Saturday, May 31, 2008

Save me...someone...anyone!

So...Addison allowed me to get thru 1/2 of my meetings yesterday. Then, at the 3rd one, she she wouldn't eat anything...mmm unusual...then she fell asleep...okay it is close to lunchtime...we walk from that one to the next and she wakes and is sitting in her stroller and (again) refuses food...mmm...then she starts vomiting and is so surprised by it she starts crying. So after a few vomits, I leave that meeting and head home with one of my assistants paging the people who I was having meetings with in the afternoon...we get to the car and she has another episode of vomiting...(one of my favorite things in the carseat!)...after about 10 minutes she seems better enuf to get home and she falls back asleep...we get home and her temp is 102 so she gets some tylenol but she is happy and laughing and playful so I let her stay up for 1/2 hour and then (once the cleaning lady finishes her room) we go in there and I get her to fall back asleep...she woke up still with a fever but clearly feeling better but i kept her to crackers and yogurt...she went to bed feeling better and woke up this morning happy and playful...
...only problem, she has this rash on her legs which has spread to parts of her arms and she has been a *P*I*L*L since waking up from her nap. She had gotten up during her nap and taken her diaper off and woke up wet...she was screaming about that...then she was hot and I gave her some tylenol...but then she was screaming cuz i (obviously) gave her the wrong kind of juice (*$#!)...and then she was screaming cuz she wants to go outside and it started thundering and lightning a while ago...I won't even talk about the behavior of all 3 of the other kids during the morning when I was screaming at one or the other and then the behavior of all 4 during the soccer game when the two boys were alternating trying to bounce the ball from Addison and she was trying to run into the street and Logan was hanging all over me in 89 degree 100% humidity and wouldn't get off - and ended up hitting me and yelling at me so that she went to bed with out lunch!
...Now I can't even let them go play (kick them) outside to get some space cuz of the lightning. UGH! So this is one of those days that make me feel like "what the heck was I thinking - 4kids!!
...Tomorrow has got to be a better day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ups and downs of life...

...so this morning I go to work because I have some meetings to do and I have grouped them all so that I am only working one day a week during my leave...

...we remember pretty much everything including the popsicles for Riley's class for field day, field day shirts and sneakers for the two older boys, new pair of glasses for Matthew (who broke his other pair yesterday for the 5th time in 3 months!), breakfast for mom, snacks and lunch for Addison (who is coming to work with me and I'm hoping for the 3 hour nap this afternoon like she did the other two times), leaving out the check for the cleaning lady and putting the last load of dirty clothes in the washer and loading the dishwasher before we leave.

...get to work and I check my Checking acct on - line to make sure I have been paid cuz I have several bills that are due on the weekday before the first and I don't want them to "bounce". And surprise of surprise...I am doing the happy dance...cuz either I got a big raise that I wasn't expecting (fat chance) or I got my $5000 non-taxed, Adoption reimbursement from work!!!
My work place started this adoption reimbursement about 3 years ago ...I looked into it with Logan's adoption but at the time it was $1500 and you had to have completed the adoption. By the time I completed the adoption of Logan it was the end of the year and I was going to get the federal tax adoption credit anyway (and the business one comes off of that!)...so I just did my taxes instead of filling out the paperwork. So, with Addison, I was thinking, okay it is only May and I could really use that $1500 before next year so I decided to print off the paper work and ...lo and behold, the benefit was increased to $5000/child. I completed the paperwork and dropped it off at Human Resources on Tuesday May 6th...on my list of things to do at work today was to call them and see if they needed anything else to process it...I never in my wildest dreams expected it to be in my paycheck today! But it was!!!!! So, Kudos to the people in Human Resources and to Mary Alice O'Donnell (who sometimes reads this blog)- for telling me about the benefit 3 years ago! and THANKS!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

cuteness...

My younger son, Riley, developed a crush on the daughter of the woman who stayed with the kids while I was in Russia. He alternates between giving me messages to bring to her mother in the morning (including cards he has been making that say "I Love you Denec" (can you tell that they are learning to write words phonetically) to acting TOTALLY shy if she tries to talk to him. Tonight I had to give a lecture and so Michelle was babysitting. Riley has been talking about this daily, for the 2 weeks since I scheduled it.
...at 5:30pm, Denise and Michelle walk in with Matthew and Logan in tow. However, Riley won't get out of the car. Apparently when Denise went to pick him up in his classroom, he hid under the table and wouldn't come out. After all of the teachers tried to coax him out, one of the boys (cuz the girls couldn't lift all 60# of him)...carried him to the stairs. Then finally was coaxed to Michelle's car and stayed there with his arms over his head the entire ride home.

...I had to go to the car and carry him crying into the house and he went to my room and fell asleep until 8 pm ...I guess he finally did interact with her later in the night but...

God, I don't know what to do with the terminal shyness. What am I gonna do when he is 14? I can't imagine the drama we will go thru!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Out of the mouth of babes...


Conversation this afternoon with my 3 year old daughter...


"Mom, did you take a shower today?"

"Why?"

"Cuz you look different..."

" I got my hair cut"

"Well it doesn't look right"

"Don't I look beautiful?"

"no, Mom, the back doesn't look right"


So much for the $135 and the "master" stylist!


Later in the car...


"You hurt my feelings saying that my hair didn't look good"...

"I was only kidding mom, you look beautiful!"


(she knows which side her bread is buttered on!)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend...

...we've had beautiful weather and a great weekend. Friday my sister Jean and 5 of her 6 kids arrived from Long Island NY. Her oldest is 17 and youngest is 3 months. All of my kids were fascinated with the baby and spent time giving her gentle touches and love.

...Saturday we spent the morning running errands. I was able to rent a truck from Lowes and pick up my new gas grill and bring it home. Then, Jean and I struggled like the girls we are to get it off the truck...oh yeah...and trying to figure out how to unclasp the packing straps I had bought so we could loosen it...finally one of my neighbors who has two 20 year old twins came over and said...um my sons are home from college, they could help if you need it (like we didn't need it)...so they came over and brought it around the back. (I paid them $10 each!)

...then Jean and I went to Chester to meet up with someone who was selling used church pews on Craigs' List. I am going to try and make bench seating for my [newly painted!] breakfast nook (I will confess that I got this idea from my sister Jean who did this over 10 years ago for her kitchen and I have always loved it!).

...we ended up getting one LOOOOOONNNNNGGG church pew that is 22 feet in length (separated into two pieces). They really were in great shape and he has lots more so if anyone is looking for something...solid oak and with few scratches....
...anyway we got those home pretty easily and unstrapped (we are now experts at the strapping release!) and grabbed the boys to come over again to help get them out of the truck. had to leave them outside overnight cuz my garage wasn't empty enought to fit it in. Now, I have to get the nerve to make that first cut!!!


...after that we (all 2 adults and 9 children of us) went out to Cheese burger Cheese burger. Can you believe it, they didn't have a table that could accomodate all of us. We had to separate! - the nerve!


...then we went to the mall where I took the younger ones to the play areas and Jean and the older girls went shopping.


...we had a pretty lazy day today and went out to lunch with Wendy and her parents and then met a couple of her neighbors at the Richmond Braves game. I hadn't been to a Braves game for about 12 years. I remember going one or two of my first years in Richmond..."Chipper Jones" played for the R braves (now he's a big deal on the Atlanta Braves)
...It was fun - Matthew especially liked the music and interactive play...he was obsessed by the Diamond Duck (the R braves mascot) though called him Donald Duck and wanted to know why he looked different the first 3 innings before I finally convinced him he wasn't Donald Duck. Riley was pretty happy about the access to food and soda and wore his baseball cap that we bought pretty proudly - though I am worried if his head gets too much bigger he will have to special order his hats!


...I am always sad to see Jean leave. She is such a good mom and I learn so much from her about patience and equanimity when we are together. Tomorrow will be a quiet day at our house ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Looks can be deceiving...

I haven't posted these cuz they were on my camera card and I hadn't had time to download the pictures from my camera card since being home...
Here are the pictures of Addison as she was being handed to me from the orphanage...she KNEW something was happening...








Thanks to Konstantin, my facilitator for capturing her abject terror at the thought of going out with the stranger who brought bananas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Riley's birthday...

Sunday night we had a birthday party for Riley...I can't believe my original baby is turning 6! He has been asking to have a party at the local "Pump-it-up!" since last summer when he got to go to one there. This is a party place that has a private party room with all of these blow-up air jumping places and slides. It is 1 and 1/2 hours of jumping/running/screaming fun followed by 1/2 hour party with cake and juice. We had 16 kids (including my 4). It was a great party. Despite his outward bravado, Riley is really shy and doesn't like to be the center of attention - but he was excited to be the birthday boy because one of the rules of this place is that the child whose party it is, gets to "butt" whoever and whenever they want - they get to go to the head of all of the lines.

Here are a few of the pictures.

Cool...


So, I had this great idea to paint my breakfast nook last week while I am on "maternity" leave. I've been thinking about re-painting my downstairs which hasn't been painted since the house was built (1993 I think)...anyway...yes, it needed it...especially after 5 years of kids eating there! ...so, I had it in my mind to use a terracotta color with white trim but got really anxious before I bought the paint that it might be too dark. ...but, I found the color I wanted and brought the paint and supplies home on Friday.

...plan was to empty the room Sunday night, get the taping off done and do the edging and 1st coat while Addison was napping on Monday and the next coat on Tuesday...Turns out I bought this "signature" paint at LOWES ($29 / gallon) and let me tell you - it ROCKS...it nearly covered in one coat...this really dark color on the white, never been painted since the house was built 15 years ago...un-freaking-believable. So, I got to do some edging while Addison was swinging in Matthew's old "therapy" indoor swing and I got ALL of the wall color done in one day.

...so today I did the window trim and then the baseboards while she was napping and it looks AWESOME...even if I do say so myself...

...Unfortunately, now my kitchen needs to be redone! - UGH!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bathtime

...it didn't take Addison too long to like the bathtub...just a 5 minute splash with her brothers and sisters and all of the fears were gone! Here's a condensed version...minus the SCREAMING at Riley while I was taping!...


video

Thursday, May 15, 2008

watch what you say...

Okay, I admit it, a couple of my kids have gotten into trouble for using inappropriate words on occasion...and occasionally I know they got them from me...of course our latest "buttcrack" and "butt" I can say are not ones I use frequently so I can feel pretty confident about trying to "squelch" those without feeling like a hippocrite.

...I also have been the recipient of my own words coming out at [appropriate] times and used against me so I try and watch what I say...but, I know I need to do better.

...last night was a little bothersome...Addison was finding her "voice", I was frustrated, and Logan decided to whine a lot while I was trying to fix dinner. I must have said something I shouldn't have in the heat of the moment, because while we were sitting down to dinner, she looks at me and in this small voice says "Mommy, I'm sorry I am driving your crazy"...okay, Bad MOMMY #1 here. I apologized, but ugh!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The honeymoon is over...


...the gloves are off...the sh** has hit the fan...today we saw some of the real Addison. I was wondering when it would happen, I couldn't be that lucky.

...in the grand scheme of things, a few tantrums aren't the end of the world. It is almost comical when she tantrums cuz she is so cute doing it.

...so, this morning she was having none of me looking at the computer, she kept climbing on me and wouldn't play with any of her toys. Finally, around 10 am we went to the back yard and I put her in the swing. she looked like she was terrified and had these occasional little grimaces/smiles but when i asked if she wanted to get out she clearly shook her head and said..."no,no"...so I let her swing for almost an hour...I took her out and she went ballistic...tried to climb back in and so I put her back in. At 11:30 I took her out and carried her into the house...kicking and screaming...once we got in, she gave me the dirtiest look and laid on the floor and then moved over to the fireplace and looked at me as she banged on the metal screen...

...the next tantrum was over her clothes...after nap, she decided that she wanted to be naked...at first I thought she wanted to go potty...(I was told she was potty trained, but she always had a diaper on when I visited her and up till a couple of days ago did not show any signs that she knew when she was wet or dirty)...so I put her on it and she laughed and sat for a while but then wanted to get up...then she wanted her diaper off...so I let her be naked for about an hour...she was happy but we got another tantrum when i put her clothes back on...

...the next tantrum was when she tried to take a toy phone from Logan...I told her she couldn't have it cuz Logan was using it...well, she threw herself onto the floor, looking at me...and moved over to the fireplace screen and banged on it...then found a toy on the floor and threw it...meanwhile Riley was like..."Mom, let her have it...don't make her cry" and then he started crying and got down on the floor to try and play with her...and then Logan walked over to her and Riley and handed her the phone...okay the sharing lesson will have to come another day...

...on the other hand, she is the most cuddly and cute kid in the world. All of this is part and parcel of her learning to be a part of a family and it was due to happen at sometime. I can't wait to see how she progresses.

Monday, May 12, 2008

CVS Deals

Been reading this blog called Money Saving Mom...this is a woman who feeds her family on $40/week and talks about deals and how to get them. One of her big things is using CVS "extra care bucks" or "ECB"s. These are advertised specials where you get coupons that print after your sale which can be used like money on your next CVS visit.

So, this is my first week excursion using some of her ideas...

1). Shopping Trip #1

Bought 3 Colgate Toothpastes @ $2.99 ea = 8.97
Bought 2 Extra clothes deterg @ $1.99 ea = 3.98
Bought 2 boxes Smart Start Cereal @ 2 for $5.00 = 5.00
Bought 3 rolls of CVS papertowels @ B2G1 for $.99ea = 1.98

Total Price before taxes...$19.93

Used the following coupons

1. $3/15 CVS purchase from Washington Post
2. $3 off 2 boxes Smart Start Cereal
3. 2- $1.50 off Colgate Toothpastes
4. 1- $1.00 off Cogate Toothpastes

Total Coupons...$ 10.00

Total 9.93 + 0.72 Taxes: Paid $10.65 (got $6.00 [$2 for each colgate toothpaste]ECB with receipt)


Shopping Trip #2

Bought 2 Aquafresh toothpaste @ $2.99 ea = $5.98 ($2.99 ECB back per Toothpaste)
Bought 3 Extra Laundry @ $1.99 ea = $5.97
Bought 2 Colgate toothpastes @ 2.99 ea = $5.98 ($2.00 ECB back per Toothpaste)

total spent = $17.93

Coupons:
$3 off $15
2 - coupons for $1.00 off colgate max fresh =$2.00

total before taxes = $12. 93 + 0.81 = 13.84 (Plus $9.98 ECB)

Shopping Trip #3

Planning on buying 3 jumbo bags of CVS Supreme diapers @ 8.99 ea (B2G1) = 17.98 + taxes

Pay with $ 6 ECB's from 1st trip + $9.98 ECB's from second trip + $3/$15 coupon = $18.98


So, total of $56.84 of supplies for $24.49 (and I miscalculated and bought 1 too many laundry detergents thinking I wasn't going to be getting to $15 dollars...so really the total should be $22.48...but I can always use Laundry detergent and it was a good price! - now I won't have to buy any for quite a while!!!)

So, I essentially got 7 tubes of toothpaste and 2 bags of diapers for free!

I will definitely be looking for good deals like this in the future!

Animal, mineral or vegetable...


Wish I could end all of the speculation, but...I don't know. After about 1 hour of scratching and then some very distressed sounds from downstairs and then (I think) the upstairs in our dryer vent ...there was quiet...hope it got out...think it was a bird, but am just scared that one of Mickey's friends was here...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day...

...Well, what a mother's day it's been so far! I woke up with only one in my bed...Riley came in around 6:00 and asked if he could finish the project he is making for one of the babysitters from my trip...did I tell you about the crush he has on the babysitters teenage daughter?! He is so funny cuz all week he has been asking me to have her mother ask her to come to his room at the daycare so he could see her. Friday, she went to see him (out on the playground) and he ran away from her...she was helping with fundraising at the door and when we were leaving, he ran to the car and then...as we were leaving, he YELLED across the parking lot, "goodbye Denise"!...anyway, I digress...so, that left me in my bed alone and I fell back asleep and around 7:00 Logan came into my room and I sent her downstairs; about 15 minutes after a doze, I heard Matthew downstairs too and Logan called me to say that Addison was awake and downstairs too...so, since there were no blood curdling screams coming from downstairs and because I could hear each of them playing nicely, I stayed in bed...UNTIL 8:15 am!!! Happy Mother's day!
...okay, the morning was spent, playing, cleaning up the downstairs clutter, and reading the newspaper...not too bad...then, feed lunch and as I am getting ready to clean the dishes, Logan comes up to me and says..."what's that noise in the bathroom?"..."what noise?"...go and she points to the ceiling and "scratch, scratch, scratch" - uh oh! something is stuck in the fan duct of the 1/2 bath in the hallway!!!EEK! I think it is a bird, or a mouse...can't really tell but it doesn't like that it is stuck...(and this mama AINT takin' that grill down to let it out on my head!)...all of the kids are running back and forth into the bathroom to hear it and yelling at me to get it out (like that is going to happen?!)...Okay, I shut the door and say we'll get Wendy to help me get it out when she comes over later....hoping against hope that it figures out how to get out of there and back where it came from!

...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quiet day...

...we're having a quiet day at home today(finally). The boys' soccer game was cancelled cuz the fields are so wet (and were cancelled at 7:00 am so we didn't have to "agonize over whether or not we would go)...
...meanwhile we all got up late (okay, late in our house means 7:30 but, even that was miraculous)...the older kids stayed up till almost 11 watching "The Water Horse" and Addison also was up late. After lunch and shopping with Gwen yesterday we didn't get napping till almost 2:30 and so by the time she woke up it was 5:00 pm so I let her stay awake for a while...meanwhile it was a good time to bond with the brothers and sisters...
...breakfast was cereal (with minimal complaints about where the donuts were!)...and we were done by 8:00. Then, mom cleaned up the kitchen which was like a bomb had gone off this week. I just couldn't get it together since being home and trying to manage the food for the 4 kids and trying to figure out what the new one would eat that wasn't infant cereal!...Also spent some time bonding on the floor...
...then, the next time I looked it was 11:30 so time to get lunch on the table. I made pasta with butter and salt (and chicken nuggets) for the kids. I put about a 1/2 cup on Addison's plate and before I could get back to the table with forks - well, it was gone! She ate about 4 servings, always asking for more - still hasn't figured out that truly American delicacy - chicken nuggets but I assume she will get it sometime...
...then, nap time and mommy doing some freezer cooking...I had seen this recipe for chicken enchilada casserole made in a 12 x 9 pan and I had bought the ingredients (and taken out the chicken from the freezer) 3 days ago planning to make it each of the nights for dinner but never quite getting it together. so, now 2 batches are made with one in the freezer...it smelled so good and I hope the kids will at least "try" it...
...Riley went upstairs to do some "homework" about 1/2 hour ago and I suspect he is asleep in his room. We need to go to the store to buy some vegetables for our Mother's day Lunch with Wendy and Pat tomorrow so I hope he wakes soon. Addison just got up and she and Logan are playing our toy piano in time with the Wiggles DVD and it's days like this that...well, I truly believe that I wasn't crazy for going for #4!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's day...

Both of the boys brought home a present for me that they made in school for Mother's Day today. Also, I guess the school children made a picture of their mother and the school sent a video "pod" cast link home to each of us where the children each get up and said why they love their mothers...and then they sing a song.
...well, I watched Matthew's tonight and I started crying...he is such a cutie and it was so emotional for me. Then, later, we were watching a show on Noggin where the kid is talking to his grandmother and he says...I wish my grandmother was here too. Well, that just broke my heart a second time in a half hour.
...I miss you too Mom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soccer

Can I say that I am just not ready to be a head coach?!!! So, I was gone for the first 3 (though one was rained out) games and had to get a replacement coach. But then, last Saturday (1 and 1/2 days post arrival from Russia) I had to act as head coach cuz the boys coach was also out of the country for the last two weeks. What kind of stress was that...luckily, one of the dads who had helped out one of the previous weeks offered to help and good thing too cuz Addison was having NONE of me going out onto the field and leaving her on the sidelines...so I sat on the sidelines and made the substitutions...so, today was the re- re- re scheduled rain out game. and what was going on this morning...pouring rain...and since I was going to (ugh) work this afternoon (bringing my new daughter with me) I was glad that I didn't have to rush and get back to pick them up, get the boys dressed, get snacks and other supplies into the car and then get to the game...but wouldn't you know it, it stopped raining and (of course) the game was on...so...I leave Stony Point at 4:50pm and rush to the daycare where the boys are wanting to play on the playground and finally I get them closer to the door and then gather up Logan and she gets to the door and then starts the whining..."I waaaannt to go getttttt my backpack" ...I'm like (in my mother of the year voice)...you better keep going or my head is going to explode...then rush back home where the boys CAN'T find their soccer shirt...and want to play with their DS's and finally getting the cleats on and the soccer socks...and prepare bags of grapes and then scoop poor Addison up again and deposit her into the car seat once again and drive to the field.
Get out onto the field and we have only 2 balls and 5 boys...and Riley decides he is going to practice his "kick/slide" technique everytime he has the ball and knocks it way out of bounds ...and I want to KILL him...so we finally start the game and they did pretty good except that Riley is trying to be a "professional" and spends half of his game time in a side split on the ground after kicking the ball from midfield toward the goal - of course, always missing completely wide. Matthew on the other hand played great. The only problem is that he can not stop himself from kicking the ball into the goal when it is near it - unfortunately, it happened to be the other teams goal twice...but, he redeemed himself at least 3 times by kicking the ball and following it the entire length of the field ahead of the competitors and scoring! He was excited about playing and asked to be put into the field...meanwhile, the girls are intermittently crying/whining and spilling gatorade on the ground...
...when it was finally over, we all went home and I followed everyone upstairs to the tub...Addison was sooooo cute, she was crying and climbing up the side she was so excited about getting in and she just kept laughing out loud and splashing and trying to stand up and sit down and sliding on the bottom of the tub...then downstairs for dinner...wholesome Spaghettio's ...Matthew, Logan and Addison split 2 cans...Addison was just shoveling it into her mouth and saying mmmmm; I'm not sure who liked it better Matthew or her...Matthew had 3 helpings and then ate Logan's leftovers. (okay, I don't usually get Spaghettio's but I remembered that Matthew loved them when he wasn't eating solid foods and they were on sale this week at Kroger for 4 for $3 so ...spaghettio's it is! Will have to go and get another 4 cans tomorrow while I am out.
...finally, I put them all to bed...(took about 20 minutes and everyone was asleep!).
and now I am going to bed myself...it will be a good night sleep.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cutie Pie

Addison just continues to come out of her shell ...one of her tricks is...she turns to me, puts her hands on my face and pulls me close to plant kisses on me. Yesterday we went to clinic for blood work and she charmed everyone...including me...






How did I ever get to be soooooo lucky?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Opening up...

Wow, her personality is just opening up. Today we left early after dropping off Logan at the daycare. We arrived in my office around 8 and she puttered around me while I tried to catch up on some non-deniable mail that had come in during the last 3 weeks. She started to get bored just as my assistant arrived and proceed to charm her...
...next stop, the clinic where she was a little shy but ended up charming everyone. We got all of her blood work drawn and weighed and measured her...

...guess what...that doctor in Russia was a good judge of weight even though I thought he was nuts at the time, her weight was 24 pounds 5 oz ...all of her measurements put her on the growth chart (10% for height and head circumference) and 5% for weight...

...afterward, we went home and both of us caught about a 2 hour nap. Then we picked up the kids and drove back downtown where the Dean was having a going away party for my former Chair. I had been asked to say a few words about him so we went. The kids were great! the two older boys sat quietly playing their Nintendo DS games. Logan was a little up and down but overall, we made it thru a pretty adult occasion with no yelling and no crying.

...then, home after stopping at McDonald's to pick up a quick dinner. How happy she was, running around the family room and laughing and playing and ultimately climbing up next to me and laughing at it. she even laughed when i held her upside down for Riley, Matthew and Logan to give her a kiss before bed time.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Good day...

Sunday ended up being a better day than Saturday...we stayed home for most of the morning and then left around 11:30 to meet Wendy and her mom for lunch. Addison ate part of my baked sweet potato and 2 go-gurts I had brought with me...also - I think one piece of broccoli snuck in there as well! She took a little 10 minute nap in the car on the way.

We went to Costco after for some fruit and vegetables and some light bulbs and then Wendy came home with us and brought her ladder to replace the light bulbs at the 15' peak of my ceiling-which i a too chicken to do- and because it was 80 degrees, took out our big blow up slide...all of the kids had a great afternoon and mom had some time to tidy up the area from the winter. However during this time, Addison refused to take a nap so...she was up with us...Around 4:30, she started to melt down so we went in and I fed her dinner and she was in bed by 5:00 pm and sound asleep...

This morning I was awakened by someone in the next room...kneeling in her toddler bed, holding on to the foot board and jumping up and down saying....ahuhahahuhauahuahauah with a happy grin on her face. [unfortunately, she also had poops all over the bottom 1/2 of her bed and her legs and her butt!!!]...but it wasn't phasing her at all.

She has been in a great mood all day and I am feeling truly blessed. I was nervous about whether I would "get" another one who was so happy and good and if I was tempting the fates, but she is simply AMAZING. It may be because she is so much older and was already learning, but she seems to say and understand at least 10 new words a day. She definitely understands and knows her name now. She also has decide that she likes to give kisses and can say "kiss" and just now as I was trying to get her to nap, she was being frisky and didn't want to go to sleep and so she sat up and pulled my head to her and said..."kiss" and started kissing me...[how could I be such a meanie and make her go to sleep after that...I know that was what she was thinking!- but I was!]

We also got a call at 10:00 this morning that they had an opening at the eye doctor's office for 11:00 so we jumped up and left to get to the Stony Point office. She was an absolute DOLL in the office and charmed all of the receptionists/nurses/doctors. No crying (even though there were a few times she was a little anxious). Let the doctor look at her eyes and just was quiet as a mouse sitting in my lap. So, yes ...she has infantile esotropia (there is also esotropia associated with far sightedness but this isn't what she has) and the treatment is ... alternate patching of the eyes until she can get either surgery or botox injections into the eye muscles. I went to this doctor cuz I know he does the botox injections and I wanted to try that...you just use laughing gas not anesthesia and he said that nearly 60% of kids only need one injection. While I was there, he called the office and asked them personally to make sure that she is done as a priority so I am hoping that we get scheduled within the next couple of weeks. I decided to wait until after nap before I put the patch on for the first time...[can't wait to see how that works out!]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Learning...

Words...cat, ball, uh-oh, fall, oops, mama, meow, ruff, wow, boo hoo (peek-a-boo)

Actions...big hugs, kisses, high fives, "beeping" the nose, and "honking the nose"and "tickling Logan's belly"

Not bad for 2 days home!

She's a Lavoie...

Officially...
...well, after having her turn up her nose to everything other than baby food and banana's the last couple of days (I'm not getting too worried...um- NOT!) we had a breakthrough of the family variety today...
...sit down to breakfast and what are we having (do you have to ask...)and she motions to the glazed donuts I have on the plate for the other kids so I say...what the heck and hand her 1/2 a donut...which she puts to her mouth...takes a bite and says...mmm and smiles! Proceeds to eat the whole thing and then points to the other 1/2 and (me) "what the heck!- at least it's solid food!"...give it to her and within 2 minutes it is gone.

So, the breakthrough is donuts...who knew?!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Just to update on the ride home


So, we slept till around 6 am ...I had assisted my sleep with one of the Ambien I had taken and really woke up pretty refreshed. Addison ate some breakfast and I had some coffee and we sat watching Russian television for an hour or so and there was Oleg to pick us up.
...The ride to the airport was a little busy but we got there by 10 am... (started at 9:00)...Got thru baggage check and passport in a little under 30 minutes...Addison stayed in her stroller pretty well...was only crying as I put her into it...she doesn't like the straps to be put on but otherwise tolerates it pretty well.
...so, now we have until 12:55 to stroll around the Moscow airport...and there is nothing to do there except buy duty free...I had planned on using my left-over Russian Rubles up before I left and I had about $1000 (=$35 USD)...so I went into a shop and decided I should buy a couple of souvenirs for people who had helped me while I went on the trip; then that I should buy the kids a toy; then that I should buy Addison a toy and after that, I had spent my $1000 Rubles and another $200 US (UGH)...but I bought Addison a great toy shape sorter and it was instrumental in helping with the flight!
...so now we had about 2 more hours to wait...we walked up and down the airport for about 1 hour of it until I found at one end a bunch of seats not in a separate gate area...see in the Moscow airport you do your hand baggage (and shoes and coats) check at the gate area and once you enter, you can't exit unless you want to go thru that again...also, the gate area where the Delta Moscow to JFK and Delta Moscow to ATL daily flights both go out of (and within an hour of each other!)...so, there are NEVER enough seats in the gate area!...anyway, we found some seating in the far end (away from the gate) and played and ate lunch and drank Diet Coke and let Addison play with her new toy...
...finally, we went to the gate area about 45 minutes before scheduled take-off and they were still boarding NYC and we waited and got to the gate seats about 10 minutes before ATL started loading.
...got on the plane pretty early cuz of the whole baby thing and got settled. I let Addison stand at the seat and play ...she was good and finally we were in the air. (a little fussing when I put the seatbelt on but otherwise good)...and then ...she fell asleep...2 hours...then, woke up happy and we changed the 2nd poopy diaper of the flight...(the first happened as we were waiting to take off)...and I fed her a banana and some cookies...then she had about 3 hours where she played with the shape sorter or stood up in the seat and played with me...she was so cute, she would sit on the arm-rest near the window, look at me and "run" across the seat and give me a big hug... all the while laughing hysterically...then, I fed her a bottle of juice and some baby food and ...she fell asleep again...for about another 4 hours...and then woke up for the last hour of the flight and was happy playing with the shape sorter for the last hour or so of the flight. During the flight we had about 3 or 4 more poopy diapers but we did pretty well with that.
...So, all in all, an uneventful flight with a very contented baby and a mommy who got to watch a movie or two...the flight was also more comfortable cuz it was a newer jet and had the individual TV's in the back of the seats in front of you and had ...electronic games, Movies, TV and music.
...We arrived in ATL around 4:10 (our flight to Richmond was leaving at 7:10)...after walking a really long way with a baby whose shoes were too big and kept falling off, two carry on bags and another bags of my "duty free gifts" (and forgetting that I had gate checked my stroller and could have waited for it there)...we arrived in passport check and had to collect the rest of our luggage - including the stroller that I had forgotten - walk another mile or so to get to the specially area where they would take her paperwork, declare her a US citizen and let us re-check our bags for the RIC trip. Okay, I was a little tired, but she was a trooper and aside from fussing about me sitting her up on top of the luggage carrier, she did great...
...Finally, we were through and had about 1 hour to wait (and 2 poopy diapers) for the flight to board to Richmond. They were overbooked and offered $400 to people to give up their seats...If I wasn't carrying my precious cargo, I might have done it! Air flights are so expensive these days and $400 would have helped with one of the flights...
...Addison slept the entire flight to Richmond...meanwhile we had the 3 year old twins from "H" "E" double "L" immediately behind us for the flight. When we stood up to leave, all of the people in the seats around us said..."oh my god, there was another baby on this flight, we didn't even know!"
...and then we were home...
So, some of my feelings about the flight.
  • I am so glad that she was good during the flight, another one like with Logan and I would have been a basket case. As it was, I was able to (somewhat) be there for my other 3 when I got home...
  • I am pretty glad that I won't probably make that flight again for another 5 or so years (or when the boys are in the teens) to go for a "culture" trip (and maybe there will be transporters then)
  • I am a damn lucky woman and have truly been blessed by God to be able to have such wonderful kids
  • I truly "hate" diarrhea and can't wait till Addison get over this... (and 1 1/2 days into her Giardia treatment I am maybe seeing some signs of improvement)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Home sweet home...

WE ARE HOME!!!

...yup after 20 something hours in the plane and going thru immigration in Atlanta we hare home and settling in. Arrived last night home around 10 pm ...all 3 of the kids were awake and ready. They absolutely swarmed Addison (and were pretty happy to see mom too!). She took it like a trooper but was pretty overwhelmed and crying...they didn't really understand why she wasn't as happy as they were about it all. We all (in my bed) finally fell asleep close to 11:00. Of course, with 4 sweating and snoring kids, I got very little sleep!

...so some key comments...(Matthew)"is she going to stay with us forever?" and "I missed you mommy" and "now we have two sisters" (Logan) "I don't want to go to Tuckaway!!!!"[when she realized that Addison and mommy were staying home today], and "can I hold her when I get home from Tuckaway" and "IIIII WANNNNT MY BUNNNNNYYYY" [when it was the only thing that had gotten Addison to smile since walking in the door and she hasn't played with that bunny for 2 years!] and finally (Riley) [who was chattering a mile a minute the entire night until he laid down and fell asleep within 20 seconds] "Addison, Addison, Addison, you're so cute, commere little girl, can I hold her, why can't I hold her, why doesn't she love me, I want to play with her, I just want to hug her, her girl, Nice girl...look, she smiled at me...look I fed her a cheerio...can we take her to my class to meet Mrs. McNeice..."[well, you get the picture]...

...take care, I will post later in the weekend.