Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Interactive Post...

I started thinking this week of everything moms go through and do for their kids. I came up with a few examples that apply to me....but probably lots of you too!

You know you are a mom when you:

-can finish someone else’s half eaten food (unless it's slimy)

-are very excited when someone chooses to buy lunch at school instead of bringing a lunch box! Whoo hoo!

-cry when your child gets in trouble at school, church, etc.

-cry when your child is spotlighted for good things!

-untie wet shoelaces before wondering how/why they got wet----and wet from what? (yuck!)

-are always at the grocery store buying something (usually milk)

-have been to known to carry extra underwear in your purse (for the little people in your life)

-buy things for your kids before you buy something for yourself

-are always doing laundry (double yuck)

-are always running the dishwasher (or maybe it’s just my house)

-know some children’s books by heart

-seem to spend every afternoon in the car (is it only me?)

-worry when you are not with your kids 24/7

-carry scissors in your purse to shorten straws at restaurants (just don’t get stopped by airline security-BTDT)

-write notes to the school in crayon (yep, I admit it)

-go from being mad at the world to giggling in a matter of minutes

-eat lots of mac and cheese

-Ramen noodles are a staple in your house

-think cheap is good (maybe not the best though)

-worry when your kids are out driving (sometimes panic sets in too)

-only watch kid shows on TV—unless it’s bedtime for little kids whereupon you go to sleep

-find the best bubbles to buy for bathtime

-are on the speed dial for the doctor’s office (or dentist, daycare, whatever floats your boat!)

-get someone else’s cold (can't they share something else?)

-have unrecognizable stuff on your shirt and have no idea where it came from

-spend your afternoon finding lost crayons, friends, slippers, coloring books, clothes, pjs, and everything else you can possibly think about.

After all, Moms have the ultimate power (in the eyes of a child). Moms know it all. Moms are the best of the best.

Here is the interactive part! Pass along your own “you know you are a mom when” lines!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Double Bubble Trouble

Daddy is so good at bathtime. He plays, makes funny hair with shampoo or bubbles, and is generally silly....until he starts getting wet from too much fun.

Me, no way. I am all into "get in, get clean, get out". No nonsense, no nothing. Bathtime is not my thing. Of course, neither is bedtime but I digress.

I may not be a helper but I can be an enabler. I contribute to the madness joy by purchasing bubbles. I don't do it a lot but couldn't resist on my last visit to Wally World.

Finally, proof that I can be a good mommy:

Hee hee!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Summer in Shanghai

Sounds like a romance novel, doesn’t it? Did I forget to tell you that I’ve taken up writing novels in my spare time? That’s why I’ve been such an absent blogger.

And right there you know I am not telling the truth. Any spare time I have is spent reading, blogging, and getting caught up on Facebook (much to the amusement and eye-rolling of my husband).

Friday night, Dave came home from work with some news. Turns out he’ll likely be spending the summer in China for business. Yep, all summer. He would get an apartment in Shanghai and travel from there as needed.

No problem. We will spend the summer at the pool, visiting my sister in Emerald Isle (stock the fridge, Karen!), and be generally lazy.

Then the wheels started turning. Hmm. We’re off school, Dave is in China for the summer. Why don’t we go too for part of the time? We can sightsee in Shanghai, perhaps fly to Beijing for a weekend to take in the sights, and be general tourists instead of newly adoptive parents!

Katie and Alex are psyched about the possibility. They love the idea of spending a few weeks in China---especially when it does not involve gaining another sibling. Anna Grace and Abby think it would be cool, but what do they know?

Now, this is all still a work in progress. It may not happen, but isn’t it fun to think about?

Except for the 16 hour plane ride. With my kids. By myself. Hmmm.

You know how well planes and I get along. Add the teens (who are good travelers), the little girls (who are very busy travelers), and Nervous Nelly (AKA me), and the trip should be very interesting.

Maybe I’ll rethink this……….

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Cry For Help!!!

I’m in a bloggy rut.
What to do, what to do?
Life seems so boring
although always a zoo.

I feel like I’m sinking
way down in the deep.
Days speed on by
with not enough sleep.

Is it only me
feeling this way?
Is it only me
who is wiped out each day?

I know, I am whining
sorry to say.
Let me tell you a bit
of each of my days.

Monday, no school!
Yeah for us, yeah for us!
No reason to get up
and get on a bus.

Tuesday, oh my.
My assistant in DC
so craziness abounds
in my class of twenty.

Stayed late to get ready
for another day alone.
Had a flat tire.
Oh, a reason to moan!

Wednesday arrived.
No assistant today.
Eek! Will I make it?
Barely, I shall say.

And then shopping I go,
more things to buy.
It’s never ending I think.
I just want to cry!

And then comes today,
the 100th day of school.
Kids had a great time,
thought the day was quite cool.

Ah tomorrow!
The day of the week
we look forward to
with smiles in our cheeks.

Friday, oh Friday.
The start of a break.
Some down time, and quiet time.
This day takes the cake!

So my dear friends,
I hope to be back.
Once I can nap,
I can get right on track!

My hat’s off to you
who can stay sane all the week..
‘Cuz I sure can’t do it now
Calmness I do seek.

I will return
to happy, perky me.
Just give me some time
To gain SANITY!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gee shouldn't have!

But Carey did! My friend Carey, from Life in the Carpool Lane awarded me The One Lovely Blog Award just the other day.

The One Lovely Blog Award is given to those whose blog is entertaining and fun to read... one you get excited about when you notice a new entry! I am giving this award to:

Wasn't that sweet? I love reading Carey's blog about her two little guys who are constantly busy. It makes me feel not so alone in the craziness that envelopes my house.

So, now I have to award this to a few of you. I really wanted to award it to everyone on my blogroll! I love reading everyone's updates. But that would take WAY too long to type and is probably against the rules. Sigh.

I spent a lot of time mulling it over and came up with these three ladies:

1. Mary from Ladybugs and Dragonflies. Her fammily is like mine: two bio teens and two little ones from China. I love reading her updates and the trials/tribulations of having four kiddos so spread out in age!

2. Julie from The Primrose Princesses. Julie adopted her Mary Austin at the same time we adopted Anna Grace. We were in the same October 2003 DTC yahoogroup way back when!! She also has a red-headed spitfire, Jane Harris, who keeps her on her toes. JH really reminds me of our AG. :-)

3. Donna from handsful. Donna is the mom to five amazing children. Four homegrown (and a set of triplets!!) as well as adorable Lainey. Donna is also a homeschooling mom so you can imagine her days are very full. Her updates on the kids are always so heartfelt and sweet. I'm telling you...her kids are wonderful. I only hope mine will be the same.

There you go! Those I didn't get to this time, your time is coming!!! That is, if I can any more awards. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Facebook, anyone??

Yes, I joined the Facebook bandwagon. My sister joined a few months did I for about 24 hours just to see her pictures. But then decided I didn't have time for it with blogging, work, family, blogging, errands, get the picture.

But then my brother in law deployed to Iraq just a few days ago. I decided to reactivate my account to keep in touch with my sister's goings-on while Sean is gone. Cool thing is, I just chatted with him via Facebook a few minutes ago. Isn't technology grand???

So, if you are on Facebook and want to be my friend, email me. My email contact is in my Profile. I hesitate to put it right here on the blog because you never know who is reading. :-)

If you do know my whole name though, my profile pic has me and the little girls so should, in theory, be easy to find.

But as Denise and I both know, that's not always the case!!!

It's Award Time!

Imagine my surprise the other day when my friend Denise from There's Always Room for One More left me another comment on my birthday post about a present for me. Hmmm. What could it be? Chocolate? Dinner? New books?

Nope. Something better. An Award!

This award comes with a few rules and here they are:

Put the logo on your blog or post. Nominate several blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Before I bore you with my acceptance speech, I'll fulfill my obligation to pass out more awards to you, my lovely readers. Now, let me say I had a hard time with this. I love reading everyone's blogs!! I've been a bit lax the past two weeks and have fallen behind on my duty. I will try and improve.

Anyhow, I have selected four special ladies to receive this award. And without further ado,

The first award goes to Carrie at Adopting Again. Carrie is the mom to five: three at home, one in heaven, and one in China. She is such a sweet and caring person! I love reading about her babies, her sister, and the rest of the family. Even in her most down times, she tries to look toward brighter days.

The second award goes to Fliss at The Adventures of Fliss and Mike. Like so many in the Chinese adoption community right now, she is enduring a tremendously long wait for her baby. Although the wait has been excrutiating, Fliss has found ways to fill her time. Check out her new baby, Barack! As each day passes, she gets closer to her dream.

The third award goes to Ashley at A Legacy of Hope. She is adopting beautiful Piper in a week!! All throughout the wait, Ashley ran into roadblocks, stumbles, and other such fun things. But she endured and is preparing to leave very soon!! Good things come to those who wait (even if it's not patiently!)

My final award goes to Robin at Dreaming of Tea for Two. Robin has waited a VERY long time to travel for her Mia Hope. Her LOA just arrived after a tremendously long wait. Now she just needs her elusive TA to get on the plane! Robin has kept the faith even though it has been very difficult at times.

There you go!! Visit their blogs to read all about their amazing families and journeys.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Anna Grace has been counting down the days until today.....Mommy's birthday. Evidently, she even had a countdown in her classroom during calendar time. Good grief!

Around 8am this morning, I was in my classroom chatting with the speech therapist as my students got settled in for the day. I looked at my door and saw Katie and Alex appear. Huh?

They brought me a cookie cake, chocolate, and flowers. Wasn't that sweet?? I was very touched and surprised. What good kids!

Until.........I left school and headed to my car. This is what I found:

Oh. My. Gosh.

In all honesty, it was very cute and such a Katie thing to do. But I had to drive home with the arrows pointing to my window from the words Hot Mom.

I made sure to not make eye contact with any vehicles near me at a stop light!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One of THOSE days....

Ever have one of those days? That would have been Anna Grace today.

*She woke up was awoken on the wrong side of the bed, yeah for us, fussed the whole time getting dressed, and yelled, “I don’t want to go to school today!”

*She didn’t want to leave my room to go to her own class. I had to push her out the door.

*At lunch time, she was moved to the silent lunch table (no friends, no talking, all by yourself) for not sitting on her bottom and leaning on the table. Uh hello?? This is what she does ALL the time. Plus, if she sat on her bottom in the lunch chairs, she wouldn’t be able to eat. She’s too short.

*The assistant who moved her there apologized to me. However, when I looked over at Anna Grace, she was sobbing uncontrollably. I went over to see her, gave her a hug, whereupon she clung to me, and tried to soothe her. She had not eaten much lunch at all.

*I had to pick up my own class and leave. It was all I could do to not cry with her. When I left with my class, I looked over at her and the sobbing got more intense.

*Her teacher, already forewarned by me, picked up her class and returned to the room. She sat with Anna Grace, comforted her, and coaxed her into eating more lunch while the rest of the class had a few minutes of “downtime” (ie: playtime). AG became distracted by all of them and settled down.

*I received an email from her teacher about 15 minutes after lunch telling me she’d calmed down, had eaten lunch, and had a new crown courtesy of her friends.

*When I saw her at PE, she said, “Mommy, another bad thing happened. Nicholas stabbed with his pencil in math centers!”

*After school, her assistant told me that on the way back from PE, Anna Grace had slipped in the hallway and bonked her head on the wall.

Maybe we should have let her go back to bed today and skip school!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Godspeed, Marine

Tomorrow begins a year of interesting, unique, and memorable experiences for my brother in law, Major Sean Charney. He is reporting for deployment with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force HQ Element to be stationed at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. He will assume the position of the senior artillery planner for the next year. He leaves behind his wife Karen (my sister) and two sons, Spencer and Joshua.

We will keep in touch via email and Skype----once we finally get webcams! His kids are already practicing with the cameras to talk with dad. One goes upstairs, one goes downstairs, and they chat!

The last time Sean deployed was back in 2004 when things heated up once again overseas. We went to Camp LeJeune to visit my sister and her boys while he was gone. One of my most vivid memories of that trip was defending the military to my more liberal minded uncles (whom I love dearly). That and paperchasing for Anna Grace, but I digress.

Now, this comes from liberal old me who would have been at Woodstock in a heartbeat. Make love, not war; peace baby, etc. I think I was born at the wrong time. Boy, did I miss out! I'm still mad about that.............

However, most of my immediate family is military and no matter what my opinion, when faced with time in battle, I support ALL that they do.

After all, they are fighting for you and for me.

So, I hope you will join me as I say:

Godspeed, Marine. Our prayers and love go with you. Be safe. Be strong.

Ooh Ra!


Here are Spencer, Joshua, Karen, and Sean

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tales from the South

Family is gone
Girls are in bed
An update of sorts
Off the top of my head

My parents arrived
At the end of Friday
So much excitement
More folks to play!

Daddy came from the Army
And yummy food was had
Dinner was simple
Pizza and salad

Morning dawned early
As it’s known to do
Off to the airport I went
To pick up the next two

Another Grandma arrived
To spend part of the day
Had a long layover
Before heading on her way

Good food was shared
By all in the house
And then back to the airport
As quick as a mouse

A few hours later
The house grows quite loud
As good friends arrive
To add to the crowd

Dinner is shared
Tacos, fajitas, and rice
Lots of good jokes
Although some not so nice!

Shopping today
With little ones at home
Grandpa’s in charge
So we’re free to roam

Steak on the grill
Was the treat of the day
A wonderful dinner
I truly must say

Seeing family is fun
And such a treat
We don't live close by
So it's always neat!

Back to school
In the morning at seven
Gee, why couldn’t it start
Closer to eleven?

The kids with their grandparents! Dave's mom is in the long sleeved blue shirt; my parents are the other two. :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Calgon, take me away!!!

I know, I just dated myself again. Too bad. It fits my needs right now.

I have been absent lately due to being very overwhelmed with the return to school. I think going back to school/work after being gone for the weekend, trying to get everyone back into a routine, and expecting company tomorrow has put me over the edge. I have been in bed at 8:30 the past two nights but even then, I don’t sleep well, can cope for the day, but after dinner, I’m gone.

Here is a glimpse into today:

5:30am wake up
6:15am get girls up
6:40am leave for school
7:00am drop off Abby at the daycare
7:15am arrive at school
7:30am kids start arriving in class
7:30-2:30 spend all day with 19 kindergarteners with no special today (PE, etc)
2:30pm kids go home
3:30pm I leave school
3:45pm arrive in Kroger parking lot; Katie calls; she needs to go to the store too and needs a gas card
3:46pm leave Kroger parking lot
3:50pm arrive at the daycare
3:55pm buy new hairbows on display at daycare (cute!!)
4:00pm get the girls
4:15pm arrive home
4:20pm leave for Wal-Mart with Katie; girls stay home with Alex (thank heavens)
5:25pm leave Wal-Mart after buying most of what we need
5:40pm arrive home (had to get gas too)
5:55pm finished unloading and putting away
5:55pm leave for Kroger for missing items
6:15pm home and unload
6:20pm start dinner
6:25pm start laundry
6:50pm eat dinner
7:25pm make cookies
7:40pm make lunches
And the night isn't over yet.........

And this doesn’t count the basics that go on everyday. You guys know all about that, I’m sure. And to top it all off, I think I am getting a cold.

I will say that when Dave arrived home at 6:20, he put the girls in the bathtub before we ate dinner, did storytime, and picked out clothes for them before they got in bed at 8:00. Otherwise, I’d be even more crazy.

My parents arrive tomorrow for the weekend, Dave’s mom flies in for the day on Saturday on her way to Nicaragua for a mission trip, Dave has Army drill all weekend, and we have friends joining us for dinner on Saturday. I’m sure it will be a terrific but tiring weekend.

Gee, I think I’ll go to bed now. Y’all excuse me if I start to snore.

(hee hee!)

I know I am not the only one in the same boat. Please share your woes with me to make me feel better.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Now, say that again in your best Gomer Pyle, USMC voice. Gee, am I dating myself? Nah! I’m still only 41 (for a few more days anyhow).

As I said in my previous post, we flew to VA to surprise and dumbfound my dad on his 70th birthday. We boarded the plane in ATL

which was a feat in and of itself. The self check-in didn’t work, we waited in the wrong line (the slow one) before Dave found the Medallion member line. Moved to that one, got checked in quickly, AND found out that we don’t have to pay for carseats. You see, I’d forgotten all about having to pay for your bags now. But Dave gets two free due to his Medallion status. The rest of us get squat. We only had two bags though plus the carseats so came away not having to pay anything. Whew.

Fortunately, we were then fed to the short line for security (got to love the Medallion status) and made it to our gate in plenty of time. I was worried because it had taken us an hour to get TO security.

We survived the flight, bumps and all (and we had many that I did NOT care for at all), and arrived in Virginia right on schedule.

As planned with my mom, I called my dad once we reached their neighborhood to wish him a happy birthday. I asked about his plans for the day which seemed to include working on setting up the new DVD player, watching football, and having a quiet day. Little did he know that the gift of noise was about to arrive!!

We went in the house, snuck into the kitchen, and caused the first of three stunned moments (or as dad said, the first of three heart attacks). Unfortunately, the camera was not zoomed in on his face as we came in the kitchen but here are the others

The next few hours were spent hanging around, assisting with the new DVD player installation, and waiting for my sister to arrive from North Carolina (along with her boys) and my brother from Virginia Beach. Their respective spouses were unable to join us which was a bummer but totally understandable.

It worked out beautifully that dad headed out for a haircut just before they all arrived. He came in through the kitchen while they were safely ensconced in the living room. As he rounded the corner, they all yelled “Surprise” which caused him to throw his jacket in amazement! Heart attack number two.

Little did he know that the day was not yet over. We carefully snuck around preparing for the arrival of the guests for his party. As luck would have it, he happened to be in the kitchen with me, my brother, and the little girls as my mom and sister snuck everyone into the house. Ah, and then the fun begins. As we stood there chatting, we heard the singing of “Happy Birthday” from around the corner.

He rounded the corner and saw

Heart attack number three.

The next few hours were spent with good food

visiting with cousins

and watching dad open gifts, hear poems, and share stories.

The next day, I checked out the basement and realized that yes, we had really taken over the joint as evidenced here

Saturday was spent playing pool, playing Wii, and being generally silly.

Katie learned the lesson of not to fall asleep when your brother is playing pool

We also headed for the indoor pool in my parent’s neighborhood.

I played lifeguard instead of swimming.

Who wants to be wet and cold in January?? Not me. The day concluded with leftovers, game time, and bed. I don't know about the rest of the crew, but I was tired.

After a flight delay and hanging around the airport today,

we arrived home safe and sound. We've unpacked, done laundry, some have eaten dinner, but all are preparing for the start of school. The girls and I head back tomorrow; the big kids on Wednesday. Oh how I dread tomorrow's wake-up!

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Bit of Explanation

All righty then. When I left you, I said I would be out of touch for a bit but it was all good-----after I surpassed my fear. Here is the deal:

We flew to VA today to surprise my dad for his 70th birthday. He had no idea we were coming. My mom did of course, but not him. We quietly entered the house while he was eating lunch and totally dumbfounded him. It was quite funny. Thankfully no medical intervention was needed!! A few hours later, we again caused heart issues when my sister/kids and my brother arrived. (My BIL is visiting his mom before deploying to Iraq; my SIL was sick. Bummer.)

My fear which had to be conquered involved getting on the plane to bring us here. I HATE. TO. FLY. Truly. And yes, I have been to China twice now. But I hate it. make things worse. The only flights that go into Newport News, VA are the regional jets (think small planes). Yeah me. And, it was raining and windy. Again, yeah me. But we got here; we survived. Whew.

The icing to the cake today was a surprise party with all Dad's friends. It worked out beautifully. He was busy in the kitchen talking with me and the girls as all the guests were snuck into the house. In fact, I peeked around the corner and was surprised to see people in the house!! They all started singing Happy Birthday to him which drew him to the living room. :-)

All the surprises were captured on camera but will have to be added later.

Aren't surprises fun???