Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How About James??

What is you favorite color? Red or Blue

What is your favorite outfit? My sayings t-shirts

What do you most like to do? Play my video games

What is your favorite food? Macaroni and Cheese at Outback, cheese sticks and pizza

What are you going to be when you grow up? I don't know.

What makes you giggle? Riley doing his gymnastics tricks around the house

What makes you happy? When I am able to do sleepovers.

What makes you mad? When Riley messes with my stuff

What makes you sad? When Maddie won't give me a kiss.

Can you tell me something about China? I walked very far on the Great Wall of China

What do you like to do outside? Ride my bike and play catch with Dad

Anything else you want to say? I love both my annoying but sweet brother and sister.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thought I Would Ask Riley

I saw this on Jasmine and Thalia's blog and thought I would ask the same questions to Riley. Here are his responses!

What is you favorite color? Yellow

What is your favorite outfit? Gymnastic clothes

What do you most like to do? Play with the girls across the street

What is your favorite food? Tacos, bananas, pizza and oranges... oh and peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese

What are you going to be when you grow up? helicopter pilot or a baby doctor (OB)

What makes you giggle? tickles

What makes you happy? when I am laughing my butt off (nice, huh?)

What makes you mad? when James gets on my bed

What makes you sad? Daddy going to work

Can you tell me something about China? We ate Chinese noodles. I came out of my birth mother.

What do you like to do outside? ride my bike and play with the girls

Anything else you want to say? I like Captain Jack Sparrow. Yo ho, Yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Six Months

Madeline was placed in our arms 6 months ago yesterday. Her adoption was final 6 months ago today. How can that be? Where has the time gone?? In the past 6 months Madeline has blossomed and changed in ways we could never have imagined.

How Madeline has changed.
  • Madeline can now walk.. and run, climb and jump!
  • Madeline has grown 3 inches and put on 5 pounds!
  • Madeline wears 12 month size pants and 18 month size tops. She was wearing 9 month size in December.
  • Madeline eats EVERYTHING! She likes fruits, veggies, chicken, meat... she even likes calamari!
  • Madeline loves to sing very LOUDLY in the car!
  • Madeline loves to chase Riley around trying to kiss him. She will run after him and tackle him, never losing her pucker!
  • Madeline hair is now long enough to wear the cutest little pigtails!
  • Madeline enjoys "riding" her bike.hBeing outside is the highlight of every day.
  • Madeline asks to hav e books read to her.
  • Madeline has the biggest and loudest belly laughs we have ever heard.
  • Madeline brings a blankie with her all around the house.
  • Madeline gives love to her baby. She hugs, snuggles, kisses and rubs her baby's back.
  • Madeline worries if her brothers are not in plain sight. She loves playing with them.
  • Madeline likes to go into the pantry and carry spices all around the house.
  • Madeline likes to talk on the phone. She carries around an old cell and say "hi" over and over again.

These are just some of the many, many changes in our little Miss M over the past 6 months. There are so many more. She is just an amazingly strong and intelligent little lady who has filled our lives with love.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Big Weekend

Wow! This was a HUGE weekend! It was full of so much love, kindness and caring. You don't get one like this very often.

On Friday I decided to get in touch with my feminine side. This is a big deal for me since I have really neglected myself since bringing Riley home. His needs were just so much greater than my own that I just stopped. So... I decided to get my nails done. Now, that may not seem like much to you...but to me it was HUGE! It is a step in the right direction to treating myself better. I HAVE to do better. My kids need me to do better... and taking this tiny babystep was a start. Heck! I even made a hair appointment. I have not had my hair cut since December! I have dedicated all of my energies to my kids, husband, family and then work. I didn't even add into the equation!

On Saturday Jerry and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Whew! How can that be?? We have been together for 21 years and married, now, for 17. Those just seem like such big numbers to me. I thank God each and every day for finding the perfect match for me. I am not an easy woman to get along with... but Jerry.... brings out the absolute best in me. We went out for dinner Saturday night. My parents... broken shoulder and all, watched the kids. This is the first time Jerry and I have gone out alone since Madeline has been home. My father was one busy Grampy! It seems that Madeline blessed him with a poopy diaper. Riley decided he needed help in the bathroom twice! I think that is more bottoms wiped in one night than in the entire time my sisters and I were little!! He was a trooper. With my mother very limited in her activities right now, it was so wonderful of them to watch the kids for a few hours. They even offered to watch them again soon so Jerry and I can go out more often. They are such amazing grandparents... and parents. We are fortunate they want to spend time with the kids.. and not just be passing influences in their lives. They love all of their grandchildren completely.

Jerry and I LOVED the time alone at dinner. We sat and talked, laughed, cried... for all of our good fortune over the years. It was strange to not have to cut anyone's food, make a bathroom run during the meal or be climbed on. I felt strangely light. Jerry and I have not had the opportunity to just sit and talk like that in ages. After dinner we went for a long walk before picking up the kids. This was a much needed night out. It was perfect.

On Sunday we celebrated Father's Day. Jerry asked us all to accompany him to his mecca...aka Home Depot. He wanted to have us all with him. Okay.. not my idea of fun... but he liked it! We invited my parents over for dinner... steaks on the grill. We enjoyed a few hours of sitting and talking and watching the kids play with my parents. It was kind of nice to be able to give back to them after they watched the kids the night before. Jerry spent a few hours working on his new passion... the new golf cart. Oh my goodness... he loves that thing! He tells me he is in the accessorizing stage. Heck! I didn't think he even knew the word accessorizing!! haha After working on the golf cart he loaded the boys up and took them to the pool. The three boys swam for a good hour or so. I put Madeline down to bed and enjoyed a few minutes of solitude. With three kids that doesn't happen often.

It really was a great weekend.

This week should be a busy one. I am trying to keep everyone busy, active and happy this summer. Madeline continues her immunizations tomorrow... so nothing else has been planned. We are going to friend's home for swimming later in the week. We will hit the library on Thursday. I will register Riley for Kindergarten this week, too. Add in karate and gymnastics, trips to the pool and you have a full, fun, Summer week.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Mom

My parents have spent the past 8 months planning the trip of a lifetime. On May 26th they flew to Paris, France. They spent 5 days sightseeing and touring... taking in all of the sites and sounds... and smells and tastes. They loved every minute! The beginning of this month long journey was off to a fantastic start.

After Paris my parents headed to Amsterdam. They never thought they would ever have the chance to visit there. They walked everywhere! They sent emails and postcards detailing all of their adventures. The went to the Anne Frank house. Wow Dreams really do come true.

On June 2nd they boarded a Rhine River cruise. They sent video messages from Heineken and the Van Gogh museum. They loved the ship they were on. On June 4th the ship stopped for the day in Cologne, Germany. My parents went into the city to spend the day taking in all that Cologne has to offer. At about 11am... my mother fell. She didn't just trip... she fell hard. She lost her footing on the cobblestone path she was walking on up to a church. She landed on her left shoulder.

My father knew instantly that she was hurt. He helped her up the best he could, by pulling on her right arm. He finally got her to her feet. She was white as a ghost. She was hurt and crying. They returned immediately to the ship.

After having the ship doctor take a look at her, my mother was sent to the local hospital in Cologne. She saw two orthopedic doctors, who took two sets of x-rays. My mother broke her shoulder in two places AND the doctors believed she had completely torn her ligaments free.

Later that evening my phone in Florida rang. The number on caller ID said unavailable. I usually don't answer any calls that don't identify themselves... but this time I did. It was my mother. (She had to make the call since my father is deaf and can't use the phone.) My parents were on their way home. They were in a hotel in Cologne. The hotel had allowed them to call home for free. The ship had fed them and helped them pack. The travel insurance... which thank GOD they had, made the flight arrangements home.

On June 6th at 6pm I picked my parents up from the airport. My poor mother was so sad. She felt she had ruined their trip. They didn't get to finish the Rhine cruise or spend 10 days in Ireland... or go to Zurich or Lucerne. She was hurt and had to come home. My mother flew first class... and my father coach. The travel insurance would not put them together. My father had to go to my mother whenever she needed to use the restroom, open something, cut her food... fasten her seatbelt. He was the supreme helper!! I stayed with them well into the night, cancelling reservations they had made throughout Europe... cancelling EuroPasses, car rentals, hotel rooms... you name it. My mother needed it done immediately so she could go into all of her medical concerns the next day with a clear head.

On June 7th my mother met with the orthopedic PA here. Today she goes for a CAT scan. Tomorrow she meets with the surgeon. We will find out tomorrow when they will operate... and how many operations she will need. The doctors are thinking she will need a screw of some sort in her shoulder, a torn rotator cusp repaired and ligament damage repaired. She is looking at months of recuperation time.

The silver lining is... they will be able to go back to Europe. The travel insurance will cover the cost of the cruise, airfare and hotels to go back. My heart breaks for my parents... to have to go through this at all. My mother has NEVER had surgery before and to start now is not going to be easy. I am SO thankful that it is summer break here and I am off of work. I can make phone calls, run errands and distract them with their precious grandbabies. I am so thankful I live close and can help. I am so thankful it was "just" her shoulder hurt and not something more serious like her head!

Keep strong, Mom!!! You WILL get back to Europe. You WILL buy Irish lace curtains. You WILL see the world with Dad just like you always dreamed.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Our Disney Trip

Well, we are home from our annual mecca to Disney. What a great time!
We spent 4 nights and 5 days taking in as many sites and sounds as

On Thursday we drove to Orlando and checked into our hotel. We stayed
at Port Orleans, French Quarter. This is our favorite place to stay.
It is not a huge resort. It is smaller yet packed with everything we

After checking in we were off to Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Fort
Wilderness. This is an outdoor character show... experience and
dinner. WOW!! Talk about an amazing evening. There was non-stop
entertainment including everything from dancing with the characters to
a live band, line dance lessons, lasso demonstration, a dinner buffet
and all the beer and wine you can drink included! haha It was so
much fun for all of us. James was plucked from the audience to
participate in the lasso demonstration. He was AWESOME!! Riley did
the locomotion to Chip, Madeline screamed bloddy murder whenever a
character looked her way... but ate a ton of mac and cheese. She did
start to dance as the night wore on.

On Friday we spent the day at the Magic Kingdom. Riley about broke
his mother's neck again this year on the race cars. Madeline took her
first carousel ride with MARY POPPINS. Yup! Good ole' Mary Poppins
plopped right down next to Madeline. Madeline just kind of stared at
her... not really sure what to make of the lady in the big white hat.
James conquered Space Mountain with Jerry again. All the boys went
on Splash Mountain. Riley LOVED it! Now, we were pretty sure James
would love it... but not so sure how Ri would handle it. He thought
it was the best thing ever. Overall we had a fantastic yet exhausting

On Saturday we were up and off to Breakfast with the Characters at the
Cape May restaurant at the Beach Club. James and Riley loved it.
Madeline... hmmm.. not so much. Having those big headed things so
close was not her idea of fun. By the time the third or fourth
character sauntered by our table... she wasn't screaming... she just
kept trying to stare them down with her best 18 month old evil eye.
After breakfast we headed to Downtown Disney. Madeline climbed up the
Lego house and down the slide at least 30 times. She would screech
with excitement all the way up the steps. What a hoot! Riley built
little creations while James oversaw all the events. We met up with
Mary's friend Joe from work and spent some time chatting and talking.
After all of this excitement we had to get some swimming in. Whew!
By the end of the day we were just as tired as we had been after the
Magic Kingdom.

On Sunday we were back to the parks. We spent abpit 6 hours at MGM
taking in Star Wars weekend. What a hoot! We saw the parade and had
to have seen no less than several hundred people in full Star Wars
regalia. We went to the show Lights! Motors! Action! for the first
time. It was EXCELLENT. We highly recommend it! Wow! Talk about
heart stopping excitment. Riley got to meet the Yellow Power Ranger.
He thought that was probably the coolest thing ever. He spent the
rest of the day doing "power poses" for us. He is such a cook! We
ended Sunday by spending a few hours at Epcot. James wanted to shop
for Pokemon stuff in Japan and Riley lucked out finding a HUGE Power
Rangers display. We closed down the park and dragged our weary bodies
back to the hotel... of course stopping for some hot, fresh beignets

Today we got up, ate breakfast, hit the pool again and shopped at
Downtown Disney one last time before heading home.

It was truly a great family trip.

We have uploaded about 16 pictures from the trip to the Disney 2007
folder on the site. Check 'em out. We took over 200 pictures.. so I
did my best to just pick out a few great ones.

We hope this little update finds everyone happy, healthy and ready for
some summer fun!!!