Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Branson 2012 Part 2

When I typed up the other post I completely forgot about this detail.  Saturday we did a little shopping.  Gymboree at Tanger was having a huge sale.  Camryn didn't need anything but it is still fun to look.  While we were there she thought she needed to sit in the little chairs in front of the TV like the big kids so I let her.  I shopped around that area while she sat there.  In a flash she was up and trying to hug another little girl.  I'm giving Camryn the benefit of the doubt so I don't think she meant to be as rough as she was...but it was hard to tell.  From my angle it looked like she was mauling the poor girl.  Camryn ended up making the other girl cry.  Camryn just grinned.  See...I'm a little unsure if it was intentional or not...The next day we had to go back to Gymboree and Camryn tried the same thing again.  Any time she saw another stroller she had her face in it trying to get at the other kids.  I had been noticing her starting to have a facination with other kids - which is something Cade started at this age.  Cade hasn't known a stranger his whole life and I think Camryn is taking after him.  It will definitely be interesting to see how it turns out.

I didn't get very many good pictures but here are a few....

This was Friday night on the kiddie rides.  Camryn loved Snoopy.

These were Saturday night at the restaurant we will never go to again.  Grandma with an iPhone and a moving target aren't exactly a good combo....

These were after we got home Sunday.  Camryn missed her brother!  I didn't get a picture of it but right before I took this one Camryn had her rear on the ground and her body and head were resting on Cade's legs.

No, my house isn't crooked.  I was laying on the couch.  Apparantly I was too exhausted to sit up when I took the pictures.  

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Branson 2012

Every year for the past several years my mom, Charity and all the kids have gone to Branson for a weekend sometime during the summer.  Every trip is an adventure.  Every year Jay asks why I continue to go.  For one I keep thinking each year will be better and secondly it is definitly a memory maker....good and bad.

We've delt with Avery's eye swelling shut and spending time at urgent care and then waiting on a prescription for 4 hours....Avery falling through the back of a bench and getting stuck.  I think everyone thought I was terrible but I was laughing so hard I could barely help get her unstuck.  That was the year it rained most of the time...trying different restaurants that always turn into disaster.  Always.  Those are a few of the highlights.

This year was no exception.  Except this year instead of keeping up with Cade I was keeping up with Camryn.  It's been awhile for me to be in this situation.  I'm also 9 years older than I was when I was chasing Cade in Branson.  I'm totally rethinking our vacation plans.  Cade decided he was too old to be on the girl's weekend so he stayed home.  Probably the best for him.

Friday night was ok. We went to a kiddie ride area.  Camryn was too short for any of the rides so she learned about those rides that cost $.25-$.50 and she didn't appreciate when they quit moving. That made her mad.  Then she wanted to run down a steep incline.  All I could see was a skinned nose.  Keeping her away from that was a full time job.  Oh, I should also mention it's been HOT here!  Finally mom and I were done so we walked back to our room with Lawson and Camrym....up and down the hills in their strollers.  We also stopped for ice cream for the kids - but Camryn wouldn't eat hers (surprise surprise).

Saturday was an ok day until we got to the Landing that night.  It was crowded.  We picked the first restaurant we came to because it didn't look too busy.  Mistake #1.  We didn't mean to be high maintenance but that seems to follow us around.  They took our drink order then we waited at least 15 minutes and no one came back with the drinks.  Lawson was upset because he was thirsty.  Charity finally went to the drink station to see if we could get our drinks.  That caused the manager to come over and check with us.  Then Charity ordered fries for her kids to share.  Lawson got restless so she took him outside.  We must've made the waiter nervous because he kept trying to pick the trash up off our table.  Poor guy....I let Camryn play with the sweetner/sugar holder because it was keeping her occupied.  It was all great until she stuffed about 5 of them in her mouth.  The waiter picked up those wet. soppy, nasty, kid spit packets with his bare hands.  I bet her won't be ask quick to pick trash up off a table with kids again....not to mention it is a loosing battle.  He was either new or had no idea about kids because when I asked for extra napkins (before our food came) he kind of glanced at our unused napkins and said ok....Newbie.

When they brought us our food it was someone else delivering it.  I noticed there were no fries so I asked about them.  He said they would be out in a bit.  Then the manager came over to make sure we had everything, mom told her we were missing the fries.  Then the waiter came back to make sure everything looked ok and refill Avery's drink.  Mom said something about we were just waiting on the fries.  Charity was getting back to the table with Lawson as the waiter came back with the refill.  We hadn't had a chance to explain about the fries.  She asked the waiter again about them.  We laughed about it because we asked 4 times about those fries.  I'm sure we were marked as the trouble table of the evening.   Then Charity tasted he Ceaser Salad.  They used fish oil for the dressing.  It was awful.  She ate a little of it but then couldn't eat any more.  I tasted it and it definitely tasted like fish.  Mom did ask our waiter if it was supposed to be made with fish oil....he didn't know what we were talking about.  At that point mom asked for the ticket so we could get out of here. We walked around for awhile before anyone noticed that I had Camryn sized pot roast fingerprints on my back. 

As we were walking around the landing Camryn was in one of those moods where she was so tired she didn't know what she wanted - except she didn't want to do what she was supposed to do.  I don't know how many times she sat down in the middle of the sidewalk and dramatically cried.  I was exhausted. Finally we were about ready to leave the Landing but we were going to get Orange Leaf first.  I saw a table outside big enough for us so I made a beeline for it.  I noticed there was a group of skinny teenage girls wearing too short of shorts coming out of Orange Leaf and heading for the same table.  Technically it was a tie between me and one of the teenagers, except I sat down first and wasn't going to budge.  I heard one of them say as they walked away "I guess we got our table stolen".  Under normal circumstances I try to not be rude but like I told my mom they weren't chasing a crying one year old.  Someday when they have kids of their own they will understand - I also wanted to yell at them they were going to have to give up those short shorts and go to Maxi Dresses when that times comes. 

If the night hadn't already been picture perfect this is where it started to go downhill even faster.  When Mom and Charity sat down with their yogurt I was ready to get mine when I realized I didn't have my wallet.  Mom had paid for dinner so this was the first time I had needed it.  Of course I got that sick feeling.  Then I remembered I had gone through a drive thru earlier to get milk.  I hoped maybe I had forgot to put it back in the diaper bag.  Camryn wouldn't stay with mom so she walked with me so I could check my car.  Did I mention we were in the gravel lot at the Landing???  We got to the end of the Landing and Camryn had settled down so she stayed there with mom while I raced to the car.  My wallet was in the front seat.  Whew.

We went back to Orange Leaf and Charity and her kids were just leaving.  They decided to walk by the lake on the way back to their car.  I got my yogurt and mom and I were heading back to the hotel together.  She was going to stay in the car with Camryn so I could get milk.  Camryn was so tired and fussy.  We tried to put her in her stroller and she wouldn't stay.  Finally about half way through the Landing I picked her up for the 500th time.  We got almost to the parking lot and I looked down and saw Camryn was wearing 1 shoe.  I say this not to sound snotty but so you will fully understand my pain...she was wearing her $32 dollar, only white sandals I could find to fit her fat feet and still be able to walk in them, Striderite sandals.  Ticked doesn't begin to describe what I felt.  If I was a cartoon character I would've had the drawing above my head with all the scribbles.  I threw Camryn at mom and took out to retrace our steps.  Finally I saw it at about the area where I had got her out of the stroller the last time.  I must've had a crazed out of control look because I saw a woman stop and stare at the sandal then she saw me and asked if it was mine.  When I got back to mom she said that about 4 people had stopped to tell her that they saw the sandal but they hadn't wanted to pick it up because they knew we'd be coming back for it, which I appreciate.  I'm sure the red faced screaming toddler wearing one white shoe with a grandma trying to circle the stroller was pretty obvious. 

I was exhausted and sweating profusely by this point.  I had on a Maxi Dress that had chocolate yogurt down the front, it had something wet on the bottom (not sure about that), I had finger prints on my back, my hair was stuck to my head like it does when I get hot and I was done.   As we were walking across the parking lot and Camryn threw down her paci I was almost to my breaking point.   I wanted to just sit down and never move again. 

I was the perfect picture of someone to put on a Sex Ed poster....Abstinence - the only way to avoid looking like this when you are 15....Actually next year we should hire a filmmaker to follow us around all weekend.  It would be a great anti-sex film for schoools.  48 hours of screaming kids....and no short shorts in sight!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Step #5,637 and Birthday Day

I'm not sure how many steps there was to our adoption. At times it felt like it was thousands of them. I'm using the totally ficticious number of 5,638 steps. If that is the case we are finally at our next to the last step of getting all the legal paperwork wrapped up. We got Camryn's birth certificate yesterday!!! That means the last step is applying and receiving her social security card. After that we will have all of the paperwork part of her adoption done. I'm ready to get it all done and put the file that I've started on her away. I realized today that we got the birth certificate on the 20th which is one day shy of her 6 month finalization anniversary. At finalization our attorney told us it would take 3 months to get it. Apparantly after the first of the year the department that sends out birth certificates came to a screeching halt and they got backed up. So if the same thing happens at the social security office maybe we will have her card by the time we reach the 1 year finalization mark????
I'm just glad we have it and feel somewhat normal. When we first started discussing our vacation plans, heading North, we briefly talked about crossing over to Canada. Once we realized how many hours drive time that would add we quickly nixed the idea, but we also didn't think we'd be able to get a passport for Camryn. We aren't going to Canada but at least we could if we wanted to! 

I've also needed to post about her birthday day for awhile.  It was the day after the county fair.  We decided that morning to get in the car and do some driving. After we I got a picture of Camryn with me and her Lambie cake.  We had missed doing that at her party.

   We splurged for lunch at Red Lobster.  Not that it was necessarily Camryn's favorite place to eat but it is ours!  If we ate at Camryn's favorite place we would only have had bottles of milk!  After lunch we wanted to possibly do some wading.  We ended up driving to Rockaway Beach which is close to Branson.   I envisioned a quiet day pretty much just our family around.  Instead we end up with several other people watching these high speed boat races.  It was so loud it really hurt my ears.  We couldn't even hear each other talk.  By the time we made it back to the car Cade and I were a bit grumpy.  He was mad because he didn't get to wade and he was bored (I get so tired of hearing that!).  I was irritated because the day wasn't going like I hoped.  We drove around a bit trying to decide what to do.  Then Jay called a former student who has an in on Dixie Stampede tickets.  He was able to get us 4 tickets at a much much reduced rate.  We ended up seeing the 5:30 show that night.  That redeemed the day for all of us.

Camryn liked the show for the most part.  The animal's held her attention pretty well considering her age.  I did finally take her out of the arena part and she climbed up and down a flight of stairs.  That might have been a mistake because when we were leaving and she saw the stairs she had a breakdown because she wanted to climb them herself.  I have a feeling she's going to be much more independent than Cade is. 

How funny is it that Camryn matches the butterfly out front since we had no idea when we left the house we'd end up there?

On our way back we stopped at Krispy Kreme in Springfield.  Camryn didn't get a cake on her birthday but she did get a birthday donut.  She liked it.

It was a fun spur of the moment day.  The ride home did make us wonder if we should rethink our vacation plans....

I did think about her birthparents a lot that day - more specificially C, her birth mom.  I wondered if she was thinking about it or trying not to think about it or a little of both?  I just pray that they are doing ok and are at peace about their decision.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1 Year Photo Shoot

We had Camryn's 1 year pictures taken June 10th.  I love the photographer I found!!!  We've used New Edge Studio in Carthage for our family pictures last November and Camryn's 6 month pictures.  Each time I think the pictures are better than the last.  If you live in this area and need a photographer give Julie a call!

These were taken at Red Oak II about 7pm.  It was cooler than it had been during the day, but it was still warm.  Camryn wasn't too pleased with her situation in life that evening and the boys were too busy peeking in the windows around the place to focus on pictures.  Keeping Jay and Cade on task was like herding cats!  Since Julie doesn't charge for extra people in pictures we decided to have a few family shots done.  I really didn't know how they would turn out because of the above mentioned situations not to mention I could feel the sweat on my upper lip!  But you'd never know Camryn was a wreck and we were all sweaty. 

I can't believe how old Cade looks in these pictures.  I'm struggling with 5th grade...it just seems so old.  Junior High is just around the corner.

Look at those blue eyes on both of them.  How funny is that???

It is a good thing looks can't kill.  Look at Camryn's face in the big one of us on the left.

And my absolute favorite family picture.....
You can just see how much Camryn loves her brother

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day is another thing widely and hotly debated in the adoption world.  It seems like everyone has a very strong opinion on the term, which actually in adoption there are people with strong opinions about everything.  I do enjoy reading things on occassion that I don't necessarily agree with because it does give me something to think about, but honestly for the most part all I think is blah, blah, blah.  I think there was a Far Side Cartoon one time where it was what cats hear and it was all blah, blah, blah.  That's how I feel a lot of the time.   I've said it probably 1 million times and I'll keep saying it - adoption is such a highly personal thing.  What I think it right for my little family may not be right for some one elses.  And that is ok.  It doesn't make me right or wrong and it doesn't make them right or wrong.  We are just different. 

Will Jay and I celebrate Gotcha Day(or whatever other term is "acceptable")over the years?  I don't know.  We will see how it fits into our family.  We will see how Camryn feels about it as she gets older.  But how could I not mention the fact that we are so very very thankful that God made us a family of 4 one year ago today.  One year ago today, in a courtroom in St Louis, we got us one sweet little girl who has forever changed our family.  At that same time she also got another set of parents who love her fiercely and a brother who is as crazy about her as she is about him.  Not to mention Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc who couldn't love her any more even if she shared their genetics. 
 We are thanking God today that we've seen this face every day for 365 days (acutally I guess that would be 366 since it is a Leap Year?)  Whatever the number is we couldn't be happier - and by the look she gave me this morning I'd say she's pretty happy about it to. 

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County Fair

The County Fair was June 1 & 2.  It ended up being such a nice weekend for it.  Friday night was rainy and cool, but Saturday was perfect.  It was a beautiful day.  I didn't spend a lot of time at the fair though.  I know there are a lot of people who can take their kids anywhere and it doesn't phase them.  I admire them, but I'm not one of them.  It is just to miserable for both of us when I take her places like that.  I think it's also easier on Jay for us when we aren't around because he doesn't have time to help me chase her and I think it makes him feel bad. 

So....we waited until right before the Hereford show started before we got out of the car.  Again, I was thankful for the cooler weather because Camryn would fall asleep in the car on the way to and from the fair.  It was cool enough that we could sit in the car until we needed to be someplace which gave her a chance to nap a little.  When we were walking up to the show Camryn could see all of the "bulls" and she went crazy.  She kept pointing and saying bull over and over.  She had to get out of her stroller so she could see them better.  That's where the day started getting miserable....she wanted to be right at the cattle's feet.  I'd pick her up and move her and she'd turn into a bawling screaming mess.  As soon as I put her down she was right back by the cattle's legs.  We did that over and over and over. 

From what I could tell, when I wasn't hauling Camryn to a safe distance away from the cattle, Cade did a good job.  I think he was the 2nd youngest kid in the Hereford Show.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camryn's 1st Birthday Party

We had Camryn's 1st Birthday party on Sunday, May 27.  Memorial Day Weekend will probably become her standing birthday party date.  It is pretty ironic that we have two kids, none of them were planned, and their birthdates fall at two of Jay's busiest times.  The only way we could make it even better is if we had a 3rd and it was born the end of October.  Oh well.  I don't think Cade is too damaged by it so Camryn should also survive. 

Last summer, while I was off work, I did a lot of internet work so I had pretty much made up my mind about a 1st Birthday theme.  You all know I love decorating for birthday parties so you can imagine how it was decorating for a girl's party.  Not that I haven't loved Cade's parties, it was just fun to do something that involved pink and didn't have wheels or legs attached to it.  I ordered Camryn's birthday outfit last fall, because I'm obsessive like that.  Then I did the decorations to corrdinate with her outfit.

If you haven't figured it out - I love animal print.  If it wouldn't be considered weird I could wear something animal print every day.  I have no idea why I like it so much, but I do.  Jay does not like animal print.  Over the years I kept my obsession in check and only had a few animal print things.  But every time I shop I'm instantly drawn to the animal prints.  Once we got Camryn I went crazy with the prints.  Her room...her clothes...even found a zebra paci.  Jay has been ok with it because he knows I love it and when we were talking about her room he said I deserved to do it how I wanted.  So she has navy zebra curtains floor to ceiling :) 

So....yes the theme was Zebra with Hot Pink and Teal.  Zebra is so big right now that finding stuff to match was easy.  Besides the zebra I was also excited because we were going to have the party outside.  Since Cade and I are March babies we've never done an outdoor party.  Of course when I was building the decorations and setting up in my mind there was no wind blowing in my perfect picture.  I kept having to re-decorate the tables.  I finally taped the zebra napkins to the table.  How something looks always trumps the functionality of it. 

Janella did the cakes - of course.  And of course they matched Camryn's outfit.  I did manage to get the lambie cake done.  Thankfully it only took one try.  It probably doesn't look as good as Grammy's or Aunt Helen's but that's ok.  Camryn will know she had the traditional cake.  Also, the wooden high chair was my grandparents.  I keep it in our kitchen as a decoration but wanted to use it for the party.  I couldn't begin to tell you the number of kids who have sat in that high chair with their lambie cakes.

Camryn was a little unsure about her cake.  Not surprising since she doesn't eat most of the time anyway.  Cade helped her by karate chopping the cake a few times and she thought that was hilarious.  I really don't think she ended up eating much of her cake. 

Jay and I worked really hard to get our yard in order before the party.  I know that I've mentioned it millions of times - but until you deal with a wooded lot you have no idea the sheer number of leaves it produces.  I wish I knew how many pounds of leaves I removed.  It also didn't help that the last two summers we didn't do anything but the bare minimum to get by.  It was like uncovering layers of fossils...oh I found a shingle...what year did we get the new roof...2008.  Nice. 

While I worked on the leaf and flowerbed situaiton Jay built a swingset.  Cade got a metal swingset for his 1st Birthday.  It long ago rusted out so we had to remove it.  We decided to go with wood this time.  Jay ended up hiring one of his students to help him finish it.  There were times over the weekend I wasn't sure everything would be done, but it was.  We are loving the swing set and play on it every night we are home. 

These were taken the first night they got to try it out.  I love these pictures because in the first one it's like Camryn can't believe what Cade has done and then the 2nd one looks like she is tattling on him.  There was a lot of sweat poured out in the days leading up to this party!

But of course it was totally worth it!  I think everyone at the party had a good time.  I get so mad at myself though because I had ideas of different pictures I wanted to take at the party and none of them got done.  When you have a party (even when it's just close family like ours) things happen so fast that the party is over before you even get to sit down.  I wanted pictures of Camryn with her grandparents and her cake.  None of that happened.  But we still had a great party!  Oh, and I'm already thinking about party #2!!!
Clicking on the pictures should make them bigger

Friday, June 8, 2012

I will get the birthday pictures on here by the end of the weekend!

I promise!

Camryn has been sick this week.  It started with a temp that got up to 103 on Tuesday.  Jay kept her on Wednesday and she seemed pretty normal.  By the time I got home that evening she was starting to get fussy and just wanted to be held.  Yesterday she went to Stacy's.  I think she was ok...not quite herself, but not too bad.  When I got her home Jay and I could tell her eyes didn't look right.  She and I stayed home from Cade's game and she slept for a few hours.  While she was sleeping she started sweating.  I'm not sure if she had a fever and it broke or if it was our leather furniture.  It can make you sweat pretty easily.  Then last night she would not sleep.  She felt good enough to use me as a jungle gym, but when she did sleep it wasn't good and she cried a lot.  This morning she was acting ok but as I was getting her out of the car the sun was shining on her just right and I could tell her face was covered in a rash.  Thankfully Stacy has more than likely seen it all with her own kids so she didn't mind keeping her.  Camryn has a doctors appointment at 1:00 pm today.  It was supposed to be her 12 month check-up and shots, but it looks like that won't be happening. 

We've had her on whole milk for about 2 weeks and she's been a little off since then.  I was definitely planninig on talking to the doctor about that today.  What bothers me is that this reminds me of when Cade turned 1.  He got so sick the day of his birthday (March 19) and he didn't get straightened out until well into April.  I hope we get Camryn's figured out quickly and she gets back to her normal destructive self quickly.  We still don't fully know what Cade's whole issue was but we did determine he couldn't handle the fat in whole milk so we moved him to 2%.  How weird will it be if Camryn has the same problem?

This is a boring rambling post - but I'm sleep deprived and can't think straight.  Really hoping she gets better this weekend so I can get a good nights sleep at least one night. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Busy Times

I've got a lot to blog about and several pictures to post...Birthday Party, County Fair, Baseball and Birthday Day. It is just taking me awhile to get the pictures organized. But I did want to post this picture. I think this is a sign of a great but busy weekend. I took it this morning.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

And I thought last year's season was long.....

We just finished our 2nd week of baseball.  We were supposed to have 3 games this week - Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.  We got to our Tuesday night game in Everton and pulled up to an empty field.  Jay called the coach and right as the coach was saying they called and left us a message at 4:30 about the game being cancelled Jay's phone beeped.  It took over an hour for that message to show up.  We drove to the middle of nowhere for no reason. 

Then last night we got to go to Stockton.  It was 60 degrees.  I had Camryn in a jacket with a hood and she fussed and fussed.  I did notice it looks like her back gums are getting puffy so she is probably cutting another tooth.  I'm not sure if she didn't like the cold last night, didn't like the hood on her jacket, or she was ballgamed out - but it wasn't  a pleasant evening.  We had pulled our car to where  I could at least see the game (or at least seem like I was watching the game).  I finally had to sit in there with her.  I changed her into her jammies hoping she would start to settle down and take a bottle and go to sleep.  Yeah right....

Instead she stood on the console.....


Played with the windshield wipers - you can tell by her blurry hands that she was moving it as fast as possible.  Up and down...up and down...

Played with the vents

Back to the windshield wipers

Got mad because the winshield slopes down so far she couldn't climb on the dash like she thought she should be able to do.

And tried to step down from the console on to the floorboard. 

Even though things seemed rough with an infant a year ago I knew this year would be much harder with baseball and cattle showing.  Thank goodness Hereford Jr Nationals are in some awful place in Nebraska because we aren't going.  I couldn't do that for an entire week this year.  All I can picture is her toddling though the barns with the manure covered walkways that get wet and it all runs together into puddles.  Then I picture her loosing her balance and landing on her rear in one of the puddles.  I don't mind if my kids get dirty but I have my limits.  Our county fair is this weekend.  I'm sure Saturday will be enough of chasing her at a show for me for awhile.  At least it is going to be cool.  If it had been last Saturday I would've faked an illness or something.  And the Everton game is re-rescheduled for next week which means 3 games next week again.

Camryn will be as glad to be at home for awhile as I will be after all of this.  If she could talk she'd probably say "get off my back would ya" and "quit following me around".