Monday, March 31, 2008

My Summer List

I know it is only March 31st, but in the life of a teacher it's technically almost summer! We only have about 7 more weeks of school left and I'm more ready than ever to have my summer vacation! This year I have many projects I'd like to complete. I usually over plan my summer and I'm sure this year will be no different. The first (10) years of teaching, I spent my summers either working summer camps, working as children/youth director at church, working vbs, or going to school to work on my Masters (or beyond). At this point in my career I have to use this valuable time to de-stress from the many stressors of working with children on a daily basis. Especially this year! I have experienced a very difficult year! This is the first summer that I have no plans of working VBS, camp, or any where else children will be (except my niece and nephew of course). I tried to do one adventurous thing...I applied for a grant that allows teachers to go to Japan for 3 weeks and tour their schools and universities, but it is a very competitive program and I was not accepted to that. I even thought about teaching summer school, and it is a possibility still, however I think as my list gets longer and longer I will need the time more than the money. So it is with great excitement that I begin making my summer "list" and it is with that expectation I will be able to close out this school year with my sanity!

Summer 2008 “to do” list:
May 26th – August 1st

· Peel off wallpaper from foyer and hallway
· Patch and Paint walls in foyer and hallway
· Scrape popcorn ceiling off my bedroom
· Repaint ceiling in my room
· Add crown molding to my bedroom
· Replace fan/light in my bedroom
· Organize closet space in hall closet, coat closet, foyer closet, and guest room closet
· Figure out office space dilemma
· Purchase a quality digital camera and learn how to use it
· Learn how to digital scrapbook
· Organize all my digital pictures
· Begin the process of researching our family tree
· Exercise consistently
· Spend quality time with Madison and Eddie
· Begin redoing all adoption paperwork that has expired
· Scrapbook Baby Eddie’s last 6 months
· Read all books on my nightstand (completely!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Adventures with a Toddler...

She loved her library card, but wanted to hold it and take it off of the lanyard...not a good idea!

After the library, reading her Cinderella book in the car.

Both of us in our sunglasses.

First stop...Target. She was looking for the 'red circle', we bought an icee treat!

Sporting her new purse she got for her birthday...every girl must take her purse!

Getting ready to leave daycare

We had a good afternoon for our first adventure. We started at Target and went on the the library. I didn't think how difficult it would be to keep up with a 2 year old in the library, you know with all of the bookshelves to hide behind and run around! When we first went into the library I had to sit for a minute to fill out the paperwork to get her a library card. She kept saying, "library, lots of books"...not in a quiet way. I told her to whisper in the library, a concept foreign to a two year old. Once we had our library card (which she loved) we went to the children's books. She loved the bookshelves and pulling them all out. Meanwhile I had my purse, her purse, and a bag for the books. I was frantically trying to not 'cause a scene' and of course saw a student from my school there. So he can say he saw Ms. Maze and she didn't have control of her child in the library. Once Maddie got comfortable, she figured out that the bookshelves made a great hideout and obstacle course. So, now I have about 15 books in my hands plus the aforementioned items and am trying to "catch her". I thought, if I run towards her, she'll go further away so I just try to watch her peak around each corner. Now, I'm thinking I got to get out of this place before I get kicked out! My child is running and disturbing others in the library. Not good! Finally I catch her, we check out our books and we are in the car!
I'm making a game plan for next week! I will conquer my fear of public places with a 2 year old!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday morning I am thankful for the following things...

1. My Air Conditioning in my classroom is working!

2. A large cup of coffee just the way I like it to get me through the day...mixed with a little milk

3. Madison's 'Adventures with Amy' start this afternoon (more below)

4. Spring!

5. Time with family on Easter last weekend

6. A safe and enjoyable Spring Break Vacation with my favorite people...Madison and Baby Eddie (oh yeah, Eddie and Ambre too!)

Adventures with Amy...I decided a while ago that I needed some quality one on one time with Maddie each week. Especially now with baby brother around, she needs some quality time (now she still has 4 adults at her becking call so don't feel too bad for the kid!) So I thought after she turns two years old she would be old enough to venture out when I get home from school. So the plan today is to go to the public library for a library card and check out some books together. (She's going to be so tired of having an aunt that is a teacher!) I'll take my camera along and post some pictures each

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter (Monday)

Happy Easter (Monday)! Yesterday I didn't even open up my laptop to post a message. We had lunch at my aunt's house and then traveled on to another aunt's house for dinner. It was a nice day with family. My newest baby cousin, Kayla (one week old) captured my heart and I held her for about 3 hours straight only letting go for her mom to feed her! I tried to find a way to escape with her, but figured they would be highly suspicious of me! Her dad is Hispanic and Tiffany (my cousin) takes after her dad and looks Native American with very dark black hair, brown eyes and dark skin. So this baby is the perfect combination of both ethnicities. Her face is like a baby doll and she is about 6.5 pounds.

Today I'm off to school for teacher in service day. Tomorrow I'll face my kids again...albeit only for 9 more weeks! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Have a Magical Day...

We're back from our Disney Spring Break Vacation and I definitely need a vacation to recover! It was an exhausting, but fun filled week! I flew into Orlando on Friday night and we started out Saturday morning for Magic Kingdom for the day. At every turn and around every corner there are characters, singers, street entertainers, parades, stores, food, rides, and so much more. It really is a magical place. Sunday we went to Epcot for the day. I loved it, wish I could have spent more time there exploring the world showcase. Monday was MGM/Hollywood Studios and we saw a fantastic evening show called Fantasmic with lasers, lights, dancing fountains, and special effects. Then on Tuesday we spent the day at Universal Studios and enjoyed many fun roller coasters. Maddie really enjoyed seeing Barney there and playing in Seussville.
All things considered the kids were great. It was a lot to expect for them to stand in long lines and be outside for most of the day at their ages (2 years old and 8 months old), but they were troopers! They went to Animal Kingdom the day before I got there too. Baby Eddie's eyes were busy just taking everything in all week! He didn't miss a beat!
Now, I know when I return I will plan to spend several days in each park. There was a lot we didn't see because we didn't have time. I would like to have time to take in each show/musical, especially the evening spectaculars at each park. I would like to not be so rushed to get through the whole park in one day. I would also schedule time to RELAX at the hotel some. Our hotel was near downtown Disney and we had a shuttle to the parks. However by the time you got everyone ready, bags packed, and stroller ready it was too exhausting to think of returning to the hotel to rest and going back to the park in the same we just stayed at the parks all day. My legs and feet were so tired, not to mention the pain in my back muscles from holding Maddie. It was the funniest scene with three adults pushing a double stroller with no child in the stroller. Baby Eddie preferred being held and Maddie says "hold ya'" when she wants you to hold her. She worked out a great little tease for herself if she was in trouble with mommy and daddy she would cry for "Amy" and of course I fell for it every time. I can't resist that child!
My suggestions for future travelers to Disney is:
1. Eating whole foods
2. Potty trained
3. High School Diploma
I'm definitely going back with Maddie and Eddie when they are much older. At that point they will be too cool to be with mom, dad, and aunt Amy but they will walk through those parks (maybe holding my hands!!) so I can tell them how far we walked with them in 2008! Maybe they will appreciate it.
But Disney is a great place, it's really unimaginable that it all began with one man's sketch of a little mouse he wanted to name "Mortimor"! I wish I could think of just one idea...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Introducing Baby Kayla...

This is Kayla, she was born today around 7:30 p.m. and is the daughter of my cousin Tiffany. She is so precious! Only 6 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches tiny! I got to the hospital right after she was born, perfect timing! Kayla has a big sister named Kelsie who is 12 years old. They now share a birthday month together. Congratulations, Tiffany and Fortino!

1 more day until I leave for Disney. I'm looking forward to getting away and also revisiting some childhood memories. I haven't been to Disney since I was in 3rd grade. So it should be really fun! With all the excitement of Baby Kayla and a trip ahead, I need a good nights sleep.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My favorite SNL recent sketches

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sex and The City...The Movie

I know some may see it as pure trash, but this is a show I love! I'm really excited for the movie to come out so we can see what is happening with the girls. The group of four reminds me of my own 'inner circle'...although we are relatively tame compared with the real sitc girls. It's all about genuine friendship with your girlfriends and that's what counts. This trailer show a glimpse of what is to come...I'm especially excited to see Charlotte with her adopted daughter from China!

The Face of Love

This is a great video I found through another blog today. Any video about adoption makes me wonder why I'm still here ready and waiting on my daughter...there are so many orphans it seems ridiculous that wait times would be this long anywhere. I wish I could bring home more than one child, I hope I can go back after my first adoption for a sibling for Molly. We'll see what the Lord tells me about that. Can I be a single mom to more than one child? Is that even fair? Am I signing up for constant insanity?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Countdown To Disney!

6 Days until I fly to Orlando to meet up with Eddie, Ambre, Madison, and Baby Eddie for my first Disney vacation since 1983! Fun!!! I have a lot to do in order to I ordered a new digital camera. I hope it's a good one! I also bought an IPOD Nano. I'm not sure how to work the IPOD, but I should be able to figure it out! I also got a new haircut and bought a few spring clothes for the trip. I leave Friday after school and will return on Wednesday. I can't wait to see Mickey and his Friends and most of all to see Madison's reaction to all of it.

Pray for little Maddie. She's been very sick with a temperature and sore throat for a couple of days. Also pray that Baby Eddie doesn't get sick.
Today we're "snowed in"...we only have about one inch, but in Nashville that is equivalent to a foot!!! They've had the news and weather on all morning warning people to "please stay inside" and don't get out in the "treacherous" conditions! It's so funny. If you ask me, it's a total waste of snow for it to happen on Saturday! Maybe we'll have enough left over to get a snow day on Monday...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Buttercups are in Bloom!

Madison and Eddie love to swing and be outside! This past weekend was so pretty but in a couple days they are predicting snow...crazy weather! I am ready for spring time and pretty weather. My kids at school NEED to be outside to run of their energy and give me some relief!

6 days until spring break...the joy of having a teacher's schedule!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Referrals are in...

Referrals are in for the latest children from China to be placed with their forever families! It's always an exciting time. Each month China sends a 'batch' of referrals all over the world to adoptive families anxiously awaiting to see their child's face. On March 3rd referrals starting arriving for families who were logged into China before January 4, 2006. Finally we were in 2006!!!!!!!!!!!! The days of referrals average 7-9 days of log in dates each you can see why/how the wait times are increasing with each passing month.

In the last year they have only referred log in dates from mid October 2005 thru January 4, 2006. At some point in history CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) had referred a whole months worth of log in dates at a time. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon.

My Log in Date is February 25, 2007. I just celebrated my one year anniversary and have many more months (years?) ahead. It can be discouraging at times, but until then it really helps to follow along on other people's adoption journey through websites and blogs. So if anyone is reading this with a recent referral...Congratulations!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Check out my Slide Show!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Madison

We had a great birthday party for Madison yesterday. It was at the Jump Zone near our house. It is a great place to have a party because you don't have to clean your house (before or after) and the kids loved it!

I started a birthday tradition for her last year where I purchase a bracelet charm for her of something that was significant for that year. When she turns 16 years old I will buy her the actual charm bracelet so she can start wearing it. This year I bought this charm since it was the year her brother was born and last year I bought her this one because one of the first things I bought when we learned Ambre was having a girl was some 'Mary Jane' socks that were so cute! I have compiled an album to write in each year and to keep the charms in until she turns 16. Of course now she doesn't understand what it means, but one day I hope she will appreciate it! I also bought her 3 dresses for spring and summer at TJ Maxx that were so cute and an outfit from the Tulip line at Gymboree complete with sunglasses, a purse, a bracelet, and hairbows of course. Now, I've really been under control and haven't bought her much in a long time. So I did go a little crazy with the dresses and outfit. But, it's just so much fun shopping for a cute little girl I couldn't help it!

My dilema now is to come up with something equally as nice to do for Baby Eddie each year for his birthday. Any suggestions? What would a boy appreciate when he's 16...besides a sports car. I can't do that!

Preparing for the birthday party was somewhat of it's own disaster for me. I showered and had hopes of getting ready early in plently of time. But as soon as I stepped out of the shower, the electricity went off. It was a beautiful sunshiny day here in Nashville so I wasn't sure what had happened. I wasted some time waiting for it to come back on and it didn't. So I brought my makeup and mirror into the den where it was bright enough with the sun to see. I put on my makeup and still no electiricity. I started to pick out my clothes for the iron! I had to find something that wasn't wrinkled. Now I was ready except for my hair. I have to have many things in order for my hair to look decent...first of all a hairdryer! What was I to do? I thought about going to my grandmother's or my brother's house but the thought of packing up all of my needed beauty supplies was too much and they live close to me. I thought they may not have electricity either, so I got my things and headed for the mall, I thought I'll just go to the salon and have someone do my hair.

As I was driving I notice all the stop lights are out...power outage all over! This is not good!! When I arrived at the mall they did have electricity for a moment, but the salon didn't have anyone who could do my hair. So I go through the mall and find one other little salon and pleaded for an appointment. Yes, they had an opening! I really hate trying new people to do my hair. I have gone to the same lady my entire life basically. I think she did my first haircut when I was 3 years old and I haven't wavered since. She knows my hair and does an excellent job. My hair is thick...I mean really thick! And it's short/layered. So you have to know what you are doing or you get lost in it. Despite me telling this little girl (she's probably 18 years old!) it had just been washed she takes me to the back of the salon and washes my hair. Ok, I thought whatever. She did massage my scalp until I wouldn't have cared if she had shaved me bald. As soon as she finished...the electricity went out! I'm thinking this is going to be a long day! 10 minutes pass and it come back on. She starts to blow it dry and you can tell she doesn't know what to do with all this hair. She had it going everywhere! I was getting worried. She finally did finish and it looked ok. The electricity went out once again but I was done! All of this and I still made it to the party on time with hair dry, makeup on, and clothes that weren't wrinkled. Wow, the ambition of a woman!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Accidents, Anniversaries, and Alligators oh my!

This is what I awoke to on Friday morning! How do you repair a flat tire? I couldn't actually believe this worked, but 1 can of 'fix a flat' and I was ready to go. It inflated my tire enough to get to the repair shop and have the tire sealed and patched. I hope it lasts for a while! So ladies, I think everyone should put one of those cans in your trunk just in case of emergencies. I know, we should all be able to change a tire by now but this was much easier!

Happy 5th Anniversary to my brother and sister in law. Five years ago we went to Jamaica for their beach wedding. It was really fun! They met on a blind date, so for all those singles out there have faith! I think about that everytime someone wants to set me never know! Here's to many more years of happiness!

In honor of their anniversary, mom and I kept the kids all night. I had the pleasure of sleeping with Madison in my bed. Sleeping with a two year old was like sleeping with this alligator! She was all over the place, on top of me, putting her hands in my face! It was so funny. I kept thinking, we've got to get her own bed at our house so this doesn't happen again. Really, it was fun. We went to bed at 8pm and after her serenading me for one hour with all of her musical prowess, she finally went to sleep. I was afraid she would fall out of the bed so I just went to bed too. What's cuter than waking up to a toddler in your face saying, "Doin', Amy?"...

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