Saturday, December 31, 2005

Well, I stayed up till midnight, but just barely. Scott actually fell asleep for a little while while we were watching Alias. But, he was up again at midnight - we said "Happy New Year" and went immediately to bed. Guess we're getting old.

We hung up pictures today! We hung a picture over the fireplace, and two others in the family room. We also hung the pictures of the kiddos. It is so nice to be able to see them all the time!

Friday, December 30, 2005

My mom came over again today and we took the kids to get their pictures taken. The trip started out pretty rocky. I gave the kids a bath and then took a shower while my mom got them dressed. When I came downstairs, I saw that Jaden's sweater was HUGE - it looked AWFUL! I was so bummed because both Scott and I had been so excited about this sweater - it was so cute! But, it definitely didn't look cute on. I was so upset. So, my mom and I rushed out of the house so that we could go buy him another shirt. We bought one at JCPenney that matched Danielle's dress really well. It fit him just perfectly - it will probably be too small soon, but I didn't have much choice. We tried looking at some other places, but no one else had anything that would work.

So, we started out being ten minutes late for our appointment, and they told us that they had another appointment at 11:00 (in twenty minutes), so I felt really rushed. I was so bummed at the way everything was going. Then, Danielle just did not want to sit down where the woman was trying to put her. She absolutely refused. Jaden was actually being pretty good, but he would refuse to behave as soon as she would cooperate, of course. Finally, the other lady came over and got them to "play" a bit - that worked much better and the session went much better after that. They were using a bear to get Jaden and Danielle to smile, but then Danielle REALLY wanted the bear. We ended up letting her hold him in the rest of the pictures.

Scott came and met us for lunch. Then, we all went and looked at the pictures. Of course, they all turned out really cute and we want them all! We just ordered on 8x10 (the free one with our membership) and decided to look on the internet and pick out more.

Surprisingly, Scott came home early from work tonight, which made the day even better. We all played Yahtzee to round out the evening.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Today was a crazy day. I was supposed to drive Scott's parents to the airport, but Jaden woke up with an ear infection. At first, it didn't seem that bad - I thought that I could just call the doctor when I got back from the airport. But, as the morning went on, he got worse and worse. He was crying and laying on the floor, miserable. By the time I got out of the shower, I had decided that I needed to call Scott's parents and see if they could call a cab to bring them to the airport. Of course, Scott's dad seemed a little bit perturbed - I wished that I had talked to his mom. I called Scott to tell him what was going on, and he was concerned that they might not be able to get a cab on such short notice (I was supposed to be there in 45 minutes). So, then I started to panic a bit - Scott said that maybe my mom could drive them to the airport or something. Erin said that he would do it, but when I called them back, they had already scheduled a cab. It ended up being really stressful, though.

I got appointments for the kids at 10:30 AM. It turns out that Jaden does have an ear infection and Danielle's chest congestion is bad enough that the doctor prescribed antibiotics for her too. My mom and I went to Walgreens right away to pick it up. Hopefully, it will help soon because Jaden is awfully crabby!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Today, my mom came over and we went to the mall while the kids were napping. We went to Casual Corner and I got some dress clothes (my mom bought them for me for my birthday). I don't really have many dress clothes that fit me anymore, so I was really happy to get some. I got a skirt, which I figured Scott would really like, and two shirts that can go with it. I also got a pair of pants, a shell and a blouse. I really like everything I got.

JCPenney had their Christmas stuff for 70% off, so I got three new stockings, stocking hangers and a couple of ornaments. They are so cute! I can't wait to put them up next year. I loved the fact that I was getting a stocking for Noah! I sent the translator the last documents this morning, so hopefully I'll be sending my dossier very soon!

I also got a pair of pajamas for Scott. He was a little bit bummed that he didn't get any presents on Christmas Day (he said he wished that he didn't feel that way, but he couldn't help it). So, I wrapped his pajamas (twice) and was really excited to give them to him. I then put the package on his pillow and waited for him to come home. But, when he got home, he never went upstairs! He usually goes upstairs as soon as he gets home, but today he didn't for some reason. It was driving me crazy! He didn't even go into our room when we put the kids to bed. We ended up all watching a movie (The Interpretor) and then finally I went upstairs and hid the present under his blanket. When he came up, he found it and was really happy. He especially liked that I had wrapped it twice (he wrapped my gift card in tons of plastic bags so that it would take me a long time to open it and then wrapped my other present twice). It was funny how happy that pair of pajamas made us - It was a great day!

Monday, December 26, 2005

I put Danielle's stroller and swing together today - Boy, did she love them! She was cruising all around the house in the stroller and loved putting the bottle in the baby's mouth and patting her. It was really cute. She put Dora in the swing and was very excited about that too, even though it didn't have batteries yet.

Tonight, Scott's parents came over and we hung out with them for awhile. It was good that we got to visit with them before they leave on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

This morning, it was so much fun to see Jaden come down and find his presents from Santa. Both he and Danielle seemed really excited about his craft desk. I think this is going to end up being a great present. Danielle wasn't as interested in her Dora doll as I thought she would be. We thought she would be thrilled about the fact that it says her name, but she didn't seem to care too much. She was more interested in Jaden's desk. In fact, the whole time that we opened presents, Danielle was more interested in sitting at that desk. Jaden was enjoying opening presents, but he actually had too many (which is ironic, since it didn't look like much to me and I wrapped some things separate so it would seem like more). He wanted to just sit and play with the toys he already had instead of opening more. Since Scott and I didn't really get each other any gifts (although he did wrap me up a gift card and he got me an electronic Yahtzee game), and Danielle wasn't really interested in opening her presents, there was no break in between Jaden's presents. That made it harder. But, overall, the morning went pretty well.

But, the best part of Christmas as far as the kids were concerned was once my parents came. First of all, Danielle was much more interested in the presents this time - she seemed to notice that, hey, there are toys in these wrapped packages. She really seemed to enjoy opening presents for the first time. Jaden also really enjoyed the present opening and Kyle definitely did. Even Alyce had more to open this year, since we got her scrapbooking stuff instead of just gift cards for clothes like we usually do. And since there were more people opening presents, Jaden got to play more in between his turns. That worked out much better. So, this was the best part of Christmas, as far as I was concerned.

Scott cooked a really good ham dinner (Alton Brown style) and we really just enjoyed the night. By the time we were done eating, though, I was starting to feel sicker again and was really wiped out. But, overall, it was a great day.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Well, we had a pretty nice Christmas Eve, except for the fact that I was sick. I slept in, so that was good at least. By the time people got here, I was feeling a bit better (I took some medicine, and that helped).

This was the first time that Sharon and Joel had been here, so we showed them around the house. It was good to see Spencer again - he was being such a cutie.

Opening presents was fun. Danielle was having a great time throwing the wrapping paper away. She was way more excited about that than the presents. It was really cute watching her run to the garbage can after each present. Of course, it was a bit worrisome when she started throwing toys in the garbage!

Poor Jaden didn't have many presents, but he was really good about it. Scott's parents got a membership at the Kohl Children's Museum for both Jaden and Danielle and the present that Sharon and Joel ordered from Home Interiors didn't come yet, so Jaden only had two things from Linda to open. When he opened the membership, he turned to Grandma and said, "But where's the toy?" It was pretty cute. Amazingly, though, he seemed to be relatively happy bringing presents to other people and helping me, Scott and Danielle open our presents. I was really impressed with how good he was. After everyone left, though, he did say, "The people didn't bring me many presents." It made my heart want to break because he was so sweet about it. I explained to him that his Grandma and Grandpa gave him something that would let us go to a real fun museum and that Auntie Sharon and Uncle Joel gave him a neat picture that he would be able to hang in his room, but it just didn't come yet. He seemed satisfied and didn't comment on it again.

I got a towel holder and toilet paper holder for the bathroom, which I was very happy about. My goal is to work on re-decorating one room at a time - now I can start with the bathroom (or maybe with the kids rooms once the Home Interiors stuff gets here).

Friday, December 23, 2005

A funnhy thing that Danielle does lately is that she tells us when she needs her diaper changed. She doesn't tell us with words, she points to her diaper repeatedly. Then, she will go and get the changing pad - and if I haven't gotten there yet, the wipes too. The other day, I went upstairs to get a diaper and when I came down she was laying on the changing pad, with the wipes next to her, waiting to be changed. What a cutie! Hopefully that means that she'll be easy to potty train.

My mom and I took the kids to the mall to see Santa today. We got there right at 12:30, which is apparently just when Santa takes his one hour lunch break. So, my mom stood in line with the kids while I did my last minute Christmas shopping (I had two more things to buy). I came back, brought Jaden to the bathroom, and then went upstairs to get McDonalds so that the kids could eat in line. I was really wishing that they would have had pagers like they had at the Spring Hill Mall last year - that way you only had to stay in line for about 15 minutes!

Other than that, not much to say about today. We put together Jaden's desk and we downloaded info for Danielle's "Dora Knows My Name." I straightened up a bit around the house and Scott wrapped his presents - That's about it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today was a pretty uneventful day. We were going to go get our documents re-notarized, but Scott had to work late (very late), so it didn't work out. Hopefully, we can take care of it tomorrow.

Other than that, we just kind of hung out. Jaden and I made a special project for Daddy for Christmas. He was having lots of fun. I think we're going to make one for Grandma tomorrow or the next day.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Today's service at church was extremely moving. It was a Christmas on-location service - in Zambia. It reminded us so much of Haiti. We couldn't believe how similar it was. We were so moved - Scott was moved to tears by the fact that God would ask us to help by bringing Noah home. It really is amazing that he is entrusting us with this. I still can't understand why God would choose to speak to us directly and to give us this child. It truly amazes me.

Tonight, I wrapped almost all the presents. It doesn't look like much, especially since we haven't gotten the presents from Home Interiors yet. It doesn't look like we're going to get them before Christmas, which made me feel really depressed. I just wish that there was something that I could do about it. It doesn't look like it's going to work out, though.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I managed to send all of the Christmas cards today. It turned out that we had 99 cards - I had one Christmas stamp left. Of course, I know that there are still two people that I need to send to, so I guess that puts us at 101. I'm really excited about people getting this card and hearing about Noah. I hope that everyone goes to our website.

Jaden had a Christmas party at school today. He was so excited when I picked him up because he had gotten a Shrek viewmaster. He absolutely loves it! I'm so glad that he had fun today.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tonight, we went to go see Jaden's Christmas play at his pre-school. It was cute, but the three-year-olds didn't really do anything. They weren't even on the stage - they just sat in front of the stage in their pj's and stood up every time there was a song. They rang bells during one song, but you really couldn't see them very well. Oh well - I guess we can look forward to next year when he will do more.

After the play, we came home and I had my Se-Kure call. Then, we did the call with Tony and Jen. We ended up working until about 9:45 and then we printed envelopes for our Christmas cards and worked on publishing the website. We finally went to bed at about 12:30 or so.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

We went to go see the light display in Vernon Hills tonight. It cost $5 and you drive through a huge light display. My mom and Erin and Lisa came too. Jaden really loved it - they had all sorts of cartoon characters throughout and he loved seeing his favorites. And a lot of the light displays were really huge. It was really fun just because he like it so much. He wanted to go again as soon as we were done.

After we put the kids to bed, my mom and I did some more Christmas shopping. We went to Jo-Anne and bought some things for Alyce and then we went to JCPenney and bought some PJ's for Danielle.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Today was a busy and somewhat discouraging day. It started off well - We went to playgroup at Martha's house, which was fun. Once again, she had a craft for the kids to do - they really enjoyed that.

After playgroup, I came home and fed the kids (and ate something quickly myself). At 1:30, I left to go downtown to get our adoption documents authenticated. Unfortunately, it took me an hour and a half to get downtown! I was in such horrible traffic - I thought I would be fine at that time. It didn't help that the ramp that I was supposed to exit on was under construction and I had to make my way back to where I needed to be. Then, I needed to find parking, which was also more difficult than I thought it would be.

I did get parked, though and started walking quickly to the Secretary of State's office. They only allowed walk-ins until 3:30, so I knew I needed to hurry. I got there in plenty of time and handed in my paperwork.

After a few minutes, the woman called me up to the counter. She told me that they could only authenticate two of my four documents. Apparently, the guy who notarized our documents at the bank had a middle initial on his notary stamp, but was not registered with that initial. So, that meant that his notarization was not legal.

So, long story short, my trip was basically for nothing. I will have to make the trip again after I get my documents re-notarized. Sigh!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Today Jaden saw my drama at Promiseland. He seemed to really like it. Erin and Lisa brought Kyle to church today too. They seemed reluctant at first, and Kyle was very hesitant when they dropped him off at Promiseland - But when they picked him up, he was thrilled. He loved Promiseland! In fact, they immediately signed up to get a card for him. It seems like they are now going to go to church with us regularly. I was really happy about that.

My mom came back to our house after church. We were going to go Christmas shopping, but I ended up with a horrible headache because of the headband on my costume. The costume was so cute, but those headbands kill me! So, I pretty much spent the rest of the day relaxing, in pain and nauseous. :-(

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Today was a crazy day! I was doing another Promiseland drama (in Jaden's room again), so I had to be at church at 2:30. Scott took the kids to Linda's house - they were going to go to the children's museum, but they never made it there. The drama went well, but I was feeling a bit unprepared during the rehearsal since I had only picked the script up about an hour before I had to leave. I had a relatively large role in this drama because it was kind of a co-teach. When I got to church, I realized that I had left my purse at home, but wasn't too concerned about it.

Anyway, the drama went well, but then the real drama began. First of all, I lost my keys. I searched everywhere in the PL room, but couldn't find them. Finally, someone suggested that perhaps I had left the keys in my car. This seemed like a possibility, since I had a lot of stuff that I was carrying. I went upstairs, but since I didn't have my purse, I didn't have my cell phone. I asked a woman in the lobby area if I could borrow her phone and called home. But, Erin told me that Scott wasn't home yet! He was still in Milwaukee!

I saw Marta and she told me that I could use the phone in her office. I called Scott's cell phone, and he told me that I should find someone on the traffic team because they would be able to get me into my car. So, I finally found someone and we went to the van - I couldn't see the keys inside, though. Even though it was snowy, I could see that the keys weren't in the ignition. I was starting to worry that the keys were just lost. I told the guy that if it was going to be too much trouble to get into the van (he had to pull open the handle with this long doohickey), maybe we should just forget about it, since it didn't look like the keys were even in the van. Luckily, he seemed to want to try anyway - it was the first time he was doing this by himself and he was eager to succeed. He did get the door opened and I searched the van, to no avail. Finally, on a whim, I decided to look inside my makeup bag, which had been sitting on the floor of the van. Sure enough, my keys were there! I guess I must have thrown the keys in when I got my lipstick out. What a goof!

I went inside to call Erin and Lisa and let them know that I had gotten into the van and then went back out to the van. As soon as I started to pull out, though, I remembered that my gas light was on! It had turned on when I pulled into the parking lot. I had no purse, so that meant I had no money or credit card (or phone either!). I quickly started calculating in my head to figure out if I would be able to make it home. It would be very close. I decided not to take the expressway because if I got stuck there, it would be disaster. So, I headed up Barrington Rd. It had been snowing earlier, and there was still snow on the ground. Apparently, the person driving the car in front of me had never seen snow before because he was driving 10 mph in a 55 mph zone! Sometimes we were almost stopping for no reason at all. I started to panic, realizing that there was no way I was going to make it home if I was driving at this pace.

Eventually, I saw a gas station and decided to stop. I searched through the van and found 60 cents in change. I knew that that would not get me home, since gas cost $2.15 a gallon. I ended up asking a man who was filling up if he could give me money for gas. I was basically begging at the gas station! I felt so weird, but I didn't know what else to do. I explained the situation and asked him if he could give me a dollar or two so that I could make it home. He pulled $4 out of his wallet and gave it to me. Thank goodness!

It ended up taking me an hour to get home - there's no way I would have made it. I'm so lucky that I found a nice stranger at the gas station.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wow! It's been a long time since I've posted. I'm going to try to go back and fill in as many days as I can, but it's almost been a month since I last posted, so I know I won't be able to fill in all the blanks. Hopefully I'll get back into the habit of writing!

Today was generally a good day. In the morning, we took the kids to the CDW kids Christmas party. It was at an ice skating rink/game place - Jaden is still too little for the ice skating, but he really enjoyed playing the games. He played some driving games with Scott (Danielle even played one with me!), but he really likes to play the silly games that give you tickets. His favorite is the one where you have to hit the sharks on the head with a mallet - it's basically "whack-a-mole" with sharks. But we got lucky with a few of the games and Jaden ended up with 540 tickets! So, he got a little Franklin the turtle stuffed animal. Before we even played any games, both of the kids got to make "Build-a-Bear" stuffed animals. Jaden made a monkey and Danielle made a lion - they're really cute.

When we got home, we found out that Lisa was feeling worse today. She was having a hard time breathing and they decided that they should go into the ER. It turned out that she had bronchial asthma that was brought on by her sickness. Of course, they didn't have any money for medicine, so we had to lend them $80. Having no medical insurance really sucks!

We didn't do much the rest of the day. While Erin and Lisa were at the hospital, Scott and I stayed here with all of the kids. Jaden has really loved having Kyle around. He wants to do everything that Kyle does. I'm so glad that Kyle seems to enjoy playing with him too - I was worried that Jaden would just bug him.

So that pretty much summed up the rest of the day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Today, my mom and I did the craft show. It was at an elementary school in Skokie. It wasn't a teriffic success, but it was an interesting experience. First off, I wished right away that I would have brought a table cloth - most everyone else had one - I didn't even think of it. We sold two ornaments and two cookbooks almost right away, but then went for about three or four hours without selling a thing. Lots of people came around and talked to us about the adoption, but no one actually bought. It was a bit disheartening. But then, in the last 45 minutes or so, we suddenly started selling a lot. In the end, we sold 9 snowmen and 8 cookbooks. So, we did end up making some money even though it wasn't much. Hopefully we'll find a way to sell some more of the cookbooks - I don't think I'll be able to sell anymore ornaments, though. Oh well.

Tonight, we played Cranium again - it was fun with more people (since my mom and Alyce were here), but we thought that some of the activities were harder (especially the ones where you have to pretend to be a famous person). We still had a really good time, though.