**Is your child soooo happy and excited that it's Christmas? **Does your child have a meltdown if you tell him you will not buy him a nutcracker?
**Does your child tell you how many days till Christmas, 5 times each day, smiling like he will burst? **Does your child cry and whine because the Christmas CD you burned him isn't up to snuff?
**Does your child break out in Christmas song and ask to hear Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer 8 times in a row in the car? **Does your child whip you repeatedly with his new scarf while you drive the car and get offended when you yell and confiscate the scarf?
**Does your child ask you: "What have you always wanted for Christmas? I will buy it for you!" **Does your child bounce off the pews in church, fight with his friend in primary, storm out of his primary classroom and glare at his primary teachers?
**Does your child happily declare that he is giving all his money ($2) to his Uncle (Jeff) for Christmas? **Does your child get mad and refuse to sit on Santa's lap because he already sat on Santa's lap and this is a different Santa and he already told him what he wanted and how many Santa's are there anyway?
**Does your child freely admit that he was disobedient at the church Christmas party, agree to clean the car as his consequence and then happily finish the task? **Does your child eat nothing but candy all day, stolen from candy dishes around the house and then have a donut for lunch? (OK the donut was my idea!)
**Does your child go around excitedly telling people all of the things he's getting for Christmas because he circled them in a toy catalog so that means he must be getting them? **Does your child poke your dog with a fork to see what will happen?
**Does your child wear a fur trimmed Santa hat around the house and try to get the dog to wear one too? **Does your child refuse to get out of the car and go into ONE MORE store?
Think your child might be going crazy? Nope, it's just Christmas.
A little while ago I asked Zack if he could help me with the Christmas cards. He wasn't too excited about it but said he would. I thought he could help put the stamps on. Anyway, I have been getting everything ready, he had lunch, etc. A minute ago he came downstairs and said:
Z: (Firmly) Mom, I can't help you, I have too much to do.
M: Oh really? What do you have to do?
Z: I have to organize all my Lego's, not play with them, organize them. It's going to take a long time.
M: That's OK, organizing is important.
Z: Yeah. Note the blur of hands as he quickly sorts! I have taught him well!
So, Steve and I went to bed slightly angry tonight.
Well, he went to bed, I am up playing on the computer. Even though "they" say never to go to bed angry, we do. In the morning I have forgotten all about it. Steve usually calls me from work mid-morning wondering if everything is OK and I'm like: "what?"
Anyway, back to my question. Steve and I are disagreeing on the amount of "stuff" and "things" to get Zack for Christmas. I need your unbiased advice and want to know how you handle Christmas gifts at your house. So, I won't tell you which of us is who, so you won't feel bad taking sides.
One of us thinks that if a kid asks Santa for something, they should get it. (Within reason, you would have to somehow explain why Santa couldn't bring a swimming pool or a new baby!) This same person thinks it's OK to spend money in December and add it all up in January, when you pay the bill. You just buy stuff until you feel done. You KNOW when you're done.
The other of us thinks that there should be a $100 limit on all Christmas gifts per child. Period.
So, if child in question asks Santa for a Nintendo DS Lite, which costs at least $130, not including games, then you are already over the budget and there are still no presents from that child's parents. What to do? Does Santa need to give said child something else? Something he didn't ask for? Is it acceptable to be disappointed on Christmas morning? Does it ruin the spirit of Christmas if you "spoil" your child? Is it worth having your spouse mad at you if you go against their wishes?
So, tell me what you think. How do you handle things like this?
Disclaimer: Steve and I are not in a big fight over this, we just disagree. This is not going to cause a giant rift in our marriage.
On Saturday Zack visited a friend who has a "webkin" and came home insisting that he must have one. Zack is given a weekly allowance of $2.50 so any toys he wants have to be purchased by him (unless it's Christmas, birthday or earned in some other way). So, he got to work and drew this depiction of his intended purchase. He was told they were $6 and he wanted the elephant version. He was also told they were sold at Walmart. He placed $14 (all the money he owns) inside the folded drawing and taped it up. So today after school he grabbed the drawing and off we went to Walmart. Well, just in case you are looking for Webkins this holiday season, Walmart does not have them. We had to go to the Red Balloon and they were $14.99. Guess who's not getting a Christmas present from Zack this year? Anyway, he is thrilled with his purchase and can't wait to buy clothes for his elephant next time he saves up a mere $5-$10!
I hope everyone has a great day today! We are excited to spend it at my moms house with my family and extended family. It will be crowded and chaotic (over 30 people) but really fun. We are cooking one of the turkey's and a green bean casserole. Actually Steve is cooking the turkey because I HATE touching raw poultry and last time I did it I left the gross innards inside the cavity. Who knew they were there? Ewww!
I am thankful for: my great husband and his patience, my miracle boy Zacky, our great supportive families, our ever helpful and fun friends, our jobs and education, our country, and of coarse my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bring on the turkey! (I swear I am going to the gym starting next week!)
Last weekend we had a great trip to Las Vegas with our friends Mitch and Kris. We went without the kids and it was very relaxing. We stayed in the Hilton timeshare on the strip, which was really nice. The only negatives of the trip were that the day before we were to leave, I came down with a major flu/infection. I felt like I was going to die Thursday morning when I woke up. I was so sick I was considering going to the hospital (I have to be pretty sick to even go to the doctor). So, I asked Steve to give me a blessing, which he kindly did, then I took some drugs and went to sleep. When I woke up a couple hours latter I felt like a new woman. The power of the priesthood is very real, and I am so thankful to have a husband worthy to hold it. We hastily packed and called our friends and we were off!
The other negative was that Steve and I had to sit through a 2 hour timeshare presentation on Friday. Steve is so good at those things! He knew just how to steer it so the guy didn't have any false hopes that we were interested. We were out of there in 1 hour 30 minutes! I think my coughing and looking miserable might have helped too!
That night we ate at the seafood buffet at the Rio and then we were off to see "O" at the Bellagio. We love Cirque De Soleil and it was a very enjoyable show. We saw Mystere a few years ago and we actually liked it better, if you are trying to decide which of the two to see. The stage for "O" was amazing though and it was a good time. After the show, we walked around the strip a little and then ended up eating yummy crepes at the Paris Hotel. They were really good! (No wonder someone asked me if I was pregnant the other night at work! Guess it's time to get back to the gym!)
Both nights we went back to our room and filled up the huge bathtub for a nice soak with my book. I love a bath and a good book!
On Saturday we ate at our favorite, In and Out Burger and then we saw the movie Twilight. It was OK, but I have a few criticisms. Bella BUGGED me to death! That's as far as I'll go for now. After the movie, we dropped the boys off at the Mirage to watch THE game and Kris and I headed off for some shopping at the outlet mall. I got some great stuff! It has been a long time since Kris and I shopped together, we used to shop constantly when we were in high school and it brought back so many fun memories! When the boys called that the game was over we reluctantly went and picked them up, found a neat Caribbean restaurant that Steve's dad recommended, then headed to St. George. Kris's family has a vacation home there where we have been able to stay a few times.
Sunday morning we got up, ate a good hearty breakfast and we were home by five. We missed Zacky but it was good to get away for a few days and he had a good time with his Grandparents and Uncle Sean even had him stay over one night. We love our little getaway's and recommend them to all parents!
We sat in the balcony at "O" but even thought the seats were high up and far away, we saw everything just fine.
Friday night on the strip. Two words: people watching!
Happy 8 Years Anniversary Hunny Bunny! I couldn't have picked a better guy to be my husband and I am so thankful for our marriage. Your life really is determined by the decisions you make, I am not lucky, I made a really great decision when I decided to marry Steve. (I guess I was lucky to have met him!) But I can't take all the credit, I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has helped me to make the decisions that have led me in my life to this point. I am truly blessed. Here's to then next 8 years, and the 8 after that, and then 8 more, 8....keep going....I love you!
Then: our engagement picture in the year 2000
Now: 8 years later, still happy in love
(I'm a day late for this post but I worked all day yesterday and then I was too tired to blog.)
On Friday night at midnight I began making chili for our wards super Saturday activity. I started by chopping onions and toward the end I got lazy and stupidly chopped my finger. Ouch! I cut off 1/4 of my fingernail and a big chunk of flesh underneath the nail. Steve calmly dressed my wound after he found out I really hadn't "cut off" my finger as I had screamed at him from the kitchen. What does this have to do with Family Home Evening you ask?
On Monday night I had to call in sick to work because my finger was still totally raw and bloody and you can't be a good ICU nurse with a bloody finger. So, we decided to go get our annual flu shots for FHE (family home evening). We told Zack we were going somewhere and then we would go get Gelato after. When we pulled into the Smiths parking lot (they have a clinic inside the store where Intermountain employees can get free shots for their whole family), Zack got really mad and said it was totally stupid to go to Smiths for FHE. I agreed it was stupid and told him why we were there, which he also thought was stupid. Oh well. What are you going to do? In we went to be greeted by the most unhappy medical "professional" I have ever met. First off she yelled at me because I thought I needed to show her my badge when really she needed my insurance card. Then she was testy on the phone to some poor person, probably her husband.
We entered the room to get our shots, Steve went first, no problem, then it was Zacks turn. He had been crying the whole time and it got worse. Then he wouldn't cooperate, flailing about, so Steve and I had to hold him down on the bed. Well, Nervous Nurse SLAMS the shot down on his arm and as she pushes the plunger, the liquid explodes all over our faces, none of it going into Zacks arm. (I am not sure if there was a defective needle or if she hit his bone or what.) Then she yells out "S**T"! And just stares at the needle sticking out of his arm. Finally she takes the needle out and informs us that it will have to be re-done. Obviously, we knew that because the fluid was all over our faces and in Steves eye which is now pink. She quickly re-did it, this time correctly and then I got mine and we ran out of there. There was a family waiting outside the room when we came out and you should have seen the looks on those kids faces. Pure terror! I actually can't believe I was as nice about it as I was, I guess I realize that everyone has bad days, and maybe she was new. I bet she cried when she got home that night.
Since Zack was so upset I told him we would take him to buy a new Lego set, shopping always makes everything better! And ice cream.
On Saturday night Steve and I went with my parents and my sister Ally and her husband Mike to the Body Worlds exhibit. It was amazing! We really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone, it was well worth the ticket price. The human body is so incredible, I got a little choked up when we walked in and saw the first body (I can't explain why, I just am so amazed at what God created). I cannot believe what they can do with this plastination! My favorite room was the baby room, for once I was able to show my family how small some of my patients at work have been. If you do decide to go, try to go on a weekday, it was really busy and even though we had tickets for 4:30, we still had to wait in line for an hour to get in. Click here for a video of what you will see. FYI, the website said to plan on 90 minutes to get through the exhibit, but we were there until almost 8:00pm (with 4:30 tickets) so plan for more time. Also, Zack really wanted to go but I am glad we did not take him, it was too long and he would have gotten bored after a while and I wouldn't have been able to concentrate on everything as well.
Afterward we met some more of my siblings for dinner at the Himalayan Kitchen. We love going there for Indian and Nepalese food. If you like that kind of food, I recommend it, and try the Mo Mo's and the chow chow. Yum!
Zack at his Halloween parade at School. He wasn't shy at all!
Zack with Deidra's mom.
Ready to go trick-or-treating. This year I nervously let him go with some kids from the neighborhood. (Some of them are older so I knew he was in good hands.) He is getting so big!
After trick-or-treating we went to Steve's sister Lori's house for soup and scones, a tradition she has had since she moved back a few years ago. Lori is the black widow, next to cousin Brook, who is next to step-daughter Sierra.
Steve, Zack, Grandma and Grandpa (Steve's parents). No costumes?
Zack didn't have school on Halloween so we spent the day carving pumpkins. I used a template to do this one.
Zack designed this one himself and I cut it out for him. Both of these pumpkins were home grown in our garden. Out of 4 pumpkin plants planted, we got two measely pumpkins! That shows what a green thumb I have. We will try again next year! (This pumpkin is actually quite large, but the other one was pretty small)
For family home evening one night we made this scary gingerbread house. Zack was the designer and I was the assistant. Steve took a nap on the couch. (I sure am glad that I don't have a stressful, full-time job!)
While we were at the Tower of Terror (see below) Zack came across some leather wrist bands (like a bracelet, wide leather with snaps, you know?) He wanted to buy them for $8 each and said they were what "dudes" wear. Where did he come up with this concept of DUDES?
Our little "Dude" getting ready to go "hunting" with daddy
A couple of weeks ago (I know, I am soooo slow!) we went on our annual California trip. We usually go in May so it was nice to switch things up and go in the fall this time. The weather was so perfect! Hot on our beach days and warm on our Disneyland days. We stayed with Steve's brother as usual in his comfy house in the beautiful Laguna Niguel area. It is 5 minutes from the beach and 30 minutes from Disneyland. He is so great to let us come every year and he even spent a day with us at Disneyland which made it that much more fun.
We spent one day at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure. We spent three days at the beach and we also were able to go to the beloved Orange County Market and do some shopping and drink fresh squeezed lemonade. I could have stayed all day, despite that fact that I was coming down with some dreaded illness and I felt like poop. I love shopping!
Also on our agenda was EATING. We have our favorites and we usually hit them all on our trips to Cali. First off is In-And-Out Burger, then a fish taco joint, then Jack In The Box (per Steve's request, I could skip this one). That's the extent of our fast food tour. Next is sushi in Laguna Beach, Shabu-Shabu in Little Tokyo, and Yaki Niku in Costa Mesa. The Yaki Niku was a first this year and we are going to try and find a better restaurant next year (if you have any recommendations in the area). We also indulged in Japanese pears via Costco and some delish Hagen Das chocolate-chocolate ice cream bars (only allowed on vacation). I almost forgot, on our way there we stopped overnight in Mesquite and had a surprisingly good prime rib dinner for only $4.99. We'll do that again!
We all had a really fun, relaxing trip and we realize how blessed we are to be able to take fun trips like this. It is something that is important to us both, making time for R and R, having fun and making family memories that Zack will have his whole life.
Uncle Shawns Macaw, Skyler. Deidra can't get too close to her because Skyler hates her (she hates most women so I don't take it personally). Zack likes to look at her but not hold her because her claws are sharp and scary. She's really pretty and talks alot.
This day we were at Newport beach. Zack is warming up after playing in the water. Deidra's idea of a good time at the beach is reading her book!
This was the first time Zack tried boogie boarding and he was really good at it. He just didn't like getting the water in his mouth!
Notice the hat Zack picked out, it has a strap on front where you can attach the sunglasses that came with it.
Since Deidra doesn't ride circular rides, Steve took Zack on this one. See Zack waving his Mickey Mouse hat?
I think we were the last people to leave the park that night, it was deserted! Right across from where we are standing is the best soft serve ice cream we have ever had. Zack had cotton candy flavoring on his cone and I had a root beer float, Yum!
We almost didn't ride this ride, the line was 30 minutes long but we decided to anyway. I can't remember the name of it but it was something to do with Buzz and Woody and it was super fun. It was like an arcade game where you shoot at stuff and get points (kind of like the buzz ride at Disneyland but different). For the first time in my life I got a higher score than Steve on something! Yes! It was well worth the wait.
So excited waiting to ride the Tower of Terror!
We tried to go back to Disneyland after CA closed but it was Friday night and soooo busy we couldn't stand it. We rode like 3 rides, got caught in the parade traffic and then got out of there. We were starving by then (ice cream only holds you over for so long) so we went to the IHOP across the street for a dinner breakfast. Kids eat free...yeah!
Our family and Uncle Shawn on Big Thunder Railroad
We love Disneyland!
Deidra was really wet after Splash Mountain! (Well, we all were but I got it the worst)
When we were almost to the end of Splash Mountain, the ride broke. We sat, soaking wet in the chilly cave for about 10 minutes before we were rescued by a cast member who kept calling us "loggers". He helped us out of the boats and we had to shimmy along a ledge to the exit door. Zack didn't want to get this close to the bunny but we made him.
Even though the cast member told him not to, Steve kept filming and taking pictures while we found our way from the back lot to the magic that is Disneyland.
On Wednesday Zack's kindergarten had their annual Circus Performance. His teacher assigned him the part of monkey, which I thought was totally appropriate and asked that we send him in a monkey costume, but that there would be a monkey mask provided for him. My mom and I spent some time making him a really cute costume out of brown sweats and some fur. We got a brown hat and sewed on some cute monkey ears made from the fur too. He was darling in it! So the day came, we invited the grandparents and a couple of uncles, and Steve planned to go into work late that day. The performance started and there he was in his cute costume and mask on (which happened to have ears attached to it). I assumed he was singing all along but it was hard to know since he had the mask on.
Then it was finally time for the monkey number, last but not least. All the monkeys trooped up to the front of the stage, all except for Zack. He stayed firmly planted in the rafters, despite the teacher aids attempts to get him to go up with the other monkeys. She finally gave up and left him there. (Did I state that he was the cutest monkey there? He was!) So, while the other monkeys performed, my monkey removed his mask and scowled at me throughout the number. There may have even been some foot stomping going on.
After the number was over Mrs Bailey, said a few words and then she said that she wanted Zack to come up and show off his cute costume that his grandma had made him. She had to literally carry him off the rafters and he was really shy but he stood there with her.
Then the program was over and all the proud parents greeted their happy children. Mine came running to me, jumped on my lap and burst into tears. I told him he was so brave for being in the program and singing the songs. He told me he didn't sing at all. He was too mad because he had to wear 4 ears! He was upset because he was wearing the hat with the ears and the mask also had ears! What a silly boy. I could tell his heart was a little broken because he just cried and cried. I tried to reassure him and told him that no one cared if he had four ears, he was still an awesome monkey. But more than the ear issue I know that it is really just him being so scared to be up there in front of everyone. These are the times that you realize how much you love your kids! My heart was broken for him.
I don't know what to do with him, whenever we have a primary program he won't even go up to the stage with out kicking and screaming and then he just stands up there and scowls at everyone. No singing. He won't participate in sharing time to give a talk or a prayer either. I am hoping he will just grow out of it and I am trying to be really nice about it so he is not traumatized for life. I have even tried bribery. I told him that if he would go up and sing in the primary program and say his part that I would buy him the Lego Deathstar. (It is $399.99!) He wasn't swayed much by my offer and then we ended up gong out of town anyway so we were both off the hook. If anyone has any advice of how I can help him get over this fear, I'm open!
There he is with his four ears (six if you count his own!)
If looks could kill! I think that kid just asked him why he wasn't up with the other monkey's!
Zack with his Uncle Jeff
He wasn't happy to be singled out but at least he stood there! Mrs Bailey was so nice to him, hugged him and loved him after the program.
Last Thursday my sister Ally got married to the most awesome guy Mike. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple. It was a great day and we had so much fun! Mike comes from a really fun family and it was fun to get to know them better too. We hope Mike and Ally enjoyed it as much as we did and that they are happy forever more. Congrats guys, we love you! Here are the preliminary pictures, it's all I have for now.
"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy you". Dr. Wayne Dyer
Daisy - 15 months old
She loves the bath!
Daisy Yu Chen
Referral Picture - about 5 months old
Our Adoption Timeline
January 2010 - Cousin suggested China SN program, contacted Wasatch International, got info pack
May 2010 - Decided to start China SN adoption
July 2010 - Signed contracts with WIA (Wasatch)
August and September 2010 - Homestudy visits and education done
October 20, 2010 - Mailed I-800A October 27, 2010 - Received our referral October 28, 2010 - LOI sent November 2, 2010 - PA November 9, 2010 - Fingerprints done December 3, 2010 - I800A approval December 21, 2010 - Mailed Dossier Jan 10, 2011 - LID February 24, 2011 - LOA (45 days) March 3, 2011 - Sent I-800 March 21, 2011 - I-800 approval April 4, 2011 - NVC cabled April 20, 2011 - Article 5