Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall has arrived!

Fall has finally arrived! We have had beautiful (a.k.a. cool) weather the last 2 days, and I love it! Here's a quick picture of Rory wearing long sleeves for the first time this season. In hopes that the warm weather is gone for good, I cleaned out all the summer clothing and hung up all her fall/winter clothes. The closet is more than a little full so it better stay cool!

The number of kids with the flu in Brian's classroom is now EIGHT! That leaves him 12 healthy children in his room. So far the schools are resisting closing down even though there was approximately 30% of students gone. They even sent a memo telling the teachers that they are required to continue teaching new material while the students are gone. I think it's just time to call it a day and shut down so everyone can get well and stop sharing germs. That would be my completely professional opinion. :)

Rory and I walked yesterday with 2 friends from church and are headed back out this morning after we drop Camden off. The rest of the day was spent with dirty clothes and the washing machine. I think today's agenda includes getting yet another box of clothing ready to sell (Rory has outgrown some of her fall 2t things before she got a chance to wear them!) and maybe some quality time with puzzles and books.

Dani Mogstad: Party Animal

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I always forget how busy Mondays are until I experience them. We're generally tired out from Sunday (is that supposed to happen if it's a day of rest?). When Brian gets home, he generally plays with the kids while I fix supper, then Brian and Camden go to baseball while I take Rory to gymnastics. After gymnastics, Rory and I go to the baseball field to watch the last 45 minutes of Camden's game, then we all head home, try to push the kids through their bedtime routines as quickly as possible and then collapse on the couch. Thank goodness we only have one night like this (if you don't count church on Wednesday). We're willing to do it for one night - the kids both love what they're doing. But in the interest of sanity, we're not doing more! I'm sure sticking to that decision will be difficult as they get older, and there will be brief periods of time (such as spring baseball season) where it won't be quite possible, but we really are committed to keeping things as simple as possible.

For last night's Monday activities, Rory got to wear this big brace thing and jump super high on the trampoline (her teacher pulled her up with the rope - kinda like what you would see in a mall). She giggled and laughed the whole time. Well, giggled and laughed right up until she started to slip out of it! It freaked me out a bit, but she was almost back to the trampoline when she slipped so no harm done. I won't think about what would have happened if she would have slipped out while she was way up near the ceiling. Camden had a good game last night. They don't keep score for fall ball, and last night they didn't have 3 outs - each team just went through the batting order. I know it's good practice for the kids and it's not an official league for fall, but for all the parents who are watching, it's not quite as fun as when we keep score. :)

Here are a (very) few pictures from Rory's birthday. I've had more than a few tears in the last week or so as I realize how independent and grown-up she is becoming. Rory is such a delightful child and we love her dearly. I know every mother understands me when I say that it literally makes my heart ache to see how big she is these days.

I've decided no more Sunday parties. It is just too much to mix with Sunday School, church, and connection groups at night. Rory was exhausted because we went right through her naptime. I was exhausted from all the preparation. Brian was exhausted from all his Sunday work. You get the picture.

The Dora and Boots cake per Rory's request

You can see how tired she is here.
She had trouble being very excited about anything she was so out of it.

Definitely the gift winner - the scooter from Uncle Michael and Aunt Liz.
She's been scooting around on this thing in the house too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Birthday Girl

I'm operating on very little sleep this morning and have already gotten myself and the two kids ready, dropped Camden off at school, shopped for 2 weeks worth of groceries/supplies at Walmart and Kroger, made a bank run, unloaded and put away groceries and now I find myself with no energy for a blog post. :) So I'll leave you with 3 pics from yesterday and I'll post actual birthday pics tomorrow (these are the best of the bunch anyway).

This one's not that great, but look at how tall she's getting!
She is outgrowing new fall clothing before she even gets a chance to wear them!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grandparent's Day

It was Grandparent's Day at Camden's school today. Since my parents couldn't attend, we taped a little viewing just for them.

A few side notes:
  • Clearly, the teacher has been working with them because Camden's typical singing voice (especially in public) is LOUD. I know those of you who have been present at a Christmas program know what I'm talking about!
  • Camden says this is much more exciting when he's with his class because they have colored pictures to hold up. He is Pluto.
  • I was trying not to laugh while I taped this because Rory was jumping out from behind me saying "boo" trying to get him to smile. When he finishes, she says "good job, buddy."
And, of course, Rory can't be left out. She's been practicing this "poem" ever since Camden came home reciting it. The pronunciation of planets are a bit inappropriate but you get the picture. :)

Gram and Camden


Rory's third birthday is this weekend. How did this happen? Seriously, I can't believe she's already 3, although when you think that we missed the first half of her life, I guess I can believe it. Because we are currently living in a tropical rainforest, I haven't been able to take some pictures for her 3 year scrap pages (because they will probably be numerous), but better weather is supposed to arrive Sunday just in time for her birthday so maybe I can get pictures then (and you know she's got something cute to wear for them!).

Here is my random list for the week:
  • I almost stepped on a snake yesterday when Rory and I were out braving the rain and wet yard (a.k.a. tropical rainforest) to check the mail. The experience is enough to keep me indoors for several months.
  • Rory has reached the dreaded "watch me" stage. Camden started about age 2 and is unfortunately still in this stage. I heard everything from "watch me suck my sucker" to "watch me eat" to "watch me watch TV" from her this week. Good news - she's even more insistent than he is.
  • We had the best compliment on Camden and Rory a couple of weeks ago. A lady from our church (who is a new grandmother) told me that she hopes her grandson has a personality like Rory and Camden - that they are not only cute, but their personalities are so sweet and funny. It's one of the best compliments we've had!
  • Rory stayed with Brian's parents while I worked Wednesday, and they took her out to eat Chinese. For her birthday (which is Sunday) and Gramp's birthday (which was Wednesday) they brought out the exploding candle and sang to them. When I asked her about it, she said, "I was not scared, and I was. not. happy."
  • When Uncle Michael asked Camden what he learned at school this week, he said, "Colors." Michael commented that he already knew his colors and Camden replied, "Yeah, that's what you do at school - learn about things you already know about."
Friday is my iced coffee day from the local "coffeeshot" (per Rory). I'm going to ignore the fact that I've already had a coffee run this week before work on Wednesday. I am embracing my friend Russell's theory that it's a little thank you to myself for getting out of bed (at 5:00 no less) this morning.

Traci Reed: My 'Magination (coming tomorrow to SSD)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nothing to say

Since I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes trying to think of something to write about, that just might be my clue to show pictures instead of boring you with words.

Our newest curl trial. This one is our best yet.
And can you believe I took this picture before 7:00 a.m.? She woke up early and happy.

A close-up

Isn't it nice he's 6 and can smile on demand?

He goes outside and spends endless time throwing this baby football in the air

and then catching it

I might have created a vain little monster. I fixed her hair and she
immediately said, " take my picture, mommy."

One last picture

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Creative Correction

I've been rereading Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel, and one of the suggestions it gives is to ask your child to state one positive thing about the other child when he tattles or is negative. Since school began, Camden has been much more negative with Rory complaining about everything she does, saying she's just a baby, etc. So yesterday, every time Camden complained that Rory says "batmaam" instead of Batman, or that she was looking at him (oh, the horror!), etc. I asked him to tell me one thing he loves about Rory. Not sure yet if it's going to be effective, but it definitely annoying him so I hope it will make him stop and think a little before he opens his mouth. I know that there will always be sibling rivalry and discord, but one of my goals as a parent is for the two of them to be respectful with each other. They don't have to be best friends, but they do have to treat each other with kindness. I'm finding the book to be very helpful - I've read it before, but it was pre-Rory and as we all know, 2 kids makes a big difference in your parenting life and style!

I'm working this morning so Rory is headed to Gram and Gramp's house while Camden goes to school so it's a busy morning. They're not going to be happy campers when I get them up a little earlier than usual!

Dani Mogstad: Party Animal

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swine Flu

I realize I sound like a broken record, but enough with the humidity and rain! I am grateful that we're not in the area of Tennessee where it's flooding, but I am so sick of rain and bad weather. Where is fall? I think most of my problem is that I grew up in northern Illinois where we didn't start school until after Labor Day and fall had most definitely arrived by then. You'd think after 12 years in Tennessee, I'd be used to the weather by now.

Brian's 4th grade class has a confirmed case of swine flu and he had 3 kids go home sick yesterday. I kinda want to disinfect him as he walks through the door every day. :)

Rory decided to grace us (several times) with her Shake It routine during gymnastics last night and had everyone cracking up. She is still just loving it although her trampoline skills are sorely lacking. I've been letting her jump on the bed (don't tell Camden) and she's getting better. Here are just a few of things that came our of her mouth yesterday. I'm telling you, this girl is a character:
  • Fine. Whatever.
  • It's none of you's bizness, mommy.
  • Yuck. It smells like poop in here.
  • Yeah, it's no big deal.
Doesn't this sound like a teenager instead of a 2 year old?

I recently told Brian that I feel like we're just now experiencing some of the tougher issues that adoptive parents and their children must deal with. I knew the day would come when children don't just blindly accept Camden, when they notice he looks different, when they notice he looks different from his parents. No one has been cruel, but they notice and make comments and he's working through how he feels about this attention. Rory, at not quite 3, has asked questions and made statements in the last several weeks that would shock you. If I didn't hear them with my own ears, I wouldn't believe a 2 year old could possibly be processing what happened to her in Korea. In light of recent events in our house, it was timely to read these two posts about talking to your children about their story: Ten Commandments of Telling and Talking Adoption.

On today's agenda is laundry and night 2 of DWTS.

Rachel Young: Glee

Gina Miller/Rachel Young/Kate Hadfield: Caribbean Sunrise

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm not feeling very talkative this morning so I'll just leave you with a few pages.

Lauren Grier: A Beautiful Glow

Traci Reed: Happy Go Silly

Shabby Princess: Sandbox

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Parenting posts

I've recently read several parenting posts that spoke to me and thought I'd pass them along.

How to Exasperate Your Children - this one was a good reminder about some things to me.

Our Children are a Blessing - this one completely convicted me; I am so guilty of many of these things, and I've resolved a dozen times in the weeks I've read it to do better.

Meanest Mom on the Street - I can relate to this one, and she said it much better than I could about why we've made some particular parenting choices.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Curl Update

My list for today:
  • As we were checking out at the bookstore yesterday, Rory hugged my leg, looked up at me, and said, "you're the best mommy ever." I almost blubbered like a baby.
  • I am in full on cleaning/organizational/purging mode. The kids and Brian better lock their stuff away. I'm just saying.
  • We've been working (hard) on Camden's attitude. Let's be honest: he's more than a little moody and needs some attitude adjustment. I can't handle attitude every time I ask him to brush his teeth, blow his nose, or set the table, etc. We've got alot of years left before he can decide how often he's going to do those things, and I refuse to live with a child who complains constantly. Anyway, he's been doing better (after lots and lots of talks, rewards, punishments) and the other day I overheard him mutter under his breath as he put up a sticker on his reward chart, "take THAT, devil!"
Because of the aforementioned purging/cleaning thing going on, it's a short list this week. :)

Our second attempt at curls.

This is her "you better listen to me" look.

From our disastrous Labor Day park trip

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Rainy Day

I decided to take advantage of being a stay at home mom yesterday, and Rory and I enjoyed the rainy day. We watched Dora, played with her baby, read lots of books, and made chocolate chip cookies. I'm going to have to make up for it sometime, but it was a nice quiet day. Rory received a Cabbage Patch Coll last year for a gift, and I had put it away until she was a bit older. I got it out this week, and she has had the best time playing with it. You feed it a bottle and then it actually wets it's diaper. Well, Rory cannot keep clothes on a baby at all (they MUST be off), so she is just horrified everytime the baby wets on her. It is hilarious. She eventually gets over it and starts the process all over again.

If you want to live somewhere with a great climate, , do not move to Tennessee. :) Not only have we had crazy humidity for weeks now, but we broke a 100 year old record for rain yesterday. And we're supposed to get another possible 3 inches today. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Andrea and I have tried to walk almost every day this week, but we keep getting rained out. We decided if we're rained out today, we'll just hit the coffee shop instead. (I'm kind of hoping for a rain out.) Also on the agenda today is a trip to the salon for an eyebrow wax (only my second since Rory's been home so I'm definitely due), a quick trip to Clarksville to return a book and to pick up some mascara (since I'm out and mascara is an essential to my every day life).

Here's a page of Rory and Emma I scrapped over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


93% humidity is what we have this morning. Seriously. I am so ready for some fall weather, and 93% humidity just doesn't cut it. I put Rory in sponge rollers to sleep in last night (after recommendations from my bloggy friends), but it will be useless with this much moisture in the air. She was too funny - she thinks the rollers are the accessories and was very concerned that no one mess up her air when we hugged and kissed her goodnight.
Lauren Reid: You're Moody

Rachel Young/Gabi: Dance Your Dance

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Viewing

Just for Becky, William, and Xavier. :) Although if you're not family, her admonishing look at the end is worth watching.

(and clearly, it is impossible for me to actually take a video where the house is clean, but it's laundry day and those clothes are clean that you see behind her so I'm not going to apologize)

Powa in Da Bwud

Powa in da Bwud (a.k.a. Power in the Blood) is Rory's current favorite song.

There was a girl with a curl in her hair

I've been wanting to try sponge rollers in Rory's hair (which is as stubbornly straight as possible). Rory was pretty excited - she thought that the curlers were like hairbows and we would leave them in. She was quite disappointed when I told her she couldn't wear them to gymnastics. The curlers weren't totally successful. She had some curls when I took them out, but I need some help fixing it, and it was humid enough outside that they had completely fallen out by the time we arrived at gymnastics class. If anyone with little girls has any good suggestions, leave me a comment!

I think she was a tad excited.

Mommy clearly doesn't know what to do with curls.

The one-eyed fake grin

Monday, September 14, 2009

Running on Empty

Due to the fact that I found myself unable to fall asleep last night and Rory's little crib party at 4:00 a.m. this morning, I am running on about 4 hours sleep, and it's not pretty. Please ignore any rambling or typos.

Brian spent Saturday working as usual while I tried to pretend it was a day off. Unfortunately, moms of 2 and 6 year olds don't really get days off. We did manage to pull off home made pizza (which is becoming a Saturday night tradition) and watched Journey to the Center of the Earth with the kids. They were fascinated with the big bugs and dinosaurs (even Rory) and loved it. Brian and I just tried to stay awake.

Sunday we were able to attend the Selah concert with friends from church, and it was amazing! They are extremely talented and we enjoyed every second. We had 2nd row seats which made it up close and personal. Even though music is just about my favorite thing in the world, we don't attend many concerts (mostly because Brian is frugal and if it were up to me I'd blow every penny on concerts, cute kids clothes and scrap supplies), but every time we do attend a concert, I vow to attend more because they're so fun.

Liz was kind enough to watch Camden and Rory for us and then spent the night and took Camden to school for me this morning (she's a P.E. teacher at his school). I've been struggling for the last hour to make a 2-week menu and shopping list and think I've just about got it finished (does anyone else hate this as much as I do?). My house is totally trashed (which happens every weekend) and I'll probably spend all week trying to get it back in order only for it to be trashed again. I'm assuming I'm not the only wife/mother who gets seriously tired of this cycle.

Rory has gymnastics tonight and Camden has a game, although rain is in the forecast so there's a chance it will be canceled. (kinda crossing my fingers that it will - horrible mother I know)

I did scrap one page during naptime Saturday and I kinda like it. :)

Shabby Princess: Blossom

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy Friday

Between 2 trips to Nashville, taking Camden to and from school, and now another trip to Nashville to meet my friend Tina for lunch today as well as running some errands, it feels like I've lived in the car the last couple of days. And I'm headed back tomorrow to pick up my leftover consignment sale things (and my check!). Seems as if some weeks I'm home every day, and then the next week I'm gone every day.

I've been bad about keeping lists of things about the kids. I need to get back in the habit so I don't forget. Anyway, here are just a few.
  • Rory has decided this week that very kind of pasta/noodle/spaghetti is called "maca-noodles."
  • When Rory doesn't know the name of something, she calls it "that saaanng" with quite a southern drawl and a quirky frown on her face.
  • We received Camden's first kindergarten progress report yesterday. "G" for Good is the best grade you can get, and he received 13 out of 16 "G's." The other 3 were "S" for Satisfactory, which is second best. We were not surprised, but very proud of him. His teacher made a little note at the end that "Camden is always eager to answer her questions." Oh, yes! Our child would be the know-it-all, first to raise his hand child in the classroom. We've had this same note from teachers (including Sunday School) since he was 3.
  • Rory continues to have ZERO interest in cartoons . . . . unless those cartoons happen to be Dora (or Diego) and then she is absolutely glued to the TV. I have a sneaking suspicion she would watch them for hours on end. Not that I've tried it out (more than once or twice anyway).
  • Despite the fact that Camden was sick almost every weekend the first 2 years he was home, he has not even had a cold for almost 3 years. Well, our streak is now broken! He's had a cold ever since he started school 5 weeks ago. It's not bad - just enough to be annoying.
  • We're now on week 5 of dropping Camden off at school and Rory has moved from crying (which was pitiful) when we dropped Camden off to whining "Please don't let Camden stay at school" (which was mildly funny) to just a continuous whining every day when we drop him off (which is starting to drive me insane).
  • Last night at Mops, Rory got to go to the Big Kid class as she calls it. Actually, it was the 3/4 year olds, but I'll let her think she's a big kid. She had so much fun, and did not want to leave. When I showed up at the door, she looked at me like "what do you think you're doing here?" I have this vision of her getting ready for kindergarten - she will absolutely walk into that school and never give me a second chance. She is SO social. In fact, while we're having visions of the future, I have a feeling Camden is going to be our straight-A kid and Rory is going to be the popular, scare-her-parents-to-death cheerleader with a full social calendar.

Credits here

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Rory did so well at work with me yesterday morning. I set up her little lap table with the DVD player and she sang and played with the Dora DVD. She seriously has the entire thing memorized. I guess that means either she needs a new one or I let her watch it too often. When we picked up Camden from school and he asked how our day was, I told him that we went to work, came home, ate lunch, took a nap, then sat in the car-rider line. He responded with, "that is sooooo not my kind of day."

Camden and Rory have been so hyper the last 24 hours or so, and I've finally figured out what's going on - they're tired! Starting with both of them being up at the crack of dawn (or earlier) on Saturday, their sleep cycles have been off and it's catching up to them. They have seriously been so loud and out of control with each other. Maybe this weekend they'll get all caught up.

Rory and I are off to Mops this evening. She's excited because she gets to go to her own class and because Camden can't come. :)

I love this page, but the kids look like I've been starving them.
Have you ever seen so many ribs?
Dani Mogstad: Holiday in the Sun

Cinnamon Designs: Hello, Sunshine

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Game #1

I'm moving slow this morning, which is not a good thing considering I'm working this morning and Rory is coming with me. I've got a backpack full of fun things (including safety scissors cause that usually keeps her busy forever), a portable DVD player and her favorite Dora DVD. Okay, actually, she doesn't have a favorite Dora DVD - she'll watch any Dora you put in front of her. I have a feeling we'll be making a coffee run this morning after dropping off Camden. Maybe that will give me the patience to deal with keeping her happy while making sure I'm getting everything done I need to.

Camden's baseball game got moved from Monday to Tuesday so we were out late last night, but it was alot of fun. The boys all did much better than anyone anticipated (all but 3 of them are new this season), and we actually won the game! Of course, because they're just considered scrimmage games no one is officially keeping track (except the parents!). I can tell that Camden has matured, and he did a great job. He was up to bat 4 times and had 4 hits - not one single strike. He's back to playing first base and did a good job there as well. I think it's going to be good practice for him, and I like that it's just one night a week (although we did have an email when we got home last night asking if we wanted to add a practice night - that would be a "no" from us!). Rory's also taken cheering for the team to a whole new level. She repeats every single thing the coach says and then adds her own flavor by saying, "Run! I. SAID. RUN. NOW." She's not bossy at all, is she.

We had the best compliment from the dugout parent last night. She came over to let us know that she appreciates us because Camden is one of the very few who obeys in the dugout and she doesn't have to worry about him or keep getting on to him. We were very proud of him, and it's exactly the kind of thing we want to hear. (and I saw the dugout last night - it was a rough group!)

Okay, off to get ready myself and to drag the kids out of bed.

Zoe Pearn: Summer Sorbet

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


This is one of the first pages I ever scrapped 4 years ago. It's pretty horrible, and I decided I couldn't stand it any longer.

Here's the new version. Much better!

Lauren Reid: You and Me

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day

Why is it that I have to drag my children out of bed at 6:55 every school day, but on the weekends, they're wide awake by 6:00? It's happened every weekend so far (including this holiday morning). I just want to sleep in! I guess parents with children don't get to do that often, and I should just get used to it.

Brian and I had the bright idea to take the kids to Nashville to a fun park yesterday afternoon, and the kids were so excited. Unfortunately, it started storming right before we got there. We managed to get in about 10 minutes of park time before having to leave and then we spent a very long 45 minutes on the ride home in a crazy thunder storm that included hail. We were all glad to get home and wished we hadn't wasted 2.5 hours of our Sunday afternoon.

Brian and Camden are out fishing and floating the river with a friend. Between school, camping trips, baseball, and now fishing, poor Rory thinks she is always being left behind and is quite the teary mess about it all.

If the rain holds off, Camden's first baseball game is tonight. I can't wait to see him play again, and he is so excited about it. I think I mentioned that fall ball is pretty low-key. Well, this is how low-key: there's only one other team, and we're just going to scrimmage every Monday night for the next 6 weeks or so. It will be good practice for all of them I think. Camden was quite insistent that there will still be a winner and a loser even if it's just a scrimmage. LOL

Well, I'm going to spend the day playing with Rory, picking the house up after the weekend, and maybe getting some scrapping time in.

Traci Reed: Joyful, Joyful
Lauren Grier: Walk Along Side Me

Friday, September 04, 2009

Field Trip Friday

Camden and I experienced our first field trip today with rest of his kindergarten class. Field trips have now surpassed lunch as his favorite school activity. We went to the Nashville Adventure Science Museum, and were both happy to have Amanda and Tre as buddies for the field trip. Amanda and I talked scrapping and photography as we tried to keep up with our two busy boys. I took several pictures, but the lighting was bad and they were moving so quickly that none of them turned out all that well.

trying to lift a car
teamwork again - launching a parachute
I cannot stand how big he looks here
Racing in a sports wheelchair
my favorite picture of the day
launching a spaceship
it's no surprise that his favorite part of the day was throwing balls into the moving mouth