Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A big horse, a big house and baby Jesus

Sam was very restless on Christmas Eve. The last time I put him back in bed he said to me" Santa is going to bring me a big horse, a big house and baby Jesus". Santa did not deliver on the house or the horse, but baby Jesus was there. He loved seeing the Nativity scene at the beginning of our block and the living nativity at the church across the street. He still asks about it and gets mad when we don't go down the right block when coming home.

He did very well this Christmas and you can tell he is very loved by all of his family. Everyone sent the best gifts and Sam has played with them all. His favorite gift from Santa was a little puppy that has its own food, ball and brush. Running a close second is the Kung-Fu Panda DVD, followed by a large stuffed bear wearing a snappy little striped shirt. Sam was so good, he even helped Mommy pick out some toys he did not play with to give to other kids. He does however think that Santa is coming back every night and is still looking for that big house and horse.

We did get some sad news over the break. Sam's school that he has attended since October of last year is closing its doors. We always thought he would be at the school until he was 5, but it is not to be. So, we are school searching. I think it is gonna be hard on him to leave his friends and teachers that he loves so much.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Renovation Update

Just wanted to post a picture of the before and after of the living room. The cabinet we built is all finished, paint is all done, and it is in use. A friend is building doors for it and the glass is on order. Getting close!

Getting Chilly

We usually have a very mild fall and winter here in Virginia. The leaves are starting to fall and the air is crisp. Took Sam out on the porch for a few pictures this morning. He recently had his one year check-up and everything is good to go. He grew almost 7 inches and took on a little over 2 pounds. He is really starting to use his words well and is very independent. Today when he got dressed he pulled on a long sleeve t-shirt and then his pink polo paired with a fresh pair of Khaki pants, all on his own. His new favorite stuffed animal is Donkey, with tiny donkey running a close second. Our best friend Doggie has a new home in the toybox and is no longer invited to bed. TImes they are a changin.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Whats in your bed?

Today we had a Nor' easter blow through town, still blowing actually. We usually get these storms 4 or 5 times a year and they usually bring a ton of rain and high winds. So, not only do we have to worry about hurricanes from the coast, we have to worry about these storms from the west. I had a little time to myself today and decided to change the sheets on Sam's bed and give them a wash while he was at school. This is what was under the top sheet...

You can see several books, Sam likes to read at night, you can also see a moose, Ernie, a horse, several train parts, a puzzle piece, and a dustpan, yes he is a clean kid.

Renovation update:

Yes, I too thought that we were almost done. Wrong. Turns out we decided to build some built-in bookcases just to the right of the fireplace, which we just got done with on Sunday. Here is a great pic of the before and the finished fireplace surround.

And one more of Mr. Cute Stuff

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hey Hey

Yes, I am going to start updating here again. More importantly: It is time again for the Race for the Cure. It is a 5K run walk with all of the local cancer survivors. Nationally its a campaign against breast cancer. Locally, I am on team Mo-Glo. Mo is a cancer survivor and the mom of one of my friends. The least I can do is ask for your support. Cancer is no joke. I have a modest goal set, and really anything will help. Thanks!

Click here to lend your support

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Yes I am, heres the details

Click Me

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Going to Pop Pop & Grammies

Sam is super duper excited to be going to see his Pop Pop and Grammie Re tomorrow. As soon as we got home from school today he rushed upstairs and packed a pair of shorts, a shirt, a pair of underwear and doggie in his backpack and came downstairs. It takes a lot to explain "time" to a 3 year old. All night he ran around saying "Pop Pop"! At bedtime he giggled for minutes when he and Cheri were talking about the trip. I am sure he will get up at 5ish tomorrow, fun fun.

Well, the race is finally here. There is a mix of excitement, anxiety, worry, joy and fear in my head. I am glad to be getting to Louisville on Wednesday to really psych myself out, I mean up for the race. Yes, I do have goals, none that will be published here. This race has been a long time coming and everyone has sacrificed something for me to be able to run it. It means a lot. Here's to 10 hours on the road with boy wonder tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Fever!

Wooo Hooo, how bout them swimmers! If you have not seen the 4x100 mens relay yet, go here and get ready to be moved. Stop reading now if you don't want me to spoil it.....

100 meters in 46 seconds! This is what the anchor of the US team swam his 100 meters of the race in. Just to give you some reference, I can swim that same distance in 1 minute and 40 seconds. They could cut to commercial and come back to see me finish. 46 seconds is faster than anyone has ever gone at that distance, and he beat the current world record holder in the 100. The best part of this video is at the end when the US swimmers are on the deck when their anchor hits the wall. There is a 2 second delay before they find out they win the gold and you can feel the anticipation. Amazing.

Sam loves the olympics. We discovered this on Saturday when I got him to watch volleyball with me. He loves volleyball! He does not even have a preference between indoor and sand. He also watches soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. The best part is you can go to NBC and watch any olympic sport you want to. He probably watched 2 hours of olympics today. Oh, he was home sick, nothing major just a little fever. I also took down the "happy birthday" video because we are submitting it to Americas Funniest Videos, and they don't want me to post it anywhere.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mt. Mama and ugly shirts

Saturday, I went out to a little town in western VA called Monterey for a bike ride called Mountain Mama. It was just another prep for IM Louisville.

I camped out the night before in the pouring rain and they delayed the start of the ride an hour to let the rain clear up. It finally did and we rolled out in a slight rain that cleared right up. Riding in the mountains is cool because you get to see all of the scenery from the top of the mountains.

One of the cool things about doing races is T-shirts. I love T-shirts as Cheri will attest. Normally the race shirt is a cool design on a regular cotton shirt or technical shirt. I like these shirts because they are fairly unique and they remind me of the race. The shirt for Mountain Mama takes the cake. This is one ugly shirt. I will still wear it though.



Last Thursday, I took the afternoon off, picked Sammy up from school just before lunch, and we headed over to Harbor Park to watch the Tides play some ball. He was very excited to go to the ballgame. They have a few day games every season and there are always kids and families there. We had seats just 6 rows off the field, and it was screamin hot. I think the temp that day was 96 or so. We grabbed a couple dogs, some water and sat down to watch the game. The seats were hot! I knew that our time in this location would be limited, and it turns out we lasted 3 innings. The highlights of the game included catching a foul ball, yelling at the ump for making a bad call (Sam loved this part), and seeing Rip Tide.

Sam is terrified of Rip Tide, and at the same time, very interested. As soon as Rip came out of the dugout, Sam was keenly aware of his location at all times. Sam also had all the people around us rolling as he tried to throw back the foul ball two times.

We moved up to a shaded area for another 3 innings and then called it quits to take naps in the cold A/C. It was a good day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Cheri!

Today Cheri is 27! We are so proud of her as a mommy and my friend. She had a great day as Sam slept in until 7:15 this morning. He is usually up by 6:30 most days. Then when I told him it was her birthday he totally freaked out and ran around in circles. When he stopped, he busted out one of many "Happy Birthday" songs. We gave her our gift, which was actually a picture of a gift because the real thing was backordered...so its almost like getting two gifts. At work, she got a $10 gas card from the company and a pair of Croc flip flops from Grammie. When she got home she made us soup. Yes, she cooked on her birthday. She wanted to! Then we had cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday one more time, the evidence is below. We love her very much and somehow she gets younger each year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I wear my sunglasses at night

This shot was taken a few nights ago. These are the fabulous Diego sunglasses that Sam loves. He wore them to bed.

What you see with Sam in bed his his pillow, the pillow is an essential part of bedtime along with Doggie and Blanket. These three things are vital at bedtime. What you cannot see in the picture are the other animals that sleep with Sam. They are: Puppy, Froggy, Tommy the Triceratops, Big Bunny, Little Bunny, Shifu (from Kung-Fu Panda), the song bear, the black bear, and a random black & tan dog. I think that covers all the things in the bed.

Today at school a clown came to entertain the kids and paint their faces. Sam had no part of the face painting. His teacher, Ms. Janice said he threw up both of his arms and said no! It is all he has talked about since coming home. Disney next year is going to be a blast. All for now, gotta get back to the Best of Elmo (thanks Grammie Re).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The switch has been flipped. We had a 3 year old who would not spend 2 minutes watching anything on TV. Which is what you want right? Well, I think all parents dirty little secret is YES, it is ok to spend a little time in front of the tube. Well after our trip to Geneva two weeks ago and the "family entertainment system" was discovered, he has not slowed down. His favorite shows thus far are Shrek and Elmo, any Elmo. He will ask to watch TV in the morning, when we get home and after dinner. Crazy. Oh, and baseball. I flipped on ESPN and a baseball game was on. He came running into the room screaming "ballgame" and sat on the chair watching the game, I was amazed just watching him. When the commercials came on, he would yell at me to put the ballgame back on. Oh so much to learn.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Knight

One of the great things about living in this area is the history of all the 7 cities. One of those historic places is in Old Towne Portsmouth, which is just across the river from us. The Commodore theater was built in 1945 and was beautifully restored. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the tickets to the movie are only $7. They have tables down front where you can eat dinner and have drinks, as well as a balcony for enjoying the movie on a 41 foot screen with great sound.

Grammie volunteered to have a sleep-over with Sam, and we usually do not turn those down. He was a little low on Grammie time anyway after not seeing her last weekend. After dropping him off, we shot over to Bed, Bath and Beyond because, yes, we did have time. After that, we went over to Old Towne and had dinner at Baron's Pub, which is just across the street from the theater. We sat outside and enjoyed all the people walking by and some dinner. The feature this evening was The Dark Knight. See this movie. The joker, played by Heath Ledger, stole every scene he was in and was the highlight of the movie. He had all the good lines anyway. I would give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5 and two thumbs up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

20 Hours in a car

I will not apologize for not updating this blog! Life happens.

Anyway, when purchasing the new vehicle, I opted for the "family entertainment system" for the rear passengers. The "FES" consists of a drop down LCD screen, DVD player and wireless headphones. The FES paid off this weekend when we made the trip up to Geneva, NY for yet another triathlon. Sam,the kid who will watch 2-3 minutes of anything and then ditch it, spent many many hours glued to the FES. Every so often we would hear "mommy, Elmo", or "mommy, donkey" (donkey is code for the Shrek movie), or "mommy, Diego". He looks so cute back there leaning on his hand and laughing when the donkey comes on.

The trip was pretty good. Geneva is a beautiful place and the weather was good at least on Saturday. We stayed at some townhouse dorms on the site of Hobart & Smith, which is a private college in Geneva. The dorm was sparce. There was basically 4 rooms with single beds and dressers. No couches, comfortable chairs, or electronics. The Hampton Inn, it is not.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What did you do this weekend?

Thats right, Cheri and I dropped it old school. Let me splain. Before Sam came along it was not unlike us to pick out a project and knock it out with the quickness. This included the deck at our old house, hardwood floors, and other little projects. Since Samuel came along our projects have still been scheduled, but the time to do them is missing.

This weekend we decided to start the "back stoop" project. This is something that Cheri has wanted to do since we moved in here 4 years ago. I knew that this could be done in a weekend and vowed to do just that. So, with Sam occupied chasing bugs, which is his new thing, we set forth and built the stoop. He did help a little bit here and there, hammering and drilling. Mostly his skills were utilized in the dirt digging department. We knocked out the stoop in 2 days, no sweat.

Yesterday was Sam's official homecoming anniversary. June 2nd last year he landed on US soil for the first time. He came home to find Daddy, Grammie, Grammie Re, Pop Pop, Uncle Joe, Aunt CoCo, Bella, Aidan, and Evan at the airport waiting to see him. He was so tired and spent a lot of time on my shoulder. His first American meal that night was lasagna, and he even slept in his big boy bed. The next morning he woke us up at 5ish standing in the toy box at the end of his bed crying. I think that is the last of the anniversaries for a while.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Today is Sam's "gotcha" day. This is the day, exactly one year ago that the country of Russia gave us the keys to Sam. We had a party with all of his closest friends and right now he is coming down from a sugar high. He walked around all day knowing we were going to have a party for his gotcha day, and some how thought we were supposed to go to Chucky Cheese for all parties. Maybe next year. Its been a great year and that little guy has grown so much. He loves to play with all his friends so much.

He and Mommy had a whirlwind weekend together as I was riding in the mountains of western VA. The ride was called "mountains of misery" and it was. There were several brutal climbs where I was going only 3 MPH, but some great descents where I got up to 44 MPH. I highly recommend it if you are looking to kick your own butt.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Table for 3

Yesterday we loaded up the car and went to the Parade of Homes. The parade is a tour of brand new homes that are fully decorated and landscaped. We took Sam with us and knew it would be a nice little challenge. He was branded a terrorist and banned from Parade of Homes till he is 18.

So afterward we set out to find some dinner. After passing by some several nice prospects we settled on a Japanese steakhouse. This place took reservations, but we didn't have one. So, after waiting what seemed like an eternity we were seated at a nice table near the sushi bar. I'd say it took Sam 4 minutes to spill his apple juice. Turns out the restaurant is not really set up for kids. Sam is normally very good in restaurants, but he does require some attention. The rest of the meal was pretty uneventful and Sam had a great time sampling the food. He even tried sushi and after initially spitting it out (on Mommies plate), he regained his composure and finished it. The best part of the evening was watching him eat with chopsticks. He had a fork, but we were using chopsticks, so he was going to use them. Did pretty good too.

Lastly, this is Cheri's first mothers day. Sam and I got her some flowers and chocolate covered strawberries, and Sam made her some things at school. She is our favorite Mommy, and we love her.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One year anniversary

Exactly one year ago today, our little family met for the first time. Its strange to think we mark things in years when so much happens every single day. I can't even begin to think of all the things we have done, things we have seen, things we have learned, or things we have heard in the last year. Before this day a year ago, Sam, otherwise known as Petr was a friendly little guy living in a baby house in Moscow. We knew about him on paper, deeply searching his scarce medical records for any signs of anything. We had a 5 minute video on VHS that showed Sam at two stages in his life. It was a whirlwind leading up to this trip and when we finally got on the plane to Moscow, it started to come together.

I still remember clearly standing in the little locker room outside of Sams classroom waiting for our first encounter. He came out of the room wearing a spongebob squarepants shirt, blue shorts with pink leggings underneath, and a pair of hard shoes. Cute as can be.

and thats as quiet as he has ever been!

Love that kid!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Sam had a great time with all of his Easter baskets this weekend. He had one from the bunny, one from Grammy Re and Pop Pop, one from Grammy, one from Uncle Rich and Aunt Rachel, and a bonus package from Uncle Jerry and Aunt Susie. We have enough candy! Uncle Rich got the "cool" gift award in the form of a turtle that shines constellations from its shell. Sam does not get out of bed when the turtle is on. Its pretty cool to watch when the lights go out.

We made it to church with our pockets stuffed full of candy and ready to roll. Sam's favorite part of the service is when we all stand up and sing, he fit right in. Afterwards we went over to Grammies for a ham dinner, and more candy. We discovered that the squeeze tube of sweet tart candy was like catnip to the boy. Just one dab and he is off running!

The renovation is wrapping up! We are painting the cabinets and trim now and most likely will be done painting the colors by Saturday. yeah!