Sunday, December 27, 2009

Luca's Present to Me!

At 31 months, Luca gave me a wonderful Christmas present this year....he is potty trained (well, except for the poopy part). As of Christmas Day he was wearing big boys for the third day and dry all three days. I was a little worried about Christmas Day with all the excitement, but he did great! He now tells us when he has to go 'do-do'. His reward is a dum-dum sucker. It is so cute when he says "dum-dum" when he is finished. That reward will be tapering off and only given when a poopy is given in the toilet.

My goal was to have this accomplished by Christmas. I use cloth diapers and many of the cloth diapers are wearing thin. I did not want to have to buy new ones.

He is still in a diaper for bed time, but wakes up every morning dry. This week I'll be trying the big boy's I bought that we can put inserts in for sleeping - just in case.

Hopefully pictures to come this week (we are waiting for a working modem to arrive at home).

I want to wish everyone a blessed and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I want to wish all my blog followers (and lurkers) a very Merry Christmas!!!

My modem is down at home and I am internetless there. I was going through withdrawal until I arrived at work on Friday. I have some really cute pictures of the boys to post with Santa and our tree, but I can't load the photos at work.

The boys are all ready for Santa's big night, however, mom is not quite. I still have a few last gifts and all the food to purchase. I am so grateful I am off the 3 days before Christmas and Mike is off to. (that means he can help - but not eat all the cookies - he has eaten almost all of the two batches I already made). I still have to wrap all the presents, but this will be fun. I am planning on locking Mike and myself in the bedroom after the kiddos are in bed, watching Weeds, Season 4, sipping wine, and wrapping away!

Luca is growing so fast. My baby boy is turning into a little boy. He is a talking machine. He now says, "I want one", soft (while rubbing his jammies), outside, boots, coat, socks, "I love you", "Petey, no" (that's the dog), and many other phrases. He is such a character. He is also into EVERYTHING. Neither one of the other two boys were chair movers or climbers....Luca keeps me busy. He rearranges the kitchen chairs to get to the cabinets where he knows there is candy or gum. We know when it is too quiet in the house he is up to something. I love his adventerous spirit. He is trying to count. We always count steps when we go up and down them. He has now started counting them on his own...but skips number 2. He loves to sing and sings the ABC's with his leap frog.

We are looking forward to a wonderful holiday. Mike is working day shift and will be gone from 5:30am-7pm...but the boys will open most of their gifts with me and we'll save several for when daddy gets home.

I can't wait for our fun filled day on Christmas when the whole family gets together. I love this time of year!

Happy Holidays to everyone. (Hopefully this week we'll have our new modem and back on line so I can post pictures. I am also missing my facebook!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Love Being Fought Over

Even though I was dead tired today (after working all night), I totally enjoyed hearing my children fight over me. I was sleeping when little Luca wondered in the bedroom and climbed up in bed with me. He snuggled up to me and asked for "Ponge Ba" (Sponge Bob). I turned on the TV and dozed back off. Soon Nico came in and snuggled up next to me with a big hug. Next thing I know here is Luca again, hugging me and saying, "Mommy". Nico then says, "My Mommy", Luca says "My Mommy" and tries to push Nico's arm off of me.
It made my day and made me get up and give them both huge hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I am Most Thankful For...My Family

My family means everything to me. My brothers, sister, and I have always been close. While it might not have appeared that way, we were. We always stuck up for each other and helped each other out (Well, except when Sandi had that nasty bug on her nose in Branson, no one helped her then..sorry). My family is always there when I call. My 3 beautiful sons make my world. The wonderful blessing of adoption is something else I am thankful for. Without it, I wouldn't be a MOMMY! I love you family! Thanks for always being there, even if you don't agree with what I say or do.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Another Day

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone. I will have photos to post later in the week as tomorrow we are heading to my sister's house for some yummy fixings and family fun. I am also going into work at midnight, but that's okay, they will all be sleeping anyway.

Last week Brian spent some time with us. Luca and Nico were so excited! Luca now says "BriBri" for Brian. That is what I taught Nico to call him when he was young. Luca picked it up quick. He has been looking for BriBri all week.

We went roller skating with our Lincoln County Homeschool group. They get together once a month as the local Skate Barn for some leisure time. Nico has to get his lessons completed on that Friday in order for us to go. This week he made it and we were glad. Brian came up to me, gave me a hug and said, "Thanks for taking me here mom, this was fun!" (That totally made my day - he is 17!) I had told him when they started skating, "Just don't fall on your face!" He is doing absolutely fantastic!!! He ate well while he was here and I sent him home to his dad's with some goodies to eat.

Here is Brian 14 days post op. He is actually smiling with his mouth open! I am so happy for him. I think this surgery will not only help him eat better, but also boost his self esteem! I just can't believe how big he has gotten - where did my baby go?

We made every attempt last week to get a good group photo of the boys....yeah, right, 3 boys, good photo?

Actually, this is the boys in all their beauty. These are the pictures I like best, showing how they really are. Anyone can pose for a photo (well, except my boys, all at one time)...
I think the photo with the funny faces makes the Christmas card this year. Luca was saying, "loodul, loodul", while flapping his fingers.

What do you expect for 17, 8, and 2. These three are what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving!!!! My life would be so boring without these three in it. Fun times!
My favorite photo of Brian (above), the sleeky, slyness.
What was Luca doing???

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What We've Been Doing

I thought I would take a few moments and add just a few updates and pictures of what we have been doing over the last few weeks.

First off, Brian is doing well. I saw him on Monday and he was up walking around, talking, and says he is eating soup and smoothies. I took more pictures, but he is still swollen and he was bruised all down his chin and next (a nice yellow color not the purple and blues). So, as promised to him, I am not going to post any pictures yet. However, he is doing great.

Next, if you haven't seen the pictures on Facebook, I finally broke down and had Luca's hair cut. YES, it totally hurt me to have his curls cut off, but he still looks as cute as ever. It was just getting way to out of control in the front. I couldn't cut the the front without making it look totally like a mullet. (not that there is anything wrong with mullets, just not for us). Ms. Brenda put his long curls in a ponytail and snipped it off. I have them in a bag for his scrapbook. Somehow in the bag, they don't look near as long. It grew tremendously over the last month as when I look back at pictures from last year or the summer it wasn't that bad.

"No Mommy, don't let them take my hair!" I ask him where his hair is and he shakes his head and says, "Were go?" then reaches up to his head and rubs his hair.
Look, he aged a couple years....when he is sleeping though he looks like the little angel I met in Guatemala. He is sooo cute I just melt every morning when I see these boys. I am so blessed.

So, most of you know I homeschool. We do most of homeschooling at home (of course), but we do attend two homeschool coops. One is in our old neighborhood which we have belonged to since Nico was 3 (my gosh, has it been 5 years already!). We always rotated between houses for our meetings, this year we were able to get a location for free. Our group has grown and it is nice to have one place to go to. Here are the boys on the first day (back in September). Luca was so excited to have a backpack. He even says 'backpack' (thanks to Dora!)
I love the brotherly photos from the back. My sweet angels.
Here is Nico just this last week working with his group. Look at that smile...he loves his friends. We are studying the 50 states. Each week a mom hosts the day and comes up with activties for the state we are studying that week. Yep, we even have a CHALKBOARD! I love chalkboards. Notice the kids all working so hard. I love it. This also gives the kids a chance to listen to other adults as the moms let the older kids do their thing with the mom hosting.
This is our preschool group. We finally have enough kids to create the two groups. I love it since I have kids in each group. It is great for Luca as he is used to playing with older kids and needs to learn how to associate with kids his age. At this age he is still in independent play when it comes to sitting and playing imaginative toys, although he can sit next to others, but has a hard time sharing (typical). I loved the activity this week. Can you guess what it was??? Yep, trains. We sang a song, made a train snack, and the kids each designed their own train car. So cute!

Onto the fall leaves! Oh my gosh, I don't miss all these leaves at our new house. We have been spending a few hours each day at our old house getting it ready for its new tenant (yes, I have someone ready to rent it). He seems to be a great guy as he has already helped clean up the leaves in the front yard and hasn't even moved in yet.

So here are the boys having a blast in the leaf piles. Watching the joy on their faces made the job a whole lot easier. It also brought back great memories of when we were kids jumping in the leaves.

BONZAI! There goes Nico, big jump.
Here goes Luca, big jump for a little guy. All that movement made the photo blurry, but the smile is priceless!
Nico labeled themselves the 'leaf boorers'. They would start at one side of the leaf pile and crawl under to the other side. I think they are cutest leaf boorers I have ever seen.
This boy loved the leaves. I can't wait to doctor up some of these fall photos on Lightroom.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Surgery Went Well!

Brian's surgery went very well. He is out of PICU as of yesterday. Hopefully he will be going home tomorrow. I sat with him for 8 hours yesterday. He finally ate a little bit of applesauce and today he had chicken noodle soup and applesauce.

The jaw broke fine and they didn't have to wire the jaw shut---yipee!!! He cannot afford to lose any weight so this way he can eat soups and pastas to keep his weight up. He just cannot eat anything he has to chew for at least 6 weeks.

He is such a tough guy!! I love him so much. I promised him I would not post pictures while he is swollen up. He wants everyone to see the final outcome, not the inbetween. So, I am sticking to my promise and not posting any pics. (sorry). However, I am taking them and they will be in his scrapbook.

Brian is my hero. He has gone through more than any 17 year old should have to, especially in the first 7 years of his life. He has endured more pain than anyone I know and never complains. As a parent I always want to be in his place and take the pain from him. He avoided taking the morphin and just took the tylenol with codeine every 4 hours. He knew he could go home sooner if he wasn't on the morphine.

We will hopefully be visiting him at his dad's house tomorrow or Monday. Nico can't wait to see him and was very disappointed he couldn't go to the hospital room to see him. Nico made a very cute get well card for him. I am so proud of all my boys.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers it truely means alot.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brian's Upcoming Surgery

Brian's jaw reconstruction is occurring this week. Please keep him in your prayers as Thursday and the days following approach. He will be in ICU for at least one night and hospitalized for about 3-4 days.

I have every confidence all will go well. Brian is so much stronger than he used to be. I asked him the other day if he was nervous about it. His words, "What's there to be nervous about?" "I am ready." He is so much braver than I would ever be. He has been through so much in his 17 years, that this is one positive hurdle we have been waiting for.

I already warned him pictures would be taken. I promised I wouldn't take any pictures right after the surgery, but would wait a day or so. We are excited about the outcome and I am hoping I can be one of the first to take him out to eat when the jaw is all healed to see him take his first 'real' bite of food.

To read more about why Brian is having surgery check out my other blog
There is some history there of Brian. I have yet to update and put more of the last 17 years on there, but it is a start.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Fun and Halloween

Wow, I can't believe it is October already. I don't know where the year suddenly went. We have had a busy couple of weeks. My posts are going to be a bit out of order as last weekend we attended a wedding (at which the boys looked fabulous!), went to the pumpkin patch, and worked at our other house (which I have someone wanting to rent it - YAY!), all while trying to stay dry from the torrential rains we had, get our lessons finished each day, tend our chickens, clean house, and all the daily things going on. I am posting the pictures that I have edited first. This week it was preparing for Luca's first major haircut and Halloween. Luca and Nico at the pumpkin patch.
"Oh NO! It's a witch!"

Momma and her boy!

"I like this one!" said Luca. He loved the pumpkins.

Our family photo on the tractor going out to the pumpkin patch.

Photo editing on a cute picture of the boys in the pumpkin patch. Luca is loving the picture game.

I think I am going to use this photo for Nico's 3rd grade photo in his school scrapbook. He was so excited to go search for a pumpkin.
We ended up painting our pumpkins this year (at least for now). We just ran out of time to carve them. That is our plan for this next week. We want to carve them and try to make some homemade pumpkin bread, seeds, and pie.
Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. That means that mom has to work. Lucky for us Main Street St. Charles was hosting their trick-or-treat on Friday. We love going here as it is from 3pm-5pm in the afternoon. We walk up and down the street visiting all the cute stores and collecting candy. It is fun while it is light outside. I enjoy seeing all the costumes. I always try to dress up too. This year I just added a little something. We received great comments on our costumes.

Luca did so good. He walked on his own and carried his own bucket of candy. He kept saying, "MINE!" He learned how to say "Trick-or-treat" while watching Dora's Halloween on video in the van. He also said, "AARGH" so darn cute. I have it on video this year. Nico had fun scaring a few little kids. We try to be creepy each year, to me that's what it is all about. The creepier the better.

The Grim Reaper. (I loved the eyes rolled back).

Captain Jack Sparrow when he was 2 years old. TOOO CUTE he was. "AARRGH!"

Well, that's it for now. I must get to bed. I'll post photos from the wedding and Luca's haircut soon. He looks amazing!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photos of the trip

Here are just a few of the photos from our trip to Florida. I took over 500 pictures. I can't wait to have the time to scrapbook them. Luca and mom posing at Barkley Lake in KY. We stopped here our last night before getting home. A huge storm came through that night really rocking the RV. We woke up and found trees down around us and many RV's that are there permanently through the year had their awnings ripped off.

Mike posing with the boys or should I say the boys posing with Mike.

A beautiful butterfly I had to get a photo of. He sat there drinking pollen while I took about 5 macro pictures of him.

Mike, Nico, Luca, and Mom posing at Animal Kingdom. This is my favorite park. I love the animals and the rides here the best. Brian did not go with us the last day. He was beat from all the walking the previous 5 days.

My sister, Sandi, Nico, and me again at Animal Kingdom.

Most nights we ate at the RV but we had two scheduled out dinner nights with Sandi and Flori. This one was at the campground called "The Hoop-De-Doo Review". It was fabulous. The food was all you could eat, ribs, chicken, salad, cornbread, dessert, and drinks (We had beer as it was too expensive to buy beer at the campground or park, - $5.25 a 12 oz can!!!).
The waitress plopped this bucket of chicken down in front of Luca. He jumped and stared in awe. Then he dug right in, grabbing him some chicken.

My sister made this trip so special for us. She goes several times a year so this was a treat for us to meet them out there. They stayed in a hotel and we drove and camped. It also happened to be right after Nico's 8th birthday and right at Brian's 17th Gothca Day. For Nico, my sister had a special time set up for him to get his face painted like a pirate. He chose the cursed pirate. It turned out so cute and he had so much fun being piratey the rest of the day. Luca had fallen asleep while it was being done. He woke up, saw Nico like this and pretty much laughed. He wasn't phased.

Sandi also made this cute shirt for him to wear on this special day. It is sooo cute and went great with the face painting.

Luca was a ham with all the characters. He was leary of Stitch, but after that, there was not one he wouldn't go up to. These two were his absolute favorite. He did not want to leave these guys. He was sitting here with them and the bear kept tickling his face. He was giggling and just loving it. It is funny because Luca has really only seen a few of the movies so I figured he would not want to have photos taken. He surprised me. Especially since they are soooo much bigger than he is.

Luca and Bubee (as Luca calls him) in front of the Nemo ("Meo" as Luca calls it) display.

Luca loves to dance!!! Here he is dancing in the street to the celebration parade.

Nico watching the parade. I love these little boys faces!

Luca watching teh parade.

Is he excited about driving that car? Nico didn't even want to do on the cars, but look how much fun he had.

Here is the whole group with Stitch. Sorry Flori's eyes are closed, but in every photo someone is either looking away or looking goofy. My sister made these shirts for us. On the back it says, "Has anyone seen my family". We had three days where we wore matching shirts. One day was tye-dye, one the black shirts, and one day we had green shirts with our names on the front and a disney design.

Meeting our first character....MIKE! Luca couldn't wait to run up to him. He has watched this video ALOT in the van driving back and forth from St. Louis to home.

A cute photo on Luca and daddy on Tye-dye day. I think we were on the behind the scenes ride at Disney Hollywood.

This was on the beginning of our trip. We stopped at Vetern's Memorial State Park in GA. The campsite was beautiful. We were right on the water. The boys were skipping rocks and having a good ol' time. Then I saw this sign....that put an end to being too near the water.
Our trip was wonderful!!! It will be one that lives on in our memories for many years to come. I love vacationing with my extended family. RVing also brought back a lot of memories of my childhood. Mike did a great job driving and got us everywhere safely. I drove briefly and it makes me nervous with all those big trucks zipping by on the highway.
I love my family!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back From Vacation

We are back from our wonderful 11 day vacation! We had a fabulous trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We drove the RV and had all three boys. Everyone got along well and the RV made it with no problems.

I will post pictures soon as I am back to work after just getting home yesterday. I will play with the pictures next week when I am off and post them.

I just love the fun we had together as a family. We met my sister there and spent the week with her and her daughter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ARRGGH! A Pirate Festival for Us

Last weekend I actually had a Saturday and Sunday off of work. They had a scheduled power shut down over the weeekend which caused me to have to work on Thursday and Friday night. It was actually really nice to have a 'weekend' off. We got the family (well, some of it) together and went to the Pirate Festival. This is the first year we attended. I usually attend the Renaissance Faire which is in May, but I have missed it the past few years. Nico's birthday is in September so this was a fun way to get the family together and then head to Culver's for dinner and ice cream cake.

Every parent needs one of these in their backyard for those wonderful teenagers ~arrgggh!

My brother, Vince, sitting with the ladies at the Gentlemen's Club.

I can't get the photos to move around right, so I am giving up posting photos for the night. I hope to get more on soon.