Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apologies Please

My parents with their grandchildren while visiting in March.

From the Lullaby Concert at the Decatur Public Library sponsored by my employer, BabyTALK.

Please accept my apology for not updating this blog as much as you desire. With 2 little ones, my time is so limited. Nap time is spent cleaning, paying bills, prepping dinner, getting 15 minutes quiet time to myself.... you get the picture. I am so exhausted in the evening, I just want to read instead of spend time in front of a screen. Facebook has become my way of updating in a sense. I do enjoy blogging and wonder why I don't do it more often once I am logged on. Oh well. I will try to do better, but I am not going to make promises. Enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Ty...

...oh, my sweet first born. You will forever hold a piece of me. You have my heart. Your Gotcha Day seems like yesterday and my heart aches that you are growing older... but I know it must be done. I admire how you remind your dad and I to read from the Jesus Storybook Bible each night. I cherish the talks we have in the early morning while "cuddlerocking" in the chair with my coffee while watching and listening to the birds. Your creativity and curiousity ignite my day. I never know what you will ask and your questions are beyond age appropriateness in my opinion. But I have answered them in the best way that I can. You too, have made me a wiser and stronger person. You have made me question my faith, my beliefs, my insecurities... but then again, you have made me strong. I appreciate the words from your mouth, "This is delicious mommy", "I want to go on a date" and "Why?" That curious and mysterious "why?"

... lover of all things sweet...even though this popscicle is healthy and you don't even realize it!

My mischevious little one... my little Jackson Pollock.

When tired, you slow down and asks deep questions.

My cautious one.
My destroyer during nap time... or do you call it creativity?

... my pouty one. Poor little guy has had his world turned upside down. I call this the age of confusion. One day he is so big and the next day he is mama's baby. Hard decisions to make when one is soon to be 4.
...the one to dress himself when it doesn't even match. On this day we have stripes, so all is well. Overalls, or "bibs" as they call them in the Midwest (this is one phrase that has NOT grown on me) are the preferred attire.

... my little boy who will sneak into our bed at night for cuddles and snuggle into my bosom.

Dear Ty, always and forever.

Little Miss Sunshine

Our sunshine...Remy Grace DangCan. We cannot get enough of this little sprite.

Whoever gave Remy her Chinese name, Can Can, meaning "bright, illuminating one", thank you. You hit the nail right on the spot. We are so in love with this damsel. Her spirit is infectious. She adds sunshine to our lives and finds joy in little things. She is a lover of animals, nature, bugs and birds. She is our peaceful little one who sits down with a crayon to color. She is venturesome. Remy finds no fear in heights and climbing whatever available. Her palate is refined for a child her age and has not rejected a single morsel we have offered her.

Remy has a compassionate spirit. She will be the first to hug and forgive someone when she has been wronged. Just ask Ty. She is a vigorous. Her sunshine does not quit, even during sickness. Just ask the nurses and our pediatrician when we were in the hospital at Christmas and with our recent episode of RSV. They say, "You are not a typical sick child." We found out on a follow-up visit for RSV, Remy had a double ear infection. She pulled on one ear a tad, but never gave us any other indication there might be an issue. Can Can, we are eternally honored, YOU were chosen for US, by HIM.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The New Photographer

The soon to be 4 year old has become well versed with his mother's camera. He thinks he is quite sly when he grabs my camera and snaps away. I am rather proud of his photographic eye and think he is utterly genius with his subject matter, alignment and composition.

Our other kid... Jack.

Ty's "surrogate Grandmother's house."

The "Mommy and Me" photo.

"Mommy's favorite chair."

"The highly regarded man of the house."

A "Light" Snack

Remy decides to pulverize her Cheerios with the Vitamix plunger under Ty's luminous pumpkin lantern.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mama Always Said...

... there will be weeks like this.

1 child with a cold + 1 child with RSV + 2 days of fever + 6-8 wake-ups a night for mom + 2 kids jealous of each getting the mama's attention = a mom that wants to run away and be ALL alone for a couple of days.

Praise God the grandparents are on their way!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Remy Roo Continued

Little Miss Remy Roo is quite the ham. Her icky face is similar to her full grin, even though we have not found anything she won't eat. She adores meat, but avocados, brussel sprouts, broccoli and asparagus join her repertoire of foods. This little girl eats more then her brother, but knows when to stop.

Remy was born with cleft lip and palate and a heart murmur. The heart murmur is not much of an issue anymore, just monitored even though it has not been detected at our doctor's visits and hospital stays. Remy's lip was repaired in China thanks to Operation Smile. We have been accepted to Shriner's Hospital in Chicago (like Ty) for the care of her repaired CL/CP. We have an appointment at the end of May for both kids, but this will be Remy's initial evaluation by a team in the US. At this time, her palate seems to be more severe then what Ty's was. From what we can tell, it goes all the way up to her nasal cavity which leaves her more prone to illness. Her gumb line is also unique and she can only drink out of a bottle with an "X" on the nipple. We have also introduced her to Tupperware's cups with lids for kids and they have been successful. Everything else has created nothing else but frustration and a few dollars wasted, at this time. We don't know what the future holds as far as how many surgeries she will need. Only time will tell and we will know more after her palate surgery. Remy does imitate sounds, but creates them from the back of her throat...not ideal for cleft affected kiddos. She is starting to use sign language after MUCH work. This has been an answer to prayer since we were all becoming frustrated with not knowing what she wanted. She would go, "UUUGGGHHHH", but not point or show any indication of what she wanted or what was wrong. This experience has been beneficial for me as a teacher of sign language for children. I now know what it it like to have a child that picked up sign easily and incorporated it everyday, to one who takes her time, but has success. Remy is a quick wit, but has proven to me how different children can be. I knew this when it came to the classroom situation, but it is a different story when it includes your own kids.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Remy Roo..

...or Remy Can Can
...or Can Can.

These are just a few of the names that we call her. It is amazing how fast she has learned her English name, but her Chinese name, Dang Can Can, or Can Can (pronoun Tsan, Tsan) is just fun to say. It rolls off the tongue and works every time. It is fun to have so many options and have her respond to them all!

Little Can Can has been with us for 3 months and 3 days as of this writing. I actually quit counting until I was recently asked. It is funny how you are with #2. I counted the months with Ty until we had him 2 years! Back to Remy. These past 3 months have gone so fast, but it also seems like it was years ago that we were in China with all of her health issues. I praise God for her health and the richness that she adds to our lives. We thought in the beginning she might be a sickly child, but we have persevered after our hospital stay at Christmas. I think good nutrition, formula and clean air have been the answer for her. Prayers too!

Remy is often dressed as a girly girl with her bows and dresses, thanks to a ton of hand me downs and gifts. It has been exciting to see her personality emerge more each day as she becomes more comfortable and trusting of us. This little girl is so nurturing to her panda, but prefers balls over dolls at this time. Give her a ball and she will kick it around the room instead of throwing it or rolling it around. Trains and cars are a close second of toys to play with. She is not totally modeling her brother as his choice of toys these days include Trio's and Duplo blocks. I am amazed at his creations. That is another post in itself. She has also shown an interest in music and instruments, just like her brother. She has great rhythm and loves to dance. The keyboard, kiddie guitar and drums bring much noise and excitement.

Animals. This little one adores them. We were kind of worried in the beginning since her paperwork said, "Is afraid of small animals.". Remy's relationship with Jack is amazing to watch. The two of them have a connection. Jack is SO different around her compared to Ty. With Remy, he gives these gentle kisses and lets her get away with stuff he would NEVER let Ty do.

Remy has been so refreshing to our family and has added another dimension. I must admit, I was afraid of how I would be having a daughter. I have identified with more of the tomboy type of girls then then those interested in the latest make-up, fashion and trends in general. Remy has softened my heart and shown me that you can still be girly and have an adventurous edge to you. Remy is so tough. She falls down and gets right up! I cannot wait for warmer weather to get out to the playgrounds. She is climbing everything around here and is NOT afraid. My little girl continues to amaze me... and grow me.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Dum Ditty Dum Ditty Dum Dum Dum

Many more fingers, many more thumbs, many more monkey's drumming on drums( thank you Dr. Seuss.). I think this is pretty genius of Ty to create his set on the basement stairs.Our kids have always shown an interest in music and instruments, but there is something about drums that are magical to them. They create their own drum sets out of pots and pans, cookie tins, recycling containers, etc. It gets kind of crazy at our house when these jam sessions take place, especially when Jackson the dog adds his own howling to the mix.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Year

I continue to be amazed at what a year can do when it comes to the little ones. A year ago, this guy despised the snow. A year ago, this little guy WOULD NOT dress in his bulky, winter wear. Don't know if it is rebellion from his time in China dressed in multiple layers, but my little guy likes as little on as possible...even in winter. He is a t-shirt and undies kind of guy.

But this winter brought on a new dimension. He couldn't wait to get out and enjoy all the snow. It was still a struggle getting him dressed and explaining why he couldn't go out in his Crocs and jammies, but we did it!

These shoes have so many stories behind them. I spent a fortune on them back in college, but they have been well worth it. Who knows how many miles they have walked dogs in the snow, mountains they have climbed, rivers they have crossed, canyons they have visited, but they continue to treat me well.

Posted by Picasa

Love to Ya...

... each and every day!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 07, 2011

Our Rockstar

These pictures are from this past Thanksgiving, but they are the perfect sample of what we encounter each day.
Ty ADORES music, especially drums and the guitar. He found his cousins guitar and we were serenaded on a daily basis. This guitar became his prized possession and we had to hide it at times to give us all a break.

Ty gets so passionate when he sings and he is LOUD. I love the expression in these photos and thought it was genius of him to turn a lamp into a microphone. Only our Ty.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Problem Solved

One of my biggest pet peeves are people (especially those I share a house with) who get a new glass each time they need a drink in a period of a day. Thanks to my mom, she purchased "Inchbugs" for the kids. They were so handy and helpful, the adults needed their own too. Mine doesn't get used an awful lot because I have the strange habit of using the same coffee cup, water bottle and wine glass over and over. I have my favorites and my household and guests know not to touch or use. I am a happy camper now that my family knows to have an Inchbug on every cup, except Remy's bottle.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not Afraid to Admit...

... we have been the owners of a 2004 Toyota Sienna since Oct. 30, 2010. We found a 2004 with low miles and the price was right, especially since it was at the end of the month. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles (less to break down as my dad would say) of power doors or DVD player or navigation system, but it is perfect for our family.

This van has been a life saver to load up 2 young kids in car seats. I buckle them in and crawl across to the drivers seat. We have changed clothes, hauled a Christmas tree and had plenty of space for luggage on car trips. It is a dream and a life saver. I adore the anti-lock breaks in the snow and ice and it has served us well. I just might have a mini van until I am no longer allowed to drive.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remembering Fall...

... and life before 2.

It is cold and icy outside, not real comfortable or conducive to hanging out with my little man on a Saturday morning with coffee by my side and his conversations. So we look back on a gloomy Saturday morning, full of laughter, quaint ramblings by Ty and the fun of playing in the leaves.

The daddy was sleeping in that Saturday after a late morning (went to bed at 5:00 am) of working in his basement office. My little guy was up early and ready to take on the day. So we headed outside to the deck with my coffee and his blankets to snuggle in. I love 3 1/2 because we can have conversations and tell stories. And the humor of my little guy...he can turn it on and off in a heartbeat. The above picture displays the sweetness and the extreme silliness of this kid.

...of and the joy of leaves. The innocence of raking leaves...he doesn't even realize that it is work and we are helping Daddy out. The dad was impressed when he woke up.

I love having 2 little ones. I love even more the opportunity to snuggle up with each of them individually and share life. Ty has learned that he can have that one on one time with Mom and Dad after Remy has gone to bed and he does not let us forget. He acts so grown since he gets to be with the "big kids."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Tale of Two Nurses

Note: This is not Remy's rear. This is an example from Google Images.

During our recent visit to the hospital ER for Remy, we gave the opportunity for 2 nurses to be educated.

Nurse #1 as he was holding Remy in the fetal position while doctor is performing the spinal tap: "Please tell me about those bruises and how they happened?"
Me: "Those are not bruises, they are Mongolian spots, common among Asian children. If only you knew the background checks I had to go through to bring this child home."
Nurse #1: "Interesting."

This was the same nurse that told me they were going to do the spinal tap to test for meningitis and if she had it, she would die. Not a lot of tact or empathy. Just strait forward, which is how I usually like it, but not in this situation.

Nurse #2 as he was preparing to draw blood and I was changing a diaper on a very wiggly girl: "Are those Mongolian spots?"
Me: "Yes they are. As you can see, she is covered in them on her little back side."
Nurse #2: "Wow! We talked about these in nursing school, but I have never seen them in person."
Me: "The other nurse questioned me about potential child abuse."
Nurse #2: "He graduated from nursing school over 20 years ago. "

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our beautiful and handsome "Made in China" kiddos. The label takes on a new meaning in our family!