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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Arrowwood 2007.

We spent the past weekend up in Alexandria, MN at Arrowwood Resort with my parents. It was a great time. There is SO much to do up there that we didn't even do it all.

Since I have SO many pictures (over 50) from the weekend and really couldn't even begin to narrow it down, I put them into a slideshow. You can stop or start at any time and they aren't in any particular order.

Rather than giving you the day to day rundown, I'll let you see what we did. It was a FULL weekend, indeed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome Home Troops.

Lots of pictures and a big weekend update to come, but for now I had to share with you what our family got to see on Friday. As we got off the highway in Alexandria, MN we noticed that there were motorcycles, police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances bringing a bus into town. It took only a few moments to realize that the town was welcoming home some troops. We quickly pulled to the side of the road, joined the rest of the crowd and welcomed home the troops.

Regardless of ones opinion of the war, witnessing this, was incredible.

Knowing that my Grandpa T served in the Navy, my Grandpa B served in the Army, my father in law in the Navy, my Uncle Burl who served in the Coast Guard, my Uncle Richard who served in the Navy, it put those troops on that bus into perspective.
Every single one of them is someone's child, someone's friend, sibling, parent....every single one.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


There hasn't been too many blog-worthy moments this week. It's been quiet, yet crazy busy all at the same time. Is that even possible?

H's mornings have been starting even earlier this last week, today as early as 5:20am.

With just H to tend to I anticipated a quiet week to catch up on some projects, the week flew by and today will be spent getting ready for tomorrow when we pick up T and M, and head up to Arrowwood Resort with my parents.

The week started out with my mom very ill. She had her fourth round of chemo last week and had a hard time even getting out of bed until late Tuesday night, when two new medications finally kicked in and kicked the nausea out. I'm hopeful this weekend will both be relaxing and rejuvenating for her. And hey, maybe we'll get her down a slide or two at the water park. (No worries mom, I'm only kidding.)

I've been dwelling on a word all week; balance. At times I feel like my life is lacking that key component.

I am working on it, we have a crazy month ahead of us with plans and trips galore. Out of state visitors and the back to school bustle that begins. There is just always a lot going on. It's not going to change anytime soon, and I honestly think I thrive on the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In other exciting news and developments, H now brushes his teeth twice a day. Which is really like, he eats the toothpaste (flouride free, don't worry!) and then sucks on the brush.

PS: Tomorrow is J's 34th birthday. We'll be away to celebrate, but I'll be sure and post about it next week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Doctor Visit.

We've had quite the history with doctor's visits. From our initial scheduling issues to allergic reactions to a data privacy issue last time. (If that's not enough for you, Park Nicollet is currently in the news, you can read about that here. While H is no longer a patient there, I am.)

It was with some hesitation that I looked forward to H's 15 month check up last Friday. So I brought J with me for back up this time.

The first thing I found out was that H, already has a stepmother. Though his record has been clarified several times over now, now T and M's mom's info has been added not only as his emergency contact but as his stepmother.

Our situation certainly is more complex than I ever imagined I guess.

So after some giggles with the receptionist, we once again clarified H's record, with not one problem.

Shortly after that we were called into the room to have H measured and weighed. (25 lbs, 10 ounces and 31.5 inches long...50th percentile these days! Perfect to me!)

As we waited for the doctor to arrive, I got out some raisins for H. He, up until this point, has loved raisins.

Apparently his taste buds have changed because rather than eating them he threw them across the doctor's office.

When the doctor arrived, we started discussing H. His growth, his eating, his recent walking.

When the doctor started talking about H's walking, he reminded J and I to make sure we help H around tables so that he doesn't hit his head on them. About this time, H kicked off his shoe and I bent down to pick it up....clocking my forehead smack dab on the table.

J, nor the doctor could hide their disbelief and amusement of this very careless embarrassing act.

If that's not enough, there's more.

As we finished up the appointment, H was laying on me with his head on my shoulder and started shoving his arms down my shirt. Not just one arm, both arms. No, I am not still breastfeeding and the only time this child feels the need to grab inside my shirt is at the doctor. This happened at his last appointment too, though I had on a sweatshirt last time instead of a scoop neck tank.

So now the doctor is looking at me, the mother who just clocked her head on the table, who now has her son's hands shoved down her shirt, like I am nuts.

And I feel nuts as I am struggling with my 25 pound child to remove his hands without undressing myself, while trying to keep eye contact with the doctor.

Thankfully, we don't have another appointment until October.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Aquatennial Parade.

Last night we attended the Aquatennial Parade on Hennepin Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis. Last year was our first time attending but we've now made it a tradition.

The parade is a torchlight parade because it starts at 8:30pm and goes until 10:30pm. In order to get good spots right on Hennepin you have to get there early. I am proud to report that the kids and I were the very first people there this year. We got there about the same time as the mini-donut/cheese curd truck did, 4pm. I am guessing that others were there but they were waiting inside or in their cars...since it was RAINING!!!
(Seriously though, you try to keep three very excited children in the car when all they want to do is get out and set up our spot for the parade and play. We stayed under an awning during the rain.)
Now as you look through these pictures, pay special attention to M's shirts. How many different shirts does she wear in the course of the afternoon/evening?
We packed a cooler with our dinner and snacks and drinks. Plenty of games, chalk to draw and bubbles to blow to keep ourselves busy. We also were smart and packed our umbrellas and rain gear since we knew rain was a possibility.
Lucky for us, the rain was gone by 5pm and the rest of the evening was gorgeous. Nice warm sunset, no bugs. Perfect.

J got there about 5pm along with our friends, Jill, Paul, Ellie and Maggie.
It is a super fun parade, with lots of goodies passed out to the kids, fun floats, marching bands and characters. We love it. Since we pack most of our snacks and stuff we need, we let the kids each get one treat. It can pretty much be whatever they want but just like last year, they both chose the ice cream treats in the middle of the parade.
Surprisingly, H stayed awake the entire parade and was still up at 6am this morning. If you're thinking poor S, is that ever the truth or what.
Did you pick up on M's shirts? She wears 3 different shirts. The first shirt she came wearing she spilt bubbles on, so I gave her one of the tanks I was wearing (the white one), this one seemed to bother her so then she wanted to trade, so we ventured to the restroom and traded again, thus she wore the pinkish/purple one the rest of the time.
And here's some pictures from this morning. T and M are gone for 7 days now with their mom. M wanted me to take some pictures of dad and his "babies" and I promised her they'd go on "the blog", as she calls it.

Mark your calendars now for next years parade...we'd love to have you. July 23rd, 2008!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fifteen Months Old.

Today, H turned 15 months old. I think this will probably be one of the last "monthly birthday" updates I do.

He's laughing and talking all the time. Though usually nothing we understand. M believes he speaks Chinese. I however have to disagree.

He's walking and just about running everywhere. Loves to be chased. Loves to chase.

Showing us more and more of his personality and tempermant.

Here's some pictures of our month.

H's latest trick is using his push Mickey toy as a stool. I'm sure by standing in the kitchen taking pictures of him I'm doing a great job teaching him NOT to do this.

"Where did my lollipop go mom?????"

To celebrate H's 15 months of life (and M's 75 months and T's 101 months) we went and saw some birds from the Raptor Center at The Shoppes of Arbor Lakes this morning. Very fun, yet very hot. We came home needing to cool down so we filled H's pool and another pool and relaxed in the backyard splashing, spraying the hose and just having fun.

M playing soccer. It was with very mixed emotions that I missed her last game last night. I had a meeting with the owners of Hot Mama. Which was really neat, found out they both went to North Park and have very strong Covenant ties. Very neat connection.

Finally, this picture will make you laugh really hard. Yesterday morning after I fed H breakfast and was getting him ready, M was in the kitchen eating. I came out to the kitchen and was cleaning off the counter when M asked me to move out of her way so she could feed her babies. Yes, it is not only one Baby Alive doll, but two. She apparently had one at her mom's house as well. So like I asked at M's birthday, why again do we need real live baby dolls when we have a real live baby living here? Just wondering.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What Makes A Mother? *Updated*

What makes a mother, a mother?

Is it the pregnancy and birth? The adoption papers reading mom and dad's names? The role one plays in a family?

Prior to having H, I felt a fraud, a counterfeit acting a mothers role, though many of my roles when T and M are here are the roles of a mother. Yet I did not conceive, birth or nurture them as babes. So what does that make me? Their stepmother, yes, but does that make me less of a parent? Sometimes I sure feel that way when talking with someone at the park or a stranger conversing.

Think of the stepmothers we've seen on tv and in movies. More often than not they are evil, mean and ugly. In the past, fathers did not get as many rights as mothers and again, more often than not, children saw their fathers on weekends and maybe every other Wednesday.

A lot of people's ideas of stepmothers come from their own history. Whether or not they had experience with a stepmother, whatever media says about stepmothers and the past history.

So many times I am left feeling this need to "prove" myself as a parent. Not to T and M, or my family, or even the kids mom.

Sometimes I've wondered if people who adopt their children feel this infinite need to prove themselves worthy of the parental role and title. Do people question them?

But the most recent thing that has me asking what makes a mother, a mother is in regards to egg donation. Is the egg donor a mother too, though her part was a surgically removed egg? Is the mother who labored and birthed the babe the mother?

Or are both the mothers?

And what happens when the child is asking questions, or what about medical history? Is the egg donors medical history accounted for as well as the birthing mothers medical history?

In college, I used to see all sorts of ads and get mailers about donating eggs for fast, quick and easy cash. While I never did this, nor even know anyone who's done this it leaves me with a lot of questions.

My friends over at Cribsheet/Star Tribune wrote a little about the recent New York Times Magazine story about egg donors and how that affects people later on. I found it amazing, and interesting, yet somewhat disturbing.

Here's my question for you readers, what are the ramifications for these women who are donating eggs for quick cash? Do you think they wonder later on about the "eggs" that could have been? Do you think that is fair to a child?

And what about the mother who births them, do you think she feels any less related to her baby because of the genetics being from the egg donor and her husband?

I really don't know and that's why I'm asking these questions. I just don't know.

What do you think about this very controversial subject?

*edited to add: Just out of curiousity, why do you think sperm donation and egg donation are viewed differently?

And I want to note that I think that putting a child up for adoption is completely different than egg donation, I'm not even going to go into that subject here. I'm more specifically wondering about those who just donate eggs, whether it be for friend or family, or the cash that comes along with it. People put children up for various, various reasons and like my friend Gail, wrote last week, a birth mother really truly never forgets.*

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Laughing At This.

I thought I'd seen and heard it all. But apparently I was wrong.

As I started cleaning the bathrooms this morning, M asked to help me. Then T wanted to join in too.

Currently I am listening to them argue over who can scrub the toilets.

That can only mean one thing.

It's going to be an interesting day!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


So I'm a day late in my post but I promise I have good reasons.
T, played in a baseball tournament yesterday in the 98 degree heat. It was for sure a hot one. So hot we had to have babysitter girl (who's much improved with her timeliness by the way) come for the day and evening to watch H.

His first game was at 2pm and his second was supposed to start at 4pm but started closer to 5.

J and T warming up T's pitching.

T pitching.

T's team won first place in the tournament and ended the season in 2nd place for the Willie Mays division. It was a very exciting day.

Each player on his team received one medal for participation, one medal for the tournament and the trophy for the 2nd place win.

Like I've said before T is very good at ball, and played on the 9-10 year old teams this year at 8! Good job T!

The tournament and things wrapped up about 7pm and with 8pm reservations at PF Changs, J and I rushed home, showered, changed and headed out for a date night.

A perfect Saturday!

Especially on 07.07.07.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We Have A Walker.

Though some may argue, I'm really not a blogging maniac this week.

Today's post couldn't wait, H started toddling on Sunday evening but only J's dad and I saw it. Then Monday of course he toddled around only when the camera was out of sight and literally toddled around the soccer fields, but did I bring the camera? Nope.

But finally, this morning, with T, M and our friend Ellie cheering him on, I caught H walking along on video! Yippy!

Enjoy!!! We sure are!

Monday, July 2, 2007

I Love Summer.

We love summer vacation around here. Just some pictures of some of the things we've been up to since school's been out. Free sibling fun in the backyard pool. Yes, I know they are much to big for that pool. My very far-off dream would be to have an inground pool, obviously at this point in our lives that's not quite in the budget. This particular day they had been running in the sprinkler and a neighbors slip-n-slide and just decided to enjoy an ice cream treat in the backyard. J actually caught these pictures through the window. Proof to us that these two actually can get along if they want to.
Swimming. Not only a favorite of mine but all three kids too. We've already managed a couple trips to the beach this year and this waterpark. Last summer was a different story, most of the time H couldn't be outside too long when it was hot and steamy outside. This year he joins right in the fun, splashing and playing around or digging in the sand at the beach.
This was a huge accomplishment for M. She went up to go down one of the slides and ended up flipping onto her stomach and coming down face first. Needless to say, many tears were shed but she wanted to try again. This time she tried the other slide which went MUCH slower for her and she made it face up, feet first with a smile on her face.Today. Only four of these belong to me today as we're taking care of Ellie today. Of course with plans for a bike ride and setting out the pool, the clouds and sprinkles of rain came in. What better way to spend the morning then at an indoor playground with friends Aiden and Grant. (This was as we were leaving, that's why you'll notice H is already conked out. )
Seriously, all this is really what a summer should be. Fun, playing, splashing, laughing. Sometimes at home. Sometimes at the beach or parks. Sometimes special places. All the same, fun summer fun.

****Also, if you know my parents wish them a Happy Anniversary today!****