Thursday, June 28, 2007

Awaiting A New Arrival

I have some happy family news to share. My niece Kristen and her husband Russell are expecting their first baby. Kristen is 19 1/2 weeks along and doing well. She is a bit tired and irritable but not really any more than usual :) Today was the ultrasound and the baby is healthy and developing normally. They also found out the sex but I forgot to ask if she minded if I posted it on the Blog so I'll have to wait to share that info. Too bad she didn't find out last week so I could have sold the clothes she won't need at the yard sale! We've already started passing along some of our baby stuff to them. We have a ton of it (two of most things) and I'm glad they'll be able to use it. Kristen and Russell live about an hour away so we'll get to see the baby (oh, and them) frequently. I'm so excited. It's always fun to have a little one in the family.

Friends invited us over for an evening swim this week. It's been beastly hot so we were happy to go. It was Molly and Aidan's third time in a "big" pool this year. They have vests and we hold onto them in the water. This time Molly decided she could "do it myself" and lo and behold off she went swimming. She paddled across the pool (lengthwise no less) and all over without any assistance. She even flipped over on her back and swam backwards. We really were amazed by her ability but not surprised by her love of water. Her first experience in a pool was at the Hyatt in Almaty Kazakhstan and she was a little water baby then. All this after riding a pony at the zoo accompanied only by the handler. We finished the evening off catching lightning bugs. Aidan AND Molly were thrilled to catch and hold the blinking buggies. Just a few short weeks ago this was the girl who could be heard shrieking "a bee, a bee, a bee" whenever any insect with wings passed near by. You've come a long way little girl. Now, if she would stop making that sound when she's mad that reminds me of Reagan from the Exorcist...

Our neighbor has been generously passing along her children's clothing to Molly and Aidan. Molly loves to tell everyone that she's wearing something that belonged to Abby. Today I found a bag on the stoop from our clothing elf. The kids had fun inspecting the contents and trying a few things on. As you can see, the pumpkin hat was a fan favorite. The boy was smitten by a pair of pants and insisted on wearing them to bed for his nap. Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yard Sale and Other News

Not much computer time last week as all of my "free" time was spent getting ready for our yard sale which took place on Saturday. We did not add much income to the coffers but we unloaded a bunch of stuff and had some fun too. The only hitch was the man who took the "help yourself" sign next to the box of mini doughnuts literally and made off with the entire thing. Luckily the doughnuts had been on sale at the market and we had several reserve boxes. Molly and Aidan had fun chatting with all of the shoppers and visiting the other houses in the neighborhood that were included in the sale.

In addition to preparing for the yard sale, we've been having a bit of a rough patch with the dynamic duo. Mutiny is in the air and we've been waging many a battle. Not unexpected given the age but very frustrating because of the frequency and intensity. Wears a person out! Things have settled back to a more manageable level but man what a week. We're hoping for a bit of smooth sailing before more rough seas.

Next week I'll be taking Molly and Aidan to the Finger Lakes in NY. My brother's wife's family owns a lovely cottage on Lake Canandaigua. Pat and I have gone several times before we had kiddies and have had a terrific time. I will be flying solo since Pat is just back to work after six weeks off for his surgery. The only thing I'm a bit nervous about is sleeping. I'm hoping a busy schedule and lots of fresh air will help in this department. I'm looking forward to seeing my big brother, Grant, his wifey Sue and all of her family.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shutter Bugs

I let Molly and Aidan snap a few photos the other day. Here's a little something from their portfolio.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

To Daddy With Love

Happy Father's Day to our favorite Daddy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Everything Tastes Great on a Stick

We were at my in-laws a few weeks ago for a family BBQ. Molly and Aidan sat across the table from our 12 year old niece, Kaitlyn, who was enjoying her grilled chicken right off the skewer. "I want to eat with a stick" chimed the dynamic duo. Being the safety conscience mother that I am I opted for cocktail toothpicks in lieu of the large wooden spike the chicken was grilled on. This was a big hit and Molly and Aidan cleaned their plates. They also discovered that dispite your best efforts you cannot eat apple sauce with a toothpick. Another one of life's valuable lessons. Needless to say there have been many requests to "eat my meal with a stick" over the past few weeks. And I have to say it works like a charm. Who knew?

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Family At Last

Our dearest Molly and Aidan,

Two years ago today you came into our lives. Our dreams come true. It was magical to finally hold you in our arms. June 8th, 2005, the day our lives became forever entwined. A family. The beginning of an amazing journey that continues today. You dear children have brought us more joy than we ever could have imagined. We love you with all our heart, all our soul. We thank God each day for blessing us with you both. We can't imagine it any other way.

Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Boy and His Bins

Aidan's new favorite past time is to play with the storage bins in his room. Construction takes place prior to naps and bedtime. We can hear something going on and look forward to peeking in after he is asleep to see what he has done. He likes to put all of his "things" in the bins and then arrange them. Sometimes he lines them up on the floor like a train or stacks them in his bed. Occasionally we'll go in to his room in the morning and find him in a bin on his bed.

Aidan has also developed a love of jeans and requests to wear them every day. This has not been possible because 1) the weather has been too warm and 2) the boy doesn't own enough pairs. He's decided to take matters into his own hands and has been digging through his drawers after we leave his room. I walked into his room the other morning and didn't see him in his bed. I looked across the room and found him sitting in his chair with his jeans on. "I found some pants." he said. We now leave a pair beside his bed to minimize the rooting in his drawers.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Kazakh Kids Reunion

Wow. What a great weekend.

On Saturday we attended a get together with families whose children are also from the Delphin baby home in Kostanai. We gathered at a lovely home surrounded by woods and beautiful gardens. Our host was Beth, mother to Alex and Lana. Beth's last week in Kostanai coincided with our first week there and we followed her around like baby ducklings as she showed us the ropes. All told there were six families and 9 Kaz kids ranging in age from two to six. Our dear friends the Meusers (Bob, Beth and Nicholas) were among the group.

We arrive at noon after a few errant turns. Molly was a bit shy as is her m.o. when new faces are around but warmed up quickly. Aidan headed straight for the shelf lined with toy trains (anyone surprised). He became attached to a Lego Percy engine which didn't leave his side all day. He would have happily stayed in the playroom all day if we didn't insist he put on his bathing suit and join everyone outside. Yes, the lovely house also had an in ground pool. The day was hot and sunny and the pool shall we say "refreshing". Molly and Aidan have not been in a "real" pool since shortly after we arrived home in August of '05 so we weren't sure what to expect. Molly and Aidan loved it. A little hesitant at first, both were "swimming" by themselves (life vest and noodle under the arms) after a short while. There was a small inflatable boat that Molly took a shining to and we heard many choruses of "Molly's in a boat" sung by a laughing little girl. Molly wanted to be in the pool all day so mommy and daddy took turns. After lunch Aidan and Nicholas headed to the swing set and dug and drove trucks in the sand. At 5:30 we packed our gear to head home. Molly was not in agreement with our decision and pitched a MAJOR fit including full volume crying and screaming. Getting her dressed was a two person job. After 5 1/2 of playing and swimming and no nap the girl was done. We managed to wrangle her into the car and after a while she settled down. Aidan was cooked too but to tired to fight. After only a few minutes on the road I looked back to see him passed out with his chin on his chest. Molly tried to keep her eyes open in protest but lost after a valient effort. So what did we do with our tired children? Dragged them to a soccer game. Hey, they got a few winks. It was the championship game for the league Pat used to play in and his former team was playing. Molly and Aidan were cranky when we woke them up (duh) but came around after mom whipped out some PB&J sandwiches. Pat's team won. We arrived home at 8:30pm and Molly and Aidan went to their beds without a peep. What a GREAT day!!

Saturday was followed up by our agency's annual picnic at a state park. The picnic was well attended and included families created through both domestic and international adoption. Several of the same cast of characters from Saturday's festivities were there. We also met up with friends from my former place of employment. They had moved to Florida but are now living in Maryland. Their beautiful daughter was born in Astana and recently turned 3. Families pack their own lunch and the agency provides activities for the kids, a live band, free family portraits by a professional photographer, and an ice cream truck. We hung our Kazakhstani flag and set up camp. It was another great day only slightly dampened by some tears when Molly's balloon animal teddy bear popped.