Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tooth Fairy makes a visit!

The tooth fairy made an early morning visit to Preston today. He lost he first tooth last night, age 5 3/4. Caden was almost 8 years old when he lost his first one, so Preston seemed super young to me to be losing a tooth. BUT, when I volunteered in his classroom last week I noticed some kids had many of their permanent teeth already in and this is in kindergarten! So guess he wasn't so early after all. Caden must have just been super late.

Anyway, Preston got $2.00 which didn't thrill him in the least. But I told him later today we can go buy TWO packs of gum and that made his day (he loves to buy gum.)

Here he is showing off the new little gap in his mouth!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Mike and I got to go overnight to a winery this past weekend. I wanted it to be an extra great time since we only go overnight once or twice a year at the most. Saturday morning we decided to watch Caden's soccer games and it was about 100 degrees out. So, already I was a bit grumpy, knowing I am leaving drenched in sweat. We got a late start after having lunch and running a couple errands, and didn't get to the winery until late afternoon. Still sweating we didn't have time to shower, because the winery closes around 5:30pm. We wandered around aimlessly for about 20 min before figuring out what or where we were supposed to be. We tasted 5 wines each (which took about 10 minutes) and then didn't know what else to do. We weren't really interested in doing a tour as we just wanted to just sit and drink wine and relax. But, there was only a spot to do that outside (where it was 90degrees and infested with mosquitos.) We stayed at a "fancy" Hampton Inn, but it wasn't as nice as some I have stayed and it overlooked I-77. Two cool things did happen that day (I am really getting desperate here..) Heard our wedding song on the radio that morning, and considering it's from '91, we never hear it on the radio anymore. And, on the picnic table at the winery, there was a heart with Tracy & Michael carved on it.

So anyway, so much for that. Sometimes things don't go as planned but we're over it. Hopefully we'll go another weekend and this time go somewhere with a bit more to do, or somewhere that is more relaxing. It poured rain all the way home, just to top it all off!

This weekend we are hoping to head to Blowing Rock (one of our favorite mountain towns.) Granny and Aunt Kathy are coming to town from NY, so hopefully soccer will end early enough on Saturday that we can head up for some cool mountain weather. Supposed to only be in the 70's here this weekend, so that means 60's in the mountains...Love it!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This week...

Both boys are absolutely loving school this year. I would say for Caden, it's been his favorite grade so far. I am not exactly sure why. He has a planner and a folding binder thing for all his assignments arranged by subject (all students have this) so I think he enjoys the responsibility of staying organized. This is surprising to me, because he is not usually very organized or neat but this year he is taking it all very seriously. The other day in class, he thought he lost an assignment, and he said his stomach sank to the ground. Poor guy...he gets so uptight about the little things.

Caden also had a
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy done earlier this week. He has had stomach pain on and off for at least 6 months so we're trying to get to the bottom of it. It is possible he has celiac disease (very common in Type I diabetics) so we'll have to deal with that should that be the problem. The doctor took biopsies of his stomach and intestine, and we'll get those results next week. He did get put to sleep for the procedure and he did great. Woke up a little groggy, but other than that he felt fine. Here he is after the procedure enjoying some hospital pancakes. The worst part about the whole thing was we had to be in the city by 5:30am, which meant waking up at 4:30am...

Preston is enjoying kindergarten, although he always saying how annoying some kids are, etc. I keep telling him, kids are kids, and kindergarters act silly sometimes, but he doesn't seem to get that. He is his big brother's clone. The are both like little grumpy old men sometimes. Also he gets a little bent outta shape if he is quiet in line and the teacher doesn't notice, but she notices someone else being quiet. Again, I have to keep reminding him to just keep behaving and she'll notice because she only has 2 eyes and can't see everyone at once. I think he is still adjusting to having 25 kids in one room and still sorting through all the various personalities. And of course, his favorite things about school so far are: recess, lunch and PE. So typical!

Avery is having a good week, and I feel like she is growing an inch a day. I am 100% sure she will be taller than any of us. She is talking a little more each week and going to speech therapy once per week. I am stressing out about everything we have left to do to not only complete her adoption but also to get her US citizenship. There are a billion forms we need to fill out, some hefty fees involved, and a visit to a Civil Surgeon? I just need to get this all sorted out. But its just so overwhelming I keep putting it aside.

This weekend, Grandma is in charge as Mike and I are getting away for 1 night. We haven't been away from these kids much at all since the New Year, and well, we are in need of a break. So we are heading to a winery not too far away for some peace and quiet! I haven't posted much to this point about the ups and downs of adopting, and I won't get into it now... But, it's definitely challenging at times, I think we both have realized we need to make sure we find time away from it all occassionally!

Thank God for Grandma's! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Much better than the version we posted a few months ago! Yeah Avery!

That Smile

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Avery Turns 3!

One day late on blogging, our Avery turned 3 yesterday! She was really excited, although a bit overwhelmed when everyone sang to her. I have video of it, I'll post later, she looked like she was going to burst into tears at any second when we sang "Happy Birthday!" When she gets nervous she plays with her fingers, so I could tell she was slightly overwhelmed. Of course, she LOVED her cupcakes and opening gifts. Every gift she opened, she would say "MINE!" She does not want to part or share any of her new toys, which is understandable. She never had an official birthday before! Everything right now is "Mine, mine, mine!"

She has been home almost 8 months. In many ways she has come so far. The ONLY concern we have right now is her language skills. Comparing her to other 3 year olds she is light years behind. BUT, comparing her to where she was 8 months ago, she has improved leaps and bounds. When she arrived here in January, she said not one word. NOTHING. She didn't even speak Creole. She never even made a peep unless she was mad, then she would scream. She was either completely silent or screaming. There was no middle ground. Now, she will talk all day long, but her words are very hard to understand. She'll put words together, like "Look at me!" or "Where's Preston?" It's usually just 2-3 words in a row, and no more. She will tell us when she's hungry, thirsty, has to go potty, etc.

She is ALWAYS smiling. I have never seen a child as happy as she is. In her own way, she is so appreciative of everything. Anything I give her (like a cracker) she says "Thank you, Mom!"

She says "I love you, Mom" at least 20 times a day and her absolute favorite thing to do is cuddle. If I say, "I love you too, Avery!" she says, "Thank you." So sweet.

She loves to be held, loves to be played with, loves to be read to. She shows NO signs of attachment issues (maybe these will show up as she gets older?), except she can be a little overly friendly with strangers. When Mike comes home from work, she yells "Daddy home!" and runs to the door and about plows him over with a huge hug. Basically, she LOVES to be LOVED and LOVES to give LOVE. It really does seem like she is making up for the years she didn't get the love she needed.

She is VERY easy child at home, but of course, around other kids her age she will fight over toys with the best of 'em. She also will copy what other kids do (good or bad) and she can get really hyper around other kids....again, not surprising. She tends to listen to me better than anyone else. When she gets hurt or gets her feelings hurt, she can be very dramatic and carry on for longer than is appropriate. However, she doesn't carry on as long as she did when she first got here.

She loves to push her doll babies in their stroller, brush their hair and feed them, play with her laptop toy, look at books, and carry her blankie around. She also loves to EAT and EAT and EAT. When she first got here she ate NOTHING. For at least a month she would only eat oatmeal and goldfish crackers. NOTHING else. Now she will eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. She can eat more than anyone in this house. I don't know where she puts it all! My boys will only eat a 1/2 sandwich at lunch, and Avery would like 2-3 sandwiches! Her favorite thing to say is "I Hungry!" or "Avery hungry!" She is tall and we are wondering just how tall she is going to be! Which is sort of comical because our boys are below average height. One day....we are picturing Avery looking down on her "big" brothers!

She also loves to tattle-tail on her brothers. She likes to fight with Preston about who gets to sit next to me on the couch. She loves to ride bikes with her brothers and swing at the playground. Her abosolute favorite activies are swimming and putting on everyone else's shoes! She LOVES to go to bed and sleeps like a dream from 7:30pm-7:30am. She sleeps so soundly I think we could throw a party in her room and she wouldn't even flinch.

She doesn't like green beans, iced tea (I am really grasping for something she doesn't like!), milk, and isn't crazy about cookies...but I am sure that will change. Oh, and she does not like going to the doctor! :)

Overall, we could not be happier with how she is doing. Her smile just lights up the room and her positive, upbeat attitude is so amazing given all she has been through!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yarn Braids

Kayla over at Our Mixed Blessings, gave me the idea of trying yarn braids on Avery's hair. Avery's hair is thin and breaks so easily, it's seems like it never grows any longer and I was getting frustrated. I was hesitant to try yarn braids (basically hair extensions using yarn) because I think it makes her look way older than her age. But, after battling her hair all week, I decided it was worth a try.

So after searching at 3 different stores for plain black yarn (who knew Hancock Fabrics doesn't sell yarn? and the local knitting store doesn't carry plain black?) we gave it a shot. Took 5 hours to get them in. Avery is such a good girl when she gets her hair done. She sat and played with toys from 5-10p. We did take a couple stretch breaks. And I think she ate 15 popcicles.

Instead of leaving her hair down, I pulled the extensions up into 4 pig tails. Overall, they came out pretty good. I have been putting a silk scarf on her head at night to limit the fuzziness in the morning, but I am already seeing a little bit starting after day 2. I am hoping to at least leave them in for 2 weeks. Avery seems to enjoy all the beads in her hair and the noises they make when she walks!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School Update First Week

Boys have just completed their first week of school and so far everything is going great. Both boys are eager to get up in the morning, which I'll give about another couple weeks before I have to drag them out of bed.
Caden is in 4th grade and so far he is absolutely loving it. His teacher has a fish tank, so that really put the icing on the cake. Right now they are working on bar graphs, line graphs, math facts (multiplication and division review) and writing short stories. He mentioned yesterday how much fun it is to write stories, which is interesting because usually he hates writing. Today he has his first religion test and tomorrow is a spelling/vocab test. I thought the religion stuff looked pretty difficult, so we'll see how that turns out! As I was reviewing it with him, I was glad it's him taking the test and not me!

Preston is enjoying kindergarten, although yesterday he got in the car and said "Could everyone please stop talking?" "I have heard talking for the past 8 hours and I am sick of it!" He especially dislikes carpool, which does get loud as kids wait in the gym to be picked up. His favorite part so far is buying milk and/or ice cream at lunch. Although yesterday he didn't have time to eat his applesauce, but managed to have plenty of time to finish his popcicle.

This weekend both boys start lacrosse. Preston is playing on the peanut lacrosse team, and Caden U11. We are hoping Preston loves it because so far every sport he has tried, he has not taken a liking to. So we're keeping our fingers crossed. I asked him if he wanted to play soccer again, and he said "No, why would I want to run around and get out of breath?" Not sure what he thinks will happen during lacrosse?

Avery is doing well. Her behavior when Grandma is watching her has improved quite a bit. She still whines when she doesn't get her own way, but not nearly as bad as a couple weeks ago. Speech therapy has started, and she seems to be saying more and more each day. Most is very hard to understand, but you have to start somewhere. Her hair continues to challenge me. It doesn't seem to be growing much, and even seems to have thinned quite a bit. So, not sure what is going on with it. I put coconut oil in it last night, and made her sleep with a silk cap on her head....she still woke up with it all flattened to her head and tangled up.

That's the scoop for now! Looking forward to a long weekend!