Thursday, July 29, 2010

Road Trip and Tales from the......

Road Trip & Tales from the Potty! Plus a few other miscellaneous tidbits.

I'll start with the less obnoxious Road Trip :) and share that I will be away from bloggyland for the next week as I take the munchkins and head to my folks downstate. Unfortunately Scott can't tag along this time (but don't worry he gets to do some fun things too!) :) but our youngest niece will be joining us for the stay and to say we are all excited is putting it mildly! Though we moved a bit growing up, I have always considered this town ( our destination) my hometown. The pace is just different..........I almost always bump into an old friend from school, always find a few treasures that just have to come home with us :) and best of all we have uninterrupted fun time with Mimi & Papa! I suspect that they are just as excited to get their hands on these grandbabies too! They do a bit of spoiling too I might add......mostly I just try to look the other way! *grin*

Tales from the potty........O.K. so I did receive a few private emails wondering why I'm not more excited about Tyler's interest in potty training. LOL Well, I am....sort of. I mean sure, it would be swell to bid diapers a fond farewell ( though I really don't mind 'em most of the time!) and probably a cost saver too! And of course I won't hold him back if he's truly ready......but that's just it ~ I still can't tell if he IS REALLY & TRULY ready or just curious about the whole froggy potty and celebration thing. So we have been testing the waters, following his lead a this point he is successful going about once, maybe twice a day; he asks however to use his potty about 25 times a day.....yes, that's a minimum. Now please know that for the first 6 or 7 requests I honestly don't mind removing said diaper, clothing, etc. and reading him copious books while he tries. I read to him a lot, so this isn't so different.....right? Except it is or rather it can be! I have also begun to suspect a bit of mischievous manipulation at work, especially when he announces just before nap or bedtime (or insert something he doesn't wish to do!) that its "potty time" and OH BOY is he grinning too! And because I don't wish for this to become a power struggle or be associated with anything negative, I usually oblige......25 times or so a day! LOL (well that might be a slight exaggeration in numbers, but there are days it sure does feel like it!)

Sooooooooooooo where does this leave us? Moving forward, slowly but surely. I have no doubt he will get it....I know he will. Lauren trained very early and very easily; all my friends told me right away that boys train much later, so I suppose this is simply a matter of getting into the mindset and establishing a routine. But don't be surprised if there are a few more installments of Tales from the Potty before its all said and done! But please don't worry.....I will try to keep them G rated!

Finally, several of my bloggy buddies also noticed that Tyler had a haircut recently and yes, I was remiss in posting about it! His first official cut early last Fall was such a disaster.....he was so upset and it just broke my heart. AND his hair grows SUPER fast....hence the look we have been sporting all summer long dubbed by another blog buddy as: his surfer baby look! :)

But last week the pressure became too much for Daddy when one too many kindly ladies told us that our baby girl was just beautiful. :) Not an exaggeration.......and suddenly we found ourselves at the salon. AND? Not a tear.....not a whimper ( thank heavens!) and he seemed to almost enjoy his cut! He was so proud and told each and every customer present or approaching the business that he, "got hairs cry". We were all SO proud and big Sis even helped out by getting her hair trimmed up too! Which somehow made her look even older to me......*sob*

Its still not a perfect cut; I'm convinced that isn't possible with a busy toddler, but we adore the hairdresser and at least our little guy can see again! ;) Yep, those bangs were getting a bit long.......and no tears!! Yippee!

Chances are we will let it grow out a bit again..........we got it a bit short in the back and those pesky cowlicks have returned..........but of course we love him in any hair, anytime!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend/week ahead and I will be anxious to check back in with you all when we return!!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dragons & Dumplings.....

Dragons & dumplings..........we ventured downtown today for the annual Dragon Boat Races in Chinatown. Unfortunately the rainstorms & subsequent flooding forced the cancellation of the actual races, but 5 families plus our own forged on and met for a yummy lunch, visit and a bit of playtime (also code for: photo time!!) for the kiddos, big & small!

We sampled all kinds of delicious dishes at our fave restaurant in Chinatown and as luck would have it, the clouds vanished and a gorgeous (humid!!) day emerged just in time for our group photos, followed by a stroll around the shops! (AND a stop off for Bubble Tea of course!)

We LOVED seeing all the beautiful kiddos & families and catching up with old friends & new! For me its always a treat to finally meet a family whose adventures I have watched unfold through their blog; its a bit like meeting a celebrity! :)

Last year Tyler had just turned one when we made our first trip to the Dragon Boat races and oh my gosh, have all the babies grown, flourished and changed!What a privilege it is to watch these precious kiddos grow & thrive!

Of course our time just went by way too fast, but we wouldn't trade a moment of it!!

Below are lots & lots of pictures, cuz I KNOW that's what everyone really wants to see!! :)

Here is the whole group of beautiful kiddos ~ we "Rents" were almost giddy with glee to be able to get them all to actually sit and remain seated for a group shot! AND they were really patient with us too!!

And these two sweet peas? Yep, that's Tyler and the lovely Miss T who both shared the same amazing Foster Mama during their first few months in Taiwan. How amazing it was to see them together for the first time ~ there are a few Mrs. C. buddies missing who we hope to finally meet in person next year!! Yay!

I love the hugs sweet Baby D is getting from his handsome big brother!

My 2 dumplings.........

Cuz I just thought this was sweet...........Lauren sneaking a peak at her baby bro.!

The beautiful Miss H.C. who enchanted us all!

And the equally beautiful Baby T., who is all ready to give out huggies!!

Our little guy having a mighty good time!

Our little guy having a ball playing with Mr. Kevin and Miss H.C. ~ Kevin was SUCH a good sport and kept our littlest dumpling in plenty O' stitches!

Clapping with his buddy!

So sweet cuz the lovely Miss E spotted Tyler climbing on Lauren's lap and decided she might like to try that spot out too!! Isn't she darling!!

Tyler was so intrigued with this We are still not sure, but he sure drew some appreciative glances from folks passing by when he growled and roared like a ......"lagon"?? *chortle*

It was a great day, with great friends, families and food!! Think you might like to share in something like this?? Please see the below post and think about joining us next year for Taiwan ROCks!! :)

Taiwan ROCks!!

Today was such a joyful day of fellowship & celebration and truly was just a tiny(but awesome) slice of the diverse Taiwan adoptive community!

For this reason and so many more, myself and 3 other Taiwan Mamas/friends are planning a first ever Taiwan adoptive families reunion for 2011.....destination?..........sunny Texas!

Our hope is to bring as many Taiwan adoptive families together for a weekend of friendship, reunion, connections and fun each year as this ( hopefully annual event) travels around the country every year to visit each planners host (regional) area.

Having attended Kazapalooza for the first time this past June, I can easily attest to the incredible gifts such a gathering provides. We watched our Lauren's ethnic pride explode virtually overnight and renewed connections from our amazing journey ( so long ago) through our newly found friendships. Collectively our group raised just over $5,500 for the children of Kazakhstan left behind......the imprint of our KP weekend will reach far beyond one special weekend.

Our hope is to help create something similar (but unique) for all of the gorgeous children of Taiwan.......and their families!

We are currently posting news of this reunion with 3 possible dates to as many Taiwan related chatboards/forums as possible. If you think you might be able to attend and have not had the opportunity to cast your vote, please leave me a comment below or dash off a quick email. Please limit your voting to one forum and this year's reunion date will be determined by majority vote! (to be shared in a couple of weeks!)

Here are the dates as follows:

March 25 -27th, 2011

May 27 -30th, 2011 (Memorial Weekend)

August 12-14th,2011

We hope to see you all in Texas next year!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

At Two

First I want to thank you all for the thoughtful birthday wishes sent to our sweet boy! I have a sneaky suspicion that I truly do have THE most wonderful bloggy readers/friends and I want you all to know how much I appreciate your thoughts, comments and fellowship!

AND because I seem to always be woefully behind in my scrap booking and journal and because this blog seems to be the only way I can remain current with Tyler's milestones and current stats, I wish to share a bit about our little man at TWO! AND if you make it all the way to the end, there are loads of party pictures, as promised, to sweeten the deal! :)

Little two you just amaze us and here is a but a bit of what you do!

You are 25 pounds of darling boy & just shy of 35 inches ~ keeping you at the 50% for weight and a whopping 90% for height! Your Daddy and I simply marvel at how in the world we came to have 2 such beautiful and tall kiddos (Daddy is Nope...not at all! LOL ) and we know in our hearts that we could never EVER have made 2 more glorious kiddos than you and your big sis!

And speaking of your Big Sis........OH, how hard you work to keep up with her. We know without a doubt that a big part of your verbal skills are thanks to her but ironically we also see that her amazing abilities at "deciphering" toddlerese leads to some interesting "conversations". Just the other day I listened raptly as you blurted out things like, "Ady Gaga, number 9" or "skip & rapeash" and even, "Shurn it up" only to have your sister inform me that you in fact wanted song #9 on said c.d. ( we were in the car after all), Lady Gaga (Poker Face) and to please "skip" along to it, REPEAT and by all means, turn it up Mama, cuz its hard to hear way back here! LOL I think your Sis could have a career as a translator for the United Nations down the road!

You continue to be blessed with a sunny disposition which I (an optimist by nature) appreciate oh so much! You seem to wake up each day and almost say.....hello world, its me Tyler ~ you love to laugh and laugh at even the smallest of silliness or the absurd! You have gotten used to & rather like all the attentions you get!!

BUT that's NOT to say that at two you don't have your churlish moments. Mama knows perfectly well when you are tired, hungry or breaking in a molar or two! But those things I KNOW & GET. On occasion though you get grumpy if you don't get your way and yes, you can be stubborn too ~ usually a good joke or redirection works, but once in a blue moon you simply must have your way; usually when you are determined to do something just like Lauren or to have your way in her goodness you adore her room and it breaks my heart when you holler for her when she's entertaining a friend and you are wondering why you are not included!

YOU spotted your new shiny froggy potty ( made especially for wee little men, with an ideal splash guard RIGHT IN FRONT) in your closet the other day and no persuading would keep you away from it! You convinced your big sis (she can't resist ya either ya know!) to read you loads O' books while you sat...............and sat........................and sipped a bit of water.................and THEN.....made a potty! Oh the celebration that followed!! Since then you have gone each day, at least once.................but did I mention that I am not ready for potty training just yet?????? Well, guess we will see where this all leads and your Sis are sure jazzed about it & all!! :)

You LOVE music & love to dance!

You can sing almost all the words to your ABC's, The Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle, Twinkle, Old McDonald & Isty Bitsy Spider. If one of us sings a bit too loud you are quick to say, "shhhhhhhhhhh". Hmph!

I thought you could count to 10 with a bit of help...........turns out you don't like to be pigeon holed and surprised us all by counting into the teens, skipping 12 & 15....that's okay cuz we are not partial to those numbers either! LOL

Most of the time you say 3 or 4 word sentences ~ unless Lauren is around and then you have only to point, grunt and utter one word......cuz again, she can extrapolate a paragraph from said efforts! ;)~

Outside is your paradise just like always. The heat doesn't bother you and water is SO your friend. You are taking a class now called Water Explorers and we are SO proud of you for leaving Mama's side and venturing along with "Midder Map"(Mr.Matt) and "Mish Mare" (Miss Mary) and being so independent & brave! Just the other day you told us that "Mish Mare is cute"........wha?? wha?? That JUST CAN'T START YET PLEASE.......right??

Your favorite books right now are "How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food" & "The Little Mouse, The Hungry Bear & the Red Ripe Strawberry" ~ those are the books you request on the "poo poo potty" and that just cracks us up!

Your favorite shows are old DVD's of classic Scooby Doo's & of course..............Sesame Street(but really only the Elmo World parts!). Since our trip to Florida, you seem taken with Mickey's Playhouse too!

You adore vehicles and yes...........dirt, sand, puddles............does that really surprise any of us? Nope. But this are a sort of tidy and don't mind getting dirty, but always like to "warsh up" afterwards! I plan to foster that for as long as possible! :) Just sayin'................

For quite some time you have been tickled with pretend play(your favorites are being cats & lions with Lauren ) and you enjoy "chatting" on the phone. You have yet to meet a sweet you didn't like and you just love to laugh.......big ole belly laughs!!!!!

YOU say please & thank you all the time ~ how I love that about you and hope it never EVER goes away!!

My darling love your family & friends and truly seemed to delight in each gift and each moment of your party. You watch people's reactions and you are sensitive to other people's feelings. Just the other day I stubbed a toe and was silently wincing and waiting for the pain & annoyance to pass when I felt your little hand on my shoulder and heard you ask.........."Mama, happy & K, now?"................I almost cried at your sweetness.

Precious boy, you completed our family and brought sunshine and joy to an already happy family. Not every moment or every day is easy with 2...........but anything less than 2 is unfathomable for me to imagine at this point.

To put it just fit......just right on our shoulders, snuggled into the crooks of our arms and you fit just perfectly into this family. I hope & pray that somehow your other Mama feels at peace with her decision and knows how truly loved & cherished you are.............I just can't imagine my life without you (and your sister) & am thankful more & more each day for the gift of you both!


No, we didn't fill our Elmo pinata cuz Tyler would have been devastated to see him tugged at and torn apart!!

On Friday (your actual birthday) we celebrated with Mimi & Papa K., Sesame Street cupcakes, Elmo slippers and your sister picked out an Elmo camera of which you LUV!! You sang Happy Birthday right along with us!!

So darn sweet!

So darn tickled with your party!
Our traditional family picture on each birthday!! Thanks Mimi for snapping our moment!
Together forever.......

Tyler sure likes pretty girls ~ Allison & Alyssa keeping him in plenty O' giggles!

Opening presents? No problem with big Sis helping out a bit!!

I believe we have already established that Tyler is in fact a ham!! :) OR, we have driven him to drink.....LOL

Tyler LOVED his grill Chef's garb and Little Tykes barbecue grill! much to grill, so little time...........

LOVE this, cuz he looks so tiny next to his loot!!

Chef/race car.. driver!! Perfect blend of his skills!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yes, Its True.......

.....our precious baby boy has turned 2!! ( Last Friday to be precise!!) :)

How can it be that this tiny perfect baby that tumbled into our world with such joy, light, zest, charm & a wee faux "babyhawk" *do*, has bid adieu to his "months" and marched right into solid this case, 2?!!? If I'm being honest(and I usually try to be!) I think I saw it coming from the very beginning and surely I've noted how quickly the months and now years with Tyler seem to zoom right along. A seasoned Mama like me knows firsthand how fleeting & endearing each stage is and knows that holding onto to just one would mean missing out on the next one to come ~ would mean forgoing the grand adventure ahead & around each corner! But its also means wishing once in a while to hang on tighter to each bit of "baby-ness" and to never for a minute wish a single moment or stage ( no matter how trying it may be at times!) away. It means sometimes being a bit nostalgic for the baby that was, while still celebrating the little person they so quickly become! It may also mean watching & rewatching endless video of their first recorded moments and later your first moments (finally) together with a tissue box tucked next to you on the chair!

And if I was being really really honest .....I could admit that wherever we have gone in the past 5 months or so, lots of folks have mistakenly presumed him to already be 2 based on his height and his verbal skills, resulting in plenty of time for me to roll that number and really the whole concept of "2-ness" around in my head...........making this past Friday not so much a surprise, but something a bit more familiar. This Second Birthday hasn't startled me in quite the same way his First Birthday caught my heart a bit off guard last year........perhaps because I've had a whole year to prepare?

And of this one boy, I could say & write so many things ~ I could fill a book on the different ways he has changed our family dynamics, strengthened our bonds, enchanted & surprised us daily. His capacity to love is so huge, perhaps only equaled by his insatiable curiosity & sense of self. Sense of self? Kind of a odd thing to write about one so young, but Tyler is ever the same exuberant, smart, kind, mischievous, ticklish, sweet, hilarious, stubborn, bright, beautiful and happy baby boy that found his way into our waiting arms so long ago across the world. How this firecracker of joy found his way to us might be complex............

But loving, cherishing & celebrating him each & every day is SO simple. Its big, its mighty, its whole and its incredible! I start each day with a wide smile and flash of baby boy dimples ( and OH, those dimples are the home of many many kisses) and end each day with a sweet cuddle and baby sing-song. How blessed I am with my 2 best treasures, big & small..........Lauren & Tyler.

So in honor of our little man I've added below a heap O' sugar (I'm talking eye candy here ladies!!) and in looking at them I expected to find one or 2 favorites. Instead I've discovered they are ALL just so Tyler..........each and every one ~ and I love them all for just that reason!

My goodness I love this baby boy more than I could ever say.......

Happy birthday baby boy!!

P.S. Yep, he's sporting a "skeeter" bite or 2 left over from the fireworks last weekend! :( But birthdays wait for no bug or bite and he was such a good sport letting me snap all these photos! He's a bit of a ham I think!! :) Of course bribing him with a beloved Popsicle for afterwards didn't hurt one bit either! ;) I'm SO not above that!! *grin*
P.S.S. I'll be back with pics from his family party and weekend of celebration soon!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red, White & Beach??

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

We spent a gusty but fabulous day at the beach ~ it wasn't quite Cocoa Beach, but its a whole lot closer and our family has been daytripping to beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for so many years now! We love it!

It was a wild day too ~ the high winds caused one speedboat and at least 2 jet skis beyond the protective buoys and practically onto the sandy bottom of the beach throughout our visit. It sure kept the lifeguards extra busy evacuating all the beach goers each time and our kids were amazed to see a Police Boat cruise up lights, sirens and all!! Ultimately every craft was saved, but I would imagine the lifeguards and patrol staff will sigh a bit of relief to have the day behind 'em! And oh yes.....if you are wondering, Tyler IS still chattering on about that boat! *grin*

We are headed for fireworks next (hoping the little guy does o.k.), but I wanted to squeeze this Fourth of July post in before leaving. I wish to thank the brave women and men who have fought to keep our lands free.........and those that continue to do so! (and their families too!!)

Happy Birthday America!!

Our kiddos in their patriotic gear!! Always so happy together ~ well, most of the time! LOL They are siblings afterall!!

A big fan O' the sand!!

Goggled up & ready to swim!

I KNOW....I swore I would never EVER put a child of mine in one of those floatation suits! Famous last words! My folks picked this up last year deeply discounted and OH MY, did our little guy LUV it! It gave him the freedom to practice kicking and moving without being held! ( of course we were CLOSE...but still....what a taste of freedom!!)

Yes, he was quite the beach sensation too!

Nothing says beach picnic like a nectarine. All the hip babies are taking giant bites, ya know!! ;)

And no trip to the beach is complete without a sand castle and fashionable moat!!