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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving pics

We had a really nice Thanksgiving. Brian hunted, shot, and did whatever you do to a deer most of the day, Camden stayed at Gram's house, and Rory and I cooked and cleaned. Our dinner was wonderful (maybe the best turkey I've ever eaten) and we had a good time visiting after. I also did some online shopping and got some good deals which always makes for a good time.

I really, really wanted to hit the mall EARLY Friday morning as usual, but this is the first year with two kids, and we thought that it probably wouldn't work out well. We did go shopping a little later in the morning, and while they were really good, keeping up with a stroller and a 5 year old in the massive crowds and small store aisles wasn't really that much fun. We did not stimulate the economy much either - just replaced Camden's Cars movie (his all-time favorite movie; he watched it so many times that he wore out the DVD almost a year ago), bought Enchanted, and this CD. Oh, and we did FINALLY buy a Christmas tree. I have been looking for about 5 years to buy a fake tree, but I wanted it to be realistic, tall, skinny, and not too expensive (is that too much to ask?). We put it together last night, but decided to wait until this morning to tackle decorating the tree and house. When we were shopping a couple of weeks ago, we saw a Christmas tree and ever since then anytime we see something green Rory calls out "Christmas, mama, Christmas." I think she is going to have a blast helping with the tree. Now whether or not she'll stay away from it and the presents after it's up is another story.

So today's agenda is to decorate the house, and then this afternoon Brian and I have a birthday date! We're going out to eat, to see Twilight (which I am seriously excited about) and then to Michaels to order custom frames for our Angela Crutcher pictures as well as the Hangul scroll we had painted in Korea. I'm a little nervous about how much that is going to cost, but I am very excited to get it done. Our last real date was in May for our anniversary so I am very excited about today.

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving. I had a hard time choosing which ones to show so you'll have to just sit back and look at alot of them.

Rory was very excited to "help" me cook

Using the mixing bowl all by herself



The whole group

Rory and Gram
(notice that pose - it's her new look when we pull out the camera)


Ummm, yeah - he was hyper all day long
Michael and Liz
Pure cuteness
This is where you can find Camden these
days - buried in the Target toy catalog

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cake Balls

Knock on wood, but Camden and Rory played very well again together yesterday. Two days in a row must surely be a record for our family. We had a quick shopping trip that was pretty uneventful, although I did pick up a couple of gifts. I've been searching for a cute coat for Rory, but the only thing I can find are those huge puffer coats, and I'm not really interested in that. I've got a pink puffer coat from Korea that Rory can still fit into but for sentimental reasons I was trying to avoid using it. It still smells like Korea and Mrs. Park's house, and brings back lots of memories. I think we're going to use it, though. It seems unreasonable to buy another one when this one still fits.

Last night I made cake balls and chex mix for a bake sale/blood drive PVCS was having for Christian today. I'll just go ahead and give you the cake ball recipe cause I know you're going to want to try them!

Cake Ball Recipe
1 cake mix
1 can icing
1 pkg almond bark

Bake the cake; while still warm pull apart cake and mix with can of icing in large bowl.
Form into small balls and freeze for 20 minute or until firm.
Melt almond bark and then dip cake balls; drizzle with sprinkles, chopped up candy canes, etc.

They taste really good and look kinda fancy. However, they are VERY
messy to make. I used a melon scoop so that they had a flat bottom, and after I
took them out of the freezer, I used a fork to hold the ball and then spooned
the melted chocolate over them.
You can use any combination of cake/icing
that you like. I used yellow cake and chocolate icing.
Brian is officially on Thanksgiving break and it was nice to have him around this morning. We spent a couple of hours at the blood drive/bake sale helping out. I really, really hate to give blood. It makes me very queasy (I can't even watch others do it) but had talked myself into it until I had that 4-day stomach flu. The thought of intentionally making myself queasy again was too much.Brian, who usually faints or is light-headed did give blood with no drama.

I'm getting off relatively easy for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. We're going to Brian's parents house, and I'm only responsible for a corn casserole, sweet potatoes and pie. I'm glad that my sister and brother-in-law will get to be there with us as well.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Best Yard Sale Purchase

Camden and Rory played so well together all morning yesterday. It was wonderful (and not likely to happen again in the near future). Typically, if I'm lucky enough for them to play together, it's with this stroller (the best yard sale purchase we've ever made). Now that Rory received accessories to go with it for her birthday, Camden straps on the diaper bag over his shoulder (at least he makes it look like a man-bag), Rory puts her purse over her shoulder, and off they go. They alternate who gets to push the stroller and who has to hold on to the side of the stroller (which is what I make Camden do when we're out).

I love mail these days. In the last several days, we've received several of my scrapping Christmas projects, our Christmas cards, some new make-up I purchased, Etsy gifts I've purchased for friends, and my two favorite arrivals: our Angela Crutcher prints and a Shaohannah's Hope 5-year anniversary book. Our prints look great and we also received the cutest proof book. I cannot wait to get them all framed and hanging up in the family room. The Shaohannah's Hope book is a great publication, and imagine my surprise when I see our family on page 4! We received a grant from them for Rory's adoption and they used our picture to represent Korea.

Another fun thing about mail these days is that Camden and Rory are fascinated with all the catalogs. Camden especially will just pore over them. Rory will spend quite a bit of time looking at them as well. Maybe I should save them and pull them out for a rainy day. Who needs toys!

I'm going to have to survive today on very little sleep. I seriously hate insomnia. I may have to go to the doctor again because I don't know how to survive and still be cheerful (much less patient) on 3-4 hours of sleep every night. Rory had her own isues last night and woke up multiple times coughing. I think she may be developing an ear infection. She isn't running a fever so I may wait and see how she does today, but I'm thinking a doctor's visit might be in our future.

I'm going to make a quick run to Opry Mills today. Hopefully it won't be too crazy over there yet. This will most definitely be my last trip until after Christmas. While I enjoy Christmas shopping and the crowds, when you have to wait on the interstate to even get into the mall parking lot is a little too busy even for me.


Dani Mogstad: Sweet Cupcake

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday

So the weekend did not go exactly as planned. That sneaky stomach bug only tricked me into thinking it was gone for a few brief hours on Friday and then I spent the rest of the weekend sick as a dog. Brian had to take Camden to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while Rory spent some time at Gram and Gramp's house. I missed out on church and the Thanksgiving dinner. Rory had a rough time - she couldn't understand why I was in the next room, but she couldn't be with me. I tried to stay separated from the kids so they wouldn't get sick. So far so good!

I've been meaning to share a website I discovered a while ago. Actually, I might have already done it, but I'm too lazy to go back and look through my posts. Just in case I didn't, here it is. Every morning after breakfast, the kiddos sit down and we listen to Keys for Kids. I can remember reading these devotionals when I was a kid, and now they're offered online. You choose the Bible translation and they are new every day. There is a song, a verse, and then a 4-minute lesson. They are still slightly above Camden's age group, but he still learns from them, and they have been great. I love having this as part of our morning routine. Rory loves the song, but doesn't get much from the lesson yet. :)


I'm still trying to get back to normal so it should be a quiet day, but I really want to get the house and laundry in order today and tomorrow so that when Brian is off the rest of the week, I don't have to worry about it. I slept so well over the weekend, but was back to normal insomniac ways last night so I'm really tired this morning.

Here's a page I scrapped last week, but never posted.

Dani Mogstad: Sweet November

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally Friday

Yesterday was not a day I want to repeat anytime soon! Thankfully, the kids are both still well (except for Rory's new runny nose) and I'm hoping they stay that way. I still don't feel great, but better.

Even though I've got plenty to do around the house, I think we're going to try to get out of the house today. We've spent most of the week inside because of the cold weather, and Camden and Rory are going a bit stir crazy.

The weekend should be fun. Brian is pretty relaxed because he only has a 2-day week next week. I'm taking Camden to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Nashville Children's Theater with our friend Kathy and her two girls while Brian babysits Rory. Sunday is our Thanksgiving service and dinner and then Sunday night is the 2-hour 24 on TV. Sounds like a good weekend to me!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Uggghh

I woke up with a stomach bug this morning and have spent lots of quality time bent over the toilet. I am just praying Rory and Camden don't get it! Hopefully it doesn't last long.

I'll be back with a regular blog post tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Much Too Cute

I grabbed the camera yesterday as the kids were playing and took a few pictures. They are seriously just much too cute. I know - you're not supposed to say things like that about your own kids, but I had nothing to do with their biological make-up or looks so I can say it! :) With Rory's hair pulled back like this, she looks alot like the first few pictures we took of her in Korea when we met her. Her foster mother had her hair pulled back from her face like this. (Side note: take a look at her ears. They're the same size as Camdens. When we got back to our hotel room in Korea, one of the first things Brian and I commented to each other was that she had big--but cute--ears.)


I found Rory playing with a bug yesterday (can I get a collective "eeeewwwwwww"?). At least it was just a ladybug - they're fairly low on the "ick" factor. I have Camden to blame for this. He thinks they're his "friends."

Still no nap for Camden yesterday, but I made him go to bed early to make up for it. Of course, that backfired when he was up before 6:30 this morning. Remember when I mentioned a while ago that he does a version of sleepwalking and tends to go potty in crazy places (such as the dish washer?). Well, the last 3 nights I've caught him right before the act. I have a feeling it's because he's not taking naps so he's sleeping extra hard and then is really out of it when he tries to wake up to go potty. Thank goodness I caught him last night as he was trying to go down into the basement. I have a feeling he would have fallen, and those stairs are wooden with a concrete floor beneath.

So the sharing/my turn thing is still not going well. Rory has now progressed to thinking that everything Camden has is fair game a long as she says "my turn." Her little 2-year old brain just doesn't get the right concept yet. Well, that and the fact that Camden does the exact same thing to her and she follows right along, but can't understand why he doesn't play the "my turn" game the same way.


Well, I'm running late this morning because not only did I run out for coffee, but I also tackled a shower and drying this ridiculous mane of hair I've got. My Wednesday friends are coming over and should be here shortly so I need to do some last minute straightening up.


Dani Mogstad/Kay Miller/Susan Bartolini: Bountiful Blessings

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Naps

Camden missed his nap FOUR days last week. And apparently this is not going to be a trend, but our new normal since he did not go to asleep yet again during nap time yesterday. I may not survive napless days. I'm thinking "quiet time in your room" will replace nap time.

Rory has a new phrase: ma too ("my turn" for those of you who don't speak in Rory-ese). We hear this new phrase alot, and she's got it down pat as to when to use it. Unfortunately, her idea of "ma too" is not quite the same as Camden's, which can lead to blood curdling screams from both kids with maybe a pinch and slap thrown in from Rory. I hear this sharing thing doesn't really get any better, but I am determined to not live in a household of blood curdling screams. Any suggestions? I think it probably requires more patience than I'll ever have.

Brian is sick with a cold, and I'm just praying he doesn't pass it around. Typically, his colds are over before you know it, but this one is on day 3 and still going strong.

We're having another pajama day today (I'm thinking the cold, dreary weather is going to give us lots of these), and I'm trying to figure out how to tell Camden that we had a downpour last night and it's frigid outside which means there will be no jumping in the leaves like I promised him. I bet a Wii session will make a good substitute.

I'm also working on laundry and cleaning house today. Sounds fun, doesn't it.


She's much too cute (and knows it).

Showing off her first ponytail

Asleep on the couch after not taking a nap.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Monday already?

We had a slow, fairly relaxed weekend, and it was great (but over much too quickly)! We went out to eat Friday night and while I've almost decided it's not quite worth the effort to get us all out of the door, it turned out to be lots of fun. We ate at Logan's, and Rory thought it was really great that it's perfectly acceptable to throw peanuts on the floor! And Camden ate so many peanuts that I'm surprised he's not sick. We also grabbed ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, which is my absolute favorite.

Saturday was a pajama day - it was very cold and dreary outside. Brian and the kids worked/played in the basement while I spent a couple of hours cleaning out the filing cabinet and organizing all our old (and current) bills.

This week should be a bit slower than last week since I don't have errands planned for every single day. I am grocery shopping today and I've decided to try to shop for 2 weeks at a time so my list is pretty extensive considering Thanksgiving falls into the next 2 weeks. I'm sure the kids (specifically Camden) is not going to be thrilled with visiting multiple grocery stores.

I can't believe that November is already half over, although I feel like I'm ahead of the game as far as Christmas gifts go. The calendars are done; I created and ordered Christmas cards Saturday night; and I've got a list of what I need to buy/create for everyone else.

That's about it for today. The kids should be up soon and then the fun begins.



Jaime Young: I Love Winter Collection

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not enough sleep!

Not much to say today because I'm too tired. Only 3.5 hours of sleep 4 nights in a row just isn't enough.

We have nothing planned for the weekend except for dinner tonight, which I'm quite excited about. One of the hazards of going down to one income is very few meals out so I'm happy to not be cooking for once. Otherwise, I think we're home all weekend.


Dani Mogstad: Sweet November
(available at SSD tomorrow)


Julie Billingsley/Heather Rosselli: Trail Mix
(available at SSD tomorrow)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gap coupon

I've got some Gap coupons I can email out if anyone is interested. They're valid in store only and are for 30% off your entire purchase at Old Navy and Gap November 13-16. Email me at camdensmommy @ gmail.com if you want one.

Our and About

I had a good birthday yesterday - Camden got up and sat on the couch with me for a bit, then he must have suddenly remembered it was my birthday because he jumped up and sang Happy Birthday to me. It was so cute! My lunch with friends was alot of fun and the highlight of my day.

Now that gas is down to less than $2/gallon, I feel freer to make trips to Nashville again so we're going to run around today. If the way the kids acted at the restaurant and church yesterday are any indication, they're ready to be out of the house as well!

I'm attending my first MOPS meeting tonight at a church in Nashville with a friend, and I'm looking forward to it. I don't really have any idea what to expect, but I've heard good things about the meetings.


I tried to take some fallish pictures last week, and out of 150 pictures, got only two decent ones (coming soon to a layout near you.) Here are a few outtakes.

On the run

Just a tad windyOkay, maybe really windy
Scrunching up the nose always makes for a pretty picture

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

How bad is it that I'm a year older than I've thought all year? I know - it's ridiculous. Last year I knew that I was turning 32, but somehow throughout the year I forgot and until about 2 weeks ago thought that I was still 31. So turning 33 this year is a bigger blow than usual! LOL When you're 33, there's pretty much no big celebration, but Brian did run out and get me coffee this morning, and I'm going to lunch with my group of Wednesday girls. I did a little shopping at Sephora's sale last week, and we're hoping to squeeze date night into Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate in a couple of weeks.

We finally made those Halloween cookies yesterday (it's only been on the schedule every day since the week before Halloween), and Camden loved heaping sprinkles onto each cookie. Rory couldn't quite figure out how to actually drop the sprinkles so she was covered in frosting, but had lots of fun!

I've been putting pressure on myself to try to potty train Rory after talking to several friends recently whose girls are younger than Rory and are trained or at least starting. It's usually obvious when she's having a bowel movement (the straining and holding onto the door for dear life are pretty good signs), and I always ask if she's going potty and she says yes. Well, in the last week or so, she looks at me and says potty when she's going. Over the weekend, I started rushing her to the toilet every time. It is very clear that she has no clue what I'm asking her to do, and now she cries if I put her on the toilet. So I think our brief potty training experiment is over for now.

Last night at supper, we were casually talking about Korea (I can't even remember what brought up the topic) and Camden said something to the effect of "Don't you remember when we were in Korea and I was riding with Mrs. Lee on the subway, and I cried and cried because I loved her so much and was sad to leave Korea?" Now, we didn't travel to Korea with Camden, and we've never mentioned him riding on a subway with his foster mom - this is all his imagination. He kept saying, "but don't you remember?" So we went through the whole airport story again, etc., and I think he finally got it. I have a strong feeling he's jealous about our trip to Korea with Rory. Honestly, this whole new sister/Rory thing has been tough on him. I think he feels insecure even after almost 9 months of having Rory at home, and I don't know quite how to "fix" it. I've been making extra efforts to be loving and affectionate to him, but age 5 has been a tough age for him (and us!).


This picture of Rory and Camden cracks me up. They love to play "bedtime" and pull all their bed stuff off and take turns going to sleep. It's about the only time they play and get along!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday

I actually made progress in my "project organization" yesterday - I threw away an entire garbage bag of stuff from our bathroom. What's even worse is that the cabinets are still basically full! How did we get so much junk? I may have to make another run through. Do you think it's too much if I kept 6 bottles of (unopened) shower gel? Brian had 4 containers of deodorant. Seriously. That might be too much information to share on the blog - it makes it sound like we're living in filth, and I promise we're not! :)

We all kind of dragged yesterday. I did get things done around the house as well as grocery shopped, but no one was really in a good mood around here. Rory was very quiet and needy yesterday. She's done this before, and it always makes us worry. She wants to be held, and if we're not holding her, she walks around the house with tears in her eyes, dragging her towel, and sucking her lips furiously (sucking her lips and a serious addiction to her towel is what she did in our early days home). Camden was just in a generally bad mood all day.

I spent some time reading the Bible yesterday on being content (yes, again) as well as reading more of Revolutionary Parenting. This whole parenting thing is hard and trying to raise your children to be people of character is even more difficult. And as a SAHM with a husband who has 2 jobs and is gone more and more (this is not his choice; it's just the way it is), I am feeling the heavy burden of being responsible for not only the physical care of my kids, but also the spiritual and emotional care of them.

Last night as we were picking up before bedtime, I sent Rory to her room to put away her phone. She came back out with her camera. I sent her to put away the camera and she came back with her drum. I sent her back to put away the camera and she came out like this . . .


. . . and we couldn't stop laughing.

It's a dreary day outside, and we have no plans so we declared it a "comfy clothes" day, and we're staying in and doing nothing except play (and hopefully take long naps!).

Here are the pictures from meeting Melissa and her family on Saturday. Unfortunately, the photo ops in a McDonald's playland after dark aren't that great, but we did take a few anyway!


The two Melissa's, Rory and Molly

I thought this picture was funny - no idea what Rory was looking at!

This is the best picture I got - it was impossible
to get them both looking in the same direction.


Rory and Noah

Rory and Logan - these two
seriously hit it off and were so cute!


I told you they were cute!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brrrr!

Fall (or winter?) has finally decided to arrive in TN. It's in the 30's this morning and I'm freezing! Not complaining, though - I love the change in seasons.

Our weekend was b.u.s.y! Brian worked late Friday night trying to get ready for his fall festival, then we had revival at church Friday night. He spent Saturday working on the fall festival, which was a success Saturday night.

I spent Friday and Saturday cleaning the house. I keep the house generally in order, but I've been bitten by an organization bug and am trying to get closets, drawers, etc. organized. I spent hours Friday and Saturday working in Rory and Camden's rooms and closets, and they look so much better. I'm going to tackle the bathrooms this week. I'm not a pack rat by any means (that title would go to Brian), but for some reason I cannot throw away make-up or bath stuff. It's about to all get tossed, though! I figure if I haven't used it in the 3-4 months, then I probably don't need it. Next up will be the filing cabinets. After two adoptions, we've got paperwork galore! Not to mention just the monthly bills and doctor's info.

The best thing I got to do this weekend was meet Melissa and her husband Greg, and their three kids: Noah, Logan, and Molly. We started the adoption process at the same time and used the same agency in Minnesota. They received their referral a couple of weeks ahead of us. Melissa was so encouraging through the whole process and while we were in Korea, we emailed back and forth furiously. They drove through Tennessee on their way home from vacation so we met up. Logan and Rory, who are both 2, were so cute playing together - they really hit it off! Molly was just as sweet as she could be. I'll post pictures soon. One funny thing that happened is that several people asked us if they were twins. Now, Rory was a head taller than Molly, clearly older, and they look nothing alike. I guess that people assumed two little Asian girls in the same McDonald's playland must be related.


Brian is super-busy at school this week, but it's a fairly quiet week for us at home. I keep wondering if life is supposed to be this busy, but I guess we had our "easy" time when there were no kids and Brian only had one job! It's probably only going to get busier as the kids get older. I do worry about Brian, though. He is so busy and spends so much time working trying to provide for us. I am so grateful to have a husband that is willing to do whatever it takes - I just wish he had a bit more time in every day!

One quick funny story about Camden. Right before we met Melissa and her family, I was giving him the usual spiel about obeying, replying to them if they asked a question, etc. He said, "Mommy, can I ask them questions? Cause I've got lots of questions." (Oh, yes he does!) When we got back into the car to go home, I asked him why he didn't ask any questions, and he said, "Well, the questions all fell out of my head at the playland."

Friday, November 07, 2008

More For Sale

I apologize to those of you who read the blog and could care less about buying clothes/carriers, but it's working for me so I'm gonna do it. :) Email me at camdensmommy @ gmail.com. Prices include shipping.


New Janie and Jack, size 12-18 months, $24

Gymboree, worn once, 12-18 months, $19

Baby Gap, new without tags, 18-24 months, $8

Like new Chunei, $40

Great used condition Babyhawk (standard size), $35

Cute girl: not for sale.