away into the drawers. I have a good start. This morning while the outside was still too wet for kids to play on, they were playing / cleaning in the garage and I got to do some folding and sorting of clothes. It feels good to have some things done.

I am finally making my decisions to do the next adoption and am trying to get things more organized. This afternoon I am picking up a bunk bed set that I am buying off of Craig's List. We finally got one in Richmond about a year ago (at least as I discovered it). I've sold a few of the kids toys that they have outgrown and bought a couple of things too. Can't wait to get it together!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The difference between girls and boys...

Here is a sample of Logan's and my conversation last night as she was going to bed...

Me: Did you have a good day today?
L: Yes, I had a good day
Me: Who is my pretty girl?
L: Meeee
Me: Who is your pretty girl?
L: Taylor!
Me: Taylor!? (pouting)
L: She's my best friend!
Me: She's your best friend, huh? (Laughing)

Don't think the boys have ever thought of someone as their best friend.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Today started out cloudy and overcast with a slight drizzle. I can say that the thought of being cooped up with the kids - especially how they started out fighting from the time they awoke- was daunting.


The sun is shining now and the clouds are clearing. We are going to the neighborhood fall festival complete with blow-up rocket slides and moon bounces; pumpkin decorating and face painting; food and music. Last year we didn't go until after 3 (runs from 1- 5) cuz we waited for Logan to awaken from her nap. We nearly missed a lot of it so we are going to skip the nap (maybe a mistake but we'll find out later on!).

Happy fall to everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


After 1 week of eating minimal amounts and vomiting, Matthew is also feeling better. I can tell because he has re-kindled his love affair with Mac & Cheese. Over the past month he has gone from a kid who preferentially asked of M&C when we went out to dinner (cuz of sensory and feeding issues) to obsessively loving M&C. He has taken to putting a TON of ketchup on top of it and several times in the past months had two bowls at restaurants!

I know he is feeling better if he asks for M&C. Last night I got home at 9:15 after giving a lecture at a meeting of a local adoption agency about health issues in international adoptees. We had stopped for McD's happy meals on the way home and he ate most of his hamburger and fries before I left but was still asking for me to make M&C later. I told the babysitter she could make it for him but neglected to tell her where the boxes were... at 9:15, I was making M&C and he ate about 1/4 of the box at 9:30. Tonight we had left-overs and he ate a huge bowl and just asked me if he could have more...Won't be satisfied with pudding or another sweet...wants M&C. UGH. but at least he is eating!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


After 11 days and 11 pounds, today I FINALLY feel better. I have been pretty down with an infection called Cryptosporidia.

Cryptosporidia is a water borne parasite that causes GI illness. I have had horrible symptoms for the past 11 days and have been getting anxious that I wouldn't get better. All in all, during that time I missed 5 days of work (some 1/2 days) and Matthew missed 4 days of school.

It is finally the calm after the storm. Hope to NEVER experience that again.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


You know you are in your own personal "H" "E" "double hockey sticks" when you have 3 kids and you have been home sick for 3 days off of work and then two of them get sick too.

Momma isn't into being sick; having been lucky enough to be overall healthy all of my life. I can't remember a time I ever took 3 sick days off in a year -- never mind in one week. So, in addition to all of the guilt and undone work, there is the feeling sick part.

And then the whining! who knew that two sick kids could whine so much and that one well kid could annoy them (and me) so much. I really am looking forward to Monday. They better be able to go to school -- the thought of staying home with them another day makes me ill (oh did I say that!)!

Monday, September 17, 2007


The other night I was awakened by the sound of running water outside my bedroom door. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it might be so I got up to explore.

And there...standing in front of my bedroom door...
....was my younger son....
....peeing straight toward the opening of the 2 story foyer!!!

Thank god I have a hard plastic "safety" shield across the spindles or that would have been a horrible find in the morning with everything underneath wet and smelly.

The funniest part was, he was SOUND ASLEEP.

He must have turned the wrong way (the bathroom is in the opposite direction).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Matthew and Riley go to School

Yesterday was Matthew and Riley's first day of school. There was a lot of excitement waiting for the bus!

Friday, August 31, 2007


Today we went to the elementary school for their open house. With two entering Kindergarten, we were loaded down with pencils, supplies and sleeping mats.

Both boys were very excited. Even though this is Matthew's second time around, we are going to a new school so it was a new place for all of us.

The place was packed and of course, the door we went into was in direct opposition to the K classes...but ultimately we made it to Rm 4 - Riley's classroom. He was very excited to find all of his places from his table, to his mailbox, to his cubby. After we separated all of the supplies, we made our way to the teacher. At first, he wanted to explore the room so I gave him a few minutes, but Matthew was getting anxious and so I started to talk to the teacher and Riley came up and grabbed my leg. When I asked him to say hello to his teacher...amazingly, he looked right at her, stuck out his hand, shook her hand and said..."it's nice to meet you"!!!!

Maybe he has picked up something over the last few years!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Friday we went to Walmart to pick up ANOTHER pair of glasses for Matthew. We have gone thru 3 pairs since March. I initially bought a pair at the ophthalmologists office. These broke within a month. Before I found out they had a replacement policy for a year, I went to a local "4 Eyes" and bought him 2 more pairs (they also have a replacement policy - for everything except them being completely lost!). So for a "brief" time we had 3 pairs.

Then at the beginning of the summer, I picked him up from daycare and a pair had been taken off of him for swimming and were no where to be found! When we left for our vacation in early July, another pair were lost at daycare (they were found while we were on vacation!).

The last day of our vacation, we lost a pair at Water Country USA...UGH. But at least we had the pair the daycare had found!

Right before our most recent vacation, the remaining pair were broken so I had to call to get a replacement frame. They (of course) weren't ready by the time we left so he went without them for nearly 2 weeks. Friday when we got back, I picked up the replacement frames and ordered a new pair from Walmart.

By Wednesday, he couldn't find the one pair that we had (fixed and picked up the friday before!).

This thursday when I went to pick him up at daycare, he had the pair that were lost in June on his head...and no idea where they came from!!!! His teacher is leaving at the end of the summer and I suspect they have been cleaning the room and found them.

Saturday while cleaning I found the original pair...So now we have 3 pairs again!

Anyone have any ideas of how to superglue glasses to behind someones ears??????

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Vacation (Part 3)

Storyland with Denise, Nina and Elena

On Saturday we left Maine for a 2 hour drive to North Conway NH. It was a 2 hour drive to an amusement park called "StoryLand". StoryLand is a child's amusement park with rides that kids (and their parents) can ride as well as themed areas for play around children's stories. They have a deal that if you get there after 3, you can stay for the rest of the day and the whole next day for the price of one day admission. We had reserved a room in a quaint NH Inn for the night and arrived a little before 3.

Our first experiences were in the story section and the kids enjoyed seeing the fairy tales come to life:

There was a great big Humpty Dumpty at the entrance that the kids loved and so we took a picture of all of them by him. Riley was a little embarassed and so just kept pushing the button which recited the tale.
There was a great big "TreeHouse" with multiple slides and the kids loved it. It was right next to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe (I guess for all of her kids to play near!).

Next we took a pumpkin ride (a favorite of the girls') to Cinderella's castle. We even got to meet Cinderella and take a turn on her throne.

Unfortunately, Riley was still afraid of the characters and besides, he isn't into Cinderella. He wouldn't even sit on the throne!

Later that night we rode on a big boat shaped like a swan to help Prince Charming save Cinderella's butterflies whose color was removed by an evil witch. Luckily all of the butterflies were able to get their color back (and we avoided the buckaneer ship on the river!).

That was the end of the first night. We went to a local Friendly's for dinner (and had our first major melt down as Riley decided he didn't need to listen to me and could tell Logan not to listen to me!)...we left the waiting area to go out to the car...amidst wailing and screaming and whining (not me but them) that they would be good. After about 5 minutes in the car they settled down and we were able to have a nice dinner. The funniest thing was that as we were walking to the car I saw another family dragging their kids out and they sounded exactly like my kids! It made me feel sooooooo much less like the mean and horrible mother.

Day 2 dawned on a beautiful (but hot) summer day in the mountains. The NH mountains were the backdrop for this park and it was gorgeous. This day we started in the opposite direction from the nursery rhyme area. This was the amusement park area which we had perused on the train ride we had taken around the park at the end of the previous day.

The kids headed for this ride which was old fashioned cars that they got to actually drive around a track...there was a huge rail that prevented them from going off of the track but it was a little scary for me with Matthew st-t-t-r-r-r-e-e-t-c-c-h-h-i-n-g for the gas pedal and the steering wheel at the same time. Riley was in seventh heaven because they let him go on his own!

We essentially spent the rest of the day on their rides. Denise was chicken and wouldn't let her kids on the roller coaster. I screwed up all of my intestinal fortitude and did it - it really wasn't bad...not too many downhills which are my real downfall! I also took all of the older kids on the turtle twirl (their version of the tilt a whirl)...Okay this was a mistake and it took me about 15 minutes sitting next to it to stop the feeling that I was going to hurl! I also took Matthew on this flying fish ride (also a mistake for mom! but not as bad as the turtle twirl!).

Here is a picture of Denise and Nina and the two boys in the cage to protect us during the "safari" ride...good thing we were behind bars or those plastic animals might have gotten to us...One thing I did learn is that flamingoes get their color from what they eat...there were some bright blue ones there - I don't know what they were eating but it was beautiful.

They have a very special carosel that is only one of two functioning in the world. It goes clockwise instead of counter-clockwise and instead of going up and down, the horses go back and forth on springs (you have to propel them). It was pretty cool!

The kids even felt brave enough to hold hands and get their picture with some of the storybook characters. Humpty Dumpty was a favorite ...and Riley got into it at the last minute and was so proud that he had held Humpty's hand...of course, the two hugs he gave Humpty beforehand almost knocked him over and I bet the actor was ready for us to leave! (and scared for his life!)

We also saw Mother Goose and all of the kids got to pet her goose.

Denise left around 2 pm but we stayed until almost 4 finishing up all of the rides (finally got to ride the buckaneer boat which had individual rowing rods which we were soooooo excited to do - unfortunately, this boat captain told jokes instead of signing "row,row, row your boat" and there was a little gnashing of teeth about that.

We finished with some soft-serve ice cream and the ride home. This was definately worth the price of admission and a fun place for kids under the age of 10!

Maine Vacation (Part 2)

Beaching it with Jean

We arrived in Maine on Thursday afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon riding the Trolley around Ogunquit and shopping in the downtown. I got some really good swim shoes for Matthew - he lost his other ones at Water Country and their aren't any more around here.

Friday and Saturday we went to the beach - I had forgotten what a beautiful beach it is in Ogunquit. It has the widest swath of sand and beach and such a gradual drop - off into the water! Such a child friendly beach...the kids all sat down to play in the sand and mud and to build sand castles...

Here are some pictures of the beach and the kids...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Maine Vacation (part 1)

Well, we are finally home from the longest vacation I have taken in over 15 years. By the time I go back to work on Monday, we will have been away for 13 days and nights. It was alot of together time for me and the kids and overall, we had a blast and made some great memories.

Part 1: Aunt Jean's House on Long Island...

We left at 4:00 in the morning on Tuesday and headed up to NY. The kids were excited and didn't go back to sleep immediately but we had everything packed to make the trip smooth and the early morning departure cleared the way for almost no traffic.

After two stops for breakfast and potty, we made it there just at noon. The rest of the day was spent resting and playing outside in her back yard. She has a nice swimming pool and we all got to cool off in it. Jean is babysitting at another house while she is pursuing licensure for her babysitting business so we had the house and yard to ourselves (with occasional visits from her 3 oldest kids).

There is definately some hero-worship going on between the boys and Jean's oldest Tom. He was nice enough to take them into the pool and play with them and then to let them use his Nintendo (and to pleasantly listen to their constant harping about wanting to play with the Nintendo)!

Instead of driving to Maine the next night, we had to stay at Jean's as my dad was not going to be at the house in Maine on Wednesday and didn't want to leave the key for us. On Wednesday Jean left her two younger kids with us instead of taking them to her babysitting job. Joey is one month younger than Riley so the boys are all very much into the same things. Delaney is 3 so a year older than Logan but they played really well together.

Thursday we left Jean's in a caravan (her family and ours) to Maine. The highlight of the trip was the ride on the Cross Sound Ferry (which took 2 hours off of the trip and gave the kids some time to run around instead of being cramped in the car. I don't know why I never did it before, it was great!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adoption, identity and differences...


After getting home from the beach a couple of weeks ago, my son R developed a fascination with my freckles. He kept asking me why I had all of those brown spots and he didn't. Now...I have to say that I have never liked my freckles and have always longed for a brown deep tan was quite amusing to me to have him be jealous of my freckles - which, after 7 days in the sun, were out in full force despite sunscreen with SPF of 50!

This is the first time I had to address the identity issues in adoption. Clearly he and I are from different backgrounds (and he was noticing the differences). I told him that I had "Irish" skin. Then he (smart boy) asked me if I was from Irish like he was from Russia. So then I said, no but my mom's mother and father were from Ireland and people from Ireland had freckles. I told him that he had skin like people from Russia (just like M & L)...

That seemed to appease him and he hasn't asked me about it since.

It has given me a much different impression of my freckles?

Friday, July 13, 2007

VACATION 1 (Part 3)

As promised, here are some more pictures from our vacation at the Outer Banks.

Riley was the most adventurous...He thought he could be a surfer dude...and actually made it out past the breakers with my friend Wendy...

Matthew decided on our last day that it looked fun, but chickened out right at the crest area and then got knocked over so....he was content to play in the sand the rest of the time...

Logan was adventurous but was content to sit in the water or the sand. She was knocked over by the waves several times but just came up laughing...

Isn't she just the cutest thing?!

I count myself among the luckiest people - to have this wonderful family...Definitely not Gillis genes...look at the tans...(with 50 sunblock on!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Vacation #1 (Part 2)

As promised, this entry has several pictures of our vacation to the Outer Banks. I (silly mom) forgot to bring my camera so only have a few from my cell phone. My friend Wendy's dad (who stayed with us recouperating from a recent MI) took some which he is supposed to email me...who knows when that will happen.

So, here is Matthew in the 3 foot area of the swimming pool (no floats). Once he decided that he wasn't going to drown, he did pretty well. Even putting his face in and his head under a couple of times!
Here is Riley in the same pool - showing off his swimming technique. By the end of the week, he was swimming 2-3 strokes underwater and doing a mean "doggie paddle".
Here are Logan and Matthew on the front deck of our condo. All of us enjoyed the sun...
Of course, we did get on each others nerves a little but everyone survived... make it home alive, a little sunburnt, a little tired, a little cranky but happy!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Well, we are home from the first vacation of the summer. This will be an unusual year for me since I have scheduled myself for 2 vacations over the summer with the kids.

My friend Wendy had rented 2 condo's with her time-share points for the week of July 4th and asked us to come with her to the Outer Banks in N.C. We left on Saturday and with the exception of some slow traffic which made the 3 hour ride into a 5 hour ride, made it without a hitch.

The weather was beautiful! Sunny, hot but not excessively humid. The condo was great...connected to Wendy's but she (and we) were able to get some private time too.

All 3 kids found their "water" balance with Matt and Riley starting to do some doggie paddle in the shallow (3 feet or less) part of the pool without a life preserver and Logan learned to keep her head out of the water and actually swim with a life preserver on. Matthew got over his phobia of drowning (thank god!!!) and was doing a great job both with and without the L.P.

Yesterday we came home a day early to spend some time with Jean and her brood. It was great. I love her family. we went to Busch Gardens for about 3 hours and then went across town to Water Country. the kids had a great day and were so tired (no naps for everyone) that they fell asleep by 8 pm and stayed asleep for the rest of the night.

Now the hard part starts...unpacking. We've emptied the care but the kids are too excited to do anything much else. It is now lunch time and I'm hoping we can do quiet time and then go to the local neighborhood pool.

Will post pictures from the vacation later in the week when I can get them from Wendy's dad's camera - He was the only one who thought to bring one...though I have a few pictures in my cell phone!

Friday, June 29, 2007


We have had an unusual week this week with regard to eating. That is, my non-eater M. has been eating as if he hasn't seen food in his life. I told last weekend about the twinkie incident. Well, the box of twinkie's was gone by the end of Monday...2 more (one as a snack in the morning and one as a snack when we got home from daycare). Tuesday I had a cocktail reception I had to attend and so I had a babysitter here. I had given her instructions to let the kids have these rocket popsicles that they like - outside! When I got home around 9 pm, the kids were all having a snack of Lance crackers. M. proceeded to finish that package and eat another one before the babysitter left and then cried when i wanted to put him to bed because he was still hungry. Tonight, I had bought a bunch of snacks for the kids for vacation. M has eaten 3 individual bags of mini-oreo cookies and 1 1/2 of these hostess chocolate frosted cake things with cream fillings. And he had done pretty good with the chicken and dumplings for dinner too!

I don't know if this is a true breakthrough or if he just hasn't been eating at the daycare and just is saving all of his eating for home. Hopefully he will gain some weight this summer. I'm aiming for a whopping 36 pounds (at 6 year check up!) - that would be 4 pounds this year. The last time I weighed him on the bathroom scale he was 35 so it is within reach.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lazy Sunday

We had a party yesterday celebrating the end of the year for the graduating MedPed residents and welcoming the incoming ones. I have had this party at my house virtually annually since I moved into this house. It is interesting how it has changed and evolved over the years. This year we had the big Banzai Falls water slide set up and about 7 kids who were jumping and having a good time.

Later in the day one of the rising 2nd year residents did take a few turns down the slide. The weather was beautiful - warm but not too humid and with a nice breeze. Overall a great day for my (last) party as MedPed director.

Today the kids all slept a little later than usual. L didn't wake up till 7:30 - 8:00; Mommy got to stay in bed too...and M slept until almost 9:00. The kids have been having a low profile morning and it is turning out to be a lazy Sunday. I was hoping it would stay that way - but with my three, there is no way that I get a freebie.

This afternoon turned out to be quite an adventure. I think that the fatigue was setting in. I (finally) got L to bed for nap around 2 pm and then the boys were playing with their bed tents and I had to kick them out onto the porch because they couldn't stop arguing. During this, M had a breakthrough. He asked for a snack and went into the garage where I keep them. I thought he would pick some ritz bits ( or hitz bits) as he calls them but instead he returned with a twinkie. Now those of you who know how we struggled with M's food aversion and texture issues will be cringing at that! But, if he wanted to try it...who was I to argue about 200 calories for my skinny boy. Well, amazing me in more ways than one, he absolutely stuffed it into his mouth and made these funny lip smacking sounds. Then, asked if he could have another! Bottom line is that he had 3 of them within 15 minutes!!! Later he said to me...I'm hungry today mom...who would have thought that a simple commonplace statement could bring a grown woman to tears.

Here's to that wonderful creation of cream and cake! THE TWINKIE!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Early Risers...

My son R. is and always has been an early riser - since he was a baby, he has woken up at between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning.  I've tried sending him to bed later to no avail.  
Unfortunately, he gets into trouble when he is up alone and it has been a constant struggle over the last several years.  My friends have all heard about the days he has gotten up and eaten more food than someone can eat in an entire day...or the day he wanted fruit snacks so much that he locked me out of the house to get them (when he was 3 years old).  
We have tried various ways to get him to can't get up until there is a 6 on my digital clock (once he got up when it was 3:36 am...because there was a 6!) can't get up until the sun is high in the sky...he didn't understand that.  
Lately he has been doing better.  I leave out an apple or something good for him to eat and he is content to watch the disney channel for about half an hour until I get up.  Today he came into my room around 5:40 and asked if he could go I said yes.  
Next thing I know, it is 6:12 and he walks into my room talking about what he will do at his daycamp today...and I am confronted with this...

First...I screamed...then I took him into the bathroom mirror to see what he had done and then I told him I would have to shave his head...Next he screamed, and cried saying everyone would laugh at him with his head shaved and I told him everyone would laugh at him with the stripe going down it.
Later when I was calm, I asked him why he had taken out the clippers.  After the usual...I don't know's...he said...

"Well, you should've hidden the clippers in the garage"