Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Baby Talk

Sam has taken to big long very dramatic explanations of things. He will say "Dada" and then sputter off in baby talk or Russian explaning what he needs. It is quite entertaining as he also uses sweeping hand jestures.

Today Sam got to show off for our social worker as we had visit #2 of 6 in his adoption process. The visits are required by Moscow and they take them pretty seriously. We threw in one more visit so we cold officially readopt Sam in Virginia. I took Sam over to Adoptions From the Heart in Chesapeake to meet her. AFTH were instrumental in giving us the opportunity to meet Sam, so we are pretty thankful we met them. So, Sam got to woo the ladies in the office and sealed the deal by blowing them all kisses on his way out the door. Ladykiller. Uncle Charlie would be proud. We are still working on Sam saying "s" and he says his name as "maam" and he calls Graham "maam" as well, which is better than what Graham calls Sam, which is Maggie. He still loves Graham.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pottty Training 101

After we left Chicago, we enjoyed a day and a half at Pop Pop and Re Re's in Louisville. Sam got to see Uncle Rich and Aunt Rachel again, and meet his Aunt Sis, Uncle Shawn and his cousin Leah. Leah was adopted from China two years ago and is quite the little peach! Sam had a great time playing all day with Leah and Re Re. Oh, before we left, I signed up for Ironman Louisville 2008....

Back to the reality! The past few days we have been talking about getting Sam back on the potty training schedule again. We have successfully untrained him from anything he knew about using the potty from the orphanage. He is almost 3 and word has it that 3 years is the magic age for boys. So, tonight, at 6:10 PM Sam donned a pair of big boy pants. At 6:12 PM, he said "potty" and was taken quickly to the toilet. At 6:14 PM in the laundry room, Sam went in his big boy pants and the floor. Just a minor setback. At least he was saying potty as it ran onto the floor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago Part Deux

Just some more wedding photos

Sweet Home Chicago

We finally arived in Chicago and sat in about an hour of traffic at the end of our 9 hour drive, fun fun. We actually beat Rob and Em home, so Cheri took the opportunity for some mommy time while Sam and I walked over to K-mart for some stuff. We knew the weekend was going to fly by and it sure did. On Saturday we Rob, Ems dad and I were supposed to play Cog Hill, but the weather was iffy and we called it off. Should have gone. So on Friday we met Grandpa and Grandma for lunch at a great little pizza joint. Uncle Rob, Sam and I went to get our tuxes at the shop while Cheri, Grandpa and Grandma went to the Hyatt to check in. Sam dazzled the ladies in the tux shop with his amazing singing skills. That kid has some lungs. We finally made it to the Hyatt, and wow what a place! We knew that this hotel was going to be cool and it was. Our room had and amazing view of the city and we overlooked the restaurant on the 6th floor. Sam loved to get right up to the picture window and look out over the city. The room had a huge king bed with a great fluffy blanket and a sliding door that opened up into the bathroom. The doors were above the garden tub and the bathroom was very cool. The only thing not cool was the $88 per day valet parking what? So, Friday we do a quick wedding rehearsal and head off to the dinner at a very cool Italian restaurant. Cheri, Sam and I walked to the restaurant while everybody else took cabs. I kinda made a command decision not to ride in a cab without a car seat...well, it was a long walk. Uncle Rob, bless his little heart, said it was 15 minutes, more like 40. We did see Clint from "What Not To Wear" , as well as "Big & Rich" during our walk, so that was a plus. Sams first celebrities.

Saturday Sam and I were men about town as Cheri was off getting her hair and nails did. We had a great lunch and and even better nap. Sam got dressed in his little Tux and we set off for the wedding. Because Cheri and I were both in the wedding party, Sams cousin April took the duty of Sam wrangler during the ceremony. She did a great job and only a couple of "mommies" and "la la la's" could be heard from the back row. The reception was amazing and everyone commented on how cute Sam was and he was having a great time with his charming little self. He finally was too tired to dance anymore and we called it a night.

It was breakfast on Sunday with all the family and the Bride and Groom and then off to Louisville to see Re Re and Pop Pop. Sam loved the whole thing and he was ready to get back in the carseat, or not. Sam will always look up to Uncle Charlie after this trip.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Niagra Falls

I do love football! Sam does as well, he loves to cheer when our teams score and he is a wild man! Anyway, our trip continues as we leave the beautiful state of Mass and begin our drive to Chicago. I think the GPS had us at 900 some miles, yes it took two days. Near the end of our first day of driving we were nearing Buffalo and starting looking for a place to stay, when Niagra Falls came up in the conversation. Since Sam nor I had ever seen the falls, this would be a perfect opportunity. We were a little unsure about taking Sam into Canada, so we went to the American side of the falls. We checked into the "Grand" Ramada and it was far from grand, not even in the same zip code. I should have been tipped off by the $79 room, but no. So, we all venture out for some dinner and sightseeing in Niagra. This is a wierd little slice of America. Apparently this is the honeymoon capital, if your honeymoon is one day, this is the place to be. We walked by the putt putt, haunted house, sidewalk peddlers, sidewalk karaoke guy?, and at least 10 Indian restaurants on our way to the Hard Rock Cafe. Seemed like the safe bet. After a nice dinner, we went to see the falls. From what Cheri says, the Canadian side of the falls is the better view, although what we saw was impressive. There was a light crowd at the falls mostly hanging out on the observation deck and having a good time. We took some photos and went back to the Ramada.

There were no showers the next morning as we were both skeezed out by the bathroom in this joint. We got up and out of the curry inn and headed toward Chicago. Two days of driving can really take it out of you and by the time we got to Rob and Ems in Chicago, we were beat. Sam had a great time as he did not have to drive at all. Chicago is next!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cape Cod and Nantucket

Before I contine the journey, Sam is doing funny stuff I must report. Laura, his nanny, is at our house this week and when I get home in the evening, he screams with delight and in the same breath says "bye bye" to Laura. She thinks its funny and he says "bye bye" to her even as she walks down the driveway.

So, the next part of the trip takes us to Cape Cod, and Nantucket. The Shelnuts (Adam, Beth and Ryan) really stepped up on this trip with the lodging. We had a great place to stay on Cape Cod which is Adams parents condo. We all had our own rooms and the lake on the property was beautiful. Our time here was pretty limited as we only had two days and then two more days to get to Chicago. It is a place we would love to go back to. We spent much of the first day on Cape Cod just unwinding from the day and eating dinner at 99, called "the nines" in Mass. We had a great time as you know that 6 adults and 5 kids under 5 can have! The nines was glad to see us go I am sure. Day two we had big plans to go over to Nantucket and after a great Dunkin Donuts breakfast, we set off for the ferry.

Let me just say that there are alot of Dunkin Donuts in the New England area and those donuts are real good. I am sure I shoveled just under 300 donut holes in my mouth in two days.

The ferry we rode to Nantucket was the fast ferry. There is also a slow ferry that takes an hour longer. The fast ferry is an hour ride and it moves very quickly across the water. The ferry had a little snack bar in the back and TV's all over the place. Unncle Derrick who is Joes best friend from way back lives on Nantucket and he set up a cool little beach BBQ on a secluded part of the island. We all rode in his boat over to the island and had a great time. Oh yea, it was a bit cold that day and now we all have Nantucket sweatshirts. The kids had a great time on the beach, digging and playing in the sand. We made our way back to the mainland and did some shopping and then had dinner at a seafood place. Again, as much fun as 7 adults and 5 kids under 5 can have! We rode the ferry back to Cape Cod and everyone was very tuckered out. We had a great time on the island and can't wait to go back.

Monday, September 3, 2007

New Hampshire

This is part II in the series, I thank you for your attention...So, by the time we finally got out of the Boston traffic, we hit the New Hampshire lake traffic. We finally arrive at the lake house late on Friday night after a serious wrong turn in which I was told to"honk the horn" so they could find us. It was dark. We stayed here at the lake house for three nights and it was a great house. We had 4 familes in the house, only one that did not have kids, and he had earplugs. The kids liked to get up at around 7 and have a sceaming contest. Lake Winniepesauke is a beautiful location and the weather that weekend was perfect. Saturday morning we got up and had a huge family breakfast with all the fixins. Uncle John, who is Beth's brother brought his boat and jet skis for the weekend and the kids had a good time playing in the boat on Saturday. We were not able to get the boat out due to the wind, but they had fun anyway. The girls got away and did some shopping and whatever else girls do when they get away. Saturday evening Cheri made dinner which was the required pre-race "carb loading" pasta. Everyone enjoyed it and thankfully moved the party to the basement so I could get some sleep. The race was Sunday morning and I got up at 4:30 to eat some breakfast and get on the road. The lake house was about 40 minutes from the race site. Sam decided it would be cool to get in bed with us during the night and so the sleep was not the greatest! I have the greatest race support team anyone could ask for and they showed up on Sunday in full force. I saw them several times during the race and at the finish line. I finished the half Ironman in just over 6 hours. After the race, we all went back to the house and I took a nap while everyone else went out on the boat, it was real nice. This was a great weekend with our friends and Sam really enjoyed playing with all the kids. It is very interesting to see how he interacts with other kids. The next post will take us through Cape Cod, Nantucket and the drive to Chicago....