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! :)