Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?????

I will soon be a stereotype. We may be getting a mini-van this weekend. Say it ain't so. First soccer, and now this. It may in fact be one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Obviously, if I truly felt that way, we wouldn't get one. It all started about this time last year. We got our Honda Pilot, my friend Elastigirl got a Honda Odyssey. Her Odyssey had some groovy features we chose not to get on the Pilot. Like the navigation system and the back up camera. "That's cool," I said, "but it's still a mini-van." She smiled and went on to show me the 50,000 cup holders and the lazy susan under the floor boards for storage. "It's too bad it's a mini-van," I said.

Fast forward one year. School has started. We have two kids, one in a full fledged car seat and one in a booster. We're carpooling with our neighbors. I've driven my 2 and the girl next door to school a couple of times now, and there's a space issue. Sure the Pilot theoretically seats 8, but getting to that back seat isn't easy. So all three are together in the second row. With that being the case, where do the backpacks go? Hmmmm? (I can hear you, Elastigirl). And this is only the beginning. Allen has helped with getting everyone in on these occasions and HE'S the one that had to go and say it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and trade the Pilot for the Odyssey.

He called the guy that sold us the Pilot; what a deal he has. So, in a few short days, I may be the owner of a mini-van. I may have to go get another tattoo to even things out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Leaps and Bounds

Josie has been doing so many new things lately, I don't feel like I've documented them all very well.

She has been waving hello and goodbye for a few weeks now. With both hands, of course. Sometimes her feet get in on the action. I think the first time was to a woman named Rachel G. at church. She did it for Rachel and then wouldn't do it for anyone else who came up to say hello.

She's doing well on the eating front. She can eat an entire package of Easy Mac by herself, just like her big sister. She likes canned veggies, and today had fresh blueberries and strawberries.

She has started saying "mama" and actually looking at me. Sometimes she even touches my face or my arm when she says it. Of course, sometimes she points to herself when she says it, too. I guess mama is everywhere.

I'm don't think this quite counts as a first word, but I think it's pretty cool. There is a butterfly mobile above her changing table that she loves to look at and reach for. Sometimes I hold her up so she can touch them. Whenever she looks at them, I say, "butterfly." She now reaches for them and says, "buh-by". Yes, I know it sounds like that SNL skit where the flight attendants are saying, "buh-bye" to all of the passengers, but that's what she says reaching for a butterfly.

AND, just today, I pointed to a picture that Sarah matted for my shower. It's one of Josie's referral pictures. I'm sure I've pointed to it before and said, "Josie". Today, I pointed at it and said, "who's that baby?", and Jo pointed to herself. Do babies recognize pictures of themselves? Does she just have a good memory of me telling her it's a picture of her? Either way, she knows that picture has something to do with her. Pretty cool.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Milestone

Hey. Guess what I just did! Can you guess??

I just lowered the mattress in Josie's crib. I bet all of you parents out there can guess why.

Around 10:15 this morning I put Josie down for a nap. My intention was to mow the front yard while she was napping. But, as usually happens, I got distracted by the computer. In this particular instance, all I can say is thanks be to God.

Around 10:30 I heard a very loud thump from upstairs. I learned I can still move pretty quickly when I need to. I actually made it upstairs to her bedroom door before she started crying. As a matter of fact, that kinda scared me a little.

Yep, J has now done something that P never did - fallen out of her crib. The creepy thing is that as I was leaving her room after putting her into her crib the first time, I thought, "We're going to have to lower that mattress soon. She'll soon be tall enough to climb out." Well, apparently sooner than I thought.

So, the mattress is now low. Josie is back in her crib for her nap and I'm going to go mow the yard. She seemed fine, just scared. I felt all over her to see if she was tender anywhere, but she was just ticklish. She crawled around her room and played with toys while I lowered the mattress. I called Allen and he asked if her pupils were the same size, and I pointed out that I can't actually see her pupils. She's fine.

Now I guess I have to shorten that dust ruffle.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The First Day of School

Today was Phoebe's first day at her new school. We actually had school at home yesterday, but today was the first day to don the uniform, load up the backpack and head out.

The day started at 6:15. Allen had to leave early, so that's the time his alarm went off. That's not why my day started then. My day started then because seconds after the alarm went off, Phoebe came into our room ready to start HER day. Before we left home, I told her I was going to miss her today. She said, "Mom! It's OK! I'm coming back!"

Here she is before breakfast. Does she look like she's a tad bit excited?

Her uniform shirts do actually have the school logo on them, but I roughly covered them in the pics.

I've been taking pictures like this every year she's gone to preschool and school. I got the idea from my friend Sue. Phoebe had a little trouble with the backpack. Not because it's heavy, but it's bulky and she isn't really.I went straight to Target to get her a smaller backpack. This one, with her initials monogrammed on it and everything, can wait a couple more years I guess.

Here she is at the entrance. Lots of kids were getting their pictures taken underneath the sign... we figured Phoebe would, too. Notice how her shirt is already coming untucked from wrestling that backpack.

Here's my sweety in her classroom. There are only 12 kids. What a great place to be.

After leaving this smiling face, I went to the car and called Sue and my mom. I can't believe my Sweet P is in first grade. After Target, I went to a store and learned how to use a laminating machine. I learned all kinds of things to not do.

Phoebe came home today all smiles. She had a blast. I even got all domestic and made chocolate chip cookies to welcome her home. (Does a Tollhouse break-apart package count as domestic?) At first she was upset because she was sure I'd used the mix we bought to make next time Granny is here. (Who gets upset over chocolate chip cookies?) Once she realized that I hadn't touched the "Granny package", she ate four and drank a glass of milk.

She just fell asleep on the couch. I'm surprised that she lasted this long. I'm surprised I lasted this long. I wonder how she's going to get upstairs. Not sure I can carry her tonight!

Tomorrow it's another day of homeschool. I'm really glad we don't have to be out the door at 8. If all goes as it did on Tuesday, we'll have a great day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clever Girl

This morning, Josie was hitting my face like she does pretty often.

I said, "No, soft." and she started patting my cheek a little bit more softly. I smiled and said, "That's right, soft." Next, she patted her tummy. I said, "Josie." Then, she patted my cheek again and I said, "soft" again.

Then, she picked up my hand and patted her cheek with it. If she were a little older, she probably would have rolled her eyes as she did it. It was very cool, she was trying to get me to pat her cheek by patting my cheek and then herself.

She's pretty clever. It's a shame her mother isn't quite as quick.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What a Weekend

We had a pretty good weekend. Josie's big developmental leap this weekend was finally picking up random things off of the floor and putting them into her mouth. Hey, progress is progress, good or bad.

Saturday we went to E's first birthday party. That was lots of fun. The kids played in the kiddie pools and had lots of fun. E actually attacked her cake like a one year old should. Her mama has pics posted here. Go, E go!

Sunday we went to Fort Worth with Allen's sister and nephew to visit the Star Wars exhibit. Phoebe really enjoyed it. She got to see all the costumes from the movies as well as the full sized droids in all shapes and sizes. In the gift shop at the end, she picked up everything Darth Vadar. We settled for some postcards with him on it and a giant Pez dispenser. And, though she doesn't know it yet, we also bought a little electronic box to make her voice sound like Vadar's.

This may be my favorite souvenir from our day.
Yep, that's my girl.

Yesterday, I took Josie back to the doctor for a follow-up to the non-well check visit from a week ago. Her ears were clear and her breathing was fine. As a reward for getting better, she got three shots. Woo-hoo! Poor thing. I thought things might not go well when she started crying when I sat her down on the scale. They didn't go as badly as they could have, though she did make quite a ruckus when shot time came. But, who can blame her?

Thursday, we are going to a Meet & Greet for Phoebe's new soccer team. That's right, I've been sucked in. Lord help me. I have fought and fought signing her up for soccer. I have finally given in. In my defense, let me just say, it wasn't P I was fighting against. She's barely mentioned an interest in playing and, I think, would be just as happy kicking the ball around in the backyard. But, hey. We're in it now. We'll see how it goes. I hope she loves it.

Last but not least, today marks 3 months since we've had Josie. Three months ago today, they handed her over to us in that hot Civil Affairs office in Guangzhou. What a blessing she is. She's come so far. Heck, so have I! If you want to relive it (maybe it's just me), you can do that here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

So, How WAS Six Flags?

Well, I'm glad you asked. To quote Phoebe, it was, "awesomely awesome."

We had such a blast. Nevermind that the temperature yesterday was 99 degrees. No problem.

We arrived at the park at 10:00am. No lines getting in. Very nice.

Don't we look fresh?
Phoebe had already decided that she wanted to ride the Shockwave first. The Shockwave is, of course, at the back of the park. No problem. We wandered through the park, not letting ourselves get distracted by anything else. We got to the Shockwave and there was no one there. Allen, Phoebe, Doug, Tate and I went straight to the front of the line and got on the ride. We were the only ones on it. When it ended, Allen and Doug stayed on for another go. Phoebe loved it, though admitted that it was a bit scary. Actually, later in the day she said, "Mom, the Shockwave kinda freaked me out. Even though I tried to keep my head back, it pushed it forward anyway."

Here are the two conquerors after braving the Shockwave. It was the first time on a rollercoaster for either of them. If you're going to go, go big!

Here's P alone after the Shockwave. You can tell she's proud to have done it, but kinda happy to be off.

The park didn't really start getting crowded until after noon. Most rides we had a 0-5 minute wait. I think the longest we waited all day for anything was 35 minutes. Allen and I kept saying, "Remember when we were kids...?" You know, then the lines were 2 hours long, up hill, in the snow....

Here's P on the swings.

and on the Crazy Spider Legs ride (or something like that)

Six Flags has gotten smart over the years. There's an area outside of the Mr. Freeze ride designed to cool down the kiddos. Here's J and Mommy playing in the misters.

She absolutely loved it.

P went for the higher volume of water cooling method. This was after she'd dried out from riding the Aquaman Splashdown (formerly Splashwater Falls). THAT was great fun. Phoebe and Audrey decided to stand on the bridge after the ride and get splashed by the next boatload coming down the hill.

This, in my opinion, is the best ride in the park. The Superman Tower of Power totally rocks. I screamed like a girl on this ride, and I meant it. In a good way.

Doug, Sue and Tate left around 2. Audrey stayed with us and the fun continued. We took turns staying with Josie, who was quite the trooper all day. Around 5pm, P decided she wanted to ride the Shockwave AGAIN. Can you see my little girl's face on the right side of the FRONT CAR?! Oi.

And there they are at the top of the hill, heading for the loops.
And what visit to Six Flags would be complete without the cartoon character meet n greet.

On our way from the Conquistador to the Runaway Mine Train, via the Pink Thing stand, we came across this.

Nothing like watching a KISS cover band with your 6 year old and the neighbors' 12 year old.

We finally decided to call it a day (after the second ride on the Runaway Mine Train) and left around 9:15pm. I never thought we'd last that long. Especially J. She caught a couple of cat naps throughout the day, but didn't sleep all that long. She really was a trooper through the whole thing.

I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

So Long Without a Post

Wow. Sorry. Are you still here?

I'm not sure why it's been almost a week since I've posted. Not much post fodder out there, I guess.

Josie's top left front tooth finally popped through. She continues to amaze me each day. She now uses the "more" sign when she wants more to eat. And, even cuter, she sometimes does it when I'm kissing her cheeks and neck. She raises both arms when she wants out of her high chair. And, according to Allen, last night when he was getting her ready for bed he said, "Where's Josie?", and she pointed to herself! I missed it and haven't been able to duplicate it, but she usually does these things for Dad first.

She is recovering from getting congested and cough-y while we were at my parents' a couple of weeks ago. She went in for a "well check" Saturday and came out with prescriptions for antibiotics and a nebulizer. I guess she's better now. She didn't seem sick when she went in, so I may not be a good judge of that.

We are going to Six Flags tomorrow. Phoebe's first trip (and J's for that matter, though I don't think she'll enjoy it as much as P). We were planning to go Tuesday, but in the interest of taking friends with us, we switched to Thursday. Phoebe is SO excited. She wants to ride the Shock Wave first. I'm just stunned that she's tall enough. Allen printed out a list of all the rides she can ride. Not sure how many we'll hit. I'm going to approach the day as laid back as possible and try to keep my promise to Phoebe that, while we're at the park, I won't tell her to quiet down. We're taking a cooler (that we'll leave in the car for a picnic at some point) and have plans to take lots of breaks for water since it's going to be around 100 degrees. Phoebe's ticket is free, and mine and Allen's were a great deal, so we can stay as long or as short a time as need be. Hopefully J will hold up well.

Friday may be a day of recovery, but hopefully I'll have lots of pics to post.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Just Another Day

Let's face it, lately I've been going along from day to day not really knowing what day it is. And dates? Forget about it.

So, this morning when I sat down to pay bills, I had to check to see what the date is. It's August 2! That date hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm still a little teary.

You see, one year ago today around 8:30am a little baby girl was found wrapped in a blanket outside the gate of a hospital in a small town in China. I don't know what time of day she was left. I don't know if she cried. I don't know if her birth mother was nearby making sure she was found.

I only know that one year ago today, my baby girl was FOUND. It started a journey that would lead her to us. Today. More than her birthday.

Today she was FOUND.

This is the gate of the hospital.

That building is the hospital.

This is the very spot where J was found. See that little sprig of green? It's missing a sprig, because I had to bring some home. I wonder if the sprig was there when J was placed at the base of this column.

This is the street in one direction where the hospital is located.

This is the street in the other direction.

This is also the hospital's street. See that stall where people are selling things? I have to wonder if someone there found her. I will always wonder because I didn't think to ask while we were there. It's just to the left of the gate (she was found on the right side of the gate). I'm standing in the driveway to the gate.

I will be eternally grateful for everything that happened on this date.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Can I Get a "Thank You, Jesus"?

We have been working with J to pick up food and feed herself. While at my mom's, my mom and sister-in-law tried. I have tried. Allen has tried. This weekend at her party, several people tried. J just picks up a piece of food and tosses it in the floor. The dog, of course, loves it.

Last night, when Allen came home from work, J was in her booster seat. He sat down next to her and put a Gerber cheese puff on her tray like he's been doing a lot lately. Basically waiting for her to feed it to the dog. WELL. Last night, she picked it up and put it in her mouth as if she's been doing that for months. I missed it, but Allen said "WOW! Has she been doing this all day?" Me: "Been doing what?" Allen: "Watch this!" and he puts another one on her tray and she picks it up and eats it.

And so the sudden jump into the world of Josie feeding herself occurred. Here are some pics from today (proving last night wasn't a fluke):

Hmmm. What's that on my tray?

If I could just...get...ahold of it.

Done. Now, hmm, let's see....

Still there? OK...

Mom, really! Does everything have to be a photo op?

Toward the mouth...toward the mouth...

Get it in there...Don't bite the finger...

I think it's in...Is it in?

Oops, not quite. One more try...

One final shove ought to do it.

Did I do it? Yep, it's not in my hand anymore.

Nothing to it! (Notice the dog senses the end of the free ride.)

Yay me!!!