Jun 24, 2008


A rebuttal to the idiot at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


This makes me MAD!

I first read this article on Saturday night and it just made me soo mad! This guy is a total idiot (I wanted to use another word here, but decided against it).


Jun 20, 2008


For one week, later this summer this beautiful house will be our home! That's right... we're headed to the beach! I can't wait! We haven't been to the beach in years and neither Cackie or Owen has ever been, so it should be an awesome week.
It's also motivation to keep watching what I eat, maybe I'll be able to treat myself to a new swimsuit!


Open... a simple little word, but music to my ears yesterday.

I was loading the kids in the car after picking them up from school and while I was buckling Cackie in Owen hands me his little bag of Teddy Grahams and says "open".
I was soo excited! I ran around to his side of the car, opened his Teddy Grahams and gave him a big kiss! I think I'll remember this like I remember Cackie taking her first steps.

Later, after we were home Owen came running from the kitchen saying "water". He wanted a drink of water and told me instead of grabbing my hand and dragging me into the kitchen. Yay!

The best part of the day was when he copied me and said "night night, love you" as I was tucking him into bed. Small steps, but we're getting there!

Jun 18, 2008

I was outnumbered...

and I survived... SORT OF!

Last night was a first for us. It was the first time Michael had to go out of town since Owen has joined our family. It was the first time for me to be the sole caregiver for more than a couple of hours.

Things went pretty well, thankfully! Of course Michael's trip coincided with a busy important day for me at work where everything came down to the last minute and it was also the day that I had to take Katie to the vet for her monthly shot, oh and then it was also the night of Cackie's gymnastics lesson, no biggie! I'm happy to report that the work got done, Katie got picked up from the vet and taken home and we all got to gymnastics early. After gymnastics I treated the kids to McDonald's and they even got to bed before 9 pm! Whoo hoo for me!

When Michael is not home I never sleep well, but was surprised that I slept until I was awakened to screaming at 4 am. I rushed down the stairs to figure out WHO was screaming and wouldn't you know it, once I turned on the hall light they stopped screaming! I checked on both kids... Cackie appeared to be sleeping and Owen was readjusting himself, but seemed fine and didn't respond when I spoke to him so I figured it was just a dream. I kissed them both, left the room and headed back upstairs. Just as I was about to climb back in bed the screaming started again! I still couldn't figure out which one of them it was, so I raced back downstairs, turned on the hall light and they stopped!

This time Cackie had her eyes slightly open and looked at me. I asked her if she was the one screaming and she just looked at me and said "Good Night". Owen was out, so I knew it wasn't him. I headed back upstairs, the whole time praying that whatever the problem was had passed.

I never heard from them again the rest of the night, and I would have known since I only got little cat naps until I had to get up at 6:15. I need 7 to 8 hours a night, so it's killing me now that I didn't get it. I'm soo glad Michael will be back tonight!

This morning went much better than expected, we were all out of the house by 7:30 without any major tears or arguments! How I did that I'll never know! Maybe I should play tonight's Powerball, it may just be my lucky day!

Jun 16, 2008

Watch This!

This is a new documentary that will show on PBS tomorrow. Looks very interesting!

Jun 13, 2008

I'm back!

No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth… we’ve just been very very busy trying to adapt to our new lifestyle. I’ve been meaning to sit and update the blog for days, but just haven’t found the time. Rather than try to write out a super long story about everything, I’ll give an overview of what we’ve been up to…
• We had a great Memorial Day weekend, very busy but a lot of fun. Friday night we took the kids to a baseball game. We sat on blankets on the bluff and had a really great time just playing and hanging out. That Saturday we worked on stuff around the house, trying to return things to normal and just stayed home. It was nice to have one day to not have to run out and be anywhere by a certain time. That Sunday we went to church and then went out to our favorite catfish restaurant for lunch, yummy! Late that afternoon we met friends at our favorite brewpub for a quick bite before we all headed over to the members party at the zoo. We love the zoo members parties because it gives us the chance to do the zoo at night. They also let the kids “swim” in the big fountain at the entrance and it’s usually packed full of kids having a great time getting wet. We ended up spending most of the evening at the fountain letting the kids enjoy the water. Cackie was actually more hesitant than Owen about getting in, what a change from three weeks before! After the zoo we headed for ice cream, always a favorite of everyone in our group. On Monday we picked up some BBQ and went to spend the day with Michael’s Mom & Stepdad. The kids were a little tired since we were there during nap time, but they had a great time showing off for everyone!

• The first week home Owen & I spent most of our days running errands and trying to get things accomplished around the house. It seemed like we were out every day with one thing or another. On one of our trips I bought a pool for the kids and they’ve really enjoyed spending time in it in the afternoons.

• Our second week home I ended up working from home, trying to stay caught up on my deadlines. Our busy time of year is approaching fast and the last thing I needed was to fall behind on my work. I also had quite a few appointments that week… follow up with my ENT surgeon (my nose looks great and he doesn’t need to see me for another 9 months!), dental cleaning and my first visit to the orthodontist (more on that later). Owen went with me to these appointments and was really well behaved. I was worried that he would freak out with my dental cleaning or my ENT appointment, but he really didn’t seem to mind at all.

• On Friday, May 30 we celebrated Cackie’s 3rd Gotcha Day! To celebrate I picked her up from school just before lunch and all had lunch at McDonald’s instead. After lunch we headed over to the zoo to spend the day with Tamela & Gili. It was a good day, the only downsides being that it was HOT and Cackie didn’t have her “listening ears” on. (Owen’s lucky because right now it’s hard to tell if he has his listening ears on or not, lol!) After the zoo we headed home to cool off in the pool and then when Michael got home we all went out to the Italian Festival. Afterward I asked Cackie if she had a good Gotcha Day and she gave me a definite YES!

• Monday, June 2 was the day that I was most anxious about… it was Owen’s appointment with the cleft lip/palate team and it went really well! They were impressed with how well his lip repair looked and after investigating his palate they believe that only his soft palate was cleft, not his hard palate. That may be the reason why the repair was done when so many others were not. The team of doctor’s was wonderful, we were very impressed, and they said that they will not need to see him until next year when we can see how much he has grown and evaluate his needs at that time. I did speak with the speech therapist at length and will be contacting him to get Owen evaluated once he is fully speaking English on a regular basis. The team did recommend that we get him fully evaluated by an ENT specialist to rule out any hearing issues and we have an appointment for that later this month. They also recommended that we get Owen into a pediatric dentist to get his teeth cleaned, which we will do ASAP.

• So once Owen was cleared by the cleft team we didn’t hesitate at all getting him started in school. He started on Tuesday, June 3 for half a day and then went full days on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. I think he was soo happy to get back into a school routine, he loves it! It’s like he’s always been there, he fits in and gets along with the other kids so well. The teachers even told me that he had soo much fun on splash day that he cried for 15 minutes after they made him come inside. Now, after 2 full weeks there I know he’s having a blast… he has all the bumps, bruises and scrapes to prove it!

• My last week at home was a busy one. I did a little more catch up work and once Owen and Cackie were both in school I spent a whole day shopping for groceries and things we needed around the house. My greatest accomplishment was getting everything totally moved between Cackie’s old bedroom and the new bedroom for the kids. They have a ton of toys and enough stuffed animals to sink a ship! It’s soo nice now to have all their clothes and toys organized and easy to find. And, judging from how much they get out their toys and play with them, I think they really like playing in their new room.

• The Friday before I went back to work I had an appointment with the orthodontist to get my braces put on. I’ve needed to do this for over 2 years and had kept putting it off. I have TMJ problems and wear a mouthpiece at night to keep me from grinding my teeth down to stumps, but unfortunately I lost my little case with my mouthpiece in it somewhere between Memphis and Beijing. The whole time in China without my mouthpiece caused my jaw to become increasingly sorer, so I decided to dive right in and get the braces put on. The first few days were really no fun and I kept wondering why I had done this to myself. But, by the 4th or 5th day I wasn’t hurting quite so bad. Now the biggest annoyance is having to constantly clean out food from the braces, yuck! I also can’t eat popcorn! I LOVE popcorn and don’t know how I’m going to make it for 18 – 24 moths without it.

• In addition to getting my braces put on, that same day I took the plunge and got my hair cut. I went all out, or maybe I should say “all off”. It’s already way too hot and I was tired of having hair in my face, so I went ahead and got my hair cut real short, very similar to how I wore it a lot in High School. I feel soo much better now and LOVE that it is so much faster getting ready in the morning!

• Today is the end of my first week back to work and I can honestly say that I’m glad to be back. I really love the group that I’m working with and they make work fun, I missed them while I was gone. Owen has now been at school with Cackie for 2 weeks and has had accident reports each of the last two days. Apparently he is a bit of a klutz and keeps running his head into the cabinets or cubbies (just like I did as a kid… hey genetics ain’t everything!). Cackie is having a more difficult time adjusting to everything than Owen is. She‘s not really able to fully express herself yet, either so that makes for a lot of whining and fussing around our house. It will take some time, but I know it will get better.

That’s about everything we’ve been up to. Tonight were going to try to spend some time with the kids and go out to dinner. Tomorrow while the kids are napping I’m going with a friend to see “Sex and the City” (yay!) and then those same friends are going to come over for dinner and the kids will play. Sunday is Michael’s day… he gets to decide what we’ll do.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to stay more up to date now. I’ve got some pictures to update and I still have some from our trip that I’ve never posted. I’ll work on that this weekend. Till then…