Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm sick of SICK!

Joe got very sick this week. We are waiting on the results of bloodwork, but we are pretty sure it is Lyme's Disease. I had it 4 years ago and his symptoms were the same as mine - mainly, he has never felt worse in his life. Thankfully, he is MUCH better after being on his antibiotic.

For the past week or so, Emma has been coughing. She also had a low-grade fever last Friday and had some kind of stomach bug (coming out the other end quite frequently, if you know what I mean). Thought we got past that bug because she has been normal for a few days.

But today she decided to throw up all over the place. Ick. She woke up at 8:00 this morning, very chatty and in a great mood. Within the hour, she had no energy, told me her belly hurt - and then - blah. Literally. Ugh. Then did it again in the car on the way to the doctor's.

Did I mention that when I came home tonight (after running to the mall for maybe an hour) my dog left me a "present" in the bathroom??? Oh joy! She is getting old and doesn't always have accidents in the house - but does on occassion. I guess I should be happy she chooses to do it in the bathroom.

What is God trying to teach me this week? My life is a toilet? I need more patience? Hum, I'm not quite sure....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emma's 4th birthday - a carnival party!

Emma turned 4 on Friday. I must admit - I love planning birthday parties! I mean I love it :) We had a carnival in the backyard and it was a blast. We had hotdogs and popcorn (and some grown-up food too!), snow cones, and of course cake and ice cream. We had lots of games, carnival music, the bouncy house and the ball pit. It's a little hard to see, but these are some of the "stations" for the party.

I rarely get them both looking at the camera and smiling at the same time!

Poor Emma with all the boys in her life... there was only one other girl besides Emma.

The popcorn machine was a huge hit. Well worth the rental fee. We got extra popcorn "just in case" - but by the end of the night, every extra bit was gone!

The kids had fun playing the games - some games were even played multiple times. There were prizes at every game that they could put in their treat boxes when they won. I made signs for each game - some of the kids couldn't read, but it was still cute :)

Notice how yummy the twisty-pop prize was - it couldn't even come out for a minute to play a game!

Somehow the blindfold got lost - so they all got the nose right on. No one even closed their eyes. Stinkers! (Notice the twisty-pop sticks again. Must have been really yummy!)

My favorite part about the cupcake display? The Mike's bottle in the background. (Whoops!) Also in the background is the horse pinata. We got good use out of that - 2 years in a row. (Last year she had a horse party.)

I love all the preparation and planning for my kids' parties. I've been teaching myself how to make cakes. One of these days I'll take a cake decorating class but for now I wing it. It's not really about saving the money - it's fun for me to do the cakes myself. Joe thinks I'm nuts :) I'm just hoping I don't make a cake wreck!

Now if only the clean-up fairy would come to my house immediately after the party.... ;)

Old Birthdays - Luke's 7

Luke just turned 7 a few months ago. He wanted an army party. This really threw me for a loop. I had no idea how to do a party around this theme. I hate guns and wish we could all be friends :) so I have absolutely no army sense.

So after pondering this theme for some time, we went back to the church basement and had an army party. We had camo decorations and a tank pinata. We came up with a few game ideas that weren't fighting related. We played games like drop the parachuter into a cup, sargeant says (simon says), pin the medal on the soldier (blindfold game), find the hidden green army men, capture the flag (which was a disaster, no one would fess up when they were tagged!), and tug of war (which was a HUGE hit and they couldn't play it enough!)

I decided I'd make the cake and I stuck little plastic army guys and a toy tank into the cake. Sounds tacky, but I think it turned out pretty cute. It's a little hard to see, but in the back left corner I put one army man trying to sneak up the side of the cake and another one on top shooting him down :)

When the party was over, we handed out HERO medals to each child. I guess it wasn't too bad for a theme I couldn't figure out :)

Old Birthdays - Luke's 6

This was by far my favorite party to plan! Emma's carnival party that we just had was fun too, but I think this one took the cake. (But I didn't make the cake - I was still bitter from his 5th birthday!)

Luke wanted a Superhero party. We rented out the church basement and sent out invitations inviting the kids to Superhero Training Headquarters. I made Superhero capes out of felt for the kids with their first initial on the back. The kids decorated their own masks. I was surprised that most of them kept their costumes on the entire party.

We played Superhero games. One of the kids' favorites was the Spiderman web-making game. We had the kids stand in a circle. We got a ball of yarn and they tossed it around the circle. Every time a kid caught the yarn, it was wrapped around him or her and then tossed again. Once we had a "web", we dropped 2 spiders on it and the kids had to jump up and down (while tied up) to try to knock the spiders off the web.

Then the kids were led in a Superhero Training. Once they all finished the simple obstacle course, Batman (my dad) walked into the party and told the kids that since they were official Superheroes now, they had to assist him in getting the villians. They were given cans of silly string and then my 3 nephews (who were much too cool (old!) to be at a kindergarten party) came in dressed in black - and the Superheroes squirted them like crazy. They went nuts! We had to do it in shifts though, because it got a little too crazy!

It was really fun because at that age, I think alot of the kids really believed it was Batman :)

Old Birthdays - Luke's 5

For Luke's 5th birthday, he wanted a pirate party. This was the first time I made the cake myself - and it about got the best of me! I was NOT a pleasant person after working on this cake. I don't even remember how many times I had to redo it. But it turned out okay - if I do say so myself :)

All the kids got pirate costumes. Not sure why Luke has his eyes closed, maybe he couldn't figure out that eye patch???

And they played pirate games. (Ignore my facial expression - I still hadn't figured out kids shouldn't be whacking pinatas - especially inside my house!

Happy pirates :)

Old Birthdays - Luke's 4

For Luke's 4th birthday, we rented out a hall and had a BYOB party - bring your own bike. It was so cute to see all those little kids cruising around.

It's so funny to look back on these pictures now to see how much these kids have grown up!

Luke picked a turtle pinata. So the new-mom-ness still hadn't worn off yet, here's Luke whacking away after the string had broken but not the pinata...

We had the bouncy house then, too. Not sure when we got it, but we have certainly gotten our money's worth out of it over the years.

Old Birthdays - Luke's 3 1/2

Since I mentioned how much I love to plan birthday parties - and since I just started blogging and have missed posting on all the past parties - I thought I would backtrack and post some old pictures.

I'll start with Luke.

We missed Luke's first 3 birthdays. He came home a month after his 3rd birthday. That summer, we had a 3 1/2th birthday party for him.

Who ever thought whacking a pinata with a bunch of young kids would be a good idea? It was my first party, so I think I may be excused from the mistake :)

The kids did decorate-your-own-cupcakes.

I know we had snow cones and played some backyard carnival games - but I honestly don't remember what we did exactly. It seems so long ago! And I was a new mom who forgot to take a million pictures of that party so the computer isn't even jogging my memory....

More parties to come :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I guess we don't stick together after all.....

Emma got upset about something today. What a dramatic conversation we had!

Emma: "That's it, I'm leaving pretty soon."
Me: "Where are you going?"
Emma: "I'm leaving this family!"
Me: "Please don't leave, I love you. We're a family, we stick together."
Emma: "Not anymore."
Me: "Well I don't want you to leave, but where will you go?"
Emma: "I'm going to stay in Pittsburgh." (We're an hour from Pittsburgh.)
Luke stops playing the Wii - actually turns it off! - and says: "NO! Emma, you can't leave!"
Emma: "I'm leaving." Cry cry cry.
Luke: Cry cry cry cry. "Emma, NO!, PLEASE stay!"
Me: "See, Emma, this family wouldn't be the same without you. We all love you. Will you stay?"
Emma: "No."
Me: "But your birthday is tomorrow, I have everything ready for your party."
Emma: "Well maybe I'll think about it tomorrow after my party."
Luke: "Well if Emma leaves, I'm leaving too."
Me: "No one is leaving, we're a family."

And I now have two criers, crying hysterically. Both are hanging off of me, hugging me like there is no tomorrow.

Me: "I love you, Emma."
Emma: "I love you too."
Me: "Does that mean you are staying?"
Emma: "No, I told you I would think about it tomorrow."
Me: "Let's go talk to daddy about this." (He was outside cutting grass.)
Emma: "NO! We are NOT talking to daddy. Can we just watch a movie instead?"

And so we went to watch a movie. A leaving thwarted. Whew. Not sure how a 4 year old thought she was getting out of here anyway. :)

"I know that already!"

Last night when we were putting the kids to bed, Luke had a breakdown. His drama lately is that the entire world is falling apart when something goes wrong.

He'll say comments like:
"That's it, I'm never playing with any of my toys ever again!"
"I'm running away to the woods were wolves will get me."
"I'm leaving this family. Do you want to get rid of me?"
"I'm just going to sit here all day and all night and not move and not do anything!"

All with the arms crossed and nose up in the air. Sometimes stomping of the feet, etc. You know, drama!

So last night as we were saying our prayers a breakdown came. So did the drama. I took his face in my hands and said, "I love you. Forever and ever. No matter what. You are an important part of this family and God made you special!"

He started to cry, hugged me and said goodnight. I didn't want Emma to feel left out, so I said, "And I love you too, baby."

She looked at me like I had 3 eyes and said, "Mommy. I KNOW that already!"

Oh good grief! How old is she???!!!

That reminds me... her 4th birthday is tomorrow. Yesterday she said, "Not tomorrow, yes tomorrow (as she counts her fingers up to 2 to see how many days are left) is my birsday! (s for th's) Let's get this party started!"

Monday, June 7, 2010

Goodbye first grade!

Today was Luke's last day of school. Now he is officially a second grader. How is that possible??? Stop time, stop! Or at least slow down a bit!

So come September, I will have a second grader and a preschooler. That almost leaves me speechless - which is saying alot!

What will I do with myself? Hum....Maybe we should have another baby :)

If only it were that easy. Sigh....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"It wasn't me!"

The things that come out of Emma's mouth....

Today's conversation:
Me: "Oh boy, Emma, your room is a mess. Your stuffed animals are everywhere."
Emma: "It wasn't me."
Me: "It wasn't? Then who did it?"
Emma: "I think it was either Maggie and Baxter (our dogs) or the wind."
Me: "So what are you going to do about this mess?"
Emma: "Well, I'm going to wait until Luke is done cleaning his room so he can help me clean mine since it wasn't both of us who did this mess."

Later, we were outside and Emma said, "Mommy, Luke just hit me in the head with his ball (whiffle ball). I'm so glad I had on my helmet (she was riding her bike) because if I didn't, he would've hit me in the hair and that would've hurt.

All in a day's work for me :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I recently had a birthday. I won't say which one :) Joe took the kids shopping and they each picked out flowers and a card for me. Luke picked a card that plays music: "Who let the dogs out". I guess that never gets old. ha. Emma picked a card with a cat on it (she loves cats).

They both signed their cards. Luke wrote, "I love you mommy, Love Luke". Emma said to Joe, "I want to write 'I love you mommy' too". Joe said, "Okay, do you know how to spell it?" and she said, "Yes".

Now I'm sure Joe was thinking, "Wow, Amy sure is working with her, she can spell that?" Emma drew a picture inside the card - you know, the people who have legs coming right out of their head! - and then wrote, "Poot Emma".

I opened the card and said, "Poot Emma?" and she said, "No mommy, it says, I love you from Emma."

So Poot = I love you.

Then we were even more hysterical when we really listened to the card Luke got me.

"Who let the dogs out? Poot. Poot. Poot. Poot."

tee hee.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just add -er

It is amazing to me to watch my almost 4 year old grow her vocabulary. Not sure if that is a girl thing, or a coming-home-at-9-months thing. Although Luke picked up on the English language quickly after coming home, he is still not "fully language developed" 4 years later. He often gets tenses wrong, he mixes up word order, and he sometimes doesn't pronounce things correctly.

Emma, on the other hand, speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks. And then talks some more. With words I am *shocked* that she knows. (Nothing bad - just big words for a 4 year old.) With Luke, he will only use a word if we tell him what it is. For example, he never would've known what a tree was if we hadn't said, "Luke, do you see that tree?" Emma on the other hand would just one day say, "Mommy, did you see that beautiful tree with all the leaves and the birds in it and (blah blah blah blah)?" That is a silly example, but a good example of their language development. Emma just picks up on words and Luke doesn't seem to as much.

I have no idea if they are technically on the same language proficiency. Emma came home at 9 months old - and came from a loving foster home. So she had the one-on-one attention, love, nutrition, etc. (Even though it wasn't English, she still heard loving communication.) Luke came home at 3 years old, but came from an orphanage. He was developmentally delayed, physcially delayed, emotionally delayed.

Luke has been home almost 4 1/2 years; Emma is almost 4 years old. So perhaps, they have the same language proficiency. I am no expert, this is just my mom-guess.

It is hard knowing what to chalk up to boys vs. girls, being in an orphange vs. being in foster care, or coming home at 9 months old vs. 3 years old. Or perhaps - it's just the way God made them. Different and unique, but both very special :)

So while I'm on the language topic, I wanted to jot down a cute "habit" Emma has gotten into. She just adds -er to everything. It is hysterical! I mentioned the way she says "maker" (which means cook) in an earlier post but I wanted to add a couple more.

"Mommy, if you would put me to bed every night (Joe and I switch each night with the kids), you would be the best bedder."

(Emma and I would go to Pizza Hut every Wednesday after her school and one waitress would really fuss over her) - "Mommy, I sure hope the best bringer is there today."

It makes me smile every time :)
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