Sunday, August 31, 2008

Visiting Grandma & Grandpa

Enjoying a train ride around Grandma & Grandpa's back yard

Please keep my Mom in your thoughts & prayers as she does her chemo treatments for bone cancer. I spoke to her last night & her voice sounded so meek & tired. Currently she is doing chemo every four days & she is really feeling nauseous & run down right now. So far she has had four or five treatments & they have not indicated when it will end. She has had several vertebrae collapse as the cancer eats the bone so now she is struggling with even more pain & having to use a cane to assist her as the last one to disintegrate also pinched a nerve.
D has recovered beautifully from his umbilical hernia surgery. He was really sore the day of the surgery & the whole next day but since then you would never know he even had surgery. I am supposed to keep him from doing stairs, crawling on or over furniture & riding a bike. So far I have failed to do any of those things. Obviously it isn't hurting him or he wouldn't be doing them. He is a very active guy so it is next to impossible to keep him down for long. I will post his before & after shots of his belly button once it has healed & no longer has bandages on it. We have just removed the outside bandage & he no longer has a big outie so I too am anxious to see what it looks like when it is healed & all the steri strips are peeled off.
It is a lazy rainy day here today & fall is definitely in the air. I am still working on putting my house back together after having it being torn apart because of the grain beetle infestation. Three levels are now done but I have not even touched the fourth level yet. I can hardly wait to pull everything out again in a month & do this all again - NOT! Actually that won't be as bad since I can just take out items in one cupboard at a time rather than empty the contents of the whole house at once. I have not seen any live creepy crawlies for a couple of days now although new dead bugs keep showing up so obviously they are still hatching & crawling out of hiding. YUCKY!!!
Kids are napping right now so I better take this opportunity to go get showered up & make myself presentable.
Hugs, Laurie

Photos at Grandma & Grandpa

Grandma - August 2008
Grandpa, Grandma & the kids August 2008
Silly girlie
D is so hard to get a photo of - he hams it up everytime he sees a camera
Grandpa with Taya & Zora

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bugs, Surgery & Pre-School

Things have been busy!

I am living a freaking nightmare right now. I discovered last week that I have a grain beetle infestation in my house. They are teeny tiny little black beetle bugs that can get into even sealed packages. I spent two days taking everything out of all the cupboards, washing & bleaching them, throwing out all the dry foods & putting all the dishes back. We bleached all the baseboards on the main floor & have been cleaning like crazy. But our efforts were a waste of time & on Friday we had the exterminators come in & fumigate the whole house. We had to empty every cupboard in the house again & move all the furniture into the middle of the rooms so they could spray all the baseboards. We threw out about 8 garbage bags full of food – all dry stuff like crackers, soups, spices, flour, sugar etc. It is a huge drag & a costly infestation. Even all my linens & towels had bugs in them so now I am washing load after load of laundry. So now it is like we are just moving in again as we have to put everything away again. We have to leave the poison on for one month so all the cupboards are lined with freezer paper to put the dishes on & in a month we can do this all again – take everything out, wash the stuff, wash the poison out of the cupboards & put it all away again. UGGGGG

Went & visited my Mom & Dad last week & spent a couple of days there hanging out with them. Mom is having chemo treatments every four days so she was a little tired & sick feeling but looked pretty good overall. We kept our visit short & sweet as I didn't want to tire out Mom & Dad.

Attended our adoption agencies picnic on Sunday & the kids had lots of fun playing with other little ones & I got a chance to meet a few other adoptive families. They organized games for the kids & had lots of little prizes for them so it was a good time. All the families also brought food so we had a way more food than we could eat. It was a really nice afternoon even if I did end up getting a $36.00 parking ticket. It was so crowded there it was insane - so I I parked where I could, behind a long line of other cars so they made a killing on fines that afternoon alone.

D had his umbilical hernia surgery yesterday. Poor baby he was a hurting puppy. His surgery was scheduled for 11:30am but he finally went in at 12:30pm. My sweetie was miserable as he had not had any food since the previous nights supper at 7:00pm. He kept asking for eggies, pizza or chicken & french fries. He couldn't even have any water or apple juice after 7:30am so I got up & made sure he drank a bit before that time. He was very miserable last night & couldn't walk well himself & just screamed when I tried to move him. I was up every four hours with him last night to give pain meds & continued with that same schedule today as well. This morning he is moving on his own, even if it is at a much slower pace than normal. I am supposed to keep him off the stairs (hahahaha - he has already been up & down several times), no bike riding or swimming for two weeks. We took the outer bandage off tonight & he no longer has the big outie but he has surgerical strips still on for at least a week or two so we won't see the final results for a little while yet.

Tonight the kids had their pre-school orientation session. Just a little opportunity for them to go see their teachers & meet some of their classmates & to play a little while. C had not seen it before as I had her registered for Kindergarten until I went to enroll D in playschool & made a decision that would be a better placement for her as well. Gosh I felt old this evening though when most of the young moms didn't look much older than my oldest daughter. I even had one mom come up & ask me my name & wanted to know how long I had worked there. I said no I don't work here I am Mom to two little ones & she looked so surprised. :)

It is getting late so I need to sign off for now & prepare for another day. I have lots of photos so will try to post some of those tomorrow.

Hugs, Laur

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adoption Poems

As I waited almost three years to bring my children home, I spent a lot of time stalking adoption blogs & dreaming of the day I would have my children home. Along the way I collected some poems others had posted that had special meaning to me. I thought I would start sharing some of them here for others to enjoy as you wait for your babies to come home.

Hugs, Laur

We've added to our family tree
A stronger one to make
A child from another plant
Has become our new namesake

Just as a limb is grafted
From one tree to another
It alters and improves the plant
Making it uniquely like no other

Our family tree has been improved
Adoption made this so
For love much more than bloodlines
Makes us thrive and grow

We chose to share our life and love
And all the joys to come
Our family tree has blossomed
With the arrival of our cherished one (two)...

Author Unknown


As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.
My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.

But now my dreams have been transformed.
New visions fill my head.
Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.
And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round.
Now in my dreams they're beautiful and colored cocoa brown.

And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas.
They reach half-way around the world and hold you close to me.
And in my dreams the moment that your birthmother says good-bye, I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.

Our features may not look alike; we're different as can be.
But still I know the Father has created you for me.
And though I've not yet touched your face, or held your tiny hands, and though we're half a world apart in very different lands, I'll be right there to get you, just as soon as God allows.
But ’til He says the time is right I give to you this vow.
I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee.
For God to hold you in His arms, until you're here with me.

Author Unknown

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm a Weiner..........

My new wheels.

My sis & her new wheels. I like hers better - maybe next lottery I could win one of those?

I mean winner. :) I have been buying the $100 lottery tickets for years & years & have never won anything. So I told the kids I had to keep buying them now; as it always says you have a 1 in 15 or 1 in 20 chance of winning. I have purchased way more than 15 - 20 of those tickets over the years so I said I was going to win soon.

Not long before we left for Haiti I won a Olympus digital camera in one of the lotteries. I was tickled pink as I did not have a working camera anymore & it was on my list of things to purchase before picking up the kids.

Then a couple of months ago in another lottery I won a Panasonic cordless phone with three handsets. I was happy about that one too as the basement had just been completed & I needed a phone for down there as well as some new ones upstairs. Yippee another bonus.

Then yesterday I got a letter in the mail from the Kinsmen Lotto informing me that I had won a Shimano Townie 21 speed touring bike & helmet. I went & picked it up today & it is awesome. It is very retro - in fact my sis had one just like this in the 70's (only it was a 1 speed & had pedal brakes). She used to get teased riding it as mustangs bikes with banana seats or 10 speeds were the rage at that time. See Cher you were just way ahead of your time. It reminds me of a Mr. Bean bike so you just have to smile when you look at it. I think I will have to buy a bell & basket for it & you can call me Ms. Bean. Then we can pop our puppies into the basket, hook the kid trailer up to the back & take the whole crew out riding.

So it seems the value of the last three prizes has gone up each time - so yippee maybe next time it will be a car, or a house, or money.................. ;) I would be good with any of those - a girl can dream.

So if you see me cruising down the road - honk & wave as you pass me.
Hugs, Laur

Fun at the Amusement Park

Jen & N on our first ride of the day.
They're swingers............
Waiting for the train.
A small train
So much to see................

Yesterday I took the kids to an amusement park for the first time. I didn't know how to explain the concept of rides - so I just said you will see what we are doing when we get there. They have never done rides or anything before so this was a whole new adventure for them. They had a blast. We went with Jen & her little guy N, who is also adopted from Haiti, so the rides & the company were awesome. Thanks Jen.

The kids did really well & weren't scared on any of the rides. Now I just need them to get taller so we can do some of the fun rides. :)

Home 5 Months - August 5

They are both getting so big, they are growing like bad weeds.
Kids with big sis

Wow it is hard to believe 5 months has flown by since the day we brought the kids home. I had forgotten how much work little kids were & had a bunch of jobs lined up that I would do while I was off work. Ha - that hasn't happened; we are too busy & once the kids are in bed I have no energy.

The last five months have probably been some of the most challenging days of my life, but also the most rewarding. It is unbelievable how much my little guys have learned in such a short time. My house is now messy, noisy & full of fun - I wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Long Boarding Kids

Kids love long boarding with the big kids - A & Paul

I was just talking to Aunty Cher & she said the kids should have helmets on them when skate boarding. DOH I never even thought of that when I was out clicking photos. They do have helmets, so next time they will be wearing them.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vacation 2008

Bathing camping style.
Splish Splash C is taking her bath

My buddy Dave

I really love camping & even tenting like the kids & I did this time. We tented for two weeks & it was a good time (as long as you have good air mattresses, tarps & enough blankets to stay warm). Dave & Dylan slept in their big motor home & we just squatted at the back of their site.

Camping with two little ones is a ton of work though. Wish I would have had one or both of my big kids with me to help me out & relieve me of some of my parental duties, or just give me a break for a few minutes when I reached my breaking point. It was really dry & dusty there too so the kids always looked so dirty. After the first couple of days the kids slept better as any changes to their routine always take awhile for them to adjust too. The first couple of days the tent & air mattress were like their own private bouncy room so sleep time was not easy. They were outside all day swimming & playing in the heat, so they were exhausted at bed time once the thrill of the air mattress became old hat.

The lake is clean & had large turtles swimming around as well as lots of little fish that nibbled on your feet & toes, crayfish, garter snakes & large toads so the kids were thrilled with all of this new stuff to see. The only thing this lake is missing is a nice sandy beach.

We met up with a lot of folks that Dave met camping there last year as well as some old friends, so there was a very large group of us to hang around with. We had the one whole area of the campground with just our group & our collective 15 dogs. It was lots of fun & they were all such great people. Everyone took the kids under their wings & it felt like a very safe environment to expose them too for a first camping trip like this.

It is amazing how much D's language skills blossomed in these two weeks. Maybe because there were so many people paying attention to him? I don't know but he is now speaking quite clearly.

We had a great time & look forward to many more trips in the future.


Me & my babies - D & Zora

C waking from her nap in our tent.
I slept for two weeks in a tent & shared my bed with D. Wow he is brutal to sleep with.
Dylan on his new bike

Forest Fire Scare

I love camping in remote areas & I guess the danger in that is animals (bears & cougars) & forest fires. A couple of years ago when camping in this area we had a large cougar jump across the path not more than 10' in front of us as we were quading at night fall; that scared the crap out of me.

But this year it was a forest fire that left all of us shaken. It is hard to tell from the photos & I didn't get any as it was burning, but there were four trees up in flames & it burnt an area on the forest floor of about 20 paces square. We all laughed after as we said you never saw so many old people running around - there was fat & water flying every where! We have no idea how this fire started but luckily David spotted it as he was going up for a new drink - a few more minutes & we wouldn't have had a chance to get it out. The flames were already about 8' up the tree at that point. Everyone started hauling water & other campers from further down the camp grounds came & helped out. It was intense & we all thought we wouldn't be able to beat it & we would have to just escape with people & animals only. Dave had his chain saw ready to start cutting trees around the fire to keep it from jumping from tree top to tree top. Dave came & told me to get my van & kids ready to go as he thought we would have to jump in & run. Finally a couple of fire extinguishers knocked the flames down on the tree good & the kids & teenagers saved the day with their super soakers & put out the flames that were too high for us to reach. 911 had been called but we battled the fire for 20 - 30 minutes before it was out. Every one relaxed with a cold beverage at the lake & swapped lots of fire stories as we watched the lights of the fire truck going back on forth on the wrong side of the lake looking for us.

Hot spots started flaring again so once again everyone pitched in & there were quads traveling back & forth to the lake filling jugs. Again it was knocked down & shortly there after about 1 hour after our first 911 call, the fire crew showed up. They dug up the area & hosed it down good. I never thought to get photos of that but others did so I will post those when they are sent to me.

We were so lucky that there wasn't a breeze that day or the outcome may have been very different. It is really great to see how people will pitch in & work together when necessary. The fire was not that far from the entrance to the camp site so there would have been a lot of people potentially trapped.

More Photos

First camping experience & they loved it.
C busy playing at the lake
My sweet boy
David taking D for a spin on the quad
C's turn on the quad with Dave