Monday, March 30, 2009

First sleepover and yet another tooth

Camden had his very first sleepover (not counting family) this past weekend with his good buddies, Rob & Ted. It was so cute...he was so excited for them to come over that he could barely contain himself. Actually, the sleepover was supposed to happen a few weeks ago but unfortunately, he got sick so we had to reschedule. So he had been looking forward to it for several weeks. I am happy to report that not only did the house survive but the boys had a fabulous time! They played pirates, cowboys, legos, scootered and just about everything else under the sun and I had fun trying to keep three boys fed. Now I know what my Mom went through with my three brothers.
Rob, Camden & Ted ready for bed (kind of)

Later in the weekend, yet another tooth was hanging by a thread and Camden decided he wanted me to try and pull it out. Much to my surprise it popped right out. Camden was quite thrilled to loose his second tooth in less than a week. He said I bet the tooth fairy (in her letter...our toothfairy writes to Camden sometimes) will write, "Wow, your second tooth in less than a week! Cool!" Oddly enough that's exactly what the toothfairy said in her letter. :-)

The sweet smile that just melts my heart:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Making progress on the nursery

Thanks to my friend, Shari lighting a fire under me, I have now started to work on the nursery. It all feels a little surreal though. But after 4 years on this journey, I don't want to be caught with my pants down so to speak and not be ready. So my sweet friend came over two days in a row to help me get a handle on it. Thankfully she did as it turned out to take several coats of primer and paint to cover the purple/blue color as well a bit of back and forth to Lowe's to get just the right shade of green and pink. Unfortunately, I failed to get a true "before" picture. But suffice it to say that the room was a complete disaster as it had become a dumping ground for just about everything. So even cleaning it out and trying to figure where we were going to put all the stuff was a huge chore. But anyway, here's the "before" photo:
My friend, Shari hard at work:

I still have shelves to paint, pictures to frame and curtains to make (or buy) but this is what it looks like currently. I saw the diamond design many, many years ago and always wanted to try it.

The bedding is Wendy Bellisimo, Vintage Teaberry. I purchased it off Ebay several years ago and fortunately, I still love it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our little friend

We have a new friend in our neighborhood. He moved in a couple of weeks ago. If we like we can go out late each afternoon and find him in the Palm or Pine trees surrounding our home. Last week we had the opportunity to get a close up view as he was only about 12 feet off the ground. It was pretty amazing to see him blink and turn his head all the way around. Camden greatly enjoyed it. He has also been enjoying the barf balls that we have been finding around the yard.
Here's a look at our new friend. Oh and by the way he is an owl!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Week

This week has been a very busy week at Camden's school with all sorts of activities. On Tuesday evening they had an art show which was very enjoyable. Camden really surprised us with his response to it all. Last year he didn't even want to attend so we didn't go. But this year, he has seemed to enjoy art much more and I think much of that is due to the fabulous Art Mom his class has had this year. She has really done some wonderful projects! Anyway, he mentioned they had submitted a few of his art projects and wanted to go to the art show. When we arrived and found his three items (two inside and one outside which was used as part of a cool flag presentation), he burst into tears saying "I only have two items in the show". I couldn't believe this the same boy that didn't even want to go last year and wants to spend about five minutes on every art related project we do at home? Camden sure keeps us guessing sometimes. But one thing is for sure he has the tendency to be very critical of himself and other people and often looks at things half empty NOT half full. How as a parent do you change that thinking? We have been praying about that a lot lately. So today I had coffee with several Mom's from his school one of which is our fabulous art Mom. It was such an enlightening conversation in so many involving Camden. I tend to put Camden in a box (I am really trying hard to change this)...he tends to be more of a concrete thinker and (in general) not naturally creative. Well, she totally called me on that today. Commenting how well he is doing in art and especially how well he did on one particular project that was submitted to the art show. She said he did one of the best (if not the best) in the class on that project and showed how creative he can be. That was so sweet of her to share and a bit of a wake up call to remember to not put him in a box. This afternoon I shared with Camden what she had said and his face just lit up and the first thing he said was, "That was really nice of her to say that!" As we were driving a few minutes later he said, "Did she really say that?" Oh my sweet boy!
In addition to my normal Wednesday afternoon in the classroom and a Field trip, they also had a K-2 program titled African American Extravaganza. It was all about celebrating African American contributions to different kinds of music. It turned out very well. However much to Camden's dismay they asked him to do a little solo. It was only two lines but boy was he nervous about it last night. He thought for sure he would forget his lines. I am so glad they asked him to do it as it is not something he would ever volunteer for and it is so good for him. I am happy to report that he did a wonderful job and didn't forget his lines.

Here the kid's getting ready to sing. Just in case your wondering why Camden is so dressed up for the show, on top of everything else this week it has also been "spirit" week. Each day the kids are supposed to dress in different ways. Today was career day. Although he thought about trying to dress up as a scientist, he decided to go for one of his sports dreams...a professional soccer player.

Camden getting ready for his solo. He looks really excited doesn't he?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Over the weekend, Extreme Makeover Home Edition televised the episode that took place in our town. I love what this show does! They choose a needy family and while working around the clock for about a week, build them a home.
They were in town filming back in January and my friend, Rebecca had the idea for us to go and take a look at the action. I am so glad we did! It was great fun seeing it all happen...the building, the filming and all the volunteers coming together to help this needy family. If I would have known in advance, I would have volunteered as well. Actually, Rebecca tried to volunteer but I guess they ended up receiving far more volunteers than they needed which is awesome!

Rebecca & I doing some gawking. Rebecca actually went back on another day and could be seen in the crowd with the Super Nanny on the show the other night. :)

Some walls going up.

Here are some of the show regulars doing some taping. Unfortunately, none of this made it into the final product. But it was still fun to watch!

Ty Pennington talking to the family. This did make it into the show! :)

Our friends, Jim & Stacy who were part of the more than 1,500 volunteers.

This is the back of Jim's shirt which if you notice was signed by Ty Pennington's butt double. Funny stuff...
Some volunteers including Jim unloading wood that Jim helped treat.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lost Tooth & Crazy Hair Day

Camden finally lost his first tooth on the top last night. It seems like it was hanging by a thread for weeks and weeks. This morning he was so excited that the Toothfairy came and left not only 1 dollar but a little Lego set which is his most favorite thing these days. He was so cute! He said...I think I should write the Toothfairy a letter to thank her. Then he added...I bet she''ll write back! :)
This picture is a tad close but I still had to post it!

The loot and our superhero, Toothless Wonder who keeps our teeth until the Toothfairy has time to retrieve them:

Today is also Crazy Hair day at Cam's school. And after the colored hair that kids came to school with last year on Crazy Hair Day, I promised Camden that if he wanted we could do it next year. Of course he remembered this and I greatly believe if we tell our kids we are going to doing something, we darn well better do it. Not following up on our word can do much damage to our kiddos in more ways than one. But anyway, this all came up before I knew it (why does this always happen?) and between church and a very important basketball game yesterday, we rushed to our local beauty supply store and bought some temporary hair paint. Since Camden's favorite colors these days are blue and green, that's what he chose. Well, here's the result. He was pretty excited!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sweet 16 Baby!

Anybody who knows us knows that we are big Wildcat basketball fans. Such big fans that I even purchased a cheesy Wildcat necklace at a fundraiser last year. It was for a good cause and all! Anyway, our Wildcats barely made it into the NCAA tourney and many thought they shouldn't have. But I am glad to say that we have proved the naysayers wrong by winning both on Friday and today and me in my cheesy Wildcat necklace enjoyed every minute of it! Sweet 16 here we come!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pro Life Obama Ad

This ad was of course rejected by most of the mainstream media. Nonetheless it is a good one!

Monday, March 16, 2009

San Diego

This past week we were one of those "bad" families that took our son out of school to go on vacation. We were actually supposed to go a few weeks ago but had to reschedule since Doug had so much going on at work and was on the verge of getting sick. Amazingly, the hotel allowed us to reschedule our stay to a later date. So we left midday on Wednesday and headed to San Diego. One of Camden's most favorite things these days is Lego's...either building or playing Lego Racer on the computer so a big part of our trip was about Legoland. We spent two full days and had a great time. Fortunately, overall the park wasn't too busy (which was how we tried to plan it) and we rode pretty much everything and in some cases multiple we rode one of our favorite rides the Dragon coaster six times in a row since there wasn't any line and we didn't have to get off. Camden was pretty stoked. Even though we had a great time, it is sad to see that Cam is starting to get a little old for some of the rides. Do they have to grow up?
Here we are in our cheesy touristy outfits. Normally we don't wear such things when we travel (in the states or out) but our basketball team was having a big game that day and we just plain wanted to be comfortable!

Our boy at the entrance:

Dad & Camden

This is our third time at Legoland and each time we have taken a picture of Camden in this shark. It's kind of become a tradition. Here's this trip's picture:

And here is the first one we took of Camden back in 2005. He was 3 1/2:

Our boy doing his own driving at Skipper school. It was pretty funny actually...Camden all by himself in his own boat and Doug and I crammed in our own little boat. It's still hard to believe that he is big enough to go all by himself.

The boys had fun on this ride although Doug got a little too wet. He wasn't too happy that it was me squirting him from dry land.

Since Doug can't handle the spinning rides, this has always been my territory. Up until a few years ago I was totally fine with that. More spinning the better. Sadly now that I am old (nearly 40) I have found that I can't go all out on those rides, I get to a certain and I need to find my " happy place" to finish the ride. Getting old is hard!

All around the park are all sorts of things made of legos. This is definitely one of our favorite parts of Legoland.

President Obama's Inauguration:

While swimming one evening at our hotel swimming pool, Doug & Camden met the Scott family from Missouri. They had three boys and Camden hit it off immediately with one of their boys. The next morning, we ran into them in the parking lot and found out they were headed to Legoland as were we. Later that afternoon, we ran into them at Legoland and enjoyed doing some rides together. They were such a nice family and something seemed different about them. Before heading to separate areas of the park, we got their email address and took a picture of Camden and one of their sweet boys, Ben. In hindsight I wish we had taken a picture of the whole family. Anyway, as many families do and much to Doug's chagrin, we finished our day at the park at the gift shop. While making deals with Camden on which Lego set we were going to buy (ya know how much he has to spend and how much Mom & Dad were going to throw in etc..) , we ran into the family once again. We chit chatted and then they took off. They were heading to LA as their flight home was the next morning. I did briefly, think about initiating dinner with them but before I knew it they took off. Funny but we were a little sad to see them go. Strange, don't you think? We finalized our Lego purchase (finally) and headed for the car. Doug and I talked later about this but at the time we both thought, if we see them in the parking lot we will invite them to dinner. Well, since we took so long at the darn gift shop. They were long gone with just about everybody else that was at Legoland that day. So, we decided to find some dinner and were itching for something different...maybe some seafood but definitely not a chain restaurant so we took off driving on PCH and headed toward Oceanside. About 10 miles North of Legoland, we decided to park when we came upon a cluster of restaurants. We walked around a few blocks checking menu's and since Camden was whining about starvation, we finally decided on a little local place that looked somewhat interesting. We sat down and ordered our food. After waiting for a few minutes guess who came walking into the restaurant? You guessed it...the Scott family! We could not believe it! We were no where near Legoland and we weren't even on a main drag. It was amazing! Since we all now knew that we were supposed to have dinner together and become friends, they joined us for dinner. Shortly after we found out why we had such a connection with them. It's because they love Jesus as do we. We prayed together and had a wonderful meal. This was such a neat gives me goose bumps. God is always at work and sometimes I forget that. But when something likes this happens it's a bit of a wake up know it can only be God that orchestrated it. It doesn't just happen. Will we ever see this family again? I have no clue. But for some reason we were meant to cross paths in March 2009.

Camden & Ben

We also spent a day enjoying a few of the museums at Balboa Park. We started at the automobile museum which was a big hit with Camden of course. Here are a few favorites from there:

Yes, it's an old Jack-in-the-box drive through menu. Can you believe those greasy (but sadly very yummy) tacos were only $.25 at one point?

We were able to meet up with Doug's sister, Val and her family who were just returning from a week long whale watching trip down to Mexico. We had a wonderful time exploring a small botanical garden and the Natural History Museum and just catching up. We capped off the evening with some yummy Thai food. Here's part of the gang:

My boys:

On our last day in San Diego, Doug took Camden and spent a few hours doing a few rides at Legoland and checking out their aquarium. While Doug allowed me a few hours at the outlets nearby. I didn't do too much damage but I probably picked up a few too many little girl outfits. If they don't end up fitting our daughter, someone we know will be getting a lot of really cute girl clothes. Here is one of the items I just couldn't resist. Since we don't have a name picked out, we have spent the last four years referring to our daughter (mostly for Camden's sake) as "Little Sister".

Before heading home we finished with a little play time at the beach. Me & my sweettart:

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 Years

Today marks three years since our paperwork was logged in with the China Center of Adoption Affairs. All I can say is...astonishing!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting Closer...

The CCAA recently referred 4 more days of LID's and are currently up to March 6, 2006. Our LID is 3-13-2006 which means we are 7 days away. Yes, 7 days away! What does this mean exactly? Only God knows for sure! But depending on how many days the CCAA refers, we will see a picture of our child either by the beginning of April, May or June. My hope (or prediction if I dare say) is May. But I do think we will receive our referral at the very latest by June and travel to China by August.
In the Fall, we created a paper chain to help Camden better understand where we are with the adoption and how close we are to seeing a picture of "Little Sister" (since we haven't been able to decide on a name in the nearly 4 years that we have been on this journey. We continue to refer to her as "Little Sister") . Each link represents an LID (log-in-date) and each month we remove the coresponding number of links. After removing 4 links this month, here's what our chain currently looks like:

And here is Camden ready to rip it to shreds:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You might be adopting from China if... know that I-600 & I-171 aren't highways've been expecting a baby for over 3 years understand that it's 2006 in some parts of the world've "paid for" 3 immigration approvals, but never brought anyone into the U.S know that waiting for China has nothing to do with Dillards or dishes

.....your homestudy is followed by a number (i.e. #3 or #4) never know how many days next month will have know that babies come in batches've been fingerprinted four times, but never committed a crime automatically assume everyone who is expecting is having a girl own new clothing in 3 little sizes for all 4 seasons (because you don't know when or how big) look twice when you see a ladybug're more interested in what will happen in March 2006 than in March 2009 know people who understand when you talk about 2 day months & 5 day months

.....your due date hasn't changed by days, but by years know who the Rumor Queen is

.....AND.... you don't know who she is know that forecast doesn't have anything to do with the weather've waited so long, they re-checked your fingerprints to see if they changed

.....trying to understand why they're printing you again, you study your own fingerprints and wonder if fingerprints grow wrinkles

.....when you speak of "that time of month" you're talking about CCAA updates & referrals

.....You might be adopting from China if you love someone you've never met with all your heart.

(I copied this after seeing it on several blogs...I'm not sure who wrote it, but it's very cute.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What time is it in China?

My sweet friend and Titus cohort, Susan went to our cities gem and mineral show last week and bought a watch for me as well as for Barb, our Mom's class leader. It was SO sweet of her to do this and now I know what time it is here AND in China! Love it! Thanks so much Susan!