CLICK HERE to see our blog from our trip to China »

Friday, August 31, 2007

The many faces of Sophia + Noah

These are pictures I took the other day, I'm loving the black & whites lately. Sophia got her hair cut today, and I've got some super cute pics to come. But, I couldn't post these pre-haircut pictures AFTER... so here they are. Which one is your favorite?












Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day in the Life of Diesel-Boy

Oh my goodness, isn't he just the cutest puppy? We call him our 'handsome Diesel Boy.' We have a few other names for him: Moose, Diesel Dork, & Diesel Dufus.

We just love him. It has been determined (oh Paige, you know it's true!) that Diesel got the looks, and Maggie got the brains. Maggie's a pretty girl, but Diesel has the massive head, and all the loose skin and jowls. Paige is always smooching on him, and he doesn't seem to mind a bit.







Puppy Love.mp3
Stop the current song playing to hear this one.

Ankle Update

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saw the doc yesterday. They're going to start me w/physical therapy. Said I can take 800mg ibuprofen up to 4x a day to help w/pain & swelling. This would be great, as after 2am I can't sleep as ankles have been paining me. Have you heard my pitiful wimpers in the night?

Doc said to ditch the crutches around the house, time to walk on the ankles. Use them when out, or on uneven surfaces. It's going to hurt, just don't roll the ankle again.

Well, the 800mg along w/the Vicodin did the trick at bedtime, I slept through the night for the first time in a week, and without pain. I even had a couple funky dreams. Today I've got my ankle laced supports on, and I see a big difference. Not quite my old able-bodied self, but I'm getting there. Hakuna Matata!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

7 P's Post

I've been tagged by Secret Agent, to do a 7 - P's meme. Here's my shot at it.

Pre-menstrual - Nuf said.

Puppies - I've got two, and they're pretty cute. They'll be 5 months the first of September.

Pretty - My two girls.

Popcorn - with extra butter when we go to the movies. The big bucket, that you get a free refill with. We dump what's left 1/2 way through the movie and go and get MORE fresh, hot, buttered popcorn. Who wants cold popcorn when you've paid $10 for it???

Pee - What happens when my boy sleepwalks. In odd places, sometimes. Oh the stories I could tell!

Paige - (Warning... brag alert!) Is going to be a freshman next week. Got her state school assessment results today in the mail, we're so proud of her! She totally kicked tush, exceeding the standards all over the place. Math was her best subject. For example, under mathematical decision making, she scored an 8 out of possible 8, while the average score in her school was 3.2, average in the district was 3.5, and average in the state was 4.2! WTG Paige!!! She looks so much like her Daddy, I'm thinking the brains must have come from ME!!

Poop - 'Me pooped a big one on the side of the road', said Sophia on the way back from NH (see previous post)

Wow, can you believe I got to 7 so quickly? Easier than I thought. I'm tagging Brenda R. Yup, just one. I'm such a rebel, aren't I? I'm not sure who's already been tagged, and this will make it easy!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 27, 2007

THE SHAMPOO/SCOOTER INCIDENT

As you all know, I sprained both ankles the other day. The 'shampoo/scooter incident' happened the day after the sprain; I was in need of a few things at the grocery store. I hadn't taken any meds since the night before, so it was a good time to get it done.

Paige, Sophia & I entered the store, and I immediately spotted the 'grannie cart', the motorized cart for those that 'need a little help' getting around. Well, that was me, so I shuffled over, and put my crutches in the basket, taking pains to be sure they weren't sticking out too far. Sophia wanted to ride, so I plopped her on my left knee. We made our way through the store, filling the cart with items.

I had just left Paige in the facial cleanser aisle, to choose what she needed, after encouraging her to try the one that had the 50% off sticker on it. (Why not, they probably all have the same ingredients in them!) I was heading out of the aisle, rounding the corner to the right.

Johnny Cash - Hurt...
Turn off the current song playing to hear this one.

What happened next is unclear, fuzzy, & blurry. It happened fast, but in slow motion. As I round the corner, I feel a heavy THUMP on my head. OUCH! THUMP... THUMP... More pain. What in the world??? I shield Sophia from the barrage of shampoo bottles tumbling from up above. The rain storm continues. THUMP... THUMP... I just cover her, and wait for it to stop.

No wait... it gets better.

The whole end aisle shelving unit comes down, onto my shoulder. Yeah. I really need this. A store associate hears all the commotion and comes running to my aid. He pulls the metal shelving unit off my shoulder (thanks man) and stands it back upright. I forget about my ankle pain for a bit. The thumping of shampoo bottles has stopped, so I uncover Sophia to assess the damage. She's fine. Not even shook up. I put her down on the floor, although it's hard to find a bare spot on the floor to place her.

I should probably mention that Paige is still in the facial cleanser aisle, practically hiding at this point, pretending she doesn't know the woman that just created all the mess and chaos in the grocery store. Sophia runs over to her and says, "Mama made a big mess!" I think I heard her 'shhhhh' her, as she was blowing her cover.

The man asks if I'm okay. (Just peachy.) Now that the end shelf display is upright, he starts to move the many bottles (I'll bet there were 100) away from the buggy, so I can move it out of the way. We figure out that the rubber end of my crutch (the bottom) caught the corner of the shelf when I rounded the corner. He keeps asking if I'm okay, and needs to get my personal info (I guess they want to know who might sue them?) I give it. I am totally horrified and embarrassed. Will I sue? No, that would be ridiculous. My bruises will heal, and I'm not one of those that is looking for a payoff. With that said, the whole shelf shouldn't have come crashing down on a customer, they certainly would be liable for that. I guess they're just lucky it happened to me.

My hands are shaking as I pull down into the next aisle, and I start to cry. Pain, embarrassment, surprise, you name it. Paige and Sophia follow me (10 steps behind), and we get our last item. Paige reaches down under the buggy and pulls out 2 more bottles of shampoo. We giggle. I want to get out of there so fast, you have no idea. I hear more associates coming to help clean up the mess, and put the display back together. "What in the world happened???" they ask. I keep moving towards the front of the store. We get out of there without another incident. I joke with Paige that I'll have to blog about this, she begs me not to. "Mom... we don't have to tell ANYONE, no one needs to know about this!" lol Spoken from the heart of a 13 year old...

I go home, take a Vicodin and go to bed. Later in the day I assess my new injuries. I have a goose egg on my forehead, (if you look closely you can see the word 'Suave') and a pretty good bruise on my arm and shoulder.

DH still isn't home at this point, but I'm sure he'll get a kick out of this story for years to come. He's still saying, (with head shaking) "I still don't know how you sprained BOTH ankles..."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Update

I've learned a few things I need to share with you.

#1. Take meds before bed, whether you think you need them or not.
Do I really have to explain this one?
#2. You need the use of your ankles to turn over in the bed.
Never thought much about it till now, but it's pretty much impossible to reposition yourself in bed without pushing off on your ankles or feet.
#3. Bring meds upstairs before bed (okay, have able bodied child bring them up), along with a snack, in case meds are needed in the night.

It's 4 something am. Couldn't stand it anymore, doesn't matter how I try to lay (pillow between knees & legs, on my side seems to work best). Still hurts. I still have to reposition, and when I do, PAIN. Turn, pain... reposition, pain... This is where I would finally jab DH and ask him ever so sweetly to get meds and snack. Can't jab DH, he's not home. Could call to dear daughter (who has been a wonderful help) and ask her, but her door is closed. This is also the teen that most often sleeps till noon (slept till 2pm the other day) and might be very difficult to wake up.

Gotta pee (never have to pee in the night by the way, not even when pregnant = ginormous bladder here folks!) takes a long time to get out of the bed and shuffle down the hall... hoping I make it... (I made it).

So here I am at my computer, complaining. Tired, but can't get comfortable to sleep. Need meds. No way I'm shuffling on my rear end down those stair (again), that's how I have to do it. Seems my ankles hurt MORE now (is that even possible?) than before I went to bed. Climbing up those stairs (14 I think?) to get back to bed seems impossible right now. Could just sleep on the couch downstairs, but what if Sophia calls to me in the night from a bad dream? Love our 2 story house, but I can see right now there are drawbacks.

Must wake the teen, I can see that. If I start waking her now, I should have meds by 7am. lol Maybe when I open her door the attack dogs precious puppies will jump to attention like they usually do barking up a storm (they really are wonderful protectors) and will help me to wake her. Nah... they'll hear me grunting and clicking down the hall on those crutches. I've found the best way is to do the 'elderly shuffle'. Can't really come down to land on either ankle, so I take the weight off and shuffle. Not a pretty sight. Don't even want to think about how I'm going to manage a shower in the morning (or maybe the afternoon if the meds kick in).

Okay... here I go... wish me luck...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yup, this is me.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Johnny Cash - Hurt...
Pause the current song playing, and then play this one.

Headed out this morning for an 11am hair appointment for Paige. She starts school after Labor Day, and wanted to have her looking her best. Stepped down off my bottom step onto the crushed rock that's been there for 2 years or more. Twisted, no, buckled my left ankle. Ouch! Not sure what happened next, I guess I jumped onto my right ankle, the ankle I sprained a few years ago now, (jumping down off the porch onto uneven ground). Buckled that one, too, in the other direction. Next thing I know I'm on the ground screaming in pain, unbelievable pain. A funny sound came over my ears, and I started feeling really woozy, funny. I guess I was almost passing out. After much screaming, Paige came out, and helped me up. She later confessed she heard the sound, but it didn't sound human, so thought it was a bird or other critter in the woods. LOL

Called my Dear Mom, who lives next door. She came and got us, I hobbled in pain and tears to the car. At this point I was still going to take Paige to her hair appointment, and after that go to the emergency room (am I a great Mom, or what?). Realized we were already late for the appointment, so headed to the ER. No complaints about the ER, they did a fine job, didn't make me wait much at all. Only bummer was the girl wheeling me in the wheelchair, that ran my foot into the doorway... grrr! X-rayed one of them, turns out not broken. TWO SPRAINED ANKLES, one much worse than the other. Doc said something about torn cartilage.

They wrapped both ankles in bandages, with 2 air casts and crutches. Just call me hop along. Think about it. When you're on crutches, you put pressure on your 'good' foot, and keep the bad one up, the crutches keep you from putting weight on it. Tell me how I'm going to keep weight off BOTH FEET???

Now, the whole day wasn't a downer; the highlight of my day was driving the little elderly motorized cart at the grocery store, to fill my prescription of Vicodin. Now, tell me why the pharmacy is located WAY AT THE OTHER END OF THE STORE! Paid for my prescription, and giggled with delight at the way it 'beep, beep, beeped' when I backed up.

Oh, did I mention, DH headed out of town a couple days for work, this morning. Yeah. Good timing, eh? Gimpy me, 3 kiddos and 2 pups. Good times.

Top that, fellow bloggers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who Loves Her Daddy?




Any Survivor fans out there?


Click here to see the promo video. Sophia is from Guangchang, which is in the JiangXi province, where they're doing Survivor this time! It is reported the filming site is 24 miles from Nanchang, (capital city) where we stayed for a week, and completed Sophia's adoption. EXCITING!

I saw mention of Survivor China on someone else's blog, but I can't remember now, who it was, or I would link you back. My apologies to the person I snookered it from!


I'm not usually a big fan of the show, but won't miss an episode this season!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Frost tonight?

The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for xxxxx County from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Tuesday. That's us. Ugh.

Time to break out the fall/winter clothing around here! Must go shopping for Sophia, for long pants and sweaters. I've always bought stuff ahead (sale & clearance) but she doesn't have squat for fall/winter this year. She's got an image to keep up, after all...

Paige & Noah start school after Labor Day. Where did the summer go? We never did make it to the beach or ocean. Having the new pups this summer changed our plans a bit. We planned on going on day trips Sunday's after church, but can't take pups to state parks and such. DH's been working on the porch, too. It's not going to get done if we're taking off for day trips here and there. We hardly used the mega water slide, it just didn't get hot enough around here.

Another summer bites the dust...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Love ♥

Friday, August 17, 2007

Glamour Photo Shoot

I did a photo shoot the other day with Paige (13) and her cousin Carolyn (14). They dressed up, and headed to the backyard. I think there's a bit of 'supah model' in both of them! LOL

The sandpile pics were their idea...


Diesel looks less than thrilled, doesn't he?


Strike a pose girls!


Cousins & best friends, can't you tell?







Silly girls!



I love Paige's expression in this one. She's so smitten with Diesel.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Can we keep him, Daddy?

This baby mouse came out of the garage today. Isn't he cute?

He's so little, and not very steady on his feet, maybe he's a day or two old? We figured there must be more, but couldn't find them.

Sophia brings some bird feed for the baby mouse.

A little meal before we let him go... hope he finds his Mommy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The View from My Front Porch

Awhile back, someone did a Porch Meme. It was fun to see all the beautiful porches. My porch isn't done yet, so I have yet to participate in that. However, it got me to thinking. Not everyone has a porch, but everyone has a front door. So, how about we all (yes, this even means YOU!) do a post of the 'View from our Front Porch, Door, Step...'. One picture, multiple pictures, you decide. We all live in different parts of the country/world, and it would be neat to see what you see when you step out your front door! If you want to share a little more, that would be great too.

We live in a small town in New England, population 2,500 people. No grocery store, no post office. We own four acres on a private, dirt road. Up until a couple years ago, there were no houses in view from our front porch. (click on my picture to see better) We often see deer, wild turkeys, fox and sometimes moose down here (usually down on the playground, or just past it by the corner). In fact, just this morning Maggie & Diesel were barking protectively on the porch, at a deer down there. Oh, they've saved us once again! LOL

Well, that's a little bit about where we live. Time for you to share. Tell us about your neighborhood. Show us the view from YOUR front door. Come on... it will only take you a minute! Today's the day! Please fill out the linky thing below, so we will know you did it, and we can all come and check out your site! Ready... set... go!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Why adoption & My new tunes!

A big thank you to Rony for turning me on to the esnip music. She's been putting some clever tunes to go along w/her blogs. To the left you will see a play list, of a few of my current favorite songs. Turn up your volume, and check them out.

I have to tell you about the last one on the list, 'He knows my name'. This song is Sophia's song. The whole time we were waiting for our referral, I would hear it and cry. Cry. I have tears in my eyes now, as I listen. 'He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.' All I could think of was Sophia, somewhere in China, crying and I wasn't there for her. He was hearing her, though. Won't you grab a tissue and have a listen?

If you don't know the story of how we came to adopt, I will tell you. (We do have another website: www.journeytosophia.com if you want to see our 'gotcha pics' or other posts from china, but I will save you from going.)

Why did we adopt from China? Because God called us to. Let me explain further.

On July 16, 2004, DH was driving in his truck, listening to a Focus on the Family Christian radio program. It was Pat Wadenphuhl, speaking of how God had led them to adopt from China. She told her story. I wouldn't know until mid-December just how touched Ted was by this program. (Ted said he knew right then, that we would be adopting a baby from China; it was a feeling he just couldn't describe.) He wouldn't share this with me until months after we'd begun the process.

DH had a customer to meet at 10:30, so he pulled over to the side of the road, so he could hear the rest of the program before proceeding to the job site. DH arrived at the job site at 10:30ish. The man he was to meet was there, but he needed to run and pick up his daughter at camp. Minutes later when he returned, he had indeed picked up his daughter, his CHINESE daughter, that had been adopted from China years before!

DH and I met the same day for lunch. He was sharing what he had heard on the radio program, as I sat in tears. (Yes, I'm very emotional.) He shared with me information about the one child policy, and the conditions in which these children were living. He told me how he arrived at the job site, to meet the customer with a daughter that he'd adopted from China. How odd - a neat coincidence I thought. It hadn't hit me yet.

I began to tell DH of something 'odd' that had happened to me this very same morning. I had received an email from an old friend that I hadn't heard from in almost 20 years. Her name is Hope, and she came to my school in the 2nd grade. She had looked me up on classmates.com, and sent me an email. Nothing special, just how are you, what are you doing, have any kids, things like that. I'd signed up for classmates.com a couple years ago now, and had never been contacted by anyone else.

This is where it gets interesting. Hope was born in Asia, in Korea. She was adopted, and moved to my home town in the 2nd grade. Hope emailed me the same morning, after 20 years of no contact. As I told DH of this 'funny' thing, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was becoming very clear that these weren't 'coincidences.'

I looked at DH and said, "Um... do you suppose we're supposed to... adopt a baby from China?" We both looked at each other and we just knew. DH said something to the effect of "it sure looks that way."

Wow. We were both taken aback, but couldn't deny what we were being called to do. We never doubted and said no, but we were in shock for awhile! :) I joked with Ted and said, "Do you suppose God knows how dense we are, and he had to give us 3 'clues' in one morning?" No, really! We had two bio children, DH had a vasectomy, we were content. Adoption was never a dream, never a thought. We didn't really know anyone that had adopted, and we certainly were not experts on China's one child policy, or all the baby girls in orphanages over there. We were living our lives, and doing our thing. But God had another plan for us.

What a huge leap of faith. Financially, we were a one income family of 4, and we didn't have the $25,000+ that it takes for an international adoption. Probably the biggest leap of faith, was the financial piece. After cleaning out what we had in savings, we proceeded to take out a home equity loan, just as Patt W. had done when God had called her to adopt. We knew it was all orchestrated by God, and He would provide the means. We did a bit of fund raising. So many people donated items for our benefit garage/lawn sale that happened Memorial Weekend. My mother even made a beautiful miniature doll house to raffle at the sale. Family and friends were so supportive. Praise God, we were able to raise over $4,000 at that two-day sale!

We had never thought of adoption; we thought our family was complete. This wasn't our idea, like most of the decisions in our past had been. This was bigger than us. This was clearly orchestrated by God. Wow, why us, we wonder? We're thankful that He has chosen us.

Our completed dossier was logged in December 28th 2004, and 7 months later we were referred Sophia (see pic above). We all traveled to China as a family, and we love her more than words can express. So you see, it was a 'God thing'.

That's our story. We still don't know why us, but we are amazed and thankful every day for this incredible journey. This was going to be a post, with no pictures, just to point out my snazzy new music player over there on the left hand side, and look what it turned out as!

Enjoy the tunes, while I get a tissue myself! And when you get a minute, how about sharing your story?

Screen Door + Puppies = NAUGHTY!

Today I had to run a couple of errands. I usually leave the puppies (4 months old now) in the entry room (aka mudroom), and confine them to that room. They have beds, food & water, and can't get in too much trouble. The pups were pretty mellow today when it was time to go, so I blocked the stairs going upstairs, and left the door from the mudroom into the house open, so they could have the run of the whole downstairs. I also left upen the inside door of the living room, on the front of the house, so they could see out. No problem, right?

When I arrived home after my errands, I was surprised to see the pups come around the side of the garage to greet me. I thought, DH must be home! But no... he wan't. Noah offered "I bet you left the back door open!" But no.... I didn't. Well what in the world...

They had clawed, ripped and shredded the screen door on the front of the house to get out. Naughty pups! LOL Not sure what happened to their mellowness, but they wanted out for some reason. I was just hoping they didn't go out... then in... then out through that door. The living room is carpeted, and we don't use that door as an entrance to the house, just an extra door. I might add that it was pouring rain today. POURING. The house could have been a total mud hole. Oh, and I had just washed the kitchen dining room floor that very morning!

Good news, no mess at all inside. Bad news, now that the dogs know they can rip through a screen door, will they do it again when we replace this one? Good news, they stayed right at home and didn't disappear. They're bred to be 'fierce protectors', and to read about the breed you will find they stay close to home (I suppose to protect). This has proven to be accurate thus far. Good news, we were replacing that door (both front doors) when the porch is done, anyway, so no loss. Good news, the dogs are brilliant, and created their own 'dog door'. Maybe they should be on America's Great Dog Inventors!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Watch me run!"

Both feet are off the ground!

Here, too!

Running is more fun when someone is watching...







This is Sophia, running on the porch. (Porch is still under construction.) Notice the dogs laying down on the porch in the pictures. They just laid there, and watched her run back & forth, just past their noses. Aren't they the best puppies ever? They know not to mess with Miss Sophia!

She was having fun running, and I was enjoying the fact that she was wearing herself out, and would take a great nap! A great nap for Sophia is 1 1/2 hours. Her usual nap is 1 hour, once a day. I know there are those of you that get 2+ hours of nap a day from your kiddos, but not at this house!

I took the above pictures yesterday. Today she got only a 5 minute nap. Fell asleep in the mini-van just when we arrived at home, and then woke up. Pretty good mood for the day, and didn't go to sleep until 9:30 pm. That's my girl, doesn't need a lot of sleep. She's a future midnight blogger, for sure!