Monday, June 18, 2007

Our California Adventure

Heading to California for a week in the spring has become somewhat of a tradition for our family. Every spring Kermit has a week long work meeting overseas (that spouses are invited to, but this spouse hasn't been able to make it in a few year? My fingers are crossed!). While he is gone we (the A team) head to California to hang out with my family and the warm sunshine. After Kermit's meetings are done, jet lagged he joins us for a couple days of fun. This year was a blast all the way around! Here are some highlights:

I flew SOLO with the three babies all the way from Chicago to Orange County!!! One twin in a car seat, Annaliese in the middle seat. Me in the aisle seat with a twin on my lap! We were quite the freak show! I packed tons of toys from the dollar store that I had hoped would entertain because they were new toys (backfired), DVD's (thank goodness for them!), and plenty of snacks. All was fine until the last 45 minutes of the flight. Avrie SCREAMED the entire time! Totally inconsolable, arching her back, wailing, tears streaming, everyone silent and staring. Nothing I did to console her worked. When we finally landed it literally took me 30 minutes to get us off the plane with a still screaming baby and all the toys, trash, bottles, etc. all over the floor to be repacked into a single backpack! Whew! But we survived and all the drama was worth the fun we had.

We SURPRISED my mom and dad! They had no idea we were coming! My sister, Erin and her husband Romney picked us up from the airport in a borrowed SUV, because DAD wouldn't let her borrow his new Yukon (ha ha dad, I know you'd have let her had you known where she was really going!) Luggage lost for 24 hours...what else can I say...except we really did have a great time! =) I love surprising my parents! The look on their faces was priceless! One of these days I'll remember to have a camera on hand to capture their expressions! Darn it!

The next day we headed to my brother Derek's house to visit him and his family! Oh...he and his wife Shannon have the sweetest little newborn that we got to meet for the first time. Cooper was just a couple of weeks old! This sweet baby actually made me baby hungry for a second or two! So sweet and ... chub, chub, chub, sweet, chub! Can someone please explain to me how adopted kids can end up looking so much like their parents! Cooper looks so much like my brother! It's amazing! Their other little boy, Corbin was adorable and was so sweet to my girls. Annaliese had a blast with her cousin as he showed off his pet dogs in their backyard.

The rest of the week we basically just hung out at home while everyone went to work during the day. Erin was able to take a couple of days off to hang out with us. Mom took off a day or two also. We went to the mall, visited my brother, played in the backyard, church (and the babies had their first experience in nursery, yeah!), the babies mastered climbing up and down stairs, (double yeah!) what could be better! Everyday was a complete blast for all!

Once Kermit arrived we were able to go to a cool train museum in Perris with my parents and Erin and Romney, and to Disneyland with just Annaliese...Whoohoo! Fun excursions! For Disneyland my mom took a day off work to stay home with the little babies while Kermit, Annaliese and I headed to the Happiest Place on Earth! A happy time we had! We met up with Derek and Corbin there for an hour or two before they had to leave for naps. It was a perfect perfect day. I love Disneyland. Always have. Always will.

It was a perfect vacation all in all....We flew back to Chicago from LAX....another crazy story....Early morning flight, three barfing babies in the backseat of a rental minivan....barely made our flight....but we did make it! The kids were great! We got to spread out over two rows because Kermit was with us....Nobody screamed for 45 minutes...just barfed a couple of times during landing (love you Avrie)! Love all my kids and my husband! Love all my family- wish we could see you more often! But the drama to get to you make great memories too! =)

You can click on any image to enlarge it. (Shannon, I need that cute picture of Corbin with my girls in the ball pool and a close up of Cooper. I'll try getting it from your snapfish if it will let me copy it.)

Relaxing and backyard fun...

At the train museum in Perris, CA

At Derek's house....need pics of Corbin with the girls....coming soon I hope.

At Disneyland....

Lately with Adeline...

2007/06/10 - Today Adeline's nursery teacher told me how sweet she is to the other children always sharing toys and speaking to them sweetly. Sweetest child ever!
2007/06/10 - More singing...sings the "I love you" Barney song. I know, I know...but hey Barney restores the peace at our house before dinner. Can't argue with that!
2007/06/08 - This week she has really been into balls- specifically throwing them! She's getting quite the arm!
2007/06/08 - Still a singer- sings Do a Deer! Serious!
2007/06/08 - Loves to accessorize! Addie always has beads on or a braclet! Loves to wear sunglasses and hats! Both she and avrie love to push their doll strollers back and forth through the house. She is so cute when she picks up her dolly and pats it while she is hugging it. Too CUTE!
2007/04/22 - This girl can walk! Today at church she took about 20 steps in a row! All of a sudden she just gets it! She practiced all afternoon. I'd say she walked about 50% of the day today!
2007/04/15- This week her language has taken off a bit. I've caught her trying to repeat sentences as I talk to her. She's added a few new words to her vocabulary - apple, ball, book
2007/04/15 - All of a sudden this girl decides to stand up and walk! Crawling is still the preferred mode to get around but I'm reminded once again to never underestimate Adeline!
2007/04- This girl loves to sing! Wakes us each morning (yes, she's in our room, that is until Avrie starts sleeping through the night again) singing the Moon, Moon, Moon song or Twinkle Twinkle. The melody is perfect. The words are darn close to English! So cute!
2007/04- This girl is tough as nails and wins the prize! She went in for surgery this week to have the hemangioma on her back removed! She did great! A few doses of Tylenol was all she needed afterwards! She doesn't even flinch when you touch her back! Amazing!
2007/04- Caught her working on her standing!...with success! She can stand for about 5 seconds now! She's quite wobbley still but she'll get it! I took her for a "walk" around the house holding jjust one hand...she's getting there!
2007/03 - Trying so hard to stand alone! Keep it up Addie!
2007/03 - This funny girl can climb! I found her most recently sitting in a toy basket that was on the ottoman, so proud of herself!
2007/03 - Loves to "read" to herself! We often find her jabbering away pointing to pictures in a book! Every now and then we'll recognize an animal sound in her jibberish! Cute!
2007/03 - Funny girl! Ask her any question such as "Addie, do you want lunch?" Her response will be, "Uhmmmm...Dabidabayama." Then say back to her, Is that right? She'll respond, "Uh huh." So cute! Works with about any question..same answer!

Lately with Avrie

2007/06/10 - Also, learning to sing! She trys singing ABC's getting a few letters right on que! Likes to "count"..1,2, 5, 9, 3, etc.
2007/06/10 - This weekend she spoke a few full sentences! "I want water" , "I want down" and "No, Mine!"
2007/06/08 - Loves giving kisses on the lips! Precious!
2007/06/08 - "up, up!" I ift her up on the chair. She gets herself down 30 seconds later. Then "Up! Up!" I lift her back on the chair she climbs back down. She likes to practice using the word UP appropriately. This "up" game is getting old for me though- but she loves it!I =)
2007/06/08 - Developing quite the vocabulary! Last week at the zoo she got so excited and just started blurting out all the names of the animals! Wow! Lion, camel, duck, cow to name a few. " Ammals" she says! "Weee" is another favorite! Is that a word? She knows when to say it so I guess it is!
2007/04/22 - Loves to walk! She is determined to get it mastered! I'd say she walks about 80% of the time now. She walks from one end of the house to the other and back just to because she can!
2007/04/15 - Twice this week I've caught her calling after her sister "Addie, Addie!!" Too cute!
2007/04/15 - Something wonderful has happened this week....We're going on 5 nights in a row where she has slept through the night! She feels rested, bowels functioning well and she seems to have lost her temper! Her permanent little tear in the eye trademark hasn't been seen all week! She is happy all the time! She let me change her diapers without fits. She let me dress her without fits. She smiles, flirts, charms! Horray! I love this girl!
2007/04/15- All day today Avrie has been walking slowly and steadily from point A to point B. She has a determined look on her face. She is content to go slow to get it right. Look out world!
2007/04 - All of a sudden Avrie is blurting out words we can understand! She gets so excited as she points and says "BABNANA" It's so cute how proud she she is of herself! And we're proud of her too! Too cute!
2007/03 - All is forgiven after a miserable night when in the morning you're greeted with the happiest little baby ever! Hugs, loves and eager to tell you all about what ever she is pointing at!
2007/03 - We've had a hard month with bowel issues...her new trick this month is learning to scream an octave higher and 11 decibles louder at 1am. Whatever it takes to get mom up (and dad too)!
2007/03 - Learning to walk! Still prefers to crawl...must be because it's still faster

Lately with Annaliese.....

2007/06/08 - This girl is a storyteller! She will line up her toys either make up stories that her toys act out or she retells her favoites using toys as props. Make Way for Ducklings, The Three Bears and The Three Pigs are retold often!
2007/06/08 - New favorites this month- rhyming. She will look at pictures in a book and try to think of all the words that rhymn with it. She always starts with "L". Example Tree rhymns with Lee, or Match rhymns with Latch, or Dish rhymns with Lish. Haha!
2007/06/08 - Loves playing with "new" toys - vintage fisher price circus train (she calls Casey Jr.) that I got on ebay. She also loves her plastic herd of cows that I got second hand. She likes to tell the story of Ferdinand the Bull! It's adorable!
2007/04/15 - All of a sudden Annaliese has decided wearing clothes is optional! I turn around this afternoon to a completely naked little girl running past me! "Where are your clothes?" I ask. She points across the room and keeps running. She really got mad when I insisted she at least put on a pull up and a shirt! It's too cold to streak!
2007/04 - "STOP! Mom STOP!!!! A Stop Sign!" "S-T-O-P Spells Stop!" A few phrases I hear a dozen times every time we get in the car. Aslo loves to warn me 3 blocks in advance that the light ahead is red and that I need to Stop! I keep exlaining that I can keep driving until I get to the just hasn't sunk in yet.
2007/03 - Getting better about not twirling her hair...don't want to jinx anything!
2007/02 - Potty Training Success!
2007/02 - Hair twirling habbit she's had since birth backfires! Her hair is now thick enough to knot up! So what to do with a big knot, but yank it out by the root! My poor baby has a bald spot on the side of her head!