Friday, May 28, 2010

May comes to an end

No big events this week. Alex and I played in the kiddie pool two days. The weather has been nice most of the week with the exception of Sunday night when storms blew through and did damage at Tim's parents' house and two streets from his brother's house. There was a little damage near us, but nothing like last year's tornado - praise God.

I lost a dear friend this week. Renee Cameron was a RN who I have worked with since 2007. She and her husband were in a motorcycle accident two weeks ago and he died instantly. His service was last Sunday and she passed away last night. They were in their early 50's and leave behind one daughter and two grand-sons. Renee and Bruce were the epitome of love and were such a neat, Christian couple who had a motorcycle ministry. She will be greatly missed.

We got the blood work results back from Alex's visit to the specialist and he needed three booster vaccinations. We went today to get those. He had to have: chicken pox, HIB and prevnar. He did great. He did shed a couple of tears, but was very brave. After his shots, we went by Tim's work so he could tell Daddy how brave he was and then I took him to WalMart for a reward. I honestly thought he would choose the Toy Story since he has watched it almost every night since Mother's Day, but he choose Shrek. So - we got the Shrek Trilogy. He has already watched the first one.

Speaking of movies - Tim DVR'd Happy Feet and we have watched it at least once every day this week. The other night, Alex was in bed and had to go to the bathroom. He came down the hall doing his happy feet with a big smile on his face! I think he just wanted to get out of bed and the bathroom was an excuse, but it sure did make me smile.

We leave for the beach one week from tomorrow! Alex's cousin, Jordan, (7 y.o.) made the All Star baseball team and they play that week, so he and my sister will not get to go this year. Our oldest nephew, Reid made the American Legion team and they play that week, so he doesn't get to go either. Since Jordan can't go to the beach, we are having a sleepover tomorrow night. Jordan will come around lunch time, they will get to play on the swing and in the kiddie pool - if the weather holds out. We may go to see the new Shrek movie also.

Alex's phrase of the week: "What are you doing?" He asks this to everyone he talks to on the phone and to me all the time. Another thing he likes to do is look for the American flag and say America! He and I went to Old Navy the other day and got him and Daddy matching Old Navy American Flag 2010 tees. I got one also that is another color. Love to get these $5 shirts! They hold up well. Tim still has one from 2005.

We don't have any big plans for the weekend other than cooking brisket and BBQ Boston butt. There is a Catfish Festival in my best friend's town and she just called to see if we wanted to go up there tonight, but I am tired and am afraid that Alex will get ill if we let him stay up too late - especially since he had those shots today. He is running a low-grade fever from the shots.

Every year, our town hosts the South Carolina Festival of Flowers. I think it was two years ago that they started a topiary display. I have always wanted to get photos of the topiaries, but have always waited too late. I hope we can go up there maybe on Monday to take some photos of Alex and the topiaries. We saw them today and they are awesome. There are: giraffes, alligator, sea turtle, dolphin,Jeep, Camera (for Fuji which has a plant here), butterfly, and a Lion. I am sure there are more that I haven't seen.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Please remember those who gave their lives so that you could live yours in freedom and those who are fighting for freedom today.

R & T & A

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Those three little words.....

Yesterday Alex was in a really sweet mood and wanted to be held a lot. He crawled into my lap and said, "I love you!" Sure, he has told me this before, but only after I have told him. This time, it was out of the blue and made me realize that he knows what it means and that he meant it.

I treasure these days with our son. I only have three weeks before I return to work.

As I am typing this, Alex just told Tim. "I love you!" Of course, Tim answered, "I love you, too." Alex, "I love you more!"

Now Alex is telling Tim, "be careful, Daddy. Be careful!"

Being a mom and wife is wonderful and I love it and my "boys!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Buttons at the left

The buttons at the left are for special needs children who are being adopted from Ukraine.
The process is quite expensive, so the buttons are set up for donations towards bringing these precious children home to America. Some of the children have Down's Syndrome and some have medical problems that can best be treated here.

Please pray about supporting these adoptions and for these families.

R & T & A

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The past week

Alex continues to learn new words every day!

Right now he is watching Sesame Street and flapping his arms like the penguins and Grover and laughing!

He still loves reading and learning. His new favorite movie is Toy Story - thanks Lynn and family! He watches it every night and sometimes during the day also. He loves Buzz and Boody (Woody.) I used his little Leap Frog Alphabet tool to try to teach him that it is W for Woody. He is saying it clearer and can pick out the W and tell us it is for Woody. He can also pick out the A for Alex. This is the little boy who was supposedly developmentally delayed.

We are now giving Alex Flintstone vitamins with iron. We did not do this at first because it reads for children 4 and older, but his bloodwork came back and his iron is low, so he is now taking these and drinking a Carnation Instant Breakfast every day for a snack. I usually have him drink 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the afternoon.

On Monday, we went to Lexington with my dad (Papa) and step-mother (Granny Carolyn) to visit our Aunt Pat. She worked at a school and is great with children and possibly the sweetest person on the earth! Alex loves her and said Aunt Pat very clearly. He enjoyed the ride down there, playing with Granny. He took a little nap on the way back. It was nice for Daddy and Mama Carolyn to get to spend some more time with Alex and learn how well he is doing and how fast he is learning. I know he was concerned about our decision to adopt abroad, but now knows that we did the right thing.

On Sunday, a dear friend from work and her husband were in a motorcycle accident. He was killed (only 53 years-old) and she is in critical condition in Greenville. She was transferred there yesterday. Please pray for Renee and her family. They only have one daughter and she is dealing with the death of her father and the possibility of losing her mother as well. They had a Christian Motorcycle ministry and traveled to Washington, DC each Memorial Day to minister.

This afternoon, we will play on the swing and/or in Alex's kiddie pool and then we have church. It is the last night for Angel Choir, so they are having a pizza party for the kiddos. He didn't really get to start in Angel Choir due to timing, but hopefully he can start again in the fall and will be able to perform the next time they do a program.

I have two friend in Ukraine right now who are adopting. One is in her ten-day waiting period and is adopting her 5th child - all boys! The other couple had their SDA appointment at 9:30 this morning which would have been 2:30 am our time. They may very well be headed to their region as I type. They are adopting three special needs children from the same baby house where we got Alex! I am so excited for them and admire their dedication. They have three little girls at home, so they will have a BIG family. Love it!

Until next week or something memorable happens!
R & T & A

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What have you done?

Not adoption/Mommy related, but fun anyway.

I saw this on another blog and thought it looked fun. I love those "learn stuff about me" kind of posts. I hope you enjoy...maybe you want to do it yourself. :)

The things in bold are the things I have done and the things in italics are the things I would like to do:
1. Started your own blog (obviously)
2. Slept under the stars (a number of times when I was a kid)
3. Played in a band (school bands count right?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (used to all the time in church when I was little)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (so far it's only a few words, but I am determined to learn Russian)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (caricature?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (snorkeling)
52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (can you say YUCK!)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - not physically, but the paper pregnancy was 12 months and the trip in the middle of winter was as bad as labor, I am sure.
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee or a wasp
100. Read an entire book in one day

What have you done?Just copy & paste and bold what you have done & un bold what you haven’t.Have fun with it and if you want, comment with your link to your What have you done?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Such a BIG BOY!

Alex has his appointment at the Pediatric Specialist on Tuesday. She said that he is in the 75th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight. She said not to worry yet because without having family history, we do not know if he is naturally tall and lean. She is running all types of tests, including ones for parasited, lead, and titers to verify what vaccinations he will need.

While we were there, they did a PPD test and drew blood. Alex pulled back a little from needle on the PPD test, but they used numbing cream for the blood draws and he whimpered a little, but no tears. Such a BIG BRAVE BOY! He had to be stuck two times because the vein collapsed on the first stick. I was so proud of him.

He also had about two years of wax built up in his ears and they washed both of them out - using three bottles of water each! He was so good and still. I teased him that he had big "mookas" (bugs) in his ears because that is what the wax clumps looked like when they came out.

He is progressing well with everything. He can now count to 6, knows at least two colors, can draw circles, is good at picking up his room and putting his toys in the proper places, can say almost anything he wants to and learns new things every day! I am amazed at how he has improved in the time we have been home. His behavior has really improved. He rarely tells us no now, and if he does, it only takes one reminder of punishment and he does not say it again. This has also helped in getting him to eat his meals because he can't tell us no! LOL!

He is much better with the dogs. He still chases them or throws their toys at them instead of to them, but all it takes is a warning and occasionally a time-out and he does better.

Please say a prayer for a special friend, Michelle, who leaves tomorrow to go to Ukraine to adopt three children from Alex's orphanage. They have special needs and were on a website, so she could commit in advance. We are so excited for their family and their new children.

Also, pray for our friends Dan and Alisha who are adopting from Ethiopa. Alisha is there with the boys and Dan is back in Ukraine, I believe. The children are officially theirs, but she will have to remain a little longer. Some of you may remember that we met Alisha and Dan when we were in Ukraine. She volunteered at Alex's orphanage and was so nice and helpful to us.

We will sign off for now.

R & T & A

Monday, May 10, 2010

Planting the Garden

Alex didn't like getting his hands dirty, so his best job was taking the empty
plant cups to the trash. - Our neighbors' Golden Retrievers are in the background watching the progress. They always greet us when we are outside.

Planting a tomato plant

Alex loves to help his Daddy!

I can't believe I forgot to post this. Alex & Tim planted the garden a couple of weeks ago.

They planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelon.
It rained and there was finally a break in the weater, so I sent Alex out in an old tshirt, pants and his boots that we bought in Ukraine.

First Mother's Day Refridge Art

Alex "made" this in Children's Church on Mother's Day!
Not sure how much he actually did himself, but I know his scribble anywhere! :-)

The Chosen Heart - Get out your hankies

This is a wonderful poem by Terri Harrison.
My Mother-in-Law gave me a framed copy for Mother's Day

The Chosen Heart

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew,
A part of me was meant for you.
I think how happy we will be,
Once I adopt you, and you adopt me.

I dream of all the joy you'll bring,
Imagining even the littlest things.
The way it will feel to hold you tight,
And tuck you in every night.
The drawings on the refrigerator door,
And childhood toys across the floor.
The favorite stories read again and again,
And hours of games with make-believe friends.

The day you took my outstretched hand,
A journey ended, but our lives began.
Still mesmerized by your sweet face,
Still warmed inside by our first embrace.
I promised to give you a happy home,
And a loving family all your own.
A house you've now made complete,
With laughter, smiles, and tiny feet.

A parent is one who guides the way,
Know I will be there everyday.
Rest easy as each night you sleep,
A lifetime of love is yours to keep.

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew,
A part of me belonged to you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Alex's Room

The photos in the puzzle piece frames are of Alex's groupa, Gotcha Day and one of him and Ina - his favorite Nannie from the aby house. I left the Boxer stuffed animal, pillow and quilt since Chance died - I couldn't bring myself to move it. Will probably put it up for safe keeping soon.

The cedar chest was my grandmother's. My dad had it refinished about 4-5 years ago and I have our blankets in it. I really need to find somewhere else to put it because I found Alex working on it with his "hammer" the other day and it is getting scratched. I finally taught him not to walk on it.
I looked and looked for wall decals to match his room and finally found some the other week at Kohl's - half-price! He really likes them around the TV. I think I am going to get two more packs and bring them down under the TV and wrap over the bookshelf. I would actually like more bookshelves and may make some. I found this neat site ( with patterns and can make two good-sized bookcases for $60 out of wood and MDF - definitely sturdier than the Big Lots ones in there now. They look slanted in the photo, but I think the TV is not exactly straight.

I bought this duvet a year before we travelled when Linens n' Things was going out of business. I just loved the soft colors with the splash of lime green! I thought this would work for either a boy or girl and it has been pretty easy to find things that coordinate.

I originally wanted to use a monkey theme and Alex loves monkeys - but I thought that he would outgrow the monkeys fast. So - I showed him photos of monkeys, jungle, trucks, construction and the ocean/beach theme and he liked the beach theme best. We still have some animals thrown in the mix and he loves them too! We love the beach and go twice a year, and he came from a shipping town, so it just "fit." Our good friends gave us the personalized quilt at our shower and it was a perfect fit for the one wall that was bare! Our 7 year-old nephew, Jordan loves the room and suggested that we paint the wall behind the bed - the one with the palm print - ocean blue. I may do just that!

Alex picked out all of the artwork on the walls with the exception of the personalized quilt - which he loves and wants to pull down to sleep on - of course, I won't let him. He definitely has an opinion on what he likes and doesn't like. He will quickly say "this one!" or "like it!" and has for some time now. If he does not like something, I will not buy it for him - especially in clothes because he will not wear what he doesn't like.
I was about to brag that Alex had been good today and hadn't gotten a time out or sent to his room, but about 15 minutes ago, as Chloe was coming through the doggie door, he tried to push her back out by her face. We have really had a time teaching him what is appropriate behavior with the dogs. He loves her, but I guess he just doesn't understand yet that he has to treat her as good as he does people. Anyway - he has been very good and loving today - until that incident and the meltdown that followed - dropping to the floor and refusing to walk to his room. Technically, he is not in time-out and can play - but he is in there until his daddy gets home - which should be soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maggie Valley Trip & 25th Wedding Anniversary

Last weekend we went to Maggie Valley for our 25th Anniversary. Of course, we took Alex. He adapted well even though we didn't get him to bed until after 10:00pm! I didn't have a good night because I had Alex & Tim snoring. I looked at the clock at 2:30am - still wide awake!

3:30 am - Alex has to pee-pee. 4:30 am - still awake. We got up at 7:30am and went to Joey's Pancake House and had pancakes - what else would you have? Then, we did a bit of shopping and Alex just does not understand that he can't touch everything. I know he is three and was seeing lots of things he had never seen before, but I still strapped him in the stroller and that helped some.

Alex has been obsessed with horses since the church Easter Egg Hunt/Party at the Oasis Farm. Oasis Farm is on the campus of Connie Maxwell Children's Home and near our house. Every time he sees a fence of any kind, he yells, horsie (corshie!) We found him a stuffed horse that makes a galloping sound and neighs. He has a stick horse like this, but it spends most of its time in time-out because he tries to hit the dogs with it! He also got a lion because he loves them too and his daddy taught him to roar like a lion before we even left Ukraine.

Ready to explore Maggie Valley

Alex & the Big Bear

Daddy & Alex with the bear

Alex, Mama & the bear - I was beginning to crash here from lack of sleep!

Alex & Daddy in the pool - first time with us in a real pool!

After shopping, we returned to Jonathan Creek Inn (wonderful place to stay!) and went for a swim in the indoor pool. Alex did well with his swimmies and holding our hands. He was a little scared, but he did better after some time. At one point, he was only holding my two index fingers and kicking. He soon got cold and he and daddy changed and went to the playground while I went to the hot tub and took a much needed nap!

We walked next door to Arf's to have dinner and Alex was good until he was finished and then he was BAD. When we got back to the room, he got time out plus time added to it for kicking and hitting during time out. We finally got him to bed!
As I was getting ready on Sunday morning, I saw the ducks in the creek and hurried to get Alex out so he could feed them. Notice his PJs! He was hesitant to walk outside without shoes on, but I let him go out in his sock feet.
Daddy & Alex feeding the ducks
After the ducks ate all of the bread, they took a bath and Alex was really amused when they ducked their heads under the water! We loved this hotel. It is the last one before you go up the mountain towards Cherokee. It has an indoor pool (in a sun room type enclosure), Koi pond, hot tub, deck over the creek, hammocks and swings. Our room was on the first floor and had a screened-in porch overlooking the creek. Right outside our door, there was a porch swing on the creek.
On the way home, I told Tim this was not the way I imagined our 25th Anniversary. We had planned to renew our vows and go somewhere like Jamaica, Tahiti - somewhere tropical and romantic. But - I wouldn't have it any other way! Spending 42 days together in Ukraine & bringing our son home brought us closer than any 5 days in a tropical paradise ever could.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 was our 25th anniversary. I got my mom to spend some time with Alex so I could run errands and pick up Tim's gift. She said that he was pretty good and only got timeout once for refusing to pick up some toys. We are struggling with NO! right now.
My anniversary present - earrings and necklace - beautiful.

Anniversary Flowers
My husband is so thoughtful! He researched the proper flowers for 25th Anniversary and it is Iris. So, he had an arrangement made with Iris! They are beautiful. He also got me a plaque with a 25th Anniversary poem and framed info sheet about "this day, 25 years ago."
I tried to replace Tim's white gold wedding ring that he lost twice. It had a cross engraved on it and he picked it out himself. My sister found it the first time and the second time, he lost it at work and it has never been found. I couldn't find one, so I got him a white gold one that has some little diamonds in it.
We had a candle light dinner of Chinese takeout after getting Alex to bed. That was better than our wedding night when we ate from McDonalds! LOL!
Alex goes to the International Adoption Pediatrician Specialist next Tuesday. It is in Greenville, but he rides well. The only problem I foresee is that his appointment is scheduled for his nap time. I think he will do fine though. Maybe he will nap on the ride.
Until next time,
R & T & A