Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is forever enough

(make sure your speakers are turned up)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Whole Lotta Christmas

So, apparently, when you add a kid to the family, the amount of toys entering your house on that child's first Christmas home goes up by about 500%, rather than what you might be expecting! All of the kids got so much this year. While Dave and the boys were in NC last week, I got rid of sooo much stuff--freecycled a lot, donated a lot, threw away a lot. I thought I'd cleared out enough old to make room for the incoming toy bombs. But what a schoolin' I got yesterday! I actually almost broke into tears last night when I found myself sitting in the middle of what looks like the aftermath of a toy store explosion.

The boys wanted "Snuggies" so badly, and Santa came through!

Some other favorite gifts:

The boys got rollerblades and pads, so there has been some seriously bad skating going on in the house for the last two days. But the fashion statements that go with the skates are so worth the frantic skate-stomping action:

Santa heard through the elves (or maybe I've just yelled loud enough for him to hear it at the North Pole) that the kids have been jumping on the furniture pretty much constantly since the weather has gotten colder. So he came through with an awesome gift the whole family can benefit from--a moonbounce! It's 7 x 7, which is the perfect size to fit in our toy room. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to say to the kids "Why don't you go in the moonbounce until I finish . . . ."

Marley stole some snuggles with Papa Jerry

Cousin Shane helped Marley practice for her Vanna White audition:

Poor Casey threw up on Christmas Eve morning, as well as today. At least Christmas Day was vomit-free for us.

Slightly out of order here, but on Christmas Eve, we brought out the bag of junky Halloween candy from trick-or-treating and the kids used it to make some "holiday houses". It was fun, and after one sticky, ooey-gooey slice, the kids had no interest in eating it anymore, which is great. The process was much more important than the end result. I like those kinds of projects!

Keller's holiday house included a fish pond and car in front!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Storm part deux

The boys and I ventured out into the blizzard to go to a neighborhood friend's house for sled-riding. We stopped at another friend's on the way and left with a promise of cookies for our return voyage. The snow is crazy! We had to walk on the street, and even then, we were in 6 inches of snow in most parts. Fun stuff!

A few new pics of the fresh stuff:

(Can't you just feel the love in this one)

After our adventure, we had a little inside snow time, a.k.a. "Marley eats snow time":

It's beginning to look a lot like. . .marshmallow fluff

Yay! It's beautiful outside, and so quiet. All you can hear is the sound of the snow falling. And man, is it falling! I just measured and as of right now (1:30pm), we have 14 inches of snow on the ground--and the heavier snow has just started falling. We are supposed to get 20-21" total from this storm. So fun! I think tomorrow will be better for sled-riding, as the snow is falling hard and the wind is picking up now. Love it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shirts with "sole"

The kids had two friends visit for a sleepover last night, so we made fun souvenirs from the event. I found this idea in an old Family Fun magazine that I 'borrowed' from a doctor's office recently. My policy is this: you make me wait more than 20 minutes past my scheduled appointment time, I'm most likely going to swipe a magazine. I mean, after 20 or more minutes of waiting, I'm bound to get engrossed in an article or find an idea I want to remember later. Keller says this is illegal. I think waiting too long for scheduled appointments should be illegal.

Anyway, I digress. . .

The five kiddos and I made t-shirts with "sole." Here is a supply list for any who may be interested, followed by step-by-step instructions and photos.

*Plain t-shirts (we had a collection leftover from tie dying, and I picked up a few cheap white undershirts as well)
*Fabric paint
*Cosmetic wedges or pieces of sponge
*Shoe(s) with a cool sole on the bottom
*Contact paper
*Templates or free-hand drawings of things the kids will want on their shirts
*Squares of cardboard to put inside the shirts so the paint doesn't bleed through (I used boxes from frozen pizza which I dug out of the recycling bin)

Step 1:

Cut out a pattern from contact paper (Lesson learned here: If you give kids the option of an elaborate hand-drawn T.Rex or snowman, versus a printable simple cut-out peace sign, they're going to pick the most labor-intensive option for me).

Step 2:

Put a piece of cardboard inside of the shirt. If you need a picture for this, then you might want to reconsider your potential for completing the project ;)

Step 3:

Peel off the backing and stick the contact paper onto the shirt.

Step 4:

Apply fabric paint to the tread of your chosen shoe by using a sponge or cosmetic wedge. (No picture of this one either, as this was the time I had five little pairs of hands grabbing for paint that would permanent dye their clothes, the curtains, and any other fabric they might touch).

Step 5:

Keep reapplying until you have decent coverage on the fabric.

Step 6:

Peel off the contact paper and Voila! It's kind of a messy job to pull off the template, so I took that job to avoid 'cross-contamination' from contact paper to shirts or hands, etc. The shirts need to dry for about 4 hours, and then you are supposed to wait 72 hours before washing.

Step 7:

Scrub the sole of the shoe with liquid soap before it has a chance to dry.

Here are a few other photos of how the kids amused themselves during the sleepover. I love having this little posse of boys who are not afraid to express themselves ;)

(I have incriminating photos of their buddy, too, but decided to leave them off the blog. Basically, I'm okay with embarassing my own kids, but not someone elses!!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Official Entry Essay for 'Mom of the Year' Competition 2009

Dear Most Highly-Regarded Judges,

I would like to share with you an example of my extensive qualifications for the honorable award of 'Mom of the Year.'

Tonight I received a phone call from my daughter's adoption agency coordinator. My husband and sons had already seated themselves at the table for a meal of frozen pizza and canned mandarin oranges, but I excused myself with a polite "Shush--I'm.on.the.phone" and left the room. As I paced the living room in my typical antsy manner, it occurred to me that our adorable toddler was nowhere to be seen. Upon rounding the corner, I saw that she was happily giving herself a facial in the bathroom. Surely you've seen the commercials for Oil of Olay where the women gently splash manicured hands full of water onto their naturally beautiful faces. Apparently, my daughter wanted to have this same experience, so she used the "sink" that was closest to her height. She is 35" tall. I watched in shock as she happily dipped her hands into the water again and rubbed the water onto her adorable baby face. Because I was on the phone with the adoption agency, and not, say, venting to my mother or sister . . .I couldn't proceed in my usual manner of dealing with such things. Instead, I had to silently shoo her out of the bathroom and change her clothes. Through eyes dripping with toilet water, she gave me an utterly bewildered look, but thankfully, complied. Once in her room and stripped down to her diaper, she decided it would be a good time to have a little poop, which was immediately the source of sadness for her (and me) due to the fact that she's been making about 80% of #2s on the potty. Again, I had to silently maneuver my little angel into the bathroom where we wordlessly dumped the contents of her diaper into the proper receptacle. As I searched the bathroom for the missing flushable wipes, she proceeded to sit in several spots on her little potty, the big potty, and the step stool. . . leaving little "prints" all along the way.

I handled all of these issues with nothing more than a firm guiding hand and some well-time and executed facial expressions. For that reason alone, I believe that I deserve the honor of representing mothers everywhere.

If you need further evidence, I will write more tomorrow when our social worker will visit to meet with us and write our 12 month post-placement report. This report will be sent to China and if I have my way, it will not include any mention of the gigantic multi-colored goose egg on our daughter's forehead, the plastic storage tubs full of as-yet-unpacked Christmas decorations in the living room, or the state of our tile kitchen floor (which is currently under review by the health department).

Yours in the spirit of mothering,

Holly Huffman

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Frosty Romance . . .

We're enjoying our first snowfall of the season today. Marley seems to have taken a liking to our snowman!

"Why no pictures of Casey?" you may be thinking. Well, that's because after 10 minutes of preparations and two minutes of playing outside, he decided he'd rather spend his time eating leftover pizza in the warm cozy kitchen.