Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Flight and Quarantine Scare





Our flight leaving Tampa to Chicago left on time and Regan loved her first plane ride! We were in the very back row and I was so relieved because I didn't have to worry about her disturbing the people behind us. She loved flying through the clouds and picking through her carry on for what she would like to play with. The excitement of this flight was that it was the bumpiest I have ever been on. The fasten seat belt was on the entire 3 1/2 hours and the pilot came on several times to reassure everyone that everything was okay. The woman across the aisle from me had a very rough time and was obviously terrified. Regan was fine and actually fell asleep for about an hour. The landing was also the bumpiest I have ever been through and there were lots of claps and cheers when we landed. Regan was a little unsure of the landing and held on tight to my arm.


The Chicago leg of the journey started over an hour late. Something about how they couldn't take off without a head wind and so we had to wait for the wind to shift. Regan was a little shifty during this long wait on the plane, but overall did well. My mom was lucky that she had two empty seats beside her and so she was able to stretch out. Our airline was wonderful and the seats had monitors for every seat. Regan thought this was pretty special and loved that she was able to watch her own tv. I tried watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past about ten times but each time it would start something would happen to interrupt my viewing. Bummer! Another favorite part of Regan's flight was mealtime. She insisted on ordering her own drinks and had a blast arranging her food on her tray. She was thrilled that during breakfast they had cantaloupe.
I have to admit that I was very apprehensive about the flight process with Regan. She is not known to sit still or have an inside voice and I was so worried she would lose it while on the plane. I am happy to say that she did great. She spent most of the fourteen hours of the second flight sleeping. She wanted to sleep on top of me and so I slept on our two seats and she laid on top of me and that is how she slept for several hours.

Once we arrived in New Delhi, we had to sit on the tarmac for an hour while we waited for a gate to open up. Once we arrived, Regan's stroller was no where to be found. I tried to find somebody who knew where it was, but no luck. There were several security guards with machine guns watching the flights disembark. Konnor thought that was pretty neat! Immigration had a huge line and so we stopped to use the restroom. It was one of the filthiest restrooms that I have encountered. Truly disgusting. What was so ironic was that it was right in front of the health checkpoints where they were checking everyone's temperatures to screen for swine flu. Signs all over about washing hands and proper hygiene and not 10 feet away was a cesspool of germs and filth.


At this point, Regan was absolutely exhausted and whiny and refused to walk. I go up to healthcheck point and realize that two of the healthcare workers are pointing and talking about me. They take your temperature by screening you with an infrared light that detects your temperature. Sure enough, I get pulled aside and she tells me that the light is showing that I am running a high temperature. She then takes out an oral thermometer, swabs it with some unidentified substance and tells me that I have to have my temperature double checked. Regan is crying and beside herself at this point, my brother has paid not attention and already gone through customs and my mom and Konnor are on the other side of the line hoping I get through.
The woman pulls out my thermometer and tells me it is registering at 100 degrees. She calls over somebody else who asks me a billion questions about whether I have aches, pains, sore throat etc. He takes my pulse and declares that I look hot to him (and not in a good way!). They allow me to give Regan to my mom and escort me to another waiting area outside the filthy bathrooms where they hand me a mask. I sit there with this scarlet letter of a mask with three other men who are obviously together and think this is all great fun. I could not share in their humor and I begin to cry because I am a cryer (something I so wish I could change about myself, luckily I'm a silent crier!!). Another gentleman comes over and tells me that I am being held and to hand over my passport and wait on the chairs. I am really, really scared at this point. One of the men waiting tells me that this was the holding area that we stay at until they send us into quarantine. After about 30 minutes or so I go into the office to ask them why I am waiting and they shoo me away and tell me to go sit down. Not wanting to cause an international scene I do as I am told but then realize that the other three men are free to mingle and so I go to the gate to give my mom the contact number of the agency and the orphanage director. I wanted her to have the information in case this didn't go well. The gentlemen who took my passport came out to look for me, but was fine when I waved at him to show him I hadn't jumped the fence ;). I return to my seat where I sit for another forty five minutes or so. My mom and brother are on the other side keeping the kids as occupied as they can. As I am sitting there, I realize that I am not going to be totally passive about this situation. I am usually very passive, but I felt fine and did not feel sick at all.


Another gentleman came out to tell me that they were holding my passport and I was being transferred to another area in the airport where I was going to be held in quarantine for 24 hours while they ran tests and continued to take my temperature. If I tested negative and had normal temperatures they would let me go at that time. If I didn't, I would have to stay in quarantine at a hospital for 5 days and receive medications. He tells me to gather my things for the transfer and I tell him that I do not think I am sick, that I had been carrying my daughter throughout the airport while holding a huge backpack and that I think I was overheated. I ask him to please, please retake my temperature. He looks at me with skepticism, but I ask him again to please take it, what could it hurt? He stated he did not know I was holding my daughter and that yes he would have it retaken.


He had me go to another checkpoint where they then took an axillary temperature. The health person calls my gentleman over and they begin to talk loudly with much gesturing and pointing at the other health point check. He tells me nothing and to return to my original seat. He then goes in and has another big discussion with the original official. That official comes out with my passport and I about cry again in relief. He gives me a huge lecture on calling if I feel ill and that they will let me go at this time. I come through to the other side with huge relief!!!


I couldn't get through customs fast enough. This whole time I was being paged to go to the information desk, but they would not let me contact information. The paging was from the airlines as they wondered why I hadn't picked up my luggage. It was now after one am and I was worried that my driver would not have waited as we were almost four hours late. Luckily, he was and so we didn't have to navigate the huge throngs of people outside waiting to accost you. I have never been so glad to reach a hotel!!

We've Arrived

Updates at www.happyshepherd.blogspot.com or www.journeytome.com

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Rocking Worlds

Today I was walking through the mall because I realized I don't have a suitcase. I guess when I went to China I had borrowed Joel's. Somehow, it took me until today to realize that I didn't have anything to pack my clothes in!

So anyway, I'm walking through the mall and Regan is whining and begging to be picked up. Those of you who know us know that she wants to be carried, sit on my lap, or be somehow touching me at pretty much all times. I have been making her walk more and more because she is 3 1/2 and somedays feels like a ton. Othertimes, I am in a hurry and it is just easier to pick her up and go. As I'm trying to make her walk because I have things in my hands, I realized that this is the last week that my arms will only be devoted to her. That this is the last week that I'll be able to pick her up and carry her without leaving a little boy without a mom to carry him.

I think often about how not only is Shepherd's world about to be rocked, but so is Regan's. Don't get me wrong, we are so looking forward to finally bringing Shepherd into our family, but I also know it is going to be very difficult for Regan and probably myself to adjust. My heart hurts for her because I know that our dynamic is about to change. On the other hand, I also know that we are meant to be a family of three and I love Shepherd dearly. Some people may not understand how you can love a little boy living half way across the world based on a picture and some videos, but I do.

I picked Regan up and carried her through the mall realizing that this is a moment to be enjoyed because not only will my arms be fuller and busier, but pretty soon she will also be too big to be carried.

Just thoughts of the day. I'll post later about Regan and Konnor's week at soccer camp and our Home Depot projects!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Have The Best Friends in the World!

I don't know how I got so lucky, because I am surely very guilty of not always being the best of friends (not intentionally, but somehow I never really have my life together!), but I have the best friends in the world!

Especially now, when life is CRAZY busy I have several friends texting, emailing, and calling to make sure that I am okay and to ask how they can help. You guys know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday and yesterday, I spent ALL day on the internet and phone trying to get plane reservations to India. It seems that mid-August is the worst time to try to book tickets because people are ending their summer vacations. After trying to book online, I realized the online systems would not let me book a one way child ticket. I called the airlines directly and their solution to the problem was just to buy a round trip ticket and use it to get Shepherd home from India and then I could travel back to India sometime within the next 12 months. Um, not so much Continental Airlines. Two thousand dollars later and then I would be stuck in India?!?!? Where is the logic? The online airline places (especially one with a gnome mascot!) really irritated me as I would spend alot of time finding tickets and they would advertise one price and by the time you clicked on the "Buy Now" button, the tickets would jump up in price to almost four thousand dollars. It was all a scam, that initial low price.

Three travel agents later and they said they had super deals for me.....at three thousand dollars a ticket! Not my idea of a super deal. Seems they could not find plane tickets back to the US. I actually talked to somebody in New Delhi directly and although she was very nice, she had no solution to the problem and said I could just try to find plane tickets home once we arrived in India. Not a gamble I'm willing to take. I was on the phone all day yesterday so much that as I was trying to get the passports in the mail for the visas and buy some essentials my battery died. I can't wait to get that phone bill.

As it stands now, I still do not have tickets, but two agencies think they have tickets on hold for us. They both are closed this weekend so we'll see what happens on Monday. Unfortunately, we may be flying out of Tampa, Jacksonville, or Miami as that is they only way to make the tickets under two thousand dollars. Yikes!!!

Regan is also sick again. I think the crazy schedule and her stress is making her sick. For those of you who do not know her well, she is VERY clingy to me. She has a hard time when intially away from me although I know she is find once I'm gone. At home, she even gets jealous if I spend time with the dogs and so we have really been working on her acceptance of that! The only person she doesn't get jealous of is Konnor. I think it is because he has always been there, even from the very beginning while we were in China. She always wants to be held and carried and although I do think having a brother is going to be a positive thing for her, I anticipate she is going to have a very hard adjustment. We talk all the time about what we are preparing for, and I think she is really starting to feel it as she is extra clingy and does not want me out of her sight. So, I am spending time with just her and reassuring her, but she is having some rough patches.

Today, I"m trying to get her well, trying to find my phone charger, and going to paint some rooms in my mom's house. Tomorrow, I"m hoping to get my house repainted. Yay!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Slightly Stressed

To say I'm just a little stressed is an understatement! I talked with Katie, my social worker, on Friday at 5 PM about time for travel. I was hoping to leave the first week of September. My mom is not allowed to take off from her job at the school district in the month of April because it is the end of their fiscal year (she is assistant director of financial accouting), I am in the middle of a couple of patients at the outpatient clinic that I need to follow up on bracing for the children, I could begin my first two weeks at the schools, Konnor could attend his first week of second grade, etc, etc, etc.

Katie said I had to leave the first week of August because my immigration paperwork expires at that time! Yikes! I knew it expired soon, but thought it would be no big deal to get an extension. For those of you not familiar with international adoption information, you must get preapproval from the Citizenship and Immigration services to bring a child back into the country. It depends on your completed homestudy, fingerprints from the Dept. of Homeland Security, and other things. I would probably be able to update my homestudy and get an extension with no difficulty, but she didn't want it to cause any problems with the US Embassy in Delhi. Vijay, the orphanage director, schedules our Embassy appointment to obtain Shepherd's visa to come into the US. She wants to schedule it right away because of the dates on some of my paperwork, including my 171H (immigration paper). Katie says the embassy appointment will probably be on August 10th. She wants me to leave for India on the 8th. Since I want to see the Taj Mahal before we pick up Shepherd, I will be leaving earlier!

I am so not ready. I have sooooo many things to do to be ready to leave work, and have the house ready for me to leave, and find boarding for the dogs. My grandmother is going to be watching Marmaduke, but Daisy is a runner and so she has to be boarded. That means of trip up to Gainesville to drop off the animals. Sometimes I feel like I am about to lose my ever lovin' mind! I can not believe that in three short weeks, Brudder will be home! Yikes!! I need to get off this computer and start getting stuff done!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All About "Brudder"


Regan wants to talk all about her "Brudder". This has become his new name although for official purposes he will be known as Asher Shepherd ;) Shepherd is waiting for us in New Delhi, India at the SOS Children's Orphanage. He was born on September 26, 2005 so he will soon be turning four! He is 3 1/2 months older than Regan. Yikes!! I will update tomorrow on the process from India, but it has been a breeze and I recommend this program for anyone. There are so many children waiting, it is heartbreaking. We will be leaving in 3-5 weeks to pick him up!!!!

video

*I will be taking Regan to see a Speech Language Pathologist in the fall again because I do not like how she sticks out her tongue when pronouncing certain words.

For more about Brudder visit: http://www.happyshepherd.blogspot.com/

The process for a waiting child from India is alot different from the China process. I sent my dossier in October and had to wait for the Indian courts to issue a NOC (No Objection Certificate) stating that they agreed to process my case - they had "no objection!". I got NOC on January 2 of this year. I then had to wait to go through the actual court process. Yesterday I received the call that I had received guardianship. This means that India agrees that I may be Shepherd's guardian. This came more quickly then I thought it would as they usually ask for updated or more paperwork and they asked me for nothing! I finalize the adoption 6 months after arriving home. Also different from China as the adoption was final in China and she automatically became a US citizen as soon as she touch US soil.

On top of all that, I started back to school! I am going to school to pursue a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology through USF. Many reasons that I won't bore people with.....I briefly thought about a Doctorate in PT, but it wouldn't change my job position or really benefit me. As a PT and an SLP, I should be secure in either job and will be able to provide for the family no matter how old I am, where I live, etc. I just finished my first semester and have make a decision about what to do for next semester!
video

This was taken in January. Sorry it is a video of my tv, I can't get my DVD player to work on my computer. I have another video from last month that I'll try to download.

Ta Da!



You guys are good!!!! More details to follow - I got a couple of emails "suggesting" I let the cat out of the bag!!! I'll post more later tonight! Can anybody guess sex, age, and country?!?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Regan's Announcement


Regan has something that she would like to announce. Just for fun, if you think you can guess what it is, leave a comment with your guess. For those of you that might already know, please keep it a secret just to see if anybody else can guess!

Crafting and Maya's Party




Saturday, we headed up to St. Augustine to celebrate the birthday of my friend's daughter. Little Maya was turning two! We stopped at my grandparent's house as they live about 4 hours north of us. St. Augustine Beach is then another hour or so of driving. Regan was soooo excited to see her mama and papa and ran right into the house to see them. She didn't want to leave to go to the party, but we had to. The night before she slept for 5.5 hours and didn't sleep at all on the way up north. She slept about 20 minutes on our trip to St. Augustine Beach and didn't sleep at all on the way back to my grandparents! I think she was too excited to sleep. I had little sleep too, because I waited until the last minute to make Maya's presents. I made her two shirts and a bag and I also made Regan a shirt. It felt so good to be able to do some crafting.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Love Summer and Bump Its

Summer is obviously wearing them out!!
Why can I never get a natural smile out of Regan?!?!?

Hard at work.
In progress.
Below is Regan ready to go out. She does this every day.....picks out her clothes, her accessories, and her shoes. Today she ignored shoes, but had a bracelet, necklace, sunglasses, and a "crown".

This was Regan when she was sick. She didn't eat for days and the only thing she would drink was sweet tea. So, I obliged. I like in this picture how you can see she is fingering her shirt. She has done this since she came home to comfort herself although she prefers my sleeve.

I officially am starting summer vacation. I still work two half days at the outpatient clinic, but it feels soooooo good to be off from work. I could so be a stay at home mom. I really, really want to be one. Anyway, on the fourth, we headed to Home Depot where the kids did a craft. Regan is so into crafts. This one had an extra special bonus as you had to use glue - Regan was in heaven!!

Tomorrow, we are heading to North Florida to spend a couple of hours with my grandparents and Regan is going to her friend Maya's birthday party. It is going to be a long day - about 12 hours travel total. We can't spend the night because of the animals, but I"m really looking forward to seeing my grandparents.
Regan's newest obsession is with Bump Its. Ever seen that stupid commercial for bump its? I say obsessed because Regan never does an interest half way, she jumps right in and talks, and talks, and talks about it. Wants to go to the library to get books about it, has to tell every one about it, etc. She wants Bump Its soooooo bad. I'm going to try to rig something for her, because there is no way I'm buying a ridiculous plastic hair comb for $19.99 (plus shipping and handling!).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can You Explain

See how precious she is when she sleeps?!?! I haven't seen too much of that sleeping face lately and mommy needs her sleep! These pictures were taken almost two years ago, look how little she was!


Why it is 11 o'clock in the evening and my child is still not asleep?!?! We have always had sleeping issues, from day one. Just when I think we have conquered a particular stage of some sort of sleep disturbane, we move onto another stage that is equally exasperating. A couple of months ago it was staying in bed. I fixed that by shutting the door each time I caught her up and out of bed. She was not allowed to re-open the door. She HATED having the door closed. I only allowed it to be open an inch or two, but having it shut that couple of inches was something worth staying in bed for, apparently. It sounds mean, but it's better than catching her painting her toenails, climbing the headboard, playing mommy to our Great Dane, having a secret dance party in the closet and many other things (all of which I busted her doing when she was supposed to be in bed). I station myself outside of the door and I learned that the dogs are a dead giveaway. If they start stirring and coming out of the bedroom then that means she is up and moving around. The exception is when they are forced to lie under a blanket and get their backs patted as their "mommy" instructs them that they have to go to sleep because she is tiwerd (tired). So assuming my station and closing the door worked for a couple of months. Now....not so much.
Her new thing is that she will stay in bed and she starts singing musicals at the top of her voice, or having full conversations with herself, and chit chatting to her invisible friend. So, I pulled out my handy dandy door trick and.........it doesn't work!!! She is now perfectly content to sit in the complete dark and converse with herself. So, I can make her stay in bed, I can make her lay down, how do you make her fall asleep?!?! I was ready to go to bed an hour ago, but I can't because if I fall asleep before she does than the mischief she could get into is just too scary to even think about! It also doesn't help that she is worse than a teenager to try to pry out of bed in the morning. You'd think she'd get it that it's better to go to bed at a decent hour than it is to go through all of that morning drama. I'll be glad when this phase is over, but I'm a little scared to think of what the next one could be!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pneumonia, Cub Scout Camp, Adigators, VBS, and my new love - Noodle Man!

Before she started showing signs of being sick. You'd never guess she was not feeling well. She felt good enough for some Marmie love!!!
This week has been CRAZY busy! A week ago Friday Regan, Konnor, and I went to Sunsplash. Regan did great and actually was very comfortable in the water (a big accomplishment for her!). After a couple of hours she said she wanted to go to sleep. Huh?!?!? Regan never willingly goes to sleep! Long story short, she had a temperature of 103ish for the next day and on Sunday I took her to a convenient care as we had a really crappy night of very unpleasant things (I'll spare the details). She was diagnosed with bronchitis, but the MD told me to discontinue the breathing treatments I had been giving her because she said her lungs were clear. I ignored that advice because although I'm not an MD, not only could you hear the junk in her lungs (without the aid of a stethoscope), but you could feel her chest rattling. The next day I took her to her regular pediatrician and she was diagnosed with pneumonia and was put on steroids, continued breathing treatments, and continue with the antibiotics previously prescribed. Poor thing was so, so sick.

I started working summer school (bleh!). Konnor spent last week in Cub Scout Camp and he had a blast!!! He is so bummed it was only a week in length. He will officially start Cub Scouts in August, but this was his first official outing. They teach good morals, do fun things (Konnor is in love with archery now!), and the den leader seemed like a great guy. If I had one complaint it would be the mothers seemed a tad on the agressive, competitive (come on ladies, in the long run does it matter that your child's rocket flew up the highest?!? Let's just have fun!), inpatient and some were downright rude! Konnor got to take home the den flag at the end of the week because his pack leader said he was the most well behaved, mannered child in the den. What a compliment!!

Regan had been talking for over a month about the Adigator coming to host VBS. This year's theme was Crocodile Dock and VBS was held at the church that houses her school. They had a Crocodile sign out front of the church this past month and everyday she would tell me that she couldn't wait to go see the Adigator. Unfortunately, she missed the first day because of being sick and she wasn't feeling well the following two days as she was exhausted. She insisted she wanted to go though so although she was very subdued this week she obviously enjoyed going. Believe me, she would have let me know if she didn't want to go! The kids got CDs of some of the songs from VBS and Regan knows almost all of the words to about 5 of the songs. She obviously was enjoying herself although her face was pretty stoic throughout the whole week! Konnor also loved VBS and was so enthusiatic about the whole thing. I stuck around with my friend, Carolyn, every night for the first hour or so to make sure Regan was doing okay with the new situation and I was so impressed with how this church held an amazing VBS. It was truly awesome!!! The finale included a puppet show that I have included clips of in the following videos. The show was enthralling and I wish it had turned up better on my camera. It is amazing to me that the puppeteers are teenagers, they did so well. You can't see all of the details, but you can get the drift. I'm in love with the Noodle Man!

video
video

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mermie Hair

Regan insisted I take a video of her with hair that she HAD to have after watching it on a commercial.

Regan had a psychological and speech/language testing through our district yesterday. Long story that started about 6 months ago. I was so impressed with how well she attended for over two hours of intense testing. I'll post more later, but basically she scored high average or above average in all testing except visual motor. The child does not like to sit and color! I also had a private speech language test done several months ago as I was concerned about her immature speech and language. I guess I am just an over anxious mom in that area because she scored well on that one too! Yesterday, she blew me away with some of the things she was able to complete - things I had no idea she could accomplish!!
video

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Another Week

Regan fell asleep reading a book she got out of the library. The picture doesn't do it justice with how huge this book is!!! I was a little worried it would cut off the circulation to her legs :) She was sooo excited when we picked it up from the library and she has spent hours looking at it while riding in the car, reading to her babies and reading to the dogs!
Above is Regan and her Show and Tell Cow. Below is one of the many outtakes I get when trying to take her picture.




It was show and tell again at school and the theme was farm animals. I had been wanting to make Regan a cow shirt and so this was the perfect time. She loved it! I should have taken pictures again when I picked her up from school though. The shirt was trashed with purple, green, and black paint. Oh, well. It was cute while it lasted.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Regan's First Day of School






Long story, but two weeks ago Regan had a first day of school at a new school. Basically, I loved the personnel at her old school, but they had no idea how to run a preschool. The director cried when I told her Regan would be leaving and I felt awful, but things were so bad and out of control I had to move her.






I am thrilled to say that Regan is absolutely loving her new school and her new teacher, Ms. Trudy. For the entire school year at her old school I had to pry her off my leg crying and screaming in order to leave her for the day. At her new school, she is practically kicking me out the door so that she can start her day...I love it! They have Show and Tell every Friday and this week's theme was Circus. Regan got all decked out and looked adorable!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life Has Been Crazy!!!


Life, and especially February has been crazy!!


The highlight for Regan was being able to meet her idol: Elvis. We go to the Florida State Fair every year (well, except the year she was in the hospital and we missed it :( ) We were so excited because they were having an Elvis Extravaganza this year and Regan got to go to her first concert!!! She was so excited and although I was a little worried about how she would handle seeing more than one Elvis, she took it all in stride. Somehow, in her head, she picked out the "real" Elvis and then proceeded to yell everytime one of the "fake" Elvises got on stage, "That's not Elvis! You're not Elvis!". Luckily, we were able to get a picture with the "real" Elvis. She was a little star struck and refused to go near him! She was able to wear the Elvis shirt I made her and was so excited to show Elvis that she has him on her shirt. It was too, too cute!!
Regan also enjoyed riding rides for the first time. We spent most of the day at all of the animal shows and exhibits and we had an awesome time!

Regan had her yearly check-up. She currently weighs 29 pounds and is 32 inches tall. She wears 2T clothes (for the most part) and is in a size 6 shoe.
We also spent the rest of February going to parades as we also love to go to the yearly Edison Festival of Light Parade. This celebrates Thomas Edison and for the night parade, every float must have lights. My camera got dropped and broke and so I don't have any pictures of the night floats. The Junior Parade was also a blast and was really big this year. The Junior Parade takes place in the afternoon a week before the Night Parade and so lights are not required. Edison's winter home is located in Ft. Myers and so is the reason we celebrate Edison.



Saturday, February 07, 2009

Manatees and Hairdos!

Another of Regan's hairdos. She calls it Mermie (Mermaid) hair. I'm amazed she sits still for it to be done!
Totally gross picture, but that is Mommy's hair that Regan is holding Ewwww! Mommy got 12 inches cut off for Locks of Love. It was waaaaaaaay over due to be cut. I hadn't had it cut since right before I went to China to pick up Regan in December 2006. Again: Ewwwwwww, yuck!
Happy girl because mommy did braids in her hair (she is very opinionated about how her hair must be done!)
I love how properly she holds all of her utensils.



Scrunchy face!



Wrestling an alligator!



Regan did have one time out during our trip to see the manatees. She couldn't understand why we don't climb the fence and go pet them.



Here it comes!!!



Deep Breaths!





Look what else we saw out at Manatee Park!


Bye manatees!




I feel better about Regan's school this week. I had a conversation with her teacher and I also had a conversation with the daycare director. On Wednesday, we had a meeting of the Parent Advisory Group of which I am a participant. We'll see what happens, but basically the director would like the parents to help with the curriculum and basic involvement, and I'm happy to help where I can because I feel that if I"m going to complain about it, then I need to do something to help solve some of the issues.




On Thursday, we had one of our coldest days yet and I promised Regan we would go see the manatees. Unfortunately, I didn't get out of work on time. So, on Friday I picked her up and met my mom and Konnor and off we went to see the manatees down at the power plant. Regan was soooooo excited. She loves to see the babies and gets so excited to hear the manatees breathe! There were some really loud breathers out there and so it was a great evening!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's February Already--Are Ya Kiddin' Me?!?!?

This picture cracks me up, she was so upset to get her hair washed. This was taken about 2 years ago ----Life has greatly improved since then, but I have kind of a venting post below. Be warned!
Compare this picture to the picture below, she looks exactly the same! I just had to post these pictures, they are too funny! Poor thing, I did give her lovin' immediately after I snapped her picture :)


Can you believe the drama?!?!

Three of Regan's favorite things - Elvis, Barbie, and cars. These were the goodies she took to school to celebrate her birthday.



Her wish - Elvis cupcakes. Thank goodness for Shrinky Dinks. You can do anything with those things!

This will be quick as I have had no time to get on the computer (not to mention it is acting possessed again, deleting emails, not sending emails, and it deleted all my favorites!!).
My car has been broken for 3 weeks and yesterday I finally had the time and money to get it fixed. Carpooling at 6 AM to get my mom, Konnor, Regan and I all to school/work so that I could get to work by 8 AM, really stunk. And then my mom would have to stay at work until 7 PM or so until I could get off work from KidSpirit and pick up the kids. Ugh, glad that's over!
Regan still hasn't had her birthday cake or cupcakes, so I think I'll wait until February 13th, the anniversary of when she came home from the hospital. Which is still the day I think off all the time as getting my baby back.
Can I tell you that Regan's school is seriously stressing me out?!?!? They are so nice, but absolutely clueless about developmental skills or curriculum. Her teacher thought she was turning four. I just had to look at her like she was losing her mind. If she thought she was turning four, shouldn't she be slightly concerned about her speech/language, lack of academic skills and overall developmental delay? I'm really starting to look at alternative places for schooling.
Regan worries me that she doesn't know her colors yet (except for pink and blue), and the school has her working on phonics and writing letters. Then her teacher tells me that Regan resists work on tracing the letter "G". Ya think?!? How about working on basic coloring in boundaries, simple shapes, playing with play dough. If she would just learn to sit still for 5 minutes, I would consider it a successful year. Her teacher told me that she can't make her sit during circle time or table top time and so she is allowed to wander and do what she wants. She also doesn't nap at school and so she is allowed to sit and play. I pay the price as she is CRABBY when she gets home and so overstimulated she can't get to sleep. Next year has got to be better.

Sorry for the negative post, it has just been a crazy couple of weeks!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Baby is Three!!!!!

2007 - 1 year old
2008 - 2 years old
2009 - 3 years old
How is the world did my baby turn three?!?! Being the total loser mom that I am sometimes, I didn't have her cupcakes ready to take to school on her birthday, January 16. In my defense, my car totally died at work on Monday. Is it worrisome when you know the two truck guy personally because he has towed you so many times?!?! My car died several months ago and had to be towed. When I called AAA to be towed again, they sent the same tow truck guy. He remembered our first meeting and he "fixed" my car from what he said was a bad battery terminal connection. I thought the problem was fixed and drove home - Only to have my car refuse to start again. Because I work so late, I haven't had time to tow it to the garage and so my mom and I have been sharing her van. Not great. So, no coopcakes (Regan talk) at school on Friday.

She did request going to Chuck A Cheese (Regan talk again). We went there once when it first opened and she has wanted to go back soooo bad. That wonderful mouse sent her a coupon for 20 free tokens and those tokens paid for her to have 90 minutes of pure entertainment. She had a blast! Her favorite ride was the horse which she rode twice. She is scared of the Merry Go Round, but will ride the horse that jumps and runs. Go figure.

We took her out to dinner at her favorite restaurant, Bob Evvie. She had her favorite fruit plate and was thrilled with her birthday. I was worried that she would be upset with no presents or party, but she wasn't and talks again and again about going to Chuck E. Cheese.

On Saturday, she requested JayJay make her a Barbie cake and she loved the results. Her only complaint was that it didn't have enough frinkles (sprinkles) on it and so she added those herself. Tomorrow I am hoping to have it together enough to bake her coopcakes to take to school and to have some presents wrapped for her to open. We are also hoping to get her a dairy Queen cake as she loves to look at all of them whenever we go to DQ (which is way too often as my backside keeps telling me as it keeps expanding!). The Newton family may not have it together enough to do it big, but we do just keep stretching it out and celebrating and celebrating and celebrating!

We also wanted to say Happy Birthday to our great friend Grayson! He turns two on the 21st! We went to his birthday party this evening and had a great time! His mom owns half of the therapy clinic that I work at in the afternoons and she is the best boss ever and as a bonus and is great friend also! Regan was thrilled to celebrate even if she wouldn't ride the pony. She said she wanted to ride Chuck A's pony, not the pony with frinkles on his feet (his hooves were painted with blue glitter paint). I guess there is no hope that she will ride any pony if you won't ride one with frinkled feet!