Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy??? Naaaaaaaah! Why would I be busy?

I can't believe that it's been over a month since I have posted anything!!!! We have been having so much fun this summer!!! I am going to break it down into manageable chunks:).

May 25-May 31:

We came home from my Auntie Susie's house and celebrated by watching the Memorial Day parade. Earlier that week, the junior high band practiced marching and playing patriotic tunes up and down our street. For 3 days in a row Vivi and Tonito would hear the music and then run outside to sit by the curb and wave and clap for them. Vivi told me when she gets bigger she wants to play the violin in a parade (she has loved the violin since we introduced "cri-cri," a violin-playing cricket from Mexico). Tonito is so diligent about waving and clapping, and will keep doing so until the last tuba passes by and is acknowledged by his little praise. He and Vivi loved the idea that kids on floats threw out candy to them!! (who doesn't love free treats?)

Later that week my friend Christy came in from Toronto for our college roomie's wedding (Yay Loren!). I took her to see the Mexican Fine Arts Museum in Chicago (now known as the National Museum of Mexican Art). I have taken a couple of high school Spanish classes to this museum before, and I was trying to determine which was more difficult: 3 kids under 4 or 150 immature and hormonally-charged teenagers. My kids won the challenge. Needless to say they loved looking at the alebrijes and mystical animals, and wanted to touch e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. After chasing the kids through the exhibits, we walked in the rain to Nuevo Leon restaurant, a loud (perfect for boisterous toddlers) and delicious Mexican restaurant. The third time to the potty I noticed that they now had added diaper changing stations (TMI- Christy- do you remember taking Vivi there when she was a baby and changing her explosion by holding her over the toilet!!?).
June 1-June 7:

We were so excited that papi took a day off to come with us to the Children's Museum!! There are a couple of Children's Museums in the area, and we hadn't visited this one before. It was definitely geared toward a little bit older kids, because it had a lot of dramatic play opportunities. Here the kids are making sandwiches at the "Potbelly" restaurant (everything kid sized!), shopping at Dominick's supermarket, and then playing in the beloved water rooms. We loved having papi there to navigate through the chaos of nannies chatting away while their charges ran wild.

So cute!!! They made us sandwiches at Potbelly's (above) and then below they each got a shopping list and had to find the different fruit, veggies, etc. They both LOVED it!

On the weekend Tonio and I decided to try and make paella. We used to do this thing where every month we had a theme, and then every weekend we had to make a meal of the special theme or ingredient. This is our "date-night," where we don't have to hire a babysitter, we get a good meal and we can gab about the week while we're cooking. The paella didn't really turn out- I mean, it was edible but if you closed your eyes you weren't transported to Spain:). But hey, we did it without a recipe, and the next time we will investigate beforehand.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Auntie Susie's house and frog hunters!

We went up to Auntie Susie's house for Memorial Day weekend and had a blast playing in the sand, riding in the pontoon boat, canoeing, and attempting to catch the bunny-sized bullfrogs groaning around her property (Krystal was successful despite the piercing screams of Keaton:).

As soon as I get it from Keaton, I'll post a hilarious video of the sheer terror (TERROR) caused by the small green amphibian...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last day of preschool!

Wednesday was Vivi's last day of preschool! She adored her teachers, and had such a fun time at school, I wish we could stay in the same class for next year! Recently, our local newspaper had a little essay writing contest called "My teacher is the best because..."

I asked Vivi about her 3 teachers and then transcribed exactly what she said. Her is her "essay," which was in the paper on her last day at school!

My teachers it the best because Mrs. H makes silly faces and she likes my earrings. Mrs. U plays with me and does stickers with me. And I color with Mrs. U too. Mrs. W helps me with scissors and she paints. My teachers give me snacks. They get my princess clothes on and take it off. Mrs. U helps me paint and she reads stories about a bunny and about a bug. I help my teachers. I love my teachers. I played with my teachers and I get my shoes on.
My mom has been a preschool teacher for 30 years, and I can tell you that they don't do it for the money! They really love these kids, and love helping them develop, grow, and reach their potential.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa's!

We love Grandma's house!!!

Tonio had to go out of town for the week (and weekend to visit his family in Mexico) so we went to sleep at Grandma and Grandpa's for a couple of nights. Tonito got to experience shopping at Trader Joe's for the first time- he LOVED the mini shopping carts, and very quickly started loading food into his own cart! The kids got balloons and ABC cookies- what could be better??

Maya has some kind of cold or allergies or something, because she has been coughing on and off for over a month. I am SOOOOOOO tired from getting up at 5am with her for the past couple of weeks!! Sometimes I can bring her back into bed with me and she'll sleep until 6, but sometimes she is really "talkative" (ie screeching and laughing) and then crashes at 8am. I am desperate for a more consistent schedule! She has her 9 month appt coming up, so hopefully I can find out what's going on with her and can get her sleeping all of the hours she needs to every day.

My sister had her prom this weekend, and when she came down in her gorgeous dress, it took Vivi's breath away "Mimi's a princess!" She loved her hair, her nails, her shoes, and most of all, her princess dress!!! "Mommy when I bigger I a princess like Mimi!" Of course mi amor! But I think papi will have to interrogate and eliminate your dates sweetie:). I can't believe how beautiful and mature my little sister is!!! I remember when she was Vivi's age running around dressing up like a princess, and now here she is going to prom:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Helping Grandpa with the mulch!

Yay! We finally got mulch for under our trampoline and playsets!!! It looks a million times better and the kids can finally play without getting muddy. Riding in a wheelbarrow is so fun!
While we were watching my dad fill in the mulch, Tonito stepped backwards and fell head first down the deck stairs into the grass- right in front of me! I grabbed his arm but he had already fallen so fast. I can't believe how much he trips! He is very dramatic with huge crocodile tears streaming down his little cheeks when he gets an owie, but really he just wants a little bit of attention, kisses, hugs, and then he is perfectly fine. Fortunately we think he has a really hard skull:). In other developments, he now says "gracias mommy" whenever I give him anything to eat, and also repeats Vivi in almost everything she says such as "I can do it" when he wants to do it by himself. He still is a fantastic eater and sleeper, and every day we see what a sweet little boy he is. He is very loving, and likes when we give him special attention and TLC. Just this week he started getting worried if I was too far ahead of him on our walk or at the park- he calls out "mommy!" This tiny sign of anxiety is actually a great sign of bonding, and one that adoptive parents hope for. Although eveyone thinks it is cute that he gives hugs to anyone, it is actually healthy attachment when he is a little shy of strangers and a little clingy to mommy and papi. I am thrilled to see this attachment starting to develop with me (and Tonio, although I think he already is very bonded with his papi!). Another cute personality trait is his affection towards Maya- he already learned our little song and nickname for her (Maya-boo) and likes to pat her on the head, give her hugs, and sing to her when she is upset. Vivi always looks out for Maya and tries to make her laugh if she is crying, and Tonito has definitely picked up on this, which means she now has 2 little entertainers when mommy is busy:).
Although life with 3 kids is insanely busy, we absolutely love it and wouldn't change anything! (OK, one little tiny detail I would change would be being able to sleep until 7am and being able to take a shower once in a while, but other than that we're peachy:).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day- A mommy to 3!?

Vivi and Tonito painted flower pots for my mom and then planted four o'clocks in them:).

I can't believe that last Mother's Day I was a mommy to 1 two year old and this Mother's Day I am a mommy to 3 little ones!!!! I am the luckiest mom in the world. Vivi gave be a beautiful flower painted with her picture in it that she had made at pre-school, Tonito "drew" a picture for me, and Maya just looked cute and cooed and drooled on me. We had a nice breakfast together, and we were going to go to the zoo, but it was absolutely pouring!!!! Instead we had a barbecue at Grandma and Grandpa's house all day and played dominoes, ate and ate, and let the kids play with all of Grandma's fun toys. I think she has more toys than we do (seriously) because she used to be a preschool teacher and has so many manipulatives, and sets of dinosaurs, cars, a dollhouse, puzzles, etc... the kids LOVE going to her house and seeing what toys will be out that day.:)

I really can't believe that I am a minivan-driving (I never thought I would own a minivan!!! Where is the minivan hybrid??? What other car fits 3 huge carseats!? And I really love the space!:)), stay-at-home (which does NOT mean I am a non-working mom!), full-fledged soccer mom- whoops, my kids aren't in soccer yet, but you get the idea. I have the 3 most precious, kindest, funniest (and klutziest- is that a word? I spellchecked it so it must be) and most beautiful kids in the world. They have a mom who is their teacher-doctor-chauffer-counselor-personal chef-coach-storyteller and entertainer, who tries her best but does not always know what she is doing, definitely isn't Martha Stewart, is trying to be the most patient, but more than anything loves them like crazy. I think we are a good fit!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Click to play Tonito's Announcement
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox postcard

This is going out in the mail today:). I made it into a postcard on snapfish, and on the back it has details of his birthday and when he came home, etc. Click on "play" and then you can click on each picture after they load.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday barbecue and Thank you Auntie Pat!

What a relaxing weekend- the kids went to the zoo with papi on Saturday, and then on Sunday we took a long walk and had a picnic in the park. These are some pictures from Sunday's dinner- ribs, turkey hot dogs, and asparagus on the grill (what a combo:), spinach salad and bean salad. The kids both ate their first hot dogs!!! I can't believe Vivi ate it (she's my self-proclaimed vegetarian). Of course Tonito ate it- he likes everything so far, even the 2 salads!

Today we got a fun package in the mail from Auntie Pat, Uncle Pete, Nate, Anna and Jenna in Wisconsin!!!:) Thank you guys soooo much!!! Vivi loved her princess dress (which she immediately put on and didn't take it off again until it was bathtime!), Tonito got a bug house (which already has some ants and a ladybug) and bubble maker, Maya showed off her beautiful sunhat, and all the kids got pinwheels!!! They LOVED the presents Auntie Pat!!! We already used up the entire bottle of bubbles- taking turns of course. What a fantastic summer-y package to open up on this gorgeous day. FUN!!!:)
You can always click on the picture to make it bigger:).