Sunday, May 31, 2009

June 1st. The new D-Day.

I venture to claim that the country - nay, the world - will be a different place after tomorrow. Historically, economically, it will be an interesting beginning... and ending. Personally & economically speaking, it could certainly make our summer plans do a little shimmy. Already Doug's company is preparing their employees to brace themselves - GM is close to 50% of their business. Around these parts, it's like someone we all know and love is dying, and we're just waiting for the last breath. Interesting that gov't officials are calling it a "rebirth."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Even better than pictures

This was taken a couple days ago. Roman showing his "pirate dance."

video

video

And the above was while camping. Our first realization that Charlie is saying yes to us, with a nod of the head & grunt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's okay, I'm here...

Just very busy. Crazy short week, but long in oh-so-many ways. Oldest child is being handed off to his grandparents' Thurs. night for a trip to Chicago with them and his cousin, and hopefully Thurs. or Friday I will have a chance to upload pictures and videos to the camera and share some of our camping fun. The surprise was pulled off, generally speaking.

I can say that Charlie now has 4 consistent words: uh-oh, hi, da-DEE, and bubble. Bubble is just the most adorable, but darned if he wouldn't say it on video. At all.

Roman is having a hard time calming down at school due to all the excitement that is sandwiching his weekdays, plus new tougher karate class and t-ball games starting next week. But we will get by, luckily even being a pistol he's really adorable.

All right. So I promise, some pictures in the next couple days.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shhh, it's a secret!

(whisper!) We're going camping this weekend, but don't tell anyone! Especially Doug's parents. They think we're just visiting for a Sunday picnic, but we actually got the site next to them for the whole weekend! (*end whisper!)

Should be cool. Of course, I'll be doing some grad project work here and there, but that's okay. It has a bathwater-like heated pool from what we can remember, and for those chilly nights we have a new camping space heater for our camper. We just hope and pray that Charlie sleeps past 6:30am. 7am would be fine, really. What do you do with a cranky baby at 6 in the morning in a campground?! We're bringing the DVD player and Baby Einsteins just in case.

And on this Memorial weekend, take more than a moment to honor the fallen heroes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adoption comes to the forefront again

I went to the allergist last week for some hive rash issues I've been having. Ro went with me, and when the doctor prescribed some meds he asked about my family history. I replied as usual, "I don't know, I'm adopted." Roman looked at me like I was from outer space and said "No you're not."

Well, that got me to thinking. We thought we had been doing a pretty good job of keeping adoption in the conversational loop, but clearly he was unaware that I am adopted too. Which got me to thinking that as he approaches 6, it's a ripe age to start misinterpretations of what adoption is, what it means, and the fantasies can start. I thought I better get into his brain to see what was going on.

Because of the incident at the allergist, I asked him if he knew I was adopted. He said no. The first thing he asked me was, "What was your name before Baba & Grandpa owned you?" (such a funny way to put it!). I told him that I didn't know, but I knew I had a different name. I told him Baba and Grandpa picked my name for me. Then we talked a little about how we kept part of his Russian name and changed the middle name. Then came the first question I felt such sorrow for that I didn't have the answer - "Who chose my name?" We have no idea. It was something I wanted to ask in Russia but never did.

He was okay with this information. Later at bedtime, he asked if I would tell him the story of his adoption. Normally we start this with "we got a phone call..." but that night I thought I'd try something different. I began with a woman in Russia who was going to have a baby, and explained what we knew about when she went into labor, and when he was born... I was going to skim over the Baby Home stuff and go right to the part where we got the call, when Roman started getting very upset, and finally started crying. I called Doug in and as we held him, he admitted why he was crying - he was upset because "I want to be with mom." I thought he meant his birthmom, when he burst into fresh tears of crying and said, "No, YOU!" This was unexpected, although after I thought about it, not surprising. Especially as he experienced Charlie being born. It upset him greatly that he hasn't been with us his whole life.

We calmed him and reassured him and left it. The next day we asked if he had any questions, and he wanted to know if anyone was with his birthmom in the hospital. We told him what we knew, and that seemed to be enough info for him. I have noticed he has been talking about it a bit more often lately, and this morning he informed me that he thinks his birthdad is like Indiana Jones (ah, the start of the fantasy parents!). I was just glad he shared it with me.

Not sure I mentioned this at a different time, but Ro (and us) is seeing a psychologist. We had been going to one to explore possible ADHD issues but were not happy with him, and began to see another 3 weeks ago. Really like her approach. She does 2/3 of the time with just Roman through play therapy, and then the parent goes back and she reviews things, answers questions, addresses an issue at hand, whatever. Anything big comes up, or every few sessions, will be just parents. Ro likes going, too. The more we experience with Ro, the more we realize we are going to be challenged by him in a variety of ways!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just had to update ya'll...

Finally decided to take a break from my grad project and upload 2 weeks' worth of pictures. And when you take at least a picture a day, let me tell you, that's a lot of pictures! So let's just get to it.

First, I graduated. Kind of.


There was lots of fun in-between like Mother's Day & the scrapbook convention, but I prefer to show off the pirates who have invaded our house:

Quite handsome, aren't they? Had to be careful taking Pirate Squishypants' picture, as he's pretty wicked with that sword. Pirate Jedi, however, was very willing to pose.

Today was a momentous day in our household, too. Roman tested for his orange belt last week and received it in a ceremony today:

And then Charlie got his first haircut this evening.

Before (above... look at those curls! I love them!)

After (below... so sad, but at least he looks like a boy now.)

I wasn't one to rush cutting off those adorable curls, but people were calling him or asking if he was a girl for about 2 weeks now. We got a family portrait taken at church for the directory with the cute rings, then I agreed to let Daddy have at him with the scissors. It was a challenge, of course, but what isn't with a new toddler?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where in the world is Amy going?

I have begun my last class, the "action research project" phase of my Master's degree. As such, the next 4 weeks are going to be stress-filled and sometimes tear-filled. Along with, I daresay, curse-filled moments.

I also will be muttering things like "action implementation," "triangulation of data," "making the change systemic" alongside these curse words.

Therefore, I am not going to be blogging much, unless it's to vent about the above-mentioned mutterings.

The mantra in our house currently is "it's only 4 weeks... it's only 4 weeks..." although I suspect it will seem like much longer than that by the time my class ends June 24.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ask, and ye shall receive!

So in my last post I was feeling crunched for time, no dedicated hours (or even minutes!) to catch up on the little things in life. And then came... THE CALL. An automated service compliments of my district, informing me that we will not have school Monday or Tuesday because of the SWINE FLU (h1N1, to be more animal-correct). A probable case at one of the high schools prompted the county health department to shut us down in order to disinfect every school. We're waiting today to discover whether we will be closed for longer or not.

So. Wow! 2 days with my kids at school. Yesterday I did 5 loads of laundry while scanning, organizing, and playing with my photos. Today I am screwing around a little more on the computer & doing a little scrapbooking before meeting up with a couple coworkers for a movie. In a theater! Popcorn and everything. Then, back to real life with some grocery shopping before I pick up Ro from school.

Speaking of school, I was recognized on Sunday as completing my Master's in July of this year, otherwise known as "pretending to graduate." I have mixed feelings about it, as I know it's an accomplishment but one that was thrust upon me. I have to have the hours anyway to keep my certificate up to date, so it's not like it was a personal goal or anything. However, graduating after 8 years (2 kids and a husband's Masters got in the way) is an accomplishment. I doubt very many others have taken that long! I embark on my last class tomorrow night, the culmination of my action research project. (pictures, as always, on the camera - will get to them soon!)

Roman had his first round of T-ball practice last night. About 4 kids on the team he knows from school, and the skills vary from darn good to never having thrown a ball in their life. Roman is in the middle. Just needs practice, and a realization that he will not be the athletic type. And that's okay.

Charlie has begun life in the Toddler Room at daycare. First official day (yesterday) he falls and cuts his lip up. Darn teeth. They did call me, but he calmed down after being presented with lunch. Definitely a child of our biological pursuasion!

Friday, May 01, 2009

it's supposed to be a hobby, right?

I am so far behind on scrapbooking my 365 Project. I caught myself all up when I went scrapping in March, and haven't done a thing since. That's 7.5 weeks. I've taken the pictures, all right. I've even sorted them into folders and am keeping a running list of which picture goes on which day. I just can't seem to open Photoshop and actually put it in layout form. Which then starts to hang over my head, like something else I have to do. And I hate it when one of my joys in life gets stuck in the head-drawer with everything else, like "grade papers, make some phone calls, and scrap." No good!

Doug's birthday - the kids & the Indiana Jones DVD 4-pack!


It's also been too long since I've posted pictures here. Gladly, though, I received a digital photo frame for my birthday which I think is just the coolest. Got it up and running tonight with 64 pictures on it. Most from our Disney trip, but I threw in some random everyday ones too. It's very clear and focused. Will put it on the piano, although I really want it somewhere I'll look at all the time. But as I think, I don't really spend a lot of time in any one place. It'd be cool to have it at school, if I had a room I was in all day.

My birthday - the boys have better things to do than pose for a nice picture!

I also am looking forward to organizing my Disney photos, having my mom's burned to a disc so I can get them all in one folder & make a digital book. Will probably just use Snapfish as I like their drop-and-drag backgrounds, not too busy.

I have 2 scrapbooking magazines that have been sitting on my bedside table since March. Can you believe I still haven't finished them? I typically pour/pore? over them, cover to cover, in one or two days. I don't know what's happening in life. I think about them every day, I guess I just am expecting more than 15 min. of quiet time and that's just not going to happen with 2 small boys!

I also want to have those layouts printed that I made in March, about 35 of them. And again, it's just a matter of uploading them and paying for it, for goodness sake. I need to shake out of this tired-all-the-time rut and do some of this! Except luckily, it mostly involves me sitting in front of the computer.