Friday, October 31, 2008

I want one of THESE!

Do you think they make these spiders in minivan size?
Maybe a dragonfly would be better for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Ever wonder what to do with an old flag? Well, honestly, not me. I know from my way back days in Girl Scouts that you are supposed to do something, but I just never asked what it was. I remember vaguely that when it hits the ground you are supposed to burn it, but when it gets old? And in college burning a flag was a very bad thing - didn't someone (or many someones) get arrested for that? So what on earth are you supposed to do with your old flags?

Apparently you can take them to your local America Legion post and drop them in this little mailbox - guess it's a flagbox - thing. Some local governments take old unusable flags to properly dispose of them, but not all are equipped to do so. In case you are wondering, this box is over in Vienna, VA somewhere - just drive around and you'll find it. I did.

As for the burning, well, apparently that is considered "dignified." I wonder if it is like flushing your goldfish - something that is not very dignified at all made into something sacred. Standing over a toilet is not my idea of dignified, but it sure makes the little kids happy. Guess the flag burning is along those same lines. Not really dignified on first blush, but after a bit you see that the flag did it's duty and now you are putting it to rest.

There are flag resources out there like this one, so peek around the next time you have a flag - look for the Legion's flagbox, and when all else fails...well...we're back to that weird burning thing again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The competition begins/continues/whatever

I have this adorable three month old nephew and we got his first smiling picture the other day (did I mention that he is adorable?). I also have this husband who is an identical twin and is always in competition with his brother - over silly things, if you ask me. So why am I talking about the nephew (belongs to the twin brother, by the way) and the hubby? And how is there even a competition in here between these two? Well, our daughter Lucy is three days older than my adorable nephew. It's not bad enough that HE (the twin brother) has four kids and now WE have four kids too, but apparently since our fourth is older than his fourth we win. Well, Tom wins, but he's a big dork about things like this so I'm not really sure what winning gets you other than bragging rights. But three days?? No real bragging rights there even for three days.

Until the smile picture showed up that is. You see Lucy has been smiling since at least the begnning of October, and apparently my adorable nephew just started. So OOOOOOHHHHH, we win. Huh. He's a boy, and we all know that boys are a bit slower developmentally than girls (Lucy has decided that she's ready to stand up even though she can't quite sit up yet) so the nephew's first smile coming after his female cousin's first smile isn't a big shock. So back to the victory and the competition. Honestly I just don't get it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Little Bitty Jars

Probably not the actual smallest mustard in the world, but it certainly is the smallest jar of mustard that I've ever seen. Yes, I said jar - real glass. While out of town a few weeks ago I was attempting to eat something a little more healthy than fast food (now pick yourself up of the floor - I'm working on that and proud of what I accomplished that week and a half!). So, I was hitting Target, Giant, and Walmart for lunches and dinners. they have great prepared stuff as well as a good selection of fresh cooked foods. (Why can't we have nice stores like that here????) So I grabbed a fresh sandwich from Walmart and went hunting for some mustard in one of those little packets. After a brief (very brief but I missed them the day before) search I found these little guys. This is Dijon Mustard in it's own little bitty jar. There's enough in there for about two sandwiches (I am generous with the mustard as I'm hooked on it right now). Perfect size and you can't beat the prices - $.50. Yup, had to pay for it, but well worth seeing the teeny tiniest mustard I've ever seen.

And yes, I was a little bored while I was out of town - obviously the mustard was the highlight of that particular day. And no, I don't normally take pictures of my condiments, but hey, it was cute.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The difference between being bad and acting bad

Today Sam came home from school and told me that a little girl in his class was bad and she was sent to the office because of this. I paused to make sure that I heard him correctly as he's in kindergarten, and the thought of being sent to the office at that age always startles me. Anyway, sure enough this little girl was sent to the office because she was "bad."

This made me pause to listen closely to him. We have always been very clear that we make choices in our behavior and that we are personally responsible for those choices - good or bad. We have also made very clear that everyone has the same choices to make, and that everyone falters at times and make bad choices - kids and grown-ups alike. But the one thing that we hit on continually is the idea of choice. I'm not sure, especially after the conversation I had with Sam, that he know that there's a difference between someone making bad choices and someone being bad. I know, it's splitting hairs linguistically, but it is important for the kids to know that even if someone is acting out it doesn't make him or her a bad person. This little girl was not bad, she was behaving badly.

So, after explaining this to him in terms that he totally gets (You know, the other day when you lost electronic privileges? That was you making a bad choice. But you are not a bad person because of it.) - he got it (and so did Ian). Max knows the difference - he spits our exact verbiage back at us at times and grins like a fool when he does. And if they catch up doing something that we aren't supposed to do (ask Tom about how his plate spinning is going these days) they nail us every time about our bad choice. So, funny how it came up (and startling to know that the music teacher sent more than one kids out today for not participating) but nice to have that moment to teach this lesson. It's life in the making and I certainly like the way these kids are turning out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Sleep-talking is very common and is reported in 50% of young children, with most of them outgrowing it by puberty, although it may persist into adulthood (about 5% of adults are reported to talk in their sleep). It appears to run in families. - Wikipedia

I talk in my sleep - always have. It's not one of those things that you readily admit when you are younger, but as you get older you realize that it's better than, for instance, walking or eating in your sleep. I talk mostly when I'm partially aroused (no, not in THAT way...) when Tom gets into bed after I've been asleep for a while or when something wakes me slightly. Anyway, apparently it's genetic. (Boys, if you ever read this apologies - I'm telling your secrets - but remember - you aren't sleepwalking or sleep eating.)

Ian has been talking in his sleep for quite a while now. Most of the time he talks late late at night when he's in the midst of a not so nice dream. He definitely has interesting dreams - we hear bits and pieces but not really anything clear. Well, tonight I hear something I've never heard before. Max was having a conversation with someone and the two of them were apparently deciding where to go next. His half of the conversation was a - let's get down first then we can figure out what to do next - kind of thing. It was clear as day. So, I walked across the hall and popped my head in thinking that there would be two kids awake, and everyone was camped. Not faking it - camped out pick up their hand nothing happens asleep. So I quietly shut the door, turned around, and then it hit me. Max was talking in his sleep. So, sorry son - it's all my fault and you too are cursed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The rest of the story

About a month ago I let you in on a little secret that we'd been keeping from you - but only for a whopping three months or so. We were starting our adoption journey. Back in June is when we actually started our Home Study, the first step in the process. The home study was completed in late August, and we went to work on our profile. That tool a lot longer than expected (you'd think that since I scrapbook that I could document our life - family, community, relationships, etc. easily, but no.) and when we finally got it finished up we submitted it along with the first round of paperwork to a second agency (someone else did our home study). That was shortly before I posted this post.

Well, about a week and a half after posting that first post we were notified that we were one of the final few choices for a birthmom with a little girl. We were beside ourselves - couldn't sleep, had trouble focusing, etc. Tom said that this is what the end of pregnancy was like for him - poor guy. Anyway, that situation was a no go - they lost touch with the birthmom and we were bummed, but we moved on. Two days after that was settled we get a call about a situation in another state - this time a boy - and we need to be ready to go the next day. Talk about no time for emotions - it was all business. The cat was off to the vet for boarding and the boys were off to the friend's house (also for boarding, but that's kinda weird to say). Well, this one too fell through, and we were emotionally exhausted. Two weeks into our journey and we had basically gone through two situations. Well, about four days after that we get a call on a Sunday about the first little girl - that the birthmom was meeting them on Friday and we needed to be ready to go then. Great! We had time, but we weren't going to get too wrapped up in this as we were still pretty wiped from the first two go rounds, and Friday was a full week away. So Monday afternoon rolls around and we were going about our business when I get a call from the agency saying that she moved her appointment up to the very next day, and that we needed to be ready to hit the road at about noon Tuesday. Talk about kicking it into high gear. We were in a little better shape as it was now about two and a half weeks since we started our wait, but still, nothing was a done deal.

So, the next day rolls around, we get the call that we have a daughter, and we head up north to go pick her up. Turns out that she is 11 weeks old, beautiful, smiles a lot, and is as delighted to see us as we are her! We spend the next few days hanging out with her in one place, then Tom heads back to VA to coach three soccer games over that weekend, and everyone here in VA gets sick. Toms' folks were here, and even Tom caught the bug, so thank goodness they were. So, Lucy and I drive a bit south towards VA, never leaving the state that we were in, and spend the next week or so hanging out in a small town (at least there was a Target and a Walmart!) getting to know each other. Wouldn't have traded that time for anything. I would loved to have had Tom come back up, but after hearing the war stories about the nasty viral thing that they were sharing here I wanted no visitors whatsoever.

Then we get the call that all the paperwork had made it's way through all the states that it needed to, and we were allowed to come home. So, 11 days after we left home with three kiddos, I return with our fourth. The boys are falling over themselves trying to help her, feed her, and play with her to the point that we had to talk about what overstimulation was. Poor girl wanted to see everything that they were doing and just wore herself out! We have settled into a much better routine, the boys get their time and Lucy gets her naps, and all is well in our house once again. Even the cat has taken a shining to her - he loves to sit on her lap too.

So it was a short but wild ride emotionally. We started this whole thing back in June, and here it is October and we have another child in our home. We were thinking this would take months or even a year and had prepared not only ourselves but also the boys for the long wait. Who knew that three short weeks after we started that we would be meeting our daughter. Wild...simply wild.
The boys entertaining their sisterMax feeding Lucy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ewww...public bathrooms

Ever wonder when it was safe to let your kiddos venture into a public restroom by themselves? Well, the answer is pretty much never. But then reality sets in and you realize that your three boys aren't so interested in seeing all those women peeing (cause they are old enough to really look now), and that maybe it is really time. Then a funny thing happens. Almost every man that walks out of the aforementioned public restroom gives you an update:

"They were playing in the water so I told them to finish up."
"They are almost done."
"Are those your three? They are washing their hands."
and my favorite:
"They are still in there."

So, aside from the fact that it is bathroom in a semi clean state, and who knows who actually is hanging out in there, and who knows what they are touching or not touching, seems that half of the world is looking out for my three the public restrooms.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Take On Me...yes, really.

Tom's Dad shared this with us and I thought that it was so clever that I really needed to share it with you. Seriously - this man is magnificent:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And this is why I completely disappeared for two weeks

Her name is Lucy and she's magnificent:

When you get a minute say "Hello" - she might even smile at you! More details soon, I promise.