Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can you guess?

Any idea what the following is on my carpet? I will give a few hints: (1) it did not come out of any child or animal, (2) it comes in bottle, (3) it is sticky, very sticky!

the big blob
the trail all over the carpet
Do you give up? Or did you have a good guess? The answer is HONEY! Yes, probably the stickiest thing a kid could spill on the rug! Brian opened the lid, took off the white sealing disk, and then put the lid back on. The problem was that he didn't screw the lid on correctly and as he walked to the kitchen from the living room, a trail of honey was left behind! And then when he figured out what was happening, he tried to get the lid on correctly and it fell off. This is when the bit pile of honey got formed. And also notice that he spilled it across some books left on the floor too!
It took a long time to get it all out of the carpet. A lot of hot water and a lot of good old elbow grease! I had just borrowed a rug cleaner from my sister-in-law and he is so lucky that I hadn't used it yet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Allergies - Good and Bad

I was trying to think - Is it better to start with bad news and end with good? Or do people prefer to get the good news first and end with the bad? Hmmmm. I think I like bad and then good, so I will go from there!

First the bad news. Sean saw his allergist last week. His scratch test and blood work for milk were still positive but the size of the wheal (hive) and the levels in his blood had decreased a lot. His doc thought we should do a food challenge test in the office. This basically involves going to the office for about two hours and having Sean eat some ice cream and drink some milk. He gets a little every so often and they monitor his reactions. Well, he made it to about 20 minutes and then told me he had to go to the bathroom. I was in the room with Justin who had just had his scratch tests. He was gone a little to long so I went to find him. He was in the bathroom getting sick. My heart sank. I felt so bad that he was sick and so bad that he still had the milk allergy. After he got sick he got a cough and a stuffy and runny nose. Luckily they got him some Zyrtec and things didn't progress past that.

Now the good news. When Justin had his 14 month check-up, the doctor wanted to get blood work for lead and hemoglobin. I asked him to through in an allergy panel - milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, etc. I was worried since both Brian and Sean have food allergies and figured he would still only get stuck once! Well, they called, actually I had to call and then they called back, and said that everything was fine but he tested positive for egg whites and peanuts! No-o-o-!

They wanted me to see an allergist. The poor kid had about twenty pokes on his back to test for all kinds of allergies. And they all came back negative! The allergist wants to retest him in about three months. And he said the blood work was positive, but just barely. He did have high levels of IgE (immunoglobulin E - an antibody), which could be from seasonal allergies and apparently that can mess with the food allergy tests. The allergist seemed pretty certain that he would end up with seasonal allergies. I will take that over eggs and peanuts any day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Great Poop Fiasco

Yep, it is all my fault. I put Justin to bed in just a t-shirt and a diaper. No pants and no onesie with snaps. I have heard of the dangers of this, but it had never happened to me. I wasn't worried. Brian and Sean didn't do it, so why would Justin? I heard Justin upstairs when he woke from his nap. He was babbling and playing, so I figured I would let him be for a few more minutes! Big mistake!

Let me first say that even in the daytime, Justin's room is pitch black due to room darkening shades. When I open his door, a little light comes in, but it is still pretty dark. I got up to his room and from the lovely smell that hit me in the face, I realized immediately that he had pooped. I picked him up out of his crib and saw a dark spot on his sheet. Ugh! I figured that his diaper had leaked! I put him down and turned on the light. Yuck, a cute little plop of poop!

I turned to the dresser to get a wipe to pick up the pile. I then took his blanket and stuffed animals out to inspect them. As I was removing his bear and dog and blanket, I saw something else. His diaper! It took this long for me to realize that he had no diaper on! Luckily he didn't sit down anywhere because his bottom was really messy too! I will have to really watch this tricky boy!

So, I stripped his bed and turned on the water for a bath. This was 'fun' because Justin is now afraid of the bath - another first in our house. He screams and cries uncontrollably. I have to almost get in with him to hold him still long enough to wash him! He is screaming and crying and the next thing I know my Mom is upstairs in the bathroom. She had stopped by and the first words out of her mouth were, "What are you doing to that baby?" I just looked at her and then explained my situation. I was only trying to clean all the poop off, so I was not "doing" anything to him. She laughed and went back downstairs. Apparently Grandmoms cannot deal with crying babies, it breaks their hearts!

Well, lesson learned. Justin will never go to bed with just a diaper and shirt on again!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Check, Check, and Check

Brian and Sean are officially ready for school! Only a few things were required by their teachers!

One backpack
One tote bag
One lunch box
Eight large water color markers
One pack of antibacterial wipes
Six large glue sticks
Two boxes of tissues
Two bottles of hand sanitizer
One box of gallon size plastic zipper bags
One pair of scissors.
Three large pink erasers
Twenty sharpened pencils
One box of 2 crayons
Two pencil boxes
One yellow folder
Two old, over sized shirts for paint smocks
Twenty-four colored pencils
One bag with 25 pennies, 20 nickles, 10 dimes, and 4 quarters
One hundred paper plates
Three large highlighters
One box of baby wipes
Six marble composition books, labeled
One paper towel roll
Two boxes of tissues
One white sock (to erase dry erase boards)

I wonder if it will all fit in their bags for the first day! This time of year always makes me think of that back to school commercial where the kids are walking through the office supply store with gloomy faces. And the Mom is pushing the cart, throwing in supplies and kicking up her heels with excitement! I am excited for school to start, but also know I will miss the boys something terrible. It will be so quiet around here - I hope Justin can sleep well with silence too! But, I know they are ready to see their friends and have a change. Summer is getting, dare I say, boring to them. Gasp! I know it sounds crazy but they have the 'been there, done that' attitude about the pool and park etc. For me, I just have to make sure I have my camera and tissues for the first day of school. I cry every year...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Have No Words!

I was driving Brian home from a dentist appointment today and we hit a lot of traffic. I let someone from a parking lot pull out in front of me. As he turned onto the road, I noticed a D.A.R.E. magnet on the side of the car and a D.A.R.E. license plate too! D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. They have specially trained police officers that go into to schools to teach kids about drugs and violence. Our town has a cool car that is painted crazy and all the kids love it. This car was just a dark blue and it was a convertible. The man driving it and the one riding with him looked to be in their late 20's or early 30's. They were not in uniform but had really short hair, and I thought they might be police officers.

So, he pulled out in front of me and gave a nod of his head to say thanks. As we sat in traffic, I thought I noticed something strange. I looked again and sure enough both of the men in the D.A.R.E. car were smoking! And since it was a convertible, there was no mistaking it! I know, cigarettes are not an illegal drug and the guys definitely looked of legal age for tobacco. But I was just bothered by the mixed signals they would be sending out to kids who saw this. Yep, we come into your school and tell you to "Just say no!" and then here we are smoking in a D.A.R.E. car for all to see. I may be overreacting a bit, but it made me really mad. And the truth is maybe they were not D.A.R.E. officers or even police men at that, but I think that they should conduct themselves differently while in the D.A.R.E car!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

The following was written by Cathy Fishel in 2005. Someone on my adoption forum posted it because it had been in their local paper. I thought it was so wonderful and had to share!

Babies Come From Unlikely Places
Where do babies come from? They come from joy and commitment and love and confidence. They come from sadness and want and loneliness and loss of faith. They come from the afternoon or the early, early morning or the dead of night. They come from years of anticipation, and they come unexpectedly, at the worst possible times, in cars and at dinner parties and during ice storms.

Babies come from prescriptions and syringes. They come from frozen test tubes stored in the depths of medical center freezers. They come from strangers who want to give an incredible gift to other strangers. They come from experiments and transplants. Babies come with help and without it, from good judgement and bad. They come from heaven, and sometimes they go right back.

Babies come from contentment. They come from discontent. They come from every continent. They come continuously, without end. Sometimes they never come.

And this week, one baby, one very lucky girl, is coming from China.

In her little life so far, she came to a mother who could not keep her. She came to an orphanage who loved and cared for her, but who wanted to find her a still better place. Her name and little picture came to an adoption agency, who brought them to my brother and sister-in-law. She came into their hearts, then into their arms, and very soon she will come into their home.

This baby, this week, will come to a new town, a new country, and a new family who is giddy to the point of being almost sick with excitement. She will come to a new room of her own, stuffed to the rafters with gifts and clothing from people who love her sight unseen, and to a new swing set, a little cabin, flowers gardens and fresh vegetables, and all of the attention she can stand.

She will come to a place where the supply of Cheerios and hugging will never, never dry up. Soon, she will come to Christmas lights and Fourth of July fireworks and birthday candles, more and more every year. She will come to a lacy First Communion dress, sleepovers and toenail painting with best friends, and bargaining with Mom and Dad about curfews and car keys. And in time, she will come to the understanding of what it is to be a daughter, not only of the two parents she sees at the dinner table, but of the two other people whom she will probably never know.

Where do babies come from? They come from the sadness and want of a mother who must give her flesh and blood away. They come from lonely arms. They come from a lack of faith - or is it belief? - in the future.

But babies also come from the joy and commitment of new parents who never stop looking, no matter how far they have to search. They come from the love and confidence of an extended family who had unfurled its many arms to embrace a little person whom they have never met but love without measure already. Babies come at the worst of times that miraculously, turn into the best of times.

And this week, one baby is literally coming from out of the blue on a summer afternoon from the airport, from China, direct from the arms of an angel.

If you are anything like me, you had to stop after a few sentences and grab a box of tissues! I think this article is so wonderful! I cannot wait for Kathryn to be in our arms and then our home!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where O Where?

I have to say, Where o where has the summer gone? When the kids finished school for the year in June, there seemed to be so many weeks ahead of us. Then we got into July and the summer still seemed long. But August, August is a different story. I have no idea where the last few weeks have gone. And we didn't even go away anywhere to make it seem shorter. Nope, August has just disappeared on me.

Next week brings September! That means back to school for Brian and Sean. That means 16 months old for Justin. And that also means four months down in our wait for a referral! I am happy to see the referral time passing quickly, but would like to slow down how fast the boys are growing. In a way it is so sad, but on the other hand, it is neat to see them turn into little people. Little people that can have conversations, thoughts and opinions, and dreams. I guess it is true that the older you get, the faster the years go by!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sean's Plans

Sean was sitting at the dining room table today painting with water colors. I was in the kitchen starting dinner. So, we were talking back and forth and I am not exactly sure how the following conversation started, but it sure was funny.

Sean - When I am a Dad, I get to tell my kids what to do!
Me - Yes, you will.
Sean - But I have to get bigger first.
Me - Yes, and find a wife. Who will you marry?
Sean - Eeeew! Yuck! I don't want a wife!
Me - Well, only girls can have babies.
Sean - Yea, I know.
Me - Where do you want to live?
Sean - Here.
Me - So, you are going to get bigger and have a baby and no wife and live here.
Sean - Um, this is my house.
Me - Yes, but when you grow up you will get your own house.
Sean - No, I don't want to. I want to live here with you.
Me - You are a nice boy. What if you marry Grace or Alexis or Julia?
Sean - No-o-o-o-o-o-o!
Me - What about Zach or Noah or Luke?
Sean - Mom, they are boys!
Me - I was just kidding. But you need a wife to be a Dad.
Sean - Well, can't you just have another baby and give it to me?

I had no answer for this. So, if I have it right, he is never getting married, he will live home forever and he wants to be a Dad to my baby! Yikes! Good thing plans can easily be changed and modified when one is five years old!


This is Sean a bit later, he begged and begged to stay up until 9:00 instead of going to bed at 8:00. I really have to get them back on a schedule with school starting in a little over a week! I told his this is the last night to stay up late. These pictures were taken at about 8:20, he tried!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Animal Safari

On the way home from the party we stopped by to see Brian at work. The sun was starting to go down, and that brought a lot of wildlife out onto the golf course. We saw rabbits, beavers, deer, turkeys and geese! The deer were so cute - especially the baby ones with the white spots. The turkeys had to be one of the ugliest things I have ever seen! Brian, Sean, and Justin were able to hit a few balls. And Brian Jr. even got to steer the golf cart for a bit! He was a good driver, well when he remembered to look where he was going!

a few deer

look at those ears!can you see the turkeys?um, when in Rome...riding in the backmy guysBrian in the golf cartcool picture of a lake on the course

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

Happy First Birthday Carter, Brenna, and Emily! Their real birthday was on the 18th, but today was the party day! My friend Aimee's triplets are a year old, I cannot believe it! They boys and I had a great time. How can you go wrong with a pool, swings, a double slip-and-slide, and a bouncy castle? And three cute babies for me!

the trio



EmilyJustin in the bouncy castle
Brenna and Sean
Brian and Carter

And to finish off the fun day, Sean decided to try the hula hoop. I really cannot do it justice with words, so you will just have to watch. And be prepared to laugh. It's okay, I did! I could barely take the video! It is only a few seconds long, so feel free to watch it again to get the full effect!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Tears

I have been crying a lot lately. Well, not sobbing, but more like tearing up. Especially about the adoption. Maybe it is the emotions I am experiencing, some of which are similar to being pregnant. I am so excited to meet and see our daughter, even though I know we most likely have six to eight months to go! I wonder about how the birthmother's pregnancy is going and if she is okay. In a few months I will wonder about our daughter and if she is okay. I know when we get that referral picture that it will be so hard to know she is growing up without us. I have heard the waiting after referral is the hardest part.

Every time I hear about a referral or see pictures of a family united for the first time, I cry. I need a box of tissues to watch the "gotcha day" videos on YouTube! I read descriptions about adoption books, and I cry. I found a book about a little girl adopted from Korea called Katie-Bo! It is out of print and I hope to find a copy! I cried at the ride day in Atlantic City for our adoption agency. Just seeing those families together was enough to make me tear up I cry reading about people completing their paperwork. I cry for travel calls and visa interviews. I would have never guessed that government agencies could ever evoke so much emotion!

So, since I think about the adoption daily and especially since the birth of our daughter will most likely occur late this fall, I cry almost daily. It usually isn't much more than my eyes filling with tears, but sometimes the tears escape and wander down my cheeks. And they are always happy tears. Happy tears carrying the raw emotions of longing for a child. I never expected to become so wrapped up in this process. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful and exciting, just more emotional than I ever thought it would be, especially this early on. I am waiting on a letter from USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) and I know when I see it, that I will cry too! I guess the crying started last summer when we got a call from our adoption agency telling us that we were approved!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The start of another commenting-a-thon, International Comment Leaving Week! (IComLeavWe or ICLW) For more info click over to Mel's blog on the button below! The idea is pretty simple - there is a list of participants and every day for a week you must leave five comments on other's blogs and return one comment left on your blog. It is too late to get your name on the list but not too late to join in the comment leaving fun! And you might just get a few back too! If you are interested, you can also wait until September and get your name on the list of participants! Just visit the link for Mel's blog! Happy reading!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The eyes have it!

I put Justin in his high chair for dinner and got a rag to clean him up first. It was then that I noticed he had developed a green tint in a few places. Hmmm.

on his hands
on his feet
on his back
Then the conversation with Brian and Sean went something like this:
Me -"I wonder how Justin got green marker all over himself?"
Sean - "I don't know"
Brian -"I was not even using markers today!"
Me - "Sean, did you draw on Justin?"
Sean - "Nope. Not Me. Maybe it was Roc (the dog) or Daddy or Grandmom."
Me - "I am asking you again, Did you draw on Justin?"
The next picture was the face I got after asking him again. Judge for yourself, guilty or not?

Note the wide eyes and silly grin. He is definitely trying to look cute and cover something up at the same time. Not a good combination for trying to look innocent. How in the world did I ever think I could lie to my parents and fool them! Sean finally admitted to his art work, well sort of.

Sean - "Justin liked it and he was laughing."
Me - "So you did draw on Justin."
Sean - "Well, he told me to do it. I think he likes green."

And that is about as straight as an answer as I ever got out of him. Actually I don't think he ever admits to anything in a clear way. Smart, smart boy! I am in so much trouble! I hope he never learns to lie with a straight face! I think the Eagles said it well in their song Lyin' Eyes - "You can't hide your lyin' eyes and your smile is a thin disguise. I thought by now you'd realize, there ain't now way to hide you lyin' eyes."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Sean!

My, oh my! How is my little boy five years old! In so many ways he is seems so much older but in other ways he is still so young. One thing has remained constant - he is a big boy! He is wearing a size 1 sneaker - Brian wore that last school year and they are 2 1/2 years apart! He is wearing about a size 5-6, some 7 shirts! Another thing is that he is a screamer. I was really hoping he would grow out of it, but not yet. Even as a baby he loved to scream, if for no other reason than to hear himself scream! He screams when his mad, when he is happy, when he is excited, when he is scared, really just at any time. And I have tried and tried to break him, but no such luck. The screaming goes on. Ugh!

Sean is a smart boy - he knows all of his letters and number and can count to 100 or more by himself. He can draw simple people and shapes and jellyfish. We are still working on perfecting his name, but at least it is legible now! He just doesn't have the patience to sit and practice. He doesn't care to hold the pencil or scissors correctly. My joke is that Sean doesn't march to the beat of his own drummer, that boy hears a tuba!

Sean is so funny and has a great sense of humor. He picked the dinner tonight - hamburgers with ketchup, corn on the cob and broccoli! And brownies with chocolate chips for dessert! Yummy! At dinner he said, "I am five, that's old. I'm old as dirt!" We were all laughing so hard. You can always count on Sean to make you laugh. He is stingy with his hugs and kisses, but that is okay, they are just that much more special when he does give them away! Sean is a joy, when he is not driving me crazy, and I am so happy and proud to call him my son! Happy Birthday Seany Biscuit!

a birthday boy smile
opening presents
blowing out his candles

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby vs Twisler

Justin some how got his hands on a Twisler licorice candy. I found him after the battle and even though Justin won in the end by eating the Twisler, I saw that the Twisler did not go down without a fight. The red evidence is all over his face - and our carpet!!!

cheesy eyes closed smile

in need of a hair cut!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Eagles Carnival

Well, it has been a few days filled with the Eagles for this family! Today was their annual carnival fundraiser. The kids love to go to play the games and hang out in their Eagles best! The same coach from yesterday met us there and escorted us up to the VIP area! We got a free buffet lunch. The food was so good! Of course the boys ate rolls, soft pretzels, and cookies!

Many Eagles players were there too! They boys got autographs from AJ Feeley, Greg Lewis, Scott Young, Dan Klecko, Pago Togafau. And ex-Eagles Vaughn Hebron and Mike Quick. Vaughn Hebron had on a Super Bowl ring from when he played for the Broncos - it was so huge! He is now an analyst a local cable sports show that airs after every Eagles game. Mike Quick is now an announcer for Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcasts.

Brian and Sean won some prizes - buttons, stickers, change wallets, key chains, matchbox cars and the best one of all whistles! I have no idea what happened to the whistles! (ha,ha,ha) The weather was perfect - especially compared to the rain from last year!

Lincoln Financial Field

Brian and Sean

Sean playing the duck game Greg Lewis signing a ball
Brian playing the football toss game
Brian McNabb
Sean McNabb

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The NovaCare Complex Tour

Okay, tonight was beyond words. Amazing, nope. Magical, nope. Once in a lifetime, closer. Maybe all of the above put together might begin to sum it up! Brian, through his golf course, has befriended some of the Eagles players and position coaches. We were given tickets to the Eagles Carnival on Sunday, but had to go to Philly to pick up the tickets. The coach Brian knows asked him to pick up the tickets at the NovaCare Complex which is the Eagles practice facility along with management offices and a rehab center. He told Brian to bring the boys and he would give a small tour. The boys grabbed their Eagles jerseys and got into the car before I could blink!

We drove up to the facility and had to stop at a gate. A security guard came on the intercom and Brian told him who we were meeting. He told us to wait until he verified it with the coach. A few seconds later he walked over to our car and directed us to the correct parking area and the front doors. The coach met us in the parking lot and took us inside. I felt like a little kid again. There were pictures and framed jerseys of post and present Eagles. There was even a shovel on the wall that was used to break ground and it was engraved with the date.

the front entrancethe indoor field

We continued down a long hallway and we first saw the cafeteria. The coach told us that they bring in a caterer and like the players to remain at the site to eat. This prevents them from returning late from meals and helps them to bond as a team. Everything in the room had some sort of Eagles logo on it! There were pictures on the walls, the chair backs had Eagle heads, the trash cans and recycle bins had logos, even the napkin dispenser said Go Green!

the cafeteria

even the napkins holders have logos

After the cafeteria, the coach opened a curtain with a remote control and it revealed doors to the outdoor fields. There are actually three practice fields here. Two side by side and one running perpendicular to the first two. The fields were in immaculate condition and protected by a tall iron fence lined by bushes and trees. The coach said during practices, the security guards have to constantly get people out of the trees. They climb the trees to get a better look and to take photos. I thought that was too funny! The boys got to run on the field and had so much fun getting tired! Justin, as usual, threw a fit when it was time to go inside! Luckily the coach has kids!

Brian, Sean and Justin running on the fields

Then we went back inside and down another hall. There was an enlargement of the hallway into a small circular area. There were four benches each in a small indented area with pictures and quotes. The boys loved looking at the pictures and Justin kept saying, "Ball, ball!"

Brian and Sean on a bench


Off of the circular room, the hall split in different directions. We first entered the team meeting room which also doubles as a press room! It looked like a movie theater. But the chairs were leather with Eagle heads on them and were so-o-o much more comfortable! Even the carpet had Eagles on it! We got to go up on stage and pose in the area that the coaches and players do their press conferences. You might recognize the Eagles backdrop from TV!

the team meeting/press room

Eagles carpetcool photo

After exiting the team meeting room, we went down a long hallway with a series of smaller meeting rooms. These were specific position meeting rooms. We went into the special teams room and the running back room. The coach said all the other rooms were very similar. Each room had a huge projection screen. The coach showed us some of Thursday night's game. The computer is hooked up to the screen and technical programming people break the game down play by play. The plays with a short description are all list in spreadsheet form on the computer monitor. So, a coach can pull up any play he wants with the click of a button! He can then pause, rewind, fast forward and highlight things with a red laser. It was so neat! What a demonstration of technology!

Brian in the special teams room

another view of the room with Sean

the running back room

Next, we headed down another hall way! This one was lined with mats the alternated between the Eagle head and the NFL logo! The boys loved it! Justin loved the straight away to run! Notice Sean trying to open all the doors - no shyness or boundaries for this kid!

another hallway

The next room had the neatest treadmill I have ever seen. It was huge and submerged in water. It was close to the top and when the players got in, it lowered into the water. This helps players with rehab. For example, if they have an injured knee, then the water makes their 300 lbs feel like 180 lbs. I would love to have one of them! The room also had a hot tub which was of course really warm, but then they had a cold pool. The water in this one was only about 50 degrees. Okay that is not much warmer than my fridge! It felt like ice water, I cannot imagine submerging my body in that water. Then again I have no idea what it is like to play football in the NFL!

the underwater treadmillthe cold poolBrian waiting to be taped up!

The weight room far surpassed any that I had ever seen! There were so many machines and free weights. The coach put 10 lbs on an arm press machine and let the boys have a try! It was so neat. They were lifting weights on the same machines as the Philadelphia Eagles! The stair climbers, were actual stairs. Not the the pedal things in the local gym, these looked more like and escalator - so cool! Off of the back of the weight room was a room with a heavy bag, some balance balls, and a few jump ropes. The coach said that they bring in people to do massages for the players and they use this room for that too!

part of the weight roomthe massage room

The coach definitely saved the best for last! The locker room! We all just stepped into the room and our jaws dropped. It was close to the best thing I have ever seen. The players had so many shoes and clothes. They all had different personal items- pictures of family, things they collect, college memorabilia, awards, pictures of themselves etc. We slowly walked through and just stopped and stared into each one! I have some pictures of the individual lockers but wasn't sure if they would be appropriate to post since their was a big sign on the door warning the media not to enter!

not sure whose these are but they were a size 17!
(Brian wears a kids size 2)

a playbook - I cannot believe how thick it is

the locker room

Like I said it was an amazing night. I only wish that the boys were a little older so that they could have a better memory of it. Oh well, they will always have the pictures and our stories!