Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Days are much the same

I will admit it -I'm kind of bored. Sure, I have things to do, but invariably they take a lot of time, concentration, or not in the area that the kids are. In the evening, then, once the kids are in bed there is so much I want to do that I don't do any of it. I'm starting to think about having a babysitter come and I'll hide away in the basement, just to do some of the things I want to do. This includes stuff for school, so it's not like I want just all leisure time. :)

Roman, on the other hand, has had an awesome summer and it gets better. He has been doing a playground program every morning with his best neighbor friend, and occasionally will play with another kid down the street as well. He and neighbor play almost every afternoon, too. When they're not, it's because we're off at the library, or out of town. This weekend he is going to my parents' for a couple days along with his cousins, and he asks every morning "is it Thursday yet?" We've also begun the planning of our Roman-only weekend trip to Chicago later in August to see the Museum of Science & Industry, and stay with my cousin. There is a Harry Potter exhibit there that we are all excited to see. Then perhaps Navy Pier, and dinner out on the town. Should be fun, and he's excited for that as well.

Otherwise - not much. And I think perhaps my boredom is just in contrast to the almost manic state I was in this spring between work, grad school, coaching swimming, and two committees. But I don't really want to complain about boredom, because I will be busy once again in just another few weeks!
We did go to a playplace yesterday afternoon, spur of the moment. Charlie's first time, and he had a great time in the toddler area! Even big brother played for a little.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two years later

It was two years ago tonight - around 11:30pm, approximately - that the double line showed up on the home pregnancy test telling us that Charlie had been created. I can remember that night like it was yesterday. The shock, the tears, the unbelieving, the shock, making Doug read the instructions, more tears when he read "does not show false positives." I'm sure there were some choice oaths sworn as well. I remember laying in bed next to Doug, both of us staring at the ceiling, basically saying.... "oh, shit." We had our foster daughter coming in two days, and never in a million years did we expect a pregnancy.

Looking back at the pregnancy, all 30 weeks of it, I do feel bad that I didn't share it more with Doug and our families. I was really unhappy about it. But when my dr. went digging through my abdomen, opened up my uterus, and said "Well, hi there, Charlie!" before he was even out, I couldn't wait to meet him. To hear his first cry (especially as we were concerned about lung development) was awesome. And although I had to wait about 20 hours before I could hold him, his little 3-pound body on my chest changed my life.

So glad you're here, Charlie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keep speakin' the truth, boy.

Roman (frustrated): "Why does everyone in my family, mom and dad's family, like golf?"
Doug: "Because it's awesome!"
Roman: "No, it's not!"
Amy: "What is awesome, Roman?"
pause, and then Roman: "The universe."

What the boys are doing now

It's been a great summer so far. Much different than I'm used to. Even when it was only Roman, he went to daycare a couple days a week so I had time to myself. Last summer, Charlie was still a lump and I still made Roman have "quiet time." This summer is the first where I have had two bundles of energy and can squeeze maybe an hour of time for myself.

Charlie is beginning to add words to his vocab. We hear sounds now that resemble "all gone" "blue" (as in Blue's Clues) and "thank you." I swear he called Roman "Ro-ro" today. He also appears to be understanding us even better now, scurrying upstairs when we say "snack" and the like. Today he wandered into his room when I suggested a nap.

He is our little spider-man, with a huge attraction to spiderwebs specifically. He will pull cobwebs out of corners and wrap webs around his fingers and inspect them closely, then wipe them on his shirt. I caught him inspecting one yesterday.

Roman is getting a taste of achievement. He earned his trophy Monday night in t-ball and it is now proudly displayed on our piano. He was so excited to get it. Liked it even better than the ice cream sandwiches they got as a treat.

I also rearranged his books so the ones that are readable (with a little help) are on a separate shelf. He was pretty amazed to see that there were so many, probably 15-20, that were at his level. He got one down and read it to me and I only had to help on 2-3 words. Decided it was necessary to start getting him back into the swing of reading & writing.

I am reasonably certain of the teacher he will have this school year based on talks with the kindergarten teacher, and I looked up this teacher's website. First grade will be a lot of work - it appears the Math program has homework every day, and it is, in my opinion, the "make or break" year for reading.

We're glad to have another 5-1/2 weeks until I head back for meetings. I'm starting to have dreams about teaching my new classes, which means I should probably start planning that first week or two and getting my parent letter organized. Then I can enjoy August!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

another picture

Here's another project I worked on this evening. It sort of bums me when you put lots of techniques and work into a picture and it looks, generally, the same... although this is much more "brown" than the original very green tree. I just love this shot, which I took of the silver maple in our front yard by lying on the deck (while Charlie crawled over my tummy). And I'm really liking the new fonts I've been downloading!

Monday, July 13, 2009

a different kind of online class

I have been waiting for months to have the free time to take an online class for scrapbooking. I'm not much for paying for them (yet) but wanted to sample a couple. I signed up for a free one last November but really it was just a bunch of downloads. The one I signed up for currently is from Jessica Sprague, who is quite a talented digital scrapbooker. Her class is titled "Photo Editing: Frame-ups and Special Effects."

It's a 2-weeker learning all kinds of cool Photoshop techniques. Some I was already familiar with, one I had been dying to know how to do but couldn't find an easy tutorial, and a couple I am really playing with for the first time. The photo below is one I really like - using texture, blending, and type on a photo.

Pretty excited about this!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All sorts of randomness

Doug is laid off (again) this week. No, it's good! Well, not good in general, but he has gotten lots of things accomplished. Replaced front brakes on my car and rotated the tires, rotated the tires on his car, we both cleaned out and donated stuff from the storage room, and he also got started on hanging a ceiling fan in Roman's room (needing a part that Home Depot didn't have). He did lots in the yard, too. Oh, and replumbed the sink in the basement and replaced the innards of the toilet downstairs also. And no, he's not for rent!

Charlie said "duck" appropriately today, as in the bird. He also, I forgot to mention, says hi, hello, and bye-bye. I think "boo" might be spoon. He loves birds, watches them fly and raises his arm up to the sky saying "ooh!" We hung a homemade bird feeder in the front yard (out of a milk jug) and Doug saw a robin using it today. Very exciting.

Roman continues to be, well, Roman. Plays hard all day and has meltdowns almost every night at bedtime. He is exhausted but doesn't want to stop moving for a second. We have to force relaxation time at home or he'd be playing with his friend 24/7.

I had a great couple days. For my graduation present, Doug bought me a new bike. It rocks. I wanted an "old lady bike" just like the ones on Mackinac Island, you know - big seat & big ol' handlebars? They had lots of them, but I got me a stylish one. Took Charlie out today for our first ride in the neighborhood. He promptly fell asleep 10 min. in, and I enjoyed it too.

Today was the last meeting of the Playground committee, and the majority voted yes on a recommendation to tear down the playstructure and build new. The committee was officially disbanded and I am done with chairperson duties. Yay! I came home to find an email from my professor, asking if she could use my final project as an "exemplary sample" for future students. Boy, did that make me feel great! All that stressing, crying, and gnashing of teeth was worthwhile.

Finally, during my visit to my parents last week, I saw a picture in the basement I had probably looked at a thousand times but for some reason, it really struck me anew. And then I realized - my gosh, Charlie looks like ME! At least, same eye shape, definitely the same nose, same little bags under the eyes when we smile. Same curly hair, too (although his has been cut off!). In fact, in looking at a couple other pictures of me, Charlie is going to have my obnoxious teeth, too. Poor guy.
Of course, the little "adoption bug" in my head is always there, this time whispering... "well, you know he looks like you. But who do YOU look like?" The unanswered/unanswerable questions of a closed adoption. And then I wonder, does it bother Roman when people talk about which one of us Charlie looks like? Because by golly, that would've bothered me. Continuing to point out how I'm different. Right now when it happens, I throw in that Roman has brown eyes just like my mom, or that he tans as dark as my brother. We have told him where we know some of his features come from. But will that be enough? Or will that bother him too? More questions that only time and a more mature boy can answer.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

New things learned

Roman can now ride a bike without training wheels. Well, a small bike, at least. Looks like a clown on a tricycle, but he's very proud of himself.

Charlie has learned the word "go." He now uses the following recognizable words consistently: Mama, Daddy, up (for both up and down), wa-wa (water), uh-oh, kay (for okay), and go. There are some sounds he makes regularly but we can't figure out what he means.

Charlie did order a taco at dinner Friday night. Roman had ordered one, and Charlie looked up at the waiter and said plain as day, "taco!" Funny boy. We got him a quesadilla, and he ended up eating a hot dog. Stinker.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 233rd birthday, America!

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Here's to securing the Blessings of Liberty!