Thursday, October 30, 2008

Final Farewell to Fall

A friend and I took the kids back to our "new favorite place" this afternoon. School has been only half days all week and we all needed to get out and burn off some energy! Despite the forcast for rain it held off all day and we all loved being out to enjoy the beautiful changing colors. I am going to miss being able to go there once the rains start - which is predicted to be tomorrow. Wouldn't be the Northwest if it didn't rain on Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another busy day...

The boys bouncing in the harnesses. Paige loved the balance beam!

We took the kids to the pumpkin patch on Sunday. It was an absolutely beautiful day! The sky was the brightest blue and it was warm out even. Paige wasn't about to let any of that spoil her rotten mood though. She only wanted to be held or holding someone's pointer finger (preferrably mine). Absolutely NO other finger would suffice either! Since I did need my hands occasionally she spent much of the time screaming. The boys on the other hand had a ball on the hay pyramid and chasing the chickens! We had four great pumpkins in the end and Paige was asleep before we were home.

A few hours later we were off again to a birthday party at a gymnastics center. The boys were so excited about it they could hardly wait. The gym is pretty amazing with foam pits, a zip line, trampolines and harnesses they can wear to jump and flip around in on a long trampoline.

We had dinner at Nana and Papa's and finally made it home around bedtime. Since the boys had their first orthodontist appointment and a half day of school they lucked out and just stayed home. I'm not sure we could exactly call them lucky though when the ortho recommended "wiggling out" two of Trace's teeth and seven of Caden's! Of course "wiggling" is parent code for extraction. I can hardly wait but I think we'll schedule them at the same time to get it all over with!

So that's our life in a nutshell for the last few days! Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Soccer fun

We had an exciting day of soccer today! Trace's team has been moved up to a division 1 standing. Unfortunately they aren't ready for it - but they are too good for division 2. So needless to say they have started their loosing streak. However, Trace has done AWESOME! Today he was like a human shield bouncing the ball off his head, his chest (twice!) and his sides. When he was in defense very few balls made it by. In fact when the coach pulled him out for a quick breather the other team score 3 goals!! As soon as Trace was back in - no more scores! It is great to see him doing so well and feeling so proud.

Now Caden's game was completely different! We laughed SO hard there were even some tears! I'm not sure what was the most funny though; Caden trying to guard another little guy who wanted nothing to do with it. They jockeyed back and forth so much that the elbows were flying and if the goalie hadn't kicked the ball someone would have ended up on the ground!; Or the time the other team's goalie was crouched down to get the ball but missed it and our team managed to kick the ball back and forth over his head a couple of times and still NOT SCORE! It is so painful to watch sometimes.; We also had quite a good laugh at our ref. who blew the whistle and called a time-out to answer his cell phone! Oh, my gosh that was a riot. Apparently his parents were sick and he needed to be reachable. They also don't have paid refs for this age just volunteers or occasionally a dad. Of course all the attempted goals that just miss and all the goals from the ball rolling between their legs because they are in la la land! Aahhh... life is so fun sometimes. To top it all off, Caden scored a goal!

I'll have some more pictures tomorrow probably.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mama Bear

Why do kids have to be so cruel? Even enough to make a grown adult want to get even with them! I can't say that it is so much in response to anger though as it is to sadness. (According to my mother the feeling of hurting for/with you kids never goes away.)
Trace arrived home from soccer practice last night in an absolutely horrible mood! Come to find out two of the boys on the team were telling him he was fat and not any good. Oh-my-gosh that just rips your heart out to hear! He has been trying so hard to fit in too that he is pretending to be playing an online game (that we had said no to) just to fit in. We promised to re-evaluate our decision this weekend. I guess these two kids have also made comments to Trace at recess too. I just wanted to say, "I'll take care of this, don't you worry!" But he's ten, I have to start letting him deal with these issues and can't always run in to help. That's really hard though. I am going to have a real hard time cheering for those two boys at the games from now on. As I was mulling the whole situation this morning it sort of dawned on me that this is just the beginning of a very long road. Middle school kids will always find something to pick on and high school is just one large popularity contest. If we could just put them in a bubble so no one could hurt them it would sure make ME feel better!


Some of you may be aware of the recent finding of contaminated infant formula in China. At this point they are not sure how far back the problem goes. They are recommending testing kids adopted since 2005 for kidney stones. So just to be on the safe side I took Paige in to visit our pediatrition. Her urinalysis came back clear and it appears that her renal ultrasound is also clear at this point! Yeah! As for the long-term prognosis - we don't know. Nobody knows. Melamine isn't intended for human consumption therefore has had no long term testing done. My suspicion is that she is fine now and will continue to be. Melamine does not stay in the body for very long and since she is no longer getting it I'm not sure how there could be unforseen results. Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I didn't have time yesterday...

So if you don't want to read the sappy stuff just skip this one!
Anyway, I just had to look back on TEN years! TEN. Really. I still remember finding out I was pregnant for the first time, seeing the miniature heartbeat at 7 weeks, my entire day of labor...
Trace is an amazing kid and I am so proud to be his mom. I look back at pictures and think, "Oh-my-gosh! He was SO cute!" At the time I was to caught up in being a good parent and trying to get sleep. He was a cute baby though and an adorable toddler too. He used to sing Our God is an Awsome God but instead of saying 'He reigns' Trace would say "deranged"! We used to get a good laugh out of that one. The last couple of years though he has changed so much. No longer a little boy and trying too hard to grow up. He is my helper when I really need it and plays with his brother and sister so sweetly at times. With Paige he can be so tender (when he wants). Not one to complain he never said a word when Santa brought him practically nothing last year! Of course Santa had just 'misplaced' his real gift, Guitar Hero. Trace is always willing to sacrafice for someone else but will make it look like it is what he really wants. I love that I can talk to him now. We go places together and it is almost like having a friend along. I can also read him pretty well and get him to talk to me about pretty much anyting. He is a great kid. Smart, goofy, honest and tender. I can hardly believe we are over half way through raising him. I don't want to think about it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Double Digits!!

Ten years old! WOW! Where did those years go? We just had grandparents over in the afternoon for cake and presents so it was pretty low key. (We already did ChuckECheese!) Trace was thrilled with his Pirates of the Carribbean book and unlimited access card for the online game. He also really liked the new light for his bedroom. I found all three of them on his bed last night just having a grand 'ole time.

Paige's dedication ceremony at church

We were finally able to get Paige dedicated! Since we never really felt like we'd found a church home in Illinois we had waited until we were back here. Then we had to try and coordinate Rick's schedule! So this past Saturday at 11:00 she was dedicated to God. She is so truely a gift to us and now we have officially placed her under God's care as we raise her.

The outfit she is wearing is one we bought in China. It is the only silk outfit we bought and we intended it to be worn for her dedication. As time kept passing though, she kept getting bigger! I was so worried she wouldn't be able to wear it. Fortunately we were able to squeeze her into it for an hour! I had to put a t-shirt under it though to keep her little belly from poking through!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our new favorite place

I've driven past this place a hundred times and always thought it looked really pretty but never bothered to stop. There is usually one car parked on the side of the road and someone running or walking on the trails. No parking lot because it is technically just a part of the local college campus. So I finally stopped with the kids on Sunday to see if we could get a couple of good pictures. After reading one of the signs, we discovered there had been until recently an old pioneer cabin and a "shed" of sorts. So we decided to go check it all out. What we discovered is a child's (boys!) wonderland! The local creek winds throughout the property, there is a pretty neat bridge across at one point and tons of walking/hiking/running trails. It was getting dark so I promised we'd go back the next day, which we did. We have had so much fun exploring and the area is huge so there is lots to discover! I have a feeling we'll be spending plenty of time there in the future!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ok, seriously

I wish complete strangers would quit telling me how cute Paige is! Don't get me wrong, I want people to think she is cute and love dressing her up, but oh. my. gosh! I made the mistake of going to Value Village on senior citizen day and didn't hear less than 6 times in 20 minutes how cute she was! I always say "thank you" and feel kind of weird about it. What am I thanking them for? I didn't create her adorableness, I just provided the clothes! Not to mention all the attention it focuses on her - which is especially hard when the boys are with me. One elderly man who just happened to be Asian, pointed her out to his wife and said, "look at the little future president." Ok, that was cute! It isn't just the words though it is also THE LOOKS. I know we are being watched, followed with eyes, and in all other manner oogled over. Honestly, I do know you are watching me! I know there isn't anything I can do about it but I have gotten to where I avert my eyes quickly before someone can say something. Or I just don't look at people. Or I smile at them first then turn my attention elsewhere quickly. The funny part of this is that in the beginning, probably the first year, I almost sought out the attention! I loved showing her off and telling people about all we went through to bring her home. Other adoptive parents would complain and I honestly didn't understand why they wouldn't want to show off their children too. NOW I GET IT. It gets old. Really old. Sometimes I just want to do my shopping in peace and without being watched. Is that fair? I know it is asking a lot, I honestly do, and I know we chose to make our family "different" but uugh. So I guess if you run into me at the store, or another adoptive parent and there is no eye contact made, assume it's intentional and just keep going. I really can't believe I'm complaining about this. Most people only have good, kind intentions which makes me feel especially cruel. But if they only knew they were the 3rd, 4th, ...10th person to say something just that day! Oh, and don't ask me "Where I GOT her". Are you kidding me? She isn't an object! Someone actually said that to me the other day and I just wasn't quick enough to say, "On, isle 4, they have several different models." I also don't want to embarasse anyone who only had good intentions. Something tells me that in another year that just may change too!

I took the above picture last night and thought it was particularly appropriate for this post!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What we've been up to (in pictures!)

Trace and Paige hanging out during a brief moment of down time.
Paige was helping to slice olives. Look closely at her cheeks in the second picture! I'm pretty sure she ate more than she sliced!

Our unicyclist! He can make it about 50 yards or so at this point.
Caden finally sitting down to write thank you notes to his friends.

As you can see it isn't very exciting - or even remotely interesting. Just day to day stuff! Hope all is well with everyone else!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yes, we are still here!

Not that anyone has asked. I just thought there might be someone out there who keeps checking for a new post and is getting frustrated! Maybe.

Nothing particularly interesting is happening these days. We are just crazy busy right now! Only a few weeks left for a couple things then it should slow down a little.

Trace is now in unicycle club! Yeah, I know go ahead and laugh. My mom and I got a little chuckle out of wondering just where he would use this newfound ability. He is doing really well though and just loves it. I guess in the spring is a more advance class and if you take that one you have the option of buying one of the unicycles at the end for a great price. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Both boys have started a new Wednesday night activity at church called Rock Solid. They are both enjoying it so far.

With those two additions to our schedule it is hard to keep everything straight! Let's see...
Monday - nothing!; Tuesday - C soccer practice 3:50-4:40, T unicycle 3-4, T soccer practice 5:30-7; Wednesday - Me volunteer in C's class 2 hrs.,T unicycle 3-4, $.99 dinner at Applebees with grandparents, Rock Solid 6:30-8; Thursday - repeat of Tuesday but add in family Survivor night and me making homemade pizza during T's practice; Friday - Me filling folders at school in the morning; Saturday - two soccer games and lately at least one birthday party!

I just had to write it all out! If you even bothered to read it you are probably just as confused as I am! It all keeps us busy though and so far has been running pretty smoothly!

pictures coming soon!