Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Day of March

It was a warm and sunny day here and I am sooo looking forward to summer. I am ready for things to slow down A LOT and to spend time outside just being. Good weather is something I have taken for granted since I have been out here in California. After this winter I will be more appreciative of it.
We went to Brayden's t-ball game on Saturday morning and then went to a Easter egg hunt and lunch at a park afterwards. It was really nice and the kids had a good time. Sasha's age group was the first to go. I was wondering if she would know what to do, even after I told her. She did. She went right to work picking them up and then sat down at the end and started eating the candy in them. I can't imagine that she remembers the Easter egg hunt we went to last year.
Brookelyn was typical Brookelyn when it was her turn to get eggs. She walked around in no hurry and only picked up pink and purple eggs. She would walk right past the other eggs or would occasionally pick one of a color other than pink and purple up and put it into another child's basket. Brayden raced around and had a great time collecting as many as he could. He actually stopped collecting eggs before it was over. He had plenty.
Sunday I was able to spend the day doing errands with Brookelyn while Ray took Sasha and Brayden to one of my neice's softball games. I was able to get so much done with just one child! I actually was able to get a lot accomplished in a few hours.
I finished the paperwork for the annual report for Vietnam. It took a lot of time to look through pictures of the last six months. It was hard to chose which ones to send, I liked so many of them. I really wanted the people who look at it to see how healthy, happy and loved she is when they look at them. It is always hard to describe her personality, growth and changes in such a small form. I am really glad we do them. I have been making an extra copy of each one and saving them for Sasha to read when she is older.
I have been doing a bunch of projects this last couple of weeks that I never seem to be able to finish. One was collecting a bunch of baby clothes, washing them and bringing them to a children's resale shop by the school. I collected them, washed and folded them, but still have to bring them to the store. One of the things I do at work is to make work for the preschool classrooms. Each month they study a different subject or unit. I have been making sure the unit boxes are full of puzzles, books, posters, and work about each subject. This last month I have been working on making work for the art, oceanography and gardening unit boxes. It's great because I like shopping for the work, enjoy making it and my kids get to use it in their classrooms. How great is that!
I bought a bunch of different things at the ocean institute last week, but haven't been able to finish making the work for the classroom. I hadn't realized how much time it took to make the different pieces of work in the classrooms until couple of weeks ago when I started. For example, I bought a bunch of rubber sea animals last week. An octopus, seal, otter, several types of sharks, stingrays...My plan was to create labeling work out of them. I first had to look up what kind of sting ray or shark each one was. Then I had to type the names down in large font, cut them out, glue them on construction paper that I have cut out so the children can learn how to label each of the animals, and then laminate the work. That one is pretty simple and easy. I made nomenclature work (identifying parts of something) last week for a whale and a shark. Each piece of work took me about a day to do. I could have done it faster, but it wouldn't have looked as good and I am still learning so it takes me longer. Anyway, it's fun, but time consuming.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Healthy Again

We are finally all healthy! What a relief! I brought Sasha to the doctor a couple of days ago for her two year check up. She did not want to be in the doctor's office and kept trying to get me to leave. She kept pointing at the door and was trying to steer me toward it with her legs as I was holding her. She kept saying, "Go, mama, go." It has been a really long time since we were at the doctor's office, so I was pretty surprised. Anyway, she made it through the appointment until she got the shots and then she was MAD and sad too. She weighs 21 lbs and 1.8 oz and is 32 1/2 inches tall. That makes her in the 25th percentile for height and the 2nd percentile for weight. Since she is pretty much following the same curve, I am fine with her being so light. She has a great appetite and eats all of the time. And of all of my little kids, she got sick the least often this winter.
I have been working on her annual report. I really like doing it. I stayed up late downloading pictures of her. Unfortunately, something went wrong and I had to do it all again. I was downloading pictures of her from the last six months as well as baseball pictures of my son and a lot of the boys on his tee ball team for their yearbook. I was up LATE. Sasha woke up as I was on my way up to bed for the night. She rarely wakes up in the middle of the night. I held her for a little while and then put her back to bed. About an hour after that I heard Brookelyn cry out. I jumped up and ran in and she was still asleep. Sasha woke up again a while later and had a stuffy nose and had a hard time going back to sleep. Brookelyn woke up two more times crying out. I was exhausted in the morning!
Sasha went on her first field trip with school yesterday. We went to a small, local zoo. There are only ten children in her class and with four teachers and nine parents, it all ran very smoothly. It was a very nice, warm day and we all had a nice time. It was nice to talk to the other parents. We stayed for a couple of hours and then we went back to school and then the children had lunch and then took naps.
Sasha is starting to talk a little more each day. She surprises me with the words she knows since she is usually pretty quiet. She certainly gets across what she wants. In the morning when I drop the kids off at school she likes to go right up to the snack table and help herself in each of their rooms. My favorite thing that she does is when she puts her arms around my neck and hugs me. It is sooo sweet. She has started kissing me more often lately too. But if I take something away from her or don't let her do something she gives me a stormy look and has even hit my arm a couple of times. Overall though, she is very even tempered and very fun to be with.
I went on what I consider a mini vacation the other day. I went down and spent the day with Kim (Owen's mommy). We ate, shopped, shopped, and then ate some more. It was wonderful. I found some great deals on clothes and we even bought some new makeup. I usually just wear eyeliner, so this is a big step for me. Anyway, how nice for me to have met such a great friend while going through the adoption process!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sasha's Sick Days

I haven't posted in a while because Sasha wound up being pretty sick for several days. I noticed that she had a fever Tuesday night. The next day it was about 103 all day, which I think is pretty high. She sat on my lap ALL DAY and we watched one episode of Dora after another. She wanted to either sit on my lap facing the tv or sit on my lap facing me with her head leaning against my face or chest. It was very sweet, but uncomfortable because when she sat facing me I had to angle my body so she could see the tv. Otherwise she whimpered. Poor thing. She didn't want me to do anything besides hold her, so I couldn't even answer the phone without her getting upset. She was like that on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday night her temperature was 104.9! By that time she was sick of me taking her temperature so she screamed like crazy whenever she saw it. I called the doctor's office and they told me to give her ibuprofen, but she didn't have to come in since she wasn't limp or having seizures or some other crazy thing. Like I would have been calling them from home if she was any of those things! Anyway, they said if her temperature went down when I gave her medicine than that was a good sign. She was sick again on Friday, but her temperature was back to 103.2. I called the doctor's office again asking if I should bring her in since she had had a fever for so many days. They again said she didn't need to be seen if she wasn't displaying any of the symptoms I described earlier. I called first thing on Saturday morning and made an appointment for the afternoon. I thought she had had a fever for too many days and wanted to make sure it wasn't from an infection that could be taken care of easily. Of course, she seemed much better. I waited until half an hour before her appointment before I cancelled it, even though she seemed completely fine again. Her temperature was normal. I thought she must have finally been over it. An hour later she was clinging to me again and she had a fever! Seriously! I put her to bed and she slept through the night, which she hadn't done since Tuesday night. When she woke up Sunday she was fine and has been fine ever since. What a crazy, stressful, upsetting, exhausting week! I didn't get a thing done besides taking care of her and was sooooo tired. I am so happy she is over that and healthy again!
I have spent the last three days racing around trying to catch up on everything. Cleaning, doing laundry, returning calls, paying bills, and a million errands. I have been racing around doing all that in the daytime and then staying up late doing work for my school. The last few nights I have been up until around 1:00 am-ish. It is easier for me to get stuff done at night since I have a clean workspace and don't have to keep moving things. I have been trying to make work for the different classrooms. It is actually pretty fun and I like doing it. Each month the preschool classrooms have a different unit of study. I am working on making new work for each of the unit boxes to make them more interesting. Right now I am working on the unit boxes for art, oceanography and gardening. I have been making matching work, nomenclature work, labeling work, math work relating to the units of study...I also have been buying books, puzzles and other materials for each unit of study. It is fun but a lot of work.
A leprechaun left a pot of gold on our front porch yesterday, which the kids loved. Until it came time for only one of them to bring it to class to show their friends. Luckily, Brayden settled for putting a few gold coins in his pocket and let Brookelyn bring the pot with the rest of the gold to her class. Sasha would have put up a fight, but as soon as she saw some food on the snack table in Brookelyn's room, she forgot about the pot of gold. They had St. Patrick's Day party in her room, which the teachers were excited about when I dropped her off. Dakota and I went out to lunch with my mom and two sisters, which was nice. We are Irish and always get together on St. Patrick's Day. My mom, sisters and I all went to Ireland on a vacation when I was pregnant with Brookelyn, which was fun. What a beautiful country! A year or two before that we all went to Japan. I happened to be reading 'Scarlett' while on that trip and could not stop talking with an Irish brogue. The book is the sequel to Gone With the Wind and most of it takes place in Ireland. I think it was the jet lag (it wiped me out), the staying up late reading instead of sleeping, and the sense of being out of my element. We wound up going to an Irish Pub one night and singing. Very fun and very weird. Japan is so fast paced and high tech. The people were all so perfect. Beautiful and perfectly dressed and groomed. So stepping into an Irish pub in the middle of Tokyo was weird in itself. We sometimes confuse the trips because of the Irish brogues we talked in and the trip to the Irish pub. And I don't know if I can think of two places that were more different.
I better go to bed since it is almost 2:00 am and Sasha will be calling for me very soon. I will post pictures soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sasha Using the Potty

I kept Brookelyn home from school yesterday because she just didn't seem to feel well. I brought Brayden and Sasha to school thinking the house would be quieter so Brookelyn could sleep. She was tired for about an hour in the morning and then I couldn't get her to keep quiet. She was fine, which was great, but I didn't get a thing done all day. She was actually a wild little thing. When I went to pick up Sasha, one of her teachers told me that she peed in the potty! I was so happy for her. And it was cute that her teacher was just as excited about it as I was. Today when I picked her up from school I was told that she pooped in the potty! Yeah! She sits on our potty at home once a day or so and will give it a try before she gets off. She is not interested in me singing or whatever other trick I use to keep her up on there. She will only last a minute and then she wants DOWN. She is a very determined or strong willed little girl. Sometimes when I pick her up from school she is inside the class because she won't keep her jacket on. Usually when I go inside it is just her and one of her teachers and the teacher is doing her hair or playing some game with her. Hmmm...I think not putting her jacket on works for her. The days she is outside and is wearing her jacket, she will take it off as soon as she sees me and hand it to me. Obviously, she feels strongly about wearing a jacket at school. What is funny is that she loves wearing jackets. In the morning she puts her socks and shoes on and then tries to get her jacket off of the hanger. She wants it zipped up and the hood on.
After we got home today I went to give Sasha a kiss and she felt warm to me. I kept checking for the next hour and she seemed a little warm. Then she wanted me to hold her and wouldn't let me put her down, which isn't like her. I took her temperature and it was 102.3 under her arm. Poor thing! So now I will be staying home with her tomorrow, which actually will be very nice for both of us. I bought a new potty chair for her so she and I can set it up. I would go ahead and start potty training her but it is chilly here still. I would rather wait for it to be warmer so she could run around naked. We'll see.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Pics of Owen and Dash's Party


Ww had a really busy and really fun day Saturday. It was Opening Day for the baseball league Brayden is playing on this year. We had to be there at 9:30 am for a big parade. Afterwards the kids played a lot of games. We went home for awhile but had to be back for team pictures at 2:15 pm. After that we went home and picked up Ray and the girls and drove down to a big birthday party for Owen and Dash. Owen was turning two years old and Dash was turning one. It was a lot of fun to watch all of the kids have such a great time. The party was in a big room with a lot of things for the kids to climb on, slide up or down, bounce on, swing on...it kept them all busy for hours. All three of our little ones had a great time playing on as many things as they could get to. I tried to get pictures of them, but they wouldn't stop moving. As Brayden said, "This is the best party ever!" We kept them up on the way home so we could get them to bed right after bed time. What a great, busy day! Thanks Aunt Kim!

San Diego Zoo Pics 5

San Diego Zoo Pics 4

San Diego Zoo Pics 3

San Diego Zoo Pics 2

San Diego Zoo

I had been planning on bringing the kids to Lego land a few days ago. I never tell them I am thinking about bringing them somewhere until just a little before we go-just in case. There were a couple times where I had told my older kids we were going to do something and then couldn't go for some reason. That is a lesson that didn't take me long to learn. Anyway, we were planning to go down and I found out that they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. WHAT? I asked Brayden if he wanted to go to Sea world instead and he said he wanted to go to the zoo. I hadn't been to the San Diego Zoo in several years so we went. It was great. A beautiful, sunny day. Warm, but not hot. We were there for almost five hours and really had fun. The kids made up a game of naming the animals in each area Brayden, Brookelyn and Sasha so we would all sit and watch as the monkeys (or whatever we were watching) played. If there was a fast, active one, they named him Brayden. If there was a calm, pretty one, they named her Brookelyn. If there was a baby, they named her Sasha. We saw a lot of animals while we were there. There are some great exhibits that we missed, but that zoo is big and has a lot of hills. I had a double stroller that seems to be getting heavier the older it gets. I knew it was a better idea to keep to certain areas since I had all three of them. I told Brayden we would have to come back with Aunt Jenny so she could show us around. She worked security there for years. I have been a member for years, but have gone to the Wild Animal Park much more often. Anyway, we walked around, had lunch, went to the petting zoo area, walked around some more, and then decided to go home. Sasha was really tired. She actually rubbed her eyes and said, "Home." We went into the store and I let them each chose a stuffed animal before we left. Brookelyn and Sasha chose theirs quickly, but it took Brayden almost twenty minutes to chose the right one for him. Twenty minutes doesn't sound like long unless you have just spent hours with three kids at the zoo and are now at a store trying to keep track of them. Sasha had a firm grip on a sucker and literally threw herself out of the stroller onto the ground when I took it out of her hand and put it done before we left the store. Hysterical would be a good word for how she behaved. It might not describe how loud she was and how many people stared at us as they walked by. She recovered pretty quickly though and all three slept all the way home. It is about an hour and a half from our house. It was a great day.

Brayden turned 5 years old!

We drove up to Northern California on the evening of Feb 19th and Brayden's birthday was on the 20th. He woke up at 2:30 am as we were dropping Colton off at Dakota's dorm and said, "Look, Dakota. I'm five." He got out of his car seat to show us all how big he was now that he was five. It was very cute. He really loves Dakota so it was great that he was able to see her the morning he turned five. Especially since he has loved the number five since he was two years old. Everything had to be five ever since he had some concept of numbers. We had brought a couple of presents with us that he opened in the afternoon, we all went out for a birthday dinner to a resteraunt the night after we got home, and we will be celebrating again with family as soon as everyone is healthy and available. While in N Cal we gave him a great magnet set. At home we gave him several pairs of shorts, a couple of jackets, a couple of games, several books, and a container of Legos.

More Berkeley Pictures

Visiting UC Berkeley

Ray's mom showed us around the UC Berkeley campus. She and Ray's dad went to college there and he also worked there for many years. It was a beautiful day. The kids loved climbing in the trees and playing with the sticks they found. Colton said that when a group went by who was on a tour of the school most of them stopped and took pictures of Sasha as they went by. We had lunch nearby and spent a while walking round the campus. What a great area! Sasha looks like a wild thing because she took kept taking her shirt off all day, so she just had her onesie on.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1st

Wow! I has been a long time. I am just always so busy that I haven't stopped and written an entry in this. I keep thinking I'll write when I have more time. Clearly, that could be years. I am still working two to three days a week at the kids school, which is great. I really like the staff and love being around the children. The only problem has been that the kids have been sick so often this winter that I seem to either be at home with a sick child, which means I cannot get anything done, or I am at work and cannot get my personal things done. I race around when I can getting as much done as I possibly can. Brayden started on his L League team a while ago. I volunteered to be the Team Mom for his team. I have done it before for my older kids when they were younger. I did it for two reasons. The first is that I know from past experience that the snacks the kids are given for baseball are usually garbage. I remember my kids being given cans of soda and chips after games when they were five and six years old. I don't let my kids have either of those and really don't want them associating garbage food with sports. The other reason I volunteered was so Brayden could see me doing something for him and his team. I quickly found out that MANY THINGS have been added to the list that the Team Mom has to do. Get boys last names put on uniforms, price and buy team banner, price and buy pails for dug outs, give and collect photo envelopes, buy cases of soda and bring to Opening Day, organize boys for photo day, organize things for Opening Day parade, go to Team Parent Meeting, plan one or two pizza parties during season, plan end of season party, buy plaques for coaches...it's a lot. Oh, and here is the funny thing. Did you see ANYTHING about SNACKS on that list? No, because the coaches wife (who actually is very nice and thought she was being helpful) decided it was too much work to do all of that AND be in charge of snacks SO SHE ASSIGNED IT TO SOMEONE ELSE! When I found out I told her that that was one big reason I wanted to be Team Mom in the first place to make sure the kids were given healthy snacks. She and the woman next to her said, "Well, wouldn't cokes and bags of chips be good?" She wasn't kidding. Doesn't EVERYONE know about childhood obesity and feeding you kids healthy things? I then talked to the woman who was assigned the job of organizing snacks and talked to her about asking moms to bring healthy snacks like granola bars, sliced fruit, trail mix...She said, "Hmm, if you don't want them to get soda and chips, how about sodas and cookies?" I was pretty bummed since I know the reasons they are doing it are because garbage food is cheap, easy to store and makes the kids happy while food like sliced oranges may take more time, can't be cut too far ahead of time and may cost more. She wound up not telling the parents what to bring for snack, which means it probably will not be anything but stuff I can't let my kids have. What a bummer to end the games with not letting my son eat the snack. My thought is that why not feed them healthy things while they are young, they will be around more and more unhealthy things as they grow up. I should also say, I had to be hyper aware of this when my older kids were younger because my son had a weight problem since he was pretty young and I have always had to watch what he ate. But even though none of my younger ones have that problem I still try and feed them well. We don't eat as well as I would like, but I don't let them have soda, fast food, chips...
Anyway, baseball has taken some time. Our first game is this Saturday, which will be fun. I also signed Brayden up for basketball, which is also going on now. I am not really sure why I did that. Being on two sports at once is a bad idea. Actually I did it because a friend of mine talked about signing her son up and I thought it would be fun for them to play together since it only lasts for about seven weeks and they only play once a week. I just signed Brayden up for a swim team. WHAT? Okay, but it doesn't start until May and only overlaps baseball season by a couple of weeks. Swimming is such a great sport. My older kids were on a swim team for six years and both are really good swimmers. Unfortunately, the coach asked me to sign him up for swim team practice early since he is a new swimmer in order for him to be ready to be on the team. When do they meet? Mon, Wed and Fri from 5:30-6:30. He has baseball practice at that time on Weds and basketball at that time on Fridays. Great. I have yet to figure that one out. It's only for a month though. I just have to remember that we are doing these to teach him about sports, get exercise and to have fun.
We went on a trip up to Northern Cal to visit some of Ray's friends, his mother, and Dakota. One of Ray's friends has a son who is only 12 hours older than Brayden. We see them about two or three times a year and they really have fun together. It was a hectic trip because of traveling with three little ones, but we had a lot of fun. We dropped Colton off and he stayed with Dakota for a couple of days. We visited Berkeley with all of the kids and Ray's mom, who went there years ago. We got together with friends several times while we were there too. The kids were great. Poor Brookelyn started crying on the way up and said her ear hurt. She had told me that the day before but when I asked her to show me where she pointed to the outside of her ear so I let it go. When I reached back to feel her forehead, she was burning up. She cried for an hour or so after we gave her pain medicine. Suddenly she stopped crying and started laughing and acting loopy. She and Sasha were laughing and being silly for the last two hours of the trip. I think they were beyond exhausted. We got into town at 2:30 am and all three little ones were awake. Unfortunately, they were up early the next day (Sasha was up at 6:00 am) which was painful for Ray and I. They were really well behaved the whole weekend though, which was amazing for how little sleep they got. The trip home went well too.
One really fun thing was that on Saturday night several of us went out for awhile and left the kids with a babysitter. One of the couples has two young children and asked up to bring our kids there. Their babysitter is 25 and they really like her and she said it would be fine. Five kids between 22 months and five years old. We were gone from 5:00 pm to 10:30. We called a couple of times to see how it was going. When we came home all of the kids were asleep around the house. It was pretty amazing. We normally wouldn't have left them for that long in a new setting, but we were going to a funeral and a gathering of friends and family afterwards. We can't leave them with Ray's mom, they are too much for her to handle.