Saturday, December 17, 2011


1. In the past seven years, he has managed to: spray paint one of our cars red, stick florescent pink "floam" to the ceiling of our kitchen, flour the entire first floor of our house, get lost at a triathlon, leave our house before any one was awake on a Sunday morning and knock on a neighbor's front door (who we don't even know), spill dish soap all over both family room couches, and get hit square in the face with a lacrosse ball.

2. He has many knick names: P, Mr. P, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Preshy P, Presto

3. He has a heart of gold and adores his family, especially his older brother.

4. He would like to dress like a gangster, but we don't allow it.

5. His favorite food is anything that is a dessert. He would never eat a fruit or vegetable if he had his way.

6. He is brilliant in school, and is an amazing reader. So far he has read over 40 AR books just since September.

7. There is no one else in the world like Mr. P. and there are no words to describe how much we love this boy.

Happy Birthday, Peanut!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to the Blog

Some of our NY friends!

Fun afternoon with our NY cousins

Enjoying one of the last days of summer
Ave's first day of preschool

Boys start the first and fifth grades

Beautiful Hunting Island State Park, SC
Boys love their skim boards

Sneak preview to Dolphin Tale for turning 10!

P starts tumbling and Ave tries out dance

So I fell off the edge of the blogging world for the entire summer. Mike asked yesterday, "What happened to the blog?" Oops, I honestly had been so busy I completely forgot about it for the past couple months. Of course, he could keep up the blog too...but dont' hold your breath on that one.

We did have a great summer, and like always, it flew by much too fast. Spent a lot of time at the pool, as it's really to hot to do anything else. However, I am so thankful my job gives me the summer off so we can spend time together. We visited NY like we always do, kids love going to Granny's. We tried to new beach location this year and went to Harbor Island, SC which was gorgeous but beyond infested with mosquitoes. Did a short trip over Labor Day to Ocean Isle, which still holds the top place on our favorite beaches list. If I could move to the beach, I playing the lottery weekly. Again, not holding my breath on that one either. I contemplated homeschooling, moving to the beach and having boogie boarding class everyday at 9am but not sure that would be the best education for the kids. Of course, they thought it sounded awesome. I am still undecided.

Boys started the first and fifth grades and are loving it. Avery is now in preschool just two mornings a week and seems to be doing well (or let's say I haven't heard otherwise!) What you don't know, can't hurt you, right? :)

Caden turned the big double digits and Avery turned four, which she was thrilled about! She is already got her list of what she wants for her NEXT birthday! Mike made an adorable video, and I'll upload that soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Missed the Month of May

Oops, didn't manage to make a single post during the month of May. We were busy and with school winding down didn't even give it much thought. Anyway, to summarize May:

-Caden's been playing in weekend lax tournaments, mostly in town. This weekend he is in Greensboro. Sitting at lax tournaments in 95 degree heat is not my idea of fun, but he loves it. Preston has been tagging along with Cade and Mike at lax practices. He loves to hang out with is big brother (if only the feeling was mutual.)

-Preston now officially a first grader and is Mr. Smarty-Pants. Or, at least that's my evaluation of him! :) He is now reading chapter books and scored in the 98th percentile for the stardardized testing at the end of the year. He told me that he didn't get any questions wrong, and he was darn close. He missed 2 questions on the entire test over four days of testing. This is the same kid who spray painted our car red, dumped two bags of flour over the entire first floor of the house and got lost at a triathlon. He has come a long way! :)

-Avery is growing taller by the second and soon will be towering over all of us I am afraid. She is lanky, thin, and muscular. Her language is coming along, little by little. We did get her signed up for preschool two days a week for the fall.

We have been doing lots of boating. Papa bought a pontoon boat and all the kids LOVE it. So we go out at least one day over a weekend if not both. The lake water is already like bath water though, so that's a bummer. Not refreshing at all.

Up for June:

More lax, Preston's starts gymnamstics, and spending our days at the pool. Might make a zoo trip this week since it's supposed to drop below 90 for the first time in weeks. Might squeeze in a trip to the Atlanta aquarium as well...and maybe visit our friends in Asheville.

That's the May update...a month late! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

A beautiful 85 degree day today! We all managed to make it to Mass at 7:15am, then a boat outing and hopefully planting a small garden in a bit. Lake water was a chilly 67 degrees, so no one really made it in for a swim. But it was great to be out on the water, courtesy of Papa's Pontoon! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Government = One Big Mind Boggling Mess

Set out today to get Avery's Social Security number. Our USCIS agent said once her greencard arrived to just take it to SS office and she'll get a SS number. Now, I am not naive enough to believe it would be THAT easy, but now that she has a greencard what else can they need? Right? WRONG.

So I set out with:
-Adoption decree, birth certificate, greencard, medical records, etc.
Basically, I packed up the filing cabinet and brought it with me. We get called relatively quickly which thrilled all three kids because we were heading to the Nature Museum next to see the butterfly release after we finished. NOT.

As soon as I sit down, I can tell that not only does this lady mean business, but that she is not going to make any small talk. She asks for the application, check. Greencard, check. My driver's license, check. Adoption decree (Haiti), check. Which leads to our first roadblock. We have an emailed adoption decree both Haitian/translated to English. She wants, you guessed it, an original. I explained to her, it went down in the rubble (I don't know if it did or didn't but we'll probably never know) So, she then proceeds to tell me my "email" copy must get certified. Okay, but by WHOM do you recommend "certify" it? She said the man who signed it in Haiti. I tell her he did not survive earthquake for one, and two, how does she think I am getting anyone's John Hancock in Haiti? Seriously. So then she says get it certified by my attorney. Ummm, what attorney? UGH.

So, she gets her manager. The manager agrees, that is nonsense. So, she'll accept medical records instead. GREAT, I am so relieved I brought those. Wrong. Second road block. Although the records are all signed, and dated, she wants an original signature and a "stamp." Now I am getting pissed, I say like a postage stamp? HAHA. Anyway, she wants a stamp that has the doctors office name on it. Can anyone spell A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G. Can these people be making up any more rules as they go?

I cry and slam my papers around a bit and off we go, back up I-77N to get doc's INK signature (next to his signature that is already on there) and a "stamp." I said, stamp every page, stamp the heck out of that paperwork. Doctor asks if they also need his retina scan :)

Anyway, can our goverment make getting these adopted kids US citizens any more difficult. Honestly, it's so rediculous it's hard to put into words. And to top the afternoon off, the kids missed the butterfly release and now everyone is ANNOYED!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Caden's Letter

Dear Family and Friends,
This is Caden and I am walking again this year in the JDRF “Walk to Cure Diabetes.” I am now 9 ½ years old which means I have had diabetes for about eight years of my life. I don’t remember life without diabetes but it seems like it would be fun to not have diabetes. None of my really close friends have diabetes so sometimes I wish I was like them. My friends are really nice about it and never make fun of me, but sometimes kids that don’t know me well stare or ask a lot of questions.

My mom calculated that I have pricked my fingers close to 20,000 times since I have been diagnosed. The tips of my fingers are bruised and I don’t have feeling in some of the tips from being pricked so many times. I wear an insulin pump and we have to change the site (a needle under the skin) every other day. So, my parents have put the needle in my skin about 600 times. I ice my skin for a long time so it’s numb before we put the needle in but sometimes it still hurts.

I am hoping to be cured soon, and my doctor said there is an “artificial pancreas” that is very close to being perfected. This would be a device just like my pump, except it would do everything for me without finger pricks! It would be like having a healthy pancreas but I just would be wearing on the outside of my body. My mom would really like me to have this before I go to college and I hope to go to Duke. I would like to play soccer and lacrosse there. Go Blue Devils!

I have an online JDRF fundraising page if you would like to donate to my walk team. My mom has posted it a few times on Face Book so if you already donated, THANK YOU! I am trying to raise $5000 this year and so far I have $2000 raised. My walk is on April 9th and I will walk with my family and also my lacrosse team, since my teammate has diabetes too.

My team page online:

Thank you to everyone who wants to help my team raise money to find a cure!!!


Monday, February 28, 2011

Bad Blogger

I am pondering shutting down the blog....just don't have time to keep it going (or enough creative juices flowing in my mind to think of things to write about!) We have had a pretty routine couple of weeks and now that spring is here (it was 80 degrees yesterday) the boys are well-underway with sports, sports and more sports. Caden had four soccer games back to back on Saturday and he rarely gets a sub. So needless to say he got his workout for the day. Preston had lax and Mike had lax practice for the team (or one of the many teams) he coaches. Sunday was more lax for both Mike and Cade. We're always out and about on the weekends it seems but it's hard to deny kids activities they love so for now we make it work.

Off topic...any advice on where to bring a 3 year old with bad behavior? Miss Avery only listens to me. If I am around she is abnormally good. If I not around, she is abnormally bad. Whines, talks back, won't share, has a temper tantrum, puts her fingers in her mouth, squirms all over the floor, runs/jumps all over the house, etc. If I ask her why, she just responds with "I want to be good, or I don't want to be bad." She has had these behaviors since she came home over a year ago and there really hasn't been much change. Any advice on what to do or who might be able to help? Is it a child psychologist? A behavioral therapist? Both? Are they covered by insurance? Is she too young to get help with her behavior?

I have tried everything. Not making a big deal out of bad behavior, making a big deal, sitting on her bed, chair, or standing in the corner. Nothing sinks in. She fidgets, squirms, makes some strange noises (on and off), copies everything anyone says (but I think this is part of her learning the language) but needless to say these behaviors are wearing us out. So, if anyone has ANY ideas...please feel free to share! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Apparent Project: The Un-orphanage

Please check out the post written by my neighbor and blogger, Laurie. She found this great site that is selling awesome jewelry made out of recycled materials all in an effort to employ Haitians and allow them to make a living to support their own families. Enough to allow them to raise their own children and not have to drop them off at an orphanage just because they don't have enough money to feed them. Many Haitian orphans are not from deceased, ill or missing parents, but from LIVING PARENTS who just can't provide for their own children. Please, take a peek at Laurie's blog and check out the APPARENT PROJECT: The Un-Orphanage!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So Proud of this Boy

This year we are committing to JDRF again, after taking a couple years off. Caden's school has traditionally raised (50K!!!) for the American Diabetes Association each year for the past five years or more. We let Caden walk with his school and raise money for ADA so he felt included in this huge school event. However, JDRF is the research foundation focuses primarily on finding a CURE for diabets, especially type I. Type I diabetes is not in the person's control, is not related to the person's diet or lifestyle, like Type II usually is. Type I affects kids usually, who can be affected before they can even speak. Caden was diagnosed as a 22 month old baby and although we do want a cure for all diabetes, we are especially passionate about Type I.
And even better, Caden's school is thinking of making the change from ADA to JDRF next year which means 50K directly to research a cure! YEAH!
What's really exciting is some of the new areas of research which would make Caden's life WAY easier and improve his likelihood of living a long and healthy life. One, is the bioartificial pancreas. This would be a device implanted into the body which would act just as a healthy pancreas does, therefore, no more blood sugar worries. Some other things on the horizon are: inhaled insulin, beta cell therapy and a closed loop pump (i.e. the pump would automatically know what to do and would make adjustments on its own!)
So it's very exciting to see that our dollars raised are working!!! Our dream is that one of the breakthroughs mentioned above will be available for Caden before he is off to college. Also, as many of you know the longer you have diabetes the greater the chances for complications (eye problems, kidney failure, etc.) and Caden has had it his entire life. So the sooner the better!
Thank you for considering our cause. If you would like to donate to his walk fund his personal page is listed here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Gotcha Day, Avery!

One year ago today, we were recovering from what may have been the most stressful 3 days of our lives. It started with chaos (the earthquake) and for the next 2 weeks we were on the worst rollercoaster ride ever. From one hour to the next, we didn't know what would be thrown at us. We went from thinking we would have to start the adoption process over, to almost getting on a plane heading to the wrong city, to turning back home, to heading to Orlando, and sitting for 3 straight days with NO sleep AT ALL. Waiting, waiting and waiting some more. I have NEVER experienced any thing like it and nor do I hope to again. I really can say I felt absolutely delirious by the end.
However, that was one year ago and we have come a long way. Avery has settled in well and continues to grow and progress each day. Life is not perfect (whose is?) but everything is finally starting to feel like normal again. It took such a long time to recover from her unexpected arrival and the rediculous experience at the Sanford International Airport. Adoption is not easy but adding all that to the experience made it that much more difficult. Plus, my university classes had already begun so the day after we returned home from the AWFUL place (Sanford) I was back at work FT. That equals stress.

I must say I am so glad it's all behind us now and we can continue to grow as a family. Oh yes, and NEVER return to that airport again. I am also so thankful that she is young enough to not remember any of it!

Happy Gotcha Day, Avery! We love you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Even Pongo is a JETS fan!

Boys are taking care of Caden's class pet this weekend. Pongo, a hampster, is also a JETS fan! Who knew! Looking forward to the game later! GO JETS!!!

And, we are implementing a new reward system for the boys. They can accumulate marbles in a jar (got this idea from another adoption family) if they do good deeds, don't argue with each other, etc. They have to get 100 marbles for to earn a reward. Right now, they want to earn their own hampster (to share) and they plan to name him Mark Sanchez.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

One year

It's now been exactly one year since the earthquake struck Haiti. I remember exactly where I was when I got the news. I was sitting on the couch working on my computer when the phone rang. Mike had called to say his boss had told him an earthquake hit Haiti. To be honest, I didn't really think all that much of it at first. I figured it was probably small and the chances it hit right where Avery lived was slim. It probably hit way out in the mountains/countryside. But as I turned on the news channels, I quickly realized it was much bigger than I ever imagined. I immediately thought two things. One, wonder if she is stuck, hurt or didn't survive? Two, our adoption paperwork is in ruins. We will have to start over, which I really couldn't stomach the thought. We had been 2 years into what was turning into a 4 year process and the thought of starting over made me sick both for her and us.

As the days passed, everything was so confusing. We heard rumors the kids might get flown to US only for the next hour to bring a completely different rumor. This rollercoaster ride went on for almost 2 weeks. We had minimal sleep, numerous cancelled flights, and the feeling of complete chaos and uncertainty. There were moments of elation, scurrying to get her room ready mixed with moments of doubt and the feeling she would really never get home.

However, as you can see from the photo, it all worked out in the end for our family. I often wonder what Avery's birthparents are doing. Are they alive? Do they wonder where she is? I wish there was a way we could tell them how well she is doing. Her smile is the biggest smile I have ever seen. She is so loving and adores her family. She has her moments like any toddler does, but overall she is what I would describe as radiant. I would not want to relive last year again...but I so thankful for the outcome and giving our little girl an extra tight hug today!

Also,yesterday, HULU starting showing the Adopting Haiti documentary. Avery is right around the 2:40 mark yawning, wearing a striped dress sitting next to her nanny. I didn't really catch a glimpse of her much after that, but I'll have to watch it again. It was a good documentary, but it was so much more intense actually living the experience. I thought they should have captured the anguish parents lived through for 2 1/2 days at the Sanford International Airport. But, that could have been a movie all on it's own I guess. We ordered a copy of the video for Avery since she is so young so doesn't remember any of it. It will be amazing for her to learn someday what she lived through and overcame at such a young age.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The annual NC winter storm hit a couple weeks earlier than it did in 2010. Last year we got a pretty good snow fall the same week Avery arrived from Haiti and she was in climate shock. This year, she enjoyed it a little, but she is still not a huge fan of snow or cold. Can't really blame her, after being away from upstate NY for the past 12 years, I must say I am no longer a fan either. But, the great part is, when snow falls in NC we're assured at least a couple snow days. Today is our second one in a row and we may go for the hat-trick tomorrow. Worked out well for me since this week was my return back to work! I got to milk a few more days of vacation out of this wintery weather!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Last (but not least!)

M's 2011 Resolutions

1. Spend less time worrying about work and more time with family
(hence the reason why my list is last)

2. To get in shape both physically and mentally…for real!
(I’m almost friggin’ 40 years old)

3. Help more with bath duty, reading & tucking in

4. Spend more time outside with the kids

5. Run a half marathon

6. Read directions

7. Stretch

8. Don’t worry about the future

9. Travel

10. Last but not least, cherish every moment with T!

Caden's 2011 "Resolutions"

1. To go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

I cut him off right then and there and said he needed to think of 5 things that would improve himself or help other people. And if there were places he wanted to visit....they need be within driving distance. Needless to say, he's still working on his list.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preston's 2011 Resolutions

1. To go camping
2. To be nicer to my brother and sister
3. To help mom clean the house
4. To go to Bob Evans for breakfast
5. Play more board games with my family

Monday, January 3, 2011

Family Resolutions

So this year I am trying something new. Each family member is going to list 5 things they want to do or accomplish in the New Year. I'll take my turn first, so no one else has made their list just yet.

1. Break my addiction to Haagen-Dazs Chocolate PB ice cream. I did somehow manage to lose about 20 pounds this past year (it was 20 of the 35 I had gained over the past 6 years) so I am still not back to where I want to be. I have plateaued for the past 3 months, most likely do to this perfect mix of rich chocolate with creamy peanut butter. I can not tell you how many little pints of this stuff I have eaten, and I won't venture to guess, but it's embarrassing. If there was a world record for the most PB ice cream eaten, I am sure I would have broken it.

2. Get back into Tri's. I haven't figured out when I'll train, with 3 kiddos and a FT job (many laugh that I call my job FT) it pretty much leaves me working out at 5am (YUCK) or late at night when I have lost all motivation to do so. So today is Jan 3rd and I need to get this figured out today or else it will be June and I'll still be sitting around thinking about it.

3. Have more patience with my kids and read to them more. These I lump together because I find listening to my 6 year old read out loud to be slow and painful torture. Listening "patiently" as he sounds out words drives me nuts but I know he loves to and it's good for him to do it daily.

4. Getting more organized. Especially with meals, money/bills, and laundry. Need I say more?

5. Spending more quality time with Mike. We have tried to make an effort the past 6 months to do stuff alone and I think we've done pretty well. We went to a winery (boring), Atlanta, and out for New Year's Eve. This weekend we're heading to the mountains for his birthday. I hate having to rely on my mom or anyone to watch the kids because I know watching kids is not always we try to go away only a few times a year.

6. I am going to add on one more for good measure! To do more outdoor activities with the kids. To take day trips biking, fishing, hiking or a weekend camping (I HATE CAMPING.) The boys have reached an age where I think they'll really enjoy all these activities and now's the time to get out there and do it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

WELCOME 2011!!!

As bad as this might sound, I am so happy 2010 is over. I know life is short and I shouldn't be wishing time (or an entire year) away, but I am glad to see it come to an end.

We were blessed by the arrival of our third child (albeit a bit unexpectedly due to the sudden earthquake.) That whirlwind began way back in January and seemed to last well into the Fall. For one, we waited for over 40 hours in an airport food court, spend 1000's of dollars on cancelled flights and felt completely exhausted when the government finally released her. We didn't prepare as well as we could of (can anyone really prepare?) for the arrival of a little girl who had never really seen the world outside of her concrete walls. And although she did unbelievably well given the circumstances, it was overwhelming for Mike and myself.

Our boys had to welcome to a new sibling, who arrived very untraditionally, who couldn't speak or communicate with them. Life as they new it as a family of four, was now permanently changed and they each dealt with it in their own way. I believe it impacted our 6 year old the most as he moved from the baby to the middle child, and he is living up to that title very well lately! :) But, I think everyone is starting to really settle in to what is finally starting to feel like normalcy. And, arriving at that feeling of a new norm took much longer than I thought it would.

Aside from that major event, we called 911 for the first time for Caden this summer. I made a mistake with his insulin (which I thought was completely life threatening) and I had a migraine for two days following. He was fine and got a firetruck silly band from the EMS crew out of it.

Preston started Kindergarten and that has gone perfectly. He hasn't had one issue at school (not that I expected any) and I am so happy that he is enjoying school so much. He LOVES art, PE, recess...the typical things that most kids love at school. He lives for dress down day, and I love seeing his face light up when I pick him up.

We are excited about the New Year and what it holds for our family. Caden is trying out for a travel team in lacrosse and playing soccer. Preston is going to play lacrosse and Avery might try soccer! We hope to travel to new places and spend time together as a family bike riding and possibly "try" camping. And, above all, we hope to get Avery US Citizenship which is another story all on it's we're still working on that!

Overall, we had so many positive changes in 2010, I can't believe I am glad that year is behind us. But, honestly, huge life changes whether good or bad, can be so overwhelming and exhausting.

Here's to hoping that 2011 is slightly less exciting that 2010! :)