Monday, June 18, 2012

Zack says...

June 18

Zack is so weird. He wanted to earn some money so I told him he could dust the basement for .50. Then he said: "can I clean up the dog poo in the yard instead?" For fifty cents? Hell ya!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zack says...

On Saturday Dec 2nd, we were all a little stir crazy and Daisy needed to get to bed early so I told Steve I was taking Zack on a date.  We have talked about how we need to spend more one on one time with him but we always feel guilty leaving the other spouse at home. 

I told Zack to get ready we were going on a date.  He asked what we were doing and I said it was a surprise because I really didn't have a plan and figured we could look at some Christmas lights and do a little shopping.  He seemed excited.

When Zack went to get in the car, I told him to sit up front with me.  (Don't leave me any comments about how it's unsafe, the airbag turns off automatically if a certain weight is in the seat and I know he is safer in the back seat but this was a once in a blue-moon-thing.)  Zack was excited and said "Well that's how it should be on a date!"

I asked him what we should do and he didn't know so I asked him if we should go to a movie.  He said no because that would be wasting all our time and it was getting late.  Ha!  So I told him we would go see some Christmas lights. 

We drove over to my brothers neighborhood where there is a house with about 50 huge blow-up Christmas decorations all over the house, yard and in the trees.  It's so hideous it's cool!  We sat in front of the house and commented on all the decor for quite a while. 

Next I decided we would go to the house in Murray that has all the lights all over it and you tune your radio to a station that plays music which is synchronized with the light show.  It's really cute and we usually go every year.  It was quite a hit and Zack and I enjoyed the show. 

Next we were off to Christmas Street in the Harvard Yale area.  Boo.  It has gotten quite lame over the years and we were not that impressed.  But we had fun talking while we drove all over the city. 

On the way home we stopped to get ice cream at the Sub Zero shop.  They make your ice cream from scratch right before your eyes.  You pick a flavor and add-ins, they put those with cream and sugar in a metal bowl and then they shoot liquid nitrogen into the bowl and freeze it up soft, medium or hard.  You pick.  We loved watching it freeze and our creations were delish.  Zack ordered egg nog flavor with butterscotch syrup and recess pieces.  It was actually pretty good. 

On Sunday morning we were walking into church and Zack turned to me and said "I had a really fun time on our date last night."  Success!  What a cute boy, I love him to pieces!

Zack had a fun Christmas I think.  He got a Halo figure toy from Santa along with a portable speaker for his I-pod.  He also got some video games and the family got some games to share.  He was also happy to see that mom and dad were given an I-pad by Santa and he now begs to play on it and buy games all the time, much to mom's annoyance since it is her toy.  From mom and dad he got several nerf guns and nerf accessories, and some books.

Every year Zacks school has a spelling bee fundraiser.  There are 50 words and we get our family to pleadge an amount for every word he gets correct.  This is the 3rd year (out of 3) that he has gotten all 50 correct!  He works hard to memorize them and has a great mind for it!

Zack recently earned his Wolf badge in scouts.  We have some great leaders and Steve has done a good job helping him get all of his requirements done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Daisy's Diary

Daisy is getting bigger and smarter and cuter every day!  We can't believe how smart she is.  Here is what she has been up to lately:

She looooves to wear hats!

She also loves to wear any one's shoes or slippers.  (This is the face she makes when you tell her to smile!)

I may have mentioned that Daisy hasn't slept well since we got home.  I started her on Magnesium supplements about a month ago and although it helped a little, it wasn't enough.  I had an appointment with her pediatrician soon after I started that and I took a list of labs I wanted drawn.  He consented to do them, although I am sure he didn't think it was necessary.  There was a whole slew of tests and only two turned out to be a problem.  She has low iron (which can contribute to bad sleeping) and she was positive for H. Pylori bacteria in her gut.  I had noticed that she seemed to be refluxing the past 2 weeks at night and having stomach aches, so that was probably why.  The doctor ordered two antibiotics and prevacid.  She is almost done with the 2 week coarse and she has slept through the night the past 5 nights!  I hope we have found the cure to our sleeping woes!  Hopefully it lasts!

She loves to eat pencil erasers and crayons.  No writing utensil is safe from her!  She has recently gotten really picky about eating.  In fact she rarely wants to eat a meal and just prefers to snack.  It makes me crazy because I'm so worried about her growing and being healthy.  She mostly wants cereal, cheese, milk, juice, crackers and any junk food she can find.  She recently discovered pop corn and lovingly calls it "pop pop".

She is developing quite an attitude lately.  She loves to sternly say "no!" to any question we ask her.  Especially if I ask her if she has a poopy diaper, it's always "no!"

One thing she doesn't say no to is when we ask if she loves us. Soon after my last post where I said she shakes her head no to that question, she started shaking her head yes! Ever since then she has always said yes. If you tell her you love her she says: "Love you" in her cute little voice. When she gives kisses she says "mah".

Daisy now has about 50 words or phrases that she says.  The pediatrician couldn't believe her language skills considering she has only heard English for about 5 1/2 months.  She loves to talk on the phone and the other day she had a complete conversation with Steve.  She said, "Hello?  Hi dada.  Bye bye",  at all the appropriate times.  She can turn anything into a phone (just like Zack used to turn everything into a gun when he was little) and walks around the house "talking".

She knows her name and refers to herself as "Dizzy" while poking herself in the chest.

The other day I set her on her newly laundered changing table pad.  She pointed at it and said "poople".  Then she pointed at her crib bedding and said "poople".  These items are all lavender in color.  Little smartie!  Now we just need to get her to identify the other colors and she'll be ready for kindergarten! 

Zack continues to be an awesome big brother and can make her laugh like nobody else can.  I'll have to remember to get it on video!  She loves to go into his room and "steal" things.  I usually find them in her mouth.  She also loves to tear up his Poke Mon cards and his books which makes him really mad. 

Last month was Halloween and Daisy was a fairy.  The Saturday before Halloween our church had a trunk or treat so we got the kids dressed up and went.  She seemed fine during the party, although she was a little scared of some of the decorations.  That night she didn't sleep much, and I slept even less!  After that, I decided we needed to keep Halloween really low key so we sent Zack trick or treating with some of his friends and we went to Auntie Lori's Halloween party and ate soup and treats.  Luckily there were not too many strangers at her party and Daisy didn't get to overstimulated.  She slept better that night.  I am surprised that a baby her age would know what "scary" is, but she does. 

Daisy with Grandpa A at Auntie Lori's Halloween party

Daisy and Zack at the church Trunk or Treat.  Daisy was petrified of Zack when he first came down with his makeup on.

Speaking of scared, lately she has been really sensitive to sounds around the house.  If someone knocks on the door she cowers in fear.  At my mom's house if she hears the sounds that houses sometimes make, she jumps into my moms arms and cries.  I'm not sure where this all the sudden came from, hopefully it's just a phase.

Daisy is always busy.  Busy destroying something, eating something, climbing something, or doing a "job".  She is constantly getting into cupboards and drawers and "organizing" them.  The other day she felt like a good place for my silicone oven mitt would be the toilet.  I found it floating in there at the end of the day.  One day she passed out water bottles to everyone.  She is also very good at throwing things in the garbage.

My poor oven mitt.  I almost sent it to the garbage.  (Don't judge me by my disgusting toilet, we had some gastro problems right before this!)

Daisy has recently gotten very good at blowing her nose.  I only mention it because I remember being frustrated that Zack couldn't blow his nose until he was quite a bit older (I swear he was at least 3 or 4) and I hated him having a snotty nose and no way to get it out.  She blows like a champ!  I think she's quite advanced. 

Daisy continues to love her baths and love drinking the bath water.  She has discovered that she can recline against the back of the tub and she loves to just chill in this position.  She also begs to play with shaving cream!

As of about a month ago, Daisy didn't really care if we left her somewhere.  We stayed with her in the nursery at church because we felt like we shouldn't leave her for attachment purposes.  Well, as soon as we decided she was doing well enough to be left, we tried it and she was not having it!  So each week at church Steve and I take turns staying in the nursery with her.  We are happy to do it and happy that she wants us to stay!  We have been able to leave her with a baby sitter at our house a couple of times and she has done really well.  I think she feels secure in her own home. 

On November 5th, Steve was able to give Daisy a name and a blessing at church.  She was really good and didn't make a peep.  It was a really nice blessing, which I tried to write down but Steve was talking so fast I don't think I got it all.  He will try to remember and write it all out based on my notes.  I hope he can so we can have it for her baby book. 

Blessing Day

On November 19th, we were able to go as a family to the Draper temple and be sealed together.  We kept it really small with just our immediate family there.  Daisy was good up until the ceremony and then she wanted Steve to hold her (at a point when he couldn't) and so she screamed like crazy.  The sealer talked really loud and fast and I tried not to laugh.  She was so mad!  Luckily it's a fast ceremony and so it was a short tantrum and then Steve picked her up and she was happy.  It was a really nice day and we are grateful for our families and their support and love and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Zack and Daisy had to get out some of their energy after having to be so reverent for so long!

(L-R) Grandpa A, Auntie Lori, Grandma A, The A family, Grandma R, Grandpa R, Uncle Mike, Great-Grandma Mary, Auntie Ally, Uncle Sean, Auntie Sheri

On both days Daisy wore a beautiful white outfit that we bought in China.  I was able to take her to get her portrait done with the dress on and the pictures turned out really nice.  I don't know if I can post them because of copy write issues though.

Things are really settling down, especially since we are getting a little more sleep and are able to get out on a date once in a while.  We are enjoying Daisy and her spunk and are so happy to have her be ours.  We love her to pieces!

Sometimes Daisy needs a little "time-out".  I stay right by her so it's more like a time-in and lasts about 45 seconds.  When she is done she says "sorry"!  (She really only gets a time out when she starts destroying something, we ask her to stop and she looks at us and does it anyway!)

Zack says...

On Monday night:

Dad to Zack:   Why do we have Family Home Evening? (Which is a really funny question because we DON'T have FHE, except on rare occasions when I get my crap together.)

Z: To...celebrate...literature...with Jesus?

D:  Uh, yeah.  So, what song do you want to sing?

Z:  (Without pause) She'll be coming round the mountain!?

FHE is awesome.


The other night I put Zack to bed and before I could get downstairs to watch my shows I heard him start to cry.  I went back in to ask him what was wrong and he basically told me he felt bad for dad.  I asked why and the gist of it was that Zack felt like he had been neglecting his dad and not spending enough time with him because he was busy with other stuff like playing with friends.  I assured him that his dad was OK and knows that Zack loves him.  I encouraged him to make sure and thank Steve for all the nice things he does for Zack. He is so cute and tender hearted!


This summer we decided it would be fun to put Zack in tackle football.  We had no idea what we were in for (at least I didn't), and the commitment that this would be for our whole family.  Practice started at the beginning of August and was 5 days a week, every night from 6-8.  Missing a practice was out of the question, it's just not done.  Steve took Zack to every practice and stayed for moral support.  I thought he was being a little overbearing until I went to a practice and witnessed the spectacle myself.  If a kid is late, he runs.  If he makes a mistake, he runs and sometimes the whole team has to run with him.  The coaches yelled (I mean the kind of yelling where you loose your voice) at and berated the kids constantly.  On the first practice of the season, 2 kids puked.  These are 8 and 9 year old kids.  When school started, practice changed to 3 nights a week with games on Saturdays.  Steve and I didn't really see each other much because he would come home and go straight to practice.  Also, we didn't end up eating dinner until about 8:30 every night.  The stress level in our house was already really high due to having a new baby who was always sick and not sleeping and this just tipped the scales even farther.  I was not happy. 

But... Steve and Zack had some really great bonding over this experience.  I think it was really good for Zack to learn discipline and really be immersed in something he couldn't just quit when the going got tuff.  And it was really tuff!  There were about 24 players on the team.  There were about 8 kids who didn't get much play time at all and Zack was once of those, although he was on a special team (kick off return) so he got a little more time than the others.  Zack worked really hard and in the last game of the season they let him have a starting position (on the corner, playing defense).  At the end of season awards banquet the coaches said something nice about each team member.  They said that Zack was the most improved player of the year by far.  He started off a little slow but worked hard and earned that starting position.  We are very proud of him for his hard work and perseverance.  When we ask him if he wants to play next year he is unsure.  We will see how he feels next summer.  If mom has her way he won't play but if dad has his way we will be a football family forever!

Our handsome boy!

I should also mention that their team won every game but one and went to the championship playoffs in 1st place.  They won the first championship game and then lost the second and last game to the West team.


Zack was a football zombie for Halloween.

Zack with his Pinewood Derby car.  He didn't win any speed awards but he had an awful lot of fun making his car with his dad.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Signs that made us laugh

I have been going through all of our pictures from our adoption trip and in the next couple of weeks I will be adding them to the posts I did while we were there.

While we were in Japan and China, we ran across a lot of funny signs.  Some had been translated to make no sense and some were just plain funny.  We tried to take pictures of the best ones, here they are.

Typical garbage can in China, sometimes they even talk to you.  Glad to see they take recycling seriously, although I suspect they just separate it like this so that the people who dig through the garbage's with their tongs will have an easier time of finding what they want.  You would HATE to come across ORGANISM while looking for bottles to recycle!

In Japan they call a moving sidewalk a travelator!

China, at the Forbidden Palace.  We just thought it was funny that they used the word perilous instead of dangerous.

At the Zoo in Guangzhou.  In the cool panda exhibit there were these weird icy patches on the wall, apparently they are  very dangerous!


The "rules" at a park in Japan.


It seems that spitting on train conductors is common enough in Japan that they need a sign about it.

The staff at this museum in Japan didn't seem particularly grouchy...

We all know that Coke is not only refreshing but spiritual too! 

Who you calling a knockhead?!  (And why is he dressed in a bee costume?)

How do you rape a mushroom and how do you spend a spiced elbow?  And whose elbow is it anyway?

We did NOT eat at this restaurant, although Steve probably would have if we had asked.

Not all the stores in China are 'convenient'.

In China they charge for children based on height, not age.

Like I said, no one in China speaks English...even the 'professional' translators.

Found in a park amongst the foliage.  Sounds like a Haiku.

This was also the weirdest grass I have ever seen.  I'm not sure it was real.

They got one of the N's going the correct direction!

Seen in the panda exhibit at the zoo.  Anyone know what culms are?  And how do you cavil?

Silly groveling Panda!

Rotten tourists!

And boy did we feed that giraffe with joy!

I have a special request NOT to be there when mosquito medicament is SPURTED!  Yikes! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Daisy's Diary

This cute baby has been keeping me a) too tired to blog and b) too busy to blog.  We are all still adjusting to having The Energizer Bunny Daisy join our family, but I think we are finally in the toddler groove.  We all love her to pieces and can't stop kissing her, much to her annoyance.

She has grown and developed so much in almost 4 months of being home, it is amazing!

Like I said in my last post, she has understood almost everything we say since about 2 weeks after she came to us.  She will shake her head yes or no for most things we ask her.  She follows commands like, "Go put the book in your room", or "Put it in the garbage", and much more.  She is also happy to pick up the messes she makes and wipe up her own spills!  I know that won't last so I'm milking it while I can. 

One thing I am not sure she understands is when we ask her if she loves mama or dada, she shakes her head NO! vigorously.  I would like to think she doesn't know what we're talking about but I have a feeling she does since we tell her we love her while kissing and hugging her.  It's kind of sad but I have to remember that if someone replaced my family (a foster family but the only family she knew) with a new family out of the blue, without any warning it would sure as heck take me more than 4 months to love those new people!  We are happy to give her time and we are not worried because she is a happy baby, loves to laugh at our antics and seems to generally enjoy life.  She will also give us kisses when we ask her, most of the time. :)   

She has recently really started talking, has quite a few words she uses spontaneously and will try to imitate almost any word we ask her to say. 

These are the words she now says by herself:  mama, dada, Zack, Daisy, grandma, ball, up, down, out, car, baby, ouch, flower, sock, ah oh, don't touch, all gone, peek-a-boo, book, Jesus, doggie, fish, birdie, bye bye, cracker, trick or treat (when we tell her to). 

The other day I went to get in the car and wondered out loud where my keys were.  I set Daisy down and ran to look for them all over the house.  After a minute I found them, went back down stairs, picked her up and started for the car when she said, "there it is!"  It took me a minute to realize she was referring to my keys!  Little smarty pants!

When Daisy first met us, she would eat anything and everything.  She took bottles from me and I fed her baby food with a spoon.  Slowly she has stopped the bottles, will only take a sippy cup or straw and she will not allow us to feed her.  She has to do it herself and she likes to use a spoon.  This makes for one messy baby!  She goes through at least 2 outfits per day and could use 2 baths a day but I just give her a lot of good wipe downs.  She has become a bit pickier and loves junk food, especially Cheetos and chocolate milk and loves Grandpa Rodgers because he sneaks her chocolate!  She also has a great love for Simpson's kibble.  So gross!  She does not like beef, avocado, cottage cheese and fruit, except apples and bananas. 

She's just getting started on the mess!

Miss Daisy is super active.  She is going, going all day long.  She LOVES being twirled, thrown, tossed, dropped and caught, and turned upside down.  She also jumps off heights into our arms (sometimes when we are least expecting it) and loves "jumping" on the tramp.  She recently started doing somersaults!  If she finds Zack's Razor scooter, she tries to ride it, but it is too heavy for her and falls to the ground taking her with it.  She enjoyed going to the pool all summer long and asked to ride the water slides at the water park.  She loves water and if she finds the garden hose running or the sprinklers on she is soaked within a minute.  Since she loves water so much we have to keep Simpson's water dish outside.  A few times she has gotten to it and dumped it all over the kitchen floor, then she slips and falls down repeatedly while trying to escape her mama's high pitched "NOOOOOOOO!", which then makes mama laugh hysterically.  (I know it's mean to laugh at a falling down baby but it is seriously funny to see her soaking wet, slipping and sliding all over the kitchen with such a guilty look on her face.)

Getting ready to jump to Zack.  She can do this all day at the pool!

She also loves to climb things.  She climbs onto the kitchen table, tried to climb the deck railing, climbs ladders, and once climbed the stove!  Luckily it wasn't on but the oven door opened and threw her to the ground!  She tried it once more but I was able to stop her in time.  So far she has not tried to climb out of her crib, but I expect it any day. 

One night Zack volunteered to get Daisy ready for bed.  Changed her diaper, put her in her jammies and read her a story.  It was awesome!

Daisy loooooves Zack.  Probably because he is the best brother ever.  He plays with her all the time, carries her around on piggy back, makes her laugh, reads to her, takes her outside to play and he has even happily changed her diaper!  When he is home she follows him around and tries to steal toys from his room but he always catches her and gets the toys back because they are choking hazards and he is a good brother like that.  He has never said a negative thing about having a new sister or loosing a big portion of our attention.  It makes Steve and I so happy to see them together.  

Lovin the piggy back ride

Daisy is not a good sleeper.  She doesn't like to fall asleep and it can take 30-60 minutes to get her down at night.  We have to rock her to sleep and she fights it every step of the way.  Once she is asleep she might wake up anywhere from 3 to 12 times.  When she wakes we have to go in and pat her, but sometimes we have to rock her back to sleep, sometimes she is just awake for an hour or two.  Sometimes I sleep on an air mattress on the floor of her room so I can say "shhh" every time she cries.  She just really needs to know we are there.  We have tried having her sleep with us but that is just not going to work for any of us.  Letting her "cry it out" is not an option.  If you want to know why, you will need to go read a book on attaching to an adopted post-institutionalized child.  I can recommend a few if you're interested.  :)  We are trying magnesium supplements, I will report on how that works out.  The good news is she naps well, 2-3 hours in the mornings, which sometimes allows me to nap too.

She has been sick quite a bit.  When she came to us in China she had a terrible cough/cold.  It started to go away but returned when we got home.  Then she got 4 molars.  Then she got an ear infection.  Then she got Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease.  She has been on 3 antibiotics in less than 4 months.  I hope we can keep her well for a while, but winter is coming.  Sigh.   

Ready to go!

A few other tid bits:  She is getting better at riding in the car and can last about 45 minutes before she gets too antsy.  She likes to chastise Simpson.  I think we need to model better behavior for her!  She loves putting on shoes and walking around, even if they don't fit or have wheels on them!  She enjoys watching cartoons in the morning with a cup of dry cereal and a sippy of milk.  This gives mom time to wake up and become functional. (Who am I kidding, I'm not functional until at least noon.) 

Future roller derby girl!

Daisy has been saying mama and dada since we got home and we assumed she was referring to us but now I am not so sure because of something that happened about a week ago.  We were sitting in the rocker, getting ready for a nap and she looked at me and said "mama?" and I said "yes, I'm your mama."  She got this look on her face like she had had a revelation and then said "mama!"  Ever since then she pats me and says "mama!" all the time and does the same to her dada.  It makes me sad and happy all at the same time.  I hope she will be happy with us as her family.  We are so happy to have her as our daughter and sister and love her so much!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thursday the 9th

Today was the longest day of travel I have ever experienced.  We were at the airport by 8:30, for our flight to leave at 11:00 am.  We had some time to kill so ate breakfast and shopped for some candy.

Steve thinking:  "Why are these seats so $%^*ing close together?!
Our flight was 12 hours long to San Francisco.  Many have asked how the baby did.  She did amazingly well considering how boring 12 hours stuck on some one's lap is.  She fell asleep right before take off and slept maybe 2 hours and was awake the rest of the flight!  Yikes!  I had hoped she would sleep longer.  She ate food, played with toys, climbed up my body and waved at everyone behind us, walked the aisles and stopped to talk to anyone who was awake, waved at everyone and smiled her charming smile.  She also ripped up all the magazines, threw toys, and screamed really loud (but no tantrums thank goodness).  Luckily they fed us a lot so she was happy about that.  I did not sleep a wink.

Our plane arrived in San Fran around 10:00 am and we had a 5 hour layover to look forward too although to us it was really like midnight and we all just wanted our beds.

We made it through customs and immigration and then took Daisy outside to step on U.S. soil and officially become and American citizen.

First one foot...
then the other!  It's official!  Daisy is an American citizen!
Steve wanted to take the BART into the city and see some stuff which made my mom, Zack and I want to cry.  So we didn't.  Instead we got into the security line so we could go find our gate and wait out our now 4 hours.

While coming through security they made me wake up Daisy who was finally asleep in the carrier strapped to me so she could go through security in my arms instead of strapped to me with fabric.  Isn't that what x-ray is for?!  Whatever!  Then they "randomly" pulled Zack aside to PAT HIM DOWN.  But, they made him wait in this glass box until the official groper could come do his thing.  He was clearly terrified and I tried to pantomime to him that it was OK but I could see the tears forming.  They finally did their thing and we were through, Steve gathering up all our many items, all of us trying to put our shoes back on, me holding a baby not in a sling, trying to keep her asleep and trying to comfort poor Zack who was still terrified and now wailing and shaking in fear.  I have never been so livid.  I had to spend some time reassuring Zack that he had not done anything wrong and that they were all a**holes.  Allowing an innocent, sleep deprived, 8 year old child to be terrorized in the name of security does not give me comfort while flying.  It makes me never want to take my child on a plane again.    

After this trauma, we staked out a table near our gate and tried to rest.  About 2 minutes after I sat down, Daisy woke up.  Great.  We spent the next 4 hours chasing her through the airport as she tried to meet strangers, eat anything on the ground, poop her pants, and scream bloody murder.  It was awesome.  I was so tired I think I was hallucinating.  Zack slept on the bench at the table for most of it.

Finally, we boarded our plane bound for home.  I think Daisy was asleep on Steve but I don't remember because I immediately fell asleep with my head in my lap and was only roused when the plane landed at 5:00 PM.  Did you know sleeping hunched over like that for 2 hours really hurts once you get up?  I had a headache of migraine proportions and my whole body ached.  Death would have been a welcome relief.

But, there was no time to die.  Luggage had to be gathered and we had to get home.  My cute sister Ally and my dad picked us up at the airport and Ally had a darling candy basket and balloons.  We got into our car and had a nice quiet drive home without any near death experiences on the road.  What a welcome change that was.

When we got into our house it was clear we had had a home invasion!

My cute friends in our neighborhood had come and decorated our house with tons of balloons and streamers and posters to welcome us home.  They has also brought dinner for that evening and lots of good food to eat the next week and a gift bag full of stuff for Zack.  I almost cried!  Our other friends, the C family were perfect to think of Zack and they left him a darling candy gram poster.  It was so nice and we have the best friends and families who are always so caring and supportive!  Thank you all!

That night I got 4 whole hours of sleep!  Yea!  Welcome home baby Daisy!