Monday, November 1, 2010

Hayrides, Pumpkins, Campouts, Leaves and Costumes!

I am in shock that it's November. Really and truly, September and October have just flown by. With two kids in preschool now, my tutoring, Ben's soccer and Jeremy's ongoing busy work schedule, the days are just speeding along. Hopefully the long cold winter will do the same, I'm already looking forward to spring! Not only will I be ready for the warmer weather, but hopefully springtime will bring our daughter home from South Korea as well.

October brought so many fun activities for our family. Ben's first soccer season wrapped up and he was beyond proud of himself when he received his trophy and an award for Best Defense. Never scored a goal, but really came out of his shell and started going after the ball. He says he can't wait to play again!

Jeremy went with his mom, dad and brother Matt to Indianapolis for a Colts football game. Thankfully the Colts won, and it was something Jeremy had wanted to do for a very long time.

Ben has become a true camper, sleeping in our tent in our yard once with Daddy and again with Daddy and a buddy. He loves the whole camping experience: flashlights, glow bracelets, fire pit, roasted marshmallows, sleeping bags, playing in the dark, etc. During the month of November at his preschool, his classroom is going to have a pretend campsite set up, so I'm sure he'll be an expert!

We were blessed to have a visit from friends whom we hadn't seen in a very long time. I grew up babysitting for the Barnes family, Andrew, Anna and Libby. They were the ring bearers and flowergirls in our wedding 10 years ago. We were so excited to have a visit Anna, Libby and their mom!

We celebrated the fall season with a trip to Blooms and Berries Farm, which is here in Loveland. We got to take a hayride, pick pumpkins and play games. Then the boys got to go with Jeremy to Pumpkin Night at their preschool and carve their pumpkins and play games. I worked the tattoo station and the kids were all adorable! So fun to see cousin Izzy and Uncle Justin there along with Ben and Sam's classmates!
I guess it's the teacher in me, but I've been so excited that both boys are old enough now to really partake in some fun activities. We've made pumpkin bread, candy corn candy (because the store bought kind has either eggs or nuts in them), decorated the house for Halloween, made ghosts out of milk jugs to light up in Halloween night, made ghost suckers, painted and carved pumpkins, played in the leaves with friends.... I'll be sad when they're too old to do these things with me!

Halloween was a great time for our little Buzz Lightyear (Ben) and Woody (Sam) from Toy Story. Sam completely got the idea this year and skipped/ran from house to house. He insisted on having his hat on to say trick-or-treat every time. Ben was actually a little overwhelmed by all the excitement at first, but soon warmed up to the idea. We're so proud of both boys for handling Sam's food allergy so well on such a potentially dangerous holiday. We took all of Sam's candy he got from trick-or-treating and swapped it out for "safe" candy. Ben knows not to eat any of his nut/peanut butter treats when Sam is around. In addition to regular trick-or-treating we also got to trick-or-treat at our church's car show and went to a Halloween party with our playgroup.

Whew! I think we've exhausted the amount of fun one family can have in the month of October. We're looking forward to hopefully a more laid back Thanksgiving. We're excited to see Aunt Ellie who will be visiting from Spain and are starting to wait for that phone call from our social worker about a possible baby for us! She said late fall we might get our "match", we just can't wait to find out who she is!

Hope you and yours are enjoying this beautiful fall season!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

School Days

I am in disbelief that September is over! I really don't know how time flies so fast. The boys both had a great start to school. It is Sam's first year of preschool and he LOVES it. No tears from this little guy. He marches right into the building with his backpack thumping on the back of his legs and doesn't even look back at me. So brave. Of course it helps to have cousin Izzy in his class. Hopefully they're not beating up on each other too badly! Ben loves going to school, but has had a little bit of a rough time lately behaving the way he should. We've been working with him on that and he's really proud of his improvements so far, and so are we! This year is a lot more structured for him with higher expectations, since they're preparing him for kindergarten (gulp!). So it's an adjustment, but we know he's going to do great.
Some exciting events for us in the month of September:
-Boys got to go watch Grandpa Tim take his first flying lesson. Very exciting to be at an airport and get to look at all the planes and even watch Grandpa take off and land!
-We have our tent set up in our backyard. They have tons of books and toys and sleeping bags out there and have had a blast. Ben got to have his first real campout w/Daddy out there one night and he loved it. Sam and I joined them before bed at the firepit and roasted marshmallows, another first. I'm sure Sam will insist on joining them soon enough!
-We took the boys to what was Sam's first Reds game last week. We were leary to have him be around all the peanuts, but it was a great learning experience for him, since he'd never seen one before!
Funny story about the picture of the boys w/green hands. One day I was upstairs doing some laundry. I mistakingly was so proud of them for being so quiet and nice to each other in the basement. Ben even shouted up to me to tell me how much fun they were having together. Considering they're usually beating up on one another, I thought this was great progress! Then they came up to show me what they were doing. They had gotten into the ink pads for their stamps (washable, thank goodness) and were basically finger painting w/it. No wonder they were quiet and having so much fun! Next time they're so quiet I'll know it's not a good thing!
No real news about the adoption. We continue to be told they think we'll be matched w/ a baby sometime late fall, definitely by the end of this year. Right now babies are coming home about 3 months after a match, but it can take as long as 4-6 months. The world of adoption is constantly changing, so while we're thinking she'll be home in the spring, we can't know for sure. Right now it doesn't seem real to us at all, but I'm sure once we get matched with a specific baby who will become part of our family, it will get a lot more real and exciting! Keep checking back for updates!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sam Talking

Sam has become quite the talker and works hard to pronounce things correctly. It's pretty cute. Except that he never, ever stops! :)

Let the Elk Take the Cup!

Fun in the Sun

August was all about swimming and soaking up as much fun as we could. The boys love nothing more than to be in the water, whether it's the lake, the pool, or the tiny baby pool in the front yard. We are holding onto the nice weather as long as we can and spending as much time outside as possible!

We took our first official family vacation last week. Thanks to some wonderful family friends, we were able to go to Lake Erie and stay in a little private community called Lakeside (near Sandusky). It's a gated Christian community reminiscent of days past, where most people walk or ride bikes. We stayed in an awesome old house. Within the community was everything we needed: shops, restaurants, putt-putt, shuffleboard, a sandy beach on the lake, a baby pool, a fab park with playset and huge sandbox, a huge pier for fishing... in other words, we were in heaven. All of this was literally a block away from our house, so we walked to everything.

We also went to a nearby drive-thru Safari where we fed animals such as a huge elk, deer, and even giraffes-all through our van windows and sunroof!! It was an incredible experience. We also took the ferry across to Kelley's Island and spend some time there. It was fun to see where Jeremy and my dad often come to fish and we had an impromptu swim on the beautiful beach there. (You'll see in the pics that we hadn't planned on swimming there-no swim suits, no towels, nothing. But it was deserted and gorgeous and we just couldn't resist the water. Ben swam in his undies, Sam in his outfit. It was an interesting ride home on the ferry with 2 wet, sandy kids, naked kids...) We can't wait to go back.

Jeremy had 10 days off, so after our 4 days there, we have enjoyed a wonderful 6-day "stay-cation" here at home. We've gone out on dad's boat on East Fork Lake, spent lots of time playing in the yard in this beautiful weather, flew kites and just enjoyed being together.

Sam had his yearly allergy testing done last week as well- results were the same as last year, mildly allergic to peanuts and very allergic to eggs. Dr. says he has a chance of outgrowing them both, especially the eggs. We are completely okay with where we are with that right now; we are used to accomodating his diet and just remain focused on keeping him safe. We believe his food allergies have actually been a blessing to us. We eat much healthier now and are more conscious of what we put in our mouths. It's also sweet to see Ben so protective over what Sam eats.

We got an update on the adoption as well. Our social worker believes we should get "matched" with a baby sometime late fall, definitely by the end of this year. We'll learn who she is, what she looks like, her background, etc. Typically babies come home 4-6 months after being matched. So according to our calculations, she's probably already born and should be home sometime between March to June next year. We are very excited and trying to wrap our brains around the fact that our daughter already exists on the other side of the world!

We have much to look forward to this fall. Ben is playing team soccer for the first time. Preschool starts for them both next week. Ben's excited to get back, and we are thinking Sam is going to love his first year, social butterfly that he is. Hope all is well with you, and check back soon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not the greatest video because I was laughing so hard, but here's the kids on a ride at Kings Island. It whips them around so fast that Sam could barely stay upright. Sam and Izzy are sitting together in the blue seat and Ben is in the seat behind them.

Trains, Trips and Rides

July was a super fun month for our family. We took a real train ride with Curious George and spent lots of fun time with cousin Izzy. She and Sam are hilarious together, they are like brother and sister-they either love or hate each other depending on the moment!

Jeremy and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Ft Lauderdale, Florida! It was the longest we we had left the boys, we were gone for 4 days. We had a very relaxing time away, spent lots of time by the ocean and pool, and had some quiet, peaceful meals together. We loved every minute and were also completely ready to come home to the boys.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dirt and Fireworks

We recently went out on Grandpa's boat for the first time this summer. Last year Sam was so little and scared. This year he was into everything. He loved the ride, swimming in the lake, and even riding the inner tube. Of course Ben is a pro at all this, and he is ready to go back and do a little fishing next time!

The most exciting thing to happen around here in a while was the load of dirt we had delivered right to our driveway. Our basement has a leak and Jeremy had to do some digging to fix the crack, and then ordered a bit load of topsoil to fill the hole, etc. The boys got to watch the big, red, dumptruck back into our driveway and dump the load of dirt. They were wide-eyed and completely silent during the whole process; they didn't move an inch they were so fascinated! Then they "got to work" on the pile, getting out their little wheelbarrow, buckets, shovels, etc. They have played for HOURS in that dirt pile. Ben helped Jeremy by loading up his little wheelbarrow, pushing it around to the side of the house, dumping it and using a rake to smooth it into place, just like his daddy. He was actually productive and helpful! Sam dug in the dirt, put it between his toes, threw it, ate it and slide down the pile. Absolute heaven for two little boys who like nothing better than being dirty. We've decided to reserve a small portion of it to keep around for a while-it's better than any toy!

Fourth of July was a "blast", the boys both really got into it this year. We went to Loveland's parade and fireworks. It was a real treat for them to be up so late, although the days following were a bit rough from being so tired!

Hope the summer is treating you well! Keep checking back!