Thursday, January 29, 2009

Casino Michelle





I think that it would be fun to have a little gambling on my blog....in a no stakes kind of way. Here are the rules....you guess what day adoptions are going to start being processed in Kyrgyzstan and I will donate a shopping spree for 10 kids via John Wright in your name. http://simpledreamsinfo.blogspot.com/2008/10/sd-11-day-on-town_407.html
I love to shop what can I say...even when it is vicariously!

Just post your guess in the comments section and I will put it on my great big calendar (that I am going to make on Saturday). If your guessed day passes...you can guess again.

I think it will be February 9th...I think it is close.

school

Lilianna has done pretty good in school the last couple of days....but I did way too much research on homeschooling in the last week to not use some of it! We already had a membership to the online homeschool service time4learning. Lilianna loves it...she just played it every once in a while. We started doing it every night and she likes it even more now that she has figured out that if you do a lesson you can play in the playground area.
I also started reading to her everynight. I know....parents should do that anyway...but we are always struggling so hard to get everything done at night and get everyone to bed that it had become more the exception to the rule that I read her a little book. INstead of reading one of her short books everynight...I have decided to read a little bit of bigger books. Keith and O are reading the City of Ember series...so I started reading it to Lilianna. I really wanted to read her the book I described in my last post....but I have no idea what it is. I also thought about getting the book "13 clocks". I found a super cool website for books in the waldorf tradition. The waldorf school in town is where I would love to send my kids...but alas... that is not to be! They have all kinds of folk tales and fairy tales that aren't all censored and candy-coated.
This weekend we are going to come up with a little calendar of activities. I think I will feel a lot better about Lilianna's education if we do more at home. That way if she isn't learning anything in Kindergarten...at least she will be learning something at home!
We also are cancelling our direct tv so we don't veg out (because it is soo easy to do).
I know there are some homeschoolers that stop in here every once in a while...I would love some pointers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's the name of this book?!

I am trying to remember the name of a book I read many, many years ago. I think it may have been old then also. I don't remember the name, the author, or much about it...but I would love to read it to my kids...so I thought I would describe as much as I can remember about it and maybe it would sound familiar to someone.
I don't know if it is really based on a chinese fable...but it is written like one. There is a young boy who gets roped into an adventure for some reason that I can't remember by a grandfatherly like man he knows that turns out to be a wizard or magician. There is a female character in the book is pretty plain looking, but for some reason, men come from all over to bring her jade jewelry. When she gets the jewelry her face lights up in some sort of otherwordly joy...then it fades. The men are just captivated by this and just keep bringing her jade. In the end it turns out that she has some sort of Gods-induced amnesia and she is really a goddess who was madly in love with ...I don't know who and when she gets the jade jewelry it breifly reminds her of her powerfull love...but then the memory fades. Somehow the boy finding a treasure breaks the amnesia...I can remeber so few details!
I feel like the book had a super ridiculously long name, and the goddess fable at the end is probably some famous fable....but the book was really beautifully written with lots of cool imagery. The target audience for the book was definitely children - probably 4-5th grade kids.
Anyway, I will keep looking but it would be great if someone out there knew the name of the book.
Anyone?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

School

So, Lilianna is getting into trouble at school again. She always falls of the wagon when she comes back from her dad's house...but going to disneyworld right after she had gotten back from her dad's house was a double whammy. So she actually ended up in the principal's office last week. She has a couple of things going against her...first of all....she loves people and friends and loves to talk. I don't want to say she is disrespectfull...but it can come off that way sometimes because she truly believes that her ideas and thoughts are as important as any adults ideas and thoughts. Part of me says....good for her.... and part of me says....sit down, be quiet and please don't get kicked out kindergarten! Lilianna is like me in that her eyes are very expressive....which is a bad thing when you are being yelled at by a teacher. I know this from first hand experience!
Lilianna is really bright....I am not biased at all....she just really struggles with the heirarchy and strictness at public school. I totally wish I could afford the super cool waldorf school I wanted to send her to here. I can't even imagine how much lilianna would love making costumes and acting out fairy tales...how much she would love growing and picking flowers in the school's garden...how much she would love learning how to cook small meals for lunch. I am kind of afraid of that if she fits into the mold of a well-behaved public school kindergartener...she won't be my vivacious little Lilly. She has such a super-wonderfull imagination and I am not so sure that it is fostered in her kindergarten class. However, I have very few options right now except to try to do activities with her at home in my limited time at home.
So i have spent my down time today trying to find fun and imagination -fostering activities. Especially ones that can incorporate a little learning. If you have ideas....please leave them!
I think we could read a short book, draw pictures of costumes and sets, make costumes and put on a play, we could start a small garden....(however I am a black thumb of doom for any plant life). We could learn about a culture and do the same things....baking, drawing, pictures....we could all use a little more Kyrgyz in our life...something for the old postplacement reports.
Lilianna is a firecracker, she is so sweet and full of love. She told me last night "Bethann never loses balloons and she said that she would teach me how to have good behavior on monday". She really wants to not get into trouble but she does love to socialize! I have to say it breaks my heart to see Lilianna want something so bad (not get into trouble at school) and not be able to help her achieve it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Benjamin












Just in case my mom wonders if Ben actually made it to disneyworld! He was a lot more entertained with the characters than Z was! Ben's hair has lightened up so much...I hadn't really realized it until I looked at the disney pictures - when he was born he had jet black hair and a ton of it! Now he is becoming a little blond blue-eyed heartbreaker!



Disneyworld pictures











I love this picture of Lilianna and O...they were building cars at the Lego store for racing...somehow the hang loose hand symbol started and I am not sure how or why! The rare, elusive smiling and non-tantrum throwing zeb was captured in these two pictures. He loves slides...he is just coming out of one of the slides at the Honey I shrunk the kids play area and in the top on he is waiting for the big kids to get their pictures taken with Bolt. Z was scared of all of the characters...although he was very brave at saying bye bye as they left...especially to Mickey Mouse who he seemed less scared of than others. For some reason he seemed most terrified of CHip and Dale and Lilo..I don't know why.
Lilianna was born to be pampered. At the bippity boppity boutique she was like an old pro...she leaned back and totally relaxed for her makeup application and had her hands ready for her manicure..it was sooo funny.
We literally took 258 pictures on our camera and also did the disney photo pass so there are about 90 pictures on there we need to go through and order...you can totally have them put pictures into a photo album for you....you can also do that at walmart...I am never making another phot album again....take that glue stick.

Zeb's long lost birthday pictures











Okay...I know it is only 2 months late...but here are a few of the pictures from Z's birthday. My amatuerish cake decorating skills ....oh the fun! Z was just warming up on his gift opening skills....it was a fun little party. He got ridiculously messy...I guess that can be expected at 2, probably at 3 and 4 as well! I love how he is giving his new dumptruck a kiss. He is so sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We made it!












Yes, we somehow made it through 9 days of all of these kids at the happiest place on earth. In many ways it went way better than i had anticipated. We actually got to sleep several hours a night because we wore all of the kids out sooooo much. Of course, the grown ups were also very worn out! I think I only threatened to leave the kids at the lost child area once or twice....actually, I didn't threated it even once! We spent thousands more dollars than we had anticipated....I suppose you should always see that coming huh?!

Zeb's favorite ride was the bus ride from the hotel...seriously....it was the only ride he rode on that he went "whee" and laughed and held up his arms. Although we did make it to Blizzard Beach on day 2 before Florida was thrust into the dead of winter and Zeb went down the little kiddie water slide like 20 times.

Lilianna went to the bippity-boppity boutique for a fairytale princess makeover on Friday and told everyone she was a jedi master princess. She had several older boys at the Mission to mars play area calling her "highness" while they were all playing. She and O also bought lightsabers (did I spell that right?)...it was make your own light saber. If someone had told me when I was 5 years old that when I grew up my 5 year old daughter would be calling herself a jedi master and making her own light saber...I would have... well... been jealous...really because I totally wanted a light saber when I was 5. My friend Jennifer's little brother had a light saber. I also would have thought they were crazy! You will notice that Princess Lilianna is riding one of those hover motorcycle things from the moon of endor in that picture.

I am totally posting some more pictures tomorrow of the trip and of Zeb's birthday finally!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The first home visit

Well...we spent so much time cleaning the house....I am sooooo happy in my clean house. There is just something about a super clean house...even the trash can was all sparkling clean and the washer and dryer were all dusted. I might try to have a home visit every couple of months just to get my house this clean. I digress....

The official totals on my poll were 5 for cookies, 3 for candles and one each for bread and crock pot meat and potatoes. I had planned to make cookies. I left work early about 230 to head home. There was terrible weather down here and at about 10 until 3 we got a call that Lilianna's after school care was cancelled...so I had to sit in car line for almost 30 minutes to pick her up and then race home to pick up the minor messes from the night before. So I never had time to bake cookies....we barely finished our dinner before she got there. I picked up the dishes quickly after she arrived. When I realized that the cookies weren't going to happen I quickly lit my delicious balsam and cedar candle which totally smells like christmas trees.



The kids were very good...no major meltdowns...althought Lilianna kept insisting we play rock band for the social worker. We walked around the house. I almost didn't clean the laundry room...but at the last minute decided to clean it (hence the dusted up washer and dryer and sparkling garbage can)....and she opened that door to look inside.

Since we have been through an international adoption before she just kind of read off the checklist of things to talk about and touched on all of them very briefly. We are pretty knowledgeable about all of those issues...but it is always fun to talk international adoption...so I would have like to have gabbed more. Zeb-zilla has this fun game where goes and gets all of the toys from his bedroom...one by one. He will go get one or two things and put them on the couch then use all of his might to climb up on the couch with me...for about 2 seconds...then decide he needs to go get more of his toys. He will climb down...go and get a couple more toys (one at a time) and climb back on the couch. That was the game while we were talking to the social worker. So...the house started out clean and ended up clean with a big pile of toys on the couch in the living room.

Our next home visit is two weeks from tonight...then we can send in our I600A....and wait for a couple more months! If anyone knows how long it is taking Atlanta to process I600A's....let me know! the website hasn't been updated since September 2008 (at which time they were processing March's applications).

I am on call tonight - tomorrow I will be off and packing like a madwoman for our very, very decadent disneyworld vacation. 9 days at Port Orleans in Disneyworld with a 9 year old, a 5 year old, a 2 year old and 6 month old. We leave Friday (9th) right after school and will get home late Sunday night....I will be back to work (on call) on the following Monday(19th). I think I will be way more tired than before we left....but I will have cute pictures and possibly a tan. My friend, Ryan, is getting married there - ish so it is a great excuse. We started out thinking we would just go for a long weekend....but for only a couple of hundred more we could go for 9 days....we are such suckers for a vacation.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

the quilts


This is the quilt...we have the blue side up on the lower bunk and the red side up on the top bunk. Instead of the letters sheets we have sheets with red and blue stars on them. It is simple (and cheap...I admit it!) but it looks cute. We have a primary color plastic dresser and a bin holder that has primary color cloth bins already in the bedroom...so it all matches in a simple primary color kind of way.

On Call

I was lucky enough to have the entire week of Christmas off....which means I have been on call every other night for the last week and I picked up 2 extra shifts on Tuesday and Thursday....which means I have worked 108 hours in the last week....wow that is alot. Of course I have done that before...but I am older now and much more decrepit!

I am supposed to be studying, but I am having a hard time staying awake.

Yesterday we tried to get everything done to make our house a shining example of wholesome, kid-friendliness. We were both kind of moving at half speed and Z was destroying at full speed....oh to have that energy. I do have the great pleasure to say that most of the crayon has come off the upstairs walls. One wall, the crayon came off with just soap and water. On the other wall I tried wd-40, soap and water and a dryer sheet. All of which I had read on E-how. There is still a little smudgy on that wall....but somehow I will survive.

We also bought the bedding for the bunk beds the other day and the mattresses on Friday...so they are put together with beds made. It is amazing how much better a bunk bed frame looks with mattresses and quilts....especially after staring at the bunk bed frames for like 3 months in Z's room! I am at work or I would have takes a picture and posted it.

Although Zeb is really excited to have a bed in his room....I don't think he fully understands that it is for sleeping on. I haven't really ever had to transition a kid from crib to bed. My plan was to put his nap mat on the bed and then he would lay down on it to take a nap...fall asleep and I would pat myself on the back for how darn clever I was. So....you can imagine how successful my plan was...or wasn't as the case may be! He had to go back in his crib for his nap. We didn't even try at bed time. I suppose I could google that for a while today to try to stay awake. Of course...any suggestions are welcome!

Our list of things to get done before Tuesday night has really dwindled down to re-cleaning tomorrow and on Tuesday the little things. Lilianna comes home from her dad's house tomorrow so we will have to unpack her and get her re-oriented. I am really glad I am post-call tomorrow so I can spend some time with her. I am hoping she will get home early-ish...like noon so I will have time to get the things done around the house that I need to get done and we can go get Starbucks together. Of course, she doesn't get coffee...she just likes to go with me and eat a cookie. I love my boys, but I love having girl time to go to Starbucks and shopping. Don't worry Keith...we are not going shopping too (at least we are not planning on it!)
I am going to go jog around the block a couple of times and try to wake up...ok I more power-walk...but the idea is the same.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power