Monday, March 29, 2010

College friends.....

My college roommate Angie, her husband Matt (an honorary roommate), and their eldest son Alex stayed overnight with us last night. I neglected to take a picture, but they still look pretty much like they did back in 1992.
Lest you think this respectable looking couple is truly representative of Angie's personality.....
Ah, yes! That's really much more like her...... and I'd hate for you to think that she's totally respectable now that her husband is city manager of St. Francis, Minnesota and she's a teacher......of young, impressionable children....
Scary, eh? :D

I sure know how to pick great friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kaitlyn's Heart

I've been meaning to say that Kaitlyn went to WVU for a heart check last week. She does have a murmur, but the doctor said it's not related to her post-operative ventricular septal defect. (That probably means more to you medical types than it does to us.) They were pleased regardless. They want to see her again in a year to make sure nothing has developed, but for now she's great. : )

I think Kaitlyn may not do so well with dairy + sugar (think ice cream). She seems to do fine with milk and cheese, but ice cream appears to give her a nasty tummy ache. Daddy may have to start eating his dessert in secret and Grandma may have to stock up on non-dairy whipped topping for the next family dinner.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Phebe's Photo Shoot

My girls

The Frequent Scowl

So Sober

Pittsburgh Children's Museum


Davis is going through a distinctly non-photogenic stage. I don't know what's with the goofy grin all the time.

It was a fun day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Davis turns 5 and kid picture attempts

Davis turned five on Friday. He desperately wanted a tonka truck. We have a huge collection of vehicles. He did not need another truck. Look at that happy face...maybe he did need another truck.
The burger shop playdough set made for another happy face. Playdough is such an innocuous name for such a mess maker.
The disney princess gave Tonka Joe a ride in his new golden chariot.
Cake decorating is not my forte. Actually, it's not even cake. He wanted brownies, homemade fudge sauce, and ice cream. Can do!

These next two were an attempt to capture our four at their cutest. Notice Davis? I took a zillion pictures and all have one of these two expressions. Maybe when he's six?

Megan wanted to know why they always have to wear red for pictures. Anybody want to guess?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

At a loss......

My house is a wreck. Mom told me that #4 will break you. That's definitely happening. Stop by to watch a woman slowly going insane. It's a good thing there's no alcohol in the house.

Kaitlyn got into my make up this week. While I was cleaning that up, she put her hand in the raspberry jam jar. While I was cleaning that up, she cleared off the coffee table for two swipes. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Since Kaitlyn is working on sending me to bedlam, Megan and Davis are working on the goldfish. Have you ever heard of fish walking? You catch the little buggers in a net and drag them around the tank until you're tired of it. That's why we avoid the exotic types and stick to the 29 cent ones.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Holly's House of Horrors

A couple more days like this and I'll be ready to open Holly's House of Horrors....and charge admission. Chaos reigns. The panic that ensues when company is invited is a really good, albeit temporary, solution for the problem.
The other day I saw Davis sneaking upstairs with a paintbrush. "Megan has one," he claimed. "What are you doing?" I wondered. She was "spreading good smells in the bathroom." With what? She and Davis (her current partner in crime) had discovered the lemon furniture polish and were "painting" the walls of the bathtub with it. Nice. I think that was after they emptied a NEW bottle of green apple shampoo in the same attempt at scenting the bathroom.
In an attempt to ENJOY the 262 inches of snow(that's almost 22 feet) we've had this winter, Kenton took the older three kids downhill skiing recently. It was a howling success. Davis howled all morning and Megan did most of the morning. After lunch and warm up Kenton made them try again. The three kids took to it like ducks to water after that. What do you think of their Olympic form? Davis
Megan on the magic carpet

Kaitlyn has started "singing" her first American song Old MacDonald. She's really good at "E-Yi-O." She is also saying her first English phrase "I gotcha." Says a lot about our family life, eh?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kids and FAQs

The saga of the soap dispenser. I had a bathroom counter set that was a wedding gift from a friend. It lasted until my oldest child was eight. Pretty good considering it was glass and we were married for eight years before that. I will say several pieces had been glued once or twice, but, hey, it worked!
Enter the counter sitters! My two middle children who are too lazy to STAND while they brush their teeth. After the ivy set was smashed to smithereens, I bought this simple lavender set from Walmart. Now granted, I didn't spend much on it, BUT it lasted exactly 48 hours until Counter Sitter #1 knocked it off decorating the freshly cleaned floor and rugs with glass shards and liquid soap. Lovely! I went back to the plastic dispenser again.
Then, in moment of Walmart temptation, those lavender soap dispensers were in my view again. I bought another one, filled it, admired it for 24 hours, and Counter Sitter #2 repeated the initial scenario. I hardly dared say anything for 10 minutes.
In light of eternity I guess lavender soap dispensers are pretty insignificant, but I still threatened the life of any child over two who sits on the bathroom counter.

One day Megan and Davis announced that they weigh the same amount. I don't think so. One's 55 lbs and the other is 40. "Yes," they insisted, "we weighed ourselves on the scale and both times it said E-R-R. "
Now we know. : )

What are you calling your new daughter?
Her official name is Kaitlyn Ying. Her Chinese name was Ying Ying. We're working toward calling her Kaitlyn, but frequently use Yingying or Kaitlyn Ying or Kaitlyn. Feel free to use any of the three.
Does Kaitlyn speak Chinese?
Actually, we were told that she was speaking quite a bit of the local dialect. I love to hear her "babble" and wish I understood her.
Did she know any English?
Yes, bye-bye and mama(okay, that's the same in both languages : P) She's picked up a few words: daddy, nose, eyes, Megan, and the ever popular NO-NO and MINE. Do not be fooled. It is amazing what they understand whether it's comprehension, logic, or sign language. She's pretty good at letting us know what she wants.....or doesn't want. She loves Jamison, but I think his name is too difficult for her to say yet.
Are you homeschooling next year?
I've been asked this a lot! I can't imagine why. We're taking it year by year and we'll decide for sure once this year is over.
How is she doing?

God has graciously answered yes to many of our prayers. She's doing pretty well. She has been having 1-3 screaming tantrums for 20-30 minutes every day since we got her. I don't want to read into things, but it seemed like some little thing would set her off and she'd REALLY go off! Almost like, "Hey, this didn't go my way!....HEY! A LOT OF IMPORTANT THINGS HAVEN'T GONE MY WAY!" I'd just hold her and let her scream. But the last three days, she hasn't done any screaming. She wants to be held a lot and does some whimpering. Sometimes it means I don't get much done(at least right now I have a valid excuse), but I try to comply when I can. She's sleeping great, eating well, teasing, giggling, and making eye contact. I know that may not last, but we're enjoying it while it does. Kaitlyn's also not too certain about daddy. Sometimes she goes running when she hears the basement door open and she yells, "Daddy!" when he comes in, but she easily gets upset if their relationship isn't on HER terms.
How are the other kids doing?
Jamison does great with her and she loves him! Megan is loving her and learning rapidly how to stay in Kaitlyn's good graces. Davis is loving her but slow at connecting. They all appear to be doing well with the transition. They've had moments of being at each other's throats, but I think it has more to do with being snowbound for weeks than with a new sister. The other night I was
laying on the couch and Davis wanted to do patty-cake. I'm sure I did patty cake at least 20 times. Except for Megan, who did Say-say, oh playmate, Jamison, Davis, and Kaitlyn all did pattycake with me, over and over and over. I'm not sure the particular attraction of patty-cake, but it was an undoubted hit! Maybe they're all regressing?

Many of you have said that you've been praying for Kaitlyn and the rest of our family. We are so grateful. We've really felt your love and support and God's presence through this experience. I feel humbled by how many have cared and the way God has worked. Now, if I can just REMEMBER this when I'm in the pits of despair.