Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday....

Well today I have no pictures of before (or after) but my tackle for today was....my toes! I gave myself the evening off, and went to the mall. I ate dinner alone, I shopped and shopped (didn't buy much of anything, but it was fun to look) and then I got a pedicure and foot massage. Ahhh, dreamy.
I did buy a few things as well. I bought tap shoes and a dance bag for my little dancer. She starts class in 3 weeks and I talked to the office today and got the list of supplies. Payless Shoe source sells ballet and tap shoes, go figure!
I got Jakey 3 shirts too - even a spiderman shirt that glows in the dark. He took one look at it when I got home and said, 'Mom, I LOVE you' Good to know that it is all about what I bring him!
Nanny had a better day. She even bravely took them to Target. They came home with coloring stuff and itty bitty pigs with velcro feet. They are completely smitten with her (and so am I!) It is such a nice change from prior nanny.
DH set up his tripod and his camera last night before we went to bed, and set his alarm for 2:30am. He got up to film the eclipse and stayed up for a while, trying to shoot the perfect picture. He said the moon was red.
He came back to bed and he calculates got a total of 3-1/2 hours sleep last night before geting up early to go to the gym and work out before work. He was only barely coherant by the time I got home - he had parked the kids in front of Mythbusters and they were happy as could be doing a 'Slumber Party'.
Oh, I also ran the Certificate of Citizenship over to the post office today so now Emma's passport is officially on it's way. Hopefully in 12 weeks she will have her Certificate and her passport back in our house!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The fun never ends...and a great evening!

Poor Nanny. First full day of work. She decides she is going to take the kids to the park, so they load up in the van. She backs out. She hears a scraping noise. The running board on the passenger side has fallen off except for the front. It won't stick back up. It won't come undone. So she unloads and comes back in. They play, they nap, they play some more. They go outside for a minute to color, and Vi carefully locks the door and pulls it shut. Nanny has not brought the kids. Little did she know what an efficient and safe child I have!
So when I got home all 4 of them were sitting on the front lawn. She felt awful as the house wasn't as clean as she would have liked (it was probably cleaner then I left it for her!)
So as a bonus, the passport office called. They want more paperwork, so I have to call them tomorrow and figure out how to take time to go do that as well. It seems that although the clerk who took my paperwork friday did not want my certificate of citizenship and did consider the birth certificate enough proof, the woman reviewing today did not.
Threw all 3 kids in the tub after that and ordered Chinese food. This week is a big week for us actually. This is the last free week before Jakey and Vi start kindergarten. Tonight is even more special though. I'm so proud to tell you that my dh finished college tonight! He has been at this for as long as I have known him, knocking out a class here and there. He probably has enough credits for 3 bachelor's degrees, but tonight he completes the last one to give him his diploma. He did a degree completely program through a local university here. During the entire 19 months he has gotten all As (3.95 since he got an A- in a class) and I am so proud of him. A lot has been thrown at him during this - he had a retina detachment, cateracts, a 5 car pile up and neck injury, a slip on the ice and a rotator cuff tear, surgery to repair it, adoption in China, the loss of his Mom in our home. Yet somehow through all that my guy kept at it and he did it! I have cards for him and more pride then I can even begin to share. Yeah HUBBY!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

An Adoption Video...

When Love Takes You In - Steven Curtis Chapman
Amy put this up on her blog while she is waiting for her referral (hurry up China!) and it made me cry. The one little girl looks so much like Emma....


Friday, August 24, 2007

Passport Time

Well this morning I drug myself up bright and early, and took all 3 kids to the post office. Doesn't that sound like a fun way to start the day? Although the rest of us have our passports, little Ms. Emma is still sitting with her Chinese passport and US Visa. Since we plan on flying over the pond next spring, we thought we better get a matching passport to the rest of the family!
For those of you outside the US, passport turn around times have grown to amazingly long periods now. Headlines say 3 months, but we've heard rumors of close to 6 months. Since we leave in 8 months, we figured better to be safe then sorry.
Getting a passport in a small town for a child who wasn't born here is an adventure. Thank God we re-adopted when we got home. If you are adopting internationally, when you get home adopt in your state, even if it isn't required. It makes so many things easier, and getting a passport is no exception.
The US issues one piece of paper to prove citizenship when your child arrives in this country. It isn't something you get copies of, it is a single copy. Had we not readopted, we would have had to send our lone copy off with the passport application and been without it for 8-12 weeks or more. This way I gave them an official Oregon birth certificate and off it went!
We got there 15 minutes before the offices opened, and we were 4th in line. By the time their office did open there were 10 of us waiting. I'm glad we went when we did.
So another thing done in our slow planning of our trip across the ocean. Jo, here we come!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things in my purse...
1. wallet
2. cell phone/palm pilot courtesy of my gadget guy, dh
3. pen
4. passports
5. passport photo of Emma
6. lip gloss
7. lip stick
8. ticket stub from the last movie we watched
9. change
10. notebook with list of things to do because I still don't use the palm pilot as anything more then a glorified address book!
11. a crumpled up dandelion that one of the kids gave me as 'my flower'
12. Some Susan B Anthony dollars waiting for Jakey to loose another tooth (Or Violet)
13. Emergen-C packets for my vitamins

Not a very creative Thursday Thirteen, I know, but I'm getting back in the swing of things!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keeping up with Nannies...

Boy, what a week! Last week we had to let our old Nanny go - it became apparent to us that her judgement on things just wasn't what we were hoping for. We'd given her some time hoping she was just green and trying to get the hang of a large house and three kids. Anyway, time didn't help, and so we moved on.
Today we had our new Nanny come give us a trial run - so far so good! It is so hard to switch, although I feel very good about this woman.
Life is pretty dull this week otherwise. Em slept through the temporary nanny yesterday (her way of dealing with stress is to sleep) and today she stayed up all day. We are all working like crazy. This weekend we have our last free weekend before school starts. I still can't believe my babies are entering kindergarten!
Oh, the big news of the day is that Jakey's first tooth came out today. We are all very excited to see what the tooth fairy has in store for our boy.
I'd also post more pics, but Blogger has been so SLOW about uploading recently that I keep giving up after I try for half an hour. Maybe I'll have more time over the weekend!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Family Reunion Pictures (finally!) and the County Fair

Kids at the fair
kids at the fair
Cousins on the boat
Violet at the pool

The weekend

Today was the last Saturday class that dh has to attend, so I made a play date with a girlfriend and her two girls who are the same ages as my two. Her older girl and Vi have been friends since they were two. We played on a big playground, had an early lunch, and then went for a walk. The two older girls walked hand in hand down the path, it was so neat. I love that they have had a long wonderful relationship already. Julia asked if Vi could come play for a few hours and I said sure. I guess they are plotting their first sleepover already, so I told Julia's Mom that we'd host next month if she didn't mind being ready for a late night drive. They seem young to be ready, but I trust their family and have no trouble with the idea.
I started some new meds today - T3 to treat thyroid. I'm on an incredibly low dose but it does buzz me a bit. I suspect that is why I'm still awake at midnight, you take it every 12 hours and dose #2 was at 9:45 tonight. I need to do that a bit earlier in the evening so I can sleep!
DH has been so busy and stressed out this week that he hasn't had a chance to upload pics yet, and so neither have I. I hope that tomorrow will be better for him. After his class we took the kids to dinner and a movie. We went and saw 'Underdog' which was pretty cute. The kids loved it although Em spent most of the time doing gymnastics on the seat between dh and I. She is such a nut. She has been so giggly and happy all day today. I think the fact I stayed home yesterday made her happy - two days in a row with Mom. Makes my heart ache that I can't stay home with them all the time right now. Maybe in a couple years when dh's schooling pays off.
Guess that is all for now...

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Night At The Fair

The local fair has come to town, and last night we adventured out to see the sights. Somehow we hadn't taken the kids to any of the previous fairs, so this was their first.
It was a good night for the fair - the high all day had only gotten to the mid 70s, and the air was clear from an earlier rain shower. We ate dinner at one of the long picnic tables erected near the midway, and then walked around checking out chickens, rabbits and goats. We watched a couple baby chicks work on hatching (by far the coolest exhibit at the fair)
We tried to get the kids to go on the Ferris Wheel but Jakey wasn't in the mood. I guess it looked a little too intimidating up close.
Charlie Daniels was playing on the main stage. You can buy tickets to hear the concerts on the main stage but it was apparent that you didn't really need to do that. The view and the sound from outside the stage area was pretty good (and free with admission) We watched one song but country isn't dh's thing.
We went over to the horse barn next. They had minature horses (verycute) and they had freesians and some beautiful draft horses. Jakey was terrified of the horses, but Vi and Em petted them easily.
The kids also got their first taste of cotton candy (big hit although puzzling to Em at first) I'll fill in with pictures soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sorry to have been MIA for so long - this weekend was a crazy busy one! Back in February we had the sad task of burying my mother-in-law - a truely amazing vibrant 89 year old woman. We all had worried for years that our family would drift away after that. She was the glue that held us all together we thought. At the party after the funeral, we all agreed that we needed to work hard to keep in touch and stay together. The first piece of that happened this weekend at our family reunion.

We all drove to a campground on the side of Lake Shasta in California for a weekend of swimming, boating, and catching up. We ate big breakfasts around the campfire, swam at all hours, and some of us even sang Karaoke in the evenings.
This is Emma, Glenn and I after a long day of getting dirty and having fun with our favorite baby girl!

This is Emma when I asked her to do a 'mad face'. Too funny!

We arrived on a Saturday, set up and the kids all immediately headed for the pool. Emma made an attempt at swiming on her own so I pulled her out sputtering. The rest of the weekend all the kids followed their cousin Curtis (age 9) around like the Pied Piper, from the playground to the camp and back again. Sunday morning we rented a pontoon boat and took all the kids out for a swim. We ate Tacos in honor of Mom, and stayed up entirely too late relating stories of the folks and of growing up.

I have to tell you, it was a great time. There is nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing your kids loved by their aunts and uncles.

I'll post more pics in a few days, I'm waiting for dh to remove them from his camera!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

I don't think pictures will do this one justice. We have 3 kids and 3 kids worth of toys. Over the last year things just started getting piled in the corner of the family room until it became impossible to actually find any toys. It was horrid. So here is the before....

And below is the after. Now we have toy chests that have specific things in them and nothing else. No more frantically trying to find something, no more piling! Of course I'm not showing you the rest of the room - this is going to be a several week long tackle!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Projects Update

Well we made great strides this weekend on the downstairs. The painting is almost done in Jakey's room, and everyone's dresser is installed in the correct rooms. All 3 kids even slept downstairs yesterday, which was great. Glenn and I greatly appreciate getting our room back!

This is Jakey's new room. He is the king of his castle right before bed on his top bunk, and he LOVES it. You can't see it from the picture but he has carefully put his t-rex to bed in the bottom bunk.

This is a shot of the octopus I painted for him. I need to put some suction cups on the legs yet, but it didn't come out half bad!

These are two overtired little girls in their new room, mad because I told them they had to go to bed. You can see the way the room came out though.
We also spent some time today sorting through the scary clutter that has become the corner of the family room. We sorted all the toys, took 2 huge boxes to goodwill and threw a ton of stuff away. I think they might actually be able to find things in the house to play with now!
Still need to finish that pile, the laundry pile and touching up Jakey's paint here and there. And of course the rest of the house is dirty because we spent all weekend cleaning downstairs!
Have a good night!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Progress Report

It is 8:30pm, and I'm whipped. I took off work early to get to work on the bed, but they ended up not delivering it until 4pm. Then dh wanted to go out to dinner at this all you can eat chinese buffett (it has sushi, where else can you get all you can eat sushi for $12?) and of course we were out of eggs and a few other staples, so I didn't really get home to work on the bed till late. I did do some more painting today - mostly second coats and touch ups. Tonight Jakey and Vi and I assembled the bunk beds. I suspect these will not be long term bunk beds as they are flimsy. They are fine for now with little kids, but when Jake is a strapping teenager it won't bear him I don't think. Then again by then he probably will hate the thought of bunk beds so I know we'll be fine.
We also had our piano delivered today. It is terrific - in good shape. I was concerned because it was so inexpensive and the light at the store isn't great, but we got it home and it seems fine. I need to get it tuned and then we'll be good to go. Assuming DH and I don't burn out in the morning we should actually get our house back to 'normal' sometime late tomorrow. We have date night tomorrow night too! Our wonderful summer sitter goes back to college in two weeks, so this is our last date night with her. I'm going to miss her! She is coming late so we'll have a late dinner and see a movie. I don't know which movie yet - I'm leaning towards Hairspray or some other chick flick but who knows.
When we get Jakey 'done' I promise to post more pics. I hope that will be Sunday at the latest since I still need to sketch out and paint an octopus. Tonight both the twins are in Jakey's room. Wonder how I'm ever going to get them to separate. Guess I could drag Em's bed into Jakey's room...although it isn't initially what I had in mind.
Have a great night!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I have to get Done This Weekend

1. Assemble Jakey's Bunk Beds
2. Paint the corner of Jakey's bedroom
3. Paint an octopus on Jakey's Wall
4. Drag the dressers around between the rooms
5. Go to Home Depot and have more slats cut for the antique beds
6. Go by the PO Box and pick up the mail
7. Help DH pick up the RV
8. Drop the 4Runner off at the body shop
9. Buy material to make a fairy tent in the girl's room
10. Go to Church
11. Get laundry caught up
12. Find the things that DH can't in the house
13. Take the kids and the dog somewhere to play

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wors for me Wednesday and other musings

Happy middle of the week! It is Wednesday and I desperately want it to be Friday. My sinus infection is still trolling along, mostly because I'm not stopping to take care of it, and I'm just tired.
So what amazing tip can I give you today? I think today I'll share a kid tip. Having three of them at home, I've learned a few things about how to get them moving. One great trick I've learned is the timer. At least at my house, if you say, 'I bet you can't get your room clean in 3 minutes' it is a challenge and a dare that sets the kids off in record time. My twins like to compete with each other which is part of it I'm sure. They often beat the time I suggest, and even if they don't I sometimes say they did because it makes them so darn happy!
Today is a fun filled day of work with another visit with my personal trainer tonight. Then a little more work on Jakey's room before falling into bed and starting over again tomorrow. This weekend we take the 4runner in to the shop to get the bumper fixed (dh fender bender last month) and I get a rental car for the week. I hope they give me something cool!
This weekend we need to finish the three bedrooms downstairs and restore our house to some semblence of order.
I suppose the other thing coming up that I haven't mentioned is the big family camping trip. I married into a huge family - my husband's mother had 4 kids, 13 grandkids and I don't even know how many great grandkids at this point. She lived with us for 2 years before she died in January. While we were at the funeral in Grants Pass in early February we all agreed we'd do an annual summer camping trip to try to keep the family together. We booked a campground on Lake Shasta in California, and we are all set to go.
I'm really looking forward to it. DH's mother gave me her cast iron skillets before she died and I intend to pack them so we can do a big taco feed, which was tradition with her. I think we are going to bring food for that and for an ice cream feed so that hopefully we can have everyone in our campsite each night for a while. DH has been frantically scanning all the pictures that his mother left us in hopes of having some CDs to share when we meet up with everyone. His one aunt, who now is in her 90s, lives near his brother in southern California. We hope she will be able to identify some of the people in these pictures! It also is a good way to preserve them as some of the shots are awfully old.
Guess that is all I have time for on my lunch hour. The work outside my office window continues, and now they have added breathing masks for all the workers. Makes you wonder as we are all sitting here with no protection except 110 year old windows that don't seal. Reminds me of the time a few years ago when the asbestos abatement was going on on our floor and they would leave white footprints down the hallway after they exited the area that had the black plastic taped off to 'protect' us. Gotta love state employment!