Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eating...

Even 5 years later, I am constantly amazed at how far Matthew has come with regard to eating. I look back at our first year together and all of the tears and yelling (for both of us) and how fearful I was about his future and I can not believe it.

Yesterday, as we were driving home (and the kids were drinking their weekly Slurpee treat- I know, bad mommy!)...I asked what they wanted for dinner and one of the options was Spaghetti and I decided to make it. It's always been one of Matthew's favorites.
Well, he ate 4 helpings!
I couldn't believe it. In the middle of the 3rd one, he had to go to the bathroom and while there, I heard two HUGE burps and then, when he came back to the table, he finished the 3rd helping and purred a little...then he said..."Can I have just one more small serving?"...Of course, I said...and as I was reaching into the bowl, he said..."well, how about medium and I'll see if I can eat it?"...About an hour and 1/2 later, when the were doing their nightime snacks, he ate two swiss roll packages!


Now, if I could only get him to gain some weight!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cool...

So, some of you know that I have a good friend who sometimes spends time with the boys to give them some "male bonding time". He acted as coach for their soccer team this spring while I was in Russia and with the summer, it has been hard for us to get together. Well, he came over yesterday to take the boys to the pool and brought his latest toy...


The boys completely forgot about the pool and wanted a ride in it. Since Matt had been waiting and playing patiently, he got to go first. Twenty minutes later, he came home...in awe.
Later Steve said, Matthew kept saying..."there's no top (well that's called a convertable)...this car is sooooo cool (thank you)...you are so cool!! (thank you very much!)...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lazy saturday


I had to work yesterday so the kids spent the day at MCV daycare. I was able to go pick up some of the things I need to do some painting this week at Lowes before I picked them up. After we got home, the kids rode their bikes in the front yard for a while and then we ate dinner. I made a frozen chicken alfredo pasta dish and all of the kids loved it. We then went out for ICE CREAM !! The kids loved it. They all ate their cones and dishes down to the last drop! Addison was covered head to toe in chocolate ice cream. It was totally cute!


Today we are going to hang around at the house and maybe go out with Wendy and Pat for lunch. It is a little overcast but we may go to the pool at sometime later in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good days...

We've had a few good days the last few, think the kids are finally getting tired from all of the swimming, etc. (and I guess the simple things make me happy)...


Matthew said this morning..."mmmm can I have waffles again tomorrow morning" (and when I said yes...) "goodie!"


Riley was up watching tv and eating potato chips when I came down with the other 3 this am. So, I'm like ready to blow up and trying to find the remote - which he must have used to turn on the TV and he's like ..."I don't know where it is" and I'm like..."well, you must have used it" -- he starts arguing and I say "go up and change out of that swimsuit you have worn 3 days in a row (and nothing else, mind you)" and he goes up and comes down with a new t-shirt on and I'm like "okay, I am not going to yell but you are now going to bed after supper because I told you to change your swimsuit" and he starts arguing but I say..."I'm not arguing" and he ACTUALLY goes upstairs and finds a new suit.

Logan and Addison wake up in my bed and are all smiles and the amount of "screeching" has been significantly decreased the last few days...even while waiting for the supper to be cooked. I am constantly amazed at Addison's speech and Logan's patience with Addison. She's a great big sister.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Feeling better...

The kids all woke up today better rested and refreshed and there was not so much whining before breakfast. Riley only got into trouble once (and I was practicing my staying calm and he ultimately went upstairs to his room quietly and then called down that he was ready to talk to me).

The older boys were going to this big pool that is near our house as a field trip with the daycare/summer camp. All of the school aged kids are going. They were so excited that I told Matthew he didn't need to go to summer school today and let him play hooky! (bad mommy)...Meanwhile Addison had a follow up of her eye botox therapy at the ophthalmologists and he seems to think things look pretty good so far! (yea)...

I still need a little more sleep to make up for my weekend but hopefully I'll be able to do that tonight....Just have to keep the visitors down to one (or two)...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

?Vacation?

So, since finances are tight after the adoption this spring, we don't have a lot of money to do a fancy (or not so fancy in our case) vacation. I was asked last winter to do a lecture at my work department's annual educational conference at VA beach and so I decided to make a long weekend of it and bring the kids...get a babysitter while I was working and then have the afternoons to play and enjoy the beach.
...can you say...What was I thinking????
My kids definitely didn't "get" that this was a working weekend. The older ones, especially, had a lot of trouble not acting up when I wasn't with them (I'm really sorry "Shore Sitters"), then, they all wanted all of me when I was with them and their were too many things to do. They were just overwhelmed with it. And they were in no way ready to behave at "semi-adult" recreational parties at night that we had to participate in...which just served to keep me anxious and watching everything that they did. so...not really relaxing.
...We did, despite everything have a few good times. Thursday afternoon we arrived and I (silly me) took them to the pool...since we had somewhere to go that evening, I thought I could just "watch" them in the pool...HA! Riley did his first canon ball into the pool and I was soaked and meanwhile, Addison was having nothing to do with just sitting with her feet in!!! She WANTED full on, under and in the water! So I went back to the room while my friend Wendy held her out of the water and watched the rest. When I got back down (with suit on) it was fun for an hour and I have to say that it is great to see the boys swimming and jumping in and having fun in the water.
...Friday afternoon, after the conference ended for the day, we went out on the beach. Riley and Logan had their life preservers on and had a great time having the waves push them back up the shore. Riley wasn't satisfied with just going in a small amount, but with the red flags flying, I wasn't going to let him go out any further. Wendy did take him out into the ocean a little farther but he still was pretty scary cuz he has no "reasonable" fear of the water. Addison loved sitting in the sand and having the waves come to her. She was flipped completely around several times by those "red flag" waves.
...Saturday afternoon, we went out for lunch and then walked a little in downtown VA Beach (but very little cuz we were all tired and HOT).
Addison was clearly tuckered out by the whole weekend ...she fell asleep before lunch both Friday and Saturday afternoons (actually laying on the restaurant tables)...and was the cutest thing. Even Sunday, she fell asleep on the hotel bed waiting for us to finish up with the conference. And amazingly, after that brief nap, she was the only one to stay awake the entire ride home...entertaining Wendy and I by singing twinkle twinkle little star to her self and talking happily to herself the whole way.
Now we are home, they are in bed, it is quiet and I am happy. There were definitely times this weekend where I thought..."oh, what was I thinking I could handle 4 kids!?!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

the things they say...


...the other night while I was laying with her before sleep...Logan says..."when are we going to visit Grampa?...he needs to meet Addison"
she is right. I'm trying to figure it out cuz we need to meet my brother Pat's cute twins who were born in late December. So, Dad...I'm coming...probably the week before Labor Day (Tuesday or Wednesday) thru that weekend. Looks like that will be the time. Need to save up the money for the gas!


... Today Riley had some dental work ...he had to have what they call "conscious sedation" where they get medication to make them really sleepy aand then they don't care if you are drilling on their teeth. He did great. Then he came home and he slept for almost 3 hours. He was really cute when he was waking up and later this evening ...he kept telling me that this was a great day (reminiscent of our day off last week). He also was soooo proud of his silver teeth and asked why he didn't get all of his teeth capped! I told him I couldn't afford that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hi mommy!

Addison, officially home 2 months and 10 days has surpassed all of my expectations...well, in a lot of ways but none more than her absolute amazing acquisition of language. Now I was told in Russia that she had delayed speech and that she only knew some simple words and, truth be told, she didn't say any words except "dada" to me during our visits. Even during the second trip at the end when she would (when forced) turn to look at me as they were taking her away, she wouldn't say bye (Пока Пока)...
...she has been learning words at lightning speed (and don't get me started about comprehension) but this week has passed another milestone - Putting words together to make sentences. Most kids first learn words and their conversation is one word statements. Then they start putting 2 words together and finally 3 and more words...
...for Matthew (who also had speech delay diagnosed in Russia) the putting words together (as well as expanding his vocabulary) is what took so long. Part of it (I think) was his hearing ...he had fluid in his ears the first year home and some hearing loss as a result) and also his "processing" of what he heard. He heard (and I really think understood) sentences as just really long words. So, he would start the sentence and it would get garbled cuz he couldn't manipulate his tongue and didn't realize that he should be saying each individually.
...This week has been the sentence week for Addison. First one was when I picked her up from daycare on Wednesday...we had the usual...squeal...dead run to mommy, grab mommy's face and kiss her, then I put her down on a cabinet to fix her shoe. As I did that, she touched my face and said...plain as day..."my mommy came!" course I was bummed that she still has such anxiety over whether I will come pick her up at the end of the day but I was impressed! Then, this morning she came in my bed in the early morning and we were dozing together. My alarm went off and I turned over to stretch and she sat up, looked me in the eyes with a mile-wide-
smile and said..."hi mommy!"
Hi - indeed!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Deep end...


...the boys have been doing great with swimming this summer. Matthew started with his residual fear of "drowning" and I was worried that he would again go through and refuse the swimming lessons that are given at the daycare. Riley finished last year with a pretty good "doggie paddle" and not fear of going under...so I knew he would "get" it this year. And he did...the first time out, he was spending half of the time under the water and...well, it doesn't hurt that he grew almost 1/2 a foot or more and he can stand easily in the shallow end of the pool. By the time the first week of summer camp was over, he had taken and passed the "middle test" (swim the short length of the pool) for the daycare (allowing him to go in the 5 foot section) and was planning on taking the "deep end test"(swim one long length of the pool and then tread water for 1 minute)...which he did the next monday. Matthew was feeling very left out and he pushed himself to get over his fear and by the second week, he had passed the middle test but he was still uncomfortable because he can barely stand in the 3 & 1/2 foot section and he spent the next weekend wavering back and forth between..."I think I'll take the deep end test" to..."Mom, I don't need to take the deep end test do I?"...So, last weekend, he tells me that he passed the deep end test. I couldn't believe that he had but didn't want to argue so just said...oh wow. Riley said repeatedly that Matthew had not passed and was pretty vehement about it but...when I got in on Monday am, Matthew's teacher said that she was soooooo proud of him because he had passed the deep end test! She said...

...he did the entire thing doing the "doggie paddle" but he made it so all of the life guards were soooo happy for him that they passed him! They are keeping an especially good eye on him when he is there and they aren't allowing him to be there when there are > 2 classes and a lot of bigger kids but...he doesn't care. He even went on the diving board at our neighborhood pool into the deep end!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend Maddness

...The fourth of July weekend is over and we all survived (barely)...yesterday, I spent a bit of time doing some cooking for the week and trying to clean out the kitchen.
...so, the kids and I tackled the toys in the Family room. We reduced two train table drawers and 3 rolling buckets to...well, two train table drawers and 3 rolling buckets but each of the drawers had significantly less in them. Next year we'll get rid of the trains, but for now, one drawer has all of the trains and tracks and the other has the "crash-em-up" car tracks and cars. The rolling buckets now have not a single McD's toy nor broken toys nor anything that I hate! I even found enough to put a couple of posts up on Craigs' List to sell some of the ones we have outgrown. If no one buys them, they are in the garage to go to goodwill.

...after lunch we went to see WALL*E - the new Disney / Pixar animated movie about a garbage robot left on earth...Matthew has been wanting to see this since the last movie we went to had a trailer for it...As anything you do with 4 kids, it had it's ups and downs. UP...I pre-bought the tickets on Fandango.com (DOWN...I had to pay $1 service charge per ticket)...UP...we didn't wait in line and walked in (complete with popcorn and soda and candy)...right as the trailers were starting...UP...the now expected Disney/Pixar short film was extremely good (all of the kids were laughing...though Matthew asked a couple of times if this was WALL*E and when was WALL*E going to come in the movie)...DOWN...all of the kids had to go potty right in the middle of the show even though they had gone right before we left home...UP...Riley sat in his own row away from us cuz...well...cuz that's how he is these days...DOWN...Riley got bored and started walking around our row...throwing out his trash...coming to give sleeping Addison a kiss...etc...UP...the movie was really cute and there were enough fast sequences that even Logan stayed awake...UP...I kept Addison up after lunch and in the car on the way so she was really tired and she fell asleep on my chest after gorging herself on popcorn and soda from my glass...DOWN...I had to wake Addison up to go to the potty with the other kids...UP...she fell right back asleep when we sat back down...UP...all the kids walked out talking about the movie and happy about the outing.
...we got home afterwards and the kids played outside while I cooked and we had a nice dinner and played in the backyard and then fell asleep. Now, I am ready (not) for another week at work.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday USA








This was a special July 4th for us as we welcomed Addision into the 4th of July tradition as an American citizen. Since I am working to make up for all of my time off, I couldn't go far so we decided to take in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood.
...our neighborhood has an annual July 4th party starting with a "parade" where all of the kids decorate their bikes, scooters, strollers and other motorized vehicles in an appropriate shade of RED, WHITE & BLUE...so, in the morning we ventured out to do some shopping and find some streamers and balloons to put on our "vehicles"...
...I recently joined Sam's club...I've held off on it bc I didn't think it would be much different than the two other clubs I belong to...Costco and BJ's, but I noticed on line last week that they have this "click and pull option"...you can pick what you want on line and then "pre-order" it. They pull it for you and you go pick it up the next day. I had done a couple of things on-line earlier in the week and it really worked well and since I needed to do my big "monthly" grocery shopping, we went there. The kids had a blast and loved it. Riley pushed Addison in the cart and only ran into one person...(sorry mom, I was looking at the pool!)...Matthew saw a toy he absolutely has to have for his birthday, and Logan loved all of the food samples (well, so did Riley, Matthew, and Addison [who was covered in ice cream by the time we left!])...
...after that we stopped by Dollar Tree...now, this was a test bc we usually go in there and I let them pick one toy each after a good week of behavior. But, our goal was to get balloons, streamers, and a few things that I always get there...like cheap pasta. The kids wanted to go look at the toys so I let them but was very worried about the fallout. Turns out that they were so excited about the balloons that it only took one reminder to get them to put them back!
...home to unpack the car, make lunch and take naps...then after naps, we set to decorating the bikes. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture but we finally were off to the local elementary school (the starting point for the parade)...
...the parade was led by a Firetruck and a Policeman both blasting their sirens and horns and we arrived at the party in one piece, though I keep forgetting how hard it is to push that sit and stand stroller with someone (all nearly 40 pounds of them) sitting in the back. I was thinking...GOD, how out of shape am I?
...The party had hotdogs for the kids, a big blow up maze, face painting and balloon animals but...the piece de resistance...was the live band. while I was getting ice cream for the girls, I discovered Matthew at the ampitheater. He was sitting in the back row and bouncing on his butt to the music. We all sat down next to him and within a few minutes he was brave enough to go to the dance floor where there were a few other pre-teen girls dancing and proceded to have the TIME OF HIS LIFE!
...He was totally into the dancing...got up there and tried to follow along with the electric slide and totally was doing the Macarena! After that one, he came up to me and said...can they play the Macaroni again?!!!

...And who was the miracle of the party???? Well, Addison was up there dancing whenever Matthew was up there. She was just so cute. I kept having people come up to me to say...is that your child? (of course they could do that alot because I had a lot of kids there!)...one older woman came up to me and asked if Matthew was in dance lessons because he was so focused on following and trying to perfect all of the moves for the dances.

video
video

video

Silly mommy forgot her camera and video tape ...so these will have to do from my little cell phone...sorry about the sound quality!