I have nothing to blog about today so I'll just leave you with a quick Camden story. As we were on the floor playing Uno yesterday, I mentioned that I thought Rory had a dirty diaper. Camden, without a hint of malice in his voice said, "no, mommy, I think that's just your breath."
We had lots of excitement in our house yesterday - Rory used the potty for the first time! We've noticed that she's been completely dry in the mornings when she wakes up. She's started the whole stripping routine at naptime again and so when I got her up yesterday afternoon I decided to just try. It only took a few minutes, and she was so excited. She kept saying "big girl!" Of course, the candy that I gave her afterwards made her very eager to try it again and again and again, etc. She would sit down, wriggle her little butt, look up at me and say "big girl" with a huge grin on her face. No more success, though.
Rory is the most polite 2 year old you'll ever meet. She is constantly saying, "thank you, mommy" and "bless you, mommy" and "excuse you, mommy" in her cute little voice. Well, she's had a cold for the last couple of days and every time I blow her nose (which is approximately every 60 seconds), she thanks me. And every time she sneezes, without missing a beat, she says, "bless you, me." It makes me laugh every time!
We've all got a bit of cabin fever after several days home, and unfortunately, I think we're stuck here at least today. Rory's cold is bad enough that I don't think she should be out and about. I'm going to give Camden some extra TV time and maybe Rory will eventually join the cartoon bandwagon.
We were iced in yesterday and we're iced in again today. It has rained ALOT in the last 24 hours, and the temperature is now below freezing and it's changed over to snow. We don't get alot of winter weather around here! Brian is off school again today, and hopefully we won't lose our internet and cable access.
Looking out from the back door.
So I promised a crazy story. Remember my post a couple of weeks ago about the Walmart employee who was making comments about Camden and Rory? Well, I was at Walmart again on Monday (side note here: whatever possessed me to think I could go to the bank, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart in three different towns all in one big trip with a 2 and 5 year old in tow?). So, at Walmart again, and I actually saw that cashier and pulled out of her line! Well, I knew almost immediately that the new cashier was a goober. You know how you can just sometimes tell? The fact that he was practically hitting on the poor woman in front of me who not only had two small kids with her, but was about 16 months pregnant and was struggling with what groceries to put back because she didn't have enough money with her was my first clue. I mean, really, give her a break! So then it was our turn, and he was trying to talk to the kids and they didn't want anything to do with him. That's another clue, because Rory will pretty much smile or talk to anyone. So a few minutes into bagging the groceries, he turned to me and asked, "are they yours?" I realize many adoptive parents have gotten this question, but it was the first time for me. I answered yes and left it at that. He bagged a few more groceries, looked up, and said in a completely deadpan voice, "I guess I just don't see the resemblance." My blood pressure immediately shot up, but I replied that they were born in Korea in a fairly kind, but firm voice. What I really wanted to say was "seriously??"
I basically ignored him the rest of the shopping trip. Camden, was hanging out right at my elbow as usual (despite my insistence that he move). This is how he gets hit in the head with the canned grocieres on a fairly regular basis - he moves back up to my elbow while I've turned to pick up the groceries. I made him move back beside Rory, who was sitting in the cart, and told him to keep his hands to himself (because we all know how possessive Rory is of anything she's touching.). Of course, he doesn't listen and starts messing with the cart which leads to screams and whining from Rory. She is trying with all her might to pry Camden's fingers off the cart and completely ignoring my instructions to leave him alone. I finally reached over and tugged at the shoulder of her jacket. She looked over her shoulder, gave me a completely evil look, and proceeded to yell, "oooooowwwwwwww!" Can I just mention she has NEVER verbalized "ow" before! She then started fake sobbing and looking at me like I have just pinched the fire out of her, and for the record, I only tugged on her jacket!! It went on and on and on. I have a feeling that life with this drama queen is not going to be easy. We finally made it out to the car and she stopped fake crying after I threatened her within an inch of her life. As I tried to talk to her about how ugly it is to scream at Camden, she hooked her arm around my neck, leaned in and placed her cheek against mine and squeezed. Have I mentioned this is her new tactic when she's in trouble?
So, anyway, all that to say I may never shop at Walmart again! :)
I failed to mention that yesterday was the Korean Lunar New Year. One of these days I'm going to get my act together and plan an activity such as cooking a Korean meal or learning a Korean game or at the very least reading a Korean culture book. But for now, I did take hanbok (traditional Korean dress) pictures.
First, I thought I'd take us all back 4 years ago to this sweet baby boy. I miss those round chubby cheeks and wish that I'd had a better camera so that I would have more pictures (I did not even know SLR's existed!). Here is Camden on his first birthday.
And because Brian clearly likes to torture his only son, he actually made him put on that same hanbok. Camden was not happy. I can't say I blame him. We laughed hysterically, which did not help his mood. Rory was not so happy about this whole hanbok thing either (but look at how beautiful it is!). She was not happy with the hat (and I have no idea if I've got it on correctly or not). She finally cheered up when we told her enough times how pretty she looked. Honestly, this is soooooooooo her color. I always wished that I would have had a professional studio picture of Camden in his hanbok. I might just have to do it for Rory. And then the girl in the pretty dress went and put on a pair of Camden's camoflauge underwear over her diaper while I put away the hanbok. If you only knew this girl, you would be in hysterics all the time. Her smile and giggles are just completely infectious (and she is rotten to the core!).
Our first trip to the circus was a success! Camden was so excited he could not contain himself. He's a pretty big talker anyway, but he was breaking records for number of questions per minute. Rory didn't seem too impressed. She just sat on my lap and took it all in without too much of a reaction to all the craziness in the arena! I'll try to work on pictures for tomorrow.
All of my sleepless nights caught up with me Saturday and I stayed in bed or on the couch all day. Brian took the kids to sign Camden up for baseball and then took them out to eat at a local Chinese buffet. You can read about the experience here. It sounded interesting. It felt like a little piece of heaven to actually be alone in the house for a couple of hours!
Rory reached a specific milestone this weekend. On the way home from the circus, she called out, "mommy?? Nanden . . . . . . . pick . . . . . . . nose!" Yes, we've got another tattletale in our house. She's still at the stage where she has to really think about her sentences when they come out so they're very slow, and it's so funny because you can practically see her little brain working as she tries to get the words out.
I'm anticipating my kiddos to sleep in this morning. They were still up and playing in their beds at 10:00 last night despite the fact that they were down for the night by 8:30. Apparently church last night was quite invigorating.
Our Monday includes an exciting day full of grocery shopping and laundry! :)
I gave up on trying to keep warm in the computer room yesterday and just closed the door (hence, no blog post), but it's slightly warmer today so I think we're good to go.
We're headed to Nashville this morning to attempt to get a social security card for Rory as well as update Camden's card from "resident alien" to "full citizen." One of these days, the paperwork will be over!
A few random bits:
Camden asked me last night if the Spanish word for telescope was telescopio.
I caught Rory Tuesday sneaking up behind Camden while he was in time-out (for probably the 201st time that day) with a wooden spoon in her hand ready to spank him. Luckily, I caught her in time. Pretty sure that would have resulted in WWIII in our house.
I am not one for wishing my children were older - I'd pretty much like to keep them little, but these last several days I find myself (desperately) wishing for kindergarten. Camden is driving us all a little crazy.
We let Camden watch American Idol Tuesday night. During prayer before bedtime, he prayed "for the American Idol singers who can't sing. And just please help them to learn."
Rory has learned to use the phrase "oooohhhh, nassy" (nasty) quite liberally.
Our electric bill came yesterday and is about $80 more than usual for the 12/1-12/31 period. Interesting, since we had WARM weather in December and used wood heat on cold days. Hopefully this is not a new trend!
Here are a few pictures I took during the inauguration Tuesday. We had the TV on pretty much all day. Of course, while I tried to keep Camden and Rory from killing each other I missed the actual swearing in.
Camden ran for the microphone during Aretha's song (after asking incredulously "what is that thing on her head?"
An unscripted photo. They actually did quiet down just for a moment when President Obama started speaking.
So we ended up with an eventful weekend after all! First, the shopping (see previous post), then our vacuum cleaner died after 11 years of marriage (and it was used when we bought it), we had a night out at Logan's Friday night, then went to the Korean United Methodist Church (NKUMC) for an event they hosted for families who have children adopted from Korea.
This is the first event like this that we have attended, and while I am very interested in playgroups and other adoptive families, I am even more interested in exposing Camden and Rory to native Koreans and the Korean culture. The church people could not have been more gracious and kind to us (we could certainly take lessons from them in hospitality). The event was very well-organized and was amazing. There was ALOT of Korean food, lots of helpers from the church, some Korean music, a children's choir and dancing. The director of their Sunday School program sat at our table, and she was so fun to talk to. They were all so very interested in everything we had to say and so interested in our kids. It really was amazing. I don't know if all adoptive parents feel this way, but whenever I have the opportunity to be with Korean people, I am just in awe of their culture and their beauty (there were such seriously handsome boys/men and beautiful women/girls there last night) and feel such a connection to them and to their country because of Camden and Rory. I'm not explaining this well at all so you should probably read Brian's blog - he's probably talking about it too. Clearly, I don't know how to put into words how emotional I feel about this. We would love to attend this church to be honest. Well, if it weren't for the minor detail that Brian is employed by our church.
I'll be the first to admit that while I didn't love all the food, I did try all of it (which is quite an accomplishment for me). Rory, on the other hand, dove right into the chop chae and spinach/seaweed/green stuff and loved it! Those were two of her favorite things in Korea as well. Camden easily mastered the chopsticks! Brian, of course, was in food heaven. The church had several photographers and they are going to be posting pictures so I'll send the link when I receive them. I'm sure they'll be much better than our pics!
Camden loved the bulgogi and the fried chick/shrimp stick the best.
This is my favorite time of year! I love shopping all of the end-of-season sales and usually buy clothes for next fall/winter for Camden ( and now Rory). So today, after several days of shopping, I added up all my purchases - both what I paid for them and what the original price was and then averaged them out. I saved 72% on my items! My three most expensive items were a velvet Christmas dress for Rory (originally $68) that I bought for $16.99 from Janie and Jack and a pair of $11.99 jeans from Gap for Camden, and a $14 dress for Rory. Everything else was CHEAP from Gymboree, Gap, Janie and Jack and a few Target items. I bought the following:
9 pairs of shoes
3 pairs of leggings
4 pairs of socks
4 pairs of tights
9 pairs of pants
2 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of underwear
1 swimming suit
1 birthday gift
I averaged $5.23 per item, which is less than Target/Wal-mart prices and I bought them from name-brand stores). I think my kids are mostly ready for next fall and winter. Have I mentioned I love shopping?
Have I mentioned it's been kind of a tough week with the kids?? :) She's got "the look" down, doesn't she! He's ornery, but still pretty darn cute. He requested that I put this one with his "mean face" on the blog. Shopping with someone who shares my crazed obsession interest in cute kid clothes and cheesecake is a pretty good way to spend an evening! We had lots of fun and I found some good deals. Unfortunately the cup of coffee I had with my cheesecake contributed to me still being awake at 1:00 a.m., but it was worth it.
Brian, along with most counties in TN, is off school today because of the cold weather so he's pretty excited about a 4-day weekend (Monday is a regularly scheduled holiday). We don't really have plans but I plan to take full advantage of having another adult around and try to get some scrapping done - something I haven't had much time to do lately.
I know most of you Northern people are laughing at me, but it was 11 degrees here this morning, and that is just plain cold (although the high in Illinois where my parents live is supposed to only be -2 today and that's just miserable!). In general, I like winter because I like to experience seasons and not the same weather all the time so I'm not upset at the cold weather, I'm just cold! Somehow we've turned into a pioneer family and are using a wood stove so I've spent the last couple of days running up and down the stairs throwing wood on the fire (a phrase I never thought I'd be using about myself). It feels like we're braving the elements just to take a shower, which happens to be the furthest room away from the woodstove. Oh, well - I guess we're saving some money on electricity. At least that's the excuse Brian uses so I'll put up with it.
I'm meeting Mayme and Angel tonight at Gymboree and then we're going to The Cheesecake Factory for dessert - definitely looking forward to that! Did I mention there are no kids involved?
Rory's new word is "shuppert?" As in, when are we having supper? I've heard this dozens of times in the last two days. Camden has a bit of cabin fever and is driving me a bit bonkers. If it weren't so cold out, I'd send him outside to run around the house a few times. Since that's not possible, I'm spending more time than usual playing games, reading books, and attempting Lego creations in an effort to keep the peace (and sanity) at our house.
There's nothing like grocery shopping in the frigid weather, wind blowing fiercely, snow swirling around your head, 5 year old literally running circles around your cart Kung Fu Panda-ing the whole way, 2 year old begging "my walk," accidentally hitting your 5 year old in the head with a bag of canned goods, having the cashier say through her tobacco in the side of her cheek, "you shore do make pretty babies," finding a pack of toilet paper under your cart that you forgot to pay for, running back inside to pay for it only to discover you left your purse in the car to make for an exciting grocery trip. Sometimes I think it might be better to just shop at night after they go to bed. It was kinda one of "those days" all day yesterday.
I was planning to take Rory to apply for her passport this afternoon. It's a good thing I decided to check on the regulations first because they require BOTH parents to be present. I'm going to have to find out what their hours are and Brian might have to leave work early one day next week. We've got to get it done because we need the passport first before we apply for the social security number, and we cannot claim her on our 2008 taxes without the social security number!
I worked again yesterday (just half a day). Once again, it as good to get out of the house and work, but I am looking forward to going back to a regular SAHM schedule (a.k.a. not leaving the house at an ungodly hour and staying in your p.j.'s as long as you want).
While I worked yesterday, the kiddos stayed with Mayme and Emma. You can see pics on her blog. If you read the paragraph below the pics, you'll see the "bossy" word thrown around. It's true - Rory is very bossy! Unfortunately, I haven't quite figured out how to say "worry about you're doing instead of everyone else" in 2-year old language. They had a really good time. Rory walked in, saw the big-screen TV and mountain of toys and completely forgot about me. It's the first time she hasn't cried when I've left her (much less just leave the room) in months. She didn't move off of my lap yesterday afternoon and evening, though, so I know she missed me.
Those of you in the adoption world have probably already seen this blog and heard about Abby, but just in case you haven't - she is a 4-year old little girl (adopted from Guatemala as an infant) who has a rare, agressive form of leukemia. She is at a crucial point in her treatment. I copied this paragraph from her dad's post yesterday that I thought was so interesting. By asking people to join a prayer effort, we bring God joy as He sees His children care for each other; we demonstrate to the world that we are knit together in love and have concern for those in our Christian family we have never even met; we witness to others who are without faith or weak in faith as the widening prayer circle encompasses those in different phases of spiritual growth (or have none). I've thought about this concept over and over in the last day and a half, and it looks at prayer in a different light than I've really thought about before. Obviously, my mind went directly to Christian when I read this. There are just so many children and families who are going through unbelievably hard circumstances. I have not scrapped or taken cute pics, but I hate posting without something, so I'll leave you with this picture of Rory on Sunday showing us her cheesy smile.
My day at work yesterday was so good. It felt as if I'd been gone for a weekend, rather than 10 months! I've spent most of my adult life either attending the college or working there and it kinda felt like going back home. Unfortunately, the poor woman who is replacing me is a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but I know she'll catch on soon. I'm going back Monday to help again and maybe another day or two in the coming weeks. I was also able to have a fabulous lunch with my friend, and it was wonderful to spend time with her. Rory did just fine at Gram and Gramp's house although she was very clingy and wouldn't let Brian near her. We heard "no, mommy do" ALOT. She also fell asleep at supper - it was pitiful (and also really funny). She literally could not hold her head up. Since we're such compassionate parents, we pulled out the camera so expect a video soon. She was in bed at 6:45 and Camden by 7:00!
Our weekend plans pretty much consist of nothing except watching the Titans game tomorrow. I am not a big football fan (okay, not a fan at all unless I'm watching Friday Night Lights), but I've agreed to make Brian happy by pretending I'm really excited about the big play-off game tomorrow afternoon.
Some random things:
You should not go to the grocery store when you are (a) hungry, (b) cranky, (3) really tired. I went in for mayo and sugar, and walked out of the store $18 poorer with lots of food that's really bad for you.
Why is it that my 2 year begs to walk the minute she hears the word "go bye-bye" but my 5.5 year old wants to ride in the cart?
Along the same lines, why is she incapable of moving from room to room unless she's on my hip at home, but the moment we hit a parking lot with moving vehicles, she MUST walk.
I found Rory trying to climb up onto the bathroom counter this morning by piling up the living room pillows on the floor.
I may have to ban Kung Fu Panda from our movie collection. Camden wants to do nothing but Kung Fu, and I'm tired of all the screams when he accidentally knocks Rory over. I think he's seen the movie 3 times in the last 2 days.
The kids slept for over 3 hours today at naptime, so I scrapped! You can find the kit tomorrow at SSD.
I got to spend the morning visiting with Andrea (otherwise known as Christian's mom), drinking coffee, and it was almost kid-free! Camden watched cartoons while Rory played endlessly with a bucket of play-doh toys.
I'm headed back to work tomorrow to help train my replacement (yes, ten months later). I was looking forward to it, but the closer I get to having to have myself dressed up, fixed up, made up and two kids out the door by 7:20 (did I mention none of us are morning people?) the more nervous I get. It's amazing how after 12 years of work, I'm out of practice after only 10 months. It will be good to see my work friends and to actually use my mind a bit! It's the longest stretch that I've ever left Rory so I'm having a bit of anxiety over that, but she will most likely be fine. After patting her to sleep for a week or so before Christmas, we've had 2 weeks of blissful sleep, but she had problems last night and again today at naptime so I'm really hoping we're not taking two steps back. It's almost as if she can sense I'm leaving because she's been quite clingy this week.
Other than that, things are pretty slow around here. The kids came in yesterday with lots of dolls and informed me that they have 5 kids (notice that all dolls with removable clothes are naked - a favorite past time of Rory's). Apparently, I'm going to be a busy grandma.
First things first - Christian's surgery was successful (this is the same one they tried to do last week) and his pain was much, much better. They should find out the biopsy results in the next day or two. Thank you for your prayers.
So I discovered yesterday that I possibly am addicted to my computer. I couldn't believe how cut off from the world I felt! Between my on-line adoption friends, scrapping friends, email, not to mention just the general information that I use (directions, phone numbers, bank account, etc.) the Internet for, it felt quite strange, but a good reminder that maybe I'm spending too much time on the computer.
Because we ran lots of errands yesterday (both in the morning and evening), this is really our first day back to normal. The kids, especially Rory, are having a bit of trouble getting back into an independent play routine. Hopefully they'll get back in the groove soon. Camden requested a Pajama Day and considering that it's gray, foggy, raining and 45 degrees, I happily complied. We're planning to watch Kung Fu Panda at 10:00, and Camden has been giving me a minute-by minute (literally) update on the time.
Today our church family and friends are having a day of fasting and prayer for Christian. He had surgery last Monday to remove kidney stones, but the doctors were unable to remove them and he was in uncontrollable pain. He goes in again today for a second surgery for the stones as well as another bone marrow biopsy to see if his cancer is still in remission. This is a critical time for Christian - it will determine when and if he can have his bone marrow transplant. We are praying specifically that the biopsy will show he is in remission and also that his pain will be manageable after his surgery. I am taking a break from all computer/Internet/scrapping time today in order to have more time to pray and focus on Christian and his family.
You can read Christian's journal here and leave him a note.
Not sure if I've ever mentioned our connection to Christian. He is a 16-year old in Brian's youth group from church. Brian and I first started teaching Christian in children's church when he was 4 years old and Brian has been his teacher in some fashion ever since. We knew he was special long before he began this journey with leukemia, but he has proven it over and over during this difficult time. Please take time to pray for him today.
As I type, Rory is walking around the house with Batman in one hand and a water gun in the other pointing it at me saying "gosh you." (a.k.a. I got you) I think she just might have an older brother influencing her toy choices.
I'm having trouble blogging this week since our schedule is all wonky (not to mention how slow my computer is running these days). We've basically had no schedule, which has been fun, although the kids are starting to feel the effects of crazy nap and bed times. I'm a pretty much a fan of routine/schedule and am feeling the effects of no schedule as well. (Wow! That's alot of "schedule" for one paragraph!)
We rang in the New Year with a church game night, and it was fun. We were all home by 10:00, and Brian went to bed, but I stayed up well past midnight. Yesterday we took the kids to see The Tale of Desperaux, but the movie time was wrong on their website so we ended up seeing Madagascar instead. It was Rory's first movie, and she was pretty enthralled with the whole experience. She lounged on my lap eating popcorn and dancing to the music. We started off with a napkin full of popcorn for her, and every time I would refill the napkin, she would swat my hand away because she thought I was eating her popcorn instead of giving her more. When everyone else was finished, we just let her have the bag, and she would just push my hand away and say, "no, mommy" if I tried to eat more.
Rory woke up with a serious cold yesterday and seems to be a bit worse this morning. So far no fever, and I'm hoping it stays that way. I do think she's going to have to miss the birthday party we were going to tonight. Camden and Brian will have to represent the Lewis family.
Just a few things that are happening around our house these days:
Rory walks around asking, "doing, Daddy?" over and over and over.
Camden has pretty much given up naps. I know that I've said that before, but it's true this time. He still has to spend some quiet time in his room, but it's been over a week since he's actually slept.
Rory has become a serious daddy's girl these past two weeks while he's been home. I'm not happy about it! We've noticed that whoever gets her out of bed in the morning has her heart all day long.
We heard this from Camden, "Look at me, daddy! I couldn't reach the cups so I just went into the bathroom and got the one from the tub." Yes, he was drinking out of the bath cup. Disgusting! He was so proud of himself for solving the problem on his own, though.
Rory continues to undress herself more and more often at naptime. I thought I had the problem solved by moving her to one-piece p.j.'s, but she figured them out. Yesterday, she took a FOUR hour nap with no clothes on. Surprisingly enough, she didn't wet the bed either. Last night I caught her in the act of taking the p.j.'s off. She only does this in bed. Any suggestions on how to stop her? It's only a matter of time before we have serious potty accidents in the bed.
"mommy, come here" while crooking her finger at me is happening alot these days. It was cute the first couple of times. She is quite insistent!
I was scrapping a picture of Camden when he wore his shirt and tie from Gram and Brian asked him "who is this handsome devil." Camden replied, "don't call me a devil - it reminds me of sin."
"Hush, mommy," "Stop, Camden," "no, mommy, my talk" etc., are becoming staple phrases around our house from Rory. She is going to be a challenging child to say the least.
Rory loves the phrase, "Ready, Set, Go." Unfortunately, "set" comes out like sh**.
Camden loves all things Star-Wars. Of course, he's never seen the movies, but apparently you can learn everything necessary from the little Lego Star-Wars set.
I've decided on no New Year's resolutions for 2009. I am going to set some specific goals for each month, though. Here are January's:
Work out 5 times a week (using Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD)
One final, but very important thing for today. We're having a day of prayer and fasting for Christian on Monday. You can read more about it on Brian's blog.
I have not scrapped nearly as much as I thought I would during this break. My computer is almost maxed out and running very slowly, which is so frustrating! I did count up all the pages that I've printed this year that still weren't in an album - 240 - so I think it's okay if I'm not scrapping every day!