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23 posts from June 2007

June 23, 2007

Maddy's QinZhou Cousin comes to visit!

Chloe_and_pearl_smMaddy was excited to put on her prettiest dress this morning!  She knew that it was a special day because Chloe and Pearl were coming to our house to visit.  And this visit was extra EXTRA special because Chloe is from the same city in China that Maddy is from:  QinZhou. 

This was the first time since leaving China that she would see another child from her SWI.  Of course, she didn't know about this particular detail (and, at this age, wouldn't have cared if she did know) but we knew so it was really fun to see the girls together.  We just wish they would have cooperated and actually SMILED for our cameras! :)

Thanks Lori and Pete for coming to visit!   We appreciated all of your travel advice and experience and hope we'll see you again really soon! 

June 22, 2007

Giddy Up! (Wild Wild West!)


(click on photo to see larger image)

Our local Mc Donalds was doing a fund raiser by offering photos of the kids on a pony.  Our kids were highly enthusiastic about sitting on the horsey and the proceeds went to Ronald McDonald Charities -- so we were "in"!

After a light snack of Chicken Mc Nuggets and apple juice, we stood in line for our photo and this was the result. 

Introducing Gwenny - the Grumpy Cowgirl and Maddy the Contemplative Cowgirl!

Neither child cried but neither was super thrilled about wearing this silly attire while sitting atop an overheaded pony named "Snowy".  In fact, I'm almost certain that my girls were as excited about being there as Snowy was (which isn't saying much!)  But everyone was cute as can be so it was blog-worthy.  And here ya go!

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. sophieandsage.blogspot.com
2. catching butterflies
3. Cannon Fishbowl
4. Teague Adventures
5. Raising Cami Rose
6. 4 3=chaos
7. Just Keep Swimming
8. Chopsticks & Tabouli
9. Journey to Sarah Lu
10. Wo Ai Ni!
11. Mountains and Mountains & Oceans and Oceans
12. mexican chopsticks
13. The Happy Momma
14. The Princess and the Pea
15. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
16. The Ghelerter Twins
17. Journey with AnnaClaire
18. Diana\'s Twins
19. Allie\'s World
20. twinchatter

June 21, 2007

Michael's (old) room makeover

I'm still working on the FFFF for this week.  Until then, check out my latest project! :)

Guestroom_smI mentioned a few days ago that we were redecorating Michael's old bedroom.  Well, it all came together today!  This room will serve as a 2nd guest room until the girls take possession of the beds and they get moved to the nursery.  Eventually, this room will probably be for one of the girls if/when they decide that they want separate rooms.  Then we'll redecorate again to make it more girly.

So, here's the details of the room makeover:

The pictures ($65 each), green night stand ($145) and lamp ($45) is from Homegoods.    I love that store!

The little white flower arrangement was $9 at TJ Max where I also purchased the super cute bird house for $12.

The bedding is Pottery Barn Kids.  It was quite reasonable but I needed sheets, duvet, duvet cover, pillow sham and bed skirt.  And I needed TWO of everything.  So that cost about $600.  The beds are nice Serta pillow top mattresses and box springs.  They were under $500 each with free frames, delivery and setup.   Eventually, we'll get trundle beds for these mattresses but that expense is easy to put off!    I'm still toying with the idea of painting this room but can't imagine any color other than green.  The white paint on the walls is relatively new since we painted the room when we moved in last summer.  The ceilings are 10 feet high so it won't be an easy painting project so I'm gonna need some major inspiration (and then several cans of Jolt soda) to get me through it! 

Just for fun, here's what this room has looked like during the last 12 months:


June 20, 2007

Blood draw bliss?

Blood_draw_sm Have you ever seen two children happier about having had their blood drawn?

Here's the full story:  I had a routine physical yesterday and got a lab slip for some blood work which I carried out to the van and stuck in the door pocket next to the other FOUR lab slips that I've carried around for the last 8 months!  Those  lab slips were for Gwen and Maddy's blood work. 

We've not taken care of this even though we know we should have.  Our excuse isn't good, but it's honest:  We are wimps.

When Gwen was 15 months old and home from China for less that one week, we took her to see our Pediatrician.  She seemed to be healthy and happy but we wanted to be sure so we took her to the lab for a blood draw to check titers and other things.  IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER!  The poor baby fought for her life and five lab techs couldn't hold her down for the blood draw.  She cried like she was being eaten alive by polar bears wearing snowy white lab coats!  After twenty minutes, we gave up and took our traumatized little baby girl home.  To be safe, we just repeated all of her immunizations rather than subject her to a blood draw to see if they were necessary.  This seemed like a good alternative since our Pediatrician recommended repeating the immunizations anyway!

Fast forward one year to Maddy's adoption physical.  She's also happy and healthy but the Pediatrician gave us lab paperwork to have a blood draw to check for Hep B, aids, and titers.    That was 10 months ago and I was still carrying around that paperwork in the door of our van.   

When is the "right" time to subject your child to being stabbed with a needle that must remain stuck in their skin until all the blood needed for the test is sucked out?  How do you explain the necessity of THAT to your baby?  Yes!  I know we're wimps and should have just sucked it up and did what was necessary long ago but we (mostly I), just couldn't.

I used the convenient excuse that we needed both parents to be available for this blood letting.  I reasoned that we'd need Daddy to hold/comfort injured daughter #1 while Mommy held/comforted injured daughter #2.  But Daddy was super busy at work and it was easy to just keep pushing this task further and further into the future. 

Finally, Daddy took a business trip to Italy (damn him!)  (just kidding, Darling!) and Mommy was was left home alone with the girls and forced to come face to face with all those lab slips in the door of her van.    I was getting MY blood drawn today.   The big question remained:  Would Gwen and Maddy finally get their blood drawn too?  We'd be there and we'd have the lab slips.  What was there to lose?  It was worth a try.

Erica, our Phlebotomist, called us into her lair and offered us a seat in the chair with the little slidey shelf/table thing that swings around to support the arm that's being poked.  Mommy went first. The girls watched from their double stroller about 18 inches away.

Erica tied the rubber tourniquet to my right arm then counted to three and jammed the needle into my vein.  I smiled and explained to my wide-eyed children that "Mommy is holding very still and it doesn't hurt!"   Within 30 seconds, we were done and Mommy got the coolest Daffy Duck band-aid you ever saw in your life!  My kids were STOKED and wanted one of those!  Gwenny shrieked "My turn, my turn!" and was lifted out of the stroller to sit on Mommy's lap for Her Turn.  Maddy protested because she thought SHE should be next.

Gwen was eager to get the tourniquet on her arm.  She made a fist and was cool as a cucumber until Erica counted to three and jammed that needed into HER arm.  Then she let out a whimper while Mommy did some super fast talking about the cool band-aid that was almost hers!  Just 15 more seconds and we'd be done.  And we were!  And the needle was out and the band-aid was on and it was JUST like Mommy's!  Two big, round, tears sat in the middle of each of her cheeks as I put her back into the stroller to enjoy her "prize".

By this time, Maddy was howling from the stroller because she wanted a turn.  She sat in my lap and grabbed the tourniquet and tried to apply it to herself.  She kept saying "On, on, on!"  Erica was getting all the stuff prepared and finally was ready to draw Maddy's blood.  We needed more of Maddy's blood since we were checking titers in addition to all the usual stuff.  Erica counted to three and pushed the needle into Maddy's vein and Maddy gave a half whimper and then settled down and watched, in amazement, as her blood spiraled up the tiny tube into the vial.  She was so curious about it all and not the least bit disturbed by the fact that a pokey thing was sticking into her skin!   She didn't cry at all and, when it was over, she was thrilled to see the special Daffy Duck band-aid appear.   

The girls did SO good that Erica gave each of them three more band-aids!  Each!

When we got home, I asked the girls if I could take a picture of their band-aids and this is what I came up with.  They were very eager to show off their "prizes"! 

June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Dad_smIt's nearly 10:00 PM on Father's Day and I'm just starting to put this post together.  Such is life with two 2 year olds, I guess!

But that doesn't diminish the importance of the three men in my life that I'm paying tribute to today.  First mention goes to my dad.

My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I lived with Dad pretty exclusively until leaving home at age 17 (to join the Army).  My Dad taught me the best lesson ever:  "The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother".

I don't, personally, remember his relationship with my real mom but I very vividly remember his relationship with my step-mom and it was clear that he adored her.  I never saw or heard a fight.  I always saw lots of physical affection and respect. 

The first man I ever loved was my Daddy and, when I grew up, I was sure I'd marry him.  I vividly remember dancing on his feet, snuggles, love and cuddles.    When I went looking for a life partner, I wanted a man that had the qualities I saw in my father. 


I hit the jackpot with Andrew.  He's the most incredible man I've ever known in my entire life.  He's smart and funny and compassionate.  He's a man of of the highest moral character.  He's honest and fair and, as if fate could actually put a cherry on top of the perfect sundae, he's wicked handsome too! 

Every adjective I used to describe him takes on a new meaning since I've known him (if you've got a man like this, you know what I mean).  I'll never have to tell my kids how fortunate they are to have him as their Dad.  They'll Just Know.

None of Andrew's qualities are a surprise when you consider where he came from.  His parents are simply wonderful.  They've been married over 40 years and I still see a sparkle between them when they're together.   

It's my deepest hope that our girls will see the same sparkle between their mom and dad and will, someday, seek a partner with their Daddy's qualities.    If they do, I'll never have to worry that they're happy and loved.

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