Saturday, February 28, 2009


Wow -- 24 -- no, not the TV show (though I've heard it's great), but my oldest son, Philip, turns 24 on February 28! Happy Birthday to You! Hard to believe that it's been that long since he was born on a really warm spring-like day that year. And, being the Midwest, it was snowing a few days later when we headed home. He weighed in at just over 9 pounds. Before he was born, my OB predicted I would have a 7 pound baby girl! The doc said he was NOT going to make predictions ever again after he was so wrong that time! :)

Ahhhh -- the first-born -- the things we didn't know when he was a baby! I constantly worried that he had a fever. That poor kid had his temp taken more times that first month than probably in his whole life! And there were no ear thermometers back then! ;) But, oh my, he was such a wonderful baby, even though I don't think he slept through the night until he was almost a year old!

Philip at 7 years old and Connor at 5 -- such cuties!!!

He had a few minor medical issues through the years including those dreaded ear infections and ear tubes. The tubes left a hole in his eardrum that had to be surgically repaired not once, but twice. Then one summer when he was swimming a lot, I was determined to keep that ear dry, so I put drying ear drops in every day. When I took him to the doc after he complained his ear hurt, the pediatrician looked at it and said, "That's strange, his eardrum is so dry, it's about to burst!" Ooops -- sorry about that!

And all of sudden, in the blink of an eye it seemed, he was grown up. He graduated from high school and then from college (those high school and college years go by so fast)! And now, he's in his second year of medical school. Last May he got married and we added his sweet wife Catherine to our family. It's been a wonderful 24 years and we look forward to many fun times in the years ahead.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

While She was Sleeping

A few months back, I wrote that Maddy has experienced night terrors occasionally. She had some when she was younger. Well, they have recently re-surfaced again. The past two weeks, on at least 3 or 4 occasions, I've heard her crying and sometimes even sobbing in her room or in the hallway on the floor. Running to her, I've found her sitting straight up, crying and then kicking her little arms and legs as I got closer. I talked to her quietly, but she just continued to be very agitated and upset. So, then I would take her into another room to sleep. I generally have had to carry her because it is quite apparent that even though her eyes are open, she is not registering that I am even there. She falls soundly asleep nearly as soon as her head hits the pillow and has no recollection of it whatsoever the next day! Even though she falls right to sleep and doesn't remember the episode the next day, it's hard to see her so upset.

After consulting Dr. Google and Webmd and its definition of night terrors, I've been trying to figure out if something has been upsetting her, but I haven't come up with anything. She's been going to bed at about the same time as usual and her routine hasn't changed. Maybe there simply is no explanation. The only thing I can come up with is that this month (February) is the month that she was moved from her foster family back to the orphanage to get ready to meet us in early March nearly six years ago. Do you suppose her subconscious is remembering that?

She had a very difficult time with changes and adjusting to new people during her first year with us. I always attributed it to the fact that she experienced so many changes during her first 13-14 months. Knowing how she reacted to changes when she was a toddler, it seemed to me that probably as soon as she got used to a place or caregiver, it changed. And she'd have to go through the whole grieving and readjusting process all over again. I haven't really come up with any answers about the recent night terrors, but am just hoping they stop again as quickly as they began. The good thing is that she does not remember being so upset and crying at all the next day. For now, I'm going to watch and see if the night terrors continue. So far, none this week. It is definitely something that I will discuss with her pediatrician.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vegas for Kids!

On Saturday, we visited the Amazing *Pizza Machine in Omaha. OH. MY. WORD! The place is what I would imagine a kiddie Las Vegas would be like. Maddy had visited the Amazing place last summer on a field trip with daycare and has been wanting to go back ever since. It's like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids! The lights, the machines, the kids, the noise!!! WHOA! I don't know how he managed it, but the Rickster sat and read a book, highlighting important pages, no less. How he could read in all that noise and flashing lights is beyond me! We stopped back and dropped off tickets with him throughout the afternoon and made sure he wasn't dozing off! :)

There are also some rides, but Maddy didn't want to ride any when there was the chance that she could win tickets and get a prize! There was one "drop a ball" game that wasn't working right and not giving out any tickets. We found a worker to report the malfunction to and he came to repair it and gave us loads and loads of free tickets! Just what little Miss M wanted! The end result was that she had about 350 tickets and was able to trade 250 tickets for a teensy little stuffed animal. She was in heaven! Even though it was not my idea of a fun way to spend the afternoon, she loved it. Before we left, she looked up and me and sweetly said, "thanks for taking me to the Amazing Pizza Machine."

While in Omaha, we also got to visit my parents and see Philip and Catherine for a while! It was loads of fun to see them and chat a bit. Maddy and I made some chocolate chip cookies in the morning and took those along -- a big hit with my folks, to be sure! We also visited a furniture store and little Miss M is getting some new bedroom furniture in a couple weeks! Her current dresser has only 3 drawers and one does not open at all, so most of her clothes have been jammed into two small drawers! Good thing she wears a uniform! It was really past time for something new. She and I are busily cleaning out her room in preparation for the new furniture and hopefully, a better organized bedroom!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tennis Anyone??

True, it's not quite tennis weather here yet and we actually have about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground, but that did not stop Mr. Tennis from introducing Maddy to his favorite sport on the weekend. He actually hasn't played in a while because his hip was bothering him so much. He used to play at least twice a week and for a while there (in younger days) about 5-6 times a week! Anyway, now that the Rickster has a new hip, he decided it's time for Maddy to learn the in's and out's of the game. And . . . she really enjoyed hitting the ball and even picking up the tennis balls! He's reserved court time for them every Sunday and lessons start in March.
I tried to play tennis for a while since the Hub and boys all played. But, I could never get my serve in. Ok, truth be told, I liked the outfits better than the sport and liked doing drills much more than playing games! Somehow, I'm thinking that Miss M is going to be all about the outfits and accessories -- as she insisted on wearing a bracelet (see above) that I had received through the American Heart Assn Go Red for Women shop and is now calling it her "tennis" bracelet! :0

Think she had enough of the camera that day, don't you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Out of the Mouths of . . . 1st Graders!

One of the many fun things about having a first-grader is hearing some of her thoughts and ideas and those of her friends. Last week, Maddy took her lunch a few days, which she does quite often. I used to make her heart-shaped sandwiches (yeah, I'm that psycho mom), but lately, she has asked for peanut butter on crackers. So, I whipped some up for her and tossed them in her lunch box with her bbq chips and granola bar. That evening she came home and said that her friend Olivia looked at her peanut butter crackers and said, "Those will make you die!" Obviously, Olivia had heard about the peanut butter cracker-related illnesses and recall. Luckily, Maddy's teacher explained that peanut butter crackers your Mom makes are not the ones that might make you sick!

Then last week one evening, M and I went to Targe*t for a little shopping. We hadn't been there in ages and I was having a bit of withdrawal. I needed some new workout clothes --new year's resolutions, you know! Guess what is right next to the workout apparel?? Lingerie and unmentionables. And due to Valentine's Day (at least I think that's the reason), Targe*t has quite a few in bright red and purple colors -- so lovely! Anyway, while I was looking at the workout stuff, Miss M went and found a bright purple/reddish padded bra, she held it up to her chest and said, "Look, I have big boob*ies!" So funny! Yeah, wish I had my camera for that!

I'm helping out with the Valentine's Day party at school, so will be listening for more pearls of wisdom from Mrs. P's first grade class!! Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Come On Spring!!!

Although the groundhog saw his shadow recently meaning six more weeks of winter, we had a bit of a preview of spring last weekend. The temps were above 60. OH MY GOSH!! It was so beautiful! Felt like the grass should be turning green and little flowers and shoots popping up, but that is still aways off. And, snow is forecast for next weekend.

Maddy and I did enjoy a scooter ride (she was on the scooter with me running behind!) to the park to play and it was so nice to sit in the sun and enjoy the warm temps. She also rode her bike a bit and got out this old car that son #2 (Cboo) used many years ago. Cboo got this car when he was 2-1/2 -- he's now over 21! Do you think I have a problem getting rid of stuff?? Some things are just too fun to give away or sell and this car was one of those!

We had one casualty from the sub-zero temps of December and January. We have an old refrigerator in the garage and usually keep water and pop (soda to you Easterners) in it. Well, when we had some really cold weather (way below zero) for a number of days in a row in December and January, I realized the pop was freezing. It wasn't just freezing . . . it was exploding!! But I avoided even looking in the refrigerator -- so fearful I was of what had happened. So, part of the warm day was spent cleaning out the incredibly sticky refrigerator. OY - it was such a mess! The good news is that I got it all done in about an hour and at least it has been too cold for the sticky mess to attract a million ants! I learned my lesson -- pop stays in the house during the winter and we'll use the refrig in the summer only!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chinese National Acrobats

On Friday evening, Maddy and I along with her friend Mei and Mei's Mom went to see an incredible performance put on by the Chinese National Acrobats! It was fabulous and a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year!! Of course, Maddy had already seen a portion of the performance earlier that day when her school went on a field trip. Yep -- their only field trip of the year and it's to the same show that I had bought tickets to about six months ago! No matter -- it was really such an amazing show! WOW!!! The girls were so excited and so proud to be from China! If you get a chance to see the show -- do it -- you will not be sorry! They performed the bicycle routine above and it was mind-boggling how they managed it all on one bicycle!

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's Flashback Friday!

It's so much fun to look back at some of these old photos! These are both from April, 2004, nearly five years ago when Miss Maddy was not yet 2-1/2 years old. Love her sweet little round face in this photo of her and Mr. Tennis! Love his sweet round face too! :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cooking -- Always an Adventure!

Miss M and I were on our own a bit this weekend as the Hub was out of town with cboo. They had a great time together and so did Maddy and I. Those of you who know me in real life, know that I not the best cook. Passable I suppose, but really nothing to rave about. Breakfast -- I can make a mean bowl of cereal! But really, I love a poached egg -- I could eat a poached every single day, but that does involve a bit more cooking than pouring the cereal into the bowl and adding milk, so generally grapefruit and cereal win out.

But, I really outdid myself yesterday. I made Erin's pot roast. OH MY GOSH!! It was so delicious! Too bad that cboo ran off to his apt for a Super Bowl Party (though I did make him my famous Mexican dip), but the roast was really, really yummy! Thanks Erin!! Will definitely be making it again!

Sometimes Maddy likes to help in the kitchen. Truth be told, she likes to sit on the counter and watch me or watch the Disne*y channel or Noggi*n and eat chips. Anyway, she has helped on occasion. Here she is helping me whip up some delicious treat. Our favorite thing to make together is cookies. And yes, I do eat the raw cookie dough -- it's delish. Lucky for me, Maddy doesn't like it ... yet!